Ashkenazic Jews' mysterious origins unravelled by scientists thanks to ancient DNA

September 5, 2018 by Eran Elhaik, The Conversation
Credit: shutterstock

Where do the Jewish people come from? This is a question that anthopologists, historians and theologists have studied for millennia.

According to mythology, the Judaeans descended from three patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, who are buried in the Cave of the Patriarchs (Cave of Machpelah) in Hebron – a Palestinian city and world heritage site located in the southern West Bank, 19 miles south of Jerusalem.

Buried alongside them are said to be Adam and Eve and the four Matriarchs – Sara, Rebecca, Leah, and Rachel. The cave has never been excavated, but on top of it is a relatively modern building (mid first-century), which Herod the Great built – likely to honour his ancestors.

For a more scientific take on the Jewish origin debate, recent DNA analysis of Ashkenazic Jews – a Jewish ethnic group – revealed that their maternal line is European. It has also been found that their DNA only has 3% ancient ancestry which links them with the Eastern Mediterranean (also known as the Middle East) – namely Israel, Lebanon, parts of Syria, and western Jordan. This is the part of the world Jewish people are said to have originally come from – according to the Old Testament. But 3% is a minuscule amount, and similar to what modern Europeans as a whole share with Neanderthals. So given that the genetic ancestry link is so low, Ashkenazic Jews most recent ancestors must be from elsewhere.

Not one, but many tribes

To understand why this is the case, we need to go back in time, to look at where these other ancestors came from. It starts in Persia (modern-day Iran) during the sixth century. This is where most of the world's Jews were living at this time.

The tolerance of the Persians encouraged the Jews to adopt Persian names, words, traditions, and religious practices, and climb up the social ladder gaining a monopoly on trade. They also converted other people who were living along the Black Sea, to their Jewish faith. This helped to expand their global network.

Among these converts were the Alans (Iranian nomadic pastoral people), Greeks, and Slavs who resided along the southern shores of the Black Sea. Upon conversion, they translated the Old Testament into Greek, built synagogues, and continued expanding the Jewish trade network.

These Jews adopted the name Ashkenaz, and the DNA of Ashkenazic Jews can be traced to "Ancient Ashkenaz" – an intersection of trade routes in eastern Turkey.

DNA of Yiddish speakers could have originated from four ancient villages in northwest Turkey. Author provided
The rise of the Ashina

We now know that at the time these Jews adopted the name Ashkenaz, they also acquired unique Asian mutations on their Y chromosome. This is where another important group of people in our story come into play – and they are called the Gok-Turks.

During the sixth century, these nomadic people were ruled by a Siberian Turkic tribe called the Ashina. They were forced by the Chinese Tang Empire – who were in power in China at the time – to migrate westwards toward the Black Sea.

Thanks to their organisational and military skills, the Ashina united many tribes in this area – and a new empire called the "Khazar Khaganate" was born. Offering freedom of worship and taxing trade, these people quickly rose to power.

The Asian group of these DNA mutations, found in Ashkenazic Jews, likely originated from the Ashina elite and other Khazar clans, who converted from Shamanism to Judaism. This means that the Ashina and core Khazar clans were absorbed by the Ashkenazic Jews.

It was also around this time that the Jewish elite adopted many Slavic customs. And based on my previous research, I would suggest that Yiddish was developed as a secret language to assist in trade.

The next chapter

What happened next was that the Jewish empire began to collapse. By the tenth century, the Jews on the Black Sea migrated to Ukraine and Italy. Yiddish became the lingua franca of these Ashkenazic Jews and absorbed German words while maintaining the Slavic grammar. And as global trade moved to the hands of the Italians, Dutch and English, the Jews were pushed aside.

What this all shows is that by using modern genetic technology – that enables scientists to track the past of modern-day people – a new appreciation for Jewish ancestry can be discovered.

It has meant a greater understanding of the journeys these took to arrive in Europe. It has also allowed for increased knowledge as to the significant role the Ashina and the Khazar clans – from which some of the real Jewish patriarchs actually came from – played.

Explore further: DNA sat nav uncovers ancient Ashkenaz

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rrwillsj
2.3 / 5 (3) Sep 05, 2018
A fascinating interpretation of the available evidence. Helps to fill in some of the gaps in verified history.
TheGhostofOtto1923
1 / 5 (1) Sep 05, 2018
So there you have it. Ashkenazi were never in israel, and have no claim on the holy land.

Shlomo Sand and many others concluded this a long time ago.
https://youtu.be/1EmvANgw9Mk

Will they own up to it? Will this change politics in israel? What do you think? Theyve tried to suppress it ever since it was proposed.
TheGhostofOtto1923
4 / 5 (1) Sep 05, 2018
"The cave has never been excavated, but on top of it is a relatively modern building (mid first-century), which Herod the Great built – likely to honour his ancestors."

-Just like temple on the mount, to ensure that the sites couldnt be excavated and the truth revealed.

"Tel Aviv U archaeologist Ze'ev Herzog wrote in Haaretz:

"This is what archaeologists have learned from their excavations in the Land of Israel: the Israelites were never in Egypt, did not wander in the desert, did not conquer the land in a military campaign and did not pass it on to the 12 tribes of Israel... the united monarchy of David and Solomon, which is described by the Bible as a regional power, was at most a small tribal kingdom. And it will come as an unpleasant shock to many that the God of Israel, YHWH, had a female consort and that the early Israelite religion adopted monotheism only in the waning period of the monarchy and not at Mount Sinai."

Lie after lie after lie, from beginning to end.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (1) Sep 05, 2018
Per the temple mount, the temples were never there...
http://askelm.com...0504.htm

-It was the roman fortress antonia.

and BTW there IS no mt sinai-
ab3a
1 / 5 (2) Sep 05, 2018
Ghost, you should know that the reason why nobody will ever find anything on the Temple Mount is because the Palestinian Authority dug it up to enlarge the Dome of the Rock Mosque. Unfortunately for them, there are suspicions that they may have weakened the foundation of the Dome of the Rock, and it may in danger of collapse. The remains of what they excavated are being sifted, but they ground it up pretty well --On Purpose.

That said, there is archeological evidence that the writings of Josephus were correct about the existence of a Jewish Temple was accurate. He wrote that the pillars shown of gold. --Well, they found gold leaf on ruins adjacent to the Dome of the Rock in the old City of David. ruins.
(continued)

ab3a
3 / 5 (1) Sep 05, 2018
The Ashkenazi were traders. That doesn't mean they were never in Israel, it merely means they did what everyone else did at the time: Establish trading posts and build communities in other lands. That goes right back to King Solomon.

And if Jews didn't exist in the middle east, then I suppose all the accounts in Roman History and Persian History are not true.

It's not hard to believe that they were there. One look at a map shows why this land was so valuable. It's the crossroads between Africa, Asia, and Europe. Many old caravan trails go through it. So it was a very hot piece of territory for virtually every megalomaniac with an army. That Jews might have been among those people shouldn't surprise anyone.

It's also true that the Jewish religion is remarkably similar to Zoroastrianism. (continued)
ab3a
2 / 5 (2) Sep 05, 2018
So the notion that they might have borrowed aspects of their belief from people in that region of what is today Iran and Turkey isn't too strange.

We don't know who the Patriarchs were. If there are remains at the Cave of Machpela it isn't likely that anyone will t be excavating them any time soon because it is in Palestinian Territory. The PA would rather leave it alone than allow it to be used in any way to give the Jews legitimacy in the region.

So stop your selective reading and consider that this is useful information that one might use to build on. But it doesn't validate any of your preconceived hate.

This could have been one of the origins of the Jewish people, just as the Nabataeans were the ancestors of today's Arabs.
Cusco
2.2 / 5 (5) Sep 05, 2018
I'd expect any day now to hear that DNA analysis is now considered antisemitic.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (2) Sep 06, 2018
Josephus were correct about the existence of a Jewish Temple was accurate
The temples were never on the 'temple mount'. It was the location of the fortress antonia, built to house 10k troops and a host of civilians. Read the link I posted.

Josephus was a Jewish historian who rewrote the Torah myths as if they were historical fact. Archeology now tells us they never happened.

Additionally, the refs to jesus are adulterations of the original text.

So josephus is not a reliable source for anything. Period.
The Ashkenazi were traders. That doesn't mean they were never in Israel
Watch the Shlomo Sand vid I posted. Euro jews are the remnants of the khazar empire, driven westward into europe when mongols overran and destroyed it.

They were turkic converts. They DID NOT come from the Levant. The above article is more evidence.

Lie upon lie upon lie, the legacy of the abrahamic religions.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (2) Sep 06, 2018
We don't know who the Patriarchs were
Yeah we do. They are cartoon characters.
If there are remains at the Cave of Machpela
-A tourist trap created to deceive, like Nazareth. Like the fake mt sinai. The holy land is full of them.
And if Jews didn't exist in the middle east, then I suppose all the accounts in Roman History and Persian History are not true
Again, watch the vid. The diaspora never happened. Monotheism spread by migration and conversion around the Mediterranean. The jews who survived the Roman war remained in palestine.

You dont know what you're talking about.
TheGhostofOtto1923
5 / 5 (1) Sep 06, 2018
stop your selective reading... This could have been one of the origins of the Jewish people
-and stop your guessing. Hebrews were just another canaanite tribe. They never went anywhere. Archeology tells us this.

Perhaps some were taken elsewhere as slaves and repatriated later. Happened all the time. So what?
But it doesn't validate any of your preconceived hate
Dr Sand is a Jewish professor at tel Aviv university. These are HIS conclusions about HIS people.

You're the one with the preconceptions about the religion with all the wonderful promises. You know, immortality, wishes granted, absolution, retribution and all that. Sorry if they're more important to you than the truth.
rrwillsj
1 / 5 (2) Sep 06, 2018
yep, this is as funny a situational conflict as the second generation of Sooner refugees who now occupy the stolen territories of Northern Mexico. Claiming that the Mexicans who have lived here for centuries and First Nations who have lived here for millennia, are not Americans.
Jonseer
5 / 5 (2) Sep 07, 2018
yep, this is as funny a situational conflict as the second generation of Sooner refugees who now occupy the stolen territories of Northern Mexico. Claiming that the Mexicans who have lived here for centuries and First Nations who have lived here for millennia are not Americans.


Stolen from who? It was Mexican territory for about 20 whole years and has been US territory for about 175 years.

Prior to that, it was part of the Spanish Empire for well over 300 years during which time it was still relatively unorganized with the native people holding sway over large territories with little or no direction from the Empire that was the recognized ruler in Europe at least.

It's fraud to justify Mexican claims with Spanish claims. Otherwise, there would have never been any need for Mexican independence.

Regardless it was a different era with different rules. The ownership of the Southwest is as indisputable as Mexican's ownership of 1/2 of Guatemala.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (1) Sep 07, 2018
Regardless it was a different era with different rules. The ownership of the Southwest is as indisputable as Mexican's ownership of 1/2 of Guatemala
Nevertheless the Reconquista Movement would like to have it back.
http://humanevent...uthwest/

"Todos los Europeos son Illegals desde 1492"
(All Europeans Illegal since 1492)"

"The new tally, released in late June, shows that as of July 1, 2014, about 14.99 million Latinos live in California, edging out the 14.92 million whites in the state."
rrwillsj
1 / 5 (1) Sep 07, 2018
Jonseer, your lack of moral standards is a pathetic indictment of your inhumanity.

The wheel of time and consequences is remorseless. When it is your descendants turn to forced onto a reservation? When it is your children in the cages? I bet there will be mighty loud wails of hypocritical justification from your lips.

Those you oppress today? Are paying close attention on the lessons you are teaching them of how to mistreat other people.
TheGhostofOtto1923
not rated yet Sep 08, 2018
Hey willis who you think you're talking to? Some emperor? Or you just fantasizing you're talking to emperors and despots instead of a few anonymous posters who really dont care what you have to say about anything?

My god what a sick little dweeb you are.
rrwillsj
1 / 5 (1) Sep 08, 2018
Oh ottogimli, really! You are embarrassing me as you kowtow and grovel before Our Throne if Awesomeness.

Is your pathetic life so hellishly dull that you need to follow me about? Begging me to accept you as a submissive masochist craving the sweet snap of the whip from my sadistic dominance?
TheMuffinMan
not rated yet Sep 08, 2018
Uh Oh, I think this article just discovered that Ashkenazic Jews are Caucasian, quick someone get on twatter and tell them the bad news.
TorbjornLarsson
3 / 5 (2) Sep 10, 2018
This was meager. The genetic paper claims that the haplotype is just "reaching up to 5% in present day Ashkenazi", not much more than the 3 % they find "miniscule". The "Ashina elite" paper, with some of the same authors, is even more problematic: "So, we waiting further results — more precise definition of subclades for representatives of Ashina and Ashide clans."

I also found this:
"In the late 19th century, a theory emerged that the core of today's Ashkenazi Jews descended from a hypothetical Khazarian Jewish diaspora who had migrated westward from modern Russia and Ukraine into modern France and Germany. This theory still finds occasional support, but most scholars view it with scepticism.[25][26] The theory is sometimes associated with antisemitism[27] and anti-Zionism.[28]"
[ https://en.wikipe.../Khazars ]
TorbjornLarsson
1 / 5 (2) Sep 10, 2018
Also, the "Cave of the Patriarchs" was news to me - whether or not Herod's temple remains - but as everything else related to the Abrahamic religon the tracks (here dated to Herod's temple) disappear well after the Hellenic Conquest ended.

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