Who doth speaketh the mleccha bhasha?

A question post in the comments: how plausible is that much of South Asia today is dominated by languages that were introduced agro-pastoralists in the period between 2000 and 1500 BCE? (the proposition put forward in The formation of human populations in South and Central Asia). This is not a peculiar question. It seems that in the range of 10-20% of the ancestry in the Gangetic plain derives from people whose origins are in the Eurasian steppe (please see the table at the bottom of the post, which I derive from Narasimhan et al., for why I say 10-20%).

Is it plausible that agro-pastoralists from the Eurasian steppe gave their language, their mythos, to the Indian subcontinent, when most of the ancestry predates their arrival? If the figure is 10-20%, I would say it certainly is plausible and entirely within the realm of likely given the model (male-mediated expansion).

Some non-Indian examples.

The Ugric languages are widely dispersed in Eurasia. The reason being that the Hungarian language is a recent cultural artifact on the Pannonian plain. Genetically modern Hungarians have only trivial (1-5% most generously) affinities to Central Eurasia, being genetically similar to their German and Slavic neighbors. Ancient DNA has yielded that Hungarian nobles from the medieval period were more Asiatic in the background, with exotic Y chromosomes. One explanation for the discrepancy with moderns is that the flower of Hungarian nobility was decimated by the Mongol invasions, as well as the latter predations of the Turks. But, in any case the Magyar and their Turkic federates were never likely more than 10% of the population of the Pannonian plain.

(in contrast to the Magyars the Avars and Bulgars left no linguistic imprint, and were assimilated into their substrate; the Bulgars only leaving their ethnonym despite being Slavicized)

Before the arrival of the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes, the people of the British Isles either spoke a Brythonic dialect or Latin. Were the Anglo-Saxons a major demographic shift? Or did the switch to Old English, which is really a German dialect, happen through elite transmission? The best work today suggests that at most 25% of the ancestry of England proper is German, with perhaps a high fraction of 40% in East Anglia. The switch to a German identity in the centuries after the 5th-century withdrawal of Roman legions seems to involved both migration and assimilation into the barbarized identity.

In the late Roman period, the dominant language in the Balkans was Latin, with Greek and Illyrian minorities. In the 7th-century the Balkan limes collapse. Today Slavic languages are dominant (Romanian and Albanian being exceptions). Though a significant genetic impact occurred through the Slavic migrations, it looks to be less than 50% in the Balkans. The barbarian Slavic tribes assimilated Latin peasants into their culture.

The Turkic languages have expanded a great deal over the last 2,000 years. Today large swaths of Central Asia that were once Iranian speaking are now Turkic, while Anatolia, which was once Greek, Iranian, and Armenian, is now mostly Turkish in speech. In the eastern edge of Turkdom East Asian ancestry is predominant. But once one reaches Anatolia the fraction is the 5-20% range.

Arabic has famously spread outside of its Arabian-Syrian homeland since the rise of Islam. I think it is difficult to judge the genetic impact in the Fertile Crescent because these Aramaic and Assyrian speaking populations had long been interacting with north Arabian peoples. That being said, a comparison of religious minorities (e.g., Assyrian Christians) with their Muslim neighbors indicates that only a minority of the ancestry is due to migration since the rise of Islam, though in some areas it may be substantial (e.g., 30-40%).

A better test is Egypt, where the linguistic substrate (Coptic) was significantly different from the Semitic of the Fertile Crescent. It looks likely that there is overall continuity with Pharaonic Egypt, though some Levantine, Turkic, and Sub-Saharan African ancestry has been added. In contrast, in the Maghreb Arabicization has been overwhelmingly cultural.

Latin. Iberia and Gaul adopted Latin through cultural processes. The genetic impact seems marginal (the same is true is the Balkans, but there only Romanian remains of the Latin period; though Romanians show no greater affinity to Italians than their neighbors).

The Chadic languages are a curious branch of Afroasiatic languages in West Africa. Less than 5% of the ancestry of these people is West Eurasian.

Spanish and Portuguese in the New World. Substantial genetic impact. On the order of 50%. But far less in some areas than others.

The Australian Pama-Nyungan languages seem to have spread mostly via cultural diffusion or some sort, rather than genes.

About 30-40% of the ancestry in Iberia is steppe. But the people seem to have spoken Indo-European langauges (though some not!) before the Romans. In Italy 30-40% is also steppe, dating to the same period. Again, Indo-European languages. The fraction in Greece is lower for the antique period. Again, Indo-European languages.

In China, Japan, and Northern Europe, language shift seems to have been accompanied by preponderant demographic shifts (though not overwhelmingly or exclusive). The shift from hunter-gatherers to agriculture saw the same in Southeast Asia, though the shift between language families is often mostly cultural (e.g., Thailand is only minority Tai in ancestry).

The moral of the story is that it is possible that unlettered barbarians can impose their language and culture on a people more advanced, but fallen. Ask the Britons. Ask the Greeks of Anatolia, or the scions of the Pharaohs. Ask the Minoans and the Pelasgians. The men of Urartu who fell to the Hayk.

GroupNStateTown AASI Ind_Pe Steppe
Yanidi4AP Nellore 0.4680.4890.043
Vysya43AP Pidugurella 0.3580.5920.05
Sugali4AP Anantpur 0.470.480.05
Madiga3AP Vizayanagaram 0.4490.4910.06
Chamada3AP Nellore 0.3670.5710.062
Pattapu_Kapu5AP Nellore 0.3880.5470.064
Bestha5AP Nellore 0.3790.5570.065
Mala13AP Vizayanagaram 0.480.4550.066
Naidu8AP Machilipatnam 0.3580.570.072
Achary2AP Mahabubnagar 0.3690.5580.073
Kshatriya_Aquikula4AP Machilipatnam 0.4010.5260.073
Dudhekula4AP Thiruttani 0.3840.5420.074
Panta_Kapu18AP Rajahmundry 0.2740.6510.075
Dhokkali2AP Anantapur 0.3630.5540.084
Meddari4AP Anantapur 0.4340.4820.084
Ediga3AP Warangal 0.3630.5480.089
Vadde3AP Anantpur 0.4140.490.096
Budagajangam3AP Kurnol 0.4020.4930.105
Lambadi5AP Mahabubnagar 0.3520.5220.126
Kalinga3AP Srikakulam 0.3430.5140.143
Brahmin_Vaidik27AP Vijayawada 0.2570.580.163
Sah_Obc3 Bihar Muzaffarpur 0.4020.4570.141
Muslim_Bihar4 Bihar Muzaffarpur 0.3740.4830.143
Bhumihar_Bihar7 Bihar Muzaffarpur 0.2080.5180.274
Sonkar5 Chhattisgarh Damotipura 0.3760.5210.104
Satnami5 Chhattisgarh Bilaspur 0.4430.4480.109
Brahmin_Tiwari16 Chhattisgarh Raigarh 0.2320.5050.263
Agarwal37 Delhi Delhi 0.2930.5590.148
Brahmin_Catholic_Goa4 Goa Goa 0.2850.5290.186
Kathodi5 Gujarat Surat 0.5050.4180.078
Kolcha5 Gujarat Umarpada 0.5310.3890.08
Chaudhary4 Gujarat Padam Dungari 0.4470.470.083
Kotwalia5 Gujarat Valsad 0.4840.4280.087
Bhil8 Gujarat Tapi 0.4340.4710.095
Koli4 Gujarat Rajkot 0.4940.4110.095
Tadvi3 Gujarat Chhota Udepur 0.4580.4450.097
Gamit3 Gujarat Varjakhan 0.4530.4490.098
Garasia4 Gujarat Sabarkatha 0.4650.4260.11
Rathwa5 Gujarat Chhota Udepur 0.4370.4410.121
Patel7 Gujarat Mahelav 0.2790.5950.127
Oswal_Jain4 Gujarat Ahmedabad 0.2690.5740.157
Lohana2 Gujarat Porbandhar 0.0950.6530.252
Scheduled_Caste_Haryana4 Haryana Yamuna Nagar 0.3750.4830.143
Chamar_Haryana4 Haryana Kurapur Gaura 0.2920.5160.192
Baniya4 Haryana Kurukshetra 0.20.6050.195
Backward_Caste5 Haryana Kurukshetra 0.2770.5110.212
Rajput3 Haryana Rohtak 0.2050.5770.218
Brahmin_Haryana2 Haryana Yamuna Nagar 0.1880.5780.234
Changpa2JK Ladakh 0.4620.4850.052
Muslim_Kashmiri9JK Pulwama 0.1970.5990.204
Dogra5JK Kashmir Valley 0.1780.6010.222
Pandit4JK Upper Shivnagar 0.1590.6160.225
Gaud_Karnataka3 Karnataka Mangalore 0.3280.5960.076
Scheduled_Caste_Karnataka5 Karnataka Mangalore 0.4360.4850.079
Kunabi5 Karnataka Joida 0.4660.4550.079
Korava5 Karnataka Dharwad 0.3710.5430.085
Hallaki9 Karnataka Kumta 0.4150.4920.094
Coorghi5 Karnataka Bangalore 0.2670.6240.109
Hakki_Pikki10 Karnataka Angadihalli 0.3660.5230.111
Lingayath_Karnataka3 Karnataka Mangalore 0.3420.5450.114
Maratha4 Karnataka Haveri 0.3340.5510.115
Kuruba5 Karnataka Haveri 0.3610.5220.117
Havik5 Karnataka Uttara Kannada 0.2460.5780.176
Brahmin_Karnataka4 Karnataka Mangalore 0.240.5660.195
Brahmin_Catholic_Kumta4 Karnataka Kumta 0.2940.570.136
Brahmin_Catholic_Mangalore4 Karnataka Mangalore 0.2890.5650.146
Ulladan20 Kerala Trichur 0.6070.3660.027
Adiyan3 Kerala Wayanad 0.6340.3310.034
Malayan5 Kerala Trichur 0.5810.3780.041
Kurumans5 Kerala Wayanad 0.4890.4540.056
Kurchas4 Kerala Valad, Wayanad 0.5150.4170.068
Barela3MP Bilkisganj 0.4760.440.084
Bhilala3MP Bhansia, Kankariya 0.4510.4430.106
Manjhi_MP3MP Hoshangabaad 0.4150.4690.116
Silawat3MP Bhopal 0.3320.540.128
Sindhi_MP5MP Ujjain 0.3510.5040.144
Kurmi_MP3MP .. 0.3220.520.159
Chaurasia9MP Satna 0.3280.5030.169
Warli3 Maharashtra Mumbai 0.5270.4120.061
Mahadeo_Koli5 Maharashtra Sinnar 0.4570.450.093
Brahmin_Nepal4 Nepal Kathmandu 0.2490.5040.247
Pathan17 Pakistan Pakistan 0.0670.6530.281
Kalash17 Pakistan Pakistan 0.0420.660.298
Yadav_Pondicherry14 Pondicherry Bahour 0.3460.580.074
Punjabi8 Punjab UK 0.3320.5110.157
Sikh_Jatt41 Punjab Bhatinda 0.2120.5350.252
Khatri3 Punjab Amritsar 0.1380.5990.263
Jain3 Rajasthan Bhilwara 0.2930.5590.148
Meena4 Rajasthan Jhunjhunu 0.2920.5530.155
Yadav_Rajasthan3 Rajasthan Jaipur 0.1630.6110.226
Palliyar41 Tamil Nadu Rajapalayam 0.6270.3430.029
Irula17 Tamil Nadu Nilgiri Mountain 0.5670.4030.03
Indumalayali5 Tamil Nadu Villupuram 0.4340.5250.041
Pulliyar45 Tamil Nadu .. 0.5620.3950.042
Adi_Dravider10 Tamil Nadu Erode 0.4790.4760.045
Arunthatiar116 Tamil Nadu Krishnagiri 0.4880.4630.05
Gugavellalar4 Tamil Nadu Mettur 0.4830.4620.055
Nadar15 Tamil Nadu Tirunelveli 0.3660.5780.056
Muthuraja3 Tamil Nadu Kullithalai 0.3780.5660.057
Kallar31 Tamil Nadu Thiruvarur 0.3570.5860.058
Lingayath_TN4 Tamil Nadu Burgur Hills 0.4090.5320.059
Chakkiliyan27 Tamil Nadu Thiruvarur 0.4790.4560.066
Arunthatiar25 Tamil Nadu Krishnagiri 0.370.5560.074
Paravar8 Tamil Nadu Rameshwaram 0.4170.5070.076
Malaikuarvar7 Tamil Nadu Theni 0.3480.5440.108
Narikuruvar8 Tamil Nadu Kanchipuram 0.3580.5290.114
Yerukali7 Telangana Warangal 0.3950.540.065
Gaud_Telangana4 Telangana Hyderabad 0.370.5530.077
Oddari4 Telangana Warangal 0.4310.4870.082
Reddy_Telangana8 Telangana Hyderabad 0.3290.5810.091
GujaratiD5 USA USA 0.2860.5930.122
GujaratiC5 USA USA 0.2580.5650.177
GujaratiB5 USA USA 0.2130.5660.221
GujaratiA4 USA USA 0.1280.6230.249
Vishwabrahmin13 Uttar Pradesh Guntur 0.4210.5110.068
Kumhar31 Uttar Pradesh Varanasi 0.4750.4490.077
Dharikhar3 Uttar Pradesh Jaunur 0.430.4750.095
Pal5 Uttar Pradesh Mustafabad 0.3650.5270.108
Lodhi13 Uttar Pradesh Jhansi 0.3770.5060.117
Lohar2 Uttar Pradesh Mirzapur 0.3290.5530.118
Dushadh5 Uttar Pradesh Allahabad 0.3850.4790.136
Dhobi8 Uttar Pradesh Jaunur 0.3590.4980.143
Baiswar5 Uttar Pradesh Allahabad 0.3630.4950.143
Jogi8 Uttar Pradesh Anupshahar 0.3420.5040.154
Pasi3 Uttar Pradesh Barabanki 0.3940.4510.155
Ansari5 Uttar Pradesh Chandauli 0.3590.4850.156
Kanjad8 Uttar Pradesh Fatehpur 0.3490.4920.159
Kurmi_UP5 Uttar Pradesh Budaun 0.3120.5260.162
Baniyas8 Uttar Pradesh Jainur 0.3190.520.162
Chamar_UP2 Uttar Pradesh Jaunpur 0.4150.4210.164
Jatav5 Uttar Pradesh Budaun 0.3410.4940.166
Srivastava5 Uttar Pradesh Gyanpur 0.3170.5070.175
Nai4 Uttar Pradesh Jaunpur 0.3130.5070.18
Brahmin_Bhatt4 Uttar Pradesh Ghazipur 0.2980.510.192
Shiya7 Uttar Pradesh Jaunpur 0.2430.5630.194
Yadav_UP3 Uttar Pradesh Chandauli 0.1970.5850.217
Kshatriya_Durgvanshi4 Uttar Pradesh Tahirpur 0.2470.5260.227
Bhumihar_UP8 Uttar Pradesh Jaunur 0.2380.5230.239
Brahmin_UP7 Uttar Pradesh Jaunpur 0.2430.5030.254

33 Replies to “Who doth speaketh the mleccha bhasha?”

  1. Equally to the point, English is spoken by approx 50% of Pakistanis and 20% of Indians and Bangladeshis, who have negligible European ancestry.

    1. The spread of English as a global lingua franca seems to be among the most lopsided ratios of linguistic replacement relative to genetic replacement as viewed from ancestry — how much English ancestry is there relative to the millions of Africans and Asians who speak English today. Although Romance languages could also be another case — how many people today speak languages like French, Portuguese, Spanish without or with little European ancestry (including New Worlders but also Francophone Africa, for instance).

      I’m wondering if there was a limit to, in pre-modern times without rapid mobility and mass communication, the amount of language shift that could happen without population replacement or having people on the ground as elites, as the linguistic influence you could project afar was much more limited.

      But who knows, maybe some of the examples of pre-modern language change really could spread as powerfully as the spread of English, French in colonial times, given the speed of conquest and the strength of the elites (eg. horse nomads)?

      Still wonder how stark the comparison is though — there’s nothing like the multiple continental-scale impact that European languages had in the last few centuries (having the entire Americas be defacto linguistic extensions of Europe with little indigenous language influence left, plus having almost nearly every country in the African continent having one European language as official, and then English in South Asia), but Indo-Aryan languages really must rank up there favorably in pre-modern times as among the most powerful impacts in terms of relative population at the time, in a huge swath of Eurasia (especially consider how much of the world lived in that part of Eurasia at the time).

        1. Language switch as a function of demographic change was not time-dependent over the broad swathe of history. It remained more or less the mode of linguistic acculturation over millennia.

          It is only in the modern, post Enlightenment period, when languages are strongly correlated to economic outcomes and the rate of information transmission (and therefore learning new languages) is extremely high that the dominant mode of L1 replacement is simply a switch from L1 to L2. And network effects take over.

          Another way to put it is that the fraction of monoglots in any language community remained in stasis over long periods of time. And it is only in modern times that this fraction is a decreasing function of time. Though modern politics can affect this too (cf Hebrew or Welsh)

        2. Razib,

          Indic culture had considerable traction in South East Asia. Has there been research done on India’s genetic impact on South East Asia? Just asking in the context of your assertion that “the further back in time you go i assume demographic replacement has to be a bigger and bigger fraction”.

          Thanks.

    2. I would think that English is spoken and written more in India than in Pakistan and Bangladesh. India might be the most globalized cosmopolitan diverse country in the world.


    3. “Equally to the point, English is spoken by approx 50% of Pakistanis and 20% of Indians and Bangladeshis, who have negligible European ancestry.”

      “The spread of English as a global lingua franca seems to be among the most lopsided ratios of linguistic replacement relative to genetic replacement as viewed from ancestry”

      The basic premises of these arguments itself is faulty. The language replacement we are talking about is the replacement of *mother tongue”. English is not replacing the mother tongue of any significant population anywhere in Asia or Africa. It was, and still remains, an elite language in Asia and Africa.

      And even as a second language, the figure of 50% for Pakistan is ridiculously high.

  2. This text needs so many corrections, there are some:

    “Hungarians have only trivial (1-5% most generously) affinities to Central Eurasia, being genetically similar to their German and Slavic neighbours”

    >>>>> Both German and Hungarians are at least half Serbs and have Serbian genes.

    “in contrast to the Magyars the Avars and Bulgars left no linguistic imprint, and were assimilated into their substrate; the Bulgars only leaving their ethnonym despite being Slavicized”

    >>>>>>> It is a longer story – it was a collaboration between Pope and Constantinople not to repeat the Bulgars’ error when Serbs (there were no Slavics) assimilated Asian Bulgars, who were invited to attack and weaken Serbs. Avars were also linguistically assimilated as future Croats.

    “In the late Roman period, the dominant language in the Balkans was Latin, with Greek and Illyrian minorities. In the 7th-century the Balkan limes collapse. Today Slavic languages are dominant (Romanian and Albanian being exceptions). Though a significant genetic impact occurred through the Slavic migrations, it looks to be less than 50% in the Balkans. The barbarian Slavic tribes assimilated Latin peasants into their culture.”

    >>>>>>Neither Latin nor Greek were dominant on the Balkan. Who are Illyrian minority? Who are Latin peasants??? They are Serbs so as Thracians, Moesians, Geti, Dardanes, Tribals, Dacinas, etc… There was no limes collapse, there was not Slavic (which Slavic?) migration, there is no one account in history that confirms this. This is a KEY FALSIFICATION of the world history which impacts also SA history.

    “Latin. Iberia and Gaul adopted Latin through cultural processes. The genetic impact seems marginal (the same is true is the Balkans, but there only Romanian remains of the Latin period; though Romanians show no greater affinity to Italians than their neighbours.”

    >>>>> This is simple a joke. Who wrote this? Which genetic impact? From whom? Romanians were Serbian Dacians, they are a Vatican’s project to create ‘East Latins’ to separate Serbs from Russians and prepare the terrain for the future penetration to Russia. Romanian state and language are artificial, created in 1856 and imposed on young population by French and Jesuits. This is Esperanto on Serbian foundations. Only 16% of today’s Romania were for 160 years under Romans, too short time for Latin to get roots there.

    “About 30-40% of the ancestry in Iberia is steppe. But the people seem to have spoken Indo-European langauges (though some not!) before the Romans. In Italy 30-40% is also steppe, dating to the same period. Again, Indo-European languages. The fraction in Greece is lower for the antique period. Again, Indo-European languages.”

    >>>>>>Again, Serbs and Serbian language. I wrote about many Serbian tribes in Iberia, Italy, France, Suisse, Belgium and Greece. What steppes? What was their DNA? What was their language?

    “Ask the Britons. Ask the Greeks of Anatolia, or the scions of the Pharaohs. Ask the Minoans and the Pelasgians.”

    >>>>>>>>>Before asking Greeks of Anatolia ask indigenous Serbs of Anatolia, Crete and Pelasgians.

  3. How much Steppe do us Bengalis have, brother Razib? On the order of 10-14%? Can I proudly posit the higher end, 15%, when I boast to my Dravidian bros.

  4. @Razib What would Bengalis score using this model? If I take Reddy_Telangana as a reference, knowing Bengalis are 81%Reddy+6%extra Steppe+13%East Asian
    Reddy_Telangana
    AASI 0.329
    InPe 0.581
    Steppe 0.091
    would Bengalis score something like this?
    Bengali
    AASI 0.27
    InPe 0.45
    Steppe 0.15
    East Asian 0.13

  5. inb4 some users say actual steppe is like 45% in some groups…

    But yeah your rationale seems quite plausible for the language expansion in the context of limited genetic impact. Thanks for all the historical examples

    Something I noticed is Haryana Chamars, Baniya, and Brahmins (all 19- 23%) don’t seem too far off in Steppe. Maybe some underlying admix with the same group that didn’t discriminate based on caste, say one of the NW herder tribes (Jats, Gujars, Yadavs?)

    Just for sharing, I cluster between Gujarati B and C, with steppe closer to Gujarati B and AASI closer to Gujarati C and Iran Neolithic (now suggested to be mesolithic Iran HG related) a bit lower than both.

    1. Jats Gujars and Yadavs? Those are 3 fairly different communities especially in the Haryanavi context. Yadava are closer to Guptas than they are to eastern Jats and Gujars and Gujars are closer to Sindhis than they are to eastern Jats and Yadava.

    1. https://thewire.in/the-sciences/keeladi-settlement-tamil-nadu-department-of-archaeology-tamil-brahmi-script-indus-valley-civilisation

      Harappa Literate – There are efforts to prove harrapans as a literate civilization but due to specticism of scholars this went into cold bag but is now back again thanks to Keezhadi or Keeladi excavations & politics surrounding it.

      I mentioned literate harappa controversy because it matches the claims in the original post of more developed civilization. Back then many civilization have some aspects more developed than the rest & the efforts to prove Aryans as Barbarians have been in full swing for quite sometime.

  6. Razib Khan wrote:
    “The moral of the story is that it is possible that unlettered barbarians can impose their language and culture on a people more advanced, but fallen.”
    I what ways were the indigenous people fallen if the incoming people were “barbarians” already?

    1. I think he is referring to the end stage of the chronic IVC decline, purportedly to be due to a combination of natural disasters, namely floods, and Malthusian constraints

    2. I what ways were the indigenous people fallen if the incoming people were “barbarians” already?

      lower asabiya. civilizations rise and fall. if we could read a history of the IVC i assume it would be like mesopotamia or egypt.

      1. Razib Khan:

        “ower asabiya. civilizations rise and fall. if we could read a history of the IVC i assume it would be like mesopotamia or egypt.”

        Thank you for the clarification.

  7. I always had two questions.
    Could it be possible that barbarians who came down from the steppes mixed with only middle and top echelons of the society?

    India has seen numerous invasions from steppes (hunas, tusharas, scythians,kushanas, etc). These invaders could’ve only mixed with Brahmins, vyshyas and kshatriyas a lot. How can you tell when the mixture happened?

    1. India has seen numerous invasions from steppes (hunas, tusharas, scythians,kushanas, etc). These invaders could’ve only mixed with Brahmins, vyshyas and kshatriyas a lot. How can you tell when the mixture happened?

      they don’t think it’s older than 1500 BC primarily because they have samples from these other groups and they all have much higher % of east asian than the ‘source’ of steppe into indians. the steppe into indians also has ‘european farmer’, which the yamna proper lacked. so the best candidate are mixed steppe people of the period btwn 2500 and 1500 (western steppe + some 10% mixture with siberianism groups).

  8. Very informative article. I knew that language supplantation of a population without the corresponding gene pool change is not a rare phenomenon. So my original comment regarding the Indo-aryanization of NI was more of a marvelment rather than refutation. But still astonishing, given the size of the transformation.

    And by the way, I do know that Gangetic valley may have been a thickly forested land, sparsely populated by hunter gatherers when the Indo aryans set foot in it. There is no evidence of large scale agriculture in the ganges valley before the iron age (as opposed to Indus valley which was heavily cultivated). There is evidence in Mahabharata that Indo aryans founded their capital of Indraprastha after clearing the land with a massive forest burning operation. Same story may have been repeated down the entire ganges valley.

    I like to think that prior to the arrival of indo aryans, gangetic valley was akin to amazon rain forest, thickly forested land crisscrossed by mighty rivers. It is amazing that while the portuguese/spanish settlers have not been able to clear the amazon forests in 5 centuries despite access to modern technologies, the aryans managed to do so in ganges valley in comparative time frame with iron age implements. (We have evidence of first empires emerging in ganges valley centered in as far east as Pataliputra in 600 BC).

    So I guess a new a new post should be forthcoming, musing on the climatic impact of aryans. 🙂

  9. Razib Khan wrote:
    “Group N State Town AASI Ind_Pe Steppe
    Yanidi 4 AP Nellore 0.468 0.489 0.043
    Vysya 43 AP Pidugurella 0.358 0.592 0.05
    Sugali 4 AP Anantpur 0.47 0.48 0.05
    Madiga 3 AP Vizayanagaram 0.449 0.491 0.06”
    And so forth. Don’t want to copy the entire table. Assuming that a higher decimal means a stronger ancestry the Indus Periphery column is higher in fact MUCH higher in almost every category! So the same data can be used to posit migrations in the other direction. Where am I going wrong?

  10. I like to think that prior to the arrival of indo aryans, gangetic valley was akin to amazon rain forest, thickly forested land crisscrossed by mighty rivers. It is amazing that while the portuguese/spanish settlers have not been able to clear the amazon forests in 5 centuries despite access to modern technologies, the aryans managed to do so in ganges valley in comparative time frame with iron age implements.

    the amazon is a climax tropical rainforest, somewhat different than the indigenous vegetation in the ganges, which is a transition between wet-dry forest (monsoonal) and savanna/scrub.

    but yes, one thing that is evident tentatively is some groups have higher AHG and steppe. this is i think relatively unmixed aryans moving into the forest zone.

  11. And so forth. Don’t want to copy the entire table. Assuming that a higher decimal means a stronger ancestry the Indus Periphery column is higher in fact MUCH higher in almost every category! So the same data can be used to posit migrations in the other direction. Where am I going wrong?

    i posted that table because every post where i refer to a steppe % people keep asking about different groups in the comments.

  12. “i posted that table because every post where i refer to a steppe % people keep asking about different groups in the comments.”

    Ok. Thanks.

  13. By 30 to 40% in Iberia are you talking in Sintashta equivalency? If so that would make sense. I get around 40% for north Italians and northeastern Spaniards by ‘converting’ to Sintashta ancestry from their 30% Yamnaya input on average (assuming that MLBA is 74% EMBA as mentioned in the south and south-central Asian paper). Greeks seem to have Yamnaya at just over 35% (which is like 47% Sintashta) on average, which is more than northern Italians and northern Spaniards. Serbian admixture perhaps? 😉

    1. DaThang, you owe me a comment re Mahabharata rivers in Russia…

      It was pretty good text (although with many mistakes). I would just make a comment re ‘steppe’ in Italy. Here, everyone can see the meaningless of some taxonomy, such as the ‘steppe’. It can have some sense in SA, 100 km from grasslands; what ‘steppes’ are doing in Spain, 7000km distance? Why not simple say – R1a or even, more accurate, Serbs.

      Let me say just a couple words about Italy. I first time read this 30-40% of ‘steppe’ in Italy. It could be good estimate although I think it is more. Tribes Lombrads (Lombardia), Umbri (Umbria), Ligurs (Liguria), Etruscans (Tuscany), Sardinia, Veneti and many other were Serbian. There are thousands of Serbian toponyms, many you know – Milan, Ruma (Rome), Bologna, Pescara, Novara, Venetia, Verona, etc.

      Today’s villages around Verona (with Romeo I Julia) still have Serbian names – Славина, Луга, Бојан, Паљани, Славино ди Марко разв: Прун, Вале, Пленина, Турија, Луган, Сирмио— Срем, Речан, Гуголага, Кијево, Мочуга, Повељана, Мужикона, Струга, Рубана, Орзере, Ошењега, Валдонега, Град, Лех, Домајара, Верига, Мазурега, Тредеспина, Ортигора, Сало, Паји, Засама, Варана.

      There is interesting an old link with R1a map and a text by a Bengalo-Serb reactionary North-western politician, who likes shrimps:

      http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/gnxp/2012/10/r1a1a/#.XceA5bn7SUn

      Just two excerpts from comments there:

      Karl Zimmerman – As someone with a R1a1a patrilineage myself, I hope 23andme updates to include these sub-haplogroups soon. My great-grandfather was (presumably) 100% German (from near Berlin, so possibly a Germanized Slav)

      Maju – That you say would indicate an origin of R1a1a in Western Europe (or Yugoslavia/Albania), regardless of what happened at upstream phylogenetic levels (R1a, R1a1) or downstream ones (R1a1a1, etc.)

      1. I don’t know a lot about Rivers or Mahabharata, but the 30% EMBA/40% MLBA equivalent is supposed to be the value for modern northern Italians who are only partly Lombard. Actual Lombards would have had more steppe; I would assume around 45% EMBA/60% MLBA equivalent if they were are steppe rich as modern day non-southern (ie, northern + eastern) Germans and eastern Europeans.

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