Sarasvati (texts & arch.II)

S. Kalyanaraman kalyan97 at YAHOO.COM
Sun May 24 11:41:54 EDT 1998

---Michael Witzel <witzel at FAS.HARVARD.EDU> wrote:

[snip]> But we can see enough from their seals and tablets. They do
not fit > *Rgvedic* religion.  A deity wrestling with 2 lions? A deity
killing a
> buffalo?  A deity wrestling a buffao? etc.   Not in RV > > >
> But, in the post_Indus age we also have NEW items:
> cremation and burial in urns (as described in the Vedic texts)
replaced > burial of bodies in the ground. Already Vats in c.  1930
has pointed out
> the curious birds (with minute human bodies inside!) painted on
Cemetary H > cremation urns, -- which fits Vedic ideas about movement
of souls after > death...  But the *style* of these paintings (thus
artisans, lower level, > small tradition) continues, is in Indus
style. The ideas are new -- and > fit Vedic texts. This is little
discussed in arch. these days.
> Archaeoogists would have to read Vedictexts --- and therefore my >
cooperation with R. Meadow...

Let me repeat my question: can we read 'religion' in the pictorials of
seals without making a leap of faith?

The urns evidence is more vivid in re 'religion'. The painted urns are
Kotdiji par excellence, core of the very early IVC trait. It is indeed
intriguing that vedic texts seem to match some of this burial method

Archaeologists will also have to start naming the artefacts they
unearth using the ancient lexemes of the NW region. The bronze
artefacts are stunning in their diversity and numerous in hundreds of

To note the migrations away from Sindh toward the Ganga-Yamuna doab I
have attempted this: took Witzel's map of river sarasvati;
superimposed Parpola's map of IVC sites on the banks of the river
sarasvati; dated each of these sites (with corrected c-14 dates). The
evidence is striking; the earlier radio-carbon dates are in the
Kutch/Sindh; the later dates are sequenced towards Ropar... It is of
course a moot question if Daimabad on the banks of Godavari or even
Bet Dwaraka with a tyical IVC seal are reminscences...


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