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Thread: Inner Asian maternal genetic origin of the Avar period nomadic elite

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    Inner Asian maternal genetic origin of the Avar period nomadic elite

    Inner Asian maternal genetic origin of the Avar period nomadic elite in the 7th century AD Carpathian Basin

    Abstract


    After 568 AD the nomadic Avars settled in the Carpathian Basin and founded their empire, which was an important force in Central Europe until the beginning of the 9th century AD. The Avar elite was probably of Inner Asian origin; its identification with the Rourans (who ruled the region of today's Mongolia and North China in the 4th-6th centuries AD) is widely accepted in the historical research. Here, we study the whole mitochondrial genomes of twenty-three 7th century and two 8th century AD individuals from a well-characterised Avar elite group of burials excavated in Hungary. Most of them were buried with high value prestige artefacts and their skulls showed Mongoloid morphological traits. The majority (64%) of the studied samples' mitochondrial DNA variability belongs to Asian haplogroups (C, D, F, M, R, Y and Z). This Avar elite group shows affinities to several ancient and modern Inner Asian populations. The genetic results verify the historical thesis on the Inner Asian origin of the Avar elite, as not only a military retinue consisting of armed men, but an endogamous group of families migrated. This correlates well with records on historical nomadic societies where maternal lineages were as important as paternal descent.

    https://www.biorxiv.org/content/early/2018/09/13/415760
    Here's an interesting article by Razib Khan on this pre-print:

    https://www.gnxp.com/WordPress/2018/...-sea-of-grass/
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jovialis View Post
    Here's an interesting article by Razib Khan on this pre-print:

    https://www.gnxp.com/WordPress/2018/...-sea-of-grass/
    One of the commenters posed an interesting question:

    "I do wonder why the Avars assimilated while the Magyars didn’t. They’re both migrants from the steppe that settled in Hungary so why did only one manage to maintain ethnic identity?


    Why, indeed, were the Magyars able to impose their language and the Avars weren't?

    Another one mentioned the island of Hvar and its Q ydna. Some of those islands also have very high levels of mtDna U2e. That's what happens with islands: founder effect and drift.

    This map that he posted explains a lot too, including genetic results.

    [IMG][/IMG]


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    The overall genetic composition of the Avar elite group in the Caspian Basin differs significantly from the conquering Avar population from southeast Hungary as the Avar period elite shows the non-significant genetic distances to ancient Central Asian populations. Csáky et al. (2018) found that the Avar elite group they investigated is remotely related to the mixed Avar-Slavic population, which founded the khanate of Szólád in Transdanubia from the 8th-9th centuries and had predominantly Eastern European maternal genetic and archaeological characters. The only genetic link between them is mtDNA haplogroup T1a1b, which points to the genetic continuity of certain maternal lineages between the two Avar groups.

    We found that the Avar elite group is genetically different from the 6th century Lombard period community of Szólád in Transdanubia18 (Fig. 2), which has genetic connections to other ancient European populations
    (Fig. 3), and we can also assume that the other local Germanic populations also had a rather European type mtDNA variability in contrast to the studied Avar group. Comparing the Avar elite with later period datasets from the Carpathian Basin, only a few connections are observable. The mixed Avar-Slavic population from the 8th-9th centuries21 does not show affinities to the Avar elite. The T1a1b phylogenetic tree contains one individual from the Hungarian conquest period (sample Karos III/14 in Neparáczki et al.43) with identical sequence to the Avar HC9, which might indicate the genetic continuity of certain maternal lineages between the 7th and 9th -10th centuries. The overall mtDNA composition of the Avar elite group and the 9-12th century populations of the Carpathian Basin differ significantly, but whole genomic reanalyses of the latter samples are needed to prove these results.
    Last edited by ThirdTerm; 17-09-18 at 05:20.
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