Y-chromosome diversity in the Assyrian Christians

Yonan et al. 2009


The Assyrians are a Christian ethnic group that traces its origins to the Eastern Semitic population of the pre-Aramized Assyrian Empire (and by effect Pre-Islamic Mesopotamia).  It was not until the Neo-Assyrian imperial period that the Eastern Semitic speaking Assyrians started speaking Western Semitic Aramaic, the language of the Aramaean tribes who had been assimilated into the Assyrian empire in the 8th century BC. due in part to the mass relocations enforced by Assyrian kings of the Neo-Assyrian empire.  Assyrians were Christianized in the 1st to 3rd centuries. They were divided by the Nestorian Schism in the 5th century, and from the 8th century, they became a religious minority following the Islamic conquest of Mesopotamia, the total Assyrian population is estimated to be over 3 Million Assyrians. 

In this study we collected samples from 147 unrelated males:

Population       N        E-M96           G-M201         J1-M267          J2-M172        L-M20       T-M70             R1a1-M17       R1b1b2-M269
Assyrian Christians    78 - 9.0 41.0 14.1 1.3 3.8 7.7 23.1
Iraqi Muslims     69 5.7 4.3 30.4 43.5 0 8.7 2.9 4.3