This is my personal “Out of Africa story”, my ancestral migration 200.000 thousand years ago from North East Africa to Western Europe and finally sending my name to Mars on the NASA Perseverance Rover, 18-02-2021.
“Our own genomes carry the story of evolution, written in DNA, the language of molecular genetics and the narrative is unmistakable.
– Kenneth R. Miller –
The species that you and all other living human beings on this planet belong to is Homo sapiens. During a time of dramatic climate change 300,000 years ago, Homo sapiens evolved in Africa. Like other early humans that were living at this time, they gathered and hunted food, and evolved behaviors that helped them respond to the challenges of survival in unstable environments.
Humans (Homo sapiens) are the most abundant and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality and large complex brains enabling the development of advanced tools, culture and language. Humans evolved from other hominins in Africa several million years ago.
In his book The history of the human brain, Bret Stetka writes: “By human, I don’t just mean Homo Sapiens, the species we belong to, but any other member of the genus Homo. We have gotten used to being the only human species on Earth, but in our not-so-distant past – probably a few hundred thousand years ago – there were at least nine of us running around. There was Homo habilis, or “the handy man” and Homo erectus, the first “pitcher”.
The Denisovans roamed Asia, while the more well-known Neanderthalers spread through Europe. But with the exception of Homo sapiens, they are all gone.”
Homo sapiens emerged around 300,000 years ago, evolving from Homo erectus and migrating out of Africa, gradually replacing local populations of archaic humans.
Early humans were hunter-gatherers, before settling in the Fertile Crescent and other parts of the Old World. Access to food surpluses led to the formation of permanent human settlements and the domestication of animals.
Out of Africa
In paleoanthropology, the recent African origin of modern humans, also called the “Out of Africa” theory (OOA), recent single-origin hypothesis (RSOH), replacement hypothesis, or recent African origin model (RAO), is the dominant model of the geographic origin and early migration of anatomically modern humans (Homo sapiens). It follows the early expansions of hominins out of Africa, accomplished by Homo erectus and then Homo neanderthalensis.
The model proposes a “single origin” of Homo sapiens in the taxonomic sense, precluding parallel evolution of traits considered anatomically modern in other regions, but not precluding multiple admixture between H. sapiens and archaic humans in Europe and Asia. H. sapiens most likely developed in the Horn of Africa between 300,000 and 200,000 years ago. The “recent African origin” model proposes that all modern non-African populations are substantially descended from populations of H. sapiens that left Africa after that time.
There were at least several “out-of-Africa” dispersals of modern humans, possibly beginning as early as 270,000 years ago, including 215,000 years ago to at least Greece,and certainly via northern Africa and the Arabian Peninsula about 130,000 to 115,000 years ago. These early waves appear to have mostly died out or retreated by 80,000 years ago.
The most significant “recent” wave out of Africa took place about 70,000–50,000 years ago, via the so-called “Southern Route”, spreading rapidly along the coast of Asia and reaching Australia by around 65,000–50,000 years ago, while Europe was populated by an early offshoot which settled the Near East and Europe less than 55,000 years ago.
In the 2010s, studies in population genetics uncovered evidence of interbreeding that occurred between H. sapiens and archaic humans in Eurasia, Oceania and Africa indicating that modern population groups, while mostly derived from early H. sapiens, are to a lesser extent also descended from regional variants of archaic humans.
There are three types of DNA
Because Y-chromosomes are passed from father to son virtually unchanged, males can trace their patrilineal (male-line) ancestry by testing their Y-chromosome.
Since women don’t have Y-chromosomes, they can’t take Y-DNA tests (though their brother, father, paternal uncle, or paternal grandfather could). Y-chromosome testing uncovers a male’s Y-chromosome haplogroup, the ancient group of people from whom one’s patrilineage descends. Because only one’s male-line direct ancestors are traced by Y-DNA testing, no females (nor their male ancestors) from whom a male descends are encapsulated in the result.
- Autosomal DNA
Autosomal DNA tests trace a person’s autosomal chromosomes, which contain the segments of DNA the person shares with everyone to whom they’re related (maternally and paternally, both directly and indirectly.
The autosomal chromosomes gives you information that is most useful in looking back a couple of centuries.
Because everyone has autosomal chromosomes, people of all genders can take autosomal DNA tests, and the test is equally effective for people of any gender. With an autosomal test, your results won’t include information about haplogroups
Mitochondrial DNA tests trace people’s matrilineal (mother-line) ancestry through their mitochondria, which are passed from mothers to their children.
Mitochondrial DNA testing uncovers a one’s mtDNA haplogroup, the ancient group of people from whom one’s matrilineage descends.
Because mitochondria are passed on only by women, no men (nor their ancestors) from whom one descends are encapsulated in the results.
Since everyone has mitochondria, people of all genders can take mtDNA tests.
What and where did I test and an explanation of some important used DNA concepts
My Autosomal DNA
The most up-to-date research into ancient migrations on the European Continent suggests that there were three major groups of people that have had a lasting effect on present day peoples of European descent: Metal Age Invader 13% – Farmer 39% – Hunter-Gatherer 48% – non-European 0%.
If you look at the map, my Autosomal results indicate that my very early ancestors lived in geographic lands later occupied by Angles, Saxons, Jutes, Frisians, Danes, Vikings, Scandinavians and Normans. If you read on you will see that my Y-DNA and mtDNA haplogroups probably reconfirm these findings. My paternal cousins (people you can trace to with only this male line) were probably among the first (re)settlers of Britain, Ireland, and Scandinavia as the ice sheets receded.
This is the collective name for the various Germanic tribes that settled in England after the departure of the Romans in 407, in the course of the 5th century and later. The later invading tribes came from northwestern Germany and the Netherlands (the Angles and the Saxons and also the Frisians) and from Denmark (the Jutes).
The Saxons settled in the south of the country, the Jutes in the southeast (Kent), the Angles occupied the largest area: the center and north. Around 840 the invasions of the Danes (also called Vikings or Normans) started and at the time of King Alfred the Great they controlled a large part of the country.The attacks of the Normans ceased and the populations intermingled. At the end of the 10th century, the Danes resumed their attacks. Later Norman influence increased, culminating in the Norman conquest of England by William the Conqueror in 1066.
Low Countries and Vikings
The most important haplogroup that may be a strong predictor of Viking genetic background is I1. It is critical to understand that not all Vikings were I1 and not all I1 were Vikings. I1 was a modification of I that emerged about 27,000 years ago. Vikings weren’t just Scandinavians in their genetic ancestry. Many Vikings have a high degree of non-Scandinavian ancestry, both within and outside Scandinavia, indicating an ongoing gene flow across Europe.
The Netherlands has the closest DNA profile to Germanic groups. Notably, a significant admixture event with a major Danish source was inferred between 759 and 1290 CE in the Dutch northern seaboard provinces. This period spans a historical period of recorded Danish Viking contact and rule in northern Dutch territories. The demographic legacy of more than a century of Danish Viking raids and settlement in the Netherlands has been the subject of some debate, but it appears that the modern Dutch genome has indeed been partially shaped by historical Viking admixture. This Danish Viking contact is contemporaneous with a critical period in the establishment of the modern Dutch genome from other outside sources (1004–1111 CE).
Vikings disease (hand)
Dupuytren’s contracture (also called Dupuytren’s disease, Morbus Dupuytren, Viking hand and Celtic hand) is a condition in which one or more fingers become permanently bent in a flexed position. Dupuytren’s disease is currently called a Viking disease on the assumption that the disease was spread to Europe and the British Isles during the Viking Age of the 9th to the 13th centuries. From a literature search, it is proposed that Dupuytren’s disease existed in Europe earlier than the Viking Age and originated much earlier in prehistory.
There is a strong genetic component, certain HLA haplotypes also appear to be associated with the disease. It is strongly associated with northern European ancestry, and could have arisen from a genetic mutation in the Viking population originally.
- Well I have Dupuytren’s contracture and my father and grandfather, so this genetic mutation certainly runs in my family.
So were some of my early ancestors Pre-Viking?
The ubiquity of the term “Viking” masks a wide variety of constructions of Vikingism: the old northmen are merchant adventurers, mercenary soldiers, pioneering colonists, pitiless raiders, self-sufficient farmers, cutting-edge naval technologists, primitive democrats, psychopathic berserks, ardent lovers and complicated poets.
- Wow … that sounds just like me, so do I have some Viking in my DNA?
Well, considering that 56 % of my Autosomal DNA origins are from England, Wales and Scotland, 23 % from Scandinavia and that my main Y-DNA I-FGC151505 haplogroup is most commonly found in England and Denmark makes it an interesting idea and certainly not a far-fetched possibility. But there’s plenty of reason to take those results with a grain of salt, myancestors’ actual history is probably more complicated — and more diverse — than it looks on paper.
Doggerland during the Anglian glaciation
Until the middle Pleistocene Great Britain was a peninsula of Europe, connected by the massive chalk Weald–Artois Anticline across the Straits of Dover. During the Anglian glaciation, about 450,000 years ago, an ice sheet filled much of the North Sea, with a large proglacial lake in the southern part fed by the Rhine, the Scheldt and the Thames.
Doggerland was an area of land, now submerged beneath the southern North Sea, that connected Great Britain to continental Europe. It was flooded by rising sea levels around 6500–6200 BCE. Geological surveys have suggested that it stretched from what is now the east coast of Great Britain to what are now the Netherlands, the western coast of Germany and the peninsula of Jutland. It was probably a rich habitat with human habitation in the Mesolithic period.
Around 7000 BC the Ice Age had ended and Mesolithic European hunter-gatherers had migrated from their refuges to recolonize the continent, including Doggerland which later submerged beneath the rising North Sea.
When scientists from Imperial College released a simulation of a tsunami, triggered by a vast undersea landslide at Storrega off the coast of Norway around 6000 BC, it probably came as a surprise to many in north-west Europe that their reassuringly safe part of the world had been subject to such a cataclysmic event.
The researchers suggest that this succession of destructive waves up to 14 metres high may have depopulated an area that is now in the middle of the North Sea, known as Doggerland. However, melting ice at the end of the last ice age around 18,000 years ago led to rising sea levels that inundated vast areas of continental shelves around the world. These landscapes, which had been home to populations of hunter gatherers for thousands of years were gradually overwhelmed by millions of tonnes of meltwater swelling the ocean. Doggerland, essentially an entire prehistoric European country, disappeared beneath the North Sea, its physical remains preserved beneath the marine silts but lost to memory.
The majority of western European males belonged to Y-haplogroup I and northeast Europeans to haplogroup R1a. Other minor male lineages such as R1b, G, J, T and E would also have been present in Europe, having migrated from the Asian Steppe, the Middle East and North Africa.
Historical and geographic information about my Autosomal DNA
Percentages of autosomal DNA that I still carry with me
Y-DNA – Haplogroup Origins
The Y-DNA chromosome is passed on from father to son, remaining mostly unaltered from generation to generation, except for small trackable changes from time to time. By comparing these small differences in high-coverage test results, we can reconstruct a large Family Tree of Mankind where all Y chromosomes go back to a single common ancestor who lived hundreds of thousands of years ago.
- My Y-DNA Terminal SNP is I-FGC15105, subgroup of I-FGC15109, which is a subgroup of haplogroup I-M223, which in itself is a subgroup of I-M170.
- Age of I-FGC15105: ± 1800 years BCE.
Region: Sardinia and Balkans; one of the first haplogroups in Europe along with haplogroup G.
Haplogroup I-FGC15105 paternal line was formed when it branched off from the ancestor I-FGC15109 and the rest of mankind around 1800 BCE.
The man who is the most recent common ancestor of this line is estimated to have been born around 1750 BCE. He is the ancestor of at least 4 descendant lineages known as I-BY18, I-BY3802 and 2 yet unnamed lineages.
There are 125 DNA tested descendants, and they specified that their earliest known origins are from England, United States, Ireland, and 11 other countries. But the story does not end here! As more people test, the history of this genetic lineage will be further refined.
Notable Y-DNA connections
- The notable Y-DNA haplogroup connections are based on direct DNA testing or deduced from testing of relatives and should be considered as fun facts.
Yes, Yes fun …, but remember DNA does not lie, DNA never lies, so they are real facts!
Ancient Y-DNA connections
Here are some very ancient connections who share a common paternal ancestor with me. They were found in the regions now known as:
Analysis of my ancient relatives with whom I share a common paternal ancestor.
My (I-FGC15071) so far oldest Y-DNA common line of paternal ancestors are:
- Viste Boy (Norwegian: Vistegutten) a 15-year-old boy from the Mesolithic (Middle Stone Age) who was found at an archaeological excavation of the Viste Cave in Vistehola, Rogaland, Norway in 1907 and lived around 6300 – 6000 BCE. Viste Boy and I share a common paternal ancestor (I-CTS2257) who lived around 20,000 BCE.
- Motala 2 (I-L596) a man who lived about 5715 – 5569 BCE and lived in what is now known as Motala, near the Lake Vättern in Sweden. Motala 2 and I (I-FGC15105) share a common paternal ancestor (I-CTS2257) who lived around 21000 BCE.
My (I-FGC15071) next most common ancient Y-DNA common line of paternal ancestors (I-FGC15071) are 9 males who lived around 9550 BCE. They lived in what is now known as Macarthur Cave, Argyll and Bute, Scotland – Distillery Cave, Argyll and Bute, Scotland – Portal Tomb, Poulnabrone, Clare, Ireland and Primrose Grange, Ireland.
I share a common paternal ancestor with them around 9550 BCE.
- But in 9550 BCE this was Doggerland, a piece of land, now submerged under the southern North Sea, connecting Britain to continental Europe. Geological surveys have suggested that it stretched from what is now the east coast of Great Britain to what is now the Netherlands, the west coast of Germany and the Jutland peninsula. It was flooded by rising sea levels around 6500–6200 BC
In terms of timeline, the continuation of my ancient Y-DNA common line of paternal ancestors (I-By1003) are 9 men who lived from 7400 – 7450 BCE. They lived in what is now known as Bodrogkeresztur, Urziceni, Romania – Břvany, Louny , Czech Republic – Sassari Italy – the Tollense battlefield in Western Pomerania, Germany -Les Bréguières, Alpes-Maritimes, France – Cueva de las Lechuzas, Villena, Alicante, Spain – all in Eastern and Central Europe, Spain and Sardinia.
- So I think it is reasonable to assume that my ancient ancestors from England, Ireland and Scotland migrated back before 6500 – 6200 BCE from Doggerland, before it disappeared due to rising sea levels, to Eastern and Central Europe, Spain and Sardinia.
Although my FTDNA Haplogroup Report matches me to remains found in Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Serbia, Slovenia and Italy I also match a dozen Tollense Valley remains found in Mecklenburg Germany as well as Longobard graves in Hungary down through to France, Italy and Northern Spain.
The next group of ancient paternal connections are Weltzin 15, 51, 71, 39 64, 24 and Welztin 83. they were 7 men who lived between 1350 and 1150 BCE during the European Bronze Age and their DNA was found on the battlefield of Tollense valley in Western Pomerania, Germany and 6 men who lived in what is now known as Erd Hungary – Földvár, Százhalombatta, Hungary – Poláky, Chomutov, Czech Republic – Zličín, Praha, Czech Republic and Mokrin necropolis, Mokrin, Serbia.
And then there is Szólád 43, a man with who I share a common paternal line ancestor (I-FGC151109) who lived around 1800 BCE.
Szólád 43 lived between 438 and 605 CE during the Medieval Age and was found in the region now known as Szólád, Cserénfa, Hungary. He was associated with the Longobard Barbarian cultural group.
Interestingly, the Lombard homeland is just a little southwest of the Tollense Valley.
The Lombards, also known as the Longobards, were a Germanic tribe whose fabled origins lay in the barbarian realm of Scandinavia. After centuries of obscurity during the long period of Roman domination in Europe, the Lombards began a concerted migration south-eastwards, coming to prominence immediately after the fall of Rome. They ruled most of the Italian peninsula from 568 to 774.The Lombards settled in what is now Hungary in Pannonia.
Archaeologists have excavated cemeteries in the Szólád area of Lombard men and women who were buried together as a family, a practice unusual for Germanic peoples at the time. Traces of Mediterranean Greeks and of a woman whose skull suggests French ancestry have also been discovered, possibly indicating that migrations to the Lombardy area occurred from Greece and France.
- I think the most accurate determination I can make is that my paternal lineage (I-FGC15105) on the I-M223 family tree is Very Old (like All of Us) and my particular line is associated through hunter-gatherers and megalith peoples, Bell Beakers to Pré / Proto Celtic and Germanic origin.
I think there might be a real genetic basis to the origin and lore of the Longobards and their migration south to Italy from the regions of Baltic/Jutland and Lower Denmark, which may explain my ancient genetic Scandinavian heritage.
Further downstream, it all seems to be confined to a particular group of Germanic people known as the Saxons in England, Scotland and Ireland.
These connections are based on DNA research of archaeological remains from all over the world.
My upstream I-M223 SNP (subgroup of I-M170)
- Age: 17.400 BCE
Region: Western Asia to Western Europe; very low frequency in the Middle East. Along with G one of the first haplogroups in Europe.
- Note: On the 29th June 2018, the International Society of Genetic Genealogy (ISOGG) updated the Haplogroup I Tree to accommodate new branches and I-M223 has been given a new longhand classification of I2a1b1. Previous names were I2a2a, I2b1 and I1c, so please be careful as earlier reference material may refer to I-M223 or sub-clades under one of these previous longhand classifications. I-P222 is a sub-branch of I-M223 and is the parent branch of all sub-branches and clades in this Project. The I-P222 branch node has a further 55 SNPs. Sequencing ancient Y-DNA found at least two ancient male remains that were I-M223 but of a different sub-branch named I-FT355000. This is why I-M223 branch was split into the two sub-branches.
I-M223 is the shorthand form of the Y-DNA Haplogroup I branch and can also be shown as I2-M223. The M223 refers to the SNP at Hg38 location 19555421 on the Y-Chromosome with mutation G to A.
This mutation occurred in a man, approximately 17,400 years ago and M223 is one of 23 SNPs found derived (+) at the I-M223 node. We do not know which of the 23 SNPs mutated first and which was last. All men that are derived for M223 share a common ancestor that lived at least 13,200 to 10,800 years ago. It has now been confirmed by ancient DNA test that the first Homo sapiens to colonize Europe during the Aurignacian period (45,000 to 28,000 years ago), belonged to haplogroups CT, C1a, C1b, F and haplogroup I (to which my M223 belongs).
Haplogroup Y-M223 (formerly I2a2a) has a peak in Germany and another in the northeast of Sweden, but also appears in Romania/Moldova, Russia, Greece, Italy and around the Black Sea. Haplogroup I-M223 has been found in over 4% of the population only in Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Scotland, and England (excluding Cornwall) – also the southern tips of Sweden and Norway in Northwest Europe; the provinces of Normandy, Maine, Anjou, and Perche in northwestern France; the province of Provence in southeastern France; the regions of Tuscany, Umbria, and Latium in Italy; Moldavia and the area around Russia’s Ryazan Oblast and Mordovia in Eastern Europe. Of historical note, both haplogroups I-M253 and I-M223 appear at a low frequency in the historical regions of Bithynia and Galatia in Turkey. Haplogroup I-M223 also occurs among approximately 1% of Sardinians.
Haplogroup I-M223 variants:
M223, CTS10093, CTS10125, CTS10262, CTS11545, CTS12861, CTS2312, CTS5015, CTS7032, CTS7172, CTS7865, CTS9266, FGC3540, GC3554,FGC3563, L34, L36, P219, P223, S2363, S2472, Z26370, Z77.
There was a first man to be M223.
He lived in Europe—probably. He lived 14,000 to 18,000 years ago—probably. We will never really know, because the only people we can test are his sons’ sons’ sons’ … sons’ sons who are alive today, including you. His father was not I-M223. Neither were his brothers. They were I-M170. One of his father’s sperm had a Y-chromosome that had mutated, creating a slightly different order of base pairs. That sperm fertilized his mother’s egg at his conception and the I-M223 “family” was created in that moment.
The only reason this “type” (I-M223) shows up among the noise of history is because his male line survived. The first I-M223 had sons. If they had been named Rubble and kept his surname, they all would have been Rubbles. All of their sons were I-M223, and would have been Rubbles. My paternal cousins (people you can trace to with only this male line) were probably among the first (re)settlers of Britain, Ireland, and Scandinavia as the ice sheets receded. The “surname” stayed with them. Sometimes it grew in population in a particular area when a man had a lot of sons; sometimes it died out in a particular area when all the men with the “surname” had no sons.