Recently, we completed development of GPS2, an extension of the GPS tool (see FAQ here) that predicts the geographic origins of two-ways mixed individuals (e.g., an individual with British and Chinese parents). The genetics company DDC (conflict of interest statement: I consult DDC) incorporated the GPS2 engine into their new website and tool called GPSOrigins (https://gpsorigins.com). GPSOrigins not only reports the most recent origins of an individual (like GPS/GPS2), but also traces the two DNA migration routes, their directions, and the dates when the most recent migrations took place.
The website opened up to the public couple of weeks ago and results are pouring in. A few people shared their results with me and gave me permission to post them online.I hope I will get a chance to publish their stories. The results for Ashkenazic Jews (AJs) are fascinating and, thus far, seem to support the Irano-Turk-Slavic hypothesis we proposed in our recent paper. The AJs I have seen so far have a split Israelite and Near Eastern origins and gravitate towards “ancient Ashkenaz” in Northeastern Turkey, a site we discovered in our recent study (see below).
Below are the results of an Ashkenazic Jew of Russian origins whose parents spoke Yiddish. The results show a split Israelite/Turkish origin, a stop around Ashkenaz, and onwards towards Khazaria, stopping close to Samandar, the Khazar southern city. Circles represent uncertainty in the estimation.
How to interpret these results? Like GPS1, GPS2 reports the average location of one’s ancestors, but GPS2 splits them into the two most likely origins. These may correspond to one’s two parents or two parental populations. We do not know who the populations are so for simplicity let us term them by their modern names. The two parent option is romantic in this case: individuals representing Israelite and Greco-Turkish populations get together in Ashkenaz and march to Khazaria. However provided the Ashkenazic Jewish background, I feel much more comfortable with the second option: an Israelite (tribe/clan/individual) that migrates towards Ashkenaz in Turkey (that resided in a hub of trade routes) and mingles with other migrants. Adjacent to them, are migrants from a Greco-Roman background who appear to have a propensity to shores, probably for maritime trading purposes. The blue population couldn’t care less about the sea, the only sea they know is made of sand. At some point both populations migrate to Khazaria and later on Russia (as we know from the known origins). This interpretation is also supported by the large circles indicating a heterogeneous spot where people of multiple origins mixed together (this is why GPS cannot call their exact origins). GPSOrigins also dates the last point and reports the historical events that occurred in each point, however these were not provided to me.
Note that Jews were NOT used to calibrate the GPS tools (unlike other tools that force Jews to Israel and then if you share genetic similarity to them you will be placed in Israel too surprise…. surprise….). In other words, the GPS Origins results are not biased towards any country for any individual. The results of this individual, thereby, support the model we proposed according to which Ashkenazic Jews emerged in Turkey from a mixed Israelite-Greco-Turko-Irano-Slavo population sometime between the first and sixth centuries, until they migrated to Khazaria or Europe.
Watch a neat GPS Origins video