Minimalist wrote:Which does bring up the question of who were those "settled people" to the south? What is south of the Russian steppes? Afghanistan?
We need to look at this map again:
You see that great swathe across southern Russia. That's Siberia, and they are IE speakers, or were until the Moslems starting coming in.
So that's the seed bed for the IE language.
The Russian Steppes are to the southwest of Siberia:
The world's largest zone of all steppes, often referred to as "the Great Steppe", is found in southwest Russia and neighbouring countries in Central Asia, stretching from Ukraine in the west to the Ural Mountains and the Caspian Sea. To the east of the Caspian Sea, the steppes extend through Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan to the Altai, Koppet Dag and Tian Shan ranges. The vast Eurasian Steppe, as it is called, incorporates all of these steppes. The area is bordered in the north, on the eastern side of the Urals, by the forested West Siberian Plain taiga, extending nearly as far as the Arctic Ocean.
They have found a lot of archaeological remains in this area, but none - and I repeat none - leading into India. Which is why most archaeos say:
Jim Shaffer wrote, "Current archaeological data do not support the existence of an Indo-Aryan or European invasion into South Asia any time in the pre- or protohistoric periods. Instead, it is possible to document archaeologically a series of cultural changes reflecting indigenous cultural developments from prehistoric to historic periods" The vast majority of the professional archaeologists Bryant (2001) interviewed in India insisted that there was no convincing archaeological evidence whatsoever to support any claims of external Indo-Aryan origins. Kenoyer (as cited in Bryant 2001:231) and Shaffer (as cited in Bryant 2001:232) argue that current evidence does not support an invasion of South Asia in the pre- or proto-historic periods.
And the geneticists do not support any migration, AT ANY TIME, through the northwest passage:
Kenneth A.R. Kennedy, a U.S. expert who has extensively studied such skeletal remains, observes, "Biological anthropologists remain unable to lend support to any of the theories concerning an Aryan biological or demographic entity." Chaubey et al. (2007) find that most of the India-specific mtDNA haplogroups show coalescent times of 40 to 60 millennia ago. Sahoo et al. (2006) states that "there is general agreement that Indian caste and tribal populations share a common late Pleistocene maternal ancestry in India" and that it is not necessary, based on the current evidence, to look beyond South Asia for the origins of the paternal heritage of the majority of Indians at the time of the onset of settled agriculture. The perennial concept of people, language, and agriculture arriving to India together through the northwest corridor does not hold up to close scrutiny. Recent claims for a linkage of haplogroups J2, L, R1a, and R2 with a contemporaneous origin for the majority of the Indian castes' paternal lineages from outside the subcontinent are rejected, although our findings do support a local origin of haplogroups F* and H. Of the others, only J2 indicates an unambiguous recent external contribution, from West Asia rather than Central Asia.
The last sentence refers to the Parsees who migrated into India to escape the Moslem invasion of Persia around 1000 years ago.
So if the Iranians did not break away from the Indians on their way going south from the Russian Steppe (as we know the Indians didn't go that way), then when did they?
Indian historians say that they are mainly the Anu tribe who migrated north-west out of India when they were pushed out by the Puru tribe.