Aryan marauders from the steppe came to India, yes they did!

Its seems every post on Indian genetics elicits dissents from loquacious commenters who are woolly on the details of the science, but convinced in their opinions (yes, they operate through uncertainty and obfuscation in their rhetoric, but you know where the axe is lodged). This post is an attempt to answer some questions so I don’t have to address this in the near future, as ancient DNA papers will finally start to come out soon, I hope (at least earlier than Winds of Winter).

In 2001’s The Eurasian Heartland: A continental perspective on Y-chromosome diversity Wells et al. wrote:

The current distribution of the M17 haplotype is likely to represent traces of an ancient population migration originating in southern Russia/Ukraine, where M17 is found at high frequency (>50%). It is possible that the domestication of the horse in this region around 3,000 B.C. may have driven the migration (27). The distribution and age of M17 in Europe (17) and Central/Southern Asia is consistent with the inferred movements of these people, who left a clear pattern of archaeological remains known as the Kurgan culture, and are thought to have spoken an early Indo-European language (27, 28, 29). The decrease in frequency eastward across Siberia to the Altai-Sayan mountains (represented by the Tuvinian population) and Mongolia, and southward into India, overlaps exactly with the inferred migrations of the Indo-Iranians during the period 3,000 to 1,000 B.C. (27). It is worth noting that the Indo-European-speaking Sourashtrans, a population from Tamil Nadu in southern India, have a much higher frequency of M17 than their Dravidian-speaking neighbors, the Yadhavas and Kallars (39% vs. 13% and 4%, respectively), adding to the evidence that M17 is a diagnostic Indo-Iranian marker. The exceptionally high frequencies of this marker in the Kyrgyz, Tajik/Khojant, and Ishkashim populations are likely to be due to drift, as these populations are less diverse, and are characterized by relatively small numbers of individuals living in isolated mountain valleys.

In a 2002 interview with the India site Rediff, the first author was more explicit:

Some people say Aryans are the original inhabitants of India. What is your view on this theory?

The Aryans came from outside India. We actually have genetic evidence for that. Very clear genetic evidence from a marker that arose on the southern steppes of Russia and the Ukraine around 5,000 to 10,000 years ago. And it subsequently spread to the east and south through Central Asia reaching India. It is on the higher frequency in the Indo-European speakers, the people who claim they are descendants of the Aryans, the Hindi speakers, the Bengalis, the other groups. Then it is at a lower frequency in the Dravidians. But there is clear evidence that there was a heavy migration from the steppes down towards India.

But some people claim that the Aryans were the original inhabitants of India. What do you have to say about this?

I don’t agree with them. The Aryans came later, after the Dravidians.

Over the past few years I’ve gotten to know the above first author Spencer Wells as a personal friend, and I think he would be OK with me relaying that to some extent he was under strong pressure to downplay these conclusions. Not only were, and are, these views not popular in India, but the idea of mass migration was in bad odor in much of the academy during this period. Additionally, there was later work which was less clear, and perhaps supported an Indian origin for R1a1a. Spencer himself told me that it was not impossible for R1a to have originated in India, but a branch eventually back-migrated to southern Asia.

But even researchers from the group at Stanford where he had done his postdoc did not support this model by the middle 2000s, Polarity and Temporality of High-Resolution Y-Chromosome Distributions in India Identify Both Indigenous and Exogenous Expansions and Reveal Minor Genetic Influence of Central Asian Pastoralists. In 2009 a paper out of an Indian group was even stronger in its conclusion for a South Asian origin of R1a1a, The Indian origin of paternal haplogroup R1a1* substantiates the autochthonous origin of Brahmins and the caste system.

By 2009 one might have admitted that perhaps Spencer was wrong. I was certainly open to that possibility. There was very persuasive evidence that the mtDNA lineages of South Asia had little to do with Europe or the Middle East.

Yet a closer look at the above papers reveals two major systematic problems.

First, ancient DNA has made it clear that there has been major population turnover during the Holocene, but this was not the null hypothesis in the 2000s. Looking at extant distributions of lineages can give one a distorted view of the past. Frankly, the 2009 Indian paper was egregious in this way because they included Turkic groups in their Central Asian data set. Even in 2009 there was a whole lot of evidence that Central Asian Turkic groups were likely very different from Indo-European Turanian populations which would have been the putative ancestors of Indo-Aryans. Honestly the authors either consciously loaded the die to reduce the evidence for gene flow from Central Asia, or they were ignorant (the nature of the samples is much clearer in the supplements than the  primary text for what it’s worth).

Second, Y chromosomal marker sets in the 2000s were constrained to fast mutating microsatellite regions or less than 100 variant SNPs on the Y. Because it is so repetitive the Y chromosome is hard to sequence, and it really took the technologies of the last ten years to get it done. Both the above papers estimate the coalescence of extant R1a1a lineages to be 10-15,000 years before the present. In particular, they suggest that European and South Asian lineages date back to this period, pushing back any possible connection between the groups, and making it possible that European R1a1a descended from a South Asian founder group which was expanding after the retreat of the ice sheets. The conclusions were not unreasonable based on the methods they had.  But now we have better methods.*

Whole genome sequencing of the Y, as well as ancient DNA, seems to falsify the above dates. Though microsatellites are good for very coarse grain phyolgenetic inferences, one has to be very careful about them when looking at more fine grain population relationships (they are still useful in forensics to cheaply differentiate between individuals, since they accumulate variation very quickly). They mutate fast, and their clock may be erratic.

Additionally, diversity estimates were based on a subset of SNP that were clearly not robust. R1a1a is not diverse anywhere, though basal lineages seem to be present in ancient DNA on the Pontic steppe in some cases.

To show how lacking in diversity R1a1a is, here are the results of a 2016 paper which performed whole genome sequencing on the Y. Instead of relying on the order of 10 to 100 SNPs, this paper discover over 65,000 Y variants worldwide. Notice how little difference there is between different South Asian groups below, indicative of a massive population expansion relatively recently in time which didn’t even have time to exhibit regional population variation. They note that “The most striking are expansions within R1a-Z93 [the South Asian clade], ~4.0–4.5 kya. This time predates by a few centuries the collapse of the Indus Valley Civilization, associated by some with the historical migration of Indo-European speakers from the western steppes into the Indian sub-continent.

(BEB = Bengali, GIH = Gujarati, PJL = Punjabi, STU = Sri Lanka Tamil, ITU = Indian Telugu)

The spatial distribution of Z93 lineages of R1a is as you can see to the left. There are branches in South Asia, Central Asia, and in the Altai region. Ancient DNA from the Bronze Age Mongolia has found Z93. Modern Mongolians clearly have a small, but appreciable, fraction of West Eurasian ancestry. Some also carry R1a1a. Z93 has also been found in North-Central Asian steppe samples that date to ~4,500 years before the present.

Today with ancient DNA we’re discovering individuals who lived around the time of the massive  expansion alluded to above. What are these individuals like? They are a mix of European, Central Eurasian, Near Eastern, and Siberian. Many of them share quite a bit of ancestry with South Asian populations, in particular those from the northwest of subcontinent, as well as upper castes more generally.

A new paper using ancient DNA from Scythians (Iranian speakers) also shows that they carried Z93. Some of them had East Asian admixture. These were the ones from the eastern steppe. So not entirely surprising. In the supplements of the paper they have an admixture plot with many populations. At K = 15 in supplementary figure 14 you see many ancient Central Eurasian populations run against modern groups. At this K there is a South Asian modal cluster which is found in South Asians as well as nearby Iranian groups from Afghanistan.

It is not light green or dark blue. You see see that this salmon color is modal in tribal South Indian populations, or non-Brahmin South Indians. It drops in frequency as you move north and west, and as you move up the caste ladder. Observe that is present even among the relatively isolated Kalash people of Chitral.

Outside of South Asia-Afghanistan, this salmon component is found among Thai and Cambodians. From talking to various researchers, and recent published findings, it seems clear that this signature is not spurious, but is indicative of some migration from South Asia to Southeast Asia in the historical period, as one might infer based on cultural affinities. It is also found at lower frequencies among the Uyghur of Xinjiang. This is not entirely surprising either. This region of the Tarim basin was connected to Kashmir across the Pamirs. The 4th century Buddhist monk from the Tarim basin city of Kucha, who was instrumental in the translation of texts into Chinese, Kumārajīva, may have had a Kashmiri father.

Even before Islam much of Northwest India and Central Asia were under the rule of the same polity, and after Islam there is extensive record of the enslavement of many Indians in the cities of the eastern Islamic world, as well as the travel of some Indian merchants and intellectuals into these regions.

And yet this South Asia cluster is not present in the ancient steppe samples carrying R1a1a-Z93. None of them to my knowledge. Many ancient samples share ancestry with South Asians. For example it seems that many ancient West Asian samples from Iran share common history as evident in genetic drift patterns with many South Asians. And, there is good evidence that a subset of South Asians, skewed toward northwest and upper caste groups, share drift with steppe Yamna samples. But South Asians are often clearly composites of these exogenous populations and an indigenous component with affinities with Andaman Islanders, and more distantly Southeast Asians and other eastern non-Africans.

How can you reconcile this with migration out of South Asia? The path is found in publications such as Genetic Evidence for Recent Population Mixture in India. Here you have a paper which models mixing between Ancestral North Indians (ANI) and Ancestral South Indians (ASI). The ANI would be the source population for the ancestry shared with West Eurasians. And, they would lack ASI ancestry because the mixing had not occurred. The admixture dates the paper are between two and four thousand years before the present.

There is a problem though. These methods detect the last admixture events. Therefore, they are a lower bound on major mixing events, not a record of when there was no mixing. Secondarily, but not less importantly, recent work indicates that because of the pulse admixture simplification these methods likely underestimate the time period of admixture.

Another issue for me is the idea that ANI and ASI could be so separate within India. If ANI is the source of gene flow into other parts of Eurasia from South Asia, then I believe that ASI is intrusive to the subcontinent. I don’t think that ASI being intrusive is so implausible. Southeast Asia has undergone massive genetic changes over the Holocene, and it may be that there was much more ASI ancestry in placers like Burma before the arrival of Austro-Asiatic rice farmers. The presence of Austro-Asiatic languages in northeast India and central India shows a precedent of migration from Southeast Asia into the subcontinent.

In sum, the balance of evidence suggests male mediated migration into South Asia from Central Asia on the order of ~4-5,000 years ago. There are lots of details to be worked out, and this is not an assured model in terms of data, but it is the most likely. In the near future ancient DNA will clear up confusions. Writing very long but confused comments just won’t change this state of affairs. New data will.

Addendum: Indian populations have finally been relatively well sampled, thanks to Mait Mepsalu’s group in Estonia, David Reich’s lab and, the Indian collaborators of both, and the 1000 Genomes (HGDP gave us Pakistanis). Additionally, Zack Ajmal’s Harappa website did some work filling in some holes in the early 2010s.

* A Facebook argument broke out about one of my posts where one interlocutor asserted that he leaned on papers from the late 2000s, not all the new stuff. That’s obviously because the new stuff did not support his preferred position, while the old stuff did. I would prefer that faster-than-light travel were possible, so I’ll just stick to physics before 1910?

35 thoughts on “Aryan marauders from the steppe came to India, yes they did!

  1. Yup, worth adding though, is that we now have a bunch of Yamnaya clones from the Late Neolithic East Baltic belonging to the Corded Ware Culture carrying R1a-Z645, the ancestral lineage to Z93.

    Moreover, we have indigenous Eastern European foragers from Estonia and Russia carrying R1a lineages closely related to Z645.

    These samples do not show even remote signals of ancestry from South Asia or surrounds.

    So really, the impossible needs to happen when we see ancient South Asian DNA for R1a to be native to South Asia, or even for Z93 to be older than the Bronze Age there.

    That’s because it’s impossible for both Eastern Europe and South Asia, with such different genetic profiles and environments, to both be ancient bifurcation hotspots for R1a, Z645 and Z93, or one really big one.

    It has to be one or the other, and Eastern Europe is it. There’s no way around this.

    The argument that anything is still possible as we wait for ancient DNA from South Asia is idiotic, peddled either by insane or dishonest people. All we have left to discuss now in this context are the details of the Aryan invasion.

  2. 1. I would love to see more recent data on Y-DNA T in South Asia that is higher quality than existing data. The best available data I’ve seen on this is quite old and doesn’t reveal detailed sub-haplotypes or provide meaningful TMRCA estimates for the clades present in India. Better and more recent data on Y-DNA T is available almost everywhere else that Y-DNA T is found in any frequency. The limited data that is available suggests that Y-DNA T is present at highest frequencies precisely where modern Dravidian languages had their likely Urheimat given the phylogeny of the Dravidian languages spoken today. This is notable because Y-DNA T is probably intrusive to South Asia and because it overlaps in distribution almost not at all with Y-DNA L which rumor has it that ancient DNA will reveal as the predominant Y-DNA type of the Harappans. But, that could be an illusion that is the product of unrepresentative samples at a time when there were many South Asian DNA samples available.

    2. Another big riddle is reconciling the likely autochthonous origins of ASI in South Asia which is more prevalent in linguistically Dravidian populations and based on Andamanese affinities is probably at least 20,000 years old in the region, with the very shallow time depth of the Dravidian languages which is comparable to the time depth of the Germanic language subfamily of the IE languages. Another relevant piece of the puzzle is a quite odd pattern of the apparent last major ANI-ASI admixture dates in various parts of South Asia with the NW having frequently younger dates than S. India.

    My best guess for an answer to this paradox is that Indo-Aryans conquered and brought about linguistic and religious shifts to virtually all of India at some point, leaving only one small pocket of Dravidian speakers sharing a common dialect within the Dravidian language family, and that that pocket of Dravidian speakers then had their own Reconquest of India to the modern geographic range of Dravidian speakers or perhaps even a bit beyond in which there was a second language shift to the surviving Dravidian dialect, but that the Indo-Aryan religion stuck. Areas in the NW may have seen subsequent waves of Indo-Aryan migration while Dravidian areas did not.

    3. While the Dravidian-IE-Caste gradients genetically now seem pretty clear, my impression is that the story of tribal populations in South Asia is pretty jumbled linguistically and genetically rather than generally fitting a narrative in which they are the deepest layer of the South Asia palimpsest, but I don’t feel confident that I have a good understanding of these populations in terms of language, genetics, culture, prehistory, or pretty much anything else.

  3. I take it you’re not a fan of the Elamo-Dravidian theory? I know there isn’t a lot of solid linguistic evidence for it, but the genetic evidence seems to be pointing to the larger portion of the West Eurasian component for most Indian populations to have its origins somewhere on the eastern fringes of the Fertile Crescent – Iran or the Caucasus.

    Even if Elamo-Dravidian isn’t true, it seems likely to me that the Dravidian language family as we understand it is a neolithic family – something either introduced by the ANI migrants into India, or possibly a creole language with a local substrate. The Andaman languages show no similarities, and there are a few other isolates in India (Nihali, Kusunda, arguably the Vedda substrate) which could be related to whatever the ASI groups originally spoke. The key piece of genetic evidence for this is the Brahui. Linguists sometimes argue they are a recent migration from Central India, but the genetics does not back this up. They show no more ANI ancestry than their Balochi neighbors. In fact, they show less “cosmopolitan” influence from Arabs and SSA admixture, which would suggest they have been demographically isolated in their current location at least since the Arab invasions, if not much earlier. The parsimonious explanation is that the Brahui more closely resemble the original Dravidians genetically. We will find this out very soon when the IVC paper comes out.

  4. Razib, this post reminds me to thank you for all you’ve written over the years. I have at least an inkling of so many things I wouldn’t if I hadn’t read you. And I’ve profited from a number of your book recommendations.

    It’s a real pleasure to have a steady diet of your stuff again.

    [appreciate the comment bro]

  5. It’s unpopular because of the association with Arianism, white supremacy.

    It’s been recently unpopular in Europe for the same reason. Earlier in history it has been a source of tension in Europe going back to the clash of the Romans with the barbarian Galli, an encounter of smaller darker indigenous Europeans with an incoming race of taller stronger pale skinned, blond or red haired people who walked over the Roman army into Rome in 391 BC, and stayed a few months, then overran northern Europe, to become the Germans, Norse and Celts and rule the roost until the Roman military machine was ready for Julius Caesar to take it over the Alps. The same fault line in European mentality later expressed itself in the Nazis.

    A touchy subject, then. I imagine there may be similar partially buried memories in India and Pakistan regarding those known in Sanskrit as Arya, in Greek, Aristos.

    For my part, I reckon their point of origin was further from Europe, maybe Kazakhstan where the wild ancestor of all cultivated apples grows.

  6. It’s unpopular because of the association with Arianism, white supremacy.

    no, no, you’re confused. it’s because they reject the supremacy of the father over the son because they believe that the father and the son have the same essences. homoousia.

  7. I don’t think it’s about white supremacy as much as Hindu ethno-nationalism. In the early 20th century, Hindu nationalists developed the idea (similar to many nationalist groups) that they existed in their current geographic area since time immemorial. The Aryan migration hypothesis was thus seen as an effort by the west (particularly, the British, since they controlled most of India) to denigrate Indian history and Hindu religion, claiming that it “wasn’t really theirs,” but the result of the same common stock as Europeans.

    China has some of the same weird nationalistic mythos about its own history – see how the multi-regional human origin theory was more popular there even when Out of Africa was popular elsewhere. But in China’s case the limited genetic evidence so far appears to be backing up proto-East Asians essentially moving from hunter-gatherer to neolithic without huge genetic disruption. I expect if it’s found that the Shang Dynasty had an Indo-European ruling class or something (which appears to be possible) there will be a lot of denialists in China.

    This stuff seems less revolutionary to countries of Euro-descent because our history is pretty transparently hybridized. Northern Europe’s historical legacy pretty transparently was the Mediterranean littoral – a Judean religion woven together with the legacy of Greek thought and Roman Law. Romanticists in the early 20th century tried to come up with a historical mythos which ignored this, but even the Nazis couldn’t get people to turn their backs on Christianity.

    Regardless, as I said in the other thread, while in the broadest strokes the Europeans were right about India, they were wrong about Europe. The history of Europe from the Mesolithic to the Bronze Age seems to be very similar to India – except that there was probably even greater population turnover, meaning the population is even less “indigenous.”

  8. no, no, it’s monoenergism!

    though seriously, it’s not from the early 20th century. there were many different views among hindu nationalists at that. for example, The Arctic Home in the Vedas was written by Bal Gangadhar Tilak. he was a hardcore nationalist:
    Although a fierce nationalist, Tilak was strongly opposed to liberal trends emerging in Pune. For example, he vehemently opposed the establishment of the first Native girls High school (now called Huzurpaga in Pune in 1885 and its curriculum using his newspapers, the Mahratta and Kesari.[22][23][24] Tilak was also opposed to intercaste marriage, particularly the match where an upper caste woman married a lower caste man.[24] Tilak officially opposed the age of consent bill which raised the age of marriage from ten to twelve for girls, however he was willing to sign a circular that increased age of marriage for girls to sixteen and twenty for boys. In his opinion, self-rule took precedence over any social reform.[25]

  9. Out of curiousity Razib, is the Aryan migration controversial in Pakistan and Bangladesh, or do people not give a shit there?

  10. i don’t think it’s a major issue in these two areas. but in pakistan they sometimes like to lie and say they’re descended from arabs or persians. both arabs or persians of course laugh at this because they recognize pakistanis are clearly south asian. a much lesser form of this happens in bangaldesh. which makes sense since bangladesh was founded with a strong bengali identity, as opposed to a muslim one.

  11. The Hindus never cared for any theory about where the Aryans cane from before the British raked it up for their own reasons.

    For the Hindus, Arya has always meant noble. A value of character rather than any race.

    Hindus in Bharat will never reconcile with any racial theory of a so-called Aryan invasion or migration or picnic. It makes no sense to them.

    Quite unlike the Chinese whose conception of the Middle Kingdom is so important, to us, an “Aryan race” isn’t.

    Doesn’t really matter what kind of evidence the cats drag in.

    Of course this mischevious theory is often used by “Dravidian” enthusiasts to berate the “Northern Aryan”. But even they are confused and are losing clout rapidly.

  12. There is a simple reason why Indians do not believe in Aryan Invasion/Migration theory. Unlike all other Indo-European groups, we Indians still have many of the ancient books of IE religion still preserved with us. In some of the books, such as the Puranas, there is a description of how ancient Indians came about. All of this literature is in Sanskrit and nowhere does it mention of any people migrating into South Asia from outside. It talks of origin of Indian tribes from within South Asia and then expanding across all of North India with some of them clearly mentioned as going into Central Asia.

    Therefore, based on this thousands of years of our ancient tradition, we reject the phony Aryan Migration stuff. It is as simple as that. I hope you get it.

  13. thanks for your concision!

    that being said, a classic problem with many readers: narrowness of knowledge set. e.g., Unlike all other Indo-European groups, we Indians still have many of the ancient books of IE religion still preserved with us. In some of the books, such as the Puranas, there is a description of how ancient Indians came about.

    the iranians have the gathas and the hellenes have iliad and the corpus of greek mythology (the norse have the prose edda as well, but let’s ignore that as it’s not as comprehensive). neither have memories of migration from a different ur-heimat. therefore one must conclude that indo-european langauges are all autochthonous, sprung from their native soils without exogenous genealogical precursors….

  14. Hindu nationalist pride in aryan, out-of-india origins made sense for them when the ruling class was British, by demonstrating kinship in the distant past. The shift to denying the possibility of Aryan invasion/migration may have grown out of the recognition that it leads to losing legitimacy as arbiters of the national identity and challenges their monopoly over the discourse on citizenship and patriotism, eg claims that Hinduism is just as foreign as Islam, or the charge of Dravidian sub-nationalists that they are the sole indigenes and north Indians are intruders. Hindu nationalist ideologues are now going to the extent of denying the existence of the Dravidian languages
    as a distinct family.

  15. You have no idea whats written in the Puranas, or do you ? Here is a link to the earliest attempt made to collate all of this historical info from the Puranas in one book –

    Read it at leisure and then tell me if the Iranic gathas or Hellenic mythology remotely compare to it.

    [i understand you indians accept the stories told by your elders. i respect your tribal wisdom! -razib]

  16. Why? Why do you do this ? Other than exposing us Indians. Now there will be a line of Indians commenting.

    There should be an universal “autoban” on any Indian with “native origins of Indians ” theories. Have they looked at a map of the globe? Right there with intelligent design.

  17. There are some intelligent and scientifically literate Hindu nationalists who realize this “out of India” nonsense is just going to hurt them in the long run because it is going to be scientifically untenable at “heliocentric versus geocentric model of the solar system” level, so it is better to accept the facts and move on to a Hindu nationalism that does not rely on scientific illiteracy. For an extreme example, see this commentator:
    He does not discuss his own identity, but I have heard he is a bioinformatics guy with a solid biology and mathematics background. He is also intensely Hindu nationalist, hates Muslims, etc etc, the whole package. Someday, most of them will switch to his view.
    Science is like that. When things are true, everyone eventually agrees.

  18. Someday, most of them will switch to his view.

    Sure hope not, because even this guy is clearly confused about some of the issues and probably biased.

    He’s got all sorts of things totally wrong, like the details of South Asian genetic structure and the origins of light pigmentation in Europe.

  19. On of the main reason AIT is unpopular because they way western and marxist indologist treated traditional indian literature. AIT, which postulates IA arriving in India around 1500bc is incompatible with Indian sources including Vedas, Itihasas and astronomical traditions. Confirmation bias is so strong that they explained away everything not fitting to their model. This is too big a topic and I would refrain from rehashing it here.

    “balance of evidence suggests male mediated migration into South Asia from Central Asia on the order of ~4-5,000 years ago”

    Such early arrival date would reconcile well with traditional sources. I think there would not be too much resistance to a model which brings IA to India before 2000bc. However, this early date is not compatible with AIT/AMT. This would make Rigvedic Sanskrit one of the earliest attested IE language, long before IA was attested in middle east and would invalidate life long work of many Indologists. I suspect they would fight to keep ~1500bc arrival date.

  20. “loquacious commenters who are woolly on the details of the science”

    I am one of these, so I tried to study this post which is supposedly addressed to people like me. I should say that even after spending some time with wikipedia, only part of the background needed to understand this has been filled. Many of the non-wikipedia sources around are *vague* and hence really unhelpful.

    Or may be I am misinterpreting and the purpose of this post is to summarize it to people who have background in genetics so that you don’t need to explain it to them.

  21. Perhaps people who can’t follow, and can’t find it on Wikipedia, could plainly put out the difficult concepts or ideas that are missing from the post?

    Often it is difficult to help people understand, but this information would help me to help others understand.

  22. Can you please explain how the Ancient samples from siberia and the later ones from Andronovo Sintashta have ASI?

    Because what I read from your post is ASI was not present in the steppe hence it is an invasion, so how do you explain the numbers below?

    The ASI component has been calculated as specified by Reich. And it is clearly evident how the ASI components outside India has diluted over time with no further input. So who invaded whom?

  23. Can you suggest a write up where a rough collection of prerequisites is presented in a top-down fashion (as opposed to wikipedia which keeps redirecting you further and further)?

    Here is an example of something I find accessible:

    The problem of course is that the above link is very elementary, and doesn’t go anywhere near the prerequisites here.

    I would prefer something as simple, and yet not so narrow, so as to understand a sentence above such as “Second, Y chromosomal marker sets in the 2000s were constrained to fast mutating microsatellite regions or less than 100 variant SNPs on the Y.” I mean, where do I even start trying to understand this sentence?

  24. No, I am not a fan of Elamo-Dravidian and the notion that the Brahui are anything other than a result of elite driven language shift sometime after Y1K is not supported. An Elamo-Harappan language link is plausible, but I don’t think we will ever have enough data to prove it.

    Even more importantly, the historic ties between Harappan civilization and Dravidian culture are very tenuous. Apart from a couple of frontier trading posts on the southwest coast of the Deccan Pennisula, they had almost nothing to do with each other until Harappan influences piggybacked on the Indo-Aryan invasion.

    The crops that made the South Indian Neolithic possible ca. 2500 BCE were not Fertile Crescent Neolithic crops alone because most Fertile Crescent crops do not thrive in the South Indian monsoon climate. This is why the Neolithic came so late to South India and why Harappan civilization did not expand across the entire subcontinent. It took African Sahel crops (which arrived in South India shortly after the package came together in the Sahel per archeobotanist Dorian Fuller) for the South Indian Neolithic to happen. French anthropologist Bernard Sargent has noted a lot of cultural borrowings of Dravidian culture from the African Sahel that are too detailed and numerous to be coincidence or convergent evolution.

    There are notable commonalities between proto-Dravidian and languages at the fringes of the Niger-Congo linguistic area that show simplification of language features due to Afro-Asiatic language speakers learning a Niger-Congo language as a second language.

    The Y-DNA T near the likely place of proto-Dravidian could suggest small but influential male dominated means by which the crops of Sahel cultural features were transmitted as Somolis and Egyptians who were seafaring and had contact with the Sahel at the right time had significant levels of Y-DNA T. Some of them who spoke a fringe Niger-Congo language sister to Swahili, could have seeded the intellectual source of the South Indian Neolithic leaving Y-DNA T but not much of an autosomal trace and essentially no mtDNA.

    But, even if this Afro-Dravidian theory of Dravidian linguistic origins didn’t pan out and the genetics have the wrong timing and origin for that kind of hypothesis, Dravidian makes much more sense as autochthonic than it does as derived from Harappan as many widely assume. The two cultures simply didn’t have enough interaction and commonality to support that hypothesis.

  25. Instead of wikipedia, just do a google search for “genetics textbook pdf” (without the quotation marks) and you will find several free high quality textbooks that assume you know nothing at the beginning.

    After reading any somewhat new book like this, you will understand more than 99% of the general public about genetics.

    From there, you will know what to enter in future web searches to find specific topics, or could move on to more advanced textbooks.

    For example, if you wanted to understand “Y chromosomal marker sets in the 2000s were constrained to fast mutating microsatellite regions or less than 100 variant SNPs on the Y”, then you would know to just google “difference STR SNP” and come up with clear (but perhaps already outdated) explanations like at:

  26. You are comoletely misunderstanding the numbers in that table.

    Do you really think that Ust-Ishim had 30% ASI, 12% Oceanian, and 1.5% Amerindian ancestry?

  27. You are completely misunderstanding the numbers in that table.

    Do you really think that Ust-Ishim had 30% ASI, 12% Oceanian, and 1.5% Amerindian ancestry?

  28. Thank you Rick. Let me try your suggestions; I am inclined to like your second link but as you point out I will need to finish reading a book before I can make full sense of it.

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