Odisha has been a part of Indian civilization from prehistoric times. The geographical boundaries of the State of Odisha had never been fixed in history. Odisha is primarily referred to the coastal region, its culture and the dominant Odia language. Odisha as a state is a confluence of two major cultural streams of India. Tribal communities and caste societies constitute its socio-cultural universe and represent different stages in the scale of social evolution. Since colonial period, diversity studies in Odisha was characterised by the perception of Odia culture as a bounded entity, and was concerned with the description and classification of human societies on the basis of anthropometric, somatoscopic and serological information. In post-colonial context, the nature and trajectory of human science has undergone radical changes. The diverse information available about human past as well as the recent advances in knowledge has expanded the scope of human diversity study. Human genome project, being the turning point, data on differences between individuals and between species at molecular level not only form the basis for anthropological knowledge but also suggests important implications in forensic and medical genetics. Recent evidences from archaeology, genetics and linguistics provide a synthetic view on diversity of Odisha population. In this paper an overview of the diversities found in Odisha population on the basis of archeological, linguistic and genetic studies conducted so far by various authors has been presented.
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