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Friday, 29 January 2016

Harappan Interments at Rakhigarhi, Haryana

This is a nice study on Rakhigarhi, it has also given some intriguing parallels of funeral customs which are found  in the Vedic texts.

Harappan Interments at Rakhigarhi, Haryana

Abstract :

The excavations at Rakhigarhi ( 29° 17' 30" N ; 76° 06' 50'' E ) have reported skeletal series of the Harappans both from cemetery and habitation area. Interment archaeology is quite unique as it unfolds a distinct funerary mechanism for highlighting gender, besides other mortuary features commonly recorded at Kalibangan and Farmana.


bmdriver said...

Hi what do you make of this new study?

Pleistocene Mitochondrial Genomes Suggest a Single Major Dispersal of Non-Africans and a Late Glacial Population Turnover in Europe

Cosimo Posth et al.

How modern humans dispersed into Eurasia and Australasia, including the number of separate expansions and their timings, is highly debated [ 1, 2 ]. Two categories of models are proposed for the dispersal of non-Africans: (1) single dispersal, i.e., a single major diffusion of modern humans across Eurasia and Australasia [ 3–5 ]; and (2) multiple dispersal, i.e., additional earlier population expansions that may have contributed to the genetic diversity of some present-day humans outside of Africa [ 6–9 ]. Many variants of these models focus largely on Asia and Australasia, neglecting human dispersal into Europe, thus explaining only a subset of the entire colonization process outside of Africa [ 3–5, 8, 9 ]. The genetic diversity of the first modern humans who spread into Europe during the Late Pleistocene and the impact of subsequent climatic events on their demography are largely unknown. Here we analyze 55 complete human mitochondrial genomes (mtDNAs) of hunter-gatherers spanning ∼35,000 years of European prehistory. We unexpectedly find mtDNA lineage M in individuals prior to the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM). This lineage is absent in contemporary Europeans, although it is found at high frequency in modern Asians, Australasians, and Native Americans. Dating the most recent common ancestor of each of the modern non-African mtDNA clades reveals their single, late, and rapid dispersal less than 55,000 years ago. Demographic modeling not only indicates an LGM genetic bottleneck, but also provides surprising evidence of a major population turnover in Europe around 14,500 years ago during the Late Glacial, a period of climatic instability at the end of the Pleistocene.

Nirjhar007 said...

Very good study, getting dna from those kind of pre-pre-historic period is always a very tough ask . A bit old to be related with the IE issue ;) and of course no component analysis or y-dna. But presence of Mtdna which are also found in Indians and other groups is interesting, although those lineages went extinct from Europe it seems.

bmdriver said...

Thanks for the reply. But what does this mean in terms of migration having read studies on haplogroup n originated near the north West Indian borders does this study refute previous studies?

Nirjhar007 said...

The only way that can be refuted is by showing that S Asia lacked it in similar ancient period, its really hard to suggest N 's origins. It can be Levant or Persian gulf but as it appears that the Basal Clades of the Mtdna is also there in India and Australasia, also R Mtdna is very rooted in S Asia, so its not bad to suggest it originated around NW India.

Although disagreement exists.

M. KB. said...

Hey Nirjhar,

great blog. The passage in the study about the grave goods dedicated to Agni is spectacular. To the keen observer it has long been obvious that Indo-Iranian fire worship has its origin in the IVC. It's great to see another piece of evidence that corroborates this sentiment. The fact that Agni is the most frequently mentioned Rigvedic deity might give us a vague idea of the cultural importance of the IVC in India and even beyond.

Indeed, there is a whole set of customs associated with fire that seems to have spread westwards from India to influence the wider South Asian-Mediterranean horizon. Particularly interesting are the customs associated with the household, like the sacred hearth and the perpetual fire. These are highly specific customs that exerted a very tangible influence on the socio-political fabric of the societies that it spread to. In the Greco-Roman family the sacred fire was the symbolic centre of the patriarchal rule that marked the distinctness of the civilized world from the northern barbarians.

It is quite obvious that these are but a few examples for the cultural influence that ancient South Asia had on the classical civilizations of Southern Europe and West Asia. It's almost as if the Voltairean notion that everything came from India has some truth to it after all. Independently of the Indo-European question, if R1a-Z93 turned up in South Asia we could perhaps identify one of the vectors of this very important cultural transmission via a West Asian route.

Nirjhar007 said...

M. KB,

Welcome and thank you so much for the beautiful comment :) .