Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Frequently users ask the same question.

 Frequently users ask the same question. Why samples from Levant, Iran, Anatolia and Caucasus are used to model ancient and modern samples from Armenia, if ancient samples from Armenia are alrwady available.

For the academic papers the answer to this question is simple. They want to have an universal model which they can use for any sample from any time in Near East. For this reason they use the extreme, (from genetic point of view), homogenous populations available from Near East. Which by the way are not necessarily the most successful populations inside Near East.
Anatolian Neolithic farmers for example had a successful expansion in Europe. But in their homeland their ancestry dropped in Chalcolithic when new migrants from historic Armenia/North Mesopotamia settled there. The same is true for Caucasian hunters, Levant Neolithic and Zagros/Iran Neolithic.
All those populations had a serious dilution of their ancestry in Chalcolithic. But given that the main "coupables" of this dilution themselves can be modeled as a mixture of this 4 populations then scholars prefer to use only those 4 source, to avoid too much complication.
If in Anatolian context they say there is an increase of Caucasus then this mean usually a migration from historic Armenia. But an increase of Caucasus in Steppe do not automatically mean a migration from Armenia. If they say an increase in Iran Neo in Anatolia then it means a migration from North Mesopotamia. But an increase of Iran_Neo in Central Asia do not mean migration from Mesopotamia. Etc etc. You must always keep in mind the geography to understand this strange language. It's not a conspiracy but rather an easy way for them.
There are also technical reasons. Old samples from Mesopotamia and historic Armenia are rare and they are not as homogenous as one would want them to be. Most probably in the future this situation will change.
As for citizens, they can do whatever they want. There is no any rule that forbids the use of ancient Neolithic samples from Armenia. I always do that in my charts and they give better fits than just 4 pops from Near East. We can go further and experiment with more samples from ancient Armenia. We have some examples for that also in this group. But they are some constraints. Using too much samples with similar ancestries can create results that are hard to understand and very volatile. For example You will have apparent sharp differences between quite close pops

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

There is some big data that is accumulating about the Upper Paleolithic period in Caucasus and Europe

 There is some big data that is accumulating about the Upper Paleolithic period in Caucasus and Europe. We have 26000 year old samples from West Georgia and now very important samples from Crimea. (~36000 year old).

This samples from Crimea can be labeled as Proto Gravettian culture. The Gravettian culture is very important for Europe because their autosomes are at the origin of later WHG that appears after the LGM. Gravettian culture is also important because it's the first apparition of the haplogroup I in Europe which later will expand in the form of I2. We had a thread about this subject in the group.
With this new data it's becoming clear that the population that created the Gravettian culture moved via Caucasus to Eastern Europe and from there to Balkans and Western Europe. Replacing the local more archaic humans, who left virtually no ancestry in modern Europeans.
This make sense from the Y DNA point of view because I and J have common ancestors and the oldest cases of J are found in Southern Caucasus.
Based on the Yfull the I and J separated from each other 42000 years ago. Which is consistent with the archaeological dates we have.
And finally the Upper Paleolithic samples from Western Georgia are very unusual. They are quite different from post-LGM period Caucasian hunter-gathers (CHG). Those Caucasian Upper Paleolithic samples have lot shared alleles with Anatolian hunter gatherers and farmers. But even more surprising they had shared alleles with WHG that didn't existed yet at that period. Also they had shared alleles with Eastern European Upper Paleolithic samples like Kostenki14 and Vestonoce cluster, the aforementioned Gravettian culture.
This situation make sense given the common origins of J and I. We could expect that in the deep past they were coming from a population with similar autosomes.
Below in Figure 1 You can see the closest pops to Georgia Upper Paleolithic. As You can see it's more oriented to ancient Europe with high Anatolian and WHG ancestries.
The next puzzle now to solve is the origin of CHG and Iran_Neo. What made them so different from Anatolia forager's/farmers. And the ultimate question were was the common origin of all this folks.
All links are below.
Figure 2. The Gravettian Venus figurine

Sunday, October 22, 2023

Ancient DNA from Republic of Armenia.


Ancient DNA from Republic of Armenia.

The first table represents them by periods.

The second one by published papers.

The archaeological periods used in the first table are from Pavel Avetisyan ( Պավել Ավետիսյան ) and Arsen Bobokhyan "ARCHAEOLOGY OF ARMENIA IN REGIONAL CONTEXT", 2012.


Sarukhan_unknown samples have now radiocarbon dates and are placed in LBA and EIA.

Middle Bronze is based on Lazaridis 2022 classification (5 samples) and plus two samples from Bobokhyan 2023. Reich labs AADR classification is not used, because of inconsistencies.

Reich lab AADR has 217 entries but 4 of them are duplicates. So there 213 aDNA in total. Three recent samples are not included yet there. Which makes overall 216 samples

Saturday, September 16, 2023

Y DNA found in post-Urartian period. 600BC - 500AD.

 Y DNA found in post-Urartian period. 600BC - 500AD.

The sample size is small for an accurate picture but it gives an idea what changed in this period compared to the preceding one. J2 increases. R1a appears. R1b and I2 decreases. J1 is Z1842 so it can be from the previous period. Genome wide they are similar to modern Armenians
The most remarkable is the apparition of 2 cases of L1a2. This should not be confused with L1a1 found in Areni cave. Both L1a1 and L1a2 are rare in modern Armenians.
One of L1a2 is in the 3300 year old branch. https://www.yfull.com/tree/L-Y11220/ So its an Iron Age expansion.
There is a modern Armenian and a Georgian who are close to the ancient L1a2 found in Beniamin. There is little doubt that those modern people are related to that ancient person. Where it formed and to what historic event it can be related is unknown. It could have formed somewhere near Kura river. In this case the presence in Chechens is explained. Another possibility is that it came from North Zagros/Mesopotamia. In this case the presence in Arabs is explained. But it's probable that it has a local origin related to Urartu/Biainili.
The other L1a2 from Karmir Blur is in a different branch that is not found yet in modern Armenians.
It's close to another ancient sample from Iron Age Hasanlu tepe in NW Iran. So there is little doubt that this case of L1a2 has a southern origin in RoA. It can be connected to the increase of Iranian influence in post-Urartian period. Although genome wide there is no evidence of increase of Iran_Neo. Which means that those new haplogroups didn't have a strong demographic impact, which is also visible in their rarity in modern Armenians.
We need much more aDNA from post-Urartian period especially between 600BC-200BC. My feeling is that the theory of Yervanduni (Orontid) dinasty from a region near Musasir in the most southern parts of historic Armenia ( North Zagros ) will find a genetic support. It must be noted that Khorenatsi reports not only Yervand but also Zarehians , Vahunis and others who appear in that period. So its possible we see the apparition of those clans which are not attested in the Urartian period

Tuesday, September 5, 2023

Ancient DNA from Pontus kingdom and the genetic legacy of Kaskians.

 Ancient DNA from Pontus kingdom and the genetic legacy of Kaskians.

We have Hellenistic and Roman era samples from Samsun in north Turkey. They are interesting because they give an idea about the population of Pontic kingdom and permit to test some theories about Kaskians in general and Tibaren in particularly. The kingdom of Pontus emerged after the collapse of Achaemenid empire and was centered around modern Amasya and Samsun.
Tibarens were a tribe that are mentioned in Greek sources living around modern Ordu (ancient Cotyora ) in antic era. Given that Ordu is close to Samsun ( ~150km ) we can use those aDNA to have an idea about the genetic profile of Western Pontic and Paphlagonia.
The most frequent type is the Samsun_Anc_A. Dated from 177BC to 300AD. They had a typical Anatolian genetic profile. They are more western relative to Amasya_EBA which is in most likelihood related to Greek migrations. Nevertheless Greeks didn't replace completely the local population which has its deep roots in Palaic, Kaskian Paphlagonian and Tibaren periods.
The current data means that the population preceding Greeks was predominantly Anatolian Chl/EBA like which is confirmed by Amasya EBA samples. They lack extra CHG both in EBA and Hellenistic periods. It's worth to note that modern Turkey North cluster also do not have extra CHG.
Steppe ancestry was absent in EBA as in most Anatolia. Later in Hellenistic/Roman period Steppe appears at low level.. The Y dna we have from this period are G, J2 and T1a.
Those results are supporting the idea that Kaskians were local North Anatolian population probably affiliated to Hattic. Tibia was an important Kaskian town from which their king originated. So it's quite possible that Tibarens were simply an offshoot of Kaskians and their name was related to Tibia. In Greek period Tibios was a generic name given to all Paphlagonians.
There was also a single outlier Samsun_Anc_B dated at 170BC with obvious West Caucasian origin. She was not admixed with locals but was buried with them. This means that she migrated in her lifetime. The closest populatipn to her are Svans. She has a very high CHG unusual for that region and even for modern Laz. There was no information about her social status and a special burial type. So she was probably part of that period's main society. Another possibility is that we see here the apparition of Zan tribes (attested as Sannoi). The earliest mentions of terms related to Zan, Sanni and Tsan coincide with this period by Strabo. Although to confirm a migratory theory more samples are needed from more Eastern regions.
PS I also added data from contemporary Central Anatolia (Gordion, Boghazkoy) to have a general idea. Apparently they were more eastern shifted than Samsun A samples. Most probably due to stronger Greek impact on coasts than in inland.

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

"Migration Processes In The Armenian Highland From The Ancient Times" conference papers are now available online.

 "Migration Processes In The Armenian Highland From The Ancient Times" conference papers are now available online.

Yervand Grekyan's paper is also related to the subjects discussed in our group. He describes Catacomb culture and the apparition of that burial type in South Caucasus after 2500BC. The main reason of their migration was most probably the significant change in climatic conditions in most of West Eurasia during that period.
The paper is in Armenian with pictures.

Sunday, August 27, 2023

Some Urartian terms are discussed in this paper of Armen Petrosyan.

 Some Urartian terms are discussed in this paper of Armen Petrosyan.

+Urart. personal name Lubšuṣini is etymologized as Arm. lousacin "luminous" / "born of light"
Note that Urartian [b] can denote the phoneme [w] so this personal name can be related to Armenian Lousacin. Old form would be Lousocin.
This would be another word with a root -cin (ծին) in it. The most famous being the Diucini.
+ Arm. kot‘oɫ կոթող “monument, tower” corresponds to Urart. qudula-ni "temple, tower", which denoted the specific tower temples of Haldi.
Apparently the Armenian word kot'ol is a loanword from the Urartian.