Koenraad Elst koenraad.elst at PANDORA.BE
Tue Mar 14 10:24:05 UTC 2000

Paul Kekai Manansala <kekai at JPS.NET>
> I don't know of any uncovered culture (archaeologically) in India that
> could be described as "horse-centered."

Interesting point.  The implication seems to be that to evaluate the
importance of the horse in Harappa, the [admittedly meagre] quantity of
horse evidence should be
compared with that in Indian sites generally acknowledged as Vedic-Aryan,
horse-centred, e.g. Hastinapura.  I recall an explanation by Prof.
Romila Thapar about Hastinapura (in Social Scientist, Delhi, Jan. 1996), to
the effect that the paucity of horses found there was due to the confinement
of the use of horses to the
(necessarily minoritarian) aristocracy.  So there too, the harvest of horse
bones was disappointing.   Had carbon-14 dating not put the site squarely in
a period when that part of India is universally acknowledged to have been
Indo-Aryan-speaking, then it might well have been diagnosed as non-Aryan for
lack of sufficient horse remains to match the reputed centrality of the
horse in Aryan culture.

But, not having the archaeological body of evidence at my fingertips, I
don't want to press this point and leave it to specialists, say Jim Shaffer
or BB Lal, to draw the appropriate conclusions.

K Elst

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