Saturday, June 11, 2022

Origins of Sumerians

The archaeological culture that is unambiguously related to Sumerians is known as Uruk period (4000-3000bc). Uruk period comes after the Ubaid culture (5500-4000bc)
Unfortunately, we don't have ancient DNA from modern Iraq. But we have data from neighboring regions. Both from West of Iraq and East.
So, let's see Central South Zagros first. It's quite close to Mesopotamia. The samples are from Seh Gebi site and are usually marked as Iran Chl.
The change from Neolithic to Chalcolithic is quite dramatic when compared to distant sources like CHG (63%) and Levant_N (20%). But it is quite unrealistic that there were two distinct migrations from Caucasus and Levant to Central South Zagros. More likely there was just one migration from a place that was between Caucasus and Levant.
Indeed if one use Hajji Firuz Chl (5000bc) from North West of Iran as a source of change then he gets quite good models in G25.
So we can assume that there was a mass migration from North West Iran or probably from North Iraq also to South Zagros sometimes after the Neolithic and before the 4000bc.
I must add that Iran_Chl do not show any evidence of migration from places like Turkmenistan, India or Siberia that has been proposed as possible homelands of Sumerians.
This migration from North is visible in Levant also. Chalcolithic era samples from Israel are close to preceding Neolithic period, but they also show an unambiguous migration from North Mesopotamia.
Target: Levant_ISR_C
Distance: 2.8615% / 0.02861488
81.0 Levant_PPNB
15.6 IRN_Hajji_Firuz_C
3.4 TUR_Anatolia-South_N
Those genetic results are not at all surprising. Because they fit well to the known facts that North Mesopotamian cultures like Halaf and Hassuna were important for the emergence of Ubaid.
Summing up all this. In the current stage of our knowledge the most likely origins of Sumerians are the Northern Iraq region. And maybe even more Northern but not as North to reach lake Van. This is also in accordance with some linguistic data about the relation of Hurrian and Sumerian.

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