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Exclusive India National News Opinion

Australian Aborigines’ genetic links with Tamils

New Delhi, Jan 16 (): Latest scientific evidences have shown that a mix of genes among Australian Aboriginals and Tamils exists. Previous reports showed existence of some gene flow to Australia from India about 12 millennia back.

Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany after studying some samples of  genes of Australian aborigines concludes that a link of Dravidian speaking group is 4230 years old. The Indian contribution in Australian genome and Indian ancestry through genetic drift are studied and results are published with a precise period of time by scientific methodology and proved results.

These reports always use the name Indian or Dravidian instead of directly naming Tamil since Tamils are Indians and they speak the earliest dated classical language of Dravidian group of languages.

Some genetic material named M130 haplotype on the Y chromosome (or mitochondrial DNA) in Australian Aboriginals is seen common with Tamil people. It is found that mitochondrial DNA is passed on by mothers without much change over the generations to come. Earlier research by Dr Raghavendra Rao of Anthropological Survey of India was based on the above method of analyzing M- DNA.

Another evidence is available to show that the Tamils who are considered as ancient navigators went to Australia 500 years back. A bell used in ships with Tamil inscriptions found in New Zealand is dated back to 500 years well before the landing of Europeans in Australia in 18th century. In 1836, a woman in New Zealand was found cooking potatoes in this bell using it as a vessel.

Department of Speech Pathology & Audiology, School of Medicine, Flinders University, Adelaide and Research Centre for Linguistic Typology La Trobe University, Melbourne have also recorded considerable evidences based on linguistic tools regarding similarities of Australian aboriginal languages with Tamil and have reported the same.

Perhaps most similar to Australian languages are the Dravidian languages of southern India. Tamil, for example, has five places of articulation in a single series of stops, paralleled by a series of nasals, and no fricatives (thus approaching the Australian proportion of sonorants to obstruents of 70% to 30%). Approaching the question from the opposite direction: according to the latest WHO data on the prevalence of chronic otitis media (Acuin 2004:14ff), Aboriginal Australians have the highest prevalence in the world – 10-54%, according to Coates & al (2002), up to 36% with perforations of the eardrum. They are followed – at some distance – by the Tamil of southern India (7.8%, down from previous estimates of 16-34%) to develop.

Therefore the genetic, archaeological and linguistic research studies are further going in the direction of finding more evidences of the links between Tamil and Australian aborigines.