Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Men on the move   posted by Razib @ 4/04/2007 07:13:00 PM

Kings 2:24:
[14] And he carried away all Jerusalem, and all the princes, and all the mighty men of valour, even ten thousand captives, and all the craftsmen and smiths: none remained, save the poorest sort of the people of the land.

[15] And he carried away Jehoiachin to Babylon, and the king's mother, and the king's wives, and his officers, and the mighty of the land, those carried he into captivity from Jerusalem to Babylon.

[16] And all the men of might, even seven thousand, and craftsmen and smiths a thousand, all that were strong and apt for war, even them the king of Babylon brought captive to Babylon.

This refers to the Babylonian Captivity of the Judaean elite. I have alluded to the possibility of a male bias in the settlement of ancient Greek colonies, but if this passage is to be believed the skilled elite that the Babylonians removed from Judah was overwhelmingly male, and they did not return to their "homeland" for nearly 2 generations. Historically the most well documented instance of male mediated gene flow is the emergence of a mestizo population in the New World, where Iberian males entered into polygynous relations with many indigenous females. The outcome was a total phylogeographic disjunction between male and female lineages across large swaths of Latin America (that is, Y chromosomes suggest a West European origin, mtDNA suggest an Amerindian origin). One can see an echo of this in India as well, where Y lineages (e.g., R1a) are more likely West Eurasian than female lineages, or in England, where male lineages are more likely to imply Anglo-Saxon ancestry than female ones. A primary reason that I was willing to credit the likelihood of a mass migration in the case of the Etruscans is that female lineages also implied exogenous origin! In general the genetic data suggests that on average females were more likely to move because of patrilocality, but, it seems likely that long range dispersions would be mediated by male migration.

In any case, we have discussed the admixture of European Jews with local female lineages before. In the Commentary article Charles Murray mentions the possibility of truncation selection event being a causative factor in the creativity of the Babylonian Captivity. But if you want to go down that route, one might also suggest the possibility of assortative mating by the Judaean gentry with Mesopotamian women.