Is the Aryan Invasion a Myth?

Lars Martin Fosse lmfosse at ONLINE.NO
Mon Nov 30 19:56:34 UTC 1998

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

Paul K. Manansala wrote:

I strongly disagree.  Linguistic evidence is weak because there is no
single linguistic theory.  Just look at the history of linguistics.
Just over the last century, or even the last few decades, there have
been major changes in language classification. Even at the present,
there are a number of major overhauls proposed to the classification
system by the most noted linguists.

I don't think that language classification is very important here. As for archaeology, I have recently been in close contact with archaeological theory in connection with the Indo-European homeland, and I fail to find a unified theory. But then, so what? Scholars and scientists disagree. Major overhauls occur in all fields of scholarship and science. There is nothing particularly damning about that, it only shows that scholarship and science are progressing.

Cultural evidence is interesting and helpful, but isolated cultural
items pass easily from one people to the next without any need for
migration much less invasion.

May I direct your attention to the following works:

Bruce Lincoln: Myth, Cosmos and Society. Indo-European Themes of Creation and Destruction. Harvard University Press, 1986.

Lincoln addresses the problem you mention (which, by the way, is a very real one). 

If you belong to the German reading crowd, you may want to have a look at Ruediger Schmitt's Dichtung und Dichtersprache in indogermanischer Zeit. Otto Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden, 1967. See also "Indogermanische Dichtersprache", a collection of articles he edited for Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, Darmstadt 1968. 

Then of course, there is the work of Dumezil and his school, which is not accepted by everybody. But you may want to read: C. Scott Littleton, The New Comparative Mythology. An Anthropological Assessment of the Theories of Georges Dumezil. University of California Press, 1982. 

Bottom line: Whereas some cultural items undoubtedly migrate, there are some items that are hereditary and cannot be explained by migration. 

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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