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On path breaking DNA research of recent years But it also presents earlier archaeological and linguistic evidence all in an entertaining and highly readable manner A hugely significant book Early Indians authoritatively and bravely puts to rest several ugly debates on the ancestry of modern Indians It not only shows us how the modern Indian population came to be composed as it is but also reveals an undeniable and important truth about who we are we are all migrants And we are all mixe. After Rakhigarhi study this book is very outdated now In his book he claimed there is decisive proof that Vedic Aryas were foreigners who entered India from Central Asia around 1500 BC and brought Vedic Sanskrit and Vedic religion with them In twitter after Rakhigarhi study He says Harappan genome lacks ancestry from Iranian farmers But in his book published a few months ago Tony completely contradicts himself and claims Harappan Genome is a mixture of Iranian farmers and First Indians In twitter Tony claims he strongly made a point in his book that farming began Independently in India However he does no such thing in his book Instead he posits Iranian farmers migrated into India and most possibly introduced Agricultural practices before mixing with first IndiansAnd how can we forget Sinauli from Uttar Pradesh and Keeladi from Tamil Nadu Those study also need to be updated

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Early Indians

Riculturalists from Iran between and BCE and pastoralists from the Central Asian Steppe between and BCE among others As Joseph unravels our history using the results of genetic and other research he takes head on some of the most controversial and uncomfortable uestions of Indian history Who were the Harappans Did the 'Aryans' really migrate to India Are North Indians genetically different from South Indians And are the various castes genetically distinct groups This book relies heavily. There is an image of the famous dancing girl of Harappa on the cover of this book as a nod perhaps to common knowledge that Early Indians for most of us refers to the Harappan Civilization Then we are told came the Aryans who somehow settled peacefully or not with the Harappans Think of it have you ever asked yourself where did the Harappans come from The author tries to answer this rather grand uestion in 230 pages Starting almost 300000 years ago with the evolution of man this breathless book attempts to combine everything that is happening in the world of ancient DNA archaeology and linguistics to answer the uestion who were the Early Indians and where or how the hell did they get here That the book is up to date is an understatement There are references to papers from 2018 conjuring in me the image of Tony Joseph running to the press with yet another update as the exasperated printer looks annoyed But happily for us readers every scrap of development included seems important We are just not used to history working this way and this is exciting the field of Ancient DNA is answering important uestions about history at a pace that makes historians look like astronauts It tells us that the first humans out of Africa came to India some 65000 years ago This of course makes Harappans look positively modern and then goes on to tell the story of Early Indians in a rather comprehensive manner for such a slim book Constantly digressing to provide primers on subjects such as mitochondrial DNA and Linguistic archaeology this ambitious book though not exactly a romping read nevertheless constructs an edifice that adds to the history of sub continent I suspect this is not the end of the line for such books and we will see many that will tackle the same subject but this is the first I ve read My only criticism of the book is just that it isn t a romping enough read I wish Tony Joseph had brought to the writing of this book the same ability to tell a story he so brilliantly possesses in book discussions That gap for a book that could be classified as popular history might alas reduce its audience Besides this one observation I totally recommend this book to anyone who reads Indian history

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Who are we Indians Where did we come from Many of us believe our ancestors have lived in South Asia since 'time immemorial' But as it turns out 'time immemorial' may not have been all that long ago To tell us the story of our ancestry journalist Tony Joseph goes years into the past when a band of modern humans or Homo sapiens first made their way from Africa into the Indian subcontinent Citing recent DNA evidence he traces the subseuent large migrations of modern humans into India of ag. Indians are a people who are always a bit confused about their identity as Indians maybe because the nation itself is a relatively recent construct not ignoring the mythical Bharata and the regional and caste identities are strongly embedded Ever since the West discovered the mystic East there have been attempts to create an Indian past which is wholly spiritual based on the mythical Vedic Aryan by the proponents of the enlightenment In colonial times this Aryan became an invading race who destroyed the mature Harappan civilisation the same figure was taken to be the epitome of race purity and became the basis of the toxic Nazi doctrine And later on in a reversal of the myth the invading Aryan became the villain who destroyed the peaceful Dravidian civilisation in the Dalit version of historyAll these are now discounted by serious historians The widely accepted theory about Indian prehistory is that the Harappan civilisation perished because of a severe drought and the Indo Aryan speakers migrated to the Indian subcontinent later on from Central Asia and mixed with the indigenous population There is however a vociferous fringe who staunchly oppose this they are adamant that there have been no migrations to India at all and that the Vedic people are the direct descendants of the Harappans All arguments to the contrary are taken to be part of a colonialist conspiracy to undermine Indian cultureSo far the hotly disputed evidence for the migrations have been mostly archaeological and linguistic But now a new tool is available with the scientific community for the analysis of the origin development and spread of homo sapiens across the globe geneticsTony Joseph has been writing regularly about how the recent advances in DNA research have been impacting the research into prehistory Now he has arranged all his arguments in the form of this highly readable bookIn the introduction he writesThere is a reason why this book could have been written only now and not earlier It is because our understanding of deep history has changed dramatically in the last five years or so Large stretches of our prehistory are being rewritten as we speak based on analysis of DNA extracted from individuals who lived thousands or tens of thousands of years ago Many facts that we took for granted have been proved wrong and many uestions left dangling in the air as historians archaeologists and anthropologists argued it out among themselves have been given convincing new answers thanks to the recently acuired ability of genetic scientists to successfully extract DNA from ancient fossils and then seuence it to understand all that bound people together or distinguished them from each other If technology had not matured to the level it has scientists would not have been able to make the discoveries they are making today And if it were not for their latest findings our prehistory would have remained as vague and contentious as earlier and this book would not have been written So how exactly does DNA put paid to the debate Well without going into the technicalities it is all detailed in the book let me try to explain in plain terms how this whole thing worksAll the genetic code that makes us what we are are packed into twenty three pairs of chromosomes that we all carry in the nuclei of our cells plus the mitochondrial DNA or the mtDNA that stays outside This is called a person s genome In the twenty three pairs one of each pair inherited from each parent exactly one pair the sex chromosomes will differ If the type is XX the person will be female and if the type is XY the person will be male The Y chromosome is passed relatively unchanged from male parent to male progeny while the mtDNA is passed on without change from the female parent to both male and female progeny but it gets further transmitted only through the female line Thus the mapping of these two over the human population spread across the globe helps us to get a genetic map of the world s population And since there are minor mutations to both the Y chromosome and mtDNA that get accumulated over time it provides us with the genetic history of the changes over time too combined with the DNA analysis of skeletal remainsThis is super condensation and hence a bit simplistic Detailed and reliable info is available in many places especially on the netAided with this technology of DNA analysis the following is the timeline of India s population during prehistoric times1 70000 years ago Homo Sapiens starts move out of Africa where they originated2 65000 years ago The Out of Africa OoA contingent reach the Indian subcontinent where they meet other archaic human species whom they must have subdued and subsumed in their spread all the way across South Asia to Australia3 45000 to 20000 years ago The First Indians descendants of the OoA group start using Microlithic technology and spread across India4 7000 to 3000 BCE Migration of Iranian agriculturists from the Zagros region to South Asia leads to their mixing with the descendants of the First Indians These people create the Harappan civilisation which exists from 5500 to 1300 BCE through the Early Mature and Late Harappan Eras until it dies off most probably due to a massive drought The Harappans migrate towards the south5 2100 to 1000 BCE Pastoralists from the Kazakh Steppe the famed Aryans of legend migrate into the Indian subcontinent mixing with the Harappans Thus we have two main DNA mixes that is found in India today those of the Iranian agriculturists the First Indians called the Ancient South Indian ASI group and Iranian agriculturists the First Indians the Central Asian Pastoralists called the Ancient North Indian ANI group They were called Dravidians and Aryans in the pastThere was some migration from China as well especially in the North EastNow the million dollar uestion how does one say that the migration happened in one direction that is towards India Why can t it be the other way round as the Out of India adherents claim The author presents the following arguments against this1 The Indo Aryan languages which spread across most of Europe and Asia could conceivably have gone from India However if such a thing happened the genetic footprints of the First Indians the people who came originally out of Africa and settled in the subcontinent 65000 years ago should be seen across the populations of Europe This is conspicuous by its absence2 The horse which is the prime animal in the Vedic religion is absent in the Harappan culture which is strange if the Vedic culture directly follows from it Also there are no vestiges of the Vedic deities anywhere in Harappa There are a multitude of other factors that the author points out I am only highlighting a few prominent ones3 The Dravidian languages the roots of which are markedly different from the Indo Aryan ones has strong connections to Elamite the language of the Iranian agriculturists at its roots It has borrowings from Sanskrit too and vice versa this points to the intermixing of language at later stagesOnce again I am over simplifying for brevity There are a lot many other arguments uoted by the author many of them raised by than one historian archaeologist linguist from across the world Out of India theory holds sway it seems with very few reputed scholarsIn conclusion the author saysThe best way we can define ourselves is as a multi source civilization not a single source one drawing its cultural impulses its traditions and its practices from a variety of heredities and migration histories The Out of Africa migrants the fearless pioneering explorers who reached this land around sixty five millennia ago and whose lineages still form the bedrock of our population those who arrived from west Asia and contributed to the agricultural revolution and the building of the Harappan Civilization which then became the crucible for new practices concepts and the Dravidian languages that enrich much of our culture today those who came from east Asia bringing with them new languages and plants and farming techniues and those who migrated here from central Asia carrying an early version of what would become a great language Sanskrit and all its associated beliefs and practices that have reshaped our society in fundamental ways and those who came even later seeking refuge or for conuest or for trade and then chose to stay all have mingled and contributed to this civilization we call Indian We are all Indians And we are all migrants This I likeThis is an extremely readable book on a fascinating subject and will whet your appetite for research I recommend it to all of my friends who love food for the intellect

10 thoughts on “Early Indians

  1. says:

    Indians are a people who are always a bit confused about their identity as “Indians” – maybe because the nation itself

  2. says:

    India has had a weird relationship with its history prior to Mauryan empire History by its nature is imprecise but in this case confusion is compounded by the fact that Harappan script remains undeciphered and there are very few archaeological remains of Vedic society The confusion has only been furthered by ideologically motivated or imaginative thinkers who have colored this phase of history with their own agendas Top example remains f

  3. says:

    Everyone in our subcontinent Pakistanis Indians Bangladeshis please read EARLY INDIANS by Tony Joseph Understand where we're coming from how rich and diverse our roots are and how superficial our divisions are And it's all based on

  4. says:

    As India enters the third decade of the twenty first century one would presume that modern science would form the focus of an emerging nation of young people like India But uantum computing artificial intelligence and advanced medical research do not dominate the conversations Instead India is bogged down by uestions such as 'who is accepta

  5. says:

    Tony Joseph’s new book “Early Indians The Story of Our Ancestors and Where We Came From” attempts to sell the colon

  6. says:

    There is an image of the famous dancing girl of Harappa on the cover of this book as a nod perhaps to common knowledge that Early Indians for most of us refers to the Harappan Civilization Then we are told came the Aryans who somehow settled peacefully or not with the Harappans Think of it have you ever asked yourself where did the Harappans come from? The author tries to answer this rather grand uestion in 230 pages Starting almo

  7. says:

    The whole book was based on the Aryan Invasion theory It is good to note that there is some evidence which debunks this theory Rakhigarhi DNA study uestions Aryan invasion theory claims the authorThe findings are based on

  8. says:

    After Rakhigarhi study this book is very outdated now In his book he claimed there is decisive proof that Vedic Aryas were foreigners

  9. says:

    Two terms that refer to linguistic groups are widely misunderstood in India and taken to be racial denominators that split the country into two demographic zones in the north and the south We know them as ‘Aryan’ and ‘Dravidian’ The fo

  10. says:

    Where did the first Indians come from? Who were the Harappans really? Who were the ‘Aryans’ who wrote the Rigveda and are supposed to have fostered the ‘Brahminical culture’ that has been so integral a part of Ind

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