[INDOLOGY] Lexical challenge for the OIT

Dominik Wujastyk wujastyk at gmail.com
Sun Oct 21 01:04:53 UTC 2018

I would like to concur with Dr Gonzalez-Reimann about the recent book
publication by David Reich, *Who We Are and How We Got Here*.  I am reading
the book right now, and couldn't resist reading chapter six, "The Collision
that Formed India," first.  It's fascinating, as are the early chapters on
recent developments of research methodology in palaeo-genetics.  The
research of Reich and his collaborators in laboratories across the world
offers genuinely new evidence that directly affects the interpretation of
ancient South Asian history.  It's important.  And the evidence is

Professor Dominik Wujastyk <http://ualberta.academia.edu/DominikWujastyk>

Singhmar Chair in Classical Indian Society and Polity

Department of History and Classics <http://historyandclassics.ualberta.ca/>
University of Alberta, Canada

South Asia at the U of A:


On Fri, 19 Oct 2018 at 20:18, Luis Gonzalez-Reimann via INDOLOGY <
indology at list.indology.info> wrote:

> 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 analysis.
> 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:
> Abstract. 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.
> Luis
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