search this blog

Friday, July 8, 2016

Khazar shmazar #2

Open access at Genome Biology and Evolution:

Abstract: In a recent interdisciplinary study, Das and co-authors have attempted to trace the homeland of Ashkenazi Jews and of their historical language, Yiddish (Das et al. 2016. Localizing Ashkenazic Jews to Primeval Villages in the Ancient Iranian Lands of Ashkenaz. Genome Biology and Evolution). Das and co-authors applied the geographic population structure (GPS) method to autosomal genotyping data and inferred geographic coordinates of populations supposedly ancestral to Ashkenazi Jews, placing them in Eastern Turkey. They argued that this unexpected genetic result goes against the widely accepted notion of Ashkenazi origin in the Levant, and speculated that Yiddish was originally a Slavic language strongly influenced by Iranian and Turkic languages, and later remodeled completely under Germanic influence. In our view, there are major conceptual problems with both the genetic and linguistic parts of the work. We argue that GPS is a provenancing tool suited to inferring the geographic region where a modern and recently unadmixed genome is most likely to arise, but is hardly suitable for admixed populations and for tracing ancestry up to 1000 years before present, as its authors have previously claimed. Moreover, all methods of historical linguistics concur that Yiddish is a Germanic language, with no reliable evidence for Slavic, Iranian, or Turkic substrata.

Flegontov et al., Pitfalls of the geographic population structure (GPS) approach applied to human genetic history: A case study of Ashkenazi Jews, Genome Biol Evol (2016) doi: 10.1093/gbe/evw162

See also...

Khazar shmazar

Irano-Turko-Slavic roots of Ashkenazi Jews?


Olympus Mons said...

Sorry Davidski for OT,

Can anyone explain me how Anthrogenica works?
I got an infraction for writing,

"And lastly...
So, lots of exogenous people arriving by 3500bc... lots is like 100,000. where were they coming from?

Massive population disappearing from North Africa, Massive, at those exact dates. hint, hint, hint..."

All the best,

Davidski said...

You need to be a bit more objective. There's actually no direct ancient DNA evidence supporting your theories yet.

This is something you need to understand when taking part in discussions at a genetics forum.

Olympus Mons said...

Davidski. I agree and that is why i dont press on.

However is mad to pick a songle sample that could be a wonderer,a slave,or whatever... And infer for a all region which had lots of different people. Specially when there is much archaeology supporting it.

Gioiello said...

Of course the paper is true, even though i think that A Khazarian contribute (amongst many Others) to the Ashkenazic pool shouldn't be excluded, but it is better ascertaining through the uniparental haplotypes rather than the autosome. I hypothesized that the mt J1b1b1 of an Italian American who thought having a Jewish ancestry might have come from Khazars, seen the close links he has with Buryats, even though I should reconsider all the matter now. Of course the resolution of the Y at deep SNP level is long better than the mt also at the FMS level.

Labayu said...

I think it's unlikely that the Khazars ever converted to Judaism...

Abstract: The view that some or all of the Khazars, a central Asian people, converted to Judaism at some point during the ninth or tenth century is widely accepted. A careful examination of the sources, however, shows that some of them are pseudepigraphic, and the rest are of questionable reliability. Many of the most reliable contemporary texts that mention Khazars say nothing about their conversion, nor is there any archaeological evidence for it. This leads to the conclusion that such a conversion never took place.

Pavel Flegontov said...

Yes, according to a thorough analysis by Shaul Stampfer, written sources supporting the coversion are few and unreliable, while most reliable sources of the period (Byzantine chronicles etc) are conspicuously silent on this matter (Shaul Stampfer “Did the Khazars Convert to Judaism?,” Jewish Social Studies: History, Culture, Society n.s. 19, no. 3 (Spring/Summer 2013): 1–72). So a simple conclusion follows: the conversion never happened.

Gioiello said...

@ Pavel Flegontov

I woundl't take completely seriously the researches of Shaul Stampfer: you may follow a conference he did in Poland in plain English. Unfortunately Jews, for demonstrating that they have something to do with Old Jews, did that and many Others. You quoted the paper of Costa et al 2013, that was adversed for one year before publishing, and the percentage of European mt is much more than 80%, and also about Rootsi et al, I wouldn't be sure that the Ashkenazi Y is mainly of Middle Eastern origin: the same Behar said at the last FTDNA conference that he was wrong about the R1a Levites (who may be just of Khazarian origin if not Iberian one).

Pavel Flegontov said...

And here's a follow-up. Dan Graur has edited the first Khazar paper by Eran Elhaik (Elhaik 2013, Genome Biology and Evolution). According to reviews at some point posted by Elhaik himself, there were just 2 referees, none of them a historian, and referee #2 has disclosed her personality in my blog. At that time (2012) this referee had no papers on human genetic history or on Jewish history, and had an ongoing collaboration with Eran Elhaik. So I have strong reasons to suspect friendly peer review arranged by Graur and Elhaik. Probably the same applies to the second Khazar paper, Das et al. 2016, since its textual and scientific quality is even worse. Das et al. was edited by Bill Martin.

I would welcome sharing of my blog: