The Indo-Aryan enigma

A friend sent me this piece, Aryan Debate: Do the recent genetic studies validate Aryan invasion theory? The conclusion:

To sum up, how exactly the Indo-Aryanization India happened would remain unclear unless we get more ancient DNA samples, especially that of male individuals, from various Harappan sites and Gangetic regions as well. Until detailed studies are conducted on them, we can only speculate about the ancient events. Thus, far from validating AIT, these two papers, both Narasimhan et al and Shinde et al, leaves out many unresolved issues.

In my opinion, based on the current genetic data we have, we can now safely reject the kulturkugel BMAC proxy theory and the theory of large scale male dominant invasion into Swat valley which were modelled by the Indo-Europeanists and Indologists for Aryan expansions into India. Also since Indus periphery/Harappan ancestry overwhelmingly peaks among ANI group whose closest descendants are North Indian Indo-Aryan speakers, it is likely that the Indus periphery/Harappan ancestry would have represented some early Indo-Aryan or perhaps other related groups.

A common refrain for several years has been “let’s wait for ancient DNA.” Now that it’s here, is there more clarity?

On some questions, yes. On others, no. It seems now that while the Bactria-Margiana Archaeological Complex (BMAC) was influenced culturally and demographically by the Indus Valley Civilization (IVC), the BMAC did not impact South Asia demographically (though perhaps culturally via the Indo-Aryans; e.g., soma). This is definitely something that was learned.

But ancient DNA has not, and may not, solve the “Aryan question” in regards to origins and impact. Ultimately a synoptic take is probably necessary, where many disciplines and regional histories and archaeology are brought to bear. The main critique I have of the “Indian take” is that it is often substituting Indocentrism for Eurocentrism.

The reality is that the categories at issue, European or Indian, didn’t really make sense before the Iron Age, at the earliest (I would argue that a modern European self-identity really comes into being with the rise of Islam and the sundering of the Mediterranean). The early Indo-Europeans helped create the categories of the world around us, they were not of it.

54 Replies to “The Indo-Aryan enigma”

  1. “But ancient DNA has not, and may not, solve the “Aryan question” in regards to origins and impact.”

    The current discoveries have given both sides something to go home with. I actually think its better for this to not get solved, or at least there should be enough doubt for the other side to not lose hope.

    If the Hindu side loses, i dont think materially it would change much on the ground. But if the Left-Dravidian side loses , it could erode their legitimacy even further.

    1. What does the OIT camp have to go home with? DNA studies have shown that Aryans (and by extension Sanskrit and the Vedic religion) were not native to India, but brought by foreign conquests.

      The only silver lining I see is that the IVC was more “native” than previously thought, being comprised largely of Iranian HG and AASI, rather than later Neolithic Iranian’s imposing their civilization over an AASI Indus region. Its still likely however that agriculture developed in the IVC via cultural (and likely minor genetic) movement from Iran to the Indus.

      1. You are confusing that everyone who is not AIT/AMT camp is of OIT camp. The vast majority of the “nativist” camp dont give two hoots about OIT, there primary concern is India and not whether folks went out of India are not. If they went , it;s good, if they didn’t its ok too.

        Also unlike what has been articulated on the blog, language (Sanskrit) etc is also not that important to the nativist camp. This over-emphasis of language is a South Indian/Bengali phenomena. That;s why whatever few Hindu right S-Indians /Bengalis are there , they think Indus script/language is central to the whole controversy. Its not.

        What’s important(for the Hindu right) is their religion/culture. As long as that’s established as being formed inside India , all other stuff is of secondary importance and can be reasoned with.

        1. You are projecting your own views onto the views of Indians. Western-educated and diaspora populations do this a lot.

          Read the articles that come out of India regarding this topic, or the forums that Indians frequent. 100% of the interest is in OIT. And its not OIT in the sense of IVC stuff, its OIT Aryan stuff.

          When that clown Rai gives cryptic statements about “migrations out of India”, we may know he’s referring to IVC stuff, but his audience isn’t us, its Indians, resulting in the flood of articles claiming that new studies have junked the Aryan Migration Theory “once and for all”.

        2. @Saurav
          “..language (Sanskrit) etc is also not that important to the nativist camp.”
          “What’s important(for the Hindu right) is their religion/culture. ”

          Not sure what you meant by that. Vedic language (sanskrit) *is* the vedic religion. Vedic religion is encoded in vedic sanskrit. You can’t separate them.

      2. What does the OIT camp have to go home with? DNA studies have shown that Aryans (and by extension Sanskrit and the Vedic religion) were not native to India, but brought by foreign conquests.

        i generally agree with you that the core ethnic group represented in the vedas, the aryans, were derived from a migration of steppe ppl 4,000 years ago. otoh, there is less certainty that sanskrit (or a similar language) was spoken outside of india (it’s unique features may be due to interaction with IVC associated peoples), and, i think in general it is more likely than not that a lot of the vedic religion has the stamp of northwest south asia.

        but this is a question NOT for DNA but for cultural anthropology and philology. not my specialties unfortunately. but, as someone who has read a fair amount of mythology i am struck by BOTH similarities AND dissimilarities in old indo-european religion (e.g., greek vs. indian). this to me is indicative of the likelihood that all indo-european groups can be viewed as synthetic (of the greek gods only zeus has a pure indo-european lineage; the others are disputed, like apollo, or most definitely not indo-european, like artemis).

        1. Artemis (Artemida) is a much later Greek copy of the original – the Serbian goddess Serbona. The oldest baked clay Serbona figure dates from the 3rd millennium BC. She has a cross with 4 crescents (from Vinca’s alphabet) on her garment. This is still the official Serbian coat and arms. Even more later is a Roman copy of Diana (= goddess) Serbona to whom the temple was dedicated. The name Serbona was later omitted so that only the name – Dijana, i.e. Goddess remained.

          https://www.google.com/search?q=srpska+boginja+serbona&rlz=1C1GCEA_enAU795AU795&tbm=isch&source=iu&ictx=1&fir=CET9rNOHvnKZHM%253A%252C4smI5oAzbhCFDM%252C_&vet=1&usg=AI4_-kRUavw50HSchossFnG9fJk_IYxhyQ&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjG4sOfxtnlAhVl63MBHWjIBKMQ9QEwAHoECAkQBg#imgrc=tuCXxJfA9ARD4M:&vet=1

          Greeks history still does not believe that Aryans existed because it was much before their existence and they don’t like that some existed before them. Actually, Aryans on the way back from SA took the future Greek (and Jewish) tribes and moved them to Egypt.

  2. Then when do you propose that an “Indian” identity was created? The entry of the indo Europeans, or 1947, or sometime between?

      1. The ‘Indian’ identity of 1000 BC and 600 BC would have been very different from the later versions. 1000 BC it would focused around Kuru and by 600 BC it would have begun to gravitate towards Magadha.
        Where would you date the earliest Indian identity which comes close to the modern understanding in geographical terms at least? A follow up would be the earliest Indian identity in political terms (like the Mauryans were centralized and Guptas were decentralized .etc).

          1. So the India built upon Gupta governance then. I was anticipating something like this in general, even though it is more recent than other possible responses (like Mauryans) it is still built upon previous influences and reactions.

        1. “The ‘Indian’ identity of 1000 BC and 600 BC would have been very different from the later versions. 1000 BC it would focused around Kuru and by 600 BC it would have begun to gravitate towards Magadha.”

          Not sure what you mean by Indian identity here but the Mahabharata war did have representatives from Gandhara till north-East India. So a semblance of modern it might have been there.

          (Some of the stuff could obviously be later addition. I am not a Mahabharata expert.)

  3. @INDTHINGS: Have you seen vedic sanskrit written all over the DNA of the samples from swat or have you seen damil written all over the DNA of the Rakhigarhi samples? Sometimes it helps to have good faith in arguments. Guess what we all know what faith you belong to, so!!

  4. Hmm. You don’t speculate when it comes to Indians, do you? What a great scientist. But you were so eager to speculate about Turks, despite the lack of Medival Turkic genomes (at that time).

    We know from the Medieval Turkic samples (Damgaard et al. 2018) that your models were simply terrible. They served a political purpose rather than a scientific one. Modern Anatolian Turks get modeled as 20-40% Medieval Central Asian Turkic on average when the Medieval Göktürk, Karluk, Kimak and Kipchak samples are used. Their native part is also not Armenian-like. Anatolian Greeks are a much better proxy.

    Are you going to apologize for your baseless models and sensational headlines (Are Turks acculturated Armenians or Are Turks Armenians under the hood)? Of course not.

  5. Razib

    I had a doubt on the map which you have linked. Presuming that the map shows the spread of the “Aryans”. Shouldn’t Turkey be Aryan as well, since Turkmenistan is Aryan on the Map?

    1. … only indo-iranian people? Wow! What is the meaning of ‘aryan’ i.e.in original – Arion?

      1. Milan Todorovic wrote:

        “… only indo-iranian people? Wow! What is the meaning of ‘aryan’ i.e.in original – Arion?”

        Celtic has one too.

        Aryaman (Vedic), Airyaman (Avestan), Ariomanus/Eremon (Celtic).

        Is there a Slavic cognate to the word also like “Arion?”

        1. “Is there a Slavic cognate to the word also like “Arion?””

          Yes, Slavic roots ori-/ari- are present in many words related to fire, eagle, energy, horse. It seems to be related to Slavic fire and sun worship. In relation to people it denotes the quality of being higher, better, energetic, warm etc.

          1. Bolek worte:

            “In relation to people it (ari) denotes the quality of being higher, better, energetic, warm etc.”

            Ok. Thank you. That can added to the list then, but not through the word orion though as initially proposed. Talageri does say his list is almost comprehensive.

          2. MMK, ‘orion’ was not proposed for anything, forget it. Arion is the original god and the ‘orion’ was a replica as all other gods including Artemida (i.e Diana) who are replicas of the goddess Serbona. Originals are older than replicas more than Christianity is old. Having mentioned Albanians in a context of divinity, mathematician Talageri cannot be a reference for anything in Europe.

  6. Quote from the IndiaFacts article:

    “Also, even as per Indologist Michael Witzel who endorses the steppe Kurgan theory, only around 4% of early Vedic Sanskrit vocabulary has non-Indo-Aryan loan words.”

    Here is Witzel’s original paper. In his zeal to find loan words into IIr which Tonoyan-Belyayev has called a “linguistically reconstructed phantom” Witzel completely ignores the order of the books.

    http://www.people.fas.harvard.edu/~witzel/SPP129-IndoIranArch.pdf

    The evidence he cites is all in the LATER books which we know were contemporaneous with the Iranian texts

    “Some sort of contact is clearly in evidence in the borrowed vocabulary found in
    the IIr. languages, and just as in the RV later on, it is restricted to agriculture, village
    life, small tradition religion, but it also included a few more prominent terms for
    priests (atharwan, uc’ij), ritual (anc’u, yåtu) and deities (c’arwa, g(h)andharw/b(h)a).”

    By Witzel’s own logic all the later books of the RV can be considered “borrowed” from somewhere!. All one needs to do is invent more fictitious languages just like it has been done for BMAC.

    Here is the paper by Igor TB which addresses the so called borrowings from BMAC.

    https://www.academia.edu/33042091/An_alternative_vision_of_the_A._Lubotskys_list_of_Bactro-Margianisms_

    At the end of the day this still remains a linguistic problem and data from ALL the IE languages and isoglosses needs to be considered. The linguistic problems with the idea of an earlier IIr stage have been discussed by Kazanas below

    http://omilosmeleton.gr/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Vedic_and_Avestan.pdf

    Razib Khan wrote:

    “The main critique I have of the “Indian take” is that it is often substituting Indocentrism for Eurocentrism.”

    Not necessarily. The later books clearly show familiarity with Central Asia and areas south of the Caspian sea. Don’t want to badger the readers by posting Talageri’s work again and again.

    Razib Khan wrote:

    ” The early Indo-Europeans helped create the categories of the world around us, they were not of it.”

    That is an excellent point. Consider this scenario. These differentiated cultures were already spread out in modern day South Asia and Central Asia and the IDEA of composing and memorizing these hymns came from the Puru Bharatas and gradually spread across the whole region. At the same time they were fighting and spreading as we know from the descriptions of the Dasrajanya war and the Varsagira war. That is why the archaeological and if I understand correctly, the genetic evidence of massive migrations has not been found. There are no kurgans in BMAC also and archaeologist have given their verdict long ago (see the work of George Dales for example).

  7. Celts are Goths (Goti or Geti, in France – Galls) originated from Vinca, too. They were a Serbian warriors rank.

    Arion (later Greek translation – Orion) is a Serbian god Arion, who was the protector of hunters. The first Aryan expedition consisted of hunters (armies did not exist then). Their leader, Bak i.e. Nimrod, who founded Babylon, was in the Bible called – ‘Gigantic Hunter, first before the God’. His other names are – for Greeks – Dionysus (=god from Nis), for Romans – Bacchus (from Bak=bull; in Serbian). Baghdad got the name after him – Bak-dat = ‘Bak given’.

    That was the guy who took elephants from India and returned to Europe where was orginised the first in history ‘triumph’ for him which was repeated every 3rd year and this name remained for the future.


  8. “So how did these small waves of Indo-Aryan migrants managed to change entire cultural zone of northern India within few centuries? Historically, steppe and Central Asian tribes like Shakas, Kushana/Yuezhis, Hephthalites etc did invade India and managed to establish their empire in India. However they got absorbed into Indian culture via adoption of Buddhism and Hinduism. We also have the case of Mitanni elites who had Aryan names and worshipped Vedic Gods in west Asia, however they couldn’t completely Aryanize the native Hurrian speaking population of the region. Instead eventually they got absorbed into the native population after their defeat by Assyrians.

    Same fate would’ve awaited the small waves of steppe immigrants who would’ve came into India during late bronze age. Harappan civilization was the largest civilization of it’s times, covering area large as ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia put together. Obviously it would’ve hosted more population as well, with the large cities like Rakhigarhi, Mohenjo-Daro, Dholavira, Harappa etc. It is quite unlikely that the Harappan language(s) which was spoken in such a large civilization vanished completely without leaving any linguistic traits.”

    Akshay Shankar writes well. He raised a point which I have always wondered about. Linguistic switch over of north India to IA languages, if it did happen, will count as one of the most astonishingly momentous event in human history. There are close to a billion IA speakers in India now. Across the vast swathes of India, as far east as Assam, no trace of any non-IA language substratum remains. It boggles the mind that a bunch of invading/migrating tribes could bring about such a transformation.

    India is not sparsely populated Iran or Mesopotamia. More like China. It is an agriculturally rich country, that presumably always hosted a large population. It is equivalent to claiming that a bunch of invading tribes from steppes can overturn the language of China! Sounds incredible,

    1. There is nothing remotely astonishing about North-India adopting IA languages. The region had little if any complex societies. The Indus region had fractured catastrophically in the centuries prior to Aryan arrival, entire urban centers swallowed up by now arid terrain and abandoned.

      They certainly did not have a large population, as much of the area hadn’t even really begun farming yet.

      Much more numerous and complex societies have undergone language change following conquests by barbaric peoples (see Turks and Arabs).

      1. yes. i think what needs to be kept in mind is that older civilizations were much more frail in their demographic basis than later ones. population collapse seems to have been one reason neolithic people left a far smaller genetic impact in n. europe than one might expect.

    2. Btw Bangla may not be an Indo Aryan language. A professor of Bangla language said so. According to him, saying that Bangla is an indo aryan language is a political tactic.

      There are theories that Bangla is a dravidian language.

      And wasn’t the so called Hindu civilization created by modern Pakistani ethnic groups like punjabi,sindhi etc and not by indian ethnicities?

      1. “Alokananda Mitre is the granddaughter of the famous poet Tagore, who wrote in Bengali. As a student at Oxford and then Director of the Institute of Statistics in Calcutta, she has been studying the Serbian language for more than thirty years, as she wrote: “As a student of Slovene languages at Oxford, in the early fifties, I noticed a certain similarity between Bengali and Serbian language, and later, when I translated Serbian postrealistic poetry into English, I became convinced that a deep connection must exist between these two languages (Serbian and Bengali) and that it draws its origins from the Sanskrit. ‘

        After extensive study, Ms. Mitre has proven that the living languages of Sanskrit are closest to Serbian and Bengali. She also published scientific work in Calcutta. She found that about 20% of the words in Serbian and Sanskrit are the same, while another 10% is similar. So after more than three thousand years of separation, the Serbian language keeps about a third of the words used in the ancient Vedas.

      2. Does your professor understand some Telugu or Tamil? Or He does understand some Hindi? Bangla in its pure form is Indo-Aryan as heck. Pakistan didnt even exist untill 1947 lol
        I hope you are not trolling!

        1. As he said , his teacher feels Bengali being Indo Aryan is a ‘political’ tactic. Similarly making Bengali a Dravidian language is a ‘political’ tactic too.

          After all isn’t the whole IA-Dravidan thing , politics all along.?

      3. Btw Bangla may not be an Indo Aryan language. A professor of Bangla language said so. According to him, saying that Bangla is an indo aryan language is a political tactic.

        this is ridiculous. listen to persian and you can hear similarities. bengali is clearly indo-iranian. dravidian languages are totally unintelligible. indo-aryan are not.

    3. Linguistic switch over of north India to IA languages, if it did happen, will count as one of the most astonishingly momentous event in human history. There are close to a billion IA speakers in India now. Across the vast swathes of India, as far east as Assam, no trace of any non-IA language substratum remains. It boggles the mind that a bunch of invading/migrating tribes could bring about such a transformation.

      i assume when the indo-aryans arrived the middle gangetic plain and eastward was lightly populated.

      – hungarians speak a ugric language, but genetically just like their neighbors
      – finns are mostly like their neighbors (5% siberian), but speak non-indo-european languages
      – arabic has transformed MENA with only modest gene flow
      – the spread of spanish (though gene flow here is somewhat higher than in india, assuming 10% steppe)
      – spread of latin
      – spread of greek (lesser extent)
      – spread of turkic languages

  9. Turks conquered the Byzantine empire and imposed their language on a densely populated region. A bunch of invading tribes from the steppes overturned the language of the Byzantine empire.

    1. Roy wrote:

      “Turks conquered the Byzantine empire and imposed their language on a densely populated region. A bunch of invading tribes from the steppes overturned the language of the Byzantine empire.”

      The Romans had extended east and south into mostly non Indo European speaking territories and the Ottomans recaptured Constantinople (Istanbul) in 1493 CE.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5zYpWcz1-E

      Turkish languages are still limited to Turkey and are not spoken all over the former Byzantine territories.

      https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/what-languages-are-spoken-in-turkey.html

      And as for the steppe supermen go, Armenian (an IE language) and Arabic are still spoken in Turkey today. The Mongol nomads wreaked havoc on the Arabs, Persians and the Afghans too with no appreciable change in language.

      In any case you are back to the blond blue eyed version of the Aryan Invasion Theory which even Professor Michael Witzel would deny today.

      1. this is a totally disingenuous comment. there was massive language switch from various substrates in anatolia. somewhat in the balkans too (massive population exchange decreased turkish there).

        the whole region of the byzantine empire saw a shift from 600 AD.

        -turkish in the north
        -arabic in the south

        1. Razib Khan wrote:

          “the whole region of the byzantine empire saw a shift from 600 AD.

          -turkish in the north
          -arabic in the south”

          Thank you for the correction.

  10. I think considering surrounding areas (Serbia, Levantine etc) it was densely populated , but it wasn;t densely populated compared to India or China though.

  11. 1. Buddha was in 600 BC. Vedas were well developed. Ramayana period was over long back and so was Mahabharatha.
    2. Hence 2500 BC would be a good date to start the Hindu Civilization.

  12. There is a problem again in projecting the present to the ancient past. Who could believe for e.g. that Mongols (about 3 mil) once almost ruled the world?

    Aryans were not a bunch of ‘steppe’ tribes. They were maybe the most populous group in the world at that time. In 5th c.BC, Herodotus wrote that Serbs were the biggest nation in the world after Indians. It means that their numbers were comparable. Aryans did NOT come exclusively to India. They occupied the whole Russia up to the Kamchatka, they came to Iran and Gulf, Mesopotamia, Egypt, north Africa, Asia Minor, they were fighting Chinese for 1000 years. It is not today’s China, their numbers were comparable at that time. Even after all previous historical genocides there are about 250 mil Slavics today, plus assimilated into other nations (Germans, Hungarians, Italians, French, Scandinavians, etc).

    And, yes, Sanskrit was Aryan language which was developed further after migration to SA. The point is, the number of Aryans was probably lower than the number of locals but it was not negligible in comparison. Otherwise, it would not be now 150-200 million of Aryan descendants in SA.

    Re: medieval Ottoman empire. The maths says that it was about 6 million of people in East Roman Empire. About 250-300 000 of Turks warriors came to Asia Minor. The conclusion is that many Greeks (and previously Hellenised Serbs) accepted islam, some did not, they were subjected to the genocide later. Because today’s Turks do not look like their Mongoloid originals (as in Kazakhstan, for e.g.) they look like olive skin Greeks. And, not only one language was used in this empire, 4 was used including Serbian which was used in diplomacy and military.

    I proposed earlier a simple logic re Aryan issue. I simplified this further. It (‘Quick&Clean Aryan Test ©) says:

    1. Aryans were R1a……….Devil’s advocate (DA): Were there Aryans with other genetic group?
    2. Serbs are R1a ……………..DA: Any other nation/tribes had R1a?
    3. Ergo: Aryans were Serbs!……….DA: I have no any objection on this!

  13. Milan Todorovic wrote:
    “Arion (later Greek translation – Orion) is a Serbian god Arion,”
    Also,
    Aryaman (Vedic), Airyaman (Avestan), Ariomanus/Eremon (Celtic).
    What is the most ancient source for Serbian Arion? The link with Orion doesn’t seem to be convincing:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orion_(mythology)
    “In Greek mythology, Orion (/əˈraɪən/; Ancient Greek: Ὠρίων or Ὠαρίων; Latin: Orion)[1] was a giant huntsman whom Zeus (or perhaps Artemis) placed among the stars as the constellation of Orion.”
    Orion has Indra/Dyaus Pitar/Zeus Pater/Jupiter like properties. Aryman/Airyaman are much later.

  14. New article relating to the overall genetic scene of the IE peoples:

    Ancient Rome: A genetic crossroads of Europe and the Mediterranean
    https://science.sciencemag.org/content/366/6466/708

    “Ancient Rome was the capital of an empire of ~70 million inhabitants, but little is known about the genetics of ancient Romans. Here we present 127 genomes from 29 archaeological sites in and around Rome, spanning the past 12,000 years. We observe two major prehistoric ancestry transitions: one with the introduction of farming and another prior to the Iron Age. By the founding of Rome, the genetic composition of the region approximated that of modern Mediterranean populations. During the Imperial period, Rome’s population received net immigration from the Near East, followed by an increase in genetic contributions from Europe.”

  15. Bengalistani wrote:

    “Btw Bangla Btw Bangla may not be an Indo Aryan language. ”

    That is correct. While Bangla is an Indo Aryan languages Btw Bangla may not be an IA language or a language at all.

    1. I dont know if the claim of the professor was correct or not. Personally,i find hindi much closer to bangla compared to tamil or telegu because Dravidian languages like tamil,telegu etc have a very different accent.

      May be Bangla has linguistic similarity with both dravidian and indo aryan more or less. May be bangla was originally a dravidian language which was Sanskritized and so it turned into an indo aryan language.

      Also, sanskrit was the language of elites; and bengalis in general were not elites. It was sometimes even a punishable offence for non elites to even listen to Sanskrit.

      Bengali culture is more similar to dravidian culture(for example, our food habit, rural house building mechanism etc) and may be bengalis are genetically much closer to dravidian speaking people(like telegus)

      @kevin
      Whether Pakistan was created in 1947 is not the issue. What i wanted to say is that the sub continent is a huge place with many different groups who are different from each other. Achievement of one ethnicity is not the achievement of another ethnicity. A punjabi does not represent a tamil, a sindhi does not represent a bengali, a kashmiri does not represent a telegu.
      Ethnicities like punjabi,sindhi etc who now mostly are Pakistanis (and are very different from other south asian ethnicities)were most probably the ones who created the indus valley civilization. There are also theories that dravidian people created the indus valley civilization(idk if it is true). btw,i also dont know about the genetic make up of those indus valley people.
      However, the indus valley existed only in the northern portion of the subcontinent and so vast majority of indians (and south asians) should not be given credit for the indus valley civilization. The credit only goes to the particular ethnicities who created it

      1. @Bengalistani Are you a regular reader of Brown Pundits or gnxp.com? Rakhigarhi(IVC) DNA was out recently, and it is mostly Iran_HG and some AASI. All modern south Asians(excluding tribals and high AASI groups) from Pakistan to Bangladesh and from Kashmir to Srilanka have lots of IVC DNA.
        Ethnicities like Punjabis and Sindhis are different from Telugu or Tamils, but not highly different, don’t forget they have lots of shared IVC ancestry.
        As Razib said, Excluding 13% east Asian, Bengalis are very similar to middle caste UP/Biharis , middle caste Telugus like Reddy/Kamma are also not that different from Upite/Bihari middle castes like Kayasthas, basically Telugu mid-Castes have slightly higher Iran_HG and lower steppe than mid-caste UP/Biharis, the AASI percentage is similar perhaps marginally lower in UP/Biharis.
        Every South Asian culture have things in common and things that make them unique. I don’t think Bengalis have more things in common with Telugus than with North Indians. In South India food habit changes from districts to districts, for example in southern Telangana they eat “Ragi Ambali”, I doubt Bengalis eat such thing.

      2. Indus Valley was also in Gujarat and Haryana. Raghakiri in Haryana and Lothal in Gujarati. It covers much of the NW, not just Punjab and Sindh. There is a reason Iranic Mesolithic HG is so high among Gujaratis. If anything, people like Patels are a lot more IVC than pretty much every ethnic group in NW because of less steppe and preserved Iran Mesolithic HG.

        Indthings will foolishly say no because they are Hindu in his weird three criteria system. If anything Hinduism is closer to IVC religion than islam, insofar as it contributed a lot to modern day Hinduism. Evidence and yoga and shiva are in the IVC.

        The IVC statues look like Modi ironically enough. The Guju is trying to unite a people under an ideology, much like Papa Gandhi, Jinnah, and Sardar Patel

        Jain Shree Ameen. May the River Mother Bless You

  16. May be Bangla has linguistic similarity with both dravidian and indo aryan more or less. May be bangla was originally a dravidian language which was Sanskritized and so it turned into an indo aryan language.

    no. unlike marathi there is no clear dravidian substrate in bengali.

    i think dravidian languages are intrusive to ne south asia, not indigenous.

    Bengali culture is more similar to dravidian culture(for example, our food habit, rural house building mechanism etc) and may be bengalis are genetically much closer to dravidian speaking people(like telegus)

    idk about culture but genetically bengali non-east asian ancestry is somewhat like reddy people. otoh, there is still excess steppe vs south indian non-brahmins. also, i think bengalis are not too different from bihars and people from eastern UP if you remove the east asian component.

  17. @Razib,
    “The reality is that the categories at issue, European or Indian, didn’t really make sense before the Iron Age, at the earliest (I would argue that a modern European self-identity really comes into being with the rise of Islam and the sundering of the Mediterranean). The early Indo-Europeans helped create the categories of the world around us, they were not of it.”

    This is the issue I have with social sciences. “European” & “Indian” are not just ideas in peoples heads. Whether Europeans identify as Europeans doesn’t matter. They share enough similarities: Geography, ancestry, culture, to exist in the same categories.

    Of course, things change overtime. All the defining features cultural/ethnic/racial categories haven’t existed forever. How people self identify matters of course. But, it is seriously overplayed by social scientists.

    European & Indian are mor ethan anything geographic terms. Though overtime, people in those locations have changed overtime usually most people in Europe and most people in India had key similarities with each other.

    For example, when discuing the Mesolithic era you can refer to WHG as European even though they were very different from modern Europeans. What matters, is people in the geographic location of Europe shared key sets of similarities so can be lumped together.

    When, you call ancient people “Anatolian” (farmers), “Iranian” (farmers), “European” (hunter gatherers, you’re not referring to the modern people in those locations.

    Anyways, because of this it is helpful to describe the Indo-Aryans as people from Eastern Europe. Because they were. Their ancestors who lived there shared a lot of similarities with Corded Ware & Bell Beaker in Northern & Western Europe. They share a lot of similarities with modern Europeans. At the very least, you can say they were a lot more similar to modern Europeans than anyone in Asia.

    You seem to just not associate them with modern Europeans. That’s the problem seems to be. I’d say it’s pretty obvious the ancient DNA reseachers feel the same way which is why they use terms like “Eurasian Steppe.”

  18. https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c9/Indus_Valley_Civilization%2C_Mature_Phase_%282600-1900_BCE%29.png
    Indus valley map for all my peoples not understanding that it was most definitely not just Sindh and Punjab. It literally covers all of Gujarat and Haryana.
    May the River Mother bless you.

    And Milan why do you have such a specific threshold for indo aryan ancestry. Literally all of S Asia has some. Many that are R1a postive even have less autosomal steppe than those who are R1a negative. I don’t understand your criteria. It is minority criteria, whether you include the R1a 35% Haryana Ror guy or the H 10% Telegu Reddy guy. I don’t understand your criteria still.

    1. @thewarlocke
      >May the River Mother bless you.

      Are you implying that IVC people were insane goddess worshipers? I hope not since that comes with the usual package of human sacrifice and castration. /s (only half-joking though)

      >the R1a 35% Haryana Ror guy

      Interestingly, Ror 52 is exactly 35% Sintashta, though IDK about his/her uniparental markers. Ror 20 had the most steppe in the list in at 42.2% and Ror 44 was the least at 27%.

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