Here is hoping for a better 2021!
Massive migrations from Steppes to Bronze Age India was indeed a myth. We have gathered Ancient DNA evidence now. The findings will be out next year. Thanks to the great efforts of scientists from India, USA, UK and others. Warm Greetings for upcoming 2021!
— Niraj Rai (@NirajRai3) December 30, 2020
Lots of questions about this tweet. I like Niraj Rai and Gyaneshwer Chaubey personally. But, I’m pretty skeptical of how people are interpreting this. My own views are pretty straightforward, and outlined in my post the “Aryan Integration Theory”.
I believe that about 14% of the total ancestry in South Asia derives from the Central Asian steppe ~3,500 years ago. These people derive from a “reflux” migration from Central Europe of a Corded Ware related people (“Battle Axe Culture”).* The fraction is higher in Pakistan, 20-30%. Much lower in southern India, ~5% or so (excepting Brahmins). Whenever this is a “massive migration” is up to you to interpret.
I do think they brought R1a and lots of aspects of Indian culture, such as Indo-European language. On the other hand, most of the ancestry and a lot of the culture was “indigenous.” The Indic culture we see in the Iron Age is clearly a synthesis, which was present even in the Vedic corpus.
Also, in the annals of self-promotion, I had some free posts on my Substack before Christmas:
* Something I point out to people is that this assumes that the steppe people arrived from Khorasan unmixed. If the Indo-Aryans who arrived in the Punjabs already mixed with Iranian peoples in their sojourn then the fraction is an underestimate, though I doubt it is 2-fold.