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Sunday, March 25, 2018

Central Asia as the PIE urheimat? Forget it


Right or wrong, the main contenders for the title of the Proto-Indo-European (PIE) homeland, or urheimat, are Eastern Europe, Anatolia and Transcaucasia, in that order. Central Asia, is, at best, one of the also-rans in this tussle, much like India and the Arctic Circle.

However, if you've been following the discussions on the topic in the comments at this blog over the last couple of years, you might be excused for thinking that Central Asia was in fact a natural choice for the PIE homeland, and thanks to new insights from ancient DNA, on the cusp of being proven to be the only choice.

Well, it's already been a very busy year for insights from ancient DNA, including in regards to Central Asia.

For instance, back in February a paper in Science by Gaunitz et al. revealed that the Botai people of Eneolithic Central Asia kept a breed of horse that was ancestral to the Przewalski's horse (see here). This is potentially a crucial fact in the PIE homeland debate, because the horse is the most important animal in early Indo-European religion. However, the Przewalski's horse is a significantly different clade of horse from the modern-day domestic horse. Hence, even if the Botai people were the first humans to domesticate the horse, then so what, because they didn't domesticate the right type of horse.

It remains to be seen who domesticated the right type of horse, and apparently there's a least one major ancient DNA paper on the way that will try to solve this problem. But we already know that the Middle Bronze Age Sintashta people, who lived in the southern Urals, just east of the current border between Europe and Asia, but were the descendants of Eastern European migrants to the region, did keep the right type of horse, that was also phylogenetically somewhat more basal, and thus ancestral, to most modern-day horse breeds.

Interestingly, by far the most basal horse genome within the domestic horse clade is Duk2, from an Early Bronze Age archaeological site near the city of Dunaujvaros in Hungary. But it's not certain who this horse belonged to exactly or where it really came from, because the site in question was probably a major trading post, where livestock and crops were exchanged for bronze articles. In other words, Duk2 may have been imported from somewhere nearby or afar. My bet is that it came from the Pontic-Caspian steppe. Let's wait and see.


Moreover, earlier this week the New York Times ran a feature on the work that David Reich and his colleagues at Broad MIT/Harvard are doing with ancient DNA. The article included an image of Reich standing in front of a whiteboard, and this whiteboard just happened to have on it a migration and mixture model based on ancient human DNA for Central Asia focusing on the period 2200-1500 BCE (scroll down the page here).

I've already analyzed this model in as much detail as I could in an earlier blog entry (see here). However, in the context of this blog entry, it's important to note that the model clearly shows major population movements from Europe and West Asia into Central Asia, rather than the other way around (ie. all of the really big arrows are pointing east). The paper with the final version of this model is apparently coming soon, and after it does come, we'll probably be having our last ever discussion here about Central Asia as a potential PIE homeland. I can't wait.

Update 01/04/2018: The preprint of the paper on ancient Central Asia that I mentioned above is now available at bioRxiv. See here.

See also...

Of horses and men

Late PIE ground zero now obvious; location of PIE homeland still uncertain, but...

603 comments:

1 – 200 of 603   Newer›   Newest»
Al Bundy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mr. Kulkarni said...

Flimsy evidence of presence or absence of horse to figure out indo aryan homeland?
http://archaeologyonline.net/artifacts/horse-debate
It's certainly not a game changer. True horse bones have been found from many parts of prehistoric India.

Al Bundy said...

It's brought up because of academic courtesy, it was a top contender a few years ago.There was obviously no big migration from Anatolia to the Pontic Steppes.If I had to pick right now I would go with West Asia and Late PIE to Northern Europe.Can't wait for the paper!

Palacista said...

Central Asia is just an diversion by the Hindu nationalists to avoid saying East Europe.

Al Bundy said...

Late PIE from the Pontic Steppes

Mr. Kulkarni said...

http://www.techtimes.com/articles/20749/20141122/ancestor-of-horse-and-rhino-may-have-originated-in-india.htm

56million year old ancestor of modern horse and rhino found in Gujarat, India.
Don't try so hard, wait for the Indian aDNA to come out.

Davidski said...

@Mr. Kulkarni

It's certainly not a game changer. True horse bones have been found from many parts of prehistoric India.

Well, it is when it correlates with other evidence, like the spread of Y-HG R1a from Eastern Europe to South Asia.

And the Przewalski's horse is a also a true horse in terms of bone morphology. But it's not the right clade of true horse.

So if there wasn't the right clade of horse present in Eneolithic Central Asia, what the hell would it be doing in South Asia at that time?

Davidski said...

@Al Bundy

Late PIE from the Pontic Steppes

Archaic PIE from Sredny Stog and Khvalynsk, late PIE from Yamnaya.

Al Bundy said...

@Davidski Yea could very well be the case... those 2 theories I think are the only possibilities and soon we won't have to hear about Central Asia anymore.

Rob said...

@ Al

“There was obviously no big migration from Anatolia to the Pontic Steppes”

Maybe not directly but there was significant movement of ANF ancestry to the steppe long before any steppe ancestry moved in he other direction
And, no, it wasn’t due to females

Mr. Kulkarni said...

@davidski
Ok let's assume there were no horses in central Asia and India.
You're looking for horses because of its mention in Rig Veda (composed wholly in India btw).
But then where are the fire altars that the Rig Veda mentions? Have fire altars been excavated in Sredny stog or khvalynsk?
I don't think so.

Davidski said...

@Rob

The ANF migration stopped dead at the Dnieper.

And then there was a bit of mixing, probably both ways, and most of the ANF ancestry in the steppe peoples did come via female migration.

Otherwise, where are the ANF Y-HGs in Sredny Stog, Sintashta, Srubnaya, Andronovo, etc...

Al Bundy said...

The farmers migrated to the PS but that was pre IE?

Davidski said...

@Mr. Kulkarni

Ok let's assume there were no horses in central Asia and India.

What the hell do you think the Botai horses were? Not horses? Yeah, they were real horses.

But look here stupid. They're not the right type of horses.

https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-swkfPhlLDEw/WrdQejGNwcI/AAAAAAAAGls/lWeKslUBXVAkZQMs_zR4aMxec8R5E9YEQCLcBGAs/s1600/Horse_phylogeny_Fig_S22.png

Mr. Kulkarni said...

@davidski you can't be selective about evidence from literature.

Where are the rig vedic fire altars found outside of Iran,india and bmac?

Rob said...

@ Dave
I bet they made it to the lower Don & north Caucasus
And as I said, it wasn’t directly from Anatolia so no need for G2a etc

@ Al
Not IE but probably some adstratum

Davidski said...

@Mr. Kulkarni

Tell your doctor to prescribe you less of what he's been prescribing you.

And then come back here and carefully read what I've written.

Davidski said...

@Rob

And as I said, it wasn’t directly from Anatolia so no need for G2a etc

They really didn't make much of an impact, even if not directly.

Their women did though, I admit that, we can see that in the mtDNA of the Bronze Age steppe peoples.

Mr. Kulkarni said...

@davidski
Eqqus caballus has been attested in India since 2500bc. Don't horse around with flaky claims, because there are a lot to go around from the other sides as well.
Wait for indian adna. Rig veda mentions 34 ribbed horse. If you want to rely on literature, don't distort it to fit your views.

Davidski said...

@Mr. Kulkarni

Botai horses were also horses.

Now we have their genomes, and oops, they're not the right horses.

If Central Asian horses weren't the right horses, then how can South Asian horses be the right horses?

Was there some sort of worm hole between Europe and South Asia that bypassed Central Asia?

Mr. Kulkarni said...

@davidski
The rig veda (the basic reason for you to keep shouting Aryan invasion) mentions 34 ribbed horse. So either:
1. It was a different species
2. The number of horses was so low that the rare 34 ribbed horse was taken as the stereotype.
3. Then there is the complete absence of major culture change in archaeological studies in NW india, as is seen in western Europe after Yamna male mediated 'invasion'.
4. Complete absence of evidence rig vedic culture or proto sanskrit outside NW India.

Jijnasu said...

The only rational pro-OIT arguments I've seen are by Elst and to an extent by Talageri. A lot of the others have no idea what they're arguing about - an early odd-toed ungulate, a random equid, the H. Pylori strains borne by the otzi iceman anything will be reinterpreted as being pro-oit.

the anatolian hypothesis is dead and I don't think central asia ever had too many takers.

There are only two possible scenarios 1. IE languages spread from the East European steppe as evidenced by ancient DNA studies.
2.IE languages expanded without actual population movements but in the face of strong linguistic arguments PIE is likely to have expanded from the east european steppe.

Also the horse was never a much of an 'Indian' animal. While a few regions in west/NW India did breed horses,Good horses were mostly imported from foreign traders from the ancient to the pre-modern era

Nirjhar007 said...

Kulkarni,
There are some IVC sites from where Horses/depictions were found , they can be named as Surkotada, Lothal, Malvan, Kuntasi, Shikarpur ,Mohenjodaro, Harappa, kalibangan, koldihwa etc.

Some aDNA will be nice from them....

BTW Judging by that video of geneticist dr.chaubey , its not looking ideal for ait ....

a said...

Mr. Kulkarni said...
"Eqqus caballus has been attested in India since 2500bc. Don't horse around with flaky claims, because there are a lot to go around from the other sides as well.
Wait for indian adna. Rig veda mentions 34 ribbed horse. If you want to rely on literature, don't distort it to fit your views."


"Interestingly, by far the most basal horse genome within the domesticated horse clade is Duk2, from an Early Bronze Age archaeological site near the city of Dunaujvaros in Hungary"

Mr. Kulkarni- soon it will not matter if the results are released from India. Why, you may asked? Eventually there will be a combined chronological[horse/husbandry and human-male dna trail] of both human and horse remains outside of India. Ask yourself where is the oldest horse/human burials in India/Swat, Europe, Caucasus? Related to what cultures[Yamnaya/Corded Ware/Sintashta/Bell Beaker/Maykop/Swat..........etc?
Side point---Dunaujvaros -Hungary is within Csepel Hungary(60km+/- Bell Beaker sites} sphere of influence : )

Mr. Kulkarni said...

I'm neither pro oit nor ait. My only point is that rig vedic culture is older than 2000bc. Possibly 3000-5000bc.

Santosh said...

@Jijnasu

This is a bit off-topic but what do you personally consider to have been the major language and the other languages of the IVC? The Proto-Dravidian of the currently existent Dr. languages seems best associated with middle and later stages of the Southern Neolithic- like post 2500-2300 BC or so; and some people are saying that Munda came to India only beginning 2000 BC, so which was even the language of the Indus Civilisation? Elamite? Para Dravidian? Para Munda nonetheless? Language X? Pre-Burushaski? This matter is really being very problematic for me.

Also, regarding the idea that ancient Sindh had some Dravidian speakers, what do you think the direction was in which Sindh got its Dr.? From Southern Neolithic Karnataka via Deccan Chalcolithic cultures which were culturally predominantly Harappan but may have had some migration from Karnataka nonetheless? Or does the Sindh Dravidian correspond to any Pre-Proto Dravidian that came to Southern Neolithic? Or is it according to the case as imagined by Parpola and Krishnamurti that Dravidian's first presence in South India is only in the middle of the 2nd millennium BC, being a migrating language from the collapsed IVC and post-IVC of north India?

Jijnasu said...

@nirjhar
My conclusions were exactly the opposite. In addition the vagueness of all his statements, his talking about some palaeolithic migration and denying both significant immigration and emigration into India seemed extremely suspicious. The last claim is very implausible considering that the last 10000 years have seen significant population turnover in nearly all parts of the world. Also the fact that millions Indians and subcontinental ppl share a fairly recent common male ancestor with central asians and east europeans was completely skipped.

Mr. Kulkarni said...

@a
Horse burials along with humans are not mentioned in the rig veda. So your claims are summarily rejected.
https://www.speakingtree.in/blog/the-vedic-significance-of-funeral-rites

Jijnasu said...

I think munda/para-munda or dravidian is unlikely. Possibly para-dravidian or some other isolate?

Davidski said...

@Nirjhar

Chaubey looked like he was going to shit himself trying to come up with something remotely plausible to go along with what the rest of those clowns were preaching at that conference.

EastPole said...

Dereivka and forest-steppe looks better as a PIE homeland than steppe not only because of R1a-M417, corded ornaments etc, but also because of the horses IMO:

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/20548923.2018.1443547

Santosh said...

Thank you very much! Earlier I used to think that the Dravidian loanwords and other influences in early Sanskrit were quite close to Proto-Dravidian and thus a Para Dravidian may not have existed but it seems a valid possibility if we imagine that both Para Dravidian and Pre-Proto Dravidian did not diverge much, in the imagined first half of the 3rd millennium BC and later. Likelihood I would guess to be perhaps about 50-50 or 60-40 but not lower, seeing the high influence of Dravidian-like language on early Sanskrit.

Nirjhar007 said...

Chaubey looked like he was going to shit himself trying to come up with something remotely plausible to go along with what the rest of those clowns were preaching at that conference.
But I had the impression that it was you who got nervous .Anyway, we will see soon .

Nirjhar007 said...

Jijnasu, I think you should remember that he co-authored the article in which it was pointed that they have data.

a said...

Mr. Kulkarni said...
@a
"Horse burials along with humans are not mentioned in the rig veda. So your claims are summarily rejected.
https://www.speakingtree.in/blog/the-vedic-significance-of-funeral-rites"
True, were talking about the realm of the g_d's. However you still need physical proof to put a name[non fictional] on animals/customs/things. Don't you think it's a little curious that the horse[ अश्वमेध aśvamedhá] and wagon/wheel[(1) PIE *kwé-kwl-o-/*kw ekwl-á, “wheel” is the origin of Greek kúklos, Tocharian A kukäl / B kokale, “wagon,” Sanskrit cakrá-] are found together in some regions? For example,Poland-[Bronocice_pot-Anas-sanskrit wagon?] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bronocice_pot-radiocarbon method to 3635–3370 BC is right next to a site that has a horse burial and or signs of horse husbandry and or horse riding-Bell Beakers in Poland and Hungary-I7044 HUNG498, grave 13 ...... Samborzec (Małopolska, Poland) R1b1a1a2 I4889, same samples that have signs of steppe ancestry?

Mr. Kulkarni said...

Please share the link to that video.

Ric Hern said...

Then there is also the Tabiano Horse from Salzmünde...3100 BCE...

Davidski said...

Chaubey doesn't have any ancient data to support his claims. He's just talking about modern data, because that's the only way that he's able to turn things upside down.

It's hard to believe that he's as stupid as he's making himself look.

Richard Rocca said...

PL_N47 Corded Ware Pikutkowo, Poland 2563BC-2350BC
Haplogroup I2a2a1

PL_N49 Corded Ware Pikutkowo, Poland 2563BC-2350BC
Certainly Haplogroup I, some I1 and I2 calls before my computer crashed (after 8 hours of processing).

From: https://www.ebi.ac.uk/ena/data/view/PRJNA318237

Santosh said...

Regarding my above reply, it is also quite possible that there was a very early Indo-Iranian in the Indus valley, which may or may not be equal to the language of the Rig Veda, during the IVC, and it may have had a Para-Dravidian as an adstrate and then substrate and it is this older IA language influenced by the hypothetical Para-Dravidian that got reflected in the Rig Veda, whenever it may have been composed and irrespective of whether a new Rig Vedic type IAs were involved in starting the Vedic tradition. Frankly though, my perception of a linguistic vacuum in the Indus Civilisation even during its heyday, not to speak of later, is becoming unbearable to me. Hope that something or the other is known about it as soon as possible- let it turnout to be Indo-Aryan or Elamitic or Sumerian or Para-Dravidian or whatever.

Jijnasu said...

@nirjhar - Its not clear from the article that he means ancient DNA evidence. I think its strange he would have avoided mentioning r1a if the evidence they have suggests that it originated in India and would talk about some minor paleolithic migration instead.

Mr. Kulkarni said...

Found the video.
This is the transcript of part of Dr Chaubeys talk. Emphasis and punctuations are mine. Have made some grammatical corrections as well.

"they said that there is a mitochondrial DNA variation then we showed that last 90 to 95 percent Indians they have the same mitochondrial DNA which has originated which has a root in last 40 to 50 thousand years ago. Then they were saying that okay this migration was related with the males only then we again the y chromosome and said that no there is no such thing in Y chromosome as well so now they are asking that probably because there is no ancient DNA evidence from India so probably the entire DNA evidence says that there was an entire migration so we are working on ancient DNA samples which are from Rakhigarhi four thousand years old. and it can tell you that preliminary results clearly show that even there was a Dravidian expansion towards the towards the Northwest India which was so far not reported but there is no migration from the west to east so this was the final conclusion"

Santosh said...

@ Mr. Kulkarni,

Regarding your above comment with the transcript of Dr. Chaubey's speech: Rakhigarhi of 4000 years ago means it's already 2000 BC, right? They have no samples from earlier period? I mean, we can perhaps even convince Michael Witzel that there may have been Indo-Aryan languages there by 2000 BC. The question is if the Indus Civilisation was established by Indo-Aryans. Also, when he says there was no migration from west to east, is he talking about within India? If so, then how about the clear archaeological evidence of Late Harappans migrating towards east into the Gangetic plain after 2000 BC to form Late Harappan village settlements there?

Jijnasu said...

@santosh he seems to say there was no major migration from or to India after the movements out of africa, only a few small scale movements. This is an almost impossible scenario.

Santosh said...

Also, there is a theoretical basis to think of a Dravidian expansion towards northwest from south in terms of Fuller's hypothesis that there was a significant migration from Southern Neolithic into Deccan Chalcolithic and thus perhaps Sindh too, but why do I have a strange sense that Dr. Chaubey is erroneously equating Dravidian with ASI genetic signature? Why do dominant people always have to claim less dominant peoples as themselves? Why should the pre-Dravidian native Indians of the south be merged into these Dravidians whose language is successfully imposed there today and whose linguistic descendants are the major dominant group there today?

Davidski said...

When Chaubey says west to east, he means into India from Europe/West Asia.

But of course there is plenty of evidence of migrations into India from the west, first by farmers from Iran and then by pastoralists from the steppes.

This whole thing will end rather badly for these Indian scientists in the long run. They'll lose credibility.

Santosh said...

Jijnasu and Davidski,

Thank you very much for the responses!

Anonymous said...

@Richard Rocca

Is this from a site continuously occupied from TBR on?

Mr. Kulkarni said...

@santosh no migration into India from west is what he meant.
@davidski Chaubey means that there was no migration from west post Rakhigarhi dating, imo. His opening statement in the video is that there were migrations into and from India but none during 1500-2000bc.
He also claims later in video that Haplogroup H is clearly Indian and can be seen in Armenia, although it was a minor migration and not major.

Anonymous said...

@Mr. Kulkarni

So. Rakhigarhi has ASI, possibly Y-DNA H (this remark) and/or L (remarks about being like the local Jat people) but no trace of Western admixture.

Santosh said...

Okay thank you! He was perhaps having the classical time period given by some linguists and philologists for IA migrations, i.e. 2000 -1500 BC in mind; this only means that that time period is wrong; IAs could have come before and established IVC and all that; it does not make IAs native to India in all likelihood, from known Indo-European linguistics.

Anyway, let's see who gets to eat the Indus pie! Everyone wants the I lol

postneo said...

Clearly a typical ait scenario Assumes the same word for BOS Taurus is reused for bos indicus visually far more different breeds vs botai and domestic horse. The feral preswalski looks more wild than it’s domesticed botai ancestor as per the article. I am not claiming botai was IE just that such evidence counts for nothing.

Davidski said...

The Przewalski's horse is a genetic subset of the Botai horse.

It makes no difference whether there are a few of them running around in the wild. There are more feral horses from the main domesticated clade running around in the wild, even here in Australia. So what?

Mr. Kulkarni said...

@epoch
or it could mean that Rakhigarhi aDNA is ANI, and therefore current north Indian population being ANI+ASI is due to later migration of ASI. correct me if Im wrong.

The Y haplo H that he mentions is in relation to 2 individuals from 'Groomba??'tribe in south india whose have 40-50kya old H haplogroup and claims they are ancestral to the armenian H population.

Here is the video
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KmeVR8sqSd4&t=1764s

postneo said...

Chaube and thangaraj have made vague claims but there is nothing published so far. Either they have some Data or like to shoot themselves in the foot .

postneo said...

Any horse whether botai or other can be a candidate as PIE horse. Breed , subspecies don’t count . No language is attested with the Hungarian horse they are just bones. In the case of Australia the brumbies can be correlated with the English language

Santosh said...

@ Mr. Kulkarni,

Sorry if I'm bothering you as you did not address several of your comments to me but to which I'm nonetheless replying. I will likely stop this unusual spree after a comment or two lol!

Then, just because Rakhigarhi is potentially fully ANI, why to consider that all ASI came to all north India later? It could very well mean that the Rakhigarhi Harappans did not mix with other groups, which were there in that area really- neolithic and chalcolithic cultures of non-Harappan character and some mesolithics settlements. There is also the possibility that the east was ASI and only the west was ANI, whenever this ANI might have come there. I actually badly want to know more about the nature of the paleolithic era Indian population more than the IA, Dr migrations lol.

And that tribe's name is likely to be Kurumbas, pastoralist groups who live in Nilgiris and speak languages descended from Pre-Tamil.

Mr. Kulkarni said...

@postneo - at the least, stakes have been upped.

First we have the article 'Descendants of Harappans still living in Rakhigarhi'. Where Haryana ASI official claimed anonymously that preliminary results show that aDNA is ancestral to current population. Archaeologist Vasant Shinde adds that 'Apart from DNA, there is continuity in traditions and art, food and other habits'

Next we had the Dainik Jagran article which claims Dr Rai said that Rakhigarhi aDNA is of ancestors of Indo European speakers, and has ("kaafi match karte hai") genetic affinity to North Indian brahmins.

Now we have Dr Chaubey saying the same thing. All these people are on the same page.

Mr. Kulkarni said...

@santosh
Thanks for 'Kurumba'.

Yes many interpretations are possible. Im not too good with the admixture science, so I was hoping others could help build the narrative based on what Chaubey said.

But if we consider that ANI and ASI mixed between 2000BC and 0CE, what makes sense to me that Rakhigarhi 2000BC-2500BC was ANI & ASI mixed later(whoever they were and wherever they lived).

Santosh said...

@ Mr. Kulkarni,

I was mainly objecting to the "later migration" part of your post. If these admixture dates are true, then it only shows that well, admixture happened in that time frame, not that ASI was not present there at all. Also, if there are any findings that only ANI was found in Rakhigarhi, then it means that ASI was absent only in Rakhigarhi, we don't know about all the other places of north India, especially to the east.

And to me, the emerging narrative seems to be that Indus Civilisation was not a native development and was borne out of Indo-Iranian/Indo-Aryan migrations who sorta "completed" the ANI component when they came to the already ANI west Asian pastoralist and agriculturalist areas there. Thus the "similar to the north Indian Brahmins" commentary.

Mr. Kulkarni said...

@Santosh
Yes it could mean that Rakhigarhi 2000BC was ANI+ Less ASI than today.

About east and south we will know decisively only after aDNA from east and south.

I am not an OIT proponent, nor anti - but what Chaubey says fits with my view that Rig Vedic people are older than 2000BC.

postneo said...

ANI vs ASI admixture timeframe is based on fragment lengths post admixture of "pure" ANI and ASI as identified from modern populations. With older samples hopefully they will recalibrate/refine these hypothetical components. Svante Paabo made huge revisions of neanderthal admixture models from his own data. Lets remember this is with ancestral components which far are more differentiated and resolvable than ANI and ASI.

@MrKulkarni I have to look at chaube's presentation not seen it yet. Chetan shared a pathetic article. I think even if and when rakhigarhi results are out many people will keep discussing decades old data !

Santosh said...

@ Mr. Kulkarni,

Yes, I believe similarly too, except my default position is to consider that at least the Gangetic plains and further east and south India were predominantly ASI before ANI came there. And we don't know if we will ever be able to get aDNA from those areas sadly.

Anyway, thank you; it was a nice discussion though I may have forced it on you at some point. I will take leave from here now.

Mr. Kulkarni said...

http://horses.animal-world.com/Light-Horse-Breeds/ArabianHorse.php

The arabian horse has 17 pairs of ribs. This was the horse possibly imported from Arabia by rigvedic people.

a said...

Mr. Kulkarni said...
http://horses.animal-world.com/Light-Horse-Breeds/ArabianHorse.php

"The arabian horse has 17 pairs of ribs. This was the horse possibly imported from Arabia by rigvedic people."

That's great. It will be interesting to sequence the dna of such a horse from Arabia; and compare it to horse remains- found in places like Katelai and other undiscovered horse burials as yet undiscovered, postulated with a migration of steppe dna.

Vara said...

What happened to the horse found in Northern Iran is it still the oldest domesticated horse found? I remember it was dated to 3500 BCE a few years ago is that still accurate?

If the Caspian horse was domesticated around 3500 BCE that puts it around the time of Dereivka.

Ric Hern said...

If I'm not mistaken most Indian breeds are closer related to the Akhal Teke, Turkmen horses and not closer to Arabian horses...

Mr. Kulkarni said...

"combined South India two individuals from the same population they are sharing and most common ancestor which is forty five thousand years older which is very remarkable because in the same or similar equation these two individuals they are existing since forty five thousand years which we cannot see anywhere in the world. so it means that these populations are existing since nobody knows what time and there's no any intrusion of any male side or female side"

This is about 2 individuals from Dravidian Kurumba tribe in Nilgiri Hills, S India with Y haplogroup H

Slumbery said...

Mr. Kulkarni

Is this a quick ad-hoc or software translation from a hindi text? I have to ask this, because it is an incomprehensible mess in English, especially the first half. So it is impossible to say anything based on this quote, other than noting their claim is rather bold.

Mr. Kulkarni said...

@slumbery This is from someone who is very good at understanding indian english, having done it for 31 years. I have written it as is spoken by him. You could turn on youtube captions, they're like 80% accurate

Rob said...

Well done RRocca

Stefan Molyneux said...

Davidski, can you ban some of the more ridiculous posters? It becomes tiring trying to explain the steppe theory to aboriginals of South Asia and all you get in return is being called racist or some other 'intellectual' reactions. I believe Michael Witzel (Harvard Linguist), said it best:

'The nature of conversation is after all: exchange. Of course, this is not really part of the Indian tradition or ethos: change of opinion often is regarded as "defeat." We want to learn from such conversations. There is a serious cultural difference here, usually not noted. But very important in our context. As one Indian colleague told me, some 20 years ago, proudly: "I never change my opinion". Well, good for him!'

Its simply not in Indian tradition or ethos to change their opinions.

Sanuj said...

Says someone coming from a philosophical-cultural tradition which claimed that "Only one understanding is right, and rest everything is wrong".
There is an ancient Indian tradition of debate, and bow down only to the truth-not any random claim pushed down the mouth. It's called Shastrarth https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shastrartha
Perhaps Witzel is ignorant enough to not understand it.

Anthro Survey said...

@Al Bundy

Rob said:
"Maybe not directly but there was significant movement of ANF ancestry to the steppe long before any steppe ancestry moved in he other direction
And, no, it wasn’t due to females"

Agree strongly here. That Eneolithic Ukraine sample from Alexandria seems to have been ~30% EEF-admixed or so(the other part being EHG-like from early Khvalynsk), which is well above the demographic threshold for language shift imo.

Yamna-like people, in turn, usually pack about 25-30% of this SrednyStog-like ancestry across diff models, which is consistent with a single digit EEF signal in Yamna(the rest being CHG-rich late Khvalynsk, presumably). There's also good reason to believe they didn't merely contribute DNA, but a whole plethora of cultural practices pertaining to husbandry and metallurgy, language possibly being one of them.

So, due to sequential admixture and the "leverages" involved, Yamna could have spoken an EEF-derived language despite only having such ancestry in the single digits.

Take a look at Hungarians. Hardly any Uralic ancestry(they're essentially Slavs and Germans) but they're in no rush to abolish Magyar speech. Peruvians and Bolivians with single-digit Iberian ancestry are another case in point. Sri Lankan Sinhalese are yet another example.

So, no, the Anatolia hypothesis isn't dead, even if people(inc myself, tbh) favor early Khvalynians to have been proto-IE speakers.

Davidski said...

@Anthro Survey

Hardly any Uralic ancestry(they're essentially Slavs and Germans) but they're in no rush to abolish Magyar speech.

Hungarians speak Hungarian because of elite dominance by a bunch of horse riding nomads not farmers.

So this supports the steppe hypothesis.

Rob said...

@ Davidksi
Merely repeating cliches doesn’t make you sound smart

Davidski said...

Nothing against farmers, but compared to highly mobile steppe pastoralists, they don't pack as much punch in the language shifting game.

I'm just pointing out the obvious.

Al Bundy said...

Mettalurgy and husbandry came from the Caucasus, and PIE had some contact with Caucasian languages.Also the farmers that spread into Europe didn't speak IE.

Rob said...

@ Dave
You’re pointing out your ignorance
The kurgan culture isn’t an EHG culture
It’s the result of acculturation process and migration to the steppe
Merely repeating buzzwords which appeal to some of those of a hill-billy / Vichy persuasion is why you wont get taken seriously

Anthro Survey said...

@Davidski

I agree that elite dominance was a huge factor in later spread of IE(after 3000BC) and definitely the driving force behind IE-zation of the Irano- and Indo-spheres(here, horses and chariots augmented things).

The thing is, early-mid Khvalynians weren't exactly a warrior culture, let alone horse riding nomads. That's not to imply EEF-admixed Sredny Stog was, of course. Consider this scenario: a gradual assimilation of local EHGs into a more advanced society would have diluted the original EEF signal(as well as EEF y-DNA) while preserving the language of the minority component.

'Farmer' is a bit of an oversimplification. They introduced agriculture to Europe and often had matriarchal inclinations, but that's really not all there was to them. Balkan EEFs were pioneers in copper metallurgy. Also, we see warrior stelae pop up in Western Europe centuries prior to later Beaker phenomenon outlined in Olalde et al.

Rob said...

@ Dave
You don’t even understand your own Corded ware ancestors
Why were the so successful ?
Because they spread with plough agriculture using diverse and adapted crop mix supplemented by husbandry compared to the more primitive Slash n burn type of agriculture of TRB
With the adaptation such practices came profound cultural and probably linguistic changes , even if it was the R1a marrying into southern groups ; which then became just the northern, late tip of a long continuum

Davidski said...

@Anthro Survey

The thing is, early-mid Khvalynians weren't exactly a warrior culture, let alone horse riding nomads.

Yes, but no one claimed that they were.

They just happened to give rise to the cultures that were, and that's basically why they deserve a mention.

Davidski said...

@Rob

Like I said, nothing against farmers. Plenty of my own recent ancestors were farmers.

But let's stick to the facts shall we. Horse riding elites do have a strong record of shifting languages, especially on and near the steppes.

And Corded Ware people weren't farmers per se, even though they did farm and even hunted and foraged. They were pastoralists and are described as such in academic literature.

old europe said...

https://www.academia.edu/9450078/STEPS_TO_THE_STEPPE_OR_HOW_THE_NORTH_PONTIC_REGION_WAS_COLONISED


here's a study by manzura about the deep impact of farming culture and ideology upon steppe peoples.

Anthro Survey said...

@Al Bundy

"Also the farmers that spread into Europe didn't speak IE."

Perhaps the original EEF pool somewhere in the Balkans spoke a language ancestral to proto-IE and non-IE languages of pre-Bronze age Europe.

There's also another possibility: proto-IE was a balanced creole of Ukranian EEF and Khvalynsk speech. It's not impossible since we're talking about less sophisticated societies and, consequently, smaller vocabularies and simpler grammar.
In fact, creolization could have been the norm in Iberia, N and NW Europe as well.


Rob said...

@ Davidski
Back to Magyars
They’ve come back so far as U106 x 2 and I2a1b x 2
How’s this support your elite conquest scenario
And have you done demographic modelling of the Carpathian basin ?
So don’t make unsubstantiated proverbs and false analogies

Anthro Survey said...

@Davidski
Of course, but so does SS and possible lopsided influence of EEF in Yamnaya's cultural package.

@Al Bundy

"the big swing to CHG on the steppe is the key here right"

You're hogging primary components a bit. Yamnaya had single-digit EEF and it's tempting to think it's inconsequential, but try to think outside the box a bit. What if Yamna's EEF introgressed as part of a composite ancestry:

Yamnaya= x% EarlyKhvalynsk+y% CHG stream+30% Sredny Stog(or related Ukranian culture),
Where Sredny Stog=30% EEF.
Imagine the distinct possibility of SS being culturally EEF-leaning. Imagine also that Sredny Stog had a profound influence on the early Yamnaya.

Do you see how such step-wise admixture can give leverage to a component in the long term?
Again, I'm not saying this did happen, but can't rule it out just yet.

Al Bundy said...

@Anthro Thanks for your comments, atleast we have some big papers finally coming.

Anthro Survey said...

@Al Bundy

Here is another example.

Let's take Bronze Age northern Italy. Judging by the data, it was prolly in the neighborhood of 25% steppe, so it's tempting to assume they're "essentially EEFs" or "muh Sardinians", but it really isn't the case. The area underwent a profound cultural transformation by the Iron Age.

It makes sense, though, because the "25% steppe" actually translates into a whopping 50-75% *EXOGENOUS* Europe_MLBA-like admixture, emanating from some Central European core. You may say that the cultural package of that core was ultimately a hybrid of local EEF and arrived steppe elements, but it was sufficiently different to both of its ancestors for us to consider it as a distinct uniquely European entity.

In the same way, single digit extra CHG in Southern Italy and Balkans really translates into a much more considerable chunk of ancestry from post-Neolithic Anatolia.

a said...

Anybody know the distance of earliest [eneolithic?]Elshanka[Samara-Volga] pottery finds- to the earliest horse bone figurines + stone zoomorphic scepters+ horse burial cult found in S'ezzhee sites, [Samara-Volga]to R1a/b samples from Khvalynsk[copper from the Balkans] ?

Matt said...

Eh, sometimes things go one way and sometimes they go another. A farmer language like Russian can easily spread into Central Asia and the steppes under the right circumstances.

Though I don't know the history enough in detail, I'd not be too surprised if certain Indo-European languages (e.g. some Iranian forms, possibly languages linked to a reflux back to the steppe carrying MN European ancestry) spread back into the steppe/Central Asia from sedentary farming IE cultures that moved back into the steppe, adopting bits of pastoralism or nomadism as they went.

Davidski said...

@Matt

The point I was making was that small numbers of mobile horse riding pastoralists have had a big impact on the steppes and surrounds via elite dominance. Farmers have also had a big impact, but it seems that they needed relatively big numbers to do that.

Your point about "farmer" Russian spreading back into the steppes, and across all of Siberia, actually backs up what I was saying, no?

Martin Clifford Styan said...

Reading numerous comments on the controversy between the Out of India and Aryan Invasion theories has made me think that many non Indians do not know why it is so difficult for many Indians to accept European views on this subject, so I have decided to write a comment on the subject. (Before people start guessing, I will state that I am English but have read a lot about Indian history and culture. I support the view that the Indo-Aryan languages came to India from the north-west.)
The Judeo-Christian tradition dates creation to 4004 BC or a similar date. Some still cling to this view, which means that they reject the whole of prehistory as discovered by modern geology and archaeology. However, they have a reasonably accurate idea of the early history of civilization in the Middle East. Traditional Indians make the opposite mistake. They accept that the world is extremely old, but they think that humanity, human civilization and especially Indian civilization, the Hindu religion, Sanskrit language and Vedas must, similarly, be extremely ancient. One of the world’s most remarkable collections of myths and legends developed in India according to this principle. It is found mainly in the Puranas and the two epics: the Ramayana and Mahabharata.
The Mahabharata is mainly concerned with the story of war between rival branches of a royal family. Attempts to work out a historically credible date have produced suggestions of around 1000 BC. However, a widely held Indian tradition dates it to 3102 BC. Other suggestions place it as early as 5561 BC.
F.E. Pargiter (Ancient Indian Traditions, 1922) produced a table of 95 generations of ancient Indian kings, who ruled before the time of the Mahabharata War, and are mentioned in the Puranas and epics. The story of the Ramayana epic is placed in generation 65. Traditional Indians had the idea that people lived longer in earlier, better eras of history, so that the thirty generations between the two epics may have lasted 864,000 years, while the era before the Ramayana lasted 1,296,000 years.
These stories, especially the two epics have a central place in Indian religion and culture. The epics contain the stories of the two most popular incarnations of Vishnu: Rama in the Ramayana and Krishna in the Mahabharata. The Bhagavad Gita is part of the Mahabharata.
Buddhism and Jainism have similar traditions. In Buddhist tradition, the historical Buddha of around 500 BC is the latest in a series going back many thousands of years. There are also numerous stories of earlier incarnations of the historical Buddha. These stories form the subject of a large part of the painted and sculptured decoration of Buddhist monuments. According to Jain tradition, the historical founder of the religion Mahavira from the 6th century BC was the latest in a series of 24 tirthankaras going back millions of years.
I do not know to what extent modern Indians believe in the historical truth of these stories and traditions. I would be interested to read the views of Indian commenters on this subject. However, I get the impression that a great many modern Indians are very attached to the idea that their civilization is extremely ancient and entirely indigenous. They do not like Europeans telling them that this is not true, and many of them are not going to be persuaded by new evidence.

Matt said...

@Dave, not sure if the administrators / pioneers of the Russian empire necessarily came in huge numbers in all places rather than as a dominant elite (likewise for the intrusions of Persians into Central Asia, and Arabic influences?). I suppose you could say that there was a large population for those languages *somewhere* though.

Davidski said...

@Matt

Yeah, the Russians came in fairly large numbers, at least compared to the native peoples there. It was an economic expansion as much as anything, similar to the one in North America across the wild west.

That's why European Russians now outnumber native Siberians in much of Siberia, and people even have a lot of Russian ancestry on some of the islands off Alaska.

Compare this to the Turkic expansions into West Asia.

Rob said...

@ Matt
exactly, the possibilities need to be kept open in terms of language direction- especially in light of similarities of native communities from iron gates through to the Dnieper (look at the burial postures eg)
But when you suggest “arming IE cultures that moved back into the steppe, adopting bits of pastoralism or nomadism as they went."
Pastoralism is an offshoot of the Carpathian - west Pontic 'farmers', a sort of 'cultural drift' . That is where Gimbutas and all her modern adherents went wrong (professional and enthusiast). The earliest and most elaborate kurgans are exactly in the Dniester region abutting farming cultures, not Khvalynsk.

@ Al

The special CHG/EHG shift you speak of is just anotehr swing in long-established networks .
Look at Z2013 in Yamnaya - all EHG/ CHG, but possibly a founder effect, with comptemporaries just west of that with a different genetic signature .
Let’s not make simplistic deductions until we get a more satisfactory sample spread from important regions

Samuel Andrews said...

@Rob,
"Back to Magyars
They’ve come back so far as U106 x 2 and I2a1b x 2
How’s this support your elite conquest scenario "

Several Hungarian conquer Y DNA results have come out N1c. Jean manco's ancient DNA site is down right now. Once it is up and running again you can check it on your own.

"The special CHG/EHG shift you speak of is just anotehr swing in long-established networks ."

Please explain what you mean by this theory of yours. Steppe migrations were just 'Just another swing', a result of 'long-established trade networks.' When had there been such massive genetic shift in Europe before? Not even EEF farmers spread as quickly as Steppe folk did.

Do we have any evidence of Balkan farmers moving en masse into western & northern Europe like Steppe folk did?

Bell Beaker, Corded Ware show massive movement of people from southern Russia into northern & western Europe. A type of movement of people not seen previously in the ancient DNA record.

This movement of people was not normal. It was not apart of any long standing tradtion of trade.

"Look at Z2013 in Yamnaya - all EHG/ CHG, but possibly a founder effect, with comptemporaries just west of that with a different genetic signature .
Don;t make overly simplistic dedutions."

Yamnaya probably had EEF farmer ancestry but very little. Chances are their Z2103, like BEaker's L151, derived from the Steppe (almost definitly EHG). Earlier Steppe folk probably lacked EEF admixture. The EEF we see in Yamnaya, in my opinon, came because EEF farmers had already been living at the border of the Steppe for 1,500 years by the time Yamnaya formed.

Matt said...

@David, Hmmm... I'm still not too convinced; fairly sure the Russians must have imposed their language on groups in Siberia and other such places as an elite, even where there was little settlement by ethnic Russians. Likewise Persian, etc. Don't see that there's any historical rule such that language dominance from sedentary->steppe/Central Asia can only happen through mass movements of people. But happy to leave discussion there.

Vara said...

It doesn't matter if the ANF-related farmers contributed to the steppes or not (they did), their fetishes, idols, and entire cultures minus Varna do not fit the definition of PIE culture. The Earth Mother worshiping farmers couldn't have brought PIE culture to the steppes. At best they could've have been a part of the formation of PIE.

As for Central Asia, wasn't Kelteminar excluded from the PIE debate because of the semi-hunter gatherer lifestyle? Why is Khvalynsk still a candidate then?

PS. Can someone answer my question about the Caspian horse?

Davidski said...

@Vara

No idea what the Caspian horse is, but whatever it is, its genome hasn't been sequenced yet, so we don't know which clade it belonged to.

If it didn't belong to the right clade, you know, the same one as Duk2 and the Sintashta horses, then it practically makes no difference whether it was domesticated or not.

The oldest horse genome from Iran is currently from Tepe Hasanlu and only 2886 years old. This genome is part of the same clade as Duk2 and very similar to the Sintashta horses. Take from that what you will.

Also, and please anyone who knows more about horse phyolgeography and ancient genomics please feel free to chime in, but as far as I know, the horses within the Duk2 clade have admixture from a North Eurasian ghost population, so they're unlikely to have come to Europe from the Near East.

Davidski said...

@Matt

Hmmm... I'm still not too convinced; fairly sure the Russians must have imposed their language on groups in Siberia and other such places as an elite, even where there was little settlement by ethnic Russians.

They didn't just impose language. They moved in and settled, and whoever didn't agree with this policy didn't stick around too long to protest. It was a rather brutal military and economic operation, not the usual elite dominance thing from ancient history.

By the way, one of the my great grandfathers took part in some of this when much of Poland belonged to Tsarist Russia. No idea what he got up to exactly though. I'm hoping he didn't behave like Nikolay Przewalski, who was partly of Polish origin.

Nikolay Przhevalsky - Accusations of imperialism and prejudice

Anthro Survey said...

@Matt

I'll say this: Overall, the Iranosphere had more extensive connections to the steppe than Europe or India and for a much longer period of time.

For one, their ethnogenesis was mediated by culturally specialized late bronze age steppe groups with a package we would all recognize as 'steppic': composite bows, chariotry, early horseback riding, etc.
Of course, it didn't end there and Iron Age steppe groups(speaking Iranic languages) like Scythians and Parthians continued to exert influence over sedentary Iranic peoples----demically, politically and culturally. Pashtuns, for ex, owe their genesis to such Scythian groups. Parthian and Sassanian warfare was effectively a heavier version of that used by Iranic nomads to their north.

This steppe-Iran interaction ran both ways(as you've correctly implied by saying "reflux") and didn't stop after the onset of Islam. Going back to Khurasan----its influence was strongly felt as far north as modern Tatarstan, where Persian(along with Chagatai and Arabic) was the literary language of choice and its architecture incorporated domes and iwans.
We should also remember that Tatars and Baskhirs themselves are probably a mix of local and newly arrived Iranic-speaking steppe groups. I'm much more comfortable with calling Tatarstan a part of Greater Iran than Europe.

Anthro Survey said...

@Matt
Minor side points, but I'm compelled to comment:
"intrusions of Persians"
Small correction: Middle Persian became popular amongst the landed nobility of Khurasan during Sassanian times, but in post-Islamic times, the region became a crucible, an exporter of what we know as Persianate culture with its New Persian language. "Uzbekistan" and "Turkmenistan" are Soviet-era creations. Case in point: a certain Asadi Tusi recollects teaching Western Iranians proper Persian speech. So, perhaps it's more like cultural intrusions of Central Asia into the Iranian plateau.
They adopted Arabic to the same degree that medieval and science-age Europeans adopted Greek. In other words, they took Arabic lexicon but they utilized words in novel ways and applied them in contexts bedouin Arabs never would have. It's sort of like medieval and "Sci Rev" Europeans took ancient Greek words and created composite terms to enhance precision. Ancient Greeks neither had terms like endoscopy or laryngitis nor any systematic approach to coining them.

Vara said...

@Davidski

Thank you. I've found out a bit more.

"The remains were discovered in a cemetery dating back to the late Bronze and early Iron age, around 3400 BCE."

It's definitely a typo and the correction would be around 3400 years old.

Anthro Survey said...

@Sam @Rob

"Do we have any evidence of Balkan farmers moving en masse into western & northern Europe like Steppe folk did?"

I think Rob collectively refers to EEF package as "Balkan farmers", which is not incorrect. I mean, LBK, GAC, Trypilia, East Ukranian Neolithics(?) ultimately hailed from the Balkans. One parcel of this movement was in contact with Khvalynsk and there were a series of formative bilateral exchanges circa Ukraine-SouthRussia. Over time, a stabilized blend with a relatively constant EHG-EEF-CHG ratio resulted and a subset of these peoples swept westward.
Not sure how "trade networks" would have resulted in a systematic genetic transformation across Europe.

Rob said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sanuj said...

Exact dates of the happenings of the Indian epics is not central to the tradition or religion. It is a didactic culture, the stories are there to give some lesson/example about life, and the exact historical dating of events is of little consequence.
That said, this is about accurate Indian history, and for that, European or anyone has to provide conclusive evidence for a large scale migration into India, which is entirely missing.

To give you an example of how this debate has been going on - the AIT was postulated before the discovery of Indus valley civilization, saying that India had no civilization, and Aryans came and filled up the vaccum beating primitive tribes & creating a vast Sanskrit literature. Then with the discovery of IVC in 1920s they should have equated the literature with the just discovered material culture. But no, it was postulated that the IVC was some other native culture and their cities were run over by incoming Aryans using horses/chariots - all without evidence. So now we have a dichotomy of huge literary culture and tradition(Sanskrit) with no corresponding material culture, while we have the ancient world's largest civilization(IVC) with no known literature!
After decades of studies it was debunked that IVC cities fell to any Invader, infact there is no such archaeological evidence anywhere. And genetics hasn't shown that too, till now. We have aDNA from the biggest IVC site of Rakhigarhi in Haryana and is being studied, and that's where we are at and will go from there, whatever details come out, but by the little that we hear it doesn't favor any invasion, so...

Jijnasu said...

@martin clifford stayn
Nobody takes those lifespans literally. The actual reason Indians refuse to accept the facts is because, of the fact that many 19th and early century historians were explicitly racist. While to an extent these older ideas have gone out of currency in the west, in India they remain alive. Some Indian left leaning academics use the 'Aryan invasion' as the basis for their activism which often pits ethnic groups against each other on regional or caste lines. That's the reason Indians often dislike it

Davidski said...

@Sanuj

We have aDNA from the biggest IVC site of Rakhigarhi in Haryana and is being studied, and that's where we are at and will go from there, whatever details come out, but by the little that we hear it doesn't favor any invasion, so...

It's very difficult for me to believe that, considering what we've seen from Indian academics on this topic recently, you haven't considered that they'll simply ignore anything that they don't like and come to the expected conclusion that there was no Aryan invasion.

Did you see the mental gymnastics from Chaubey in that conference video? He didn't spend much time explaining why the aDNA from Rakhgarhi contradicts AIT, but skipped very quickly to some horseshit about Paleolithic migrations from India taking Y-hg H to Armenia and Iran.

Rob said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Davidski said...

@Rob

No need to insult people when they don't understand and buy, at face value, your theories.

You haven't really articulated anything specific, apart from your disdain for the steppe hypothesis.

ryukendo kendow said...

The question of linguistic change is a very interesting one. The moment you go into it, you are faced with a barrage of questions.

For one, in societies today, second language learning for adults, always a very involved undertaking, is supported by a wide range of institutions that find no parallel in small scale societies. For another, there are obvious social and economic benefits to learning a foreign language today, such that you may learn it even when no one around you, or at least very few people you will meet, speak it on a day-to-day basis. Its an open question whether or not the benefits were sufficiently great in small scale societies as to overcome numerical disadvantage of the speakers of the target language.

Certainly, many small scale societies were multilingual, but this was not due to language learning by adults. In many cases, constant contact of multiple societies, or the permeation throughout society of an awareness of trade carried out in trade languages, meant that children grew up multilingual, i.e. the multilingualism was constitutive.

Thinking ecologically, the benefit or payoff of knowing how to speak a language is certainly proportional to the number of persons in your social graph who can communicate with you in this new language, and their resources, connections, and power.

This leads us to the classical theories in sociolinguistics: either the benefit is extremely large, or the number of persons is high.

In the mass migrations represented by Bell Beaker and Corded Ware, the social disruption of local communities is so great, and the commingling of the two peoples so intimate in the hybrid societies that resulted, that surely it was not an elite-driven phenomenon. The societies that emerged were also relatively egalitarian, and the style of the material culture and linguistic reconstruction seems to suggest an independent, nonhierarchical ethos.

In India, Greece, and the Balkans however, the picture is very different. The societies had some hierarchy, akin to simple chiefdoms, and the caste system tells us clear social stratification went back to the very origins of post-Rigvedic society on the Gangetic plain. These may represent bona fide elite dominance. The case of Vedic society is very interesting, at the Rigvedic level when they were still probably pastoralists in dry Punjab and Saptasindhu, they were very egalitarian and the position of chief was ascribed by rank. But in the post-Rigvedic period in the Ganges, concepts of "Vaishya" and "Shudra" had emerged and the position of chief was clearly political. In the first case it probably took conquest and partial annihilation and intimate integration of foreign social units to spread your language. In the second people were probably quite willing to learn it of their own accord.

Samuel Andrews said...

@Anthro,
"Not sure how "trade networks" would have resulted in a systematic genetic transformation across Europe."

It's easy to miss interpret Rob's last post as saying the Steppe-shift in LNBA Europe happened due to trade networks but that is not what he was saying. I miss interprited to. He was referring to the CHG/EHG shift on the Chalcolithic Steppe not in LNBA Europe. He didn't make that clear in his post. I had to read the post he was replying to in order to figure that out.

ryukendo kendow said...

^^ Also interesting is the importance of the tribal family as the pre-eminent sociopolipolitical unit in Rigvedic society, but this is replaced by more complex units in post-Rigvedic society on the Gangetic plains, things that actually amount to being a "polity". In the first case, like in CW and BB, family and mixed marriages was probably the primary means of linguistic assimilation. In the second case political and social benefits outside the domestic realm were probably more important.

I do wonder if historical linguists have worked with sociolinguists to figure out these types of questions; they seem to me to be readily answerable.

About the case of Russia, cultural Russification, e.g. taking part in the Iasak fur trade/tax, conversion to orthodoxy, familiarity with money, acceptance of Russian-imposed sociopolitical structures, e.g. the local "good man" who was supposed to interface with the local tax collector and implicitly represented integration into the Russian political structure--all these things happened much faster than linguistic Russification. If I had to make a guess, culture spread faster than language on the Steppe as well. Have to agree with David here, the language spoken by Khvalnsk and Yamnaya was probably that of the EHG hunter-gatherers, but the material culture and even the worldview may more strongly reflect those of the Balkan and Caucasus metal-age chieftains.

Vara said...

@Rob

Yet all the idols of the EEF were female?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_and_ritual_of_the_Cucuteni%E2%80%93Trypillia_culture

The mother goddess only played a significant part in the Greco-Roman and IE Anatolian religions and that was mostly due to the non-IE Anatolian influence.

Also, I've no idea what you're trying to argue here. My previous comment was in reply to the Anatolian hypothesis itself.

Samuel Andrews said...

Rob, btw I wasn't downplaying the magnitude of movement of Anatolian farmers into Europe. Their movements were of a different nature than Steppe movements which were much more quick and caused less population replacement.

Sanuj said...

I won't go into judgement of what is shit and what is not. Leave aside Indian academics, even the others rumors are revolving around justifying an Aryan presence in mature IVC at 2500, so I can see where that is going. Continuity of dna, so push back of invasion date. It's frankly amusing, the desperation.

Davidski said...

@Sanuj

I haven't seen any desperation from anyone except the Indian academics, nor have I seen anyone trying to push back the date of the Aryan invasion. I wouldn't read too much into vague, indirect twitter comments on the topic. The fact that you do tells me that you're rather desperate.

The only thing that has actually happened is that, based on the patchy sampling of the Andronovo horizon, the scientists from Broad MIT/Harvard said they couldn't model South Asians as part Andronovo.

But now they have a lot more samples from the Kazakh steppe, so let's see what they show. But by all accounts, David Reich's book that is coming out tomorrow will say that there was a significant migration from the steppe to India during the Bronze Age. So based on that alone, it's pretty easy to infer what they'll show.

Unfortunately, it seems that the Indians will stall the publication of the aDNA Rakhgarhi paper for a while, and when they do finally publish, they'll put a spin on the results that won't reflect any of the other outcomes from ancient DNA from outside of India. Ultimately, Indian science is going to suffer, because it'll end up looking like a total joke.

Karl_K said...

"First we have the article 'Descendants of Harappans still living in Rakhigarhi'. Where Haryana ASI official claimed anonymously that preliminary results show that aDNA is ancestral to current population. Archaeologist Vasant Shinde adds that 'Apart from DNA, there is continuity in traditions and art, food and other habits'

Next we had the Dainik Jagran article which claims Dr Rai said that Rakhigarhi aDNA is of ancestors of Indo European speakers, and has ("kaafi match karte hai") genetic affinity to North Indian brahmins.

Now we have Dr Chaubey saying the same thing. All these people are on the same page."

They all are incredibly careful to chose their words to be factually correct, yet also misleading.

Indeed, the Indo-European speaking Northern Brahmins almost certainly carry some Rakhigarhi ancestry. Nobody here would imagine that they didn't, that would be amazingly unlikely. But these public statements lead many people to wrongly believe that ALL of their ancestry is from the IVC, which it certainly is not!

They often speak much more like lawyers than scientists.

Salden said...

>I won't go into judgement of what is shit and what is not. Leave aside Indian academics, even the others rumors are revolving around justifying an Aryan presence in mature IVC at 2500, so I can see where that is going. Continuity of dna, so push back of invasion date. It's frankly amusing, the desperation.

Tell us how European DNA ended up in South Asia yet South Asian DNA has never been in Europe or surronding areas to a significant level.

Sanuj said...

@Davidski We will see who will end up looking like what. I don't think Indian scientists credibility is less than any other in the world, they will only say what they see in the data, and I don't have to explain that to you or anyone.

The only Spin would be if any scientist/Indologist suddenly start claiming Aryan invasion in 2500 BC IVC, and that will the biggest joke of it all. I read on this blog that there's a section leaning that way, including Indologist JM Kenoyer.

Sanuj said...

@Salden You keep repeating this line ad nauseum, David Reich himself theorized in his study that their were two distinct populations in India at some point, and now Choubey in the video shared above says there is an evidence of migration from the South towards the north based on Rakhigarhi DNA, so I would assume there was a more ANI looking population living in N/NW India before that admixing, and it is that population that migrated out.
Or, there was a separate in migration to India and Steppe from a 3rd source much further back in time, because one thing is almost looking certain, there was no population turn in Indian in the 2nd millennium BC.

Davidski said...

@Sanuj

The only Spin would be if any scientist/Indologist suddenly start claiming Aryan invasion in 2500 BC IVC, and that will the biggest joke of it all.

Well, if it happened, and the ancient data clearly show that steppe admixture started to appear in India already around 2500 BC, then so what? That's how science works.

I don't think that we'll see this in the data, but I don't care much either way and I won't have a problem with it.

Davidski said...

@Rob

Yes, the world is a complicated place.

But surely you can articulate in a few paragraphs what it is that you're trying to say, and dumb it down sufficiently so that we can all grasp it.

Once you do we can start the debate, but not before.

Salden said...

Where's the South Asian DNA in Europe? There aren't any Indian populations, even among the likes of Brahmins, that don't have a significant amount of admixture traceable to South Asia and not Europe with its surronding areas.

Rob said...

Dave
Forget it
Sam , Anthro sorry for being rude

Sanuj said...

@Davidski It's actually not "started to appear" because the only available data would be from that timezone not earlier(and I am basing that based on dates of the Rakhigarhi cemetery by Shinde earlier this year) - it would be an assumption to say "started to appear". It is more straightforward to say that for the given civilization, the dna at its more mature phase is so and so, and so such and such people were it's progenitors.

Salden said...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proto-Indo-Europeans

Just letting you know, the Proto-Indo-Europeans that spread around the world were overall genetically European. Not South Asian or even West Asian.

Sanuj said...

@Salden There was a long 2000 years from 2000 BC onwards that they mixed(ANI & ASI), so I guess that was enough for the current situation.
And, even in an Aryan invasion scenario this mix happened after invasion. The only change is, unadmixed ANI was already living in the North India region, and mixed with ASI later.

HistoricallyCurious said...

@ryukendo : In the first case it probably took conquest and partial annihilation and intimate integration of foreign social units to spread your language

Partial annihilation of a civilization (ISV) spread over a million+ square kilometers, with 5M inhabitants (at its peak, admittedly), with standardization across its sites on weights, distance units, brick sizes etc. ??

Sanuj said...

Yea sure, accepted and case closed.

Jijnasu said...

@sanuj
I don't see why 1500 BC is seen as some magical date before which an Indo-Aryan migration into India is impossible. Dates from 2000 BCE or earlier to as late as 1000 BCE have been proposed with no consensus on which cultures really represent indo-aryans. While the Majority of linguists date the split between indo-aryan and iranic to the late 3rd millenium there are those who date it nearly a millenium earlier as well. While their cautiousness is justified, (The article in The Hindu was professional and careful) given the nature of the issue, this speech and the jagran article were vague and reckless. This speech definitely contained falsehoods pandering to his audiences' tastes. While their intentions may be noble, this isn't the right thing to do. The right way would be to publish the data being careful in their use of linguistic and ethnic labels and emphasizing howw the date should and shouldn't be misinterpreted.

Sanuj said...

@jijnasu Aryan invasion/migration at 2500 BC IVC? Seriously??

Davidski said...

@Sanuj

Well that depends what the data show for the 20 or so samples from Rakhigarhi.

If they all have steppe admixture, and thus are similar to modern day Indians, then yeah, we could infer that IVC was Indo-European.

But this is not the information I have. I know that the western scientists' working theory based on the ancient data from India was that IVC wasn't Indo-European, and that the Indo-Europeans came from the steppe later.

Like I said, we'll see some details tomorrow, because even if Reich isn't allowed to reveal any results, then at the very least, his opinion is still going to be influenced by what he's seen, and I can assure you that he's seen ancient data from India. That chapter on India wasn't written completely independently of these results. Think about it.

Sanuj said...

Yes, I am waiting to read that too, I hope he keeps a neutral view on the data and not go with the dogma that there has to be a invasion even at 2500 BC.

HistoricallyCurious said...

@Martin Clifford Stayn
No scientifically literate Indian (and I bet thats all the Indian commenters here) is likely to be affected by the beliefs you mention.

Sanuj gave a reasonable description of pre-dispositions of many Indians. And you couldn't blame them, at least 10-15 years ago, before the DNA revolution, when 1500 BC invasion was the mainstream theory with not much empirical evidence at all, beyond the fact that Max Muller somewhat arbitrarily assigned that date in 1850s or so.

Personally, I am content with being aware of my pre-dispositions and then being willing to go where science/evidence takes me.

The issues of ISV, RigVeda, and to some extent PIE origins are like a multi-dimensional puzzle. Any solutions (complete scenarios) that have been proposed seem to cause cognitive dissonance in some dimension/s. Some people are so convinced by one of the dimensions that they dismiss the others. I think its going to take accumulation of a lot of evidence and more complex theories to get this right. Its delicious. I am looking forward to enjoying it where it goes.. and hope there is a big "Aha!" somewhere.

Jijnasu said...

@sanuj
Therr has to have been either immigration to or emigration from India sometime between the 3rd and 2nd millenium BCE. (Whether these were Indo-European speakers or not is a secondary question). If there was clear evidence of emmigration I'm pretty sure Chaubey wouldn't have evaded mentioning it.

Davidski said...

@HistoricallyCurious

No scientifically literate Indian (and I bet thats all the Indian commenters here) is likely to be affected by the beliefs you mention.

Funny. Yeah, especially Mr. Kulkarni and postneo.

The latter just contradicted himself when he pointed out that the English (and Indo-European-speaking people) introduced the Brumby horse (which belongs to the clade under Duk2, not the one under the Botai horse) to Australia.

But yeah, as you say, scientifically literate. Obviously.

Sanuj said...

I personally don't think any scientist would say yes to that in any public platform, since it's a big claim not made yet.
There line of argument till now is to first show the continuity of dna within India, and how it might have impacted the world is a bigger question. I think he did well to evade it there.

HistoricallyCurious said...

@Davidski said: Well, if it happened, and the ancient data clearly show that steppe admixture started to appear in India already around 2500 BC, then so what? That's how science works.

But I think it (2500 BC, or earlier, steppe migration) does reduce the cognitive dissonance considerably. It then becomes feasible that RgVeda is composed in pre-city (or early urbanization) phase when Sarasvati was still (seasonal and rain-fed, but) large river consistent with Nadi-stuti hymn (10.75). And then one has to think about who the IVC people were, afresh. (i.e. entertain the possibility that they were IE). This resolves Sanotsh's conundrum as well (what language did IVC speak, if Dravidian is later than 2500 BC). And if I understood some of Nirjhar's comments earlier, he will be more satisfied with that as well.




Jijnasu said...

@sanuj
Actually Chaubey and Thangaraj themselves sort of do in their Hindu article. They concede that the split between Indian and european clades of r1a isn't more than 6000 years old and the Indian clades arose less than 5000 ybp. they state there is evidence of migration but that it is too early identify directionality

Sanuj said...

Yes, and now he is refining his stand that they don't see a incoming migration in aDNA, stopping short of claiming a direct migration out to Europe, which I think is reasonable.

Davidski said...

@HistoricallyCurious

I think that you and many others are taking that ~2500 BCE date for the breakup of Dravidian languages too seriously.

It's just a very rough estimate, and I suspect that if you get in touch with the leading authors on that paper and ask them whether that's the case, they'd happily confirm.

And there really is no evidence that steppe admixture was present in the mature Harappan samples.

The leaks that I've seen from the working preprint back the steppe origin of the Indo-Aryans very clearly. In comparison, the teasers coming from the Indian academics look like nothing more than obfuscation.

Oh, wow, they can't see anything that would prove the Indo-Aryan invasion. Well have they actually looked, because they don't even seem to be aware of all those ancient samples from Eastern Europe packed with R1a.

Jijnasu said...

He doesn't just stop short of claiming an actual migration to europe, he explicitly claims there were no major migrations out of India. That indicates at best the evidence from rakhigarhi was ambiguous.

Nirjhar007 said...

If they have mature samples and they are of good quality, I don't think we will see much difference except the ASI %.

Mr. Kulkarni said...

This need not be explained because no one here claims indo European languages spread from india.

Nirjhar007 said...

Yes, PIE is a different and bigger issue.

Mr. Kulkarni said...

@davidski
No need to keep harping about duk2 when the rig veda mentions a 34 rib horse.
It's a case of selectively picking data to fit views. Quite unsurprising really. But you wouldn't know anything about it because you are scientifically illiterate about the horse that rig veda mentions.

Anthro Survey said...

@Rob

Indeed, I misread. No quarrel about long-established bilateral networks of interactions in our macro-region of interest. The "single pulse" model doesn't seem sound, imo.

At one point, the pattern of interactions may have looked something like this(arrow size proportional to magnitude..). Bars show *INITIAL* conditions before the dynamics as drawn were fully underway/at peak velocity. -->
https://justpaste.it/1irg4


What preceded it("morning"):
https://justpaste.it/1irg7

"Twilight" stage:
https://justpaste.it/1irg9

"Midnight":
https://justpaste.it/1irgd

Anthro Survey said...

@Rob
Models look at gene flow, mainly. Arrow sizes would be somewhat different for cultural exchange.

Mr. Kulkarni said...

@davidski
"Oh, wow, they can't see anything that would prove the Indo-Aryan invasion. Well have they actually looked, because they don't even seem to be aware of all those ancient samples from Eastern Europe packed with R1a."

An invasion is hypothesized when there is a material change in archaeological evidence like is seen with emergence of corded ware culture from yamna. Sadly no such widespread culture change is attested in North West south asia.

Nirjhar007 said...

Kulkarni, We do see a change and that is of what we call localization/de-urbanization. But of course are indigenous developments , see this, its related:https://njsaryablog.blogspot.in/2018/03/painted-grey-ware-culture-changing.html

Davidski said...

The breakup of Harappan culture wasn't an indigenous development, because it was due to an invasion.

If the Indians block the independent analysis and publication of Harappan samples from India, then it might still be possible to prove this with samples from Pakistan.

Jijnasu said...

@nirjhar
The correlation between material culture, population movements and language is complex. In modern archaeology there has been a tendency to de-emphasize population movements as the basis for cultural change. Therefore therefore that claim that the developments were entirely indigenous need not be taken at face value. For example archaeologists also claim that there is no evidence for population movements into bihar in the bronze age (as suggested by a brahmana passage about a king videgha mathava but that there was continuity into the neolithic but given what we know about modern population structure in that region it seems very unlikely that this is true

Jijnasu said...

there is no evidence that the collapse of the ivc itself was due to an invasion if that's what ur implying

Davidski said...

I think it was due to an invasion. That's my opinion after having a good look at the population history of India.

There was a lot of denial in Europe about the Corded Ware expansion. We even had a guy here in the comments called Frank, from Germany I think, denying that Corded Ware people came from the steppe after the Haak paper came out. He was arguing that R1a was so common in the Corded Ware samples because only one family was tested, or some nonsense like that.

Jaydeep said...

Can we expect the paper tomorrow ? Or is that being optimistic ?

mickeydodds1 said...

O.T.

By the way, David, have you seen Maju's latest pop at you?

Davidski said...

Which paper, the Central Asian one? I don't know. I guess it should come out soon after the book, and the book is coming out tomorrow.

Davidski said...

@mickeydodds1

Yeah, Maju's lost the plot totally.

But it was always going to be this way, because he was always more about the politics than the genetics, and now that the genetics are going against his left wing politics, he'll just ignore the genetics.

Mr. Kulkarni said...

@nirjhar
Yes, as per kenoyer as well the later pottery change for eg in Gujarat is from the east.
What do you think about the instances of cremated and uncremated human bones found buried inside pots at various locations? Seems similar to funeral methods described in Rig Veda. See Kenoyer
https://www.google.co.in/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://www.harappa.com/sites/default/files/pdf/CulturesSocietiesIndusTrad.pdf&ved=2ahUKEwjEy_OUoonaAhVIv48KHTklBSoQFjAAegQIBxAB&usg=AOvVaw22y8uUQdtLHQKFgBtwFasf

Mr. Kulkarni said...

Samples of pakistan have been analyzed. Results indicate petty violence and disease (leprosy, tuberculosis) in the last stages. Do keep up.
https://www.google.co.in/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&url=https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/01/140116162019.htm&ved=2ahUKEwjGzfnNqInaAhWJM48KHc83ArYQFjABegQICBAB&usg=AOvVaw38HG9cUScvP7LBQhOPy2ZX

Davidski said...

I was obviously talking about ancient DNA though.

If there's a rapid change in the genetic structure of some of the populations in the region after that period of "petty violence and disease" then that'll be good enough for me.

Jijnasu said...

You really couldn't say that just based on ancient DNA, just as archaeology can't say definitively say based on some evidence of cultural continuity that there weren't any population movements. While there is evidence of a migration into south asia there's no evidence of burning or mass casualties suggesting the destruction of the IVC cities. Why the IVC declined and how these newcomers' culture became dominant will require future study by genetecists, archaeologist and historians. Its not just something that can be said offhand

Nirjhar007 said...

'' as per kenoyer as well the later pottery change for eg in Gujarat is from the east.
What do you think about the instances of cremated and uncremated human bones found buried inside pots at various locations? Seems similar to funeral methods described in Rig Veda.''
Yes ,actually the burial nos are small regarding site and population, the general logic is harappans mostly cremated....

Rob said...

Well dave your attempt to suggest I’m anti steppe (just because i properly understand steppe history) is almost as insane as Majus recent post
So you two old peas in a pod are perhaps not so different

Davidski said...

Yes Rob, you're clearly a dispassionate scholar when it comes to the steppe hypothesis.

This is probably why you literally shout "the steppe hypothesis is dead!" whenever a new aDNA paper comes out. :)

postneo said...

@David
"If they all have steppe admixture, and thus are similar to modern day Indians, then yeah, we could infer that IVC was Indo-European."

steppe admixture in IVC does not prove IVC was into-european. First prove that into-european was spoken in the steppe. IVC was demographically and geographically large and the steppe was large in area. Both would be linguistically diverse.

"The latter just contradicted himself when he pointed out that the English (and Indo-European-speaking people) introduced the Brumby horse (which belongs to the clade under Duk2, not the one under the Botai horse) to Australia."

theres a huge difference in the circumstances of brumbys and duk2. duk2 is not associated with any attested language. brumbies are a well known recent European introduction and correlates with settlers who spoke English. If horse DNA implies language why not postulate Hungary as the home of IE or the English language?. Its possible the balkans had IE speakers before yamnaya. Steppe migrants simply acquired it.

Incidentally brumbies also have some timor pony genetics from indonesia.

Anthro Survey said...

@All

I'm re-broadcasting a recent comment made by someone a couple of threads back. Maybe some of you can take a look:

"New study came out that says Basal Eurasians diverged 80,000 years ago and Neolithic Anatolians only had 10% BE. They also released a new tool that is supposed to be more accurate than simple tree-like models such as D and F stats.

https://www.biorxiv.org/content/early/2018/03/23/287268

https://github.com/popgenmethods/momi2"

old europe said...

Many studies, I quoted the well documented of Manzura clearly demonstrate that there was a huge impact of farmers culture upon steppe peoples. This involved pottery, burial customs and ideology. Language is a cultural thing. So if cultural traits went from west to east it is not very likely that language went the other way round.

ryukendo kendow said...

The new tool Anthro is rebroadcasting does not aim to do the same thing as d-stats and cannot be compared with ADMIXTOOLS. It can more profitably be compared to things like MSMC.

ryukendo kendow said...

@ Old Europe

The payoff to learning a cultural trait may be modeled as fixed, but the payoff of learning a new language is proportional to a first approximation to the fraction of people you interact with who can speak it, so language is always going to be much more persistent than material or even ideological culture. The Plains Indians adopted much culture of Euro-American origin, but their languages persist even today. The same for many minorities in Siberian Russia, whose languages took much longer to disappear than their ways of life did, or just have not disappeared.


ryukendo kendow said...

^^ A more intuitive statement may be, languages have a "network effect" much like facebook or twitter does. Much material culture does not.

ryukendo kendow said...

There are some interesting cases, for example the Quechua language actually spread to much of its current range under Spanish rule, not Inca rule. A case where the material culture, really the total transformation of a landscape and a way of life, was caused by Eurasian cultural and social imports, but the language spread by this change for quite some time was Amerindian Quechua, due simply to persistence and inertia.

ryukendo kendow said...

^^ I was trying to think of the second example from the Carribean but for the life of it couldn't remember, but now I can: Garifuna, spread under colonial rule as well.

ryukendo kendow said...

@ Rob

I think people are quite biased, yes, but they should still be engaged with constructively, unless its clear they are not participating in good faith.

Lol I actually enjoy sharing this kinda information, it makes me think more carefully about the stuff I'm interested in too.

EastPole said...

@HistoricallyCurious

“The issues of ISV, RigVeda, and to some extent PIE origins are like a multi-dimensional puzzle. Any solutions (complete scenarios) that have been proposed seem to cause cognitive dissonance in some dimension/s. Some people are so convinced by one of the dimensions that they dismiss the others. I think its going to take accumulation of a lot of evidence and more complex theories to get this right. Its delicious. I am looking forward to enjoying it where it goes.. and hope there is a big "Aha!" somewhere”

PIE origins is unresolved puzzle. RigVeda is not understood, Greek religion and philosophy are also not understood.
So we should welcome all new proposals that try to shed some light on these problems.
The puzzle of PIE may never be solved, but the understanding of RigVeda and Plato can be greatly improved by accepting that Orphic mystery cults and RigVeda were influenced by old Hyperborean religion coming from North-Eastern Europe. That religion probably originated from the fusion of Tripolye/TRB and Late Sredny Stog cultures and was later spread by R1a people associated with Corded Ware culture which influenced Balkans and the steppe and via steppe India.
So the Greeks and Indians should not deny this influence and be happy with it because it will help them understand better some elements of their ancient religions and philosophies. The cognitive dissonance will diminish.

ryukendo kendow said...

@ Rob

To respond to whether or not its possible, I think it might be, but there are a lotta things to explain.

Like why people who left the agropastoralists to join the HGs developing a pastoral way of life don't autosomally take over and paternally dominate in uniparentals (clan-expansion effects). The linguistic evidence too, the Volosovo hunter-gatherers that we talked about in connection to Proto-Uralics were actually right next to Khvalynskh, explaining the loans. And ultimately IE looks more like a "EHG language" sharing deep roots with Uralic, explaining the possible cognates, and more distantly the connections with other North Eurasian languages. It looks much less like a Southern language, like Sumerian, Elamite, or the Caucasian toungues.

ryukendo kendow said...

"RigVeda is not understood, Greek religion and philosophy are also not understood."

EastPole said...

@ryukendo kendow
"RigVeda is not understood, Greek religion and philosophy are also not understood."

Are you commenting my post? Could you elaborate?

ryukendo kendow said...

@ Rob

The closest analogy we may look at may be the case of the Trekboers, men and sometimes families of Boer Dutch origin who left the Cape and went deep into Khoisan territory and became pastoralists, and also admixed with the local Khoikhoi and San bushmen. They eventually originated the Griqua, Baster, Oorlam and other such mixed ethnicities in South Africa and Namibia.

They rapidly looked more and more like self-governing tribes of pastoralists who retained an outward form of European culture, but who sustained their day-to-day lives in a culture of hybrid origin.

Among them was Condrad du Buys, who fathered hundreds of children with San and other admixed people and created, single-handedly, his own clan and community. This kind of thing was quite common due to the material advantage of the incomers and the cultural and social disorganisation among both the locals and the incomers as they adjusted to the contact situation.

Why did this not happen w.r.t. Cucuteni-Trypolie or Varna men and the Steppe people?

Matt said...

@AnthroSurvey, cheers for the commentary on the history of Persian and Persianate culture.

I had read yesterday while having a little look around of the influence of influence on Central Asian forms of Turkic:

"The most acute transformation in Central Asian Turkic language and literature" (prior to Russian colonisation and dominance) " came with the introduction of Islam in the seventh century and the resultant incorporation of Central Asia into the Arab-Persian sphere of influence. Not unlike the hybrid language which evolved in Ottoman Turkey, language in Central Asia was profoundly influenced by both the Arabic and Persian traditions. As with Ottoman Turkish, the most visible change was the adoption of the Arabic script as the standard alphabet. Arabic grammatical structures, literary forms and vocabulary prevailed: the Arabic and Persian languages themselves become of primary importance" (https://goo.gl/6Wdk3V)

That does sound like the kind of elite superstrate influence that Norman French or early Danish would have had on English (between the Old English to Middle English transition), more than using as a resource for the invention of terminology (a la Enlightenment neologisms). But I'd be a "Google pundit" to put a lot of confidence on that.

Matt said...

@Ryukendo, I like the social perspective you're putting around this topic.

I would say though to note that the transformations in "India, Greece, and the Balkans" may well have involved mass population movements. In the case of Greece and Balkans, by people who had already accumulated large proportions of Anatolian derived early Neolithic European / West Asian ancestry.

To be honest this still seems more likely to me than alternatives, just as we would expect that movements into Iberia probably involved mass movements of groups akin to the Bell Beaker samples from West-Central Europe (e.g. something like >30% of a ≈ Steppe_EMBA population, possibly slightly more with male bias).

(Question of whether we can call movements of less than 50% but substantially more than 10%, a la the Anglo-Saxonization of England, where there is a progressive dilution of a small influx with local ancestry as "elite dominance" arises. I kind of appreciate you avoiding that whole terminology here.)

The archaeology doesn't seem like it's been an amazing guide to the population genetic impact of mass migration so far (e.g. I wonder if Reich would say archaeologists have been better than chance at this, considering the Corded Ware, different results on spread of Beaker culture, etc.?).

David Anthony for ex', thought that late Indo-European could spread via elite linked phenomena from the Yamnaya, but it looks like he was wrong about that...

To go on a tangent, Re: something like Turkish into Turkey, which seems by far the most historically likely example of anything like a steppe derived language becoming widespread without a substantial population replacement, I guess I might also add to your ideas that the *advantage* of a language as a lingua franca is enhanced when a territory is made up of a very broken up population who speak many different languages, and who are quite ethnically differentiated (indeed Turkey is the West Eurasian country whose samples cover by far the largest area on Davidski's G25; without even considering linguistic minorities who still exist there. Although perhaps Iran is a challenger for that spot as well.).

That is, it doesn't make a lot of sense for an elite group to learn any of the subdivided languages, or for any of the "common" groups to systematically learn each others languages, so it may make more sense to mutually shift to adopt the form from an elite group (contrast a place like England where all the common folk spoke basically the same language, and so the incoming elite eventually did too).

Plus this region has a history of linguistic shifts over time and multi-lingualism, and continues to be multi lingual until a relatively recent use of the state to spread a unified language among the population?

ryukendo kendow said...

@ Matt
Ryukendo, I like the social perspective you're putting around this topic.

Haha thanks brah.

The archaeology doesn't seem like it's been an amazing guide to the population genetic impact of mass migration so far

Hahahahahaha

Archaeology is a field full of personalities and highly ideologically committed people. Some people have been saying all along that people have moved, and these movements weren't small, but this was always disregarded by the mainstream.

Sites and so on are always monopolized by teams in this field, with a lot of variation in methods between sites, and concomitant variation in interpretation. I suspect the "hyper-empirical revolution" in archaeology, what with experimental arch, deposit recovery, genetic analysis, isotopes etc will revolutionize things, but it will take some time still I think. Always thought archaeology was a science much like biology, very reliant on technology and especially techniques of observation, and not like history--reliant on interpretation.

About turkey, I've seen data that indicate that the replacement was quite substantial, ~25-30% in the best analyses using local Greeks.

I think in India, Balkans and so on there was significant migration too, but the type of process that took place probably differed. For example, I wouldn't be surprised if much of NW and NE Europe was Indo-europeanised within a couple of generations, with familial mechanisms dominating almost always and the ultimate dissolving of all groups into the BB and CW "ethnicity" or "social group", but really doubt this for Greece, the Balkans, or the North India plain, where the social groups, even after assimilation (and they were not always assimilated) may have remained distinct for a time, much like the Anglo-Saxon vs Briton distinction in Britain actually (they had some degree of social complexity too).

ryukendo kendow said...

^^ When I say deposit recovery what I really meant was residue analysis btw :facepalm:

old europe said...

https://www.academia.edu/33483340/From_Neolithic_kings_to_the_Staffordshire_hoard._Hoards_and_aristocratic_graves_in_the_European_Neolithic_the_birth_of_a_Barbarian_Europe

one of the main reason that led many researchers to support the steppe hypothesis was the appartent dychotomy between an old europe that was pacific and matriarchal and a steppe societies that was more warlike ( and by the way this is a very wise presumption because we do know that indoeuropeans were in fact a warlike society) but here's one of the many studies that clearly shows that old europe was already a belligerant kind of society at a least 1500 years before meeting the steppe rambos, while in this study:

http://www.academia.edu/11290617/Egalit%C3%A4re_Hirtengesellschaft_versus_Nomadenkrieger_Rekonstruktion_einer_Sozialstruktur_der_Jamnaja-_und_Katakombengrabkulturen_3._Jt._v._Chr._

We are told that :"When considering the military potential of the steppe population during the Eneolithic and early Bronze Age, we should note the COMPLETE ABSENCE OF ANY EXPRESSION OF THE WARLIKE SPIRIT OF THE NOMADS in the burial rite. The first weapon assemblages ( bow bundle of arrows and battle axe accompanied by wagon elements ) APPEAR ONLY IN THE MIDDLE BRONZE AGE".
How do you explain this?

Rob said...

@ RK
Fully agree with you and Matt that there was a profound shift in balkans and Greece. I said so myself . Which is why we should not be merely looking for steppe ancestry or not; partly because it had already mixed in, but also partly because some of it came from non- steppe areas. The seminal changes (end of tells, collapse of Vinca, etc) which all began c 4500 BC began around TiszaPolgar culture which was WHG- EEF. Not speculating that these spoke PIE, but they began a set of changes
And this is what IMO people are missing; the few steps between southern (ANF) farmers and Yamnaya. Some acculturated hunter gatherers twice / thrice removed. Simply starting at the Volga, as the classic Gimbutean story, is missing a lot of the picture.

Santosh said...

@ HistoricallyCurious

"This resolves Sanotsh's conundrum as well (what language did IVC speak, if Dravidian is later than 2500 BC)."

I decided to write this post to make my position clearer. I don't "know" as a given about many if these things; I just tend to enumerate the possibilities and look at them, but still some evade me sometimes. Regarding the Dravidian languages, let me give you the picture imagined by traditional linguists relying on comparative method mostly and a bit of intuition like Bh. Krishnamurti. In his textbook "The Dravidian Languages", Krishnamurti imagined a situation like a three-column or two-column (NDr. and CDr.) mass movement of Proto-Dravidians as late as 1500 BC into central India from the northwest. In the Britannia article, he seems to have considered that the southern Dravidians speaking South Dravidian languages may have been quite ancient (that is, older than 1500 BC) in their current location as they tend to be very conservative. However, the important thing is his dating- he dated, not based on computational methods but relative chronology and Indo-Aryan textual sources, that Proto-Dravidian began to break up at the most beginning from 1300 BC (North Dravidian), not earlier. This does not say anything about the time period when a unified Proto-Dravidian and a Pre-Proto-Dravidian was spoken. Technically, according to the definition of a proto-language which is the latest common stage language reconstructed from a set of now-diverged languages, PDr. was put till 1500 BC before it started to break up, by Krishnamurti.

There are other proposals like Fuller's and Southworth's that break up Dravidian much more early like in 2800 BC or so; but I don't think they are correct and North and Central Dravidian languages are not that diverged from reconstructed Proto-Dravidian. They are very closely related to the South Dravidian languages. But in any case, a Dravidian invasion sometime around 2300 BC or later into an already ashmound neolithic south India possibly begun to be neolithised at around 3000 BC by the ancestors of such folks as Kurumbas and their Deccan equivalents, is a very tempting proposition and I entertain this very much, with the additional assumption that this PDr. thus migrated did not break up till about 1500 BC as Krishnamurti thought. This is very imaginable- they were not that hugely successful as farmers or pastoralists in south India to so swiftly diverge into branches- they were likely making their ends meet barely, in terms of economic situation.

It is also to be noticed that Dravidian has to be an outsider to the Deccan in either possibility. The direction is most likely somewhere from the northwest irrespective of whether it is connected to the Indus Valley tradition.

Now the other possibility as imagined by Parpola and perhaps Krishnamurti that Dravidians were the Harappans and moved south after Indus collapsed is also a very valid possibility and the only question it doesn't answer well is the scale of demoralisation and fall from grace of these migrating Harappans who never replicated what they did back in the Indus valley. But the question why Dravidian languages are so young and so little diverged is well explained by this proposal in terms of the centralised nature of urban IVC leading to keep strong checks for the divergence of PDr. But this is also evidently the case with Indo-Aryan which is also very less diverged today.

ryukendo kendow said...

@ HistoricallyCurious

just noticed your comment to me. There's actually no need to get the Saraswati<-->Gaggar-Hakkra thing to fit, the linguists know that the Iranics have a river called *Haravhaiti and this refers to Helmand in Afghanistan. Translocation of sacred geography according to the demands of the situation is quite common.

By the time the IAr came, the Indus civilisation was extremely degraded. It was almost totally deurbanised in its core region, and writing was confined to potsherds (no more of those beautiful seals). The river it most depended on for intensive agriculture was now completely dessicated, and the climate was so much drier than before that even the grain that was the basis of subsistence agriculture changed (from wheat to millet). Millet is a lot less productive and some of the archaeologists say it was much more conducive to a rural, localist, clannish social orientation instead of the original cosmopolitan, marketised or at least integrated one (which required much more agricultural surplus). The fate of standardised weights etc. is predictable under this kind of social change.

That kind of society is much easier for immigrants to impact disproportionately than the high Indus of the Mature Harappan.

Santosh said...

Contd. from previous comment:

A third possibility, which is somewhat like the one in Krishnamurti's Britannica article, is to imagine Dravidian in both Indus valley and south Deccan and Gujarat, with Proto-Dravidian of south Deccan surviving and Para-Dravidian of Indus valley surviving as substratum in Indo-Aryan. That brings me to this substratum question. In my view, it is very likely that the earliest of Sanskrit was influenced by a Dravidian-like language, typologically it must have been influenced by some Indian-like language; there are some loanwords too from Dravidian. In any case, some form of Dravidian was present in places that we would never expect it to have been present, and it influenced Vedic to a degree, in whatever capacity it was there there- as in mere trade outposts or zookeepers or pastoralists or whatever. This does not say anything like Dravidian being the major language of the Harappan Civilisation of course, but that Dravidian was present there.

So, in my view, the best locations that are possible for Proto-Dravidian to have existed are the south Deccan and Indus Valley. I personally believe that it was south Deccan and to that south Deccan, it came from Mehrgarh or later neolithic as there are indications for the existence of non-Dravidian languages before Dravidian in south India;if one has to consider the possibility that Dravidian was native to south India, one has to assume that for some reason, only one dialect of Pre-Dravidian survived and diversified. Possible of course, may also be likely; we will know more with more research on substrate words in Irula, etc.

So regarding the situation in Indus valley, I this believe it was Para-Dravidian that was the ruling language during the urban phase or that it simply did not exist because the only Dravidian which is Proto-Dravidian migrated off into the south Deccan for whatever reason. If not Para-Dravidian, an Indianised Indo-Aryan is the next best (actually even better than the earlier) choice, compared to west Asian languages because Indo-Aryan is very Indian typologically and those west Asian languages were not mostly. But this possibility understandably brings terror in the minds of people as I see here. Earlier just Indo-Aryan was non-native and now even that northwestern civilisation seems to be non-native! How sacriligeous! And let me tell you that Indo-Aryan cannot be native to the subcontinent with any reasonableness. The nearest Indo-European can have as a homeland is Iran or central Asia (with quite a low probability though) but never the good old subcontinent. So if urban civilisation was brought to India by Indo-Europeans, then so be it! No need to be Indian-racist and Indian-haughty towards ancient Indo-Europeans. Don't make the same mistake that the European folks of 19th and 20th centuries evidently did. Anyway,irrespective of all these baseless fears (I mean, who even really cares that badly in India if the Indo-Aryans were not native? Why must the Indo-Aryans be native in their origin? The inferiority complex of both the Indo-Aryan side and the paleolithic side of some of the Indians is quite high I think.), the truth or the hypothesis with the most likelihood will ultimately prevail with the understanding that new data will always refine things. Rakhigarhi ancient DNA, even if it supports the current mainstream position, is not the end of the world.

Santosh said...

Actually, it need not be Mehrgarh from where Dravidian may have come to south India; it can easily be the language of one of the hill tribes of any mountain chain in the Indo-Iranian borderlands.

Chetan said...

@Blogger Martin Clifford Styan You are mostly right about the traditional Indian view of history. It is cyclical as opposed to the linear view found in some cultures (Judeo-Christian for eg.). SO yes, you will find many religiously oriented Indians making comments that seem to place objects and events anachronistically. But I believe that most of these types of people will be so set in their views that they wouldnt't even bother to debate it with others, especially those that they see as coming from a rival "Western scientific tradition". I have noticed that most Indian commentators here are open to discussion and debate although some still have a reluctance to accept an outside origin for early Indo-Aryans.

Santosh said...

Oh boy! I always confuse Britannica with Britannia lol! I seem to have some serious subconscious attachment to the biscuit brand. Sorry for any other mistakes that I may have committed.

Chetan said...

@Santosh Have you read Franklin Southworth's "Linguistic achaeology of South Asia"? He presents a strong case from the toponomy of the Maharashtra- Gujarat region that Dravidian was spoken there before the introduction of IA. So yeah an entry from North-West seems reasonable with a Proto language dated 3000-2000 BC. Maybe Dravidian occupied the Sindh region like WItzel proposes and expanded southward after the disintegration of IVC. In that case there is a strong correlation between Dravidian and haplogroup L which peaks in precisely those 2 regions (Sindh and South india).

Chetan said...

@Santosh https://media.springernature.com/lw785/springer-static/image/art%3A10.1007%2Fs12284-011-9076-9/MediaObjects/12284_2011_9076_Fig1_HTML.gif

This is from the book

Santosh said...

@ Chetan

Yes I'm aware of the relevant sections though I did not read the book entirely. The major problem about the situation in at least Maharashtra and perhaps also Gujarat, is that the pre-Indo-Aryan/otherwise Dravidian seen there could have been borne out of migration of people already speaking South Dravidian languages also, it could even have been Pre-Kannada-like. Don't know about the situation in Sindh- it may very well reflect a Proto-Dravidian situation. If so, then that may perhaps indicate that the lower Indus valley had Dravidian speakers predominantly, during the urban phase and later, or according to Witzel's view, these people newly arriving there from somewhere in Iran at the end of /after urban phase bringing horse with them (I don't know what basis Witzel has for this though). Frankly though, I used to be (still am) very attracted to Dorian Fuller's savanna-millet agriculture hypothesis which makes Pre-Proto-Dravidians migrate to south Deccan from inland Gujarat (he thinks they were Gujarati mesolithics-turned-pastoralists) on the western Indian savanna. We can make amends to that and say perhaps they were not native inland-Gujaratis but Sindhis or peninsular Gujaratis connected with the Indus tradition (who for some reason did not attempt to try their agricultural package and instead became millet farmers) But it still seems that that time frame is too ancient for Proto-Dravidian; if we nonetheless go ahead and attach pre-urban Sindh and the western savanna with Dravidian of the existent Dravidian languages, then we must consider that such Dravidian did not break up into NDr., CDr. and SDr. till much later as I wrote in a comment above- while this is definitely possible and I believe it is what may have happened too, I don't really know how likely it is. So after all, the post-urban-Indus hypothesis may emerge triumphant for Dravidian (with all the usual problems such as the absence of replication of urban Indus culture in south India, not knowing the situation with respect to Punjab (if only Sindh and not Punjab was Dravidian during urban phase, then that means there was another language that was the centralising one whose identity may not be Dravidian and we are back to square one)); I don't know.

ryukendo kendow said...

I wonder if any of you have read Parpola's (yes, the guy who did stuff with Uralic, same guy) "The Roots of Hinuism: The Early Aryans and the Indus Civilisation"?

He raises some very very interesting points which honestly sound quite convincing, and inclines me to suspect at least part of the Indus Valley Civilisation spoke Dravidian languages, even if the Southern Pastoral Neolithic or Southern Megalithicism/the Deccan Iron Age was first associated with Dravidian in its current distribution, meaning that the current Dravidian languages were the product of a separate process.

For example the point that "fish" and "star" were homophones in proto-Dravidian and so the prominence of the "fish" glyph might be a representation of God names as parts of personal names (super common in Mesopotamia as well), or the prominence of the squirrel, the word ("pillai", Indians should be familiar with this word, super common) for which also means "child" in proto-Dravidian, explaining the prominence of "squirrel" glyphs--otherwise a weird animal to have so prominent in your culture. Or the prominence of female warlike deities and a connection to the Buffalo (which we see shadows of in the Rigveda, because Indra, at multiple points, eats buffaloes and its specifically buffaloes before a battle that give him the strength to fight, but there is specifically no mention of buffalo sacrifice anywhere, to Indra or to anyone, making him suspect the brahmins probably weren't too happy with the vedic warrior's adoption of native traditions and wanted to suppress it).

In later Puranas the warlike Goddess (shared with many Middle Eastern Religions with Neolithic origin by the way, c.f. Innana in Mesopotamia or Bastet in Egypt, or the Bull-leaper in Minoan iconography) associated with Buffaloes and the killing of buffaloes emerge fully within the record (the story of Durga and Mahishasura). Along with it was the introduction of various religious elements that (to me, as an East Asian) I classically associate with Indic religions, which is the fantastical series of shape-shifting into various animals associated with supernatural battle scenes. This was introduced into China and Japan through Buddhism and Indic religion, and such a scene can be found in Journey to the West.

I've had very many South Indian friends and have always thought that the more interesting aspects of Indic aesthetics, visual culture and just cultural impulse in general, the scintillating, intense, and hallucinatory qualities, were South Indian and perhaps Dravidian in origin. He didn't mention this but the Toda hill tribes of South India, super famous in anthropology and who are almost untouched by mainstream Hindu-Brahmanical culture, have the creation myth that the God and Goddess created buffaloes and man together, how fantastic is that?

Someone should really get a comparative mythology of the Dravidian peoples done (Nairs, Toda, etc) and compare this with Indus iconography, the results will be very interesting I'm sure.

ryukendo kendow said...

^^ the Journey to the West is a "Buddhist Fantasy", a little bit like Don Quixote and the inspiration for Dragonball Z, by the way. Goku is adapted from the main character, who seems ultimately connected to Hanuman in some way, though surely comparing the stories something got lost in translation haha.

Jijnasu said...

@ryukendow
Caution is required while linking mythology and iconography from much later periods to that of the Indus seals. A lot of contradictory claims have been made and it does seem that various forms of ethno-nationalism and other forms of bias influence studies on this.

Mr. Kulkarni said...

@ryukendo

"just noticed your comment to me. There's actually no need to get the Saraswati<-->Gaggar-Hakkra thing to fit, the linguists know that the Iranics have a river called *Haravhaiti and this refers to Helmand in Afghanistan. Translocation of sacred geography according to the demands of the situation is quite common."

No. Linguists dont know that. They hypothesize that because it fits with their 150 year old narrative taken as defacto truth ie 'aryans invaded from the west'.
1.The reference of Harahvaiti itself is anachronistic. It is found only in the Vendidad, which is dated to a very later time scale, c. 500 BC (Ref. Boyce), which is much later than the Rigveda.
2.Avesta does not describe where Harahvaiti was located. But Rigveda sure does describe the sequence of rivers, in which Saraswati lies between Yamuna & Shutudri.
3. If you remove all bias and just focus on evidence - Rig Veda glorifies 2 rivers the most - Sindhu & Saraswati, & guess what - maximum Harappan settlements have been found along those rivers (Indus and Ghaggar paleochannel).

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