Is the Aryan Invasion a Myth?

Elliot Stern emstern at NNI.COM
Fri Nov 27 23:56:49 UTC 1998

>Dear Historians on Indology:
>I would appreciate your assistance as I edit a novel, What the Body
>Remembers, scheduled for publication in Sept 1999, re the following
>Is there a consensus among historians about the Aryan invasion of India
>that was taught when I was in high school in India in the seventies?
>Lately I've been hearing more discussion about
>the "Myth of the Aryan Invasion" (there is a book by that name,
>published by Voice
>of India in 1995), saying that Max Mueller in particular dated the Aryan
>invasion at
>3500 BC because of the prevailing Christian myth that the world was
>created in
>4004 BC at 4 pm (!), that the Aryan *language and colorism/ideas of
>varna* may have
>mixed with Indian language and culture via the passes, but that the
>Aryan *people*
>were not a tribe from the Caucasus, but were *indigenous* to India.
>Bhagwan Gidwani's 1997 novel, "Return of the Aryans," is premised on
>this theory. Another book,   "In Search of the Cradle of Civilization,"
>also a 1995 Voice of India publication, says, I believe (I haven't yet
>read this book myself, however) that the Aryans did invade, only they
>came not from the Caucasus but from Persia. How rigorous is the
>scholarship and does it stand behind the hypotheses?
>Do you think, as the reviewers of these writers seem to, that the story
>was a myth concocted by the English to create a tie between the Brahmins
>and themselves? The "white Brahmin" idea?
>Or do you feel these people who say the Aryan invasion was a myth are
>indulging in wishful thinking?
>Where does the historical evidence point? Has there been carbon dating
>of archeological remains at Taxila, Harappa, Moenjodaro, for instance?
>What does it reveal?
>Perhaps you have already discussed these new theories on Indology. If
>so, please point me to the website where I may find the archives with
>discussion on this topic. Thanks in advance for your assistance.
>Shauna Singh Baldwin

The Aryan migration theory, and other theories have recently been discussed
on this list, though the discussion recently seems to have slowed down.
Please visit the Indology List archives at I recall that the recent
discussion began in July or August (although it may have begun earlier),
and continued into early November. Earlier stages of discussions of Aryan
migration into India, versus indigenous Aryans in India, may probably be
found further back in the archives.

Elliot M. Stern
552 South 48th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19143-2029

telephone: 215 747 6204

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