Tampering with history I

Sn. Subrahmanya sns at IX.NETCOM.COM
Fri Jun 19 20:22:40 UTC 1998

At 09:18 AM 6/19/98 -0400, Michael Witzel wrote:
>I provided a list of items from the spiritual and material culture
>etc. of the Rgveda last week and invited members to show that these
>items could have developed in South Asia and could have spread from there
>to Iran, Turkey, Europe..
>Interestingly, nobody has tried so far....

well here goes...

>Some items:
>1. Linguistics. How can even the oldest hymns of the Rgveda (1500, 4000,
>8000 BC???) have the absolutive (ga-tvaa, samgam-ya etc)  but none of the
>other Indo-European languages (not even the closely related dialects of
>Old Iranian)??
>If Early Sanskrit had spread from the Panjab westwards and become IE
>elsewhere why did the emigrants forget their absolutives as soon as the
>crossed the Khyber or Bolan passes?

The Rgveda is mostly representative of the Puru language and not of all Arya
presence in Afghanistan,Tajikistan and the Tarim Basin

>2. Religion. Why does India have the clearly archaic "FATHER HEAVEN" DYAUS
>PITAA(R) (e.g. 'wrong' accusative dyAm, Greek zEn etc.) who is found in
>Greek, Latin etc. but lost as an "active" deity almost immediately after
>the Rgveda; he survived into historical times in Rome, Greece, Sweden etc.
>(and Engl. "Tues-day). Where is the Indian source for that concept (and of
>mother earth) in Dravidian, Burushaski, Munda, the Indus Seals etc etc.?
You are basing the argument on your dating the Rgveda to
1500BC and then stating it was lost 'immediately' afterwords.
The Vedic religion is the Indian source (more specifically Puru).
>3. Ritual. Horse sacrifice is widely spread from Ireland to Waragaean
>Russia (and, yes, to the Sintashta burials East of the Urals) but it is
>also found with the neighboring Turkic peoples ( I think down to be start
>of this century in the Altai Mountains). But where is the Indian source of
>this (before, let us be modest, the Swat Valley sites in the middle of the
>2nd millennium BC.)
>The central role of fire rituals?
>Even nicer: the origin of the ancestor rituals, such as zraaddha &
Again, you dont agree with the fire altars from SIVC. Also, it is strange
that if these were simple cooking places, that they would be on a raised
platform in an important location.

>4.Domesticated Animals. Why do the Indo-Aryans (in the Rgveda) use
>non-Indian (+ IE) terms for domesticated cows (same archaic accusative
>forms as in Dyaus Pitaa), sheep, goat, -- all of which had been found
>there since 7000 BC or so; (and of course for the horse which has not
>conclusively been attested in S.  Asia before 1700 BC). Why not local
>words such as Dravidian, Munda etc.???
I would suggest that you find out how long  the Akhal Teke horse has been
present in Turkmenistan. Then we will find out whethar the Harappans
knew about horses or not. The Rgvedic terms are local Indian terms.

>5. Wild animals. Why do they also do so for *colder* climate animals such
>as the wolf, beaver etc.? And conversely, why do the "emigrant'
>Indo_Euro[peans in Iran and Europe do not use ANY linguistically local
>Indian words for tropical animals such as tiger (pundarika), lion (simha)
>etc. but OTHER, non_Indian words (tiger, leo(n)/lis/sher) ??  Again
>collective amnesia the moment they crossed the Khyber into Iran??  (The
>Gypsies who came from NW India *DO* remember: pani, churi...; "I/you..
>do": karav, karas, karal...)
>6. Plants. Why do some colder climate plants survive in Sanskrit but not
>vice versa, Indian words in Iran/Europe? Bhuurja "birch tree", probably
>the willow, but not: pipal tree, lotos flower (which is found in Iran, and
>in a smaller variety even in Europe (though I do not know since when),etc.
Of course Tarim Basin,Tajikistan and Afghanistan are cold regions.
AFAIK, there is no conclusive evidence in this matter. All kinds
of areas have been postulated based on these methods.
More on this after I get some more literature by ILL.

>7. Family. Why does IE family structure (patrilinear etc., Omaha type )
>and the designation for it agree with the Vedic one but not with the
>Dravidian and Munda one?
What kind of family structure have you been able to create for
Dravidian, Munda societies ?  How have you decided that the Dravidian
or Munda societies were not patrilinear ? .
You could very well be talking about family structure of any ancient
group of people. There is nothing special about the IE family structure.
All these are just vague generalities.
>8. Society. Why does the structure of society (even without Dumezil) agree
>with the IE one, including the role of "kings" and poets/priests? What
>about the role of the poets, their training, maybe their several "levels
>of status"?
Again,What is this special structure of the IE society ? All societies have
divisions in their society. How have you decided that this society is
incompatible with Harappan society. This could be any ancient society for
that matter. Again refer to 7.

>9. Poetry. Why is early Dravidian poetry in concept and form so different
>from the Rgvedic one, which shares many items with the Iranian and IE
>poetry in general? Including the Vedic/Iranian/Greek 11-syllable meter?
>The two level poetic language (sacred/non-sacred; gods: adversaries). And
>why no export of the Tamil model westwards? What about IE sorcery spells
>(Atharvaveda-Old High German, AV - Hittite, etc.)?
Relationships between Dravidian and Finno-Ugric languages have been postulated.
I hope that you realize you are talking of very different time periods.
Also, please provide some references.

>10. Technology. Why does Vedic share technological terms with Iran/Europe
>(wheel, axle, axe, carpenter, etc.) but not with India?  (akSa > accu,
>aaNi are early loans into Tamil).
This probably coulld be explained by a migration out of the Indian Linguistic
Area. I presume you are also not implying that the Harappans did not know
these items.

Additionally - I would also like to bring to your attention.
The celtic weaves "endless knot motifs" of the Tocharians, the
nomads of the Zagros region of Iran and later on in Europe -
and then figure out the direction of the movement of the tribes.

Bottom line - you havent provided any conclusive evidence that proves
that the Rgvedic people were not indigenous to India.
That is why, we have to wait for more data to be available.
Hopefully, in the coming years we will know more from the 'migration trail
archeology' and then we will definitely have conclusive evidence.
Also, if the Rgveda (or even parts of it) is dated to before the appearance
of the Hittites then there will have to be a reevaluation of the current
theories accepted in the West.

More later, when my wrist heals.


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