Genetics And Archaeogenetics Of South Asia
The study of the genetics and archaeogenetics of the ethnic groups of South Asia aims at uncovering these groups' genetic history. The geographic position of India makes Indian populations important for the study of the early dispersal of all human populations on the Eurasian continent.
Studies based on mtDNA variation have reported genetic similarities amongst the various Indian sub-populations. Newly published research based on the use of autosomal markers indicates that a major admixture event between two divergent populations happened 1,200 to 3,500 years ago, overlapping with the time period when Indo-European languages first began to be spoken in the subcontinent. It is generally believed that the first Indo-European speakers from West Eurasia entered India in a recent wave of migration from the Northwest and spread across the subcontinent, mixing with indigenous Dravidian-speaking people.
It has been found that the ancestral node of the phylogenetic tree of all the mtDNA types typically found in Central Asia, the Middle East and Europe are also to be found in South Asia at relatively high frequencies. The inferred divergence of this common ancestral node is estimated to have occurred slightly less than 50,000 years ago. In India the major maternal lineages, or mitochondrial DNA Haplogroups, are M, R and U, whose coalescence times have been approximated to 50,000 BP. The major paternal lineages represented by Y chromosomes are haplogroups R1a, R2, H, L and J2. Many researchers have argued that Y-DNA Haplogroup R1a1 (M17) is of autochthonous Indian origin. However, proposals for a Central Asian origin for R1a1 are also quite common.
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