[INDOLOGY] Lexical challenge for the OIT

Luis Gonzalez-Reimann reimann at berkeley.edu
Sat Oct 20 02:17:35 UTC 2018

Hi Koenrad,

Below you express your very personal opinion about genetic studies when 
you write:

"But once they come to conclusions on Homeland theories, they make a 
jump from their own findings to hearsay about the dominant opinion in 
Indo-Europeanist circles, or just among the Indian media."This is a 
rather serious accusation against geneticists such as Reich, when you 
affirm they rely on "hearsay" and on Indian media, instead of strict 

In this case you are totally wrong. As I said, this study is the most 
comprehensive to date and the authors didn't consult any sanskritist or 
archeologist until after they had reached their conclusions on purely 
genetic grounds. Only then did they talk to specialists outside their 
field. The study cannot be brushed aside by dismissively calling it 
merely "...only one among many...," as if all studies carried the same 
weight. That already points to a prejudice on your part.

Then you go on about language not being necessarily equivalent to 
genetics. You could have saved yourselves many words, as I wrote that 
myself in my previous post.

In any event, this study doesn't pretend to be the last word on the 
matter, as this is a rapidly evolving field. But is is worthy of very 
serious consideration.

Talageri is a different matter that has nothing to do with genetics. So 
please don't try to draw a comparison to Talageri. Those are two 
different fields of study. Don't conflate them.

For anyone interested, here is the abstract of the paper:


The genetic formation of Central and South Asian populations has been 
unclear because of an absence of ancient DNA. To address this gap, we 
generated genome-wide data from ancient individuals, including the first 
from eastern Iran, Turan (Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Tajikistan), 
Bronze Age Kazakhstan, and South Asia. Our data reveal a complex set of 
genetic sources that ultimately combined to form the ancestry of South 
Asians today. We document a southward spread of genetic ancestry from 
the Eurasian Steppe, correlating with the archaeologically known 
expansion of pastoralist sites from the Steppe to Turan in the Middle 
Bronze Age (2300-1500 BCE). These Steppe communities mixed genetically 
with peoples of the Bactria Margiana Archaeological Complex (BMAC) whom 
they encountered in Turan (primarily descendants of earlier 
agriculturalists of Iran), but there is no evidence that the main BMAC 
population contributed genetically to later South Asians. Instead, 
Steppe communities integrated farther south throughout the 2nd 
millennium BCE, and we show that they mixed with a more southern 
population that we document at multiple sites as outlier individuals 
exhibiting a distinctive mixture of ancestry related to Iranian 
agriculturalists and South Asian hunter-gathers. We call this group 
Indus Periphery because they were found at sites in cultural contact 
with the Indus Valley Civilization (IVC) and along its northern fringe, 
and also because they were genetically similar to post-IVC groups in the 
Swat Valley of Pakistan. By co-analyzing ancient DNA and genomic data 
from diverse present-day South Asians, we show that Indus Periphery 
related people are the single most important source of ancestry in South 
Asia—consistent with the idea that the Indus Periphery individuals are 
providing us with the first direct look at the ancestry of peoples of 
the IVC—and we develop a model for the formation of present-day South 
Asians in terms of the temporally and geographically proximate sources 
of Indus Periphery related, Steppe, and local South Asian 
hunter-gatherer-related ancestry. Our results show how ancestry from the 
Steppe genetically linked Europe and South Asia in the Bronze Age, and 
identifies the populations that almost certainly were responsible for 
spreading Indo-European languages across much of Eurasia.


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