Hammer Levite Study
- - You can find links (yay!) to the full paper on the Center for
Genetic Anthropology Web site, at
and also on the Family Tree DNA Web site.
- Important Point 1: The results in Table 1 of the new Y Levite
article seem to suggest that haplotypes in Haplogroup E could be
ancient Jewish haplotypes shared by both Sephardim and Ashkenazim of
both Levite and Israelite descent. It looks as if the E haplotypes
are rare both among the non-Jewish Europeans included in the study
and the Jewish Cohanim.
I don't understand Y chromosome haplogroups yet, but the Haplogroup E
types seem to be as common among the Sephardic Israelites in the
Hammer study as they are among the Sephardic Ashkenazim. The logical
conclusion is that many Jews had Haplogroup E haplotypes before the
Sephardim split from the Ashkenazim. Of course, the same seems to be
true of the Haplogroup J "Cohen" haplotypes.
- The Levi article at http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com says a
careful, non-Torah-thumping reading of the Torah suggests that, even
in Torah times, the term "Levite" might have simply referred to a
priest or a religious functionary rather than a descendant of Levi.
So, there might not be any Torah-based reason to expect the Levites
to be patrilineal descendants of Levi.
- My own mtDNA (mom line) pattern seems to be of Central Asian
origins, but I'm not sure the scientists have really collected enough
Jewish, Yemenite and Turkish samples to make blanket statements about
where the less common types come from.