Adam Ćwiklak, Alessandro Biondo, Tibor Fehér, Vladimir Gurianov, Vladimir Volkov
Characteristics of haplogroup Q-L712 and its subclades,
basic information about the "Focus Group Q-L712" project
Q-L712 Focus Group exists to explore the genetic genealogy, geography and history of the Q-L712 Y-DNA branch and its subclades:
The haplogroup Q-L712 Y-DNA is extremely rare and its frequency in the FTDNA data base is about 0.05%.
Based on genetic genealogy and the historical and ethnographic data, the project participants are grouped into the following subgroups:
In the Q-L715 subclade:
· Balkaria/Digora Group (Q-L712+ Q-L715+ Q-BZ640+ Q-L713-);
· Eurasian Group (Q-L712+ Q-L715+ Q-L713+ Q-YP789+ Q-BZ1000+);
· Szekely (Szekler) Group (Q-L712+ Q-L715+ Q-L713+ Q-YP789+ Q-BZ1000-);
· Turkmen Group (Q-L712+ Q-L715+ Q-YP1677+ Q-YP789-).
In the Q-YP4385 subclade:
· Middle Eastern Group (Q-L712+Q-YP4385+ Q-YP4416+ Q-L715-).
Description of project groups
It brings together men from the North Caucasus region belonging to the Q-L712 cluster. The majority of them derive their genealogical roots from the historical Balkarian/Digorian aristocracy associated with the dynasty of Badeliats and Basiats. According to the family legends, the ancestors of both dynasties, two real brothers (Badel and Basiat), arrived sometime in the Caucasus as foreigners and thanks to their unique attributes, abilities and skills, interalia knowledge of firearms, were able to subdue the native Digorian people and take authority over them. At the time of Badel and Basiat arrival the indigenous people did not know firearms and gunpowder and fought with bows. In accordance with Digorian tradition, the brothers had come from Hungary or from a town called Majar located in state of the Golden Horde (some versions of the old family legend say about Hungarian and even Hunnic origin). Historians have been involved in an ongoing debate concerning Majar or Hungarian origin of Badeliats and Basiats relating to the aural similarity of the terms "Majar" and "Magyar".
According to the latest state of research, the above referred events took place in the late15th or early 16th century.
The most recent common ancestor (MRCA) of the Balkaria/Digora Group lived ca. 500 years ago. This time is consistent with the results of archaeological research related to the beginning of the Badeliats and Basiats dynasty in Digoria.
Compiled on the basis of:
В. А. Кузнецов, Археологические данные о происхождении дигорских Баделят. Edited by: Б. Х. Бгажноков, В. А. Фоменко, Археологияиэтнология Северного Кавказа. Нальчик 2012.
Members of this subgroup, conventionally called “Eurasian”, derived their ancestors from different regions of European and Asiatic continents (Ireland, Poland, Russia, Uzbekistan).
See also: Niezgoda Y-DNA Project
Székely (Szekler) Group
The next subgroup consists of men from Székely community who belong to the Q-L712 haplogroup and its subclades. The research of Székely genetic genealogy deals with FTDNA Hungarian Bukovina project. Székelys is a Hungarian-speaking ethnic group, living in eastern part of Transylvania and demonstrating unique cultural characteristics, distinguishing it from other European nations. So far the origin of Székelys has remained unknown. Characteristic for Székely people are inter alia specific type of runes, called Old Hungarian Alphabet (Székelyrovásírás) used before the year 1000 AD, unique pillar tombs called Kopjafa and characteristic Székely gates. The origin of the Székely people and their uniqueness remain a mystery even though several hypotheses have been put forward on the subject. The Székelys in their ancient legends claim that they are descendants of the Huns who, after the defeat of the mighty Hunnic king Attila, remained in Europe, changed the name from Huns to Székely and found a secluded place to hide from retribution from the previously conquered nations. Their forefathers descend in a straight line from the mythological prince Csaba, who would have been the son of Attila the Hun. The old Hunnic motifs and themes are still present in the Székely folklore. This fact is especially intriguing in the context of genetic genealogy because more and more evidence leads to the hypothesis of Hunnic origin, or very close relation to the Hunnic origin of the haplogroup Q-M25 and its subclades. Michael Maglio writes: “If I had to pose a theory, I would say that Attila is Q1a2 [Q-M25], part of the royal class of Huns living in Hungary. (...) The combined evidence of DNA, geography and history leads to the conclusion that at the end of the Hunnic Empire, the core East Asian Huns assimilated into the eastern European cultures. They left behind a strong genetic footprint in the same territory that they historically inhabited. The next time I’m asked, What about the Huns? I can point to Europe and say, They’re still there” (full article by M. Maglio).
The most recent common ancestor (MRCA) of the Székely (Szekler) subcluster lived most likely about 1700 years ago. For various reasons, this time can be combined with the Hunnic invasion of Europe in 370 AD. High level of differentiation within the Székely (Szekler) subcluster, distant time to the most recent common ancestor and a relatively large concentration of haplogroup within one ethnic group may suggest a kind of center of this rare ancient and mysterious haplotype in Europe.
Y-DNA research indicates that among the Turkmens, the haplogroup Q-M25 Y-DNA is characteristic and its frequency is: about 43% in Iran-Golestan and about 34% in Afghanistan. It can be concluded from this that the ancestors of Turkmens (such as the Oguz) also belonged to this rare Y-chromosomal haplogroup.
V. Grugni, V. Battaglia, B. Hooshiar Kashani and others, , Ancient Migratory Events in the Middle East: New Clues from theY-Chromosome Variation of Modern Iranians.
J. Di Cristofaro, E. Pennarun, S. Mazières and others , Afghan Hindu Kush: Where Eurasian Sub-Continent Gene Flows Converge.
Ancient Y-DNA samples have matches with living people!
Genetic genealogy of the Q-L712 Y-DNA haplogroup can be supplemented by archeological researche and archaic DNA tests. In the ancient burial grounds in Altai Mountains, Tien Shan and also in other areas of Asia the archaeologists have discovered human remains, from which you could obtain genetic material (aDNA). Some samples belong to the haplogroup Q-M25 and to its subclades Q-L712, Q-L715 and Q-L713 (which have been for first time discovered in the genetic profile of the kit 180029 - member of our Q-L712 Focus Group) and have matches with living people who are the Q-L712 Focus Group project members.
- Sample RISE493, archaeological site Sabinka 2, Karasuk Culture, Bronze Age, 1531-1268 BC (*Q-L715);
- Sample RISE600, archaeological site Verh-Uimon, Hunnic-Sarmatian culture, Iron Age – middle of the first millennium AD (*Q-L713);
- Sample RISE601, archaeological site Verh-Uimon, Hunnic-Sarmatian culture, Iron Age – middle of the first millennium AD (*Q-L715).
The “Nature” magazine has published an article titled 137 ancient human genomes from across the Eurasian steppes in which we also find interesting information about archaic DNA research. Several samples taken from male remains belonged to Q Y-DNA haplogroup, and in particular to its subclades: Q-L712, Q-L715 and Q-L713.
- Sample DA54, archeological site Keden, kurgan K70, 1595 BP, Tian Shan Hun (Q-L715);
- Sample DA74, archeological site Baskiya 2, kurgan 30, 1514 BP, Tian Shan Hun - child, buried together with another individual (Q-L713);
- Sample DA86, archeological site Boz-Adyr, kurgan 16, 1468 BP, Tian Shan Turk - warrior buried together with horse (Q-L715);
- Sample DA105, archeological site Uch-Kurbu, kurgan 1/4 (grave 4.), 1769 BP, Tian Shan Hun (Q-L715).
The results of other studies were published in the magazine “Science”, in an article entitled The first horse herders and the impact of early Bronze Age steppeexpansions into Asia. The article presents representatives of the archaeological culture of Yamna, the oldest horse breeders, among them a large part of men belongs to Q Y-DNA haplogroup. One of them belonged to the subclade Q-L712. This is probably the oldest known example of archaic Y-DNA belonging to the Q-L712 Y-DNA haplogroup.
- Sample RISE683, archeological site Okunevo EMBA, 2850-1900 BC, Yamnaya (Yamna) culture (Q-L712).
The above mentioned arguments lead to the conclusion about the possible Hunnic origin of men belonging to Q-L712 Y-DNA and its subclades and also about close links between the project participant's ancestors and the ancient Hunnic or Hunnic-Sarmatian culture.