The First Civilization of the World, Siddhartha Publishers, Delhi, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr P. Priyadarshi, MBBS, MD, MRCP (UK)
Human DNA studies tell us about origins and migration routes of our species as well as our pets, pests and cattle. Fitting well into the DNA stories, large number of archaeological sites dating back to 10,000 years before present showing evidence of farming has been unearthed in the Ganga Valley and other parts of India.
Barring a few geneticists, like Kivisild, Endicott, Metspalu, Sahoo, Sengupta etc. the geneticists at large believe even today that there was an Aryan invasion on India. Traditionally, the Aryan languages have been believed to have originated in the Central Asia whereas the farming culture in the West Asia. Current study, mainly based on study of Y-chromosomal DNA haplogroups, and also to some extent mitochondrial DNA haplogroups, finds that the Aryans as well as the farming culture originated in India. The Aryan language and farming dispersal took place from India to Iran, Kurdistan, Turkey and finally South Europe after 15,000 years before present (B.P.). The Mesolithic culture too originated in India at 35,000 B.P. and it was from India that Mesolithic cultural practices spread to the rest of Asia, and East Africa. Evidence from DNA studies of man, animals and crops, from linguistics and from recent archaeology have been examined to reach conclusions.
When Cann, Stoneking and Wilson (1987), and the next year Stringer and Andrews (1988), gave their theory of African origin of Homo sapiens sapiens based on genomic studies, Renfrew suggested that Anatolia (Turkey) was the place of origin of farming as well as the Aryan languages, and both migrated together into Europe.But this was found wrong later by DNA studies. (Chapter 6)
It was appreciated that man did not enter North Africa (from East Africa) at all until quite late, and actually man came to India about 100,000 years before present (B.P.) from where he migrated to the rest of the world including West Asia or even North Africa. It was actually India which played a central role in populating the world, and it was by back migration from India to East Africa that much of language and culture arrived into East Africa later.
It was recognised by increasingly larger number of authors, like Metspalu, Michael Petraglia, Toomas Kivisild etc. that India was central in the prehistory of mankind. (Chapter 2) Yet senior authors are still assume the West Asian route of exit out of Africa to be true (Renfrew, 2010; Majumder, 2010). The book is intended to clear confusion prevailing in this matter. As genetic study of man (R1a, J2, O2a), cow, mouse, pig, goat, rice and barley all gravitate towards India, there should be no doubt now that farming and Aryan languages originated and spread from India.
Findings of world’s oldest farming sites from Ganga Valley (India) have only supplied the missing link in the story of evolution of farming. Ganga Valley, Mehrgarh, Darestan (Baluchistan of East Iran), Zagros (West Iran), the Fertile Crescent (Iraq) and Turkey are like footsteps in the march of farming culture starting from India to Europe (Chapter 1). On the other hand, re-examination of lexicon of different languages only correlates well to the conclusions derived from the DNA studies.
DNA studies of Y-chromosomes of man from Europe and Asia confirmed that the marker DNA of farming and pottery migration (J2) originated in India. Hence the obvious conclusion is that there was a human migration starting from India to West Asia with which there was also a migration of farming culture, art of pottery-making and ceramic figurine to West Asia and South Europe. Incidentally this whole area from Ganga Valley to South Europe is inhabited today by people speaking Indo-Aryan language (Chapter 9).
At 35,000 B.P. there was a population expansion in India associated with onset of Microlithic/Mesolithic cultural revolution. At this very time, DNA studies indicate, there was domestication of cow, pig and goat in India. It is supposed that wild cereals, fruits, berries, tubers were harvested and exploited well. Some sort of housing, sedentary life, dress and social systems existed during this period. It was during this population expansion that man was forced to move out of India due to saturation of carrying capacity (Chapter 3).
Y chromosomal haplogroup R and its branches migrated out from India to Central Asia and East Africa during this period. In the East, it was Y-chromosomal haplogroup O2a which migrated to Southeast Asia and thereafter to China. Our study suggests that cow, weaving, some form of measuring system and barter trade etc went out from India to Central Asia, southeast Asia and Africa during this migration. Goat also migrated to Central Asia at this time (Chaptre 3).
West Asia and Western Iran were not habitable between 35,000 B.P. and 14,000 B.P. and hence Indian migrations did not take place to that part of Asia then. There was a climatic barrier in Iran. Earlier it was suggested that R1a is a marker of Central Asian Aryan invasion on India. But now it has been shown conclusively that this DNA originated in India. It migrated out from India at about 14,000-15,000 years back to reach Central Asia and finally Europe. R1a was blocked at the East Iran and not allowed to proceed into West Iran due to climatic barrier. It is likely that some elements of Neolithic, like pottery, reached Central Asia and then Europe with this migration. (Chapter 8).
I have also summarized recent DNA studies of plant and animal genome like cow, goat, buffalo, rice, barley and mice, domestic/domesticated breeds of them originated in India, not in West Asia or China. (Chapter 7). Domestic mouse evolved and lived in India exclusively until recently and migrated to out of India when Indians migrated to other parts of world. (Chapter 10).