I came across the article published in The Hindu “How genetics is settling the Aryan migration debate” by Tony Joseph.
The wonder is they have still embraced the outdated term like Aryans. The well-known fact is the invention of farming cannot be attributed to a single source. We have the oldest archaeological proof from Zagros mountains dating back to 10000 years BC. In fact, no civilisation ever develops in isolation. There are always exchanges between the civilisations along with the independent innovations and inventions and language forms a majority part of any culture.
When we speak of the ancient past, genetics as a modern tool being used to understand our ancestry, many times give conflicting results for the samples we have are very scarce and that too contaminated by the onslaught of nature. Not more than 101 skeletons have been genetically examined so far and yet the geneticist's can make any claim to explain riddles of the ancient history.
For example, their report published in The Hindu boldly affirms that sometime around 2000 BC -1500 BC Indo-European language speakers did stream in India with their distinct culture and Sanskrit language! A major unanswered question is, how genetics told these experts which language they spoke and what material culture they really lived from their genes? The report is fake on many counts when it claims the migration was negated by the research so far, as two major recent reports have dealt with the very issue of the PIE migration through genetics and had conveniently confirmed the migrations of the PIE speakers’, contrary to the claim made by The Hindu.
A large team led by Morten E Alentoft examined about 101 sampled ancient individuals from Europe and Central Asia. They also used the archeological evidence of chariot burials (2000-1800 BC) to find the migration pattern. The report relies on the hypothesis of the linguists that ‘the spread of Indo-European languages must have required migration combined with social or demographic dominance and this expansion has been supported by archweologists pointing to striking similarities in the archeological record across western Eurasia during the third millennium BC. The genomic evidence for the spread of the Yamnaya people from the Pontic-caspian Steppe to both northern Europe and Central Asia during the early Bronze Age corresponds well with the hypothesized expansion of the IE languages.' (You may read this report on https://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v522/n7555/full/nature14507.html)
The report appeared in “Science” (Feb. 15) is based on the research of a large team of geneticists led by David Reich and Iosif Lazaridis of Harward Medical School. The DNA samples suggest that the Yamnaya people (DNA obtained from 4 skeletons) could have moved from Steppes 4500 years ago. This paper claims to have connected two far-flunged material cultures to specific genetic signatures. The report states that the team says they spoke a form of Indo-European language. Earlier it was considered that the origins of PIE were 6000 years ago. To meet this gap, hypothetically, it is being proposed that this may be secondary migration!
It is also agreed by the genetic scientists that they cannot tell the language of people from their DNA's. I have read the original report and it is admitted that they cannot tell for sure the ancestry of the original PIE speakers of Bronze Age because this was not the independent culture but was an admixture of East European or Caucasus hunter-gatherers and near eastern people. So, genetically too, Yamna people were blending of three distinct ancestries. Hence, if at all PIE existed, its origin cannot be attributed to the archaic skeletons from which the DNA’s were extracted to make a big claim.
Migrations is a historical fact around the globe for many reasons, but it is a bold claim that the movement of the certain group of the people belonging to some hypothetical culture destroyed or impacted heavily the languages and cultures of the old inhabitants of the regions unless they could outnumber them. Also attributing migrations of about 4500 years ago to the invention of the agriculture is a farfetched lie because the invention of the agriculture dates back to not less than 10000 BC. Also one cannot credit ceratin group of the people for any invention that changed the face of the mankind.
It is a fact that the Vedic religion and its original adherents entered India sometime around 1000 BC but their number was not as high to outnumber local inhabitants. The scriptural proofs indicate that the cultural and linguistic traits of India influenced the Vedic religion and language of the migrant's. Indo-European language theory is renaming of old Aryan race theory and European supremacist approach still works hard by their ceaseless misrepresentation of the Genomic analysis to make out over and again their theory!
Comparison of the modern and ancient DNA cannot tell the story of the mankind because DNA samples are too a few and prone to give conflicting results as they have in recent past. Still, the report of Hindu theoretically considers there were two groups, one that was came to India tens of thousand years ago and other came to India 4,000 to 3,500 years ago. This second group is claimed to be Indo-Aryan when there is no proof what were DNA’s of the Indo-Aryans because genetics do not tell us racial or linguistic traits.
The author of this article published in Hindu, Tony Joseph, however, cautions us to treat population genetic models with caution because it works on the assumption which may be wrong or limited to the scope of their study! The main assumption that those migrated about 4,000 to 3,500 years ago were speakers of the Indo-Europen language is such a baseless and unscientific assumption that the whole conjecture falls apart.
The issue of the ancient humanities is complex. Origin of the languages cannot be attributed to any special group of the people. Geology might be playing the significant role in the origin of different languages. The spread of the cultures do not necessarily require demographic migrations. Migrations do not impact local cultures to the extent of erasing their language and cultures. The issue is actually overrated by the people who are in search of hypothetical Superman!
(The original article published in The Hindu http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/science/how-genetics-is-settling-the-aryan-migration-debate/article19090301.ece