Category Archives: Dravidian

The India-Australia Connection

The genetic link between India and Australia is not conclusive. Most recent Genetics paper on the earlier mentioned links has found no recent links.

Also Dravidian and Veddoid are 2 different races. Some Veddoid have taken up Dravidian languages just as other Veddoid have taken up Indo-Aryan.

In Sri Lanka is the only distinct Vedda population and they speak a creole that is neither Dravidian nor Indo-Aryan; it shares more with Indo-Aryan but has a substratum that is distinct and different from Dravidian and Indo-Aryan. India does not have distinct Vedda populations as they have linguistically and culturally assimilated into the surrounding Dravidian,Indo-Aryan and Munda speaking populations.

I would certainly agree that a recent India-Australia link is not proven.

My argument was that those people we call Aborigines are new people. Supposedly they supplanted most of the original people. They are said to have come from India and Thailand 12-17,000 YBP. Any genetic relation that far back will not show up in genes.

Furthermore, Veddoids and other primitive types in India (yes, there are some in India, not just Sri Lanka) have skulls that plot Australoid next to Papuans, Melanesians and Aborigines. If there is no connection, why do they have the same skulls? Tamils also have Australoid skulls showing the same connections.

There is a very ancient and primitive group in Nepal called the Nahali. The language was long thought to be an isolate and was recently thought to be extinct. However some speakers were found not long ago. More recent though highly controversial studies suggest that Nahali is an Indo-Pacific language related to the languages of New Guinea. I believe this connection is correct. If there is no connection between India and Australia, why the language connection?

Also, the Andaman Islanders are Australoids by skulls. So once again we have an Australian connection with the most primitive people of India by skulls. Some theories suggest that the Andaman languages, long considered isolates, are related to Indo-Pacific languages. Joseph Greenberg thought so. I am not sure how well that is backed up, but if it is true, once again, we see a connection between India and Australia.

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Filed under Aborigines, Andaman Islanders, Anthropology, Asia, Australia, Dravidian, East Indians, India, Language Families, Linguistics, Melanesians, Negritos, Nepal, Oceanians, Papuans, Physical, Race/Ethnicity, Regional, SE Asians, South Asia, South Asians, Sri Lankans

A Look at the Tamil Language

Method and Conclusion. See here.

Results. A ratings system was designed in terms of how difficult it would be for an English-language speaker to learn the language. In the case of English, English was judged according to how hard it would be for a non-English speaker to learn the language. Speaking, reading and writing were all considered.

Ratings: Languages are rated 1-6, easiest to hardest. 1 = easiest, 2 = moderately easy to average, 3 = average to moderately difficult, 4 = very difficult, 5 = extremely difficult, 6 = most difficult of all. Ratings are impressionistic.

Time needed. Time needed for an English language speaker to learn the language “reasonably well”: Level 1 languages = 3 months-1 year. Level 2 languages = 6 months-1 year. Level 3 languages = 1-2 years. Level 4 languages = 2 years. Level 5 languages = 3-4 years, but some may take longer. Level 6 languages = more than 4 years.

This post will look at the Tamil language in terms of how difficult it would be for an English speaker to learn it.

Tamil

Tamil, a Dravidian language is hard, but probably not as difficult as Malayalam is. Tamil has an incredible 247 characters in its alphabet. Nevertheless, most of those are consonant-vowel combinations, so it is almost more of a syllabary than an alphabet. Going by what would traditionally be considered alphabetic symbols, there are probably only 72 real symbols in the alphabet. Nevertheless, Tamil probably has one of the easier Indic scripts as Tamil has fewer characters than other scripts due to its lack of aspiration. Compare to Devanagari’s over 1,000 characters.

But no Indic script is easy. A problem with Tamil is that all of the characters seem to look alike. It is even worse than Devanagari in that regard. However, the more rounded scripts such as Kannada, Sinhala, Telegu and Malayalam have that problem to a worse degree. Tamil has a few sharp corners in the characters that helps to disambiguate them.

In addition, as with other languages, words are written one way and pronounced another. However, there are claims that the difficulty of Tamil’s diglossia is overrated.

Tamil has two different registers for written and spoken speech, but the differences are not large, so this problem is exaggerated. Both Tamil and Malayalam are spoken very fast and have extremely complicated, nearly impenetrable scripts. If Westerners try to speak a Dravidian language in south India, more often than not the Dravidian speaker will simply address them in English rather than try to accommodate them.

Tamil has the odd evidential mood, similar to Bulgarian.

However, on the plus side, the language does seem to be very logical and regular, almost like German in that regard. In addition, there are a lot of language learning materials for Tamil.

Tamil is rated 4, very difficult.

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Filed under Applied, Dravidian, Language Families, Language Learning, Linguistics, Malayalam, Tamil

A Look at the Malayalam Language

Method and Conclusion. See here.

Results. A ratings system was designed in terms of how difficult it would be for an English-language speaker to learn the language. In the case of English, English was judged according to how hard it would be for a non-English speaker to learn the language. Speaking, reading and writing were all considered.

Ratings: Languages are rated 1-6, easiest to hardest. 1 = easiest, 2 = moderately easy to average, 3 = average to moderately difficult, 4 = very difficult, 5 = extremely difficult, 6 = most difficult of all. Ratings are impressionistic.

Time needed. Time needed for an English language speaker to learn the language “reasonably well”: Level 1 languages = 3 months-1 year. Level 2 languages = 6 months-1 year. Level 3 languages = 1-2 years. Level 4 languages = 2 years. Level 5 languages = 3-4 years, but some may take longer. Level 6 languages = more than 4 years.

This post will look at the Malayalam language in terms of how difficult it would be for an English speaker to learn it.

Dravidian
Southern
Tamil-Kannada
Tamil-Kodagu
Tamil-Malayalam
Malayalam

Malayalam, a Dravidian language of India, was has been cited as the hardest language of all to learn by an language foundation, but the citation is obscure and hard to verify.

Malayalam words are often even hard to look up in a Malayalam dictionary.

For instance, adiyAnkaLAkkikkoNDirikkukayumANello is a word in Malayalam. It means something like “I, your servant, am sitting and mixing something (which is why I cannot do what you are asking of me).” The part in parentheses is an example of the type of sentence where it might be used.

The above word is composed of many different morphemes, including conjunctions and other affixes, with sandhi going on with some of them so they are eroded away from their basic forms. There doesn’t seem to be any way to look that word up or to write a Malayalam dictionary that lists all the possible forms, including forms like the word above. It would probably be way too huge of a book. However, all agglutinative languages are made up of affixes, and if you know the affixes, it is not particularly hard to parse the word apart.

Malayalam is said to be very hard to pronounce correctly.

Further, few foreigners even try to learn Malayalam, so Malayalam speakers, like the French, might not listen to you and might make fun of you if your Malayalam is not native sounding.

However, Malayalam has the advantage of having many pedagogic materials available for language learning such as audio-visual material and subtitled videos.

Malayalam is rated 5, extremely difficult.

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Filed under Applied, Dravidian, India, Language Learning, Linguistics, Malayalam, Regional, South Asia

Is Dravidian Related to Japanese?

Thirdeye writes:

The Tamil-Japonic connection isn’t quite as off the wall as one might think at first glance. There’s apparently a strong Andaman-Indonesian language connection. The convention of repeat plurals seems to have found its way to Japan. There’s also some similarity between the Finno-Ugric languages, which are Uralic outliers in a sea of Indo-European languages, and Dravidian languages that have a remnant in Pakistan. Contact between proto-Dravidian-Uralic and Altaic languages is a real possibility.

If Uralic is close to anything, it is close to Altaic and Indo-European and probably even closer to Chukto-Kamchatkan, Eskimo-Aleut, Yukaghir and Nivkhi. Yukaghir may actually be Uralic itself, or maybe the family is called “Uralic-Yukaghir.”

There is no connection between Austronesian (Indonesian) and the Andaman Islanders. Austronesian is indeed related to Thai though (Austro-Tai); in my opinion, this has been proven. If the Andaman languages are related to anything at all, they may be related to some Papuan languages and an isolate in Nepal called Nihali. A good case can be made connecting Nihali with some of the Papuan languages.

Typology is not that great of way to classify. Typology is areal and it spreads via convergence. What you are looking in search genetic relationship among languages more more than anything else is morphology. After that, a nice set of cognates.

There is probably no connection between Dravidian and Uralic in particular. Dravidian is outside of most everything in Eurasia. It if is close to anything, it might be close to Afro-Asiatic. There also looks to be a connection with Elamite.

Dravidian and Afro-Asiatic are probably older than the rest of the Eurasian languages, and they were located further to the south. Afro-Asiatic is very old, probably ~15,000 YBP.

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Filed under Afroasiatic, Altaic, Andaman Islanders, Austro-Tai, Austronesian, Chukotko-Kamchatkan, Comparitive, Dravidian, Eskimo-Aleut, Indo-European, Indo-Hittite, Isolates, Japanese, Japonic, Language Classification, Language Families, Linguistics, Negritos, Paleosiberian, Race/Ethnicity, SE Asians, Tamil, Thai

More Out of India Idiocy

Here.

This is the latest nonsense out of India purporting to undo the Aryan Migration Theory. It is written by high caste Hindu idiots for political reasons, namely to swipe back at South Indians and Dalits who claim that Aryans imposed caste Hinduism on them at the point of a sword. The fact is that South Indians misrepresent the case. The Aryans did not sweep into Northwest India, conquer the Dravidians, and push them south. The Aryans conquered in the north, and they bred in with and mixed with the locals. In time, caste Hinduism spread to the south of India.

Michael Witzel is probably the pre-eminent scholar of Sanskrit and the Aryan Migration question. Here is his response to this irresponsible study, which unfortunately was published in a peer reviewed journal. Briefly, the India Today piece completely misrepresents the study and the authors of the study also make many other misrepresentations of the data. I am afraid that this is the way Indians do science, just like they do everything else – with massive corruption and political overtones. As more and more Indians get into science, we can count on science becoming more and more corrupt and less and less scientific.

I asked Prof. M. Witzel about a popular news item in Indian English press.
Here is his reply.

Happy Holidays!
N. Ganesan

From Michael Witzel answering my question.
————————————–

Well, Ganesan, I have answered that, based on my genetic etc. background info and info from my geneticist friends [who include Thangaraj, Pitchappan 🙂 ] — but this msg. has not appeared on IDDOLOGY@yahooo yet, where this “news” was broadcast a few days earlier…

Here a copy:
===========

The INDIA TODAY article (below) bristles with misrepresentations and outright misinformation, in part by the authors of the genetic study mentioned here:

On Dec 11, 2011, at 7:19 PM, Sri Venkat wrote:
> Dinesh C. Sharma New Delhi, December 10, 2011 | UPDATED 10:22 IST
>
> Indians are not descendants of Aryans, says new study.
> <>

Briefly, it is well known that “The origin of genetic diversity found in South Asia is much older than 3,500 years when the Indo-Aryans were supposed to have migrated to India”. Geneticists point to the Out of Africa movement around 65-75,000 years ago. As a result, Reich et al. have shown that two ancient population segments evolved in South Asia around 40 kya, the ‘Ancestral North Indians’ (ANI), (genetically close to Middle Easterners, Central Asians, and Europeans) and the ‘Ancestral South Indians’. Add another, Neolithic migration from the Greater Near East some 10,000 y.a.

Then, it is usually said that “migration of Indo-European speakers from Central Asia … was responsible for the introduction of the Indo-European language family.” Indeed. Indo-Aryan language, religion, etc. have been imported from the Ural steppes/Central Asia. Note the many *early*, pre-Vedic loan-words into *early* Uralic language, and now also loans from the Bactria-Margiana culture (2400-1600 BCE) into Indo-Aryan. By people with one or another genetic set-up (see below on R1a).

The rest of the so-called “Aryan Invasion” is an outdated 19th century theory, just as the early 19th c. one that imagined Indo-Europeans migrated out of India (as some Hindutvavadins now reassert!). There was indeed a movement northward out of South Asia/Greater Near East during the warm period around c.40,000 y.a., but that is some 38,000 years BEFORE Indo-Aryans even came into existence. (Same mistake made in the 2005 CA schoolbook fiasco!)
>
> “Our study clearly shows that there was no genetic influx 3,500 years ago,” said Dr Kumarasamy Thangaraj.

Absolute genetic dates (just as in linguistic reconstructions) need to be supported by outside evidence, such as finds of skeletons. For the period around 1500 BCE, we still have error bars of 3000 years in genetic reconstructions, which makes pronouncements about a non-existent “Aryan” move into South Asia very moot indeed.

We will have to await the further, so far very uncertain resolution of the early Y chromosome R1a haplogroup (c. some 20-34,000 years old), to form an opinion. Ra1 has been attributed to speakers of Indo-European (as it is prominent in Eastern Europe), but it also occurs throughout South Asia, tribal populations included. We need to know which one of its unresolved sub-strains moved, when and where. We do not know that…yet.

When L. Singh says, “It is high time we re-write India’s prehistory based on scientific evidence,” we can only agree.

However, not when he says, “There is no genetic evidence that Indo-Aryans invaded or migrated to India or even something such as Aryans existed”.

Dr Singh does not understand that Indo-Aryan language (and religion) simply could not exist in thin air. You need a population. Obviously they had Ural area ancestors, whatever their genetic set-up upon entering from Afghanistan.

Even his assertion, “If any migration from Central Asia to South Asia took place, it should have introduced apparent signals of East Asian ancestry into India” is patently wrong as Eastern elements entered Central Asia only much later.

For further details see my recent message to the IER list.

Cheers,
Michael

Sequel to my last, general comment:

1. First of all, it is rather unfortunate that the authors of the paper have highlighted the “Aryan Invasion Theory” in their summary and later on as well. That is 19th century talk!

Since at least the 1950s (FBJ Kuiper 1955, Przyluski even in 1920s, etc.), Indologists have stressed the complex interactions between Indo-Aryan speakers and local speakers both in the Greater Panjab and beyond, from the oldest text (Rgveda, c. 1200-1000 BCE) onward, which has some clear non-IA poets and kings. The great, late Kuiper’s last paper (2000) has the title a “bilingual poet”.

Since 1995, I too have written about acculturation, and that maybe “not one gene” of the Ural steppes people had survived by the time the pastoral Indo-Aryan speakers arrived in the Greater Panjab (via the Central Asian river pastures/Tienshan/Pamir meadows, the BMAC, Hindukush, etc., with many chances for gene flow from all these areas).

That Indo-Aryan language, religion, ritual etc. have been imported from the Urals/Central Asia (note the *early* loan-words into Uralic, and now also BMAC loans words into Indo-Aryan!) is beyond any reasonable doubt. By people with one or another genetic set up, — which one that is the question.

I will await the further resolution of the Y chromosome haplogroup Ra1* –note the “western” affinities in the paper of Brahmins and Ksatriyas even in U.P. — as to see exactly which genetic strain may have entered South Asia around 1500 BCE, — if any.

2. Co-author Lalji Singh says as per the article in DNA :

“We have conclusively proved that there never existed any Aryans or Dravidians in the Indian sub continent. The Aryan-Dravidian classification was nothing but a misinformation campaign carried out by people with vested interests,” Prof Lalji Singh, vice-chancellor, Banaras Hindu University, told DNA.”

Again harking back to *supposed* British interests in the 19th century. But, the two language groups definitely are as separate as they are from Bantu, Chinese or Papua. Indo-Aryan is definitely not = Dravidian language or its original culture, just as little as Basque, Uralic are not Indo-European. Confusion of language, genes, ethnicity, etc.

Well, Lalji has stayed at Hyderabad for a long time. Did he ever try to speak Hindi/Urdu to native, mono-lingual Kannada speakers? He would had have as little luck as I would have with any Indo-European language in Estonia, Finland or Hungary.

Why does he have to comment about things (language, culture) that he does not understand?

““The study effectively puts to rest the argument that south Indians are Dravidians and were driven to the peninsula by Aryans who invaded North India,” said Prof Singh, a molecular biologist and former chief of Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad.”

Same mistake. Of course, South Indians are Dravidian speaking. And they even are genetically (ASI) different from North Indians (ANI), which this co-author should know from his own (and D. Reich’s) paper. Same confusion of genetics, language, ethnicity (“race”)…

The idea of Aryans “driving Dravidians’ South”, too, is 19th century talk. See above. The reality is much more complex. For example, Frank Southworth has shown that Maharashtra was Dravidian speaking well into the Middle Ages, and Gujarat too has Drav. place names. There was a lot of give and take between the two language families, as is seen in the many Dravidian loans in Sanskrit, etc. and the many Indo-Aryan loans in Drav. languages.

3. Unfortunately, as some years earlier before, Gyaneshwer Chaubey chimes in: “According to Dr Gyaneshwer Chaubey, Estonian Biocentre, Tartu, Estonia, who was another Indian member of the team, the leaders of Dravidian political parties may have to find another answer for their raison d’être.”

A clear, political statement based on wrong science: see immediately below. By Dravidian parties he means those restricted to Tamil Nadu. Well, Karnataka, Kerala and Andhra too speak Dravidian, as do many tribes in Central India (Gonds, etc.)

“We have proved that people all over India have common genetic traits and origin. All Indians have the same DNA structure. No foreign genes or DNA has entered the Indian mainstream in the last 60,000 years,” Dr Chaubey said.”

Sorry, *all Indians* with the same DNA structure? Their own paper says differently. He could also say that all ex-Africa populations have the same genetic origin…

And no “foreign” genes? What about all these Persians, Greek/Macedonians, Saka, Kushana, Huns, Arabs 711 CE+, Muslim Turks (1000+, 1200 CE+), Mughals, Afghans 1700 CE, Portuguese, etc., British….? Sure, they all never had Indian wives…

“Dr Chaubey had proved in 2009 itself that the Aryan invasion theory is bunkum. “That was based on low resolution genetic markers. This time we have used autosomes, which means all major 23 chromosomes, for our studies. The decoding of human genome and other advances in this area help us in unraveling the ancestry in 60,000 years,” he explained.”

I hope he will learn to distinguish between the Out Of Africa migration, the Neolithic one from western Asia around 10,000 y.a. (detailed in this very paper!), and the trickling in of Indo-Aryan pastoral speakers c.1500 BCE??

4. Said geneticists *still* cannot distinguish between speakers of a particular language and their genes. Writing in English — are Lalji Singh and Gyaneshwer both Anglo-Saxons? Or me, for that matter?

It is one thing to explain genetic results to the gullible public, but to confuse them with wrong data from linguistics, archaeology etc. is despicable.

5. “According to Prof Singh, Dr Chaubey, and Dr Kumarasamy Thangaraj, another member of the team, the findings disprove the caste theory prevailing in India.”

???

“Interestingly, the team found that instead of Aryan invasion, it was Indians who moved from the subcontinent to Europe. “That’s the reason behind the findings of the same genetic traits in Eurasiain regions,” said Dr Thangaraj, senior scientist, CCMB.

Well, as detailed in my last note, the well-known northward movement into N. Eurasia from South Asia during the warm period around 40,000 years ago, has NOTHING to do with the 19th century’s “Aryan Invasion,” dated around 1500 BCE! I suppose they can count and calculate?

6. Finally, the unavoidable dot on the i, from the ubiquitous Dr K., — who has nothing to do with this genetic paper or topic. Bad choice by the DNA newspaper!

“Africans came to India through Central Asia during 80,000 to 60,000 BCE and they moved to Europe sometime around 30,000 BCE. The Indian Vedic literature and the epics are all silent about the Aryan-Dravidian conflict,” said Dr S Kalyanaraman, a proponent of the Saraswathi civilization which developed along the banks of the now defunct River Saraswathi.”

Through Central Asia?? There is no evidence at all for this, neither archaeologically or otherwise. Central Asia — deserts and all — was settled, pace Wells, only much later. Dr K. is not up to date: Rumania was reached
already by 42 kya…

As for “Vedic literature and the epics are all silent about the Aryan-Dravidian conflict”, he should re-read the Rgveda (in Sanskrit), not the outdated 100 year old English translation of Griffith. The non-Indo-Aryan speaking populations there (Dasyu, Daasa) clearly are in conflict with Indo-Aryan speakers…

Finally, having studied *administration* (PhD Manila), he is not up to date on archaeology either. The Harappan civilization developed in the Piedmont west of the subcontinent (see books by the late G. Possehl) and it spread eastward, also to the Ghagghar-Hakra river, which Dr K anachronistically calls, in Hindutva fashion, Sarasvati — well before the river got its Vedic name, c.1200 BCE.

In sum: for all discussants: as the old proverb has it, “shoemaker, stick to your own tools”!

‘nough said.

Michael

On Dec 11, 2011, at 11:50 AM, Michael Witzel wrote:

> This paper  has been out for a few days, and I got a copy from a co-author, one of my Estonian friends.
>
> I have immediately protested to them and have also critiqued the comments published by DNA. Note that the latter comments are attributed just to three (not all!) Indian co-authors, but do not come from the slew of other authors. The reason, as usual, seems to be politics and notoriety (to attract more finances?)
>
> To set the record straight, a few general remarks first:
>
> 1. There is nothing new in the result about an early Out of Africa movement (to South Asia) of *anatomically modern humans* (not Neanderthals, Denisovans, Homo Erectus) at c. 65-75 kya. There are some hints about earlier dates but they are based on debatable stone artifacts, not skeletons.
>
> 2. And we also knew well about the movements from there to northern Eurasian areas during the warm period around c. 40,000 BCE: archaeologically attested by skeletons, both in the Beijing area (Zhoukoudian c.40 kya, via S.E. Asia), and in Europa (Rumania, c. 42 kya).
>
> See my friend Peter Underhill (Stanford) et al. 2010 paper:
>
> 3. Obviously this early movement has nothing to do with the current Hindutvavadin theory of an “Out Of India” move of the Indo-Europeans, who would have settled Europe: that would be tens of thousands of years later. (The same mistake was made during the CA schoolbook affair … by a CA biologist! They never learn…)
>
> For a popular overview with maps see St. Oppenheimer’s website  or that of the National Geographic.
>
> Around 40,000 BCE there were neither “Aryans” nor Indo-Europeans around, not even speakers of the giant Nostratic language family, at best of the still earlier hypothetical Borean super-language family, proposed by my friend, the Africanist Harold Fleming (see WIKI). Likewise, no Dravidian language family yet, which may in fact be part of Nostratic anyhow.
>
> This northward move is a general phenomenon, as is the subsequent severe contraction southward during the last Ice age around 20 kya, when the four or five major human types (not “races”) developed in isolation: Europe, S.Asia, (Sunda Land: S.E. Asia), E. Asia, Sahul Land (New Guinea-Australia), — for example with two separate, independent mutations producing white skin color in Europe and in East Asia.
>
> 3. The paper by my Boston geneticist friend David Reich et al. has shown that South Asia has two ancient population segments evolving from the early Out of Africa people around 40 kya, the ‘Ancestral North Indians’ (ANI), (genetically close to Middle Easterners, Central Asians, and Europeans) and the ‘Ancestral South Indians’ (ASI), so named after I had cautioned him and Nick Patterson about the political danger involving the naming of these groups. As you can see, even this nomenclature did not help to dispel preconceived Hindutva bias about “Aryans” and Dravidians.
>
> At 40 kya there were no “Aryans” and no “Dravidians” around yet.
>
> 4. If we then want to speak about “Aryans” (more correctly: speakers of Indo-Aryan language) and speakers of the early Dravidian language at all, we first of all have to disconnect language from ethnicity or “race”. I am not an Anglo-Saxon, just because I speak and write in English here, nor are Chaubey, Singh and Thangaraj.
>
> Language can change within 2 generations, as all Americans know and as Indians *should* know: not just in large cities, but also in tribal areas where people take over the dominant regional language, for obvious social reasons.
>
> The 3 Indian geneticists quote by DNA confuse language use with genetic setup, ethnicity, culture, religion etc. All of them easily (and *mutually*) transgress genetic boundaries.
>
> 5. If when then speak about Indo-Aryans or Dravidians at c. 3500 years ago, and want to link them with genetic data, we must take into account that all these studies are based on modern DNA, and depend on *assumed* mutation rates (going back to the Chimpazee-Human split of 5-7 million years ago); the genetic results thus provide good *relative* dates, but not absolute dates.
>
> Absolute dates (just as in linguistic reconstructions) need to be supported by outside evidence, such as finds of skeletons of anatomically modern humans, as mentioned above. (By the way these are earlier at Lake Mungo in Australia at c. 50 kya and Europe/China than in South Asia, where they only appear in Sri Lanka at c.30 kya. Facetiously: an Out of Australia migration to Eurasia?)
>
> 6. Worse, there are huge error bars in all these models. It may not matter very much if we have error bars of some 10,000 years for the Out of Africa move, but for the period around 1500 BCE, we still have error bars of 3000 years, which makes all pronouncements about a non-existent “Aryan” move into South Asia, based on current genetic data, very moot indeed.
>
> The “Western Asian/Central Asian” strain in northern India/Pakistan (as per this paper by Metspalu et al.) may well be due to Persian, Greek/Makedonian, Saka, Kushana, Hun, Arab (711 CE+), Islamic Turks 1000 CE/1200 CE, Portuguese etc. (1500 CE+) or British gene influx.
>
> I will await the further, so far very uncertain resolution of the Y chromosome R1a haplogroup to form an opinion. Ra1a has been attributed to speakers of Indo-European (as it is prominent in Eastern Europe) but it also occurs throughout South Asia, tribal populations included. We need to know which sub-strain moved: when and where.
>
> 7. All of which leaves most of the comments by Singh, Thangaraj and Chaubey high and dry. More about them in my next message.
>
> An interesting weekend, apparently. Luckily, the semester is over…

> Cheers,
>
> Michael
>

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Filed under Anthropology, Antiquity, Asia, Asian, Cultural, Dravidian, East Indians, Eurasia, Genetics, History, India, Indo-European, Indo-Hittite, Language Families, Linguistics, Physical, Politics, Race/Ethnicity, Regional, South Asia, South Asians

An Anatolian Homeland For Indo-European?

That may be, but the part about “proto-Europeans” coming from the Lower Volga is bullshit. All archaeological, anthropological, linguistic, and genetic evidence (not to mention, evidence from indigenous pagan religions/mythologies) point to an Anatolian origin of the Indo-Europeans.

During the LGM, European hunter-gatherer groups gathered in some refugia in South Central Europe (Iberia, Western Balkans, Ukraine…) Northern Europe was almost entirely covered in glacier, as were the Alps, Caucasus, Pyrenees, and other major mountain ranges.

After the LGM, the scant remnant of Upper Paleolithic survivors moved back north, but Southern Europe was depopulated, only to be repopulated again by Near Eastern agriculturalists at the dawn of the Neolithic. These agro-pastoralists from the Anatolian-Levantine refugium brought farming, livestock, and copper to Europe. Among the earliest farmers were the Anatolian proto-Indo-Europeans.

The Basques are probably remnants of the Mesolithic survivor population. The purest descendants of these Near Eastern settlers are the Greeks, Albanians, Armenians, and at least some Italians -also the Turks, who inhabit the PIE origin land – ironically Turks, who speak a non-Indo-European Altaic language, are probably more Indo-European than most Indo-European speakers, especially Brits or Indians.)

Of course, there were other migrations around that time. A people closely related to the Mongols expanded westward across Siberia, over the Urals and into Scandinavia, following the deglaciation. They introduced Uralic languages (Finnish, Estonian, Hungarian, Lappish) into Europe, and the Lapps are their most direct descendants.

But we have strong reason to believe that Indo-European spread from the Near East (most likely North-Central Anatolia) chiefly due to agriculture, not from Western Europe (as some White Nationalists might believe) or from India/Pakistan (as many Hindu nationalists believe) or from Gimbutas’ fanciful Kurgan patriarchs (which Wikipedia deems as “official” and which you appear to take for granted).

[Actually, it surprises me that so many people take for granted some nutty hypothesis proposed by the Marxist-feminist Jewess Marija Gimbutas despite the lack of evidence or historical precedent. At least the Paleolithic Continuity Model is based on some evidence (albeit misinterpreted) and the Out-of-India hypothesis is based on understandable wishful thinking.]

Consider the following:

* As per your own model, virtually all Europeans cluster closely with each other and with Persians, Kurds, Caucasus folks, Jews, Turks, and some Semitic-speaking Levantines. Basques, North Africans, Arabs, and “West Asians” (i.e. Afghans) are minor outliers.

This interrelatedness suggests a strong demic diffusion and also implies that the stat that Europeans are 80% Upper Paleolithic and Mesolithic remnants but only 20% Neolithic colonists is considerably off. How else do you explain that Europeans are generally closer to Iranians than to Basques?

* While Indo-Europeans are/were indeed fairly heavily male-dominated (Gimbutas was at least correct about this), this follows from a Near Eastern origin, as the Middle East was, and still is, very patriarchal. Ironically, Gimbutas located the homeland of those “evil patriarchal invaders” who decimated the “feminist utopia” that neolithic European society (allegedly) was in Scythia, which is believed to be the source of the Amazon legends…

* Indo-European languages show relatively strong affinities to Semitic languages, and probably Kartvelian and Pelasgian languages (the latter may have actually been Indo-European, related to Hittite), possibly Ligurian (probably Indo-European and related to both Celtic and Italic languages), and even Etruscan (controversially). No such closeness to Iberian (Basque), Ural-Altaic, or Dravidian languages.

* The oldest evidence of Indo-European languages comes from Anatolia (Hittite) and the Aegean (Greek in Linear B). Minoan (in Linear A) remains undeciphered and may have been related. Archaeological records demonstrate a settled native population.

* Even the pagan religions seem to cluster near the Anatolian centre. Zoroastrianism and the Indic religions both descend from the Indo-Aryan religion, but the Persian religion is more similar to ancient European religious traditions than the Dharmic faiths are (because Hinduism absorbed some Harappan/Dravidian pre-Aryan influences.)

Greco-Roman and Germanic religions were more alike than either was akin to Celtic (Druidic) paganism, the Celts being more matriarchal and probably influenced by relatives of the Basques in Western Europe and the British Isles.

All this points to an origin for Indo-European in Neolithic Anatolia, but you ae probably correct that the Aryans (Indo-Iranians, not blonde Germanic supermen) came into Iran and India via Central Asia. Most likely route being a clockwise migration around the Caspian Sea…

Excellent commentary, fascinating stuff.

I actually agree with an Anatolian homeland for PIE, however, I also agree with a secondary spread from the Lower Volga. So, things are complicated. In fact, I argue that Indo-European is actually Indo-Hittite, with Anatolian being so far removed from the rest that it is actually a sister to the rest of the family. Just a look at Hittite shows you how archaic it is compared to the rest of the family.

The part about the Turks, Greeks, Albanians, Armenians, and at least some Italians being the remnants of the original IE people is probably true. So, in a sense, these are really the “original Whites.” Put that in your pipe and smoke it, Nordicists.

Gimbutas’ theory has always ween a bit nutty. There were no ancient matriarchies. As a female friend once said, men have always ruled. Why? She answered, “Men are bigger, men are stronger, men push women around and make them do what they want them to do.” Well, of course, and women are too weak to fight back.

As it is now, as it’s always been. In gender relations, it’s the law of the jungle. I also feel that matriarchies might have been inherently unstable, as I’m not sure that “female rule” works very well. We are having enough problems with what matriarchy we have in the West.

Patriarchy or male rule is sort of a bad deal for women, but at least it seems to “work.” And I have noticed that women from patriarchal cultures seem to be happiest in their femininity and in general. The men are masculine, the women are feminine, and everyone’s happy.

The more women rule, the more miserable women seem to be, and men never seem to be happy under female rule. For one thing, oddly enough, female rule tends to make women act masculine and men act feminine. Neither is a normal role model, and I argue that the more masculine a woman is, the more unhappy she is, and the more feminine a man is, the more unhappy he is. That ‘s possibly because they are violating nature itself. When you do that, nature fights back, possibly by making you miserable.

Surely IE is related to Afro-Asiatic and Kartvelian, but I disagree that it is less related to Uralic or Altaic, and I also disagree that Uralic and Altaic represent some family. Ligurian and Pelasgian are probably IE, but no one knows what Etruscan is.

I definitely agree that almost all Europeans are quite close to Persians, Kurds, Caucasus folks, Jews, Turks, and some Semitic-speaking Levantines. It is interesting how close the Caucasians are to each other. Most Caucasians are much closer to each other than other major races are. There is much larger differentiation among NE and SE Asians, Aborigines, Papuans and for sure Africans than there is among Caucasians.

A lot of the rest of the post is rather over my head.

All around, a great comment. The rest of you may feel free to chime in if you have any thoughts or anything to add.

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The Aryans of Asia

Here are some comments from a recent post. My remarks will follow.

“How do you account then for the genetic divide between Indian Caucasoids and Australoids? Given that archeological evidence has revealed the Harrapans to be Dravidian, where did the Caucasoids come from?”

Can you prove that the Caucasoids came at the same time as the indo-Aryan languages? If there had been earlier Caucasoid migration then they could have either acquired the Dravidian languages or they could have taken a part in creating them. I think it is kind of hard to peg a language to a race.

Especially when the area is so close to the central Asian steppe, which is the site of much racial and cultural mixing and has been since time immemorial. For example, many people would see Turkic as being a language associated with yellow people. This holds some water because every Turkic speaking country has a sizable Mongoloid genetic element.

However, that could also occur if the language was spawned from communities of Caucasoid/Mongoloid mixes. For example descriptions of the Kirghiz in the past are different that what the Kirghiz look like now.

“The early Kirghiz of the upper Yenisei River, who appear in seventh-century Chinese sources as pale, blond, and green eyed, later migrated westward, tangled with the Kalmyks, and acquired predominantly Mongoloid features. The Kirghiz became “Oriental”, in short, by migrating westward.” Cater Vaughn Findlay, The Turks in World History

So he says their appearance changed towards a more Mongoloid one after centuries of interbreeding, but it can be asked, how did they get to look like Caucasoid in the first place? It seems unlikely that Caucasoids would have originated the language because the Yakuts are another Turkic speaking people and they only have a minute amount of Caucasoid genes compared to the rest of the Turkic world.

Maybe they had more extreme interbreeding? I don’t really know. My point is that pinning a racial phenotype to a language is a tricky business if possible at all.

” In Iran, we can see the transition from Avestan to Sassanid Pahlavi and then finally to Farsi.”

There’s a major problem with this statement. You’re starting off Iranian linguistic history with Avestan, an Indo-European language. In reality, Iranian history starts with the Kingdom of Elam before the Indo-European invaders. The Elamite language is not Indo-European. Some say it is and isolate. Some say it is Afro-Asiatic. Most interestingly for this thread, some say it is Dravidian. Either way it is not genetically related to Avestan or any other IE language.

” How did the language suddenly transform from the Dravidian script to Sanskrit?”

I can’t explain that. All I can say is that scripts are often changed with political movements. For example, in the 20th century the Soviet Union was changing all kinds of scripts. Turkic languages that had once been written in Arabic script were rewritten using Cyrillic. So was Tajik.

So Tajik is in Cyrillic and Persian/Dari are in Arabic script. Moldovan is written in Cyrillic and Romanian in Latin letters despite the fact that they the same language. Language modernization happened after political movements in China and Turkey. Turkey itself is interesting in this regard.

The Anatolian Turkish language has been written in Arabic, Greek, and Armenian scripts in the past. When the Greeks conquered northern south Asia the Greek alphabet was used for the Bactrian language.

This alphabet change may be as a result of that as well.

I’m not claiming expert knowledge here. I just trying to grapple with some alternatives to the narrative of a biological invasion.

The Kirghiz are quite simply Aryans. Remains of Proto Indo-Iranians have been found in the Kurgan area. 60% of them had light hair and blue or green eyes. The Pastmist blog, though in French, has excellent photos of what are possibly the original Aryan or Indo-European types of Asia.

The Kazakhs and even the Altai were described in a similar way as the Kirghiz above – they were said to be quite White until 2700 YBP or so when Turkic invaders moved through, bringing many Mongolian genes and a Turkic language. It’s not known what the Kazakhs and Kirghiz were speaking before they spoke Turkic.

It’s highly probable that many to most of the people portrayed on the Pastmist site are the remains of Indo-Europeans or Aryans. One mystery is the Burusho or Burushaski, who look White but speak a non-Indo-European language not related to any other tongue. So how did the Burusho get so White if they are not Aryans?

Nevertheless, I think it quite clear that the reason the northern Indians look so much more European than the Southern Indians is due to Indo-European genes. I can’t see how there can be any other explanation.

Yes, it is thought that the Harappan culture was Dravidian-speaking, but no one knows for sure. The Harappan script was not so much abandoned as it simply went extinct. The Indus Valley Civilization collapsed. That means that people were no longer using the script, and no one quite knows that that script is anyway. It’s never been deciphered and it may be more hieroglyphic than an actual alphabetical script.

The best guess for a relative to Elamite might be Dravidian, but it’s not proven.

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More Out of India Madness

We continue to have crazies coming here proposing the OIT (Out of India Theory) of Indo-European. The theory is a pitiful joke and has virtually no support among any mainstream academics. In fact, it is so ludicrous that the mainstream does not even bother to respond to the respond to the arguments, because they are deemed not worthy of response.

What is sad, and frightening, is that almost every intelligent or intellectual Indian I have ever met is a fervent supporter of the OIT. They have all the arguments down pat, and they roll them right out for you. Supporting the OIT goes along with opposition to the Aryan Migration Theory (AMT) which the Indians hate. The idea is that “our history came from the White man.”

Indians hate Whites, mostly due to British colonialism, so the idea that the White man came to India and gave them quite a bit of their civilization and their religion is resisted ferociously.

What’s pitiful is that the smartest Indians believe the most insane and stupid things. There is something deeply sick and wrong with Indians, and Indian nationalism and Hindu nationalism are exemplary of that sickness. As with all fanatic nationalisms, Indian nationalism stems from deep-seated feelings of inferiority. This sense of inferiority was magnified by colonialism.

In recent years, the rejection has spread to all things Western. I know an Indian man who almost refuses to patronize Western medicine, I suppose because it is the medicine of the White man. Instead, he believes in some weirdness called Ayurvedic medicine. His fury and hatred towards Western medicine is shocking to behold.

Nevertheless, their ridiculous arguments must be refuted, because they have so much support inside India, along with some support outside of India.

That they have support outside India can be seen in the comments of Sojournertroof in the comments section. This fellow is an anti-White White man. He supports the OIT simply because it is anti-White, that is, the OIT is in opposition to the AMT which is seen as a pro-White theory.

Hydrology. Much of the OIT is based, believe it or not, on hydrology. It is true that rivers in the north of India all have Indo-Aryan names, not Dravidian or Munda names. Dravidian and Munda were the language families spoken in India before the arrival of the Indo-Aryans. The idea is that since the Indo-Aryans were migrants, some of the earlier names should have been retained. Since they were not, obviously, the Aryans must have been indigenous to India.

What must have occurred was total replacement of the earlier names with new names for the rivers. As language replacement in North India was total (all North Indians speak Indo-Aryan languages) apparently they changed the old names of the rivers to new Indo-Aryan names.

The Sarasvati River. This is one of their favorite arguments. The argument goes something along the lines that this river existed 6000 YBP, and therefore the OIT is correct.

No one quite knows what river we are referring to here. The Sarasvati appears to be two rivers. The earliest Rigveda references are probably to the Helmand River in Afghanistan. Later references are to the Ghaggar River. But the Sarasvati is always this sort of mystical unseen river in the Rigveda. It became fuzzy and mystical early on. So all arguments about the Sarasvati are null and void anyway.

The OIT is counterintuitive. Exactly what evidence is there that IE speakers left India, moving north towards the steppes 6500 YBP, then moved to Persia 5000 YBP, then moved to Arabia and Anatolia 4000 YBP? Yet somehow it took them a full 2,500 years to even cross the Ural River. The theory is insane.

After much debate, in the 1990’s, the Journal of Indo-European Studies (JIES) granted the OIT folks a chance to show their stuff. The issue was so contentious that JIES had to void peer review in order to publish the issue, which was authored by an OIT proponent named Kazanas. Kazanas is a crank operating out of Greece who has picked up on the OIT. In the next two issues of JIES, Kazanas was utterly demolished, and the matter has not come up again.

Lack of memories of an Urheimat. An Urheimat is a homeland. The homeland of the Indo-Aryans is in the north, on the steppes of Russia. Yet there is a lack of legends of memories of this homeland or any migration, so this is said to be evidence that there was no AMT. However, most peoples lack memories of their migrations from wherever they came from to wherever they ended up. This is true even in Europe. The Greeks had no memories of any immigration to their lands, though they clearly came from somewhere.

Nevertheless, Harvard professor and Sanskrit expert Michael Witzel notes:

It has frequently been denied that the Rig Veda contains any memory or information about the former homeland(s) of the Indo-Aryans. […] However, in the RV there are quite a few vague reminiscences of former habitats, that is, of the Bactria-Margiana area, situated to the north of Iran and Afghanistan, and even from further afield.

Such a connection can be detected in the retention by the Iranians of Indo-Aryan river names and in the many references in the RV to mountains and mountain passes.

Also, there are some sources in the Vedas or in the Gathas that point toward a migration of the Indo-Iranians from Central Asia, including the Zend Avesta – Vendidad: Fargard 1:

“…There (Airyanem Vaejah – “Land of the Aryans”) are ten winter months there, two summer months; and those are cold for the waters, cold for the earth, cold for the trees…”

That is a description of the cold steppes of Central Asia. There are also descriptions of warfare being waged by the semi-nomadic Vedic and Avestan populations against urbanized people who were not “Arya.”

The sequence of the AMT was as follows: The speakers of the linguistically slightly later, though still pre-Iron Age Indo-Aryan language, then moved into Arachosia (*Sarasvatī > Avestan Hara aitī), Swat (Suvåstu) and Punjab (Sapta Sindhu), before 3200-3000 YBP – depending on the local date of the introduction of iron.

We can trace the movements of the AMT by the introduction of iron, that is, they brought metals with them, in particular iron smelting technology. They also brought stone forts, chariots and horses. We can trace all of these things in the archeological record and they are powerful evidence for the AMT.

Recently, Armenians have come out with an Armenian Theory of Indo-European which states that Armenia was the homeland of Indo-European. It is almost universally rejected, yet pitifully it has much more support for it than there is for the OIT.

Genetic evidence. One of the major R1 clades, R1a1, associated with Indo-European, has indeed been traced back to India. However, this is not evidence for the OIT, since this clade goes back to 18,000 YBP, long before IE existed into far pre-IE times. Long after the clade was birthed, some members of the clade left India to go towards Europe and the steppes, where they became the IE peoples. There is a lot of debate going on now about R1a1, but none of the points being debated detract from the theory of Bronze Age Indo-Aryans moving into India.

There are also reports that there are little to no Central Asian genes in Indians, that is, there are few if any genetic markers of Aryan migration. Yet many invasions leave no genetic trace later on, and genetics generally gives little to no support for or against prehistoric migrations. It’s quite common. For instance, there is no trace of Italian genes in the British, but does this prove that there was no Roman invasion? Clearly, there was a Roman invasion.

There are also few to no Central Asian genes in Europeans either, but Europeans speak IE languages, and these languages came out of the steppes. By the way, there are also no South Asian genes in Europeans. We should expect some of those if OIT is correct, no?

Anthropomorphic evidence. What do IE speakers look like? They look like Europeans. Even the IE speakers in Central and South Asia look quite European. Afghans, Pakistanis, Iranians and North Indians look strikingly European. This is because of their IE roots. The IE people were an European/Caucasoid appearing people. Notice the striking difference in appearance between North Indians and South Indians or Dravidians.

If IE speakers all came out of India and moved to Europe, everyone should look like people from India. But this is not the case. Even Iranians don’t look like people from India. No one does. Only people from India look like Indians.

There is indeed a Dravidian substrate in Indo-Aryan, which is what would be expected if Dravidian speakers gave up speaking Dravidian and started speaking Indo-Aryan. It’s true that there are few Dravidian loans, and the substrate cannot be seen in hydrology. But the substrate is nevertheless clear, as is influence on Indo-Aryan from Munda languages.

Thomason and Kaufman note that the substrate looks like what we would expect in the case of language shift, and language shift is what occurred as Dravidian speakers shifted to Indo-Aryan. The Dravidian speakers appear to have shifted to Indo-Aryan yet retained their Dravidian accent.

Among IE tongues, only Indo-Aryan has a full set of phonemic contrasting retroflex consonants. Dravidian also has a full set of phonemic contrasting retroflex consonants dating all the way back to proto-Dravidian. Obviously, this set was borrowed from Dravidian into Indo-Aryan.

In terms of Dravidian loans, there are in fact some:

Parpola writes:

…numerous loanwords and even structural borrowings from Dravidian have been identified in Sanskrit texts composed in northwestern India at the end of the second and first half of the first millennium BCE, before any intensive contact between North and South India. External evidence thus suggests that the Harappans most probably spoke a Dravidian language.

Mallory:

The most obvious explanation of this situation is that the Dravidian languages once occupied nearly all of the Indian subcontinent, and it is the intrusion of Indo-Aryans that engulfed them in north India leaving but a few isolated enclaves.

Zero evidence of Munda and Dravidian influence in the rest of IE. If IE came out of India, all IE languages should show influence of Munda and Dravidian. Instead, only Indo-Aryan does. Therefore, Indo-Aryan moved into India and came in contact with Munda and Dravidian, and IE could not possibly have come out of India.

No accounting for IE once out of India. The OIT is great at talking about the Indian origin of IE, but is terrible at anything outside of that. There is no account of models of language development of IE after leaving India, or how IE is supposed to have spread elsewhere. Once IE is out of India, the OIT folks forget about their theory. It’s crazy.

Timeframes in the Rigveda. There is no reliable historical dating of anything in India prior to the 1500’s. So all Indian texts prior to that time must be treated very dubiously in terms of dating. There is no way to date anything in the Rigveda reliably, since the Rigveda uses no reliable method for dating.

Hindu culture is strongly ahistoric. It is not interested in dates and events. The fact that Hindu culture is so hostile to history itself and so lacking any sense of history is what opens up this whole field for debate. Hindus simply lack the ability to imagine that there is such a thing as historical change.

Archeoastronomy. This is a very dubious field. B. B. Lal uses archeoastronomy in an effort to buttress his OIT. However, the use of this method is treacherous. The model attempts to date astronomical events on the basis of astronomical calculations and is rife with error and speculation. Nevertheless, there are archeoastonomical journals. Lal’s theory has never been submitted to or discussed in any of these journals, therefore the validity of his claims is dubious. Even Lal notes that his theory is widely discredited.

The Bangani language. This language is referred to nowadays as Garhwali. Claus Peter Zoller claimed to have found Centum elements in Garhwali, which if true, would boost the OIT. Centum is part of the Satem-Centum split in IE that occurred about 4000 YBP with the splitoff of Indo-Aryan from the rest of IE. The split occurred on the steppes of Central Asia. Zoller made his claim eight years ago. No one believed him at the time, and that’s where the debate stands.

It appears that what he found instead dates from the Indo-Greek or Kushan periods of Indian history and has somehow persisted for about 2,000 years. That’s remarkable if true, but in no way does it support OIT. At any rate, most scholars don’t even believe that there is any Centum left in Garhwali, and most who do are fringe cases. Bangani-Centum is discredited and lies in ruins.

Occam’s Razor. OIT is so complex. India is a marginal area of IE distribution, not a central area. The main area of IE languages, with the greatest variety, is in Europe, especially southeastern Europe. This is obviously the linguistic center of gravity for IE. If OIT was true, we would not expect India to be such a marginal territory for IE languages.

OIT requires more and longer migrations than the standard theory in order for all of the branches to leave India. It requires a much more complex chronology in terms of isoglosses and archeology. The archaic shared isoglosses such as Satem/Centum are in Central Asia. Further, it requires the re-invention of the chariot by Indians, since they could not have acquired the Aryan chariot from Aryan migrants.

It requires all sorts of complex arguments of internal Indo-Aryan development to explain what appears to be substrate influence from Dravidian. In addition, all of this internal mess must have occurred in a short period of time – from the time between when the last Indic group left India to the beginning of the writing of the Rigveda. In contrast, the Dravidian substrate theory is much simpler.

The Kurgan theory is better. The Kurgan people fit the accepted time frame, expand their territory archeologically with time and have the basic cultural patterns of an IE people close to the center of linguistic diversity. Therefore, the Kurgan theory fits the IE model much better than OIT.

OIT requires an early dating of the Rigveda. The Rigveda is the ultimate book of Hindu literature. OIT proponents take the Rigveda back as far as 6000 years, but this is not possible, as the split between Indic and the rest of Indo-Aryan happened no earlier than 4000 years ago, even according to OIT. Furthermore, such an ancient date for the Vedas would have to reflect a Stone Age society, and the Vedas do not reflect that. The Rigveda cannot possibly be dated further back than 3,500-4000 YBP.

OIT seems to require a 7000 YBP date for the Rigveda. This is beyond the realm of possibility. Chariots? Horses? Stone forts? Metals? The culture of the early Rigveda is 2nd millennium BCE – 3,000-4,000 YBP. The Bronze Age. It’s as clear as air.

Vedic is much older than Hittite. This is a central claim of OIT folks and is necessary for their argument. It’s patently ridiculous.

Sanskrit is archaic. So what? So are Greek and Hittite, and none date back but a few thousand years. Ancient traits in IE are most commonly observed in Baltic and Hittite. Do IE reconstructions appear Vedic? Not at all. PIE look nothing like Vedic.

Horses. Horses are not indigenous to India. Horses are often seen on Vedic Aryan seals dating back 2,500-3,000 YBP. Obviously, horses, along with iron, came with the Aryan migrants.

PIE culture. The reconstructed PIE language does not fit with India. It fits with a much colder place, probably to the north of India on the steppes. India had a highly civilized culture before the arrival of the Aryans – these were the Dravidians. The PIE people did not have a highly civilized culture – instead, they were nomads, pastoralists and horse-riding warriors.

For OIT to be correct, the highly civilized Indians would have had to have lost the civilization and degenerated into a less civilized nomadic culture without writing or architecture (they lost their writing and architecture with the move to the steppes) after they left India, which then went to Europe.

This does not follow according to history. Less civilized cultures develop into more civilized ones and not the other way around. According the standard theory, less civilized Aryans contacted more civilized Dravidians and the result was Indian high culture – the Aryans went from a less civilized stage to a more civilized one, as we expect.

Early dates for Indo-Aryan don’t prove OIT. Early dates for Indo-Aryan are compatible with standard theories of IE development. The Anatolian homeland theory, which I subscribe to, pushes Indo-Aryan back to 4,600 YBP, which seems a stretch. Renfrew pushes Proto-Indo-Aryan all the way back to 5,000 YBP.

Red herrings. OIT proponents have all sorts of red herrings about the AMT. One of them is “there was no Aryan invasion.” But AMT proponents have abandoned the invasion theory a long time ago. Another is that there is no way that inferior horse-riding nomads of the steppes could have create the wonderfully complex language of Sanskrit, the Vedas, complex Indian culture, etc.

First of all, cultural complexity and linguistic complexity are not the same thing. Uncivilized peoples can speak very complex languages. Anyway, nomads did not bring fully-formed Sanskrit to India. Sanskrit, the Vedas, Hinduism, etc. were created in India by the confluence between Aryans and Dravidians.

This is a frankly racist argument anyway – that Central Asians were too stupid to create the great Indian culture – only wonderful Indians could do that. There is also a racist assumption that Sanskrit is better than other languages – or that it is the greatest language of all.

Physical anthropology. Skeletons look similar all over India for many thousands of years, so there is no evidence of an Aryan migration. Skeletons look similar all over Europe for thousands of years too. Continuity is typical in anthropology.

Northern Dravidian. There are isolated pockets of Dravidian speakers in the northern part of South Asia. These are obviously the remnants of a large area in northern South Asia that was entirely Dravidian speaking. Indo-Aryan speakers moved in, and there was mass language shift except for a few pockets here and there, the lingering pockets being just as we would expect in the case of mass language shift.

Horses. Horses have long been associated with IE societies, even in the Vedas. However, there were no horses in India at the time of the supposed migration out of India.

Impression of validity. Most of the arguments for the OIT are misleading, gratuitous, irrelevant or biased. They are pushed by kooks, nuts, chauvinists and fringe types. Mainstream academics usually don’t consider them worthy of a reply, contradiction or debunking, so the OIT arguments remain unanswered. This gives the impression that the theory carries some kind of weight. This is the case with a lot of fringe science, and OIT is very much fringe science.

Linguistic center of gravity. The linguistic center of gravity for IE is in Europe, specifically somewhere around the Balkans. Most branches are in Europe – Italic, Celtic, Germanic, Baltic, Slavic, Albanian, Greek and various extinct branches. The Balkans seems to be the center of gravity for IE, clearly not where IE originated, but possibly a secondary spread inside of Europe. Central and South Asia appear to be ruled out.

Confusion of arguments. Typically, OIT arguments take the form of, “There was no Aryan migration into India.” That is, they argue against the AMT and not for the OIT. They waste all their breath on the AMT, attempting to disprove it, but then when evidence comes for migration out of India as required by the OIT, they are silent. OIT and AMT are separate arguments. You do not prove OIT by “disproving” AMT.

References

Mallory, JP. 1998. “A European Perspective on Indo-Europeans in Asia.” In: The Bronze Age and Early Iron Age Peoples of Eastern and Central Asia. Ed. Mair. Washington DC: Institute for the Study of Man. 

Parpola, Asko. 1998. “Aryan Languages, Archaeological Cultures, and Sinkiang: Where Did Proto-Iranian Come into Being and How Did It Spread?”, in Mair, The Bronze Age and Early Iron Age Peoples of Eastern and Central Asia. Washington, D.C.: Institute for the Study of Man.

Witzel, Michael. May 2001. Autochthonous Aryans? The Evidence from Old Indian and Iranian Texts. Electronic Journal of Vedic Studies 7(3): 1-11.

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The Out of India Model for Indo-European

Related to “There was no Aryan Invasion” folks, mostly Hindu nationalists and Indian nationalists.

Out of India Model. Unfortunately, the Wikipedia page makes it seem somewhat plausible. It’s not. Not plausible, that is. It’s nonsense. Indo-European speakers did not come out of India. India is not the homeland of the Indo-Europeans. The true homeland is in far southern Russia north of the Caucasus, or, even better, in Anatolia.

This is what really happened: an Indo-Aryan migration. Read through that piece and it becomes quite clear that this is what really happened. Part of the problem is with the word invasion. There was no invasion. They just moved in.

Michael Witzel, a Sanskritist, has been in the forefront of attacking the Out of India model. Here is a good page savaging most of their arguments. He takes apart one of their leader proponents, N. Kazanas of Greece, a guy who is little more than a dilettante. It takes a little while to get through this stuff as it’s a bit heavy going, but I was able to do it. Once you do it, the Out of India Theory lies in ruins.

One of the OOI arguments is that Indo-Aryan peoples have no memory of a migration. But who does anyway? Most IE peoples do not remember their obvious migrations either. Romans said they came from Troy. This is a lie. Gypsies say they came from Egypt. Fiction.

Here is an argument against an Indo-Aryan incursion:

we have an archaeologically attested culture of many centuries if not millennia with undoubted literacy but without any traces of religious texts, legal codes, scientific works and even simple secular fables (except most laconic legends on indecipherable seals), and, in quick succession, even as the older culture declines, an intrusive illiterate people with no archaeological attestation at all who yet produce within a few centuries (according to the AIT) all the literature that was missing from the previous culture.

This is a unique situation that makes little sense.

However, this very thing happened in Greece. First, a Minoan cult, a Helladic civilization, but no literary texts, then, in a few centuries, then, within a few centuries, an explosion of literature, poetry, religion, philosophy, the Homeric texts, etc. Further, it does not produce “all the literature that was missing from the previous civilization. It produces new literature at a very rapid pace – see the Yayoi invasion of Japan from Korea and the rapid replacement of the Jomon culture for something similar.

Another argument is that archeologically, the record of civilization in India is continuous – that is, there is no obvious disruption dating from an Aryan invasion. However, as a general rule, culture, archeologically, is continuous in all parts of the world. Culture is continuous in Europe too, and we know full well that Indo-Europeans took over and supplanted earlier groups. Is there a record of this takeover culturally? Well no, but it happened.

However, keep in mind that horses and chariots showed up with the Indo-Aryans and were not found in India previously. OOI folks say silly things like, “Egyptians had chariots too” (Point being?). Anyway, horses and chariots did not develop in India. They came down from the steppes with the I-A speakers.

Surely if OOI is true than Sanskrit would be the most ancient IE language. It’s not at all. It only goes back 3,500 years too. The Anatolian branch may well date back 8,000 years.

If OOI is true than borrowings from other Indian languages such as Dravidian and Munda would be found in all branches of IE, no? But of course they are only found in Indic, which we would expect if Indic speakers migrated into India and not out of it.

Going back to pre-Indo-Aryan times, paleontologists find differences between bones even between Mohenjo Daro and Harappa. Also, there are no I-A bones found here. Of course not. Aryans will not show up for 1000’s of years.

Yes, Harappans built wheels, but they built no spoke-wheeled chariot. This came only with the Aryans. OOI folks have no explanation for this.

Indeed, Aryan chariots are built from woods from the Punjab plain, not wood from say the steppes. But this is not a valid OOI argument. Invaders always use whatever is available. Aryan immigrants brought chariot technology with them from the steppes. To make chariots in their new homeland, they used local wood. This is surprising?

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Journeys in Asian Prehistory

Repost from the old site.

In this post we will look at the prehistory of the Asian or Mongoloid Race and some its subgroups. After humans came out of Africa about 70,000 years ago, they moved along the coast of Arabia, Southwest Asia, South Asia and eventually to Southeast Asia.

One Asian man’s rendering of modern Asian expansion, contrasted with the typical model. I don’t agree with either model, but I like the one on the left a little better. For starters, the yellow line on the map to the left should be hugging the coast quite closely and the brown and red lines should be radiating out from a base somewhere along the yellow line. Unfortunately, my artistic skills are not good enough to draw my own map.

We think that these people looked something like the Negritos of today, such as those on the Andaman Islands.

At some point, probably in Southern China, the Mongoloid Race was born. The timeline, as determined by looking at genes, was from 60,000-110,000 years ago. As humans are thought to have only populated the world 70,000 years or so ago, it is strange that the timeline may go back as far as 110,000 years.

One thing that is very interesting is that there is evidence for regional continuity in Asia (especially China) dating back 100,000’s of years, if not millions of years. This is called the multiregional hypothesis of human development.

Though it is mostly abandoned today, it still has its adherents.

Some of its adherents are Asian nationalists of various types, especially Chinese and Indonesian nationalists. They all want to think that man was born in their particular country. Others are White nationalists who refuse to believe that they are descended from Africans, whom they consider to be inferior. The problem is that the Asians can indeed show good evidence for continuity in the skulls in their region.

A good midway point between the two, that sort of solves the conundrum, is that humans came out of Africa, say, ~70,000 years or so ago, and when they got to Asia, they bred in with some of the more archaic types there. The problem with this is that the only modern human showing evidence of pre-modern Homo genes in Mungo Man in Australia from 50,000 years ago.

There is evidence that as late as 120,000 years ago, supposedly fully modern humans in Tanzania were still transitioning from archaic to modern man. Ancient South African humans 100-110,000 yrs ago looked like neither Bantus nor Bushmen.

Nevertheless, we can reject the multiregional theory in its strong form as junk science. We also note cynically that once again ethnic nationalists and regular nationalists, including some of the world’s top scientists, are pushing a blatantly unscientific theory. Yet again ethnic nationalism is shown to be a stupidifying mindset.

There must be a reason why ethnic nationalism seems to turn so many smart people into total idiots. I suspect it lies in the fact that the basic way of thinking involved in ethnic nationalism is just a garbage way of looking at the world, and getting into it distorts one’s mind similar to the way a mental illness does.

We think that the homeland of the Asians is in Southern China, just north of the Vietnam border. This is because the people with the greatest genetic diversity in Asia are found in Northern Vietnam. Since the Vietnamese are known to have largely come from Southern China, we can assume that the homeland was just north of the border. From there, all modern Asians were born.

This means all NE and SE Asians, Polynesians, Micronesians and Melanesians came out of this Asian homeland.

School kids in Hothot, a town in Inner Mongolia. There is some question about whether China really has a right to control this area. These Northeast Asians originally came from a homeland in SE Asia near the China-Vietnam border. As this race is only 9,000 years old, NE Asians could not possibly have gone through an Ice Age that molded their brains for high intelligence, as the racist liar and scientific fraud Richard Lynn claims .

There is even evidence that the Altaics of Siberia originated from the SE Asian homeland. They are thought to have moved out of there to the west and north to become the various Altaic groups such as the Buryats. Later Caucasian lines came to the Altaics from the West.

A Mongolian man on the steppes with a grazing animal and possibly a yurt in the background. Yurts are conical structures that the Mongolians still live in. I believe that Mongolians also eat a lot of yogurt, which they cultivate from the milk of their grazing animals. Note the pale blue eyes and somewhat Caucasian appearance.

My astute Chinese commenter notes: “While Mongolians do have ‘Caucasian genes’, they look distinct from Uighurs, who are mixed. I’m thinking Mongolians and Central Asians lie in a spectrum between Caucasoids in West Asia and “Mongoloids” in Northeast Asians, while Uighurs were the product of Central Asian, West Asian, and Northeast Asian interbreeding.”

In fact, all of these populations are on the border genetically between Caucasians and Asians.

A Mongolian woman. Note short, stocky appearance with short limbs to preserve heat in the cold. Note also the long, moon-shaped, ruddy face, possibly red from the cold weather. Are those ginseng roots in her hand?

More Mongolians, this time with what look like grazing reindeer in the background. Mongolians herd reindeer? Note once again the long, flat, moon-shaped face, the almost-Caucasian features and especially the pale blue eyes of each woman. I cannot help but think that both of these women also look like Amerindians. Neither would be out of place at a pow wow.

More Mongolians, this time a Mongolian boy. Other than the eyes, he definitely looks Caucasian. He looks like a lot of the kids I grew up with in facial structure. Mongolians are anywhere from 10% Caucasian to 14% Caucasian.

From their Altaic lands, especially in the Altai region and the mouth of the Amur River, they moved into the Americas either across the Bering Straight or in boats along the Western US Coast. Another line went north to become the Northeast Asians. And from the Northeast Asian homeland near Lake Baikal, another line went on to become the Siberians.

An Evenki boy with his reindeer. Prototypical reindeer herders, the Evenki are a classical Siberian group. Strangely enough, they are related to both NE Asians and other Siberians and also to Tibetans. This indicates that the genesis of the Tibetans may have been up near or in Siberia.

From 10-40,000 yrs ago, the Siberian population was Mongoloid or pre-Mongoloid. After 10,000 yrs BP (before present), Caucasians or proto-Caucasians moved in from the West across the steppes, but they never got further than Lake Baikal. This group came from the Caucasus Mountains. They are members of the Tungus Race and are quite divergent from most other groups genetically.

More Evenkis, members of the Tungus Race, this time some beautiful women and kids in traditional costumes. But this photo was taken in some Siberian city, so they may have just been dressing up. They probably have some Caucasian genes, as the nearby Yakuts are 6% Caucasian. Many of the Evenki women have become single Moms, because the men are seen as violent, drunk and a financial drain.

Soon after the founding of the Asian homeland in northern Vietnam 53,000-90,000 yrs ago, the proto-Asians split into three distinct lines – a line heading to Japanese and related peoples, another heading to the North and Northeast Asians, and a third to the Southern Han Chinese and SE Asian lines.

A beautiful royal member of the Southern Han Dynasty in Hong Kong, member of the South China Sea Race. This race consists of the Filipinos, the Ami and the Southern Han from Guangdong Province. The Ami are a Taiwanese Aborigine tribe who made up the bulk of the Austronesians who populated much of island SE Asia over the past 8,000 years.

These Southern Chinese people never went through any Ice Age, and the SE Asian Race is only 10,000 years old anyway. So why are they so smart? Unlike some NE Asian groups, especially those around Mongolia, the Altai region, the Central Asian Stans and Siberia, the Han have no Caucasian in them.

A bright Chinese commenter left me some astute remarks about the South Chinese IQ: “Some possible reasons for high South Chinese IQ’s: Chinese culture is very… g-loaded. For example, understanding the language requires good pitch, recognizing Chinese characters takes visual IQ and good memory, Chinese literature and history span 3,000-4,000 years for references, etc.

For several thousand years testing determined your social position (and it still does to some extent in Confucian nations). Those left in the countryside were periodically left to famine and “barbarian” invasions (slaughter).

Likewise, when Chinese people interbreed, there is strong pressure to breed into the upper class of a native population. Whatever caused the high selection when Chinese and Mon-Khmer/Dai groups interbred probably gave the Chinese immigrants leverage to marry into the upper classes when they did. This is something the Asian diaspora still tends to do.”

Regarding South Chinese appearance, he notes, “Lastly, the Chinese in Fujian have distinct features. They have thicker lips, curlier hair, more prominent brow, less pronounced epicanthic folds, etc. I’m in Taiwan now and I do notice it. I was at a packed market a while ago and was noting the way people look.”

As a result of this split, all Chinese are related at a deep level, even though Northern Chinese are closer to Caucasians than to Southern Chinese. Nevertheless, we can still see a deep continuum amongst Asian populations.

A Northern Chinese man with distinctly Caucasian features. Although they have no Caucasian genes that we can see anymore, they are still closer to Caucasians than to the Southern Chinese.

The major genetic frequency found in Japan, Korea and Northern China is also found at very high levels in Southern China, Malaysia and Thailand, and at lower levels in the Philippines, Vietnam and Indonesia. Incredibly, even higher levels are found in Southern China, Malaysia and Thailand than in Northern China.

The proto-NE Asian or North Asian homeland was around Lake Baikal about 35,000 years ago. The Ainu and a neighboring group, the Nivkhi, are thought to be the last remaining groups left from this line. The Ainu are related to the Jomon, the earliest group in Japan, who are thought to have originated in Thailand about 16,000 years ago and then came up to Japan on boats to form the proto-Jomon.

The Jomon culture itself formally begins about 9,000 years ago. Japan at that time was connected to the mainland. Jomonese skulls found in Japan look something like Aborigines. Later, around 2,300 years ago, a group called the Yayoi came across the sea from Korea and moved into Japan.

The woman on the left is more Yayoi and the one on the right is more Okinawan. The Okinawans, members of the Ryukyuan Race, seem to be related to the Ainu, and they have a long history in the south of Japan. The Ryukyuan Race is a very divergent grouping.

Most Japanese are members of the Japanese-Korean Race (like the Yayoi woman at left) but there is a divergent group in the South called the Southern Japanese Race, made up of the Honshu Kinki (the people around Kyoto) and the island of Kyushu. They may be more Okinawan than the rest of the mainland Japanese.

Over the next 2,300 years, the Yayoi slowly conquered and interbred with the Ainu until at the present time, the Ainu are nearly extinct as a cultural and racial entity. The Ainu have always been treated terribly by the Japanese, in part because they are quite hairy, like Caucasians.

The hairy body is thought to be a leftover from proto-NE Asian days, as some other groups in that area also have a lot of body hair. Despite the fact that they look down on the Ainu, about 40% of Japanese are related to the Ainu, and the rest are more or less related to the Yayoi. Actually, Japanese genetics seems a lot more complicated than that, but that’s as good a summary as any.

The Ainu. Though despised by the Japanese in part due to their Caucasian-like “monkey hair” on their bodies (note the guy’s hairy legs), the Japanese themselves are about 40% Ainu. The Ainu are members of the Ainu-Gilyak Race and are one of the most diverse groups on Earth.

A photo of Ainu Yasli Adam in traditional garb. I love this photo. Note that he could be mistaken for an Aborigine or a Caucasian. For a long time, the Ainu were considered to be Caucasians, but recent genetic studies have shown conclusively that they are Asians.

The Ainu language is formally an isolate, but in my opinion it is probably related to Japanese and Korean and thence to Altaic, nevertheless I think that both Japanese and Korean are closer to Altaic than Ainu is. Genetically, the Ainu are closest to NE Asians but are also fairly close to the Na-Dene Amerindians. Cavalli-Sforza says they are in between NE Asians, Amerindians and Australians.

At this time, similar-looking Australoids who looked something like Papuans, Aborigines or Negritos were present all over Asia, since the NE Asians and SE Asians we know them today did not form until around 10,000 years ago.

There are still some traces of these genes, that look like a Papuan line, in modern-day Malays, coastal Vietnamese, parts of Indonesia and some Southwestern Chinese. The genes go back to 13,000 years ago and indicate a major Australoid population expansion in the area at that time. Absolutely nothing whatsoever is known about this Australoid expansion.

God I love these Paleolithic types. A Papuan Huli man, member of the Papuan Race, who looks somewhat like an Australian Aborigine. Although it is often said that Papuans and Aborigines are related, they are only in the deepest sense. In truth, they really do form two completely separate races because they are so far apart.

Once again, while Afrocentrists also like to claim these folks as “Black”, the Papuans and Aborigines are the two people on Earth most distant from Africans, possibly because they were the first to split off and have been evolving away from Africans for so long. I don’t know what that thing in his mouth is, but it looks like a gigantic bong to me. There are about 800 languages spoken on Papua, including some of the most maddeningly complex languages on Earth.

NE Asian skulls from around 10,000 years ago also look somewhat like Papuans, as do the earliest skulls found in the Americas. The first Americans, before the Mongoloids, were apparently Australoids.

The proto-NE Asian Australoids transitioned to NE Asians around 9,000 years ago. We know this because the skulls at Zhoukoudian Cave in NE China from about 10,000 years ago look like the Ainu, the Jomon people, Negritos and Polynesians.

Waitress in Hothot, Inner Mongolia. Zhoukoudian Cave is not far from here. Note the typical NE Asian appearance. Mongolians are members of the Mongolian Race and speak a language that is part of the Altaic Family.

We think that these Australoids also came down in boats or came over the Bering Straight to become the first Native Americans. At that time – 9-13,000 years ago, Zhoukoudian Cave types were generalized throughout Asia before the arrival of the NE Asians.

Northern Chinese prototypes from a photo of faculty and students at Jilin University in Northern China. People in this area, members of the Northern Chinese Race, are closely related to Koreans. Note the lighter skin and often taller bodies than the shorter, darker Southern Chinese. The man in the center is a White man who is posing with the Chinese in this picture.

My brother worked at a cable TV outfit once and there was a Northern Chinese and a Southern Chinese working there. The Northern one was taller and lighter, and the Southern one was shorter and darker. The northern guy treated the southern guy with little-disguised contempt the whole time. He always called the southern guy “little man”, his voice dripping with condescension.

This was my first exposure to intra-Chinese racism. Many NE Asians, especially Japanese, are openly contemptuous of SE Asians, in part because they are darker.

Native Americans go from Australoids to Mongoloids from 7,000-9,000 years ago, around the same time – 9,000 years ago – that the first modern NE Asians show up.

Prototypical NE Asians – Chinese in Harbin, in far northeastern China. This area gets very cold in the winter, sort of like Minnesota. Keep in mind that this race is only 9,000 years old. Note the short, stocky body type, possibly a cold weather adaptation to preserve heat.

Some of the earliest Amerindian skulls such as Spirit Cave Man, Kennewick Man, and Buhl Woman look like Ainu and various Polynesians, especially Maoris.

A Hawaiian woman, part of the Polynesian Race. Kennewick Man does not look like any existing populations today, but he is closest to Polynesians, especially the virtually extinct Moiriori of the Chatham Islands and to a lesser extent the Cook Islanders. Yes, many of the various Polynesians can be distinguished based on skulls. Other early Amerindian finds, such as Buhl Woman and Spirit Cave Woman also look something like Polynesians.

It is starting to look like from a period of ~7,000-11,000 years ago in the Americas, the Amerindians looked like Polynesians and were not related to the existing populations today, who arrived ~7,000 years ago and either displaced or bred out the Polynesian types. Furthermore, early proto-NE Asian skulls, before the appearance of the NE Asian race 9,000 years ago, look somewhat like Polynesians, among other groups.

An archaeologist who worked on Kennewick Man says Amerindians assaulted him, spit on him and threatened to kill him because he said that Kennewick Man was not an Amerindian related to living groups, and that his line seemed to have no ancestors left in the Americas.

Furthermore, most Amerindians insist that their own tribe “has always been here”, because this is what their silly ancestral religions and their elders tell them. They can get quite hostile if you question them on this, as I can attest after working with an Amerindian tribe for 1½ years in the US.

To add further insult to reason, a completely insane law called NAGPRA, or Native American Grave Protection and Repatriation Act, mandates that all bones found on any tribe’s territory are the ancestors of that tribe and must be returned to the tribe for reburial. This idiotic law is completely anti-scientific, but most Amerindians, even highly educated ones, get pretty huffy about defending it (Trust me!).

Hence there has been a huge battle over the bones of Kennewick Man. Equally idiotically, White Nationalists insist that Kennewick Man is a Caucasian, so that means he is one of theirs. They also use this to conveniently note that Whites occupied the US before the Indians, and therefore, that the Amerindians implicitly have no rights to the place and that the land-theft of Amerindian America by Whites was right and proper.

This is even more insane than Zionism by orders of magnitude. First of all, Kennewick Man is not a Caucasian! He just sort of looks like one. But that is only because Polynesians, the Ainu and even Aborigines look somewhat Caucasian. This is not due to Caucasian genes, but is instead simply a case of convergent evolution.

These dual episodes above, like the Asian paleontologist morons above, adds weight to my hypothesis that ethnic nationalism, and nationalism in general, turns people into dithering morons. Among other reasons, that is why this proudly internationalist blog casts such a wary eye on nationalism of all kinds.

The prehistory of SE Asia follows a similar storyline. Once again, all of SE Asia was inhabited by Australoids. They probably looked something like the Negritos of today. Skulls from 9,000-11,000 years ago in SE Asia (including Southern China) resemble modern-day Australoids.

The oldest skulls in Vietnam look like Negritos. 25,800 yr old bones from Thailand look like Aborigines and the genes look like the Semang, Negritos of Thailand and Malaysia. There are skulls dating back 44,000 years in Malaysia and these also look like Aborigines. Some say that the Semang go back 50,000 years in Malaysia.

Andaman Islands Negritos. This type was probably the main human type all throughout SE Asia, and a variation of this type was in NE Asia too. These are really the first people to come out of Africa. Afrocentrists like to say that these people are Black, but the truth is that these people are very far away from Black people – in fact, they are Asians.

Andaman Islanders have peppercorn hair like the hair of the Bushmen in Africa. This would differentiate this group from the woolly-haired Negritos in the Philippines. Genetic studies have shown that the Andaman Islanders are quite probably the precise remains of the first people to come out of Africa.

Genetically, they tend to resemble whatever group they are living around, with some distinct variations. In truth, this group here, the Andamans, is one of the “purest” ethnic groups on Earth, because they have been evolving in isolation for so long. This is known as genetic drift. At the same time, I think there is little diversity internally in their genome, also due to drift.

The Andaman Negritos are part of the Andaman Islands Negrito Race. Their strange and poorly understood languages are not related to any others, but there is some speculation that they are related to Kusunda in Nepal, a language isolate. I tend to agree with that theory.

One of the problems with genetic drift is after a while you get an “island” effect where the population lacks genetic diversity, since diversity comes from inputs from outside populations. Hence they tend to be vulnerable to changes in the environment that a more genetically diverse population would be able to weather a lot better.

Although racist idiot Richard Lynn likes to claim that all people like this have primitive languages, the truth is that the Andaman languages are so maddeningly complex that we are still having a hard time making sense out of them.

As in the case of Melanesians, Papuans and some Indian tribals, Afrocentrists like to claim that the Negritos are “Africans”, i.e., Black people. The truth is that Negritos are one of the most distant groups on Earth to existing Black populations. Negrito populations tend to be related, though not closely, with whatever non-Negrito population are in the vicinity. This is due to interbreeding over the years. Furthermore, most, if not all, Negritos are racially Asians, not Africans.

Another misconception is that Negritos are Australoids. Genetically, the vast majority of them do not fall into the Papuan or Australian races, but anthropometrically, at least some are Australoid. There is a lot of discrimination against these people wherever they reside, where they are usually despised by the locals.

White Supremacists have a particular contempt for them. As a side note, although White Supremacists like to talk about how ugly these people are, I think these Negrito women are really cute and delightful looking, but do you think they have large teeth? Some say Negritos have large teeth.

Around 8,500 years ago, the newly minted NE Asians, who had just transitioned from Australoids to NE Asians, came down from the north into the south in a massive influx, displacing the native Australoids. We can still see the results today. Based on teeth, SE Asians have teeth mixed between Australoids (Melanesians) and NE Asians. Yet, as noted above, there are few Australoid genes in SE Asians.

8,500 years ago, NE Asians moved down into SE Asia, displacing the native Australoids and creating the SE Asian race. If NE Asians are so smart though, I want to know what these women are doing wearing bathing suits in the freezing cold. Compare the appearance of these Northern Chinese to other NE Asian mainland groups above.

A prominent anthropology blogger suggests that a similar process occurred possibly around the same time in South Asia and the Middle East, where proto-Caucasians moved in and supplanted an native Australoid mix.

One group that was originally thought to be related to the remains of the original SE Asians is called the Yumbri, a group of primitive hunter-gatherers who live in the jungles of northern Laos and Thailand. Some think that the Yumbri may be the remains of the aboriginal people of Thailand, Laos and possibly Cambodia, but there is controversy about this.

Yumbri noble savages racing through the Thai rain forest. The group is seldom seen and little is known about them. They are thought to number only 200 or so anymore, and there are fears that they may be dying out. This paper indicates via genetics that the Yumbri are a Khmuic group that were former agriculturalists who for some odd reason gave up agriculture to go back to the jungles and live the hunter-gatherer way.

This is one of the very few case cases of agriculturalists reverting to hunting and gathering. The language looks like Khmuic (especially one Khmu language – Tin) but it also seems to have some unknown other language embedded in it. Genetics shows they have only existed for around 800 years and they have very little genetic diversity.

The low genetic diversity means that they underwent a genetic bottleneck, in this case so severe that the Yumbri may have been reduced to only one female and 1-4 males. It is interesting that the Tin Prai (a Tin group) has a legend about the origin of the Yumbri in which two children were expelled from the tribe and sent on a canoe downstream. They survived and melted into the forest where they took up a hunter-gatherer lifestyle.

The Khmu are an Austroasiatic group that are thought to be the indigenous people of Laos, living there for 4,000 years before the Lao (Thai) came down 800 years ago and largely displaced them from the lowlands into the hills. The Austroasiatic homeland is usually thought to be somewhere in Central China (specifically around the Middle Yangtze River Valley), but there are some who think it was in India.

They moved from there down into SE Asia over possibly 5,000 years or so. Many Austroasiatics began moving down into SE Asia during the Shang and Zhou Dynasties due to Han pushing south, but the expansion had actually started about 8,500 years ago. At this time, SE Asia was mostly populated by Negrito types. The suggestion is that the Austroasiatics displaced the Negritos, and there was little interbreeding.

The Austroasiatic languages are thought to be the languages of the original people of SE Asia and India, with families like Sino-Tibetan, Tai-Kadai, Indo-European and Dravidian being latecomers. There are possible deep linguistic roots with the Austronesian Family, and genetically, the Austroasiatics are related to Sino-Tibetan, Tai-Kadai and the Hmong-Mien speakers.

There is an interesting paradox with the Southern Chinese in that genetically, they look like SE Asians, but they have IQ’s more like NE Asians, around ~105. There do not seem to be any reasonable theories about why this is so. It is true that NE Asians came down and moved into SE Asia, but they moved into the whole area, not just Southern China, yet SE Asian IQ’s are not nearly as high as Southern Chinese IQ’s.

Of relevance to the IQ debate is that Asians, especially NE Asians, score lower on self-esteem than Blacks, yet they do much better in school. This would tend to argue against the contention of many that Black relatively poor school performance is a consequence of them not feeling good about themselves.

This seems to poke one more hole in Richard Lynn’s theory that a journey through the Ice Age is necessary for a high IQ, as the Southern Chinese made no such sojourn.

As a result of the Northern and Southern mix in Southern China, groups such as the Yunnanese are quite a mixed group. Yunnanese are mostly southern and are extremely distant from NE Asians. The Wa are a group in the area that is almost equally mixed with northern and southern admixture.

Two pretty Laotian girls being starved to death by murderous Communist killers in Laos. The Lao are related to the Thai and are members of the Tai Race that includes the Lao, Thai, Aini, Deang, Blang, Vietnamese, Muong, Shan, Dai and Naxi peoples. The Lao language is a member of the Tai language family.

The Thai are related to the Tai group in Yunnan in Southern China. They evolved there about 4,000 years ago and then gave birth to a number of groups in the region. The modern Thai are latecomers to the region, moving into the area in huge numbers only about 700 years ago to become the Lao, Thai and Shan. The Lao are the descendants of recent Tai immigrants who interbred heavily with existing Chinese and Mon-Khmer populations.

Gorgeous Dai women in China. The Dai are an ethnic group in China, mostly in Yunnan, who are related to the Thai – they are also members of the Tai Race and speak a Tai language . It looks like the Thai split off from the larger Dai group and moved into Thailand in recent centuries.

The Dai were together with the Zhuang, another Yunnan group, as the proto-Tai north of Yunnan about 5000 years ago. They moved south into Yunnan and split into the Zhuang and the Tai. There were also Tai movements south into Vietnam via Yunnan.

More Dai, this time two young Dai men from Thailand. They do seem to look a bit different from other Thais, eh? They look a little more Chinese to me. The Thai are not the only ethnic group in Thailand; there are 74 languages spoken there, and almost all are in good shape. These people apparently speak the Tai Nüa language.

A proud Dai father in China, where they Dai are an official nationality together with the Zhuang. He’s got some problems with his teeth, but that is pretty typical in most of the world, where people usually lack modern dental care.

A photo of a Thai waitress in Bangkok getting ready to serve some of that yummy Thai food. Note that she looks different from the Dai above – more Southeast Asian and less Chinese like the Dai. The Thai are also members of the Tai Race.

Another pic of a Thai street vendor. The Thai are darker and less Chinese-looking than the lighter Dai. The Tai people are thought to have come from Taiwan over 5,000 years ago. They left Taiwan for the mainland and then moved into Southwest China, which is thought to be their homeland. Then, 5,000 years ago, they split with the Zhuang. The Zhuang went to Guangxi and the Tai went to Yunnan.

A Thai monk. Am I hallucinating or does this guy look sort of Caucasian? In Thai society, it is normal for a young man to go off and become a monk for a couple of years around ages 18-20. Many Thai men and most Lao men do this. I keep thinking this might be a good idea in our society. Khrushchev used to send them off to work in the fields for a couple of years at this age.

Nevertheless, most Yunnanese have SE Asian gene lines and they are quite distant from the NE Asians (as noted, NE Asians are further from SE Asians than they are from Caucasians).

More beautiful women, this time from Yunnan, in Communist-controlled China. Look at the miserable faces on these poor, starving women as they suffer through Communist terror and wholesale murder.

Yunnan was the starting point for most of peoples in the region, including the Tai, the Hmong, the Mon-Khmer, the Vietnamese, the Taiwanese aborigines and from there to the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Melanesia, Polynesia and Micronesia.

In a sense, almost all of SE Asia was settled via a southward and southeastward movement out of Yunnan. Why so many groups migrated out of Yunnan is not known, but they may have being pushed out of there via continuous southward movements by Northern Han. Yunnan was seen as a sort of rearguard base and sanctuary for many Chinese ethnic groups who were being pushed out of their areas, mostly by Han expansions.

The terrain was rough but fertile. At some point, the Han started pushing down into Yunnan and that is when many southward expansions into SE Asia over the last 5000 or so years took place. A discussion of Asian racial features and their possible evolution is here.

Tibetans are close to NE Asians genetically, though they are located in the South. This is because they evolved in NE Asia and only recently moved down into Tibet. After coming into Tibet, they moved down into Burma. Many of today’s Burmese came from Tibet.

A Tibetan tourist in India. This woman has more of a classic Tibetan look than the younger woman below. Tibetans characteristically have darker skin than many NE Asians – Tibetans are actually NE Asians displaced to the south in fairly recent times. Although it is high and cold in Tibet, the region is at a more southerly latitude. Nevertheless, UV radiation is very intense in Tibet, which probably accounts for the darker skin.

It looks like all humans were pretty dark at the start and in some cases have lost melanin in cold climes where they needed to lighten to get Vitamin D. White skin in Europe is merely 9,000 years old, so European Whites never went through any brain-sharpening Ice Age either.

Tibetans are members of the General Tibetan Race, which includes the Tibetan, Nakhi, Lisu, Nu, Karen, Adi, Tujia, Hui and Kachin peoples. They speak a Tibeto-Burman language, part of the larger Sino-Tibetan family.

My observant Chinese commenter notes about the Tibetans: “As for the Tibetans, they seem to be primarily Northeast Asian (they look to be the most “yellow” of any Asians) with some other (South Asian-looking) element that interbred with them fairly recently. They tend to also be more ruddy, and have skin tones from reddish to yellow to brown.

You can see some similarities with Burmese, but they are distinct. Another thing to note is that the prevalence of colored hair and eyes is relatively higher in Tibet.

A gorgeous Tibetan woman, but to me she does not look typically Tibetan. Note that she seems to have put some whitening powder on her face – note contrast between her face and her darker hand.

Although this blog supports Tibetan freedom and opposed the colonial Chinese takeover and racist ethnic cleansing of the Tibetan people by the Chinese Communists, it should nevertheless be noted that the wonderful regime that the Dalai Lama apparently wants to bring back was one of the most vicious forms of pure feudalism existing into modern times, where the vast majority of the population were serf-slaves for the Buddhist religious ruling class.

Yes, that wonderful religion called Buddhism has its downside.

The Buddhist paradise of Burma, run by one of the most evil military dictatorships on Earth (No satire in that sentence). I thought Buddhists were supposed to be peace loving?

A Burmese woman with classic Burmese features. The Burmese, better known as the Bamar, are members of the General Tibetan Race. Boy, she sure is cute. And yes, I do have a thing for Asian women. I think I need to retitle this post Hot Asian Babes.

There are several interesting points in the sketch above. First of all, much as it pains them to be compared to people whom they probably consider to be inferior, all NE Asians were originally Australoids similar to the Australian Aborigines.

NE Asians like to accuse SE Asians of being mostly an “Australoid” group, an analysis that is shared by many amateur anthropologists on the web. We will look into this question more in the future, but it appears that both NE and SE Asians are derived from Australoid stock. Further, there are few Australoid genes left in any mainland SE Asians and none in most SE Asians.

It is true that Melanesians, Polynesians and Micronesians are part-Australoid in that the latter two are derived from Melanesians, who are derived from Austronesians mixed with Papuans. Any analysis that concludes that non-Oceanic SE Asians are “part-Australoid” is dubious.

If anything, NE Asians are closer to Australoids than most SE Asians. The Japanese and Koreans are probably closer to Australian Aborigines than any other group in Asia. I am certain that the ultranationalist and racialist Japanese at least will not be pleased to learn this.

Second, we note that all Asians are related, and that the proto-Asian homeland was in northern Vietnam. It follows that NE Asians are in fact derived from the very SE Asians whom the NE Asians consider to be inferior. A NE Asian who is well versed in these matters (He was of the “SE Asians are part-Australoid” persuasion) was not happy to hear my opinion at all, and left sputtering and mumbling.

NE Asian superiority over SE Asians is a common point of view, especially amongst Japanese – the Japanese especially look down on Koreans (Their fellow NE Asians!), Vietnamese, Filipinos (the “niggers of Asia”), the Hmong (the “hillbillies of Asia”) and the Khmer.

The beautiful, intelligent, civilized and accomplished Koreans. Tell me, the Japanese look down on these people are inferiors why now? Note the rather distinct short and stocky appearance, possibly a heat-preserving adaptation to cold weather. Note also the moon-shaped face.

The Koreans seem to have come down from Mongolia about 5,000 years ago and completely displaced an unknown native group, but don’t tell any Korean that. Koreans are members of the Japanese-Korean Race and the Korean language is said to be a language isolate, but I think it is distantly related to Japanese, Ainu and Gilyak in a separate, distant branch of Altaic.

My Chinese commenter adds: “I get the impression that Koreans are at least comprised two major physically discernible groups. Some of them have a shade of skin similar to the Inuit or Na Dene. But I think they have intermixed quite a lot during some relatively stable 5,000+ year period, which results in a fairly even spectrum.”

Third, Richard Lynn’s Ice Age Theory takes another hit as he can explain neither the Southern Chinese high IQ, nor the genesis of high-IQ NE Asians from lower-IQ SE Asians, nor the fact that NE Asians do not appear in the anthropological record until 9,000 years ago (after the Ice Age that supposedly molded those fantastic brains of theirs), nor the genesis of these brainy folks via Australoids, whom Lynn says are idiots.

Fourth, the Negritos, who are widely reviled in their respective countries as inferiors, are looking more and more like the ancestors of many of us proud humans. Perhaps a little respect for the living incarnations of our ancient relatives is in order.

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