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One early morning, first thing I read was an article in 'The Economist' about how a new research had proved the validity of Aryan Invasion Theory. Incidentally, this has been a topic which has interested me for quite a while. So, I read the complete article, where in the name of the author of the book was mentioned. I searched his name and found that he had written this book which had been released just recently. So naturally, I opened the link for the book, and found a review written by Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee, who happens to be one of my favorite author. That led me to read the preview of this book and I found that there was a separate chapter on India. I bought the book there and then and read the complete chapter on same morning. I like the fact that after reading this book, I now have a basic understanding of genetic jargon which makes up the significant part of articles that are published about Aryan Invasion Theory. But I also have some doubts about conclusions drawn about India which I am trying to clear by reading some other stuff. So, I'll reserve my judgment of this book till the time I feel I am competent to.
A thoroughly researched book on population genetics and human migration based on ancient DNA studies. The book is packed with lot of information and will be great interst to people interested in this field. A warning though, you need to know basics of genetics like DNA, chromosomes, genes etc before starting the book. The interesting part is about India and how the author was constrained to speak about his findings and was forced to give a "politically correct" statement. Reading through the book seems to reinforce the good old Aryan Invasion Theory (AIT). Based on research, the book concludes that the ANI(Ancestral North Indians) came from Eurassian Steppe carrying the Indo-European language family of which Sanskrit and Hindi are part of. The ASI (Ancestral South Indians) came from Anatolian farmers who probably settled in Indus Valley and later pushed out to South of India carrying a entirely different language family the Dravidian language. More study of the Indian population is likely to throwout more information but regulations and testing facilities are hampering such a research. Thoroughly enjoyed reading the book.
Pathbreaking is the word to describe the progress made in the analysis of Ancient DNA. From Neanderthal & Denisova admixtures to debunking the absolute 100% Out of Africa theory, this book achieves a lot in section one. The narrative style of the author is free-flowing and helps scientifically literate laymen to understand the ever-increasing works of Ancient DNA analysis. The section 2 of the book can be best seen as Ancient Game of Bones played out across the continents. The author provides a robust support of the Kurgan Hypothesis - for the spread of Indo European languages. The peopling of East and South Asia & the Americas is also linked with the global human story out of Africa. The ancient DNA tries to answer the Pots vs People question which is not always convincingly answered using Archeology alone.
Wrt India - This book substantially bolsters the argument of so-called Indo-Aryan migration from Pontic Steppe to India around 2000-1000 BCE.
An important work based on Genomics, a breakthrough Technology (much like Carbon Dating in the 1950s). The Author blends technical studies with the stories that evolve from them ; and has the integrity to recognise studies that have corrected his thinking and issues which still need to be cleared.
A tour de force that introduces us, in one book, to our pre-Sapiens past as well as the Evolution of Modern Populations in Eurasia, the Americas and Africa. The chapter on India is written, sensitive to established beliefs, and demonstrates The Dravidians as long established in the North mixing with New Immigrants, as populations have done for millennia. The Chapter on Inequality is fascinating.
It reminds me of Copernicus and Galileo recognising that the Sun and Not the Earth is the centre of our Galaxy