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The Aryans Myth And Archaeology

The Aryans Myth And Archaeology
$43.00
Item Code: IDI786
Author: M. K. Dhavalikar
Publisher: Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers Pvt. Ltd.
Language: English
Edition: 2007
ISBN: 9788121511698
Pages: 338 (B/W Figures: 22, Maps:7)
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details: 9.7" X 6.3
weight of the book: 570 gms

From The Jacket

The Aryan problem is probably the most controversial in human history. Numerous scholars have attempted to trace the homeland of Vedic Aryans but no solution is in sight in spite of the vast mass of literature. However, archaeological evidence of great significance has recently become available which throws a flood of light on the problem as it corroborates to a considerable extent the literary testimony and is even supported by that of the human skeletal biology. It has therefore becomes possible to locate the original homeland of the Aryans, the period of their migrations, the date of the composition of Rgveda, the flowering of the Vedic culture and finally their diaspora is different directions, not only in India but beyond its frontiers. The study thus represents a unique blend of the archaeological, literary and anthropological evidence.

M. K. Dhavalikar was formerly Professor of Archaeology and Director, Deccan College Post-Graduate research Institute, Pune. He has carried out several excavations in different parts of the country and his publications include: Cultural Imperialism: Indus Civilization in Western India (1994), Indian Protohistory (1997), Historical Archaeology of India (1999), Environment and culture: A Historical Perspective (2002), and encyclopaedia of Indian Archaeology, Vol. III (in press), besides excavation reports.

The Aryans: Myth and Archaeology

The Aryan problem is probably the most controversial in human history. Numerous scholars have attempted to trace the homeland of Vedic Aryans but no solution is in sight in spite of the vast mass of literature. However, archaeological evidence of great significance has recently become available which throws a flood of light on the problems as it corroborates to a considerable extent the literary testimony and is even supported by that of the human skeletal biology. It has therefore become possible to locate the original homeland of the Aryans, the period of their migrations, the date of the composition of Rgveda, the flowering of the Vedic culture and finally their diaspora in different directions, not only in India but beyond its frontiers. The study thus represent a unique blend of the archaeological, literary and anthropological evidence.

M. K. Dhavalikar as formerly Professor of Archaeology and Director, Deccan College Post-Graduate Research Institute, Pune. He has carried out several excavations in different parts of the country and his publications include: Cultural Imperialism: Indus Civilization in Western India (1994), Indian Protohistory (1997), Historical Archaeology of India (1999), Environment and Culture: A Historical Perspective (2002), and Encyclopaedia of Indian Archaeology, vol. III (in press), besides excavation reports.

Preface

I began the study of the Aryan problem years back with great trepidation because much of the evidence comes from linguistics in which I have no grounding. My special field of study is protohistoric archaeology and the Aryan problem formed part of it, but there was very poor archaeological data. Moreover, it was felt that the problem should better be kept in cold storage until some clinching evidence comes to light. Fortunately, it has now become available, and hence I decided to enter the fray.

When I began to ransack the enormous literature on the subject, I noticed that one important reason responsible for the problem remaining insoluble and becoming more complex, is that the two warring groups holding diametrically opposite views, viz., the invasionists and the indigenists, have ignored the most vital evidence; the former overlooking the testimony of the Avesta that the Aryans went to Iran from India (Sapta-Sindhu), and the latter forgetting that the Rgveda records the memory of the Aryans of prolonged days and nights. It has therefore become a well nigh difficult task to wade through the vast of mass of literary data and look for the Aryans in the labyrinth. However, recent archaeological discoveries in the subcontinent, in my view, throw a welcome light on the problem. It is precisely this evidence that I have analysed in the present study, and have offered a plausible solution to the problem.

In the preparation of the study, I have received invaluable help from some individuals. Dr. A. P. Jamkhedkar, a specialist in Vedic Sanskrit and Dr. Shubhangana Atre, who has a deep knowledge of prehistoric religion, have given me the benefit of their knowledge.

To them I am grateful. My thanks are due to Sri Sharad Gosavi for the computer typing, and Sri Srikant Pradhan for the illustrations.

 

  List of Figures vii
  Preface ix
  Abbreviations xi
1 Elusive Aryans 1
2 Culture of the Rgveda 37
3 Archaeological Traces of the Aryans 69
4 Ancestors of Vedic Aryans 137
5 Aryan Diaspora 167
  Bibliography 205
  Index 221

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