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Rig Veda, Harappan Civilization and the Myth of Aryan Invasion

Continuance of the Aryan Invasion Theory (AIT) is virtually the lifeline of our Marxist historians and some exceptionally racist Westerners. It is the AIT, the bashing of ancient period, and the glorification of everything associated with the medieval period of history that gives our Marxist historians an international reputation of being ‘eminent historians’. It also provides them with the much sought-after label of being ‘secular historians’ and ‘main stream historians’. We have seen earlier the kind of problems one faces while dating the Rigveda, and the kind of politics involved in the process, but still our Marxist historians date it to 1000-1200 B.C. as if it were the final date arrived at from all angles. The same is the case with the AIT. Before discussing the issue, let us scrutinize a few examples of how they write, almost as eyewitnesses, about the AIT. Prof. R.S. Sharma – whose comments we have seen on the question of the presence of the horse in the Harappan civilization, on iron, the Vedic literature, and the dating of the Rigveda – describes the Aryan invasion, almost as an eyewitness, in the following words:

“It is difficult to say that all the earliest Aryans belonged to one race, but their culture was more or less same type…. Originally the Aryans seem to have lived somewhere in the steppes stretching from Southern Russia to Central Asia…. On their way to India the Aryans first appeared in Central Asia and Iran… A little earlier than 1500 B.C. the Aryans appeared in India.”1

Another ‘secular’ and ‘eminent historian’, Romila Thapar, who considers Mahmud of Ghazni as the greatest secular and humane Sultan2, writes about the Aryan invasion as follows:

“The Harappan culture [not civilization] lasted for about a thousand years. By 1500 B.C. when the Aryans began to arrive in India, the Harappan culture had collapsed… We do not know where they came from; perhaps they came from north-eastern Iran or the region near the Caspian Sea or Central Asia.”3

The above two quotations from two most ‘eminent’ among the ‘eminent historians’, sum up their approach to the issue. Any other approach is certainly dumped as ‘communal’ and ‘Hindu chauvinistic’ by these historians. And, not surprisingly, this denigration of the independent scholars (who differ with Marxist and racist historians) at the hands of Marxist historians gets wide support in Western academia.

Linguistic Evidence

Florentine merchant, Filippo Sassetti, who lived in Goa for five years from A.D. 1583 to 1588, was struck by similarities between Sanskrit and European languages, especially Latin and Greek. Later, the relationship between the two languages was further elaborated by William Jones and many other scholars serving the East India Company, and we have already seen the various compelling reasons that dictated their approach. The efforts made towards understanding these linguistic similarities between Sanskrit on the one hand and Greek, Latin and some other modern European languages on the other gave rise to a new discipline called ‘comparative linguistics’. Its birth had questionably motivated considerations under the guise of scholarly linguistic inquiry. In the last 200 years the discipline (if at all it is a discipline) of ‘comparative linguistics’ has shown a far greater variety of gymnastic exercises than the sport of gymnastic itself.

Since the earliest books of the Aryans, i.e. the Vedas, are written in Sanskrit, it came to be recognized as the language of the Aryans. In the beginning, all European languages, along with Sanskrit, came to be clubbed as Aryan languages, and Sanskrit got identified as not only the oldest of all but also the mother of all European languages. Lord Monboddo was convinced that “Greek was derived from Sanskrit.”4 Halhed said:

“I do not ascertain as a fact, that either Greek or Latin are derived from this language; but I give a few reasons wherein such a conjuncture might be found; and I am sure that it has a better claim to the honour of a parent than Phoenician or Hebrew.”5

Frederick Schlegel, a highly respected German linguist, on the basis of comparative grammar, wrote that “the Indian language is older and others [European languages] younger and derived from it.”6 Vans Kennedy was also of the opinion that “Sanskrit itself is a primitive language from which Greek, Latin and the mother of the Teutonic dialects were originally derived.”7 Thus, Sanskrit came to be recognized as the mother of “all the less ancient Indo-European languages, as well as the modern European tongues and dialects.”8

But these opinions did not last very long. Local pride, racial complexes and Evangelical considerations overshadowed everything as a part of a shift from ‘Indo-mania’ to ‘Indo-phobia’.

Though William Jones agreed with the earlier view that “The language of Sanskrit is of a wonderful structure, more perfect than Greek, more copious than Latin and more exquisitely refined than either Human life would not be sufficient to make oneself acquainted with any considerable part of Hindu literature,” he could not accept the earlier view that Sanskrit is the ‘mother’ of all Aryan languages. He advocated that Sanskrit is just a ‘sister’, i.e. a co-descendant of an earlier ancestor language, rather than the original one. Following the lead provided by Jones, F. Bopp wrote:

“I do not believe that Greek, Latin and other European languages are to be considered as derived from Sanskrit… I feel rather inclined to consider them together as subsequent variations of one original tongue, which however, the Sanskrit has preserved more perfect than its kindred dialects.”9

Bopp, of course, need not explain why and how Sanskrit has preserved that “original tongue” in a more “perfect” form “than its kindred dialects.” Nevertheless, once the identity of Aryans with languages and the White race got wider acceptance among European Scholars in the late 18th century, the battlefield came to be totally controlled by philologists. The kind of linguistic gymnastics that one witnesses among philologists of that period has rightly been described by Jim Shaffer as ‘linguistic tyranny’.10 A search for the original homeland of a language, namely ‘Proto-Indo-European’, led scholars to different places and different scholars. This search for the imagined original language homeland also meant the search for the ‘Original Homeland of Aryans’. This also gave rise to forging labels such as the ‘Indo-Aryan’, ‘Indo-European’, ‘Aryan languages’, ‘Indo-Aryan languages’, and the ‘Indo-European languages’. Sometime around the 1820s, the word ‘Aryan’ began to be dropped and it simply became ‘Indo-European’.11 Some German scholars even started using the term ‘Indo-German’ on the presumption that the Sanskrit and German languages, between them, covered the entire Indo-European speaking area – the farthest language to the East being Indic and German to the West.12

Sanskrit, even today, may be “the greatest language of the world” or even if it “is of a wonderful structure, more perfect than Greek, more copious than Latin and more exquisitely refined than either Human life would not be sufficient to make oneself acquainted with any considerable part of Hindu literature.” But so what? How could a language spoken by ‘niggers’ have been once the mother of languages today spoken by Europeans, i.e. the white people? This position could not be accepted even by William Jones and Max Mueller, who have been so wholesome in their praise for the Sanskrit. The academic fairness and honest treatment to ancient literature and Sanskrit as a language ended just there.

Sanskrit was first demoted to the position of a mere sister of all the ancient and modern European languages, but later on, with further building of the language tree, it came to be demoted to the position of grand-daughter, when it got linked to the so-called Indo-Iranian family. Thus, the position is: Proto-Indo-European language gave birth to the Indo-Iranian, which in turn produced Sanskrit. The end of the search for the grand-mother of Sanskrit is still nowhere in sight. We still do not know what she may have looked like, of what colour she may have been, what may have been her physical and metaphysical structure. She still remains formless even in dreams. But let us see what a great play has been produced by the players of the game in the name of this ‘Proto-Indo-European’. Quite often, these practitioners of philology were so illogical, so incoherent, so absurd, so adamant and arrogant, and their impact has been so devastating that it has aptly been termed as ‘linguistic tyranny’ by Jim Shaffer, an American archaeologist. Shaffer has been made to pay the price of speaking, much before any other archaeologist could gather courage to speak out the truth regarding philology and comparative linguistic.

Once Sanskrit was demoted from the honoured status of being mother to all Indo-European languages and made a mere sister of the European languages, a search started for the ‘original tongue’ i.e. the ‘Proto-Indo-European’. This cleared the deck also for legitimizing the Aryan invasion of India, a theory which suggested that Sanskrit was brought here from the place where this imaginary language called ‘Proto-Indo-European’ was spoken. In 1842 A.W. von Schlegel had claimed:

“It is completely unlikely that the migrations which had peopled such a large part of the globe would have begun at its southern extremity and would have continually directed themselves from there towards the northwest. On the contrary everything compels us to believe that the colonies set out in diverging directions from a central region.”13

And for Schlegel, this central region consisted of the areas around the Caspian Sea.

A few contemporary scholars raised objections against such a view. One of them was Mountstuart Elphinstone, whose sympathetic views on the Indian education system we have already seen. Elphinstone wrote:

“It [Sanskrit] is opposed to their [literature] foreign origin that neither the code [of Manu] nor, I believe, the Vedas, nor in any book is there any allusion to a prior residence or to a knowledge of more than the name of any country out of India… to say that [the original language] spread from a central point is a gratuitous assumption and civilizations have not spread in a circle.”14

But with the increasing hold of British on India, the colonial and the Evangelical interests soon became a force in shaping not only the Indian education system but also Indian history for the rest of the academic world. Following the lead provided by A.W. von Schlegel, Max Mueller reiterated his position on the issue of the Aryan invasion and said in 1887; “If an answer must be given as to the place where our Aryan ancestors dwelt before their separation…. I should still say, as I said forty years ago, ‘somewhere in Asia’ and no more.”15 And this position has continued among the scholars of this day, also.

Srinivas Ayengar wrote in 1914, almost 75 years after Elphinstone:

The Aryans do not refer to any foreign country as their original home, do not refer to themselves as coming from beyond India, do not name any place in India after the names of places in their original land as conquerors and colonizers do, but speak of themselves exactly as sons of the soil would do. If they had been foreign invaders, it would have been humanly impossible for all memory of such invasion to have been utterly obliterated from memory in such a short time as represents the differences between the Vedic and Avestan dialects.16

The fallacy of this central-place theory as the origin of an imaginary language and then spreading all around has been explained by Arvind Sharma17 with a contemporary example. Let us take the example of the English language. Consider a situation wherein after a couple of thousand years, people forget that England was the place where the English language developed and spread from, and start looking for the place of its origin. What will be the conclusion then? The theory of central place will exclude England in the very first instance, as it is located on the outskirts of the world of the English language. The United States of America would be the natural choice from where it spread to Europe and Asia in the East, and Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii, etc in the east and Canada in the north.

Lexicography (the vocabulary of spoken/written words) is another area which was pressed in the service. Besides collecting a large number of the common words in various languages to prove their affinity, a number of words were chosen to prove the location of the language. For example, it has been argued that since there is no common word for the ocean in the Indo-European language, we can safely conclude that the Indo-European people were not aware of the ocean. Varadpande rightly points our that:

If we carry this reasoning further we shall have to suppose that ‘Indo-Europeans’ were living in a region where there was no air and no water, since are no common words for air and water in all the ‘Indo-European’ Languages.18

The whole situation is that a conjecture is turned into a hypothesis to be later treated as a fact used in support of a new theory. For instance, language like Proto-Indo-European, Proto-Indo-Iranian and Proto-Dravidian are no more than hypothetical constructions, which may or may not have really existed; and yet these modern creations are often imposed on populations that lived thousands of years ago, to prove migrations theories. Shaffer writes, “The Indo-Aryan invasion(s) as an academic concept in 18th-19th century Europe reflected the cultural milieu of that period. Linguistic data was used to validate the concept, which in turn, was used to interpret archaeological and anthropological data. What was theory became unquestioned fact that was used to interpret and organize all subsequent data. It is time to end the “linguistic tyranny” that has prescribed interpretative frameworks of pre-and proto-historic cultural development in South Asia.” 19

The question of Aryan invasion/Aryan migration vis-à-vis philology has always been questioned. In the beginning of the last century, Aurobindo, while commenting on the philology, wrote:

Comparative philology has hardly moved a step beyond its origins; all the rest has been a mass of conjectural and ingenious learning of which the brilliance is equalled only by the uncertainty and unsoundness… The very idea of science of language is chimera.20

He further writes:

The philologists indeed place a high value on their line of study – nor is that to be wondered at, in spite of all its defects – and persist in giving it the name of a Science; but the scientists are of a very different opinion. In Germany, in the very metropolis of Science and of philology, the word ‘philology’ has become a term of disparagement; nor are the philologist in a position to retort… When there is insufficient evidence or equal possibility in conflicting solutions, Science admits conjectural hypothesis as a step towards discovery. But the abuse of this concession to our human ignorance, the habit of erecting flimsy conjectures as the assured gains of knowledge is the curse of philology.21

It has rightly been concluded that as a scientific subject, for its accuracy and scientific content, the subject of philology can be compared only to Parapsychology and ESP studies.22

Despite all these problems, many scholars have suggested that to ignore the linguistic conjectures, however absurd they may be, would not be correct. “This rejection of linguistics by critics of the AIT creates the impression that their own pet theory, which makes the Aryans into natives of India rather than invaders, is not resistant to the test of linguistics.”23 It is, therefore, important to point out that in the last 30 years, renowned linguists like Ram Bilash Sharma, S.S. Misra, S.G. Talgeri, N.S. Rajaram and Koenraad Elst have proved, on the basis of linguistic evidence itself, that this whole theory of Aryan invasion/migration is a fallacy. The serious research carried out by Prof. S.S. Misra commands respect world over. It is not possible to give here the details of research carried out by Prof. S.S. Misra, but it may be said that after a long and persistent research in the discipline, Misra concludes that Sanskrit is the language which has given birth to all the Indo-European languages. He gives evidence that Sanskrit is the oldest language of the Indo-European family, and the Rigveda is not only the oldest book of the Aryans but also that it belongs to at least 5000 B.C.24 Here it may be pointed out that there was a time when Misra himself believed that the Rigveda belongs to about 1200 B.C. and also all that which went with it. But not being dogmatic, he has been revising his opinion as per the evidence that he has been able to gather in course of his research.

When some Western scholars pooh-poohed Misra’s research, a reprimand came from someone who himself is a serious Western scholar on the topic and a covert supporter of the Aryan Invasion Theory. He writes:

Misra has dedicated a lifetime to writing dozens of specialized books on Indo-European languages, and, while one may not agree with some of his arguments… his observations…do merit a less flippant characterization and a more solid response.25

Rigveda and Racialism

The subjugation of India by the British filled the masters with a desire to prove their all-round superiority, a glimpse of which we have had in the chapter dealing with the distortion of Indian history by the British. Racialism was one angle of it. We have already seen how Grant, Mill, Marx, Macaulay and their accomplices denigrated Indian culture, civilization, society, history and religion.

Trautmann has in his masterly analysis traced the emergence of racialism and the development of physical anthropology as a resolution of the inescapable philological reality with the colonial need for cultural superiority over the natives of India.26 One of the most striking evidence of such an attitude is best seen in the writings of A.C.L. Carlleyle writes:

“… We British European are Aryans, and far more pure and genuine Aryans than the Hindus, and no talk of the Hindus can alter our race, or make us any less or any different from what we are. It is the Hindus who have altered and deteriorated, and not we. The Hindus have become the coffee dregs, while we have remained the cream of the Aryan race. The Hindus are like the monkey, who pretend to treat some men with contempt because they had the bare white skins without any fur! The Hindus have become a sooty, dingy-coloured earthen pot, by rubbing against black aborigines rather too freely; and he consequently pretends to despise the while porcelain bowl.” (Carlleyle 1879: 104-105……..)

Some scholars think that the linguistic affinities of Indians and Europeans were also responsible for physical anthropology leading the whole debate towards racialism.27 Most of the European scholars could not accept the view that Indians (‘niggers’, that is how most of the times Indian have been referred to in such writings) could have been once related to them and could have indeed been their forefathers, a conclusion which comparative linguistics was suggesting. Edwin Bryant expresses it in the following words:

Even during the earlier phase of the homeland quest, when India was still a popular candidate, many scholars were uncomfortable about moving the Indo-Europeans too far from their biblical origins somewhere in the Near East. There were those among the British, in particular, whose colonial sensibilities made them reluctant to acknowledge any potential cultural indebtedness to the forefathers of the rickshaw pullers of Calcutta, and who preferred to hang on to the biblical Adam far than their European contemporaries. Even well after Adam was no longer in the picture, there was a very cool reception in some circles to the ‘late Prof. Max Mueller [who had] blurted forth to a not over-grateful world the news that we and our revolted sepoys were the same human family’ (Legge 1902:710). Again, let us not forget the influence of the times: many scholars, quite apart from any consideration of India as a possible homeland, could not even tolerate the new found language relationship.28

Max Mueller himself was sad to note the mood of the day:

They would not have it, they would not believe that there could be any community origin between the people of Athens and Rome, and the so called niggers of India.”29

The newly developing science of physical anthropology was pressed into service to project Aryans as tall, white-skinned, blue-eyed, with sharp and high nose, and dolichocephalic. The non-Aryans came to be identified as natives with dark skin, flat nose, short stature, and so on. The dasas mentioned in the Rigveda were made to represent non-Aryans, i.e., the indigenous local population of India. Thus, the frame of the invasion of Aryans and the subjugation of the non-Aryan local population got corroborated with the evidence from Physical Anthropology. India, thus, came to represent a nation which has been conquered again and again. So, what was morally or otherwise wrong if the British have now conquered this country?30

The racial theory had a devastating impact on the European polity. Each nation/state started claiming to be the real descendent of the Aryan race and considered others as inferiors. Max Mueller tried to intervene by declaring again and again:

If I say Aryas, I mean neither blood nor bones, nor hair nor skull…How many misunderstandings and how many controversies are due to what is deduced by arguing from language to blood-relationship or from blood-relationship to language… an ethnologist who speaks of an Aryan race, Aryan eyes and hair, and Aryan blood is as great a sinner as a linguist who speaks of a dolichocephalic dictionary or brachycephalic grammar.31

Alas! It was too late. The Jinn created by Max Mueller had now grown up and was no longer under his command. After all, was it not Max Mueller who had created this Jinn by suggesting that the same blood was running in the veins of both the white British conquerors and the conquered ‘niggers’? In the twilight years of his life, Max Mueller realized the devastating impact of distortions that he had made in Indian history in order to please his employers and the newly acquired faith. He died a sad man, preaching at the end of his career things like India: What Can It Teach Us. He described India as:

The country most richly endowed with all the wealth, power and beauty that nature can bestow… a very paradise on earth … [a place where] human mind has most fully developed some of its choicest gifts, has most deeply pondered on the greatest problems of life.”32

Max Mueller was quite aware of the extreme diatribes that could erupt due to his writings praising India. Anticipating such reactions he wrote that many of the critics would be “horror struck at the idea that the humanity they meet with [in India] should be able to teach us any lesion.”33

In this context it will be useful to recall the studies carried out by K.A.R. Kennedy and his colleagues. Almost over five decades they carried out a detailed study of a large number of pre-and protohistoric skeletons found in excavations from a large number of archaeological sites from all over South Asia. On the basis of their research Kennedy and his colleagues conclude:

“As for the question of biological continuity within the Indus valley, two discontinuities appear to exist. The first occurs between 6,000 and 4,500 B.C…. The second occurs at some point after 800 B.C. but before 200 B.C.”34

Besides the studies of Kennedy and his colleagues on ancient skeletons, an important study has come out recently on modern humans. Keeping in mind the AIT, Kivishield and his colleagues carried out a detailed study on ‘gene pools’ of Western Eurasians and Indians. They studied the ‘genetic inheritance aspect’ of genes through the ‘Mitochondrial DNA Test’.35 It may be mentioned here that the mitochondrial DNA test can reveal the whole history of genetic changes and mutations that may have taken place even in the remote times i.e. several thousand years ago. Kivishield and his colleagues have reached the conclusion that the mitochondrial DNA typical of Western Eurasians is present among Europeans up to 70 percent whereas among Indians it is only up to 5.2 percent. The DNA gene pool of Western Europeans is very different from that of Indians. It has been very clearly stated that if there was any Aryan invasion of India a few thousand years ago, it must be visible in the mitochondrial DNA test in terms of a splash in percentage of Western Eurasian genes. But this is not so. Further, the percentage and types of Western Eurasian genes present among south Indians and north Indians are almost the same. This fact establishes that that there is no difference between the south Indian and north Indian gene pools, and the same goes against the Aryan invasion theory.

B.N. Datta in his detail study on the issue of biological identity of the Aryans and the Harappans says that one of the reasons why Harappan civilization was declared non-Aryans and the non-Vedic was because “no skull of dolichocephal-leptorrhine, tall statured and blond variety of men has been discovered in these remains”.36 The idea of equating such a group of people to the Indo-European is called Nordic or Proto-Nordichypothesis. Citing the hypothesis of French school of Broca and that of Sergi, Datta points out that “it was brachycephalic Euroasiatics that were the carriers of the Indo-European languages to Europe. In that case they have been the carriers of Indo-Europeanism in India as well.”37 He argues that:

“We have no right to identify a particular biotype with the Vedic Aryans. If the unbiased opinion of the European savants is that the original Indo-European speaking cannot be identified with a people with a particular head-form, likewise we have no right to identify the Vedic Aryans with a particular biotype.”38

After a detail examination of the Vedic literature Datta concludes that there is nothing the texts to argue that the Vedic people were blond-haired Nordics and that there are no valid anthropological objections to the Harappan civilization people not being Aryans. The constant hunt for Nordic evidence in the Vedic and post Vedic literature the result of the “slave-psychology of the Indian minds”.39

Now over a period of 200 years, the meaning of ‘Aryans’ has been constructed and reconstructed as being nomadic, pastoralists, sedentary agriculturists, dolichocephalic, brachycephalic, blond and fair, and brown-haired and dark. The Aryan homeland has been located and relocated everywhere, virtually from the North Pole to the South Pole, and from the shores of the Atlantic to Chinese deserts – south India, north India, central India, Tibet, Bactria, Iran, the Black sea, the Caspian sea, Lithuania, the Caucasus, the Urals, the Volga mountains, south Russia, the Steppes of central Asia, western Asia, Palestine, Anatolia, Scandinavia, Finland, Sweden, the Baltic, western Europe, northern Europe, central Europe, and eastern Europe.

The Aryan homeland still remains elusive. J.P. Mallory has put the whole thing very succinctly:

“One does not ask ‘where is the Indo-European homeland?’ but rather ‘where they put it now?’”40

Aryans, Harappan Civilization and the Rigveda

Since the discovery of the Harappan Civilization, some scholars have been trying to identify it with the long literary and cultural tradition of India on the one hand and the Aryans on the other.41 In the very first decade of its discovery, some historians and archaeologists thought that the Harappan civilization represented the Vedic Civilization, but the paucity of evidence to convincingly prove this view was a reality, and this was used vociferously by the opponents of such a proposal. The researches carried out over the last 75 years have added new dimensions to the issue and have virtually altered the whole situation.

A discerning analysis of the evidence in the Rigveda will lead to the conclusion that the references therein about the people and their civilization may be taken to refer to the Harappan Civilization. The reference to RigVedic deities in the Boghaj-Koi inscription of 14th century B.C. would indicate that the Rigveda existed earlier than that and the people/culture migrated from India to Asia Minor in that early age. As has been explained earlier, the Rigveda in its final form should be dated to not later than about 3,000 B.C. In the following pages we shall look at the similarities between the RigVedic and the Harappan civilizations.


The geographical area covered by the Harappan civilization was almost 20 times that of Egyptian Civilization and 12 times of the Egyptian and Mesopotamian Civilizations combined. It extended from Jammu in the north to the Narmada estuary in the south and from the Makran coast of Baluchistan in the west to the Meerut in the north-east. The area formed a triangle and accounted for about 1,299,600 sq. km. No other culture zone in the third and second millennium B.C. in the world was as large as the Harappan. “A fundamental contrast between the Mesopotamian and Harappan situation is in matters of scale. The occupied area of the alluvium between the Tigris and Euphrates in about the middle of the third millennium – when Harappan Civilisation entered its urban stage – was around 65,000 square kilometers, while the cultivated valley of the Nile, at 34,440 square kilometers, amounts to only half that.42By contrast, Indus Civilisation extended roughly, 1,100 kilometers north to south and east to west, covering an area of around 1,210,000 square kilometers. This is nearly twenty times the area of Egypt, and over a dozen times the settled area of Egypt and Mesopotamia combined” (emphasis added).

“To get some feel for the distances involved, Harappa, located by the south bank of the River Ravi, an Indus tributary, is some 625 kilometers from the other major centre, Mohenjo-daro on the lower Indus (and it is some 500 kilometers from Delhi, around 850 kilometers from Karachi). Harappa to Ganweriwala is 280 kilometers, Ganweriwala to Mohenjo-daro 308 kilometers. By comparison, virtually the whole length of the settled Mesopotamian alluvium is spanned by a straight line of 440 kilometers, drawn from Eridu northward through Uruk, Isin and Kishto Samarra. At Baghdad the Tigris and Euphrates are only 35 kilometers apart, while the longest transect between the rivers – a southwest- northeast line passing between Shuruppak and Umma – amounts to only 240 kilometers, much of which in the east is or was marsh.”43

“When we look at the distribution pattern of these settlements in terms of rivers, we find that (i) only 40 settlements are located on the Indus and its tributaries ; (ii) as many as 1,100 (80 percent ) settlements are located on the vast plain between the Indus and the Ganga, comprising mainly the Saraswati river system which is dry today, and (iii) about 250 settlements and found in India beyond the Saraswati river system, a number of them in Gujarat, and a few in Maharashtra.

It is clear from the above distribution pattern of settlements that the focus of Harappan civilization was not the Indus but the Saraswati river and its tributaries which flowed between the Indus and the Ganga. It is because of this reason that some scholars call it the Indus-Saraswati civilization, and a few prefer the nomenclature Saraswati civilization.” 44.

The geographical distribution of the Harappan sites can also be seen in the light of Vedic geography. As we have seen earlier, the Rigvedic geography extended from Afghanistan in the north to Gujarat in the south, and from the Ganga in the east to the Kuba (Kabul) Afghanistan in the west. Among all the rivers in the Rigveda, the Saraswati is considered as the most important and sacred and the areas along the Saraswati and its tributaries were the core culture areas. As we know now that the main area of the Harappan civilization is the Saraswati valley where more than 80 percent of the Harappan settlements are located. Thus, the RigVedic and the Harappan geographies are the same.

Horse in the Harappan Civilization

The horse has been projected by some scholars as one of the most important animals associated with the RigVedic people. Though the presence of the horse in the Harappan civilization was generally acknowledged right from the beginning, but in the recent past efforts have been made by scholars like R.S. Sharma45 and Irfan Habib46 to negate its presence in the Harappan civilization. The reason for this is the fact that the Harappan and RigVedic civilizations share the very same geographical area, the very same material culture, and the very same religious system. These people believe that the horse is the only factor that may help them deny any link between the Harappan and the RigVedic civilizations. The horse is now their only hope to keep the Harappan and the Vedic civilizations apart. For them, the horse is their nuclear weapon against anyone and everyone who tries to establish some link between the two civilizations. But, unfortunately, they do not realize that we are talking about the remains of dead horses which cannot take them very far. R.S. Sharma, not alone in riding this dead-horse argument, writes:

“It is claimed that the Aryans created the Harappan culture. However, such a claim is baseless… It is significant that the Rigvedic culture was pastoral and horse-centered, while the Harappan culture was neither horse-centered nor pastoral.”47

It is beyond ordinary mortals to comprehend with certitude what Sharma means by phrases like “horse-centered” and “not horse-centered”. Let us, however, examine his statement that the Harappan civilization was “not horse-centered”. Since the phrase “not horse-centered” is quite obscure, the common readers would normally infer from it that the horse was not present in the Harappan civilization, and that it was present aplenty in the RigVedic period.

The earliest date for the domesticated horse in India is 4500 B.C. It comes from Bagor in Rajasthan.48 E.J. Ross reported the presence of the horse from the pre-Harappan levels at Rana Ghundai.49 The remains of the horse have been reported from Mahagara (near Allahabad in U.P.), datable to 2265 B.C.50 Horse remains have been found from the Neolithic horizons (1500-1300 B.C.) at the site of Hallur in Karnataka.51

“These findings of the domestic horse from Mahagara in the east and Hallur in the south, are significant because they would seem inconsistent with the axiom that the Aryans introduced the domesticated horse into the northwest of the subcontinent in the later part of the second millennium B.C.E.”52

As early as in 1931, Sewel and Guha reported the presence of horse Equus caballus Linn from Mohenjodaro.53 Bholanath reported the same from Harappa, Ropar and Lothal.54 Even the greatest champion of the Aryan invasion theory, Sir Mortimer Wheeler, identified a horse figurine and conceded, “It is likely enough that camel, horse and ass were, in fact, all a familiar feature of the Indus caravan.”55

E.J.H. Mackay also noted the presence of a terracotta figurine of the horse at Mohenjodaro. He writes:

Perhaps the most interesting of the model animals is one that I personally take to represent a horse (Pl.LXXVIII, 11). Unfortunately, both the tail and ears are missing, so that the identification of this model as representing a horse is purely tentative. In all the pottery models of animals that we have found as yet, the tail invariably lies close against the hind-quarters, but here the stump of the tail is detached and as arched as that of an Arab pony. I am also convinced that the two small fractures at the top of the head are those where ears once were, not horns, chiefly because the horns of the model animals are always very prominent (Pl. LXXVIII, 5). The arched and comparatively thin neck of this model is also much more like that of a horse than of any other creature. I do not think that we need be particularly surprised if it should be proved that the horse existed thus early at Mohenjo-daro.56

Piggott reported a horse figurine from Periano Ghundai datable to about 2600 B.C.57 The presence of the domesticated horse bones has further been reported from Kalibangan, Lothal, Surkotada, and Malwan.58 It has also been reported from the archaeological sites of Swat valley, Gumla, Pirak, Kuntasi, and Rangpur.59

Here is what John Marshall writes about the horse’s presence at Mohenjodaro:

In size the fragment of jaw corresponds exactly to that of a skull of a modern horse in the collection of the Zoological Survey of India. Duerst, in his detailed analysis of the remains of the horse of Anau, has given a Table of Measurements of the dimensions of the teeth in the lower jaw, and it is interesting to compare the present specimen with the details given by him. For the purpose of comparison I have also given the dimensions of the teeth in a skull of Equus caballus in the Indian Museum."

It will be seen that there is a considerable degree of similarity between these various examples, and it is probable that the Anau horse, the Mohenjo-daro horse, and the example of Equus caballus of the Zoological Survey of India, are all of the type of the Indian “country-bred”, a small breed of horse, the Anau horse being slightly smaller than the others.60

Despite the overwhelming evidence regarding the presence of the horse in the Harappan civilization, some scholars are determined to negate it, and the reasons for this are not academic. Sharma’s and Habib’s writings bring this out very clearly. Among the palaeozoologists, R.H. Meadow is the most vocal disbeliever in the presence of the horse. He writes:

There are as yet no convincing reports of horse remains from archaeological sites in South Asia before the end of the second millennium B.C. Many claims have been made (e.g., Sewel 1931; Nath 1962, 1968; Sharma 1974) but few have been documented with sufficient measurement, drawings, and photographs to permit other analysts to judge for themselves.”61

Strangely enough, Sharma, Meadow and Habib are repeatedly writing this even after they have read what Sandor Bokonyi had to say in this matter. It must be mentioned here that Bokonyi spent all his life studying the various species of horses. This earned him the reputation of being the last word on horses, both modern and the ancient ones. Bokonyi examined the materials from Surkotada and some other Harappan sites, under the custody of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). In a communication to the director general, ASI, Bokonyi writes:

The occurrence of true horse (Equus caballus L.) was evidenced by the enamel pattern of the upper and lower cheek and teeth and by the size and form of incisors and phalanges. Since no wild horses lived in India in post-Pleistocene times, the domestic nature of the Surkotada horses is undoubtful.”62

It is rather unfortunate that Bokonyi was not able to finish his detailed report as he passed away soon after this. But, then, who has prevented Dr. Meadow from objectively examining the actual material found from almost 25 archaeological sites scattered almost all over India and Pakistan? Why does he depend for his opinion only on drawings, photographs and measurements done by others? He should know that these things can never give as clear a picture as the real object does. Academic politics is one thing and accepting the facts is another. Sharma and his like-minded friends like Meadow are looking for a 36-ribbed horse generally found in Central Asia and Arabia and not in India. Bhagwan Singh has very clearly established quoting from the RigVedic text that the Indian horses were different from those of Central Asia.63 While the Rigveda refers to the 34-ribbed horse (common in India), our Marxist friends are looking for 36-ribbed ones which is, indeed, ridiculous.

Another point that needs to be considered is the question of the non-depiction of the horse on seals of the Harappan civilization. The ‘non-believers’ in the presence of the horse in the Harappan civilization argue that had the horse been there, it should have been depicted on the seals of the period. Sharma writes, “Several animals appear on Harappan seals… but horse is absent.”64 It may be pointed out here that a large number of camel bones have been found from almost all the excavated Harappan sites, but not even once has the camel been depicted on the seals. Similarly, besides the unicorn, bulls of several kinds have been depicted, but the cow has not been depicted even once. Should we presume that Harappans had only bulls and not cows? And there was a species of cattle which had only one horn? It would be better to remember what John Marshall said about such things:

The negative arguments…is not altogether conclusive; for the camel, too is unrepresented, though the discovery of bones of this beast leaves little doubt that it was known.”65

Flora and Fauna in Rigveda

Quite often to continue with the ‘Aryan Invasion Theory’ even, otherwise, serious and reputed scholars have taken recourse to cite some data which simply do not exist. One such typical example quoted below from the writing of Gregory L. Possehl whose scholarship on the Harappan civilization is highly respected. Possehl writes:

“There has been a great deal written about Aryans and Indo-Europeans, much of which is either confused or confusing. Even recent books on these people, while they receive much attention, can be old fashioned (e.g. Renfrew 1987). One thing seems certain; the speakers of the Vedic Sanskrit are the earliest well-documented speakers of an Indo-European language in the subcontinent, and they come from elsewhere. This conclusion comes from a number of sources, the two most important of which are: (1) their books, which tell us that they were in new lands filled with non-Aryan peoples and (2) Indo-European words for trees which are species such as birch, Scotch pine, alder and oak. These are plants from a temperate environment and the fact that their names are shared among the early languages of the family suggests a homeland in this environment "(Friedrich 1970, especially pages 152-58).66

The linguistic problems and their Indian invasion from ‘another planet’ have already been dealt with. Possehl’s assertion that most of the plants mentioned in the Rigveda are the native of temperate environment i.e. the Central Asia needs to be carefully examined. Though it is not that flora and fauna in Rigveda have not been discussed earlier but Possehl’s assertions that most of the RigVedic plants belong to the temperate environment adds a geographical dimension to the study. A recent publication of B.B. Lal takes a hard look at the flora and fauna mentioned in the Rigveda and their geographical distribution.67 In this detail study Lal lists a large number of plants, grasses and animals mentioned in the Rigveda and their geographical distribution. Some of these are:

Trees: Asvattha/Pippal (Ficus religiosia L.), Kinsuka/Parna/Palash/Dhak (Butea monosperma, Butea frondosa, Roxb., Butea superba Roxb.), Khadira/Khair (Acacia catechu Wild.), Nyagrodha/Bargada (Ficus benghalensis L.), Vibhidaka/ Vibhitaka/Bahera (Terminalia bellerica Roxb.), Salmali/Senwala/Senbhala (Bombax ceiba L., Salmalia malaberica Schott.), Simsapa/Sisama (Dalbergia sissoo Roxb.);

Plants and Grasses: Urvaruka/Kharbuja/Phuta/Kakari (Cucumis melo L., Cucumis utilissimus Roxb.), Darbha (Imperata cylindrica L., Saccharum cylindricum L.), Pakadurva/Durva (Cynodon dactylon L., Panicum dactylon L.), Munja (Saccharum bengalense Retz., S. Munja Roxb.), Sipla (Blyxa octandra Planch., B. roxburghai Rich.), Soma (species of Sacrostemma?/Ephedra L?);

Animals: Ustra/Oonta (Camelus dromedaries, Camelus bactrianus), Gaur (Bos gaurus), Mahisa /Bhainsa (Bubalus bubalis L., Bubalus arnee), Simha (Panthera leo L.), Hastina/Varana/Hathi (Elephas Maximus, Loxodonta africana);

Birds: Chakravaka/Chakawa-Chakawi (Anas casarca), Muyura/Mora (Pavo cristatus L.) etc.

(Note: the Hindi names are given in Roman typeface)

After discussing the above trees, plants, grasses, animals and birds in their RigVedic context and the modern geographical distribution B.B. Lal concludes:

“(1) The earliest known book of the Aryans, viz. the Rigveda, does not mention any of the species of the cold-climate trees so confidently enumerated by Possehl, and (2) on the other hand all the species of trees mentioned in this earlest text of the Aryans belong not to a cold climate but to a tropical one… The provenance of these trees does not go west of Afghanistan [ancient Gandhara] and is by and large confined to what is now India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh [pre-partitioned India], with a spill over to Sri Lanka, Myanmar and a bit further to the east. These data completely knock the bottom out of the ‘cold-climate thesis’ for the ‘original home’ of the Aryans”68, (italics in original).

Material Culture and Religious Practices

The Rigveda refers to hundreds of cities, towns and forts, which are broad (prithvi) and wide (urvi), full of kine (gomati), of 100 pillars (satabhuji), and built of stone (asmamayi). The autumnal (sharadi) forts are described as a refuge against inundations.69 Indra is known as Purandara, ‘Lord of cities’.70 The Rigveda again mentions businessmen and traders whom it calls Vanika and Panis respectively, and refers to the Vedic peoples such as Turvasa and Yadu, as hailing from the sea.

Most of the animals such as sheep, dog, buffalo, bull, etc., known to the Harappan people, are also known to the Rigveda. The animals hunted by the Rigvedic people were antelopes, boars, buffalos (gaur), lions and elephants, most of which are also familiar to the Indus people. The horse was an important animal in the Vedic period. We have already seen that horse bones have been found from a large number of Harappan sites.

Some religious practices of the Harappan people are very much a part of the Hindu religion and are practiced even today. The worship of pipal trees, bull, and Siva-lingas, all three associated with Lord Shiva, is seen in the Harappan civilization. The fire-altars serving as havana-kundas are also very much a part of the Harappan Civilization. In the Rigveda and the Atharvaveda there are references to perforated jars, which were used for various ritualistic purposes. One such pot has been called “Sahshtradhara”, which was used in the Soma ritual. Such pots have been found in the Harappan Civilization. Besides this, the ritualistic pots and pans, as described in the Rigveda, have also been found in the Harappan civilization.

A terracotta tablet from Harappa depicts the scene of Mahisha sacrifice, reminding us of Mahishasuramardini. The swastika, the sacred symbol of Hindus, is found on seals as well as in paintings. The kamandalu, which is seen in modern days as one of the most auspicious possessions of ascetics, is also found in the Harappan Civilization. A large number of figurines in various yogic postures have been found too.71

Some terracotta figurines of women found at Nausharo still have vermilion intact in their hair-parting. This is the most precious and sacred symbol of married Hindu women.72 Stories of the ‘cunning fox’ and ‘thirsty crow’ are found painted on Harappan vases.73

As regards metals, the Rigveda mentions ornaments of gold (hiranya). These are earrings, necklaces, bracelets, anklets, and garlands and jewels for the neck. We have already seen that most of these ornaments were also used by the Harappan people.

Besides gold, the Rigveda knows of another metal called ayas, from which vessels were made. This metal was also hammered. Ayas in the Rigveda means copper. In the later AtharvaVeda, however, iron is also known and called syama (black) ayas, and is distinguished from copper called lohita (red) ayas. The Rigveda also knows of the implements of stone, such as stone pulley, i.e., sling-stones.

The treatment of hair by men and women as mentioned in the Rigveda also bears some resemblance to the Harappan practice.74 Hair was combed and oiled. There is mention of a maiden wearing her hair in four plaits. Men sometimes wore hair in coils. Men grew beards too, which is all seen in the terracotta figurines of the Harappan civilization.75

The Rigveda refers to the weaver and his loom, the shuttle, the warp and the woof for weaving cloth. Remains of woven cloth have been found at several Harappan sites and some figures are shown as wearing cloths.

The comparative study of Rigvedic and Harappan material culture was undertaken by B.N. Datta also. He carried out a detailed comparison between the Harappan civilization and the Vedic funeral practices. On three types of burials in the Harappan civilization – complete burials, fractional burials and post cremation burials – he cites a wide range of textual data from the Rigveda to the Grihya-Sutras and concludes that there is virtually no difference between the funeral customs of the Harappan Civilization and those of the Rigvedic people. After further examinations of various other religious traitsof Harappan civilization he concludes that both Rigvedic and the Harappan people shared much more common features than differences. He writes:

All we can say in this matter is that much of the religion of the Mohenjodaro was not unknown to the Indo-Aryans of the Vedic age, and there is a common link between this religion and the present day popular Hinduism. Hence it can be said, that in religious matters, present day Hindu are the descendants of the Indus Valley people.76

In his Presidential Address o the Indian History Congress in 1953, P.V. Kane also presents a study of material culture of Harappan and the Vedic people and in his characteristic cautious manner he says:

“The above brief discussion may lead one to hold that there is some evidence to believe that the inhabitants of the ancient Indus valley fortified cities were probably Aryans….that the culture of these cities is not more ancient than that of the Rigvedic people and that the astronomical evidence alluded to above would indicate that the Rigvedic people were earlier than the Indus valley people. The evidence being meager it is best not to dogmatise.77

It must be underlined here that when P.V. Kane or B.N. Datta were writing hardly any evidence of the existence of the Harappan civilization was known out side Indus valley. Just a few sites were known on the ancient Saraswati river. Now were know that more than 80 per cent of the Harappan civilization site are on the ancient Saraswati river, its tributaries or in their catchments areas.

The question of invasion/immigration/migration of Aryans into India have also been dealt by a large number of scholars. B.N. Datta in his detail study of 1936-37 dealt with question also. He writes:

“We think it is probable that the advent of the Indo-Aryans in the India took place in the dim period which cannot be ascertained to day and that it is far anterior to the date arbitrarily fixed by the Indologists with their bias of Nordicism. By a comparative study we have already seen that much of the cultural traits are common between both the groups of people in question here… Rather on the basis of this comparison, we have reasons to believe that the people of the Indus Valley culture and the Vedic Aryans belonged to the same ethnic-cultural group. The modes of the disposal of the dead bear out this fact… Thus we conclude that the absence of the Indo-Aryan in Mohenjodaro and Indus civilization is not proved; their presence is rather suspected as evinced by the mode of disposal of the dead, and it is clearly discernable at Harappan.”78

It is important here to discuss the evidence obtained by studies in the realm of physical anthropology. After a detailed study of a large number of pre-and protohistoric skeletons, Hemphill and his colleagues came to the following conclusion:

“As far the question of biological continuity within the Indus valley, two discontinuities appear to exist. The first occurs between 6,000 and 4,500 B.C… The second occurs at some point after 800 B.C. but before 200 B.C.”79

Ram Bilash Sharma and Bhagwan Singh (both Marxists intellectuals themselves) have also conclusively exposed the myth of Aryan invasion/migration/immigration.

The material culture similarities, the geographical overlap and many such others facts have led a number of scholars to the conclusion that the Harappan Civilization is the same as the Vedic Civilization, and that the Aryans did not come to India from outside.80 However, there are some scholars who see the Vedic culture as something different from that of the Harappan Civilization.81

Suggesting that the RigVedic and the Harappan civilizations are one and the same Colin Renfrew says:

When Wheeler speaks of ‘the Aryan invasion of the land of Seven Rivers, the Punjab’, he has no warranty at all, so far as I can see. If one checks the dozen references in the Rigveda to the Seven Rivers, there is nothing in any of them that to me implies invasion…. Despite Wheeler’s comments, it is difficult to see what is particularly non-Aryan about the Indus Valley Civilization.82

The famous anthropologist, Edmund Leach of Cambridge University, has most aptly summed up the whole issue of the Aryan Invasion Theory. In 1990 in his article, ‘Aryan Invasions over Four Millennia’, published in Culture Through Time: Anthropological Approaches, Leach writes:

Why do serious scholars persist in believing in the Aryan invasion? …Why is this sort of thing attractive? Who finds it attractive? Why has the development of Sanskrit come so dogmatically associated with the Aryan invasion? …The details of this theory fit in with this racist framework… The origin myth of British Imperialism helped the elite administrators in the Indian Civil Service to see themselves as bringing ‘pure’ civilization to a country in which civilization of the most sophisticated kind was already nearly 6000 years old. Here, I will only remark that the hold of this myth on the British middle class imagination is so strong that even today, 44 years after the death of Hitler and 43 years after the creation of an independent India and independent Pakistan, the Aryan invasions of the second millennium BC are still treated as if they were an established fact of history…. The Aryan invasion never happened at all.83

Notes and References

  1. R.S. Sharma, 1999, Ancient India: A Textbook for Class XI, p. 70, NCERT, New Delhi. .

  2. Romila Thapar, 2004, Somnath: Many Voices of History, Penguins (India).

  3. Romila Thapar, 1987, Ancient India: A Textbook for Class VI, pp. 36-38, NCERT, New Delhi.

  4. Lord J.B. Monboddo, 1774, Of the Origins and Progress of Language, p. 322, Edinburgh.

  5. Halhed as quoted in P.J. Marshall, 1970, The British Discovery of Hinduism in the Eighteenth Century, p. 10, Cambridge.

  6. F. Schlegel, 1808, Uber die Sprache und die Weiseit der Indier, p. 429, Amsterdam, (reprinted in 1977).

  7. V. Kennedy, 1828, Researches into the Origins and Affinities of the Principle Languages of Asia and Europe, p. 196, London.

  8. H.P. Blavatsky, 1892, From Caves and Jungles of Hindostan, p. 115, (reprinted in 1975), London.

  9. F. Bopp, ‘Analytical Comparison of the Sanskrit, Greek, Latin and Teutonic languages’, p. 3, Annals of Oriental Studies, Vol.5, pp. 1-65.

  10. J. Shaffer, 1984, ‘The Indo-Aryan invasions: Cultural myths and archaeological reality’, pp. 77-90 In J.R. Lukacs (ed.) The People of South Asia, London.

  11. For a detailed discussion on this see Trautmann (1997), Bryant (2001).

  12. Max Mueller, 1865, The Vedas, p. 50, reprinted in 1882, New Delhi.

  13. A.W. von Schlegel, 1842, Essai litterai et historique, p. 515, Bonn.

  14. M. Elphihnstone, 1841, History of India, pp. 97-98, London.

  15. S. Ayengar, 1914.

  16. Max Mueller, 1887, Biographies of Words and the Home of the Aryas, p.127, (reprinted in 1985, Delhi).

  17. A. Sharma, 1995, ‘The Aryan question: Some general considerations’, pp. 177-91, In G. Erdosy (ed.) The Indo-Aryans of Ancient South Asia, Berlin.

  18. N.R. Waradpande, 1973, ‘Facts and fiction about the Aryans’, p. 15, In S.B. Deo and S.K. Kamath (eds) The Aryan Problem, Pune.

  19. J. Shaffer, 1984, ‘The Indo-Aryan invasions: Cultural myths and archaeological reality’, p. 88, In J.R. Lukacs (ed.) The People of South Asia, London.

  20. Sri Aurobindo, 1914-20, Secrets of Veda, p. 115, Pondicherry, (reprinted in 1971).

  21. ibid, pp. 551-53.

  22. N.S. Rajaram and D. Frawley, 1995, Vedic Aryans and the Origins of Civilization, p. 145, Quebec.

  23. K. Elst, 1999, Update on the Aryan Invasion Debate, p. 120, New Delhi.

  24. S.S. Misra, 1992, The Aryan Problem: A Linguistic Approach, New Delhi.

  25. Edwin Bryant, 2001, The Quest for the Origins of Vedic Culture, p. 286, Oxford

  26. T. Trautman, 1997, Aryans and British India, New Delhi.

  27. See T.R. Trautmann (1999), pp. 52-86; Edwin Bryant (2001), pp, 17-39.

  28. Edwin Bryant, 2001, The Quest for the Origins of Vedic Culture: The Indo-Aryan Migration Debate, p. 22, Oxford.

  29. Max Mueller, 1883, India: What Can It Teach Us? p. 28, London.

  30. Karl Marx, 1853, ‘The Future of British Rule in India,’ published in New York Daily Tribune, 8 August, 1853.

  31. Max Mueller, 1887, Biographies of Words and the Home of the Aryas, p.120, (reprinted in 1985, Delhi).

  32. Max Mueller, 1883, India: What Can It Teach Us? p. 6, London.

  33. ibid. p. 7.

  34. Hemphill, et al., 1991, 137, ‘Biological adaptations and Affinities of Bronze Age Harappans’, In R.H. Meadow, Harappa Excavations, Madison.

  35. T. Kivisheild, 1999, ‘Deep common ancestry of Indian and Western-Eurasian mitochondrial DNA Lineage’, Current Biology, Vol. 9, pp. 1331-34.

  36. B.N. Datta, 1936, ‘Vedic Funeral Customs and the Indus Valley’, Man in India, Vol. 16, pp.230

  37. Ibid. pp.245-47

  38. Ibid. p.247

  39. Ibid. pp.247-49

  40. J.P. Mallory and D.Q. Adams, 1989, Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture, p. 143, London.

  41. R.P. Chanda, 1926, The Indus Valley in the Vedic Period. Memoir of the Archaeological Survey of India No. 31, New Delhi; P.V. Kane, 1953, ‘Presidential Address’ to the Indian History Congress, 16th Session held at Waltair.

  42. ……..

  43. ……..

  44. ………

  45. R.S. Sharma , 1995, Looking for the Aryans, Madras; Also see R.S. Sharma, 1999, Advent of the Aryans in India, New Delhi.

  46. I. Habib in Index of Errors (referred to at No.25), p.10.

  47. R.S. Sharma, 1995, Looking for the Aryans, p. 65. Madras.

  48. A. Ghosh, 1989, An Encyclopedia of Indian Archaeology, Vol. I, p.4, New Delhi.

  49. E.J. Ross, 1946, ‘A Chalcolithic site in northern Baluchistan’, Journal of Near Eastern Studies, Vol.5, pp. 315-316.

  50. G.R. Sharma et al. 1980, Beginnings of Agriculture, pp. 220-21, Allahabad.

  51. K.R. Alur, 1971, ‘Animal Remains’, pp. 315-16, In M.S. Nagaraja Rao, Protohistoric Cultures of Tungabhadra Valley, Dharwar.

  52. Edwin Bryant, 2001, The Quest for the Origins of Vedic Culture, p.170, Oxford.

  53. Sewel and B.S. Guha, In John Marshall, 1931, Mohenjodaro and the Indus Civilization, Vol. II, pp. 653-54. London

  54. Bholanath, 1959, ‘Remains of Horse and Indian Elephants from the Protohistoric Site of Harappa (west Pakistan)’, Proceedings of First All India Conference of Zoologists, Vol. II, pp. 1-14.

  55. Mortimer Wheeler, 1953, Indus Civilization, p.92, Cambridge.

  56. E.J.H. Mackay, 1943, Further Excavations at Mohenjodaro, Vol. II, pp.653-54.

  57. S. Piggott, 1952, Prehistoric India, p. 126, Penguins.

  58. A.K. Sharma, 1974, ‘emergence of Horse from the Harappan Settlement at Surkotada’, Puratattva, No. 7, pp. 75-76; A.K. Sharma, 1992, ‘Harappan Horse’, Puratattva, No. 23, pp. 30-34.

  59. G. Stacul, 1969, ‘Excavations Near Ghalighai’, East and West, Vol. 19, pp. 44-91; H.D. Sankalia, 1974, Prehistory and Protohistory of India and Pakistan, p.330, Pune; J.F. Jarrige, 1985, ‘Continuity and Change in the north Kachhi plain at the beginning of the second millennium B.C., South Asian Archaeology, pp. 35-68; S.R. Rao, 1979, Lothal, Vo. I, p. 219, New Delhi.

  60. John Marshall, 1931, Mohenjodaro and the Indus Civilization, Vol. II, pp. 653-54. London.

  61. R.H. Meadow, 1987, ‘Faunal exploitation patterns in Eastern Iran and Baluchistan: A Review of Recent investigations, pp. 906, In G. Gnoli and L. Lancioletti (eds), Orientalia losephi Tucci Memorial Dicota, Rome; Also see R.H. Meadow, 1997, ‘A Comment on ‘Horse Remains from the Surkotada’ by Sandor Bokonyi’, South Asian Archaeology, pp. 308-315.

  62. S. Bokonyi, As quoted in B.B. Lal, 1997, The Earliest Civilization of South Asia, New Delhi; Also see S. Bokonyi, 1997, ‘ Horse remains from the Prehistoric site of Surkotada, Katch, Late 3rd Millennium B.C.’, South Asian Archaeology, 297-307.

  63. Bhagwan Singh, 1995, Vedic Harappans, New Delhi.

  64. R.S. Sharma 1995, Looking for the Aryans, p. 17, Madras.

  65. John Marshall, 1931, Mohenjodaro and the Indus Civilization, p. 28, London.

  66. Gregory L. Possehl, 1996, The Indus Age: The Writing System, p. 65, Oxford and IBH.

  67. B.B. Lal, 2005, The Homeland of the Aryans: Evidence of Rigvedic Flora, Fauna and Archaeology, New Delhi.

  68. Ibid. p. 2.

  69. R.K. Mookerjee, 1957, Hindu Civilization, pp. 74-75, Bombay, (5th edition in 1989).

  70. In the Vedas Indra has been referred to as Purandar also. Wheeler took the meaning of Purandar as the ‘destroyer of forts’ and there fore concluded that Aryans were responsible for the destruction of the Indus valley civilization.

  71. J.M. Kenoyer, 1998, Ancient Cities of the Indus Civilization, Oxford; B.B. Lal, 2002, Sarasvati Flows On: The Continuity of Indian Culture, pp. 127-28; Makkhan Lal, 2002, Ancient India: A Textbook for Class IX, p.78, NCERT, New Delhi.

  72. ibid.

  73. B.B. Lal, 2002, Sarasvati Flows On: The Continuity of Indian Culture, pp. 114-16, New Delhi; S.R. Rao , 1985, Lothal, Vol. II, New Delhi.

  74. B.B. Lal, 2002, Sarasvati Flows On: The Continuity of Indian Culture, pp. 114-16, New Delhi.

  75. See famous Yogi Figurine famously known as ‘The Priest’ found at Mohenjodaro.

  76. B.N. Datta, 1937, ‘Vedic Funeral Customs and the Indus Valley’, Man in India, Vol. 17, p.27.

  77. P.V. Kane, 1953, ‘Presidential Address’ Indian History Congress: Proceedings of Sixttenth Session.

  78. B.N. Datta, 1937, ‘Vedic Funeral Customs and the Indus Valley’, Man in India, Vol. 17, p.68.

  79. Hemphill, et al., 1991, 137, ‘Biological adaptations and Affinities of Bronze Age Harappans’, In R.H. Meadow, Harappa Excavations, Madison.

  80. See B.B. Lal (2000), J.M. Kenoyer (1998), Makkhan Lal (2002), V.N. Misra (1995), S.P. Gupta (1996), J. Shaffer (1995), Colin Renfrew (1988) and K.D. Sethna (1980).

  81. R.S. Sharma (1995, 1999), I.Habib (2003), G.L. Possehl (2003), Romila Thapar (2001).

  82. Colin Renfrew, 1988, Archaeology and Language, p. 188-89, Cambridge.

  83. Edmond Leach, 1990,‘Aryan Invasions over Four Millennia’, pp. 227-45, In E.O. Tierney (ed.) Culture Through Time: Anthropological Approaches, Stanford.

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