Monday, December 22, 2014

The Geographic Distribution of "Early European Farmers"

Last year, when the Lazarides paper came out, I wrote a post about how I thought their results related to Admixture results I had seen.  One of the things I wrote is that I thought the Early European Farmers (EEF) "expanded from North Africa during the Last Glacial Maximum".  I now think that is not right.

Depending on how Admixture is set up, it won't necessarily come up with the same component distributions.  In any case, here's the distribution from the Dodecad Ancestry Project for an "Early European Farmer" component (labeled on the graph as South European) in light green.

Early European Farmers (South European light green)

Looking at this distribution, Sardinians have the highest level of "EEF."

Basques have the next highest level.

Then there's a pretty even distribution across Mediterranean populations.

As you venture away from the Mediterranean, "EEF" gradually dissipates.  For instance, Jordanians, Syrians, and Lithuanians have reduced "EEF".  The Chuvash have virtually no "EEF" ancestry.

I've heard some arguments, for instance on the Eurogenes blog, that somehow it is possible to differentiate a hard boundary between "Western Hunter Gatherers" (WHG) and "Early European Farmers" (EEF).  I strongly doubt that.

I don't have any big conclusions here, except to say that it is very likely that the genetic components being labeled Hunter-Gatherer and EEF both reflect European ancestry that have their roots in the Paleolithic of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East.  I don't think that the EEF component should be thought of as arriving in Southern Europe from the Middle East only during the Neolithic.

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