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Early Indians: The Story of Our Ancestors and Where We Came From

4.34  ·  Rating details ·  305 ratings  ·  80 reviews
Who are we Indians ? Where did we come from ? Many of us believe our ancestors have lived in South Asia since 'time immemorial'. But, as it turns out, 'time immemorial' may not have been all that long ago. To tell us the story of our ancestry, journalist Tony Joseph goes 65,000 years into the past—when a band of modern humans, or Homo sapiens, first made their way from Afr ...more
Hardcover, First, 256 pages
Published December 18th 2018 by Juggernaut Publication (first published December 2018)
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Average rating 4.34  · 
Rating details
 ·  305 ratings  ·  80 reviews

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Nandakishore Varma
Mar 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
Indians are a people who are always a bit confused about their identity as “Indians” – maybe because the nation itself is a relatively recent construct (not ignoring the mythical “Bharata”) and the regional and caste identities are more strongly embedded. Ever since the West discovered the mystic East, there have been attempts to create an Indian past which is wholly spiritual – based on the mythical, Vedic “Aryan” – by the proponents of the enlightenment. In colonial times, this “Aryan” became ...more
Abhinav Gupta
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
India has had a weird relationship with its history prior to Mauryan empire. History by its nature is imprecise but, in this case, confusion is compounded by the fact that Harappan script remains undeciphered and there are very few archaeological remains of Vedic society. The confusion has only been furthered by ideologically motivated or imaginative thinkers who have colored this phase of history with their own agendas. Top example remains forcibly trying to conflate Harrapans with Vedic societ ...more
Jayaprakash Satyamurthy
Feb 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Everyone in our subcontinent - Pakistanis, Indians, Bangladeshis - please read EARLY INDIANS by Tony Joseph. Understand where we're coming from, how rich and diverse our roots are and how superficial our divisions are. And it's all based on scientific evidence, not ideological wishful thinking.
Sahil Pradhan
Jan 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Who are we Indians ? Where did we come from ? Many of us believe our ancestors have lived in South Asia since ‘time immemorial’. But, as it turns out, ‘time immemorial’ may not have been all that long ago. To tell us the story of our ancestry, journalist Tony Joseph goes 65,000 years into the past—when a band of modern humans, or Homo sapiens, first made their way from Africa into the Indian subcontinent.

Citing recent DNA evidence, he traces the subsequent large migrations of modern humans into
Munjal Dalwadi
Jul 17, 2019 rated it it was ok
First of all it’s good read and will increase your knowledge. Very good flow of the book and simplest possible explanation of complicated scientific/ Genetic terminology. As your read the book some questions generated in your mind and you will get answer very next moment or paragraph. Vey thought fully composed book and never bored you any time.
But I find few problems with book or author’s mind set or his intentions. Vey first thing he has problem identifying Yogi Mudra seal of harrappan as Pash
May 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
First Things First - The Aryan Invasion/Migration Theory has been controversial in India for sometime now. Originally, Max Mueller put forward this theory in the mid 19th century on basis of linguistics. Mind well that the Harappan/Indus-Saraswati valley civilisation had not been discovered till then and surprisingly no written records of that civilisation remain !
" ઇતિહાસ શું લખવાની ચીજ છે ? સાધારણ બે કોડીની રોજીંદી ઘટનાઓનું નામ ઈતિહાસ છે. જે આજ તોફાનની જેમ ઉઠે છે, પણ આવતીકાલે જેનું કોઈ નામોનિ
Mar 23, 2019 rated it did not like it
Tony Joseph’s new book “Early Indians: The Story of Our Ancestors and Where We Came From” attempts to sell the colonial Aryan Invasion Theory's insidious 21st-century version - the Aryan Migration Myth - on the basis of racist, Hinduphobic Harvard geneticist David Reich’s thoroughly discredited research.

The legendary Russian archaeologist Leo Klejn has thoroughly debunked Reich’s pro-AIT research.

The New York Times has exposed Reich’s dubious, deeply flawed research methodology, alleged unethica
Vivek Bhageria
Mar 23, 2019 rated it did not like it
Seriously guys?? Giving this book 4-5 stars? Tony uses discredited claims as the base of this book. He tries to re-establish the Aryan Invasion Theory which has been a proven false theory. The Aryan Invasion Theory was a myth created to break the bond that Indians had with their land. That theory helped Britishers tighten their hold on India. What is the Author trying to do?
Aug 18, 2019 rated it did not like it
A few things: 1) the book appeared 5-6 months before the 2019 Indian elections. 2) The author is neither an academic, nor a researcher. He is a lifelong journalist and TV reporter. 3) Look at who has praised and reviewed the book. People who were all opposed to the current government. 4) If you google the author, he led a company that produced paid content for white papers, blogs and case studies. Feel free to draw your own conclusions on the veracity of his claims and those of his sources. For ...more
Feb 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
There is an image of the famous dancing girl of Harappa on the cover of this book as a nod perhaps to common knowledge that "Early Indians" for most of us refers to the Harappan Civilization. Then, we are told, came the Aryans who somehow settled peacefully (or not) with the Harappans.

Think of it - have you ever asked yourself where did the Harappans come from?

The author tries to answer this rather grand question in 230 pages. Starting almost 300,000 years ago with the evolution of man - this
May 05, 2019 rated it did not like it
After Rakhigarhi study, this book is very outdated now. In his book. he claimed there is decisive proof that Vedic Aryas were foreigners who entered India from Central Asia around 1500 BC and brought Vedic Sanskrit and Vedic religion with them. In twitter after Rakhigarhi study He says "Harappan genome lacks ancestry from Iranian farmers". But in his book published a few months ago, Tony completely contradicts himself and claims Harappan Genome is a "mixture of Iranian farmers and First Indians" ...more
Swaraj Yadav
May 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Highly engaging and enlightening book. A must read in this age of psuedo hindu nationalism. A real eye opener was the evidence of caste system being a later construct on post maghadh India..more of a social engineering experiment whose effects we continue to see to this day.
Feb 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
In schools we are taught Indian history as starting from Harappan and Indus valley civilization. This book gives us detailed view on India's pre history. What was India like around 65000 years ago.

Great book that gives evidence on Who we Indians are.
Spoiler - We are all migrants
Arup Guha
Feb 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Have been reading up on archaeological and linguistic analysis of Early Indians for some time now. But like the author, found the publications on genetic evidence nearly impenetrable. Its interesting to note that the author went through the same cycle but didn't give up. Therefore the book forms a valuable bridge between people interested in their ancient past and technical material. The writing is very lucid and the author makes it a point to clarify all thorny doubts. Finished this book in one ...more
Feb 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Well researched account of our ancestors - the early indians, the harappans and the Aryans. Read to find out how with the help of dna analysis and other state of the art techniques we're more certain than ever of who the original inhabitants, of this landmass we now call as India, were. And in the process learn a little about the origins of the caste system, the differences in dietary practices in the North and the South; interesting insights into the first planned settlement (present local and ...more
Gayathiri Rajendran
Feb 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was a very fascinating read.This book combines linguistics,archaeology and DNA evidence to give an account of the story of the Indian population right from the evolution of man.It also answers the important questions like where did the Harappans come from.After reading this book,I am tempted to visit the sites of the ancient Harappan civilization.A very interesting take on an interesting subject.It was unputdownable.
Sep 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If you are serious about understanding the origins of who really were the people who populated India, their origins and their story this is an excellent book to read.
A mix of sound science and journalism- this book debunks many ideological narratives of various political parties across the country as fairy tales.
It is an important book and deserves to be read but if you are looking for something simple and light this is not the book for you.
Midhun Jose
Sep 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Extensively researched, strongly argued and beautifully written

A must read book for all Indians. Whether you agree or disagree with the Aryan migration hypothesis, this book definitely compel you to ask some valid questions and check your perceptions
Samuel Premkumar
Dec 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
A nice and easy to read book on the population history of India. Tony Joseph traces the human migration in to India from 65000 years ago to the later waves of migration, based on the new data available from the science of ancient DNA analysis. While linguistic and archeology studies had some gaps in the migration theory, the ancient DNA study fills in the gap. The book should be read along with David Reich's. "Who we are and how we got here" as it has the complete scientific data and proofs.
Apr 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: paperbacks
If this book doesn't settle the debate of who those pesky "Aryans" were, and whether it really matters that they "invaded" what we now call India, I don't know what will.
Rakesh Eettisseri
May 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
oh.. Its an awesome book. Its all about the genetic evidences and how it can light the torch for the quest of our own story. quite enjoyable.
Jawahar Surti
Apr 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
By "Indians" please do not interpret it as in country "India" but as the Indian sub-continent - that should include our neighbors too. It's a very well analyzed book on our ancestry - where did we come from? How we got here? How did our language evolve? Is Sanskrit from what we know as India? So many questions answered to the best based on present day knowledge obtained from archaeological and genetic information. There were a lot of points I was not aware of or had the facts wrong. River Sarasw ...more
Suman Srivastava
Feb 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Great book which combines evidence from genealogy, archaeology and linguistics to provide a compelling story of where we Indians have come from. With interesting insights like why Punjabis drink more milk than South Indians.
Jul 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Outstanding book! Lucid, simple and well researched. Joseph presents the data in a very interesting way, well supported by illustrations and maps. Importantly, he doesn't take sides - where the evidence is not robust enough, or if there are equally plausible alternate theories, he states/acknowledges them. Really enjoyable read!
Mohit Pawnday
Feb 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history
The author has a viewpoint on our Indian origins and brilliantly uses genetic DNA studies to supplement the various narratives .With studies as late as mid 2018 accessed and quoted a compelling and must read in times when identity politics is becoming so important . Supplementing Archaeology DNA Studies with Linguistics and some Climate studies also thrown in a very heady mixture used to justify conclusions of how and why Indians are not so diverse still diverse

A book to be revisted many times f
Jul 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I feel thankful to have read this book. The hole in our collective understanding of who we are pre-historically, the period for which we don't have written records, and where do we come from is addressed with the most recent DNA evidence considered on top of the earlier archeological, linguistic and other ones. It’s about time we start clearing up the haze around who we are, especially given the ideological churn we are going through as a society politically.

This DNA evidence helps, of course, a
Apr 12, 2019 rated it liked it
It's a good book. However it is quite dense which makes completing it a daunting task. The book has alot of geographical references and it only has 5 chapters (each chapter takes some time to read). This book is not for a starter and requires readers of a higher caliber.
Feb 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A narrative of how we Indians came about, buttressed with evidence from fields of Archaeology, Population genetics, and Comparative linguistics. Must read for every Indian as the definition of an Indian(or a Hindu) is becoming more rigid because of the propagandas flying around.
Apr 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
The conventional history of India holds that there developed in the Indus Valley, an urban civilization around 2500BCE and that around 1500BCE, this civilization was replaced by a central Asian pastoral civilization, the Aryan civilization. While the Aryans moved steadily eastward, the Indus valley people moved to central india and peninsular India. The Aryans brought Sanskrit and vedas into India. Hindu religion and the institution of caste took shape as a result of the intermingling of the Ary ...more
Chris Jaffe
Mar 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a generally interesting book that looks at early Indians and where they came from based on linguistic and DNA evidence (leaning more heavily on DNA). Author Tony Joseph (who is himself Indian, don't let the Anglo name fool you) isn't an expert on these fields, but a business reporter. While he's not doing the original research, he's read up on it, and is trying to popularize it for the masses.

When looking at early Indians, Joseph frequently makes an analogy to a pizza. The first Indians
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