We are generally in agreement mate. I personally haven't misunderstood you, i see you are likewise open-minded about any scenario and just find the southern route more likable, which i respect since i also haven't excluded the possibility.

Regarding Graeco-Phrygian i do believe it was a thing. Personally i believe it was something like this following map shows, which i would date at approximately 2200 BCE, meaning at about the time of the southern expansion of
Greek tribes, namely Aeolic (Minyans, Arcadians, etc.) beginning from the region of Thessaly. Take note that i personally view Macedonian as a NW-Greek (Doric) dialect with an Aeolic and Phrygian substrate, depending on the side it bordered. I recently read a very interesting article on the subject. This also tends to be the prevalent view among the international community nowadays, based on the material we have. That's the only thing i would fix on the map, even though it is suggestive of that substrate the way it is presented.


Fair points regarding Mushki. As for pottery being found all the way to Elazığ, it isn't that surprising, bearing in mind that the region tended to be encompassed by all the big local cultures throughout time, such as the Kura-Araxes, Hurro-Urartians, and Mitanni. It obviously falls within this eastern sphere.

Likewise fair points regarding Armenians. The steppe ancestry of MLBA and MBA Armenian samples that you directed me to further complement all these (as a side note it's incredible how much less of it modern Armenians seem to possess). Unfortunately these samples are dated to approximately 1500 BCE, which do diminish the likelihood of a Phrygian influence, but not really of an earlier Balkanic migration. Although what you shared did open my appetite for some more research into earlier Armenian samples and i came by this study which does include a number of them, namely "Genomic insights into the origin of farming in the ancient Near East" (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5003663/), but unfortunately the results are based on a very poor selection of components in my opinion which don't really answer my questions. It seems the real steppe intrusion we are looking for only happened at around the MLBA, which largely points to a Greek source as we both seem to be suggesting as a scenario in the last paragraph which you will read below. It would be very interesting to see what these earlier Armenian samples produce in other autosomal calculators. One other interesting point in terms of Armenian, which could push back the date of its formation, is that dialects of it (among other IE branches) also show glottalization (associated with PIE). It has been argued to be recent influence from the other Caucasian languages, but Frederik Kortlandt argues glottalization cannot be considered a modern innovation and must be reconstructed with a wider dialectal distribution for older stages of Armenian.

You write, "You're right, to an extent. But it's more suggestive of there not being a group (at least a significant group, Balkan or otherwise) mixing in after 1200 BCE. According to you (which I have no reason to doubt, mind you) the Proto-Greek IEs accounted for 1/5 of the total "Greek" (I use that in quotes not deridingly but to accommodate various linguistic/cultural groups living in greater Greece, IE or not) but their population was still detectable.".
Not really bothered by the quote marks mate, that's exactly what i wrote. The same was true in many others as well. For example, Albanians, being genetically almost identical to the Greeks, also appear to have had a similar ratio of IE genetic intrusion. Other than the "Genetic origins of the Minoans and Mycenaeans" study which gives suggestions of this ratio based on the EHG ancestry, reaching approximately 16%, we also have this study, namely "Massive migration from the steppe was a source for Indo-European languages in Europe" (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5048219/), which shows that in general modern southern Europeans tend to have preserved a more Neolithic autosomal profile. Again, these ratios are all suggestive of IE genetic influence, not indicative. As for the Armenian case, i agree with your point as i have aforementioned.


You write, "The reason I was saying “Armenian” for the Mycenaeans is because this is the exact wording used in Angela’s article from Nature to describe the possible source for the Steppe-derived population that separated the Mycenaeans from the “native” Minoan-like populations.".
That's actually word for word what the genetic study writes. By the way, i did address this very possibility in an earlier comment by sharing the same quote (two times i believe).

You write, "but I think it's a lot more difficult to justify that Armenian-speakers entered the Armenia region in 600 BCE".
Again, i have repeatedly denied that. My position was more along the lines of an influence upon the early IE language already being spoken in Armenia, not really an introduction of a new IE language between 700-600 BCE.

You write, "
The only other possibility I can think of is that Armenians and Greeks split north or to the east of the Black Sea, and Armenians migrated via the Caucasian-model whereas the Greeks migrated via the Northern model. But I don't know how possible or realistic this is.".
That has also passed my mind as a possibility, although for the split to have occurred more along the borders of Maykop and Yamnaya, or in general the Maykop outlier. With proto-Armenian/proto-Anatolian migrating south and representing the IE element of the Kura-Araxes culture, while Greek taking the northern route and ending up in the Balkans a little later. This has always been one of my numerous hypotheses likewise.

You write, "
One thing that I was thinking, and that I see you've suggested in a way too, is that perhaps some of the earlier "Armenian" Indo-European peoples were Anatolian speakers of some sort (or Proto-Anatolian speakers).".
Yes i have indeed made some remarks, as also mentioned above. I believe that Kura-Araxes' IEs might have influenced both the formation of Anatolian IE languages as well as Armenian. At least for the case of Greek i have read that Anatolian languages tended to be their closest IE relative, before they eventually became extinct by the expansion of Greek and the Anatolian Hellenization. If Greek was considered that close to the Anatolian languages, then i believe the same must be true for Armenian which is largely considered to be very close to Greek. Indeed, some even tried classifying Armenian as an Anatolian language in the past. Read this interesting article presenting an early hypothesis, namely "Is Armenian an Anatolian Language?" by William M. Austin, https://www.jstor.org/stable/409074, (you need to have a free registered account). But even the author concludes with the admission for the need of further research.

You write, "
Or perhaps the Armenian language came from the Balkans, but much earlier than the first millennium BCE, rather, sometime between 2000-1500 BCE. This could account for some of the possible Balkanic connected names in Hayasa, like Karanni (Karanos?) but this isn't the only possible explanation for these names (i.e they could have gone from east>west or been filtered through an Anatolian or Phrygian group).".
This is also a good hypothesis which based on the MLBA Armenian samples i tend to view as a more probable case. It can be justified by the fact that we see steppe ancestry in MLBA and MBA Armenian samples, but not in contemporary Anatolian ones, especially by taking into account the seafaring traditions of the Greeks (in contrast to the Transcaucasians), which could bypass an Anatolian land route, therefore explaining the absence of steppe ancestry in Anatolians IEs. Again, there was a Greek mythological/legendary expansion into the area of Transcaucasia, as i have previously pointed out in earlier comments, that is accompanied with archaeological similarities (especially with the Trialeti culture).