02) Genetic Anthropology

Genetic anthropology

(Reference --Wikipedia)


                            The geneticist L.L. Cavalli-Sforza of Stanford, based on work done in the 1980s, classified Indians as being genetically Caucasian. Cavalli-Sforza found that Indians are about three times closer to West Europeans than to East Asians. More recently, other geneticists, such as Lynn B. Jorde and Stephen P. Wooding, demonstrated that South Indians are genetic intermediaries between Europeans and East Asians. 

                          Nevertheless, Indians are classified by modern anthropologists as belonging to one of four different morphological or ethno-racial subtypes, although these generally overlap because of admixture:  Caucasoid and Mongoloid  (concentrated in the north), Australoid (concentrated in the south), and Negrito (located in the Andaman Islands). Dravidians are generally classified as members of the Proto-Australoid or Australoid race. In one study, southern Indian Dravidians clustered genetically with Tamils, a socially endogamous, predominantly Dravidian-speaking Australoid group.

                          While a number of earlier anthropologists held the view that the Dravidian peoples together were a distinct race, a small number of genetic studies based on uni-parental markers have challenged this view. Some researchers have indicated that both Dravidian and Indo-Aryan speakers are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent; however, this point of view is rejected by most researchers in favour of Indo-Aryan migration, with racial stratification among Indian populations being distributed along caste lines.

                            Because of admixture between Caucasoid, Mongoloid and Australoid racial groups, one cannot speak of a biologically separate "Dravidian race" distinct from non-Dravidians on the Indian subcontinent. However, northern Indians have more in common genetically with Central Asian/West Eurasian populations than southern Indian or Dravidian populations, who are more similar to East Asians, further demonstrating that there still exist significant genetic differences between Indo-European- and Dravidian-speaking populations.

                             In a 2009 study of 132 individuals, 560,000 single-nucleotide polymorphisms in 25 different Indian groups were analyzed, providing strong evidence in support of the notion that modern Indians (both Indo-Aryan and Dravidian groups) are a hybrid population descending from two post-Neolithic, genetically divergent populations referred to as the 'Ancestral North Indians' and the 'Ancestral South Indians'. According to the study, Andamanese are an ASI-related group without ANI ancestry, showing that the peopling of the islands must have occurred before ANI-ASI gene flow on the mainland. ANI-ASI admixture happened some 1,200-3,500 years ago, which roughly coincides with the Indo-Aryan conquest of the Indian subcontinent.