Genetic study The Genetic Legacy of the Roman Imperial Rule in northern Italy

Riverman

Well-known member
Messages
2,495
Reaction score
1,165
Points
113
We had the debate about the East Mediterranean and Germanic influence in Italy numerous times, but I think that new study will add new fuel to the ongoing debate and change some perspectives. At this point its just an abstract, but a quite informative one:

ABSTRACT HGP-047
The Genetic Legacy of the Roman Imperial Rule in northern Italy

Speaker: Orhan Efe Yavuz
University of Tübingen, Germany
Co-authors: Ella Reiter1, Zita Laffranchi2, Irene Dori3, Brunella Bruno4, Giulia Pelucchini4, Maria
Giovanna Belcastro5, Marco Milella2, Cosimo Posth1

1 University of Tübingen, Germany
2 University of Bern, Switzerland
3 Università degli Studi di Firenze, Italy
4 Soprintendenza archeologia, belle arti e paesaggio per le province di Verona, Rovigo e Vicenza, Italy
5 Alma Mater Studiorum Universita' di Bologna, Italy

Abstract:
During the Roman Imperial period, the extension of Mare Nostrum to the entire Mediterranean Sea allowed Rome to strengthen its cultural, political, and economic hegemony over the surrounding provinces. The tightened interaction with the east brought many migrants to the Empire’s capital. Supporting these historical accounts, a genomic time-transect in the city of Rome clearly documented a shift in genetic ancestry towards eastern Mediterranean populations during the Imperial period. A following study expanded on this finding by showing that the shift was not unique to Rome but also affected the central Italian region of Etruria. However, how much further north along the Italian peninsula this incoming ancestry spread remains to be addressed. Here, we generated genome-wide data of 32 individuals from six sites in northern Italy archaeologically dated to the Imperial period. Principal Component Analysis reveals that all individuals fall on an admixture cline stretching from the placement of preceding Iron Age groups towards modern-day Near Easterners. While this trend mirrors the results obtained for the city of Rome and Etruria, the proportion of eastern Mediterranean ancestry varies considerably. Most of the newly studied individuals derive three-quarters of their genetic profile from the local population and one-quarter from contemporaneous groups in the Near East. However, the latter contribution is around half of what was observed for central Italy at the same time. Compared to present-day northern Italians, we could then model an additional 20% gene flow from northern European ancestries, possibly influenced by migrations into Italy during the Early Middle Ages. To conclude, while northern European ancestries left a similar genetic imprint into present-day populations from central and northern Italy, the demographic shift connected with the Roman Empire was diluted moving northward, but its genetic legacy still survives until today.


What the abstract is suggesting is that there was Levantine gene flow to Northern Italy, just significantly less (only about one quarter) in Northern Italy compared to a higher proportion in Central Italy. In both areas (Northern and Central Italy) the Germanic contribution is supposedly substantial and less differentiated.

We will see how they argue for that in the paper, what data they got and how this can be aligned with uniparental frequencies and evidence in ancients and moderns. It will also be interesting, for me at least, when and how E-V13 might show up, if at all, since the sample is not that small, but its not that big either.

There are other highly interesting papers at the conference this year:
drive.google.com/file/d/1YruH2gc30bt5AfAbJMFA1za0LZwSH3XS/view
isba10.ut.ee/program

Also more for Italy by the way.
 
We had the debate about the East Mediterranean and Germanic influence in Italy numerous times, but I think that new study will add new fuel to the ongoing debate and change some perspectives. At this point its just an abstract, but a quite informative one:




What the abstract is suggesting is that there was Levantine gene flow to Northern Italy, just significantly less (only about one quarter) in Northern Italy compared to a higher proportion in Central Italy. In both areas (Northern and Central Italy) the Germanic contribution is supposedly substantial and less differentiated.

We will see how they argue for that in the paper, what data they got and how this can be aligned with uniparental frequencies and evidence in ancients and moderns. It will also be interesting, for me at least, when and how E-V13 might show up, if at all, since the sample is not that small, but its not that big either.

There are other highly interesting papers at the conference this year:
drive.google.com/file/d/1YruH2gc30bt5AfAbJMFA1za0LZwSH3XS/view
isba10.ut.ee/program

Also more for Italy by the way.

Thanks for sharing this abstract with us. Having a genetic paper on ancient Rome is always exciting. I'm looking forward to stimulating and useful debates and new exchanges about the Imperial Roman demographic shift. Recently, the Archaeogenetics community became a little monotonous. In any case, it's interesting to note that North Italy got more Germanic than Near Eastern input. Which makes sense; Rome was the epicenter of the Empire, and people from Greece and the Near East would want to settle and dwell in Rome rather than the provinces. Besides, reading historical texts can be enlightening too because many locals and ancient Roman writers of the time complained about Greek, typically Hellenized Anatolian, and Syrian immigrants overrunning Rome.
 
Thank you for sharing this! Do you know when they will be published?I'm so happy that we finally got a study about northern Italy.
The abstract states" Most of the newly studied individuals derive three-quarters of their genetic profile from the local population and one-quarter from contemporaneous groups in the Near East."
However, as far as i know, to this day there isn't any published sample from Iron Age northern Italy, the closest we have are Broion BA, Olmo di Nogara MBA, dated 1300BC and the Parma Bell Beaker dated 2000 BC, so i'm curious to see what they used to model the new samples, which are all from the imperial era.
20% germanic seems a bit high, considering the Ydna diffusion, the abstract in fact simply says " an additional 20% gene flow from northern European ancestries" which can be from France and immediate transalpine areas as well.
I think we should also consider that the imperial roman profiles present in cities probably got diluted with time, with the afflux of people from rural area, unadmixed and probably higher in WHG and Steppe, giving the impression of a raised north european ancestry.
As i said we lack iron age samples from northern Italy, so we don't know exactly how they look like, personally i think something in between etruscan, alpine celt (AUT La_Tene), and balkan IA. Roughly 50-60% Farmer, 30-40% Steppe and 5-10% WHG.
 
Last edited:
Although it seems to make sense, almost common sense, there is undoubtedly a genetic cline in Italy that can only have been formed due to two opposing migratory currents, 32 individuals analysed are too few to draw definitive conclusions, especially about northern Italy, which today is the largest genetic cluster in Italy, with significant differences today even between areas of the same region (we are talking about an area that includes the Alps, the Pre-Alps, vast areas of plains, others of hills, a part of the northern Apennines and large coastal areas everywhere from the borders with France to those with Slovenia and Croatia). So when we talk about northern Italy what are we talking about? If there are genetic differences today, what was the population of northern Italy like in the Iron Age? There is not a single study to date that has given any answers.

Another problem with this study is that they are the same geneticists as those on Etruria who embraced the thesis of the Ancient Rome 2019 study - and there the comparison between the Iron Age, the imperial era, the Middle Ages, and the modern era was based on a shortage of samples after the fall of Rome e Imperial period outside Rome - and so it is clear that they are trying to make people believe that what has already been claimed in their previous studies is correct and they are trying to push the idea of a consistency in the data, The reality is different, however. Geneticists on Italy continue to play dumb, but Neolithic and Bronze Age samples are still missing for Italy from most of the country, not to menton that for the Iron Age, samples are still missing from 80/90 percent of Italy, including northern Italy. Although the picture is plausible, but less so when you go into detail, the truth is that geneticists with papers like this are only working for themselves, and in the past they have made huge disasters by following this approach.
 
32 samples is a solid number, depending on where they were taken.

I agree that the Germanic-related influx might include more mixed Central European individuals and not just Scandinavian-like ones.

As for the publication, I have no idea. I'm still waiting for results which were first presented 3 years ago, while others appeared shortly after the first public presentation.
 
32 samples is a solid number, depending on where they were taken.

I agree that the Germanic-related influx might include more mixed Central European individuals and not just Scandinavian-like ones.

As for the publication, I have no idea. I'm still waiting for results which were first presented 3 years ago, while others appeared shortly after the first public presentation.

as usual you have a trust in genetics that is practically religious. Just a curiosity, what is your real ethnic background? The real one, I mean.
 
Although it seems to make sense, almost common sense, there is undoubtedly a genetic cline in Italy that can only have been formed due to two opposing migratory currents, 32 individuals analysed are too few to draw definitive conclusions, especially about northern Italy, which today is the largest genetic cluster in Italy, with significant differences today even between areas of the same region (we are talking about an area that includes the Alps, the Pre-Alps, vast areas of plains, others of hills, a part of the northern Apennines and large coastal areas everywhere from the borders with France to those with Slovenia and Croatia). So when we talk about northern Italy what are we talking about? If there are genetic differences today, what was the population of northern Italy like in the Iron Age? There is not a single study to date that has given any answers.

Another problem with this study is that they are the same geneticists as those on Etruria who embraced the thesis of the Ancient Rome 2019 study - and there the comparison between the Iron Age, the imperial era, the Middle Ages, and the modern era was based on a shortage of samples after the fall of Rome e Imperial period outside Rome - and so it is clear that they are trying to make people believe that what has already been claimed in their previous studies is correct and they are trying to push the idea of a consistency in the data, The reality is different, however. Geneticists on Italy continue to play dumb, but Neolithic and Bronze Age samples are still missing for Italy from most of the country, not to menton that for the Iron Age, samples are still missing from 80/90 percent of Italy, including northern Italy. Although the picture is plausible, but less so when you go into detail, the truth is that geneticists with papers like this are only working for themselves, and in the past they have made huge disasters by following this approach.
What do you think about the Late Antiquity Piedmont samples in your last post? Although Those come from very regional and mountainous, wouldn't that give us some insight into the genetics of Northern Italy during the Migration Period?
 
What do you think about the Late Antiquity Piedmont samples in your last post? Although Those come from very regional and mountainous, wouldn't that give us some insight into the genetics of Northern Italy during the Migration Period?

Are you talking about the latest published? Bardonecchia and Lavazza? They are a bit disomonegeous even if are from from very regional and mountainous areas. I have not yet read the archaeology articles on these two necropolises.

7KVun8F.png


I do, however, expect serious scholars to publish those of the Iron Age first and then after that those of the imperial age and antiquity. But evidently he opposite is more appealing, for reasons we can only imagine.
 
@Pax Augusta
I agree that northern italy has great genetic differences, already present in the past, given the geographic conformation and its crossroad position. I think that we can assime that the study samples has been taken from the plain part, around big cities like Torino, Milano, Verona.Unfortunately, i suspect that studies are greatly dependent on fundings and they are not conducted optimally. Of course the roman era is more appealing and is more likely to recieve financing and attention. We still lack samples, let's hope it will get better with time. On a side note, where have you got the coordinates for the Bardonecchia and Lavazza samples? Can you pass me please? I'm curious.
 
@Pax Augusta
I agree that northern italy has great genetic differences, already present in the past, given the geographic conformation and its crossroad position. I think that we can assime that the study samples has been taken from the plain part, around big cities like Torino, Milano, Verona.Unfortunately, i suspect that studies are greatly dependent on fundings and they are not conducted optimally. Of course the roman era is more appealing and is more likely to recieve financing and attention. We still lack samples, let's hope it will get better with time. On a side note, where have you got the coordinates for the Bardonecchia and Lavazza samples? Can you pass me please? I'm curious.

You can find the rest of the samples here in this thread, so far only G25.


Code:
ITA_Bardonecchia_EMA:Bard_T1__AD_650,0.113823,0.148267,0.023004,0.000969,0.039084,-0.002231,0.001175,0.009923,0.012885,0.011116,-0.000974,0.008692,-0.010109,-0.009083,0.00285,0.011668,0.018515,0.003167,0.000754,0.000875,0.005366,-0.001237,0.001972,0.009158,-0.0097
ITA_Bardonecchia_EMA:Bard_T2__AD_650,0.121791,0.146236,0.038089,0.002907,0.040315,0.003904,-0.00846,-0.002077,0.018407,0.025695,0.002436,0.010041,-0.017393,-0.011698,0.005022,0.018165,0.017471,-0.006588,0.006034,-0.004877,0.00262,-0.003957,-0.003328,0.005543,-0.001557
ITA_Bardonecchia_EMA:Bard_T6__AD_650,0.119514,0.152329,0.036958,-0.010982,0.035391,0.010598,-0.00423,-0.003,0.005727,0.03098,-0.006171,0.002398,-0.016204,-0.000688,0.008279,-0.013922,-0.014994,0.004181,-0.001508,-0.006878,-0.006489,0.005317,-0.002465,0.001928,0.002275
ITA_Bardonecchia_EMA:Bard_T7A__AD_650,0.113823,0.150298,0.015839,-0.002907,0.031083,0.001116,-0.00611,-0.003,0.015544,0.021868,-0.001786,0.003747,-0.013379,-0.001376,0.00855,-0.002254,0.000652,-0.000253,-0.001634,0.002251,0.005366,-0.000989,0.003204,-0.003133,0.002515
ITA_Bardonecchia_EMA:Bard_T8_rid__AD_650,0.1161,0.139128,0.026398,-0.003876,0.032929,-0.006693,-0.00282,-0.006461,0.005931,0.028976,-0.001461,0.003147,-0.01888,-0.018166,0.002986,0.015778,0.018645,-0.000507,0.011313,0.001876,0.000374,0.004575,-0.001972,-0.006266,0.00467
ITA_Bardonecchia_EMA:Bard_T10__AD_650,0.117238,0.146236,0.02753,-0.022933,0.032929,-0.003347,0.001645,-0.003923,0.005522,0.032074,-0.00747,0.01124,-0.013528,-0.008395,-0.002579,0.016043,0.014342,0.002407,0.004651,-0.009129,0.000749,0.007914,-0.001602,0.005061,0.007185
ITA_Bardonecchia_EMA:Bard_T11__AD_650,0.1161,0.14319,0.035072,-0.013889,0.040315,0.004741,0.001175,0.006461,0.017589,0.025149,-0.00682,-0.001798,-0.012636,-0.007156,0.004072,0.006232,0.000913,0.004054,-0.000126,0.00025,0.006738,-0.004699,-0.008134,-0.005784,0.005868
ITA_Bardonecchia_EMA:Bard_T12__AD_650,0.114961,0.140143,0.02225,-0.006137,0.029544,-0.002789,0.000705,0.002308,0.009204,0.015126,0.003897,0.016635,-0.014569,-0.004542,-0.00475,-0.000133,0.009388,-0.007095,0.00352,0.002001,-0.000125,0.014838,0.002465,0.001687,-0.001317
ITA_Torino_EMA:To_Lav_T1US6__AD_550,0.100164,0.146236,0.019987,-0.022933,0.023389,-0.013108,-0.00564,0.002769,0.013294,0.034807,0.000162,0.006894,-0.009514,-0.006744,0.005022,-0.003447,-0.018515,0.007348,-0.003017,-0.015382,-0.01123,0.001978,0.00037,0.001446,0.011137
ITA_Torino_EMA:To_Lav_T2US16__AD_550,0.111547,0.14319,0.037712,0.013243,0.028313,0.003068,-0.00517,0.004154,0.014726,0.019135,-0.005684,-0.005395,-0.011298,-0.010459,-0.006107,0.009679,-0.001825,0.012035,0.00352,0.00075,-0.007612,0.006677,0,-0.004699,-0.004191
ITA_Torino_EMA:To_Lav_T10US67_ind1__AD_550,0.118376,0.138112,0.046386,0.020349,0.028928,0.00502,0.007755,0.006231,0.006136,-0.002916,-0.005196,0.007194,-0.003865,0.000963,0.009908,-0.008353,-0.008214,0.007475,0.017472,0.001751,0.007986,0.001978,-0.002588,0.008555,-0.00479
ITA_Torino_EMA:To_Lav_T10US67_ind2__AD_550,0.120652,0.136081,0.035826,0.008398,0.031698,0.003904,-0.00141,0.002077,0.00409,0.020593,-0.006983,0.005695,-0.009366,-0.00523,0.00095,0.00053,-0.002999,-0.000507,-0.00088,0.001501,0.007237,0.007543,0.003204,-0.004699,-0.002994
ITA_Torino_EMA:To_Lav_T37US60__AD_550,0.104717,0.151314,0.010559,-0.031654,0.027697,-0.006414,-0.001645,0.002077,0.00409,0.025513,-0.002923,0.009292,-0.016799,0.012799,0.003122,-0.00411,-0.017471,-0.000633,0.003017,0.001126,-0.003868,0.002226,-0.011216,-0.008194,-0.002395
ITA_Torino_EMA:To_Lav_T38US344__AD_550,0.09675,0.142174,0.009428,-0.031331,0.024928,-0.016176,-0.00705,-0.006923,0.015339,0.023326,0.000325,0.003297,-0.005649,-0.009221,-0.009365,0.006497,0.003129,-0.005701,0.006159,-0.002501,-0.003993,0.013354,0.003574,-0.00012,-0.010059
ITA_Torino_EMA:To_Lav_T90US339__AD_550,0.113823,0.13405,0.004903,-0.018411,0.017542,-0.010877,0.00047,-0.004615,0.00225,0.008383,0.007632,-3e-04,-0.001189,-0.006193,0.003936,0.004641,0.002217,0.000633,0.002137,0.000625,-0.00549,0.001113,0.003574,0.008194,-0.005628
 
Although it seems to make sense, almost common sense, there is undoubtedly a genetic cline in Italy that can only have been formed due to two opposing migratory currents, 32 individuals analysed are too few to draw definitive conclusions, especially about northern Italy, which today is the largest genetic cluster in Italy, with significant differences today even between areas of the same region (we are talking about an area that includes the Alps, the Pre-Alps, vast areas of plains, others of hills, a part of the northern Apennines and large coastal areas everywhere from the borders with France to those with Slovenia and Croatia). So when we talk about northern Italy what are we talking about? If there are genetic differences today, what was the population of northern Italy like in the Iron Age? There is not a single study to date that has given any answers.

Another problem with this study is that they are the same geneticists as those on Etruria who embraced the thesis of the Ancient Rome 2019 study - and there the comparison between the Iron Age, the imperial era, the Middle Ages, and the modern era was based on a shortage of samples after the fall of Rome e Imperial period outside Rome - and so it is clear that they are trying to make people believe that what has already been claimed in their previous studies is correct and they are trying to push the idea of a consistency in the data, The reality is different, however. Geneticists on Italy continue to play dumb, but Neolithic and Bronze Age samples are still missing for Italy from most of the country, not to menton that for the Iron Age, samples are still missing from 80/90 percent of Italy, including northern Italy. Although the picture is plausible, but less so when you go into detail, the truth is that geneticists with papers like this are only working for themselves, and in the past they have made huge disasters by following this approach.
I feel this is an important point you are making. Italy has been formed indeed by primarily two migratory patterns dating back to the Paleolithic. Though I feel it is more likely the approximation of some modern Italians could have been in the Bronze Age and/or Iron Age, and completely forming by the Middle Ages.

There's a lot of evidence from the past coming to light. We can see the genetic cline in the Neolithic, from Central Italy to Calabria for example. It is primarily mediated by WHG and CHG among farmer populations.
 
It is ideological thrash, I have no other words to describe such "brilliant" paper's thesis (which isn't based on empirical data but on the a priori hypothesis about Italy becoming mixed during the empire and then late antiquity with northern Europeans and middle easterners). It makes no sense of the fact that the Italian cline approximates to a great extent the cline that was already present in the iron age, as the 2019 paper itself showed with the republican samples- and the two "latin outliers" are similar to the samples we have from Himera and also some Daunian samples-; it keeps on assuming against all reasonableness that it was near easterners akin to modern ones that magically replaced a huge chunk of Italy's gene pool despite coming from a conquered region of the empire and enjoying quite low social acceptance (read "the invention of racism in classical antiquity", to learn that Romans wouldn't have seen them as "fellow countrymen"), when the 2019 paper said quite explicitly that "no modern population resembles the average for imperial Rome"(because, subsequent studies showed, the bulk of the imperial samples were hellenistic anatolians, a mix of Anatolia_BA with Greece_IA, a genetic profile which doesn't quite exist today), what the heck, from their wording, that the imperial samples fall in "an admixture cline stretching towards modern near easterners" (they didn't say overlapping modern near easterners), it can as well be that those samples fall where modern central and south Italians plot, or it can actually stretch as far as the latin outliers already plotted, which would hint at an admixture cline actually involving Italic-like people and that profile we can dub "magna graecian", for lack of a better term. It would be as if they analysed Italics as a mix of Germanics and near easterners because on a PCA they fall between the two.

The paper seems to ignore the established existence of non italic-like people in Italy and decided to go with the extremely implausible hypothesis of a massive, never heard-of pouring of the East into Italy, as if the common Joe in Israel could decide to go to Italy and settle there, as if it weren't merchants and other upper class citizens that could afford such long travels and the means to settle down in far away regions (again, the 2019 paper showed that the more exotic elements, the so called "Levantine tail", disappeared in late antiquity, plausibly because Rome stopped being the capital). The other far-fetched, historically untenable hypothesis is that there was a 20% Germanic gene flow, despite all the historical evidence pointing to the fact that the number of Germanic conquerors in Italy was paltry-it looks as if they forgot that a model just shows a possibility and isn't a magic tool that "shows" one's ancestry, and forgot that model programs can overfit when the wrong donor populations are chosen, creating artefacts, as it looks to be the case with the high "southern" and "northern" gene flows; this is why admixture runs must be checked against other tests and data, for example haplogroup distributions, which are incompatible with their thesis. It is telling that they didn't check their hypothesis against the much more plausible hypothesis of gene flows from south Italy in north Italy, then from Greece and the north Balkans as possible donors, and then using near easterners and northern Europeans to "round up" the exact percentages.
 
Concerning the shifts observable in the Imperial and Late Antiquity period, everybody should remember that we have Italic, Etruscan and Celtic samples. Those are the reference starting point and there is absolutely no reason to assume that Northern Italy was more Levantine influenced or more generally speaking shifted than Central Italy, from where most of these samples were coming from.

Everybody can use G25 and K13 etc. coordinates to check for him-/herself once the new data is out. That "Imperial Roman"-like profiles appeared as far as Britain, Germany, Pannonia and of course the Balkans speaks for itself and leaves little doubt about how widespread such Levantine admixture was in the later Roman period.

But let's talk about the details, and it can only be about the exact proportions, once the paper is out. The critical aspect is not whether Levantine admixture was there, because it surely was, or whether Germanic admixture was there, because it surely was either, but the exact proportions of the gene flow through time and space, probably social class as well.

I don't have a particularly high trust in the authors, but in the data, because that's all we got to work with, since what else should be used to determine gene flow? Hearsay? Data is king and that data should be delivered, then we will see.

Concerning the total number of samples once more, in a homogeneous population one single sample is enough, if there is limited variation, 5 good samples make it solid. Therefore if you need hundreds of samples to get a clear picture, the only thing it means is that you deal with a heterogeneous and mixed population.

Concerning clines, many clines survived multiple migrations because of geographical patterns, which were affecting the gene flow throughout time. Like Bulgaria was always a bit more Southern than Romania and a bit more Northern than Greece. It doesn't even matter that most of the population got replaced multiple times, that general cline with a North -> South trend remained.

In Italy, with the sea routes and the Southern proximity to Southern and Eastern neighbours the same holds up even more so. That's just something to keep in mind, the data will speak for itself once its out. And like I wrote, there are multiple papers in the pipeline, not just one, not just one team, not just 32 samples.

Therefore if all those papers would get published, we deal with a much bigger portion of data to work with. Including new data from other Roman provinces outside of Italia, which will basically confirm the general Imperial Roman trends, which were in no way restricted to Italia.
 
Last edited:
Concerning the shifts observable in the Imperial and Late Antiquity period, everybody should remember that we have Italic, Etruscan and Celtic samples. Those are the reference starting point and there is absolutely no reason to assume that Northern Italy was more Levantine influenced or more generally speaking shifted than Central Italy, from where most of these samples were coming from.

Everybody can use G25 and K13 etc. coordinates to check for him-/herself once the new data is out. That "Imperial Roman"-like profiles appeared as far as Britain, Germany, Pannonia and of course the Balkans speaks for itself and leaves little doubt about how widespread such Levantine admixture was in the later Roman period.

But let's talk about the details, and it can only be about the exact proportions, once the paper is out. The critical aspect is not whether Levantine admixture was there, because it surely was, or whether Germanic admixture was there, because it surely was either, but the exact proportions of the gene flow through time and space, probably social class as well.
It is such a glaring mistake to speak of a "Levantine" admixture, because as far as the evidence goes there is positive evidence of little to none Levantine admixture, since all the "near easterners" samples minus one in the Balkans were Anatolians (actually the samples rejected any direct Levantine admixture from the BA onwards), and 3/4 of the imperial Roman samples were Anatolians or Greek-like-only a quarter was Levantine, "near eastern" C4 group, and such group disappeared by late antiquity.
The "Imperial Roman-like" profile included also Greek-like individuals, so it is a gigantic mistake to speak of it as signifying "Levantine" admixture, first because it wasn't a coherent group or even cline (but was made up of different groups), second because the properly Levantine/Near eastern part was the minority.
 
It is such a glaring mistake to speak of a "Levantine" admixture, because as far as the evidence goes there is positive evidence of little to none Levantine admixture, since all the "near easterners" samples minus one in the Balkans were Anatolians (actually the samples rejected any direct Levantine admixture from the BA onwards), and 3/4 of the imperial Roman samples were Anatolians or Greek-like-only a quarter was Levantine, "near eastern" C4 group, and such group disappeared by late antiquity.
The "Imperial Roman-like" profile included also Greek-like individuals, so it is a gigantic mistake to speak of it as signifying "Levantine" admixture, first because it wasn't a coherent group or even cline (but was made up of different groups), second because the properly Levantine/Near eastern part was the minority.
Agreed, it might have been mostly Anatolian with little from further East/South. There was North African admixture too, but that was not big enough to make it formative for the later populations in much of Italia or the Balkans.

To me Anatolian is already part of the Levantine pattern or includes such admixture, that's therefore more about terms. As you can see, it can be used in a broader sense for "Eastern Mediterranean":

I would say we are not talking about Mycenaean Greek ancestries spreading, but rather Anatolian-Levantine one. In any case, to speak of Greek would be wrong, because it just postpones the solution, since we have the same kind of problem for Greeks themselves and when and how exactly the shift in later Greeks took place is even more a mystery than for Italians. Since for Italians we can associate it with the Roman growth and expansion to the East, all the new citizens and slaves coming to the central region over time.

For Greece we still don't know as much, since we have far fewer samples and need much more from the archaic, classical, Hellenistic and Roman period.
 
This is a second paper on the issue, focus Central Italy:

ABSTRACT HGP-046
The dawn of Middle Age: a comprehensive archeogenetic analysis of the late antiquity site of Forum Sempronii in Central Italy.
Speaker: Eugenia D'Atanasio
Institute of Molecular Biology and Pathology, Italy
Co-authors: Francesco Ravasini1, Toni de-Dios2, Elisabetta Cilli3, Pietro Gobbi4, Oscar Mei4, Chiara
Delpino5, Christiana L. Scheib2, Beniamino Trombetta1
1 Sapienza University of Rome, Italy
2 University of Tartu, Estonia
3 University of Bologna, Italy
4 University of Urbino, Italy
5 Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Italy
Abstract:
The 5th and 6th centuries CE were characterized by major social and demographic
changes in Western Europe and, in particular, in the Italian peninsula. On one hand, the
shift in the political balance towards the east from the later Imperial period onwards led to
a greater genetic influx from the Near East in the city of Rome (Antonio, et al. Science
2019). On the other hand, people from central Europe, like Goths, arrived in the Italian
peninsula
and replaced the weak political powers to form their own kingdoms. In addition
to these major political changes, the Italian population was also affected by the Justinianic
plague, caused by Yersinia pestis, in the VI century. In order to understand how these
events affected the Italian peninsula outside the city of Rome, we analyzed the funerary
area of the Roman city of Forum Sempronii (V-VI cc. CE, Marche, Italy), as a case-study.

This site was first associated with Goths and is characterized by burials that gradually
become hastier, possibly suggesting a pandemic event. In this study we performed a
comprehensive archaeogenetic analysis on 21 individuals buried in Forum Sempronii. The
genetic ancestry of these individuals is in line with samples from the same period from
the city of Rome, suggesting that the Near Eastern influx was not restricted to the capital
city and possibly rejecting the hypothesis of a non-local origin for this population.

Moreover, by analyzing these samples we identified traces of the presence of Yersinia
pestis, possibly confirming the hypothesis of the First Pandemic affecting the people in
Forum Sempronii.

Plus a paper on Medieval Sicily:

ABSTRACT HGP-022
Genetic discontinuity in a Medieval Sicilian community
Speaker: Aurore Monnereau
University of York, UK; University of Copenhagen; Denmark
Co-authors: Alice Ughi1, Paola Orecchoni2, Richard Hagan1, Efthymia Nikita3, Derek Hamilton4,
Alessandra Molinari2, Martin Carver1, Oliver Craig1, Camilla Speller5, Michelle Alexander1, Nathan Wales1
1 University of York, UK
2 Università degli Studi di Roma Tor Vergata, Italy
3 The Cyprus Institute, Cyprus
4 Scottish Universities Environmental Research Centre, UK
5 University of British Columbia, Canada
Abstract:
The medieval period was one of the pivotal moments in the demographic formation of
Europe. During this time period, Sicily as a crossroad in the Mediterranean and by its
geographical position as an island was coveted by different political regimes, Byzantines
(Greek Christian), Muslims (Aghlabids, Fatimids), and later, Latin Christians (Normans and
Swabians). These political changes might have led to cultural, social changes, and
potentially population movements. Although historical resources about the activities of
rulers/elites exist, the impact of regime changes on the biological heritage of the Sicilian
population as well as on social and biological interactions between different communities
under these circumstances remains unclear. Segesta, an archaeological site presenting
two concomitant cemeteries (Christian and Muslim) serves as an ideal study case to
investigate population interactions. Ancient DNA analysis was performed on 22 human
remains from Segesta dating from the Norman/Swabian Period (12th- 13th CE).
DNA was
extracted from petrous bones, long bones, and teeth, and double-stranded libraries were
sequenced using a whole-genome approach. We assessed patterns of authenticity based
on DNA fragment length and deamination pattern as well as contamination estimates
from Schmutzi and ANGSD. Only samples showing characteristic ancient DNA patterns,
no contamination, no first-degree relationships, and at least 10,000 SNPs underwent
further analyses. We applied SmartPCA, ADMIXTURE, and outgroup f3-statistics to identify
genetic affinity to ancient and modern populations. The results show that the burial rites
at Segesta correspond with distinct populations, with no evidence of admixture between
the Muslim and Christian groups.
The case study of Segesta shed light on the interaction
between religious communities and demonstrates that medieval regime changes had
major impacts beyond the political class, leading to significant demographic changes

Its surely an interesting piece of information for the later periods.

 
You can find the rest of the samples here in this thread, so far only G25.

Thank you, i missed that post.
 
And of course, the request for Iron Age DNA from Northern-Central Italy will also be followed:

ABSTRACT HGP-006
The genomics of an Iron Age site in Fermo, Marche.
Speaker: Emily M Breslin
Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
Co-authors: Carmen Esposito1, Valeria Mattiangeli2, Pasquale Miranda3, Maarten Blaauw4, Paula
Reimer4, Daniel G Bradley2
1 University of Bologna, Italy
2 Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
3 Università degli Studi di Napoli “Federico II”, Italy
4 Queen’s University Belfast, Ireland
Abstract:
The Villanovan, or proto-Etruscan, culture of early Iron Age Italy is key in the study of the
processes of urbanisation and mobility in Italy. Genetic studies on Villanovan and
Etruscan groups have so far focussed on sites within Etruria, and on individuals from
more “typical” archaeological contexts. These ancient genomes revealed that the
Villanovans and early Etruscans carry a genetic signature typical of Iron Age European
populations, and that the origin of these groups appears to be autochthonous. In this
study we present 19 new shotgun sequenced genomes from the Villanovan enclave of
Fermo, Marche.
Using ancient DNA and isotopic analysis we examine the connections
between the population at Fermo and the contemporaneous populations of Etruria, and
reveal a pattern of both group and individual mobility. We also examine the trajectory of
these Iron Age populations to the present day, and how migration and changes in
mobility have shaped the Italian peninsula since the Iron Age.
Within Fermo itself we find
evidence of extensive kinship networks, illuminating the underlying social structure of the
settlement.

That paper will be interesting to contrast with those on Central and Northern Italians, because the authors claim only modest Roman influence in Gaul:


ABSTRACT HGP-027
The Genetic Legacy of Ancient Gaul:
Insights into Social Organization and
Human Mobility during the Roman Empire

Speaker: Mélanie Pruvost
Université de Bordeaux, France
Co-authors: Fanny Mendisco1, Harmony de Belvalet1, Lou Ferrapie1, Anais Pavin1, Hélène Barrand-
Emam2, Valérie Bel3, Bruno Bosc-Zanardo4, Lola Briceno1, Madeleine Châtelet3, Fanny Chenal2,3, Sophie
Desenne3,5, Yves Gleize3, Julie Grimaud3, Noemie Gryspert3, Mark Guillon3, Jérôme Hernandez3, Sophie
Oudry3,5, Estelle Pinard3,5, Marie Rochette3, Isabelle Souquet Isabelle1,3, Sandrine Thiol3, Benjamin
Thomas1,3
1 Université de Bordeaux, France
2 Archimède Université Strasbourg, France
3 Institut National de Recherches Archéologiques Préventives, France
4 Archeodunum - Agence Sud-Ouest, France
5 Trajectoire Université Paris Nanterre
Abstract:
Spanning three continents for over five centuries from 27 BCE to 476 CE, the Roman
Empire was a vast multi-ethnic and multicultural empire. France, known as Gaul during
this period, was an important province within the vast Roman Empire due to its strategic
location, as it provided a link between the Mediterranean and Northern Europe. During
Roman rule, Gaul flourished with a thriving economy and rich cultural life thanks to the
construction of roads, aqueducts, and public works that connected different parts of the
province and facilitated trade and communication, enabling unprecedented human
mobility across the region. This project analyzed genome-wide data from 170 individuals
from 31 archaeological sites in present-day France, spanning the entire Roman Empire
period
. The genetic analyses, combined with archaeological and anthropological data,
revealed various degrees of cosmopolitanism, some of which were associated with
specific funerary practices. Although the genetic diversity was diverse overall, the high
number of individuals analyzed allowed for the identification of a subtle regional
structure. The continuity with Iron Age results suggests the lasting influence of previous
populations. Despite the cultural heritage of Roman seen in the region’s art, architecture,
language, and society, its impact on the genome of the Gaulish population appears
modest. Through dense sampling of necropolises, this study provides insights into the
social organization and human mobility of ancient Gaulish society
 
Last edited:
That one might be a gem for earlier, Pre-Roman gene flow in Central Italy:

ABSTRACT HGP-029
The Picenes and the Genetic Landscape of Central Adriatic Italy in the Iron Age.
Speaker: Francesco Ravasini
Sapienza University of Rome, Italy
Co-authors: Helja Niinemäe1, Anu Solnik1, Chiara Delpino2, Stefano Finocchi3, Pierluigi Giroldini4,
Elisabetta Cilli5, Christiana Lyn Scheib1,6, Fulvio Cruciani7,8, Eugenia D'Atanasio8, Beniamino Trombetta7
1 University of Tartu, Estonia
2 Superintendence Archaeology, Fine Arts and Landscape for the Provinces of Frosinone, Latina and Rieti, Italy
3 Superintendence Archaeology, Fine Arts and Landscape of the Marche Region, Italy
4 Superintendence Archaeology, Fine Arts and Landscape for the metropolitan city of Florence and the provinces of Pistoia and Prato, Italy
5 University of Bologna, Italy
6 University of Cambridge, UK
7 Sapienza University of Rome, Italy
8 Institute of Molecular Biology and Pathology, Italy
Abstract:
Central Italy during the Iron Age (IA, approx. X-III century BCE) was characterized by the
presence of several different cultural groups thoroughly studied from an archaeological
perspective. Some of these groups have also been partially examined from a genomic
point of view, starting to clarify population dynamics of the Italic IA. Although many
studies concerning Central Italy have been performed, we still miss a comprehensive
description of the genetic pool of the ethnic groups that lived along the mid-Adriatic
coast. To better understand the evolution and history of IA Italic populations, we focused
our attention on the Picenes, a civilization that thrived on the Adriatic coasts of Central
Italy from the IX century BCE until the Roman colonization in the III century BCE and that
seems to be composed of many local groups not necessarily ancestrally related. We
analyzed DNA samples from 81 ancient individuals buried in three different IA
necropolises located in Central Italy, two belonging to the Picene culture (Novilara and
Sirolo-Numana, VIII-VII century BCE) and one Etruscan necropolis (Colle Val D’Elsa, VIII-VI
century BCE). Our analysis reveals no major differences between the Picenes and other
contemporary populations like the Etruscans, indicating a common genetic origin for the
Central Italian IA ethnic groups. Nevertheless, in the Picenes we detected genetic
influences from the Balkans and Northern Europe.
These findings suggest genetic
contacts across the Adriatic Sea and point out the role of the Apennine mountains in
partially acting as a geographic barrier to gene flow. Moreover, we identified individuals
that show a different genetic origin but that were buried within the Picenes, suggesting
the existence of a multicultural society composed of people from different parts of
Europe.
 
This is a second paper on the issue, focus Central Italy:


ABSTRACT HGP-046
The dawn of Middle Age: a comprehensive archeogenetic analysis of the late antiquity site of Forum Sempronii in Central Italy.
Speaker: Eugenia D'Atanasio
Institute of Molecular Biology and Pathology, Italy
Co-authors: Francesco Ravasini1, Toni de-Dios2, Elisabetta Cilli3, Pietro Gobbi4, Oscar Mei4, Chiara
Delpino5, Christiana L. Scheib2, Beniamino Trombetta1
1 Sapienza University of Rome, Italy
2 University of Tartu, Estonia
3 University of Bologna, Italy
4 University of Urbino, Italy
5 Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Italy
Abstract:
The 5th and 6th centuries CE were characterized by major social and demographic
changes in Western Europe and, in particular, in the Italian peninsula. On one hand, the
shift in the political balance towards the east from the later Imperial period onwards led to
a greater genetic influx from the Near East in the city of Rome (Antonio, et al. Science
2019). On the other hand, people from central Europe, like Goths, arrived in the Italian
peninsula and replaced the weak political powers to form their own kingdoms. In addition
to these major political changes, the Italian population was also affected by the Justinianic
plague, caused by Yersinia pestis, in the VI century. In order to understand how these
events affected the Italian peninsula outside the city of Rome, we analyzed the funerary
area of the Roman city of Forum Sempronii (V-VI cc. CE, Marche, Italy), as a case-study.
This site was first associated with Goths and is characterized by burials that gradually
become hastier, possibly suggesting a pandemic event. In this study we performed a
comprehensive archaeogenetic analysis on 21 individuals buried in Forum Sempronii. The
genetic ancestry of these individuals is in line with samples from the same period from
the city of Rome, suggesting that the Near Eastern influx was not restricted to the capital
city and possibly rejecting the hypothesis of a non-local origin for this population.
Moreover, by analyzing these samples we identified traces of the presence of Yersinia
pestis, possibly confirming the hypothesis of the First Pandemic affecting the people in
Forum Sempronii.

Believing that this study really "focus on central Italy" is yet another problem. Forum Sempronii corresponds to modern Fossombrone, in the province of Pesaro-Urbino, which is formally in central Italy according to what is an official division of the Italian state statistical office, but it means nothing, because it is on the Adriatic coast, and it has always been easier there to move following the coastal routes north (Emilia-Romagna) or south (the rest of Marche, Abruzzo) than on the west coast of central Italy because there in between is the Apennines separating the western and eastern sectors, which is more inaccessible than the northern Apennines that separate the north from the center (so much so that the Etruscans were settled without problems both north and south of this part of the Apennines).

In addition, the modern native language of Fossombrone is a Gallo-Italic, a northern Italian dialect more similar to Romagnolo than to the central Italian languages of Marche (except for the province of Ascoli-Piceno where a southern Italian dialect of Abruzzi is spoken). So if we are to talk about the formation of the modern inhabitants of those areas, those inhabitants are part of the linguistic continuum of northern Italy, not of central Italy. Unfortunately, many geneticists have only a background in biology or chemistry, and no academic training in history, geography, archaeology, linguistics, anthropology, and there is no shortage of opportunities for them to show these shortcomings.



And of course, the request for Iron Age DNA from Northern-Central Italy will also be followed:

ABSTRACT HGP-006
The genomics of an Iron Age site in Fermo, Marche.
Speaker: Emily M Breslin
Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
Co-authors: Carmen Esposito1, Valeria Mattiangeli2, Pasquale Miranda3, Maarten Blaauw4, Paula
Reimer4, Daniel G Bradley2
1 University of Bologna, Italy
2 Trinity College Dublin, Ireland
3 Università degli Studi di Napoli “Federico II”, Italy
4 Queen’s University Belfast, Ireland
Abstract:
The Villanovan, or proto-Etruscan, culture of early Iron Age Italy is key in the study of the
processes of urbanisation and mobility in Italy. Genetic studies on Villanovan and
Etruscan groups have so far focussed on sites within Etruria, and on individuals from
more “typical” archaeological contexts. These ancient genomes revealed that the
Villanovans and early Etruscans carry a genetic signature typical of Iron Age European
populations, and that the origin of these groups appears to be autochthonous. In this
study we present 19 new shotgun sequenced genomes from the Villanovan enclave of
Fermo, Marche. Using ancient DNA and isotopic analysis we examine the connections
between the population at Fermo and the contemporaneous populations of Etruria, and
reveal a pattern of both group and individual mobility. We also examine the trajectory of
these Iron Age populations to the present day, and how migration and changes in
mobility have shaped the Italian peninsula since the Iron Age. Within Fermo itself we find
evidence of extensive kinship networks, illuminating the underlying social structure of the
settlement.


The release of this paper has been known for some time, and it is a paper of very limited usefulness if one is interested in a general picture of North and Central Italy because that of Fermo was a rather atypical case, a migration of a group of Etruscans from the Villanovan era into the of the Piceni world, who ended up assimilated by the Piceni and lost all connection with the rest of the Etruscan world.
 

This thread has been viewed 16421 times.

Back
Top