Friday, 4 June 2010

More on genetics: a possible proof of migration from India to Europe

I have found online the already cited article of the American geneticist P.A. Underhill (et alia) on the genetic group R1a at the site

The little map in red colour here presented shows the calculated age of the haplogroup R1a1a-M17 in different Eurasian regions. It appears clearly that the most ancient area comprehends Sind and Gujarat. In the article, it is said: “Analysis of associated STR diversity profiles revealed that among the R1a1a*(xM458) chromosomes the highest diversity is observed among populations of the Indus Valley yielding coalescent times above 14 KYA (thousands of years ago), whereas the R1a1a* diversity declines toward Europe where its maximum diversity and coalescent times of 11.2 KYA are observed in Poland, Slovakia and Crete.” Moreover: “Also noteworthy is the drop in R1a1a* diversity away from the Indus Valley toward central Asia (Kyrgyzstan 5.6 KYA) and the Altai region (8.1 KYA) that marks the eastern boundary of significant R1a1a* spread”.

So, on the basis of this calculations we arrive at the conclusion that a South Asian population spread first towards Europe and later towards Central Asia. Then, there is not an ancient migration from Europe to South Asia, or from Central Asia to South Asia, but the opposite.

If we want to connect R1a1a with the Indo-Europeans, and this is always tempting, because this haplogroup seems to be the only one which associates together with significant frequencies Indo-Aryans, Iranians, Anatolians, Greeks, Slavs, and Germanic peoples (less Romance and Celtic speakers), we should admit that the origin of Indo-Europeans is in South Asia, and not in Eastern Europe. Here, we find a mutation of the haplogroup, called R1a1a7:

“In Europe a large proportion of the R1a1a variation is represented by its presently identified subclade R1a1a7-M458 that is virtually absent in Asia. Its major frequency and relatively low diversity in Europe can be explained thus by a founder effect that according to our coalescent time estimation falls into the early Holocene period, 7.9±2.6 KYA. The highest regional date of 10.7±4.1 KYA among Polish R1a1a7 carriers falls into the period of recolonization of this region by Mesolithic (Swiderian and subsequent cultures) settlers. […] It should be noted, though, that the inevitably large error margins of our coalescent time estimates do not allow us to exclude its association with the establishment of the mainstream Neolithic cultures, including the Linearbandkeramik (LBK), that flourished ca. 7.5-6.5 KYA BP in the Middle Danube (Hungary) and was spread further along the Rhine, Elbe, Oder, Vistula river valleys and beyond the Carpathian Basin.” Then, the R1a1a people in Eastern Europe could be connected with the Neolithic revolution in this area.

The antiquity of this subclade and its absence in Asia shows also that there was no migration from Europe to Central Asia in recent times: “Although the R1a1a* frequency and diversity is highest among Indo-Aryan and Dravidian speakers, the subhaplogroup R1a1a7-M458 frequency peaks among Slavic and Finno-Ugric peoples. Although this distinction by geography is not directly informative about the internal divisions of these separate language families, it might bear some significance for assessing dispersal models that have been proposed to explain the spread of Indo-Aryan languages in South Asia as it would exclude any significant patrilineal gene flow from East Europe to Asia, at least since the mid-Holocene period.”

The mid-Holocene period is around 6000 years BP, that means that after 4000 BC we cannot suppose a migration from Europe to Central Asia and South Asia, and this refutes all the theories supposing that the Kurgan people of the Pontic region went to Afghanistan during the Bactria-Margiana civilization (III-II mill. BC) and then to India (II mill. BC).

On the other hand, the migration of R1a1a people from South Asia to Europe appears as much earlier than the supposed spread of Indo-European languages, before the Bronze Age, during the Mesolithic or Neolithic period. Then, if we connect R1a1a with the Indo-European speakers, we have to antedate this spread, and we have also to see much of the Neolithic Europe as already Indo-European, reversing Gimbutas’ theory of Old Europe but keeping the concept of a Paleolithic non-Indo-European presence, differently from the Continuity theory of Alinei and Costa. However, not all the R1a1a in Europe is R1a1a7, then maybe we cannot rule out later migrations of people with haplogroup R1a1a from Asia to Europe, bringing a new language: we have examples of migrations into Europe of Iranian peoples like Scythians, Sarmatians and Alans, and of the Indian Gypsies, also in historical times.


  1. Dear Benedetti,

    I'm thoroughly enjoying your blog! It's so intriguing as well! I've just started with my research on Indus valley civilization, and you may find my blog interesting, though it's in its initial stages. Please leave your comments.

    Best regards,
    Hemanth Thiru


  3. I have taken my DNA test- it is R1a1a.I belong to MEO tribe.Meo are living in Indus valley from thousands of years.I am more convinced by Dr. Spencer Wells theory.Marker 17 presence in Central Asia.My own view is that person with Marker 17 must be investigated in depth and it is quite possible he born in Central Asia and then traveled towards Afghanistan,present day Pakistan ,NWF,Punjab,Sind and then to Rajisthan reaching to present day Delhi. They have traveled along the banks of rivers Kabul,Indus and had their setelments.Off course some of his family members traveled to Europe and other parts of the world.
    Hope Mr.Hemanth and Mr. Benedetti comment on this.
    Karamatullah Khan Meo

  4. Dear Karamatullah Khan Meo, thank you for your comment. I am not a geneticist, but about Spencer Wells and his Genographic Project, I find quite surprising that the website of that project goes on presenting the origin of M17 in Ukraine (, when the recent studies acknowledge that M17 appears to have a South Asian origin.

    I find interesting that you, as a Meo, like the theory of a Central Asian origin, and I would like to know why you like it. You say that Meos are living in the Indus Valley since thousands of years. I've read that their place of origin is Mewat, between Haryana and Rajasthan, where many of them still live, and it seems that some went to the West in different periods. So, also in the history of the Meos we would see an East-West movement. Moreover, the region of Mewat corresponds to the kingdom of Matsya, which was included in the Brahmarishidesha in the Manu Smriti (II.19), therefore it belonged to a common cultural area which was a stronghold of Brahmans. It is interesting that M17 is typical of Brahmans and of Meos (who were formerly Kshatriyas). I would like to know what do you think about that.


    Please find my two papers below and circulate amongst the skeptics, particularly!

    To state the obvious, the Indus script was a logo-syllabic script and a lost corpus did exist.

    Published in the ICFAI journal of history and culture, January 2011

    Published in International journal of philosophy and journal sciences , November 2012

    I am also introducing logo-syllabic thesis B in this paper

    The paper is very self-explanatory! does anybody still beg to differ?

    Sujay Rao Mandavilli

  6. i am pleased to announce the publication of my fifth research paper in a peer-reviewed journal

    this deals with the origin of Brahmi . this is a logical and self-explanatory paper and is written using a multi-disciplinary approach. it is written in such a way that anybody can cross-verify the conclusions.

    sujay rao mandavilli

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  8. It is fact that Meos are the descendents of Brahmans.But it is interesting to note that Meos preserved their purity even more than Brahmans. According to different studies conducted in Indo pak Meos are 100 percent Aryans .No other community claim this status.

    1. What does it mean in genetical terms that Meos are 100% Aryans?