History

First Phoenician DNA is European

Traditional historical accounts which claim the Phoenicians were all Semitic has been turned on its head with the news that ancient DNA extracted from a 2,500-year-old Phoenician skeleton has unquestionably shown European racial origins.

The study found that the DNA of the famous “’Young Man of Byrsa,” was an extremely rare—and exclusively European marker—and that this is likely the result of extensive admixture with Europeans.

byrsa

The ‘Young Man of Byrsa” skeleton.

The study, published in the PLOS ONE journal, was conducted by a research team under the leadership of Elizabeth A. Matisoo-Smith, Professor of Anatomy, from New Zealand’s University of Otago, and is titled “A European Mitochondrial Haplotype Identified in Ancient Phoenician Remains from Carthage, North Africa.”

Professor Matisoo-Smith’s team recovered DNA from the skeleton found in a tomb in Carthage, Tunisia in 1994. It is the very first ancient DNA to be obtained from Phoenician remains.

Professor Matisoo-Smith said the findings provide the earliest evidence of the European mitochondrial haplogroup U5b2c1 in North Africa and date its arrival to at least the late sixth century BC.

“U5b2c1 is considered to be one of the most ancient haplogroups in Europe and is associated with hunter-gatherer populations there. It is remarkably rare in modern populations today, found in Europe at levels of less than 1 percent,” she said.

While the Phoenicians are thought to have originated from the area that is now Lebanon, their influence expanded across the Mediterranean and west to the Iberian Peninsula where they established settlements and trading posts.

The city of Carthage in Tunisia, North Africa, was established as a Phoenician port by colonists from Lebanon and became the center for later Phoenician (Punic) trade.

Later, Carthage became Rome’s greatest early enemy, and a series of wars, known as the Punic Wars, erupted, ending in Carthage’s total destruction, resulting in the effective disappearance of the Phoenician culture.

READ  5000-Year-Old Tomb Found in Ireland

Previous research has found that U5b2c1 was present in two ancient hunter-gatherers recovered from an archaeological site in northwestern Spain, Professor Matisoo-Smith said.

“This result not only provides the first direct ancient DNA evidence of a Phoenician individual but the earliest evidence of a European mitochondrial haplogroup, U5b2c1, in North Africa,” the research paper continues.

The paper said that items buried with the skeleton dated from the late sixth century BC. The first indication that he was not Semitic came with a cranial analysis, the paper said: “An osteological analysis of the young man from Byrsa, or Ariche, as he has become known, determined that he was approximately 1.7 m tall and aged between 19 and 24 years, and a craniometric analysis indicated likely Mediterranean/European ancestry as opposed to African or Asian.”



With reference to the DNA results—extracted from a rib bone the team was allowed to study—the paper said that “Haplogroup U5 is considered to be one of the most ancient haplogroups in Europe and is believed to have arisen there.

“It is not uncommon in Mesolithic European populations, particularly those from Central and Eastern Europe.

“Haplogroup U5b2c1 has been identified in both La Braña 1 and 2, the 7000-year-old remains recovered from the La Braña-Arintero site in León in Northwestern Spain. All of the reported U5b2c1 carriers are of presumably (if not specifically stated) European ancestry, from Spain, Portugal, England, Ireland, Scotland, the United States, and Germany.”

“While the U5b2c2 sequences all originate in Central and Northwestern European or likely derived populations (e.g. US Caucasian), and the U5b2c sequences in GenBank originate in Germany and England respectively (both samples from Family Tree DNA), it is likely that U5b2c originated in Central/Northwestern Europe,” the paper said, adding that additional DNA results indicated a close relationship to one living person in Portugal.

READ  The Fall of Maaloula: A Parallel with the Fall of Constantinople

The paper then points out that it is “unlikely” that the subject of the study was directly descended from colonizers from Lebanon, “as the haplogroup U5b2c has not been identified in our modern Lebanese samples or in ancient (early Neolithic, PPNB) remains from the Levant.”

The man’s origin is therefore from Europe, the paper goes on: “Given that haplogroup U5b2c1 has not been previously reported in North Africa, we suggest that the ancestry of our young man is likely traced to some population across the Mediterranean, which is consistent with his proposed European cranial traits.”

The paper then poses the question: “So how did a young Phoenician man, with a European mitochondrial lineage, end up in Carthage, North Africa?”

The answer to this, the paper continues, is that there was a population transference from Europe to Carthage at some earlier point in history.

“The earliest Phoenician site in Iberia is believed to be Gadir or Cadiz as it is known today, established in 1110 BC. Phoenician colonies were also established in Ibiza, southern Sardinia, western Sicily, and along the southern shores of the Iberian Peninsula and, later, these were also major Carthaginian trade ports.

“It has been suggested that the Phoenician east-west trade route from Tyre and Sidon across the Mediterranean and through the Straits of Gibraltar departed following a northerly route, travelling with the prevailing winds and tides westward, stopping in Cyprus, Sicily, Ibiza, and several locations along the southern coast of Spain, reaching Cadiz and beyond.”

The highest modern frequency of the haplogroup today is in the Iberian Peninsula and U5b2c1 was also present there in Mesolithic hunter gatherers, it continues, saying that the most likely explanation is that “individuals carrying these ancient European lineages were transported to Carthage via the Phoenician/Punic trade networks.”

READ  An Orgy of Violence

In other words, by the time of the Roman-Punic Wars, the racial makeup of the Phoenician people was clearly different to that which it had been in the preceding centuries. This conclusion is highly significant for a greater understanding of ancient history, and the conflict between Rome and Carthage in particular.

HTML Editor - Full Version



14 Comments

    1. On a more serious note recent DNA research done on the mitochondrial lineages of Ashkenazi Jews confirms that the women were of European descent.

       
      Reply
  1. Of course they were white! The Phoenicians were a great seafaring people, known for their ships adorned with horses’ heads in honor of their god of the sea. They devised their own alphabet and traders highly regarded for their skill in ship-building, glass-making, the production of purple dyes (which is why they were known as the purple people) but also for their skill in creating luxury and common goods. Everything the jews claim to be their own including most of the Old Testament they “borrowed” from the pagans and other civilizations such as the Phoenicians. Jews have no civiliation of their own. No art, architecture, literature, science. Nothing! So much for being a light onto the Nations (unless they mean all those fire bombs they dropped on Germany and Japan to light them up.)

     
    Reply
  2. Efectivamente, y lo mismo ocurrirá, dentro de unos siglos, cuando, arqueólogos café con leche, descubran otro cadáver en Europa.

    La raza blanca llegaba hasta Siria, la India, y todo el Norte de África ( los beréberes eran de raza blanca, al igual que los marroquíes ) en tiempos del Imperio Romano. ( Imperio Romano no es el bizantino ).

    Tal vez ocurrió igual en aquellos años, hubo una gran amenaza y desapareció la raza blanca de aquellos sitios históricos tan lejanos de Europa.

     
    Reply
  3. The Phoenicians were Hellenes and very much European. With respect to this article, I fear our DNA will vanish too soon from the living if we choose to acquiesce to the Rising Tide of Color…

     
    Reply
    1. There’s No doubt that some Europeans became Phoenicians and even adopted the Phoenician language, cults etc. Ref. “The Phoenician Origin Of Britons Scots And Anglo-Saxons” L A Waddell- Some of the comments are actually funny and I think generalizing that Phoenicians originated from Portugal or Spain is incorrect. From European origins maybe at the end as Lebanese we don’t look different than Greeks or Italians we are all Mediterraneans.
      As Lebanese we have kept Phoenician traditions, words in our spoken language, our church liturgy our cities names and villages (Tyre, Sidon, Baalbek, Barca (From Where The Carthaginian Leaders Emilkar and Hannibal Barca originally came from) etc. “U5b2c has not been identified in our MODERN Lebanese samples or in ANCIENT (early Neolithic, PPNB) remains from the Levant”???? maybe it is correct, could we please know more about the subject samples. Could we please know what was the haplogroup of these Lebanese. Maybe I have the answer It should be the original Phoenician haplogroup. Is this study aiming to change the real history? Is this study doubting the origins from the Levant?
      Many studies have been conducted, samples have been taken from sarcophagus from Lebanon, from Phoenicians kings and not from Lands far from the heartland of Phoenicia (Lebanon,Syria, Cyprus, Israel, etc.). We know that not all of today Lebanese have Phoenician ancestors. here’s a link for the study sponsored by National Geographic
      http://phoenicia.org/genetics.html
      Between 2700 BC and 2500 BC Phoenicians have reached the Americas their traces were found in Southern and Northern America. so we can’t consider the aboriginal Brazilians as Phoenicians the same goes for our “Old Compatriot” here.
      The Phoenicians had a long history with Europe, a good one they have brought literature, art, science even cities and ports names are of Phoenician origins (Cadix, Malaga, Marseille or originally Marsa El (Port Of EL) and many many others without forgetting the name of the continent Europa.
      “Europa is a Phoenician princess daughter of Agynor king of Tyre (Lebanon) and for whom the continent Europe was named”.

       
      Reply
  4. Theres an error, its not Y chromosome, but maternal mtdna! No Y tested yet for Byrsa man! U5b (my wife actually belongs to this group) is a classic hunter gatherer, but not a majority group in north europeans…

     
    Reply
  5. There’s No doubt that some Europeans became Phoenicians and even adopted the Phoenician language, cults etc. Ref. “The Phoenician Origin Of Britons Scots And Anglo-Saxons” L A Waddell- Some of the comments are actually funny and I think generalizing that Phoenicians originated from Portugal or Spain is incorrect. From European origins maybe at the end as Lebanese we don’t look different than Greeks or Italians we are all Mediterraneans.
    As Lebanese we have kept Phoenician traditions, words in our spoken language, our church liturgy our cities names and villages (Tyre, Sidon, Baalbek, Barca (From Where The Carthaginian Leaders Emilkar and Hannibal Barca originally came from) etc. “U5b2c has not been identified in our MODERN Lebanese samples or in ANCIENT (early Neolithic, PPNB) remains from the Levant”???? maybe it is correct, could we please know more about the subject samples. Could we please know what was the haplogroup of these Lebanese. Maybe I have the answer It should be the original Phoenician haplogroup. Is this study aiming to change the real history? Is this study doubting the origins from the Levant?
    Many studies have been conducted, samples have been taken from sarcophagus from Lebanon, from Phoenicians kings and not from Lands far from the heartland of Phoenicia (Lebanon,Syria, Cyprus, Israel, etc.). We know that not all of today Lebanese have Phoenician ancestors. here’s a link for the study sponsored by National Geographic
    http://phoenicia.org/genetics.html
    Between 2700 BC and 2500 BC Phoenicians have reached the Americas their traces were found in Southern and Northern America. so we can’t consider the aboriginal Brazilians as Phoenicians the same goes for our “Old Compatriot” here.
    The Phoenicians had a long history with Europe, a good one they have brought literature, art, science even cities and ports names are of Phoenician origins (Cadix, Malaga, Marseille or originally Marsa El (Port Of EL) and many many others without missing the name of the continent Europa.
    “Europa is a Phoenician princess daughter of Agynor king of Tyre (Lebanon) and for whom the continent Europe was named”.

     
    Reply
  6. My Mother is from Lebanon I took a dna test from Britain’s dna.com and it said that she was H Pioneers and I googled H Pioneers but it’s mostly seen in South Eastern and Western Europe I can’t speak about Phoenician male lines but apparently there are various subclades of J2 especially J2b which is a Near Eastern European gene, my Dad is English so he has a Saxon marker. She isn’t a Christian she’s a Alawite

     
    Reply
  7. The Phoenicians were hated by the Europeans. They were kidnappers and slave masters. They spoke Hebrew/Semitic language. No doubt the European DNA found comes from the European populations they exploited and carried out of Europe.

     
    Reply

Post Comment