An Ancient Harappan Genome Lacks Ancestry from Steppe Pastoralists or Iranian Farmers : A local DNA

Rakhigarhi became an archaeological hotspot when Amarendra Nath, former director of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), undertook excavations at the site in 1997. The ASI team unearthed a fire altar, parts of a city wall, drainage structures as well as a hoard of semi-precious beads. The village is a 5,000-year-old site that showcases continuity from the Harappan age to the present times.

DNA sample taken from a skeleton of a woman studied and and found that the woman was not descended from Iranian group. Again it reveled that the present day people of Rakhigarhi are in continuation of the DNA found from the skeleton. The study directly connected present day South Asian people with the population of old Indus valley civilization.

The Team

A team led by geneticist David Reich at Harvard University and archaeologist Vasant Shinde at Deccan College in Pune, India, decided to try the promising technique with Indus specimens. They sampled more than 60 skeletal pieces, including numerous petrous bones, before they were able to extract ancient DNA from one.

Summary of study

The study reports an ancient genome from the Indus Valley Civilization (IVC). The individual we sequenced fits as a mixture of people related to ancient Iranians (the largest component) and Southeast Asian hunter-gatherers, a unique profile that matches ancient DNA from 11 genetic outliers from sites in Iran and Turkmenistan in cultural communication with the IVC. These individuals had little if any Steppe pastoralist-derived ancestry, showing that it was not ubiquitous in northwest South Asia during the IVC as it is today. The Iranian-related ancestry in the IVC derives from a lineage leading to early Iranian farmers, herders, and hunter-gatherers before their ancestors separated, contradicting the hypothesis that the shared ancestry between early Iranians and South Asians reflects a large-scale spread of western Iranian farmers east. Instead, sampled ancient genomes from the Iranian plateau and IVC descend from different groups of hunter-gatherers who began farming without being connected by substantial movement of people.

The study have shown that the ancient South Asian farmers[Read Indian] represented in the IVC[4,000 and 3,500 years ago] had negligible ancestry related to ancient Anatolian[Turkey] farmers, as well as an Iranian-related ancestry component distinct from sampled ancient farmers and herders in Iran.

So the the woman[DNA] not originated from Iran , rather her origin is local.

Read the study :

Categories: Mahabharata, Science

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