Origins of Hungarians!
The medieval Hungarian sources refer to the story of the Biblical Nimrod, son of Kush, and Eneth, whose two sons, Hunor and Magor, led the Huns and the Magyars from the regions neighbouring Persia to the land known as Scythia - a designation generally given to the region stretching from the Carpathians into Central Asia (1).
From Scythia, first the Huns (5th c. AD), then Árpád's Magyars (895-896 AD) established themselves in the Carpathian Basin. It is also stated in these sources that Árpád was a descendent of Atilla, and that therefore, under Árpád's leadership, the Magyars reconquered Hungary as their rightful inheritance from their Hun forebears (2).
The contemporary Persian, Armenian, Arab, Greek, Russian and Western sources generally concur with the Caucasian-Caspian origin of the Magyars and with the Scythian-Hun-Avar-Magyar identity (3). It is also interesting to note that although the Byzantine sources generally referred to the Magyars as "Turks" (Turkoi), they also mention that by their own account, the Magyars' previously known name which they used themselves was, in Greek translation, "Sabartoi asphaloi" (4).
This is extremely important because this name refers to the Sabir people, also known as the Subareans, who inhabited the land known by the Babylonians and Assyrians as Subartu which was situated in the Transcaucasian-Northern Mesopotamian-Western Iranian region (5). By their own account, the Sumerians of Southern Mesopotamia also came from this region which they referred to as Subir-Ki (6).
The Hun-Magyar relationship is also referred to in the recently published Hungarian translation of a Turkish version of the history of Hungary, (Tarihi Üngürüsz), based on an earlier Latin text lost during the Turkish wars (16th-17th c.). This source also mentions that when the Huns and the Magyars arrived in Hungary, they both found peoples already settled there who spoke the same language as themselves, thus lending support to the Hun-Magyar identity and extending the continuity of the Hungarian people in the Carpathian Basin further back in time (7)
At the time of the Magyar settlement, the bulk of the Carpathian Basin's population was made up by the remaining Avars, Huns, and other previously settled non-Indo-European peoples.
The archeological and anthropological data shows that beneath the apparent constant discontinuity due to foreign invasions, there seems to be a fundamental similarity and continuity of non-Indo-European peoples in the Carpathian Basin going back to the Neolithic period.
Gyula László also pointed out the Avar-Magyar ethnic continuity in his book "Kettös honfoglalás", in which he referred to the anthropological evidence indicating that there was a considerable Avar population in the Carpathian Basin at the time of the Magyar settlement, and that the Avars and the Magyars were anthropologically identical. Taking this into consideration with the accounts of contemporary Byzantine documents according to which the Avars spoke the same language as the Huns, the Hun-Avar-Magyar ethno-linguistic identity seems highly probable......
....It appears therefore that a fundamental revision of early Hungarian history is necessary in order to arrive at a more accurate picture, and much research work remains to be done in this field. Based on the available information, it seems most probable that the Hungarians are a synthesis of the peoples which have settled in the Carpathian Basin since the Neolithic period up to the Middle Ages: the Sumerian-related peoples of Near-Eastern origin (Neolithic, Copper and Bronze Ages), followed by the Scythians (6th c. BC), the Huns (5th c. AD), the Avars (6th c.), the Magyars (9th c.), the Petchenegs (11th c.), and the Cumans (13th c.)
Presently there are still many misconceptions concerning the Turanian peoples: it is still widely believed, erroneously, that the Scythians were an Indo-European people, that the Huns and Avars were Turkic-speaking peoples of Mongolian race or origin, and that the Magyars were a mixture of Finnic and Turkic elements.
These misconceptions originate from an inaccurate historical perspective which failed to recognize the existence of a distinct Turanian entity amidst the multi-ethnic conglomerates of the Scythians, Huns, Avars, and Magyars, whose empires consisted of tribal federations which included various other ethnic groups: Indo-Europeans, as well as Uralic and Altaic peoples besides the dominant Turanian elements.
It now seems that this Turanian ethno-linguistic group to which the Hungarians belong was a distinct group from which the Uralic and Altaic ethno-linguistic groups later evolved through a process of ethno-linguistic diffusion and hybridization. This explanation of the existing ethno-linguistic affinities between the Hungarians and the Uralic and Altaic groups would be more in line with the latest findings on this subject.
In light of these findings, it would seem appropriate to re-examine this question objectively, avoiding the officially imposed ideological biases which have clouded the issue since the middle of the 19th c. and still continue to do so today.
Dogma #1: The myth of Indo-European "cultural superiority" This myth was invented in the 19th c. and became the basis of the ideology of the Aryan master race. It claims that the ancient Indo-Europeans had a higher cultural level than various non-Indo-Europeans who were considered to be culturally inferior. This ideological bias manifested itself clearly at the so-called "Paris Peace Conference" after WWI, when the so-called "victorious" agressor states primarily responsible for the war (the "Allied and Associated Powers") invaded and dismantled two Turanian states, the Kingdom of Hungary and the Ottoman Empire: "reminiscing over Hungary's punishment at the Paris Peace Conference, the British diplomat Harold Nicolson noted: "I confess that I regarded, and still regard, that Turanian tribe with acute distaste. Like their cousins the Turks, they had destroyed much and created nothing." This Allied participant at the Paris Peace Conference did more than just express his unflattering opinion of the Hungarian people. He captured the biased political atmosphere of the international setting in which the historical Hungarian state met its death." (Borsody, 1988) This ideological bias still influences Indo-European research: the so-called "Kurgan theory" of Indo-European origins developed by Marija Gimbutas is one of the more recent examples. This theory is still being misleadingly presented as a credible scientific theory despite its highly questionable interpretation of the facts, the lack of conclusive data supporting it, and the substantial contradicting evidence (Götz, 1994).
Dogma #2: Sumerians an "isolate" ethno-linguistic group This claim states that the Sumerians were not related to any known ethno-linguistic group. However, there is evidence to the contrary: the Sumerians were not an isolated ethno-linguistic group, they were part of a larger non-Semitic and non-Indo-European ethno-linguistic group including the Subareans, Hurrians, Hatti, Kassites, and Elamites, which inhabited the ancient Near East before the appearance of the Semitic and Indo-European peoples in that region. In fact, the evidence indicates the existence of non-Indo-European peoples not only in the Near East, but also in Europe, Iran, Central and South Asia prior to the Indo-Europeans. Even if not all of these non-Indo-European peoples were originally related to the Sumerians, given the substantial linguistic, archeological, and anthropological evidence of the dominant ethno-linguistic, cultural, economic, and political influence exerted by the Sumerian civilization over 1500 years in Western and Central Eurasia, it is highly probable that most of these ancient non-Semitic and non-Indo-European peoples evolved into related ethno-linguistic groups through cultural and ethno-linguistic convergence and hybridization with Sumerian or Sumerian-related peoples. The significant cultural and ethno-linguistic influence exerted over large areas of Eurasia by the Sumerians and related Turanian peoples played a key role in the development of the Semitic, Indo-European, and Ural-Altaic ethno-linguistic groups, as indicated by comparative linguistic analysis which shows that a significant number of words of Sumerian origin are present in those Eurasian language groups (Götz, 1994). The fundamental problem with the Sumerian question is the fact that the creators of mankind's earliest known civilization were neither Semitic, nor Indo-European, and this is an inconvenient reality for certain leading interest groups whose ideological bias has been interfering with scientific research about the origins of the various Eurasian ethno-linguistic groups since the 19th century.
Dogma #3: Single-source origin of Indo-Europeans This is the so-called "family tree" theory which claims that the Indo-European languages and peoples originate from a single common ancestral language, people and homeland, based on Grimm's linguistic theory of sound change. So far all attempts at locating the presumed ancestral Indo-European homeland and to reconstruct the hypothetical ancestral Indo-European language have failed. The evidence suggests that there were no single Indo-European common ancestral language, people and homeland, but that the Indo-European languages and peoples evolved from a complex process of cultural and ethno-linguistic convergence and hybridization among various proto-Indo-European and non-Indo-European peoples, including Turanians. The failure of Indo-European linguistics is due to the fact that many words which are assumed to be of Indo-European origin are in fact of Sumerian origin, but Indo-European linguists simply continue to ignore this because of the erroneous belief that Sumerian was an "isolate" language (Götz, 1994).
Dogma #4: Scythians an "Iranian" people The claim that the Scythians were "Iranian", and therefore Indo-European, is based on the highly questionable interpretation of a few names and words transmitted by Greek sources. The evidence indicates that there were non-Indo-European peoples in Iran and Turan long before the appearance of Indo-Europeans in those regions. Some of these pre-Indo-European peoples may have later become "Indo-Europeanized" to some extent. The Scythians, Cimmerians, Sarmatians, Medes, and Parthians were therefore not originally Indo-European, they were Turanians. Indo-European linguistics has a tendency to claim as "Indo-European" many ancient peoples who were in fact originally non-Indo-European, but may have later become "Indo-Europeanized" as a result of ethno-linguistic convergence and hybridization.
Dogma #5: Uralic and Altaic groups "not related" Indo-European linguists reject the possibility of a connection between the Uralic and Altaic ethno-linguistic groups. This is an unfounded assumption as the evidence indicates that the Uralic and Altaic groups were formed through ethno-linguistic convergence and hybridization with Turanian peoples such as the Sumerians and Scythians. The Uralic and Altaic groups therefore share common Turanian ethno-linguistic roots.
Dogma #6: Existence of Turanian ethno-linguistic group dismissed Based on the unsubstantiated claims that the Sumerians were an "isolate" ethno-linguistic group and that the Uralic and Altaic groups are "not related", Indo-European linguists deny the existence of an ancient Turanian ethno-linguistic group which included the Sumerians and the Scythians despite evidence to the contrary, evidence which they simply ignore or dismiss without valid justification.
Dogma #7: The theory of the "Finno-Ugrian" origin of Hungarians The so-called "Finno-Ugrian" theory of the origin of the Hungarian people and language is closely modelled on the Indo-European "family tree" linguistic theory. As such, not only is the "Finno-Ugrian" theory fundamentally flawed, it was also developed during the 19th century when Hungary was under the foreign rule of the Austrian Habsburgs. As a result, this pseudo-scientific theory was part of the anti-Hungarian cultural policy specifically designed to weaken the national self-consciousness of the Hungarian people by distorting and falsifying their origins and history. This was the case under the Habsburg regime's policy of Germanization just as it was the case under the Soviet Communist regime's policy of Russification. It was therefore in the interest of these regimes to "let the conquered Hungarians believe that they have an ancestry more primitive than that of the Indo-European peoples. In Habsburg times Hungarian children were taught that most of their civilization came from the Germans: today they are taught that their 'barbaric' ancestors were civilized by the educated Slavs." (Bobula, 1982) According to the latest genetic research (Semino, 2000), the main Hungarian ancestral population has inhabited its current Carpathian homeland for at least 40 000 years, and is of Central Eurasian origin. The genetic markers most characteristic of the Hungarian population are also present in Eastern Europe and Central and South-Western Asia, and correspond to the known distribution and movements of the ancient Scythian and Hun peoples based on the historical and archeological evidence, thus substantiating the Hungarian-Scythian, Scythian-Hun and Hun-Magyar ethno-linguistic connections. The genetic evidence also indicates that the genetic markers most characteristic of the Finno-Ugrians of Northern Europe, the Volga-Ural region, and Siberia are completely absent in the Hungarian population. Based on the latest linguistic, archeological, anthropological, and genetic research, Hungarians are therefore not of Finno-Ugrian origin, but the Finno-Ugrian ethno-linguistic group was formed under the dominant cultural influence of the Turanian peoples with whom the Finno-Ugrians came in contact, thus explaining the Hungarian-Uralic linguistic correlation.