||"dawnbreak in the west"|
Tuesday, August 04, 2015
I signed up at 23andme last June; and I got the results on Sunday afternoon. I've been doing some research on them since. Here's the latest word on my "Jewish" ancestry - A genetic contribution from the Far East into Ashkenazi Jews via the ancient Silk Road:
Contemporary Jews retain a genetic imprint from their Near Eastern ancestry, but obtained substantial genetic components from their neighboring populations during their history. Whether they received any genetic contribution from the Far East remains unknown, but frequent communication with the Chinese has been observed since the Silk Road period. To address this issue, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) variation from 55,595 Eurasians are analyzed. The existence of some eastern Eurasian haplotypes in eastern Ashkenazi Jews supports an East Asian genetic contribution, likely from Chinese. Further evidence indicates that this connection can be attributed to a gene flow event that occurred less than 1.4 kilo-years ago (kya), which falls within the time frame of the Silk Road scenario and fits well with historical records and archaeological discoveries. This observed genetic contribution from Chinese to Ashkenazi Jews demonstrates that the historical exchange between Ashkenazim and the Far East was not confined to the cultural sphere but also extended to an exchange of genes.
(Or, for a video summary, here.)
M33 began in India; about 8000 BC, her branch M33c spread around southern China and parts of Thailand. Meanwhile the Chinese were pushing southward, and imposed their language and culture upon that region. In the 600s AD, Emperor Taizong of the Tang smashed the Eastern Turks and his successors conquered deep into Turkestan. This opened up that part of the Silk Road to trade and colonisation. The various tribes along the other - western - side of the Silk Road took that opportunity to overthrow their own Turks: of which history records the Avars (and Slavs), Bulgars, and Khazars.
It was no earlier than the Tang victory that my ancestrix's clan struck out to make a living on the Silk Road. There they met up with western tradesmen. The M33c clan married into a clan who, now, practice Ashkenazic Judaism.
M33c is vanishingly rare outside the Ashkenazim and the Chinese. If those westerners who had adopted my M33c ancestrix were generic Khazars, I'd expect they would have deposited more M33c daughters along the Astrakhan shore. It seems to me most economical that my ancestrix married into traders who were already Jewish at the time.
Which is not to say that the Khazar state wasn't important. It remained for centuries a bulwark against invaders from abroad and pogroms at home. M33c's Jewish husbands could use the Khazaria. Given that these men maintained strength enough to raise up daughters, which is never easy, they may well have invested their wealth into building Khazaria in the first place.
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