Armenian DNA Project
According to Professor Levon Yepiskoposyan
of the Institute of Molecular Biology in Yerevan: "Y chromosome haplotypes diversity in the modern Armenian population reveals strong regional structure with marked separation of mountainous (Syunik region in the south of Armenia, and Karabakh) and valley (Ararat valley, northern and western regions of historical Armenia) groups.
" The mountain groups have a greater concentration of R1b1 while the valley groups have a greater concentration of J2 & J1 (and to a lesser extent, slightly greater concentrations of G & E1b1b1).
Y-DNA Paternal Haplogroup Distribution of Armenian DNA Project Members (total: 377)
(less 25 known paternal cousins & 0 undetermined haplogroups: n = 352). Updated 1 november 2011
Haplogroup R1b1 : 90 = 26%
Haplogroup J2 : 73 = 21%
Haplogroup G : 48 = 13%
Haplogroup J1 : 42 = 12%
Haplogroup E1b1b1: 29 = 8%
Haplogroup I2 : 17 = 5%
Haplogroup T : 21 = 6%
Haplogroup R1a : 10 = 3%
Haplogroup R2a : 7 = 2%
Haplogroup L : 7 = 2%
Haplogroup Q1 : 5 = 1%
Haplogroup F : 2 = 0.6%
Haplogroup A : 1 = 0.3%
mtDNA Maternal Haplogroup Distribution of Armenian DNA Project Members (total: 170)
(less 4 known maternal cousins: n = 166). Updated 1 november 2011
mtDNA haplogroup H : 45 = 27%
mtDNA haplogroup U : 27 = 16%
mtDNA haplogroup J : 21 = 13%
mtDNA haplogroup HV : 20 = 12%
mtDNA haplogroup T : 14 = 8%
mtDNA haplogroup K : 9 = 5%
mtDNA haplogroup N : 8 = 5%
mtDNA haplogroup X : 6 = 4%
mtDNA haplogroup I : 6 = 4%
mtDNA haplogroup W : 4 = 3%
mtDNA haplogroup R : 3 = 2%
mtDNA haplogroup V : 2 = 1%
mtDNA haplogroup F : 1 = 1%
Complete mitochondrial DNA genome sequences of Armenian DNA Project members filed with GenBank (79 in total as of 3 october 2011):
F1b1: HQ108344 H*: HM775971 H*: JN051365 H1u: JN604117 H2a1: FJ496869 H4: JN646688 H5: HQ877768 H7b1: JF896454 H8: JF903930 H8: JF960238 H13*: HQ234355 H13b: GU228506 H14a: JN609592 H15b: JF901940 H15b: JN651417 HV*: HQ287727 HV (73): HQ436102 HV1: JF320654 HV1a: JF316743 HV1a1: FJ210914 HV1a1a1: HM575427 HV1b (152): HM998901 HV1b (152): HQ165756 HV1b (152): HQ412622 HV12: HQ844516 HV12: JN053060 HV13: JF700125 HV2*: HQ015160 I*: JF298212 I1a: HM454265 I1b: FJ234984 I4: JN660158 J1b: HM992836 J1b: HQ637485 J1b: HQ914447 J1b: JN561091 J1b1a: JF286633 J1b1b1: JF929909 J1b1b1: JF939049 J1b2: JN648827 J1b3: HM594676 J1c: HM775495 J1c2: JN663354 J1d: HM453206 J1d: HQ325739 J1d1: JF292900 J2b1: HQ727682 K1a: JF303729 K1a: JF893456 K1a1b: JN048471 K1a2: JN647926_ K1a4b1: JN088539 K1a4c: HQ435872 K1a4c: HQ538515 N1b1: HQ286324 N1b1: JF265069 N1b1b: HQ435319 N1b1b: HQ315687 N2a: JF904935 N2a: JN381503 R1a: HQ602771 R3: HM996895 T1a: JN083377 T2a: FJ238094 T2b: HQ638221 T2f: HQ286590 U1b: HQ325737 U3a: HQ436348 U3b: JN663380 U3b2: HQ257369 U4b1b: JN647925 U5a1a2a : HQ588904 V : HQ645963 W*: HQ844617 W(194): HM352797 W6: EU515252 W6: JF286634 X: HQ456226 X2: HQ529295
Academics who want to include these sequences in their research can get in touch with the project administrators.
It remains to be seen if the ancient DNA
of people living in the historical Armenian regions corresponds to the DNA of modern Armenians.
As per Colin Renfrew
: "In addition, there is one obvious path of investigation that does deserve to be explored further — ancient DNA. Of course this is a difficult field — it depends upon the availability of adequately preserved human remains, and the problems of contamination from living humans are well known. But there are puzzling findings from early farming (Linienbandkeramik) sites in central Europe, indicating that the populations in question did not survive or at least did not get fully integrated into succeeding populations. This requires further examination, as it bears on a general problem of archaeogenetics. Possible population extinctions might call into question the extent to which mtDNA or Y-DNA data from the contemporary populations represent the communities existing in the relevant locations at the times in question. This is where ancient DNA may yet prove to be of crucial importance; not in establishing detailed patterns for early populations — the data are unlikely to be rich enough for that—but in offering spot checks on the conclusions about the past which we are deriving from data taken from populations living today. This may indeed be where the future lies if speculations based on the phylogeography of haplotypes from currently living populations are to be rooted in historical reality."
As per Dienekes Pontikos
: "Ancient DNA can prove the existence of a particular Y-chromosome haplogroup within a securely dated population. Of course there are issues of possible contamination, but these can be addressed beyond a reasonable doubt when appropriate protocols and tests for contamination are in place. Ancient DNA cannot prove the absence of a particular Y-chromosome haplogroup from a population. However, it can render it very improbable if a large enough sample is studied. So, ancient DNA is very relevant both for the existence and the absence of a haplogroup in a certain area at a certain time. On the whole ancient DNA, properly done, provides much better evidence for past populations than inferences from modern populations. Too many assumptions are needed to peer into the past by studying modern populations, and in the vast majority of cases -with the caveat about sample sizes- when we looked at prehistoric populations we did not get a picture of simple continuity." Also: "The more we learn about prehistory, the less we can believe in the paradigm of static people changing their subsistence, technology, language from the Paleolithic to the present. Migrationism is overdue for a comeback as an explanatory tool for the plethora of unexpected results that the bones of ancient humans present us with."
Click on this link for a complete listing of Ancient Western Eurasian DNA
discoveries. There has been an enormous growth in such DNA discoveries in the past two years. The periods now covered are (oldest first): Palaeolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic, Copper Age/Chalcolithic, Bronze Age, Iron Age, Chinese Dynastic, Roman, Medieval and, finally, Modern Royalty.
Links to other regional DNA projects and blogs listed alphabetically: