February 27, 2013

Connections between Indus Valley and Mesopotamia

Of interest from the paper:

Based on this distribution of values, it would appear from our preliminary analysis that almost half of the individuals sampled from the Harappa cemetery have isotope values outside the local baseline (0.7158-0.7189). Most of these individuals have values below the Harappa range. In addition, there are at least three non-local individuals with higher values, including one with an extremely isotope ratio that cannot be from the Harappa region. A more detailed discussion of the Harappa samples will be presented in a future publication on the Harappa cemetery, but it is clear that many of what appear to be local individuals at Harappa are females and they are associated in burial with nearby males who are clearly not local. These preliminary patterns require further testing before major conclusions can be proposed, but it does suggest that they represent a unique population of people from multiple regions of the Indus valley or beyond.

Journal of Archaeological Science
Volume 40, Issue 5, May 2013, Pages 2286–2297

A new approach to tracking connections between the Indus Valley and Mesopotamia: initial results of strontium isotope analyses from Harappa and Ur

J. Mark Kenoyer et al.

Exchange and interaction between early state-level societies in Mesopotamia and the Indus Valley during the 3rd millennium BC has been documented for some time. The study of this interaction has been dominated by the analysis of artifacts such as carnelian beads and marine shell, along with limited textual evidence. With the aid of strontium, carbon, and oxygen isotopes, it is now possible to develop more direct means for determining the presence of non-local people in both regions. This preliminary study of tooth enamel from individuals buried at Harappa and at the Royal Cemetery of Ur, indicates that it should be feasible to identify Harappans in Mesopotamia. It is also possible to examine the mobility of individuals from communities within the greater Indus Valley region.



  1. That will be extremely interesting, I'm sure. Connections have long been postualted.

  2. Given that Mesopotamia is the birthplace of civiization, one can only hope more studies looking at aDNA data from here will begin in near future

  3. ''A more detailed discussion of the Harappa samples will be presented in a future publication on the Harappa cemetery, but it is clear that many of what appear to be local individuals at Harappa are females and they are associated in burial with nearby males who are clearly not local.''
    Yes indeed there was surely a deep relation between the two great ancient civilizations the main reason for that was most likely trade and farming and in a DNA Tribe article the clear evidence for a genetic relation was also found from autosomal analysis-
    The presence of that 27.4% of Mesopotemian component in the North Indian Region actually reflects the intrusions as recorded in archaeology of 6000 b.c. and of 4500 b.c. it is great that they gave honor to the archaeological facts and in conclusion they also discarded the Indo-Aryan migration as we know of and found-
    ''In summary, results are consistent with emerging alternative models of South Asian prehistory, in
    which the Vedic cultures were descended from indigenous Harappans already resident in South Asia.
    Rather than a putative “Indo-European invasion” from Central Asia in the late Bronze Age, results
    suggest the possibility of an earlier and more peaceful 'Indo-European diffusion' of food producing
    cultures from West Asia during the Copper Age.''
    It is quite similar with the Colin Renfrew hypothesis but personally i think the corner stone of south asian pre-history with indo-european studies also is going to be the 4500 years old aDNA of Farmana.
    Many things will depend on the absence/presence of Y-DNA like J2,R1a1a,R2a and with the proportion and type of Ancestral North Indian-Ancestral South Indian specific components in the DNA of those 60+ skeletons.
    It is also interesting that the age of the IVC have recently found to be old as 7380 B.C!!-
    stay well.

  4. DUH, It's official, science has caught up to "Grandpa Was A Deity" (2011, available on Amazon) and then there is "Genesis of Genesis" (2012) ...
    But, 1900 years ago, Josephus wrote of the connection in his Histories.

  5. Strontium and other isotope analyses are limited in terms of what they can conclude. They can only conclude the presence of 'non-locals' (geologically speaking), but cannot determine where they came from , with any specificity. They can only gleam at the conditions where those samples grew up in - and this could be as close as the nearest mountain range , 10km away, to somewhere hald a continent away.

    However, as far as Europe is concerned, Mesopotami and the Indus region IMHO are where we need to look for 'our origins'.

  6. To find a high-degree of mobility, from one region of the IVC to another, would not be surprising at all, given the cultural homogeneity of Harappan sites in the third millennium BCE. But given the rarity of culturally intrusive objects before 2000 BCE, or so, I think it would be very surprising to find individuals at Harappa from beyond the Indus sphere altogether.

  7. ...reflects the intrusions as recorded in archaeology of 6000 b.c. and of 4500 b.c


    I am not familiar with those intrusions - where exactly were they from, and were they land or sea-based?

    If one places IE so early at or almost at the beginning of IVC, then that of course begs the question which West Asian region exactly this should be associated with. And while such old dates are consistent with some tree models, it makes it interesting to ask how one can still propose any special link between proto-Iranian and Balto-Slavic...

  8. Omans Magan is also linked to the Indus Valley Civilization via seafaring trade relations. So it wouldn’t be surprising to see male merchants with special abilities take local brides.
    So the fictional Persian/Arabic figure of Sindibad “Wind of the Sindh River” stands in an ancient tradition.

    The Land of Magan and the Site of RJ-2

  9. Literacy in pre-Buddhist India (before 600 BC)

    Please find my collection of papers on literacy in Pre-Buddhist India

    Before mature phase of Indus valley civilization (before 2600 BC)

    - There are some potters marks but none qualify as full writing

    Indus valley civilization (2600 BC to 1900 BC)

    1. The reconfirmation and reinforcement of the Indus script thesis (very logical and self explanatory paper)


    2. The reintroduction of the lost manuscript hypothesis (the case for this thesis has obviously become much stronger in the recent past)


    Post-Harappan India (1600 BC to 600 BC)

    1. Literacy in post-Harappan india (obviously literacy in post-Harappan India existed in certain pockets & were limited to very small sections of society- alphabetic scripts were brought from West Asia and the Indus script also continued – this a very logical and self-explanatory paper and anyone can cross-verify the conclusions)


    Sujay Rao Mandavilli

  10. Good Paper Sujay.

    What puzzles me is

    1.within short period of script conversion the people from Indus area added good Phoenitic Organization for their version.
    2. The symbols on the posts has circular shapes which is contrary to the aramac scripts.

    Indus valley looks like huge trading post . Traders need math and writing.
    Phoenicians needed it and may be Indus valley people too.
    City states are the centers of culture. Seems they innovated maths and scripts too.

  11. Recent evidence suggests that the movement of civilisation was from the Indus valley to Sumeria since that civilisation has now been found to be much older. For more on this please see http://alienaccount.blogspot.in/2013/09/indus-valley-and-atlantis.html

  12. Nathan Paul, the link I quoted in my last comment gives a reference to a recent Harvard study on an archeological discovery of early scripts dating to 5500 BC


Stay on topic. Be polite. Use facts and arguments. Be Brief. Do not post back to back comments in the same thread, unless you absolutely have to. Don't quote excessively. Google before you ask.