I have added 12 more points to my original article. I will print them here since most will not go back and read the original article again. Some of you may find these additions interesting. As you can see, I have totally immersed myself in this debate over the past few weeks or so.
1. Archeoastronomy. OIT proponents like to push this theory. Supposedly, the positions of stars are mentioned in the Vedas. By analyzing the positions of stars in the Vedas, we can make claims about when the Vedas were written via tracking the movements of stars in ancient days.
However, archeoastronomy is a field in poor standing. All we can learn for sure from archeoastronomy is that the Vedas were written some time in the past 8,000 years. All else is up in the air.
The Indian astrophysicist Rajesh Kochhar has clearly mentioned that the astronomical data in the Vedas is not reliable.
2. The association of Andronovo culture with Indo-Iranians is controversial. So say the OIT proponents. This is not true.
Andronovo is a culture associated with the proto Indo-Iranians that stretched, in its formative location, around northern Kazakhstan and and west into Russia to near Samara, then down to the Caspian Sea, covering most of the northwest quadrant of Kazakhstan.
Later its borders enlarged.
At maximum, its northern boundary was from Samara in the Volga Basin east to Anzhero Sudzhensk northeast of Novosibersk in southern Siberia.
The eastern boundary bordered on the Afansevo Culture in eastern Kazakhstan, southern Siberia and Xinjiang. Andronovo did include part of Xinjiang in the far north where the Altai Mountains come down into China.
The eastern border then encompassed most of eastern Kazakhstran except the area east of Balquash Koli, moving down to the border with Kyrgyzstan in the south, encompassing most of Uzbekistan except the far south and the northern half of Turkmenistan all the way to the southeastern shore of the Caspian Sea. The Aral Sea was the realm of the Andronovo People.
The relation of Andronovo to the Indo-Aryan people in particular, as opposed to Indo-Iranians in general, is more controversial, but has been suggested by some experts.
3. Chariots could not go over the Hindu Kush. Another OIT argument. But as noted above, the Aryans did not move down through the Hindu Kush; instead, they came east from the BMAC through northern Iran to Herat in west Afghanistan east to around Ghazni in east Afghanistan over to the Bannu region in the NWFP of Pakistan. That’s a much easier route than the Hindu Kush.
4. There was no invasion. The invasion scenario has been replaced in the past 40 years to a migration scenario. It seems more likely that instead of defeating the Dravidian people and pushing them to the south, or destroying the Indus Valley Civilization (IVC), instead the Aryans merely profited from the collapse of the IVC that was already underway.
5. There was no genocide of the Dravidian people; all Indians look alike genetically. No one ever said there was a genocide of the Dravidians by the Aryans. Instead, the Aryans moved in, and there was intermingling and intermarriage with the Dravidians, the combined result being the culture of the Vedas.
6. The linguistic evidence. The case for the AMT and the total non-case for the OIT is made by the linguistic evidence. Everything else is secondary. The case was clinched by Hock 1999 (see references).
7. Indians descend overwhelmingly from the Paleolithic population of India. It’s true that 80% of Indian genes go all the way back to the Paleolithic era. But 80% of European genes go all the way back to the Paleolithic too. Same in Britain. Therefore, Europe and Britain has never experienced any migrations of invasions in the past 10,000 years?
The Aryan genetic footprint on Indian genes, if it exists, is doubtless less than 10% of the total. It’s well known by now that the Aryans left language but few genes in India. Identifying genetic history with linguistic history is naive.
Keep in mind that the Aryans were probably installed as a superstrate over the existing Dravidian population. The Aryans were probably no more than 10-15% of the population genetically, and the remaining 85-90% were Dravidians.
8. How could the language of a more primitive people like the Aryans replace the language of the more civilized people, the IVC Dravidians? So ask the OIT theorists. However, let us note that Greek speakers in the Levant, Aramaic speakers in Mesopotamia, Coptic speakers in Egypt and Romans in northern Africa all got their languages replaced by the culturally inferior Bedouins of Arabia. This sort of thing happens all the time.
9. There is no solid proof an Aryan migration to India in archeological terms. This is true as far as it goes, but all it means that is that archeologists typically refuse to characterize migrations in terms of who is migrating where. While there is no archeological proof for an Aryan migration, there is also no proof for Greek, Germanic, Italic, Celtic or Armenian migrations in those branches of IE either.
10. The Rig Veda says that the Sarasvati River flows to the sea. According to OIT folks, since the river dried up 3900 YBP, if the Vedas discuss it flowing the sea, they must have been written before 4000 YBP. However, this statement is only in one sentence of the Vedas, and the word “sea” in question is actually samuda, which Sanskrit experts say can mean lots of things, but in this case means an inland sea or lake as formed by a river emptying into a desert. Which is what the Sarasvati did. The Sarasvati never emptied into the sea at any time.
11. Horses. OIT proponents keep claiming that they have found horse bones or evidence of horses on seals or objects at some early date. None of this has been confirmed, and some cases have involved overt fraud by Indian nationalist “scholars.” The earliest confirmed horse in the region is at Pirak 3800 YBP. Many horse remains have been found after that, but none earlier.
12. The AMT was invented by Max Muller in 1848. Muller was a British spy – agent – whatever who was sent by the British to falsify the history of India so the Indians would lose their national pride. Hence, the AMT is a British conspiracy. Yes, OIT supporters actually say this. The long version is that he was hired by the British East India Company as part of a nefarious plot to denigrate Hinduism.
First of all, the theory was not invented in 1848 nor was it invented by Muller, as it substantially predates 1848, and Muller was not the first to come up with it.
There is no evidence at all that the AMT was hatched as a British conspiracy (other popular theories say that the entire linguistic community was in on this conspiracy), nor has anyone offered any reason how the British could profit by making up the theory of a Bronze Age culture in India. Or why the British, who supposedly hated Indians and thought they were inferior, would invent a theory that said that Indians were in part related to the great British people.
- Hock, Hans H. 1999. Out of India? The Linguistic Evidence. In: J. Bronkhorst & M. Deshpande, Aryan and Non-Aryan in South Asia: Evidence, Interpretation and Ideology, 1-18. Harvard Oriental Series. Opera Minora, Vol. 3. Cambridge, MA.
Kochhar, Rajesh. 2000. The Vedic People: Their History and Geography. New Delhi: Sangam Books. 2000.