Genes Show Ancient Link Between Australia, India

Migrants from India brought dingoes, researchers say
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 15, 2013 12:03 AM CST
Genes Reveal Ancient Australia-India Link
An Aboriginal performer from Australia performs during the dress rehearsal of the Diamond Jubilee Pageant in the grounds of Windsor Castle, Windsor, Britain.   (AP Photo/PA, Steve Parsons)

(Newser) – The belief that Australia's Aborigines existed in isolation for tens of thousands of years before the arrival of European settlers has been upended by a new genetic study, the BBC reports. Researchers found that while there is a strong genetic link between Aboriginal Australians and the people of New Guinea that dates back around 40,000 years, there is also evidence of migration to Australia from India around 4,000 years ago.

"For a long time, it has been commonly assumed that following the initial colonization, Australia was largely isolated as there wasn't much evidence of further contact with the outside world," a researcher from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology says. "Our results show that there were indeed people that made a genetic contribution to Australians from India." Researchers believe that the migrants from India brought new stone tool technology and the wild dogs known as dingoes with them. (Read more Australia stories.)

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