Recently, a study has been conducted upon the origin of ancient Indians. The study has been initiated by scholars from Harvard, MIT, the Russian Academy of Science, the Birbal Sahni Institute of Paleosciences in Lucknow, the Deccan College, the Max Planck Institute, the Institute for Archaeological Research in Uzbekistan and the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad.
In order to conduct the study, the researchers collected genome wide data, meaning samples of DNA from around 612 ancient individuals. Then a comparison was drawn between this data that is collected and the data of the present day individuals. The researchers found that there were two separate groups in ancient India: Ancestral North Indians and Ancestral South Indians, or ANI and ASI. They inferred that there are three possible groupings that, when mixed in different combinations, might result in the creation of the Ancestral North Indian and Ancestral South Indian populations. The first are South Asian hunter-gatherers, related to modern-day Andaman islanders. Second, there are Iranian agriculturists. Third, there are the Steppe pastoralists, who were earlier referred to as Aryans. Further, there is one more population that cannot be ignored i.e. the Indus Valley Population. The study concluded that the Indus Valley Population is a result of the mixing of Iranian agriculturists and South Asian hunter-gatherers. When this Indus Valley population migrated towards the South, it resulted in Ancestral South Indian population. The Steppe pastoralists mixed with the Indus Valley population to create the Ancestral North Indian grouping. South Asian populations are a result of mixing between Ancestral North Indians and Ancestral South Indians. Therefore, it can be stated that the Indus Periphery related people are the most significant source of ancestry in South Asia.
By: Anuja Arora