User talk:David finster
The Sarmatians Ride Again
It’s fascinating when DNA research and family history documentation research come together. My DNA tests put me in maternal haplogroup H, and paternal haplogroup (“Y-DNA”) is G2a. I wondered if the test wasn’t complete enough to get me to a “subclade”…that curiosity came from learning that Ötzi the Iceman, who lived about 5,300 years ago [See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otzi for details about him] was also in the G2a haplogroup, subclade G2a2b. The mischievous part of me was tempted to get a more detailed test to see if my subclade is close enough to mess with the Austrians and Italians, who have both claimed rights to his remains, which are a big draw for tourists in the area. My nefarious plan was to put in a claim as one of his nearest living relatives… Further reading showed me that G2a itself can stand alone as a clade [see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haplogroup_G_(Y-DNA) for details]. That article told me that, for G2a (P15+) “Haplogroup G men who belong to this group, but are negative for all G2a subgroups, are uncommon in Europe but may represent a sizeable group in so far poorly tested areas east of Turkey” and that “…remains found at Ergolding Bavaria [where grave 244 dates to the period around 670 AD, and is called “…one of the richest Bavarian burial sites from the late-Meroving period”], were entombed with swords, spears, shields, and spurs, like heavily armored mounted warriors…” Although two sets of remains had been plundered, I believe that it is likely that happened because their equipment was even more valuable than the others. “Skeletons 244e and 244f are both in the G2a Haplogroup. This group seems to be associated with the Sarmatian people, a horse culture of the Steppes.” I compared my paternal DNA results with those guys, and it is a *very* close match for 244e! There are only a couple of possible variations, after 13 centuries. From old-style family history research (speeded up later by online information), I have traced my dad’s ancestors back to people like Theodon Agilolfinges II, Duke of Bavaria,, who lived during the period of these burials. The persons in the burials have not been identified by name…but my paternal ancestry turning up in Bavaria, both by family history research *and* by DNA is fascinating, and confirms that the historical work that leads back to those early medieval times is not fanciful, nor based on shaky evidence. Even more fascinating (Well, I think it is, anyway!) is the probability that the ancestors in question had Sarmatian ancestry. It is known that Sarmatian mounted warriors came into Europe, whether as part of some of their descendants who became (probably) the Alans, one of the so-called “Barbarian” tribes that migrated into the Roman Empire, or, as portrayed in the 2004 movie, King Arthur, as mercenaries required to serve in the late Roman Army as a result of their people’s defeat by the Romans. While that theory is controversial, this Sarmatian DNA turning up in my ancient Bavarian relatives may hint that it’s true. After all, the heavily armed Sarmatian cavalrymen’s name may come from the resemblance of their scale armor to a lizard’s skin, and their use of dragon battle standards— “The Greek name Sarmatai derives from the shortening of Sauromatai apparently by association with lizards (sauros)” [from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarmatians]. So, you G2a folks, strap on your scale armor, grab your singing swords and saddle up! org/wiki/Sarmatians]. So, you G2a folks, strap on your scale armor, grab your singing swords and saddle up!