Sarasvati (texts & arch.II)
Paul K. Manansala
kabalen at MAIL.JPS.NET
Sun May 24 17:34:37 UTC 1998
> The RV is not a geography handbook. But complicated IA/IE poetry. Each
> passage needs detailed investigation. All I did was to cast some
> (intra-textual) doubt on the "proof passage" of the "great Sarasvati" in
> the *later* RV.
As I see it the RV is the main evidence for the early IE
invasion/migration theory. And the evidence is textual since we have
no manuscripts from the Vedic period. So every major proponent of
the AIT has attempted some fairly liberal interpretations of the RV
regarding geography and many other subjects. Therefore, we cannot
use the RV as proof in one direction but not the other.
My contention about the Sarasvati is that the AI theorists do seem to be
"retrofitting" the data here and there. The first and foremost thing
is there is no hard archaeological evidence of a "Vedic" culture entering India.
We certainly cannot label PGW culture as Vedic anymore than IVC.
We have, at best, undoubted similarities between the medieval Vedic
texts and the Avestan texts/inscriptions dating from several
centuries before this era. From this we are attempting to
extrapolate on events of anywhere from 1,500 BCE to 3,000+ BCE
using mainly text interpretation..
For example, our belief that the supposed "Vedic" peoples used horses
is based entirely on the Vedic texts. Since we do know the dating of
the entire corpus for sure, how can we make any theories using these
texts? Is the use of the Vedas as historical sources even valid?
Paul Kekai Manansala
ps -- regarding the use of saagara for lakes, doesn't this
have a long tradition in the literature? Maybe I'm thinking of
something else, but I'll investigate.
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