Monday, February 26, 2024

Here is an excerpt from the Petrosyan 2023 paper about the origins of Kura-Araxes culture. We wrote.

 Here is an excerpt from the Petrosyan 2023 paper about the origins of Kura-Araxes culture. We wrote.

""The increase in the genes of Caucasian hunter-gatherers may be explained this way: the creators of the Kura-Araxes culture did not originate exclusively from the previous Neolithic farmers but was a mixture of farmers living in the lowlands and Caucasian hunter-gatherers related population preserved in the mountains. This also explains their tendency to build settlements in high mountainous areas.""
Like in Europe where local WHG lineages resurged in Late Neolithic, it is possible to imagine that a similar process occurred in South Caucasus. The Kura-Araxes is not a result of new migration from north or south but rather a resurgence of local hunter gatherers who learned pastoralism. Those hunter gatherers could have survived in high alpine regions and forests.
What was the genetic profile of those hunters is hard to say but it is quite possible there were not identic to CHG from West Caucasus and had a profile closer to Aknashen sample. J1-Z1828 can be the lineage of this hunters who shifted to pastoralism. Another important thing to keep in mind is that not all KA samples have high Caucasian ancestry. Some of them like Karnut outlier is more farmer shifted.
More ancient DNA is needed for better understanding this question, especially from Sioni culture which can be the earliest form of this resurgence.

See also

Monday, February 19, 2024

Genetic history of larger Aintab region.

There are large number of ancient DNA from the larger Aintab region. Based on that data we can reconstruct the genetic history of that region since the Neolithic to Medieval and modern periods.

We lack samples from the Neolithic period but apparently the Early Chalcolithic sample dated after 5800bc was similar to preceding Neolithic period.
In Middle Chalcolithic (after 5000bc) period there is a small shift to east but it's not yet significant.
We lack samples from Late Chalcolithic period which starts at 4300bc and ends around 3100bc. This period in that region is known as Amuq F period which is equivalent to Chaff faced ware in south Caucasus and historic Armenia. The archaeological studies show an obvious discontinuity in that period. Strong increase of settlement's size and number. Apparition of distinct new pottery.
Indeed, in the succeeding Bronze Age we see a completely different gene pool. Large increase of Central farmers which becomes the most important component in Aintab - Amuq region. This new genetic profile persists until historic periods and is present in modern people living there also.
The people who introduced this change are known as Chaff faced ware culture people. Based on the data we have from Crete those people didn't stop in southern Anatolia but continued to move to west reaching Aegean islands, where we see large number of Y DNA associated with them in Minoan period.
In Early Bronze Age Kilis three is some increase in Levantine ancestry. This increase is related to Semitic people expansion which must have occured no later than 3000BC. Eastern Semitic people like Akkadians and Eblaite descend from this event. The Taurus mountains acted as a barrier for their expansion.
In Alalakh Middle and Late Bronze Age we notice a more cosmopolitan ancestry. Influences from Anatolia (Luwians?) and increase of Iran Neo (Mitanni Aryans? Khabure ware?). More samples are needed to differentiate Hurrian and IE Anatolian influences on that region. Also, to assess the real impact of Mitanni Aryans migration.
We lack samples from Iron Age and Antiquity. Then in Medieval period we have samples from Aintab who without much doubt were Armenians. (See the R. Robert Navoyan ). The migration of Armenians in that period is well known. As for medieval samples from Kilis it's much harder to understand their ethnic affiliation.
In conclusion the most important demographic event in larger Aintab region occurred in Late Chalcolithic period related to Chaff Faced Ware culture.
Who were those people is unknown. In Crete their impact is associated with Minoan language, while in south Anatolia we have Indo-European Anatolians. See the map.
How to reconcile this contradiction? Maybe Chaff faced ware was a multi-ethnic phenomenon? Or maybe IE Anatolians came later in Early Bronze Age with another migration? With whom migrated the R1b from ancient Aintab? Another possibility is that Minoan language is derived from local Neolithic farmers not from the new migrants. It must be noted that recent studies consider the possibility of the IE Anatolian influences on Minoans.
With more data this puzzle will be solved.

Friday, February 9, 2024

When the tools and settings matters. Part 1 and Part 2

 When the tools and settings matters. Part 1

Here I present two models with exactly same source and target populations.
The first one is unscaled, and the second one is scaled.
As You can see the most significant change affect the EHG level which is 2.5 times higher in the unscaled.
You may wonder which one is the most correct. Well, the unscaled coordinates are the one that are produced by the smartpca in their unaltered form.
While the scaled coordinates are deliberately altered by an algorithm. I don't know exactly how this algorithm works.
But the main idea of scaling is too artificiality increase the distance for distant and drifted populations. For instance, in the East Asian populations but also the local drifted pops like CHG and Turkey_N. Those artificial changes alter the result in different ways. As You can see for Armenians it is creating a masking effect that hides the real EHG.
It must be noted the qpadm numbers are close to the unscaled numbers. But qpadm also has its own tips and secrets.
In any case questions like how much EHG, Levant or CHG do have an X population do not have a strict answer. They are rather ranges than just one correct answer.

When the tools and settings matters. Part 2

Here I add a modification to the models present in the first part. I am adding samples from South Caucasian farmers. Similar populations existed all over historic Armenia and north Mesopotamia. Here we use a generic term for them as Central farmers.
The addition of this new population changes once more the results in both unscaled (the first) and the scaled (the second). The EHG increases once more (average 5.5) but the difference between unscaled and scaled is now very low. You can also notice that the fits are improved, and the errors are reduced. Which means that those farmers are a better source for Armenians (and not only Armenians) than those four distal pops.
The reason of this is that modern Armenians and not only Armenians are not a real mixture of four West Asian distal populations.
Central farmers =//= Turkey_N + Kotias + Ganj Dareh + Natufian
Central farmers are only approximately similar to the addition to those four populations. But the real history of West Asia, which is not fully uncovered, most probably will show that the deep origins of Central farmers is different. That is something of the future but at this stage we must know that Central farmers are more basal than the four distal pops combined. The Turkey_N and the Kotias-CHG have a WHG related alleles which acts as a mask for the EHG. Thus, the addition of a basal population like Central farmers lacking this WHG causes an increase of EHG. While the difference between the scaled and the unscaled decrease because the model does not rely anymore on distal four populations whose coordinates are artificially changed.

Tuesday, February 6, 2024

Some remarks on a genetic shift that affected modern RoA in Iron Age.

Those are the possible events by their importance.

1. Politic of large population movements organized by the Urartian kings. This policy would decrease the Etiuni genetic profile in ancient RoA and increase new genetic profiles from other regions. It would result also in the apparition of Etiuni profile elsewhere.
Numbers in cuneiform texts are sufficient to explain this shift. But with the current paleogenetic data available this is not yet visible. At last not on a scale comparable to the claims of the kings. Out of 30 samples from 800-600 BC only two are from south. Most probably with more samples from Urartian cities like Teishebaini, Erebuni, Argishtihinili and others we will see them in the future. Another reason that could "hide" the newcomers is the practice of cremation. Even though it was limited to a subset of Urartians.
2. A theory exist that in its final period the Urartian kingdom elite moved to the modern Armenia. For instance mentions of last Rusa and king Sarduri son of Sarduri are found in Karmir Blur (Teishebaini) but not in Tushpa. It's possible that in its final periods the Biainili dinasty lost control of Tushpa and prefered to move to north. A similar event occured in last period of Assyria and other kingdoms. This theory is not widely accepted but there are some reasons to believe that it occured.
3. A new groups moved to Armenian heartland from more southern regions than Van basin. From historic Korduk and Nor Shirakan. Those groups are mentioned in Khorenatsi as Yervandians, Zarehians, Vahuni, Nersehians. They are mentioned as native but in cuneiform texts possible related names are found in the south. Their supposed arrival fits to late and post Urartian periods. It is probably associated to wider regional changes. Tribal names like Parnaki are attested in the most southern regions while later we see toponyms with it in more northern regions. Cawdek' (Ծաւդեք) in the south but also in Artsakh / Syunik. What triggered those migrations, are they really significant and how much impact they left is unknown.
4. A possible Persian and Medes impact. This sounds trivial given historic events but the direction of genetic shift in modern RoA contradict to the expected impact. There is no visible increase in Iran_Neo ancestry (Lazaridis and Hovhannisyan do not detect Iran_Neo increase). It would be also strange that ancient Medes and Persians had much lower steppe than what was already present in ancient Armenia. So it's possible that this event affected indirectly via the event number 3.
5. Transfer of capital to Armavir. This event is dated to 330BC but could have started earlier. Anyway it's very unlikely that it has left much impact.
Besides those points we also need to better understand the Middle Bronze Age Karmir-Berd culture which was an offshoot of Van-Urmia culture. It affected Araratian plain so this could have altered the Araratian plain Etiunians genetics. But the samples we have from Karmir Blur do not speak in favor of strong impact. Anyway more samples from Araratian plain are needed in Lchashen Metsamor period.
I think I mentioned all possible events that are responsible for this change. With more genetic data this puzzle will be solved. There is also need to review once more ancient texts for better understanding this situation. Combined with archaeology I hope all answers will be found