Cradle of Civilization

A Blog about the Birth of Our Civilisation and Development

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  • The Fertile Crescent

    The Fertile Crescent is a term for an old fertile area north, east and west of the Arabian Desert in Southwest Asia. The Mesopotamian valley and the Nile valley fall under this term even though the mountain zone around Mesopotamia is the natural zone for the transition in a historical sense.

    As a result of a number of unique geographical factors the Fertile Crescent have an impressive history of early human agricultural activity and culture. Besides the numerous archaeological sites with remains of skeletons and cultural relics the area is known primarily for its excavation sites linked to agricultural origins and development of the Neolithic era.

    It was here, in the forested mountain slopes of the periphery of this area, that agriculture originated in an ecologically restricted environment. The western zone and areas around the upper Euphrates gave growth to the first known Neolithic farming communities with small, round houses , also referred to as Pre Pottery Neolithic A (PPNA) cultures, which dates to just after 10,000 BC and include areas such as Jericho, the world’s oldest city.

    During the subsequent PPNB from 9000 BC these communities developed into larger villages with farming and animal husbandry as the main source of livelihood, with settlement in the two-story, rectangular house. Man now entered in symbiosis with grain and livestock species, with no opportunity to return to hunter – gatherer societies.

    The area west and north of the plains of the Euphrates and Tigris also saw the emergence of early complex societies in the much later Bronze Age (about 4000 BC). There is evidence of written culture and early state formation in this northern steppe area, although the written formation of the states relatively quickly shifted its center of gravity into the Mesopotamian valley and developed there. The area is therefore in very many writers been named “The Cradle of Civilization.”

    The area has experienced a series of upheavals and new formation of states. When Turkey was formed in the aftermath of the genocide against the Pontic Greeks, Armenians and Assyrians perpetrated by the Young Turks during the First World War it is estimated that two-thirds to three-quarters of all Armenians and Assyrians in the region died, and the Pontic Greeks was pushed to Greece.

    Israel was created out of the Ottoman Empire and the conquering of the Palestinian terretories. The existence of large Arab nation states from the Maghreb to the Levant has since represented a potential threat to Israel which should be neutralised when opportunities arise.

    This line of thinking was at the heart of David Ben Gurion’s policies in the 1950s which sought to exacerbate tensions between Christians and Muslims in the Lebanon for the fruits of acquiring regional influence by the dismembering the country and the possible acquisition of additional territory.

    The Christians are now being systematically targeted for genocide in Syria according to Vatican and other sources with contacts on the ground among the besieged Christian community.

    According to reports by the Vatican’s Fides News Agency collected by the Centre for the Study of Interventionism, the US-backed Free Syrian Army rebels and ever more radical spin-off factions are sacking Christian churches, shooting Christians dead in the street, broadcasting ultimatums that all Christians must be cleansed from the rebel-held villages, and even shooting priests.

    It is now time that the genocide against the Pontic Greeks, Assyrians and Armenians is being recognized, that the Israeli occupation, settlements and violence against the Palestinians stop, and that the various minorities in the area start to live their lifes in peace – without violence and threats from majority populations, or from the West, and then specificially from the US.

    War in the Fertile Crescent

    Everyone is free to use the text on this blog as they want. There is no copyright etc. This because knowledge is more important than rules and regulations.

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Archive for May, 2013

Armens and Kurds – Let’s Cooperate :-) The Kurdish Flag

Posted by Sjur Cappelen Papazian on May 30, 2013

File:Armenia between russian and ottoman empires.png

File:Armenia in Paris Peace Conferance 1919.jpg

Armenia in Paris Peace Conferance 1919

File:United Armenia .png

United Armenia

Det kurdiske flag som av kurderne selv blitt kalt Alay Kurdistan, Alaya Kurdistanê, eller Alaya Rengin “Det fargerike Flag”, dukket først gang opp i forbindelse med den kurdiske uavhengighedsbevegelse fra det Osmanniske Rige. Hvis kilderne nærstuderes så tildeles æren faktisk organisationen av Xoybûn (Khoyboon), da man mener, de står bak skapelsen av flaget i 1900-tallet.

Senere hen i historien ble flaget presenteret for medlemmerne av den internationale delegation ved Fredskonferencen i Paris, der hadde uttenkt en plan for kurdisk uavhengighet som en del av serves traktaten med osmanniske Tyrkiet i 1920. Under samme flag anonserte Khoyboun dannelsen av den første “kurdiske eksilregjering” i 1927 og kjempet en langtrukken krig inntil 1932 med det formål at gjennoppleve den kurdiske nationale uavhængighet.

I 1946 ble etableringen av Republikken Kurdistan i Mehabad til, og det gamle “solskins flag” ble vedtatt av parlamentet som det officielle flag for republikken. Etter ovennevnte historiske begivenheter, er det nationale flag blitt vedtatt i Kurdistan og er blitt brukt av forskellige kurdiske bevegelser og enheter i alle sektorer i landet.

Enhver nation eller befolkningsgruppe har et flag for at signalere landets styrker eller symbolisere hva en befolkning står for, men hvorfor indeholder det kurdiske flag de farger som det gør og hvordan skal man forstå flaget?

Det kurdiske flag er et av de mest farvgerikee flag i verden, men det er ikke uten grunnn, for hver farge har en betydning. Den røde farge symboliserer de kurdiske martyrers blod og den fortsatte kamp for frihet og verdighet og den hvite farge betyr, at fred og likhet er hensikten med våres kamp. Dertil har flaget den grønne farge som viser den stolthet kurderne har over landskapet i Kurdistan.

Sist, men ikke minst, så skal den gule farge utstråle livets kilde og folkets lys. Det vigtigste kurdiske karakteristisk for flaget er den brendende sol i midten, som er en gammel religiøs og kulturel symbol blandt kurdere og synonym med ild i Zoroastranisme visdommen. Solen har 21 stråler, som er like i størrelse og form. Tallet 21 holder betydning i de gamle Ezidi religiøse tradisjoner hos kurderne.


The Flag of Kurdistan (Kurdish: Alay Kurdistan or Alaya Kurdistanê, also called Alaya Rengîn “The Colorful Flag”) first appeared during the Kurdish independence movement from the Ottoman Empire. It is said to have been created in the 1900s by the organisation of Xoybûn, or Khoyboun, (full name: Xoybûn – Ciwata Serxwebuna Kurd) meaning oneself/being oneself in Kurdish language.

Xoybûn (founded by Kurds and Armenians) was a Kurdish nationalist organization that is known for being the chief instigator and leading the Ararat rebellion commanded by General Ihsan Nuri Pasha, a former officer in the Ottoman and Turkish armies.

The organization was founded by Memduh Selim and his colleagues with the involvement of former members of Kurdish nationalist organisations like Kürdistan Teali Cemiyeti, Kürt Teşkilat-ı İçtimaiye Cemiyeti, Kürt Millet Fırkası, Comite de Independence Kurde, together with Kurdish intellectuals who took refuge in Iraq, Iran and Syria at the house of Vahan Papazian, who was a member of the central committee of Dashnaktsutyun on October 5, 1927, in Greater Lebanon.

Vahan Papazyan was one of the principal members of Dashnaktsutyun and the representative of Democratic Republic of Armenia at Paris Peace Conference in 1919. During the Paris Peace Conference of 1919, the representative of the Ottoman Armenians, Boghos Nubar Pasha and the representative of the Armenian Republic, Avetis Aharonian put forward territorial claims against the Ottoman Empire and provided information regarding the Armenian population.

The organization was established with the help of former members of Dashnaktsutyun The Armenian Revolutionary Federation – Dashnaktsutyun (ARF-D), also known as Armenian Socialist Party, is an Armenian left-wing nationalist party founded in Tiflis, Russian Empire (now Tbilisi, Georgia) in 1890 by Christapor Mikaelian, Stepan Zorian, and Simon Zavarian.

Xoybûn under the leadership of Celadet Alî Bedirxan, Kamuran Alî Bedirxan, Ekrem Cemilpaşa, Memdûh Selîm and others, decided to promote Ihsan Nuri, to general (pasha) and sent him to Erzurum with 20 comrades. They published a newspaper named Aigrî.

The central committee of Xoybûn appointed Ibrahim Haski, who was one of the chieftains of Jalali tribe, to the governorship of Agirî Province and Ihsan Nuri to the post of general commander of the Kurdish Armed Forces. Xoybûn also made appeals to the Great Powers and the League of Nations.

The House of Hasan-Jalalyan was an Armenian dynasty that ruled the region of Khachen (Greater Artsakh) from 1214 onwards in what are now the regions of lower Karabakh, Nagorno-Karabakh and small part of Syunik. It was named after Hasan-Jalal Dawla, an Armenian feudal prince from Khachen. Much of Hasan-Jalal Dawla’s family roots were entrenched in an intricate array of royal marriages with new and old Armenian nakharar families.

Hasan-Jalal traced his descent to the Armenian Arranshahik dynasty, a family that predated the establishment of the Parthian Arsacids in the region. Hasan-Jalal’s ancestry was “almost exclusively” Armenian according to historian Robert H. Hewsen, a professor at Rowan University and an expert on the history of the Caucasus.

The Hasan-Jalalyan family was able to maintain its autonomy throughout several centuries of foreign domination of the region by Seljuk Turks, Persians and Mongols as they, as well as the other Armenian princes and meliks of Khachen, saw themselves of holding the last bastion of Armenian independence in the region.

Through their many patronages of churches and other monuments, the Hasan-Jalalyans helped cultivate Armenian culture throughout the region. By the late 16th century, the Hasan-Jalalyan family had branched out to establish melikdoms in Gulistan and Jraberd, making them, along with Khachen, Varanda and Dizak, a part of what was then known as the “Melikdoms of Khamsa.”

In the course of the period from the 17th century to the early 19th century, the Jalalyan house also proliferated in the establishment of several other Armenian noble houses, including the Melik-Atabekyan family, who became the last rulers of the principality of Jraberd. Allahverdi II Hasan-Jalalyan, who was to die in 1813, was the final melik of Khachen when the Russian Empire first entered the region in 1805 during the Russo-Persian War of 1804-1813. In 1828, following the end of the second Russo-Persian War, the Russians finally dissolved the office of Catholicos.

In October 1927, Kurd Ava or Kurdava, a village near Mount Ararat was designated as the provisional capital of Kurdistan. Xoybûn made appeals to the Great Powers and the League of Nations, and also sent messages to other Kurds in Iraq and Syria to ask for co-operation.

The Republic of Ararat or Kurdish Republic of Ararat located in eastern Turkey, being centered on Karaköse Province, declared during a wave of rebellion among Kurds in southeastern Turkey its independence by the central committee of Xoybûn party on October 28, 1927, but were subsequently put down by Turkish forces in 1931. Agirî is the Kurdish name for Ararat.

An earlier version of this flag was flown by the break-away Republic of Ararat in Turkey during the period 1927-1931. A similar flag was later used by the Soviet-backed Kurdish Republic known as the Republic of Mahabad in 1946. It is currently used as the official flag of the autonomous Kurdistan Region in Iraq which is under control of the Kurdistan Regional Government. The flag is banned in Turkey, Iran and Syria.

The main Kurdish characteristic of the flag is the blazing golden sun emblem at the center, which is an ancient religious and cultural symbol among the Kurds and synonymous with fire in representing wisdom in Zoroastrianism. The sun disk of the emblem has 21 rays, equal in size and shape. The number 21 holds importance in the ancient Ezidi religious traditions of the Kurds.

The symbolism of the colors are:

  • Red symbolizes the blood of martyrs of Kurdistan and the continued struggle for the freedom and dignity for Kurdistan and its people.
  • Green expresses the beauty and the landscapes of Kurdistan.
  • White expresses peace and equality.
  • Yellow represents the source of life and light of the people.

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Posted by Sjur Cappelen Papazian on May 29, 2013


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The Armenian Elements in the Language and Onomastics of Urartu

Posted by Sjur Cappelen Papazian on May 29, 2013

Several scholars tried to identify the linguistic traces of the Armenian ethnic element in Ancient Near East. The most significant are G.Djahukian’s works, where hesystematically examines the borrowings of Armenian from ancient cuneiform languages,shows that it is possible for some cuneiform languages to have borrowings from earliest (Proto-) Armenian and that numerous ancient names of the Armenian Highland and adjacent regions can be etymologized in Armenian. Furthermore, important are the examples and arguments adduced by I.Diakonoff as he as no other was familiar with the ancient cultures and languages of the region.

The following question is essential: were there speakers of the earliest Armenian language in the Armenian Highland in the pre-Urartian period (i.e. before the mid-9th century BC) or did they appear there during the existence or after the fall of Urartu? If we show that there is at least one borrowing in Urartian from Armenian and that some place and personal names mentioned in the Urartian sources have Armenian origins then we can say that Armenian was spoken along with Urartian in the Armenian Highland.

These words and names may substantiate the presence of the earliest Armenians in the Armenian Highland, particularly in the area of the upper streams of Arsania, north of Lake Van, the domain of the legendary forefather of the Armenians Hayk, aswell as to the south, west and north of it before the formation of the Urartian Empire. Toponyms, especially hydronyms, present the earliest strata of languages, and might have existed many centuries before their first attestations. This grounds the quest for the Armenian elements in the scattered names of the Highland and the adjacent regions attested in pre-Urartian (e.g. Assyrian, Hittite, etc) sources.

The Armenian Elements in the Language and Onomastics of Urartu

Traces of the Armenian ethnic element in Ancient Near East

The name Armenia enters English via Latin, from Ancient Greek. The Armenian endonym for the Armenian people and country is hayer and hayk’, respectively. The exact etymology of the name is unknown, and there are various speculative attempts to connect it to older toponyms or ethnonyms. Hayk, or Hayg, also known as Haik Nahapet (Hayk the Tribal Chief) is the legendary patriarch and founder of the Armenian nation.

Hayasa-Azzi or Azzi-Hayasa was a Late Bronze Age confederation formed between two kingdoms of Anatolia, Hayasa located South of Trabzon and Azzi, located North of the Euphrates and to the South of Hayasa. The Hayasa-Azzi confederation were in conflict with the Hittite Empire in the 14th century BC, leading up to the collapse of Hatti around 1290 BC.

The similarity of the name Hayasa to the endonym of the Armenians, Hayk or Hay and the Armenian name for Armenia, Hayastan has prompted the suggestion that the Hayasa-Azzi confereration was involved in the Armenian ethnogenesis. The term Hayastan bears resemblance to the ancient Mesopotamian god Haya (ha-ià) and another western deity called Ebla Hayya, related to the god Ea (Enki or Enkil in Sumerian, Ea in Akkadian and Babylonian).

Thus, the Great Soviet Encyclopedia of 1962 posited that the Armenians derive from a migration of Hayasa into Shupria in the 12th century BC. This is open to objection due to the possibility of a mere coincidental similarity between the two names and the lack of geographic overlap, although Hayasa (the region) became known as Lesser Armenia (Pokr Hayastan in modern Armenian) in coming centuries.

The mentioning of the name Armenian can only be securely dated to the 6th century BC with the Orontid kings and very little is known specifically about the people of Azzi-Hayasa per se. The most recent edition of Encyclopædia Britannica does not include any articles on Hayasa or Azzi-Hayasa likely due to the paucity of historical documentation about this kingdom’s people. Brittanica’s article on the Armenians confirms that they were descendents of a branch of the Indo-European peoples but makes no assertion that they formed any portion of the population of Azzi-Hayasa.

Some historians find it sound to theorize that after the Phrygian invasion of Hittites, the theoretically named Armeno-Phrygians would have settled in Hayasa-Azzi, and merged with the local people, who were possibly already spread within the western regions of Urartu. After the fall of the latter, and the rise of the Kingdom of Armenia under the Artaxiad dynasty, Hayasan nobility (given they were truly Armenian) would have assumed control of the region and the people would have adopted their language to complete the amalgamation of the proto-Armenians, giving birth to the nation of Armenia as we know it today.

The Georgian and Russian professors, T. V. Gamkrelidze and V. V. Ivanov mention the Armenian leader Hayk combined with Hayasa, strongly resembling the Hyksos, a mixed people from West Asia who took over the eastern Nile Delta, ending the thirteenth dynasty, and initiating the Second Intermediate Period of Ancient Egypt.

The Hyksos first appeared in Egypt c.1800 BC, during the eleventh dynasty, and began their climb to power in the thirteenth dynasty, coming out of the second intermediate period in control of Avaris and the Delta. By the fifteenth dynasty, they ruled Lower Egypt, and at the end of the seventeenth dynasty, they were expelled (c.1560 BC).

The Hyksos practiced horse burials, and their chief deity “BAAL” who became associated with the Egyptian storm and desert god, Seth, whom they identified with their native storm god. Although most Hyksos names seem Semitic, the Hyksos also included Hurrians, who, while speaking an isolated language, were under the rule and influence of Indo-Europeans.

The Hyksos brought several technical improvements to Egypt, as well as cultural impulses such as new musical instruments and foreign loan words. The changes introduced include new techniques of bronze working and pottery, new breeds of animals, and new crops. In warfare, they introduced the horse and chariot, the composite bow, improved battle axes, and advanced fortification techniques.

The Kura–Araxes culture, or the early trans-Caucasian culture, was a civilization that existed from 3400 BC until about 2000 BC, which has traditionally been regarded as the date of its end, but it may have disappeared as early as 2600 or 2700 BC. The earliest evidence for this culture is found on the Ararat plain; thence it spread to Georgia by 3000 BC (but never reaching Colchis), and during the next millennium it proceeded westward to the Erzurum plain, southwest to Cilicia, and to the southeast into an area below the Urmia basin and Lake Van, and finally down to the borders of present day Syria. Altogether, the early Trans-Caucasian culture, at its greatest spread, enveloped a vast area approximately 1,000 km by 500 km.

The name of the culture is derived from the Kura and Araxes river valleys. Its territory corresponds to parts of modern Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Chechnya, Dagestan, Ingushetia and North Ossetia. It may have given rise to the later Khirbet Kerak ware culture found in Syria and Canaan after the fall of the Akkadian Empire.

Hurrian and Urartian elements are quite probable, as are Northeast Caucasian ones. Some authors subsume Hurrians and Urartians under Northeast Caucasian as well as part of the Alarodian theory. The presence of Kartvelian languages was also highly probable. Influences of Semitic languages and Indo-European languages are also highly possible, though the presence of the languages on the lands of the Kura–Araxes culture is more controversial.

In its earliest phase, metal was scant, but it would later display “a precocious metallurgical development which strongly influenced surrounding regions”. They worked copper, arsenic, silver, gold, tin, and bronze. Their metal goods were widely distributed, recorded in the Volga, Dnieper and Don-Donets systems in the north, into Syria and Palestine in the south, and west into Anatolia.

They are also remarkable for the production of wheeled vehicles (wagons and carts), which were sometimes included in burial kurgans. Inhumation practices are mixed. Flat graves are found, but so are substantial kurgan burials, the latter of which may be surrounded by cromlechs. This points to a heterogeneous ethno-linguistic population.

Their pottery was distinctive; in fact, the spread of their pottery along trade routes into surrounding cultures was much more impressive than any of their achievements domestically. It was painted black and red, using geometric designs for ornamentation. Examples have been found as far south as Syria and Israel, and as far north as Dagestan and Chechnya.

The spread of this pottery, along with archaeological evidence of invasions, suggests that the Kura-Araxes people may have spread outward from their original homes, and most certainly, had extensive trade contacts. Jaimoukha believes that its southern expanse is attributable primarily to Mitanni and the Hurrians.

It has been suggested by early 20th century Armenologists that Old Persian Armina and the Greek Armenoi are continuations of an Assyrian toponym Armânum or Armanî. There are certain Bronze Age records identified with the toponym in both Mesopotamian and Egyptian sources. The earliest is from an inscription which mentions Armânum together with Ibla (Ebla) as territories conquered by Naram-Sin of Akkad in ca. 2250 BC.

Another mention by pharaoh Thutmose III of Egypt in the 33rd year of his reign (1446 BC) as the people of Ermenen, and says in their land “heaven rests upon its four pillars”.

Some theonyms, proper names and other terminology of the Mitanni are considered to form (part of) an Indo-Aryan superstrate, suggesting that an Indo-Aryan elite imposed itself over the Hurrian population in the course of the Indo-Aryan expansion. In a treaty between the Hittites and the Mitanni (between Suppiluliuma and Shattiwaza, ca. 1380 BC), the deities Mitra, Varuna, Indra, and Nasatya (Ashvins) are invoked.

The ethnicity of the people of Mitanni is difficult to ascertain. A treatise on the training of chariot horses by Kikkuli contains a number of Indo-Aryan glosses. Kammenhuber (1968) suggested that this vocabulary was derived from the still undivided Indo-Iranian language, but Mayrhofer (1974) has shown that specifically Indo-Aryan features are present.

Maryannu is an ancient word for the caste of chariot-mounted hereditary warrior nobility which dominated many of the societies of the Middle East during the Bronze Age. The term is attested in the Amarna letters written by Haapi. Robert Drews writes that the name ‘maryannu’ although plural takes the singular ‘marya’, which in Sanskrit means young warrior, and attaches a Hurrian suffix.(Drews:p. 59) He suggests that at the beginning of the Late Bronze Age most would have spoken either Hurrian or Aryan but by the end of the 14th century most of the Levant maryannu had Semitic names.

“This kingdom was known as the Maryannu, Nahrin or Mitanni to the Egyptians, Hurri to the Hittites and Hanigalbat to the Assyrians. All three names were equivalent and interchangeable”, asserted Michael C. Astour. Hittite annals mention a people called Hurri (Ḫu-ur-ri), located in northeastern Syria. A Hittite fragment, probably from the time of Mursili I, mentions a “King of the Hurri”, or “Hurrians”. The Assyro-Akkadian version of the text renders “Hurri” as Hanigalbat. Tushratta, who styles himself “king of Mitanni” in his Akkadian Amarna letters, refers to his kingdom as Hanigalbat.

Egyptian sources call Mitanni “nhrn”, which is usually pronounced as Naharin/Naharina from the Assyro-Akkadian word for “river”, cf. Aram-Naharaim. The name Mitanni is first found in the “memoirs” of the Syrian wars (ca. 1480 BC) of the official astronomer and clockmaker Amememhet, who returned from the “foreign country called Me-ta-ni” at the time of Thutmose I. The expedition to the Naharina announced by Thutmosis I at the beginning of his reign may have actually taken place during the long previous reign of Amenhotep I Helck believes that this was the expedition mentioned by Amenhotep II.

The common people’s language, the Hurrian language, is neither Indo-European nor Semitic. Hurrian is related to Urartian, the language of Urartu, both belonging to the Hurro-Urartian language family.

Urartu (Armenian: Urartu, Assyrian: māt Urarṭu; Babylonian: Urashtu), corresponding to Kingdom of Ararat, or Kingdom of Van, (Urartian: Biai, Biainili;) was a prehistoric Iron Age Armenian kingdom centred around Lake Van in the Armenian Highlands. The kingdom’s native name was Biainili, also spelt Biaineli, (from which is derived the Armenian toponym “Van”), but prior to the 8th century BC, they also called their now united kingdom “Nairi”.

Strictly speaking, Urartu is the Assyrian term for a geographical region, while “kingdom of Urartu” or “Biainili lands” are terms used in modern historiography for the Iron Age state that arose in that region. That a distinction should be made between the geographical and the political entity was already pointed out by König (1955). The landscape corresponds to the mountainous plateau between Asia Minor, Mesopotamia, and the Caucasus mountains, later known as the Armenian Highlands. The kingdom rose to power in the mid-9th century BC, but was conquered by Media in the early 6th century BC.

In the early 6th century BC, the Urartian Kingdom was replaced by the Armenian Orontid dynasty. In the trilingual Behistun inscription, carved in 521/0 BC by the order of Darius the Great of Persia, the country referred to as Urartu in Assyrian is called Arminiya in Old Persian and Harminuia in Elamite. The name is connected to the Indo-European root Ar meaning “assemble/create” which is vastly used in names of or regarding the Sun, light, or fire, found in Ararat, Aryan, Arta etc.

Shupria (Shubria) or Arme-Shupria (Akkadian: Armani-Subartu from the 3rd millennium BC) was a Proto-Armenian kingdom, known from Assyrian sources beginning in the 13th century BC, located in the Armenian Highland, to the southwest of Lake Van, bordering on Ararat proper. Scholars have linked the district in the area called Arme or Armani, to the name Armenia.

Weidner interpreted textual evidence to indicate that after the Proto-Armenian (Hurrian) king Shattuara of Mitanni was defeated by Adad-nirari I of Assyria in the early 13th century BC, he then became ruler of a reduced vassal state known as Shubria or Subartu. The name Subartu (Sumerian: Shubur) for the region is attested much earlier, from the time of the earliest Mesopotamian records (mid 3rd millennium BC).

Together with Armani-Subartu (Hurri-Mitanni), Hayasa-Azzi and other Indo-European populations of the region such as the Nairi fell under Kingdom of Ararat rule in the 9th century BC, and their descendants (according to the Great Soviet Encyclopedia) later contributed to the ethnogenesis of the early Armenians.

The name has also been claimed as a variant of Urmani (or Urmenu), attested epigraphically in an inscription of Menuas of Urartu. However, many historians, such as Wayne Horowitz, identify Armanî which was conquered by Naram-Sin of Akkad, with the Syrian city of Aleppo.

Aleppo has scarcely been touched by archaeologists, since the modern city occupies its ancient site. The site has been occupied from around 5000 BC, as excavations in Tallet Alsauda show.

Aleppo appears in historical records as an important city much earlier than Damascus. The first record of Aleppo comes from the third millennium BC, when Aleppo was the capital of an independent kingdom closely related to Ebla, known as Armi to Ebla and Armani to the Akkadians. Giovanni Pettinato describes Armi as Ebla’s alter ego. Naram-Sin of Akkad destroyed both Ebla and Armani in the 23rd century BC.

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R1b and the Indo-European Languages

Posted by Sjur Cappelen Papazian on May 29, 2013

Men within haplogroup CT have Y chromosomes with the SNP mutation M168, along with P9.1 and M294. These mutations are present in all modern human male lines except A and B which are both found almost entirely in Africa. No male in haplogroup CT* has yet been discovered.

The most recent common male line ancestor (MRCA) of all CT men today probably pre-dated the “Out of Africa” migration of anatomically modern humans, a migration in which some of his descendants participated. He is therefore thought to have lived in Africa before this proposed migration.

In imitation of the concept of the more well-known “Y Chromosome Adam” (the most recent common male line ancestor (MRCA) of all living men) CT-M168 has been referred to in popularized accounts as being descended from a “Eurasian Adam”.

All known surviving descendant lineages of CT are in one of two major sub-clades, CF and DE. Both these appear to have arisen only a few thousand years after the original common ancestor of CT. In turn, DE is divided into an East Asian haplogroup D, and an African haplogroup E, while CF is divided into an East Asian, American, and Oceanian haplogroup C and an ubiquitous haplogroup F, which dominates most non-African populations.

Haplogroup CT is therefore the common ancestral male lineage of most men alive today, including most Africans, where haplogroup E is most common, and non Africans, where haplogroup F is dominant.

The Individualist: Haplogroups

Haplogroup R1b

Haplogroup R1b is defined by the presence of the single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) mutation M343, which was discovered in 2004. From 2002 to 2005, R1b was defined by the presence of SNP P25. Prior to 2002, today’s Haplogroup R1b had a number of names in differing nomenclature systems, such as Hg1 and Eu18.

In turn, while Western Europe is dominated by the R1b1b2 (R-M269) branch of R1b, the Chadic speaking area in Africa is dominated by the branch known as R1b1a, a subclade specific to sub-Saharan Africa. It is found in 60 to 95% amongst speakers of Chadic languages that are a branch of the Afroasiatic family. These represent two very successful “twigs” on a much bigger “family tree”.

Also prior to 2002, major Y DNA signatures based on markers other than SNPs were recognized. In Western Europe the STR haplotype known as the Atlantic Modal Haplotype was found to be most common by Wilson et al. Even earlier research using RFLP genotyping identified two distinct haplotypes within R-M269. In southeast Europe and southwest Asia (e.g. the Balkans, Georgia and Turkey) “haplotype 35” or “ht35” was found to be a common form of R-M269, whereas in western Europe “haplotype 15” or “ht15” dominated in frequency.

Haplogroup R1b is the most frequently occurring Y-chromosome haplogroup in Western Europe, reaching over 80% of the population in Ireland, the Scottish Highlands, western Wales, the Atlantic fringe of France and the Basque country. It is also present at lower frequencies throughout Eastern Europe, Western Asia, Central Asia, and parts of North Africa, and due to European emigration it also reaches high frequencies in the Americas and Australia.

Haplogroup R1b is also common in Anatolia and around the Caucasus, in parts of Russia and in Central and South Asia. Besides the Atlantic and North Sea coast of Europe, hotspots include the Po valley in north-central Italy (over 70%), the Ossetians of the North Caucasus (over 40%) and nearby Armenia (35%), the Bashkirs of the Urals region of Russia (50%), Turkmenistan (over 35%), the Hazara people of Afghanistan (35%), the Uyghurs of North-West China (20%) and the Newars of Nepal (11%).

Further information: Conversion table for Y chromosome haplogroups

Haplogroup R1b (Y-DNA)

Armenian Modal Haplotype

Distribution of haplogroup R1b-ht35 (L23, L11, L51 & Z2103) in Europe

Armenian Modal Haplotype, also known in the literature as Haplotype 35 (ht35), as opposed to the Western European ‘haplotype 15’, which comprises the Proto-Italo-Celtic P312/S116 and the Proto-Germanic U106/S21. It is associated with R1b1b2 characterized by DYS393=12.

This branch of R1b was the first that emerged from the Pontic Steppe. Greek and Anatolian branches of Indo-European people, including the Hittites, Lydians, Phrygians and Armenians, is included in the group. The Trojans also probably belonged to this group.

It includes R1b-L23/S141, its subclade L51/M412/S167, and its two subclades L11/S127/L151 (in central an northern Europe) and Z2103 (in Anatolia and Assyria). Altogether they are known as ‘haplotype 35’ (ht35)

Haplotype 35

Atlantic Modal Haplotype (AMH)

A common haplotype within R1b is sometimes called the Atlantic Modal Haplotype, or haplotype 15. The Atlantic Modal Haplotype (AMH) or haplotype 15 is a Y chromosome haplotype of Y-STR microsatellite variations, associated with the Haplogroup R1b. It was discovered prior to many of the SNPs now used to identify subclades of R1b and references to it can be found in some of the older literature. It corresponds most closely with subclade R1b1a2a1a(1) [L11].

The AMH is the most frequently occurring haplotype amongst human males in Atlantic Europe. It reaches the highest frequencies in the Iberian Peninsula, in Great Britain and Ireland. In the Iberian Peninsula it reaches 70% in Portugal as a whole, more than 90% in NW Portugal and nearly 90% in Galicia (NW Spain), while the highest value is to be found among Spain and the Basques.

One mutation in either direction, would be AMH 1.15+. The AMH 1.15 set of haplotypes is also referred to as the Atlantic Modal Cluster or AMC. It is characterized by the following marker alleles:

  • DYS388 12
  • DYS390 24
  • DYS391 11
  • DYS392 13
  • DYS393 13
  • DYS394 14 (also known as DYS19)

R1b Modal Haplotype. Ysearch 55GU9

R1b Modal Ysearch C7BED

R1b (NW Irish) Modal Ysearch M5UKQ


Atlantic Modal Haplotype

Origin of R1b

It was initially believed that R1b originated in western Europe where (considered as a whole, including subclades) it reaches its highest frequencies. However many geneticists now believe that R1b arose in Western Asia. Indeed, R1b’s variance increases as one moves east, leading to the view that R1b originated further east, and that M269 was carried as a rapidly expanding lineage from the Near East via Anatolia to the western fringe of Europe during the Neolithic.

R1b* (that is R1b with no subsequent mutations) is extremely rare. Examples have been found in Europe and Western Asia, for example two in a sample from Turkey. However it is possible that some or all examples represent a reversion of marker P25 from R1b1*. Most examples of R1b fall into its much more recent subclades.

In 2008 T. Karafet et al., based on the latest discoveries on polymorphisms, rearranged the human paternal phylogenetic tree by adding one new haplogroup and altering some of the estimated ages of previously known haplogroups, including the parent haplogroup to R1b, R1, now considered to have originated 18,500 BP.

Armenian Highland as a transition corridor for the spread of Neolithic agriculturists

The routes of Neolithic migrations from the Near East are presently intensively debated among scholars of various disciplines. Recent studies suggest that haplogroup R1b1a2-M269, which is the most common lineage in the European populations, was spread with first farmers via Anatolia to Europe during the Neolithic transition. These studies, however, did not include indigenous populations from the Armenian plateau, though it has played a key role in the ancient human migrations since early Paleolithic.

Y-chromosomal data collected in three Armenian geographic groups from eastern and western parts of the Armenian plateau, and comparative datasets of various European populations used to assess the genetic contribution of the region, shows that the frequency of haplogroup R1b1a2-M269 in eastern Armenian populations is higher compared with eastern European populations (including Anatolia) and lower than in Western Europe.

The rate of the variance and age of the R1b1a2-M269 is the highest in western Armenian population among all datasets considered, and that this haplogroup has been spread of north- and westward. In addition, there is a strong correlation between the genetic and geographic distances of the populations studied thus reflecting the directions of pre-Neolithic and Neolithic migrations from the Near East.

In conclusion, the southwestern area of Armenian Highland deserves to be more thoroughly examined as one of the principal transition regions for the spread of first agriculturists from Levant to Europe.

Armenian Highland as a transition corridor for the spread of Neolithic agriculturists

Anatolian or Caucasian origins?

The origins of R1b are not entirely clear to this day. Some of the oldest forms of R1b are found in the Near East and around the Caucasus. Haplogroup R1* and R2* might have originated in southern Central Asia (between the Caspian and the Hindu Kush). A branch of R1 would have developed into R1b* then R1b1* in the northern part of the Middle East during the Ice Age. It presumptively moved to northern Anatolia and across the Caucasus during the early Neolithic, where it became R1b1b. The Near Eastern leftovers evolved into R1b1a (M18), now found at low frequencies among the Lebanese and the Druze.The Phoenicians (who came from modern day Lebanon) spread this R1b1a and R1b1* to their colonies, notably Sardinia and the Maghreb.

The subclades R1b1b1 and R1b1b2 (the most common form in Europe) are closely associated with the spread of Indo-European languages, as attested by its presence in all regions of the world where Indo-European languages were spoken in ancient times, from the Atlantic coast of Europe to the Indian subcontinent, including almost all Europe (except Finland and Bosnia-Herzegovina), Anatolia, Armenia, Europan Russia, southern Siberia, many pockets around Central Asia (notably Xinjiang, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Afghanistan), without forgetting Iran, Pakistan, India and Nepal. The history of R1b and R1a are intricately connected to each others. Whereas R1b1 is found is such places as the Levant or Cameroon, R1b1b mostly likely originated in north-eastern Anatolia.

The North Caucasus and the Pontic-Caspian steppe : the Indo-European link

Modern linguists have placed the Proto-Indo-European homeland in the Pontic-Caspian steppe, a distinct geographic and archeological region extending from the Danube estuary to the Ural mountains to the east and North Caucasus to the south.

The Neolithic, Eneolithic and early Bronze Age cultures in Pontic-Caspian steppe has been called the Kurgan culture (Marija Gimbutas), due to the lasting practice of burying the deads under mounds (“kurgan”) among the succession of cultures in that region. Horses were first domesticated around 4000 BCE in the steppe, perhaps somewhere around the Don or the lower Volga, and soon became a defining element of steppe culture (7000-2200 BCE).

During the Bronze-age period, known as the Yamna horizon (3300-2500 BCE), the cattle and sheep herders adopted wagons to transport their food and tents, which allowed them to move deeper into the steppe, giving rise to a new mobile lifestyle that would eventually lead to the great Indo-European migrations.

The Pontic-Caspian steppe cultures can be divided in a western group, ranging from the Don River to the Dniester (and later Danube), and an eastern one, in the Volga-Ural region. The Pontic steppe was probably inhabited by men of mixed R1a and R1b lineages, with higher densities of R1b just north of the Caucasus, and more R1a in the the northern steppes and the forest-steppes.

R1b almost certainly crossed over from northern Anatolia to the Pontic-Caspian steppe. It is not clear whether this happened before, during or after the Neolithic. A regular flow of R1b across the Caucasus cannot be excluded either. The genetic diversity of R1b being greater around the Caucasus, it is hard to deny that R1b settled and evolved there before entering the steppe world.

Does that mean that Indo-European languages originated in the steppes with R1a people, and that R1b immigrants blended into the established culture, or that Proro-Indo-European language appear in northern Anatolia or in the Caucasus, then spread to the steppes with R1b? Or else did Proro-Indo-European first appear in the steppe as a hybrid language of Caucasian/Anatolian R1b and steppe R1a?

This question has no obvious answer, but based on the antiquity and archaic character of the Anatolian branch (Hittite, Palaic, Luwian, Lydian, and so on) an northern Anatolian origin of Proto-Indo-European is credible. Furthermore, there is documented evidence of loan words from Caucasian languages in Indo-European languages. This is much more likely to have happened if Proto-Indo-European developed near the Caucasus than in the distant steppes. R1b would consequently have been the spreading factor of PIE to the steppes, and from there to Europe, Central Asia and South Asia.

The Maykop culture, the R1b link to the steppe?

The Maykop culture (3700-2500 BCE), in the North Caucasus, was culturally speaking a sort of southern extension of the Yamna horizon. Although not generally considered part of the Pontic-Caspian steppe culture due to its geography, the North Caucasus had close links with the steppe, as attested by numerous ceramics, gold, copper and bronze weapons and jewelry in the contemporaneous cultures of Mikhaylovka, Sredny StogKemi Oba. The link between the North Pontic and North Caucasus is older than the Maykop period. Its predecessor, the Svobodnoe and culture (4400-3700 BCE), already had links to the Suvorovo-Novodanilovka and early Sredny Stog cultures, and the even older Nalchik settlement (5000-4500 BCE) displayed a similar culture as Khvalynsk on the Volga. This may be the period when R1b started interracting and blending with the R1a population of the steppes.

The Yamna and Maykop people both used kurgan burials, with their deads in a supine position with raised knees and oriented in a north-east/south-west axis. Graves were sparkled with red ochre on the floor, and sacrificed dometic animal buried alongside humans. They also had in common horse riding, wagons, a cattle- and sheep-based economy, the use of copper/bronze battle-axes (both hammer-axes and sleeved axes) and tanged daggers. In fact, the oldest wagons and bronze artefacts are found in the North Caucasus, and spread from there to the steppes.

Maykop was an advanced Bronze Age culture, actually one of the very first to develop metalworking, and therefore metal weapons. The world’s oldest sword was found at a late Maykop grave in Klady kurgan 31. Its style is reminiscent of the long Celtic swords, though less elaborated. Horse bones and depictions of horses already appear in early Maykop graves, suggesting that the Maykop culture might have been founded by steppe people or by people who had close link with them. However, the presence of cultural elements radically different from the steppe culture in some sites could mean that Maykop had a hybrid population. Without DNA testing it is impossible to say if these two populations were an Anatolian R1b group and a G2a Caucasian group, or whether R1a people had settled there two. The two or three etnicities might even have cohabited side by side in different settlements. Typical Caucasian Y-DNA lineages (such as G2a) do not follow the pattern of Indo-European migrations, so intermarriages must have been limited, or at least restricted to Indo-European men taking Caucasian wives rather than the other way round.

Maykop people are the ones credited for the introduction of primitive wheeled vehicles (wagons) from Mesopotamia to the steppes. This would revolutionise the way of life in the steppe, and would later lead to the development of (horse-drawn) war chariots around 2000 BCE. Cavalry and chariots played an vital role in the subsequent Indo-European migrations, allowing them to move quickly and defeat easily anybody they encountered. Combined with advanced bronze weapons and their sea-based culture, the western branch (R1b) of the Indo-Europeans from the Black Sea shores are excellent candidates for being the mysterious Sea Peoples, who raided the eastern shores of the Mediterranean during the second millennium BCE.

The rise of the IE-speaking Hittites in Central Anatolia happened a few centuries after the disappearance of the Maykop culture. A back migration from the North Caucasus to northern Anatolia is very likely in this age of expansion. What is certain is that the Hittites used chariots, invented in the Volga-Ural steppes. R1a being found a low frequencies in Armenia and northern Anatolia, it is not unreasonable to imagine that a hybrid group of R1a-R1b from the Volga-Ural region migrated to this region sometime between 2000 BCE and 1650 BCE.

The European branch

The Indo-Europeans’ bronze weapons and horses would have given them a tremendous advantage over the autochthonous inhabitants of Europe, namely the native haplogroup I (descendant of Cro-Magnon), and the early Neolithic herders and farmers (G2a, J2, E-V13 and T). This allowed R1a and R1b to replace (=> see How did R1b come to replace most of the older lineages in Western Europe ? most of the native male lineages, although female lineages seem to have been less affected.

A comparison with the Indo-Iranian invasion of South Asia shows that 40% of the male linages of northern India are R1a, but less than 10% of the female lineages could be of Indo-European origin. The impact of the Indo-Europeans was more severe in Europe because European society 4,000 years ago was less developed in terms of agriculture, technology (no bronze weapons) and population density than that of the Indus Valley civilization. This is particularly true of the native Western European cultures where farming arrived much later than in the Balkans or central Europe. Greece, the Balkans and the Carpathians were the most advanced of European societies at the time and were the least affected in terms of haplogroup replacement. Native European Y-DNA haplogroups (I1, I2a, I2b) also survived better in regions that were more difficult to reach or less hospitable, like Scandinavia, Brittany, Sardinia or the Dinaric Alps.

The first forrays of steppe people into the Balkans happened between 4200 BCE and 3900 BCE, when horse riders crossed the Dniester and Danube and apparently destroyed the towns of the Gumelnita, Varna and Karanovo VI cultures in Eastern Romania and Bulgaria. A climatic change resulting in colder winters during this exact period probably pushed steppe herders to seek milder pastures for their stock, while failed crops would have led to famine and internal disturbance within the Danubian and Balkanic communities. The ensuing Cernavoda culture (4000-3200 BCE) and Ezero culture (3300-2700 BCE) seems to have had a mixed population of steppe immigrants and people from the old tell settlements. These steppe immigrants were likely a mixture of both R1a and R1b lineages. Many Danubian farmers would also have migrated to the Cucuteni-Tripolye towns in the Eastern Carpathians, causing a population boom and a north-eastward expansion until the Dnieper valley, bringing Y-haplogroups E-V13, J2b and T in what is now central Ukraine. This precocious Indo-European advance westward was fairly limited, due to the absence of Bronze weapons and organised army at the time, and was indeed only possible thanks to climatic catastrophes. The Carphatian, Danubian, and Balkanic cultures were too densely populated and technologically advanced to allow for a massive migration.

The Bronze Age annnounces a very different development. R1a people appear to have been the first to successfully penetrate into the heart of Europe, with the Corded Ware (Battle Axe) culture (3200-1800 BCE) as a natural western expansion of the Yamna culture. They went as far west as Germany and Scandinavia. DNA analysis from the Corded Ware culture site of Eulau confirms the presence of R1a (but not R1b) in central Germany around 2600 BCE. The Corded Ware migrants might well have expanded from the forest-steppe, or the northern fringe of the Yamna culture, where R1a lineages were prevalent over R1b ones.

R1b1b2 is thought to have arrived in central and western Europe around 2500 BCE, by going up the Danube from the Black Sea coast. The archeological and genetic evidence (distribution of R1b subclades) point at several consecutive waves towards the Danube between 2800 BCE and 2300 BCE (beginning of the Unetice culture). It is interesting to note that this also corresponds to the end of the Maykop culture (2500 BCE) and Kemi Oba culture (2200 BCE) on the northern shores of the Black Sea, and their replacement by cultures descended from the northern steppes. It can therefore be envisaged that the (mostly) R1b population from the northern half of the Black Sea migrated westward due to pressure from other Indo-European people (R1a) from the north, like the burgeoning Proto-Indo-Iranian branch, linked to the contemporary Poltavka and Abashevo cultures.

It is doubtful that the Beaker culture (2800-1900 BCE) was already Indo-European (although they were influenced by the Corded Ware culture), because they were the continuity of the native Megalithic cultures. It is more likely that the beakers and horses found across western Europe during that period were the result of trade with neighbouring Indo-European cultures, including the first wave of R1b into central Europe. Nevertheless, it is undeniable that the following Unetice (2300-1600 BCE), Tumulus-Urnfield-Hallstatt (1200-750) cultures were linked to the spread of R1b to Europe, as they abruptly introduce new technologies and a radically different lifestyle. (1300-1200 BCE) and

These Proto-Italo-Celto-Germanic R1b people had settled around the Alps by 2300 BCE, and judging from the spread of bronze working, reached Iberia by 2250 BCE, Britain by 2100 BCE and Ireland by 2000 BCE. This first wave of R1b assumably carried R1b-L21 lineages in great number, as these are found everywhere in western, northern and central Europe. A second R1b expansion took place from the Urnfield/Hallstatt culture around 1200 BCE, pushing west to the Atlantic, north to Scandinavia, and as far east as Greece and Anatolia (=> see Dorian invasion below).

The new Bronze Age culture flourished around the Alps (Unetice to early Hallstatt) thanks to the abundance of metal in the region, and laid the foundation for the classical Celtic culture. The Celtic Iron Age (late Halstatt, from 800 BCE) may have been brought through preserved contacts with the the steppes and the North Caucasus, notably the Koban culture (1100-400 BCE).

The Alpine Celts of the Hallstatt culture are associated with the S28 (a.k.a. U152) mutation, although not exclusively. The Italic branch (also S28/U152) is thought to have entered Italy by 1200 BCE, but there were certainly several succesive waves, as attested by the later arrival of the Cisalpine Celts. The Belgae were another S28/U152 branch, an extension of the La Tène culture northward, following the Rhine, Moselle and Meuse rivers.

One common linguistic trait between Italic and Gaulish/Brythonic Celtic languages linked to the Hallstatt expansion is that they shifted the oiginal IE *kw sound into *p. They are known to linguists as the P-Celtic branch. It is thought that this change occured due to the inability to pronounce the *kwrecently been acknowledged that Celtic languages borrowed part of their grammar from Afro-Asiatic languages. This shift could have happened when the Proto-Italo-Celtic speakers moved from the steppes to the Danube basin and mixed with the population of Near-Eastern farmers belonging to haplogroups E-V13, T, G2a and J2b. However, such an early shift would not explain why Q-Celtic languages developed in Ireland and Iberia. It is more plausible that the shift happened after the Italo-Celts had first expanded across all western Europe. The S28/U152 connection to P-Celtic suggests that the shift took place around the Alps and Italy after 1200 BCE. sound by the pre-Indo-European population of central Europe, Gaul and Italy, who were speakers of Afro-Asiatic dialects that had evolved from a Near-Eastern language. The Etruscans, although later incomers from the Levant, also fit in this category. It has

R1b-S21 (a.k.a. U106) is found at high concentrations in the Netherlands and northern Germany. Its presence in other parts of Europe can be attributed to the 5th- and 6th-century Germanic migrations. The Frisians and Saxons spread this haplogroup to the British Isles, the Franks to Belgium and France, and the Lombards to Austria and northern Italy. The high concentration of S21/U106 around Austria hints that it could have originated there in the Hallstatt period, or originated around the Black Sea and moved there during the Hallstatt period. In fact, southern Germany and Austria taken together have the highest diversity of R1b in Europe. Besides S21, the three major first level subclades of R1b1b2a1b (L21, S28, M167) are found in this area at reasonable frequencies to envisage a spread from the Unetice to Hallstatt homeland to the rest of western Europe.

The Greco-Anatolian branch

The Hittites (2000-1200 BCE) were the first Indo-Europeans to defy (and defeat) the mighty Mesopotamian and Egyptian empires. The Hittite ruling class was plausibly an offshoot of the late Maykop culture that conquered the Hattian kingdom. The Hattians might have had some R1b from the old Anatolian branch (from the early Neolithic) mixed with the other Anatolian E-M78, G2a and J2 people.

Troy was most probably a colony to secure the trade routes between the Black Sea and the Aegean. The Trojans were Luwian speakers related to the Hittites, with proven cultural ties to the culture of the Pontic-Caspian steppe. The first city of Troy dates back to 3000 BCE, right in the middle of the Maykop period, and exatly at the time the first galleys were made.

The Maykop culture was succeeded by the Srubna culture (1600-1200 BCE), then the Colchian culture (1200-600 BCE), which extended into the western Caucasus. Its further expansion to the south of the Caucasus correspond to the first historical mentions of the Proto-Armenian branch of Indo-European languages (around 1200 BCE).

The presence of R1b1b2 in Greece could be attributed to the Dorian invasion (1200 BCE), which correspond to the expansion of the Urnfield culture throughout Europe and Anatolia, and to the destruction of the Near-Eastern civilizations by the Sea Peoples. Greek R1b (including southern Italy) is divided between the Proto-Celtic S116/P312 and the eastern variety (known as ht35) from Anatolia. If the Dorian were ht35, they could be the descendants of the Trojans (seeking revenge for the destruction of their city a few decades earlier), or of the Hittites (or a combination of both). If they were S116/P312, it means that they could have been Proto-Celts from Hallstatt. Of course it can’t be ruled out that the Trojans asked their “cousins” from Hallstatt for help to defeat the Myceneans, thus invading as a hybrid R1b faction of S116/P312 and ht35. The S116/P312 element could also be due to the later Roman occupation of Greece.

The Cimmerians were the last recorded to leave the Pontic-Anatolian homeland around 800 BCE, passing through Anatolia before going to Europe. They were probably hybrid R1b-R1a. The Athenians of Classical Greece (510-323 BCE) made a point to re-established the connections with all the Black Sea ports afterwards, as if to confirm their new genealogical tie with the old Dorian/Trojan homeland (or simply because they could, for the first time in history, since most of the R1b civilization had emigrated).

The Central Asian branch

An early group of R1b1b people is thought to have migrated from Caspian Sea region to Central Asia, where it evolved into the R1b1b1 (M73) branch. This variety of R1b occurs almost exclusively in very specific Central Asian populations. The highest percentages were observed among the UyghursHazara people of Afghanistan (32%), and the Bashkirs (55%) of the Abzelilovsky district of Bashkortostan in Russia (border of Kazakhstan). (20%) of Xinjiang in north-west China, the

Central Asian R1b1b1 could correspond to the Tocharian branch of the Indo-Europeans. It is possible that the Tocharians split from the main R1b body as early as 7,000 BCE. Over the centuries some groups of these nomadic tribes ended up around the southern Urals, others in the Tarim Basin (Xinjiang) or in southern Central Asia. Another theory is that a group of early horse riders from the Repin culture (3700-3300 BCE) migrated from the Don-Volga region to the Altai mountain, founding the Afanasevo culture (c. 3600-2400 BCE), then moved south to the Tarim Basin.

Mummies of fair-haired Caucasian people were found in the Tarim Basin, the oldest of which date back to 1800 BCE. The modern inhabitants of the Tarim Basin, the Uyghurs, belong both to this R1b-M73 subclade (about 20%) and to R1a1 (about 30%). This could mean that they had become a hybrid R1b-R1a society by the time they reached the Tarim Basin. But R1a1 could also have arrived independently during the later Indo-Iranian migrations (approx. 2000 BCE), or much later through some nomadic Scytho-Iranian tribes (after 700 BCE).

Back migrations

The earliest known back migration of R1b was from Asia to Africa and took place around 15,000 years ago. A group of R1b1* people moving from the Levant to Egypt, Sudan and spreading in different directions inside Africa to Rwanda, South Africa, Namibia, Angola, Congo, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Guinea-Bissau. The hotspot is Cameroon. R1b1* was observed at a frequency of up to 95% in some tribes of northern Cameroon (like the Kirdi), and about 15% nationwide. It is in all likelihood where the early R1b people first settled, then spread south and east along the coast.

Other back migrations occured from Europe to the Near East and Central Asia during the Antiquity and Middle Ages. R1b-S28 was found in Romania, Turkey and at the border of Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. Some of it was surely brought by the Alpine Celts (Hallstatt/La Tène culture), known to have advanced along the Danube, and created the Galatian kingdom in central Anatolia. The rest could just as well be Roman, given that R1b-S28 is the dominant form of R1b in the Italian peninsula. Some have hypothetised that Roman legions went as far as Central Asia or China and never came back, leaving their genetic marker in isolated pockets. See also Were the Romans and the Alpine Celts close cousins ?

A small percentage of Western European R1b subclades were also found among Christian communities in Lebanon. They are most likely descendants of the crusaders.

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The Armenian Highland – The Indo-European Urheimat?

Posted by Sjur Cappelen Papazian on May 29, 2013

Hayasa-Azzi or Azzi-Hayasa was a Late Bronze Age confederation formed between two kingdoms of Anatolia, Hayasa located South of Trabzon and Azzi, located North of the Euphrates and to the South of Hayasa. The Hayasa-Azzi confederation were in conflict with the Hittite Empire in the 14th century BC, leading up to the collapse of Hatti around 1290 BC.

\The similarity of the name Hayasa to the endonym of the Armenians, Hayk or Hay and the Armenian name for Armenia, Hayastan has prompted the suggestion that the Hayasa-Azzi confereration was involved in the Armenian ethnogenesis. The term Hayastan bears resemblance to the ancient Mesopotamian god Haya (ha-ià) and another western deity called Ebla Hayya, related to the god Ea (Enki or Enkil in Sumerian, Ea in Akkadian and Babylonian). Thus, the Great Soviet Encyclopedia of 1962 posited that the Armenians derive from a migration of Hayasa into Shupria in the 12th century BC. This is open to objection due to the possibility of a mere coincidental similarity between the two names and the lack of geographic overlap, although Hayasa (the region) became known as Lesser Armenia (Pokr Hayastan in modern Armenian) in coming centuries.

The mentioning of the name Armenian can only be securely dated to the 6th century BC with the Orontid kings and very little is known specifically about the people of Azzi-Hayasa per se. The most recent edition of Encyclopædia Britannica does not include any articles on Hayasa or Azzi-Hayasa likely due to the paucity of historical documentation about this kingdom’s people. Brittanica’s article on the Armenians confirms that they were descendents of a branch of the Indo-European peoples but makes no assertion that they formed any portion of the population of Azzi-Hayasa.

Some historians find it sound to theorize that after the Phrygian invasion of Hittites, the theoretically named Armeno-Phrygians would have settled in Hayasa-Azzi, and merged with the local people, who were possibly already spread within the western regions of Urartu. After the fall of the latter, and the rise of the Kingdom of Armenia under the Artaxiad dynasty, Hayasan nobility (given they were truly Armenian) would have assumed control of the region and the people would have adopted their language to complete the amalgamation of the proto-Armenians, giving birth to the nation of Armenia as we know it today.

Paleoclimate reconstructions have shown that several glacial refugia formed around the Mediterranean and Black Sea during the last glacial period (LGP) that dramatically affected the distribution of the populations of Eurasia and the Middle East. Post-glacial warming, beginning around 12,000 years ago, resulted in population migrations out of those refugia, and drove the Neolithic revolution. The timing and routes of these migrations and their specific regions of expansion remain elusive. The genetic signals marking the initial settlement following the LPG are also unclear.

On the Y chromosome, there is significant regional variation among subhaplogroups of J within the Middle East that are informative about these events, which were investigated in more detail. 2774 samples were analyzed, including 941 newly genotyped, to characterize populations where J haplogroups have expanded geographically. Haplogroup J diversity was measured by coancestry using Y-STR haplotype effective number. Reduced Median networks were calculated for each of the J subhaplogroups and SNP coalescence times were estimated by BATWING. The J subhaplogroups’ frequencies show substantial variation across the Mediterranean Basin. J subhaplogroups show little organization of their haplotypes by geography, suggesting that diversity evolved primarily within a pool of ancestral populations for a larger part of its history, then post-glacial expansions carried this diversity throughout their modern geographical range.

Coalescence time estimates indicate longer evolution of J haplogroups in northern populations, in agreement with co-ancestry diversity. Population divergence time estimates are recent compared to coalescence times, supporting long evolution times prior to post-glacial expansions. Our data provide evidence for the timing and differential routes of post glacial repopulation of the region. When combined with archaeological and linguistic evidence, these genetic data allow us to reconstruct the spread of agriculture and the origins of various Neolithic cultures of the Middle East. The Neolithic expansion has been marked by haplogroups characteristic of the Middle East, with J haplogroups showing geographically differential frequency distributions and haplotype diversities.

These results are suggestive of evolution within the Anatolian Peninsula and the Black Sea basin during the LGP, followed by multiple expansions taking distinct routes at different times subsequent to the LGP.

Y Chromosome J Haplogroups trace post glacial period expansion from Turkey and Caucasus into the Middle East confirms that the West Asian highlands are responsible for the spread of haplogroup J, including, it seems into the Middle East itself. The chronology presented probably assumes the evolutionary mutation rate; also, the lack of haplogroup J in Europe pre-5ka argues for a late expansion. I am fairly convinced that out of this West Asian highlander population came the two dominant groups of West Eurasian prehistory, the Indo-Europeans and the Semites, their spread associated with a “metallurgical edge” in technology and social complexity during the Late Neolithic and Bronze Age.

The latter probably picked their language from a T- or E-bearing population of the southern Levant (Ghassulians), as these two haplogroups might link the Proto-Semites with their African Afroasiatic brethren.

Pontic is the proposed language family or macrofamily, comprising the Indo-European and Northwest Caucasian language families, with Proto-Pontic being the reconstructed proto-language. The internal reconstruction of the Indo-European proto-language done by Benveniste and Lehmann has set Proto-Indo-European (PIE) typologically quite apart from its daughters.

In 1960, Aert Kuipers noticed the parallels between a Northwest Caucasian language, Kabardian, and PIE. It was Paul Friedrich in 1964, however, who first suggested that PIE might be phylogenetically related to Proto-Caucasian. In 1981, Colarusso examined typological parallels involving consonantism, focusing on the so-called laryngeals of PIE and in 1989, he published his reconstruction of Proto-Northwest Caucasian (PNWC). Eight years later, the first results of his comparative work on PNWC and PIE were published in his article Proto-Pontic: Phyletic Links Between Proto-Indo-European and Proto-Northwest Caucasian, an event which may be considered the actual beginning of the hypothesis.

North Caucasian languages, sometimes called simply Caucasic, is a blanket term for two language phyla spoken chiefly in the North Caucasus and Turkey: the Northwest Caucasian family (Pontic, Abkhaz–Adyghe, Circassian, West Caucasian) and the Northeast Caucasian family (Caspian, Nakh–Dagestanian, East Caucasian); the latter includes the former North-central Caucasian (Nakh) family.

Some linguists, notably Sergei Starostin and Sergei Nikolayev, believe that the two groups sprang from a common ancestor about five thousand years ago. However, this proposal is difficult to evaluate, and remains controversial. Among the linguists who support the North Caucasian hypothesis, the main split between Northeast Caucasian and Northwest Caucasian is considered uncontroversial. Problems arise when it gets to the internal structure of Northeast Caucasian itself. So far no general agreement has been reached in this respect. There are approximately 34 to 38 distinct living or extinct North Caucasian languages.

The Proto-Kartvelian language, or Common Kartvelian, is the hypothetical common ancestor of the Kartvelian languages in the Caucasus, which was spoken by the ancestors of the modern Kartvelian peoples. The existence of such a language is widely accepted by specialists in linguistics, who have reconstructed a broad outline of the language by comparing the existing Kartvelian languages against each other.

The ablaut patterns of Proto-Kartvelian are highly similar to those of the Indo-European languages, and so it is widely thought that Proto-Kartvelian interacted with Indo-European at a relatively early date. This is reinforced by a fairly large number of words borrowed from Indo-European, such as the Proto-Kartvelian ṃḳerd (breast), and its obvious relation to the Indo-European kerd (heart). Proto-Kartvelian *ṭep “warm” is also directly derived from Indo-European *tep “warm”. It is also asserted that the name of wine in Indo-European languages is borrowed from Proto-Kartvelian *ɣwino, implicating quite close relations between these languages.

Quite consistent with my idea that Proto-Indo-European is related to the West Asian autosomal component.  This component occurs at a a level  greater than 50% level in modern North Caucasian speakers, is absent in Europe prior to 5,000 years ago, and occurs at levels greater or equal to 10% in most present-day Indo-European speakers from Europe.

Although we have not been able to find certain proofs of lexical borrowing between PIE and North Caucasian, there are a few undeniable areal-typological parallels in phonology and grammar. Some features generally attributed to PIE are not found in the majority of languages of North and Northeastern Eurasia, while they are common, or universally present, in the languages of the Caucasus (especially North Caucasus).

Those features include the high consonant-to-vowel ratio, tonal accent, number suppletion in personal pronouns, the presence of gender and the morphological optative and, possibly, the presence of glottalized consonants and ergativity. This shows evidence for early contacts between Proto-Indo-European (PIE) and the languages of the Caucasus.

There is an interesting monograph by Fournet & Bomhard on the Indo-European Elements in Hurrian (pdf). I will leave the linguistic details to the experts, as I doubt that many people are competent in both Proto-Indo-European and Hurrian to assess the authors’ thesis. However, this is the bit that captured my attention:

Hurrian cannot be considered an Indo-European language — this is so obvious that it barely needs to be stated. Traditional Indo-European languages, such as Sanskrit, Greek, Latin, Gothic, Old Irish, Old Church Slavic, Tocharian, etc., are clearly related to each other through many common features and shared innovations that are lacking in Hurrian.

However, that is not the end of the argument. In the preceding chapters, we presented evidence that Hurrian and Proto-Indo-European “[bear] a stronger affinity, both in the roots of verbs and in the forms of grammar, than could have been produced by accident; so strong that no philologer could examine [them] without believing them to have sprung from some common source.” In this chapter, we will discuss our views on what that common source may have been like. In so doing, we will have to delve deeply into prehistory, well beyond the horizon of what is traditionally reconstructed for Proto-Indo-European in the traditional handbooks.

Our discussion now comes to an end. In the course of this book, we have attempted to show, through a careful analysis of the relevant phonological, morphological, and lexical data, that Urarto-Hurrian and Indo-European are, in fact, genetically related at a very deep level, as we indicated at the beginning of this chapter by quoting from the famous Third Anniversary Discourse (1786) of Sir William Jones. We propose that both are descended from a common ancestor, which may be called “Proto-Asianic”, to revive an old, but not forgotten, term.

On the basis of genetic data I have recently proposed an origin of the Indo-Aryans in the Transcaucasus, based on their possession of a genetic component related to that of modern Northeast Caucasian speakers and the putative relationship of the latter with the Hurro-Urartian group. If the Hurrian-Indo-European “Proto-Asianic” hypothesis is true, then it would strengthen that hypothesis as it would place the Proto-Indo-Europeans in the vicinity of the Hurrians.

Linguists classify Armenian as an independent branch of the Indo-European language family. Armenian shares a number of major innovations with Greek, and some linguists group these two languages together with Phrygian and the Indo-Iranian family into a higher-level subgroup of Indo-European which is defined by such shared innovations as the augment. More recently, others have proposed a Balkan grouping including Greek, Armenian, Phrygian and Albanian.

The earliest testimony of the Armenian language dates to the 5th century AD (the Bible translation of Mesrob Mashtots). The earlier history of the language is unclear and the subject of much speculation. It is clear that Armenian is an Indo-European language, but its development is opaque. In any case, Armenian has many layers of loanwords and shows traces of long language contact with Hurro-Urartian, Greek and Indo-Iranian.

The Proto-Armenian sound-laws are varied and eccentric (such as *dw- yielding erk-), and in many cases uncertain. For this reason, Armenian was not immediately recognized as an Indo-European branch in its own right, and was assumed to be simply a very eccentric member of the Iranian languages before H. Hübschmann established its independent character in an 1874 publication.

Proto-Indo-European voiceless stops are aspirated in Proto-Armenian, a circumstance that gave rise to an extended version of the Glottalic theory, which postulates that this aspiration may have been sub-phonematic already in PIE. In certain contexts, these aspirated stops are further reduced to w, h or zero in Armenian (PIE *pots, Armenian otn, Greek pous “foot”; PIE treis, Armenian erekʿ, Greek treis “three”).

The reconstruction of Proto-Armenian being very uncertain, there is no general consensus on the date range when it might have been alive.“

The Armenians according to Diakonoff, are then an amalgam of the Hurrians (and Urartians), Luvians and the Mushki. After arriving in its historical territory, Proto-Armenian would appear to have undergone massive influence on part the languages it eventually replaced. Armenian phonology, for instance, appears to have been greatly affected by Urartian, which may suggest a long period of bilingualism.

The large percentage of loans from Iranian languages initially led linguists to erroneously classify Armenian as an Iranian language. The distinctness of Armenian was only recognized when Hübschmann (1875) used the comparative method to distinguish two layers of Iranian loans from the true Armenian vocabulary.

W. M. Austin in 1942 concluded that there was an early contact between Armenian and Anatolian languages, based on what he considered common archaisms, such as the lack of a feminine and the absence of inherited long vowels. But, unlike shared innovations (or synapomorphies) the common retention of archaisms (or symplesiomorphy) is not necessarily considered evidence of a period of common isolated development.

In his paper, “Hurro-Urartian Borrowings in Old Armenian”, Soviet linguist Igor Mikhailovich Diakonov notes the presence in Old Armenian of what he calls a Caucasian substratum, identified by earlier scholars, consisting of loans from the Kartvelian and Northeast Caucasian languages such as Udi. Noting that the Hurro-Urartian peoples inhabited the Armenian homeland in the second millennium BC, Diakonov identifies in Armenian a Hurro-Urartian substratum of social, cultural, and zoological and biological terms such as ałaxin (‘slavegirl’) and xnjor (‘apple(tree)’).

Some of the terms he gives admittedly have an Akkadian or Sumerian provenance, but he suggests they were borrowed through Hurrian or Urartu. Given that these borrowings do not undergo sound changes characteristic of the development of Armenian from Proto-Indo-European, he dates their borrowing to a time before the written record but after the Proto-Armenian language stage.

Graeco-Armenian (also Helleno-Armenian) is the hypothetical common ancestor of the Greek and Armenian languages which postdates the Proto-Indo-European language (PIE). Its status is comparable to that of the Italo-Celtic grouping: each is widely considered plausible without being accepted as established communis opinio.

The hypothetical Proto-Graeco-Armenian stage would need to date to the 3rd millennium BC, only barely differentiated from either late PIE or Graeco-Armeno-Aryan. Evaluation of the hypothesis is tied up with the analysis of the poorly attested Phrygian language. While Greek is attested from very early times, allowing a secure reconstruction of a Proto-Greek language dating to the late 3rd millennium, the history of Armenian is opaque. It is strongly linked with Indo-Iranian languages; in particular, it is a Satem language.

The hypothesis that Greek is Armenian’s closest living relative originates with Pedersen (1924), who noted that the number of Greek-Armenian lexical cognates is greater than that of agreements between Armenian and any other Indo-European language. Meillet (1925, 1927) further investigated morphological and phonological agreement, postulating that the parent languages of Greek and Armenian were dialects in immediate geographical proximity in the parent language. Meillet’s hypothesis became popular in the wake of his Esquisse (1936). Solta (1960) does not go as far as postulating a Proto-Graeco-Armenian stage, but he concludes that considering both the lexicon and morphology, Greek is clearly the dialect most closely related to Armenian.

Hamp (1976:91) supports the Graeco-Armenian thesis, anticipating even a time “when we should speak of Helleno-Armenian” (meaning the postulate of a Graeco-Armenian proto-language). Armenian shares the augment, a negator derived from the set phrase *ne hoiu kwid (“not ever at all”), the representation of word-initial laryngeals by prothetic vowels, and other phonological and morphological peculiarities with Greek. Clackson (1994:202) is again more reserved, holding the evidence in favour of a positive Graeco-Armenian sub-group to be inconclusive and tends to include Armenian into a larger Graeco-Armeno-Aryan family.

The closeness of the relationship between Armenian and Greek sheds light on the paraphyletic nature of the Centum-Satem isogloss. Nevertheless, linguists including Fortson (2004) comment “by the time we reach our earliest Armenian records in the 5th century A.D., the evidence of any such early kinship has been reduced to a few tantalizing pieces.”

Early in the fifth century, Classical Armenian, or Grabar, was one of the great languages of the Near East and Asia Minor. Although an autonomous branch within the Indo-European family of languages, it had some affinities to Middle Iranian, Greek and the Balto-Slavic languages, but belonged to none of them. It was characterized by a system of inflection unlike the other languages, as well as a flexible and liberal use of combining root words to create derivative and compound words by the application of certain agglutinative affixes. Of all Indo-European languages only Armenian is agglutinative.

Armenian is a pluricentric language, having two modern standardized forms: Eastern Armenian and Western Armenian. The most distinctive feature of Western Armenian is that it has undergone several phonetic mergers; these may be due to proximity to Arabic and Turkish-speaking communities. For example, Eastern Armenian speakers pronounce (թ) as an aspirated “t” as in “tiger”, (դ) like the “d” in “develop”, and (տ) as a tenuis occlusive, sounding somewhere between the two as in “stop.”

Proto-Indo-European voiceless occlusives are aspirated in Proto-Armenian, one of the circumstances that is often linked to the Glottalic theory, part of which postulated that the voiceless occlusives of Proto-Indo-European were aspirated. The Glottalic Theory holds that Proto-Indo-European had ejective stops, *pʼ *tʼ *kʼ, instead of plain voiced ones, *b *d *ɡ, of traditional Proto-Indo-European phonological reconstructions.

Dialects of Armenian also show glottalization. This has been argued to be influence from the other Caucasian languages, but Kortlandt argues glottalization cannot be considered a modern innovation and must be reconstructed with a wider dialectal distribution in older stages of Armenian.

The Armenian hypothesis of the Proto-Indo-European Homeland, based on the Glottalic theory suggests that the Proto-Indo-European language was spoken during the 4th millennium BC in the Armenian Highland. The phonological peculiarities proposed in the Glottalic theory would be best preserved in the Armenian language and the Germanic languages, the former assuming the role of the dialect which remained in situ, implied to be particularly archaic in spite of its late attestation.

The Proto-Greek language would be practically equivalent to Mycenaean Greek and date to the 17th century BC, closely associating Greek migration to Greece with the Indo-Aryan migration to India at about the same time (viz., Indo-European expansion at the transition to the Late Bronze Age, including the possibility of Indo-European Kassites).

The Armenian hypothesis argues for the latest possible date of Proto-Indo-European (sans Anatolian), roughly a millennium later than the mainstream Kurgan hypothesis. In this, it figures as an opposite to the Anatolian hypothesis, in spite of the geographical proximity of the respective suggested Urheimaten, diverging from the timeframe suggested there by as much as three millennia.

Graeco-Aryan (or Graeco-Armeno-Aryan) is a hypothetical clade within the Indo-European family, ancestral to the Greek language, the Armenian language, and the Indo-Iranian languages. Graeco-Aryan unity would have become divided into Proto-Greek and Proto-Indo-Iranian by the mid 3rd millennium BC. The Phrygian language would also be included. Conceivably, Proto-Armenian would have been located between Proto-Greek and Proto-Indo-Iranian, consistent with the fact that Armenian shares certain features only with Indo-Iranian (the satem change) but others only with Greek (s > h).

Graeco-Armeno-Aryan has comparatively wide support among Indo-Europeanists for the Indo-European Homeland to be located in the Armenian Highland. Early and strong evidence was given by Euler’s 1979 examination on shared features in Greek and Sanskrit nominal flection.

Used in tandem with the Graeco-Armeno-Aryan hypothesis, the Armenian language would also be included under the label Aryano-Greco-Armenic, splitting into proto-Greek/Phrygian and “Armeno-Aryan” (ancestor of Armenian and Indo-Iranian).

In the context of the Kurgan hypothesis, Greco-Aryan is also known as “Late PIE” or “Late Indo-European” (LIE), suggesting that Greco-Aryan forms a dialect group which corresponds to the latest stage of linguistic unity in the Indo-European homeland in the early part of the 3rd millennium BC. By 2500 BC, Proto-Greek and Proto-Indo-Iranian had separated, moving westward and eastward from the Pontic Steppe, respectively.

If Graeco-Aryan is a valid group, Grassmann’s law may have a common origin in Greek and Sanskrit. (Note, however, that Grassmann’s law in Greek postdates certain sound changes that happened only in Greek and not Sanskrit, which suggests that it cannot strictly be an inheritance from a common Graeco-Aryan stage. Rather, it is more likely an areal feature that spread across a then-contiguous Graeco-Aryan-speaking area after early Proto-Greek and Proto-Indo-Iranian had developed into separate dialects but before they ceased being in geographic contact.)

In 1981, Hopper proposed to divide all Indo-European languages into Decem and Taihun groups, according to the pronunciation of the numeral ’10’, by analogy with the Centum-Satem isogloss, which is based on the pronunciation of the numeral ‘100’. The Armenian, Germanic, Anatolian, and Tocharian subfamilies belong to the Taihun group because the numeral ’10’ begins from the voiceless t there. All other Indo-European languages belong to the Decem group because the numeral 10 begins from the voiced d in them. The question then can be framed as which, if either, of these groups reflects the original state of things, and which is an innovation.

The centum–satem division is one of many isoglosses of the Indo-European language family, related to the different evolution of the three dorsal consonant rows of the mainstream reconstruction of Proto-Indo-European (PIE).

The terms Centum versus Satem languages is derived from the words for the number “one hundred” in a traditional representative language of each group: Latin centum and Avestan satəm. The centum group includes Italic, Celtic, Germanic, Hellenic and Tocharian. This group merged PIE palatovelars and plain velars yielding plain velars only, but retain the labiovelars as a distinct set. The satem languages (which have the sibilant where the centum equivalents have the velar) include Baltic, Slavic, Armenian and Indo-Iranian.  This group lose the labial element of the PIE labiovelars and thus merge them with the dorso-velars while the dorso-palatals remain distinct.

The Centum–Satem isogloss is now understood to be a chronological development of PIE. Centumization removed the palatovelars from the language, leaving none to satemize. In addition there is residual evidence of various sorts in satem languages of a former distinction between velar and labiovelar consonants, indicating the earlier centum state. It is therefore clear that centumization was followed by satemization. However the evidence of Anatolian indicates that centum was not the original state of PIE.

Armenia is sandwiched between Anatolia, the Fertile Crescent, the Iranian plateau, the Caucasus, and the Black and Caspian seas, making the study of Armenian Y-chromosomes extremely interesting for the student of Eurasian prehistory.

Gene flow from the surrounding regions may have affected the Armenian population over historical time, but the remoteness of the Armenian highlands, coupled with the national church — which distinguished Armenians from both the Orthodoxy of the Roman Empire, the Zoroastrianism of the Persians, and, later the Islam of Arabs and Ottomans — may have prevented it.

The Armenian population has a very low frequency of haplogroup R1a1. Proponents of the Kurgan model of Indo-European dispersals sometimes associate this haplogroup with the Proto-Indo-European community, and it is strange why -if their ideas are right- Armenia is so lacking in this haplogroup, like its Caucasian neighbors. Why would these hypothetical migrants make such a huge impact in faraway India and barely a dent in nearby Armenia?

The simple reason for the paucity of R1a1 in the Armenians (or related populations) is perhaps because the Indo-Europeans exercised cultural and linguistic dominance over the Hurro-Urartian population. It happened, to a degree, with the Hurrian kingdom, Mitanni, dominant in northern Mesopotamia in ancient times…an early form of Indo-Aryan was imposed was over the local Hurrian language as a superstrate language.

Finally, the occurrence of some I2, E-V13, and, perhaps, J2b in Armenia may point to Balkan contacts. But, when did these contacts occur? Are they traceable to the migration of Phrygians to Anatolia, according to the Herodotean account of Armenian origins, or can they be attributed to later contacts with Greeks or other Europeans?

The veil of mystery seems to be raised even higher by every new study: we may be less certain of what really happened today than in the days of happy ignorance, ten years ago. Ultimately it is new data, like the ones included in this paper, that will make every piece of evidence fit, and the grand puzzle of the history of Eurasia will be revealed in all its glory.

Armenia, situated between the Black and Caspian Seas, lies at the junction of Turkey, Iran, Georgia, Azerbaijan and former Mesopotamia. This geographic position made it a potential contact zone between Eastern and Western civilizations. We find a striking prominence of haplogroups previously implicated with the Agricultural Revolution in the Near East, including the J2a-M410-, R1b1b1*-L23-, G2a-P15- and J1-M267-derived lineages.

Given that the Last Glacial Maximum event in the Armenian plateau occured a few millennia before the Neolithic era, we envision a scenario in which its repopulation was achieved mainly by the arrival of farmers from the Fertile Crescent temporally coincident with the initial inception of farming in Greece. However, we detect very restricted genetic affinities with Europe that suggest any later cultural diffusions from Armenia to Europe were not associated with substantial amounts of paternal gene flow, despite the presence of closely related Indo-European languages in both Armenia and Southeast Europe.

From the linguistic point of view, there are several layers of loans in Armenian: Anatolian (maybe related to the wave of Balkan immigrants in 2d millennium BC that became Armenians), Urartian/Hurrian (up to 7th century BC), Iranian (200 BC-200 AD) and finally Hellenic Greek. The amount of Iranian lexical loans in Armenian actually exceeds the amount of Armenian-specific inherited vocabulary, so it’s here that we may expect the strongest genetic admixture signal. Armenian, Greek, Phrygian (and sometimes Albanian) are usually considered to be part of a separate subgroup which fits with the end of 2d millennium BC emergence of Armenians from the Balkans.

The assumption regarding the prevalence of Iranian borrowings is simply a dated echo of the original classification of Armenian as an Iranian language, demonstrably disproved by Heinrich Hübschmann’s identification of Armenian as an independent branch of IE. In his proposed schematic, Hübschmann concluded that Armenian would not merely be an independent branch between “Aryan/Persian” and “Balto/European languages”, but would represent a connecting ring of the two components at a time when they were still very similar to one another as dialects.

As early as 1866, Paul de Lagarde organized the detectable Iranian strata into those having a common and native basis, an Old Iranian alluvium and a post-Achaemenid New Iranian layer. Due to the wider-spread familiarity with Persian rather than Armenian, many of the terms were interpreted as New Iranian loans without much convincing philological validation.

Furthermore, some of the older borrowings proved to be dubious as well. H. Adjarian’s comprehensive and definitive etymological dictionary of Armenian identifies 11,000 root words, 36% of which are borrowings. Of that 36%, only 8-9% is confidently Iranian.

In contrast, more than half of the vocabulary (55%) has “undermined” or “uncertain” roots, revealing the fundamental elements of the so-called “Hurro-Urartian” phylum and the subsequent Anatolian languages. Aside from the archeological and logistical discrepancies, the detection of semantically correlated and characteristically Armenian toponyms predating the proposed Balkan timeline leaves the Phrygian hypothesis on quite shaky grounds.

Finally, the occurrence of some I2, E-V13, and, perhaps, J2b in Armenia may point to Balkan contacts. But, when did these contacts occur? Are they traceable to the migration of Phrygians to Anatolia, according to the Herodotean account of Armenian origins, or can they be attributed to later contacts with Greeks or other Europeans?

Given the practically continuous tie between Armenia and the Hellenic world in the historical era, the genetic signals are plausibly the remnants of more recent interactions. While the linguistic affinity of Armenian and the Paleo-Balkan languages is notable, the ambiguity regarding the classification of the latter forces us to reconsider the extent and nature of the kinship. In addition, the recent reevaluation of the “eastern Mushkian” ethnogenetic hypothesis emphasizes the mythographic significance rather than the strict historicity of the Greek historiographic account of Armenian origins.

Y-chromosomal diversity in four geographically distinct populations that represent the extent of historical Armenia shows a striking prominence of haplogroups previously implicated with the Agricultural Revolution in the Near East, including the J2a-M410-, R1b1b1*-L23-, G2a-P15- and J1-M267-derived lineages.

Given that the Last Glacial Maximum event in the Armenian plateau occured a few millennia before the Neolithic era, we envision a scenario in which its repopulation was achieved mainly by the arrival of farmers from the Fertile Crescent temporally coincident with the initial inception of farming in Greece.

However, we detect very restricted genetic affinities with Europe that suggest any later cultural diffusions from Armenia to Europe were not associated with substantial amounts of paternal gene flow, despite the presence of closely related Indo-European languages in both Armenia and Southeast Europe.”

Similar designations can hide very different groups. I think this problem often does not receive enough attention. E1b1b1a1b V13 is the only branch of E found in considerable numbers across most of Europe. It shows comparatively little variation and evidence of branches concentrated in some regions. There are also a few examples of it in Armenia.

Armenian men’s most common Y-DNA (paternal) haplogroup is R1b, found in about 28 percent of those studied. J2 is the next most common at a frequency of 22 percent. Other haplogroups found among them, in descending order of frequencies, include G (11%), J1 (11%), R1a (8%), T (6%), E (5%), I (4%), L (4%), N (2%), and others (1%).

The most frequent branch of E among Armenians is E1b1b1c M123. In Europe, this group is found mainly among Eastern European Jews. Within E, the haplogroup E1b1b1 was found among members of the “Armenian DNA Project”. They belong to branches called V12, V13, V22, and M84/M34.

Armenian men have such G subhaplogroups as G2a3a* (their most frequent G subhaplogroup as of November 26, 2011), G2a* (their second-most frequent G subhaplogroup as of November 26, 2011), G1a, G2a3a1*, G2a3a2*, G2a3b1a*, G2a3b1a1*, and a smattering of others.

Halogroup G is a very complex and deeply divided group with many branches both in the Middle East and in most of Europe. Figure 2 of the paper gives only 3 divisions of G, but the project has 14. Many Western European members of G belong to specifically European branches of the haplogroup, especially to a group characterized by DYS 388 = 13 and apparently corresponding to G2a3b1a2 L43/S147. The Armenian project has two G haplotypes with 388 = 13 but they are placed in “G2a3a M406+ L14-“ so the 13 has probably arisen independently here.

Figure 2 shows J1 about equally divided between J1* and J1e. The latter is the group that predominates among Asian Arabs. J1* presumably corresponds to the group in the project designated “J1* L136- DYS388 12, 13 or 14” (in haplogroup J DYS388 is usually 15-18). This group is also more clearly distinguished by DYS436=11, DYS490=13. Several sources suggest that this group is mainly responsible for the high frequency of haplogroup J1 in and near the Caucasus. It is also widely but very thinly scattered across Europe. I think it is surprising that this group still lacks an SNP and a proper designation.

J1 is common in the Near East. In the “Armenian DNA Project” there are members of the haplogroup branches J1*, J1c3d, and J1c3d1. J2 haplogroups found among Armenians include J2a*, J2a3, J2a4, J2a4a, J2a4b, J2a4b1, J2a4d, J2a4h2, J2a4h2a, J2a4h2f, J2a4h2g, J2b*, and J2b1.

J2 is another very complex and deeply divided group. Figure 2 divides it more than the other groups, but about half are only designated “J2*”. The project has about 23 sub-divisions of J2. Among them, J2a3b is divided into J2a3b1 M92 with DYS425=null and other parts with DYS425=12. The paper, the project and Ysearch all agree that both groups occur in significant numbers among Armenians. However, in Europe, the 425=null group is found mainly among East European Jews, while the 425=12 group is found mainly in the west. There seems to be much less evidence of Western European branches of J2 than in the case of G.

The representatives of haplogroup I are mostly designated “I2*” in figure 2. They presumably correspond to the 14 members of “I2c P215+ L596+ L597+ P37.2- P217- L416-“ in the project. This separate branch of I2 has only been added to the ISOGG list this year, although Ken Nordtvedt recognized it a few years ago on the basis of STR data. It is especially characterized by DYS490=13. (Other STR figures clearly distinguish it from the above mentioned J1* group with 490=13). This group has been found in various parts of Europe, but it seems to be more common in Armenia than anywhere else.

Haplogroup I is found mainly in Europe, but its relationship to haplogroup J points to a Middle Eastern origin. I think the ancestors of I2c could have stayed in the Middle East, when the ancestors of I1 and I2a went to Europe. The former I2b is now considered part of I2a. A new I2b has been defined but it seems to be extremely rare. The branches of haplogroup I are very deeply divided from each other and their distribution is very strongly regionalized. This suggests that I is the oldest haplogroup in Europe.

R1b-L23* is relatively frequent in the Middle East (~10% in  Turkey, Iran, Caucasus, Iraq, Syria, Jews and Albania) and dominant haplogroup of Armenians (20-30%) – it is thus called the “Armenian Modal Haplotype”. It is also found on the Balkans, where it has moved around 7000-8000 years ago, with early farmers. At the end of 2010, new SNPs were found in this group (L277, L405) which are not private and need further research to see how they split the L23* clade. People who are M269+ L23+ L51- P310- may test these SNPs with the chance of being positive.

Some members of the “Armenian DNA Project” are part of the branch of R1b known as R1b1a2a* (L23+). A smaller number in the project are located in the branch called R1b1a2* (L265+). These branches are distinguishable from the R1b branches of Europe. That’s why Armenians don’t belong to the European branches of R1b called U106 and P312.

The Indo-European Elements In Hurrian

Hattic as a Sino-Caucasian language

A solution to the problem of Indo-Aryan origins

Dené–Caucasian languages

Armenian Y-chromosomes revisited

A common ancestor of Indo-European and Hurrian

Where did the Ancient Semites come from?

Proto-Indoaryans, Mitanni, Hurrians

Indo-European genetic signatures in an Orcadian and a Lithuanian

Proto-Indo-European homeland in Neolithic Anatolia (Bouckaert et al.)

The Problem of Identification of the Proto-Armenians: A Critical Review

The Problem of Proto-Armenians and the Formation of the Armenian People

Proto-Indo-European Urheimat hypotheses

Armenian Genetics: Abstracts and Summaries

Proto-Anatolian language

Anatolian languages

Tocharian languages

Proto-Armenian language

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Interessante armenske kart

Posted by Sjur Cappelen Papazian on May 29, 2013

File:Maps of the Armenian Empire of Tigranes.gif

File:Asia Minor ca 780 AD.svg


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Chariot Racers of the Steppes

Posted by Sjur Cappelen Papazian on May 29, 2013

The invention of the chariot reinvented the art of warfare. This high-speed, highly maneuverable vehicle gave a warrior a protected platform from which he could shoot an arrow or launch a spear and make a quick getaway. Archeologists have long assumed that the first charioteers were the urban sophisticates of ancient Mesopotamia, the innovators who gave us writing and metallurgy–and, more to the point, the wheel. But David Anthony, an archeologist from Hartwick College in Oneonta, New York, subscribes to a different theory. He thinks the earliest charioteers were not the people who invented the wheel but the people who first rode on horseback – the nomads of the Eurasian steppes.

Chariot Racers of the Steppes

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Homeland of the Indo-Europeans

Posted by Sjur Cappelen Papazian on May 29, 2013

Humans being sensitive by nature often developp an idealized and romantic (but understandable) affection to his house, childhood suburbs, native region, native country, family, mother tongue, “nation”, relatives, close looking persons, etc…However when dealing with science those emotions should be dropped out.

Also it’s understandable when some third world countries do include inaccurate “nationcentric” ideas and thoughts in their school curriculums to rise up the self esteem, nationalism and the adulation of the religion/founder person/current ruler/language/national history etc…of the school children; though those policies do not succeed and those countries as well the education of the pupils remain “backward”+absence of scienitifc (as well as other fields) “accomplishements” (perhaps because the whole system and pradigmas are wrong as well as the lack of money BUT NOT BECAUSE OF LACK OF INNER INHERITED abilities).

Of course the leading “victorious” countries and nations dont have (and DONT NEED) such deals ie one should not expect that such huge emphasis be put in a historical non attested nomad tribe that, at the end of the day, did not have any accomplishment (they did not invent script nor alphabet nor build pyramids etc…) but such attitudes were common in the 19 th century (see Black Athena of Martin Bernal to discover much about those issues).

Personally I am interested in the indo-europeans and spend much time and money to acquire and read books about them, because I used to think that the population of Anatolia were indo-europeans that adopted a Turkish languages since the first attested and written indo-european language was the hittite language of Anatolia which, besides, was the most archaic and internally diversified indo-european language
And since Hittite language diffused to central western Anatolia from the south east, it was very close to my native region.

I used to think of the Khatti,Hurri,Luluby,Kassite,Mushki,Kolkhi… languages of Anatolia as Caucasic languages that diffused to Anatolia from the Caucasus and that “genetically speaking” Anatolians would be more “indo-europeanic” than “caucasic”, of course all of this was before the improving of my cknowledge about genetics-especially after Behar’s study-and illustrated my current thoughts about those issues with the image in my signature.

Interestingly, while there is no big interest with indo-europeans and indo-european homeland in Turkey I discovered (reading various books especially Black Athena+on the web) that that was not the case in other countries where indo-european languages were very lately attested and written. Also there is the “swastikas” motifs found in potteries in Central Iraq near the town of Samarra dating to 6300-5500 bc (hassuna-halaf cultures) and we know that “swastikas” were one of the characteristic symbols of Indo-Europeans.

For the interested ones I recommand you to read the books below to understand why “scholars do favor western Asia as an “urheimat” for the proto indo-european language”…page&q&f=false…ed=0CDkQ6AEwAg

Here a book to learn about the politization of that issue…page&q&f=false

Here below a free mini paper explaining the reasons for south anatolia-north levant-north mesopotamia as the “urheimat” of the proto indo-european language.…drav%20ela.doc

The Pontico-Caspian theory of Proto-Indo-European
refuted by purely linguistic arguments
By Arnaud Fournet


According to the standard theory, as described and promoted by the Communis Opinio of the Indo-Europeanists, Proto-Indo-European (PIE) originates in the Pontico-Caspian area in Southern Russia and the final disintegration of PIE is dated in the time bracket that
corresponds to the second phase of Neolithic.

Linguists generally date the initial separation of the IE stocks to the period c. 5,000–2,500 BC but these dates are provided largely on the basis of estimation rather than the product of an empirically validated methodology. (Mallory 1997) This dating is based on the premise that the Indo-European languages contain a number of words which are coherent enough to support the hypothesis that they are cognates rather than loanwords and therefore give substance to the reconstruction of the corresponding realia in the PIE language itself.

Reconstructed PIE reflects a vocabulary which unequivocally exhibits an economy based on domesticated plants (grain) and animals (cattle, sheep, goat, pig, dog), and associated technology (grinding stone, sickle) indicating that the separation of the IE stocks was unlikely to have occurred anywhere before c. 7000 BC and later, depending on its geographical location. It also contains a number of items such as plough, yoke, wheeled vehicles, wool, possibly silver, which are not generally attested earlier than c. 5000–3000 BC (Mallory 1989). It should be emphasized that the time-depth of these reconstructions is valid for all IE languages. (Mallory 1997).

In this paper, I will show that several claims made by the standard theory about PIE are in fact completely unsupported or even refuted by the lexical documentation of the IE languages.


The standard and widely accepted way to compare languages and reconstruct proto-languages is the comparative method. This method resorts to sound correspondences. According to this principle, semantically related words can be cognates only if they display a perfect or near perfect match of their phonetic structures. Occasional and minor irregularities should be explainable by plausible reasons, such as accentuation or morphological emendations. In addition words should have a geographic distribution as widespread as possible among Indo-European languages.

It can be first noted that the Indo-European languages display a massive coherence. A huge bulk of any Indo-European language can be handled and explained satisfactorily within the PIE theory. Most languages display a huge number of phonetic, prosodic or morphological details, which are critical and nearly impossible to borrow. In addition mythological themes and poetical formulas and patterns can be retrieved among the daughter languages.

These features clearly show that there must have been at one particular time in one particular place a limited community of speakers that had PIE as its primary if not unique mother-tongue. All Indo-European languages result from the disintegration of that initially unified PIE and its
expansion into the areas where they are historically attested. It can be noted that none of the IE languages can be equated with PIE itself. PIE is therefore an unattested prehistorical language. This raises the issue of the PIE homeland, an issue which is generally considered to involve two basic questions:

– Where is there a place out of which IE languages could have expanded?

– When did that expansion begin?

To these questions should be added a third question, which is not always explicitly dealt with but which is critical in my opinion:

– Why did this expansion start at that particular time, and not before or later?

In other words, the issue of the PIE homeland is threefold. Any theory must provide:

– a location: preferably (much) smaller than half a million km2, which is the maximal area on which a language can possibly remain fairly unified in prehistorical conditions,

– a dating: preferably coherent with the lexical items reconstructed for PIE,

– a cause, or some other principle(s) of causality, that accounts for the expansion starting out of that particular place at that particular time.

Another issue is the potential relatives of PIE and the potential early borrowings into PIE from neighboring languages.

As regards the standard Pontico-Caspian theory, its epistemological status is as follows:

– location: out of the area located to the North of the Caspian Sea

– dating: ca. -4500 BC or later

– cause: (21th c.) none. (19th c.: PIE speakers were culturally superior superheroes)

– PIE’s closest relative(s): PIE will never be proved to have relatives

This can be compared with the Anatolian theory (Renfrew):

– location: out of (the western half of) present-day Turkey

– dating: ca. -7500 BC

– cause: demographic expansion fuelled by increased food availability

– PIE’s closest relative(s): this issue is not addressed

It must be emphasized that the current version of the standard Pontico-Caspian theory does not explain the expansion, it states that the expansion happened at that date ca. -4500 BC or later. The absence of any plausible cause(s) accounting for the expansion is clearly one of the major weaknesses of the standard Pontico-Caspian theory, now that the depiction of PIE speakers as an unstoppable group of culturally superior superheroes is considered to be an absurd and colonialist eulogy completely unacceptable as a potential cause or explanation. In fact, the absence of cause(s) is more than a weakness: it is a major flaw of the theory.

In all cases, the “explanation” that PIE expanded because PIE speakers were an unstoppable group of culturally superior superheroes is in fact nonsense: if this premise were true, why did the expansion not begin before? What happened ca. -4500 BC? They had been complete unknowns for thousands of years and all of a sudden they became an unstoppable group of culturally superior superheroes. This Pontico-Caspian theory is nonsensical and belongs to the category of insane crap invented by narcissically unhinged minds.

Another point about a theory accounting for the IE expansion is the scenario. The implicit scenario in most theories is a one-shot expansion. In my opinion this implicit scenario is most probably wrong. There are numerous clues that IE languages expanded in more than one wave and that several of the historically attested languages overran other IE languages or languages which had considerable affinities with PIE or IE languages.

Another problem with most theories is the fiction that IE languages could expand as if the whole world were empty before they came there. The persistent problem of near-Indo-European substrates embedded in toponyms (Old European for example) or in existing IE languages indicates that the scenario of a one-shot expansion cannot be accepted.


As noted before, the standard Pontico-Caspian theory makes a number of claims about what PIE speakers knew and which realia had a name in the unified PIE language: cattle, sheep, goat, pig, dog, horse, etc. Most of these claims are in fact unsupported or refuted by the IE languages themselves. Most of these claims are fictions that can be proved unacceptable for purely linguistic reasons.

According to archeological records, the gradual domestication of several wild animals can be dated as follows:

– horse: ca. – 4 500 BC or later

– goat and sheep: ca. – 9 000 or earlier

– cattle and pig: ca. – 7 000 BC

– dog: ca. – 12 000 BC or earlier

In fact, only the dog can be determined to be a domesticated animal at the time when PIE was unified and had not yet split into several independent branches of IE languages. The protoword *ǩuon ‘dog’ is massively attested in Indo-European languages:

– Anatolian: Hieroglyphic Luwian śuwanis

– Indian śvā́, ś(u)vā́ ‘dog’, Gen. śúnas, Acc. śvā́nam, Acc. Pl. śúnas,

– Avestic spā, spānǝm, Gen. Pl. sū̆ nam, Medic (Herodot) σπάκα (< *k̂ u̯n̥ -ko- ‘dog-like’: Cf.

– Indian śvaka- ‘wolf’), Farsi (Middle) sak, (Modern) sag, Kurdish sah, Wāẋi šač,

– Iranian loanwords: Albanese shak(ë) ‘bitch’, Greek σπάδακες κύνες Hes. (< *σπάκαδες) and Russian sobáka ‘dog’; Cf. Farsi sabah,

– Armenian šun, Gen. šan ‘dog’ (with unclear š),

– Greek κύων, κυνός ‘dog’(κυνάμυια, Lituanian šun-musė ̃ ‘dogfly’),

– Latin canis ‘dog’ (unclear phonetics), cănēs ‘bitch’, canīcula (Cf. Indian śunī f.). This may be another word: Middle Iraish cano, cana ‘wolf puppy’, Welsh cenaw ‘young wolf or dog’

– Old Irish cū (Gen. con = κυνός), Welsh ci (Pl. cwn – κύνες, Lituanian šùnes), Breton Cornish ki ‘dog’ (< *k̂ u̯ō),

– Gotic hunds, Old Icelandic hundr, OE hund, OHG hunt ‘dog’ (< k̂ u̯n̥ -tó-),

– Lituanian šuõ (Gen. šuñs) ‘dog’ (Lituanian (dial.) šunis, Latvian suns, Old Prussian sunis ‘dog’); with suffix -t- Latvian suntana ‘big dog’, Latvian kuńa ‘bitch’

– Tocharian A ku, Obl. kon, В Nom. ku.

This word is not perfect: (1) there are some interferences between ‘dog’ and ‘wolf’, (2) some phonetic problems can be detected in Latin or Armenian, (3) the word is poorly attested in Anatolian. But it can be noted that there is an interesting compound: ‘dog-killer’ which refers to an unlucky dice cast: Latin canis, Indian śva-ghnín- and Greek κίνδῡνος ‘danger, risk’.

This compound supports the idea that the word *ǩuon ‘dog’ was known to PIE speakers. It can be further noted that this word is probably inherited from PIE’s ancestor language but it probably first meant ‘wolf’. It is unclear when the transition from ‘wolf’ to ‘dog’ happened.

The lexical data make it reasonable to think that the transition had already occured when PIE began to split.

On the contrary the words related to the horse are completely unacceptable as is examined in the following document:…the-Horse-asa- PIE-Stage-Domesticated-Animal. These words are mostly Altaic loanwords and the only word which may be a PIE word ≈Heǩwos is phonetically unacceptable and erratic.

Another peg in the chronology of the PIE terminus post quem is the domestication of goats and sheep. It can be shown that when the domestication of goats and sheep happened, IE languages were already dispersed and that the different IE branches resorted to different and independent words to describe goats and sheep. There is a major division between Italo-Celtic and Germanic (through Italo-Celtic loanwords) on the one hand and the other languages on the other hand.

Widespread words are *H2owi, *H2awi ‘sheep’ and *buǩ(ǩ)os, *buğos ‘goat’ but nothing shows if these generic words apply to domestic or wild animals. The major problem is that precise words are not shared by Indo-European languages but on the contrary show major divisions among the family. It can be noted that several languages display aberrant phonetics with explicit laryngeal segments like initial #h-.

– Italo-Celtic and Germanic (through loanwords)

1. a ram: *mul- (A) Celtic *multo: French mouton ‘mutton, sheep’, Welsh mollt, Irish molt, Breton maout ‘castrated ram’, (B) Italic *mul-dhro: Italian muflone, (C) Cf. Spanish morueco ‘ram’ (with irregular -r-), (D) Germanic *hamal (aberrant phonetics) ‘castrated ram’. This word has Afrasian counterparts *ḥ_m_l: Cf. Berber (with regular ḥ > z) Kabyle izimer ‘ram’, izamaren ‘lamb’, tizamarin ‘she-lamb’, Arabic ḥamal ‘lamb’.

2. a lamb: incoherent data (A) Celtic *oghwnos: Irish ūan, Welsh oen, Cornish oin, Breton oan ‘lamb’, (B) Italic *aghw-: Latin agnus, avillus ‘lamb’, Umbrian habina(f) (aberrant phonetics) ‘lambs’, (C) Greek *agwnos: ἀμνός m. f., ἀμνή ‘lamb’, (D) Germanic *aghw-: OE ēanian, English to yean, Dutch oonen, (E) Slavic *agw-: (j)agnę ‘lamb’. This word is clearly a Western dialectal word and the phonetics is incoherent. Greek and
Slavic can only be loanwords of western IE languages. A possible Afrasian counterpart is *ˁ_g: Arabic ˁiğl, ˁiğğawl ‘calf’, ˁağā ‘to breast-feed’.

3. a goat: incoherent data (A) Old French gade < *g(h)ad(h) ‘she-goat’, gadel ‘kid’, (B) Latin haidus < *ghaid(h) ‘buck’, (C) Germanic *gait < *ghaid ‘she-goat’, (D) Albanese kats (aberrant phonetics) ‘kid’ > Greek loanword kats-iki. This word has Afrasian counterparts *gad: Cf. Berber taγatt ‘goat’ (ta- -t is fem. article), Semitic *gadī ‘kid’: Arabic *ğaddi. The intrusive -i- of Italic probably has a relationship with *kit ‘kid’ and Germanic is probably a loanword of Italic.

4. a kid: incoherent data (A) Albanese qith ‘kid’, (B) Middle Irish cit ‘sheep’, (C) Old Norse kið ‘young animal’ (from Celtic). A possible Afrasian counterpart is *k_t: Arabic katt ‘thin, skinny’, katta ‘worthless and skinny herd’, kutˁ ‘small skinny fox cub’.

5. a buck: incoherent data (A) Celtic *caperakos ‘sheep’: Irish caerach, Celtic *gabros ‘buck’ (B) Italic *capros: Latin caper, Umbrian cabru, capru ‘buck’, Latin capra ‘goat’ (C) Germanic *hafra ‘buck’. This word has Afrasian counterparts *ġ_p_r: Arabic ġafr, ġufr ‘kid (of goat or mountain

These precise words only exist in western Indo-European languages, especially in Italic and Celtic which are most often coherent, and they are incoherently and scantily attested in Germanic, Greek, Albanese or Balto-Slavic. Moreover these words have very strong connections with Afrasian words. This situation is to be interpreted as a specific wave of loanwords into western Indo-European languages in relationship with sheep and goat breeding.

– Eastern Indo-European languages

1. a goat *H2a(i)ğ-: (A) Greek aigs ‘goat’, (B) Armenian aic, (C) Avestic izaena ‘made with goat-skin’, (D) Slavic (j)azno, Lituanien ožys ‘goat’, Sanskrit ajah ‘buck’. This word has Kartvelian counterparts: Georgian dzixgi ‘Caucasian goat’. Kartvelian dz was adapted as *H2 > *a. Cf. *dig ‘goat’ below.

2. a lamb *werH1: (A) Greek *Farēn ‘lamb’, Mycenian we-re-ne-ia ‘made with lamb-skin’, (B) Armenian garn ‘lamb’, (C) Sanskrit ur-anah ‘lamb, ram’, urā ‘ewe’, Avestic varen ‘lamb’, (D) Tocharian B yrîye < *werH1-en. The connection with Latin vervix ‘ewe’ is phonetically impossible.

3. a male (animal) *H1ers-: (A) Greek arsēn ‘male’, Grec erraos ‘ram, boar’, (B) Armenian oroj ‘ram’, (C) Sanskrit rṣa-bha ‘bull’, This word is in fact a specialized meaning of a generic PIE word for ‘male or man’.

– Words shared by Germanic and Greek

1. a goat *dig: (A) Greek (Spartian) diz-as (<*dig-ia), (B) Germanic *tigōn: German Ziege ‘goat’, OE ticcen ‘kid’. This word is probably a variant of dzixgi > *digi, with a different reflex of dz > *d.

2. a one-year-old goat *ghim-: (A) Greek khimaira, (B) Germanic *gimri. This word is a derivative of the word *ghey ‘winter’.

The Eastern Indo-European languages do not have the same vocabulary as the Western Indo-European languages as regards goat and sheep breeding. Contrary to the Western branch, which has Afrasian-sounding words, the Eastern branch has Kartvelian-sounding words. This
situation means that the Eastern Indo-European languages have been involved in breeding by a separate wave of Neolithization, which is independent from that of the Western Indo-European languages.

This is what Mallory (1996) described: The first sheep found in the steppic area betwen the Don and the Ural rivers are bigger and substantially differ from those of the Balkanic area, and they look very much like those found in the Neolithic sites of the Caucasus.

1 There is no lexical basis to support the claims made by the standard Pontico-Caspian theory that PIE knew domesticated sheep and goats (or even more absurdly domesticated horses). These realia did not belong to the unified PIE stage. Only the dog may have belonged.


In other words, it can be proved that Indo-European languages have not been involved in the same waves of Neolithization: the Western Indo-European languages received domesticated animals through the Balkans and have an Afrasian-sounding vocabulary to describe those
animals whereas the Eastern Indo-European languages received domesticated animals through the Caucasus and have a vocabulary which is of Kartvelian origin mixed with a specialized reuse of PIE inherited words.

This clearly shows that such a low dating as – 4 500 BC for unified PIE is nonsense and that PIE started to disintegrate at the time of the domestication of the dog (or maybe slightly before) and that at the time of the domestication of the sheep and goat ca. -9 500 BC, Indo-
European languages were already occupying a large swath of land from the Balkans to the Pontico-Caspian area, which are respectively the secondary homeland of the Western branch and the Eastern branch of Indo-European languages.

My proposal for the PIE homeland:

– location: out of Western Turkey

– dating: ca. -12 000 BC

– cause: repeopling of Central and Eastern Europe freed after the end of Würm ice age

– closest PIE relatives: Hurrian and Hattic

In my proposal, IE languages began to expand as soon as it was possible to do so, after Central and Eastern Europe had become an inhabitable area after the end of Würm ice age.


Mallory, James P. 1997. The homelands of the Indo-Europeans. Blench, Roger & and

Matthew Spriggs. Archaeology and Language I: Theoretical and methodological

orientations. One World Archaeology, vol. 27. London and New York: Routledge.

Mallory, James P. 1996. In search of the Indo-Europeans.

Homeland of the Indo-Europeans

The scholars of the 19th century that originally tackled the question of the original homeland of the Indo-Europeans (also called Urheimat after the German term), were essentially confined to linguistic evidence. A rough localization was attempted by reconstructing the names of plants and animals (importantly the beech and the salmon) as well as the culture and technology (a Bronze Age culture centered on animal husbandry and having domesticated the horse). The scholarly opinions became basically divided between a European hypothesis, positing migration from Europe to Asia, and an Asian hypothesis, holding that the migration took place in the opposite direction.

However, from its early days, the controversy was tainted by romantic, nationalistic notions of heroic invaders at best and by imperialist and racist agendas at worst. It was often naturally assumed that the spread of the language was due to the invasions by some superior Aryan race. Such hypotheses suffered a particularly severe distortion for purposes of political propaganda by the Nazis. The question is still the source of much contention. Typically, nationalistic schools of thought either claim their respective territories for the original homeland, or maintain that their own culture and language have always been present in their area, dismissing the concept of Proto-Indo-Europeans altogether.

The Indo-European names for trees and plants include *t’e’orw- ‘tree; oak’, * pher(kho) -‘ * pheru- ‘oak; cliff’, *aik’- ‘mountain oak’, * k’oelH- ‘ acorn’,
*bherf.l}{‘- ‘birch’ , * bhaHk ‘o- ‘beech’ , * (s)k’robho- ‘hombeam’ , *Hos’ ash’, * Hosph- ‘aspen’ , *so(e)likh- ‘willow’ , *ei-‘ *oi- ‘yew’, *phith- ‘pine,
fir’, * q har- ‘ walnut; nut tree’ , * wer- ‘heather’ , * wrot ‘ -‘ * w rt’- ‘rose’ , *m(e)us- ‘moss’ .

This inventory agrees with the mountainous topography of the Indo-European proto-homeland and localizes it in relatively more southern regions: the Mediterranean in the broad sense, including the Balkans and the northern part of the Near East (Asia Minor, the mountainous areas of Upper Mesopotamia, and adjacent areas). lO Oak forests were not characteristic of northern Europe, where they spread only in the fourth to third millennia B.C

The relatively southern character of the Proto-Indo-European ecological environment suggested by geographical and botanical evidence is supported by analysis of the Indo-European animal names: *w!kho- ‘ * wlph_, * weit’-(n)’ wolf’ , *Hrth}{h- ‘bear’, *phars-‘ *phart’- ‘panther, leopard’ , * leu- ‘lion’,*Ieukh- ‘ lynx’ , * wl – o -phe k’h_(a) ‘fox, jackal’ , * qhweph- ‘ wild boar’ , * e l-(e)n-I *el-J{h- ‘deer, European elk, antelope’ , * thauro- ‘wild bull, aurochs, bison’ , * J{has-(no-) ‘hare’, * qhe/oph- ‘monkey, ape’, *yebh-I *Hebhand * lebh-onth-I * leHbho- ‘elephant; ivory ‘ , * oghoi-I *anghoi- ‘ snake’ , * mlis- ‘mouse’ , * kharkhar- ‘crab’, *mus- ‘fly’ , * I lis- ‘louse’ , *ghnit’- ‘nit’ , *dhghii- ‘fish’, *Hwei- ‘bird’, *He/or- ‘eagle’, *k’er- ‘crane’, *kher- ‘crow’, * theth(e)r- ‘capercaillie, black grouse ‘ , * (s)phikho- ‘woodpecker; small songbird, finch’, *ghans- ‘water bird, goose, swan’. Some of these animals * phars-I *phart’- ‘panther, leopard’, * Ieu- ‘lion’, * qhe/oph- ‘monkey, ape’, *yebh-I * Hebh- and * Iebh-onth- ‘elephant, ivory’ , *kharkhar- ‘crab’ – are peculiar to southern areas, which rules out central· Europe as a possible protohomeland for the Indo-European tribes.

The evidence against placing the Indo-European proto-homeland in central or eastern (although not southeastern) Europe provided by the reconstructed topography and ecological environment is consistent with culture-historical data on the domestic animals and cultivated plants with which the ancient IndoEuropeans must have been familiar. In the fourth millennium B.C., the time of Proto-Indo-European, herding and agriculture were in a rudimentary state in central Europe (Clark 1 952 [ 1 953]), while for Proto-Indo-European we can reconstruct a well-developed system of herding with the basic domestic animals, *ek’hwo- ‘horse’, *osono- ‘donkey’, * k ‘o(o)u- ‘bull, cow’ , *Howi- ‘ sheep, ram’, *qhok” – ‘goat’, *k’hwon- ‘dog’, * sU- ‘pig’ , *phorJ{ho- ‘piglet’, as well as terms for the products of livestock raising and terms having to do with herding, *Hak” -ro- ‘unworked field for grazing livestock’ , *phaH- ‘herd, tend livestock’, *wes-ther- ‘herder, shepherd’.
In eastern Europe, in particular the northern Mediterranean area and the Volga steppe, developed herding of this type is known only from the third
millennium B.C. on (see Goodenough 1970:255ff., Merpert 1 974). In central Europe, sheepherding, strongly developed among the ancient Indo-Europeans as shown by their elaborated sheepherding terminology (see II.3.1 .4), is almost entirely absent until the first millennium B.c. This also agrees with the lack of wool in neolithic Europe (Clark 1 952: 1 17- 1 8 [ 1953 : 124-25, 235-36], Curwen and Hatt 1953:41). Goat-breeding is first observed in Europe, including eastern Europe, at an even later time (Calkin 1 956). Also characteristic of Proto-Indo-European culture was well-developed beekeeping (*bhei- ‘bee’, *mel-ith-, *medhu- ‘honey’), which is known in the Near East from very ancient times.
The developed agriculture which is characteristic of ancient Indo-European society is established on the evidence of reconstructed Indo-European words for cultivated plants (*yewo- ‘barley’, *phiir- ‘ wheat’, * Ifno- ‘flax’), fruit trees (*sam(a)lu- ‘apple, apple tree, fruit tree’, * khrno- ‘cornel cherry, cherry’, * m o r o – ‘mulberry’ , * maHlo- ‘apple’ , *w(e/o)ino- ‘ grape ‘), tools for working land (*Har- ‘plow’ (verb), *Har-l1-thro-m ‘plow’ (noun), *seH(i)’ sow ‘ , *soelkh- and *pherk:h- ‘furrow’ , *serph- ‘ sickle’), agricultural seasons (*(e)s-en- ‘harvest time’, *Ham- ‘time of ripening’, *meH(i)- ‘ripen; gather harvest’), agricultural products (*selph- and * ongho- ‘oil’), and tools and activities involved in processing agricultural products (*bhrek:’ – ‘prepare barley grains over fire’, *pheis- ‘thresh, mill grain’ , * mel- ‘ grind, crush, thresh’ , *k’orau- ‘mill’ ; such tools enter Europe from Southwest Asia only during the Iron Age, i.e. in the first millennium B.C.: Clark 1 952: 1 1 3 [ 1 953:120]).

This is convincing evidence for locating Proto-Indo-European in those regions where agriculture was most highly developed in the fourth millennium B.c., namely in the same southern area stretching from the Balkans to Iran. The elaborate terminology for agriculture and wine-growing excludes the more northerly regions of Europe. Grains such as barley become a dominant cultivar in Europe only by the end of the second or beginning of the first millennium B.c. (ClarkI952: 108 [1953:1 15]).
Of particular value for establishing the original habitation of the ancient IndoEuropeans is the Indo-European terminology for transport: the words for wheeled carriages (*khoel-, *khoekholo- ‘wheel, wheeled carriage, chariot’, *rotho- ‘wheel’ , *Hwer-th-, *Hwer-gh- ‘turn, rotate; wheel, circle; carriage’ , *His- ‘pole (of carriage)’ , * dhur- ‘harness’ , *HaI{hs- ‘axle’, *yuk’om ‘yoke’, * wegh- ‘carry by vehicle’ , *yaH- ‘ride in vehicle’), the word for ‘bronze’ (*Haye/os-), indispensable for making wheeled carriages from mountain hardwoods, and the word for ‘horse’ (*eI{hwo-), which must be assumed to have been used as a draft animal in the Proto-Indo-European period, i.e. by the fourth millennium B.C.

This set of facts again restricts the original territory of Proto-Indo-European to the region reaching from the Balkans to the Near East and the Transcaucasus as far as the Iranian plateau and southern Turkmenia (see 11.6.6 above).
The manufacture of wheeled carriages is dated to about the fourth millennium B.C. Their center of dispersal is recognized to be the region from the
Transcaucasus to Upper Mesopotamia (see Childe 1 954, Piggott 1969, 1974). From this Near Eastern center they spread to the Volga-Ural region (Gening 1977),12 the northern Black Sea area (Kuz’mina 1974, 1976, 1977), the Balkans, and Central Europe (see 11.6.6. 16 and Map 1). The same time period marks the beginning of the Bronze Age in the Near East (Forbes 1950).

This same territory is one of the possible areas where the horse was first domesticated and used as a draft animal, or in any event a center of dispersal for the previously domesticated horse (see 11.3.1 . 1 . 16).
The elaborate Proto-Indo-European terminology for transport carriages and for the harness and its parts, as well as for horses and bronze, is grounds for placing the Indo-European proto-homeland of the fourth millennium B.C. within the area extending from the Balkans (including the Near East and Transcaucasus) to southern Turkmenia.

There is also reason to reconstruct water transport for the Indo-Europeans: *erij- l * reH- ‘navigate in boat or ship using oars ‘, *naHw- ‘boat, vessel’ ,
*phleu- ‘travel by boat’. In the fourth to third millennia B.c., well-developed water transport is known in the Near East, in particular in ancient Mesopotamia: see Childe 1934 [ 1 956], Komor6czy 1976: 17ff.

Proto-Indo-European, Kartvelian, and Semitic show a distinctive isomorphic structure in their consonantism, which displays three series of stops, defined as glottalized (or pharyngealized, for some of Semitic), voiced, and voiceless (see 1.2.5 above). !3 Kartvelian and Indo-European have identical systems of sonants, with syllabic and non-syllabic variants depending on position in the word. Also identical are the structural canon for root and affixal morphemes and the rules for combining them which involved ablaut alternations of vowels (see I.4.3 for details). Such similarity, complete down to isomorphism of structures and root canons, would be the result of long interaction of these languages in a linguistic area, and their allogenetic association with one another (see Cereteli 1968).

Further testimony to this relationship comes from the numerous lexical borrowings observed among the languages of this former linguistic area.

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PIE hypothesis

Posted by Sjur Cappelen Papazian on May 28, 2013

The Kura-Araxes Culture

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.

Indo-European Origins and Geography


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The Kura-Araxes civilization of the Early Bronze Age

Posted by Sjur Cappelen Papazian on May 28, 2013

Neolothic, Chalcolithic, Early Bronze Ages

The transition from the hunting-and-gathering societies of the Paleolithic Era to farming-based communities—a shift commonly known as the Neolithic Revolution—culminated in the Neolithic Age. One hallmark of the Neolithic Revolution was the development of farming and cattlebreeding strategies based on sedentary societies. A new cultural pattern developed in the Kura basin of western Azerbaijan and southeastern Georgia known as the Shumatapa culture. Examples of this culture were found during excavations in the AGT pipelines corridor.

The emergence of early copper metallurgy alongside traditional stone tools marked the subsequent period, known as the Eneolithic or Chalcolithic Age. During this age, much of western Asia saw the expansion of isolated villages into regional trade systems, a hallmark of incipient civilizations.

Archaeological excavations in the early 1980s at the old Leylatapa residential area in the Garadagh region of Azerbaijan revealed novel traces of the Eneolithic Period. It was later discovered that the architectural findings (ironware, infant graves in clay pots, earthenware prepared using potter’s wheel and other features) significantly differ from the archaeological complexes of the same period in the South Caucasus. From these findings, a new archaeological culture (the Leylatapa) was discovered. Research indicates that this culture was genetically connected with the Ubeid and Uruk cultures, which were archaeological complexes in Northern Mesopotamia that date to the first half of the 4th millennium BC. It has been determined that the Leylatapa residential area was built by ancient tribes migrating from the Northern Mesopotamia to the South Caucasus during the Eneolithic Period.

In western Azerbaijan, a number of Leylatapa-related archaeological sites were uncovered within the BTC and SCP pipelines corridor, which created tremendous opportunities for critical scientific research concerned with archaeology in the Caucasus. Relevant sites include the Boyuk Kasik (438km), Poylu II (408.8km), Agılıdara (358km) settlement sites and the Soyuqbulaq burial mounds (432km). These monuments are critical for the investigation of ethnic, economic and cultural relationships within the Caucasus and Middle East, which has resulted in scientists from Europe, Russia and Georgia all showing immense interest in these sites. For example, a relationship between the North Caucasian Maykop sites and those of Mesopotamia was suspected by the scientific community for many years, however it wasn’t until archaeological excavations were conducted at the above-mentioned sites that a link was confirmed.

The Kura-Araxes civilization of the Early Bronze Age replaced the Eneolithic Period in the middle of the 4th millennium BC in the southern Caucasus. The main features of this society were the production of bronze, black, and dark gray glazed pots with hemispherical handles, the rapid development of a cattle-breeding economy, and the spread of mound-type graves. The Kura-Araxes culture extended from the South Caucasus to what is now the Republic of Dagestan to the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. It came to an end in the third quarter of the 3rd millennium BC.

Three kurgan (burial mound) monuments referring to the Kura-Araxes culture have been discovered and excavated in the western side of Shamkirchai river along the pipeline route on 332- 333 km in Azerbaijan. Excavation of these kurgans has provided valuable information about the burial traditions, economic and cultural relations of the Early Bronze Age population of the region.

The Kura-Araxes civilization of the Early Bronze Age

Bet Yerah, Aparan III and Karnut I: Preliminary Observations on Kura-Araxes Homeland and Diaspora Ceramic Technologies

Prehistoric Nagorno-Karabakh, The Kura-Araxes

More on the Kura-Araxes

Kura–Araxes culture

Kura-Araxes culture, Armenian Highlands

Tepe Pissa: new investigations at a Kura-Araxes site in central western Iran

An Attempt at Dating the Starting Point of the Kura-Araxes Culture

The Southern Caucasus in Prehistory: Stages of Cultural and Socioeconomic Development from the Eighth to the Second Millennium B.C

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