About Finnish/Volga-Ural Ethnicity
Modern Day Location
Did You Know?
The horse was first domesticated on the steppes of the Ural Mountains, as evidenced by chariot burials over 6,000 years old.
About Your Region
You have a genetic signature that is found in people of far northeastern Europe, which includes modern-day Finland and western Russia. The region includes the broad Volga River basin, its eastern boundary being the Ural mountains, generally considered the border between the European and Asian continents. Like most of Europe, it is a region of diverse ethnic and linguistic groups. Bordering the Baltic Sea, it has a long, entangled history with Scandinavia, while the vast Eurasian steppe to the south has brought many waves of invaders and settlers including Huns, Turks, and Mongolians.
It is believed that around six thousand years ago the people of the Pontic Steppe domesticated the horse. Archeological evidence includes ancient burial grounds containing elaborate jewelry depicting horses as well as horse bones found buried with chariots. Horses were then introduced to the Middle East and Europe and revolutionized for both pastoral culture and warfare.
The Finnic and Ugric tribes of the far north are some of the most ancient inhabitants of the region. Many modern-day languages such as Finnish, Estonian, Hungarian, and Erzya and Moksha, spoken by the Mordvins of the Volga region, are part of a common Uralic language group. Nomadic tribes of Turkic origin, such as the Khazars, Chuvash, and Bulgars arrived from central and eastern Asia and settled the region. In the Middle Ages, Mongol tribes, including the Golden Horde, controlled the southern areas and Slavic tribes from eastern Europe began expanding north and east into the Volga region.
Although it's disputed, historical accounts claim that several of these Slavic tribes were ruled by a group of Vikings known as the Varangians. The rulers became culturally assimilated with their subjects and this Slavic people began to be called the Rus, with major trade centers in Novgorod and Kiev. Eventually, they would form the foundation of the state of Russia.
Finland has been politically controlled by Sweden and Russia throughout much of its medieval and recent history, but was briefly captured by Germany in World War I. After Germany's defeat, the Finns were able to declare independence.
Migrations from this region
There are linguistic and genetic similarities between the people of northeastern Europe and the Volga-Ural peoples suggesting movement of people from this region to Europe. Sometime within the last 12,000 years there appears to be a migration from the Volga-Ural area towards the Baltic and Scandinavian Peninsula. About 2,000-3,000 years ago, the ancestors of Magyars migrated from the Ural Mountains toward present-day Hungary. Though they contributed their unique language to the region, their genetic impact may have been small.
Migrations into this region
After the last glacial period 15,000 years ago, populations expanded among the Ural steppes and mountains as ice and tundra retreated. Around the beginning of the thirteenth century, Mongolian nomads associated with the descendants of Genghis Khan began to conquer local tribes and take control of the Volga-Ural region as part of their Mongolian empire. Then about 500 years ago, Slavic Russians from eastern Europe conquered the Volga River Basin, followed by the Ural Mountains.