Mix and then match. Ancient Indians from the north (ANI) and south (ASI) of India first intermarried widely and then began sticking to their own groups.
The researchers analyzed the genetic differences among genetics modern Indians using several powerful statistical methods. The analysis included nearly 500,000 genetic markers on the subjects’ DNA.
The results paint a complex picture: Beginning about 4200 years ago, ANI (Ancient Indians from the north) and ASI (Ancient Indians from the south), which previously had kept mostly separate, began mating together, a flurry of intermarriage that probably lasted more than 2 millennia. Then, beginning about 1900 years ago or somewhat later, mating patterns shifted dramatically. Local populations became entrenched, eschewing intermarriage with other groups and adopting a cultural pattern of what researchers call endogamy, the practice of marrying only within an ethnic or social group.
What accounts for this pattern? The team points out that the period of intermarriage overlaps with a time of huge social upheavals in India, including the collapse of the ancient Indus civilization—which thrived on the Indian subcontinent between about 2600 B.C.E. and 1900 B.C.E.—as well as large-scale population movements and the rise of the Vedic religion, the predecessor of modern Hinduism. But after 1900 years ago, India’s caste system became a major cultural force, the team concludes, based on its new genetic findings and confirmed by evidence from ancient religious texts. The system rigidly defined four social classes, with the Brahmans at the top and the Sudras at the bottom. Intermarriage was not allowed between them. The Rig-Veda, India’s oldest surviving text and a founding document of ancient Hinduism, does not mention the caste system in its earliest sections, probably written some 3000 years ago; only much later are references to it found.
Bron, lees meer:
Priya Moorjani, et al.: Genetic Evidence for Recent Population Mixture in India
Veranderd door confusie, 11 augustus 2013 - 14:34