and chariots with them. This hypothesis was considered proven by claimingthat the domestication of the horse took place not long before 1500 BC.It was assumed that the horse provided military advantage to the Aryans,which made it possible for them to conquer the indigenous inhabitants of India.
Scholars soon pointed out many problems with this theory.
, the earliestIndian literature has no memory of any such entry from outside, and its focusis squarely the region of the
, with its centre inthe Sarasvat¯ı valleys and covering a great part of north and northwest Indiaranging from Sindhu to Ga˙ng¯a to Saray¯u.
, the traditional Indian kinglists go back into fourth millennium BC and earlier; also, the lists of teachersin the Vedic books cannot be ﬁtted into the Aryan invasion chronology.
,it was contended that the beginnings of the vast Vedic literature needed agreater time horizon easily reaching back at least into the third millenniumBC. Thus, astronomical references in the Vedic literature refer to events asearly as the fourth millennium BC. The Pur¯an.as remember some migrationsout of India; such migrations were invoked to explain the reference to Vedicgods in treaties between kings and to other Indic names in West Asian textsand inscriptions in the second millennium BC; but the supporters of theAryan invasion theory interpreted these West Asian Indic references as tracesof the migratory path of the Aryans into India.
, the Vedic literaturenowhere mentions riding in battle and the horse was rare in Vedic times; theword
for horse was often used ﬁguratively for speed.
, there was noplausible process explaining how incursions by nomads could have obliteratedthe original languages in one of the most densely populated regions of theancient world.
, the Vedic literature portrayed the Aryans as livingin a complex society with an important urban element; there is mention of cities, ocean-going ships, numerous professions, which is contradictory to theimage of barbaric invaders from the north. Defenders of the invasion theory,however, either ignored such references or wrongly attributed these culturalachievements to the non-Aryans.Although the assumptions at the basis of the Aryan invasion theory werearbitrary and there was little supporting evidence, the reason this theory be-came popular was because it fulﬁlled several unstated needs of the historians3