Monday, April 1, 2024

Remarks on the Van Urmia ware culture. VUC (2200-1400/1300BC)

Previously I already had a review on VUC. Here I will add some remarks on the frequently asked questions.

+ VUC is a sister culture of Trialeti-Vanadzor culture, it does not descend from it. Both descend from the same parent culture, but despite this they have differences. VUC had painted pottery, while TVC had a different pottery. The grave was directed north-south in VUC while TVC had a east-west orientation. And most importantly TVC were practicing cremation while VUC not.
+ How exactly migrated Proto VUC people is not clear. One option is via Araratian plain but the presence in Aji Chay river basin, toward the Ardabil region suggests that they could have entered from the Mughan region toward the sources of Aji Chay then moved downstream toward the Urmia basin, and then to Van.
+ Karmir-berd culture descend from VUC. We don't have samples from this culture. The Dzori geghi outlier can be related to it. The J2-YP879 from Keti LBA can be another descendant of Karmir berd culture.

+ Unlike the TVC the VUC do not have an evident progeniture. Over time new people settled in Urmia basin from north Mesopotamia and Central Iran cropping the territory of VUC people. You can witness this change with the genetics. Hasanlu MBA (a hypothetical VUC sample) is close to Assyrian - Armenians while the Hasanlu IA is close the Kurds. In most likelihood the regions that best preserved the VUC ancestry are in the eastern Van and northern and western Urmia. South and east of lake Urmia had too much genetic shift. This means that most plausible descendants of VUC culture should be searched in those regions.
+ During Iron Age in forementioned regions we have Biai people from which the Biainili term is derived. We have Armarili (another name Aramali ) supposedly near modern Salmas. According to Sargon the ruling dinasty of Urartu was from Armarili. We have Ayadi near modern Urmia city and Uayis with disputed location. It is quite possible that this Uayis is another name for Biai, which was pronounced as Væy - Vay. According to Petrosyan later terms like Vayoc' dzor are related to this Vay people name. A term that he links with Hittites though.
+ Based on this logic the Manna country doesn't seem to be a good candidate for being a direct descendant from VUC. It has too much Dinkha tepe 2 type ancestry related to Grey ware. Nevertheless, the Hasanlu IA had too much of R1b to be completely unrelated to VUC. One possibility is that some R1b moved further south and east and became part of Grey ware. And reexpanded later with them. This would explain high level of R1b in some Iranian populations like Lurs. Another reason is that some of Hasanlu samples are different genome wide. They are closer to older VUC profile and plot close to Armenians and Assyrians. You can see an example in the fifth chart. Overall, it seems that the Manna country had a multi-ethnic composition and more ancient DNA is needed from south of Urmia to understand better it's structure

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