Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Evidence Regarding Dravidian Linguistic Origins

Distribution of the Dravidian languages. All maps in this post are from Wikipedia.

There is not a consensus on the linguistic roots of the eighty-five or so Dravidian languages, all but a few of which are restricted to the Deccan Peninsula of India and the adjacent island of Sri Lanka. The three main divisions of the Dravidian languages are Southern Dravidian exemplified by Tamil, Central Dravidian exemplified by Telugu, and Northern Dravidian comprised of Brahui, Kurukh and Malto and related languages. The Northern Dravidian languages are spoken in linguistic islands remote from the core Dravidian area. But, there are indications that these pockets are the result of migrations, rather than a much greater historic range of the Dravidian languages. As Wikipedia explains:

Only two Dravidian languages are exclusively spoken outside India, Brahui and Dhangar, which is related to Kurukh. . . . The Brahui, Kurukh and Malto have myths about external origins. The Kurukh have traditionally claimed to be from the Deccan Peninsula, more specifically Karnataka. The same tradition has existed of the Brahui. They call themselves immigrants. Many scholars hold this same view of the Brahui such as L. H. Horace Perera and M. Ratnasabapathy. . . . The Brahui population of Balochistan has been taken by some as the linguistic equivalent of a relict population, perhaps indicating that Dravidian languages were formerly much more widespread and were supplanted by the incoming Indo-Aryan languages. However it has now been demonstrated that the Brahui could only have migrated to Balochistan from central India after 1000 CE. The absence of any older Iranian (Avestan) loanwords in Brahui supports this hypothesis. The main Iranian contributor to Brahui vocabulary, Balochi, is a western Iranian language like Kurdish, and moved to the area from the west only around 1000 CE.

This is not to say that that Dravidian languages didn't once have a wider geographical range. From the same source:

Dravidian place-names throughout the regions of Sindh, Gujarat and Maharashtra suggest that Dravidian languages were once spoken throughout the Indian subcontinent. [citing George Erdösy (1995), The Indo-Aryans of ancient South Asia: Language, material culture and ethnicity, p. 271 and Edwin Bryant, Laurie L. Patton (2005), The Indo-Aryan controversy: evidence and inference in Indian history, p. 254.]

Maharashtra and Gujarat are the two states of India on the map above which are contiguous with the Dravidian linguistic area of modern India on the subcontinent's Western coast.

Sindh is the most Southeastern province of Pakistan and is immediately adjacent to Gujarat.

There is borrowing from Dravidian into Vedic Sanskrit by at least the middle Rig Vedic period and there is likewise evidence that some Indo-European Indic languages spoken in India were influenced by large numbers of Dravidian language speakers who shifted linguistically to Indic languages.

While the Dravidian language are sometimes speculated to be native to India, they do not have the time depth to support a wide distribution for a very long time. As explained in the Wikipedia article on the Dravidian Urheimat (i.e. homeland):

Historical records suggest that the South Dravidian language group had separated from a Proto-Dravidian language no later than 700 BCE, linguistic evidence suggests that they probably became distinctive around 1,100 BCE, and some scholars using linguistic methods put the deepest divisions in the language group at roughly 3,000 BCE. Russian linguist M.S. Andronov puts the split between Tamil (a written Southern Dravidian language) and Telugu (a written Northern Dravidian language) at 1,500 BCE to 1,000 BCE.

Southworth identifies late Proto-Dravidian with the Southern Neolithic culture in the lower Godavari River basin of South Central India, which first appeared ca. 2,500 BCE, based upon its agricultural vocabulary, while noting that this "would not preclude the possibility that speakers of an earlier stage of Dravidian entered the subcontinent from western or central Asia, as has often been suggested."

Some estimates put Dravidian family divergences from Proto-Dravidian as late as 500 BCE.

Both Egypt and Sumeria have written documents that go back to 2500 BCE, but India was further afield than those records covered. The earliest Dravidian written records that survive date to the 7th century BCE. The absence of earlier written records, however, suggest that any outsiders who brought cultural innovation to India around the time that the Dravidian languages arose probably did not have a command of either the Egyptian or Sumerian writing systems. Since those systems were restricted to a narrow professional class of priest-scholar-bureaucrats at that time, rather than a widely literate population, the absence of writing that early in a group of people who may have come from afar by sea may not mean much.

There are other indications of a young time depth for Dravidian languages as well: "The Dravidian languages form a close-knit family – much more closely related than, say, the Indo-European languages. There is a fair degree of agreement on how they are related to each other."

Dravidian may very well predate Indo-Aryan languages in South Asia, but probably only by 1,000 to 1,500 years, and probably predates Indo-Aryan languages by a shorter time in Western India and Sindh.

The Genetic Evidence

The Dravidian languages are far younger, for example, than the autosomal genetic component described as "Ancestral South Indian" (ASI), which suggests genetic links to the Onge people of the Andaman Islands probably from 20,000 years ago or more, and far younger than the private South Asian mtDNA and Y-DNA haplogroups. Neither "Ancestral North Indian" (ANI), nor Ancestral South Indian automsomal DNA signatures show any greater affinity to African autosomal genetics than any other non-African population.

Distribution of Y-DNA Haplogroup T

As I have noted earlier in a post at Wash Park Prophet, the only apparent genetic marker with a distribution that is suggestive of the geographic range of the Dravidian languages, centered on the Proto-Dravidian area while being largely absent from most areas that lack evidence of a Dravidian substrate, and seems to be intrusive to India rather than autochronous, is Y-DNA haplogroup T.

While dating the origins of patrilineal and matrilineal haplogroups is a dicey proposition, the concurrence of phylogeny, the distribution of descendants of what appear to be autochronous Indian haplogroups, and mutation rate based dates for both Y-DNA and mtDNA haplogroups on both a relative and absolute basis, all strongly suggest that many of those haplogroups have origins in South Asia from the Upper Paleolithic era.

Distribution of Y-DNA haplogroup L

Notably, Y-DNA haplogroup L, a somewhat close relative of Y-DNA haplogroup L which has much greater time depth than the Dravidian languages, has a range that closely approximates the Indus River Valley but is virtually absent in the proto-Dravidan area at about the midpoint of the modern Dravidian range. Y-DNA haplogroup R2 has a distribution (and time depth) similar to that of Y-DNA haplogroup L.

This genetic evidence suggests that Dravidian is probably not a product of Harappan colonization. An absence of Harappan colonization is further suggested by relatively thin trade ties, through a couple of Eastern India coast trade outputs, between South India and Harappans when they were contemporaries, and by an absence of Harappan crops in early South Indian agriculture. This is also suggested by Witzel's finding that the oldest Rig Vedic texts do not show evidence of a Dravidian substrate, despite the fact that they do show familiarity with the Harappan region.

Y-DNA haplogroup T is very common in the Horn of Africa, found in North Cameroon Fulani language speaking populations, in Egyptians and the Sudanese, in Iraq, and at low frequencies in much of the Middle East and Europe, and in Jews, as well as in certain African populations that claim Semitic roots. A best guess to Y-DNA haplogroup T's origins would place it in Mesopotamia from a time period no more recent than the Neolithic and perhaps older. In Africa, haplogroup T looks like a comparatively recent arrival compared to African-specific haplogroups and with only a few exceptions like the Lemba and North African Cameroon Fulani, is found almost exclusively in Afro-Asiatic language speakers.

In the Horn of Africa, where haplogroup T is present at a high frequency, the climate is appropriate for Sahel crops, Bantu expansion was present at or not too long after the proto-Dravidian period, and maritime trade with India would be plausible, the principle African substrate Y-DNA haplogroups are A and B, which are strongly East African, as well as having associations with Khoisan and Pygmy populations, but are not characteristic of Niger-Congo speaking populations which are predominantly Y-DNA haplogroup E1b1a. Around 2500 BCE, the Horn of Africa was probably predominantly Afro-Asiatic language speaking, unless early proto-Swahili or very early wave Bantu expansion population (or isolated pre-Bantu colonies of Niger-Congo peoples) were present.

However, there is no evidence of mtDNA L, M1 or V haplogroups, which are predominant in contemporary Africa, that are not traceable to migrations to Indian in the historic era, long after the Dravidian languages developed. Likewise, there is no evidence of Y-DNA haplogroups A, B, E, or R1b-V88 which are predominant in Africa, in the Dravidian era that are not traceable to historic era migrations.

More Linguistic and Cultural Clues

There was maritime trade between Sumeria and the Indus River Valley in the time period when Dravidian probably originated, although the deep water Austronesian sailors who settled Madagascar had not arrived on the scene at the time and sailors ca. 2500 BCE probably attempted to stay within sight of the coast in shallow waters. But, the possibility of long distance sea travel to the East coast of India from the Horn of Africa, Egypt, or Mesopotamia is not precluded by technology. There is not, however, any evidence of maritime trade between West Africa and the Mediterranean or around the Cape of Good Hope from West Africa to the Indian Ocean at that time, and there is not strong evidence for maritime trade along the North African coast in that era.

Bernard Sargent has noted that Dravidian culture has a number of similarities, in Neolithic era home construction methods, musical instruments, religious ideas, inheritance rules and even games, in addition to its founder crops, with Niger-Congo language speaking Sahel farmers. He has also called attention to linguistic similarities, in terms of both root word cognates and grammatical elements, between Niger-Congo languages and Dravidian languages.

A look at the Internet based World Atlas of Language Structures (WALS) shows that Dravidian languages are indeed greatly different by a wide variety of measures from the other major language families of Europe, India and Asia: Indo-European, Austro-Asiatic, Tibeto-Burman, Austronesian, Thai-Kadai, and Hmong-Mien.

There are some similarities to Niger-Congo languages, but the similarities are greatest not to the core and exemplary Niger-Congo languages. Instead, two of the most similar Niger-Congo languages are on the fringe of the Niger-Congo linguistic area bordering and probably receiving areal influences from Afro-Asiatic languages. These are Wolof, of Senegal, and Swahili (a Bantu language with considerable Afro-Asiatic influence as a regional trade language), of East Africa. Sargent cites Mande, another Niger-Congo language on the fringe of the Niger-Congo linguistic area in West Africa that borders Afro-Asiatic linguistic areas as showing similarity to Dravidian. This is suggestive of language learner or near creole effects that dampened particularly distinctive Niger-Congo language related aspects of a putative Niger-Congo source for proto-Dravidian.

Efforts to link Dravidian linguistically to Sumerian, which is well attested in writing in the time period of proto-Dravidian, or Afro-Asiatic languages have also failed. There have been more fruitful efforts to link Dravidian languages to the Uralic languages, but those connections are controversial.

One possibility that could make sense to fit this evidence is that Y-DNA T bearing male colonists brought an early Bantu language, perhaps proto-Swahili, that they acquired culturally through language shift together with the Sahel Neolithic package, but that these men were few enough in number in the early population that their descendants spoke a creolized version of this language that was influenced by a substrate that might have had some structural similarities to Uralic and might have borrowed words through a BMAC language perhaps (or alternately, and perhaps more plausibly, Uralic might have some distant roots in this substrate language).

Indeed, since the Dravidian language expansion appears to have been perhaps somewhat less complete in its replacement of prior cultural strata than Indo-Aryan languages, which even when they were influenced by prior strata were sometimes influenced themselves through Dravidian, proto-Dravidian may still provide the strongest clues to the nature of the pre-Neolithic languages of most of India, even though Dravidian itself probably has a strong intrusive component to its origins.


In my view, Dravidian probably expanded as a component of the South Asian Neolithic which featured African Sahel founder crops and cultural parts of the Sahel Neolithic package beyond crops. This Neolithic package could thrive in conditions where the Harappan civilization of the Indus River Valley did not expand because its Fertile Crescent origin crops did not thrive there. This package probably brought by a predominantly male group of individuals who were the bearers of Y-DNA haplogroup T to India who probably arrived midway up the eastern coast of India by sea.

Dravidian shows signs of being a relatively young language that had many new language learners in its formative period. There is strong evidence that as a proto-language, it had intrusive elements and was not predominantly native to India, although there may have been an autochronous substrate. But, a narrative that can make sense of just what the nature of those intrusive elements were, or that can connect these intrusive elements to a specific historic cultural community, is elusive.

One of the most promising avenues for finding these links would be to study at a high level of detail, subhaplogroups of Y-DNA haplogroup T and determine which world populations are most strongly phyologenetically linked to the Indian forms of this haplogroup. This work has largely been accomplished for non-African bearers of haplogroup T, but not for haplogroup T in India.


Maju said...

The only thing I know is that Dravidian-speaking Brahui and IE-speaking Balochis are genetically identical. This strongly suggest that Brahui have never migrated to Pakistan but that they have always lived there and that Balochis are acculturated Brahuis.

Hence it's likely that Dravidian languages scattered in South Asia in the Neolithic and that IVC spoke a Dravidian language, probably one close to Brahui.

Andrew Oh-Willeke said...

I think it is quite unlikely that IVC spoke a Dravidian language, at least prior to the collapse of their civilization (it isn't entirely clear if their civilization collapsed before or as a result of the Indo-Aryan invasion).

I suspect that the IVC probably spoke a language that was a highly divergent version of the same family of languages as Sumerian (and perhaps Elamite was also a member of that family), as the evidence of continuity in IVC society from Neolithic package transfer from Sumeria until its collapse is very strong. Given strong intercity trade within the IVC, an absence in Sumerian records of more than one Harappan language group (there were Harappan expatriot linguistic communities in Sumeria documents in their records and archaeology), and lack of any evidence of warfare, I suspect that Harappa was probably a single nation-state with a single language for the entire five millenia existence of the IVC culture.

I'd also venture a guess that there is a good chance that BMAC was a Harappan colony and spoke a related language.

The IVC region is quite distinct genetically form the Dravidian region, as you note (with some of the ANI and ASI differences apparently far predating the Indo-Aryan presence ca. 1500 BCE), and the evidence from trade, crops and culture isn't there. The Dravidians don't have the Harappan script, they don't have Harappan crops, they don't have Harappan civil engineering and architectural styles, they don't have characteristic Harappan religious figures, they don't have Harappan musical instruments, they don't have large volumes of IVC sources goods. There isn't cultural continuity between the Dravidians and the Harappans - they had a little arms length trade and not much more.

Dravidian (and in particular its Brahui branch dated to 1000 BCE at the earliest linguistically) are simply way too young to have been the Harappan language. If Dravidian were the language of the Harappans, the Brahui branch wouldn't be so close to the Dravidian languages of Northeast India (we are talking a Spanish-Portugese degree of distinction for two languages at the geographic western and eastern extremes of the Dravidian languages) and the center of Dravidian linguistic diversity wouldn't be in Eastern India half way up the coast right where Y-DNA haplogroup T frequency is highest.

It isn't terribly easy to tell if the similarity in genetics is because this was (1) a Hungarian style case of language shift by the Brahui due to a thin elite that vanished genetically, or (2) a case of admixture making the outside source and the neighbors indistinguishable, or (3) perhaps Balochis initially being Dravidian and having language shift to IE after that due to regional peer pressure.

Hunter-gather societies, as the Dravidian area was prior to 2500 BCE, simply don't impose their languages on mature agricultural societies like the Harappan society that aren't in a dire state of collapse, and show no evidence of having engaged in warfare on any organized basis for any of its archaeological history.

Moreover, there is pretty good circumstantial evidence that climate (the same ca. 2000 BCE arid period that led to ultimately Sumerian to Akkadian transition in Mesopotamia and probably also gave rise to the Semitic anti-pig eating taboo and led to one of the intermediate periods in Egypt and weakened the Hattians vis-a-vis the Hittites) was a pivotal factor in the demise of IVC society, either causing it to collapse entirely or weakening it until it was vulnerable to the Indo-Aryans. This climate event may have even made early Dravidian society expand as much as it did, in an area that is so wet that less moisture is good for food production, even as the decline in moisture devistated the Harappans that in normal times had just the right amount of moisture for their crops.

The Neolithic comes to the IVC in 7000 BCE. It comes to the regions where people speak Dravidian and the ASI percentage is highest around 2500 BCE.

Maju said...

Elamo-Dravidian is still alive and kicking, at least as hypothesis (but surely not related to Sumerian, which IMO is linked to Hurro-Urartean-NECaucasian instead). It is very possible that Dravidian diverged from proto-Elamite when Neolithic arrived to South Asia.

However even this post includes maps showing that "Pakistani" haplogroups have scattered to South India. You only deal with L and T but that is also the case of J2 and surely others. It is also the case of the ANI autosomal component, etc... so there is a genetic trail showing the spread of people (possibly Neolithic farmers) in that direction. And they may have carried their language with them.

And this language was IMO Dravidian, which was also the language retained by IVC.

"Hunter-gather societies, as the Dravidian area was prior to 2500 BCE, simply don't impose their languages on mature agricultural societies like the Harappan society"...

Exactly. And that's also why Dravidian must be a farmer language.

"The Neolithic comes to the IVC in 7000 BCE. It comes to the regions where people speak Dravidian and the ASI percentage is highest around 2500 BCE".

This is your greatest argument in fact: something I had not thought much about but may be important. Still there's nothing impeding that this Neolithic (necessarily original from Pakistan/Gujarat, the IVC area) carried the IVC language: Dravidian surely.

Kevin Borland said...

Notably, Y-DNA haplogroup L, a somewhat close relative of Y-DNA haplogroup L which has much greater time depth than the Dravidian languages, has a range that closely approximates the Indus River Valley but is virtually absent in the proto-Dravidan area at about the midpoint of the modern Dravidian range.

Just a typo. I think in bold should read T rather than L. Feel free to erase this comment after you fix it. My substantive comment to follow.

Kevin Borland said...

Per your response last night to my comment on your other article regarding a haplogroup T-Afroasiatic hypothesis, can you elaborate a little more on why we can rule out haplogroup L for Dravidian? That is, what if T represented Afroasiatic, and L was Dravidian? I admittedly passed over India on my first take at attempting to correlate the y-DNA tree to language families because of a lack of familiarity with the Indus Valley cultures, and the history of the Indian subcontinent in general. Hope you can shed some light.

Andrew Oh-Willeke said...

"why we can rule out haplogroup L for Dravidian?"

1. Look at the geographic distribution of Y-DNA hg L in the original post and compare it to the map showing where Dravidian languages are spoken. This is a horrible fit for Dravidian. Even spots like the Southern tip of the subcontinent where Y-DNA hg L has a hot spot, are hot spots of high percentages of Indo-European language speakers in a predominantly Dravidian region. Y-DNA hg L is totally backward from where it should be to be a Dravidian marker.

Then do a close up on th Y-DNA hg T distribution, this is a quite a good fit for Dravidian, particularly proto-Dravidian. Its concentration is highest right at the basal location in the Dravidian linguistic phylogeny.

The age of Y-DNA hg L and its relatively geographically compact distribution mean that it can't be a Indo-European import to the IVC. Yet, since Y-DNA hg L and Y-DNA hg T are sister branches of Y-DNA hg LT, and since we know that Harappans got the Neolithic very early from Mesopotamia, you pretty much have to put LT in the Fertile Crescent to make any sense of the distribution of hgs T and L. If LT and T are both in the Fertile Crescent in the Neolithic and Epipaleolithic, and one bunch of folks heads off to found the IVC in the early Neolithic ca. 7000 BCE after which is grows distinct through isolation, than the mystery is solved.

Put another way, I would clearly associate hg with IVC/Harappan civilization in the pre-Indo-Aryan era (and probably R2 as well). But, for reasons I've discussed at length, I don't think that the L/R2 IVC signature is a Dravidian signature.

2. One of the essential features of the Dravidian Neolithic is that its founder crops came from the African Sahel (which has a similar climate to Dravidian India), not from the Fertile Crescent (which has different seasonal mixes of moisture and heat). The farmers of the South Indian Neolithic did grow African Sahel crops like pearl millet. The farmers of the South Indian Neolithic did not grow crops like wheat and barley.

The story of how Y-DNA hg T got to India (or anywhere for that matter) isn't an easy one, but there is clearly a meaningful Y-DNA hg T presence in Africa in places where maritime transport to India is plausible and where one can imagine them learning about African Sahel crops (many of which have names in Dravidian languages that are cognates of their African names).

In contrast, Y-DNA hg L has a range that extends right into the Fertile Crescent but is entirely absent from Africa. No place in the Y-DNA hg L range even had direct trade relationships with Africa, which were limited to Egypt and to a much lesser extent Sumeria, both of which have no Y-DNA hg L. And, while population genetics can and do change over time, there is no reason to think that Y-DNA hg L would have been utterly obliterated between 2500 BCE and today.

In 2500 BCE, at a time when no one had ever written an gardening manual for these crops in any language, when Dravidians were illiterate, when all Africans except Egyptian priests and scholars and bureaucrats were illiterate, you can't simply ship bags of pearl millet and other African Sahel crops to India and expect them to grow. You can't transmit the agricultural technology without people to carry that knowledge on a trip that would have taken many months to make.

Andrew Oh-Willeke said...

3. If Harappans spoke Dravidian, of course, then Y-DNA hg L would corrolate with some of the historic Dravidian range Dravidian. But, then you have to explain why Y-DNA hg L is comparatively rare in all places where Dravidian is still spoken, while it is much more common where it is not spoken.

Similarly, why is the geography of the branching points between the well define phylogeny of Dravidian is in half way up the East Coast of India where Y-DNA hg L is rare despite rapid expansions of Dravidian populations following their adoption of agriculture in 2500 BCE.

Why is there not a single basal branch of Dravidian anywhere in Pakistan? Why is the relict Dravidian speaking population of Pakistan speaking a branch of Dravidian that connects to the South Indian branch from a date 500 years or more after the Indo-Aryan invasion? If Dravidian originated in Harappa, Brahui would be the most basal and ancient branch of the language, not one of the youngest.

Even if Harappans had linguistically seeded Dravidian, they would have left some Y-DNA hg L and R2 demic impacts and the clines of these hgs would be very different.

4. If Y-DNA hg T represents Afroasiatic, then why have none of the places in India where Y-DNA hg T percentages reach as much as 50% ever had even the slightest trace of Afroasiatic languages (until Arabic arrives in the historic era with Islam)?

Afro-Asiatic languages are so greatly dissimilar to Dravidian that no modern linguist has even seriously bothered to try to suggest a relationship between these languages and Dravidian any closer than any other unrelated language family.

Also, Y-DNA hg T is present at low levels all over Europe and Anatolia indicating probably an important role in the initial Neolithic settlement of Europe. Yet, no Afro-Asiatic language (except Hebrew in the Jewish diaspora) has ever had a sustained presence in Continental Europe or Anatolia, apart from one or two Phonecian coastal trading posts. Egyptian and Sumerian records which were well equipped to capture any such presence, likewise do not note any Afro-Asiatic language beyond that range any time in the historic era. And, Northern Semitic is an extreme, not a basal node of Afro-Asiatic languages.

Also, huge swaths of Afro-Asiatic have no Y-DNA hg T connection. It is absent almost entirely in Berber and Chadic language speakers, which are two of the main branches of Afro-Asiatic languages (Semitic, Coptic, Cushitic and Oromo are the others). AFAIK, Y-DNA hg E is the only Y-DNA hg found in the men of all of the Afro-Asiatic language groups.

Maju said...

"... a horrible fit for Dravidian".

It has suffered recession. Many language families are in the same circumstance: you only see a fraction of what they once were.

"One of the essential features of the Dravidian Neolithic is that its founder crops came from the African Sahel"...

But that's for ecological reasons, nothing else.

"If Harappans spoke Dravidian, of course, then Y-DNA hg L would corrolate with some of the historic Dravidian range Dravidian. But, then you have to explain why Y-DNA hg L is comparatively rare in all places where Dravidian is still spoken, while it is much more common where it is not spoken".

Because of IE expansion, which pushed Dravidian (and some other less important language families) against the sea, the jungle and the mountains.

"If Y-DNA hg T represents Afroasiatic"...

That I agree is nonsense. E1b (E1b1b1a mostly) and J1 (J1c3 mostly) are the lineages more directly linked to Afroasiatic in fact. J1 in North Africa and the Semitic area only.

Andrew Oh-Willeke said...

"Elamo-Dravidian is still alive and kicking, at least as hypothesis (but surely not related to Sumerian, which IMO is linked to Hurro-Urartean-NECaucasian instead). It is very possible that Dravidian diverged from proto-Elamite when Neolithic arrived to South Asia."

I'll grant you that Sumerian-Hurro-Uratean-NE Caucasian are probably a linguistic family. Elamite isn't necessarily a close branch of that family, but it is still probably their closest relation, in something of the way that Turkish and Mongolian and Tungistic languages are the closest relations of Korean and Japanese.

This post backs away from a full on endorsement of an Afro-Dravidian hypothesis, and doesn't necessarily rule out an Elam-Dravidian hypothesis. An Elam-Dravidian hypothesis is probably more supportable than a Harappan=Dravidian hypothesis.

"However even this post includes maps showing that "Pakistani" haplogroups have scattered to South India. You only deal with L and T but that is also the case of J2 and surely others. It is also the case of the ANI autosomal component, etc... so there is a genetic trail showing the spread of people (possibly Neolithic farmers) in that direction. And they may have carried their language with them."

Absolutely. But, I think it is pretty safe to attribute the spread of J2 and R1a to Indo-Aryan impacts rather than Harappan ones, and the geographic extent of pre-Indo-Aryan Harappan society is pretty well established by the archaeology.

My sense is that ANI, L and R2 are mostly Harappan Y-DNA signatures, while ASI is a pre-Dravidian South Indian signature, and Y-DNA T is the only Y-DNA signature of the Dravidian expansion itself.

The geography of L outside historical Harappa just isn't right to be a Dravidian marker for reasons explained above.

"And this language was IMO Dravidian, which was also the language retained by IVC."

So, you think Witzel has a lack of Dravidian substrate in the earliest Rig Veda is wrong.

"there's nothing impeding that this Neolithic (necessarily original from Pakistan/Gujarat, the IVC area) carried the IVC language: Dravidian surely."

The impediment is that the South Indian Neolithic crops have almost no overlap with the IVC crops. IVC crops don't grow well in South India and were in fact not grown in the early South Indian Neolithic. African Sahel groups do grow well in South India and in fact were grown in the early South Indian Neolithic. For Harappans to seed Dravidian in South India, you have to figure out how Harappans learned to growth those crops. The few Harappan trade posts in South India (West Coast) didn't grow South Indian Neolithic crops either - they were frontier warehouse trading posts, not experimental agricultural outposts.

Kevin Borland said...

Starting out with Liseranius' hg T map on your post, it would seem to me that just eyeballing it, and assuming the hg originated around Mesopotamia, the most likely migration routes might look something like this. By your argument regarding the Sahel crops, you're not suggesting that instead, the migration directly from Mesopotamia to India should be cut off, and that there should be an arrow by sea from around Samalia to southern India, are you?

Maju said...

L and T are relatives and together (LT) form one of two subhaplogroups of K. The other known as Kx(LT) or MNOPS surely coalesced in SE Asia, so LT most likely coalesced in South Asia (and Pakistan within it).

Andrew Oh-Willeke said...

"the most likely migration routes might look something like this."

My best guess would be from the Horn of Africa to the Golf of oman and thence East to the middle of the Eastern Coast of India with some folks diverting to Northeastern Indian coastal destinations or ending up there later on as exiles. An overland route seems exceedingly unlikely to happen without attracting notice in written histories in that time period or leaving more traces en route.

Andrew Oh-Willeke said...

I would see LT as a SW Asian branch of K.

Anonymous said...

On a spiritual side I have seen Prophet Muhammad PBH 10times and I say it with no boasting I dreamt of the Prophet PBH and I am standing besides him and I was told I am not a sayyid and I ask the Prophet PBH about the Indian people, he PBH had a big smile on his face this is why I started to find out about the Indian people particularly the dark ones 2times I dreamt the dravidians are the sumerians and 1time they are from Canaan and that the blacks and ethiopians are from cush ibn ham

and after a yr I came across something in Prophets and Patriarchs which it said 2times Nimrod(disbeliever was son of cush son of canaan son of ham There is two cush's and people have gotten them mixed up the sumerians migrated to india but also they went into southern arabia thats how a group of them made it to the horn of africa and the dark afro asiatic elamites are from Phut ibn Ham yes the cushites from cush ibn ham are indeed blessed as well

i dreamt a explanation of the dravidians i was told in the dream (hamitic) in type with straight hair and were also egyptians then after some time i dreamt the dravidians came from the fertile crescent in syria close to the sea and after this i dreamt they came from egypt close to the sea and i see arrows showing their travel one arrow goes up into the fertile crescent in syria and the other goes east through south iraq and southern iran until the arrow reached northwest india! also i dreamt of a migration in the shape of a U on the river nile nowhere did i see anything to do with the horn of africa On 13/11/11 I dreamt the dravidians are Phoenicians( A branch of Dravidians did settle in the fertile crescent in syria close to the sea)

Anonymous said...

dravidians are L
info below is from wikipedia!

L was found in( 51% of Syrians from Al-Raqqah), a northern Syrian city in which its previous inhabitants have been wiped out by the Mongols by and repopulated in recent times by localBedouin populations and Chechen war refugees.[4] In a small sample of Israeli Druze haplogroup L was found in 7 out of 20 (35%). However, studies done on bigger samples showed that L-M20 averages 5% in Israeli Druze,[5] 8% in Lebanese Druze,[6] and it was not found in a sample of 59Syrian Druze. Haplogroup L has been found in 2.0% (1/50)[7] to 5.25% (48/914)[8] of Lebanese. wikipedia

L y dna

Syria 51.0% (33/65) of Syrians in Al-Raqqah,( 31.0% of Eastern Syrians) Mirvat El-Sibai et al. 2009[4] Iran 3.4% L1-M76 (4/117) and 2.6% L2-M317 (3/117)

for a total of 6.0% (7/117) haplogroup L in southern Iran

3.0% (1/33) L3-M357 in northern Iran Regueiro et al. 2006(( Turkey 57% in Afshar village,)) 12% (10/83) in Black Sea Region, 4.2% (1/523 L-M349 and 21/523 L-M11(xM27, M349)) Cinnioğlu et al. 2004, Gokcumen (2008)

The subclades of Haplogroup L with their defining mutation(s), according to the 2011 ISOGG tree:

L (M11, M20, M22, M61/Page43, M185)
L* Found only in Europe from Ireland to Eastern Europe[26]
L1 (M295) Found from Western Europe to South Asia [27]
L1a (M27, M76, P329) Found frequently in Indians, Sri Lankans, andBalochs, with a moderate distribution in other populations of Pakistan, southern Iran, and Arabia but also in European populations
L1b (M317) Found at low frequency in Central Asia, Southwest Asia, and Central Europe
L1b1 (M349) Principally found in Europe
L1b2 (M274)
L1c (M357) Found frequently among Burushos, Kalashas, Chechensand Pashtuns, with a moderate distribution among other populations inPakistan, Georgia, northern Iran, India, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia
L1c1 (PK3) Found frequently among Kalash

Mari (modern Tell Hariri, Syria) was an ancient( Sumerian and Amorite city), located 11 kilometers north-west of the modern town of Abu Kamal on the western bank of Euphrates river, some 120 km southeast of Deir ez-Zor, Syria. It is thought to have been inhabited since the 5th millennium BC, although it flourished with series of superimposed palaces that spans a thousand years, from 2900 BC until 1759 BC, when it was sacked by Hammurabi.[1]

Abu Kamal (Arabic: أبو كمال‎, Turkish: Ebu Kemal or Kışla) is a city in eastern Syria on theEuphrates River near the border with Iraq. The Euphrates divides Abu Kamal into two areas: Shamiyya (belonging to the Levant) and Jazira (belonging to Mesopotamia) Al-Jazira, a plains region consisting of northeastern Syria and northwestern Iraq, quite distinct from the Syrian Desertand lower-lying central Mesopotamia. Abu Kamal is an economically prosperous farming region with cattle-breeding, cereals, and cotton crops. It is also home to the historical site Dura-Europos and the ancient kingdom of Mari.

Anonymous said...

The Mediterranean Peoples (Dravidians)

(Extracts from ‘The Original Indians â€" An Enquiry’ by Dr. A. Desai)

How the Mediterranean people came to be called Dravidians makes interesting story. The Pre-Hellenistic Lycians of Asi Minor, who where probably the Mediterranean stock called themselves Trimmili. Another tribe of this branch in the island of Crete was known by the name Dr(a)mil or Dr(a)miz. In ancient Sanskrit writings we find the terms Dramili and Dravidi, and then Dravida which referred to the southern portion of India.

South India was known to the ancient Greek and Roman geographers as Damirica or Limurike. Periplus Maris Erithroei (Periplus of the Eritrean Sea) in the second or third century AD described the maritime route followed by Greek ships sailing to the South Indian ports: “Then follow Naoura and Tundis, the first marts of Limurike and after these Mouziris and Nelkunda, the seats of government.â€

Dramila, Dravida and Damirica indicated the territory. Then it was applied to the people living in the territory and the language they spoke, in the local parlance Tamil and Tamil Nadu or Tamilakam.


The Mediterraneans or Dravidians were associated with the ancient Sumerian civilizations of Mesopotamia and of Elam (southern Iran). Authors have pointed out ethnic, linguistic and cultural affinities between the Sumerians (Mesopotamians) and the Dravidians of South India, and concluded that both probably belonged to the same ethnic stock. HR Hall writes: “The ethnic type of the Sumerians, so strongly marked in their statues and relofs was as different from those of the races which surrounded them as was their language from those of the Semites, Aryans and others; they were decidedly Indian in type. The face-type of the average Indian today is no doubt much the same as that of the Dravidian race ancestors thousands of years ago...And it is to this Dravidian ethnic type of India that the ancient Sumerian bears most resemblance, so far as we can judge from his monuments. He was very like a Southern Hindu of the Deccan (who still speaks Dravidian languages). And it is by no means improbable that the Sumerians were an Indian tribe which passed, certainly by land, perhaps also by sea, through Persia to the valley of the Two Rivers.â€

Hall is of the opinion that Dravidian people must have migrated to Mesopotamia from India, whereas others think Dravidians came from Mediterranean regions, which was their earlier home. KP Padmanabha Menon writes about their close relationship: “Orientalists, many of them, are prepared to concede that the Sumerians, the Mediterranean race, are branches of the early Dravidians.â€

Anonymous said...

(The Hittites adopted many of the gods of the Sumerians and Old Babylonians.) The odd thing about the Hittites, though, is that they seemed to have recognized that all gods were legitimate gods. Whenever they conquered a people, they adopted that people's gods into their religious system.

As far as history is concerned, this has tremendous consequences for the history of the Hebrews. The Assyrians seem to have adopted the same tolerance towards other religions, which allowed the Jewish faith to persist after the Jewish state was decimated by the Assyrians. And the Assyrians seem to have adopted the same tendency to adopt the gods of conquered people, so the Assyrian conquerors of Palestine adopted the Hebrew god, Yahweh, into their religion. This eventually led to the only major religious schism in Hebrew history, the schism between Jews and Samaritans. There are still Samaritans alive today.

Anonymous said... tamil people dont use their brains the dravidians did not come from horn of africa this a lie they are canaanite people i have dreamt that somali and ethiopian is cognate to elamite also i have dreamt od the afro asiatic face it is not like ethiopian with woolly afro hair the closest to this i have seen is this this is brahui yes they have a dravidian dialect but they are nomadic like the elamitesn i have only seen one somali man and one indian man like what i dreamt but the features are pretty close to the brahui chief the lydian wer in north africa the intermingled with the people of phut,cush and chubs i dreamt of north africa and i saw berbers migrating to southern iraq iran area have a good look at the elamite warriors they did not have high squarish hairlines like the cushites from ham cush ibn ham i have also dreamt the cushites were in southern iraq but the features are different than that of elamites i also dreamt of more somalis looking like dark indians with straight hair and less ethiopians like this and of coarse dravidian is cognate to elamite because they are the sumerians so many people borrowed from them now the ones who did the borrowing are claiming things are theirs

Anonymous said...

for previous post it should be the link for pic tamil meaning it is a pic of tamil then it should have been a period then i meant to say people dont use their brains the obvious is in front of them but keep denying the truth

Arjun Gowda said...

Elam = Homeland in Tamil and Hatti = Native Place or Village in Kannada.:-). You should look at basic fundamental words and names to relate proto languages.In 2000BC every one didn't know the writing systems , grammar and all.