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    If there is one Peter Heather book you should read because it is timely, it is Empires and Barbarians: The Fall of Rome and the Birth of Europe. In it Heather makes an apologia for a revisionist view which resurrects some aspects of the old folk migration theories, and understandings of the arrival of barbarians...
  • @Any Other Name
    I don't dismiss all of 19th century anthropological theories, but only "shitty" ones which have been "proven false time and time again". :) heh. The "south Asians are approximates of a Australoid/Caucasoid/(Mongoloid) blend" has been thoroughly and repeatedly debunked though, the anthropometrical studies I posted are just the two most recent debunkings; time for it die, not apply it to ANI-ASI anew.

    I can appreciate Coon et al's perceptiveness wrt European variation and their explanations for it given their limitations to make precise judgments. But it's irrelevant now. We don't have to rely on anthropometry to make anthropological theories; we have population genetics. And we don't have to rely on their defined types because we have better anthropometrical studies with larger, more varied samples and more precise measurements.

    Point. Looking at “https://genetiker.wordpress.com/2015/06/21/phenotype-snps-from-prehistoric-eurasia/”, and “https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1HuNPykGuq2PbHkUOL5dCiwrveIy-OGO2qOklwfsayW8/edit#gid=1004304005″

    all of the caucasoid/veddoid/black haiir/brown hair feature etc, may be not strictly relevant in the Pog.gen DNA/SNP age.

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  • @Numinous

    For reasons which I will not elaborate in detail, because I don’t know that much about it, and don’t care either, a dominant strand of Indian nationalism has turned against the Indo-Aryan model of intrusion. In fact this school has “flipped the script,” asserting that Indo-Aryans, and therefore Indo-European languages, are indigenous to the subcontinent.
     
    Just to take a stab at this, the thinking among the nationalists in India is that all this discussion about Indo-Aryans and their hypothesized invasion of the subcontinent is not merely academic, but has serious political consequences. Ordinary people (who are not scholars) seem to be very emotionally connected to their lineage and their past; if a theory makes someone question what they thought their lineage and their past consisted of, that might cause serious disruptions in the polity. And given that many models of Indo-Aryan invasion in the past just assumed that the Aryans and the Dravidians had a conflict, and that the lower castes must have been former (pure) Dravidians, and given the fact that Dravidians have darker skin colors on average, you can see where a split in the national narrative might occur. And this is not just theoretical; there was a secessionist movement in Tamil Nadu in the '60s. South Indian Brahmins who are part of the nationalist factions in India are especially invested in rejecting the Aryan invasion theory, given that they are seem as Dravidians by the northerners and as Aryan interlopers by southerners of other castes.

    Anyway, thanks for succinctly answering the key questions that can be raised against the Indo-Aryan invasion model. Hopefully one day the nationalists will succumb to science and start to prefer scholarship to polemic.

    I read the book when it came out, and it wasn’t my cup of tea, but I didn’t see what the big deal was
     
    Based on what I read about the reactions to the book, what most upsets Indian nationalists and conservatives is the over-application of Freudian analysis to the Hindu texts (Vedas and others). I don't know if they can be completely blamed for their reactions though. Psychoanalysis has its limits, and surely sexual urges can't explain every phenomenon, can they? Conservatives of any society will get upset if their most cherished beliefs have sexual motive imputed to them. I recall a book someone wrote a decade ago about Lincoln, which "proved" that he was gay; naturally, it relied on cherry-picked evidence and was heavily criticized.

    ” Psychoanalysis has its limits”

    Yeah, there’s an understatement

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  • I read the Doniger book and was very unsatisfied with it. It is only loosely a history. It is more a literary analysis of themes in Indian texts. It does not tackle any of the interesting questions such as why was Buddhism pushed out the the land of its birth? Why have the rites described in the Veda’s disappeared? Where did the caste system come from? Why have lower castes persisted as such when the could have converted to Islam or Buddhism?

    On the other hand, I have never read a history of India that had much interesting to say about pre-modern times.

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  • The Sintashta and Andronovo R1a sequences from Allentoft et al. are looking like R1a-Z93. I won’t be surprised if they are either directly ancestral to the R1a-Z93 in India, or closely related to such lineages.

    Also, I’m seeing some interesting models with the Sintashta genome-wide data in qpAdm, with Pathans coming out 60-70% Sintashta. Those might well be extreme upper bound scores, but then again maybe not.

    So I think this whole debate will end abruptly when we see pre- and post-Bronze Age ancient genomes from South Asia.

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  • @vijay
    All of it true, but ANI and ASI are themselves not monoliths, and can be further convoluted into compositions. I would not dismiss nineteenth century anthropology, and products such as Carleton Coon were very advanced in their thinking.

    I would like to thank Razib for a refreshingly original essay; and, through the comments, for taking me back in time to graduate student days of 1980s where we did battle the internet Hindus in ARPA net and BitNet on topics as varied as flying monkeys and aircraft of the puranas, and out-of-India human migration. Who knew we will be doing the same battles 30 years later?

    I don’t dismiss all of 19th century anthropological theories, but only “shitty” ones which have been “proven false time and time again”. :) heh. The “south Asians are approximates of a Australoid/Caucasoid/(Mongoloid) blend” has been thoroughly and repeatedly debunked though, the anthropometrical studies I posted are just the two most recent debunkings; time for it die, not apply it to ANI-ASI anew.

    I can appreciate Coon et al’s perceptiveness wrt European variation and their explanations for it given their limitations to make precise judgments. But it’s irrelevant now. We don’t have to rely on anthropometry to make anthropological theories; we have population genetics. And we don’t have to rely on their defined types because we have better anthropometrical studies with larger, more varied samples and more precise measurements.

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    • Replies: @Vijay
    Point. Looking at "https://genetiker.wordpress.com/2015/06/21/phenotype-snps-from-prehistoric-eurasia/", and "https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1HuNPykGuq2PbHkUOL5dCiwrveIy-OGO2qOklwfsayW8/edit#gid=1004304005"

    all of the caucasoid/veddoid/black haiir/brown hair feature etc, may be not strictly relevant in the Pog.gen DNA/SNP age.
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  • Of course things can become distorted and there can be both wheat and chaff, but it can be just as wrong to automatically assume it’s all chaff is it can be to assume it’s all wheat. And using the ancient stories as a guide can often point in useful directions to look and provide useful hints to understanding the evidence. After all, the ruins of Troy were found in modern times under hill by followign Homer’s clues.

    Please note that I’m not saying that there wasn’t an Indo-European incursion into India at some point. What I’m saying is that it may be more useful to try to reconcile what shows up in linguistics and genetics with the ancient legends from the region rather than discard them entirely, assuming there is little or no truth to them.

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  • @toto
    Actually the Mitanni (and the neighbouring Kassites) are an interesting data point.

    Apparently Indo-Aryan conquerors took over various locales in the Middle East roughly around the supposed time of the Aryan invasion of India, coinciding with a severe decline of the Indus Valley Civilization.

    So maybe the Aryan invasion of India was just a local aspect of a wider phenomenon.

    Very little is known of the Kassite language. Nothing that is known about it suggests that it is Indo-European.

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  • @AnonNJ
    I think people underestimate how possible it is for authentic historical details to pass through oral storytelling and ancient myths. See this particular episode of Michael Wood's In Search of the Trojan War (I recommend the whole thing, even though some of the details are now dated).

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=64QPz2t5T3A

    Authentic historical detail may very well be incuded in mythical tales. Unfortunately there is a huge problem of separating the wheat from the chaff.

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  • @AnonNJ
    I think people underestimate how possible it is for authentic historical details to pass through oral storytelling and ancient myths. See this particular episode of Michael Wood's In Search of the Trojan War (I recommend the whole thing, even though some of the details are now dated).

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=64QPz2t5T3A

    Thank you for this. I agree that ancient historical memory of any nation should not be dismissed unless you have contrary evidence to disprove it. In case of India, Indian historical tradition as recorded in Puranas has been neglected totally and theories like Aryan Migration Theory have been proposed which are totally contrary to the native Indian tradition.

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  • @Snake Charmer
    >>>Apologies but I can’t post long comments that I barely understand which seem to be playing out subcontinental divisions. Don’t have time to read all. So don’t bother.

    LoL. What seems to be playing out is that you have triggered a tsunami. Indians are in general an argumentative lot, and there are a billion of them! Time to get used to long posts!

    LoL. What seems to be playing out is that you have triggered a tsunami. Indians are in general an argumentative lot, and there are a billion of them! Time to get used to long posts!

    i know. i’m familiar. one thing arguing with Creationists in the early 2000s and late 1990s is that it allows me to sniff out the lawyerly types who really just want to “win” at all costs.

    anyway, this is my blog to moderate as i choose. i’m not going to let people filibuster me ;-)

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  • @thinkingabout it
    If sustained media pressure and ideological consensus among society's elites can convince the world that Bruce Jenner is right to call himself a woman but Rachel Dolazal is wrong to call herself black, I see no reason to think that Indian nationalists wouldn't succeed in driving out the aryan invasion theory from the realm of respectable public debate.

    Power always trumps truth. Except when the truth offers some real-world benefit, like technology. Knowing the truth about ANI and ASI isn't going to determine the outcomes of India's next war, or its economic growth.

    The nationalists should keep with their scorched earth campaign. The "marriage equality" campaign in the west, and its associated habit of reading homosexuality into every nook and cranny of history, has shown that it is possible for a vocal, irrational minority to completely invert what is considered "socially accepted truth".

    Indian nationalists are not that powerful; they just have a good representation in the English speaking internets. Behind the smallish forward class, there is a flood of BC, muslim, SC/ST (> 80%), and they do not care about the Out-of-India theory, and AIT suits them fine as symbol they can rally against. It may be a few years, but the dam will break if income increases steadily and lifts the OBC out of poverty.

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  • @Jaydeepsinh Rathod
    I had read that paper when it came out. So stop being rude.

    The Moorjani paper does nowhere suggest that there was a migration of ANI people into South Asia around 4000 BP. Or do they ? They only argue that the ANI & ASI were two different groups of people who seem to have remain unadmixed before 4200 BP.

    Moreover, you may recall that the ANI-ASI admixture dates given by Moorjani et al for Dravidian speaking people are much older to the admixture dates for Indo-Aryan speaking North Indians. The ANI-ASI admixture event among Dravidians is on an average 35 generations earlier than in North India . However, if there was a Indo-Aryan migration around 4000 BP, should we not see the earliest ANI-ASI admixture dates for North Indians rather than the South Indian Dravidians ?

    According to ancient Indian historical tradition, the Indo-Aryan culture was for a long period bound by the Vindhyas in the South. Peninsular India beyond the Vindhyas was not much known in that very ancient period. Later on the North Indians migrated into South India under the sage Agastya and spread the Indo-Aryan culture & ethos. The Moorjani paper rather seems to confirm this historical tradition of North Indian movement into Peninsular India.
    --------------------

    You may also wish to remember that Metspalu et al 2011, who had a sample size several times larger to that of Reich et al, suggested that the ANI people of North India do not seem to show any contact with the rest of Western Eurasia from atleast 12500 BP. This might be wrong but no one has so far proved it wrong. Only aDNA from South Asia can confirm or refute it.

    --------------------

    Though South Asians share a high drift with ANE this may simply be because ANE likely originated around South Asia. Remember that the Malta boy had R* y-dna and the most likely place of origin of y-dna R is South Asia as it harbors both R1 & the geographically restricted R2.

    The ANE in South Asia could not have been contributed by Yamnaya like steppe population because for that to have happened the South Asians should also show the Eastern Hunter Gatherer ancestry of the Yamnaya & Afanasievo. On the contrary the EHG ancestry among South Asians is zero.

    --------------------

    Instead of trying to explain the data only through a outdated North to South migration theory, you should also be open to the possibility of a South to North migration. The Southern populations were much more advanced & sophisticated compared to the nomads of the steppe and it is more logical that they could spread their language & culture among these less-advanced people. The opposite scenario is historically unprecedented.

    You are perhaps aware of Frachetti's proposed Inner Asian Mountain Corridor. You should also read Mariya Ivanova who has shown that the Maikop culture shows a significant intrusion from Central Asia in the 4th millenium BC.

    The Southern populations were much more advanced & sophisticated compared to the nomads of the steppe and it is more logical that they could spread their language & culture among these less-advanced people. The opposite scenario is historically unprecedented.

    It is generally true that the civilized regions were ahead of the uncivilized regions in most areas of life. The exceptions in ancient times were areas connected to warry stuff: cavalry, metallurgy, weapons, chariots etc.

    Hence their success at the warry stuff.

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  • @syonredux

    Armenians, Georgians and anatolian greek speakers who were mostly descended from lydians, carian, bithynian etc are middle eastern.
     
    How "Middle Eastern" were the Lydians in terms of DNA? They were, after all, I-E speakers.


    How "Middle Eastern" were the Carians in terms of DNA? Carian is part of the Anatolian branch of the I-E family.

    How "Middle Eastern" were the Bithynians in terms of DNA. Bithynia occupies space that was occupied by I-E speakers like the Phrygians, and the name itself is Thracian in origin.

    How many Georgians and Armenians are descended from " lydians, carian[s], bithynian[s] ?"

    A huge population transfer of Anatolian Greeks occurred in the 1920s.Are they more "Middle Eastern" in terms of DNA than Greeks whose ancestors are native to Greece?

    According to the Lausanne Convention: “As from 1st May, 1923, there shall take place a compulsory exchange of Turkish nationals of the Greek Orthodox Religion established in Turkish territory, and of Greek nationals of the Moslem religion established in Greek territory.” I’m not sure of the numbers of Turks who converted to Greek Orthodox, but it seems like many more Greeks converted to Islam.

    In Anatolia, nationality was fluid for a long while. During the massacre of Armenians, many people of Armenian blood seem to have been spared so long as they spoke Turkish and were married into a Muslim family. Those Armenians who tried to convert to Islam at bayonet point didn’t do so well.

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  • @CupOfCanada
    My own hopefully not off base synthesis of this when talking to others is that most of the world takes its language and much of its culture and genetics from "assholes on horseback" - nomadic pastoralists who's expansions and migrations often (almost invariably) had disastrous consequences for the previous inhabitants. Between Indo-Europeans, Semites, Bantus and Turks (and others), nomadic pastoralists have been pretty effective at reworking the face and shape of the world in their image over the last 6,000 years. It makes for interesting history and prehistory.

    Between Indo-Europeans, Semites, Bantus and Turks (and others), nomadic pastoralists have been pretty effective at reworking the face and shape of the world in their image over the last 6,000 years.

    Yes, quite a recurring pattern.

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  • @Vijay
    The anti-Aryan invasion consensus (????) in India has a socio-political basis based on post-independence nationalism, and no scientific basis. Bear with me for this long-winded discussion, where I argue that no matter of scientific analysis will make people change their mind. It is quite sad that British work by Hutton, Risley, Caldwell, Ibbetson on hypergamy and Indian Caste development is so completely ignored by India under the guise of imperialism.

    Maxmueller proposed using, linguistics, that the Aryan migrations led to a stratified society; and analyses of population census data by Risley [1908], who credited Ibbetson [1880] for identifying the impact of hypergamy on caste structure. The response to Aryan paternity of higher caste population was originally, enthusiastic (Caldwell, [2006]). However, the Justice party and its successors in the south, correctly identified that the Congress will be used by the three higher varna groupings to dominate the governance, and asked for a seat at the table. Here, it should be clarified that the Brahmin/Kshatriya/Vaisya population in the South India is negligible (< 10%) and everyone was Sudra or out of the caste system. The opposition to Congress crystallized under the Dravidian name, and asked for large reservations for BC (shudra) and SC/ST. The ruling parties responded in two ways: where possible, they co-opted the Higher castes of the BCs into ruling; if impossible, they claimed that the Aryan-Dravidan differences were a foreign conspiracy.

    Attempts to organize the BC and SC groups into politics have often failed with inter-caste differences. Now as congress party failed as the BCs become more forward in pushing their cause, it became the cause of the BJP and the internet Hindus to carry that cross into consciousness. The Co-Opting of BCs into the FC front continues with Modi being the primary spear-carrier.

    A final closure to Indo-Aryan migration/invasion model will hopefully 101 DNAs from ancient India. However, do not expect the elite to agree to this consensus, as the anti-AIT model is socio-political, and not scientific.

    [1] 1908, The people of Indiaby Risley, Herbert Hope, Sir, Crooke, William,
    [2] 2008 The Structure of Indian Society: Then and Now, Shah.
    [3]1947, J.H.Hutton, Caste in India: Its Nature, Functions, and Origins. Cambridge University Press.
    [4] 2006, Demographic Transition Theory, by John C. Caldwell.

    Bear with me for this long-winded discussion, where I argue that no matter of scientific analysis will make people change their mind.

    It will eventually – might take a looooong time though.

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  • @syonredux

    So at the time they were invading I guess modern “Europeans” were just being synthesized, so no one was really “European” at that point.
     
    Precisely.Europeans were still in the making, so to speak.

    But would it be fair to assume that the Dravidians, before invading South Asia, would have been genetically closer to groups that existed in the Middle East at the time than the Yamnaya for instance?
     
    Don't know.

    It’s silly to argue over how modern terms such as “European” should be applied to peoples who lived many thousands of years ago. Modern racial/ethnic categories are probably of little significance for understanding populations living thousands of years ago.

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  • @Numinous

    For reasons which I will not elaborate in detail, because I don’t know that much about it, and don’t care either, a dominant strand of Indian nationalism has turned against the Indo-Aryan model of intrusion. In fact this school has “flipped the script,” asserting that Indo-Aryans, and therefore Indo-European languages, are indigenous to the subcontinent.
     
    Just to take a stab at this, the thinking among the nationalists in India is that all this discussion about Indo-Aryans and their hypothesized invasion of the subcontinent is not merely academic, but has serious political consequences. Ordinary people (who are not scholars) seem to be very emotionally connected to their lineage and their past; if a theory makes someone question what they thought their lineage and their past consisted of, that might cause serious disruptions in the polity. And given that many models of Indo-Aryan invasion in the past just assumed that the Aryans and the Dravidians had a conflict, and that the lower castes must have been former (pure) Dravidians, and given the fact that Dravidians have darker skin colors on average, you can see where a split in the national narrative might occur. And this is not just theoretical; there was a secessionist movement in Tamil Nadu in the '60s. South Indian Brahmins who are part of the nationalist factions in India are especially invested in rejecting the Aryan invasion theory, given that they are seem as Dravidians by the northerners and as Aryan interlopers by southerners of other castes.

    Anyway, thanks for succinctly answering the key questions that can be raised against the Indo-Aryan invasion model. Hopefully one day the nationalists will succumb to science and start to prefer scholarship to polemic.

    I read the book when it came out, and it wasn’t my cup of tea, but I didn’t see what the big deal was
     
    Based on what I read about the reactions to the book, what most upsets Indian nationalists and conservatives is the over-application of Freudian analysis to the Hindu texts (Vedas and others). I don't know if they can be completely blamed for their reactions though. Psychoanalysis has its limits, and surely sexual urges can't explain every phenomenon, can they? Conservatives of any society will get upset if their most cherished beliefs have sexual motive imputed to them. I recall a book someone wrote a decade ago about Lincoln, which "proved" that he was gay; naturally, it relied on cherry-picked evidence and was heavily criticized.

    Freud was a charlatan.

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  • @toto
    Actually the Mitanni (and the neighbouring Kassites) are an interesting data point.

    Apparently Indo-Aryan conquerors took over various locales in the Middle East roughly around the supposed time of the Aryan invasion of India, coinciding with a severe decline of the Indus Valley Civilization.

    So maybe the Aryan invasion of India was just a local aspect of a wider phenomenon.

    I’ve read that about 10% of the names of Hyskos chieftains have been identified as likely Aryan.

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  • If sustained media pressure and ideological consensus among society’s elites can convince the world that Bruce Jenner is right to call himself a woman but Rachel Dolazal is wrong to call herself black, I see no reason to think that Indian nationalists wouldn’t succeed in driving out the aryan invasion theory from the realm of respectable public debate.

    Power always trumps truth. Except when the truth offers some real-world benefit, like technology. Knowing the truth about ANI and ASI isn’t going to determine the outcomes of India’s next war, or its economic growth.

    The nationalists should keep with their scorched earth campaign. The “marriage equality” campaign in the west, and its associated habit of reading homosexuality into every nook and cranny of history, has shown that it is possible for a vocal, irrational minority to completely invert what is considered “socially accepted truth”.

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    • Replies: @Vijay
    Indian nationalists are not that powerful; they just have a good representation in the English speaking internets. Behind the smallish forward class, there is a flood of BC, muslim, SC/ST (> 80%), and they do not care about the Out-of-India theory, and AIT suits them fine as symbol they can rally against. It may be a few years, but the dam will break if income increases steadily and lifts the OBC out of poverty.
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  • @Razib Khan
    Apologies but I can't post long comments that I barely understand which seem to be playing out subcontinental divisions. Don't have time to read all. So don't bother.

    >>>Apologies but I can’t post long comments that I barely understand which seem to be playing out subcontinental divisions. Don’t have time to read all. So don’t bother.

    LoL. What seems to be playing out is that you have triggered a tsunami. Indians are in general an argumentative lot, and there are a billion of them! Time to get used to long posts!

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    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    LoL. What seems to be playing out is that you have triggered a tsunami. Indians are in general an argumentative lot, and there are a billion of them! Time to get used to long posts!


    i know. i'm familiar. one thing arguing with Creationists in the early 2000s and late 1990s is that it allows me to sniff out the lawyerly types who really just want to "win" at all costs.

    anyway, this is my blog to moderate as i choose. i'm not going to let people filibuster me ;-)
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  • I think people underestimate how possible it is for authentic historical details to pass through oral storytelling and ancient myths. See this particular episode of Michael Wood’s In Search of the Trojan War (I recommend the whole thing, even though some of the details are now dated).

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    • Replies: @Jaydeepsinh Rathod
    Thank you for this. I agree that ancient historical memory of any nation should not be dismissed unless you have contrary evidence to disprove it. In case of India, Indian historical tradition as recorded in Puranas has been neglected totally and theories like Aryan Migration Theory have been proposed which are totally contrary to the native Indian tradition.
    , @Jim
    Authentic historical detail may very well be incuded in mythical tales. Unfortunately there is a huge problem of separating the wheat from the chaff.
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  • @Any Other Name
    @ Vijay

    Why assign outdated anthro terms like Caucasoid/Australoid to describe ancient peoples whose appearances we largely have no clue about? Funnily enough, the two anthro studies I posted above found Indians (but especially south Indian Dravidians) to be the least similar to Australoid and Mongoloid groups who are very clearly differentiated due to their very large face sizes and flatter, robust features, etc. in comparison to Indians. Not a result one would expect from a population purported to at least partly descend from the latter two groups.Even the ancient crania tested in the second study clustered mostly with modern-day Sri Lankans and Veddas, who again clustered away from Australoids and Mongoloids. I doubt ASI physically resembled the latter two groups or even modern Caucasoid groups (who again are too robust and large and too different in facial/cranial shape).

    I thought most people in the "anthrosphere" or whatever shifted to ANI-ASI. What is it with Australoids and Caucasoids again? Cringe-worthy. Why isn't shitty 19th century anthropology proven to time and time again wrong die already? Do people still use "Veddoid"?

    All of it true, but ANI and ASI are themselves not monoliths, and can be further convoluted into compositions. I would not dismiss nineteenth century anthropology, and products such as Carleton Coon were very advanced in their thinking.

    I would like to thank Razib for a refreshingly original essay; and, through the comments, for taking me back in time to graduate student days of 1980s where we did battle the internet Hindus in ARPA net and BitNet on topics as varied as flying monkeys and aircraft of the puranas, and out-of-India human migration. Who knew we will be doing the same battles 30 years later?

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    • Replies: @Any Other Name
    I don't dismiss all of 19th century anthropological theories, but only "shitty" ones which have been "proven false time and time again". :) heh. The "south Asians are approximates of a Australoid/Caucasoid/(Mongoloid) blend" has been thoroughly and repeatedly debunked though, the anthropometrical studies I posted are just the two most recent debunkings; time for it die, not apply it to ANI-ASI anew.

    I can appreciate Coon et al's perceptiveness wrt European variation and their explanations for it given their limitations to make precise judgments. But it's irrelevant now. We don't have to rely on anthropometry to make anthropological theories; we have population genetics. And we don't have to rely on their defined types because we have better anthropometrical studies with larger, more varied samples and more precise measurements.

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  • Actually the Mitanni (and the neighbouring Kassites) are an interesting data point.

    Apparently Indo-Aryan conquerors took over various locales in the Middle East roughly around the supposed time of the Aryan invasion of India, coinciding with a severe decline of the Indus Valley Civilization.

    So maybe the Aryan invasion of India was just a local aspect of a wider phenomenon.

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    • Replies: @Jim
    I've read that about 10% of the names of Hyskos chieftains have been identified as likely Aryan.
    , @Jim
    Very little is known of the Kassite language. Nothing that is known about it suggests that it is Indo-European.
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  • Apologies but I can’t post long comments that I barely understand which seem to be playing out subcontinental divisions. Don’t have time to read all. So don’t bother.

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    • Replies: @Snake Charmer
    >>>Apologies but I can’t post long comments that I barely understand which seem to be playing out subcontinental divisions. Don’t have time to read all. So don’t bother.

    LoL. What seems to be playing out is that you have triggered a tsunami. Indians are in general an argumentative lot, and there are a billion of them! Time to get used to long posts!
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  • One key data point is the Mittani, 1500 bc

    The mittani kings have Sanskritic names like
    xxx-Ratha

    Ratha means chariot

    The earliest we hear kings named xxx-Ratha is in the Ramayana
    Dasa-Ratha

    The Ramayana is much later than the Rig-Veda
    The Rig-Veda, has a Punjab setting and Punjab is called Arya-Varta ( Aryan land )

    The mittani also use a degraded – decayed form of Sanskrit similar to Pali

    The Rig veda also speaks of the now extinct Saraswati River ( dried up 1900 bc )
    as the biggest river, bigger than the Indus or Ganges

    all this points to Rig-veda, 1000 – 1500 years before Mittani of 1500 bc

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  • @Zach
    Amid a discussion about Asia Minor, a Turkish person I knew blurted out "Attila the Hun had blue eyes." Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to find out where he had read that. Many Turks want to be in the EU and some name their children "Attila," but maybe Attila is becoming too reminiscent of an Asian past for the Turks. It would be interesting know the genetic impact that the Huns had on peoples in Eastern Europe and the Near East.

    The Hunnish language could be an Altaic language but very little is known about it. The word “Attila” is actually Gothic – the Gothic root “atta-” meaning father and the Gothic diminutive suffix “-la”, basically “daddy” in Gothic.

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  • @CupOfCanada

    The Southern populations were much more advanced & sophisticated compared to the nomads of the steppe and it is more logical that they could spread their language & culture among these less-advanced people. The opposite scenario is historically unprecedented.
     
    I can think of a few historical precedents. Greek replacing Minoan. Akkadian replacing Sumerian before being replaced by Persian. Germanic languages arriving in Britain. Turkic languages arriving in Anatolia. The Magyars arriving in Hungary. History is replete with examples of more "advanced" cultures and languages being replaced with those of migrating nomads.

    History is replete with examples of more “advanced” cultures and languages being replaced with those of migrating nomads.

    To me, all this “advanced civilizations spread their cultures to the primitive” is an unfortunate (and faulty) product of people like Jared Diamond.

    Contrary to Diamond’s thesis of “farmer power,” John Keegan in “A History of Warfare” writes at length about the military supremacy of those semi-nomadic pastoralists who lived on the fringes between advanced civilizations and the truly nomadic peoples (at least until the Gunpowder Age). Such people benefitted from the warlike tendencies, superior military skills, and extremely high mobilization rates (all abled bodied men as warriors) of traditional steppe nomads while also enjoying the fruits of the civilized areas nearby (equipment and technology, organizational and political structure, access to grain/luxury goods, etc.).

    Seen in that way, much (though of course not all) of pre-modern history is a story of semi-nomadic pastoralists predating upon the fruits of civilized, agriculturalists – in other words, civilizations attracted conquerors.

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  • @bossel
    "a revisionist view which resurrects some aspects of the old folk migration theories"
    I studied history in Germany some 15 years ago &, IIRC, the Völkerwanderung theory was never discarded as such (though there was always discussion about the magnitude), so no need for revisionism. Is that a phenomenon among historians in the English speaking world?

    I studied history in Germany some 15 years ago &, IIRC, the Völkerwanderung theory was never discarded as such (though there was always discussion about the magnitude), so no need for revisionism. Is that a phenomenon among historians in the English speaking world?

    When I was a budding historian about 20 years ago, I had just emerged from my academic training, in which the “Late Antiquity” paradigm was ascendant. Contrary to the more traditional interpretation of the Roman fall and the rise of the Germanic Dark Ages, this school emphasized the continuity between the two periods. Instead of seeing the early Middle Ages as a period of civilizational collapse and the rise of less civilized, barbarous states, the paradigm held that the lives and culture of ordinary people continued on, largely as before, while the elite stratum was supplanted by Germanic warriors (and guided by the continuing and intact clerical administrative establishment).

    Even back then, though, this was not entirely convincing to me, because I read several studies that examined the material evidence for the continuity, and found that considerable amount of interregional trade evaporated, money supply contracted (or destroyed and replaced by barter), local economic autarky emerged, and material quality of life declined (in addition to all the rape and rapine from various wars).

    But the proponents of the Late Antiquity school should be credited for putting to rest, finally, the notion that Rome “fell” overnight and something completely new and different arose suddenly. Land records showed that the transition was much more gradual than previously assumed in some, possibly, most regions. Instead of barbarian armies rampaging around, exterminating the farmers, and expropriating and settling land at will, fragmentary records seemed to indicate that local landowners were initially “billeted” the Germanic warriors (and, in one particular example, provide produce from half of their lands for the said warriors’ upkeep).

    Of course, while this kind of a transition did not involve wholesale butchery of the locals and complete racial replacement, it still must have been quite traumatic to the existing landowners and the farmers who worked the land, on whom the alien warriors and their kin were imposed. Moreover, because the balance of power in its raw sense had shifted dramatically to the allied/foederati warriors who held the sword, it was inevitable that the local elites began to imitate the ways of the new arrivals. So while the assimilation was bidirectional, the latter held supremacy over the former as time went on and the central administration faded away.

    Since then, I read Goldsworthy, Heather, and Ward-Perkins, and have not found anything to repudiate the view that what mostly likely occurred was something in between the traditionalist view of a collapse (and the subsequent Dark Ages) and the Late Antiquity school’s “continuity” – that there was substantial upheaval and decline in material quality of life but that the period of mutual-assimilation was gradual (though with the “barbarians” increasingly in charge).

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  • @ Vijay

    Why assign outdated anthro terms like Caucasoid/Australoid to describe ancient peoples whose appearances we largely have no clue about? Funnily enough, the two anthro studies I posted above found Indians (but especially south Indian Dravidians) to be the least similar to Australoid and Mongoloid groups who are very clearly differentiated due to their very large face sizes and flatter, robust features, etc. in comparison to Indians. Not a result one would expect from a population purported to at least partly descend from the latter two groups.Even the ancient crania tested in the second study clustered mostly with modern-day Sri Lankans and Veddas, who again clustered away from Australoids and Mongoloids. I doubt ASI physically resembled the latter two groups or even modern Caucasoid groups (who again are too robust and large and too different in facial/cranial shape).

    I thought most people in the “anthrosphere” or whatever shifted to ANI-ASI. What is it with Australoids and Caucasoids again? Cringe-worthy. Why isn’t shitty 19th century anthropology proven to time and time again wrong die already? Do people still use “Veddoid”?

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    • Replies: @vijay
    All of it true, but ANI and ASI are themselves not monoliths, and can be further convoluted into compositions. I would not dismiss nineteenth century anthropology, and products such as Carleton Coon were very advanced in their thinking.

    I would like to thank Razib for a refreshingly original essay; and, through the comments, for taking me back in time to graduate student days of 1980s where we did battle the internet Hindus in ARPA net and BitNet on topics as varied as flying monkeys and aircraft of the puranas, and out-of-India human migration. Who knew we will be doing the same battles 30 years later?
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  • @Jaydeepsinh Rathod
    Since this is the only point you're raising out of several arguments made by me, I presume you do not have any refutation of the other arguments.

    For an Out of India migration before 4200 BP, a must for an Indo-European migration because of likely early presence of IE people among Yamnaya & Afanasievo, how would you find ASI among these, if the admixture between ANI & ASI had yet not happened as per Moorjani et al ?

    As for your link, Sintashta obviously had contacts with the advanced BMAC people and we see several items originating in BMAC found in the Sintashta settlements. So couldn't many of the elements of the Sintashta culture, including its metallurgical expertise, derive from the people of the BMAC ? Is there any proof to deny this possibility ? Please do not take David Anthony's arguments for gospel.

    Hey asshole I’m on vacation with my family. Don’t be presumptuous enough to think if I don’t respond I’m impressed by your argument. I might be doing things but aside from. Arguing Next dick comment & you’re banned. (Now back to breakfast)

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  • @Vijay
    Most of the discussion and information that you discuss is incorrect or based on selective reading. You are reading a jumble of papers and getting years wrong. "Sage Aagstya" is just figments of imagination. Your latter comment on AIT, opposition to AIT, and understanding of Dravidian politics, is rudimentary. There is a voluminous body of literature regarding Aryan arrival, hypergamy and caste formation in Indian society, even before the arrival of a flood of genetic data.

    This website is not possibly a place for Out of India models based on imagination.

    I am pretty sure you know nothing of the points I raised. If you knew anything about it you would make a pointwise rebuttal. Either show me where I am wrong or do not reply. I am not interested in polemics. And you are no authority on anything that I need your certification. I have made factual arguments and you should rebut them factually.

    Who told you that sage Agastya is a figment of imagination ? He is remembered as a historical figure who had come from North of Vindhyas in the Tamil Sangam texts. Are you trying to tell me that these earliest texts in Tamil language are just imaginative writing with no connection to reality ?

    As for the voluminious literature on AMT & AIT, that does not make AMT factual. You can fill up an entire library writing rubbish. It does not add legitimacy to that rubbish. The AMT/AIT has always been asserted by its proponents but never in the last 150 years have they even come close to proving it. You do not first propose a theory and then try to twist the facts to fit in with that theory as it has happened with AIT. You discard a theory when you cannot find facts to support it. AMT still remains a theory and its proponents should stop acting as if it is a fact.

    And lastly, it is the AMT proponents who have the most fertile imagination. They shouldn’t really lecture others on it.

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  • @Razib Khan
    Instead of trying to explain the data only through a outdated North to South migration theory, you should also be open to the possibility of a South to North migration.

    there is NO ASI beyond the fringes of iran. (really it is minimal behond the pashtun).

    and you don't know what you are talking about. the nomands weren't quite as unsophisticated you as presume.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sintashta_culture#Metal_production

    but keep arguing like a lawyer.

    Since this is the only point you’re raising out of several arguments made by me, I presume you do not have any refutation of the other arguments.

    For an Out of India migration before 4200 BP, a must for an Indo-European migration because of likely early presence of IE people among Yamnaya & Afanasievo, how would you find ASI among these, if the admixture between ANI & ASI had yet not happened as per Moorjani et al ?

    As for your link, Sintashta obviously had contacts with the advanced BMAC people and we see several items originating in BMAC found in the Sintashta settlements. So couldn’t many of the elements of the Sintashta culture, including its metallurgical expertise, derive from the people of the BMAC ? Is there any proof to deny this possibility ? Please do not take David Anthony’s arguments for gospel.

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    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    Hey asshole I'm on vacation with my family. Don't be presumptuous enough to think if I don't respond I'm impressed by your argument. I might be doing things but aside from. Arguing Next dick comment & you're banned. (Now back to breakfast)
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  • @Pseudonymic Handle
    What is your point? That people from the Middle East are not middle eastern?
    People from Anatolia and the Balkans have similar ancient histories: populated by middle eastern neolithic farmers who were later subjugated by IE, but that doesn't mean that the two didn't diverge.

    What is your point? That people from the Middle East are not middle eastern?

    What do you mean by Middle Eastern?How are you defining it?The EEF, for example, have a lot of WHG ancestry.

    People from Anatolia and the Balkans have similar ancient histories: populated by middle eastern neolithic farmers who were later subjugated by IE,

    Sure, both areas show lots of EEF ancestry, but both areas also received I-E populations as well.

    but that doesn’t mean that the two didn’t diverge.

    How much divergence? My understanding is that there is a lot of overlap on ancestral metrics between, say, Greeks and Turks.

    For that matter, there’s evidence to show that “Turks” in Turkey have a large Armenian component:

    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/gnxp/2010/12/are-turks-acculturated-armenians/#.VYFtsPlViko

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  • Would it be correct to say that the Indo-Aryan invasion into India was a bit less effective than the Yamnaya expansion into Europe, given how much of original hunter-gatherer (Andaman-type ancestry) and Elamite remained? (Also discounting the later East Asian admixtures).

    In fact, is it correct to think of many proto-Dravidian groups (before the Aryans) as, essentially, a mixture of the original population (~40+K old) with Elamites of the Indus Valley civilization? The latter should have shared ancestors with EEF, I’d imagine, coalescing with them somewhere between Natuffian and Pre-pottery Neolithic B, in the Levant…

    Thanks.

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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    I agree about Doniger’s book. I don’t understand what all the fuss is about. She has made her opinion in the book based on her interpretation of linguistic evidence. It obviously will lean towards one or another based on ones own perception of history of Hinduism.
    While some of the evidence she has used are out of date, that is the problem with most books. Any research often gets out of date by the time a book is conceived and brought out.
    I don’t believe there was any invasion into India before Alexander. There certainly was plenty of transmigration across the hindukush mountains for thousands of years maybe going back as far as 40000 years ago.

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  • The problem with Heather’s work is that many of his conclusions are simply not borne out by the source material. We have no idea how the people a very restricted set of Roman sources called Goths or Franks or Burgundians thought of themselves or what their cultural practices were or how they formulated identity: The evidence simply doesn’t exist. Heather’s entire reasoning behind the idea of “Gothic traditions,” for example, is a line from the poem De Bello Gothico (written by a Greek-speaking Roman, Claudian, who had no contact with Goths) referring to the “songs of the ancestors” that they used to justify a particular course of action prior to Alaric’s invasion of Italy. That’s it. On that shoddy, creaking foundation, Heather builds an entire edifice of cultural continuity and Gothicness, and it’s a model he then exports to other cultural groups for which there’s even less explicit evidence.

    I tend to see the barbarians as armies on the move, more or less. The line between late Roman military culture and barbarian culture is effectively nonexistent in terms of linguistic evidence (army Latin was basically a Latin-Gothic-Frankish-Alemanni pidgin), hairstyles, naming practices, and material culture; military units carried ethnic names, and “barbarian” identity was inseparable from a military profession. To me, this is the most convincing explanation for the available (incredibly, unbelievably sparse) evidence. It’s ultimately unanswerable given the paucity and brevity of the sources, which is why I quit working on the topic after my qualifying exams – it’s maddening.

    None of this means that mass population movements were impossible or that these people didn’t take their families with them. They absolutely did; the genetic evidence is clear, so is the stable isotope data for both Britain and Central Europe, and from where I’m standing, so is the archaeology. It’s a rhetorical canard of Heather’s and has been for twenty years that only “peoples” or “ethnic groups” moved in large numbers, that armies didn’t, and that therefore those people who moved did so as fully-formed and longstanding ethnic groups. That’s circular reasoning, and it’s not convincing. Soldiers had families, and those families accompanied them when they moved – the archaeological and textual evidence on this point is indisputable.

    Just my 2 cents as a specialist. Glad to see that there’s some interest in the topic.

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  • @rec1man
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Last_Glacial_Maximum#/media/File:Last_glacial_vegetation_map.png

    Above is map during ice age, which ended 10000 bc, most areas outside India, especially, west asia, central asia, are deserts, which had minimal human population,

    so how did dravidians in large numbers manage to migrate from an desertified middle-east, in large numbers ?


    Also, even during ice age, India had a good climate, why was it lightly populated ?

    Woah! we need to pull back. Dravidan is a family of languages. To relate that name to a people, who may be varying admixtures of Caucasoid, Australoid, an Mongoloid people, even writing “Dravidan people migrating”is a meaningless sentence.

    We have evidence for IVC which may or may not be Dravidan.

    We have evidence for ANI arrival from Central Europe circa 3500 BP+.

    We have evidence of Neolithic ashmound people in Deccan 4000 BP+. We do not have any evidence what their genetic make up is.

    Beyond that, any large scale migration of Dravidans into India, is right now conjecture. However, if you say, Australoid, Caucasian and East Asian people were admixed in India after arriving from far east and middle east, and spoke Dravidian languages, then that is a more defensible statement. When they arrived and admixed cannot be determined without ancient DNA.

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  • @dravid

    Hopefully one day the nationalists will succumb to science and start to prefer scholarship to polemic.
     
    Science rarely, if ever, informs politics. Generally whoever is most capable of molding and shaping narratives and coalitions wins.


    Based on what I read about the reactions to the book, what most upsets Indian nationalists and conservatives is the over-application of Freudian analysis to the Hindu texts (Vedas and others). I don’t know if they can be completely blamed for their reactions though. Psychoanalysis has its limits, and surely sexual urges can’t explain every phenomenon, can they? Conservatives of any society will get upset if their most cherished beliefs have sexual motive imputed to them. I recall a book someone wrote a decade ago about Lincoln, which “proved” that he was gay; naturally, it relied on cherry-picked evidence and was heavily criticized.

     

    Google Doniger's background. How something as pseudoscientific as Freud's claptrap still manages to find an audience boggles the mind.

    What's hilarious about the Hindutva right getting angry about sexualization is their whole attitude towards these matters are derived from exposure to Victorian Brits. The Bhakthi movement outright incorporated Victorian mores and uppity attitudes into local beliefs. So when a bunch of RSS goons run amok on Valentines day, they're actually doing so at the behest of beliefs brought in by the non-Hindu colonizers lulz. You can't make this shit up. Traditionally local beliefs have been laissez-faire in regards to sexuality. Take a look at the sculptures that adorn temples or older pre-colonial pictures of various goddesses in all their naked splendour.

    And given that many models of Indo-Aryan invasion in the past just assumed that the Aryans and the Dravidians had a conflict, and that the lower castes must have been former (pure) Dravidians, and given the fact that Dravidians have darker skin colors on average, you can see where a split in the national narrative might occur.
     
    The Brits excelled in ruling by dividing conquered peoples and this figured in their strategy. Again controlling the narrative goes a long way. A lot of the ascendent upper and middle castes would have had no chance at education or improving their lot in an India that never underwent British colonization. One of the pros of Anglo influence. My grandfather was apparently a vicious atheist way back when. In fact if you look at all the parts of India that have had decent economic or social improvement (Gujurat, Punjab, South India etc) they all seem to have middle and non-Brahmin upper castes that can hold their own. Whats unfortunate is despite improving their lot they still manage to be bigots towards lower castes.

    And this is not just theoretical; there was a secessionist movement in Tamil Nadu in the ’60s.
     
    Is it me or are the Tamils relatively belligerent? @Vijay ?

    South Indian Tamils are as belligerent as domesticated house cats.

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  • Perhaps this belongs on OT, but as it relates to Indians/south Asians I’m posting this study here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3886603/

    A rare thorough and free-to-read anthropometric study on various Indian sub-populations compared with each other and to various other world populations. Also includes a supplement with the precise figures for each Indian group. Confirms many of my observations of wide differences on certain traits between Indians vs. all other populations (thinner and more protruding, “pinched”, upper nasal bones, but broader alae; smaller dacryon breadths; and much smaller face size and cranial size, especially, narrower facial breadths in Indians vs. other groups, etc.) and the differences and general relatedness between North Indians vs. South Indians.

    I just stumbled upon it today so I’m sorry if it’s been posted repeatedly before.

    Another similarly well-done anthropometric study with Indians/south Asians: http://www.pave.bioanth.cam.ac.uk/pdfs/009-StockLahrKulatilake(2007)SouthAsianCranialDiversity.pdf

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  • @syonredux

    Armenians, Georgians and anatolian greek speakers who were mostly descended from lydians, carian, bithynian etc are middle eastern.
     
    How "Middle Eastern" were the Lydians in terms of DNA? They were, after all, I-E speakers.


    How "Middle Eastern" were the Carians in terms of DNA? Carian is part of the Anatolian branch of the I-E family.

    How "Middle Eastern" were the Bithynians in terms of DNA. Bithynia occupies space that was occupied by I-E speakers like the Phrygians, and the name itself is Thracian in origin.

    How many Georgians and Armenians are descended from " lydians, carian[s], bithynian[s] ?"

    A huge population transfer of Anatolian Greeks occurred in the 1920s.Are they more "Middle Eastern" in terms of DNA than Greeks whose ancestors are native to Greece?

    What is your point? That people from the Middle East are not middle eastern?
    People from Anatolia and the Balkans have similar ancient histories: populated by middle eastern neolithic farmers who were later subjugated by IE, but that doesn’t mean that the two didn’t diverge.

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    • Replies: @syonredux

    What is your point? That people from the Middle East are not middle eastern?
     
    What do you mean by Middle Eastern?How are you defining it?The EEF, for example, have a lot of WHG ancestry.

    People from Anatolia and the Balkans have similar ancient histories: populated by middle eastern neolithic farmers who were later subjugated by IE,
     
    Sure, both areas show lots of EEF ancestry, but both areas also received I-E populations as well.

    but that doesn’t mean that the two didn’t diverge.
     
    How much divergence? My understanding is that there is a lot of overlap on ancestral metrics between, say, Greeks and Turks.


    For that matter, there's evidence to show that "Turks" in Turkey have a large Armenian component:


    http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/gnxp/2010/12/are-turks-acculturated-armenians/#.VYFtsPlViko
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  • Above is map during ice age, which ended 10000 bc, most areas outside India, especially, west asia, central asia, are deserts, which had minimal human population,

    so how did dravidians in large numbers manage to migrate from an desertified middle-east, in large numbers ?

    Also, even during ice age, India had a good climate, why was it lightly populated ?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Vijay
    Woah! we need to pull back. Dravidan is a family of languages. To relate that name to a people, who may be varying admixtures of Caucasoid, Australoid, an Mongoloid people, even writing "Dravidan people migrating"is a meaningless sentence.

    We have evidence for IVC which may or may not be Dravidan.

    We have evidence for ANI arrival from Central Europe circa 3500 BP+.

    We have evidence of Neolithic ashmound people in Deccan 4000 BP+. We do not have any evidence what their genetic make up is.

    Beyond that, any large scale migration of Dravidans into India, is right now conjecture. However, if you say, Australoid, Caucasian and East Asian people were admixed in India after arriving from far east and middle east, and spoke Dravidian languages, then that is a more defensible statement. When they arrived and admixed cannot be determined without ancient DNA.
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  • Slightly OT

    https://gupea.ub.gu.se/bitstream/2077/38815/1/gupea_2077_38815_1.pdf

    We outline an agricultural origins-model of cultural divergence where
    we claim that the advent of farming in a core region was characterized by collectivist
    values and eventually triggered the out-migration of individualistic farmers towards
    more and more peripheral areas. This migration pattern caused the initial cultural
    divergence, which remained persistent over generations

    Is it possible peripheral India (away from the northwest) is to the Aryavatra core what parts of northwestern Europe are to the European core? Albeit with different pathogen/disease loads. Just speculation.

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  • @Jaldhar
    I'm the polar opposite of an irreligious atheist and I'm not a "Hindu nationalist" either (though I know a lot of people who are) and I don't understand the fuss over Donigers book. It calls itself an alternative history but it seemed to me to be a squarely mainstream, dare I say boring? work of scholarship. It didn't even as I recall have any of the Freudian sex stuff which is what really annoys the Hindutva types about Doniger.

    Resistance to the Aryan Invasion Theory is not so much beause it justified British rule but because it was the ideological underpinning of the virulent anti-Brahmanism in South India particularly Tamil Nadu where "Aryan Invader" Iyers and Iyengers were cast as the oppressors of "Indigenous" Dravidians. (Anecdotally it seems to be South Indian Brahmans who are the most worked up about the AIT.) When word gets out that there was a "Dravidian invasion " too there will be less of that.

    Resistance to the Aryan Invasion Theory is not so much beause it justified British rule but because it was the ideological underpinning of the virulent anti-Brahmanism in South India particularly Tamil Nadu where “Aryan Invader” Iyers and Iyengers were cast as the oppressors of “Indigenous” Dravidians. (Anecdotally it seems to be South Indian Brahmans who are the most worked up about the AIT.) When word gets out that there was a “Dravidian invasion ” too there will be less of that.

    According to my old man, even back when anti-Brahminism took off in the early-twentieth century many of the enterprising political elites thought the Dravidians originated from the Mediterranean or the Middleeast. Most of those who took part in the anti-Brahminism actually believed the Iyers and Iyengars were imported from the north by the southern non-Brahmin Cholan elites themselves about 1kya lulz so word won’t change anything.

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  • @Numinous

    For reasons which I will not elaborate in detail, because I don’t know that much about it, and don’t care either, a dominant strand of Indian nationalism has turned against the Indo-Aryan model of intrusion. In fact this school has “flipped the script,” asserting that Indo-Aryans, and therefore Indo-European languages, are indigenous to the subcontinent.
     
    Just to take a stab at this, the thinking among the nationalists in India is that all this discussion about Indo-Aryans and their hypothesized invasion of the subcontinent is not merely academic, but has serious political consequences. Ordinary people (who are not scholars) seem to be very emotionally connected to their lineage and their past; if a theory makes someone question what they thought their lineage and their past consisted of, that might cause serious disruptions in the polity. And given that many models of Indo-Aryan invasion in the past just assumed that the Aryans and the Dravidians had a conflict, and that the lower castes must have been former (pure) Dravidians, and given the fact that Dravidians have darker skin colors on average, you can see where a split in the national narrative might occur. And this is not just theoretical; there was a secessionist movement in Tamil Nadu in the '60s. South Indian Brahmins who are part of the nationalist factions in India are especially invested in rejecting the Aryan invasion theory, given that they are seem as Dravidians by the northerners and as Aryan interlopers by southerners of other castes.

    Anyway, thanks for succinctly answering the key questions that can be raised against the Indo-Aryan invasion model. Hopefully one day the nationalists will succumb to science and start to prefer scholarship to polemic.

    I read the book when it came out, and it wasn’t my cup of tea, but I didn’t see what the big deal was
     
    Based on what I read about the reactions to the book, what most upsets Indian nationalists and conservatives is the over-application of Freudian analysis to the Hindu texts (Vedas and others). I don't know if they can be completely blamed for their reactions though. Psychoanalysis has its limits, and surely sexual urges can't explain every phenomenon, can they? Conservatives of any society will get upset if their most cherished beliefs have sexual motive imputed to them. I recall a book someone wrote a decade ago about Lincoln, which "proved" that he was gay; naturally, it relied on cherry-picked evidence and was heavily criticized.

    Hopefully one day the nationalists will succumb to science and start to prefer scholarship to polemic.

    Science rarely, if ever, informs politics. Generally whoever is most capable of molding and shaping narratives and coalitions wins.

    Based on what I read about the reactions to the book, what most upsets Indian nationalists and conservatives is the over-application of Freudian analysis to the Hindu texts (Vedas and others). I don’t know if they can be completely blamed for their reactions though. Psychoanalysis has its limits, and surely sexual urges can’t explain every phenomenon, can they? Conservatives of any society will get upset if their most cherished beliefs have sexual motive imputed to them. I recall a book someone wrote a decade ago about Lincoln, which “proved” that he was gay; naturally, it relied on cherry-picked evidence and was heavily criticized.

    Google Doniger’s background. How something as pseudoscientific as Freud’s claptrap still manages to find an audience boggles the mind.

    What’s hilarious about the Hindutva right getting angry about sexualization is their whole attitude towards these matters are derived from exposure to Victorian Brits. The Bhakthi movement outright incorporated Victorian mores and uppity attitudes into local beliefs. So when a bunch of RSS goons run amok on Valentines day, they’re actually doing so at the behest of beliefs brought in by the non-Hindu colonizers lulz. You can’t make this shit up. Traditionally local beliefs have been laissez-faire in regards to sexuality. Take a look at the sculptures that adorn temples or older pre-colonial pictures of various goddesses in all their naked splendour.

    And given that many models of Indo-Aryan invasion in the past just assumed that the Aryans and the Dravidians had a conflict, and that the lower castes must have been former (pure) Dravidians, and given the fact that Dravidians have darker skin colors on average, you can see where a split in the national narrative might occur.

    The Brits excelled in ruling by dividing conquered peoples and this figured in their strategy. Again controlling the narrative goes a long way. A lot of the ascendent upper and middle castes would have had no chance at education or improving their lot in an India that never underwent British colonization. One of the pros of Anglo influence. My grandfather was apparently a vicious atheist way back when. In fact if you look at all the parts of India that have had decent economic or social improvement (Gujurat, Punjab, South India etc) they all seem to have middle and non-Brahmin upper castes that can hold their own. Whats unfortunate is despite improving their lot they still manage to be bigots towards lower castes.

    And this is not just theoretical; there was a secessionist movement in Tamil Nadu in the ’60s.

    Is it me or are the Tamils relatively belligerent? ?

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    • Replies: @vijay
    South Indian Tamils are as belligerent as domesticated house cats.
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  • @Pseudonymic Handle
    Armenians, Georgians and anatolian greek speakers who were mostly descended from lydians, carian, bithynian etc are middle eastern.

    Armenians, Georgians and anatolian greek speakers who were mostly descended from lydians, carian, bithynian etc are middle eastern.

    How “Middle Eastern” were the Lydians in terms of DNA? They were, after all, I-E speakers.

    How “Middle Eastern” were the Carians in terms of DNA? Carian is part of the Anatolian branch of the I-E family.

    How “Middle Eastern” were the Bithynians in terms of DNA. Bithynia occupies space that was occupied by I-E speakers like the Phrygians, and the name itself is Thracian in origin.

    How many Georgians and Armenians are descended from ” lydians, carian[s], bithynian[s] ?”

    A huge population transfer of Anatolian Greeks occurred in the 1920s.Are they more “Middle Eastern” in terms of DNA than Greeks whose ancestors are native to Greece?

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    • Replies: @Pseudonymic Handle
    What is your point? That people from the Middle East are not middle eastern?
    People from Anatolia and the Balkans have similar ancient histories: populated by middle eastern neolithic farmers who were later subjugated by IE, but that doesn't mean that the two didn't diverge.
    , @Zach
    According to the Lausanne Convention: “As from 1st May, 1923, there shall take place a compulsory exchange of Turkish nationals of the Greek Orthodox Religion established in Turkish territory, and of Greek nationals of the Moslem religion established in Greek territory.” I'm not sure of the numbers of Turks who converted to Greek Orthodox, but it seems like many more Greeks converted to Islam.

    In Anatolia, nationality was fluid for a long while. During the massacre of Armenians, many people of Armenian blood seem to have been spared so long as they spoke Turkish and were married into a Muslim family. Those Armenians who tried to convert to Islam at bayonet point didn't do so well.
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  • SD says:

    Some groups like Jats, Gujjars, Parmars, Chitpavan brahmins etc are late entries (after 100 BC). They were foreigners who got assimilated to Kshatriya and Brahmin community. People say they were mainly result of Huns and Kushan rule in north west India. Is it possible that some people in Punjab and Rajasthan having more ANI (around 70%) due to these later mixture. They have more ANI than people from Uttar Pradesh and MP brahmins. Western side of Indus river always had people considered outsiders. They were called as Mlechas.

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  • @Hipster

    Who would have qualified as “modern European” at that point in history?
     
    I am unsure the whole time frame of the supposed Dravidian invasion of South Asia.

    My impression is that the details are far from set in stone, but that they predated the Aryan invasion, so something like 10-6 kya they may have been in the Middle East. This is just my impression, if it's wrong please tell me.

    So at the time they were invading I guess modern "Europeans" were just being synthesized, so no one was really "European" at that point.

    But would it be fair to assume that the Dravidians, before invading South Asia, would have been genetically closer to groups that existed in the Middle East at the time than the Yamnaya for instance?

    So at the time they were invading I guess modern “Europeans” were just being synthesized, so no one was really “European” at that point.

    Precisely.Europeans were still in the making, so to speak.

    But would it be fair to assume that the Dravidians, before invading South Asia, would have been genetically closer to groups that existed in the Middle East at the time than the Yamnaya for instance?

    Don’t know.

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    • Replies: @Jim
    It's silly to argue over how modern terms such as "European" should be applied to peoples who lived many thousands of years ago. Modern racial/ethnic categories are probably of little significance for understanding populations living thousands of years ago.
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  • @syonredux

    But it seems like he said they likely originated somewhere in the middle east and were also invasive to the Indian sub-continent. I would then assume that they must have been somewhat “Eurasian”
     
    Western Eurasian, the term for the racial grouping that inhabits North Africa, Europe, and much of Western Asia.

    but hardly modern “European”.
     
    Who would have qualified as "modern European" at that point in history?

    Who would have qualified as “modern European” at that point in history?

    I am unsure the whole time frame of the supposed Dravidian invasion of South Asia.

    My impression is that the details are far from set in stone, but that they predated the Aryan invasion, so something like 10-6 kya they may have been in the Middle East. This is just my impression, if it’s wrong please tell me.

    So at the time they were invading I guess modern “Europeans” were just being synthesized, so no one was really “European” at that point.

    But would it be fair to assume that the Dravidians, before invading South Asia, would have been genetically closer to groups that existed in the Middle East at the time than the Yamnaya for instance?

    Read More
    • Replies: @syonredux

    So at the time they were invading I guess modern “Europeans” were just being synthesized, so no one was really “European” at that point.
     
    Precisely.Europeans were still in the making, so to speak.

    But would it be fair to assume that the Dravidians, before invading South Asia, would have been genetically closer to groups that existed in the Middle East at the time than the Yamnaya for instance?
     
    Don't know.
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  • @Jaydeepsinh Rathod
    I had read that paper when it came out. So stop being rude.

    The Moorjani paper does nowhere suggest that there was a migration of ANI people into South Asia around 4000 BP. Or do they ? They only argue that the ANI & ASI were two different groups of people who seem to have remain unadmixed before 4200 BP.

    Moreover, you may recall that the ANI-ASI admixture dates given by Moorjani et al for Dravidian speaking people are much older to the admixture dates for Indo-Aryan speaking North Indians. The ANI-ASI admixture event among Dravidians is on an average 35 generations earlier than in North India . However, if there was a Indo-Aryan migration around 4000 BP, should we not see the earliest ANI-ASI admixture dates for North Indians rather than the South Indian Dravidians ?

    According to ancient Indian historical tradition, the Indo-Aryan culture was for a long period bound by the Vindhyas in the South. Peninsular India beyond the Vindhyas was not much known in that very ancient period. Later on the North Indians migrated into South India under the sage Agastya and spread the Indo-Aryan culture & ethos. The Moorjani paper rather seems to confirm this historical tradition of North Indian movement into Peninsular India.
    --------------------

    You may also wish to remember that Metspalu et al 2011, who had a sample size several times larger to that of Reich et al, suggested that the ANI people of North India do not seem to show any contact with the rest of Western Eurasia from atleast 12500 BP. This might be wrong but no one has so far proved it wrong. Only aDNA from South Asia can confirm or refute it.

    --------------------

    Though South Asians share a high drift with ANE this may simply be because ANE likely originated around South Asia. Remember that the Malta boy had R* y-dna and the most likely place of origin of y-dna R is South Asia as it harbors both R1 & the geographically restricted R2.

    The ANE in South Asia could not have been contributed by Yamnaya like steppe population because for that to have happened the South Asians should also show the Eastern Hunter Gatherer ancestry of the Yamnaya & Afanasievo. On the contrary the EHG ancestry among South Asians is zero.

    --------------------

    Instead of trying to explain the data only through a outdated North to South migration theory, you should also be open to the possibility of a South to North migration. The Southern populations were much more advanced & sophisticated compared to the nomads of the steppe and it is more logical that they could spread their language & culture among these less-advanced people. The opposite scenario is historically unprecedented.

    You are perhaps aware of Frachetti's proposed Inner Asian Mountain Corridor. You should also read Mariya Ivanova who has shown that the Maikop culture shows a significant intrusion from Central Asia in the 4th millenium BC.

    The Southern populations were much more advanced & sophisticated compared to the nomads of the steppe and it is more logical that they could spread their language & culture among these less-advanced people. The opposite scenario is historically unprecedented.

    I can think of a few historical precedents. Greek replacing Minoan. Akkadian replacing Sumerian before being replaced by Persian. Germanic languages arriving in Britain. Turkic languages arriving in Anatolia. The Magyars arriving in Hungary. History is replete with examples of more “advanced” cultures and languages being replaced with those of migrating nomads.

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    • Replies: @Twinkie

    History is replete with examples of more “advanced” cultures and languages being replaced with those of migrating nomads.
     
    To me, all this "advanced civilizations spread their cultures to the primitive" is an unfortunate (and faulty) product of people like Jared Diamond.

    Contrary to Diamond's thesis of "farmer power," John Keegan in "A History of Warfare" writes at length about the military supremacy of those semi-nomadic pastoralists who lived on the fringes between advanced civilizations and the truly nomadic peoples (at least until the Gunpowder Age). Such people benefitted from the warlike tendencies, superior military skills, and extremely high mobilization rates (all abled bodied men as warriors) of traditional steppe nomads while also enjoying the fruits of the civilized areas nearby (equipment and technology, organizational and political structure, access to grain/luxury goods, etc.).

    Seen in that way, much (though of course not all) of pre-modern history is a story of semi-nomadic pastoralists predating upon the fruits of civilized, agriculturalists - in other words, civilizations attracted conquerors.
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  • Rather tangential, but since we are discussing the peopling of India.Here’s a striking photo illustrating the diversity of phenotypes that can be found there:

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  • @Hipster
    I've only read J.P. Mallory's In Search of the Indo Europeans, which briefly touches on "Who were the Dravidians?"

    But it seems like he said they likely originated somewhere in the middle east and were also invasive to the Indian sub-continent. I would then assume that they must have been somewhat "Eurasian" but hardly modern "European". Is it generally right to assume the Dravidians were a Middle Eastern population just before/around the dawn of history?

    But it seems like he said they likely originated somewhere in the middle east and were also invasive to the Indian sub-continent. I would then assume that they must have been somewhat “Eurasian”

    Western Eurasian, the term for the racial grouping that inhabits North Africa, Europe, and much of Western Asia.

    but hardly modern “European”.

    Who would have qualified as “modern European” at that point in history?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Hipster

    Who would have qualified as “modern European” at that point in history?
     
    I am unsure the whole time frame of the supposed Dravidian invasion of South Asia.

    My impression is that the details are far from set in stone, but that they predated the Aryan invasion, so something like 10-6 kya they may have been in the Middle East. This is just my impression, if it's wrong please tell me.

    So at the time they were invading I guess modern "Europeans" were just being synthesized, so no one was really "European" at that point.

    But would it be fair to assume that the Dravidians, before invading South Asia, would have been genetically closer to groups that existed in the Middle East at the time than the Yamnaya for instance?

    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Numinous

    For reasons which I will not elaborate in detail, because I don’t know that much about it, and don’t care either, a dominant strand of Indian nationalism has turned against the Indo-Aryan model of intrusion. In fact this school has “flipped the script,” asserting that Indo-Aryans, and therefore Indo-European languages, are indigenous to the subcontinent.
     
    Just to take a stab at this, the thinking among the nationalists in India is that all this discussion about Indo-Aryans and their hypothesized invasion of the subcontinent is not merely academic, but has serious political consequences. Ordinary people (who are not scholars) seem to be very emotionally connected to their lineage and their past; if a theory makes someone question what they thought their lineage and their past consisted of, that might cause serious disruptions in the polity. And given that many models of Indo-Aryan invasion in the past just assumed that the Aryans and the Dravidians had a conflict, and that the lower castes must have been former (pure) Dravidians, and given the fact that Dravidians have darker skin colors on average, you can see where a split in the national narrative might occur. And this is not just theoretical; there was a secessionist movement in Tamil Nadu in the '60s. South Indian Brahmins who are part of the nationalist factions in India are especially invested in rejecting the Aryan invasion theory, given that they are seem as Dravidians by the northerners and as Aryan interlopers by southerners of other castes.

    Anyway, thanks for succinctly answering the key questions that can be raised against the Indo-Aryan invasion model. Hopefully one day the nationalists will succumb to science and start to prefer scholarship to polemic.

    I read the book when it came out, and it wasn’t my cup of tea, but I didn’t see what the big deal was
     
    Based on what I read about the reactions to the book, what most upsets Indian nationalists and conservatives is the over-application of Freudian analysis to the Hindu texts (Vedas and others). I don't know if they can be completely blamed for their reactions though. Psychoanalysis has its limits, and surely sexual urges can't explain every phenomenon, can they? Conservatives of any society will get upset if their most cherished beliefs have sexual motive imputed to them. I recall a book someone wrote a decade ago about Lincoln, which "proved" that he was gay; naturally, it relied on cherry-picked evidence and was heavily criticized.

    The “Dravidian” opposition to Nationalistic stream of thinking in India was more complex and intelligent than your discussion. It has a pre-congress history based on the Justice party and represents a different caste dynamics of south India (close to 90% Sudra(!) caste population). The castes of the South have a longer history (4000+ years) and an earlier admixture date than the castes of north and themselves complicated products of ANI-ASI admixture that does not reflect the Aryan arrival precisely. The dravidan parties and, to a lesser extent, the Vokkaligas, Lingayats, Reddys and Khammas represented the dominant culture of the south, and were fighting for more states rights and the Dravidan country that they were presumed to be asking is only in the imagination of national consensus.

    The opposition to AIT is not a response to Dravidian nationalism, but has a history of its own ( i discuss in a response below). I fail to see what is wrong with psychoanalyses of religions; both, Hinduism and Islam need major psychoanalytical models. What limits would you prescribe on psycho-anlayses, anyway, and how is any of that relevant to AIT?

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  • My own hopefully not off base synthesis of this when talking to others is that most of the world takes its language and much of its culture and genetics from “assholes on horseback” – nomadic pastoralists who’s expansions and migrations often (almost invariably) had disastrous consequences for the previous inhabitants. Between Indo-Europeans, Semites, Bantus and Turks (and others), nomadic pastoralists have been pretty effective at reworking the face and shape of the world in their image over the last 6,000 years. It makes for interesting history and prehistory.

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    • Replies: @notanon

    Between Indo-Europeans, Semites, Bantus and Turks (and others), nomadic pastoralists have been pretty effective at reworking the face and shape of the world in their image over the last 6,000 years.
     
    Yes, quite a recurring pattern.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @syonredux

    The thing is, turks of Turkey are genetically middle eastern whites, descended from greeks, armenians, georgians,
     
    Greeks, Armenians, and Georgians are Middle Eastern?

    Armenians, Georgians and anatolian greek speakers who were mostly descended from lydians, carian, bithynian etc are middle eastern.

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    • Replies: @syonredux

    Armenians, Georgians and anatolian greek speakers who were mostly descended from lydians, carian, bithynian etc are middle eastern.
     
    How "Middle Eastern" were the Lydians in terms of DNA? They were, after all, I-E speakers.


    How "Middle Eastern" were the Carians in terms of DNA? Carian is part of the Anatolian branch of the I-E family.

    How "Middle Eastern" were the Bithynians in terms of DNA. Bithynia occupies space that was occupied by I-E speakers like the Phrygians, and the name itself is Thracian in origin.

    How many Georgians and Armenians are descended from " lydians, carian[s], bithynian[s] ?"

    A huge population transfer of Anatolian Greeks occurred in the 1920s.Are they more "Middle Eastern" in terms of DNA than Greeks whose ancestors are native to Greece?
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  • @Jaydeepsinh Rathod
    I had read that paper when it came out. So stop being rude.

    The Moorjani paper does nowhere suggest that there was a migration of ANI people into South Asia around 4000 BP. Or do they ? They only argue that the ANI & ASI were two different groups of people who seem to have remain unadmixed before 4200 BP.

    Moreover, you may recall that the ANI-ASI admixture dates given by Moorjani et al for Dravidian speaking people are much older to the admixture dates for Indo-Aryan speaking North Indians. The ANI-ASI admixture event among Dravidians is on an average 35 generations earlier than in North India . However, if there was a Indo-Aryan migration around 4000 BP, should we not see the earliest ANI-ASI admixture dates for North Indians rather than the South Indian Dravidians ?

    According to ancient Indian historical tradition, the Indo-Aryan culture was for a long period bound by the Vindhyas in the South. Peninsular India beyond the Vindhyas was not much known in that very ancient period. Later on the North Indians migrated into South India under the sage Agastya and spread the Indo-Aryan culture & ethos. The Moorjani paper rather seems to confirm this historical tradition of North Indian movement into Peninsular India.
    --------------------

    You may also wish to remember that Metspalu et al 2011, who had a sample size several times larger to that of Reich et al, suggested that the ANI people of North India do not seem to show any contact with the rest of Western Eurasia from atleast 12500 BP. This might be wrong but no one has so far proved it wrong. Only aDNA from South Asia can confirm or refute it.

    --------------------

    Though South Asians share a high drift with ANE this may simply be because ANE likely originated around South Asia. Remember that the Malta boy had R* y-dna and the most likely place of origin of y-dna R is South Asia as it harbors both R1 & the geographically restricted R2.

    The ANE in South Asia could not have been contributed by Yamnaya like steppe population because for that to have happened the South Asians should also show the Eastern Hunter Gatherer ancestry of the Yamnaya & Afanasievo. On the contrary the EHG ancestry among South Asians is zero.

    --------------------

    Instead of trying to explain the data only through a outdated North to South migration theory, you should also be open to the possibility of a South to North migration. The Southern populations were much more advanced & sophisticated compared to the nomads of the steppe and it is more logical that they could spread their language & culture among these less-advanced people. The opposite scenario is historically unprecedented.

    You are perhaps aware of Frachetti's proposed Inner Asian Mountain Corridor. You should also read Mariya Ivanova who has shown that the Maikop culture shows a significant intrusion from Central Asia in the 4th millenium BC.

    Most of the discussion and information that you discuss is incorrect or based on selective reading. You are reading a jumble of papers and getting years wrong. “Sage Aagstya” is just figments of imagination. Your latter comment on AIT, opposition to AIT, and understanding of Dravidian politics, is rudimentary. There is a voluminous body of literature regarding Aryan arrival, hypergamy and caste formation in Indian society, even before the arrival of a flood of genetic data.

    This website is not possibly a place for Out of India models based on imagination.

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    • Replies: @Jaydeepsinh Rathod
    I am pretty sure you know nothing of the points I raised. If you knew anything about it you would make a pointwise rebuttal. Either show me where I am wrong or do not reply. I am not interested in polemics. And you are no authority on anything that I need your certification. I have made factual arguments and you should rebut them factually.

    Who told you that sage Agastya is a figment of imagination ? He is remembered as a historical figure who had come from North of Vindhyas in the Tamil Sangam texts. Are you trying to tell me that these earliest texts in Tamil language are just imaginative writing with no connection to reality ?

    As for the voluminious literature on AMT & AIT, that does not make AMT factual. You can fill up an entire library writing rubbish. It does not add legitimacy to that rubbish. The AMT/AIT has always been asserted by its proponents but never in the last 150 years have they even come close to proving it. You do not first propose a theory and then try to twist the facts to fit in with that theory as it has happened with AIT. You discard a theory when you cannot find facts to support it. AMT still remains a theory and its proponents should stop acting as if it is a fact.

    And lastly, it is the AMT proponents who have the most fertile imagination. They shouldn't really lecture others on it.
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  • @Pseudonymic Handle
    There are some turkish pseudo-historians who claim not only that the huns were turkish (some relation is not impossible) but that the turks are descendent from white steppe nomads.
    The thing is, turks of Turkey are genetically middle eastern whites, descended from greeks, armenians, georgians, laz and other now extinct anatolian populations, but turkish nationalism and language are connected to central asia nomads creating a conflicting narrative. To solve that they just pretend that nomadic turks like the early seljuk and the early ottomans were white as well instead of asian like present day nomadic turks of Central Asia. They also pretend that these white turks replaced previous populations in Anatolia.
    This ties into Razib's post about history being often used for promoting nationalist narratives.
    The saddest part is that Turkey has some of the world's richest archeological treasures, if not the richest, but turks don't care much about protecting them because they feel they are not connected to them. In truth, they are.

    The thing is, turks of Turkey are genetically middle eastern whites, descended from greeks, armenians, georgians,

    Greeks, Armenians, and Georgians are Middle Eastern?

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    • Replies: @Pseudonymic Handle
    Armenians, Georgians and anatolian greek speakers who were mostly descended from lydians, carian, bithynian etc are middle eastern.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • I’ve only read J.P. Mallory’s In Search of the Indo Europeans, which briefly touches on “Who were the Dravidians?”

    But it seems like he said they likely originated somewhere in the middle east and were also invasive to the Indian sub-continent. I would then assume that they must have been somewhat “Eurasian” but hardly modern “European”. Is it generally right to assume the Dravidians were a Middle Eastern population just before/around the dawn of history?

    Read More
    • Replies: @syonredux

    But it seems like he said they likely originated somewhere in the middle east and were also invasive to the Indian sub-continent. I would then assume that they must have been somewhat “Eurasian”
     
    Western Eurasian, the term for the racial grouping that inhabits North Africa, Europe, and much of Western Asia.

    but hardly modern “European”.
     
    Who would have qualified as "modern European" at that point in history?
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • @Jaydeepsinh Rathod
    I had read that paper when it came out. So stop being rude.

    The Moorjani paper does nowhere suggest that there was a migration of ANI people into South Asia around 4000 BP. Or do they ? They only argue that the ANI & ASI were two different groups of people who seem to have remain unadmixed before 4200 BP.

    Moreover, you may recall that the ANI-ASI admixture dates given by Moorjani et al for Dravidian speaking people are much older to the admixture dates for Indo-Aryan speaking North Indians. The ANI-ASI admixture event among Dravidians is on an average 35 generations earlier than in North India . However, if there was a Indo-Aryan migration around 4000 BP, should we not see the earliest ANI-ASI admixture dates for North Indians rather than the South Indian Dravidians ?

    According to ancient Indian historical tradition, the Indo-Aryan culture was for a long period bound by the Vindhyas in the South. Peninsular India beyond the Vindhyas was not much known in that very ancient period. Later on the North Indians migrated into South India under the sage Agastya and spread the Indo-Aryan culture & ethos. The Moorjani paper rather seems to confirm this historical tradition of North Indian movement into Peninsular India.
    --------------------

    You may also wish to remember that Metspalu et al 2011, who had a sample size several times larger to that of Reich et al, suggested that the ANI people of North India do not seem to show any contact with the rest of Western Eurasia from atleast 12500 BP. This might be wrong but no one has so far proved it wrong. Only aDNA from South Asia can confirm or refute it.

    --------------------

    Though South Asians share a high drift with ANE this may simply be because ANE likely originated around South Asia. Remember that the Malta boy had R* y-dna and the most likely place of origin of y-dna R is South Asia as it harbors both R1 & the geographically restricted R2.

    The ANE in South Asia could not have been contributed by Yamnaya like steppe population because for that to have happened the South Asians should also show the Eastern Hunter Gatherer ancestry of the Yamnaya & Afanasievo. On the contrary the EHG ancestry among South Asians is zero.

    --------------------

    Instead of trying to explain the data only through a outdated North to South migration theory, you should also be open to the possibility of a South to North migration. The Southern populations were much more advanced & sophisticated compared to the nomads of the steppe and it is more logical that they could spread their language & culture among these less-advanced people. The opposite scenario is historically unprecedented.

    You are perhaps aware of Frachetti's proposed Inner Asian Mountain Corridor. You should also read Mariya Ivanova who has shown that the Maikop culture shows a significant intrusion from Central Asia in the 4th millenium BC.

    Instead of trying to explain the data only through a outdated North to South migration theory, you should also be open to the possibility of a South to North migration.

    there is NO ASI beyond the fringes of iran. (really it is minimal behond the pashtun).

    and you don’t know what you are talking about. the nomands weren’t quite as unsophisticated you as presume.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sintashta_culture#Metal_production

    but keep arguing like a lawyer.

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    • Replies: @Jaydeepsinh Rathod
    Since this is the only point you're raising out of several arguments made by me, I presume you do not have any refutation of the other arguments.

    For an Out of India migration before 4200 BP, a must for an Indo-European migration because of likely early presence of IE people among Yamnaya & Afanasievo, how would you find ASI among these, if the admixture between ANI & ASI had yet not happened as per Moorjani et al ?

    As for your link, Sintashta obviously had contacts with the advanced BMAC people and we see several items originating in BMAC found in the Sintashta settlements. So couldn't many of the elements of the Sintashta culture, including its metallurgical expertise, derive from the people of the BMAC ? Is there any proof to deny this possibility ? Please do not take David Anthony's arguments for gospel.

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  • The anti-Aryan invasion consensus (????) in India has a socio-political basis based on post-independence nationalism, and no scientific basis. Bear with me for this long-winded discussion, where I argue that no matter of scientific analysis will make people change their mind. It is quite sad that British work by Hutton, Risley, Caldwell, Ibbetson on hypergamy and Indian Caste development is so completely ignored by India under the guise of imperialism.

    Maxmueller proposed using, linguistics, that the Aryan migrations led to a stratified society; and analyses of population census data by Risley [1908], who credited Ibbetson [1880] for identifying the impact of hypergamy on caste structure. The response to Aryan paternity of higher caste population was originally, enthusiastic (Caldwell, [2006]). However, the Justice party and its successors in the south, correctly identified that the Congress will be used by the three higher varna groupings to dominate the governance, and asked for a seat at the table. Here, it should be clarified that the Brahmin/Kshatriya/Vaisya population in the South India is negligible (< 10%) and everyone was Sudra or out of the caste system. The opposition to Congress crystallized under the Dravidian name, and asked for large reservations for BC (shudra) and SC/ST. The ruling parties responded in two ways: where possible, they co-opted the Higher castes of the BCs into ruling; if impossible, they claimed that the Aryan-Dravidan differences were a foreign conspiracy.

    Attempts to organize the BC and SC groups into politics have often failed with inter-caste differences. Now as congress party failed as the BCs become more forward in pushing their cause, it became the cause of the BJP and the internet Hindus to carry that cross into consciousness. The Co-Opting of BCs into the FC front continues with Modi being the primary spear-carrier.

    A final closure to Indo-Aryan migration/invasion model will hopefully 101 DNAs from ancient India. However, do not expect the elite to agree to this consensus, as the anti-AIT model is socio-political, and not scientific.

    [1] 1908, The people of Indiaby Risley, Herbert Hope, Sir, Crooke, William,
    [2] 2008 The Structure of Indian Society: Then and Now, Shah.
    [3]1947, J.H.Hutton, Caste in India: Its Nature, Functions, and Origins. Cambridge University Press.
    [4] 2006, Demographic Transition Theory, by John C. Caldwell.

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    • Replies: @notanon

    Bear with me for this long-winded discussion, where I argue that no matter of scientific analysis will make people change their mind.
     
    It will eventually - might take a looooong time though.
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  • I’m not sure religion or myth can tell us anything solid about migrations in the last 4,000 years or so. E. J. Michael Witzel (“The Origins of the World’s Mythologies,” Oxford, 2012) argues that many in not all Eurasian myths and religious beliefs go back at least 15,000 years and maybe all the way back to the Cro-Magnon era. This is based on a sort of phylogenetic comparison of regional myths recorded in historic time, especially a comparison of Amerindian myths with those in Eurasia proper.

    If he is right, a big if, then Dravidian myth and Indo-Aryan myth have a common deep source, and similarities are due that source.

    There is a parallel argument over Indo-European elements, tribes and myths, in the Jewish Bible, including the argument that some names like Jehova (YHWH) and Noah are derived from Indo-European sources. Certainly, by the time the Jewish Bible had been compiled, the ancient Jews had had long-standing contacts with actual Indo-Europeans, Hittites, Mitannis, Philistines, Dans (?). But from Witzel’s point of view, perhaps the similarities in the Bible and Indo-European myth are yet another example of a very deep common source.

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  • Razib,

    Thanks to your recommendation I am about ½ way through Empires & Barbarians.

    Very interesting to me was the profound cultural transformation of the various Germanic tribes and the jostling and competition for the favor of the Romans whether as frontier client or actual admission into the Empire as a group. All the while various tribes are sometimes fracturing; sometimes making coalitions, picking and choosing which aspects of the Empire’s culture they wanted to adopt. The Romans induced many of the changes by their economic demand for agricultural products and the trade of desirable goods. The normal migrations of the tribes were accelerated and amplified by the economic changes brought about by the presence of the Romans. Various tribes coming in from the hinterlands to place themselves into a better position in relation to the Empire strengthened the “let’s migrate to a better place” idea which in later generations plays itself out in different groups going all the way to the Mediterranean and beyond. One could say the Romans reaped what they sowed.

    I was interested by the detail that he cited of one instance where the Roman governor was required to agree to provide for the women and children while the men of the group were off on a mercenary mission for the Romans.

    You are correct in that he seems very even-handed; citing evidence of war-bands when it is there and on the other hand pointing out that only the migration of a “people” could explain some of the advances against the military might of the Empire.

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  • I’m the polar opposite of an irreligious atheist and I’m not a “Hindu nationalist” either (though I know a lot of people who are) and I don’t understand the fuss over Donigers book. It calls itself an alternative history but it seemed to me to be a squarely mainstream, dare I say boring? work of scholarship. It didn’t even as I recall have any of the Freudian sex stuff which is what really annoys the Hindutva types about Doniger.

    Resistance to the Aryan Invasion Theory is not so much beause it justified British rule but because it was the ideological underpinning of the virulent anti-Brahmanism in South India particularly Tamil Nadu where “Aryan Invader” Iyers and Iyengers were cast as the oppressors of “Indigenous” Dravidians. (Anecdotally it seems to be South Indian Brahmans who are the most worked up about the AIT.) When word gets out that there was a “Dravidian invasion ” too there will be less of that.

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    • Replies: @dravid

    Resistance to the Aryan Invasion Theory is not so much beause it justified British rule but because it was the ideological underpinning of the virulent anti-Brahmanism in South India particularly Tamil Nadu where “Aryan Invader” Iyers and Iyengers were cast as the oppressors of “Indigenous” Dravidians. (Anecdotally it seems to be South Indian Brahmans who are the most worked up about the AIT.) When word gets out that there was a “Dravidian invasion ” too there will be less of that.

     

    According to my old man, even back when anti-Brahminism took off in the early-twentieth century many of the enterprising political elites thought the Dravidians originated from the Mediterranean or the Middleeast. Most of those who took part in the anti-Brahminism actually believed the Iyers and Iyengars were imported from the north by the southern non-Brahmin Cholan elites themselves about 1kya lulz so word won't change anything.
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  • @Zach
    Amid a discussion about Asia Minor, a Turkish person I knew blurted out "Attila the Hun had blue eyes." Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to find out where he had read that. Many Turks want to be in the EU and some name their children "Attila," but maybe Attila is becoming too reminiscent of an Asian past for the Turks. It would be interesting know the genetic impact that the Huns had on peoples in Eastern Europe and the Near East.

    There are some turkish pseudo-historians who claim not only that the huns were turkish (some relation is not impossible) but that the turks are descendent from white steppe nomads.
    The thing is, turks of Turkey are genetically middle eastern whites, descended from greeks, armenians, georgians, laz and other now extinct anatolian populations, but turkish nationalism and language are connected to central asia nomads creating a conflicting narrative. To solve that they just pretend that nomadic turks like the early seljuk and the early ottomans were white as well instead of asian like present day nomadic turks of Central Asia. They also pretend that these white turks replaced previous populations in Anatolia.
    This ties into Razib’s post about history being often used for promoting nationalist narratives.
    The saddest part is that Turkey has some of the world’s richest archeological treasures, if not the richest, but turks don’t care much about protecting them because they feel they are not connected to them. In truth, they are.

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    • Replies: @syonredux

    The thing is, turks of Turkey are genetically middle eastern whites, descended from greeks, armenians, georgians,
     
    Greeks, Armenians, and Georgians are Middle Eastern?
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  • “Finally, I want to state that I am skeptical, or not convinced, that most of the ANI ancestry in South Asia is from the Indo-Europeans”–perhaps the genetic contribution from the earliest of the East Asian migrations into India to the ANI ancestry is understated? Bhils, the tribal people found in numbers in Northern Indian plains, look more East Asian than like a ‘typical’ North Indian (hair, stature, features), despite speaking an Indic language. Also, many core words in Indic languages are of Munda/Santhali origin, e.g. Munda (boy), Kurhi (girl) in Punjabi, Larka (boy), Larki(girl) in Hindi/Urdu.

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  • @Razib Khan
    see the paper i linked to. they discuss the two wave admixture model. additionally, northwest indian populations have VERY HIGH drift shared with ANE. additionally, the ANI-ASI admixture is suspiciously recent.

    please read the links i provide next time. or don't comment.

    I had read that paper when it came out. So stop being rude.

    The Moorjani paper does nowhere suggest that there was a migration of ANI people into South Asia around 4000 BP. Or do they ? They only argue that the ANI & ASI were two different groups of people who seem to have remain unadmixed before 4200 BP.

    Moreover, you may recall that the ANI-ASI admixture dates given by Moorjani et al for Dravidian speaking people are much older to the admixture dates for Indo-Aryan speaking North Indians. The ANI-ASI admixture event among Dravidians is on an average 35 generations earlier than in North India . However, if there was a Indo-Aryan migration around 4000 BP, should we not see the earliest ANI-ASI admixture dates for North Indians rather than the South Indian Dravidians ?

    According to ancient Indian historical tradition, the Indo-Aryan culture was for a long period bound by the Vindhyas in the South. Peninsular India beyond the Vindhyas was not much known in that very ancient period. Later on the North Indians migrated into South India under the sage Agastya and spread the Indo-Aryan culture & ethos. The Moorjani paper rather seems to confirm this historical tradition of North Indian movement into Peninsular India.
    ——————–

    You may also wish to remember that Metspalu et al 2011, who had a sample size several times larger to that of Reich et al, suggested that the ANI people of North India do not seem to show any contact with the rest of Western Eurasia from atleast 12500 BP. This might be wrong but no one has so far proved it wrong. Only aDNA from South Asia can confirm or refute it.

    ——————–

    Though South Asians share a high drift with ANE this may simply be because ANE likely originated around South Asia. Remember that the Malta boy had R* y-dna and the most likely place of origin of y-dna R is South Asia as it harbors both R1 & the geographically restricted R2.

    The ANE in South Asia could not have been contributed by Yamnaya like steppe population because for that to have happened the South Asians should also show the Eastern Hunter Gatherer ancestry of the Yamnaya & Afanasievo. On the contrary the EHG ancestry among South Asians is zero.

    ——————–

    Instead of trying to explain the data only through a outdated North to South migration theory, you should also be open to the possibility of a South to North migration. The Southern populations were much more advanced & sophisticated compared to the nomads of the steppe and it is more logical that they could spread their language & culture among these less-advanced people. The opposite scenario is historically unprecedented.

    You are perhaps aware of Frachetti’s proposed Inner Asian Mountain Corridor. You should also read Mariya Ivanova who has shown that the Maikop culture shows a significant intrusion from Central Asia in the 4th millenium BC.

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    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    Instead of trying to explain the data only through a outdated North to South migration theory, you should also be open to the possibility of a South to North migration.

    there is NO ASI beyond the fringes of iran. (really it is minimal behond the pashtun).

    and you don't know what you are talking about. the nomands weren't quite as unsophisticated you as presume.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sintashta_culture#Metal_production

    but keep arguing like a lawyer.

    , @Vijay
    Most of the discussion and information that you discuss is incorrect or based on selective reading. You are reading a jumble of papers and getting years wrong. "Sage Aagstya" is just figments of imagination. Your latter comment on AIT, opposition to AIT, and understanding of Dravidian politics, is rudimentary. There is a voluminous body of literature regarding Aryan arrival, hypergamy and caste formation in Indian society, even before the arrival of a flood of genetic data.

    This website is not possibly a place for Out of India models based on imagination.
    , @CupOfCanada

    The Southern populations were much more advanced & sophisticated compared to the nomads of the steppe and it is more logical that they could spread their language & culture among these less-advanced people. The opposite scenario is historically unprecedented.
     
    I can think of a few historical precedents. Greek replacing Minoan. Akkadian replacing Sumerian before being replaced by Persian. Germanic languages arriving in Britain. Turkic languages arriving in Anatolia. The Magyars arriving in Hungary. History is replete with examples of more "advanced" cultures and languages being replaced with those of migrating nomads.
    , @notanon

    The Southern populations were much more advanced & sophisticated compared to the nomads of the steppe and it is more logical that they could spread their language & culture among these less-advanced people. The opposite scenario is historically unprecedented.
     
    It is generally true that the civilized regions were ahead of the uncivilized regions in most areas of life. The exceptions in ancient times were areas connected to warry stuff: cavalry, metallurgy, weapons, chariots etc.

    Hence their success at the warry stuff.

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  • Regarding Argentina, I believe the study you refer to in your link does not distinguish the recent arrivals from Bolivia and Paraguay. This new immigration starting in the last 30 years has added Native American genes into Argentina, same way post 1965 Mexican immigration added to that of the USA.
    Nevertheless there is a tendency to self-segregation between Europeans and Native Americans anyway, both at regional and urban levels. The White flight phenomenon is something I have also seen there.

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  • For reasons which I will not elaborate in detail, because I don’t know that much about it, and don’t care either, a dominant strand of Indian nationalism has turned against the Indo-Aryan model of intrusion. In fact this school has “flipped the script,” asserting that Indo-Aryans, and therefore Indo-European languages, are indigenous to the subcontinent.

    Just to take a stab at this, the thinking among the nationalists in India is that all this discussion about Indo-Aryans and their hypothesized invasion of the subcontinent is not merely academic, but has serious political consequences. Ordinary people (who are not scholars) seem to be very emotionally connected to their lineage and their past; if a theory makes someone question what they thought their lineage and their past consisted of, that might cause serious disruptions in the polity. And given that many models of Indo-Aryan invasion in the past just assumed that the Aryans and the Dravidians had a conflict, and that the lower castes must have been former (pure) Dravidians, and given the fact that Dravidians have darker skin colors on average, you can see where a split in the national narrative might occur. And this is not just theoretical; there was a secessionist movement in Tamil Nadu in the ’60s. South Indian Brahmins who are part of the nationalist factions in India are especially invested in rejecting the Aryan invasion theory, given that they are seem as Dravidians by the northerners and as Aryan interlopers by southerners of other castes.

    Anyway, thanks for succinctly answering the key questions that can be raised against the Indo-Aryan invasion model. Hopefully one day the nationalists will succumb to science and start to prefer scholarship to polemic.

    I read the book when it came out, and it wasn’t my cup of tea, but I didn’t see what the big deal was

    Based on what I read about the reactions to the book, what most upsets Indian nationalists and conservatives is the over-application of Freudian analysis to the Hindu texts (Vedas and others). I don’t know if they can be completely blamed for their reactions though. Psychoanalysis has its limits, and surely sexual urges can’t explain every phenomenon, can they? Conservatives of any society will get upset if their most cherished beliefs have sexual motive imputed to them. I recall a book someone wrote a decade ago about Lincoln, which “proved” that he was gay; naturally, it relied on cherry-picked evidence and was heavily criticized.

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    • Replies: @Vijay
    The "Dravidian" opposition to Nationalistic stream of thinking in India was more complex and intelligent than your discussion. It has a pre-congress history based on the Justice party and represents a different caste dynamics of south India (close to 90% Sudra(!) caste population). The castes of the South have a longer history (4000+ years) and an earlier admixture date than the castes of north and themselves complicated products of ANI-ASI admixture that does not reflect the Aryan arrival precisely. The dravidan parties and, to a lesser extent, the Vokkaligas, Lingayats, Reddys and Khammas represented the dominant culture of the south, and were fighting for more states rights and the Dravidan country that they were presumed to be asking is only in the imagination of national consensus.

    The opposition to AIT is not a response to Dravidian nationalism, but has a history of its own ( i discuss in a response below). I fail to see what is wrong with psychoanalyses of religions; both, Hinduism and Islam need major psychoanalytical models. What limits would you prescribe on psycho-anlayses, anyway, and how is any of that relevant to AIT?
    , @dravid

    Hopefully one day the nationalists will succumb to science and start to prefer scholarship to polemic.
     
    Science rarely, if ever, informs politics. Generally whoever is most capable of molding and shaping narratives and coalitions wins.


    Based on what I read about the reactions to the book, what most upsets Indian nationalists and conservatives is the over-application of Freudian analysis to the Hindu texts (Vedas and others). I don’t know if they can be completely blamed for their reactions though. Psychoanalysis has its limits, and surely sexual urges can’t explain every phenomenon, can they? Conservatives of any society will get upset if their most cherished beliefs have sexual motive imputed to them. I recall a book someone wrote a decade ago about Lincoln, which “proved” that he was gay; naturally, it relied on cherry-picked evidence and was heavily criticized.

     

    Google Doniger's background. How something as pseudoscientific as Freud's claptrap still manages to find an audience boggles the mind.

    What's hilarious about the Hindutva right getting angry about sexualization is their whole attitude towards these matters are derived from exposure to Victorian Brits. The Bhakthi movement outright incorporated Victorian mores and uppity attitudes into local beliefs. So when a bunch of RSS goons run amok on Valentines day, they're actually doing so at the behest of beliefs brought in by the non-Hindu colonizers lulz. You can't make this shit up. Traditionally local beliefs have been laissez-faire in regards to sexuality. Take a look at the sculptures that adorn temples or older pre-colonial pictures of various goddesses in all their naked splendour.

    And given that many models of Indo-Aryan invasion in the past just assumed that the Aryans and the Dravidians had a conflict, and that the lower castes must have been former (pure) Dravidians, and given the fact that Dravidians have darker skin colors on average, you can see where a split in the national narrative might occur.
     
    The Brits excelled in ruling by dividing conquered peoples and this figured in their strategy. Again controlling the narrative goes a long way. A lot of the ascendent upper and middle castes would have had no chance at education or improving their lot in an India that never underwent British colonization. One of the pros of Anglo influence. My grandfather was apparently a vicious atheist way back when. In fact if you look at all the parts of India that have had decent economic or social improvement (Gujurat, Punjab, South India etc) they all seem to have middle and non-Brahmin upper castes that can hold their own. Whats unfortunate is despite improving their lot they still manage to be bigots towards lower castes.

    And this is not just theoretical; there was a secessionist movement in Tamil Nadu in the ’60s.
     
    Is it me or are the Tamils relatively belligerent? @Vijay ?
    , @Jim
    Freud was a charlatan.
    , @Asher
    " Psychoanalysis has its limits"

    Yeah, there's an understatement
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  • The migration may have been male-mediated. All this means is that gene flow from the northwest occurred mostly through males. Over multiple iterations this can replace much of the whole genome, while leaving the single mtDNA lineage intact.

    This is probably harder to detect archaeologically. If a group of males establish themselves as a ruling class, there may not be much of a change (if any) in the material culture other than with regard to prestige items, which are very rare finds anyway. Doesn’t mean those ruling males won’t have much higher net-reproductive success over generations than the indigenous males.

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  • Amid a discussion about Asia Minor, a Turkish person I knew blurted out “Attila the Hun had blue eyes.” Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to find out where he had read that. Many Turks want to be in the EU and some name their children “Attila,” but maybe Attila is becoming too reminiscent of an Asian past for the Turks. It would be interesting know the genetic impact that the Huns had on peoples in Eastern Europe and the Near East.

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    • Replies: @Pseudonymic Handle
    There are some turkish pseudo-historians who claim not only that the huns were turkish (some relation is not impossible) but that the turks are descendent from white steppe nomads.
    The thing is, turks of Turkey are genetically middle eastern whites, descended from greeks, armenians, georgians, laz and other now extinct anatolian populations, but turkish nationalism and language are connected to central asia nomads creating a conflicting narrative. To solve that they just pretend that nomadic turks like the early seljuk and the early ottomans were white as well instead of asian like present day nomadic turks of Central Asia. They also pretend that these white turks replaced previous populations in Anatolia.
    This ties into Razib's post about history being often used for promoting nationalist narratives.
    The saddest part is that Turkey has some of the world's richest archeological treasures, if not the richest, but turks don't care much about protecting them because they feel they are not connected to them. In truth, they are.
    , @Jim
    The Hunnish language could be an Altaic language but very little is known about it. The word "Attila" is actually Gothic - the Gothic root "atta-" meaning father and the Gothic diminutive suffix "-la", basically "daddy" in Gothic.
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  • @Jaydeepsinh Rathod
    I do not know what makes you feel that the ancient dna studies of Haak et al & Allentoft et al support the Aryan migration theories. They only show the evidence of Indo European migration into Europe from the steppe. Where do these show genetic evidence for Indo-Aryan migration into South Asia ?

    see the paper i linked to. they discuss the two wave admixture model. additionally, northwest indian populations have VERY HIGH drift shared with ANE. additionally, the ANI-ASI admixture is suspiciously recent.

    please read the links i provide next time. or don’t comment.

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    • Replies: @Jaydeepsinh Rathod
    I had read that paper when it came out. So stop being rude.

    The Moorjani paper does nowhere suggest that there was a migration of ANI people into South Asia around 4000 BP. Or do they ? They only argue that the ANI & ASI were two different groups of people who seem to have remain unadmixed before 4200 BP.

    Moreover, you may recall that the ANI-ASI admixture dates given by Moorjani et al for Dravidian speaking people are much older to the admixture dates for Indo-Aryan speaking North Indians. The ANI-ASI admixture event among Dravidians is on an average 35 generations earlier than in North India . However, if there was a Indo-Aryan migration around 4000 BP, should we not see the earliest ANI-ASI admixture dates for North Indians rather than the South Indian Dravidians ?

    According to ancient Indian historical tradition, the Indo-Aryan culture was for a long period bound by the Vindhyas in the South. Peninsular India beyond the Vindhyas was not much known in that very ancient period. Later on the North Indians migrated into South India under the sage Agastya and spread the Indo-Aryan culture & ethos. The Moorjani paper rather seems to confirm this historical tradition of North Indian movement into Peninsular India.
    --------------------

    You may also wish to remember that Metspalu et al 2011, who had a sample size several times larger to that of Reich et al, suggested that the ANI people of North India do not seem to show any contact with the rest of Western Eurasia from atleast 12500 BP. This might be wrong but no one has so far proved it wrong. Only aDNA from South Asia can confirm or refute it.

    --------------------

    Though South Asians share a high drift with ANE this may simply be because ANE likely originated around South Asia. Remember that the Malta boy had R* y-dna and the most likely place of origin of y-dna R is South Asia as it harbors both R1 & the geographically restricted R2.

    The ANE in South Asia could not have been contributed by Yamnaya like steppe population because for that to have happened the South Asians should also show the Eastern Hunter Gatherer ancestry of the Yamnaya & Afanasievo. On the contrary the EHG ancestry among South Asians is zero.

    --------------------

    Instead of trying to explain the data only through a outdated North to South migration theory, you should also be open to the possibility of a South to North migration. The Southern populations were much more advanced & sophisticated compared to the nomads of the steppe and it is more logical that they could spread their language & culture among these less-advanced people. The opposite scenario is historically unprecedented.

    You are perhaps aware of Frachetti's proposed Inner Asian Mountain Corridor. You should also read Mariya Ivanova who has shown that the Maikop culture shows a significant intrusion from Central Asia in the 4th millenium BC.

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  • I do not know what makes you feel that the ancient dna studies of Haak et al & Allentoft et al support the Aryan migration theories. They only show the evidence of Indo European migration into Europe from the steppe. Where do these show genetic evidence for Indo-Aryan migration into South Asia ?

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    • Replies: @Razib Khan
    see the paper i linked to. they discuss the two wave admixture model. additionally, northwest indian populations have VERY HIGH drift shared with ANE. additionally, the ANI-ASI admixture is suspiciously recent.

    please read the links i provide next time. or don't comment.
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  • I heartily endorse your recommendation of Heather’s book. It was an eye-opener for me.

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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    razib, the problem with the history and spoken tales is that both speaks truth from a narrow point. being an indian in india, its hard to have a rationale discussion that talks about our past. although i have no evidence, genetic or otherwise, it appears to me that the theory on the indo-aryan model of intrusion could be correct. scientists are not necessarily rationalists, willing to change their positions as more and more data and newer techniques get available. to me, scientists have become one of the biggest stumbling blocks for unearthing the facts. btw, about wendy doniger’s book, i believe that no book is controversial. it only states what the author believes or have gathered the evidence for, especially if it’s a historical text. therefore, the response to a book should be a book, not protest or any campaign against the book. let people read both sides of the story and make up their own mind. binay panda

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  • @Karl Zimmerman
    The model is that a European-like population invaded the Indian subcontinent, imposed the caste system, and imparted many aspects of high culture upon the natives.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't the genetic evidence now suggest that the caste system possibly predates the Aryan Invasions? I suppose either way some group of West Eurasian outsiders would have imposed it, but I'm not sure calling proto-Dravidians European-like is accurate.

    In this context Razib is not talking about the modern model, but rather explaining what the British’s (outdated) Aryan Invasion model consisted of.

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  • “a revisionist view which resurrects some aspects of the old folk migration theories”
    I studied history in Germany some 15 years ago &, IIRC, the Völkerwanderung theory was never discarded as such (though there was always discussion about the magnitude), so no need for revisionism. Is that a phenomenon among historians in the English speaking world?

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    • Replies: @Twinkie

    I studied history in Germany some 15 years ago &, IIRC, the Völkerwanderung theory was never discarded as such (though there was always discussion about the magnitude), so no need for revisionism. Is that a phenomenon among historians in the English speaking world?
     
    When I was a budding historian about 20 years ago, I had just emerged from my academic training, in which the "Late Antiquity" paradigm was ascendant. Contrary to the more traditional interpretation of the Roman fall and the rise of the Germanic Dark Ages, this school emphasized the continuity between the two periods. Instead of seeing the early Middle Ages as a period of civilizational collapse and the rise of less civilized, barbarous states, the paradigm held that the lives and culture of ordinary people continued on, largely as before, while the elite stratum was supplanted by Germanic warriors (and guided by the continuing and intact clerical administrative establishment).

    Even back then, though, this was not entirely convincing to me, because I read several studies that examined the material evidence for the continuity, and found that considerable amount of interregional trade evaporated, money supply contracted (or destroyed and replaced by barter), local economic autarky emerged, and material quality of life declined (in addition to all the rape and rapine from various wars).

    But the proponents of the Late Antiquity school should be credited for putting to rest, finally, the notion that Rome "fell" overnight and something completely new and different arose suddenly. Land records showed that the transition was much more gradual than previously assumed in some, possibly, most regions. Instead of barbarian armies rampaging around, exterminating the farmers, and expropriating and settling land at will, fragmentary records seemed to indicate that local landowners were initially "billeted" the Germanic warriors (and, in one particular example, provide produce from half of their lands for the said warriors' upkeep).

    Of course, while this kind of a transition did not involve wholesale butchery of the locals and complete racial replacement, it still must have been quite traumatic to the existing landowners and the farmers who worked the land, on whom the alien warriors and their kin were imposed. Moreover, because the balance of power in its raw sense had shifted dramatically to the allied/foederati warriors who held the sword, it was inevitable that the local elites began to imitate the ways of the new arrivals. So while the assimilation was bidirectional, the latter held supremacy over the former as time went on and the central administration faded away.

    Since then, I read Goldsworthy, Heather, and Ward-Perkins, and have not found anything to repudiate the view that what mostly likely occurred was something in between the traditionalist view of a collapse (and the subsequent Dark Ages) and the Late Antiquity school's "continuity" - that there was substantial upheaval and decline in material quality of life but that the period of mutual-assimilation was gradual (though with the "barbarians" increasingly in charge).
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  • @Karl Zimmerman
    The model is that a European-like population invaded the Indian subcontinent, imposed the caste system, and imparted many aspects of high culture upon the natives.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't the genetic evidence now suggest that the caste system possibly predates the Aryan Invasions? I suppose either way some group of West Eurasian outsiders would have imposed it, but I'm not sure calling proto-Dravidians European-like is accurate.

    but I’m not sure calling proto-Dravidians European-like is accurate.

    Isn’t Razib specifically referencing the Indo-Aryans here*? Which would rule out calling them proto-Dravidian.

    *

    One side aspect of my writings on these topics is that many Indians are not very happy with the newest results, because they validate threads of a frankly colonialist model of an Indo-Aryan invasion. The model is that a European-like population invaded the Indian subcontinent, imposed the caste system, and imparted many aspects of high culture upon the natives.

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  • @Karl Zimmerman
    The model is that a European-like population invaded the Indian subcontinent, imposed the caste system, and imparted many aspects of high culture upon the natives.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't the genetic evidence now suggest that the caste system possibly predates the Aryan Invasions? I suppose either way some group of West Eurasian outsiders would have imposed it, but I'm not sure calling proto-Dravidians European-like is accurate.

    I would think that line should actually be:

    The model is that a European-like population invaded the Indian subcontinent, super-imposed themselves upon the caste system, and imparted many aspects of high culture upon the natives.

    Some version of caste system and some Hindu gods were already preexisting; the Dravidans (or whatever mixture that was existing when the Aryans arrived) were not particularly resisting to the high culture and rligion imposed; if anything, the Aryans became Indian.

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  • because they validate threads of a frankly colonialist model of an Indo-Aryan invasion

    Indeed, hard to get all worked up against the British for doing what you did earlier. And Aryan Invasion was the accepted narrative when I was in school. At least at mine.

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  • The model is that a European-like population invaded the Indian subcontinent, imposed the caste system, and imparted many aspects of high culture upon the natives.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t the genetic evidence now suggest that the caste system possibly predates the Aryan Invasions? I suppose either way some group of West Eurasian outsiders would have imposed it, but I’m not sure calling proto-Dravidians European-like is accurate.

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    • Replies: @Vijay
    I would think that line should actually be:

    The model is that a European-like population invaded the Indian subcontinent, super-imposed themselves upon the caste system, and imparted many aspects of high culture upon the natives.

    Some version of caste system and some Hindu gods were already preexisting; the Dravidans (or whatever mixture that was existing when the Aryans arrived) were not particularly resisting to the high culture and rligion imposed; if anything, the Aryans became Indian.
    , @syonredux

    but I’m not sure calling proto-Dravidians European-like is accurate.
     
    Isn't Razib specifically referencing the Indo-Aryans here*? Which would rule out calling them proto-Dravidian.



    *

    One side aspect of my writings on these topics is that many Indians are not very happy with the newest results, because they validate threads of a frankly colonialist model of an Indo-Aryan invasion. The model is that a European-like population invaded the Indian subcontinent, imposed the caste system, and imparted many aspects of high culture upon the natives.
     
    , @Yudi
    In this context Razib is not talking about the modern model, but rather explaining what the British's (outdated) Aryan Invasion model consisted of.
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