Is the Aryan Invasion a Myth?

Vidhyanath Rao vidynath at MATH.OHIO-STATE.EDU
Mon Nov 30 18:58:34 UTC 1998

Note 1: Due to upcoming trips, I cannot really take part in this
thread apart from this message.

Note 2: I consider myself a sceptic in this matter, that is I
find myself much less sure than those who believe that they
know the past inside out.

"H.M.Hubey" <hubeyh at MONTCLAIR.EDU> wrote:
> 1. The lower numerals (like 3,4,5) were apparently being developed in
> the Middle East/Sumeria around 3,000 BC.

Are these numerals (notation for numbers) or number words (names
for ordinals)?

Mathematically speaking, the decimal system has no special status.
There are actually a ``duodecimal society'' dedicated to the
theory that the decimal system is a mistake and the base should be
12. They have a few very smart people among them. Of course, some
of us are becoming quite good at base 16, the possible base of
the future :-)

On the other hand, philologists have been known to claim that
Egyptians were inferior to Steppe people in making spoked wheels
because the former used only 4 and occationaly 6 spokes, while the
latter had 18 or more spokes. Somehow, such nonsense seems to
escape ridicule.

Lars Martin Fosse <lmfosse at ONLINE.NO> wrote
> 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).

Isn't there supposed to be another step: try to fit the 800 pieces in,
with a bit of shaving or padding (errors in observation!), or explain
why they are from a different puzzle?

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

Have you proposed this to archaeologists? What was the reaction?

How about this:
The best evidence of flying machines in Ancient India is textual,
coming from the puranas. The value of archaeology and engineering,
if any at all, is quite subsidiary.

"Yaroslav V. Vassilkov" <yavass at YV1041.SPB.EDU> wrote:
> Vedic chariots were made without any metal, there was no single nail
> in them.

Egyptian chariots had very little metal in them (to Mark: The
tyres were made with skin, put on wet and then dried to shrink
and tighten). But it would be confusing to say that they were
made without metal: The tools were metal, presumably bronze.
[ Spruytte's reconstruction used bronze tools and the chariot
functioned perfectly and was quite durable.]

There have been attempts to make wheels without metal tools.
While the attempt was not a complete success (they made it with
rotating axles, leading to premature failure), determined
persons can probably make it work. The problem is that this
invloved ``training'' branches to grow in circles. It is
extremely unlikely that people without knowledge of wheels in
the first place will do that. And solid or cross bar wheels
clearly depended on metal.

Lack of metal in chariots probably had to do with attempts to
make them as light as possible. Remember, the early horses were
really ponies, not Clysdales (sp?) [so much for horse drawn
chariots frightening 3rd m. BCE Near Easterners].

Finally, there is clear evidence of trade between Kopet Dagh
and Caspian-Aral steppes. I remember that there is some
evidence of trade across the Caucases as well. I suspect that
people in metal poor areas recyled their metal. So the lack
of raw materials is not a big problem.

I don't know about fuel. How did Andronovans manage? They lived
in steppes, but are `famous' for metal working. [Of couse, the
Andonovo sites are said to contain evidence for irrigation
agriculture and grain milling, making them suspect fit for
Indo-iranians who are supposed by some to be ignorant of
agricultural work.]

BTW, were the pins really of wood too, or of metal?



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