THammons: They have never sequenced the DNA of the ancient Judaeans/ Israelites.

Spread the love
  • 21

Here is a interesting FACT that you may not be aware of. They have never sequenced the DNA of the ancient Judaeans/ Israelites. All studies done are on modern peoples claiming ancient Israelite ancestry. Until the ancient DNA of the Judaeans/Israelites are actually sequenced the so-called DNA studies used are just theories.

Genetics and the Archaeology of Ancient Israel (2013)
Letter to the Editor
Aaron J. Brody, Badè Museum of Biblical Archaeology, Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley, CA
Roy J. King, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford

This letter is a call for DNA testing on ancient skeletal materials from the southern Levant to begin a database of genetic information of the inhabitants of this crossroads region. In this region, during the Iron I period traditionally dated to circa 1200–1000 BCE, archaeologists and biblical historians view the earliest presence of a group that called itself Israel. They lived in villages in the varied hill countries of the region, contemporary with urban settlements in the coastal plains, inland valleys, and central hill country attributed to varied indigenous groups collectively called Canaanite. The remnants of Egyptian imperial presence in the region lasted until around 1150 BCE, postdating the arrival of an immigrant group from the Aegean called the Philistines circa 1175 BCE. The period that follows in the southern Levant is marked by the development of territorial states throughout the region, circa 1000–800 BCE. These patrimonial kingdoms, including the United Kingdom of Israel and the divided kingdoms of northern Israel and Judah, coalesced varied peoples under central leadership and newly founded administrative and religious bureaucracies. Ancient DNA testing will give us a further refined understanding of the individuals who peopled the region of the southern Levant throughout its varied archaeological and historic periods and provide scientific data that will support, refute, or nuance our sociohistoric reconstruction of ancient group identities. These social identities may or may not map onto genetic data, but without sampling of ancient DNA we may never know. A database of ancient DNA will also allow for comparisons with modern DNA samples collected throughout the greater region and the Mediterranean littoral, giving a more robust understanding of the long historical trajectories of regional human genetics and the genetics of varied ancestral groups of today’s Jewish populations and other cultural groups in the modern Middle East and Mediterranean.
This is a call for the need for DNA sampling on human skeletal materials from the region. Our hope is that testing ancient DNA will give us greater understanding of the peoples of the southern Levant, and scientific data regarding ancient groups and identities. A database of ancient DNA will also allow for comparisons with modern DNA samples collected throughout the greater region and the Mediterranean littoral, giving a better understanding of the long historical development of regional populations. But without sampling of ancient DNA we may never know.
The need to sample ancient human DNA also comes with a caveat regarding ancient human identities and fractious modern political and social situations throughout the region. We wish to stress that our reconstruction of ancient group identities through archaeology says nothing about modern political claims in the Middle East.
Today there remain legal and political impediments to gathering DNA samples from ancient skeletal materials uncovered in the modern state of Israel. In general, excavating or disturbing Jewish graves is considered immoral by ultra-Orthodox groups, who exert political pressure to ensure that state-funded construction projects, such as roadways and other public works, do not impact Jewish burials. Graves that cannot be avoided are typically excavated in a rushed manner, and skeletal materials are re-buried as quickly as possible with no time for analysis or sampling.
This is one reason there have been so few studies of ancient human DNA in the southern Levant. But obstructions within modern Israel do not negate the possibility of sampling remains housed in collections located outside of the region, or those of the Departments of Antiquities of the Palestinian Authority and the Kingdom of Jordan.

Map of the Southern Levant. Photograph courtesy of A. Brody.
Modern DNA analyses give an indication of what might be learned from ancient studies. They also reflect the outcome of population movements that began in during the Iron Age and earlier. Although many modern DNA studies using Y chromosome (which among other things determines sex) and autosomal genome markers (the 22 numbered pairs of chromosomes) have been published for Levantine, Arabian, Turkish and Jewish populations, DNA frequencies from existing groups may not necessarily reflect the ancient population structure of these regions. Multiple migrations and population movements, such as the Assyrian and Babylonian exiles, Phoenician and Greek colonization, Persian, Hellenistic, and Roman hegemony, immigration of Arabian populations during the initial stages of Islamic conquests, and the Crusades, may have had a profound effect on the distribution of both Y chromosome and autosomal markers.

Genetics and the Archaeology of Ancient Israel

“Why the DNA of the ancient Judaeans has not being sequenced and settle the question of relatedness once and for all is a question that should be directed to Israeli archeologists. It is most unfortunate that the members of the general public have been mislead to believe (no doubt after paying a lot of money to DTC companies) that they are related to ancient figures without any shred of evidence.”
Responding to the criticism for Das et al. (2016)

Spread the love
  • 21