Up to a certain step all of you who have African, Middle Eastern, European, Melanesian, or Asian or Native American ancestry will be the same as me and Jane. We all are.
My European haplo group, H5b, comes originally from an African haplogroup called L3, in the African Rift Valley, some 70,000 years ago. Mitochondrial Eve was 180,000 years ago, and her descendants produced two groups, ultimately. One was L3, shared with people all over north Africa. But the part of that L3 lineage that would lead to H5b followed improving climate conditions northward, leading them slowly up the Great Rift of Africa into the Middle East by two routes, one into southern Arabia, one into northern. It’s worth noting that the world had just gone through (theoretically) a cataclysm, a volcanic winter, produced by the eruption of the Toba supervolcano, in Indonesia: 6-7 years of darkened skies, acid rain, and (in Africa) drought. This one group, apparently as conditions improved, began to move. Maybe it was population pressure, caused by a greater birthrate as conditions improved. Maybe it was scarcity of game, or whatever—one day a group that was strongly L3 just started traveling more.
Ten thousand years later, 60,000 years ago, L3 mutated again; and the daughters that had this mutation migrated, some back into northern Africa (Egypt) and some through Iran and Syria; then some went into Anatolia (Asia Minor), some went south of the Caspian Sea toward Asia, and some went between the Caspian and the Black Sea, into what became Azerbaijan.
A mere 5000 years further on, 55,000 years, there was another MtDNA mutation: those daughters began to wander all over the aforesaid regions, and back into Egypt, down into Yemen, off through Iraq, and toward Mongolia and toward Turkmenistan (above the Black Sea). Those lineages wandering off in these directions formed other haplogroups who drop off our chart entirely.
Another mutation, 41,000 years ago…again sent daughters wandering all over this area, getting nearly to the heart of Russia, but concentrating mostly in Arabia.
Another, 30,000 years ago, give or take 7000 years, and daughters of the H haplogroup spread clear to the Indus valley, but one part of it, my part, headed the opposite direction—going west. Unfortunately so: the world was about to enter another deep freeze, and Europe (the west) was NOT going to be a good place to settle.
There was a big dieoff among the daughters and sons of the H group, and the weather forced them south. The H (European) haplogroup probably lost a lot of lineages, narrowed to a few lines, and nearly froze to death: by 5000 BC the H3h2 group (Jane’s group) just hunkered down in southern France, northern Italy, and in Spain. Mine, the H5b group, hunkered down south of the Black Sea.
Scientists are ‘still studying’ how the H5b group moved after that, though it likely could have gone up the same route other H’s followed, up through Georgia (Russia) and across into Europe, or up and over the Black Sea to reach Scandinavia or up through ancient Illyria (Albania) to reach central Europe.
The report, in effect, left my unfortunate MtDNA stranded on the underside of the Black Sea, about the time the migrations were happening that led first settlements, then secondary invasions down into Greece, down into Italy, into Crete, and into central Europe, Scandinavia, and Britain. The pyramids would rise in north Africa, the city states of Sumer and Akkad, the settlements at Catal Huyuk (who knows, maybe some of mine were there) and the Cyclades (Greek islands) all began and had their day. My folk were generally either down in some of those areas or slogging through forest. Some of them could have become the Franks. I’ve got a lot of that in my ancestry. So does Jane. Some could have been Gauls. Some could have been Finnish hunters or Scandinavians: some Swedes are H5b. Some Dutch are, and I am that. I’m also betting on the Franks and Gauls.
But not necessarily exclusively.
A really iffy part of my ancestry has me descended from, among other things, people from Pannonia (Ancient Hungary) and Alaric the Visigoth (who dealt with the Romans), as well as a Byzantine Emperor and a Roman general. I don’t trust those bits. They equate with the Scandinavian genealogy that has me descended from a Frost Giant.
The fact that H5b concentrates in south Italy is interesting (where wave A survived the Roman [wave b} influx) and Bulgaria/Turkey/Macedonia and turns up again in Finland (the Frost Giants? she asks facetiously) —it’s a puzzlement. The scientists well know how most of the rest of the H haplogroups got where it was going. But how did H5b get abandoned in Turkey 5000 years ago and then end up, as my ancestors did, in Germany, Belgium, France, Spain, Italy and England for the last 3000 years?
There are some historical circumstances that could account for it, and one of them IS the Roman empire, ca. 750 bc-ca 500 ad in various incarnations. It moved people about—drafted legions in the Middle East to serve in Britain and France, drafted the Aeduan tribe of Central France to serve in Syria…and it set governments in power and left them there after its own demise.
And I do have on the tag-ends of my traceable ancestry a Scandianvian chief who was done in by a bona fide wizard in a long-running feud. Maybe I should take another look at those Finnish frost giants.