Friday, December 30, 2022

A new paper from Aram Kosyan (other spelling Kossian) about the grooved ware in Ishuwa.

A new paper from Aram Kosyan (other spelling Kossian) about the grooved ware in Ishuwa.
Grooved ware is a type of pottery that appears in many sites during the Early Iron Age, thus after 1200BC. Various theories have been proposed about it's origin. Migration from South Caucasus and northern parts of historic Armenia by Sevin and Burney. And local Elazig origin by Muller. Sevin linked it with Mushki tribes.
Kosyan favours the migration theory which can explain also the subsequent apparition of different subtypes of this pottery. He compares this migration to EBA period migration of Kur-Araxian tribes. Who also settled in Malatya-Elazig region.
We don't have aDNA from Iron Age Elazig. But indirect evidence we have is rather supportive of migratory theory.
PS Notice there is an typographic error in the paper. In paragraphs discussing Kura-Araxian culture there should be EBA not EIA.

PPS Garducci use the term Nairi ware for this pottery 

(99+) Išuwa towards the end of the XIII century BC (on the problem of the grooved ware) | Aram Kosyan -

Thursday, December 22, 2022

A table made by Jahukyan ( from Martirosyan's paper ).

 A table made by Jahukyan ( from Martirosyan's paper ).

It is hard to understand why Indic can be closer than the Iranic, but one possible explanation is the interaction of early Proto-Armenian with Mitanni Aryans in Bronze Age. Armenian has large number of loanwords from Iranian but those are mostly cultural loanwords which are not part of native vocabulary.
One example of native word that has a parallel in Sanskrit but not in Iranic languages is the word arew (արեւ ) meaning sun, initially red sun. The cognate in Sanskrit is ravi.

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Tuesday, December 20, 2022

The new data from ancient Greece confirmed what was already known from previous papers.

 The new data from ancient Greece confirmed what was already known from previous papers. Circa ~2400BC migrants from north introduced high level of Steppe ancestry in Greece. Those migrants had virtually no eastern shift, which means they were not from Anatolia.

In my previous posts I demonstrated that in Final Neolithic ( the Greek name for Chalcolithic period ) and Early Bronze Age there were migrations from Anatolia and probably even more eastern regions. Those migrations affected Greece and Bulgaria. But not modern Macedonia.
Those migrants can be associated with Luwians ( such a linguistic evidence exists ) with Minoans, Pelasgians or Eteocretans. Although it is quite possible that some of those non IE groups were descending from Neolithic farmers rather than later EBA migrants.
As for Proto-Greek dating, it is far more rational to link them with Middle Bronze Age (2400BC) migrations from north. As north as Serbia and further north east.
It's probably not a coincidence that a similar event occured in Armenia-South Caucasus during the same period. This fits well with linguistic theories linking the Armenian and Greek to each other. The period between 2700-2200bc is known as Catacomb culture in Pontic-Caspian Steppe. In the current stage of our knowledge it's safe to claim that this culture was the ancestor of Graeco-Armenian branch in IE family. Other possible representatives of this branch are the Phrygian, the ancient Macedonian, the Paionians and in most likelihood the Thraco-Dacians. Although Thraco-Dacians had a more complex genesis than just deriving from Catacomb culture.
The Y dna from ancient Greece and North Macedonia shows that the Graeco-Macedonian and Paionian were related to each other and distinct from Illyrians in the west and Thracians in the east Balkans. Another member of this group were probably the Phrygians. This genetic data is in line with linguistic data.
As for the possible presence of other Balkanic groups in Armenia there is no evidence of any second migration from Multi Cordoned ware. (2200-1800BC). Multi Cordoned ware was a dead end culture because Thracians do not descend from it.
The succeeding Srubna culture (1800-1200bc) was Indo-Iranian and once more no evidence that they crossed Caucasus. Instead there is evidence that Mitanni Aryan migration was via North Iran.
It is possible that some small group of Thracians ventured to South Caucasus and North Iran in Early Iron Age (1100-900bc). We have a sample of possible Thracian from North Caucasus. In Koban culture. But those Thracians might have left a quite limited impact in South Caucasus. I am even thinking that Utians/Vitians mentioned in Greek sources could be of Thracian stock. But extra data is needed for that theory to become more solid.
Other Iron Age migrations from Balkans to Near East are the Philistines in Levant and Cilicia. Confirmed by aDNA. Also Phrygians and various Thracian tribes like the Bithynians, Treres and others. But most of this tribes left limited genetic impact. Some of them were assimilated by locals. Only Phrygians managed to create a lasting kingdom. Currently there is no single evidence that those Iron Age migrants reached Armenia. Hence the reason why the Balkanian theory became obsolete.
The Y dna associated with ancient Greek and Paionians are those.
R1b-Z2103 mostly downstream from Z2110>CTS7556 level
J2-Z6064 and G2a2b from local Neolithic farmers.
The remarkable fact is the absence of E-V13 in Bronze Age South Balkans. They expanded later with Thracians and Dorian's in Iron Age. While the J2b2a-L283 is associated with Illyrians.

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Sunday, December 11, 2022

New ancient DNA from Georgia and Azerbaijan helps to refine our understanding of ancient populations distribution and boundaries.

 New ancient DNA from Georgia and Azerbaijan helps to refine our understanding of ancient populations distribution and boundaries.

The map below shows the distribution of LBA and IA period cultures around Caucasus. We have enough aDNA from Lchashen-Metsamor in Republic of Armenia to compare them with other sites.
In Georgian literature this culture is named Lchashen-Tsitelgori and as You can see on the map it is stretched quite North reaching Greater Caucasus range.
But it was obvious from the start that not all site labeled as Lchashen-Tsitelgori will yield the same people as in RoA.
Some Georgian archaeologists defined another name for this period calling them Samtavro culture. It seems this was a correct path because it's now evident that Lchashen-Tsitelgori generic name hides two distinct people. One of them are the Steppe rich people found in Republic of Armenia in Lchashen-Metsamor type sites. Who without doubt were speaking an IE language affiliated to Armenian while the other pop has no Steppe ancestry and in most likelihood is related to so called Samtavro type.
What language was speaking this Samtavro people is hard to say. Either a Kartvelian in this case it would be proto Georgian or proto-Iberian. Either a language that descend directly from Kur-Araxian culture. But this latter is unlikely.
An LBA sample from Doghlauri site in Central Eastern Georgia near Kur river confirms that there were two distinct people under the name Lchashen-Tsitelgori. The LBA sample from Doghlauri do not have Steppe and is more western shifted compared to the Kur-Araxian period sample from the same site. Which by the way belongs to J2 haplogroup.
We have also samples from Kakhetia in Eastern Georgia close to Alazani - Kur river junction from sites Didnauri and Nazarlebi. They are very similar to those samples we have from Lchashen-Metsamor culture and have R1b and possibly I2. Based on that we can deduce that the Khojaly Gadabay culture which was present in historic Utik' and Artsakh provinces might be related to Lchashen culture. Moreover the structure of I2 permits to say that Lchashen culture expanded from modern RoA to east playing a role in the formation of Khojaly Gadabay culture. This is consistent what Laneri was thinking about that culture. What language was speaking this Khojaly-Gadabay culture is hard to say. But in most likelihood it was an extinct IE language.
Finally we come to Caucasian Albania puzzle. A sample from Iron Age Shamakhi in Azerbaijan is ideal to have a clue about Albanians (Aluank'). This sample do have Steppe ancestry like most representatives of Daghestani family. But it is shifted to Caucasian foragers (East) compared to Lchashen type samples. More important it can have the Y dna J1 which is the predominant haplogroup in Daghestani speakers. In general this is an extra evidence that Nakh-Daghestani people descend from Kur-Araxian culture. Keeping in mind that we speak here only about the North Eastern parts of Kur-Araxian Culture and not whole KAC.
Where exactly formed the Lezgic group prominent in Albania is hard to say. If we follow Nichols classification then Lezgic group might have initially formed in the north in Daghestan and later moved back to southern slopes of Greater Caucasus. If we follow Schulze's linguistic classification which consider Lezgic an early split then it could have formed in situ directly from Kur-Araxian culture in southern slopes which were not affected by Steppic Kurganic cultures. More data will clarify this but I am inclined to believe that they came from mountainous Daghestan in North otherwise Lezgic group people including the Udi wouldn't have such a high level of Steppe ancestry.
And finally I want to say few words about the possibility that Lchashen (Etiuni) had a Lezgic speakers. Well from dozens and dozens Y dna we have from Lchashen only 1 is J1-Z1842! Well this outcome do not leave any place for any speculation about the identity of Etiuni. They were IE without doubt. Lezgic speakers should be searched in cultures like Kaiakent-Chorochoi and Yaloilutepe in northern parts of Azerbaijan.

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Wednesday, December 7, 2022

A publication about Harutyun Mnacakanyan (1906-1977).

 A publication about Harutyun Mnacakanyan (1906-1977). He was the head of archaeologic expedition in 1956 that found 18 wagons, chariots and pieces related to them in Lchashen. You can see one of them in the picture below. Harutyun is in the corner of grave.

We have now numerous ancient DNA from Lchashen (Etiuni) and know who created those wagons, chariots.
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