Ancient mtDna from 10th century Hungary


Elite member
Reaction score
Ethnic group
They have Avar dna, what they call "Hungarian invader" mtDna, and some from what is now northern Croatia at what they call the Slavic interface.


"Maternal Genetic Ancestry and Legacy of 10th Century AD Hungarians"

"The ancient Hungarians originated from the Ural region in today's central Russia and migrated across the Eastern European steppe, according to historical sources. The Hungarians conquered the Carpathian Basin 895-907 AD, and admixed with the indigenous communities. Here we present mitochondrial DNA results from three datasets: one from the Avar period (7-9th centuries) of the Carpathian Basin (n = 31); an almost four-fold enlarged dataset from the Hungarian conquest-period (n=101); and one from the contemporaneous Hungarian-Slavic contact zone (n = 23). We compare these mitochondrial DNA hypervariable segment sequences and haplogroup results with other ancient and modern Eurasian data. Whereas the analyzed Avars represents a certain group of the Avar society that shows East and South European genetic characteristics, the Hungarian conquerors' maternal gene pool is a mixture of West Eurasian and Central and North Eurasian elements. Comprehensively analyzing the results, both the linguistically recorded Finno-Ugric roots and historically documented Turkic and Central Asian influxes had possible genetic imprints in the conquerors' genetic composition. Our data allows a complex series of historic and population genetic events before the formation of the medieval population of the Carpathian Basin, and the maternal genetic continuity between 10-12th centuries and modern Hungarians."

Here is the pdf:

As to the Avars:

"The Avar population already includedseveral folk elements at this time; and the population was uniform neither from cultural noranthropological perspectives. Over one hundred thousand excavated graves from the Avarperiod in the Carpathian Basin picture a heterogenic anthropological composition of thispopulation, which contained mainly Europid characters and, only in certain regions andperiods, are dominated by Asian craniometric indices 4."

The "Hungarian" tribal federation which arrived later:
"the Hungarian tribal alliance conquered the easternparts of the Carpathian Basin in 895 AD, and in successive campaigns occupied its centralterritories until 907 AD 1. The mixed autochthonous population, which mostly spoke differentSlavic, Turkic Avar, and German languages, integrated with variable speed with thenewcomers, as we know from contemporaneous sources 2. Whereas the Slavs lived mainly onthe fringes, the successors of the Avars persisted in some inner territories of the CarpathianBasin."

Both invading groups are described as having a "steppe" culture.

"Scholars assess a Hungarian conqueror population in theCarpathian Basin of between a few thousand and half a million, while the indigenouspopulation size, which is also uncertain, is estimated at a few hundred thousand people 7."

Personally, I'm rarely persuaded by these kinds of estimates, but I suppose it's all we have.

This is interesting in light of our recent discussions about craniometry:
"The diverse origin of the Hungarian tribes hasalso been documented in physical anthropological research. Craniometrical analyses revealedthat the Europid crania type was predominant in the conquerors, with smaller amounts ofEuropo-Mongoloid characters 9. Regional groups of the ancient Hungarian anthropologicalseries show morphometric parallels ranging from the Crimean Peninsula to Kazakh steppe 10."

"The Finno-Ugric origin of the Hungarian language is well recorded by linguisticresearch, which lead to an assumption that there was a Uralic substrate of the ancientHungarian population 2. However, Turkic-speaking groups could also have had a significantrole in the formation of Hungarian folk and state-political entities, as suggested by ancientTurkic loanwords in the early layer of the Hungarian language and the Turkic origin oftoponyms and person names of tribe leaders of the conquest-period 11. After leaving theCentral Uralic homeland, an obvious source of the Turkic influence was the Turkic-speakingpolitical environment of the Bulgars (Onogurs) and Khazars on the 9th century EasternEuropean steppe, where the Hungarians lived for a period of time. The exact states andchronology of the Hungarian migration between the Ural region and the Carpathian Basin iscontinually debated among archaeologists, linguists and historians."

"The Avar group from the southeastern Great Hungarian Plain (Alföld) had a mixedEuropean-Asian haplogroup composition with four Asian (C, M6, D4c, F1b), but apredominantly European (H, K, T, U), haplogroup composition. In the conqueror populationthe most common Eurasian haplogroups were detected. West-Eurasian haplogroups (H, HV, I,J, K, N1a, R, T, U, V, X, W) were present at a frequency of 77%, and Central and EastEurasianhaplogroups (A, B, C, D, F G, M) at 23%. The most widespread haplogroups of theconqueror population were H and U with frequencies 22% and 20% respectively(Supplementary Table S4)."

Of the four samples from the contact zone, "One belonged to a characteristic European H10 haplotype; another belonged to U7 haplotype,mainly distributed in modern Southwestern Asia and South Europe; a third belonged to theSouthwestern Asian N1b type; the fourth U5a haplotype was common in modern Eurasia(private database, see Material and Methods, Supplementary Table S15)."

On PCAs:
"Although the East Asian medieval populations were clearlyseparated from the European contemporaneous period on both PCA and Ward clustering, prehistoric Central Asian (Kazakhstan) and North Asian (Siberian Late Bronze Age Baraba)populations showed similarities to the conquest-period dataset in both analyses (Fig. 2B)."

Maybe Maciamo and some of our other mtDna experts can take a look at the tables and graphs and see if the conclusions are justified.
Last edited:
"The Hungarian conqueror genetic dataset from the 10th century showed more explicit connections toward Central Asian ancient and modern populations, in contrast to the preceding Avars. Asian haplogroups occurred among both male and female conquerors (Supplementary Tables S1 and S3), which can be an argument for a Hungarian settlement in which both men and women took part. It reflects the physical anthropological and archaeological data, which showed that, not only an armed population stratum, but a whole population arrived in the Carpathian Basin25. However, Asian lineages in the conqueror dataset can also be an argument for the conti-nuity of the Avars, who could have mixed and acculturated during the Hungarian conquest-period26. We would need more Avar period genetic data, especially from the late Avar period to assess this hypothesis."
Who the hell said the Iliad is gospel truth? I certainly haven't. That would be stupid.
[h=1]Maternal Genetic Ancestry and Legacy of 10th Century AD Hungarians[/h]Supplementary information

Sargon is clearly the earliest, not counting Gilgamesh whom we do not know was real or fiction. From the ridiculousness of the stories about Gilgamesh I would have to go with fiction for Gilgamesh. So the Epic of Gilgamesh is "ridiculous", whereas the Iliad is gospel truth?
I think modern Hungarian mtdna would more reflect the medieval, conquest mtdna than the y chromosomes, as the Hungarian male population was decimated in costly wars against the Mongols and the Ottomans. This would, of course, hit the nobility, who were most of the troops in those days, hardest, which would explain the paucity of N haplogroup today, as opposed to the good Slavic farmer R1a. The conquerers died, the conquered live on.

This thread has been viewed 10857 times.