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The Phoenician Hypothesis: An mtDNA Note re the phylogeographic occurances of mtDNA Haplotype U6b as related to the Results found in Mitochondrial DNA testing by Family Tree DNA of certain Kits, with reference to results posted in MitoSearch.

First publication 22 December 2004;
Update #1 through 23 December 2004:
Update #2 through 20 February 2005:
Update #3 through 5 March 2007:
Update #4 through 1 February 2009:

© 2004, 2005, 2007, 2009, David B. Strong. (Click for contact information)



This web page is divided into several sections. Click on the section to which you wish to go:
mtDNA Note re the occurance of mtDNA Haplogroup U6 and subclades U6a, U6b, U6c, etc:
mtDNA Haplotype U6b Testing Results:
U6b Webpage Background:
Research of U6b by Geneticists; The Maca-Meyer Study:
Phoenician Hypothesis:
... mtDNA Haplogroup U6b spread from Lebanon through Mediterranean Basin:
... mtDNA Haplogroup U6b originated in European Minos or Mycenea:
... Locations of Phoenician Colonies:
... The western Sicilian Colony:
... West African Colonies and The Canary Islands:
... Beyond the Pillars of Hercules:
... Galicia, Land of the Gauls:
... Coastal Britain, Land of the Druids:
Join the Border Reiver Families mtDNA Study and/or Y-DNA Study
Please use the "back" function in your browser to return to your place in this page.


U6b Webpage Background:

While the main focus of the following material is a discussion of Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) Haplogroup U6b which is apparently quite rare, much of the material will also be of interest to anyone who is Haplogroup U6 or any of it's subclades. There have apparently been only twelve or thirteen occurances of U6b in Family Tree DNA (FTDNA) kits found between late 2004 and this latest webpage update in all of FTDNA's private database, and likewise in the public database, MitoSearch. Similarly, there are a limited number of U6a* and U6a1 participants found in the FTDNA databases.

The researchers in some of the U6b kits have been in communication, and have shared information. Links to webpages discussing the kits can be found at: mtDNA Results. The participant in Mitosearch ID#9SQQW has a family history of origins in the village of Costa Fridda (sp?), in the Province of Trapani, located approximately 50 miles west of Palermo, Sicily, Italy. The participants in Mitosearch ID#KVYEK and Mitosearch ID#Q7MDZ have a common family history of origins in the parish of Llanbadarn-fawr, near Aberstwyth, Cardiganshire, Wales. There are other kit participants who are likely related to these three. Participant Mitosearch ID#XA5D6 has a family history reaching to Franklin Co., Tennessee, USA, but has an HVR1 and HVR2 match with participants Mitosearch ID#KVYEK and Mitosearch ID#Q7MDZ. It is possible that XA5D6 may have roots in Wales as well. Some other participant not as yet found in Mitosearch have an HVR1 match with the foregoing participants. One such participant apparently traces his origins to the southern United States, perhaps in common with the participant in Mitosearch ID#XA5D6?

The participants in most of the remaining kits found in Mitosearch have certain differences in their HVR1 and/or HVR2 results from those kits listed above, which will be discussed below. Most of them have a family history of origins in Gran Canaria, The Canary Islands, or in places to which Canarians likely emigrated, including Spain and Cuba. See, for example: Mitosearch ID#5kr54 and Louisiana. To the best knowledge of this writer, none of these kits are related in a genealogically significant time frame. Specifically, the mtDNA sequences can be observed at: Mitosearch Comparative mtDNA Results. See also the Maca-Meyer discussion below regarding haplo subgroup U6b1, "HVSI mutation 16163 classifies subgroup U6b1, autochthonous of the Canary Islands [19]."

U6b Results:

Note that Kits #9SQQW [to date as to HVR1 only], XA5D6, Q7MDZ, and KVYEK all share :
HVR1=> 172C, 219G, 261T, 311C
HVR2=> 073G, 263G, 309.1C, 315.1C

Note that Kit #MUWUE is anomalous to all other kits, having:
HVR1=> 172C, 174T, 219G, 311C ; and lacking 261T as to the former group, and lacking both 163G and 519C as to the following group.

The remaining kits, eg., the Canarian group of kits, appear to share:
HVR1=> 163G, 172C, 219G, 311C, 519C
HVR2=> 073G, 263G, 309.1C, 315.1C

Observe that of those kits which have been tested for both HVR1 and HVR2 sequences, the differences which exist so far are NOT in the HVR2 sequences, but rather in the HVR1 sequences.

The purpose of this note is to explore, insofar as possible, how these FTDNA Result kits came to share the same rare mtDNA haplotype. First, notice the differences distinguishing the HVR1 sequence above for the Canarian group of kits. Examination of the chart in Figure 1 below suggests these kits may actually be part of sub-subclade U6b1. However, we await additional examination of this possibility at a later date.

According to FTDNA's results page re U6b:

"The mitochondrial super-haplogroup U encompasses haplogroups U1-U7 and haplogroup K. Haplogroup U6 is among the oldest of the U haplogroups with an origin approximately 50,000 years ago. It is a rare, but ancient haplogroup, and individuals bearing this lineage out of the Near East may have encountered Neandertals as they moved around what is now the southern Mediterranean basin. In modern populations, it is found at highest frequency in Berber-speaking populations of North Africa and the Canary Islands. Its presence in Portugal and Spain is the result of recent admixture most likely related to the Moorish occupation of Iberia."
Here's another quote from http://www.brian-hamman.com/IntroductionClanUrsulaHaplogroupU5.htm
"In 2001, Dr. Bryan Sykes, a Professor at the University of Oxford in England, published his first edition of "The Seven Daughters of Eve". The seven daughters he identified were Ursula, Jasmine, Tara, Helena, Xenia, Katrine, and Velda. Dr. Sykes and other anthropologists found from DNA-based studies of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA), that over 95% of modern day Europeans possess mtDNA that directly descends from one of these seven "founding mothers" of Europe.

Shortly after publishing his book, Dr. Sykes began a company called Oxford Ancestors in England, that tested mtDNA for interested people, to determine from which founding mother of Europe they descend. As other DNA-testing companies arose and more people were tested, the general public became aware that anthropologists communicated their mtDNA data using a letter/number-based nomenclature for mtDNA "haplogroups". Thus, for example, it became clear that Sykes' Clan Velda correlated to mtDNA haplogroup V, Jasmine correlated to J, Xenia correlated to X, Tara to T, Helena to H, and Katrine to K.

However, for those not testing through Oxford Ancestors, it was unclear which mtDNA haplogroup correlated to Clan Ursula....

Oxford Ancestors ... were able to clarify this issue for me as shown below. Each subgroup of haplogroup U has its' own name....

"... it must be remembered that the clans and clades are not exactly the same, as different data sets have been used to form these groups. However the main clades, which Oxford Ancestors term as clans, that have been given names, such as Helena by Professor Sykes, are the same, i.e. Helena = clade H.

Broadly speaking the following clans and clades are similar although not exactly the same:

U1 -Una
U2 -Uta
U3 -Uma
U4 -Ulrike
U5 -Ursula
U6 -Ulla
U7 -Ulaana
Groups U1 to U7, along with K (Katrine) all share a common maternal ancestor.

The use of the U5 = Ursula link is copyrighted to Professor Sykes and Oxford Ancestors has a global exclusive licence to use this. Providing you reference both the company and Professor Sykes on your web site there is no problem with you using it.

Marie Kitchin
Senior Scientific Officer,
Oxford Ancestors""

Whimsically, I suggest that U6 - "Ulla" had three daughters, as shown by Maca-Meyer, below, [See: Figure 1 - Phylogenetic tree based on complete U6 mtDNA genome sequences] who should be named as follows:
U6a - Europa Ayy
U6b - Europa Bea
U6c - Europa Cee
In Mythology, Athena, as Goddess of Crafts, was challenged to a contest of skill by a presumptuous weaver named Arachne. Both worked with swiftness and skill. When the tapestries were finished, Athena admired the flawless work of her competitor, but she was furious that Arachne dared to illustrate the amourous deceptions of Zeus. On the tapestry, Leda is caressing a swan --- a disguise for Zeus, who had entered the bedchamber of the married queen as a swan in order to make love to her. Another panel was of Danaë, whom Zeus impregnated in the form of a golden shower; a third panel depicted the maid Europa, kidnapped by Zeus in the guise of a magnificent white bull. Use of the hominum "Europa" to dub the daughters of Ulla seems appropriate in light of my "Phoenician Hypothesis", below, that the mtDNA subclade U6b (and likely subclades U6a and U6c as well) were to be found in the Minoans and Mycenean Greeks who as "Sea People", founded Phoenicia circa 1200 BC. Subsequently these daughters and sons of the Minoan bull worshippers spread these subclades across the Mediterranean Basin to Sicily and the shores of North Africa, and on out into the Atlantic to the Canary Islands, Galicia, and ultimatly to Wales. The story of their travels will be told below in our "Phoenician Hypothesis".

Geneticists are working on identifying the structure of human descendancy. See the two charts on Bonnie Schrack's website at: http://208.56.24.80/human_family_trees.htm
"Eve's" chart is the one at the top... read it left to right. That is the "mitochondrial" or mtDNA chart.
"Adam's" chart is the one further down the page; again, read it left to right. That is the Y-DNA chart.
Note that each of these charts leads from a single "root" haplogroup down to various descendant haplogroups... and each individual's haplotype belongs in turn to one of the various haplogroups. The scientists think these charts outline human descent over a period of at least 40,000 to 50,000 years.

"Eve's" tree, above, was recently published in the article, "Natural selection shaped regional mtDNA variation in humans" by Mishmar, et al, (2003) in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol. 100 no. 1, pages 171–176, which can be found at: http://www.pnas.org/cgi/content/full/100/1/171 or www.pnas.org/cgi/reprint/100/1/171.pdf

For a different kind of tree, showing the mutations defining each haplogroup, see this excellent comprehensive network of European mtDNA types by Saara Finnilä:
http://www.journals.uchicago.edu/AJHG/journal/issues/v68n6/002593/002593.fg2.html Phylogenetic Network for European mtDNA, Figure 2

Or see this simplified chart from Vincent Macaulay: http://www.stats.ox.ac.uk/~macaulay/images/skeleton07-08-02.jpg

It will be noted that U6 is shown in these charts as being an "African" Haplogroup... apparently based on the fact that it has been found in the greatest numbers, modernly, on the continent of Africa. However, this seems misleading, or at least a mis-interpretation of the data. First, the U6b Haplogroup is not widely found in sub-Saharan Africa, but rather is found predominatly in North Africa, in the areas just south of the Mediterranean Sea. Second, other researchers have noted that U6b apparently originated in the Near East and subsequently spread across North Africa, and on in to the Iberian Peninsula and the Canary Islands. They have speculated the Haplogroup was spread to these latter locations by the Moors from North Africa. An alternate hypothesis will be proposed below.

Research of U6b by Geneticists; the Maca-Meyer Study:

On a "Blog" found at:
http://www.egyptsearch.com/forums/Forum8/HTML/001029-2.html
"Orionix " posted the following on 27 November 2004 which, while paraphrasing the Study abstract, fairly describes the main phylogeographic hypothesis of Spanish geneticists Maca-Meyer, et.al.:
"..... U6, a maternal haplotype which originated in western Asia some 30,000 ago is very important ... The most probable origin of the proto-U6 lineage was the Near East. Around 30,000 years ago it spread to North Africa where it represents a signature of regional continuity. Subgroup U6a reflects the first African expansion from the Maghrib [see "Maghreb" ] returning to the east in Paleolithic times. Derivative clade U6a1 signals a posterior movement from East Africa back to the Maghrib and the Near East. This migration coincides with the probable Afroasiatic linguistic expansion. U6b and U6c clades, restricted to West Africa, had more localized expansions. U6b probably reached the Iberian Peninsula during the Capsian diffusion in North Africa. Two autochthonous derivatives of these clades (U6b1 and U6c1) indicate the arrival of North African settlers to the Canarian Archipelago in prehistoric times, most probably due to the Saharan desiccation. The absence of these Canarian lineages nowadays in Africa suggests important demographic movements in the western area of this Continent, citing the following website: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2156/4/15
The biomedcentral citation is to a Research article by Nicole Maca-Meyer, et.al., reporting on a research project focused on "U6 phylogeography" as found by her group in studies of mtDNA in North Africa, Spain, and The Canary Islands. The research article is quite important to an understanding of the present knowledge of mtDNA Haplogroup U6b. It will be explored below in detail, with links, however, to our alternate hypothesis for understanding the "phylogeography". The Maca-Meyer, et.al., article is entitled:

"Mitochondrial DNA transit between West Asia and North Africa inferred from U6 phylogeography", by
Nicole Maca-Meyer1 , Ana M González1 , José Pestano2 , Carlos Flores1 , José M Larruga1 and Vicente M Cabrera1; of the
1Departamento de Genética, Facultad de Biología, Universidad de La Laguna, Tenerife, SPAIN
2Laboratorio de Genética, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad de Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Gran Canaria, SPAIN
Published in BMC Genetics 2003, 4:15
doi:10.1186/1471-2156-4-15

The complete electronic version of this article can be found online at:
http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2156/4/15 Received 8 July 2003
Accepted 16 October 2003
Published 16 October 2003

[© 2003 Maca-Meyer et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article: verbatim copying and redistribution of this article are permitted in all media for any purpose, provided this notice is preserved along with the article's original URL. ]


From: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2156/4/15

[Note, emphasis and/or editorial discussion has been added in places through the use of bolding, italics, [], and/or colored highlighting or text, together with links to commentary found below the article as reproduced here.]

Abstract [of Project Results Paper]:


[Discussion of Project :]
...[Project] Background :

[Project] Results :
... Tables and Figures:
... A new sublineage for U6:
... Geographic distribution of U6 lineages:
... Relationships between areas:
... Radiation ages:

[Project] Discussion :
... African U6 origin and expansions:
... Iberian U6 origin and expansions:
... Canary Islands U6 origin and expansions:
... Summary :

Methods: See Original Paper
Supplementary material: See Original Paper
Acknowledgements: See Original Paper
References: See Original Paper


Abstract [of Project Results Paper]:
Background :

World-wide phylogeographic distribution of human complete mitochondrial DNA sequences suggested a West Asian origin for the autochthonous North African lineage U6. We report here a more detailed analysis of this lineage, unraveling successive expansions that affected not only Africa but neighboring regions such as the Near East, the Iberian Peninsula and the Canary Islands.

Results:

Divergence times, geographic origin and expansions of the U6 mitochondrial DNA clade, have been deduced from the analysis of 14 complete U6 sequences, and 56 different haplotypes, characterized by hypervariable segment sequences and RFLPs.

Conclusions:

The most probable origin of the proto-U6 lineage was the Near East. Around 30,000 years ago it spread to North Africa where it represents a signature of regional continuity. Subgroup U6a reflects the first African expansion from the Maghrib returning to the east in Paleolithic times. Derivative clade U6a1 signals a posterior movement from East Africa back to the Maghrib and the Near East. This migration coincides with the probable Afroasiatic linguistic expansion. U6b and U6c clades, restricted to West Africa, had more localized expansions. U6b probably reached the Iberian Peninsula during the Capsian diffusion in North Africa. Two autochthonous derivatives of these clades (U6b1 and U6c1) indicate the arrival of North African settlers to the Canarian Archipelago in prehistoric times, most probably due to the Saharan desiccation. The absence of these Canarian lineages nowadays in Africa suggests important demographic movements in the western area of this Continent.


[Discussion of Project :]
...Background :
Attested presence of Caucasian people in Northern Africa goes up to Paleolithic times. From the archaeological record it has been proposed that, as early as 45,000 years ago (ya), anatomically modern humans, most probably expanded the Aterian stone industry from the Maghrib into most of the Sahara [1]. More evolved skeletal remains indicate that 20,000 years later the Iberomaurusian makers, replaced the Aterian culture in the coastal Maghrib. Several hypothesis have been forwarded concerning the Iberomaurusian origin. They can be resumed in those which propose an arrival, from the East, either from the Near East or Eastern Africa, and those which point to west Mediterranean Europe, either from the Iberian Peninsula, across the Gibraltar Strait, or from Italy, via Sicily, as their most probable homeland [2]. Between 10,000 and 6,000 ya the Neolithic Capsian industry flourished farther inland. The historic penetration in the area of classical Mediterranean cultures, ending with the Islamic domination, supposed a strong cultural influx. However, it seems that the demic impact was not strong enough to modify the prehistoric genetic pool.

Linguistic research suggests that the Afroasiatic phylum of languages could have originated and extended with these Caucasians, either from the Near East or Eastern Africa and that posterior developments of the Capsian Neolithic in the Maghrib might be related to the origin and dispersal of proto-Berber speaking people into the area [3]. Nowadays, the Berber speakers, scattered throughout Northwest Africa from the Atlantic to the Lybic desert and from the Mediterranean shores to the south of the Sahel, are considered the genuine descendants of those prehistoric colonizers. Some important issues are pending of resolution to clarify the past and present of the North African Caucasians: To which extent the Neolithic waves substituted the Paleolithic recipients? Which is the most probable origin of these prehistoric occupants? Did they come from Europe, East Africa, Southwest Asia or are they a result of an "in situ" evolution? Is there a correspondence between the Afroasiatic diversification and the spread of Caucasians?

Recently, molecular genetic research on North African populations has contributed new data to test the major issues proposed on archaeological, anthropological and linguistic grounds. The studies based on uniparental genetic markers have been particularly informative. Both, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) sequences [4,5], and Y-chromosome binary markers [6,7] detected specific North African haplotypes that confirm an ancient human colonization for this area and a sharp discontinuity between Northwest Africa and the Iberian Peninsula. From a mtDNA point of view, the most informative of these genetic markers is the North African clade U6. On the basis of complete mtDNA sequences, it has been proposed that U6 lineages, mainly found in North Africa, are the signatures of a return to Africa around 39,000–52,000 ya [8]. This stresses the importance of its detailed study in order to trace one of the earliest Caucasian arrivals to Africa. Although in moderate frequencies, the geographic range of this clade extends from the Near East to the Canary Islands, along the Atlantic shores of Northwest Africa and from the Sahel belt, including Ethiopia, to the southern Mediterranean rim. Out of this area, U6 has only been spotted in the Iberian Peninsula [9-12], Sicily [13], in the north European Ashkenazic Jews [14], and in Ibero-America. The presence in the latter is, most probably, the result of the Spanish and Portuguese colonization [15,16].

In order to construct an unambiguous phylogeny for this clade and infer precise ages for the whole group and for its derivatives, we have fully sequenced eleven mitochondrial lineages representing the main branches of U6. Subsequently, we analyzed the geographic distribution range and relative diversity of these subclades, to deduce their most probable expansion origins based on sequence information of the first hypervariable segment (HVSI) of the mitochondrial control region and on new RFLPs, discovered to be diagnostic for them.

[Project] Results :
... Tables and Figures:

Figures:
Phylogenetic tree, complete U6 mtDNA genome sequences screen
Figure 1 - Phylogenetic tree based on complete U6 mtDNA genome sequences
Figure 2 - Reduced median network relating HVSI sequences of subhaplogroup U6. ( See Original Paper)

Tables:
Table 1 - Mean number of substitutions, from the base of U6, for the three subgroups of U6 calculated for the twelve complete sequences. ( See Original Paper)
Table 2 - List of populations used in this study. Population codes are given, as well as sample size, number of U6 haplotypes detected, percentage of U6 in the sample, and the relative frequency (%) of the three U6 sub-groups.
Table 3 - Linearized FST values between areas (below diagonal) and p diversities within areas (on diagonal). ( See Original Paper)
Table 4 - Estimated ages (years) for different subgroups of U6 haplogroup, based on coding and HVSI regions.
[Project Results:]
... A new sublineage for U6:

Haplogroup U splits from R by mutations 11467, 12308 and 12372. Three branches sprout from this root: U5 (3197, 9477, 13617 and 16270), U6 (3348 and 16172) and the rest of the U clade defined by mutation 1811 [8,17,18]. For this reason, a representative of U5 was chosen as an outgroup.

The phylogenetic tree based on complete mtDNA U6 sequences, confirms that this clade is defined by mutations 3348 and 16172 (Fig. 1 - Phylogenetic tree based on complete U6 mtDNA genome sequences) . The former can be detected by RFLP analysis using MboI [15]. The existence of three subgroups is also evident. U6a was defined by the presence of HVSI mutations 16172, 16219 and 16278 [4] and now by 7805 and 14179 in the coding region, that can be tested by RFLPs -7802 MaeI and +14179 AccI, respectively. Subgroup U6b was characterized by HVSI mutations 16172, 16219 and 16311 [4], to which mutation 9438 (detectable by RFLP -9438 HaeIII) can now be added. The new clade U6c is defined by HVSI mutations 16169, 16172 and 16189 and at least by mutations 4965 and 5081, that can be tested by RFLPs +4963 Aci I and -5079 Tsp509 I, respectively. In addition, a subgroup, U6a1, has been detected within U6a characterized by the addition of HVSI mutation 16189 [4]. In the same way, HVSI mutation 16163 classifies subgroup U6b1, autochthonous of the Canary Islands [19]. Within the coding region, this subgroup can be further defined by RFLP + 2349 MboI. [Ed.Note: See naming suggestion above.]

From (Fig. 1 - Phylogenetic tree based on complete U6 mtDNA genome sequences), an important question rises about the constant mutation rate in the coding region. The mean number of substitutions accumulated in U6b lineages (Table 1) is significantly smaller than those in U6a (P = 0.013) and is near significance in U6c (P = 0.058). These differences are mainly due to the number of mutations accumulated in the coding region. Following others [20], we used the likelihood-ratio test [21] to asses whether the mutations accumulated on the different branches were compatible or not with a uniform rate. The difference between the values obtained for the uniform clock model (L0 = -23060.25) and for the variable rate model (L1 = -23032.22), was statistically significant at the 5% level. So, the simpler clock-like tree was rejected. On the other hand, the substitution ratio between coding vs. HVSI region is double in U6a than in U6b or U6c (Table 1). Furthermore, taking into account the ratio of synonymous vs. non-synonymous substitutions in the coding region, again the U6a value doubles that of U6b or U6c, reaching a significant level (P = 0.0237, in a two-tailed Fisher exact test). Both selection and stochastic processes have to be invoked to satisfactorily explain these data. A bias in lineage sampling is the most probable cause of the different substitution ratios between D-loop and coding regions: the U6b and U6c lineages were chosen for their different geographic origin and, comparatively, large divergence in HVSI, whilst for U6a we chose central representatives of the different subclusters excepting that of the Canary Islands. In relation to the differences in synonymous vs. non-synonymous ratios, they could be attributed to the action of purifying selection, having a stronger effect on the older U6a lineages. From this, we deduced that both U6b and U6c spread more recently. Finally, the apparent differences in substitution rates between U6b and U6a or U6c could better be the result of genetic drift, so that the founder lineage that originated the U6b subgroup was less evolved than those that originated U6a and U6c. However, we have to point out that in a similar case, in which significant differences were found in the number of mutations accumulated on two clades of haplogroup L2, selection was suggested as the most probable cause [20].

[Project Results:]
... Geographic distribution of U6 lineages:
Fig. 2 shows the reduced median network obtained from the 56 U6 haplotypes found for the HVSI region between positions 16086–16370. The basal motif for haplogroup U6 has varied as new data have been added. Algerian sequences [9] suggested that the ancestral sequence harbored mutations 16172 16189. Additional data [4] considered 16172 16219 as the most probable ancestral motif. However, the complete sequence of the individual with this motif relocates it in U6a, presenting a back mutation in HVSI position 16278. Our data points to 16172 as the only substitution present in the basal motif. Unfortunately, the high recurrence of this mutation makes it insufficient to diagnose this haplogroup. The highest frequencies for haplogroup U6 as a whole are found in Northwest Africa (Table 2 - List of populations used in this study), with a maximum of 29% in the Algerian Berbers [9]. Subgroup U6a and its derivative U6a1 present the widest geographic distribution, from the Canary Islands in the West, to Syria and Ethiopia in the East, and from the Iberian Peninsula in the North, to Kenya in the South. In contrast, U6b shows a more limited and patched distribution, restricted to western populations. In the Iberian Peninsula, U6b is more frequent in the North whilst U6a is prevalent in the South. In Africa, it has been sporadically found in Morocco and Algeria in the North, and Senegal and Nigeria in the South, pointing to a wider distribution in the past, or to gene flow from a geographic focus which has still not been sampled. Curiously, two Arab Bedouins [22] with the same haplotype (16111 16172 16219 16311 16362), are the only Eastern representatives classified as U6b. It would be very interesting to test the 9438 HaeIII restriction enzyme to confirm this classification. [Ed.Note: See Comment below:] Furthermore, subgroup U6b1 characterized by mutation 16163, is restricted to the Canarian Archipelago and the Iberian Peninsula. The geographic distribution of the new subgroup U6c, characterized by the basic motif 16169 16172 16189, is even more localized. It has only been found in the Canary Islands and Morocco. It could also be present in Algeria, if the two individuals with haplotype 16172 16189 16234 16311 [9], classified as U* by RFLP analysis [5], belong to this subgroup. Like for U6b, an autochthonous U6c subcluster (characterized by mutation 16129) was also detected in the Canarian Archipelago.

[Project Results:]
... Relationships between areas:
Linearized FST values distinguished three significantly differentiated geographical areas: Continental Africa, the Iberian Peninsula and the Canary Islands (Table 3). Nucleotide diversities within areas (Table 3) ranged from 3.253 in the Iberian Peninsula to 2.059 in East Africa. At first sight, it is striking that diversities are larger in the Canary Islands and Iberia than in Africa. We think that demographic processes are responsible of this situation. In Africa, the geographic and social isolation of the different Berber groups [23], could have promoted a loss of diversity by genetic drift. On the contrary, the presence in the Canary Islands and Iberia of representatives of all, or nearly all, U6 subclades, some of them not detected nowadays in the Continent, strongly point to the existence of several migratory waves from Africa, possibly at different times, which have increased their variability. This explanation is reinforced when the number of segregating sites (S) are taken into account. This value is larger in West Africa (5.10 ± 1.5) than in the Canaries (2.60 ± 1.0) and the Iberian Peninsula (3.90 ± 1.4), but East Africa presents a lower value (3.2 ± 1.4). The fact that U6b and U6c have a restricted western distribution undoubtedly contributes to this Continental difference. However, the younger U6a1 branch contradicts this general trend. For this subclade, East and West Africa are statistically differentiated (P = 0.016), and the former presents a higher nucleotide diversity (1.55 ± 1.11) than the latter (0.98 ± 0.75). Geographic distributions and diversity values of U6 are congruent with a western origin and radiation for all subclades excepting U6a1 that, most probably, had an eastern origin.

[Project Results:]
... Radiation ages:
Radiation ages for U6 and its subclades have been estimated on the basis of complete coding and HVSI sequences (Table 4 - Estimated ages (years) for different subgroups of U6 haplogroup, based on coding and HVSI regions.). In general, ages obtained from HVSI are larger than those deduced from the coding region. Both approaches present inconveniences for the time estimates. It has been demonstrated that the coding region has evolved at a roughly constant rate [24]. However, as relatively few clades are fully sequenced, stochastic and/or intentional sampling may bias the representation of the chosen lineages. On the other hand, HVSI estimations are based on a large number of individuals minimizing sampling errors. However, we deal with a short sequence that has not evolved at a constant rate across all human lineages [24]. Furthermore, from the phylogeny of complete U6 sequences (Fig. 1 - Phylogenetic tree based on complete U6 mtDNA genome sequences), it has been deduced, once more, that empirical time estimations are not independent of the demographic history of the population sampled. Therefore, we have taken coalescence ages only as rough time frames into which lineage expansions could have occurred. Adopting a conservative position we have used ages based on the coding region whenever possible.

[Project] Discussion

[Project Discussion:]
... African U6 origin and expansions:
Discarding the Canary Islands, because the most ancient human settlement seems to be no earlier than 2,500 ya [25], and the Iberian Peninsula, because there are no consistent traces of U6 lineages in Europe, Northwest Africa is left as the most probable place from where the African U6 subclades radiated. Another point is to decide whether the proto-U6 ancestor was also of African origin. Although it cannot be completely excluded, this hypothesis seems highly improbable even invoking strong bottlenecks in African populations. It is clear that the whole haplogroup U is an offshoot of macrohaplogroup N. This lineage, together with macrohaplogroup M, were the only ones that, belonging to the star radiation of L3 in Africa, left this continent to colonize Eurasia. Five mutations separate N from the root of the African L3 [8], and there are only late evolved N lineages in Africa, whereas representatives of the full N radiation are present in Eurasia. Thus, this continent [Eurasia] would be the logical homeland of the proto-U6 that came back to Africa and spread in its northwest area around 30,000 ya (Table 4 - Estimated ages (years) for different subgroups of U6 haplogroup, based on coding and HVSI regions.). Its most probable route had to be through East Africa. So, the loss of variability in this area is puzzling, although posterior demic expansions affecting East Africa might be the cause. This date roughly corresponds to the Paleolithic occupation of the Maghrib by the Iberomaurusian culture and to the age of the evolved Homo sapiens sapiens skeletons found in this area. Only one of the three U6 subclades, U6a, experienced a great geographic radiation spreading west to the Atlantic shores and east, crossing Africa, to the Near East. A posterior offshoot of this clade, U6a1, has a similar distribution. The upper bound for these expansions are around 28,000 and 17,000 ya, respectively (Table 4 - Estimated ages (years) for different subgroups of U6 haplogroup, based on coding and HVSI regions.). Genetic diversities are congruent with a west to east expansion for U6a and a more probable east to west expansion for U6a1. Furthermore, the absence of U6b and U6c lineages in the East suggests that the population from which the U6a colonizers originated also lacked these lineages or presented them in very low frequencies. The fact that 5 of the 8 U6a haplotypes detected in the Near East are unique of this area (Fig. 2), points to prehistoric demic movements as the most probable cause of the U6a Africa to Asia migration, although historic events cannot be completely ruled out. In frame with the estimated age of U6a are archaeological data supporting early migrations from Africa into the Near East [26]. The expansion of Caucasians in Africa has been correlated with the spread and diversification of Afroasiatic languages. There are different hypothesis to explain the Afroasiatic origin. For some, it would be the result of a Neolithic demic diffusion from the Near East to Africa [27,28]. For others, the Afroasiatic originated in Africa and had a posterior demic spread to West Asia [29,30]. A third possibility is that Afroasiatic languages spread mostly through cultural contacts either from Africa or from Asia [31]. Only demic diffusions could be correlated with U6 expansions detected here. Since an upper bound of 15,000 ya has been estimated for the proto-Afroasiatic origin, it seems that the coalescence age for U6a predates by far the origin of the Afroasiatic phylum. However, the recent spread of U6a1 is more in frame with the emergence of a proto-Afroasiatic language. This U6a1 expansion would favor an East African origin for the Afroasiatic and a posterior expansion to West Africa and West Asia. However, a Near Eastern origin, most probably predating the Neolithic expansion, cannot be ruled out.

[Project Discussion:]
... Iberian U6 origin and expansions:
In Europe, U6 lineages have been consistently sampled only in the Iberian Peninsula. It has been mentioned that U6 nucleotide diversity is higher in Iberia than in Africa [12]. This has been confirmed here (Table 3). However, S is greater in West Africa. Considering the isolation of the different Berber groups we think that, in this case, the latter is a better diversity measure. The absence of U6 representatives in the rest of Europe, is also an argument against the hypothesis that these lineages could have migrated to North Africa from Europe. Naturally, this does not exclude that other mitochondrial lineages could have followed this route. Most probably, the presence of these African lineages in Iberia is the result of northward expansions from Africa. The time of this expansion has been predominantly attributed to either the Arab/Berber occupation that lasted seven centuries [10] or to prehistoric immigrations of North Africans to Iberia [12]. Both processes could have contributed to model the U6 landscape in Iberia. First, haplotype matches show that 10 of the 19 U6 lineages detected in Iberia are not present in Africa (Fig. 2), which points against only one recent immigration. Second, the geographic distribution of the U6 lineages in Iberia is puzzling. Whereas the U6b lineages, nowadays very scarce in Africa, are mainly detected in the Northwest [of Spain or Portugal], the U6 lineages found in highest frequencies in Africa are predominant in the south, where the Islamic rule lasted longer. At the light of these results we propose that U6b in Iberia is the signal of a prehistoric North African immigration that could have also brought some U6a lineages. Its actual northern range [in Spain or Portugal]could be the result of a forced retreat due to the arrival of new southern incomers to Iberia. However, the U6a distribution is better explained as the result of more recent gene flow from North Africa. The age of U6b (approx. 10,000 ya) might be considered as an upper bound for the prehistoric wave. Curiously, around this time the Iberomaurusians began to be displaced by the incoming Capsian culture in the Maghrib. On archaeological grounds, it has been proposed that Iberomaurusians slowly retreated towards the Atlantic coast from where they sailed to the Canary Islands and southwards to the Malinese Sahara [2]. Coincidentally, these are the same places where the U6b lineages have been spotted (Fig. 2).

[Project Discussion:]
... Canary Islands U6 origin and expansions:
At a genetic level, the Berber origin of the Guanches, the aboriginal population of the Canary Islands, and their survival after the Spanish occupation, has been inferred from the high frequency of U6 lineages in its modern population (Table 2 - List of populations used in this study), similar to that of North Africa [19,32]. This fact has been recently confirmed in a mtDNA sequence study on aboriginal remains [33]. It was found that in the Guanche maternal gene pool, U6b1 and U6a were present at frequencies of 8.22% and 1.37%, respectively. U6c was probably also present in the aboriginal pool as a haplotype (16129 16169 16172 16189), now known to belong to subhaplogroup U6c, was proposed as a probable Canarian founder type [19]. As in Northwest Iberia, U6b was the dominant U6 subclade carried by the North African settlers of the islands. All three subclades are present in the modern Canarian population at frequencies of 1.3%, 13.0% and 3.3% for U6a, U6b and U6c, respectively, which is indicative of a broad aboriginal component in the present maternal pool. Perhaps, the comparatively higher frequency of U6a lineages might be attributed to an additional Berber input as result of the slave trade after the Spanish conquest [34,35]. What remains enigmatic of the indubitable North African prehistoric colonization of the Archipelago is that it was carried out by people whose U6 lineages mainly belonged to the U6b subclade that has only been spotted in very low frequencies in the modern African populations of Morocco, Algeria, Senegal and Nigeria (Table 2 - List of populations used in this study). Moreover, the U6b and U6c insular haplotypes belong to the autochthonous U6b1 and U6c1 branches differing by substitutions 16163 and 16129, respectively, from all their African counterparts. As the most probable arrival of the first prehistoric Canarian settlers was around 2,500 ya, it is highly improbable that these mutations occurred on the islands. Therefore, we expected to find these Canarian lineages in some place of Africa. However, after extensive sampling they have still not been detected. It is possible that they are present somewhere in low frequencies but, in any case, this phylogeographic distribution suggests that Northwest Africa suffered important demic displacements in the past.

Besides U6, other genetic markers such as 110(-) haplotype of the CD4/Alu system [36], and the M81 Y-chromosome binary marker [6,7], point to an ancient and autochthonous human presence in Northwest Africa. An eastward decline in M81 frequencies has been detected, regrettably the lack of extensive intra-M81 microsatellite diversity studies in Africa precludes phylogeographic comparisons as those done with mtDNA. There are other coincidences between mtDNA data and other systems. For instance, using classical genetic markers, it was found that the Iberian Peninsula showed smaller genetic distances with East Africa than with West Africa [37]. The same pattern was observed for Y-chromosome studies [7], both in line with our results (Table 3). More studies with other genetic markers are necessary to corroborate, complement or even contradict the proposed U6 landscape.

[Project Discussion:]
... Summary :
In summary, the phylogeography, nucleotide diversity, and coalescence ages of U6 lineages show that this clade came back to Africa in Paleolithic times. Its most probable origin was the Near East and not Europe, and since then, its presence in North Africa has been permanent. The focus of the first African expansion, detected by the spread of U6a, was Northwest Africa reaching the Near East also in the Paleolithic. The posterior U6a1 radiation most probably occurred in Northeast Africa again extending to the Near East. This movement is correlated in time with the attributed origin and expansion of Afroasiatic languages. This U6a1 wave also arrived to the Maghrib, the Northwest African margin, where the more localized U6b and U6c lineages were spreading. This movement is in time frame with the Capsian culture. Based on archaeological and anthropological grounds, it has been speculated that these incomers slowly pushed away the aboriginal residents [2]. It could be in that time when U6b reached the south of the Iberian Peninsula from where it was displaced to the north where it persists today. The U6b and U6c diaspora also reached the Atlantic fringe from where they sailed to the Canary Islands. Two autochthonous U6 lineages (U6b1 and U6c1), present today in the islands, attest the survival of those aboriginal North Africans until nowadays. The fact that these Canarian lineages have not been detected in Africa and that, in contrast to the ubiquitous U6a and U6a1, the U6b and U6c lineages are scarcely spotted in present African populations, may be clues of past important demographic movements in this western area.


This web page is divided into several sections. Click on the section to which you wish to go:
mtDNA Note re the occurance of mtDNA Haplogroup U6b:
mtDNA Haplotype U6b Testing Results:
U6b Webpage Background:
Research of U6b by Geneticists; The Maca-Meyer Study:
Phoenician Hypothesis:
... mtDNA Haplogroup U6b spread from Lebanon through Mediterranean Basin:
... mtDNA Haplogroup U6b originated in European Minos or Mycenea:
... Locations of Phoenician Colonies:
... The western Sicilian Colony:
... West African Colonies and The Canary Islands:
... Beyond the Pillars of Hercules:
... Galicia, Land of the Gauls:
... Coastal Britain, Land of the Druids:
Join the Border Reiver Families mtDNA Study and/or Y-DNA Study
Please use the "back" function in your browser to return to your place in this page.

Phoenician Hypothesis:


mtDNA Haplogroup U6b spread from Lebanon through Mediterranean Basin:
It will be noted that U6 is shown in the phylogenic charts cited above as being an "African" Haplogroup... apparently based on the fact that it has been found in the greatest numbers, modernly, on the continent of Africa. However, this seems misleading, or at least a mis-interpretation of the data:
First, as shown by the Maca-Meyer article above, while the U6 mtDNA Haplogroup is found predominatly in North Africa, it is not widely found in sub-Saharan Africa. See above: Geographic distribution of U6 lineages. Maca-Meyer goes on to admit that it is highly improbable the U6 Haplogroup was of African origin:
Northwest Africa is left as the most probable place from where the African U6 subclades radiated. Another point is to decide whether the proto-U6 ancestor was also of African origin. Although it cannot be completely excluded, this hypothesis seems highly improbable even invoking strong bottlenecks in African populations. It is clear that the whole haplogroup U is an offshoot of macrohaplogroup N. This lineage, together with macrohaplogroup M, were the only ones that, belonging to the star radiation of L3 in Africa, left this continent to colonize Eurasia. Five mutations separate N from the root of the African L3 [8], and there are only late evolved N lineages in Africa, whereas representatives of the full N radiation are present in Eurasia. Thus, this continent [Eurasia] would be the logical homeland of the proto-U6 that came back to Africa and spread in its northwest area around 30,000 ya (Table 4 - Estimated ages (years) for different subgroups of U6 haplogroup, based on coding and HVSI regions.).
More recent DNA research suggests
Additionally, recent studies have discovered a close mitochondrial link between Berbers and the Saami of Scandinavia which confirms that the Franco-Cantabrian refuge area of southwestern Europe was the source of late-glacial expansions of hunter-gatherers that repopulated northern Europe after the Last Glacial Maximum and reveals a direct maternal link between those European hunter-gatherer populations and the Berbers.[45][44] With regard to Mozabite Berbers, one-third of Mozabite Berber mtDNAs have a Near Eastern ancestry, probably having arrived in North Africa ~50,000 years ago, and one-eighth have an origin in sub-Saharan Africa. Europe appears to be the source of many of the remaining sequences, with the rest having arisen either in Europe or in the Near East."[46] According to the most recent and thorough study about berber mtDNA from Coudray et al. 2008 that analysed 614 individuals from 10 different regions (Morocco (Asni, Bouhria, Figuig, Souss), Algeria (Mozabites, Chenini-Douiret, Sened, Matmata), Tunisia (Jerba) and Egypt (Siwa))[47] the results may be summarized as follows : Total Eurasian lineages (H, HV0,HV, R0, J, T, U (without U6),K, N1, N2, X) : 50-90% Total sub-Saharan lineages (L0, L1, L2, L3, L4-L5) : 5-45 Total North African lineages (U6,M1) : 0-35 The Berber mitochondrial pool is characterized by an "overall high frequency of Western Eurasian haplogroups, a somehow lower frequency of sub-Saharan L lineages, and a significant (but differential) presence of North African haplogroups U6 and M1".[48]. And acccording to Cherni et al. 2008 "the post-Last glacial maximum expansion originating in Iberia not only led to the resettlement of Europe but also of North Africa"[49]. See: Berber People Mitochondrial DNA
The same can be said of subclade U6b; while it is found in certain limited areas in Morocco, it is not widely found in the rest of Africa, or even in the rest of North Africa.... at least in-so-far as testing and research to date have found.

Second, Maca-Meyer and her colleagues hypothesized that U6b apparently originated in the Near East and subsequently spread across North Africa, and on in to the Iberian Peninsula and the Canary Islands. They speculated haplogroup U6b was spread to these latter locations by the Moors from North Africa. However, it may be the U6b haplogroup was spread not only to North Africa, but also to other locations around the Mediterranean and on to Celtic Britain, including Wales, by the Phoenicians, and subsequently by the Carthagineans and the Romans.

This is not to say that the origin of U6b was with the Phoenicians... although it may have been. The Phoenicians appear to be the probable vector by which it was spread to the locations studied by Maca-Meyer and her colleagues. Note that the spread of U6b described in the foregoing Maca-Meyer article coincides with areas touched by the Phoenicians. The Phoenicians were great sailors, and are believed to have not only navigated though out the Mediterranean area, but also beyond the Straits of Gibralter to The Canaries, Coastal Africa, possibly as far south as "Morocco, Algeria, Senegal and Nigeria". They are also believed to have reached the British Isles. I suggest that to some extent, the occurance of U6b in modern populations can probably be found as a result of transportation by the Phoenicians and Carthagineans, or their successors the Romans, or possibly the "Celtiberians". We will explore some background below in support of this hypothesis.

According to http://www.cedarseed.com/phoenicians.html:

"When a site has been continuously inhabited for thousands of years, it can be very difficult to find traces of its earliest inhabitants. For this reason it is not certain exactly when the first humans came to dwell in the land that is now Lebanon, that we will refer to as Canaan for the time being a territory including today's Lebanon and Palestine. The earliest known installation is located in Byblos and dates from the end of the Neolithic, in other words 5000 years BC. It lasted at least a millennium before the appearance of copper marked the beginning of the Eneolithic era c. 3800 BC. The inhabitants of Canaan belonged then to a race of men that ethnologists call Mediterranean due to the fact it occupied the islands and shores of that sea. This race would be a basis for the earliest civilisations of the Western part of Asia, but we know nothing of their language.

"Around 3200 BC this civilisation disappeared suddenly in the sense that its primitive practices were abruptly and thoroughly replaced by much more elaborate techniques, its hut villages overcome by a full-fledge urban culture. As the period coincides with the entrance of Egypt and Mesopotamia on the scene of history, we can see that the drastic changes were not limited to Canaan, but affected the entire region. Clearly the reason for this general leap in progress was input from the outside, in other words an important migration that brought new technologies to the Middle East. These invaders possessed urban, military and industrial techniques, and above all, copper technology, which means they can only have come from the mining areas of Armenia and the Caucasus. In Byblia Grammata Maurice Dunand, a major authority on Phoenician archaeology, points out that the book of Genesis may contain the memory of these migrations: after the Deluge, the cradle of the renewed populations of the Orient is none other than Mount Ararat in Armenia, and Noah's descendants are said to "found the cities".

"The Northern invaders and indigenous Mediterranean race were not the only components of the Canaanite population, however. The nomadic Semitic race that roamed the edge of the Levant down to the Arabian peninsula periodically infiltrated the population. Sometimes natural causes made life in the desert too difficult and the migrations became massive. The Semites possessed no material technology to add to the mix, but their language and philosophy ended up dominating both Mesopotamia and Canaan, obliterating all the other origins of these countries' populations.

"This is what the Greeks would later call the Phoenicians: the mixture of indigenous, North and Semitic elements on the Lebanese coast. From then on all the way into modern times, other immigrants or conquerors would be absorbed by the dominating Semitic aspect and the ethnic balance was never broken again.

"Yet there was no lack of new invasions: the destructive Amorite conquest between 2150 and 2000 BC, then the arrival of the "Peoples of the Sea" c.1200. These Indo-European invaders are mentioned in Egyptian documents as "people from the North coming from all sorts of countries", and some define the Phoenicians as falling between this invasion and Alexander's in 333 AD, after which the culture slowly diluted into Hellenism. [Emphasis added]

"But back to the Peoples of the Sea, whose arrival caused great social upheaval and nearly wiped out the cities above. Shortly after, while the cities were arising again, the Arameans set themselves up in Syria in the areas of today's Aleppo, Damascus and the eastern flank of Mount Anti-Lebanon. The Arameans inland, the Phoenicians on the coast: these two entities were already culturally and linguistically distinct. [Emphasis added]

"It doesn't seem that the Phoenicians ever used a single word to refer to themselves. It was the Greeks who gave them the global name of Phoinix, "red" (for the dye they produced), rendered as Fenkhou in Ptolemaic Egypt. The earlier Egyptians referred to them as Kinahni, the people of Canaan. Themselves used the names Tyrians, Sidonians, Berytians, Giblites, Aradians Ð the names of their cities. The Phoenician cities never formed a single political entity; they were always fiercely independent but shared their culture, language, art and religion. Each city worshipped its own deity independently from the others and had its own history. Therefore, rather than trying to define Phoenicia as a territory within borders, it is more pertinent to consider it as the land around a string of nuclei cities: from North to South Arwad, Byblos, Beryte, Sidon, Tyr, and Akk™.

"Languages of Canaan and remnants of Phoenician today
...
"We don't know whether Canaanite had always been spoken in Canaan or if it had arrived with the Semites, but it was at the end of the 4th millenium the common language in the country. Its main dialects were Hebrew, Phoenician and Moabite. However at the end of the 3rd millennium Accadian had become the language of commerce and diplomacy, and we know that the people of Byblos learned it in school. Later it would be replaced by Aramaic."

mtDNA Haplogroup U6b originated in European Minos or Mycenea:
Who were the "People of the Sea"? Consider the time frame charted here in the light of the discussion following:
Minoan civilization began to decline about 1400 BC
Fall of the Mycenean Civilization between 1300 and 1000 BC
Arrival on the Lebanese coast of the "Peoples of the Sea" c.1200
One is strongly tempted to conclude that the Peoples of the Sea were from Minos or Mycenea. Examine these discussions re the Minoans and Myceneans:

From: http://www.lksd.org/kongiganak/kongiganak/ContinuousEdCarnagie/Carnagie/WorldHistory/WldHistoryCh2/WldHistoryCh2EarlyCivilizations.htm

"Crete:

"By about 2500 BC a civilization had emerged on the island of Crete in the Aegean Sea. Excavations in 1900 at the site of Knossos revealed the existence of a culture named by archaeologists as Minoan after a mythical king, Minos. Minoans probably settled in Crete before 3000 BC. Minoa & Mycenea screen

"There is evidence of outside influence in Crete; apparently Egyptian traders reached the Aegean Sea soon after the Minoans did. Nevertheless, Minoan civilization developed its own unique features, and by about 2000 BC, great cities with elaborate and luxurious palaces were built, and sea trade was flourishing.

"The Minoans had a picture-writing system, as had other ancient peoples. The Minoan religion seems to have centered on a mother goddess and on the figures of the bull and the snake. The Minoans are known for their beautiful and colorful wall paintings and their fine pottery. In about 1400 BC Minoan civilization began to decline. The end was hastened by invasions from mainland Greece."

From: http://www.lksd.org/kongiganak/kongiganak/ContinuousEdCarnagie/Carnagie/WorldHistory/WldHistoryCh3/WldHistoryCh3Mycenean.htm

"The Rise of the Myceneans:

"As Minoan trade routes expanded across the Mediterranean, contact with mainland Greece became inevitable. The Myceneans occupied the City of Mycenea, which eventually became a major trading center in the Aegean. Evidenced by the Mycenean records, written in Linear B (a language based directly upon Linear A). Trade and commerce with the Minoans was initially peaceful. It wasn't until the year 1450 BC when the Myceneans invaded Crete and took many of its palaces as well as Knossos. After taking Knossos, Crete was ruled for 50 years by the Myceneans, until a natural disaster left the Palace of Knossos in ashes. However, the events leading to the fall of Knossos remain strongly in debate. What is evidenced by many of the Mycenean artifacts, is the integration of Minoan artistic elements into Mycenean art. However, though Minoan and Mycenean art have many elements in common, there are also many differences which divide both civilizations. If the differences between civilizations were to be based on language, the Mycenean's were the first Greek speaking people who lived on Mainland Greece. Further, in the traditional sense, it is with the works of Homer that the first actual readable Greek literature (outside of trade and stock manuscripts written in linear B) attempt to tell the actual history of its people (even though Homer wrote them many years after the end of the Mycenean age, and classical Greek writing was not fully evolved until well into the classical age). What remains obvious from such a controversy is that too little is known of Minoan Crete due to the language barrier and the controversy which shall perhaps remain until Linear A is translated.

"Where Minoan Civilization lived in apparent matrilineal, theocratic harmony, the Myceneans were a different political complex altogether. The Myceneans had a theocracy consisting of a king, warrior/religious aristocracy, and subjects.

Similar to Ancient Egypt, the king was seen by his subjects as an all powerful individual, so much so that he was given the name wanax (a title which was also given to the divine, however, there are no indications that the divine status was inferred to the king). Below the wanax were a number of officials with specific titles, who ruled over aspects of religion and military life. These officials and the king held an extensive division of labor over their subjects. Political and economic power was retained through the palace of the king, and scribes kept detailed records of the king's possessions, taxes, and other inventories written in Linear B.

With the fall of Minoan Crete, the Myceneans were allowed avenues of trade unopened to them before. Quickly, Mycenean trade expanded to Cyprus, Egypt, and well into Asia Minor. Traded goods included perfumed oils, olive oil, wine, art, ivory, plaques, pottery, bronze objects, gold, copper, tin, spices, elephant tusks, and dye. In addition to the renewal of trade, the Myceneans (after taking Crete) expanded to form cities in Athens, Thebes, Tiryns, and Pylos. In many of the cities, fine citadels were created along with heavily fortified city walls, such as those found at Pylos and Tiryns.

The fall of the Mycenean Civilization took place within 1300 and 1000 BC,., and rather than have attributed its downfall to an outside influence, Mycenea fell by its own hands. It is surmised (though disputed), that the fall of the Myceneans took place as a result of internecine wars between its own kingdoms, historically known as the Trojan Wars. The pattern of rivalry between kingdoms is evidenced in such great works as Homer's The Illiad, and continued to be a pattern repeated throughout the history of Ancient Greece. Eventually, with the fall of the Mycenean, Ancient Greece went through what is commonly known as the Greek Dark Ages."

The parallels beteen Minoa and Mycenea on the one hand and Phoenicia on the other are too powerful to ignore. Both Minoa and Mycenea were powerful sea-going peoples; they had ships, sailing skills, and navigational expertise. Further, they had extensive trade routes already established throughout the Eastern Mediterranean, and the fall of Minoa and Mycenea leads directly in the time frame shown above to the establishment of the "Sea People" on the Lebanese coast. It follows that it was the "Sea People" from Minoa and Mycenea who became the Phoenicians, circa 1200 BC (or about 3200 years ago) and who were the successors to their trading culture and sea-borne "empire".

It is interesting to speculate whether the Minoans, Myceneans, or their successors, the Phoenicians were the original peoples who carried mtDNA Haplogroup U6 around the Mediterranean Sea. Certainly, they all had the means to influence the genetic structure of the peoples inhabiting the surrounding lands, including both the "Near East" and North Africa. Given that the rest of mtDNA Haplogroup U is thought to have European roots, it seems likely U6 was originally from the geographic area of Greece... including ancient Minoa and Mycenea. It is even more interesting to speculate upon the development of sub-clade U6b. Again, note the time-frame, in juxtaposition with an extract from Table 4 - Estimated ages (years) for different subgroups of U6 haplogroup, based on coding and HVSI regions from the Maca-Meyer study:



Coding Region
HVSI



Subgroup
N
Age
Age
N
Age
U6b
4
8,568 ± 2,856
11,560 ± 3,853
62
24,411 ± 15,200
Rise of Phoenicia
-
3200 YBP
3200 YBP
N
Age

Examination of the dates seems to indicate U6b may already have been present in the Phoenician population at the time Phoenicia rose to power. There is nothing here to suggest haplogroup U6b was a MAJOR proportion of the population. However, it is within the realm of possibility U6b (along with mtDNA haplogroups U6, U6a, U6c, etc.) was in the population, and transportable to areas with which Phoenicia subsequently had contact.

One problem remains to be mentioned before we explore the latter possibility. If U6b was present in the Phoenician population, why was it not found by Maca-Meyer and her colleagues? Examine Table 2 - List of populations used in the Maca-Meyer study. Note the Population codes given, as well as sample size, number of U6 haplotypes detected, percentage of U6 in the sample, and the relative frequency (%) of the three U6 sub-groups. Note that while a Palestinian sample is presented, a LEBANESE sample is not presented. Refer again to the separate linguistic and cultural identities of the Lebanese/Phoenician population: The Phoenician Sea People were a distinct segment of the population found on the sea coast, and separate from the inland people who appear likely to have been most like the modern Palestinian population which was tested in the Maca-Meyer study. While a test of a more extensive proportion of the modern Palestinian population might show a U6b presence, it seems more likely that if U6b were present in the Near East today it would be found amongst the coastal inhabitants of modern Lebanon... amongst peoples who were not tested in the study.

Maca-Meyer state: "Curiously, two Arab Bedouins [22] with the same haplotype (16111 16172 16219 16311 16362), are the only Eastern representatives classified as U6b." It seems likely the two "curious Bedouins" may be examples of the inevitable mixing which would take place between adjacent populations such as the Sea People/Phoenicians and the inland Arameans/Palestinians... perhaps through intermarriage, the slave trade, or the like. Indeed, the fact the Bedouin U6b cases exist tends to validate our hypothesis that U6b has an eastern, possibly Minoan, Mycenean, or Phoenician origin. Obviously, further study is needed to resolve the issue.

Locations of Phoenician Colonies:
We turn now to notice the spread of Phoenicia's colonies around the Mediterranean Sea.
Phoenician Colonies screen
From http://www.laa.org/tours/phoenicians.htm , we may see a brief overview:

"Phoenicia is a Greek term applied to the coast of Lebanon. Because the location at the intersection of land and sea routes linking the ancient world, Phoenicia became famous as a commercial center. Phoenicians discovered and used the North Star (Polaris) to keep their bearings at sea. They were the first ones to sail around Africa. They colonized parts of Cyprus and Rhodes and crossed the Black Sea. They founded Tarshish on the coast of Spain and Carthage in North Africa. Among the items they exported were cedar, pine, fine linen, embroideries, metalwork, glass, wine[from Galicia among other places], salt and dried fish. The country imported papyrus for paper, ivory, ebony[from Africa], silk, amber, ostrich eggs[from Africa], spices, incense, horses, gold, silver, copper, iron, tin [from locations throughout the range of their explorations, even beyond The Pillars of Hercules, including coastal France, and Cornwall and Wales] and jewels. Cedar was very important in the ancient Middle East, which had little wood. The fragrant cedar was much prized. The Egyptian Pharoah Tutankhamen had furniture in his tomb made of Phoenician cedar. Ancient Phoenicia also produced the rare purple dye that came from a special snail [from Sicily, among other places]. Purple became the color or royalty. Needing some way to keep track of their commerce, the Phoenicians developed an alphabet, which the Greeks later adapted for their language and which in some ways shaped the English alphabet.
...
"...The Greek word from which 'Phoenicia' derived meant 'purple', and was a translation of the name 'Canaan' which may have had some etymological connection with the purple dye produced from local murex shellfish for which the region was famous...."

"The Phoenicians and the Carthaginians expanded all across North Africa and western Europe. They pushed past the Straits of Gibraltar and founded the city of Gades (present day Cadiz) in Spain. While active in Spain, these Phoenician/Carthaginian descendants are called 'Celtiberians' by archaeologists. Later, some sailed away from Spain and colonized the British Isles, where they are simply called 'Celts' by archaeologists. In their migrations throughout the Mediterranean, these Celts picked up a number of different languages and alphabets. These languages and writing systems were in use by different Celtic groups at different times. Memories of some of these scripts were retained up until the medieval period in Ireland. The Book of Ballymote, believed to have been composed about 1200 A.D., gives an alphabet, described as 'African'. Until recently, scholars considered that this 'African' script was some sort of cryptic monkish secret alphabet, or maybe just gibberish, but since 1960 this alphabet has been shown to be an actual ancient North African one in use about 1000 B.C." [Fell, America B.C.] - Michael Bradley, Holy Grail Across the Atlantic

"Mention...of both the gens Hiernorum and the insula Albionum suggest that Himilco [c. 425 BC] did not stop at Brittany - the Oestrymnian promontory as he calls it - but passed on across the channel, and in effect led the way for Carthage to take part in the Cornish tin trade, which we may assume was already being exploited by Mediterranean traders via the overland route. There is, unfortunately, no direct archaeological evidence of Phoenician contacts with Britain at this period to support the Himilco story, though a number of Iron Age finds in Cornwall indicates Iberian contacts." - Donald Harden, The Phoenicians

"Following the breakdown of Aegean civilization, ca. 1200 B.C., central Europe developed a distinctive Late Bronze Age culture from which the Celts emerged. By about 700 B.C. the Hallstatt culture - the culture of the Celts - covered much of western Europe. It lasted into the fifth century B.C." - Barry Cunliffe, The Celtic World "
...
"The Phoenicians reached the peak of their culture around l,000 B.C, when they had established trading colonies in Cyprus, Sicily, Sardinia, Africa and Spain, Their north African city of Carthage was founded about 800 B.C. and remained strong until [... sacked by...] the Romans in l46 B.C.. The great city states of Phoenicia ended with the fall of Tyre to the Babylonian king Nebuchandnezzar in 573 B.C.. The glory of the Phoenicians was in decline, when in 332 B.C. Alexander the Great conquered Tyre, and the remnants of the Phoenician culture were swept into the Hellenistic empire. - Pat Remler"

According to Herodotus,
"... the Pharaoh Necho II, who reigned c. 615-595 B.C., determined to see if Africa could be circumnavigated. Accordingly, he commissioned a number of ships manned by Phoenicians for the task. These sailed down the Red Sea and down the east coast of Africa. Every year they settled for a while on the coast, cleared a strip of land, planted a crop and, when they had harvested it, continued on their journey. In the third year they sailed through the Pillars of Hercules and back to Egypt again. They reported that as they sailed around Africa they had the sun on their right. Herodotus refuses to believe this possible 'but perhaps others may.' For us of course this is conclusive proof that such a voyage was made. It is another instance of how Herodotus' dedication to recording exactly what he had heard, irrespective of whether he believed it or not, has given proof of an event which he described.

"Herodotus ... also mentions a Carthaginian called Sataspes, who, because he had used violence against a maiden, was given a choice by the Great King Xerxes of being impaled on a stake or of sailing around Africa. He elected to attempt the circumnavigation but lost heart after many months at sea. He returned to 'civilisation' and reported that 'at the farthest point he had reached, the coast was occupied by a dwarfish race' and 'whenever he landed, they left their towns and fled to the mountains; but his men did them no wrong, only entering into their cities and taking some of their cattle. The reason why he had not sailed around Libya was, he said, because the ship stopped and would not go any further. Xerxes however did not believe this and Sataspes was impaled by the king's orders in accordance with the former sentence." "Sataspes may have reached Cape Palmas. He may have been caught in the doldrums off the Cape Verde coast of Senegal and hence unable to proceed further. Some of the Arab voyagers down the west coast of Africa in medieval times reported that at a certain stage they could go no further. "Herodotus and possibly Hanno report dwarves in West Africa. Sataspes' dwarves have been identified as early Bushmen, still found in South Africa but which may have been found further north 2500 years ago. Pygmies were also found in the Cameroons."
- Ciaran Branigan, "The Ciccumnavigation [sic] of Africa"

Turning to the Western Mediterreanean expansion of the Phoenicians, and the major areas of focus of the Maca-Meyer study, the following is found at: http://www.barca.fsnet.co.uk/carthage-phoenicians.htm
"The rise of Carthage as mistress of the seas and commerce is associated with the Phoenicians. Carthage was one of a number of Phoenician settlements in the western Mediterranean.
...
"The Phoenicians were sea-faring who traded extensively throughout the Mediterranean. They invented the alphabet and transmitted it through trade to the developing Greek world, which adopted it.

"From at least the 8th c BC and traditionally earlier (1186 BC), port areas such as Utica and Carthage were settled by these near Eastern navigators and traders from cities such as Tyre. No doubt they were seeking trading centres (emporia) and stepping stones to Spain and southern Portugal (the fabled Tartessos).

"The Phoenician cities were very much involved in trade. There were a number of major ports in the area, and the leading city was Tyre. From Tyre (perhaps with assistance from other Phoenician towns) a number of trading posts were established overseas.

"In the sixth century, the Phoenicians were conquered by the Assyrians, and later by the Persians, making Phoenicia virtually disappear. Carthage, however, remained not as a colony, but as an independent state.
...
Phoenician Colonies in West Med screen "The Phoenicians moved west along the coast of North Africa. The area directly west of Egypt is fairly inhospitable, but there are a few settlements in the area. Much more numerous are settlements in the area of Tunisia (where Carthage is). The Phoenicians also settled the southern shore of Iberia (the area south of the Pyrenees, now Portugal and Spain), western Sicily and Sardinia.

Nature Of Phoenician Settlement: It would seem that unlike Greek colonies, which were intended to be fully autonomous political organizations, the Tyrian settlements were at first simply stations at which Phoenician merchant ships could put in on voyages to gather cargo and and then bring it back home. These trading posts were often built like Tyre herself on offshore islands. Only at a later date did these settlements become proper towns. In particular, the nature of these settlements as trading posts meant that the populations tended to be small and that the interior was not thickly settled.
....
"The Greeks dated Phoenician colonial activities in the West to a much earlier date than their own. Greek colonization in the West begins around 750, but the Greeks dated the earliest Phoenician settlements to the period soon after the fall of Troy, that is, about 350 years earlier. Numerous sites have been excavated, and in none is there material directly datable to early than the eighth century. It would seem that Phoenician colonization took place at about the same time as that of the Greeks. This is perhaps confirmed by the fact that the Greeks occupied the eastern part of Sicily (the part closest for those sailing from Greece), the Phoenician settlements are in the west (the closest area for those sailing from North Africa, the path that would be taken by those approaching from the Near East). Apparently they started at about the same time and wound up splitting the island between them."

The western Sicilian Colony:
The Phoenician Colonisation of Sicily tells us more about the location of Phoenician colonies on the island of Sicily:
"As concerns the settlements of temporary emporiums, the modality of the Phoenician colonization of the first period poses archeological and chronological problems. In fact the emporiums were often composed by simple tents in different natural ports, whose traces didn't last in time. According to Thucydides, Athenian author of V c. BC, the Phoenicians at first settled along the Sicilian costs and in the nearby islands before withdrawing the western part of the island, in Mothya, Solunto and Panormos (Palermo). But the information of Thucydides doesn't fill the empty space left by archaeology in determining exactly with which sicilian area the Phoenicians had their first contacts. It has at least the merit to show us that the Sicilian colonization only started by the second half of VIII c. BC.

The settlements are the following:

"MOZIA Small island of 45 hectares in area, placed to the extreme west of Sicily in the Stagnone lagoon, Mozia was founded by the Phoenicians during the VII c. BC. Its position made it an ideal place of commercial exchanges with native populations. It was destroyed in 397 BC by Dionysus the Elder and the survivors founded Lilybaeum, the modern Marsala. Among the archaeological vestiges the most important are: the Wall which totally sorrounded the island, the "Tophet", precious source about the religious cults of the "dentici", the sanctuary of Cappiddazzu and the archaic necropolis. An industrial area has been located in the North-East area of the island: two ovens and some holes remain today; but the discovering of many fragments of sea-molluscs used in making purple, let us suppose that factories for colouring tissues were placed in this area. As concerns the port, it certainly occupied a large part of the Stagnone and it must not be confused with the shipyard ("cothon"). This one was connected to the sea by a narrow channel and it was completely cut out of the natural rock and paved in its floor to facilitate the ship's manoeuvres.

"SOLUNTO Solunto Altar with three baetyls. ... This is the second town mentioned by Thucydides. Today the ruins of a second town founded during the Hellenistic period upon the Catalfano Mountain, at about twenty kilometres from Palermo, remain. Even if the former town has not been found, the discovering of ruins of an inhabited area in Capo Mongerbino let us identify this place as the port of the ancient Solus...

"SELINUNTE Demetra Malophoros Greek town founded in the middle of the VII c. BC, facing Carthage, Selinunte was the last Greek rampart in Western Sicily. Destroyed by the Carthaginians in 409 BC, the town, which had two ports, was occupied by them because it represented an important trade place. The traces of Tanit left in the ancient Greek temples and the ex-voto of the sanctuary of Malophoros are between the most important testimonies left in Sicily by the Phoenician civilization.

"MARSALA Founded by the survivors of Motya with the name of Lylibaeum, Marsala soon filled the void in Western Sicily after the distruction of the close small island. Its close relations with Carthage are testified by Polibio, author of the II c. BC, who wrote about Hannibal the Rodian, a Carthaginian commander able to cover the distance between Carthage and Lylibaeum in 24 hours, with a medium speed of five knots per hour. Successor of the trade market created by Motya in Western Sicily, Marsala, with its great fortifications, was an important strategic place in the Carthaginian empire. Among the other towns involved in trade exchanges, we can mention Pantelleria, placed to the east of Carthage; Favignana, another small island placed in that part of the sea that faces Trapani and Marsala; Cannita and Erice, other small centres that ensured the links with the sicilian populations, native and Greeks. ...

Map of Sicily screen
On the above modern map, note the locations of Palermo, on the northwestern coast of Sicily, and Trapani at the extreme northwestern point of Sicily. For another view, See Map of Sicily. Remember from the discussion above that the participant in Mitosearch ID#9SQQW has a family history of origins in the village of Costa Fridda (sp?), in the Province of Trapani, Sicily.

From http://www.bestofsicily.com/mag/art115.htm:

To the Phoenicians who founded what would become Sicily's largest city, Palermo was Zis or Sis.
...
Ethnic and political relations between the Phoenicians and Greeks were complex. Before the Phoenicians' arrival, northwestern Sicily was populated by a people called the Elimians (or Elami), who were soon amalgamated with the Siceliots (Sicilian Greeks). The Greeks' deities were similar to Phoenician ones, and vice versa. Their societies were remarkably similar, though the Greeks had the more advanced form of philosophy and government. Despite their contributions to Mediterranean culture, the Phoenicians seem a forgotten civilization whose culture was subsumed by those of the Hebrews, Greeks and Romans.

Zis, the future Palermo, was founded around 800 BC. Initially, it was little more than a trading colony of less importance than Motia (Mozia) and Solus, the ancient hilltop city now known as Solunto.
...
there's more evidence of Phoenician culture to be readily seen at Erice, Marsala, Mozia and Solunto, though Palermo's archeology museum offers some good glimpses into the city's Punic past.

Phoenician Colonies screen Carthaginian Empire 3rd Century BC screen The Phoenicians' most important colony in the region was the North African city of Carthage. Amalgamated with local cultures, Carthaginian society continued to develop long after Phoenicia ceased to be an important force in the Mediterranean. The society of the Carthaginians represented the residual Phoenician culture in present-day Tunisia. Punic, the Carthaginian language, was a later Phoenician dialect influenced by African languages. By the fifth century BC, Zis had become, thanks to re-colonization, a Carthaginian city, but Sicily's Greeks made frequent forays into it. They called it Panormos (all port) and conquered it following a series of battles with the Carthaginians, who eventually returned. This paralleled the history of Himera (near Termini Imerese), where the Carthaginians were defeated by forces from Agrigento and Syracuse in 480, only to return in force in 408 BC, supported by Segesta. Panormos was their base of operations for these campaigns.

In 254 BC, during the First Punic War, the Romans attacked Panormos, defeating a Carthaginian army. The persistent Carthaginians returned to be finally defeated in 251 BC. The annals of history mention Roman troops launching flaming arrows from the city walls overlooking the banks of the Kemonia River. The Papireto and Kemonia rivers no longer exist, the coastline now being located some distance northward, near the city's medieval Arab "Kalsa" district. Subsequent Punic Wars followed in mainland Italy, with Carthaginian incursions into other parts of Europe, but Carthage itself was finally destroyed by Rome and the former Carthaginian homeland became the Roman colony called "Africa."

Note the significance of the foregoing in light of the results in Mitosearch ID#9SQQW: we have evidence of Phoenician contact with western Sicily... precisely in the area where the ancestors of the participant originated. See: Pelliteri and Mitosearch ID#9SQQW. It is also appropriate to observe that contrary to the Maca-Meyer study findings, mtDNA Haplogroup U6b does occur in Sicily. See: Table 2 - List of populations used in the study." Note Population code SIC as given, indicating a sample size of 106, with just ONE U6 result, and no U6b haplotype detected; the occurance of U6b in Mitosearch ID#9SQQW changes the percentage of U6b in Sicily from 0% to 50%. However, the statistics don't tell us WHERE in Sicily the Maca-Meyer study found it's participants. If in eastern Sicily, there would be a much lower likelihood of finding U6b than in the area west of Palermo. We might find an increased percentage of mtDNA haplogroup U6 and subclade U6b in western Sicily.

West African Colonies and The Canary Islands:
Referring again to Table 2 - List of populations used in the Maca-Meyer study , note the West African locations where test samples exhibiting mtDNA Haplogroup U6b were found:
Group
Population
Name
sample
HapU6
U6(%)
U6a(%)
U6b(%)
U6c(%)
References
           West Africa (WA)

Moroccan Ber.
BMO
213
11
15 (7)
11 (73)
1 (7)
3 (20)
4, 14, 53, a

Wolof
SEW
48
2
2 (4)
1 (50)
1 (50)
-
4
Amongst the Moroccan Berbers, ONE out of eleven exhibiting overall Haplogroup U6 was U6b, for 7%. Amongst the Wolof, of Senegal, again just ONE out of two exhibiting overall Haplogroup U6 was U6b, for 50%. The latter percentage suggests the problems with small samples ... they are statistically dubious. Who are the Wolof, and how do we explain a Phoenician U6b influence? From http://lucy.ukc.ac.uk/EthnoAtlas/Hmar/Cult_dir/Culture.7882 we learn:

"The Wolof constitute a large ethnic group located mainly in the western part of the former French West African colony of Senegal, and extending southward into The Gambia--a former British colony. Wolof (Ouolof in the standard French orthography) is the name by which the people refer to themselves, and the label commonly used in scholarly publications.
...

"The indigenous language is also called Wolof. It is classified within the Northern Branch of the West Atlantic subfamily of the Niger-Congo language family. The most closely related languages are Serer and Fulbe (Fulani) (Greenberg 1966: 7-8, 25; Voegelin 1977: 28-29). The Lebu, a separate ethnic group centered in the Cap Vert peninsula of Senegal, speak a distinct Wolof dialect. The Wolof language is rapidly becoming the national vernacular of Senegal.
...

"The total Wolof population as of 1977 was approximately 1,500,000. The great majority of this population falls within the area of northwestern Senegambia. The northern boundary of this area is the Senegal River,
...
"Some Wolof are distributed to the east and south of this area in Senegambia, and it has been estimated that neighboring countries such as Guinea, Mali, and Mauritania may each contain a few thousand Wolof.

"As of 1963, the predominant ethnic groups in The Gambia were the Malinke (130,000) and the Fulbe (70,000), while the Wolof ranked third with a population of about 40,000, or about 13 percent of the total Gambian population of 316,000. Except for those living within the city of Banjul (formerly Bathurst) and its environs, most of the Wolof are located north of the Gambia River.

"Senegal is by far the most important national unit since this is where approximately 95 percent of the Wolof are located. They constitute the dominant ethnic group in Senegal both politically and numerically as over one-third of the national population. ..."

It is apparent the appearance of U6b among the Wolof is out of the ordinary pattern one might expect if mtDNA Haplogroup U6b, a daughter of U6, is truely of European origins. But, wait... Refer to the reported explorations of the Phoenicians: Herodotus reported Phoenician circumnavigation of Africa, and descriptions suggesting possible contacts with Senegal in West Africa. Perhaps the singular occurance of U6b as reported by Maca-Meyer offers proof of some minimal Phoenician-Senegalese contact as reported by Herodotus... certainly no more than a small contact such as might be occasioned by social contacts generated by a Phoenician trading station.

Similarly, the extensive findings by Maca-Meyer, et.al., of U6b and other subclades of U6 in the Canary Islands can be explained by the explorations of the Phoenicians into the Atlantic... as they bore with the winds southwesterly before sweeping back towards the Senegalese and Gambian coasts of Africa. See Table 2 - List of populations used in the Maca-Meyer study. Population codes are given, as well as sample size, number of U6 haplotypes detected, percentage of U6 in the sample, and the relative frequency (%) of the three U6 sub-groups. Note in the Table the large mix of U6, U6a, U6b, U6c Haplotypes found in The Canaries:
Group
Population
Name
sample
HapU6
U6(%)
U6a(%)
U6b(%)
U6c(%)
References
           Islands

Canarian
CAN
300
11
53(18)
4 (8)
39 (74)
10 (19)
19
Aside from the numbers of U6b found, the total overall proportion of U6 Haplotypes seems to bolster our contention that all of these clades and subclades were found in the populations which were translated by Phoenician trade to their colonies across North Africa and on beyond the Straits of Gibralter into the Atlantic. Indeed, the relative isolation of The Canary Islands has insured that proportionately the total percentage of U6 clade and subclades remained higher there than on the North African coast and in other locations where the populations were subject to admixture from other sources. We can also hypothesize that the significantly larger total number of U6b samples found is either a function of accidentally larger initial inflow of U6b women to The Canaries at the time of initial colonization, or the occurance of the U6b1 subclade amongst the original colonizing group. Consistent with the foregoing, note the maternal origins of the Canarian group of Mitosearch kits discussed above can mostly be traced to The Canary Islands. See also the discussion found at the FTDNA Guanches and Canary Islands DNA Project and compare the mtDNA Results.

At this juncture, we should probably also consider the possibility that, as suggested by one of the researchers in Mitosearch ID#XA5D6,

"the U6b subclade was forced out of the north African perimeter by Capsian invaders. If this is true, they would probably have their origins among the large-boned postglacial population of north Africa called "Mouillians" who were the ancestors of modern Riffs. As the Capsians (e,g,, ancestral Berbers) took over the Mediterranean coast, most of the Mouillians were forced into the islands of the Mediterranean or Iberia. Subsequent displacements from Africa forced the U6b carriers farther north and to the Canaries."
This is rather more in line with the hypothesis proposed by Maca-Meyer, et.al.

Consider, however, the occurances of U6b among the Moroccan Berbers. See again Table 2 - List of populations used in the Maca-Meyer study. Given that the Phoenicians are known to have colonized the western coast of North Africa, this finding is consistent with social mixing between an indigenous population and a generalized group of Phoenicians, who may well have included not only Haplogroup U6, but sub-clades U6a, U6b, and U6c. That the various subclades of U6 had a wider dispersion than just the "Mouillians" may be inferred from the absence of the "172C, 219G, 261T, 311C" U6b haplotype from the findings of Maca-Meyer and it's occurances in Sicily and Wales. This suggests that the U6 subclades were spread by the Phoenicians, as hypothesised here, rather than having occured in indigenous populations of Mouillians, or the like. Interestingly, the Canary Islands seem to be the source for spreading of U6b to the Spanish Colonies in the Americas. Consider the following provided by Mitosearch ID#5kr54: "I am hypothesizing that my [maternal ancestor] Maria Parinia, or Parigini, descends from one of the wives of the 370 men that the King of Spain sent to Louisiana from the Canary Islands in 1770s, but probably will never be able to prove this. She did marry a gentleman from Catalonia, and Spain was the ruling country of Louisiana area at the time of her birth. This is the closest I can get as a possibility for a connection from the men who went to Louisiana from the Canary Islands: Andres Perera embarked for Louisiana on the ship "La Victoria" from Tenerife on October 22, 1778 with his wife Maria del Rosario and 2 sons Antonio and Domingo, 4 and 2."

Beyond the Pillars of Hercules:
The finding in Morocco is significant as a basis for extending our Phoenician Hypothesis into the North Atlantic seacoast of Europe. The following theory is enunciated by William Serfaty in an article entitled "The Pillars of the Phoenicians" © Copyright,1997:

"The Pillars of Hercules, in Homer's legend, were the two pillars on which Heracles, the original Greek form of the Roman mythical Hercules, mythically, fictitiously, pressed to separate Europe from Africa, and are today accepted as being two mountains at the mouth of the Mediterranean, where it meets the Atlantic Ocean, namely one on either side of the Straits of Gibraltar. ...

"1. The Pillars at the Entrance to the Atlantic Ocean
... in the context of the Pillars at the Straits of Gibraltar, ... the concept of two pillars, one in the North and another in the South, in those times, would be recognised by all sailors as a religious prohibition, a warning that only the approved might pass between them. The Pillar on the right, sailing out of the Mediterranean towards the Atlantic, Westwards, would be Gibraltar, a grey limestone monolith two miles long and 1380 feet high almost evenly along its length, which gathers the humid east Wind and condenses it for one day in every three, at intervals throughout the year. The Pillar on the left, on the North African coast would be a lower mountain about 400 feet high, known as Septa, today's Ceuta, [in Morocco].

"2. Phoenician Geographical Expansion:
What had started as a group of three independent defensible coastal towns, Tyre, Byblos, and Sidon, was by now a string of hundreds settlements and trading posts which had gone beyond the Nile delta and inexorably grew, in some stretches of coast by the pact of "blind bargaining" with the peoples there, and in other areas, devoid of resistance, by settlement along the North African Coast and the Eastern Mediterranean Islands, Cyprus, Rhodes, Crete, Sicily, Malta, reaching the Atlantic Coast as far south as Mogador on the Atlantic coast of what is now Morocco, and including the entire Iberian Coast from Huelva in the West to beyond Valencia in the East. The Eastern Mediterranean is not a windy sea and the Phoenicians' principal means of propulsion was the oar. The settlements were laid out a day's rowing from one to the next, about every 30 to 60 miles. The purpose of this continued expansion was to obtain more raw material for the trade with Egypt and with the tribes to the east.

"3. Metallurgy and Military Power:
In 2500 B.C. the peoples around the Mediterranean basin were still in the New Stone Age or Neolithic, having Copper as the only available metal. On arrival on the Atlantic coast of France the Phoenicians came for the first time upon tin, and either devised or learned the technology necessary to convert it to Bronze by combining it with Copper, which was freely available in the Middle East. Bronze is a far superior material to Copper for practically all purposes, it is stronger to use for weapons and as armour for men and fixings and cladding for ships, and is less prone to rusting. This would be the equivalent today, if such a parallel is wise or possible, of one country coming secretly on the only source of Uranium for Nuclear weapons. So important was this to them that they named North-western France "Barra Tannica" the land of Tin, from which the names Brittany and consequently Britain come. Some specialists claim the Druids, the Celtic religious hierarchy, controlled the trade in tin at all its sources, from Cornwall in the North through Western France and Galicia, to Huelva in the South, and it was therefore perhaps natural that the Phoenicians should decide to try to prevent any other Mediterranean sea-going people from reaching the source of their security and the military power, which gave them complete control of their world for over 1000 years.

"This is [Serfaty's] hypothesis on how they set about doing so. [Serfaty goes on to explain that the Pillars of Hercules had a spiritual or religious connotation, which was important in helping the Phoenicians to exclude competitors, such as the Egyptians or Greeks, from passing the Pillars of Hercules and entering the Atlantic where they might have intruded into the exclusive trading realm of the Phoenicians.] ... principally [Serafaty proposes], in order to keep secret the bearings and directions to the tin mines of the Celts on the Atlantic European coasts. The Phoenicians had competitors in the Mediterranean, the Greeks in the Eastern Mediterranean and later the Etruscans in the Western Mediterranean, and customers, the Egyptians, it was important to keep them away from the secret of bronze, the source of their naval power..."

It will be seen that the finding of Haplogroup U6b in Morocco is consistent with a major Phoenician presence in support of their need to control the Straits of Gibralter... in the case of Morocco, from the south side of the Straits.

Galicia, Land of the Gauls:
Let us pass the Straits on around the tip of Spain, and on north up the west coast of Portugal and thence to Galicia. Note along the way the Maca-Meyer finding of U6b in Portugal. See Table 2 - List of populations used in the Maca-Meyer study. It is, however, the Galician set of results that is of present interest.

Galicia location in Spain screen From: http://groups.msn.com/CelticOrigins/geography2.msnw

"Galicia (Galiza), an autonomous community within the Kingdom of Spain, is situated on the coast at the northwest corner of the Iberian Peninsula at the very western end of the European Continent. It is bordered by the Cantabric Sea to the north and the Atlantic Ocean to the west. Portugal lies to the south where the Minho River forms the border. ...

" It is about three hours by car from the north coast to the border with Portugal.

".... the topography of the country is a sequence of hills and valleys cut by streams and rivers. Most of the population of Galiza lives in villages that are surrounded by woods where birch, oaks, pines and chestnut trees predominate. There are only a few isolated houses and villages are within walking distance, around 2 or 3 miles. All the houses are made up of stone primarily as a result of Galiza having an abundance of granite and slate. This granite and slate is exported all over the world. When you see a pink granite building, the building material is undoubtedly from Galicia. Wine is grown in the southern and some inland areas of the region.

"Few coastlines in the world have such contrasting features as that of Galiza from the smooth beeches of As Mariñas, the rías and the cliffs. The north coast, from Estaca de Bares to El Ferrol and A Coruña, and from there to Fisterra is known as Costa da Morte, (shore of death). The land is abrupt, foggy and full of cliffs. Cape Fisterra, Cape Tourinan, Cape Vilan, Cape Roncudo and Cape Santo Hadrian are the prominent capes along this coast. In the Rías Altas area, magnificent beaches, impressive towns and beautiful fishing villages are found. South of the Rías Altas are the Rías Baixas, where the sea cuts deeply into the softly ascending land. The scenery is beyond comparison with beautiful landscapes. The mountains, rivers and valleys of Rías Baixas are known for their natural preserves and balnearies (hot springs ponds and bathing spots), as A Toxa. The inland has green landscapes and romantic villages.

"Galiza's environment, with a range of mountains, including the Macizo Galaico, separating it from the rest of Spain, helped to preserve the traditions developed through the ages. These natural features caused a relative isolation from the rest of the peninsula. ...

"This isolation is one of the main reasons why Galiza has kept its particular character, inherited from the Celtic people who inhabited Galiza thousands of years ago. The impact of Romanization in Galiza was relatively low when compared to the rest of the Iberian Peninsula, and the influence from the Moorish culture was, also, not as intense as in other parts of Spain.

"Galiza has four provinces: Lugo; A Coruña; Pontevedra; and Ourense, ...
"There are seven major cities of Galiza that exceed 50,000 inhabitants. They are: Vigo; A Coruña; Santiago; Ourense; Pontevedra; Lugo and Ferrol.

"The heaviest population concentration of Galiza is in the industrial city of Vigo, founded some 4,000 years ago as a maritime settlement. ...
"The Atlantic Ocean has been and continues to be a very important factor in the history of Vigo which has been a center of trade since prehistoric times. ...
"The second-largest port in Spain, A Coruña is a popular vacation resort situated on a small peninsula at the mouth of the A Coruña estuary. The city, with population of 255,000, is one of the oldest harbor cities in Europe. A Coruña is said to have been founded by the Phoenicians ..."

Referring yet again to Table 2 - List of populations used in the Maca-Meyer study , note the Galician test samples exhibiting mtDNA Haplogroup U6b: two out of a total of three from overall mtDNA haplogroup U6; there were just three overall U6's out of a total Galician sampling of 135. A small proportion of the total, but enough to confirm a Phoenician presence at an important trading station in times past.

Now, refer back to Serafaty's discussion above and keep in mind: "So important was [tin] to [the Phoenicians] that they named North-western France "Barra Tannica" the land of Tin, from which the names Brittany and consequently Britain come. Some specialists claim the Druids, the Celtic religious hierarchy, controlled the trade in tin at all its sources, from Cornwall in the North through Western France and Galicia, to Huelva in the South,". Then, see http://groups.msn.com/CelticOrigins/yourwebpage7.msnw re the Celtic heritage of Galiza:

"The first traces of this [Celtic] settlement came from the castrexa period (meaning the period of Celtic building). There was a maritime "castro"(stone building of Celtic origin) in the early district of Ferrol Vello. The first recorded mention of this settlement dates back to the eleventh century when it became a port of entry for pilgrims traveling to Santiago from Northern Europe.

"For centuries the Celtic heritage of Galiza has been more or less forgotten. Galician writer Eduardo Pindal led a highly successful Celtic revival movement in the nineteenth century. In his romantic epics he proclaimed that Gallegos were not Spaniards but Celts, and they had inherited a glorious past of heroism and independence. There continue to be those who work to promote Galiza’s Celtic heritage and culture." [Interestingly, the Y-DNA heritage of Mitosearch ID#BCCK3 comes from Galicia. The participant writes,

"Barcelona ('Barca Longa' originally named after Hamilcar and Hannibal Barca's family) is one of the place names in Spain of Carthaginian etymology. I was happy to learn about "Barra" meaning "Land" in the language of Carthage and Phoenicia (Canaan)- "Barro" in Spanish probably comes from there from that word (and "Barrio" probably from "Barro" -as the material the houses were made of!) Many modern Spanish (e.g., read Galician, Euskara (Basque) and Catalan) words also come from the Greek: Eu (is "I" in those languages in addition to Greek); Pito- male "naughty bit" (Pitos-amphora). Ombligo ("Omphalos"- " navel") and there are a tremendous number of Greek first names in our family: Macario; Geron (my middle name); Sylvia; Lydia, Kassandra,etc...."]

"Some say A Coruña was named after the Celtic god Cernunnos, and that Lugo was named after the Celtic god Lugh. Galicia is said to play an important role in the mythology of the Irish who believe that their Celtic forefathers came to Ireland from northern Spain and the area of Galiza. According to the myth, the Celts first came to Spain led by a Brath. His son was the legendary King Breagon, who settled the Celtic town of Brigantia, considered to be the present city of A Coruña. King Breagon built a massive tower there, from which according to the legend his sons could see Ireland. Today the Tower of Hercules stands at A Coruña. It is the oldest functioning lighthouse in the Western world. While it was built by the Romans, there are those who believe that an earlier Celtic tower existed on the same spot. Map of Roman Galicia screen

"According to the legends the successive generations of Celtic leaders in Galiza were as follows: 1) Brath, 2) Breagon, 3) Ith and Bile, 4) Mil, and 5) Amergin, Eber, and Eremon. According to myth, it was this last generation of Celts that invaded Ireland. They were called the Milesians, because they were the sons of Mil.

"In short, Galiza is a beautiful country seeking recognition of its Celtic heritage. Its folklore is very similar to that of other Celtic nations. There is a belief in spirits who dwell underground and who interact with humans. Magic is accepted. There is a feeling of a close relationship with the natural world. There are numerous archaeological remains of a Celtic nature including dolmans and other ancient stone monuments. The dance and music of Galiza shows a strong Celtic influence and the bagpipes are played. The climate is also very similar to that of the other Celtic lands.

Coastal Britain, Land of the Druids:
From Galiza, it is geographically rather a short distance across the Bay of Biscay to Cornwall, and on up the west coast of Britain to Wales. The Island of Anglesey was in ancient times the center of Druidic power in all of Britain, including Wales, and probably had influence in Galiza and Gaul (now France). The Druids were amongst the upper and priestly classes of Celtic society, and were leaders of the Celtic resistance to Roman conquest. See generally: . The Romans crushed the Druids of Anglesey in an extended military campaign in 60 AD. See: The Roman Invasion of Anglesey , by John Griffiths, © 2002, for an in depth study of the Druids of Anglesey, their influence on the Celtic society of Britain, and the motives and means by which the Romans utterly destroyed Druidic influence at Anglesey. In passing, Griffiths mentions the presence of a copper mine on Anglesey.

Aberstwyth, Cardiganshire, Wales, lies on the coast of Wales, facing the Irish Sea. View a Map of Wales. The Island of Anglesey lies very near the coast of mainland Wales, albeit somewhat northerly of Aberstwyth. Modernly, there has been a major lead mine in the Aberstwyth area. It is not apparent whether lead was mined there in antiquity, but it does point up the fact that, in common with the tin mines of Cornwall, the copper mines on Anglesey, mining of metals attracted the Phoenicians to the area. It does not take a great stretch of the Phoenician Hypothesis to suggest there may be a direct relationship between the Phoenician interest in the Cornish tin mines, Anglesey's copper mines, and the desire of the Phoenicians to maintain a good trading relationship with the Druids. Perhaps the Phoenicians had trading stations on Anglesey and/or at Aberstwyth... and one of their Phoenician women mothered a child who became the earliest Welsh ancestor of the participants in Mitosearch ID#KVYEK and Mitosearch ID#Q7MDZ. These participants have a common family history of origins in the parish of Llanbadarn-fawr, near Aberstwyth, Cardiganshire, Wales. See: Davies. Additionally, participant Mitosearch ID#XA5D6 relates that surnames which might be Welsh in origin occur in their family history, viz., Jennings, Williams, and Rich. Clearly, the Phylogeography of mtDNA Haplogroup U6b must be expanded to include finding the occurance of U6b in these participants of Welsh descent.

Alternatively to our Phoenician Hypothesis, the Romans may have been the vector for the transportation of U6b to Wales. Perhaps a wife of a Roman administrator with roots in Lebanon, Sicily, or somewhere in North Africa mothered that first Welsh daughter who carried U6b down the generations to the present participant; or a servant or slave of a Roman landowner; or perhaps even a camp-follower of the Legionaires. See Roman Legions for extensive detail on the various Roman Legions known to have been stationed in Britain. At least some of the legionaries may have come from Sicily. It is known that certain of the Legions were raised in Sicily. And, there were colonies in Sicily founded for the purpose of providing farms and homes for retired legionaries, who presumably had offspring who were ready and willing to succeed their fathers as legionaries.

Could the relationships between the participants in Mitosearch ID#KVYEK; Mitosearch ID#Q7MDZ; and Mitosearch ID#XA5D6 have a tie through the Legions back to the ancestors of Mitosearch ID#9SQQW in Sicily? We will never know, but it is most interesting to speculate!

There is yet another possible hypothesis which might explain the presence of the U6b haplotype in Wales. In 1661, King Charles II of England acquired Tangier, in present day Morocco, from the Portugese as part of the dowry of his bride, Catherine of Braganza. The English had great plans to establish a fortified harbor behind a mole, or breakwater, and thereby create a presence in the Mediterranean which would enhance what was expected to be a large share of the commerce flowing from the Middle East and Southeast Asia. The following quote is from The Nationmaster Encyclopedia discussion of the Tangier-Garrison :

"The 2nd Regiment of Foot arrived in Tangier on January 29, 1662 and was joined by Parliamentarian [Commonwealth] companies from the garrison of Dunkirk and two units from the Royalist Force, which had been serving in Flanders...The Regiment remained in Tangier for 23 years until the port was finally evacuated in 1684.

Three additional regiments from the Dunkirk garrison were also placed under the Earl of Peterborough's command and he arrived in Tangier with a force of 500 horse and 2000 foot with the wives of 200-300 of the soldiers, to serve in a domestic capacity, the first time that wives had officially accompanied an English army to an overseas garrison.

The Royal Scots, shortly followed by a further foot regiment raised on July 13, 1680, were sent to Tangier; the Second Tangier, accompanied the King's Battalion, was formed from the Grenadier and Coldstream Guards. The Battalion landed in July, 1680, and fierce attacks were made against the Moors, who had gained a footing on the edge of the town, finally defeating them by controlled and well-aimed musket fire. The Battalion remained in Tangier until the fort was abandoned....

For some time Parliament had been concerned about the cost of maintaining the Tangier garrison. By 1680 the King had threatened to give up Tangier unless the supplies were voted for its sea defences, intended to provide a safe harbour for shipping.

The garrison at Tangier had to be constantly reinforced, having cost nearly two million pounds of royal treasure and many lives had been sacrificed in its defence. Merchant ships continued to be harassed by Barbary pirates, and undefended crews were regularly captured into slavery.

Finally, in 1683, Charles II gave Admiral Lord Dartmouth secret orders to abandon Tangier. Dartmouth was to level the fortifications, destroy the harbour, and evacuate the troops. In August 1683 Dartmouth, as Admiral of the Fleet and captain general in Tangier, sailed from Plymouth. He was accompanied by Samuel Pepys who wrote an account of the evacuation. Pepys was an English naval administrator and Member of Parliament. Plymouth is a city in the South West of England, or alternatively the Westcountry, and is situated within the traditional county of Devon.

All the forts and walls were mined for last-minute destruction. On February 5, 1684 Tangier was officially evacuated, leaving the town in ruins, thereafter Kirke's Regiment returned to England.

One of Lord Dartmouth's main concerns was the evacuation of sick soldiers "and the many families and their effects to be brought off". The hospital ship Unity sailed for England on October 18, 1683 with 114 invalid soldiers and 104 women and children. The main force of 2,830 officers and men and 361 wives and children finally completed the demolition of the harbour wall and fortifications, and evacuated the garrison during the early months of 1684.

The 2nd Tangier Regiment left late in the second week of February for Plymouth with some 600 men and 30 wives and children. The Earl of Dumbarton's regiment went into quarters at Rochester, and Trelawney's Regiment to Portsmouth. The 2nd Tangier Regiment was raised by the Earl of Plymouth in 1680. ... Rochester is a small town in Kent, at the lowest bridging point of the River Medway about 30 miles (50 km) from London. ... Portsmouth is a city of about 196,000 people located in the county of Hampshire on the southern coast of Great Britain. ...

Before leaving, Dartmouth was able to purchase the release of many English prisoners from Ismail's bagnio, including several officers and about 40 men, some of whom had spent 10 years in the hands of the Moors."

A further discussion of the British attempt to colonize Tangier can be found in Linda Colley, "Captives... Britain, Empire, and the World, 1600-1850"; ISBN 0-385-72146-3, published by Anchor Books, a division of Random House, Inc., New York, [January 2004]; see Chapter One, pp. 23,ff. The interesting possibility posed by the events as discussed is that one or more women of Tangiers may have married soldiers or sailors of Britain's forces during the colonization attempt, and returned to southwest England or Wales when the British evacuated Tangiers in 1684. Could this be a source of the U6b haplotype found in such small proportions in Britain and Wales? It is interesting to examine the mtDNA results posted in those FTDNA projects focused geographically on Wales. To date of February, 2009, NONE of the participants tested have returned U6b results, indicating the haplotype was not widely established in the population at large, and perhaps further indicating a relatively recent introduction of the haplotype into the population. Compare:

West Wales Public Project mtDNA Results, and the
Welsh Patronymic Surnames Public Project mtDNA Results, and the
Wessex, England mtDNA Results.

At any event, it would be very interesting to see more extensive testing for U6b in coastal Wales, not to mention western Sicily, and Lebanon. It seems possible that findings of mtDNA Haplogroup U6 and subclade U6b will be made, supporting the Phoenician Hypothesis we have presented here. It seems predictable findings of U6b will be made in any of the sea-port areas touched by the Phoenicians and their successors.


This web page is divided into several sections. Click on the section to which you wish to Go:
mtDNA Note re the occurances of mtDNA Haplogroup U6b:
mtDNA Haplotype U6b Testing Results:
U6b Webpage Background:
Research of U6b by Geneticists; The Maca-Meyer Study:
Phoenician Hypothesis:
... mtDNA Haplogroup U6b spread from Lebanon through Mediterranean Basin:
... mtDNA Haplogroup U6b originated in European Minos or Mycenea:
... Locations of Phoenician Colonies:
... The western Sicilian Colony:
... West African Colonies and The Canary Islands:
... Beyond the Pillars of Hercules:
... Galicia, Land of the Gauls:
... Coastal Britain, Land of the Druids:
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© 2004, 2005, 2007, 2009 David B. Strong. (Click for contact information)