Proto-Bulgarians page. Language, origin, history.
The modern Uzbek population represents varying degrees of diversity derived from the high traffic invasion routes through Central Asia. Once populated by Iranian tribes and other Indo-European peoples, Central Asia experienced numerous invasions emanating out of Mongolia that would drastically impact the region. According to recent Genetic genealogy testing from a University of Chicago study, the Uzbeks cluster somewhere between the Mongols and the Iranian peoples:
From the 3d century B.C., Central Asia experienced nomadic expansions of Altaic-speaking oriental-looking people, and their incursions continued for hundreds of years, beginning with the Hsiung-Nu (who may be ancestors of the Huns), in 300 B.C., and followed by the Turks, in the 1st millennium A.D., and the Mongol expansions of the 13th century. High levels of haplogroup 10 and its derivative, haplogroup 36, are found in most of the Altaic-speaking populations and are a good indicator of the genetic impact of these nomadic groups. The expanding waves of Altaic-speaking nomads involved not only eastern Central Asiawhere their genetic contribution is strong, as is shown in figure 7dbut also regions farther west, like Iran, Iraq, Anatolia, and the Caucasus, as well as Europe, which was reached by both the Huns and the Mongols. In these western regions, however, the genetic contribution is low or undetectable (Wells et al. 2001), even though the power of these invaders was sometimes strong enough to impose a language replacement, as in Turkey and Azerbaijan (Cavalli-Sforza et al. 1994). The difference could be due to the population density of the different geographical areas. Eastern regions of Central Asia must have had a low population density at the time, so an external contribution could have had a great genetic impact. In contrast, the western regions were more densely inhabited, and it is likely that the existing populations were more numerous than the conquering nomads, therefore leading to only a small genetic impact. Thus, the admixture estimate from northeast Asia is high in the east, but is barely detectable west of Uzbekistan.
The Uzbek population, according to this study, shows substantial Mongoloid ancestry, with significant Caucasoid admixture. The Uzbeks display a somewhat closer genetic relationship with Turkic-Mongols than with Iranic populations to the south and west.
Another study out of Uzbekistan corroborates this genetic evidence as to the origins of the modern Uzbeks and other regional Turkic peoples:
These migrations are reflected in the DNA, too, and it is clear that despite the majority of modern Central Asians speaking Turkic languages, they derive much of their genetic heritage from the conquering Mongol warriors of Genghis Khan.
The Turkic peoples as a whole share common languages and many common cultural traits, but do not have common origins. The Uzbeks are descended to a large degree from Turkic-Mongol invaders whose invasions span literally millenia from the first millenium CE with the early migrations of the Gokturks to later invasions by the Uzbeks themselves during the early and mid period of the 2nd millenium. These migrating Altaic peoples outnumbered the native Iranian peoples of Central Asia and appear to have assimilated the vast majority through intermarriage, while mainly the Tajiks survived albeit with some Turkic intermingling as well. Thus, in the case of Uzbekistan and most other Central Asian states, it was not a process of language replacement, such as what took place in Turkey and Azerbaijan, but rather a mass migration and population replacement that helped to shape the modern Turkic peoples of Uzbekistan and other Central Asian states.