Saturday, 2 February 2013

Indo-Iranians: new perspectives

There are some strange and quite funny ideas in the 'orthodox' academic theory about Indo-Europeans and Indo-Iranians. One of these is the idea that Indo-Iranians arrived from the steppes with their horses, substituting the local millenarian civilizations in a mysterious way, imposing a new Indo-European pantheon... If we compare the situation of the Hittites in Anatolia, where they are almost absorbed by the local Hattic and Hurrian and Mesopotamian religions, with many gods with non-Indo-European names, we should be amazed by the strength of Indo-Aryan culture in avoiding any contamination with local Dravidian or Munda gods... It is true that Śiva is regarded as a Dravidian god adopted by the Aryans, but then why does he bear a Sanskrit name (and different Sanskrit epithets starting from the Vedas) and not even a trace of a Dravidian one? And where are non-Indo-European deities in the Avesta? Even the demons (the daevas) are Indo-Iranian there... Another strange idea is that Mitanni Aryans had already Vedic deities and were already Indo-Aryans without ever touching India, as if the Indo-Aryan language and the Vedic religion were not something developed in India, but brought ready-made from a totally different environment, and unchanged when transplanted in South Asia. 
And when we look at archaeology, we find that the migrationist/invasionist believers try to forcedly see the arrival of the Aryans in every little trace of steppe pastoralists in Central and South Asia. But how these scanty traces, which just touch the Indus Valley and do not interrupt the continuity of settled civilizations of Margiana and Bactriana, can account for a total change of civilization? This reminds me of a cartoon about creationism compared with the scientific method: 




I have the impression that the Aryan Invasionism follows the same method as Creationism. The supporters of the Indo-Iranian invasion from the European steppes of Central and South Asia have no sacred text to defend, although sometimes they use the Vedas or the Avesta with biased (often racial) interpretations. They have a sort of preconceived faith, maybe based on a secret, obstinate Eurocentrism: Europeans must be the conquerors of the Indo-European world, and not the conquered or colonized, they must be the origin of the change, not the recipients. 
So, they already firmly believe that the Indo-Aryans must have arrived there in the 2nd millennium BC, and so we have to find, in one way or another, the facts able to support that dogma. I think that we should rather start from the archaeological facts, and build a theory from there, seeing if we find a harmony with linguistics and textual traditions, and also genetics. Someone could object (with Nietzsche) that there are no facts, only interpretations, particularly in the realm of prehistoric archaeology, but still, there are worse and better interpretations. The evolution and connections of material cultures can give a reliable picture, which can be mirrored by the linguistic and textual tradition. 


What we see in Central Asia and Northwestern South Asia, in the same area where historically we find Indo-Iranian languages, and described by the Avesta (Vendidad 1), is, since the Neolithic, and particularly during the Eneolithic and the Bronze Age, a strong net of relations. In the wonderful book History of Civilizations of Central Asia, V.M. Masson writes at pp.228-9 that the settled communities of southern Turkmenistan in the Late Eneolithic (late fourth - early third millennium BC) "found themselves included in a system of increasingly close cultural ties and ethnic shifts which encompassed an extensive area in Iran, Afghanistan and north-western India/Pakistan."   
Exactly the area of ancient Indo-Iranians. If there were 'cultural ties', they should have spoken a common language, and why not Indo-Iranian as in the later centuries, the same language of the names of the rivers and mountains of that region, when not substituted by Turkic words? Moreover, if we look at the textual traditions, in the Avesta we have the Airyas as a settled people, living on agriculture and stockbreeding, opposed to the Tuiryas (remained as Turanians in the Iranian tradition), who are nomads (but also bearing Iranian names), exactly the situation that we find in the late Bronze Age and in the Iron Age in Central Asia, with steppe pastoralists in contact with the settled agriculturists of a tradition of millennia of sedentary civilization, well reflected also in the Shahnameh of Firdusi. If the Aryans were the nomads from the steppe, the situation in the Avesta and Firdusi should be completely opposite. Not only, in the hymns of the Avesta (e.g. Yt. 5) the ancient Iranian heroes are often associated with mountains, including the progenitor Yima, who is described as offering a sacrifice on the Hukairya mountain, which is probably in Pamir. Whence came these traditions if they came from the northern flatlands?
So, if we combine Iranian texts and archaeology, we suspect that the Aryans are actually the heirs of the Central-South Asian Neolithic tradition, and not of the steppe nomads, who normally are absorbed by the superior culture of the sedentary civilizations, like the Mongols in China or in Persia. Someone could observe that in modern Central Asia Turks have imposed their languages, but there we have clear traces of migrations and invasions, and Iranian languages were not swept away: they still remain in Tajikistan, in Samarkanda and Bukhara in Uzbekistan, in Afghanistan, in Baluchistan and in Iran, as is shown in the map below.


Iranian languages

All regions where we had the Bronze Age culture of Central Asia, rooted in the previous Neolithic cultures, and continuing in the Iron Age till the historical times. As Tosi, Shahmirzadi and Joyenda write (op. cit., p.210): "The process of integration probably took place during the third quarter of the third millennium B.C., with the result that the embryonic Iranian and middle Asian states of the Early Iron Age were set up between Kerman and Bactriana, from the Caspian to the Helmand. Furthermore, the timing and stages of this process apparently corresponded to, or just preceded, those of the Indus civilization."
The steppe pastoralists in the Iron Age learned from the agriculturists: for instance, in the Tagisken mausoleums on the Syr Darya, they used bricks, obviously unknown in the steppes, but so typical of the southern civilization, since the Neolithic Mehrgarh in Baluchistan and Jeitun in Turkmenistan, from the seventh millennium BC. Probably this civilization had its roots in the Middle East, the cradle of wheat and pulses and breeding of goats, sheep and cattle, but it created a particular Neolithic culture, characterized by barley cultivation and zebu cattle. In this Central/South Asian net, cultural influences went also from East to West. Mehrgarh is the most ancient Neolithic settlement of the region (its origins are dated around 7000 BC), and burials identical to those of the earliest aceramic Neolithic layers of Mehrgarh are found in Mundigak, Afghanistan, and in Altyn Depe, Turkmenistan, during the third millennium BC (op. cit., pp.213-214).
Around 3800 BC in Baluchistan (where we find the technologically most advanced pottery tradition of Eastern Iran) appeared the earliest grey ware, which spread over the Indus plain but also westward to the whole of the Helmand valley, Bampur and Kerman. Only towards the end of the 4th millennium BC grey ware appears at Tepe Hissar II and Sialk IV in the West, linked with the Gorgan Grey Ware typical of the 3rd  and beginning of the 2nd millennium BC (op. cit., pp.202-203).
Moreover, in Altyn Depe various Mature Harappan artifacts, like seals (one with a swastika) and ivory objects, were found, and "the influence of Harappa prototypes is evident in a variety of ceramic and metal objects" (op. cit., p.241). At Shortugai in Northern Afghanistan we have a real Harappan colony or trading factory. Shahr-i Sokhta, in Southeastern Iran, has types of burials typical of both the southern Turkmenian Calcolithic and the Baluchi Neolithic-Calcolithic, so that "the new urban configuration of cultural tradition is more likely to have been influenced by a convergence of customs and traditions flowing from the two poles" (op. cit., p.214). And since the Baluchi Neolithic-Calcolithic is regarded as the source of the Calcolithic culture of Northwestern South Asia, the idea that this cultural tradition is actually the 'Indo-Iranian' tradition becomes quite convincing. The western limit of this cultural net was Gorgan, which appears to be the western limit also of the Vendidad sacred geography, where the eastern limit is the Land of the Seven Rivers (Haptahəndu), that is, the Indus Valley and Northwestern India, called Saptasindhu in the Rigveda. There, the Harappan civilization created a cultural integration in an area which corresponds to the Rigvedic geography, and the hymns of the Rigveda should be dated mainly in the Late Harappan period. In the later Vedic texts, we see an expansion of the horizon towards east and south, but the ancient Āryāvarta ('abode of the noble ones') was placed between the end of the Sarasvatī river (Hakra in Pakistan) to the west and kālakavana, the 'black forest' near Prayāga (Allahabad) to the east. Maybe it is significant that in that region has been found the site of Jhusi, which has a very ancient Neolithic settlement (from the 8th millennium BC according to a C-14 date), apparently the eastern limit of  the cultivation of wheat and barley in India till the 3rd millennium BC, when it reaches also the middle Ganga plain (cp. here the view of Bellwood). Later on, in the Manusmriti, the Āryāvarta reaches the eastern sea.

In the west, the land of the Aryas was also extended, by the Iranians. The arrival of Medes and Persians in Western Iran is known in the ninth century BC from Assyrian sources, and is probably connected with the Late Iranian Buff Ware which appears around 1100 BC in the Gorgan plain and then spreads westwards (see here). Actually, also the Mitanni Aryans have been connected with Gorgan, because the Early West Iranian Grey Ware (1500-1000 a.C.), found at Hasanlu near Lake Urmia, to the east of the kingdom of Mitanni, has been derived (by Young) from the Gorgan Grey Ware. And the scenes of the golden bowl there have been interpreted through Iranian myths present in the Avesta, particularly Thraetaona (see here). Actually, in the Bronze Age of Margiana, we find also maces with heads in the shape of an animal head, and this recalls the mace, sculptured in the shape of an ox head, used by Feridun, the Persian name of Thraetaona.
So, the Aryan land in the Antiquity included Persia and Media, that is, present Western Iran, as is said by Strabo, Geography 15.2.8: "The name also of Ariana is extended so as to include some part of Persia, Media, and the north of Bactria and Sogdiana; for these nations speak nearly the same language."
But this extension seems to be not very traditional, because Strabo himself says earlier, in the same paragraph, that Eratosthenes so defined Ariana:
‘Ariana,’ he says, is bounded on the east by the Indus, on the south by the Great Sea, on the north by the Paropamisus and the succeeding chain of mountains as far as the Caspian Gates, on the west by the same limits by which the territory of the Parthians is separated from Media, and Carmania from Parætacene and Persia.

The Paropamisus is the Hindukush, and Carmania is Kerman: there are also ancient sites like Shahdad, wich, as shown by the objects found in the Bronze Age burials, is clearly connected with Gorgan, Bactria and the Indus Valley. It is interesting that Western Iran, being a recent conquest, was not included in this Aryan region, which included the areas of the Central Asian Bronze Age: besides Kerman, Bactria and Margiana, the Helmand and Arghandab region, Sistan, Gedrosia (Baluchistan). The map here gives even a narrower and more eastern definition of Ariana (the yellow area on the right).
On the other hand, Herodotus tells us (VII.62.1) that the Medes were also called Arioi, but later they changed name.
Pliny the Elder (Naturalis Historia VI.23.20) tells us also something significant in this context:
The greater part of the geographers, in fact, do not look upon India as bounded by the river Indus, but add to it the four Satrapies of the Gedrosi, the Arachotæ, the Arii, and the Paropauisidæ, the river Cophes thus forming the extreme boundary of India. All these territories, however, according to other writers, are reckoned as belonging to the country of the Arii.
Now, the Cophes is the Kabul river (Kubhā in the Rigveda), Arachotae are the people of Arachosia, the satrapy of the Avestan Haraxvaitī, the Arghandab river, the region of the ancient Mundigak, the Arii are the people of the Persian satrapy Haraiva, around modern Herat and the Avestan river Haroyu. It is interesting that these two rivers have also parallel river names in India: Sarasvatī and Sarayu. Paropauisidae are the people of the Paropamisus (the Hindukush, as already said). This assertion of Pliny shows again that for Greeks and Romans the Arii were the Iranians and not the Indians, since they were more familiar with Iranian sources. The identification of these regions as India is probably due to political reasons, because they were part of an Indian kingdom, so that the Parthians used to call Arachosia 'White India' (see here). But it is also possible that the border between Indians and Iranians was not so clear, and the people of that region, that is, Pashtuns/Pathans and Balochis, were regarded as practically Indians. And it is true that their languages are Iranian (Balochi is even regarded as a Northwestern Iranian language, probably for a recent migration or Parthian influence), but genetically they are quite close to their Pakistani and Indian neighbours. According to Dienekes' table with 12 components of autosomal DNA, Balochis have 33.8% of South Asian component, Pathans 39.1%, and Tajiks (of Tajikistan?) 17.4%. And the study by Haber et al. about Afghanistan genetics reveals:
MDS and Barrier analysis have identified a significant affinity between Pashtun, Tajik, North Indian, and West Indian populations, creating an Afghan-Indian population structure that excludes the Hazaras, Uzbeks, and the South Indian Dravidian speakers. In addition, gene flow to Afghanistan from India marked by Indian lineages, L-M20, H-M69, and R2a-M124, also seems to mostly involve Pashtuns and Tajiks. This genetic affinity and gene flow suggests interactions that could have existed since at least the establishment of the region's first civilizations at the Indus Valley and the Bactria-Margiana Archaeological Complex.
Furthermore, BATWING results indicate that the Afghan populations split from Iranians, Indians and East Europeans at about 10.6 kya (95% CI 7,100–15,825), which marks the start of the Neolithic revolution and the establishment of the farming communities. In addition, Pashtun split first from the rest of the Afghans around 4.7 kya (95% CI 2,775–7,725), which is a date marked by the rise of the Bronze Age civilizations of the region. These dates suggest that the differentiation of the social systems in Afghanistan could have been driven by the emergence of the first urban civilizations.

From this data, it appears that Afghans derive from a common ancestral population which split from  the ancestors of Iranians, Indians and East Europeans during the Neolithic revolution, which was an age of diffusion of populations in different areas. According to the table S6, the split between Afghans and North Indians is dated 7525 years ago, which is also in the Neolithic period. The split between Afghan Tajiks and Pashtuns is dated 3950 years ago, which corresponds to the BMAC period, when northern Afghanistan,  now inhabited by Tajiks, created the Bactrian civilization. Northwestern and Eastern Iranians (Sistan/Baluchistan), as seen above, seem to be separated 6000 years ago, during the Chalcolithic period. According to Tosi, Shahmirzadi and Joyenda (op. cit., pp.200-201), about 4000 BC three main cultural traditions can be seen: a northern tradition between Elburz, Kopet Dag (Jeitun) and Kashan (Sialk), a southern tradition in the southern Zagros, and another tradition in central-northern Baluchistan and the middle Helmand valley (Mundigak).    

Dienekes also remarks that Iranians and Kurds have about 1/10 of South Asian component. And if we look in his aforementioned table at other ancient Iranian areas, we always find strong percentages of the same component: in Turkmens (ancient Margiana), is 13.3%, in Uzbeks (ancient Bactria and Sogdiana) 8.2%, and among Uyghurs (where Iranian languages like Khotanese and Sogdian were used) 8.4%. All this shows quite clearly that Iranians came from a population having strong genetic relations with South Asia. It is true that many Indians migrated or were deported to the Iranian regions during the Middle Ages, but the presence of South Asian DNA among the Uyghurs can hardly be explained in this way. Also North Ossetians, the descendants of the Sarmatians living in the Caucasus, have 4% of South Asian component.
It is also interesting that a study of DNA tribes reveals an 'Indus Valley' STR component (related to Burusho, Tajiks and Pathans) quite strong in the Urals (19.4% of the non-local components). This can be connected with the Sintashta culture of the Bronze Age (2100-1800 BC), typically identified with the Indo-Iranians, because of the chariots and horse sacrifices. There are some interesting remarks on the Wikipedia page about this culture:
Sintashta settlements are also remarkable for the intensity of copper mining and bronze metallurgy carried out there, which is unusual for a steppe culture. [...] Much of this metal was destined for export to the cities of the Bactria–Margiana Archaeological Complex (BMAC) in Central Asia. [...] The people of the Sintashta culture are thought to have spoken Proto-Indo-Iranian, the ancestor of the Indo-Iranian language family. This identification is based primarily on similarities between sections of the Rig Veda, [..] with the funerary rituals of the Sintashta culture as revealed by archaeology. There is however linguistic evidence of a list of common vocabulary between Finno-Ugric and Indo-Iranian languages. While its origin as a creole of different tribes in the Ural region may make it inaccurate to ascribe the Sintashta culture exclusively to Indo-Iranian ethnicity, interpreting this culture as a blend of two cultures with two distinct languages is a reasonable hypothesis based on the evidence.
About the contacts with the Finno-Ugric speakers, we can add that in the same study of DNA tribes the Finns, among the non-local components, have 6.3% of  the 'Indus Valley' component.

Dashly-3
Arkaim

The fact that there was trade with BMAC suggests that Bactria-Margiana merchants and metallurgists went north in search of metal sources and maybe of a better climate, in that period of aridification at the end of the third millennium, and started to colonize that region with their fortified settlements with their perpendicular streets, inner square and concentric walls (see here). These fortresses remind of the late BMAC sites of Gonur Depe, Sapalli Tepe, Jarkutan and Dashly-3, which are now dated to the Middle and Late Bronze Age (2500-1700 BC, Sapalli and Dashly-3 are dated more precisely 2200-2000 BC), then are contemporary and even earlier than Sintashta. I remark this, because Kuzmina and Mallory (p.34) accept the parallelism between Jarkutan and Arkaim in the south Urals, and connect them with the Avestan vara, but in order to support the view that Arkaim is the model, showing the influence of the northern steppe cultures on the Bactrian farmers: an exemplary case of invasionist reversal, particularly strange since the Bactrian fortifications represent rather the northern outposts against the steppe warriors, who are not generally supposed to teach sedentary people how to make buildings! On the other hand, they recognize that BMAC objects are found in Sintashta-Petrovka sites (see here). 
Arkaim displays also the use of unburnt bricks and irrigation ditches.

Hints of a northward movement from the Southern Central Asian oases are also in Ferghana, a region rich in tin deposits, because there has been found a store of bronze and silver objects of southern origin (op. cit., pp.243-244). It is remarkable that Bactrian camels are among the animals bred in the Andronovo cultures succeeding Sintashta culture (they are dated 1800-1000 BC), and camels were domesticated in Turkmenistan at least in the first half of the 3rd millennium BC (see here); they had an Indo-Iranian name (*uštra-), which was borrowed into Finno-Ugric and Turkic languages. The predominant physical type of Andronovo people was the so-called Pamir-Ferghana type according to Kuzmina and Mallory (see here), which is more massive than the eastern Mediterranean typical of the farmers of South Central Asia, but was included by G.F. Debets in the Indo-Afghan type, which belongs to the 'Indo-Mediterranean race' (see here). Moreover, skulls of the Andronovo cemetery at Muminabad on the Zeravshan are assigned to the Eastern Mediterranean type, among the funerary objects there were mirrors with handle typical of the BMAC, found also in the Andronovan cemeteries of Ferghana and Semirech'e, and under the Krasnoe Znamya kurgan near the South Urals. Also in the Tautara cemetery on the northern slopes of the Karatau chain, near the Syr Darya, the pottery includes forms imitating the commercial vessels produced in the southern oases. At Kokcha in Khorezm, along the lower Amu Darya (Tazabagyab culture, second half of the 2nd mill. BC) we have vessels typical of Namazga VI, and other objects of southern origin: pins with double-spiral head, earrings with cones, and clay figures.  
Kuzmina and Mallory add that Muminabad skulls are close to those found in Zaman Baba, an older site of the Zeravshan (late 3rd-early 2nd mill. BC), which represents the first development of animal husbandry in the region (of cows, sheep and goats), with many southern influences: two-tier pottery kilns, wheel-made vessels, terracotta statuettes, metal objects, beads of turquoise and carnelian.
Masson (op.cit., p.349) makes another curious anthropological remark:
While the settlers on the Yenisey and in eastern and central Kazakhstan represent the so-called Andronovo variant of the proto-European race, in the lands along the Volga and western Kazakhstan we find a dolicocephalic Europoid population of the so-called eastern Mediterranean type.
This distinction recalls the one made by Herodotus (I.201; I.215; IV.11) between eastern Massagetae (where massa- is an Iranian word for 'large, great') and Scythians, who later went to the West, invading the Pontic region. This correspondence is a pure hypothesis, but the fact that at least some Scythians/Sakas were actually of eastern Mediterranean type is supported by a recent research by Khodzhayov, whose results are so described:
This article gives an analysis of a Sakaean cranial series from the Eastern Pamirs. The predominant trait combination aligns these groups with the Eastern Mediterraneans. The crania are generally robust by Mediterranean standards; dolichocrany combines with high vault, high, narrow face. This trait combination evidences affinities with the peoples of southern Turkmenistan, northern Tadzhikistan, and central Iran. Somewhat less common is a gracile variant with a low vault, narrow, low face – a trait complex displayed by the peoples of Namazga, Sapallitepa, Zaman-baba, and the Chust cultures of Western Central Asia and of the Turing-Hissar culture of northeastern Iran. The combination of robustness, dolichocrany, high, broad face, typical of the pastoralist tribes of the Bishkent culture of southern Tadzhikistan does not occur in the Pamirs. Markedly Caucasoid features along with a very low cranial index points to Near Eastern, Middle Eastern, and South Asian affinities.
The Scythians are the historical Iranian speakers of the steppe. They should be seen not as the bearers of Indo-Iranian languages from the north to the south, but the opposite, as the nomadic pioneers of the Iranian languages (like the Tuiryas and Sairimas of the Avesta), who brought them up to Siberia in the east and Ukraine in the west. The influences of the pastoralists of the steppe reached the south, but they did not bring a radical change, rather the steppe peoples were influenced by the farmers, as recognized by Askarov about the Iron Age in Transoxiana (op.cit., p.441): "The cultural and economic tradition of the advanced southern communities gradually permeated the stockbreeding population of the steppes." Later on (p.451) he writes: "In the south, the economy and domestic architecture of the late decorated pottery culture were identical with those of Sapalli and late Namazga IV (VI?) cultures. The chief occupations were arable farming and stockbreeding, and domestic architecture was monumental - a marked contrast with the Chust culture. [...] an old tradition survived of wheel-thrown pottery, which was completely lacking in the Chust or similar cultures of northern Soviet Central Asia." At p.457 f.: "Cultural transformation in the main oases of Parthia, Margiana and Bactria occured within a clear-cut continuation of local traditions in an area of economics and, to a certain extent, culture. [...] While the settled oases of the south display an overall cultural unity, there are glimpses of original local features that anticipate the cultural features of such ancient people as the Parthians, the Khorezmians and the Bactrians."   
So, the Indo-Iranian tradition continued, and was not introduced from the steppes. Indians and Iranians, in their different but contiguous regions, could carry on in evolved forms the civilization of the 'Noble Ones'...

Giacomo Benedetti, Impruneta (Florence), Italy, 2/2/2013
  




       
   

226 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thank you, it comes from a lot of study, but it is only a general picture, obviously there are many aspects to be deepened...

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  2. Are you even proposing an alternative model for the Kurgan model? And not just for South Asia but for all Eurasia, of course. I see a lot of vague references to this or that source or authority (your "bible" of sorts your fetishism of "the Noble Ones", what ideological junk is that? They were just a bunch or raiders and rapists! Noble my ass: the precursors of Atilla!) but not a single synthesis of a model that could work not just for India but for the whole world.

    The problem is that Indo-Aryan is a branch of a branch Indo-Iranian of a branch Indoeuropean of a branch pre-Indoeuropean (with Hittite) of a branch pre-proto-Indoeuropean (with Tocharian). The scheme may vary a little depending which linguists you read but in the end Indo-Aryan is always a branch of a branch of a branch... of Indoeuropean senso lato.

    Also the archaeology of the Kurgan model is very consistent in the case of Europe, West Asia and Central Asia, so just because some scholars have doubts about the "late kurganness" of Cemetery H and Grey Pottery cultures (while others think they should be integrated in a model of late IE (Indo-Iranian and Indo-Aryan) expansion.

    Then again we know now that Brahuis and Balochis are identical in their DNA pools (and one that fits well in their geographical context: between Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan, no particular relation with South Indian Dravidians nor anything of the like), what must mean that (1) Balochis are nothing but Brahuis who lost their language to indoeuropeanization and (2) that the conjectures about migration of Dravidians to Pakistan are wrong but also that (3) the genetic pool remained mostly unaltered with the IE invasions even in Balochistan itself and (4) that the language of IVC was almost necessarily Dravidian.

    Let's not forget in this sense that all the languages we know from Iran before the even later time of IE invasions are Elamite. A partial exception is the language of the Mittani elites, which nevertheless is not Iranian but Indo-Aryan and fits totally fits with the timeline of the Indo-Aryan conquest of India.

    The Kurgan model is a model that works excellently: no matter what you throw against it, it resists well. And it does not just for this or that corner of the world but for all the affected areas from Portugal to Bangladesh. It's after all primarily an archaeology-based model and not a wishful thinking based model.

    Incidentally it must be said that the area of ultimate origin of the IEs in Samara valley, Russia, used to be considered Asia (East of the Volga) until certain Tsar moved the arbitrary border to the Ural river. Asia or Europe makes no sense in that area, which is just endless flatlands. From the Volga to Lake Baikal there is no actual physical barrier, much less on horse.

    Also the fact that they may be associated with R1a, which either originates in South Asia or in West Asia and is not in the end the IE migration marker that we imagined years ago, it has that area and all Eastern Europe in fact, closely associated by patrilineage with Northern South Asia (necessarily via Central and/or West Asia). It's probably not at all the IE marker that was imagined earlier but it may have expanded in the Neolithic or in the Paleolithic. Whatever the case Russians and Poles on one side and Pakistanis and North Indians in the other are clearly "cousins" by that line. Iranians are actually less implicated, mind you. But as I say this will end being resolved to times quite ancient, not IE.

    But well, I hoped this was a scientific blog but I see it is just ideologic, sadly enough. So I will have to stop following because I have already too many feeds and must cut off the junk.

    Regards...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Maju, I don't understand what you find so ideological, maybe the fact that I denounce the ideological base of the Aryan Invasion Theory? Actually, I am not surprised that a Basque like you (I have nothing against your people) likes Gimbutas' Kurgan theory, because of the idealization of pre-Indo-European Old Europe, but how do you know or scientifically prove that Aryans were 'just a bunch of raiders and rapists'? Is it not ideological? About the Europe/Asia topic, the Kurgan area is normally defined as Eastern Europe, and Kuzmina and Mallory for instance insist on the white phenotype of the Kurgan people and they even try to demonstrate that this was the phenotype of the 'original' Indo-Iranians.
      About my assumed 'fetishism', 'noble ones' is just the translation of Sanskrit 'ārya', and you can find in the post 'What is an Aryan' my position. I still do not propose a model for the whole world, I have just drawn a picture about Indo-Iranians, based on archaeological and textual sources (I am a philologist), with some references to genetics. I do not reject the Kurgan theory, but I find it limited and not working for Asia, I find an interesting suggestion in Sergent's theory of the origins of Kurgan culture in the East Caspian region, connected with Central Asian Neolithic.
      You write that the Kurgan model is very consistent for Central Asia, but actually I have heard from French archaeologists that it is not acceptable for the BMAC an invasion of steppe tribes, just contacts. And about India, simply we have no reasons to identify Cemetery H or PGW with Kurgan cultures. The grey ware, as I observed in the post, is a long tradition coming from Baluchistan. What you write about the Brahui genetics is quite right: they are very similar to Balochis (see e.g. http://dodecad.blogspot.it/2011/05/aniasi-analysis-of-hgdp-pakistan-groups.html), but they have also a South Indian component. I don't agree with your conclusions: it is admitted by many scholars, also staunch invasionists like Witzel and Sergent, that Brahuis are medieval immigrants from Central or South India. Other Northern Dravidian languages, Kurukh and Malto, also came from the south. Evidently, these Dravidian immigrants have left little traces, but they also left a limited lexicon: only 15% of Brahui is Dravidian (http://salrc.uchicago.edu/workshops/sponsored/121203/resources/brahui.pdf). Moreover, linguists say that they don't have old Iranian loans, but only from Balochi (a medieval Northwest Iranian language) and Pashto. According to the Britannica Encyclopedia (http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/77226/Brahui) only one eleventh of Brahui population belongs to the original Brahui nucleus. It would be interesting to see the genetic internal differences.
      About the Dravidian affiliation of the IVC, I see no reasons to accept it, also because of the local toponymy of the area, which is Indo-Aryan. It is a typical invasionist wishful thinking, that has arrived to think that the Central Asian Neolithic was Dravidian, just because it fits in the model!
      You write that Indo-Aryan is a branch of Indo-Iranian ans so on. Sure. Also Italian is a branch of Romance languages like Spanish, but it is also spoken in the homeland of Latin, the parent language. Anyway, I do not state that India is the PIE homeland.
      About R1a, it seems that it has stopped to be the IE marker when it appears no more as coming from Eastern Europe or the Kurgan area. Interesting way of making science. However, there is no real IE genetic marker, genetics and language are not necessarily related, but genetics is useful for reconstructing the movements of populations.

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    2. From Wikipedia: "The English word "Aryan" is borrowed from the Sanskrit word ārya meaning 'Noble';[1] but apparently, it was initially used as a national name to designate those who worshipped the Vedic deities (especially Indra) and followed Vedic culture (e.g. performance of sacrifice, Yajna).[1][12] The Zend airya 'venerable' and Old Persian ariya are also thought to be national names.[1][13]"

      So it seems to be originally an ethnic name that would only eventually derive in the meaning "noble" (i.e. aristocratic scum).

      "About the Europe/Asia topic, the Kurgan area is normally defined as Eastern Europe"...

      The Kurgan culture originated in the Samara Bend, which is at the edge of Europe and Asia, according to classical references (naturally there's no strict definition of Europe because it is just an ill-defined peninsula of Asia, much as India is but slightly larger and more irregular in shape). Samara is as far from Madrid as it is from Delhi.

      "... it is not acceptable for the BMAC an invasion of steppe tribes, just contacts."

      I would tentatively agree. BMAC is quite irrelevant in this story, Andronovo is the direct source instead.

      "And about India, simply we have no reasons to identify Cemetery H or PGW with Kurgan cultures."

      Cemetery H is clearly a disruptive change to the previous (and still substrate) IVC tradition: it introduces cremation (unexistent before), a new pottery style and some economic changes (rice cultivation, breakup of naval trade).

      Almost contemporary to this stage, the Mittani (and Indo-Aryan elite on Hurrian substrate) appeared in Kurdistan. They are more clearly related to Andronovo, possibly because the did not change to cremation burial and retained Kurgan burials with war chariots.

      The most clear IE influence into Uralic is closest to Indo-Aryan, suggesting that the Iranian branch of Indo-Iranian was not yet consolidated in the steppe, what makes some sense considering that the Iranian expansion is of much later date.

      ...

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    3. ...

      "I don't agree with your conclusions: it is admitted by many scholars, also staunch invasionists like Witzel and Sergent, that Brahuis are medieval immigrants from Central or South India".

      It makes zero sense. Those scholars are necessarily wrong. Why would Brahuis become so dramatically mixed with the supposedly pre-existent IEs and still retain the language. Why would they migrate to a refuge are like mountains are everywhere?

      "... only 15% of Brahui [vocabulary] is Dravidian".

      Normal considering the long steady influence of Indoeuropeans. It happens everywhere.

      "... because of the local toponymy of the area, which is Indo-Aryan".

      I don't feel able to judge but something I have learned is that toponymy changes relatively fast. For example a few centuries ago Enkarterriak (Encartaciones) in West Biscay was full of Basque toponymy (documented) but today it's hard to find it because fast-paced romanization. Examples are Luzuero → Lucero or Arbeleta → Peñas Negras. Many lazy "scholars" have therefore claimed that the area was all the time Castilian-speaking but this conclusion is obviously wrong.

      "I do not state that India is the PIE homeland".

      Then where was it? And, if it was not in India/Pakistan, then how did IE languages, culture and religion arrive to India?

      I don't think you can argue against all models and not propose a better more solid one? Criticizing is necessary but also too easy. Creationists do that all the time but... do they have a better alternative theory to evolution? Nope. Similarly you arguably manage to dismantle some of the pillars of the Kurgan model re. India (or so you believe at the very least) but without an alternative model, you are left with a mere collapsing building, not a new or improved one.

      "... there is no real IE genetic marker"...

      I can only agree to that. Horse-riding barbarians can hardly make a meaningful genetic impact, especially in consolidated agrarian (and even civilized) populations. But they can still become elites. Modernly Brahmins make up just some 3% of Indians for example and much of their non-local ancestry would seem to be Pakistani/IVC rather than steppary.

      Realpolitik should explain all that. Once the early Aryans gained control of IVC, they were like Goths in Spain, a tiny minority and had to co-opt the local elites: those able to administrate and appease the masses (priests → Brahmins) and those able to muster armies and control the land (warriors → Kshatriyas). So further expansion into India must be based on IVC and nearby areas.

      But in any case there was a moment of change between a non-IE IVC and an IE Vedic era beginning at Cemetery H. What better explanation can you propose?

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    4. Hi Maju, nice to read from you in more constructive terms, maybe it's the influence of Christmas... I reply to the first comment:

      "From Wikipedia... So it seems to be originally an ethnic name that would only eventually derive in the meaning "noble" (i.e. aristocratic scum)."
      Well, Wikipedia is useful but you cannot find in those two lines the solution of a debate of centuries on the meaning and etymology of 'arya'. But if you read below in the same page, you can find a nice list of the different theories on the etymology, and also an interesting remark about Armenian: "In Armenian the word ari means brave and noble, and the word ayr means man" Now, it is unlikely that an ethnic name becomes a designation for a social class, do you know a parallel? Instead, the self-definition of 'man' has been used by various populations like the Inuit for their own people. And it is also possible that 'noble=civilized' was used to define 'us' against the others, and this is actually found in India, where non-ārya (dāsa, śūdra) are not only low castes but also different populations, often conceived as degraded āryas, because if one followed an unbecoming behaviour could lose his social position in a high caste.

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    5. "The Kurgan culture originated in the Samara Bend, which is at the edge of Europe and Asia, according to classical references (naturally there's no strict definition of Europe because it is just an ill-defined peninsula of Asia, much as India is but slightly larger and more irregular in shape). Samara is as far from Madrid as it is from Delhi."

      I can agree with you, and I like your definition of Europe, but I have the impression that the supporters of the Kurgan theory identify the IE homeland mainly with Eastern Europe, starting with the book where Gimbutas proposed her theory, titled "The Prehistory of Eastern Europe".

      "BMAC is quite irrelevant in this story, Andronovo is the direct source instead."
      Direct source of what?

      "Cemetery H is clearly a disruptive change to the previous (and still substrate) IVC tradition: it introduces cremation (unexistent before), a new pottery style and some economic changes (rice cultivation, breakup of naval trade)."

      Cemetery H is a style of pottery found in the cemetery H1 of Harappa, with Harappan motifs but also affinities with Afghanistan and Iran, and is spread in Cholistan and Punjab, but in Haryana and Uttar Pradesh we find continuity of the previous styles. The jar burials of cem. H1 imply exposing the dead (you can check on 'The Indo-Aryan Controversy' on google books), which is a typical Zoroastrian Iranian practice, and I think that there could be an Iranian influence, but it did not take the place of the previous culture, certainly not in Haryana and UP, where Harappan burials are found also in the so-called Late Harappan period. And that kind of burials is described in the Vedic Shatapatha Brahmana.
      About rice, do you think that it is a typical Kurgan or Central Asian cereal? It was cultivated in Eastern India, but it was already known in some areas in the Mature Harappan period, particularly Gujarat. As to the naval trade, it stopped probably because there was a general crisis (also in Mesopotamia), whose origin were environmental problems connected with aridity: particularly the present Ghaggar-Hakra became very weak and entire towns like Kalibangan had to be abandoned.

      "Almost contemporary to this stage, the Mittani (an Indo-Aryan elite on Hurrian substrate) appeared in Kurdistan."

      Yes, because of the crisis they had to search for better lands, from India or BMAC or even Gurgan (I am not sure they were Indo-Aryans, I suspect they could also be pre-Zoroastrian Iranians, some of their names are not fully Indo-Aryan).

      "The most clear IE influence into Uralic is closest to Indo-Aryan, suggesting that the Iranian branch of Indo-Iranian was not yet consolidated in the steppe, what makes some sense considering that the Iranian expansion is of much later date."

      Which is your source? We should see the concrete examples, Indo-Aryan here can mean a prehistoric form of Iranian which was closer to Indo-Aryan, which is more conservative for many aspects.
      If you want that I reply to the second comment, I suggest to wait before replying. Thank you for the important questions!

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    6. Iranians are to some extent a different "animal" from Indo-Aryan. The Mittani were Indo-Aryan, just as Google (or Wikipedia or whatever, I never ever read otherwise). There's no clear evidence of Iranians until several centuries later. So the simplest (and generally assumed) conclusion is that the first wave of Indo-Iranians was Indo-Aryan (with whatever ambiguity derived of their shared origin) and the second, the Iron Age one, was Iranian. As for the exact details of Iranian ethnogenesis, I do not know: surprise me.

      You still fail to produce a comprehensive alternative model. In fact the only possible one could be a Neolithic (and not Kurgan) origin of Indoeuropeans but this option is fraught with a zillion problems, because we know quite a bit of languages spoken in very old times in the Fertile Crescent and they are almost invariably not IE nor related to IE. In Europe the Neolithic languages most likely were Vasconic, in India most likely Dravidian (and maybe Dravidian is actually related to Elamite), there were even more other language families in West Asia but (other than Anatolian) none of them are IE (Armenian only shows up at a very late period on Urartean substrate and is arguably Tracian-Phrygian by origin).

      You mention that Armenian ari means "noble" and that ayr (possibly unrelated) means "man". I can't say but is it possibly a Mittani leftover. After all the Mittani ruled over Hurro-Urarteans for several centuries: they must have left some influence and some of it may have permeated to Armenian, even if it has a different origin.

      Going speculative here but would you consider that this "ari" could be related to Greek "aries" (ram). In a very Pashtun style of things, rams might well be considered iconic of maleness and bravery (ram fights and all that, never mind the siege ram with its phallic and violent symbolism). Incidentally this aries word is almost certainly pre-IE in Greek and probably has Basque cognates in ahari (ram) and aker (he-goat, arch. Iberian akir, k<>h change demonstrated very common in the Vasconic past). Just suggesting that maybe, assuming that your considerations on the possible origins of the term "aryan" are correct, it may be non-IE but substrate Neolithic of some sort (and related to ovicaprid maleness, typical pastoralist symbolism, I'd say). In the Zodiac (another shared cultural element) the ram is associated with Mars, which in turn represents maledom and war (warrior qualities).

      This may well be like the swastika, originally not IE but "ascended" to Indoeuropean icon by the most dubious kind of ideologies. It's therefore possible (not certain, of course) that the word aryan might have got originally some warrior pastoralist meaning, possibly from the pre-IE substrate, and it was adopted by the Indo-Iranians as self-identification.

      It really does not matter much: what matters is what model best explains the IE spread globally? The only reasonable answer and a pretty good one in fact I have ever found is that the Kurgan model, all the rest seems junk and ethnocentric wishful thinking.

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    7. "Which is your source?"

      We had a discussion here: http://forwhattheywereweare.blogspot.com/2013/12/the-malta-adna-findings.html (see comments)

      "Hungarian to have an INDO-ARYAN-LIKE word for cow ("tehen", closer to sanskrit dhenu than to Avestan dainu) and a word for carriage ("szeker", compare it with Hindi or Bihari sagar, for instance - again the indo-aryan branch, not the Iranic one)"

      I'm pretty sure that a more extensive study was mentioned somewhere and that I did read it but can't find it right now, sorry. It seems to be specific influence on Ugric rather than Uralic in general (what would make good sense re. the location of early Andronovo just south of the Ugric main homeland in Westernmost Siberia and the fact that those words are steppe-pastoralist technicalities: cow, chariot and such).

      "If you want that I reply to the second comment, I suggest to wait before replying."

      Well, I'd like an alternative model in order to contrast it with the mainstream Kurgan model, which so far seems the best fit by a lot.

      Take your time: I'm sure it won't be easy task.

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    8. Since you added many comments, I will reply quite synthetically. About Brahuis, I suggest, as I made below, to read the entry of the Encyclopedia Iranica: http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/brahui. I quote an important remark: "the notion that they preserved their identity for millennia only to be suddenly overwhelmed by the Baluch invaders less than 800 years ago suffers from a certain intrinsic incredibility and calls for reexamination." I can add that about the habitat in the mountains, it is good for nomadic herders who go to mountains in summer, you can compare the Kalash, who went to the remote valleys of Hindukush, also in order to avoid Islamic persecutions. This is not the case of the Brahui who apparently converted to Islam long ago, and this seems even the origin of their name, from an Indo-Aryan corruption of the Arabic Ibrāhīm.

      I go on with the 'alternative model'...

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    9. "Then where was it? And, if it was not in India/Pakistan, then how did IE languages, culture and religion arrive to India? I don't think you can argue against all models and not propose a better more solid one?"

      While criticizing, I explicitly or implicitly propose another model (you can find it also in previous posts), but I do not have the elements to identify the original IE homeland. In this post, I proposed the continuity of Indo-Iranian civilization since the arrival of the Neolithic or at least the Chalcolithic, in Southern Central Asia (Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Seistan) and western South Asia (Baluchistan, Indus valley, Ghaggar-Hakra valley). In South Asia, the western Neolithic started from west but spread quite quickly up to Allahabad (site of Jhusi). Which language spoke this Neolithic people? We don't know, but I think it could be already a proto-Indo-Iranian, which developed in India with some local influences like retroflex sounds. The Neolithic and Chalcolithic civilization of Mehrgarh is carried on by the Harappan civilization, as recognized by Shaffer, Possehl and other archaeologists. And the Harappan civ., as remarked by Kenoyer, did not finish in 1900 BC. Signs of continuity there are also in the following Gangetic civilization (see the case of Kampilya which has the same plan as Dholavira, or the punch-marked coins with the same symbols as Harappan seals). I do not see a reason why the language of a well rooted civilization lasting for centuries on an enormous surface should have disappeared because of the arrival of mythical invaders in the 2nd mill. BC that are not proved by archaeology. Textual tradition also does not support this invasion, it speaks of movements inside India (and also out of India), although in the past European scholars tried to see all through the lens of the myth of Aryan horsemen fighting with the black aborigines. The problem for me is the origin of IE languages: is it in the Near East, as suggested by Renfrew or Gamkrelidze, or in Central Asia itself, as in the old theory of Pictet? The closeness of Sanskrit to PIE is still remarkable, particularly in phonetics, but if Anatolian is more archaic for some aspects, it can be that the IE homeland was in the middle, not far from the Caucasus, which could explain also the affinities with Caucasian and Semitic languages; then they moved to Central Asia and South Asia, where we see the arrival of western cereals and pulses in the first Neolithic sites. According to Sergent, following Roland Menk, the Kurgan men came from Central Asia, because of their skeletons and their agriculture, and if this is essentially true, we have a new focus not in the primitive Kurgan civilization, but in the more advanced Central Asian Neolithic, which can better explain the success of IE cultures in Eurasia. The Germanic barbarians of the Middle Ages were able to take the power on the decadent Romans and Iberians, but not to impose their language, because the local culture was well rooted and more advanced. In India, it was very improbable that new invaders could impose a new language on the great Harappan civilization, and throughout history, many invaders had never substituted the Indo-Aryan languages, although they have left a lot of borrowings. What about Europe? There, the IEs spread with the Bronze Age. Their culture was thus more technologically advanced and had probably a strongest social organization, and I am not sure they all came from the Kurgan area. I still want to discuss the anthropological data, which do not easily support the Kurgan theory even for Europe. For instance, Corded Ware are often closer to Iranians than to Kurgan people. But I can discuss more of that in the following.

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    10. "Iranians are to some extent a different "animal" from Indo-Aryan. The Mittani were Indo-Aryan, just as Google (or Wikipedia or whatever, I never ever read otherwise). There's no clear evidence of Iranians until several centuries later. So the simplest (and generally assumed) conclusion is that the first wave of Indo-Iranians was Indo-Aryan (with whatever ambiguity derived of their shared origin) and the second, the Iron Age one, was Iranian. As for the exact details of Iranian ethnogenesis, I do not know: surprise me."

      Well, I don't think I have special effects to surprise you, but I am developing the idea that Iranians are the descendants of the first Neolithic farmers of Central Asia, that were for a long time in close connection with Indo-Aryans, so that Avestan is a sort of dialect of Vedic Sanskrit, but they diverged more remarkably after the Zoroastrian reform and the movement towards the west, which brought Persians and Medes in new territories close to Mesopotamia. The Avestan tradition reveals that their homeland was in the mountainous regions of Central Asia (not in India as in the OIT, nor in the steppes). I know that Mittani are identified as Indo-Aryans, and as Indologist I like that idea, but some details make me think to something different. The use in their names of Arta- instead of Rta is not Indo-Aryan, but typical of Old Persian, the form -masda is Iranian rather than Indo-Aryan (-medha), the horse colours 'parita' and 'pinkara' have an -r- which is typical of Iranian, whereas Indo-Aryan forms are 'pingala' and 'palita', with -l- which is more present in Eastern Indian dialects. Moreover, there is no clear mention of the aspirated consonants, which are lost in Iranian. So, if they were Indo-Aryans they had a dialect closer to Iranian, or maybe they were pre-Avestan Iranians, with a religion and language more similar to the Vedic one.
      And here I can discuss your citation: "Hungarian to have an INDO-ARYAN-LIKE word for cow ("tehen", closer to sanskrit dhenu than to Avestan dainu) and a word for carriage ("szeker", compare it with Hindi or Bihari sagar, for instance - again the indo-aryan branch, not the Iranic one)"
      'tehen' is interesting, because it would be a prove of the aspiration, which is reconstructed for PIE and is not just Indo-Aryan, also Greek and Armenian have it. Actually, Greek has words like 'thele' 'mother breast' from the same root with a closer sound. And I have discovered that in Proto-Finno-Ugric there is *teksa/deksa for 'ten' which is definitely not Indo-Aryan (pronunciation of the Sanskrit equivalent is dasha), but it can reveal an evolution of an IE form with palato-velar *dek'a.
      As to szeker 'carriage', I don't know how old is it, if it so similar to the Hindi sagar, I wonder if it is not a Gypsy word...

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    11. "Going speculative here but would you consider that this "ari" could be related to Greek "aries" (ram). In a very Pashtun style of things, rams might well be considered iconic of maleness and bravery (ram fights and all that, never mind the siege ram with its phallic and violent symbolism). Incidentally this aries word is almost certainly pre-IE in Greek and probably has Basque cognates in ahari (ram) and aker (he-goat, arch. Iberian akir, k<>h change demonstrated very common in the Vasconic past). Just suggesting that maybe, assuming that your considerations on the possible origins of the term "aryan" are correct, it may be non-IE but substrate Neolithic of some sort (and related to ovicaprid maleness, typical pastoralist symbolism, I'd say). In the Zodiac (another shared cultural element) the ram is associated with Mars, which in turn represents maledom and war (warrior qualities).

      It's therefore possible (not certain, of course) that the word aryan might have got originally some warrior pastoralist meaning, possibly from the pre-IE substrate, and it was adopted by the Indo-Iranians as self-identification."

      I find stimulating your proposal. Thank you for the mention of the Basque word, but I do not see a close connection with Latin aries, and the form akir/aker is not more original than 'ahari'? You can find an etymology of aries here (with the mistake 'aires' instead of 'aries'): http://etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=aries&searchmode=none
      About the Vasconic substrate, I think it could be spread in western Europe, but the Neolithic substrate of Germanic seems rather Semitic, like the words for 'earth', 'goat', 'plow'... and Venneman found a Semitic substrate also in Celtic grammar... he identifies the 'Semitidic' people with seamen, but I think they were rather the farmers from the Near East.

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    12. [comment 1]

      Two serious problems re. a hypothetical Indo-Iranian homeland in Iran-Pakistan:

      1. We know for a fact that Southern Iranians spoke Elamite before the Iranian invasions of the Iron Age. Further North in Kurdistan, Hurrian is the first attested language other than Assyrian (Semitic). There are a few peoples (Guthians and such) whose ethnic ascription we don't know but if IE was influential already, most likely some linguist would have detected its signature in loanwords or Guthian names, which they have not.

      2. Which archaeological process can be posited for the expansion of proto-IE to the steppes, where it is clearly attested at the very least in the Scythian period? I see nothing of the like.

      "The closeness of Sanskrit to PIE is still remarkable"...

      Sure. But the most archaic (i.e. similar to PIE) IE living language is Lithuanian, while the most archaic ancient IE seems to be Anatolian. At the very least I have been presented with these notions once and again.

      In any case, I think that Indo-Iranian is direct descendant, unlike the other branches, from the original Samara-Khvalynsk ethno-cultural core that produced the overall IE phenomenon. This I say not on linguistic basis but on archaeological continuity via Yamna and a series of steppe cultures eventually leading to Andronovo. Meanwhile Western IE languages went through at least one shared "creolizing" filter in Seredny-Stog II (a complex culture of Kurgan and Dniepr-Don elements), while the other Asian branches (Anatolian and Tocharian) surely underwent similar early "creolizing" processes in Caucasus/Anatolia and Altai respectively.

      "... it can be that the IE homeland was in the middle, not far from the Caucasus"...

      Samara is not far from the Caucasus.

      "... the affinities with Caucasian and Semitic languages"...

      Affinities with Semitic? Unlikely. I believe I discussed this matter in the past and it was all about a handful of wanderworts of unknown origin (possibly shared loanwords of other West Asian origin).

      As for Caucasian, I did perform a home-made mass-lexical-comparison test between Basque, NE Caucasian, PIE and Dravidian and my result was that the closest of all these to PIE, oddly enough, is Basque, then NE Caucasian is similarly close to both (slightly more to PIE but that's normal because of geography) and finally Dravidian was the more distant of all four.

      I didn't think about this before as a test that might throw light on PIE origins but, now in the context of this discussion, I happen to find that it would be most strange that Dravidian and PIE are so relatively unrelated if PIE arose in India.

      "... but in the more advanced Central Asian Neolithic, which can better explain the success of IE cultures in Eurasia".

      That's a total wishful thinking misconception. What explains the success of IEs, just as of Semites in other areas, is war, not farming. There's no moral implicit in (pre-)history: winners do win and that's about it. Incidentally, IE mythology is clearly about victory and power: gods that favor the victors and have nearly no other implications. It's the kind of mythology that fits well a warrior society of conquerors, not farmers. Farmer mythologies are about fertility (including sexual-naturalist elements like lingam and yoni, a pre-IE thing not found in any other IE culture) and social justice. I know first hand because Basque mythology is exactly about that (having many parallels with Shakti Hinduism).

      ...

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    13. [comment 2]

      "The Germanic barbarians of the Middle Ages were able to take the power on the decadent Romans and Iberians, but not to impose their language".

      The Germanic barbarians who ruled here did so in the name of Rome and the Catholic Church of Rome. Franks, who were from just across the border were better integrated and integrating (and thus succeeded for longer), Goths instead imposed a quasi-apartheid regime which resulted in their eventual doom. In Britain the Germanics did succeed in imposing their language anyhow, as happened in Austria, Switzerland, Bavaria, etc. Similarly the Slavic invaders (with similarly near zero genetic impact) succeeded in acculturation in Yugoslavia and Bulgaria (but then the forgotten Dacia retained Vulgar Latin: Romanian, for reasons nobody can explain). Certainly (Vulgar) Latin and Greek had strong capacity of resistance against acculturation because they were "high languages" (literate vehicles of culture and religion). Similarly Sumerian resisted for long as language of culture and religion after Semites had captured all Mesopotamia but eventually it vanished. You cannot predict the results of such interactions in all cases (especially when a "high language" is strong in the substrate) but in a lot of cases language and cultural replacement does happen just because of elite domination. In some cases even a "low language" like Basque or Brithonic Celtic survives, in these cases because of popular stubbornness (typically accompanied by armed resistance). But the tendency of elite domination to change things in their favor is very clear everywhere. Don't they speak English in India nowadays? Languages are social tools and the languages of the powerful are powerful such tools.

      I understand from your name that you are a Vulgar Latin speaker, just like I am, we could probably keep a conversation in "Italnish" but we are using English for convenience. It's a powerful tool and we tend to adopt it.

      "... because the local culture was well rooted and more advanced. In India, it was very improbable that new invaders could impose a new language on the great Harappan civilization"...

      Makes some sense. But think Turkey: Greek survived till the 20th century (when it was eradicated by genocidal decree) but Turkish was quickly the de facto official language because the princes spoke it. And most people (even some later expelled "Greeks") learned and used it all the time. Oddly enough Persian was the official language of the court but still Turkish succeeded because it was the real language of power. Centuries of Persian and Greek cultural and political hegemony or even the religious centrality of Arabic could do nothing about it.

      We cannot explain how it was exactly in prehistorical times because we do not have the testimonies but we do see many examples of such dramatic linguistic changes happening, so all your objections amount to nothing in the end.

      "What about Europe? There, the IEs spread with the Bronze Age."

      Actually most of their expansion was before and after the Bronze Age. The first expansion to the Rhine, was in the Chalcolithic (Copper Age). Then there was about a whole millennium of stability, followed by new rather limited expansions at the end of the Bronze Age (Urnfields) that were expanded and consolidated in the Iron Age. The last nail on the coffin (barring Basque) was the Roman Empire (and its successor "Germanic" realms).

      ...

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    14. [comment 3]

      "Venneman found a Semitic substrate also in Celtic grammar..."

      The key issue that he uses to justify his "Semitic" hypothesis AFAIK is the lack of external possessors in insular Celtic, as well as English. This trait is not exclusively Semitic but is certainly anomalous in Europe. Other languages without these external possessors are Turkish and Berber. So attributing a Semitic origin to this trait is at best dubious (why not Berber from Megalithic times? Or a remote Anatolian influence that managed to persist in Turkish? Or a mere insular peculiarity?)

      As for the alleged Semitic influence in Germanic, other than supposed loanwords that I have not been able to explore yet, his main argument seems to be the existence of "strong verbs" (those that conjugate by means of vocal change, like sing-sang-sung rather than suffixation in -ed). Others think this is actually a PIE persistence instead. For example Wikipedia says:

      "Strong verbs have their origin in the ancestral Proto-Indo-European (PIE) language. In PIE, vowel alternations called ablaut were frequent and occurred in many types of word, not only in verbs."

      I know of other errors and omissions in Venneman's theories. For example he likes to insist that the Northern Basque word "ganibet" is root of Germanic "knife", when most likely it is a Labourdin deformation of the English word knife and nothing else (Labourd was English for many centuries, having Viking influence before). On the other hand he tends to minimize the presence of Vasconic substrate in Italy and the Balcans, something I cannot agree with. In fact it is my conviction of a rather important Vasconic substrate existing in Italy and the Balcans (river Ibar of Kosovo for example, compare with Iber → Ebro, compare with Basque Ibar: river bank, of clear Basque etymology: ibai=river, ibon=creek, ibili=to walk) what has led me to believe that Vasconic, rather than being a persistence of Paleolithic languages must be the main Neolithic language family with origins in Thessaly (neither Italy nor the Balcans were involved in Magdalenian and Gravettian is just too old to leave recognizable language relationships).

      "... he identifies the 'Semitidic' people with seamen, but I think they were rather the farmers from the Near East".

      In that case, why would they leave such a (supposed, probably mostly unreal) legacy in the Far North instead of, say, in Italy or Central Europe or Iberia? Notice that Scandinavia did not experience the mainstream Neolithic (only its Megalithic variant) and that was later indoeuropeanized quite radically with Corded Ware.

      The Semitic legacy in Basque for example is negligible, most importantly burdin (iron), surely a Phoenician loanword. And Basques have been quite stable since the Neolithic (even if you look at the matter from a genetic viewpoint: → http://forwhattheywereweare.blogspot.com/2013/09/basque-and-other-european-origins.html).

      I think that Vennemann is onto something, notably re. the Vasconic substrate, where I constantly find new elements - for example Eng. "kill" and "ill", of unknown etymology, strongly resemble Basque "hil(-du)" (to kill or to die), or "professional" suffix -er, either from Lat. -arius or PG -arjoz, probably the former, compare with Basque -ari (same function: futbolari = football player, aizkolari = axeman), which again has plenty of Basque cognates implying action (ari: particle of present continuous, arin: fast, aritu: to hurry). But he is not 100% correct in everything. I'm particularly in doubt re. his Semitic claims.

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    15. Dear Maju,i wonder on what basis are you claiming Sintashta-Andronovo regions as the urheimat of Indo-Aryan tribes.The so called Finno-Ugric & Indo-Iranian contacts is interesting,and it indeed seems that Uralic languages have Aryan loans.But on the other hand Indo-Aryan vocabulary does NOT have even a tiny bit of Uralic loans!It wouldn't have been the case if Indo-Aryans lived along with Uralics,they would have bought good number of loan to India if they did live in contact with them..So what does that mean?It would probably mean that it was Indo-Aryans or Iranians who went to Uralic region from India or some other region.That would explain why we don't have Finno-Ugric loans in Indo-Aryan languages but have Indo-Aryan loans in Finno-Ugric,

      The so called identification of Sintashta(and Andronovo) culture with proto Vedic culture is purely speculative.The claims of horse burials representing Vedic Asvamedha or horse sacrifice is really absurd,the ritual has nothing to do with any burials.In the ritual the horse is suffocated,killed,cut up and the parts are offered into the fire,not buried.The ritual also seems to have a philosophical aspect,it is said that the sacrificial horse represents the sun and its home is in the sea,it might represent the sun at dawn which rises from the sea.Another important thing is that the ritual only involves use of a single horse,while steppe graves contain multiple horses....

      Other identifications like that of Dadhyanc myth,Vara-Arkaim link etc are purely mythological and it is silly to identify them with historical cultures.

      I'm awaiting for your reply and would like to have a discussion with you.

      Cheers!

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    16. Briefly:

      A. Indo-Uralic as sprachbund is most likely: Uralic and Indoeuropean share a large number of cognates (but are most likely not genetically related). This applies to the general issue of Indoeuropean origins, being an important piece of evidence because it strongly suggests that the PIE urheimat was near the proto-Uralic one (condition only fulfilled by the Kurgan model).

      Ref.: → http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indo-Uralic_languages#Some_possible_cognates

      B. Andronovo almost certainly ruled over Ugric peoples. In Western Siberian Andronovo period the genetic pool was Uralic-like (mtDNA C, U, A etc.) while in Central Asia prior to the Iron Age, the genetic pool was European-like (without C, A, etc.) The Western Siberian genetic pool (proto-Ugric) shows continuity before and after Andronovo (Krotovo and Baraba cultures) so cultural dominance in this particular case does not seem to imply genetic displacement.

      Refs.:
      → http://forwhattheywereweare.blogspot.com/2013/05/ancient-west-siberian-mtdna.html
      → http://forwhattheywereweare.blogspot.com/2012/11/mitochondrial-snapshots-from-east-west.html

      "... the parts are offered into the fire,not buried".

      That's an Indian peculiarity, not Mittani (also Indo-Aryan) nor generally Indoeuropean. Only a few IE cultures practiced incineration (notably Urnfields). I'm not sure why incineration was adopted in India (not just for horses) but what is clear is that it is a peculiarity of that area.

      "... it might represent the sun at dawn which rises from the sea."

      That depends where you are. It was certainly not the case in the IVC area (sea is at the south or west) but I can't think of any steppe Indoeuropean geography that fits it either.

      In this part of the world (notably in Cape San Vicente, Southern Portugal, the westernmost point of continental Europe) there were also solar beliefs in ancient times, it seems, but they seem to have been related to the Sun heading home (or "dying") into the sea, rather than arising from it. It may be part of widespread naturalistic ancient beliefs.

      I can't judge how the synthesis of Indoeuropean mythology and IVC religion (which is the source of most of the Hindu-specific beliefs and practices) coalesced. There are no written testimonies to help us. It's not too important for me: Indo-Aryan is just a branch of many (and each one had/has its peculiarities, not always easy to explain); I look at the whole, something that you don't seem willing to do.

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    17. BTW, English only seems to have some 25% of Anglosaxon words. About 60% are Latin-derived (many via French, others directly from Latin). I mention this as example of how a language can lose lots of its vocabulary to more influential ones, as was surely the case with Brahui. Intriguingly English has almost no Celtic words.

      Delete


    18. \\A. Indo-Uralic as sprachbund is most likely: Uralic and Indoeuropean share a large number of cognates (but are most likely not genetically related). This applies to the general issue of Indoeuropean origins, being an important piece of evidence because it strongly suggests that the PIE urheimat was near the proto-Uralic one (condition only fulfilled by the Kurgan model).

      Ref.: → http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indo-Uralic_languages#Some_possible_cognates//

      Dear Maju,Indo-Uralic theory is just a hypothetical theory,nothing more.Just like Uralic-Dravidian theory(i hope you are aware of it,if not then see this link : http://dahana.webs.com/dravid1.html)

      I rather think Uralic-Dravidian have stronger cognates than Indo-Uralic.

      Also,it does not explain my question,why doesn't Sanskrit contain purely Uralic term(not hypothetical) if the proto-Sanskrit speakers lived in contacts with the Uralics?

      As you earlier posted":\\The most clear IE influence into Uralic is closest to Indo-Aryan//

      \\B. Andronovo almost certainly ruled over Ugric peoples. In Western Siberian Andronovo period the genetic pool was Uralic-like (mtDNA C, U, A etc.) while in Central Asia prior to the Iron Age, the genetic pool was European-like (without C, A, etc.) The Western Siberian genetic pool (proto-Ugric) shows continuity before and after Andronovo (Krotovo and Baraba cultures) so cultural dominance in this particular case does not seem to imply genetic displacement.//


      But on what evidence are you identifying Andronovo as Indo-Aryan?Is it exclusively based on genetics?Andronovo culture definitely does not reflect the Rig Vedic culture or lifestyle.


      \\That's an Indian peculiarity, not Mittani (also Indo-Aryan) nor generally Indoeuropean. Only a few IE cultures practiced incineration (notably Urnfields). I'm not sure why incineration was adopted in India (not just for horses) but what is clear is that it is a peculiarity of that area.//"

      Iranians also make use of fire for ritualistic purposes.Although Zoroaster rejected animal sacrifices,Zoroastrians highly revere fire in their rituals,which is called Atar.

      \\That depends where you are. It was certainly not the case in the IVC area (sea is at the south or west) but I can't think of any steppe Indoeuropean geography that fits it either. //

      Why not IVC are ?IVC expanded all the way till the Kutch region which is close to the Arabian sea.Many IVC sites are near Kutch.


      \\I can't judge how the synthesis of Indoeuropean mythology and IVC religion (which is the source of most of the Hindu-specific beliefs and practices) coalesced. There are no written testimonies to help us. It's not too important for me: Indo-Aryan is just a branch of many (and each one had/has its peculiarities, not always easy to explain); I look at the whole, something that you don't seem willing to do.//


      First of all,the present day Hinduism is largely derived from Vedic religion.And there are striking similarities between the religious aspects of IVC and Vedic religion.

      I would first settle the IA issue and then move on to the IE issue.

      Delete
    19. [comment 1]

      Indo-Uralic as linguistic family is most probably a wrong hypothesis but as sprachbund it makes all sense and is surely the reason behind the family hypothesis.

      The Malayalam-Finnish list of alleged cognates you link to is full of unacceptable claims. Only a few are acceptable on first sight and, based on my experience with similar careless pseudo-linguistics, they may well hide interpretation errors so big that most or all are invalid.

      In order to perform a mass lexical comparison, you need to use a standardized list (Swadesh lists for example, although some words are useless IMO, such as mother/father, which are continuously reinvented by babbling babies: "ama" variants are almost universal for mother, for example). You should also use a control or two in order to measure the degree of affinity detected, which is always relative to third parties. Even then it can only be a preliminary survey because vocabulary is not all in a language, grammar is much more important.

      In this sense I must emphasize that I see absolutely no semblance of similitude between Finnish and Malayalam declensions: they are totally different!

      "it does not explain my question,why doesn't Sanskrit contain purely Uralic term(not hypothetical) if the proto-Sanskrit speakers lived in contacts with the Uralics?"

      All Indoeuropean languages have Uralic cognates. That list is not about any subfamily but the whole two families.

      If what you mean is Ugric-IA connections, I thought I explained that what seems to be the case is IA dominance on Ugric lands (Andronovo culture but Uralic genetics), what does not need to transfer words further south to the bulk of Andronovo lands (but should transfer IA, Andronovo, words to Ugric instead). Just as Normans did not transfer English words to France but did transfer LOTS of French words to England.

      "But on what evidence are you identifying Andronovo as Indo-Aryan?"

      It's the default hypothesis. Mittani, Swat, Cemetery H... you know.

      "Is it exclusively based on genetics?"

      Not at all. Genetics in this case only allow us to discern a taiga area of Uralic population within Andronovo, in contrast to a steppe area that was almost certainly not Uralic at all (Indo-Iranian instead for all I know).

      ...

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    20. [comment 2]

      "Andronovo culture definitely does not reflect the Rig Vedic culture or lifestyle".

      Depends who you read, of course. The Rigveda was written c. 1400 BCE, this date is estimated based on comparisons with Mittani texts. Mittani may fit Andronovo culture better in some aspects (at least no incineration) but still:

      "The Rigveda describes a mobile, semi-nomadic culture, with horse-drawn chariots, oxen-drawn wagons, and metal (bronze) weapons" (Wikipedia).

      Totally Andronovo if you want my opinion. And totally not IVC as well. Cities don't become nomadic hordes, cities succumb to nomadic hordes sometimes... that is what history shows once and again. Why would IVC be an exception?

      "Why not IVC are ?IVC expanded all the way till the Kutch region which is close to the Arabian sea."

      And even further SE into Gujarat as well. But the sea is still not by the East relative to them, so the Sun can't rise from the sea in that geography.

      ... "the present day Hinduism is largely derived from Vedic religion".

      Really? What happened to Indra? Why nobody remembers what Soma is? Why Vishnu is only dedicated six hymns and today is one of the most revered gods? Why not a single mention to Shiva (not by that name at least, Rudra has five hymns), never mind Shakti?

      Hinduism (Hinduisms?) has no doubt evolved a lot since the Vedic period, even if it's partly rooted in it, of course. Like all polytheistic religions it is able to absorb other beliefs in synchretism (what I deem a virtue, unlike the intolerant dogma of monotheisms) and it is also able to evolve as society does (again a virtue for as long as it works). Surely Hinduism went through several crisis in its history that altered its original, more genuinely IE, content.

      "And there are striking similarities between the religious aspects of IVC and Vedic religion".

      With some aspects of it only. As I understand it, Hinduism, with IE roots absorbed substrate beliefs at IVC and also later on. Almost certainly the substrate has become more important as time passed and the initial pulse of Indo-Aryan conquest weakened. It's a complex synthesis. Yoga for example is by no means an Indoeuropean tradition (not attested anywhere else), yet it was obviously present in IVC, so yoga has been absorbed into Hinduism from the pre-IE substrate, same for other Indian-specific elements.

      "I would first settle the IA issue and then move on to the IE issue".

      You just can't do that. It won't lead you anywhere but running in self-complacent circles. As that Romanian author wrote: "a circle becomes vicious when you caress it". Break the circle, open your mind if you dare.

      Delete
    21. Hi Maju,

      \\Indo-Uralic as linguistic family is most probably a wrong hypothesis but as sprachbund it makes all sense and is surely the reason behind the family hypothesis.

      The Malayalam-Finnish list of alleged cognates you link to is full of unacceptable claims. Only a few are acceptable on first sight and, based on my experience with similar careless pseudo-linguistics, they may well hide interpretation errors so big that most or all are invalid.

      In order to perform a mass lexical comparison, you need to use a standardized list (Swadesh lists for example, although some words are useless IMO, such as mother/father, which are continuously reinvented by babbling babies: "ama" variants are almost universal for mother, for example). You should also use a control or two in order to measure the degree of affinity detected, which is always relative to third parties. Even then it can only be a preliminary survey because vocabulary is not all in a language, grammar is much more important.

      In this sense I must emphasize that I see absolutely no semblance of similitude between Finnish and Malayalam declensions: they are totally different! //


      I'm a native Malayalam speaker,so i can confirm to you that those words listed in the list are completely legit.Although i don't know if the Finnish word list are legit,we need a Finnish speaker to confirm that.

      Also the similarities like Mal. "eei" Fin. "ei" Mal. "kudil" Fin "Koti" Mal. "Kol" Fin "Kuolla" etc etc seems legit as well.You can find more on Dravido-Uralic relations if you do a good search.


      \\ll Indoeuropean languages have Uralic cognates. That list is not about any subfamily but the whole two families.

      If what you mean is Ugric-IA connections, I thought I explained that what seems to be the case is IA dominance on Ugric lands (Andronovo culture but Uralic genetics), what does not need to transfer words further south to the bulk of Andronovo lands (but should transfer IA, Andronovo, words to Ugric instead). Just as Normans did not transfer English words to France but did transfer LOTS of French words to England. //

      But Andronovo ultimately originated from Sintashta culture,which in turn has its origins in Uralic regions.So they would have got lots of Uralic words if they were originally from Uralic regions and they would have bough it south to the Andronovo regions and further to India as well.


      cont....

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    22. cont....


      \\It's the default hypothesis. Mittani, Swat, Cemetery H... you know.//

      Mitanni: They seems to show middle IA influence viz Mit. *satta " seven" = Prakrit *satta meaning the same.For Sanskrit it is sapta.
      Mit. -Indar/Indara is similar to Punjabi Indar/Inder rather than with Sanskrit Indra.

      Also as Giacomo explained, other titles like arta(cf Irn -arta/asha),masda(cf Irn -mazda) ratta/rata(cf Irn rata) etc shows Iranic influences rather than Indo-Aryan.May be the Mitannis originally were part of Daeva/Deva worshiping pre-Avestan Iranians.

      Swat: You can see Giacomo's post regarding Swat or Gandhara grave culture in previous comments.Also,the Swat region(Gandhara) is only mentioned ONCE in the entire Rig Veda,that too in a vague manner.So if the Rig Vedic culture can be identified with Gandhara grave culture,then why doesn't Rig Veda give more importance to that area?

      Cemetery H: This culture is named after the cemetery named "H" found in Harappa itself.Archaeologists now consider this as part of late Harappan period.I think you are sticking with the old Aryan "invasion" theory,in that theory Cemetery H belongs to the alleged "destroyers" of Harappa.Also according to Anthropologist Kenneth AR Kennedy,cemetery H folks have clear biological affinities with earlier Harappans.Accroding to archaeoligists like Kenoyer,cemetery H does not represent any alein invaders: http://books.google.co.in/books?id=-Grpz1tmcSMC&pg=PA229&lpg=PA229&dq=may+only+reflect+a+change+in+the+focus+of+settlement+organization+from+that+which+was+the+pattern+of+the+earlier+Harappan+phase+and+not+cultural+discontinuity,+urban+decay,+invading+aliens,+or+site+abandonment,+all+of+which+have+been+suggested+in+the+past&source=bl&ots=DrqxnAWudn&sig=ldBtUBq4TakYCGgGwRFywOO4bhc&hl=en&sa=X&ei=z4TCUvmGJI6qrAeatIHQBA&ved=0CDYQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=may%20only%20reflect%20a%20change%20in%20the%20focus%20of%20settlement%20organization%20from%20that%20which%20was%20the%20pattern%20of%20the%20earlier%20Harappan%20phase%20and%20not%20cultural%20discontinuity%2C%20urban%20decay%2C%20invading%20aliens%2C%20or%20site%20abandonment%2C%20all%20of%20which%20have%20been%20suggested%20in%20the%20past&f=false

      You can compare Harappan and cemetery H cultures by yousrself.Compare these:

      Harappan plate :

      http://www.indianartcircle.com/arteducation/images/art20.gif

      Cemetery H plate:

      http://www.harappa.com/indus2/gif/14.jpg

      Both are almost identical.

      Cont....

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    23. Cont....



      \\Depends who you read, of course. The Rigveda was written c. 1400 BCE//

      Why does Rig Veda mention Sarasvati river then?Countless studies have now proven that Sarasvati dried up at around 1900 BCE,collpasing the IVC.There reference to Sarasvati alone is enough to date RV prior to 1900 BCE.

      "The Rigveda describes a mobile, semi-nomadic culture, with horse-drawn chariots, oxen-drawn wagons, and metal (bronze) weapons" (Wikipedia).

      Totally Andronovo if you want my opinion. And totally not IVC as well. Cities don't become nomadic hordes, cities succumb to nomadic hordes sometimes... that is what history shows once and again. Why would IVC be an exception?//


      My dear friend Maju,Wiki is not the final world.The so called "semi-nomadic" aspect of RV culture is again based on speculation.Rig Veda have clear mentions of farming and agriculture.It also have many mentions about fortress/cities(pura).Even the chief Rig Vedic God,Indra is praised as "purapati" "Lord of cities".It completely suits IVC IMO.

      Also,archaeologists now reject so called subjugation of IVC by alien invaders.That is the reason why the Aryan invasion(AIT) have been revised into Aryan migration(AMT).

      \\Really? What happened to Indra? Why nobody remembers what Soma is? Why Vishnu is only dedicated six hymns and today is one of the most revered gods? Why not a single mention to Shiva (not by that name at least, Rudra has five hymns), never mind Shakti?
      //

      Indra and Soma :Both are revered in Srauta traditions in my state.

      Vishnu : Obviously the concept of Vedic Vishnu got fused with the concept of Purusha Narayana and gave rise to Vaishnavism.

      Shiva: It is a title,and first applied to Rudra in Yajur Veda.In RV Gods like Indra is called on as Shiva.

      Shakti:Appears as Aditi,later Lajja Gauri. Sarasvati is already a prominent Goddess in RV.Lakshmi appears as "Sri".Prototype of Kali,Nirrti is also present in RV.

      \\Yoga for example is by no means an Indoeuropean tradition (not attested anywhere else), yet it was obviously present in IVC, so yoga has been absorbed into Hinduism from the pre-IE substrate, same for other Indian-specific elements. //


      Yoga may not be IE,but it is a Vedic tradition.Vedas are closely associated with the concept of Tapas or proto-Yoga.I seriously can't think of a pre-Aryan Yoga.Yogic meditation is extensively associated with ALL Aryan relgions i.e Buddhism,Brahmanism,Jainism and Sikhism.

      Also,some scholars have compared Yogic-Vedantic phillosphy with that of ancient Greeks.

      \\You just can't do that. It won't lead you anywhere but running in self-complacent circles. As that Romanian author wrote: "a circle becomes vicious when you caress it". Break the circle, open your mind if you dare.//

      I have an apple,an orange and a banana in my plate.If i eat all of them at once,it would have a wierd taste.I would rather eat them one by one to get the genuine taste ;)



      Delete
    24. Maju, reply to comment 1: "1. We know for a fact that Southern Iranians spoke Elamite before the Iranian invasions of the Iron Age. Further North in Kurdistan, Hurrian is the first attested language other than Assyrian (Semitic). There are a few peoples (Guthians and such) whose ethnic ascription we don't know but if IE was influential already, most likely some linguist would have detected its signature in loanwords or Guthian names, which they have not."
      Excellent, I have also similar remarks against the Anatolian hypothesis, then I think that if we want to search in that area a PIE homeland, we should look at Northern Iran, the area south of the Caspian Sea, which is also important for agriculture because there was probably 'created' the bread wheat, that we find also at Mehrgarh and even at Jhusi. On the other hand, there is also the theory of 'Euphratic', an IE substratum of Sumer...

      "2. Which archaeological process can be posited for the expansion of proto-IE to the steppes, where it is clearly attested at the very least in the Scythian period? I see nothing of the like."
      Sergent cites authors (Merpert, Danylenko, even Gimbutas and Mallory) that have noted a similarity between the lithic instruments of Sredni Stog II and that of the mesolithic-neolithic sites to the east of the Caspian Sea, Damdam Cheshme 2 and Dzhebel. They have concluded that the men who settled on the Volga came from the area of Dzhebel. Danylenko said that the migration was in two phases, pushed by Kelteminar people. Sergent suggests that they learned agriculture from the Namazga culture, which belongs to the Central Asian complex. This can be the origin of the Northern IEs, moving towards Europe.
      Later, I suggest that Sintashta and Andronovo have an important Southern Central Asian influence if not origin, as seen from objects, metallurgy, fortifications, the presence of the camel, and the physical type. In the post I have cited some accepted movements and influences from south to north in Central Asia.

      "Sure. But the most archaic (i.e. similar to PIE) IE living language is Lithuanian, while the most archaic ancient IE seems to be Anatolian."
      Lithuanian is quite archaic for instance in the case-endings, but this can be explained because is isolate in a peripheral area. Also Sardinian is the most archaic living Romance language for some aspects, but this does not mean that it is the homeland of the Romans. Anatolian can be archaic because it separated early from the other IEs, and this could have happened in the Middle East or in Central Asia. The origin of Hittite and Luwians is controversial.

      "I think that Indo-Iranian is direct descendant, unlike the other branches, from the original Samara-Khvalynsk ethno-cultural core that produced the overall IE phenomenon. This I say not on linguistic basis but on archaeological continuity via Yamna and a series of steppe cultures eventually leading to Andronovo."
      I do not think that Andronovo can be explained without the Southern influence, but particularly I have heard from French archaeologists that the steppe cultures like Andronovo have not conquered the BMAC complex, much less India!

      "Samara is not far from the Caucasus."
      But it's not in the middle between India and Anatolia... and how can you prove that there was a movement from Samara to India and Anatolia?



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    25. "Affinities with Semitic? Unlikely. I believe I discussed this matter in the past and it was all about a handful of wanderworts of unknown origin (possibly shared loanwords of other West Asian origin)."
      We all have absorbed the idea that Aryans and Semites are like day and night, but IE and Afroasiatic are the two great families of fusional languages in an ocean of agglutinative languages, they are based on roots of two or three consonants and many common roots and terms have been traced, including for instance the number 'seven'. You can find here a list between Semitic and IE, many words are only in European languages (and this is the Neolithic substrate in my model) but some are also in Sanskrit: http://grzegorj.w.interia.pl/lingwen/iesem3.html.

      "I did perform a home-made mass-lexical-comparison test between Basque, NE Caucasian, PIE and Dravidian"
      Which were your criteria and methods?
      "What explains the success of IEs, just as of Semites in other areas, is war, not farming. There's no moral implicit in (pre-)history: winners do win and that's about it. Incidentally, IE mythology is clearly about victory and power: gods that favor the victors and have nearly no other implications. It's the kind of mythology that fits well a warrior society of conquerors, not farmers. Farmer mythologies are about fertility (including sexual-naturalist elements like lingam and yoni, a pre-IE thing not found in any other IE culture) and social justice. I know first hand because Basque mythology is exactly about that (having many parallels with Shakti Hinduism)."
      War alone cannot change the languages. After the conquest of Gallia, Celtic continued for centuries, and finally it seems that it was cancelled by the Catholic church and not by armies. I don't speak of moral, but of cultural prestige and economical reasons, besides political and military power: in prehistory, the role of political power was not strong as in modern states, so it was less important than in societies which use writing... but when a language becomes 'lingua franca' of trade and of new forms of production and culture, can be creolized, as you rightly say, with previous languages. And in areas where agriculture had not arrived, the previous population was very small, then there is colonization, with the great demographic advantage brought by farming: fighting can be an element of colonization, but without the nourishment assured by cereals and stockbreeding, it's not enough.
      About IE mythology, it is not only about war, this is just the traditional dualist view of IE and pre-IE culture. Since IEs were also farmers, they had also a mythology of fertility: the great warrior god Indra is also a god of rain, releasing the waters... similar is Thor: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thor

      Delete
    26. "Certainly (Vulgar) Latin and Greek had strong capacity of resistance against acculturation because they were "high languages" (literate vehicles of culture and religion). Similarly Sumerian resisted for long as language of culture and religion after Semites had captured all Mesopotamia but eventually it vanished. You cannot predict the results of such interactions in all cases (especially when a "high language" is strong in the substrate) but in a lot of cases language and cultural replacement does happen just because of elite domination. In some cases even a "low language" like Basque or Brithonic Celtic survives, in these cases because of popular stubbornness (typically accompanied by armed resistance). But the tendency of elite domination to change things in their favor is very clear everywhere. Don't they speak English in India nowadays? Languages are social tools and the languages of the powerful are powerful such tools."
      In India only people who have studied enough speak English, there is no substitution, although often English words are mixed with Hindi or other Indian languages, as Persian/Arabic terms. We cannot predict the results, but we can expect that the Harappan high language could not disappear, Sumerian lasted for centuries and left 'Sumerogrammes' even in Hittite, and the area of Sumerian was much smaller than the area of the Harappan civilization.

      "I understand from your name that you are a Vulgar Latin speaker, just like I am, we could probably keep a conversation in "Italnish" but we are using English for convenience. It's a powerful tool and we tend to adopt it."
      Yes, I'm Italian as you can see also from my profile description. We use English because it's the most known language, and has the cultural prestige of international science.

      "But think Turkey: Greek survived till the 20th century (when it was eradicated by genocidal decree) but Turkish was quickly the de facto official language because the princes spoke it. And most people (even some later expelled "Greeks") learned and used it all the time. Oddly enough Persian was the official language of the court but still Turkish succeeded because it was the real language of power. Centuries of Persian and Greek cultural and political hegemony or even the religious centrality of Arabic could do nothing about it."
      I have often in mind the case of Turkey, but you don't cite Kurdish and other languages: also Armenian survived in the Ottoman empire before the genocide. And Ottoman Turkish was full of Persian, Arabic, Greek, Latin words: something similar we should find in Sanskrit, but exactly the high cultural terms there are Indo-European!

      "We cannot explain how it was exactly in prehistorical times because we do not have the testimonies but we do see many examples of such dramatic linguistic changes happening, so all your objections amount to nothing in the end."
      Following this reasoning, we cannot say anything about prehistory, which is extreme but very empiricist, and so also the Kurgan theory would be just groundless words and imaginations...

      "Actually most of their expansion was before and after the Bronze Age. The first expansion to the Rhine, was in the Chalcolithic (Copper Age)."
      I can agree, but it seems that you have some secret written documents that prove their IE identity... we can only be hypothetical in prehistory... I was also too assertive when I said that they spread in the Bronze age.

      Delete
    27. "I think that Vennemann is onto something, notably re. the Vasconic substrate, where I constantly find new elements - for example Eng. "kill" and "ill", of unknown etymology, strongly resemble Basque "hil(-du)" (to kill or to die), or "professional" suffix -er, either from Lat. -arius or PG -arjoz, probably the former, compare with Basque -ari (same function: futbolari = football player, aizkolari = axeman), which again has plenty of Basque cognates implying action (ari: particle of present continuous, arin: fast, aritu: to hurry)."

      'Kill' has an IE etymology: http://etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=kill&searchmode=none; http://etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=quell&searchmode=none
      As to -arius, this is interesting, and although it seems that most scholars think that Basque -ari comes form -arius, I have found an Italian article that suggests a Mediterranean origin for the Latin suffix found also in Iberic: http://books.google.co.jp/books?id=5GytqkIi108C&pg=PA107&lpg=PA107&dq=suffisso+latino+arius&source=bl&ots=jR-yq_SKpS&sig=lEuCQwTGa3c_b2GUqAJDe64O2cg&hl=it&sa=X&ei=A8zEUvnfNIuGkgXO94DwBg&ved=0CDQQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=iberico&f=false
      I guess you can read Italian, as I can read Spanish...
      About Iber or Ibar, it can be IE, see the etymology of Latin ebrius: http://www.etimo.it/?term=ebrio.
      Well, I don't know if I can reply in the next days, I will leave for India on Saturday, for the Vedic Workshop, and I will be back here in Japan (where I am since May) on 19th January! Have a nice beginning of the year, I hope my remarks don't spoil it! ;)

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    28. [comment 1]

      Now the reply button works again (it's some Blogger intermittent error: it has happened to me before only to vanish in few hours).

      I am quite interested in what you say about the Turkmenistan sites as possible origin for Seredny-Stog or maybe even Samara (whose earlier roots are not yet known). Please expand with links because it's difficult to find references via search. I'm all open to possible early Kurgan relations with Central Asia, which is a less well understood region. Nothing to object on that but rather willing to expand my knowledge.

      "Lithuanian is quite archaic for instance in the case-endings, but this can be explained because is isolate in a peripheral area".

      Plausible. But this may also be because (proto-)Lithuanian has not expanded since it arrived to that region, probably in the Corded Ware period. It's Latvian neighbor and relative is more evolved and yet even more isolated geographically. Why? Because it is signature of expansion into former Uralic areas. A key element in language evolution is expansion, because adults learn the language poorly and tend to simplify it, well known examples are Vulgar Latin (product of fast roman expansion in Italy), Afrikaner or English.

      "Also Sardinian is the most archaic living Romance language for some aspects, but this does not mean that it is the homeland of the Romans".

      Close enough to Rome in any case. I did not mean that Lithuania was the homeland of early IEs either. What these archaisms mean most likely is that the languages have not experienced further expansions (or intense cosmopolitan influences) since arrival to those destinations, unlike other more expansive and cosmopolitan relatives.

      "I do not think that Andronovo can be explained without the Southern influence"...

      What "southern influence"? I have read on Corded-Ware-derived lesser influences in the precursors of Andronovo but I'm quite certain that you do not mean that, right? In any case, I plead to keep clear the distinction between early Kurgans c. 4000 BCE or earlier and late Kurgans of Andronovo (etc.) of the Bronze Age. There are at least two millennia in between.

      "... and how can you prove that there was a movement from Samara to India and Anatolia?

      Evidence is always relative to alternative evidences. As far as I can tell the evidence for those ethno-cultural flows does exist in both cases (Kura-Araxes and Andronovo as intermediate contexts respectively) but can be argued against. What can't be proposed is a better fit alternative model.

      That's important in the end: Einstein for example displaced a previous good-fit theory (Newton's) but he did so by developing a model with improved fitness, not by mere criticism of some elements of Newtonian mechanics.

      I'm not asking you for evidence, because for that I would first need to know in some detail which is your alternative theory. Only then we can contrast the weight of evidence in favor of each competing model. So far I believe in the Kurgan model because it is a very good fit with the available evidence present and past, archaeological and linguistic. If you can offer a model that looks like an even better fit I'm willing to study it in depth.

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    29. Now reply button does not work again.

      [comment 2, reply to Giaccomo]

      Re. Semitic and IE: the list seems good in terms of one-on-one similitude, however the list is limited to some 56 words, each of which seems particular to one or few languages (not ancestral within each family). They should be therefore understood as mystery wanderworts or shared loanwords from a common source, whichever it is (maybe several different ones). It would require careful analysis and I do not have time for it.

      "IE and Afroasiatic are the two great families of fusional languages in an ocean of agglutinative languages"...

      Interesting but I doubt we can reach to any conclusions only from that fact either.

      "for instance the number 'seven'."

      If you compare all 10 basic numbers the level of similitude is limited to 1/10, which is not really high and does not suggest genetic relationship. 7 has been for long a sacred number in West Eurasian traditions, what may suggest a shared cultural (religious?) origin. Said that, it's not impossible that some sort of proto-Semitic or other pre-Semitic substrate could have influenced early IE. Proto-Semitic almost certainly coalesced in PPNC and the subsequent CAPC but it must have been in primary form since Natufian/PPNA. In other words: it was part of the Fertile Crescent Neolithic. Whatever the case, I think that studying these possible relationships require of a wider context and lots of detailed work - and should not in any case lead to simplistic explanations.

      "Which were your criteria and methods?"

      I used Swadesh lists (after removing some words that don't seem really useful):

      → https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bx7bO1-VAF2UZnR0YmwzMElEbzg/edit?usp=sharing

      It's an ODS file (like Excel but with Open Office). Most systems will open it but if you have a problem I can upload it in Excel format also.

      "War alone cannot change the languages. After the conquest of Gallia, Celtic continued for centuries"...

      It's true that some peripheral areas in the Western Roman Empire managed to keep their languages (Basque, Brythonic or Berber are good examples) but it's also true that by the time of the Germanic conquests most of Gaul was very much romanized and that all resulting realms were Romance speaking. Same for Iberia, Italy, Dalmatia and even the remote and forgotten Dacia.

      War alone surely does not change languages but sustained conquest does, at least often enough. I don't think you can blame the Church nor the Roman administration because these actually used Classical Latin and what replaced the older languages was in fact Vulgar Latin, a quite different animal (of Italian origins as well, surely the product of fast Roman expansion in the peninsula). No single Romance language derives directly from Classical Latin but from Vulgar Latin, a language that was not written in most cases and had no administrative nor liturgical role. It was however surely spoken massively by merchants, legionaries and all the real "middle class" backbone of the Roman imperial structure: the "Latin" of those who did not use declensions.

      Delete
    30. [comment 3]

      "In India only people who have studied enough speak English, there is no substitution"...

      Give it enough time. AFAIK it's much easier to go around India with English than Hindi or any other local language. This I have heard since decades ago and I don't think there's any indication of the trend being reversed. In fact India has become the call center of the English speaking world. Sure: people often speak with a strong accent but that's unavoidable. The main reason is that English serves the unity purpose of the multiethnic Indian state better than any other language, Hindi included. The same happens in many other post-colonial multiethnic states, be it in Africa, America, etc. Similarly post-Roman states had in Latin (or Vulgar Latin) a key instrument of unification above local political rivalries.

      I'm not sure if this logic applies to the issue of Indo-Europeans anyhow. I'd rather compare these to the Turkic expansion processes, because both introduce a language and ethnic identity that is new in the region, often with just a minority elite seed influence (their steppe origins are also very much comparable). Yet they do speak Turkish in Turkey and not Greek nor Luwian nor anything of the like. It is very possible that such thing happens.

      In truth I cannot say why the Harappan language was so utterly lost. I guess that IEs were not too impressed by their cultural superiority. Maybe just a matter of IE cultural arrogance.

      "it seems that you have some secret written documents that prove their [Corded Ware's] IE identity".

      No. I just have a good fitting theory, the best one human mind can fathom on the available evidence.

      I insist: provide an alternative model, a better fit or at least a similarly good fit, and I'll be all open to consider it.

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    31. [comment 4]

      "'Kill' has an IE etymology"...

      That's a Germanic etymology. Not the same thing at all.

      "As to -arius, this is interesting, and although it seems that most scholars think that Basque -ari comes form -arius"...

      Scholasticism is not science. Unlike Lat. -arius, Basque -ari has plenty Basque cognates, as I already mentioned but I will repeat here:

      1. arin: fast, quick (arin-arin: a very fast dance)
      2. aritu: to hurry
      3. ari: particle of present continues (idazten ari naiz: I am writing, compare with idazten naiz: I have written).

      So my Occam's Razor versus your feeble appeal to authority (which has historically favored uncritically Latin origin explanations, often beyond highly irrational). For example another likely Vasconic loan into Latin is the particle bi- (← Basque bi: two). Many "scholars" claim it comes from an unattested *dwis but this is extremely irrational (Lat duos, PIE *dwos. A problem is that Basque is perceived as isolate with a very specific geography and not as the remnant of a wider family which most likely is. Another problem is that most linguists do not know much about Basque (or whatever other rare languages). Finally there is a problem of ethno-linguistic ideology: self-identification or preference for certain languages and cultures, which are usually the most extended ones (Indoeuropean and its major branches, etc.) So on those prejudices and limitations, they tend to reject a priori any Vasconic explanation (same in other latitudes and with other minor languages).

      This is an internal psycho-cultural foe to fight against.

      "I have found an Italian article that suggests a Mediterranean origin for the Latin suffix found also in Iberic"...

      That can only support the Vasconic origin hypothesis. Iberian was almost certainly Vasconic. Some texts seem almost Basque (although others not so much, maybe there were several Iberian languages). IMO Iberian and Basque are both descendants of the Neolithic language family with origin in Neolithic Thessaly (Mediterranean branch, of course, the continental branch did not survive although it may have left substrate influences anyhow).

      Delete
    32. [comment 5]

      "About Iber or Ibar, it can be IE, see the etymology of Latin ebrius"

      That's extremely far fetched. As with -ari, ibar has a long list of Basque cognates, I repeat: ibai: river, ibon: creek, ibili: to walk. Also the term Iber(-us) (→ Ebro) is clearly more ancient than romanization of Iberia (which the Romans called Hispania, Iberia is rather a "Greek" name if anything, although they also used Hesperia → Hispania, maybe via Phoenician).

      For all the crazy ideas I have read on the matter, this is the craziest one. Said that, it's still possible that ebrius comes from ibar via some odd path.

      For a word to be considered purely Indoeuropean, it must have cognates in non-Western IE languages such Indo-Aryan, Tocharian, etc. This is the case of some apparent Basque cognates like hartz (bear, compare with Gr. arctos or PIE *hrktos) or hauts (ash or dust, also attested as PIE). In these cases the Vasconic substrate influence can clearly be rejected. However careful analysis of Celtic and Latin also reject a IE→Basque flow most probably. Hence these become part of the support for a remote IE-Vasconic relationship of some sort, which I spouse very tentatively.

      "... I will be back here in Japan"...

      Sorry to hear that. It's a doomed radioactive country. Take all care you can (but you will be seriously exposed if you stay there, no doubt - more in the North than the South but the food is being sold freely with almost no control).

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    33. @Giacomo
      ''maybe it's the influence of Christmas... ''
      No! its me;)....

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    34. Nirjhar, I know that you are behind the return of our friend Maju...
      I discuss just a few points in the little time I have.
      ""'Kill' has an IE etymology"... That's a Germanic etymology. Not the same thing at all."
      I agree, because some Germanic roots are not IE, but rather of the Neolithic substrate.
      But in this case, there are parallels in Armenian, Slavonic and Lithuanian.
      About -ari, apparently you did not understand that I was giving you reason :) I said 'although' most scholars accept the Latin origin, I have found something different, and I think that the parallel of the particle ari in Basque is significant (I don't understand the connection with 'hurry' or 'fast'). As you should have understood, I don't care about common opinions or scholastic authority...

      "For a word to be considered purely Indoeuropean, it must have cognates in non-Western IE languages such Indo-Aryan, Tocharian, etc."
      I agree, but apparently you did not look at the link, there are parallels in Sanskrit, where we must add 'abhra-' 'rain cloud'. About the Spanish Hiber, it is close to the Basque Ibar, but how do you explain the initial aspiration? In Thracia, there was a river Ebros which has a very different form, compatible with Sanskrit abhras, and Greek aphros 'foam', which is also the name of a river.
      About aspirations, I find very interesting the forms "hartz (bear, compare with Gr. arctos or PIE *hrktos) or hauts (ash or dust)", is the adding of h- common in Basque?
      "Yet they do speak Turkish in Turkey and not Greek nor Luwian nor anything of the like. It is very possible that such thing happens."
      But a lot of Turkish citizens speak also Kurdish or Arabic and Aramaic in the east, Greek in the west, etc... I have personally been there.
      As to India, no way that English substitutes Hindi. Bollywood, the biggest national film industry, is in Hindi, and this makes this language widely known. If you travel in north India, you can find many people not speaking English, if you know Hindi it's better.

      "In truth I cannot say why the Harappan language was so utterly lost."

      Simply Harappan language cannot have been lost, as is not lost the Harappan cultural legacy. Among other things, there are still Harappan techniques used in India. The system of weights continued in the historical period. Yogic positions, as you already discussed, the cult of pipal, of the bull, etc. etc...


      Delete
    35. Ah, you asked: "Please expand with links because it's difficult to find references via search." I'm sorry but I cited a book, Sergent's "Les Indo-Européens", Paris 1995, p.432.

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    36. [comment 1]

      "But in this case, there are parallels in Armenian, Slavonic and Lithuanian."

      I have not found them. Your link does not list any such parallel in spite of carrying the name "Online Etymology Dictionary".

      In order to find such alleged relatives of Germanic "kill", I had to look at Wikitionary and follow links to the allegedly related word "quell", which is closer to the Germanic cognates in most cases. The Old Church Slavonic word "žalĭ", meaning pain, seems unrelated on first sight both in meaning and sound. Armenian "keł", meaning sore or ulcer, seems unrelated in meaning even if the sound may be more similar.

      So I can't accept roots beyond Germanic. However if we are to accept cwellan → kill, then the Vasconic hypothesis would be much harder to sustain. There are however words in Middle and Low Germanic that seem closer to English kill, all them written killen or kellen.

      Whatever.

      "About -ari, apparently you did not understand that I was giving you reason".

      I misunderstood you, it seems. Sorry.

      "I think that the parallel of the particle ari in Basque is significant (I don't understand the connection with 'hurry' or 'fast')"

      They all imply the concept of action, right? If "ari" means the concept of activity, both in syntaxis (present continuous) and as professional suffix, arin can literally translate as "in action" (assuming that the final -n means the same as today's -n: in), hence "fast". There's another Basque word for fast: "azkar", which seems rather related to "azken" = final, end. This one is the one used for "smart", "intelligent", "bright" also. Not sure which are the exact subtleties associated to their use but they may not be always interchangeable. Intuitively I'd say that arin relates to people doing things: "arin, arin!" = "hurry up!", "moving!", while azkar may be more generic. But ask a more knowledgeable person than myself for confirmation.

      I must however correct the verbal form: it is not "aritu" but "arindu", which is an obvious direct derivate from arin, and therefore not independent support.

      "I agree, but apparently you did not look at the link, there are parallels in Sanskrit, where we must add 'abhra-' 'rain cloud'."

      But it is anyhow the alleged connection of ebrio (drunk, inebriated in Italian as in Spanish), NOT of iber or ibar (river bank, meadow in Basque). Your link proposes bría or ebría as wine recipient as the actual root. Whatever the case I don't find that Sanskrit reference anywhere in your link.

      "In Thracia, there was a river Ebros".

      Hevros still exists, although Bulgarians call it Maritza. I'm not sure of the origin of this name because the hypothetical original form Iber or Ibar has been lost (or maybe never existed), so I remain cautious on this particular case. But it's very possible that it experienced the same kind of Indoeuropeization as Iber → Iberus (→ Ibero → Ibro) → Ebro, where the main change is the loss of a vowel to form the double consonant BR (a very typical Indoeuropean kind of change, Basque would rather do the opposite: librus → liburu).

      More intriguing to me is the Italian river name Tiber, which has exactly the same form as Iber but with a T before it. I wonder if this kind of addition may be some sort of preffixation as happens often in Gascony (example Agirre → Daguerre, Artainan → D'Artagnan, etc.) but seemingly not Latin (Umbrian? Etruscan?)

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    37. [comment 2]

      "But a lot of Turkish citizens speak also Kurdish or Arabic and Aramaic in the east"...

      How does that rescue Luwian, Phrygian, Galatian or even Greek? Obviously Turks did not manage to impose their language outside their core area, largely because the Ottoman Empire was not actively promoting it. It was a social phenomenon rather than political. Greek was spoken in some pockets until the 1920s but it had been receding steadily and even many "Greeks" (Christians) who were expelled from Turkey then spoke Turkish and not Greek anymore.

      "Simply Harappan language cannot have been lost"...

      What script were the Vedas written in? Not in Harappan script certainly (Brahmi instead). There was also a clear breach of many centuries in every written element, totally unlike what happened in Sumeria or the Western Roman areas, where writing continued all the time.

      So a lot of Harappan linguistic and cultural legacy was lost or dramatically transformed in that period. I don't know what you see but, unlike in Sumeria or the Romanic countries, I see a radical disruption: loss of cities, loss of writing and other major civilizational changes. In Sumeria the cities continued in existence for long, same in the Western Roman Empire but what we see here reminds more of what happened in Britain and even more extreme (Roman era cities continued existing in Britain even if Latin and Christianity were lost). I really don't understand how you can speak of "continuity" in the midst of such a dramatic disruption.

      Some elements survived of course but overall it was a brutal civilizational collapse. I can hardly think of any other such radical end of a whole civilization, excepted maybe the one of Southern Portugal with apogee in the Chalcolithic and collapse in the Bronze Age. Some cities may have been utterly destroyed in comparable cases (Hattusil, Mycenae, etc.) but a whole civilization spanning such a large area? None I can think of.

      Delete
    38. Recently archaeology has recognized the continuity of Harappan civilization after 1900 BC: you should read Shaffer and Kenoyer, or B.B.Lal (who changed his mind about the question, finally accepting the connection of Harappans with Vedic Aryans). Originally, and still now, the Vedas were transmitted orally, and to write them was explixitly forbidden in some Brahmanic texts. But about the Harappan script, I support the theory, already proposed by Pisani, that it continued in Brahmi. There are clear similarities in the way of combining the sounds in a single symbol, besides the forms of the letters. The script on seals finished, but it could continue on bark or palm leaf, which is soon destroyed in Indian climate. The states before Ashoka needed anyway some writing, although it is not attested.
      Now I must prepare for leaving,

      Delete
    39. About kill Online etymo has this to say-
      ''Old English cwellan "to kill, murder, execute," from Proto-Germanic *kwaljanan (cf. Old English cwelan "to die," cwalu "violent death;" Old Saxon quellian "to torture, kill;" Old Norse kvelja "to torment;" Middle Dutch quelen "to vex, tease, torment;" Old High German quellan "to suffer pain," German quälen "to torment, torture"), from PIE *gwele- "to throw, reach," with extended sense of "to pierce" (cf. Armenian kelem "I torture;" Old Church Slavonic zali "pain;" Lithuanian galas "end," gela "agony," gelati "to sting"). Milder sense of "suppress, extinguish" developed by c.1300. Related: Quelled; quelling.''
      Very much like the Word 'Vine/Wine' Which is absent in Aryan the word for murder 'kill' is also absent in the Aryan!(Also Hittite though) so like in the case of Wine which comes from a non-IE Source can we propose the same for ''Kill''?

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  3. Then, I invite anyone who is interested in historical truth to reflect without prejudice on the observations made in my post to judge if the equation Indo-Iranians=Central/South Asian Neolithic-Chalcolithic is not more consistent with the facts than the invasionist equation Indo-Iranians=steppe tribes. Probably I also would have rejected this equation some years ago, but studying archaeology and revisiting the texts I have changed my view...

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  4. Here there is a very rich entry about Brahuis: http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/brahui
    It is interesting that the oldest level of Indo-Iranian influence is from Indo-Aryan (Sindhi-Siraiki), showing that the Brahuis lived among Indo-Aryan speakers before living among Iranian Baluchis.

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  5. Mr Benedetti, I find your ideas very refreshing and more consistent with archaeological, literary and genetic evidence. Second millennium BC arrival of IE in India is not consistent with literary evidence and not supported by mainstream Indus archaeologist any more. I think timescale and process of Mr Colin Renfrew's Neolithic expansion model is more suitable in explaining spread of IE language in India than horse riding nomads. If IE spread in East and South India was Neolithic expansion, why it can't be for North West India?

    In this model one can't use presence of Horses as evidence of IE presence. Spread of Horse and Chariot based warfare would be independent process over laying on top of Neolithic IE expansion.

    Harrapans migrated to east and south after Ghaggar-Hakra river dried up and people in that region are speaking IE languages. Gujarat has continuity since 4th millennium BC and even tribal in Gujarat speak IE language so without any convincing proof in contrary it should be natural to assume that majority of them must have spoke same language during Harrapan time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ''Mr Colin Renfrew's Neolithic expansion model is more suitable in explaining spread of IE language in India than horse riding nomads. If IE spread in East and South India was Neolithic expansion, why it can't be for North West India?''
      That Renfrew theory that you mentioned is can be called 'Breaking But Not Bending' attitude in where the traditional models true potential is understood and a new creationism type of idea is forced to be innovated.


      http://new-indology.blogspot.in/2011/11/about-india-and-central-asia.html

      Delete
  6. Hi,

    Came to your post via Varnam. Among the indologists,both Indian and Foreign, what is current range of opinions about origin of Aryan, is AIT/AMT still dominant or it has been supplanted/tweaked

    Regards

    Gaurav

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    Replies
    1. Hi Gaurav, I have the impression that AIT/AMT is still dominant in the Universities, I personally know the situation in France, Germany and Italy. In France AIT/AMT is still very strong, in Germany they trust Witzel, in Italy I think there is some doubt and opening, but not declared. In the US there is Witzel but it seems that there is also an Indian fringe against AIT, like that of the Mount Loyola Conference. There is also a Professor of Philosophy of Jurisprudence, Kar, who has an interesting theory alternative to the AIT. In Canada Aklujkar is a critic of the AIT/AMT. In India there is B.B. Lal, there have been S.R. Rao and S.P. Gupta, but in history and indology it seems they are more conservative, apart Bhagwan Singh. Actually, I know mainly two Indologists against AIT/AMT: Elst and Kazanas, but they have to fight against the establishment...

      Delete
    2. Hi,
      Great article.

      Please see Peter Bellwood's "First Farmers: The Origins of Agricultural Societies" [2004] where he proposes Indo-Aryan as language of Harappan farmers, though with caution.
      Also Check Bellwood's chapter "How and Why Did Agriculture Spread?" in "Biodiversity in Agriculture: Domestication, Evolution, and Sustainability" [2012]. Here he has come in firm support of IE expansion to Mehrgarh by 7000 BC. He recognizes these farmers as definitely Indo-Iranians, and Harappans as Indo-Aryans.

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    3. Hi, thank you for your comment. I know the first book of Bellwood you mention, not the other one. You can find a reference to an article of Bellwood with similar views in the first part of the post, with a link that I add here, from Pragdhara, the journal of the Directorate of Archaeology, Uttar Pradesh: http://archaeology.up.nic.in/doc/unni_pb.pdf

      Delete
  7. Thank you so much for providing such an innovative and detailed article.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Really informative article about Indo-Iranians.However,could you please explain the situation at Gandharan grave culture of north-west Pakistan?AMT proponents claim this is the first appearance of Indo-Aryans in south Asia,via Andronovo and BMAC after separating from Indo-Iranian tribes.E.Kuz'mina finds few notable Andronovan features present at Gandharan graves in her book "The Origin of the Indo-Iranians".

    http://pastmists.files.wordpress.com/2010/06/swatandronovo.jpg

    What is your opinion about Gandharan grave culture?


    Best regards.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It seems that the identification of the Gandharan Grave Culture (GGC) with Indo-Aryans is mainly due to the presence of horses and cremation. But the most typical funerary ritual of the Iron Age there, is fractional burial, which is connected with exposing the dead, as in the Zoroastrian ritual. It is interesting that one of the regions where this ritual is found, Buner, has been identified with the land called 'Varena' in the Zoroastrian sacred geography of the Vendidad.
      According to Dani, in 'History of Civilizations of Central Asia', in the GGC there are three cultural divisions: 1) that of the extended burials of the Bronze Age, 2) that of cremation of the Bronze Age, which did not entirely replace the first kind, but increasingly became more common; 3) that of fractional burial, which "must be understood as an intrusive phenomenon by a people who introduced iron". Dani also regards as intrusive the black-grey ware, which he connects with Tepe Hissar in NE Iran, adding "It is to this part of Central Asia, to the east of the Caspian Sea, that comparative material points to a possible link. It is to the same region that the source of iron technology should be referred because, inter alia, the characteristic channel-spouted vase, found in some graves, is also common there." On the other hand, Kuzmina and others suggested that the GGC are in the Bishkent and Vakhsh cultures of Tajikistan. I have nothing against that, only we have to check the chronological relation. There are new C-14 dates: http://antiquity.ac.uk/ProjGall/youngr/index.html
      I think that it is possible that at least the Iron Age GGC has an Iranian identity, from the Central Asian complex, maybe connected with Zoroastrianism. Actually, this region is now inhabited mainly by the Pashtun, who are Iranians genetically related with South Asians. In the Puranic tradition, the kingdom of Gandhara was founded by a prince of the Druhyu race from Panjab: it is possible that the Pashtuns arrived from the west in an Indo-Aryan environment during the second millennium BC, and I am convinced that they are mentioned as Paktha in the Battle of the Ten Kings in the Rigveda.
      We have also an anthropological analysis (by W. Bernhard) which show that the skeletons do not belong to a homogeneous group: there are at least 5 different morphological types. The most common type is the Leptodolichomorph (Mediterranean), including its subtypes, such as the Transcaspian or the Khorasan type. Moreover, the skulls from Timargarha of 1400-800 BC are very close to those from the Harappan cemetery R37, and both are close to those from Tepe Hissar II and III. The skulls from Timargarha and R37 are also close to those of the earth burials of the Cemetery H at Harappa, which have some vessels similar to examples from Afghanistan and Baluchistan, according to Kenoyer.

      Delete
    2. Thanks for the informative reply ^_^

      First of all,i don't know about the Zoroastrians,but GGC have nothing to do with RigVedic Aryans,i have done a little bit research on GGC in the past few days and come to the conclusions :

      1).Anthropologist Kenneth A.R Kennedy,in his book "God-Apes and Fossil Men: Palaeoanthropology of South Asia " states "The Gandhara grave culture people shared biological affinities with the population of Neolithic Mehrgarh, which suggests a "biological continuum" between the ancient populations of Timargarha and Mehrgarh." Which could mean that the people of GGC are NOT alien Nordic blonde haired blue eyed Aryan invaders.

      2)As Dani said "must be understood as an intrusive phenomenon by a people who introduced iron".RigVedics knows no iron.Atharva-Veda is the first Vedic text to mention Iron.So GGC cannot be associated with RV folks since they knew and used iron.

      3)GGC doesn't spread further into the subcontinent,not only to the Indus parts but also not to the parts of Punjab/Haryana to suit RigVedic core Geography and Saraswati river.These areas were inhabited by Cemetery H culture.

      4)Many pro-AMT folks strangely associates the horse graves of GGC(and of Sintashta,Andronovo etc) to the "horse sacrifice" or Ashvamedha Yajna.But in reality,this ritual have nothing to do with any sort of graves or funeral of the horse.The sacrificed horse is represents the sun and symbolises the whole universe.The opening chapter of Brihadaranyaka Upanishad and Taittiriya Smahita 7.5.25 verse(http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/yv/yv07.htm) explains it in detail.Plus,RigVeda and Ramayana says the sacrificial horse had wings and flew away like a bird, much like an Indian version of pegasus.So this "horse" which is sacrificed is actually a mythological figure and have nothing to do with a living horse.

      5)Sebastiano Tusa ,as cited in Edwin Bryant's" The Quest for the origins of Vedic culture" ""the so-called 'grave culture' is not in fact due to a sudden interruption in the life of the valley but to an appreciable, substantial change perhaps due to new contributions that are nevertheless in line with the cultural traditions of the previous period." ""to attribute a historical value to the slender links with northwestern Iran and northern Afghanistan is a mistake"

      So my final conclusion is,GGC very well might be a local culture of Gandhara region which rose up along with cemetery H after the fall of the Indus civilization(since both rose around the same period).

      Delete
    3. Yes,the Zoroastrian heartland is modern day Khorasan.As for Pashtuns,i would NOT associate them with early Persians just because they occupy modern day Khorasan since they have a mixed Genetic lineage including Jewish ones.This is not a surprise since Afghanistan has been frequently occupied by various hordes of invaders and migrants through its history.Late Vedic and post-Vedic texts associates Bahlikas & Kambojas to the Afghanistan parts and Uttarakuru & Uattaramadra to land beyond Himalayas i.e central Asia.The Kambojas,however became a "melccha" tribe in Puranic and Ithihasa period.

      The early Persians were probably the "Parsu" tribe mentioned in Dasarajna battle.Since the earliest name for the Persians,from Assyrian sources is Parsa(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persian_people#Ancient_history_and_origin)almost identical with Parsu of RV.

      Delete
    4. You have an amazing blog and have done a good amount of research.For further studies i would recommend works of Michel Danino,Nicholas Kazanas,B.B Lal and Premendra Priyadarshi.

      http://aryaninvasionmyth.wordpress.com/ This is a good link to start with :)


      Best regards

      Delete
  9. Hi again dear friend,i have interesting matter to discuss.As you already know Vedic Sarayu and Sarasvati have its parallels in Avesta as Haraxvaiti(Arghandab) and Haroyu(Hari river).We already know from RigVedic geography and many other facts that Sarasvati is identical with Ghaggar-Hakra and NOT with Arghandab.The early Iranians might have carried the Sarasvati(since the river was important to them like Sarasvati Devi,i.e Goddess Anahita is identical with Sarasvati Devi)to Afghanistan from India through migration.However,Vedic Sarayu appears in WEST of the Indus in the RigVeda.Modern day Sarayu located at Ayodhya is certainly not the Vedic Sarayu,even though it has a role in Ramyana.So my question here is,which modern River do you identify with Vedic Sarayu?If it is identical with Hari river,as Avesta says,then we must conclude that RigVedic geography is extended to north-western Afghanistan

    I would like to know your opinion on this matter.

    ~ Kindest regards

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. About Sarasvati and Haraxvaiti, I don't think like Talageri and others that the name was surely brought from India to Afghanistan, if the ancestors of the Indo-Aryans came from Southern Central Asia also the opposite can be true (although Haraxvaiti is a later evolution of the original form which is better preserved in Sanskrit), or it can be a common Indo-Iranian name. Anyway, my view is that Iranians did not come from India, but part of them have South Asian genes because of limited migrations from the subcontinent. Particularly, Southern Afghanistan up to the Kabul river was often included in the Indian cultural area, as attested also by Pliny, and it is interesting that particularly Arachosia, the land of the Haraxvaiti river, was called White India by the Parthians. About Sarayu, the fact that it is mentioned in RV V.53.9 in the same stanza with Kubhā (Kabul) and Krumu (Kurram/Kurum) and Sindhu, suggesting that it is a Western river, possibly the Avestan Haroyu, which was also part of India for some geographers known by Pliny. However, Zimmer (cited in the Vedic Index) thought that the Rigvedic Sarayu is the same as the eastern river of Ayodhya, and he saw here a reference (being a hymn to the Maruts) to the western monsoon (which should not be obstructed by the western rivers of the first verse) and to the northeastern one (not obstructed by the Sarayu of the second verse). In RV IV.30, the Sarayu is associated with Arna and Citraratha. The last name is present as the name of a king also in Puranic lists: one in the Yadava race, which is associated with Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, and one among the Eastern Anavas, who were actually placed east of the Sarayu.
      In RV X.64.9, the Sarayu is mentioned as a great river with the Sindhu and Sarasvati, which can be better applied to the Classical, Eastern Sarayu (also considering that the tenth book is the latest one).

      Delete
    2. Iranians did came from northern Indian subcontinent my friend.They mention Hatpa-Hendu(Sapta Sindhu) in lands created by Ahura Mazda.They knew about Sapta Sindhu.

      Also,Vedic itself is the original undivided Indo-Iranian culture.Let me tell you why.

      The Vedas praises both Asuras AND Devas(Suras).Often in RigVedic hymns,most important Devas like Rudra,Varuna,Agni,Mitra etc are invoked as Asuras. Even king of Devas,Indra is called as Asura.See these verses :

      http://meluhha.com/newrv/verse.pl?v=1.54.3&q=sarv&acc=no&lang=ved&stratum=all&show=yes
      http://meluhha.com/newrv/verse.pl?v=1.174.1&q=sarv&acc=no&lang=ved&stratum=all&show=yes


      While in later Hinduism(especially Puranic) Asuras are negative beings,always causing trouble to Devas and Rishis.If they beat the Devas in battle,the Devas would run to Trimurti(Vishnu,Shiva,Brahma) for help.There were conflicts within Vedic religion,between Asura worshipers and Deva worshipers.Because of this reason,Asuras became negative beings in later Hinduism.

      Now in Zoroastrian religion,Daevas/Devas are negative beings and they praise Ahura(Asura) Mazda.And the evil spirit is called as Angra Mainyu,probably refers to Rishi Angirasa who composed AtharvaVeda with Rishi Atharvan.Also,Rishi Atharvan is said to be associated with Agni(God of fire).See this verse here:

      http://meluhha.com/newrv/verse.pl?v=6.16.13&q=sarv&acc=no&lang=ved&stratum=all&show=yes

      Now,having that said,it is a fact to note that Zoroastrian fire priests are known as AthRavans! Very similar to Vedic AthArvan! I doubt that the early Zoroastrians were an offshoots of Rishi Atharvan,who got up in the path of Asura worship and demonized the Devas.This might have happened in the late Vedic era i.e after the composition of AtharvaVeda.The Persian king,Xerxes is said to have exterminated the Daeva worshipers for the sake of Ahura Mazda.

      Also,in Dasarajna battle,Perisnas are mentioned as "Parsu" which is very similar to the earliest known name of the Persians from the Assyrian sources "Parsa" who said to be living in Parsua(Vedic Parsava?)

      So my conclusion is that the Vedic religion is the undivided original Indo-Iranian religion since it praises BOTH Devas and Asuras unlike in Zoroastrianism and later Hinduism.However Zoroastrians did preserve the Sarasvati Devi concept as Goddess Anahita and the Vedic god Mitra(same name in Zoroastrianism) who is also considered as both Asura and Deva in the Vedas.

      This is just my view after i did a 2 year long research on the internet and personal sources! It is clear from these facts that early Iranians had links with Vedic people of Sarasvati region!

      Cheers!

      Delete
    3. And yeah,thanks for the info on Sarayu.I think we must conclude that RigVedic geography extended till Herat in Afghanistan.

      And Haraxvaiti is Arghandab! NOT Helmand which is called in Avesta as HAETUMANT and not as Haraxvaiti.

      Arghandab cannot be Sarasvati for 3 main reasons.

      1) Since it doesn't flow into Samudra(sea/ocean)See : http://www.omilosmeleton.gr/pdf/en/indology/SSR.pdf

      2)Sarasvati in RigVeda is said to be the "Best river"(Naditame) meaning it is better than Indus itself.Arghandab is just a tributary of Helmand(Avestan Haetumant) unlike mighty Gagghar-Hakra during Harappan times.

      3)In the Nadistuti hymn,the RigVeda places all rivers from east to west.Why didn't RigVedic people mention Arghandab in Nadistuti if it was so much important for them?Instead it mentions Ghaggar-Hakra between Yamuna and Sutlej as Sarasvati.There is no Yamuna or Ganga in Sarasvati,not even in historical records.Rajesh Kochhar,is the mastermind behind Afghani Sarasvati theory.He places Ganga and Yamuna in Afghanistan as tributaries of Helmand! He also takes entire Ramayana to Afghanistan as well! LOL! This is complete madness.

      http://www.webpages.uidaho.edu/ngier/306/contrasarav.htm

      He also says,the RigVedic people somehow "forgot" the original Sarasvati! I seriously don't think that the Vedic people,who memorized all the thousand of Vedic hymns through oral tradition for generation after generation,millennium after millennium,all of the sudden forgot about such an important river.


      Anyway thanks for the reply! Keep posting more interesting facts on this blog!

      Regards.

      Delete
    4. UPDATE:

      http://meluhha.com/newrv/verse.pl?v=6.15.17&q=sarv&acc=no&lang=ved&stratum=all&show=yes

      Another Verse associated with Atharvan invoking Agni.It seems like AthArvan was specialized in fire rituals,just like AthRavans of Zoroastrianism.Its may be possible that AthRavans were Sishyas(students) of Rishi AthArvan after his addiction to Assuric path of worship and rejection of Devas.It seems like Zarathustra,too followed this path.

      Another group of Zoroastrian priestly class are known as Magis.They were from Western Iran.They were assimilated into Zoroastrianism in a later period(700-600 BCE)since,the cradle of Zoroastrianism is located at the parts of eastern Iran and Afghanistan(Khorasan/Aryana)..


      See the new article of Nicholas Kazanas http://www.omilosmeleton.gr/pdf/en/indology/Vedic_and_Avestan.pdf

      I stand firm on my belief that Vedic culture is the undivided Indo-Iranian culture.In my opinion,the RigVeda is underestimated in the Indo-European studies.Hopefully,in the future, more studies would be conducted to solve this Indo-European puzzle.Especially with the proper decipherment of the Indus script.

      I hope you know that the punch-marked coins of Mahajanapadas(800-200 BCE) contains symbols similar to that of Indus seals and script.It also uses same weight measures as the Indus seals.It shows continuity from the Harappan times till the Mahajanapada era.Without a single doubt,we can assure that Mahajanapadas were Indo-Aryan speakers.This would conclude that Indus script and symbols can be associated with Indo-Aryan languages.


      http://books.google.co.in/books?id=iC_m8E5w4RAC&pg=PA249&dq=indus+script+punch-marked+coins&hl=en&sa=X&ei=IJhIUYGiC4fUrQfqtICoDw&ved=0CDEQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=indus%20script%20punch-marked%20coins&f=false

      http://books.google.co.in/books?id=8yc7-OirxKEC&pg=PA219&dq=indus+script+punch-marked+coins&hl=en&sa=X&ei=IJhIUYGiC4fUrQfqtICoDw&ved=0CEIQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=indus%20script%20punch-marked%20coins&f=false


      Warm regards.

      Delete
    5. Thank you for the precious links, actually I already knew about the similarities between Indus symbols and punch-marked coins, and I could personally notice it in the Indian Museum of Kolkata. I think that it is compelling, and confirms the continuity of the Harappan civilization. About the Rigveda, it has been studied a lot in the past, but with a wrong attitude, searching for descriptions of the Aryan invasions, stressing pastoral nomadism and ignoring the clear elements of agriculture and sea trade, and imagining a movement from Panjab, instead of recognizing that the original Vedic homeland was around the Sarasvati.

      Delete
    6. Your welcome my friend.Indeed,it proves continuity of Harappan civilization to the Gangetic civilization.I think the animal motifs on Indus seals represented specific tribe or clan.

      Regards.



      Delete
  10. @Yajna
    Comments on your first reply

    Just because Iranian knew Hapta-Hendu, does not prove that they migrated from there.
    Just because people know a land, does not prove that they have migrated from that land.
    Rigveda does preserve the tradition when Devas & Asuras were adored by both people, that’s why Avesta says Hapta-Hendu is land or Aryas.
    However, this was done by both Indo-Aryans and Iranians, this does not prove that Iranians migrated from where Rigveda was composed (i.e. Sapta-Sindhu) or prove that Indo-Aryans migrated from Iran during this time.
    We all know what happened after the split between these two people, I do not want to comment on those points made by you.
    Also even if Parsu were Persians, remember that is just one tribe of Iranians. There were other Iranian tribes too; Parthians and Medes for example.

    I just want one thing; please show me the archaeological trail of Iranians (or just Persians) moving out from Sapta-Sindhu after the composition of Rigveda.


    Comments on your second reply

    There are many rivers with name of Saraswati, one is Haraxvaiti a tributary of Helmand, and other is Saraswati in Haryana a tributary of Ghaggar, yet another is Sarsa a tributary of Sutlej. (Sarsa is cognate with Saraswati)
    As people who wrote Rigveda were centered around today’s Haryana, I think we have to identify it with one of the last two.

    On the reasons you give

    1) I do not have knowledge of Ghaggar-Hakra flowing to sea during third and second millennia BC. Please share the scientific papers that say so.
    2) Best-river does not mean river with greatest amount of water flow. "Best river" will depend upon what you want from it.
    E.g. if you want to use it for transport "Best river" may be the one without rapids.
    However, if you want to build cities near it, "Best River" will be the one that does not changes course regularly and does not causes devastating floods.

    You are claiming that Ghaggar had more water than Indus during Holocene. Please provide the scientific papers that say so.
    Just to give you a hint about Indus; just look at data given in Indus water treaty about the water carried by Punjab rivers and Indus; Indus carries more water than all five Punjab rivers combined. (If you have seen any Punjab rivers, you will get what I am saying.)
    You are claiming that Ghaggar carried more water than that. Please do not say that without providing research papers proving that.

    In addition, if you claim that Yamuna and Sutlej were tributaries of Ghaggar, please provide scientific papers that prove that they were flowing into Ghaggar during Holocene.

    Also, if you are going to provide the satellite images please provide dates for each region and provide references from the scientific papers that gave those dates.
    Also, please do not show canals like Indira-Gandhi canal and say it proves Ghaggar used to flow from Suratgarh to Jaisalmer.
    If you are going to claim that Sutlej have ninety degree bend, please tell us which bend are you talking about, and also provide the dates when that bend was formed, and please provide the scientific papers for the dates.

    3) Nadistuti hymn did not mention rivers in Afghanistan because Rigvedic people were centered around Haryana. They were praising the rivers of their land and not rivers or planet earth.
    Rigvedic people were one of the Indo-Aryan people. Their range does not limit the range of all Indo-Aryan people. Indo-Iranians range was even larger that that.
    Remember there were other Indo-Aryan and Indo-Iranian people living in the region.
    Another thing about Nadistuti; the hymn adores Sindhu most of the time, and mentions important rivers in the region including Saraswati.


    I believe that Mehrgarh farmers spoke some IE language. By the time of Mature Harappan, it has transformed into Indo-Aryan. There was no Invasion or significant migration during this time.
    However, if you want me to believe any of the things, you said; please provide proofs as asked above.

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  11. @Yajna
    Comments on your second reply

    On the points/reasons you give

    1) Please share the scientific papers that prove Ghaggar-Hakra was flowing to sea during third and second millennia BC (or during Holocene).

    2) Best-river does not mean river with greatest amount of water flow. "Best river" will depend upon what you want from it.
    E.g. if you want to use it for transport "Best river" may be the one without rapids.
    However, if you want to build cities near it, "Best River" will be the one that does not changes course regularly and does not causes devastating floods.

    I think you are claiming that Ghaggar had more water than Indus during Holocene.
    Please provide the scientific papers that say so.

    3) Nadistuti hymn did not mention rivers in Afghanistan because Rigvedic people were centered around Haryana. They were praising the rivers of their land and not all rivers on planet earth.
    Another thing about Nadistuti; the hymn adores Sindhu most of the time, and mentions important rivers in the region including Saraswati.

    From whatever I have studied in books and on web, I believe that Mehrgarh farmers spoke some IE language. By the time of Mature Harappan, it has transformed into Indo-Aryan. There was no Invasion or significant migration during this time.
    I can provide studies for these points if you do not agree.
    I expect same from you.
    please share scientific studies that prove your above points.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I will be changing my computer for a tablet so don't expect quick reply for your response(if you post one)to my comment,at least for a few weeks.You can post your comment here.I'll reply when i am back online.I wont have internet connection for a few weeks,need to get new wi-fi connection for my tablet.

      Cheers.

      Delete
    2. @Anonymous

      http://www.archaeologyonline.net/indology/sarasvati-map-crop.jpg
      http://thecandideye.files.wordpress.com/2009/11/saraswati-river-vedic-civilization.gif?w=579&h=700

      These pictures are worth thousand words.The black dots represents Harappan sites.It doesn't really matter if Ghaggar-Hakra had "more water" than Indus or not, there are more Harappan sites on the Ghaggar-Hakra region than Indus.Ghaggar-Hakra was more important than Indus for the Harappans.In the Vedas too,Sarasvati gains more praises than Sindhu.

      Delete
    3. Did a lot of search on the net and finally found two authentic images showing Sarasvati flowing to Samudra.

      ISRO

      https://sites.google.com/site/kalyan97/_/rsrc/1253807075136/Nadi/sarasvatiriverisro2.jpg


      NASA(Zoom in to see the river)

      http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8439/8007840560_05c2c97cd0_k.jpg

      For further information,please read Michel Danino's book on Sarasvati river.

      Thanks.

      Delete
    4. That so called NASA map shows Indira Gandhi Canal. lower four arrows i do not recognize, may be some river in Gujarat/Sind
      as I said

      >>Also, please do not show canals like Indira-Gandhi canal and say it proves >>Ghaggar used to flow from Suratgarh to Jaisalmer.

      Delete
    5. That so called ISRO map is someone's imagination, it is not a research to identify the course of Ghaggar-Hakra during Holocene.
      Also which Michel Danino book are you referring to?
      Is it a research on mapping course of Ghaggar-Hakra during Holocene?
      If not then it does not serve the purpose.

      You are right on one thing, there are more known Harappan sites on Ghaggar-Hakra than on Indus.
      But there are large number of them in Gujarat. A large number in Baluchistan and nearby area, a significant number in Punjab Haryana Western UP.
      Known sites does not mean there were more sites on Ghaggar-Hakra than on other rivers or even places away from rivers.
      There are only few Cities known. Harappa on Ravi, Mohenjo-daro on Indus and Dholavira on coast.
      Ganeriwala on Hakra and Rakhigarhi (many say it is on Chautang River) sites seems to be cities, and can be excavated to confirm that.
      I don't see how that proves that Ghaggar-Hakra was most important for all Harappans.

      Also the Ghaggar-Hakra (especially Hakra) area is sparsely populated and does not witness floods. which will preserve the sites.
      Sites near Indus and its tributaries, Yamuna and Ganga will not be preserved that much.
      So we will find less sites near these rivers.
      Again that does not proves that Ghaggar-Hakra was most important for all Harappans.


      Rigveda was written (at least the family books) by people settled around river Saraswati (which most probably is Ghaggar-Hakra). This river was important and sacred for them.
      This does not mean that this river was most important for all Harappans as far as irrigation or trade is concerned.
      We cannot be sure if it was sacred for all or not.

      Later when Vedic center shifted to east of that and Saraswati dried up, river Ganga became sacred.
      We can see the Harappan sites shift during 2nd Millennium BCE to east, from Ghaggar-Hakra to Yamuna-Ganga doab, and from Sind to Gujrat.

      Even today if you take Indo-Gangetic plains, the Indus and its tributaries are used by large number of irrigation canals and hydroelectric projects.
      Irrigation system is utilized in Western Punjab, Sind, Eastern Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan and even parts of Jammu & Kashmir.
      There are so many hydro-electric projects that produce a large amount of electricity.
      You can't even compare this with Irrigation systems and electricity provided by Ganga.
      But what is the sacred river for the people? it is Ganga, not Satluj or Indus.

      If the Saraswati was sacred for Rigvedic people that does not prove it was most useful or important for them.

      Delete
    6. Additional information to the so called NASA map.
      as already said most of arrows shows Indira Gandhi Canal.
      I noticed that on Google maps lower four arrows follow the India Pakistan border and on zooming can be noticed to be on India side.
      So I think it is the barbed wire fence.

      Delete
  12. @ Anonymous

    Thank you for your reply.Even though i have done few typos in my comments.I meant to say "there is no Yamuna or Ganga in Afghanistan",instead i wrote "there is no Ganga or Yamuna in Sarasvati"I just ran through my comments and observed my typo.

    Anyway about Hapta Hendu you are right,just because Iranian knew Hapta-Hendu, does not prove that they migrated from there.But note that Vedic people DOES NOT KNOW Avestan geography but Avestan knew Vedic geography i.e Sapta Sindhu region.If the Vedic people lived with Avestan folks(i.e Indo-Iranians) they would have known about the Avestan geography and should have mentioned it in the RV.But it happened vice-versa,Avestans knew of Vedic geography and mentioned it in their scripture.The question still remains,how come they knew of the Vedic geography if they didn't migrate from that land?And why did they rejected and demonized the Devas?Why Persians kings like Xerxes(Yes,the guy from 300 movie)were obsessed with destruction of Deva worshipers?

    http://www.livius.org/aa-ac/achaemenians/XPh.html


    I would like to believe that the early Zoroastrians lived together with Vedic people in Vedic geography.Read my comments about AthArvans and AthRavans.

    Yes,Persians aren't the only Iranic tribe.BUT Persians are the earliest historically recorded Iranian tribe.Parthians,Scythians,Medes etc came into the scene in later period,at the time of Indian Mahajanapadas.

    And for your other points :

    POINT NO.1: Sarasvati reaching sea.

    I don't want to waste my bandwidth by searching on google for scientific papers about Saraswati reaching the sea.But i recommend reading Michel Danino's book.It sums up the argument with references as well.I just bought this book today and trust me its worth reading.Unfortunately on google books,some pages are not displayed so i couldn't post it here.

    http://www.flipkart.com/lost-river-trail-sarasvati/p/itmczyrpr6yqtqpt

    And AFAIK,late Gregory Possehl and PH Francfort argued the river indeed reached "samudra".In his book "The Indus Civilization: A Contemporary Perspective" Possehl writes "In early history,when it(Sarasvati/GH) probably DID reach the sea through Kutch,is to the south."

    POINT NO:2 Best River.

    I never claimed Ghaggar-Hakra(GH) had more water than Indus.What i said was GH/Sarasvati was more important to Vedics than Sindhu itself.Saraswati mothered Vedic culture,so she is praised as Goddess of knowledge,arts and music.She is mentioned as best mother,best river and best goddess in RV.Unlike Sarasvati,Sindhu is not praised as a divinity.Also,there are more Harappan sites on the Ghaggar-Hakra region compared to Indus region,meaning the river would have been more important to Harappans than Indus as well."Important" doesn't mean "had more waters"!

    POINT NO.3 Nadistuti.

    Ok,they didn't mention the rivers of Afghanistan because Vedic people were centered in Haryana.BUT in Nadistuti verse 10.75.5,the Sarasvati is mentioned between Satluj and Yamuna.( imám me Gange Yamune Sarasvati Shutudri ) and verse 10.75.6 MENTIONS RIVERS IN AFGHANISTAN and NWFP such as Kabul,Kurrum and Gomal river,and still we find no mention of Arghandab or Helmand in this verse.How come the Vedic people forgot about Sarasvati(if there was one) in Afghanistan?

    And finally,Mehrgarh is not the oldest farming site in south Asia,Bhirrana is.I do not mind proto-historic migration of IE speaking folks into subcontinent(i.e during neolithic times) but the iron age and late bronze age migration is too speculative and there is no sign of any migration both archaeologically,genetically and anthropologically.Instead there are massive amount of cultural continuity from Harappan times.

    I admit i am not an expert on this matter.I am just a 19 year old student unlike many of you who are wise and well learned on these matters.But i am trying to learn more by reading books and browsing articles on the net.And i hope i can also learn more from you as well.

    Thanks and regards.

    ReplyDelete
  13. From the studies it is known that Indo-Iranians had two set of gods, devas and asuras.
    Maximum hymns in Rigveda are for Indra and Agni. Indra is deva and Agni is asura.
    other asuras include Varun, Mitr and Rudr.

    Later on, Iranians start worshipping only Ahura Mazda (who is very similar to Varun), and vilifies devas as bad spirits (Indra being the prominent among them).
    This is very early Zoroastrian religion.
    Later on deva become a bad spirit and the Rigvedic devas are no longer named. This is main Zoroastrian religion.
    BTW Christian devil comes from this concept, as Zoroastrian ruled over Palestine/Israel area.

    In India the word asura becomes a bad word (most probably as reaction to Iranian developments).
    But as a different approach, all Rigvedic asuras are included in devas now, and rakshashas are called asuras.

    I am not sure how you conclude from this that Iranians migrated from Indian subcontinent.

    Also, Vedic people are not ignorant of Iranians as many Iranian tribes are mentioned in Rigveda and later texts.

    I have read some sample pages from Michel Danino's book on Saraswati, it looks like he is presenting the case that Ghaggar Hakra is the Saraswati.
    Does not look like a research on when it reached sea and when it stopped reaching sea.
    Anyways I will read more on the book to know how strong is his case for identifying the river.
    Do you know any book/study which finds out when Saraswati reached sea, and when it stopped?


    On nadistuti, as I already said; the Rigvedic people may be praising the rivers of their region.
    They do mention Saraswati after Yamuna and before Satudri, but they never say the rivers are in this order.
    Another thing, after Satudri, they mention Parusni (i.e. Ravi). So no mention of Vipas here.
    so how can we say that they have mentioned the rivers in order? You cannot miss big river like Vipas.

    Also Saraswati may have been most sacred to Rigveda, but nadistuti (RV 10.75) adores Sindhu. it just mentions other rivers in the region (Saraswati being one of them).

    Many rivers are praised as goddesses in Rigveda BTW.

    All I can find about Bhirrana was a radio-metric dating. I could not find any carbon dating.
    So not sure if this site is older farming site than Mehrgarh.
    Also Mehrgarh has been studied extensively, and we know the Mehrgarh culture phases and its links to other Harappans culture.
    I would wait for research on Bhirrana to find where it fits in the picture.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @Anonymous

      I am browsing from a cafe right now.I will give you a detailed reply when i get my tablet,please wait till then

      Thanks.

      Delete
  14. About the Sarasvati reaching the sea, I think we should consider the Mahabharata, where we have the most detailed description of the Sarasvati river, in the third and ninth book. In MBh. III.80.79 (http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/mbs/mbs03080.htm) we read of the place where the Sarasvati meets the ocean. But the idea was not that it was a continuous river, actually it is described as disappearing in the desert at Vinaśana and reappearing at Camasodbheda, Shivodbheda and Nagodbheda (III.80.118). See also this translation: http://books.google.it/books?id=2QG_ZgsM13IC&pg=PA377&lpg=PA377&dq=Nagodbheda&source=bl&ots=A2OOGhd8ez&sig=1lQ5Q0Q7b_sCymDEKDNXLGuywQk&hl=it&sa=X&ei=ya9RUfixCuSw7Ab4v4CIAQ&ved=0CEAQ6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=Nagodbheda&f=false
    Probably in the Rigvedic period it was richer in water, at least because of better rains, but from archaeology it seems that the Hakra had a sort of delta in the desert near Derawar fort already in the Harappan period: http://books.google.it/books?id=pmAuAsi4ePIC&pg=PA63&lpg=PA63&dq=Derawar+Hakra+Possehl&source=bl&ots=8y3byS6AJY&sig=_a8e4bp620V3bDBSqgPpKuU8R0c&hl=it&sa=X&ei=X7dRUbTHIouv7AaktIDgDQ&ved=0CGUQ6AEwBQ#v=onepage&q=Derawar%20&f=false

    ReplyDelete
  15. @Giacomo Benedetti
    I agree with you.
    I think dates are very important for seeing clear picture.
    Scientific studies can achieve that.
    No use forming theories without dates.

    ReplyDelete
  16. @Anonymous

    I will reply to you important points by quoting them.

    "That so called ISRO map is someone's imagination"

    I beg to differ.

    http://pib.nic.in/newsite/erelease.aspx?relid=94098

    It is a site administrated by Indian government

    "An integrated palaeochannel map of River Saraswati has been prepared from the origin in Himalayas to Rann of Kutchch. The origin of the mapped course of the River Saraswati palaeochannel in North West India was linked to Himalayan perennial source through Sutlej and Yamuna Rivers. "

    If you don't know what ISRO is: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_Space_Research_Organisation

    Read more here: https://sites.google.com/site/kalyan97/Nadi


    "Also which Michel Danino book are you referring to?
    Is it a research on mapping course of Ghaggar-Hakra during Holocene?"

    I think i have provided the link to Danino's book "The Lost river:On the trail of the Saraswati".It has all the details you are looking for.Please do read it if you want more information.


    "I don't see how that proves that Ghaggar-Hakra was most important for all Harappans."

    Well,almost 80% of all Harappan sites are located near Sarasvati basin.Michel Danino gives detailed figures in his book about it.Also,the largest known Harappan site,Rakhigarhi is also located near Sarasvati.

    http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2013-03-03/pune/37409907_1_harappan-fresh-excavations-heritage-sites

    http://www.megalithic.co.uk/article.php?sid=2146412888

    This simply proves Sarasvati was more important than Indus.


    "If the Saraswati was sacred for Rigvedic people that does not prove it was most useful or important for them."

    And why did it became so sacred for the Vedic people?Because they relied more on Sarasvati than any other river.Saraswati is mentioned as best mother,best river and best goddess ambitame naditame devitame Sarasvati.

    Cont.....

    ReplyDelete
  17. Cont......

    "Later on, Iranians start worshipping only Ahura Mazda (who is very similar to Varun), and vilifies devas as bad spirits (Indra being the prominent among them)."

    Daevas are not bad spirits,they are DEMONS,GIANTS OR MONSTERS..Equivalents in Iranian languages include Pashto dêw (Uber ghost, demon, giant), Baluchi dêw (giant, monster), Persian dīv (a demon, an ogre, a giant), Kurdish dêw (giant, monster).

    Bad spirit in Zoroastrianism is called as Angra(Vedic sage Angirasa) In the Gathas, the oldest texts of the Zoroastrians, the Daevas are false gods or rejected gods.This simply means that the Zoroastrians once worshiped Devas as well,and later rejected them and demonized them.

    "BTW Christian devil comes from this concept, as Zoroastrian ruled over Palestine/Israel area."

    May be,i don't know about it.All i know is the devil uses a trident or "Trisul" as Indian Shiva and Greek Poseidon. .


    "Do you know any book/study which finds out when Saraswati reached sea, and when it stopped?"

    I don't know any books(as i have just started reading books on Sarasvati) but from what i know renowned Harappan archaeologists like Gregory Possehl,BB Lal and the Allchin couples believed that Sarasvati reached the sea during proto-Harappan stage.

    "They do mention Saraswati after Yamuna and before Satudri, but they never say the rivers are in this order."

    Well,the Ghaggar-Hakra is also located between Yamuna and Sutlej just like the hymn mentions.So it means that Ghaggar-Hakra is the Sarasvati mentioned in the Nadistuti.

    "Another thing, after Satudri, they mention Parusni (i.e. Ravi). So no mention of Vipas here.
    so how can we say that they have mentioned the rivers in order? You cannot miss big river like Vipas."

    They never missed Beas/Vipas.RV 10.75.5 says " asiknyÁ marudvRdhe vitástayÁrjIkIye shRNuhy Á suSómayA"

    According to Yaska(author of Nirukta) the Arjikiya is the Vipas/Beas.It may not be in order like Ganga-Yamuna-Saraswati-Saltuj though.But Beas doesn't matter, here,what matters here is the geographical location of Ghaggar-Hakra and the Sarasvati as mentioned in the Nadistuti i.e between Yamuna and Satluj.They perfectly fit.


    "Also Saraswati may have been most sacred to Rigveda, but nadistuti (RV 10.75) adores Sindhu. it just mentions other rivers in the region (Saraswati being one of them)."

    It means that Sarasvati started to dry up when Nadistuti was composed(it is a late mandala).Sarasvati started drying up already in the middle of the 4th millennium BC according to H.P Francfort. Nadistuti could be dated to a period after the first drying up of Sarasvati at 4000 BCE when the river lost its preeminence and stopped flowing to the Samudra.

    "Many rivers are praised as goddesses in Rigveda BTW."

    Not as important as Sarasvati Devi.She is praised as mother of knowledge,arts,music,education etc.She is the 3 main goddesses of Shakti sect of Hinduism along with Parvati(Uma) and Lakshmi(Sri).


    Finally here is the link on Bhirrana.

    http://www.hindustantimes.com/India-news/NewDelhi/Indus-Valley-2-000-years-older-than-thought/Article1-954601.aspx

    I don't know any further.

    Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. About the concept of the devil, it is possible a Zoroastrian influence (from the figure of Angra Mainyu: see e.g. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satan#Dualism_and_Zoroastrianism), but not etymologically: 'devil' comes from Old English 'deofol', from Latin 'diabolus' (http://etymonline.com/index.php?term=devil&allowed_in_frame=0).

      About the Sarasvati river, as I have written in the previous post, the geologist Sanjeev Gupta has observed that in the river bed of Ghaggar-Hakra there is sand of a Himalayan river only in a level corresponding to a period before 15 kya.

      About the Nadistuti, his author according to the Anukramani is called Sindhukshit Praiyamedha, which suggests that he was living on the Sindhu. This is the reason why he extols the Sindhu, and this is the same reason why the Sarasvati was extolled by other Rishis: they lived along its banks. The Sarasvati is extolled also in the Mahabharata, in a postvedic period, because it was associated with the ancient Rishis and Yajnas. According to my chronology, the Nadistuti should be placed not much before the middle of the second millennium BC, because the tenth Mandala is late, and the end of the Rigveda is to be placed around 1500 BC, before the Mahabharata battle. The Praiyamedha Rishis are derived in the Puranas from Ajamidha, datable around 2200 BC following Pargiter's genealogies. Anyway, the fact that the Sindhu becomes part of the environment of the Rishis in the late Mandalas could suggest that the Vedic culture was spreading westward from the Sarasvati 'cradle', along with the Bharatas.

      Delete
    2. @Anonymous

      Another reason why the Nadistuti doesn't mention Vipas in order is because it flows right into Sutlej.It is not a big river compared to Ravi.

      @Giacomo Benedetti

      I agree and disagree with you my friend.

      I don't think the late Mandala of the Rig Veda is to be dated at 1500 BCE,because all the Mandalas of the RV knows nothing about the fortified cities of Harappan civilization,in fact it doesn't even mention bricks(Skt Ishtika). Earliest known evidence of bricks comes from proto-Harappan stage of Kalibangan,dated around 3500-2500 BCE..

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalibangan#Fort_and_houses

      Is it a coincidence that Sarasvati was flowing at her best during this period as well?RV should be dated beyond this period.See the article of Nicholas Kazanas






      Delete
    3. About Angra Mainyu,the term "Angra" probably refers to Vedic sage Angirasa.It is in a destructive sense in Avesta.And Mainyu means "mind" or "spirit".It cognates with Sanskrit Manas, meaning mind/spirit as well.

      http://en.mimi.hu/esoteric/manas.html

      Delete
    4. Dear Yajna, about bricks, the fact that they are not mentioned does not prove that they did not exist. Also silver is not mentioned in the Rigveda (because, as we read in the Shatapatha Brahmana, it was regarded as inauspicious), and this convinced Sethna that the RV must be previous to 5000 BC... Mud bricks were present already in the Neolithic Mehrgarh: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mehrgarh
      The Rigvedic hymns are religious and poetic texts. We cannot expect that they speak of prosaic objects like bricks... we find bricks in the Brahmanas because they describe the practical rituals, but in the Rigvedic hymns recited by the Hotr it is not necessary to speak of them, though we should accept that they were already used in the ritual of the time of the Rigveda. The Rigvedic culture tallies with the first half of the second millennium BC, as recognized also by the archaeologist Dhavalikar, and the kings mentioned confirm this, if we accept Pargiter's genealogies and the date of the Mahabharata battle in 1432 BC.

      Delete
    5. Got your point dear friend.

      "The Rigvedic hymns are religious and poetic texts."

      Many Hindu revivalists like Arya Samaj seem to think so.They believe Vedas are not man-made and were revealed to Rishis.They also believe that Vedas are billions of years old.

      But for me they are just like Mahabharata and Ramayana with historical events fused with mythological aspects.

      Also why does RV mentions about kings,kingdoms,wars etc if it was purely religious texts?Sure, Ramayana and Mahbaharata too mention great wars,but we do not take those wars religiously,but what we learn from is the moral of the epics i.e Dharma shall always triumph.But in RV we find nothing like that.In fact RV mentions battles between Aryas themselves viz Dasarajna was a battle between Bharatas and Purus among many other Arya tribes.By Arya i meant "good" or noble".So we find noble people fighting against noble people for power.It is not religious at all,i would take them as historical.Having that said,RV also contains many philosophical aspect like Nasadiya sukta.

      Not everything in the RV is religious.Hymns to the deities are religious without a doubt,battle between Gods and demons are also religious or should be taken as mythological.But battles between HUMAN tribes are NOT!




      Delete
    6. "We cannot expect that they speak of prosaic objects like bricks... we find bricks in the Brahmanas because they describe the practical rituals"

      Dear friend,RV already speak of building objects like wood,stone etc but not bricks.Why did they exclude bricks?We find mention of bricks in Yajur Veda for building fire altars,but not in RV.

      As for date of Kurukshetra battle,most Hindu astronomers believe it was fought before 3000 BCE because according to them(and traditional Hindu beliefs) the Svargarohana of Lord Krishna and start of Kali Yuga is at 3102 BCE.

      I am yet to focus on Krurkshetra battle with historical POV though.Fact is that current available Mahabharata text mentions Scythians,Huns,Greeks(Sakas,Hunas,Yavanas) etc as mleccha tribes.They invaded India during later periods.The invasion of white Huns took place at Gupta era which could mean that the current available text is to be dated to that.Although,this doesn't mean that entire Mahabharata was composed after Gupta period because Panini mentions Mahbharata in his Ashtadyayi.Remember,Mahabharata is a literature(Smriti) unlike Sruti texts like Vedas,which was passed on only among Brahmin clans for generations with strict oral tradition.For this reason,Vedas remains unchanged from the time of its composition.

      Mahabharata was written and re-written by many authors,same goes of Ramayana as well.Original texts are lost.But the summary of the epics still remain as they are,with many new stories added.I think the drying up of Sarasvati according to Mahabharata could be a part of original text,since it was an actual event took place way beyond Gupta era.


      Namaste!

      Delete
    7. @Giacomo Benedetti
      I agree about on almost all your points.
      I still haven't formed final opinion on Rigveda dates. Right now I think it was either between 2000BCE-1400BCE or between 1800BCE-1200BCE. These may be near your time estimates for it.
      I have a gut feeling that it will be pushed back further for 200-500 years. I am waiting for some new research to come by. till then these are my best estimates.

      @Yajna
      I think you have not read all my comments
      My biggest objection to your points is about dates. You haven't provided any proof of when and how many and what kind of (rain fed or glacial for example) rivers were flowing through Haryana & Rajasthan area.
      I have looked at http://pib.nic.in/newsite/erelease.aspx?relid=94098
      One quote from this page
      "It was observed that major Harappan sites of Kalibangan (Rajasthan), Banawali and Rakhigarhi (Haryana), Dholavira and Lothal (Gujarat) lie along the River Saraswati."
      I am surprised how these people have concluded that Saraswati flowed near Rakhigarhi, Dholavira and Lothal.
      Look at the map of these sites ans you will see what I am saying.
      Also they did not provide any material to support this.

      one thing more,
      What are you claiming now, RV 10.75.5-6 gives rivers in order or not in order?

      Delete
  18. @ Anonymous: please give us your name, so that we can call you in a proper way ;) About Rakhi Garhi, rather than on the Sarasvati, it is on the Drishadvati, identified with the more recent Chautang. Or, as I read in a book by O.P. Bharadwaj, on the Rakshi, probably an affluent of the former.

    @ Yajna: also human wars are presented in a religious frame in the Rigveda, read for instance RV VII.18 (http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/rigveda/rv07018.htm), where the Battle of the Ten Kings is depicted as a sort of holy war supported by Indra. And all must be poetic, therefore with a particular language. Also European classical poetry could mention stone and wood, but hardly bricks: I can't explain it in a definite way, but it is difficult to think of something more prosaic than a brick, and the RV is not a manual of architecture. The Yajurveda (VS, ShatBr), but also the Aitareya Brahmana of the Rigveda, mention bricks because they are concerned in describing rituals. The Rigvedic poems are hymns to the gods, with only allusions to rituals, and particularly to the pressing of Soma. Anyway, we can't prove anything 'ex silentio', that is, from the lack of mention of an object, and bricks were known in South Asia since the Neolithic.

    About the Mahabharata, I agree that the last version should be of the Gupta age, but the tradition could have started after the battle, some passages are even close to Brahmanas. About the date, 3102 BC is a late astronomical date established possibly by Aryabhatta, but if you read the Puranas, they clearly and quite consistently assert that between the birth of Parikshit (the same year of the battle) and the coronation of Nanda (417 or 382/374 BC) 1015 or 1050 years are elapsed. The date of 1432 is also reconstructed from astronomical observations in the MBh, and I find that it is very appropriate for the archaeological frame. I have written an article about that, it should be published soon in a volume. Thank you for your comments, are you writing from India?

    ReplyDelete
  19. @ Anonymous

    "I am surprised how these people have concluded that Saraswati flowed near Rakhigarhi, Dholavira and Lothal."

    My friend,Dholavira and Lothal are located near Kutch,Gujarat.According to tradition(and ISRO mapping) Sarasvati reached the sea at Kutch.There is still a river named Sarasvati which ends at Rann of Kutch.

    As for Rakhigarhi,it is the largest Harappan site ever discovered.It is located near Sarasvati.Read the wiki article:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rakhigarhi

    Drishadvati is a tributary of Sarasvati.It is mentioned along with Apaya and Sarasvati in Rig Veda.


    And here is a paper claiming Sarasvati was fed by glaciers of Himalayas.

    http://www.whoi.edu/main/news-releases?tid=3622&cid=138489



    Best regards.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @Yajna
      I am not aware of any river in Gujarat/Kutch called Saraswati. Please give more detail about it, if it exists.

      As I already said "There are many rivers with name of Saraswati, one is Haraxvaiti a tributary of Helmand, and other is Saraswati in Haryana a tributary of Ghaggar, yet another is Sarsa a tributary of Sutlej (Sarsa is cognate with Saraswati)."

      There may be other rivers named Saraswati, which will not prove that the Saraswati river of Rigveda flowed through all those places.
      Another thing Dholavira is on western side of an island in Rann of Kutch. Rann of Kutch was navigable sea during much of Harappan times.
      How are you concluding that Saraswati from Haryana area flowed to an Island in the middle of Rann of Kutch?
      Another thing, Lothal was a port on Gulf of Khambhat.
      How can someone conclude that Saraswati from Haryana area flowed to Gulf of Khambhat?
      In addition, where is the study that concludes that a river flowed from Rakhigarhi to Ghaggar-Hakra during early, mature, or late Harappan?
      Also the website mentioned by you does not provide any data for any conclusions it is making. That is my objection to using it as any proof.

      If I create a webpage that says that Saraswati flowed from Haryana to China, without providing any proofs, will you believe it.
      I think you should not believe it, and that is the reason I do not believe the website provided by you.

      I hope you are not proposing that wherever we find a river name cognate with Saraswati Rigvedic Saraswati flowed there, whether that is in Haryana, Afghanistan, or anywhere else.
      And somehow, it flowed to an Island in the middle of Rann of Kutch and then flowed to Gulf of Khambhat.


      From the article related to a study, you forwarded (http://www.whoi.edu/main/news-releases?tid=3622&cid=138489)

      "The new study argues that these crucial differences prove that the Saraswati (Ghaggar-Hakra) was not Himalayan-fed, but a perennial monsoon-supported watercourse, and that aridification reduced it to short seasonal flows."

      You can read the abstract of the study here, if not already read
      http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2012/05/24/1112743109.abstract

      Below is a paper referred by the above study.

      U-Pb zircon dating evidence for a Pleistocene Sarasvati River and capture of the Yamuna River
      by PD Clift
      http://geology.gsapubs.org/content/early/2012/01/23/G32840.1.abstract

      (see the time period is Pleistocene not Holocene)


      I will reiterate
      A river does not need to carry more water than other rivers to become sacred. In addition, it does not need to be glacial fed to become sacred.
      Some people have an inferiority complex that the Saraswati river have to carry glacial waters and should carry more water than all other rivers.
      I hope you do not have that problem.

      If Mehrgarh farmers were IE speakers and Harappans were Indo-Aryan speakers, then even if it is proven that Ghaggar-Hakra reached sea around 6000BCE (the wettest period during Holocene),
      Rigvedic people could have remembered it and written about sea reaching Saraswati.

      Works perfectly for me.

      I do not need to create imaginary theories that Ghaggar-Hakra was mightier than Indus, was glacial fed river and reached sea during Harappan times.
      I think these discussions just waste time, and do not contribute anything.

      Delete
  20. @Gicamo

    Dear friend,Indra was a god who led Aryas("Noble ones"i mean no racial crap) to their victory.It is also a fact that Indra himself killed two Aryas at the banks of Sarayu river.There is nothing poetic about it.

    And Dasarajna wasn't a holy war at all.It was a battle for political power among Aryas.Later on the tradition tells that Bharatas and Purus fused to form Kurus,central tribe of Mahabaharata.There is nothing poetic about this either.


    http://meluhha.com/newrv/verse.pl?v=4.30.18&q=&acc=&lang=&stratum=&show=

    http://translate.google.com/translate_t?langpair=de|en&hl=en&ie=UTF8&text=Auch%20jene%20beiden%20Arier%20Arna%20und%20Citraratha%20hast%20du,%20Indra,%20sofort%20jenseits%20der%20Sarayu%20erschlagen.

    As for Puranas,those are even more adulterated than the epics :) They are as late as medieval age.


    The RV mentions fire altars,but it does not mention construction of altars nor use of bricks.Bricks was prevalent during the age of Yajur Veda.And YV is younger than RV,even acknowledged by AMT scholars like Witzel.And YV too contain hymns to gods as well.

    Anyway i do agree that RV is to be dated to early mature Harappan period at least,if not late.Since it mentions SHIPS,the RV must have came from an advanced civilization with navigational technology(like Lothal) and certainly not from horse riding warriors of the steppes.

    Lets leave the brick issue there.And if you don't mind,could you explain your opinion about these issues?

    A) Do you have an authentic source about the dates of Bhimbetka rock arts?I am asking this because Bhimbetka rock caves contain paintings of horse riders and horse domestication.From what i know,it dates back to neolithic era but i cannot confirm this.

    B) Which modern day plant can be identifiable with the RigVedic Soma plant?

    C) How do you consider the origin of Brahmi script?Did it derive from Indus script as some scholars claim?I have doubt on this because Megasthenes, Greek ambassador to court of Chandragupta Maurya claims Indians have no knowledge of writing.Also,the earliest evidence of Brahmi comes from south India,named Tamil Brahmi.These findings dates back to 5th century BCE compared to first appearance of Brahmi in north India during Ashoka's times.How do you view this issue?

    As for your question my friend,yes,I am writing from India.To be more specific,i am writing from southest part of India where AIT and anti-Brahmanism is more prevalent.So you can classify me as a "Dravidian" if you would like,since my first language is Dravidian.Even though,i also like Sanskrit and Vedic studies as well :)

    Don't feel like i'm trolling or spamming your blog with my comments.I just want to discuss and know more about all these issues from experts like you.I have little knowledge by reading books of Edwin Bryant,Michel Danino,Shrikant Talageri and few articles by Nicholas Kazanas.I know those aren't enough.


    I am awaiting your reply to my comment.I will be offline next few weeks,so don't expect fast reply from me.


    Namaste.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Yajna, thank you for your answers to my question, I guess from your name and interests that you are a Brahmin. Which is your city?

      About the 'poetic' character of the Rigveda, first of all it refers to the metrical form and the language. It is written in verses, and certainly not in the everyday language. Do you think that Indra was seen killing Aryas by the poet? I think rather that the victory of Sudas was ascribed to the invisible help of Indra, in a religious interpretation, which saw the war as somewhat holy, because the enemies were not devotees of Indra (see RV VII.18.16).
      Also the war of Troy was probably fought for political/economic power, but it became the topic of one of the most famous poems, the Ilias, where often the gods interfere with the fight. As for the reasons of the Ten Kings' battle, I think they are connected with the environmental problems around 1900 BC, which is the probable date of the battle according to my chronology of Sudas.

      As regards the Puranas, the earliest versions we know are of the Gupta period, therefore contemporary with the last version of the MBh, but already the ancient Brhad Aranyaka Upanishad mentions the Itihasa-Purana as the fifth Veda, and the fact that all or almost all of them report the same period between the MBh battle and Nanda is a sign that it is an ancient tradition belonging to an archetypal Purana.

      I agree that the Vajasaneyi Samhita of the Yajurveda is more recent that the Rigveda, but I would say that it mentions bricks because it follows the ritual of the altar construction, which was the work of the Adhvaryu, the Yajurvedic priest. I repeat: the absence of mention in a text does not prove the non-existence of an object in the age of that text.

      About Bhimbetka, I know that there are horses painted, but it seems that it's very difficult to date such paintings.
      About Soma, I am quite convinced that it is Ephedra, still used by Zoroastrians. See:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Botanical_identity_of_Soma-Haoma
      http://www.heritageinstitute.com/zoroastrianism/haoma/index.htm

      As for the Brahmi script, I think that it could come, at least partly, from the Indus script, and the principles of combination of Brahmi, very different from Semitic scripts although some letters are similar, are found also in the Indus script. It's possible that Megasthenes' remark regards only the legal context: http://books.google.it/books?id=FaZs3T8hRToC&pg=PA13&dq=Megasthenes+India+absence+of+writing&hl=it&sa=X&ei=rb9lUeLcIIXb7AaO7IDoDQ&ved=0CDUQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&q=Megasthenes%20India%20absence%20of%20writing&f=false

      Delete
  21. @Anonymous As for Nadistuti,it does give Sarasvati in order which we can identify it with Ghaggar-Hakra.And that alone matters :) Vipas is not mentioned after Sutlej because it directly flows into Sutlej right from Himalayas.You can check the map.It is a tiny river compared to Ravi.It doesn;t gain much important.All other rivers are in order.

    Regards.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @Yajna
      So your point is

      heads you win tails I loose

      Isn't it?

      Delete
    2. Another thing, Beas is not a tiny river. Beas's total water discharge is double than that of Ravi's.
      Length-wise Ravi is longer, as it flows parallel to Sutlej and Chenab for long distance.

      Delete
  22. @Anonymous

    Dear friend,there is a river named Sarasvati in Rajasthan which originates rom Aravalli hills and flow into the Little Rann of Kuch.

    http://books.google.co.in/books?id=8yc7-OirxKEC&pg=PA49&lpg=PA49&dq=michel+danino+aravalli+hills+sarasvati&source=bl&ots=3RMCxzSqcb&sig=FPqcJP-Efet2PuJSiNo5LtNFrv0&hl=en&sa=X&ei=hzhyUdW8HY7jrAf14oDgDQ&ved=0CEgQ6AEwBQ

    Yes,there are indeed many rivers named Sarasvati or its corrupted forms,but this particular river ends into "Samudra" just like Vedic Sarasvati river.So i think this river might be a remenant of original Sarasvati river which dissapeared in Thar desert.

    The link(http://pib.nic.in/newsite/erelease.aspx?relid=94098) only ays Dholavira and Lothal LIE NEAR Sarasvati,it does not mention about Sarasvati flowinging into those areas.Yes,Lothal is located in Gulf of Khambhat,but Kutch is located north-west of Lothal.And Dholavira is located in Kutch.Having said that Sarasvati flowed into the Rann of Kutch,these sites are located NEAR Sarasvati and not on the banks of it.

    This link(http://m.whoi.edu/page.do?pid=53004&tid=3622&cid=138489) concludes that there was indeed a river which flowed during Harappan times and Harappans were relying on it.When it dried up,the civilization collapsed.It doesn't matter if the river is glacial fed or not,there are glaciers in Himalayas.

    The link which you posted(http://m.geology.gsapubs.org/content/early/2012/01/23/G32840.1.abstract) says "Capture of the Yamuna to the east and the Sutlej to the north rerouted water away from the area of the Harappan centers, but this change significantly predated their final collapse".It doesn't mention Sarasvati losing Yamuna.You can read about it on this chapter of Michel Danino's book:

    http://books.google.co.in/books?id=8yc7-OirxKEC&pg=PA286&lpg=PA285&vq=turns+invisible&output=html_text


    I have no problem with your hypothesis,but do you have any link which suggests that Mehrgarh farmers were Indo-European speaking population?If an Indo-European language existed in that period,it would have been the proto language of the Indo-European.Even according to Kurgan hypothesis,Proto-Indo-European is only traceable to 5000 BCE

    Best regards.

    ReplyDelete
  23. @Anonymous

    Like i have already said,a river which carries "more water" doesn't make it bigger than another river.Ravi is way longer than Beas.Also,Nadistuti does not mention Sarayu either,so what does that mean?Nadistuti may have missed few rivers but only thing we need to look into is that Sarasvati is mentioned along with eastern rivers rather than western ones.And in later Brahamanas and epics,it is a dried up or dissappeared river.It perfectly suits with Ghaggar-Hakra.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree that it suits Ghaggar-Hakra, but I would not say that in Brahmanas and Epics is a dried up or disappeared river: it disappears at Vinashana, but it still exists and is very important!

      Delete
    2. My point was that it most probably was Ghaggar-Hakra.
      But that does not mean it have to be mightier than Indus, and have to be glacial fed, and have to sea reaching during mature Harappan and late Harappan;
      but I think @Yajna do not understand or do not want to understand my point and go on beating about the bush.
      So no point discussing with him.

      Delete
  24. @Gicamo

    My dear friend,Dasarajna was fought inbetween Aryan tribe for political power just like later Mahabharata.Trojan war was fought by Greeks against Trojans who were non-greeks.But in Dasarajna,ALL the tribes are considered as Aryas.

    Yes,few Upanishads and Chanakya/Kautilya's Arthashastra mentions Ithihasa-Veda as fifth Veda.This may refer to original editions of the epics.It does not mention Puranas as fifth Veda!

    I have nothing against what you wrote.But fact is that bricks was mass produced during Harappan times and we do not find a single mention about it iin RV.While in later texts,we find many reference of bricks.RV also mentions fire altars and rituals like Ashvamedha,but nothing about bricks.

    Thanks for your information about Bhimbetka,oma and Brahmi script.Too bad no one has dated the Bhimbetka paintings.About Brahmi,there is an inscription in Vikramkhol cave at Orissa which shows a mixture of Brahmi and Indus script glyphs.But like Bhimbetka,no one has deciphered or dates this inscription.

    No my friend,i am not a Brahmin,althouh i am interested in Vedic studies.I am a Kshatriya belonging to Nagavanshi lineage.My clan is not considered as royal,but we were warriors,chieftians and land lords.We also had control over villages,towns and small territories.We traditionally consider serpents as our guardians and worship them along with fierce godesses such as Kali and Durga.

    As for my city,we do not have big cities here.I live in a small town.And i will not mention my place in a public blog like this,but i will give you a hint.I am writing from near the birthplace of Adi Shankaracharya.My state have hosted many Vedic Soma Yajnas and believe it or not,it bought rain in the middle of hot summer.I too think that ephedra is most likely identifiable with Vedic Soma,but i don't know what plant was used as Soma in my state during Yajnas.Obviously,there is no ephedra here in south India.For those who try to claim ephedra is only grown in central Asia and thus Aryans were from those areas,they need to know that ephedra also grows in Pakistan and north-western India,which was part of RigVedic geography.

    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ephedra_distribution.PNG


    And Sorry for late reply.I just bought a new android tablet,so it took some time to set up net connection.

    Namaste

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Yajna, thank you for your comments. Where have you read that all the Ten Kings of Dasharajna were regarded as Aryas? I cannot confirm.
      About the Purana as fifth Veda, actually ChUp. VII.1.4; 2.1; 7.1 mention Itihasa and Purana as fifth Veda (itihāsapurāṇaṃ pañcamaṃ): http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/sbe01/sbe01135.htm
      Itihasa and Purana are mentioned together already in AV. XV.6.4: http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/av/av15006.htm
      And the Purana alone is the Veda in ShBr. XIII.4.3.13:
      http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/sbr/sbe44/sbe44104.htm

      The debate about bricks has become quite long, I have already proposed explanations why they are not mentioned in the RV, I can add that the fact that fire altars (vedi) are mentioned there, in my opinion implies bricks. And I repeat: bricks (at least dried) were present since the Neolithic.

      I have made a search about Vikramkhol, and from what I have seen I am not sure at all that we have to do with inscriptions. There is also a book (by a certain Verma), supporting the idea that Santhal symbols come from the Indus script, but when I went to the Santhals in Jharkhand and Bengal I discovered that they don't know such symbols!

      Thank you for your interesting reply about your Varna and Vamsha, only I find difficult to understand why you can reveal this, but not your place (anyway, I have understood where you live). I agree about what you say on ephedra. Don't worry for late replies, I don't have the time to reply too often.

      Delete
  25. P.S-Sorry for typos.I'm just getting used to the touch screen keyboard.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Dear Gicamo,if you don't mind,i have two more queries.You have dated Dasarajna to 1900 BCE,so when would you date earlier parts of RV?I would also like to know about your chronology of other 3 Vedas,Brahama era,Upanishadic era and Ramayana era.

    Also,according to you,where exactly is the location of Indo-European urheimat?


    Thanks and regards.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good questions, but my name is Giacomo (pronounced Jakomo).
      According to Talageri, the most ancient king mentioned as contemporary in the Rigveda (sixth Mandala) is Divodasa, who is in gen.63 of Pargiter, around 2030 BC in my chronology. But some Rishis of the Rigvedic tradition are more ancient, like Dirghatamas, who is connected with Bharata, of gen.44, just after 2400 BC. Probably their poetic and religious heritage was alive when the Rigvedic hymns were composed, but it is possible that the age of the hymns we have begins at the end of the 3rd millennium, with Divodasa.
      About the other Vedas, I will tell you later, now I have to close.

      Delete


    2. Thanks for the reply.I'm so sorry abut that my friend.I didn't notice your name properly.From now on i will use GB for short,if you don't mind that is.And you can call me Akshay.

      Well,Mandala 6 also mentions Divodasa's father Vadhryashva.Divodasa is said to be a gift given to Vadhryashva by Sarasvati.I have no problem with your dating,although i would push the date of early Mandalas to a little bit further.

      And yes,i agree that Sarasvati is said to dive under or dissappear only at the Vinashana,which is probably located at somewhere in Thar desert.RV traces her full course from mountains to the ocean.

      I hope you will reply to my other comments soon!

      Delete
    3. Namaste Akshay, GB is fine! Vadhryashva is mentioned as father of Divodasa in RV VI.61.1, and as an ancestor who kindled Agni in X.69. In the first case, he can be a contemporary, but it's not clear. However, there is also a Trasadasyu son of Purukutsa, contemporary of the Rishi of V.33, who could be more ancient, if he is the ancestor of Tryaruna Traivrishna, contemporary of Ashvamedha in V.27, who is contemporary of Divodasa according to VIII.57. Anyway, we don't go far from the end of the 3rd mill. BC. On the other hand, the famous Rishis Vishvamitra and Jamadagni, connected with the hymn of the Gayatri Mantra (III.62), are placed by Pargiter in gen.32, around 2560 BC in my chronology. Maybe, we should not exclude that such an ancient Mantra was preserved during the centuries, possibly with linguistic evolutions.
      Regarding the other Vedas, the Yajurveda is divided in two main traditions, Taittiriya and Vajasaneyin. The founder of the first, Tittiri, according to MBh II.4.7-10, was contemporary of the Pandavas, and his teacher Vaishampayana is the famous narrator of the story to Janamejaya.
      The Vajasaneyin tradition was founded by Yajnavalkya, mentioned in the same context, and is connected in some Puranas with Janamejaya Parikshita, who was born after the battle. So, it is clear from tradition that the Yajurvedic canons are later than the battle in 1432 BC.
      The Brahmanas should also be later than the battle, and particularly when Kuru-Panchalas are mentioned, this unity was realized, according to Pargiter's reconstruction, more than 100 years after the battle, that is, around 1300 BC. Interestingly, the region of the Kuru-Panchalas corresponds to the area of the Painted Grey Ware (1300-600 BC).
      About the Atharvaveda, its origins are placed in the tradition in the same age as the Yajurveda. Its conceptions are close to the Upanishads, which start at the end of the Brahmana period, and are clearly characterized by a wider environment, including the southern Vidarbha, and particularly the eastern Kosala and Videha, which are the new center of the Upanishadic culture, perhaps to be connected with the NBP Ware (starting from 700 BC but maybe earlier).
      Kosala, however, had settlements since millennia (see Lahuradewa), and the age of the Ramayana is much more archaic, according to my chronology, Rama Dasharathi reigned around 2000 BC, which corresponds to the Ochre Coloured Pottery, found in some sites connected with the Ramayana like Shringaverapura.

      Delete
    4. Namaste GB,

      Many thanks for the detailed reply.I think what you are trying to say is,the earliest hymns of RV was composed at the end of 3rd millennium BCE while it preserves elements and memories of earlier periods,is it?

      Yes i know about Shukla and Krishna YajurVedas.So if the Krishna YajurVeda(Tittiriya) is contemporary with the Pandavas and AtharvaVeda mentions about Ithihasa-Puranas,does it mean that the Ithihasas and Puranas were composed in pre-Paninian Vedic Sanskrit?As per my knowledge,the Ithihasas and Puranas are composed in post-Paninian classical Sanskrit.

      Rearding AtharvaVeda,i did a little sreach and found out that Buddhist texts also mentions AtharvaVeda as a seperate Veda.Buddha instructs the monks not to chant magial charms and spells of Atharva(Pali Athabbana) Veda.

      http://www.palikanon.com/english/pali_names/ay/athabbana.htm

      So it is clear that AV existed at the time of Buddha.

      As for your date of Rama at 2000 BC BCE,it perfectly works out for me.Rama's dynasty,the Ikshvakus are already mentioned in the RgVeda.

      I would also like to know,how do you interpret Vedic "ayas"?does it refer to iron?

      Kindest regards.

      Delete
    5. About the Rigveda yes, I think as you say. For instance, they speak about Bharata as an ancient king.
      As regards the Atharva Veda, it was most probably already present at the time of Buddha, also because of the language, which is still Vedic, but apparently the most traditional and orthodox view was to admit only three Vedas, as in the Shatapatha Brahmana. The Atharvavedic tradition was quite heterodox, somewhat like Tantrism in later periods. The 15th book of the AV Shaunaka is about the Vratya, a sort of ascetic that has been compared with Jainism.
      'Ayas' is probably simply 'metal' in the Rigveda, copper or bronze, like Latin 'aes'. In RV there are arrows 'ayomukha', with metal heads, and in Harappan sites they have found copper arrowheads. In Vajasaneyi Samhita, there are six metals: Hiranya (gold), Sisa (lead), Trapu (tin), Loha, Shyama and Ayas. Loha (red) is probably copper, Shyama (black), should be iron, and Ayas, by elimination, bronze. In the AV there is shyamayas and lohitayas: iron and copper? Evidently, ayas was generally metal, and when used specifically probably bronze, therefore there is no proof of presence of iron in the RV, where only ayas is mentioned.

      Delete
    6. Dear GB,

      I agree with your view on RgVeda.

      About Bharata,there are two kings named Bharata in Indian literature..One,being a king of Chandravanshi(Lunar dynasty) lineage who conquered most of India,India's Sanskrit name "Bharatavarsha" is named after his reign.He was son of Shakuntala.(She is a prominent figure in Kalidasa's drama).And another Bharata,according to Jains is the son of the first Jain Thirthankar,Rishabha Deva.He gave up his throne and went to forest as an ascetic.He was from Ikshvaku dynasty from the lineage of Suryavansha(Solar dynasty) same dynasty as Lord Rama and Gautama Buddha.Almost all of Jain Thirthankars are born to this dynasty,including Mahavira.Jains believe that Rishabha Deva founded the Ikshvaku dynasty,while according to Sanskrit scriptures,Ikshvaku, the son of Manu,is the founder of this dynasty.According to Jains,Ikshvaku is another name of Rishabha Deva.

      Regarding AV,it plays no role in Vedic sacrifices,unlike other three Vedas.There are thee Vedic priests associated with the first three Vedas,Hotr,Udgatr and Adhvaryu involved in Vedic sacrifices.While there is no priest for AV.AV is mainly about magical charms,spells,chants to ward off evil spirits,diseases etc.

      Vratyas may have been Shramanic followers,Shramanism gave birth to Jainism,Buddhism,Ajivakas and other atheist,agnostic and Nastika schools.Although,fact is that Shramanism itself borrowed many things from Brahmanism.

      Thanks for the reply on ayas! I got confused when i read the translation of Griffith,he translated ayas as iron! May be he subscribed to the old Aryan invasion theory.According to old theory,Aryans also bought iron into India along with horses and chariots.


      Best regards.

      Delete
    7. According to Pargiter, there are three Bharata: 1) the Paurava king, son of Dushyanata; 2) Rama's brother (also Suryavamshi); 3) a mythical king after whom India was called Bharatavarsha. The last one is the son of Rishabha, as is said also in the Vishnu Purana: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Names_of_India#Bh.C4.81rata
      Cp. this book on the Jain Rishabha: http://www.archive.org/stream/RisabhaDeva-TheFounderOfJainism/RisabhaDeva-TheFounderOfJainismByChampatRaiJain#page/n85/mode/2up/search/Bharata
      But I think that it is also possible that these are later interpretations, and the name Bharatavarsha came actually from the importance of the Bharata dinasty Chandravamshi.

      About the AV, there is a priest who is connected with it, the Brahman, the supervisor of the sacrifice, but this is a late idea.

      Yes, Vratyas can be compared with Shramanas, the non-Vedic ascetics, normally distinguished from the Brahmins, but in this case included in the Vedic system, as later in the Dharmasutras with Bhikshus or Parivrajakas.

      Right, Griffith's translation of ayas as iron is not justified, it's probably influenced from the old AIT.

      Delete
  27. @Anonymous

    Dear friend,

    You wrote "But that does not mean it have to be mightier than Indus, and have to be glacial fed, and have to sea reaching during mature Harappan period"

    In what else ways can we identify Ghgaggar-Hakra with Vedic Sarasvati?From what you are saying,we can even identify Volga as Sarasvati!

    As for "mightier than Indus" ,according to RV Sarasvati is mightier than Indus.

    Few verses describing Sarasvati :

    RV 7.36.6 : Sarasvati is mother of rivers( it doesn't mean all rivers originates from Sarasvati)
    RV 2.41.16 : Sarasvati is the best river
    RV 6.61.13 : Sarasvati is swifter than the others
    RV 1.3.12: Sarasvati is compared to fierce flood
    RV 7.95.1: Sarasvati is mightier than all others
    RV 6.61.8: Sarasvati is fierce,swift moving with rapid rush

    And so on......

    Btw,i am not interested in any personal attacks.Should i remind you that you are the one who started this discussion?

    Also,you still have not answered my question,is there any authentic source which suggests the farmers of Mehrgarh were speakers of PIE or any other IE languages?

    Kind regards.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Namaste Gicamo.

    Dasarajna was mainly fought between Bharatas,supported by Vasishta vs Purus supported by Visvamitra and allied with many other tribes.I'm guessing that all these tribes were considered as Arya because all of them allied with the Purus and Vishvamitra.They cannot be Dasa tribes because Aryas were enemies of Dasas and i dont see why Purus and a Vedic Rishi like Visvamitra would ally with enemies of themselves.

    Thanks for those links.Having said that AtharvaVeda(which is in Vedic Sanskrit) mentions about Puranas and Ithihasas,does that mean these Puranas and Ithihasas were written in Vedic Sanskrit as well?As far as i know,the current Puranas and Ithihasas are written in post-Paninian classical Sanskrit.We should also note that Panini mentions about Mahabharata in his work.

    Also,i think there was only three Vedas(trayi-vidya).Manu-Smriti,Bhagavad Gita,Brahamans and Buddhist texts only mentions about three Vedas.What do you think about it?Does this mean that AV was composed after Buddha's time?

    About bricks,i agree with you my friend.I am taking back all that i have said before,because RV itself makes mention about YajurVeda in Purusha-Sukta.

    http://meluhha.com/newrv/verse.pl?v=10.90.9&q=sarv&acc=no&lang=ved&stratum=all&show=yes

    So this would make YV contemporary to RV.And YajurVeda knows use of bricks.So if both RV and YV are contemporary,and YV knows bricks,that would mean that RV people also knew bricks.


    I don't know about Santals,but as i have said before, the appearance of Indus glyphs on early punch-marked coins is confirmed.It also uses Harappan weight system.

    And like i said,Vikramkhol inscriptions are undeciphered just like the Indus script.We an only hope more studies would be conducted in the future about it.

    As for my place,i am glad that you found out were it is :) My state is perhaps the only place in India were ancient Vedic rituals are surviving like it was since the Vedic age.See "AGNI:The Vedic ritual of the fire altar." by late Frits Staal.Also,Michael Witzel is coming to my state next year.

    I hope you will reply to my queries about your opinion about the IE urheimat and your Vedic chronology!

    Kindest regards.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Only one remark about the language of the Puranas: the version that we have is in the Sanskrit used in their age by Brahmins (probably not classical as Kalidasa), but it can be a new formulation or an adaptation of the original text. Pargiter, in his "The Purana text of the Dynasties of the Kali Age", observes that the Sanskrit account of those dynasties in the available Puranas was originally in Prakrit, for instance because certain Prakrit words occur, especially where they are required by the metre.

      Delete
  29. Dear Gicamo,

    http://www.bhagavad-gita.us/bhagavad-gita-9-17/
    http://www.hindubooks.org/scriptures/manusmriti/ch3/ch3_1_10.html
    http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/sbr/sbe44/sbe44032.htm

    As you can see,all of these texts only speak of three Vedas(trayi vidya or threefold knowledge http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/1344349/trayi-vidya)

    Several Buddhist texts i have came across with also speaks only about three Vedas.Does this mean Buddha's time predates the Atharva-Veda?Dear friend,please enlighten me on this matter.

    Namaste.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Yajna, Since you have shown great interest on Indology with some depth knowledge also, would please give us your core idea on the origins of Proto-indo-european language and its disperals?.
      Have a good time.

      Delete
    2. Dear Nirjhar007,

      I am not an expert on this matter.Like i have already said,i just read few books ,that doesn't make me a professional.

      Anyway,I have looked in depth into AMT,Sarasvati,Harappans,RgVeda etc but i am yet to look at PIE.As for the mainstream Kurgan theory,it simply fails with Indo-Iranians.The identification of Sintashta and Andronoivo culture with early Indo-Iranians is based on pure speculation.For example,AMT folks identifies the horse graves of Sintashta and Andronovo with Vedic ritual Ashvamehda,but in reality this ritual has nothing to do with any graves or funeral of the horse.For more details see my blogpost regarding Ashvamedha.Another identification comes from Indo-Iranian loanwords in Uralic languages which are located near Sintashta.But if Indo-Iranians were living there,in contact with the Uralics,they would have bought Uralic elements into Indo-Aryan and Iranian languages as well.So i think the Indo-Iranian presence in Uralics are from Sarmatians and Scythians,who were ancient Iranian speakers who controlled Uralic regions in a later period.Yet another identification comes from the use of horses and chariots of Sintashta and Andronovo which is also used by Vedic people.Regarding this,you can read these aricles.

      http://www.themeaningofvedas.com/CHAPTER%2027.htm
      http://www.archaeologyonline.net/artifacts/horse-debate.html

      Also,fire worship was more important than horses and chariots to the Vedic and Avestan people.BMAC and Harapan sites provide evidence of fire cult and fire altars.It is not found in steppes.

      So in my opinion,Kurgan hypothesis fails to explain the Indo-Iranian movements.

      I'd like to believe that PIE originated in the area between northern south Asia and south-central Asia.As for its disperals,having said that there is no archaeological evidence for an intrusion into the subcontinent,there is no evidence for migration out of the subcontinent either.We still need strong archaelogical evidence to support a migration out of the subcontinent.Until then,Indo-European expansion is shrouded in mystery.

      Best reards.

      Delete
    3. I add a comment, so that I can answer to the question about PIE homeland. It is not possible to point with certainty the exact PIE homeland, because we have no written documents of the PIE age. But I incline to Southern Central Asia (Eastern Iran, Turkmenistan and Afghanistan) because it is an archaeological area which appears to be connected with Iranian and Indo-Aryan culture, and possibly with the Kurgan culture, if Sergent's theory about the origin of the Kurgan culture in the region to the east of the Caspian sea is correct. That culture of SC Asia has also origin or influence from West Asia, which can explain the similarities between Semitic and Indo-European languages.
      We can say that there is no archaeological evidence of a large scale intrusion into South Asia in the 2nd mill. BC, the alleged period of the AIT/AMT, but Mehrgarh and even Jhusi (near Allahabad) give us West Asian domesticated cereals, and also sheep and goats are probably of Western origin. Moreover, the Neolithic settlement in Mehrgarh is similar to the PPNB settlements of the Near East. The Neolithic skeletons of Mehrgarh have some typical South Asian traits, but in the Chalcolithic Mehrgarh they are clearly related to West Asians, and genetics has revealed a presence of a West Asian component in India. Therefore, an intrusion from West Asia is apparent at least at the beginning of the Chalcolithic period, but probably already with the Neolithic. I think that we should not exclude that also the Neolithic Mehrgarh population had a West Asian component, but more mixed with the local population. aDNA could say a lot about that.

      I agree that the Indo-Iranian words in Uralic languages should come mainly from Scythians, who went to those northern regions.

      Delete
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    ReplyDelete
  31. Dear GB,I just read your article once more,and let me tell you this,the identification of Arkaim with Avestan Vara is pure nonsense.Vara is a mythical compound created by Yima from the order of Ahura Mazda to secure the seeds of all the living beings.If we accept the identification of Vara with Arkaim,we must also accept this myth!

    Same goes with the Dadhyac-Sintashta connection.Dadhyac myth in the Rgveda 1.116.12.Sage Dadhyanc was given a horse's head through which he could tell the Ashvins about Soma.They found a human burial with head replaced by a horse head,so they connect it with Dadhyac! How silly is that?Dadhyac myth has nothing to do with any grave or burial.Seems like migrationists will go as far as they can to identify the steppe culture as Indo-Iranian....

    Also please note that BMAC-Harappan connection seems to be very strong.There are many Indus seals and artifacts discovered at BMAC,at the same time there are many BMAC items found at mature Harappan sites as well.Let me draw your attention to this seal from BMAC,which shows figures dressed as "priest-king" of Mohenjo-Daro.Note the headband and dress.

    http://imageshack.us/a/img198/7233/img20130427040229.jpg (Taken from Possehl's book)

    Compare them with priest king.

    http://www.harappa.com/indus/41.html

    Also this statue from Harappa,BMAC figures seems to be in this posture.

    http://www.harappa.com/indus/46.html

    Note that the statue holds earthwitness Mudra,as held by Lord Buddha!

    http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3109/2698841837_70ae1a09d1_o.jpg

    It also wears same dress as traditional Buddhist monks!

    http://www.harappa.com/indus/45.html
    http://www.leeabbamonte.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Young-Buddhist-Monks.jpeg
    http://www.chuadonghung.com/en/images/stories/buddhist%20monk.jpg
    http://www2.pictures.gi.zimbio.com/Indonesia+Commemorates+Buddha+Birthday+8IuR6Oq2RZVl.jpg
    http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41259000/jpg/_41259182_monksrtr.jpg

    Rings bell doesn't it?

    Kindest regards!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Akshay, thank you for the interesting observations! As regards the Vara, the suggestion is that the mythical idea of it influenced the structure of Arkaim. I don't exclude that Arkaim and BMAC citadels could be meant as the realization of an archetypal structure which is described also in the Avestan myth. What I contest is that the idea came from the northern steppes, I suggest rather that it originated from the BMAC itself, maybe with a Harappan influence.
      About Dahdyanc, I agree that it is a myth without connection with burials. But I think that the Sintashta culture had Indo-Iranian elements, only with the same reversal of the migration direction.

      Comparisons between BMAC and Harappan statues have already been made, it is a very good observation, and I think that also the comparison with the Buddhist monk robe is right. Apparently, the same male dress was used in the BMAC, in the Harappan civilization and in the Gangetic civilization, at least for Shramanas. What is also interesting is that a similar dress was the Greek himation: http://www.beazley.ox.ac.uk/dictionary/Dict/ASP/dictionarybody.asp?name=Himation
      As for the Bhumisparshamudra, I'm not sure that the position of the Harappan statue can be identified with it, because the right hand there is too far from the soil, it seems simply placed on the knee.

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    2. My dear friend,i completely agree with you on your views on PIE homeland! But what i am trying to say is,the date of PIE should be pushed back even further than neolithic Mehrgarh.Yes,there is a break between skeletal records from the beginning of the Chalcolithic period(6000-4500 BCE) between the people of Neolithic and Chalcolithic Mehrgarh,BUT the culture continued,and evolved into the Harappan civilization.And we never know were the ancestors of the neolithic people of Mehrgarh came from.All we know is farmers of Mehrgarh were ancestors of the Harappans.Also,as i have already said,radio metric dates from Bhirrana gives a date earlier than Mehrgarh at 7380 BCE.

      About Vara,we never know what influenced Arkaim.Although,i do not think that the concept of Vara infulenced it.I think it was a sort of ritualistic temple.We have a citadel in Kalibangan with row of fire-altars and ritual bathing.There are many fire temples in BMAC zone as well.But none in Sintashta or Andronovo zones.

      I don't think Sintashta posses any Indo-Iranian elements.The main identification of Sintashta as Indo-Iranian comes from the use of horses and chariots.In fact both of these were common in other parts of the ancient world as well.For example,see the Standard of Ur from Mesopotamia,it dates around 2600 BCE and it depicts horses and chariots.Although,the culture of Sintashta and Andronovo have many things in common with later Scythian culture.They were indeed from the steppes,but they were hated by both Persians and Indo-Aryans.Scythians had war with other Iranian groups such as Medes and Persians.And when the Scythians invaded India,they were considered as mlecchas and shudras by Indians.

      Regarding earth-witness Mudra.I agree that the hand doesn't touch the ground in the Harappan statue.It must have been an artistic mistake.There are many statues of Buddha in which the hand doesn't touch the ground as well.See these for example:

      http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3531/3979507107_85df2861a1_m.jpg
      http://ih1.redbubble.net/image.11792113.3600/mat,375x360,black,ffffff.jpg

      The other hand is in same position as in Bhumisparsha Mudra.

      As for BMAC,the dress was quite different from the priest king.

      http://www.livius.org/a/1/iran/bactrian_2000BCE.JPG
      http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/images/h2/h2_1989.281.41a,b.jpg
      http://www.barakatgallery.com/Auction/ItemImgs/Picture-2670.gif
      http://www.collector-antiquities.com/uploads/pics/Bactrian_Idol_Barber_Muller_Collection.jpg

      Also this "king-kong" from BMAC.

      http://images.metmuseum.org/CRDImages/an/web-large/dp22227.jpg

      Yes,Greek dress seems to be similar.So does the Sumerian.

      http://members.aon.at/omra/contemp/mes010.jpg

      Best regards.

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    3. So, about Neolithic Mehrgarh, the population there for teeth and skull is more similar to the Mesolithic Lake Culture and to Inamgaon in Maharashtra, and has a Sundadont pattern which suggests a link to Southeast Asia. As per the Genographic Project, the Southeast Asian component is still present in Indian autosomal DNA in different frequencies, so it is possible that local populations received agriculture from West Asians connected with the Southwest Asian component, which became dominant in Chalcolithic Mehrgarh. I don't know if skeletons have been found in the most ancient level of Bhirrana, it would be interesting to see their affinities. About the continuity between Neolithic Mehrgarh and Harappa, there is according to Possehl, but there are discontinuities between Neolithic and Chalcolithic Mehrgarh, not only in the population and the use of metal, but also in the style of burials. And the population of Ch. Mehrgarh is similar to that of Harappa, whereas, as I have noticed, N. Mehrgarh skulls are close to Late Chalcolithic Inamgaon, in Maharashtra.

      If you admit that Sintashta is connected with the Scythians, you admit an Iranian element in it, because Scythians were Iranian speakers. I suggest that Sintashta is a sort of BMAC colony for the extraction of metals, and BMAC objects have been found in the Sintashta sites.
      The Standard of Ur does not have horses, but onagers or asses, as the long ears and the tails show. And the chariots are different from the typical Indo-Iranian chariots with two spoked wheels.

      It is true that the Buddha in Bhumisparshamudra often does not touch the earth, but still the hand is close to it, differently from the Harappan statue, which has also a different position, with a knee uplifted.
      The dress of the BMAC statues of your links is a female one, and the last one (the king-kong;)) is similar to a Sumerian dress. But the dress that is shown in the book of Possehl is really similar to that of the Priest King of Mohenjo Daro. The Sumerian dress that you show has a similarity because it leave a shoulder free, but it is the left shoulder, instead of the right one as in the other cases! It is also interesting that he has no beard, whereas the Priest King, the BMAC figures and the Greeks adult men did bear the beard...

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    4. Dear GB,i too am curious about Bhirrana.But unfortunately,this is a recent finding and there is no much info on it.About Chalcolithic and Neolithic Mehrgarh,changes in burials are nothing new.Cemetery H culture had different burial system from mature Harappan stage,but it is now seen as a late Harappan phenomenon by archaeologists.As for metal usage,it must be an indigenous innovation,since use of bronze too was an indegenous innovation by early Harappans.

      Yes,Scythians were indeed Iranic speakers.But they had different culture from Zoroastrian tribes viz kurgan burial,horse sacrifice and burial,chariot burial etc which were not part of Zoroastrian culture but had many similarities with Sintashta and Andronovo culture.The BMAC elements in steppes may well have been products of trade...

      Yep, sorry about that! I didn't noticed the wheels on the Standard of Ur!

      Viewed from the back side,the headless statue seems to be seated in Vajrasana.You can see another statue here:

      http://www.harappa.com/indus/gif2/indussculpture.jpg


      This one is in same position as well.Also,the knee is not lifted as in the former statue.It might have been an artistic mistake.

      As for BMAC,this one is a male.
      http://www.collector-antiquities.com/typo3temp/pics/98d2be0849.jpg
      This too wears same robes as those female figurines.

      I am impressed by your observation.Yes the Sumerian one seems to be wearing cloth on left shoulder.Regarding beard,it is common among many cultures including modern Jewish,Islamic and Sikh ones.But it is true that Rishis and Brahmacharis do not shave...

      I have another interesting query for you.How do you view the origins of Shaktism?RgVeda mentions only two Goddeses which are worshiped mainly today in Shaktism viz Sarasvati and Lakshmi(Sri).But the most important goddess of Shaktism i.e Paravati/Durga/Kali/Shakti is missing from the Vedas.She appears first in Kena Upanishad.And in Vedas,wife of Rudra(later Shiva) is Prishni,they are parents of Maruts.

      Also,it is interesting to note that Tolkappiyam,an early Tamil texts dating back to Sangam period mentions about a fierce Goddess named Korravai.Is it possible that concept of Paravati/Kali/Durga originated from this Tamil Goddess and later replace Prishni as wife of Rudra/Shiva?


      Namaste....

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    5. I forgot to add that Prsni or Prishni refers to Parsuni(Ravi) river.Also in Tolkappiyam,Korravai is mother of Muruga/Skanda.And in later tradition Paravati is the mother of Murugan.It is the same in Sanskrit texts as well.Could it be possible that concept of Parvati evolved from Korravai?

      Best regards.

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    6. I'm really sorry my friend,i never noticed your other comments regarding Bharata,language of Puranas and Ithihasas,Vratyas etc..

      About Bharata,yes Bharata is one of the three brothers of Rama.But he is pronounced as Barata while others are Bhaarata.

      Regarding Vratyas,Shiva is called as Vratya as well.

      http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/av/av15001.htm

      It may be possible that Vratyas of AV refers to a group of Shaivites,similar to modern day Sadhu Yogis of India.Although,yes, Shramanas are also similar in way.

      About the language of Puranas and Ithihasas,it is well known that Mahabharata was originally called Jaya and later many verses were added to this core Jaya to form Mahabharata.So i think Jaya might have been an early text,possibly composed in late Vedic age in Vedic Sanskrit.And later it was composed in classical Sanskrit along with other new verses.Same can be said about Ramayana and Puranas as well.They have been written and re-written countless times by countless authors.The original versions might have been in Vedic Sanskrit....

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    7. Hello Akshay, thank you for your comments. The identification of Eka-Vratya in the Atharvaveda with Rudra/Shiva is actually very interesting, and the Shaivites are surely connected with this tradition. About Bharata, the form with vriddhi (Bhārata) is not used for the proper name, but for the descendants (and in the RV not even for them, called bharatas), and for the poem (in 24000 verses), mentioned together with the Mahābhārata by the Ashvalayana Grihya Sutra (http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/sbe29/sbe29137.htm) and by Panini.

      About Parvati, this is the Sanskrit meaning a mountain goddess, connected with the Himalayas, what is the meaning of Korravai? I think that Tamil culture is too far to have a direct influence. Prishni means 'dappled cow', which is a symbol of the Earth, a cloud, the sky... another Rigvedic goddess is Aditi, the mother of the gods...

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    8. Dear friend,

      Regarding Mahabharata,yes Panini indeed mentions BOTH Bharata and Mahabharata.

      http://www.ece.lsu.edu/kak/MahabharataII.pdf

      Paravati is daughter of Himavat(Himalayas).Korravai means victory in war.

      http://books.google.co.in/books?id=wj76rDfgTCYC&pg=PA28&lpg=PA28&dq=korravai+meaning&source=bl&ots=a97ofWVh_J&sig=fWDVzqgujmuOG8Q_u5wVwjzMaEY&hl=en&sa=X&ei=ZJ2QUf66HcnNrQeo0IDoBw&ved=0CEAQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=korravai%20meaning&f=false


      Yes,Aditi is mother of all beings and wife of sage Kashyapa.But she is not an important figure in Shaktism in which Pavati,Sarasvati and Lakshmi is mainly worshipped.

      By the way,i think you already know that Victor Sarianidi claimed Andronvo tribes penetrated into the BMAC zones.Also Bishkent and Vaksh cultures of Tajikistan had mixed Andronovo and BMAC elements.

      http://books.google.co.in/books?id=0FDqf415wqgC&pg=PA452&lpg=PA452&dq=Tazabagyab&source=bl&ots=2Y83rQLJLE&sig=xcxfE35WR68ZzrpKV5U9QDU9jXk&hl=en&sa=X&ei=mKaQUY_DDMvjrAeJm4HoBg&ved=0CD0Q6AEwAg#v=onepage&q=Tazabagyab&f=false


      How do you view it?






      Delete
    9. Also my friend,i would like to ask you...did India had contacts with the Greeks before Alexander the great?I am asking this because Panini seems to mention the Yavanas...

      Delete
    10. Panini actually mentions 'yavana' as a term which has feminine in -ānī (yavanānī) in 4.1.49. It is thought that he lived in Gandhara, and, as rightly remarked (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P%C4%81%E1%B9%87ini#Date_and_context), a Greek explorer like Scylax went to Gandhara and India already at the end of the sixth century. The Persian empire of Darius encompassed to the west Ionia (the name Yavana comes from Iavones=Ionians) and to the east Gandhara and even a part of 'India', so it is possible that a Brahmin living in Gandhara had knowledge of the Yavanas in that period.

      As regards the Andronovo elements in the BMAC area, I have written on that in the post, but I remarked that there are also BMAC elements in the north, as in the Tazabagyab and Sintashta cultures. So, there were many exchanges and movements, but archaeologists now (as I have learned in Paris from specialists of Central Asia) don't accept that the elements from the steppe populations became predominant in Bactria and Margiana.

      Delete
    11. Thanks for the reply my friend.Well,i agree with what you have said.Panini was indeed from Gandhara.Let me ask you,does the term "Yavana" have any other meaning in Sanskrit other than indicating Greeks?

      Yes,BMAC and steppe contacts must be result of extensive trade.Also,how do you view the Yaz culture?Many people connects it with early Zoroastrians...

      Delete
    12. As regards 'yavana', it has other meanings, for instance 'mixing', 'swift', a particular mixed caste and, in later use, any foreigner or barbarian, particular Western people like Muslims and Europeans. You can see here: http://www.sanskrit-lexicon.uni-koeln.de/monier/

      About BMAC and steppe populations, I think that it was not only trade, but also movement of people. The Yaz culture is possibly connected with Zoroastrians, because of the absence of burials and the fire cult, for a great scholar like Kellens Zarathustra belongs to the 13th century, which coincides with the Yaz I period. Some archaeologists have seen this culture as brought from the steppes, and it seems that there are elements from the steppes in metal objects and ware, but recent excavations have recognized a clear continuity with the preceding civilization. See here: http://www.dainst.org/en/project/bandixon?ft=all, where we find this statement about a site in southern Uzbekistan: "Stamped comb decoration, reminding of the steppe type pottery, is rare, while traditions of the Bronze Age Bactro-Margiana Complex are clear."

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    13. Dear friend,thanks for your reply.You read my mind! Yes,Muslims were also called Yavanas,which caused great confusion for me.

      http://vedabase.net/y/yavana

      Movement of people would need massive cultural replacement,rather than few objects.Besides there are decent amount of BMAC materials in Harappan civilization during Mature period,when the civilization was active.It is nothing but a result of trade.Even the late Gandhara grave culture have BMAC elements.But it also have Cemetery H traits.See:

      http://books.google.co.in/books?id=SFgCEiG_y28C&pg=PA94&lpg=PA94&dq=swat+cemetery+h&source=bl&ots=XHOn4RjtS0&sig=CGBUFHwi_6GOcHCbmt_RLOB2emM&hl=en&sa=X&ei=5eicUeu0LMb_rQe0y4GYCg&ved=0CFQQ6AEwBg#v=onepage&q=swat%20cemetery%20h&f=false

      http://www.rafiquemughal.com/MUGHAL_1990_Decline-of-the-Indus_Lahore-Mus-Bulletin.pdf

      Thanks for the information on Yaz culture.I think Yaz is continuation of BMAC,since it is located near the BMAC zone and BMAC also had fire cult.

      By the way,i think you already know about Hariti.If not then check this.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hariti

      I think this is the reference to the Vedic Sarasvati.Even Sarasvati is demonized in Avesta.She was converted with the arrival of Buddhism in Gandhara.Although,the article is misleading by saying that Sarasvati refers to the Indus.



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    14. Also,it seems that Sintashta have its origins in the Abashevo and Poltavka cultures which in turn traces their origins from Yamna zone.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poltavka_culture
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abashevo_culture

      Sintashta may have close relations with BMAC,but that doesn't that its origin from BMAC!

      Kindest regards.

      Delete
    15. that doesn't *mean* that *it's* origins *are* from BMAC.

      Typo.

      Delete
    16. Dear Akshay, thank you for the useful and interesting links. I wouldn't trust too much vedabase, because it is evidently based on the interpretations of Bhaktivedanta, who had a fundamentalist view with some modernist changes of the Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition.
      About the movement of people, I don't agree that it implies a 'massive cultural replacement', there are also limited migrations, with a 'melting pot' effect. It is possible that also Cemetery H was the result of the fusion of Indian and Iranian elements. It is concentrated in Cholistan, and not in the Late Harappan of present India.
      As regards Hāritī/Hārītī, I already found this deity in Buddhist Sutras, and I find that article very misleading. Actually, there is no valid reason to identify the name with Sarasvati, it is a Sanskrit/Prakrit name indicating the colour (green, yellowish, for someone even blue) of this Yakshi, and in the form 'Hāritā' it is even present among the Pali proper names, where she is associated with 'Kashmira Gandhara': http://www.palikanon.com/english/pali_names/h/haaritaa.htm
      See also this book showing the diffusion of this deity in South and Southeast Asia, like Nepal and Bali: http://books.google.it/books?id=FQRfXjuYh8YC&printsec=frontcover&dq=Hariti&hl=it&sa=X&ei=DR-iUY7JLoPEOcnXgaAB&ved=0CDIQ6AEwAA
      If you are able to translate it, the German article of Wikipedia is well made: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hariti

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    17. Namaste friend,

      As far as i know,vedabase is a Hare Krishna website.

      Well,yes,ineed there are small migrations or even invasion,but these makes no effect in the native culture.We can see it from Saka invasion of India or Huna invasion of India,they actually embraced Indic culture and merged into Indian castes.

      Also,it seems that the Sintashta has its roots in the Pontic-Caspian Steppe,

      About cemetery H,from the link of Rafique Mughal that i posted earlier he states that "The Cemetery H related materials found in northern Rajasthan and Indian Punjab seem to be a part of Late Harappan phenomena represented at Harappa,"

      The culture is named after the cemetery "H" found at Harappa itself. In the good old AIT theory,cememtery H was associated with the invading Aryans who destroyed Harappa.

      What Iranic element do you find in cemetery H?

      Thanks for the info on Hariti :)!
      I was able to translate the German Wiki page with Google,thanks again.

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    18. Dear Giacomo,

      Do you mind if i ask you a philosophical question?Does the RgVeda have any mention about monotheism?I only know of RgVeda 6.36.4 and possibly the Hiranyagarbha Sukta and the Purusha of the Purusha Sukta,,,

      Thanks and regards.



      Delete
    19. Hello! Finally I reply, from Japan. About Sintashta, the question must be deepened. What you find on Wikipedia is just the common theory, but there is an interesting critic of it, Grigoryev, an archaeologist based in the region of the Urals, who supports the theory that the Sintashta culture comes from Anatolia. See here, the last article: http://www.csen.org/BAR%20Book/04%20Part%203.%20Bronze.Int.pdf
      And here: http://csc.ac.ru/news/1998_2/2-11-1.pdf
      He makes comparisons with similar structures in Anatolia and Palestine, and particularly in the case of Demirci Hoyuk the similarity is very strong, but he does not consider the similarities with the BMAC sites. What is important is that he observes that metallurgy appears there with the Sintashta culture, and that the previous Yamna culture did not know arsenical bronzes, but we can add they were known in Central Asia. So, it would be interesting to compare the discoveries of Grigoryev with the BMAC and the preceding Central Asian culture. The distance of the Urals from Caucasus and from southern Uzbekistan (Sapalli Tepe, Jarkutan) is not very different, so Grigoryev's theory is not absurd, if he has reason we can even think that the BMAC was influenced, via Sintashta with which had trade contacts, by the Anatolian culture. But the presence of BMAC objects in the Sintashta sites for me is a hint that we should think of a presence of BMAC groups there, who brought a new metallurgy with them, and the genetic trace of South Central Asian populations can support this.

      About Cemetery H, there are two strata of that cemetery in Harappa, the earliest stratum has vessels with shapes similar to specimens from Afghanistan and Baluchistan, and there is a brachycefalic population that is more close to present Iranians than two previous Harappans.
      The later stratum, with jar burials, which imply exposure, that is an Iranian practice in historical times, the skulls are close to Chatal Hoyuk, and the jars have been compared with pottery of western Iran.
      A. Ghosh wrote that cemetery H does not seem to be relevant in the Late Harappan in India, and actually east of Kalibangan there is rather continuity of the Mature Harappan and Early Har. traditions.

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    20. As for Rigvedic monotheism, the idea in Indology is rather of henotheism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henotheism) or even kathenotheism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kathenotheism), which implies the worship of different gods as the supreme one.
      Besides what you cite, there is also the Nasadiya Sukta (X.129) which speaks of a One, neuter, as primordial entity, and of a supreme supervisor. Often cited is also I.164.46: "They call him Indra, Mitra, Varuṇa, Agni, and he is heavenly nobly-winged Garutmān.
      To what is One, sages give many a title they call it Agni, Yama, Mātariśvan."

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    21. Namaste my dear friend Giacomo!

      Nice to see you again!

      About Sintashta,well,it makes no difference if it comes from Anatolia because Yamna culture is located just above northern Anatolia.But even if they came from Anatolia,it makes good support for Renfrew's Anatolian hypothesis.

      Thanks for the link,i will look at them :)

      Cemetery H skulls are similar to Catal Hoyuk?I thought i was a neolithic site.....
      I will do more research on this matter.

      Anyway,moving on to Vedic monotheism,i think Panentheism would also count in,at least in the case of Vedanta.

      I know both of those famous hymns.There is another not well known hymn in RV from 3.54.8 "One is Lord of what is fixed and moving, that walks, that flies, this multiform creation".Mandala 3 is one of the family books,so i guess this verse would count as an early evidence in RV to "one supreme force" right?

      I have another interesting query to ask you,have you heard of Mahamrityunjaya Mantra praising Rudra from RV 7.59.12?Sukta 59 is dedicated to Maruts,but we see the praise of Rudra(trayambaka) in the last verse.Why do you think it was added to a Sukta praising Maruts?Is it because Rudra is the father of Maruts?

      Best regards and its good to have you back my friend :)


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    22. Hello Akshay, thank you for your comment. I am quite surprised about your statement that between Anatolia and Yamna there is no difference. Actually, Yamna culture is on the other side of the Black Sea, and beyond the Caucasus. If you think to the present situation in the region, who would say that Ukrainians and Turks share the same culture? And in that age, Anatolia was far more advanced than Yamna, because it was inserted in the Near Eastern and Mediterranean civilization. Grigoryev says that in the steppes they did not have the metallurgical knowledge found in Sintashta, before it. Besides that, I did not know that you support Renfrew's theory... About Chatal Hoyuk, yes, it is a famous Neolithic site. This is not relevant in the question of anthropological affinities.

      As for Vedic monotheism, it's true that RV 3.54.8, like many other passages I think, suggests an idea of a supreme lord or force, and this is not something very suprising because many cultures, also without writing, have an idea of a Supreme Being. See e.g. this article by Pettazzoni, who studied the topic: http://www.religion-online.org/showchapter.asp?title=580&C=762

      About Rudra, yes, there is a connection between Rudra and the Maruts. In the context of our discussion, it is also impressive that in the second and sixth Mandala Rudra is called father or lord of the world: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rudra. It seems that there was already a sort of Shaivism... which can be present in the famous Harappan seals of Pashupati...

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    23. Dear Giacomo,

      I meant to say that both of those theories(Anatolian & Kurgan) makes no difference in the case of India and Iran i.e they put migrations at a very late date.(In the case of Kurgan hypothesis,i am not well versed in the Anatolian hypothesis)

      Also,remember that Hittites were in Anatolia,but they did not retain "pure" IE culture,they were hybrid folks.

      I do not fully support any theories as of now.But several artifacts like this one(http://img195.imageshack.us/img195/9352/td32.png) makes me feel that IVC had a Dharmic culture.But to prove IE migrated away from India,we need good amount of archaeological evidences.But i do believe early Zoroastrians were offshoot of late Vedic people,only from textual proofs though.


      Yes,monotheism is found in many part.Even the so called mother Goddess worship can be counted in as monotheism since they only worship the Goddess as supreme deity.

      We cannot assure that the seal refers to "Pashupati" per se.True,the deity is in Yogic posture and surrounded by animals.But remember that Rudra of the Vedas is a wrathful storm God.He is certainly not Yogic in nature.

      .See this seal,it depicts two snakes along with so called Yogi as well and two human figures bowing down to him.It clearly suggests he was some sort of deity.No horns or many heads in this one though.

      http://tinypic.com/view.php?pic=b8u1jl&s=5

      So there are many different deities in same position,even female ones!We have no clues as of now to determine who or what were these deities.

      Best regards,
      Yajna



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  32. Honorary scholar Mr. Benedetti and the other readers i am a Brahmin from u.s. and come here to erase some of the illusions with factual point making:-
    1.PIE did not originate in South Central Asia nor Aryans came to the zone as been suggested by migrationists or invasionists.
    2.It is most likely that PIE originated somewhere in Central Asia near the Tocharian area whom apparently remained there, actually the latest genealogical findings on R1a1a SNP does support the happening where the Ancestors of Vedic Aryans came to SC Asia from Central Asia with the Z93+ SNP while Europe and other near areas were Indo-Europeanized With SNPs like Z282,Z284 etc-
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ajpa.22167/abstract
    3.The early ancestors of the vedic Aryans came to SC Asia in the Chalcolithic period/Pre-Harappan phase and they had some semitic/near-Eastern influences also similarly as found in this genetic research here-
    http://www.dnatribes.com/dnatribes-digest-2012-04-02.pdf
    Or it is possible that the case was vice versa with the pre-existing culture there which had the influence which was gradually taken by the pre-Aryans in blood and culture both!.
    4.Surely the Aryans came from outside but in an old period with adding up with the PRE-EXISTING West Asian dominant culture which had its roots in neolithic Mehrgarh and they destroyed nothing as said by invasionist idiots the process was peaceful.
    5.With time their culture became dominant and changed the face of the Pre-Aryavarta including the flora and fauna names also which surely took some time as it cannot happen as invasionists propose which has no value in common sense or evidence.
    6. I totally agree with your Rig-Veda dating and evolution Mr. Benedetti and by the time of first Rig-Vedic rikhs they were natives by thousands of years, it is possible that Avestans were an offshoots of the SSC culture specially as the Iranians and their related tribes have the Ancestral South Asian component.
    7. I also say without any doubt that by mid-3rd Millenium B.C. indo-europeans were stongly estabilished or connected to the Greek homeland Anatolia,Steppe and In Europe with the Corded ware culture from where the 2600B.C. R1a1a aDNA is found.
    not to forget the aDNA R1a1a in Andronovo and Tarim Area of Central Asia also, dating from mid-2nd Millenium B.C.
    8.Yes SC Asia have Archaeological continium from 4500B.C. to close to 600B.C. WHICH ALSO FITS THE EVOLUTION OF THE Aryan culture from Chalcolithic in Aryavarta.
    So we can say that since PIE is an Chalcolithic development the language of Pre-Aryans was very close to it.
    So it is most likely the PIE did not ORIGINATE in South Central Asia but the Aryan culture DID.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your comment, we would be glad if you give us a name to identify you, if we have different Anonymous it becomes complicated...
      I don't know what you mean with South Central Asia and why you deny the possibility that SC Asia is the origin of the IEs.
      In the full article that you cite (http://www.familytreedna.com/PDF/New_Y_Chromosome_Binary_Markers_Improve_Phylogenetic_Resolution_Within_Haplogroup_R1a1.pdf) it is said that "the origin of R1a1-M198 arguably occurred somewhere between South Asia and Eastern Europe. Potential candidates could be the Eurasian Steppes (Ukraine – Southern Russia – Kazakhstan – Caucasus) or the Middle East." I would add: between South Asia and Eastern Europe there is also Southern Central Asia: Iran, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, even Baluchistan. It is also significant that Z280 is absent in India, showing no movement from Europe to India, whereas Z93 is present in Europe, not only in Romas. You can find it also often in Arabic populations: http://www.familytreedna.com/public/r1a/default.aspx?vgroup=r1a&vgroup=r1a&vgroup=r1a&vgroup=r1a&vgroup=r1a&vgroup=r1a&vgroup=r1a&vgroup=r1a&vgroup=r1a&vgroup=r1a&section=yresults

      The Near Eastern influences are clearly connected with the arrival of agriculture and Neolithic in Central and South Asia, and the similarities between PIE and Semitic or Afro-Asiatic can be explained by these influences, which happened in Southern Central Asia/Baluchistan. I think that the origins of IEs should be placed in a center of ancient Neolithic culture rather than in a peripheral area like the steppes or the Altai. It is possible that Neolithic Mehrgarh still was not fully IE (maybe it had even Dravidian or Munda elements, because the physical type was rather Southeast Asian), and only the Chalcolithic Mehrgarh was, but the population of the last one is connected with Southern Central Asia, and not with the steppes. Later on, we have no significant change in the anthropological record up to 800-200 BC, according to the article of Kennedy, Hemphill and Lukacs.

      About the Avestan culture, I rather think that it was an evolution of the local Iranian culture, which was strictly related with the SSC civilization.

      Delete
    2. Sir thank you very much for the reply but if PIE originates in SC in chalcolithic period then why the Ancestral South Indian component is absent outside? since ASI similar populations like Munda/Dravidians were present there from before?.

      Delete
    3. You're welcome. I don't understand very well your question, because you state that Munda/Dravidians were present in SC Asia, whereas I spoke only about Baluchistan, and you don't explain what is for you SC Asia. In this context, however, I can remark that Dienekes has found ASI component in Iranians: http://dodecad.blogspot.it/2011/05/more-zombies-ancestral-north-indians.html and in his sheet with 12 components the South Asian one is present with significant percentages in Iranians and with little percentages also in European populations: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0ArAJcY18g2GadDUyeEtjNnBmY09EbnowN3M3UWRyNnc&authkey=COCa89AJ&hl=en_US&authkey=COCa89AJ#gid=0

      Delete
  33. @Above Anonymous.


    Dear friend,i have no objection to a Chalcolithic expansion of Indo-Aryans into south Asia and foundation of Harappan culture.But please note that Harappan culture is a successor of NEOLITHIC Mehrgrah!

    As far as genetic evidence in concerned,i think it comes after archaeological evidences,textual evidences and linguistic evidences.Indian gene pool is complex because India was a settlement of various foreign tribes.From Indo-Scythians,Greeks,Kushans,Parthians,White Huns to Turkic and Mongol tribes.Even few Brahmin clans were later immigrants into the subcontinent such as the Maga Brahmins,they are considered to be descendants of Zoroastrian priestly class named Magi.So obviously these people have also contributed to the Indian gene pool.So it is difficult to pick out the "original" Vedic Aryan SNP.

    I was reading this link(http://www.dnatribes.com/dnatribes-digest-2012-04-02.pdf) but i stopped reading when i saw the sentence which states that Shakyas were related to Sakas(Scythian) from central Asia and the reference to Michael Witzel.Let me assure you this,Shakyas were from the lineage of royal Ikshvaku dynasty of Kshatriyas..While Sakas were considered as mlecchas(barbarians) by Indians.They were also considered as shudras by Patanjali and in Manusmriti.(http://www.hinduwebsite.com/sacredscripts/hinduism/dharma/manusmriti_2.asp)

    Regards.

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    1. You are underestimating the power of genetics.

      Delete
    2. No,you have misunderstood what i have said.I do trust gene'tics,but for south Asia's case,genetics wont do much help because many foreign tribes have contributed to south Asian gene pool throughout its history...

      Delete
  34. Tomorrow I will leave for Japan, where I have a fellowship. I don't know now when I can reply.

    ReplyDelete
  35. ''Besides what you cite, there is also the Nasadiya Sukta (X.129) which speaks of a One, neuter, as primordial entity, and of a supreme supervisor. Often cited is also I.164.46: "They call him Indra, Mitra, Varuṇa, Agni, and he is heavenly nobly-winged Garutmān.
    To what is One, sages give many a title they call it Agni, Yama, Mātariśvan."
    I think the verse I.164.46 hints as proto-types of supreme lord Vishnu and his Vahana Garura, what do you say?
    Have a good time.

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    Replies
    1. Dear Nirjhar,

      I think the same,original Sanskrit verse says " suparnó garútman"

      Suparna is synonym of Garuda.I also think the present day Vishnu is based on Purusha of the Vedas.

      Best regards.

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    2. You can find again Garutmān in RV X.149.3, connected with Savitar: http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/rigveda/rv10149.htm
      Actually, it seems that it is an image for the Sun, and since Vishnu has also been identified with the Sun, the connection is possible. But why mentioning Mitra, Indra and Varuna? I would say that something like the Upanishadic Atman-Brahman is here meant: the neuter is used in the third pada: ekam sad...

      Delete
    3. Dear Giacomo,

      The Sun bird reminds me of phoenix! Also it is interesting that Agnicayana altar is prepared in form of an eagle as well.

      If you are interested, you can watch it here:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2mYu_Ckh_K8

      This was hosted in my state by an ultra orthodox Brahmin community who have preserved the ancient rituals.

      Best regards.

      Delete
    4. Dear Akshay, thank you for the good documentary! I have already seen a film of the Nambudiris of Kerala in Paris, they are famous for their preservation of Vedic traditions, but I had never seen that altar in reality, only in designs. I know the Agnicayana, it's a famous ritual of the Yajurveda, described in the Shatapatha Brahmana. The altar in form of the bird there is a form of Agni-Prajapati, and it is said that it brings the sacrificer to heaven: http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/sbr/sbe41/sbe4128.htm

      Delete
    5. I have to correct: in the ShBr it is said that some think that the bird will bear the sacrificer to the sky, but the ritualist of the ShBr has another view, as he says here at the end: http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/sbr/sbe41/sbe4129.htm
      It is also said that Agni on the altar is the Sun.

      Delete
    6. Dear Giacomo,

      Thank you for the reply,this documentary was made more than 30 years back by late Dr. Frits Stall,a renowned Indologist and Sanskritist,his main interests was on the Vedic Yajnas.

      Yes,Nambudiris have preserved many age old rituals,they are orthodox community,with many subcastes within them.Adi Shankara was a Nambudiri as well.

      If i remember correctly,Agni as a celestial bird also occurs in the Vajasaneyi Samhita.

      As seen in the video,the ritual also have some aspects of farming.Priests plough the field and plant seeds before constructing the altar in the shape of bird.


      Speaking of heaven,i'd like to know what do you think about Avestan Yima,the King of Paradise and Vedic Yama,the king of underworld.It seems that both are same deities.Both are sons of Vivasvant/Vivahvant.It seems that Vedic God of Hell became God of Paradise in Avesta.In the Avesta,we find no mention of Manu,another son of Vivasvant,the brother of Yama/Yima.In Avesta,Manu's role is played by Yima as seen in the Vara myth.I wonder why they excluded the concept of Manu.

      I am starting to believe that Avesta did not completely reject the Devas,they seems to have preserved some aspects of Devas like the divinity Verethragna(Skt Vritrahan) another name of Indra.While Indra himself appears as a Daeva in Avesta,it seems that the Verethragna concept was preserved.Also,it seems that Vayu has two aspects in Avesta,one good and another one being evil:

      "O holy Zarathushtra! My name is Vayu, because I go through the two worlds, the one which the Good Spirit has made and the one which the Evil Spirit has made." Ram Yasht 9.43.

      http://www.avesta.org/ka/yt15sbe.htm

      Kindest regards,
      Yajna.

      Delete
    7. Your observations are good, actually even the Daevas in the most ancient Avestan Gathas are not totally evil, they have chosen evil... and it is true that Verethragna and Vayu and Mithra are remnants of the ancient gods in the reformed religion... From that hymn, however, I would not say that Vayu has an evil aspect, only that he goes through the evil world, but he is totally positive and against the Daevas.
      About Yama and Yima, they were not originally regarded as deities, but as the first man. Yes, Manu is absent in Iranian mythology, why you wonder? We can observe that they did not use 'manu' or a derivative (like 'manushya') for indicating the 'man', and so it had no meaning for them to call the first man 'Manu'.
      According to Talageri Yama was introduced for an Iranian influence in the late Rigvedic period. Anyway, it is interesting that in Scandinavian mythology we have the primordial giant Ymir, but the ancient Germans regarded Mannus as the first man: http://www.thefullwiki.org/Ymir

      Delete
    8. My dear friend,yes,Daevas are not demons in early Avesta,they are negative beings or rejected Gods,more specifically those beings who oppose Ahura's path.

      That hymn says Vayu goes through two worlds.By going through one of them,he becomes good and by going through the other one,he become evil.So Vayu has two aspects.

      Yes,Yama/Yima was the first mortal to die.Yama in Vedic mythology is son of Vivasvant,Manu is also son of Vivasvant which makes him brother of Yama.I was wondering why Iranians didn't mentioned about Yima's brother,but Iranian mythology mentions about Vivahvant,Yima's father.

      Also it seems that Avesta also view Yima as a liar and sinner,who went on to the path of falsehood and untruth.See Yasht 19.

      " But when he began to find delight in words of falsehood and untruth, the Glory was seen to flee away from him in the shape of a bird. When his Glory had disappeared, then the great Yima Khshaeta, the good shepherd, trembled and was in sorrow before his foes; he was confounded, and laid him down on the ground."


      I know about Mannus and Ymir,Ymir is in a negative aspect,he was killed by Odin.Odin could be equated to Indra i think,since he too is mighty God of war.But thunderer in Norse mythology is Thor.

      Cheers,
      Yajna.

      Delete
    9. And i think Mithra as a divinity in Iranic tradition is no surprise,since even in Vedic religion,he is an Asura.Although i don't know much about Roman Mithras,many claims have been made that Roman Mithraism influenced Christianity,i don't know how true is that.

      Delete
  36. Dear Nirjhar,

    ''I think the same,original Sanskrit verse says " suparnó garútman"

    Suparna is synonym of Garuda.I also think the present day Vishnu is based on Purusha of the Vedas.

    Best regards.''
    Of course! and about the Hansavati Rik in RV 4.40.5-
    Yes the sukta is of Dadhikravan but the adjectives of rta as shown is a beautiful representation of Brahma!
    And later in Upanishads also we find the mention of Sage Vamadeva regarded as one of the first Rishis whom achieved the wisdom about the supreme one.
    Interestingly if i'm not wrong the words like Rishi,Rtih,Rta have come from the same sanskrit root Ri-,
    I think it is possible that the word 'Arya' also has the same root! and related to words like of English 'Art' and the root is probably coming from PIE *ar-ti-
    http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=art&searchmode=none
    Susamay ebam chintan.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Namaste Nirjhar,

      http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=art&searchmode=none

      That is a whole lot of "art" down there,I do not think all of them have same roots though.


      Kindest Regards,
      Yajna.

      Delete
  37. Dear Yajna, what is your own conclusion on the etymology of the word ''Arya''?.
    Kindest Regards,
    Nirjhar.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Nirjhar,

      Frankly speaking,i have no idea!Scholars have put forwarded many etymologies for "Arya".

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aryan#Possible_derivations_from_Proto-Indo-European.These are just suggestions and speculations.Nothing more.

      Delete
    2. I have heard Arya can be considered farmer?

      Delete
    3. @bmdriver

      In the mainstream,Aryas were horse riding warriors of the steppes,not farmers!

      Delete
  38. it is Allied Swinehoud propaganda that proper J is distorted into y and proper DSH is distorted into j

    ReplyDelete
  39. @Anonymous
    ''t is Allied Swinehoud propaganda that proper J is distorted into y and proper DSH is distorted into j''
    Give me more opened info about what you are pointing.

    ReplyDelete
  40. @Akshay
    ''This was hosted in my state by an ultra orthodox Brahmin community who have preserved the ancient rituals.''
    Thanks for providing the link, i had seen it before but such things are always new.
    ''Speaking of heaven,i'd like to know what do you think about Avestan Yima,the King of Paradise and Vedic Yama,the king of underworld.It seems that both are same deities.Both are sons of Vivasvant/Vivahvant.It seems that Vedic God of Hell became God of Paradise in Avesta.In the Avesta,we find no mention of Manu,another son of Vivasvant,the brother of Yama/Yima.In Avesta,Manu's role is played by Yima as seen in the Vara myth.I wonder why they excluded the concept of Manu.

    I am starting to believe that Avesta did not completely reject the Devas,they seems to have preserved some aspects of Devas like the divinity Verethragna(Skt Vritrahan) another name of Indra.While Indra himself appears as a Daeva in Avesta,it seems that the Verethragna concept was preserved.Also,it seems that Vayu has two aspects in Avesta,one good and another one being evil...''
    These similarities clearly indicates that before Zarathustra refomed the religion of iranian Aryans it was quite similar to the vedic though that religion was not nourished and preserved like the latter and most importantly the root was not that deep!.
    ''I know about Mannus and Ymir,Ymir is in a negative aspect,he was killed by Odin.Odin could be equated to Indra i think,since he too is mighty God of war.But thunderer in Norse mythology is Thor.''
    Those similarities in names including other IE branches also can be the tokens of the common PIE religion and about Odin he is the All Father in Norse religion.
    ''Although i don't know much about Roman Mithras,many claims have been made that Roman Mithraism influenced Christianity,i don't know how true is that.''
    Well Christianity in truth was influenced by
    Mithraism and it gave the concept of 25th of December Christmas!.
    @Giacomo and Akshay
    Can you do me a favour? i am looking to purchase Shatapatha Brahmana but wondering which translation is most accurate and not biased, can you guys name one or two?
    Good day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Nirjhar,Regarding Zoroastrianism,it is clearly a reformed version of an older religion,which is closely associated with Vedic religion or it could be the reformed version of Vedic religion itself!

      Yes,i too have heard about the origins of Christmas connected with Mithras,but i a yet to read a scholarly article about it.

      Regarding ShBrh it is available free online :

      http://archive.org/details/satapathabrahman02egge

      If you know Sanskrit,then read the Sanskrit version here :

      http://titus.uni-frankfurt.de/texte/etcs/ind/aind/ved/yvw/sbm/sbm.htm

      Cheers.




      Delete
    2. I know only the translation made by Eggeling for the series Sacred Books of the East, you can find it also online: http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/sbr/index.htm. It is old, but very accurate, with many notes and indexes.

      Delete
    3. Thank you!! but it is not very healthy and easy to read a big book like SB by just staring at your PC or Mobile is it;-) but i will look for it in an usual old book form in my country and if not found then i will just print it out!.
      Good day.

      Delete
  41. Thankyou for your paper Giacoma, its nice to know that there are sincere people practicing academia. The problem with the AIT is that it was created before there was any evidence and now is stuck due to simple repetition instead of hard data.

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    Replies
    1. You're welcome, but please call me Giacomo :) Your observation is very appropriate, it's a perfect summary of the situation!

      Delete
  42. @Giacomo Benedetti-
    ''You're welcome, but please call me Giacomo :)''
    Hmmmm... interesting it appears that some indians are having a problem to read your name!.
    Don't worry i'm looking for a solution;-)....
    Have a good time.

    ReplyDelete
  43. @bmdriver
    ''I have heard Arya can be considered farmer?''
    Give the link, it can be useful.... but i say the origin of the word 'Arya' is in the root/dhatu ri-/ऋ as in ऋषि.
    BTW I strongly ask you to make a blog where you can both store and show important discussions related to India......
    @Giacomo
    Do not forget ''the thing'';).
    Good day.

    ReplyDelete
  44. Giacomo, Last evening i was searching Monier-Williams dictionary and decided to See the Word Sarasvati when i found this super:) theory-
    ''2.sarasvatI f. (of %{sa4rasvat} q.v. under %{sa4ras}) a region abounding in pools and lakes MBh. i , 7745 ; N. of a river (celebrated in RV. and held to be a goddess whose identity is much disputed ; most authorities hold that the name SñSa4rasvati1 is identical with the Avestan Haraquaiti river in Afghanistan , but that it usually means the Indus in the RV. , and only occasionally the small sacred rivers in Madhya-des3a [see below] ; the river-goddess has seven sisters and is herself sevenfold ,''
    It is the suggestion that ''but that it usually means the Indus in the RV'' made me stunned:0, Though i have heard it before from Irfan Habibs book Pre-History-1 where he suggests that also in Yajurveda The Sindhu is Identified with Sarasvati!, now the question is on which basis it was even brought?I'm actually studying Krishna Yajurveda or better say finishing it but i haven't found a notion though Sukla Yajurveda is still left....
    Suvam....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This identification is an old theory which was probably a way of finding the celebrated river Sarasvati before the article of Oldham which revealed the ancient bed of the Sarasvati/Ghaggar/Hakra. It has no basis, because Sindhu and Sarasvati are clearly mentioned together in Rigvedic hymns as different rivers.

      Delete
    2. Exactly and Precisely...
      Thanks.....

      Delete
  45. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. ==The Arachosian solution for R1a1+Indo-European Dispersal==
      Croats do have a high frequency of R1a and there is no doubt that they have lots of Z280s as well(absent in SC Asia) but in this way-According to the specific group of researchers The origins of Croats-
      ''The theory of Croatian origin traces the origin of the Croats to today's Afghanistan, more precisely in the area of Arachosia. This connection was at first drawn due to the similarity of Croatian (Croatia - Croatian: Hrvatska, Croats - Croatian: Hrvati / Čakavian dialect: Harvati / Kajkavian dialect: Horvati) and Arachosian name, but other researches indicate that there are also linguistic, cultural, agrobiological and genetic ties. Since Croatia became an independent state in 1991, the Iranian theory gained more popularity, and many scientific papers and books have been published''
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arachosia#Theory_of_Croatian_Iranian_origin
      What doe's this indicate?-
      Since Croats belong to Z280'S and there is the fair chance for their origin near SC Asia this DO NOT mean that Z280'S originated there but it gives the Most Scientific suggestion for the R1a dispersal-
      '' It was R1a1a which diffused the IE Languages and the Later mutations such of Z280'S and Z93+ happened when the populations settled in the areas like SC Asia and Eastern Europe!''
      It also suggest more deep presence of the IE Languages in those respected areas which we all know or should know as very logical....
      It is also interesting that Haraxvaity(cognate-Vedic Sarasvati) is present in the influence of Mundigak culture the western Branch of the IVC Culture, another is Vaksh River the tributary of Amu Darya in Central Asia which is also beside of Shortugai the Northern colony of the Harappans but again as we know bears an Indo-Aryan name!....
      Good Day.

      Delete
  46. Great article about the Mediterraneans http://www.academia.edu/4739976/The_Mediterraneans_of_southern_Siberia_and_Kazakhstan_Indo-European_migrations_and_the_origin_of_the_Scythians_A_multivariate_craniometric_analysis_2008_

    ReplyDelete
  47. For some reason the "reply" button does not work and I do not expect Google to solve it before two days being new year and all that, so here's my reply to Vajna.

    "I have an apple,an orange and a banana in my plate.If i eat all of them at once,it would have a wierd taste.I would rather eat them one by one to get the genuine taste".

    Sadly this waste of colorful fruits does not make a fruit salad, which can be a fantastic option talking of foods - usually it tastes better than each of the pieces alone but guess one can think like my late fascist grandfather who decided that if you like coffee with milk and sugar, it can only be because you don't like coffee at all. So let's not talk food anymore because the metaphor sucks.

    Instead let's talk trees: your usual tree has more or less hidden roots, a trunk and a lot of branches, right? That is a good metaphor. Not sure in India but here there's an expression that translates as "going by the branches", meaning that one is avoiding the central issue, intently or accidentally (sometimes your mind drifts away, you know). That's exactly what those not dealing with the IE phenomenon as a whole do: Celts blah, blah, Germanics blah, blah, Vedic traditions blah, blah... blah, blah, blah!

    The only way to address the IE question is by looking at the whole tree, at the very least trunk and branches and whatever roots are visible to us. Otherwise it's like the blind men who touched different parts of an elephant and came to different conclusions, all wrong, about what an elephant is.

    Said that, I consider that our discussion, Vajna, has reached the end of its potential. We can always agree to disagree. Have a nice year.

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    Replies
    1. Dear Maju,fruit salad is artificially made up by ourselves by adding additional ingredients.It destroys the natural taste of the fruits given by mother nature ;)

      As for trees,we jut need to look at its leaves,fruits or flowers to identify it.We don't need to look at the tree as whole.

      Its fine with me,frankly,i hate typing long messages.But if its worth a fruitful discussion its fine with me :)

      Happy 2014 to you as well!

      Delete
    2. Happy 2014 to you both and to all the readers of this blog from all over the world. I think it's fine that you stop here because the debate is no more on Indo-Europeans but on fruit and trees... Anyway, in this I agree rather with Maju: fruit salad is good! One resolution for the New Year: mutual respect. I don't want that this blog becomes another arena of virtual fighters of a scientific Mortal Combat ;)
      I will reply soon to Maju above...

      Delete
    3. Ah, about the reply button, I had also this problem, but it seems it depends on the browser, on Internet Explorer it works...

      Delete
  48. P.S - Its Yajna(sacrifice),which is similar to Iranian Yasna.Not Vajna!

    Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
  49. @Maju
    ''I can only agree to that. Horse-riding barbarians can hardly make a meaningful genetic impact, especially in consolidated agrarian (and even civilized) populations. But they can still become elites. Modernly Brahmins make up just some 3% of Indians for example and much of their non-local ancestry would seem to be Pakistani/IVC rather than steppary.''
    If we start to think the Invasion as a Fact then we must have to admit that there have to be a Genetic signature, If we see the latest researches regarding the language of SSC then the current conclusion is that the Whole SSC/IVC area had a same language so if we take it as Dravidian then the Area which is called Aryavarta should had Dravidian Toponym(Or we can say the earliest Drvidian literature should had the names preserved)because to erase such a vast civilization and its language in a simple sense is only possible through Alien intrusion in gigantic proportion....

    ReplyDelete
  50. @Giacomo
    ''..I think that if we want to search in that area a PIE homeland, we should look at Northern Iran, the area south of the Caspian Sea, which is also important for agriculture because there was probably 'created' the bread wheat, that we find also at Mehrgarh and even at Jhusi. On the other hand, there is also the theory of 'Euphratic', an IE substratum of Sumer...
    Compared to Mehrgarh how old is the Farming tradition of Northern Iran? and did they have Similar Herding+Farming tradition that we find in the First?

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  51. Yes, herding is supposed to come from the Zagros, which is in western Iran. And if bread wheat comes from the Caspian Sea, it is more ancient than Mehrgarh, which is dependent from the west for most cereals, maybe with the exception of barley. The cultivation of cereals in the Near East starts at least two millennia before Neolithic Mehrgarh. What is original in Mehrgarh is the domestication of the zebu.

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    1. I think we should count in Bhirrana as well.

      http://www.academia.edu/3849792/Singh_R.N._Petrie_C.A._French_C.A._Bates_J._Pandey_A.K._Parikh_D._Lancelotti_C._and_Redhouse_D.I._2012_._Survey_and_excavations_at_Dabli-vas_Chugta_Hanumangarh_District_Rajasthan

      Bhirrana is a little bit older than Mehrgrah it seems.

      Delete
  52. @Giacomo
    ''..maybe with the exception of barley''
    Barley is 'Yava' In SKT if i'm not wrong and it is a significant Corn for the different aspects of the Arya tradition even today ! The word Yava is present in Hittite as ewa- n, in Avestan as yava- `crop',Pers ǯav 'Gerste, Kurd', Baluchi ǯaw, ǯō `barley', Yagn yau̯ 'id.', Osset jäw `millet', Old Greek zdei̯á-i̯ f., later zdei̯ā́, zdeǟ́ (zdéǟ), BLR. ëvna, al-Russian. ovin More slavic Baltic: *jav-a- c., *jaû-ja- c., *jaû-jā̂, etc
    So it is a widespread Indo-European word and Mehrgarh was producing it from the earliest settlements though oldest cultivation record is in Near East....
    I don't have the idea that how barley is important in other IE traditions though does anyone have any data?
    ''The cultivation of cereals in the Near East starts at least two millennia before Neolithic Mehrgarh.''
    Yes but that as we know way older than what we call PIE(Not sure for Pre-PIE), but the time frame of PIE do fit the continuity starting from Chalcolithic in South Central Asia....

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    1. It is interesting that barley was also the main cereal in Chalcolithic Turkmenistan (85-90% of the grains found in Anau, Gonur and Djarkutan).
      There is a recent book by Harris on Central Asian farming that says: "It is possible that barley and goats were domesticated locally, but the available archaeological and genetic evidence leads to the conclusion that all or most of the elements of the Neolithic Jeitun Culture spread to the region from farther west by a process of demic or cultural diffusion"
      http://www.bol.com/nl/p/origins-of-agriculture-in-western-central-asia/1001004008230182/

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    2. Dhanyvad! I will read the paper, So the Diffusion of IE Language via Farming+Herding is most likely undeniable...

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    3. ''This project has demonstrated unequivocally that agropastoralists who cultivated barley and wheat, raised goats and sheep, hunted wild animals, made stone tools and pottery, and lived in small mudbrick settlements were present in southern Turkmenistan by 7,000 years ago (c. 6,000 BCE calibrated), where they came into contact with hunter-gatherers of the Keltiminar Culture.''
      Wiki refers to the Keltiminar as-
      ''Scientists hold that Kelteminar culture is related to the Pit–Comb Ware culture and belongs to the Finno-Ugric peoples.[6][7] The Kelteminar culture is cited as an argument against existence of an Indo-European ancestral homeland in Central Asia.''
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kelteminar_culture
      But we know that The Aryan branch don't show any Finno-Ugric element, but Balto-Slavic probably does, Then the people who came to the contacts of the Hunting Gathering foloks of Kelteminar were not related to the Aryans?.....

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  53. @Akshay
    ''Bhirrana is a little bit older than Mehrgrah it seems.''
    How about Lahuradewa?
    Cheers...

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    1. Dear Nirjhar,now i'm having problems with reply button,so i'll reply here....

      I don't have much info on Lahuradewa.However,it seems that it is contemporary to Bhirrana and Mehrgarh.I don't know if Lahuradewa is associated with IVC in any ways....

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    2. About Lahuradewa, you can find here a lot of information: http://archaeology.up.nic.in/doc/efl_rtrk.pdf
      There were some contacts with the Harappan world in the 3rd mill. BC, but it was a different culture, based on rice, the Western barley, wheat and lentils arrived there in the same period, millennia later than in the Indus basin, then if the IE speakers were the Western agriculturists they were not IE speakers, and they could be Aryanized from the 3rd mill. BC onwards.

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    3. Thank you Giacmomo,for the informative link :)

      I guess Lahuradewa was contemporary to ISC then,much like Ahar-Banas culture which shows links with BMAC.It is interesting to note that a 2800 year old skeleton seated in Yogic posture was recovered from Ahar-Banas complex.

      http://varnam.nationalinterest.in/2009/09/a-4000-year-old-lepers-tale/

      This culture also shows veneration of cattles....

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    4. Attention: the skeleton in Yogic posture is dated 700 BC, it is written at the end: "While the leper was dated to 2000 BCE, the skeletons in samadhi were from700 BCE[9]. So while the leper burial was unusual, there is nothing unusual about burying a man in samadhi posture by the Early Historical Period."
      The veneration of cattle is interesting, and it is attested also in the Harappan domain, since the unicorn is bull-like (although it is probably a nilgai) and there are also seals and figurines of bulls. This is in harmony with the Vedic culture, where the gods where styled as bulls (vrshan, vrshabha). I think that Ahar-Banas was the culture of the Yadus, Balathal is perfectly situated in the Yadava area as described in Epic-Puranic sources, while the Harappan civilization was divided mainly between Anus (Indus valley) and Purus (Sarasvati and Doab).

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    5. ''I think that Ahar-Banas was the culture of the Yadus, Balathal is perfectly situated in the Yadava area as described in Epic-Puranic sources, while the Harappan civilization was divided mainly between Anus (Indus valley) and Purus (Sarasvati and Doab).''
      I Agree, so we probably now know the Cradle of the Yadavas!....

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    6. Dear Giacomo,when i said '2800 year old ' i didn't include BCE ;) So give or take it would be at around 800-700 BCE.Anyway,my point is that the skeleton was discovered from an Ahar-Banas site.

      I personally think the so called unicorn is a hybrid of horse and bull,but i may be wrong.Yes,RV mentions many Gods as bulls,some are even glorified with horns.It is interesting because some divinities from ISC is also depicted as having horns....

      And i think RV already mentions all five Aila tribes viz Puru,Anu,Druhyu,Yadu and Turvasa as dwelling on the banks of Sarasvati....

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