Hovann Simonian and Peter Hrechdakian delivered the 18th Annual Vardanants Day Armenian lecture on their work using social media to expand the nonprofit Armenian DNA Project.
DNA is a relatively new field which opens a different way of looking into the deep history of people in general and of Armenians specific in this case. One of the reasons why Armenians are interesting to study is that they didn’t really mix too much with other people once they became Armenian. There is a key element in DNA studies which has only emerged in the last year or two is the study of ancient DNA, ancient human remains to be able to see if the ancient skeletons, the DNA of these ancient skeletons ties to people living right now.
When you’re studying living people, you’re only extrapolating. When you’re able to go back into ancient DNA, here, you can really reach deep into the past. The techniques to do this, have really been perfected and are getting perfected. So, we’re able to extract minute amounts of DNA from very ancient and deeply and badly preserved specimens.
Read more on the Armenian DNA Project here.
One thought on “Watch: DNA & the Origins of Peoples: The Armenians”
I had my DNA tested by National Geographic Genographic Project. My last name is of ancient Armenian princely house of Ohanian. My “Y” chromosome was linked to very important people in history that I was a bit surprised with. Between 65,000 to 120,000 years ago, I have the same Y chromosome with Napoleon. Between, 45,000 to 65,000 years ago, I am related to King Tut (therefore, Pharaoh Akhenaten as well) , Thomas Jefferson, Copernicus, Sir Francis Drake, Abraham Lincoln (maternal chromosome as well), and Charles Darwin. Between 45,000 and 25,000 years ago, I have the same Y chromosome with Tesla and Leo Tolstoy. Between 25,000 and 12,000 years ago, I have a maternal match with Queen Victoria, Marie Antoinette and her mother, Napoleon, Copernicus and Benjamin Franklin.
My grandparents who were orphaned during the Armenian Genocide all came from the Ourfa and Marash regions where Portasar (a 12,000 year old neolithic archeological site) or in gibberish Gobekli Tepe was discovered.
Do I now have the right to claim the oldest paternal link to the Emperor of France Napoleon both through maternal and paternal links? Were my direct ancestors perhaps Shamans at Portasar practicing a Zoroastrian type of spiritual beliefs?