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    Default Ancient Origins of the Kurds

    Inspired by the great work Humanist has put in the "Origins of the Ancient Assyrians"-thread, I thought it would be a good idea to make a similar thread for Kurds. Now, since the Kurdish ethnic identity itself is not that ancient, I worded the title a little different.

    So, here, please discuss and post matters regarding (ancient) history of peoples related to the Kurds.

    Please refrain from posting in an incoherent way, or with dubious sources.

    Let's start, shall we?

    Scythians

    The Scythians, an nomadic Iranic steppe peoples, whose area of influence stretched from Central Asia to Eastern Europe. They've also left traces in Kurdistan.

    Scythian Onomasticon
    Valentyn Stetsyuk
    Research on Prehistoric Ethnogenetic Processes in Eastern Europe

    http://s155239215.onlinehome.us/turk...yukB2ch5En.htm

    An article on the Scythian language's traces in modern language; in it they found a surprisingly high amount of Kurdish parallels.

    Spoiler: 
    1. (awawos) - Kurd. ebaboz “thief” is suitable for anthroponimic good.
    2. (awlo:nakos) - Kurd. eble ”fool” and nekes “miserable”. A good junction for anthroponimics.
    3. (awroagos) - Kurd. ebro “eyebrow”, agos “furrow” (can be “wrinkle”); Chuv. upran ”to look after” and aka “tillage”.
    4. (adzos) - Kurd. aciz ”weak” or aza “free”; Chuv. uçă open”.
    (argimpatoi) - Kurd. erqem “number” and feda ”sacrifice”; Chuv. arkan “to break” and păta stick”.
    5. (ardagdakos) - Osset. ardar “leader”, Kurd. elder “leader” and dek “slyness”; Turkic languages give many other possibilities of translation, e.g. Chuv. artak “delight” and tăkăs “sour”, urtar “to anger”; com. Turkic ortaq (Chuv vărtăх) „a friend” and dyqyz (Chuv tăkăs „close, tight”), or artyq „great” и dağ „mountain”.
    6. (ardarakos) – Osset. ardar “leader”, Kurd. elder “leader”, ardû “wood” and req “dry”. Arm ardaraxos „truthful”.
    7. (asaros) - Osset. a and sær “headless”, Kurd. hesar “fence”.
    8. (aspamithareos) - com. Ir. asp(a) “horse”, and Kurd. metha “prais” and rewe “herd”.
    9. (auasios) – com. Ir. ovoz “voice”, Kurd. ĥewas “sense”, “sensitive”.
    10. (auloudzelmis) - Kurd. hewil “help”or ewlî “holy” and zelam “man”.
    11. (aulou-poris) - Kurd. ewlî “holy”, por “hair”.
    12. (wadzos) - com. Ir. bazu “arm”, “wing”; Chuv. puç “head” vyçǎ “hunger”.
    13. (walos) - Kurd. bala “top”; Chuv. vulă “trunk, stem”; OE wala, walu „stick”.
    14. (wendzei) - Osset. bindzæ “bee”, Kurd. banz “jump”.
    15. (wessa) - Kurd. beş „part, share“, or bes „sufficent“, or bəş “tribute”, or bêşe “small wood, forest”; Chuv. pěçě „thigh“ věç “finish”, OE wiss “sure, trustly”.
    16. (witou) - Kurd. beta „to vanish“; Chuv. pětev ”body”, “amulet”.
    17. (wiste:s) - Kurd. bistî “stalk” or bista “trusty” or bista “lover”.
    18. (wolas) - Kurd., Pers. etc bolo “top”; Chuv. pulu “gingerbread”.
    19. (boudzas) - Kurd. boz “grey”, bûz “ice”; Chuv. puç “head”.
    (germanos) - com. Ir. garm/germ “warm”;
    20. (geros) - Kurd. gewr “grey”;
    21. (gola) - Kurd. gol “dog”, gole “senior herdsman”, Osset. gal “ox, bull”;
    22. (dada) - com. Ir. dada “father”;
    23. (dandaksarthon) - com. Ir. dandon “tooth and Kurd. şert ”agreement”; Chuv. šărt “oath”. The root  is fixed in epigraphics in North region of the Black Sea. Kurd. şert ”agreement” and Chuv. šărt “oath” coincides to it good phoneticly. It is interesting that an oath for tooth, words “I give the tooth” and a suitable gesture are present in criminal and even in children world nowadays. However the Kurdish word can be borrowed from Arabic. Compare .
    24. (daou) – Kurd. daw “tail”; Chuv. tav 1. “gratitude”, 2. “dispute”;
    25. (diagoras) - Kurd. dia “blessing” and gor “grave, tomb”;
    26. (didumoksarthos) - Kurd. didan “tooth” (com. Ir. dandon) and şert ”condition”; Chuv. tytăm “control, management” and šărt “oath”. Although such word is also in Arabic (šart „condition”) Compare .
    27. (didza) - Kurd. diz “thief”;
    28. (didza-dzelmis) - Kurd. diz “thief” and zelam “man’;
    29. (didzarou) - Kurd. diz “thief” and rûvi “fox”;
    30. (dindou) - ir. din (Kurd. dîn) “faith”; better Chuv. těn “faith” and tav “gratitude”;
    31. (domeo) - Kurd. dûmayî “remains”;
    32. (doridzou) - Kurd. dor “circle”; Chuv. tură “god” and çăva “cemetery, Chuv. tări “lark” and çu “summer”.
    33. (doulas) - Kurd. dol “ravine”;.
    34. (eisgoudiou) - Kurd. e’yş “joy, spree, fun” and qude “proud”; Chuv. ěç “work” and kut “ass”; OE īs “ice”, gōd “good”.
    35. (ergino) - Kurd. erk “job, matter” and îna “faith”; Chuv. er “to tie”and küme “truck”;
    36. (dzadzous) - Kurd. zaza(n) – Kurdish tribe;
    37. (dzaldzou) - Kurd. zal “old” and zo “cord; Chuv. çulça “leaf”;.
    38. (dzeilas) - Kurd. zeyle (zehle) “pester”.
    39. (zinna) - Kurd. zîn “saddle” and nav “girdle”; Chuv. çěn ‘to win”;
    40. (dzoure) - com. Ir. zor/zur “force”; Chuv. çyră “light-brown”.
    41. (dzopura) - Kurd. zopir “great”; Chuv. çupărla “to embrace”;
    42. (dzopurion) - see previous;
    43. (dzo:rsanos) - Ir zor/zur “strength, force”; Chuv. çur 1. “spring-time”, 2. “half” . 3. “to tear”, sǎn “face”, sǎnǎ “spear”, sun “to want”.
    44. Išpakai (Scythian king or war-lord in Assyrian sources) – this name is a serious argument for Iranian origin of Scythians however it could not stem out of Ir aspa „a horse”, but out of Ir spaka „a dog”. One can find in Turkic languages some variants of explanation of the word but it really could have Iranian origin. Maybe Cimmerians named their enemy by such scornful name “a dog”.
    45. (kardious) – different explanations are possible - Kurd. kerdî “furrow”; Chuv. kǎrt ”few”, xurt “worm”; Gr  “heart”.
    46. (karsa) - Kurd. kerş “wood chips, splinters”; Chuv. xyrçă “spine”;
    47. (kamasarue:s)- Kurd. kam , Osset. and other ir. kom „desipe, wish“; com. Ir. sar “head”; better Chuv. kăm “ashes“ and ără “grey”.
    48. (ma) - Kurd. max “source”; Chuv. may ”side” or măy “neck”;
    49. (madzis, madzas) - Kurd. maze “axis” or mazî “splinter”; better Lit mažas, Let mazs “small”;
    50. (maito:nion) - com ir. maidan “place, stand’.
    51. (me:sakou) - Kurd. maşaq “beloved”;
    52. (mostion) - com. Ir. mast “drunk” or “bitter”;
    53. (olgasus) - Kurd. olk 1. “province” 2. army”; Chuv alka “ear-ring”.
    54. (owarga-dakos) - Kurd. warge “place, stand” and deq “plane, smooth”;
    55. (ovaradzakon) – “a beaten tramp” (Afg avāra, Tal awərə, Kurd. êperо etc “tramp, vagabond”, com. Ir čak- “to beat”)
    56. (pane:ios) - Kurd. pene ”secret”;
    57. (panias) - see previous;
    58. (pateiros) - Ir pata/pada “foot”, Kurd êrîş „footstep”.
    (pistou) - Kurd. pist ”error, miss”;
    59. (pourthake:s), (pourtauos) - Os fyrt “son”, Kurd. purt “hair”and Tal. taka “billy-goat”; Chuv. purtă “axe” and aka “ancient plough”;
    60. (purre)- - Kurd. pûr “pheasant”;
    61. (re:skouporis) - com. Ir. rişk “louse”, “nit” and Kurd. por “hair”;
    62. (roume:talkas) - Kurd. rûmet “cheek” and elk “glutton”;
    63. (sabada) - Pers. sabad, Afg. savada, Yag., Yazg. sabat, Kurd. sepet “basket; Chuv. săpat “face”;
    64. (sabo:dakos) - perhaps as previous;
    65. (seavagou) - Kurd. seav “otter”, se “a dog”, waq “sense, feeling”.
    66. (seuthou) - Kurd. sewt “loud”or sewda “mind, reson”;
    (basileus skilouros) - Kurd. şilor “plum”;
    67. (sturakos) - Kurd. stûr, Osset. styr, sutur and other Iranian “great, strong, thick”;
    68. (sturanos) - see previous;
    69. (taroulou) - com. Ir. tar/tor “dark” and Kurd. law “child”;
    70. (a tribe on the north of Scythia, mentioned by Herodotus,)Thyrsagetae, according to Valerius Flaccus – Abayev explained the name as “quick deer” (Pers, Kurd tūr “ardent”, Os sag “deer”). One can pay attention that morpheme getai/ketai is present in some people names ( , , ). Beside this, Thracian tribes  are known too. We can conjecture that this word means “people”. The most near on meaning is Chuv kĕtü “herd, flock, crowd”. The Thissagetae means “furious people” (OE đyssa “ruffian”). If the form of Valerius Flaccus is more correct, what is possible as it correspond the name  (see), then Thyrsagetae – “the people of giants or sorcerers” (OE đyrs „giant, demon, sorcerer”).
    71. (pourtheiou) (pourtauos) - Kurd. purt “hair”; Chuv. purtă “axe”, OE furđor “forward”.
    72. (sadaiou) - Os sädä “hundred”; Cuv sut “to sell” and ujav “holiday”; Kurd sade, Afg sada “easy”; OE sāda “string”, iow “yew”.


    Another article from the same author can be found here :


    Genetic evidence

    Scythians are often linked to the paternal haplogroup of R1a1, one which a high amount of Kurds also posses; depending on the group tested, R1a1 can range from 12 to 25% among Kurds.
    http://www.zazaki.org/files/Kurds.pdf

    Of course, this does not necessarily mean that this is inherited from Scythians, other Iranic groups also likely carried R1a1.

    Psuedo-evidence

    Hats
    Something I've posted earlier on the forum:
    the pointy hats Kurds are often depicted as wearing in antique images bear a striking resemblance to the hats of the Scythians.

    Spoiler: 









    Though it must be noted that Assyrians also have very similar hats in their folk costume.

    The Alans

    Furthermore, there's a prominent Kurdish tribe named "Alan", the same as a tribe of Scythian-related peoples. Though, as far as I know, the Scythian Alans didn't pass through Kurdistan.

    Alright, that was the first post, expect more in the coming days.
    Feel free to contribute, it doesn't all have to be ancient history either.
    Last edited by Zert; 2012-06-21 at 02:39.

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    Scythian traces in Kurdistan

    As I've said before, the Scythians have left their mark upon the Kurdish lands too; stelae and treasure believed to be Scythian (or related) in origin have been discovered.

    Hakkari Stelae

    In 1998, a number of stelae were found in Hakkari. This form of art is traditionally not found in great numbers in the Middle East, though, Scythians and other Eurasian steppe peoples were known to produce these. Whether these stelae were truly Scythian or from a related peoples is very much debatable however, since these most likely predate the Scythians.

    Spoiler: 

    Hakkari Stelae


    To compare:
    Kurgan Stelae




    Oddly enough, the PKK allegedly found stelae too, in the deep Southeast of Anatolia, most likely also the Hakkari or Sirnak region. These pictures were uploaded by them some years ago, but the current location of the artifacts are unknown, or whether even they're genuine or not.

    Spoiler: 





    These were found near hewn out tunnels, small shrines and the likes, deep in mountain territory, so it seems that the people who made these stelae made a permanent zone of inhabition of these regions. Though, when one observes the stelae, they seem of a more refined nature than the Scythian ones, especially the last one.

    Ziwiye Hoard

    In 1947, in the Kordestan region of Iran, a hoard (treasure) was found containing ornaments and objects of gold, silver and ivory. These seem to contain influences from multiple cultures, of which Scythian is one.

    Spoiler: 







    More to come.

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    Yes, Kurds are partly of foreign Indo-Iranian racial stock, but the bulk of their ancestry is still native Hurrian. From Dodecad's latest spreadsheet Kurds are 8.3% North European. The Scythians were basically a group of rogue Russians with a North European score of 72%, so Kurds only have small traces of Scythian/Indo-European blood.

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/...0VVZPR0E#gid=0

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    Correct, though one should note that "North European" is not the only component linked to Iranics.
    South Asian should also be counted towards Iranic ancestry, I'm not sure how to interpret some of the results of this run, but in earlier runs, Gedrosia+North European+South Asian made for a total of 35,5%, of which certainly a large part is ancient Iranic.

    Indeed, Scythians are but a small part of the Kurds' ancestry, but the Iranic influence among the Kurds is far greater than other genetic ancestors. Indeed, alike neighbouring peoples, we are the result of a relatively small group of invading tribes exerting their reign over the natives.

    Might I ask where from you got the 72% North European for Scythians? That seems like quite a bold statement.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zert View Post
    South Asian should also be counted towards Iranic ancestry,
    How so? I thought it was common knowledge that South Asian and West Asian components in modern Iranic speakers are from the native sedentary people who were Iranicized by the original Andronovo Iranians who were predominately North European.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zert View Post
    Might I ask where from you got the 72% North European for Scythians? That seems like quite a bold statement.
    The 72% is just a random guess based on modern Russian's dodecad results, however all DNA evidence to date suggests that Scythians and early Indo-Iranians were North-Europids of some sort.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bohemian Rhapsody View Post
    How so? I thought it was common knowledge that South Asian and West Asian components in modern Iranic speakers are from the native sedentary people who were Iranicized by the original Iranians who were predominately North European.
    Perhaps you're confusing Southwest Asian with South Asian. Southwest Asian is native Middle Eastern, South Asian is derived from people originating around South-Central Asia.

    The 72% is just a random guess based on modern Russian's dodecad results, however all DNA evidence to date suggests that Scythians and early Indo-Iranians were North-Europids of some sort.
    I see, fair enough.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bohemian Rhapsody View Post
    Yes, Kurds are partly of foreign Indo-Iranian racial stock, but the bulk of their ancestry is still native Hurrian. From Dodecad's latest spreadsheet Kurds are 8.3% North European. The Scythians were basically a group of rogue Russians with a North European score of 72%, so Kurds only have small traces of Scythian/Indo-European blood.

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/...0VVZPR0E#gid=0
    You are talking about different stage of Iranian history. You are talking of the Proto-Indo Iranians. Where as the Iranian identity was born in Central Asia which included Scythians. Kurds carry high amounts of west central asia/gedrosia compenent that is low among west Asians.

    The early Iranians were of Central Asian stock. They were probably a mix of West Central Asian and North European component with some south asian as well. Kurds and Iranians both show a genetic tie towards Central Asia that came from the Iranians. The true Scythians would not of differed from the Medes,Persians,Parthains as they were from the same parents. West Central Asia was the homeland of the early Iranics. Even the culture of BMAC reflects that of the Indo-Iranains that dates back 2000bc.

    ---------- Post added 2012-06-21 at 12:07 ----------


    ---------- Post added 2012-06-21 at 12:15 ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Bohemian Rhapsody View Post
    How so? I thought it was common knowledge that South Asian and West Asian components in modern Iranic speakers are from the native sedentary people who were Iranicized by the original Andronovo Iranians who were predominately North European.



    The 72% is just a random guess based on modern Russian's dodecad results, however all DNA evidence to date suggests that Scythians and early Indo-Iranians were North-Europids of some sort.
    Russians? Maybe the ones that were reffered to as Scythains but likely did not speak a Iranic language as many groups were called Scythains but were not Iranic. But the Iranic Scythains would of been Central Asian stock like their other Iranian and Indo-Iranian brothers. Also the Scythians were Z93 like the early Iranians were and the most R1a subgroup found amog Iranics. Even Herodotus believed the Iranic Scythians came from Central Asia.

    Scythian, member of a nomadic people originally of Iranian people who migrated from Central Asia to southern Russia in the 8th and 7th centuries BC—The New Encyclopædia Britannica, 15th edition—Micropædia on "Scythian", 10:576
    Last edited by StarDS9; 2012-06-21 at 13:02.

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    There was enough war here, why again ?

    http://www.forumbiodiversity.com/showthread.php?t=28538

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    Parthian sites in Kurdistan

    Kurdistan province

    Qal'a Yazdegerd, Kūrdīstān Province: This large site is some 40 km east of Qasr-Šīrīn; excavations were begun by E. J. Keall in 1975. Though initially a Sasanian dating was assumed, Keall now believes that the ruins go back to the late Parthian period. The site as a whole encompasses several fairly large complexes, such as a fortified palace and an extensive garden with a pavilion. (E. J. Keall, Iran 14, 1976, pp. 161ff.; 17, 1979, pp. 158ff.; 18, 1980, pp. 'ff.)


    Sarpol-a Zohab (Sar-a Pol-a Dohab, also Sar-a Poly, Kūrdīstān Province: A Parthian relief with inscriptions, depicts a horseman and a figure standing in front of him. On the basis of the inscriptions Grope believes the horseman to be Gotarzes I. (G. Grope, ZDMG 118, 1968, pp. 315ff.; idem, AMI, N. F. 3, 1970, p.201; L. Trumpelmann and G. Grope, Iranische Denkmkler, II. Reihe, Lieferung 7, Sarpol-i Zohab, Berlin, 1976; M. L. Chaumont, Syria 56, 1979, pp. 153ff.)



    Nush-i Jan (Nūš-e ĵān), Kūrdīstān Province: Near the extensive and long-known Median sites, D. Stronach discovered a subsequent Parthian settlement whose origins date back to about 100 BCE (D. Stronach, Iran 12, 1974, pp. 214ff.; idem, Iran 13, 1975, pp. 187-88; idem in Bāgherzādeh, 3rd Symposium 1974, p. 132).

    Kermanshah province

    Bīsotūn, Kermānšāh Province: Two Parthian rock reliefs have been known for some time: That on which four satraps render homage to Mithridates II, the Great (123-88/7 BCE) is badly damaged, but the design can be reconstructed thanks to a drawing made by a 17th-century European traveler. (See E. Herzfeld, Am Tor Von Asien, Berlin, 1920, pp. 36ff.; U. Kahrstedt, Artabanus III and seine Erben, Berlin, 1950, pp. 19-20; L. Vanden Berghe, Archéologie, p. 107.) The well- known "Parthian stone" is a large square block, with among other figures, a Parthian (king?) depicted on one of its sides. A few years ago G. Grope discovered an inscription on the stone, which, he believes, incorporates the royal name Vologases (Herzfeld, op. cit., p. 55; W. Kleiss, AMI, N. F. 3, 1970, pp. 147-48; G. Grope, ibid., p.200). At the eastern corner of the Bisotūn massif, above the Hercules relief, the German digs of 1964-66 uncovered a settlement that seems to have reached the peak of its prosperity in the Parthian period (see Kleiss, op. cit., pp. 133ff.).



    Tāq-a Bostān, Kermānšāh Province: In 1970 Kāmbakhš-Fard discovered a Parthian necropolis in close proximity to the well-known Sasanian grotto and rock-reliefs, and a Parthian settlement 50-60 m west of Tāq-a Bostān, on a hill called "Kūh-a Pārū" (S. Matheson, Persia: An Archaeological Guide, 2nd ed., London, 1976, p. 131).

    Kangāvar, Kermānšāh Province: Here stood the great Anahita temple known since classical times, and there still remains the great complex of a structure which the Iranian Department of Antiquities excavated from 1968 on. Previously it was believed that this enormous complex was erected in the Seleucid period, but now it is known that it dates from the late Sasanian epoch. However, a graveyard dating back to Parthian times has also been discovered. (Schippmann, Feuerheiligtiimer, pp. 298ff.; Kāmbakhš-Fard, Bāstān Chenassi va Honar-e Iran 6, 1971, pp. l Off.; in Bāgherzādeh, op. cit., pp. l Off. [Persian section]; Bāstān Chenāssi 9-10, 1972, pp. 2ff.; 3rd Symposium 1974, pp. 73ff. [Persian section]; and Iran 11, 1973, pp. 196-97; M. Āzarnoush, AMI 14, 1981, pp. 69ff.).



    Kangāvar valley, Kermānšāh Province: In this valley T. C. Young, Jr. found ninety-five Parthian settlements, large and small, in the course of a survey in 1974 (T. Cuyler Young, Jr., Iran 13, 1975, p. 192 and in 3rd Symposium, pp. 23ff.).
    Parthian Period. There are considerably more monuments dating from this epoch than from the Seleucid period, perhaps because there has been greater interest in the Parthians in recent years. Through the numerous digs in the Soviet Union, especially in the Parthian capital Nisa (q.v.), a fairly clear picture of this epoch has been recovered (see G. Frumkin, Archaeology in Soviet Central Asia, 1970; T. N. Zadneprovskaya, “Bibliographie de travaux soviétiques sur les Parthes,” Stud. Ir. 5, 1975, pp. 243ff.; E. Haerinck, La céramique en Iran pendant la période parthe [ca. 250 av. J.C. à ca. 225 après J.C.]. Typologie, chronologie et distribution, Gent, 1983; most Parthian sites in Iran are treated in this work). Most of the Parthian monuments currently known to us in Iran are to be found in the provinces of Kurdistan and Ḵūzestān

    http://www.cais-soas.com/CAIS/Archae...rchaeology.htm

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    Quote Originally Posted by StarDS9 View Post
    Kurds carry high amounts of west central asia/gedrosia compenent that is low among west Asians.
    It is certainly true that, among West Asians, the "Gedrosia" component is highest in Kurds and Iranians. However, it is not low in all West Asian populations.

    For example, I have the following K12b values:

    50.6 Caucasus
    21.1 Gedrosia
    18.4 Southwest_Asian
    9.1 Atlantic_Med

    0.5 East_Asian
    0.2 South_Asian
    0 Siberian
    0 Northwest_African
    0 Southeast_Asian
    0 North_European
    0 East_African
    0 Sub_Saharan


    Edit: Lezgins come in close to Kurds, as far as the "Gedrosia" component is concerned among West Asian groups.
    Last edited by Humanist; 2012-06-21 at 13:03.
    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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