Researchers say the DNA of Yiddish speakers may have originated from four ancient villages in north-eastern Turkey. They also proved that Yiddish is not “bad German”, but it is a Turkic language mixed with Hebrew, German, Persian, and East European.
It can be stated with confidence that the Jews of northern and eastern Europe – normally known as Ashkenazim Jews – are the descendants of earlier Turkic raiders mixed with enslaved natives from the regions all around the Black Sea from Volga-Don rivers to Anatolia, Balkan, and Thracia in 650 BC.
At that time they were pagan Tengeri. Judaism (Talmudic Pharisees) was not yet invented as it began to form since 530 BC and continued till 220 AD. But, Moses’ faith (the written Hebrew Scriptures) existed before that time by about 550 years, since 1200 BC.
The Turkic raiders and colonizers of eastern Europe were not called Jews by that time. Ashkenazi Jews became organized Jews in a political group only after 650 AD when they received members form other Turkic groups who came from Arabia, Levant, Mesopotamia, and Persia with the start of wars with Arabs in those regions.
All of the new comers to the Turkified eastern Europe were politically Jews, as they were established in Judea and Samaria by the Turkic Persians. They were ethnically Turkic Mongolians, and religiously followed Judaism (Talmudic Pharisees) to rule over the Hebrew Sadducees and Israelite.
The combined Turkic groups worked together both from within and from the outside Arabia and Levant to stop and influence Islam and finally to control it.
Genetics and linguistic research proved that Turkish villages –Iskenaz, Eskenaz, Ashanaz, and Ashkuz were part of the original Ashkenazic homeland. It is believed that the word Ashkenaz originally comes from Ashguza – the ancient Assyrian and Babylonian name for the Iron Age Eurasian steppeland people, the Scythians.
Unfortunately, geographical name changes in Turkey have been undertaken, periodically, in bulk from 1913 to the present by successive Turkish governments. Thousands of names within the Turkish Republic or the Ottoman Empire have lost or departed from their popular or historic alternatives.
The governments have argued that such names are foreign and/or divisive against Turkish unity. The policy commenced during the final years of the Ottoman Empire and continued into the Turkish Republic. Approximately 28,000 topographic names were changed, which included 12,211 village and town names and 4,000 mountain, river, and other topographic names. The name İşkenaz was changed to Skena and many other name changes were enforced.
Here are four published articles describe the findings of a research and contradicts earlier theories that Yiddish is an old German dialect or of any European origin. The study, titled “Localizing Ashkenazic Jews to primeval villages in the ancient Iranian lands of Ashkenaz” was conducted by researchers from three universities in the U.K., U.S., and Israel. It was published in the journal Genome Biology and Evolution.
Important Notice: The four articles, for unclear reasons, try to justify the Turkic presence in the region with trade along the Silk Road, while ignoring the raiding, colonization, and enslavement of Western Asia, Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, the Balkan, and Anatolia.
The creation of the Slavic group, the mass migration and invasions of the Sea people, and the simultaneous collapse of several great civilizations that occurred in 1177 BC all might be linked to earlier Turkic raids.
Ashkenazi Jews, as well as the Yiddish language, came from four villages in Turkey: study
By: Zoe Demarco | April 20, 2016 | Last Updated: Apr 21, National Post
In an effort to discover the origin of the Yiddish language, researchers say that they have found evidence that proves that Ashkenazi Jews are descended predominately from four villages in northeastern Turkey.
The study, titled “Localizing Ashkenazic Jews to primeval villages in the ancient Iranian lands of Ashkenaz” was conducted by researchers from three universities in the U.K., U.S., and Israel. It was published in the journal Genome Biology and Evolution.
Using a Geographic Population Structure device, Dr Eran Elhaik, a geneticist from the University of Sheffield who led the study, was able to convert the DNA of Ashkenazi Jews into geographic coordinates.
The data showed that 90 percent of Ashkenazi Jews have links to the ancient villages of Iskenaz, Eskenaz, Ashanaz, and Ashkuz that sit near ancient Silk Road trade routes.
“We traced nearly all AJs to major primeval trade routes in northeastern Turkey adjacent to primeval villages, whose names may be derived from ‘Ashkenaz.’ We conclude that AJs probably originated during the first millennium when Iranian Jews Judaized Greco-Roman, Turk, Iranian, southern Caucasus, and Slavic populations inhabiting the lands of Ashkenaz in Turkey,” the researchers wrote.
They say this is evidence that Yiddish is a Slavic language that was created by Irano-Turko-Slavic Jewish merchants, and is not of German origin as is commonly thought.
They suggest that it was devised as a “cryptic trade language,” and was used to gain its creators an advantage in trades along the Silk Roads.
“Language, geography and genetics are all connected,” Dr Eran Elhaik told phys.org.
Today, half the world’s 10 million – 11.2 million Ashkenazi Jews live in the United States, with another 2.8 million residing in Israel. They make up approximately 75 per cent of Jews, while Sephardi Jews comprising the remaining 25 per cent.
By: David Keys Archaeology Correspondent, Tuesday 19 April 2016, Independent.co.uk
Israeli-born geneticist believes the Turkish villages of Iskenaz, Eskenaz and Ashanaz were part of the original homeland for Ashkenazic Jews
New research suggests that the majority of the world’s modern Jewish population is descended mainly from people from ancient Turkey, rather than predominantly from elsewhere in the Middle East.
The new research suggests that most of the Jewish population of northern and eastern Europe – normally known as Ashkenazic Jews – are the descendants of Greeks, Iranians and others who colonized what is now northern Turkey more than 2000 years ago and were then converted to Judaism, probably in the first few centuries AD by Jews from Persia. At that stage, the Persian Empire was home to the world’s largest Jewish communities.
According to research carried out by the geneticist, Dr Eran Elhaik of the University of Sheffield, over 90 per cent of Ashkenazic ancestors come from that converted partially Greek-originating ancient community in north-east Turkey.
His research is based on genetic, historical and place-name evidence. For his geographic genetic research, Dr Elhaik used a Geographic Population Structure computer modelling system to convert Ashkenazic Jewish DNA data into geographical information.
Dr Elhaik, an Israeli-born geneticist who gained his doctorate in molecular evolution from the University of Houston, believes that three still-surviving Turkish villages – Iskenaz, Eskenaz and Ashanaz – on the western part of an ancient Silk Road route were part of the original Ashkenazic homeland. He believes that the word Ashkenaz originally comes from Ashguza – the ancient Assyrian and Babylonian name for the Iron Age Eurasian steppeland people, the Scythians.
Referring to the names of the three Turkish villages, Dr Elhaik points out that “north-east Turkey is the only place in the world where these place-names exist”.
From the 690s AD onwards, anti-Jewish persecution by the Christian Byzantine Empire seems to have played a part in forcing large numbers of Jews to flee across the Black Sea to a more friendly state – the Turkic-ruled Khazar Empire with its large Slav and other populations.
Some analyses of Yiddish suggests that it was originally a Slavic language, and Dr Elhaik and others believe that it was developed, probably in the 8th and 9th centuries AD, by Jewish merchants trading along some of the more northerly Silk Roads linking China and Europe.
By the 730s, the Khazar Empire had begun to convert to Judaism – and more people converted to the faith.
But when the Khazar Empire declined in or around the 11th century, some of the Jewish population almost certainly migrated west into Central Europe. There, as Yiddish-speaking Jewish merchants came into contact with central European, often German-speaking, peoples, they began to replace the Slav words in Yiddish with large numbers of German and German-derived words, while retaining some of its Slav-originating grammar. Many Hebrew words also appear to have been added by that stage.
The genetic modelling used in the research was based on DNA data from 367 Jews of northern and eastern European origin and more than 600 non-Jewish people mainly from Europe and western Asia.
Dr Elhaik says it is the largest genomic study ever carried out on Ashkenazic Jews. His research will be published in the UK-based scientific journal, Genome Biology and Evolution.
Further research is planned to try to measure the precise size of the Semitic genetic input into Jewish and non-Jewish genomes.
By: Matt Burgess, Wednesday 20 April 2016, Wired.co.uk
The Cathedral of Ani in the Armenian city of the same name in eastern Turkey. New research has claimed the Yiddish language likely originated in four villages in this area, rather than in Germany as previously thought
The origins of the Yiddish language have been traced to north-eastern Turkey, according to results from a DNA analysis tool.
By analysing the genetics of Yiddish and non-Yiddish speakers, researchers from the University of Sheffield were able to calculate that the language originated from four villages in north-eastern Turkey. Established theory had suggested Yiddish was first spoken in Germany. “We identified 367 people who claim they have two parents who are Ashkenazic Jews and we divided them into people whose parents only speak Yiddish and then everyone else,” Eran Elhaik, the leader of the research, told WIRED.
Using a Geographic Population Structure (GPS, not to be confused with the global positioning system used by sat-navs), the team found that Iranian and Ashkenazic Jews likely invented the language as they traded on the Silk Road. The language is thought to have been invented by Jewish traders who didn’t want others to understand what they were saying.
The four villages – named Iskenaz, Eskenaz, Ashanaz, and Ashkuz – all derive from the word ‘Ashkenaz’, which is the root of the word ‘Ashkenazic’. According to Elhaik, north-east Turkey is the only place where the four place names exist.
Elhaik said the link between the places and Ashkenaz indicated where the the language could have existed 1,500 years ago. He continued to say that the results were initially “surprising” as the area does not have a “rich history of Jews”.
The latest research, which has been published in the journal Genome Biology, contradicts earlier theories that Yiddish is an old German dialect. “We conclude that AJs [Ashkenazic Jews] probably originated during the first millennium when Iranian Jews Judaized Greco-Roman, Turk, Iranian, southern Caucasus, and Slavic populations inhabiting the lands of Ashkenaz in Turkey,” the research paper concludes. “Our findings imply that Yiddish was created by Slavo-Iranian Jewish merchants plying the Silk Roads between Germany, North Africa, and China.”
The tool works by triangulating geographic coordinates to find out where DNA was forged and which gene pools came together to create a person.
. The system then converts genetic distances, between unknown and known DNAs, into geographic one and “puts the new unknown DNA between populations of known geographic origins.”
For most Europeans, the tool can analyse population data for around 1,000 years. But Elhaik is now working on a new system that can work with much older data. “We’re probably going to do a really good job for 2,000 to 10,000 years ago due to the availability of the DNA from these time periods,” he said.
Updated 20/04/16, 20:50: This article has been updated to reflect an incorrect external link describing GPS.
By: Sarah Griffiths for MailOnline, 20 April 2016, Dailymail.co.uk
- Yiddish was thought to have originally been an old German dialect
- A new genetic study, however, has pinpointed origin of Yiddish speakers
- Suggests it was invented by Iranian and Ashkenazic Jews on the Silk Road
Researchers say the DNA of Yiddish speakers may have originated from four ancient villages in north-eastern Turkey.
It may have been spoken for 1,000 years, but the origins of Yiddish – the language of Ashkenazic Jews – has been a bone of contention between linguists for years.
Now researchers say the DNA of Yiddish speakers may have originated from four ancient villages in north-eastern Turkey.
And they believe the Yiddish language was invented by Iranian and Ashkenazic Jews as they traded on the Silk Road, challenging the popular idea it is an old German dialect.
Scientists at the Universities of Sheffield and Tel Aviv used a tool dubbed the Geographic Population Structure (GPS) to convert DNA data into ancestral coordinates.
This enabled them to identify the ancient villages – Iskenaz, Eskenaz, Ashanaz, and Ashkuz – close to the crossroads of the Silk Roads, which were a historically important international trade route between China and the Mediterranean.
They believe the villages names derive from the word ‘Ashkenaz’ and may have existed as long as 1,500 years ago.
Dr Eran Elhaik from Sheffield University’s Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, said: ‘Language, geography and genetics are all connected.
‘Using the GPS tool to analyse the DNA of sole Yiddish and non-Yiddish speakers, we were able to predict the possible ancestral location where Yiddish originated over 1,000 years ago – a question which linguists have debated over for many years.’
‘North east Turkey is the only place in the world where these place names exist – which strongly implies that Yiddish was established around the first millennium at a time when Jewish traders who were plying the Silk Road moved goods from Asia to Europe wanted to keep their monopoly on trade.
‘They did this by inventing Yiddish – a secret language that very few can speak or understand other than Jews.
‘Our findings are in agreement with an alternative theory that suggests Yiddish has Iranian, Turkish, and Slavic origins and explains why Yiddish contains 251 words for the terms “buy” and “sell”.
‘This is what we can expect from a language of experienced merchants.’
Yiddish, which incorporates German, Slavic and Hebrew, and is written in Aramaic letters, is commonly thought to be an old German dialect.
However, an alternative theory proposed by Professor Paul Wexler from the University of Tel Aviv, who is also an author on the study, suggests that Yiddish is a Slavic language that used to have both Slavic grammar and words but in time shed its Slavic lexicon and replaced it with common and unfamiliar German words.
The findings of the study, published in the journal Genome Biology and Evolution, led researchers to believe that towards the end of the first millennium, Ashkenazic Jews may have relocated to Khazaria before moving into Europe half a millennium later after the fall of the Khazarian Empire.
This was a time when the international trading networks collapsed.
As Yiddish became the primary language of Ashkenazic Jews, the language began to acquire new words from other cultures while retaining its Slavic grammar.
Dr Elhaik said: ‘Yiddish is such a wonderful and complex language, which was inappropriately called ‘bad German’ by both its native and non-native speakers because the language consists of made-up German words and a non-German grammar.
‘Yiddish is truly a combination of familiar and adapted German words using Slavic grammar.
‘In a sense the language uses the same premise as Yoda from the Star Wars movies.
‘For example, Yoda’s language consists of common and made-up English words like ‘Wookie’ or ‘Jedi’ but the grammar is different – the words are used in a different order to what we are familiar with.’
He added: ‘Utilising the GPS ancestry technology and applying it to the DNA of sole Yiddish speakers and non-Yiddish speakers allowed us to find the ancestral origins of their DNA.
‘The GPS tool indicates where ancient Ashkenaz could have existed over 1,500 years ago.’
Professor Wexler, added: ‘The linguistic data used are from Yiddish, which we assume was invented in Western Asia as a Slavic language with a largely German-like lexicon and a significant Iranian component on all levels of the language.
‘The genetic data presented here appear to corroborate the linguistic hypothesis.’
WHAT IS YIDDISH?
Yiddish is the language of the Ashkenazia Jews (and their descendants) of Central and Eastern Europe. It literally means Jewish, according to JewFaq.
The language is a hybrid of Hebrew, and other languages where the Ashkenazic Jews have lived, including Germany. It has an unmusical grammatical structure of its own and is written in an alphabet based on Hebrew characters.
Just one century ago it was understood by 11 million of the world’s 18 million Jews, many of who spoke it as their first language. Now, far fewer people use it.