Whether this occurred is still unverified and could be determined through ancient DNA studies from just before and after the farming transitions in South Asia” (emphasis added throughout). 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. As the distribution of printed copies is unlikely to resume any time soon, Frontline will come to you only through the digital platform until the return of normality. It is inexplicable how the geneticists’ toolkit can, without the disciplinary insights, independently include linguistic and contextual analysis to make such sweeping generalisations. 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. The Harappan site at Rakhigarhi, in Hisar district, is the biggest one known yet—at up to 550 hectares, it’s more than twice the size of Mohenjodaro. Sharma, Romila Thapar and D.N. There are two things that immediately strike one in this argument: the authors seem to be aware that the IVC reveals a flourishing cosmopolitan urban culture. Copyright © 2020 The Telegraph. 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. There is also written evidence from Mesopotamia to corroborate this. Rakhigarhi is a very important site. It has brought to light the presence of a … Much has been said about how flawed such theories were, since the 1950s. GENETICS Do Rakhigarhi DNA findings debunk the Aryan invasion theory or give it more credence? 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). 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. 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. A human skeleton found at the Rakhigarhi site. 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 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. Read some of Rakhigarhi findings and if I sum it up correctly, it means Hindus are the natives of Bharat. The study fundamentally did not debunk the Aryan invasion theory, as mentioned by certain media publications and Twitter handes. An agenda-setting for indigeneity of populations, ideas and civilisational traits may be embeded in the paper. Jha and archaeologists such as J.P. Mallory who have analysed the contexts in which the Vedas appear to have been composed. The resources needed to keep up the good work that Frontline has been doing for the past 35 years and more are immense. Rakhigarhi, Rakhi Garhi (Rakhi Shahpur + Rakhi Khas), is a village in Hisar District in the state of Haryana in India, situated 150 kilometers to the northwest of Delhi.It is the site of a pre-Indus Valley Civilisation settlement going back to about 1600 BCE.Later, it was also part of the mature Indus Valley Civilisation, dating to 2600-1900 BCE. 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. Hence, the authors postulated the possibility that there was outward migration from the IVC to Iran and Turkmenistan, as the 12 skeletal remains were seen as belonging to the same cline. Further, the work of scholars in the non-English-speaking world, particularly from Russia and China, must also be accessed to make better sense of the entire issue. (pic via Twitter) 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. 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. They apparently suggested that such a revelation could be politically explosive. 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. 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. So, instead of presuming that the IPC received out-migration from the IVC, why can we not suggest the reverse? That these proto-cultivation efforts are what led to the sustained use and development of agricultural knowledge and technique is an accepted argument. I am neither a geneticist nor an archaeologist like the 28 authors of the scientific paper on gene analysis, but as a historian familiar with the debates and the issues involved, I find it necessary to address some concerns that have been raised by several academics. 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. 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. The findings here are tentative to say the least. 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. 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. 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 … All rights reserved. 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. A team of Indian and international scientists and archaeologists — who conducted a genetic analysis of the remains of a woman buried in Rakhigarhi, a Harappan site in Haryana — have found no traces of the R1a1 gene, which is often loosely called the ‘Aryan gene’. Next Last. No, these have been a part of vehement discussions by archaeologists, historians, linguists and anthropologists for several decades now. The yellow labels indicate two sites where a minority of buried individuals yielded ancient DNA which matched that of the Rakhigarhi individual. The DNA belongs to a woman who was buried four to five millennia ago in Rakhigarhi, now part of Haryana in India. 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? 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. 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. Mixtures of these two post-Indus Valley groups drive the main gradient of genetic variation in South Asia today.”. 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. Aug 30, 2016 1,762 3 3,116 Country Location. In a brilliant move top archeologists #VasantShinde #NeerajRai Presented #Rakhigarhi DNA sample findings at , @INTACHIndia demolishing strongly #AryanInvasionTheory. 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. In-depth analysis of issues and events in India and around the world. 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. So, all the hullaballoo about outward migration or the indigenous development of farming is hanging by a thread. Photo: AFP, The Rakhigarhi excavation site. This is striking because Reich in his interesting book Who Are We, and How We Got Here, published in 2018, points out that his Indian collaborators (and mind you the latter are geneticists, not archaeologists or historians) were strongly opposed to his understanding of the movement of west Eurasians into the Indian subcontinent. 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. Readers who have been part of this journey are our source of strength. Further, there is little to warrant the rather irresponsible statements being made in newspaper reports about Aryans/Aryan invasions. 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. I, and I am sure historians, too, received phone calls asking for comments. in Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. They may also look up the term “indigenous”, as their public statements and the discussion mentioned above are at variance. 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. In contrast, the Ancestral South Indian population was formed by the mixing of inhabitants hailing from the Indus Valley with aboriginals in the southeast. Enjoy reading as many articles as you wish without any limitations. After the Indus Valley Civilization’s decline, this population mixed with northwestern groups with Steppe ancestry to form the Ancestral North Indians and also mixed with southeastern groups to form the Ancestral South Indians, whose direct descendants today live in tribal groups in southern India. It appears that to separate the wheat from the chaff, we first need to critically look at the paper and then at the media reports. An agenda-setting for indigeneity of populations, ideas and civilisational traits may be embedded in these studies. Krishna: On rediscovering Asoka through his edicts, T.M. Reich humorously refers to the geneticists as the barbarians who arrived late on the scene in the studies and discussion on the human past. Dr R. Mahalakshmi is Professor at the Centre for Historical Studies. 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. 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. cytosine-to-thymine mismatches characteristic of ancient DNA. 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 report in The Economic Times (published on September 6) has quoted Professor Vasant Shinde, the lead author of the paper in the scientific journal Cell (September 5, 2019), as saying: “The paper indicates 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 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”. Important observations made include, “these results show that neither of the two primary source populations of the Modern Indian Cline, the ANI or ASI, was fully formed before the turn of the second millennium BCE”; and “through formal modelling, we demonstrate that it is this contribution of Indus Periphery Cline people to later South Asians, rather than westward gene flow bringing an ancestry unique to South Asia onto the Iranian plateau, that explains the high degree of shared ancestry between present-day South Asians and early Holocene Iranians.”. The two papers do not contradict each other regarding the spread of the steppe-pastoralists or of Indo-European languages into South Asia. Far back as 12,000 years ago from 2500 BC has finally spoken rather! Enterprise as though it is suggested in the IVC independently from the Indus Civilization! There is little to warrant the rather irresponsible statements being made in newspaper reports about Aryans/Aryan invasions the of! 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