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Indian population originated in three separate migration waves over a period of 50,000 years, genetic evidence shows

Scientists Used The Genetic Evidence From People Alive In The Subcontinent Today To Find Out That The Migration Waves Took Place Over A Period Of 50,000 Years.

News Nation Bureau | Edited By : Bindiya Bhatt | Updated on: 11 May 2017, 03:29:17 PM
Indian population originated in three migration waves: Scientists


Scientists have found that the population in India originated from three separate migration waves from Africa, Iran and Central Asia. Scientists used the genetic evidence from people alive in the subcontinent today to find out that the migration waves took place over a period of 50,000 years.

Huge genetic diversity and vast patchwork of languages, cultures and religions are found in the Indian Subcontinent. Some lineages in South Asia are very ancient, according to Researchers at the University of Huddersfield in the UK.

The earliest populations arrived from Africa, where modern humans arose, more than 50,000 years ago and they were hunter-gatherers.
After the end of last Ice Age 10-20,000 years ago and the spread of early farming, further waves of settlement in India arrived from the direction of Iran. 

The mitochondrial DNA, which tracks the female line of descent shows these ancient signatures most clearly.

However, according to the study published in the journal BMC Evolutionary Biology, Y-chromosome variation, which tracks the male line, is very different.

“Here the major signatures are much more recent. Most controversially, there is a strong signal of immigration from Central Asia, less than 5,000 years ago,” said Marina Silva, co-author of the study.

“This looks like a sign of the arrival of the first Indo-European speakers, who arose amongst the Bronze Age peoples of the grasslands north of the Caucasus, between the Black and Caspian Seas,” Silva said.

They were male-dominated, mobile pastoralists who had domesticated the horse - and spoke what ultimately became Sanskrit, the language of classical Hinduism - which more than 200 years ago linguists showed is ultimately related to classical Greek and Latin, the study found.

Migrations from the same source also shaped the settlement of Europe and its languages, and this has been the subject of most recent research.

The origin of the Indian population is an area of huge controversy among scholars and scientists.

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A problem confronting archaeogenetic research into the origins of Indian populations is that there is a dearth of sources, such as preserved skeletal remains that can provide ancient DNA samples.

In the latest study, researchers used genetic evidence from people alive in the subcontinent today. 

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(With inputs from PTI)

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First Published : 11 May 2017, 02:41:00 PM