Cradle of Civilization

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Archive for January, 2009

Kaukasiske haplogrupper

Posted by Fredsvenn on January 31, 2009

11 Y-SNP haplogrupper har blitt funnet i Kaukasus. De vanligste haplogruppene er F*, G* og J2*; til sammen utgjorde disse tre haplogruppene 0.53–0.86 frekvens i alle gruppene utenom darginerne, som har en høy frekvens av haplogruppe I* (0.58), som andre steder ble funnet på en frekvens på 0.1 eller mindre. Svanerne ble rapportert å ha en høy frekvens (0.92) av haplogruppe F* og Kazbegi å ha en høy frekvens av haplogruppe J2* (0.72). Ingen andre grupper hadde noen haplogruppe med en frekvens på over 0.5. Darginerne, lezgierne, svanerne og kazbegiene korresponderende hadde den laveste haplogruppemangfoldet (0.153–0.652), mens det for andre grupper var på 0.779–0.855.

Kaukasus, regionen mellom det kaspiske og Svartehavet, er karakterisert via ekstremt høy lingvistisk mangfold med 4 hovedfamilier (sørkaukasisk, nordkaukasisk, indoeuropeisk og altaisk) talt av mer enn 50 etniske grupper. I tillegg kommen en geografisk barrie, Kaukasus fjellrekken, som deler regionen inn i Nord og Sør Kaukasus. Dette gjør det mulig å studere betydningen av lingvistisk mangfold og geografiske barrierer på den genetiske strukturen på befolkninger.

Eksistensen av grupper i Kaukasus viss geografiske naboer ikke er deres lingvistiske naboer tillater oss å addressere spørsmålet vedrørende hva som best forklarer det genetiske forholdet til disse gruppene, språk eller geografi. To eksempler er azerbaijanere som taler et tyrkisk språk og armenere som taler et indoeuropeisk språk, men som er omgitt av ikke-indoeuropeiske talere. mtDNA analyser har vist at både azerbaijanere og armenere er nærmere relatert genetisk til andre grupper i Kaukasus enn til deres respektive lingvistiske naboer, noe som viser at azerbaijansk og armensk språk ble introdusert via språkutbytting, noe som trolig ble gjort gjennom elite dominans hvor den værende befolkningen adopterte språket til en liten gruppe migranter enten ved bruk av makt eller på grunn av at det nye språket inkluderte sosial prestisje. Hvis dette er riktig og viss migrantene først og fremst var menn så vil Y-DNA analyser reflektere det lingvistiske forholdet til azerbaijanere og armenere bedre enn mtDNA analyser.

All genetisk materiale viser at armensk og azerbaijansk språk reflekterer en språkutbytting, som oppsto uten at det var noe merkbart genetisk bidrag fra de opprinnelige indoeuropeiske og tyrkiske gruppene. Dette stemmer når det kommer til azerbaijanerne, men er usikkert når det gjelder armenerne ettersom det kan være at indoeuropeisk språk stammer fra regionen. Opprinnelsen til det armenske språket er obskurt, men det azerbaijanske språket ble introdusert på 1100-tallet av sentralasiatiske nomader. Mens de taler ulike språk deler de mye av den samme genetikken og begge er nærmere relatert til deres geografiske naboer enn til deres lingvistiske naboer andre steder.

To av tre felles Kaukasus haplogrupper (F* og J2*) er også vanlig i sørvestasiatiske befolkninger som libanesere, tyrkere, syriere og iranere, med en gjennomsnittsfrekvens på 0.165 og 0.28, men i lavere frekvenser i Europa hvor de har et gjennomsnitt på 0.021 og 0.074. Den tredje vanligste Kaukasus haplogruppen, G*, er sjelden i Europa (frekvens=0.061) og i Sørvest Asia, hvor den kun har blitt funnet i tyrkiske og libanesiske grupper. Haplogruppe R1*, som er vanlig i Vest og Sentral Europa, blir observert i Sør Kaukasus med frekvenser høyere enn 0.1, mens den mangler i Nord Kaukasus. Haplogruppe R1a1*, som blir observert i høy frekvens i den sørvestlig mediterraneanske regionen, Øst Europa og Sentral Asia er til stede i lave frekvenser i Kaukasus og i Sørvest Asia. Andre Kaukasus Y-haplogrupper opptrer med lave frekvenser. Darginerne, svanerne og kazbegerne synes å være isolerte sammenlignet med de andre kaukasiske gruppene og en høy korrelasjonsverdi mellom geografisk og genetisk avstand (Fst verdi) sammen med lav haplogruppe mangfold og redusert antall haplogrupper hos disse gruppene skyldes trolig genetisk drift som opererer i små isolerte befolkninger.

Parvis Fst verdien som separerte kaukasus-befolkningen var lav. Kaukasus fjellene har hatt en minimal betydning. Genetisk drift opererende i små isolerte befolkninger synes å ha dominert den genetiske strukturen til befolkningen i Kaukasus. Haplogruppe mangfoldet i Kaukasus (gjennomsnittsverdi på: 0.797) er nesten så høy som det i Sentral Asia (gjennomsnittsverdi på: 0.824) og i Sørvest Asia (gjennomsnittsverdi på: 0.769) og er betydelig høyere (t test, P =0.024) enn mangfoldet i Europa (gjennomsnittsverdi på: 0.633). En MDS punkt og nabo-tilslutningstre basert på Fst verdier deler den europeiske befolkningen inn i vestlig og østlig grupper med sentralasiatiske befolkninger fallende mellom dem, mens kaukasus-befolkningene er blandet med sørvestasiatiske befolkninger.

Fst verdien for Kaukasus vs Europa er 0.254, mens Fst verdien for Kaukasus vs Sørvest Asia er 0.079, noe som er langt lavere. I gjennomsnitt ligner sørkaukasiske befolkninger både mer på sørvestasiatiske og europeiske befolkninger (gjennomsnittsverdi på: Fst= 0.038 og 0.222) enn de nordkaukasiske gruppene gjør (gjennomsnittsverdi på: Fst= 0.097 og 0.303); men både sørkaukaserne og nordkaukaserne ligner mer på befolkningen i Sørvest Asia enn på den i Europa når det kommer til Y-SNP haplogrupper. Mens mtDNA resultater viser at kaukasiske grupper er nærmere relatert genetisk til europeere enn til sørvestasiatiske grupper viser Y-kromosomene et nærmere genetisk forhold med Sørvest Asia enn med Europa.

Et felles genetisk opprinnelse mellom baskere og kaukasiere har blitt antatt på grunn av antagelser om likhet i språk. Et genetisk forhold mellom dem blir ikke støttet via Y-SNP data ettersom gjennomsnitt Fst verdien mellom dem er mye høyere (Fst = 0.563) enn den mellom baskere og indoeuropeere (Fst= 0.311). De er ikke klustret sammen verken i nabo-joiningtre eller MDS punkt.

For Y-kromosomene er kaukasus-befolkningene nærmere relatert til Sørvest Asia enn til europeiske befolkninger. Kaukasus opptrer som en sperre i det genetiske landskapet i Eurasia; haplogrupper som R1a1* har en høy frekvens i Øst Europa, men lav frekvens i Kaukasus og Sørvest Asia, mens haplogrupper som F* og J2* er vanlige i Kaukasus og Sørvest Asia, men sjeldne i Europa. Som en kontrast viser både mtDNA og Alu at kaukasus-befolkningene er nærmere Europa enn Sørvest Asia. Dette kan være et resultat av at Y-kromosomene reflekterer gjentatte invasjonsmigrasjoner fra Sørvest Asia, migrasjoner som trolig primært involverte menn.

Et tidlig eksempel er den første kjente neolittiske kulturen i det sentrale Transkaukasus, inkludert dagens Georgia og det armenske høyland, Shulaveri Shomu kulturen (6000-4000 f.vt.), som hadde sin bakgrunn i de sørvestasiatiske neolitiske kulturene Hassuna og Halaf, .og som fra dets utgangspunkt site i Al Hasakah provinsen i det nordøstlige Syria, synes å ha en befolkning på haplogruppe J2 som har spredd seg i alle retninger. Men ikke aller minst i moderne tider har har ulike sørvestasiatiske grupper invadert Kaukasus inkludert okkupasjonen av regionen av arabere etter år 654, seljuc tyrkisk invasjon av Sør Kaukasus på 1100-tallet og gjentatte invasjoner av tyrkere, persere og kurdere.

Men på tross av at disse manns-mediaterte invasjonene fra Sørvest Asia forklarer hvorfor de kaukasiske Y-haplogruppene er av sørvestasiatisk opprinnelse så forklarer de ikke hvorfor mtDNA og Alu grupperer Kaukasus med Europa. En mulig forklaring er at det er en felles stamgruppe for kaukasiske og europeiske befolkninger, som kan datere seg tilbake til pre-neolitiske tider. De kaukasiske språkene kan reflektere menneskelig spredning før 15.000 år siden, men de kan også reflektere en rute for neolitiske jordbrukere fra Sørvest Asia til Europa via Kaukasus, slik som Shulaveri Shomu kulturen nevnt over.

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PIE hypothesis

Posted by Fredsvenn on January 16, 2009

While the Anatolian theory enjoyed brief support when first proposed, the Indo-Europeanist community in general now rejects it, its majority clearly favouring the Kurgan hypothesis postulating a 4th millennium expansion from the Pontic steppe. While the spread of farming undisputedly constituted an important event, most see no case to connect it with Indo-Europeans in particular, seeing that terms for animal husbandry tend to have much better reconstructions than terms related to agriculture. The linguistic community further notes that linguistic evidence suggests a later date for Proto-Indo-European than the Anatolian theory predicts.

The main strength of the farming hypothesis lies in its linking of the spread of Indo-European languages with an archeologically known event (the spread of farming) that is often assumed as involving significant population shifts. On archaeogenetic evidence, the actual population shift (associated with Y-chromosomal haplogroup G) was still minor compared to the component of autochthonous continuity (going back to the re-settlement of Europe following the last glacial maximum), but it was probably slightly larger than the component due to later migrations.

Around 6500 BC, while lpeople carrying haplogroup J2, based in Anatolia, the Natufians, occur in the Balkans (Starčevo-Körös-Cris culture), in the Danube valley (Linear Pottery culture), and possibly in the Bug-Dniestr area (Eastern Linear pottery culture), Mesopotamia, Iran-India and the Arabean Peninsula and Egypt, the neolithic Shulaveri Shmou culture with background from the Hassuna and Halaf cultures arrives from Anatolia to Caucasus. The Kazbeg is around 60 % haplogroup J2. There was both an migration of people carrying haplogroup J2 and R1a from Central Asia to India, where they still constitutes the higher classes.

Haplogroup J2 is found mainly in the Fertile Crescent, the Mediterranean (including Southern Europe and North Africa), the Iranian plateau and Central Asia. More specifically it is found in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Turkey, Israel, Greece, Italy and the eastern coasts of the Iberian Peninsula, and more frequently in Iraqis 29.7% (Sanchez et al. 2005), Lebanese 29.7% (wells et al. 2001), Syrians 29%, Sephardic Jews 29%, Kurds 28.4%, Iranians 24%.

Kura Araxes culture, developing out of the Shulaveri Shomu culture and contemporary with the Maykop culture, is the next step before the Yamna and Catacombe culture. Around 5000 BC Archaic Pre-Proto-Indo-European, located in Anatolia, splits into splits into Anatolian, Archaic Proto-Indo-European and Early Steppe Proto-Indo-European (the ancestor of Tocharian). After 3000 BC the Greek, Armenian, Albanian, Indo-Iranian and Balto-Slavic families develop. Proto-Greek speakers move southward into Greece; Proto-Indo-Iranian moves northeast into the steppe area.

The Afanesevo culture constitutes the Tocharians, while the Androvono culture constitutes the Iranians. The Armenians is Caucasic by haplogroup but have a language coming from the Phrygians, the proto Greeks, the connection between the Greeks and the Indo-Aryans, who in their migration both migrated to the Southwst Asia and to India.

However the Armenians kept until moder days to live and to constitute a sizeable nation in the territory reaching from Lebano/Turkey to the modern days Armenia. They constituted the territory called the Armenian Highland, south of Caucasus. The Kurds, having the same roots as the Armenians, migrated, after being colonised by the Iraniansin their migration to Caucasus around 1000 BC, to the southeast, where the created Media, but have now returned to the Caucasus. The Armenians and other Christian peoples like the Assyrians has been slaughtered and got stolen their land. The people of Lebanon constitutes the Phonicians. Even if the genetical landscape continues to be more or less the same, the Arabification, Kurdification and Turkification changes the culture landcapes.

Geneticist Pierre Zalloua has charted the spread of the Phoenicians out of the eastern Mediterranean by identifying an ancient type of DNA which some Lebanese, Syrians and Palestinians share with Maltese, Spaniards and Tunisians. A seafaring civilization which reached its zenith between 1200 and 800 BC, the Phoenicians’ earliest cities included Byblos, Tyre and Sidon on Lebanon’s coast. But their link to Lebanon, whose borders were drawn as recently as 1920, has long been a subject of controversy in a country split between an array of religious communities. “Negotiating these waters is a very delicate job,” Zalloua said. “The Phoenicians were the Canaanites—and the ancestors of today’s Lebanese.” “as many as 1 in 17 men living today on the coasts of North Africa and southern Europe may have a Phoenician direct male-line ancestor.”

The Phoenicians are credited with spreading the Phoenician alphabet throughout the Mediterranean world. It was a variant of the Semitic alphabet of the Canaanite area developed centuries earlier in the Sinai region, or in central Egypt. Phoenician traders disseminated this writing system along Aegean trade routes, to coastal Anatolia, the Minoan civilization of Crete, Mycenean Greece, and throughout the Mediterranean. This alphabet has been termed an abjad or a script that contains no vowels. A cuneiform abjad originated to the north in Ugarit, a Canaanite city of northern Syria, in the 14th century BC. Their language, Phoenician, is classified as in the Canaanite subgroup of Northwest Semitic. Its later descendant in North Africa is termed Punic. The earliest known inscriptions in Phoenician come from Byblos and date back to ca. 1000 BC.

Seeking to set themselves apart from their Muslim compatriots, some Lebanese Christians have drawn on the Phoenician past to try to forge an identity separate from the prevailing Arab culture. “Whenever I use the word ‘Phoenician’, people say ‘this guy is trying to say we are not Arabs’,” said Zalloua, himself a Christian. But after five years of research, the scientist says his work has shown what Lebanese have in common. “We had a great history — let’s look at it,” he said. The genetic marker which identifies descendants of the ancient Levantines is found among members of all of Lebanon’s religious communities, he said. “It’s a story that can actually unite Lebanon much more than anything else.”

Haplogroup G, from Caucasus, the Ossetians is around 60 % of haplogroup G, is both connected with the Hattians in Asia Minor and with the Tocharians in the east. Haplogroup E is more to the south, around the Meditteranian cost, like in the Levant, Greece etc. The Semitic language, developed in close contact with the Egyptians, where the people who became semites went to in the Gaerzean period, the Predynastic Egyptian cultural phase given the sequence dates 40–65 by Sir Flinders Petrie and later dated c. 3400–3100 BC. Evidence indicates that the Gerzean culture was a further development of the culture of the Amratian period, which immediately preceded the Gerzean, but contact with western Asia during this time may have inspired the building of mud-brick niched architecture, the use of cylinder seals, and the adoption of certain ornamental motifs.

Gerzean culture was contemporary with that at Al-Madadi in the north and was characterized by a buff-coloured pottery with pictorial decorations in dark red paint; the use of a tubular drill with abrasive for stonecutting; pear-shaped mace heads; ripple-flaked flint knives; and an advanced metallurgy. Toward the end of the period, pictographic writing on pottery, slate palettes, and stone appeared, under kings employing pharaonic iconography. Lapis lazuli trade, in the form of beads, from its only known prehistoric source – Badakshan, in northeastern Afghanistan – also reached ancient Gerzeh. Some symbols on Gerzean pottery resemble traditional hieroglyph writing, contemporaneous to pre-cuneiform Sumerian script. There is also strong archaeological evidence of Egyptian settlements in southern Israel during the Protodynastic Period (generally dated 3200 BC – 3000 BC), which have been regarded as colonies or trading entrepôts.

The Dynastic culture, which immediately followed the Gerzean, developed directly out of the Gerzean and the other Upper Egyptian cultures that preceded it; gradually, during the last part of the Gerzean, the rulers in Hierakonpolis were able to create not only a cultural but also a political unification of all of Egypt, ushering in the successive dynasties of pharaonic Egypt.

The Amorites, with their Good Hadad, later understood as Seth, is quite interesting in this aspect. From the Levant, or the Arabian Peninsula the semites conquered the area occupied by the Sumerians as Akkadians.

The origin of the Etruscans (the present day Tuscany, Italy), one of the most enigmatic non-Indo-European civilizations, is under intense controversy. We found novel genetic evidences on the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) establishing a genetic link between Anatolia and the ancient Etruria. By way of complete mtDNA genome sequencing of a novel autochthonous Tuscan branch of haplogroup U7 (namely U7a2a), we have estimated an historical time frame for the arrival of Anatolian lineages to Tuscany ranging from 1.1 ± 0.1 to 2.3 ± 0.4 kya B.P. Thus the linguistic relationship between the names of some of the deities of the Hurrians and the Etruscans were then put to the light.

Haplogroup J2 (M172), widely believed to be associated with the spread of agriculture from Mesopotamia, Levant and Anatolia, is a subdivision of haplogroup J. It is further divided into two complementary clades, J2a-M410 and J2b-M12. J-M67 is most frequent in the Caucasus (especially Armenia and Georgia), and J-M92, which indicates affinity between Anatolia and southern Italy. Whereas J-M67* and J-M92, a subclade of haplogroup J2a that has been implicated in the ancient Greek colonization, show higher frequencies and variances in Europe and in Turkey. J-M102 illustrates population expansions from the southern Balkans. Likewise, J-M47 and J-M68 characterize very few Near Eastern and Asian samples.

Haplogroup J2a-M410, who belonged to the agricultural innovators who followed the rainfall, has been proposed that was linked to populations on ancient Crete by examining the relationship between Anatolian, Cretan, and Greek populations from around early Neolithic sites. In India it is largely confined to the upper castes with little occurrence in the middle and lower castes and is completely absent from south Indian tribes and middle and lower castes.

Haplogroup J2b-M12 was associated with Neolithic Greece (ca. 8500 – 4300 BCE) and was reported to be found in modern Crete (3.1%) and mainland Greece (Macedonia 7.0%, Thessaly 8.8%, Argolis 1.8%).

Sephardic Jews have about 29% of haplogroup J2 and Ashkenazi Jews have 23%, or 19%. It has been reported that a sample of Italian Cohens belong to Network 1.2, a group of Y chromosomes characterized by a value of the DYS413 marker less or equal to 18. This deletion has been placed in the J2a-M410 clade. However, other Jewish Cohens belong to haplogroup J1 (see Cohen modal haplotype).

Haplotype R1b, with DYS393=12, has been referenced in the literature as Haplotype 35, or ht35. They can be found in high numbers in Southeastern Europe and Western Asia. The members of this haplotype are thought to be descended from early R1b’s who found shelter in Anatolia during the Last Glacial Maximum instead of in Iberia. Descendants can be found in high numbers in the Armenian Highland and Armenia with smaller numbers throughout the Middle East, in Jewish populations, in Southeastern Europe, and in the Caucasus Mountains. There is also a sizable pocket of ht35 in Uyghur populations in western China, which is theorized to be a remnant of the Tocharians, an Indo-European speaking people that inhabited the Tarim Basin in Central Asia until later being absorbed by various Turkic peoples. Ht35 is also present in Britain in areas that were found to have a high concentration of Haplogroup J, suggesting they arrived together, most likely with the arrival of Roman soldiers.

The haplogroup is the most frequent in the Caucasus (found at over 60% in ethnic North Ossetian males and around 30% in Georgian males). Kabardinian people, of northwestern Caucasus, are known to be 29% G. Armenians are known to have around 11% of their males in HgG. G2’s are not Indo-European. They are very ancient Caucasians. Their language family was independent from all other language families. Hattis were likely related to Etruscans. Not to be confused by Hittites, Hattis were not Indo-European. They were likely Anatolian. The haplogroup G2 is seen in Uyghur Turks at 5%, Anatolian Turks at 11%, heavily concentrated on the Black Sea part, and Etruscan Tuscany people in Italy at around 15%. Uyghurs, related to the ancestors of today’s Turkey’s Turks, are a mix of European and Asian genes, almost 60 European-40% Asian.

We found traces of recent Near Eastern gene flow still present in Tuscany, especially in the archaeologically important village of Murlo. The samples from Tuscany show eastern haplogroups E3b1-M78, G2*-P15, J2a1b*-M67 and K2-M70 with frequencies very similar to those observed in Turkey and surrounding areas, but significantly different from those of neighbouring Italian regions. The microsatellite haplotypes associated to these haplogroups allow inference of ancestor lineages for Etruria and Near East whose time to the most recent common ancestors is relatively recent (about 3,500 years BP) and supports a possible non autochthonous post-Neolithic signal associated with the Etruscans.

Not only the modern Genetics prove that but even good old biological anthropologists and archaeologists had figured that out. Etruscans descend from Minor Asia because he found Urartian-like artifacts inside the tombs of the elit of the Etruscans along with similar burial customs. It is well known that Etruscan language descends from the Northwestern Caucasian linguistic group, the so called Circasian. It is descended from the Diakonof’s Alarodian family of Urarto-Hurrian languages (Hurrian and Urartian are so closely related that they were either one language or at least two extremely similar languages in the past). Some others say that it is descended from the Northeastern Caucasian group (the so called Dagestani). Anyway both groups are very similar and quite different from the Southern Caucasian linguistic group (the Cartvelian, the group from which the Hattians occured) at which Georgians constitute the greatest nation in numbers.

The Hurrians had expanded in Northern Syria, Caucasus, Zagros (where in addition with other tribes formed the Mittani and the Kassites) and when the original Hittites (the Nesites of Kanesh) were weakened due to internal political strife, the Hurrians took the opportunity and entered Minor Asia. That’s why we have Later Hittite royal names of Hurrian origin, like Urshi-Teshub, taking over. Only latter with the Kingdom of Kizzuwatna and the Luwians coming to power were the Hurrians pushed south and southwestern to the Aegean and the Mediterranean shores of Anatolia, where they created people of mixed origin like the Cilicians, the Lycians, the Pisidians, the Sidites etc. by merging with the Luwian original stock that was settled there.

After the Greeks sacked Troy, new peoples entered Anatolia from the West. These where the Phrygians and proto Armenians, both Indoeuropean (as the Luwians were too). That forced Hurrians and the other neighboring peoples to evacuate their lands and to become thieves, pirates and to give birth to the phenomenon of the Sea Peoples who traveled across all Mediterranean and reached even to Italy. There they conquered Proto Italian tribes and formed the Villanova culture. That culture gave birth to the nation of Etruscans who in later times was separated in northern and southern Etruscans. The southern were destroyed by Roman conquest, but the northern still survive (racially speaking) in Raetia, a canton of Switzerland, where they speak the Raetoromanic language, a mix of some Etruscan with Latin. For example they have the word Zinake and the Etruscans had it too (it’s the equivalent of Tinake in Hurrian). They also have words with Etruscan suffixes even nowadays.

The discovery of a sophisticated city with monumental architecture, plumbing, stonework, and a large population contradicts the idea that Hurrians were a roving mountain people in a strange land. Far from being yet another rough nomadic tribe, such as the Amorites or Kassites who were latecomers to the Mesopotamian party, the Hurrians and their unique language, music, deities, and rituals may have played a key role in shaping the first cities, empires, and states. The language has died, the music faded, and the rituals are forgotten. But thanks to the sculptors, stone masons, and seal carvers at Urkesh, Hurrian creativity can shine once again.

That idea is at odds with a long-held belief among scholars that the Hurrians arrived much later from the Caucasus or some other distant region to the northeast, drawn to the fringes of civilization after the rise of the great southern Sumerian centers of Ur, Uruk, and Nippur. Scholars long assumed that the Hurrians arrived in the middle of the third millennium B.C., and eventually settled down and adopted cuneiform as a script and built their own cities. That theory is based on linguistic associations with Caucasus’ languages and the fact that Hurrian names are absent from the historical record until Akkadian times.

The haplogroups G and J, representing the peoples of the Middle East. The high mountains blocked progress of the glaciers that were covering most of Europe and Asia, allowing a refuge for humans and animals. Haplogroup G is still common in the Caucasus region (including Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan) and in the neighboring Near East. Men expanding out of the Near East carried G across much of southern Europe and northern Africa. A separate, smaller migration carried G eastward, where it is seen in low frequencies in groups as far east as China.

Alternatively, the haplogroup arose on the southwestern slopes of the Himalayas, such as Kashmir, which better explains its presence in south, southeastern, central and southwestern Asia. It is known the Indo-European Scythian people originated in central Asia; the ancestors of the Ossetians moved to the Caucasus after the Mongol advance.

Regardless of origin, whether on the northern edge of the Middle East or its far eastern edge, due to its genesis in southern Asia and its relatively great time depth, the members carrying this haplogroup were incorporated into many ancient ethnic groups in the greater region, from proto-Indo-Europeans north of the Middle East on the Russian steppes, to Semitic language speakers to Dravidian speakers and likely Babylonians as well. As further genetic testing of archeological remains continues, the history of haplogroup G will be known with more detail in the future.

Kura Araxes culture, developing out of the Shulaveri Shomu culture and contemporary with the Maykop culture, is the next step before the Yamna and Catacombe culture are all recognizerd as having haplogroup G. The initial distribution of haplogroup G in Europe may reflect a migration of agriculture-bringing Anatolian people into the Mediterranean Basin. Armenians are known to have around 11% of their males in HgG. The presence of haplogroups I, J and G in the population Finistérienne witnesses the migration of people from the Indo-European cradle to Western Europe.

A genetic study based on modern male Anatolian y-chromosome DNA has revealed gene flow from multiple geographic origins which may correspond to various migrations over time. The predominant male lineages of Anatolian males are shared with European and neighboring Near Eastern populations (94.1%). Lineages related to Central Asia, India, and Africa were far less prevalent among the males sampled. No specific lineage was determined or identified as “Hittite”, however the y-chromosome haplogroup G-M201 was implied to have a possible association with the Hattians.

Kurdish languages belong to the Iranian branch of the Indo-European language family. What is the genetic relationship between Indo-European speaking Kurdish groups and other West Asian Indo-European and non-Indo-European speaking groups? For both mtDNA and the Y-chromosome, all Kurdish groups are more similar to West Asians than to Central Asian, Caucasian, or European groups, and these differences are significant in most cases. However, for mtDNA, Kurdish groups are all most similar to European groups (after West Asians), whereas for the Y-chromosome Kurds are more similar to Caucasians and Central Asians (after West Asians) than to Europeans.

It has been suggested that some Near Eastern mtDNA haplotypes, among them Kurdish ones from east Turkey, presumably originated in Europe and were associated with back-migrations from Europe to the Near East, which may explain the close relationship of Kurdish and European groups with respect to mtDNA. Subsequent migrations involving the Caucasus and Central Asia, that were largely male-mediated, could explain the closer relationship of Kurdish Y-chromosomes to Caucasian/Central Asian Y-chromosomes than to European Y-chromosomes. Kurds migrated into the Caucasus at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries from Turkey and/or Iran.

When compared with published data from other Kurdish groups and from European, Caucasian, and West and Central Asian groups, Kurdish groups are most similar genetically to other West Asian groups, and most distant from Central Asian groups, for both mtDNA and the Y-chromosome. However, Kurdish groups show a closer relationship with European groups than with Caucasian groups based on mtDNA, but the opposite based on the Y-chromosome, indicating some differences in their maternal and paternal histories. The genetic data indicate that the Georgian Kurdish group experienced a bottleneck effect during their migration to the Caucasus, and that they have not had detectable admixture with their geographic neighbours in Georgia. Our results also do not support the hypothesis of the origin of the Zazaki speaking group being in northern Iran; genetically they are more similar to other Kurdish groups.

The Hurrians, inhabiting largely the area of modern Kurdistan, spread widely to many parts of the Ancient Near East long before the second millennium BC. The area later occupied by Hurrians was the centre of the Chalcolithic Halaf culture, and Hurrians are thought to have also been the Khirbet Kerak culture of Syro-Palestine. However, in most parts the Hurrians made up only a minority of the population. A Hurrian population majority existed only in the Khabur River Valley and in the kingdom of Arrapha. By the first millennium BC the Hurrians had been assimilated with other peoples, except perhaps in the kingdom of Urartu. It was generally believed that they came from the Armenian Mountains.

Most Indo-Europeanists’ estimates of dating PIE lie between 4500 and 2500 BC: It is unlikely that late PIE (even after the separation of the Anatolian branch) post-dates 2500 BC, since Proto-Indo-Iranian is usually dated to just before 2000 BC. On the other hand, it is not very likely that early PIE predates 4500 BC, because the reconstructed vocabulary strongly suggests a culture spanning the Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age, perhaps with knowledge of the wheel, metalworking and the domestication of the horse. This conflicts with the early Neolithic (8th millennium) date of Gray and Atkinson, which, even if accepted, loses significance in distinguishing between the Anatolian and the Kurgan model with Renfrew’s 2003 revision postulating a secondary Urheimat in 5000 BC, not 7000 BC.

Early separation (5000 BC) of “Northwestern IE” (Germanic, Celtic and Italic, compare Alteuropäisch) from “Balkan PIE” (Graeco-Aryan-Balto-Slavic) postulates 1500 years of common evolution of Graeco-Aryan-Balto-Slavic after separation from the Northwestern dialects. This is incompatible with the Kurgan topology of the Indo-European family tree, and with mainstream linguistics which places Balto-Slavic no closer to Indo-Iranian than to Germanic or Italic.

Reconstructions of a Bronze Age PIE society based on vocabulary items like “wheel” do not necessarily hold for the Anatolian branch, which is more frequently admitted to have possibly separated in the Chalcolithic. In Renfrew’s revised 2003 scheme, thus, the “wheel” or “horse” criticism applies only to the “Northwestern IE”/”Balkan PIE”/”Early Steppe PIE” split at 5000 BC. Renfrew’s revised “Indo-Hittite” scenario has thus approached the Kurgan model at least in terms of time depth, with a split of “PIE proper” in 5000 BC, essentially proposing a time frame of the order of one millennium earlier than that of the mainstream view, as opposed to four millennia in earlier versions.

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