Abstract: The ancient Hungarians originated from the Ural region in today's central Russia and migrated across the Eastern European steppe, according to historical sources. The Hungarians conquered the Carpathian Basin 895-907 AD, and admixed with the indigenous communities. Here we present mitochondrial DNA results from three datasets: one from the Avar period (7-9th centuries) of the Carpathian Basin (n = 31); an almost four-fold enlarged dataset from the Hungarian conquest-period (n=101); and one from the contemporaneous Hungarian-Slavic contact zone (n = 23). We compare these mitochondrial DNA hypervariable segment sequences and haplogroup results with other ancient and modern Eurasian data. Whereas the analyzed Avars represents a certain group of the Avar society that shows East and South European genetic characteristics, the Hungarian conquerors' maternal gene pool is a mixture of West Eurasian and Central and North Eurasian elements. Comprehensively analyzing the results, both the linguistically recorded Finno-Ugric roots and historically documented Turkic and Central Asian influxes had possible genetic imprints in the conquerors' genetic composition. Our data allows a complex series of historic and population genetic events before the formation of the medieval population of the Carpathian Basin, and the maternal genetic continuity between 10-12th centuries and modern Hungarians.Csosz et al., Maternal Genetic Ancestry and Legacy of 10th Century AD Hungarians, bioRxiv, posted June 2, 2016, doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/056655
Thursday, June 2, 2016
Ancient mtDNA from medieval Hungary
There's a new preprint at bioRxiv looking at the maternal "ancestry and legacy" of early Hungarians and Avars in Europe. The problem is that the Hungarian and Avar expansions were in all likelihood male dominated events. Also, the data doesn't include full mito genomes. So what the authors are really testing are the broad maternal ancestry and affinities of the early Hungarians and Avars. Still very interesting, but maybe somewhat oversold.