Ancient Iranian Agriculturists, Hittite DNA remains, and the earliest Indo European languages


An extensive research by David Reich, a geneticist at Harvard University, strongly suggests that there was a migration of AGRICULTURALISTS into northwestern India from what is now Western Iran/Zagros Mountains, around 4000BCE.

This migration was followed two millennia later around 2000BCE, just before the Vedic Age—by a large influx from the area between the Black and Caspian Seas, North of Caucasus Mountains. These newcomers appear to have shared the same ancestry with the populations of the European peninsula/continent.

But who were these earlier, ancient Iranian Agriculturists??? For one, the Neolithic, Iranian Agriculturists shared same ancestry with Old Hittite DNA remains, (the earliest speakers of Indo European Languages,) and with some Assyrian/North Mesopotamian Lineages (See Genetic studies of Damgaard et al. 2018.)

They lived in the Zagros Mountains, where some of the earliest evidence of wine making/production has been discovered. Zagros mountain range begins in northwestern Iran, South of Caucasus, and creates a geographic barrier between the Mesopotamian flat deserts, and the towering Iranian Plateau/Mountains. It has a total length of 1,600 km (990 miles.) The highest point is Mount Dena at an elevation of 4,409 meters (14,465 feet.)

Remnants of the originally widespread oak-dominated woodland can still be found in Zagros Mountains. The ancestors of many familiar foods, including wheat, barley, lentil, almond, walnut, pistachio, apricot, plum, pomegranate and grape can be found growing wild throughout Zagros.

Ancient DNA tests have revealed that the majority of Early Neolithic farmers who colonized Europe belonged to Y-haplogroup G2a. However, the Iranian Agriculturists had a higher frequency of T1a Y-DNA lineages than G haplogroup. Interestingly, during the Copper and Bronze Ages, haplogroup T appears to have been an important paternal lineage among the ruling elites of ancient peoples such as Sumerians, and the Assyrians.

Within Europe the frequency of Y-DNA T lineages is most common in the mountainous parts of the southern Balkans, the central and southern Apennine Mountains in Italy, Auvergne Mountains in France, and mountain pasturelands of southwestern Iberia.

All the aforementioned mountainous regions share many features with Iranian Zagros Mountain Range in Northwestern Iran, South of Caucasus.

The Paternal T lineage is also believed to have been closely associated with maternal HV haplogroup.

HV is the most successful maternal lineage in Europe today. Over half of the female European population descends from a single female, HV lineage progenitor who lived at least 25,000 years ago. Most Europeans belonging to the HV lineage descend from a branch that was renamed haplogroup H.

The modern distribution of mtDNA HV is particularly reminiscent of hotspots for Y-DNA haplogroup T. This strongly suggests that maternal HV and paternal T lineages spread together from a spot in modern day Northwestern Iran, South Caucasus, and Iraqi Kurdistan, to the Fertile Crescent, notably Northern Mesopotamia, as well as to Central and Eastern Europe.

The distribution of HV maternal haplogroup today is as follows:

HV2: found among Zoroastrians, Kurds, and in Slovakia
HV5: found around Lithuania, Belarus and Poland
HV6 : found in Iran, Russia, Slovakia and Britain
HV7 : found in Russia, Ukraine and Sicily
HV8 : found in southern Russia and Slovakia
HV9 : found in Italy, the Czech Republic, Poland, Russia, Scandinavia and Britain
HV10 : found around the Alps
HV11 : found in Italy
HV12 : found in Iran
HV13 : found in Iran

Today, about 20% of Iranian Zoroastrian priests belong to Y-DNA haplgroup T1a, a lineage that goes back to Neolithic Iranian Agriculturists. Also after mtDNA U4, mtDNA HV2 is the most common Zoroastrian maternal lineage.

However, 80% of Iranian Zoroastrian priests belong to Y-DNA lineages I* and I2*. Both I* (I M170) and I2* (I P215) are associated with Cro Magnon/Early European Robust humans, and are exceedingly rare among modern populations.

I* (M170) is the Paleolithic lineage from which all subclades of Y-DNA I derive. I* (I M170) is My Personal Y-DNA marker.

About 86% of the Parsi Zoroastrian Priests belong to R1a1a1 Y-DNA marker, a proto Indo European marker that goes back to ancient Yamnaya culture, and hails from the regions surrounding Dnieper river in modern day Ukraine, and what is now Southern Russia.

Another 14% of Parsi Zoroastrian Priests belong to haplgroup L. According to Dr. Spencer Wells, Haplogroup L-M20 originated in the rugged and mountainous Pamir Knot region in Tajikistan of Central Asia. This haplogroup was found in remains attributed to an elite member of the Hun tribes in Hungary.

In conclusion, I shall add that Pre-historic people in northern Caucasus, Southern Caucasus and Zagros Mountains would have adopted farming and exchanged goods and languages for thousands of years. These Neolithic Iranian Agriculturists of Zagros Mountains soon merged with proto Indo Europeans, and became one people with them.

There is also the great likelihood that the first speakers of an Indo-European language could have hailed from south of the Caucasus Mountains, perhaps in present-day Iran or Armenia.

ardeshir

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4 Responses to Ancient Iranian Agriculturists, Hittite DNA remains, and the earliest Indo European languages

  1. suyindiki says:

    I have a question regarding two statements in the blog post:

    -“However, the Iranian Agriculturists had a higher frequency of T1a Y-DNA lineages than G haplogroup.”

    -“Interestingly, during the Copper and Bronze Ages, haplogroup T appears to have been an important paternal lineage among the ruling elites of ancient peoples such as Sumerians, and the Assyrians.”

    Do you base these statement(especially second statement) on unpublished data sources?

    • Haplogroup T is found mostly in the northern periphery where the Sumerians had colonies (Syria, eastern Anatolia, southern Caucasus). Its low frequency today in historical Sumer (Iraqi marshes) is mainly due to the extremely strong presence of Arabs (74% of J1-P58), who arrived after the Islamic invasion. If we take out the arab imprints for the past 1400 years, what is left in southern Iraq is J2a, T, G and L, in that order of frequency. The Kuwait Y-DNA Project can also serve as a comparison. It shows that haplogroups T and J2a are the two most common in the region after the Semitic J1-P58 and E1b1b.

      In that case, the original Sumerians and Akkadians belonged mostly to haplogroups J2a and T. Haplogroup T seems much more plausible as a substratum among the first Sumerians though. The Marsh Arabs of Southern Iraq today might not be directly descended from ancient Sumerians. But they definitely have ties to ancient Sumerians. What is so interesting about Marsh Arabs autosomal is that they show most of their genetic ties to Northern West Asia (Kurds, Assyrians, Anatolians.) Also, their maternal line shows a clear connection to populations of Northern West Asia/Southern Caucasus.

      In other words it appears that Marsh Arabs autosomal DNA is descended predominantly from the Sumerians BUT based on ydna and mtdna it appears like an Arabian Islamic “Elite” took allot of their local women.

      Now, the closest living people to the ancient Iranian Agriculturists are Bakhtiaris. They certainly show a higher level/frequency of Y-DNA T than G, while both of those haplogroups are present in them. Also, the limited study of ancient skeletal remains from Iranian Plateau around Zagros mountains showed a higher frequency of haplogroup T than G, while confirming close genetic affinity to populations of Southern Caucasus and Anatolia otherwise.

      As far as the statement, about the APPEARANCE of the close connection of Haplogroup T with the ruling elite in Sumer, Haplogroup T seems much more plausible as a substratum among the first Sumerians. Furthermore, in all modern countries such as Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, UAE that once represented outposts or close colonies/lands to ancient Sumer, the ruling families and dynasties belong to Haplogroup T.

      • suyindiki says:

        I agree with of your view. What i think is that, like you say, haplogroups G, J, L and T are the root of the Maykop and Leyla-Tepe people.

        Their ancestors were the Uruk, Ubaid and Halaf people, and the languague they spoke was the Sumerian language.

        And according to the recent Russian papers, 50% of Crimean Karaites had G, J, L and T.
        And like you say, it is found in high frequencies in South Caucasus, within Armenia and Azerbaijan. Recent Iranian paper about Azerbaijanis showed again high frequency of T.
        It is also found in high frequencies in several populations in Turkey, Iraq and Syria.
        And besides this, T is probably also found in high frequencies among specific groups of Kazakhs.

        What i wanted to ask you is if you have unpublished data of ancient dna(of Sumerians or Southern Caucasus ancient skeletal remains) studies which caused for the writing of your article.

  2. Sepehr says:

    Hello, I am an Iranian that was predicted to T1a1a yDNA haplogroup by MorleyDNA. Basically, I uploaded my raw AncestryDNA auotosomal data for prediction, and it’s not 100% this is not my haplogroup.

    Granted, I want to know if my paternal line has an unbroken lineage dating to Sassanian era. This is a little bit important to me. That is, my father’s father-father-father… have no Arabs or foreign people to break paternal descent to Sassanian era.

    Is there any way to determine with absolute certainty I have unbroken lineage to Sassanian era, or is this science simply not at that level yet? Thank you.

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