Ancient Australians – culture going south
Southern Indian Tamil-Dravidian likeness
Damien F. Mackey
“I sat and watched Ten Canoes the other day [Australian aboriginals].
The language in it sounded like Tamil”.
Dr. John Osgood wrote on ancient India in “A Better Model for the Stone Age. Part Two”:
The pre-Harappan cultures of the Indus River system all show evidence of continuity of cultural traits into the Harappan culture. Although there is evidence of destruction in some sites, as the Harappan culture emerges, the continuity is evident. This also leaves open the possibility that we are dealing with a population which is the same genetically from the pre-Harappan to the Harappan phase, an exceedingly strong possibility given the early days of this culture and the geography of the area.
The Harappan civilization had its own script, which first appears during its classical period and therefore a short time after the appearance of other scripts, such as proto-Elamite in the west. In fact, their emergence may have been, and probably was being, invented by the separate peoples simultaneously (see Figure 25).
This Indus script as been of recent times shown to be, or at least strongly suggested to be, Proto Dravidian; that is the forerunner of the Dravidian scripts of today.58 It was another centre of the multi- centred redevelopment of writing.
The Indus River civilisation was driven out and conquered by the invading Aryans, southward, and its homeland occupied by Aryran speakers. Likewise in India today the Aryan languages (e.g. Hindi) are mainly in the north and the Dravidian languages (e.g. Tamil) are mostly in the south (see Figure 26). ….
To what genetic origin do we owe the Iranian plateau people of these times and the Indus Valley peoples? We must admit that there is at present no certain identification of origin, but the following facts may help:
- They moved eastward probably from the Mesopotamian area.
- The Iranian Plateau and Indus Valley had a cultural affinity.
- The Indus Valley people had a separate script from the Elamites and it came into prominence a little later.
- The Indus people were apparently dark skinned.
We may provisionally theorise that they were not Shemites – no connection can be made. The skin colour would suggest Hamites, but after that the trail becomes much more speculative. ….
[End of quote]
An ethnic link can almost certainly be established between the dark-skinned southern Indians and the Australian aborigines, whose cultural type was also found emerging at Göbekli Tepe.
Thus Lulu Morris writes, “Four Thousand Years Ago Indians Landed in Australia”: https://www.nationalgeographic.com.au/australia/four-thousand-years-ago-indians-landed-in-
Genetic evidence suggests that just over 4 millennia ago a group of Indian travellers landed in Australia and stayed. The evidence emerged a few years ago after a group of Aboriginal men’s Y chromosomes matched with Y chromosomes typically found in Indian men. Up until now, the exact details, though, have been unclear.
But Irina Pugach from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology may have recently solved the thousand-year-old case. 4,000 years before the First Fleet landed on our fair shores, Indian adventurers had already settled and were accepted into the Indigenous Australian culture.
By studying the single-nucleotide polymorphisms and their patterns, Dr Pugach revealed a diverse tapestry of ancestry, one different from the lineage of New Guineans or the Philippines. The study found a pattern of SNPs that is only found in Indian genetics, specifically the Dravidian speakers from South India. Dr Pugach’s results were consistent with the Y-chromosome data found years earlier. Using both results she calculated exactly when India arrived in Australia.
Dr Pugach estimates this to be around 2217 BC. An interesting time for both Australia and India. Indian civilisation was just about formed and Australian culture and wildlife were rearranging.
The Indus Valley civilisation (India) emerged between 2600 BC and 1900 BC. During this period, Indus Valley managed to develop seaworthy boats, which they used to trade with their neighbours: The Middle East. This new technology was used to get to Australia.
There is evidence of a shift in technology that coincides with the time Indians were thought to have arrived in Australia. Indigenous Australians switched their palaeolithic crude, stone tools, for neolithic refined tools. Again around about the time India washed up in Australia, the way food was collected and cooked changed, particularly the preparation of the cycad nut. An important source of food for early Australians, the cycad nut is quite toxic until the toxins are drawn out. The indigenous method always involved roasting the nut, but by 2000 BC Indigenous Australians were removing the toxins via water and fermentation. Similarly, the nut, which is found in Kerala in Southern India is commonly dried or roasted. The last rather important piece of evidence that suggests Indian settled in Australia is our beloved dingo.
The dingo has always been an enigma. No one really knows how or why it ended up in Australia. We know it probably exterminated the Tasmanian Tiger on Mainland Australia (apart from the dingo-free island known as Tasmania) and we know it didn’t originate here. The dingo has a striking resemblance to wild dogs found in India and so may have travelled with the first Indian settlers to our Island. However, there are similar looking dogs found in New Guinea and South East Asia.
Whatever the case, modern genetics has highlighted a part of Indigenous Ancestry previously lost to the world.
Makes you think what else we’ll find.
Tamil and Australian aboriginal languages
Posted by Soumitri Varadarajan October 13, 2009
I sat and watched Ten Canoes the other day. The language in it sounded like Tamil. Which was a surprise. Just like years ago I realised that Japanese and Tamil words were interchangeable in a sentence. So I went looking for research where others may have found this too. I came across this:
Perhaps most similar to Australian languages are the Dravidian languages of southern India. Tamil, for example, has five places of articulation in a single series of stops, paralleled by a series of nasals, and no fricatives (thus approaching the Australian proportion of sonorants to obstruents of 70% to 30%). Approaching the question from the opposite direction: according to the latest WHO data on the prevalence of chronic otitis media (Acuin 2004:14ff), Aboriginal Australians have the highest prevalence in the world – 10-54%, according to Coates & al (2002), up to 36% with perforations of the eardrum. They are followed – at some distance – by the Tamil of southern India (7.8%, down from previous estimates of 16-34%), … (from http://www.flinders.edu.au/speechpath/Manly%20final.pdf)
Then I started to look at other linking the tamil and the Aboriginal. And here I encountered a lot of material. I big proportio of this has to be discounted as it is typically in the vein of the Indian or Tamil suprematist.
Quickly – that vein is one that claims that Tamil is the original language – and the class of languages called Dravidian ( an unfortunate appellation?) is huge and spread all over the world. Some claim the flaw in this na,ing has given rise to the feeling that Tamil ( as dravidian) is the original language. Still now we can start to read about DNA evidence. See this:
Dr Rao and his colleagues sequenced the mitochondrial genomes of 966 people from traditional tribes in India. They reported several of the Indian people studied had two regions of their mitochondrial DNA that were identical to those found in modern day Australian Aboriginal people. (http://s1.zetaboards.com/anthroscape/topic/2011921/1/)
Also – http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2148/9/173/abstract/
Then there is the Human Genome Project and here is what that has to say:
During his own journey in pursuit of the Y chromosome story in the late 1990s, Wells took blood samples from males of Dravidian ancestry in southern India. The Dravidians were among India’s earliest colonists; they now live among the descendants of a later wave of Sanskrit speakers — like Latin and ancient Greek, Sanskrit is an a branch of the Indo-European ‘mother tongue’, more closely related to modern English and French than to Dravidian.
Wells was looking for a genetic marker called M130, the most ancient, non-African, Y-chromosome marker. It is rare in Dravidians, but quite common in Australian Aboriginal males — and, intriguingly, in the Na Dene peoples of the Pacific north-west of North America.
The Na Dene peoples are descended from a second, later wave of immigrants into North America, who were ultimately of Sino-Tibetan stock — M130 is both the oldest non-African Y-chromosome marker, and the most travelled.
Wells’ suspicion that M130 might have survived, at very low frequency, in southern coastal regions of India, was proven correct
The first African emigres left a durable calling card on the coastal migratory route between Africa and Australia.