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Thread: Physical anthropological data on "Vedic Aryans"?3400 days old

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    Default Physical anthropological data on "Vedic Aryans"?

    Anybody know any studies? I'm pretty skeptical to the claim that hordes of Dolph Lundgren looking dudes invaded India and wrote the Rig Vedas.

    Here's all I got

    From the American physical anthropologist Kenneth A.R. Kennedy.

    SOURCE : Have Aryans been identified in the prehistoric skeletal record from South Asia? -- Biological anthropology and concepts of ancient races (1995) Kennedy, Kenneth A.R.

    quote

    "If Vedic Aryans were a biological entity represented by the skeletons from Timargarha, then their biological features of cranial and dental anatomy were not distinct to a marked degree from what we encountered in the ancient Harappans."

    "the Indus Valley and Gandhara peoples shared a number of craniometric, odontometric and discrete traits that point to a high degree of biological affinity."
    Doesnt sound like they are much different than the Harrapans So what did the Harrapans look like? Who were supposedly non-Indo-Aryan.

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    Vedic Aryans were most likely Nordoid-CroMagnoid, being brunette-light brown haired with coloured eyes with some blonde haired variants. Nordid was a primary component judging by the Nordiform strain present in the Upper castes, notably the Brahmins even in regions furthest removed from the North-West, despite what their non-Brahmin countrymen in the area may be otherwise.

    The skeletal remains found from Nal to Mohenjadaro tells us that the bulk of the Indus Valley denizens belonged to a slenderly built sub race with high pitched, narrow noses, with refined features, having affinities with the East Mediterranid of Europe and the Middle East.

    So in the basic sense, this Kennedy individual is right in the sense that both of the Indus and the Vedic people primarily belonged to a unreduced/Gracilized; Aurignacoid derived racial type.

    I'm pretty skeptical to the claim that hordes of Dolph Lundgren looking dudes invaded India and wrote the Rig Vedas.
    Yes, the claim of an invasion seems implausible. Although we do know that the Aryans were warrior-herders, the idea of a bunch of barbarians destroying an "aboriginal" civilization and thereon creating the most glorious culture in India's cultural demographics seems absurd.

    Also it seems the Vedic Hindus could not have been all entirely blonde haired, as blonde hair as a trait seems to have fully developed only along the Baltic regions. So they were probably best described as quasi-blonde. That very hair pigmentation is preserved among the Hindukush tribes, some Pashtun clans and Kashmiris with the very occasional blonde variants scattered across the rest of NW India, and of course among the upper castes everywhere.
    Last edited by JoshK; 2010-07-08 at 15:30.

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    A post I made elsewhere some time ago. I anticipate several users won't have the impartiality to comment sans their biases, so I'll ask them to refrain from posting here.

    "These 2,000 year old Xiongnu remains shouldn't be too surprising; haplogroup R1a1 has proven to be widespread through the steppe region for thousands of years.

    For all we know, lighter features happened to originate in Europe and spread via selection. Under this model, the Indo-Europeans that ventured into Europe contracted these lighter features from the aboriginals that carried it (Y-DNA hg I's?) through assimilation:

    (Source)

    Let’s turn to the other paper. Malmström et al. (2009) retrieved mtDNA from 19 late hunter-gatherers and 3 early farmers who lived in southern Scandinavia. The late hunter-gatherers show no genetic continuity with the early farmers or with modern Scandinavians but they do show genetic continuity with modern Baltic populations (i.e., Latvians). This seems consistent with archaeological evidence that the eastern Baltic was a refugium for Europe’s last hunter-gatherers. Indeed, the inland boundaries of Latvia, Lithuania, and Old Prussia may hark back to a time when these people fished and sealed from coastal stations part of the year and then moved some distance inland to hunt game the rest of the year.
    Among ancestral Europeans, this process of sexual selection seems to have been a multi-stage process. It likely began c. 30,000 BP with the first penetration by modern humans of the steppe-tundra belt (southwestern France). This initial stage would correspond to certain physical changes that are common to Europeans and East Asians. Stage I ended with the onset of the glacial maximum (c. 20,000 BP), which blocked East-West gene flow by merging the Fenno-Scandian and Ural icecaps and by forming large glacial lakes along the Ob (Rogers, 1986; Crawford et al, 1997). Stages II and III would correspond to later physical changes that are specific to Europeans.

    Stage I – head hair lengthens, face shape feminizes, skin lightens (30,000–20,000 BP ?)
    Stage II – skin lightens to pinkish-white (20,000–15,000 BP ?)
    Stage III – hair and eye color diversifies (15,000–10,000 BP ?)
    I would speculate on these "Europoid" Central-South Asians inheriting their "European" features from later migrations. I have the "European Scythians" (those above the Black Sea in modern East Europe) in mind. Their movements across Central-South Asia from the Black Sea after their Indo-Iranian-speaking relatives (Persians, Medians and Vedic Indians) settled is well documented.

    Worth pointing out that the ancient Persians and Indians never depicted themselves as light-featured individuals. Numerous Persian tapestries showed they had dark hair and eyes, but only the occasional soldier had blue eyes.
    Many "enthusiasts" of European heritage have boldly suggested that the immediate ancestors of the Vedic Indians, Persians, Medians, Soghdians and Bactrians, the most settled and "civilized" of the Indo-Iranian family, were in fact "mixed" with whomever was resident in that region to begin with. These enthusiasts happen to have little knowledge on Central Asia and it's people, and I am yet to see a proper explanation on exactly who these "Asian aboriginals" were.

    This model effectively answers the following:
    - Why some South Asians living in offbeat mountain locales have features that are more typically "European" than the average Iranian, Afghan, Pakistani or Indian.
    - The finding of mtDNA K1b in Tajikistan.
    - The depiction of East Scythians as blatantly Caucasoid (yet dark-featured) when compared to the predominantly fair Scythians of Europe (as described by Strabo and Herotodus)

    Addressing the Tocharians quickly, their presence in Central Asia precedes the Indo-Iranians, and the only genetic material extracted from (what are most likely) Tocharian remains is over 3,500 years old. Only mtDNA has been sequenced, and they were found to be mixed between West and East Eurasians. The skeletons are obviously Caucasoid in morphology, but that is as far as the "racial" analysis goes. Although most of them displayed various shades of blonde, brown and reddish hair, nothing of their extant phenotype can be said. The pigment that produces dark hair colour (eumelanin) is unstable, and degenerates rapidly through oxidation. The fact that many exhumed Egyptian mummies had ginger-brown hair reveals the immense fallacy in this presumption.
    All of the widely-circulated images showing blue-eyed individuals from the Tarim Basin do not date back to the expansion time of the settled Indo-Iranians. As far as I'm aware, all of them are recent (500-1000AD) and were obviously created after the Scythian expansion reached it's zenith. Coincidence?"

    In short, I proposed that fair features are aboriginal to Europe and their attractiveness made them highly selective to the first Indo-Europeans who reached there. As the Baltic was close to the Eurasian steppe, those fair features managed to spread via sexual selection relatively quickly to the Proto-Indo-Europeans of the Western steppe, who were presumably darker originally in axilliary phenotype. Perhaps, by the time the proto-Indo-Iranians founded the Sintashta culture, this "Europeanization" had extended fully yet across the steppe. Ancient DNA will solve many of these caveats.

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    Humata,

    If your post was meant to be refutation of my previous post, I would like to add that I am in no way implying that the ancient Indo-Iranians/Sanskrit-Avestan speakers were the typical Coonian Halstatt "Nazi poster boy" Nordid types. My assertion is that they most likely had Nordid-NordMediterranid cranium and facial structure, with other pigmentation factors varying.

    Upon adaptation of the climate of the Indian plains, the blonde variants were most likely eliminated by natural selection, adaptation and miscegenation,

    The quotes you presented only add to my argument for the most part..
    This seems consistent with archaeological evidence that the eastern Baltic was a refugium for Europe’s last hunter-gatherers.
    .. that blonde hair, as a definitive trait as such most likely developed to its present form among the people living around the Baltic Sea. So the Indo Iranians, if at all, as far as hair pigmentation is concerned, were most likely quasi-Blonde.
    Among ancestral Europeans, this process of sexual selection seems to have been a multi-stage process. Stages II and III would correspond to later physical changes that are specific to Europeans.
    • Stage I – head hair lengthens, face shape feminizes, skin lightens (30,000–20,000 BP ?)
    • Stage II – skin lightens to pinkish-white (20,000–15,000 BP ?)
    • Stage III – hair and eye color diversifies (15,000–10,000 BP ?)
    Skin colour is the most varying factor in pigmentation, which is caused by the mere presence of a few pigments in the epidermis, with the adaptative function of the protection of the underlying tissue against the ultra-violet rays of the sun, and also a sort of "co-operation" between the skin and the environmental conditions.

    Thus, darkening of skin is easily possible within a few generations. A good example of the point in hand, is the pigmentation of the Brahmins of South India, who are asserted to be "tainted" with "Dravidian" blood. While this may be true to a certain extent (and not being relevant as admixture is mostly maternal, and Aryan society being patriarchal)

    ..the climate of South India or any other tropical climate is such that the genes producing dark pigments probably were more stimulated than those producing lighter tints, and the skin-colour of the Vedic Aryans would have definitely darkened from whatever shade it was, probably milky white or a rosy shade to a few shades darker.

    Take a look at this Namboothiri (Kerala) Brahmin. You won't find any one else in South India with such features.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    This individual represents the very same racial type found among the Hindu Kush/Pashtun tribes in a rosy shade and a milky white/quasi-rosy/olive tone among the upper castes of North-West India.

    It is interesting to note, that Eugen Fischer mentioned that the upper castes of Northern India retain the "Nordic characteristics" of stature, head and the nose, albeit without the fair tint of the skin as seen in Northern Europeans.

    I would like to add, that, the selective pressure and sexual selection in India is such that Indians tend to prefer individuals with refined, fine cut features, with a "healthy" skin tone of milky white to olive to light brown ~ wheatish, as exemplified by the depictions and descriptions of the various religious and mythological figures, and also reflected in the preference for the aforementioned type of individuals in their (our) media, cinema, modelling, and so and so forth.

    Note:
    Sculptures from the Chola Period 3000BC, Tamil Nadu, South India.
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    "Priest King" from the Indus-Saraswati civilization
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    Portrait of Rajput princess
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    Hindu Trimurti (Lord Shiva is depicted with light brunette-flaxen blonde hair)
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Painting of Varuna, one of the primary deities in the Vedas
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    Lord Krishna and consort Radha
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    But then again, you have occasional instances that mention traits..
    • Indra - RGV 10.23.4 - "With him too is this rain of his that comes like herds: Indra throws drops of moisture on his yellow beard. When the sweet juice is shed he seeks the pleasant place, and stirs the worshipper as wind disturbs the wood."
    • Indra - RGV 10.96.8 - "At the swift draught the Soma-drinker waxed in might, the Iron One with yellow beard and yellow hair. He, Lord of Tawny Coursers, Lord of fleet-foot Mares, will bear his Bay Steeds safely over all distress."
    • Indra - RGV 1.9.3 - "O Lord of all men, fair of cheek, rejoice thee in the gladdening lauds, Present at these drink-offerings."
    ..which may point to a "Nordic" element among the Vedic Aryans. But clearly, it was not the norm as far as pigmentation is concerned.

    And then, in the modern day, we have the Media and "Bollywood", which further enforces this preference.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Hindu Goddess
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    vs
    Bollywood actress (Preity Zinta, Himachali Rajput)
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    See the connection?
    Last edited by JoshK; 2010-07-08 at 17:16.

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    Guys i asked for DATA on VEDIC ARYANS.

    Not genetic data on other far off people or off topic crap dealing with opinions.

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    I don't think there is any data. But if we consider the Rajput Royal families to be among the purest Vedic Aryans then hair would be dark, skin fair with brownish undertones and light eyes (guessing green more common than gray or blue though).

    Here is an example of one such individual.

    Nakuul Mehta. Eyes appear to be green but can look blue-green or greyish-green in some pictures. I have never seen mixed light eyes and definitley not grey, blue in any other Indian before.

    http://i33.tinypic.com/2r2ogub.jpg

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    ^The individual you posted has NordMediterraniform (specifically Atlantid) but is rather NordIndid looking. Uncommon for Indians but not too hard to find among the Rajputs. Rajputs are mostly Dinaroid-IndoBrachid(~CroMagniform) otherwise, though.

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    Which is uncommon for indians? Nordindid or Nordatlantid?

    I thought Rajputs were classic Nordindid with cromagnid tendencies with some being nordatlantid.

    Kind of like this guy

    http://img373.imageshack.us/img373/1664/mrdesert3id.jpg
    Last edited by interstedinanthro; 2010-07-22 at 04:15.

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    Quote Originally Posted by interstedinanthro View Post
    Which is uncommon for indians? Nordindid or Nordatlantid?
    Since most Indians are mostly defined by varying levels of GrazilIndid (~standard Indid) and Weddid, NordIndid is not typical for Indians, but gets more common in the North-North-West parts of India. The standard NordIndid is closer to a Robust Med than a Nordid.

    ..And I specifically said NordMediterraniform and not NordMediterranid.

    Form in typology means tendencies/influences/possible direct admixture as in approaching the respective type in some aspects. Meaning having/similar/partially and not completely/entirely/fully.
    • -oid/form = similar
    • -id = specific

    I thought Rajputs were classic Nordindid with cromagnid tendencies with some being nordatlantid.
    Rajputs are mostly NordIndid(~Nordiform/NordMediterraniform)-(robust) IndoBrachid (~Dinariform/CroMagniform)
    Kind of like this guy
    This individual being a rather classic type.

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    Are guys like Hrithik Roshan nordindid in the robust med sense as well? i read someone saying he has nordoid tendencies.

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