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Thread: Waves of migration into South Asia

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    ASI is a complete misnomer and I wish they would abandon it already.

    What they're calling ASI are just more ancient Indians. They were, at one point, *the* North Indians, because Iranian agriculturalist DNA came from obviously the north.

    They should label them by time period like they do for other people. This "North/South" dichotomy furthers tribalism for no reason.

    Pre-Neolithic Indians (or South Asian Hunter Gatherers... you can say they're related to the indigenous/aboriginal peoples of Southeast Asia, especially the Onge... and if we ever get ancient DNA we could go by Paleolithic or Mesolithic), Neolithic Indians or Dravidians, and then post Bronze Age Indians or Indo-Aryans (that has a lot of currency as a self-reference, so that's fine).

    This "North/South" is a problem since common people already have definitions for North/South based on geography yet they're using it here primarily for chronology/history.
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    I think there's definitely some surprises in store in terms of how Steppe admixture spread through India. We don't know for sure whether there was one migration or multiple. There could still just be one. The non-caste Jats have been known for their tribalism and endogamy for a long time already. They could just have been relics of stubborn people who refused to mix too much from the first and only wave of migrants. They are in the right spot for that, after all. But them being products of successive migrations (e.g, Scythians) is still a possibility too.

    I don't know if we'll find a surprise in pre-Neolithic India, if that's even possible. Shouldn't they be searching nearer to the Himalayas for more salvageable DNA anyway? It's possible that the Onge-cousins, the South Asian Hunter Gatherers, despite having been in India for a long time... were not the only pre-Neolithic residents. We could have had W-Siberian/North Eurasian-type HGs there for a while. They certainly had more than enough time to wander down there. We might have had very early movement in to, out of, through, and back into India as humans first populated South and Southeast Asia. I doubt we'll ever be able to see this picture unless they find something fantastic frozen on a mountain somewhere.
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    Quote Originally Posted by thorin View Post
    I just checked... He mentions Indra as non-IE but feels it has a Uralic connection (which I disagree with - I feel this is harappan). He also states Prajapati, Vak, and Rudra are survivors from the Harappan pantheon (though these might not be their original Harappan names). I thought he mentioned Visnu as well last time i read this book, but I can't seem to find it right now.

    I think in either case, the point I'm making is that there is religious continuity from the IVC tradition to the Gangetic tradition - this is under-appreciated by most people who write on the subject I feel. On the other hand, the political and economic landscape changes dramatically, which advantages the IE speakers.

    This is my speculative take on why there is new language and vigour at the leadership level, lots of ethnic mixing, etc but no invasion. The Indo-Aryans (who are starting to look semi-Indian already due to the AASI mixing in the BMAC) respect the Dravidians and their cultural/religious traditions, and the economically floundering Dravidians are open to have some new leadership and ideas. This is all for the Dravidians that move North and East... The Dravidians who move south continue to flounder for a bit longer before eventually figuring out new economic models and systems which is why the emergence of kingdoms down there takes a bit longer (but they get to keep their religion AND their language).

    Eventually Maurya, etc conquer most of the subcontinent and allow people to keep their language etc (again because there is mutual respect for that) but in that process a lot of brahmins etc move down there and probably introduce, solidify and integrated themselves into an existing caste strcuture (or possibly create one).

    Obviously this is all just pure speculation....
    Unless they spoke Indo-Aryan, those names are definitely non-Harappan and if part of continuation of Harappan religion, they should be loan translations from Harappan language into Sanskrit and some kind of evidence should be shown for such a scenario; perhaps Asko Parpola does that.

    You seem to make it appear like India was owned by old Dravidians before all the others came lol. This is likely not true. You especially write that the southern Dravidians (if they are not the only Dravidians) kept both their religion and language. But what Harappan-era religion did they keep? Though much is not known about the religion of the Dravidians, or at least those who we know from the south, it was likely not Vedic-like, assuming Vedic and later north Indian religions had some Harappan influence. Many of the deities of the highbrow Old Tamil literature are very likely loan translations of Sanskritic deity names and concepts. They don't have cognates in other Dravidian languages. The seeming religious elements that bind at least the South Dravidian languages in a sort of genealogical way are village deity worship, a sort of an extremist self-harming type of a religion (Virashaiva head sacrifices, etc.), and perhaps fierce Deccan deities like Mailara (who may be connected to Khandoba in Maharashtra and Malla at Srisailam), far southern Muttappa, etc. It can be noted that many of these traditions are adhered to (some obviously discontinued now such as head sacrifices and things) by even the high Indus_Periphery castes, at least all over the Deccan. On the west coast, the other presumably relatively less-mainstream (in some relevant ways) and more-of-a-representative-of-the-"original"-Dravidian Tulus have Buta Kola, people of Malabar correspondingly have Teyyam. None of these look like Vedic or post-Vedic Classical Hinduism to me. They may come under Hinduism but I don't believe they are the part of the classical one. So it appears that the southern Dravidians developed a very different form of religion once they left Harappa (if they did that, which has a low likelihood) and did not in fact keep their whatever Harappan religion it was, assuming we are seeing some Harappan influences on Vedic and post-Vedic religion.

    But you noted that the things are speculation of course; I appreciate it very much of course but I could not avoid writing what I wrote as this picture appears to be associating to old Dravidian speakers, things they likely were not attached with in a formative way.
    Last edited by anthroin; 04-04-2018 at 03:29 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bmoney View Post
    Parpola and Mahadevan are both proponents of Dravidian IVC. I personally believe the IVC language is more related to Brahui and only distantly related to South Dravidian, as the latter absorbed AASI features from the peninsula possibly from its genesis

    In regards to the Coorghis, my ancestral village is not too far from Coorg and I can say with certainty that they are as phenotypically different to the AASI-like Paniya/Irula as their genetic distance would suggest

    Using deduction as the Coorghis are low in steppe adna, the only other ancestral component that separates them from the Paniya/Irula is the Indus periphery component.

    The same can be said about the Toda in regards to genetic distance with their Nilgiri neighbours. The Toda are predominantly J and L by y-dna compared to their F and H neighbours
    Brahui being an Elamitic language and not even Dravidian, Proto-North-Dravidian being more conservative than a putative "Proto-Peninsular-Dravidian", etc. are all very radical new things and are not part of mainstream linguistics view. They may be unlikely to become so too. The current Brahuis may turn out to be resembling the Indus populations genetically quite a bit but the language that they are currently speaking is very likely not a relic from that era. If anything, South Dravidian should be closer to Indus language if that indeed turns out to be Dravidian, because South Dravidian is the most conservative overall within Dravidian.

    About the rest I agree though I obviously opine that it would be prudent not to explicitly connect Dravidian with Indus Civilisation based on the insufficient amount of genetic evidence this paper provides. Then there is parasar's dictum also- IVC people may not even be like Indus_Periphery.

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    Quote Originally Posted by anthroin View Post
    Unless they spoke Indo-Aryan, those names are definitely non-Harappan and if part of continuation of Harappan religion, they should be loan translations from Harappan language into Sanskrit and some kind of evidence should be shown for such a scenario; perhaps Asko Parpola does that.

    You seem to make it appear like India was owned by old Dravidians before all the others came lol. This is likely not true. You especially write that the southern Dravidians (if they are not the only Dravidians) kept both their religion and language. But what Harappan-era religion did they keep? Though much is not known about the religion of the Dravidians, or at least those who we know from the south, it was likely not Vedic-like, assuming Vedic and later north Indian religions had some Harappan influence. Many of the deities of the highbrow Old Tamil literature are very likely loan translations of Sanskritic deity names and concepts. They don't have cognates in other Dravidian languages. The seeming religious elements that bind at least the South Dravidian languages in a sort of genealogical way are village deity worship, a sort of an extremist self-harming type of a religion (Virashaiva head sacrifices, etc.), and perhaps fierce Deccan deities like Mailara (who may be connected to Khandoba in Maharashtra and Malla at Srisailam), far southern Muttappa, etc. It can be noted that many of these traditions are adhered to (some obviously discontinued now such as head sacrifices and things) by even the high Indus_Periphery castes, at least all over the Deccan. On the west coast, the other presumably relatively less-mainstream (in some relevant ways) and more-of-a-representative-of-the-"original"-Dravidian Tulus have Buta Kola, people of Malabar correspondingly have Teyyam. None of these look like Vedic or post-Vedic Classical Hinduism to me. They may come under Hinduism but I don't believe they are the part of the classical one. So it appears that the southern Dravidians developed a very different form of religion once they left Harappa (if they did that, which has a low likelihood) and did not in fact keep their whatever Harappan religion it was, assuming we are seeing some Harappan influences on Vedic and post-Vedic religion.

    But you noted that the things are speculation of course; I appreciate it very much of course but I could not avoid writing what I wrote as this picture appears to be associating to old Dravidian speakers, things they likely were not attached with in a formative way.

    I think you may be misunderstanding what I'm saying.

    My main point is there is significant religious continuity in Hinduism across time, language families, cultures, and peoples. And I'm suggesting that even the Rig veda itself may be evidence of this continuity (due to genetic evidence of Indus_periphery migrants in the BMAC, hence my thesis on Indra being an IVC deity etc).

    In the past, many writers have used the rig veda, archaeological evidence, and genetic studies to imply that there is massive discontinuity in Hinduism. Most seem to suggest that there are 2 types of hinduism (vedic and dravidian) and talk as if they're not even related to each other. In most of the literature, Vedic Hinduism is reduced to a map for Eastern European steppe pastoralists to follow to their end goal of reaching India. Dravidian hinduism is reduced to village hinduism or sacrifices as you put it.

    I'm simply saying that there is a strong case to be made using the same texts, archaeology and genetic studies to point out that there is actually significant continuity and similarity between what has historically been called vedic hinduism and dravidian hinduism. If you understand this continuity and similarity, it becomes very clear why there was no invasion but yet there was a lot of ethnic mixing and why we have the genetics we have today.

    Its similar to what someone else earlier was saying about how they're tired of these studies continuing to use terms like ASI, ANI... Heck even the david reich book that i also recently read talks about the tired old tropes of Indra at the gates of Harappa and invasion. And he's running the harvard lab that's doing all this research!

    Anyways... remember its only an aryan dravidian conflict if you view yourself as either aryan or dravidian. But if you view yourself as a hindu on this continuity, then the conflict simply doesn't exist.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thorin View Post
    I think you may be misunderstanding what I'm saying.

    My main point is there is significant religious continuity in Hinduism across time, language families, cultures, and peoples. And I'm suggesting that even the Rig veda itself may be evidence of this continuity (due to genetic evidence of Indus_periphery migrants in the BMAC, hence my thesis on Indra being an IVC deity etc).

    In the past, many writers have used the rig veda, archaeological evidence, and genetic studies to imply that there is massive discontinuity in Hinduism. Most seem to suggest that there are 2 types of hinduism (vedic and dravidian) and talk as if they're not even related to each other. In most of the literature, Vedic Hinduism is reduced to a map for Eastern European steppe pastoralists to follow to their end goal of reaching India. Dravidian hinduism is reduced to village hinduism or sacrifices as you put it.

    I'm simply saying that there is a strong case to be made using the same texts, archaeology and genetic studies to point out that there is actually significant continuity and similarity between what has historically been called vedic hinduism and dravidian hinduism. If you understand this continuity and similarity, it becomes very clear why there was no invasion but yet there was a lot of ethnic mixing and why we have the genetics we have today.

    Its similar to what someone else earlier was saying about how they're tired of these studies continuing to use terms like ASI, ANI... Heck even the david reich book that i also recently read talks about the tired old tropes of Indra at the gates of Harappa and invasion. And he's running the harvard lab that's doing all this research!

    Anyways... remember its only an aryan dravidian conflict if you view yourself as either aryan or dravidian. But if you view yourself as a hindu on this continuity, then the conflict simply doesn't exist.
    I also obviously don't think there are Indo-Aryan Hinduism and Dravidian Hinduism, but I think there exist classical Hinduism and non-classical Hinduism. And the important reason why I think there are no Indo-Aryan and Dravidian Hinduisms is because the elements of my categorisation, viz. the classical and non-classical Hinduisms do not neatly fit into Indo-Aryan and Dravidian baskets though they may appear to fall into that pattern. For example, village deity worship is prevalent all across India and also in places where Dravidian influences can be safely considered to have not existed at any point in history. But it is not so much a part of classical Hinduism. The extent to which it gets classical is the extent to which a female deity gets identified with Parvati and a male deity gets identified with Shiva of the classical Hinduism. Now Parvati's origins herself may also be some kind of folk about which I don't know at all, but her integration into classical Hinduism was much more thorough than say, Ellamma's- she can be said to have successfully entered the classical pantheon at some remote point in time and a very important part of it currently.

    In fact, classical religion appears to develop from folk religion only. Indra is a folk deity, Mitra is a folk deity, everyone's a folk deity. But some enter a sort of matured and developed classical pantheon later on as time passes. I was mainly pointing out that the native Dravidian religion of the south did not likely play much role in the crystallisation of classical Hinduism which probably everyone agrees happened, geographically speaking, in the Indo-Gangetic and Gangetic plain. Not that each and every deity of that geographical location got inducted into the classical pantheon. That's the point; it is not known who gets inducted, for some part, it is the intellectual rigour associated with the conception of the deity, some times it is pure love, etc. What I was mainly trying to do there was not to deny non-Indo-European influences on classical Hinduism- but that it is unlikely native Dravidian religion of the south (am not including any possibly pre-Dravidian religious traditions of south India here) played a part in it. Harappan influences as you said may have been there but those influences since they gave birth to classical Hinduism are perhaps not like those that a Dravidian religion would induce, because the results are quite different. I personally believe they were more closely related to the native traditions, both Indo-Aryan and any non-Indo-Aryan of the Gangetic plains, more than any other part of India. It is just a matter of geography and there is no question of any Aryan-Dravidian conflict. We don't even know if India was simply filled upto brim with these silly Dravidians everywhere by the time Indo-Aryans came. There may have been at least some more languages and cultures; it is, I believe, with such cultures of the Indo-Gangetic plains, including perhaps Dravidian but definitely not limited to it, that several mutually interacting Hindu streams, both classical and non-classical have continuity with, as you rightly pointed out. Dravidian religion obviously also has some kind of continuity with its primordial ancestor in Iran or Indus valley or Deccan or whatever; just that it may have not found the chance to interact vigorously with the classical variety of religion quite thoroughly, owing to certain very specific circumstances that have to do with being present in the right place at the right time. Owing to all the above, the distinction between classical religion and folk religion is also not a very fixed and fundamental distinction; it is just a useful distinction and I adhere to it for just that purpose. So yes, if one views oneself as just a Hindu, no types of conflict appear to come into picture- not just this silly Aryan-Dravidian conflict.

    Too much unbounded thought there lol. Sorry if most of it was just plain rubbish.

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    Quote Originally Posted by anthroin View Post
    Unless they spoke Indo-Aryan, those names are definitely non-Harappan and if part of continuation of Harappan religion, they should be loan translations from Harappan language into Sanskrit and some kind of evidence should be shown for such a scenario; perhaps Asko Parpola does that.

    You seem to make it appear like India was owned by old Dravidians before all the others came lol. This is likely not true. You especially write that the southern Dravidians (if they are not the only Dravidians) kept both their religion and language. But what Harappan-era religion did they keep? Though much is not known about the religion of the Dravidians, or at least those who we know from the south, it was likely not Vedic-like, assuming Vedic and later north Indian religions had some Harappan influence. Many of the deities of the highbrow Old Tamil literature are very likely loan translations of Sanskritic deity names and concepts. They don't have cognates in other Dravidian languages. The seeming religious elements that bind at least the South Dravidian languages in a sort of genealogical way are village deity worship, a sort of an extremist self-harming type of a religion (Virashaiva head sacrifices, etc.), and perhaps fierce Deccan deities like Mailara (who may be connected to Khandoba in Maharashtra and Malla at Srisailam), far southern Muttappa, etc. It can be noted that many of these traditions are adhered to (some obviously discontinued now such as head sacrifices and things) by even the high Indus_Periphery castes, at least all over the Deccan. On the west coast, the other presumably relatively less-mainstream (in some relevant ways) and more-of-a-representative-of-the-"original"-Dravidian Tulus have Buta Kola, people of Malabar correspondingly have Teyyam. None of these look like Vedic or post-Vedic Classical Hinduism to me. They may come under Hinduism but I don't believe they are the part of the classical one. So it appears that the southern Dravidians developed a very different form of religion once they left Harappa (if they did that, which has a low likelihood) and did not in fact keep their whatever Harappan religion it was, assuming we are seeing some Harappan influences on Vedic and post-Vedic religion.

    But you noted that the things are speculation of course; I appreciate it very much of course but I could not avoid writing what I wrote as this picture appears to be associating to old Dravidian speakers, things they likely were not attached with in a formative way.
    Buta Kola and Theyyam are both tribal dances practiced by particular communities, there is no caste Dravidian who performs these dances.

    A būta kōla or nema is typically an annual ritual performance where local spirits or deities (būtas, daivas) are being impersonated by ritual specialists from certain scheduled castes such as the Nalike, Pambada, or Parawa communities.

    The performers of Theyyam belong to the lower caste community, and have an important position in Theyyam.

    I agree with you that there are a lot of features in South-Dravidian that are not traceable to the NW or to Harappa.

    Parsimoniously speaking, we can assign these infleunces to Indian hunter-gatherer cultural substrate from the peninsula which again further separates South Dravidian culture from the NW

    As to the other self-harm head sacrifices and human sacrifice and whatnot, I have never heard of them from my ancestral part of the world. They are therefore unlikely to be reconstructed to proto-South/Central Dravidian and more likely to be local Indian hunter gatherer derived cultural traditions

    So it appears that the southern Dravidians developed a very different form of religion once they left Harappa (if they did that, which has a low likelihood)
    Castes with relatively high Indus-periphery levels certainly did come from the NW, where such ancestry peaks, as Iran_N did not originate in the South. The Indus_periphery ancestry is present in all of South India in various levels reaching low levels among the Irula/Paniya who best represent the original AASI peninsular inhabitants.
    Last edited by bmoney; 04-04-2018 at 12:56 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by parasar View Post
    Genetically we don't know if Indus periphery is really like the IVC as they presume ("Indus Periphery individuals are providing us with the first direct look at the ancestry of peoples of the IVC"). Why shouldn't the Indus Valley be pretty much like the pre-historic Swat samples, rather than the Indus periphery?
    Because Harappa didn't extend up to Swat, but, on the other hand, there's archaeological evidence of Harappan migrants at Gonur Tepe.

    Manufacturing and trade of Asian elephant ivory in Bronze Age Middle Asia. Evidence from Gonur Depe (Margiana, Turkmenistan)

    Unless of course you have some other plausible explanation of who those outliers at Gonur Tepe and Shahr-i-Sokhta were? And I do mean plausible, not far fetched and just for the sake of argument.
    Last edited by Generalissimo; 04-04-2018 at 06:27 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by anthroin View Post
    I also obviously don't think there are Indo-Aryan Hinduism and Dravidian Hinduism, but I think there exist classical Hinduism and non-classical Hinduism. And the important reason why I think there are no Indo-Aryan and Dravidian Hinduisms is because the elements of my categorisation, viz. the classical and non-classical Hinduisms do not neatly fit into Indo-Aryan and Dravidian baskets though they may appear to fall into that pattern. For example, village deity worship is prevalent all across India and also in places where Dravidian influences can be safely considered to have not existed at any point in history. But it is not so much a part of classical Hinduism. The extent to which it gets classical is the extent to which a female deity gets identified with Parvati and a male deity gets identified with Shiva of the classical Hinduism. Now Parvati's origins herself may also be some kind of folk about which I don't know at all, but her integration into classical Hinduism was much more thorough than say, Ellamma's- she can be said to have successfully entered the classical pantheon at some remote point in time and a very important part of it currently.

    In fact, classical religion appears to develop from folk religion only. Indra is a folk deity, Mitra is a folk deity, everyone's a folk deity. But some enter a sort of matured and developed classical pantheon later on as time passes. I was mainly pointing out that the native Dravidian religion of the south did not likely play much role in the crystallisation of classical Hinduism which probably everyone agrees happened, geographically speaking, in the Indo-Gangetic and Gangetic plain. Not that each and every deity of that geographical location got inducted into the classical pantheon. That's the point; it is not known who gets inducted, for some part, it is the intellectual rigour associated with the conception of the deity, some times it is pure love, etc. What I was mainly trying to do there was not to deny non-Indo-European influences on classical Hinduism- but that it is unlikely native Dravidian religion of the south (am not including any possibly pre-Dravidian religious traditions of south India here) played a part in it. Harappan influences as you said may have been there but those influences since they gave birth to classical Hinduism are perhaps not like those that a Dravidian religion would induce, because the results are quite different. I personally believe they were more closely related to the native traditions, both Indo-Aryan and any non-Indo-Aryan of the Gangetic plains, more than any other part of India. It is just a matter of geography and there is no question of any Aryan-Dravidian conflict. We don't even know if India was simply filled upto brim with these silly Dravidians everywhere by the time Indo-Aryans came. There may have been at least some more languages and cultures; it is, I believe, with such cultures of the Indo-Gangetic plains, including perhaps Dravidian but definitely not limited to it, that several mutually interacting Hindu streams, both classical and non-classical have continuity with, as you rightly pointed out. Dravidian religion obviously also has some kind of continuity with its primordial ancestor in Iran or Indus valley or Deccan or whatever; just that it may have not found the chance to interact vigorously with the classical variety of religion quite thoroughly, owing to certain very specific circumstances that have to do with being present in the right place at the right time. Owing to all the above, the distinction between classical religion and folk religion is also not a very fixed and fundamental distinction; it is just a useful distinction and I adhere to it for just that purpose. So yes, if one views oneself as just a Hindu, no types of conflict appear to come into picture- not just this silly Aryan-Dravidian conflict.

    Too much unbounded thought there lol. Sorry if most of it was just plain rubbish.
    Harappan features such as the mother Goddess, female deities, father god/pasupati, fertility symbols, cow worship etc seen in Hinduism all over SA have nothing to do with the south in its origin
    Last edited by bmoney; 04-04-2018 at 06:40 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by redifflal View Post


    The picture for Indian subcontinent as it stands now.
    Can someone explain in this diagram where in the ASI cline Indus Periphery lies? It looks like they extended the cline line past Iranian farmer to descent from western Siberian HG but then Indus Periphery looks like directly descended from the last guys instead of somewhere inside the ASI cline.

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