Friday, April 30, 2021

I want to clarify my opinion about Anatolian vs Caucasus debate.

 I want to clarify my opinion about Anatolian vs Caucasus debate. I attached a PCA made by Davidski where he features the Hasanlu Tepe sample from Urmia bassein. I added also an orange ellipse which represents the position of modern Armenians on that PCA.

As one can easily note Armenians are located on the CHG ( Caucasian hunters) and Anatolia_N ( Anatolian Neolithic farmers ) axis. Notice some Anatolia_N are grouped with Europe_EN. This is because they are from NW Anatolia (Barcin) while some are more Eastern and Southern shifted and plot with Minoans. This are the farmers from Tepecik Ciftlik site which is in Cappadocia, close to Kayseri.

So returning back to that debate. When I said Armenia is not Anatolia neither Caucasus I was having this image in my head. Armenians are sort of the Middle Man between this two regions. 

Each time You read about Caucasian ancestry in Greece, South Europe or Anatolia most of the time You must understand that it came from historic Armenia rather than Caucasian range. Just one example are the Anatolia_BA three samples. They are definitely shifted to East relative to Neolithic period.

On the other hand each time You read about Anatolian ancestry in Caucasus ( and sometimes in North Iran ) then You shouldn't doubt that most of that "Western" shift in Caucasus is from Armenia. It can be demonstrated both by Y DNA and by archaeology.

Caucasian Eneolithic samples are absent from this PCA but You can easily imagine their place btw Armenians and CHG.

Over time various migrations made all this three regions very close to each other. You can easily see that with grey clouds which represents modern pops. Nevertheless the old clinal legacy is still perceptible.

In more historic times some North Caucasians drifted away from Near East because they acquired Steppe/East Asia while Anatolia became Turkish which also partly pulled them away from old pops but overall You can see that Near East grey cross and Caucasus grey circles are much closer to each other than they were in the past.

I also can add archaeologic arguments why I think that Armenia was a thing of its own but connected to both regions. Also probably linguistic arguments. I said many times that I don't see much evidence of strong presence of Caucasian speakers in Armenia in old times. 

And finally Armenian Highlands was not only a bridge but an important splitter and divider in Paleolithic times. It is the existence of this massive mountain block coupled with Zagros and Mesopotamian deserts that splitted the Paleolithic Near East into two distinct ecoregional zones. Caucasus-Iran in the East and Anatolia-Levant in the West. I will dedicate a special thread to this very important subject and also why I said that from geological point of view the term Lesser Caucasus is not a useful term.

So returning back to that question. Are we Anatolians or Caucasians? Neither of them but we are related to both of them and we shouldn't alienate from us this two regions. Quite contrary we must show interest in their culture and history. Because we are related.

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