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

4.37  ·  Rating details ·  1,365 ratings  ·  284 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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Jaise Joseph May be read the book. The scientific way of understanding things is by going with an open mind, see the data and the proof available, hypophysis it. T…moreMay be read the book. The scientific way of understanding things is by going with an open mind, see the data and the proof available, hypophysis it. Then see more data and proof, prove or disprove the original hypothesis and this continues. It will not work if one already decides what one wants to believe, then one only what one wants to see.

Sabareesh Raja Since this is a scientific article involving technical concepts and facts I would like to explain here a few points that could be helpful for the unde…moreSince this is a scientific article involving technical concepts and facts I would like to explain here a few points that could be helpful for the understanding of a non-science person. It's important that we need to understand the scientific inference from an Indian historical and sociological perspective too.

1. The genetic research shows that the genetic sample from the 4500 year old archaeologically recovered Harappan skeleton is a native one and that there was no intervention from any mass migratory populations from central Asia or elsewhere as claimed by the false ‘Aryan migration – invasion theory’.

2. Importantly this genetic study indicates the movement and migration of Harappan people towards Turkmenistan and Iran thereby enabling a mixed genetic history.

3. The study shows that agriculture was indigenous to India and not introduced from Iran.
4. Genome sequencing has shown that this particular gene of the Harappan lady forms the ancestral gene of the modern south Asian population.
5. Therefore this genetic research has proven that the Harppans of the Indus Valley and Vedic people are one and the same and form the indigenous ancestors of the modern south Asian genes

So 'Tony John' can we have your Aryan Invasion Theory drowned ?(less)

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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. ...more
Jan 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
As India enters the third decade of the twenty-first century, one would presume that modern science would form the focus of an emerging nation of young people, like India. But, quantum computing, artificial intelligence, and advanced medical research do not dominate the conversations. Instead, India is bogged down by questions such as 'who is acceptable as an Indian citizen,' and 'how to build a very tall temple in Ayodhya', etc. The ruling elite is busy pushing the idea of 'one nation, one lang ...more
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
Sajith Kumar
May 26, 2020 rated it liked it
Two terms that refer to linguistic groups are widely misunderstood in India and taken to be racial denominators that split the country into two demographic zones in the north and the south. We know them as ‘Aryan’ and ‘Dravidian’. The former is broadly associated with the north and the latter with the south, more commonly in the state of Tamil Nadu. Scholars are divided on the issue of paternity of the Harappan Civilization (2500 – 1900 BCE) that marked the foundation of later socio-religious de ...more
Vivek Kulanthaivelpandian
Scientific Fact: We (Indians) are all Immigrants and we are all mutts and not pure. Now that out of my chest, on to the book review.
Book moves in a chronological order of important events in the great human migration (Both Archaic and Modern) such as
1. Out of Africa
2. Migratory path
3. Arrival in the Indian subcontinent
4. Settlement and Establishment
5. Later wave of immigration
It all depends on which part of the journey you are interested in and you can zoom in. Personally, I wanted to learn m
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
Nov 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Review to come!
Sravan Devathi
Nov 20, 2019 rated it did not like it
The whole book was based on the Aryan Invasion theory. It is good to note that there is some evidence which debunks this theory-Rakhigarhi DNA study questions Aryan invasion theory, claims the author
The findings are based on the study of the ancient genome in the skeletons excavated from Rakhigarhi.

Read more at:

In the later parts of the book, the author claimed there was a shred of archaeological evidence that the native people of Indus valley worshipped
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
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?
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
Madhulika Liddle
Jul 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Where did the first Indians come from? Who were the Harappans, really? Who were the ‘Aryans’ who wrote the Rigveda and are supposed to have fostered the ‘Brahminical culture’ that has been so integral a part of Indian life for so many centuries?

In Early Indians, Tony Joseph sets out to explore these questions, and some more. Using inferences drawn from a combination of genetics, archaeology, and linguistics (plus some other fields of research), Joseph shows where the First Indian came from (and
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
Jan 14, 2021 added it
Shelves: review
Before I get to how wonderfully interesting this book is, I have to say I am surprised it hasn't been banned yet! It easily, and scientifically I would add, dismantles all of the Indigenous Aryans and Out of India Aryan migration theories that have been doing its rounds on not just WhatsApp but larger forms of media, and encouraged by the current powers that be!
Tony Joseph starts right from the beginning to answer the questions, "Who are we Indians? Where did we come from?" The beginning is abo
A Man Called Ove
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
Manav Swami
Apr 24, 2020 rated it it was ok
Book for those who want reading , but not understanding. Writer has failed to identify Pashupati seal and many more object as symbol of pagan Hinduism.
Nikhil Anandikar
May 01, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Stumbled upon this by chance. This is a very tedious book to read. Also trying to prove the Aryan invasion theory which after recent discoveries has become redundant, seems like a waste of time.
Rishab Katoch
In this fascinating book Tony Joseph explores some of the most hotly debated questions about the prehistory of Indian subcontinent. Who exactly were our ancestors? Who started the Harappan civilization? How did it end? Who were the Aryans? Why do three fourth of the population of India speak a language of Indo-European family? These questions are often answered in the absence of concrete evidence by using mythical sources, which a lot of times are heavily biased to suit a particular narrative. W ...more
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
Sep 14, 2020 rated it did not like it
The DNA vs Archeology model on which this book is based, may work for dead civilizations like Egyptian, Mayan etc. but not for living breathing cultures like Hindu or Australian Indigenous. The authors complete disregard in referring to the Hindu scriptures like Puranas, Mahabharata for astrological/astronomical citing completely baffles me. Furthermore, the linguistic correlations between Pahlavi used in Zend Avesta and Harappan has not even been mentioned.

To add to this, terms of the Rigveda h
Swarna Deepika
Nov 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
All those who wanted to see India as a homeland of hindu religion/Vedas etc. Are going to get disappointed with this (i don't remember Harappan or keezhadi excavation having any religious identity) The author has beautifully connected the threads of archeology, genetics, linguistics etc. to put forth an argument.
If you don't have an open mind this is not for you.
But if you are constantly learning and genuinely curious about our origins , this is something you shouldn't miss!
May 19, 2020 rated it did not like it
An evangelical propaganda book just to denigrate the Indian and Hindu history and civilisation.
Yuvi Panda
Feb 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Thoroughly researched book laying out archeological and genetic evidence for the origins of people who live in India.

The epilogue about the caste system is the most important part of the book.

I grew up in Tamil Nadu, so wasn't really exposed to a lot of this Aryan heritage stuff. I guess that makes sense - people here did consider themselves quite different from North Indians. This book practically confirms that, so that is nice? I guess it is debunking myths I didn't know about.

I'm more inform
Muhammad Juneem
Jun 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
The controversy over the Aryan Migration theory is now settled with the new science of ancient DNA analysis. The Hindutwa brigade's long standing claim that the Aryans are the original inhabitants of India stands invalid. Read this simple, well written book to know the genetic history of Indians ...more
Gourab Kar
Jan 07, 2021 rated it did not like it
I just read the scholarly debates, went through their papers and listened to expert linguists and read reports of Archeological Survey of India and it seems that this book is absolutely bullshit.

Dravidians and Aryans are the same Indians with the exact same genetic footprint that doesn't match with any other race.

This author is as racists as Max Muller who intend to divide India as North India and South India for Political agenda. Reads be-adviced, you will find a lot of myth spread by missionar
Dec 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
An extremely interesting read.
Tony Joseph in his book somewhat clears the air on who we Indians are and where we came from.
The first Out of Africa migrants reached the subcontinent around 65000 years ago.
These were the first Indians. Every Indian has upto 40-50 % of the First Indians genetic makeup in him.
The Harappans- the people who were part of the earliest known civilisation in India, sometime between 7000- 2000 BC, were a part mixture of First Indians and Iranian agriculturists, from the Za
Aman Desai
Oct 07, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: history
The book is an effort to reintroduce the largely disapproved “Aryan Invasion Theory” by repackaging and renaming it as “Aryan Migration Theory”. As an author of a non-fiction work, one should only talk about things which are proved and have widely accepted evidence across all quarters; and should refrain from talk about things that do not have any evidence or archeological or other kind of evidence. However, Mr. Joseph goes on injecting his conjectures wherever the matter lacks of evidence or is ...more
Pramod Biligiri
Oct 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
“The Early Indians” is one of the most informative and engaging books I’ve read. In a brief couple of hundred pages journalist and author Tony Joseph explains how the Indian subcontinent came to be populated by humans (homo sapiens to be precise) over tens of thousands of years and how civilization took root here. What make this book stand out are its reliance on recent academic research (esp. DNA analyses of humans both living and dead) and Joseph’s painstaking effort to convey the essence of t ...more
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35 likes · 8 comments
“The DNA evidence has been conclusive that modern humans outside of Africa are all descendants of a single population of Out of Africa (OoA) migrants who moved into Asia sometime after 70,000 years ago and then spread around the world, perhaps replacing their genetic cousins such as Homo neanderthalensis along the way. All recent discoveries have gone on to reaffirm the African origins of all modern humans.” 0 likes
“Introduction How We, the Indians, Came to Be” 0 likes
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