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Thread: "The Genetic History of the Southern Arc: A Bridge between West Asia & Europe"

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    Another important issue and question is that no R1 population, R1a or R1b, ever prevail, became hegemonic or the majority when J1 was present, J1 has always been the frontier limit of every R1a or R1b wave of advance or expansion. J1 is the geographical and geopolitical brake of R1, we can find R1b dominating Central-Western Europe, R1a in Central-Eastern Europe, R1a in India but when J1 is reaching 10% everywhere there's a big plurality of haplogroups just like the Southern Caspian, Southern Caucasus, Eastern Anatolia, so J1 was strong or populated enough to deter R1, R1b could reach Portugal and R1a could reach Bangladesh but they couldn't completely change the PIE areas of Gilan, the Van Lake, the Urmia Lake. I think the Indo-European X Semitic frontier in Iran X Iraq, Kurds X Assyrians is very strategic and ancient.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RCO View Post
    Another important issue and question is that no R1 population, R1a or R1b, ever prevail, became hegemonic or the majority when J1 was present, J1 has always been the frontier limit of every R1a or R1b wave of advance or expansion. J1 is the geographical and geopolitical brake of R1, we can find R1b dominating Central-Western Europe, R1a in Central-Eastern Europe, R1a in India but when J1 is reaching 10% everywhere there's a big plurality of haplogroups just like the Southern Caspian, Southern Caucasus, Eastern Anatolia, so J1 was strong or populated enough to deter R1, R1b could reach Portugal and R1a could reach Bangladesh but they couldn't completely change the PIE areas of Gilan, the Van Lake, the Urmia Lake. I think the Indo-European X Semitic frontier in Iran X Iraq, Kurds X Assyrians is very strategic and ancient.
    It is said that these tracks are formed either by FTDNA itself or based on FTDNA data
    http://scaledinnovation.com/gg/snpTracker

    https://imgur.com/a/VbJfVSC

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    Quote Originally Posted by VladimirTaraskin View Post
    It is said that these tracks are formed either by FTDNA itself or based on FTDNA data
    http://scaledinnovation.com/gg/snpTracker

    https://imgur.com/a/VbJfVSC
    It is fairly accurate unless there is missing data (samples) or context.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Riverman View Post
    Another interesting aspect is this: Proto-Semitic came up when Afro-Asiatic groups mixed in the Northern Levante with a J1 dominated population, after which J1 turned out to be dominant in early Semitic. From there, the Semites expanded Southward in the Bronze Age. The most likely scenario is that related but different branches of Afro-Asiatic, including with a much higher level of E1b1b, being present in e.g. Southern Arabia and the Persian Gulf.
    I'm not aware of any relicts, but are there any linguistic hints to substrate languages in e.g. Yemen and the Persian Gulf?
    Yes, Old South Arabian survives as a substrate in a number of dialects, and may even survive intact in Faifi and Razihi. But you are referring to earlier substrata?

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    For the following, keep in mind this livestock herding was very important to this region, which required a lot of counting. Every day.

    A friend of mine who is very good with this sort of thing thinks most "West Eurasian" languages borrowed a portion of their numerals for 6-10 from a language with a numeral system similar to Hurrian. Most forager languages only have numbers for 1-5, sometimes more sometimes less. Then with the evolution or adoption of agriculture, they expand their numeral system or adopt one from another culture. In Mesoamerica, the recent origins of agriculture make it so that most of the ~20 independent numeral systems are easily etymologised as 1, 2, 3, 4, … for the forager layer, and then simply 5+1, 5+2, 5+3, 5+4, … for the numerals developed during the evolution of economically complex society. There is very little borrowing between language families there. This stands in sharp contrast to the situation for similarly economically complex societies in East Asia and in West Eurasia.

    In fact, judging from his tables it is difficult to see how any known West Eurasian numeral system evolved internally (as opposed to through borrowing), apart from Hurrian, Sumerian, and perhaps Dravidian and/or Burusho. Elamite could be among these but most of the numerals in category 6-10 are unknown, and little to nothing at all is known about Hattic numerals. Also the North Caucasian languages employ numeral systems notoriously difficult to analyse. Dravidian and Burusho numerals happen to look a lot like one another, but surprisingly the similarity seems stronger in the lower numerals. Sumerian numerals have no apparent relation to those of any other language. But all remaining language families north of the Mediterranean and east of the Red Sea, in addition to Egyptian and Berber, employ higher numerals phonetically and semantically linked to Hurrian numerals.

    First it is interesting to note that most if not all of the numerals both lower (1-5) and higher (6-10) in Chadic, Cushitic, and "Omotic" bear no relation to the numerals of Egyptian, Semitic, or Berber (which is thought by many to have borrowed most of its numerals from Semitic long before the influence of Arabic). But also Egyptian and Semitic numerals differ rather markedly from one another. And I will get back to this.

    The Hurrian numerals make perfect sense as logical coinings within the source language. They seem "old"/drifted, but they can still be explained internally, without borrowing. There is šuk[k]-[ko] "1" ~ šeše "6", then šin- "2" ~ šint- "7" (5+2), then kik- "3" ~ kir- "8" (5+3), then tumn- "4" ~ tamr- "9" (5+4), and the words for "5" and "10" might break this pattern but they usually have something to do with hands anyway. This stands in stark contrast to Basque, Etruscan, Kartvelian, Semitic, Egyptian and Indo-European, in which at least several and sometimes all of the numerals 6-10 have nothing to do phonetically with the numerals 1-5.

    The Hurrian source of šeše "6" was loaned into Egyptian *sása- "6", possibly Basque sei = Iberian śei "6", and perhaps even Balto-Slavic *šéš "6" (if through an Old European substrate). But there are multiple loaning layers in some languages. I find interesting the potential loan from the source of Kartvelian *xut- "5" (which looks native enough judging from Kartvelian *otxo- "4", of potential relationship to the Indo-European "8") into Etruscan hutʰ "6" (!semantic difference!). And some source also seems to have yielded both Kartvelian *eks₁w- "6" and PIE *[s]u̯éks "6", all the more confusing in light of West Caucasian *sx̂ʷə "5" following the reconstruction of Schluze.

    But it is at "7" that the similarities become most striking, for not only was the source of Hurrian šint- "7" loaned into Kartvelian *šwid- "7" and Semitic *šidts "6" (!semantic difference!), but a similar yet distinct source yielded Egyptian *sáfḫa- "7", Semitic *šabʕ- "7", Basque zazpi = Iberian sisbi "7", Etruscan śempʰ "7", and Proto-Indo-European *séptm̥ "7". I have to add from my own Uralic the reconstructions PSaa *ćieće̮m[ē]~*ćiće̮m[ē]~*kieće̮mē "7", PFin *säiccen~*säiccemä- "7", PMor *śiśəm "7", PMar *šĭmət~*šĭšəmət "7", PPer *śĭźĭ̮m "7", PSmy *säjʔwə "7". Aikio reconstructs a PU *ćäjć[ć]imä "7", believing the Ugric languages to have "lost the reflexes of PU *ćäjć[ć]imä, and replaced them with Indo-European loanwords" PKha *ʟǟpət "7", PMan *sǟtə "7", Hungarian hét "7" (loans from Indo-Iranian). In Aikio's words, "the vague resemblance to Proto-Indo-European *septm̥ 'seven' is probably coincidental", but he is known for his admirable if sometimes mistaken adherence to strict correspondence rules (which ironically might be costing him the discovery of a few sound laws ).

    At "8" complexity returns, a bit like in individual Uralic branches. The similarity between Egyptian *tsamānii̯- "8" and Semitic *ḫamâna- "8" confirms the two numeral systems came from a common ancestor (with probable replacement of Semitic "6" with a relatively "Hurrian" term derived from or originally meaning "7". And similarities in "8" and "9" still exist between pairs of hardly related languages but with less striking phonetics and/or semantics. At "10" there is an interesting similarity between Egyptian *ʕaśr- "10 and Etruscan *śar "10", and perhaps the first component of Basque zortzi "10" = Iberian sorse "10".

    And going the other way, a few possibilities arise even in the core numerals 1-5. Hurrian šin- "2" is not dissimilar from Egyptian *sin- "2", Chadic *sr "2", Semitic *tsinān "2", Etruscan tsal "2". If the Hurrian-Semitic connection holds up for "2" then the Hurrian-Etruscan connection for "2" could also hold up, and then we ought to consider Hurrian kik- ~ Etruscan ki. But like the later higher numerals, the lower numerals show few connections beyond where we would expect them or where they could be the result of a closer relationship.

    His basic conclusion was that Indo-European must have been influenced somehow by a language whose "6" had a form close to the "Kartvelian 6" and whose "7" had a form close to the "Universal 7" (notably absent from Kartvelian). The Pre-Hurrian numeral system could have diverged into all forms that later spread internally, or with minimal language-hopping, and for phonetic reasons it is likely these variant forms came from a single source. But what path it took into Indo-European is at present a mystery, because no attested numeral system matches. Whatever that language was, it must have had a homeland not far from the Proto-Kartvelian, Proto-Hurro-Urartian, and "Universal 7 Donor" homelands.
    Last edited by anthrofennica; 06-23-2022 at 09:01 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by anthrofennica View Post
    Yes, Old South Arabian survives as a substrate in a number of dialects, and may even survive intact in Faifi and Razihi. But you are referring to earlier substrata?
    This kind of repeats the pattern I have in mind, but is indeed much later, from within Semitic.

    I thought about potential pre-Arabic, even pre-Semitic languages of Arabia.

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    Quote Originally Posted by venustas View Post
    One odd thing is that afro asiatic languages which have historically been considered Hamitic (Ham) have more E-M35 while languages that historically have been considered semitic (Shem) have more J . This means before genetics semetic speakers knew that they were divergent (on average) It seems that in some cases oral traditions of folk and genealogies have a grain of truth to them.
    While I agree that there certainly has to be some sort of factual basis to the vast majority of the Biblical genealogies and traditions of descent, often more than what modern critical scholarship is willing to concede, it's doubtful this extends to humanity's post-diluvian threefold descent from Noah's sons as posited in Genesis. Even giving some leeway and pushing such a tradition back to the Early Bronze Age by invoking an earlier oral transmission of this tradition of descent (not as ludicrous as it might sound by the way), by that time it's unlikely that such a tradition would have neatly followed Y-Chromosomal frequencies.

    The truth is that the Table of Nations was re-worked and edited several times, there are internal contradictions when compared to other genealogies. The most salient feature is that troublesome neighbours are generally listed as Ham's descendants, not just the Canaanites (described as the antithesis to the Israelite ethos in the Torah and in the Deuteronomistic history) but the Egyptians and most importantly the Philistines as well, an enemy that was encountered comparatively late (and yet makes an appearance in the Abrahamic narrative in Genesis) and should normally also be descended from Japhet (possibly equivalent to the Greek Iapetus) via Yavan the eponymous ancestor of the Greeks alongside Dodanim, Kittim (possibly Kition) and Elishah (likely identical to Alashiya, so Cyprus as well). This practice of "adding" new enemies to this list continues in the later Deuteronomistic history and prophetic books, it's been theorised (by Nadav Na'aman and others) that the Jebusites were a Benjaminite clan that was later added to the list of Canaanite peoples as a result of the conflict that opposed the house of Saul (a Benjaminite) to the house of David (a Judahite).

    As others have noted, despite their classification as Ham's descendants, the Canaanites cannot have been all that different from the Israelites, the latter are conventionally viewed as having arisen out of the Canaanite milieu which was the main demographic element behind the Iron I Proto-Israelite settlements in the highlands of Judea-Samaria and the Jordan valley (both banks included):

     


    Even though the context is complex, we do know that Hebrew is a Canaanite dialect closely related to Moabite and Ammonite (Amarna Canaanite arguably being an early predecessor), the epic poetry and mythological cycles of Ugarit also have numerous parallels in the Hebrew Bible (the extent to which Ugarit can be labeled "Canaanite" though is up for debate), the material culture in the Proto-Israelite settlements also largely stems from that of Canaan as a simple comparison of Late Bronze II Canaanite and Iron I Israelite ware would show:

     


    The earliest Israelites' culture seems to have developed in reaction to Philistine encroachment and expansion in the lowlands of Canaan:

     


    One could easily make a chart detailing how the pork taboo, the lack of decoration on pottery and other elements of Israelite culture contrast with pork consumption, imported goods and so on in the Philistine sphere (ultimately an extension of the Aegean world). Another plausibly aggravating factor is that many of the Proto-Israelites' ancestors probably had their roots in the city-states the Canaanite lowlands - where the Sea Peoples settled - and effectively became internal refugees during the LBA collapse. In such circumstances, it's understandable that the Philistines would be "reclassified" as descendants of Ham.

    So where does the depiction of the Canaanites as the quintessential other come from? There is some degree of internal tension in the text over this, the people who wrote the Hebrew Bible obviously were aware that they were closely related to the Canaanites, several passages (such as Joshua 9 or Ezechiel 16:3) implicitely take this relationship as granted, the major part of this negative view of the Canaanites however could easily be a mixture of recollections of older tribal wars (it isn't unlikely that some of those "Canaanites" were really part of the Iron I highlanders now identified as Proto-Israelites) and expansion into areas outside the core of Israelite settlement (green area on the following map, the fall of Hazor was in all likelihood caused by the early Israelites or a group that later merged with them which would explain the vividly accurate tradition in Joshua 11:10):

     


    The final redactory twist consisted in assigning religious deviance to the Canaanite arch-foe, this probably occurred at a considerably later stage and only in some elite circles, because we know for a fact that Iron II Israelite religion was replete with syncretism (mostly Egyptian elements but not only) and largely perpetuated the older Canaanite pantheon in a monolatric fashion (with Yahweh as the head of the pantheon or heavenly assembly, increasingly identified with El), something decried throughout the Deuteronomistic history and the prophetic books. The notion of a stricter form of monolatry probably existed as a very localised tradition, and was chosen by the elite to provide some sort of unified cult (emulating the Assyrian cult).

    So as you can see, there are several important angles to this topic that have to be taken into account, and the genetic factor (though obviously relevant) isn't the most prominent one.

    Quote Originally Posted by Riverman View Post
    Another interesting aspect is this: Proto-Semitic came up when Afro-Asiatic groups mixed in the Northern Levante with a J1 dominated population, after which J1 turned out to be dominant in early Semitic. From there, the Semites expanded Southward in the Bronze Age. The most likely scenario is that related but different branches of Afro-Asiatic, including with a much higher level of E1b1b, being present in e.g. Southern Arabia and the Persian Gulf.
    I'm not aware of any relicts, but are there any linguistic hints to substrate languages in e.g. Yemen and the Persian Gulf?
    Militarev proposed that MSA has some sort of Cushitic substratum, in my view this is one of the more believable claims he's made (unlike all the glottochronological stuff). Semitic's closest relatives within the Afroasiatic macrofamily are Berber and Cushitic (in that order), the Pre-Proto-Semites normally should have arrived in the Levant from the Nile Valley.
    Last edited by Agamemnon; 06-24-2022 at 09:18 PM.
    מְכֹרֹתַיִךְ וּמֹלְדֹתַיִךְ מֵאֶרֶץ הַכְּנַעֲנִי אָבִיךְ הָאֱמֹרִי וְאִמֵּךְ חִתִּית
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    Quote Originally Posted by Agamemnon View Post
    While I agree that there certainly has to be some sort of factual basis to the vast majority of the Biblical genealogies and traditions of descent, often more than what modern critical scholarship is willing to concede, it's doubtful this extends to humanity's post-diluvean threefold descent from Noah's sons as posited in Genesis. Even giving some leeway and pushing such a tradition back to the Early Bronze Age by invoking an earlier oral transmission of this tradition of descent (not as ludicrous as it might sound by the way), by that time it's unlikely that such a tradition would have neatly followed Y-Chromosomal frequencies.

    The truth is that the Table of Nations was re-worked and edited several times, there are internal contradictions when compared to other genealogies. The most salient feature is that troublesome neighbours are generally listed as Ham's descendants, not just the Canaanites (described as the antithesis to the Israelite ethos in the Torah and in the Deuteronomistic history) but the Egyptians and most importantly the Philistines as well, an enemy that was encountered comparatively late (and yet makes an appearance in the Abrahamic narrative in Genesis) and should normally also be descended from Japhet (possibly equivalent to the Greek Iapetus) via Yavan the eponymous ancestor of the Greeks alongside Dodanim, Kittim (possibly Kition) and Elishah (likely identical to Alashiya, so Cyprus as well). This practice of "adding" new enemies to this list continues in the later Deuteronomistic history and prophetic books, it's been theorised (by Nadav Na'aman and others) that the Jebusites were a Benjaminite clan that was later added to the list of Canaanite peoples as a result of the conflict that opposed the house of Saul (a Benjaminite) to the house of David (a Judahite).

    As others have noted, despite their classification as Ham's descendants, the Canaanites cannot have been all that different from the Israelites, the latter are conventionally viewed as having arisen out of the Canaanite milieu which was the main demographic element behind the Iron I Proto-Israelite settlements in the highlands of Judea-Samaria and the Jordan valley (both banks included):

     


    Even though the context is complex, we do know that Hebrew is a Canaanite dialect closely related to Moabite and Ammonite (Amarna Canaanite arguably being an early predecessor), the epic poetry and mythological cycles of Ugarit also have numerous parallels in the Hebrew Bible (the extent to which Ugarit can be labeled "Canaanite" though is up for debate), the material culture in the Proto-Israelite settlements also largely stems from that of Canaan as a simple comparison of Late Bronze II Canaanite and Iron I Israelite ware would show:

     


    The earliest Israelites' culture seems to have developed in reaction to Philistine encroachment and expansion in the lowlands of Canaan:

     


    One could easily make a chart detailing how the pork taboo, the lack of decoration on pottery and other elements of Israelite culture contrast with pork consumption, imported goods and so on in the Philistine sphere (ultimately an extension of the Aegean world). Another plausibly aggravating factor is that many of the Proto-Israelites' ancestors probably had their roots in the city-states the Canaanite lowlands - where the Sea Peoples settled - and effectively became internal refugees during the LBA collapse. In such circumstances, it's understandable that the Philistines would be "reclassified" as descendants of Ham.

    So where does the depiction of the Canaanites as the quintessential other come from? There is some degree of internal tension in the text over this, the people who wrote the Hebrew Bible obviously were aware that they were closely related to the Canaanites, several passages (such as Joshua 9 or Ezechiel 16:3) implicitely take this relationship as granted, the major part of this negative view of the Canaanites however could easily be a mixture of recollections of older tribal wars (it isn't unlikely that some of those "Canaanites" were really part of the Iron I highlanders now identified as Proto-Israelites) and expansion into areas outside the core of Israelite settlement (green area on the following map, the fall of Hazor was in all likelihood caused by the early Israelites or a group that later merged with them which would explain the vividly accurate tradition in Joshua 11:10):

     


    The final redactory twist consisted in assigning religious deviance to the Canaanite arch-foe, this probably occurred at a considerably later stage and only in some elite circles, because we know for a fact that Iron II Israelite religion was replete with syncretism (mostly Egyptian elements but not only) and largely perpetuated the older Canaanite pantheon in a monolatric fashion (with Yahweh as the head of the pantheon or heavenly assembly, increasingly identified with El), something decried throughout the Deuteronomistic history and the prophetic books. The notion of a stricter form of monolatry probably existed as a very localised tradition, and was chosen by the elite to provide some sort of unified cult (emulating the Assyrian cult).

    So as you can see, there are several important angles to this topic that have to be taken into account, and the genetic factor (though obviously relevant) isn't the most prominent one.



    Militarev proposed that MSA has some sort of Cushitic substratum, in my view this is one of the more believable claims he's made (unlike all the glottochronological stuff). Semitic's closest relatives within the Afroasiatic macrofamily are Berber and Cushitic (in that order), the Pre-Proto-Semites normally should have arrived in the Levant from the Nile Valley.
    Do you know how the pork taboo evolved in Jewish culture? I believe the Phoenicians and Ancient Egyptians may have had a taboo on pork as well, showing that it happened throughout much of the Near East.
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    Quote Originally Posted by alchemist223 View Post
    Do you know how the pork taboo evolved in Jewish culture? I believe the Phoenicians and Ancient Egyptians may have had a taboo on pork as well, showing that it happened throughout much of the Near East.
    Muslims too...This is something that I am also curious about.

  17. #220
    Quote Originally Posted by alchemist223 View Post
    Do you know how the pork taboo evolved in Jewish culture? I believe the Phoenicians and Ancient Egyptians may have had a taboo on pork as well, showing that it happened throughout much of the Near East.
    https://www.researchgate.net/publica...ity_Boundaries

    This is a decent article about the archaeology of it all. Another reflection of the Israel/Judah cultural division is present within this topic as well.
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