Diffusion of Sanskrit (was Re: The Coming of the Greeks) <fwd> (fwd)

Joe Bernstein joe at sfbooks.com
Mon Nov 25 08:31:58 EST 1996


Hello, INDOLOGY listmembers.

Dominik Wujastyk wrote...

>This is a summary of a discussion that has been going on in the
>sci.archaeology group recently, which  Joe Bernstein thought -- rightly, I
>think -- would be of interest here in INDOLOGY.

I'm grateful for this comment, though I must admit to being disappointed at
finally having to conclude that my revisionist archaeologist heroes really
aren't on the net, or they would've replied by now...

That said.  The discussion was, in fact, begun by the post to which I
replied, so my post which you've seen is more a summary of my current (and
not very well-researched) views than of the postings to date.  The
discussion now continues under a number of threads on sci.archaeology and
(to a considerable extent) sci.lang.  Although the original poster, Mr.
Shankar, has had a little more to say (including a set of references which
derives, I think, from David Frawley), the discussion has been dominated by
posts from, and replies to, one Steve Whittet, a simply indescribable
person long resident on sci.archaeology.  It is perhaps simplest for me (as
an involved party) to say that Mr. Whittet is capable of combining
genuinely serious points (often confusingly conveyed) with breathtakingly
unorthodox and unsupported claims.  I'm presently awaiting his explanation
as to why he believes Harappa and Mohenjo-daro were the seats of two
entirely different civilisations; but he has managed, more effectively than
quite a few books I've read, to undermine my definition of "urbanism".

Another post, which you've either just seen or are just about to, comments
on my happiness or lack thereof with this state of affairs...

>There are lots of disagreements over how *many* Indo-European speakers
>arrived in India, in particular (or South Asia more generally:  in this
>post, I'm awake as to which I use, thanks), or about *how* these speakers
>arrived.  Some months ago, Moin Ansari and I debated these issues at some
>length on this newsgroup, and I'm cc'ing him on this post partly to let
>him know the topic's back.

This time, quoting myself.

The debate which was mostly between Mr. Ansari and me can presumably be
found in Dejanews, for those with Web access; I can also forward by e-mail
some, but not all, of the relevant posts.  Mr. Ansari is firmly committed,
for reasons at least partly political (hardly unique), to the full-blown
Aryan invasion theory.

The bulk of the discussion happened in threads whose titles included the
phrase THE 5000 YEAR PAKISTAN CIVILIZATION (not sure of exact spelling of
last two words; could be, e.g., PAKISTANI CIVILISATION; but you only need
THE 5000 YEAR to get it out of Dejanews.  This was from something like
January to March.

I hope this is of some use.

Joe Bernstein






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