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Aryan Invasion Theory

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  Quote Maju Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Aryan Invasion Theory
    Posted: 01-Sep-2005 at 04:04
I don't follow that Mller in the theory and I don't exclude a less agressive migration but it's quite clear thet IE influence came from outside (i.e. Central Asia). 

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  Quote tubo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-Aug-2005 at 23:16

i dont know why some people just cant seem to grasp that this supposed "aryan invasion theory"has no shred of evidence and no credibility .

the man who created this theory was max mueller who had hard ons about a christian india.he expotulated the date of aryans by taking the timeline from the BIBLE.

 

ps:aryan invasion theory is out.aryan immigration theory is in.no sign of battle or war and our aryan lovers had to concede the invasion part.soon it will be what "migration"?lol...



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  Quote Maju Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-Aug-2005 at 18:28
On the light and darkness issue, please consider the possibility that light skinned northern Indians could be seen as dark skinned by whiter IE invaders, later absorbed by the natives without making any major change in the genetic pool. Just an idea. 

On the rest, I can think that IE Aryan mythology got mixed with local Harappan Hindu one, giving the nomads a sophistication that otherwise they wouldn't have shown.


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  Quote AlokaParyetra Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-Aug-2005 at 17:14

Originally posted by Cywr

So the fact remains that the entire AIT of India rests solely on linguistics, which is not sound evidence for history.


Thats not entirely true, much of Mueller's work relies on comparative religion, that was his field of study after all, not linguistics.

True, but his study and interpretation of Vedic works do not construct a valid argument.

Here is a good explanation from David Frawley's paper: "The Myth of the Aryan Invasion of India"

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The 'Rig Veda' describes its Gods as 'destroyers of cities'. This was used also to regard the Vedic as a primitive non-urban culture that destroys cities and urban civilization. However, there are also many verses in the 'Rig Veda' that speak of the Aryans as having having cities of their own and being protected by cities upto a hundred in number. Aryan Gods like Indra, Agni, Saraswati and the Adityas are praised as being like a city. Many ancient kings, including those of Egypt and Mesopotamia, had titles like destroyer or conquerer of cities. This does not turn them into nomads. Destruction of cities also happens in modern wars; this does not make those who do this nomads. Hence the idea of Vedic culture as destroying but not building the cities is based upon ignoring what the Vedas actually say about their own cities.

Further excavation revealed that the Indus Valley culture was not des- troyed by outside invasion, but according to internal causes and, most likely, floods. Most recently a new set of cities has been found in India (like the Dwaraka and Bet Dwaraka sites by S.R. Rao and the National Institute of Oceanography in India) which are intermidiate between those of the Indus culture and later ancient India as visited by the Greeks. This may eliminate the so-called dark age following the presumed Aryan invasion and shows a continuous urban occupation in India back to the beginning of the Indus culture.

The interpretation of the religion of the Indus Valley culture -made incidentlly by scholars such as Wheeler who were not religious scholars much less students of Hinduism was that its religion was different than the Vedic and more likely the later Shaivite religion. However, further excavations both in Indus Valley site in Gujarat, like Lothal, and those in Rajsthan, like Kalibangan show large number of fire altars like those used in the Vedic religion, along with bones of oxen, potsherds, shell jewelry and other items used in the rituals described in the 'Vedic Brahmanas'. Hence the Indus Valley culture evidences many Vedic practices that can not be merely coincidental. That some of its practices appeared non-Vedic to its excavators may also be attributed to their misunderstanding or lack of knowledge of Vedic and Hindu culture generally, wherein Vedism and Shaivism are the same basic tradition.

...

The Vedic people were thought to have been a fair-skinned race like the Europeans owing to the Vedic idea of a war between light and darkness, and the Vedic people being presented as children of light or children of the sun. Yet this idea of a war between light and darkness exists in most ancient cultures, including the Persian and the Egyptian. Why don't we interpret their scriptures as a war between light and dark-skinned people? It is purely a poetic metaphor, not a cultural statement. Moreover, no real traces of such a race are found in India.

Anthropologists have observed that the present population of Gujarat is composed of more or less the same ethnic groups as are noticed at Lothal in 2000 BC. Similarly, the present population of the Punjab is said to be ethnically the same as the population of Harappa and Rupar 4000 years ago. Linguistically the present day population of Gujrat and Punjab belongs to the Indo-Aryan language speaking group. The only inference that can be drawn from the anthropological and linguistic evidences adduced above is that the Harappan population in the Indus Valley and Gujrat in 2000 BC was composed of two or more groups, the more dominent among them having very close ethnic affinities with the present day Indo-Aryan speaking population of India.

-----

I'm sorry for my cut and pasting. I tried hard to shorten and paraphrase Frawley's comments, but all attempts by me did his work no justice.

Lastly, Klaus Klostermaier listed 17 summarized points as to the current evidence against the AIT of India. Once again, i do not think i can do a better job than he, so i am simply copying them here. This appeared in his article, "Questioning the Aryan Invasion Theory and Revising Ancient Indian History":

  1. The Aryan invasion model is largely based on linguistic conjectures which are unjustified (and wrong). Languages develop much more slowly than assumed by nineteenth century scholars. According to Renfrew speakers of Indo-European languages may have lived in Anatolia as early as 7000 BCE
  2. The supposed large-scale migrations of Aryan people in the second millennium BCE first into Western Asia and then into northern India (by 1500 BCE) cannot be maintained in view of the fact that the Hittites were in Anatolia already by 2200 BCE and the Kassites and Mitanni had kings and dynasties by 1600 BCE
  3. There is no memory of an invasion or of large-scale migration in the records of Ancient India-neither in the Vedas, Buddhist or Jain writings, nor in Tamil literature. The fauna and flora, the geography and the climate described in the Rigveda are that of Northern India.
  4. There is a striking cultural continuity between the archaeological artefacts of the Indus-Saraswati civilisation and subsequent Indian society and culture: a continuity of religious ideas, arts, crafts, architecture, system of weights and measures.
  5. The archaeological finds of Mehrgarh (copper, cattle, barley) reveal a culture similar to that of the Vedic Indians. Contrary to former interpretations, the Rigveda shows not a nomadic but an urban culture (purusa as derived from pur vasa = town-dweller).
  6. The Aryan invasion theory was based on the assumption that a nomadic people in possession of horses and chariots defeated an urban civilisation that did not know horses, and that horses are depicted only from the middle of the second millennium onwards. Meanwhile archaeological evidence for horses has been found in Harappan and pre-Harappan sites; drawings of horses have been found in paleolithic caves in India; drawings of riders on horses dated c. 4300 BCE have been found in Ukraina. Horsedrawn war chariots are not typical for nomadic breeders but for urban civilisations.
  7. The racial diversity found in skeletons in the cities of the Indus civilisation is the same as in India today; there is no evidence of the coming of a new race.
  8. The Rigveda describes a river system in North India that is pre-1900 BCE in the case of the Saraswati river, and pre-2600 BCE in the case of the Drishadvati river. Vedic literature shows a population shift from the Saraswati (Rigveda) to the Ganges (Brahmanas and Puranas), also evidenced by archaeological finds.
  9. The astronomical references in the Rigveda are based on a Pleiades-Krittika (Taurean) calendar of c. 2500 BCE when Vedic astronomy and mathematics were well-developed sciences (again, not a feature of a nomadic people).
  10. The Indus cities were not destroyed by invaders but deserted by their inhabitants because of desertification of the area. Strabo (Geography XV.1.19) reports that Aristobulos had seen thousands of villages and towns deserted because the Indus had changed its course.
  11. The battles described in the Rigveda were not fought between invaders and natives but between people belonging to the same culture.
  12. Excavations in Dwaraka have lead to the discovery of a site larger than Mohenjodaro, dated c. 1500 BCE with architectural structures, use of iron, a script halfway between Harappan and Brahmi. Dwarka has been associated with Krishna and the end of the Vedic period.
  13. A continuity in the morphology of scripts: Harappan, Brahmi, Devanagari.
  14. Vedic ayas, formerly translated as 'iron,' probably meant copper or bronze. Iron was found in India before 1500 BCE in Kashmir and Dwaraka.
  15. The Puranic dynastic lists with over 120 kings in one Vedic dynasty alone, fit well into the 'new chronology'. They date back to the third millennium BCE Greek accounts tell of Indian royal lists going back to the seventh millennium BCE.
  16. The Rigveda itself shows an advanced and sophisticated culture, the product of a long development, 'a civilisation that could not have been delivered to India on horseback' (p.160).
  17. Painted Gray Ware culture in the western Gangetic plains, dated ca 1100 BCE has been found connected to (earlier) Black and Red Ware etc.

I hope i have not bored you...

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  Quote Cywr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-Aug-2005 at 05:46
So the fact remains that the entire AIT of India rests solely on linguistics, which is not sound evidence for history.


Thats not entirely true, much of Mueller's work relies on comparative religion, that was his field of study after all, not linguistics.
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  Quote Maju Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Aug-2005 at 20:16
There is one linguistic theory that postulates the so called Nostratic superfamily, including IE, Uralic, Altaic, Dravidian and Afroasian (Semito-Hamitic languages). Notice that most commonly is thought that Dravidian was original to NW India (Indus civilization) and Southern Iran (Elam) and only later extended into Southern India, possibly coincident with the supposed IE invasion. I see that work you link quite interesting and it should help to connect Dravidian and IE and maybe reinforce the theory of the Nostratic family.

In any case I still think that IE came from somewhere in Central Asia or nearby steppary regions. If it is of any consolation, think that not just India but also Iran and Europe have been invaded by those IE aliens, whichever their origin, so succesfully that now almost everybody speak dialects of their original language, even if the genetic IE ascendant is minimal. The circumstance does not only affect India but all the IE-speaking world, as most their original homeland in Central Asia (my opinion) is now Turk-speaker.



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  Quote AlokaParyetra Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Aug-2005 at 18:06
Originally posted by Maju

Take a look to these topics in the  Anthropology, Ethnicity, Linguistics & Etymology subforum:

IE are a clear linguistic family (the best studied of all), so I don't think there can be any doubt about a common origin for all IE tongues, which would be in any case around the Black Sea or Caspian Sea. The main theory here: kurgan expansion, postulates a homeland in either Central Asia or the Don-Dniepr area (depending of the archaeological chronologies used - there's some mess about that). I personally favor the Central Asian origin theory but, anyhow, it's not that important. What I don't believe as probable is that IEs sprung from Asia Minor or, much less, from Northern Europe (as Nazis pretended).

Now, whatever the bad uses of any scientifical theory, as it has happened with evolutionary biology or atomic physics, one can't just deny the linguistical and archaeological evidence of such a pre-historical fact only because it happens to have been manipulated. Almost any fact of history has been abused with political motivations... but that Mussolini or Hitler copied their iconography in Rome or even usurpated the Indian symbol of the svastika, doesn't deny that the Roman Empire existed or that the svastika is a popular religious symbol in India.

The similariteis are astonishing. I do not deny the linguistics. However, i question as to what archeological evidence exists. I like to consider myself an amateur indologists, and I have done various amounts of research trying to find as to what archeological basis the AIT was formed. So far, i have not found any substantial evidence.

For there to have been a Kurgan invasion of India, bringing the Vedic culture and language, there would have to be evidence of such. There are neither archeological signs of non-natural devestation nor any ancient writings describing such. So, in my opinion, it is natural to question the validity of a theory based on pure speculation.

Many will pose the question as to where the Sanskrit language came from. There are, however, several large similarities between Sanskrit, a supposed IE language, and the many "Dravidian" class languages. You may read the following link: http://www.datanumeric.com/dravidian/index.html

The author's research is quite extensive, and posting it here would require pages and pages of posts. The link should suffice. Besides, he placed a copyright, so duplication of any sort is illegal.

I don't agree with the author that Dravidian languages are the ancestor of IE ones. However, he does offer a quite valid explanation of how Sanskrit, thought of as an IE language, developed in India without foreign invasion.

So the fact remains that the entire AIT of India rests solely on linguistics, which is not sound evidence for history.

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  Quote Cywr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29-Aug-2005 at 11:57
Mueller's most controversial assumption, though, was that this language came from south-eastern Europe


AFAIK, he claimed it came from the Eurasian Steppes.
Ironicly, he felt that disocovering a common ancestry would challenge racism, nationalists and imperialists would prove him wrong.
Anyways, his work was more along the lines of comparative religion, it was from this that he got most of the stuff for his theories.

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  Quote Maju Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Aug-2005 at 14:55
Take a look to these topics in the  Anthropology, Ethnicity, Linguistics & Etymology subforum:
IE are a clear linguistic family (the best studied of all), so I don't think there can be any doubt about a common origin for all IE tongues, which would be in any case around the Black Sea or Caspian Sea. The main theory here: kurgan expansion, postulates a homeland in either Central Asia or the Don-Dniepr area (depending of the archaeological chronologies used - there's some mess about that). I personally favor the Central Asian origin theory but, anyhow, it's not that important. What I don't believe as probable is that IEs sprung from Asia Minor or, much less, from Northern Europe (as Nazis pretended).

Now, whatever the bad uses of any scientifical theory, as it has happened with evolutionary biology or atomic physics, one can't just deny the linguistical and archaeological evidence of such a pre-historical fact only because it happens to have been manipulated. Almost any fact of history has been abused with political motivations... but that Mussolini or Hitler copied their iconography in Rome or even usurpated the Indian symbol of the svastika, doesn't deny that the Roman Empire existed or that the svastika is a popular religious symbol in India.


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  Quote AlokaParyetra Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Aug-2005 at 12:29

This has been a debate going on for quite some time. The question is whether the Aryan Invasion Theory is fact of fiction.

The Aryan Invasion Theory was first propagated by Max Mueller, a German Indologist. His theory was based upon the fact that Sanskrit, a language once prevalent in India, is very similar to numerous European languages. Therefore, it was thought that a common proto-indo-european language (PIE) existed, and from that stemmed the languages we know today. Mueller's most controversial assumption, though, was that this language came from south-eastern Europe. He then expanded this idea to claim that a Nomadic warrior race (Mueller originally said agricultural race, but changed it to fit his theory) called the Aryans invaded India, bringing the higly developed Vedic religion and culture to India. He made this assumption based on obscure passages from the Rig Veda which stated that a light force defeated a dark force. Mueller assumed that the light force was an indication of light skinned Aryans, and the dark force was the description of dark skinned "dravidians." When confronted with counter-evidence, Mueller rebuked his statement partially, stating that he does not mean that the Aryans are light-skinned or came from Europe. ("I have declared again and again that if I say Aryas, I mean neither blood nor bones, nor hair, nor skull; I mean simply those who speak an Aryan language...to me an ethnologist who speaks of Aryan race, Aryan blood, Aryan eyes and hair, is as great a sinner as a linguist who speaks of a dolichocephalic dictionary or a brachycephalic grammar.")

However, the damage had been done. The British used this concept to justify their invasion of India, and the German Nazis used this concept to justify their discrimination. And though the theory is based on little evidence, it remains in historical textbooks even today, and people across the globe are taught this theory.

What is your belief? It is probably clear by my post that i disagree with the Aryan Inviasion Theory. If you would like to present evidence for or against, perhaps we can discuss it.

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