Mysterious Indus Valley People Gave Rise to Modern-Day South Asians

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    Judi Lynn
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    By Stephanie Pappas – Live Science Contributor 8 days ago History

    Who were the ancient people from the mysterious Harappan Civilization?

    The skeleton of an individual from the Indus Valley Civilization whose fragile, ancient DNA revealed links to modern-day South Asian populations. (Image: © Vasant Shinde)

    Ancient DNA evidence reveals that the people of the mysterious and complex Indus Valley Civilization are genetically linked to modern South Asians today.

    The same gene sequences, drawn from a single individual who died nearly 5,000 years ago and was buried in a cemetery near Rakhigarhi, India, also suggest that the Indus Valley developed farming independently, without major migrations from neighboring farming regions. It’s the first time an individual from the ancient Indus Valley Civilization has yielded any DNA information whatsoever, enabling researchers to link this civilization both to its neighbors and to modern humans.

    The Indus Valley, or Harappan, Civilization flourished between about 3300 B.C. and 1300 B.C. in the region that is now covered by parts of Afghanistan, Pakistan and northwestern India, contemporaneous with ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia. The people of the Indus Valley forged an impressively advanced civilization, with large urban centers, standardized systems of weights and measurements and even drainage and irrigation systems. Yet despite that sophistication, archaeologists know far less about the civilization than that of ancient Egypt or Mesopotamia, in part because the Indus Valley writing system hasn’t yet been deciphered.


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