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Sunday, March 26, 2017

The Medieval pilgrim

Recently at PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases:

Abstract: We have examined the remains of a Pilgrim burial from St Mary Magdalen, Winchester. The individual was a young adult male, aged around 18–25 years at the time of death. Radiocarbon dating showed the remains dated to the late 11th–early 12th centuries, a time when pilgrimages were at their height in Europe. Several lines of evidence in connection with the burial suggested this was an individual of some means and prestige. Although buried within the leprosarium cemetery, the skeleton showed only minimal skeletal evidence for leprosy, which was confined to the bones of the feet and legs. Nonetheless, molecular testing of several skeletal elements, including uninvolved bones all showed robust evidence of DNA from Mycobacterium leprae, consistent with the lepromatous or multibacillary form of the disease. We infer that in life, this individual almost certainly suffered with multiple soft tissue lesions. Genotyping of the M.leprae strain showed this belonged to the 2F lineage, today associated with cases from South-Central and Western Asia. During osteological examination it was noted that the cranium and facial features displayed atypical morphology for northern European populations. Subsequently, geochemical isotopic analyses carried out on tooth enamel indicated that this individual was indeed not local to the Winchester region, although it was not possible to be more specific about their geographic origin.


During analysis, the cranial morphology of the individual was noted as being of an unusual type and unlike other individuals from the cemetery (Fig 4). Therefore, the cranial measurements (S1 Table) were inputted into FORDISC and CRANID, with additional measurements being taken where necessary. The individual was found not to have an affinity with any of the populations contained within the program databases, which do include some from northern Europe, although not Britain. Therefore, the individual could be said not to share a physical affinity with these northern European samples, although this should not be taken as implying anything about their specific identity or origin. Populations that are poorly represented in the database include those from southern Europe and northern Africa (with the exception of Egypt), so there is a possibility that the individual could share physical cranial affinities with such populations, as his cranial morphology does bear similarities to other individuals from British archaeological populations who were also unclassifiable by FORDISC and have been suggested, on isotopic data, to originate from these areas [20]; (Stephany Leach personal communication, 2012).

Citation: Roffey S, Tucker K, Filipek-Ogden K, Montgomery J, Cameron J, O’Connell T, et al. (2017) Investigation of a Medieval Pilgrim Burial Excavated from the Leprosarium of St Mary Magdalen Winchester, UK. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 11(1): e0005186. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0005186


Gioiello said...

I'd say a Northern African or a descendant of old Northern Africans migrated to the Isles and carrying some old Y present in the Isles so far...

Davidski said...

He may have dropped dead from his affliction before getting the chance to pass on his Y-HG.

AWood said...

The low forehead is definitely atypical to British populations.

Annie Mouse said...

A suggestion for discussion

Genetic differentiation between upland and lowland populations shapes the Y-chromosomal landscape of West Asia.

Richard Holtman said...

It looks like R1b the majority is non Indo European.

Anthro Survey said...

The absense of western clades in the Yamnaya does not rule out the possibility of other steppe cultures(or steppe-adjacent) rich in the western clade of the hg.

Anthro Survey said...

The bronze age was a time of a major steppe-ward autosomal geneic shift across western Europe. I have yet to hear from anyone a plausible alternate explanation as to the explosion of r1b's "western clade" across West-Central Europe during this time, an area presumably dominated by g2 and i2 in the past.

Davidski said...

We've discussed that West Asia paper here already...

Ric Hern said...

Maybe a Vandal descendant from North Africa ?

Ric Hern said...

Moorish Descendant or Moorish spy ?

The South1 said...

"In those days there came to England certain erring folk of the sect commonly thought to be called Publicans. These seem to have originated in Gascony under an unknown founder, and they spread the poison of their infidelity in a great many regions; for in the broad lands of France, Spain, Italy, and Germany so many are said to be infested with this pestilence that, as the Psalmist of old complained, they seem to have multiplied beyond number" - William of Newburgh, "History of the Kings of England", 1199 AD.
Actually, Paulicians (Kathars) came to England from Anatolia and Armenia. Interesting.

Palacista said...

The timeframe suggests the possibility that he was a member of William the bastard's army of 1066. The invasion force included mercenaries from a very wide area. The prestige burial hardly suggests a religious dissident.

Creative said...

The time-frame would be very brief, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the man was indeed a Christian dragged along from the First Crusade. Fulcher of Chartres a chronicler and participant of the First Crusade mentions Ethiopians among those slayed in Jerusalem.
Not sure how he defined Ethiopians though. Possible that among these "Ethiopians" some were actually Christian in connection with Ethiopian/Copt/Nubian monks in Jerusalem.

xyyman said...

Have been busy last couple of days. This is just a hobby(wink). Anyways. I have been proven right time and time again. Even the guys over at Egyptsearch are coming around that Europeans are depigmented Africans no matter how incredible it may seems. But it makes geographic sense. As long as Europe is only seven miles away that would not change. I have been saying this for years. And undoubtedly I am correct. The more aDNA is released that truth will become clear as .....geography. This paper is another example that the make of Europe especially southern Europe has always contained heavy ancient and modern African influence. ALWAYS! My man gave his spiel about the 4-6 pigmentation genes that affect humans but he failed to realize Africans(West) carry **ALL** the derived versions of the pigmentation genes that is why SSA carry carried all variation in skin tone except "white". The effect is **cumulative** and West Africans carry all , derived, yes, but not all at the same time so they are not ' white". The two KEY genes/ingredient is SLC24A5 and SLC45A2. That is why Fu et al singled out those two genes. UNFORTUNATELY La Brana, Villabruna, Louschbour, even Motala(s) did not carry ALL derived and certainly were not homogenous. Mean all were black as Nigerians. This is another paper showing the RECENT Africa presence even up to Medieval Europe. Some of you are NOT well read do NOT realize that even the Vikings carried 50 African(North) ancestry. But I am getting ahead of myself. Remember Richard III also carried North African linageage. So it comes back to why the sudden(after medieval times) dominance of R1b-M269 in Europe? Clearly the author is stating recent African migrants were widespread in Britain.

not to share a physical affinity with these northern European samples
atypical morphology for northern European populations
cranium and facial features displayed atypical morphology for northern European populations
those from southern Europe and northern Africa (with the exception of Egypt), so there is a possibility that the individual could share physical cranial affinities with such populations, as his cranial morphology does bear similarities to other individuals from British archaeological populations who were also
, as his cranial morphology does bear similarities to other individuals from British archaeological populations who were also unclassifiable by FORDISC and have been suggested, on isotopic data, to originate from these areas

xyyman said...

Maybe Gioiello missed it. Southern Europeans like Italians are very similar to Africans of the North. And have always been. The Ricky's contribution is a "what might have been". He just can't help himself. And many of you missed the key point. The author is saying there are MANY, MANY skeletons like that. In other words this is not a one-off.

Atypical to Northern Europeans .....those from ((((((southern Europe and northern Africa))))))

xyyman said...

Also keep in mind Villabruna was also North African. This is skeleton is NOT unusual to Britain and most likely was tropical adopted like Villabruna. lol! You people just can't get over your shock knowing the truth. trust me. This is only the beginning!

Grey said...

If after OoA there was a back migration from north of the himalayas then the Atlantic coast would be one of the furthest spots from the origin that wasn't blocked by too much sun. I used to think that was the reason for various odd things in remote areas along the west edge of Britain.

Although now i think it's more likely the Atlantic Megalith culture (stonehenge etc) had a connection with NW Africa - although if remnants of that were tucked up in mountain refuges in places like north Wales, Cumbria or Strathclyde not sure how that would fit with a prestige burial.

Maybe a rolling stone picked up during the Norman conquest of Sicily?

Too young for Othello.

jparada said...

The skull looks a lot like it belonged to a black man. I'm betting Nubian.

Grey said...

xyyman said...
"Maybe Gioiello missed it. Southern Europeans like Italians are very similar to Africans of the North."

Wouldn't a Eurasian back-migration to North Africa have that effect?

xyyman said...

Grey there never was a "back-migration" to Africa aren't you understanding that? Achilli was wrong and has been debunked. The whole Refugia Theory was based on mtDNA H and male R1b being Basque origin. His whole premise has long been debunked. There was NEVER a Refugia either in Italy, Iberia of Near East. NEVER!

Don't you read and keep up?

The latest craze is the Bronze Age Steppe nonsense started by Hammer and his crew. That has also been debunked. It is only fanatical hard-liners still hold on to that stupid premise.

Do you know the not even the Vikings were "white" or Nordic. We have to get back to reality. Europe was never homogenous until recently. Looking at the aDNA coming out I would say until about 800AD Europe was a melting pot. You don't have to believe me. Read up on the aDNA of Vikings, Richard III, medieval Britons etc Stop believing that Hollywood BS you see on the big screen. It was never like that. Never!!!!

xyyman said...

Grey - "Although now i think it's more likely the Atlantic Megalith culture (stonehenge etc) had a connection with NW Africa". Haven't you read Sergi? YOU ARE CORRECT . Stonehenge is African. The whole of Western Civilization is based upon Nile Culture beginning with the Neolithics. Modern Europeans are primarily Neolithics(~60-80%) and Hunter- gatherers(WHG/ANE remaining).

Do you wonder WHY they use Mbuti instead YRI in certain studies as "African"? YOU PEOPLE need to understand this. Lol! Because they can NOT use YRI because YRI is part Neolithic/Basal Eurasian. Do you understand that? It will screw their hypothesis. Lol! Because YRI are part of the basal Eurasian package and Mbuti is NOT. It is called ...deception.

As more and more aDNA comes out you will understand more and more. Modern Humans are a continuum. And to the Europeans fools who think they are not African they should read and understand Lazaridis 2014. Basal Eurasian is African and ONLY < 10,000years OLD!!!! In Europe.

xyyman said...

Ricky and his boys were Speaking about Cape Verde and Portuguese fougking. Here is an excerpt from an old paper. Some of you may wonder WHY Cape Verde is so important to me? I am betting that the origin of R1b-M269 will come through analysis of Cape Verdean.

Quote: from Distribution of HLA alleles in Portugal and Cabo Verde. Relationships with the slave trade route - Spinola and Brehm et al

HLA-A, -B, and -DR frequencies were analysed in populations from Portugal and the Madeira and
Cabo Verde Archipelagos, aiming to*** characterize their genetic composition***. Portuguese settlers
colonized both Archipelagos in the 15th and 16th centuries. Madeira received many sub-Saharan
slaves to work in the sugar plantations, and Cabo Verde served as a pivotal market in the Atlantic
slave trade and was populated by individuals coming from the Senegambia region of the West
African coast. The population of Madeira shows the highest genetic diversity and the presence of
alleles and haplotypes usually linked to sub-Saharan populations, the haplotypes accounting for
3±5% of the total. Cabo Verde presents typical markers acknowledged to be of European or Ibero-
Mediterranean origin, thus revealing the admixture of European settlers with Sub-Saharan slaves.
**Altogether the number of European haplotypes reaches 15%of the total**. The Portuguese population
shows a perceivable and signi®cant heterogeneity both in allele and haplotype frequencies, unveiling
a **differential input of peoples from different origins**. A PCA of the populations studied, plus other
relevant ones, clearly shows **gene heterogeneity in mainland Portugal** as well as the differences and
relationships between these populations and Madeira and Cabo Verde.

xyyman said...

Also keep in mind Guinea Bissau(also off the West African coast) has a high frequency of R1b-M269 and R1b- V88 although the assumption is made it was through miscegenation. To the more well -read posters here who are familiar with Busby et al and his work. He stated " there is no longitudinal cline for R1b and provided data but stated there wasn't any latitudinal cline either but did NOT provide data". I say he is lying.

Gioiello said...

@ xyyman
"My man"?

But are you xy, xx, or xyy?

capra internetensis said...

Speaking of Basal Eurasian, I was looking for some statistics using the now-available Near Eastern samples bearing on the question and couldn't find any. Specifically f4 or D stats of the form (CHG/Iran_N, EHG/ANE; SSA, Chimp) or (ANF/EEF, WHG; SSA, Chimp). I can only find the comparisons involving Natufians in Laziridis et al. Does anyone know if such a thing can be found anywhere?


I suspect you are thinking of the Bijagos, which are part of Guinea-Bissau.

Matt said...

@ Capra, delurking into the madness, to be honest, I actually can't remember I've even seen D(Chimp,Yoruba)(Mozabite,Sardinian), D(Chimp,Dinka)(Mozabite,Sardinian), etc. evaluated to be able to test a strong signature of recent African admixture in populations who seem certain to have it.

(IIUC, semi-off topic when Davidski has run D-stats of the form

D(Chimp,Pop)(Mbuti,Yoruba) we have got:

D(Chimp, Maasai_Kinyawa)(Mbuti,Yoruba) - 0.0925
D(Chimp, WHG)(Mbuti,Yoruba) - 0.0964
D(Chimp, Ulchi)(Mbuti,Yoruba) - 0.0931
D(Chimp,Palestinian)(Mbuti,Yoruba) - 0.0972)
D(Chimp, Mozabite)(Mbuti,Yoruba) - 0.1020
D(Chimp,Esan_Nigeria)(Mbuti,Yoruba) -0.1181

So seems when lensing against a HG African population (who may not always be the best choice) a) not really any more sharing between Yoruba and Maasai, and the excess of relatedness is b) really quite a small excess signal of increase even for a totally West African population or a Eurasian one with likely a good % of admixture - 20-30%).

Davidski said...


The theory that there were major population movements during the Bronze Age from the Eastern European Steppe deep into Europe and Central Asia is the academic consensus backed up by very solid multidisciplinary data.

It is essentially a fact, and you'll have to get used to it.

capra internetensis said...


Thanks. I'm surprised by the Maasai results, IIRC they have significant West African admixture. OTOH Mbuti might not be the best outgroup for them.

PS found something:
(Chimp, MbutiPygmy; Loschbour, Stuttgart) 0.0038, Z=0.916
(Chimp, Yoruba; Loschbour, Stuttgart) 0.0044, Z=1.063

which doesn't really tell us much

Salden said...

Not a single European population is remotely genetically or phenotypically similar to Tropical African populations. Neither are loads of North Africans.

xyyman said...

@ Davidski. Multidisciplinary? You are missing the point absolutely no genetic evidence supports that hypothesis. Nein! Genetics is one discipline that do NOT support that Theory. Furthermore, according to Sergi, early Kurgans were part of the Mediterranean Race which originated in Sudan area. Coon puts the Neolithic origin possibly in East Africa. Anthropology do NOT support the Steppes also. So what? another lie by Davidski....or is that an alternate truth. Alternate reality?

Davidski said...

Ancient and modern genetic evidence firmly supports the steppe theory.

The fact that you refuse to acknowledge this is not important.

xyyman said... do realize that this conversation is beyond your capability. I hope you realize that. Notice Davidski is not repeating your BS. I hope you understand why. It may a stretch. I know, but trust me if others don't want to let you know it. You have no idea what you are talking about. It does not really matter if you repeat it 100times to your self. It is what it is.

xyyman said...

Come on Davidski. What genetic evidence? lol! This is not cross-your-fingers time. lol! Bifurcation of R1b took place in the Sahara that is why Western Europeans and Eastern Europeans are on different branches of R1b. AND YOU KNOW IT! ha! ha! all you are doing is wishing migration came from the Steppes. sorry , never happened! Don't hold your breath for the "evidence".

Davidski said...

Quit acting crazy.

If I see more nonsense from you like that the steppe migration didn't happen or Vikings were black I'll delete your posts.

Aram said...


R1b L51 really entered into West Europe from Steppe. Moreever it entered via more northern route than the classical Hungarian. Autosomes don't lie.

Salden said...

Davidski said...

Enough with the Afrocentrist/anti-Afrocenrtist discussion.

This blog is not about Africa, and doesn't concern itself with fringe movements.

Also, one of the blog rules is that commentators who appear to be mentally unstable must be ignored.

Read the rules and follow them.

Ric Hern said...

I wonder if the Silures had something to do with this persons looks ?

Ric Hern said...

Maybe he was a Carthaginian descendant from Spain. Or maybe the Silures were descendants of Carthaginian refugees from Spain ?

xyyman said...

deleting my post now are you? Nothing inflammatory was said.

xyyman said...

I am not treated like that on Egyptsearch and Egyptsearchreloaded

Davidski said...

Do not post any more stupid shit because I will delete it.

Only post logical, well thought out arguments grounded in reality.

How hard is that to understand?

André de Vasconcelos said...

Can we get a Marnie approach here?

Karl_K said...

Many of the most difficult internet "trolls" are mentally ill.

Perhaos we should suggest sites where they can have secure confidential online discussions to help them deal with their issues.