Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Peopling of India: abstracts of genetic studies

Peopling of India: Abstracts of genetic studies

The grand narrative which emerges from these studies is clear and emphatic. Peopling of India was an indigenous and autochthonous evolution. There are markers of gene flows OUT of India. All so-called jaati or vanavaasi groups are of the same gene pool of India. This is consistent with the work, Indus script encodes mleccha speech which demonstrates the essential semantic unity of all bharatiya or Indian languages in a linguistic area of Sarasvati civilization from ca. 7500 BCE.

I shall be grateful for information on any specific, additional studies should be added to this compendium. Also, comments, suggestions and conclusions which can be drawn -- and presented in simple terms for incorporation in school/college text books – excerpted or deduced from the intensely technical nature of the genetic study results.


Read this doc on Scribd: genetics Ethnic India: A Genomic View, With Special Reference to Peopling and Structure by Basu et al (Genome Research)

Read this doc on Scribd: ethnicindiabasuetal

Partha P Majumder (Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata, India), Peopling of India: Insights from Genetics in: Encyclopedia of Life Sciences
Status of Austro-Asiatic groups in the peopling of India:
An exploratory study based on the available prehistoric,
linguistic and biological evidences
Anthropology and Human Genetics Unit, Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata 700 108, India
*Corresponding author (Fax, 91-33-2577-6680; Email,

Read this doc on Scribd: austroasiaticinpeoplingofindia

Bamshad, M. J. et al. - Genetic Evidence on the Origins of Indian Caste Populations
Bamshad, M. J. et al. - Genetic Evidence on the Origins of Indian Caste Populations -
Bamshad, M. J. et al. - Genetic Evidence on the Origins of Indian Caste Populations -
Bamshad, M. J. et al. - Genetic Evidence on the Origins of Indian Caste Populations -
Bamshad, M. J. - lecture at the workshop ‘Anthropology, Genetic Diversity and Ethics’ (Milwaukee, 1999)
Bhattacharyya, N. P. et al. - Negligible Male Gene Flow Across Ethnic Boundaries in India -
Cavalli-Sforza, L. L. - Genes, Peoples and Languages
Chakrabarti, C. S. et al. - Genetic Relationships among Some Tribal Groups inhabiting the North-eastern, Eastern and Sub-Himalayan Regions of India
Cordaux, R. et al. - mtDNA Analysis reveals Diverse Histories of Tribal Populations from India
Coupé, C. & J. M. Hombert - From Africa to Australia: Elements for an Early Coastal Route
Das, K. et al. - Population Structure and Genetic Differentiation among 16 Tribal Populations of Central India -
Disotell, T. R. - Human Evolution: The Southern Route to Asia
Edwin, D. et al. - mtDNA Diversity among 5 Tribal Populations of Southern India
Gadgil, M. et al. - Peopling of India: Demographic History, Global Genetic History, mtDNA Base Sequences
Gadgil, M. - India’s Biological Diversity
Human Races Calculator (genetic distances)
Jorde, L. - lecture at the workshop ‘Anthropology, Genetic Diversity and Ethics’ (Milwaukee, 1999)
Kivisild, T. et al. - The Genetic Heritage of the Earliest Settlers persists both in Indian Tribal and Caste Populations
Kivisild, T. et al. - Deep Common Ancestry of Indian and Western-Eurasian mtDNA Lineages
Kumar, V. and B. Mohan Reddy - Status of Austro-Asiatic Groups in the Peopling of India
Majumder P. P. - Ethnic Populations of India from an Evolutionary Perspective
Majumder, P. P. - Indian Caste Origins Genomic Insights
Majumder, P. P. et al. - Human-specific Insertion-Deletion Polymorphisms in Indian Populations
Misra, V. N. - Prehistoric Human Colonization of India

Mukherjee, N. et al. - Population Movements from Central Asia and West Asia into India
Naidu, J. - lecture at the workshop ‘Anthropology, Genetic Diversity and Ethics’ (Milwaukee, 1999)
Purkayastha, P. - Ancestral Echoes in Indian Genes I
Purkayastha, P. - Ancestral Echoes in Indian Genes II
Qamar, R. et al. - Y-chromosomal DNA variation in Pakistan
Quintana-Murci, L. et al. - Y-chromosome Lineages Trace Diffusion of People and Languages in Southwestern Asia
Roychoudhury, S. et al. - Genomic Structures and Population Histories of linguistically Distinct Tribal Groups of India
Roychoudhury, S. et al. - Fundamental Genomic Unity of Ethnic India is revealed by Analysis of mtDNA
Skulj, J. et al. - Relationship between Indian Populations and Europeans
Spencer Wells, R. et al. - The Eurasian Heartland: A Continental Perspective on Y-chromosome Diversity Journey of Mankind - the peopling of the world. In: Genomic Diversity. 1999 Edited by Deka, R. Papiha, S.S.Kluwer/Academic/Plenum Publishers, pp. 135-152 The Place of the Indian mtDNA Variants in the Global Network of Maternal Lineages and the Peopling of the Old World by Toomas Kivisild1, Katrin Kaldma1, Mait Metspalu1, Jüri Parik1, Surinder Papiha2, Richard Villems1

Read this doc on Scribd: placeoftheindianmtdnakivisild

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Sembiyankandiyur megalithic pottery with graffiti marks (hieroglyphs?)

Sembiyankandiyur megalithic pottery with graffiti marks (hieroglyphs?)

Megalithic period pottery found
T.S. Subramanian (The Hindu, April 27, 2008)
Tamil Nadu Archaeology Department leads excavation
— Photo: M. Srinath

Significant finds: Pottery with graffiti marks found at Sembiyankandiyur village in Nagapattinam district.

CHENNAI: Pottery items including bowls, dishes and urns, from the Megalithic period, have been excavated at Sembiyankandiyur near Kuthalam in Mayiladuthurai taluk of Nagapattinam district by the Tamil Nadu Archaeology Department.

An important finding: eight urns aligned in a particular manner, three of them with human bones inside. These might be of members of one family, according to department officials. The pottery included black-and-red ware, black ware and red ware.
The site yielded a rich collection of pottery with graffiti marks. A few iron pieces were also found.

Archaeology Department officials estimated that the pottery belonged to the Megalithic period or the Iron Age, which can be dated between 300 B.C. and A.D. 100.

Earlier discovery
The discoveries were made at the site where in 2006 school teacher V. Shanmuganathan found a polished Neolithic celt (tool) that had engravings resembling the Indus script. This celt caused a stir in archaeological circles. It was T.S. Sridhar, then Special Commissioner of Archaeology, who noticed the engravings on the polished celt. A semi-polished celt was found nearby without engravings.

The Archaeology Department decided to excavate the Sembiyankandiyur site to find out its antiquity and fix the chronology. The excavations began on February 6. Four trenches were laid at the place where the celt with the engravings were found. The first trench was laid in the garden of Mr. Shanmuganathan, the second trench at Thoppumedu which belonged to Shanmugam, a retired physical education teacher, another in the backyard of the house of Muthappa and the fourth at Padayachi Kollaimedu.
Important findings from the trenches were bowls, dishes, broken urns, full-size urns and so on. Eight urns were found to be aligned in a particular manner, three of them with human bones. Some urns had ritual pots inside. Some pots and sherds have thumb-nail impressions on them.

Designs and markings
Full-shape pots had the graffiti depicting a fish, a ‘damaru’, sun, star and a swastika. Geometric designs and marks depicting fish, sun and star and graffiti marks are often found on black-and-red ware and black ware, with the symbols sometimes repeated.

The excavations at Sembiyankandiyur were done under the guidance of Dr. S. Gurumurthi, Principal Commissioner of Archaeology; Dr. S. Vasanthi, Archaeologist; M. Muthusamy, Curator of Tranquebar Museum; S. Selvaraj and P. Gowthamaputhiran, Archaeological Officers of Thanjavur and Coimbatore respectively.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Sea-faring smiths from Meluhha, glyptic themes on early coins

Sea-faring smiths from Meluhha, glyptic themes on early coins

Sea-faring smiths from Meluhha
-- Use of archer and thymiaterion glyphs on early coins encode mint-related mleccha words

-- Glyptic themes explained in mleccha

Read this doc on Scribd: archercoins

Against the critical edition of Mahabharata by Dr. Arvind Sharma

Against the Critical Edition of the Mahābhārata by Dr. Arvind Sharma (20 April 2008)

Indian scholarship, pursuing a trend set by Western scholarship, has produced a ‘critical edition’ of the Mahābhārata. Let us take a closer look at the whole idea, shielding our eyes from the blinding glare of the Western sun for a moment.
One immediately notes that the idea of a critical tradition in the Hindu context is
an artificial concept. Can there be a ‘critical edition’ of the kind of oral transmission that the itihāsa represents? Similarly, it is futile to seek out ‘the original text’ of either epic. Critical editions of oral epics are the constructs of scholars; with variant readings and addenda as footnotes they give us an idea of the main story-line as it has developed over time in style and content. This has its uses as we shall see, but on a level which sacred narrative often transcends.[1]
The point is fine as far as it goes, but does it go far enough? The text of an oral epic is not meant to be fixed in the same sense as the Vedic text – part of the point of the epic text could well be the scope permitted for improvisation – albeit formulaic, if one insists. The text is meant to be a magnet, which draws material to it and not a crystal, which must stand in pristine purity. And if the text of the epic is thus even conceptually somewhat fluid, and actually perhaps even more fluid – then does not the critical text end up in creating a text which did not exist in the first place? Western writings on Hindu themes often carry allegations of fabrication. Has the cycle turned full circle and the misguided pursuit of Western methodology have culminated in the recreation of what never existed? One does not wish to run down the enterprise of which the critical tradition is an outcome, but such considerations need to be taken into account.
The situation gets worse before it gets better. We are presented with a critical text of the Mahābhārata. Let us now turn to the Mahāhbhārata itself and see what it has to say about it. According to the Ādiparva (I.57. 74-75) of the critical text, Vyāsa the “great lord, eminent granter of boons, taught the Vedas, and the Mahābhārata as the fifth Veda, to Sumantu, Jaimini, Paila, and his own son Śuka as well as to Vaiśampāyana. It is they who in their separate ways made public the collections of the Bhārata.”[2]
To begin with then, the Mahābhārata is plural document available in at least five recensions according to the critical edition; now how can there be one critical edition of a text with five recensions to begin with? This conclusion is a bit overwrought but it makes an important point. It is overwrought because the critical text claims to restore only one version of it – the one publicized by Vaiśampāyana.
One is not out of the woods yet, however.
The introduction of the great epic informs us that Vyāsa imparted his poem first to his pupil Vaiśampāyana, who in his turn recited the whole of it at the time of the great snake-sacrifice of king Janamejaya. It was then heard by the Sūta Ugraśravas who, being entreated by the Rishis assembled at the sacrifice of Śaunaka in the Nimisha forest, narrates to them the whole poem at he learnt it on that occasion. Even according to this tradition, recorded in the epic itself, before it reached its present dimensions, it had passed through three recitations.[3]
It has plausibly been suggested that the work grew in size with each recitation. Could it then not be proposed, in view of this, that the Mahābhārata as a Hindu text is supposed to grow and not diminish, that its telos as it is understood in the tradition is at odds with the very goals of modern text-critical scholarship and to that extent, once again, the critical text, in rendering a great service to Indology has done a grievous harm to Hinduism by trying to convert a lengthening sari into a shortening skirt? Here again the blow can be softened. It might be urged that the critical text is only an attempt at a snap shot of one stage of the growth of the text – in the time of the Gupta period or roughly around 500 A.D. Nevertheless it is clear that, at every step, the idea of a critical text seems to go against the grain of the tradition – it is an example of pratiloma Indology.
[1] Julius Lipner, Hindus: Their Religious Beliefs and Practices (London and New York: Routledge, 1994) p. 336, note 39.
[2] J.A.B. van Buitenen, tr., The Mahābhārata (London and Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1973) Vol. I, p. 134.
[3] M.A. Mehendale, “Language and Literature”, in R.C. Majumdar, ed., The Age of Imperial Unity (Bombay: Bharativa Vidya Bhavan, 1951) p. 246. Also see Klaus K. Klostermaier, A Survey of Hinduism (second edition) (Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1994) P. 83-84.

Friday, April 18, 2008

One meluhhan village in Akkad (3rd millennium BCE)

Four e-monographs:
Gadd Seals and MSS of Schoyen collection (Samples of Sarasvati hieroglyph collections outside India and Pakistan)

Read this doc on Scribd: meluhhanvillage

Read this doc on Scribd: shuilishucylinderseal

Read this doc on Scribd: vidale2004meluhhavillages

Read this doc on Scribd: Gaddseals

A note on Iron in early metals age of India:

Read this doc on Scribd: ironinmetalsage

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Ancient ciphers, writing system, oral traditions: 3 articles Ancient Ciphers, Writing system, oral traditions in India: 3 articles by Blair Moffet and Hariscandra Kaviratna

Read this doc on Scribd: cipherwritingoraltradition

Epigraphica Sarasvati (video/slide show)

Video on

Vikalpa (alternative access): Epigraphica Sarasvati (Sarasvati hieroglyphs)

Vikalpa (also mirrored at weblog): Epigraphica Sarasvati (vox weblog)

Epigraphica Sarasvati (Sarasvati hieroglyphs or Indus script inscriptions) Slide show

10 April 2008

Mirror: Epigraphica Sarasvati (Sarasvati hieroglyphs)


This composition of a person seated in penance (kamad.ha) is entirely made up of glyptic elements read rebus as hieroglyphs related to the repertoire of a smithy and the professional competence/possessions of a metalsmith. Glyptic elements are either pictorial motifs (including for example: animals, pedestal, corn-sheaf, buffalo horns) or normalised glyphs called 'signs' -- such as 'rim of narrow-necked jar' or 'claws of a crab' or a 'standing person's body'.

Examples of rebus readings of hieroglyphs (glyptic elements):

kamad.ha 'penance'(Pkt.); rebus: 'mint'(Ta.) [ 'sitting cross-legged'(Ta.Ma.); saman.a 'ascetic'(Pkt.Pali)]
tha_ttha_r 'buffalo horns'; t.hat.hera 'brass worker'.
cu_d.a 'tiger's mane'; rebus: cu_l.a 'furnace'.
kolmo 'three (faces)'; rebus: kolimi 'forge'.
mukha 'face'; rebus: mu~h 'ingot'.
kamarsa_la 'waistband'; kamar 'blacksmith'; sala 'workshop'.
kod.u 'bracelet'; rebus: kod. 'workshop'.
(L) {N} ``^raised ^platform for ^puja''. #34282; rebus: mand.a_ 'warehouse'.
me_t.u = a heap, stack; rick, as of hay (Te.) ; rebus: med. 'iron'.
krammara 'look back' (as antelope); rebus: kamar, karma_ra 'blacksmith'.
mr..eka 'antelope'; rebus: milakkhu 'copper' (Pali)
kol 'tiger'; rebus: kol 'alloy of five metals, furnace'.
kat.avai 'leap, jump'; rebus: kad.avu 'turning lathe'; vikalpa: d.a_t. to hop, jump (Kond.a); rebus: datu 'mineral'.
ibha 'elephant'; rebus: ib 'iron'.
bara_ boar (A.B.);rebus: bhar 'oven'.
kat.iya_ buffalo heifer (G.); rebus: ka_t.i, furnace (trench)(Ta.)
khag 'rhinoceros'; rebus: kang 'portable furnace'.

Excerpts from notes after J.M.Kenoyer on and on Sarasvati civilization images and a few hieroglyphs from Sarasvati writing system.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Revival of River Sarasvati begins in Haryana (7 April 2008)

Revival of River Sarasvati begins in Haryana (7 April 2008)