Ancient-to-Modern Genetic Distances

October 8, 2020

Someone at Anthrogenica made these genetic distance maps that visualize how Modern West Eurasians are related to samples of Ancient Greeks and Ancient Romans, with redder coloring indicating more genetic affinity. The Ancients are all closest to Modern Southern Europeans — mostly Italians from all over, but often also Greeks, Iberians, South French and Balkan peoples. (Note: The "Imperial Romans" sample includes some foreigners from the Eastern Mediterranean, who later disappeared).

Minoan Greeks:

Mycenaean Greeks:

Iron Age Romans:



Imperial Romans:

Late Antiquity Romans:

Medieval Romans:


Sarah Nikas said...

Beautiful maps. It's interesting that sardinians and southern italians come up as being closer related to the minoans and mycenaeans than modern greeks. I remember seeing them being very closely related in the original paper that documented ancient greek ancestry, but nowhere did it touch upon them being even more so than modern greeks (perhaps because the paper was written by a Greek to begin with).

Other than that, this is pretty much what I expected. As close as the distance already is to the ancient romans, I'd be willing to bet the association would be even stronger if they added in samples from both south and north italy (as opposed to just lazio).

It'd also be cool to see how close sicily is to sicilian bronze age and bell beaker populations. From what I recall on the PCA chart they were extremely similar in terms of where they plotted.

Arch Hades said...

Looks to me the Etruscans and Latins were pretty similar genetically, despite linguistic differences.

For the Mycenaean Greeks, "Southeast European" is a good term to describe them. Or maybe even "hyper Southeast European".

As for the original Latin tribes. Southwest European or "Southwest European Mediterranean". The Iron age and Republican era Romans are more on the northern periphery of Southern Europe. Southern European still, but more Northerly Southern European. At least we can say the Romans were more in the European norm genetically. The Ancient Greeks were some real outliers. Regarding the Latins-Early Romans, It appears they have more in common with Southern French and Northern Italians than with Greeks or Southern Italians. Although from a European exclusive context, they have almost nothing in common with Northern Europeans.

The data so far seems to indicate the Ancient Greeks were a hyper Southern European population. No modern Europeans have more than 75% Anatolian farmer ancestry except Sardinians. Maybe the Ancient Macedonian Greeks will be a little more genetically Northern.

Anyway, it's good to see the Nordicist lies falling apart. I mean we should always be objective and try to have an open mind to any hypothesis put forth, even the Nordicist ones. But really, there's absolutely no empirical support for their revisionist history. Nordicism is a total failure and has shown to have 0 predictive power. It's a total faliure as a legit hypothesis, based on a complete lack of data supporting it. That's my honest opinion regarding that doctrine and it's claims about the past. It is quite obviously total fiction. They should just stick with the Sintashta-Andronovo culture and Scythians because ancient Southern Europe is a total pipedream.

Crimson Guard said...

That Slav/Austrian fan created genetic distance maps look like biased shit overall despite any big picture deal on "Southern Europeanesss" of the ancient Italians for this blog post. The Avars coming out've the northern Russia, the Bulgarians resembling central/southern Italians and Greeks. Nonsense.

"Ardea-Latini" concentrated in Corsica, and more far Northern Italy but mainly even further north Then again in the west with what looks like hot spots in Southern France/Northern Spain and somehow Corsicans.

Latini having more in common with Northern Spanish people from like from Bilboa than actual people from the Lazio/Latin region,lol.

The proto Villanovan he's got to be mainly Northern Italian, from like Genoa and Milan, while the Villanovan looks like they're from somewhere in Northeastern Spain while having more in common with Iberians than Italians which is all laughable.

Prenestini one is a joke too. From Milan going all the way north/northeast .

According to the actual study on the ancient samples:

The Ancient and Modern Italians of Rome are pretty much the same with little change. Most of ancient/past Roman/Italian samples actually are clustering with Southern Italians and very little in Northern Italy & Central Italy.

Copper Age seems mainly related to only Sardinians according to what they presented.

Iron Age/Roman Republic seem to group in the middle of no where with some odd outliers, but somewhere between Northern and Southern Italians being indicted with the shape of their circles there is a connective group between the North and the South. Some kinda relationship to Cyprus pops for the first time. Seems there is far fewer samples for this period, but still clear that its North Italy overlapping with South Italy and Sicily, but centroid , indicating Central Italy. So I would think to this be Tuscany(Etruria). Perhaps if they included Central Italians that strange gap would've been filled up.

*R475 is an odd one, looks like is possibly a mix of North African and Southern European. But Early Neolithic Moroccans consisted of a migration of people from Europe as well as indigenous.

Imperial Rome comprises mainly of Southern Italians with very minor contribution samples from Northern Italy & Spain and Sardinia.

Late Antiquity is really when actual Northern Italian samples appear in any contributing mentioning number but it ends by present day. This cluster is still mainly again made up mainly of Southern Italians . Plus even minor Sardinian,

Medieval and Early Modern still comprises still of mostly Southern Italians but also some again minority Northern Italian pop up and what looks like what should be central Italian and some lesser extent also Spanish and Sardinian.

Same story with the ancient Greek samples, they have more in common with Southern Italians than modern Greeks.

The Present day Romans still resemble Southern Italians.

Sarah Nikas said...


Not sure if you can say the Romans are exclusively represented by southern italy with this data set. What I really see is Lazio being genetically very close to modern northern italians around the iron age and then shifting to essentially sicilian like by the early empire, and then shifting back northward to an intermediate position since then (likely due from northern italian settlemet, not barbarian).

I'd be willing to bet samples of the same time periods from both north and south italy would yield results very similar to their modern populations as far back as the iron age, and in reality both were defined Romans.