Early Indians tells us how the first humans came to India from Africa and traces the subsequent large migration of humans into the Indian subcontinent -- of Iranian agriculturalists around 7000 BCE and Aryans around 2000 BCE. In the process Tony not just tells us how today's Indian population came to be composed as it is but also answers some of the most controversial questions of Indian history: who were the Harappans? Did the Aryans migrate to India? Are North Indians genetically different from South Indians? Are the various castes genetically distinct groups? When did the caste system begin? Are Scheduled Tribes genetically different from the rest of the population?
Early Indians is based on cutting edge DNA research as well as archaeological, linguistic and archaeobotanical evidences. It brings complex academic investigations to the reading public and tells the most comprehensive and up-to-date story of Indian prehistory up to the Vedic period that's out there.
It has some fantastic early praise
'If you really want to know who we are, and how we got here, this is the book for you. A thrilling account of our extraordinary pastI couldnt put it down' Gurcharan Das
'An amazing book, written in an engaging style ... It grabs your interest from the first sentence' Bibek Debroy
'Lucidity is the hallmark of this book' Ravi Korisettar
'Intellectual omnivore Tony Joseph offers an enjoyable meander through a minefield of how our ancestors got here' Pranay Lal
'Joseph deftly and brilliantly summarizes new findings of genetics that definitively solve old problems in South Asian history, and show we are all migrants and, ultimately, kin. A timely, fascinating and courageous book' Sheldon Pollock
'[A] very readable account ... should be of interest to anyone curious about the waves of migration and intermixing that resulted in the rich tapestry that makes up the people of today's India' Venki Ramakrishnan
'A remarkably accessible overview of the early stages of ancient Indian history ... lays to rest the question about the origins of the so-called (Indo-)Aryans and their settlement in ancient India' Michael Witzel
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Who are we Indians? Where did we come from? Many of us believe our ancestors have lived in South Asia since time immemorial. But, as it turns out, time immemorial may not have been all that long ago.
To tell us the story of our ancestry, journalist Tony Joseph goes 65,000 years into the past when a band of modern humans, or Homo sapiens, first made their way from Africa into the Indian subcontinent. Citing recent DNA evidence, he traces the subsequent large migrations of modern humans into India of agriculturalists from Iran between 7000 and 3000 bce and pastoralists from the Central Asian Steppe between 2000 and 1000 bce, among others.
As Joseph unravels our history using the results of genetic and other research, he takes head-on some of the most controversial and uncomfortable questions of Indian history: Who were the Harappans? Did the Aryans really migrate to India? Are North Indians genetically different from South Indians? And are the various castes genetically distinct groups? This book relies heavily on path-breaking DNA research of recent years. But it also presents earlier archaeological and linguistic evidence all in an entertaining and highly readable manner. A hugely significant book, Early Indians authoritatively and bravely puts to rest several ugly debates on the ancestry of modern Indians. It not only shows us how the modern Indian population came to be composed as it is, but also reveals an undeniable and important truth about who we are: we are all migrants. And we are all mixed.
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Tony Joseph, former editor of Businessworld, has been a columnist and contributor to leading newspapers and magazines.