Haplogroup X1 & X2

While talking about giants, I mentioned Haplogroups.  Haplogroups can give you an idea of where your ancestors are from.  I have two parents that are predominately Scottish.  Now, if I tested my mitochondrial DNA for haplogroups, I would not be surprised to find that my haplogroup according to my mitochondrial DNA shows that my ancestors were Scottish/Gaelic/Celt.  Since I am a female, to ascertain my haplogroup would pretty much require me to test my mitochondrial DNA since the majority of haplogroup information comes from the Y chromosome, which I don’t have.

It is an interesting test you can perform to learn more about your ancestry.  One of the things testing for haplogroups has shown is that a large portion of the UK actually has a Roman Haplogroup.  At first glance, that doesn’t seem right, but once you understand DNA testing for Haplogroups, it makes perfect sense…  After all, long before the Normans invaded England, the Romans did.

Haplogroup testing doesn’t tell you much about yourself unless you already have some genealogy on your family. I do have genealogy for both sides of my family going back into the middle ages when they seem to appear out of thin air.  I’m sure they came from somewhere, but I don’t know where exactly and it is possible that a haplogroup DNA study would show that my ancestors were less Celtic and more Norse.

Anyway, the point is, haplogroup testing can be fascinating.  Haplogroup X is proof of it.  About 7% of all Native American populations have haplogroup X1 or X2.  The reason this is interesting is because Haplogroup X and it’s two variants (X1 and X2) are practically unheard of in Asian populations.  Since the majority of anthropologists tell us that Native American populations are primarily of Asian decent, the fact that their haplogroup doesn’t support that idea is kind of odd.

Haplogroup X1 is centered around North Africa and the Horn of Africa while X2 occurs in Northern Africa, the Near East, Southern Europe, Georgia, and a Russian population near the Altai Mountains which is in Northern Siberia.  And in Native American populations in North America (Native Americans in South America do not have Haplogroup X1 or X2).  Now, feel free to scratch your head for a moment… I did when I learned about Haplogroup X2.

Here’s the problem with Haplogroup X; the Altai Mountains are basically the border between Siberia Russia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, and China.  So it’s in Israel/Palestine, Turkey, Rome, Greece, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Spain, Southern France, and then suddenly it’s several thousand miles away in Siberia…  It jumps from the area around the Mediterranean and Red Seas to Lake Baikal in other words.

How does that work?  Genetically/biologically speaking that doesn’t make any sense.  And how did X get from the interior of Russia/China to North America without becoming prevalent in Asian haplogroups.  Even odder, X is common is Sioux and Navajo populations but the largest percentage is found in Algonquin tribes East Coast Algonquin Tribes have been found to have up to 25% of the population coming from Haplogroup X.  Haplogroup X is one of the smaller haplogroups and it is very specified in its distribution.

The answer might not be a huge mystery and it might mean we need to rethink migration.  There is some evidence to suggest that Ancient Egyptians and Phoenicians, especially Phoenicians, were impressive sailors and navigators.  We have found haplogroup X among Egyptian mummies and Phoenicia sits in the area haplogroup X comes from.  What if the answer is that long before Columbus and long before the Vikings Egyptians and Phoenicians traveled to North America.  The big argument against this has always been that Egyptians weren’t all that fond of sailing long distances and if they were going to travel the ocean, they would have landed in South America.

Both of those may not be realistic excuses. We are constantly learning more about Ancient Egypt and Phoenicia.  One of the things we’ve learned is that Egypt, to compete with Phoenicia which became a trading powerhouse, began to sail more and more through the Mediterranean Sea.  Also, while the mouth of the Mediterranean does point down, it is in line with Florida.

Is it possible that the first migration into North America came across the Bearing Land Bridge but a second one came from the Mediterranean Sea much, much later thereby creating a group of peoples that have Haplogroup X as their ancestors?  It doesn’t explain why it is so common around the Altai Mountains, but few things will fully explain the distribution of the haplogroups in the world.

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