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The Origins of Cimmerians, Scythians and Sarmatians

By Mehmet Kurtkaya, Published on October 10, 2018 Updated April 14, 2019

Image from Wikimedia
The oldest surviving carpet in the world! From Scythian Pazyryk Kurgan, Altai region, Russia.
Around 400 BC. Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg, Russia

A recent ancient genome study titled Ancient genomes suggest the eastern Pontic-Caspian steppe as the source of western Iron Age nomads, published by Maja Krzewinska et. al. on October 3, 2018, provided further info on the origins of Cimmerians, Scythians and Sarmatians.

All Pontic Caspian Iron Age Nomads (Northeast of the Black Sea, Western Asia, starting around 1000 BC) whose grave remains were analyzed, Cimmerians, Scythians and Sarmatians, have mtDNA ancestry associated with Central Asia and East Asia, specifically the region around the Altai mountains.

Moreover, all Cimmerians had Siberian ancestry. One of the Cimmerians had haplogroup Q1a, found among Siberians, East Asians and Native Americans and thought to have originated in the Altai Mountains.

The results are a clear indication of a migration from Western/Southern Siberia first towards North of the Black Sea, and then to Anatolia/Turkey, a migration already known from ancient written records.

Scythian samples from the East Pontic Caspian Steppes came out to be R1b. This was totally unexpected for those Western scholars who link Indo-European languages to genetic study results without any written and/or archaeological evidence.

Moreover, this study opens another hole in the long-held, unfounded Western academic beliefs/lies displayed on Wikipedia pages regarding Cimmerians and Scythians.

Cimmerians, a name mentioned in popular culture with Robert E. Howard's fiction character Conan the Cimmerian, later known as Conan the Barbarian, were a group of nomads who first appeared in the East Pontic Steppes around 1000BC and were known to have conquered large parts of Anatolia / Turkey / Asia Minor, from East to West, around 700-600 BC.

The only people known to have lived in the Altai mountain area and migrated West throughout history are Turks, and to a lesser extent, the Mongols. Turkish and Mongolian are the only two prominent people/language, known from Chinese written records since more than 2000 years. The only language with many different dialects spread accross a vast area in Eurasia from the Bering Straights to modern Turkey is Turkish. Hence the Cimmerians can only be Turks and to a lesser extent, Mongols.

Cimmerians and Scythians probably mixed with the Indo-European speaking populations residing in the Pontic Caspian and Iran. It is already known that many Scythian rulers had Turkish and Indo-European-Iranian names. This was known even before these genetic study results, thanks to the linguistic and cultural evidence presented largely by Russian scholars such as Klyosov and Kisamov. See Scythian, Scyth, Sukut known from Mesopotamian Cuneiform Records and also Was Scythian an Iranian Language by Borisoff, another Russian scholar.

The study proves that Turks had migrated to the Pontic Caspian around 1000 BC at the latest, and entered Anatolia around 650 BC, led by Cimmerian King Dugdamme, (Dugdamis, in Greek Lygdamis). Cimmerians first conquered the Urartu kingdom in the East and later Phrygia in the West. King Midas' death may have been related to Cimmerian invasion of Anatolia.

Needless to say, this was not the earliest entry of the Turks to Anatolia via Iran, as evidenced by cuneiform records from 2300 BC through 600 BC. See Turuk/Turkish migration waves out of Turkey, Iran and Mesopotamia towards Italy, Greece and Spain! 2200-800 BC and the Origins of the Etruscans!

Moreover, Iran and Siberian Altai connection goes many thousand years earlier, to at least 4000 BC as seen in other genetic study results: Sumerian migrations and Uruk expansions.

The 4-16 percent Siberian genetic ancestry found in Mycenaean Greeks (See Sumerian Influence on Ancient Greece: Minoan, Mycenaean and Classical Greece) and the Turuk raids attested from a few centuries earlier in Assyrian cuneiform records must be considered together with Cimmerian data which shows a similar migration about a 1000 years later from the Altai mountains.
Image from Wikimedia
Cimmerians - Kimmer, drawing by Shams Bahari

Tugdamme also known as Dugdamis and in Greek as Lygdamis, Turkish Toktamis and Sumerian Gods

Tugdamme was the famed king of Cimmerians. He was the 'King of the Saka and Qutium' hence the king of the Scythians (=Saka) and the Gutians, a people who ruled over Sumer around 2000 BC.

Tugdamme was known as Lygdamis in Greek due to a known sound rule change D > L. The ending -s is found in Indo European languages especially the Greek language. Dugdamis is the same as Toktamish known from Turkish history as Toktamish Kagan and a name still used in Turkey.

Analyzing Tugdamme we can clearly see Tug+Damme. Tug is the name of the power to rule given to Turkish Kagans. Otag is the name of the tent where the Kagan/Emperor resides, used among Altai Turks. Note the clear connection between Tug and Otag both in meaning and sound. Moreover the g is actually a voiced g or ğ, which is only found in Turkish language.

The second part of the word "damme" can be analyzed as ud+umma. Ud is found in Sumerian and Turkish as sun/fire. Umma is the name of a Sumerian city and means life/afterlife, though its literal translation is "old woman". Ama means mother in Sumerian and Ana in Turkish. Moreover Dimme means demon in Sumerian. Ud(Sun)+Umma is closely related to An(Sky)+umma or Nammu, Sumerian primeval goddess as in King Name Ur-Nammu whose legal code became a blueprint for Hammurabi's code.

All ancient king names were generic God names or names derived from God names. Kings were representative of the chief god of the city/state. The word Tugdamme is directly related to power to rule and afterlife. Damme can be explained via Sumerian.

Tugdamme was the leader of Umman-Manda a generic name to specify nomadic hordes. Note how Umma can be found in Damme and Umman which formed by adding Umma+An (An sky god).

Akkadian King Naram-Sin (2250BC) states that he defeated Umman-Manda. This is important because he also states he defeated King Pemba of Hatti and King Ilsu-Nail of Tur-ki (First written reference to Turks). Another clear proof how Umman-Manda is connected to the Turks of the Altai region, Siberia. Hence Dugdamis was Turkish Toktamish. Morever the sound change observed in ancient records is from T > D and not D > T.

Another important note is that -mis / -mish / -mesh is formed by adding -um and -us/-ush and found in Turkish Kagan names: Sumerian Bilgamesh /Gilgamesh, Turkish Alpamesh, Kutalmesh etc. Mesh meant honourable in Turkish hence Sumerian Bilgamesh translates to Honourable Wise.

As a side note the meanings of the Sumerian word Umun, corresponds to English Human or Latin Humanus. Latin Humus or Homo corresponds to Turkish uğ+umus.

We can definetely say that Kimmerians were Turks from the Altai mountains!

Teoman / T'oman, the first Kagan of the Huns / Xiongnu and Elamite King TeUmman

Elamite king in Iran is comtemporary with Kimmerian Tugdamme. He was in power from 664 to 653 BC until killed by the Assyrian king Ashurbanipal.

One can see again the word Umman in king's name.

Teuman was name of the first Kagan of the Huns between 220-209 BC. Note this is the same name as the Iranian king name known from 650 BC. This shows that Teumman was a generic Kagan name related to godly power both in Iran and the Altai Mountains. It also shows continuous close connection between Iran and Siberia throughout ages.

Hyperborean Myth

It is quite likely that Hyperborea found in Greek Mythology is Siberia and the people Umman-Manda, i.e. Turks and Mongols from Siberia are the Hyperboreans.

Te-ushpa-a / Te-us-pa-a / Teuspa Cimmerian king

Another Kimmerian king. Its name clearly derived from Hurrian Sky God Teshup, per God Name-King Name relationship. Cimmerian name Tugdamme maybe related to Celtic Togodumnos

Scythians Have Mixed Origins mostly Turkish and Indo-European but also Hungarian and Mongolian too

Even though Cimmerians were not the ancestors of the Scythians and the Sarmatians, all Iron Age nomadic groups (Cimmerian, Scythian, Sarmatian) share a common ancestral pool associated with the Bronze Age populations of the Eurasian Steppe, the study has found. Also revealed was the existence of the Karasuk-Cimmerian cultural-historical community.

The genetic make-up of individuals show genetic relations not in a way to show one as the ancestor of the other, rather suggests complex East-West genetic relations established via migrations. Intragroup genetic diversity has been observed within Iron Age Nomads, and this must be expected: Turks are the most mixed people in history.

Scythians cluster with the modern Swedes, Hungarians, Poles, Bulgarians, Turks, Croatians and other people as might be expected since they were a genetically diverse first major Eurasian Empire, using the word empire in a loose sense, more like cultural continuty and some linguistic continuity (Turkish and Indo-European/Indo-Iranian, and probably Mongolian as well especially on the Eastern regions). In a way, Huns and Xiong-Nu can be considered the successor of the Scythians.

It is possible to observe early mixing of the Turks and the Indo-Europeans in linguistic studies, as well as ancient Greek records, Minoan Linear A, Mycenaean Linear B and the writings of Homer. Haplogroups R1a and R1b Often, genetics studies are used to imply linguistic results with overreaching claims. This is especially true for those seeking the Indo-European homeland. The earliest written Indo-European records are from Anatolia tough Damgaard et. al. revealed a few probably Indo-European names in cuneiform records dated to around 2600 BC from the Northern Syrian city of Ebla.

Some people think that haplogroup R1a is associated with Indo-European languages. In the absence of written records it is difficult to ascertain these claims. Moreover people looking for Indo-European origins frequently disregard the social, historic and geographical environment within which Indo-European languages were first attested, namely within the areas where agglutinative SOV languages like Sumerian, Hatti, Elamite, Dravidian, Hurrian, Etruscan, Turkish, Hungarian, and Finnish were spoken.

The spread of languages may involve genetic or cultural contacts. Thinking in isolate terms is what the Western academics have been practicing for the last 100-150 years. Parpola's remarks that Sumerian linguistic studies were neglected for the last 120 years show the current state of affairs in ancient language studies.

A commentator on Eurogenes, Lukasz M rightly joked about how some bloggers were dreaming that Pontic Scythians will be R1a and Slavic. This is an example among many others that show how baseless claims end, with hard genetic facts! This is the result of the Western academic myths established by the likes of Oxford, Harvard, enforced with the censorship of Wikipedia and those who blindly obey them.

Who are these nomads? Horse warriors, nomadic pastoralists but also city dwellers too. Written cuneiform records allow deeper look into the culture of the Turuk (Turukku) / Turks. They had the mobility and the state governance over tribal groups with a fairly complex political structure. I call this "a state in motion".

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