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Thread: Need Your Help: How much Arab settlement in Umayyad area?

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    Need Your Help: How much Arab settlement in Umayyad area?

    Hi members of Anthrogenica,

    I got a few questions which I hope some of you knowledgeable in the genetic history of the Middle East can help me out with. Its my understanding that the process of Arabisation took place in the following way:
    - After the conquests of the early caliphates, Arab armies and tribes settle down in military garrisons, or Amsar, within established urban and rural landscapes, which initially limited their interaction with locals
    - These arabs then steadily become local landed aristocracies
    - Local converts become clients/followers, or "Mawali", of the local arab aristocracies, with intermarriage occurring as well, and thereby become part of the tribal social milieu of the Arab world
    - Eventually local populations become Arabized wholesale, and from the nuclei of the amsars the tribal social structure begins to extend to almost all persons after many centuries; formerly non-tribal populations (e.g. in Byzantine North Africa) become tribal and have an "Arab" identity
    - There are also later migrations, e.g. the Banu Hilal, in the 11th century into North Africa, that supplemented this process

    Here are my questions
    1. I read that most Arabs of Syria, Mesopotamia, Libya etc. know their tribal identity, the named branches of which extends down to clans, subclans, extended families etc. Is this true? If you are an Arab reading this from outside the Arabian peninsula, would that be an accurate description?
    2. How much Arab ancestry is there in Egypt, the Levant, Libya, Tunisia, Morocco, Mesopotamia, Persia, Afghanistan and Sindh?
    3. How accurate is the picture I painted above of the historical process?
    5. How much Arab ancestry comes from the amsar military garrisons of the early Caliphates, vs later Arab settlements due to groups like the Banu Hilal?
    6. In places like Libya, the Levant, Afghanistan or Pakistan where we don't really have evidence of a tribal society prior to Islam, is it right to say that this process of converts-->mawalli-->integration into tribes is responsible for "tribalisation" of the local population? Can we posit that the society of the, e.g. Pashtuns or Balochs, where tribes are important, emerged like this?
    7. Is there then evidence that "Arab" tribes of e.g. Morocco or Libya have a core of Arab ancestry plus a bunch of local ancestry? Is there any genetic evidence of this social process I described above?
    8. The Chinese historiographical tradition (which is what I'm familiar with) has always been quite good and detailed, such that we know the locations of all of the hundreds of military commanderies in Han China, not least due to the existence of a bureaucratic tradition with which was associated the literate class and the writing of history; my understanding is that as soon as the Caliphate emerged Persianate bureaucratic traditions began to merge with Arab political traditions (c.f. "viziers") and so there should be at least as good historical records, no? Is there any place I can go to, any historical source, which gives an extensive list of the amsar garrisons of the early Caliphates and their geographic locations?
    Last edited by Ryukendo; 12-02-2020 at 12:24 AM.
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    That's alot of questions lol , who's ready to answer them all?
    Last edited by Echo; 12-02-2020 at 12:32 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Echo View Post
    That's alot of questions, who's ready to answer them all?
    Lol I was hoping for dribs and drabs, I understand if people can't answer all of them.

    There's a potential project in the making here, it should be possible to exploit variation in the position and density of Amsars (if we have good enough data) for some soc sci research questions. I could reach out to academics for this info but the amount of local knowledge on this site never ceases to amaze me and just wanted to test the waters a bit

    Edit: just to clarify on what I'm thinking about, the "tribalisation" of many societies across large parts of North Africa, the Middle East and West and Central Asia may be proxied using exposure to Arab social institutions (if this is indeed the causal pathway) if we have good info on locations of amsars. People have written about the relationship between kinship patterns and psychology and institutional history, e.g. here, here and here.
    Last edited by Ryukendo; 12-02-2020 at 12:42 AM.
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    In Africa the populations with the most Islamic era Arabian ancestry are the Libyan Arabs and the Sudanese Arabs.Probably because their land was suitable for bedouins as good grazing areas plus there probably wasn't a large agriculture population in these countries unlike Egypt & the Maghreb (Tunisia,Algeria,Morocco).The Sudanese Arab ancestry is from a much later period tho (15th century).
    Last edited by drobbah; 12-02-2020 at 01:01 AM.

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    I read this book a few years ago, and I remember the author mentioning that the army of Amr ibn al-As (the conquerer of Egypt) was mostly Yemeni, and that these troops and their near kin became the first Arab settlers in Egypt, and their descendants were basically the ruling class until the Turkic Tulunid slave dynasty took over in the later 9th century. I recall him mentioning some census or something in the 8th or 9th century and calculating that out of a total population of around three million in Egypt, there were about 100,000 Arabs.

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    Does anyone know how accurate maps like this are?
    Quoted from this Forum:

    "Which superman haplogroup is the toughest - R1a or R1b? And which SNP mutation spoke Indo-European first? There's only one way for us to find out ... fight!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryukendo View Post
    Hi members of Anthrogenica,

    I got a few questions which I hope some of you knowledgeable in the genetic history of the Middle East can help me out with. Its my understanding that the process of Arabisation took place in the following way:
    - After the conquests of the early caliphates, Arab armies and tribes settle down in military garrisons, or Amsar, within established urban and rural landscapes, which initially limited their interaction with locals
    - These arabs then steadily become local landed aristocracies
    - Local converts become clients/followers, or "Mawali", of the local arab aristocracies, with intermarriage occurring as well, and thereby become part of the tribal social milieu of the Arab world
    - Eventually local populations become Arabized wholesale, and from the nuclei of the amsars the tribal social structure begins to extend to almost all persons after many centuries; formerly non-tribal populations (e.g. in Byzantine North Africa) become tribal and have an "Arab" identity
    - There are also later migrations, e.g. the Banu Hilal, in the 11th century into North Africa, that supplemented this process

    Here are my questions
    1. I read that most Arabs of Syria, Mesopotamia, Libya etc. know their tribal identity, the named branches of which extends down to clans, subclans, extended families etc. Is this true? If you are an Arab reading this from outside the Arabian peninsula, would that be an accurate description?
    2. How much Arab ancestry is there in Egypt, the Levant, Libya, Tunisia, Morocco, Mesopotamia, Persia, Afghanistan and Sindh?
    3. How accurate is the picture I painted above of the historical process?
    5. How much Arab ancestry comes from the amsar military garrisons of the early Caliphates, vs later Arab settlements due to groups like the Banu Hilal?
    6. In places like Libya, the Levant, Afghanistan or Pakistan where we don't really have evidence of a tribal society prior to Islam, is it right to say that this process of converts-->mawalli-->integration into tribes is responsible for "tribalisation" of the local population? Can we posit that the society of the, e.g. Pashtuns or Balochs, where tribes are important, emerged like this?
    7. Is there then evidence that "Arab" tribes of e.g. Morocco or Libya have a core of Arab ancestry plus a bunch of local ancestry? Is there any genetic evidence of this social process I described above?
    8. The Chinese historiographical tradition (which is what I'm familiar with) has always been quite good and detailed, such that we know the locations of all of the hundreds of military commanderies in Han China, not least due to the existence of a bureaucratic tradition with which was associated the literate class and the writing of history; my understanding is that as soon as the Caliphate emerged Persianate bureaucratic traditions began to merge with Arab political traditions (c.f. "viziers") and so there should be at least as good historical records, no? Is there any place I can go to, any historical source, which gives an extensive list of the amsar garrisons of the early Caliphates and their geographic locations?
    I can not comment about the arabic world, because i have very weak knowledge about this region but i will try to answer some questions related to the eastern Perso-Islamic world.

    After the muslim conquest of Iran and Central Asia Khorasan become both and to some way at first view paradoxically a centre of arab settlement and persian renaissance. Khorasan had a much bigger and better organized population of Arabs than West Iran and was even called a 'Second Arabia' or 'Colony of Basra'. There is a really good and interesting article at Iranica about the Arab settlement in Iran. But on the otherside Khorasan was the birthplace of many influential figures in Persian literature like Ferdowsi and later Persian-Speaking rulers actively promoting Persian language and culture.

    https://iranicaonline.org/articles/arab-iii

    At least as early as 45/665 the governor ʿOmayr b. Aḥmar had encouraged Arabs to settle in Marv. In 51/671, the governor Rabīʿ b. Zīād is said to have sent 50,000 Kufans and Basrans with their families to settle in Khorasan. Ten years later, several thousand more Arabs, mostly Azdī tribesmen, were posted to Marv by Salm b. Zīād. In 112/730 Jonayd b. ʿAbd-al-Raḥmān sent 20,000 Arabs (half from Baṣra and half from Kūfa) to Khorasan. At the time of Qotayba b. Moslem’s governorship (1st/early 8th cent.) there were 40,000 Basran, 7,000 Kufan, and 7,000 non-Arab Muslim troops in Khorasan, the Arabs coming from the tribes of Bakr, Tamīm, ʿAbd-al-Qays, and Azd (Baḷʿamī, Chronique IV, p. 211; Balāḏorī, Fotūḥ, p. 423). Although the evidence is open to different interpretations, it suggests that throughout most of the Omayyad period there were frequent movements of new Arab soldiers and colonists to Khorasan and that the Omayyads tried to keep a force of 40,000 to 50,000 Arab warriors (moqātela) in Khorasan at all times. Because of the distance from Iraq and the attractiveness of the country, large numbers of these soldiers acquired lands in villages throughout Khorasan, married local women or brought their families from Iraq, and settled permanently in the province. The repeated infusions of fresh troops were intended to replace these losses and at the same time bolster the authority of the central government. This in turn implies that the Arab population in Khorasan must have been huge in comparison to that in western Iran. Even if the primary component of the Arab colony in Khorasan was limited to just the 50,000 families settled there by Rabīʿ b. Zīād, the total Arab population would have to be estimated at close to a quarter of a million people
    Genetically the impact of Arab settlement in Iran and Central Asia is today definetly very minor but i can not give an exact estimate for it. We lack Iron Age genomes from the region to say how much of the extra West Asian ancestry is from Sassanids, Achaemenids, Persian Muslims or Arabs. In terms of Y-DNA Arab uniparental markers seem to be more significant in modern day Iranian Khorasan, Balkh/North Afghanistan and probably Margiana. The same regions which historically had also a big Arab community but Pashtuns and people outside this early Islamic centres don't seem to have any trace of Arab Y-DNA so far. I have not found a single Pashtun sample of hundreds which had clear Arab Y-DNA. On the otherside some Syeds from Balkh for example showed North African Y-DNA E clades, which are hard to explain without Arabs.

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    I am not sure if we can say there are no evidences for tribal societies in Pre-Islamic Afghanistan. Rather in the early Islamic period Islamization, Urbanization and Persianization went hand in hand so the old Iranian world/synonym for Arab "Ṭayyi' became a synonym for sedentary and muslim Persian-speaking groups (Tajiks). Pashtuns and other tribal groups were rather less Islamicized and even after the adoption of Islam not fully integrated into the Perso-Islamic civilization for some time. Later with the expansion of already Islamicized Pashtuns into Gandhara we indeed see a similar process of tribalization and assimilation of locals but this was probably only true for regions with an already big sedentary population. Much of Afghanistan outside river valleys and urban centres of Bactria/Margiana and Gandhara had already Pre-Pashtun pastoralist/tribal societies.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryukendo View Post
    Does anyone know how accurate maps like this are?
    That map has some errors, but its hard to document every single tribe but I've done an attempt at it and made my own Moroccan tribal affiliation map (which also has errors but is the most accurate tribal map at this point when it comes to Morocco). Regarding your questions I hope I can give it a try tomorrow:


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    Quote Originally Posted by Coldmountains View Post
    Genetically the impact of Arab settlement in Iran and Central Asia is today definetly very minor but i can not give an exact estimate for it. We lack Iron Age genomes from the region to say how much of the extra West Asian ancestry is from Sassanids, Achaemenids, Persian Muslims or Arabs. In terms of Y-DNA Arab uniparental markers seem to be more significant in modern day Iranian Khorasan, Balkh/North Afghanistan and probably Margiana. The same regions which historically had also a big Arab community but Pashtuns and people outside this early Islamic centres don't seem to have any trace of Arab Y-DNA so far. I have not found a single Pashtun sample of hundreds which had clear Arab Y-DNA. On the otherside some Syeds from Balkh for example showed North African Y-DNA E clades, which are hard to explain without Arabs.
    There is one case from Kyrgyzstan, where the guy have Y-DNA of clearly Arabic origin: https://www.yfull.com/tree/J-FGC4453/ , namely YF08091

    The case was discussed on molgen, but it seems the topic is now deleted. But as far as I know the guy did not have any information about possible Arab ancestors, he belongs to well known Kyrgyz tribe/clan, so the result was surprize for him.
    Last edited by rozenfeld; 12-02-2020 at 02:53 AM.

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