Migrants from India settled in Australia 4,000 years ago

Migrants from India settled in Australia 4,000 years ago

  • Genes reveal that a wave of Indian migrants arrived 4,230 years ago
  • Up to 11 per cent of Aboriginal DNA derives from Indians
  • An earlier wave of migrants arrived about 45,000 years ago

Australia was settled by a wave of immigrants from India little more than 4,000 years ago, a genetic study shows.

The finding overturns the view that the continent was isolated from the time it was first colonised about 45,000-50,000 years ago until Europeans discovered Australia in the eighteenth century.

DNA evidence suggests that rather than complete most of the journey over several generations by foot, the Indian migrants came over by boat.

Australia’s first human colonisation was the culmination of the long walk out of Africa by the human species.


Humans are believed to have left Africa, via the Arabian coast and through India before reaching Indonesia and New Guinea and finally over an ancient land bridge to Australia.

Following their arrival there was, according to ‘the prevailing view’, little if any contact between Australia’s Aboriginal inhabitants and the rest of the world.

But DNA evidence has now revealed a second wave of human settlement took place about 4,230 years ago, long before the first European settled there.

Australia was first seen by a European in 1606 when it was sighted from a ship and a further 53 vessels arrived before Captain James Cook arrived in 1770 to claim it for Britain.

Analysis of DNA samples from Aboriginal people living in the Northern Territories of Australia today shows that they have up to 11 per cent of their genetic heritage is Indian

The new settlers came from India and the lack of their DNA in other parts of Asia suggests they sailed directly across the Indian Ocean rather than work their way towards Australia by foot.

Intriguingly, their arrival corresponds to evidence in the archaeological record that shows dingos reached Australia about the same time, suggesting they may have been transported by boat by the human settlers.

Migrants from India settled in Australia 4,000 years ago

Dr Irina Pugach, of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, said the international research team calculated that the Indian DNA reached the Aboriginal population 141 generations ago.

Assuming that each generation is separated on average by 30 years the geneticists were able to conclude that the Indian population arrived on in Australia 4230 years ago.

‘Interestingly this date also coincides with many changes in the archaeological record of Australia, which include a sudden change in plant processing and stone tool technologies, with microliths appearing for the first time, and the first appearance of the dingo in the fossil record,’ she said.

‘Since we detect inflow of genes from India into Australia at around the same time, it is likely that these changes were related to this migration.’

Mark Stoneking, a geneticist at the Max Planck Institute, led the study and told Nature magazine: ‘Australia is thought to represent one of the earliest migrations for humans after they left Africa, but it seemed pretty isolated after that.’

DNA from 344 people was analysed for the study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Samples were taken from people in Papua New Guinea, South East Asia, China, the US and Australia’s Northern Territory.

The dingo is thought to have reached Australia with humans about 4,230 years ago.


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9 Responses to "Migrants from India settled in Australia 4,000 years ago"

  1. kamal narayanan  April 5, 2016 at 10:19 am

    the British would love to spin the theory that they were the original people of the land , and that it is not “ILLEGALLY OCCUPIED” !

  2. Subhodeep Mukhopadhyay  April 5, 2016 at 2:43 pm

    Amazing article!

    4230 years ago would be around 2200 BCE. That is the time when the Saraswati river had started to dry up and it got completely dry by 1900 BCE as per scientific study. With the drying up, the mature Sindhu-Sarasvati civilization came to an end and the later phase began.

    There are two recorded migrations at that time – Kassites and Mittanis, both moving West from India and establishing an ancient Vedic kingdom in Mesopotamia/ Mittani around 1800 BCE.

    And it is quite logical that some people from India would also have migrated from India to Australia. Indian’s were always adventurous people – even today Indian’s go to foreign countries for work.

    Plus it also conclusively proves that when Rig Veda talks about samudra and large ships, it is not a fanciful delusion.

    Excellent post. Great job!

  3. Jim Thomas  April 6, 2016 at 2:10 am

    The first thing I did when I read this article was to look up the “supposed” timing of the tower of babel and dispersion of people as mentioned in the Bible. What I found was interesting was that the tower of babel event is supposed to have happened around 2242 BC after which the dispersion of people started. People were one nation and one language prior to this event.

    Read Genesis 11:1-8 (Just google it) and also read

    See answersingenesis.org/tower-of-babel/was-the-dispersion-at-babel-a-real-event/

  4. ravi  April 13, 2016 at 12:28 pm

    i believe indian were there since long time ……… if u look for lost land of india u will know how they reach ….. as per my research there were land called “Kumari Kandam” that was attached with australian continent ….. if see aboriginal of australia they have similarity of south indian or srilankan people… may be this could be reason they are in australia……..

  5. Pingback: Research brings Australia closer to Indian origin - Mayapur Voice

  6. Pb  May 20, 2016 at 9:17 am

    Jim, surely the facts are obvious by now, there are ancients writings that predate 2000 BC showing different languages and glyphics that proves there were different languages and cultures prior to the whole Abrahamic periods. These were the ancient cultures which include Hindus and the aboriginies of Australia still exist although somewhat modernized.

    We have to be objective to see the facts if we look with a religious mind then we will only see what we want to see. Objectivity is the only way and let religion stand for itself if it cannot stand up to the facts then we know it was made up stories and time to embrace reality and objectivity.

  7. David Hedges  July 2, 2016 at 4:45 pm

    Great DNA study to prove that India had excellent maritime navigational abilities 4230 years ago! I’m not Indian, but I believe that the cradle of civilization started from India, and then it spread to the Middle East, Europe, the rest of Asia, and even to Australia many thousands of years ago. I think this will be proven more and more as time goes by. Thanks again for a great study!

  8. sasikmar  July 10, 2016 at 3:38 am

    Indians were entered far east long ago..
    OUR great culture was once spread there,,,

  9. sasaas  September 10, 2016 at 10:01 am

    so its africa,
    not india


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