SV: Is the Aryan Invasion a Myth?

Lars Martin Fosse lmfosse at ONLINE.NO
Mon Nov 30 20:31:34 UTC 1998

Nath wrote:

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.

Nath, who ever said a stupid thing like that?

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?

Or for that matter, try finding 200 hundred pieces belonging to several puzzles, all of which have about a thousand pieces. :-)

> 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?

I have not proposed this to archaeologist. I value my life and health. :-)  But let me be slightly more precise: Sometimes, archaeological evidence is very valuable. But you need a certain amount of it, and you also need to be able to show that certain archaeological items actually go with a certain group of people. Let me give an illustration:

We have two peoples, A and B, and two items, x and y. The distribution of items looks like this:

                A       B
        x       650      15
        y        41     701

I reasonable interpretation may be that item x is typical of culture A, whereas item y is typical of culture B. The stray items in both cultures may be due to trade. But if you have this distribution:

                A       B
        x       15      12
        y       9       17

What conclusions would you draw? It would seem that the items are fairly equally distributed and not typical of any of the cultures. And yet, case 1) may represent the "underlying" distribution, and case 2) be the result of insufficient digging. And then of course, peoples speaking different languages (even belonging to different language families) may share the same material culture to the extent that they are hardly distinguishable in archaeological terms. Therefore, this Indo-European will remain sceptical of archaeology until someone comes up with a potsherd upon which it is written: "I am an Indo-European potsherd". 

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.

Ahem, well, yes, in a sense. There are no flying machines found by archaeologists, but that doesn't prove that they didn't exist. Theoretically, we may not have found them. The reason why we don't believe in them is that the ancients had no knowledge of the necessary principles, nor the technology to make them. And of course, we can have a look at the flying persons in ancient Indian art which would suggest that ancient flying was just a daydream.

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

-------------- next part --------------
A non-text attachment was scrubbed...
Name: attachment.bin
Type: application/ms-tnef
Size: 3325 bytes
Desc: not available
URL: <>

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list