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Thread: Why Zoroastrians (Tehran) have no R1a?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyrus View Post
    R1a1a1b has a very low frequency in Iran but R1b1a1a2a in the northwest to the southwest of Iran where Cimmerians (Persians) lived, has a high frequency. Sarmatians were an eastern Iranian people, they originally lived in the Central Asia. As said in another thread, Cimmerians (Persians) were originally a Thracian or Illyrian people who adopted an Iranian language, we see very different sound changes in eastern and western Iranian languages, for example Persian bištan and Avestan duuaēθā have the same Iranian origin: https://en.m.wiktionary.org/wiki/Rec...European/dwey-
    Yes, specifically R1b-CTS7822 looks to have been present in the same Eastern Baltic area and culture (Eastern Corded Ware) as R1a1a1b, and both almost certainly mixed into the same core population.

    It looks likely that Ossetians inherited their Iranian language from people with a branch of East European CTS7822 (Y5587) as one of their dominant paternal haplogroups.

    This mixed Eastern Baltic population looks to have been the common component of Iranian-speaking peoples from Ossetia to Iran to Tajikstan, and installed its own language in a number of places despite only contributing about 10% of autosomal DNA to each. To me, they look most likely to be a domineering, colonising minority who were eventually absorbed by their host populations.

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    Eastern Iranian-speakers (as evidenced in Ossetians) also appear to have more in common autosomally with R1b-Z2109 lineages; whereas Western-Iranian speakers appear to have more of a mixed R1a-Z645/R1b-Z2109 profile. Are there any linguistic differences that might reflect this distinction?

    As the newcomers introducing the Iranian language to Iran might have been a minority, is it possible that Zoroastrianism could have represented a remnant of an earlier indigenous religious tradition that the newcomers allowed to resurge?

    It's difficult assessing the yDNA of Iranians, as the relatively sparse data is so inspecific. As I've said before, identifications like 'R1a' and 'R1b' are general enough to be of little information value.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyrus View Post
    Indo-Iranian migration to Iran is just a myth, it has been also said that haplogroup R1b relates to Indo-Iranians but we see this haplogroup has the highest frequency among Assyrians in Tehran.
    Yeah, I think we will find R1b-L23 among Elamites.

    Some say Elamite was equidistant between Afroasiatic and Dravidian. Both Ashur and Elam are sons of Shem in the Hebrew Bible.

    The migration is real in a way, imho, but the homeland, the timeframe, the routes etc. are all wrong.

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    Yes, but which types of L23, all different kinds of which are spread around the world?

    I was thinking more of mid 2nd millennium BC Nerkin Getashen with its mix (similar to Zoroastrians) of (i) E1b1b1 (possibly of Elamite or Assyrian origin) and R1b, and (ii) Middle Eastern, Steppic and Caucasian components. The existence of E1b1b1 in Nerkin Getashen and its high proportion in the Zoroastrian samples is as striking as the absence of Zoroastrian R1a.

    Perhaps Zoroastrianism was a re-emergence of some traditions of these people, who predated the arrival of the Iranian language in this part of the world?

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    Grugni et al reported 17.6% R1a1a (R1a1a* in the paper) among Yazd Zoroastrians. They also reported some R-L23 (L23* in the paper) in Tehran Zoroastrians. I'm not sure what "absence" means here?

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    Quote Originally Posted by spruithean View Post
    Grugni et al reported 17.6% R1a1a (R1a1a* in the paper) among Yazd Zoroastrians. They also reported some R-L23 (L23* in the paper) in Tehran Zoroastrians. I'm not sure what "absence" means here?
    Absence means the lack of any R1a in the sampled Tehran Zoroastrians, which is the subject of this thread. Yes, there is R1a in Yazd Zoroastrians.

    As is the case with most academic papers, I would advise approaching this one with caution:
    1. It finds no R1a1a1 in 938 samples across the whole of Iran - highly unlikely, considering that nearly all R1a samples everywhere are R1a1a1, and that R1a1a* is virtually non-existent (with only a handful of known samples in far NW Europe). Indeed, it is not even clear what R1a1a* means, as it is not defined.
    2. The R-L23* readings are not very useful either, as they are probably not what we would now refer to as L23*, but Z2103, of which there are many different subclades spread widely across the whole area between Western Europe and China.

    If accurate, however, the more striking results from the paper are:
    E-M35 Zoroastrian (all) 19%, Iran (other) 8%
    G Zoroastrian (all) 4%, Iran (other) 12%
    J-M530 Zoroastrian (all) 17%, Iran (other) 5%
    J-page55 Zoroastrian (all) 32%, Iran (other) 12%

    This is why Zoroastrians as a distinctive group appear to pre-date Iranian speakers. They seem more heavily drawn from older mixed immigrant populations like Nerkin Getashen, which had both E1b and Middle-Eastern aDNA from the South and Steppic/Caucasian aDNA from the North.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pip View Post
    The source of R1a isn't relevant to this issue, as it originated tens of thousands of years beforehand. Likewise, generalisations about what R1a or R1b was or did in the 1st millennium BC are meaningless, as both had branched out all over the place and were very diverse by then. They didn't divide themselves according to basic DNA haplogroups, and stick to populations bearing only these haplogroups over many tens of thousands of years
    It seems both R1a and R1b came to Iran from the Europe, adopted an Indo-European culture and came back to Europe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyrus View Post
    It seems both R1a and R1b came to Iran from the Europe, adopted an Indo-European culture and came back to Europe.
    As I say, this is pretty much meaningless until you identify which subclades of R1a and R1b you are talking about.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pip View Post
    As I say, this is pretty much meaningless until you identify which subclades of R1a and R1b you are talking about.
    R1a-M17 & R1b-L23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyrus View Post
    R1a-M17 & R1b-L23
    OK, so both had already returned from Iran long before the Iranians or even the Indo-Aryans had arrived on the scene - surely too ancient to be directly connected to Zoroastrianism?

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    Y-DNA haplogroup
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    Armenians and assyrians are very similar



    The most common Y-DNA haplogroups among Assyrians is T-M184, at 41.5%, which is frequent in Middle Eastern Jews, Georgians, Druze and Somalians.[221] According to a 2011 study by Lashgary et al., R1b had a rate of 40%, making it major haplogroup among Assyrians in Iran.[222] Yet another DNA test comprising 48 Assyrian male subjects from Iran, the Y-DNA haplogroups J-M304, found in its greatest concentration in the Arabian peninsula, and the Indo European-linked R-M269, were also frequent at 29.2% each.[223] Lashgary et al. explain the presence of haplogroup R in Iranian Assyrians and Assyrians in general as a consequence of mixing with Armenians, assimilation/integration of different people carrying haplogroup R, genetic drift due to small population size and endogamy due to religious barriers.[222]
    According to a 2006 study of Assyrian males from Iraq, Iran and Turkey J-M267 measured at 28.6%, 16.1% and 20.0%, respectively,[221] which is significant among Semitic people of Western Asia, North Africa and the Horn of Africa and the second most common haplogroup among Assyrians.[224] This was followed by J2 at 13.4%, which is commonly found in the Fertile Crescent, the Caucasus, Anatolia, Italy, coastal Mediterranean, and the Iranian plateau.[225][226] Other Y-DNA haplogroups included were Afro Asiatic-linked E1b1b (11.2%), G-M201 (8.9%), which is significantly found in the Caucasus and Georgia, and the Proto Indo European-linked R1a (8.3%).[227]
    Fathers mtdna T2b17
    Grandfather mtdna T1a1e
    Sons mtdna K1a4o
    Mum paternal line R1b-S8172
    Grandmum paternal side I1d1-P109
    Wife paternal line R1a-Z282

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pip View Post
    Absence means the lack of any R1a in the sampled Tehran Zoroastrians, which is the subject of this thread. Yes, there is R1a in Yazd Zoroastrians.

    As is the case with most academic papers, I would advise approaching this one with caution:
    1. It finds no R1a1a1 in 938 samples across the whole of Iran - highly unlikely, considering that nearly all R1a samples everywhere are R1a1a1, and that R1a1a* is virtually non-existent (with only a handful of known samples in far NW Europe). Indeed, it is not even clear what R1a1a* means, as it is not defined.
    2. The R-L23* readings are not very useful either, as they are probably not what we would now refer to as L23*, but Z2103, of which there are many different subclades spread widely across the whole area between Western Europe and China.

    If accurate, however, the more striking results from the paper are:
    E-M35 Zoroastrian (all) 19%, Iran (other) 8%
    G Zoroastrian (all) 4%, Iran (other) 12%
    J-M530 Zoroastrian (all) 17%, Iran (other) 5%
    J-page55 Zoroastrian (all) 32%, Iran (other) 12%

    This is why Zoroastrians as a distinctive group appear to pre-date Iranian speakers. They seem more heavily drawn from older mixed immigrant populations like Nerkin Getashen, which had both E1b and Middle-Eastern aDNA from the South and Steppic/Caucasian aDNA from the North.
    This paper listed the SNPs they tested for and again we must consider the small sample size of the Tehran Zoroastrians, we can't make any real solid conclusions based off a sample size of n=13.

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    Quote Originally Posted by spruithean View Post
    This paper listed the SNPs they tested for
    Yes, and these provide data of little useful value - especially for R1a and R1b.

    Quote Originally Posted by spruithean View Post
    and again we must consider the small sample size of the Tehran Zoroastrians, we can't make any real solid conclusions based off a sample size of n=13
    Don't ignore the Yazd Zoroastrians, which increase the Zoroastrian sample size substantially. Indeed, it was you who brought up these people in the first place. My point was that the Zoroastrian yDNA in total is clearly different to general Iranian - it has over double the E-M35 and over triple the J-M530.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pip View Post
    Yes, and these provide data of little useful value - especially for R1a and R1b.
    Agreed.


    Don't ignore the Yazd Zoroastrians, which increase the Zoroastrian sample size substantially. Indeed, it was you who brought up these people in the first place. My point was that the Zoroastrian yDNA in total is clearly different to general Iranian - it has over double the E-M35 and over triple the J-M530.
    I'm not, however it seems the OP has ignored the Yazd Zoroastrians samples in favour of the "no R1a" Tehran Zoroastrians for some reason. That was merely my reasoning for mentioning them earlier. Secondly, I'm not arguing that their Y-DNA is not different from "general Iranian", just felt it was worth pointing out that the Tehran sample does not speak for all Zoroastrians.

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    Quote Originally Posted by spruithean View Post

    I'm not, however it seems the OP has ignored the Yazd Zoroastrians samples in favour of the "no R1a" Tehran Zoroastrians for some reason. That was merely my reasoning for mentioning them earlier. Secondly, I'm not arguing that their Y-DNA is not different from "general Iranian", just felt it was worth pointing out that the Tehran sample does not speak for all Zoroastrians.
    Yes, agreed.

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    R1a subclade among Zoroastrians of Yazd is M17, not Z93, it dates back to 14,000 years ago, geneticists believe Iran was the original land of R1a, look at Underhill et al. 2015, so it couldn't be related to an Indo-European migration to Iran too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyrus View Post
    R1a subclade among Zoroastrians of Yazd is M17, not Z93, it dates back to 14,000 years ago, geneticists believe Iran was the original land of R1a, look at Underhill et al. 2015, so it couldn't be related to an Indo-European migration to Iran too.
    Z93 is a subclade of M17. I can't see that the study tested for Z93. It would be unbelievable if none of the 130 R1a samples in the study were M417/Z93, and all were from M17xM417, which barely exists anywhere. A sizeable proportion of these 130 people were certainly Z93 and descend paternally from Eastern Europe at some point.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyrus View Post
    R1a subclade among Zoroastrians of Yazd is M17, not Z93, it dates back to 14,000 years ago, geneticists believe Iran was the original land of R1a, look at Underhill et al. 2015, so it couldn't be related to an Indo-European migration to Iran too.
    R1a in Underhill is not the same as R-Z93. R1a in the context you describe is quite basal. R-Z93 is further downstream and has a formed date according to YFull 5000 ybp with a TMRCA of 4700 ybp. If you refer to the Molecular Analysis heading within the Grugni et al paper under Materials and Methods you will see they did not test for Z93 (or phyloequivalents). Equating Z93 with basal R1a is an error and this is why phylogeny matters.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pip View Post
    Z93 is a subclade of M17. I can't see that the study tested for Z93. It would be unbelievable if none of the 130 R1a samples in the study were M417/Z93, and all were from M17xM417, which barely exists anywhere. A sizeable proportion of these 130 people were certainly Z93 and descend paternally from Eastern Europe at some point.
    Indeed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pip View Post
    Z93 is a subclade of M17. I can't see that the study tested for Z93. It would be unbelievable if none of the 130 R1a samples in the study were M417/Z93, and all were from M17xM417, which barely exists anywhere. A sizeable proportion of these 130 people were certainly Z93 and descend paternally from Eastern Europe at some point.
    We read about Z93 in Underhill's study: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4266736/

    In the complementary R1a-Z93 haplogroup, the paragroup R1a-Z93* (Figure 3b) is most common (>30%) in the South Siberian Altai region of Russia, but it also occurs in Kyrgyzstan (6%) and in all Iranian populations (1–8%). R1a-Z2125 (Figure 3c) occurs at highest frequencies in Kyrgyzstan and in Afghan Pashtuns (>40%). We also observed it at greater than 10% frequency in other Afghan ethnic groups and in some populations in the Caucasus and Iran. Notably, R1a-M780 (Figure 3d) occurs at high frequency in South Asia: India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and the Himalayas. The group also occurs at >3% in some Iranian populations and is present at >30% in Roma from Croatia and Hungary, consistent with previous studies reporting the presence of R1a-Z93 in Roma.31, 51 Finally, the rare R1a-M560 was only observed in four samples: two Burushaski speakers from north Pakistan, one Hazara from Afghanistan, and one Iranian Azeri.
    In average Z93 has probably a frequency of 4% in Iran, I think this amount of Z93 can be found everywhere in Eurasia, if it is Iranian haplogroup, it should be said that Iranian-speaking people never migrated to Iran!

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