Indo-Aryan migration vs Indigenous origin - scholarly debate

Srinivasan Pichumani srini at ENGIN.UMICH.EDU
Tue Mar 17 22:51:40 UTC 1998

        In his recent posting, Krishna made a number of points to criticize the
        book which I thought were quite good but just telling the Frawley-like
        people to go to hell is unlikely to solve the REAL questions:
        a) Was there an Aryan migration/invasion of India which destroyed the
        Indus valley civilization ?
        b) Is it a fairy tale concocted by certain scholars in the last century
        and if so why ?

There is a mistake in dates here... the Indus Valley Civilization
was discovered/announced only in this century, by John Marshall in
1924,  although various inscribed seals had been found in the Indus
Valley region in the late 1800s itself by Alexander Cunningham.  And
it was only in the 1940s that Mortimer Wheeler and others proposed
that Indo-Aryan speaking invaders destroyed the civilization.

In the Jan/Feb 1998 issue of Archaeology there is a good, concise
review of the Indus Valley Civilization by Jonathan Kenoyer of
Wisconsin.  He says, "Wheeler and others thought that Indo-Aryan-speaking
Vedic warriors from Central Asia invaded the region, overwhelming
the cities and contributing to their demise.  There is in fact no
archaeological or literary evidence for invasions during the period
of the Indus civilization's decline.  Current theories take into
account many factors that would have contributed to the fragmentation
of the society, including the breakdown of agricultural life, the
migration of people following changes in river courses, and the failure
to maintain political and economic control over the vast region."

Later in the article he attributes this mistake of Wheeler to the
discovery of unburied skeletons in the latest level of Mohenjadaro,
and to his uncritical reading of the Rig Veda.


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