Early Indians

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Early Indians: The Story of Our Ancestors and Where We Came From
Early indians tony.jpg
Cover of 1st edition
AuthorTony Joseph
CountryIndia
LanguageEnglish
SubjectHuman population genetics
GenrePopular science
Non-fiction
PublisherJuggernaut Books
Publication date
20 December 2018
Media typePrint (hardcover)
Pages256
ISBN938622898X

Early Indians: The Story of Our Ancestors and Where We Came From is a 2018 non-fiction book written by Indian journalist Tony Joseph,[1][2][3] that focuses on the ancestors of people living today in South Asia.[4][5] Joseph goes 65,000 years into the past – when anatomically modern humans (Homo sapiens), first made their way from Africa into the Indian subcontinent.[6][7][8] The book relies on research findings from six major disciplines - history, archaeology, linguistics, population genetics, philology and epigraphy, and includes path-breaking ancient DNA research of recent years.[9][10] The book also relies on the extensive study titled "The Genomic Formation of Central and South Asia", co-authored by 92 scientists from around the world and co-directed by geneticist David Reich of Harvard Medical School, in which ancient DNA was used.[11][12][13] The book was later released in different languages like Tamil, Hindi, Oriya, Telugu, Marathi, Malayalam, Gujarati etc.[14][15][16]

Description[edit]

The book discusses four prehistoric migrations in India.[17][18] The book posits that the Harappans were a mixture of Zagros agriculturists (from the modern-day Iran area) and First Indians,[19] a wave of migrants who came from Africa into Arabia and then reached India around 65,000 years ago.[20][21] Citing recent DNA evidence, the book traces the subsequent large migrations of anatomically modern humans into India—of agriculturalists from Iran between 7000 and 3000 BCE and Indo-European languages speaking pastoralists from the Central Asian Steppe (Aryans) between 2000 and 1000 BCE, among others.[22][23] Joseph uses the layers of a pizza as a metaphor to explain the make-up of subcontinental society.[24]

The book also discusses about similarities and differences between Indus Valley civilization and early Vedic civilization.[25][26] The book mentions that "Aryan" culture was most likely the result of interaction, adoption and adaptation among those who brought Indo-European languages to India and those who were already well-settled inhabitants of the region, and that Sanskrit and the Vedas developed in the Indian subcontinent.[27] According to Joseph, Proto-Dravidian is related to the Elamitic language of Iran.[28] The caste system in India is a recent social system, reflected in sharply reduced inter-marriage (endogamy) and genetic mixing after 100 AD. This book also takes into account the path-breaking DNA research and findings from geneticist David Reich's research.[29]

Reception[edit]

The book was well received by readers and many critics.[30] Sujatha Byravan wrote in The Hindu that the book tells a compelling story of our forefathers based on genetic evidence.[31] Razib Khan of India Today said that the book presents a clear understanding of Early Indians.[32] Swaminathan Aiyar of The Times of India thought that the book helps us understand how all Indians have African, Harappan and Steppe Asian genes in different doses.[33] Author Gurcharan Das said that the book helps us understand that Indians are composed of a large number of small populations.[34] Kesavan Veluthat of The Hindu stated that the book shows a firm basis on which the study of Indian history can begin. This is of especial importance in the context of the post-truth conditions of the present, when myth-making seeks to replace authentic knowledge.[35]

Awards[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "A Question of Identity". 2019-02-09.
  2. ^ "The first Indians".
  3. ^ "New reports clearly confirm 'Arya' migration into India".
  4. ^ "Can the arrival of the Aryans in India explain the disconnect between Harappan and Vedic culture?".
  5. ^ "Where Do We Actually Come From? 'Early Indians' Author Explains".
  6. ^ "'Early Indians' review: Who we are and where do we come from".
  7. ^ "Excerpt: These Rocks in MP Reveal Secrets to Our Origin as Indians".
  8. ^ "'We are a multisource civilisation, not unisource': Tony Joseph".
  9. ^ "Early Indians on hindsight".
  10. ^ "Video The story of our ancestors and where we came from: A masterclass with author Tony Joseph".
  11. ^ "1 The Genomic Formation of South and Central Asia" (PDF).
  12. ^ "How We, The Indians, Came to Be".
  13. ^ "How Science Has Destroyed the Foundation of RSS' Idea of India".
  14. ^ "Hindi edition".
  15. ^ "Marathi Edition".
  16. ^ "Tamil Kindle edition".
  17. ^ "Four prehistoric migrations shaped India's population".
  18. ^ "The x, y and gene of pre-historic India".
  19. ^ "How ancient DNA may rewrite prehistory in India".
  20. ^ "The battle over the early Indians".
  21. ^ "How the First Farmers Changed History".
  22. ^ "Migrant Nation".
  23. ^ "Horse sense on Harappa: An excerpt from Tony Joseph's book "Early Indians"".
  24. ^ "We are like pizza. Early Indians were just the base: Tony Joseph".
  25. ^ "How genetics is settling the Aryan migration debate".
  26. ^ "Too early to settle the Aryan migration debate?".
  27. ^ "Examining the evidence for 'Aryan' migrations into India: The story of our ancestors and where we came from".
  28. ^ "Who built the Indus Valley civilisation?".
  29. ^ "From the Aryan migration to caste, two books offer fascinating insights into India's ancient past".
  30. ^ ""Early Indians: The Story Of Our Ancestors And Where We Came From" by Tony Joseph".
  31. ^ "'Early Indians' review: Who we are and where do we come from".
  32. ^ "Review: The Indians Before India".
  33. ^ "So much for Hindu Rashtra".
  34. ^ "Who are we Indians? Genetics is bringing bad news for the politics of identity: We are all migrants".
  35. ^ "Of India's genetic roots".
  36. ^ "Best non-fiction books of the decade".
  37. ^ "Writer Shanta Gokhale Honoured with Lifetime Achievement Award at Tata Literature Live".
  38. ^ "Tony Joseph's Early Indians wins Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize 2019".
  39. ^ "Four authors get Atta Galatta-BLF awards".
  40. ^ "10 Best New Prehistory Books To Read In 2020".

External links[edit]