SV: Is the Aryan Invasion a Myth?

Lars Martin Fosse lmfosse at ONLINE.NO
Mon Nov 30 23:49:26 UTC 1998

Paul K. Manansala wrote:

Archaeology is quite different than linguistics though.  Archaeology,
at its base, is designed to trace movements of people.  I agree it
is not perfect, but how can you say that it is less relevant than

I am not saying that it is less relevant than linguistics in an absolute sense. Sometimes, archaeology gives vast amounts of valuabel information. What I am saying, is that when archaeological material is ambivalent and open to a number of interpretations, its value is correspondingly less. In the Indo-European context, it is obvious from the various interpretations of the archaeological material that it is not very informative about the movement of people. However, it will tell you a lot about the movements of artifacts and items of material culture. 

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

Well, as one who tracks the current issues of most of the top genetics
journals, this statement comes as a surpise.  I'm not sure how
non-geneticists were able to ascertain that any aspect of culture
is "hereditary" (if you mean here at a molecular level).

If you read the books I mention, you would perhaps see what I mean. Myths and epical motives may travel over vast distances (and get changed on the way), but there are certain combinations of detail and linguistic expression that would travel in that manner. When exact parallels exist, such as akshita shravas (skt) = aphthiton kleos (Greek), we know from the linguistic forms that these poetic expression must have been part of a formulaic poetic language that goes back to the time when there was no difference between Greek and Indo-Iranian. For more info, see Schmitt above. 

Does this mean that an Asian cannot inherit certain Western cultural
features from the media or from studying in the West?  Could you give
examples of such features?  How do these apply to the Aryan invasion

The points made above were not maed in the context of the Aryan invasion theory. They are relevant to Indo-European culture as a whole, and the point is to show that some cultural items can be shown to be inherited. 


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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