Home
Contents Türkic Genetics
Contents Türkic Roots
Contents Huns
Contents Tele
Datelines
Sources
Roots
Tamgas
Alphabet
Writing
Language
Genetics
Geography
Archeology
Religion
Coins
Wikipedia
Ogur and Oguz
Scythian Ethnic Affiliation
Foundation of the Scythian-Iranian theory
Kurgan Culture (Mario Alinei)
Russian Version needs a translation
Alan Dateline
Avar Dateline
Besenyo Dateline
Bulgar Dateline
Huns Dateline
Karluk Dateline
Khazar Dateline
Kimak Dateline
Kipchak Dateline
Kyrgyz Dateline
Sabir Dateline
Seyanto Dateline
Sakha Anabasis
  Darkstar
Lack of genetic differentiation in Sakha
The Internal Classification & Migration of Turkic Languages

http://turkic-languages.co.cc/migration_and_classification_of_turkic_languages.html#Sakha
 

Posting Foreword

Of many Türkic migrations, the migration of Sakha people was established with a tip of a pen, and apparently, but not conclusively, we know both the departure and destination points. The following posting, preceded by genetic overwiew, aggregates findings from linguistical and historical disciplines.

Posting notes and explanations, added to the text of the authors and not noted specially, are shown in (blue italics) in parentheses and in blue boxes.

V.A. Stepanov et al.
Origin of Sakha: Analysis of Y-chromosome Haplotypes
Molecular Biology, 2008, Volume 42, No 2, p. 226-237, 2008
229

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

Frequencies of Y chromosome haplogroup in Sakhas

Only some investigated biallelic marker loci on the results of genotyping of samples were informative for investigated Sakha samples, a total of only six haplogroups (Table 1). As expected, most common haplogroup in all the investigated samples was haplogroup N1c1 (formerly N3a) with almost 90% frequency in the total sample. It is the only haplogroup, identified in all three populations (3 villages). Areal of ​​this haplogroup is the territory of Northern Eurasia, it is found in almost all modern Siberian ethnic groups. This haplogroup is not observed in the populations of Southeast Asia, the Americas, the Middle East: even in Mongolia and Central Asia it is only accidental.

Table 1. Distribution of Y chromosome haplogroup in Sakha
V.A. Stepanov et al.
Origin of Sakha: Analysis of Y-chromosome Haplotypes
Molecular Biology, 2008, Volume 42, No 2, p. 226-237, 2008
Haplogroup Frequency of occurrence,% (K)
All (K = 109) Cheriktey (K = 46) Byadi (K = 35) Dyupsya (K = 28)
377 1.83 (2) 2.17 (1) - 3.57 (1)
3 1.83 (2) - - 7.14 (2)
N* 0.92 (1) 2.17 (1) - -
N2 2.75 (3) - 8.57 (3) -
N1c1 88.99 (97) 89.13 (41) 91.43 (32) 85.72 (24)
R1a1 3.67 (4) 6.53 (3) - 3.57 (1)
0.2071 0.0518 0.2048 0.0776 0.1613 0.0787 0.2672 0.1067
H YDNA 0.7911 0.0422 0.8010 0.0577 0.7311 0.0818 0.8400 0.0701
Note.
H - genetic diversity of haplogroups;
H YDNA - genetic diversity of microsatellite haplotypes.

The origin and distribution of this haplogroup is in circum-arctic zone of Eurasia. In Europe, haplogroup N1c1 with greatest frequency is found among Finns (60%), Saami (40-60%), Estonians (30%), and Finnish-and Turkic-speaking  peoples of the Itil-Ural region (20-55%), Balts (30-40%), and East Slavs (5-15%). In southern, central and northern Europe N1  (formerly N3) occurs at a much lower freqiency.

In Siberia, haplogroup N1c1 comprises significant part in the male line of the Ural peoples: Khanty, Mansi, Nenets (up  to 40%). Significant proportion is found in Buryats, and Chukchi (50%), Tuvans and Koryaks (up  to 25%), Evens and Evenks (15-40%). The highest frequency of haplogroup N1c1, after the Sakha, was recorded in eastern Buryats (up to 85%) (own unpublished data). This line is found in almost all modern Siberian ethnic groups, but not among indigenous populations of the New World. Consequently,  N1c1 reached the geographic source of migration to the Americas, the Southern Siberia and Central Asia, later than American migrants headed for the Bering Strait.
230

Each of the lines N*, N2, and C3c was detected only in one village - respectively in the village. Cheriktey, village Byadi, and village. Dyupsya.

According to the literature, the highest frequency of haplogroup N2 is observed in Nganasans (92%) and Nenetses (57%). In addition, from the Siberian ethnic groups a large proportion of N2 have Khanty (own unpublished data) Tuvas and Dolgans (12%). Among other ethnic groups the frequency of N2 does not exceed a few percentage points. In Europe, the range of  N2 haplogroup is restricted to Itil-Ural region with about 10% of Y-chromosome at Mari, Chuvashes, Komi (13%) and Udmurts (29%).

The haplogroup N* (N x M128, P43, TA1) is sporadically found in Siberia (mostly in the indigenous populations of Southern Siberia). The maximum frequency of this haplogroup is observed in populations of South-East Asia. Its appearance in the territory of Northern Eurasia may be connected with both N2 and N1c1, as well as with earlier migrants, which in our opinion is most likely. Apparently, N* line marks the migration route of Paleolithic migrants from Southeast Asia to the north, where in turn occurred mutations that define its derivatives, the sister lines N2 and N1c1.

Population of Central China prior to the advent of Zhou Scythians (Xia period, ca 2300 BC) is identified as mostly Southeast Asian. All events of that period are described as happening between the Jun (Jung) people, which apparently stands for Huns, and the local defenseless agrarians of Southeast Asian origin. The morphed Southeast Asian-Zhou compact was assailed from the east by ancestors of the modern Chinese (native Taiwan type). The language of Yin is a controversial subject, ethnologically the Yin elite was decidedly nomadic Türkic, the majority of population was Melanoid, some tribes were Chinese. The Yin inscriptions are vaguely defined to be in a language of South Asian type, but since the Yin script has developed into the Chinese script, in the Chinese historiography the script is held as positively Proto-Chinese, and the language as possibly Proto-Chinese, though all sources skillfully dance around the subject.

There were two Shang Dynasties, one archaeologically described as Melanoid Qiang-Shang and the other as Polynesian Yin-Shang. The first Shang Dynasty was alternatively founded by Melanoids belonging to the Yueh tribe called Qiang 羌 from the Qiangfeng 羌方, a country to the west of Yin-Shang, Shensi and Yunnan. The Melanesian and Polynesian populations lived in intimate contact for millennia and probably heavily exchanged genes. The Polynesians probably originated in East Asia, not Southeast Asia. Genetically, Taiwan probably belongs to the early Polynesians who settled Taiwan before they expanded into outer Oceania.

By the 1000 BC the Hau/Han tribes came down from the mountains and began enslaving Yueh and Li Min people, killed off as many Yueh, Qiang and Li Min tribes as they could, often used Qiang as sacrifice victims, and pushed the classical Mongoloids southward into Yunnan and eventually Southeast Asia. The Han are ancestors of the Chinese Han people. This movement of Han and classical Mongoloid people southward forced the Qiang, Li Min and other Melanesian tribes onto the Pacific coast. The Chinese and Classical Mongoloid people share few if any genes with the Australians. The Classical Mongoloids share genes mainly with the coastal Melanesians who are of African origin, but few genes with the Chinese of East Asia.

Speculatively, the push of Hau/Han tribes could be an impetus for Southeast Asians exodus not only southward, but also northward.

Haplogroup C3 x M77 occurs with the highest incidence in the territory of Central Asia and Eastern Siberia, where its carriers diffused the from Southeast Asia.

The line C3c is mainly spread in the Central and South Central Asia and Siberia populations, but not in Southeast Asia and America. Such phylogeography suggests a later date, relative to C3 x M77, of its spread to the continent and its probable origin in the Central Asian region.

The final component of the Sakha Y-chromosome gene pool is haplogroup R1a1 (3.67% of total sample). This line is found with varying frequency in most South Siberian populations and is associated with Caucasoid component in their gene pool. Distribution of carriers R1a1 eastward went through the Eurasian steppe belt, up to the northern Mongolia, where were found singular chromosomes belonging to this haplogroup. Analysis of the literature on YSTR-haplotypes shows that majority of R1a1 chromosomes belonging to Central Asia and southern Siberia ethnic groups with that haplogroup are a single genetic array, in stark contrast in composition and frequencies of haplotypes to the European chromosomes. This indicates a relatively early separation of the carriers R1a1 into "Europeans" and "Asians". We surmise that this haplogroup (although present in this territory previously) was spread with migrations of the ancient Türks in the Southern Siberia as well as outside of it. In the future, likely will be found new informative biallelic markers, which combined with genotyping of a large quantity of YSTR markers, will allow to determine within R1a1 a specific range of lines associated with the separation of the carriers of the Turkic languages. The low frequency of this haplogroup in Sakha is quite interesting, because in the gene pools of all the Turkic-speaking ethnic groups of Southern Siberia it is a significant part. This difference in composition between the Sakha haplogroups and their more southern neighbors indicates the formation of Y-chromosomal part of their gene pools from different by origincomponents,  and possible absence of close inter-ethnic contacts between them. Obviously, the Turkic language was acquired by the ancestors of modern Sakha from the outside, perhaps as a result of cultural dominance by the migrant Turkic elite.

All investigated Sakha samples are characterized by very low value of genetic diversity, calculated on the basis of haplogroup frequencies (Table 1). Genetic diversity indicators for other Siberian ethnic groups are much higher. Given that Sakha are one of most numerous indigenous peoples of Siberia, and that they are presented in our study by three population samples, and the similar results obtained by other authors, the scenario with ​​ gradual reduction in genetic diversity due to genetic drift seems unlikely. Rather, it was a founder effect. This premise is supported by mtDNA data: its distinctive feature is the predominance of Sakha mtDNA types belonging to haplogroups C and D.

Genetic differentiation of populations

...Thus, the analysis of microsatellite haplotypes of Y chromosome demonstrates more clearly the differentiation of the Sakha sample, both in accurate testing of population differentiation, and by the molecular variance (AMOVA). This is due to the predominance in the Sakha gene pool of the line N1c1. ...population samples are distinct in larger value of diversity indicators and greater degree of differentiation.

Phylogenetic analysis of  haplogroup N1c1a in Sakhas

Case with a Y-chromosome line in such significant part of the gene pool in individual population or ethnic group is generally quite rare. In no modern population was the haplogroup N1c1 found with greater frequency than among Sakha. ...Phylogenetic analysis of N1c1 haplogroup with YSTR markers allows to establish detailed structure by constructing a haplotype tree using method of median networks. ... a dataset for frequencies and structure of haplotypes within the Y-chromosome N1c1 haplogroup in the populations of the world: 172 Sakha, 24 Evenks, 5 Mongols, 5 Turks, 72 Lithuanians, 17 Latvians, 30 Estonians, and... 5 Southern Altaians (Tuvinians), 14 Buryats from Agin Autonomous District, 7 Buryats from Buryatia Republic, 19 coastal Chukchi, 11 Evenki from Chita Province, 6 Khanty, 8 , 9 Ukrainians, 7 Belarusians, 26 Russians, 11 Siberian Tatars and 51 Tuvans. ... for seven markers in the present study.
...accepted N1c1 haplogroup founder haplotype
14-11-16-23-11-14-14 (Tuvinians, Altaians, Chukchi, Koryaks, Buryats, Siberian Tatars)
 ...accepted Sakha founder haplotype
14-11-18-23-11-16-14.

Almost all Sakha and Evenki haplotypes are derivatives and not directly related to the network common founder haplotype. ... Altogether at Sakha were found forty haplotypes of N1c1 haplogroup. Nine out of thirteen Evenki haplotypes coincide with the Sakha haplotypes, differing only by relative frequency, the remaining four are separated from them by a various number of mutations.

To summarize, Evenks and Sakhas have very specific range of N1c1 haplotypes, largely overlapping, indicating that a part of gene pools of these two ethnic groups  formed from a common base. Moreover, the nine Sakha haplotypes coincide with haplotypes found in other ethnic groups: two each at Tuvinians and Buryats and one each at Khanty, Koryaks, Mongols, Chukchi, and Kirgiz. Eight of these haplotypes are separated from the entire network common founder haplotype by no more than two steps, and therefore belong to a different genetic pattern. The overall percentage of Sakha samples with these haplotypes is just over 3% of all haplotypes belonging to N1c1.

The majority of the remaining haplotypes, with exception of only five, are clustered around ancestral Sakha haplotypes at a distance of two mutational steps, and there are no "empty" nodes...This obviously indicates that the demographic history of Sakha encountered a sharp reduction in the effective number of ancestral populations, perhaps initiated by a small group of founding migrants, whose gene pool had little diversity and a shift of the haplotype spectrum relative to the general population, apparently similar to Buryat and Tuva.

Fig. 3. Dendrogram of genetic relationships between different ethnic groups by genetic distances of YSTR haplotypes of N1c1 haplogroup

Buryats1 - sample from Buryatia Republic; Buryats2 - sample from Agin Autonomous Region of Chita Province;
Evenki1 - sample from Chita Province; Sakha1 - sample from Ust-Aldan ulus of Sakha Republic;
Evenki2 and Sakha2 - sample studied in Pakendorf at al.

Somehow this dendrogram does not look right, even allowing that under politonym Russians are hidden Balts. To allow that closest to the Byryats and Mongols are Russians (Russian Balts), and at the same time they are twwo steps away from the Turks (of Anatolia?) seems to be unreal.

235

 Ethnogenetic reconstruction

...Most feasible in our opinion is the following scenario. The Sakha (more accrately the Turkic tribes participating in forming the Sakha ethnic group) and Evenki (Tungus tribes) got their N1c1 haplogroup relatively recently from an external source, with practically already established haplotype variety observed at present time. So, in the territory of modern Sakha, and perhaps beyond it, lived very closely related populations whose gene pool had a very high frequency of N1c1 haplogroup with a very unique range of haplotypes.

Determine the range limits of these populations more accurately seems to be impossible, but the territory of E.Baikal should be a part of it, because our Evenki sample is formed in the Chita Province. Separation of these tribes from ancestral community of all ethnic Siberian groups N1c1 according to our calculations happened about five thousand years ago. These populations were assimilated after migration of Tungusic tribes, which settled in Sakha area at the end of the 1st - the beginning of the 2nd mill. AD. (which led to the formation of modern Evens and Evenks), and later by Türkic-speaking migrants who probably have assimilated them (Tungusic tribes) and Evenks (which led to formation of the nucleus of Sakha ethnic group).

That scenario is consensual, except for the dating, see reference above, which should not alter the linguistic picture. The difference between 700 ya and 1300 ya is quite significant, and may point that the constants used for dating require calibration; otherwise the flow of historical events may have happened differently.

The shares of the ancient Paleolithic tribes contribution to the Y-chromosome gene pool component of the Evenks and Sakhas was not identical: at Evenks it is significant, at Sakhas it is overwhelming (That essentially means that descendents of ancient Paleolithic tribes, read Yukagirs, were inseminating the Türkic refugee females and their descendents, pointing to the predominantly female Türkic exiles either 700 or 11300 years ago). The relative stability of Evenks' demography from the time they received that component provided preservation of the frequencies for individual haplotypes, probably close to the initial frequency distribution. A significant increase in the Sakha numbers in the last few centuries has led to accidental sharp increase in frequencies of some haplotypes, predominantly of probable founder haplotype. A similar picture can be seen in the Sakha mitochondrial gene pool: predominance in frequency of some haplogroup C haplotypes, and very high frequency of one haplotype in the haplogroup D.

Apparently, Yukagirs, or more accurately Proto-Yukagirs, and closely related to them Paleo-Asiatic tribes in the Sakha territory unknown to us by their ethnonym are candidates for the role of the donor population. A few questions remain  unclear.

1) Did the highly specific range of haplotypes of the N1c1 haplogroup observed at the present Sakha (or some of its part) belong to the gene pool of the Türkic-speaking migrants before their arrival in the Sakha territory, or they received it in full only later.

2) Is such structure of haplogroup N1c1 typical for other Evenk and Even populations throughout their range, and for populations of other ethnic groups, particularly, for western Buryats and reindeer Chukchi.

3) To what degree that structure was typical for Yukagirs.

...The second scenario (lack of cluster-specific haplotypes among Türks before their coming to the Sakha territory) has higher probability because South Siberian Türkic ethnic groups have quite different range of haplogroup N1c1 haplotypes. ...To resolve these issues, additional samples of Evenks, Evens, Buryats, Chukchi and deer Sakha should be examined, and other additional biallelic markers should be used, allowing to establish detailed molecular phylogeny of N1c1 haplogroup in Siberia....
236

...It should be emphasized that vision of ​​the Sakha as "Turkified" Yukaghirs, who formed the locally-based overwhelming majority of the entire gene pool is fundamentally wrong. Such interpretation would be overly simplistic. The data on the mtDNA nuclear markers of the A1u-repeats, and biochemical markers confirm significant contribution to the Sakha gene pool of by the components of southern origin that converge Sakha with the South Siberian and Central Asian populations. Finally, the significant anthropological differences between Sakha on the one hand, and Yukagir and Evenks on the other hand, perhaps most graphically demonstrate the importance and significant contribution of the migrant component to the formation of the Sakha ethnic group.

Darkstar
Lack of genetic differentiation in Sakha

The lack of genetic differentiation in Sakha

According to Brigitte Pakendorf [Brigitte Pakendorf, Contact in the Prehistory of the Sakha, Linguistic and Genetic Perspective, (2007)], "the genetic results provide clear evidence for the strong founder effect in the Sakha paternal lineage thus, it is clear that the group of Sakha ancestors who migrated to the north must have been very small". The expansion of the Sakha haplotypes (N1c1), found in 90% (94%) of Yakut population, falls with 95% confidence within the temporal interval between 700 and 1500 CE (idem). (1300 200 ybp, Adamov D., 2008, or 700 200 AD)

Similar consideration can be found in a different source [Eric Crubezy et al, Human evolution in Siberia: from frozen bodies to ancient DNA, BMC Evol Biol. (2010)], which states that the origins of the Yakut male lineages can be traced down to a small group of horse-riders from the W.Baikal area (that is, located to the west of Baikal), which began to spread before the 15th century AD.

Kurykans were largely displaced from their ancestor territories in the 6th c. AD. According to the inscription of the Bilge Kagan, Uch-Kurykans (Union of Three Kurykan tribes, Guligan of the Chinese chronicles) sent their ambassadors to the Bumyn Kagan funeral in 552 and/or his brother Istemi Kagan in 576. Kurykans are listed among the enemies of Ilterish Kagan (r. 682694), father of Bilge Kagan (r. 717734). Ilterish Kagan campaigned against Uch-Kurykans 47 times, and gave 20 battles. At the funeral of Kul Tigin in 731 Uch-Kurykans are not mentioned. It is thought that the Kurykan-Turkic war resulted in the remaining Kurykans fleeing north-west to their present territories in the Sakha Republic. Genetic analysis of the Sakha population shows a bottleneck dated approximately at that time, 1300 200 ybp. That is taken as a selection of the Sakha ancestors through a "population bottleneck", the probability of loss of life in the defensive wars and those days' relocations to their modern home were apparently high. (Adamov D. "Calculation of age for Yakut population belonging to haplogroup N1c1"//Journal of Genetic Genealogy Vol. No 4, 2008, pp. 646-656, p.652 http://aklyosov.home.comcast.net/~aklyosov/1_4_2008.pdf (''In Russian'')

Kurykans were not the natives of their W.Baikal territory, their distinct burial tradition appears suddenly in the 6th c. Quite logically, they appeared in the Baikal refuge as exiles from some distant place, and equally logically they were a fraction of the larger tribe. The other fractions, most likely carrying their distinct burial traditions, their language, and their genetical makeup, fled in other directions at the same time, ca. 5th-6th cc. AD, and must have left some traces. Apparently, the N1c1 distribution map does not exist, so the genetic correlation with other ethnoses is still a matter of future accomplishments. The years before Kurykan arrival to W.Baikal were turbulent: the aggressive rise of Jujan Kaganate, fractionation of local tribes, and their appearance on their fringe borders: Chionites, Kidarites, Ephthalites come into the view of historians and carve for themselves places under the Sun among their vulnerable neighbors, pointing to the events and groups that may be involved in the upheaval that brought Kurykans to the W.Baikal.

Positioning Proto-Sakha near Lake Baikal

According to legends, the progenitor of all Yakuts was Elley Bootur (Boğotur), who was of "Tatar" origin and who fled to the middle course of the Lena, running from "a great war or persecution". Elley Bootur married the daughter of Omogoy Bay, who had been of Mongol (Buryat) descent and who had also fled to the north when the wars during the Genghis Khan rule (?) broke out, and who settled down in the delta of the Chara River (a tributary of the Olyokma) near the Lena about 300 miles from present-day Yakutsk.

Before that time of great change, the Proto-Yakuts can probably be identified with Kurykans (Üch Qurïqan), mentioned in one of the Orkhon inscriptions c. 730, and seemingly forming the Kurumchi archaeological culture situated near the western shores of Lake Baikal and dated to the 6th-9th century AD. The identification of Proto-Sakha with this culture is a well-known hypothesis, based on temporal and geographical considerations and the medieval Chinese records [A. P. Okladnikov, Origins of the Yakut people (1951)]. The Kurumchi culture (stone walls, sacrificial stones (?), petroglyphs, agriculture (wheat, rye, millet), iron-making forges, cattle, camel and horse breeding) is focused near Irkutsk City and around the area of the Murin River (the name itself can probably be akin to Buryat müren "river"). It can also be found on Olkhon Island in Lake Baikal, which is just miles away from the many sources of the Lena basin (including its large upper tributary Kirenga). This easily explains the geographical connection between northern Yakuts of the Lena basin and their possible southern ancestors, the Kurykans of Lake Baikal.

Note: This may also explain why the word Baikal seems to be (?) a Turkic hydronym (from bay "rich" and köl "lake").

That Proto-Sakha tribes could have been persecuted by Mongols during the early 13th century is corroborated by the passages in the Secret History of Mongols (1227) (which seems to be the story of Genghis Khan's life told by himself), where the genocide of "Tatars" is mentioned during the early 1200's. The "Tatars" are said to have been the old enemies of the Mongols that had lived somewhere near the confluence of the Orkhon and Selenga, in other words, near the eastern shores of Lake Baikal, which leads to a hypothesis that either "Tatars" were an unrelated Mongolic-speaking tribe or they could have been an eastern offshoot of Proto-Sakha.

In the Late Antique and Early Middle Ages Tatars lived in the vicinity of Kerulen River of modern Mongolia, they were an assembly of 3 distinct divisions, one of which was an offshoot of the Türkic Huns. The land of Tatars was a shelter area for numerous defeated forces from south and west. After the fall of the Seyanto Kaganate (646 AD), numerous tribes of the Kaganate joined Kerulen Tatars, including the main Seyanto union of Saka (Se) and Yanto. From there originated the Kimak Kaganate (743-1050 AD), which involved some Tatars from the Kerulen. During  Ilterish Kagan wars against Uch-Kurykans (682694), Tatars were still located around Kerulen, and the main body of Tatars remained there till Chingiz-khan times. Chingiz-khan war with Tatars likely refer to the Kerulen Tatars, not the Kimak Tatars, who by that time were known as a subdivision of Kimaks. Under both hypotheses Kurykans/Sahka are unrelated to Tatars and their war with Chingiz-khan.

Geography predicts a raft migration from Baikal to Yakutsk

It should be noted that the physical distance from the Altai and West Sayan Mountains to Yakutsk is just enormous and exceeds 3500 km (2200 miles) in a straight line, being approximately equal to the distance from the Altai Mountains to Chuvashia and Volga Bulgaria. That marks a noticeable curve on the globe and provides an interesting geographical perspective on the matter, making Sakha and Chuvash look like sort of mirror images of each other. That also poises questions on how Yakuts could have covered that immense distance. Specifically, how did they migrate from Lake Baikal to the present-day area of Yakutsk.

However, there seems to be a simple solution to the seemingly complex problem: they could use a raft or boat migration downstream along the Lena, so this gigantic journey could be accomplished during a relatively short period of time.

Note that a similar raft migration towards Baikal along the Angara from the west was much less likely, because the Angara flows from Lake Baikal.

Considering that cattlemen's migrations are essentially migrations of their herds, the problem is with the herd migration rather than with the human migration.

But how did Proto-Sakha even get to Lake Baikal?

We have established that Sakha shares some common features with the Altay-Sayan and probably the Great Steppe languages, all of which are located either along the Yenisei river or further west. But how could Proto-Sakha move from the Yenisei area to the Kurykan settlements at Lake Baikal? Even if it moved to Baikal from an area other than the Yenisei, the migration evidently proceeded from the west, which is getting us back to the same question.

The early migration of Proto-Yakuts [Darkstar (2011)]
Ethnoses listed on the map
Buryats Kamassian Karagas Khakassians Kurykans Mator Kobal
Merkits Sakha Soyot Tofa Tuvans  
The early migration of Proto-Yakutic

Essentially, there exist three plausible routes from the Yenisei to the western Baikal area.

(1) Across the taiga?

The Proto-Yakuts may have moved along the East Sayan Mountains and across the taiga (which includes some of the land belonging to South Samoyedic), that is, roughly along the way of the Trans-Siberian railroad built by the beginning of the 20th century. In a straight line, this potential track would cover a huge distance of over 900 km (550 ml) (from present-day Krasnoyarsk to Irkutsk). It would mostly cut across rivers, so one would have to know precisely which direction one is taking to get to the destination, taken that there is no natural orientation system when traveling across a river course, and such migrations would most likely have had to proceed in a rather random and unsystematic way before the migrants could reach Baikal. If this route were actually taken, we would presently find many post-Proto-Sakha groups scattered all over the forests between the East Sayan Mountains and the Angara River. We should also take into consideration the perils of the taiga travel, such as deep snow in winter, gnat in summer and the evident lack of water as soon as one turns away from the river course. These are obvious reasons why much of this area is still uninhabited up to this day, except for regions with modern roads, railroad tracks and city areas. The attestation of South Samoyedic (Kamassian, Karagas) in the western part of this track, which had supposedly arrived in the area before the Turks and which could probably present some military opposition to them, also implies that this territory had most likely been undisturbed until the beginnings of the 17th century. Therefore, we should conclude that this route was probably never taken by Proto-Sakha.

On the other hand, if a lay linguist had to move 100 or 1000 horses between these two territories, he would most likely use the frozen river as a highway, smooth and easy for the animals, and with sufficient forage along the banks. Frozen rivers were a preferred method of travel for the horse riders, in peace and during the war. Ilterish Kagan campaign season against Uch-Kurykans was the winter. The technique of winter travel, the experience each horse husbandry family had on the winter travel, and detail familiarity with the rout would make rivers the first option. Navigation and assaults from the local foot hunters would be the least of the problems, and the network of rives cutting across taiga would provide efficient routing and effective defense from pursuits. The taiga river valleys also provide better protection in inclement weather. Most likely, Kurykans enjoyed support of the spare and dispersed local taiga tribes, trading their horses for assistance and guidance, and took advantage of animosity between neighboring tribes.

In later times, the highway and railroads followed the routs established by time, the Indian trails becoming grade roads, highways, freeways, and railroad tracts. The modern areal photography and GPS help, but do not change much, and the Trans-Siberian railroad was built long before their exostance.

(2) Along the Angara?

Another passable route goes up the Angara River, starting from its confluence with the Yenisei to the Angara's source near the southern edge of Lake Baikal. That route is even longer actually, its length is impossible to calculate in a simple manner because of the many twists and turns of the meandering course of the Angara but it probably extends for a couple of thousand of kilometers making the potential migrants row hard upstream all the way, with some dense woods and forests along the riverbanks, so neither a natural naval transportation system nor an easily-available shoreline horseback travel could be used for that endeavor. Winter travel on the ice is possible but could be hindered by low January temperatures. As in the previous case, no remnants of Turkic tribes were ever found along the Angara or its tributaries. Also note that the many tributaries would tend to divert the migrants away from the initially undetermined destination into even remoter corners of taiga. We should also keep in mind the possible opposition from the Yeniseian hunting tribes supposedly inhabiting at least some parts of this region. The earliest Russian Cossack records (1620-1630) in the area of Bratsk fortress mention clashes with "Buryats" and "Tunguses" but apparently no Turks/Kyrgyzes/Tatars in the area, which they had already been familiar with and should have been able to recognize. It is theoretically possible, however, that this type of migration could have begun to take place at some point in the past, but probably could not progress very far.

The remnants of the Türkic tribes should not be expected, refugees keep together for survival. What should be expected is the opposite, Kurykan force enlisting and driving some of the defenseless local tribes as kyshtyms, for workforce and marriage partners. The actual development depends on the ratio of forces, but the advantage was well known to both sides, one mounted rider can inflict much more damage to 10 foot hunter families than 10 families can inflict on one horseman.

(3) The Mongolian track?

The third possibility is traveling all the way along the upper course of the Yenisei, which would finally land any potential migrants in the East Sayan Mountains (if they follow the Greater Yenisei)where the Tofa people presently live or in the Darkhat Depression with its relatively small lake called Drod-Tsaagan (if they follow the Lesser Yenisei), where the Tsaatans and Soyots still wander with their reindeer herds.

The Darkhat Depression, the habitat of Tsaatans, is located across the watershed from Lake Hövsgöl, the largest lake of Mongolia. Even though, the entire area there is mountainous, traveling along the course of the Lesser Yeneisei among relatively sparse Mongolian forests and far away from colder northern tracks, makes it a viable option. For centuries, this route must have been extensively explored by many reindeer and horse breeding herdsmen from Tuva and Mongolia, and it is evidently passable. At the northern edge of Lake Hövsgöl, there is another watershed, beyond which there is the habitat of Soyots and the source of the Irkut river. As soon as the migrants reach the Irkut, it can carry them downstream to the upper Angara in the matter of weeks, and land them where the present-day Irkutsk City is located, that is, near the area where the Kurykan settlements were attested. The overall track length from Yenisei to Baikal is the same as above, about 1000 km (600 mil), though requiring less effort in the second half of the journey.

Curiously, the self-appellation of Tsaatans is in fact "Tu'kha" (with an aspirated [t] and a glottal stop) which is immediately reminiscent of Sakha. However, this may be purely coincidental (or, if not, a clan name borrowing). Moreover, the travel through Mongolia could help to explain Mongolian borrowings in Sakha, though these could also be acquired later from Buryat, when the Kurykan people were already near Lake Baikal. Additionally, as noted above, Tofa curiously shares a partial case in -ta/-da with Sakha and a few other grammatical features. This can easily be explained geographically, judging from the fact that one can get to the Tofa habitat by traveling along the Greater Yenisei and to the Tsaatan area by choosing to travel along the Lesser Yenisei. Therefore, we may conclude that Proto-Sakha could be a substrate both for Tofa and Tu'kha, both of which later switched to Tuvan, and this is how these languages had probably evolved.

The presence of reindeer economy in Mongolia, typical of Sakha and other North Siberian peoples, is also surprising. It may even shed some light on how Sakha and other North-Siberians became reindeer herders.

In any case, the Mongolian track sounds far more plausible than any other option, as far as the lack of geographical obstacles and the presence of ethnographic and linguistic evidence is concerned.

The remnants of the Türkic tribes should not be expected along the evacuation route, refugees keep together for survival. What should be expected is the opposite, Kurykan force enlisting and driving some of the defenseless local tribes as kyshtyms, for workforce and marriage partners. The actual development depends on the ratio of forces, but the advantage was well known to both sides, one mounted rider can inflict much more damage to 10 foot hunter families than 10 families can inflict on one horseman. The evacuees gender ratio had to be strongly skewed after loss of men in unending war, some refugee women could be attracted by local men, some local men could join to the refugees as marital partners, which would not be detected by the genetic studies.

Conclusions:

The analysis of dialectical differentiation, genetic evidence and the oral history all imply that Sakha could have become what it is only after (or, less likely, shortly before) the Mongol expansion of the 13th century, when the Kurykan Turkic tribes must have tried to escape the Mongol invasion by moving north along the Lena and its southern tributaries, most likely using water transport, such as rafts. The migration could have occurred rather swiftly on historical scale. Consequently, we may infer that, before that period, Sakha had existed in a remote southeastern area, such as forested regions adjacent to the western shores of Lake Baikal near the sources of the Lena, staying there for a prolonged period without much linguistic and genetic diversification (or otherwise, the tribes closely-related to it must have become extinct during the Mongolian invasion). Judging from the Chinese history records and the local geography and archaeology, these Proto-Sakha tribes may possibly be identifiable with Kurykans.

Moreover, the analysis of borrowings in the basic lexis may indicate that Sakha could have initially developed upon an unknown Yeniseian substratum.

The number of possible grammatical and lexical shared innovations in the Yakutic-Altay-Sayan ("Siberian") super-grouping is rather small and in many cases, these innovations exist only as a tiny trace. However, they cannot be discarded outright. In any case, if such a Altay-Sayan-Yakutic proto-state ever existed, it must have been of very short duration, considering there are so few common linguistic elements. Moreover, the majority of Altay-Sayan isolexemes (see below) cannot be found in Sakha, so, in any case, Sakha was the first to separate at a very early stage leaving enough time for these Altay-Sayan shared innovations to develop.

The problem with that scenario is that it linguistically takes Altai-Sayan population out of historical context. The biggest demographic upheaval in the Altai-Sayan area happened relatively recently in the 17th c., as a consequence of Oirat genocide that extended across Mongolia and Eastern Kazakhstan, and drove masses of refugees from the vast steppe territories into the mountainous shelters, increasing proportion of the horse husbandry nomads in the area, and displacing older populace that could not protect their ancestral possessions. The demographic impact affected composition of the languages used for static comparisons. The influence of kindred tribes from distant lands with absorbed distant ethnically dissimilar relatives and long historical period of multi-faucet independent development can't be ignored, because it brings such noise into the neat glottochronological model that may distort any signal. Much less is justified the notion that the presence or absence of political state has anything to do with the languages of the population. In every case, the blending of languages was a local affair before the innovations forcefully brought about by the administrative policies of the mid-20th century Russian administration, that ventured on creating unified languages for artificially forged political entities using a selected language as a substitution for all live languages.

Similar considerations refer to the few grammatical and lexical features that unify Sakha with Altay-Sayan AND the Great-Steppe taxon (Yakutic-Altay-Sayan-Great-Steppe). The number of these isolexemes and isogrammemes is insufficient to make any firm conclusions. However, this latter option of a deeper unification seems to be more plausible, especially considering the drastic lexical differences separating Yakutic from Altay-Sayan (hardly 58% of common words in Swadesh-215).

Altogether, it seems that Sakha just won't fit into any other Turkic taxon, apparently being pretty much independent. However, it also seems to be a fact that it must have affected the grammar and lexis of Proto-Altay-Sayan in the distant past leaving a few unexpected traces here and there. That is particularly true of Tofa, as found by Rassadin (1978). Therefore, we may conclude that the features shared between Yakutic and Altay-Sayan do not come from genetic relatedness but rather emerge from a secondary contact. Therefore we may infer that Proto-Yakutic could serve as a substrate for Altay-Sayan which later moved along the same route in a secondary migration wave, and thus interacted with Proto-Yakutic features, which to lead to their acquisition or stabilization in the Altay-Sayan languages.

The concept of Proto-Altay-Sayan is taxonomically not far from pra-potato salad, from which the tasty salad we just ate has descended, as opposed to a concoction of fresh cucumbers, potatoes, eggs, and mayonnaise that we wanted to consume.

The reference to Tofa, aka Toba, aka Tofalar, aka Tabgach, aka Tuoba (Pyn.) is fascinating, because the Toba language has been extensively studied and should offer real connections. Naturally, today's Tofa language is as far away from the Early Middle Age Toba language as is today's English from the King Arthur language, but for linguists that should not be a problem, and may be a real test of Sakha-Toba links.

In any case, for most taxonomic purposes, the Yakutic subgroup can still be viewed as an early-diversified and quite independent subgroup of the Turkic languages, strongly affected by Mongolic superstratum and an unknown substratum of probably Yeniseian origin, but still retaining many archaic features important in the reconstruction of Proto-Turkic.

Home
Contents Türkic Genetics
Contents Türkic Roots
Contents Huns
Contents Tele
Datelines
Sources
Roots
Tamgas
Alphabet
Writing
Language
Genetics
Geography
Archeology
Religion
Coins
Wikipedia
Ogur and Oguz
Scythian Ethnic Affiliation
Foundation of the Scythian-Iranian theory
Kurgan Culture (Mario Alinei)
  Alan Dateline
Avar Dateline
Besenyo Dateline
Bulgar Dateline
Huns Dateline
Karluk Dateline
Khazar Dateline
Kimak Dateline
Kipchak Dateline
Kyrgyz Dateline
Sabir Dateline
Seyanto Dateline
5/5/2012
@Mail.ru
θδğŋγşāáäēə ï öōüūû Türkic