Invasion of the Barbarians or The Huns approaching Rome – Color Painting

According to, it seems that the argument about the Hun origin of Hungarians re-emerges. Based on the analysis of findings from the time of the Hungarian conquest, geneticists state that our ancestors’ DNA was quite similar to the Huns’. Moreover, they assume that it weren’t the conquerors who spoke the Hungarian language, but the Avars, who lived in the Carpathian Basin when the Hungarians arrived.

Archaeological genetics is a young field in science, which tries to reconstruct historic events and origins with the help of DNA mainly extracted from bone remains. The oldest findings that were successfully analysed genetically are tens of thousands years old. This was how scientists found out that the Neanderthal didn’t vanish completely, because 2-4% of human DNA originates from them.

Tibor Török and his team study the genetics of conquerors at the Genetics Department of the University of Szeged. The researchers try to figure out the prehistory of Hungarians by analysing mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) extracted from bone remains.

In their study, they came to the surprising conclusion that the conqueror Hungarians partly spring from the Huns.

This view, which was dominant for a long time, was claimed to be false by the linguistic/archaeological approach of the last times. So it’s no surprise that the genetic findings made quite a noise in the scientific world.

Several studies have proven that only 4% of the DNA of today’s Hungarians show Asian origin. However, this is still the highest rate compared to neighbouring nations, which is probably due to the Hun, Avar inflow. But the Szeged research group is also interested in the components of the remaining 96%. It seems that the majority of the components can be found in the ancient European layer of the Neolithic-Bronze Age. More details could be found out from an elaborate, well-structured genetic size-up.

Regarding the genetics of Hungarian conquerors, the scientists found a 30-40% Asian component. The fact that this rate has fallen to 4% means that the examined conquerors contributed to the genetic face of today’s Hungarians in 10%. Since no major change of population happened in the Carpathian Basin after the conquest, the results support previous data, according to which there weren’t many conquerors.

The wandering of the Hungarians as taught in schools – Photo: Wiki Commons By Tambo

The research group spent a lot of time on trying to figure out the origins of the Asian component. They resequenced the entire mtDNA genome to get as many information as possible. Theoretically, the Asian component could be originated from Finno-Ugric nations, Scythians, Huns and Avars. They excluded the Finno-Ugric origin right away and came to the conclusion that it is the Huns who fit the concept the best. However, the contribution of the other two groups can’t be excluded completely.

According to Tibor Török, the approach of archaeologists nowadays is mostly determined by the Finno-Ugric theory. Although, this is actually not an archaeological theory, since the remains of the conquerors imply a steppe culture. Nonetheless, archaeologists reacted quite adversely to the results of the new study, because they believe that the linguistic relation is independent from the genetic relation, so the research group is contradicting a non-existent viewpoint.

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Still, the team of Tibor Török firmly believes that linguistics and genetics are not completely independent of each other.

Moreover, the dominant theory claims that the Hungarian language was brought by the conquerors, so researchers would think that they had more genetic prints than today’s Hungarians. Also, academics still originate the conquerors from proto-Uralic nations as no one has come up with a better alternative. He added that it says quite a lot if someone gets so angry hearing the Hun affinity.

The social strata of the conquerors is one of the most important archaeological questions. For a long time they were thought of as an armed elite of few. The real question concerns the numbers, because an elite few couldn’t bring the language, or, at least, couldn’t make their language dominant against the crowd. Even though the genetic data of around two hundred conquerors support this idea, the examination of “barer” cemeteries of common people only started recently.

Mihány Munkácsy: The Hungarian conquest – Photo (painting): Wiki Commons By Mihály Munkácsy (scan from old book)

The other main statement of the study is that Hungarian could have been the language of the people already living in the Carpathian Basin when the conquerors arrived.

This would mean the Avar population, but the research group didn’t go as far as to state that they spoke Hungarian, because they can’t draw linguistic conclusions from the genes. This hypothesis is actually not new among the debates of archaeologists and historians.

The genetic data also seem to support this theory, since the Onoğur Bulgarians spoke Turkish, and if it was truly an Onoğur team, few in number, that undertook the conquest, then they must have found the language in place. If this hypothesis is true, then only the population of the Avar era could be taken into account when looking for the people speaking the language, and, of course, not the chiefs, because they were probably a similarly small elite as the Hungarian conquerors were.

All in all, their findings seem to support the well-known hypothesis, according to which the conquerors could’ve been a group among the Onoğur Bulgarians, who originated from Middle Asia and previously had a tight cousinship-alliance with the Huns.

The issue remains a topic of debate.

Featured image: Invasion of the Barbarians or The Huns approaching Rome (colour painting) – Wiki Commons By Ulpiano Checa

Ce: bm


  1. Very interesting. It would be interesting to see exactly how the Onoğur Bulgarians and the Huns are related.

  2. The genetic study of the Genetics Department of the University of Szeged clearly states that the Hungarians are NOT the descendants of the Huns and are not of Asian origin at all (at least 96% of them), but you blatantly state the opposite in the title of this article.

    It seems that you WANT exactly the opposite to what the scientific truth says.

    By the way I am Bulgarian and recent DNA studies in Bulgaria clearly show that among the ethnic Bulgarians live less than 1% population with Asian origin.

    You media is dishonest and so nag that sates exactly the opposite to what contemporary scientific studies have found.

    So Hungarians, it obvious that somebody in Hungary wants to persuade you that you are Huns (this is a Turkish viewpoint for those who don’t know this). Simply ignore these lies and believe only what respectable scientific studies confirm and of course – believe in yourselves.

  3. @Bulgarian,
    You title says it all “BULL”garian. You speak so much Bullshit out, that it’s incredible that you could in real life have any audience at all. What ‘scientific studies’ are you talking about? Do you even understand what DNA is? Do you know what HAPLO group you belong to? Do you know where Hungary is located? Do you know who your parents where? Do you know anything? LMFAO!

  4. Dear Editor and Readers,

    I liked the article in general, however I would argue with a few statements. Let me pick just one.
    For example I object to the following lines which seem to reflect rather the author’s opinion than any scientific conclusion.

    „Since no major change of population happened in the Carpathian Basin after the conquest, the results support previous data, according to which there weren’t many conquerors.”

    The author does not seem to remember the devastating events of the Mongol Invasion ( Tatars ) of half of Europe in the 13th. century, a result of which at least 40% of the Hungarian population died, by slaughter or epidemic.
    Rogerius of Apulia , and Italian monk and chronicler who witnessed and survived the invasion, even pointed out the genocidal element of the occupation. There were hundreds of settlements in the Hungarian Kingdom in which every single person was killed.

    After the Mongols finally left Hungary , King Bela IV. invited Germanic people and Slavs to repopulate the country. During his reign, tens of thousands of colonists arrived from the Holy Roman Empire, Poland and other neighboring regions to settle in the depopulated lands. What would the author call this if not major change of population ?

    Similarly , during the hundred and fifty year long Ottoman Turkish occupation of Hungary’s central region, whole villages became depopulated due to unbearable living conditions under the yoke of Islam, and the population fleeing for safer parts of the country.
    At the end of the seventeenth century that region had to be repopulated, and again people arrived from all parts of Europe to do so. What would the author call this if not major change of population ?

    The Chronicon Pictum – Illuminated Chronicle which is also referred to as Chronica Hungarorum from the second half of fourteenth century, tells you explicitly about the prehistory of the Hungarians, and draws a straight line between the Huns and Hungarians. It even provides you with a family tree of the early Kings of Hungary without a gap. The text of Latin is without error and the whole manuscript represents very high quality.

    You all have a nice day.

  5. It would be nice to see at least ONE single scientific source that is not Hungarian and confirms that the Hungarians are descendants of the Huns. Unfortunately there is none, the Hungarian people that try to spread this information are really starting to make themselves ridiculous in front of the whole educated world.

  6. @Chri and @Bulgarian,
    Sorry about your messed up lives and how you now hate the world, but your understanding of Huns & Hungarians, my people lack any facts or knowledge. We have history in our culture teachings based on fact which explains it very well, and we don’t need to boast to anyone about it. Pavel gave a descent attempt, but in fact any visitors to Hungary will see HERO’s square with all it’s Chieftans. Then Huns went under many names (Magyars, Avars, Urs, Uyghurs, Szeklers, Bulgars) and lived in central europe for thousands of years in patches all speaking the same language and wearing the same gear and practices. These spread to Old Turks and Bulgars, not the other way around. The Xiang province in China west and central did host the Huns originally (documented even on Youtube), and the Turim mummies again, check their DNA to modern day Hungarians, a match. Phoniy undeducated western propaganda noise is all i see from the 2 clowns on this site so far.

  7. If the Hungarian conquerors were “few in numbers” and an “elite of few” that actually took over the language of the Avars that lived in the Carpathian Basin at the time, then the Hungarians assimilated and the people living there are not even Hungarians but Avars.

  8. @Jocasta,
    Really?! What history comic books had you read?? ‘Hungarian conquerors’? Never heard of them. Heard of the Huns, Avars, Scythians, but never ‘Hungarian conquerors’. Hey i liked Batman and Superman growing up to. Thanks for your wonderful imaginations..

  9. “Several studies have proven that only 4% of the DNA of today’s Hungarians show Asian origin.”
    “Regarding the genetics of Hungarian conquerors, the scientists found a 30-40% Asian component.”


    Can you even read ? We are talking about results from 2 different groups of Hungarians in 2 different ages! Moreover regarding today’s Hungarians that 4% can be moved up and down depending from where you take samples from. And that is why taking samples from today’s hungarians from heavily mixed areas and not from the the Eger area dont have probative value and dont link to the genetic research of the Magyar honfoglaló population.

  10. Genetic study proves that old Magyars WERE the descendants of the Huns.
    BUT modern Magyars are the descendants of the inhabitants of the former Kingdom of Hungary: Slavs, Germans, Romanians.

  11. Rubbish. Just another attempt to seperate Hungary from Europe. I have known Hungarians as white as snow.

  12. Thought provoking research. Well appreciated. What does Dr. Pok Attila have to say about your findings? Does he agree in part, wholeheartedly or tepidly?

  13. I see similarities to the Norman (Viking) conquerors of England (“Angles Land”). The Normans were an élite few that took over and ruled the country about the same time as the Magyars conquered the Carpathian Basin, but modern Englishmen show little if any Norman (Viking) DNA, despite even earlier Viking invasion and settlement in a part of northeastern England then called the “Dane Law”. The Normans didn’t mix with the Anglo-Saxon serfs for 200 years. Nevertheless, the Norman’s changed Anglish to English, which includes 50% French words. The English Language still reflects the status of the Norman overlords and the Anglo-Saxon serfs. For example, animals are called by the Saxon words cow, pig, and sheep when they are in the farmyard, and by the Norman words beef, pork, and mutton after they are cooked and served at dinner. Something similar probably occurred in Hungary.
    After 2000 years of invasion and conquest back and forth across Eurasia, nobody is pure anything anymore. Today’s English are Neanderthal (4%), African, Celt, Roman, Viking, Germanic, French, and who knows what else? Despite what Hitler believed, we are all mongrels. So enjoy your diversity, and you are probably right whoever you think you are descended from, including Charlemagne, Atilla, and King David.

  14. IVO Hrvatska how did this article manage to trigger you snowflake? Most Eurasians were ‘white’, so don’t make this about race you insecure dimwit. Nobody has an agenda to separate Hungary from Europe, this has nothing to do with Europe as the continent wasn’t even properly designated at the time. However it is known that Huns and Magyar tribes settled in Hungary. They were all white but not snowflakes like you….

  15. IVO Hevatska how did this article manage to trigger you snowflake? Most Eurasians were and still are ‘white’ skinned, you trying to distinguish them as separate shows how insecure you are. Especially when the article has no mention of skin pigmentation.. Additionally, Europe wasn’t even properly designated as a continent at that time. The Huns and Magyar tribes that settled then were white skinned but weren’t snowflakes like you.

  16. If all Hungarian women look like the Gabor sisters, I want one for Christmas.

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