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> Оn The Split Of Dna-lineages Of The Jews And The Arabs, Discussion and correspondence on DNA genealogy
Павел Шварев
сообщение 31.7.2010, 15:23
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Оn the split of DNA-lineages of the Jews and the Arabs

Many were misled (and many still are) by a rather intense campaign in literature that so-called J1-CMH appeared about 3300 year ago.

It turned out to be a complete bogus. Since the first two papers in Nature in 1997-1998 this error was traveling from paper to paper. In fact, the authors (Hammer, Skoreski, Parfitt, et al) mixed up quite different populations, one relatively "young" (TMRCA ~ 1000 ybp), and one relatively "old" (TMRCA ~ 4200 ybp), and "produced" a phantom "common ancestor" with a phantom TMRCA of "age" in between. It was (and still is) a typical mistake by population geneticists, that is neglecting a possibility of various lineages in one dataset.

The so-called "J1 Cohen Modal haplotype") can be easily found in the present-day Arab haplotypes, which coalesce at about 9,000 years before present. There is nothing specifically "Cohanim" in it. Around 4200 ybp that lineage split into what later turned out to be the Jewish and the Arabic lineages (ref. see below).

The J1-"CMH" haplotype tree splits into two distinct parts, one, a tight cluster of CMH haplotypes, are predominantly "Cohens" and their descendants, with a common ancestor of 1070±170 years before present, and a loose, much older branch, which contains very few Jewish haplotypes, with a common ancestor of 4300±500 ybp. Apparently, those (mainly) Europeans and Arabs are descendants of the Arabs, for example, after the 7th century AD (Proceedings of the Russian Academy of DNA Genealogy, vol. 3, No. 4, April 2010, free download):


Similar data were presented in [Klyosov, Human Genetics, v. 126, pp. 719-724 (2009)].

In the same manner, J2 Jewish and Arabic haplotypes split into two lineages, one exclusively Jewish, another exclusively Arabic, and the split occurred 4175±510 years bp. In other words, there were two "Abrahams", in J2 and J1 haplogroups. In R1b1b2 there was no such a split between future Jews and Arabs.

J2 Cohanim have a common ancestor at 3300±400 ybp (see ref. above).

The two lineages, it seems, lived together... well, always, in a sense. They live together now, as we know. Haplogroup J1 exists at least for 19,000 years


- Proceedings of the Russian Academy of DNA Genealogy, vol. 1, No. 1, 2008 (in English) (free download) (all Proceedings are in the above site at the end of the site).

and haplogroup J2 - at least 11,500 years (Vol. 2, No. 3, 2009, "Iberian haplotypes and history of the Basques, Sephards and other populations of Spain and Portugal", pp. 390-421).

As you know, before 4200 ybp both the J1 Jews and Arabs were, essentially, Bedouins. The origin of J2 Jews and Arabs is much less clear, either they lived there since time immemorial, or came from the Mediterranean, again, thousands years ago. Why their J1 and J2 populations would have lived separately? The "Cohen" CMH among the Arabs is traced as deep as 9,000 ybp.

More detailed subclade assignments in J2 and J1 Jews and Arabs are J2a and seemingly J1e (Proceedings of the Russian Academy of DNA Genealogy, Vol. 2, No. 9, 2009, pp. 1100-1116 and Vol. 3, No. 4, pp. 635-653 - in English).

There was also a rather detailed analysis of the Sharifs/Sayids (Vol. 2, No. 7, pp. 1182-1199).

We can only tell how many of descendants (fraction-wise) of those subclades live NOW. For example, Fig. 3 in Vol. 3, No. 4 (page 645) shows the J2 tree, which contains 131 of 67-marker haplotypes. Of them the "Abraham" split branch contains 50 haplotypes (21 Jews and 29 Arabs), that is 38% of all. Branches J2a4b, J2a4b1, J2b sit separately. They are also, of course, split from J2a, but, apparently, before 4000 years ago.

Some figures and calculations are also given in my paper ("Comments") in Human Genetics, v. 126, No. 5, pp. 719-724, 2009 (Klyosov A.A. A comment on the paper: Extended Y chromosome haplotypes resolve multiple and unique lineages of the Jewish Priesthood).

The future Jews and future Arabs lived as a joint J1-J2 community (whatever "community" means here). Around 4200 years ago something happened between them, and it was VERY serious. Call it cultural, religious, or whatever, but they split very decisively, "cold turkey", and it was, as times showed, irreversible. Both J1 and J2 Jews and Arabs parted. This partition we see on the haplotype tree. This is it, facts stopped here.

Now, interpretations begin. One interpretation is that there was someone whom we now call "Abraham". Of course, we do not know his real name, but he was there. He was either father or a leader of both the (future) Jews and the (future) Arabs, as it is described in the Bible/Thora. He might have been J1 or J2, it does not matter. At his lifetime the (future) Jews and the (future) Arabs split. Both present day J1 and J2 consider him as their founder and honor him, both the Jews and the Arabs. In that sense, he belonged to both J1 and J2. Both haplogroups are equally Jewish (and equally Arabic).

Another interpretation is a similar one, however, "Abraham" was not a father as it is described in the Bible. He was just a wise leader, and he initiated that split between J1-J2 Jews and J1-J2 Arabs. Both Arabs and Jews honor him in their stories. The legend has made him "the father".

I prefer the first interpretation, since I prefer not to deviate from the Bible unless I know for sure that Abraham was not a "father". Since I do not know it, I prefer to stick to the Biblical version ("if it ain't broke, don't fix it").
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