Monday, November 1, 2021

A table representing ancestry proportions of Armenians who have four grandparents from the same region.

 A table representing ancestry proportions of Armenians who have four grandparents from the same region. Ancient DNA and averages from academic papers (Behar, Yunusbaev) are also included. It must be noted that this calculator is obsolete. Today there are more sensitive tools to measure ancestry proportions based on real ancient populations. I use this tool because the data there is more abundant.

The two most stable components, with low variance are the Gedrosia and Atlantic_Med. The first is related to ancient Iran Neolithic. As You can see the highest Gedrosia is found in NW Iranian sample from Hasanlu. While the Atlantic_Med is related to Anatolian Neolithic farmers and as expected the highest levels is found in Malatya Bronze Age. You can also notice that all sampled Armenians have lower Atlantic_Med than the ancient people from Malatya and Alalakh (Cilicia). And subsequently higher Gedrosia than the ancient samples from the same regions. But not higher than the level found in NW Iran and Armenia_LBA.

The components that show the highest variance are the SW_Asia, North Europe and Caucasus. The Caucasus component do not show any regional correlation. The Western Armenians have as much Caucasus as Eastern. And at last one person from Urfa do have even more than many Eastern Armenians. The erratic behavior of this component is due to fact that it is a very mixed component harbouring both Anatolian and Steppe alleles. Sometimes it can even mask alleles of non Caucasian origin like in the case of that person from Urfa.

The North Europe component do show regional pattern. It is higher in Eastern Armenia and reaches the lowest levels near the Euphrates river. But increases once more in Cilicia region for obvious historic reasons. North Europe is related to Steppe ( Yamna ) ancestry but is NOT equal to him. The real Yamna ancestry is probably higher by 3-5 percentage points depending of regions. As You can see in ancient Republic of Armenia it was very high while in ancient Malatya and Alalakh (Cilicia) it was zero, which is confirmed by other more advanced tools also. This high level of Steppe ancestry in ancient Republic of Armenia is explained by Middle Bronze Age (2400-1600bc) incursions from North via Caucasus. In the current stage of our knowledge the Y DNA R1b-Z2103 and I2-L596 were introduced to Armenia by this migrations. With time "North Europe" spread to west and south. In Early Iron Age ( after 1200 bc ) it was in most likelihood present in all historic Armenia and even outflows in nearby regions. It must be noted that those migrations from East/North to West/South also increased "Gedrosia" in Western Armenia. Starting from Urartian period (after 850bc) this trend reversed. Modern Republic had witnessed various episodes of gene flow from Southern parts of historic Armenia which diluted the Steppe and increased the SW_Asia in Eastern Armenia. While the Atlantic_Med remained stable.

The next component that show regional variability is the SW_Asia. This is a complex component partly related to Levant and partly to Anatolia and Fertile crescent in general. Western Armenians have more of it than Eastern ones for obvious geographic reasons. As You can see in the past this component was much higher in Malatya and Alalakh ( Cilicia ). And very low in modern Republic. Over time the intra Armenian migrations that I mentioned above had reduced the level of SW_Asia in Western Armenians and increased in East.

Other components worth to mention are the NW_Africa and South Asia. The NW_Africa is related to Levant and was present in ancient Malatya in higher proportions. While the South Asia is related to Iran Neolithic farmers and was much higher in ancient NW Iran.

In conclusion modern Armenians are much more homogenous and close to each others than the ancient inhabitants of Bronze Age historic Armenia and it's neighbourhood. This homogenization is due to common identity, language. But the traces of ancient events are still perceptible with thorough analysis.

Friday, October 1, 2021

At last three different rivers were called Phasis in Greek sources.

 At last three different rivers were called Phasis in Greek sources. One of them was the Arax in Xenophone.

This paper tries to explain why river names confusion were widespread in Greek sources.'Phasis'

The recent paper on Georgian populations ( Gavashelishvili 2021 ) gathered new DNA from unsampled groups.

 The recent paper on Georgian populations ( Gavashelishvili 2021 ) gathered new DNA from unsampled groups. One of this groups were the Armenians of Javakhk (Samskhe-Javakheti, Georgia). Those Armenians are labeled Erzrum because their origins are in that region of Turkey. They migrated to Javakhk in 1830. My patrilineal ancestor was amongst them. Given that they lived relatively isolated and didn't mix with Georgians and other Armenians we can have an idea how pure blooded (North) Western Armenian were looking in the first half of 19th century. Erzrum region represents an extra interest because it is close to historic Diau (Taochoi). Offcourse we keep in mind that no modern pop can replace aDNA, but at last we can have some data to conjecture.

To my surprise they are exactly the same as the academic average of Armenians. Strangely they have less affinity to Black sea Pontic region ( score less Ikiztepe near Samsun region ) and subsequently more Arslantepe. The addition of Kur-Arax ( the second table) do not change the overall balance of the shift toward Caucasus. They also score trace level of European ancestry which can be expected given the history of that region. But no extra affinity to Anatolia MLBA. Hamshen Armenians as expected are Pontic region shifted. The extra European affinity in Pontic region is present in all groups living there.

Honestly I don't know what to conclude. The reason why I can't conclude anything is because I don't know what do represent the Academic Armenian average. In reality what we need is not an average of all Armenians but rather at last two or three subgroups. Hopefully there is some advance in this direction. Let's hope that we will see soon new data.

  One thing that is certain is that Erzrum region Armenians do not have extra Caucasian affinity. So all those talks about Kartvelian tribes living there looks like unrealistic claims.

 Another thing is that the hopes of Carlos and co that Western Armenians will have extra affinity to Europe will not be realised.

PS Maykop_Novosvobodnaya is similar to Kur-Arax. So I first tested without KA then with it.

Alexei Kassian made a Swadesh list of Hurrian language and compared it to reconstructed proto NEC language and it turns out that there is not much good cognates between this two languages

 Alexei Kassian made a Swadesh list of Hurrian language and compared it to reconstructed proto NEC language and it turns out that there is not much good cognates between this two languages. Based on this he dismissed the possibility that NEC and Hurro-Urartian are genetically related.

Swadesh list of 100 words is believed to be the most stable part of basic vocabulary of any language and the presence of cognates in this list is very important. 

After this he compares Hurrian with distinct branches of NEC and finds three good cognates of proto-Nakh and Hurrian. The remarkable thing is that those three words are absent in other NEC languages and are quite specific to Nakh. According to him Nakh languages (Chechen, Ingush, Batsbi) separated from each other circa 2-nd century BC, while proto Nakh is usually believed to have separated from other NEC languages at 2800 bc.

He concluded that those three words of basic vocabulary might be lownwords from Hurrian.

Now when we look the Y DNA of Nakh people we see that it confirms the recent dispersal of this branches. We also notice that Nakh people had some unusual DNA that is absent or rare in other Daghestani people. Based on this we can imagine that some of the founding fathers of Nakh people had non-NEC origin. If further research shows that Nakh languages do have extra Armenian or Iranian words that are absent in other Daghestani languages ( an idea that is plausible if Mudrak is correct ) then we can imagine that those young lineages had introduced those Hurrian, Armenian and Iranian terms in the region were proto-Nakh population was dwelling. At last now thanks to ancient DNA we know that Q found among Chechen people ( had Alanian origin which ironically was lost in Ossetians. 

Kassian also made a list of Hurrian and Urartian cognates.

Links in the comments.

There are some terms coined by scholars that creates more confusion than help to understand the situation

 There are some terms coined by scholars that creates more confusion than help to understand the situation. One of such a term is the Arme-Shubria used by Diakonov and some other Soviet period scholars. If You search the internet You will note that this term is practically never used by western scholars.

And they have good reasons to do so. First in the long list of Mesopotamian onomastics You will never find such a term. ( see the link in comments ) Neither there is such a term in Urartian texts. 

The term Shubria (Shubriayu as an ethnic name ) is well attested in Neo- Assyrian period. It''s two royal cities (Kullimeri and Uppume see the map ) are localized quite precisely. Thanks to this scholars place the kingdom of Shubria usually in the sources of Tigris river. Which makes sense because this kingdom was also the religious center dedicated to deified Tigris.

Shubria is not attested in Urartian texts. Instead of that we have numerous mentions of Urme in inscriptions found around Mush city in modern Turkey. Based on that Melikishvili made the assumption that Urme and Shubria are the same. Diakonov was more cautious he first placed Urme in north of Shubria but later started to merge them.

But the most realistic localisation Urme is in Mush region ( I added in the map in red ). As You can see Urme is more northern than Shubria and there is no reason to believe that they were the same country or had form any political alliance for which there is no much evidence.

Things become even more complicated if we try to figure out what was Arme with it's royal city Nihiria attested in Urartian texts but NOT Assyrian. One simple solution is that it was the same as Urme but in most likelihood it was a distinct small kingdom in western or south western parts of Urme probably ethnically related to Urme but not to Shubria.

Another argument that Urme might be more northern than the Shubria is that the terms like Tariuni ( Taron?) and the land Arhi (Hark') are attested in conjunction with Urme. Both were part of later Armenian Turuberan. We can even speculate that the name Urme was the old name of that large regionknown as Turuberan. This would mean that Urme was not a single kingdom but rather a tribal federation like Etiuni.

Offcourse at last in one of Mush inscriptions the Shubrian city of Qulmeri is attested in the same text with Urme but given that the whole text is damaged and Qulmeri sentence is distinct from Urme part then this last argument of any link between Urme/Arme and Shubria becomes null. Some scholars had proposed a theory that the Urartians didn't had any special term for Shubria and were calling it simply Qulmeri land.

Now why this term Arme-Shubria is bad? The answer is simple, because it obfuscates the presence of quite large country Urme in that region which almost certainly was related to Armenians. It artificially amalgams it with a Hurrian kingdom Shubria, creating ambiguity about the political situation in that region in Iron Age. 

It must be noted that in English and Russian Wikipedia the Arme-Shubria page is dismantled. There are now two distinct pages. 

In the recent paper about Etruscans (Posth 2021) the researchers didn't found any solid evidence of their Iron Age Near Eastern origins

In the recent paper about Etruscans (Posth 2021) the researchers didn't found any solid evidence of their Iron Age Near Eastern origins. Based on the available data the most realistic assumption is that they descend from European Neolithic farmers who themselves are ultimately from Anatolia. One of their native Y DNA was probably the G2-L497 ( see the first map ) while the rest was R1b-P312 and few cases of J2b2a from West Balkanes.

Nevertheless at last one outlier of probably Anatolian origin was found in this dataset. It was dated at 200bc.

Another paper (Antonio 2020) discussing Latin and Etruscan DNA also had found two outliers in ancient Rome that were modeled with populations from ancient Armenia. 

And another paper has found similar case in Iron Age Sardinia.

So the question is who were those sporadic migrants from Anatolia if they can't be linked with Etruscans.

In most likelihood we see some small scale migrations that can be linked to putative Sherden ( group linked to Sea people ). There is a haplotype called J2-L70 ( ) which has young  coalescence age. It is possible that this haplotype was involved in this migration. It was absent from ancient Etruscans as expected but was found in medieval Rome. More Iron Age samples from Rome and Sardinia are needed to better understand the time period and exact haplotypes of this mysterious migrants from Anatolia who were neither Greek or Etruscan.


Below are the citations from papers.


Contrary to previously reported findings from Bronze Age Sicily and Iron Age Sardinia (27, 28), we do not find evidence for Iranian-related ancestry in individuals from central Italy older than 2000 years (fig. S3). We were able to model C.Italy_Etruscan and C.Italy_Etruscan.Ceu as a mixture between three distal sources [Anatolia_Neolithic, Western hunter-gatherers (WHG), and Yamnaya_Samara] even when Neolithic Iranian individuals were placed in the reference set of qpAdm (table S4H). This suggests that the genetic history of Sicilians and Sardinians during the Bronze and Iron Ages was substantially different from that of populations on the Italian mainland, as confirmed by the distinctive spheres of interaction observed in the archeological record (29). The C.Italy_Etruscan_MAS001 individual represents a single exception in our dataset showing a shift in PCA space toward Near Eastern populations ~200 BCE (Fig. 4A). While f-statistics do not significantly reject ancestry continuity with the C.Italy_Etruscan cluster (table S2C), an admixture model between Neolithic- and steppe-related ancestries does not fit the genetic profile of this individual (table S4B). Instead, C.Italy_Etruscan_MAS001 can be modeled as a mixture between the C.Italy_Etruscan cluster and populations from the Caucasus, such as Bronze Age Armenians (Fig. 4B), indicating the sporadic presence of Iranian-related ancestry in Etruria at least by the second century BCE


3B). Although we were able to model eight of the 11 individuals as two-way mixtures of Copper Age central Italians and a Steppe-related population (~24 to 38%) using qpAdm, this model was rejected for the other three individuals (p < 0.001; table S16). Instead, two individuals from Latin sites (R437 and R850) can be modeled as a mixture between local people and an ancient Near Eastern population (best approximated by Bronze Age Armenian or Iron Age Anatolian; tables S17 and S18).


Wednesday, September 1, 2021

We have discussed about various tools for researching autosomes

 We have discussed about various tools for researching autosomes. One of such a tools which is widely used in Academic papers is the qpAdm. It is similar to fst in a way that it works on alleles. It produce models of populations of various degree of probability called tail prob.

While ago Davidski produced one such an example. (see links in comments) But back then populations from Arslantepe or Alalakh were not available. Recently I had a discussion in Russian Molgen and a user from Georgia produced an alternative models. Their tail prob is as low as those from Davidski nevertheless they make more sense because they rely on more proximal pops.

It must be noted that qpAdm is not easily maniable as G25/Vahaduo. Finding there a good model is quite hard. More harder is to make the tail prob higher than 0.5.

Here an alternative model


Kura_Araxes_ARM_Kaps. 14.8%

ARM_LBA 63.8%

TUR_Arslantepe_EBA. 21.4%

tail: 0.112209

chisq: 16.856

And another with lower tail prob


Kura_Araxes_ARM_Kaps. 24.3%

ARM_LBA 59.0%

TUR_Alalakh_MLBA. 16.7%

tail: 0.0843576

chisq: 17.882

And this was the Davidski's model


Mycenaeans_&_Empuries2 0.233±0.041

Kura-Araxes_Kaps 0.767±0.041

chisq 18.422

tail prob 0.142151

All those models have poor quality. It's quite obvious now that for good modeling of Armenians an Urartian sample is mandatory. But it is also clear that rumours that Arm_LBA is a dead population are premature. It seems that it will be impossible to have a good model of Armenians without Arm_LBA also. (Lchashen-Metsamor). The real number would not be as high as 60% but not lower than 25-30% also.