Gene Flow from India to Australia About 4,000 Years Ago
Four-thousand years ago, Australia was no longer connected to the mainland as it had been during the ice age. The immigrants thus crossed the ocean, arriving by boat. (Credit: Gunter Senft/MPI for Psycholinguistics)
There are only two ways the inhabitants from South India could have crossed over to the Northern tip of Australia:
1. By boats or catamarans or other sea-faring floatation devices.
But, since the distance from TN to Darwin, Australia is roughly 4000 miles of open sea without any significant islands to use as stepping stones, it is highly improbable that people around 4000 y ago would have successfully negotiated such ocean travel. They had no knowledge of the existence of Australia and it is most unlikely, that they ventured to explore and "discover" Australia, without having any navigational system to chart such vast distances of the ocean on floating devices and no knowledge of the existence of Australian land mass. It would have been questionable that they did. Furthermore, there are no recorded statements in the lore or myths of South India that such journeys took place or were possible.
But, having said that: the Polynesians were able to traverse large tracts of the ocean and colonize distant island, taking animals and plants with them. Further research is needed to establish the possibility of sea-faring South Indians to Australia.
2. Travel by foot along the coast to the Far East and on to Australia by island hopping.
If, indeed, the presence of South Indians are seen in the gene count of North Australian Aborigines, then, they may have been migrated by foot along the coast-lines past India to Burma , Malaysia and to the Dutch East Indies. From there they may have island hopped to Australia. I presume just a handful of humans may be enough to spread their genes in Australia in a few thousand years. They could have taken their dogs and other animals with them. Due to the time lapse during traveling they may have lost their "memory" of their home-land and hence their cultural heritage, what ever they be?
There may be an after-glow of Tamil/Dravidian in Aborigine language? This could very well be due to the fact that initial migration from Africa to Australia passed through the coastal regions of the geographic V of the Indian sub-continent. The tribal of South India such as Kadars, Urulas, and also the trials all along the "Path" to Australia via the Eastern sea-coast and the Eastern Islands all have appearances similar to the Australian Aborigines. So there may be a connection between those who "traveled on" and those who "remained behind".
There is the famous giant rock in the middle of the Australian continent called "Ulooroo", near Alice Springs. This is a Tamil word - "Ulu Ur"- for "an interior place". An island by name Tivu Island is located in the North Western location of Australia. "Teevu" means "island/distant country" in Tamil. These may be a coincidences; more research is need to conclude.
Given all these tantalizing projections it certainly leaves room for more research for those so interested to obtain greater clarity to the origin and relationship between the population groups referenced here.
It is not unlikely that Proto-Dravidian may be a derivative of an earlier language family of humans who emigrated from Africa, 40 to 70,000 years ago, when they passed through the Indian-V to Australia. This very-early language groups, now obsolete, may be the earliest language family from which many modern languages, especially around the Mid-East, South Asia, Far East and Australia evolved. So there must be a sub-stratum of a proto-proto-Dravidian in all the existing languages of this vast area.