Saturday, November 18, 2023

Ethnicity and Y DNA. The Hamshen (Hemshin) Armenians as a case example

The Y DNA and language connection is a frequent subject of discussions. Their relation is sometime perceived as a marathon race where a haplogroup is attached to a language for a very long time from the start to modern period. Occasionally off course this is the case. But most of the time a relation of an Y DNA to a language is more like estafette or relay race. Where one new haplotype picks up the relay of spreading the language. Sometime a new haplotype associated with a certain language or ethnicity can have a more strong founder effect than the initial "runners". One such a remarkable example in IE family is the case of E-V13. Which initially was a regular Euro-Anatolian Neolithic farmer lineage but at some point had a tremendous expansion with Thracians and other ethnic groups. One similar example is the Germanic I1 and the Slavic young branch I2a1. They are much more smaller examples in other haplogroups and linguistic families also. One of most unusual examples are probably the R1b-V88 in Chadic speakers, the J2a2-PH1795 branch related to Turkic family and the J2b2 in Austro Asiatic speaking group in India.
In Armenia we also have haplotypes that are almost certainly related to Armenian migrations and expansions.
For example the Hamshen Armenian Y DNA haplogroups. The G1 and the subbranch of J2-M67>Z500.
Both those haplotypes are Middle Age founder effects. And there is little doubt that the founding fathers of those lineages were Armenians. Which means that large majority of Hamshen Armenian males have an Armenian origin and are not local assimilated people like occasionally You can read in the Internet.
According the Balanovsky study this two haplotypes make more than 60 percent of Hamshen gene pool. Other minor haplotypes also are probably present there but more data is needed.
Based on the current data G1 is almost certainly from the south. But the case of J2 is more uncertain. In any case based on the autosomes medieval Amatuni migration was almost certainly not the first migration from historic Armenia to Pontic region. It's well visible that Pontic region has a significant ancestry of Central farmers type different from Anatolian Neolithic and the CHG. All along the Black sea those components create a perfect cline. Where CHG reachs the highest level in Svans. The Central farmer in Hamshens and the Anatolian Neo in ancient Samsun region.This obviously means migrations from south to Pontic region which are not exclusively related to medieval Amatuni migrations. Other possible ethnic groups that could have moved from historic Armenia to that region are the Armenochalybes mentioned by Pliny and Chaldaes (Khalitu in Urartian, Խաղտիք) which were living initially in more southern regions. Probably in more ancient times Neolithic and Chalcolithic groups also.

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