I’ll update this post as needed.
Update: Rakhighari paper is out, An Ancient Harappan Genome Lacks Ancestry from Steppe Pastoralists or Iranian Farmers.
The graphic abstract gets at the main point:
Update II: The Formation of Human Populations in South and Central Asia. The map says it all:
164 thoughts on “South Asian Genetics Open Thread”
already posted on patrons…i’ll be doing a podcast with first author on one (he’s second on the other) next week. will take patron questions first.
When the Tocharians arrived in NW China, were they the first people to live there? Did they live side-by-side with East Asian presenting people (i.e. with East Asian phenotypes)?
So what does it mean that my maternal haplogroup is M and my paternal haplogroup is H1B1? I got these findings from Xcode, India. I was visiting India and decided to use their services. Mysteriously Xcode removed the ancestral test from their website a week after I got my results. And when I called them for clarification about my haplogroup findings they were rather obtuse. Should I get retested? How do I interpret their data? Thanks!
Question – are the terms like ANI, ASI, AASI etc just the temporary terms till S asian genetics become more mature, or are they established terms now?
i bet somewhat temporary. but we’ll see. some new terms are dropping tomorrow (sort of)
Question – which tribe/caste in S asia has the highest percentage of AASI ancestry? What percentage is that?
south indian tribes are about ~55% or so AASI.
Tocharians – Aryans in Tarim Basin
National Geographic (5 min)
WIKI (Tarim mummies) : “The paternal lines of male remains surveyed nearly all – 11 out of 12, or around 92% – belonged to Y-DNA haplogroup R1a1, which are now most common in West Eurasia.  The R1a1 lineage suggests a proximity of this population with groups related to the Andronovo culture, i.e. early Indo-Europeans.
The geographic location of this admixing is unknown, although south Siberia is likely.
Mair claims that “the earliest mummies in the Tarim Basin were exclusively Caucasoid, or Europoid” with east Asian migrants arriving in the eastern portions of the Tarim Basin around 3,000 years ago while the Uyghur peoples arrived around the year 842.”
>> It is obvious that they are genetically the same people as Aryans in Hindustan, i.e. Serbian speaking tribes.
In the early 19th century the celebrated German explorer, cosmographer and natural philosopher Alexander von Humboldt postulated from his researches that Central Asia contained a mixed population of doubtful origin. He specifically cited the Massegetae tribe north of the Oxus River as a Mongolic people cohabiting with the Indo-European Sogdians, Bactrians and Indians (See: Fragments de géologie et de climatologie asiatiques (2 vols. 8vo, 1831), and in Asie centrale (3 vols. 8vo, 1843). The Serican physiognomy is described as being of extraordinary size, with blue eyes, red hair, and a rough voice and a body quite unfamiliar with infirmity or contagion.
Pliny (Pliny the Elder, The Natural History, Chap XXIV “Taprobane”) also reports a curious description of the Seres made by an embassy from Taprobane (Greek name for Sri Lanka) to Emperor Claudius, suggesting they may be referring to the ancient Caucasian populations of the Tarim Basin, such as the Tocharians:
“They also informed us that the side of their island (Taprobane) which lies opposite to India is ten thousand stadia in length, and runs in a south-easterly direction–that beyond the Emodian Mountains (Himalayas) they look towards the Serve (Seres), whose acquaintance they had also made in the pursuits of commerce; that the father of Rachias (the ambassador) had frequently visited their country, and that the Seræ always came to meet them on their arrival. These people, they said, exceeded the ordinary human height, had flaxen hair, and blue eyes, and made an uncouth sort of noise by way of talking, having no language of their own for the purpose of communicating their thoughts…”
WIKI: “…Further research is definitely needed in the field of the Tarim Basin populations. Studying the Tocharian population is essential in determining the foundations of the Altaic, Ugrian and Sinatic cultures. Chinese writers always refer to blue eyed giants as their culture bearers and similar references can be found amongst the Turkic populations on the Steppes.”
Is the last (wiki) sentence applicable for Hindustan, too?
I think Razib may already be aware of this update –
The Rakhigarhi paper is going to be published today in CELL – 5th Sept.
The Narasimhan et al paper is also coming out in Science – perhaps today itself.
yes. seen them. hope open access
The popcorns are ready. Let the battles begin
The great central asian conqueror (Razib) Khan vs ( the son of the soil , our own Bappa Rawal) Jay Rathod . Sounds like a medieval battle in Rajasthan 🙂
Spelling of Jaydeep’s name indicates he is from Gujarat. Idar?
the CELL paper is the one that i think will surprise a bit and make us reconsider framework….
Well, if you remember, I had already said the same a while back on my blog.
yeah, i think i recall that.
Is the complete article in public domain?
It is obvious that distortion by media has already begun. The footnaote says that the title of the article is – “An ancient Harappan genome lacks ancestry from Steppe pastoralists or Iranian farmers”
OTOH, the article says that the sample did have Iranian plateau ancestry, albeit originating before the advent of farming.
I guess caution must be exercised before drawing any conclusions. Certainly full access to the article is necessary.
Is the complete article in public domain?
i don’t think the pieces have been posted.
the CELL paper is not totally clear, and i think part of it is that the researchers don’t have definitive answers.
the preview is that the ‘iranian farmer’ component in the IVC sample has iranian-related ancestry that likely diverged from the zagros farmer component during the late pleistocene before the holocene.
i’ll post the admixture graph when the paper comes out.
Is there any chance that R1a could have originated in South Asia?
Is Rakhigarhi going to reveal the original homeland of R1a?
Thank you in advance 🙂
” An Ancient Harappan Genome Lacks Ancestry from Steppe Pastoralists or Iranian Farmers.”
Would that mean our Southern brothers (AASI) entered the subcontinent AFTER the Harappan civilization?
i don’t think they can be that late.
i think a lot of geographical models are possible though until we get more ancient DNA.
“Would that mean our Southern brothers (AASI) entered the subcontinent AFTER the Harappan civilization?”
Do you mean modern south indians (i.e. dravidian speakers)?
Because AASI has always been present in India. They were part of the original out of africa migration of modern humans.
Yeah made a mistake on AASI.
I was referring to modern south Indians only. Isnt the modern south indians a mix of Iranian farmers and AASI? If the Iranians entered after Harrapan, and the Iranian farmer quotient in S-Indian DNA is apropos to the steppe quotient of modern day N-Indian, that would mean both outside groups (steppe and Iranian farmer) entered around the same time.
Because AASI has always been present in India. They were part of the original out of africa migration of modern humans.
this seems to be likely. but we don’t know this for sure until we have ancient DNA. we don’t have any close relatives of AASI. the andaman islanders are not great proxies. and the andamanese derive from southeast asian aboriginals, not indian (andaman connected to burma).
i think the likely model is that a lot of AASI is ancient indian reservoir (a lot of the mtdna M is quite deep). otoh, some gene flow from the east may have occurred pretty late. we know the austro-asiatics were late.
and, as JR had suggested, they may not have ventured into the NW quadrant very much. during the pleistocene the boundary btwn west asia and east asia may have run through the thar desert region?
This new technique of extracting DNA from the petrous bone, can it not be used in stone age skeletons previously thought unsalvageable?
Those skeletons are bound to be free of iranian ancestry.
The oldest human skeletons found in South Asia are from Sri Lanka:
Skeletal Anthropologists have concluded a biological continuum to the indigenous Veddas (who now in the modern era are heavily mixed with west Eurasian dna).
Has any of the major players in ancient DNA like the Reich lab considered working on these skeletons?
They are likely candidates for pure AASI DNA.
Thanks, did not know oldest human skeletons found in South Asia are from Sri Lanka.
There is a mismatch between wiki and the paper it references
The Vedda people’s mitochondrial sequences were found to be more related to the Sinhalese and Sri Lankan Tamils than to the Indian Tamils.
Through a comparison with the mtDNA HVS-1 and part of HVS-2 of Indian database, both Tamils and Sinhalese clusters were affiliated with Indian subcontinent populations than Vedda people who are believed to be the native population of the island of Sri Lanka.
Something for your eyes
Lankapura: The Legacy of the Ramayana in Sri Lanka
Yes not much consciousness of Ravana or Ramayana in SL. The stories are known but thats about it. Changing, there is a Ravana Balaya (Force) that right wing Sinhala Nationalist (like RSS?).
The Old historical (Mahavamsa) texts dont mention Ravana. The Rajavaliya does in 3 places. However it seems to be written post 15th century when South Indian Hindu influence was the much.
There is no internal evidence to fix the date or authorship of this work. The fact that in some places the compiler writes as a Buddhist, whilst elsewhere he uses phraseology natural to a Christian, added to a marked diversity of style,
warrants the inference that it is the compilation of more than one hand.
That the authors possessed little grammatical knowledge of Sinhalese is patent from numerous solecisms and orthographical errors calculated to reflect upon their scholarship. These defects make the meaning of certain passages obscure and doubtful, and render the settlement of the text as a whole extremely difficult, and of parts well nigh impossible.
At that time this beautiful island of Lanka was inhabited only by demons, evil spirits, and fiends ; there was no human habitation. After the war of Ravana, and before the attainment of Buddhahood by our Buddha, the teacher of the three worlds, Lanka had been the abode of demons for the space of 1,844 years.
In former times there was no sea between Tiittukudi and Lanka ; but there stood the city of Ravana, Be it known that by his wickedness, his fortress, 25 palaces, and 400,000 streets, were all overwhelmed by the sea. The ferry at which the boar landed on this Lapka of Havana, after swimming through that strait of the sea, was called Uratota.
In the Dvapara age of the world, on account of the wickedness of Ravana, his fortress, 25 palaces, and 400,000 streets, situate between Mannar and Tuttukudiya, were submerged by the sea. At this time, on account of the wickedness of Kelanitissa, 100,000 seaport towns, 970 fishers villages, and 470 villages of pearl-fishers, making altogether eleventwelfths of Laigika, were submerged by the great sea. Manner escaped the destruction ; of sea-port towns, Katupiti Madampe escaped.
The Old historical (Mahavamsa) texts dont mention Ravana. The Rajavaliya does in 3 places. However it seems to be written post 15th century when South Indian Hindu influence was the much.
Very pleased to see this paper being discussed! I thought only nerds were into this stuff.
Its actually pretty interesting that a key takeaway from this paper has been known for years in the informal genetics community. Specifically, that the Iranian component in the Indus Valley Civilization is not quite the same as the Iranian Farmer from Neolithic Iran. The latter has Caucasus admixture, the former does not.
The Harapan Ancestry Project actually unwittingly revealed this, and its followers had been kicking this theory around on forums. There are ethnic groups in India with large Baloch-component but no Caucasus. Which means they can’t have been the product of Neolithic Iranian Farmers, as these samples while high in Baloch, are fairly enriched in Caucasus as well.
Meaning there is likely a more “pure” Iranian farmer with all Baloch and no Caucasus component, that settled in the Indus valley and mixed with the AASI. Or maybe our understanding of Iranian Farmer breadth and genetics isn’t complete. Very cool stuff either way.
I had always suspected that there were multiple waves of proto-iranian migration into India.
The elamo-dravidian farmer migration was probably the last before the arrival of the Aryans.
Linguistics have confirmed that elamite, brahui and proto-dravidian are part of the same language family (zagrossian).
Also the J2 y haplotype i think is associated with the Zagrossian.
But haplotype L-M20 may be evidence of an older proto-iranian influx into india before the Dravidian J2.
Never thought about it that way, but it’s intuitive. H could have a similar origin story to L, which would be even more disorienting…
Linguistics have confirmed that elamite, brahui and proto-dravidian are part of the same language family (zagrossian).
Really? This is news to me. Are you just picking one guy’s opinion? My understanding was that there was a consensus against linking elamite and dravidian in the linguistics field.
it’s all up in the air with elamite, a language which we don’t have too much text on.
the brahui connection tho is rock solid.
Consensus is most definitely not against the Proto-Zagrossian language family. If anything it is undecided.
I have read many of the papers and I am personally convinced.
The recent DNA studies confirming the Iranian admixture also support the hypothesis.
Brahui shares features with Proto-Dravidian that are absent in Elamite, but also shares features with Elamite that are absent in Proto-Dravidian.
Please read around the topic and the actual papers:
In the last link check out the section on personal pronouns. See how Brahui is in between Proto-Dravidian and Elamite.
Thanks. To be clear, I was referring to the putative link between Elamite and Dravidian. I know Brahui is considered part of the Dravidian family. I did not know of the shared words between Brahui and Elamite; need to understand that better (could it be because of proximity rather than shared descent?)
A glimpse of how many in India reacted to the earlier leaks of these papers shows the level of scientific illiteracy we are dealing with.
Some of the most widely shared pieces were about how such studies “junk the Aryan Invasion theory”, because no Steppe-DNA was found in the IVC samples. When you tried to explain to them modern Indians have Aryan-DNA, so it had to come from somewhere, they say its coincidence that Indians naturally mutated the same genes seen in Eurasia.
These people are so goofy. I think this paper just added nuance to one of the three major components of S Asian ancestry, the neolithic Iranic component. That component also probably makes up the plurality and probably, when averaging all groups together, the majority of S Asian DNA. The big picture doesn’t change for people that were accepting of the idea of all of the evidence pointing towards and in support of the Aryan migration. I think this paper has more consequence in the context of trying to understand the origins of farming and Dravidian languages in S Asia.
But lettuce b cereal. These topics don’t peak the interest of the majority of those interested in S Asian genetics, especially lay people. The magic Sky Father R1a1 is all anyone cares about. The keys to the Vedic Kingdom are essential. The position of utmost leadership of all things Indian Civilization has apparently offered to the world. It is where genetics meets civilizational pride and mythology. This stuff, while cool, hasn’t really changed the paradigm too much regarding that. I don’t think it will change all that much in the future anyway. The evidence has frankly trended towards building more and more in the same direction. Thins are trending towards verification rather than repudiation.
Hey guy, leave talks about science literacy. The overall Indian/Hindu reaction to genetic corroboration of Aryan Migration Theory is ten times more sober and constructive than Muslim reactions to scientific historical debunking of the claims of Islam in Quran, Hadith and et cetra. At least Hundu nationalists are trying to discredit genetic findings with information that may be dubious but still belong to empirical realm. Muslims are still trying to prove existence of Djins! Just imagine the types of articles about AIT written in Indian mainsteam press and hypothetically imagine what would be fate of people writing articles debunking Quranic science in Pakistan.Considering the neighborhood, the level of the AIT debate has been highly commendable.
So Razib, what is the situation with YDNA R2? Did it arrive with the pre farming >10,000 migrants before lineage divergence giving rise to the hunter gatherer, herder, and farming people in the Iranian Plateau.
A south sketch:
1) AASI arrives along the East Eurasian cline during the Pleistocene.
2) Iran related ancestry >10,000 years arrived with migrants before the lineage diverged into Hunter gatherer, Herder, or Farming populations.
This ancestry lacked the anatolian farmer ancestry found in Western Iranian Farmers (Hajji Firuz), and Eastern Iranian Farmers (Tepe Hissar). Although South Asians carry little Anatolian ancestry but from post IVS steppe population (A lot of Steppe, little Anatolian farmer + WHG; due to back flow; Sintashta Culture).
They looked at samples at IVC outposts (IVC Cline; Shahr -i-Sokhta, and Gonur; copper age). They found the samples heavily admixed with ‘Iranian related ancestry that lacked or had little Anatolian farmer and Eastern European HG ancestry unlike the Bronze age Iran/Turan samples; the IVC cline also had significant minority AASI type ancestry. Thus, the IVC seems best fit for individuals at IVC, perhaps high Iran related ancestry, little AASI; but could a heterogenous mix.
Rise of agriculture in IVC local.
3) Steppe ancestry arrived after around 2000 BCE, absent in the Rakhigarhi samples.
Razib, haplogroups like R2 – did they arrive with the Iranian (>10,000) people?
i think R2 is with the west asian quasi-iranian yes. i think it came in via contacts with northern eurasia.
Rise of agriculture in IVC local.
well, there wasn’t a mass migration from western iran to transmit it. it could be diffusion of the toolkit/package too from there.
I think modern day Patels are best proxy for the original IVC people. They have some of the highest iranic neolithic component and AASI, yet, on average, very little Steppe. They would be more AASI shifted relative to the average IVC resident, based on the few samples we have at least. But they seem to be the best current day representatives. They also reside in modern territory that was once part of the IVC.
vagheesh says no one really looks like them. i guessed perhaps baloch.
But don’t baloch have Caucus hunter gatherer component they lack, whereas some S Asian groups don’t lack that component and are principally the same components that make them up, albeit with a greater S Asian hunter gatherer bent? Or is the iranic neolithic so prominent in them that the Baloch would still be closer?
Baloch look relatively fair compared to the average North Indian , Pakistani from Sindh and Punjab.
Doesn’t the Rig Veda talk about battling dark skinned short snub nosed people?
In Western depictions of IVC people, they are generally portrayed as dark skinned. A book I have portrays them as looking like lower caste North Indians or South Indians.
The IVC was a very large civilization with high population density, and majority of South Asia is relatively dark skinned, so isn’t it very likely that IVC was made of dark skinned people?
It is often being said that IVC was diverse. I don’t doubt this but owing to the nature of the civilization and similarities between IVC cities, there had to be a dominant culture there. IVC is a peculiar civilization compared to other ancient civilizations. Sumer and Egypt both had grand structures indicating a society that spend most of its resources in catering to elite wants, while IVC cared more about building to cater to the many and lacks the kind of grand buildings of Sumer and Egypt. IVC is known for its town planning and bathroom facilities for most house. What are the odds that very different cultures all agreed to build this peculiar kind of Civilization , such as town planning , bathrooms and comfortable abodes for the many instead of a few grand elite structures?
Or is the iranic neolithic so prominent in them that the Baloch would still be closer?
my argument. but i would have to run the numbers. the data is there….
So Indus Valley Civilisation populated by largely indigenous group of Y DNA haplogroup U2. They have little in common with Iranian farmers (Y DNA haplogroup H) and Steppe pastoralists (Y DNA haplogroup R1a). Is this a good summary?
this individual had an mtdna u2b.
and they are definitely related to the iranian farmers. much more closely than to the steppe ppl
Just wanted to know, is there is as much interest (and work) being done on genetics in other parts of the world. Is the interest in the subcontinent due to lack of clarity, while in other parts of the world everything is more or less settled. Or is it perhaps we brown people don’t know much and each region has its own AIT-OIT dynamics and all.
is there is as much interest (and work) being done on genetics in other parts of the world.
there is so much british genetics it’s crazy.
indian science i slow and political and hard to get samples. that’s my take
Some Indians have unnecessarily politicised what should have been a purely scientific affair. This is a sad state of affairs for Indians. Future generations will blame those people who have made a cottage industry out of “disproving AIT”.
I think perhaps what you and Razib are referring to as political could be just old school Indian bureaucracy. I remember when the first tentative genetics results came out , even folks (like romila thapar) from left , liberal were also skeptical of results of such heavy Aryan inward migration. Much could be just professional rivalry where genetics seem to be displacing linguists and archaeology at the fore front of Indus-Harrapan research.
The right (OIT) and all, for the longest time, didn’t hold much power or influence in the Govt to really impede research on political grounds. The cottage inudstry you are talking about is like a super sub set of the right which is active on the net. On ground, these findings doesn’t hamper the right wing in any way for them to really push back.
the political issues date to the nehru-socialist period. so it’s not left-right. it’s ‘nationalist’ in a very narrow and precise way.
Hindutva ideologues, composed mostly of North Indian upper castes and Brahmins politicized the discourse surrounding IVC, by trying to claim it as Aryan. S.Indians are just responding to this Aryancentric revisionism. Modi , even though coming from a lower caste, is just the point man.
Hindutva is an upper caste / Brahmin attempt to claim Aryan supremacy. They are trying to Aryanize IVC. This is similar to the attempts by some White Supremacists to claim the Solutrean Hypothesis proves Whites are the indigenous people of the Americas or like claiming Ancient Egypt was built by Whites.
For the most part, when Western historians first started writing about the Indian Sub-Continent, and saw the linguistic connections to Europeans, they ascribed the glory of Indian civilization to Aryans. They credited Indo-Europeans as bringers of civilization and the non-Aryans as inferiors. When IVC was discovered they had to revise this line of thinking, admitting that pre-Aryan South Asians were already civilized, far more so than Aryans. Now we have Indians who identify with Aryan heritage emulating those old Eurocentric historians, trying to whitewash Ancient India and credit Civilization to Aryans.
Hindutva ‘historian’ Rajaram and BJP politician Subramanian Swamy refuse to accept that IVC was not Aryan. Rajaram is infamous for his fraudulent attempt at trying to prove horses existed in IVC.
Subramanian Swamy recently tweeted the headline from an article that paints David Reich as “Harvard’s 3rd Reich”.
Here is the tweet from Swamy attacking David Reich
Here is the article Swamy was referencing.
Surprise surprise that both Rajaram and Swamy are Brahmins.
All the samples in the IVC cline in the Cell paper are overwhelmingly West Eurasian in ancestry. Is there any reason why the first Rakhigarhi male sample (who was akin to the Irula tribe) not included?
i assumed a data quality issue. could as vageesh when we record podcast next week
>>> I think that was too much expectations from this paper but we (i.e. I) could not see anything what we did not know. It is the normal considering that the paper only tried to reconstruct one sequence of Brownian movement. I believe that genetic experiments were conducted professionally but isolated from other elements could not give us anything new. There was, however, an attempt to put this in a context of languages but it was pretty unconvincing.
The main objection is the continuation of using meaningless taxonomy which needs to be replaced: steppe, indo-european, indo-iranian, west euroasia, balto-slavic (???), etc. Let see:
PAPER: “The mature Indus Valley Civilization (IVC), also known as the Harappan Civilization, was spread over northwestern South Asia from 2600 to 1900 BCE and was one of the first large-scale urban societies of the ancient world, characterized by systematic town planning, elaborate drainage systems, granaries, and standardization of weights and measures. The inhabitants of the IVC were cosmopolitan, with multiple cultural groups living together in large regional urban centers…”
>>> I mentioned before that any paper without referring to Lepenski Vir (Iron Gates) and Vinča is useless. Otherwise, the authors should already know that such and more technologically developed settlements existed several thousands of years before those mentioned in the paper.
PAPER: “However, a natural route for Indo-European languages to have spread into South Asia is from Eastern Europe via Central Asia in the first half of the 2nd millennium BCE, a chain of transmission that did occur as has been documented in detail with ancient DNA. The fact that the Steppe pastoralist ancestry in South Asia matches that in Bronze Age Eastern Europe (but not Western Europe [de Barros Damgaard et al., 2018; Narasimhan et al., 2019]) provides additional evidence for this theory, as it elegantly explains the shared distinctive features of Balto-Slavic and Indo-Iranian languages (Ringe et al., 2002).”
>>> This is a good conclusion although known from before. The authors came close, but they were afraid to explicitly state the facts (why mentioned western EU??). Maybe because of this we are for 200 years in a neverending quest for elusive ‘Indo-European’ people and their origins. It would be also good to see one ‘elegantly’ mentioned example.
Instead, a simple logic with known facts can be used:
1) Aryans existed.
2) Aryans were R1A.
3) Slavics were/are R1A
4) The term ‘Slavics’ was coined in the 7.c.AC.
5) Previous term for “Slavics” (i.e. before 7.c.AC) was – Serbs
6) Ergo – Aryans were Serbs.
Let see which above point is incorrect, doubtful, suspicious, unclear, whatever, to discuss it and replace with better and truthful.
There was a similar question above… You have probably read the Nature’s paper: ‘The genomic history of south-eastern Europe’ (2018) by David Reich (+121). There is one excerpt:
“Although this study has clarified the genomic history of the region from the Mesolithic to the Bronze Age, the processes that connected these populations to ones living today remain largely unknown. An important priority for future research should be to sample populations from the Bronze Age, Iron Age, Roman and Medieval periods and to compare them to present-day populations to understand how these transitions occurred.”
It seems to me that the previous is an empty political charade to avoid making a clear scientific statement. But, anyway, I think that the experiment itself was good (finally some realised that Lepenski Vir and Vinca need to be researched). Genetic researches over there actually just started.
My question is – has the experiment confirmed that in Lepenski Vir (Iron Gates) 6000BC were present I2 and R1A (he says R1 but he is not explicit on R1A)? Thanks.
Why is Vasant Shinde being quoted saying such strange things and contradicting his own paper in a mainstream newspaper like The Economic Times?
Hello Razib !
Vageesh’s paper mentions how Steppe admixture with Indus to form ANI was predominantly due to Steppe females as they found pretty low R1a in Iron age Swat Valley samples. But in modern Indian populations, Steppe admixture is male driven. What gives ?
south asia is big. and i think it is plausible that the swat valley was a long-term reservoir of IVC-like people that maintained cultural integrity longer. remember burusho is a linguistic isolate in the area.
Thank you. Also, you might have followed the story of the bronze age burials that have been discovered in Sanauli in Uttar Pradesh a few months ago by the Archeological Society of India. It includes weapons, chariots, etc and had a material culture that was distinct from the IVC. So if this indicates that there was a bronze age civilization on the Gangetic plains contemporary to the IVC, do you think they were also of a similar genetic makeup as the IVC ? That is to say that they that they were a mix of Neolithic Iran+AHG ? Or were they enriched for AHG perhaps ?
What is the possibility that Brahmins were like say ambassadors aka elite representatives or elites themselves which might have allowed the elites of other societies living or coming in their proximities resulting in the genetic exachange we observe ? We all can observe that elites with differences get along while the majority of the society do not. Not sure if there is any such possibility with regards to Bhumihars.
Even in tribal societies leaders used to exchange their daughters or get them married to opposite faction leaders to forge alliances. Is there any possibility of this happening leading to the kind of genetic results of Brahmins link to steppe people ?
When we have a look at say brahmin_UP ancestral data, and for e.g. if it shows 30% steppe ancestry, how much of that can we attribute only to the migrations into subcontinent around 1500BC, and how much can we attribute to groups like Shakas and Huns settling later in the subcontinent?
and how much can we attribute to groups like Shakas and Huns settling later in the subcontinent?
very little. those groups had east asian ancestry. in the science paper
According to some interpretations, it seems that in ancient times and later Indians could go anywhere in the world – Mauritania, China, Iran, Assyria, Philippines, Bali, Kenya, Mauritius, South Africa, Fiji…sometimes as Gypsies to Europe, sometimes even on elephants but no one could come to India…
Razib, can I expect your answer on my question?
(This guy is pretty influential, writes history books with a contrarian take.)
Thanks for the link and the opportunity to see the state of mind of one segment (major? minor?) of the Indian society. Now, I understand the frustration of the self-styled ‘Brown_Pundit_Man’, an obscure, anonymous personality who already two times tried forcefully to shout my mouth. Until now, I was certain that ‘taqiyya’ was the lowest point on the ethical scale and I was always surprised that neither so-called liberal Muslims, nor (muslim) atheists never attempted to denounce it as an etalon of primitivity. I assumed this as a mirror of the movement and it directed my general opinion toward this chest-beating crusade. But now, faced with such BPM primitivity and frustration I must recalibrate my value scale. It is very disappointing that such anti-intellectual backstabbing came from the side I was the least prepared to expect.
Shinde, the leading author of the paper says:
“The paper indicates that there was no Aryan invasion and no Aryan migration and that all the developments right from the hunting-gathering stage to modern times in South Asia were done by indigenous people“.
According to https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/politics-and-nation/rakhigarhi-dna-study-questions-aryan-invasion-theory-claims-author/articleshow/71001985.cms?from=mdr&utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst
What the hell is going on?
Apologies, I see this link has been posted above already. Feel free to delete this comment.
I think I know what exactly is going on here. That IVC was completely indigenous is proven unquestionably by the paper already. In fact the paper strengthen Hindu nationalists’ position quite a lot by asserting that farming rose indigenously in IVC. I think now they are aiming to prove that Sanskrit and its descendant IA languages are indigenous too. If they can somehow prove that IA languages did not arrive with the steppe blood, then the steppe ancestry of modern Indians ceases to be a factor of any significance. They can ascribe this component to any of the trickling migration from the steppes any time from post IVC to Hunnic invasions times. After all as long as the steppe component did not have any cultural impact it does not matter in the overall development of Hindu culture.
To a certain extent they do have a point. The proponents of AIT/AMT are focusing too much on genetics to prove their arguments. Genes don’t carry the markers of language. This debate should primarily be settled via linguistics. Archaeology and genetics can only be used as corroborative sciences to settle this debate.
Anyway, it will be interesting to see how the debates evolves in the future. Exciting times ahead.
“The proponents of AIT/AMT are focusing too much”
They are trying to win a cultural battle through genetics. Good luck with that.
They can ascribe this component to any of the trickling migration from the steppes any time from post IVC to Hunnic invasions times.
they explicitly tested this proposition. they have DNA from these people. they were different from what you see in india.
Just noted that the it is the same journalist (Anubhuti Vishnoi) who junked AIT about a year ago too.
She is really in a hurry to junk AIT.
The article in India Times: there is a logical error in making conclusions. The experiment could prove the ‘presence’ of something but not the ‘absence’ of something. Such ‘methodology’ was often used by ancient sophists – have you lost the horns? No! It means you have horns!
It seems that it is a favourite approach by the main OIT proponents. They stated, for e.g., that an ancient, indigenous copper chariot was found in SA, what is a proof that Aryans did not exist (because the original argument was that they came on chariots).
Also, some discovered remains of an ancient horse had (let say) 34 ribs but Euro horses had (let say) 36 ribs, what is another proof that they did not come (because of the original argument that they came on horses). They ignore that it was possible both, that Aryans came on chariots and horses but some other chariots and horses already existed in SA.
Unfortunate to see that a scientist is spewing political nonsense. Vasant Shinde is trying to gain political favour with such statements
Reich and his team are not saints. So stop this BS !
Shinde has every right to say what he makes of the data. He is also looking at it from the archaeological perspective, about which he know more than any of you idiots. He is the principal excavator of Rakhigarhi !
Don’t try to malign all and sundry because they do not agree with the dominant steppe migration narrative.
Yes Vasant Shinde is an absolute joke. His statements of denial and obfuscation regarding the Aryan migrations into India are pathetic. He is such a lax scholar that he even wrote a paper on fake Indus Valley script artefacts:
Unfortunately, this is the level of scientific rigour among these archaeologists.
You are. Nincompoop idiot. A good for nothing ignoramus.
Vasant Shinde is a seasoned archaeologist who has written several books on the Harappan civilization and has been instrumental in excavating several Harappan sites in Gujarat & Haryana. If you cannot treat your own scholars with respect because you do not like what they say, it is a reflection of what you are. So if you still want to spew venom get the hell out of here.
If you want to criticise some scholar do so with some class and decency. Don’t act like a foul-mouthed donkey.
It is unanimously accepted among all archaelogists, Indian or foreign, who have worked on the Harappan sites that there is no evidence of steppe migration into South Asia. This is even acknowledged in the South Central Asian paper if you bothered to read it. Archaeologists like Cameroon Petrie or Jonathan Mark Kenoyet, are also not very fond of these steppe migration narratives. What makes them less credible than the geneticists ? And what is your qualification to pass judgement on them ?
Archaeologists like Cameroon Petrie or Jonathan Mark Kenoyet, are also not very fond of these steppe migration narratives.
yes, but archaeologists like david anthony updated their views of very little migration to a lot when the data strongly implied migration.
(i hear when anthony saw the results from the remains he provided ancient dna people he was shocked at their demographic impact)
Shinde is guilty of repeatedly distorting the fact that the steppes people (the original Arya) migrated into India prior to the Vedic period.
It is his backers who are responsible for the holding back of the Rakhigarhi results for over a year.
They are anti science and holding back research into our history.
They are jokes.
“Unfortunate to see that a scientist is spewing political nonsense. Vasant Shinde is trying to gain political favour with such statements”
This is the reality of Maudi India. The media and most agencies have already been controlled; now the scientists, too.
I am frankly disgusted by the way a certain section of the Indian media has handled this, some deliberately, and some unwittingly duped. They are just waiting for this to play out until the moon landing just a few hours away to engage in another bout of hyper-nationalism, and a justifiably more deserving one. By then, this paper will be conveniently memory-holed.
Let me just for everyone’s benefit what Vasant Shinde’s take on this subject is.
As per him, all the characteristics of Indian civilization including that of the Vedic period can be shown to be derived from Harappan culture as found at sites like Rakhigarhi. So as per his excavation in this region, the Vedic people are the same as the Harappans or perhaps derived from them.
There is cultural continuity between Harappans and later historic Indians without any sign of an intrusive culture in the intervening period. Therefore, archaeologically the Vedic or Indo-Aryan culture can be derived from the Harappan culture.
Therefore as per Shinde, the Harappans were Vedic or ancestors of Vedic, Since they do not have steppe ancestry at Rakhigarhi, he interprets it to mean that the people who formed the Vedic Indo-Aryan culture had no steppe ancestry.
Later on, he acknowledges that there was cultural and genetic exchange with neighbouring regions but this is not evidence enough to posit an Indo-Aryan migration.
I hope this clears it and people from now on would stop attacking him & others.
So let me summarize the current state of debate. I think it all hinges on a single question. Does steppe blood equal to IA languages? .
For us Indians of course this question is far more important that the question whether P equals NP.
With all due respect, I think Shinde is jumping the gun when he claims that no steppe blood in IVC equals no AIT/AMT. The honest answer will be – we don’t know.
To prove their position the indigenous Aryans camp will have to prove, either on linguistic grounds or archaeological grounds, that IVC gave birth to IA languages and vedic culture. It is still an open question. Not settled one way or other.
If there is cultural continuity from Harappan to Vedic era then shouldn’t Harappan scripts would be clearly decipherable? Is there any trace of Vedic language in Harappan sites?
the greeks forgot how to write btwn bronze age and iron age and couldn’t read their own linear b. so it could happen
“Does steppe blood equal to IA languages? .
For us Indians of course this question is far more important that the question whether P equals NP”
Blood too, is very important, for the right wing. Actually its the language which can be given a pass.
It has always been so.
>> Let me just for everyone’s benefit what Vasant Shinde’s take on this subject is. As per him, all the characteristics of Indian civilization including that of the Vedic period can be shown to be derived from Harappan culture as found at sites like Rakhigarhi. So as per his excavation in this region, the Vedic people are the same as the Harappans or perhaps derived from them.
Yes, Dr. Shinde seems to believe that the inhabitants of Rakhigarhi – evidently those who lived in the final phase of that site – were “early Vedic” people who would have genetically descended, with no solution of continuity, from the Mature Harappan population of the city. Here are some statements attributed to him by a journalist of the Economic Times in June, 2018:
“According to Shinde’s findings, the manner of burial [at Rakhigarhi] is quite similar to the early Vedic period. […] [He notes] that some burial rituals observed in the Rakhigarhi necropolis prevail even now in some communities, showing a remarkable continuity over thousands of years.”
How can Shinde know some of the burials he excavated in Rakhigarhi were “similar to [those of] the early Vedic period”? What burials excavated in that area – as well as in any other area of NW South Asia – are assigned to the early Vedic period? Note that Shinde *never ever* mentions any similarities between Mature Harappan Rakhigarhi burials and “early Vedic” burials in the peer-reviewed paper on the Rakhigarhi cemetery he published in PLOS One (as the main author) back in 2018:
On what archaeological ground can Shinde claim some of the Rakhigarhi burials were similar to “early Vedic” ones (whatever that means from an archaeological standpoint)?
>> There is cultural continuity between Harappans and later historic Indians without any sign of an intrusive culture in the intervening period. Therefore, archaeologically the Vedic or Indo-Aryan culture can be derived from the Harappan culture.
What are – according to Shinde, not to you – the archaeological remains of the Vedic people, and how can such supposed remains, if any, be demonstrably shown to derive from the material culture of the Indus civilization? If you have pottery in mind, remember that the Vedic Aryans are known, from their own texts, to employ the services of the local populations for pottery. Only sacred vessels were made by brahmins in the most archaic fashion, without the use of the potter’s wheel. Vessels used for secular purposes were made by local potters who lived in symbiosis with the semi-nomadic Vedic Aryans in their treks. Thus, archaeology is of no help here.
>> Therefore as per Shinde, the Harappans were Vedic or ancestors of Vedic. Since they do not have steppe ancestry at Rakhigarhi, he interprets it to mean that the people who formed the Vedic Indo-Aryan culture had no steppe ancestry.
Ah, no? So what about the Late Bronze Age Swat aDNA samples discussed in Narasimhan et al. 2019 paper? Swat (> Later on, he acknowledges that there was cultural and genetic exchange with neighbouring regions but this is not evidence enough to posit an Indo-Aryan migration.
When and where did this “later” – by which term you certainly designate the post-Vedic period – genetic exchange take place? Is Shinde, in your opinion, here referring to the possible intermarrying of Parasikas (Persians), Yavanas (Indo-Greeks), Sakas (Indo-Scythians), Pahlavas (Indo-Parthians), and Hunas (Hepthalites), in this chronological order, with Hindu caste populations? Do you think Shinde identifies these historical foreign, barbarian, “mlechchha” peoples as the *first* carriers of Steppe ancestry into South Asia at ca. 500 BCE – 500 CE? Lol! They could not even intermarry with brahmins, who regarded them as “degraded” kshatriyas to be equated – according to the Manu-smriti (X.43-44) as well as some doctrinal sections of the Mahabharata – to the caste rank of the shudras. This idea is in plain conflict with hard genetic data, Steppe ancestry being, conversely, very high in modern brahmin groups as per Narasimhan et al. 2019 paper. Therefore, the intruduction of Steppe ancestry into South Asia cannot have had the Persians, Indo-Greeks, Indo-Scythians, Indo-Parthians, and Hephthalites as its earliest vectors.
A line was missing from my post, here it is:
Swat (from Rigvedic Skt. su-vastu ‘good ground’) is an area known in the RV as Indo-Aryan territory.
“They could not even intermarry with brahmins, who regarded them as “degraded” kshatriyas to be equated – according to the Manu-smriti (X.43-44) as well as some doctrinal sections of the Mahabharata – to the caste rank of the shudras” —-> Imo, using some verses from MS to claim certain groups *could not marry certain groups* is not a good idea . MS also prohibits sapinda marriage(close cousin marriage from sides) but that didn’t stop some brahmins from karnataka in indulging in cross-cousin marriages. Dharmshastras are not strict law codes to be followed (certainly not Kulluka Bhat’s commentary on MS )
here is a section from the paper that shinde put his name to as first author:
Since language spreads in pre-state societies are often accompanied by large-scale movements of people (Bellwood, 2013), these results argue against the model (Heggarty, 2019) of a trans-Iranian- plateau route for Indo-European language spread into South
Asia. However, a natural route for Indo-European languages to have spread into South Asia is from Eastern Europe via Central Asia in the first half of the 2nd millennium BCE, a chain of transmission now documented in detail with ancient DNA. The fact that the Steppe pastoralist ancestry in South Asia matches that in Bronze Age Eastern Europe (but not Western Europe [de Barros Damgaard et al., 2018; Narasimhan et al., 2019]) provides additional evidence for this theory, as it elegantly explains the shared distinctive features of Balto-Slavic and Indo-Iranian languages (Ringe et al., 2002).
Yes I know it. But that is the version of Harvard and Shinde does not really agree with it. The Rakhigarhi paper at any rate does not go into proving how steppe DNA got into South Asia.
i have known of middle authors agreeing to put names on papers with conclusions they disagreed with. never known of a first author doing this. this is strange. and yes, i assumed shinde disagreed with stuff he put his name too. does not inspire confidence.
at least chaubey had guts to pull his name off the paper from the richards lab cuz he disagreed with it (and he wasn’t even first author i think).
To be fair with Shinde, above paragraph doesn’t talk about direction of influence so still consistent with his view. This may be concession to him as lead author
Vasant Shinde: “[Aloud] There was no Aryan invasion… [cough cough/mumble/whisper] …when this Indus Valley woman was alive.”
Indian media: “There was no Aryan invasion!”
@SDutta, you really made my Day with that comment. It reminds me of the famous Judisthir episode in Mahabharata where he said to Dronacharya, ‘Ashwathama Hatha, ithi gaja’. Aswathama is dead, (whisper) its an elephant.
” It reminds me of the famous Judisthir episode in Mahabharata where he said to Dronacharya, ‘Ashwathama Hatha, ithi gaja’. ”
If all subcontinental muslims could quote from hindu epics so effortlessly, hindu right wouldn’t have any need to invent tortuous theories like OIT. 🙂 Afterall, it is subcontinental muslims’ repudiation of their Hindu past that led to these non-issues turning into burning debates.
@Scorpion Eater, whichever people live in Egypt, it will always be known as the Land of the Pharoes, the land of Egyptian civilization. Egyptians are proud of that great heritage regardless of faith. From the start of the Iron age to until recently, India has been the most populated area of the world with one thrid of humanity and place of a great and continuous civilization. Everybody born in this region should be aware of this heritage and feel no hesitation in making this a big part of own identity.
If only Mr Shinde would ever know how his fans(and haters) collide on some obscure blog. ???
Tbh, I am not his fan.
But he is a reasonably accomplished Indian archaeologist. Shouldn’t his countrymen atleast address him with a measure of respect ? This is the problem with us Indians. We like to pull down those of our own with great relish while slavishly taking the foreigner’s word as gospel. I really have a great problem with that.
Vasant Shinde: “[Aloud] There was no Aryan invasion… [cough cough/mumble/whisper] …when this Indus Valley woman was alive.”
Is there an audio/video of his conference available? can you please post the link.
someone left an insulting commenting. was going to leave it, but then
the last sentence was ‘u r probably going to delete this.’
so i did.
first 30 minutes of press conf audio https://www.dropbox.com/s/4lfaakadcgp9vox/6%20Sep%2C%2011.18%20AMshinde.mp3?dl=0
Wait, they are doing press conferences now? ??
At 2:40, he said “one of topmost, one of the “TOPPEST” genetic scientist ” Modiji be proud. I dead.??
Give him a break. India is now a Hindu rashtra for all intents and purposes. Do you want him to loose his job by loose talk?
Everyone knows that belief in AIT is mainly inspired by the fact that the timeline of genetic inflow into the Indian subcontinent matches the expected timeline of IA split from other IE languages. (Before genetics, one could plausibly consider the steppe theory to be speculation.) So Shinde is being very disingenuous (and possibly a bit dishonest) by not mentioning language at all in his ET interview. He sticks to arguments about material culture being the marker of “Aryans” when the entire academic world considers the IE languages to be the primary marker.
Also, hasn’t the entire narrative up to now been that presence of steppe DNA in IVC sites will be slam dunk proof of OIT? And this paper comes up which shows there was no steppe DNA (OK, it’s just one sample) and apparently that still proves the OIT (or disproves the AIT.) So both evidence and the lack of it are supposed to debunk AIT now?
That’s the funniest thing. If Step markers were found in Rakhigiri then it would have been a triumphant vindication of Out of India theory. It has not been found so it is now a triumphant demolition of Aryan Invasion Theory!
“So both evidence and the lack of it are supposed to debunk AIT now? ”
A major problem is, most of the journalists are too stupid to detect logical fallacies. If you tell them, see, there is no evidence of Yeti in Himalayas, so this debunks AIT. And they will nod their heads in agreement 🙂
Razib, why don’t you block Milan? His so annoying. I had enough of his Serbian nonsense.
“Razib, why don’t you block Milan? His so annoying. I had enough of his Serbian nonsense.”
Aww he’s just eccentric
So i take the great Khan vs Kunwar Jay Rathod battle (The Batlle of Rakhigrahi 2019 CE) ended a bit inconclusive then?
“The protector of Dharma have stopped the Mlechas at the banks of Saraswati Sindhu today. But would the stalemate last ?” ( Narrator’s voice)
Inconclusive in the way a bear mauling a rabbit is inconclusive, because the rabbit limped home to tell his mates he won.
And this Bhamashah is here to fund Kunwar Jay Rathod sa in this battle against the Turakshas.. Ghani Khamma!
This article draws the opposite conclusion: https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2019/09/indus-valley-civilization-dna-has-long-eluded-researchers/597481/
Reporter talked to “Harvard” (Moorjani and Reich.)
Now we know that it was Iranian hunter gatherers who first came into contact with AASI hunter gatherers.
Does this mean that it was bloody tribal warfare that led to the annihilation/subjugation of AASI men and their haplogroups in the North?
And the taking of their women.
The Archemenids vs the Periyarist , where the periyarist were defeated and driven to Atlantis ( Kumari Kandam) . Their women were taken so they make do with white punjabi heroines of the Aryan race in their movies.
This article from The Organiser (the mouthpiece of the RSS), written by a journalist who attended the press conference held by Shinde & Rai today on the findings of the Rakhigarhi research project, exemplifies what is the real issue at stake:
Same old story as for the last 20 years… They have to “disprove” the AIT/AMT in any possible way by acting as the “official scientific branch” of the RSS/BJP/VHP combine….
Note the following detail: according to the journalist, the authors in the press release (was it Shinde or Rai?) would have stated that “Our premise that the Harappans were the Vedic people thus has received strong corroborative scientific evidence based on ancient DNA studies.”
No other comment needed!
Another pearl of Shinde’s is reported by The Week from the press conference of today:
“This research, for the first time, has established the fact that people of Harappan civilisation are the ancestors of most population of South Asia. For the first time, the research indicates movement of people from east to west. The Harappan people’s presence is evident at sites like Gonur in Turkmenistan and Shahr-i-Sokhta in Iran. As the Harappans traded with Mesopotamia, Egypt, Persian Gulf, all over South Asia, there are bound to be movements of people resulting into mixed genetic history.”
Thus, the poor “Indus Periphery” skeletons labeled in Narasimhan et al.’s 2019 paper as outliers in Turan have become evidence of a movement of people from India to the west — an “Out of India” movement which nicely contradicts (according to Shinde) the AIT/AMT! He reportedly also added that the history being taught to Indians in the books should now be changed.
Need I say more?
>Only released one sample
>And it was female so we still have no clue about the IVC yDNA lineages
Bah I think (more like hope) that they are hiding something, maybe withholding more samples for later papers? I REALLY wanted to see a confirmation for L-M20 being present in the IVC.
Speaking from the anthropological point of view, could the “Capelloid” samples of the IVC be representatives of people with a lot of the divergent Iran HG ancestry? They seem to have too high of an average cranial capacity for them to belong to a south Asian branch of proto-Australoids.
Next step for them will be the publication of a paper on modern Indian DNA announced by Niraj Rai announced in a Facebook group:
“Our DNA based research on R1a1 suggest its origin in South Asia. For this finding we have analyzed 10 thousand DNA samples across India and findings will be published soon… We are not challenging Prof. Reich since he has never mentioned that R1a is exclusively Central Asian in origin.”
It’s preposterous to say that this paper disproves the AIT/AMT. In fact, it provides, given the lack of Steppe DNA in the Harappan’s genome, strong support for a post-Harappan intrusion of Steppe people in India, whether it was in form of a migration or invasion (most likely a migration).
Also, Vedic culture and Sanskrit language are tied to the Indo-Aryans who likely were the Steppe people, so how this proves that Harappa was the source of Vedic/Indo-Aryan culture is beyond me.
Why should the Indian right be so hung up on this? The Steppe migration was 4000 years ago, Indian culture is a heavy blend of Indo-Aryan and pre-Indo-Aryan culture, nobody has any memory of a non-Indian homeland or reverence for a non-Indian place, nor is there a foreign grouping that supposed Indo-Aryans have affinity to (so very different from Muslims in that way).
Also, Islamists and extreme Left also don’t have much to cheer for based on this..Migrations happened all over the world, and Indians are a product of all that came to India up to this point..This doesn’t justify the Islamo Supremacists, non-nativist trends we see among Muslims in India.,
This paper is really a storm in a teacup. Has added little insight – Iranian genetic component was older than previously thought. We really need a lot more genomic data.
“Iranian genetic component was older than previously thought…”
I think this is a major finding which everyone is ignoring so far. If I am not mistaken, dravidian upper castes have a significant Iranian farmer ancestry in them. If IVC lacked this ancestry, than it means even the dravidian ancestry and languages are a later intrusion into India.
Picture abhi baqi hai mere dost! And the picture is gonna get a lot more interesting after the interval!
“If IVC lacked this ancestry, than it means even the dravidian ancestry and languages are a later intrusion into India.”
Periyar rolling in his grave
“Picture abhi baqi hai mere dost! And the picture is gonna get a lot more interesting after the interval!”
Whatever is left of the picture (after the interval), no self respecting Dravidian will be a part of it, considering that all this genetic-phenetic research is part of Nazi- Brahmin-Aryan (is it just chance that someone named “Reich” is part of this study? i think not) propaganda to discredit the glorious Dravidian race. Enough of your Scorpion’s poison, will not tolerate this anymore.
Correct me if I am wrong, but doesn’t the old “Iranian farmer” terminology just refer to the Iranian HG signal?
“Correct me if I am wrong, but doesn’t the old “Iranian farmer” terminology just refer to the Iranian HG signal?”
As per the chart posted on top of this post, Iranian HG and Iranian farmers are two distinct lineages. And as far as I know, the Iranians farmer terminology used in earlier papers referred to the population who had already turned agriculturists in the Iranian plateau.
I know you are an old AIT proponent and you really do enjoy mocking Indian researchers who do not support the AIT. You are not an unbiased individual by any stretch. Stop with your attacks on Shinde.
Let me just expose you little BS.
You think there is no evidence of Out of India migration from these aDNA studies ? Really ? So Shinde and Co. are making it up ? Really ?
Here are a few excerpts from the paper by Reich & Co.,
“.Unlike preceding Copper Age individuals from Turan, people of the BMAC cluster also harbored an additional ~2 to 5% ancestry related (deeply in time) to Andamanese hunter-gatherers (AHG). This evidence of south-to-north gene flow from South Asia is consistent with the archaeological evidence of cultural contacts between the IVC and the BMAC and the existence of an IVC trading colony in northern Afghanistan .”
What does the above mean can you please clarify for us poor souls.
From Supplementary Materials, page 206,
“For the BMAC main cluster, we also observe significant (Z<-3) admixture signals with a source from pre-Copper Age Iran and Turan and a source related to present day groups within the Indian subcontinent, a signal that we do not detect in individuals from the earlier period in Turan (Fig S 21 – Fig S 23). This is consistent with the hypothesis that the main BMAC cluster harbors a proportion of ancestry from gene flow from the south, plausibly from South Asia.”
” We observe that the individuals from Shahr-i-Sokhta, also show significant admixture-f3 statistics with one source as AHG. Taken together with the fact that there are individuals with significantly high proportions of AHG-related ancestry at both sites, this suggests that there was gene flow from South Asia out into Turan during the BA.”
So who has written this in the paper ? Has Vasant Shinde slyly put them without the Reich team being aware ?
“Inconclusive in the way a bear mauling a rabbit is inconclusive, because the rabbit limped home to tell his mates he won.”
While the bombast of Saurav is not something I am comfortable with, you talk a lot of rubbish.
The present set of papers argue that the Iranian Farmer/Herder related ancestry in the IVC and the South Asians separated more than 12 kya from their counterparts living in Iran. I had already blogged about it a few months back. Check it out –
If this vindication of my viewpoint by the geneticists is what you call mauling, I have serious reservations about your sense of judgement.
Also, perhaps if you bother to scroll down to page no. 302 of the Supplementary Section of this Narasimhan et al paper, you might just find that yours truly has been referred to. Kindly check –
Indeed, I have no hope now. May the Almighty show some mercy !
yeah ppl, can we stand down on the insults?
there’s so much data and results to talk about and interpret. no point in wasting time on this.
To a layperson such as myself almost more interesting than the paper is the overnight transformation of some of the talking heads here into subject matter experts.
Perhaps these folks should contribute their expertise to other problems like the origin of dark energy and the Riemann hypothesis.
“Also, perhaps if you bother to scroll down to page no. 302 of the Supplementary Section of this Narasimhan et al paper, you might just find that yours truly has been referred to.”
Way to go Jaydeep! Great to be mentioned in such an important paper!
Yes this paper does make the distinction, but I never recall reading about south Indian upper castes having a higher amount of Iranian copper age farmer ancestry. The older ones took the Iranian ancestry in south Asia as just being an Iran_N monolith without looking at the subtleties. This is the first time when the ancient Iranian populations were distinguished from a south Asian perspective as far as I know.
ppl have been talking about this on blogs since 2010
“ The older ones took the Iranian ancestry in south Asia as just being an Iran_N monolith without looking at the subtleties. ”
This is an important question, and this is question for pros like Razib and Jaydeep. Let’s hope they can throw some light on this.
>ppl have been talking about this on blogs since 2010
You mean the diverged west Eurasian component? I know about that. But so far the genetic studies on south Asians have not separated the Iran HG from any other ancient Iran population. All of it was presented as just being Iran_N. Perhaps they were erroneously adding some of the steppe mlba anatolian ancestry to the Iranian component which made it look like an Iranian farmer in the past?
i see what you are getting at. basically indian iranian was seen as iran_n+ANE/siberian-like. it turns out that the anatolian admixture though is older and lack of anatolian is younger.
Sorry I think that I might not have been clear. What I mean is that, this paper shows us that the Iran HGs who contributed to IVC had no Anatolian ancestry. So they could not have come from the Iran herders or the Iran farmers (basically they weren’t the Iran_N people). They would have separated from other mesolithic Iranians some 12,000 years ago.
Now there is Anatolian ancestry in modern day south Asia thanks to the MLBA contribution. What I was getting at is that perhaps in the past tests some of the Anatolian in MLBA was grouped along with the Iran HG ancestry (which itself did not carry any Anatolian at all) and that made the Iran HG + Anatolian (from steppe) look like an Iranian farmer/ Iran_N ancestry, which the papers used as a proxy for all Iranian ancestry in south Asia so far.
What is known about Y chromosome haplogroup H M52. That is apparently what I am. My mitochondrial is U8b’c. Are my parental progenitors iranian hunter gatherers or S Asian ones?
Niraj Rai seems to have gone full OIT now: https://twitter.com/NirajRai3/status/1169687037122793477
Quoting from their own paper..
“However, a natural route for Indo-European languages to
have spread into South Asia is from Eastern Europe via Central
Asia in the first half of the 2nd millennium BCE, a chain of transmission that did occur as has been documented in detail with
ancient DNA. The fact that the Steppe pastoralist ancestry in
South Asia matches that in Bronze Age Eastern Europe (but
not Western Europe [de Barros Damgaard et al., 2018; Narasimhan et al., 2019]) provides additional evidence for this theory, as it
elegantly explains the shared distinctive features of Balto-Slavic
and Indo-Iranian languages ”
So looks like this is a pattern with Indian scientists. In the research papers they will never lie, and always stick to facts. When speaking to general public they will speak what the public wants to hear, like our research buries AIT etc. Clueless journos like Anubhuti Vishnoi laps it up earnestly and spreads it furiously, never bothering to check what the same scientists actually wrote in their paper.
He is probably using 2 different migrations and conflating them to satisfy the OIT camp. A small amount of AASI ancestry was indeed found in BMAC (we don’t know exactly how it got there, probably just merchants moving along trade routes?), but this has nothing to do with the Aryans who later migrated down into south Asia.
Longtime lurker, first time poster here. I have to confess that my understanding of the complex technicalities of aDNA based studies is preliminary so I hope people who know better would be kind to my questions.
Looks like there is non-trivial amount of steppe like ancestry in present day Indian people across the spectrum in varying amounts that does not seem to exist in the Rakhigarhi sample.
But the provenance of the Steppe like ancestry is still unclear, correct? Does the Narasimhan paper really provide the trail for it in aDNA?
Based on multiple caveats (low genome coverage in Rakhigarhi sample, her belonging to a distinct sect of people who interred and did not cremate) it is still possible for the steppe like ancestry to go deeper in the past in India, right (based on the comments on R1a by Dr. Choubey and Dr. Rai and the recent finds in Sanauli)?
Very exciting result –
1. rakhigarhi is hardly 20pc AASI, and majorly indigenous iran farmer ancestry. Im sure even older IVC inhabitants would be almost completely iran farmer related.
2. Steppe people did come in between 2000-1000bc, no evidence that they brought Sanskrit or indo aryan with them, given the chariot burial pre 2000bc from sanauli (funny how sintashta chariots are mentioned rarely nowadays), fire altars etc.
3. It is plausible that the southern indians were dravidian speaking and kept migrating northward throughout history.
4. The low AASI and high iran component in rakhigarhi opens the gates for using it as a source sample in other ancient DNA. This whole iran-NW india area could already be indo aryan speaking by 2000bc.
>> Niraj Rai seems to have gone full OIT now: https://twitter.com/NirajRai3/status/1169687037122793477
Not just those tweets — see what Rai is reported to have declared at the press conference yesterday:
QUOTE: Rai, who addressed the media later, also spoke in favour of an ‘Out of India’ migration theory (OIT) — their paper says Iranians and Indians had a common ancestor over 10,000 years ago. “There was a separation from that ancestor population and from that separation we have two groups. One is local and another gave four populations….(Iranian). In fact, we share some kind of ancestry with the Iranians but the ancestral population could be South Asian. We are finding the ‘Out of India’ theory, this proves it because in Shahr-i-Sokhta and Gonur (in Iran) scientists in the west have analysed 25 individuals and they have found that 10-12 individuals show different kinds of ancestry…. When we generated Rakhigarhi data and compared it, these two match completely; the same ancestral gradient. This is giving a hint of OIT. More results are required but at this moment we can certainly say that OIT is probably there,” he said. The OIT theory has not directly been called so in the paper. It does say that: “Multiple lines of evidence suggest that the genetic similarity of I6113 (the Rakhigarhi DNA) to the Indus Periphery Cline (close to the Indus Civilisation) individuals is due to gene flow from South Asia rather than in the reverse direction.”… “We don’t know from which region they have moved but we know that they separated around 12000 years ago,” Rai said.
So now Iran_N populations are hypothesized to have originated from an “Out of India” migration? Lol! What Iran_N samples have been found to have an AASI ancestry similar to that of the Rakhigarhi sample? (The “Indus Periphery” samples from Turan discussed in Narashiman et al.’s paper do not count here as they are clearly the result of movements of people out of South Asia for the purpose of trading, manufacturing. etc. — not “migrations”, just “people settling abroad for working”!)
“Niraj Rai seems to have gone full OIT now: https://twitter.com/NirajRai3/status/1169687037122793477”
Noy just those tweets — check out what Rai reportedly said at the press conference yesterday accordinf to Outlook:
QUOTE: Rai, who addressed the media later, also spoke in favour of an ‘Out of India’ migration theory (OIT) — their paper says Iranians and Indians had a common ancestor over 10,000 years ago. “There was a separation from that ancestor population and from that separation we have two groups. One is local and another gave four populations….(Iranian). In fact, we share some kind of ancestry with the Iranians but the ancestral population could be South Asian. We are finding the ‘Out of India’ theory, this proves it because in Shahr-i-Sokhta and Gonur (in Iran) scientists in the west have analysed 25 individuals and they have found that 10-12 individuals show different kinds of ancestry…. When we generated Rakhigarhi data and compared it, these two match completely; the same ancestral gradient. This is giving a hint of OIT. More results are required but at this moment we can certainly say that OIT is probably there,” he said. The OIT theory has not directly been called so in the paper. It does say that: “Multiple lines of evidence suggest that the genetic similarity of I6113 (the Rakhigarhi DNA) to the Indus Periphery Cline (close to the Indus Civilisation) individuals is due to gene flow from South Asia rather than in the reverse direction.”…“We don’t know from which region they have moved but we know that they separated around 12000 years ago,” Rai said.
So now the whole of Iran_N ancestry is traced to an “indigenous” South Asian source population? The well-known fact that Indus merchants and artisans settled in some ancient cities of southern Central Asia, the Iranian Plateau, southern Mesopotamia and Oman does not amount to an “migration out of India”. At best, this can be defined as a permanent emigation of some Indus people to another country for working (= economic) purposes. If I and some of my fellow citizens go and work in the U.S., that cannot be defined as a “gene flow”.
I am not a OIT proponent. Question for you – Is the # of individuals from Shahr-i-Sokhta and Gonur who seem to show a match with the Rakhigarhi DNA, statistically significant compared in the context of the total # of samples from areas in and around Shahr-i-Sokhta and Gonur? If so, then would it not point to a significant gene flow – regardless of the direction/origin?
You don’t get my point – the eleven individuals labeled as “Indus Periphery Cline” in Narasimhan et al.’s 2019 paper were economic immigrants (or the sons of couples of economic immigrants) into different southern Central Asian cities. If you have read the archaeological literature, you will easily understand how some people (mostly merchants and artisans) from the Indus Valley moved into southern Central Asia and settled permanently in its towns in order to make the most of their own working abilities in those foreign lands. They were most likely officially allowed to reside there by the local rulers. This does not amount to a “gene flow” in the common acceptance of this term. I understand a “gene flow” as the exchange of alleles between two or more populations. What is your genetic and archaeological evidence for the exchange of alleles between Indus Valley merchants-cum-artisans and local populations of southern Central Asia? That was not a migration of people, but just an economic type of immigration. Your treating of those Indus Valley people as a distinct population of southern Central Asia is misleading. That was not a “population”, but just a series of “colonies” of Indus people abroad – same like Chinatown or Little Italy in NYC. That’s why I am so angry with Shinde and Rai, who love to deceive their Indian audience by blabbering about “Out-of-India migrations” in this connection when all informed persons, on the contrary, are well aware that we are here talking of some well-known socio-economic dynamics of the Middle Asian Interaction Sphere instead.
Why haven’t Shinde’s and Rai’s co-authors (like Narasimhan or Reich) challenged their comments?
Let’s wait, I guess that some kind of “internecine war” between the co-authors of both the _Science_ and _Cell_ papers will start soon!
No one wants to anger the people who have ultimate access to the skeletons and ancient DNA. I suspect a compromise was made. I am sure Vagheesh will be very careful with what he says on the podcast.
Joker in action:
Do the Shahr-i-Sokhta IVC samples have no Iranian farmer ancestry at all?
Is it really all ‘local Indian’ iranian related hunter gatherer ancestry?
That would be surprising considering that those skeletons were found in the Proto-Elamite phase (3200 – c. 2700 BC) in the region of protohistoric Elam.
Almost certainly Proto-Dravidian would have been spoken in the IVC by then.
And the Elamite agricultural terms found in both Brahui and Proto-Dravidian attest to at very least cultural diffusions from Elam to the IVC (if not a common origin of the languages).
I would have expected some gene flow from the Iranian farmers to the IVC by then.
Correction – Shahr-i-Sokhta is not found in the core of Elam, but is in an adjacent region. But is contemporary with protohistoric Elam.
“Almost certainly Proto-Dravidian would have been spoken in the IVC by then.”
Actually maybe not. The mature Harappan period dates from 2600 BC, and the Indus script comes into use during that time period.
Assuming that Proto-Dravidian was the elite language of the time encoded in the script (supported by Indus script symbols being found in megalithic graffiti from the south), then it is possible that later Iranian farmers could have introduced Proto-Zagrossian languages and genes by then.
This post dates the shahr-i-sokhta samples, and the Rakhigarhi lady from the mature phase may not have been in the core Dravidian speaking region of the IVC (e.g. Sindh).
I don’t know where Dravidians were living during the proto-Elamite period, but I know that a number of archaologists identify Shahr-i Sokhta as the capital of the land of Aratta mentioned in Sumerian sources– see at
Is there a link between Anatolian farmer ancestry and Elamite, Brahui and Dravidian speakers that predates the steppes migrations?
If yes, then we can estimate the date of arrival of Proto-Dravidian to the core IVC region, assuming it is later than the Shahr-i-Sokhta samples.
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