Saturday, December 30, 2023

Unexpected ancient DNA results from pre-Islamic Bahrain.

Unexpected ancient DNA results from pre-Islamic Bahrain. They are different from modern day Arabs living there and plot close to ancient Mesopotamian samples from Iraq. On the PCA they plot just in the vicinity of ancient samples from South Caucasus, North-West Iran and North Iraq LBA. In this group we use the term "Central farmers" for this type of ancestry.

Assuming those samples were not some kind random migrants then we can imagine that most of Mesopotamia was like this prior the arrival of Arabs.
This data gives us a hint what we can expect from more ancient inhabitants of Mesopotamia. Sumerians and Akkadians.
The island Bahrain is usually connected with the land Dilmun in ancient Mesopotamian texts. Although other opinions also exist on the location of Dilmun.
Below are some excerpts from the paper.

Lastly, we evaluate the ancestry of Bahrain Tylos individuals in a context of Near Eastern variation by estimating ancestry proportions using a previously published 12 three-way model with TUR_Pınarbaşı_EpiP, ISR_Natufian_EpiP and CHG as sources in a set of relevant ancient groups which can also be modelled in this way (Figure 3C) 12. In this model, the Bahrain_Tylos samples present similar ancestry proportions to AZE_ChL, Mesopotamia_PPN and IRQ_Nemrik9_LBA, IRN_Dinkha_Tepe_A, LBN_IA and to ARM_Aknashen_N. Accordingly, rank=0 qpAdm models show that Tylos-period Bahrainis form a clade with several of these ancient groups (p≥0.01; Table S6), suggesting that similar sources have contributed to their ancestry.
...
Tylos-Period Bahrainis are genetically closer to present-day Levantine populations than to present-day Arabians
Regarding affinities with present-day populations, the temporally aware model-based clustering analysis (Figure 1B) suggests that Tylos period Bahrain samples are more similar to present-day Levantine groups than to present-day Arabians or South Asians,
...
In order to gain further insights into the relationship of Tylos to present-day populations from the Arabian Peninsula and the Levant, we tested if the Bahraini samples form a clade with any modern population in our dataset using a set of reference populations (as outgroups) that can differentiate the different ancestries in the Near East. We found that Iraqis, Assyrians and Jewish groups from Iran, Georgia and Iraq could derive all their ancestries from Tylos-period Bahrainis (Table S8). Arabians such as Saudis, Emiratis and Yemenis have, in addition to ancestry from Tylos-period Bahrain, ancestry from East Africa, while Levantines such as Druze and Lebanese have additional Southeast European ancestry (Table S9)

See also



Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Origins of Dolmen culture

Dolmen culture (2900-1300bc) was a remarkable archaeological horizon in north west of Caucasus that appeared after the Maykop culture (3700-3000bc) and the older Darkveti-Meshoko (4500-3500bc). Many scholars believe that Proto NWC people (ancestral to Abkhaz, Adyghe, Cherkez, Kabardin and extinct Ubykh language) were the builders of those dolmens before they separate into modern existing groups.

We have only one ancient DNA sample from Dolmen builders. It's low coverage that is why it is absent in G25. Nevertheless, with qpadm models we can try to understand it's origins.
Given that dolmens are found all over Europe some scholars assumed that those north west Caucasian dolmens might be related to them. With the advent of genetics and fact that G2a2-U1 is frequent in NWC those theories gained a new attention.
That is why my first attempt was to test this theory. First, I tried to model Dolmen culture as a direct descendant of Darkveti Meshoko (labeled as Caucasus Eneolithic) and it worked with a good p value Then I tried to use a European source for Dolmens. They were not wanted. I used specifically Czech TRB which had megalithic burials. But it also failed. Anatolia Chalcolithic source also failed. Then I tried something more proximate and realistic, and it worked. Dolmen culture was modeled as largely (more than 90%) descending from Maykop culture. If You look attentively on the PCA You will notice that the single Dolmen sample plot close to Maykop samples. This is a somewhat unexpected result because the burial rites of Maykop and Dolmen cultures are quite different nevertheless the genetic verdict is unambiguous. It must be noted that burial rites of humans are mostly connected to their religion. And people can change over time their religious beliefs. For instance, Slavic people were practicing the cremation before the adoption of Christianity. Then they changed their burial rite after they became Christian.
As for the origins of G2-U1 in Caucasus it still remains obscure given the paucity of ancient DNA with this haplotype. Direct origins from Darkveti-Meshoko are possible. But an origin from Maykop also becomes plausible with this data. While a migration from Europe becomes less likely. You may wonder what is the difference between Maykop and Darkveti Meshoko. Well, the first descend from South Caucasus and Northwest Iran region Chalcolithic groups known as Chaff faced ware while the latter descend from farmers more connected to Anatolia and Euphrates basin.
With more ancient DNA from this larger region those questions will be solved. As for the origins of NWC languages it can have more complex origin than just descending from their main Y DNA.

See also











Tuesday, December 5, 2023

The genetic story of G2b

Thanks to Hovann Simonian we have a number of modern Armenian G2b on Yfull. Coupled with ancient DNA we can now have a better idea about the history of G2b.

G2b unlike his "brother" G2a was a minor Fertile Crescent lineage that formed in more eastern regions than Anatolia. It was absent in Anatolian and European Neolithic sites. The finding of 9200-year-old G2b in Zagros, West Iran confirms it's more eastern homeland. (See the map). G2b have three important branches, having an old common ancestor, who lived 20.000 years ago. He lived even prior farming was invented. Those three branches had different stories.
  • G2b1-M377 - This branch apparently was a Copper Age lineage. It is popular in Ashkenazi Jews and Pashtos in Afghanistan. Both are result of Current Era founder effects. The common ancestor of Jewish and Pashto clusters lived some 5500 years ago, so it is hard to say its real origin given the absence of aDNA from this branch. An Armenian from Syunik is present on basal position in this branch having a 8700-year-old common ancestor. https://www.yfull.com/tree/G-M377/
  • G2b2a-Z8022 - It was found in Wezmeh cave in West Iran in a Neolithic period. Later another sample was found in Kaps (Shirak) from Kura-Araxes period (more than 5000 years ago). And finally, a number of G2b2a were found from Teishebaini (Karmir Blur) in later LBA and Iron Age period. Etiuni people had preserved some Y DNA from Kura-Araxes culture so the G2b2a was one of them. In most likelihood G2b2a was present in South Caucasus since the Neolithic era. See the second picture. An Armenian from Urfa and a number of Turks are from this branch. Their common ancestor lived 3200 years ago so it's probably represented an old migration of KA to Anatolia and a secondary expansion in Iron Age. https://www.yfull.com/tree/G-Y37100/
  • G2b2b-FT36238 - There are no ancient DNA from this branch. There is a young 2600-year-old branch which apparently is an Armenian branch given the presence of Armenians there. A very distant 19000 years parallel branch is found in Kuwait. https://www.yfull.com/tree/G-FT36238/



Thursday, November 30, 2023

About the origins of Yervanduni (old Eruanduni, Greek Orontid) dinasty. Part II.

About the origins of Yervanduni (old Eruanduni, Greek Orontid) dinasty. Part II.

In the first part I presented arguments for the Eruanduni homeland near Musasir. In this part I will present additional lexical data that further supports that location. The purpose of this part is not the ethnic origin or etymologies but defining the location. Linguistics and possible genetics will be discussed in the third part.
The names discussed below are recorded by the Assyrian king Shamshi-Adad V who campaigned against the Nairi lands during his reign (824-811BC). It's important to understand that the term Nairi after the 850BC denotes a different region than it was in early Iron Age. (See the map) Initially it was denoting a region west of Van while later it was near Hubushkia north of Musasir and Parsua and west of lake Urmia. It was probably larger than it is shown on the map from Bryce encyclopedia. Given that in some cases Nairi Sea means the lake Urmia.
It's remarkable that Pliny the Elder mentions the Orontes tribe exactly in the same region. And apparently in Pliny's text there is a toponym that matchs a term in cuneiform text.
Artasirari - This name is believed to be related to Artašir. The cuneiform /s/ renders the /sh/. Various scholars suggested such a possibility. Artašir was the father of Orontes mentioned in Anabasis. His name is mentioned in Pergamon and Nemrut inscriptions. The name Artash-es is the shortened form derived from Artashir.
The extra syllable at the end is interpreted in different ways Zadok consider it an allusion to a sacred mountain Sirara. Another interesting name is the Artasari who was the king of Paddira a land between Nairi and Parsua.
Šumaya/ Šuma - This name is close to Sam-os (Armenian Sham) who was the son of Orontes who became an independent king at 330bc. He was founder of the city of Samosat, which bears his name. Samosat (modern Samsat) will become the capital of Commagene later.
Zarišu - This name seems to have the same root as Zariathr/Zariadres from which linguists derive the Zareh. Zareh is mentioned in Khorenatsi, a person with that name was the founder of the kingdom of Sophene and another was the father of Artashes I. The Zarišu can't be directly ancestral to Zariaθr unless the /š/ is the cuneiform way to render the voiceless dental fricative /θ/. Similar to Iskuza were /z/ renders the voiced dental fricative /ð/.
Arua - this name is the closest form to Aruand/Aruant (old form of Eruand) from all available names in the Assyrian cuneiforms. Assuming that they are related there are two options. One is that Arua became later Aruand with the addition of some particles. This can explain the name Eruaz also. But this option is less likely than the option when Arua is simply the short form of Aruant. But even if those two names are unrelated it's still remarkable because the root Arua is at the origin of the toponyms like Aruastan and Aruakan present in Armenian sources.
An attempt to find similar terms in more than 50 names related to Medes tribal federation resulted in a failure. There were some interesting names in Medes lands, but they didn't show any connection to the known Orontid dinasty.
Other interesting names found in that Nairi are:
Zabanu     - it can be compared to the name Zawan in Khorenatsi's list of patriarchs.
Šua          - written as šu-ú-a. It can be compared to Suë in Pliny the Elder. Which is an extra argument showing that the tribe Orontes mentioned in Pliny's text is located in the same region as the cuneiform Nairi.
Arima     - which is a land or tribe. According to Zadok the tribes is mentioned later also. Even in Achaemenid period.
Satiriaya   - although this is marked as a personal name in the text it looks like an ethnicon associated to the land Šatiru mentioned in the Urartian texts. Some scholars suggested that both terms in Urartian and Assyrian texts are related. And apparently, they denote a same region toward Musasir from Van.
In conclusion this onomastic data also supports the possible homeland of Eruanduni dinasty in the region which today correspond to Turkish-Iran border starting from Siahkuh mountain (ancient Zarasp) toward the Iraqi border. This conclusion does not mean that this people in cuneiform were directly ancestral to Eruanduni but it's rather pinpointing a region. As mentioned earlier there are no other place with such a concentration of relevant roots.

Related topics






Monday, November 27, 2023

It is usually believed that the name of the Armenian king is not mentioned in the Cyropedia.

 It is usually believed that the name of the Armenian king is not mentioned in the Cyropedia. Indeed, if You read the English translations available on-line You will find phrases like "Armenian king" or "king of Armenians". But not any name. This is odd, because the names of his sons are mentioned: Tigranes and Sabaris. Known as Tigran and Shavarsh in Armenian. Why would the name of the king himself miss?

Sargis Petrosyan has a theory on this matter. He thinks that the name of the king is present there and it is Armenios. The name being too similar to the ethnonym has resulted in a confused translation. According to him Armenios correspond to Other Haykak, which would be the grandfather of Tigran in Khorenatsi list. The one that was contemporary to Cyrus. Haykak is the diminutive of Hayk and if someone translates this name then it will get something like Armenios.
I have found the book in Greek. Unfortunately, my Greek is not sufficient to understand whether the term Armenios in that text a personal name or some kind adjective is.
There are other forms in the text. Like Armenoi, Armenie, Armenion. The first one is a plural the two others might be adjectives.


Friday, November 24, 2023

Here is the same model about the Black sea coast but without the "Central farmer" component.

 Here is the same model about the Black sea coast but without the "Central farmer" component.

It's visible that in Western Georgia the Kartvelians do not score any Iran_Neo. While in the Eastern Pontic region, Trabzon Greeks and Turks, Hemshins and partly Laz do score some amount of Iran_Neo. Which obviously was introduced there from south-east or from southern regions.
My personal opinion is that debating obscure tribes about which we know just their names will not lead to any definite conclusion. What is more interesting is to see who lived in the Eastern Pontic and adjacent regions in the past. Let's say from Chalcolithic to Classic era.
Any increase of CHG will point to a migration from Western Caucasus/Georgia.
Any increase of Iran_Neo or Central farmers will mean a migration from south east, from the historic Armenia. Notice Iran_Neo here acts as a distal source. The real input was almost certainly higher and from a proximate source.
And finally any increase of Anatolian_Neo ancestry will mean a migration from Anatolia or maybe Europe. Although a migration from Europe must increase the Steppe/WHG also.
In my opinion all those migrations occured in that region, because it was acting both as a bridge between Anatolia and Western Caucasus. And as a refugium for migrants from south. Various tribes tried to find a refugium there. Those migrations are well visible in the Y DNA structure of local populations also.

Monday, November 20, 2023

Mycenaean Greek Y DNA from continental part of Greece and a Minoan Y DNA from Crete

Mycenaean Greek Y DNA from continental part of Greece and a Minoan Y DNA from Crete. Sources are Lazaridis 2022 and Skourtanioti 2023.

J2b in Mycenaean is from Steppe in most likelihood. It is the J2b2a1-L283 popular in ancient Illyrians.
J2a in Mycenaean is mostly J2-Z6064 a Neolithic era lineage. While the J2a in Minoans has a different composition. Large majority of Minoan Y DNA are new migrants from regions close to Taurus mountains and probably more eastern regions in highlands.



Saturday, November 18, 2023

Ethnicity and Y DNA. The Hamshen (Hemshin) Armenians as a case example

The Y DNA and language connection is a frequent subject of discussions. Their relation is sometime perceived as a marathon race where a haplogroup is attached to a language for a very long time from the start to modern period. Occasionally off course this is the case. But most of the time a relation of an Y DNA to a language is more like estafette or relay race. Where one new haplotype picks up the relay of spreading the language. Sometime a new haplotype associated with a certain language or ethnicity can have a more strong founder effect than the initial "runners". One such a remarkable example in IE family is the case of E-V13. Which initially was a regular Euro-Anatolian Neolithic farmer lineage but at some point had a tremendous expansion with Thracians and other ethnic groups. One similar example is the Germanic I1 and the Slavic young branch I2a1. They are much more smaller examples in other haplogroups and linguistic families also. One of most unusual examples are probably the R1b-V88 in Chadic speakers, the J2a2-PH1795 branch related to Turkic family and the J2b2 in Austro Asiatic speaking group in India.
In Armenia we also have haplotypes that are almost certainly related to Armenian migrations and expansions.
For example the Hamshen Armenian Y DNA haplogroups. The G1 and the subbranch of J2-M67>Z500.
Both those haplotypes are Middle Age founder effects. And there is little doubt that the founding fathers of those lineages were Armenians. Which means that large majority of Hamshen Armenian males have an Armenian origin and are not local assimilated people like occasionally You can read in the Internet.
According the Balanovsky study this two haplotypes make more than 60 percent of Hamshen gene pool. Other minor haplotypes also are probably present there but more data is needed.
Based on the current data G1 is almost certainly from the south. But the case of J2 is more uncertain. In any case based on the autosomes medieval Amatuni migration was almost certainly not the first migration from historic Armenia to Pontic region. It's well visible that Pontic region has a significant ancestry of Central farmers type different from Anatolian Neolithic and the CHG. All along the Black sea those components create a perfect cline. Where CHG reachs the highest level in Svans. The Central farmer in Hamshens and the Anatolian Neo in ancient Samsun region.This obviously means migrations from south to Pontic region which are not exclusively related to medieval Amatuni migrations. Other possible ethnic groups that could have moved from historic Armenia to that region are the Armenochalybes mentioned by Pliny and Chaldaes (Khalitu in Urartian, Խաղտիք) which were living initially in more southern regions. Probably in more ancient times Neolithic and Chalcolithic groups also.
 

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Kur-Araxian samples from modern Armenia

 Kur-Araxian samples from modern Armenia modeled by Nareg Asatrian with qpadm. All models have p value higher than 0.05. It's evident that there was a substructure in the autosomes which could indicate different languages. One interesting subject for the future would be to try to find a correlation between burial rites and genes.



Sunday, November 12, 2023

Urartu and the Armenian nation

Urartu was a centralized and powerful kingdom that was capable to rival the main power of that period, the Assyrian kingdom. Quite extreme and various opinions are expressed about the Urartu's relation to Armenia and Armenians.

I will not discuss now the usual arguments, but rather will look on this subject from the perspective of nation formation. For this purpose, let's see some examples how well-known nations formed.
French nation speaks a Roman language that they inherited from Roman empire. But we can't say that in Roman empire there were French people. When Western Roman empire collapsed a new strong Frankish kingdom formed in Europe. Franks were a German speaking tribe. Later their kingdom was divided into three parties and one of them became the kingdom of France, where French nation formed.
In medieval period Germany was divided into dozens of kingdoms. In 19th century the Germanic kingdom of Prussia ruled by a Germanic dynasty who had a strong army started to unite the rest of Germany into one state. The name Prussia was derived from Old Prussians who were not a Germanic people but a Baltic people like Litvans and Latvians Today Old Prussian language is extinct. Germanic tribes were living in modern Germany since the Iron Age but only recently a German nation formed. Other German nations formed also based on their respective states. Austrians, Dutch people whose name has common origin with Deutch (German), Danes and others.
All Slavic people were speaking the same mutually intelligible language 1400 years ago. Yet they didn't transform into one nation. Today there are many Slavic nations that formed from different states. Russians for example derive their name from a Scandinavian/Germanic tribe Rus' who created the Kievan Rus' state. After the fragmentation of that state a new Moscow Principality formed ruled by a branch of Rurikids. Recent paleogenetic studies confirmed that Rurikids the ruling dynasty of Kievan Rus' had the N haplogroup typical to Sweden with deep roots from Uralic speakers.
Another example is the Chinese who call themselves and their language Han, from a dynasty that united both Sinitic and non-Sinitic people into one state known as China today.
I can enumerate numerous examples how nations formed, and, in all cases, we will notice a crucial role of a centralized state. This by the way is not something new. It's more or less what social constructionism is saying about the emergence of various social constructs, the nation being one of them.
Returning back to Armenian nation formation it's obvious that we must differentiate the origin of the language and the origin of a nation. It's practically proven now that Armenian language was spoken in historic Armenia since the Middle Bronze Age (~4500 years ago). And Etiuni is the one of best candidate for linguistic ancestor of old Grabar, even though other candidates can't be ruled out at this stage. Recently a notorious scholar David Anthony also adhered to that idea. But the presence of language speakers does not automatically mean emergence of a nation(s). I use the plural because there are many examples that one linguistic group creates multiple nations.
From this perspective it's self-evident that it was the Urartu that leads the foundation of Armenian nation by creating a centralized kingdom with homogenous rules which united many different tribes and polities. Here a citation from our work (Petrosyan & Palyan 2023)
"" The unified language connecting the different regions of the Kingdom of Van became the Armenian, the speakers of which should have been present in the highlands since the Middle Bronze Age.""
There is simply no other candidate for this role in the history of Armenia. Even if we assume that Yervanduni seized the power before the conquest of Armenia by Cyrus in 547BC, even in that case there is still very short time to create some kind meaningful state, that will become the basis of the Armina satrapy in Achaemenid Empire. Another hypothetic possibility is that the legendary Paruyr Skayordi created a relatively strong kingdom centered on Etiuni at the end of 7th century BC, but its somewhat unlikely that it would have the same name as Urartu. Unless off course it enlarged so much to be perceived as a political successor of Urartu.
In any case the main reason why Persians recognized most of Armenia as a one satrapy was the memory of Urartu kingdom in those lands. Persians were obviously aware of Urartu because it attacked them many times. So it's natural that they would create a satrapy known as Urashtu/Urartu in Babilonian. This satrapy permitted to most Armenians to continue to live in the same political entity which further crystalized the Armenian self-identification. If not the Urartu it's quite possible that there would be other satrapies with different borders and names.
As for the term Armina in Persian. There are two possibilities. Persians were using that term since 8-7th century BC, which would mean that Armina refers to the genuine Urartu kingdom. This possibility is very realistic because there are other examples when Persians used alternative names for a well-known polities. Such as Sparda instead of Lydia. Katpatuka instead of Tabal. Huja/Hujiya instead of Elam. Modern Cappadocia and Khuzistan are derived from Katpatuka and Huja respectively. Another possibility is that Armina refers to another kingdom that formed immediately after the Urartu in the same territory. This latter scenario is very unlikely given the short time span and the fact that Babylonians would be aware about the new kingdom and will not use the same name.
In conclusion the modern exonym of Armenians is derived from the Urartu state that united the highlands in to one state, which itself triggered a processus of Armenian nation formation. A processus which continued later also and in Hellenistic era we have the mention of Strabo who says that the whole country was speaking the same Armenian language. As for the origins of ruling class of Urartu and the language used in the cuneiform inscription, they are off course interesting and important subjects. But different opinions on those subjects can't affect the veracity of this conclusion.
PS Relevant links are in comments. I will add also the paper of A. Petrosyan about the possible origins of the term Armenia

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Tarim basin mummies represents a group of ancient mysterious populations that lived in north west of China

 Tarim basin mummies represents a group of ancient mysterious populations that lived in north west of China. They were pastoralists ( ~2000-100BC), and had a peculiar culture. Mummification was natural rather than hand made. The most surprising are their phenotypes, which was predominantly Caucasoid ( or Europoid ). Some mummies from later periods had Mongoloid admixture but they were found from more eastern regions. See the map for the location.

Mummies from the site Xiaohe were tested and it turn out that they had predominantly ANE autosomes. ANE stands for "Ancient North Eurasians". An abbreviation for a large extinct Caucasoid race population that lived in Paleolithic Central Asia and Siberia, from the Ural river to Amur river, except the Far East coastal regions of Pacific, before the expansion of Mongoloid East Asians. ANE people had predominantly the Q1 haplogroup but occasionally R1 was found among them also.
Those tested Xiaohe mummies had R1b from a basal branch so it is important to localise their initial homeland. The model below shows that the most preferred source of ancestry for Xiahoe mummies is from Tyumen HG which is from Kazakh- Russian border. While the second most important source is from Tajikistan hunters-gatherers marked as TTK. They don't have any East Asian ancestry, besides what is already is present in Tyumen HG which is linked to so called Western Siberian hunter gatherers, WSHG. This data means that the most likely homeland of Tarim mummies was in Central Asia.
Apparently in Central Asia they learned the pastoralism from more southern farmers and moved to Tarim basin. Common origins with an R1b found in Uzbekistan farmers (BMAC) also supports the idea that they were from Central Asia rather than Eastern Siberia.
Their ethnicity is unknown but they were not Indo-European for sure. IE Tocharians settled there with Yamnaya derived cultures creating the local Chemurchek culture which was just in the north of Xiahoe. The Tocharian autosomes are quite different but ironically Tocharians also had the R1b haplogroup from another branch.
In conclusion the theory positing the R1 homeland in East Siberia do not find support by this data.
The more realistic assumption is the Eastern European homeland of R1 were the highest diversity of ancient R1 branches is found. Another argument for Europe is that EHG has a strong association with R1. Note that Tyumen HG himself do have some amount of EHG, so the presence of R1b there do not contradict to this claim. The presence of old R1b in Paleolithic Italy in WHG context also supports the Eastern Europe as the place were R1 bifurcated and differentiated into many branches. As for the common ancestor of R1 and R2 the current best candidate is the Central Asia, Eastern Caspian sea basin.
More data will clarify this question in the future I have the feeling that we will hear some surprising news about the ANE and R1 origins stories in the coming years.




Monday, November 6, 2023

A Chinese study on bread wheat DNA shows that the initial homeland of domesticated wheat was in South West of Caspian.

 A Chinese study on bread wheat DNA shows that the initial homeland of domesticated wheat was in South West of Caspian. This is the Chinese way to pinpoint the region of historic Armenia. Large number of wheat specimens were taken from Turkey also from South Caucasus, Iran and Iraq.

Hundred years ago the Russian scientist Vavilov proposed the same theory. Over time others also noted that scenario and now genetics proves it correct.
The oldest sites were farming started are near the Diyarbekir/Portasar/Gobekle tepe region, so it's not surprising that the wheat used there was from the neighbourhood.
Prior that another DNA paper has found a similar result for the barley.
Notice rice and millet were domesticated in China but not the wheat which was introduced there by Steppe pastoralists.
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Abstract
Deep knowledge of crop biodiversity is essential to improving global food security. Despite bread wheat serving as a keystone crop worldwide, the population history of bread wheat and its relatives, both cultivated and wild, remains elusive. By analysing whole-genome sequences of 795 wheat accessions, we found that bread wheat originated from the southwest coast of the Caspian Sea and underwent a slow speciation process, lasting ~3,300 yr owing to persistent gene flow from its relatives. Soon after, bread wheat spread across Eurasia and reached Europe, South Asia and East Asia ~7,000 to ~5,000 yr ago, shaping a diversified but occasionally convergent adaptive landscape in novel environments. By contrast, the cultivated relatives of bread wheat experienced a population decline by ~82% over the past ~2,000 yr due to the food choice shift of humans. Further biogeographical modelling predicted a continued population shrinking of many bread wheat relatives in the coming decades because of their vulnerability to the changing climate. These findings will guide future efforts in protecting and utilizing wheat biodiversity to enhance global wheat production.


Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Frequently users ask the same question.

 Frequently users ask the same question. Why samples from Levant, Iran, Anatolia and Caucasus are used to model ancient and modern samples from Armenia, if ancient samples from Armenia are alrwady available.

For the academic papers the answer to this question is simple. They want to have an universal model which they can use for any sample from any time in Near East. For this reason they use the extreme, (from genetic point of view), homogenous populations available from Near East. Which by the way are not necessarily the most successful populations inside Near East.
Anatolian Neolithic farmers for example had a successful expansion in Europe. But in their homeland their ancestry dropped in Chalcolithic when new migrants from historic Armenia/North Mesopotamia settled there. The same is true for Caucasian hunters, Levant Neolithic and Zagros/Iran Neolithic.
All those populations had a serious dilution of their ancestry in Chalcolithic. But given that the main "coupables" of this dilution themselves can be modeled as a mixture of this 4 populations then scholars prefer to use only those 4 source, to avoid too much complication.
If in Anatolian context they say there is an increase of Caucasus then this mean usually a migration from historic Armenia. But an increase of Caucasus in Steppe do not automatically mean a migration from Armenia. If they say an increase in Iran Neo in Anatolia then it means a migration from North Mesopotamia. But an increase of Iran_Neo in Central Asia do not mean migration from Mesopotamia. Etc etc. You must always keep in mind the geography to understand this strange language. It's not a conspiracy but rather an easy way for them.
There are also technical reasons. Old samples from Mesopotamia and historic Armenia are rare and they are not as homogenous as one would want them to be. Most probably in the future this situation will change.
As for citizens, they can do whatever they want. There is no any rule that forbids the use of ancient Neolithic samples from Armenia. I always do that in my charts and they give better fits than just 4 pops from Near East. We can go further and experiment with more samples from ancient Armenia. We have some examples for that also in this group. But they are some constraints. Using too much samples with similar ancestries can create results that are hard to understand and very volatile. For example You will have apparent sharp differences between quite close pops

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

There is some big data that is accumulating about the Upper Paleolithic period in Caucasus and Europe

 There is some big data that is accumulating about the Upper Paleolithic period in Caucasus and Europe. We have 26000 year old samples from West Georgia and now very important samples from Crimea. (~36000 year old).

This samples from Crimea can be labeled as Proto Gravettian culture. The Gravettian culture is very important for Europe because their autosomes are at the origin of later WHG that appears after the LGM. Gravettian culture is also important because it's the first apparition of the haplogroup I in Europe which later will expand in the form of I2. We had a thread about this subject in the group.
With this new data it's becoming clear that the population that created the Gravettian culture moved via Caucasus to Eastern Europe and from there to Balkans and Western Europe. Replacing the local more archaic humans, who left virtually no ancestry in modern Europeans.
This make sense from the Y DNA point of view because I and J have common ancestors and the oldest cases of J are found in Southern Caucasus.
Based on the Yfull the I and J separated from each other 42000 years ago. Which is consistent with the archaeological dates we have.
And finally the Upper Paleolithic samples from Western Georgia are very unusual. They are quite different from post-LGM period Caucasian hunter-gathers (CHG). Those Caucasian Upper Paleolithic samples have lot shared alleles with Anatolian hunter gatherers and farmers. But even more surprising they had shared alleles with WHG that didn't existed yet at that period. Also they had shared alleles with Eastern European Upper Paleolithic samples like Kostenki14 and Vestonoce cluster, the aforementioned Gravettian culture.
This situation make sense given the common origins of J and I. We could expect that in the deep past they were coming from a population with similar autosomes.
Below in Figure 1 You can see the closest pops to Georgia Upper Paleolithic. As You can see it's more oriented to ancient Europe with high Anatolian and WHG ancestries.
The next puzzle now to solve is the origin of CHG and Iran_Neo. What made them so different from Anatolia forager's/farmers. And the ultimate question were was the common origin of all this folks.
All links are below.
Figure 2. The Gravettian Venus figurine



Sunday, October 22, 2023

Ancient DNA from Republic of Armenia.

 

Ancient DNA from Republic of Armenia.

The first table represents them by periods.

The second one by published papers.

The archaeological periods used in the first table are from Pavel Avetisyan ( Պավել Ավետիսյան ) and Arsen Bobokhyan "ARCHAEOLOGY OF ARMENIA IN REGIONAL CONTEXT", 2012.

Notes:

Sarukhan_unknown samples have now radiocarbon dates and are placed in LBA and EIA.

Middle Bronze is based on Lazaridis 2022 classification (5 samples) and plus two samples from Bobokhyan 2023. Reich labs AADR classification is not used, because of inconsistencies.

Reich lab AADR has 217 entries but 4 of them are duplicates. So there 213 aDNA in total. Three recent samples are not included yet there. Which makes overall 216 samples