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soulblighter
12-26-2013, 02:26 AM
Religious texts usually weave real geography and significant events into myth.
One of the core geographical textx of Ancient India is the Nadistuthi Sukta from the Rig Veda.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nadistuti_sukta
The verse describes the important rivers of the Ancient Indo-Aryans, chronicled from east to west.
A lot of focus and scrutiny has been placed on the Saraswati River.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarasvati_River
The dissapearance of the river has been explained as one of the root cause for the collapse of the IVC civilization.
The river is also described as the most important river of all in the Rig-Veda.
Hydronyms in linguistics are considered to be the most conservative of all typonyms.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydronym

This thread can be used to post any new papers related with geography of Ancient Indian subcontinent.

Some texts to start with:
http://www.pnas.org/content/109/26/E1688.long
http://geology.gsapubs.org/content/40/3/211.short

soulblighter
12-26-2013, 02:36 AM
Could you expand on why?

I am curious as to why South Asian religious take importance over what linguistics and archeology shows.

Geography in ancient text usially match with reality. All the other mumbo jumbo can usually be ignored.
The age of Z93 ason the R1a1 subclades page are far too recent to explain the fact that the Indo Aryans noticed the river Saraswati's existence and then change of course/dissapearance (which according to geological evidence took many centuries, eventually leading to the collapse of IVC). If they adopted this story from existing populations, then they shoukd have also adopted river names from then, and definitely would not have made the Saraswati river their crown jewel

parasar
12-26-2013, 04:55 AM
Geography in ancient text usially match with reality. All the other mumbo jumbo can usually be ignored.
The age of Z93 ason the R1a1 subclades page are far too recent to explain the fact that the Indo Aryans noticed the river Saraswati's existence and then change of course/dissapearance (which according to geological evidence took many centuries, eventually leading to the collapse of IVC). If they adopted this story from existing populations, then they shoukd have also adopted river names from then, and definitely would not have made the Saraswati river their crown jewel

That Saraswati's disappearance lead to IVC collapse, I doubt. Saraswati was a glacier fed river latest in the Holocene. After that it has been, and still is, a monsoon overflow channel. That is why many establishments from pre IVC through the present, lie on its bed, rather than on its banks. The river literally flows once in a while under peoples' homes in Hanumangarh.

Sapporo
12-26-2013, 02:50 PM
Here are some "amateur" maps I drew of the approximate location of the Sarasvati. Based on approximation, it would have extended through Western Himachal Pradesh, Eastern Indian Punjab, Haryana and Northern Rajasthan.

http://oi41.tinypic.com/xf289v.jpg

http://oi43.tinypic.com/10n56rq.jpg

parasar
12-26-2013, 05:25 PM
Here are some "amateur" maps I drew of the approximate location of the Sarasvati. Based on approximation, it would have extended through Western Himachal Pradesh, Eastern Indian Punjab, Haryana and Northern Rajasthan.
...

Its terminus is near Somnath. In its southern section it carries monsoon flow and used to carry Indus overflow.

El Beruni "The river Sarsut [Sarsuti] falls into the sea to the east of Somnat. The Jumna falls into the Ganga below Kannauj, which city is situated on the west of the river ..."
http://books.google.com/books?id=W9gix7jzhfcC&pg=PA49

soulblighter
12-26-2013, 06:34 PM
I do feel that a major climatic event dried up Saraswati, and changed Yamuna's course (from flowing towards Rajasthan to instead merging with the Ganges).
Maybe the river that dried up in the Holocene is not the Saraswati being taked about in the Nadistuti Sukta?

parasar
12-26-2013, 07:16 PM
I do feel that a major climatic event dried up Saraswati, and changed Yamuna's course (from flowing towards Rajasthan to instead merging with the Ganges).
Maybe the river that dried up in the Holocene is not the Saraswati being taked about in the Nadistuti Sukta?

The Yamuna did change course, but that was before the Holocene, and true at that date the Yamuna discharged into the Arabian Sea, quite possibly via the Saraswati. So the Saraswati has been exclusively monsoon fed for some time. If you visit Rajasthan in some heavy monsoon years, these rivers became massive. I was stuck without food for three days on what became an island with water all around as many of Rajasthan's roads are directly on the river beds! I recall reading that about 1300AD there was a migration from Rajasthan to the Punjab as the even during the monsoons the Saraswati (not locally called Saraswati, though) was running dry.

From the link you posted:

Potential sources for this river include the Yamuna River, the Sutlej River, or both rivers. However, the lack of large-scale incision on the interfluve demonstrates that large, glacier-fed rivers did not flow across the Ghaggar-Hakra region during the Holocene. Existing chronologies (27, 28) and our own age on the bank of Sutlej (SI Text) identified deposits of Late Pleistocene age, indicating that the interfluve formed instead during the last glacial period. Provenance detection (32) suggests that the Yamuna may have contributed sediment to this region during the last glacial period, but switched to the Ganges basin before Harappan times.

Some have pointed at Shatudri/Satlaj as the one that was the upper reach of Saraswati that was blocked by a fault and merged into the Indus, thus drying Saraswati. Oldham saw in the Rg Veda a distinction between Shatudri and Chatudri. I think even Oldham's thesis is doubtful and the Rg Vedic passages show the Shatudri very much as it is today, and Chatudri as just another form (see eg. eastern Chuddar instead of Shudra).

parasar
12-26-2013, 08:50 PM
From the Govt of India(since Bhan is the writer)/NCERT perspective in support of Aryan Invasion (or perhaps migration):

North Indian Protohistory and Vedic Aryans

During the last two decades, some eccentric attempts have been made to identify the Indus Civilization with the Rig Vedic culture. Their conclusions are based on wrong assumptions claiming that (1) the Harappan sites have recently yielded the evidence of fire altars, sacrificial pits and true horse, so well known to the Rig Veda, (2) that the Rig Vedic Saraswati was a mighty perennial river system parallel to the Indus and was the nucleus of Indus Civilization, (3) that the date of the Rig Veda goes back to the third millennium BC, the era of the Indus Civilization before the desertion of Kalibangan around 1900 BC and (4) that the Rig Vedic Aryans knew fortified cities, sea trade and state- based society
...
The first cultural cycle is marked by the advent of agro-pastoral communities in the Indus plains from north Baluchistan around 3000 BC
...
rise of urban centres at Harappa, Rehman Dheri and Nausharo in mid Indus Valley about 2500 BC
...
The Indus state disintegrated around 1900 BC perhaps as a consequence of internal conflicts and revolts led by urban elites or chiefs. This resulted in the decline and desertion of cities and towns and dispersal and migration of town's men and peasant pastoral communities. The new leadership re-organized the late Harappan people into regional chiefdoms using uninscribed seals as tokens of authority. The new social formation included regional cultures such as the Cemetery H culture, Jhukar culture and other late Harappan cultures in the Sutlej-Ganga Divide and in Gujarat. The more marginalized communities like the Ochre Coloured Pottery (OCP) culture occupied the south-eastern periphery of the late Indus culture. Their settlements have been discovered in south-eastern Haryana, northeastern Rajasthan, central Ganga-Yamuna Doab and the Ganga Valley.
...

The second major cycle of cultural movement of agro-pastoral tribes is discovered by excavations in the Swat, Dir and Chitral valleys of North West Frontier Province, in the Gomal valley, in Bolan Valley at Pirak and at Sarai Khola near Taxila to the east of the Indus around 1600 B.C. At Pirak the new comers largely adopted pottery and architecture of the indigenous people, but they introduced horse, Bactrian camel and rice from the north-west. Horse burials along with the dead is unmistakably a central Asian custom. They also used thin painted grey pottery perhaps in the later phase. The culture has been dated between 1700-700 BC

...
The grey ware using people next entered the Ghaggar-Hakra and Saraswati basin and the Ganga-Yamuna Doab. Here the pottery is distinguished by black paintings over the grey ware and hence termed the Painted Grey Ware (PGW).
...

The region in the mid Ganga Valley to the east of Allahabad and Kannauj is distinguished from the PGW zone by a related Black Slipped Ware (BSP) culture in the pre NBPW period
...
It is most likely that it was the BSW culture, which introduced iron, glass and horse for the first time in eastern India
...

In course of time the BSW culture transformed into the Northern Black Polished Ware culture marked distinctive stamp on the emergence of urbanization and Mahajanpada states, which first arose in the region of Magadha and eastern U.P. around 600 BC.
...
post-Indus 2nd great movement of the Gandhara Grey Ware, PGW, BSW and the Megalithic people were widely distributed. They established their chiefdoms all over the Indo-Gangetic plains and central Indian plateau between c. 1600-600 BC. But they [IMO, essentially he is talking about R1a1 people] had no roots in the Indus, Late Indus or chalcolithic cultures in the subcontinent. They developed rather exclusive regional cultures by dislodging the indigenous population from the northern plains between the Indus and the Ganga. They, however, had to adjust with the indigenous people in eastern India and central India after establishing their hegemony.
...
the northern Protohistoric archaeology of Indo-Pakistan sub-continent is marked by a cultural break in between two distinct cultural traditions Copper-Bronze and chalcolithic cultural traditions on the one hand and the post Indus cultural traditions on the other. It however remains to be examined with which of the two traditions the Vedic culture can be broadly correlated

...

As seen above the Vedic tradition extended from Sapta-Sindhu region of the Rig Veda to Madhya Desh between Saraswati and the Ganga, eastern India and Central India in the later Vedic times. The Rig Vedic nucleus in the Sarasvati valley shifted in course of time to the Madhya desh. In the next stage they moved into mid Ganga Valley and central India. The Magadhan region marked a hybrid culture and surpassed other regions in socioeconomic development and rise of powerful states and early historic urban centres towards the end of the later Vedic period. The Vedic culture reveals a continuous development under chiefdoms all over north India right from c. 1600 BC down to the thresh-hold of 2nd urbanization and the rise of 16 Mahajanapadas around c. 600 BC.

...

it is evident that the Vedic Cultural Tradition corresponds better with the Post- Indus cultural tradition characterized by the Gandhara Grey Ware culture, the Painted Grey Ware culture and the Black Slipped or Black and red ware culture then with the Indus Civilisation for the following reasons. (1) The cultural formations of the Indus tradition date from 3000-1300 BC, but the Vedic tradition dates between 1500-600 BC. (2) The cultures of the Indus tradition spread in the Indus Valley, Ghaggar-Hakra basin and in the Doab and do not extend into middle and lower Ganga valley in the east and central India unlike the Vedic tradition which extends all over northern India and Pakistan. (3) The Indus tradition declined after 2000 BC and died out around c. 1300 BC, but the Vedic tradition continued to develop down to the early historic era and got transformed into a state-based urban civilisation in the NBPW period c. 6000 BC. (4) Culturally speaking the Vedic Tradition corresponds well with the chiefdom -based Post-Indus cultures as they also use rice, horse and iron, but it reveals a glaring contrast with the Indus Civilisation for the absence of fortified cities, town planning and drainage, monumental art and architecture of burnt bricks, advanced specialization and sea trade, use of seals, weights, measures and script and the custom of burying the dead in cemeteries. (5) The identification of fire places as fire -altars, waste pits as sacrificial pits in Harappan sites and the imaginary reading of Sanskrit legends on Indus seals is no less than fabrication of the evidence to support the distorted version of Indian history, viewing the past cultural mosaic not as it actually was, but as they wanted to see it.

...the adherents of the ideology of Hindutva believed that India is a Hindu nation and has Hindu culture in continuity from Vedic Aryans. The mosaic of cultures of the past evolving into composite Indian culture through the process of history was seen by them not as it really was but what they wanted to see in it. They are selective and lack holistic and relative view while collecting or analyzing the data. They even do not hesitate from distorting, manipulating or even forging the mute archaeological evidence to suit their ideology and opportunistic interests. This is what was attempted by some pseudo archaeologists in Indian Archaeology in the recent past

...

I am thankful to the ICHR for permitting me to use here the research material collected by me as Sr. Fellow for my Project on Some Trends in Indian Archaeology

http://www.ancient-asia-journal.com/article/view/aa.06115/29

soulblighter
12-27-2013, 05:30 PM
Yes, I am in almost complete agreement with the narrative above. The only question being, what climatic or geo-political event made the indo-aryans (probably from the swat or Kashmir area), move south?
Also aren't new harappan site now being discovered closer to the Gangetic sites and don't seem to be localized to the Indus sites anymore (e.g Farmana)?
BRW is unkown west of the Indus valley, and is te ancestor of PGW.
Do you think the Indo Aryans had already moved far south and east towards the Gangetic plains before the Harappan collapse, and eventually with the Harappans pushing eastward, created a syncretic BRW and PGW?
Somehow I have a hard time wrapping my head around nomads being technologically superior over a civilization such as IVC, unless these nomads introduced Iron working into India. Why would the IVC folks move east after the collapse and not take their city planning, technological and trade skills along with them, and instead adopt traditions of the Nomads? (compare with mittani)

parasar
12-27-2013, 07:44 PM
We have had two populations living in South Asia for a long period of time, with perceptible outside input but nothing major.

One is known variously as ANI, Metspalu's k5, Gedrosia/Caucasus etc.
The other is seen as ASI, Metspalu's k6, South India, etc.

Metspalu: "Most South Asians bear membership in only two of the constructed ancestral populations ... k5 and k6"

k5 is the one shared with Western Asia and Europe: "within India, there is only a very weak correlation (r = 0.4) between probability of membership in this cluster and distance from its closest core area in Baluchistan (Figure S6). Instead, a more steady cline (correlation r = 0.7 with distance from Baluchistan) of decrease of probability for ancestry in the k5 light green ancestral population can be observed as one moves from Baluchistan toward north (north Pakistan and Central Asia) and west (Iran, the Caucasus, and, finally, the Near East and Europe)."

k6 is older and limited to India: "The geographic spread of the Indian-specific PC2 (or k6) could at least partly correspond to the genetic signal from the ASI"
"k6 is primarily restricted to the Indian subcontinent with modest presence in Central Asia and Iran. Haplotype diversity associated with dark green ancestry is greatest in the south of the Indian subcontinent, indicating that the alleles underlying it most likely arose there and spread northwards. It is notable that this ancestry component also exhibits greater haplotype diversity than European or Near Eastern components despite the fact that the Illumina genotyped markers were principally ascertained in a sample of European individuals."

Metspalu could not determine the origin of k5: "PC4 (or k5), distributed across the Indus Valley, Central Asia, and the Caucasus, might represent the genetic vestige of the ANI"
"Our simulations show that differences in haplotype diversity between source and recipient populations can be detected even for migration events that occurred 500 generations ago (∼12,500 years ago assuming one generation to be 25 years). For alleles associated with k5, haplotype diversity is comparable among all studied populations across West Eurasia and the Indus basin (Figure S8) ... Thus, regardless of where this component was from (the Caucasus, Near East, Indus Valley, or Central Asia), its spread to other regions must have occurred well before our detection limits at 12,500 years."

But now we have some evidence from ancient DNA, regarding this k5 type component.
The recent paper on European population admixture gives us something they call ANE - Ancient North Eurasian.
The paper makes the following points -
"Ancient North Eurasians (ANE), who are more closely related to Upper Paleolithic Siberians than to any present-day population"
"Evidence tying MA1 to Europe, the northern Near East and Caucasus, and south/central Asia"

I think we can eliminate Europe and West Asia as the area where this component originated, since:
"Loschbour and Stuttgart had little or no ANE ancestry, indicating that it was not as pervasive in central Europe around the time of the agricultural transition as it is today" and
"ANE ancestry was also not present in the ancient Near East; since Stuttgart which has substantial Near Eastern ancestry lacks it."

It does make a trace appearance in northern Europe though,
"ANE ancestry was already present in at least some Europeans ... since MA1 shares more alleles with Motala12 than Loschbour"
It is barely perceptible in Motala_merge.

"K=16 is the value which minimizes the cross-validation error"
At K=16 two clear components (green and beige) are apparent in South Asian populations - http://biorxiv.org/content/biorxiv/suppl/2013/12/23/001552.DC1/001552-2.pdf
The Kalash and the Mala are at the two extremes and betray almost no other component. The Makrani, Balochi, and Brahui have West Asian (pink) influence but very little European (blue). The West Asian drops off in the Pathan, Burusho, and Sindhi who show some increased blue.

The West Asian is relatively recent input into western South Asia, as it is not seen in the Gujaratis and Tiwari. This West Asian also puts Makrani, Balochi, and Brahui off cline, and essentially stops west of the Indus. The Blue European component on the other hand shows a deep penetration into India, especially northern India.

Therefore, based on ancient DNA we can reasonably eliminate Europe and West Asia as the point of origin of k5.
We are then left with India, Central Asia, and Paleolithic Siberia as the source of origin for k5.

For certain, Paleolithic Siberia is a strong claimant based on physical evidence.

The Moorjani paper hinted at the South or Central Asia possibility - "consistent with our data is that the ANI and ASI were both living in or near South Asia for a sub-stantial period prior to their mixture."

So for an Aryan signature we are left with only the Blue component that perhaps tracks the Gandhara Grey Ware people that Bhan mentions - "The second major cycle of cultural movement of agro-pastoral tribes is discovered by excavations in the Swat, Dir and Chitral valleys of North West Frontier Province, in the Gomal valley, in Bolan Valley at Pirak and at Sarai Khola near Taxila to the east of the Indus around 1600 B.C." Their numbers must have been small as seen by the proportion of Blue so I doubt they could have transformed all corners of India. But apparently they did, so I think they merged with ANI component, thus expanding numerically.

A proposal that matches ancient DNA well is that by Genetiker who essentially brings the ANI out of the ASI, though in more colorful terms:


70–55 ka — Negritoids in India evolve into Veddoids. A key innovation is the evolution of straight hair from tufted, woolly Capoid hair.
55–45 ka — Veddoids in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iran evolve into proto-Caucasoids.
55–45 ka — Veddoids in East Asia evolve into Polynesoids.
45–12 ka — proto-Caucasoids in Europe evolve into Nordics.
45–12 ka — proto-Caucasoids in the Levant and Mesopotamia evolve into Mediterraneans.
45–12 ka — proto-Caucasoids in Iran, Asia Minor, and Transcaucasia evolve into Alpines.
45–12 ka — Polynesoids in Northeast Asia evolve into Mongoloids. The 370A mutation in the EDAR gene results in Sinodonty, stiff hair, small breasts, and higher sweat gland density. The epicanthic fold is also evolved.
...
Veddoids are neither Caucasoid nor Mongoloid, but are rather the race from which both Caucasoids and Mongoloids evolved.
...
The older proto-Caucasoid or proto-Mongoloid samples are, the more of the Veddoid component they will show. If we ever get 40,000-year-old DNA from Europe, I expect it to show as much of the Veddoid component as the Tianyuan sample ...

The only Mongoloid components that the Mal’ta boy had any amount of were those associated with populations having high frequencies of Aryan or proto-Aryan Y haplogroups.
...
Like the Mal’ta boy, the modal component for the Afontova Gora man in the World-22 analysis is the Aryan Nordic component, although the Afontova Gora man did have more of the Cro-Magnon Nordic component than the Mal’ta boy.

The Afontova Gora man had more of the Nordic components and less of the Veddoid component than the Mal’ta boy. This makes sense, because the Afontova Gora man was 7,000 years further up the path of Nordic evolution than the Mal’ta boy.



Ref.
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0002929711004885
http://www.scribd.com/doc/173006638/Pi-is-0002929713003248
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2842210/
http://genetiker.wordpress.com/timelines-of-prehistory/

Jean M
12-27-2013, 08:29 PM
Might be relevant:

Gwen Robbins Shug, K. Elaine Blevins, Brett Cox, Kelsey Gray and V. Mushrif-Tripathy, Infection, Disease, and Biosocial Processes at the End of the Indus Civilization, PLoS ONE 8(12): e8481, 17 December 2013. http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0084814


Abstract

In the third millennium B.C., the Indus Civilization flourished in northwest India and Pakistan. The late mature phase (2200-1900 B.C.) was characterized by long-distance exchange networks, planned urban settlements, sanitation facilities, standardized weights and measures, and a sphere of influence over 1,000,000 square kilometers of territory. Recent paleoclimate reconstructions from the Beas River Valley demonstrate hydro-climatic stress due to a weakened monsoon system may have impacted urban centers like Harappa by the end of the third millennium B.C. the impact of environmental change was compounded by concurrent disruptions to the regional interaction sphere. Climate, economic, and social changes contributed to the disintegration of this civilization after 1900 B.C. We assess evidence for paleopathology to infer the biological consequences of climate change and socio-economic disruption in the post-urban period at Harappa, one of the largest urban centers in the Indus Civilization. Bioarchaeological evidence demonstrates the prevalence of infection and infectious disease increased through time. Furthermore, the risk for infection and disease was uneven among burial communities. Corresponding mortuary differences suggest that socially and economically marginalized communities were most vulnerable in the context of climate uncertainty at Harappa. Combined with prior evidence for increasing levels of interpersonal violence, our data support a growing pathology of power at Harappa after 2000 B.C. Observations of the intersection between climate change and social processes in proto-historic cities offer valuable lessons about vulnerability, insecurity, and the long-term consequences of short-term strategies for coping with climate change.

lgmayka
12-27-2013, 09:44 PM
I think we can eliminate Europe and West Asia as the area where this component originated, since:
"Loschbour and Stuttgart had little or no ANE ancestry, indicating that it was not as pervasive in central Europe around the time of the agricultural transition as it is today" and
"ANE ancestry was also not present in the ancient Near East; since Stuttgart which has substantial Near Eastern ancestry lacks it."
..
Therefore, based on ancient DNA we can reasonably eliminate Europe and West Asia as the point of origin of k5.

No. You have only eliminated Western Europe and the Middle East. You have not eliminated Eastern Europe and West Asia, including the Pontic Steppe and the Caucasus.

parasar
12-27-2013, 10:17 PM
No. You have only eliminated Western Europe and the Middle East. You have not eliminated Eastern Europe and West Asia, including the Pontic Steppe and the Caucasus.

The paper includes Levant to the North Caucasus in their Near East.
"Near East stretches from the Levant to the North Caucasus"
And further confirms it with respect to the ANE issue: "the Near East has little or no WHG ancestry but substantial levels of ANE ancestry there especially in the North Caucasus"

And then says the following:
"ANE ancestry was also not present in the ancient Near East; since Stuttgart which has substantial Near Eastern ancestry lacks it."

So yes, the clear implication is that the Caucasus is eliminated.

The mesolithics from Spain through central Europe through Scandinavia are pretty similar. Then why do you suppose that eastern Europeans then were any different from the central Europeans?
"ANE ... not as pervasive in central Europe around the time of the agricultural transition as it is today"

parasar
12-27-2013, 10:35 PM
The Authors also clear imply that ANE was from Siberia when they say:

multiple layers of Siberian gene flow into northeastern Europe after the initial ANE gene flow, as our analyses reported in SI 12 show that some Mordovians, Russians and Chuvash have Siberian-related admixture that is significantly more recent than that in Finns

As I mentioned in another thread (before the ANE term appeared) that these Siberians may have been from Europe:


Northern Indians are almost completely like the Siberian Mal'ta type people - ~ 0 East Asian 0 Siberian 0 SW Asian - who must have found refuge in north India during the LGM. That they were coming from Europe is quite possible as Europe was being abandoned at that time.