"Out of India"

Lars Martin Fosse l.m.fosse at internet.no
Fri Dec 6 18:21:10 UTC 1996

V. Rao wrote:

>That creates its own set of problems.
>Large scale migrations are rare events. 

Large scale migrations have occurred quite regularly within Europe and out
of Europe for the last 3000 years. 


1) Hittites into Asia Minor (3rd millenium B.C.?)
2) Indo-Aryans into Iran and India (2nd millenium B.C.)
3) Greek tribes into Greece (2nd millenium B.C.)
4) Italic tribes into Italy (2nd millenium B.C)
5) Celtic tribes into France and Britain, followed by
6) Germanic tribes, reaching Scandinavia possibly 800 B.C.
7) Germanic tribes into Gaul, Northern Italy, Spain and North Africa (end of
1st millenium B.C. until about 5-600 C.E.)
8) Magyar tribes into Hungary (800 C.E)
9) Norsemen into Northern Britain, Ireland, Hebrides, the Shetlands,
Iceland, Greenland about 1000 C.E.)
10) The enourmous transfer of Europeans from Europe to the Americas during
the last 500 years
11) The migration of Europeans to Australia during the last 200 years.

Large-scale displacement of people do not happen every day, but they
certainly do occur.

>I would like to read your thesis. Please let me where you published it.

It will be published in the series Acta Humaniora of the Faculty of Arts of
Oslo University. I handed it in 4-5 months ago. I don't how far it has come
in the process.

>There is one issue that I am sure you must have addressed, but which
>I cannot resist talking about.
>This is the use of controls. Let me share an experiment
>I performed a few months back. I took the Mahabharata text from
>John Smith's files, and looked at the frequency of different types of
>vipulas in the various parvans. Just for fun, I looked at the cantos of
>Kumarasambhava (Kale edition) and Raghuvamsa (Nirnayasagar edition)
>that were in anushtub. To my great surprise (and horror), I found that 
>Kumarasambhava as closer to Mahabharata (Bhishma and Drona parvans,
>I did not try this with others) than it was to Raghuvamsa. and the
>difference was fairly significant: I don't remember the p-values,
>but were close to 0.05. [This does not prove that Kumarasambhava and
>Raghuvamsa were composed by different persons. The most serious objection
>would be that I did not look at Trishtub and Jagati patterns, where
>Kalidasa conforms to the traditional poetical theory, but Mahabharata does
>not. Then there is the question of critical edition of Kalidasa]

This is precisely the sort of thing I found, too. Not only should you be
extremely careful with metrical statistics, but also with distributions of
linguistic features. For Indological statistics to succeed, you need endless
patience. There is no quick fix.

>As I understand it, we can't quite call one method more objective
>than the other. Some methods look for clusters of some particular
>shape. Others do not for clusters as such, but build trees by
>joining nearest neighbors into one branch, then replacing them
>by their average etc. [Out of Africa analysis has the problem of
>large data-sets, which should not a problem in HLK case.] There does
>not seem to be any clear agreement as to which method suits a given
>situation better than others.
One of the things you have to know about cluster analysis is that it is an
explorative method, not a method that claims ability to prove anything.
However, if several different methods (or several sets of criteria) produce
the same clusters, you may have some reason to think that the elements of
the clusters really have something in common. But beware of too strong

Best regards,

Lars Martin Fosse

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