Re: The relationship between Pashtuns and Jews #general

Adam Cherson

Great discussion!

Based on my studies it seems that generally speaking the Pashtuns are more like the 'Lost Tribes of Europe' than of Israel. This because there is a large Pashtun affinity to the pre-historic Western European Hunter Gatherers (who were largely displaced by migrants coming from the East in later millennia). There is an interesting academic discussion these days about where the Western European Hunter Gatherers may have wound up, and one possible answer is: Central Asia.

The Pashtuns show a strong dna affinity to the ancient remains sampled at Sharh-I-Shokta (dating to circa 2800 BCE) and the corresponding Helmand Civilization. The Pashtuns have little affinity to ancient Levantine genes.

Interestingly there is one affinity both populations share: to the ancient Zagrosian samples (Northern Zagros Mountains), with these genes representing on average about 50% of Pashtun origins and on average about 22% of Jewish origins. The Zagrosian signal is visible in the ancient Canaanite (possibly Jewish samples from the Near East) which means it is not the result of subsequent assimilation during Jewish diaspora periods. For example the famous sample from Abel Beth Maacah dating to circa 928 BCE is about 28% Zagrosian.

In sum, there could be Jewish Lost Tribe origins in Pashtun ancestry, albeit highly diluted to the point where Levantine genes have disappeared in the modern Pashtuni population . The appearance of a Pashtuni male expressing the J-Z18271 haplogroup would be strong evidence of this hypothesis. I am currently conducting a project at FTDNA studying the Lost Tribes of Israel from this perspective and would appreciate any such knowledge regarding Pashtuni haplgrouping, now or in future.

Adam Cherson

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