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Current Affairs

New discoveries in Aryan Migration theory

Date: 14 September 2019 Tags: Historical Places

Issue

A new paper published in scientific journal has thrown light on various aspects of ancient genetic history of modern day Indians. The study has also provided answers to Aryan miigration theory.

 

Background

  • The Aryan were central Asian Steppe pastoralists who arrived in India between roughly 2000 BCE and 1500 BCE, and brought Indo-European languages to the subcontinent.

  • Importantly, the two recent studies are based on 12 ancient DNA samples: one from Rakhigarhi, 8 from Shahr-i-Sokhta in eastern Iran and three from Gonur in BMAC.

 

Details

  • The primary source of ancestry for today’s South Asians is a mixture of First Indians and a people related to the hunter-gatherers of Iran. This mixed population created the agricultural revolution in northwestern India and built the Harappan Civilisation.

  • When the Harappan Civilisation declined after 2000 BCE due to a long drought, the Harappans moved south-eastwards (from northwestern India) to mix with other First Indians to form the Ancestral South Indian (ASI) population whose descendants live in south India today.

  • The Harappans also mixed with Steppe pastoralists who had migrated to north India through Central Asia, to form the Ancestral North Indian (ANI) population.

  • The Steppe ancestry of the people of both South Asia and Eastern Europe in the Bronze Age explains how the movements of the Central Asians between the two regions caused the well-known similarities between the Indo-Iranian and Balto-Slavic languages.

  • It has also been found that the genome of IVC people lacked steppe ancestry as widely believeds earlier.

  • This indicates that the Steppe migrations to India happened after the decline of the Harappan Civilisation.

  • The earlier study on Genomic Formation of South and Central Asia said the migrants from Iran who mixed with First Indians were herders. The new study says the Iranians arrived in India before agriculture or even herding had begun anywhere in the world.

  • This means that these migrants were likely to have been hunter-gatherers, i.e they did not bring the knowledge of agriculture.