Wednesday, March 30, 2022

An important paper about Eneolithic Khvalynsk culture

 An important paper about Eneolithic Khvalynsk culture. It was preceding Yamna.

The presence of R1b-V1636 is confirmed. The presence of the Caucasian admixture also. It was absent  prior that.

Most is R1b and few cases of Q, R1a and I2-L699. This latter is sporadically present in Yamna. The most interesting is the J1-CTS1026. A branch which almost certainly came with CHG admixture. It was also found in Yamna related Afanasievo culture in Mongolia.

The authors think that the CHG admixture occured no later than 6000bc in North Caucasus. While in Volga region it came a thousand year later in Eneolithic.

But the puzzle of Yamna is not yet solved because the most frequent Y dna of Yamna the R1b-M269 and it's daughter Z2103 is not found in Khvalynsk neither in Eneolithic North Caucasus.

Pics here

Sunday, March 20, 2022

An interesting summary from Hrach Martirosyan about the phoneme [f] in Armenian.

 An interesting summary from Hrach Martirosyan about the phoneme [f] in Armenian.

PIE didn't have *f. So all occurrences in daughter languages are the result of later development.

In Armenian the phonetic shift p>h occured with an intermediate stage p>f>h. An indirect evidence that the Bronze Age Armenian had *f is the Kartvelian word phoni , a loanword from Armenia *fon later known as hun (հուն river/stream bed). This word stems from PIE *pont-. The Greek pontos meaning sea is also from the same root.

In fifth century when Mashtots was inventing the alphabet Armenian didn't have an [f]. Various letters p', w, or h (փ, ւ, հ ) were used in loanwords from Iranian and Greek were f was present. 

In Middle Ages the new letter f ( Ֆ/ֆ) was introduced in Armenian alphabet.

Saturday, March 12, 2022

When Xenophon reaches Pontic region there he mentions Drilae.

 When Xenophon reaches Pontic region there he mentions Drilae. A small tribe dwelling near Trabzon. Not much is known about this tribe. Later it is mentioned few times as Drillae/Driloi or one time as Dryloi. 

Hewsen tentatively ( with question mark ) link the names of Daranali and Derjan to this Drilae but this is a weak theory. He also see a link with Trel-k' which is much more robust.

Trelk' is the Armenian name of Trialeti ( a region in Georgia ) with the -k' plural suffix. It is quite possible that those Drilae were an offshoot of Trelk' who moved to Pontic region under the pressure of Cimmerians or due other event.

Why I think Cimmerians? Because Strabo mentions numerous times a tribe known as Treres, which was either a Thracian or Cimmerian tribe. He mentions it both in West and East of Black sea. Once more we see mysterious Thracians in or around Armenia. Which means that the term Thracian was used as catch all term for tribes that Greeks had hard time to classify.

It is quite possible that the early form of Drilae/Trel-k' was initially Trer-. Later a shift occured. Pliny's term Triare seems to support this assumption.

Wether those Treres/Treles came in Iron Age or they were present in SW Georgia since Bronze Age is hard to say. But some of them ultimately moved to Pontic region ( with Qulha? ) where they were mentioned by Xenophon.

Frequently I get the same question.

 Frequently I get the same question. Why Assyrians are close to Armenians in various charts. The answer to this question is both simple and complicated.

Simple because Assyrians do have extra non Levantine ancestry which pulls them away from other Levantine people. And make close to Armenians. Which btw is also visible in Y dna structure of Assyrians.

But it's also complicated because one should understand that history of an ethnic group do not stop in Iron Age. So one must learn the whole history how Arameans initially living Syria became modern Assyrians. Morever an ethnic group over time can transform into ethno-religious group which can affect seriously the genetic structure of that population. This part is beyond the scope of this thread. So my point will be genetic.

The first PCA shows the relative position of Assyrians marked as Arameans. Notice if they had simply Armenian admixture they would be between Levant and Armenia. But they have also a shift toward Iranian pops. Which means that they have extra Iranian ancestry or something related to them. In the second PCA it's visible that Georgian Jews also plot in the same place as Assyrians. 

This fits well with the geographic position of Assyrians (NW Iran, North Iraq, East Turkey etc) It must be noted that North Iraq probably had witnessed number of migrations from Iran (Gutians, Carduchoi , Turukeans etc ) So that region almost certainly had an extra Iranian shift before the arrival of real Iranians in Iron Age. As for Jews there are historic records mentioning Adiabene people and even some Iranian nobility converting to Judaism ( like Amatuni ) Good knowledge of history is needed for better understanding this genetic results.

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Few comments about Y dna and language correlation

 Few comments about Y dna and language correlation. We know that ancient America was populated by a very limited number of Y dna more than 15.000 years ago. Mostly few branches of Q1b. Yet the linguistic diversity of pre Columbian America is huge. Here an excerpt from Wikipedia.


Over a thousand indigenous languages are spoken by the Indigenous peoples of the Americas. These languages cannot all be demonstrated to be related to each other and are classified into a hundred or so language families (including a large number of language isolates), as well as a number of extinct languages that are unclassified due to a lack of data.


This diversity is impossible to explain by new migration. Only two new migrations are known to have occured later. One of which introduced Na-Dene languages ( famous Apaches ) with the Y dna C2. While the other introduced Eskimo- Aleut languages with Q1a? branch. Those two migrations occured less than 6000 years ago and some believe that Na-Dene still preserved a connection with a Siberian isolate known as Kets.

What this mean for linguistics and genetics? This mean that linguistic has its inherent limitations. After 10.000 year of separation two related languages accumulate so many random phonetic shifts that it is practically impossible to reconstruct their common vocabulary.

This is especially true if languages are illiterate and do not have developed religions and sacred languages. Are mobile hunters. A similar situation can be expected in Paleolithic West Eurasia. Though higher population density in Near East probably made languages more stable. But in any case even if two languages descend from G2 rich pop then some 15.000-20.000 years later it would be impossible to prove their genetic link.

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

Comparison to ancient Arslantepe (Malatya) samples.

 Comparison to ancient Arslantepe (Malatya) samples. The transition from Late Chalcolithic to Early Bronze Age made all that region near upper Euphrates and North Mesopotamia more closer to modern Armenians. Especially the Urfa Armenians. Obviously this is related to Kur-Araxians migrations.

Titris Hoyuk also was affected. But the overall change is not high.