Skip to comments.Crusaders 'Left Genetic Legacy'
Posted on 03/27/2008 6:29:52 PM PDT by blam
Crusaders 'left genetic legacy'
The genetic signature can be traced to Europe
Scientists have detected the faint genetic traces left by medieval crusaders in the Middle East. The team says it found a particular DNA signature which recently appeared in Lebanon and is probably linked to the crusades.
The finding comes from the Genographic Project, a major effort to track human migrations through DNA.
Details of the research have been published in the American Journal of Human Genetics.
The researchers found that some Christian men in Lebanon carry a DNA signature hailing from Western Europe.
The scientists also found that Lebanese Muslim men were more likely than Christians to carry a particular genetic signature. But this one is linked to expansions from the Arabian Peninsula which brought Islam to the area in the 7th and 8th Centuries.
But they emphasise that the differences between the two communities are minor, and that Christians and Muslim Arabs in Lebanon overwhelmingly share a common heritage.
The legacy of the Muslim expansion has been demonstrated in other studies which looked at the genetics of Middle Eastern and North African populations. But signs of recent European migration to the region is more unusual.
The study focused on the Y, or male, chromosome, a package of genetic material carried only by men that is passed down from father to son more or less unchanged, just like a surname.
But over many generations, the chromosome accumulates small changes, or copying errors, in its DNA sequence.
So Y chromosomes can be classified into different groups (called haplogroups) which, to some extent, reflect a person's geographical ancestry.
The team analysed the Y chromosomes of 926 Lebanese males and found that patterns of male genetic variation in Lebanon fell more along religious lines than along geographical lines.
A genetic signature on the male chromosome called WES1, which is usually only found in European populations, was found among the Lebanese men included in the study.
Science and history
"It seems to have come in from Europe and is found mostly in the Christian population," said Dr Spencer Wells, director of the Genographic Project.
"This is odd because typically we don't see this sort of stratification by religion when we are looking at the relative proportions of these lineages - and particularly immigration events."
He told BBC News: "Looking at the same data set, we saw a similar enrichment of lineages coming in from the Arabian Peninsula in the Muslim population which we didn't see [as often] in the Christian population."
Lebanese Muslim men were found to have high frequencies of a Y chromosome grouping known as J1. This is typical of populations originating from the Arabian Peninsula, who were involved in the Muslim expansion.
"The goal of the study was to put some science to the history of this country - which is very rich," said Pierre Zalloua, a co-author on the paper, from the Lebanese American University in Beirut.
He added: "To have these great civilisations - with the Islamic expansion and the migration from Europe - coming to Lebanon, leaving not only their genes but also some of their culture and way of life, it can only make us feel richer."
The Genographic Project was launched by National Geographic in 2005 to help piece together a picture of how the Earth was colonised.
The consortium has sold 250,000 DNA test kits and regional centres have taken samples of genetic material from 31,000 indigeous people.
I love science!
A little trans-generational graffiti is even more intriguing.
Definitely ~ an excellent survey.
The Irish are R1b DYS390-24...I'm R1b DYS390-23 which indicates that I came from the Norway/Denmark region but wound up in Ireland.
That is pretty cool. From what I understand, in spite of the long presence of the Vikings in Ireland, they left very little genetic evidence.
The results are interesting although all they do is verify what they already knew. They came from the Inner Hebrides, but before that they can be traced to Scandinavia.
Of course it would do me no good to test as my Mother was a member of the clan.
Yep—that’s me—the 390-24. Further, I understand that the DYS-392-14 (also in my haplotype) is particularly Irish.
“Scientists have detected the faint genetic traces left by medieval crusaders in the Middle East.”
FAINT genetic traces, my foot. Visit Turkey, Syria and the Palestinian area in general and you’ll meet people with blue eyes and blond hair. These are the areas that were in the path that the Crusaders took on their way to the Holy Land. Does anyone think that the Crusaders practiced celibacy?
Great Pics. Looks like anywhere (college town) USA.
Hope the muzzies don’t drag them back to the barbarian 7 th century
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Marty = Paternal Haplogroup O(2?)(M175)
Maternal Haplogroup H
Nat'l Geographic Genographic Project
Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation
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There is an important Lebanese Christian family named Franjieh. I remember reading once that the name derives from “Franks” (the general term for people from Western Europe) and that they believed themselves descended from the Crusaders. The DNA results would tend to bear that out (although I don’t know if any Franjiehs were included in the study).
So, you are typically British/NW European stock.
Both R1b and V come from the Basque area Franco-Iberian ice age refuge after the last glacial maximum, V beginning around 16k year ago and spreading north along the coast from the southern refuge after the LGM. V is not as common as the H haplogroup but R1b has about 90% frequency in the Basque region and spread from the southern refuge about the same time.
All of this is from "The Origins of the British" by Stephen Oppenheimer, part of my current reading list.
There were blue eyes and blond haired people near and around the Mediterranean long before the Crusaders showed up.
I think we do too — Nordic invaders in Britain. Last time we were there, we stayed at a B&B in Northumberland. The guy there looked EXACTLY like my Norwegian grandfather. They could have been brothers. I thot, ‘Hmmm, and the Vikings stopped here, for sure.’
Thanks. I know all that, lol. I read Oppenheimer's book a couple years ago along with Bryan Syke's book Saxons, Vikings And Celts.
IMO, Oppenheimer's book is much better than Sykes' book.
BTW, 52% of the Skolt Sami are haplogroup 'V'....other Sami groups are U5b.
18,000 Year Ago
12,000 Years Ago
I knew a Christian palestinian with a surname of Francis. Yep, he claimed descent from the Frankish crusaders. They are still around. His uncle was named George.
The Blonde headed guy in ABBA looks exactly like my oldest brother. (Bless his soul)
Yeah. I see why the Crusaders decided to leave their Y chromosomes there.