Monday, August 18, 2008

Genetic Relationship Map of Europe

Biologists have created a map showing the genetic relationship of the average European country citizen to one another. The neat map shows how migration has morphed the blood of Europeans. (Hat tip: The Map Room)

Observations from the map:

Finland is something else. These people have a non-Indo European language that ties in with Hungarian, Estonian, and so native languages in the vast northern nothingness of Russia.

Italy never has had one ethnic Italian people. Rather, it is a collection of peoples under one nationality (even that is stretching it). Northern Italians have Germanic traits and have been in the sphere of Germanic people. Meanwhile the South has had everything from Greek Romans to Arabs to Albanians intermixing.

United Kingdom has overlap from Norway and other places where R1a genetic line is concentrated. Perhaps this is how the proto-Catholicgauzes came to Great Britain.


charlie said...

actually, the IT1 and IT2 are not quite as you describe.

IT1 (northern italy) doesn't fall in the "German" pool, and is closer to Portugal and Spain.

IT2 (southern Italy) is much larger, includes a large overlap with Germany, but also extends down. Interesting no overlap with Greece -- since greek was the language of southern italy until medieval times.

StopObama said...

This is one of the most fascinating maps I've seen on this site, probably because it's at the intersection of two of my interests: geography and human origins.

If the data holds up, there are some interesting interpretations that run counter to prevailing wisdom. For example, the population of Ireland is indistinct from Britain, and does not appear to overlap at all with Spain. That could mean that the Celtic identity of Ireland is entirely cultural and not genetic. As an American of Irish descent, I find this an interesting possiblity.

Greg said...

They left out (European) Russia. I'd like to see how their genetic makeup overlapped other European countries.

Dan tdaxp said...

One of the wonderful things about this kind of map is that it allows you to see through everyday observations. The point of DE2 (southern Germans) and IT1 (northern Italians) is well taken... quite possibly, the northern European phenotype in northern Italy that recalls German features is much newer than the divergence of ancient German and Italian races, allowing 'obviously German characteristics' to spread to northern Italians without a high degree of intermixing.

This might be if, say, Germanic features were under rapid positive selection. Perhaps some ancient barbarian only trusted blondes the light-haired, perhaps, and used this as a selection criteria without ancestry records, etc.

Ben said...

I think the apparent isolation of Finns probably isn't due to the non-Indo-European roots of their language; Hungarian is also non-Indo-European, and distantly related to Finnish, but Hungarians are right about where you would expect them to be based on geography--near Czechs and some Yugoslavs and southern Germans, and not far from Poles and Austrians, and furthermore Hungarians and Finns don't exhibit any particular genetic closeness in this map. The article attributes Finnish distinctiveness to the "founder effect"--that is, because Finns are descended from a small group of people. Some have suggested, too, that if Russians, Estonians, Latvians, and Lithuanians were included, Finns wouldn't seem so distinct after all.

A less schematic and more accurate version of the map can be found here.

Charlie: I think you have northern and southern Italy reversed.

Catholicgauze said...

Good comments and points all. I guess Russia is not on because there are some many diverse groups in Russia that unless one does ethnic "Russians" it would be all over the place.

charlie said...

You're quite right, I got them reversed.

However, my point is still correct: The Norther Italian population (IT2) is a small circle that is next to Portugal and Spain. IT1, the southern italian population, is MUCH larger and with no greek overlap.

Michael said...

It looks like the real blending is in the German and Austrian populations--the others all have at least a small portion that doesn't overlap anyone else.