New evidence for the origins of the Basques
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16-09-2015, 08:59 AM
New evidence for the origins of the Basques
Since my avatar is the Basque flag, it was hard to pass up on this one. The origins of the Basques and their non-Indo-European language Euskera has been the source of much speculation.

A new paper investigated the genomes of 8 individuals ranging from 5500 to 3500 years ago from El Portalón cave in the Atapuerca mountains of Spain and found that these individuals are related to the gene pool of early farmers of Europe, and are more closely related to the Basques than any other Iberian group.

http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2015/09/02/1509851112

Conclusion from the paper:
Quote:In summary, our ancient genomic sequence data from the El
Portalón individuals and our analyses suggest the following
model of events: The incoming early farmers, who could have
spoken a non–Indo-European language, assimilated resident
hunter–gatherers, with this admixed group becoming the ances-
tors of modern-day Iberian groups. Basques remained relatively
isolated (compared with other Iberian groups) with marked
continuity since the Neolithic/Chalcolithic period, but not since
the Mesolithic (contrary to refs. 8, 9, and 26). Later migration
into Iberia, possibly during the long reign of the Roman Empire
and the 7th to 13th century period of Moorish rule of the pen-
insula, led to distinct and additional admixture in all Iberian
groups but the Basque population (23).

Two Y-chromosme haplogroups were identifed H2 and I2a2a, but these could not my paternal lineage ancestors since I am in the R1b family.
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16-09-2015, 11:05 AM
RE: New evidence for the origins of the Basques
I always found it amusing that separatist Basques claimed that because they spoke a non-Indo-European language, they must be racially distinct from other Spanish people, even though they look just like them. I visited the Basque Country while I lived in Spain. It was my least favorite place in Spain. Perhaps just because I was aware of the political tension due to the ETA terrorists. The people there were not actually unfriendly, but they were much less open and welcoming than elsewhere. Again, maybe just my perception because of the terrorism. In Galicia, on a walking trip where I was the only non-Spaniard, there was a couple from the Basque Country who were very nice people. They were also opposed to separation, and they believed that if Spain were to allow a referendum, separation would lose.

"El mar se mide por olas,
el cielo por alas,
nosotros por lágrimas."
-- Jaime Sabines
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16-09-2015, 11:14 AM
RE: New evidence for the origins of the Basques
Calling Dancefortwo.

Given your talents, please can you alleviate my disappointment with this tread's content compared with the expectation set by the title...

[Image: img-thing?.out=jpg&size=l&tid=101013022]

Thank you.

/derail

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16-09-2015, 11:36 AM
RE: New evidence for the origins of the Basques
(16-09-2015 11:05 AM)daniel1948 Wrote:  I always found it amusing that separatist Basques claimed that because they spoke a non-Indo-European language, they must be racially distinct from other Spanish people, even though they look just like them. I visited the Basque Country while I lived in Spain. It was my least favorite place in Spain. Perhaps just because I was aware of the political tension due to the ETA terrorists. The people there were not actually unfriendly, but they were much less open and welcoming than elsewhere. Again, maybe just my perception because of the terrorism. In Galicia, on a walking trip where I was the only non-Spaniard, there was a couple from the Basque Country who were very nice people. They were also opposed to separation, and they believed that if Spain were to allow a referendum, separation would lose.

I also did not find the Basques particularly welcoming in spite of the fact that I have a Basque last name. It is my understanding that a majority of Basques don't support Basque independence, they just want some autonomy and they want the freedom to be Basque since you could be thrown in jail or worse for speaking Euskera during the Franco regime. From talking to people, I could gather there is still a lot of bitter feelings about those days. Most Basques also don't support ETA which is in my opinion a very radical group which according to Mark Kurlansky, the group has only had about 70 operatives suggesting that the Basque separation narrative may be blown out of proportion to the number of people involved. Of course there are more moderate Basque nationalists than ETA. The most welcome I actually felt while in the Basque country was from a Basque nationalist I met at a bar, but then again all the locals were rolling their eyes at him...
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16-09-2015, 03:08 PM
RE: New evidence for the origins of the Basques
Like all the autonomous regions, the Basque Country does have a significant measure of autonomy. And Franco (who outlawed all the regional languages, not just Basque) is long dead.

I read a book, I think it was by Miguel de Unamuno (though I may be misremembering the author) that described the beginnings of ETA. They were not always murderers. The first fatality from an ETA terrorist attack was the bomber himself: He had planted a bomb in a building he thought was empty at night. After leaving the building he saw a light come on, and in order to avoid casualties he went back in to stop his bomb, and it went off and killed him. I don't remember further details, but ETA went from trying to avoid human deaths, to executing civilians in the street. While I lived in Seville, a doctor who had formerly been in the Spanish armed forces was shot in the head from behind, by an ETA assassin, apparently with the justification that having once been in the armed forces he was an enemy of the Basques. The shooting happened walking distance from my apartment.

I think Unamuno was also the author of a very strange novel I read, in which partway into the story, the fictional main character of the book visits the author in his home and there is a long quarrel over which one of the two is the real person, and which is the fiction. I think maybe it ends with the fictional character killing the author, but my memory on that point is very unclear. It would have been 15 years ago that I read it.

"El mar se mide por olas,
el cielo por alas,
nosotros por lágrimas."
-- Jaime Sabines
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