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Old August 18th, 2006, 06:12 AM   #1
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Indus Valley


From what I understand, the Indus Valley civilization(s) are still fairly mysterious, we don't know as much about them as, say the Mesopotamian civiliations or th Egyptians. But what we do know, their cities were huge, and had toilets way back in 2500 BC. But they were not the ancestors of the Indo-European language speakers in India now, who came from the north. But in the south of India, there are speakers of an unrelated language family, the Dravidian languages. Does that mean that the Dravidians could possibly be descendants of the old Indus Valley civilization?
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Old June 8th, 2010, 08:15 PM   #2
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Re: Indus Valley


Very good question celtman. I guess not many people can provide a definite answer due to the two unsolved mysteries :

* We don't know where the Dravidian Languages originated.
* We don't know which language/languages the people of Indus Valley Civilization spoke.
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Old June 9th, 2010, 02:11 AM   #3

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Re: Indus Valley


The idea that IVC is not speakers of the Indo-European language tree is a tenuous one.
So is the 'dravidian tree' being seperate from Indo-European, simply because the involvement of Sanskrit as a formal language makes it a 'chicken and egg' scenario: The divergence of Dravidic languages could be post Sanskrit or it could be a substratum(meaning, pre-Sanskrit links).
The Jonesian idea of Dravidian being a seperate language tree is actually based on 19th century racist perspectives which assumes the Southern Indians as a different racial makeup and therefore, a different language tree.
However, modern DNA analysis has conclusively shown that there is minimal divergence between North and Southern Indians and they come from the same ancestral population.

The idea that IVC was not an aryan population stems predominantly from similarities in European and Indic languages (thus making them the same family tree) making a 'common originator' in the steppes of central asia a geographical convinence.
The precedent of central asian migrations/invasions into the subcontinent from post Mauryan times (180 BCE) to pre-British times(1700s) also certainly serves as a vivid example of how it could've been.
The other main driving point of Aryans being foreigners to the subcontinent comes from their most ancient religious text, the Rig Veda, which has been dated to no later than 1500 BCE. The Rig Veda is predominantly a book of hymns and ceremonies but the few mentions of lifestyle it potrays shows a remarkable lack of urbanism and a rural landscape, which lends credence to the idea that there is a disconnect with the IVC.

Another idea that Indo-European languages originate outside the subcontinent is extrapolated from what is known as 'linguistic center of gravity'. This means, the region which has the most diverse group of similar languages is most probably the origination point of the language. For Indo-European languages, the area is Ukraine, where there is most number of Indo-European languages present (atleast, until modern times).However, I must say that linguistic center of gravity completely overlooks the influence politics has on language: Someone like Qin Shih Huang could've codified and unified language or a steppe landscape of nomadic cultures further exgaggerated the linguistic divergence.

Finally, the prevalence of chariots in aryan cultures and the archaeological proof of chariots originating in central asia is seen as further proof of Aryans being foreign to India.

However, there are several points which also lends credibility to Aryans being indegenous to India and being the descendants/ancestors to people of the IVC:

The Rig Veda records the saraswati as the most prominent of all rivers in India and lists rivers from an east to west orientation. it starts with the Ganges and ends with the Kabul river, which is a western tributary of the Indus. The saraswati is placed in between Yamuna and Sutlej but there is no river there currently.
However, geo-satellite imagery has shown a dry riverbed extending to the Rann of Kutch which fits the geographic region of Saraswati described in the Vedas. This dry riverbed also shows the largest concentration of IVC sites along it, thus casting strong indications that this is the mythic saraswati river. This is, IMO, the single biggest evidence of the Indus Valley people being either aryans or ancestors to them( IVC devolved into Painted Greyware culture around 1700 BCE and the Rig veda is written no later than 1500 BCE with no upper limit set on its composition).

The other evidence of Aryans being indegenous to India lies in genetic analysis: There is no differentiation between northern and southern Indian genetics and research shows that the origin of their mtDNA is from a common source roughly 15000-20,000 years ago.
This is another important piece against 'Aryan Invasion theory' because there is no marked genetic shift or influence in the subcontinent from outside from pre-500 BCE. There is some genetic dilution from 500 BCE to 1700 CE period but the three biggest contributing groups are Persians, Turks and Arabs- all of which are attested in both Indian and non-Indian history.

There is also an ancillary evidence of Aryans being related to the IVC: The mitanni kingdom of ancient near-east, situated on what would be northern Syria/Southern Turkey is indisputably Indo-Aryan in its rulership, extrapolated from the names of rulers and cities which bear Indo-Aryan nomenclature. However, they come into existence roughly around 1500 BCE and are a superstrate(meaning, a small group dominating the populace) due to the presence of ugaritic substrate to the language.
The proximity of IVC collapse, dry bed in western India and the arrival of mittani in the near east point to a commonality in link that is hard to ignore.

I am personally of the opinion that Aryans were indegenous to the subcontinent, probably arising in the area of eastern afghanistan-northern pakistan-northwestern India and spreading west to be the iranic tribes and east into the gangetic plains to be the indo-aryans.
This is because while the reasoning for 'aryan invasion theory' can be explained in other terms(such as chariots-egyptians adopted chariots from outsiders, no reason aryans couldn't do the same, lack of urbanism in the rig veda could be due to the rig veda being composed before or after the IVC,etc), the theories that support Indegenous Aryan theory(such as river nomenclature and dry riverbeds and DNA evidence) are much more concrete in my opinion.
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Old June 9th, 2010, 02:31 AM   #4

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Re: Indus Valley


I know they had running water, but I'm pretty certain they did not have flush toilets.

Lord-of_Gauda, that stuff is ridiculous pseudoscience, promoted for political purposes, that has been thoroughly trashed by academics.

http://www.friendsofsouthasia.org/te..._Hindutva.html
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Old June 9th, 2010, 02:34 AM   #5
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Re: Indus Valley


They had toilet tanks, which had to be cleaned out periodically (by the prototypical "sweepers").
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Old June 9th, 2010, 02:44 AM   #6

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Re: Indus Valley


Quote:
Originally Posted by corrocamino View Post
They had toilet tanks, which had to be cleaned out periodically (by the prototypical "sweepers").
"Septic tank" is the term you're looking for here.
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Old June 9th, 2010, 02:46 AM   #7
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Re: Indus Valley


I don't believe there was a drain field.
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Old June 9th, 2010, 02:57 AM   #8

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Re: Indus Valley


Quote:
Originally Posted by corrocamino View Post
I don't believe there was a drain field.
There are lots of septic tank designs that don't use them. Composting tanks, septic tanks used on ships, etc.
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Old June 9th, 2010, 03:47 AM   #9

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Re: Indus Valley


Quote:
Originally Posted by Edgewaters View Post
I know they had running water, but I'm pretty certain they did not have flush toilets.

Lord-of_Gauda, that stuff is ridiculous pseudoscience, promoted for political purposes, that has been thoroughly trashed by academics.

http://www.friendsofsouthasia.org/te..._Hindutva.html
No, i do not think that is psuedo-science at all. The archaeological institute of India corroborrates the claims about the dry riverbed (look up Saraswati river and ghaggar-hakra river system) and it certainly correlates to the densest concentration of IVC sites.

The stuff is obviously, a huge calling card for the Hinduvta movement and does get colored by nationalistic rhetoric but i think the evidence of a dry riverbed and its physical remains being exactly where the saraswati is supposd to be (the Nadistuti hymn describes all the rivers of North-west india in an east to west progression and saraswati is mentioned between yamuna and sutlej) is hardly psuedo-science.

Further, genetic data analysis and the idegenousness of the subcontinental populace, with only minimal dilution from Iranians,Arabs and Turks corroborrates known history of that area.

It does not have mainstream academic backing because of how entrenched the Aryan Invasion theory is (it is afterall almost 200 years old).
I find the lack of challenge of AIT to be surprising, given that it was formulated in the colonial era where racism/racist attitudes were very much the norm and figured fundamentally in any historical endevor. I don't think there is any contesting the idea that AIT originates from a fundamental position of western cultural imperialism of the 1800s.

But the OOI (Out of India) theory does have scholarly backing- it is accepted in many scholarly circles in Indian universities, it also has western backers in the form of Witzel, Kazanas,Elst etc. It also has archaeological backing from people like BB Lal and the archaeological institute of India- which happens to be one of the most reputable archaeological institutes worldwide.

I have already outlined my reasons for thinking the OOI theory to be more valid- simply because the factors in favour of it are far more concrete(archaeology, genetics and historicity) than the AIT theory, which relies on far more circumstantial evidence and acceptance of established thinking(whithout much critical research in the methods employed by Jones et.al. in comming to those conclusions in the 1800s in the first place).
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Old June 9th, 2010, 04:06 AM   #10

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Re: Indus Valley


Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord_of_Gauda View Post
No, i do not think that is psuedo-science at all.
That's hardly unexpected. I didn't hope to convince a True Believer, just letting readers know that this is viewed with massive skepticism as revisionist pseudoscience by more or less the entire academic community (not just those dirty imperialists) outside of India.

The genetic evidence, for instance, actually does confirm a migration:

History of Ancient Indian Conquest
Told in Modern Genes, Experts Say

Like an indelible signature enduring through a hundred generations, genes that entered India when conquering hordes swooped down from the north thousands of years ago are still there, and remain entrenched at the top of the caste system, scientists report. Analyses of the male Y chromosome, plus genes hidden in small cellular bodies called mitochondria, show that today's genetic patterns agree with accounts of ancient Indo-European warriors' conquering the Indian subcontinent.

The invaders apparently shoved the local men aside, took their women and set up the rigid caste system that exists today. Their descendants are still the elite within Hindu society.

Invading Caucasoids

Thus today's genetic patterns, the researchers explained, vividly reflect a historic event, or events, that occurred 3,000 or 4,000 years ago. The gene patterns "are consistent with a historical scenario in which invading Caucasoids -- primarily males -- established the caste system and occupied the highest positions, placing the indigenous population, who were more similar to Asians, in lower caste positions.''

The researchers, from the University of Utah and Andhra Pradesh University in India, used two sets of genes in their analyses.

One set, from the mitochondria, are only passed maternally and can be used to track female inheritance. The other, on the male-determining Y chromosome, can only be passed along paternally and thus track male inheritance.

The data imply, then, "that there was a group of males with European affinities who were largely responsible for this invasion 3,000 or 4,000 years ago,'' said geneticist Lynn Jorde of the University of Utah.


http://www.docstoc.com/docs/24788223...diaAppendix-12
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