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Thread: Persian (Iranian) Anthropology/Genetics/History/etc discussions

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    Persian (Iranian) Anthropology/Genetics/History/etc discussions

    This thread is intended for the discussion of Persian/Iranian anthropology and genetic discussions, mainly as a way for us to discuss what we have found from academic studies into Iranian genetics (hardly any unfortunately), and also our own personal families ancestral genetic findings, and see how it correlates with what we know about past and present day Iran and its ethnic demographics. And also a way to discuss and debate historical events that shaped Iran's past and future, as well as posting different aspects of Persian/Iranian culture.

    Ill start by referencing an online book I found which explains the relatively recent Armenian expansion into Abadan in the 1930's to 50's. Whats interesting is Armenians are known for mainly being in a tight knit communities of Iran, and Abadan (my parents home town), certainly isn't one of them, yet there seems to be a presence of Armenians in the area that appear to be relatively recent.

    https://books.google.com/books?id=3S...abadan&f=false

    I most likely can't connect this certain event to my own Armenian connections as I'm fairly confident that non of my first grandparents are Armenian, so its probably a bit further back, however its interesting to note just how much of an appeal the oil refineries had on Iranians of all ethnic origins who would travel from across the country to get jobs. My own family are a product of this, many of them originally came from the nearby Bushehr provinces before landing in Abadan.

    Demographic statistics in Iran are something that probably wasn't taken as seriously until quite recently, as I'm sure there has been contact and movement with other nations and ethnic groups that have never been documented thoroughly. Though i will be unearthing a few of these from the extremely helpful "iranica" encyclopedia and posting them here in due time.
    Last edited by ancestryfan1994; 05-08-2016 at 06:55 PM.

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    While on the subject of undocumented contact with other nations/ethnic groups, I want to delve a bit into the interesting and fairly unknown Dutch influence in recent Iranian history. What sparked my interest in this was the fact that there seems to be some distant dutch connections in our family based on the fact that we have a fair amount of dutch cousins, and i wanted to see whether there was any historical information to make sense of how they came to be. The iranica encyclopedia has a very informative section which details the early contact between the Dutch and Persians, mainly by way of trade which makes sense in my families case as they were merchants. However a very interesting development was that aside from commercial relations, art became a huge point of contact between the dutch and persians, as cited from the iranica site below.

    Apart from commercial relations, the main point of contact between Persia and the Netherlands in the 17th century was art. Especially in the forty-five years after 1029/1620 a number of Dutch painters were active in Persia, though their possible influence on Persian painting has not yet been studied. From available sources it is clear that Dutch artists were employed by the shahs and members of the Persian political and commercial elite. For example, Jan van Hasselt, who lived in Isfahan from 1029/1620 to 1038/1628, was appointed court artist and executed paintings for Shah ʿAbbās’ palace at Ašrāf in Māzandarān (see BEHŠAHR). When he returned home the shah appointed him his political agent in the Netherlands.
    http://www.iranicaonline.org/article...sian-relations

    Its common notion that Iranian culture like paintings etc, have been traditionally influenced by the obvious culprits like Persian, Turks, Arabs and so on, but the Dutch being another possible influence in Persian art is vert interesting, and serves as a point of reference to my claim that there is much more we don't know about past population movement and contact, especially in Iran.
    Last edited by ancestryfan1994; 05-08-2016 at 07:30 PM.

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    The exodus of zoroastrians from islamic Persia hundreds of years ago still remains a significant event in recent Persian history. I think that its something that Iranians should be grateful to the indians for, as they allowed the preservation of this religion to survive in their own country. Its probably one of the best examples of two different peoples putting aside religious differences for the sake of moral freedom and the right to practice faith without fear of prosecution. Here is an extract detailing the beginnings of the exodus.

    The Qeṣṣa is, however, important as an indicator of the Parsis’ own perception of their settlement in India. The account of the exodus begins by describing how a group of devout Zoroastrians in Persia went into hiding in the mountains during a time of fierce Islamic persecution. After a hundred years they moved on to Hormuz, but still remained under threat of oppression. “At last a wise dastur, who was also an astrologer, read the stars and said: 'The time Fate had allotted us in this place is now coming to an end, we must go at once to India.’” They sailed to Diu in western India, where they settled for nineteen years: “[t]hen a priest-astrologer, after reading the stars, said to them: 'Our destiny lies elsewhere, we must leave Diu and seek another place of refuge.’” But a storm came while they were at sea, endangering their lives, so they prayed “O Almighty God! Help us to get out of this danger. O Victorious Bahrām! Come to our aid” and they vowed to consecrate a Bahrām fire if they arrived safely in India. “Their prayers were heard; the victorious fire of Bahrām abated the storm,” so they arrived safely in India (Qeṣṣa, tr., pp. 49-50). There they sought permission to settle from the local ruler, Jadi Rana. He asked for an account of their religion and laid down four pre-conditions before agreeing to grant them sanctuary: They should use only the local language, the women should adopt the local dress, they must put down their weapons and vow never to use them and, finally, their marriage ceremonies should be conducted only in the evening; the dastur agreed. In his account of their religion he emphasized the features that accorded with Hinduism, for instance, reverence for the sun and the moon, fire and water, and the cow. He also stressed that their women observed strict purity laws. In short, the settlement in India was written in the stars, their safe arrival was due to divine aid, and they were not asked to forsake any significant aspects of their religion; indeed Zoroastrianism shared much in common with that of the Hindus. Oral tradition relates that Jadi Rana felt apprehensive about granting sanctuary to people of such warrior-like appearance, but the priests convinced the king that they would be 'like sugar in a full cup of milk, adding sweetness but not causing it to overflow’ (a variant relates the placing of a gold ring in the cup of milk; see Axelrod). Tradition states that the Parsi affirmations of their religion were delivered in sixteen statements (Skt. ṡlokas; though the oldest manuscripts date from the 17th century; Qeṣṣa, tr., pp. 60-80). They emphasized the points where their religion was consistent with Hindu tradition, but some details do not reflect Hindu practice; for example, there was no reason why weddings should be held at night. It has, therefore, been plausibly argued (Eduljee, 1995, pp. 60-70) that these traditions seek to explain why certain Parsi practices have evolved by imbuing them with an aura of historical legitimacy and authority, harking back to the covenant reached with the Hindu ruler when they first settled in India.
    Taken from the iranica encyclopedia.

    http://www.iranicaonline.org/article...-early-history

    It would be really interesting to see some genetic profiles of Parsi people, i wonder how much ethnic Persian ancestry was retained from the time they migrated, and how much south asian ancestry they absorbed after hundreds of years in India. A recent article I read stated that the Parsi community are finding it hard to marry within their own culture and have resorted to looking outside the gene pool. I think that may have been something that occurred even before now, but I'm still intrigued to see what their genome looks like. If anybody has some, please feel free to post them here.
    Last edited by ancestryfan1994; 05-09-2016 at 05:28 PM.

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    Paris are around anything around 65-85% Iranian from what Ive seen. They just have higher South Indian.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jesus View Post
    Paris are around anything around 65-85% Iranian from what Ive seen. They just have higher South Indian.
    Which is an indicator that they interbred with local indians probably?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ancestryfan1994 View Post
    The exodus of zoroastrians from islamic Persia hundreds of years ago still remains a significant event in recent Persian history. I think that its something that Iranians should be grateful to the indians for, as they allowed the preservation of this religion to survive in their own country. Its probably one of the best examples of two different peoples putting aside religious differences for the sake of moral freedom and the right to practice faith without fear of prosecution. Here is an extract detailing the beginnings of the exodus.



    Taken from the iranica encyclopedia.

    http://www.iranicaonline.org/article...-early-history

    It would be really interesting to see some genetic profiles of Parsi people, i wonder how much ethnic Persian ancestry was retained from the time they migrated, and how much south asian ancestry they absorbed after hundreds of years in India. A recent article I read stated that the Parsi community are finding it hard to marry within their own culture and have resorted to looking outside the gene pool. I think that may have been something that occurred even before now, but I'm still intrigued to see what their genome looks like. If anybody has some, please feel free to post them here.

    They're not that different from us, but i believe they are maternally gujarati.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vatan View Post
    They're not that different from us, but i believe they are maternally gujarati.

    I also find it hard to believe they don't have any recent south asian ancestry just going by some of their looks. Not all of them, but theres a fair amount that i would say are evidently admixed. Freddy mercury for example, is highly unlikely to be one, but then his parents looked pretty admixed. Who knows.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ancestryfan1994 View Post
    I also find it hard to believe they don't have any recent south asian ancestry just going by some of their looks. Not all of them, but theres a fair amount that i would say are evidently admixed. Freddy mercury for example, is highly unlikely to be one, but then his parents looked pretty admixed. Who knows.
    Oh they do. More than the average Iranian of course.

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    The kingdom of Pontus



    An interesting concept, a kingdom that was built on the idea that both Persian and Greek culture/people would form one unified state. The empire was basically made up of Kings of mixed Greek and Persian ancestry, the population is said to have experienced close ties with one another and engaged in regular mixing/intermarriage with one another. While both Greeks and Persians go way back, I think this is probably the most intimate relationship we've had with one another in all the time that both peoples have known one another, alongside Alexander the greats fondness for the Persians.


    http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/pontus

    The last king of pontus, Mithradates.




    He captured the essence of what the empire was basically made up of, as detailed in the following excerpt from iranica

    Mithradates’ ancestors may well have been an offshoot of the Achaemenid royal family (Bosworth and Wheatley, 1998). They were certainly Iranian nobility who took part in the Persian colonization of Asia Minor, and in the 5th and 4th centuries BCE ran a fiefdom on the shore of the Propontis (the Sea of Marmara) and western end of the south coast of the Black Sea. Shortly before 300 BCE the family became involved in intrigues at the court of Antigonos and they were forced to flee further east into Paphlagonia, where, accompanied by six knights in a manner surely meant to recall the circumstances in which Darius became king of Persia, Mithradates I Ktistes founded what came to be known as the kingdom of Pontus and the line of Pontic kings (Diod. 20.111.4). Greek-style diplomacy, including a consistent policy of intermarriage with the Seleucids, established the kingdom’s Hellenistic credentials, but there was no attempt to hide the family’s Iranian origins: indeed it was precisely the mixture of Greek and Persian background that Mithradates Eupator later publicized, when he claimed (with some justification) to be descended from Cyrus and Darius, and (less convincingly) from Alexander the Great and Seleukos (Justin, Epit. 38.8.1). Stories of his birth and early life—comets, lightning, riding a dangerous horse, retreat to the wilderness for seven years—reflect this mixed Persian and Macedonian lineage (McGing, 1986, pp. 43-46).
    The kingdom was very short-lived, but still a very interesting concept nonetheless.
    Last edited by ancestryfan1994; 05-11-2016 at 04:30 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ancestryfan1994 View Post
    The exodus of zoroastrians from islamic Persia hundreds of years ago still remains a significant event in recent Persian history. I think that its something that Iranians should be grateful to the indians for, as they allowed the preservation of this religion to survive in their own country. Its probably one of the best examples of two different peoples putting aside religious differences for the sake of moral freedom and the right to practice faith without fear of prosecution. Here is an extract detailing the beginnings of the exodus ...
    Besides the Arab period and later Parsi migrants to India, there remains another deep connection between Zoroastrians and Sakaldwipi Brahmans of eastern India. I had mentioned on another thread that there was a remote connection of Zarathustra to the Usigs (mentioned in the Gathas).

    "Ahunavaiti 1 [Y 29] reflects a time of strife of political and military conflict, where tribes of pastoralists raided one another's herds of cattle. These activities were accompanied by sacrifice requiring slaughter of cattle. In this atmosphere of violence and insecurity, the soul of the cow, representing all good living creation, complains to the Divinity and asks for protection.... There are three non-theological terms-which appear in several of the Gathic verses, they are Kavi, Karpan, and Usig. They are all used in a pejorative sense. In Gathic vocabulary, Kavi meant a chief of a tribe, or a prince, a ruler and military chief of the socio-political organization among the Indo-Iranians. Karpan meant a mumbling priest, a priest whose function was to utter sacred words, usually not comprehensible to the laity, which were supposed to have magical effects in promoting the interest of the rulers. Usig was probably the ritual performing priest who prepared and executed the sacrifice and offerings." http://www.cais-soas.com/CAIS/Religi...rathushtra.htm

    These Usigs occupied the same regions of India - Magadh - that the Sakaldwipis occupy today.

    Some practices of these Sakaldwipis are similar to but not the same as Zoroastrians. Zarathustra ~ Jarasabda (cf. Jarasandha) https://books.google.com/books?id=EZOu04e1bNQC&pg=PA488

    They are famed for astronomy and astrology. In fact the writer/astronomer/geographer Varahamihira was likely one of them as he is referred to as Magadha-dvija. https://books.google.com/books?id=7VR8iriWmzUC&pg=PA758
    Last edited by parasar; 05-11-2016 at 06:08 PM.

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