Prem Kumar wrote:Caravan Mag and Hartosh are habitual liars. So take whatever they say with a pinch of salt. Let the paper come out
But "if" what they say is true, then Niraj Rai has done an about-turn. He was a vocal opponent of AIT. But he seems to indicate that there was a Steppe influx post 2600 BCE.
As someone else pointed out, there are other skeletons from 2016. More data will confirm or dispute the theory. But this one skeleton not having Steppe DNA means that this skeleton is not favorable to an OIT scenario (per Rai).
Too early so say anything without the paper
Niraj Rai, as a geneticist, has to go where the genetics points. Unless he has enough trusted expert backing from other areas.
The point is that in 1700 AD, an Indo-European language, English, came to India. Around 100 BC-100AD the Shakas brought along their Indo-European language. I'm sure there were other minor I.E. incursions also. There is nothing that says an steppes influx in 1800 BC, just like in the later two cases did not find I.E. already in India. The problem is the paucity of data, and that the content of Sanskrit texts can be waved away with a bunch of ad hoc explanations. Especially with language in the ancient world, what we mostly have is a series of inferences from circumstantial evidence.
One can hope that these findings will spur a great deal more of archaeological activity.
PS: All this is largely the result of sitting on our bums and having a huge deficit in knowledge-production. Knowledge production doesn't mean always original research. Simply making the corpus of world knowledge available in people's mother tongues is also knowledge production. We also have to understand the rest of the world with the intensity that they study us. As another example, suppose e.g., we write Greek or cuneiform in an Indian alphabet - I mean to say, a people that have to condense Thiruvanantapuram to Trivandrum - do you think they are reading ancient Greek correctly? I'm also struck by e.g., the ancient Greeks' "Sandrocottus" for "Chandragupta". We take it for granted that that is the way to pronounce what the ancient Greeks wrote. It is the same way that Avestan is created as a new language. That is how Hittite becomes an Indo-European language. How many Indian scholars can read Egyptian hieroglyphics? We are taking in everything at best through a layer of translation, not through direct pratyaksha. **Everything** has to be re-examined, with an Indian eye. Maybe mostly the result will be only that old findings are reconfirmed. Nevertheless, that knowledge will now be within the Indian civilization.