Sunday, April 12, 2015

Why Balcanic theory of Armenian's origin is not working

The probability that Armenians came from Balkans is very low not to say impossible.

Genetic evidence.
* Marc Haber et al. paper shows that Armenian cluster started to form aproximatively at 2500 BC ( between 3000 and 2000 BC ). And there is no any new admixture after 1200 BC. So Armenian language coming after 1200 BC is impossible.
* If Armenians lived/passed in/trough Balkans so they must have some significant number of Balkan specific Y DNA. This is not the case. Yes there are some Balkanic Y DNA but there are in marginal numbers. Also this Balkanic Y DNA can come from various episodes, starting from Neolithic to Middle Ages ( Byzantine period ) [1]
* The most recent Haak et al. study shows that R1b-Z2103 was present in Yamna and there is no need to make big circle around to Black Sea to come to Armenia. There was much shorter route to Armenia from Yamna. A migration of R1b trough Caucasus.

Archaeological evidence.
* There is no any archaeological evidence of people moving from Anatolia to Armenian plateau after 1200 BC. In contrary there is an evidence of people moving from Armenian Plateau to ex-Hittite empire territories. An example are the so called Eastern Mushkis. It is logic because there was a power vacuum in Anatolia after Hittite collapse. This Eastern Mushkis are most probably the related Cappadocians (Mazaca modern name Kayseri)
* The so called Phrygian ceramics enters to Anatolia later at 1000 BC from Western side of Anatolia. So it's highly improbable that Phrygians were the destroyers of Hittite empire. And this new Phrygian ceramics just stopped at the western side of Euphrate.
* There is a very strong archaeological evidence that the most newcomers entered Armenia from the East not the West. There are two main routs from the east. The Kur valley and the Arax valley. Starting 2800 BC Kura-Arax culture started to collapse from a pressure from the Eastern side (Daghestan later they moved by Kur valley). The newcomers bring with them a culture that can be associated with early IE. 
* In contrast to Eastern Armenia The Kur-Arax culture continued to flourish in South Western Armenian Plateau, till 2000 BC. Later on this basis appears Hurrian cities.
* After 2000 BC there is a new wave of influx. This newcomers founded the Trialeti culture that also have a strong IE traits. This culture can be associated with Proto-Armenians. The Trialeti culture then reaches his peak at 1700 BC ( at this period the Armenian language is on the same stage of development as the Mycenean Greek in Greece ) and later evolves to more homogenous Metsamor-Lchashen culture all over the Armenian Highlands. This process of homogenization ends at 1300 BC. Just in accordance with Marc Haber genetic admixture data.

*  The origin of Herodotus claim could be the result of confusion between late Armenised Cappadocians and the real Armenians from Highland. Cappadocians are related to Mushkis. The founder father  Mesech from Mushki tribe founded the city Mazaca (modern Kesarya). In ancient Assyrian sources Phrygians are called Mushkis, and also there was another non-Phrygian tribe who settled in Cappadocia and Taurus that also where called Mushkis. Historians call them Eastern Mushkis. So this confusion of common origin of Phrygians and Armenians could came from the same name attributed to Phrygians and people living East Anatolia who where Armenised in later periods.

Linguistic evidence
* Armenian language has a high number of Akkadian loanwords. This would be impossible if Armenian came after 1200 BC.
* Armenian language also have some loanwords from Hattic, Hittite,  Hurrian and even a few words from Sumerian that can't be explained by the Balkanic theory.
* Armenian is a satem language has a phonetic system that is quite similar to Kartvelian languages.

Summing all this facts We conclude that Armenian branch of IE entered Armenia from the East circa 2800 - 2000 BC. The Balkanic theory is outdated.

[1]  From Y DNA markers that can be associated with Balcans.
  • E-V13 is a Neolithic marker that probably has a Levantine origin and is hardly unprobable that it is related to IE or to the question of Armenian language.
  • The bulk of  I-M438 is I2c* P215+ L596+ L597+ P37.2- P217- L416-
  • Almost half of J-M12 is J2b* M102+ Z574+ M205- M241-
  • R-M417 a majority is positive to Z93, so came from east and not west


  1. Aram, Nice To See your Blog!.

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  3. Aram, What is your opinion on this paper?
    And This Phoneme map?

  4. Thanks Nirjhar. I will try to make it an interesting blog despite my non fluent English. :)

    That study has an innovative approach. What strikes me is the rich phoneme system in Indian subcontinent and Hindukush, I know Caucasus better so I understand why they had more phonemes. Well the paper says that phonemes variance increase due to isolation, but are Indian languages isolated? A Caucasus mountains and Hindukush are isolated. But can we say the same thing about Indian subcontinent? I think another reason of this kind variance could be the long lasting cultural continuity.

    1. My English is more poor actually:) but yes i agree a long standing Cultural continuity is a matter to consider.
      I am now creating a list to connect Sumerian-PIE and Austric there seems to be some striking correspondence in words and in some cases morphology.

  5. @Aram,
    "Thanks Nirjhar. I will try to make it an interesting blog despite my non fluent English. :)"

    If anyone complains, ask them if they're fluent in Armenian. We're just lucky English such a popular language, so we don't need to learn a 2nd language.

  6. Aram, Have Checked this on Armenian aDNA?:).

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  8. Nirjhar
    I think our Kurdish friends don't understand that a serious science is not done in blogs but by academic scholars in universties who are regularly financed. So Iranians, Indians and Armenians if they think, there is a some sort cultural continuum in all that big area should start to clear out this mess from a scratch. Otherwise in Kurgan model everybody comes from Steppes some one earlier some one later. I just know our small part. And in this context I know they are wrong ( I mean Balkanic theory) . But I can't make big claims concerning everything and everyone. ;)

  9. Aram, You spoke about a change in Armenian Archaeological continuity in 3000-2500 BC period can you give any research reference on that? i need it:).

  10. Nirjhar, I have some papers in Armenian and Russian but I will need to do a search for English one. The main change is the fall of Kura-Arax culture that starts from the South Caucasus (Eastern side). The Western Armenian and Taurus is ending quite later. Kura-Arax was a early Bronze Age culture that extended on vast territories. Has a sedentary lifestyle. They have a very interesting pottery that they exported. Starting from 2700 BC this Kura-Arax settlements disappeared. And what comes are big kurgans with rich graves. This period is called Transcaucasian Kurgans. It seems that this Kurgan culture come from Daghestani side but I am not sure on this. I should note that this Kurgans are not a complete cultural disruption. Because at the end of Kura-Arax there are some kurgans but of small size. It seems that after the Kura-Arax the society becomes more hierarchical.

  11. The emergence of the kurgan phenomenon in the Southern Caucasus during the second half of the 3rd millennium BC entailed the diffusion in the area of a multiplicity of new features. These innovative elements entailed the rise of hierarchically organised communities, the renovation of material culture, the development of advanced technologies for the manufacture of pottery and metal objects, and the adaptation of these groups to a semi-nomadic lifestyle. The only evidence of these communities in the archaeological record is represented by chiefs’ burial mounds (kurgans). These graves and their localisation have been the focus of a recent survey conducted in the Tetritsqaro district of southern Georgia, and have revealed interesting aspects concerning the exploitation and use of the highlands by the Early Kurgan communities. Excavated and unexcavated graves have been documented and compared, mostly in the attempt to define land exploitation patterns.
    Aim of this paper will be to investigate some of the main aspects of the earliest stages of the kurgan phenomenon in the region through the results of landscape analysis. Methodological problems encountered during the survey, challenges and future perspectives for the project will be also briefly discussed.

    The PDF is not available


    1. Abstract
      Transcaucasia was the heartland of the Kura-Araxes, or Early Transcaucasian culture, which holds an important place in the culture history of eastern Anatolia. The transition from this Early Bronze Age culture to the more fragmented regional cultures of the Middle Bronze Age remains poorly defined. The transition is marked by a shift away from fairly autonomous village life, the appearance of evidence for enhanced social hierarchy, and the first use of tin-bronzes in Transcaucasia. Traditional chronology places the transition at the end of the third millennium B. C. However, radiocarbon evidence indicates a mid-third millennium date for the transitional cultures, thus aligning Transcaucasian developments more closely with those in eastern Anatolia and northwestern Iran (late Early Bronze Age) and in Ciscaucasia (Maikop). Transcaucasia seems to have continued to play an important interregional role even after the disappearance of the Kura-Araxes cultures.

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  12. Aram, do you know where we can find a good Armenian dictionary online? I'm trying to find more cognates with Sumerian etc....

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    2. Please give your original Email in my blog i won't publish it:).