Study notes: What was the extent of the Greek-Hellenistic influence upon Iran (and the East beyond)?

History of Iran

Iran After the Death of Alexander and Its Resistance to Hellenism
By: Maryam Hedayati
Alexander’s victory at Gaugamela in 331 BCE was his third and final defeat of the Persia armies of Darius III. A period of drastic political and social upheaval began for the Orient when the Macedonian conqueror, looking for the consolidation of his conquest, settled Greek and Macedonian veterans in the Near East. Hellenic occupation meant the suppression of native rule and traditional kinship. Under Alexander’s successors, Antigonos the One-Eyed, Seleukos, Ptolemy and Lysimachos began development of permanent Hellenic occupation of the region.

Oriental theology about kingship was the Kings were believed to be viceregents of the great high gods, of Ahurah Mazdah(Zoroastrianism, the supreme creative deity), of Yahweh, or of Marduk(Babylonian religion, the chief of the Babylonian deities), or even to be gods themselves,as in Egypt. The law these kings enforced was divine a therefore, Macedonian and Greek imperialism was an attack on the all-ruling gods of the East.[1]

The word “Hellenism” is used to cover all the facets of Greek culture, and therefore embraces not only philosophy, drama, and the rational view of life, but also other Greek and Macedonian values. Many Hellenes were deeply concerned with the maintenance of armies, the conduct of economic life, the business of the various departments of Hellenistic monarchies, or the pursuit of high personal status, than with philosophical schools, the theater, or the empirical study of nature and human institutions in areas they occupied. The society of the Hellenistic world was very much diversified and extremely complex, and this was true for the Orientals as well as for the Greeks.[2]

When Darius III, King of the Medes and Persians, was defeated, killed and his army of once numerous and powerful, had been destroyed or dispersed in the fateful battles of Granikos, at Issos, and near Guagamela, the Persian Empire, which in its day had comprised by far the vastest and wealthiest parts of the ancient world, law in fragments unmourned by its several nationalities. Iran, homeland of the Achaemenids and of the Empire’s satraps, an Empire which once had sent out kings to vanquish most of Asia, had fallen almost without any resistance. Its roads had been run by foreign soldiers, and its palaces had been looted of the treasures that once had flowed in from all the countries under heaven of Ahura Mazdah. The capital, Persepolis, had been despoiled, its sacred sculptures insulted and defiled, then burned and destroyed by that very element that was the holy manifestation of the Persian fire-god, Atar.

The ravaging of Persis was inspired by the hatred that had burned in Greek hearts since the days of Cyrus the Great’s conquest of Ionia, a hatred which had been fed by the first Darius’ suppression of the Ionian revolt of 493 BCE and Xerxes’ subsequent attempt to overrun Hellas itself. All those years the Greeks had felt the heavy burden of feeding the invading host and seeing some of its cities depopulated as a Persian policy against any mass resistance or revolt.[3]

The burning and destruction of Greek, or Babylonian temples by the Persians did not come out of the conviction that foreign deities were necessarily evil, but because temple spoliation was a source of easy treasure and because diety-kidnapping was universally practiced in the East to undermine the local will, and even the ability to resist. We know that Iranians on the other hand sometimes enlarged non-Iranian temples, as in the case of the Temple of Ammon at Hibis in Egypt. Nor did Iranians have any objection to specifically Greek rites or Greek religious personnel; for example, when Xerxes captured Athens 480 BCE, he ordered the restored Athenian exiles with him to offer Hellenic-style on the Acropolis.

The Iranians never ceased trying to recover the parts of western Anatolia that were taken from them by the Delian League of Greek city-states, nor did the Hellenes ever stop trying to create trouble for Iran in her Egyptian province. Because Persian gold frequently was a force in Greek international politics, the leaders in the city-states and later in Macedonia never were able to escape from a fear of Iranian meddling or aggression. Hatred of Iran was kept alive through warfare down to the time of Philip and more than a century’s suffering, humiliation, and dread created in many Greeks a desire for violent revenge, which could hardly fail to colour their dealings with the conquered Iranians after Alexander.

To many Greek who witnessed the last years of the expiring Achaemenid empire, deceit and cunning seemed to have replaced manliness and courage, and the cares of state to have been abandoned for drunkenness and revelry. Not that a Greek would feel a fine moral shiver at this evidence of decadence; its significance to him was that a hard-bitten adventurer with well-sharpened weapons and under the proper leader could enrich himself without undue risk.[4]

This picture of Iranian weakness acquired the force of authority, a prestige which it retained even after the conquest and down to the time of Strabo.

In Greek eyes, then, the Persian Empire was a place of fabled wealth of gold, silver, splendid horses, of amazing agricultural fertility, all possessed by weaklings. Poverty-ridden as Greeks were, their economy racked of continuing intercity wars, their society threatened by the presence of sporadically employed, hungry mercenary soldiers in the fourth century the Persian empire seemed an object that they with their military and technical superiority could easily convert into a source of booty. Contributing to this feeling was the fact that the Greeks, because of their competence, were holding an increasing number of military and professional posts in the Empire.[5]

Alexander thought that the empire that he wanted to consolidate could be ruled in peace and no arrogance was needed like some of his generals had suggested. The official treatment of the beaten Iranians was by ancient standards remarkably lenient and human. Not only Alexander continued to employ many of the provincial governors in his own administration in Asia, he also behaved according to the customs prescribed for an Achaemenian monarch, recruited noble Iranians for his army and gave them high rank and privilege, and undertook to marry his generals to aristocratic ladies of Iran. Alexander’s policy of fusion of East and West found its most impressive expression expression in his celebration at Opis, where Greeks and Persians consummated together a sacrificial communion meal, while Alexander the Idealist prayed that, homonia, a “like-mindedness, concord,” might be created and made to last between his European and Asiatic subjects. Greek seers and Persian Magi (a class of Zoroastria priest in ancient Iran, reputed to possess supernatural powers) together conducted rites to solemnize this attempted marriage of East and West.[6]

After Alexander’s death, the old prejudices reasserted themselves. For example, out of eighty marriages with Iranian ladies, only one, that of Seleukos and Apama lasted. Seleukos by 312 BCE had begun the consolidation of an empire that covered most of Asia, including Iran. Many of the Greek immigrants were adventurous and self-reliant types, like Eumenes of Kardia, intent on making new lives for themselves in the conquered East, and determined to grow powerful through royalty to the Macedonian regime, cost what it might to the former overlords of Iran. As a result, however enlightened Seleukos I may have intended his regime in Iran to be, however human many of his officials, like Peukatas of Persepolis, undoubtedly were, still, many of the imperial rights had looked upon their holding positions in the satrapies and hipparchies of Iran as an excuse to grow rich, such men were Kleandros and Polymachos.

Iranian resistance to the Macedonians, therefore, never lacked for provocation, and in fact never stopped after the death of Darius. Some of the satraps Alexander had retained in service turned out to be halfhearted in their support of the new regime, and some actually rebellious to it. Those who remained loyal to the idea of native Iranian rule were gradually eliminated and replaced by Europeans. The failure of guerrilla resistance like that of Spitamenes of Sogdiana, however showed the Iranians that the immense technical and organization superiority of the Europeans made further attempts at open military resistance as vain as the deployment of the huge armies of the Great king. But if the physical resistance was impossible, religious resistance was not. It was even natural to the ideals of Iranian civilization.

Since the existence of a Iranian monarchy, preferably Achaemenian, was part of the right order of this world created by Ahura Mazdah, hopes for resurrection of a specifically Iranian state were in part religiously inspired. Ahura Mazdah, like Marduk or Asshur, was an imperial deity who having created the earth, set human beings to rule it as he wanted it ruled. As immortal and beautiful Ahura Mazdah continued to live, so did his state continue to survive.

Two ideas, the displacement of the notables and the interruption of the divinely ordained state and kingship, underlined all the Persian religious literature of resistance. One example of that fascinating collection of protest is The Sybilline Oracles. The Sibylline literature was widely known in all the ancient world, and was revered for its authority and antiquity. The earliest Greek author to mention a Sibyl was Herakleitos of Ephesos in the late sixth century. A Sibyl was a divinely inspired woman who uttered prophecies of amazing and usually disastrous things to come. Prophecy by inspired women was extremely well known in the Near East. The witch of Endor was one of the mentioned in the old Testament; in the late Assyrian times the Assyrian kings themselves attached considerable importance to prophecy. A similar institution flourished among the Iranians. Strabo mentions water-diviners, dream-diviners, and the magoi, who prophesied in much the same way as Assyrian prophetesses.[7]

There was other Iranian religious propaganda of presumably early date. While it has left not trace in classical authors, it has left traditions in the Avesta(a collection of sacred Zoroastrian writings, including the Gathas) and the Pahlevi(the Indo-European, Iranian language of the Zoroastrian literature of the third century to the tenth century, the script used in writing this language derived from the Aramaic alphabet) translations of Arsakid and early Sassanid times. Only two copies of the Avesta were then in existence, and Alexander destroyed one when he burned Persepolis and the other was stolen from a certain fortress and was taken to Greece for translation, never to be returned to Iran. However A.T. Olmstead and E.E. Herzfeld have maintained that this story was fabricated in late Parthian or early Sassanid times to explain the then lack of written sacred literature. H.S. Nyberg condemned literal belief in this tradition and called it a fantasy. On the other hand, it has been accepted as generally trustworthy by a number of scholars, among them K.F. Geldner, A.V.W. Jackson, and W.B. Henning that the latter view is correct, because there was evidence that a written Persian sacred literature existed, and can be safely supported that Persepolis contained copies of it.[8]

It would, after all, have been the usual thing for Persepolis, the religious center of the Persian empire, to have maintained a library of religious literature. And it could be safely assumed that this library was destroyed when Persepolis was burned and the buildings fell in, particularly if the writing had been done on perishable material. Alexander’s conquest threatened to bring about the end of Iranian religion through the destruction of the religious capital and important archive, a destruction spectacular enough and sufficiently well known to be used as effective propaganda.

Iranian anti-Hellenic religious movement came to have great influence all over Western Asia. Certain Iranians prophesied that the hated European would be expelled from Iran and from Asia by divine intervention and the Orient would be restored to its former primacy. This is stated in the old Testament Book of Daniel; in fragments of an Oracle of Hystapes quoted by Lactantius as late as 300 CE and in a Medieval translation from Aryan (Old-Persian) into Pahlavi (Middle-Persian), the Bahman Yasht. The document Bahman Yasht stated that human history is moving, the advent of a savior who defeats evil and restores religion and the kingdom, was also a development over beliefs of Achaemenid times. The Bahman Yasht. is intimately connected with the Achaemenid period of Iranian religious development. It is vaguely parallel to a Bahman Yasht in Persian, a ritual invocation of Ahura Mazdah against the power of daevas, who are led by Ahriman(evil spirit).[9]

Both in Bahman Yasht and the Oracle of Hystaspes is stated that the principal cause of the Iranian resistance was the loss of the Persian empire. However the Iranian resistance came from articulate elements of Iranian society, that is, from those people who had been a part of or close to the dynasty, the aristocrats of both the landholding military and religious classes. Their position of high status was in danger. As far as Iranian culture as a whole was concerned, there were far too Greeks in Iran seriously to modify it. Those Europeans who settled in Iran were in course of time entirely assimilated by intermarriage.

There is the possibility that Alexander destroyed the Avesta, which is to be understood as a symbolic of Iranian religion. Despite all the religious resistance the conditions in Iran in the Hellenistic period were different from what would be expected.

Iran in the third century was prosperous, and its sanctuaries remained wealthy. What it did reflect was the resentment of a dispossessed imperial nobility. The bare fact of European control in Iran threatened the dominance of not only the military but also the religious aristocracy. Hellenic customs did come into Iran with Greek settlers, armies, and government officials, and were practiced alongside the older Iranian customs. When some Iranians began to adhere to Hellenic customs in general and religious practices in particular, the most anti-Hellenic of the Iranians reacted strongly against this cultural treason. Ancient Oriental societies were conceived of people arising from religious causes and kingship who were involved with religious functions as well as political duties. Other phases of human activity were closely linked with religious belief.

The religious customs of the Greeks and Iranians differed and those differences were important to some Iranian people. The early Iranians, as known from both classical writers and from the results of archeology, did not erect temples to house cult-statues nor use images themselves, and they condemned people who did so. Towards the end of the Achaemenid dynasty, Artaxerxes II set up cult-images of Anahita for the first time at Susa, Babylon, Ekbatana, Damaskos, and Sardeis. This was a break from the past.

A most important point of difference lay in methods of disposal of the dead. Greeks sometimes cremated, and usually interred their dead, customs that strict followers of Magian practices did not observe. It has been told both by Herodotus and Ktesias that the Iranians considered cremation unlawful, which indeed the Videvdad of Hellenistic date calls a sin without atonement, for cremation was the defilement of holy fire, Atar, with an unclean corpse.

The appeal of Hellenism stemmed from two sources. There was the intrinsic attraction of Hellenism as the culture of high civilization. It was also the way of life of a victorious ruling class, which occupied almost all the desirable, lucrative, and powerful positions in government, and in some cases, the wealthy parts of the country, being concerned with the efficient exploitation of agriculture and grazing. The Iranian aristocrats were subject to natural tendencies to imitate their new rulers’ ways, both from a desire to ingratiate themselves and mark themselves more efficient, and from a fascination with the manners and customs of people who were obviously successful. While most remained hostile, many others at least collaborated, a few became cultural converts.

When the Macedonian satrap of Media, Nikanor, was sent by Antigonos to undo Seleukos’ occupation of Babylon, the former’s forces included a contingent of Iranians. They deserted to Seleukos when their commanding officer Evagora, satrap of Areia was killed, because they objected to Antigonos’ regime in Iran. This episode shows that some Iranians were at least willing to cooperate with whatever Greek power seemed least likely to be a burden on them. When Antigonos was attempting a surprise attack on the forces of Eumenes of Kardia, the natives of Gabiene cooperated with Eumenes by warning him of the approach of hostile soldiers. Such loyalty was forced and half-hearted, yet this practice continued and in time must have led some Iranians to go further and to become independent of the Macedonian regime for the maintenance of their political, economic, and social status.

Those Iranians in the army had contact with Greek ways and Greek religion. Acceptance in part was inevitable. Europeans had adopted Iranian Gods and rites, too, and thus a Greco-Iranian class with syncretic religious practices came into being. The protests of the religious resistance were directed against this class, apostates from the true faith, and the new handers-on from the Greek world. This cultural interchange was natural; there is no evidence that the Macedonians consciously sought to change the Iranians’ religion or to diminish the authority of Iranian sanctuaries or persecute the priesthood, or in any way interfere with Iranian religious beliefs. Iranian holy places remained wealthy under Seleukid rule, and retained extensive estates and villages inhabited by their serfs who worked the land.

There is no evidence that resistance was a peasant movement against Hellenistic economic exploitation as was the case in Egypt and Palestine. The Seleukid regime hardly touch the peasantry at all, and probably no great change was apparent to them. The Macedonian kings theoretically owned all non-city and non-temple land in Iran; but it was actually held by aristocracy, in most cases the old families of Achaemenid times. These people continued their old methods of dealing with rural classes. Nor did the peasantry suffer from the oppression of a Hellenized bourgeoisie, as was the case in Syria.[10]

Iranian propaganda was directed, then, against cultural apostasy only in the highest level of society and had behind it people of the same class. The most important religious issue was the replacing of the Achaemenid dynasty by that of Alexander, and then of Seleukos. The fact of Hellenic kingship and rule itself was the issue. For in Iran, the dynasty of Cyrus and Darius I, through long custom and tradition had established its right to rule, which that right was a part of theology. The kingship carried with it certain sacral responsibilities and obligations which a Macedonian could not possibly fulfill, even if he had willed it, because Europeans simply were not Iranians. The king of the Medes and Iranians had to be of Iranian family, owning Iranian customs and religion, and submitting to a Iranian pattern of royal taboos. He had to be chosen by Ahura Mazdah, and he could not be chosen to rule unless he fulfilled all prerequisites.[11]

A Macedonian, furthermore, whatever his character, his kindness, his solicitude for things Iranian may have been, could not in the eyes of Iranians strictly following his own tradition be Great King, because Macedonian was not an Aryan (Iranian), not a Persian, and not an Achaemenid.

Many Iranians were too deeply committed to the idea of the lordship of Ahura Mazdah, not only as a ruler of Asia but also as inspirer of their own private lives. That is certainly the feeling of the Zarathushtrian Gathas and of the royal inscriptions. Therefore, in the Hellenistic period, many Iranians went on believing in Ahura Mazdah, and in the theology about his kingship they had always believed, and the idea of a Macedonian’s being his choice never took hold with the Iranians.[12]

However, it must be noted that there is no real evidence that the Achaemenids ever were Zarathushtrians. The use of a few similar words and phrases about the gods in the Gathas and the Aryan (Old Persian) inscriptions only shows that individuals of the same basic Iranian culture used basically the same concepts. We know that the use of the ritual intoxicant haoma by magos and king was well-attested at Persepolis, and this practice was hated by Zarathushtirans. The reason was because Zarathushtra and his folowers objected strongly to the royal and sacrificial aspects of Iranian religion.

We must consider the fact that all this opposition were only coming from a specific class and not from the masses of people in Iran. The common people were peasants far removed from these struggles and pursued their usual religious practice. It became evident that there was no complete unity among religious groups in Iran. This became an important factor because it showed that in Hellenistic Iran the various sects could not work together to oppose the Greeks wholeheartedly.[13]

Another feature of Hellenistic effect in Iran was that they struck a series of coins beginning about 275 BCE Like the fire temple inscriptions, the coins show a mixture of Hellenistic and Iranian ideas. The reverse usually display a fire temple, which could be a picture of the shrine at Naqsh-i-Rustam, the cemetery of the great Achaemenid kings. At the same time the coinage is executed in very fine Hellenic style under the first of the dynasts, and occasionally had pictures of a deity, probably Ahura Mazda, modeled and tricked out as a Grecian Zeus. The dynasts did not assume the title of king, but called themselves fratadara, “Keeper of the Fire,” and bagan, “Divine.” The last should be taken in the sense that the Achaemenids were divine: not gods but men charged with supernatural powers.

The portraits of the first kings were quite Hellenic, indicating the presence of Greek engravers at Istakhr and orientation of policy towards the Seleukids. The first fratadara, Bagadates, appeared around 275 BCE on Attic-standards tetradrachms wearing a Persian headdress but without the Oriental beard. The reverses show the prince enthroned with a scepter like a European ruler or European god; his local coinage, drachmas(the principal silver coinage of Ancient Greece) and obols(a silver coin of Ancient Greece, the sixth part of drachma) has an Iranian fire temple. The reverse has an engraved symbol almost certainly of the labarum before a Iranian fire temple over which floats the old symbol of Ahura Mazdah.[14]

It is important to look at other regions in the Persian empire that were non-Persian and have an understanding of why this once rich and powerful region handed the Empire over to the Greeks and Macedonians with no major resistance.

There was no evidence of Oriental religious resistance to Hellenism in the non-Iranian parts of ancient Iran. None of the important parts of it, Parthia, Baktria or Media resented the Macedonian occupation to such a degree that people resorted to active propaganda. The only major conflict that existed was the rivalry of the Hellenes and Iranians over economic and strategic advantage. There was no feeling of intense cultural rivalry at all, and no resort to religious propaganda. In each of those threat areas, local circumstances made the specific attitude towards the European vary. Each had its own unique cultural tradition. Therefore, when confronted by the exact variant of Hellenism, each responded in an individual way. All three accepted Hellenism better than the Iranians did. None of them had, like Iran, an immediate memory of world rule. Only Media had ever been the seat of eastern empire, and that not since 559 B.C, Both Parthia and Baktria had always been subject and tributary Iranian provinces of either Median or Persian empire. Hence, if the victories of Alexander were in one sense a conquest, in another they were a liberation.

The Parthian dynasty ruled in a state in which there was no cultural unity, such as was to be found in Iran or Egypt. Waves of migration into central Iran had effectively prevented any such unity. The historic Parthians themselves were part of a nomadic, barbarous horde called Dahai by Greek writers. The Parthians were never connected with the Achaemenid Empire.

The Parthian royal court included Greek elements. The titles philos, “friend,” and suggenes, “Kinsman,” were used by Macedonians. Furthermore, love of Hellenism was consciously and overtly advertised by the dynastic coinage. The term philhellenos (friend or supporter of the Greeks) makes its first appearance under Mithradates I around 140 BCE Since this king did a great deal to diminish the area of Seleukid control in Western Iran and eastern Mesopotamia, his propaganda can not be taken at full face value. Nonetheless, the use of the term itself means that the Parthians did not undertake a campaigning of anti-Hellenic propaganda as the Iranians did.

The Greek language also held its own in Parthian Mesopotamia. Greek methods of finance, Greek law, Greek culture in general continued to flourish in Parthian controlled cities, both in Doura in northwestern Mesopotamia and at Avroman in Kurdistan. Greeks still held honored positions in Babylonia and western Iran and so did the Hellenized Iranian.

The positions of the Parthian kings in respect to the religious of Iran is incompletely known. They were neither magians nor Zoroastrians. They had themselves buried, practiced blood sacrifice, and supported the rise of Anahita to a more prominent place in the pantheon which differed from the normal practices of other groups.[15]

A peculiar set of circumstances influenced the relationship that existed between Baktrian and Macedonian. As with the Parthians, there is no evidence for an anti-Hellenic movement. Indeed, scholars have been in general agreement that of all parts of Iran, Baktria was the most willing to cooperate with the Greco-Macedonian regime.

The occupation of Baktria-Sogdiana by the Greeks, while it represented a victory for non-Iranian forces, was more a change of master than an eclipse of empire. Alexander not only married Baktrian Roxane, he also destroyed a settlement of Iranians at Kyra, established by Cyrus as a garrison to consolidate his conquest. Diodorus says plainly that the Macedonian regime at Satrap Stasanor was popular locally because of his consideration for local interests. Hellenic penetration of Baktria, furthermore, was very slight. The settlement of the Europeans in northeastern Iran was on a very small scale, and the cities that Alexander founded were heavily populated with Baktrians. Thus, there was no threat of economic, social or cultural upheaval, such as occurred in Hellenistic Palestine.

Baktria, was a region in which Hellenism, in diluted form, and Iranian made common cause and found common unity. The unity survived until it was submerged by the invasion of Sakan nomads around 128 BCE, which brought an end to the Greco-Baktrian state.[16]

Media, on the other hand, reacted uniquely against the Greeks. She was both hostile and docile. Part of the country surrendered to Hellenism; the other eventually rebelled and established its independence. Media in 334 BCE was a province of Darius III. Media, however, had once held the hegemony of the East. Her imperial dynasty had been ousted by Cyrus the Great and Media was made into a province of his empire. Twice the Medes staged obstinate revolts against the Achaemenids. Both times the revolts were put down. The attitudes of different members of the Median gentry towards the Empire were thus divided: some were imperial and some were patriotic. The history of Media in the Macedonian period resembled the history of Media in the Achaemenid period in that the loyalty of the country towards the central government was divided.

Looking at the non-Iranian parts of Iran shows that in these areas, the lack of a tradition of world rule, the lack of cultural uniformity in some parts, and a dependence on the Greeks in one way or another, either as military allies against some kind of alien domination or as technical experts, made opposition to Hellenism unnecessary or undesirable.[17]

The western Asians lived in the region where Mesopotamian culture or a form of it predominated. This area included Babylonia, as well as Elam to the east, Syria to the west and Kilikia to the northwest. When Alexander overran it, religious resistance to foreign occupation was a weapon already familiar to the Babylonians as a result of their having been earlier conquered by the Iranians. The victory of Cyrus the Great in 538 BCE had finished Babylonia’s world power. To the Babylonians of the period, then, the victory of the Iranians under Cyrus was in theory the victory of Ahura Mazdah over Marduk, a victory made almost total by Xerxes’ deportation of of the rebellious god of Babylon.

From the middle of the fifth century many Iranians settled in Babylon, held extensive tracts of land, and occupied positions in local government. This large and influential colony must have had a good deal to do with the continuing tranquility of the province. The Iranians did not attempt a complete restoration of the city or of damaged E-Sagila, so that when the Macedonians entered Babylon the ruins that Xerxes had made could still be seen. The ruins served not only as a reminder of the strength of the Iranians, but also a continuing source of anti-Iranian feelings.

The Babylonians remained generally passive under the Hellenic regime, although they did continue to tell stories about an heroic age, and protested feebly against what they considered wrong. While it was true that the Babylonians had reason to rejoice over the end of the Iranian rule, still, more than any other of the great people of the ancient near East, they regarded Alexander’s coming as a good in itself, and gave the least trouble to the conquerors.

In comparison with the Iranians the Babylonian propaganda was much less vigorous and aggressive. The Iranians looked forward to the destruction of the Greeks, and optimistically believed that after they had been destroyed and rule of the East had been restored to them, the world would be a much pleasanter place. This degree of hate is not apparent among Babylonians. The survey of Western Asia had showed that in the third century and in the first years of the second there was only the slightest resistance to Hellenism, and that was almost entirely in the old imperial capital of Babylon.[18]

In summary what effects the Iranian propaganda had in the whole Hellenistic period are hard to assess. In Iran, itself, it did not lead to a grand revolt against the full tide of Hellenism. But it likely had something to do with the gradual third century break with the Seleucids. Archaeological and numismatic evidence are showing that Iran remained essentially Iranian as stated earlier. While Hellenism is apparent here and there in matters of detail, nonetheless the Iranian element remained essentially heavily predominant and Hellenism made no great impression. After five centuries of struggle, in Iran the Persians created the strongly nationalist Sasanian Persian Empire (226-651 CE), consciously trying to continue Achaemenid Persian traditions. The resistance with no doubt served to help keep alive native traditions, and by opposing Hellenism it helped to keep it from deeply touching Iranian life. The Macedonians except in Bactria, never succeeded in persuading the Iranians to cooperate with them. And in the East as a whole, the propaganda made no impression which has left traces in the religious beliefs of others. And also the Hellenism in the East itself eventually faltered and died, overcome by a revival of the Orient. But it should be noted that the traditional culture of Babylonians died earlier on its own native ground. Their wish to retreat into the past was unavailing, for there is always the present to live in and the future to be prepared for.

***

Ancient Macedonians The expansion of the Macedonian kingdom has been described as a three-staged process. As a “frontier” kingdom on the border of the Greek world with “Barbarian” Europe, the Macedonians first subjugated their immediate neighbours to the north (various Illyrian and Thracian tribes) before turning against the states of southern and central Greece. Macedonia was then able to lead a largely Hellenic military force against their primary objective – the conquest of Persia – which they achieved with remarkable ease….

Conflict was a historical reality in the early Macedonian kingdom and pastoralist traditions allowed the potential for population mobility (Greek archaeologists have found that some of the passes linking the Macedonian highlands with the valley regions have been used for thousands of years). However, the archaeological evidence does not point to any significant disruptions between the Iron Age and Hellenistic periods in Macedonia. The general continuity of material culture,[43] settlement sites,[44] and pre-Greek onomasticon[45] mitigate against the traditional “ethnic cleansing” account of early Macedonian expansion.

The process of state formation in Macedonia was in many ways analogous to its neighbours in Epirus, Illyria, Thrace, and Thessaly, whereby regional elites could mobilize disparate communities for the purpose of organizing land and resources. Local notables were often based in urban-like settlements, although contemporary historians often did not recognize them as poleis (because they were not self-ruled but under the rule of a “King”).[46] From the mid-6th century, there appears a series of exceptionally rich burials throughout the region – in Trebenista, Vergina, Sindos, Agia Paraskevi, Pella-Archontiko, Aiani, Gevgelija, Amphipolis – sharing a similar burial rite and grave accompaniments, interpreted to represent the rise of a new regional ruling class sharing a common ideology, customs and even religious beliefs.[40] A common geography, mode of existence, and defensive interests might have necessitated the creation of a political confederacy amongst otherwise ethno-linguistically diverse communities; which led to the consolidation of a new, “Macedonian”, ethnic identity.[40][47]

Religion
Ancient Dion was a center of the worship of Zeus and the most important spiritual sanctuary of the Ancient Macedonians.
Entrance to the tomb of King Philip II (r. 359–336 BC).
The ancient Macedonians worshipped the Olympic Pantheon, especially Zeus, Artemis, Heracles, and Dionysus. Evidence of this worship is attested from the beginning of the 4th century BC onwards, as there exists little evidence regarding Macedonian religious practices from earlier times.[79] From an early period, Zeus was the single most important deity in the Macedonian pantheon.[79] Macedon, the mythical ancestor of the Macedonians, was held to be a son of Zeus, and Zeus features prominently in Macedonian coinage.[79] The most important center of worship of Zeus was at Dion in Pieria, the spiritual center of the Macedonians, where beginning in 400 BC King Archelaus established an annual festival, which, in honor of Zeus, featured lavish sacrifices and athletic contests.[79] Worship of Zeus’s son Heracles was also prominent, with coins featuring Heracles appear from the 5th century BC onwards.[79] This was in large part because the Argead kings of Macedon traced their lineage to Heracles, making sacrifices to him in the Macedonian capitals of Vergina and Pella.[79] Numerous votive reliefs and dedications also attest to the importance of the worship of Artemis.[80] Artemis was often depicted as a huntress and served as a tutelary goddess for young girls entering the coming-of-age process, much as Heracles Cynagidas (Hunter) did for young men who had completed it.[80] By contrast, some deities popular elsewhere in the Greek world, notably Poseidon and Hephaistos, were largely ignored by the Macedonians.[79]

Other deities worshipped by the ancient Macedonians were part of a local pantheon: Thaulos (god of war equated with Ares), Gyga (later equated with Athena), Gozoria (goddess of hunting equated with Artemis), Zeirene (goddess of love equated with Aphrodite), Xandos (god of light), Totoës (god of sleep), Darron (god of healing), Aretos (local version of Heracles), Bedu (from Edessa, god of water or air), the Echédorides (nymphs), the Arantides (possibly the Furies), the Sauadai (water spirits or demons identified with the Satyrs), Pasikraia (a goddess attested in Macedonia and Thessaly), and Sabazius-Dionysus (a Thracian god).[81] A notable influence on Macedonian religious life and worship was neighboring Thessaly: the two regions shared many similar cultural institutions.[82] The Macedonians also worshiped non-Greek gods, such as the “Thracian rider”, Orpheus and Bendis, and other Balkan cult figures. They were tolerant of, and open to incorporating, foreign religious influences, such as the sun-cult worship of the Paeonians.[3] By the 4th century BC, there had been a significant fusion of Macedonian and common Greek religious identity,[83] but Macedonia was nevertheless characterized by an unusually diverse religious life.[3] This diversity extended even to the belief in magic, as attested by curse tablets. It was a not an insignificant, but secret aspect of Greek cultural practice.[84]

A notable feature of Macedonian culture was the ostentatious burials reserved for its rulers.[85] The Macedonian elite chose to construct lavish tombs at time of death rather than construct temples during life.[85] Such traditions had been practiced throughout Greece and the central-west Balkans since the Bronze Age, and Macedonian burials contain items similar to those at Mycenae (burial with weapons, gold “death masks”, etc.).[86] From the 6th century, Macedonian burials became particularly lavish, displaying a rich variety of Greek imports, reflecting the incorporation of Macedonia into a wider economic and political network centred on the Aegean city-states. Burials contained a repertoire of jewellery and ornaments of unprecedented wealth and artistic style. This zenith of Macedonian “warrior burial” style drew close parallels with sites in south-central Illyria and western Thrace, creating a koinon of elite burials.[87] Lavish warrior burials had been discontinued in southern and central Greece from the 7th century onwards, where offerings at sanctuaries and the erection of temples instead became the norm.[88] From the 6th century BC, cremation replaced the traditional inhumation rite for elite Macedonians.[40]

***

The Cambridge History of Iran argues for considerably greater influence than allowed above…judging from the fully-developed Greco-Iranian art in all of the Hellenized lands and at Iranian courts of Persian, Mesopotamia and Anatolia. Later Parthian and especially the glass centers and Sassanian art forms from northern Mesopotamia (Tell Mahuz) and north-west Iran and out of Susa, also overtook Greco-Iranian art forms and eventually reached the Shosoin treasure house in Japan (see p. 1105).

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Y-Haplogroups (from iGenea website)

Macedonia
I2A – 39%, E1B1B – 26%, RIA – 20%, J2 – 15%, RIB – 10%

Macedonia:
30%macedonian
10% illyrian
15% hellenen
5%phoenician
20% germanic
5% hunnen
15% slavs

Greece:

10% Germanic
10%illyrians
20% slavs
20% phoenician
5% macedonian (in north more than 18%)
35% Hellenen

Albania:
30% Illyrians
15% Phoenician
14% Hellenen
18%Thraker
2% Vikings
20% slavs
Bulgaria:

49%Thraker
11%macedonian
15%slavs
15%hellenen
5% phoenician

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Greece enjoyed a period of peace and prosperity during Alexander’s campaign in Asia.[108] Alexander sent back vast sums from his conquest, which stimulated the economy and increased trade across his empire.[109] However, Alexander’s constant demands for troops and the migration of Macedonians throughout his empire depleted Macedon’s manpower, greatly weakening it in the years after Alexander, and ultimately led to its subjugation by Rome.[14]

Indian campaign

Main article: Alexander’s Indian campaign
Invasion of the Indian subcontinent
The phalanx attacking the centre in the battle of the Hydaspes by Andre Castaigne (1898–1899)
After the death of Spitamenes and his marriage to Roxana (Roshanak in Bactrian) to cement relations with his new satrapies, Alexander turned to the Indian subcontinent. He invited the chieftains of the former satrapy of Gandhara, in the north of what is now Pakistan, to come to him and submit to his authority. Omphis, ruler of Taxila, whose kingdom extended from the Indus to the Hydaspes, complied, but the chieftains of some hill clans, including the Aspasioi and Assakenoi sections of the Kambojas (known in Indian texts also as Ashvayanas and Ashvakayanas), refused to submit.[110]

In the winter of 327/326 BC, Alexander personally led a campaign against these clans; the Aspasioi of Kunar valleys, the Guraeans of the Guraeus valley, and the Assakenoi of the Swat and Buner valleys.[111] A fierce contest ensued with the Aspasioi in which Alexander was wounded in the shoulder by a dart, but eventually the Aspasioi lost. Alexander then faced the Assakenoi, who fought in the strongholds of Massaga, Ora and Aornos.[110]

The fort of Massaga was reduced only after days of bloody fighting, in which Alexander was wounded seriously in the ankle. According to Curtius, “Not only did Alexander slaughter the entire population of Massaga, but also did he reduce its buildings to rubble”.[112] A similar slaughter followed at Ora. In the aftermath of Massaga and Ora, numerous Assakenians fled to the fortress of Aornos. Alexander followed close behind and captured the strategic hill-fort after four bloody days.[110]

After Aornos, Alexander crossed the Indus and fought and won an epic battle against King Porus, who ruled a region in the Punjab, in the Battle of the Hydaspes in 326 BC.[113] Alexander was impressed by Porus’s bravery, and made him an ally. He appointed Porus as satrap, and added to Porus’ territory land that he did not previously own. Choosing a local helped him control these lands so distant from Greece.[114] Alexander founded two cities on opposite sides of the Hydaspes river, naming one Bucephala, in honor of his horse, who died around this time.[115] The other was Nicaea (Victory) located at the site of modern day Mong, Punjab.[116]

Alexander’s army mutinied at the Hyphasis River, refusing to march farther east. This river thus marks the easternmost extent of Alexander’s conquests.[117]

As for the Macedonians, however, their struggle with Porus blunted their courage and stayed their further advance into India. For having had all they could do to repulse an enemy who mustered only twenty thousand infantry and two thousand horse, they violently opposed Alexander when he insisted on crossing the river Ganges also, the width of which, as they learned, was thirty-two furlongs, its depth a hundred fathoms, while its banks on the further side were covered with multitudes of men-at-arms and horsemen and elephants. For they were told that the kings of the Ganderites and Praesii were awaiting them with eighty thousand horsemen, two hundred thousand footmen, eight thousand chariots, and six thousand war elephants.[118]
Alexander tried to persuade his soldiers to march farther, but his general Coenus pleaded with him to change his opinion and return; the men, he said, “longed to again see their parents, their wives and children, their homeland”. Alexander eventually agreed and turned south, marching along the Indus. Along the way his army conquered the Malli clans (in modern day Multan) and other Indian tribes.[119]

Alexander sent much of his army to Carmania (modern southern Iran) with general Craterus, and commissioned a fleet to explore the Persian Gulf shore under his admiral Nearchus, while he led the rest back to Persia through the more difficult southern route along the Gedrosian Desert and Makran (now part of southern Iran and Pakistan).[120] Alexander reached Susa in 324 BC, but not before losing many men to the harsh desert.[121]

Discovering that many of his satraps and military governors had misbehaved in his absence, Alexander executed several of them as examples on his way to Susa.[122][123] As a gesture of thanks, he paid off the debts of his soldiers, and announced that he would send over-aged and disabled veterans back to Macedon, led by Craterus. His troops misunderstood his intention and mutinied at the town of Opis. They refused to be sent away and criticized his adoption of Persian customs and dress and the introduction of Persian officers and soldiers into Macedonian units.[124]

After three days, unable to persuade his men to back down, Alexander gave Persians command posts in the army and conferred Macedonian military titles upon Persian units. The Macedonians quickly begged forgiveness, which Alexander accepted, and held a great banquet for several thousand of his men at which he and they ate together.[125] In an attempt to craft a lasting harmony between his Macedonian and Persian subjects, Alexander held a mass marriage of his senior officers to Persian and other noblewomen at Susa, but few of those marriages seem to have lasted much beyond a year.[123] Meanwhile, upon his return, Alexander learned that guards of the tomb of Cyrus the Great had desecrated it, and swiftly executed them.[126]

After Alexander traveled to Ecbatana to retrieve the bulk of the Persian treasure, his closest friend and possible lover, Hephaestion, died of illness or poisoning.[127][128] Hephaestion’s death devastated Alexander, and he ordered the preparation of an expensive funeral pyre in Babylon, as well as a decree for public mourning.[127] Back in Babylon, Alexander planned a series of new campaigns, beginning with an invasion of Arabia, but he would not have a chance to realize them, as he died shortly thereafter.

File:AlexanderConquestsInIndia.jpg

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Kalashians said to be proud of their Yunan [Greek Ionian] roots from Alexander the Great the great Macedon from Yunanistan [Greece].  Kalashians from Pakistan were conquered by Alexander the Great, show Hellenistic cultural traits, believe they are descendants of YUNAN, ISKENDER FROM MACEDONIA [Alexander the Great the GREEK FROM MACEDONIA] See article below:

The Ancient Greeks in Afghanistan and Their Probable Descendants Today in Nuristan, Afghanistan and in the Kalash People, Pakistan

Ecclectica

By Michael Issigonis

Today, the region called Nuristan is one in a chain of ethnic refuge areas along the Hindu Kush, or the Indian Caucasus, named as such by Alexander the Great, located in northeast Afghanistan.

This is the home of a unique group of mixed European-Indian tribal peoples now called Nuristanis, people of the only Afghanistan province to have resisted Islam for centuries. The British established the “Durand Line” in 1893, a boundary creating the new countries of the British Protectorate (India) and Afghanistan. Nuristan was originally meant to be included in India.

When the Islamic rulers declared war on the Nuristanis, the British provided all necessary weapons to the Afghan army, thus contributing to the annihilation of Nuristanis and their subsequent forced conversion to Islam.

The male survivors were taken as prisoners to Kabul, a city whose ancient Greek name was Kofin, meaning the place were bees accumulate, or the place of honey, or a place rich in food supplies. Here, the men were forced to join the army. The women that survived were taken into the harems.1

After the occupying armies left, the more isolated Nuristanis reverted to their old religions and customs because they did not find in their invaders’ qualities worth imitating.

The other Nuristanis who submitted to Islam are such devout Moslems that they were the first citizens of the country to successfully revolt against the Soviet occupation. It is unknown how many of them have joined the Taliban.

Alexander the Great

The expedition of Alexander the Great (327-325 B.C.) into what is now Afghanistan has been well documented. He laid the foundations of many cities, some bearing his own name. With the passage of time, some names were changed by newcomers to the area who could not pronounce Greek names. In this way, Kandahar is Alexander’s name, Herat is Alexandria Areion, and Ganzhni is Alexandria Gazhaka, among others.

However, Alexander was not the first Greek coming to India. Legends hold that Dionysos, the god of wine, led an expedition into India several thousand years earlier. He and his companions were so amazed at the size of the then unnamed Indus river that he named it the Son of God (In-Dios). He established a settlement at Nyssa (Jalalabad) where he found Mediterranean plants growing such as ivy and grapes, possibly the only place in Asia where these plants grow. According to legends, Dionysus and his companions continued the journey eastwards and it is possible they reached the Yunnan province in China.

In Yunnan today the numerous minorities who are unlike the Chinese in appearance have preserved religion and customs, including wine-making, similar to the customs of the ancient Greeks.2

Indo-Greek Kingdoms

After Alexander, several Greek Kingdoms were created covering most of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and parts of India that lasted for 3 centuries. The inhabitants were called Indo-Greeks. Only one ancient city has been excavated so far and it lies on the shores of the Amu Darya River. The city exhibits temples, a gymnasium, a palace, numerous buildings, and a huge theatre sculpted on the side of a hill with a superb view of the river valley and the tall mountains of what is now Tajikistan across.

These kingdoms ventured into India and expanded as far as the eastern parts of the Indian peninsula. Place names are still preserved today.

However, the legacy of these kingdoms outlasted the kings in culture and art that are still admired.

Greek techniques of stone and metalworking began to be used in India, Greek coins began to appear in the bazaars, and settlements of Greek type were found as urban islands in the sea of Indian native villages. The most important example of Greek influence in India is the upsurge of Buddhist art in Gandhara during the early Christian era, since called the Gandhara Art. This Greco-Indian school of art played a catalytic role in the development of Asian art. By creating the image of Buddha with the features of Apollo and wearing an ancient Greek tunic, the artists established an art religious in its meaning, but naturalistic and humanistic in its forms.

Examples can be admired today in the museums of Taxila, Peshawar, Swat, and Lahore, in the giant Buddha statues that were recently blown apart by the Taliban without a vigorous opposition from the civilized world.

One important piece of ancient art that is still “alive” today is the amazing over-abundance of coins of the Indo-Greek kings which are continually being unearthed by Afghan farmers and provide sometimes their only source of income after they are sold in the bazaars of Pakistan. These coins represent some of the finest coin-making of all time. They depict the kings on one side with some ancient Greek god or goddess on the other.

The abundance of gold supplies from Central Asia for several centuries before the arrival of the Greeks resulted in the minting of numerous coins as well as some enormous coins. In Afghanistan, one can find the largest gold and the largest silver coins ever minted. The silver coins had a diameter of 65 mm.! In some of the coins they incorporated nickel with a technique only known to the Chinese at that time.

Precious Stones

Northeastern Afghanistan has been a supplier of precious stones since at least 5,000 B.C., and its ancient name was simply ” the vault” or Valaskia. The precious cargo was making its way through the so-called “Silk Route” to ancient Persia, Greece, and Rome, and later to the Byzantines, Europeans and now mostly to the Americans. In fact, the name Kalash is the ancient Greek name for lapis lazuli, possibly the only place on earth where it exists in abundance. The area is also rich in emeralds, rubies, spinel and others that provide a substantial share of the world production even during years of war, when the income from these stones becomes essential for the survival of the Afghan people.

The Kalash People

The Kalash people of northwestern Pakistan are unique in their customs and religion. Although surrounded by Moslems in all directions (Pakistan is essentially a Moslem state), they believe in ancient Greek gods and goddessess such as Zeus, Aphrodite, Hestia, and Apollo. Their language is principally a mixture of Sanskrit and Greek. They grow grapes and make wine (an illegal action in an Islamic country) and their diet is rich in fruits, vegetables and nuts. Unlike their neighbors who sit on the ground, they use stools and chairs and their carpentry is decorated with Macedonian stars and “suns”.

The Kalash people are virtually the only tourist attraction in Pakistan. However, the Kalash do not depend on tourism for survival; it is quite the opposite. The building of infrastructure to accommodate all those tourist “invaders” has brought an unprecedented pollution that the Kalash did not have to face during the 2000 years of isolation.

Recently, a group of Greek teachers have been raising money and spending their summer vacations among the Kalash for the last 7 years in an attempt to improve their standard of living. Some of the projects that the teacher volunteers have accomplished include the following: a primary school at an elevation of some 3 km, which is regarded the largest primary school building in Pakistan; water pipes for the supply of running water; a house for new mothers; landscaping and providing resource materials and pharmaceutical supplies. In this way the volunteers have contributed immensely to the preservation of the Kalash.

In the 19th century the British officers and scholars in India kept a romantic belief that, like the lost tribes of Israel, also a lost tribe of Europe of Alexander’s Greeks may have survived somewhere in Afghanistan. The popular movie entitled “The Man Who Would Be King” starring Sean Connery was based upon that legend.

Other Greek Influences

Other remnants of the ancient Greek influence in the area are the characteristic “double-hat” or kausia, the ancient Macedonian hat, the Macedonian cloak or sari as worn by most women today and the polo on horseback, Pakistan’s national sport. It was practiced by the Macedonian troops in the days of Alexander due to an unusual “present” given to Alexander by the great Persian king Darius.

When Alexander invaded the outlining areas of the Persian Empire and demanded taxes from Darius, the king refused, so Alexander threatened to invade. The king then sent him a bat with a ball so that the young Alexander can play ! “Those would be more appropriate to a novice than the arms of battle,” thought the King. Alexander replied : “The ball is the Earth and I am the bat”. A year later, Darius lost the battle and he was dead the following year.

Endnotes

1 The spread of Islam in Asia Minor and southeastern Europe from about 1,000 A.D. to the beginning of the 20th century had similar effects on the millions of its inhabitants : genocide with torture and slavery for the survivors. This became effective because the attackers had secured the help of the “superpowers” at the time who were gaining commercial benefits while assisting the spread of Islam. The recent adventure in Afghanistan will probably turn out to have different effects than the “official” aim of the operation. [back]

2 The name Yunnan simply means Greek or Ionians, the ancient tribe that migrated eastwards for reasons of trade. The inhabitants of countries east of Greece refer to the country as Yunan or Yunnan. On the other hand, to the west all countries refer to the country as Greece. The ancient Romans introduced this name when they came into contact with “Greek” colonists from a place called Grea. However, the “Greeks” call themselves Hellenes, from the country Hellas

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Macedonians in Afghanistan, aka “NURISTANS”. The people of northern Afghanistan known as Nuristans claim to be descendants of Greek Macedonians. When Alexander the Great conquered this ancient region, he left Greek Macedonian garrisons to govern, they never returned, but mingled with natives & from them are descended the Nuristans of today. They still practice their Greek traditions.

According the the Library of Congress, Kyrgyz history dates back to 201 B.C., about a century and a quarter after Alexander the Great failed to conquer a group of Scythians to the west of the modern Kyrgyz Republic. Scythians also lived in the area of modern Kyrgyzstan from about 1000 B.C. Kyrgyzstan is located in central Asia to the west of China and south of Kazakhstan. The people are believed to be a nomadic people of Turkish descent from the northeastern area of modern Mongolia. They are among those against whom the Chinese built the Great Wall in the third century B.C.

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Kalasha by Muhammad Kashif Ali, 21 December 2011 (Creative Commons license) excerpted below:

“The history of Kalasha is disputed. Today many hypothesises appear about the origin of the Kalasha tribe of Chitral. Until now two major hypothesises have been strongly developed about the origin of the Kalasha: Indo-Aryan origin and Greek origin. The hypothesis of Indo-Aryan origin is supported by George Morgenstierne, R.C.F. Schomberg Karl Jettmar and Peter Parkes. While other hypothesis give the impression that the Kalasha are relatively recent newcomers or Greeks in origin. This hypothesis was formulated by H. Siiger and is supported by two French anthropologists, Jeans Yves Loude and Viviane Lievre.

Captain John Wood wrote a book A Personal Narrative of a Journey to the Source of the River Oxus by the Route of the Indus, Kabul and Badakhshan, published in 1841. Captain Wood, although, did not visit the Kafiristan (land of Kafirs) but he collected valuable information of the region; ethnicity and society. He hardly believed that the Kafirs people are European breed. He puts a new idea that the Kafirs people had linkage with the Tajiks of Badakhshan.

Saifullah Jan, a Kalasha spokesman, revealed the tradition of the Kalasha history that the first homeland of the Kalasha people was Tsyam (and no one knows where is this Tsyam on the globe) where from their forefather Shalak Shah came to Chitral with an army. At Chitral four sons were born to Shalak Shah. He had divided Chitral among his four sons. There is a historical gap regarding what happened after Shalak Shah, no body knows.

In recent times DNA tests were made to examine the Greek origin of the Kalasha. The Pakistani genetic scientist Dr. Qasim Ayub concluded through the DNA tests the Kalasha people do not have Greek origin. However they believed that the Kalasha belong to the Aryan stock. Now, “there is a consensus today that they are of the Indo-Aryan stock having migrated to Afghanistan maybe a couple of thousand years back.”

“Most anthropologists consider the Kalasha religion to be polytheistic, because it has many deities.” Their major deities are:

Sajigor
Mahandeo
Balumain
Dezalik
Ingaw
Jestak
There are two types of religious events in Kalasha society. The first kind may be considered as having a religious ceremony as well as festivities while other events are only religious in nature, without dancing and singing. The Kalasha observe many festivals in a year, their major festivals are:

Joshi, celebrated in May to welcome the spring
Uchaw, observed in late August to ensure good crops of wheat
Pul/Poh, observed September, only in the Birir Valley
Chaumos, observed in December for more than two weeks, it is the grand festival of the Kalasha tribe and it is celebrated to welcome New Year”

The most prevalent Mitochondrial Haplogroup in the Kalash people is U4 “The Kalash (Urdu: کیلاش ;Nuristani: Kasivo) or Kalasha, are an ethnic group of the Hindu Kush mountain range, residing in the Chitral district of the North-West Frontier Province of Pakistan. They speak the Kalash language, a member of the Dardic family of Indo-Aryan Languages.” (Source: U4 Halogroup) (Mekel-Bobrov N, Gilbert SL, Evans PD, et al (September 2005).  In a 2005 study of ASPM gene variants, Mekel-Bobrov et al. found that the Kalash people of Pakistan have among the highest rate of the newly-evolved ASPM haplogroup D, at 60% occurrence of the approximately 6,000-year-old allele Source: “Ongoing adaptive evolution of ASPM, a brain size determinant in Homo sapiens”. Science 309 (5741): 1720–2. doi:10.1126/science.1116815. PMID 16151010. )

The Y-DNA of the Kalash people leads the pack of haplogroup D bearers – closest to the Yi peoples. The term Yi (Nuoso in one of their languages, Lolo in Vietnam and Thailand) is a catchall term from Chinese ethnography to refer to an array of Tibeto-Burman-speaking peoples from Yunnan and nearby areas. The close affinity between Tibetans and Yi in the context of East Asian populations is apparent when we apply the microscope, so to say, to the NJ tree (source: Tibetans are most related to Yi peoples 

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Were there Greeks who made it to Yunnan, Western China?

In Arabic, Greece is al-yu:na:n ; “Yunanistan” was once regarded as a solecism, late Ottoman lexicographers point out that “Yunan” is already a place name — the Turkish word for “Greek” (for Greeks of Greece rather than those of Turkey and Cyprus, and usually that of the Levant, who are called, in official parlance as well, Rum, i.e. “Roman”) is Yunan not Yunanistan.
A circular by the semi-official turkish language institute suggested it be changed “yunanistan, but its suggestions have no t been popular)  That was intended to underline the fact that there are non-Greek minorities in Greece (copied from the word “TUrkiyeli” instead of at least the way I read it, the claim was that “YunanistanlI” was more grammatical.
“YunanistanlI” is used by my pre-circular dictionary in the manner you describe: “YunanistanlI TUrkler” (Turks of (or from) Greece).
: “TUrk”, usage that the same circular makers strongly objected to). But : then, of course, any mention of ethnic Greeks as opposed to ethnic : non-Greeks, in Greece too, would properly use the word Rum anyway.
Rum is defined as “Greeks (“Yunan”) living in Muslim countries” (well, they feel Cyprus qualifies).
Yunan is also used for “Greek” but more commonly for the body politic or commonality of Greeks. as in Yunan felsefesi “greek philosophy” in arabic too, al-yu:na:n also means “the Greeks” (in general) a single greek (masc.) is yu:na:niyy and the plural (countable number) is yu:na:niyyu:n(a) (masc.)

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Lost China City Linked To Alexander
November 21, 1993|By Uli Schmetzer, Tribune Staff Writer

BEIJING — Among the sand dunes and the ruins of once flourishing oases on China’s legendary Silk Road archeologists have dug up an ancient city that may have been inhabited by dropouts from Alexander the Great’s army.

The rediscovery of the mysterious city of Niya came 90 years after British explorer Sir Aurel Stein was led by villagers to its remains in 1903 and, according to the official New China news agency, “pillaged Greek-style furniture and ancient documents written in the long-dead Kharoshthi language.”

A joint Sino-Japanese expedition found the ruins after trekking by camel for months through the southern end of the Taklamakan desert in China’s Far West. The discovery ended a 10-year search for the site.

The city may help anthropologists solve the puzzle of the fair-haired, green-eyed Central Asians who still live in the region. It could be equal in importance to the discovery of Pompeii, the Roman city buried by the erruption of Mt. Vesuvius in A.D. 79.

Japanese and Chinese leaders of the expedition said they found the remains of old Greek-style homes. A 240-foot-long city wall and a 19-foot-high Buddhist stupa, or monument, still stood above the sand dunes. Grape trellises and desiccated fruit trees have been preserved by the desert climate 1,500 years after Niya residents mysteriously vanished.

Eight mummies wearing wool or silk clothes were found. Around the bodies, probably bared by the desert storms, the expedition found coins, bronze mirrors, knives, rings and pearls. In a handbag under the skirt of a female was a wooden comb with a strand of blond hair.

Expedition members quoted by the news agency said the high noses, narrow faces, long heads and blond or brown hair of the mummies indicated they were of Indo-European ancestry. The original inhabitants “could have come here during the military campaigns waged by the Macedonian king Alexander the Great in the 4th Century B.C.,” an expedition member told the agency.

Han Xiang, the head of the Chinese team, speculated that a sudden disaster, man-made or ecological, abruptly ended a civilization that flourished at the foot of the snowy Kunlun mountains.

The Kharoshthi writings, all issued like edicts, puzzle scholars. The writings came from the Greek-dominated Kushan Empire, which includes modern Pakistan and Afghanistan and whose migrating people brought both their written language and Buddhism to the Taklamakan desert between 300 B.C. and A.D. 500.

About 30 wooden tablets inscribed in Kharoshthi were found inside a buried pottery jar.

Known as the Kingdom of Jingjue, the city was the jewel among the oasis states whose people carved out a paradise from the desert protected by gates and walls. Water drawn from wells or underground streams provided gardens and ponds.

Xuanzang, a Buddhist monk who traveled the region during the Tang Dynasty (618-906 A.D.) described in his book “Journey to the West” how the routes between the oasis states were dotted with Buddhist monasteries and stupas. Today the region is mainly inhabited by Turkic peoples, Muslims who periodically demand a state independent of Beijing.

The ruins are about 400 miles southeast of the famous carpet-making town of Kashgar, one of the few oasis towns still active on the ancient Silk Road, which gradually declined after European navigators opened a sea route to the Far East.

Newspaper, Reading Eagle Nov-19-1993 p6:
Members of the joint Chinese-Japanese team believe Niya was been inhabited by Ancient Greeks.
Potions of the city walls, houses & grape trellises still stand and the archaeologists found iron axes & sickles, wooden clubs, pottery urns and jars in the homes, coins bronze mirrors, rings and other possesions, all were Greek.
All 8 mummies and skeletons that were found had blonde & brown hair,along with other Greek features. Guided by residents of nearby villages, the British archaeologist Sir Aurel Stein visited Niya in China in 1903 and removed wooden tablets with writing and other artifacts. Carvings on the tablets depicted ancient Greek Gods and the script was one used in the Greek-influnced Kushan Empire in what now is Pakistan

Chinese city of Niya was established by ancient Greeks, Aurel Stein discovered this city in 1903 and excavations in 1980
revealed greek artifacts dating several millenias old.

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More news hereArchaeologists find old lost city of Niya in China

Ancient Lost City Uncovered In China
By Uli Schmetzer
Chicago Tribune Nov 25, 1993
BEIJING – Among the sand dunes and the ruins of once flourishing oases on China’s legendary Silk Road archaeologists have dug up an ancient city that may have been inhabited by dropouts from Alexander the Great’s army.

The rediscovery of the city of Niya came 90 years after British explorer Sir Aurel Stein was led by villagers to its remains in 1903.

A joint Sino-Japanese expedition found the ruins in the Taklamakan desert in China’s Far West.

The city may help anthropologists solve the puzzle of the fair-haired, green-eyed Central Asians who still live in the region.

Japanese and Chinese leaders of the expedition said they found the remains of old Greek-style homes. A 240-foot-long city wall and a 19-foot-high Buddhist stupa, or monument, still stood above the sand dunes. Grape trellises and desiccated fruit trees have been preserved by the desert climate 1,500 years after Niya residents mysteriously vanished.

Eight mummies wearing wool or silk clothes were found, and around them were coins, bronze mirrors, knives, rings and pearls.

Expedition members said the high noses, narrow faces, long heads and blond or brown hair of the mummies indicated they were of Indo-European ancestry. The original inhabitants “could have come here during the military campaigns waged by the Macedonian king Alexander the Great in the 4th Century B.C.,” an expedition member said.

Han Xiang, the head of the Chinese team, speculated that a sudden disaster, manmade or ecological, abruptly ended a civilization that flourished at the foot of the snowy Kunlun mountains.

Copyright (c) 1993 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

:::

How Greece influenced Chinese art

Spero News, Aug 21, 2008

The Greeks’ artistic debts to the East are well documented. But less well known is how pervasively Greek art influenced India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and China.

The Greeks probably came from the east, Anatolia, in the first place – and they never ignored the other coast of the Aegean Sea, whether you believe there was a Trojan War or not.

Before the end of the 4th century BC, Alexander the Great, with his Macedonian and Greek armies, had overthrown the Persian empire, and he marched on east, through Central Asia even to India, founding new Alexandrias to add to the one he had built in Egypt.

Not all Greek soldiers wanted to go home. One group of Greeks in northern Afghanistan rebelled against Macedonian rule and made a new Greek kingdom in Bactria, on and around the River Oxus. They created what amounted to a whole new Greek state, in touch still with the homeland, building cities which compromised between the east and Greece.

These Indo-Greeks moved on south, even into northwest India, modern Pakistan, which had been becoming Buddhist. One Greek king became a Buddhist sage, and the Indo-Greeks even made one daring raid across north India to the great city of Patna, some 500 miles beyond Delhi.

Greek arts informed the Buddhist arts of the area. A clay figure of an attendant of the Buddha in east Afghanistan is to all intents a pure 4th-century Greek Herakles and only his club has been replaced – by a thunderbolt – for his new function as Vajrapani, the Buddha’s guard and attendant.

We even find a representation of the Trojan Horse entering Troy, guarded by a highly oriental version of Cassandra. And the first image of the Buddha we have is on a coin of classical type and labelled, in Greek letters, BODDO.

In the 2nd century BC, northern Afghanistan had been taken over by a nomad people, who had been moved west from the borders of China – the Yueh-chi or Ru-zhi.

Once the Chinese Han dynasty got the better of the nomads, they pressed south the Greeks on the Oxus, and the succession of the so-called Indo-Greek kings can be traced mainly through their coinage and art, from the 2nd century BC even into the 1st century AD in north India.

The relics of these Yueh-chi near the Oxus are pieces of relief gold jewellery from six burials excavated by Russian archaeologists in 1978 at the site of Tillya Tepe, which lies just south of the Oxus River in northern Afghanistan, west of the great city of Balkh (Bactra). They date somewhere just before the mid-1st century AD.

The gold and the brilliance is distracting, and I soon found it best to redraw figures from the photographs, thus forcing myself to understand each part and not make assumptions about identity and detail from a quick glance or the descriptions of others.

As time passed and the pencil drawings accumulated, the focus of interest was sometimes shifted away from being purely Greek towards even China and India.

There are interregna of Parthians here and of the Saka (Scythians), all gone by the mid-1st century AD, by which time one of the tribes of the Yueh-chi from Bactria had moved south and, at the time of our gold, were founding the Kushan dynasty. The Kushans were to rule north India (partly Pakistan now) for three centuries.

Back in the 5th century, Euripides knew of the god Dionysos’ visit to Bactria, where Greeks deported by the Persian king were living – and no doubt making wine – in an area long associated with festive agriculture and behaviour, remarked even by Indian writers in the Mahabharata. But you will find no exact parallel in Greek art for Dionysos and Ariadne sitting on a lion.

The lion has a leafy beard, a common feature introduced to Central Asian animals by Greek art – call it acanthoid – and a mane like a Greek griffin. The artist of this, or its model, was at home with the Hellenistic iconography of Dionysos and Ariadne and made a confection in keeping with his eastern home, where lion-riders are not uncommon.

:::

Insights into Population Origins (Source: Y-Chromosomal Variation in Pakistan)

The suggested population origins (table 1) can now be considered in the light of these Y results. Information is provided by haplogroup frequencies, which can be used to produce admixture estimates, and these are easy to interpret if populations are large and isolated and the source populations have different frequencies. When these conditions are not met, the presence of distinct Y lineages can still be informative. The origins of the Parsis are well-documented (Nanavutty 1997) and thus provide a useful test case. They are followers of the Iranian prophet Zoroaster, who migrated to India after the collapse of the Sassanian empire in the 7th century a.d. They settled in 900 a.d. in Gujarat, India, where they were called the “Parsi” (meaning “from Iran”). Eventually they moved to Mumbai in India and Karachi in Pakistan, from where the present population was sampled (fig. 7). Their frequencies for haplogroups 3 (8%) and 9 (39%) do indeed resemble those in Iran more than those of their current neighbors in Pakistan. They show the lowest frequency for haplogroup 3 in Pakistan (apart from the Hazaras; fig. 1C). The mean for eight Iranian populations was 14% (n=401) (Quintana-Murci et al. 2001), whereas that for Pakistan, excluding the Parsis, was 36%. The corresponding figures for haplogroup 9 were 39% in the Parsis, 40% in Iran, and 15% in Pakistan excluding the Parsis. These figures lead to an admixture estimate of 100% from Iran (table 3). Given the small effective population size of the Parsis, the closeness of their match to the Iranian data may be fortuitous, and the presence of haplogroup 28 chromosomes at 18% (4% in Iran; Wells et al. 2001) suggests some gene flow from the surrounding populations. The TMRCA for the Parsi-specific cluster in the haplogroup 28 networks was 1,800 (600–4,500) years (table 8), consistent with the migration of a small number of lineages from Iran. Overall, these results demonstrate a close match between the historical records and the Y data, and thus suggest that the Y data will be useful when less historical information is available.
Figure 7
Traditions of population origin supported by Y data. Solid arrows, movements also supported by historical data. Dashed arrows, movements also supported by oral traditions. Arrows indicate the country of origin or continent of origin (Negroid Makrani) …
The population that is genetically most distinct, the Hazaras, claims descent from Genghis Khan’s army; their name is derived from the Persian word “hazar,” meaning “thousand,” because troops were left behind in detachments of a thousand. Toward the end of the 19th century, some Hazaras moved from Afghanistan to the Khurram Valley in Pakistan, the source of the samples investigated here. Thus, their oral history identifies an origin in Mongolia and population bottlenecks ∼800 and ∼100 years ago. Of the two predominant Y haplogroups present in this population, haplogroup 1 is widespread in Pakistan, much of Asia, Europe, and the Americas, and so provides little information about the place of origin. Haplogroup 10, in contrast, is rare in most Pakistani populations (1.4%, when the Hazaras are excluded) but is common in East Asia, including Mongolia, where it makes up over half of the population (unpublished results). Admixture estimates (table 3) are consistent with a substantial contribution from Mongolia. BATWING analysis of the Hazara-specific haplotype clusters in haplogroups 1 and 10 suggested TMRCAs of 400 (120–1,200) and 100 (6–600) years (table 8), respectively. Thus, the genetic evidence is consistent with the oral tradition and, in view of its independent nature, provides strong support for it (fig. 7).

An external file that holds a picture, illustration, etc. Object name is AJHGv70p1107fg7.jpg Object name is AJHGv70p1107fg7.jpg

Traditions of population origin supported by Y data. Solid arrows, movements also supported by historical data. Dashed arrows, movements also supported by oral traditions. Arrows indicate the country of origin or continent of origin (Negroid Makrani)

Some other suggested origins receive more limited support from the Y data. The Negroid Makrani, with a postulated origin in Africa, carry the highest frequency of haplogroup 8 chromosomes found in any Pakistani population, as noted elsewhere (Qamar et al. 1999). This haplogroup is largely confined to sub-Saharan Africa, where it constitutes about half of the population (Hammer et al. 2001) and can thus be regarded as a marker of African Y chromosomes. Nevertheless, it makes up only 9% of the Negroid Makrani sample, and haplogroup 28 (along with other typical Pakistani haplogroups) is present in this population. If the Y chromosomes were initially African (fig. 7), most have subsequently been replaced: the overall estimate of the African contribution is ∼12% (table 3).

The Balti are thought to have originated in Tibet, where the predominant haplogroups are 4 and 26. Neither was present in the sample from this study, providing no support for a Tibetan origin of the Y chromosome lineages and an admixture estimate of zero (table 3). However, this result must be interpreted with caution, because of the small sample size. Three populations have possible origins from the armies of Alexander the Great: the Burusho, the Kalash, and the Pathans. Modern Greeks show a moderately high frequency of haplogroup 21 (28%; Rosser et al. 2000), but this haplogroup was not seen in either the Burusho or the Kalash sample and was found in only 2% of the Pathans, whereas the local haplogroup 28 was present at 17%, 25%, and 13%, respectively. Greek-admixture estimates of 0% were obtained for the Burusho and the Pathans, but figures of 20%–40% were observed for the Kalash (table 3). In view of the absence of haplogroup 21, we ascribe this result either to drift in the frequencies of the other haplogroups, particularly haplogroups 2 and 1, or to the poor resolution of lineages within these haplogroups, resulting in distinct lineages being classified into the same paraphyletic haplogroups. Overall, no support for a Greek origin of their Y chromosomes was found, but this conclusion does require the assumption that modern Greeks are representative of Alexander’s armies. Two populations, the Kashmiris and the Pathans, also lay claim to a possible Jewish origin. Jewish populations commonly have a moderate frequency of haplogroup 21 (e.g., 20%) and a high frequency of haplogroup 9 (e.g., 36%; (Hammer et al. 2000). The frequencies of both of these haplogroups are low in the Kashmiris and Pathans, and haplogroup 28 is present at 13% in the Pathans, so no support for a Jewish origin is found, and the admixture estimate was 0% (table 3), although, again, this conclusion is limited both by the small sample size available from Kashmir and by the assumption that the modern samples are representative of ancient populations.

The suggested origin of the Baluch is in Syria. Syrians, like Iranians, are characterized by a low frequency of haplogroup 3 and a high frequency of haplogroup 9 (9% and 57%, respectively; Hammer et al. 2000), whereas the corresponding frequencies in the Baluch are 29% and 12%. This difference and the high frequency of haplogroup 28 in the Baluch (29%) make a predominantly Syrian origin for their Y chromosome unlikely, and the admixture estimate was 0% (table 3), although the 8% frequency for haplogroup 21, the highest identified in Pakistan thus far, does indicate some western contribution to their Y lineages. The Brahuis have a possible origin in West Asia (Hughes-Buller 1991) and it has been suggested that a spread of haplogroup 9 Y chromosomes was associated with the expansion of Dravidian-speaking farmers (Quintana-Murci et al. 2001). Brahuis have the highest frequency of haplogroup 9 chromosomes in Pakistan (28%) after the Parsis, providing some support for this hypothesis, but their higher frequency of haplogroup 3 (39%) is not typical of the Fertile Crescent (Quintana-Murci et al. 2001) and suggests a more complex origin, possibly with admixture from later migrations, such as those of Indo-Iranian speakers from the steppes of Central Asia and others from further east. This possibility is supported by the detection of low frequencies of haplogroups 10, 12, and 13 in the Brahuis, all rare in Pakistan and typical of East Asia, East and northern Asia, and Southeast Asia, respectively.

The population that is genetically most distinct, the Hazaras, claims descent from Genghis Khan’s army; their name is derived from the Persian word “hazar,” meaning “thousand,” because troops were left behind in detachments of a thousand. Toward the end of the 19th century, some Hazaras moved from Afghanistan to the Khurram Valley in Pakistan, the source of the samples investigated here. Thus, their oral history identifies an origin in Mongolia and population bottlenecks ∼800 and ∼100 years ago. Of the two predominant Y haplogroups present in this population, haplogroup 1 is widespread in Pakistan, much of Asia, Europe, and the Americas, and so provides little information about the place of origin. Haplogroup 10, in contrast, is rare in most Pakistani populations (1.4%, when the Hazaras are excluded) but is common in East Asia, including Mongolia, where it makes up over half of the population (unpublished results). Admixture estimates (table 3) are consistent with a substantial contribution from Mongolia. BATWING analysis of the Hazara-specific haplotype clusters in haplogroups 1 and 10 suggested TMRCAs of 400 (120–1,200) and 100 (6–600) years (table 8), respectively. Thus, the genetic evidence is consistent with the oral tradition and, in view of its independent nature, provides strong support for it (fig. 7).

Traditions of population origin supported by Y data. Solid arrows, movements also supported by historical data. Dashed arrows, movements also supported by oral traditions. Arrows indicate the country of origin or continent of origin (Negroid Makrani)

Some other suggested origins receive more limited support from the Y data. The Negroid Makrani, with a postulated origin in Africa, carry the highest frequency of haplogroup 8 chromosomes found in any Pakistani population, as noted elsewhere (Qamar et al. 1999). This haplogroup is largely confined to sub-Saharan Africa, where it constitutes about half of the population (Hammer et al. 2001) and can thus be regarded as a marker of African Y chromosomes. Nevertheless, it makes up only 9% of the Negroid Makrani sample, and haplogroup 28 (along with other typical Pakistani haplogroups) is present in this population. If the Y chromosomes were initially African (fig. 7), most have subsequently been replaced: the overall estimate of the African contribution is ∼12% (table 3).

The Balti are thought to have originated in Tibet, where the predominant haplogroups are 4 and 26. Neither was present in the sample from this study, providing no support for a Tibetan origin of the Y chromosome lineages and an admixture estimate of zero (table 3). However, this result must be interpreted with caution, because of the small sample size. Three populations have possible origins from the armies of Alexander the Great: the Burusho, the Kalash, and the Pathans. Modern Greeks show a moderately high frequency of haplogroup 21 (28%; Rosser et al. 2000), but this haplogroup was not seen in either the Burusho or the Kalash sample and was found in only 2% of the Pathans, whereas the local haplogroup 28 was present at 17%, 25%, and 13%, respectively. Greek-admixture estimates of 0% were obtained for the Burusho and the Pathans, but figures of 20%–40% were observed for the Kalash (table 3). In view of the absence of haplogroup 21, we ascribe this result either to drift in the frequencies of the other haplogroups, particularly haplogroups 2 and 1, or to the poor resolution of lineages within these haplogroups, resulting in distinct lineages being classified into the same paraphyletic haplogroups. Overall, no support for a Greek origin of their Y chromosomes was found, but this conclusion does require the assumption that modern Greeks are representative of Alexander’s armies. Two populations, the Kashmiris and the Pathans, also lay claim to a possible Jewish origin. Jewish populations commonly have a moderate frequency of haplogroup 21 (e.g., 20%) and a high frequency of haplogroup 9 (e.g., 36%; (Hammer et al. 2000). The frequencies of both of these haplogroups are low in the Kashmiris and Pathans, and haplogroup 28 is present at 13% in the Pathans, so no support for a Jewish origin is found, and the admixture estimate was 0% (table 3), although, again, this conclusion is limited both by the small sample size available from Kashmir and by the assumption that the modern samples are representative of ancient populations.

The suggested origin of the Baluch is in Syria. Syrians, like Iranians, are characterized by a low frequency of haplogroup 3 and a high frequency of haplogroup 9 (9% and 57%, respectively; Hammer et al. 2000), whereas the corresponding frequencies in the Baluch are 29% and 12%. This difference and the high frequency of haplogroup 28 in the Baluch (29%) make a predominantly Syrian origin for their Y chromosome unlikely, and the admixture estimate was 0% (table 3), although the 8% frequency for haplogroup 21, the highest identified in Pakistan thus far, does indicate some western contribution to their Y lineages. The Brahuis have a possible origin in West Asia (Hughes-Buller 1991) and it has been suggested that a spread of haplogroup 9 Y chromosomes was associated with the expansion of Dravidian-speaking farmers (Quintana-Murci et al. 2001). Brahuis have the highest frequency of haplogroup 9 chromosomes in Pakistan (28%) after the Parsis, providing some support for this hypothesis, but their higher frequency of haplogroup 3 (39%) is not typical of the Fertile Crescent (Quintana-Murci et al. 2001) and suggests a more complex origin, possibly with admixture from later migrations, such as those of Indo-Iranian speakers from the steppes of Central Asia and others from further east. This possibility is supported by the detection of low frequencies of haplogroups 10, 12, and 13 in the Brahuis, all rare in Pakistan and typical of East Asia, East and northern Asia, and Southeast Asia, respectively.

The population that is genetically most distinct, the Hazaras, claims descent from Genghis Khan’s army; their name is derived from the Persian word “hazar,” meaning “thousand,” because troops were left behind in detachments of a thousand. Toward the end of the 19th century, some Hazaras moved from Afghanistan to the Khurram Valley in Pakistan, the source of the samples investigated here. Thus, their oral history identifies an origin in Mongolia and population bottlenecks ∼800 and ∼100 years ago. Of the two predominant Y haplogroups present in this population, haplogroup 1 is widespread in Pakistan, much of Asia, Europe, and the Americas, and so provides little information about the place of origin. Haplogroup 10, in contrast, is rare in most Pakistani populations (1.4%, when the Hazaras are excluded) but is common in East Asia, including Mongolia, where it makes up over half of the population (unpublished results). Admixture estimates (table 3) are consistent with a substantial contribution from Mongolia. BATWING analysis of the Hazara-specific haplotype clusters in haplogroups 1 and 10 suggested TMRCAs of 400 (120–1,200) and 100 (6–600) years (table 8), respectively. Thus, the genetic evidence is consistent with the oral tradition and, in view of its independent nature, provides strong support for it (fig. 7).

::::

…the presence of distinct Y lineages can still be informative. The origins of the Parsis are well-documented (Nanavutty 1997) and thus provide a useful test case. They are followers of the Iranian prophet Zoroaster, who migrated to India after the collapse of the Sassanian empire in the 7th century A.D.
They settled in 900 A.D. in Gujarat, India, where they were called the “Parsi” (meaning “from Iran”). Eventually they moved to Mumbai in India and Karachi in Pakistan, from where the present population was sampled (fig. 7). Their frequencies for haplogroups 3 (8%) and 9 (39%) do indeed resemble those in Iran more than those of their current neighbors in Pakistan.

Their frequencies for haplogroups 3 (8%) and 9 (39%) do indeed resemble those in Iran more than those of their current neighbors in Pakistan. They show the lowest frequency for haplogroup 3 in Pakistan (apart from the Hazaras; fig. 1C). The mean for eight Iranian populations was 14% ( ) (Quintana-Murci et al. n p 401 2001), whereas that for Pakistan, excluding the Parsis, was 36%. The corresponding figures for haplogroup 9 were 39% in the Parsis, 40% in Iran, and 15% in Pakistan excluding the Parsis. These figures lead to an admixture estimate of 100% from Iran (table 3). Given the small effective population size of the Parsis, the closeness of their match to the Iranian data may be fortuitous, and the presence of haplogroup 28 chromosomes at 18% (4% in Iran; Wells et al. 2001)suggests some gene flow from the surrounding populations. The TMRCA for the Parsi-specific cluster in the haplogroup 28 networks was 1,800 (600–4,500) years (table 8), consistent with the migration of a small number of lineages from Iran. Overall, these results demonstrate a close match between the historical records and the Y data…

The population that is genetically most distinct, the Hazaras, claims descent from Genghis Khan’s army; their name is derived from the Persian word “hazar,” meaning “thousand,” because troops were left behind in detachments of a thousand. Toward the end of the 19th century, some Hazaras moved from Afghanistan to the Khurram Valley in Pakistan, the source of the samples investigated here. Thus, their oral history identifies an origin in Mongolia and population bottlenecks ∼800 and ∼100 years ago. Of the two predominant Y haplogroups present in this population, haplogroup 1 is widespread in Pakistan, much of Asia, Europe, and the Americas, and so provides little information about the place of origin. Haplogroup 10, in contrast, is rare in most Pakistani populations (1.4%, when the Hazaras are excluded) but is common in East Asia, including Mongolia, where it makes up over half of the population (unpublished results). Admixture estimates (table 3) are consistent with a substantial contribution from Mongolia. BATWING analysis of the Hazara-specific haplotype clusters in haplogroups 1 and 10 suggested TMRCAs of 400 (120–1,200) and 100 (6–600) years (table 8), respectively. Thus, the genetic evidence is consistent with the oral tradition and, in view of its independent nature, provides strong support for it (fig. 7).

An external file that holds a picture, illustration, etc.<br /> Object name is AJHGv70p1107fg7.jpg Object name is AJHGv70p1107fg7.jpg

Traditions of population origin supported by Y data. Solid arrows, movements also supported by historical data. Dashed arrows, movements also supported by oral traditions. Arrows indicate the country of origin or continent of origin (Negroid Makrani)

Some other suggested origins receive more limited support from the Y data. The Negroid Makrani, with a postulated origin in Africa, carry the highest frequency of haplogroup 8 chromosomes found in any Pakistani population, as noted elsewhere (Qamar et al. 1999). This haplogroup is largely confined to sub-Saharan Africa, where it constitutes about half of the population (Hammer et al. 2001) and can thus be regarded as a marker of African Y chromosomes. Nevertheless, it makes up only 9% of the Negroid Makrani sample, and haplogroup 28 (along with other typical Pakistani haplogroups) is present in this population. If the Y chromosomes were initially African (fig. 7), most have subsequently been replaced: the overall estimate of the African contribution is ∼12% (table 3).

The Balti are thought to have originated in Tibet, where the predominant haplogroups are 4 and 26. Neither was present in the sample from this study, providing no support for a Tibetan origin of the Y chromosome lineages and an admixture estimate of zero (table 3). However, this result must be interpreted with caution, because of the small sample size. Three populations have possible origins from the armies of Alexander the Great: the Burusho, the Kalash, and the Pathans. Modern Greeks show a moderately high frequency of haplogroup 21 (28%; Rosser et al. 2000), but this haplogroup was not seen in either the Burusho or the Kalash sample and was found in only 2% of the Pathans, whereas the local haplogroup 28 was present at 17%, 25%, and 13%, respectively. Greek-admixture estimates of 0% were obtained for the Burusho and the Pathans, but figures of 20%–40% were observed for the Kalash (table 3). In view of the absence of haplogroup 21, we ascribe this result either to drift in the frequencies of the other haplogroups, particularly haplogroups 2 and 1, or to the poor resolution of lineages within these haplogroups, resulting in distinct lineages being classified into the same paraphyletic haplogroups. Overall, no support for a Greek origin of their Y chromosomes was found, but this conclusion does require the assumption that modern Greeks are representative of Alexander’s armies. Two populations, the Kashmiris and the Pathans, also lay claim to a possible Jewish origin. Jewish populations commonly have a moderate frequency of haplogroup 21 (e.g., 20%) and a high frequency of haplogroup 9 (e.g., 36%; (Hammer et al. 2000). The frequencies of both of these haplogroups are low in the Kashmiris and Pathans, and haplogroup 28 is present at 13% in the Pathans, so no support for a Jewish origin is found, and the admixture estimate was 0% (table 3), although, again, this conclusion is limited both by the small sample size available from Kashmir and by the assumption that the modern samples are representative of ancient populations.

The suggested origin of the Baluch is in Syria. Syrians, like Iranians, are characterized by a low frequency of haplogroup 3 and a high frequency of haplogroup 9 (9% and 57%, respectively; Hammer et al. 2000), whereas the corresponding frequencies in the Baluch are 29% and 12%. This difference and the high frequency of haplogroup 28 in the Baluch (29%) make a predominantly Syrian origin for their Y chromosome unlikely, and the admixture estimate was 0% (table 3), although the 8% frequency for haplogroup 21, the highest identified in Pakistan thus far, does indicate some western contribution to their Y lineages. The Brahuis have a possible origin in West Asia (Hughes-Buller 1991) and it has been suggested that a spread of haplogroup 9 Y chromosomes was associated with the expansion of Dravidian-speaking farmers (Quintana-Murci et al. 2001). Brahuis have the highest frequency of haplogroup 9 chromosomes in Pakistan (28%) after the Parsis, providing some support for this hypothesis, but their higher frequency of haplogroup 3 (39%) is not typical of the Fertile Crescent (Quintana-Murci et al. 2001) and suggests a more complex origin, possibly with admixture from later migrations, such as those of Indo-Iranian speakers from the steppes of Central Asia and others from further east. This possibility is supported by the detection of low frequencies of haplogroups 10, 12, and 13 in the Brahuis, all rare in Pakistan and typical of East Asia, East and northern Asia, and Southeast Asia, respectively.

The population that is genetically most distinct, the Hazaras, claims descent from Genghis Khan’s army; their name is derived from the Persian word “hazar,” meaning “thousand,” because troops were left behind in detachments of a thousand. Toward the end of the 19th century, some Hazaras moved from Afghanistan to the Khurram Valley in Pakistan, the source of the samples investigated here. Thus, their oral history identifies an origin in Mongolia and population bottlenecks ∼800 and ∼100 years ago. Of the two predominant Y haplogroups present in this population, haplogroup 1 is widespread in Pakistan, much of Asia, Europe, and the Americas, and so provides little information about the place of origin. Haplogroup 10, in contrast, is rare in most Pakistani populations (1.4%, when the Hazaras are excluded) but is common in East Asia, including Mongolia, where it makes up over half of the population (unpublished results). Admixture estimates (table 3) are consistent with a substantial contribution from Mongolia. BATWING analysis of the Hazara-specific haplotype clusters in haplogroups 1 and 10 suggested TMRCAs of 400 (120–1,200) and 100 (6–600) years (table 8), respectively. Thus, the genetic evidence is consistent with the oral tradition and, in view of its independent nature, provides strong support for it (fig. 7).

::::

the presence of distinct Y lineages can still be informative. The origins of the Parsis are well-documented (Nanavutty 1997) and thus provide a useful test case. They are followers of the Iranian prophet Zoroaster, who migrated to India after the collapse of the Sassanian empire in the 7th century A.D.
They settled in 900 A.D. in Gujarat, India, where they were called the “Parsi” (meaning “from Iran”). Eventually they moved to Mumbai in India and Karachi in Pakistan, from where the present population was sampled (fig. 7). Their frequencies for haplogroups 3 (8%) and 9 (39%) do indeed resemble those in Iran more than those of their current neighbors in Pakistan.

Their frequencies for haplogroups 3 (8%) and 9 (39%) do indeed resemble those in Iran more than those of their current neighbors in Pakistan. They show the lowest frequency for haplogroup 3 in Pakistan (apart from the Hazaras; fig. 1C). The mean for eight Iranian
populations was 14% ( ) (Quintana-Murci et al. n p 401 2001), whereas that for Pakistan, excluding the Parsis, was 36%. The corresponding figures for haplogroup 9 were 39% in the Parsis, 40% in Iran, and 15% in Pakistan excluding the Parsis. These figures lead to an admixture estimate of 100% from Iran (table 3). Given the small effective population size of the Parsis, the closeness of their match to the Iranian data may be fortuitous, and the presence of haplogroup 28 chromosomes at 18% (4% in Iran; Wells et al. 2001)suggests some gene flow from the surrounding populations. The TMRCA for the Parsi-specific cluster in the haplogroup 28 networks was 1,800 (600–4,500) years (table 8), consistent with the migration of a small number of lineages from Iran. Overall, these results demonstrate a close match between the historical records and the Y data…

The population that is genetically most distinct, the Hazaras, claims descent from Genghis Khan’s army; their name is derived from the Persian word “hazar,” meaning “thousand,” because troops were left behind in detachments of a thousand. Toward the end of the 19th century, some Hazaras moved from Afghanistan to the Khurram Valley in Pakistan, the source of the samples investigated here. Thus, their oral history identifies an origin in Mongolia and population bottlenecks ∼800 and ∼100 years ago. Of the two predominant Y haplogroups present in this population, haplogroup 1 is widespread in Pakistan, much of Asia, Europe, and the Americas, and so provides little information about the place of origin. Haplogroup 10, in contrast, is rare in most Pakistani populations (1.4%, when the Hazaras are excluded) but is common in East Asia, including Mongolia, where it makes up over half of the population (unpublished results). Admixture estimates (table 3) are consistent with a substantial contribution from Mongolia. BATWING analysis of the Hazara-specific haplotype clusters in haplogroups 1 and 10 suggested TMRCAs of 400 (120–1,200) and 100 (6–600) years (table 8), respectively. Thus, the genetic evidence is consistent with the oral tradition and, in view of its independent nature, provides strong support for it (fig. 7).

 

Source: Qamar, Raheel “Y-Chromosomal DNA Variation in Pakistan“,  Am. J. Hum. Genet. 70:1107–1124, 2002

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