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Lars Martin Fosse l.m.fosse at
Fri Dec 6 16:37:07 UTC 1996

Peter Claus wrote:
>It suggests great research project in 'ethno-
>archeology' assessing the relationship between language
>and culture as found in cryptic material cultural
>remains.  A really thorough contemporary study might
>give useful leads to archeologists 5,000 years from now
>on the English Invasion of India.  Surely they would
>otherwise come to the conclusion that there was a swift
>and massive movement of people from a small island
>thousands of miles away in an armada dwarfing anything
>the Spanish had amassed only a century earlier.  And
>did they proliferate! [Of course it might be argued the
>other way around, that the English, coming from India
>(where we can see from the signs a language clearly
>emerging), invaded the rest of the world...]

I can't resist mentioning that parallell to the Indo-Aryan "invasion" of
India, there was an Indo-European expansion in Europe. In the second
millenium B.C. three different tribes of Greeks moved into Greece and modern
Turkey (Asia Minor). They left indelible traces of themselves but also
mingled extensively with the local indigenous population. At about the same
time, Italic tribes moved into Italy, with the eventual result that
non-Indo-European languages disappeared from Italy, Estruscan possibly being
the last to go. Then, when Rome began to turn into a major power, Germanic
tribes started to move westwards and southwards, pushing Celtic tribes in
front of them. Now we are on historical ground. We have written records that
show how this happened. Caesar gives a vivid, eye-witness description of the
migration of the Helvetians from modern Switzerland into Gaul (modern
France) about 54 B.C.. They constituted some 100,000 people according to
Caesar, warriors, women and children. As it happened, Caesar vanquished them
in a battle and sent them back to Helvetia, but the pressure continued,
until Germanic tribes finally were able to break through in the late Roman
period. The Vandals got as far as North-Africa, the Goths conquered Italy.
In the same historic period, Celtic tribes created havoc in Greece. The last
Indo-European migration is of course the massive transfer of Europeans from
Europe to the Americas and Australia....

We do not have to assume that the Indo-Aryan tribes that trickled into India
in the second millenium B.C. arrived in one big cluster. I favor the tribal
movement model, where a group of people large enough to break through in
battle would move forward and conquer land. It would to a certain degree
mingle with the local population, and be followed or pushed forward by other
tribes moving in the same direction, just as the case was in Europe.

I have seen no competent comparative linguist argue in favor of the
"out-of-India" model. This model is simply not reconcilable with what we
know about Indo-European linguistics. Nor do archaeology convince me.
Artifacts travel, just as people, not only in the sense that the objects as
such travel but also in the sense that they may be copied locally. An
"out-of-India" model based on archaelogical evidence alone strikes me at
best as somewhat naive.

That's all for now, folks.

Best regards,

Lars Martin Fosse

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