Basques, Portuguese, Spaniards, and Algerians have been studied for HLA and mitochondrial DNA markers, and the data analysis suggests that pre-Neolithic gene flow into Iberia came from ancient white North Africans (Hamites). The Basque language has also been used to translate the Iberian-Tartesian language and also Etruscan and Minoan Linear A. Physical anthropometry of Iberian Mesolithic and Neolithic skeletons does not support the demic replacement in Iberia of preexisting Mesolithic people by Neolithic people bearing new farming technologies from Europe and the Middle East. Also, the presence of cardial impressed pottery in western Mediterranean Europe and across the Maghreb (North Africa) coasts at the beginning of the Neolithic provides good evidence of pre-Neolithic circum-Mediterranean contacts by sea. In addition, predynastic Egyptian El-Badari culture (4,500 years ago) is similar to southern Iberian Neolithic settlements with regard to pottery and animal domestication. Taking the genetic, linguistic, anthropological, and archeological evidence together with the documented Saharan area desiccation starting about 10,000 years ago, we believe that it is possible that a genetic and cultural pre-Neolithic flow coming from southern Mediterranean coasts existed toward northern Mediterranean areas, including at least Iberia and some Mediterranean islands. This model would substitute for the demic diffusion model put forward to explain Neolithic innovations in Western Europe.
Arnaiz-Villena, Antonio; MartÍnez-Laso, Jorge; and Alonso-GarcÍa, Jorge
"Iberia: Population Genetics, Anthropology, and Linguistics,"
5, Article 1.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/humbiol/vol71/iss5/1