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A gorgeous, smart, feisty Bulgarian woman has agreed to translate the video linked in this blog for me.…

You may have to click "see more replies" with my account 😉

The translation:
"Study from Harvard geneticists and archeologists from the national institute of archeology about the origins of Bulgarians, initial results."

My name is Svetoslav Stamov, I;m an anthropologist. Graduated from Duke where I studied and also taught for a time.
(SS) Right now Im working as part of Dr. Reich’s team at Harvard and I also help out with another team that's entirely Bulgarian - a team of anthropologists as part of the national archeological institute + museum in Sofia. We’re working on an interesting project.
Petar Teodosiev (PT):
You told me about this project and Im super intrigued. I'm interested how Bg is working with such an elite uni like Harvard. Where did the idea come for this study and what is the purpose of it (esp in terms of academia and for bulgarians)?
SS: The study initiator is Science, your publication.The expectation is that it will answer many unanswered questions about bg history. These questions have been unanswered for 2 centuries despite the efforts of generations of bg historians and anthropologists.
SS: What are the origins of the proto-bulgarians origins of southern slavs, and the connection between contemporary bulgarians and those bulgarians who lived before us? We got 500 genetic profiles from bone material from different epochs, because we wanted to finally clarify the
SS: origin of contemporary bgs the origins of proto-bgs and the cxn between contemporary bgs and the ancient pops on the balkan peninsula dating back to the bronze age. The sequencing of the dna is super complex and a v expensive process. (Reich's lab is financing it to ~5MM!)
(More collaborative details I'll omit henceforth: Dr. Stamov is ofc excited and appreciative)

PT: Are there any results so far? SS: The initial results are from 2 skeletons. One is from the end of the first kingdom/empire during Simeon’s time (this would be Simeon the Great).
and the other is from the beginning of the second empire during the time of Kaloyan. So we have the initial results from a sequenced bulgarian during the first empire. Bc everything rn is being reviewed I wont go too into detail about the initial results, but with one exception:
SS: We found out the paternal Y-chromosome haplogroup and this group is quite surprising. It’s abbreviated with Q2a1a2. They tell us only a small part of the story, but the male chromosome haplogroup carried from father to son in all generations.
With carbon dating we found the date of the death of the person +\- 20 yrs. Between 880 and 900, at the end of the rule of Boris and beginning of rule of Simeon (golden age). It belongs to a soldier. Maybe a general, We’re not entirely sure, But it’s a military burial.
The haplogroup originates from very far from bg, from the lake Baikal (The study says Kuban River). This gives support to the idea that maybe the original proto-bgs from many centuries ago originated from the region of Baikal. This is a haplogroup that isnt encountered in Europe.
This leads us to believe that in the territory of bg, there emerged a new pop; proto-bgs. We obv cant be fully sure of this - Q2a1a2.was identified by Hungarian scientists also, no it's proto-bgs. obv but the initial results do point to a partial connection to proto-Bulgarians.
I can tell you the first NAs identified in America is part of the first haplogroup. Btw there is a debate in bg about whether proto-bgs are culturally Iranic. The haplogroup shows that they are paleo-Siberian and this haplogroup is not found among the turks or the proto-turks.
It is found among ancient pops even more eastern and more connected to the NAs (he says sounds unbelievable, but that it’s true) than to the europeans. Rn the group is identified as being from the eastern coast part of Baikal. In terms of mitochondrial DNA, we have two results:
A maternal line, haplogroup U5a2a, found among Kurgans. It was found in a very old Moldovan culture destroyed at the end of the 2nd century. We have sequenced 11 individuals, and 6 of them are with the same exact haplogroup that we identified in the first and second empires.
(Bronson note: neither the lovely translator or I know what is meant by 'skitski' korolevskiye kurgany. To me, in my limited Russian, that's "Kurgans from the eponymous region in Amur Oblast", but what he's saying in Bulgarian escapes us, also, this guy has an ACCENT/slurs a bit)
This haplogroup could also be found among some of the ancient slavic groups, so the skeleton could be from the first empire

PT: As a specialist in this area, how many studies/trialswould you say we need to have a truly clear pic of what happened with proto-bgs and their origins?
SS: Well the more the better. We talked to Harvard about doing around 250 trials. obv the proto-bgs are the central focus of all this, but we’re also talking about slavs and other ancient balkan groups. And even the non-name groups during the bronze age.
SS: We see a connection between some groups of the early bronze age and the then-future trojan people of bg. This has been known for a while in terms of archeological parallels, but we now see genetic parallels as well. I can say that as bgs, we carry blood and genetics from...
...these people from the early bronze age - we have a very ancient component (hittites, anatolia and the trojans). And we also encountered some more surprising things. From two early bronze age necropolises, we see people who migrated to bg and are connected:

haplogroup R1A
It’s also the haplogroup of the indo-aryans that later settle in India. But one of their tribes diverges and settles in the balkans. Before the indo-europeans separated into the iranians, indians, and slavs, they were one people with the same genome.
ss: We also have results connecting pop of bg with mycenaean greeks. Before they became them, they had to originate from somewhere obv. Possibly via Asia or the balkans. They settled Mycenae and created the first greek-speaking pop. But to return to the focus of the proto-bgs.
We sequenced proto-bulgarian in HG Somewhat contradicts a Baikal ID. Has a 90% identical genetic profile as contemporary bgs, and connection to the Alans, so proto-bg tribe originated a VERY long time ago from Baikal but in the caucasus mixed with the alans and other groups.
Most interesting to me is this guy is almost indistinguishable from contemp bgs, which tells us proto-bgs either mixed with slavs in hungary or are a much bigger component of contemporary bgs, as in we have a lot more proto-bg in us than we think.
SS: This isnt entirely backed up by our initial results from the first empire - we have to do more analysis here.

PT: Interesting, etc (a bunch of unimportant shit).
When should we expect the first big publications in Science, Nature, etc?

SS: Earliest will be 2021
SS: I want to take this platform's op. rn to speak to bg history lovers:we need help. Bg history has tons of unanswered questions & debates related to diff events & pops. Citizens,now is the prime time to try & resolve some of these issues from the perspective of genetics!

SS: The sequencing of one profile is ~10k dollars. Our lab will do it for free as part of the project. If anyone has something that can be proven using genetics, pls reach out to us. The other thing is that in bg, money always runs out/is never enough (lol true dat)

(her note)
SS: If someone can help finance this,more sequencing of *bulgarian* skeletons, reach out to us!

In the next few months, we have the bandwidth to sequence a bunch of stuff, anything that could potentially address an unanswered genetic question.

(Interview closes out)
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