Monday, November 1, 2021

A table representing ancestry proportions of Armenians who have four grandparents from the same region.

 A table representing ancestry proportions of Armenians who have four grandparents from the same region. Ancient DNA and averages from academic papers (Behar, Yunusbaev) are also included. It must be noted that this calculator is obsolete. Today there are more sensitive tools to measure ancestry proportions based on real ancient populations. I use this tool because the data there is more abundant.

The two most stable components, with low variance are the Gedrosia and Atlantic_Med. The first is related to ancient Iran Neolithic. As You can see the highest Gedrosia is found in NW Iranian sample from Hasanlu. While the Atlantic_Med is related to Anatolian Neolithic farmers and as expected the highest levels is found in Malatya Bronze Age. You can also notice that all sampled Armenians have lower Atlantic_Med than the ancient people from Malatya and Alalakh (Cilicia). And subsequently higher Gedrosia than the ancient samples from the same regions. But not higher than the level found in NW Iran and Armenia_LBA.

The components that show the highest variance are the SW_Asia, North Europe and Caucasus. The Caucasus component do not show any regional correlation. The Western Armenians have as much Caucasus as Eastern. And at last one person from Urfa do have even more than many Eastern Armenians. The erratic behavior of this component is due to fact that it is a very mixed component harbouring both Anatolian and Steppe alleles. Sometimes it can even mask alleles of non Caucasian origin like in the case of that person from Urfa.

The North Europe component do show regional pattern. It is higher in Eastern Armenia and reaches the lowest levels near the Euphrates river. But increases once more in Cilicia region for obvious historic reasons. North Europe is related to Steppe ( Yamna ) ancestry but is NOT equal to him. The real Yamna ancestry is probably higher by 3-5 percentage points depending of regions. As You can see in ancient Republic of Armenia it was very high while in ancient Malatya and Alalakh (Cilicia) it was zero, which is confirmed by other more advanced tools also. This high level of Steppe ancestry in ancient Republic of Armenia is explained by Middle Bronze Age (2400-1600bc) incursions from North via Caucasus. In the current stage of our knowledge the Y DNA R1b-Z2103 and I2-L596 were introduced to Armenia by this migrations. With time "North Europe" spread to west and south. In Early Iron Age ( after 1200 bc ) it was in most likelihood present in all historic Armenia and even outflows in nearby regions. It must be noted that those migrations from East/North to West/South also increased "Gedrosia" in Western Armenia. Starting from Urartian period (after 850bc) this trend reversed. Modern Republic had witnessed various episodes of gene flow from Southern parts of historic Armenia which diluted the Steppe and increased the SW_Asia in Eastern Armenia. While the Atlantic_Med remained stable.

The next component that show regional variability is the SW_Asia. This is a complex component partly related to Levant and partly to Anatolia and Fertile crescent in general. Western Armenians have more of it than Eastern ones for obvious geographic reasons. As You can see in the past this component was much higher in Malatya and Alalakh ( Cilicia ). And very low in modern Republic. Over time the intra Armenian migrations that I mentioned above had reduced the level of SW_Asia in Western Armenians and increased in East.

Other components worth to mention are the NW_Africa and South Asia. The NW_Africa is related to Levant and was present in ancient Malatya in higher proportions. While the South Asia is related to Iran Neolithic farmers and was much higher in ancient NW Iran.

In conclusion modern Armenians are much more homogenous and close to each others than the ancient inhabitants of Bronze Age historic Armenia and it's neighbourhood. This homogenization is due to common identity, language. But the traces of ancient events are still perceptible with thorough analysis.

Friday, October 1, 2021

At last three different rivers were called Phasis in Greek sources.

 At last three different rivers were called Phasis in Greek sources. One of them was the Arax in Xenophone.

This paper tries to explain why river names confusion were widespread in Greek sources.'Phasis'

The recent paper on Georgian populations ( Gavashelishvili 2021 ) gathered new DNA from unsampled groups.

 The recent paper on Georgian populations ( Gavashelishvili 2021 ) gathered new DNA from unsampled groups. One of this groups were the Armenians of Javakhk (Samskhe-Javakheti, Georgia). Those Armenians are labeled Erzrum because their origins are in that region of Turkey. They migrated to Javakhk in 1830. My patrilineal ancestor was amongst them. Given that they lived relatively isolated and didn't mix with Georgians and other Armenians we can have an idea how pure blooded (North) Western Armenian were looking in the first half of 19th century. Erzrum region represents an extra interest because it is close to historic Diau (Taochoi). Offcourse we keep in mind that no modern pop can replace aDNA, but at last we can have some data to conjecture.

To my surprise they are exactly the same as the academic average of Armenians. Strangely they have less affinity to Black sea Pontic region ( score less Ikiztepe near Samsun region ) and subsequently more Arslantepe. The addition of Kur-Arax ( the second table) do not change the overall balance of the shift toward Caucasus. They also score trace level of European ancestry which can be expected given the history of that region. But no extra affinity to Anatolia MLBA. Hamshen Armenians as expected are Pontic region shifted. The extra European affinity in Pontic region is present in all groups living there.

Honestly I don't know what to conclude. The reason why I can't conclude anything is because I don't know what do represent the Academic Armenian average. In reality what we need is not an average of all Armenians but rather at last two or three subgroups. Hopefully there is some advance in this direction. Let's hope that we will see soon new data.

  One thing that is certain is that Erzrum region Armenians do not have extra Caucasian affinity. So all those talks about Kartvelian tribes living there looks like unrealistic claims.

 Another thing is that the hopes of Carlos and co that Western Armenians will have extra affinity to Europe will not be realised.

PS Maykop_Novosvobodnaya is similar to Kur-Arax. So I first tested without KA then with it.

Alexei Kassian made a Swadesh list of Hurrian language and compared it to reconstructed proto NEC language and it turns out that there is not much good cognates between this two languages

 Alexei Kassian made a Swadesh list of Hurrian language and compared it to reconstructed proto NEC language and it turns out that there is not much good cognates between this two languages. Based on this he dismissed the possibility that NEC and Hurro-Urartian are genetically related.

Swadesh list of 100 words is believed to be the most stable part of basic vocabulary of any language and the presence of cognates in this list is very important. 

After this he compares Hurrian with distinct branches of NEC and finds three good cognates of proto-Nakh and Hurrian. The remarkable thing is that those three words are absent in other NEC languages and are quite specific to Nakh. According to him Nakh languages (Chechen, Ingush, Batsbi) separated from each other circa 2-nd century BC, while proto Nakh is usually believed to have separated from other NEC languages at 2800 bc.

He concluded that those three words of basic vocabulary might be lownwords from Hurrian.

Now when we look the Y DNA of Nakh people we see that it confirms the recent dispersal of this branches. We also notice that Nakh people had some unusual DNA that is absent or rare in other Daghestani people. Based on this we can imagine that some of the founding fathers of Nakh people had non-NEC origin. If further research shows that Nakh languages do have extra Armenian or Iranian words that are absent in other Daghestani languages ( an idea that is plausible if Mudrak is correct ) then we can imagine that those young lineages had introduced those Hurrian, Armenian and Iranian terms in the region were proto-Nakh population was dwelling. At last now thanks to ancient DNA we know that Q found among Chechen people ( had Alanian origin which ironically was lost in Ossetians. 

Kassian also made a list of Hurrian and Urartian cognates.

Links in the comments.

There are some terms coined by scholars that creates more confusion than help to understand the situation

 There are some terms coined by scholars that creates more confusion than help to understand the situation. One of such a term is the Arme-Shubria used by Diakonov and some other Soviet period scholars. If You search the internet You will note that this term is practically never used by western scholars.

And they have good reasons to do so. First in the long list of Mesopotamian onomastics You will never find such a term. ( see the link in comments ) Neither there is such a term in Urartian texts. 

The term Shubria (Shubriayu as an ethnic name ) is well attested in Neo- Assyrian period. It''s two royal cities (Kullimeri and Uppume see the map ) are localized quite precisely. Thanks to this scholars place the kingdom of Shubria usually in the sources of Tigris river. Which makes sense because this kingdom was also the religious center dedicated to deified Tigris.

Shubria is not attested in Urartian texts. Instead of that we have numerous mentions of Urme in inscriptions found around Mush city in modern Turkey. Based on that Melikishvili made the assumption that Urme and Shubria are the same. Diakonov was more cautious he first placed Urme in north of Shubria but later started to merge them.

But the most realistic localisation Urme is in Mush region ( I added in the map in red ). As You can see Urme is more northern than Shubria and there is no reason to believe that they were the same country or had form any political alliance for which there is no much evidence.

Things become even more complicated if we try to figure out what was Arme with it's royal city Nihiria attested in Urartian texts but NOT Assyrian. One simple solution is that it was the same as Urme but in most likelihood it was a distinct small kingdom in western or south western parts of Urme probably ethnically related to Urme but not to Shubria.

Another argument that Urme might be more northern than the Shubria is that the terms like Tariuni ( Taron?) and the land Arhi (Hark') are attested in conjunction with Urme. Both were part of later Armenian Turuberan. We can even speculate that the name Urme was the old name of that large regionknown as Turuberan. This would mean that Urme was not a single kingdom but rather a tribal federation like Etiuni.

Offcourse at last in one of Mush inscriptions the Shubrian city of Qulmeri is attested in the same text with Urme but given that the whole text is damaged and Qulmeri sentence is distinct from Urme part then this last argument of any link between Urme/Arme and Shubria becomes null. Some scholars had proposed a theory that the Urartians didn't had any special term for Shubria and were calling it simply Qulmeri land.

Now why this term Arme-Shubria is bad? The answer is simple, because it obfuscates the presence of quite large country Urme in that region which almost certainly was related to Armenians. It artificially amalgams it with a Hurrian kingdom Shubria, creating ambiguity about the political situation in that region in Iron Age. 

It must be noted that in English and Russian Wikipedia the Arme-Shubria page is dismantled. There are now two distinct pages. 

In the recent paper about Etruscans (Posth 2021) the researchers didn't found any solid evidence of their Iron Age Near Eastern origins

In the recent paper about Etruscans (Posth 2021) the researchers didn't found any solid evidence of their Iron Age Near Eastern origins. Based on the available data the most realistic assumption is that they descend from European Neolithic farmers who themselves are ultimately from Anatolia. One of their native Y DNA was probably the G2-L497 ( see the first map ) while the rest was R1b-P312 and few cases of J2b2a from West Balkanes.

Nevertheless at last one outlier of probably Anatolian origin was found in this dataset. It was dated at 200bc.

Another paper (Antonio 2020) discussing Latin and Etruscan DNA also had found two outliers in ancient Rome that were modeled with populations from ancient Armenia. 

And another paper has found similar case in Iron Age Sardinia.

So the question is who were those sporadic migrants from Anatolia if they can't be linked with Etruscans.

In most likelihood we see some small scale migrations that can be linked to putative Sherden ( group linked to Sea people ). There is a haplotype called J2-L70 ( ) which has young  coalescence age. It is possible that this haplotype was involved in this migration. It was absent from ancient Etruscans as expected but was found in medieval Rome. More Iron Age samples from Rome and Sardinia are needed to better understand the time period and exact haplotypes of this mysterious migrants from Anatolia who were neither Greek or Etruscan.


Below are the citations from papers.


Contrary to previously reported findings from Bronze Age Sicily and Iron Age Sardinia (27, 28), we do not find evidence for Iranian-related ancestry in individuals from central Italy older than 2000 years (fig. S3). We were able to model C.Italy_Etruscan and C.Italy_Etruscan.Ceu as a mixture between three distal sources [Anatolia_Neolithic, Western hunter-gatherers (WHG), and Yamnaya_Samara] even when Neolithic Iranian individuals were placed in the reference set of qpAdm (table S4H). This suggests that the genetic history of Sicilians and Sardinians during the Bronze and Iron Ages was substantially different from that of populations on the Italian mainland, as confirmed by the distinctive spheres of interaction observed in the archeological record (29). The C.Italy_Etruscan_MAS001 individual represents a single exception in our dataset showing a shift in PCA space toward Near Eastern populations ~200 BCE (Fig. 4A). While f-statistics do not significantly reject ancestry continuity with the C.Italy_Etruscan cluster (table S2C), an admixture model between Neolithic- and steppe-related ancestries does not fit the genetic profile of this individual (table S4B). Instead, C.Italy_Etruscan_MAS001 can be modeled as a mixture between the C.Italy_Etruscan cluster and populations from the Caucasus, such as Bronze Age Armenians (Fig. 4B), indicating the sporadic presence of Iranian-related ancestry in Etruria at least by the second century BCE


3B). Although we were able to model eight of the 11 individuals as two-way mixtures of Copper Age central Italians and a Steppe-related population (~24 to 38%) using qpAdm, this model was rejected for the other three individuals (p < 0.001; table S16). Instead, two individuals from Latin sites (R437 and R850) can be modeled as a mixture between local people and an ancient Near Eastern population (best approximated by Bronze Age Armenian or Iron Age Anatolian; tables S17 and S18).


Wednesday, September 1, 2021

We have discussed about various tools for researching autosomes

 We have discussed about various tools for researching autosomes. One of such a tools which is widely used in Academic papers is the qpAdm. It is similar to fst in a way that it works on alleles. It produce models of populations of various degree of probability called tail prob.

While ago Davidski produced one such an example. (see links in comments) But back then populations from Arslantepe or Alalakh were not available. Recently I had a discussion in Russian Molgen and a user from Georgia produced an alternative models. Their tail prob is as low as those from Davidski nevertheless they make more sense because they rely on more proximal pops.

It must be noted that qpAdm is not easily maniable as G25/Vahaduo. Finding there a good model is quite hard. More harder is to make the tail prob higher than 0.5.

Here an alternative model


Kura_Araxes_ARM_Kaps. 14.8%

ARM_LBA 63.8%

TUR_Arslantepe_EBA. 21.4%

tail: 0.112209

chisq: 16.856

And another with lower tail prob


Kura_Araxes_ARM_Kaps. 24.3%

ARM_LBA 59.0%

TUR_Alalakh_MLBA. 16.7%

tail: 0.0843576

chisq: 17.882

And this was the Davidski's model


Mycenaeans_&_Empuries2 0.233±0.041

Kura-Araxes_Kaps 0.767±0.041

chisq 18.422

tail prob 0.142151

All those models have poor quality. It's quite obvious now that for good modeling of Armenians an Urartian sample is mandatory. But it is also clear that rumours that Arm_LBA is a dead population are premature. It seems that it will be impossible to have a good model of Armenians without Arm_LBA also. (Lchashen-Metsamor). The real number would not be as high as 60% but not lower than 25-30% also.

Mushki is attested twice in Urartian texts

 Mushki is attested twice in Urartian texts. Both are from Rusa son of Argishti period. They are attested in an atypical text where a list of eight countries is mentioned. The text do not describe a specific campaign but rather is a summary of numerous campaigns, while the eight countries are the most distant places where Rusa's army reached moving in all directions.

Here is the raw text.

mru-sa-a-še mar-giš-te-ḫi-ni-še a-li pa-ru-ú-bi LÚ<tú-ni> KUR.aš-šur-ri-ni

KUR.tar-gu-ni KUR.e-ti-ú-ni-niú KUR.ḫa-a-te-eš-ki-ni KUR.ṣi-lu-qu-ni-ni

The translation

 Rusa, son of Argišti, says: I deported men (and) women from the enemy countries, from the land Assur (Assyria), from the land Targuni, from the land Etiuni, from the land Tabla (Tabal)), from the land Qainaru, from the land Hatti (i.e. the Neo-Hittite states), from the land Muški, from the land Ḫatti, from the land Ṣiliquni.

Now let's locate this countries. And their direction relative to Biaina.

Assyria - south

Targuni - unknown but if is equal to Derjan then north west

Etiuni - north east

Tabla - west

Qainaru - south?

Hatti - west , west-south

Mushki - ?

Siliquni ( Syunik ) - east

As You can see the translator arbitrary added the second Hatti after the Mushki based on the assumption that Mushki was in Hatti. In the raw text there are no two Hatti. Mushki is just another country as others so it can have any direction. So what was this direction?

Well given the logic of the text were eight countries are mentioned and for each four side of the world we have one pair of two countries we can deduce that Mushki was in North west side of Urartu. Placing them in the West would mean that the scribe mentioned three countries in the West leaving the the north/northwestern side with just one country (Targuni). How to check this? Well let's look a similar text but with little bit different set of countries.


mar-giš-te-ḫi-⸢ni⸣-še a-li pa-ru-bi LÚú-ni [KUR.x-x]-⸢i?⸣-ni

.... [KUR].qa-i-na-ru-úš-ki-ni KUR.ḫa-te-e ⸢KUR.ḫa-li-ṭu⸣


This time the text is broken. Only six name are readable. It looks two are missing (Assyria and Etiuni?). The rest is similar except there is a new country Khalitu instead of Targuni. Khalitu is almost certainly the Armenian Khalti-k' which is unambiguously placed in north western direction relative to Biaina. So the assumption that Targuni was in North West was correct. Once more we have two countries in the West and it would make sense that Mushki was near Khalitu and NOT near the Anatolian group (Tabla, Hatti).

This location in the North would be fully consistent with Greek sources placing Mosch-oi ( Mushki) in Pontic region or near Meschetian mountains.

If new inscriptions with the term Mushki reinforce this location then we will have another hard evidence that early Iron Age Mushkis mentioned by Assyria were initially from North Eastern regions of modern Turkey.

Population dynamics in North Caucasus

Population dynamics in North Caucasus.

From already published papers we know that North Caucasus had two distinct populations that most of the time had little interaction with each other.  

One was in plain/steppe parts of North Caucasus (here after NC). This Steppe NC was connected to Eurasian plains in the North. The second population was living on the Northern slopes of Greater Caucasian range. It had South Caucasian origin and they settled there mostly after the Eneolithic. (after 4500bc). Currently there is no evidence that those northern slopes were inhabited in Mesolithic and even in Neolithic.

This dichotomy was so pronounced that it was present in Maykop culture which was an unified culture between Steppe and Mountainous NC, but still inhabited by two distinct populations. The Steppe Maykop (Q,R1) which was of Siberian origin and Mountainous Maykop related to Leyla-tepe (L, T, G2, J2b2a?).

When Yamna formed (3300bc) and started to expand, it moved to South also and conquered the lands of Steppe Maykop practically replacing them without mixing. There a new culture formed which usually is labeled North Caucasian culture ( first map the blue culture ) but a less confusing name is the Kubano-Tersk. We have ancient DNA from Kubano-Tersk people and they were predominantly R1b-Z2103. Genome wide ( autosomes ) they were identic to Yamna.

After 2800bc Yamna transformed into Catacomb culture with the same Y DNA. Catacomb culture had a strong influence on Kubano-Tersk which is not surprising because they were kinsmen. It basically absorbed it. Was this absorption due to cultural influence or there was another migration is not clear.

You can see that on the second map. Then one group of unknown part of Catacomb culture moved to South Caucasus via Daghestan no later than 2400bc. We discussed a lot this event. 

Hrach Martirosyan once expressed an opinion that Armenian do show evidence of archaic contacts with Abkhaz-Adyghean languages who are usually associated with Dolmen culture. If that is true then it must have occured during that Catacomb period or slightly later. 

The catacombicized Kubano-Tersk culture continued to evolve and it started to mix with neighbouring Mountainous NC who where predominantly J and G. This gradual mixing will lead to the formation of Koban culture (1300-400bc)

At 2200bc Catacomb culture ends and two new groups appear in his place. One is called Multi-Cordoned ware (2200-1800bc) which was mostly in Pontic Steppe while the other is labeled Lola. Lola was in the West of Caspian sea. The remarkable thing about Lola is that it was a partial resurrection of old Steppe Maykop people who were of West Siberian origin. We don't have ancient DNA from Multi-Cordoned ware. But in most likelihood it was similar to Catacomb with some possible influences from Carpathian mountains. There are some serious reasons to believe that Multi-Cordoned ware was speaking some kind of Balkanic languages. Some even proposed a link with Mycenaeans but with current data it's unlikely. For us it can represent interest if we learn that the I2c2 in Armenia and E-V13 in North Caucasus are related to this culture activities.

(to be continued...)

Just to have something to compare to previous threads

 Just to have something to compare to previous threads. This are fst distances calculated in Lazaridis 2016 paper. Fst is a tool to calculate the distance between two pops based on allele by allele comparison. Unlike Vahaduo/G25 and Gedmatch oracle which works in a different way. So the results of FST and Oracle/Vahaduo can be quite different.

In fst a drift due to self isolation increase the distance. As You can see here Assyrians are more distant from Armenians than Kumyks something impossible in Vahaduo/Oracle. 

Lebanese Christians are more distant from Armenians than Muslims because Christians have more European ancestry that Armenians practically lack.

For some time I started to doubt that the term Alarodi-oi in Herodotus denotes Urartu.

 For some time I started to doubt that the term Alarodi-oi in Herodotus denotes Urartu. I noticed Zimansky also assume that Alarodi was a distinct group from Urartians. The term is attested only in Herodotus and no any other source knows them. The other strange thing about them is that they are described as having similar clothes and weapons with Saspeires and Colchians. Which almost certainly was not the case for Urartians.

Another possibility is that Alarodi was the the name of Uduretiu with d>l shift. Uduretiu-ni was a locale Etiunian term most probably meaning Water Etiuni. It almost certainly was present in ancient Armenia before the arrival of Scythians. 


as far as I know d>l shift is unknown for Armenian. But such shift seems to have occur in Scythian languages.

We know now that it was Scythians and possibly their allies Etiunians who are to blame for the Urartian infrastructure destruction in modern Armenia. After Urartu lost the control of modern Armenia Scythians must have create few polities here. One of them could be centered around lake Sevan and had picked up the locale name Uduretiu which after the Scythian shift could become something like Ulureti or Alaredi.

This theory can work if the d>l shift occured before Herodotus lived. So it would be interesting to hear the opinion of linguists on this subject.


 A late Scythian sound change from /d/ to /l/ established the Greek word Skolotoi (Σκώλοτοι), from the Scythian *skula which, according to Herodotus, was the self-designation of the Royal Scythians

We use frequently this terms. So such a table is needed.

 We use frequently this terms. So such a table is needed.

The archaeologic periodization of modern Republic of Armenia. Notice other parts of historic Armenia could have slightly different periods. 

The pre-pottery Neolithic is now divided into Mesolithic 10000-7500bc and Neolithic 7500-5200bc.

In 2017 a new Neolithic site was found in Armenia dated to 7000bc.

Currently we have ancient DNA from Late Chalcolithic to Early Iron Age. Next year I hope we will see Urartian period DNA.

Sunday, August 1, 2021

To avoid all kind confusion I want to say that the paper about CWC was not revolutionary

 To avoid all kind confusion I want to say that the paper about CWC was not revolutionary. It changed nothing. Except that we have now more solid evidence that the European R1b-L51 was present there. And CWC was not initially exclusively R1a culture in Central Europe. Only few centuries later it became predominantly R1a due to founder effects.

Also it followed more northern trajectory. That's why we don't see any R1a in Hungary in Pannonian plain which was the main route for Yannayans (R1b Z2103) into Balkans. CWC folks choosed more northern route via Bielorussia and Poland. And further to Germany where in most likelihood Bell Beaker R1b P312 formed.

This means Davidski beated Carlos. And Carlos Quiles was wrong about CWC being an Uralic culture. A ridiculous idea proposed only by him. Current DNA of Uralic people leaves absolutely no other solution than Western Siberian origin of Uralic speakers.

As for Yamna and PIE homeland nothing change. As Carlos himself notes there is simply no other solution for Tocharians other than Afanasievo culture which was predominantly Z2103.

Now the modeling of CWC also changed. In Haak 2015 a model was proposed that CWC was something like 70 percent Yamna + 30 percent of local European farmers. It worked well until we got those new early CWC samples. Now the most plausible model becomes something like 70 percent Yamna + ~20 percent of Euro Neolithic farmers + plus extra ancestry ~10% from local foragers known Ukraine N. 

PS Ukraine N are hunters despite the fact that they are labeled Neolithic. This is due to the fact in ex Sovietic countries Neolithic do not always mean farmers but can also mean hunter gatherers with pottery. So it's the presence of pottery that made them Neolithic not the farming.

Spreadsheet S17 from supplements.

Suhme was attested both in Hittite and Assyrian texts.

 Suhme was attested both in Hittite and Assyrian texts. In Hittite texts it is related to Hayasa but in Assyrian texts the same place do not show any evidence of Hayasa.

There can be two possibilities. 

Either Hayasa desintegrated at 1250bc and didn't have any political continuation. Political discontinuity shouldn't be confused with ethnic one offcourse.

Either it had but with different name. It was frequent to have different names for the same polity. Petrosyan proposed that this different name was the Daiene.

There is another possibility that rise and expansion of Daiene kingdom put pressure on Hayasa and it disappeared.

Ancient DNA of Alans was analyzed

 Ancient DNA of Alans was analyzed. The paper is not published but we learn from the abstract that the most frequent haplogroups were R,Q,J,G,I. This order is different from modern Ossetians (G,J,R) but is similar to what we have seen in numerous Scytho-Sarmatians aDNA.

Only in late Alan period the pattern of haplogroup distribution become close to modern Caucasian.

 From previous studies we know that the high level of G2a1 in Central Caucasus is probably the legacy of LBA-IA Koban culture with whom Scythian mixed creating the new Alan community. Other nations in North Caucasus having high level of G2a1 are the Turkic speakers Karachays and Balkars. 


Ancient DNA analysis of Early Medieval Alan populations of the North Caucasus

Content:The earliest existing written evidence about Alans – people of Ponto-Caspian steppes and Caucasus region of I-XIII century AD – is found in the works of Chinese authors who mention the politonym "Yancai" in the "Records of the Grand Historian" and in the "History of the Former Han", and of European antique authors in the middle of the 1st century AD.

Genetic data of the early Middle Ages Alans and their affinities to the Scythian-Sarmatian tribes, traditionally considered as their ancestors, as well as to the modern population of Europe and the Caucasus have not yet studied thoroughly, the whole genome data exists for only 6 individuals [1].

In this study we have analyzed ancient DNA of 70 individuals from 12 burial complexes belonging to the Alan culture from the III-XIII century AD, from the territory of the North Caucasus (Russian Federation). DNA was extracted from the archaeological material (teeth, temporal bone) of 70 individuals. We produced low-coverage Illumina whole-genome shotgun sequencing data for 63 individuals and will analyze these in a context of ancient and modern genetic variation of the region. The coverage of the genomes was 0.0004-0.3X (median coverage 0.045X and content of endogenous DNA 21,45%). The preliminary analysis allows us to assume close contacts of the Alans with the populations of the North Caucasus. The Y-chromosomal palette of Alans consisting of 5 different haplogroups (R, Q, J, G, I) started to be similar to that of present day autochthonous North Caucasus populations only in the later phase of Alan culture.

This study is supported by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation (grant № FZWU-2020-0027), the Russian Foundation of Basic Researches (№ 19-04-01195 and №20-29-01018) and by the EU through the European Regional Development Fund (№ 2014-2020.4.01.16-0125)


Murat Dzhaubermezov, Liliia Gabidullina, Natalia Ekomasova, Elza Khusnutdinova, Biyaslan Atabiev,Ongar Chagarov, Akhmat Aybazov, ‪Mait Metspalu‬, Richard Villems, Kristiina Tambets6

Анализ древней ДНК раннесредневековых аланских популяций Северного Кавказа

Содержание:Наиболее ранние письменные свидетельства об аланах - населении понто-каспийских степей и Кавказского региона I-XIII вв. н.э. - встречаются в трудах китайских авторов, упоминающих политоним "Яньцай" в "Записях великого историка" и в "Истории бывшей Хань", и европейских античных авторов середины I в. н.э.

Генетические данные алан раннего средневековья и их родство со скифо-сарматскими племенами, традиционно считающимися их предками, а также с современным населением Европы и Кавказа до сих пор досконально не изучены, полногеномные данные существуют только для 6 человек [1].

В данном исследовании мы проанализировали древнюю ДНК 70 человек из 12 погребальных комплексов, относящихся к аланской культуре III-XIII вв. н.э., с территории Северного Кавказа (Российская Федерация). ДНК была выделена из археологического материала (зубы, височная кость) 70 индивидов. Для 63 человек мы получили данные полногеномного дробового секвенирования Illumina с низким покрытием и проанализируем их в контексте древней и современной генетической вариативности региона. Покрытие геномов составило 0,0004-0,3X (медианное покрытие 0,045X и содержание эндогенной ДНК 21,45%). Предварительный анализ позволяет предположить тесные контакты алан с населением Северного Кавказа. Y-хромосомная палитра алан, состоящая из 5 различных гаплогрупп (R, Q, J, G, I), только на поздней стадии аланской культуры стала сходна с палитрой современных автохтонных популяций Северного Кавказа.

Исследование выполнено при поддержке Министерства науки и высшего образования Российской Федерации (грант № ФЗВУ-2020-0027), Российского фонда фундаментальных исследований (№ 19-04-01195 и №20-29-01018) и ЕС через Европейский фонд регионального развития (№ 2014-2020.4.01.16-0125).


Мурат Джаубермезов, Лилия Габидуллина, Наталья Екомасова, Эльза Хуснутдинова, Бияслан Атабиев, Онгар Чагаров, Ахмат Айбазов, Майт Метспалу, Ричард Виллемс, Кристиина Тамбец6

The number of inherited Indo European words in Armenia was discussed in this group

 The number of inherited Indo European words in Armenia was discussed in this group.

According Acharyan 713 roots plus 196 derived words from a total of 2200 reconstructed words.

Let's discuss Dahae.

 Let's discuss Dahae. After all Arshakids were from this tribal confederation so it's an important place for Armenian history.

Is the Dahae related to Balkano-Armenian term Dao/Dacian/Diau/Tao/Dauni meaning wolf? If yes then how? 

Dahae has no clear etymology in Iranian languages. In no any Iranian language it means wolf but at last in one language it means man , also low class men.

We could stop here but there are other theories also.

 Some had proposed that Indian Dasa and Dahae are cognates then this mean that the original form was *dasa which with regular Iranian shift s>h became daha.

 The meaning of Dasa is also quite obscure. But in general it means hostile, enemy , low class people. Some suggested that they could be locale BMAC people whom Aryans despised. Once more there is no mention of wolf. Even more this root *dasa moves further away from Balkanian dau because if they had common origin then the disparition of s needs an explanation.

And finally a theory was proposed where Dahae is derived from PIE *dhau meaning strangle from which Phrygian coined the word daos meaning wolf. In this contexts Dahae would mean stranglers. While the link with wolf is explained with neighbouring ( notice neighbouring not themselves ) term Vrkana meaning Wolf land in Iranian languages.

Btw the term Gorg meaning wolf ( from which Georgia is derived ) is a Middle Persian period term so it must have occured late. After a v>g shift occured.

My personal opinion is that the Dahae term meaning wolf is based on shaky grounds .

It could mean men 

It could be locale non Aryan tribe name which was initially called Dasa and became Daha.

And finally from the root strangle *dhau but even in this case the link with wolf is indirect via the Vrkana / Hyrcania.

Ancient DNA of Illyrian people Dauni.

 Ancient DNA of Illyrian people Dauni. Results were easily predictable. Notice we have similar results from modern Armenia LBA/IA ( R1b, I2c2, J2b2a and others ) But the most interesting thing is the etymology of tribe Dauni. 

This is just another argument that the name Diau, Tao known later as Tayk is in most likelihood derived from the term wolf. The same word is attested in Phrygian also. Also there are strong reasons to believe that the old name of Dacians was Dao.

It's an IE term, having IE etymology. Jahukyan made a strong case for paleobalkanic presence in that region. The term Diau could be another such a term.

Later Iranians used the same term wolf to denote Georgia. But in their language offcourse. 


The ethnonym is connected to the name of the wolf, plausibly the totemic animal of this nation. The cult of the wolf was widespread in ancient Italy and was related to the Arcadian mystery cult. Daunos means wolf, according to ancient glosses, and is the correspondent of Greek transl. grc – transl. thaunos ("thērion" Hesychius of Alexandria), from an Indo-European root *dhau- to strangle, meaning literally strangler. Among the Daunian towns one may mention Lucera (Leucaria) and among other nations the ethnonym of the Lucani (Loucanoi) and that of the Hirpini, from another word meaning wolf. The outcome of the Proto-Indo-European voiced aspirate dh is proper of the Illyrian languages and so is different from the corresponding Latin faunus and Oscan, which is not attested.

Thursday, July 1, 2021

Uruatri ( other proposed variants Uruarti ) is mentioned for the first time circa 1275bc during the Shalmaneser's campaign toward lake Van.

 Uruatri ( other proposed variants Uruarti ) is mentioned for the first time circa 1275bc during the Shalmaneser's campaign toward lake Van.

According the Bryce's Routledge handbook Uruatri was a geographic term denoting eight lands in lake Van bassein with dozens of cities.

In this list, two of terms were probably mentioned in Hittite texts as lands being part of Azzi. It is Himua and Uatgun. If true that is quite remarkable. [link in the comments]

Another term Zingun has been proposed to be linked with Urartian Ziuquni. Which was in lake Van bassein also. And another land called Luha looks intriguingly close to city Luhiuni that was in land Erkua around mount Ararat.

Another interesting thing is that at last four lands end with -gun. Was this a real suffix or just a corrupted form of Urartian -kuni/-quni like in Ziuquni?

Unfortunately no personal names are mentioned.

The most interesting thing is that three centuries later Urartians themselves never used the term Urartu even when they were writing about their country in Assyrian. They were using terms Biaina, Nairi and at two occasion they used KUR URI to mention their land.

Here an important question emerges. If Urartian never used the term Uruatri/Urartu who was using them? Who coined it? 

And why Assyrians decided to differentiate Uruatri/Urartu from other Nairi lands despite the fact that Urartian themselves were feeling themselves as part of Nairi.

 Maybe Assyrians noticed an ethnic difference from Nairians. Or maybe not.

 Any idea?


I updated the story of R1b-V1636

 I updated the story of R1b-V1636. This lineage along side of small number J1-s was almost certainly involved in the introduction of Caucasian genes in to Eneolithic Steppe reaching Volga region. Before Khvalynsk and Sredni Stog the Caucasian shift was absent from Steppe while in EBA the homogenized Caucasian shift became the main signature of Yamna and CWC.

Offcourse the data is still insufficient to make definitive judgements about the PIE homeland but wherever it was it couldn't be very far from Caucasus. At last if we rely on those Steppic migrations.

From linguistic point of view this situation nicely supports the Ranko Matasovic's paper.


Areal Typology of Proto-Indo-European: The Case for Caucasian Connections


This paper re-examines the evidence for early contacts between Proto-Indo-European (PIE) and the languages of the Caucasus. Although we were not able to find certain proofs of lexical borrowing between PIE and North Caucasian, there are a few undeniable areal-typological parallels in phonology and grammar. Some features generally attributed to PIE are not found in the majority of languages of North and Northeastern Eurasia, while they are common, or universally present, in the languages of the Caucasus (especially North Caucasus). Those features include the high consonant-to-vowel ratio, tonal accent, number suppletion in personal pronouns, the presence of gender and the morphological optative and, possibly, the presence of glottalized consonants and ergativity.

Few comments on this maps.

Few comments on this maps. 

The author of this maps Guido Garducci has no single peer reviewed paper. More ever I couldn't find any paper authored by him the last time I checked this subject.

So most of his claims should be taken with caution.

Nevertheless he decided to write a book on Iron Age pottery in historic Armenia. And proposed a name Nairi ware.

What he calls "Nairi ware" is usually labeled "grooved ware" in academic papers. 

The grooved ware spread all over historic Armenia immediately after the late Bronze Collapse in 1200 bc. In many places grooved ware people created new settlements. 

 Scholars usually place the origin of this type pottery in the East or North of historic Armenia, were more older specimens of grooved ware are found.

Veli Sevin linked it with Mushki specifically mentioning that it was an IE tribe. The timing is very good for Mushki theory. Graducci is also mentioning Mushki in relation to grooved ware.

Despite this Sevin's opinion was criticized for giving exclusivity to IE Mushkis and an alternative theory was proposed that it was Uruatri people pottery. This theory also has good timing but has other problems because Uruatri was initially a small polity. Interestingly the grooved ware was present in Urartu but the distinctive Urartian red elite pottery is not directly related to it. 

And finally it must be noted that Lchashen culture was relying on grooved ware at last since 1500 bc till the arrival of Urartu at 800 bc. Here the link of ethnicity with a pottery is very secure.

 So finally who were those people spreading the groove ware at Early Iron Age (1200bc) all over historic Armenia? 

Almost certainly not the Nairi because the term Nairi is mentioned before the 1200 bc. But offcourse they settled in the lands of Nairi also and became part of it.

In other peripheral regions also the grooved ware people were assimilated by the neighbouring Luwian , Semitic cultures.

The life in Middle Bronze Age Armenia portrayed on a goblet.

 The life in Middle Bronze Age Armenia portrayed on a goblet. According Pavel Avetisyan it is during this period that we see the first apparition of such concepts as kings and states on the territory of modern Armenia.

Prior that we see mostly feminine figurines (mother goddess?) from Kur-Araxian layers.

More details about the silver goblet from Karashamb.,_Karashamb)

Similar goblet was found also from Trialeti , Georgia. See the comment.

Friday, April 30, 2021

Saspeirs or Syspiritis from Greek sources is usually linked with historic Sper ( modern town Ispir in Erzerum province )

 Saspeirs or Syspiritis from Greek sources is usually linked with historic Sper ( modern town Ispir in Erzerum province ) 

One explanation to this shift is based on the idea that the initial sa- is a Kartvelian plurial prefix. This theory has one serious problem. The supposedly singular form Sper is not seen anywhere. Not in Urartian, not in Greek and any other sources until Armenian times. More ever Georgian themselves use the form Speri. Without any prefixes. So how to understand this?

Well there can be another explanation to this shift. The Armenian language was quite intolerant to IE sibilants *s. They have undergone various changes, and today virtually nothing is left from initial sibilants. This is not specific to Armenian but has occurred in Greek and Iranian languages also. For example the European number six became hex in Greek while the Sanskrit sauma ( a drink ) became hauma in Iranian. In Iranian there was also secondary tendency to transform s into x.

In Greek and Iranian those shifts occured in early periods while in Armenian the exact date is unknown. But it is quite possible that it occured in post Urartian period.

 Based on known phonetic shifts the term Syspir will sound in Armenian something like susper then will shift into husper. The second [s] will not become a [h] because it had consonant like p ( also t ) after him. This is a well known rule in Armenian.

 But this form husper also will not last long and the initial hu- will drop and only Sper will remain. This dropping of initial laryngeals h is also well known.

 Is there an evidence to prove this theory? Well there is. Strabo mentions a place known as Hyspiratis. Scholars believe that it is the same as the Syspiritis (=Sper). So why would Strabo use two different forms to denote a same place in the same text. Maybe he made an error. But maybe not. The difference between two mentions is the date. Syspiritis is mentioned when discussing old Jason's Argonauts period while the form Hyspiratis is mentioned in the younger context of Alexander Macedonian conquests. In most likelihood between this periods local Armenian speakers had transformed the term into Husper which is reflected in the Steabo's texts.


PS I discussed this subject with Martirosyan and he concurred with the plausibility of this theory. In fact it was suggested by him also. Simply I wasn't aware of that.

You may wonder what kind of material culture Ṣiluquni (modern Syunik) and partly Urtekhi had in Iron Age ( 1200-500 bc ).

 You may wonder what kind of material culture Ṣiluquni (modern Syunik) and partly Urtekhi had in Iron Age ( 1200-500 bc ). 

Here are the artefacts from Keren site ( near Kapan ) in Artsakh republic. Today this site is under Azerbaijani control.

Those artefacts are quite distinct. Not similar to anything we had from other parts of Armenia. 

It would be interesting to compare them to Khojaly site's. But I have no enough knowledge on this subject.

Armen Petrosyan has more Armenian etymologies from Etiuni onomastics

 Armen Petrosyan has more Armenian etymologies from Etiuni onomastics. Notice Urartians were in most likelihood omitting the laryngeal [h]. 


Išteluani is equal to medieval Astelan. Where the root Astel is from the word star (աստղ). Native Armenian root.

Apuni is compared to historic Hawnuni, where the root Hawn can have two different Armenian etymologies. One meaning bird the other grandfather.

Erkua or Erikua is compared to Armenian word two (երկու) which is the same meaning as later attested Masis.

He also proposes Armenian  etymologies for the Abiliani ( historic Abelean ) , Uelikuni ( historic Gelakuni ) and the name for river Hrazdan attested as Ildarunia

Personal names

Qapurini is compared to old Armenian word kap'ur meaning great. Origin uncertain.

Nidini is compared to the word net meaning arrow. 

He discuss the Aluani where the root Alu means good , kind , nice in old Armenian . And it is still used in western Armenian frequently in the form aluor/alvor. Pronounced as aghvor.

He discuss off course Diucini. And the son of Saka (Sagaputara in Salvini ) which is not an Armenian name strictu sensu but goes in line with Khorenatsi reports. Other possible names Cinalib, Tata, Murini.


Aniqu is a goddess of Aza land in Etiuni. It can be compared to Armenian term han meaning grandmother. With extra diminutive suffix.


The story of R1a-M417

 The story of R1a-M417

The branch M417 is by far the most frequent type of R1a in the world. Thanks to the ancient DNA we know that it expanded with Corded Ware culture. The calculated age (TMRCA) of R1a-M417 is 5500 years. It is close to the Corded Ware culture (CWC) formation age ~ 4900 years ago. CWC was a pastoralist culture which rapidly expanded all over North Europe. In North East Europe it introduced food producing for the first time. Replacing completely local foragers.

Genome wide it was derived from Yamna but over time acquired extra European farmers ancestry ( from GAC culture ) . Mostly via female lines. Which made them more blond and light skin than was Yamna.

So here is the short story of main subclades of R1a-M417. It has three branches

L664 - Today it is a rare lineage in Central and North West Europe. But was more frequent in CWC Central Europe. Absent in Armenia.


Z283 - This is the most frequent type of R1a in Europe. It reaches especiay high levels among Balto - Slavic and Germanic speakers. It has three subclades.

> - Z284 is mostly found in Scandinavia and Northern Germanic speakers. It was widespread in Battle Axe variant of CWC in Scandinavia

>- Z280 is widespread in East and Central Europe and Balkanes. It was found in Baltic CWC. 

>- M458 Similar distribution to Z280 but more pronounced in Poland. In most likelihood it's origins are in Middle Dnieper region. Both are Balto- Slavic markers.


Z93 - The oldest case is found in eastern CWC called Fatyanovo - Balanovo. From there it moved to East and South were Sintashta/Andronovo emerged 4200 years ago. Sintashta is famous by it's spooked chariots. An invention usually atribuated to Indo-Iranians.

From there one branch known as R1a-L657 rapidly moved to India where it had a dramatic expansion immediately after the end of Harappan civilisation.

While the Z2124 remained in Central Asia and started to expand in various directions. In East it reached Mongolia where it introduced food production for the first time. Local East Asian foragers who learned the technics of pastoralism from R1a later expanded on its own. And became known as Turkic and Mongolian tribes.

Other branches of R1a Z93 moved to west reaching even Balkanes. They were known as Srubna culture (~1800 bc ). Later in IA another wave reexpanded from modern Kazakhstan who became known as Scythians. And another as Sarmatians And finally some of R1a Z2124 moved to Near East in LBA/IA period. 

Z93 is the most frequent type of R1a in Armenia.

Let's post in this thread links on useful dictionaries

 Let's post in this thread links on useful dictionaries.

In English.

Here is the Etymological dictionary of inherited vocabulary by H. Martirosyan.

An interesting video about medieval Armenian traders in India and an English captain Kidd.

 An interesting video about medieval Armenian traders in India and an English captain Kidd.

The video mentions about the Armenian traders in Philippines.

We have a Y DNA from Philippines with recent common ancestor with Armenians. So chances are quite high that this Philippine and Chinese people had an Armenian patrilineal ancestor.

No recent Anatolian ancestry in Etruscans.

 No recent Anatolian ancestry in Etruscans. An upcoming paper claims this. The extra Near Eastern ancestry in Italy came in Roman imperial period and is not related to Etruscans. Herodotus was wrong.

Դեռ անտիպ։ Էտրուսկները ՉԵՆ գնացել Անատոլիայից երկաթի դարում։ Հերոդոտը սխալ էր։ Մերձավոր արևելյան գեները Իտալիայում կտրուկ շատանում են Հռոմի կայսերական շրջանում և կապ չունեն էտրուսկների հետ։


The origin and legacy of the Etruscans through a 2,000-year archeogenomic time transect

Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History

The origin, development and legacy of the enigmatic Etruscan civilization from the central region of the Italian peninsula known as Etruria has been the subject of scholarly debate for centuries. Here we report a genomic time transect of 82 individuals spanning almost two millennia (800 BCE – 1,000 CE) across Etruria and southern Italy. During the Iron Age, we detect a component of Indo-European-associated steppe ancestry and the lack of recent Anatolian admixture among the putative non-Indo-European-speaking Etruscans. Despite comprising diverse individuals of central European, northern African and Near Eastern ancestry, the local gene pool is largely maintained across the first millennium BCE. This continuity drastically changes during the Roman Imperial period where we report an abrupt population-wide shift to ~50% admixture with eastern Mediterranean ancestry. Finally, we identify northern European components appearing in central Italy during the Early Middle Ages, which thus formed the genetic landscape of present-day Italian populations.

I created approximately the same model as in the previous Turkish DNA thread.

 I created approximately the same model as in the previous Turkish DNA thread. Notice it is not exactly the same because I used only one averaged MLBA Anatolia sample and one Central Asian instead of aggregation.

 Here are some results for comparison. Overall Armenians are more Eastern ( Hajji Firuz Chl ) than Turks which is quite normal. But keep in mind that Hajji Firuz Chl and Anatolia MLBA are not very distant from each other. So it is all about about fifty shades of grey. :) 

Also Central Asian input is NOT equal to East Asian Xiongnu like proto-Turkic ancestry. Karakhanid is already mixed with West Eurasians thus in models it will score higher than Xiongnu. In a same way Armenians will have much higher proto Armenian ancestry (~ >30% of Etio? like ) than pure Steppe.

Fits are good.

Target: Turkish_Southwest

Distance: 1.7298% / 0.01729818

50.2 TUR_Kaman-Kalehoyuk_MLBA

25.8 KAZ_Karakhanid

12.6 RUS_Catacomb

11.4 IRN_Hajji_Firuz_C

0.0 Kura-Araxes_ARM_Kaps

Target: Armenian

Distance: 1.3119% / 0.01311855

50.0 IRN_Hajji_Firuz_C

33.4 TUR_Kaman-Kalehoyuk_MLBA

9.8 Kura-Araxes_ARM_Kaps

6.8 RUS_Catacomb

0.0 KAZ_Karakhanid

More closer 

Target: Turkish_Kayseri

Distance: 1.2040% / 0.01203994

43.6 TUR_Kaman-Kalehoyuk_MLBA

32.2 IRN_Hajji_Firuz_C

12.6 KAZ_Karakhanid

11.6 RUS_Catacomb

0.0 Kura-Araxes_ARM_Kaps

More Kur Araxian

Target: Turkish_North

Distance: 1.3360% / 0.01336030

49.0 TUR_Kaman-Kalehoyuk_MLBA

23.0 KAZ_Karakhanid

11.0 RUS_Catacomb

10.4 Kura-Araxes_ARM_Kaps

6.6 IRN_Hajji_Firuz_C


Target: Turkish_Adana

Distance: 1.3456% / 0.01345609

39.0 TUR_Kaman-Kalehoyuk_MLBA

34.4 IRN_Hajji_Firuz_C

13.8 KAZ_Karakhanid

12.8 RUS_Catacomb

0.0 Kura-Araxes_ARM_Kaps

No Central Asian input very Caucasian

Target: Turkish_Trabzon

Distance: 1.7235% / 0.01723541

47.8 TUR_Kaman-Kalehoyuk_MLBA

38.8 Kura-Araxes_ARM_Kaps

9.8 IRN_Hajji_Firuz_C

3.6 RUS_Catacomb

0.0 KAZ_Karakhanid


Target: Armenian_Hemsheni

Distance: 1.6564% / 0.01656444

55.6 Kura-Araxes_ARM_Kaps

32.0 TUR_Kaman-Kalehoyuk_MLBA

11.0 IRN_Hajji_Firuz_C

1.4 RUS_Catacomb

0.0 KAZ_Karakhanid

East Turkey low Central Asia

Target: Turkish_East

Distance: 0.8610% / 0.00860996

46.4 IRN_Hajji_Firuz_C

26.6 TUR_Kaman-Kalehoyuk_MLBA

13.2 RUS_Catacomb

7.0 Kura-Araxes_ARM_Kaps

6.8 KAZ_Karakhanid

Influences from Balkanes invisible in this model

Target: Turkish_Istanbul

Distance: 1.8252% / 0.01825198

62.0 TUR_Kaman-Kalehoyuk_MLBA

21.6 RUS_Catacomb

12.6 KAZ_Karakhanid

3.8 IRN_Hajji_Firuz_C

0.0 Kura-Araxes_ARM_Kaps

One of highest Central Asian ancestry in Turkey is found in South Anatolia.

Target: Turkish_South

Distance: 1.1391% / 0.01139130

37.6 TUR_Kaman-Kalehoyuk_MLBA

26.0 KAZ_Karakhanid

24.6 IRN_Hajji_Firuz_C

11.8 RUS_Catacomb

0.0 Kura-Araxes_ARM_Kaps

And here the same with Xiongnu but without Central Asian Karakhanid.

Target: Turkish_South

Distance: 1.9764% / 0.01976429

35.0 TUR_Kaman-Kalehoyuk_MLBA

31.6 IRN_Hajji_Firuz_C

20.2 RUS_Catacomb

13.2 MNG_Xiongnu_East_Asian

0.0 Kura-Araxes_ARM_Kaps

A remarkable finding in Syria

 A remarkable finding in Syria. One of the oldest collective burials of warriors in a huge kurgan. Most probably dead in battle. The age is something like 2400-2300bc. Which fits into the start of Akkadian empire and it's wars with Northerners. It would be interesting to see their DNA.

На русском

Recently, I had the opportunity to participate to Pavel Avetisyan's online lecture.

 Recently, I had the opportunity to participate to Pavel Avetisyan's online lecture. He is the director of the Institute of Archeology and Ethnography. The subject was "From the first farmers to early polities "

It was very instructive and especially interesting for me in the sense that many new archeological theories are fully confirmed by DNA research. This is my genetic commentary, of course, because the talk was fully devoted to archeological material.

One of such theories is the concept of "core area" ( see the map ) from which early agriculture and animal husbandry, ( neolithic revolution ) started 12000-10000 years ago.

Although there is no ancient DNA from that area, the existing data speaks in favor of that area (near the historical Aldzenik, present Diyarbakir, Turkey).

Indeed the samples from Neolithic Levant (PPN B) are more northern shifted than those from Epipaleolithic Natufian culture that preceded it. The presence of more northern Y DNA such as H2 and T1a in Levant Neolithic do also point to the migration from North. 

In the neolithic Anatolia (Bonchuklu, Chatal Hoyuk, Barsin) we see more Eastern shift compared to preceding Paleolithic (Pinarbashi).

It is difficult to say something clear about the neolithic layers of Iran's Zagros (Ganj Dareh). Because there are still no samples from Paleolithic Zagros. But the two Mesolitic DNAs from the northeast of Iran (near Turkmenistan) and the subsequent neolithic DNA in Turkmenistan speaks in favor of migration from West of Iran. In addition, the G2b and G2a1 which were found in Early Neolithic of Iran, points to western connections, especially with G2a2 in Anatolia.

Other Neolithic y dna like E-M123, J2b, some J2A branches, have also spread from the nearby of "core area". Additionally all three branches of T1a and naturally the G2 and H2. By the way, this latter was found in Georgian Neolithic. This shows that neolithic settlements in Ararat Valley (Aknashen, Aratashen, Masis Blur) must also have ties to the south west of the historic Armenia.

Pavel Avetisyan ( Պավել Ավետիսյան ) also spoke about Eneolithic (copper age) and Bronze age. But I will mention them separately.

PS And some good news. It is very possible that new paleo DNA will be published from Armenia next year.

An interesting topic that has been overlooked by Armenology is the term RMNN mentioned by the Egyptian pharaoh Thutmosis III in his Asian campaigns.

 An interesting topic that has been overlooked by Armenology is the term RMNN mentioned by the Egyptian pharaoh Thutmosis III in his Asian campaigns.

Some has proposed that this term should be read Ermenen so it could be a cognate of Akkadian Armanu. Ermenen is a place were the heaven relies on his four pillars. Thus a mountainous place.

But others do believe that it is the Lebanon, because Egyptians never ventured deep into Asia. And RMNN refers to mount Lebanon.

Here are quotes from wikipedia.


Another record is by Thutmose III of Egypt, says the people of Ermenen in 1446 BC, and says in their land "heaven rests upon its four pillars".[1] (Thutmose was the first Pharaoh to cross the Euphrates to reach the Armenian Highlands). To this day Kurds and Turks refer to Armenians by Ermeni.


Occurrences of the name have been found in different Middle Bronze Age texts from the library of Ebla,[22] and three of the twelve tablets of the Epic of Gilgamesh. The name is recorded in Ancient Egyptian as Rmnn (𓂋𓏠𓈖𓈖𓈉), where R stood for Canaanite L.[23] The name occurs nearly 70 times in the Hebrew Bible, as לְבָנוֹן.[24


Despite uncertainty Susan Solomon mentioned this term in his book about Armenia.

Diodorus has histories about Assyrian king Ninus and his contemporary Armenian king Barzanes

 Diodorus has histories about Assyrian king Ninus and his contemporary Armenian king Barzanes. Ninus is not attested in Assyrian sources neither Armenians do remember any Barzanes. Yet a term Barzanish seems to have existed in southern parts (Nairi) of historic Armenia. More interestingly it comes as Barzanishtun which would have a transparent Armenian etymology. House of Barzanes.

Another possible affiliated term is probably the Kulibarzini attested as a tribe of Nairi. And another but this time a personal name Utuburshini as a king of Diau. But this two latter terms could be unrelated to first one.

The term Syunik ( old Siwnik' ) is not attested in Urartian texts.

 The term Syunik ( old Siwnik' ) is not attested in Urartian texts. Instead of that we have the name Ṣuluqu and possibly Ṣiluquni. This name is attested later in Armenian period as Cəluk (Ծղուկ) as a canton of Syunik. But occasionally the term Cluk was also used as a synonym of Syunik. 

Jahukyan has proposed a Scythian etymology for the term. Tsuluk means upright, vertical in Shughni an East Iranian language.

Syunik region is not usually considered to be part of Etiuni ( and consequently part of Lchashen culture ) . We have an Iron Age sample from Kapan which is not different from Lchashen samples.

Despite good erymology it is very unlikely that it was a predominantly a Scythian place. Assuming that the term is Scythian this could simply mean that they became a ruling elite there. Later it seems a power shift occured and a new name was used the Siwnik'.

Various theories has been proposed for Siwnik'. 

Petrosyan linked it with Urartian sun God Shiwini.

Others proposed that it come from a term Abar-Siuni which is attested in Tighlat Palassar's campaign in Nairi. Albeit Abar - Siuni location is unknown.

Khorenatsi linked it with the name of Sisakan. I think the transition from Sisak to Siwni is unlikely from linguistic point of view. Despite this Syuni noble family was also called Sisakyan.

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.

Very interesting news from Greece.

 Very interesting news from Greece. A new paper discussing the transition to Bronze Age. Also new samples from North Greece. 

Only two y dna (J2 and G2) . MBA samples with high Steppe are females so no R1b this time but in most likelihood the Steppe was introduced by them. And some other yet unknown HG.

There was also a Caucasus Iran shift at EBA.

Here are the proportions

The dates of Steppe arrival ~2300bc (2600-2000bc) fits into Catacomb period rather than later KMK (Multi Cordoned ware). So it seems KMK was Thracian related rather than Greek .

The authors don't give definitive answers for the LBA Myceneans origin. Keeping open the door for Near Eastern ( Armenian theory) origin. 

Anyway this data strongly boosts the Steppic origins of Greeks.



• Bronze Age (BA) Helladic, Cycladic, and Minoan genomes from the Aegean were sequenced

• 3,000 BCE Aegeans are homogeneous and derive ancestry mainly from Neolithic farmers

• Neolithic Caucasus-like and BA Pontic-Caspian Steppe-like gene flow shaped the Aegean

• Present-day Greeks are genetically similar to 2,000 BCE Aegeans from Northern Greece


The Cycladic, the Minoan, and the Helladic (Mycenaean) cultures define the Bronze Age (BA) of Greece. Urbanism, complex social structures, craft and agricultural specialization, and the earliest forms of writing characterize this iconic period. We sequenced six Early to Middle BA whole genomes, along with 11 mitochondrial genomes, sampled from the three BA cultures of the Aegean Sea. The Early BA (EBA) genomes are homogeneous and derive most of their ancestry from Neolithic Aegeans, contrary to earlier hypotheses that the Neolithic-EBA cultural transition was due to massive population turnover. EBA Aegeans were shaped by relatively small-scale migration from East of the Aegean, as evidenced by the Caucasus-related ancestry also detected in Anatolians. In contrast, Middle BA (MBA) individuals of northern Greece differ from EBA populations in showing ∼50% Pontic-Caspian Steppe-related ancestry, dated at ca. 2,600-2,000 BCE. Such gene flow events during the MBA contributed toward shaping present-day Greek genomes

And here a quote from another book not this paper.

"Middle Helladic period between 2200 and 2000 BC a wave of Greek tribes, later self-styled Hellenes, poured into the southern part of the Balkan Peninsula. They were coming to Aegeida from the north. During the excavations of many settlements, the Early Helladic cultural layer is separated from the subsequent ones by a layer of ash. Other Early Helladic settlements were abandoned altogether. The conquerors were called Minias. "

When discussing the names attested in Iron Age Anatolia Diakonov admits that most names recorded by Assyrians in west of Euphrates are Luwian except one the Gurdi ( = Kurtis in Luwian ).

 When discussing the names attested in Iron Age Anatolia Diakonov admits that most names recorded by Assyrians in west of Euphrates are Luwian except one the Gurdi ( = Kurtis in Luwian ). At last three different Gurdi are attested and at last one of them the Gurdi of Atuna kingdom left an inscription in Luwian. His father name is Ashus remarkably close to Ascanius.

The other one Gurdi the Kulummean is known to have killed the Assyrian king Sargon II at 705 bc. After this sudden event Assyria lost significantly it's influence in Anatolia.

And another Gurdi is credited to found the Til-Garimu ( = biblical Togarma?)

Kossian propose a theory in which all this Gurdis are of eastern Mushkian origin and not Luwians. They could have belong even to same dinasty. 

Diakonov considered them as of Thraco-Phrygian origin. 

It's worth to note that a similar name is attested in Armenian records. The Ara Kardos.

Another remarkable thing that this name is close to Kardu-choi/Corduene. But this could be a chance similarity.

Ancient DNA from Luwian kingdoms in Anatolia can be very helpful to solve partially this kind of puzzles.

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Closeness to Armenian calculated by Jahukyan.

 Closeness to Armenian calculated by Jahukyan. Surprisingly Armenian shares more features with Indic than Iranian.

Now that we have a E-V13 of obvious European (Paleobalkanic) origin in ancient Central Asian Steppes we can speculate on similarities of the name of Dacians and Iranian Dahae and off course the Diau / Tao in ancient Armenia.

Now that we have a E-V13 of obvious European (Paleobalkanic) origin in ancient Central Asian Steppes we can speculate on similarities of the name of Dacians and Iranian Dahae and off course the Diau / Tao in ancient Armenia.

What is the direction? From Iranian to Balkanian or the inverse? Or maybe chance similarity? Or common origin?

Furthermore I think the transformation of Daoi into Dakoi can be simply explained by the -k' plural suffix present in Armenian and possibly in some Balkanic languages.


According to Strabo's Geographica, the original name of the Dacians was Δάοι "Daoi".[2][22] The name Daoi (one of the ancient Geto-Dacian tribes) was certainly adopted by foreign observers to designate all the inhabitants of the countries north of Danube that had not yet been conquered by Greece or Rome.[12][12]


The ethnographic name Daci is found under various forms within ancient sources. Greeks used the forms Δάκοι "Dakoi" (Strabo, Dio Cassius, and Dioscorides) and Δάοι "Daoi" (singular Daos).[23][2][24][a][25][22] The form Δάοι "Daoi" was frequently used according to Stephan of Byzantium.[17]


There are similarities between the ethnonyms of the Dacians and those of Dahae (Greek Δάσαι Δάοι, Δάαι, Δαι, Δάσαι Dáoi, Dáai, Dai, Dasai; Latin Dahae, Daci), an Indo-European people located east of the Caspian Sea, until the 1st millennium BC. Scholars have suggested that there were links between the two peoples since ancient times.[30][31][32][17] The historian David Gordon White has, moreover, stated that the "Dacians ... appear to be related to the Dahae".[33] (Likewise White and other scholars also believe that the names Dacii and Dahae may also have a shared etymology – see the section following for further details.)


Opinions on the origins of the name Daci are divided. Some scholars consider it to originate in the Indo-European *dha-k-, with the stem *dhe- "to put, to place", while others think that the name Daci originates in *daca – "knife, dagger" or in a word similar to dáos, meaning "wolf" in the related language of the Phrygians.[38][39]

One hypothesis is that the name Getae originates in the Indo-European *guet- 'to utter, to talk'.[40][38] Another hypothesis is that "Getae" and "Daci" are Iranian names of two Iranian-speaking Scythian groups that had been assimilated into the larger Thracian-speaking population of the later "Dacia".[41][42]

The L1a1-M27 found in Areni cave (Chalcolithic period 6200 ybp) is now uploaded in YFull. ( I1642 )

 The L1a1-M27 found in Areni cave (Chalcolithic period 6200 ybp) is now uploaded in YFull. ( I1642 )

L1a1 is rare in modern Near East. It is popular in India but this is due to 4700 year old founder effect. In South Asia it is especially popular among Kalash people.

Only one Armenian from FTDNA is positive for M27. What is his exact relation to ancient Areni person is not yet clear but it is quite possible that he will be from the same subbranch.

Another L1a1-M27 potentially close to Areni lineage was found in ancient Central Asia (1700 ybp , Hunnic period ) . It seems L1a1 had a rare presence in BMAC. Most L found there are from L1a2 branch but not L1a1. After BMAC it made part of Saka community and reached even China.

In sum it seems that L1a1 ( 8300 year old lineage) expanded in Chalcolithic period from NW Iran and South Caucasus. In most likelihood it reached India during Harappan civilization period. Ancient DNA from Indus valley civilization is needed to prove this theory.

PS. We have five samples from Chalcolithic Areni cave. Three males. All L1a1. And two females.

Monday, March 29, 2021

For long time rumours were circulating about the 18th dinasty of Ancient Egypt being predominantly R1b-M269 Y dna.

 For long time rumours were circulating about the 18th dinasty of Ancient Egypt being predominantly R1b-M269 Y dna. Well it seems that those rumours were not baseless. At last the few STR that we have point to that direction. Off course it would be good to have a much better analysis to learn more details but that will need time. 

Now the Hyksos connection is the most rational explanation except that I would not advise to jump to linguistic conclusion rapidly. This is because that before moving to Egypt the R1b must have spent some time in Levant where he could have shift to Semitic or Hurrian languages. 

Anyway now we have better understanding why Akhenaten (Ekhnaton) introduced the new solar deity cult in Egypt.

Ramses III also was tested and he was E1b.

Yuya was G2. He was the grandfather of Akhenaten from maternal side. Akhenaten's mother was Tuya.


Insights from ancient DNA analysis of Egyptian human mummies: clues to disease and kinship' (Gad et al. 2020)

“An investigative study was carried out on the familial relationships of a number of late 18th dynasty mummies (ca. 1550–1295 B.C.), including that of Tutankhamen. The study was based on the analysis of the autosomal and Y-chromosome STR markers in addition to mitochondrial hypervariable region 1 sequences. A 4- generation pedigree of Tutankhamun’s immediate lineage and the identity of his ancestors were established. The Royal male lineage was the Y-chromosome haplogroup R1b that was passed from the grandparent [Amenhotep III] to the father [KV55, Akhenaten] to the grandchild [Tutankhamen]. The maternal lineage, the mitochondrial haplogroup K, extended from the great-grandmother [Thuya] to the grandmother [KV35 Elder lady, Queen Tiye] to the yet historically-unidentified mother [KV35 Younger lady] to Tutankhamen.”