miércoles, 22 de julio de 2015

Marin-Saavedra Leonardo Ancestry (DNA)


Leonardo Marin-Saavedra was born in Puerto Nare, Antioquia, Colombia (America Continent) on December 17, 1955 at 1.00 p. m. He was register after born in Floridablanca city, Santander. Colombia. He is Canadian Citizen. Father Name: Francisco Antonio Marin-Aguilar. Mother Name: Zoraida Saavedra-D’Silva. He is 61 years old.

DNA Marin-Saavedra Leonardo: European: 48%. America (Native American): 37%. African: 13%. This is a medical scientific study conducted of the Archbishop Leonardo by (made from United States): USA Ancestry


Europe: 48%. (Iberian Peninsula: 28%. Italy and Greece: 12%. Europe West: 3%. Great Britain: 3%. And European Jewish: 2%). Iberian Peninsula: Primarily located in: Spain and Portugal. Also found in: France, Morocco, Algeria and Italy. Separated from the rest of continental Europe by the Pyrenees Mountains, the Iberian Peninsula lies between the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. Gibraltar, at the peninsula’s southern tip, is just a little over nine miles from the north coast of Africa. This proximity would play a major part in the history and identity of Spain and Portugal. How Leonardo Marin-Saavedra compares to the typical person native to the Iberian Peninsula region? Leonardo Marin-Saavedra: 28%. Typical native: 51%.

Genetic Diversity in the Iberian Peninsula Region:

The people living in the Iberian Peninsula region are fairly admixed, which means that when creating genetic ethnicity estimates for people native to this area, we see similarities to DNA profiles from other nearby regions. We’ve found that approximately 51% of the typical native’s DNA comes from this region. Examples of people native to the Iberian Peninsula region:

From a collection of 125 people…
 
100%.  100%.  51%.  39%.  19%.

Other regions commonly seen in people native to the Iberian Peninsula region: 

From a collection of 125 people - Region % of natives that have this region.

Italy and Greece: 69%. Great Britain: 38%. Ireland: 33%. Africa North: 20%. Europe West: 18%. Europe East: 6%. Scandinavia: 6%. Middle East: 3%. Finland and Northwest Russia: 2%. Native American: 1%. European Jewish: 1%.

We have used our reference panel to build a genetic profile for the Iberian Peninsula. The blue chart above shows examples of ethnicity estimates for people native to this region. For the Iberian Peninsula, we see a fairly wide range of results. Some natives have only 19% of their DNA showing similarity to this profile, while there is a larger group which shows 100% similarity. Since approximately 51% of the typical native’s DNA comes from this region, 49% is more similar to surrounding areas such as the Italy/Greece region (see chart above, in green).

Population History (People of prehistoric Iberia):


The Iberian Peninsula has been inhabited for more than a million years, from the Paleolithic Cro-Magnon and Neanderthals to modern Homo sapiens. A number of Iberian civilizations had developed by the Bronze Age and were trading with other Mediterranean communities. Celtic tribes arrived from central Europe and settled in the northern and western parts of the peninsula, intermixing with the local populations. Phoenician colonies (later controlled by the powerful Carthaginians) dotted the Mediterranean coast. The Greeks named the region “Iberia,” after the Ebro River.






Iberian Peninsula






Bronze Age Iberia showing Celtic and Iberian tribes. 
Tartessian (residual), Celtic – Turdetanian. Aquitanian... Indo-European (pre-Celtic), Iberian.



Romanization:

The Carthaginians were the naval superpower of their day, controlling most of the maritime trade in the western Mediterranean. They ran afoul of the growing Roman Empire in the 3rd century B.C., however. Local disputes between city-states in Sicily escalated into a broader conflict between the two empires, triggering the Punic Wars (264 B.C. to 146 B.C.).

Iberia was a major source of manpower and revenue for the Carthaginian military, which relied heavily on mercenary soldiers. The great Carthaginian general, Hannibal, led the Iberian forces in a surprise assault on northern Italy—and even Rome itself—by marching his armies, including several dozen war elephants, over the Alps. Although Hannibal was a brilliant strategist and won several victories against the Romans, his invasion ultimately failed. He was forced to retreat to Carthage and the Iberian colonies and territories that had been controlled by Carthage then became a province of the Roman Empire, known as Hispania.







Hannibal's Elephants by French artist Nicolas Poussin






Rome launched a number of campaigns to conquer the remainder of the peninsula, bringing most of the region under Roman rule. Latin replaced almost all of the locally spoken languages and eventually evolved into modern Spanish and Portuguese. One exception is the Basque language, which survived in the remote foothills of the Pyrenees. Many scholars believe Basque pre-dates the arrival of the Indo-European languages, brought by the Celtic and Iberian tribes during the Bronze Age.

Germanic Visigoth kingdom:

The Migration Period, or Völkerwanderung, was a vast movement of primarily Germanic tribes throughout Europe, beginning around 400 A.D. These wandering tribes completely transformed central and western Europe, conquering and displacing populations over the course of centuries. The Roman Empire had already been divided into two parts, with the emperor ruling from the new eastern capital in Byzantium. The Western Empire, including Rome itself, was overrun by successive waves of Germanic invaders, including the Visigoths and the Vandals. The Visigoths continued west from Italy and established the Visigoth Kingdom, which occupied the majority of the Iberian Peninsula. They converted to Catholicism around 589 A.D. and were completely assimilated by the indigenous Hispano-Roman population, as evidenced by the loss of the Gothic language and a lack of any substantial genetic difference between the groups.









Visigoth Kingdom, 600 A.D.






Islamic rule:

North Africa remained part of the Roman and Byzantine Empires for centuries after the defeat of Carthage. But in the late 7th century, the region was conquered by the Umayyad Caliphate, a vast Muslim empire based in Syria. The North African Muslims consisted mostly of indigenous Berbers and an Arab minority, collectively called "Moors" by the Europeans.
In 711 A.D., the Moors crossed the Strait of Gibraltar and conquered the Visigoth Kingdom and most of Iberia, forcing the Christian Visigoths to retreat to the northern part of the peninsula. Iberia became a province of the Umayyad Caliphate called Al-Andalus. While many converted to Islam and adopted the Arabic language, the majority of the population remained Christian and spoke Latin.









Illustration of Tariq ibn Ziyad: A Muslim general who led the Islamic conquest of Visigothic Hispania in 711-718 A.D.  He is considered to be one of the most important military commanders in Iberian history.






The duration of Muslim rule varied, lasting only a few decades in the north and nearly 800 years in the south. Al-Andalus broke away from the Caliphate after the overthrow of the Umayyads in Syria and became an independent emirate ruled by a succession of Muslim dynasties. From 722 to 1492, the Christian kingdoms of the north relentlessly fought to regain control of the peninsula in a campaign called “the Reconquista” (or re-conquest), but they made limited headway until the 13th century. By then, Muslim rule had fractured into a number of smaller, competing emirates, which made them more vulnerable.

Age of discovery:

In 1469, the Christian Kingdoms of Leon, Castile, and Aragon were brought together by the marriage of Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand II. Although the thrones technically remained separate, their royal union created a new political entity, España (spain), laying the foundation for the modern Kingdom of Spain. Portugal was also established as a distinct country at this time, and the boundaries between the two nations have remained virtually unchanged since then.

The year 1492 was especially busy for Ferdinand and Isabella. They issued the “Alhambra Decree,” which expelled all Jews from Spain, scattering them throughout the Mediterranean, Europe and the Middle East. They also defeated the last Muslim stronghold at Grenada, bringing an end to the Reconquista. In addition, Ferdinand and Isabella financed the first voyage of Christopher Columbus to the New World, beginning a period of exploration, colonization and exploitation of the Americas. Called the Age of Discovery, it led to immense wealth and power for Spain, as they became an unmatched maritime power and extracted gold, silver and other resources from their colonies across the Atlantic. To this day, Spanish remains the second most widely spoken language in the world. Portugal kept pace with its neighbors, establishing the first trade route around the southern tip of Africa, as well as numerous colonies, including Brazil.







Columbus before the Queen by Emanuel Gottileb Leutze




Did You Know?

The Portuguese explorer, Bartholomew Dias, was the first European to sail around the southern tip of Africa. He named it the "Cape of Storms," but it is now called the Cape of Good Hope.

Italy and Greece: 12%: Primarily located In Italy and Greece. Also found in: France, Switzerland, Portugal, Spain, Serbia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Austria, Croatia, Bosnia, Romania, Turkey, Slovenia, Algeria, Tunisia, Montenegro, Albania, Macedonia and Kosovo. Located in the south of Europe, against the Mediterranean Sea, this region gave rise to some of the most iconic and powerful cultures the Western world has known. The Greeks were first, with their pantheon of gods, legendary heroes, philosophers and artists. They subsequently influenced the Romans, whose vast empire spread its ideas and language across Europe.

How Leonardo Marin-Saavedra compares to the typical person native to the Italy/Greece region? 

Leonardo Marin-Saavedra: 12%. Typical native: 72%.

Genetic Diversity in the Italy/Greece Region: 

The people living in the Italy/Greece region are admixed, which means that when creating genetic ethnicity estimates for individual’s native to this area, we frequently see some similarities to DNA profiles from other nearby regions. We’ve found that approximately 72% of the typical native’s DNA comes from this region.

Examples of people native to the Italy/Greece region: 

From a collection of 205 people…  100%.  81%.  72%.    65%.    3%.

Other regions commonly seen in people native to the Italy and Greece region

From a collection of 205 people: Region % of natives that have this region: Caucasus: 47%. Middle East: 41%. Iberian Peninsula: 25%. Europe West: 17%. Great Britain: 15%. Europe East: 14%. Ireland: 11%. European Jewish: 10%. Scandinavia: 8%. Finland/Northwest Russia: 1%.
We have used our reference panel to build a genetic profile for Italy/Greece. The blue chart above shows examples of ethnicity estimates for people native to this region. Most Italy/Greece natives have between 65% and 100% of their DNA showing similarity to this profile. It’s also possible, however, to find people whose DNA shows very little similarity. Since approximately 72% of the typical native’s DNA comes from this region, 28% of his or her DNA is more similar to other regions, such as the Caucasus, Middle East, Iberian Peninsula, and Europe West.

Population History (Prehistoric Italy/Greece):

The history of this region is dominated by two titans: the Greeks and the Romans. During the height of the Classical Era, the Greeks introduced cultural, civic and philosophical ideas and innovations that heavily influenced the Roman Empire and, in turn, laid the foundations of Western civilization. Ancient Greece was settled by four different Greek-speaking groups. During the Bronze Age, Mycenaean Greece of Homer's epics consisted of the Achaeans, Aeolians and Ionians. It was one of the great powers of its time. The remaining group, the Dorians, rose to prominence around 1100 B.C. when the Mycenaean civilization collapsed. The influence of these groups spread beyond mainland Greece to the western coastline of modern Turkey and the islands of the Aegean Sea.








Distribution of ancient Greek tribes: Achaean and Arcadian - Dorian - Aeolian - Ionian.






The Greeks also founded colonies in southern Italy and Sicily. Called Magna Graecia in Latin, these settlements existed alongside the native tribes of the Italian peninsula, including the Etruscans, Umbrian’s and Latins. The Latins would later build their capital in Rome, drawing heavily on the culture of their Greek neighbors.

Colonies of Italy and Greece:

Besides Sicily and southern Italy, the Greeks established many more colonies around the Mediterranean, from approximately 750 B.C. until 500 B.C., established as small city-states, most of these colonies were trading outposts. Others were created by refugees when Greek cities were overrun and the displaced inhabitants looked for new land. More than 90 Greek colonies were established, from Ukraine and Russia to the north, Turkey to the east, southern Spain in the west, and Egypt and Libya in the south.

The Classical Age of Greece began around the 5th century B.C. It was the era of Athens, Sparta, the birth of democracy, and many of Greece’s famous playwrights and philosophers. After two bloody wars with the Persian Empire, Athens and Sparta went to war with each other, leading to the eventual decline of both. The Macedonian king, Philip II, united the Greek city-states in 338 B.C. After Philip’s assassination, his son, Alexander the Great, became king of Macedonia and carried out his father’s plans to invade Persia. Alexander led his armies in conquest of the Middle East, part of India, and Egypt, spreading the Greek language and culture throughout much of the ancient world.












Phillip II, king of Macedonia. The Granger Collection, New York.













Alexander the Great - Detail of The Alexander Mosaic.








His triumph was short-lived, however; he died on his campaign and his conquered territories were divided among his generals. But many important Greek cities and colonies were established and remained under Greek rule, including Seleucia, Antioch and Alexandria.






Division of Alexander's Empire Ptolemaic Kingdom - Seleucid Empire - Kingdom of Pergamon - Macedonia. Epirus - Other Territories - Roman Republic - Carthaginian Republic - Epirus-controlled territory.





While Greece spread its influence eastward, the small city of Rome was growing into a regional power in Italy. As the Roman Republic expanded, it established colonies of Roman citizens to maintain control of newly conquered lands. By the time Julius Caesar seized power from the Senate, the Roman war machine was nearly unstoppable. Soldiers who served for years in the military were rewarded with land in Roman colonies throughout the empire, which stretched from Turkey and the Middle East to Spain and northern France.

Invasion of the barbarians:

During the late Roman Empire, Constantine the Great established Constantinople as the eastern capital of the Roman Empire. The Empire was divided and, as the focus of power shifted away from Rome, the Western Empire was left vulnerable to a series of invasions by Goths, Huns, Visigoths and Heruli. In 476 B.C. a Germanic soldier, Odoacer, deposed the last Western Roman emperor, Romulus Augustulus, signaling the fall of the old Roman Empire. The Eastern Empire continued to flourish, becoming known as the Byzantine Empire. Odoacer was soon murdered by the Ostrogoth ruler Theodoric. Although the barbarians had seized Rome, they never established a major settlement in Italy.









Romulus Augustulus resigns the Crown before Odoacer. Project Gutenberg's Young Folks' History of Rome by Charlotte Mary Yonge





From around 610 A.D. to 867 A.D., the Byzantine Empire was attacked by numerous groups, including the Persians, Lombards, Avars, Slavs, Arabs, Normans, Franks, Goths and Bulgars. During the 8th and 9th centuries, the empire slowly freed Greece from these invaders. The Slavs had the most success at establishing permanent settlements in Greece, although they, too, were eventually defeated and banished from the Greek peninsula. During this time, Greek-speaking people from Sicily and Asia Minor migrated to Greece, and a large number of Sephardic Jews emigrated from Spain to Greece, as well.

Ottoman Empire:
The Ottoman Empire conquered the Byzantine Empire, expanding through Greece and capturing Athens in 1458. Many of the Greek scholars fled and migrated to Christian Western Europe. Ottoman colonies were established in several areas in Greece, and held on until Greek independence was declared in 1821.







The Battle of Maniaki during the Greek War of Independence from the Ottoman Empire





Italy in the Middle Ages:

During the 12th and 13th centuries, the city-states of Italy developed trading and banking institutions. They established a wealth of trading relationships with the Byzantine Empire and the Islamic powers, all around the Mediterranean. The escalation in trade leads to a resurgence of financial power in Italy, allowing it to create Italian colonies as far away as the Black Sea.

Did You Know?

Togas weren’t worn by everyone in ancient Rome. After the 2nd century B.C., only freeborn Roman men were allowed to wear them as a symbol of their citizenship. The Greeks were the first to develop an alphabet with vowels and it has been used to write the Greek language since 800 B.C.









An inscription showing the Greek alphabet





Europe West:

Primarily located in Belgium, France, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Liechtenstein. Also found in: England, Denmark, Italy, Slovenia and Czech Republic.

The Europe West region is a broad expanse stretching from Amsterdam's sea-level metropolis to the majestic peaks of the Alps. Geographically dominated by France in the west and Germany in the east, it includes several nations with distinct cultural identities. From the boisterous beer gardens of Munich to the sun-soaked vineyards of Bordeaux and the alpine dairy farms of Switzerland, it is a region of charming cultural diversity.

How Leonardo Marin-Saavedra compares to the typical person native to the Europe West region


Leonardo Marin-Saavedra: 3%. Typical native: 48%.

Genetic Diversity in the Europe West Region:

The people living in the Europe West region are among the most admixed of all our regions, which means that when creating genetic ethnicity estimates for people native to this area, we often see similarities to DNA profiles from other nearby regions. We’ve found that approximately 48% of the typical native’s DNA comes from this region.

Examples of people native to the Europe West region

From a collection of 416 people 

 100%.  68%.  48%.  20%.  0%.

Other regions commonly seen in people native to the Europe West region

From a collection of 416 people

Region % of natives that have this region:

Great Britain: 52%. Scandinavia: 46%. Italy and Greece: 39%. Europe East: 36%. Ireland: 27%. Iberian Peninsula: 23%. Finland, Northwest and Russia: 5%. European Jewish: 2%. Caucasus: 1%.

We have used our reference panel to build a genetic profile for Europe West. The blue chart above shows examples of ethnicity estimates for people native to this region. For Europe West we see an extremely wide range—most natives have between 20% and 68% of their DNA showing similarity to this region's profile. Some individuals show 100% similarity, but it’s also possible to find people whose DNA shows little or no similarity. This is most likely due to the fact that this area has not experienced any long-term periods of isolation. Since only 48% of the typical native’s DNA comes from this region, there are major genetic influences from other regions, such as Great Britain, Scandinavia, Italy/Greece, Europe East and more (see chart above, in green).

Population History (Prehistoric Western Europe):

Due to its location and geography, Western Europe has seen many successive waves of immigrants throughout its history. Both peaceful intermingling and violent invasions of newcomers have resulted in a greater diversity in the genetics of the population, compared with neighboring regions.
The first major migration into Western Europe is arguably the Neolithic expansion of farmers who came from the Middle East. From about 8,000 to 6,000 years ago these farmers filtered in through Turkey and brought with them wheat, cows and pigs. It is possible; too, that these people could have been the megalithic cultures who erected enormous stone monuments like the famous menhirs of Stonehenge. There were dozens, if not hundreds, of monuments scattered throughout prehistoric Europe, some serving as tombs, others possibly having astronomical significance.




Photograph of Stonehenge taken in July (1877) by Philip Rupert Acott. 
Owned by Tamsin Titcomb



Celtic and Germanic tribes:


Although “Celtic” is often associated with the people of Ireland and Scotland, the Celts emerged as a unique culture in central Europe more than 2,500 years ago. From an epicenter in what is now Austria, they spread and settled in the areas of today’s western Germany and eastern France, generally near the Rhine and Danube Rivers. By 450 B.C., their influence and Celtic languages had spread across most of Western Europe, including the areas that are now France, the Iberian Peninsula and the British Isles. The Celts either conquered or assimilated the previous inhabitants of the area, and almost all languages and cultural and religious customs were replaced. The only exception, most scholars believe, is the Basque language, which managed to persist in the Pyrenees of southern France and northern Spain. In the early 4th century B.C., Celtic tribes in northern Italy invaded and sacked Rome, setting the stage for centuries of conflict.

In the 5th century B.C., Germanic peoples began moving south, from Sweden, Denmark and northern Germany, displacing the Celts as they went. It is unclear what prompted their movement, but it may have been climate related, as they sought warmer weather and more fertile farmland. The Germanic tribes’ expansion was checked by the generals, Gaius Marius and Julius Caesar, as they approached the Roman provinces around 100 B.C.





This map shows the expansion of Celtic tribes by 275 A.D. (in light green) from their presumed origin, the Bronze Age Hallstatt culture (in yellow). Dark green areas show regions where Celtic languages are still spoken today.



The Romans:

After Rome defeated Carthage in the Punic Wars, the Republic had extended its borders to include the entire Italian Peninsula, Carthage’s territories in North Africa, most of the Iberian Peninsula, Greece and parts of Anatolia. It began turning its attention northwest toward the Celtic-dominated region known as Gaul, which more or less covered the area of modern-day France. Part of Rome’s motivation was to secure its frontier, as conflict with the Celts was a chronic problem. Julius Caesar led the campaign to conquer Gaul. A Celtic chieftain, Vercingetorix, assembled a confederation of tribes and mounted a resistance, but was defeated at the Battle of Alesia in 52 B.C. The battle effectively ended Celtic resistance. The Gaul’s were absorbed into the Roman Republic and became thoroughly assimilated into Roman culture, adopting the language, customs, governance and religion of the Empire. Many generals and even emperors were born in Gaul or came from Gallic families.






Vercingetorix Throws down His Arms at the Feet of Julius Caesar by Lionel Royer








For the most part, by 400 A.D., Western Europe was split between the Roman Empire and the restless Germanic tribes to the northeast. Celtic culture and influence still held sway in parts of the British Isles, and the Basque language continued to survive in the Pyrenees. It is interesting to note that the Basque share genetic similarities to the Celts of Ireland and Scotland, despite being culturally and linguistically dissimilar and geographically separated. While the exact relationship of the groups is difficult to determine, this does highlight the interesting interplay between genetic origin and ethno-linguistic identity.

The Migration Period:

By 400 A.D., the Roman Empire had been split into pieces. Rome was no longer the heart of the Empire, as the seat of power had been moved to Byzantium in the east. The Romans had begun to adopt Greek customs and language as well as Christianity, which had become the official state religion. Control of the provinces in the west had waned, and Rome itself was militarily weakened.
About this time, there was a period of intensified human migration throughout Europe, called the Migration Period, or the Völkerwanderung (“migration of peoples” in German). Many of the groups involved were Germanic tribes, whose expansion had previously been held in check by the Romans.
To some degree, the earlier Germanic tribes of the Migration Period, notably the Goths and Vandals, were being pushed west and south by invasions from the Middle East and Central Asia. The Huns swept across Eastern Europe, followed by the Avars, Slavs, Bulgars and Alans. These successive attacks may have been a factor in several waves of population displacement and resettlement.
Seven large German-speaking tribes—the Visigoths, Ostrogoth’s, Vandals, Burgundians, Lombards, Saxons and Franks—began pressing aggressively west into the Roman provinces and, in 410, the Visigoths attacked and sacked Rome. The western part of the Roman Empire was rapidly overrun as the invaders swept in, eventually dividing the remainder of the Roman provinces into new, Germanic kingdoms.









An anachronistic 15th-century miniature depicting the sack of 410.





The Frankish Kingdom:

The Franks conquered northern Gaul in 486 A.D. and established an empire under the Merovingian kings, subjugating many of the other Germanic tribes. Over the course of almost four centuries, a succession of Frankish kings, including Clovis, Clothar, Pepin and Charlemagne, led campaigns that greatly expanded Frankish control over Western Europe. Charlemagne's kingdom covered almost all of France, most of today's Germany, Austria and northern Italy. On Christmas Day, 800, Pope Leo III crowned Charlemagne “Emperor of the Romans.” This upset the Byzantine emperor, who saw himself as the sole ruler of the Roman Empire, but by 812, he was forced to accept Charlemagne as co-emperor.

In 843, Charlemagne's grandsons divided the Frankish empire into three parts—one for each of them. Charles the Bald received the western portion, which later became France. Lothair received the central portion of the empire, called Middle Francia, which stretched from the North Sea to northern Italy. It included parts of eastern France, western Germany and the Low Countries. Louis the German received the eastern portion, which eventually became the high medieval Kingdom of Germany, the largest component of the Holy Roman Empire.










Statue of Charlemagne. By Agostino Cornacchini (1725) - Located at St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican. 










Division of the Frankish Empire Among Charlemagne's Grandsons, 843 A.D. Charles the Bald – Lothair - Louis the German



Additional cultures of note:

In addition to the Basque in the area of the Pyrenees in southern France, there are a number of other cultures with unique ethnic or linguistic identities in Western Europe. Among them are the Normans of northern France. Descended from Viking settlers who arrived sometime during the rule of the Frankish kings, the Normans controlled a powerful region known as Normandy. Their territories were subject to the French crown, which countenanced them in exchange for protecting the northern coast against other Viking raids.
Just to the west of Normandy was Brittany, named after the Celtic Britons who arrived there from the British Isles in the 5th century. Some scholars believe that the migration may have been due to the Anglo-Saxon invasion of England after the collapse of the Western Roman Empire. Brittany resisted the Frankish kings and remained independent until 1532. It is one of the few places where Celtic languages are still spoken. 











Basque-American girl













Celtic warrior




Did You Know?

Many people think that Henry Ford invented the modern automobile, but it was two German engineers, Karl Benz and Gottlieb Daimler, who each independently came up with the concept around the same time. Teaming up with a French partner, Emile Roger, Benz was selling cars in Germany and France by 1888.

Great Britain. Primarily located in England, Scotland and Wales.


Also found in: Ireland, France, Germany, Denmark, Belgium, Netherlands, Switzerland, Austria and Italy.

The history of Great Britain is often told in terms of the invasions with different groups of invaders displacing the native population. The Romans, Anglo-Saxon, Vikings and Normans have all left their mark on Great Britain both politically and culturally. However, the story of Great Britain is far more complex than the traditional view of invaders displacing existing populations. In fact modern studies of British people tend to suggest the earliest populations continued to exist and adapt and absorb the new arrivals.

How Leonardo Marin-Saavedra compares to the typical person native to the Great Britain region

Leonardo Marin-Saavedra: 3%. Typical native: 60%

Genetic Diversity in the Great Britain Region

The people living in the Great Britain region today are more admixed than most other regions, which means that when creating genetic ethnicity estimates for people native to this area, we often see similarities to DNA profiles from other nearby regions. We’ve found that approximately 60% of the typical native’s DNA comes from this region.

Examples of people native to the Great Britain region

From a collection of 195 people 

 100%.  86%.  60%.  41%.  0%.

Other regions commonly seen in people native to the Great Britain region

From a collection of 195 people

Region % of natives that have this region.  Ireland: 55%. Europe West: 49%. Scandinavia: 45%. Iberian Peninsula: 24%. Italy and Greece: 8%. Europe East: 4%. Finland and Northwest Russia: 3%. Caucasus: 1%. European Jewish: 1%.
We have used our reference panel to build a genetic profile for Great Britain. The blue chart above shows examples of ethnicity estimates for people native to this region. For Great Britain we see an extremely wide range—most natives have between 41% and 100% of their DNA showing similarity to this region. It’s also possible, however, to find people whose DNA shows very little similarity. Since approximately 60% of the typical native’s DNA comes from this region, 40% is more similar to other regions, such as Ireland, Europe West, Scandinavia and the Iberian Peninsula (see chart above, in green).

Population History (Prehistoric Britain):

At the end of the Last Glacial Maximum, 12,000 years ago, the sea levels around northern Europe were low enough for Stone Age hunter-gatherers to cross, on foot, into what are now the islands of Great Britain. Farming spread to the islands by about 4000 B.C., and the Neolithic inhabitants erected their remarkable and puzzling stone monuments, including the famed Stonehenge.
Beginning in about 2500 B.C., successive waves of tribes settled in the region. These tribes are often termed ‘Celts’, however that term is an 18th century invention. The Celts were not a nation in any sense, but a widespread group of tribes that shared a common cultural and linguistic background. Originating in central Europe, they spread to dominate most of western Europe, the British Isles and the Iberian Peninsula. They even settled as far away as Anatolia, in modern-day Turkey. Their dominance could not withstand the rise of the Roman Empire, however.
After defeating the Celts of Gaul (modern-day France, Luxembourg, Belgium and western areas of Germany and Switzerland), the Romans invaded the British Isles in 43 A.D. Most of southern Britain was conquered and occupied over the course of a few decades and became the Roman province of Britannia. Hadrian’s Wall, in the north of England, marked the approximate extent of Roman control. Those tribes who were not assimilated into the Roman Empire were forced to retreat to other areas that remained Celtic, such as Wales, Ireland, Scotland, the Isle of Man and Brittany. The Roman presence largely wiped out most traces of pre-existing culture in England—even replacing the language with Latin.







The extent of Roman "Britannia" shortly before the Roman withdrawal



Germanic tribes invade:

With the decline of its Western Empire, Rome largely withdrew from Britannia in 410 A.D. As the Romans left, tribes from northern Germany and Denmark seized the opportunity to step in. The Germanic Angles and Saxons soon controlled much of the territory that had been under Roman rule, while the Jutes from Denmark occupied some smaller areas in the south. The new settlers imposed their language and customs on the local inhabitants in much the same way that the Romans had. The Germanic language spoken by the Angles would eventually develop into English.







Invasion of Germanic tribes after 410 A.D. - Jutes – Angles – Saxons.





The region was divided into several kingdoms, with the more powerful kings sometimes exerting influence or control over smaller bordering kingdoms. There was nothing like a single, unified English kingdom, however, until the early 10th century and the rise of the House of Wessex.

Viking invasions and the Danelaw:


During the 8th century, seafaring Scandinavian adventurers began raiding coastal areas in Europe. Known as the Vikings, they were not just warriors and pillagers. They also established numerous trade ports and settlements throughout the Western world, including the British Isles, Russia, Iceland and the Iberian Peninsula. A group of Vikings that settled in northern France became known as the Normans and, by the early 11th century, ruled a great and powerful region, sanctioned by the French crown.






Viking long ships






Danish Vikings began to invade northern and eastern England in 876 and eventually came to control a third of the country, defeating several smaller Anglo-Saxon kingdoms. The rulers of the Danelaw, as the Viking area became known, struggled for nearly 80 years with the remaining English kings over the region. The balance of power swung back and forth a number of times, with an English king, Edward the Elder, gaining the upper hand in the early 900s and a Danish king, Cnut the Great, ruling England, Norway and Denmark from 1016 to 1035. After the deaths of Cnut’s sons, the throne returned to Anglo-Saxon control, but it was short-lived, as Edward the Confessor died without an heir. The Normans of France, led by William the Conqueror, sailed across the English Channel and claimed the throne of England, defeating the only other rival, Harold Godwinson, at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. In 1067, William extended his control to Scotland and Wales.








The Danelaw in 878 A.D. 


















The Battle of Hastings






The Houses of Plantagenet & Tudor:

The Norman kings, ruling primarily from France, gave rise to the House of Plantagenet, a line of kings that began to consolidate and modernize the kingdom of England. Beginning in 1277, Edward I put down a revolt in Wales and led a full-scale invasion, bringing Wales under control of the English crown. He then seized political control of Scotland during a succession dispute, leading to a rebellion there. Edward’s campaign against the Scots wasn’t entirely successful and remained unresolved at his death. By decisively defeating Edward’s son at Bannockburn in 1314, the Scots assured their independence. The House of Plantagenet continued to reign until the 15th century. Towards the latter half of the 15th century the houses of York and the Lancaster, the most powerful Plantagenet branches fought a series of wars for control of the throne. Those wars ended with the Battle of Bosworth Field on the 22nd August 1486. At Bosworth Field Henry Tudor defeated Richard III. Henry took the throne as Henry VII and ushered in the reign of House Tudor. The reign of the Tudors lasted from Henry VII through to Elizabeth I in 1603.

The British Empire:


After the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588, England established itself as a major naval power. As European nations began founding colonies around the world, England was well positioned to compete for control of the largely untapped resources of the New World. Religious and political upheavals in England in the 17th and 18th centuries played critical roles in establishing and defining early American history, as dissidents left England seeking religious freedom. Subsequent emigrations from England to the Americas ensured a primarily English-derived culture and social structure.









English ships and the Spanish Armada ( 1588).








During the 1760’s and 1770’s the relationship between the colonies in the Americas and Britain grew fractious due to the British Parliament’s attempts to tax colonists without representation in Parliament. This led to the American War of Independence with and the Thirteen Colonies gaining independence and forming a new nation, the United States of America.

The loss of the Thirteen Colonies is seen as the transition point in the British Empire from the First British Empire to the Second British Empire. In the Americas, Britain shifted its attention north to Canada where many of the defeated loyalists from the revolution had migrated to. And to make up for lost wealth in America, Britain now paid greater attention to Asia, the Pacific and later Africa. In the 1770’s, James Cook travelled along Eastern Australia and New Zealand claiming them for Great Britain. Shortly after Britain set up penal colonies in Australia transporting large number of convicts to Australia. Over 80 years over 165,000 convicts were sent to Australia. In Asia, through the East India Company the British Empire gained more control throughout the continent. Throughout the early 19th Century the East India Company gained control over Java, Singapore, Hong Kong and India. The Government of India Act in 1858 established the British Raj, with Queen Victoria as Empress of India. India became one of the British Empire’s most important colonies. By the end of the 19th Century it was said that the sun never set on the British Empire, since it stretched around the world.

Did You Know?

At lunchtime on the 28th February 1953 an American and British scientist, James Watson and Francis Crick, walked into the Eagle pub in Cambridge and announced that they had "discovered the secret of life". What Watson and Crick had discovered was the famous double helix structure of DNA. Crucial to their discovery was the work of another British scientist, Rosalind Franklin, whose X-Ray photographs of DNA gave vital clues to its structure.

European Jewish: Primarily located in Poland, Belarus, Ukraine, Russia, Hungary and Israel. Also found in: Germany, France, Lithuania, Latvia, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Romania, Bosnia, Serbia and Estonia.


The European Jewish region is not geographically defined in the same way as most other ethnic regions. The historic dispersal of the Jewish population from its origin in the Levant on the east coast of the Mediterranean resulted in insular communities scattered throughout Europe, North Africa, Central Asia and the Middle East. Although some Jewish communities enjoyed positions of relative peace and prosperity, many more were segregated from mainstream society by law, custom and prejudice, experiencing sustained persecution and discrimination. Jewish populations from northern and eastern Europe are often known as “Ashkenazi.” “Sephardic” refers to Jews who were expelled from Spain during the Inquisition and mostly settled in North Africa and southeastern Europe.

How Leonardo Marin-Saavedra compares to the typical person native to the European Jewish region

Leonardo Marin-Saavedra: 2%. Typical native: 96%.

Genetic Diversity in the European Jewish Region:

The people living in the European Jewish region are much less admixed than most other regions which means that when creating ethnicity estimates for people native to this area, we rarely see similarities to DNA profiles from other nearby regions. We’ve found that approximately 96% of the typical native’s DNA comes from this region.

Examples of people native to the European Jewish region

From a collection of 195 people 

 100%.  99%.  96%.  92%. 65%.
99%.  96%.  92%. 65%.

Other regions commonly seen in people native to the European Jewish region

From a collection of 195 people

Region % of natives that have this region. Italy and Greece: 6%. Iberian Peninsula: 4%. Caucasus: 3%. Middle East: 3%. Europe West: 3%. Great Britain: 2%. Ireland: 2%. Europe East: 2%. Scandinavia: 2%.

We have used our reference panel to build a European Jewish genetic profile. The blue chart above shows examples of ethnicity estimates for people native to this region. For European Jewish, there is very little (if any) DNA shared with neighboring regions. However, there are some exceptions—a small minority of people’s DNA shows only 65% similarity to this profile. Since approximately 96% of the typical native’s DNA comes from this region, 4% is similar to other regions, such as the Italy/Greece region. (See chart above, in green.)

Population History (Origin of the Jews):

Much of what is known about the early history of the Jews is taken from the Hebrew Bible. While there is some archaeological evidence to support certain details of the Biblical account, often it remains the only source and is given varying amounts of credence by different scholars. According to this source, the Jews are descended from Abraham, a Sumerian who traveled west from Mesopotamia to the land of Canaan, which lay along the eastern coast of the Mediterranean. Around 1020 B.C., the separate Hebrew tribes were united under King Saul, creating the first Kingdom of Israel.











The Kingdom of Israel in 1020 B.C.




Babylonian exile:

After the reigns of David and his son Solomon, the kingdom split into the Northern (or Israelite) Kingdom and the Kingdom of Judah (Jewish Kingdom) in the south. The Assyrians conquered and deported many of the inhabitants of the Northern Kingdom in the 7th century B.C.

In about 589 B.C., Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar II destroyed the Kingdom of Judah, sacking Jerusalem and destroying the First Temple built by Solomon. A large number of Jews were expelled from their former kingdom and forced to resettle in Babylon. Many historians mark this event as the beginning of the Jewish diaspora, which refers to the scattering of the population.

When Cyrus the Great conquered Babylon in 540 B.C., the Jewish people were permitted to return and rebuild Jerusalem. The former Kingdom of Judah, renamed Judea, was made a province of the Persian Empire—although its size was significantly reduced. The Jews’ Second Temple, built on the site of the First Temple, was completed by about 518 B.C. Many Jews returned to Jerusalem, but many more stayed in Babylon, where Talmudic scholarship (study of the central text of Judaism) was founded. Over time, prominent Jewish communities were established in Alexandria, Rome and Greece.









King Nebuchadnezzar II





















Cyrus the Great









Alexander the Great conquered the Persian Empire, capturing the Levant in 333 B.C. When his territories were divided after his death, Judea became part of the Seleucid Empire. The Judeans were commanded to accept Greek polytheism, leading to rebellion. Fighting for years under Judas Maccabee, the Judeans won the right to rededicate the Temple, an event commemorated by the holiday of Hanukkah.

The Roman period:

The collapse of the Seleucid Empire led to a second period of self-rule for the Jews, from 140 B.C. to 63 B.C. When King Herod assumed power with the help of the Romans, however, Judea became a client state of the Roman Republic. Judea was officially absorbed into the Roman Empire as the Judaea Province in 92 A.D.
There were three major Jewish revolts against the Romans in Judaea, the first of which began in 66 A.D. It was quelled in the year 70 when Titus sacked Jerusalem. The city was burned and most of the Jews were killed or sold into slavery throughout the Roman Empire. The second revolt, called the Kitos War, lasted from 115 to 117. At the end of the Bar Kokhba revolt (132-135), the Romans completely razed Jerusalem. Once again, they sold the majority of the survivors into slavery, this time placing severe restrictions on those who remained.




Destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem by Francesco Hayez depicts the destruction of the Second Temple by Roman soldiers.







By the 2nd century, Jews were located throughout the Roman Empire. By the 5th century, there were scattered communities from Spain in the west to the Byzantine Empire in the east. Because Jews were usually restricted by law from owning land, they turned toward occupations in commerce, education and medicine.

Ashkenazi Jews:


Large communities of Jews settled in France and Germany after the fall of Rome, the Arab conquests in the Middle East, and the expulsions from Spain. The Jews who settled in Germany (called Ashkenazi) spoke Yiddish, a mixture of German, Hebrew and Aramaic.
Over the centuries, the Jews settled where they could throughout western Europe, enduring frequent discrimination and periodic expulsions from various countries. Facing increasing persecution in the west during the 11th and 12th centuries, many of the Ashkenazi Jews moved from England, France and Germany to eastern Europe, where Poland and Lithuania encouraged Jewish settlement. Historically, Ashkenazi Jews lived in separate towns known at shtetls. In 1500, approximately 500,000 Jews lived in Poland. By the middle of the 17th century, there were more than 1 million. It is estimated that, prior to World War II, more than 90% of all Jews in the world were descended from the Ashkenazi Jews.

Jews today:

During the late 19th century, government-condoned persecution of the Jews in Russia, called pogroms, forced many to move to the United States and to Palestine. In 1897 Theodor Herzl, an Austro-Hungarian journalist, established the Zionist Organization and became the charismatic figurehead of the growing modern Zionist movement. He and his supporters continually lobbied foreign governments for help in the establishment of a Jewish state.

After the Ottoman Empire was defeated in World War I, its territories, including Palestine, were divided into mandates administered by the British and French. The British government, with its Balfour Declaration in 1917, announced its support of establishing Palestine as a national home for the Jews. After World War II, during which an estimated 6 million Jews were killed in the Holocaust, the United Nations divided Palestine in two, effectively creating a new Jewish state, Israel.

As of today, about 42% of all Jews worldwide live in the modern state of Israel. A small number of Jews have lived in this region for generations, tracing their ancestors back thousands of years, with the majority returning in the last century.

Did You Know?

The Western Wall in Jerusalem, also called the Wailing Wall, is one of the holiest sites of Judaism. It is the only remaining part of the Second Temple, destroyed by the Romans in 70 A.D.









Dome of the Rock and Wailing Wall by Peter Mulligan






America (Native American): 37%. The Native American: Primarily located in: North America, Central America and South America.

Your genetic ethnicity estimate indicates that you have ancestry from the region that is home to the indigenous people of the Americas. This vast region stretches over two continents to include the rugged territory of Alaska and Canada, mountains and plains of the United States, dry valleys of Mexico, tropical jungles of Central America and South America, and the Patagonian steppes of southern Argentina and Chile.

How Leonardo Marin-Saavedra compares to the typical person native to the Native American region

Leonardo Marin-Saavedra: 37%. Typical native: 100%.

Genetic Diversity in the Native American Region:

Individuals from the Native American region are much less admixed than individuals from most other regions. This means that when creating genetic ethnicity estimates for people native to this area, we rarely see similarities to DNA profiles from other regions. We’ve found that approximately 100% of the typical native’s DNA comes from this region.

Examples of people native to the Native American region

From a collection of 131 people 

 100%.  100%.  100%.  93%.  84%.

Other regions commonly seen in people native to the Native American region

From a collection of 131 people

Region % of natives that have this region: Iberian Peninsula: 8%. Great Britain: 4%. Italy and Greece: 2%.
We’ve used our reference panel to build a genetic profile for the Native American region. The blue chart above shows examples of ethnicity estimates for people native to the area. For this region, we see a very narrow range: for most people native to the area, about 100% of their DNA looks similar to the profile. However, there are some exceptions, and we have a small minority with as little as 84% of their DNA similar to this region. For those who do share DNA with other regions, about 8% have at least some DNA similar to the profile for the Iberian Peninsula region, which was likely introduced by Spanish and Portuguese explorers. (See green chart above.)

Population History:

North and South America were the last inhabited continents to be populated by humans. No more than 20,000 years ago, thanks to low sea levels, the first “immigrants” to the Americas were able to cross a land bridge from northern Asia into what is now Alaska and Canada via the Bering Strait.
Much of the native population remained nomadic hunter-gatherers, but a number of more advanced cultures developed as well. Many places had rich soils, warm temperatures and plenty of rain. The Mississippian culture, centered in the region later named for it, farmed maize and had a complex, stratified society. The Mayans of Central America were highly advanced, known for their writing, astronomy, art, mathematics and highly developed religious institutions that built enormous stone pyramids.










Possible land route from Asia across the Bering Strait








The first contact with Europeans likely came when Leif Erickson and his Icelandic Vikings established a temporary settlement in Canada. But it wasn’t until Christopher Columbus arrived 500 years later that European colonists began exploring and settling the region in earnest. Early Spanish explorers like Hernando Cortes, Juan Ponce de Leon and Hernando de Soto brought things the indigenous population had never seen before, such as horses, guns and smallpox. With no natural immunity to European diseases and no way to compete with the newcomers’ superior firepower, many Native Americans died or were pushed out of their ancestral lands.






The Landing of Columbus by John Vanderlyn







Later, the United States government adopted a policy of “civilizing” native tribes, encouraging indigenous people to give up many of their traditional ways so members could be assimilated into American society. As settlers continued moving westward, many tribes were relocated. However, there are still many Native American groups throughout North America that retain their indigenous languages and traditions, particularly in northern Canada and in Mexico. A few, like the Pima, who live along the Gila and Salt Rivers in modern-day Arizona, were able to keep at least parts of their traditional territory.

In South America there are some indigenous peoples in the Amazon area who have had little or no contact with people outside their tribes. However, most of South America’s indigenous populations were deeply affected by European occupation. New diseases and weapons took their toll there as well, and local populations and cultures often waned or disappeared as European colonization spread. Today some of those same cultures, and the indigenous people who did survive, are recognized for contributions to fields as varied as art, agriculture and medicine.

Migrations into this region:

North and South America were settled by at least three waves of migrants from Asia, who occupied the Americas from Canada to the southern tip of Chile. North America was initially occupied by people who came from Siberia and coastal North Asia. Probably fewer than 1,000 individuals crossed the Bering land bridge; they were likely tracking animal herds and discovered an expansive new territory. Native Americans appear to derive from this initial wave of migration. Mounting evidence suggests they dispersed rapidly along the western coast of the Americas, perhaps by sea, within a period of only about a thousand years. Not long after humans first appeared in today’s Alaska and the western United States, they had already settled as far south as the tip of modern-day Chile. Then they migrated inland. As settlers, these groups were dramatically successful: In only a few thousand years they had occupied virtually the entire landmass.










A Chipewyan woman - Photograph by Edward S. Curtis.









Current research has shown that there were also two other migrations. Members of one of those groups, the Eskimo-Aleut speakers, derive 50% of their DNA from the initial natives and are located in Alaska. The second group, the Chipewyan, speaks a Na-Dene language and derives 90% of their DNA from the initial natives. The Chipewyan live in Canada.

Migrations within the region:

The native people of the Americas are divided into several cultural regions. Cultures developed opportunistically as the first migration moved quickly down the Pacific coastline of the Americas and then inland.

While these breakdowns vary, the North American regions typically include the Arctic, Subarctic, Northeast Woodlands, Southeast, Plains, Great Basin, Plateau, Northwest Coast, California and Southwest. Central and South American regions can be broken out into the cultural areas of Mesoamerica, Caribbean, Andean, Amazonian and Southern Cone (also called Cono).





Arctic - Great Basin – Mesoamerican – Subarctic – Plateau – Caribbean - Northeast Woodlands - Northwest Coast – Andean – Southeast – California – Amazonian – Plains – Southwest - Southern Core (Cono).

Arctic:

The Arctic area is cold, flat and treeless; a frozen desert nears the Arctic Circle. It includes Greenland and parts of present-day Alaska and Canada. Climate and terrain made this region difficult to settle, and the population was scattered and small. The Arctic peoples lived in dome-shaped houses made of sod, timber or ice blocks. They used seal and otter skins to make waterproof clothes and traveled by dogsleds and kayak.

Subarctic:

The Subarctic cultures lived among the swampy, piney forests and waterlogged tundra that stretches across much of inland Alaska and Canada. Travel was difficult, and toboggans, snowshoes and lightweight canoes were the primary means of transportation. Population was sparse; people didn’t form large, permanent settlements. Indigenous groups included Athabaskan and Algonquian speakers, and the people were primarily nomadic hunters and gatherers.

Northeast:

The Northeast cultures developed in the area from today’s Atlantic coast of Canada to North Carolina and inland to the Mississippi River Valley. Iroquoian and Algonquian speakers lived here in small farming and fishing villages along the ocean, growing crops such as corn, beans and vegetables. The Iroquoians were warriors. When the Europeans colonized the area and pressed westward, they displaced the indigenous people living here.




A battle between Iroquois and Algonquian tribes near Lake Champlain

Southeast:

The area of the Southeast cultures lay north of the Gulf of Mexico and south of the Northeast. It was a humid, fertile region, and its people became expert farmers, growing crops like maize, beans, squash, tobacco and sunflowers. The European settlers called the inhabitants the Five Civilized Tribes: Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek and Seminole. They all spoke Muskogean languages. The Southeast culture area lost many of its native people to disease and displacement by the time of the American Revolution. Starting in 1830 the majority of these people were forced to relocate to Oklahoma in a migration called the Trail of Tears.

Plains:

The Plains cultures were found on the vast prairie region between the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains, from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. Populations here consisted of relatively settled hunters and farmers. After Europeans made contact, bringing horses, this group became more nomadic, following great herds of buffalo across the prairie. Their dwellings were cone-shaped teepees, which could be folded up and carried anywhere. The Plains cultures were eventually forced onto U.S. government reservations.






Sioux Tipis by Karl Bodmer

Southwest:

The Southwest cultures—which inhabited a huge desert region in Arizona and New Mexico, as well as parts of Colorado, Utah, Texas and Mexico—developed two different ways of life. Sedentary farmers lived in permanent settlements, growing crops like corn, beans and squash. They were Hopis, Zunis, Yaquis and Yumas. They lived in multistory pueblos built from stone and adobe. The other group was nomadic and survived by hunting, gathering and raiding the sedentary farmers. They included the Navajo and Apache. This area became part of the United States after the Mexican War, and the Southwest cultures were resettled on reservations.









"Walpi, Arizona (1941)". Photograph by Ansel Adams.

Great Basin:

The boundaries for the Great Basin cultures were the Rocky Mountains to the east, the Sierra Nevada to the west, the Columbia Plateau to the north and the Colorado Plateau to the south. It was a barren wasteland of deserts, salt flats and brackish lakes. Most of the Great Basin peoples spoke Shoshonean, one of many Uto-Aztecan languages and dialects. They foraged for roots, seeds and nuts, as well as hunting snakes, lizards and small mammals. They were nomadic and lived in easily built wickiups made of willow poles or saplings, leaves and brush. After Europeans made contact, bringing horses to the region, the Great Basin tribes formed equestrian hunting and raiding bands. Most of these people lost their lands—and many lost their lives—as settlers pushed farther west.





Apache wickiup in Arizona, 1880

California:

Before Europeans made contact, the California cultures’ homelands supported more people than any other area north of present-day Mexico. The region was temperate and hospitable, and the California peoples included approximately 100 different tribes and spoke at least 200 dialects of the Penutian, Hokan, Uto-Aztecan and Athapaskan languages. The California cultures didn’t farm the land, but organized themselves into small, family-based bands of hunter-gatherers called tribelets. Using systems of trade and common rights, they were peaceful people.

Northwest Coast:

Cultures of the Northwest Coast lived along the Pacific Coast, from British Columbia to the top of Northern California. The area had a mild climate and an abundance of natural resources. Inhabitants built permanent villages that housed hundreds of people and had a sophisticated, stratified social structure. Social status depended on possessions and how close a person was to the village chief.

Plateau:

The Plateau cultures were found in the Columbia and Fraser River Basins, where many cultures intersected: Subarctic, Plains, Great Basin, California and Northwest Coast peoples all lived in modern-day Idaho, Montana, Washington and eastern Oregon. Most of the Plateau peoples lived in small, peaceful villages along streams and riverbanks. They were fishers, hunters and gatherers. The majority spoke languages derived from Penutian. When other native groups brought horses to the area, the Plateau peoples quickly integrated them into their culture and economy, and trading became a part of their lives. Most of these people were resettled on reservations.

Mesoamerican:

The Mesoamerican cultures inhabited an area that exte
nds roughly from today’s central Mexico through Central America and into northern Costa Rica. This group is defined by a mosaic of cultural traits that were developed and shared by its indigenous cultures. When they domesticated turkeys and dogs and learned to cultivate maize, beans, squash and chilies, the Mesoamerican cultures evolved from Paleo-Indian, hunter-gatherer, tribal living into settled agricultural villages.
The Mesoamerican peoples include many cultures, among which the Aztecs and the Mayans rose to prominence in their day. Their civilizations featured large ceremonial centers, and they traded gems and commodities. The Aztecs spoke Nahuatl and are best known for their mathematical expertise and accurate calendars. The Mayans had a written language and are known for their astronomy, art and architecture—as well as their calendar.
The Aztecs were subjugated by the Spanish conquistadors by 1521. Some of the Mayans remained independent until the late 17th century. However, many aspects of Mesoamerican cultures, including languages, still survive to this day.








Piedra Azteca del Sol. Museo Nacional de Antropología de México
(The Aztec Sun Stone. From National Museum of Anthropology of Mexico)

Caribbean:

The Caribbean cultures stem from nomadic foragers who migrated from Central America and later developed into well-organized agricultural communities with great social and political cohesion. The islands have significant cultural diversity within and among them. The cultures had extensive trade networks, knowledge of astronomy and navigation, strong spiritual traditions and high levels of artistic and craft expertise. They were the first to encounter Christopher Columbus and his men, so they were the first victims of the newcomers’ diseases and violence, and the population was almost destroyed. Today, however, many individuals and groups with indigenous Caribbean ancestry are reclaiming their cultural identity.

Andean:

The Andean cultural area spans mountainous, tropical and desert environments in and around the Andes mountain range. The region has been home to many different ethnic groups; Christopher Columbus called those he encountered “indios”. However, the most famous is the Incan civilization. The Incan Empire was enormous, flourishing from 1438 through 1533. The Incan language, Quechua, is still in use today.
The Andean region has seen 10,000 years of cultural growth. Along with cultures in the Amazon Basin region, Andean cultures typically promote agriculture and knowledge of nature. A wide variety of domesticated species have come out of the region, and these cultures also use thousands of medicinal plants.

Amazon Basin:

The best-known tribe among Amazon Basin cultures is the Yanomami, which still survives today. Many indigenous tribes of this area have a vast knowledge of medicinal plants, and the outside world often observes the practices of their healers to learn more about the plants’ curative properties. The Amazon still has several small tribes that have never seen the outside world. More are being discovered through the use of satellites. Current practice is to leave these groups undisturbed, using aerial observations to learn more about them.







Yanomami girl at Xidea, Brazil (August 1997) - Photo by Cmacauley

Southern Cone (Cono):

Prior to European conquest, the Southern Cone of South America was inhabited by numerous cultures that were shaped by their environments. Tribes in the Andes farmed the region's mineral-rich soil. The southern archipelago was suitable for fishing. Hunter-gatherers found an abundance of game in the Pampas, Littoral and Chaco regions.
Please note that genetic ethnicity estimates are based on individuals living in this region today. While a prediction of genetic ethnicity from this region suggests a connection to the groups occupying this location, it is not conclusive evidence of membership to any particular tribe or ethnic group.

Did You Know?

More than 3,500 varieties of potato have been raised by people in Andean cultures.

Africa 13%: Cameroon and Congo 8%. Primarily located in Cameroon, Gabon, Congo and Republic of Congo. 
Also found in: Angola, Chad. Because they lie near or on the equator, these nations typically include tropical rainforest and humid savanna. While the Congo takes its name from the old African kingdom of Kongo, Cameroon gets its name from the first Europeans to arrive in the area in 1472. Portuguese sailors found crayfish in the Wouri River and started calling the land the Rio dos Camarões, or River of Shrimp. Eventually, the word Camarões became Cameroon.

How Leonardo Marin-Saavedra compares to the typical person native to the Cameroon/Congo region


Leonardo Marin-Saavedra: 8%. Typical native: 92%.

Genetic Diversity in the Cameroon/Congo Region:

People living in the Cameroon/Congo region today are less admixed than people in most other regions, which means that when creating genetic ethnicity estimates for natives to this area, we sometimes see small similarities to DNA profiles from other nearby regions. We’ve found that approximately 92% of the typical Cameroon/Congo native’s DNA comes from this region.

Examples of people native to the Cameroon/Congo region

From a collection of 115 people 

100%.  98%.  92%.  83%.   45%.

Other regions commonly seen in people native to the Cameroon and Congo region - From a collection of 115 people. Region % of natives that have this region:. Nigeria: 21%. Africa Southeastern… Bantu: 21%. Benin/Togo: 10%. Mali: 10%. Ivory Coast/Ghana: 4%. Africa South-Central Hunter-Gatherers: 2%. Senegal: 1%.

We’ve used our reference panel to build a genetic profile for the Cameroon/Congo region. The blue chart above shows examples of ethnicity estimates for people native to the region. For Cameroon/Congo we see a fairly narrow range: for most people native to the area, between 83% and 100% of their DNA looks similar to the profile. However, we also found people with as little as 45% of their DNA coming from the region. The other regions most commonly found are the neighboring Nigeria and Africa Southeastern Bantu regions. About 21% of people from the Cameroon/Congo region have at least some DNA from these regions. (See green chart above.)

Population History:

The Congo River Basin has been home to human populations for at least 30,000 years. The first settlers in Cameroon were probably the Baka, groups of Pygmy hunter-gatherers who still inhabit the forests of the south and east, as well as neighboring Gabon and the two Congo’s. This small group (some 40,000) is actually more closely related to groups found in the deserts of the Africa South-Central Hunter-Gatherers region.






Two Baka men in the dense forests of Cameroon













Baka Pygmy collecting honey in the rainforest, Cameroon



In north-central Cameroon, a high range of rugged mountains stretches across the country from west to east. To the far south and east, in the vast Congo River Basin, the environment consists of dense rainforest and wide waterways. These features have created a degree of isolation and served as a barrier to frequent or large-scale migrations or conquests.

Although the Cameroon/Congo region is incredibly diverse, with more than 200 different ethnic groups, our genetic profile for the region is primarily represented by samples from the Cameroon Grasslands, where the largest populations are subgroups of the Bamileke and Bamum peoples. These tribes’ origins are not known, but it appears that in the 17th century, they moved south into Cameroon in a series of migrations to avoid enslavement—and, in some cases, forced conversion to Islam—by the Fulani peoples. Cameroon’s west and northwest provinces are the country’s most densely populated regions. The populous Bamileke tend to be Christian and live in small fons, or chiefdoms, in highly organized villages led by local chiefs. The less populous Bamum tend to be Muslim and have a more centralized social structure under a high king.







Bamileke dancers in Batié, West Province (Cameroon) - Photo by Anya Lothrop



Besides the Grasslands tribes, a smaller number of people live in the southern and central regions of Cameroon and in Congo-Brazzaville (Republic of Congo) and Congo-Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of Congo). However, many of the ethnic groups found in the two Congo’s are of Bantu origin—meaning they share a common ancestral language and an ancestral homeland on the western border of modern Cameroon and Nigeria. The Bantu peoples began migrating from Cameroon in about 1000 B.C. Some went east across Africa and then south; some settled the Congo River Basin; and some went south along the coast to Angola. These Bantu groups have a genetic ethnicity better represented by the Southeastern Bantu region profile.











Bantu Cradle



The slave trade:

The international slave trade in this region began with the Portuguese on Cameroon’s west coast, though it became the practice of many European countries. The threat of malaria prevented any significant settlement or conquest of the interior prior to the 1870s—when an effective malaria drug (quinine) became available. So the Europeans initially focused on coastal trade and acquiring slaves. Most slaves were captured by African middlemen from the interior and taken to port cities to be sold, and the flow of human traffic from many ethnic groups was constant. Around 1.5 million slaves left Africa from this region of Cameroon; combined, nearly half of all slaves destined to work in the Western Hemisphere came from Cameroon and the Congo River Basin. Many slaves from the coastal regions of Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea ended up in Maryland, Virginia and South Carolina.







Slaves being transported, 19th-century engraving



The 19th and 20th centuries:

Cameroon escaped colonial rule until 1884, when treaties with tribal chiefs brought the area under German domination. After World War I, the League of Nations gave the French a mandate over 80% of the area and the British control of the remaining 20% (the area adjacent to Nigeria). After World War II the country came under a United Nations trusteeship and self-government was granted. Independence was achieved in 1960 for French Cameroon and in 1961 for British Cameroon.
Please note that genetic ethnicity estimates are based on individuals living in this region today. While a prediction of genetic ethnicity from this region suggests a connection to the groups occupying this location, it is not conclusive evidence of membership to any particular tribe or ethnic group.

Did You Know?

DNA indicates that John Punch, the first African man documented to have been enslaved for life in the early American Colonies, likely came from the Cameroon region.

Ivory Coast and Ghana: 3%. Primarily located in: Ivory Coast and Ghana. Also found in: Benin, Togo, Mali, Nigeria and Senegal.


Early French and Portuguese explorers identified sections of the West African coast by the area’s resources, which is how Côte d'Ivoire, or Ivory Coast, got its name. Neighboring Ghana was known as the Gold Coast until it won independence from colonial rule in 1957 and renamed itself after a medieval West African empire. Today, more than 46 million people live in the two countries, which depend less on gold and ivory than they do chocolate: Ivory Coast and Ghana produce more than half of the world’s cocoa.

 

Africa South-Central Hunter-Gatherers: 1%.. Primarily located in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Congo. Also found in Angola, Zambia, Tanzania, Kenya

The Africa South-Central Hunter-Gatherers region is made up of ancient hunter-gatherer and pastoral groups who, though small in number and physical height, are considered the wellspring of human populations around the world. Increasingly, southern African Khoe-San groups and Central Africa’s Mbuti and Baka (Pygmy) groups are drawing the attention of scholars and researchers for their genetic diversity, ancient origins and unique cultural traditions.

How Leonardo Marin-Saavedra compares to the typical person native to the Africa South-Central Hunter-Gatherers region

Leonardo Marin-Saavedra: 1%. Typical native: 86%.

Genetic Diversity in the Africa South-Central Hunter-Gatherers Region

Individuals from the Africa South-Central Hunter-Gatherers region are admixed, which means that when creating genetic ethnicity estimates for people native to this area, we frequently see similarities to DNA profiles from other nearby regions. We’ve found that approximately 86% of the typical South-Central Hunter-Gatherer’s DNA comes from this region.

Examples of people native to the Africa South-Central Hunter-Gatherers region

From a collection of 35 people 

 100%.  100%.  86%.  74%.  62%.

Other regions commonly seen in people native to the Africa South-Central Hunter-Gatherers region

From a collection of 35 people:

Region% of natives that have this region: Cameroon/Congo: 54%. Africa Southeastern Bantu: 9%. Mali: 6%. Ivory Coast and Ghana: 3%.
We have used our reference panel to build a genetic profile for the Africa South-Central Hunter-Gatherers region. The blue chart above shows examples of ethnicity estimates for people native to this region. For this region we see a substantial range: for most natives to this area, between 74% and 100% of their DNA looks similar to the profile. However, for others, as little as 62% of their DNA comes from this region. The other region most commonly found is the neighboring Cameroon/Congo region. About 54% of people from the Africa South-Central Hunter-Gatherers region have at least some DNA from Cameroon/Congo. (See the green chart above.)

Population History (Geography as destiny):

The Africa South-Central Hunter-Gatherers region includes much of southern Africa (Namibia, Botswana and South Africa) and the heart of Central Africa (the Democratic Republic of the Congo, or Congo-Kinshasa). Individuals with this genetic ethnicity may also be found in Angola, Zambia, Tanzania and Kenya.
There are two geographic features important to understanding the people’s native to this region. First is the Kalahari Desert, the second-largest desert in the world, which spans a large part of five countries. Despite having no water source beyond seasonal rainfall, the Kalahari is home to a rich variety of plants and animals that have made life possible for the Khoe-San peoples spread across it. The second important feature is the Congo River Basin; the river drainage and massive rainforests provide a home to the Baka and Mbuti and other Pygmy groups.
Life in the Kalahari Desert and Congo forests was fraught with risks and dangers that could only be overcome by cooperation. Harmony in the group was the highest cultural goal for people native to these regions.




Kalahari Desert in Namibia


















Village Ndobo on the shoreline of the Congo River


The Khoe-San:

The southern portion of this region has been home to the nomadic Khoe-San peoples for thousands of years. The pastoral Khoe, or Khoi (“the people”), rely on herds of livestock for sustenance. The San people, often referred to as “Bushmen,” are hunter-gatherers who forage for plants, insects, roots, game and water. Both groups comprise many smaller groups and clans. Though distinct culturally and linguistically, the Khoe and San have a common genetic origin. The fact that the Khoe-San have among the highest levels of genetic diversity in the world has led researchers to believe that the Khoe-San are one of the world’s most ancient human populations.








A San tribesman in Namibia - Photo by Ian Beatty







Though the Khoe tend to have hierarchical cultures based on livestock wealth, the San have no hierarchy, share all things and make all decisions by consensus, even if reaching agreement takes a long time. Both cultures are oral in nature—they have no written language—but have distinctive art forms and language. The Khoisan languages are known for their distinctive clicks; however, their languages are unrelated to nearby Bantu languages such as Zulu and Xhosa, which have adopted some Khoisan click consonants.
Because the Khoe-San groups have no written language, their history is based on archaeological findings, oral tradition and DNA studies. The great Bantu migrations from eastern Africa brought successful ironworking, animal husbandry and farming to southern Africa, creating fast-growing populations that displaced the Khoe-San peoples. From the 16th through the 18th centuries, Bantu groups pushed the Khoe-San farther south and west toward modern-day Botswana and South Africa, while Dutch and French settlers of the Cape region pressured Khoe groups to move farther north. Although they had been spread thinly across southern Africa for thousands of years, the Khoe-San population ultimately concentrated in the arid Kalahari and areas they occupy today.

The Baka and Mbuti:

The rainforests of the Congo River Basin, especially those of the north and east, are home to Pygmy groups such as the Baka and Mbuti. They live in small, nomadic groups, eating fish, bushmeat and foraged fruits and plants. The Baka and Mbuti groups are also communal, egalitarian and make decisions by consensus.

Of the early history of the Baka and Mbuti and other Pygmy groups, even less is known than about the Khoe-San people’s history. The tropical rainforests tend to swallow up their artifacts and habitations, which are made of natural materials that decompose quickly. Archaeological evidence indicates that human populations have lived in the Congo River Basin for some 30,000 years. Genetic evidence points to all Pygmy populations coming from a common ancestral group about 3,000 years ago.








Portrait of a Baka man (1879). Photo by Richard Buchta - Courtesy of Pitt Rivers Museum in southern Sudan.




Colonial and modern eras:


Because of their small populations, isolation, nomadic lifestyle and the largely inaccessible and inhospitable areas they lived in, the Khoe-San and Baka and Mbuti people were less afflicted by the slave trade than other African populations. The Colonial Era, however, had numerous long-range effects. As the newcomers came into contact with the native peoples, they altered migration patterns, introduced Christianity, made certain lands off-limits and changed the hierarchies and relationships among tribes and clans. Ultimately, the nations that were formed in the aftermath of colonization continued to disenfranchise nomadic peoples, using their traditional lands for resources such as diamonds, gold, platinum and strategic minerals.

Please note that genetic ethnicity estimates are based on individuals living in this region today. While a prediction of genetic ethnicity from this region suggests a connection to the groups occupying this location, it is not conclusive evidence of membership to any particular tribe or ethnic group.

Did You Know?

Many consider the San to be the best trackers in the world. In fact, scientists have recently recruited San trackers to help decipher prehistoric human footprints that have been preserved in caves.










A San hunter in the Kalahari Desert



Senegal: Primarily located in Senegal and the Gambia. Also found in: Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Mali and Mauritania.


Africa’s westernmost nation, Senegal, lies about 1,000 miles above the equator and boasts miles of beaches along the Atlantic. It’s bordered by Mauritania, Mali, Guinea, and Guinea-Bissau and almost completely encircles the Gambia. The country’s current population is just about evenly divided between urban and rural dwellers, with more than 2 million Senegalese now living in and around the capital city of Dakar. Senegal is widely known for its music, including mbalax (“rhythm” in Wolof, the working language of Senegal) and dazzling sabar drumming.

How Leonardo Marin-Saavedra compares to the typical person native to the Senegal region


Leonardo Marin-Saavedra: 1%. Typical native: 100%.

Genetic Diversity in the Senegal Region:

People living in the Senegal region are not very admixed, which means that when creating genetic ethnicity estimates for people native to this area, we don’t often see similarities to DNA profiles from other nearby regions. We’ve found that about 100% of the typical Senegal native’s DNA comes from this region.

Examples of people native to the Senegal region:

From a collection of 28 people 

  100%.  100%.  100%.  80%.  52%.

Other regions commonly seen in people native to the Senegal region

From a collection of 28 people:

Region % of natives (that have this region): Mali: 46%. Benin and Togo: 7%.
We have used our reference panel to build a genetic profile for Senegal. The blue chart above shows examples of ethnicity estimates for people native to this region. For Senegal, we see a very narrow range. For most natives, between 80% and 100% of their DNA looks similar to the profile. However there are some exceptions, and we see some with as little as 52% of their DNA from this region. For those who show similarity to DNA profiles from neighboring regions, about 46% have at least some DNA from the Mali region. (See green chart above.)

Population History:

Archeological findings indicate that the Senegal area has been inhabited since prehistoric times. For the last millennium at least, trade routes have helped shape the area. Trans-Saharan trade flowing to and from the interior of Africa helped establish and maintain the Ghana, Mali, and Wolof (or Jolof) Empires, each of which bordered or included portions of modern-day Senegal. Trade and conquest brought wealth, Islam and people into the region—and sometimes pushed people out. Portuguese traders reached the estuary of the Senegal River in the mid-1400s. Over the next four centuries the direction of trade shifted. Instead of heading inland, toward the Sahara, it began to flow outward, toward the European traders on the Atlantic Coast. As colonial powers began to push farther inland themselves in the 19th century, they eventually brought an end to local kingdoms and actually furthered the spread of Islam, which became a way of uniting against the European invaders. Slave raiding and trading were major sources of revenue for the region’s kings, and the island of Gorée (just a mile off the coast of Senegal, opposite Dakar) became the largest slave-trading center in Africa. Controlled at various times by the Portuguese, Dutch, English and French, the island served as a warehouse where, over a 200-year period, millions of slaves were taken from their homeland. The island, with its House of Slaves museum and memorial, is now a pilgrimage destination for the African diaspora from the slave trade.






House of Slaves on Gorée Island













View of Gorée Island off the coast of Senegal







The French took control of Senegal in the 19th century, while the Gambia became a British colony. Senegal gained independence in 1960; the Gambia, in 1965.

Migrations and ethnic groups in the Senegal region:


Senegal’s current population is believed to be a mixture of peoples who moved into the region from the north and the east. Despite its relatively small size, the area is home to several ethnic groups. Today, the predominant population groups are the Wolof (43%), the Fula (23%) and the Serer (14%). Others include the Jola and the Mandinka.

Wolof:


Many believe the Wolof (or Jolof) people migrated into Senegal from the northeast sometime around the 11th century. By 1350, they had established their own empire, a federation of several Wolof kingdoms, or states. The Wolof Empire came to an end when the French took control of the interior during the 19th century. Most Wolof identify themselves as Muslim. Their culture once had a three-tiered caste system—freeborn, of slave descent, and artisans—though this has broken down somewhat in recent times. The Wolof language has become the lingua franca of Senegal.

Fula:


Historically, the Fula (Fulani, Fulbe, Peul) were a nomadic people known for keeping cattle. Some evidence suggests that their presence in West Africa goes back centuries, possibly including North African and Middle Eastern ancestry. They spread outward from Senegal, through western and central Africa and east to the Sudan. They are also strongly linked to Islam, and some Fulani led jihads in West Africa as late as the 19th century. In modern Senegal, they primarily live in the Fouta Toro area, in the northeastern part of the country; and near Casamance, south of the Gambia.







Wolof in war costume






Serer:


Some scholars believe that the Serer people have the oldest roots in the region, and Serer oral traditions claim their original ancestors came from the Upper Nile area. The Serer people resisted Islam for centuries, and some still practice their traditional religion of Fat Rog (or Fat Roog). Many also speak one of the Serer languages, and most occupy the west-central part of modern Senegal. Although the Serer are a minority in the country, Senegal’s first and second presidents were Serers. Senegalese wrestling also has roots in Serer forms of wrestling, which was once used to train warriors for combat.






Senegalese wrestling. Photo by Pierre-Yves Beaudouin.



Mandinka:


The Mandinka are a minority population in Senegal, but a significant one because of their experience with the slave trade. The Mandinka group is a branch of the Mandé peoples, who came south into the areas of Senegal and Mali and were instrumental in founding the Ghana and Mali Empires. During the slave trade era, up to one third of the Mandinka people were enslaved and shipped to the New World. (Mandinka make up more than 40% of the population in neighboring Gambia.)
Please note that genetic ethnicity estimates are based on individuals living in this region today. While a prediction of genetic ethnicity from this region suggests a connection to the groups occupying this location, it is not conclusive evidence of membership to any particular tribe or ethnic group.

Did You Know?


Senegal’s famous sabar drums, played with one hand and one stick, were once used to communicate among villages and could be heard for miles.







Two sabar drums from Senegal - Photo by Michael Brouwer





Benin and Togo: Primarily located in Benin and Togo. Also found in Ghana, Nigeria and Mali.

For years, anthropologists and others looked at African ethnic groups as being mostly solitary and static. However, historians now know that huge empires and kingdoms, with administrations and armies, diplomatic corps and distant trading partners, have long been part of Africa’s fabric. This is especially true of West Africa, where migrations, conquests and intermarriage within allied kingdoms help explain why, for example, 43% of people from the Benin/Togo region have DNA that looks similar to the profile for the Ivory Coast and Ghana region, and 28% similar to the profile for Nigeria.

How Leonardo Marin-Saavedra compares to the typical person native to the Benin/Togo region

Leonardo Marin-Saavedra: 0%. Typical native: 82%.

Genetic Diversity in the Benin and Togo Region:

The people living in the Benin/Togo region are admixed, which means that when creating genetic ethnicity estimates for people native to this area, we sometimes see similarities to DNA profiles from other regions. We’ve found that approximately 82% of the typical Benin/Togo native’s DNA comes from this region.

Examples of people native to the Benin/Togo region:

From a collection of 60 people 

 100%.  100%.  82%.    65%.  28%.

Other regions commonly seen in people native to the Benin/Togo region:

From a collection of 60 people
Region % of natives that have this region: Ivory Coast and Ghana: 43%. Nigeria: 28%. Mali: 25%. Cameroon and Congo: 10%. Senegal: 3%. Africa Southeastern Bantu: 3%.
We have used our reference panel to build a genetic profile for Benin/Togo. The blue chart above shows examples of ethnicity estimates for people native to this region. For Benin/Togo we see a fairly wide range: for some natives, as little as 28% of their DNA comes from the region, while for others, 100% looks similar to the profile. For Benin/Togo natives with DNA from neighboring regions, we most commonly see the Ivory Coast/Ghana region. About 43% of Benin/Togo natives have DNA from Ivory Coast/Ghana, while another 28% have DNA similar to the profile for Nigeria. (See the green chart above.)

Population History:


Benin sits just west of Nigeria, and west of Benin is Togo. Benin has a population of 9.88 million that is growing at an annual rate of 2.84%. Togo is only slightly behind with a growth rate of 2.73% and 7.15 million people. Both countries’ populations are largely rural, but more densely concentrated along the coast. Though tied closely together by history, geography and religion, the inhabitants of Benin and Togo are ethnically quite different.





Women paddling a boat near Ganvie, Benin






Benin’s largest ethnic group is the Fon (39%), followed by the Adja (15%), Yoruba (12%) and Bariba (9%). Togo’s largest ethnic groups are the Ewe (21%), Kabye (12%), Mina (3.2%) and Kotokoli (3.2%). Benin has more ethnic ties to its neighbor Nigeria; Togo has more links to Ghana. These ethnic ties are the result of long-standing kingdoms that flourished before European colonists created new borders.
Considering their small size, both countries have great ethnic diversity, especially in the north. Some populations there are related to ethnic groups farther north in Burkina Faso, and the small but influential Hausa population is largely responsible for bringing Islam to Togo. In the south of Benin, the Fon people are dominant. They are descendants from the powerful African kingdom of Dahomey that ruled the region from about 1600 to 1900. Most northern Beninese and Togolese practice herding, fishing and subsistence farming. Trade is limited in the north, where neither country has much in the way of navigable waterways or viable roads. In the more urbanized south, however, people have greater social and physical mobility. Most urban Africans in the Benin/Togo region work at a trade or sell goods at local markets. In the past, the proximity to the coast spawned trade relationships with Europeans, other Africans and with slave traders. The countries on the Bight of Benin were part of the so-called “Slave Coast” and in the late 1600s became the top suppliers of slaves to the New World. As a result, the genetic footprint of the Benin/Togo region can be found across much of the Western Hemisphere.

Dahomey:

Many people in Togo and Benin speak one of about 20 related Gbe languages. Linguistic evidence indicates that most of the Gbe people came from the east in several migrations between the 10th and 15th centuries. The Gbe were pushed westward during a series of wars with the Yoruba people of Nigeria, then settled in Tado on the Mono River (in present-day Togo). Around 1600, Fon emigrants from Tado established the Kingdom of Dahomey, a Fon monarchy that ruled Benin for some 300 years. Its standing army, an aggressive economic model that relied on slavery for export and labor, and its “Amazon” warriors (elite troops of fierce, female combat soldiers) made the Kingdom of Dahomey a powerful regional threat. It was also the top trading partner with the Europeans. Other contemporary kingdoms in Benin included Porto-Novo, as well as smaller northern states. In Togo, the Kabye and Lamba (or Lama) peoples migrated to the north between 600 and 1200 A.D. Many other groups who settled in Togo were refugees of wars in Dahomey and what is now Ghana.










Gezo, King of Dahomey. Image from Dahomey and the Dahomans 
by Frederick E. Forbes, NYPL




Slave trade:

European slave traders first became a force on the coast of West Africa. By 1475 Portuguese traders had reached the Bight of Benin, and by the mid-1500s Spain and England had also legalized the slave trade. As the demand for slaves grew, the Kingdom of Dahomey (and others in the region) provided European traders with a constant supply in exchange for goods and firearms. Dahomey, which had long paid tribute to the Yoruba Empire of Oyo, used its new weapons and power to throw off that yoke. More than 2 million slaves were sent from the Bight of Benin to the New World, and among them were many from Benin and Togo’s major ethnic groups. The Adja, Mina, Ewe and Fon groups of this region were the third-most enslaved groups sent to the New World. A great number of these went to Haiti and Brazil, where they established their traditional religious practices and ancestor worship, better known today as Voodoo, Santería or Macumba.

Colonization:

With the end of slavery, the Kingdom of Dahomey lost its revenue source and began an economic decline. The French defeated Dahomey in a series of wars between 1890 and 1894, and eventually, both Benin and Togo (minus an area under British control) became part of French West Africa. One result of the French colonial period was that, in many cases, French West Africans had certain citizenship or other rights under French law; over time, African communities sprang up in France and other parts of Europe. In 1960, both Benin and Togo declared independence.








Combat de Dogba, 19 September, 1892, by Alexandre d'Albéca, depicting a battle during the Second War of Dahomey.





Please note that genetic ethnicity estimates are based on individuals living in this region today. While a prediction of genetic ethnicity from this region suggests a connection to the groups occupying this location, it is not conclusive evidence of membership to any particular tribe or ethnic group.

Did You Know?

Benin’s village of Ganvie stands on stilts in the middle of Lake Nokoué. Tradition says the village was built on the lake to protect the Tofinu people from slave traders because Fon warriors, who captured slaves for Portuguese traders, were not allowed to fight on water.




Ganvie, Benin





West Asia: 2%. Caucasus: 2%.

Caucasus:


Primarily located in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey. Also found in: Bulgaria, Jordan, Greece, Italy, Kuwait, Palestine, Romania and Turkmenistan.

The Greater Caucasus Range, running northwest to southeast between the Black and Caspian Seas, is the traditional line of demarcation between the continents of Europe and Asia. It was here, according to Greek mythology, that Zeus bound Prometheus for giving fire to humans. Linguistically, culturally, and even ecologically diverse, the Caucasus area is home to more than 50 ethnic groups and is one of 34 "biodiversity hotspots" (areas with significant, threatened biodiversity) in the world.

How Leonardo Marin-Saavedra compares to the typical person native to the Caucasus region

Leonardo Marin-Saavedra: 2%. Typical native: 83%.

Genetic Diversity in the Caucasus Region:

People living in the Caucasus region today are admixed, which means that when creating genetic ethnicity estimates for people native to this area, we frequently see similarities to DNA profiles from other nearby regions. We’ve found that approximately 83% of the typical native’s DNA comes from this region.

Examples of people native to the Caucasus region

From a collection of 58 people 

 96%.  88%.  83%.  70%.  46%.

Other regions commonly seen in people native to the Caucasus region:

From a collection of 58 people

Region % of natives that have this region 
Middle East: 53%. Asia South: 50%. Europe East: 12%. Italy and Greece: 10%. Asia Central: 9%. Scandinavia: 7%. Great Britain: 5%. Ireland: 5%. European Jewish: 3%. Asia East: 2%. Europe West: 2%.

We have used our reference panel to build a genetic profile for the Caucasus region. The blue chart above shows examples of ethnicity estimates for people native to this area. For the Caucasus, we normally see a relatively narrow range: for most natives, between 70% and 96% of their DNA looks similar to the profile. However, others have as little as 46% of their DNA from this region. The other regions most commonly found are the neighboring Middle East and Asia South regions. (See green chart above.)

Population History:


Our Caucasus region extends from the Anatolian Peninsula and the nation of Turkey, bordered by the Mediterranean, to the Caucasus Mountains, which form its northern boundary along Russia’s southwestern edge. There, the nations of Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan are nestled in the highlands between the Black and Caspian Seas. In the south, it stretches from Syria to Iran, reaching all the way to the Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea. Its location has made the area a homeland for some of the world's most famous civilizations and empires. Cyrus the Great expanded his territories from his home in Iran to create the powerful Persian Empire, the largest in the world to that point (around 540 B.C.). Known for his religious and cultural tolerance, Cyrus freed the Jews from slavery to the Babylonians. Cyrus’s descendants Darius and Xerxes famously battled the Greeks at Thermopylae, Salamis and Marathon during the Greco-Persian Wars.

Turkey, in particular, has historically been at the crossroads of Eastern and Western cultures, beginning with the Trojan War. As famously narrated by Homer in his Iliad, Mycenaean Greeks laid siege to the ancient Lydian city of Troy, which was most likely part of the ancient Hittite Empire. The Roman Empire, ruling from Constantinople, spread Christianity and Greco-Roman culture throughout Anatolia. The arrival of Turkic peoples from Central Asia brought the Turkish language and Islam. Their eventual conquests in the Byzantine Empire and its territories in the Holy Lands of the Levant were the catalysts for the first Crusades.








Cyrus the Great 
















The Burning of Troy by Johann Georg Trautmann








Much of the Caucasus region is Muslim. Shia Islam is the official state religion of Iran, while the Sunni branch is predominant in the Caucasus groups of the north, such as the Nogay (also Nogai), Adyghe and Chechens. Modern-day Turkey is a secular nation, but the vast majority of the population is Muslim, including the Kurds in the southeast. Georgia and Armenia have a long history of Christianity, being two of the earliest nations to adopt it. Along with Azerbaijan, they were part of the former Soviet Union (USSR). Since the dissolution of the USSR, continual border disputes contribute to a tense atmosphere.

Migrations into this region:

About 45,000 years ago, modern humans first came to the Caucasus Mountains and surrounding region from somewhere in the Middle East. Farming spread to the Caucasus Mountains during the Neolithic period, and later, Jewish populations also moved north into the region. Additional evidence suggests that Mongols invaded the Caucasus area 800 years ago, leaving descendants such as the Nogay.

Migrations from this region:

Despite its intermediate position between Eastern Europe and the Middle East, the Caucasus region seems rarely to have been the source of migrations.











Portrait of Genghis Khan, from an album depicting several Yuan emperors, now located in the National Palace Museum in Taipei



Did You Know?

The Armenian city of Yerevan, founded in 782 B.C. as the fortress Erebuni, has been continuously inhabited for almost 2,800 years.







Yerevan, Armenia

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