Thursday, December 30, 2021

Origins of modern Armenian genetic profile

 Origins of modern Armenian genetic profile. How and when.

Unlike main Europe the genetic history of Near East is much more complicated. 

In the current stage of our knowledge the Mesolithic Near East had two distinct and quite distant from each other populations after the Late Glacial Maximum. One in the western parts in Levant and Anatolia, the other in eastern. In Iran and parts of Caucasian range. To understand how unusual was this situation You must realize that the genetic distance between Mesolithic Iranian and Levantine pops was comparable to the distance between foragers living in Baikal region and modern England. Obviously a barrier existed in Near East that permitted to such a distant populations to live side by side without mixing. It was the Armenian Highlands in the North, then probably the Mesopotamian deserts and Zagros and finally Persian Gulf was larger in the past.

The attached maps present the genetic legacy of this ancient pops. As You can see the Iran/Zagros Neolithic ancestry today is best preserved in the East in Pakistan, while Anatolian farmers ancestry is best preserved in the South Europe. Sardinia is famous for being the closest to NW Anatolian farmers. Anatolia had another type of farmers in the south from Tepecik Ciftlik. Those farmers were slightly different and their map as expected is different. Their genetics is close to ancient Minoans. You can also notice the Anatolian farmers ancestry in Central Asia and Africa. The first is due to Corded Ware (R1a-M417) expansion while the latter is due to migration to Africa from SW Europe which introduced there the R1b-V88 lineage, which is today prominent in Chadic speakers.

Returning back to Near East You can notice that modern North Near Easterners in general and Armenians in particular do show ancestry from a different type of farmers. Here represented by South Caucasian sample from Neolithic period known as Shulaveri culture. South Caucasian Neolithic recently became famous by its old wine producing site. But they had other interesting features like round houses similar to those found in Halaf culture. While we are waiting aDNA from Halaf, Hassuna and Ubaid there is little doubt that their genetic profile will be the same Centristic type as farmers of ancient Armenia/SC. From anthropologic point of view it is in those cultures that we see the earliest skulls close to Armenoid type. 

Do this mean that the typical Armenian ( and not only Armenian) Centristic genetic profile formed as a mixture of Eastern and Western Near Eastern distinct pops. Maybe yes, maybe no. Or both yes and no. We don't know for sure the answer to this question because we don't have ancient DNA from Iraq, Syria, East Turkey/SC old enough to understand this puzzle. 

But it is possible that the reality will be even more surprising than we imagined. Many scholars believe that both Iran and Levant Mesolithic foragers descend from a more archaic population labeled as Basal Eurasians. So what if those Basal Eurasians who lived before the LGM turn out the have a Centristic profile? An unpublished ancient DNA from pre LGM yielded a shocking result. There wasn't any CHG in west Georgia (Dzudzuana) 26.000 years ago. It had more alleles with Anatolian farmers than with CHG which lived in the same place after the LGM.

In any case we already know that this Centristic profile existed already 8-10 thousands years ago in Near East and it expanded in various occasions playing an important role in the formation of modern Near Eastern genetics, which is much more homogenous than it was in late Paleolithic.

PS After this introduction to the subject You can better understand this PCA and analysis.

Friday, December 24, 2021

I want two clarify two subjects related to Yamna and R1.

 I want two clarify two subjects related to Yamna and R1.

In the current stage of our knowledge there is no evidence that the haplogroup R1 formed in Siberia and expanded from there. The oldest R1b we have are from Italy and Ukraine (14.000 and 10.000 ybp respectively ) and the oldest R1a is from Ukraine also. 10.000 ybp.

Siberia is the one of best sampled region and no evidence of any R1 there before the known IE migrations. R1 was present in Central Asia and even Tarim bassein before IE but they were migrants from West.

So the most likely homeland of R1 is the southern parts of Eastern Europe. Black and Caspian sea region. It expanded after LGM, 20.000 ybp, when ices melted. While the oldest R2 are found in Iran.

R1 moved west (V88) east and south before any known IE migration. We can't say when the oldest R1 will be found in Near East. But it was almost certainly present there in Chalcolithic period.

As for the branch R1b-Z2103. It is almost certainly associated with Yamna. But Yamna was very different from any modern population. Calling it European or Caucasian is meaningless.

A straight comparison of it with ancient mainland Europeans (WHG and Euro farmers ) and ancient pops of Armenia show that they were closer to ancient Armenia than any known ancient _unadmixed_ mainland European pop, except the EHG of East Europe offcourse.

Distance to: Yamnaya_RUS_Samara

0.17046264 RUS_EHG

0.22841458 Kura-Araxes_ARM_Talin

0.31287725 HUN_Baden_LCA

0.37744914 WHG

The inverse.

Distance to: Kura-Araxes_ARM_Kalavan

0.21628849 Yamnaya_RUS_Samara

0.22521151 HUN_Baden_LCA

0.36474630 RUS_EHG

0.48159869 WHG

Distance to: Kura-Araxes_ARM_Talin

0.21710358 HUN_Baden_LCA

0.22841458 Yamnaya_RUS_Samara

0.37306523 RUS_EHG

0.48617417 WHG

European farmers and Yamna are practically equidistant from ancient Armenia.

Wednesday, December 22, 2021

The origins of the name Armenia.

 The origins of the name Armenia.

In trilingual Behistun inscription ( dated circa ~520bc) the list of twenty three countries is mentioned. One of them is the Armina in Persian. The same country is labeled as Urashtu in the Babylonian version.

It is frequent for the same kingdom to have different names. It can be explained by different geographic perspectives. But other factors can play a role.

Given that Persians were mentioned in Urartian inscriptions we can assume that Persian knew about Urartu kingdom earlier in 7th century and were using the same Armina term to designate that kingdom.

What can be the source of this term? 

Given the location of Persians and Mannaeans we must search a term that was located in south eastern parts of Biaina/Urartu as a source of this term. Indeed such term existed and it was situated between lake Van and Urmia. It was the Aramali and Armarili mentioned in Assyrian sources. Why and how this term could become Armina?

Both Aramali and Armarili do have the Urartian plural suffix -li like in Biainili. This means that the root was Arama- and Armari. This latter is sometimes interpreted as Armali. In this case we will have Arma-. 

In the Persian form Armina the last -na also can be a suffix. This suffix in most likelihood is not Persian but comes from the same stock as Biai-na and Man-na ( frequently mentioned as Mannayu = Mannaeans ) 

Here we can make a plausible assumption that the term Armina was initially coined by Mannaeans to denote Urartu kingdom, which later was borrowed by Persians.

Finally the form Armari- can be explained as Arm + ar where the last -ar is a plural suffix in another language spoken by the tribe from which this root Arm- is derived. Such a piling of two and more plural suffixes is very frequent in conditions when there are multiple ethnicities mixed.

It must be noted that -ar plural suffix can be related to old Armenian -ear suffix which later evolved to modern -(n)er.

There are other arguments which favour this theory.

+ Armarili was a district in Urartu were the hometowns of Urartian kings were located. Basically if the Assyrian claims are correct then we can say that the ruling dinasty of Urartu were Armareans. It's quite natural to name a kingdom based on the origin of it's dinasty. Examples are France, Bulgaria etc.

+ The first king of Urartu was Aramu. Once more we see the name of Urartian ruler connected with Aramali/Armarili. Though in Assyrian inscription Aramali is not part of Urartu. But in that mention Urartu of Aramu was still a small kingdom and didn't yet expanded enough to south east to include Aramali. It must be noted that Aramali/le is mentioned as a city , but when we read the raw text it become clear that it was a city associated with larger district where numerous cities existed.

It'a interesting that the Khorenatsi explains exactly in this way the apparition of Armenia. From the name of patriarch Aram. But here a legitimate question arise. If Assyrians knew that the ruling dinasty of Urartu was from Armarili why they didn't give importance to that term. Well naming conventions sometimes can have very obscure logic but in this particular case there was a serious reason to not use anything with Aram/Arm in root. Because Assyrians were already using extensively the term Aramu to describe a Semitic tribe that became prominent in Iron Age Syria and it's vicinity.

Finally this theory fits well with Armen Petrosyan 's suggestion that the ruling dinasty of Urartu was steming from Early Iron age tribes Mushki and Urumu. Nothing forbids us to imagine that a group of Urumu tribe settled in south east of Van where under the influence of Urartian language they got the -li plural suffix, while the the root has undergo a vowel reduction. A process when the vowel [o= cuneiform u] shifts to [a] like in Russian language. Thus Aramali can be derived from Urumuli while the name of the king Aramu<Urumu from the same tribal name. As for Armarili/Armali it is mentioned more than a century later and in most likelihood lost an internal vowel.

In any case the linking of Urumu with Aramali is not mandatory for this theory to work. It can work even without Urumu , but it's inclusion adds extra insight to understand the deeper origins of the term Aramali/Armarili.

Sunday, December 19, 2021

In Miss Universe 2021 competition the participant from Armenia had the Urartian style.

 In Miss Universe 2021 competition the participant from Armenia had the Urartian style. It seems Mikael Badalyan (head of Erebuni museum) consulted for making this dress.

Friday, December 17, 2021

In the inscription describing a war with Melid (Militia) a land Musha is mentioned.

 In the inscription describing a war with Melid (Militia) a land Musha is mentioned. 


On the same day I set off towards the land, on the right(?) I subdued the land Qala’a. I came to the land Karniši, mountainious land on the left(?) of the city Miliṭia, and I came to the land Muša nearby the city Zabša.


The land was in most likelihood near modern Malatya and Kiği ( Armenian K'eli>Keghi from Urartian Qala'a?).

In Urartian inscriptions it was frequent when the final vowel was not really pronounced. So here we have a land Mush which fits well in the theory that the term Mushki was the plural of Mush. While the extra -ki represents the Armenian plural suffix -k' frequently used in many toponyms in Armenian period.

Nevertheless it is very unlikely that this place was the initial homeland of Mushki because in Hittite period the region near Malatya is well attested and there is no any term that can be linked with Mush/Mushki. Summing all data available we can say that Mushki came to that region after 1200bc from a more North Eastern location. 

Some of them moved further west and settled in Anatolian lowlands around modern Kayseri (ancient Mazhak) Eusebius use the term Moschoi to denote Cappadocians. While in Iron Age the term Mushki was also used to denote Phrygia.

The Turkish archaeologist Veli Sevin linked the Early Iron Age grooved ware in Malatya Elyazig region with Mushkis.

Let's hope one day we will see EIA ancient DNA associated with grooved ware.

Monday, December 13, 2021

I edited the map from Sagona's book

 I edited the map from Sagona's book. Added two other cultures that are mentioned but not marked in the map. 

Samtavro in Shida Kartli region of Georgia. It is in the North of Kur river. Later it correspond to historic Iberia.

Khojaly-Gadabay. Laneri et al. thinks that it was related to Lchashen culture. Later it correspond to Artsakh and Utik' provinces of Armenia. 

The borders of Colchian culture were exaggerated in that map. From Abkhazia further north starts other Iron Age culture known as Meotic which is usually linked to NWC people. Later the region was known as Colchis. 

But the land of Aia (Kolchoi) mentioned in Argonauts was almost certainly not in Colchian culture place but further south, west of Rize, and east of Synop.

Lchashen culture correspond to Etiuni tribal confederation. This culture was present in Kars, Igdir but it's pottery was rare in Erzurum. Occasionally it is also found in Agri region of Turkey. Later it correspond to Ayrarat and Gugark provinces of Armenia.

Kaiakent-Charachoi was in North East Caucasus with some presence in North Azerbaijan. It almost certainly correspond to NEC people. Their migration to south in Iron Age will create the Caucasian Albania.

Talysh or Talysh - Mugham correspond to various Iron Age tribes who were living there. Remarkably some of their pottery was found as far as in southern parts of Karabakh. 

And finally the Koban culture. Their ethnicity is unknown. But they almost certainly played an important role in the ethnogenesis of Alans. Which formed as a mixture of Scythians and Koban people.

Some scholars proposed a link between them and Tauri people living in Crimea. Some scholars want to link it with with Nakh people but that is quite unlikely.

Saturday, December 4, 2021

Utik' was a province in ancient Armenia

 Utik' was a province in ancient Armenia. It's name was derived from a ethnonym Uti and the plural suffix -k'. Given it's obvious similarity with the name of Daghestani speaking Udis some scholars had proposed that ancient Utis were speaking the same language. Others expressed scepticism about NEC affiliation of ancient Utis because in Graeco-Roman sources tribes like Utians , Vitii (probably pronounced as Uitii) are attested in much larger territory. In Iran and in non Albanian parts of modern Azerbaijan. Another issue is that Vitii is distinct from Albania and is not included in it.

Given that we don't have much linguistic data to make judgements, we can use genetic data and archaeology.

Herrera (2012) gathered Y dna from Gardman (Utik') Armenians. The results are quite surprising. First Gardman Armenians have one of lowest level of J1* (2.1%) among Armenian groups. The J1-Z1842 branch is extremely popular in Daghestani speakers and do show obvious correlation with their linguistic family. Karafet (2015). Low presence of J1* (xP58) in Gardman Armenians means that Daghestani tribes who settled in Utik' from north didn't have much genetic impact in that region. If we look at broader picture in whole Azerbaijan then we find more cases there but not as much as one would expect. 20 from 265 ( 7.5% ) in Azerbaijan DNA project. Here we must remember that this are modern data and in the case of Azerbaijanis there were extra Iranian and Turkic migrations which could have diluted the initial level of J1-Z1842. Other important factors to consider is that not all cases of J1*/J1(xP58) from academic papers are from Z1842 branch and even not all Z1842-s are from typical Daghestani branches which means that this numbers are overestimated.

Other interesting numbers in Gardman Armenians are the higher than the average R1a1 (5.2%) and I2* (8.3%). R1a might be related to stronger Iranian influence in that region, which have left traces in toponymes (eg. Sakacene). While the I2* might be from the same I2c2 branch that was found in Early Iron Age Lchashen. This support the idea that LBA/IA culture Khojaly-Gadabay in Western Azerbaijan was connected to Lchashen culture in modern Armenia. 

The rest of haplotypes is more or less similar to other Armenian subgroups.

Those results do not support the idea that Utik' Armenians have large ancestry from Daghestani speakers. Which in turn could mean that ancient Utians/Vitii were not a NEC tribe but rather an IE tribe or an unknown language isolate.

Friday, December 3, 2021

A remarkable Kur-Araxian burial was found recently in Shahumyan (Armavir province).

 A remarkable Kur-Araxian burial was found recently in Shahumyan (Armavir province).

A collective burial with 30 bodies. More than 60 potteries, most of them well preserved. Dozens of bronze objects. Bronze objects are not frequent in KA burials.

According Pavel Avetisyan they will send them for genetic testing.

It's worth to note that despite the fact that we have ancient DNA from Kur-Araxian period, we lack any DNA from Araratian lowland plains like Armavir. I hope this will fill the gap and we will have more Y dna.

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

The closest pops to Armenians in Dodecad K12b.

 The closest pops to Armenians in Dodecad K12b. I would like to make the same exercise in G25 but the regional data is not available yet.

For some unknown reason Yunusbaev choosed Hamshen Armenians for his research. So don't be surprised by the result.

The main conclusion is that East - West Armenians are the closest to each other then comes their respective neighbours. 

With fst the same result would be even more pronounced.

Udis are close to Eastern Armenians and vice versa.

 Udis are close to Eastern Armenians and vice versa. But Udis are a complete outlier in Nakh Daghestani family. In the top 20 ethnicities there is no single NEC nation close to them.

The first picture is from Dodecad, the second one is from G25. Notice we don't have yet Eastern Armenians in G25, but when we will have them they will be the closest. (see the update )

The historic reasons of this proximity are quite long to describe. But they are other reasons like the drop of population size which increase the instability of the population DNA.

When the effective size of a pop drops below a certain level it's Y dna becomes very volatile and prone to extreme drift. One such a classic case are Basques who's Y dna say nothing about their origins. The same can be true about Udis though in this case I am expecting some conservatism.

Here is the Y dna of general Silikyan (Silikov) who's patrilineal side has Udi origin. Yet the Y dna has European origin.

Anyway only ancient DNA will help to understand better this situation.

PS. An update. The third image is the distance in G25 after the addition of new Armenian_Syunik sample.

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Alexei Kassian discuss the possible connection between Sumerian and Hurrian languages.

Alexei Kassian discuss the possible connection between Sumerian and Hurrian languages. He compares the list of basic vocabulary and finds six possible cognates. Then calculates the probability of chance coincidence and deduce that it is quite low.

Finally, he proposes two scenarios.
In the first Hurrians migrated to south and mixed with Sumerians and the second version is that a group of Sumerian related people move to north and shifts to proto Hurro-Urartian. He prefers the first and links it with Kura-Araxes expansion to south, but the latter is also possible given the known migration of fertile crescent farmers from the North Mesopotamia to the north,
The next issue in this paper is that he believes in Sino-Caucasian theory and wants to see HU as part of it. Which obviously is very problematic given that genetics do not support the existence of the Snio-Caucasian.
He cites Fournet but do not discuss in details other words that can be Sumerian - Hurrian cognates.
The word apple in Sumerian hašhur/ ha-šu-ur compare with hinzuri in Hurrian. Fournet demonstrated that Hurrians were adding [n] in the middle of the word like in Puratu>Purantu (Euphrates) which means that the initial form of hinzuri was *hizur a possible cognate of hashur.
Another interesting word is the en meaning God in Hurrian, inua goddess in Urartian. Compare the Sumerian Anu the sky god.
There are other fruit words like pomegranate and plume, but they are believed to be via Akkadian intermediation.
He also discusses the famous and well accepted word tibira in Sumerian meaning sculptor, craftsman which is compared to Hurrian tabira meaning smith. This word is believed to be of Hurrian origin. Some (but not all) links the Armenian darbin (smith) with it. 

See also

Saturday, November 27, 2021

The etymology of the term Getaru by Hrach Martirosyan.

The etymology of the term Getaru by Hrach Martirosyan. The term Getar(u) appears in various places including the Caucasian Albania. This latter is also mentioned by Ptolemy.

The older form of this word might be *wetaru , so it would be interesting to compare it with Uiteruhi /Witeruhi (in Etiuni) attested in Urartian texts. The extra -hi is an issue but it can be related to Urartian suffix -hi which they were adding to various population names.

Thursday, November 25, 2021

A doctorate about Umman-Manda.

 A doctorate about Umman-Manda. The Umman-Manda or Troops of Manda was not a specific nation but rather a religious concept that formed on the basis of empiric evidence. That barbaric invasions are regular events and they are sanctioned by gods to destroy the civilisation. Then gods help to defeat the barbarians and civilisations restarts 

The first such a barbaric tribe were the Gutians (~2200bc), while the last two tribes who got this title were the Medes and Cimmerians.

There is a chapter dedicated to a certain Arakhab who was a leader of Ma(n)da circa 1650bc. This name is quite close to Arakha the Armenian attested in Behistun. Henning proposed that this might be a Gutian name given the final -b. Some proposed a Medes link. But the author dismiss the Medes link and propose that he was a just a leader of a rebellious group with unknown ethnic affiliation.

The author discuss various etymologies of the term Manda and choose it's Sumerian origin. 


Umman-manda (literally “Troops of Manda”) is an Akkadian compound expression used to denote military entities and/or foreign peoples in a diverse number of texts pertaining to separate periods of ancient Near Eastern history. The dissertation initially discusses the various difficulties in ascertaining the etymology of the second component of the term Umman-manda. A very plausible etymology is proposed based on new research on the semantic range of the Sumerian word mandum. The thesis then focuses mainly on the references made to the Umman-manda in the Neo-Assyrian and Neo-Babylonian sources, where it is used to denote the Cimmerians and Medes respectively. The starting point is that these references are making literary allusions to the Standard Babylonian version of the Cuthaean Legend. New information gained from these literary allusions provides insight into the significance of the term Umman-manda in the first millennium B.C.: it recalls the various attributes of the Umman-manda depicted in the Cuthaean Legend and applies these attributes to contemporary political events. The Cuthaean Legend envisions a powerful enemy that emerges unexpectedly from the distant mountains and establishes hegemony after a sudden burst of military power. This enemy will eventually be destroyed without the intervention of the Mesopotamian king. The thesis studies how the Neo-Assyrian and Neo-Babylonian sources allude to the Cuthaean Legend and in this way they identify the Cimmerians and the Medes as the Umman-manda.

Sunday, November 21, 2021

A short paper that links Greek period personal name Tibios used as a generic name for Paphlagonians with Hittite period city/province Tibia

 A short paper that links Greek period personal name Tibios used as a generic name for Paphlagonians with Hittite period city/province Tibia.

Tibia was famous because the king of Kashkians who attacked Hittites was from that place.

Forlanini is inclined to believe that Tibia was a Mossinoico term, but the Nairi dictionary links it with Tibaren.

Whatever it was it seems that the legacy of Bronze Age Kashkians was present in North Anatolia in Greek period, but with different names.

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Lchashen burial with wagons

 Lchashen burial with wagons.

Friday, November 12, 2021

Maybe I missed this from Petrosyan's paper, but the etymology of Argishti from the word argos meaning white, shiny needs also to explain the extra -ti at the end.

 Maybe I missed this from Petrosyan's paper, but the etymology of Argishti from the word argos meaning white, shiny needs also to explain the extra -ti at the end. Here an example below (Atreides) from Greek what it could be his function. Argishti which in most likelihood was pronounced as Argisti where the last -ti could mean descendance from a Argis. Basically the same as the Colchian name Argus. 

If You look old Greek names the final -ti/te is frequent there. 

So Argisti has a good etymology in Graeco-Phrygian type languages. The question is was this just similarity or we can really speak about the presence of an unknown Paleo-Balkanic tribe (not necessarily Greek ) in ancient Armenia. I think if we take into account words like burg-, udur, Rusa, then this presence become quite realistic. 


The word Atreides refers to one of the sons of Atreus—Agamemnon and Menelaus.[2] The plural form Atreidae or Atreidai refers to both sons collectively; in English, the form Atreides (the same form as the singular) is often used. This term is sometimes used for more distant descendants of Atreus.

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 does not describe a specific campaign but rather makes 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 these countries. And their direction relative to Biainili.

  • Assyria - south
  • Targuni - unknown but if is equal to Derjan then northwest
  • Etiuni - northeast
  • 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. Then what was its direction?

Well given the logic of the text where 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 northwest side of Urartu. Placing them in the West would mean that the scribe mentioned three countries in the West leaving the north/northwestern side with just one country (Targuni). 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 names 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 northwestern direction relative to Biaina. So, our initial assumption that Targuni was in northwest 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 Meskhetian 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 northeastern 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.