The phylogeography of Y-chromosome haplogroups E (Hg E) and J (Hg J) was investigated in >2400 subjects from 29 populations, mainly from Europe and the Mediterranean area but also from Africa and Asia. The observed 501 Hg E and 445 Hg J samples were subtyped using 36 binary markers and eight microsatellite loci. Spatial patterns reveal that (1). the two sister clades, J-M267 and J-M172, are distributed differentially within the Near East, North Africa, and Europe; (2). J-M267 was spread by two temporally distinct migratory episodes, the most recent one probably associated with the diffusion of Arab people; (3). E-M81 is typical of Berbers, and its presence in Iberia and Sicily is due to recent gene flow from North Africa; (4). J-M172(xM12) distribution is consistent with a Levantine/Anatolian dispersal route to southeastern Europe and may reflect the spread of Anatolian farmers; and (5). E-M78 (for which microsatellite data suggest an eastern African origin) and, to a lesser extent, J-M12(M102) lineages would trace the subsequent diffusion of people from the southern Balkans to the west. A 7%-22% contribution of Y chromosomes from Greece to southern Italy was estimated by admixture analysis.