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V Shinde, VM Narasimhan, N Rohland, S Mallick, M Mah, M Lipson, N Nakatsuka, N Adamski, N Broomandkhoshbacht, M Ferry, AM Lawson, M Michel, J Oppenheimer, K Stewardson, N Jadhav, YJ Kim, M Chatterjee, A Munshi, A Panyam, P Waghmare, Y Yadav, H Patel, A Kaushik, K Thangaraj, M Meyer, N Patterson, N Rai and D Reich
We report an ancient genome from the Indus Valley Civilization (IVC). The individual we sequenced fits as a mixture of people related to ancient Iranians (the largest component) and Southeast Asian hunter-gatherers, a unique profile that matches ancient DNA from 11 genetic outliers from sites in Iran and Turkmenistan in cultural communication with the IVC. These individualsĀ had little if any Steppe pastoralist-derived ancestry, showing that it was not ubiquitous in northwest South Asia during the IVC as it is today. The Iranian-related ancestry in the IVC derives from a lineage leading to early Iranian farmers, herders, and hunter-gatherers before their ancestors separated, contradicting the hypothesis that the shared ancestry between early Iranians and South Asians reflects a large-scale spread of western Iranian farmers east. Instead, sampled ancient genomes from the Iranian plateau and IVC descend from different groups of hunter-gatherers who began farming without being connected by substantial movement of people.
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