View Full Version : Elite Avar whole mtDNA genomes from the 7th century AD Carpathian Basin

Onur Dincer
09-18-2018, 06:21 AM


Inner Asian maternal genetic origin of the Avar period nomadic elite in the 7th century AD Carpathian Basin (Csáky et al. 2018 preprint)

"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."

Comparisons with ancients:




Comparisons with moderns:



06-26-2019, 05:37 AM
It's crazy how these Avars only post date their expulsions out of the Volga-Ural basin merely ten years after the Turkic blitzkrieg of conquest from 552 to 558. The fact that already some 40% of their mtdna is West Eurasian to me indicates that the early Turkics (such as the Gokturks and post-Xiongnu early Turkic groups) were likely more West Eurasian admixed than their Mongolic counterparts, as I do think the vast majority of samples here are much older than anything around 10 years old or younger.

And what do Uyghurs from Turpan look like? this study makes it seem like they are very close to preceding western steppe peoples (our Avars here) of later western Turkic Qaganate territory. If that's true, that must mean that a large portion of the Eurasian steppe east of the Ural river was essentially Turko-Mongolic-like already prior to the Gokturks. And like the Avars here, there may have been Rouran and anti-Gokturk elements, both non-Turkic and Turkic - preceding the Gokturks in the western steppes immediately east of the Ural river. There could have even been multiple layers of NE Asian peoples past the Irtysh river preceding even the migration and fleeing of the Huns and Saragurs, and maybe a significant portion of the East Eurasian ancestry we see in Scythians and Indo-European western steppe groups could even be tied to much earlier NE Asian pastoralist groups (originating in the NE Asian steppe/grasslands) as far back as the establishment of the Xiongnu, when we begin to see much larger scale pastoralist lineage-based competition in the Mongolian plateau and NE Asian steppe and grasslands - which, like when most nomadic areas reach their malthusian limit, expulsions of formerly pastoralist lineage groups from the known pastoralist area into agricultural, subpar (or unfamiliar) territory occurs. In this case, past the Altai and into the Kazakh and western steppes.