indus civilization

Discussions unearthing human history including cultural anthropology, linguistics, etc.

indus civilization

Postby sameee on November 23rd, 2013, 6:56 pm 

its a long shot but I thought I would throw it out there... my ancestors claim to be descended from the people who inhabited the indus valley civilisation. Now I have no way of verifying their claim as the indus script has not been deciphered (apart from the Finish linguist Parpola). I have a lot of circumstantial evidence but no actual evidence, anyone have a clue to where to start? Before you say the British museum, let me say that would be my point of reference as a lay person but thought someone may have a better line of thought..
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Re: indus civilization

Postby ronjanec on November 23rd, 2013, 7:03 pm 

sameee wrote:its a long shot but I thought I would throw it out there... my ancestors claim to be descended from the people who inhabited the indus valley civilisation. Now I have no way of verifying their claim as the indus script has not been deciphered (apart from the Finish linguist Parpola). I have a lot of circumstantial evidence but no actual evidence, anyone have a clue to where to start? Before you say the British museum, let me say that would be my point of reference as a lay person but thought someone may have a better line of thought..


One of our members here, or Forest Dump, may actually be able to help you with this if he happens to notice your post.
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Re: indus civilization

Postby sameee on November 23rd, 2013, 7:24 pm 

fingers crossed and yes any help or insight would be gratefully recievd and appreciated
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Re: indus civilization

Postby ronjanec on November 23rd, 2013, 7:42 pm 

sameee wrote:fingers crossed and yes any help or insight would be gratefully recievd and appreciated


Or personally send him a pm after awhile....
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Re: indus civilization

Postby sameee on November 23rd, 2013, 8:02 pm 

Thank you Ron, newbie here so still getting to grips with things...couldn't find FD in members so am I maybe I am being totally thick or is there a simple way of pm ing him
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Re: indus civilization

Postby Marshall on November 23rd, 2013, 9:29 pm 

Forest_Dump
memberlist.php?mode=viewprofile&u=10

I'm curious about what you say. Could you explain more in detail?
You have LIVING ancestors who claim they descended from the ancient Indus Valley people?

Help me imagine how one could verify a claim like that!

Descent is a GENETIC thing, a genetic relationship. To me it seems more important for them to feel a CULTURAL kinship. If they know something about the civilization and feel a belonging and THINK of themselves as being cultural descendants, then I tend to think of them as being that. They "self-identify" as that.

I'd accept them as that even if their DNA would turn out to be largely immigrant or invader DNA. If something from the old civilization is in the heart, or in a way of looking at the world, then why should one care about the genes?
It has been such a long time. Or am I mistaken? I think of the Indus Civilization as dating from around 2000 BC or earlier.

So please explain a little. A grandmother and grandfather who believe they biologically descended from the old Indus people? Why not let them just go on believing? Find some way to contribute substance to their faith. Why try to test the idea? Why subject it to scientific verification?

Please correct me if I'm missing something or have misunderstood the situation.

Forest is archeologist/anthropologist. Maybe with this link you can send him PM
ucp.php?i=pm&mode=compose&u=10
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Re: indus civilization

Postby Paralith on November 23rd, 2013, 10:00 pm 

samee,

Unless your family has clear records of the names of your ancestors going back between 100 to 200 generations, I doubt very much there will ever be a written record anywhere, untranslated or not, that will verify your family's connection to that civilization. As Marshall said the Indus Valley Civilization dates to 3000 to 1000 BC, and that's a lot of generations. (A 200 generation family tree would be pretty enormous.)

I personally think your best bet would be DNA sequencing. But even that will only help if human geneticists have identified ancestry informative markers that are clearly linked to that civilization. A quick google scholar search tells me they have some DNA markers for Dravidian speaking populations, but whether or not the Indus Valley Civilization is part of that group is apparently debatable. It would be great if archaeologists found some human remains well preserved enough for DNA extraction, but another google scholar search suggests nothing of the sort has been done.

It's entirely possible there will be no way for your family to conclusively prove the link one way or another.
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Re: indus civilization

Postby Forest_Dump on November 24th, 2013, 8:17 pm 

sameee wrote:its a long shot but I thought I would throw it out there... my ancestors claim to be descended from the people who inhabited the indus valley civilisation. Now I have no way of verifying their claim as the indus script has not been deciphered (apart from the Finish linguist Parpola). I have a lot of circumstantial evidence but no actual evidence, anyone have a clue to where to start?


I suppose if your ancestors came from that region, there is a reasonable chance they did come from there. There has certainly been population movement since then, though, not the least would have been from the "influence" of Alexander the Great, at least to the northeast but who knows? Indus Valley script has not been translated and there are no census lists so there is no way of telling from that. Genomic testing is also a possibility but I have never heard of anything specific for that area either. So you might want to ask yourself whether and why it is important to you. Maybe it is really not worth more than a shrug. But if you want to chase down some of the info for the archaeology of that region, I might suggest www.harappa.com (I think). Good luck on that.
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Re: indus civilization

Postby sameee on November 29th, 2013, 8:19 pm 

Thank you too everyone who contributed...your input is appreciated..may I say that I have no definitive evidence to my heritage..at best it is circumstantial but its comforting to know that there is a possible link to my ancestors without going into the fine print. I could give you many examples of the claim to be descended from mohan jo darans from the textile prints to insignias that are still used commonly amongst my people that are not seen any where else. and being an atheist i do not believe in faith without seeing some core;at ion with what i see and know...
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Re: indus civilization

Postby ronjanec on November 29th, 2013, 9:46 pm 

sameee wrote:Thank you too everyone who contributed...your input is appreciated..may I say that I have no definitive evidence to my heritage..at best it is circumstantial but its comforting to know that there is a possible link to my ancestors without going into the fine print. I could give you many examples of the claim to be descended from mohan jo darans from the textile prints to insignias that are still used commonly amongst my people that are not seen any where else. and being an atheist i do not believe in faith without seeing some core;at ion with what i see and know...


Sameee, my very recent ancestors come from central Ireland, and what is now known as the Slovak Republic, but who in the world actually knows where my other ancestors originally came from going back even 500 or so years ago: I could also be of German, Polish, or Hungarian ancestry, or even possibly descended from the Vikings, who at one time settled in the central Ireland area if you go back another 600 years or so.

So I guess all of us will just have to live without knowing our exact family tree, unless of course we are actually descended from royalty.
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Re: indus civilization

Postby sameee on November 29th, 2013, 9:56 pm 

Ron, being born of royalty is actually not a precursor for being a 'thoroughbred' as keeping power forced the aristocracy to marry other established families in order to consolidate. I was always of the opinion of being of peasant stock, nothing grand...
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