Iran_N/CHG Ancestry and the Genetic Origins of the Proto-Indo-Europeans

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This is a post I was writing a few months back but had abandoned midway. It is in response to  what Razib had argued in one of his posts. According to Razib while an Aryan Migration model, that suggests an entry of Indo-Aryans into South Asia, might not have textual and archaeological support, when looked at in a wider context, that necessitates explaining the origin and migration of all Indo-Europeans from a PIE homeland to their respective places of present or last known (e.g. Hittites & Tocharian) inhabitation, the steppe theory makes a far more compelling case as PIE homeland than an OIT.

Admittedly, we haven’t had a major attempt being made in the academia, Western or Indian, which tries to take stock of all available evidence, linguistic and archaeological, and uses that evidence to argue for the PIE origins in South Asia and the subsequent dispersals of the daughter languages to their known destinations.

It is beyond the remit of my present subject to ponder why this has been so but we may note that an elegant and solid linguistic case (1,2) for a spread of IE languages from a locus in the region of Bactria has been already made more than two decades back by Johanna Nichols. However, the linguistic community has chosen to sideline her work without a proper rebuttal.

As none other than James Mallory himself states,

All too often surveys of the Indo-Europeans eventually conclude with something on the order of ‘scholars have concluded that the most likely area of the homeland is…X’ with a brief defence of one particular solution (this type of scholarship has been going on since the late nineteenth century). In fact, we not only lack total consensus but where we seem to find something of a major school it is often formed by deference rather than conviction, i.e. linguists or archaeologists indicate agreement with a particular theory that they have not themselves investigated in any depth. This situation means that a small number of advocates—at times, very vigorous advocates—provide an assortment of homeland theories for the rest of their colleagues to comply with passively. The homeland is an interesting question but it is so difficult to resolve (we have over two centuries of dispute to prove that) and requires the application of so many less than robust means of argument that most archaeologists and historical linguists do not find it a worthwhile enterprise, at least for themselves. The last word is, therefore, far from written…(source, pg 460)

More recently, a young Russian linguist by the name of Igor A Tonoyan-Belyayev is attempting to make a fresh case for OIT through linguistics.

As far as archaeology is concerned, there is evidence of a significant influence coming from Chalcolithic Central Asia on the Maykop cultural phenomenon of 4th millenium BC North Caucasus. It may also be noted that there was a Catacomb culture on the steppe succeeding the Yamnaya in Ukraine & Southern Russia and it was characterised by a catacomb burial system which originated in the South, probably in the region between Central Asia-Eastern Iran where it was the preferred mode of burial in the Helmand & Jiroft civilizations as well as in BMAC but with its roots already in the Chalcolithic period preceding it in the region. We also have evidence of contacts between the BMAC and the Sintashta-Arkaim cultural phenomenon that came about on the steppe at the end of the 3rd millenium BC.

(A schematic of the catacomb burials at Gonur in BMAC – courtesy The Necropolis of Gonur)

Similarly, there is extensive evidence of not only the Harappans but also the Central Asian BMAC people as well as the Eastern Iranian Halil Rud civilization (known as Marhasi to the Mesopotamians) maintaining economic and social-cultural ties with the Near Eastern civilizations and the thread of this interaction reached all the way upto the Aegean.  I intend to cover these topics in detail in my future posts, God willing.

Thus, there is already substantial material which can be used to create an Out of India PIE hypothesis and explain the spread of IE from South Asia to the Near East and to the steppe .

However, I would like to limit the scope of my present article to a specific  set of genetic data that makes a persuasive case, from the standpoint of ancient DNA, for a southern origin of Proto-Indo-Europeans.

We may begin by noting what David Reich himself states in his book regarding where he believes the PIE likely originated.

While the genetic findings point to a central role for the Yamnaya in spreading Indo-European languages…those findings do not yet resolve the question of the homeland of the original Indo-European languages…Anatolian langauges…did not share the full wagon and wheel vocabulary present in all Indo-European languages spoken today. Ancient DNA available from this time in Anatolia shows no evidence of steppe ancestry similar to that in the Yamnaya…This suggests to me that the most likely location of the population that first spoke an Indo-European language was south of the Caucasus Mountains, perhaps in present-day Iran or Armenia, because ancient DNA from people who lived there matches what we would expect for a source population both for the Yamnaya and for ancient Anatolians. (pg 120)

Reich refers to ancient people who lived in Iran or Armenia as likely sources for both Yamnaya and ancient Anatolians. What was the genetic profile of these ancient people that made them as suitable ancestral sources for both the Yamnaya and the ancient Anatolians ?

As per the 2016 paper of Reich and colleagues on the first farmers of the Near East,

To the north, a population related to people of the Iran Chalcolithic contributed ~43% of the ancestry of early Bronze Age populations of the steppe. The spread of Near Eastern ancestry into the Eurasian steppe was previously inferred without access to ancient samples, by hypothesizing a population related to present-day Armenians as a source.

It maybe noted that all ancient Iranian samples, later than 6000 BC, as per the recent Narasimhan et al paper, have substantial levels of Anatolian Farmer ancestry. So as per Reich, a mixed population of largely Iranian & Anatolian Farmer ancestry is the likely source of the spread of Indo-European languages into the steppe. Further, in the very same 2016 paper, the ancient Anatolian Chalcolithic samples could also be modeled as having nearly half of their ancestry from Iran Chalcolithic. Thus, as per Reich, the Iranian Chalcolithic, that can be shown as a suitable admixture source for both Chalcolithic & Bronze Age Anatolians (where in LBA the IE Anatolian languages were spoken) as well as the Yamnaya on the steppe, is the most likely original source of PIE ancestry.

In a more recent paper, Reich and team revealed,

although Bronze Age Anatolian individuals have CHG-related ancestry, they do not have the EHG-related ancestry characteristic of all steppe populations sampled to date or the WHG-related ancestry that is ubiquitous in Neolithic southeastern Europe… An alternative hypothesis is that the homeland of Proto-Indo-European languages was in the Caucasus or in Iran. In this scenario, westward population movement contributed to the dispersal of Anatolian languages, and northward movement and mixture with EHG was responsible for the formation of a ‘Late Proto-Indo European’-speaking population associated with the Yamnaya complex…this scenario gains plausibility from our results..

Another paper, by Eske Willerslev and his team came to a similar conclusion estimating that all Anatolian samples from Chalcolithic to Middle Bronze Age showed as much as 40 % CHG admixture but no EHG admixture thus ruling out a steppe admixture in Bronze Age Anatolians.

Therefore the majority opinion among geneticists at the moment seems to be that the PIE homeland was likely in either Armenia or Iran based on the evidence that CHG/Iran Chalcolithic populations serve as ideal source populations for both the Yamnaya pastoralists of the steppe as well as the Bronze Age Anatolians.

A New Spanner in the Works

Though the opinion of the geneticists has moved strongly in favour of the Iran/Armenia homeland hypothesis for PIE, the latest aDNA data has ensured that even this hypothesis may need to be discarded soon or atleast reworked substantially.

This year, along with Narasimhan et al, there was another paper by Wang et al which for the first time published large no of ancient samples from Chalcolithic Caucasus including the much awaited samples from populations of the Maykop culture which is traditionally considered to have strongly influenced the formation of the Yamnaya culture on the steppe.

A few pertinent observations from this study :-

The Eneolithic steppe populations also existed in the North Caucasus Piedmont Steppe at sites such as Progress & Vonyuchka but had a slightly different ancestry profile to that of Eneolithic steppe populations from Samara & Khwalynsk. The Eneolithic Steppe populations could be modelled as admixture of nearly equal amounts of EHG and CHG components.

Similarly, we find Steppe Maykop samples from the steppe preceding the Yamnaya by a few centuries, which also show CHG ancestry but no Anatolian Farmer ancestry. The Steppe Maykop, in addition, also show an excess of East Eurasian and ANE ancestry.

The Yamnaya samples that follow, can be modelled by qpAdm showing between 80 to 90 % of their ancestry derived from the Eneolithic Steppe populations and the rest derived from the European Eneolithic Farmers with perhaps some ancestry coming from the Caucasus ( Supplementary Tables 13-19)

Below is a qpAdm modelling by Davidski of Eurogenes blog from last year, where it can be clearly seen that the Yamnaya samples from the Caucasus can  be derived as much as 80 % ancestrally from these Progress and Vonyuchka Eneolithic samples.

Yamnaya_RUS_Caucasus
RUS_Progress_En_PG2001 0.808±0.058
RUS_Steppe_Maykop 0.000
UKR_Sredny_Stog_II_En_I6561 0.192±0.058
chisq 13.859
tail prob 0.383882

Similarly, the Yamnaya samples from other locations can also be shown to be derived as much as 80 to 90 % ancestrally from a combination of Progress/Vonyuchka and Khwalynsk Eneolithic with the Progress/Vonyuchka Eneolithic samples alone contributing about 50 to 60 % of the overall ancestry of these other Yamnaya samples. Let us remember that the Yamnaya steppe population has long been argued by the likes of David Anthony and those before him as the likely ancestral group which spread Indo-European languages. It is therefore very pertinent that a majority of Yamnaya ancestry could be derived from these Eneolithic steppe samples from North Caucasus.

What also emerges very clearly from Wang et al is the fact that the CHG/Iran N type ancestry on the steppe emerged without any admixed Anatolian Farmer ancestry as can be observed in the Eneolithic Steppe and Steppe Maykop samples who show CHG/Iran N admixture but no Anatolian Farmer admixture. 

An important observation is that Eneolithic Samara and Eneolithic steppe individuals directly north of the Caucasus had initially not received AF gene flow. Instead, the Eneolithic steppe ancestry profile shows an even mixture of EHG- and CHG ancestry, suggesting an effective cultural and genetic border between the contemporaneous Eneolithic populations, notably Steppe and Caucasus…whether this is the result of Iranian/CHG-related ancestry reaching the steppe zone independently and prior to a stream of AF ancestry, where they mixed with local hunter gatherers that carried only EHG ancestry.

The fact that, as we noted earlier, the Iranian populations from Iran Proper post-6000 BC and even North Caucasus populations around 4500 BC , as evidenced by Wang et al itself, had substantial Anatolian Farmer admixture effectively rules out the admixture coming from the south via the Caucasus route.

Wang et al suggest that even during the transition from Eneolithic to the Yamnaya phase, the Anatolian Farmer ancestry might not have come to the steppe via the Caucasus but largely if not solely through the European Farmer populations adjacent to the steppe on its west.

All later steppe groups, starting with Yamnaya, deviate from the EHG CHG admixture cline towards European populations in the West. We show that these individuals had received AF ancestry, in line with published evidence from Yamnaya individuals from Ukraine (Ozera) and Bulgaria. In the North Caucasus, this genetic contribution could have occurred through immediate contact with Caucasus groups or further south. An alternative source, explaining the increase in WHG-related ancestry, would be contact with contemporaneous Chalcolithic/EBA farming groups at the western periphery of the Yamnaya distribution area, such as Globular Amphora and Cucuteni–Trypillia from Ukraine, which have been shown to carry AF ancestry.

While an influence from the Maykop from south on the Yamnaya cannot be ruled out, its appears that the AF (Anatolian Farmer) ancestry may largely have come into the Yamnaya populations from European Farmer groups to their west.

This therefore, makes a major dent to the hypothesis of Reich and other geneticists that PIE originated South of the Caucasus and spread to the steppe via the Caucasus route.

The Origin of the unadmixed Iran_N/CHG ancestry

Clearly, if we go by the logic of David Reich, then it is this unadmixed Iran N/CHG ancestry and not the earlier argued Iran Chalcolithic group, which spread to the steppe and also to Anatolia, that is the likely vector of IE languages both on the steppe and in Anatolia. Therefore, a question arises – where did the Iran N/CHG type ancestry on the steppe come from if not from South of the Caucasus ?

The only option appears to be from further east. The extra East Asian and ANE ancestry in the Steppe Maykop individuals also point towards an eastern source. But then where did the Iran N/CHG on the Eastern Steppe come from ?

Mbuti.DG
Ust_Ishim.DG
Russia_Kostenki14
Russia_MA1_HG
Han.DG
Onge.DG
Italy_Villabruna
Czech_Vestonice16
Iberia_ElMiron
Ethiopia_4500BP.SG
Karitiana.DG
Natufian
Pinarbasi
Ganj_Dareh_N
Georgia_Satsurblia.SG

Target- Steppe_Eneolithic
EEHG: 0.476 +- 0.017
Geoksyur_EN: 0.291 +- 0.031
Georgia_Kotias.SG: 0.232 +- 0.03
chisq 15.27
tailprob 0.2266
https://pastebin.com/S0USSuUL

The Supplementary Section of Narasimhan et al makes some observations about a transition that affects the entire Steppe zone from the East European Steppe to the Mongolian Steppe.

Narasimhan et al divide the ancient samples accessed from across the wider steppe region both temporally and geographically. Temporally, they  group together samples from across the steppe dating to between 3300-2500 BCE and designate them as Steppe_EMBA. They further divide the Steppe_EMBA samples geographically into Western_Steppe_EMBA (e.g. Pontic Caspian Steppe), Central_Steppe_EMBA (spread across Kazakhstan) and Eastern_Steppe_EMBA (around the Altai mountains – at the northeastern edge of the IAMC and further east into Mongolia).

The authors state regarding the western and central steppe populations,

…compared to the individuals from before the EMBA (Khvalynsk_EN and Botai.SG), the later individuals from both the western and central Steppe appear to have considerably higher proportions of ancestry related to Ganj_Dareh_N…(pg 235)

Ganj_Dareh_N is an Iranian Neolithic Farmer site from the Zagros. In other words there was a distinct shift towards Iran N/CHG type ancestry both in the Western as well as the Central steppe during the EMBA period. It was not just limited to the Pontic Caspian steppe where the supposed PIE formed as per the most influential theory.

…Mereke_MBA and other Central_Steppe_EMBA populations appear to be admixed between groups descended both from groups related to West Siberian Hunter-Gatherers and from groups with Iranian farmer-related ancestry from Turan. (pg 237)

Here the authors are clearly hinting that the Iran_N/CHG admixture atleast on the Central Steppes must have come from Turan i.e. Southern Central Asia.

And finally,

As with the individuals from the central Steppe, the presence of people with Iranian farmer-related ancestry in the Altai region and Minusinsk Basin suggests that the contact with farmer populations from the south is a feature all across the Steppe, albeit with different source populations from the Steppe and Iran/Turan. (pg 241)

What we need to understand from the above quotes is that all across the wider expanse of the steppe from East to West, there was a diffusion and admixture of Iran N/CHG type admixture sometime around and after 3300 BC if not a little earlier. In the Central Steppes and Eastern Steppes this was largely unaccompanied by Anatolian Farmer (AF) ancestry. Infact AF ancestry was not present in Eneolithic Steppe samples even on the Western Steppe as we noted from Wang et al.

The expansion of the Iran N/CHG ancestry onto the Western Steppe was taken up to be the source of IE on the steppe. Now we see that this Iran N/CHG genetic expansion was not limited to Western Steppe but was spread across Central & Eastern Steppe as well. It clearly shows the markings of a major cultural expansion across vast swathes of Central Eurasia.

The most likely place from where Iran N/CHG type spread across the steppe is a place where this ancestral component existed without any AF admixture, a requirement that is only met in South Central Asia. Infact, the spread of Iran N/CHG admixture on the Central & Eastern Steppe could only have taken place via Turan.


Narasimhan & colleagues also put a lot of stress on the fact that there was no Western Steppe_EMBA admixture in the Central Steppe or in the regions further south before the 2nd millenium BC.

…the lack of evidence for substantial Western_Steppe_EMBA admixture in the late Copper Age sites in Turan (which are roughly contemporaneous with the Afanasievo culture) as well as in the great majority of individuals we analyzed from BMAC sites shows that their spread had little demographic impact on agricultural settlements to the south in the Early to Middle Bronze Age… Western_Steppe_EMBA ancestry was not only scarce in the agricultural settlements of Turan but in some of the contemporary hunter-gatherer and pastoralist cultures to its north.

On the other hand, the Central Steppe_EMBA samples are well spread out and are found even at the very edges of the Western Steppe in samples from Kumsay and Mereke and as we shall see in the Steppe Maykop samples, signalling an east to west migration on the steppe already during the early Bronze age.

Our analysis of a single individual from northwestern Kazakhstan from the site of Mereke, Mereke_EBA_Yamnaya is also significant in suggesting that admixture between Central_Steppe_EMBA and Western_Steppe_EMBA related groups was occurring as early as the end of the 4th millennium or early 3rd millennium BCE…The wide spread of ancestry related to Central_Steppe_EMBA but not ancestry related to Western_Steppe_EMBA across this region in the Early and Middle Bronze Age is also consistent with our observation of an outlier individual from the BMAC site of Gonur which did not have any ancestry related to Western_Steppe_EMBA but instead could be modeled as being admixed with ancestry related to Central_Steppe_EMBA.

This very same process of early bronze age East to West migration may also explain the presence of unadmixed Iran N or CHG admixture on the Western Steppe both in the Eneolithic Steppe groups as well as Steppe Maykop individuals.

We therefore see that there was massive influx of Iran_N/CHG type ancestry from the south, all across the wide expanse of the steppe, from Eastern Europe to the edge of Mongolia. There was little to no Anatolian Farmer admixture in this Iran N/CHG ancestry that spread across the steppe. The only place where such unadmixed Iran N/CHG ancestry existed without Anatolian Farmer admixture was in SC Asia. This is clearly evident from Narasimhan et al.

Populations from the east (ordered east-to-west as: Tepe_Hissar_C, Parkhai_EN, Tepe_Anau_EN, Geoksyur_EN, Bustan_EN, Sarazm_EN) have significantly higher proportions of ancestry related to WSHG and lower proportions of ancestry related to Anatolian farmers compared with those from the west…

The populations from eastern Iran and Turan require an additional source of ancestry from a population related to West Siberian Hunter-Gatherers. Consistent with the fstatistic patterns, we also observe that Anatolian farmer-related ancestry decreases from west to east while the West Siberian Hunter-Gatherer-related ancestry increases.

Both our proximal and distal models document an admixture cline between Iranian and Anatolian farmers that was established between the Neolithic and Copper Age periods, as evidenced by our data from western Iran where we document the timing of the arrival of Anatolian farmer-related ancestry by radiocarbon dated individuals from a time transect at Seh Gabi. This cline continues eastward into Turan with low to almost no proportion of Anatolian farmer-related ancestry in Sarazm, the population that we have that is at the end of the cline from this period. Importantly, the documentation of the west-to-east ancestry gradient provides insight into the type of West Eurasian ancestry that we might expect to be found in South Asia.

The Western Siberian Hunter Gatherer (WSHG) ancestry peaks in Sarazm in Tajikistan at around 20-25 % and is also present in Indus migrants from Shahr-i-Sokhta and Gonur and other Central Asian samples while it is absent in Western Iran. On the other hand, the Anatolian farmer ancestry which is so prominent in Western Iran is almost non-existent in Sarazm as well as in the Indus migrants from Shahr-i-Sokhta and Gonur.

And we also see that there is clearly an East to West population movement and admixture on the steppe, north of the Caspian sea which likely brought the Iran_N/CHG type admixture on the Pontic Caspian steppe. This is also proved by the fact that WSHG ancestry moves into Eastern Europe and is present in Khwalynsk_EN and in Steppe Maykop samples.

We may now run some models on Vahaduo which clearly serve to illustrate the migration of Iran N/CHG admixture from South Central Asia onto the steppe as far as Eastern Europe.

From the above, it is clearly evident that while the Eneolithic steppe samples from Progress And Vonyuchka have a CHG admixture, there is no admixture from Neolithic or Chalcolithic Iran. However, they pick up admixture from Sarazm in SC Asia, as much as about 20 %. Remember, that these Eneolithic steppe samples are the biggest source of ancestry for Yamnaya. And they are picking up 20 % of ancestry from SC Asia.

We can also see the Steppe Maykop samples as well as the Central Steppe samples of Kumsay and Mereke also have similar levels of admixture from Sarazm i.e. SC Asia. That this Iran_N/CHG type admixture must have come to the Western steppe from the East is also supported by the fact that Kumsay, Mereke and Steppe Maykop have a large proportion of WSHG ancestry (Russia_Tyumen_HG) which could have only come from the east.

Let me also show a qpAdm modelling of the above by one of my friends, Vasistha.

this is what works using Wang’s right pops + added Pinarbasi and satsurblia for more sensitivity to those 2 ancestries. Right Pops below.

Mbuti.DG
Ust_Ishim.DG
Russia_Kostenki14
Russia_MA1_HG
Han.DG
Onge.DG
Italy_Villabruna
Czech_Vestonice16
Iberia_ElMiron
Ethiopia_4500BP.SG
Karitiana.DG
Natufian
Pinarbasi
Ganj_Dareh_N
Georgia_Satsurblia.SG

Target- Steppe_Eneolithic
EEHG: 0.476 +- 0.017
Geoksyur_EN: 0.291 +- 0.031
Georgia_Kotias.SG: 0.232 +- 0.03
chisq 15.27
tailprob 0.2266
https://pastebin.com/S0USSuUL

As per Vasistha’s modelling, as much as 30 % of the ancestry in the Steppe Eneolithic samples could have come from SC Asia.

Khwalynsk Eneolithic, which contributes the maximum to the ancestry of Progress and Vonyuchka samples, on Vahaduo, is itself modelled as 80 % EEHG (Eastern European Hunter Gatherer) + 20 % Iran_N.

Yet it appears that this Iran_N type ancestry is more akin to CHG and little to do with Chalcolithic Iran or Central Asia.

Let us run some models on the Western Steppe EMBA samples such as Yamnaya,

Notice how Yamnaya samples from many different regions can be modelled as having derived more than 60 % of its ancestry from Progress EN, a population having 20 % of its ancestry from SC Asia.

Let us also run some models for the Central Steppe and Eastern Steppe EMBA samples,

The presence of admixture from SC Asia is clearly evident in Central steppe but from the above it appears that Okunevo Bronze Age sample does not have any Turanian admixture contradicting Narasimhan et al who argue for 15 % admixture from Iran_N into Okunevo.

An East to West movement south of the Caspian Sea

We can also see that roughly around this time, there was an east to west movement south of the Caspian sea, from SC Asia towards the Caucasus as there is clearly some admixture into Armenia Chalcolithic samples. The presence of South Asian ydna L1a is also clearly a big pointer in this direction.

Going by the presence of South Asian y-dna L1a in Armenia Chalcolithic as well as the detection of Indian mtDNA M52 in one early Chalcolithic sample from North Caucasus as well as the archaeological evidence already pointed out earlier, suggesting a possible movement from SC Asia into Maykop territory, an admixture from a Sarazm like population, as suggested above, into the Caucasus region may also turn out to be quite real.

Now one may question how Sarazm has anything to do with South Asia but let it be known that at the site of Sarazm, there was several evidences of contacts from Early Harappans including evidence of migration from Early Harappans into Sarazm.

Conclusion

Therefore, already in the 4th millenium BC,  we can observe a massive spread of Iran N/CHG type ancestry across Eurasia, in regions which are usually associated with the presence of Indo-Europeans. Infact, top geneticists like Reich have already admitted that Indo-European languages likely spread onto the steppe with this Iran N/CHG ancestry.

Going by the evidence presented above, the most likely place from where this Iran N/CHG type ancestry spread across Eurasia is South Central Asia. So this is a question worth probing. Did Indo-Europeans spread across Eurasia from SC Asia with the massive expansion of this Iran N/CHG ancestry ?

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71 Replies to “Iran_N/CHG Ancestry and the Genetic Origins of the Proto-Indo-Europeans”

  1. Pardon my ignorance, but what exactly are the geographical contours of “South Central Asia”? Does “SC Asia” span the core areas of the historical IVC?

    Also, I didn’t see any mention of AASI in this post (admittedly I only skimmed through it). Wouldn’t presence of that in the steppe or Maykop be a requirement for an OIT?

    1. Numinous,

      Unfortunately, from the core areas of IVC we only have 1 poor coverage sample from Rakhigarhi. It is not of much help in modeling. Also, we need Chalcolithic and Eneolithic samples from South or Central Asia to model the steppe and Caucasus populations since most of those steppe and Caucasus populations are older than 3000 BC. We have plenty of Chalcolithic and Eneolithic ancient samples from southern Central Asia from Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan but none from South Asia. Hence we have to make do with what we have.

      Nevertheless, the Iran_N/CHG type ancestry these Eneolithic samples from Central Asia harbour is similar to that found in the Indus Periphery samples.

      About AASI, the thing about it is we dont know what exactly it is other than that it is somewhat East Eurasian. Onge is used as a substitute but Narasimhan et al also argue that AASI must have separated from Onge and other East Eurasians about 47 kya which is also roughly the time when West Eurasians and East Eurasians split up.

      Now also factor this, the AASI ancestry in the Rakhigarhi sample was modelled using an ancient sample from Shamanka which is from Russian Siberia. So does it mean AASI was also present in Siberia so early ? This Shamanka type ancestry is also present in WSHG which was spread across the Central steppe and also intruded in East European steppe with populations like the Steppe Maykop.

      There is still more I can write about on this but I hope you got the gist. Unless we have a real ancient AASI sample we are just speculating.

      1. Hi, @Jaydeepsinh_Rathod
        I am a fan of your work on Harappa and Central Asia. You are single-handedly developing the case for OIT. This is extremely admirable. I also hope to contribute on the subject: Can you, or any other poster suggest a book/resource to start learning genetics from scratch? I have a maths and engineering background (going for my masters abroad), so there should be no trouble in picking up the subject.

        Also,
        A few days ago, I had a discussion with @DaThang, @Ugra, and @Razib on Open Thread. (link: https://www.brownpundits.com/2020/06/20/open-thread-brown-pundits-84/#comment-64389)

        Quoting @DaThang, who was arguing against OIT :
        “””
        I am not arguing for south Asian cultures having no ability to influence anything beyond their borders, the historic era gives us clear information about the spread of Buddhism outside of India, the Indian influence in south east Asia, and as you have mentioned, prehistoric artifacts in south central and central Asia might show that something similar could have happened with a mixed periphery culture, influenced by IVC spreading its own traditional package of beliefs + material items. But that isn’t the reverse of AMT and it doesn’t preclude AMT.
        “””

        @Razib said that what facts I brought were true, but he believed they were not cohesive/coherent looking at the full picture.

        I hope these facts can be helpful. I am posting my comment again here for completeness:

        @DaThang, you are clearly a knowledgeable and enlightened person. Thank you for your comment that suggested hiring of local Harappan craftsmen to explain why there is no change of material culture in India. As we both agree whatever reasoning is applied to AMT applies to OIT — unless proof to the contrary is found — let us proceed ahead on our journey to prove BMAC followed Harappan language and culture. I will now attempt to explore and provide evidences that demonstrate OIT to be much more likely than AMT (which anyways suffers from irredeemable contradictions) in the light of @DaThang’s erudite suggestion of hiring local craftsmen:

        According to the paper “Prehistoric Contacts between Central Asia and India” [1], there is anthropological evidence of population exchange between Central Asia (e.g., Gonur Depe) and IVC.

        First quote
        “””
        Anthropological evidence.
        It is well know that anthropological data allow tracing actual movements of people from/to different regions with different outward appearance of their in-habitants and can differentiate between migra-tions of tribes and adoption of cultural tradi-tions and languages as resultant from cultural contacts or influences. It is for this reason that anthropological studies in such an involved situ-ation as the historical dynamics of the popula-tion of the III–II Mill. BC in Central Asian area have so much importance (Babakov et al., 2001.P. 219). In this sense, the necropolis of Gonur Depeis of a great interest, as, its materials could help in answering several questions concerning the formation of Middle Asian population and de-velopment of the specific characteristics of its outward appearance. Moreover, as a capital city of Margush, Gonur’s anthropological materials could shed light on the emergence of several anthropological variations on the territory of Middle Asia during Bronze Age while earlier characteristic of the entire area had been one and the same more or less homogeneous Medi-terranean anthropological type (Babakov et al.,2001. P. 219). The general cranial parameters of the skulls from the necropolis of Gonur are rather typical of the contemporary (Bronze Age) population of the Middle East from Mesopotamia in the west to North-Western India in the east. It is impor-tant that they show very great proximity to that of Mohenjo-daro, while Harappa series are also typologically most similar to the Gonur group series. In all these groups the basis is composed of the population which had taken shape as a result of a long metisation process between Tro-poids (who were most likely Veddo-Australoids— from the racial point of view) and Holarctoids(ancient Europoids – from the same racial pointof view). All these series are relatively close to each other from the geographical point of view too (Babakov et al., 2001. P. 114, 228, 229, tab.9, pl. 9.). So, having a rather archaic morphology and a number of traits bringing them closer to Ved-doids, in the variations of the basic parameters of their skulls the Gonur people find their near-est parallels with the population of Uzbekistan, Northwest Pakistan (Swat valley) and North India (Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa) (Bernhardt,1967; Babakov et al., 2001. P. 240; Dubova,2006. P. 92, 93). So here, in addition to the archaeological evidence, we have an anthropological fact: mor-phological features of Gonur individuals find certain similarity as with Veddoid people of the Indus valley sites. Can we consider it possible that, in addition to trade and cultural relations between these two regions, there were, appar-ently, some kind of movement of the population (Дубова, 2010. С. 500–501).

        The linguistic-ethnic aspect.

        The discovery of seals of proto-Indian type at central Asian Altyn Depe, including seals with proto-Indian inscriptions, raises the problem of the ethnic af-filiation of the local population during the Chal-colithic and Bronze Age in south Central Asia. It was proposed that Dravidian speakers, founders of Harappan civilization early colonized Central Asia (Winters, 1990. P. 120, 140). Masson sug-gested that the people of Altyn Depe spoke Pro-to-Dravidian (Masson, 1981. P. 119–122). Thus one can see the creators of the Altyn Depe civi-lization, like their contemporaries at Harappa, as tribes of the proto-Dravidian ethnic groups (Masson, 1988. P.159). So, this ethnic aspect to-gether with trade contacts could explain the na-ture of the relations between India and Central Asia in ancient times. Such kind of suggestions can be better proved by the anthropological data from central Asian sites (especially GonurDepe).
        “””

        Second Quote
        “””
        The importance to the Harappans of sourc-es from the north is indicated by the fact that, rather than merely sending traders to the re-gion, they established an Indus trading outpost at Shortugai, at the confluence of the Kocha and Amu Darya Rivers in Afghanistan to facilitate their procurement of local resources. In addi-tion, turquoise and jadeite could be obtained from the neighboring Namazga culture in the Kopet Dagh area of Southern Turkmenistan(McIntosh, 2008. P. 168). Trade with the latter is confirmed by the presence of Harappan ma-terials in Central Asian sites discussed before.
        “””

        Third Quote
        “””
        In addition to trade contacts we could con-clude, depending on the anthropological materi-als and analysis, that some kind of real popula-tion movements took place at this time (III–IIMill. BC) between Central Asian and Indus Civi-lization cities, as morphological features of Gonur Depe individuals find close certain sim-ilarity with Veddoid people of the Indus valley sites. So there have been mutual trade relations between Central Asia and Indian subcontinent, sometimes transforming into tribal migrations. Moreover, the ethnic-linguistic factor had also played an important role in favor of these move-ments of people.
        Due to the big amount of Indian or Indian related objects discovered in Central Asian sites (more than Central Asian in India), one can say that the Indus people were the initiators for these relations at their initial stage, or the direc-tion of relations was more from India to Central Asia. Later on, after the formation of BMAC in Central Asia, such relations took direction more from Central Asia to India. This happened es-pecially when Harappan civilization started to decay in the beginning of the second Mill. BC, as if BMAC peoples sensed a vacuum in the Indus Valley region and moved in to fill it.
        “””

        This is exactly what I propose. Now, more specific evidences [2]:

        First Quote
        “””
        However, the local manufacturing of a kneeling man at Gonur Depe, the evident affinities with the figures embossed on silver vessels from Bactria, with comparable
        pieces found in Sistan, and with the decoration of an alabaster vessel found at Dashly 3, in northern Afghanistan (Ardeleanu-Jansen, 1991: pl. 148; Winkelmann, 1994; Dales, 1988: Possehl, 1996: 178–179; Kaniuth, 2010: fig. 5), suggest the existence – at the end of the third and in the first centuries of the second millennium BC – of an intercultural sphere of shared beliefs that led to the local creation of similar cult objects and ritual paraphernalia, rather than the mere exchange of finished goods between Central Asia, Baluchistan and the Indus Valley.
        “””

        Second Quote
        “””
        The objects of Asian elephant ivory found at Gonur Depe provide evidence for a highly specialized trade that probably relied on the extraordinary economic and social value of both the raw material and the finished objects, which constituted among the most prized productions of the time, as well as on the technical and conceptual significance of the transformation process. According to Helms (1993: 13–15), skilled crafting, distinguished from the everyday domestic or ordinary productions, is “usually reserved for, controlled by, or associated with persons of influence, and required high technical skills, a considerable knowledge of the symbolism expressed by design and style, and differs in several important respects from crafts associated with more mundane spheres of life; skilled crafting is political and ideological rather than economic in nature”
        “””

        Conclusion: These evidences demonstrate that Central Asia and India had shared culture and belief. Elites in Central Asia – who had a similar culture as Harappa – ruled and commissioned local craftsmen that not only produced luxury goods but also daily items similar to that of Harappans (the local population may even be ruled directly by Harappans). Even DNA evidence supports the dominance of BMAC by Harappans [3].

        Now, let us evaluate AMT, with the assumption that Harappans spoke Dravidian, in light of @DaThang’s local craftsmen suggestion:

        @DaThang proposes that Harapan craftsmen worked for IE speakers, which maintained material continuity. But the problem is that local craftsmen spoke Dravidian. However, no Dravidian word is found in Old Rig Veda [4]. But we find the opposite case to be true for Europe when IE speakers displaced the local population [5]. Not only that, there were other distinct cultures in India that were contemporary of Harappans (atleast one of them possessed chariots too [6]), e.g., OCP , Burzahom, Jorwe, etc. [7]. They clearly either spoke Dravidian or a third language; but in the whole Northern India, we find no Dravidian names even though these local cultures maintained trade relations with Harappa, and had cultural continuity.

        For more evidences in support of OIT, see @Ugra and my posts [8-10].

        Therefore, all these factors make OIT to be most probably true (at least more likely than AMT).

        Fun fact: A “Priest-King” at Shahr-i Sokhta? [11]

        References
        1. https://www.academia.edu/33317230/Prehistoric_Contacts_between_Central_Asia_and_India
        2. https://www.academia.edu/34596109/Manufacturing_and_trade_of_Asian_elephant_ivory_in_Bronze_Age_Middle_Asia._Evidence_from_Gonur_Depe_Margiana_Turkmenistan_
        3. https://www.brownpundits.com/2019/10/13/the-clearly-evident-out-of-india-migration-from-ancient-dna/
        4. https://talageri.blogspot.com/2019/10/dravidian-connections-with-harappan.html
        5. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NpMvkt6uRKQ
        6. http://www.ijarch.org/Admin/Articles/9-Note on Chariots.pdf
        7. https://www.livehistoryindia.com/history-of-india-2000-years/2020/02/22/beyond-harappa-the-other-cultures-3000-bce-900-bce
        8. https://www.brownpundits.com/2020/06/20/open-thread-brown-pundits-84/#comment-64239
        9. https://www.brownpundits.com/2020/06/20/open-thread-brown-pundits-84/#comment-64260
        10. https://www.brownpundits.com/2020/06/20/open-thread-brown-pundits-84/#comment-64321
        11. https://www.harappa.com/content/priest-king-shahr-i-sokhta

        1. Excellent report. Misses out the key determinant for movements of people.The presence of double-eagle seals of Bogazkoy. They are in Indus Script Meluhha hieroglyphs. So, Meluhha speakers who wrote Indus Script wealth accounting ledgers had moved into Bogazkoy, ca. 2500 BCE. One seal shows two eagles + hare. kharā ‘hare’ Rebus: khār ‘blacksmith’ s’yena ‘eagle’ as’ani ‘thunderbolt’ ahangar ‘blacksmith’ (Pashto) P آهن āhan, s.m. (9th) Iron. Sing. and Pl. آهن ګر āhan gar, s.m. (5th) A smith, a blacksmith. Pl. آهن ګران āhan-garān. آهن ربا āhan-rubā, s.f. (6th) The magnet or loadstone. (E.) Sing. and Pl.); (W.) Pl. آهن رباوي āhan-rubāwī. See اوسپنه.(Pashto) Best wishes, Kalyan

  2. I’m guessing AASI as well as the uniparental markers of Iran_N related populations doesn’t fit the theory so it was left out.

  3. OIT will continue to be treated as a flat-earth conspiracy theory until two fundamental questions are answered.

    Why is there no steppe ancestry in South Asia before the Aryan Invasion?

    Why is there no Indian ancestry in European populations if Indians are the ones who brought them Indo-European languages?

  4. I saw a map graphic many years ago about Indo-European expansion which was centered in concentric circles with center around modern Iran-Pakistan border around the coast of Oman Sea.

    I am not convinced of OIT yet but I don’t rule it out. Genetics is a great tool but not powerful enough on its own to answer this question because basic human social group paradigms are prime drivers as well and need to be taken into consideration.

    Reagarding INDTHINGS’s potential questions.

    Why is there no steppe ancestry in South Asia before the Aryan Invasion?

    Isn’t the assumption these people moved out of somewhere in South Asia, hence why would they have Steppe ancestry which would have formed itself post the mixture that happened with what was Steppe people and the incoming peoples from the South to them.
    Or even if disregarding them, even a group/clan migration can be used as a substitute example. Yuezhi are said to have been driven out from Western China and into North South Asia eventually. Mass people groups are capable of doing that if circumstance arise.

    Why is there no Indian ancestry in European populations if Indians are the ones who brought them Indo-European languages?

    This is a more tricky question to answer away. One explanation could be, that South Asia group (so called Indo-European) were a separate population itself who migrated and mixed with other peoples inside South Asia and then Steppe and onto Europe.

    Or another explanation being migration from South Asia to Steppe was cultural (PIE) and when the Steppe people did come South and also went West they brought the genetics & PIE to both places.

    1. Or another explanation being migration from South Asia to Steppe was cultural (PIE)

      you mean an ‘elite dominance’ model here. (the persistence of Hungarian is an example of this)

  5. the main issue is what “SCA” means. like you JR it is pretty clear to me that there was massive gene flow in and around ‘turan’ (north/south/west/east) in the period btwn 4000 and 2000 BC. i think a plausible zone of expansion would be out of areas of southern turan…but probably not as far south as modern Pakistan. the general lack of AASI is an issue since the admixture probably dates to around 4000 BC last i checked when they did DATES.

    as for the “PIE homeland” that’s pretty unclear, partly cuz where you draw lines matters. there was always something before.

    that seems clear is a sintasha ppl moved into NW s Asia after 2000 BCE. these are part of a reflux in part out of eastern Europe. your model would suggest India was already indo-european, so either the sintashta branch died, or sintashta variant replaced indigenous. former seems implausible as iranics are all over the place outside, so it would have to be the latter.

    anyway, i think you overemphasize how confident Reich et al. is in the southern origin. talkinig to the Reich lab they’re confused about the Anatolian samples and seem confused and inchoate in general (different views).

  6. I am offering some counter arguments but they are not conclusive. Neither are yours.

    “Why is there no steppe ancestry in South Asia before the Aryan Invasion?”

    in South Asia steppe ancestry show up very late 1200 BC swat valley and low level (10-15%) vs (60% replacement in Spain and 90% in Britain) by 2500 BC.

    “Why is there no Indian ancestry in European populations if Indians are the ones who brought them Indo-European languages?”

    Sarazm like pulse is ancestral to steppe and predates all steppe expansion. AASI is similar to WSHG. It’s an Indian like pulse.

    If steppe(EHG) were the sole vectors of IE, then why are the first sampled languages of Europe non IE(Etruscan , Iberian), even after large replacement by steppe people.

    Maybe the western steppe population did not have many IE speakers.

  7. in South Asia steppe ancestry show up very late 1200 BC swat valley and low level (10-15%) vs (60% replacement in Spain and 90% in Britain) by 2500 BC.

    yes, but DATES pushes it back right? it didn’t show up ‘just then’

    1. Swat is “migration central” and stands in a direct path. It should have shown a higher signal to be a source for the subcontinent. To sample a small signal there and extrapolate to the higher steppe in modern India seems strange.

      So either by coincidence it’s the wrong population or actual steppe assimilation happened even later.

      The case is similar to that of Myceneans. Modern greeks have higher steppe than Mycenaeans.

      1. SWAT is not the source for steppe ancestry in South Asia (further supported by y I2a in SWAT) but that doesn’t prove OIT. The Aryan invasion happened and there seems to be a lot of mental gymnastics being invoked to prove it didn’t.

        1. Ofcourse Swat does not prove OIT and it does not offer great support for AIT either and theres nothing else

  8. To people who are asking about the contours of South Central Asia – there is enough textual evidence to indicate that the composers of Rgveda and the later commenters were engaged in a continuous dialectical conversation as to how to define the boundaries of the Arya territory.

    After all this is a common primal biological urge – seen everyday in the scent marking behaviour of tigers and the military commanders on the Indo-Tibetan border at Pangong Tso lake – the need to mark and hold territory.

    I will provide you some pointers from the research of Talageri and Subhash Kak. They are the pioneers.

    1. At first, the Aryas are living on the eastern banks of the Sarasvati and are constrained by the Ganga and Yamuna in the East. They describe very specifically that the Sarasvati is a mighty river flowing from the mountains to the ocean. This is attested throughout the Old Books of the Rgveda (2,3,4,6,7). This single attestation puts a very hard floor on the dating of the Old Books, no later than the 2100 BC, thats when the Meghalayan Age kicks in and the Sarasvati dries up even before reaching the ocean. The Mahabharata (2100-1800 BC) witnesses the drying up and even has a name for Vinasana, the point where this happens. Balarama goes on a pilgrimage to Vinasana.

    2. The New books (1,5,8,9,10) start referencing the Chenab (Asikni), Jhelum (Vitasta) and the Indus (Sindhu) more copiously. You can already see that the composers of the New books have an expanded horizon moving further west of the Sarasvati into the Indus valley. More Arya kings appear in these regions.

    3. In Book 7 of the Rgveda, a battle is mentioned – the Varsagira. Here the Aryas are expanding into Afghanistan proper because the battle takes place on the banks of the Sarayu. The Sarayu is the Iranian Haroiiu. Today it is called Harirud or Herat in Afghanistan. The real clincher is that the same battle is referenced in the Gathas and much later on in Shahname. The names of the protagonists/antagonists match accurately and sure enough, they are reversed according to the perspective of the recorder ! You can see the Aryas expanding and pushing into the north west.

    https://talageri.blogspot.com/2020/05/the-varsagira-battle-in-rigveda.html

    4. After the decline of the Sarasvati-Sindhu civilization, Indian composers of the Mahabharatha reference the central and northern parts of Asia beyond their territories. They are referenced as Uttara Kuru and Uttara Madra. The first one is Tarim Basin and the second, is Central Asia (beyond Bahlika or Bactria).

    5. Uttara Madra is the object of our interest. This is where supposedly the AIT’ian homeland lies. Uttara Madra is an area of potential interest to the historical Indians, for subjugation or otherwise. Several attempts to capture and the subsequent failure has been mentioned.

    https://medium.com/@subhashkak/uttara-kuru-and-the-jats-c2d3130e4cb7

    From all the textual evidence, disregarding individual actors and events, a linearity is observed.

    A. The Aryas who composed the Rgveda and Mahabharatha have an experiential memory of a flowing Sarasvati (more mighty than the Ganga or the Sindhu). They also record its demise (Vinasana). The fact that Fluviology and the Geologic Time Scale (GTS) confirms this provides a secure time bracket.

    B. The same Aryas expand their territory in an east to west fashion along an northwest axis that takes them into Central Asia. They make their geopolitical ambitions very clear.

    To me personally, A and B definitively falsify a cultural or linguistic intrusion into the subcontinent.

    1. This list doesn’t appear to pass the smell test for me.

      You can already see that the composers of the New books have an expanded horizon moving further west of the Sarasvati into the Indus valley. More Arya kings appear in these regions.

      Why are these people who are already in North India moving to West into Indus & beyond and not just into Gangetic plains.

      Furthermore, human populations find it easier & faster to move in East-West direction (longitudinally). It is much harder to traverse Latitudes (move North or South). And here the argument is someone is going from Haryana to Ferghana but can’t move 200 Kms East into Gangetic foothills or plains.

      This is not on at all.

      This is why OIT is not taken seriously or mocked. Arguments at least need to pass the smell test.

        1. @timepass

          The Roma

          That passes the smell test and proves my point.

          Because we actually have genetics and linguistics painting the same coherent story.
          Furthermore, the suggested route taken by these people was not up through Turan but they went Longitudinally for a long time because that is how people who are adapted to Southern climates would adapt to higher Latitudes.

          They also weren’t elites of NW Indian society at the time and yet their genetic cousins are still in India. We know this.

          The suggestion that an Elite moved from Haryana to Central Asia traversing all those Latitudes and not leave genetic evidence in both places is silly. They are the elites why couldn’t they move into Gangetic plain next door. Roma left because they were at the bottom of society, hence denied the prime domestic resources.

          1. @Var
            Thank you for your enlightening comment about the smell test. Your comments provide a nice perspective. Please find below my thoughts on this matter.

            In the case of Romas [https://rm.coe.int/from-india-to-europe-factsheets-on-romani-history/16808b18ed]:

            “””their ancestors originally lived in Central India. Already before the Common Era, they moved to Northwestern India, where they stayed for a longer period of time, before leaving this area and moving west. This theory, postulated in 1927 by the British specialist in oriental studies Ralph Turner, is commonly accepted today. [Ills. 1, 3]”””
            The initial movement of Romas was North/South. Hence, migrations can occur North/South and East/West equally well.

            Coming to OIT, some of the Rig Vedic tribes left India, not all. They may be elites, but they were not the only ones. They must have found expanding in North West direction to be easier/only choice; or cultural/familial ties made them do so. Further, literary evidence shows that Rig Vedic tribes did move into Gangetic plains [1]. The point is that literary evidence is just one of the evidences supporting OIT, and records the emigration of tribes out of India. There are linguistic, archaeological evidences supporting OIT; some anthropological evidence is also available; and Harappan ancestry is found in Shahr-i-Sokhta[1-5]. Genetic studies are being carried out by scholars, so we can all wait to see the evolving picture. At one point chariots were postulated to have been brought to India by PIE speakers, but archaeology has confirmed this is not the case. Now, a linguistic test for AMT: There is only one way borrowing from Sanskrit to Uralic languages [5].

            Regarding your test, if your criterion is accepted then how come Harappans established a trading colony at Shortugai [6], far from their main cities? Clearly, some of the Harappans must have migrated there to establish the colony. Why did they not expand into Gangetic plains?

            Moreover, the same reasoning that you use to refute is not applied to AMT. Why this dichotomy? If true for one situation, it is plausible for the other. Is it because you feel that there is a lack of evidence supporting OIT? Then I agree that without evidence one should not theorize. Textual evidence needs to be supplemented by other sources. For proofs, please go through my posts and other links on the matter [1-5].

            [1] https://talageri.blogspot.com/2020/03/the-rigveda-and-aryan-theory-rational_27.html
            [2] https://www.brownpundits.com/2020/06/20/open-thread-brown-pundits-84/#comment-64239
            [3] https://www.brownpundits.com/2020/06/20/open-thread-brown-pundits-84/#comment-64389
            [4] https://www.brownpundits.com/2020/06/27/iran_n-chg-ancestry-and-the-genetic-origins-of-the-proto-indo-europeans/#comment-64707
            [5] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGXSKOXuDoU
            [6] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shortugai

        2. @timepaas

          The initial movement of Romas was North/South. Hence, migrations can occur North/South and East/West equally well.

          No it can’t. You can’t term this parity North South movement since the equivalence is do divergent.
          They didn’t move to NW India from Central Asia in 10-50 years, it took centuries if not longer. And even then the latitude range is not as stark as Anywhere in India (Central or NW) to Actual Central Asia.

          There is a reason why Roma people moved through Iran because that is longitudinal movement, even more so when tilt of the Earth is taken into account because climate is similar to NW India in general.

          This is basic geo-physiological paradigm at play. Humans don’t move towards Poles unless something nasty has happened and even then most perish and few survive. People move Longitudinally because they adapt quicker to similar climate zones.

          They must have found expanding in North West direction to be easier/only choice

          Why. That makes no sense. To go 2000 KMs extreme North (through Af-Pak desert and desolate lands filled with occasional oasis) but not 200 Kms down the road in semi-tropical climate with plenty of water, grass and wood.

          And on top of that leave no Genetic imprint in locality, despite being the Elites. This not only doesn’t pass the smell test, it stinks because it defies basic logic.

          literary evidence shows that Rig Vedic tribes did move into Gangetic plains

          Where are the genetics corroboration then. Unless one argues that Gangetic plains had indigenous populations which were too powerful to be subjugated for a long time, which then throws up another set of questions.

          Harappan ancestry is found in Shahr-i-Sokhta

          So what. Why isn’t it in Eastern Europe. That is what OIT means. It doesn’t mean IVC traded with Sumer or Ferghana valley people.

          Genetic studies are being carried out by scholars, so we can all wait to see the evolving picture.

          This we agree on completely.

          Regarding your test, if your criterion is accepted then how come Harappans established a trading colony at Shortugai

          What’s exceptional about it. Silk route was 1000s of KMs long across multiple continents. Polynesians ventured into Pacific in what even today people wouldn’t dare with the level of tool-kits at hand.
          When people migrate they leave evidence and if one is postulating Extraordinary hypothesis that PIE came from India and as did Aryans, then that requires Extraordinary evidence, not conjecture or weak bits here and there.

          Why did they not expand into Gangetic plains?

          Shortugai colony is more likely to have been setup by people who were near the Indus valley itself because its closer. Its unlikely someone from Haryana was moving yearly to North Afghanistan. But even if that was true that has an explanation, in that IVC and Indus zone was the hub of activity and Civilization at that point, that is where the central-pull was.

          In the premise of this comment chain, people moving from Haryana to Ferghana, is Central Asia, then North Eurasia and then East Europe having the bigger Civilization and set of opportunities, that too for elites of a place like Haryana?

          How is that logically coherent. Even if IVC area went into decline, they would move to places which had water and climate they were suited to, not move 2000 Kms North in latitude, in that short a time no less. That makes 0 sense.

          Moreover, the same reasoning that you use to refute is not applied to AMT.

          Because there is no equivalence between OIT and AMT. Just because AMT has issues, which I bring up many times on this blog even, esp like the decline of Indra, doesn’t mean AMT is less credible than OIT.

          OIT is quackery, until it can show credibly it is not then it won’t be that and treated like a proper explanation.

          Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proofs. OIT is more fantastical and extraordinary claim than AMT.

          1. @Var,
            Thanks for your comment. I have highlighted linguistic, archaeological proofs in my replies to @Gaurav, @Jaydeepsinh_Rathod and @DaThang (on open thread) that demonstrate OIT is more likely than AMT in comments on this blog post ⁠— do go through them; I will post compilation of these in some time here on this post. Do go through what I have posted until now. As the genetic picture is fluid, I won’t comment on that.

            One linguistic proof that demonstrates OIT is: one way borrowing from Sanskrit to Uralic languages (Talageri Video, do watch it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGXSKOXuDoU).
            There exists only one logical explanation for this fact: Vedic Sanskrit was transmitted from India to Central Asia and beyond. Otherwise, Sanskrit in India must contain loan words from Uralic languages. There are others too.

            One point to note is that AMT suffers from a short time period while OIT does not.

          2. @Var

            There is no phenotypic intrusion into the skeletal record of Northern India during 4000-3000 yBP.

            Neither is there any artifact (pottery,ornament, aesthetic) intrusion into Northern India during this period.

            Understand the implications of the above statements. RS Bisht and BB Lal (Padmabhushan and Padmashri awardees) have repeatedly stated this. Erdosy and Allchin have also said that this is fatal to the formulation of AMT in their books.

            A lot of reputed archaeologists have to be forced into the “quack” category to fit your homemade definition.

      1. @Var….I am giving you a list of historic migrations off the top of my head from East to West…. the Bell Beakers moving into Europe over land and also using the riverine channels, the European peopling of North America in the 17th century, historical African migrations to the Gold Coast and the Ashanti colonies, Turks moving from the Hinterland to the Byzantine coast.

        What are you trying to refute?

      2. The Rig Vedic people had a very large geographical presence – starting from Ganga till Rasa (probably in Afghanistan). This was not restricted to the time of new books/old books. In fact the classification of Rig Veda Mandalas into old books and new books is flawed.

        The Rig Veda was never divided into mandalas based on chronology. There is good amount of internal evidence in the Rig Veda that tells us the relative chronology of the Rishis, only if people invest time in going through that aspect. Instead people invest a lot of time in analyzing the chronology of language which I believe they are not equipped to deal with. Rishi Dirghatamas was a contemporary of Rishi BharadvAja, but these experts like us to believe that mandala 1 in which Dirghatamas has several hymns is after Rishi BharadvAja’s 6th Mandala. Besides, the first mandala is reserved for Shatarchinas, the Rishis who composed one hundred or more suktas. (Several suktas form a Richa from which word Rig is derived). Rishi Nodhas (son of Rishi Gotama) appears for this reason in 1st mandala whereas his sibling Rishi Vamadeva appears in the 4th mandala that is dedicated to Gautamas (Vamadeva and his successors). Same case with Rishi Agastya appears in 1st Mandala and Rishi Vasishta, his sibling appears in the 7th mandala.

        It is to be noted that although the Rig Vedic geography has a large area, the centre of their civilization appears to be river Saraswati that is extolled more than any other river. That means the origins of their civilization must have been in that area and they would have spread westwards and eastwards. As I already mentioned, river Ganga is very much in Rig Veda and so is Rasa by the same Rishi Sindhukshita PraiyamEdha who appears to be the son/successor of the famed and old Rishi PriyamEdha in Rig Veda itself.

        Since the river Saraswati dried by 1900 BCE, and it’s drying is chronologically documented in later works such as TAndya BrAhmana and MahAbhArata, Rig Veda which is from older times must have been when the river was at its prime, i.e., before 3000 BCE. Besides the root words as described in the reconstructed PIE language do not seem to be right as is evidenced looking at the root words of the Rig Veda by Panini and the etymologies given by YAska. This can be corroborated by two aspects:

        1. For each root word (which is most generally a verb), there is a family of words, and there is no reason for us to believe that the Rig Vedic word derived from some other root (as is described by the reconstructed PIE).
        2. There are many Dravidian words that have been postulated to have originated from Proto-Dravidian but have shared root with Rig Vedic words.

        These factors indicate that the IE languages must have originated in India. The spread IE to Europe must have been from the outposts of the Vedic geography though.

        1. ‘Rasa’ is the alternative name for Serbs. In the oldest time they were the followers of the goddess Reasa i.e. Gaya (replicated much later by Greeks as Gea) – agriculturalists (e.g. still ‘rasa-dnik’ is a nursery garden), while those who called themselves Serbs were the followers of the god Serbon – warriors. That was the name how Etruscans called themselves. Greeks’ reading of ‘Rasa’ was ‘Thracians – the biggest nation on Earth after Indians’ (Herodotus). The name of the Serbian medieval kingdom was Raska (= Rasa’s) and the capital city was Ras. The meaning of ‘rasa’ is ‘race’ what in the past meant – belonging to the same tribe, family, genus (the word ‘race’ actually means – serbs). ‘Rasa’ is also a root for later Serbian outfits – Russians (pronouncing – ‘Rasia-ns’) and Prussians. There are few toponyms in Serbia called – Rasa.

  9. What is the main methodological difference between AMT and OIT? If hypothetically, both ‘camps’ prepare 5 difficult questions for their opposition, AMT will answer all questions, while OIT would not answer any. It is symptomatic that none tries to answer a question about people (and their language) who lived 11000 years ago in Lepenski Vir (and Vinca). Even Reich lab after avoiding for long time to research those places (which are researched so far only 2-4%) realized that some key answers can find in Vinca. It is not coincidence that IE homeland could not been found for hundred of years and there are almost 20 places which are candidates for this but not Vinca. It would be much simpler if Razib explained what is the age of r1a in Balkan, north Europe, Russia, S.Asia, etc. This would explain many things but for some reasons he is still avoiding to do this. Maybe he does not want to remain without such important topic on his blog which always attracts many people.
    Btw. Yuezhi is a Chinese name for Serbs, Oman – one stream of Aryans went there, because they have r1a.

    1. Main points of distinction –

      1. AMT depends excessively on linguistics, OIT on textual/literary evidence

      2. Currently most of the sampling bias and logical grammar of genetic papers are based on AMT lines of enquiry. The bias in some cases is self-fulfilling. Consider this – there are over 8 million south Indians with Steppe ancestry but lacking knowledge of an IE language. The number for the quadrant 3 scenario (lack of Steppe ancestry but speaking IE) is even higher.

      3. OIT has some very strong fluviological and GTS event support.

      4. AMT is the establishment theory (has been for the past 100 years) – it is more prone to Type 2 errors because of its null hypothesis that there is no relationship between IVC and Sanskrit.

      5. OIT has evolved/is evolving over the years. Initially some theorized that the PIE homeland is India, but now many have moved away from this locked statement. There may or may not have been a common homeland for all IE speakers.

      1. 1. AMT depends on linguistics, genetics, mythology, and toponyms, OIT on interpretation of Vedic texts and astronomy.
        2. In ‘IE’ – what is Indo, what is European (or for 100 years – Germanishe)?
        3. –
        4. There is evident relationship between Serbian and Sanskrit (much younger languages – Latin, English and German got their relationships with Sanskrit via Serbian). Where the S-S relationship comes from?
        5. What about genetics? Can be different homelands for the same genetic groups (e.g., r1a, I2). How ‘old’ is r1a in Balkan, how old is in SA? Who were native Sanskrit speakers, what’s happened with them? Any opinion about the language(s) spoken in Balkan/Europe for 7-8000 before Yamnaya – in Lepenski Vir (Iron Gates) and Vinca? Any connections with Sanskrit? Cheers!

  10. Apart from the Genetic evidence Razib and most geneticists point to. I feel the linguistic evidence for AMT also isn’t convincingly challenged in any of these OIT.

    The reconstruction of IE words in all the European languages from the language of the Rigveda doesn’t seem to work in my humble opinion. I do not understand even the basics of linguistics as much as some commentators do – but just listening as a layman to linguistic arguments of AMT and OIT – AMT makes much more sense based purely on linguistics.

    1. “The reconstruction of IE words in all the European languages from the language of the Rigveda doesn’t seem to work in my humble opinion”

      deriving all branches from Vedic is not a central factor for OIT.

      It’s just that Vedic fills in the most gaps in PIE reconstruction since the other branches have too many morphological losses and lexical borrowings.

      One could claim that Proto Vedic and other IE dialects could have been spoken in some IVC areas or areas adjacent to it, using the fact that borrowings are minimal. theres no strong proof either way

      It’s similar to the other unsubstantiated homeland claims.

  11. AASI were indians, now entire article doesn’t make sense.
    And We had migration of indians by sea around 2200 BC to Australia and Philippines. In which autosomal DNA fits only Dravidian speaking indian without inducing DNA trace among southeast Asia. Now if Dravidian have sophisticated technology to travel by sea for more 1000km 5000 years ago that make some sense harappan who were there close proximity were also might Dravidian.

    https://www.pnas.org/content/110/5/1803#ref-18

    And harappans black and red potteryware started appearing in south india and east india after collapse of IVC. Moreover indus script and Graffiti marker starting appear in south india after 1700BC. Apart from OCP and other contemporary IVC culture. In northern gangetic plains there are painted greyware culture appears around 1200BC living in mud house with horses more than 1000 sites indentified. Who were there people? Why these people exactly located on vedic hymns homeland?

  12. Hi Jaydeep. You probably know that I do think that the best place according to the evidence available for a PIE homeland is south of the steppe (North Iran or somewhere close). But I’d still like to point out a few things about your article:

    – There seems to be an assumption that the steppe populations were IE speakers. In my opinion, this goes against all the available evidence. In the ancient DNA record there is an inverse correlation between steppe ancestry and IE languages, while we still need to explain the presence of non-IE ones in the places of high steppe ancestry. This means that in all likelihood the steppe people spread non-IE languages throughout Europe mostly, replacing the Neolithic ones. Therefor, making a connection between the Iran/Caucasus ancestry in the steppe and IE languages seems unnecessary and even counter productive.

    – While we still have to know the genesis of that steppe population (Progress, Vonyuchka), it does look to me like its origin predates the Chalcolithic, which again doesn’t match well with the timeframe of PIE. We’ll see, but I expect to find this population around the half north of the Caspian Sea at 5500 BC and probably quite earlier too. So if they were IE, then they should be *the* PIE people.

    So overall I don’t think that the Iran/Caucasus ancestry in the steppe is the best line of evidence regarding a south-of-the-steppe PIE homeland (though such homeland is almost inevitable and we just need a few more samples to confirm it completely, specially from North India ca. 2000-1500 BC, which should leave no doubts if, as expected from what we know, they basically cluster with Indus_Periphery samples, maybe with minor BMAC admixture).

    1. Dear Alberto, you say: “the steppe people spread non-IE languages throughout Europe mostly” Which kind of language do you think that they spread and who then spread IE languages in Eastern and Northern Europe?

      1. Excellent question Giacomo. May I just add what I asked before, but I did not get the answer – which language(s) was spoken in Europe/Balkan for several thousands of years before Yamnaya. Was this so-called an IE language or IE languages were brought to Europe by Yamnaya people? Just to note again that the term ‘Indo-European’ is meaningless. Ciao!

      2. Clearly the best candidates are Iberian and Basque/Aquitanian (which are likely related). Probably also Tartessian (which is harder to say if related or not).

        In Italy it could be any (at least one) of the non-IE languages found in the Iron Age.

        For North Eastern Europe (well, all of Northern Europe), it’s harder to say since we don’t have evidence of the languages spoken during the Iron Age. The study about the genetic history of Estonia points to the Corded Ware Culture as the best candidate ancestor for Uralic, but there are too many gaps still to say anything conclusive about that possible connection.

        This is a very short summary, so I’ll try to put all my thoughts on a post about it.

        1. The IE languages spread quite later than the steppe migrations, from the Balkans to the rest of Europe. To Western Europe is was Celtic, to Italy it was Italic. The genesis of Celtic and Italic comes from an area where Bell Beaker presence is not very strong and rather short lived. We’ll have to see who exactly where the early bearers of those languages.

          1. I guess you have read the study on ancient Roman DNA, that shows that Iron Age Latins are related to Yamnaya and have R1b-M269. Instead, a male from Ardea that has T-L208 haplogroup resembles a Copper Age Anatolian. I think he was an Etruscan: according to the a previous genetic study on Etruscan DNA, Etruscans are separated from Anatolians 5000 years ago. The people with steppe DNA were probably Italic speakers, especially Latins, apparently through the Balkans since the best single match is a Croatian Iron age individual. What I wonder is: what is the origin of Yamnaya people and R1b-M269? Could R1b arrive with Iran N/CHG people?

  13. Just wondering, is there a consistent genetic story that explains the closeness between Iranian languages and Sanskrit? To the best of my understanding, Steppe arrived in India from South Russia to Swat. How did they arrive in Iran? Or did PIE originate in Iran?

    1. Sanskrit is the Aryan language. It came from Vinca civilisation via Russia to SA. What is the meaning of ‘Iran’ and since when this term is used?

      1. Sanskrit is very much an Aryan language, and its predecessor the Vedic language or Chandas is the nearest to PIE (the actual one, not the one that is reconstructed). I believe the roots of the words in the Rig Veda are the forms that the most ancient form of the language was spoken, and it has a strong affinity to the geography of the Indian subcontinent.

        Iran is the changed from of Arya (changes to Airya in Avestan).

        1. “Sanskrit is very much an Aryan language” and
          “Iran is the changed from of Arya (changes to Airya in Avestan).”

          It means that the sentence – “the closeness between Iranian languages and Sanskrit?” actually means “the closeness between Aryan languages and Aryan language”.

          Any idea how to explain for e.g. the similarities between Serbian and Sanskrit pre-Vedic extended family relationships (e.g. ‘husband’s brother’s wife’, and many other)? Or, about 30% of similar or identical words in modern Serbian and Sanskrit? What does it mean the term ‘Indo-European’ ie. the former “Indo-Germanishe”?

      2. V is b
        Binca
        Banca = krsna of kurukshetra infamy
        💧🥛🌾🥭🕯📺🔫

        Milan Todorovic
        JUNE 28, 2020 AT 11:46 PM
        Sanskrit is the Aryan language. It came from Vinca civilisation via Russia to SA. What is the meaning of ‘Iran’ and since when this term is used?

        0

    2. How did Indo Europeans enter Iran and India? That is a mystery which looks hard to answer.

      Yet, we have the answer thanks to archaeology and ancient DNA. They entered with Andronovo.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andronovo_culture

      90%> of Andronovo men carried Y Chromsome R1a Z93 which is known as the Asian version of R1a.

      All Central and South Asians and Iranians have some Andronovo ancestry. This has been well established by DNA research.

      Most have small amounts. Persians and Indians only have 15% Andronovo ancestry.

      But, Jatts and Tajicks have 30-40%. Pashuten have 25-30%. So, there are some pops in Southcentral Asia today who have a large share of Andronovo ancestry. This is well established.

      1. What is your opinion about the direction of r1a historical moving – from Andronovo (i.e SA) to Balkan or the opposite direction? Do you know the ‘ages’ of both versions? Txs.

    3. I think that there’s more of a cultural and geographic than genetic component in the genesis of Proto-Indo Iranian. Not that Early Iranians (from post-BMAC) and Early Indo-Aryans (South of them) don’t share a good amount of genetic ancestry, but the Proto-Indo-Iranian language was probably more of a prestige language that became widespread first as a lingua franca and then as a native language due to the intensive contacts between North India and South-Central Asia during the 2nd half of the 3rd mill. (mature Harappan and mature BMAC era). If the language already went further west too throughout Iran is also possible.

      Indo-Iranian could not have gone from the steppe to the south based on the current evidence (genetic and archaeological). Late Andronovo seems to have adopted this prestige language, that was later spread west by the Scythians (this scenario is better supported by all the evidence available, both genetic and archaeological).

  14. @Gaurav
    For a review of the state, i.e., the academic standard of linguistic work done by western Indologists read “Stuhrmann, Witzel and the Joke that is Western Indology” by Talageri [1]. He was once famously invited
    “”“to do advanced study or a Ph.D. at Harvard, “provided he is open-minded and flexible in his views, and does not show himself to be intransigent or predisposed to certain ideas”.[11] Talageri declined this offer “for purely personal reasons as much as in view of the blatantly fishy proviso”.”””[2]

    The arguments presented by AMT linguists may appear to be stronger, but are they really so? Let us have a closer look:

    1. Witzel, a Harvard linguist and AMT proponent, makes the case in the book “The Indo-Aryan Controversy: Evidence and Inference in Indian History” [3, p. 370, publication year: 2005] that “ratha” word in Vedic Sanskrit was imported from Steppes and not vice versa. According to him, it provides unmistakable evidence against OIT. He states that:

    “””
    This is one of the few clear cases where we can align linguistic innovation with innovation in material culture, poetics and myth, and even with archaeological and historical attestation. 161 Therefore, we have to take it very seriously.
    “””
    But currently, we know that chariots were present in India indigenously around 2000 BC contradicting his assertion [4].

    2. In Europe, river names reflect the names given by people belonging to cultures that lived there before the arrival of IE speakers. But in India, there is no Dravidian name for any place or river in Northern India [5].

    Why is this important? According to the book “The Quest for the Origins of Vedic Culture” [6, p. 98]:

    “””
    The non-Indo-Aryan nature of the terms and names noted earlier also has to be juxta-posed with the fact that the place-names and river names in northern India are almost all Indo-Aryan. These names are, to my mind, the single most important element in considering the existence of a non-Indo-Aryan substratum position. Unlike people, tribes, material items, flora, and fauna, they cannot relocate or be introduced by trade (although their names can be transferred by immigrants). In other words, it is difficult to exclude
    the possibility that the foreign personal and material names in the Rgveda were intru-sive into a preexisting Indo-Aryan area as opposed to vice versa. This argument of lexi-cal transiency can much less readily be used in the matter of foreign place-names. Place-names tend to be among the most conservative elements in a language. Moreover, it is a widely attested fact that intruders into a geographic region often adopt the names of rivers and places that are current among the peoples that preceded them. Even if some
    such names are changed by the immigrants, some of the previous names are invariably retained (e.g., the Mississippi river compared with the Hudson, Missouri state com-pared with New England)
    “””

    Similarly [6, p. 99]
    “””
    The lack of foreign place-names in the oldest Indo-Aryan texts, in contrast, is remarkable when compared with the durability of place designations else-where. The same applies to rivers. Witzel again notes that such names tend to be very archaic in many parts of the world and they often reflect the languages spoken before the influx of later populations” (368-369). Yet here again, “by and large, only San-skritic river names seem to survive” in the Northwest (370). In the Kuruksetra area, “all names are unique and new formations, mostly of IA coinage” (377)
    “””

    3. For other evidences in favor of OIT, see my post [7]

    References
    [1] https://talageri.blogspot.com/2017/06/stuhrmann-witzel-and-joke-that-is_24.html
    [2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Rigveda:_A_Historical_Analysis
    [3] The Indo-Aryan Controversy: Evidence and Inference in Indian History
    [4] http://www.ijarch.org/Admin/Articles/9-Note on Chariots.pdf
    [5] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NpMvkt6uRKQ
    [6] The Quest for the Origins of Vedic Culture
    [7] https://www.brownpundits.com/2020/06/20/open-thread-brown-pundits-84/#comment-64239

  15. Alberto,

    Great to see your response. I agree that it is still an assumption that the early Bronze age steppe populations were IE. But it is still the dominant theory going around unfortunately. Therefore I think it is pertinent to point out that the Iran_N/CHG ancestry in Eneolithic Peidmont steppe populations is more likely to have come from SC Asia then from areas further west where Anatolian Farmer ancestry was quite high.

    It is also a fact that there is recent genetic ancestry sharing going back 5 to 6 kya between Europeans and South Asians which needs explaining.

    I agree that postulating an IE presence in Eastern Europe around 4000 BC is quite speculative when the earliest attestation of IE presence in Eastern Europe comes more than 3000 years later.

    I am curious why you think that the steppe migrations into Europe must have brought non-IE languages there. Perhaps you have alluded to it earlier but I cannot quite recall.

    Regards.

  16. Timepaas,

    Thanks for your appreciation. But I think a lot more needs to be done to further the OIT cause. We Indians do next to nothing on the linguistic front, archaeological research is relatively quite slow and not comprehensive and we only have one low coverage aDNA sample from India for all the media circus around it.

    If you want to get a hang of genetics and aDNA follow the anthrogenica forum and the eurogenes blog. Davidski at Eurogenes is quite biased so be warned. But it is good to pick up things as a newcomer to the subject. There are plenty of papers which can help you in this subject. I am just sharing about 3 of them so you get somewhat of an idea.

    https://www.nature.com/articles/nature14317

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5003663/

    https://science.sciencemag.org/content/360/6396/eaar7711

    All the best for your majors abroad.

    1. Thank you @Jaydeepsinh_Rathod for the links. What I wish to learn specifically is how to do genetic modelling, e.g., just like you did here. I think you do PCA based modelling to study genetics, but I am not sure. I will be thankful for any books/resources that you can point me to.

      Regarding linguistics, Talageri has found some new results that strongly prove OIT. I will present those evidences in a post here in some time.

      I have read Davidski’s blog in the past, but I have never commented on it. He seems to very abusive and intimidating. I remember one time he blocked and shamed a blogger Nirjhar007 for asking questions from him. After that I stopped visiting his blog. Moreover, he also maintains a list of bloggers to publicly name and shame. He seems to be knowledgeable at least, even if personally unlikable. So, I guess I should start following the blog again.

  17. Razib,

    I cannot with the current evidence argue that a case migration from South Asia is proven. But a genetic link between SC Asia and the steppe already in 4000 BC needs to be noted and explained. The massive expansion of the Turanian ancestry from south across the steppe and from east all the way up to Anatolia is a phenomenon that should not be ignored when people make argument about PIE origins and migration.

    Reich and others may be confused but I think their confusion may have been amplified by the findings of Wang et al which I have tried to put into context.

    As far as the Sintashta migrations into SC Asia, I would say we have to wait and see. The total absence of archaeological evidence is puzzling. Let us see what the Indian R1a paper brings out. It should certainly give a better picture on South Asian R1a.

    About the migration and expansion of Iranian groups across the steppe in the Iron Age, I have a feeling that they carried substantial levels of BMAC ancestry that was lacking in earlier steppe groups. I think it would be worth checking it out.

    1. @JR – Whats the Indian R1a paper? Is it the one that Gyaneshwar Chaubey referred to in the talk at DelhiUni?

      I have a separate question on that talk, which if anyone can clarify – that would be greatly helpful. He specifically says that the the Reich Lab does capture sequencing (not full sequencing) and missing even a single mutation will mischaracterise the tree. I did not understand the intricacy of this criticism…..also because of the lack of my specialist knowledge.

  18. Var,

    Undoubtedly people from Haryana did move into the Gangetic plains. No one is denying it. It is quite clearly evident from ancient Vedic and Puranic literature. The genetics also argues for it.

    Groups like the Rors and Haryana Jats can even be taken as the plausible sources of the genetic ancestry that spread from Haryana into the Gangetic plains and which peaks in the Brahmins and Kshatriyas of the region.

    1. That would be wishful thinking=Jats as a source of dna to the Gangetic basin, when their own lore has them moving out of Jaisalmer about a 1000 years ago. Haryana Jats are less steppe shifted than Rajasthan jats I read somewhere. It could be equally easily claimed that Rajasthan jats are the source of the Gangetic movement.

      1. “ when their own lore has them moving out of Jaisalmer”

        This to claim Kshatriya status based on descent from some Vedic clan afaik. Wouldn’t put too much stock in caste origin stories.

      2. Haven’t seen the global25 of a rajasthan jat but the one rajasthan jat harappaworld result that I am aware of has a punjab jat average level of the ne euro component.

  19. Jaydeep,

    Yes, I guess the steppe hypothesis is still quite mainstream in ancient DNA studies, but that’s just because they need to catch up with what their own data says (which in turn requires a change in their methodology: from trying to fit that data into a theory -chosen a priori-, to trying to build a theory based on -and consistent with- the data).

    I guess I’ve never summarised my thoughts on the IE “problem” in a single place, so maybe I should not keep waiting for more samples to confirm what is basically known and go ahead and write about the current state of affairs based on all the data available. maybe along next month I’ll find the chance for it.

    It would be long here to explain in enough detail the issue about steppe migrations to Europe bringing non-IE languages, so that should be tackled too as part of that hypothetical post. But basically it comes down to the fact that there are no known IE languages in all the areas where steppe populations replaced the Neolithic ones, except for those (Celtic, Italic) which are known to be very late arrivals. All the rest of known languages are non-IE. While it’s the opposite in the areas where the steppe migrations had very little impact (in Europe, the Balkans, where IE appears earlier and more widely spread, with hardly any non-IE language known). And this is the same pattern all across West Eurasia.

  20. Just wanted to note only one thing

    @Ugra

    >There is no phenotypic intrusion into the skeletal record of Northern India during 4000-3000 yBP.

    Largely true, but there is the Harappa H-II series which seems odd in terms of being round and large. Usually the large heads were the most (hyper)dolichocephalic but this seems to be the exception in the northern region.

    1. If I am not mistaken, you are referring to the Meadow paper that found a outlier phenotype (all of them females) at Harappa.

      1. Nope this group includes both males and females. Male dry skull width was 145 mm and length was 189 mm. Those are ginormous for a female average value, and besides there were well defined average female values separate from the aforementioned ones from the same group. The local harappan large skulled group was longer taller and narrower, and equally capacious.

        It was only 10 individuals in total though. I can provide you more details tomorrow.

        That being said I agree with you for most of the part regarding the local continuity.

      2. So here are some specifications.

        Males (7 in number):
        Maximum cranial length = 189 mm
        Maximum cranial width = 144 mm (145 in some sources)
        Basion-bregma height = 134 mm (135 in some sources).

        Females (6 in number):
        Maximum cranial length = 181 mm
        Maximum cranial width = 133 mm
        Basion-bregma height = 134 mm

      3. @ Ugra

        There is no phenotypic intrusion into the skeletal record of Northern India during 4000-3000 yBP.

        Not sure how that was relevant to the certain peddled/alleged hypothesis of the comment-exchange that was happening with timepass, that is essentially suggesting people from Haryana move almost 19° N in latitude range.
        This so called AMT is given a range from around 2100-1500 BCE. 4000BCE is really not relevant in this content of the comment chain for either AMT or OIT.

        If people from what is not Haryana moved that far up North and then West into Europe, bringing IE-languages and genetics.

        Then it needs to be demonstrated that descendants of these Haryana people from Gangetic plains (because my comment was rhetorical in stating they wouldn’t move 200KMs East, of course they did) matches genetics to a high fidelity with descendants of these people residing in Europe.

        Till then OIT is quackery while AMT holds probabilistic place on the spectrum, i.e. it is not a Scientific Theory-Theory, its a statistical answer of what is more likely given that alternatives offered are so over the top sillier.

        I myself questioned AIT and then even AMT because Genetics is not paramount, basic human condition and human social and inter-personal behavior are fundamental.
        Similarly neither is Linguistics paramount or exclusive. Furthermore these 2 are not in equivalence in their lack of exclusivity. Sciences have tiers and hierarchy, Genetics holds higher level on this question when investigation is happening 1000s of years post-fact.

        Archeology holds even equivalence if not slightly greater hierarchy than Genetics.

    2. @DaThang
      Can you go through my long post that presents all evidences that I have right now for OIT? I would love to get your feedback, e.g., your comment for local craftsmen was especially helpful for furthering OIT cause.

    3. @DaThang
      Good to see you here. I would love to get your feedback, e.g., your comment for local craftsmen was especially helpful for furthering OIT cause.

  21. The OIT theory presented below has been substantiated by archaeological, linguistic, literary, artistic, and astronomical evidences. Genetic evidences have not been considered as: Firstly, “DNA” does not encode “language” or “culture”; secondly, genetic picture is fluid and evolving.

    Introduction
    For a civilization to exist, it is essential that there is a mechanism for information storage and retrieval. The mechanism can be literary or oral tradition, i.e., it is humanly impossible for a civilization to have no mechanism for information dissemination, storage, and retrieval [1]. With respect to Harappan civilization, this necessarily implies the existence of a language as well as a body of work (stored in oral or written form) that is well suited for their society and explains their position in the world. That is why scholars hold the position that Harappans spoke either Sanskrit or Dravidian (only 2 candidates are available according to Indian historical scenario).

    Ancient World was not a peaceful place; life was brutal and violent. For an ancient civilization like Harappa, securing trade routes was a priority — which inevitably involves some military-based power projection; and hence, we find a Harappan trading colony at Shortugai [2]. This raises a natural question vis-à-vis the relationship between Harappans and Central Asians: Did Harappans and Central Asia have common culture and belief? From archaeological findings, we know that Harappa was spread over Afghanistan, Northern India, and parts of Central Asia (the extent of Harappa in Central Asia is not fully determined). For such a large civilization, it is eminently possible to dominate and spread its belief + culture over Central Asia. Archaeological and anthropological proofs are presented later in this post to substantiate this claim. As PIE speakers (whose descendants include Yamnaya and are the current favorite Aryan candidate) were native to Central Asia, they could easily have been in contact with Harappans and spoken their language. Linguistic proof is provided later in this post to corroborate this.

    Assertions:
    1. Central Asia followed Harappan culture
    2. Harappans spoke Sanskrit

    Evidences for these assertions, i.e., OIT:

    > Linguistic Evidence

    Evidence 1:
    Assuming that PIE speakers and IVC inhabitants spoke different languages, we have: According to Talageri [3], “””In short, no Indo-Aryan language has a name for an animal or plant found in the Steppes of South Russia and not found in India. “”” Specifically, PIE language has words for the tiger, lion, leopard, ape, and elephant which belong natively to India. As we have established that Central Asia had trade relations as well as some military relations, it follows that PIE speakers could only have taken these words into their language from Harappan Language — they are the only plausible candidate — as these animals don’t exist natively in Steppe or Russia. This, however, leads to a contradiction as Dravidian words appear only in later books of Rig Veda [4].

    Evidence 2:
    Talageri has characterized the development of the numeral system into 4 stages [5]. According to him, India is the only place where the proof of all 4 stages is found. Specifically, classical Sanskrit is at the 2nd stage, while other Indo-European dialects not found in India are at the 3rd stage. This is not possible according to conventional wisdom as Yamnaya left their homeland later than PIE speakers.

    Evidence 3:
    There is one-way borrowing from Sanskrit to Uralic languages [6].
    The only logical explanation that exists to account for this fact is: Vedic Sanskrit was transmitted from India to Eurasia. Otherwise, Sanskrit in India must contain loan words from Uralic languages.

    Evidence 4:
    Witzel, a Harvard linguist and AMT proponent, makes the case in the book “The Indo-Aryan Controversy: Evidence and Inference in Indian History” [7, p. 370, publication year: 2005] that “ratha” word in Vedic Sanskrit was imported from Steppes and not vice versa. According to him, it provides unmistakable evidence against OIT. He states that:

    “””
    This is one of the few clear cases where we can align linguistic innovation with innovation in material culture, poetics and myth, and even with archaeological and historical attestation. 161 Therefore, we have to take it very seriously.
    “””
    But currently, we know that chariots were present in India indigenously around 2000 BC contradicting his assertion [8].

    Evidence 5:
    In Europe, river names reflect the names given by people belonging to cultures that lived there before the arrival of IE speakers. But in India, there is no Dravidian name for any place or river in Northern India [9].

    Why is this important? According to the book “The Quest for the Origins of Vedic Culture” [10, p. 98]:
    “””
    The non-Indo-Aryan nature of the terms and names noted earlier also has to be juxta-posed with the fact that the place-names and river names in northern India are almost all Indo-Aryan. These names are, to my mind, the single most important element in considering the existence of a non-Indo-Aryan substratum position. Unlike people, tribes, material items, flora, and fauna, they cannot relocate or be introduced by trade (although their names can be transferred by immigrants). In other words, it is difficult to exclude the possibility that the foreign personal and material names in the Rgveda were intru-sive into a preexisting Indo-Aryan area as opposed to vice versa. This argument of lexi-cal transiency can much less readily be used in the matter of foreign place-names. Place-names tend to be among the most conservative elements in a language. Moreover, it is a widely attested fact that intruders into a geographic region often adopt the names of rivers and places that are current among the peoples that preceded them. Even if some such names are changed by the immigrants, some of the previous names are invariably retained (e.g., the Mississippi river compared with the Hudson, Missouri state com-pared with New England)
    “””

    Similarly [10, p. 99]
    “””
    The lack of foreign place-names in the oldest Indo-Aryan texts, in contrast, is remarkable when compared with the durability of place designations else-where. The same applies to rivers. Witzel again notes that such names tend to be very archaic in many parts of the world and they often reflect the languages spoken before the influx of later populations” (368-369). Yet here again, “by and large, only San-skritic river names seem to survive” in the Northwest (370). In the Kuruksetra area, “all names are unique and new formations, mostly of IA coinage” (377)
    “””

    > Archaeological and Anthropological
    Presented below are evidences from archaeological papers:

    According to the paper “Prehistoric Contacts between Central Asia and India” [11], there is anthropological evidence of population exchange between Central Asia (e.g., Gonur Depe) and IVC.

    First quote
    “””
    Anthropological evidence.
    It is well know that anthropological data allow tracing actual movements of people from/to different regions with different outward appearance of their in-habitants and can differentiate between migra-tions of tribes and adoption of cultural tradi-tions and languages as resultant from cultural contacts or influences. It is for this reason that anthropological studies in such an involved situ-ation as the historical dynamics of the popula-tion of the III–II Mill. BC in Central Asian area have so much importance (Babakov et al., 2001.P. 219). In this sense, the necropolis of Gonur Depeis of a great interest, as, its materials could help in answering several questions concerning the formation of Middle Asian population and de-velopment of the specific characteristics of its outward appearance. Moreover, as a capital city of Margush, Gonur’s anthropological materials could shed light on the emergence of several anthropological variations on the territory of Middle Asia during Bronze Age while earlier characteristic of the entire area had been one and the same more or less homogeneous Medi-terranean anthropological type (Babakov et al.,2001. P. 219). The general cranial parameters of the skulls from the necropolis of Gonur are rather typical of the contemporary (Bronze Age) population of the Middle East from Mesopotamia in the west to North-Western India in the east. It is impor-tant that they show very great proximity to that of Mohenjo-daro, while Harappa series are also typologically most similar to the Gonur group series. In all these groups the basis is composed of the population which had taken shape as a result of a long metisation process between Tro-poids (who were most likely Veddo-Australoids— from the racial point of view) and Holarctoids(ancient Europoids – from the same racial pointof view). All these series are relatively close to each other from the geographical point of view too (Babakov et al., 2001. P. 114, 228, 229, tab.9, pl. 9.). So, having a rather archaic morphology and a number of traits bringing them closer to Ved-doids, in the variations of the basic parameters of their skulls the Gonur people find their near-est parallels with the population of Uzbekistan, Northwest Pakistan (Swat valley) and North India (Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa) (Bernhardt,1967; Babakov et al., 2001. P. 240; Dubova,2006. P. 92, 93). So here, in addition to the archaeological evidence, we have an anthropological fact: mor-phological features of Gonur individuals find certain similarity as with Veddoid people of the Indus valley sites. Can we consider it possible that, in addition to trade and cultural relations between these two regions, there were, appar-ently, some kind of movement of the population (Дубова, 2010. С. 500–501).
    The linguistic-ethnic aspect.
    The discovery of seals of proto-Indian type at central Asian Altyn Depe, including seals with proto-Indian inscriptions, raises the problem of the ethnic af-filiation of the local population during the Chal-colithic and Bronze Age in south Central Asia. It was proposed that Dravidian speakers, founders of Harappan civilization early colonized Central Asia (Winters, 1990. P. 120, 140). Masson sug-gested that the people of Altyn Depe spoke Pro-to-Dravidian (Masson, 1981. P. 119–122). Thus one can see the creators of the Altyn Depe civi-lization, like their contemporaries at Harappa, as tribes of the proto-Dravidian ethnic groups (Masson, 1988. P.159). So, this ethnic aspect to-gether with trade contacts could explain the na-ture of the relations between India and Central Asia in ancient times. Such kind of suggestions can be better proved by the anthropological data from central Asian sites (especially GonurDepe).
    “””

    Second Quote
    “””
    The importance to the Harappans of sourc-es from the north is indicated by the fact that, rather than merely sending traders to the re-gion, they established an Indus trading outpost at Shortugai, at the confluence of the Kocha and Amu Darya Rivers in Afghanistan to facilitate their procurement of local resources. In addi-tion, turquoise and jadeite could be obtained from the neighboring Namazga culture in the Kopet Dagh area of Southern Turkmenistan(McIntosh, 2008. P. 168). Trade with the latter is confirmed by the presence of Harappan ma-terials in Central Asian sites discussed before.
    “””

    Third Quote
    “””
    In addition to trade contacts we could con-clude, depending on the anthropological materi-als and analysis, that some kind of real popula-tion movements took place at this time (III–IIMill. BC) between Central Asian and Indus Civi-lization cities, as morphological features of Gonur Depe individuals find close certain sim-ilarity with Veddoid people of the Indus valley sites. So there have been mutual trade relations between Central Asia and Indian subcontinent, sometimes transforming into tribal migrations. Moreover, the ethnic-linguistic factor had also played an important role in favor of these move-ments of people.
    Due to the big amount of Indian or Indian related objects discovered in Central Asian sites (more than Central Asian in India), one can say that the Indus people were the initiators for these relations at their initial stage, or the direc-tion of relations was more from India to Central Asia. Later on, after the formation of BMAC in Central Asia, such relations took direction more from Central Asia to India. This happened es-pecially when Harappan civilization started to decay in the beginning of the second Mill. BC, as if BMAC peoples sensed a vacuum in the Indus Valley region and moved in to fill it.
    “””

    Now, more specific evidences [12]:

    First Quote
    “””
    However, the local manufacturing of a kneeling man at Gonur Depe, the evident affinities with the figures embossed on silver vessels from Bactria, with comparable
    pieces found in Sistan, and with the decoration of an alabaster vessel found at Dashly 3, in northern Afghanistan (Ardeleanu-Jansen, 1991: pl. 148; Winkelmann, 1994; Dales, 1988: Possehl, 1996: 178–179; Kaniuth, 2010: fig. 5), suggest the existence – at the end of the third and in the first centuries of the second millennium BC – of an intercultural sphere of shared beliefs that led to the local creation of similar cult objects and ritual paraphernalia, rather than the mere exchange of finished goods between Central Asia, Baluchistan and the Indus Valley.
    “””

    Second Quote
    “””
    The objects of Asian elephant ivory found at Gonur Depe provide evidence for a highly specialized trade that probably relied on the extraordinary economic and social value of both the raw material and the finished objects, which constituted among the most prized productions of the time, as well as on the technical and conceptual significance of the transformation process. According to Helms (1993: 13–15), skilled crafting, distinguished from the everyday domestic or ordinary productions, is “usually reserved for, controlled by, or associated with persons of influence, and required high technical skills, a considerable knowledge of the symbolism expressed by design and style, and differs in several important respects from crafts associated with more mundane spheres of life; skilled crafting is political and ideological rather than economic in nature”
    “””

    Even Harappan Priest-King has been found in Shahr-i Sokhta [13].

    Inference:
    These evidences demonstrate that Central Asia and India had shared culture and belief. Elites in Central Asia – who had a similar culture as Harappa – ruled and commissioned local craftsmen that not only produced luxury goods but also daily items similar to that of Harappans (the local population may even be ruled directly by Harappans).

    > Literary Proof
    See @Ugra post [14]

    > Astronomical and artistic Proof

    Evidence 1
    Quote [15, p. 28]
    “””
    Several astronomical references in Sam.hita– and Bra–hman. a texts consistently lead to 3000 BC. Independent confirmation that Rohin.i– marked equinox and Kr.ttika– was on true east in this period is presented. References to Purva Pha–lgun.i– full-moon marking new year can only be dated to 3000 BC (newyear at winter solstice) or 1200AD (new year at spring) and nowhere near 800BC. The Aryan Invasion Theory proposed by western Sanskrit scholars is proved to be wrong by their correct and unanimous interpretation of eka–s.t.aka to 3000BC for the last 80 years.Verses on eka–s.t.aka are so specific that an alternate correct interpretation is most unlikely and also explains the unanimity among Sanskrit scholars. Verses on eka–s.t.aka, KB 19.3 and Maha–sƒivara–tri all refer to the same feature, ama–nta Ma–gha new-moon at winter solstice (3000 BC), making it a very robust conclusion. Impossibly large errors are needed to date these references to 800 BC.Western Sanskrit scholars are unaware that their interpretations lead to dates ranging from 3000 BC to 800 BC to 1200 AD. They should have rejected AIT 80 years ago following Caland’s correct interpretation of eka–s.t.aka but, unfortunately, were unaware that it led to 3000 BC.
    “””

    Evidence 2 from Subhash Kak’s book “The Astronomical Code of the Ṛgveda” [16, p. 211]:
    First Quote
    “””
    Indian literature remembers astronomical events that go back to the fourth or fifth millennium BCE. The presence of the Indic element in the Near East in the second millennium BCE is an intrusion from India or an intrusion by a group that was culturally Indianized.
    “””

    Second Quote [16, p. 211]
    “””
    The study of art provided evidence of the Indic element in the Greco-Roman world as in the case of the Gorgon, the sea-sarcophagi in Rome, the yogic figure and other deities on the Gun-destrup cauldron, and the terracotta figures in Memphis. Ancient Eurasia had considerable trade and interaction within its regions, and this interaction was a complex process that included elements of diffusion and migration.
    “””

    References
    [1] https://www.nypl.org/blog/2012/03/19/literacy-what-it-good-for
    [2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shortugai
    [3] https://talageri.blogspot.com/2017/06/the-elephant-and-proto-indo-european.html
    [4] https://talageri.blogspot.com/2019/10/dravidian-connections-with-harappan.html
    [5] https://talageri.blogspot.com/2018/08/indias-unique-place-in-world-of-numbers_38.html
    [6] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGXSKOXuDoU
    [7] The Indo-Aryan Controversy: Evidence and Inference in Indian History
    [8] http://www.ijarch.org/Admin/Articles/9-Note on Chariots.pdf
    [9] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NpMvkt6uRKQ
    [10] The Quest for the Origins of Vedic Culture
    [11] https://www.academia.edu/33317230/Prehistoric_Contacts_between_Central_Asia_and_India 2.
    [12] https://www.academia.edu/34596109/Manufacturing_and_trade_of_Asian_elephant_ivory_in_Bronze_Age_Middle_Asia._Evidence_from_Gonur_Depe_Margiana_Turkmenistan_
    [13] https://www.harappa.com/content/priest-king-shahr-i-sokhta
    [14] https://www.brownpundits.com/2020/06/20/open-thread-brown-pundits-84/#comment-64260
    [15] https://insa.nic.in/writereaddata/UpLoadedFiles/IJHS/Vol46_4_1_TRSPrasanna.pdf
    [16] The Astronomical Code of the Ṛgveda

      1. @Razib
        First of all, I would like to thank you for providing space to OIT posters like me. Also, can you suggest books/resources about how to do genetic modelling? A blog post would be helpful for beginners like me.

        Secondly, I apologise for the long comment. Everyone here asks for evidence in support of OIT. This leads to a long comment. I am caught in a dilemma. Can you suggest what I should do? From now on, I will reference this post and write summaries — this is what I thought when I was writing this post.

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