I can't seem to post the correct link so I have cut and pasted the post. It is quite lengthy and some of the links don't work.
JanNov 13 2006, 01:06 AM
I pulled this information from Google's "cache" of Ray Banks's website. The direct link is no longer active. If anyone has more updated info, please post it!
European Haplogroup G, with special attention to northwestern Europe
Members of the G group are all descended from a common ancestor who developed a mutation at the M-201 site on the male DNA chromosome (Y chromosome). Originally, this ancestor was thought to have lived about 30,000 years ago along the eastern edge of the Middle East, perhaps as far east as the Himalayan foothills in Pakistan or India. This region is the proposed site, but little evidence of this is available.
Perhaps the best description of the early origins is found at Whit Athey's G2 site. (He indicates this was based on a Spencer Wells book.) The specific section is titled History of Hg G. In a different version, the origin of G was listed as happening 9,500 years ago in the Middle East in an article from 2003 by Cinnioglu (p. 184 iii). Another version by Semino in 2000 suggested it was 17,000 years ago in the Middle East. The National Geographic Society DNA Project, with which Spencer Wells is affiliated, in summer 2006 changed the place of origin to the Middle East.
Whatever the date or specific site of origin, part of the G family put down roots predominantly in the area south and east of the Caucasus Mountains in the period before the Current Era (over 2000 years ago) when some other groups were instead populating all areas of Europe for the first time after the Ice Age glaciers melted. These G persons gradually relocated into other areas, inclusing the Indian subcontinent. The Caucasus are today mainly the countries of Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and southwestern Russia. Map of countries and groups in the Caucasus Two studies by the same author found the highest local percentages of G among the Caucasus population were on the Russian side of the mountains, reaching more than half the population in North Ossetia. Study of DNA groups in the Caucasus It is assumed the G people were in the Caucasus area in this early period because today a higher percentage of G haplogroup is found among certain populations there than elsewhere in the world. The G family definitely partially migrated westward into Europe in the last several thousand years by invasion, capture as slaves or other means of movement.
The second section of this site lists the percentage of G in Europe country by country, providing information on similarities and differences among the DNA profiles. Earlier, more limited studies indicated the Balkan region, Turkey, northern Italy, northern Spain and Sardinia have the highest percentages today of G among European locations. However, the information developed in the mentioned second section of this site suggests the concentrations are a bit more complicated than earlier described. G is found all over Europe but becomes relatively uncommon in Britain, Scandinavia and central Europe and is more common in southern Italy than originally thought. The Tyrol in western Austria has an unusually high percentage of G persons, as does northern Sardinia.
Map of haplogroups in the world [a map of Europe alone is below the one shown on entering the site]
This page here will suggest that much of the G in central and western Europe today was brought there by the so-called barbarian invasions into central and western Europe. Earlier entries into Europe by G persons are certainly possible, but the numbers were likely smaller than during the barbarian invasions.
As best as can be determined, the settlers of western Europe before the Roman Empire (about 2500 years ago) were almost entirely from haplogroups R and I with genetic marker values and other certain DNA mutations different from what are seen today in Asia and far eastern Europe.
Under such a scenario, other haplogroups, as well as some R and I haplogroup subgroups, arrived in western Europe in the last several millenia.
Sarmatians of various tribes comprised the only group from the eastern edge of Europe known to have settled in western Europe almost 2,000 years ago in significant numbers such that they should still be a noticeable part of the western European population when DNA studies are performed.
The Sarmatian genetic profile, therefore, should necessarily be different from the native R and I profiles of western Europe. The Sarmatians are known to have had settlements in the western half of Europe in Britain, Holland, Germany, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Austria and Switzerland. But only in France is a population figure from that migration period known. The Sarmatians were there at least 35,000 persons—thus two percent or more of the estimated population then. The percentage of G in many of these western European populations today is only a little higher.
There is no certainty that any of the barbarian groups consisted solely of one haplogroup, but one or the other haplogroup was likely dominant. The only other haplogroup found in western Europe today in similar percentages to that of G which also originally came from the east or southeast of Europe is group J. We know that Jewish migrations from the Middle East beginning during the Roman Empire caused some of this J presence in western Europe. But one problem with assigning J to the Sarmatians is that J is not found today in any significant numbers in several areas known to be settled by Sarmatians. It is also known that in one of the only populations today claiming to be composed of certain Sarmatian descendants (N. Ossetia), G comprises the majority in the population.
Preliminary Important Information about G Peoples
In dating events, the term "Current Era" (C. E.) will be used multiple times. It is basically the same as term A.D. The Current Era is all the time period of time beginning with the year 1 C. E.
There are several important things to understand about the early Current Era. The few surviving histories written then (for example Bede, Procopius) leave much to be desired. These often just contain vague information about important events and second-hand information about other peoples. The few earlier histories are no better. Some migratory groups in northern Europe were illiterate and did not leave histories. Some groups also moved around over great distances. The migration patterns after the end of the last Ice Age were not all northward to the thawed lands. There were multiple groups who moved to the south in various eras. For example, the Hittites moved from northern Europe to today's Turkey and then to today's Syria well before the Current Era. The Heruls at one point in the early Current Era moved from northern Europe all the way southward to the Black Sea region and back north again.
The appearance of persons in G groups is open to considerable discussion. In one early source (Ammianus Marcellinus), portions of the people north of the Caucasus who seem to have been mostly G persons were described as tall blonds. The Amazon women among the presumed G people north of the Caucasus were also described as tall blonds, and the blond trait is still found among the steppe people of Mongolia who have genetic ties to the Amazons. (see Secrets of the Dead television program, PBS, concerning the excavation of a grave of a blond Amazon warrior in southwestern Russia and genetic testing. The archeologist, Jeannine Davis-Kimball, has seemingly never released the specific genetic findings pertaining to the Amazon warrior, and there has been vague criticism of her methodology.) There is some evidence that the groups presumed to be the G people of northeastern Europe were intermingling to some extent with the neighboring tribes. (see Urs Müller, Der Einfluss der Sarmaten auf die Germanen, 1998, for perhaps the most comprehensive discussion of this.) The intermarriage with more western peoples might explain blond hair and similar features if the trait did not originate within the G people. A later examination of a cemetery of one group presumed to be G people in central Europe described them only as being of medium height. Anthropological study of Sarmatians in Central Danubian Basin Physical appearances can change dramatically and quickly through intermarriage with persons of any differing features. Nutrition can contribute significantly to such things as teeth development and height. Because the Sarmatian G people tended to adopt captives rather than enslave them, they likely incorporated a variety of physical types into the gene pool. Like some other peoples, the Sarmatians engaged in manipulating the skull shapes of infants. ( Anthropological study of Danube basin — p 3.) (Picture of deformed skull at the bottom of the web page at the site listed) This practice has been noted also in burials of Sarmatians in western Europe. The Sarmatian soldiers typically wore conical-shaped helmets, and those men who had undergone skull shaping would have had heads that fit nicely into the helmets.
Virtually all the mutations in parts of the male Y chromosome that determine the G classifications serve no functional purposes except unintentionally to help ethnogeneticists today to determine where related groups of persons lived by matching the mutations found on the Y chromosome to groups of persons in specific locales. The Y chromosome has no function in determining physical appearance. Physical features are determined by other chromosomes, and these other chromosomes are random mixtures of genetic material contributed by both parents. The Y-chromosome, in contrast, is passed almost unchanged from father to son. In addition to the physical appearance, language spoken is also an unreliable indicator of genetic groupings. There are multiple areas around the world where a language spoken by a minority group has been imposed on the surrounding area.
In North Ossetia, which has the world's highest percentage of G (over 50% in four out of five towns that were sampled), there are several group pictures available, and there are a considerable number of light-haired people present. This is unusual for the region. This is picture of a school group in North Ossetia, and these are children evacuated in another town there during the tragic hostage situation Because light hair and eyes are caused by recessive genes, these features can be marginalized in a population over time unless light-haired people marry mostly with other light-haired persons. G is also extremely common among Palestinians and other groups where dark hair and eyes constitute the typical appearance.
Early History of the Sarmatians
The studies located so far that speak of a group originating in the Caucasus Mountains region which was later in the West in any numbers usually speak only in terms of the Sarmatians.
The descriptions of the Sarmatians all originated in the writings of other peoples. These other people were far from consistent in their descriptions. It is likely that the Sarmatians, or whatever they called them, were identified primarly by the fact they spoke a specific language. These traditionally nomadic people supposedly spoke an Iranian language (though described as Persian in some sources), but there also seem to be a considerable number of words from other languages according to some sources. The only place in the Caucasus where the Sarmatian language might still be spoken is the Caucasus area of Ossetia. There are some descriptions in circulation that describe Sarmatians as Persians because they spoke a Persian language. But modern Persians/Iranians are are a mixture of many haplogroups, and G people are no more than 15% at most of Iran (Persia) today. So this description of Sarmatians as Persian — from a genetic perspective — does not seem correct.
Sulimirski (bibliography below, p. 26) mentions that the Sarmatians sometimes would engage in agriculture near rivers though they were primarily nomadic herders. They alternated encampments according to the seasons. It will be assumed as a working theory that the Sarmatians were G haplogroup people because of their location of origin. Only DNA testing of persons buried before the Current Era in certain burial locations would fully authenticate their G status and of the people of other groups in the region. And it is apparently very difficult to extract Y-chromosome DNA from ancient skeletons.
Perhaps the most comprehensive, but not well-documented, description of the Sarmatian events prior to the Current Era is found in Sulimirski, pp. 22-141 (see below), but his book likely is missing important new archeological findings from the last 35 years. (An alternative, more recent, less detailed account in Vinagradov .) The Sarmatians were originally to the east of the Caspian Sea but were pushed west by other tribes into the area north of the Black Sea occupied by the Scythians. These Scythians were also said to have spoken an Iranian language and might have been genetically similar. They had a different culture with different ornaments. After the Sarmatians moved into the Scythian area, the Scythians gradually disappeared, and Scythian and Sarmatian ornaments became intermixed in graves. This intermixing was long known north of the Black Sea, and the same was recently found to the southeast in graves north of the Caucasus Mountains.
Various studies have used multiple tribal names in relation to the Sarmatians: Alans, Iazyges, Roxolani, Urgi, Siraces, Antae, Aorsi, and Royal Scythians. Only the first three are spoken of any extent later west of the Black Sea. Royal Scythian may just be another term for the Iazyges. It seems that in later centuries some writers considered the Alans as separate from the Sarmatians, and they generally just started calling all those who were not Alans as Sarmatians. These Sarmatian tribes may have also been nothing more than changing, loose confederations of a variety of peoples, and these tribes should definitely not be thought of in terms of some rigid ethnic classification.
In the period before the subsequent Sarmatian migrations into central Europe, the Aorsi Sarmatian tribe seemed to dominate everything from its location northeast of the Caucasus where they were said to have a force of 100,000 archers. (Sulimirksi, pp. 116-17) The Iazyges tribe seems to have held the westernmost position among the Sarmatians. Sulimirksi thought (p. 134) that the displacement of the Celtic Bastarnae (Bastarni) people from the northwestern corner of the Black Sea paved the way for the Iazyges to move westward along the Danube into central Europe.
One possible scenario involving the Scythians is being raised for the first time here and may or may not have some validity. One author (Littleton, p. 6) indicates that the Sarmatian entry into Scythian territory had caused the western portion of the Scythians to move west to the northwestern end of the Black Sea which is in today's Ukraine. The eastern portion of the Scythians moved down about 500 B.C.E. into what is now northeastern Iran. It is likely the Iazyges, as indicated above, absorbed the western Scythians. The few DNA samples from central Iran seem to indicate a much closer kinship with the presumed Iazyges who went to northwestern Europe than to those G persons left in the northern Caucasus or to those in Turkey. If the Scythians were mostly G persons, they may account not only for most of theG profiles in the n.e. quadrant of Iran today but also, in particular, for the cluster of Iazyges that later went to northwestern Europe. There are other alternative explanations, but it is quite an oddity in finding geographically very distant portions of G populations today to be the most closely related. The use of the term Royal Scythians for the Iazyges is consistent with this theory. Additional G samples are needed from Iran to bolster or disprove this theory, and some new ones are expected in the YHRD DNA database before the end of 2006. (For a discussion of the Scythians after they moved south into Iran, see Mirfensereski site)
Iazyges and Roxolani Sarmatian Migration from the Caucasus Mountains Area to Vicinity of Today's Romania and Hungary
Iazyges Sarmatians were in the vicinity of today's Hungary by 78 B.C.E., and there are archeological traces of their presence there by the first century. One author feels the Romans would not have let them settle there if there had not then been an initial Roman-Iazyges alliance. (Lengyel, p. 92) Sarmatians were known to have also moved to the vicinity of today's Romania (then called Dacia) in the 100s C.E. ( Edward Bacon's Vanished Civilizations, p. 291. ) The Roxolani followed close behind the Iazyges, always to the east. (Sulimirksi, pp. 134-7) The Sarmatian movements forced about 100,000 inhabitants of today's Romania, the Dacians, to migrate south into the Balkans, 62-63 C.E. (Sulimirksi, p. 137) The Romans fought both Sarmatian tribes on several occasions soon after their arrival trying to make sure they stayed north of the Danube. The Romans had built watchtowers across Sarmatian territory to Roman Dacia, and this seems to have soured relations. (Lengyel, p. 94) These Sarmatians were excellent horsemen, using bows and arrows. The Hungarian word for bow and arrow is ijasz. The names Iasi and Ias were also used for this tribe. The word Jass in Russian is supposedly also used for the Alan Sarmatians (unconfirmed). The Romans firmly subdued many peoples but had no luck with the Sarmatians The name Iazyges seems not to have been used by the Romans after the year 200, and the Roxolani name seems to have had an even shorter life.
This narrative will now give extra attention to G in Britain because of some unusual genetic connections there with the continent, as will be explained.
G Groups in Britain prior to the Roman Era?
Some articles and postings written a few years ago referred to persons with G haplogroup being present in a somewhat higher percentage among some of the Celtic areas of Britain. (See, for example, this posting ) The current understanding seems to be that these "G individuals" in these earlier studies were probably misclassified. An examination of the DNA results of the almost 200 presumed northwestern European G persons listed in the Y-Search and Sorenson DNA databases indicates (a) significant overlap with the G DNA profiles of continental Europe and ( b ) the lack of wide DNA diversity within the regional G pattern that would be expected if G people had made their way into Britain in the pre-Roman occupation in any numbers. [One study, among other things, similarly found much genetic diversity among a long-inhabited area of Wales, but little diversity to the east in an area settled by recent invaders from the continent.] For sure, there are only a few G samples available from Scotland, strongly indicating G people did not intermingle with the original Scots at an early day. A new, large Irish study published in late 2005 by Moore et al indicated that G persons were less than 1% of the population there. The third region with an aboriginal Celtic-speaking population which has resisted replacement by invaders in the last 2,000 years consists of most of Wales. The G persons are much better represented in Wales than in Scotland and Ireland. G DNA does not form a separate geographical cluster in Wales, as would be expected if very early G people had mixed with the Welsh-speaking groups in the pre-Christian period. There are a few British G clades that are predominanly Welsh. The use of the Welsh language at one time extended well beyond the present borders of Wales before Welsh speakers were forced into a smaller area of the island.
So there is apparently no evidence at present for any noticeable number of G people entering Britain in the pre-Roman era.
The More Recent Invaders of Britain
The invasions of Britain have significance because one of the key questions in study of the migrations of G persons of northwestern Europe is which of these invasions might have provided the opportunity for the G persons to get into Britain. The pedigrees provided with the various DNA samples of G persons suggest much of the migration to Britain likely took place before the year 1300 at the latest as an approximation.
The Romans were the first occupiers who controlled large parts of the English island. They did not consciously try to exterminate the native peoples of England during their stay.
It is now known that the other invaders during the next ten centuries did displace natives from the British outer islands, far northern Scotland and to a significant extent from the eastern half of the English part of Britain during their invasions.
(a) The Anglo-Saxon and Jute invaders from northern Germany, southern Denmark and the northwestern coast of the North Sea took advantage of the Roman loss of control in Britian and pushed out natives from the central and eastern portions of England—but not entirely. Study showing a substantial migration of Anglo-Saxon Y chromosomes into central England , displacing 50 to 100 % of the gene pool, but not affecting northern Wales. [This study also has a good explanation of the loss of support recently for earlier theories of much earlier, largescale invasions of the British Isles.] The Anglo-Saxons did apparently settle in small parts of Wales also.
( b ) The later Danish Vikings established settlements in northeastern England. The Norwegian Vikings settled in the outer islands and northern Scotland.
( c ) The final invaders, the Normans, in 1066 apparently were more interested in occupation than population displacement. (H. Kearney, The British Isles: A History of Four Nations, 1898; N. Davies, The Isles: A History, Macmillan, London, 1999) The Normans were a mixture of Danish Vikings and local residents of today's northwestern France and brought with them some workers from today's Low Countries..
(d) A significant group of Protestant Huguenots left France beginning in the 1500s and were said to have changed their surnames on arrival in England.
There is not much agreement on the genetic profiles of Norman invaders or Huguenot migrants. But the Capelli study provides DNA information for both Anglo-Saxon and Viking settlement patterns as determined by a DNA sampling of multiple British locations. The authors indicate the DNA composition of central England was most heavily changed by the invasions, with lowland Scotland and southern England the least affected.
Much smaller population displacements were represented by such affairs as the capture of St. Patrick and other dwellers on the western coast of England by Irish raiders and later by the importation of some German miners into Cumbria in northwestern England after the period of the invasions. Also the Belgae of today's Low Countries are thought to have made a small settlement of east-central England just before the Roman occupation (as verified by Caesar in his writings).
Some of Iazyges Sarmatians Go to England
Roman Emporer Hadrian had built his famous wall in far northern England in 122 C.E. And later Emporer Marcus Aurelius sought to solve a manpower problem by sending 5,500 men from the Iazyges tribe of Sarmatians in the Balkans to work in England as hired cavalrymen, 500 men to a unit. It is not known how many of their people the Iazyges left behind in the Balkans. It is said Sarmatians also contributed 2,500 other cavalrymen for unspecificed locations in the Roman Empire. The Sarmatian mercenaries in England were subsequently known to be part of the Roman army sent in 184 C. E. to put down an Armorican uprising across the English Channel in central France. Hadrian's Wall was in use until the 400s. One source thinks that when the Romans left England the Sarmatians retired to Lancashire; another says Cumbria—both in northwestern England. The Cumbrian area was supposedly the residence of the lengendary, perhaps mythical, King Arthur. The Sarmatian mythology does have some overlap into the Arthurian legends, including related stories. Traditional Sarmatian religion worshiped a sword, and the sword in the lake is prominent in the Arthurian tales. (see Anderson, Lupack and Littleton references below for extensive coverage of Arthurian-Sarmatian connections.) There does not seem to be any study mentioning anything about the Sarmatian presence in England after the Roman times.
Some Internet articles featuring information on the Sarmatians in Britain:
Sarmatians in Britain, especially at Bremetennacum (Ribchester). Notes for this article.
Map of Hadrian's Wall
Sarmatians at Ribchester [in Lancashire...this is regarding their ponies, other info may not be correct]
Is the Sarmatian draco now the dragon on the Welsh flag? Info on Dracos
Sarmatian Geographic Patterns in England.
If the Sarmatians moved primarily to Lancashire and Cumbria in northwestern England when the Romans left and then became agriculturalists, one would expect to find a large cluster of G persons there. This cluster does not exist. DNA information and pedigree information for this narrative have been extracted pertaining to more than 200 "G families" whose results are posted at the Sorenson and YSearch databases. All results are close approximations to confirmed G and G2 DNA marker values. Where there was some question about an odd combination, the values were checked in Dr. Whit Athey's haplogroup calculator and still achieved rather high G scores—much higher than for other halpogroups. Some families had multiple members with results, but only the most complete of the similar marker values for that surname was used in the charts provided here.
Many submissions to the databases did not identify the ancestral home in Britain of those with British ancestors. There were 52 samples with either British surnames or identified British locations of origin. Of these 52, a total of 27 identified the location of origin. The resulting pattern shows several persons originating in each area of England and Wales. As noted, there were just a few men from Ireland and Scotland listed. Some Irishmen are descended from migrants from the English island after the Middle Ages, and their names often differ from Celtic Irish names. It is possible that descendants of Scots and the native Irish have been less interested in providing DNA samples, but this does not seem likely in the case of the Scots, at least. In general, also, the sample size available is not large for those who listed precise origins, and this makes it difficult to feel confident of the results pertaining to geographical distribution in Britain.
The failure to find a geographical cluster of G people within England and Wales does not rule out a Sarmatian core group from the Roman period persisting there. There are some factors in favor of this persistence. (1) There are very few DNA participants from group G originating in Ireland and Scotland with Irish and Scottish names. Romans did not occupy Ireland and were eventually pushed out of Scotland. (2) It is unlikely that the Sarmatians only worked as mercenaries at Hadrian's Wall. The Romans likely scattered them about. There was one known Sarmatian group in Wales, for example. In the last century of the Roman occupation, the Romans significantly reduced their northern garrisons to counter threats to the coast around England. (3) The conflicts with the Anglo-Saxon invaders may have caused some additional, later population dispersal. (4) There has been some wandering around England since the Middle Ages by individuals, especially among the upper classes.
Although historians have been most interested in Hadrian's Wall, the Romans maintained forts and camps all over England and Wales. There were also some in Scotland, but the Scots seem to have eventually expelled all the Romans and their allies from Scotland. Map of Roman military camps and forts in Britain. Their method of occupation consisted of detached forts in strategic locations, each garrisoned by 500 to 1,000 men. Large cavalry units were rare, so Sarmatians likely were split up into 11 auxiliary alae of 500 men, or into even smaller units and sent to various locations.
There was a tendency to abandon forts in peaceful areas. Toward the end of the Roman occupation, they invested resources in establishing new forts and camps along the coasts to discourage raids by Saxon, Irish and Pict pirates. Hadrian's wall and the northern border were somewhat abandoned by the end of the Roman occupation (p 394-6) by the late 300s in favor of problem areas farther south, and the composition of units became less structured. Page 396 in this source has a map of the shore forts. Soldiers did not serve for life, and at least a few (or perhaps many) veterans likely remained in Britain. One author estimated that half of those discharged from the Roman legions stayed at their stations on the frontier and became farmers. (Elton, p. 56)
Based on the genetic (not geographic) evidence, the author thinks it is a strong probability that the Sarmatians of Roman times in Britain were the ancestors of many of the G people today with British ancestors, but especially Welsh ancestors. The geographical distribution found so far is consistent with this working theory. Some of the British G could also have originated with Middle Eastern mercenaries that the Romans stationed in Britain.
Some of Iazyges Sarmatians Apparently Also Go to Other Areas of Northwestern Europe with the Romans
When Sarmatians went to England as employees of the Romans, it is known that the Romans also sent a smaller group of the same Iazyges to undisclosed locations. One mention of Sarmatians within the Roman areas occurred about 200 years later. The document containing this information is the Notitia Dignitatum [Register of Dignitaries], which contains, among other things, information on Roman shield inscriptions. A few entries in this document date to the early 400s.
The Notitia indicates there was a unit of Sarmatian soldiers (an ala) stationed in Egypt Egyptian units, as well as the one mentioned in Britain (a cuneus cavlary unit). British units
No other specifically Sarmatian military units were listed in the Notitia from the late 300s. However, the DNA record that will receive further explanation below suggests some had served earlier in a province called Germania Superior. There is a significant, somewhat close match of DNA profiles between many of the English G persons and those later living within the Roman province of Germania Superior. In the 100 years prior to the employment of the Iazyges, Roman armies had pushed out from (today's) France into both (today's) northern Switzerland and (today's) southern Germany. Multiple times the Romans tried to hold on to the area east of the Rhine River, but the west bank of the Rhine was the only location they held continuously during the 000s, 100s, 200s and part of the 300s. From the beginning they hired auxiliary non-Romans to man the forts (limes) and camps there. Filzinger study of Roman presence in Baden-Württemberg [This long article is in German. At present no detailed information on the foreign troops there seems available. One author points out that the Burgundians were the primary auxiliary soldiers along the middle Rhine, but they are barely mentioned in the records, probably because in the late empire they were being paid as part of the regular Roman units. (Drinkwater, p. 60) The estimated number of foreign troops employed along the Rhine has been estimated as 42,000 men at the time of Tiberius. (Roymans, p. 21. Broughton, p. 125, mentions 30,000 regularly stationed there apparently over a longer period.) The "barbarians" also provided federated units along the Rhine. And the regular Rhine army legions in the later Roman empire were not recruiting from Spain and Italy, with many of the regular soldiers again coming from among the locals. (Elton, p 56)
The tribe names of the Sarmatians were not mentioned in the Notitia , but apparently the Romans also attempted settlements of Sarmatians in several other locations. These settlements seem to have eluded mention except in the Notitia, and they are likely Iazyges or another close tribe because the Romans in the Notitia were using another term for the other major tribe, as will be explained later.
Sarmatian Settlers mentioned in Italy 17 prefects of Sarmatian settlers (Praefectus Sarmatarum gentilium)
Sarmatian settlers mentioned in Gaul Praefectus Sarmatarum et Taifalorum gentilium, Pictavis [now Poitiers in northwestern France]
Praefectus Sarmatarum gentilium, Lingonas [now Langres in central France]
Praefectus Sarmatarum gentilium, a Chora Parisios usque [possibly derived from Parisii, early name for Paris]
Praefectus Sarmatarum gentilium, per tractum Rodunensem et Alaunorum [location not determined but the Alaunorum name might refer to Alans -- see below]
Praefectus Sarmatarum gentilium, Au___(missing)
Sarmatian settlers in Belgium
Praefectus Sarmatarum gentilium, inter Renos et Tambianos provinciae Belgicae secundae. [location not determined, but apparently in Belgium]
The Alan Sarmatians
The members of the third Sarmatian tribe to follow the Iazyges and Roxolani into central Europe were the Alans (Alani in Latin). The Alans, previously unmentioned, on this page, had already succeeded the Aorsi tribe in dominating the area north of the Caucasus, this other tribe having fled west into anonymity or perhaps merged with the Alans. Or they may have assumed the Alan name. In the year 68 C.E., the Alans had occupied the northwestern end of the Black Sea left vacant by the departure of the Iazyges and Roxolani. (Sulimirski, p. 143) Alan remnants are said to be still in the Caucasus, but the genetic evidence in the second section of this site will dispute this assertion in regard to close DNA relationship of most of the G persons in the northern Caucasus to the Alans who took part in the great migration. Perhaps at one stage in their existence the distinction between a western and an eastern Alan group might have been appropriate and explains the genetic distance seen today. One enclave in southwestern Russia where G concentration is highest in the world has tried to become independent using the name North Ossetia-Alania . Most of the G people there have DNA patterns quite different from the G persons to the west and south of the Caucasus. (See also the haplogroup study of the Caucasus mentioned above, as well as location by location discussion in the second page of this site. In addition, the author has established a special supplemental page discussing the issues relating to the volatile, sometimes very biased, discussions of the Ossetian persons, their language and origins.)
During the barbarian period of the Current Era, the Alans sometimes visited or settled in places in western Europe different from those groups then called Sarmatians.
The main events of the migrations of the Alan Sarmatians are listed just below. There is some evidence of some intermingling of cultures, if not marriages, by Samartians with the groups that preceded them at the northwestern end of the Black Sea in today's Ukraine and Moldova, then called the Bastarnae (of Celtic origin) and the members of the Bosporan Kingdom. It is possible these latter groups became the bridge groups whereby the Alans became allied with the nearby Germanic Vandals and Goths.
Some Alan Sarmatians accompany Vandals
In the 400s C.E., the Alans were known to be with the northern European Vandals (probably residents of today's Poland) who charged through today's Germany, down into today's France. [Jerome also mentions some non-Alan Sarmatians in this group. Jerome, Epistolae, 123 I (Hilberg, ed, CSEL 54 (Vienna, 1910)] This seems to be a mass migration, but some Alans remained in Gaul (now France) (Pohl, p. 37). The Vandal-Alan force was soon down in Spain, but they were then forced into Africa after another short stay. While on the peninsula, the Alans had been assigned in 411 to occupy Lusitania (now mostly Portugal). These Vandals and allies in Africa were soon responsible for disastrous raiding along the Mediterranean. Because there is mention of Alans specifically in Sicily and Sardinia, this may partially account for the significant G presence in those islands today. The Vandals seem to have disappeared as a distinct group in the Mediterranean, but it is highly likely their descendants still live in certain areas today. Some Vandals were captured in today's Tunisia by a Byzantine force and taken back to Asia Minor. (Pohl, p 45) The DNA marker patterns from Tunisia (former Vandal headquarters) in the YHRD database do not contain anyone with similarities to the G patterns in Europe, and no detailed DNA samples are available from Sardinia. One author indicates there are no Vandal words found in the vocabulary of Berbers occupying Tunisia today. (Raven, p 213)
Some Alan Sarmatians are forced into central Europe, then move to southwestern Europe
A large group of Alans was pushed west into today's Moldova and northern Romania by an Ostrogoth invasion from up near the Baltic in the 200s. Other older, non-Alan tribes of the Sarmatians may have been with them. Then the invasion of the Huns from western Asia in the 300s C.E. forced the Alans to the south and west within eastern Europe. Those Alans who would later accompany the Vandals were probably part of this earlier relocation. Related to all the Hun activity, some Alans joined with the central European tribes in a second migration south to the Balkan countries, the Huns following closely behind them. The Huns even invaded briefly into Germany and eastern France. A coalition of Alans and German Goths, operating from southeastern Europe, soon began defeating Roman armies, invaded Italy and, under the name of Visigoths, took up a more lasting residence in the 400s in southern France and Spain. The Alans in southern France seemed to have divided eventually, some friendly to the Romans; others were friendly to the Visigoths. The Goths were an unlikely ally for the Alans because they had invaded in the early 200s to the Black Sea area defeating the Alans there. (Sulimirksi, pp. 162-63) Perhaps a different section of the Alans was involved, and a different component of the Goths (Ostrogoths) definitely seemed responsible for the Black Sea attack.
Even before those Alans living with the Visigoths arrived in France, groups of Alans were found at the time of the Hun invasion south of Paris around Orleans helping turn back the Huns. One author estimates the underlying Alan population must have been 15,000-30,000 there. (Bachrach, Armies, p. 487) The records specifically called them Alani, and they seem to have been settled there by the Romans. Bachrach points out that the Alan Saramatian civilian settlements were placed parallel to the earlier Sarmatian military settlements, probably to make language communication earlier. (Bachrach, Armies..., p. 478) The Alans also did not then seem to be engaged in agriculture. There are multiple towns in the vicinity of Orleans that have obvious Alan place names. The Alans continued to live in France in the next centuries, providing the cavalry component for the local Amoricans and Bretons in their battles. (Bachrach, Armies..., p. 169) There are also a few scattered Alan place names and known Alan settlements intermixed with other Sarmatian settlements in northeastern France and even into southern Germany and Switzerland. (Bachrach, A History ..., 1973, pp. 61, 69, 70. Probably the most comprehensive map of settlements is in the book by Littleton, p. 31.) [A map shown on Wikipedia on the Internet is not very accurate] Alans were specifically mentioned as supporting the usurper Jovinus at Mainz on the middle Rhine in 412. (Innes, p. 167)
The Roman leader Stilicho in the late Roman period supposedly settled several Alan tribes in the provinces of Raetia and Noricum (eastern Switzerland eastward into Austria....Littleton, p. 38) The unusually high percentage of G persons in the Tyrol of western Austria today perhaps reflects the presence of descendants. A group of Alans also came from the east into eastern Hungary about 1245, probably from north of the Caucasus Mountains, settling in Yas Province east of Budapest [today the northwestern part of Szolnok County] where they could continue a nomadic herding livelihood. (Engel, p. 105; Róna-Tat, p 222) Although these are referred to as Alans, it is curious that their areas of settlements mostly seem to begin with Jasz -, the term used by the Hungarians for the Iazyges—further complicating the question of how much difference there was among the Iazyges, Alans and Sarmatians. More info on Jasz. Although the language of these Hungarian Alans died out before a complete dictionary was constructed, enough words survive to show a close resemblance to the Ossetic language. Link to the word list .
Other Alans were quite active in the Caucasus and western Asia in the early centuries of the Current Era, but they will not be discussed here. Link here to an Alan chronology There is an alternate version in the Wikipedia which has ever-changing information.
The DYS 388 marker value of 12 and connection to the Alans?
The G persons of northwestern Europe whose records were extracted from the Sorenson and YSearch databases can be divided into two general groups. As a very broad generalization, those with DYS388 value of 13 are seemingly descendants of the Iazyges along the Danube or those in northwestern Europe whom the Romans subsequently just called Sarmatians but not Alans. This is unproven, just a working theory with underlying logic to it. The closer the English G marker values are to a large cluster group with modern presence in the old Roman provinces of Britannia and Germania Superior, it can be argued that the more likely the individual seemingly belongs to the non-Alan Sarmatians of the Roman period. If the reported value is 12, however, the marker values are almost always more divergent from that cluster's marker values. And more importantly, the DNA values of G persons from the areas the Alans are known to have visited, ravaged or settled in western Europe suddenly become somewhat of a match if the northwestern European DYS 388 value equals 12. And 12 seems to dominate in those areas occupied exclusively by the Alans. This 12 value today also dominates the DNA results today from northeastern Europe close to where the Alans were originally located. [These varying 12 and 13 values are found in eastern Europe and Eurasia, but these eastern European and Eurasia G groups are not Sarmatian in origin.]
The persons in the English cluster group (virtually all of them 13 at DYS 388) seldom come close to matching the majority of G persons in Spain, Portugal, southern Italy, Sandinavia, Germany, Hungary, etc. Of the presumed 10 G men who have been located in Sorenson DNA database with origins in Spain and Portugal, all but one have DYS 388 of 12. Only the Alans have been associated with a residence in Spain and Portugal.
In one of Bachrach's book (Bachrach, A History ..., p. 40) he provides a map of Alan and Sarmatian settlements in northern Italy. Few are listed in northeastern Italy, and those two were Alan settlements. In north central and northwestern Italy, he lists five Alan and one Sarmatian settlements. But he admits he is quite uncertain if any of these was still functioning in the 400s.
There are only two known Roman military units with Alan designations in the Notitia, and it is not clear where they were located. The fact that they are referred to as Alani again suggests those referred to as just Sarmatians by the Romans were not Alani but perhaps those earlier called Iazyges or other tribes of non-Alan Sarmatians.
Here is the information on the two Alani units listed in the Notitia:
A unit in Italy Comites Alani (a vexillationes palatinae unit)
Troops under the Master of the Horse (unstated location) Comites Alani
Because there is a small, signficant (one third of the total), but quite diverse, presence in England of G men with DYS 388= 12, these men might be Alans who were intermixed the Iazyges or they may have traveled with their Scandinavian (Herul) and German (Saxon) allies in one of their back migrations to northern European sites in the later barbarian period. History of Herul migration. Map of Herul Migrations Such Sarmatians would next have have had to accompany Vikings or Saxons during their invasions of England. No mention of any Sarmatian presence during these back migrations of the Saxons and Heruls has been located. However, many of the DYS388= 12 men in England do not cluster well with similar persons on the continent. But the presumed Alans in Scandinavia, Germany, Austria, Spain, Portugal, Italy, in contrast, do more frequently form small clusters to each other across long continental distances. This argues that a considerable portion of the G persons in England who do not belong to the predominant cluster were not really Alans, but a group genetically similar to the Alans who lived with the Iazyges or other non-Alan Sarmatians The given name Alan was in use in Britain in the Middle Ages and found also in the name of two saints.
The Iazyges? and Roxolani? and Alan? Sarmatians Who Were Left Behind in Southeastern Europe
There is no doubt there were Sarmatian remnants in southeastern Europe who did not go to Britain (or Germania Superior?)—whether they were Iazyges or Roxolanis or some other combination of Sarmatians. Sulimirski (p. 168) argues that the Roxolani in 377 moved west to join up with Iazyges and also to the south under the pressure of the Hun invasion which had caused the Ostrogoths to move into their territory. Sulimirski (pp. 170-1) also states it is possible the western Alans absorbed the Roxoloni because the so-called Roxolani burial sites in Romania have head deformations more typical of the Alans. Sulimirski (pp. 177, 181) also speaks of a Iazyges presence in today's Hungary until about 480 (about three centuries after some of them went to Britain), where they were still engaged in a nomadic, pastoral lifestyle. He also indicates (p. 177) the Hungarian burial site objects were altered by the year 200 due to the appearance of objects usually found among the more eastern Sarmatian tribes. This presumably meant another Sarmatian tribe had intermingled there, and probably not coincidentally the name Iazyges was no longer used.
The Romans and leaders at Constantinople fought a series of wars with the remaining Sarmatians in southeastern Europe over several hundred years, especially in the 300s. The Sarmatians were caught between other hostile groups. They did not seem to get along with those Goths who were headquartered generally in today's Hungary during an episode of these barbarian migrations. And those Sarmatians who were residents in Dacia (today's Romania) definitely had to leave there in that period because of the Goth and Hun invasions. The Huns were very thorough in clearing out the area of Romania. (pp. 161-67) And there were nearly complete population exchanges out of today's Romania in 270s, 370s, 450s and probably 890s. (p. 217) Based on other grave information, some additional Alans must have accompanied the Huns into central Europe (Sulimirksi, p 188), further clouding the knowledge of who lived where.
This next article overlaps most of the Sarmatian movements, but it is most usefully introduced here
There seem to be two areas in southeastern Europe from which Sarmatians operated during the 300s-500s, and the Sarmatian population may have overlapped these areas.
The more northern group of Sarmatians—if actually separate from the other group—is spoken of at several periods in connection with Moesia, which is primarily most of today's Serbia. Map of Moesia.
It is unclear whether there was eventually a near extinction of the Sarmatians there or they left with some of their allies to go to other regions or they overlapped with the southern group. (The distinction being made here between northern and southern groups is actually only to account for several descriptions of events in these separated areas.)
The people belonging to the southern group were primarily in a vague area that might be today's Bosnia, Macedonia, and far southern Serbia. The full collections of peoples in that area in that period seem to have later become the predominant peoples of Romania and Albania today. At least their languages won out when they moved into the Romanian and Albanian regions. The Sarmatians among them were probably a definite minority. The Romanian and Albanian languages have shared words. Romanian is based on Latin, but its derivation is not so simple. There is a vigorous debate as to where the shared words might have originated, with at least one author claiming the shared words were actually in use by the earlier Dacians who occupied Romania in the middle Roman period. See Otetea, p. 729. And see Romanians -- Origins -- Migration Aspects Romanians -- Origins -- Language Aspects for another view of the language development.) The proto-Romanians did not move up to today's Romania until the Byzantine armies later forced them north. They then had to oust some or all the Bulgars and Hungarians who had been there in the most recent resettlements.
The Albanian DNA has not been extensively studied. But there are very strong matches between some persons living today in Romania and the most common G2 profiles seen in Britain and southern Germany/Switzerland. However, really good DNA samples from southeastern Europe are not currently available. Consequently we have some weak evidence that some of the people in Romania today are the closest matches to the large cluster of presumably non-Alan G people in England-Swtizerland-southern Germany.
In addition to these movements within the Balkans, the Germanic Lombards were known to have brought additional Sarmatians to Italy as slaves in the 500s, according to the description of the slightly later author, Paul the Deacon.
Other groups within G family as defined by specific mutations.
So far, five major categories of G have been identified: G1, G2, G3, G4, and G5. Some of these categories can be further subdivided. This is a fast-moving field. It was apparently originally thought most Jewish G persons were G1. Subsequent testings has not validated this. Apparently also, almost all the persons referred to here as Alan Sarmatians and non-Alan Sarmatians are G2 but not G2a or G2b. The original Turkish testing found most G persons there were G2, but other categories exist there that have not yet shown up in Europe. Because of the small number of Turkish samples, it remains to be seen whether some of the categories, such as G3, have any practical use. G4 and G5 were recently reported in early 2006 and no information is seemingly available.
Distribution of the common G2 haplogroup
The P-15 mutation that defines G2 probably occurred more than three millenia ago. G2 is widely dispersed. It was already mentioned that G2 is found among almost all G men in western Eruope.
As of December 2005, one contemporary Armenian man and several modern Russians have also been determined to have the P-15 mutations. There is also one 2004 study which found P-15 accounting for 44 of 57 G samples in Turkey. Two Ashkenazi men whose ancestors were probably in the Middle East before the Current Era were found to belong to G2 subgroups. In a 2004 study which included Jewish men from Iraq, Libya, and Yemen and also some non-Jewish Palestinians, 26 out of 28 G men found had the P-15 (G2) mutation. Some of those indicating they are G (but not G2) in the Y-Search database may only be guessing at the grouping based on the lab's prediction as it is up to the participant to enter in his haplogroup. And some of those listed as just G in this database are likely G2 but have never been tested. In early testing, G2 was not an available test.
In the study done of haplogroups in the Caucasus (Nasidze), the authors regretfully did not specifically check for the P-15 or other offshoots of the G family.
Cinnioglu's study of Y chromosomes in Anatolia Turkey
Nasidze's study of Y chromosome haplogroups in the Caucasus
The Cluster of men overwhelmingly originating from Britannia-Germania Superior locales and descended within the last 2,000 years from men with common cluster marker values
The reader will find in the charts in the next section of this site the marker sets from the Brittania-Germania Superior cluster. These are within the catgeory moniker designated Scythian-Sarmatians. The Britannia-Germania Superior provinces of Rome included England, Wales, northeastern France, southwestern Germany, and northwestern Switzerland. These folks may not really be Scythian-Sarmatian, but it is a useful working designation.
The reader will note that there are an unusual number of Welshmen included in the clusters. The reader will also note that Welshmen, Englishmen and Germans/Swiss are intermixed in a number of the clusters while still likely having a common male ancestor within about 2,000 to 2,500 years. This argues that they were all together before the Roman period then became separated. The later invasions of England did not penetrate the Welsh areas to any extent, but Welshmen are amply present in the clusters (or clades). There was no known large direct migration after the Roman period from Germania Superior to Wales or vice versa that would account for several percentages of the Welsh population.
Because of slave raids, small international migrations and other means, it will be expected that occasionally men with the cluster values will appear in odd locations.
Unfortunately, the available home place data within Britain are so few in number that the information provided does not reach any statistical significance when trying to determine any corresponding geographical pattern today.
Link here to the region by region listing of G percentages in the population. The G "clades" page is also
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are not validated by the DNA record.]