Nikolai Ivanovich Vavilov, who documented the ‘Centres of Origin of Cultivated Plants’, marked specific places at which particular agricultural crops first came to be domesticated by humans. This enabled him to track a plant’s evolution through natural selection and domestication which was used as the basis for his research into plant breeding.
On similar lines, understanding our roots and tracing our past is a herculean task. We have had answers apropos to our ancestry by historians, archeologists, and geneticists. Tony Joseph, the author of Early Indians narrates this journey to our roots. It brings together many lines of research around DNA studies, and research conducted by David Reich, on the analysis of ancient DNA which is a breakthrough in world history and science.
It is undoubtedly mass migration that shapes the demography of a country. ‘First Indian Population’ migrated out of Africa 50-60,000 years ago. The agriculturalists moved to Balochistan which probably sparked the Indus Valley civilization. Today we are a unique civilisation that has drawn together many population groups with diffrent migration histories, traditions and practises.
The study that this book is based on is with respect to tracing the ancient DNA and studies related to that. The results show that had there been an out of India migration to central Asia and western Europe, the genetic footprints would have been evident across the samples taken from the region which is not seen. Instead, migrations into India led to the spread of Indo-European languages in the Indian subcontinent.
Early Indians is a detailed account of understanding our pre-history through advances in human genetics, linguistics, and archeology.