Ancient DNA suggests South Asians descended from 3 Eurasian groups—hunter-gatherers, farmers, herders

[A] study of the first ancient DNA recovered from South Asia shows that populations there mingled repeatedly thousands of years ago. Nearly all of the Indian subcontinent’s ethnic and linguistic groups are the product of three ancient Eurasian populations who met and mixed: local hunter-gatherers, Middle Eastern farmers, and Central Asian herders.

[This study] sheds light on where these populations came from and when they arrived in South Asia. It also strengthens the claim that Proto-Indo-European (PIE)—the ancestral language that gave rise to modern languages from English to Russian to Hindi—originated on the steppes of Asia.

[T]heir team recovered and analyzed ancient genomes from 65 individuals who lived in northern Pakistan between 1200 B.C.E. and 1 C.E. They also analyzed 132 ancient genomes from Iran and southern Central Asia, and 165 from the steppes of Kazakhstan and Russia, and compared them with published ancient and modern genomes.

Related article:  Human behavioral ecology: The tight ‘evolutionary embrace’ of culture and genes

[H]erders from the Eurasian steppe moved into the northern part of the subcontinent and mixed with Indus periphery people still there, forming the Ancestral North Indian population. Today, people who belong to higher castes and those who speak Indo-European languages such as Hindi and Urdu tend to have more of this ancestry. Shortly after, these two already mixed groups mixed with each other, giving rise to the populations living in India today.

Read full, original post: South Asians are descended from a mix of farmers, herders, and hunter-gatherers, ancient DNA reveals

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