East European Karaite DNA Project

Discussions of Geographical Genetic projects.

Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Aug 29, 2013 3:41 pm

PostPosted: Tue Sep 03, 2013 7:37 am
Using the services of Family Tree DNA, I and several colleagues collected and analyzed the DNA of several dozen people whose ancestors followed the Karaite type of Judaism and lived in eastern Europe, mainly the Crimean peninsula (in modern Ukraine, formerly part of Russia) but also Lithuania, Poland, and western Ukraine.

You can read our results to date here:


This includes the raw data as well as their significant matches and our interpretations.

A quick summary is that the East European Karaites often (but not always) match a diverse set of Rabbinical type Jews including Ashkenazim, Sephardim, and Mizrahim and they also sometimes match Egyptian Karaites. This is consistent with the known history of the East European Karaites: that they have a significant relationship with the Karaites of Istanbul, descendants of Greek-speaking Jews, who are in turn part of the Jewish Diaspora. Our study decisively contradicts the theory that the East European Karaites are Khazar Turk converts who had absolutely nothing genetically in common with the ancient Israelites. A small contingent of Karaites in Lithuania and the Crimea pretend that they're not Israelites because they believe the Khazar origin theories of a Karaite leader named Seraya Shapshal.

As a side note, we have begun adding, further down on our page, DNA data from members of Karaite communities outside of eastern Europe. People of bona fide, documented Karaite ancestry from any community are welcome to contact us for consideration to have their personal results added to the appropriate section of our page.

Our project is not to be confused with the false project called "Karaites of Khazaria" or other imposter Karaites.

Kevin Brook
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Posts: 287
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2012 6:15 pm
PostPosted: Wed Dec 25, 2013 10:23 pm
The Genetic Signatures of East European Karaites
by Kevin Alan Brook, Leon Kull, and Adam J. Levin

This article is Copyright © 2013 by Kevin Brook, Leon Kull, and Adam Levin, all rights reserved.

Initial Publication at Khazaria.com: August 28, 2013
Last Update: December 23, 2013

Nice work. I would suggest to publish the work in a citable way (DOI URL). If you like the CC-BY license I suggest figshare.com
DNA/Admixture Central Europe (Alps, Tyrol, Dolomites, Raetia); Y-DNA J2a-L1064, J2a-L210, R1a-M17, R1b-U106 (L48-); mtDNA J1b1b, J1c1d, U5a2b2, U5b1b1. Projects : J2-M172, J2a-PF5197, Alpine DNA, ISOGG Wiki

Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Aug 29, 2013 3:41 pm

PostPosted: Thu Dec 26, 2013 5:22 am
I have been working on a different version of the article, intended for print publication in an academic journal. I already have interest in it from a relevant journal's editor. I will submit it in early 2014 and it will go through a peer review process. That will be the version to cite.

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