Greek colonisation of South Italy and Sicily (Magna Graecia) was a defining event in European cultural history, although the demographic processes and genetic impacts involved have not been systematically investigated. Here, we combine high-resolution surveys of the variability at the uni-parentally inherited Y chromosome and mitochondrial DNA in selected samples of putative source and recipient populations with forward-in-time simulations of alternative demographic models to detect signatures of that impact. Using a subset of haplotypes chosen to represent historical sources, we recover a clear signature of Greek ancestry in East Sicily compatible with the settlement from Euboea during the Archaic Period (eighth to fifth century BCE). We inferred moderate sex-bias in the numbers of individuals involved in the colonisation: a few thousand breeding men and a few hundred breeding women were the estimated number of migrants. Last, we demonstrate that studies aimed at quantifying Hellenic genetic flow by the proportion of specific lineages surviving in present-day populations may be misleading.

The Greeks in the West: Genetic signatures of the Hellenic colonisation in southern Italy and Sicily

TOFANELLI, SERGIO
Primo
;
TAGLIOLI, LUCA;
2016

Abstract

Greek colonisation of South Italy and Sicily (Magna Graecia) was a defining event in European cultural history, although the demographic processes and genetic impacts involved have not been systematically investigated. Here, we combine high-resolution surveys of the variability at the uni-parentally inherited Y chromosome and mitochondrial DNA in selected samples of putative source and recipient populations with forward-in-time simulations of alternative demographic models to detect signatures of that impact. Using a subset of haplotypes chosen to represent historical sources, we recover a clear signature of Greek ancestry in East Sicily compatible with the settlement from Euboea during the Archaic Period (eighth to fifth century BCE). We inferred moderate sex-bias in the numbers of individuals involved in the colonisation: a few thousand breeding men and a few hundred breeding women were the estimated number of migrants. Last, we demonstrate that studies aimed at quantifying Hellenic genetic flow by the proportion of specific lineages surviving in present-day populations may be misleading.
Tofanelli, Sergio; Brisighelli, Francesca; Anagnostou, Paolo; Busby, George B. J.; Ferri, Gianmarco; Thomas, Mark G.; Taglioli, Luca; Rudan, Igor; Zemunik, Tatijana; Hayward, Caroline; Bolnick, Deborah; Romano, Valentino; Cali, Francesco; Luiselli, Donata; Shepherd, Gillian B.; Tusa, Sebastiano; Facella, Antonino; Capelli, Cristian
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/822196
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