Recent papers The formation of human populations in South and Central Asia, by Narasimhan, Patterson et al. Science (2019) and An Ancient Harappan Genome Lacks Ancestry from Steppe Pastoralists or Iranian Farmers, by Shinde et al. Cell (2019).
NOTE. For direct access to Narasimhan, Patterson et al. (2019), visit this link courtesy of the first author and the Reich Lab.
I am currently not on holidays anymore, and the information in the paper is huge, with many complex issues raised by the new samples and analyses rather than solved, so I will stick to the Indo-European question, … Read the rest “Yamnaya replaced Europeans, but admixed heavily as they spread to Asia”
Review (behind paywall) The genetic makings of South Asia, by Metspalu, Monda, and Chaubey, Current Opinion in Genetics & Development (2018) 53:128-133.
Interesting excerpts (emphasis mine):
(…) the spread of agriculture in Europe was a result of the demic diffusion of early Anatolian farmers, it was discovered that the spread of agriculture to South Asia was mediated by a genetically completely different farmer population in the Zagros mountains in contemporary Iran (IF). The ANI-ASI cline itself was interpreted as a mixture of three components genetically related to Iranian agriculturalists, Onge and Early and Middle Bronze Age Steppe populations (Steppe_EMBA).
… Read the rest “The genetic makings of South Asia – IVC as Proto-Dravidian”
New paper (behind paywall) Neolithic phylogenetic continuity inferred from complete mitochondrial DNA sequences in a tribal population of Southern India, by Sylvester et al. Genetica (2018).
This paper used a complete mtDNA genome study of 113 unrelated individuals from the Melakudiya tribal population, a Dravidian speaking tribe from the Kodagu district of Karnataka, Southern India.
Some interesting excerpts (emphasis mine):
Autosomal genetic evidence indicates that most of the ethnolinguistic groups in India have descended from a mixture of two divergent ancestral populations: Ancestral North Indians (ANI) related to People of West Eurasia, the Caucasus, Central Asia and the Middle
… Read the rest “Mitogenomes show continuity of Neolithic populations in Southern India”
New article on The Caravan, Indus Valley People Did Not Have Genetic Contribution From The Steppes: Head Of Ancient DNA Lab Testing Rakhigarhi Samples, by Hartosh Singh Val.
Niraj Rai, head of the DNA Laboratory where the samples from the Harappan site of Rakhigarhi in Haryana are being analysed, has this to say:
It will show that there is no steppe contribution to the Indus Valley DNA.
The Indus Valley people were indigenous, but in the sense that their DNA had contributions from near eastern Iranian farmers mixed with the Indian hunter-gatherer DNA, that is still reflected in the
… Read the rest “Rakhigarhi samples from the Indus Valley Civilisation will support the conclusions of Narasimhan et al. (2018)”
New open access paper Archaeological and anthropological studies on the Harappan cemetery of Rakhigarhi, India, by Shinde, Kim, Wo, et al. PLOS One (2018) 13(2): e0192299.
An insufficient number of archaeological surveys has been carried out to date on Harappan Civilization cemeteries. One case in point is the necropolis at Rakhigarhi site (Haryana, India), one of the largest cities of the Harappan Civilization, where most burials within the cemetery remained uninvestigated. Over the course of the past three seasons (2013 to 2016), we therefore conducted excavations in an attempt to remedy this data shortfall. In brief, we found
… Read the rest “Archaeological and anthropological studies on the Harappan cemetery of Rakhigarhi, India”
The Proto-Indo-European Urheimat
Not long ago, the Proto-Indo-European language Urheimat problem used to be cyclic in nature: linguistic and archaeological publications appeared supporting a Copper Age migration from the steppe proposed by Marija Gimbutas, or a Neolithic expansion from Anatolia (or Armenia) proposed by Colin Renfrew, and back again.
I have always supported the simpler, more recent Chalcolithic migration of Late Indo-Europeans from the Pontic-Caspian steppe over an older Neolithic expansion from Anatolia with agriculture. The latter model implied a complex cultural diffusion over a greater span of time than is warranted by linguistic guesstimates, understood as the … Read the rest “The Aryan migration debate, the Out of India models, and the modern “indigenous Indo-Aryan” sectarianism”