Human Evoloution in India.Today me Rodger Bloor is going to write an article about the Ethnic Races In India.
happening? Most scientists agree that human beings first
evolved in Africa around 2,00,000years ago. The San tribe of
the Kalahari (also called the Bushmen) is probably the oldest
surviving population of humans. A genetic study of the members of this tribe revealed that they show the great genetic variation of any racial group. This means that they are likely to be the descandants of the earliest modern human population.
challenges that modern humans had to meet in those times
The first attempt by modem humans to leave Africa was a
failure. Archaeological remains in the Skhul and Qafzeh
caves in Israel show that modem humans may have made
their way to the Levant (the region immediately cast of the
Mediterranean) about 1,20,000years ago. The planet was then enjoying a relatively wet and warm interglacial period, which would have allowed them to wander up north. However, this climatic period didn't last for long and a new ice age started. Itlooks like the early settlers who made it to this point either died out or were forced to go back. The Neanderthals whowere better adapted to the cold probably reoccupied the area.
Around 65, 000-70 , 000 years ago, very small number
maps a single band, crossed over from Africa into the
southern Arabian peninsula. And it was from this group that
all non-Africans descended
Climate and environment had a very big impact
on the expansion of modern humans. Our planet goes
through natural cycles of cooling and heating. When the
modern humans made their way out of Africa, the earth
was much cooler and much of the world's water was locked
in giant ice sheets because of the low temperature. As a
result, the sea levels were as much as 100 metres lower
than today and coastlines and climate zones were very
different, to. The early band of humans migrating from
Africa to southern Arabia would have had to make a relativelyshort crossing across the Red Sea. They would have also foundthe Arabian coastline to be wetter and better for survival.After this, the modern humans made their way along thecoast to what is now the Persian Gulf. The average depth of thePersian Gulf is just 36 metres. With sea levels 100 metres belowcurrent levels, this area would have been a lush and fertileplain. It would have been paradise for the modern humanswho are likely to have flourished and increased their numbers.Central Asia and Europe would have been very cold at this timebecause of the ice age. The modern humans must have spreadout along the Makran coast into the Indian subcontinent.The modern humans who had reached the subcotinentspread quickly through it and then to South East Asia.Some believe that the indigenous tribes of the Andamanand Nicobar Islands were maybe descendants of the earliestpeople who came into the region.From here, one branch reached Australia aound 40.000 years ago and became ancestor of the aborigines. Studieshave confirmed that the Australian aborigines have a geneficlink with aboriginal tribes in South East Asia. However, fora long time, researchers couldn't find a direct genetic linkbetween present-day Indians and native Australians. But in 2009 , a study published by the Anthropological Survey of Indiafound genetic traces to link some Indian tribes with nativeAustralians. These were very tiny traces but still, they werethere! The researchers suggested that the Indian and Australiangroups had separate about 50, 000-60000 years ago.
Persian Gulf and went exploring But what of those who
were content to stay behind the population that remained
in the vicinity of the Persian Gulf and the subcontinent
stated there for several thousand years. Scientists thin
that many important genetic branches came from this
ared at this time. During the relatively warmer interglacial
periods, sub-branches would have spread farther out into
Europe, Central Asia and so on. But you have to remember
that temperatures would have still been far Imer than
present-day levels and that there would have been man
drastic climatic changes. Much of the Persian Gulf is now
underwater, so it's not very easy to conduct research on the
people who lived there.This is a very short and simplified account of whathappened over tens of thousands of years. We're talkingabout very small Stone Age bands of fifty to hundred peopleover vast expanses of time and space. Their movementswould not have always been systematic. They might havewandered somewhere, come back, gone to places that didn'tlead anywhere and so on. Just as there were groups cominginto the subcontinent, there were others that were going outScientists think that India may have been the source of anumber of genetic lineages that can now be traced worldwide.Natural calamities, hunger, tribal wars and disease wouldhave decided which of these groups survived and whichof them didn't. There are plenty of remains of these earlyhumans in Stone Age sites scattered across India. Bhimbetkain central India is one of the most extensive sites in theworld. The hilly terrain is littered with hundreds of cavesand rock shelters that appear to have been inhabited almostcontinuously for 30, 000 years! It is now a UNESCO WorldHeritage Site.The last full-blown ice age started around 24, 000 years ago,reached its peak around 18, 000-20 , 000 years ago and thenwarmed up. Around l4, 000 years ago, the ice sheets beganmelting rapidly, the sea levels were rising around the world andweather patterns are changing. The Persian Gulf began to fillup 12, 500 years ago. Around 7500-8000 years ago, the GulfOasis was completely flooded. Is this the event that is referredto as the Great Flood in Sumerian and Biblical accounts? It'squite possible.
Gulf moved to higher ground around 7500 years ago.
locations in the Gulf of Khambhat. They seem to be the
remains of large settlements that would have been flooded
about 7500 years ago. Scholars are still finding out the exact
nature of these discoveries, but if proved, they would be truly
Remarkable. Though we don't know about these for sure yet,
it is reasonable to say that the changes in weather patterns
and the sharp rise in sea levels must have made people in
those times move from one settlement to anotherEarlier, it was thought that people from the Persian Gulfarea carried the knowledge of farming to other regions. Thereis evidence to show that some of the crops that were farmedsystematically in thesubcontinent,around 7000 years ago inMehrgarh, Baluchistan, were West Asian species such as wheatand barley. Did this mean that Indians learned to farm from WestAsian migrants and only later managed to domesticate local plantssuch as eggplant, sugar cane and sesame? But recently, researchershave uncovered evidence that Indians may have independentlydeveloped farming, including the cultivation of rice. Did theknowledge of farming travel from one region to another or diddifferent groups develop it independently in around the sametime? The evidence now suggests parallel development.
there was a fairly large population living in India. Who were
these people? How are present day Indians related to them?
sophisticated Harappan civilization were discovered. These
discoveries proved that Indian civilization was well underway
even before 1500 BCE. But strangely, the 'Aryan invasion' theorywas not thrown away. It was instead modified to suggest that apeople called the Dravidians (supposed ancestors of modem-dayTamils) created these cities and that they were later destroyedby the invading Aryans. But this theory was also flawed becausethere is no archaeological or literary evidence of such a large
scale invasion. The Harappan cities did not suddenly collapsebut suffered a slow decline because of environmental reasons.
language groups. Some of these groups came to India in historicaltimes-Jews, Parsis, Ahoms, Turks to name a few. But there arealso many populations that have lived in the country for a verylong time. Many groups migrated to different parts of the countryand settled there over thousands of years. So where a group is found may today may not be where it originally came from. Over the years most group's have become hybridised races. There are no pure races to be found. Some tribes on Andamans and Northeast India have some pure races.
has been broadly stable for a very long time and that there
has been no major injection of Central Asian genes for
over 10, 000 years. This means that even if there had been
a large-scale influx of 'Aryans', it would have taken place
more than 10, 000 years ago, long before iron weapons and
the domestication of the horse. The study also suggested thatthe population of Dravidians had lived for a long time in
southern India and that the so-called Dravidian genetic pool
may have even originated there.Another study published in 2009 suggested that theIndian population can be explained by the mixture of two racial group ASI and ANI.
Firstly, the ANI and ASI are not pure' races. They are just
different genetic mixes, each of which contains many strandsThe terms "Aryan' and Dravidian', on the other hand,
are not just about genetics; they also carry strong cultural
connotations. For instance, the 'Aryans are usually linked to
the Vedic tradition while the 'Dravidians are linked to the
Sangam literary tradition. But we can't conclude that this is
the same as the ANI-ASI framework because these two groupsemerged well before the Vedic tradition, Sangam literature,or the Harappan civilization. We are talking about smallbands of hunter-gatherers and early farming communitiesrather than the thundering war chariots, iron weapons and fortified cities that are said to have been part of an AryanDravidian' rivalry.
and find out who is more Aryan and who is more Dravidian
There are also many groups in India that don't fit in within
the ANI-ASI framework and which have influences from
other parts of the world. Genetics has just confirmed what wecan see for ourselves-Indians are a mongrel lot who comein all shapes, sizes and complexions!
What about the genetic links of North Indians toEuropeans? And how do we explain the linguistic similaritiesbetween Indian and European languages if we don't accept
the Aryan-Dravidian' theory? When we talk about a genetic
eastern Iran and in Kurdistan (that is, the mountainous
areas of northern Iraq and adjoining areas). Interestingly,
the gene is rare among Western Europeans, western Iranians
and through many parts of Central Asia. But how is it that
this gene is present in the Indian subcontinent and Eastern
Europe while skipping Central Asia and Western Europe?
In 2010 , it was discovered that the oldest strain of the
Rlala branch was concentrated in the Gujarat-Sindh
Western Rajasthan area, suggesting that this was close to theorigin of this genetic group. European carriers of Rlala alsodisplayed a further mutation, M 458 , which is not found at allin their Asian cousins. Since the M 458 mutation is estimatedto be at least 8000 years old, the two populations must haveseparated before or during the Great Flood. Thus, the geneticlinkages between North Indians and East Europeans are best explained by the sharing of a common ancestor, perhaps from just after the end of the last ice age. Does this have to do with the climate change maybe.
This is related to Rial and possibly also originated in
the Persian Gulf area but the two separated a long time
ago-probably during or before the last ice age. India has
a relatively low concentration of Rlb. Could we be dealing
with two major genetic dispersals occurring from the
Persian Gulf-Makran-Gujarat region at different points in
the climatic cycle? One occurring at the onset or during
the last ice age with Rlb carriers heading mostly west and
another occurring around the time of the Flood involving
R L carriers?There is also reason to believe that some Indian tribesmoved westward to Iran and beyond during the Bronze
Age. We'll read more about that in the next article.
Cultural linkages could have also happened because of
trade. The spread of Indian culture to Southeast Asia in
ancient times and the popularity of the English language
in the postcolonial period show that it is possible for
cultural exchanges to happen even without war or largescale migration.