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Aryan Invasion Theory

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  Quote AlokaParyetra Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Aryan Invasion Theory
    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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  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 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 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 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 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 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"

-----

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 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.


Edited by Maju

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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: 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 Darkness1089 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Sep-2005 at 19:32
I found a great article on the web. I apologise for its sheer length, but I think its fully worth the space and time:

Anti-AIT Arguments

(i) The similarities between Sanskrit, Latin and Greek prove that there was once a proto Indo-European language, from which all three are descended. The oldest form of Lithunian language found dates only upto 1500 A.D, but it is similar to reconstructed IE. A language does not keep such archaic phonology and morphology intact if it has interacted with other cultures. Therefore its speakers must have kept so close to their hooriginalmeland that too much change was avoided. Therefore, IE must have its source in a region near it.

Ans: A common source does not prove the direction of migration; it can very well be that the Aryan tribes travelled from India to Europe. No common root word has been found which date back beyond 700 B.C. So it is possible that whatever identical words we find is due to trade contacts from the Mohen-jo-daro period. As regards Lithunia, it is well known that primitive groups who shun contact with outsiders and are unprogressive will keep their archaic ways and language much longer. There is nothing to stop a tribe from travelling to Lithunia and settling down there. Also, if this argument is valid, then one must point out that Vedic Sanskrit has a large number of vocables which are not present in such numbers in any other Indo-European language and its consonants are purer. This suggests that ancient Sanskrit is the original source, or at any rate the oldest source.

(ii) The language of Vedas and that of Avesta in ancient Persia is nearly identical: "Almost any Sanskrit word may be changed at once into its Avestan equivalents merely by applying certain phonetic laws". Most tellingly, in Vedas the gods or devas are addressed as asuras, but later asura became the name for demons; but in Zorastranism, asura is the name for gods throughout while devas are portrayed negatively. Thus it is obvious that the Persian religion is the older version while Vedic tribes split away from it.

Ans: This does not prove that the composers of Vedas had passed through, or came from Iran. It might be that the Persians were the ones who broke away due to a quarrel. They could have used only one term for their gods to distinguish them from the other gods worshipped by their original tribe. The fact that in Vedas Asuras first meant lord/god but later came to mean demons can be an indication that after strife with Avesta group the nomenclature acquired a different meaning through association with the enemy. This theory is supported on the grounds that in 500 B.C, Xerxes forcibly suppressed the worship of Devas in his kingdom.

(iii) The river Indus is called 'sindhu' meaning sea. India has oceans for her borders, yet a mere river is called sea, proving that the writers had never seen the sea. Surely then most of the Vedas were composed outside India.

Ans: Wrong. The proper term for sea in Vedas is 'samudra'. This term is used frequently throughout various portions of the Rig-Veda and Varuna (one of the oldest Vedic gods who is mentioned in a 1400 B.C Hittite inscription) is categorically stated to be lord of oceans.

(iv) The 'no horse evidence': This item is generally considered to be clinching proof. In the RigVeda horses are of great importance, both as secular and sacred objects. This is what would be expected of a pastoral race. But in Harappa civilization there are no images of horses, either as figurines or seals. An agricultural community can get by without horses. This also helps to explain why the nomadic invaders managed to defeat the settled Dravidians: the latter were no match for the raiders who had the advantage of speed and mounted attack.

Ans: Archaeological evidence demonstrates that Harappans knew the use of horses. Horse teeth has been found in Amri on Indus and Rana Ghundai on Baluchistan border which is dated to 3600 B.C. Bones of the domesticated horse has been found in earlier layers of Harappa (which precludes the possibility that they were left by the 'invaders'), Gujarat coast and other places dated to 2300 B.C. A horse saddle has also been found in the deeper layers. The reason that horses as such are not found on seals but mentioned frequently in Vedas can be due to different causes. But one major reason can be that the horse was a valuable and not a very common animal. It was used only by the kings and priests. Since the Rigveda is a sacred text, naturally it would mention such an animal repeatedly. Indeed the horse is a sacred animal and the horse-sacrifice was the prerogative only of victorious emperors. On the other hand most items dug up at Harappan sites relate to ordinary life. I think this also solves the riddle of why the horse is not pictured on the seals. The majority of seals belong to individuals or families; only the highest classes would be allowed to use the horse image, as the horse denoted divinity and royalty. In fact there are seals with a picture of what has been described as an unicorn; it seems to belong to the ruling lineage. The unicorn can very well be the stylized picture of a horse. However the fossil bones is most convincing.

(v) Tiger and elephants were known in Harappan civilization, but Rigveda do not mention the tiger and the elephant is described as 'mrigahastin' which shows it was a novelty. On the other hand the lion is mentioned. Similarly Rigveda do not make mention of rice but refers to wheat only.

Ans: The Invasion theorist contradicts himself. If tigers and elephants were known by 3000 B.C, then it is not possible that by 1500 B.C these two animals had disappeared altogether. If for the sake of argument is is assumed that the bulk of RigVeda was composed elsewhere, then why did not the tenth mandala which was undoubtedly composed here and at a later date than the rest, not mention it? The description of elephant as 'mrigahastin' is simply a poetic ornament. Again like the horse, the lion was rarer and so more impressive and therefore mentioned. The case is only a little different with rice. The Harappan civilization is a northern civilization and the Vedic tribes are firmly situated in the north --- in such places wheat is far more common. After all salt is not mentioned in Rigveda either; so are we to conclude that the Vedic people ddid not eat salt? Absence of evidence is not always evidence of absence.

(vi) The Vedas show that the Aryans were a nomadic and pastoral people who frequently raided settlements. Indra has been described as 'destroyer of forts'. Therefore the citydwelling Harappans were destroyed by Aryans.

Ans: Just because a god is called 'destroyer of forts' does not mean that the attackers themselves did not have forts. Vedas show evidence of both types of lifestyle, the pastoral and the agricultural. Herding nomads and sedentary farmers can be contiguous, specially when spread over large areas. The emphasis on cows prove nothing as the cow would be important to agriculture. Many hymns to Indra address him as god of rain and celebrate rainfall which would be of prime importance to an agricultural society. Many prayers show urgent desire for fertile lands. Goddess Earth had a high place and many prayers to her ask to grant abundant crops. All this show that both lifestyles were practised.

(vii) The different castes are distinguished by their ethnic qualities. The upper castes have affinity with European races, and are generally fairer in complexion. The lower castes display more Negroid features and are closely connected with Dravidian race, and are dark in colour. This proves that the latter had been conquered by the former.

Ans: If one looks at every province without preconceptions he will find race has nothing to do with caste. India is a subcontinent and it is not surprising that there should be different ethnic groups, but in each region both upper and lower castes belong to the same race. The Shudra of Punjab is fairer than a South Indian or Bengali Brahmin. While the Nambooripad Brahmins in South India are very fair, history records that they came from North India originally and kept their stock pure by intermarrying. On the other hand, a genetic study of Andhra Pradesh population has discovered that both Brahmins and fishermen exhibit the same 'dravidian' traits. In short the people of a given geographical area is more genetically related to each other than they are to some distant racial category. Therefore we cannot say that one race had conquered another.

(viii) Proof that violent invasion took place is in the skeletons unearthed from the Indus valley cities. A group of skeletons have been found which have been thrown hastily in the burial chamber which indicates that the people who buried them were pressed for time. There are also two skeletons, one male and one female, who had been discovered on a staircase, obviously fleeing and examination shows they had been murdered.

Ans: However if there was a violent invasion there would be more evidence. We do not find any mass dead. The skeletons flung hastily into the grave may simply have been paupers. the pair murdered could have been killed by robbers or for some reasons which are too abundant in any cosmopolitan city.

(ix) AIT is an well established theory widely accepted by reputable scholars for many years.

Ans: this the weakest argument of all, argument from authority. For that matter, Muir himself from the very beginning had declared that there had never been any Aryan migration because there is no proof of similar language and religion in the NorthWest direction, and that people living in the West of N. India are descendants of Indian Aryans. So too Kane had insisted that no invasion ever took place. In recent years many archaeologists and historians have refuted invasion theory. Thus there is authority against this also.

New anti-AIT theory

From the beginning, many Indian scholars had refused to accept this theory of Aryan invasion. In the first place this struck them as highly improbable since nothing in the history of India has ever hinted at this. In the second place they saw this as blatant racism on part of the Westerners, who arrogated all glory to a race of foreigners who were as whiteskinned and blue-eyed as themselves. Their suspicions were not unjustified. Many European scholars of the time of British empire flatly refused to give credit to Asians for any civilization at all. Many like Beber, Kopp, Sayce, Whitney decided that Indians never created any written script of their own but borrowed the alphabet from Hebrews and Phoenicians. Other scholars declared Indians developed their writing only about 400 B.C (even though before this date there were already large kingdoms where accounts had to be kept). Dugald Stewart even held that there was no such ancient language as Sanskrit which is too sophisticated for Indians: William Jones et al have cooked up this language to gain fame for themselves. Many missionaries and scholars insisted that Gita has been taken from the New Testament. (In fact even now missionary literature claim that "christ became Krishna when he came to India"). One Fergusson even said that since in many temples and palaces there are sculptures of naked women, this proved that in common with most savage societies women in classical India did not wear clothes.

When it comes to Aryan race theory racism is even more evident. Before the discovery of Mohen-jo-daro and Harappa, the natives of India were pictured as primitives and lazy who were conquered easily by the vigorous Aryans who proceeded to build a great civilization just as the modern day descendants of the Aryans had conquered the Indians. After the discovery of Indus valley cities the nature of pre-Aryan civilization had to be revised. But some still fought the good fight and suggested that this civilization is not really native to India --- it was brought here by people who had known the civilizations of Palestine or Anatolia; so it is back to Judaeo-Christian and European roots. When this proved too difficult to sustain, another theory was constructed. According to this, the Aryans conquered the civilization enslaving the inhabitants and reducing them to Shudras; this is the reason why intercaste marriages were frowned upon --- to prevent polluting the blood of conquerors with that of the darkskinned races. But the attempts failed and now India has degenerated. Also the invaders so violently destroyed the older civilization that no trace of it survived; hence whatever civilization India created later was the Aryan civilization alone. But the 'scholars' were not content with Aryan invasion of India alone; instead they suggested that Aryans spread over all parts of the world and colonized it. Theories abounded: Assyria must be derived from Asura; Virtra (a demon defeated by Indra, actually a metaphor for rain bearing clouds) founded Babylon but was later killed by Indra, Ethiopia was colonized by a small Aryan group from India; Egyptian civilization was built by Indian Aryans; Egypt and Chaldea was colonized by migrating Aryans; the original home of Aryans is the now lost continent of Lemuria. Places and rivers mentioned mentioned in Rig Veda was automatically held to refer to European places --- e.g., Yakshu must mean Oxus. One Bailey even enthusiastically declared that the Aryans came from North of Tartary and split up into Egyptians, Chaldean, Chinese and Indians (obviously he gave no importance to racial categories). All these crackpot theories have one thing in common --- the supremacy of a small group of white people colonizing the world and creating all the civilizations anywhere. Most of these theories had gone to oblivion, and most people no longer remember that these theories were once discussed in all seriousness. But the Aryan invasion theory of India also comes from the same stable at the same time and is part and parcel of the whole pattern; yet many stubbornly cling on to it as if it alone among all these fantasies must be the truth. Most academicians seem to cling to this out of institutional inertia and the fear that to criticize it would mean they would be accused of Hindu fundamentalism. On the Indian side, on the other hand, throughout the last half century patient work and theorizing has created a far more authentic picture.

The first question that arises was whether there was an original Aryan race at all. The term was coined by the Orientalists themselves. The actual word used by Indians is not Aryan, but Arya meaning noble in behaviour. It originally meant people who accepted the vedas as their most sacred literature and followed certain rituals and spoke a certain language: behaviour was the criterion That is why northern India upto Vindhays was described as Aryavarta, or abode of the Aryas. (This mention of specific location proves that the original Aryas were Northern people, but the cities of Harrappans were all situated in North India). The vedas freely acknowledge this as does later histories that there were many kingdoms that did not follow the Arya way of life with whom the Aryas were constantly engaged in conflict. However this distinction in Vedas are made first on basis of speech and rituals, not of race. Even Max Mueller said that he used Aryan as a linguistic category and it has nothing to do with race. Two objections are given to this theory. One is that language and race are closely connected; so it is probable that the Vedic tongue was spoken by an ethnically distinct tribe. However the point the anti-AITs make is that this does not mean that Vedic tribes came from outside India nor that they were not ethnically related to their enemy tribes; India is a large place and there are bound to be different tribes from the same root. Two branches of the same civilization can clash, each claiming to be 'purer' in their habits. Another argument is that Arya came to mean noble only later, but in the beginning it might very well have denoted a distinct race; because the conquerors associated nobility with themselves the name for their race and nobility became conflated. Linguistic history certainly shows such possibility. Villain for example comes from 'villien' or serf; because the serf belonged to the lower classes the term automatically acquired its negative connotation. Similarly in India the word for 'servant' and 'robber' are derived from the names of tribes that fought with the Vedic people. However, I would point out that if Arya originally meant the ruling elite alone then contrary to expectations it broadened its scope: the smrits classify the shudras (the conquered dark race in this invasion-scenario) as Aryas. Arthashastra (c 300 B.C) explains a kingdom consists of five types of men: that Brahmins, Kshatriyas, Vaishays and Shudras are Aryas; the Antyajas are tribals who are not Aryas because they do not live according to the Arya way: hence laws regarding Aryas need not be applied to them. Above all, there is no proof that Arya anywhere was ever used --- even in RigVeda --- as a racial category. Finally, the non-Aryas in Atharvaveda are called 'Vratyas" or those without rituals: an entire chapter is devoted to describing their prowess and how they are adopted into the Vedic tribes --- but one cannot change the colour of one's skin or facial features and so the Vedic tribes could not be race-conscious. Similarly, marriages between Aryas and non-Arya tribes were fairly common, which would not have been the case if they were that concerned about racial purity. The Orientalists described the Aryans as a distinct ethnic type --- but the question remains where did they get this description from? Thus the argument is that the scholars worked backwards, forming the concept of race from a social definition.

The next problematic term is 'varna'. The traditional fourfold division of society is referred to as 'chaturvarna' or four varnas. Since the scholars were working from the premise of race, they decided that it must refer to colour. I agree that colour is one meaning of the term. However varna has several meanings. Among other things it also means the halo round a god's head, the colour of gold used in touchstones, and alphabet. The Invasion-theorists failed to explain by what justification they decided that in 'chaturvarna' the varna refers to colour. Nor is there any evidence to show that this meaning is the oldest term. More inconsistently, they failed to explain that if 'chaturvarna' literally meant four colours, then what are the colours? They have given us only two colours --- white and black, with no shades of intervening brown! Finally, nowhere in vast Indian literary sources or in the Hindu consciousness is there any indication that 'chaturvarna' is based on colour. In other words there is no objective source for assuming a colour-divison of society; it was simply accepted because it fitted into the Aryan hypothesis. Even the term used in in RigVeda 'anasa' to describe the enemy tribes which had been translated as 'snub-nosed' (as contrasted to the straight-nosed "aryans') is now realized to be wrong; the term actually means 'those who cannot speak properly'.

I would also point out that Vishnu, the Preserver is dark-skinned; the very name of His Avatar Krishna means black; so too Arjuna the great hero, son of Indra is black. The Mother Goddess is pictured as both fair and black. Incidentally, in Bengal the traditional icons of Durga portray her as yellowish, with a Mongolian cast to her features. Yet, Shiva who is supposedly the god of the darker races had always been pictured from the beginning as white skinned. This makes the equation of colour with power problematic.

The Indians who opposed this scenario originally could only argue that there is no proof of any such migration. In the first place no Indian records declare this. People who migrate from their homelands to a foreign region nostalgically remember their past ties: but there is no trace of such a homeland. If RigVeda hymns were composed either on the way or soon after coming to India then it would recorded such memories For example the Parsis are living in India for 800 years, yet though much has changed, their holy book has not, their speech and lifestyle remain largely pure and they definitely remember their origins. That is obviously not the case with Aryan migration. A treaty between the Hittite king Shubbiluliuma and Mitanni Mattivaza mention Mitra, Varun, Indra, Nasatya : all Vedic gods. Its date is apporximately 1400 B.C, plus or minus a few years. If the Aryans came here by 1500 B.C, then they wwouldhave definitely mentioned they passed through such a place. If, as by some, the RigVeda is held to be composed about 1000 B.C., then it is not possible for the Aryans to have forgotten their history a mere 400 years later. (On the other hand, Kurdish professor, Mehrdad Izady at Harvard University, showing the influence of Indic/Sindhi people on Kurdistan (parts of Iraq, Turkey, Iran) states that "The Mittani aristocratic house almost certainly was from the immigrant Sindis, who survive today in the populous Kurdish clan of Sindi in the same area where the Mittani kingdom once existed. These ancient Sindi seem to have been an Indic, and not Iranic group of people, and in fact a branch of the better known Sindis of India-Pakistan, ". Hence here the opinion is that Aryan influence travelled from India to outside). The only explanation is that if there was an Aryan migration then it took place such a long time ago that it predates Mohenjodaro cities, and everyone had forgotten about their ancestral lands.

If Vedas are a product of Aryan culture, then surely other Aryan cultures would also show such literature. But there is no such books like Vedas anywhere in any Eurpean/Asian lands, nor the slightest hints of such hymns ever existing. The vedas emphasize a mysterious sacred drink called soma repeatedly. It was offered as a libation to the gods. We today no longer know what Soma is. But nowhere in literature of other countries is there any hint of something like soma. Such a massive migration must leave some kind of evidence en route --- in the form of language changes, introduction of new rituals, racial changes (otherwise we have to accept that the Aryans kept themselves pure all those years only to succumb to the dark charms of native Indians) , traces of pottery or chariots or whatever physical debris a tribe on the march would inevitably leave behind the trail. But there is no such archaeological evidence. The hymns of RigVeda show sophisticated rituals and complex linguistic and philosophical developments. These are not the hymns of simpleminded nomads but of people who enjoyed some degree of high culture. The invasion scenario also assumes that the Dravidians were pushed back to South India. However in South India no traces had been found of Harappa type cities with their characteristic features of Public Granary and Great Baths. Even if they were refugees bereft of the resources of their homeland, how could they forget something so central as the great Baths --- is not human nature to recreate the comforts of the familiar? Not only that, this assumes that South India was largely empty to make place for the fleeing refugees, or that these refugees behaved in the same manner as the brutal Aryans did to the indigenous people. Similarly what is this mysterious Dravidian language? No one seems to know what that is! Finally I would argue that a myth shows evidence of common origins of both South and North Indian cultures. According to this, Shiva took two drums in his hands and beat out two rhythms. From the rhythm of one hand was created Sanskrit and from another was created Tamil (the oldest 'Dradividan' language). Shiva thus is held to be the common originator of both cultures.

In recent times a great deal of excavations had been carried out all over India and new facts have come to light. The civilization of Harappa-Mohenjadaro has been found to be vaster than previously estimated. It apparently stretched over a large portion of North India and had trading links with Mesopotamia (as early as 2600 B.C). Harappan seals and jewellery have been discovered at Ur, Kish, Susa and there was an outpost outside Oxus. 'Empire' is the correct term for such a civilization. All the various cities show that a central plan was followed with all the buildings and streets laid out in an uniform pattern; the same currency and weight system was followed everywhere. Such unvarying arrangement and regular trading activities over such distances means that the empire was run by a centralized bureaucracy and the central authority was very strong. Such an empire cannot collapse simply because a horde of barbarians attacked. As long as it was believed that the cities were few in number and not co-ordinated, it was somewhat feasible. But when such a vast well-organized wealthy empire falls, the reasons are far more complex than mere invasion. When we study the fall of Rome we realize that the Roman empire had decayed long before it actually fell. That is exactly what happened to the Harappan empire

Climate change seems to be the major cause of decline. In Mohen-jo-daro itself there is evidence of three major floods. The city survived because it was on a higher level. But several smaller sites which were dug up later were found to be totally submerged. This happened even in the case of important cities which were on a lower plane. Repeated heavy floods can only hamper the normal life of a city and impel the inhabitants to flee. Lothial in Gujarat was a major port; even today we can see a portion of the harbour with water trapped in it where ships used to cast their anchor. There are no traces of violence anywhere. The only evidence of destruction is that of overwhelming flood which led the city being abandoned. Thus flood is one reason. The second cause is rivers shifting their course. Whether this is due to irrigation canals and excessive deforestation (as some ecologists claim) or due to purely natural disaster is not known. But Sindhu changed course and the fabled Saraswati river vanished altogether. During this period the land became more saline while Rajasthan became desertified. Ports also dried up. Consequently, the settlements on the now dry bed of Saraswati river was abandoned; the population moved to Ganga-Yamuna valley and Gujarat --- there is archaeological evidence of such migration. After 1900 B.C, there is no evidence of any more trade between Mesopotamia and Harappa. Obviously domestic disasters had affected seatrade. Such collapse of widespread trade network would have further adverse impact on the economy. The later Harappan sites show that the earlier cities characterized by uniform planning and straight evenly laid out roads have disappeared. Instead of palaces which were plentiful the houses are smaller and not so well built. The drains were badly maintained in contrast to the earlier elaborate sewerage systems. Pottery too had become cruder. All these show that general culture had declined and above all administration had broken down.

The pattern of decline seems to be clear. Floods destroyed many cities: the inhabitants who survived would naturally flee to the bigger cities. Meanwhile agricultural land was slowly becoming infertile. This again would mean villagers would migrate to the cities. But the bigger cities were themselves damaged by floods. As the press of refugees grew, the cities would be hard placed to provide food for all, particularly since productivity of rural areas was going down. Collapse of seatrade would generate more urban unemployment. Inevitably public services and law and order would break down. Gradually more and more people would abandon the cities to move out to more fertile pastures. This transition would be gradual.

In 1995-98, extensive excavations were carried out at Mehrgarh, Nausharo and Pirak. The excavations showed the complete sequence of gradual transformation on Kachi plains. The one integrated culture of Harappan civilization had collapsed into several local ones. That is why for those in the profession, the period from 1900 B.C to 1300 B.C is called Late Harappan period. Archaeological Survey of India director BB Lal observed, "The archaeological evidence from most of the Harappan sites shows cultural continuity, though a substantial decline in the economy resulted in an overall decline and a shift from an urban to a rural scenario. Amidst agricultural activities, even the crisscross pattern of ploughing the fields, seen in Punjab and Haryana today, goes back to the Harappan times, ... the hard fact is that these [Harappa style artefacts] came from various levels, some from the middle and some from the late, and some were found in deposits after the site was abandoned.

There does not seem to be any major break in culture as required by the invasion scenario. On the contrary, there is ample evidence of continuity of tradition, showing that the transition was gradual. Same kinds of weights and measures continued to be used; even in Gupta period we find the same weights as used in Harappan cities being used. Even in modern day we find the same type of water jugs, carts, surma and comb designs being used. When we look at the late Harappan sites in Punjab it becomes more evident. In the earlier layers there are coffin burials with pottery characteristics of Harappan cities. Later we find that adults were being cremated, but children were still buried in urns. (Incidentally, even in 18th century, in many parts of India, a new-born child or below two years old would not be cremated but would be buried, on the grounds that such a young child is free of sin and so would not need the purifying flames). Fire altars, which are mentioned so many times in the Vedas have also been found in many of the cities. Here I would like to refute those who think that Aryans and Dravidians had separate funeral customs. I have heard it said that Harappan people buried their dead but Vedic people burnt theirs. However they are wrong. The RigVeda mentions both funeral pyres and burials. In Harappan cities we find both elaborate burials complete with potteries, ornaments and toys (in case of children), as well as urns containing the ashes of the dead.

One major stumbling block to the theory that the composers of RigVeda are also the authors of Harappan citivlization is the disparity of the age between them. However the problem disappears if we assume that RigVeda is older than its assumed date. What is forgotten is that the Vedas are a part of 'Sruti' (texts that are passed down orally). The Orinetalists thought that the language of Vedas was the colloquial language of their times. However these hymns were sacred texts and it is a common experience that liturgical language is kept intact long after the common language has changed. We therefore cannot really know when the first hymns were composed. Moreover only the Sakala recension of the RigVeda has come down complete. Valakhilya and Bashkala recensions are in fragments. There could have been others as well, even more ancient. The prevalent theory is that the RigVeda was written in 1000 B.C, or at most 1500 B.C. However again, there is no solid evidence for this, except that it fits the invasion hypothesis. It is actually based on the Biblical timeline of creation of the world at 4000 B.C, and the flood at 2500 B.C. On the other hand when we look at the astronomical evidence inside the Vedas we realize that it is older. In 1790 John Playfair demonstrated that according to the observations recorded in Hindu astronomical tables, Hindu astronomy got its start around 4300 B.C. This had not been scientifically refuted. The only objection is by Bentley who argued that it cannot be accepted because "he endeavours to overturn the Mosaic account, and sap the very foundation of our religion: for if we are to believe in the antiquity of Hindu books, as he would wish us, then the Mosaic account is all a fable, or a fiction". This is not science, but irrational religious objection. The earliest solar and lunar positions accord with what would have been observed from Punjab 6000 years earlier. (for details on astronomy please look up http://koenraadelst.bharatvani.org/articles/astronomy.pdf ). Thus there is no difficulty in realizing that the Vedic tribes can also be the founders of Harappan civilization.

Newer discoveries in archaeology has made everything more exciting as the antiquity of Indian civilization gets pushed further and further back: An ancient city has been found in the Gulf of Cambay, where according to legend Dwarka, the city of Krishna was situated. It is actually situated on the delta of the now dry Sarawsati river which was a major location for Harappan cities in 3300-1900 B.C. More accurate dating is awaited More recent diggings at Harappa have exposed a pre-Indus phase; it is therefore being called Ravi Phase. More Indus scripts were discovered at Harappa in 2002 only, which might be as old as 3500 B.C. (Note: Indus Valley scripts have not yet been deciphered). An underwater settlement has been discovered in Mahabalipuram in South India which at first tentative dating seems to be as old as the Harappan site. The most exciting action is perhaps occurring in Poompuhar in South India. Man made objects had been discovered underwater. In 2001, Graham Hancock, sponsored by Channel 4 in Britain and the Learning Channel in US (none of which organizations have anything to do with the Hindu nationalist organizations in India) explored and videographed the submerged city. Hancock, and Glenn Milne a geologist at University of Durham, UK confirmed that the ruins were at least 7000 years old, if not more. Its layout is also different from Harappan cities. It is speculated that it might be a civilization more antique than that of Sumer.

Even recent genetic research has debunked the later Aryan invasion theory. Eurasian genes have been found in Indian ancestry, but they are of low frequency and they are found equally in North and South India. In Mitochondrial DNA lineages , T. Kivisild et. al, Current Biology, Vol 9, No 22, pp 1331-134. the researchers found that the divergence from the common pool of Eurasian genes took place about 50000 years ago. During this period people were migrating all over Europe and Asia. That is when India received the first 'Aryan' people. There are occurrences of 'newer' genes, but no more than to be expected of a few people --- like traders and travellers --- settling down. There had been no significant genetic splash since 50000 years ago. In the Indus valley cities too we find skeletons of various racial types --- ProtoAustreloid, Alpine, Mediterrenean, Mongoloid. As befits a cosmopolitan city and big port several races mingled together and lived here. However there are no new type of skeletons which are different from the previous ones, no new 'Aryan' skeletons. Thus there is no proof of new population. In this way both genes and fossils demonstrate that there had been no 'invasions' by white skinned people in the (comparatively) recent past.

Whereas the Aryan Invasion Theory is based on linguistic affinity which is speculative regarding its origin and spread, the anti-invasion theory is validated by hard data from archaeology and genetics. Therefore it is proper to conclude that the invasion never happened, and the antiquity of Indian civilization is far greater than thought of previously. If AIT is to be sustained, then more solid evidence than presented hitherto is required.

Links:

* http://www.bharatvani.org/books/ait
* http://koenraadelst.bharatvani.org/articles.html
* http://www.atributetohinduism.com/aryan_invasion_theory.htm
* http://www.raceandhistory.com/cgi-bin/forum/webbbs_config.pl /read/1040

For graphics of Indus valley seals, scripts, figurines go to: http://www.harappa.com/har/har0.html

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  Quote Maju Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Sep-2005 at 20:59
I will take a detailed look at your article another day but actually, Hittite inscriptions (which are IE beyond any doubt) date from before 1300 BCE (not sure but some could be as old as 2000 BCE). Greek was also written in Crete as soon as 1400 BCE, then we have Mittani too, around those dates and Phrygian a little later, and Luvian-Lydian as soon as Hittite...

So while maybe in India the written record isn't older than just 700 BCE, elsewhere that's not the case.

On the idea of the igration coming from India... it would be at least very odd: first there's no archaelogical pattern that we can follow to explain such migration; second, I wouldn't expect a sedentary civilization like that of the Indus to suddenly become nomadic and start migrating though the steppes; finally the IE connection is not just matter of some loan words (that wouldn't make a liguistical family - no way!) but a deep interrelation of all agrupated languages in most of their vocabulary and even the grammar (for example the SVO IE system which is different from the SOV system of Basque).

This India focused analysis forgets to analyze the whole of IE family and its interconnection. Actually IE would exist even if India only spoke Dravidic or Chinese... it would have another name but the family would be the same and the necessary expansion proccess also would be the same.

Wether or not there was invasion, infiltration, mass migration or whatever into India is irrelevant for the whole picture. And, as the global picture of IE expansion is coherent and Northern India speaks IE languages, then there must have been a migration of some type at some time in pre-history. You can maybe prefer the Renfrew theory of Neolithic IEs springing from Asia Minor (that I don't share) but at some point you have to accept that IE entered India from somewhere else. How? That's another problem.


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  Quote tubo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Sep-2005 at 03:13
ok once more there is absolutely no EVIDENCE that any mythological aryan( sanskrit term) tibes ever invaded or migrated.name one evidence that it took place...there is no physical proofs and everything in VEDAS is located in india.no central asia anywhere.so how can you say that central asians were the migrants....lol.


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  Quote Maju Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Sep-2005 at 04:53
I personally prefer the Central Asia or Eastern European theories of the origin of IEs. This is not something that concerns only India or, let's say, Sweden... it's something that involves a whole deal of cultures/languages including almost all Europe, Iran, Afghanistan and most of the Indian subcontinent. At some time IEs were also dominant in Anatolia (Turkey), Central Asia and even Chinese Turkestan (Tocharians).

If you think that the Neolithic theory fits better with your notions for India, well, it's time that you try to get out from your region and make it fit into the whole picture. I don't like that theory for many reasons that have been discussed in other topics in this subforum. Anyhow, if the most recent C14 datations for the Indus Valley civilization are correct, then it would have not started before 2500, in time to have been invaded/infiltrated since the very beginning by IEs. We don't know what language those people spoke and though it's been thought for long that was Dravidian-related (as you can find Dravidic languages in Southern India and also in ancient Elam in SW Iran), it could well be that they spoke IE from the beginning or, more likely, that IEs took power like they did in Crete, at some time in the evolution of the civilization without destroying it at all.

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  Quote Darkness1089 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Sep-2005 at 12:09
Well, we Indians were crazy about recording things in the good old days. There are even ancient records stating the fact that the height of the Himalayas is increasing and the height of the Vindhyas is decreasing (proven by modern science). A human migration or invasion wouldn't be accidently missed by such people...

BTW, the last part of Mahabharata has a mention of people MOVING OUT OF India (called Arya people). Maybe this means that Iran, Central Asia, Europe was all settled by Indians?   
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  Quote Maju Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Sep-2005 at 14:44
Originally posted by Darkness1089

Well, we Indians were crazy about recording things in the good old days. There are even ancient records stating the fact that the height of the Himalayas is increasing and the height of the Vindhyas is decreasing (proven by modern science). A human migration or invasion wouldn't be accidently missed by such people...

BTW, the last part of Mahabharata has a mention of people MOVING OUT OF India (called Arya people). Maybe this means that Iran, Central Asia, Europe was all settled by Indians?   


Europe was settled by Homo Sapiens c. 40-35,000 BCE if not before. A big deal of modern European genetics comes from that substrate. Another big genetic apportation must have come c. 6-5000 BCE with the Neolithic colonization. No truly strong adition of extra-continental blood is likely, except in the northermost regions maybe. When IEs invaded/migrated into Europe, they brought only a very small ammount of their blood and distributed a larger (but still limited) ammount of Eastern European blood.

So in any case, Europe was never "settled" by IEs, wether from India, Central Asia or wherever. Europe was gradually invaded and assimilated into the more fierce and Patriarchal IE culture (language included) but the genetic transfer involved in all this proccess was small and mainly intra-European. We have to forget about the erroneous idea that conquest means colonization and much less ethnic cleansing. Most commonly conquests are just subjugation by a new foreign caste of warriors, who are nonetheles, numerically very small.

Said, that, I don't doubt that new waves of Aryan warriors would have migrated outside India as the Mahabarata states and posibly some of them may have mixed with neighbour populations of IE language. Maybe these were the famous Mittani of Kurdistan... do you have possible dates, archaelogical data that could corroborate what the Mahabarata says? Words, you know, are just words... and need to be proven by other more solid data.

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  Quote Darkness1089 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Sep-2005 at 14:48
Well people have studied astronomical positions described in the epics and have mentioned that dates could be either 3100BCE or 1478BCE. Some even claim it to be older.

I'm not trying to say that European people are of Indian origin, but mostly the language. One doesnot necessarily need full conquest or brute force to make someone else adopt a different language. Wasn't it Persia that adopted the Armenian script for writing during Achmenid times without any great influence from Armenians?
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  Quote Jhangora Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Oct-2005 at 10:00

I disagree with the AIT even though I was taught in school that aryans invaded India n destroyed the Indus Valley Civilization.

I guess the answer to this question lies in  ruins of the Indus Valley Civilization..Even though it was amongst the earliest human civilization, it has been discovered recently n exact reasons for its destruction r not known plus the script hasn't been deciphered yet.

I guess this issue has to be settled so that the north-south divide in india comes to an end.To say that north Indians r aryans bcoz they r lighter skinned is foolish.Not all north Indians r light skinned n vice versa.We Indians r a mixed lot n in India we talk in terms of ethnicity not race.

Take my ethnicity for example.I am a garhwali from Garhwal Himalayas.People from all over India came n settled there n formed a new ethnicity.My father's ancestors came from Bengal n mother's from Karnataka as far as I know.

We all know how the Bristish acquired their empire.India was the brightest jewel in the Indian empire.They divided the two most populous n rich states in india along religious lines.After all how old is the AIT.Britishers fabricated n propagated this theory in order to justify their rule over India.N now their cousins in America r telling us that India is 3/4 aryan.Maybe they need our markets or perhaps they want to use us against China.

I have been a student of commerce so can't  give u solid reasons against the AIT but all I can say is that I'm proud to be an Indian n see no reason to trace my origins outside India.

Regarding the caste system our scriptures tell us that in the beginning caste was determined by profession n not by birth.To say that caste system was imposed by the so called Aryans in order to prevent interracial marriages  is foolish.Aryan as far as I know stands for a person of noble character.It does not stand for a race.

Jai Badri Vishal
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  Quote Saka Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Oct-2005 at 12:58

Originally posted by Darkness1089

Well, we Indians were crazy about recording things in the good old days. There are even ancient records stating the fact that the height of the Himalayas is increasing and the height of the Vindhyas is decreasing (proven by modern science). A human migration or invasion wouldn't be accidently missed by such people...

BTW, the last part of Mahabharata has a mention of people MOVING OUT OF India (called Arya people). Maybe this means that Iran, Central Asia, Europe was all settled by Indians?   

Certainly!

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  Quote Decebal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Oct-2005 at 17:05

We should all try to leave nationalist ideas out of this discussion. The ties between the Indo-European languages are uncontestable. The central issue is when the split occured and where. It is easy to refute the antiquated ideas of racist 19th century historians. The time frame of the migration was probably set too late, because of pre-conceived ideas coming from the judeo-christian tradition. The people that spoke the original Indo-European language had to come from somewhere. In my opinion, such a migration probably occured before 1500 or even 2000BC, although when it happened is still uncertain. 

Ideas of supposed superiority for one side or another shouldn't enter this discussion. I do have one little comment about one of the articles posted above which said something along the lines of "a great empire like that of Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa couldn't possibly crumble following the attacks of some barbarians". This is faulty reasoning, and the pattern of great sedentary empires being conquered by nomadic populations can be observed again and again in history. Besides, a violent invasion is not the only explanation for the linguistic shift. To give an example, the Aramaic tribes migrated more or less peacefully in the Middle East from 1100BC onwards, and their language was to be the lingua franca of the region for more than a thousand years. A numerous pastoral population could have moved into India, strongly affecting the language startum, and could have merged its culture with the local one, perhaps even assimilated culturally but not linguistically by the local population. Many of the supposed literary achievements of the Aryans could have been in fact adapted from stories of the local population. It is also possible that the Harappan civilization was Aryan itself, and the migration could have occured before 3000BC.

This article which provides a balanced view of PEOPLES AND LANGUAGES IN PRE-ISLAMIC INDUS VALLEY, may be of use.

http://asnic.utexas.edu/asnic/subject/peoplesandlanguages.ht ml

 



Edited by Decebal
What is history but a fable agreed upon?
Napoleon Bonaparte

Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is the truth.- Mohandas Gandhi

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