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Thread: Origin of the Ancient Assyrians (split) //mod3154 days old

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    ^ I think metallurgy is probably one of the main advantages that these (presumably R1b) Eastern Anatolians or Caucasians had when expanding west and south.

    I wonder why they didn't move north though, into the steppe. Maybe someone else was there, with their own metal gadgets?

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    More from: The Early Integration of the Eurasian Steppes with the Ancient Near East: Movements and Transformations in the Caucasus and Central Asia

    Philip L. Kohl 2006

    It is roughly at this same time or perhaps slightly later towards the middle of the 4th millennium that the earliest evidence for wheeled transport is documented, stretching across a vast interconnected region from northern Europe to southern Mesopotamia (Bakker et al. 1999). The precise determination of which area or which archaeological culture first developed wheeled vehicles may prove impossible to document archaeologically simply because the technology diffused as rapidly as it did across this vast contiguous area. Clay models of disk wheels have been found at the Late (or post-) Tripolye site of Velyka Slobidka on the Dniester, and two early pre-Pit-Grave kurgan burials with the actual remains of wooden wheels have been found respectively in the lower Don (Koldyri, burial 7, kurgan 14) and Kuban (Starokorsunskaya, burial 18, kurgan 2) areas, and Rassamakin (2002, 53) believes that their appearance in these latter areas was due to ‘the migration or resettlement of groups from the agricultural population’ farther west. The available evidence, in other words, seems to suggest that wheeled vehicles only appeared shortly after the collapse of the gigantic settlements and may indeed have been developed by these same peoples as they began to develop a more mobile economy.

    Additional evidence is needed to support this interpretation. Ultimately, however, I would argue that the question of the origins of this innovation is much less significant than the phenomenon of convergence, the almost simultaneous evidence for the early use of wheeled vehicles stretching from northern Germany and southern Poland south across Anatolia to southern Mesopotamia, around the middle of the 4th millennium BC or immediately after the collapse of the gigantic Tripolye settlements. Wheeled vehicles can be used for different purposes by different cultures (or different purposes by the same culture) across this interconnected area; they can serve military purposes, function to transport traded goods, such as semi-processed metal ores and ingots, and facilitate the development of a new more mobile way of life based principally on cattleherding.
    It is also obvious that for the most part these dispersals do not represent armed military invasions and that the movements involved considerable assimilation with pre-existing local traditions, exacerbating the archaeologists’ task of recognising them. Populations expanded and intermingled with one another. In these processes, social structures obviously must have changed. It is an archaeological truism today to note that pottery styles do not equate with peoples, and the temptation to do so must be resisted. Nevertheless, the very frequency of distinctive, seemingly intrusive ceramics and other items of material culture, such as the highly specific andirons, suggest that this phenomenon, however short-lived, must have been reasonably substantial. At Beth Shean, for example, the Khirbet Kerak pottery constitutes more than 60% of the total ceramic assemblage in levels 11–9 before dropping off to 38% in level 8 and essentially disappearing in level 7 (as summarised in de Miroschedji 2000, 259). At the type site of Khirbet Kerak (Beth Yerah), these wares constituted 20–30% of the sherds found on the site. The site itself is 20–25 ha in size or considerably larger than any known Kura-Araxes site in Transcaucasia. Site size too, as we have seen with the gigantic Tripolye settlements, cannot simplistically be equated with social complexity. The data, however, are suggestive that the ‘peoples of the hills’ transformed themselves as they spread across large areas of the ancient Near East.

    It is unclear what was driving these dispersals. Possibly, they were in search of new sources of metal in Jordan or in Cyprus (cf. the recently excavated Kura-Araxes-related hearth stands and evidence for migrants from south-western Anatolia at the Early Bronze Age site of Marki Alonia: Frankel 2000; Frankel and Webb 2000; Webb and Frankel 1999). They may have been skilled metallurgists, but why leave a metalliferrous region like the Caucasus for unknown sources? Moreover, Khirbet Kerak materials are not found in the metal-bearing Wadi Feinan area south of the Dead Sea (de Miroschedji, 2000, 264). Perhaps they were simply in search of more and better arable land with natural population increases, replicating on a much larger scale the movements from the highlands to the plains that may have characterised the initial spread of Kura-Araxes settlements within Transcaucasia? Possibly, but why did they move and not others?

    Another factor may also have been at work. Some peoples were not only moving south out of the Caucasus, but others seem to have been moving into Transcaucasia from the north – at least at some point in the first half of the 3rd millennium (see the new calibrated dates for the ‘early kurgan cultures’ of Transcaucasia: Kavtaradze 1999, 81; and the discussion in Trifonov 2001, 79–80). It is hard to distinguish cause from effect here: did peoples move into the rich Alazani and Kura valleys because others had moved out or were the Kura-Araxes peoples moving south due to the incursions of peoples from farther north? Current evidence suggests that the dispersal to the south of the Kura-Araxes culture predated the arrival of the peoples burying their leaders in large ‘royal’ kurgans, but we must remember that all these movements represented protracted processes, not events, that took place during several centuries. The higher dating of the earliest ‘royal’ kurgans in eastern Georgia suggests that these processes may partially overlap with one another and that, consequently, there may have been some synergistic relationship between them.
    I am curious whether these migrations from the north are responsible, at least in part, for the "North European" observed among Caucasians. Or, does the component in Caucasians have a more recent origin. Say, maybe, < 2500 years.

    K12b "Caucasus" and "N European" (Caucasians in blue, Armenian Highland in red)

    Code:
    POP	CAU	NEU
    GEO     74      9
    ABK	70	11
    OSS	57	19
    ADY	57	20
    BAL	57	19
    ARM	56	3
    ASY	52	1
    CHE	51	23
    DRZ	50	1
    IRJ	49	0
    SAM	49	0
    IQJ	48	0
    KUM	46	19
    MAN	46	0
    I [Nebuchadnezzar] made a trench searching for the old foundation deposits ( . . . ), and I found the foundation of Naram-Sin, the king of Babylon, a remote ancestor, and I did not remove his inscription, but put my own inscription together with his inscription.
    The Pious King: Royal Patronage of Temples
    By Caroline Waerzeggers

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    Relevant to Assyrian origins. Also, Sumerian origins and all other ancient peoples.

    Brachycephalization of Georgians

    Craniometry of the Caucasus in the Feudal Period
    Malkhas G. Abdushelishvili
    Current Anthropology
    Vol. 25, No. 4 (Aug. - Oct., 1984), pp. 505-509



    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Brachycephalization of Armenian Highlanders

    On the Origin of the Armenians (In the Light of Non-Metric Cranial Traits Data)
    Alla Movsesian and Nvard Kochar
    Iran & the Caucasus
    Vol. 8, No. 2 (2004), pp. 183-197

    We can now postulate the genetic integrity of the contemporary and ancient populations of Armenia, starting from the Bronze period at least. This is corroborated by the data of craniometry, differentiating the contemporary and ancient groups only by value of the cephalic index.
    “Their (ancient specimens) dolichocrany in this case does not impede the establishment of genetic links through the late development of brachycephalization.” The genetic ties between the epochs become even more evident when we examine the data on the discrete varying traits, subject to neither the epochal variation nor to the influence of the environmental factors.
    Note: The "Antique Period" refers to these crania:

    Relics of late third century B.C. - second century A.D. were discovered on the southern bank of the lake Sevan, near the village of Karchaghbyur (19 crania), as well as Shirakavan, district Ani (18 crania).




    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    What we are seeing here, I believe, is the brachycephalization of many of the northern populations, including Druze (before migrating south), Alawites, Anatolian Turks, Armenians, Georgians, Assyrians...

    Southern and central populations, such as Iraqi Mandaeans, Iranian Jews, Iraqi Jews, Samaritans, and others, are all relatively long-headed (CI < 80, with a nonnegligible frequency of CI ≤ 75*). The first three are more or less similar to Assyrians genetically, particularly the Mandaeans, in my opinion.


    * For example, this Iraqi Mandaean, with a CI of 73.1 (source: Henry Field):


    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    A few examples from the literature, on the subject of intra-population cephalic index change:

    1.
    Secular change in body height and cephalic index of Croatian medical students (University of Rijeka)

    Buretić-Tomljanović et al.

    Am J Phys Anthropol., Volume 123, Issue 1, pages 91–96, January 2004

    A significant increase of dolichocephalic and mesocephalic and a significant decrease of brachycephalic head shape were found in both sexes. These results suggest a continuity of the debrachycephalization process observed in our population at the past midcentury.
    2.
    Brachycephalization in Japan has ceased

    Kouchi M.

    Am J Phys Anthropol. 2000 Jul;112(3):339-47.

    Somatometric data are presented which show that the rapid brachycephalization in Japan has recently ceased. The causes of brachycephalization are investigated in relation to the secular change in height. Increases in head breadth have been the main cause of brachycephalization, and its pattern of secular change is very similar to that in height. Associations between head breadth, height, and year of birth were examined by partial correlation coefficients and through a comparison of students and the general population. Brachycephalization is thought to result from increases in the growth rate for head breadth caused by improvements in nutritional levels, as seen in increases in height. Increases in height over the last 100 years have been accompanied by brachycephalization in Japanese and Koreans, but by debrachycephalization in many European populations. Increases in lateral growth in Asian heads may be related to the facial flatness which is characteristic to northern Mongoloid populations.
    3.
    Evidence for temporal and social differences in cranial dimensions in Edo-period Japanese

    Nagaoka et al.

    International Journal of Osteoarchaeology. Article first published online: 27 OCT 2010

    This study examined the craniometric traits of the Edo-period (AD1603–1867) human skeletons from the Hitotsubashi site in Tokyo, compared them with temporally and socially various populations, and attempted to detect the morphological differentiation patterns that the Edo-period Japanese exhibited over time and under those social/environmental conditions. The materials measured here were the townsmen's crania from the Hitotsubashi site, which were dated back to the early half of the Edo period. The observations revealed that the Hitotsubashi samples were more dolichocephalic than any other Edo series and were different from subsequent Edo series in terms of larger maximum cranial length and smaller maximum cranial breadth. The Hitotsubashi samples were definitely in contrast with those of Tentokuji and Shirogane, both of which included a samurai (warrior) class of the late to final Edo period and exhibited the most brachycephalic crania. It is reasonable to assume that the temporal and social situations were possibly related to the observed cranial variation and that the temporal changes in cranial dimensions in pre-modern Japan might have reflected the nutritional and environmental conditions.
    Last edited by Humanist; 2012-05-16 at 06:09.
    I [Nebuchadnezzar] made a trench searching for the old foundation deposits ( . . . ), and I found the foundation of Naram-Sin, the king of Babylon, a remote ancestor, and I did not remove his inscription, but put my own inscription together with his inscription.
    The Pious King: Royal Patronage of Temples
    By Caroline Waerzeggers

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    A Survey on the Racial Types of Anatolian Skeletal Remains

    Dr. Armağan Saatçioğlu

    As to the Hittite problem, there is some controversy on this subject. In 1930, they were mentioned by Kansu to have mixed racial factors. Although some authors considered them to be Armenoid, based only upon the carvings on the Hittite monuments, this suggestion was later rejected, since none of the Hittite skeletons were of this type (Krogman, 1937). Şenyürek (1941), who studied the Hittite skulls of Alişar, Kusura and Aslantepe and those of Hisarlık III that were of the same period, mentioned that most of the Anatolian population of Chalcholithic and the Copper Age were dolichocephalic and mesocephalic (brachycephalics: 16 percent) and no change in the Anatolian racial constitution was observed during these periods, while in the Bronze Age, the percentage of the brachycephalics suddenly rose (to 42 percent), and he suggested that the Hittites must have been invaders of the Alpine type who came to Anatolia in 2000 B.C. This opinion found support among some anthropologists (Tunakan, 1965). Archaeologists, historians and Hittitologists of today, too, generally agree on this, though there exist controversial opinions on the place from which the Hittites came (Araz, 1974; Kınal, 1962).

    However, Cappieri (1970), who made some further studies on the Anatolian skeletal remains of the Late Neolithic and Calcholithic, has written that the theory that the Hittite Civilization is the product of a population extraneous to the genetical Type of the Anatolian Proto-Mediterraneans, involves the hypothesis of a very large mass migration of a compact group of tribes from the distant regions up the Central Plateau, through difficult and tortuous routes, and based upon his results on the biometrical comparisons he had made between the Hittite skeletons (16 skulls from Osmankayası dated to 1700-1400 B.C. and 13 skulls from Alişar dated to 1600) and those of four of the other Anatolian settlements (Hisarlık, Kusura, Kumtepe and Polatlı), some very far from the Central Plateau, he suggested that the high level of somatic homogeneity (92.8 percent of the mean differences were insignificant) shows, even in the second millennium B.C. lack of any genetic intrusion in the Anatolian type. Mentioning also that the brachycephalic skulls of this period had been encountered in the Troy region of Anatolia at an earlier date than in the Hittite region and even before their existence in the Near-East, he suggested that these indicate an evolutive process of brachycephalization rather than immigration.

    Indeed, as we have seen, 20 percent of the Çatalhöyük population were of the Alpine type. Although this percentage decreases, when Hacılar, too, is taken into account, it is interesting as showing the existence of the Alpine type in Anatolia in the Neolithic as well. The investigations on the origin of the Alpine type indicate that the earliest representatives of this type were encountered in a Neolithic settlement in Israel. Although there is some controversy on the original type, it is generally admitted that the Alpine type appeared as a result of the evolution of a dolichocephalic race (Ferembach, 1966, 1967). Therefore, the Anatolian brachycephalics, too, can be considered autochton (see Ferembach, 1972).
    I [Nebuchadnezzar] made a trench searching for the old foundation deposits ( . . . ), and I found the foundation of Naram-Sin, the king of Babylon, a remote ancestor, and I did not remove his inscription, but put my own inscription together with his inscription.
    The Pious King: Royal Patronage of Temples
    By Caroline Waerzeggers

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    Genetic links between the Caucasus, N Mesopotamia, and S Mesopotamia (from the Al-Zahery thread):

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    1.

    The J1* frequencies of the Marsh Arabs and SW Iranians were unexpected. Also, I had not previously observed J1* in Yemeni. The R-L584 Iranian from Khuzestan on 23andMe may not be so exceptional after all.

    Top 10 J1*, in frequency, from Al-Zahery et al.

    # Country/Region (Population) N %
    1 Iraq (Assyrian) 28 17.9
    2 Turkey (Assyrian) 25 16.0
    3 Ethiopia (Amhara) 48 10.4
    4 Iran (Assyrian) 31 9.7
    5 Iran [Khuzestan] 47 8.5
    6 Iraq (Marsh Arab) 143 7.0
    7 Turkey/Area 4 82 6.1
    8 Turkey/Area 3 83 6.0
    9 Algeria 20 5.0
    10 Yemen 62 4.8

    2.

    I created this image (map), and posted it on the forum a few months ago, before the 5 cases of S Caucasian J1* w/ DYS388=13 and DYS438=11 were published in Balanovsky et al. Too bad there is no data reported for DYS438 in the Sumerian paper. I contacted Nadia Al-Zahery several months ago, and shared the information regarding J1* with DYS438=11 with her. She did not respond.

    [The green area was marked as a very rough center of the known cases up to that point (early Spring, 2011)]





    "Map showing the Ur III state and its influence sphere" 21st to 20th century BCE.



    I [Nebuchadnezzar] made a trench searching for the old foundation deposits ( . . . ), and I found the foundation of Naram-Sin, the king of Babylon, a remote ancestor, and I did not remove his inscription, but put my own inscription together with his inscription.
    The Pious King: Royal Patronage of Temples
    By Caroline Waerzeggers

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    Sargon999 (2012-05-16), ZephyrousMandaru (2012-05-18)

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    Well, we're definitely seeing these two things in Admixture experiments...

    Ultimately, however, I would argue that the question of the origins of this innovation is much less significant than the phenomenon of convergence, the almost simultaneous evidence for the early use of wheeled vehicles stretching from northern Germany and southern Poland south across Anatolia to southern Mesopotamia, around the middle of the 4th millennium BC or immediately after the collapse of the gigantic Tripolye settlements.
    Another factor may also have been at work. Some peoples were not only moving south out of the Caucasus, but others seem to have been moving into Transcaucasia from the north – at least at some point in the first half of the 3rd millennium.
    But I have a feeling that the algorithm is having problems working out the direction of gene flow sometimes.

    The West Asian cluster in Dienekes' K7 run looks suspiciously like the South Central Asian cluster from a couple of studies in recent years, which then disappeared when more South Asian references were added in subsequent analyses.

    Maybe it's a composite of sorts, and actually a signal of steppe movements to the west, east and south?

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    A few bits from physical anthropology, based on Henry Field's work on Iranian groups (see Ancient and modern man in Southwestern Asia), including Assyrians originally inhabiting (though not principally indigenous to) an area in the NW of the country (and Hakkari, Turkey?). I have included information on other populations, where necessary for some context:

    The Assyrians are the tallest...

    The Lurs of central Luristan have the longest heads, the Kurds of Sulaimaniya the shortest. In breadth the Lurs of Khurrumabad are the narrowest, the Assyrians the widest. The Assyrians are hyperbrachycephalic...

    The nasal profile is one of the most important racial criteria in Southwestern Asia, with particular emphasis on the convex and straight categories. For example, more than two-thirds of all Kurds of Iraq and Iran, the Lurs of Pusht-i-Kuh and the Bakthiari tribesmen possesses convex noses. About half of the Assyrians and the Lurs of central Luristan had straight noses.

    The majority of all the Kurds of Iraq and Iran and most of the Lurs and Assyrians (97.17 %) were leoptorrhine. Very few platyrrhine individuals were recorded or seen. The Bakhtiari are divided into mesorrhine (49.66 %) and leptorrhine tribesmen. Their convex nasal profile links the Bakthiari with the Iranian Plateau Race and upholds my observations that this convexity is concentrated among the peoples of Western Iran. Eight of the nine groups are leptorrhine, with near uniformity among the Assyrians, many of whom are fair-haired, light-skinned, and possess blue eyes.

    *The blond element in those four groups is linked either to the peoples of the Caucasus or to the dwellers in the Altai or Pamirs.

    *These mountain peoples are all related to some degree, although the Assyrians probably belong to a different racial stock with links in the Caucasus.
    Recorded CI for Assyrians listed in Field's study (Location (approximate coord.), recorder, sample, CI, map label):

    Habbaniya Camp, Iraq (33.37N 43.56E): Field, 532, 84.01 (“A”) Refugees and descendants of refugees who previously inhabited parts of Hakkari, Turkey, and Urmia, Iran.
    Hinaidi Camp, Iraq (33.28N 44.48E): Field, 106, 85.17 (“B”) Refugees and descendants of refugees who previously inhabited parts of Hakkari, Turkey, and Urmia, Iran.
    Lake Urmia, Iran (37.60N 45.47E): Pantiukhov, 10, 87.0 (“C”)
    Tbilisi, Georgia (41.70N 44.79E): Pantiukhhov, 11, 87.0 (“D”)
    Mosul, Iraq (36.34N 43.13E): Krischner, 39, 87.0 (“E”)
    Lake Urmia, Iran (37.60N 45.47E): Deniker, 33, 88.7 (“C”)
    Hakkari, Turkey (37.58N 43.73E): Chantre, 22, 89.5 (“F”)


    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Note regarding admixture in Assyrians. Specifically, here, "Nestorians.":

    Spoiler: 
    *

    1.

    I certainly agree about the links with the Caucasus. But, I absolutely disagree with any suggestion that this is of relatively recent origin (in significant part). If anybody has any doubts about it, read through the last several pages of this thread, please.

    From another thread, on the topic of admixture in Assyrians whose most recent ancestors came from north/northwest of northern Iraq (Hakkari, Turkey and Urmia, Iran).

    I calculated the median fastIBD population values for the six 100% "Nestorian" Assyrians. I included the one Ancient Church of East member as well, as they are a recent split from the Church. This is based on the Balkans/West Asian run data. Turkey was the most common country of past residence, for the ancestors of these particular Assyrians.

    “Nestorian” (6)

    Assyrian_D 4.19

    Armenians_16 0
    Armenians_Y -0.01

    Kurd_D -0.04
    Armenian_D -0.07
    Kurds_Y -0.08
    Iranian_D -0.145
    Turks -0.175
    Greek_D -0.2
    Cypriots -0.215
    Georgians -0.225
    Iranians_19 -0.255
    Bulgarian_D -0.3
    Abkhasians_Y -0.31
    Turkish_D -0.34
    Romanians_14 -0.34
    Adygei -0.35
    North_Ossetians_Y -0.35
    Bulgarians_Y -0.355
    Romanian_D -0.38

    2.

    Also, from the Dienekes' "fastIBD analysis of Afroasiatic groups [45 inferred clusters]." Assyrians and Iraqi Mandaeans occupied cluster 4.

    Note the position of Assyrians, relative to the Syrians, Lebanese, Jordanians, and Egyptians below, from the fastIBD run of Afroasiatic groups.



    3.

    From David's recent "Population genetics meets art at Eurogenes (aka. genetic clines across Western Eurasia)" entry. The northernmost speaker of a Babylonian-Aramaic dialect is the sole Iraqi Mandaean participant in Eurogenes. The other "Babylonians" are Iraqi Jews.

    I [Nebuchadnezzar] made a trench searching for the old foundation deposits ( . . . ), and I found the foundation of Naram-Sin, the king of Babylon, a remote ancestor, and I did not remove his inscription, but put my own inscription together with his inscription.
    The Pious King: Royal Patronage of Temples
    By Caroline Waerzeggers

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    I mention northern and southern Mesopotamia a lot. The below map, in my opinion, captures the broad outlines of the regions well:

    Domination and Resilience in Bronze Age Mesopotamia
    by Tate Paulette
    Published in Surviving Sudden Environmental Change: Answers from Archaeology (Eds. J. Cooper and P. Sheets). University Press of Colorado. 2012

    I [Nebuchadnezzar] made a trench searching for the old foundation deposits ( . . . ), and I found the foundation of Naram-Sin, the king of Babylon, a remote ancestor, and I did not remove his inscription, but put my own inscription together with his inscription.
    The Pious King: Royal Patronage of Temples
    By Caroline Waerzeggers

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    The number of three hundred thousand is allowed for the whole body of the Nestorians, who, under the name of Chaldeans or Assyrians, are confounded with the most learned or the most powerful nation of Eastern antiquity.
    http://archive.org/stream/historyoft...3gut/pg893.txt

    History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire — Volume 4 (1784)

    by Edward Emily Gibbon

    Spoiler: 



    If he had just left out the "confounded" bit.

    ---------- Post added 2012-05-18 at 15:11 ----------

    [T]he name did not vanish, but continued to exist throughout history in the memories of some Assyrians, as well as their neighbors. I feel confident that if ever DNA samples can be secured, this proposition finally will be proved to those who do not accept it.
    Richard N. Frye

    Professor Emeritus, Harvard University
    I [Nebuchadnezzar] made a trench searching for the old foundation deposits ( . . . ), and I found the foundation of Naram-Sin, the king of Babylon, a remote ancestor, and I did not remove his inscription, but put my own inscription together with his inscription.
    The Pious King: Royal Patronage of Temples
    By Caroline Waerzeggers

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    Quote Originally Posted by EliasAlucard View Post
    Like Humanist says, the genetic data suggests a Caucasus origin of the ancient Assyrians. For example, Dagestanis have Y-DNA J1c3, as well as J1, and J1c3 branched off from J1. Autosomally, there's not much difference between Armenians and Assyrians, which again, points to the Caucasus. Armenians also have J1.

    Babylonian (i.e., Akkadian and Sumerian) was undoubtedly the most important influence in Assyria (Assyria was basically an extension of Babylonia; similar to the UK and the USA), both demographically and culturally, especially after Sargon of Akkad conquered Assyria (who was for some ironic reason more popular in Assyria than in Babylonia), although mythic legend has it that Sargon was originally from north Mesopotamia.

    Even if the Assyrians were Babylonians who settled in the north, the Babylonians were originally from the north anyway, so we're talking about back migrations.
    I've revised my view since I posted this.

    Dagestanis carry J-M267* and not J-P58+, correct Humanist? Not sure where I got it from that Dagestanis carry J-P58+ but probably Wikipedia. Also, the Assyrian culture, although a sub-branch of the Babylonian culture, the same is not true for the Assyrian genepool, because modern Iraqis have less genetic Y-STR diversity (and I'm sure also less Y-SNP!) of J-P58+ as well as having a greater genetic distance to Caucasus folks and Europeans than Assyrians have. So the most accurate conclusion in my opinion would be that there was a proto-Afro-Asiatic genepool somewhere in Anatolia or the northern Levant (as corroborated by linguistic palaeontology) and that it branched off by further migrations to the Arabian peninsula and Africa. And these proto-Afro-Asiatic descendants (Cushites, Egyptians etc.) became less genetically similar as they mixed with Negroes, whereas Assyrians haven't changed much genetically since the Neolithic because there's been very little geneflow fron non-Caucasoid races to the Assyrian genepool.

    The Semitic Babylonians came from the "north" before they settled down in southern Iraq, probably from Ebla, which was an east Semitic dialect not influenced by Sumerian, unlike Akkadian which became strongly influenced by Sumerian (and vice versa).
    Last edited by EliasAlucard; 2012-05-20 at 09:36.
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