South Asian ancestry in Tajikistan

Genetic continuity of Indo-Iranian speakers since the Iron Age in southern Central Asia:

To model Tajiks, all 2-ways admixture models were excluded and we obtained one 3-ways admixture model (p-value = 0.49) implying around 17% ancestry from XiongNu, almost 75% ancestry from Turkmenistan_IA, and around 8% ancestry from a South Asian individual (Indian_GreatAndaman_100BP) representing a deep ancestry in South Asia.

Finally, we used DATES18 206 to estimate the number of generations since the admixture events. We  obtained 35±15 generations for the admixture between Turkmenistan_IA and XiongNu-like populations at the origins of the Yaghnobis, i.e. an admixture event dating back to ~1019±447 years ago considering 29 years per generation. For Tajiks (TJE, TJY, TJA) we obtained dates from ~ 546 ±138 years ago (18.8± 4.7 generations) to ~ 907 ± 617 years ago (31.2 ± 21.3 generations) for the West/East admixture. We also obtained a date of ~944 ±300 years ago for the admixture with the South Asian population.

Looks like most of the admixture from the Indian subcontinent dates to the period around 1000 AD, when the Ghaznavids were enslaving large numbers of Indians. This ancestry shows up in Afghanistan and eastern Iran.

18 thoughts on “South Asian ancestry in Tajikistan”

  1. That is the least likely explanation.

    It is most probable that the Indian ancestry in SC Asia spread gradually and was a result of millennia old interactions going back all the way to the Bronze Age. It is also quite plausible that the interaction may have been more intense just before Balkh was conquered by the Arabs since it is around this time that Kashmir and Balkh relations were quite strong. The Barmakids, who hailed from a Buddhist priestly family from Balkh, were primarily responsible for the translation and transmission of Indian sciences into the early Islamic world. It would be rather counterintuitive to suggest that the admixture did not happen all of that time but somehow registered itself when Mahmud Ghaznavi ravaged North India.

    1. On the contrary. Cultural connections often have no significant demic component (e.g. spread of Persianate culture and Islam in India).

      Enslaving and moving thousands of people, however, is an inherently demic process. We know it happened at this time from the historical record. We know that gypsies left India at this time. The genetic evidence points to this time. Is this all a coincidence?

      1. The Persianate culture did led to genetic input, especially among Indian Shias. Please educate yourself. And it was quite a brief affair compared to the much longer South-Central Asian period of interaction.

        The Gypsies did not migrate to Central Asia. It was the Sassanian king of Iran, Bahram Gur, who in the 5th century requested a large group of performers and musicians from his father in law and Indian emperor. The group that was sent was kept by Bahram Gur in his domain for one year before he got miffed by their behaviour and drove them out of his domain. By then they were already 10,000 strong. Gypsies descend from this group. It left no impression on Central Asia.

        As for slaves during Ghaznavi era, how many of them were taken and what happened to them ? Do you have any data ?

    1. >Indian Sindhis have more South Indian blood in them
      >Indian Sindhis would have more Bihari and Tamil mixtures

      Have becomes would and then the table lacks an Indian Sindhi for comparison to check the claim.

      1. Interesting how Brahui are the *least* AASI shifted of all pops in that cluster with the exception of certain far more northerly Pashtun groups.

        1. The far western groups have among the lowest amount of AASI. Razib has alluded to this when referring to the analogy between north Indian Brahmins vs Sindhis and Brahmins of that region.

          Part of the reason why it would be nice to have high quality DNA from further east in the south Asian bronze age. Rakhigarhi was very low coverage.

  2. This quora answer could have only come from a Punjabi. Because I have never met a Sindhi who has ever differentiated racially between Hindu or Muslim Sindhis.

    My only guess is that if there is any difference, it is probably caused by the Sindhi speaking Baloch who constitute upto 40-50% of Sindhi speaking population and would make the genetic data more western shifted.

    1. Bulk of Muslim Sindhis in general are more Baloch shifted, but lower steppe. AASI is quite similar, maybe Muslim Sindhis have a bit less of it.

    2. Do u find it odd that there is hardly any mention of Balochs before ( I think) Akbar”s rule. Were they grouped together with Sindhis historically?

      They seem like how hindkowans rose from nowhere.

      1. There is a theory that Baloch tribes gradually migrated from Balochistan to Sindh in the past 500-600 years when climate of Baluchistan was quite cold. It culminated in the Talpur dynasty which was a Baloch-Sindhi dynasty.
        Currently, the Baloch and Sindhis are pretty much integrated in Sindh

        1. I meant in general, there is hardly mentions on Balochs in historical records pre-Akbar. The Indo-Greeks ruled over that area.
          Bin Qasim supposedly invaded by crossing Balochistan. Even the later Arab and Sindhi rule hardly mention Balochs as neighbours. That seems very strange.

      2. Balochistan is vast and as recently as the mid-20th century had a population <1 million. Of that it seems ethnic Baloch are at most 40% and presumably fractured among tribes. Moreover, Quetta is supposedly part of the Pashtun dominated north, apart from which the entire region would have appeared a no mans land from the perspective of dense riverine societies. What compelled people to start calling the region by this name? Maybe the elevation of a tribal polity to a recognized state. The ruling clan's ethnicity was noticed by cultural geographers.

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