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March 11, 2004

Exogenous Etruscans?

Dienekes posts a study that indicates that the Etruscans had mtDNA similar to peoples of the southern and eastern Mediterranean. These are elite burials, so there is likely selection bias, but I think this is a big point in favor of the non-indigenous hypothesis for the origin of the Etruscans. One comment on Dienekes' blog suggested that this tells us nothing about the Y line-but other studies indicate that non-local elites tend to slant toward variance from the local genetic profile on the male line of descent, so the reality of noticeable exogenous mtDNA to me implies exogenous Y lineages. Of course, I might be wrong, the Etruscans might have been the result of matings between a sea-faring race of lady-merchants who set up shop with autochthonous males-as I have noted before, they were rather feminist in comparison to other ancient peoples, but I'm still skeptical....

Posted by razib at 03:35 PM