Origins of Slavs: Archaeology, Linguistics, Anthropology, History

Dec 2009
paratom said:
Check R1a1 distribution among Hungarians. They are allegedly more Slavs than Poles are.
Not really, Sir:

Map of Slavic languages in Europe in % of native speakers (including immigrants) by country:

And Y-DNA haplogroups in Slavic countries (green) and in countries with large Slavic-speaking minorities (bright green):

Plus some other countries / ethnic groups which share the same predominant haplogroup for comparison:

As you can see from this data above, the two most typical for Slavic people major Y-DNA haplogroups are R1a and I2.

Also Y-DNA haplogroup E is very frequent among Southern Slavs.

I2 - as can be seen above - is most frequent among Southern Slavs, but also quite frequent among other Slavs.
Let's compare these Slavic Y-DNA haplogroups posted above to Y-DNA haplogroups of western and northern neighbours of Slavic countries:

Division of Germany for west / south / north and east which applies to data posted above, is along these red lines:

This means that "North Germany" as defined here, includes also Lower Saxony, most of which was never inhabited by Slavic people.

Taking this into consideration, I am sure that the highest % of "Slavic haplogroups" is not in East Germany, but in North-East Germany.
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Dec 2009
Regarding people with R1a Y-DNA haplogroup in Germany - not all of it has to be of Slavic origin:

According to this website below, a high frequency of this Y-DNA haplogroup was among Old Prussians and Yotvingians:

Prusowie - Dzieje, podbój i eksterminacja Ba?tyjskiego ludu

Genetic Project of Old Prussians and Yotvingians said:
In the project of researching Y-DNA of inhabitants of old Prussia and Yotvingia, so far four haplogroups appeared:

I2a2 - around 10% of results
N1c1 - around 40% of results
R1a - around 40% of results
R1b - around 10% of results
But if this research is reliable regarding N (N1c1) haplogroup, then a bit surprising is very low % of this haplogroup in modern Germany.

It suggests that overall Prussian contribution to modern German Y-DNA haplogroups was perhaps still much smaller than Slavic.
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Dec 2009
I wrote (long time ago):

According to this article:


"Pod koniec XIX w. liczba rumuńskich słów pochodzenia słowiańskiego wynosiła 2350, gdy łacińskiego - tylko 1150."

"By the end of the 19th century number of Romanian words of Slavic origin was 2350, while of Latin origin - only 1150."
And finally I know what is the original source of this claim.

It is "Dictionnaire d'étymologie dacoromaine" by Alexandru Cihac, published in Frankfurt in 1870s:

Links to articles in Romanian wiki and in Polish wiki about this guy:

[ame=""]Alexandru Cihac - Wikipedia[/ame]

[ame=""]Alexandru Cihac ? Wikipedia, wolna encyklopedia[/ame]

According to Polish wikipedia article about him (translated to English below):

"Alexandru Cihac (born 8 September 1825 in Iasi - died 29 July / 10 August 1887 in Mainz), was a Romanian philologist and linguist; honorary member of the Romanian Academy. Among his subjects of research were the origins of the Romanian language. He is the author of the first etymological dictionary of this language. On the ground of the dominating number of words with Slavic origins in his dictionary, Cihac classified the Romanian language as one of languages of the Slavic language family.

  • Dictionnaire d'étymologie dacoromaine, 2 volumes, Frankfurt: 1870-1879.
His dictionary contains 2350 words with Slavic origins, 1150 words with Latin origins, 950 words with Turkic origins, 650 words with New Greek origins, 600 words with Hungarian origins and 50 words with Albanian origins."
What is the comment of our Romanian members about this guy and his etymological dictionary ???
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Jan 2014
I2a subclade in balkans, also called I2a-Din, the majority of it is only a 2500 years old split and probably originated around borders of ukraine and moldova or the other opinion is that it originated between the borders of germany and czech and poland.

E-V13 as a subclade exclusively is balkan origin, which was created as a subclade around 8500 years ago in the balkans. (the subclade & not the E HG but its subclade dont misunderstand)

And among most slavic speaking nations i2a and r1a is very common...see ex yugoslavs and also ukraine, czech, russia, slovakia, moldova.

if you define a haplogroup dont define it as how old i2 is or r1a but the respective subclade which is common in those nations.
Nov 2012
The Slavs originated around 1300 BC in the Upper Silesia area as the Lausitz Culture. They were a combination of Venedi (Nordwest Block people, related to Celts and Italics), Dacians (related to Thracians), and Balts (Indo-Europeans who became satemized through mixture with Uralics). The Venedi started out as Celto-Italic related. Those who went to Scandinavia mixed with Balts and Sami there to become the Germanics (circa 2500 BC). The Venedi who remained in Poland first became Balts, then became early Slavs (Wends). By 300 BC, the Proto-Slavs had gradually expanded east to the Pripet Marshes, where they absorbed Iranian peoples (Scythians). They followed in the wake of the Huns to expand over much of eastern Europe around 500 AD.
Feb 2013
Various theories indicate different origins of Slavs, depending on which branch of science (listed in the thread title) they are based. A truly complex theory, encompassing and analyzing results of research of all branches of science into one logical conclusion, has yet to be developed.


An excerpt from this book ("Anthropology about the origins of Slavs", published in 2008 in Poznań):

The book was published by scholars of the Institute of Anthropology of Poznań University:

Here is their website: Website of Institute of Anthropology in Poznan

"Dąbrowski (...) used for his research 168 male and female skulls of the Roman period, including 28 skulls classified as Przeworsk culture and 140 as Wielbark culture. Author has proven, that skulls classified as Przeworsk culture are not morphologically different from skulls classified as Wielbark culture, which means, that they are not distinguishable as two different populations. (...) In his comparative research Dąbrowski uses skulls classified as Chernyakhovsk culture (90 male skulls and 94 female skulls) and craniological materials from the Early Medieval period: Eastern Slavs - 835 male skulls and 456 female skulls, Western Slavs - 2652 male skulls and 2246 female skulls. Skulls were from various burial-grounds and represented, in case of Eastern Slavs, such ethno-tribal groups as: Dregowicze, Krywicze, Polanie, Radynicze, Siewierzanie, Słowenie, Wiatycze. In case of Western Slavs groups were distinguished basing on geographical-historical criterion: Czechs, Lesser Polans, Mazovians, Moravians, Pomeranians, Slovakians, Silesians, Greater Polans. Between 15 mentioned groups of Early Medieval Slavs Dąbrowski, thanks to data about individual sizes of skulls, counted so called D2 Mahalanobis biological distances. The analysis of this data has proven, that there exists a certain tendency that groups located closer to each other in geographical space, are more similar to each other. One such common group consists of skulls of Western Slavs, the other one of skulls of Eastern Slavs. (...) similar intergroup ties are present in case of both sexes. (...) Results of analyses published by Dąbrowski (2003, 2004, 2006, 2007) have been complemented by studies with use of new statistical methods and by larger number of chronologically diversified populations. Using matrixes of biological distances, present in Dąbrowski's work from 2007, we conducted comparative analysis of same morphorogical features of skulls in diachronic approach, that is comparing populations of the Roman period to Slavic populations. We have established a very high level of similarity between populations of both Przeworsk, Wielbark and Chernyakhovsk cultures to Slavic population (ill. 5, 6). Obtained by Dąbrowski (2007) and confirmed by us with use of another method, results of analyses indicate that populations living in basins of Oder and Vistula rivers during the period of Roman influences, were no different in terms of morphology from populations living in the same area during the Early Medieval period. Moreover, results of Dąbrowski's research have been complemented by comparative analysis of Roman period populations (populations of Wielbark, Przeworsk and Chernyakhovsk cultures) with populations of basins of Oder and Vistula rivers from Medieval period as well as with Medieval populations from Scandinavia (cf. Piontek 2006, 2007, Piontek and others 2007). In our comparative analysis we used the method of counting biological distance (square Euclidean distance) and the method of arranging matrixes according to Ward's method. Dendrogram divided the examined set of populations into two subgroups: the first subgroup - Medieval populations from basins of Oder and Vistula and Roman period populations, the second subgroup - Medieval and Late Medieval populations from Scandinavia and Western Pomerania. After comparing 22 populations in terms of 6 defined morphological features of skull it has been proven, that populations of Wielbark, Przeworsk and Chernyakhovsk cultures are characterized by very high level of morphological similarity with Medieval populations from basins of Vistula and Oder rivers. On the other hand, populations of these Roman period cultures bear no morphological resemblance to populations from Scandinavia, that is to populations to whom populations of Goths who allegedly lived in basins of Vistula and Oder rivers during the Roman period should be very similar, and with whom Roman period populations are often being ethnically identified."

Many Slavs have fair features(light hair and blue eyes), but are not Nordic.
Like this Polish woman.( An estimate of 68-69% of native Poles have blue/blue-gray/green/gray/green-gray eyes)
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Dec 2009
Here about hair and eye colors in Europe (from the thread about Celts):

South Slavs are darker than the rest (just like South Germans are darker than North Germans):


Haarfarben Statistik Häufigkeiten blond braun schwarz rot Haarfarbenstatistik Deutschland

Distribution of hair colours (10 different colours) in North, Central and South Germany:

Distribution of hair colours in Europe (I guess as "light hair" they count: hellblond, mittelblond, dunkelblond and maybe also hellbraun ???):

Distribution of light hair and eyes in Europe | unsafe harbour


How blonde are north Germans?


Well, surely they count the first 3 groups - hellblond, mittelblond and dunkelblond - as light hair in that map.

Because without "dunkelblond", there would be only 24,1% men and 27,3% women with "light hair" in Northern Germany.

And the map shows Northern Germany as "50% to 60%" of light hair category (just like most of Poland and Belarus - by the way).

According to the chart, with "dunkelblond", it is 50,9% for men and 55,2% for women (average 53,05% for both sexes).

With also "hellbraun" included, figures rise to 56,9% for men and 64,6% for women (average for both sexes, 60,75%).

So probably they don't count "hellbraun" as light hair in that map, because with "hellbraun" it would already be slightly over 60%.
Dec 2009
But I have doubts regarding reliability of this data above when it comes to Ukraine (too dark, IMO).

BTW - Slavs were described as relatively light-skinned and light-haired already by early sources.

Their skin was described by Arab sources as turning red (not brown) when under the sun.
Dec 2009
The most common hair colour among Polish people is brown, various shades - from light brown to dark brown.

Dark blond too is common I think.

An estimate of 68-69% of native Poles have blue/blue-gray/green/gray/green-gray eyes)
Of them blue/blue-gray/gray are probably 40% - 60% depending on region.
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Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
Scandinavia, Balkans, Anatolia, Hatay
Let's compare these Slavic Y-DNA haplogroups posted above to Y-DNA haplogroups of western and northern neighbours of Slavic countries
Domen, let me ask you a question in order not to cause confussion.

Do you suggest that R1a et all haplogroups are Slavic OR do you mean that certain combinations of haplogroup combined with high R1a frequencies are typical to Slavic speakers in general?

I am asking because unfortunately the coupling of haplogroups with ethnic groups/languages promoted by some controversial DNA-testing companies (pay me to tell you what you want to hear), have caused great comfusion to a vast number of people who have merely the basic knowledge about genetics.

Haplogroups are in most cases tied geographically and nothing else.