BAMAD no.58

 DNA and 
 Anthropology Updates 

Updates in DNA studies along with Anthropological Notes of general interest with a particular emphasis on points pertinent to the study of Ancient Israelite Ancestral Connections to Western Peoples as explained in Brit-Am studies.


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BAMAD no. 58
Brit-Am Anthropology and DNA Update
26 August 2009, 6 Elul 5769
1. A Brit-Am Research Breakthrough!
New Chart by Estelle
Schutte helps explains Correct Directional Sequence of YDNA Development
2. Henry Rea: Queries concerning DNA and the Lost Ten Tribes with Brit-Am Reply:
(a) Your
Haplogroup: Israelite Origins?
(b) The Turks
(c) Jewish DNA
(d) Ten Tribes, Scythians, and R1a
(e) The Need for Divine Affirmation of Ancestry?
3. Sometimes The "Science" Of
ABO Blood Types Goes A Little Too Far

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1. A Brit-Am Research Breakthrough!
New Chart helps explains Correct Directional Sequence of YDNA Development:
YDNA Reversed

Conventional YDNA chart turned on its head.
Diagram by Estelle Schutte


2. Henry Rea: Queries concerning DNA and the Lost Ten Tribes

Hello, Yair. 

Cam Rea's report of ancient Hindu writings seeming to predict the Sakas (or Scythians) dominating the earth along with some other peoples at some time in the distant future (Brit-Am Now no. 1379) from the time of the writing is interesting, and could well point to people of European -- especially Northern and Western European-- descent.  And while it fits with your belief of us as being descended from Israel, I still see no proof that connects us as you and so many others insist.  The dna evidence thus far seems to preclude that, in spite of your many arguments to the contrary. 

From what I have seen from you so far, your most compelling argument seems to be that dna is and/or can be changed by the environment, and thus, the environment of the Northern ten tribes of Israel carried
off into slavery by the Assyrians after the fall of their own country, Israel, has over time been changed from the original to the most common R haplogroups, R1b and its sub-clades in particular, those being most commonly reflected by Western Europeans.

I recently received the results of my Deep Clade DNA test from Family Tree DNA, and they report that my confirmed Haplogroup is R1b1b2a1b.
This particular mutational line appears to have risen in Western Europe and the British Isles, and my earliest known ancestral home was Ireland, but with some evidence and suggestion that my first male ancestor there may have been of French Huguenot origin.  The family has been Protestant, some very militantly so, for as long as we have knowledge of family religion.  And while it may seem strange that Protestant French Huguenots fleeing the victorious French Catholics at the end of the Huguenot wars would go to another Roman Catholic Country for refuge, it is known that at least 10,000 Huguenots did in fact do just that and settled in Ireland, at the time under the rule of the English king. 

One map I have found shows that the R1b haplogroup seems to have originated in the area just North of Anatolia, a middle to eastern portion of modern Southern Turkey.  I  am having trouble finding that right now, however.  But I do remember that it also showed the R1a haplogroup as having originated north of there, which doesn't seem to fit with the idea that the R1 mutation would have come from Israelites migrating from the land of their Assyrian captivity, as R1a was an earlier mutational group than R1b.  Were these people Israelites on their migrational trail, it would be expected that the reverse would be true; that the later R1b development would have come north of the appearance of R1a .  But that isn't the case.

Here is a link to an excellent website with a map which is somewhat similar to but not quite matching the one I mentioned showing R1b to have originated north of Anatolia in Asia Minor:

According to this website, R1b originated still further east in the area of Asia on the north east corner of the Black Sea, and called the Maykop culture, with R1a just as in the other map, originating north of them in an area of Asia that they refer to as the Yanna culture.  These R1a Yanna culture people apparently migrated West into the Baltic/.Slavic areas of Europe to populate those areas, and up into Southern Scandinavia, while the Maykop culture's R1b people migrated around and across the Black Sea into Asia Minor and up into Southern and Western Europe including the British Isles.

From a Wikipoedia site about the Scythians, we find this:
#Herodotus wrote about an enormous city, Gelonus, in the northern part of Scythia: "The Budini are a large and powerful nation: they have all deep blue eyes, and bright red hair. "#

The Budini were a tribe of the Scythians, and as described by him would seem to match the appearance of a lot of Europeans.  And many say that they were the ancestors of the Scots, but again, that doesn't quite seem to match what we so far know of Scythian dna, though it might of a lot of Scandinavians who are also redheaded. 

In that same Wikipedia article further down is a section sub-titled "Genetics".  And in that section we read:
#Y-Chromosome DNA testing performed on ancient Scythian skeletons from the Krasnoyarsk region found that all but one of 11 subjects to carry Y-DNA R1a1. Additional testing on the Xiongnu specimens revealed that the Scytho-Siberian skeleton (dated to the 5th century BCE) from the Seb stei site exhibited R1a1 haplogroup[38].#
Noting that the areas mentioned are north and east of the Maykop culture of the north eastern corner area of the Black Sea as well as of Asia Minor, it would seem to be very unlikely that the earliest Israelites presumed to be fleeing from their Assyrian land of captivity would have had time to migrate that far North and East to mutate into the R1a dna haplogroup from which a later R1b sub-branch from them could then move spring up to their south back towards the area of their captivity to then migrate on into Southern and Western Europe.

And the time frame is of critical importance here.  Herodotus lived from about 484 B.C. to around 412 B.C., while the Assyrians conquered Israel around 721 B.C., a little over two centuries before his birth and perhaps 250 years before he was writing of the red headed, blue eyed Scythians of that northern Scythian city.  Josephus, of course, writing [in the early Christian Era], reported that the Northern kingdom's Israelite descendents were still living in the land to which they had been removed "to this day."

And interestingly enough, amongst the Kurds there are people known as Kurdish Jews because they practice the religion of Judaism, but who have the story passed down amongst them that they are the descendants of the "lost" ten tribes.  And where do they live?  Right in the same general area to which Israel was taken captivity so long ago!
And interestingly enough, their dna tests out to be a closer match to modern Jews, both Sephardic and Ashkenazi, than do their Arab cousins.  Which, or course, would only make sense, the Arabs being descended from Ishmael, Isaac's half brother by their father Abraham and thus of a much earlier split from them than the split between Israel and Judah.

That article shows that while Kurdish Jews and Sephardic Jews are virtually in distinguishable in their dna, with Ashkenazi Jews showing slight differences as might be expected from long isolation through the centuries, they are all closer to Turkish and Armenian dna types than to their Arab cousins.  Why this should be so I don't know exactly, though some say the Turks are descended from Esau.  Still, that is only one generation later than Ishmael, from whom the Arabs are supposed to be descended.

Now, if environment was the cause of the R1b and its precursor R1a mutation from the presumed original Israelite dna, how and why would it have come about so abruptly and so pervasively that an entire population almost should carry the new haplotype or haplogroup in just a couple of centuries and then go unchanged in either group, R1a or its offshoot, R1b other than variations of them such as my own R1b1b2a1b sub-clade of the R1b haplogroup through all their migrations and environmental changes down through the centuries since?  But the Scythians appear to have inhabited the land in which Herodotus found them far longer than the time frame necessary for them to have escaped from their Assyrian captivity, migrated north and mutated at some point along the way from their former G or J Haplogroup.

In short, I don't yet see how it could be possible that the Scythians were descended from the "lost" ten tribes of Northern Israel.

Nonetheless, even with all this I remain open.  But without the witness of God himself as to the importance and meaning of all these things over which we may worry, chew and argue, the exact origins of my ancestry really don't matter that much to me other than as a thing of personal curiosity.  I really wouldn't care much without that witness exactly who my people are from.  In the end, there is no such thing as race.  That is a false concept.  There are only families within the human family, grown up.

Your R1b if not Israelite cousin,
Henry Rhea

Brit-Am Reply:
Your letter touched on several issues:
(a) Your Haplogroup: Israelite Origins?
You say your "confirmed Haplogroup is R1b1b2a1b" (S116).
This is a very large grouping.
The DNA Haplogroup for Yair Davidiy is an offshoot of that same grouping i.e. R1b1b2a1b6b (M222) described as "Scotch-Irish" on the Gallo-Brittano Alpine Branch according to the URL you referred to:

We are not saying that all the Lost Tribes became R1a or E1b or that all R1a or all R1b is of Israelite descent. In fact we do not believe it is.
We leave the case open for the time being.
On the one hand it does not really matter where R1b (or any other haplogroup) originated until we understand better what causes the initial change between one haplogroup and another.

Conventional YDNA chart turned on its head.
Diagram by Estelle Schutte


This should be our emphasis and main point of interest.
In our opinion most haplogroups may be explained by geography though after the haplogroup has been set it continues to be sustained by heredity.
Since the aspect of heredity does play a part when a researcher comes along (as they often do) and points to evidence that R1b originated (perhaps) in the general area of Ancient Israel, we do take note of it.

(b) The Turks
The Turks at present dwell in Turkey. Most of them are descended from peoples who lived in the area and were conquered by nomads from Central Asia who imposed upon them their language and culture.
Strictly speaking most of the Turks of Turkey are not really Turkish!

(c) Jewish DNA
Jewish DNA being close to Turkish, Armenian, and Kurdish DNA shows that the Jews dwelt until recently in the
same general area as the Turk, Armenians, and Kurds.

Palestinian DNA is similar to that of the above groups but it has stronger infusions from Saudi Arabia (Beduins) and
Africa as well perhaps as other differences.

(d) Ten Tribes, Scythians, and R1a
Josephus wrote:
"...the Ten Tribes who are beyond the Euphrates till now, and are an immense multitude, whose numbers cannot be estimated." (Antiquities 11:2).
This could refer to either the Parthians or Scythians (or part of them) or both as well as other peoples including ancestors tot he Khazars.

You mentioned a handful of tests indicating that the Scythians were R1a.
That may be.
There are however also several groups, usually those one associated with the Khazars (such as the Bashkirs) in which R1b is dominant.
Details are given in our work

The Khazars. Tribe 13

Your argument in effect says that assuming the Scythians were R1a and that originally the Israelites were J or G there simply was not enough time for the Israelites Js and Gs to go north become R1a and then move westward turning into R1bs in the process.

See the diagram by Estelle Schutte in the item above.
This diagram illustrates how:
They could originally all have been Rs.
In very crude terms:
An R that looses information becomes something else such as a G or a J.
Since the possibility of a progression downward is being considered that requires ONLY loss of information then the theoretical change under certain conditions could take place within one generation.
Evolution upward with the acquirement of information is theoretically what needs a great deal of time.
Loss of information requires no time at all. 

We would go further:
The homeland of R1b based on where the greater complexity of types available are found is in the Middle East but it later developed in the west where conditions appear the most conducive to it..

We can more or less quote from the DNA "authorities" to take it as accepted that R1b either originated in the Middle East or in the neighboring areas or that at the least available evidence supports mostly that assumption.
We do not do this because that is not the direction we are going in and we are loath to bog ourselves down in technical terminology and scientific discussion etc but the sources do say this.
They also claim that this assumption presumes that it all took place tens or hundreds of thousands of years agoetc.
To this we could reply:
Maybe not?
Maybe it all took place very recently as some have suggested part of the evidence indicates?
This is even without taking our own "loss-of-information overnight" scenario described above into account.

(e) The Need for Divine Affirmation of Ancestry?

You indicated a need for :

"the witness of God himself as to the importance and meaning of all these things over which we may worry, chew and argue, the exact origins of my ancestry".
This is what we lack in so far as Prophecy in the form of a living Prophet has not yet confirmed to us who is descended from the Lost Ten Tribes of Israel.
We do however have the Bible and the Prophets and they do strongly indicate to us as to where the Ten Tribes will be and what identifying characteristics pertain to them.

3. Sometimes The "Science" of ABO Blood Types Goes A Little Too Far

Published by ErinC at 11:51 am under genetics 101

The importance of ABO blood types in transfusions is unquestioned. And the associations between blood type and certain diseases are pretty convincing. But some ?scientists? have linked blood type to some pretty wacky stuff.

In the first part of the 20th century it seems that there was nothing some researchers didn't think was connected to blood type. ...Among military personnel, people with type O supposedly had weaker characters and type Bs were more impulsive.

People with type A blood are supposed to be sensitive perfectionists who can veer towards anxiousness. Type Bs are happy folks who can have eccentric and selfish streaks.  Type O people are said to be curious and generous on the positive side, but also sometimes stubborn. People with type AB are thought to be artsy and mysterious, ideas that probably reflect the rareness of this blood type.

Our blood types may be different, but there's no reason to think that explains all of our differences.

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