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Thread: Y-chromosome polymorph Tat C Among the Finno-Ugric and Baltic (Latvians and Lithuanians) Peoples of Europe

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    Y-chromosome polymorph Tat C Among the Finno-Ugric and Baltic (Latvians and Lithuanians) Peoples of Europe

    Via Razib at gene expression:


    In the early part of the 20th century many Finns were dismayed when anthropologists labeled them "Mongoloids" because of the peculiarity of their language. Finnish is not Indo-European, but Finno-Ugric (a branch of the Ural-Altaic family of languages [1]). Similarly the Hungarians were also thought to be Mongoloids, despite their European physical appearance (Zsa Zsa Gabor's inhuman countenance not withstanding). Most of the other Finno-Ugric languages aside from Estonian are to be found in Siberia among Mongoloid peoples.

    How to explain this conundrum? The most obvious solution was to posit that the Finno-Ugric peoples entered Europe from the east and mixed with the Scandinavian population already extent in the region, because there is one record historically of such an occurrence, the Magyars in the 7th and 8th centuries, later to become the "Hungarians." The intrusion into Europe by nomadic peoples, often of Ural-Altaic origin, was common right up until the Mongols [2]. While the southern Finno-Ugric peoples took up nomadism, it was assumed that the northern branch, later to become the Finnish peoples, continued the ancient sub-Arctic hunting and fishing tradition that dominated the northern fringe of Eurasia in the boreal forest zone.

    These people were assumed to have entered Scandinavia and the Baltic through the northern forests of what would become Russia, beyond the limit of conventional agriculture. So this href="http://www26.brinkster.com/archived/viewnews.asp?newsID=685863673687">articl e, translated and posted on the Human Races Archive (run by a brown guy from what I know) is very interesting because it pops that neat little narrative that passes as "conventional wisdom" about the Finno-Ugrics.

    The gist: A Y-chromosome polymorph, Tat C, is found among the Finno-Ugric and Baltic (Latvians and Lithuanians) peoples of Europe as well as the affiliated peoples in Siberia, and even among the Inuit that eventually reached Greenland! But the story becomes even more peculiar on closer observation, for the Tat C lineages of Europe are more diverse than those of the eastern peoples. The implication is obvious, it is the Tat C lineages of Europe that have a greater time depth, allowing them to change and diversify [3].

    But it does not end there-these lineages are found at lower levels among the Norwegians and Swedes. But the polymorph becomes negligible among the Slavic peoples! The article makes clear that there is a sharp demarcation between the Lithuanians and Poles, peoples that are historically associated. Tat C is almost nonexistent among other European peoples. What to make of all this?

    First, let us remind ourselves of what else we know about European "archaeogenetics". Europeans are a mixture of Paleolithic hunter-gatherers, and Neolithic "newcomers," that is agreed. But the quotient of each is debated, whether that be href="http://education.guardian.co.uk/higher/medicalscience/story/0,9837,505080,00.html">20% Neolithic or href="http://www26.brinkster.com/archived/viewnews.asp?newsID=492046535015">50%. But an aproximate SE => NW gradient or cline seems to appear in both models. The Basques are
    generally used to represent the pristine Paleolithic stock of Europe, and most studies that I have seen tend to confirm that they lack the markers that are associated with Neolithic migrants. So add to this a third component, the Finno-Ugrics.

    It seems plausible that the ice sheet over Scandinavia separated two Paleolithic populations in what was to become "Europe." Along the western edge, there were the people that represent what early 20th century anthropologists would term the "Nordic" type, and on the eastern edge there were the "East Baltics." The aforementioned studies seem to indicate that despite linguistic
    affinities between Swedes and Greeks as compared to the Finns, the Scandinavian groups are mixtures between the "Nordic" and "Finno-Ugric" populations, while the Greeks share more with the peoples of Anatolia (to their chagrin) and the Levant [4].

    Now what about the sharp difference between the Slavic peoples and the Finno-Ugric & Baltic peoples? This is the most tantalizing mystery in the article. It is noted that the Lithuanians and Poles have traditionally been closely associated, but it must be clarified that this did not imply intermarriage between ethnic groups. The first two centuries of Polish-Lithuanian union were royal and personal, in other words, though ruled by the same royal house, created by the marriage of a Lithuanian Grand Duke and a Polish princess, the two nations kept their own institutions . Late in the 16th century the Polish and Lithuanian states merged more thoroughly, and this resulted in the total absorption of the Lithuanian aristocracy into Polish culture.

    By the 19th century Lithuanian culture was village centered and functionally illiterate and pre-modern. The backward and isolated nature of rural Lithuania preserved it from being assimilated into the relatively sophisticated Polish ethnos, and the dissolution of Poland-Lithuania and the rise of nationalism resulted in the creation of an indigenous Lithuanian intelligentsia. Prior to the Counter-Reformation the Lithuanians of the country were de facto pagan. Until the latter portion of the 18th century Catholic priests were still seeking out "snake groves" and burning the reptiles venerated by the ignorant pagan peasants. The Lithuanians were a people set apart, their dense forests saved them from the genocide that awaited the Prussian tribes at the hands of the
    crusading Germans and rebuffed the expansion of the Russian principalities of Novgorod and Moscow after the fall of Kievan Rus.

    Poland by its nature is rich agricultural land and is today the most populous of the east-central European nations. Lithuania in sharp contrast is still a small and sparsely populated state, and there is no doubt that it was so in ancient times. But it did produce fierce warriors, explaining why the Poles sought an alliance with them. The Mongols did not touch them in their deep forests, though they did destroy Kievan Rus and Piast Poland, allowing the pagan Balts to fill that power vacuum in the next century.

    And yet if the dark forests of the Baltic were such a barrier to Slavic demographic penetration, it is peculiar that the Lithuanians (and Latvians) speak what some consider to be the most archaic of modern Indo-European languages. Some have even postulated that the original Indo-European homeland was the Baltic shore. Indo-Europeanologists have sometimes classed Baltic and Slavic together as the "Balto-Slavic" group.

    Other linguists have objected to this, and assert that any similarities between the two groups is the result of intimate contact over thousands of years. And yet I have just argued in the prior paragraph that the two groups did not in fact interact much despite their geographic proximity. In addition, the Tat C polymorph is nearly as prominent among the Baltic people as among theFinns! This does not fit well with the idea that the Lithuanians represent a hybrid median between two populations, rather it seems that either the Finns or the Balts were acculturated at some point in the past.

    The genetic footprint of the "Indo-Europeans" on Europe is indeterminate. Cavalli-Sforza indicated that he saw a possible cline from the east to the west that indicated a "Kurgan" expansion from the steppes. Of course, he later seemed to side with Colin Renfrew's theory that the Indo-Europeans were the farmers that brought agriculture to Europe 10,000 years ago. It seems likely to me that the Indo-Europeans did not leave much of a genetic footprint throughout much of the region that they linguistically assimilated.

    Though the Basques are a genetic isolate, they are not different enough from other western European populations to give credence to a theory that postulates a demographic change concomitant with the expansion of Indo-European languages. Indo-European exists above a non-Indo-European substrate in much of its range. In India the "Dravidian" substrate has been gleaned in languages such as Marathi. The common Greek nth seems to be non-Indo-European (and 40% of the vocabulary of Greek as well as most of the ancient gods are non-Indo-European). Before Romanization it seems plausible that the "Iberians" who were neither Basque nor Celtiberian spoke a non-Indo-European language in what is today Andalusia and Valencia with some relationship to Basque. The non-Indo-European substrate of Germanic is also known. To me this argues compellingly for a model of elite cultural diffusion [5].

    So why was it that the Scandinavian peoples of the west but not the east became "Indo-Europeans," while the Baltic peoples of the south but not the north did as well? We might ask also why the Indo-Europeans did not penetrate into Iberia or southern India. The most obvious answer is geography. Spain was farther from the central point of radiation of Indo-European culture than Italy or Greece. Both the latter peninsulas seem to have had non-Indo-European populations. The Minoans and the later "Pelasgians" seemed to have spoken non-Indo-European languages (some Greek city-states asserted Pelasgian origins, claiming to be "autochthonous," Athens being the most prominent).

    The Etruscans were certainly non-Indo-European, though there are indications that their origin was in Asia Minor. A minority of the non-Latin tribes of Italy seem to have been non-Indo-European (generally the more isolated ones). In Spain, it seems only the Celtiberians of Galicia and its environs, almost certainly settlers from the north, were Indo-European speakers prior to the arrival of the Greeks and Romans. Along the northwest edge of Europe there are still debates as to whether the Picts are Indo-European or not. In any case, it is clear that a flood of Indo-Europeans did not overwhelm any given region of Europe, but that the spread of that family of languages was piece-meal and haphazard.

    Likely the Lithuanians and Latvians were "Indo-Europeanized" at a very early point in their history. The presence of Estonian could indicate a "reconquest" of territory by Finno-Ugric tribes that moved south from Finland during a period of colder conditions in northern Europe. The lack of genetic similarity between Slavs and Baltics might be simply because both groups become "Indo-European" via cultural diffusion, possibly from the same tribe of Indo-Europeans (they are both of the satem sub-group, along with Indo-Iranian, Armenian and Greek). Until historic times, most of northern Sweden and Norway was the domain of the Finno-Ugric Sami, reindeer herders, so it seems that the Indo-Europeans succeeded in imposing their language only on areas with some level of agriculture, and so possibly greater division of labor between classes and a more complex tribal system.

    In sharp contrast it seems that a plausible scenario of elite cultural diffusion going from the western sub-Arctic zone into Siberia seems to have left a genetic footprint. This might be because the population bases of cultures that practiced agriculture was far greater than the hunting and fishing societies that the Finno-Ugrics penetrated, explaining why the latter show a clear Finno-Ugric connection while the Indo-European peoples seem rather unrelated to each other [6].

    The west-east progression of the Finno-Ugrics actually is reminiscent of ideas about Indo-European expansion east. The Tocharian people of what is today Xinjiang (East Turkestan) were Indo-Europeans who seemed to the superficially have a "Celtic" flavor (they spoke a centum language, grouped with Romance, Celtic and Germanic, were European in appearance and even wore kilts!). The original horse-people of the Altai region of western Mongolia were quite possibly of the same phenotype.

    While the Indo-Europeans probably left a light genetic footprint on the settled and dense populations of western and southern Eurasia, they almost certainly made their impact felt among the people of Inner Asia. In fact, the revelation that the people of Xinjiang have affinities with Europeans is probably the echo of the ancient Indo-European expansion into the east, south of the Finno-Ugrics in the grasslands between the deserts and the ice [7].

    Finally, I would like to add that I believe this sort of cultural and genetic change has occurred many times throughout human history, only the later ones of the Indo-Europeans, Semitic peoples and Finno-Ugrics were crystallized and preserved by the creation of literacy, statecraft and national units that imposed stasis on what was previously a multi-tribal world where ties of blood, language and religions were fluid and ever changing. I suspect that the megalith builders that left their marks from the eastern Mediterranean to Cornwall brought their language, only to have been superseded by later cultural innovators.

    [1] Finno-Ugric is the most prominent Uralic group of languages. The Altaic group is represented by the Turkish and Mongolian tongues.
    [2] Huns, Avars, Pechenegs, Magyars and Bulgars to name a few.
    [3] This is the standard logic behind "Out-of-Africa."

    [4] Please note that a few studies, in addition to the primary one cited here on the Finno-Ugrics, indicates that the maternal lineages of both Finns and Swedes are rather more similar than their paternal ones. This I believe in partially a result of patrilocal marriage patterns that seem the human norm. The transfer of women from village to village along a great chain seems to shuffle mt-DNA rather more than the more prominent volkswanderung that is the stuff of legend and would move diverse paternal lineages across the globe.

    [5] Note that in ancient times Indo-Europeans ruled large portions of the Levant. The Mitanni of Syria were Indo-Aryans, while some have indicated that the Kassite ruling dynasty of post-Amorite Babylonia were also Indo-Europeans. In neither case did the Indo-European language or culture survive the fall of their dynasties. The difference is that Indo-Europeans could impose their culture on marginal and less advanced areas of the ancient Middle East, Anatolia, Armenia and Iran, but the model of elite cultural transfer breaks down when the conquered people come bearing the gifts of literacy and sophisticated statecraft.

    [6] If the Finno-Ugrics are indigenous European people that date to the last Ice Age, and the Sami are at least as authentic as the Finns in their Finno-Ugric character (it could be that the Sami have more "Mongoloid" in their maternal lineage than the Finns), it would seem to lend some credence to the idea that blondism has no direct adaptive value, but is rather sexually selected. The Sami are a relatively swarthy people, and many would assert that the Finns are a degree darker than the Swedes (southern Sweden is the only region of the world where a majority of the population has both blonde hair and blue eyes). If the Finno-Ugric presence in northern Europe is as ancient the pre-Indo-European Nordic peoples, it is curious to consider why blondism is traditionally more prevelant in one group than the other if adaptive considerations are paramount.

    [7] All that I have said is unoriginal and highly tendentious. For obvious reasons the Mongolian and Turkic peoples of Inner Asia bristle at the notion of "culture bearers" from the west bringing with them the accoutrements of their lifestyle. In addition, I think it is plausible that there was not one particular racial type (as in "Nordic" for instance) that was dominant among Indo-Europeans. Rather they were a coalition of tribes that spanned several areas of the west-central Eurasian steppe that by happenstance were bestowed pasturelands that made them predisposed to domesticating and using the horse to its greatest extent. Perhaps the settled tribes of eastern Europe viewed the horse riding Indo-European bands as the Aztecs viewed the Spaniards-almost god-like beings who sat upon great noble beasts beyond legend.

    The eastern people of Eurasia would in this scenario be more like the plains Indians, taking the horse and making it their own, and in the end reversing the conveyer belt of migration and invasion from west-to-east to east-to-west. And so history goes round and round.

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    Finno-Ugrian origins of Latvians and Lithuanians

    Acc. to 2 available studies, Lithuanians have about 40% of TAT-C

    Acc. to 3 available studies Latvians have about 40% of TAT-C

    Estonians have up to 40% of TAT-C as well, and Finns have 55%.

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    Post Re: Fenno-Ugrian origins of Latvians and Lithuanians

    http://www.ut.ee/Ural/wel.html


    It is clear that the Finno-Ugrians share their maternal lineages with other Europoids (Caucasoids in the genetic terminology) and not with Mongoloids, at least in any larger extent. The results of the genetic research allow also to question the origin of Tat C allele of the Y chromosome and to suggest that it has first occurred in Finno-Ugric population and only considerably later found its way to (some) Siberian populations. The Tat C allele was found to be frequent not only among the European Finno-Ugric populations but also among Latvians and Lithuanians, who are linguistically both Indo-Europeans. Richard Villem’s work team write that «it turned out that frequencies of the Tat C allele in both Latvian (Lahermo et al. 1999) and Lithuanian (our results) Y chromosomes are close to those among Estonians, Karelians and Finns: i.e. significantly higher than among Russians and much higher than among western Slavs: around 29% for Latvians and 33% for Lithuanians. We consider this finding very interesting from the point of view of the ethnogenesis of the extant Baltic and Finno-Ugric populations. There is no apparent north-south frequency gradient of Tat C allele from the Arctic Sea (Saamis) to Lithuanians but a sharp east-west cline both in Scandinavia and on the Baltic area.» (Rootsi et al. 2000: 152). The work team also suggests that a high Tat C frequency among Latvians and Lithuanians, in contrast to almost all other Indo-European-speaking Europeans. Particularly, both Poles and Belorussians differ sharply in this respect from the two indicated Baltic populations, as well as from Russians. That suggests very extensive admixture of Latvians and Lithuanians with Finno-Ugric-speaking populations – up to an extent that language change hypothesis can be discussed.

    According to new scientific research, the ancestors of modern population of the Baltic area arrived in this area at the end of the Last Maximum of the Last Ice Age from the more southern regions of Europe. They were Euripides by race and settled the territory of the Baltic area after the glacier receded about 19,000–13,000 years ago.

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    Post Re: Fenno-Ugrian origins of Latvians and Lithuanians

    Y-chromosomal diversity suggests that Baltic males share common Finno-Ugric-speaking forefathers.

    Laitinen V, Lahermo P, Sistonen P, Savontaus ML.

    Department of Medical Genetics, Biomedical Institute, University of Turku, Finland. virlaiti@utu.fi

    OBJECTIVE: To elucidate the genetic relationships between Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian men by studying Y-chromosomal variation in these people. METHODS: The allelic status of five deep-rooted marker loci (YAP, Tat, M9, 92R7 and SRY-1532) was determined for 346 Baltic males. On the basis of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) haplotypes, Y chromosomes were divided into six haplogroups, and the Baltic haplogroup distribution compared with that in 7 European reference populations. Haplogroup frequencies, diversities and genetic distances (F(ST) values) were calculated. The relationships between populations were further illustrated using Mantel test, neighbor-joining tree and principal-component map. RESULTS: We found the Indo-European-speaking Latvians and Lithuanians to be genetically very similar to the Finno-Ugric-speaking Estonians. When compared to the reference populations, Baltic males were most closely related to the Finno-Ugric-speaking Mari, followed by their Finnish and Slavonic neighbors. CONCLUSIONS: The genetic similarity existing between Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian men suggests that they originate from the same male founder population. Since the Baltic Y-chromosomal haplogroup distribution more closely resembles that of Finno-Ugric than Indo-European-speaking populations, we propose a hypothesis that Baltic males share a common Finno-Ugric ancestry. Copyright 2002 S. Karger AG, Basel

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    Post Re: Fenno-Ugrian origins of Latvians and Lithuanians

    Hum Hered. 1994 May-Jun;44(3):169-71. Related Articles, Links

    Low frequency of the delta F508 mutation in Finno-Ugrian and Baltic populations.

    Wennberg C, Kucinskas V.

    Department of Medical Genetics, University of Umea, Sweden.

    The frequency of carriers of the delta F508 mutation at the cystic fibrosis (CF) locus was studied in population samples of Finns, Lithuanians, Saamis (Lapps) and Swedes from northern Sweden. The carrier frequencies in northern Sweden (1:200) and in Lithuanians (1:143) were significantly lower than in southern Scandinavia (Denmark; 1:38). No delta F508 carriers were found in Finns (n = 171) and Saamis (n = 151). The results indicate that the frequency of delta F508 is low in Finno-Ugrian and Baltic populations, and the decreased frequency of delta F508 in northern Sweden may be due to Finnish and Saamish admixture.

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    Post Re: Fenno-Ugrian origins of Latvians and Lithuanians

    I´d like to add that the theory of a strong Uralic substrate in Latvia and
    Lithuania is also supported by archeolgical evidence:

    The original Kammkeramik linked to Finno-Ugric speaking people has been
    overlain by the IE SK culture around 3000 BC. Elements of both
    created a mix form (Haffküstenkultur/Pamarian culture) which is a
    direct ancestor of the modern Baltic folks.

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