Horses/Indus seals

George Thompson thompson at JLC.NET
Mon May 18 00:37:40 UTC 1998

Thank you, Edwin, for trying once again to clarify the logic of the
Indigenous Aryan thesis. Unfortunately, the logic just does not work. As
far as  I can tell, what this logic amounts to is simply a "just say no"
strategy, along the lines of Nancy Reagan's response to America's drug
problem. But we are scholars, for whom such a "just say no" policy is
completely unacceptable.

The horse and the cow are fundamental elements of Vedic ideology. That is a
simple and unerasable fact. If you take these elements away, what remains
will not be recognizably Vedic. Now, the absence of these elements in IVC
iconography surely indicates that IVC is not Vedic. You [not *you*, Edwin,
but anyone] can say "no" all you want, but the fact remains that IVC is not
recognizably Vedic.

As a point of logic, of course one could argue that the lack of
recognizably Vedic features is no* proof* that IVC is *not* Vedic. But
besides desiring to be logicians we should also desire to be scholars, and
as such we should be dealing with *evidence*, and not simply the lack of

As far as I can tell, the last great hope for the Indigenous Aryan thesis
is that we will *never* decipher the IVC script [if that is what it is],
for our fundamental ignorance re IVC is what keeps that thesis alive.

Best wishes,

George Thompson

Edwin Bryant wrote:

>In case my last posting was confusing (as it was to at least one person),
>may I just again try to reiterate the point (I realize we may all be
>growing rather weary of all this).
>Just as the horse is prominent in the Rg, so is the cow.  So *if* the
>I-A's were in the IVC, they did not depict either cows or horses on their
>seals despite these being their two most important cultural animals.
>The logic, here (from within the parameters of the assumption that the
>I-A's could have been present in the IVC), is that just as the
>culturally-important I-A cow is not depicted on the seals, but was present
>physically (as evidenced by cow bones), so, in a parallel fashion, could
>the culturally-important I-A horse have been present despite also not
>being depicted on the seals (and although 'physically' less evidenced than
>the common cow in terms of bones due to it being a rare, elite item).
>I hope this logic is not as convoluted as my prose.  Obviously, the
>alternative is that the cow-and-horse-centered  I-A's were not
>significantly present in the IVC at all and hence the lacuna of *both* the
>cow and the horse on the seals.   Best, Edwin

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