Author/Former Editor, Business World, New Delhi

Tony Joseph, author of ‘Early Indians: The Story of Our Ancestors and Where We Came From’, has been an editor and a journalist for over three decades. During his long career, he has been Features Editor of The Economic Times, Associate Editor of Business Standard and Editor of the Businessworld magazine when it was owned by the ABP group. Tony has been focussed on researching India’s prehistory during the last six years, and ‘Early Indians – The Story of Our Ancestors and Where We Came From’ is the result of that. As part of the research, he visited many prehistoric sites in India and talked to scientists and academics who are deeply involved in expanding our frontiers of knowledge in History, Archaeology, Linguistics, Population Genetics, Philology and Epigraphy. The book has gone into the fifth reprint in the fifth month of its publication and has been received well by the academic community. He is currently working on the next book, which will focus on the periods that immediately followed the prehistoric migrations.


SESSION 1E: Public Lecture

Partha P Majumder

The four prehistoric migrations that shaped Indian demography and population structure

Recent advances in population genetics, especially in sequencing DNA from people who lived thousands or tens of thousands of years ago, have brought much clarity to how populations were formed in many parts of the world. This lecture will combine evidence from these ancient DNA studies, along with findings from other disciplines including archaeology and linguistics, to try to paint a cohesive picture of the way Indian population was formed out of four major migrations: the out-of-Africa migrants who reached India around 65,000 years ago; the West Asian migrants from the Zagros region of today’s Iran, who arrived around 9000 years ago; the East Asian migrants who brought Austro-Asiatic languages to India around 4000 years ago; and the migrants from the central Asian Steppes who brought Indo-European languages to India between 4000 and 3000 years ago. The speaker will touch upon the questions that are yet to be answered relating to Indian demography and population structure.