SV: Is the Aryan Invasion a Myth?

Lars Martin Fosse lmfosse at ONLINE.NO
Mon Nov 30 08:59:20 UTC 1998

Elliot Stern wrote:

I found your reply to the query below understandable, but less than helpful.
There were 1050 items in the archives that turned up using the search term
"Aryan," and most of those of course were totally unrelated to the topic.
Of those that were, none (as far as my less-than-total review revealed)
improved upon the following excerpt from a message Jayant Bapak rather early
on in the debate:

May I suggest that you in addition to "Aryan" also search for "Witzel". Witzel has on some occasions summed up the arguments in favour of the "invasion" (or rather "migration") theory. His emails will therefore give you a reasonably good overview of the "invasionist" argument.

As for archaeology: it has been said several times on this list that archaeology is in no way so conclusive as som "indigenists" seem to think. There is no necessary link between ethnicity, race, material culture and language. (An argument for this was already developed by Boas in 1948, I believe in another context). The irony of the thing is that this insight now seems to have reached the Western side of the Indo-European question. After a 150 years or so of archaeological research, a number of tightly argued theories (e.g. Marija Gimbutas) and endless discussions, the German archaeologist Alexander Haeusler has reached the conclusion that there is no way European archaeology can be linked to an Indo-European invasion of Europe. Whoever they were, and whenever they came (assuming that they weren't here to begin with), archaeology doesn't give us any certain information. 

Looking for "proof" in archaeology is therefore a waste of time. What you do, is this: you collect as many data (linguistic and otherwise) as you can, configure them in such a way that they give a pattern that makes sense and interpret that pattern. It is the logic of the puzzle, and you may perform the following experiment: Imagine that you have a puzzle consisting of a 1000 pieces. Throw 800 of these pieces (chosen at random)  away and then try to reconstruct the picture (or simply: guess what the picture represented). 

The best evidence is still the linguistic (and cultural) data. The value of archaeology (if any at all) is quite subsidiary.

Best regards,

Lars Martin Fosse

Dr. art. Lars Martin Fosse
Haugerudvn. 76, Leil. 114,
0674 Oslo
Phone: +47 22 32 12 19
Fax:      +47 22 32 12 19
Email: lmfosse at

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