Saras.. (Painted Grey Ware)

Michael Witzel witzel at FAS.HARVARD.EDU
Mon Jun 1 13:56:13 UTC 1998

On Mon, 1 Jun 1998, Sn. Subrahmanya wrote:

> If you noticed - the Ganga valley seem to have been very well settled
> by the 2nd millenium BC, which causes Erdosy to write "Clearly, cultural
> evolution in the area did not await the 'Aryan' colonists of the Vedic
> texts".

Of course, well settled. We have two things here:
settlement and cultural evolution by whoever, and additional, *added*
population. Note that even Jim Shaffer who in 1984 tried to discard the
:"linguistic tyranny"  of earlier immigration models has a clear model of
shift of population from the Panjab to the Upper doab. Quotes if wished.

(that shift, of course was one of "Indus" people).

What was developed by these newcomers (Indus people) is the 2 season
cropping with rice/wheat, etc.

What I add to this is development of something *new* on the basis of this
cultural development of the 2nd millennium, i.e the PGW culture of
1200-800 BC. (with -locally developed - iron, and introduction and use of
horse), as quoted last time.

Note that Erdosy USES Middle Vedic texts to adumbrate this period...

Of course, "Aryan colonists" were not necessary: They could not care
less about agriculture, and (in the texts) went eastwards, robbing grains
in the Fall...

As Kuiper has shown by a study of the non IA words in the RV, agriculture
was not one the Indo-Aryan's favorite occupations. Even modern Hindi has
some 30 % of agricultural vocabulary which is not explainable as IA,
Drav., Munda...  (though those for cattle herding etc. are largely IA)
<All in Masica 1969>

I am talking of a new culture here, a symbiosis of local + "aryan" traits.

> So if you want to consider this the middle vedic age, you will have
> to push back your dating for the Rgvedic period.

Certainly, before 1200, as the RV does not yet have iron (PGW has)
All listed last time.

Michael Witzel                       witzel at

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