CM – Ancient DNA analysis sheds light on a dark event in medieval Spain


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September 23, 2021

from University of Huddersfield

An international team of researchers led by the Archaeogenetics Research Group at the University of Huddersfield, including geneticists, archaeologists and archaeologists, has published the genome sequence of a unique individual from Islamic medieval Spain – al-Andalus – the results of which have shed light on have a brutal event that took place in medieval Spain.

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The individual who had his skeleton in an Islamic necropolis of the 11th

suggested that he might be of African descent. Most of Spain was gradually conquered by Arabs and Berbers from northwest Africa from the 8th century, creating one of the most important centers of medieval European civilization.

The old DNA analysis was done by Dr. Marina Silva and Dr. Gonzalo Oteo-Garcia who worked on the University of Evolutionary Genomics’ Leverhulme Trust fellowship program.

They found that the « giant » carried highly specific North African genetic lineages on both his male and female lineages – the Y chromosome and mitochondrial DNA – the oldest individual known to be has special lineage. This suggested that his youngest lineage was indeed among the newly Islamized Berber populations of medieval northwest Africa.

However, closer examination revealed a more complex situation. The male and female lineages are only a small fraction of our total ancestry – those of our father’s father and our mother’s mother, and so on.

His genome-wide ancestry indicated that he also carried a significant amount – probably more than half – of local Spanish ancestry on his chromosomes. In addition, stable isotopic analysis indicated that it was most likely raised locally, meaning that the « giant » s Berber ancestors were actually due to the migration of an earlier generation. He therefore belonged to a sedentary community that had thoroughly mixed local Spanish and immigrant North African ancestors.

What was particularly striking, revealed Professor Martin Richards, Director of the University’s Evolutionary Genomics Research Center, was that he was very dissimilar to the modern Valencian people, who carry little or nothing of his Berber genetic heritage. </ This can be explained by the changing political situation after the Christian reconquest of Spain, as Dr. Oteo-Garcia, who recently started his work at the University of Parma, stated: "The decree expelling Moriscos from the Valencia region, i.e. Muslims who had already forcibly converted to Christianity, followed the resettlement of people from the north, that had little North African ancestry, changing the genetic diversity in the region.

Dr. Silva, now at the Francis Crick Institute in London, said: « The impact of this dramatic population change, resulting from a brutal political decision hundreds of years ago of years, can finally be attested directly on the basis of old DNA, as here in the ancestry of the ‘Segorbe Giant’ and his contemporaries.  »

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Similar title :
Ancient DNA analysis brings to light Light into a dark event in medieval Spain
Ancient DNA analysis sheds light on the dark events in medieval Spain


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