In recent years attempts have been made to cast a new look at ancient India. For too long the picture has been distorted by myopic colonial readings of India’s prehistory and early history, and more recently by ill-suited Marxist models. One such distortion was the Aryan invasion theory, now definitively on its way out, although its watered-down avatars are still struggling to survive. It will no doubt take some more time—and much more effort on the archaeological front—for a new perspective of the earliest civilization in the North of the subcontinent to take firm shape, but a beginning has been made.
The British ruled India, as they did other lands, by a divide-and-conquer strategy. They promoted religious, ethnic and cultural divisions among their colonies to keep them under control. Unfortunately some of these policies also entered into the intellectual realm. The same simplistic and divisive ideas that were used for interpreting the culture and history of India. Regrettably many Hindus have come to believe these ideas, even though a deeper examination reveals they may have no real objective or scientific basis.
Most educated Indians know that most Indian languages are divided into two broad linguistic streams - i.e. the Indo-European and the Dravidian. Tied in with this linguistic classification is the theory that the North Indian languages came with Aryan settlers. During colonial rule, it may have seemed comforting to North Indians to know that they enjoyed a historical genetic and cultural connection with the superior races of Europe who had by then come to rule much of the world. Of course, this provided little comfort to the South Indians who were indirectly told that their own cultural history was inferior to that of the North because they lacked the all-important European connection.
Homeland: The Danube River valley (Wallachia and Hungary). Farming learned from the people of Asia Minor. Cultivation of native rye and oats and domestication of native pigs, geese, and cattle begins. Strong tribal sociey develops.
Minden tudományágnak érdeke, hogy időközönként számot vessen eredményeivel. Szembenézzen azzal, hogy akár kialakulásának időpontjától kezdve tudományos elemzéseinek tényanyaga, annak kezelése, a módszerek, az elméletek, amelyeket felhasznál vagy éppen kialakít, a tudósi magatartás, kutatói etika, mely mindennek létrehozója, milyen mértékben vagy értelemben produkált maradandó tudományos értéket, megfelel-e a tudományos kutatástól elvárhatóaknak.
Modern linguists have placed the Proto-Indo-European homeland in the Pontic-Caspian steppe, a distinct geographic and archeological region extending from the Danube estuary to the Ural mountains to the east and North Caucasus to the south. The Neolithic, Eneolithic and early Bronze Age cultures in Pontic-Caspian steppe has been called the Kurgan culture (Marija Gimbutas), due to the lasting practice of burying the deads under mounds (kurgan) among the succession of cultures in that region.
While the Anatolian theory enjoyed brief support when first proposed, the Indo-Europeanist community in general now rejects it, its majority clearly favouring the Kurgan hypothesis postulating a 4th millennium expansion from the Pontic steppe. While the spread of farming undisputedly constituted an important event, most see no case to connect it with Indo-Europeans in particular, seeing that terms for animal husbandry tend to have much better reconstructions than terms related to agriculture. The linguistic community further notes that linguistic evidence suggests a later date for Proto-Indo-European than the Anatolian theory predicts.
In this book, which is aimed at general linguists as well as Uralic specialists, Angela Marcantonio examines the history, phonology, morphology, lexicon and onomastics of the Uralic languages. She uses both conventional and modern statistical methods of analysis.
This work is highly recommended for beginner and advanced students of historical linguistics, as well as for seasoned professionals who would not mind having a new resource to the subject matter, whether for use in teaching or to search for alternative ways to define or explain concepts and terms. This glossary is more accessible and concise than the only other similar resource in English.
This book on the developing arguments concerning the Aryan Invasion Theory consists of adapted versions of papers I have read: the first at the World Association of Vedic Studies (WAVES) conference on the Indus-Saraswati civilization in Atlanta 1996, the third at the 1996 Annual South Asia conference in Madison, Wisconsin and in a lecture at the Linguistics Department in Madison; the fifth contains material used in my paper read at the second WAVES conference in Los Angeles 1998; the second and fourth were read at lectures for the Belgo-Indian Association, Brussels, and at the Etnografisch Museum, Antwerp.
The IE-framework, however, in spite of the copious genetic and other evidence to the contrary, still insists on 'Aryans' entering 'Dravidian' India, merely in order to satisfy its linguistic model. Indology's continued insistence on linguistics being the final determinant in all matters relating to the spread of IE languages and in defining the nature of the connections between various languages deemed IE, could well be obstructing the envisioning of new paradigms: models that might be able to explain the observed similarities between Samskritam, Avestan and European languages, whilst still being consistent with the data revealed in the other sciences.
There is a great deal of confusion over the origins of the Aryan invasion theory and even the word Arya. It explains also the use and misuse of the word. The evidence of science now points to two basic conclusions: first, there was no Aryan invasion, and second, the Rigvedic people were already established in India no later than 4000 BCE. How are we then to account for the continued presence of the Aryan invasion version of history in history books and encyclopedias even today?
The aryan invasion theory has been one of the most controversial historical topics for well over a century. However, it should be pointed out that it remains just that – a theory. To date no hard evidence has proven the aryan invasion theory to be fact. In this essay we will explain the roots of this hypothesis and how, due to recent emergence of new evidence over the last couple of decades, the validity of the aryan invasion theory has been seriously challenged.
The authors present their individual current research examining the use of steppe lands and the impact of their populations upon each other. Using archaeological evidence from previous excavations, the authors address topics that have for decades confronted and confused archaeological interpretations of the Eurasian steppes. Foremost under consideration are assumptions concerning the domestication of the horse, the realities of warrior invasions from the east, and the emergence of a true mobile pastoralism.
I am a linguist, specialising in Uralic studies. My recent book (Marcantonio 2002a) carefully examines the evidence in favour of the theory that the Uralic languages are genetically related. In the extensive literature on this subject, I find that there is no scientific evidence at all in favour of the Uralic theory. Instead there is an extensive interlocking network of self-consistent assumptions and circular reconstructions. I conclude that the Uralic languages do not form a language family.
About the time when the Roman Empire was collapsing, the northwestern and western parts of India were under the control of Scythic empires. Indeed, many of the tribes active in the disturbances following the fall of Rome appear as rulers in western India.