January 26, 2016

History of extant populations of India

The five components they speak of are ANI, ASI, AAA (Ancestral Austro-Asiatic), ATB (Ancestral Tibeto-Burman), and a distinct fifth ancestry in the Andaman archipelago.

The differentiation of the four main components seems clear enough on the figure (left). The big question is how and in what order the different components got into India. I would wager that ASI was first and I modify my New Year's wish to ask for some ancient DNA from India too.

An interesting bit from the paper:
...that the practice of endogamy was established almost simultaneously, possibly by decree of the rulers, in upper-caste populations of all geographical regions, about 70 generations before present, probably during the reign (319–550 CE) of the ardent Hindu Gupta rulers
How plausible is that to anyone familiar with Indian history?

PNAS doi: 10.1073/pnas.1513197113

Genomic reconstruction of the history of extant populations of India reveals five distinct ancestral components and a complex structure

Analabha Basu, Neeta Sarkar-Roya, and Partha P. Majumder

India, occupying the center stage of Paleolithic and Neolithic migrations, has been underrepresented in genome-wide studies of variation. Systematic analysis of genome-wide data, using multiple robust statistical methods, on (i) 367 unrelated individuals drawn from 18 mainland and 2 island (Andaman and Nicobar Islands) populations selected to represent geographic, linguistic, and ethnic diversities, and (ii) individuals from populations represented in the Human Genome Diversity Panel (HGDP), reveal four major ancestries in mainland India. This contrasts with an earlier inference of two ancestries based on limited population sampling. A distinct ancestry of the populations of Andaman archipelago was identified and found to be coancestral to Oceanic populations. Analysis of ancestral haplotype blocks revealed that extant mainland populations (i) admixed widely irrespective of ancestry, although admixtures between populations was not always symmetric, and (ii) this practice was rapidly replaced by endogamy about 70 generations ago, among upper castes and Indo-European speakers predominantly. This estimated time coincides with the historical period of formulation and adoption of sociocultural norms restricting intermarriage in large social strata. A similar replacement observed among tribal populations was temporally less uniform.

Link

21 comments:

terryt said...

"A distinct ancestry of the populations of Andaman archipelago was identified and found to be coancestral to Oceanic populations".

Interesting that it appears not to be present in India. Surely that would argue against it having moved through India on its way to the Andamans. Unless we're going to argue it was totally replaced by the four later movements.

"I would wager that ASI was first"

But from which direction did it come? AAA (Ancestral Austro-Asiatic), ATB (Ancestral Tibeto-Burman) are fairly obviously more recent intrusions from the east. To me is has seemed likely for many years that India was never a Paleolithic highway east or west but that humans had entered it independently from both directions.

Ryan said...

The Manusmriti dates to somewhere between 200 BCE and 200 CE or so, so yes, this is more or less a plausible timeline.

Roy said...

Terry, Andaman islanders resemble some Angolans I've met. Perhaps any component in India was indeed totally replaced.

Dr. Clyde Winters said...

The ASI were not first. The first Indians were the AAA. Dravidians speakers only arrived in India around 2500 BC. The Dravidian speakers originally belonged to the C-Group Culture of Africa.

Maju said...

Interesting paper, thank you. Seems from the PCAs that the AAA and ASI components are nearly the same, with AAA only slightly drifted towards SE Asia relative to ASI. On the other hand the ATB component is clearly drifted towards SE Asia, strongly suggesting a much more recent and/or undissolved immigration.

Basant said...

The first half of the first millennium CE was a time of intense competition between brahmanical Hinduism, and Buddhism (and Jainism to a lesser extent), which rejected caste. The uppercast Hindus saw the newer more egalitarian religions as both a grave threat to their caste based dominance over Indian society, and heresy. Thus it is very plausible that they worked actively to strengthen caste endogamy; those who married out of their caste, or converted to competing religions would be shunned and lose their caste status, promoting endogamy.

It is also interesting to note that around this time the Hindu epics the Mahabharata and Ramayana were approaching their current forms. Both are filled with overtones of caste promotion, for example the Mahabharata features an epic war between two branches of a royal family, the pandavas who have Krishna - an incarnation of Vishnu who teaches the hero, Arjuna, that it is his duty to preform his ordained ROLE- on their side, win over the kauravas, whose army employes a famous warrior of mixed 'monster' and 'human' ancestry (caste or racial/ethnic symbolism), as well as other parts of the underclass. The war can be seen as an pro-caste allegory to the religious conflicts occurring in India at the time, the castest Hindus are represented by the victorious side and the Buddhists and other subaltern represented by the losing kauravas.

The earlier comment regarding the manusmriti is also very relavent, for the contemporaneous conservative Hindu law book lays out the consequences (punishments) of violating caste endogamy and brahminism in general. This suggests collections of laws like including the manusmriti may have served as the tools through which the new strict caste endogamy was enforced.

Gaspar said...

What is the difference between T1 and T2 in the persian chart?
What does it mean

Nathan said...

"I would wager that ASI was first"

But who is/was ASI. Like ANI, ASI is a compound population. ASI is closely related to Onge but diverged from it several thousand years ago. We have the Vedda in Sri Lanka and there isn't any papers linking them to the Andamanese , and they aren't Austo-Asiatic either.

Dravidian has to be an ANI group because the deep south of India still has substanial ANI even though the Indo-Aryans never penetrated it militarily and thus were not able to enslave,rape, enact concubinage etc.. like in the north.

bmdriver said...

Or it be the world wide culture around that time where every single culture on earth starts to organise and have social stratification, due to the onset of farming, cities, Kingdom states, rules and administration. It has nothing to do with caste and everything todo with social development. It's like saying European rulers, kings, queens, priesthood, are a upper caste when they most certainly posses so called higher caste genes as compared to wider public. The north of India sees vast farming, agriculture, domestication, city states, towns, trade taking place as a result society as around the world starts to organise itself. If we had Egyptian genes, or Mayan kings, priesthood genes, if we analyse the upper castes of royalty in Europe they would all show this social stratification. From Stone Age to Iron Age to agriculture these processes are what defined social stratification and very little else, and since North India is the part of India that sees massive farming and as result social order takes places it's no surprise that such events take place as they did all over the world the dogma of colonial interpretation of Indian history persists, and the rest of the world some how such events do not take place. Absurd.

terryt said...

"The first Indians were the AAA".

You'll have a hard job convincing anyone of that. It is pretty much certain that the Austro-Asiatic language developed in SE Asia or South China. Of course it is possible the language entered India without bring in any genetic material but this paper claims we do see a genetic element. The language's expansion seems to correlate well with the expansion of Y-DNA O2a, which is certainly not Indian in origin. Not surprisingly the Y-DNA looks to have expanded way beyond either the language or the gene, having been found as far west as the Pashtuns, or even the Altai according to Wikipedia.

"Seems from the PCAs that the AAA and ASI components are nearly the same, with AAA only slightly drifted towards SE Asia relative to ASI".

That is possibly as a result of AAA being at least partly descended from ASI, mixed with whatever was in SE Asia before Y-DNA K got there. We know that at a deeper level O2a descends from K and that haplotype must at some time have entered East Asia from South Asia.

bmdriver said...

The dating of Mahabharata and other Hindu texts themselves are well disputed yet some use this as concrete fact. First of all it was euroeoans during colonial times that stated those Indians who share higher European DNA are higher caste aka the north of India and those who did not where lower caste aka south of India, which was racist profiling that took place under coloniali rule and has passed onto modern times, no Indian text stated a higher caste race or characteristics it as a European centric view that light skinned obviously meant European stock.

Now one could easily make the claim that those Europeans who have higher middle eastern mediterrerian DNA are higher caste than those who has less. It can be said that those farming migrants from the Middle East where higher caste and as such those European who have more of those genes are upper caste, which is exactly the premise devised for India, farming communities in the north of India are classed as higher caste than those from the south as per the logic of euro centrics.

Show me one text that states higher caste Indians to be a race or come from Europe as per there texts. Do European royalty and the catholic priesthood show similarity in their gene makeup? Does that mean they are higher caste?...do those European populations that show higher roman medderterrian makeup do they become higher caste? This colonial dogma in India is nothing but a colonial racial interpretation of which there are many many colonial texts which give support to, and since many Indians are educated in a catholic missionary set up the continued distortion and abrahamic interpretations continue to this day......

Basant said...

@terryt: It is very possible that remnants of the Andaman component exist in certain parts of India (highlands of south India and Sri Lanka?) and that the sample used was not large or representative enough to show its presence. You are right in that if a remnant were to exist, it's elusiveness would point to a population being almost completely replaced, possibly for ecological reasons, or by migrants.

@dienekes: This might suggest that the ASI represents the second and not first component to enter India.

I found it interesting that according to the Genographic Project, I - who am North Indian from around 30° North 77° East - have 5.3% Denisovan ‘ancestry’ (along with 3.5 % Neanderthal). That figure is higher than the average figure in Melanesians (3-5%), who are the modern group with the highest Denisovan component. I have never heard much about a Denisovan component in India, but that is expected since the area’s genetic landscape has barely been explored.

The high Denisovan component could represent a link with migrations to Melanesia (and Australia), suggesting that india was part of a pre-ASI AAA migration route to oceania? My area is also not so far from central Asia, so I wonder whether further sampling and studies of distribution of Denisovan components in Pakistan India and Nepal etc., might shed light on the Denisovans and their interactions with modern humans. Could Denisovan genes have entered other Asians through Indians, or vice versa?

Obviously to make sweeping claims based on the analysis of one genome is impossible, but the result suggests that much future study is needed.

@dienekes I’m not sure if truly old DNA will be found in India, but Bronze Age DNA may be an imminent possibility. Last year there was news that an Indo-South Korean team were attempting to isolate genetic material from some promising Indus Valley bones. I think even one 5000 year old Indian genome would be hugely fascinating and illuminating.

terryt said...

"The high Denisovan component could represent a link with migrations to Melanesia (and Australia), suggesting that india was part of a pre-ASI AAA migration route to oceania?"

If anything it could indicate a migration in the other direction. There seems plenty of haplotype evidence for such a migration.

"further sampling and studies of distribution of Denisovan components in Pakistan India and Nepal etc., might shed light on the Denisovans and their interactions with modern humans".

True.

"if a remnant were to exist, it's elusiveness would point to a population being almost completely replaced, possibly for ecological reasons, or by migrants".

But such a replacement would have had to be very selective. We seem to have plenty of surviving ancient DNA in South Asia.

Basant said...

@terryt: I agree that there is evidence for some migration from Oceania to the Indian Subcontinent. But my autosomal DNA was found to have no Oceanian component, and both my y and mtdna haplogroups were characteristic of Eurasia, not Oceania. Of course - again - it is impossible to conlude anything based on one individual, but If the very high percentage of Denisovan was due to a back migration from Oceania, then one would expect at least some corresponding autosomal or haplogroup similarity to Oceanian. The absence points to an independent Asian introduction of Denisovan genes to India.

terryt said...

"The absence points to an independent Asian introduction of Denisovan genes to India".

Interesting. I was certainly under the impression that Denisovan genes were basically absent in India. With your Eurasian, as opposed to Oceanian, autosomal DNA, and the fact that the Denisovan human branch has only so far been identified in Central Asia, it could be that your Denisovan may have entered India from the northwest. It would be valuable to be able to carry out further testing.

Basant said...

Agreed!

Moda Sattva said...

ANI and ASI are in India at-least for the past 45000 years, many say 60000 years and some even say 1m years. If you see the genetic make up of ASI and ANI, they are not different. They are just some different concentration of same gene pool. There are floods , drought, war in ancient population. which resulted in large migrations internally. So they are all mixed up. So we can safely say that there is one type that is ancient Indian.

ANI - Ancient North Indian, ASI- Ancient South Indian, but the name does not mean north south divide. There is a pool of ASI in pakistan and Bangladesh and There is large pool of ANI in Maharastra-karnataka.

Higher castes came from European is another myth. If you take the Brahmin and Shudra in the same area, they will be both same. But if you take brahmin from one two places ,they will be more close to their shudra counterparts then their Brahmin counterparts. Infact the caste by birth was reinforced only some 70 generations 70X20 years = 1400year before present.

terryt said...

"ANI and ASI are in India at-least for the past 45000 years, many say 60000 years and some even say 1m years. If you see the genetic make up of ASI and ANI, they are not different".

Your second statement argues against your first one. It the two had been in India anything like 45,000 years ago they would be very different from each other. Your idea may be correct if the two can be shown to be opposite ends of a cline but my understanding is that such is not really the case.

Basant said...

Yes I agree totally. I get very frustrated by nationalistic, defensive, and mystic theories that various chauvinistic people hold about physical anthropology.

Singh Sardar said...

Really? Jains who have a law that only a Ksytria can become tirthankar or Buddhist who say Arihants are only born among Ksytria or Brahmin reject caste?

First I've heard of this. Next you'll say Sikhs do, even though all 10 Gurus are Ksytrias as are most of them.

Lol spread your christian drivel elsewhere

Dikgaj said...

Regarding possibility of regime enforced strict caste endogamy influencing the gene pool in the period of "Buddhism" or 1st millenium CE:
(1) Gupta empire does not produce conclusive textual evidence of ruler imposed strict caste endogamies. The "most" contemporary court literature (hagiographies of rulers) do not include any concrete reference to this.
(2) Guptas at their greatest claimed expanse, and somewhat supported by archeology/numismatics were holding onto a strip of land stretching along the Ganga valley all the way to Gujarat coast. Further north and south were most likely raided and the local rulers brought into some dependency relationships but not outright incorprorated into the empire.
(3) Gupta empire was over, according to most estimates within about 130-150 years of its deemed "foundation" probably around 319-20 CE.
(4) Hence the direct Gupta imposition of strict caste endogamy could not have much territorial and time opportunity to affect deep into both the south and the north of the subcontinent.
(5) That Gupta empire did not uproot Buddhist stranglehold on Indian society is evident from the fact that the next most powerful empire that rose in exactly the heartland of Gupta empire - was that of Harsha, who holds the honour of being the third of the only three "great religious councils" organised by Indian "emperors" known in Buddhist literature. (First being Asoka Maurya, second Kanishka (shaka))
(6) Succeeding Harsha, the next "empire" to stretch in again the same zone was by the Palas, who are attested to being patrons of Buddhism, and under whom the various buddhist university townships like Nalanda, or Odantapuri reached their height. Palas lasted until almost to the Ghurid conquests.
(7) Many of the Rajput dynasties which probably filled up the space left after Gupta/Harsha/and the late ancient dynasties that carved out India among themselves were followers of Jainism.
(8) Even during the first successful raids by Qasim in 713 CE in Sindh, the ruling regime is found to be Buddhist or Jaina (because the alleged regicide queen's actions are sought to be avenged by Rajput relatives of the king) before the two generation "brahmin" dynasty of Chach that was overthrown.

Thus if Buddhism is really supposed to have got rid of "caste" and "caste endogamy", then the longer and greater grip of Buddhist regimes in large parts of Indian subcontinent could only be minimally affected by the Gupta interlude.

I am not sure that people note the significant claim made on behalf of Buddha in the nikayas that on being asked about the next "maitreya"'s birth, Buddha is supposed to have replied that he will be born into the caste ("varna") (the word caste is absent in Indian literature before European colonial introduction of the term derived from "casta") of Brahmin or Kshatryia. So Buddhism of the era might not have looked on "caste" in the way moderns wish they did.