Genetic map of Europe and the “Tisza people” of the Hungarian Great Plain

In the last few days quite a few articles appeared in the Hungarian media about a genetic map, created by eupedia.com, showing the genetic makeup of European countries based on Haplogroups. The map was constructed using Y-DNA, so it shows only male common ancestors. The creators of the genetic map point out some relationships that will probably come as a surprise to most of us. Among them, that the people of the British Isles have genetically little to do with the Germanic people of Scandinavia, which indicates that the number of Viking invaders was small. Another observation is that “Austria and Germany, despite both being German speaking, have quite different Y-DNA groups. However, Austria and Hungary look remarkably similar.”

It was this reference to the Austrian genetic connection that excited Hungarians. It seems that the Austrians are more than “in-laws” (sógorok), as they are called in Hungary, which of course is a reference to the long-standing constitutional relationship that existed between Austria and Hungary. They are in fact brothers and most likely sisters as far as their DNA makeup is concerned.

genterkep
Critics point out that assigning names of ethnic groups to haplogroups may lead some people to wrong conclusions, but without some reference to currently known entities we would be totally lost among a great number of haplogroups designated by letters and numbers only. Eupedia.com has detailed descriptions of the ones found on the map with individual maps of their occurrence. It is great fun to browse the site.

One of the Hungarian internet sites that published an article about the map is Nyelv és Tudomány (Language and Science, a publication I can highly recommend). The editors of Nyest, as it is known in Hungary, warn us that the size of the samples varies greatly from country to country. Interestingly, Hungary has a high number of samples, somewhere between 500 and 1,000, while Switzerland, although the size of its population is about the same as Hungary’s, has only between 100 and 250. Such differences naturally affect the outcomes.

While this map deals with Europe as a whole, a group of scientists focused on one particular region, the Great Hungarian Plain (Nagyalföld). A team of international scientists unearthed skeletons of a number of people who lived there between 7,000 and 2,800 years ago. From the work of David Reich, a geneticist at the Harvard Medical School, we know that today’s Europeans carry genes from three very different populations. The first settlers were hunter-gatherers, and the second were farmers coming from the Middle East. The skeletons and DNA found on the Great Hungarian Plain belong to this farming community. Reich and his team also identified a third group that arrived later from Northern Eurasia.

The Great Hungarian Plain farmer community, whose members the scientists named the Tisza people, for almost 4,000 years continued with their traditional ways–growing barley, lentils, and chickpeas and raising livestock such as pigs, sheep, goats, and cattle. But with the coming of the Iron Age new genes also arrived, most likely from Northern Eurasia. Although some highly technical studies of the excavations of these early farming communities are available online, one short description gives us an introduction to what the Great Plain must have looked liked in those days. The scientists envisage a very fertile land where the Tisza River meandered, with plentiful water for the agriculturalists who lived in “tells.” A tell is a mound, found especially in the Middle East. It was made out of a succession of settlements. Houses were built from woven sticks and mud, which were often burned down, and in their place new houses were erected. Hence the “tell.”

The assumption is that these people arrived in Europe through the Balkans, where most of the land was not suitable for agricultural activities. The Great Hungarian Plain must have been the first region ideally suited for their traditional activity. Therefore, if scientists are right about this second wave of immigrant farmers to Europe, the Great Plain had to be the place from where agriculture spread to the rest of the continent. It was for a while something of a Fertile Crescent of Europe.

DNA research routinely comes up with new findings. As one of the scientists of the Reich team of Harvard said, “the past is going to be a different country, and it’s going to surprise us.”

Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
exTor
Guest

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetic_history_of_Europe

Language is a factor of location. A people brings what it has and it becomes the new language of a new location or a people may move into a region and absorb its culture and language.

Hungary and Austria apparently have similar results, even though linguistically they are unrelated.

On the other hand, there are two groups of Slavic speakers (Russians, Ukrainians, Polish, Belarussians and Bulgarians, Serbians, Croatians) who have dissimilar genetic results.

Personally, I’m fascinated by Bulgarians, who were originally a Turkic people from the Volga Basin. Since the Magyars in their own travels from central Asia probably interacted with the Bulgars, some connections may develop, however these piecharts dont show any connect yet.

MAGYARKOZÓ

Webber
Guest
Bulgarians were a very small military elite who ruled over, and eventually were linguistically assimilated by the Slavic masses in that area, so it is not terribly surprising that there isn’t much sign of similarity. Also, Bulgaria was under Ottoman rule for nearly five centuries. There is speculation – from some people at MTA – that the Hungarian tribes were also, in comparison with the rest of the population, a relatively small elite. This is because of an earlier genetic study that found almost no traces at all of a Central Asian genetic marker that is to be found in the (very few) verified remains of occupation-period Hungarian graves (those with goods and sacrifices indicating that they were certainly not from older inhabitants of the area). The very scarcity of these graves also suggests that the Hungarians may have been a (relatively) small military elite who took control and ruled over the population already settled in the region. Similar studies in England have repeatedly found that the genetic imprint of the Angle/Saxon/Jute invasions is relatively light and most highly concentrated in the Southeast of England (prim. Kent), with similar results from York, parts of Scotland and N. England where the… Read more »
Pick up
Guest

There are no academic scholar historians on this planet, who support the “Central Asian homeland” of Hungarians. According to scholrs, Hungarian language (and finno-ugric languages were developed in the west bank of the Ural mountain, which is far from Central Asia. Only pseudo-scientific turanists believe in the central Asian tales.

Webber
Guest
To be quite honest, I couldn’t care less where the Hungarians’ ancient homeland was. It excites me just about as the perennial question of who the Jutes were and where their homeland was before they came to England. But I am quite sure I read something about genetic testing of old Hungarian “honfoglaláskori” remains, and comparison with modern Hungarians that found no sign of a marker among modern Hungarians those remains had. The next plan, by the researchers, was to examine genes of old Hungarian aristocratic families with a tradition of ancestry dating back to the Hungarians’ entry into Hungary, with the proposition that the ancient Hungarians were only a relatively small military elite. I am also quite sure I read an article on mitochondrial DNA tests that showed a surprising proximity between Hungarians and Romanians. Do I do genetic testing? I do not. As to your other comments: Culture and language are one thing. Genetics are quite another. (Of course there are differences between Hungarians and Romanians – so what? Or Croats and Serbs… etc.) One should be very cautious about coming to any conclusions whatsoever about a given country’s history based on genetic testing, especially when we are… Read more »
Member

Dang. The Magyars were actually economic migrants. Do we have to go back to one of those Istans in central Asia?

Scientists say the more colorful are those beach balls on the map above (more diverse the genetical composition) the more resilient the population to diseases. Yet nations in central or eastern Europe have a pretty low life expectency. One of God’s awful jokes.

By the way my paternal grandmother’s family were economic migrants from Switzerland. No kidding. Oma still spoke the Switzer Dütch. I actually looked up the family tree in the Winterthur city library. See, Magyars were not always monsters.

Now that I confessed my family history, can we go back to Switzerland? Pretty please? Mr. Orban?

Pick up
Guest

The Ural mountains (the Hungarian urheimat) are far from Central Asia. Do you read pseudo-scientific turanist tales?

Member

Oh, no. What if Orban sends me back to the wrong side of Asia?

Webber
Guest

Since this study only examines paternal heritage, one might theorize that Austrian soldiers left a rather large genetic imprint on the inhabitants of Hungary over the long centuries of occupation of upper Hungary, wars with the Ottomans, crushing of Hungarian uprisings, and garrisoning throughout Hungary (c. 1526-1918). This is pure speculation, of course.
I seem to recall that earlier studies of mitochondrial DNA (which is solely maternal), showed Hungarians are broadly like Continental Europeans, and have most in common with Romanians.

Webber
Guest

Paternal DNA, in any case, is a very sensitive topic. Grandmothers have secrets that are best left undisturbed.

Pick up
Guest

Wrong. Hungary was part of the Austrian Empire only between 1849-1867.

Read about it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Austro-Hungarian_Compromise_of_1867#History

Romanians are anthropologically and genetically very very different people. Hungarians are Western Christians (Catholic-protestant) , while Romanians and Serbians are Orthodox people which prevented the intermarriage. The first person who have religious intermarriage was Lajos Kossuth in Hungary.

Webber
Guest

I am only talking about Austrian troops stationed in or campaigning Hungary. Again, if you want sources, I can give them – in Hungarian, if you like. This is really not controversial. How do you imagine the Turks were driven from Hungary? (you know it quite well). And how did the Habsburgs pursue campaigns into the Balkans, except through Hungary, and who were the troops they used? (again, you know it) And who do you think Prince F. Rákóczi II fought against? (you know that, too) And after that, what troops were stationed in Hungary to pacify the country?

None of that is controversial. Austrian troops were stationed in or operated in Hungary in many campaigns over a very long time.

Pick up
Guest

Than read about autosomal genetic researches, they examine both paternal and maternal DNA. According to autosomal researches Hungarians are close to modern Czechs and modern Southern Germans.

Alex Kuli
Guest

Did nobody get rankled by the fact that Hunnic/Central Asian is the smallest sliver on Hungary’s DNA pie chart?

Webber
Guest

And for all anybody can tell, that sliver might just originate from the Mongol invasions.

Guest

What about those birthmarks aka “Mongolian spots” that some (many?) Hungarian babies have?
To which part of DNA are they related?

exTor
Guest

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mongolian_spot

I had never heard of ‘Mongolian spots’ before, so I gave Wikipedia a looksee. They exist all over the world. The nearest prevalence seems to occur amongst the Turkish. A German doctor (who was the personal physician to the Japanese Imperial family in the early 1900s) gave the condition its name. The spots usually disappear by puberty at the latest.

MAGYARKOZÓ

Webber
Guest

exTor – Éva beat me to it! – anyway…
Wolfi’s comment is deeper than it may appear on the surface. Wolfi is referring to an idiocy uttered by then Econ. Min. György Matolcsy (Min. 2010-2013, now National Bank Pres.). Matolcsy is infamous for saying stupid things.
Here’s the quote Wolfi was joking about:
“We are proud we came from Asia. There are little red spots on the bottoms of our children for six weeks in 30 out of 100 cases, just as there are on the bottoms of little Japanese children.”

Nobody knew what he meant, until someone finally realized it was the Mongolian spots – which aren’t red, and there is often just one of them (and everything else you pointed out).

This led to all sorts of silliness on the web, including the following:
http://index.hu/galeria/index/tech/2012/11/19/httpkepindexhu103533537353763537674_03bc25ab1f03398ab39c4ec72bd4501c_wmjpg/3

tappanch
Guest

Csanad Szegedi about the Jobbik party:

“Vona had to turn to the centre. But the party is still full of people who joined it for its radicalism, its nationalism, its extremism. And they don’t want anything less now. So there is a limit to how moderate it can become.”

http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-32549099

exTor
Guest

Great link, tappanch.

Well, I’m not terribly impressed with Csanád Szegedi.

So, he was a right-wing dirtbag and now he’s not? Maybe Szegedi should really look at himself, at how he was a loozer who joined a group that elevates itself and the egos of its loozer members by denigrating those who didn’t fit the white Christian paradigm.

I get it. He came to his senses. Hála isten !!!

But so what! Where was he years ago when he was building the Magyar Gárda, the homebrew –so cute in its ethnic colors– version of Mussolini’s Blackshirts? It took a discovery (perhaps accidental) to reorient his thinking 180°. Maybe.

Better late than never, I guess.

MAGYARKOZÓ

tappanch
Guest

The main Uralic haplogroup N1c is almost non-existent in the Hungarian population:

http://www.eupedia.com/europe/Haplogroup_N1c_Y-DNA.shtml

István
Guest

It is odd that the genetic map became a significant news item in Hungary, because many of the underlying studies were completed in 2005 to 2009. I guess the graphic presentation made an impact on people. Here is a link to many abstracts of Hungarian gentic studies
http://www.khazaria.com/genetics/hungarians.html going back years.

Pick up
Guest

Khazaria is a pseudo-scientific turanist webpage. According to turanist fantasy, in the Eurasian supercontinent all people -who do not belong to the semitic or IE language groups- belong automatically to the “turanian” languages and people. Read only the books of academic scientists, and news from universities and leading genetic laboratories of Europe.

Member

@exTor

There is a wellknown exemple in the New testament. The apostle Paul was a rabiat percecuter of the christians. He did a real turn over and became an apostel.

gardonista
Guest

What strikes me is that Hungary has a higher level of Greek/North African DNA than central European countries . So Hungarian food is spicy because of an African connection?

Maybe it’s time for Orban to restrict Asian immigration so Hungary can return to its African roots.

Pick up
Guest

Hungarians are genetically more european than most slavic speaking people (who contain more Asian (as old atnropologists said: mongoloid) Y and mt.DNA haplogroup markers, but all Northern Germanic nations (incl. Northern Germany too) have higher ratio of Mongolid haplogroup markers . See the ratio of Central Asian haplogroup „Q” and the other mongoloid haplogroup marker „N” (aka. N1C1) markers in the largest genetic database and CHART of European nations:

http://www.eupedia.com/europe/european_y-dna_haplogroups.shtml

And see the high ratio of middle-eastern haplogroup markers (various „J”) and african negroid (E1b1) in all balkan populations (inc. Romania). De facto, these nations populations genetically are less European than Hungarians.

Map about the genetic distance of European nationscomment image

The autosomal DNA TEST of European nations (genetic distance between European populations):
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetic_history_of_Europe#Autosomal_genetic_distances_.28Fst.29_based_on_SNPs_.282009.29

Pick up
Guest

About the Finno-Ugric and IE language groups.

Just some Hard-facts: Finno-Ugric language group was born in N-Eastern Europe, until the roots of ancient IE language groups go back to Asian continent. In the Eurasian
supercontinent, there are more native speakers of IE languages in the ASIAN continent than in Europen continent. (Just remember the large IE speaking populations of India Pakistan Iran)
However, the 97% of Finno-ugric speaking people live in Europe. Therefore to call finno-ugric languages as “asian languages” is laughable illogical, unscientific and
misleading.

TYPE IN ENGLISH WIKIPEDIA:”Proto Indo Europeans”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proto-Indo-Europeans

and see the maps about original ancient IE people!France Britain Italy haven’t signifficant proto indoeuropean genes.The Germanic people have also very very low ratio of ancient IE haplogroup markers (R1a),only Eastern Europeans have high ratio of original proto IE haplogroups markers in Europe. Western European languages belongs to IE language group,but in very very distant way.(Have you ever heard about language-shift? The IE linguistic effect spreaded as a lingua franca and as a „dealer language” between many many populations during thousands of years) The real genetical IE people equal only with the Eastern European people (and indians and iranians in the Asian continent.)

Pick up
Guest

There are a quasi minority people in Hungary in the “Kunság” region (Cumania). Neo-cumans have double identity, Hungarian and a turkic cuman. It is not wonder that Kunság region is the stronghold of turanist ideas in Hungary, for example: the kurutáj events were organized in Kunság, Bugac, because it is the home of turkic identity. Many of these hard-core cumans try to “turkicize” the Hungarian history, Hungarian past and identity at any price.

Pick up
Guest

Eva, did you know that neo-Cumans wanted to proclaim the Independent Cuman Republic in 1918? They formed their own “Cuman National Counci” , and they tried to provide weapons to fight against Hungarians for their independent Cumania country. Because of they were not able to provide enough weapons, so finally they had to give up the extension of their anti-Hungarian uprising in Kunság. http://www.halasitukor.hu/index.php/online-hirek/koezelet/helytoertenet/9681-fueggetlen-kiskunsagot

Webber
Guest

Eva and Pick up: I get the feeling that neither of you want to even entertain the idea that Hungarian women might have had children from Austrian or other troops. I don’t know why.
But I can tell you, I’m beginning to feel like someone who mentions in a bar in Mississippi that a (relatively) high percentage of White people in the American South have African ancestry.

Pick up
Guest

Eva, did you read the works of professor Dreisziger? What is your opinion about it? I’m not sure that Árpád’s conqueror people could speak the ancestor of Hungarian language. Árpád’s warriors were turkic speaking Khazar people. Tribal leaders have clear turkic names and the names (6 of the 7) of the tribes were also turkic instead of Hungarian names. Read this new English language scientific paper about Árpád’s people: http://www.ahea.net/e-journal/volume-6-2013/6?&request=modules/journals/journalarticleattachments&download=240&ajax=1%22%20target=%22_blank&request=modules/journals/journalarticleattachments&download=240&ajax=1

Webber
Guest
Pick up – “Interetingly, most o them have southern slavic names..” OF COURSE there were Bosnians in Hungary!!! It’s only natural (István György Tóth in Hungary and Slavko Gavrilovic in Serbia were great on this topic, if it interests you – Kontler had to rely on their work). I didn’t argue with that at all. I only said that there were Anatolian Turks as well – and not a few. What is it that you disliked about that? Please explain. It is a simple, non-objectionable fact. As to names – I wonder where you get that idea? I have the results of an Ottoman tax census on my shelf (trans. into Hun.), and very often, for Muslim landholders, Ottoman records give only name and nickname (for instance: Kara Muhammad – was he Bosnian? Anatolian? African? Kara means black, btw). As to those landholders – in the period in question they held the land only for their lifetime. It reverted to the Sultan on their deaths. It was rewarded to people for service – generally military service – rendered to the empire. These soldiers could have come from anywhere. They could have been Albanians, Egyptians, Anatolian Turks, Mesopotamians, you name it… Read more »
spectator
Guest

I came late again – it happens a lot. (Not always a bad thing, btw.)

At any event: isn’t it clear by now that being Hungarian is mostly based on culture, and not by any means on genetic kinship, let alone race?
If nothing else, the genetic difference between the present day’s Hungarians and the tribes folk from the ninth century, – who occupied the Carpathian basin – should make the point.

Or it doesn’t really matter under the shadow of the Turul?

But then again, one can only value culture in case if one has anything to do with it, has a concept of ‘culture’ at all, to begin with. In this respect the Hungarian standpoint may even be valid: one must have “hard evidence” in order to be approved, having the culture won’t matter a bit.

So, based on this “brilliant logic” of mine: who’s living in the Carpathian basin today, anyway?

(Answers to be attached to the latest “National Consultation” sheet and sent directly to the Great Leader – no discrepancies allowed!)

Guest
Re: “By the way my paternal grandmother’s family were economic migrants from Switzerland. No kidding. Oma still spoke the Switzer Dütch. I actually looked up the family tree in the Winterthur city library. See, Magyars were not always monsters” You know this comment with a ref to a ‘paternal grandmother’ connection kind of reminded me of a work of fiction that some may know in their broad reading of things Magyar. It was ‘The Book of Fathers’ by Miklos Vamos. The book was a like a a geneaological ‘fantasy’ where Vamos weaves tales of first-born sons in the Csillag (‘star’) family generations going back about 400 years in Magyarorszag. This is not scientific-genetic history but rather a cultural and psychological look of what the Magyar ‘identity’ was like in all the forebears. One item which fascinated was the fact up until the late 18th Magyar as a language didn’t figure much with the nobility and intellectuals in Magyar society. They spoke French or German. It was only the poorest of the population that spoke Magyar. Now that has to affect cultural identity! Having Magyar blood I liked Vamos’ story. It kind of made me go into a reverie with my… Read more »
Guest

@Rikard:
Actually there was a similar situation in the German nobility – many also preferred to speak French until the end of the 18th century (maybe even later) and before that of course Latin was the language of the noble people.
German was for the primitive “paraszt” …

wpDiscuz