Admixture in Pima Includes Greek and Sardinian

Pima ManBy Donald N. Yates 

Admixture in Pima Includes Greek and Sardinian: Genetic Signature of the Minoans, Sea Peoples and Other Mediterranean Peoples in the Southwest?

As shown by an explosive article inScience last year, “A Genetic Atlas of Human Admixture History,” the genetic signatures of historical admixture events are persistent, even on a fine scale. Among 100 cases of historical admixture involving two distant, separate populations coming together, the authors detected the genetic impacts of the Mongol empire, Arab slave trade, Bantu expansions and European colonialism in the Americas.

But many, if not most of the admixture events occurring since 2000 BCE turn out to be unrecorded and previously unknown. They can be reconstructed and established only by genetics and the tell-tale survival of segments of distinctive DNA in descendants.

A Major Signal of Mediterranean Ancestry in Pima Indians

Of interest to us is admixture in the Pima Indians of southern Arizona and northern Sonora, long held by anthropologists to be a classic “Amerind” population (see vintage photo of Pima man).

The Pima case study from the genetic atlas of admixture by Hellenthal et al. is a simple instance of one-time collision between two interbreeding populations. A “Turkish-like” Side 1 is one of the parent populations of the mixture. Its largest distinctive element is Greek and Sardinian. Side 1 joined together with Side 2, a Maya-like population. Their union is estimated to have occurred around 1754.

We suggest this date corresponds to the spread of Spanish Missions in Sonora (to which southern Arizona then belonged), which brought slaves and workers from within Mexico to work in the mines (Side 2). This means the Mediterranean-like Side 1 corresponded to the existing number of about 2,000 Pima and Papago Indians. Their distinctive marks, genetically speaking, were resemblances to Greeks, Sardinians and related Mediterranean populations.

A Greek Athlete and a Pima InBust of Doryphorusdian

The Pima man shown above has a physiology and facial features unlike many other American Indians; for instance, he has a Roman nose, thin lips, non-Asiatic eyes and a heavy musculature. He evokes the Doryphorus, a canonic statue by Polyclitus, a Greek sculptor who dominated the art of ancient Libya, the eventual home of the Sea Peoples. The features of the Doryphorus were considered the ideal of male beauty.

Barry Fell was perhaps the first to suggest that Minoans, followed by the Sea Peoples, Libyans and Phoenicians, discovered the rich metals of the American Southwest after 2000 BCE and developed its first civilizations, for which the cultural earmarks were pithouses, adobe, trade centers like Snaketown, fortresses and walled cities, painted pottery and irrigation systems. Thus, the Coyote Chant of the Pima Indians, which the Smithsonian interpreted as a crude invocation of a totem spirit, Fell translated as a Libyan version of the Aesop fable about the Fox and the Grapes, one commonly used in ancient schoolrooms. (See especially, Saga America, Epilog:  Sunset at Cyrene, pp. 387ff.)

It would appear that the Pima and Papago Indians, whose ancient name was Hohokam (“Sea Peoples”) long stood apart from other Indians and preserved their ancient roots until the mixing and melding of Indian populations that occurred under the Spanish.

The presence of 7-10% Greek and related DNA in Pima populations today also explains the survival of the labyrinth symbol, diagnostic of Minoan civilization, and early legends about the Earth Doctor, who founded their tribe coming from the other side of the world. Their spiritual leaders are called Siwani, after the Siwa oasis in Libya. Snaketown and Tumamoc Hill overlooking Tucson, two of their principal towns, allude to the Water or Snake Clan or ships of the Sea People and the horny toad or armored figure in their mythology. Tumamoc literally means “Mound of the Magician,” as armored, advanced navigators and miners were considered magicians by the primitive “Indians” they encountered. One of the original names of the Hopi was Moki (“magicians, magi”), and the real name of the Zuni is Shiwi, another reference to the sacred site Shiwa and universal principal god Shiva (both of which predate Egyptian, Hebrew and Greek religion).

Other smaller contributors to Side 1 admixture in the Pima are Tunisian, Mozabite, Druze and Bedouin DNA, reinforcing the North African component of the seaborne civilizers who built the Southwest’s first “Indian” towns. The stone structures atop Tumamoc Hill have been securely dated to at least third century BCE. The three story tower that originally stood on the summit is gone now, but there is an inscription near the highest point facing modern-day Tucson in ancient Phoenician letters. It is an offering to Tanit and Baal, the gods of the Sea Peoples. A similar inscription is at the top of A Mountain or Signal Hill just to the east of Tumamoc.

Pima Indians a Relatively Pure Population

Before modern times, if a Pima woman was impregnated by an Apache, white man or any non-Pima male the child would be killed at birth. Such measures preserved the integrity of the Pima population.

Both Side 1 and Side 2 share South American Indian DNA (Columbian Indian, Karitiana). Side 1 is further marked by a different type of Maya, Daur (a Khitan or Turkic/Mongol type), Xibe (a Mongolian people formerly known as Shiwei–a coincidence?) and the She people, an important coastal Cantonese Chinese ethnic group (were they some of the ship owners?).

Side 2, the “Amerind” partner in the admixture, in addition to being about two-thirds Central and South American Indian in DNA segments, had significant strips of recombinant genetic material matching Japanese (2.9), Han Chinese (2.3), Oroqen, a Mongol or Turkic people (1.9), Hazra, an important Afghan people (1.6), Chuvash (Turkic, Central Asian, 1.4), Yakut (Turkic from Lake Baikal, 1.0), Burushko (Phyrigian or Macedonian or Anatolian people who migrated to Pakistan with Alexander the Great, 1.0) and Hezhen (a tiny Altaic Turkic minority today in northeast China, 0.8).

The diverse list of contributions on both sides of the admixture equation shows that the Pima were formed from a complex scenario of three or more admixture events in history, not just a simple case from the mid-eighteenth century. All the constituent populations can still be picked out today with admixture analysis. The Pima Indians’ genetic characteristics are compound admixture over time, with key events occurring in the second millennium, about 225 BCE, 600 CE, 900 CE, 1100 CE and 1750 CE.

The original Greek origin of the settlements in Arizona may have been apparent to other pre-Columbian visitors and settlers, including the Romans, who claim to have created the records known as the Tucson Crosses or Calalus Artifacts. Is it a coincidence that a property marker midway between Tucson and Phoenix in the lower Santa Cruz river valley has a large inscription in ancient Roman capitals that reads, “Greeks” (Attii).


Petroglyph with meanders tumamoc hill 2
Petroglyphs with snake imagery, ship and meanders along with Phoenician inscription on Tumamoc Hill.
Tatertop AT cropped for intro
Santa Cruz Valley Petroglyph Site with AT inscription. 
Hohokam bowl
Hohokam bowl with bird-prow ships (compare to Tumamoc inscription above).
Byzantine Soldier
Byzantine-era soldier depicted on Mimbres bowl ca. 1100. He has a helmet, metal-tipped arrows, scale armor, and shield carrying a rose (rhoda). Rhoda was the name of a mining colony founded in Calalus ca. 790. The lizard stands for the Water Clan, or those who originated overseas. The same rose is found as a territorial mark on Sentinel Hill and Cocoraque Bluffs in the Silverbell Mountains north of Tucson.


  Comments: 15

  1. How amazing. This article shows us that DNA exposes our ignorance on just how mixed ethnic groups are and how early back in history it started. I always had a sneaking idea that written history was not the whole truth , since most of it was written by the victors of aggression and outright genocide. As for the vanquished, it seemed their story too often silenced and ignored. The World history is being changed by genetics which does not have an agenda . As a child in school, I would often challenge the accepted norms of history and my teachers would react in a negative manner. Who was I to challenge the dogma of my elders. I feel vindicated . My classmates always joked I was a little odd and spooky in my thinking. Ha Ha, the jokes on them. As the years went by, and I would articles in National Geographic, watch History channel , read the new science coming out- I would say ” See I knew that, they finally figured it out after how long?” My then husband would look at me crosswise and ask how possibly I would know before the leading academics of various fields would know. I can not explain except for maybe— Common Sense and a firm belief that early peoples were very intelligent, had imagination, asked questions of why and how, able to solve problems in an innovative way and some just had to wander even across the oceans just beccause. What ever the cause- groups would mix , racial purity is a myth and now it can be proven. It seems ethnic identity has a lot more to do with political agendas .

  2. Brandon gallegos

    Can anyone tell me who the picture is of. It looks almost exactly like me. It’s creepy as hell

    • This is a Pima Indian in historical photograph from about 1884 in a Smithsonian publication. The name was not recorded.

      • Hey Donald I’m Akimel O’odham that’s what we call ourselves, not pima. So just to clear things up with what you posted, Greek sculptures often don’t look like the person it’s mimicking, and we don’t have coyote chants 😂. Also you should be careful of what you research, it’s not Siwani it’s Sivan. Hohokam does not mean people do the sea it means those who have vanished. Reading this is so cringy man I wish outside people would stop trying to tell the world who they think we are and not who we really are. How do you know we have 7-10% Greek in our blood, that is a false statement to say all Oodham have Greek blood in them. Also at some point in time we intermixed with other tribes and cultures throughout history and prehistoric history, all tribes have distinctive features about them.

  3. I recently tested my mother and myself looking for the Native American dna that shows up in my sister, niece, and grandniece. I had previously had tests through ancestry, 23 and me, and family finder with no joy. This time we used homedna and we both had small percentages shown under Pima Senora gene pool. In trying to find out about what the Pima gene pool was, I came across your article. Interesting that we both also show Sardinia gene pools. Although I am actually trying to find out what this means since the homedna site doesn’t explain the gene pool descriptions if they are not the top three. Our ultimate goal is to verify the Native American is on my mother’s side and a 7th great grandmother that was Wampanoag or Narragansett.

    • I would suggest you take our Native American DNA Fingerprint Plus, which is unlike Ancestry, 23andme and Family Finder. It is the most comprehensive and sensitive American Indian DNA Test. Our method includes Pima, 3 groups of Cherokee, Yuma, Havasupai, Hopi, Seri and fifty other tribes not covered by the other companies. It gives you forensic matches to actual tribal populations like Navajo and Chippewa, not genetic similarity to theoretical populations. Read about it here: AMERICAN INDIAN DNA TEST IS NEWEST, MOST INCLUSIVE AND MOST SENSITIVE (Monday, November 18, 2019).

  4. Thank You
    Grateful 🙏

  5. Hey there,

    My grandfather was from Pennsylvania and told all of us kids about our fifth great grandfather- chief cornplanter. We later went on to do both and 23 and me and it says we don’t have Native American Indian ancestry? I’m struggling to understand how this can be when we have a direct linkage and I look so Native American Indian it’s crazy. I’d love your help on this 😇

    • That is a familiar story. We don’t have Seneca but we do have more than 60 other American Indian tribes you could match on a forensic method, which is different from all the other companies. I suggest the Basic American Indian test.

    • It’s likely a myth. If you cannot trace your ancestry back to tribal rolls, you’re probably just white. It’s common family lore to have a Native ancestor somewhere. It’s also super offensive to actual Native Americans to claim to be one based on a DNA test or family lore.

      • I wouldn’t be so quick to dismiss family lore or DNA. Actually, the reverse has proven true in case after case which we investigated in three phases of Cherokee DNA Studies since 2006. The last report was published last year in Cherokee DNA Studies II: More Real People Who Proved the Geneticists Wrong ( Same story in so many of the “myths” on the page run by Dorene Soiret on BlueSky Cornstalk and Parker Adkins ( I’m not sure it’s true either than “actual Native Americans” whoever that is are “super offended” by other people’s claims or family lore. How can they make snap judgements? And as for you’re probably white etc., that’s another old canard. The rolls were not established as racial proof of anything. Not all proper ancestors are on rolls or at least on the right roll. I am descended from Cherokee Chief Black Fox (d. 1811). Turns out he wasn’t even Cherokee but Choctaw and “white” (mostly Scottish Jewish). His son decided to go the “white” way and began to identify as white. This whole subject is a real can of worms.

  6. Hello. This is the very first article I have ever read about admixtures for the Pima people. I had taken a DNA test with DNA Forensics Laboratory in India (where I live now) in 2020. I had suspected that the Central American and NW African admixtures might be related to my “mixed-Native” ancestor on my father’s side, but I had no idea that Sardinian might be connected to Pima people. There is also a significant amount of Indian (India) ancestry compared to the Pima ancestry. The Indian and the Pima all came from one person, as did the Central American and NW African, but I had no idea that the Sardinian might be connected to her. I did the mtDNA test for my mother’s side, which didn’t reveal anything that wasn’t European. These are my results:

    #1 Fennoscandia 19.1%
    Origin: Peaks in the Iceland and Norway and declines in Finland, England, and France
    #2 Southern France 14%
    Origin: Peaks in south France and declines in north France, England, Orkney islands, and Scandinavia
    #3 Orkney Islands 13.6%
    Origin: Peaks in the Orkney islands and declines in England, France, Germany, Belarus, and Poland
    #4 Basque Country 13.5%
    Origin: Peaks in France and Spain Basque regions and declines in Spain, France, and Germany
    #5 Western Siberia 12.3%
    Origin: Peaks in Krasnoyarsk Krai and declines towards east Russia
    #6 Sardinia 8.7%
    Origin: Peaks in Sardinia and declines in Italy, Greece, Albania, and The Balkans
    #7 Southeastern India 7.6%
    Origin: Endemic to south eastern india with residues in Pakistan
    #8 Tuva 5.9%
    Origin: Peaks in south Siberia (Russians: Tuvinian) and declines in North Mongolia
    #9 Pima County: The Sonora 3%
    Origin: Peaks in Central-North America and declines towards Greenland and Eskimos
    #10 Northwestern Africa 0.9%
    Origin: Peaks in Algeria and declines in Morocco and Tunisia
    #11 Northern India 0.7%
    Origin: Peaks in North India (Dharkars, Kanjars) and declines in Pakistan
    #12 Central America 0.6%
    Origin: Peaks in Mexico and Central America with residues in Peru

    I don’t understand #8, as I don’t know if this means that the people in Tuva in my line were Natives, white Russians, or some mixture of the two. I also want to add myself as an example of how powerful DNA is. DNA and epigenetics will guide a person’s life far more than a Western rugged individualist gives Nature credit for. I came to India in 2018. I went to Lothal, an IVC site in late 2019. I took the DNA test in late 2020 after months of a nagging feeling about my experience at Lothal, which revealed the above. I’ve been a seeker all my life, so I didn’t live as a Christian. I eventually found my way to Hindūism after stumbling onto it by accident around 2006-08. I had already turned vegetarian in 1993 and vegan shortly after that. I realized on my own that I am Hindū in 2015, shortly after I started going to Hindū temples. I made my first visit to India in 2016 and realized that I had to come back here as soon as I could. It was until some time after I realized that I’m Hindū that this was the path I was seeking all along. I just didn’t have an Indian to ask me the right questions and tell me, “Mam, you are Hindū!” I’ve always found myself pulled towards a simpler life, though I got sidetracked by then-emerging technologies, but I was always using them to find my way back “home.” My present living situation in India is a perfect example of that.

    • There are Hindu/Vedic and Buddhist altars, stupas, lingams and petroglyphs in the Southwest. This may be of interest to you. Some of the first reports in the Old World come from India, China, Japan and Afghanistan. See China Wire – Part Two.

      • Wow, Thank you! I would like to find more articles that point to the presence of evidence of Hindus in that part of the US. By the way, I did not receive a notification when you posted your reply to my comment in August last year.

        I want to add my thoughts to this:

        All my life, until 2 years ago in November, I was told that we are partly descended from Cherokees. I was suspicious about that because we have had one major family story destroyed simply by looking through government records, which had nothing to do with Native American history. Anyway, Dad had tried to find records of a connection with the Cherokee Nation, but didn’t. I am interpreting this fact through the DNA report, which apparently means that we couldn’t find records because these ancestors weren’t Cherokee themselves! Another family myth destroyed and laid down. White-looking families claiming Cherokee ancestry is a common lie for various reasons. I’m not saying that all such families are lying about this.

        HOWEVER, it does bring up a revelation about our family history that wasn’t visible before, and I have one possible piece of evidence that may or may not point to the real history. That is, while we are not Cherokees, we appear to be descended from “mixed-Native” peoples, meaning that there is Indian AND Native American DNA present, in addition to Central American. The question is, how did my G-Grandmother end up 2/3 Indian and 1/3 Native American? In particular, she was mostly SE Indian with a fraction from North India, and the Native American part was narrowed down to the Pima people of the Sonoras of México (one of the O’odham groups). When did our ancestors cross the Pacific to the Americas? I say that as the path and not the Bering Strait because the vast majority of the DNA from India is from SE India, as in Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, etc., and they most likely would not have survived traveling the Bering Strait without knowledge of winter survival skills. (I notice I don’t tolerate cold weather very well, which puts a spanner in the normal operation of what appears to be a white body that I am in)

        It is said in some Hindū text that there was a major group of people who clashed with other Indians when they were still in India, and there was an agreement to send these people to another land, so that both major groups of people could live peacefully. I wonder what that was about.

        The one possible piece of evidence that might not mean anything is that Dad related a story about some Native relative who was able to catch rabbits by running after them in a particular manner (zig-zagging). I just found this out while reading some article about the hunting habits of tribes of the southwest of America in general.

        Now, I am guessing for the reason in the change of the family history from O’odham peoples to Cherokees is that there might have been ancestors who participated in the Pima Uprising of 1751 in northwest Spanish America, which is southern Arizona today. They probably covered their tracks so that they wouldn’t be caught and hanged/shot for their participation in the uprising. About 80-90 years was enough time to make sure that the history was completely forgotten by the people who fled that area and raised their children born in Ok and Tx with false stories (Children tend to repeat things inconveniently without realizing it).

        What flips my mind is that those ancestors were likely subjects of New Spain, and they may have fled to Oklahoma, and then after Texas was annexed to America, they relocated there, since there was no longer a fear of being captured and hanged by Spanish authorities. I don’t know if they were Mexican Texans for a short period or if they stayed out of any territory held by Spain at any time and didn’t shift to Texas until its annexation. It’s very interesting that I might have figured out SOME of this history because when I see Mexican architecture and hear that mission bell ringing, some very old feelings come back, feelings that might have been passed down to me through those ancestors. One of the feelings is a chilling feeling, like goosebumps.

  7. There is a European people even more genetically close to the Pima people: the Sami people.
    Google “Ancient human DNA recovered from a Palaeolithic pendant”.

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