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Thread: Proto-Indo-Aryans vs. Proto-Iranics

  1. #1
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    Proto-Indo-Aryans vs. Proto-Iranics

    They both have common origins in the same general region (modern day Kazakhstan) and were close enough that they identified with the same name (Arya) for most of their history.

    So my questions:
    1. Was there any genetic difference between the two groups?
    2. Is it possible to distinguish Proto-IA ancestry from Proto-Iranic ancestry in modern populations?
    3. What was the name of the cultures they each originated in? Was Sintashta the culture that Indo-Iranians originated in and Andronovo the culture that Iranics originated in? Or is Andronovo just another early Indo-Iranian culture before Indo-Iranians split into Indo-Aryan and Iranic? Is there a Proto-IA culture?
    4. Around what time did Indo-Iranians split into Iranic and Indo-Aryan?

    My main question is question #1 (i.e. if there was any genetic difference between the two). The other questions are just some followup questions to clear up some confusion regarding the whole issue between the two ancient groups.

    Also, when answering this question, keep in mind that Proto-Iranic/IA is not the same as Early Iranic/IA. Many Early Iranic/IA groups were from the Iron Age whereas Proto-Iranic/IA people from the Bronze Age. Not many people should make this mistake but just mentioning it in case.

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  3. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mingle View Post
    They both have common origins in the same general region (modern day Kazakhstan) and were close enough that they identified with the same name (Arya) for most of their history.

    So my questions:
    1. Was there any genetic difference between the two groups?
    2. Is it possible to distinguish Proto-IA ancestry from Proto-Iranic ancestry in modern populations?
    3. What was the name of the cultures they each originated in? Was Sintashta the culture that Indo-Iranians originated in and Andronovo the culture that Iranics originated in? Or is Andronovo just another early Indo-Iranian culture before Indo-Iranians split into Indo-Aryan and Iranic? Is there a Proto-IA culture?
    4. Around what time did Indo-Iranians split into Iranic and Indo-Aryan?

    My main question is question #1 (i.e. if there was any genetic difference between the two). The other questions are just some followup questions to clear up some confusion regarding the whole issue between the two ancient groups.

    Also, when answering this question, keep in mind that Proto-Iranic/IA is not the same as Early Iranic/IA. Many Early Iranic/IA groups were from the Iron Age whereas Proto-Iranic/IA people from the Bronze Age. Not many people should make this mistake but just mentioning it in case.
    Thats a good question. Considering they came in waves my guess is some would be similar to their Iranic/Andronovo counterparts, others different. Though looking at Kalash and Rors, some Indo Aryan groups seem to be enriched for WSHG and prefer Pontic Steppe sources which are like that, I don't see that in other groups. TKM IA lacks WSHG. Its a messy answer because you have populations which can have both streams of Indo Aryan and Iranic ancestry , Pashtuns like you are a good example of that. Also you have Baloch people who have substantial L657, so they have Indo Aryan ancestry. I think the tentative answer to this will lay in ancient genomes from the Afghan highlands or hopefully samples from Bannu (KPK) or Pirak (Balochistan) will clarify that more. IMO the best place for ancient genomes in this region are the Tora Bora caves but since its under control of jihadi groups its going to be aeons before we get access.
    Last edited by pegasus; 10-03-2019 at 09:26 AM.

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  5. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mingle View Post
    They both have common origins in the same general region (modern day Kazakhstan) and were close enough that they identified with the same name (Arya) for most of their history.

    So my questions:
    1. Was there any genetic difference between the two groups?
    2. Is it possible to distinguish Proto-IA ancestry from Proto-Iranic ancestry in modern populations?
    3. What was the name of the cultures they each originated in? Was Sintashta the culture that Indo-Iranians originated in and Andronovo the culture that Iranics originated in? Or is Andronovo just another early Indo-Iranian culture before Indo-Iranians split into Indo-Aryan and Iranic? Is there a Proto-IA culture?
    4. Around what time did Indo-Iranians split into Iranic and Indo-Aryan?

    My main question is question #1 (i.e. if there was any genetic difference between the two). The other questions are just some followup questions to clear up some confusion regarding the whole issue between the two ancient groups.

    Also, when answering this question, keep in mind that Proto-Iranic/IA is not the same as Early Iranic/IA. Many Early Iranic/IA groups were from the Iron Age whereas Proto-Iranic/IA people from the Bronze Age. Not many people should make this mistake but just mentioning it in case.
    Both Indo-Aryans and Iranians are very close related groups. Avestan and early Vedic Sanskrit have phrases which are almost identical except of different sound laws and stylistic elements. After this the differences became much bigger because of geographical distances and the absorption of different substrates. Iranics absorbed more BMAC, Elamitic, Mesopotamian and generally West Asian/Caucasian influences but Indo-Aryans were more influenced by substrate populations of the Indian subcontinent. But BMAC influences played also a genetic and linguistic role especially in the early phase.

    Before the arrival of Indo-Iranians into South Central Asia the differences would be logically much smaller but we have almost no linguistical and not so much archaelogical findings which would help us to differentiate Indo-Aryans from Iranics in this period. Archaelogical studies of Andronovo, Sintashta or Petrovka can not say to which Indo-Iranian group the sites belonged. The material cultures of early Indo-Iranian groups was just too similar to each other. Only in the late Andronovo period archaelogical sites can be definetly associated with steppe Iranics but this people already developed a post-Proto-Indo-Iranian culture with many local Siberian/Central Asian influences and postdate the migration of Proto-Indo-Iranians into South Asia.

    Genetic studies on the otherside can link ancient uniparental markers to modern population and also admixture events which effected the ancestors of modern populations. Genetic studies clearly showed that early Andronovo, Sintashta, Petrovka and many other steppe MLBA cultures belonged to a "forest-steppe" cluster, which was different from Yamnaya but also very different from previus population in Central Asia (Botai,Kelteminar,..) This Indo-Iranian forest-steppe cluster was very similar to the late CWC cluster to which forest steppe group from the Netherlands to the Ural also belonged. Unique for this cluster was high steppe admixture from a Progress-Eneolithic/Yamnaya-like population of the Eneolithic steppe and Globular Amphora pastoralists/farmers population of Central-East Europe. So generally people from the Netherlands to the Ural had more or less the same genetic autosomal profile. Uniparental markers were also similar but depending on the CWC subgroup a different proportion of R1a-Z80, R1a-Z93, R1a-CTS7083/pre-L664, R1b-L51 and I2a2 could be found.

    So early Indo-Iranians were either derived directly from (earlier) CWC or at least shared the same mixed steppe/GAC ancestors with them. The next question is of course where exactly where Indo-Iranians before Sintashta and Andronovo. The only R1a-Z93 found before Sintashta is in Sredny Stog(confirmed) and according to some rumours it belonged to a clade ancestral to Indo-Aryan L657. Sredny Stog is an interesting culture it generally was very diverse and had different groups with very different proportions of steppe, EEF and WHG/EHG-like admixture. It generally shows some traits which later also became typical for CWC and with it Yamnaya-like admixture arrived in the western steppe and forest steppe of modern day Ukraine and southwest Russia. But Sredny Stog predates Yamnaya so Yamnaya is definetly not ancestral to it.

    So we have R1a-Z93 in the western steppe/forest-steppe already 6000 years ago. In this region Z93 would also get GAC-admixture from GAC populations in western and central Ukraine, which later was present among Indo-Iranians of Sintashta and Andronovo. Another question of course is what happened between Sredny Stog and Sintashta and how R1a-Z93 arrived from the western steppes into the Ural region. A likely candidate for this migrations is Abashevo. It shows traits ancestral or related to Sintashta and populated the forest steppes between southwestern Russia and the Ural region. A migration of Z93 directly through the steppe is unlikely, because steppe population of this time carry different uniparental markers and have a very different autosomal profile.

    Untill Abashevo i would say Iranics and Indo-Aryans were indistinguishable from each other but in the late phase of it some at least linguistic differences existed because Finno-Ugrian languages adopted the earliest Indo-Iranian loanwords from groups speaking Proto-Indo-Aryan and not Proto-Iranic. So in the forest steppes of the Ural region at least dialectical differences would already exist. But it is unlikely that this translated in genetic differences so we can pretty much assume that earliest Indo-Aryans were Sintashta/Petrovka-like. High steppe admixed Indo-Aryan population like Rors for example can be quite good modelled with steppe MLBA populations like Sintashta.

    But the typical Indo-Aryan R1a-L657 markers was not found yet in Sintashta or Andronovo, the reson for that could be the lack of samples and that most samples are from few sites, where founder effects would only show few very similar and related markers. In my opinion L657 wll be found in earliest Andronovo and Abashewo. Sintashta could be mainly Z2124 in the end but maybe in some subgroups L657 will be also found
    Last edited by Coldmountains; 10-03-2019 at 04:26 PM.

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  7. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mingle View Post
    They both have common origins in the same general region (modern day Kazakhstan) and were close enough that they identified with the same name (Arya) for most of their history.

    So my questions:
    1. Was there any genetic difference between the two groups?
    2. Is it possible to distinguish Proto-IA ancestry from Proto-Iranic ancestry in modern populations?
    3. What was the name of the cultures they each originated in? Was Sintashta the culture that Indo-Iranians originated in and Andronovo the culture that Iranics originated in? Or is Andronovo just another early Indo-Iranian culture before Indo-Iranians split into Indo-Aryan and Iranic? Is there a Proto-IA culture?
    4. Around what time did Indo-Iranians split into Iranic and Indo-Aryan?

    My main question is question #1 (i.e. if there was any genetic difference between the two). The other questions are just some followup questions to clear up some confusion regarding the whole issue between the two ancient groups.

    Also, when answering this question, keep in mind that Proto-Iranic/IA is not the same as Early Iranic/IA. Many Early Iranic/IA groups were from the Iron Age whereas Proto-Iranic/IA people from the Bronze Age. Not many people should make this mistake but just mentioning it in case.
    That is my understanding too.
    The transition period is described in the Gathas of Zarathustra. http://www.avesta.org/gathas.htm
    The flip/antagonist side would be the Atharvan ("Monier Williams ... the mythical priest named Atharvan who was first to develop prayers to fire, offer Soma, and who composed "formulas and spells intended to counteract diseases and calamities".)
    Neither of the above is core Vedic.

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