The deliberate silence on certain issues such as the correspondence materially and in other ways with the Bactro Margiana Arachaeological Complex, or overplaying of continuity on the basis of the study of genetic data seems suspect. Krishna: On rediscovering Asoka through his edicts, T.M. So, all the hullaballoo about outward migration or the indigenous development of farming is hanging by a thread. The lead researchers of this soon-tobe published study — Vasant Shinde and Neeraj Rai — told ETthat this establishes the knowledge ecosystem in the Vedic … Challenging the famous theory of an Aryan invasion ending the Indus Valley Civilization (IVC), analysis of DNA samples obtained from the skeletons excavated at the Mature Harappan cemetery at Rakhigarhi in Haryana says no mass migration into … Dr R. Mahalakshmi is Professor at the Centre for Historical Studies. The final paragraph of the Cell paper is where many newspaper reports and WhatsApp messages seem to be getting their titles from—the reference to languages spreading to India via Central Asia in the early second millennium BCE. All rights reserved. The article in question does allow for ambiguities, as seen in the concluding discussion: “These findings suggest that in South Asia as in Europe, the advent of farming was not mediated directly by descendants of the world’s first farmers who lived in the Fertile Crescent. That these proto-cultivation efforts are what led to the sustained use and development of agricultural knowledge and technique is an accepted argument. So, even if we accept the Eurasian migration occurring at an early date, it does not necessarily mean these were not agriculturists, or those who knew the value of agriculture. Photo: AFP, The Rakhigarhi excavation site. Also, recent researches have suggested a revised chronology for the Pre-Pottery Neolithic in the Levant going as far back as 12,000 years ago. 'The fact that the Steppe pastoralist ancestry in South Asia matches that in Bronze Age Eastern Europe (but not Western Europe) provides additional evidence for this theory, as it elegantly explains the shared distinctive features of Balto-Slavic and Indo-Iranian languages,” it added. The second postulation, hence, is that farming began in the IVC independently from the West Asian experience. Here, palynologists need to be brought to the table, as the zooarchaeological and archaeobotanical records reveal very important traces of movements and harnessing of cultigens, germane to the discussions about the origins of farming. The authors worked on the skeletal remains for over three years, trying to extract and sequence the DNA. New open access paper Archaeological and anthropological studies on the Harappan cemetery of Rakhigarhi, India, by Shinde, Kim, Wo, et al. A second line of argument draws from the comparison of the Iranian ancestry in terms of DNA data from c.10,000-8,000 BCE. Rakhigarhi DNA does not contain 'Aryan’ genetic trace. It is inexplicable how the geneticists’ toolkit can, without the disciplinary insights, independently include linguistic and contextual analysis to make such sweeping generalisations. No, these have been a part of vehement discussions by archaeologists, historians, linguists and anthropologists for several decades now. An agenda-setting for indigeneity of populations, ideas and civilisational traits may be embedded in these studies. Rakhigarhi findings instrumental in showing Harappans existed before ‘Aryan invasion’ Biswanath Sarkar Former superintending anthropologist, Anthropological Survey of India. Vagheesh M. Narasimhan et al in “The Formation of Human Populations in South and Central Asia” draw our attention to their analysis of 523 individuals “mostly from Central Asia and northern-most South Asia.” The diverse temporal and spatial range involved sampling from the past 8,000 years DNA of populations living in 19 sites in Iran and Turan (c. 12,000-1 BCE), two sites of western Siberia (c. 6400-3900 BCE), 56 sites from the Central Steppes (3400-800 BCE), and 12 sites in northern-most South Asia, and Swat and Chitral regions of Pakistan, corresponding to the map of north and north-western British India (c. 1200 BCE-1700 CE). Next Last. He also mentions that his collaborators were making the opposite proposition—migration “of Indians to the Near East and Europe”—without any evidence whatsoever. The resources needed to keep up the good work that Frontline has been doing for the past 35 years and more are immense. They may also look up the term “indigenous”, as their public statements and the discussion mentioned above are at variance. Are the findings conclusive? This study, based on the ancient DNA of a woman who lived in the Harappan site of Rakhigarhi about 4,600 years ago, was published in Cell, co … In fact, the pioneering work of Elena Kuzmina, which is now available in English translations, should be seriously studied by those interested in the Indo-European language family and the Steppe cultures. The study’s main authors are Vasant Shinde, an archaeologist from the Deccan College in Pune, Niraj Rai, a geneticist from Birbal Sahni Institute of Paleosciences, Lucknow, and David Reich, a Harvard Medical School geneticist. Further, there is little to warrant the rather irresponsible statements being made in newspaper reports about Aryans/Aryan invasions. This paper assumes the validity of the PIE enterprise as though it is some unshakable fact/truth and a proven hypothesis. No. NEW DELHI: The first study of the DNA samples of the skeletal remains excavated from Rakhigarhi, an Indus Valley Civilisation (IVC) site in Haryana, has found no traces of Iranian farmer or steppe pastoralist ancestry, which according to the lead archaeologist in the team raises doubt over the long-held theory of Aryan invasion or migration into South Asia. 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The study fundamentally did not debunk the Aryan invasion theory, as mentioned by certain media publications and Twitter handes. We are further told that the 11 samples that were chosen for comparison were from among 44 individuals because of a distinctive ancestry profile, where the Indus Periphery Cline (IPC) saw a match with the Indus Valley Cline (IVC). It is suggested in the Science article that non-IPC ASI ancestors were the carriers of the proto-Dravidian language from within peninsular India. The deceptive titles of some of these news reports, particularly the reference to the “Aryan invasion theory” being debunked, has caught the eyes of the interested public. Abstract: An insufficient number of archaeological surveys has been carried out to date on Harappan Civilization cemeteries. Archaeologists such as Jonathan M. Kenoyer, Shereen Ratnagar and Rita P. Wright have made important contributions to the study of the Harappan civilisation, but they do not even find a place in the bibliography, and the linguists and historians mentioned above are also missing. The yellow labels indicate two sites where a minority of buried individuals yielded ancient DNA which matched that of the Rakhigarhi individual. A confusing news report draws conclusions that seem to … Linked to this, the issue of movement out of the IVC is quite surprising and seems to be beyond the brief of the data analysis and analysts. Since he strongly expressed his feeling at the time that political considerations were coming in the way of important patterns of people’s movements and intermixing being revealed, do we deduce that he changed his mind owing to the political views (he had earlier mentioned that perhaps one should be more “sensitive”), or is it a purely academic opinion based on the arguably thin evidence as cited in the research article? Harappan site of Rakhigarhi: DNA study finds no Central Asian trace, junks Aryan invasion theory By Anubhuti Vishnoi ET Bureau|Updated: Jun 13, 2018, 12.24 PM IST The much-awaited DNA study of the skeletal remains found at the Harappan site of Rakhigarhi, Haryana, shows no Central Asian trace, indicating the Aryan invasion theory was flawed and Vedic evolution was through indigenous people. The findings of the paper are based on the DNA sequencing of skeletal remains of a woman found at Rakhigarhi in Haryana, which some years back emerged as one of the biggest archaeological sites connected to the Indus Valley civilization. Scientists have now successfully extracted DNA from the place which is being cited to establish the ancestry of that population. So, instead of presuming that the IPC received out-migration from the IVC, why can we not suggest the reverse? Copyright © 2021, THG PUBLISHING PVT LTD. 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Mixtures of these two post-Indus Valley groups drive the main gradient of genetic variation in South Asia today.”. Instead, populations of hunter-gatherers—in Eastern Anatolia in the case of Europe… and in a yet-unsampled location in the case of South Asia—began farming without large-scale movement of people into these regions. GENETICS Do Rakhigarhi DNA findings debunk the Aryan invasion theory or give it more credence? The paper, called An Ancient Harappan Genome Lacks Ancestry from Steppe pastoralists and Iranian Farmers, published in the Cell journal on Thursday, claimed that the inhabitants of the Indus Valley, spread in northwest Asia from 2600 BC to 1900 BC, lacked the steppe-pastoralist ancestry that brought Indo-European languages into South Asia. What then is different and significant about the present discussion and debate is the letting of the barbarians into the room, and finding that there are interesting possibilities that they proffer with regard to who we are. Why Indian gov refuses to publish Rakhigarhi excavation's DNA results? Surprisingly, there is no mention of the remarkable work of linguists and Sanskritists such as Michael Witzel, Fritz Staal and Stephanie Jamison, who have contributed immensely to our understanding of the Indo-Aryan language culture through a close reading of the Vedic texts, nor of the historians R.S. Rakhigarhi, an archaeological site in Hisar district of Haryana, has been in the news lately. The scientific paper on the DNA analysis of the Harappan skeleton from Rakhigarhi claims that there was no Aryan invasion and no Aryan migration and that all the developments right from the hunting-gathering stage to modern times in South Asia were done by indigenous people. the principal-component analysis technique involving a comparison with similar data from 11 other skeletal remains in two sites [Gonur (3) and Shahr-i-Sokhta (8)] was undertaken. Hence, the complexity of the issue is missed—people may carry languages but they also imbibe them; further, synthetic language evolution, marked by mixing of language traditions, is something that is clearly out of the domain of discussion here. The COVID-19-induced lockdown and the absolute necessity for human beings to maintain a physical distance from one another in order to contain the pandemic has changed our lives in unimaginable ways. cytosine-to-thymine mismatches characteristic of ancient DNA. Where earlier we were informed in a synthetic study by the well-known geneticist David Reich (one of the lead authors of this study as well) that the Iranian movement into the east occurred around 9,000 years ago (2018), the scholars of the Cell article are trying to establish that the movement of people from the Near East actually occurred around 12,000 years ago. At best, it may be extrapolated from the data that a section of the population in Rakhigarhi (estimated IVC population at its peak is about four to six million) had links with a section (only 11 of 44 match the type from Rakhigarhi) in the IPC. Mohenjodaro, one of the primary sites of the Indus Valley Civilization. This resulted in data at 31,760 SNPs. The data pool used in the paper generating all this excitement is too limited as the ancient DNA is lacking in a substantive sense. A human skeleton found at the Rakhigarhi site. An insufficient number of archaeological surveys has been carried out to date on Harappan Civilization cemeteries. According to another paper by a few of the same authors a few months ago, inhabitants of the Indus Valley are the primary ancestral population of South Asia. The scientists studied the DNA from the Indus Valley Civilization, while the Aryan migration is said to have happened during the fall of this ancient cvilization. To continue enjoying Frontline, you can turn off your adblocker or subscribe to Frontline digital. I seriously doubt that the main contributors to these scholarly papers would wish to be embroiled in what is a wasteful and unwarranted discussion. Aug 30, 2016 1,762 3 3,116 Country Location. The Rakhigarhi DNA findings have opened up an an exciting chapter in understanding ancient populations on the subcontinent. Move smoothly between articles as our pages load instantly. The second study focuses on just a single genome from the Indus Valley civilization: I6113, a woman who died more than 4,000 years ago. But if we are looking for definitive answers, my understanding would be that the muddied waters have got muddier, though there are also present some new avenues for solution of questions that have remained vexed up until now. Photo: R.V. Rakhigarhi hit the headlines when the DNA extracted from a woman who lived in the village around 4,500 years ago yielded clues to the ancestry of ancient Indians. In contrast, the Ancestral South Indian population was formed by the mixing of inhabitants hailing from the Indus Valley with aboriginals in the southeast. The scientific paper on the DNA analysis of the Harappan skeleton from Rakhigarhi claims that there was no Aryan invasion and no Aryan migration and that all the developments right from the hunting-gathering stage to modern times in South Asia were done by indigenous people. Copyright © 2020 The Telegraph. I have been told there is much social media traction for this story. I, and I am sure historians, too, received phone calls asking for comments. Where the Anatolian farmer-related ancestry is present (negligible but present, we are told), it came in via the Steppe ancestry in the post-IVC period, which became the dominant strain in modern South Asians. The final version of this earlier paper was published in the journal Science under the title The formation of human populations in South and Central Asia. The findings here are tentative to say the least. Naturally it … The population has no detectable ancestry from Steppe pastoralists or from Anatolian and Iranian farmers, suggesting farming in South Asia arose from local foragers rather than from large-scale migration from the West,” was the study’s main finding. They mixed with steppe-pastoralists to form, what the paper calls, Ancestral North Indians. The first genome sequence of a woman from Rakhigarhi, the largest town in Indus Valley Civilisation, has shed some light on the origins of people who built this ancient civilisation around five millennia ago 1. An agenda-setting for indigeneity of populations, ideas and civilisational traits may be embeded in the paper. A much awaited study on the genetic make-up of the Indus Valley civilization has said that the inhabitants were devoid of any ancestry from the steppe-pastoralists, or Aryans, who invaded South Asia from central Asia after the fall of this ancient civilization. A recent report in Economic Times announced thus: 'Harappan site of Rakhigarhi: DNA study finds no Central Asian trace, junks Aryan invasion theory'. Is there anything at all important in these studies for those studying the subcontinent’s history? Photo: Kamal Narang. Subscribing to the online edition, I am confident, will make it mutually beneficial. And just coz we let others come and settle down here, doesn't mean you can claim a stake here or be at par with us, outside of constitution. Being a … It was in the middle of last calendar year that the results of the DNA tests done on the 4,500-yearold skeleton dug up at Rakhigarhi emerged. Time to include facts in history books pic.twitter.com/7f4PwqfS6F, Study does not rule out the theory of Aryan invasion. The DNA belongs to a woman who was buried four to five millennia ago in Rakhigarhi, now part of Haryana in India. (Cline refers to a gradual change of a phenotype over a long period of time in a region due to environmental variability, from the Greek meaning “to lean”.) Yediyurappa Cabinet in Karnataka, Book Review: In Vishwanath Suvarna's "Golden Views of Karnataka Forts", forts that were citadels once now lie in ruins, T.M. A woman’s skeleton from 2500 BC has finally spoken. The assumption that one individual would represent the whole population of that city, and indeed the entire civilisation, seems distinctly at odds with the otherwise painstaking methodology and genetic analysis. Mamluk FULL MEMBER. After the final results of Rakhigarhi the book “Early Indians” by @tjoseph0010 tumbles down badly as does “Aryan Migration Theory”.The paper can be read here https://t.co/oHEeJc9XDxJust 10 days back I had debunked the theory of “AMT” in this thread with literary references https://t.co/cmutYWHIgz pic.twitter.com/uKfERiFPXc, Aryan invasion theory bites dust after DNA study of 2500 BC Rakhigarhi skeletons,And there goes historians like Romila Thapar’s agenda based distortion in academic history.#Aryan #Aryans #AryanInvasionTheory pic.twitter.com/lWsmZTzgCJ. It is a long journey indeed. Niraj Rai, the head of the Ancient DNA Laboratory at Lucknow’s Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeosciences (BSIP), where the DNA samples from the Harappan site of Rakhigarhi in Haryana are being analysed, has revealed that a forthcoming paper on the work will show that there is no steppe contribution to the DNA of the Harappan people. “A genome from the Indus Valley Civilization is from a population that is the largest source for South Asians. Let us move to the paper published in Cell titled “An Ancient Harappan Genome Lacks Ancestry from Steppe Pastoralists or Iranian Farmers”. The population has no detectable ancestry from Steppe pastoralists or from Anatolian and Iranian farmers, suggesting farming in South Asia arose from local foragers rather than from large-scale migration from the West. Since modern populations of Iran and South Asia have a high component of Steppe ancestry and almost none of the ancient Iranian one, this reveals a significant change post the IVC period. The main arguments in this paper may be summed up as follows: excavations at the site of Rakhigarhi have revealed a Mature Harappan context dated to about 2800-2300 BCE; the sampling of the skeletal remains was done at this site, of what appears to be a woman with the genetic identification code I6113 and the archaeological skeletal code RGR7.3, BR-01, HS-02. The DNA of this person from Rakhigarhi, it turns out, is a … Prof. Vasant Shinde and Dr Niraj Rai during the release of the results of the DNA analysis to the media in New Delhi on September 6. IN early September, the newspapers reported with considerable excitement the publication of a scientific paper on the DNA analysis on an individual skeleton found in the Harappan site of Rakhigarhi in Hisar district of Haryana. After building a mitochondrial DNA The ratio of damage-restricted sequences mapping to the Y chromosome to se-quences mapping to both the Y and X chromosomes was in the range expected for a female. Also, the rigorous linguistic analysis of the Avesta, the Vedas and other texts that have lent weight to the language family theory is missing. Much has been said about how flawed such theories were, since the 1950s. We didn't come from elsewhere. It states: “The primary ancestral population of modern South Asians is a mixture of people related to early Holocene populations of Iran and South Asia that we detect in outlier individuals from two sites in cultural contact with the Indus Valley Civilization (IVC), making it plausible that it was characteristic of the IVC. To see the genetic evidence as clinching is reductive and does not take into consideration cultural accretion and contextual transformations. All #Indians belong to #India, #HarappanCivilisation. It has been argued that there is a closer match with the data from the earlier date, implying that the ancestors of the IVC cline were hunter-gatherers rather than farmers. The findings of the paper are based on the DNA sequencing of skeletal remains of a woman found at Rakhigarhi in Haryana, which some years back emerged as one of the biggest archaeological sites connected to the Indus Valley civilization. This paper pertains only to the DNA analysis of the Rakhigarhi specimen, the sole available specimen of examinable DNA from ancient India from the Harappan area and period. Is all of this discussion new? Some authors who have been going to the press regarding the findings may reread this, for clearly this statement suggests that there is no westward gene flow from South Asia. The hunter-gatherer societies were aware of the value of specific flora, the evidence of it being the lunate tools with plant stains that have been found, the pestles and mortars, and storage pits and baskets. You have reached your limit for free articles this month. The print medium all over the world is no exception. The much-awaited DNA study of the skeletal remains found at the Harappan site of Rakhigarhi, Haryana, shows no Central Asian trace, indicating the Aryan invasion theory was flawed and Vedic evolution was through indigenous people. The paper reports “a natural route for Indo-European languages to have spread into South Asia is from Eastern Europe via Central Asia in the first half of the 2nd millennium BCE, a chain of transmission that did occur as has been documented in detail with ancient DNA”. In-depth analysis of issues and events in India and around the world. However, the claim in the Cell paper, that the advent of farming in South Asia preceded the migration of the steppe-pastoralists, which is lucid enough on its own, did not deter many on social media to hail the paper as the slayer of the Aryan-invasion theory, which has been a thorn in the side of the Hindu right for long. Even while the real economy remains in contractionary mode, not only have stock market returns exploded but India’s stock of foreign exchange reserves registered record-breaking increases in the April-September 2020 period mainly because expenditure, rather unusually, fell short of receipts in the current account. MOORTHY, Two of four human skeletons dating back to the Harappan era found at a burial mound at Rakhigarhi village in Harayana on March 11, 2015. The distinctive genetic compass of Ancestral North Indians (ANI) and Ancestral South Indians (ASI) studied by several geneticists over the past decades has indicated several complex mixtures occurring within and across these groups in deep time, is elided here. Reich humorously refers to the geneticists as the barbarians who arrived late on the scene in the studies and discussion on the human past. On the other hand, it is obvious that even without significant movements, traits and ideas, including subsistence strategies, could have travelled. There is also written evidence from Mesopotamia to corroborate this. In a separate paper in the journal Science on September 6, authored by most of the same set and including around 70 more, the issue missing above is foregrounded. Also, some important studies on the transitional hunter-gatherer Natufian cultural sites in the Fertile Crescent region like Ain-Mallaha have indicated that the knowledge of agriculture/cultivation was older than generally believed, although its manifestation as a primary subsistence strategy may have occurred later. The study runs counter to the long-standing Hindutva proponents’ theory that Aryans were the original inhabitants of India and had not migrated from anywhere. PLOS One (2018) 13(2): e0192299. 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