Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Areni and Maykop

 Areni and Maykop

The recent French team's paper had some comments about Areni cave which needs clarification.
Areni cave people do NOT descend from Maykop for the simple reason that they are much older than Maykop culture. Areni is from Late Chalcolithic period which starts at 4300bc while Maykop culture starts _after_ 4000bc. On the contrary. Today most archaeologists are inclined to believe that Leyla tepe culture (starts at 4300bc) played an important role in the formation of Maykop. Leyla tepe people ( who by the way had similar pottery as in Areni ) from modern Azerbaijan crossed the Caucasian range moved to Daghestan and from there moved to North West Caucasus. Where they meet already preexisting pastoralistic groups that had the J2-M67. They mixed with them and created the Maykop culture as we know.
Paleogenetic data confirms this. Maykop Y dna is related both to older layers ( J2-M67 ) and to new migrants from Leyla-tepe ( L2 , T1a3 ). Notice both L2 and T1a3 are found in ancient North Iran also which further reinforce the idea that they moved to north from/via modern Azerbaijan.
Areni cave also had the Y dna L1a which is also connected to North West Iran.
Any similarities of cultures between Areni and Maykop are easily explained by a migration from South Caucasus to North West Caucasus around 4000bc and not the inverse.
But this is not the whole story. When Leyla tepe groups crossed the Caucasian range they almost certainly encountered people of Steppic origin in Daghestan. We have ancient DNA from those old Steppe groups and they are from Progress site. Leyla-tepe-Areni related people in most likelihood mixed with this Steppic groups that is why we see their genetic impact in Areni. As You can see on the attached table Areni people had substantial ancestry from Progress which is in North Caucasus. But this ancestry is mostly via maternal lines. Because the paternal L1a has a local origin.
The reason why Areni women face reconstructions are so unusual is due to this Progress related genes. On the same table You can see that Areni people do NOT have any ancestry from the so called Steppe Maykop which by the way had Siberian affiliation and Y dna Q1. Keep in mind that Progress had Y dna R1b-V1636 and not Q1.
They are many other arguments why Areni is of local origin. Their pottery which is called Chaff faced ware. As You can see Chaff faced pottery became very popular from Cilicia ( Amuq ) to Caspian sea shores in Late Chalcolithic. Those people also had unusual burial practices in jars. Before the LC period grit a type of hard stone was added to pottery. While in LC it changed to straw. With high certitude we can say that the wine making technology as ancients knew was invented in Areni and related to them Chaff faced ware people.
It's possible that during this interactions between South Caucasus and Steppic Daghestan some Y dna also appeared in South Caucasus. The best candidate would be obviously the V1636. But we don't have any direct proof of that. What is needed is to have more ancient DNA from Late Chalcolithic period ( 4300-3600 bc ) in South Caucasus. French team tried to extract from Mentesh tepe but they failed due to extremely low coverage. So we wait for the next attempt.

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Armen Petrosyan's paper on the origins of Bagratid dinasty

 Armen Petrosyan's paper on the origins of Bagratid dinasty. He also mentions Hovann Simonian's opinion about the possible haplogroup of Bagratids. Hovann is the admin of Armenian DNA project and other projects.

In ancient texts they are two versions of Bagratuni (Bagratid ) origin.
The first one is the Khorenatsi's opinion who give Jewish origin from a certain Shambat.
The second one can be called Sebeos version, in which Bagratuni have native Haykian origin.
Petrosyan like most scholars agree that the version of Jewish origin is a post-Christian invention. Khorenatsi himself was also aware of the second opinion and he advise to not believe in it.
So let's look closer to the native version.
In native version the founding fathers of this family are the Bagam and Bagarat. Their offsprings get the Angeltun province ( House of Angel ) as their own domain. For this reason Bagarat was also known as Angel (Անգեղ) and he was deified by pagan people.
They are good reasons to believe that ancient Armenians had a chtonic god known as Angel. This term has a good Armenian etymology. Meaning either ugly or invisible. From the IE root *wel- meaning to see, which in Armenian gives gel (գեղ ) meaning beauty but also appearance. So Angel would be either ugly or unseen, without appearance. It's remarkable that the Greek meaning of underworld god Hades is similar. It means unseen. Another indirect evidence of the importance of underworld god in ancient Armenia is the fact that the chief god of Hayasa was the equivalent of Nergal. Incidently in Armenian scripts the term Angel is used for Nergal.
So it's safe to assume that the pre-Christian legend about the Bagratuni origin was related to this Angel god. Most probably they were claiming descendancy from this god. With the arrival of Iranian influence a new term was coined based on Iranian god names. Bagarat itself descend from the Iranian name Bagadata which means god given or son/gift of god. So instead of being gift/son of Angel they became gift/son of Baga.
It's remarkable that in Khorenatsi's book the owner of Angeltun is the Tork'. This Tork' was written also Towrk' ( Տուրք ). The Tork' form is probably an error, an omission of w. Towrk' in Armenian means gift so basically Turk' / Towrk' Angeleai means gift of Angel. A similar meaning as for Bagadata, gift of Baga. Once more we see that such a concept (gift of Angel) existed in ancient Armenia.
Now all this indirect evidence is nice, but we need something else to check the validity of this theories. Fortunately DNA gives new opportunities. Thanks to efforts of Hovann we have a good candidate for Bagratuni Y dna, which is the I2a2b. The evidence is based on modern people affiliated to Georgian and Armenian noble families like Tsitsishvilis and Hasan Jalalyans. If Bagratuni really had this Y dna then this would mean that they had native origin because we know for sure that practically all modern I2a2b descend from one person who lived in Trialeti Vanadzor culture. So this would mean that ancient pre Christian legends about Bagratuni origins were quite realistic.
Now returning to Jewish connections. It's remarkable that inside I2a2b there is a small Jewish cluster. The age of separation is old but this do not mean much because the real adoption of Judaism could have occured later. So a person of possible Bagratuni or Armenian ( Georgian also, but less likely ) affiliation at some point adopted Judaism . It's possible that this story was echoed in later records.
The link is below

Sunday, March 12, 2023

In just 10 years of paleogenetic research Europeans recovered the genetic history of their continent

 In just 10 years of paleogenetic research Europeans recovered the genetic history of their continent. Off course this became possible because of decennies of intense archaeologic studies.

The last paper from Posth et al. 2023 about Paleolithic Europe give answers to numerous questions. Let's hope we will have a similar paper about West Asia also.
Humans settled in Europe 45.000 years ago. The genetic history is divided in two major periods. Before the LGM and after. ~20.000ybp. The same by the way is true about most Eurasia (Armenia included) Only the most warmest regions were not affected by the last Glacial period.
The first settlers of Europe had the Y dna C1. Then haplogroup I appears with Gravettian culture 35.000 years ago. Given that hg I has common origin with haplogroup J it's quite possible that it entered Europe via Caucasus although a migration via Anatolia is also possible.
Before the LGM the hg I was not popular but things change after LGM. 20.000 ybp a new culture forms in Europe known as Epigravettian and it has strong association with WHG and I2. So the homeland of WHG and I2 is the Balkans. WHG stands for Western European Hunter Gatherers. While in East Europe a different group formed known as EHG associated with R1.
EHG and associated with it subjects like ANE, CHG and Iran and Armenian Neolithic deserves a special thread.
Here I will continue about the WHG which became the predominant population in all Europe before the arrival of farmers.
8500 years ago farmers (mostly G2) enters Europe from Anatolia and local European WHG populations decline substantially. But some time after there is a strong resurgence of I2 and a moderate increase of WHG which never increase over 20-30% in Europe. Today highest affinity to WHG is found in Northest Europe. WHG had an unusual phenotype. Rather dark skin and blue eyes while EHG had more light skin and dark eyes.
Modern Armenians don't have WHG. But do have Y dna I2 (3-3.5%). The I2a2b branch, old name is I2c2. The oldest cases of I2a2b are found in Europe. We now know that this branch came to Armenia 4500 years ago with Steppe pastoralist groups from North of Caucasus who also introduced R1b-Z2103. It was a probably a minor lineage in those groups but expanded a lot with Trialeti Vanadzor culture. Practically all modern cases of I2a2b are from Trialeti Vanadzor Culture. Even if they live in Europe.
We don't know what languages were speaking the WHG foragers in Paleolithic. Some believe that Basque is a WHG language. Some think that nobody speaks their language. In any case Neolithic Europe almost certainly had languages of Anatolian origin. And Etruscan (Tyrsenian family) is a good candidate of being an Anatolian farmers language.
Whatever languages they were speaking the current distribution of I2 and I1 in the world reflects mostly Indo European migrations and massive founder effects. The current young I2a1 branch in Balkans is related to Slavic people. The I1 and some I2 are related to proto Germanic people while the I2a2b in West Asia is an Armenic lineage. (Map 2)

Friday, March 10, 2023

A tribe Parnaki is attested in Iron Age Assyrian texts (Esarhadon period) in North East of modern Iraq.

 A tribe Parnaki is attested in Iron Age Assyrian texts (Esarhadon period) in North East of modern Iraq. This tribal name is remarkable because the name P'arnak (Փառնակ) is present in the Khorenatsi's list of patriarchs. It can be found also in toponyms. Kusti-Parnes in Artsakh and P'arnac' in Sasun region. Also Parnatun. It's not granted that all this terms derive from the same origin. Nevertheless it's another example when we see that terms that appear in Khorenatsi are not simply random names. Or names that appear after Achaemenid empire.

There is no much doubt that Pharnacids in Phrygian satrapy or probably Pharnaces in Pontic kingdom derive their name from Achaemenid influence. But this tribe's example also shows that some of this terms were already present in the vicinity of historic Armenia before Persian rule. It's even possible that some offshoots of this Parnaki tribe became rulers in Achaemenid period.
The name P'arnak is usually derived from the Iranian word farnah meaning glory. It's remarkable that the closest form is the Ossetian and the reconstructed Scythian *farna. In Armenian the Iranian [f] was rendered as p' փ։
I crushed the wicked Parnaki, who live in the land Tīl-Aššurri, which is called Pittānu in the language of the people of the land Meḫrānu.

Friday, March 3, 2023

During the construction of a mall in southern parts of Yerevan an Urartian stone tomb was found with multiple burial urns and other artefacts

 During the construction of a mall in southern parts of Yerevan an Urartian stone tomb was found with multiple burial urns and other artefacts. Currently the tomb is accessible to visitors.

One remarkable finding is an inscription in unknown script and language. Earlier in this group I mentioned that in some Lchashen cyclopean forts short inscriptions were found in Sovietic period. Those inscriptions are considered as fake by some scholars. But this finding shows that there was a real diversity of scripts in Iron Age Armenia. Another type is the ieroglyphic script.
This particular inscription is too short to make a judgement. But if new similar inscriptions are found then we can better understand those unknown inscriptions.

Thursday, March 2, 2023

A group of Armenian and Polish archaeologists has found a rich burial of a couple in Metsamor

 A group of Armenian and Polish archaeologists has found a rich burial of a couple in Metsamor. Most probably spouses. The date is around 3200 years before present. So it's Lchashen culture period. Crosses similar to Celtic style are remarkable.

Metsamor was an important fortified city in Early Iron Age. With advanced metallurgic and jewelry industry. You can see similar artefacts from previous excavations in the link below. They are exposed in Metsamor museum.

Wednesday, March 1, 2023

I had a discussion with a person who knows how to extract Y dna data from samples.

 I had a discussion with a person who knows how to extract Y dna data from samples. He said that the Chinese theytree service is not as reliable as Yfull. They upload too much low coverage samples. So caution is needed with their results. It will be a good practice to double check their results with FTDNA service if the sample is available there also.

If You notice a discrepancies between FTDNA and the Chinese theytree results please report here. Especially if they pertain to ancient Armenian samples.
In any case this do not affect my yesterday's thread because Lazaridis also says that there was at last one M269 positive but negative to L23 which is equal to PF7562. The number I14057.