An alternative history of IE languages and the AIT.

Vidhyanath K. Rao vidynath at math.ohio-state.edu
Wed Feb 22 11:52:11 EST 1995


One can perhaps start from Mallory's "In search of Indo-Europeans" and
attempt to put together a coherent model for IE expansion into India.
However the problem seems to  be that the 'received wisdom' sometimes
conflicts with evidence. It is essential that all possible errors be
eliminated.

Here are some of the errors that rankle me: Foremost is use of
uncaliberated C14 dates together with dates based on texts. It won't do
to use the uncaliberated date for the end of the Urban phase of Indus
Valley civilization with the usual dating of vedic texts. Here one
should be careful in using dates lifted from archaeological papers:
Many Soviet authors seem to have given uncaliberated dates only
(in publications on the archaeology of Central Asia), without noting
what kind of dates they are using.

Another error that philologists seem to still make is to assume that
nomadic pastoralism preceeded agriculture. It wouldn't do to claim that
RgVedic Aryans were not acquainted with agriculture and then to derive
them from Andronovans. According Kohl, "Central Asia", there is evidence
for irrigation and agriculture at Andronovan settlements dated to
~1600 BCE.

It is essential that such irrelevant errors be eliminated from any
write-up. Otherwise, they would be criticized on the basis of such
errors, negating their purpose.

 




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