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Thread: East Eurasian in 'Tajik people'

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    East Eurasian in 'Tajik people'

    I was wondering what is the exact source of the East Eurasian in modern-day Tajik people? They are known to be descendants of the Bactrians/Sogdians who've underwent Persianisation under the Samanid rulers. Is the East Eurasian in them an ancient component present since the Indo-Iranian expansion or is it a recent one, accumulated by mixture with Turks/Mongols etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kulin View Post
    I was wondering what is the exact source of the East Eurasian in modern-day Tajik people? They are known to be descendants of the Bactrians/Sogdians who've underwent Persianisation under the Samanid rulers. Is the East Eurasian in them an ancient component present since the Indo-Iranian expansion or is it a recent one, accumulated by mixture with Turks/Mongols etc.
    I would say the latter.

    In central Asia Turk was often used in the sense that mongoloid/east Asian (epicanthic fold, low nose, thin beard) is used now, while Tajik was caucasoid/west Asian.
    Eg. "I had heard that Yunus Khan was a Moghul, and I concluded that he was a beardless man, with the ways and manners of any other 'Turk of the desert. But when I saw him, I found he was a person of elegant deportment, with a full beard and a Tajik face, and such refined speech and manner, as is seldom to be found even in a Tajik."

    Tajik technically means Arabian and the name dates to the Arab conquest of the region.
    Last edited by parasar; 05-23-2017 at 03:18 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by parasar View Post
    I would say the latter.

    In central Asia Turk was often used in the sense that mongoloid/east Asian (epicanthic fold, low nose, thin beard) is used now, while Tajik was caucasoid/west Asian.
    Eg. "I had heard that Yunus Khan was a Moghul, and I concluded that he was a beardless man, with the ways and manners of any other 'Turk of the desert. But when I saw him, I found he was a person of elegant deportment, with a full beard and a Tajik face, and such refined speech and manner, as is seldom to be found even in a Tajik."

    Tajik technically means Arabian and the name dates to the Arab conquest of the region.
    Interesting, but how did the Tajik still retain their Persian language, culture and sense of identity? Why weren't they assimilated into the Turkic majority?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kulin View Post
    Interesting, but how did the Tajik still retain their Persian language, culture and sense of identity? Why weren't they assimilated into the Turkic majority?
    Proximity to South Asia I guess. Almost no region of South Asia changed its language to the Turko-Mongol family despite their near continuous hegemony in northern South Asia for a long-long period.
    Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan changed, starting about 400AD.
    Last edited by parasar; 05-23-2017 at 03:47 AM.

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    parasar is correct.

    The people of Tajikistan (both the ancestors of modern Persian speakers and Pamiris) have had very extensive contacts with Turkish tribes since at least 800 A.D.; this has generally tended to be with the Uzbeks and Kyrgyz. The Wakhan corridor between Afghanistan and China in particular had a reasonably large (several thousands) Kyrgyz population before Soviet-related movements took place. To the Pamiri Tajiks living in China, we may also add contacts with the Uyghurs, as evidenced by some linguistic influences.

    Outside of military excursions, the Mongolians did not have as pronounced a presence in the region as the Turks. IIRC, there were a handful of Y-DNA C3 haplotypes in one of the recent pan-Asian papers from Tajiki Afghans that belonged to the supposed Genghis branch. That being said, such data isn't sufficient to assume a hefty autosomal contribution to coincide with that.

    Finally, several of the Iron Age remains from the peri-Urals steppes reveal the presence of East Eurasian autosomal admixture (I have Scythian_IA in mind). It's possible some of the Pamiri Tajiks (particularly the Yaghnobi, who are the specific people that are supposed to be a part of the dialect continuum with Ossetians) received a portion of their East Eurasian admixture from early Iron Age Iranian nomads. Most of the Pamiri languages, from memory, date to around 1000 B.C., so it's not infeasible (though less linguistically tenable) to attribute a good chunk of the East Eurasian admixture to Scythian_IA-like populations (assuming my memory is correct on this point).

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    Tajik can mean a lot of things. In Iran the term Tajik is used to describe the settled non nomadic populations in areas with heavy nomadic activity(the term used by nomads in the south such qashqais and Lurs). In Central Asia, a settled Turk or mongol can be called Tajik if they switch to using Persian and disassociate themselves from their nomadic kin. It's a pretty flexible term and does not refer to a blood related ethnic group(for example Tajiks in Afghanistan/Tajikistan can have up to 50% east Eurasian and some can have around 2-5%).

    Settled people are often more educated/literate than nomads in those regions. Persian was/is the language of education in much of Central Asia(explains why Tajiks use it)
    Last edited by jesus; 05-23-2017 at 05:16 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by parasar View Post
    Proximity to South Asia I guess. Almost no region of South Asia changed its language to the Turko-Mongol family despite their near continuous hegemony in northern South Asia for a long-long period.
    Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan changed, starting about 400AD.
    More like proximity to Persian speaking areas + being the center(or part) of many post/pre Islamic Persian speaking empires/states.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DMXX View Post
    parasar is correct.

    The people of Tajikistan (both the ancestors of modern Dari speakers and Pamiris) have had very extensive contacts with Turkish tribes since at least 800 A.D.; this has generally tended to be with the Uzbeks and Kyrgyz. The Wakhan corridor between Afghanistan and China in particular had a reasonably large (several thousands) Kyrgyz population before Soviet-related movements took place. To the Pamiri Tajiks living in China, we may also add contacts with the Uyghurs, as evidenced by some linguistic influences.

    Outside of military excursions, the Mongolians did not have as pronounced a presence in the region as the Turks. IIRC, there were a handful of Y-DNA C3 haplotypes in one of the recent pan-Asian papers from Tajiki Afghans that belonged to the supposed Genghis branch. That being said, such data isn't sufficient to assume a hefty autosomal contribution to coincide with that.

    Finally, several of the Iron Age remains from the peri-Urals steppes reveal the presence of East Eurasian autosomal admixture (I have Scythian_IA in mind). It's possible some of the Pamiri Tajiks (particularly the Yaghnobi, who are the specific people that are supposed to be a part of the dialect continuum with Ossetians) received a portion of their East Eurasian admixture from early Iron Age Iranian nomads. Most of the Pamiri languages, from memory, date to around 1000 B.C., so it's not infeasible (though less linguistically tenable) to attribute a good chunk of the East Eurasian admixture to Scythian_IA-like populations (assuming my memory is correct on this point).
    Don't forget that we also have remains from Xinjiang circa 2500 - 2000 BC that were a mix of West and East Eurasian based on their haplogroups. They've been speculated to have possibly been Tocharian speakers. I think that it's possible there have been a lot of disparate population movements bringing East Eurasian into Central Asia that will be revealed by more ancient DNA from the region, some of them associated with Indo-Iranians. But yeah, interaction with Turkic speakers is probably responsible for a lot of the East Asian among modern Tajiks.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kulin View Post
    I was wondering what is the exact source of the East Eurasian in modern-day Tajik people? They are known to be descendants of the Bactrians/Sogdians who've underwent Persianisation under the Samanid rulers. Is the East Eurasian in them an ancient component present since the Indo-Iranian expansion or is it a recent one, accumulated by mixture with Turks/Mongols etc.
    Davidski has shown that much of the East Eurasian-ancestry among modern day Tajiks and especially Pashtuns is pre-turkic and more scythian/amerinidian like. I would be very surprised if ancient Bactrians and Sogdians lacked East Eurasian admixture. But the turkic immigration later definetly had a genetic impact and many Tajiks have recent Uzbek ancestry. Also Tajiks extremely differ in their East Asian admixture. Some will almost lack it and some will resemble Uzbeks. Tajiks don't have a common origin and Tajik is an umbrella term for Persian-speaking people of Central Asia who not shared a common identity untill recently

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    Quote Originally Posted by jesus View Post
    More like proximity to Persian speaking areas + being the center(or part) of many post/pre Islamic Persian speaking empires/states.
    The Turco-Mongols spoke Dari/Farsi(Delhi Sultanate and Mughals) as their official language; the official language of the court was Farsi which was replaced by the Brits after they colonized the land.

    Well, the national anthem of Pakistan is in Farsi! quiet a catch.
    Last edited by surbakhunWeesste; 05-23-2017 at 05:50 AM.

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