Thursday, June 24, 2021
Home > Miscellaneous > Harappans did not drink milk and kept cows for eating them as beef – A recent claim by Akshyeta Suryanarayan, Vasant Shinde, Ravindra N Singh, et al. Found Wrong On Review

Harappans did not drink milk and kept cows for eating them as beef – A recent claim by Akshyeta Suryanarayan, Vasant Shinde, Ravindra N Singh, et al. Found Wrong On Review

Courtesy: https://aryaninvasionmyth.wordpress.com/2020/12/24/harappans-did-not-drink-milk-and-kept-cows-for-eating-them-as-beef-only-a-recent-claim-by-akshyeta-suryanarayan-vasant-shinde-ravindra-n-singh-et-al-found-wrong-on-review/

The claim reviewed and examined by Premendra Priyadarshi MD FRCP Edin.

Reviewed article details: Lipid residues in pottery from the Indus Civilisation in northwest India (Suryanarayan, A. et al, 2021, Journal of Archaeological Science, 125(2012)105291. Link: Lipid residues in pottery from the Indus Civilisation in northwest India – ScienceDirect DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jas.2020.105291Get , List of authors: Akshyeta Suryanarayan, Miriam Cubas, Oliver E. Craig, Carl P. Heron, Vasant S. Shinde, Ravindra N. Singh, Tamsin C. O’Connell, Cameron A. Petrie (Prominent Authors emboldened).

Recent Newspaper summaries of the reviewed Article: Cattle, buffalo meat residue found in Indus Valley vessels – The Hindu; Pigs, cattle, sheep — fatty residues on Indus Valley pottery shows meat-heavy diet: Study (theprint.in) ; Pot Lipid Residues Show Indus Valley Civilisation’s Affinity Towards Meat Products | The Weather Channel – Articles from The Weather Channel | weather.com

Introduction of the First Author: Akshyeta Suryanarayan is an Indian diaspora academic, very concerned about India. Earlier worked in France, and is currently working in Cambridge University in the Department of Archaeology. Recently completed her Ph. D. Thesis on the same topic. Very close to another Indological concerned person Arundhati Roy. See their photograph together at Cambridge >>> (6) Facebook

Another Prominent author : Prof Vasant Shinde has extensively worked on the Harappa Culture archaeology, more recently in intense association with Harvard University team led by Prof David Reich. One of Shinde’s articles (Shinde was the first author and Reich one of the co-authors) was published in the Cell Journal. The team found that there was no Iranian or steppe migration had taken place in India up to 2400 BCE. Shinde was central in the Rakhigarhi research. The same month the Vasant Shinde and David Reich duo’s team published another article in Science, in which they claimed after 2000 BCE steppe people started coming into India and populated the north India by admixing with the older population and they brought the Indo-Europeans to India. Other well known authors were Niraj Rai, Vageesh Narasimhan, Kumarasamy Thangaraj and Dorian Fuller. The formation of human populations in South and Central Asia | Science (sciencemag.org) The results section of this article said that : “Earlier work recorded massive population movement from the Eurasian Steppe into Europe early in the third millennium BCE, likely spreading Indo-European languages. We reveal a parallel series of events leading to the spread of Steppe ancestry to South Asia, thereby documenting movements of people that were likely conduits for the spread of Indo-European languages.” Reviews of Science article in newspaper Hindu: The new reports clearly confirm ‘Arya’ migration into India – The Hindu

After giving a brief idea about the authors, I will like to come to discussing current article : Suryanarayan, A. et al, 2021.

The Suryanarayan Inferences (Summary):

The article makes two principal claims: a) the Harappa Civilization people did not consume milk, and b) kept cattle (cows and Oxen) for traction and beef only. Milk use in diet was rare, and was restricted to northern Haryana. This, they claim, on the basis of their finding that they could detect butterfat (milk fat) in only 4 out of 122 pieces of pottery, all of which were located in North Haryana in Rakhigarhi-Farmana-Masudpur archaeological complex: “Only four vessels (5.5%, from Masudpur VII, Masudpur I, Farmana and Rakhigarhi) have values within the range for dairy products”, they write (page 8; section 3.3). On this basis they claim that milk and milk fat were not used in the Indus Valley Civilization (Harappa Civilization), and the Haryana findings of milk-use are exceptional in nature. The main purpose of keeping cattle and buffaloes at Harappa Civilization was to eat their meat, and to use the bulls/ bullocks in traction of plough for cultivation–they infer.

Milk and Butterfat :

The conclusion arrived at by the authors about butterfat not being used in the Harappa culture is not correct, and has been based on inadequate study of the published literature which although they have cited, they don’t appear to have gone through it. The matter has been clarified by Dudd‘s experiment who in 1998 showed how butterfat changes in archaeological pot-shreds and becomes undetectable as butter fat. It becomes like animal meat fat due to chemical changes produced in it with passage of time. Dudd (1998) had done an experiment which demonstrated that butterfat converts into fats appearing like adipose fat if left under soil for a long time. In their experiment Dudd’s team absorbed butter on ceramic pieces, and buried them. They noted the following changes with time:

Over a short time, the distribution of lipid components in milk transformed into a distribution more closely resembling that of the adipose fat through preferential hydrolysis of the short-chain acyl moieties as a result of reduced steric effects at ester linkages in triacylglycerols as compared with their long-chain counterparts. Once released from triacylglycerols by hydrolysis, the short-chain fatty acids are appreciably more water soluble (and volatile) than their long-chain counterparts. This experiment confirms that selective decay of milk lipids leads to a distribution of fatty acids resembling that of adipose fats.”

Thus, Dudd et al (1998) were able to demonstrate that the lipid profiles resembling adipose fat, if found from old, buried pottery, were most likely the residues of milk or butter fat which had been degraded over time. This is particularly true of hot climates like Northwest India, where the shorter chain lipids get melted and disappear into surrounding soil over a period of time.

Although Suryanarayan et al refer to this paper written by Dudd et al 1998 (see page 6 of pdf version of Suryanarayan article), they arbitrarily use the reverse of the actual conclusions of Dudd’s experiment when they write their own paper. This they achieve by replacing the word butterfat with “animal fat” giving the impression of “meat fat”. This is a clear example of misquoting. [see page 1479 of Dudd’s Report in: Dudd, S.N., Regert, M., Evershed, R.P., 1998. Assessing microbial lipid contributions during laboratory degradations of fats and oils and pure triacylglycerols absorbed in ceramic potsherds. Org. Geochem. 29 (5–7), 1345–1354. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0146-6380(98)00093-X. Link doi.org ]

Hence we can say that Suryanarayan team knowingly (or perhaps deliberately, who knows) tried to create a factoid or myth that the Indus Valley People by and large did not consume milk and milk fat. This particular inference/conclusion/finding regarding milk-fat in this article, should hence be rejected. It must be discarded as false, erroneous and misleading. We shall check in our later examination and assessment whether the reverse, that is, the milk of cow and buffalo was the main purpose of keeping cows in the Harappa culture.

I made a thorough examination of the data presented in Suryanarayan et al article, and exhausted the references cited therein. I came to know that the entire study had been inferred and conclusions drawn not on the basis of any of the data presented or previously published articles cited, but entirely at will, subjectively, and arbitrarily. It appears as if the authors are “attempting to create a factoid” regarding milk non-use at Harappa. It reminded me of the words of Jonathan Mark Kenoyer:

“Unfortunately, the general public rarely follows the rapidly changing field of archaeological studies, and the earlier interpretations often find their way into the popular press to become what can be called “factoids.” “A factoid is a speculation or guess that has been repeated so often that it is eventually taken for hard fact” (Yoffee 2005). The concept of an “Aryan” race is one example of a “factoid”.” [Kenoyer, Jonathan Mark, 2006, “Cultures and Societies of the Indus Tradition”, in Thapar, Romila (Ed.), Historical Roots in the Making of ‘the Aryan’, pp. 21–49, National Book Trust, New Delhi. p. 21]

No Soot found on the Pottery:

Suryanarayan et al noted “None of the vessel fragments analysed had any sooting or charring marks which suggests that they may not have been exposed to fire for long durations of time.” (p.8). This finding is extremely significant. Those days gas stoves were not available and food was cooked over hearths in which plant wastes and wood were burnt. Dried cattle dung too was burnt. These things produce lot of smoke which causes a layer of soot deposit over the sides and neck of the pot. The food being cooked gets stuck in the rough porous bottom of the earthen pot and gets charred. Absence of such changes indicates that the pottery they have studied were not used for cooking meat, but were used for melting butterfat only. These pottery must have been used for melting and storing butter/ ghee and also for churning of milk which is required for the production of butter in India. The most of the pottery examined were ghata (ghara, Hindi) type with a somewhat narrow neck which is best for churning milk for butter (See Figure 2 of Suryanarayan 2021 article). The entire pottery finding (no sooting and charring) along with the lipid findings (modified butterfat) in light of Dudd’s experiment indicates that the Harappa Civilization, spreading from Sind and Gujarat in the south up to Haryana and Punjab in the north, was a huge hub of butter/ ghee production.

The finding of absence of soot and charring in the pottery proves that the pottery must not have been used for cooking meat which requires a long cooking time. Frying and similar cooking would be impossible in the narrow-necked jars depicted in the figure at all. The pots had probably been used for melting butter into ghee, or for melting ghee for pouring over the cooked food or for use in lamps–operations which require melting the butterfat for much shorter periods of time. We are aware that the Harappa Culture people living in Northwest India were using copper and bronze utensils for cooking, and there is no reason why they would cook meat in mud-pottery and not in copper/ bronze kadahi. The mud pottery could crack on intense heating, or by the process of repeated turning of meat by ladle or spoon, and the meat would fall into the hearth and get wasted.

The types of pottery studied in this project also do not suggest that they can be used for such cooking. “In this study, the vessel forms analysed included jars of varying sizes, ledged jars, necked jars, perforated vessels, and bowls“. The narrow-necked jars are not the suitable pottery for cooking meat. There were 7 pottery pieces (out of 122) whose bottoms and sides were perforated. These must have been used as sieve for cheese, and nothing could have been be cooked in them. In figure 8 these have been depicted by red squares (see page 12 of the article). Out of the seven such perforated jars, the Suryanarayan team extracted a lipid which profiled as non-ruminant meat fat! Clearly the methodologies used were not correct, and the results needed rejecting and re-doing. Other vessels included five ‘legged jars’, one dish plate and the rest were jars. Jars are best used for storage of ghee (purified butter fat). Only one bowl was found. These were the only pottery types. No kadahi type cooking pot was found. (see Figure 8 on the page 12 of the article).

Cut Marks on Bones

Suryanarayan et al did not examine the bones for the cut marks, but refer to an article by Chase et al 2010. In this article Chase et al have reported the cut marks on the ribs and vertebral bones recovered from a Harappan city (and the surrounding rural area). Chase (2010) examined the bone remains from Harappan settlement of Gola Dhoro walled city and rural surroundings. The large animal bones (cattle and Buffalo) collected from within the walled city showed that there were cut marks on only 21 bones (ribs/ vertebrae) and 1,558 bones did not have any cut mark out of the total 1578. Outside the city only one vertebra had cut mark, and 443 ribs/vertebrae out of 444 did not have any cut mark. Complete absence of cut marks on the ribs in the rural 444 samples indicates that the rural people did not consume meat of large animals. Beef eating requires cutting the ribs before cooking because they are very large. Such large animals could not have been cooked in the type of small pottery, these authors have found, without cutting. In addition, the thoracic viscera cannot be removed without cutting the ribs.

It may be noted that beef is not commonly consumed in India, yet the leather is skinned out from the cadaver of cattle/buffalo for industrial use (bag, shoe manufacture). Some of the cut marks produced on the bones of the large animals of Harappa might have been caused during the process of skinning the dead animals. The minimal evidence of slaughter (cut mark) of large animal (only 1.3% of all large animal bones) indicates a very rare use of the meat of the large animals in the Harappan urban society. In the rural (outside city walls) such slaughters were even less (0.22%; only a single vertebral bone out of 444 bones examined had cut mark on it). [Chase, B., 2010, 84(324):528–543. Social change at the Harappan settlement of Gola Dhoro: a reading from animal bones | Antiquity | Cambridge Core See page 539, figure 6.]

Thus, we can infer from the absence of cut marks on the bones that beef was not consumed in the Harappa Civilization, and the rare consumption of buffalo meat (or may be beef) use could have been by foreigners present in the big industrial and trading cities. Gola Dhoro was a large cosmopolitan industrial city, and we can understand that foreigners from West Asia who traded with the Harappan cities must have been living there. Such outside people, but not the Harappans themselves, might be consuming the meat of buffalo can be said on the basis of the rareness of evidence of slaughter of large animals found in the Harappan period city and still rarer from the Harappan rural regions in Gujarat.

No Evidence of Cattle or Buffalo specific Protein

The study was poorly designed. Proteins were not not tested at all which are quite specific for identification up to species level. In many countries milk proteins and meat proteins have been tested. But in this study no such effort was made. Hence the study was not designed to have any specificity. Only the lipids were tested which cannot tell anything more than the fact that the Harappa people used some kind of fat, particularly if we read this with the results of Dudd’s experiment.

Only 12% pottery had ruminant adipose fat. None had beef specific fat

There were only 15 specimens of pottery (12% of all) which they have reported to have Ruminant “Adipose” fat, four had ruminant milk fat and 103 had non-ruminant adipose fat. Ruminant is a group of animals which includes sheep, goat, buffalo, cattle, and hunted deer, gazelle, antelopes and nilgai. Most of the 15 pieces of pottery which reveal presence of ruminant adipose fat should be actually considered to be degraded butter fat as per the results of Dudd’s experiment and recommendations (mentioned above). However some, possibly one, two, or four, i.e. a small number, may be attributed to cooking of goats meat which is quite popular in India. But even for such attribution some more evidence is required.

Suryanarayan et al claim in the article that the sheep and goat were not many in the Harappa civilization. However this is not true. Suryanarayan and Shinde team have claimed that goat and sheep meat were not important food items for the Indus Valley people. This claim is contradicted by Chase (2010) who found that there was a teeming industry of goat, sheep and pig meat in Harappa civilisation region at that time. They note, “The over-representation of limb portions inside the walls thus suggests that the residents of this area received cuts of mutton (e.g. legs of lamb) from animals initially butchered outside the walls.”

The Goat and Sheep meat were the main form of ruminant meat in India

In spite of the denial of sheep/ goat meat consumption in Harappa culture by Suryanarayan team, the sheep and goat comprised more than a third of the bone assemblage in the Chase (2010) study. In fact, during the phase II of the fortified city Gola Dhoro, a Harappan city studied by Chase et al, the number of sheep-goat was almost equal to the number of cattle and buffalo (see Figure 3 on page 535 in Chase 2010). Outside the fortified city, the number of cattle-buffaloes was twice that of goat-sheep numbers. Out of the larger animals, 40% were buffalo and 60% were cattle. Thus cattle constituted only 36% of all bones (cattle, buffalo, sheep, goat). This is almost in the same proportion as is found in in modern India. Today, the numbers of cattle, buffalo, goat and sheep are respectively: (in millions) 192.5; 110; 149; 74.3. This comes to 36.5% cattle, 21% buffaloes, 28% goats and 14% sheep.[Data for year 2019, provided by National Dairy Development Board. Accessed 20 Dec. 2020.] At another Harappan city Bagasra, 40% of all domestic ruminant population was goat. [See page 7 in pdf version of Chase et al 2014b Pastoral land-use of the Indus Civilization in Gujarat: faunal analyses and biogenic isotopes at Bagasra – ScienceDirect ]

We are aware that goat’s meat remains the main form of meat in India even today, where cattle are not generally consumed, although the heads of cattle are most numerous, much more than goat, in contemporary India. Therefore, we can say that a bit bigger numbers of bones (of buffaloes and cattle) recovered from the Harappan sites in comparison to sheep and goat does not mean cattle meat was preferred/ or even consumed by the people of the region.

While the cattle and buffaloes were allowed to live full natural life in Harappa culture, the goats and sheep were slaughtered once they achieved their adult weight (chase 2014b). It has also been found by Chase that the Harappans allowed the cows to live even after their milk productivity became very much reduced. This was in contrast to the other ancient civilizations where the cows were slaughtered once their milk production became less, they noted. This indicates some type of social stigma in slaughtering cattle which was the backbone of the civilization. Chase et al (2014b:9) write about Harappan city Bagasra, “Despite these uncertainties, it is clear that the goats and sheep eaten at Bagasra were primarily raised for meat while cattle and buffalo were raised primarily for secondary products.” [Chase, B., Ajithprasad, P., Slater, P.A. et al, 2014b. J. Archaeol. Sci., 50:1–15. Pastoral land-use of the Indus Civilization in Gujarat: faunal analyses and biogenic isotopes at Bagasra – ScienceDirect] Secondary product means milk, butter, traction of cart and plough etc.

It is impossible to differentiate between the fats of the common ruminants viz. cow, buffalo, goat, sheep, deer, gazelle, antelopes and nilgai present in ancient pottery. Craig (2005:889) also expresses the same opinion, particularly about deer. Hunting deer and antelopes has been favourite of Indians living in northwest India and Pakistan throughout the known history and epics. Hence many of these pottery must have carried the deer and antelope adipose fat which is completely indistinguishable from buffalo, goat or sheep or cattle, by the methods applied by these authors.

Meat of goat and sheep have been the most favoured meat in the Indian sub-continent. Buffalo meat although not consumed now was a favourite dish particularly that sacrificed to Goddess in some parts of India. Buffalo sacrifice is still practiced during Durgapuja festival in Nepal, Bengal and Assam. The goat/sheep and buffalo sacrifices were favourite religious rituals of the Indus Valley people, as evidenced from the seals and tablets depicting such sacrifices (Tablet Harappa Museum, H95-2486; Buffalo Sacrifice scene. See in Shinde, Vasant & Willis, Rick. (2014). Ancient Asia. 5. 10.5334/aa.12317.Link: A New Type of Inscribed Copper Plate from Indus Valley (Harappan) Civilisation (ancient-asia-journal.com)). There is also Harappan seal depicting Ram/ He-goat sacrifice from Harappa culture. [Mohenjo-Daro seal no. DK 6847; Islamabad Museum, NMP 50.295. Mackay 1938; Plate XCIX, 686a. Link: Seal, Mohenjo-daro | Harappa] However, seals of the civilization depicting cattle sacrifice have not been recovered from Harappa Civilization. Slaying of bulls has been depicted in large number of Mesopotamian seals and tablets. Absence of such depictions from Harappa culture cannot be dismissed as a mere coincidence.

Majority (103 out of 122 pieces) of Pottery had Non-Ruminant (Pig, Chicken) fat

Suryanarayan et al found that the pottery with non-ruminant fat constituted majority (84%). (see Figure 4 and Figure 6 of the article). Pig and chicken are the most common sources of non-ruminant meat in India. Chase (2010) found Harappans in their study consumed meat of pig, goat and sheep. But Suryanarayan team deny it.

Suryanarayan and Vasant Shinde et al claim that the pig bones found from the Harappa Culture were probably not domestic but hunted wild boar. They wrongly claim that the domestic pig was not present in the Indus Valley (Harappa) civilization, and the pig bones found are of wild boars. This is based on their ignorance resulting from inadequate study of the published literature on pig domestication.

Authors’ claim that domesticated Pig was not present in Harappa is wrong

Suryanarayan et al claim that pigs were wild and not domesticated during Harappa culture period in India. This impression has been made on inadequate study because the wild boar bones can be easily distinguished from the pig bones, and many workers have reported domestic pig bones, not only wild boars, found in the studies of ancient bones from the Harappan cities. Wild boars have also been found but they have been clearly reported as wild boars, whenever found.

Genetic analysis has revealed that India was one of the earliest centre of pig domestication.[Larson, G.K. et al, 2005, Worldwide phylogeography of Wild Boar reveals multiple centers of pig domestication, Science, 307, 1618–1621.] Larson (2005) wrote: “The presence of an Indian domestic pig sequence within the cluster of phylogeographically differentiated wild boar lineages from India (D3 in Fig. 1) indicates the existence of yet another independent domestication event and supports claims for pig domestication in India” page 1620; also see figure on page 1619. Link >>> 1599 1618..1621 (researchgate.net) Larson again in 2010 confirmed that India was one of the principal places of pig domestication. They wrote: “we discuss five additional (and possibly) independent domestications of indigenous wild boar populations: one in India, three in peninsular Southeast Asia, and one off the coast of Taiwan.”. Link >>> Patterns of East Asian pig domestication, migration, and turnover revealed by modern and ancient DNA | PNAS

Hence we reject Suryanarayan hypothesis that “domestic” pig was not present in Harappa Civilization region. Case (2010) reported that in in the fortified city of Gola Dhoro, 14% of the skeletons came from pigs during the phase II. At another Harappan site Bagasra the domestic pig population constituted 10% of total bones. [Chase, B., 2014b. This indicates a preference of the urban elite for pork. We can say that the “domestic” pigs were not present in the Indus Valley Civilization is a comment made without verification of the latest research on the topic of pig domestication. This indicates the casual attitude of the authors including Vasant Shinde in the research.

Chicken and birds: major food item in Harappa

In the study of the fat contents of the Harappan pottery, Suryanarayan et al found that majority, i.e. 103 out of 122 samples (84%) showed evidence of non-ruminant animals’ adipose fat. Such animals are domestic pig, wild boar, red jungle foul, domestic chicken, duck, rabbit, porcupine, tortoise, many bird species like pheasant, quail, migratory Siberian birds etc. Even peacock and pigeons were most probably considered good food and not sacred birds at that time. Pigeon is consumed in many parts of India today (eastern parts). Although peacock is no more consumed in India today, it was a favourite meat up to the Mauryan period (third century BCE) when its killing was restricted by orders of King Asoka. [Ashokan Rock Edict, First Kalsi:4; Hultzsch, E., 1925, Inscriptions of Asoka, Govt of India, Carlendon Press, Oxford. page 28. Also see, Mishra, Yogendra, 1966, Asoka, Granthmala Karyalay, Patna.]

Although 84% of lipid samples belong to the non-ruminant animal/bird fat group (Figure 4 of their aarticle), Suryanarayan, and of course Shinde too, thinks that there is some error in their readings and their work, that is why such unexpected result has been obtained; and these 84% samples should have been from cattle meat, they claim. But they must not ignore Dudd’s experiment’s results (discussed above), according to which most these should represent degraded butterfat.

Most of these 103 lipid profile results were, thus, from butter fat. But some must have been from true non-ruminants in which group pig and chicken stand out prominently. Sea fish is another candidate. It has been found that marine fish fat found in pottery very much resembles the non-ruminant animal fat, particularly pork fat. (see figure 3a and 3b >>> Figure 3 | First lipid residue analysis of Early Neolithic pottery from Swifterbant (the Netherlands, ca. 4300–4000 BC) | SpringerLink ). Suryanarayan have not considered the marine fish at all, which was so prominent a part of the Harappan life. Certainly some out of these 103 were from marine fish.

Suryanarayan team, Shinde included, claim that the domestic chicken was not present in the Harappa Civilisation. They write, “the Δ13C values of several vessels are consistent with established values of chicken adipose fats (Colonese et al., 2017), the presence of domesticated chicken (Gallus gallus domesticus) in the Indus Civilisation is uncertain, and early reports confirming its presence (Sewell and Guha, 1931; Prasad, 1936) are questionable, given recent genetic studies (Liu et al., 2006; Kanginakudru et al., 2008; Storey et al., 2012; Miao et al., 2013).” So, they cite 4 papers to dismiss any presence of chicken at Harappa Civilization confirmed earlier. We fact-checked these four articles. Whether these articles have negated the chicken domestication in India.

Contrary to the claim by Suryanarayan, Liu et al (2006) has supported the domestication of chicken in India independently of other places. They write, “These distinct distribution patterns and expansion signatures suggest that different clades may originate from different regions, such as Yunnan, South and Southwest China and/or surrounding areas (i.e., Vietnam, Burma, and Thailand), and the Indian subcontinent, respectively, which support the theory of multiple origins in South and Southeast Asia.” Link >>>Multiple maternal origins of chickens: Out of the Asian jungles – ScienceDirect. This is a first class example of citation abuse by these authors (Suryanarayan, Shinde etc). They cited without reading!!!

The second author Kanginakudru et al., (2008) whom Suryanarayan et al cite to rule out domestic chicken in Indus Valley also turns hostile to Suryanaran and do not support her. Kanginakudru et al strongly support an independent domestication of chicken in India on the basis of genetic studies. Genetic evidence from Indian red jungle fowl corroborates multiple domestication of modern day chicken | BMC Evolutionary Biology | Full Text (biomedcentral.com) Kanginakudru et al write “Our results suggest that the domestication of chicken has occurred independently in different locations of Asia including India. We found evidence for domestication of Indian birds from G. g. spadiceus and G. g. gallus as well as from G. g. murghi, corroborating multiple domestication of Indian and other domestic chicken. In contrast to the commonly held view that RJF and domestic birds hybridize in nature, the present study shows that G. g. murghi is relatively pure. Further, the study also suggested that the chicken populations have undergone population expansion, especially in the Indus valley.” Thus it supports that Indus valley was a breeding ground of Indian origin chicken.

The third author they cite Storey et al., 2012 gives the details how much ancient the Indian domestication of chicken is. The authors also cite (citation number 12 Storey article) that at 1400 BCE Chinese monks returned to China with Indian chicken. Investigating the Global Dispersal of Chickens in Prehistory Using Ancient Mitochondrial DNA Signatures (plos.org) Thus this citation about Storey also supports Indian chicken.

The fourth author they cite, Miao et al, is also hostile to them. >>>(PDF) Chicken domestication: An updated perspective based on mitochondrial genomes (researchgate.net) These authors write in their genetic study, “Several local domestication events in South Asia, Southwest China and Southeast Asia were identified.”

After finding so much of irregularity, which I will not call fraud owing to civility, I will stop here. It is extremely sad to see how badly people of science can conduct their work, write papers and the Journal Editors publish them without verifying/ crosschecking the citations quoted. The chicken was exported to Mesopotamia from Harappa region (Meluhha), during the Bronze Age is well mentioned in Mesopotamian inscriptions. (see Upinder Singh, p. 168). Yet a single group of authors with the support and nexus of powerful people can get anything published to create a FACTOID. What a Shame.

Other published articles/ books which support/ report domestication of chicken in India:

  1. Fuller, D.Q., 2006, Agricultural Origins and Frontiers in South Asia: A Working Synthesis, J. World Prehist, 20:1-86. See page 32.
  2. Islam, M. and Nishibori, M., 2012, Phylogenetic Analysis of Native Chicken from Bangladesh and Neighboring Asian Countries Based on Complete Sequence of Mitochondrial DNA D-loop Region, The Journal of Poultry Science, 49:237-244. 10.2141/jpsa.0120007.
  3. Singh, Upinder, 2016, A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India: From the Stone Age to the 12th Century, Pearson India, NOIDA, India. P. 168.
  4. Peters, Joris et al, 2016, Holocene cultural history of Red jungle fowl (Gallus gallus) and its domestic descendant in East Asia, Quaternary Science Review, 142:102-119.
  5. Blench, Roger and Macdonald, Kevin, 2000, The Origins and Development of African Livestock, London. page 497.
  6. Possehl, G.L., 2002, The Indus Civilization, Rowman Altamira. page 63.
  7. Pramual, P. et al, 2013, Genetic Diversity of Thai Native Chicken Inferred from Mitochondrial DNA Sequences, Tropical Natural History 13(2): 97-106, October 2013.
  8. HassaballahK., Zeuh V., Lawal,R.A., HanotteO. and Sembene, M. 2015 Diversity and origin of indigenous village chickens, Gallus gallus) fromchad, CentralAfrica. Adv. Biosci. Biotechnol.6, 592–600. see page :598.

In spite of the overwhelming evidence that Indus Valley region was not only a large producer of cultivated chicken but also an international exporter, exporting up to Mesopotamia, the authors Suryanarayan and Shinde et al deny even the existence of chicken in the Indus Valley region during the Bronze Age. What a SHAME.

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