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Indian Migration Influx

17 March 2024
Anthropology, Archaeology, Catastrophism, Genetics

At https://www.livescience.com/archaeology/indias-evolutionary-past-tied-to-huge-migration-50000-years-ago-and-to-now-extinct-human-relatives …. Genetic research in India has come up with an interesting observation. Modern Indians have inherited genes from what is now Tajikistan as well as a residue of genes from Neanderthals or Denisovans. A genome analysis of 2700 people taken from 17 states and therefore from a wide geography of India, is the first of what will probably later be expanded. The Tajikistan link is to early farming communities who expanded out of the Fertile Crescent. However, it could  well be that people from Iran, or Baluchistan, expanded south into India and north into Tajikistan. Genetics is a new science so we can expect some odd statistics. So, the arrival of early farmers was an important moment in time. It probably took some time to reach southern India – or deep into the interior. However, the important discovery was that  genetic variation stems from a single migration event of modern humans, around 50,000 years ago. We may note the significance of this date  – close to the Laschamp event. It also coincided with the disappearance of Neanderthals in Europe and western Asia. Denisovans were not just in India but in SE Asia in general – as well as central Asia. They all  disappeared – at the point the Laschamp event kicked in. One may surmise that as there was a mass die off of mammals coinciding with Laschamp the same must also apply to humans. In Europe and India the aftermath is marked by the arrival of modern humans – but did they migrate there from outside India or was it all down to a human bottleneck, modern humans appearing as numbers started to increase. Fascinating subject – but can genetics untangle what occurred. To keep on saying that modern humans spread into this region or that region one has to have evidence of a region where they lived prior to Laschamp – and it could not be in Africa as Australian Aborigines, who also had Denisovan hereditary features, were already in Australia at the time. What this research does show is that it is increasingly unlikely that Out of Africa, between 100,000 and 50,000 years ago, is unlikely. The numbers are awry. It was Homo erectus that colonised the world.

Modern India, we are told, has more than 4,500 anthropologically well defined populations. These include the castes, various tribal groups, as well as groups defined by their religion. The population is diverse – with three major groups. These are the Iranian farmers, steppe nomads from the Eurasian steppes, and South Asian hunter gatherers.

Full pdf at https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2024.02.15.580575v2.full.pdf

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