P. 1
Aryan in Persia

Aryan in Persia

|Views: 129|Likes:
Published by Moda Sattva

More info:

Published by: Moda Sattva on Aug 05, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

11/17/2014

pdf

text

original

Electric Journal of Vedic Studies (EJVS) 7-3 (2001) pp.

(1-93)
Autochthonous Aryans?
The Evidence from Old Indian and Iranian Texts.
Michael Witzel
Harvard University
INTRODUCTION
§1. Terminology
§ 2. Texts
§ 3. Dates
§4. Indo-Aryans in the RV
§5. Irano-Aryans in the Avesta
§6. The Indo-Iranians
§7. An ''Aryan'' Race?
§8. Immigration
§9. Remembrance of immigration
§10. Linguistic and cultural acculturation
THE AUTOCHTHONOUS ARYAN THEORY
§ 11. The ''Aryan Invasion'' and the "Out of India" theories
LANGUAGE
§12. Vedic, Iranian and Indo-European
§13. Absence of Indian influences in Indo-Iranian
§14. Date of Indo-Aryan innovations
§15. Absence of retroflexes in Iranian
§16. Absence of 'Indian' words in Iranian
§17. Indo-European words in Indo-Iranian; Indo-European archaisms vs. Indian innovations
§18. Absence of Indian influence in Mitanni Indo-Aryan
Summary: Linguistics
CHRONOLOGY
§19. Lack of agreement of the autochthonous theory with the historical evidence: dating of kings and teachers
ARCHAEOLOGY
§20. Archaeology and texts
§21. RV and the Indus civilization: horses and chariots
§22. Absence of towns in the RV
(2) Michael WITZEL
§23. Absence of wheat and rice in the RV
§24. RV class society and the Indus civilization
§25. The Sarasvatī and dating of the RV and the Bråhmaas
§26. Harappan fire rituals?
§27. Cultural continuity: pottery and the Indus script
VEDIC TEXTS AND SCIENCE
§28. The ''astronomical code of the RV''
§29. Astronomy: the equinoxes in ŚB
§30. Astronomy: Jyotia Vedåga and the solstices
§31. Geometry: Śulba Sūtras
SUMMARY OF RESULTS
§32. The autochthonous theory
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
THE 'TRADITIONAL' IMMIGRATION THEORY
The
*
''Aryan question'' is concerned with the immigration of a population speaking an archaic Indo-European
language, Vedic Sanskrit, who celebrate their gods and chieftains in the poems of the oldest Indian literature, the
gveda, and who subsequently spread their language, religion, ritual and social organization throughout the
subcontinent. Who were the 'Aryans'? What was their spiritual and material culture and their outlook on life?
Did they ever enter the Indian subcontinent from the outside? Or did this people develop indigenously in the
Greater Panjab? This, the 'Aryan' question, has kept minds -- and politicians -- busy for the past 200 years; it has
been used and misused in many ways. And, its discussion has become a cottage industry in India during recent
years. In this paper, it will be attempted to present the prcs and ccntras for the (non-)occurrence of a movement of
an 'Aryan' population and its consequences. First, a summary of the traditional 'western' theory, then the recent
Indian counter-theories; this is followed by an evaluation of its merits; the paper concludes with some
deliberations on the special kind of 'discourse' that informs and drives the present autochthonous trend.
§1. Terminology
At the outset, it has to be underlined that the term Ārva (whence, Aryan) is the self-designation of the ancient
Iranians and of those Indian groups speaking Vedic Sanskrit and other Old Indo-Aryan (OIA) languages and
dialects. Both peoples called themselves and their language arva or arva: The Persian King Darius (519 BCE )
was the first who wrote in ariva and a Late Vedic text, Kauītaki Ārayaka 8.9, defines the Vedic area as that where
arva vac "Ārya speech"(i.e. Vedic Sanskrit) is heard. The ancient Eastern Iranians, too, called themselves a
i
riia:
their assumed mythical 'homeland',
1
a
i
riianąm vaẽjah, is described in the Avesta (Vīdẽvdåd 1); and the name of
the country, Iran, is derived from this word as well. Speakers of Aryan (i.e. of the IIr. languages) occupied, e.g. in
*
A first, shorter version of this paper was written in 1997 and was to be published that year in a special issue of a science
journal in India; this has mysteriously not materialized and was in fact abandoned in 1999; this paper has been constantly
updated in light of recent indigenist discussions; it has been revised now (Dec. 2000), especially in the linguistic section, as
H. Hock's discussion (1999) of "Out of India" scenarios has relieved me of a detailed treatment of several such theories
(Misra 1992).
1
On this question see now Witzel 2000; see below § 9, end.
Autochthonous Aryans? (3)
the first millennium BCE, the vast area between Rumania and Mongolia, between the Urals and the Vindhya,
and between N. Iraq/Syria and the Eastern fringes of N. India. They comprised the following, culturally quite
diverse groups.
(a) North Iranians: Scythians in the vast steppes of the Ukraine and eastwards of it (surviving
as the modern Ossete in the Caucasus), the Saka of Xinjiang (Khotanese and Tumshuq, mod. Sariqoli)
and western Central Asia, the Saka ticraxauda (the "pointed cap" Saka)and the Saka haumavarca (''the
Soma pressing Saka'');
(b) West Iranians: the ancient Medes (Mada of Rai and Azerbaijan), the mod. Kurds, Baluchis,
and Persians (ancient Parsa of Fårs) as well as the Tajik;
(c) E. Iranians in Afghanistan, Baluchistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan: speakers of Avestan,
Bactrian, mod. Pashto, the mod. Pamir languages, Sogdian (mod. Yaghnobi), and Choresmian;
(d) The recently islamized Kafiri/Nuristani group in N.E. Afghanistan with the still non-
Islamic Kalash in the Chitral valley of Pakistan; to this day they have preserved many old traits, such as
the c. 2000 BCE pronunciation of '10' (duc) and the old IIr. deity YamaRaja(Imrā);
(e) The speakers of Indo-Aryan: from Afghanistan eastwards into the Panjab, and then into the
north Indian plains. By the time of the Buddha, the IA languages had spread all over the northern half
of the subcontinent and had displaced almost completely the previously spoken languages of the area.
Linguists have used the term Ārva from early on in the 19th cent. to designate the speakers of most Northern
Indian as well as of all Iranian languages and to indicate the reconstructed language underlying both Old
Iranian and Vedic Sanskrit. Nowadays this well-reconstructed language is usually called Indo-Iranian (IIr.),
while its Indic branch is called (Old) Indo-Aryan (IA). An independent third branch is represented by the Kafiri
or Nuristani of N.E. Afghanistan. All these languages belong to the IIr. branch of the Eastern (or Satem) group
of the Indo-Euroepan (IE) languages which differs from the phonetically more conservative western IE by a
number of inncvaticns. The IE languages (which, confusingly, sometimes were also called ''Aryan'') included, in
ancient times, the vast group of tongues from Old Icelandic to Tocharian (in Xinjiang, China), from Old
Prussian (Baltic) to Old Greek and Hittite, and from Old Irish and Latin to Vedic Sanskrit.
However, the use of the word Ārya or Aryan to designate the speakers of all Indo-European (IE) lan-
guages or as the designation of a particular "race" is an aberration of many writers of the late 19th and early 20th
centuries and should be avoided. At least from Neolithic times onwards, language had little to do with "race";
language alsc cuts across ethnic groups and cultures,
2
and had little to do with ancient states or with nationhood,
as the use of Aramaic in the Persian empire, Latin in Medieval Europe and Persian in much of the Near East and
in medieval India may indicate.
It is clear that in the India of the oldest Vedic text, the gveda (RV), arva was a cultural term (Kuiper
1955, 1991, R. Thapar 1968, Southworth 1979, 1995) indicating the speakers of Vedic Sanskrit and the bearers of
Vedic culture and Vedic ritual; itsimply meant 'noble' by the time of the Buddha and of the early Sanskrit drama.
It is also clear that the poets (rsi, brahman, vipra, kavi) of the gveda and their aristocratic patrons regarded
themselves and their followers as arva/arva. (Thieme 1938).
In the sequel, I will carefully distinguish between the following usages: first, the arva/ariva/a
i
riia
languages, which I will call by their technical name, Indc-Iranian (IIr).
3
When referring to their Indian sub-
branch, I will use Indc-Arvan (IA, or Old IA). However, the tribes speaking Vedic Sanskrit and adhering to Vedic
culture, I will call Indc-Arvan or Ārva.(In common parlance in India, however, Arvan is used both to refer to IA
language as well as to the pecple speaking it and belonging to the sphere of Vedic culture, or even to an Aryan
'"race'").
2
See, however, such early and clear statements against an "Aryan race" as those by M. Müller 1888, H. Hirt 1907: 6-7, Franz
Boas 1910 [1966].
3
Confusingly, linguists sometimes use "Aryan" as a shortcut designation of IIr. because both Iranians and Indo-Aryans call
themselves and their language arva/arva (see below).
(4) Michael WITZEL
§ 2. Texts
Since most of our evidence on the ancient 'Aryans' comes from the texts and from the linguistic and
cultural data contained in them, it is necessary to give an outline what kind of texts we have for the early period.
For India, we have the Vedas, a large collection of texts, orally composed and orally transmitted well into
this millennium. Tradition has taken care to ensure, with various techniques, that the wording and even tone
accents, long lost from popular speech, have been preserved perfectly, almost like a tape recording. This includes
several special ways of recitation, the Padapåha (word-for-word recitation) and several complicated extensions
and modifications (vikrti).
4
They contain mainly religious texts: hymns addressed to the gods (RV), other mantras in verse or prose
(YV, SV, AV Sahitås) which are used in the solemn Vedic (śrauta) ritual and the ''theological'' explanations
(Bråhmaas and Ka YV Sahitås), composed in the expository prose of the ritual, and the Mantras used
therein. The Upaniads contain (along with some late RV and AV hymns) early speculation and philosophy,
and the ritual is summed up in systematic form in the Sūtras dealing with the solemn ritual (Śrauta-S.), the
domestic ritual (Ghya-S.) and proper Ārva behavior (Dharma-Sūtras). The traditional division of the Four
Vedas into four Śruti levels of Sahitå, Bråhmaa, Ārayaka and Upaniad and the ensuing Smti level (with the
Sūtras), is somewhat misleading as far as the development of the texts are concerned. For, the Vedic texts show a
clear linguistic development, just as any other living language; we can distinguish at least five clearly separate
levels of Vedic (Witzel 1989):
1. gvedic (with many hymns of RV 10 as a late addition);
2. 'Mantra language' (AV, SV as far as differing from RV, YV Mantras, RV Khila);
3. Prose of the Ka Yajurveda Sahitås (MS, KS/KpS, TS);
4. Bråhmaa language, where the late (and mainly S.-E.) level includes the Ārayakas and the early
Upaniads but also the early Sūtras such as BŚS;
5. Sūtra language which gradually gives way to Epic/Classical Sanskrit.
This distinction is important as it represents, apart from a relative chronology based on quotations, the only
inner-textual way to establish a dating of these texts.
The Iranians have a set-up of texts quite similar to that of the Vedas (though this is little observed).
However, only about a quarter of the original Avesta has been preserved after Iran became an Islamic country in
the 7th c. CE. The 5 long Gåθå (with 17 individual Gåθås = Yasna 28-53) are the RV-like poems of Zaraθuštra
himself; the contemporaneous ritual text embedded among the Gåθås, the Yasna Haptahå
i
ti, is a YV-like
collection of Mantras used for fire worship.
The rest of the Avestan texts is post-Zoroastrian: some sections of Y 19.9-14, Y 20-21 are like a Bråhmaa
passage; the Yašt pick up themes of RV style praise of certain gods (Miθra, Våiiu, etc.), while the Nirangistån is of
Śrautasūtra style, the late Vīdẽvdåd reads like a Ghya/Dharmasūtra, and the Nighau list of the Nirukta has its
echo in the Farhang-ī-ōim. Importantly, the whole Avesta has come down to us (just like the one surviving
version of the RV) in Padapåha fashion, with most of the sandhis dissolved. The list of genres and of the ordering
of texts indicates how close both traditions really are, even after the reforms of Zaraθuštra.
However, in spite of being geographically closer to the Mesopotamian cultures with datable historical infor-
mation, the Avestan texts are as elusive to absolute dating as the Vedic ones. Mesopotamia (or early China)
simply do not figure in these texts.
§ 3. Dates
An approximation to an absolute dating of Vedic texts, however, can be reached by the following
considerations:
5
4
Staal 1983: I 683-6, with special reference to techniques of memorization; Staal 1986, 1989.
5
Max Müller had come to a similar chronology, but --long before the prehistory and archaeological past of S.Asia was
known at all-- one based on internal evidence and some speculation, a fact he often underlined even late in his career. This is
Autochthonous Aryans? (5)
(1.) The gveda whose geographical horizon is limited to the Panjab and its surroundings does not yet
know of iron but only of the hard metal copper/bronze (W. Rau 1974, 1983; avas= Avest. aiiah 'copper/bronze').
Since iron is only found later on in Vedic texts (it is called, just as in Drav. ¯cir-umpu), the ''black metal'' (śvama,
krsna avas) and as makes its appearance in S. Asia only by c. 1200 or 1000 BCE,
6
the RV must be earlier than
that.
7
The RV also does not know of large cities such as that of the Indus civilization but only of ruins (armaka,
Falk 1981) and of small forts (pur, Rau 1976). Therefore, it must be later than the disintegration of the Indus
cities in the Panjab, at c. 1900 BCE A good, possible date ad quem would be that of the Mitanni documents of N.
Iraq/Syria of c. 1400 BCE that mention the gvedic gods and some other Old IA words (however, in a form
slightly preceding that of the RV).
8

(2.) The Mantra language texts (AV etc.) whose geographical horizon stretches from Bactria (Balhika) to
Aga (NW Bengal) mention iron for the first time and therefore should be contemporaneous or slightly rather
later than 1200/1000 BCE.
(3.) The YV Sahitå prose texts have a narrow horizon focusing on Haryana, U.P. and the Chambal
area; they and (4a.) the early Br. texts seem to overlap in geographical spread and cultural inventory with the
archaeologically attested Painted Gray Ware culture, an elite pottery ware of the nobility, and may therefore be
dated after c. 1200 BCE (until c. 800 BCE).
(4b.) The end of the Vedic period is marked by the spread of the Vedic culture of the confederate Kuru-
Pañcåla state of Haryana/U.P. (but generally, nctof its people) eastwards into Bihar (ŚB, late AB, etc.) and by a
sudden widening of the geographical horizon to an area from Gandhåra to Andhra (Witzel 1989). This is, again,
matched by the sudden emergence of the NBP luxury ware (700-300 BCE, Kennedy 1995: 229) and the
emergence of the first eastern kingdoms such as Kosala (but not yet of Magadha, that still is off limits to
Brahmins). The early Upaniads precede the date of the Buddha, now considered to be around 400 BCE (Bechert
1982, 1991 sqq.), of Mahåvīra, and of the re-emergence of cities around 450 BCE (Erdosy 1988). In short, the
period of the four Vedas seems to fall roughly between c. 1500 BCE
9
and c. 500 BCE. (For other and quite
divergent dates and considerations, see below § 11 sqq).
Old Iranian texts
Dating the Avestan texts is equally difficult. Internal evidence (Skjaervø 1995) of the older Avestan texts
(Gåθås/Yasna Haptahåiti) points to a copper/bronze (aiiah) culture quite similar to that of the RV. The younger
nowadays misrepresented by the autochthonists, especially Rajaram (1995), who accuses Müller to have invented this
chronology to fit in with Bishop Usher's biblical calculations!
6
This date obviously depends on Archaeology. While dates for iron had been creeping up over the last few decades, there is
a recent re-evaluation of the Iron Age, see Possehl 1999b, and Agrawal & Kharakwal (in press). Apparently, the introduction
of iron in India differs as per region but is close to 1000 BCE. Occasional finds of meteoric iron and its use of course predate
that of regularly produced, smelted iron.
7
For indigenous dates which place the RV thousands of years earlier, see below §11 sqq. Similarly, Talageri (2000, cf. below
n. 84, 87, 140, 173, 175, 216) who purports to have based his historical analysis of the RV only on the text itself, betrays a
Puråic mentality and inadvertently introduces such traditional data (see below, and Witzel 2001). His analysis is based on
an inappropriate RV text, the late version compiled and redacted by Śåkalya in the later Bråhmaa period. This includes
various additions and changes made by centuries of orthoepic diaskeuasis. Such a procedure must lead to wrong results,
according to the old computer adage: carbace in, carbace cut. In order to reach an understanding of the actual gvedic
period, one has to take as one's basis a secure text without additions, as established by Oldenberg already in 1888. Talageri's
500 pp. book is dealt with in detail elsewhere (Witzel 2001); it suffices to point out this basic flaw here. (Interestingly, he
quotes and approves, five years later, my 1995 approach but proceeds to turn it on its head, using the dubious methods
detailed above, and below n. 40 etc.)
8
See below §18, on vašana |važana], -az- > e. The reasons for the older forms in Mitanni IA seems to be that the Mitanni,
who had been in contact with speakers of pre-OIA before the RV, have preserved these archaic forms.
9
Maximally, but unlikely, 1900 BCE, the time of the disintegration of the Indus civilization. The exact date of IA influx and
incursion is still unsettled but must be pre-iron age (1200, or even 1000/900 BCE, see Possehl and Gullapalli 1999).
(6) Michael WITZEL
texts might to some extent overlap with the expansion eastwards of the Median realm (c. 700-550 BCE), while
parts of the Vīdẽvdåd were probably composed only in the post-Alexandrian, Arsacide kingdom. An indication of
the date of younger Avestan dialects is the name of Bactria, is Y.Av. Båxδī, which corresponds to AV balhika; this
would indicate a Y.Av. dialect at the time of the AV, c. 1200/1000 BCE (Witzel 1980). Zaraθuštra who spoke Old
Avestan should be dated well before this time. Current estimates range from the 14th to the 7th c. BCE. An early
date is confirmed by linguistic arguments: The name of Ahuramazdå appears, in O.Av. as mazdaahura(or ahura
mazda), but in Y.Av. as ahura mazda, and in Old Persian (519 BCE) already as one word, A
|h]
uramazda, with a
new grammatical inflexion. The long history of the word points to an early date of Zaraθuštra and his Gåθås.
10
§4. Indo-Aryans in the RV
A short characterization of the early Indo-Aryans based on the text of the RV can be attempted as follows.
The Indo-Aryans (arva) spoke a variety IIr., Vedic Sanskrit, and produced a large volume of orally composed and
orally transmitted literature.
They form a patri-linear society with an incipient class (varna) structure (nobles, priest/poets, the
'people'), organized in exogamic clans (cctra), tribes and occasional tribal unions (Anu-Druhyu, Yadu-Turvaśa,
Pūru-Bharata, the Ten Kings' coalition of RV 7.18, the Bharata-Sñjaya, etc.) The tribes are lead by chieftains
(rajan), and occasional Great Chieftains, elected from the high nobility, and often from the same family. The
tribes constantly fight with each other and with the with the non-IA dasvu, mostly about ''free space'' (lcka,
grazing land), cattle, and water rights: the Ārya are primarily half-nomadic cattle-herders (horses, cows, sheep,
goats), with a little agriculture on the side (of barley, vava). In sport and in warfare they use horse-drawn
chariots (ratha) on even ground and the vipatha (AV+) for rough off-track travel.
Their religion has a complicated pantheon: some gods of nature (the wind god Vavu, the male fire deity
Acni, and the female deities of water Āpah, father heaven/mother earth Dvauh Pita/Prthivī |Mata], the goddess of
dawn, Usas etc.). These deities, however, are not simple forces of nature but have a complex character and their
own mythology. They are part of a larger system which includes the moral gods of 'law and order': the Āditva
such as Varuna, Mitra, Arvaman, Bhaca, and sometimes even Indra, the prototypical IA warrior; they keep the
cosmic and human realms functioning and in order. All deities, however, are subservient to the abstract, but
active positive 'force of truth' (Rta, similar to though not identical with the later Hindu concept of Dharma),
which pervades the universe and all actions of the gods and humans. The gods are depicted as engaging in
constant and yearly contest with their --originally also divine-- adversaries, the Asura, a contest which the gods
always win, until next time.
11
Zaraθuštra used this particular old IIr. concept to establish his dualistic religion
of a fight between the forces of good and evil.
All gods, in the Veda especially Indra and Agni, are worshipped in elaborate rituals (e.g. the complicated
New Year Scma sacrifice). The rituals follow the course of the year and are celebrated with the help of many
priests; they are of a more public nature than the simple domestic (crhva) rituals or rites of passage. In these
rituals, the gods are invited, in pūja-like fashion, to the offering ground, are seated on grass next to the sacred fires,
fed with meat or grain cakes and with the sacred drink of Scma (and also, the alcoholic Sura), are entertained by
well-trained, bard-like poets (brahman, rsi, vipra). These compose hymns (sūkta), after long concentration (dhī)
but often also on the spot, meant to invite the gods and to praise the nobility (danastuti), that is the patrons of the
ritual. In the few philosophical hymns of the RV the poets speculate about the origin of the universe, the gods,
and the humans, the forces that keep the world moving (rta,vajña,śraddha, or poetic speech, vac).
The rites of passage are less visible in the RV (except for marriage and death); it is clear, however, that a
period of training in traditional knowledge (veda 'knowledge'), interspersed with periods of roaming the
10
For details, and for the transfer of Zoroastrianism into the Persis, see K. Hoffmann 1992.
11
Elst 1999: 207, along with many other Indian writers, curiously takes the Asuras as real life enemies of the Vedic Aryans;
he then turns this conflict into one between the Iranian and Vedic peoples, with their different kinds of worship, and makes
the "Kashmir-based Ānava (= Iranian) people fight "against the Paurava/Vedic heartland in Sapta Saindhavah";
consequently, he claims, the Iranians also changed the meaning of deva 'god' to daeuua 'demon'... (All these are outdated
views that were prominent around the turn of the 19th/20th century).
Autochthonous Aryans? (7)
countryside in search of a start capital of cattle (cavisti) as vrata/vratva (Falk 1986), is followed by the full
admission to adult society and marriage. However, there is no varnaśrama system yet.
§5. Irano-Aryans in the Avesta
Like the gvedic society, with its three Ārya classes (RV 10.90), the Avestan texts, especially the later
Y.Av., know of three classes, the priests, noblemen, and the ''farmers'', for by then agriculture has become more
important. However, just like the RV, the Y.Av. also knows of an artisan class (corresponding to the gvedic
Śūdra). The O.Av. texts, however, still indicate a half-nomadic cattle-based tribal culture with small tribal units
(airiiaman) occupying a larger territory (daxiiu). The younger texts, have a clear view of all of Eastern Iran:
Choresmia, Sogdia, Bactria, Margiana, Arachosia, the Helmand valley, Xnənta (Gorgån), Raγa (Rai), Varna
(Bannu, NWFP), ''The Seven Rivers'' (Greater Panjab, see Witzel 2000). Even in the fairly late list of V. 1, the west
(Persis and maybe even Media) are conspicuously absent. Many of these tribal areas/incipient states reappear as
Persian provinces (dah
a
vu), but Parsa is not called so as it not a ''foreign (dasvu) territory''.
Some definite historical information exists about the W. Iranians (Persians, Medes) as they were close
neighbors of the Mesopotamian civilizations. They are first mentioned in Assyrian inscriptions at 835 BCE as the
27 Paršuwaš tribes and the Medes (c. 744/727 BCE). Thus, the W. Iranian appear early in the first millennium,
while the E. Iranians can be dated only with reference to the Veda and to the early Iranian empires.
The Zoroastrian reform of the Old IIr. religion had erroneously been regarded, around the turn of the
19th/20th c., as caused by a split between the two peoples. This is still echoed nowadays in some writings but the
situation is much more complex. Early IIr. religion focused on the contrast between the devaand the asura: IIr
*daiua, Av. daẽuua, OP. daiva :: IIr. *asura, Av. ahura, OP. a
|h]
ura-(mazda). In the RV both groups are regarded as
are 'gods' --probably due to their equal status in the New Year contests -- and only in the post-gvedic texts, the
Asura have definitely become demon-like. Of the major Asura (or, Āditya) Varua, sometimes called Asura and
medhira/medha in the RV
12
appears in the Avesta as Ahura mazda (cf.Ahura and Miθra, Y. 17.10), Mitra as
Miθra, Aryaman as A
i
riiaman, Bhaga as Baγa, Vivasvant (Mårtåda) as Vīvahuuant, and Mårtåda's brother
Indra as the demon Indara.
While Zaraθuštra kept Ahura Mazdå as (sole and supreme) deity, the Ahura, all other IIr. deva (Av.
daẽuua) are relegated to the ranks of demons, e.g. Indara, Gandarəβa (Gandharva), Nhaiθiia (Nåsatya =
Aśvin). A few devas and asuras were retained, apparently after Zaraθuštra, as divine helpers of the Lord: Miθra,
A
i
riiaman, Ātar (standing in for Agni), Haoma (Soma) etc. The old state of contest between the deva and asura
was amalgamated with the another old opposition, that of between Rta (Av. Asa) and Druh (Av. Druj), Active
Truth and Deceit. The Ahura(s) are the champions of Truth, the Daẽuuas those of Deceit. The righteous must
choose between Aa and Druj, between Ahuramazdå and the Daẽuuas, and will be rewarded in Ahura Mazdå's
heaven. -- Many of the old IIr. rituals are, however, continued in Zoroastrianism as well: there is a daily fire
ritual (text in Yasna Haptahåiti), a Soma (hacma) ritual, even animal sacrifice.
§6. The Indo-Iranians
The preceding sketch indicates the very close relationship between the two peoples calling themselves
Arya. Not only are their languages so closely related that their oldest attested forms might often be taken as
dialects of the same language, but their society, their rituals, their religion and their traditional poetry resemble
each other so closely that it has always been regarded as certain that the Vedic Indo-Aryans, the Iranians and the
Kafiri (Nuristani) are but offshoots of one group speaking IIr., a few hundred years before the RV and the Old
Avestan texts.
The IIr. language, as a branch of Eastern IE, shares many peculiarities with other E. IE. languages such
as Balto-Slavic: in sounds (*k'>š/ś. Latin equus 'horse', O.Irish ech, Toch. vuk, vakwe :: Lithuanian ašvà(fem.),
12
RV 1.25.20; cf. also RV 7.87.4, 7.66.8 .
(8) Michael WITZEL
IIr¯ac'ua > E.Ir. aspa, Vedic aśva), but also in vocabulary (Sanskrit dina 'day', O. Slav. din
i
:: Lat. dies, cf. Schrader
1890: 312), and perhaps even in mythology: Ved. Bhaga ''God 'Share' '', Iran. (Med.) baca 'god', Sogd. baγa 'Lord,
Sir', O. Slav. bcc
u
'god' (though probably from N. Iranian *baca), Skt. Parjanva, Lith. Perkunas, O. Slav. Perun
u
(Schrader 1890: 414). Iranian and Vedic are so close that frequently whole sentences can be reconstructed: IIr.
¯tam ¯mitram ¯vaj'amadhai > Ved. tam mitram vajamahe, Avest. təm miθrəm vazama
i
de. (For more on Central
and North Asian connections, see below § 12.1, 12.2., 12.6).
An IIr. parent language and large parts of the IIr. spiritual and material culture can be reconstructed by
carefullv using the method of linguistic palaeontology.
13
A very brief summary of IIr. would then include:
These tribes spoke the IIr. language, had a common archaic poetry (e.g. tristubh-like poems), with many
common expressions such as 'nondecaying fame'. They had the same type of priests and rituals (Ved. hctr.Avest.
zactar, scma . hacma), the same set of gods and a similar mythology: Yama (Yima) and Manu descend from
Vivasvant (Vīvahuuant). Some of these deities are IIr. innovations (the Asura / Āditya), others go back to IE
times (acni,Latin icnis; hutam,Greekkhutcn 'sacrificial libation' :: Engl. ccd).
IIr. society had a patriarchal, exogamic system of three classes, with tribal chieftains, and a priest/poet
class. They were semi-nomadic cattle (paśu.fšu) herders, constantly in search for water and open pastures (uru
cavvūti . vc
u
ru.caciiaciti), and with just a little agriculture (vava : vauuan). At the New Year rituals they engaged
in chariot races (ratha/raθa 'chariot', rathestha . raθaešta- 'charioteer'), and other sports (mustihan), and speech
contests (Kuiper 1960).
Their society was governed by set of strict moral principles, including adherence to truth (satva.haiθiia),
oaths (touching or drinking water, kcśam pa) and other oral agreements between individuals (arva-man . a
i
riia-
man, especially for marriage and guest friendship) and between tribes (mitra . miθra) which regulated water
rights and pasture.
In sum, all the linguistic and textual data mentioned so far link the Indo-Aryans of the gvedic Panjab
with languages spoken in areas to the northwest of the Indian subcontinent, even if local South Asian elements
already figure prominently in the RV.
§7. An "Aryan" Race?
This close resemblance in language, customs and beliefs does not, of course, imply or involve, nor does it
solve the question of who exactly the people(s) were that called themselves Arya/Ārya, whom they included, or
even how they looked. The question of physical appearance or 'race'
14
is of the least importance in describing the
early Ārya, but since race has always been injected into the discussion,
15
a few words are in order.
The combination of a specific language with any 'racial' type is not maintained by linguists. At this late,
post-Meso-/Neolithic stage in human development, language no longer has any verv clcse relation to 'race'. Even
13
Generally, against its use, Zimmer (1990) and cf. Cowgill (1986: 66-68); but note its usefulness (§12.6), in the discussion
of plants and animals.
14
For many decades now, a discredited term which is too vague to describe the great degree of variation among humans
and not a valid indicator of anthropological and genetic distinctions between various human populations; see Cavalli-Sforza
1995.
15
Some writers are still confused by the racist terminology of the 'blond, blue-eyed Aryan'. As Cavalli-Sforza (1994) has
shown, such physical characteristics are local adaptations to a northern climate (e.g., prominent in the non-IE speaking
Finns). Elst (1999: 230) strangely concludes from such data that the home of IE "lay further to the southeast," [in N. India]
and that the Panjab "was already an area of first colonialization, bringing people of a new and whiter physical type [=
Panjabis] into the expanding Aryan [= IE!] speech community which was originally darker". Patañjali, Mahåbhåya [2.2.6:
411:16 sqq.] with a reference to pincala- and kapila-keśa 'golden/tawny haired' Brahmins is discussed as well. -- For those
who still stress outward appearance ('race') it may be instructive to look at the photos of a well known actor (turned from
'white' > 'black') or a female of mixed "African-American and Native American" ancestry, who after a little make up,
convincingly appears as 'Caucasian', Black, East Asian, etc. (Stringer and McKie 1996: 172-3).
Autochthonous Aryans? (9)
the early Indo-Europeans were a quite mixed lot, as has been stressed for decades.
16
Recently developed methods
of genetic testing (mtDNA, non-recombinant Y chromosome) have and will shed further light on this (Cavalli-
Sforza 1994, 1955, Kivisild 1999, Semino 2000, Underhill 2000, Bamshad 2001, etc.). It must be pointed out that
genetic evidence, though still in its infancy, is often superior to (even multi-variate) palaeontological evidence as
it more specific than distinguishing types reflected in osteology, based on the simple phenotype adaptation to
living conditions. Genetic evidence frequently allows to pinpoint (sub-)branches in the cladistic tree at a
particular point in time and space.
In the present context, however, it is nct important to find out what the outward appearance (''race'')of
the those speaking Indo-Aryan languages was, but how they lived, worshipped, thought, and especially what kind
of poetical texts they composed. The rest is interpretation, but it is already the interpretation of the gvedic Purua
hymn (RV 10.90) with its four classes, varna (''colors''), which seem to be related to the traditional colors of the
three IE classes, white-red-blue/green. (Puhvel 1987, cf. now also Hock 1999: 155). The term is attested since RV
2.12.4, etc. The RV often makes a distinction between light : darkness, good : evil, between Ārya : Dasyu. In many
cases this is just a cultural distinction, defining the boundaries between 'Us' and the 'Others' (Witzel 1995).
17
However, many scholars of the past two centuries automatically assumed that the immigrating Indo-Aryans
(coming from somewhere to the North of India/Iran) were light-skinned people. All such terms are relative, yet,
the Kashmirian author Kemendra (11th c.) speaks of a Bengali student in Kashmir as a 'black skeleton,
monkeying about' and the cult of lighter skin still is undeniable, as a look at Indian marriage advertisements will
indicate.
Such 'racial' characterizations tell us little about the look of contemporary people, and as indicated above,
this is not important for our investigations.
18
The speakers of (pre-)Old Indo-Aryan (pre-Vedic) micht have
been quite a diverse group from the very beginning, and even if many of the original immigrant bands micht
ratherhave looked more like Kashmiris or Afghanis and not at all like their various European linguistic
relatives or the 'typical' North Indian
19
of today. Again, outward appearance, whatever it might have been, is of
ncccnsequence for our studies.
So far archaeology and palaeontlogy, based on multi-variate analysis of skeletal features, have not found
a new wave of immigration into the subcontinent after 4500 BCE (a separation between the Neolithic and
Chalcolithic populations of Mehrgarh), and up to 800 BCE: ''Aryan bones'' have not been discovered (Kennedy
1995: 49-54, 2000), not even of the Gandhåra Grave culture which is usually believed to have been IA.
20
There are
16
Curiously, Elst 1999: 174 sq., elaborates on this well known fact by stressing that the European Pre-Kurgan population has
come from the East, and considers it "one of the reasonable hypotheses" that they came from India. Reasonable? India has
always functioned --apart from being a stepping stone the very early migration of Homo Sapiens from Africa to (S.)E. Asia
and Australia in c. 50,000-40,000 BCE-- as a culdesac.
17
Elst 1999: 209 discusses the designation of the 'Others' in the RV as 'black' by simply pointing to the richness of
metaphors in Sanskrit. See rather Witzel 1995 and Hock 1999; Elst's discussion of varna (1999: 210) lacks the old IE aspect of
attributing color to the three classes (Puhvel 1987); he rather combines them with the much later Indian concept of the
colors of sattva, rajas, and tamas!
18
The point is merely mentioned here in passing as some writers still use such characterizations frequently and as they
attach importance to such sentences as the preceding one from Kashmir which simply express regional racism. Others,
usually 'autochthonously' minded writers have frequently attacked, preferably on the internet, my earlier statements (1995)
which were made precisely in the same spirit as the ones here. At any rate, what kind of outward appearance would one
expect from northwestern immigrants? That of Bengalis or Tamils, or rather that of Afghanis?
19
The term a-nas, which occurs just once in the gveda, was originally translated as 'mouthless' by Grassmann etc. (see
below, n. 230), but has later on been understood by MacDonell-Keith etc. as 'noseless, snub-nosed'; see now Hock (1999)
and cf. the speculations and elaborations of Elst (1999: 208).
20
He summarizes the results presented by Hemphill, Lukacs and Kennedy, Biological adaptations and affinities of the
Bronze Age Harappans, in: Harappa Excavations 1986-1990, edited by R. Meadow; see now Kennedy 2000. -- Apparently, the
distinction is between early 2nd millennium skeleta and samples from populations dated to after 800 BCE (late Bronze age
and early Iron age of Sarai Khola). Given the difference in time, this may not mean much. Note also that the calibration of
radiocarbon dates in the Eighties was inconsistent, and that around 800 BCE the amount of C
14
in the atmosphere started
(10) Michael WITZEL
of course minor differences between the various areas of the northwestern subcontinent (such as Sarai Khola :
Harappa, or even Harappa: Mohenjo Daro). Anyhow, the genetic and therefore, skeletal contribution of the
various IA bands and tribes mav have been relatively negligible (cf. n. 21,23). However, a single excavation can
change the picture. Even the large invadinc force of the Huns was not attested in European archaeology until
some graves were found in Hungary some two decades ago.
21
The cemeteries (if any at all in gvedic times) of
the small, semi-sedentary pastoral IA groups were composed, according to the texts, of 3-6 yard high grave
mounds; they are not likely to be found easily in the alluvium of the constantly shifting rivers of the Panjab.
22
Once genetic testing will have provided us with more samples of the (few not cremated) skeletal remains
from contemporary burials and of modern populations we may be in a better position to judge the phsyical
character of previous and modern populations. This will become apparent even more, once not just mtDNA
(inherited by females) but also the male Y chromosome (some of it likely that of immigrating tribesmen) will
have been studied.
23
Only then we will be able to tell which particular strains, corresponding to which
neighboring areas,
24
were present in the Northwest of the subcontinent at that time.
25
In the end, to be absolutely clear, what ccunts is the Indo-Aryan culture, their social system, their texts,
their rituals, and the frame of mind they brought into the subcontinent. These items are treated at some length
dropping. Ordinary radiocarbon dates for the period 800 - 400 BC, have highly unpredictable uncalibrated values. A new
investigation is in order. -- Similarly about the continuity of Indian populations, Kenoyer (as quoted by Elst 1999: 236; --
Elst, however, then lapses into an altogether inappropriate political discussion of what Kenoyer might have thought, or not,
about present Indian politics and the BJP! It is a mystery why such political items constantly get introduced into discussions
of archaeological and literary facts).
21
This point, already mentioned in Witzel 1995, is deliberately(?) misunderstood by indigenists and Out of India
proponents (usually, on the internet). It does not matter that the Huns' intrusion was an actual invasicn (and not a trickling
in) by a group of horse riding nomads: they left as little genetic imprint in the European subcontinent as the immigrating IA
bands and tribes did in the Indian subcontinent. In so far, both types of incursions can be compared well, in spite of the loud
protests of the autochthonists who like to brand such statements as 'invasionist'; however, see below n. 23.
22
RV 10.16.14, etc. speaks of burial, cremation, exposing bodies on trees and of 'throwing' dead bodies away.
23
While preliminary mtDNA data taken from present dav populations do not show much variation -- mtDNA is restricted
to the (frequently more sedentary) female lineage only -- there are indications already that the study of the male-only Y
chromosome will revolutionize our thinking. In any immigration scenario, the Y chromosome obviously is of more interest.
The matter has been discussed at length at the Third Rcund Table cn Ethnccenesis cf Scuth and Central Asia at Harvard
University, May 12-14, 2000, see: http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~sanskrit/RoundTableSchedule.html. Just as in Bamshad et al.
(2001), there are clear indications of several incursions, after c. 50,000 BCE, of bearers of different types of Y chromosome
polymorphisms from Western Asia, terminating in South Asia or proceeding further eastwards. Several of them do not
correspond to, and go beyond, the seven Principal Components of Cavalli-Sforza et al. (1994: 135-8). The impact of
immigrants, however, can have been relatively minimal. See for example Cavalli-Sforza about the immigrant Magyars
(Hungarians). They now lcck just like their neighbors, as these late, 9th cent. CE, horse riding invaders left only a minimal
trace in the larger Danubian gene pool (quoted by Elst 1999: 224, from an interview of Cavalli-Sforza in Ie Ncuvel
Observateur of 1/23/1992); see now Semino 2000: 1158 for lack of "Uralic genes" in Hungary. Nevertheless, the Magyars, just
like Indo-Aryan speakers, imposed or transmitted, under certain social conditions, their language to the local population,
and the Magyars also retained their own religion until they turned to the local religion, Christianity, around 1000 CE.
24
It is a fallacy to compare various Brahmin groups of India in order to establish a common older type. Brahmins, just like
other groups, have intermarried with local people, otherwise how would some Newar Brahmins have 'Mongoloid'
characteristics, or how would Brahmins of various parts of India have more in common with local populations than with
their 'brethren', e.g. in the northwest? Studies based on just one area and a few markers only, such as E. Andhra (Bamshad
2001) do not help much (cf. also Elst 1999: 214, 217). Early acculturation processes (especially when following the model of
Ehret, 1988) may have resulted in the inclusion of many local elements into the Bråhmaa class, cf. Kuiper 1955, 1991, 2000,
Witzel 1989, 1995, 1997, 1999a,b.
25
Note the difficulty of obtaining ccntempcrarv DNA materials due to the (telling!) transition to cremation in the early
post-Indus period (Cemetery H at Harappa and in Cholistan).
Autochthonous Aryans? (11)
below; in addition, we have to take into account the facts from archaeology, human palaeontology, genetics,
history of technology, and incidental features from astronomy to zoology.
26
§8. Immigration
Immigration, however, has often been denied in India especially during the past two decades, and more
recently also by some western archaeologists. How likely is an immigration scenario on the basis of comparable
cases from Indian and non-Indian history? Leaving aside the prehistoric migrations starting with the move of
Homo Sapiens 'Out of Africa' some 50,000 years ago, we actually dc kncw that one group after the other has
entered the Indian subcontinent, as immigrants or as invaders, in historical times. They include tribal groups
such as the Saka, the Yue Ji (Tukhara), Kushana, Abhīra, Gurjara as well as large armies, such as those of
Darius' Persians, of Alexander's and the Bactrian Greeks in the first mill. BCE, of both the Chinese via Tibet,
Ladakh and Nepal, and the Arabs into Sindh in the 7-8th c. CE; further the Ahom Tai in Assam, and the Huns,
Turks, Moghuls, Iranians, and Afghans via the northwestern passes in the first and second mill. CE. In addition,
small-scale semi-annual transhumance movements between the Indus plains and the Afghan and Baluchi
highlands continue to this day (Witzel 1995: 322, 2000). Why, then, should all immigration, or even mere
transhumance trickling in, be excluded in the sincle case of the Indo-Aryans, especially when the linguistic
evidence, below §10 sqq., so clearly speaks for it? Just one "Afghan" Indo-Aryan tribe that did not return to the
highlands but stayed in their Panjab winter quarters in spring was needed to set off a wave of acculturation in the
plains, by transmitting its 'status kit' (Ehret) to its neighbors.
27
The vehement denial of any such possibility (see
below §11 sqq) is simply unreasonable, given the frequency of movements, large and small, into South Asia via
the northwestern corridors.
The important, clinching factor (§ 10) to decide the question is the following: the Indo-Aryans, as
described in the RV, represent something definitely new in the subcontinent. Both their spiritual and much of
their material culture are new; these and their language link them to the areas west and northwest of the
subcontinent, and to some extent beyond, to the Ural area and to S. Russia/Ukraine. The obvious conclusion
should be that these new elements scmehcw came from the outside.
It is indeed historically attested that the Paršumaš (Persians) moved from northwestern to southwestern
Iran, but this is limited to a relatively small area only. More important are the 'Mitanni' Indo-Aryans in N. Iraq
and Syria (c. 1460-1330 BCE), who clearly show IA, nct Iranian influences (aika 'one' instead of Iranian aiva),
and the Kassites who, as a first wave, preceded them in Mesopotamia. They dislodged the local Akkadian kings for
several centuries, c. 1677-1152 BCE, and they have preserved names such as Šuriiaš (Ved. Sūrva) or Abirat(t)aš
26
Cf. Witzel 1995. Many of such data have been summed up and cogently discussed by Kochhar 1999; however, not all of
his results (e.g. the restriction of the RV habitat to S. Afghanistan) can be sustained.
27
Actually, even this is, strictly speaking, not necessary. The constant interaction of "Afghan" highlanders and Indus plain
agriculturists could have set off the process. A further opening was created when, after the collapse of the Indus Civilization,
many of its people moved eastwards, thus leaving much of the Indus plains free for IA style cattle breeding. A few
agricultural communities (especially along the rivers) nevertheless continued, something that the substrate agricultural
vocabulary of the RV clearly indicates (Kuiper 1991, Witzel 1999a,b). In an acculturation scenario the actual (small) number
of people (often used a 'clinching' argument by autochthonists) that set off the wave of adaptations does not matter: it is
enough that the 'status kit' (Ehret) of the innovative group (the pastoralist Indo-Aryans) was copied by some neighboring
populations, and then spread further. -- Hock (forthc.) seems to have misunderstood me (1995: 322) when I mention
transhumance movements. He thinks that this weakens my case. On the contrary, such constant, repetitive movements
strencthen the case for close contact with the plains and eventual acculturation, a fact well known from nomad studies
elsewhere. (Note also the take-over model: nomads, such as Arabs, Turks that were in close contact with sedentary
populations and who eventually usurped power in their host societies).
(12) Michael WITZEL
(Abhiratha).
28
All these groups that are in various ways culturally related to the IIr.s are intrusive in their
respective areas of settlement. The same may be assumed as far as the Greater Panjab is concerned.
For, the massive cultural changes in the subcontinent could not have spcntanecuslv developed locally in
the Panjab, even assuming an amalgamation (why, by whom, how?) of various components that had been there
befcre. Instead, it easier to assume that a new element actually brought in new items such as the domesticated
horse and the horse-drawn chariot (§21), and IE/IA style poetry, religion and ritual. Also, it is not very likely
and, indeed, not visible that leaders of the Indus civilization or rather their 'Panjabi' village level successors
planned and executed such a universal shift of the cultural paradigm themselves. A massive, if gradual
introduction of (some, if not all) IA traits seems the only viable conclusion (see below, on Ehret's model).
The denial of immigration into the area of an already existing culture has recently been proposed by
some archaeologists as well; they posit a purely local, indigenous development of cultures, e.g. by the British
archaeologist Lord Renfrew (1987)
29
and by some Americans such as Shaffer (1984, 1999) who think that new
languages were introduced by way of trade and by taking over of new models of society.
If there was immigration, who then were the indigenous inhabitants of the subcontinent? They can in
fact still be traced in the substrates of the RV and of modern languages: an unknown Indo-Gangetic language has
supplied the c. 40% of the agricultural terminology in Hindi (typical already for the RV, Kuiper 1955, 1991). A
clear hint is provided by Nahalī, a small IA language spoken on the Tapti River, NW of Ellichpur in Madhya
Pradesh. At successively "lower" levels of Nahali vocabulary, 36% are of Kurku (Munda) and 9% of Dravidian
origin, while the oldest level, some 24%, do not have any cognates (Kuiper 1962: 50, 1966: 96-192, but see now
Mcther Tcncue II-III, 1996-7) and belong to the oldest language traceable in India (Witzel 1999a,b). Clearly,
Munda, Dravidian and IA are consecutive(?) overlays on pre-existing languages. Again, such a scenario is met
with in many other areas of the world.
§9. Remembrance of immigration
It has frequently been denied
30
that the RV contains any memory or information about the former
homeland(s) of the Indo-Aryans. It is, indeed, typical for immigrant peoples to forget about their original
homeland after a number of generations (e.g., the European Gypsies claim to have come, not from India, but
from Egypt and Biblical Ur in S. Iraq), and to retain only the vaguest notion about a foreign origin. Or, they
construct prestigious lines of descent (Virgil in his Aeneid makes the Romans descendants of the heroes of
Troy).
31
However, in the RV there are quite a few vague reminiscences of former habitats, that is, of the Bactria-
Margiana area, situated to the north of Iran and Afghanistan, and even from further afield.
Such a connection can be detected in the retention by the Iranians of IIr./IA river names (Witzel 1987,
1999, Hintze 1998) and in the many references in the RV to mountains and mountain passes.
32
The mythical
28
Others are more problematic. Elst (1999: 183) has the IA gods Inda-Bugash, but this collocation is not listed in Balkan
(1954). We find the Maruts, perhaps Bhaga (as bucaš!).-- Himalava (Rajaram & Frawley 1997: 123) is a phantom, as it refers
to the Kassite female deity Šumaliva, see Balkan (1954). Incidentally, note that [Kikkuli's] manual on horse training in not at
all "written in virtually pure Sanskrit" (Rajaram and Frawley 1997: 123). From what tertiary sources did they derive these
innovative insights? -- Curiously, Elst (1999: 184) lets the Kassites immigrate, without any evidence (but probably following
Rajaram & Frawley 1997: 124), "from Sindh to S. Mesopotamia" as a "conquering aristocracy" in a "planned invasion," after
the "desiccation of the Sarasvati area in 2000 BCE." Actually, the Kassite language is neither Indo-Aryan, nor Sumerian,
Elamite, Akkadian or Hurrite. It is belongs to altogether unknown language group; for details see Balkan 1954.
29
For other areas of Eurasia; -- in the case of South Asia, however, he thinks of elite dominance achieved through Indo-
Aryan immigration.
30
See Hock, forthc. (lecture at the July 2000 meeting of the World Association of Vedic Studies at Hoboken, NJ, kindly
made available to me by the author).
31
The Gypsies claim to be from Egypt or from Ur, that is biblical S. Iraq, the Afghanis from Palestine (see below).
32
Necessarilv, in the (north-)west. Who, in all seriousness, would claim IA immigration via the difficult western
Himalayan/Pamir trails or, worse, from South of the Vindhyas? (The Vindhyas, incidentally, are not even mentioned in
Autochthonous Aryans? (13)
IIr. river *Raså corresponds in name to the Vedic Rasa (RV, JB), the E.Ir. (Avest.) Ranha, and the N.Ir. *Raha that is
preserved in Greek as Rha and designates the R. Volga.
33
Further, there are the (Grk.) Sindci people on the R.
Kuban, north of the Caucasus, and there is the (Grk.) Sindẽs, the R. Murghab/Tedzhen on the borders of Iran,
Afghanistan and Turkmenistan (Tacitus, Annales X.10). It divides the (Lat.) Dahae (Ved. Dasa/Dasa) from the
(Lat.) Arii (Humbach 1991), -- a statement that almost looks as if it was taken from the RV. Both Sindci and
Sindẽs preserve, with their s-, a pre-Iranian form of the name (details in Witzel 1999)
34
that reminds of Vedic
Sindhu and Iran. Hindu, the border river of Iran and India and of the habitable world in general (Witzel 1984).
Another N. Iranian tribe, the (Lat.) Dahae, (Grk.) Daai, occurs in Vedic asDasacrDasa. Related forms
are Skt. dasa "slave", the Avest. tribe of the Dànha (next to the Airiia), (N.)Iran. (a demon, Aži) Daha-ka, cf. Ved.
dasaAhīśu(Witzel 1995, Hock 1999), and the Uralic loan word (Vogul. Mansi) tas 'stranger', as well as IE > PGrk.
*dcselc- > Mycenean Grk. dcerc, Grk. dculcs "slave"; note further: Ved. das-vu 'enemy, foreigner', OIr. *dah-vu,
O.P. dah
a
vu'province', Avest. dainhu- "foreign country, enemy".
35
Apparently, foreign or conquered territory
was regarded as that of the enemy and caught enemies became slaves. Conversely, one of the many loan words
from IA in Finno-Ugrian is the Finnish word for slaves, captured in raids into Southern territory, Orja,
"Aryans",
36
confirming that the North Iranians, just like the Scythian Alan (the mod. Ossetes) called themselves
'Arya' as well.
Vedic literature). Immigration or large scale movement by armies via the often difficult high passes of the Himalayas has
been extremely rare, and is attested apparently only in the case of some Saka at the beginning of our era, of the Turkish
adventurer Haidar into Kashmir in the early 15th cent., of a Chinese army into U.P. in the early 7th c. CE, called in to help
Harsha's successor, see n. 37. -- Individual Vedic passages, including those used in my 1995 paper -- in general, this is merely
a first brief outline of method and a first summary of a longer study to follow,-- certainly can be discussed or challenged,
which is always welcome. For one such case, see below n. 46. -- Hock (forthc.) has now challenged my interpretation
(actually merely anaside,inparentheses , Witzel 1995: 324) of another passage, RV 2.11.18, where I took savvatah "on the left"
as meaning 'north'. This statement was based on a previous detailed study of the designations for the directions of the sky
(Witzel 1972) that was ignored by Hock (who, ironically, then proceeds to tell readers virtually the same IE facts as given in
more detail in Witzel 1972). In that early paper, I pointed out cases where 'right' = south, and where 'left' (savva, even
uttara!) mean 'north' in IE languages. In that sense, my apparently enigmatic statement: "Vedic poets faced the east - their
presumed goal -- in contemplating the world." Hock seems to have misunderstood the passage: the "presumed goal" of
course refers to the immigration theory, "contemplation" to the Vedic (and IE) world view. -- While this passage bv nc
means is a proof for an eastward immigration of the Indo-Aryans and certainly was not presented as one, it fits in the general
scheme of movement, for which I presented an initial account and cumulative evidence in my 1995 paper. And that is why it
was quoted. In short, a lot ado about nothing. Of course, this singular sentence (as discussed by Hock in his forthc. paper, at
a conference) has again be used to advantage by some fervent adversaries of the immigration theory, as always on the
internet, to "prove" that the immigration (their "invasion") thecrvassuch is wrong.
33
We cannct rely at all on a connection between rip- and the Rhipaen (Ural) mountains, as mentioned by Bongard-Levin
(quoted in Witzel 1995). Since my casual reference to his paper has been repeatedly discussed (and misinterpreted) on the
internet (and by Talageri 2000: 96, 467, in 'psychological' fashion!), I underline, acain, that the similarity between Greek
Rhip- and Ved. rip- is accidental, and that RV rip- 'deceit' has nothing to do with the Ural Mountains.
34
The Sindhu = O.P. Ha
n
du, Avest. Həndu, if with P. Thieme, from sidh 'to divide', does indeeddivide not only the Vedic
and Iranian territories, but it also is the boundary (cf. Avest. zraiiah vcurukasa) between the settled world and the Beyond;
however, in several Indian languages (incl. Burushaski sinda, Werchikwar dial. sende < Shina : sin?) it simply seems to
indicate 'river', perhaps a secondary development. A. Hintze (1998) has shown early take-over of IA geographical terms into
Iranian; note also that the mythical central mountain, us.həndauua 'emerging from the river/ocean [Vcurukasa]' (see Witzel
2000, 1984) presupposes an IIr word *sindhu 'boundary of the inhabited world, big stream, ocean'.
35
Elst (1999: 206), neglecting or misrepresenting the linguistic arguments, takes the Dåsa/Daha as "the Vedic people's
white-skinned Iranians cousins" (sic! ) while most of the Dasyu, Dåsa of the RV clearly are Indian tribes of the Greater
Panjab. Rather, he takes, against the Greek, Iranian and Indian evidence quoted above, the specialized North Iranian
(Khotanese) meaning 'man' as the cricinal meaning of the word.
36
Parpola 1988; cf. also Harmatta, in Dani 1992: 357-378, Rédei 1986, 1988.
(14) Michael WITZEL
Another N. Iranian tribe were the (Grk.) Parnci, Ir. *Parna. They have for long been connected with
another traditional enemy of the Aryans, the Pani(RV+). Their Vara-like forts with their sturdy cow stables have
been compared with the impressive forts of the Bactria-Margiana (BMAC) and the eastern Ural Sintashta
cultures (Parpola 1988, Witzel 2000), while similar ones are still found today in the Hindukush. The RV regards
the cattle-rich Pani, with their walled forts (pur, Rau 1976, Elizarenkova 1995), as the traditional, albeit
intentionally semi-mythical enemies. A gvedic myth locates the primordial cows in a cave (Vala, cf. Avest.
Vara) on an island (JB) in the Rasa, where they were guarded by the demoniac Panis. Against the background
sketched above, this myth looks like a semi-historical 'update' (but still, a myth) involving the great/mythical
border river, past foes of the BMAC area, and contemporaneous, very real enemies of the Greater Panjab.
Further traces of an Iranian connection can be seen in the hydronomical evidence discussed above and
in the many references in the RV to mountains and mountain passes.
37
Also, the retention and adaptation by the
Iranians of earlier pre-gvedic river names points to an earlier IA settlement in Afghanistan (Sarasvatī ·
Harax
v
aitī / Arachcsia, Saravu · Harōiiu-/Harẽ = Herat R., Gcmatī · Gomal R., Sindhu · Hindu/Həndu, etc.,
Witzel 1999, cf. Hintze 1998). One of the semi-demonic enemies in the (Afghani) mountains is Śambara, son of
Kulitara, with his many fortresses (pur, cf. above on Hindukush forts).
Such names (studied at least since Brunnhofer 1910, Hillebrandt 1913; now Parpola 1988, Witzel 1999)
retain pre-Old Iranian forms and they clearly lead back into Central Asia and Greater Iran. They also retain
some vague reminiscences of former enemies (*Parna, Dåsa, Śambara) and of place names (Raså, Sindẽs,
Sarasvatī,
38
Sarayu, Gomatī, Sindhu), all aligned along the expected route of immigration intc the
subcontinent,
39
from the northern steppes (such as those of the Volga/Urals) via Margiana/Bactria to
Herat/Arachosia and E. Afghanistan (Gomal R.)
40
Then, there are the many instances in the RV which speak
about actual transhumance movement of tribes through mountain passes and into the land of the 'seven rivers'
(Witzel 1995) that were more open to extensive pastoralism after the decline of the Indus civilization.
41
Individuals such as the great i Vasiha and his clan (RV 7.33.1-3), and whole tribes such as the Bharata and
37
The little used Himalayan route of immigration is to be excluded (only some Saka and medieval Turks are known to have
used it). The RV does not contain strong reminiscences of Xinjiang or W. Tibet, with the only possible exclusion of the Raså
RV 10.75, cf. however Staal 1990 (and a forthc. paper). -- For the Afghani highland areas, see now Witzel 2000, with
references to some non-IA reminiscences in Avestan texts.
38
Elst (199: 167) brings up the indigenist contention of a 'sea-going' Sarasvatī -- for this see below §26 and n. 202, 206.
Note, however: while the Iranian Haraaitī does not flow to the 'sea' but into a lake or rather, series of lakes (the Hamun) --
Elst and others autochthonists generally neglect the meaning of the word samudra in the Veda (see Klaus 1986)-- both
rivers end in inland desert deltas of terminal lakes (Hamun) viz. the Sarasvatī inland delta near Ft. Derawar; see §25.
39
Elst (1999: 166) excoriates me for not supplying data of reminiscences that are in fact well known (Parpola 1988, etc.) and
that are actually mentioned in Witzel 1995: 321, 103, 109 sq. -- In addition, he reverses such data to make them fit an
unlikely emigration of the Indo-Europeans from India (see below). In the same context, Elst (1999: 168 sq.) misrepresents, in
a discussion of Staal's theories of the directions in the Agnicayana, the meaning of Indo-Iranian directions of the sky.
Avestan paurva (correctly, pacuruua) does not mean 'south' (Elst) but 'east', see Witzel 1972.
40
Elst (1999: 171) excoriates me for not noticing that Iranian connections in the RV are restricted to the 'late' 8th Maala
and that are, in his view, nct found in the oldest parts of the RV. This is a fallacy: see above on the rivers Raså, Sarasvatī,
Sarayu, Gomatī, Sindhu and persons such as the (half-mythical) mountain chieftain Śambara who are prominent in the cld
books 4-6. In this context, Elst brings up and relies on the conclusions of Talageri (2000) whose "survey of the relative
chronology of all Rg-Vedic kings and poets has been based exclusively on the internal textual evidence, and yields a
completely consistent chronology" and whose "main finding is that the geographical gradient of Vedic Aryan culture in its
Rg-vedic stage is from east to west..." This view is based on a fallacy as well: Talageri, in spite of claiming to use only RV-
internal evidence, uses the post-gvedic Anukramaīs as the basis of his theory and even surrepetitiously injects Puråic
notions (see § 7, n.178, Witzel 2001).
41
See Witzel 1995. Individual passages can and should certainly be discussed. However, Hock (forthc.) goes to far in
denying anv value to allusions and descriptions referring to immigration as found in the RV: against the background of
strong linguistic and (so far, sporadic) archaeological evidence, they serve as suppcrtinc materials and additional evidence; cf.
n. 26 sq., above.
Autochthonous Aryans? (15)
Ikvåku (JB 3.237-8 : Caland §204), are described as crossing the Sindhu. (Incidentally, nowhere in the Vedas do
we hear of a westwardmovement, as some 'Out of India' proponents would have it nowadays).
42
The early YV Sahitås (KS 26.2, MS 4.7.9), however, continue to report such movements intc the
subcontinent. They state that the Kurus move eastwards or scuthwards victoriously, and TB 1.8.4.1 adds in-
formation about raiding expeditions of the Kuru-Pañcålas intc the east (no longer practiced by the time of ŚB
5.5.2.3-5). The YV Sahitås clearly belong to the post-copper/bronze age period, as they know of the use of iron. In
other words, we hear about eastward/southward raids and movements of Vedic tribes towards Bihar and the
Vindhya at about/after c. 1000 BCE; the same middle Vedic texts actually speak of the necessity to constantly
watch one's back (Rau 1957).
Finally, in the same vein, there also is a so far neglected passage from a late Vedic text in Bråhmaa style,
BŚS 18.44: 397.9 sqq. It plays on the etymologies of av/i 'to go' and amavas 'to stay at home', and actually seems to
speak, once we apply Bråhmaa style logic and (etymological) argumentation style,
43
of a migration from the
Afghani borderland of Gandhåra and Parśu (mod. Pashto) to Haryana/Uttar Pradesh and Bihar: pran Āvuh
pravavraja. tasvaite Kuru-Pañcalah Kaśi-Videha itv. etad Āvavam. pratvan Amavasus. tasvaite Gandharavas
-
Parśavc
44
'ratta itv. etad Āmavasvavam. "Āyu went (av/i) eastwards. His (people) are the (well-known) Kuru-
Pañcåla and the Kåśi-Videha. That is the Āyava (group). Amåvasu (stayed at home,
45
ama vas) in the West. His
(people) are the (well-known) Gåndhåri, Parśu and Aråa. That is the Āmåvasyava (group)."
46
42
They rely on one mistranslated statement in the Puråas (see Witzel 2001, and below n. 86), composed and collected
several thousand years after the fact. On the unreliability of the Puråic accounts see §19, and Söhnen 1986.
43
Witzel 1979, 1986, Wezler 1996.
44
The Sandhi in candharavasparśavc is problematic. The MSS are corrupt and differ very much from each other. However,
Parśu must be intended; it is attested since RV 8.6.46, a book that has western (Iranian) leanings (Witzel 1999), cf. OP Parsa
'Persian' < *parsva < *parc'ua. The Aratta (with various spellings, Āratta, Aratta), are a western people as well, like the
Gandhåra and other 'outsiders' (Bahīka, ŚB 1.7.8.3, Mbh 8.2030). One may compare the old Mesopotamian name Aratta,
indicating a distant eastern country from where Lapis Lazuli is brought (Witzel 1980); it seems to refer to Arachosia, which
is just north of the Chagai Hills that produce Lapis (just as the more famous Badakhshan, north of the Hindukush); see now
Possehl 1996b and P. Steinkeller 1998. -- Elst 1999: 184 wants to understand this ancient Sumerian term as a Pråkt word,
from a-rastra, again inventing an early Pråkt before 2000 BCE, which simply is linguistically impossible (see n.167, on
Mitanni satta) and which also does not fit the non-IIr. linguistic picture of 3rd millennium Greater Iran (see § 17).
45
Alternatively, echoing the first sentence: "Amåvasu (went) westwards." See discussion in the next note.
46
This passage, quoted in an earlier publications (1989, excerpted and --unfortunately-- simply computer-copied in 1995),
was not correctly translated as printed in 1989/1995. It has elicited lively, if not emotive and abusive internet discussions,
even alleging "fabrication of evidence" (see also Elst 1999: 164, who misattributes to me "the desire to counter the increasing
skepticism regarding the Aryan invasion theory" as reason for writing my paper), -- all of this in spite of repeated on-line
clarifications over the years and general apologies (Witzel 1997: 262 n.21). -- Retrospectively, I should have printed the full
explanation in that footnote, but I was sure then that I could do so in the earlier version of this very paper, slated for print
in 1997).
What had occurred was that I had unfortunately misplaced a parenthesis in the original publication of 1989 devoted not to
the Aryan migration but to OIA dialects (and simply copied in my 1995 paper, a short summary of RV history), -- i.e. I
printed: "(His other people) stayed at home in the West" instead of: (His other people stayed) at home in the West" or
better "Amåvasu (stayed at home) in the West." In this way I had unfortunately intermingled translation and interpretation
in these two summary style papers, without any further discussion, -- which set me up for such on-line criticisms as that of
recent adversaries who deduce (e.g., amusingly, in the Indian right wing journal, The Orcaniser) that I do not even know the
rudiments of Påinean grammar. (Of course, I teach, in first year Sanskrit, the past tense of ama - vas as amavasan, not
amavasuh, a 'mistake' some critics rhetorically accuse me of, in spite of hundreds of correct translations of such past tenses!)
Or worse, they accuse me of "fabricating evidence" for the invasion theory.
However, the passage plays, in the usual Bråhmaa style, with these names and their Nirukta-like interpretations and
etymologies. They are based (apart from Āvu : avus 'full life span'), on the names of the two sons of Purūravas, Amåvasyu :
amavas 'to dwell at home', as opposed to Āyu : av/i 'to go', contrasting the 'stay home' peoples in the west (Āmavasvavah.
(16) Michael WITZEL
The last account is quite different in tone and content from the well known tale of Videgha Måthava (ŚB
1.4.10-18), which is nct a 'history of the settlement of Bihar' but a myth about the importation of Kuru crthcpraxv
and Brahmanism
47
into N. Bihar. (Witzel 1989, 1995, 1997). Such tales of authorization, empowerment and
justification of rule, spiritual authority and social set-up (the Videgha or the Śunaśepa legends)
48
have to be
carefully separated from the rather unintenticnal mentioning of little understood, dim memories of earlier
homelands, notions which are fading already in the RV itself. However, these tales are perpetuated for several
hundred years as far as movements further into the subcontinent are concerned.
All these data cannot be just accidental or due to the imagination of gvedic and Bråhmaa authors who
looked for a prestigious origin of their lineage, tribe or culture: why should they look outwards to the 'barbaric'
countries of Central Asia/Iran/Afghanistan?
49
The center of the world was, even according to the later parts of
the RV (3.53), on the Sarasvatī in Haryana. This attitude continued to be the norm in the Bråhmaa period, and it
is vaguely remembered in the Påli canon; it clearly referred to even in the Manu-Smti (ch. 2). The northwest,
denigrated by the AV (5.22, PS 12.1-2), and depicted in Nirukta 2.2, cf. 3.18 and in Patañjali's Mahåbhåya (ed.
Kielhorn, I p. 9) as occupied by Avestan speakers of the Kamboja land in S.E. Afghanistan (Witzel 1980: 92), is
regarded as non-arva.
Rather, the data mentioned above seem to reflect very dim memories of people and places much further
west than the Panjab. Or, if one still wants to be even more cautious, one may say that the texts preserve some
little or no longer understood words and phrases that point to Central Asia. In other words, there is no reason to
dismiss this kind of evidence that involves a number of bands and tribes who spoke a language closely allied with
Iranian, Slavic, etc., who followed customs, beliefs and rituals, and used a poetic tradition all of which go back to
Indo-European sources. Just because a theory involving an initial IA immicraticn, or even a cradual tricklinc in of
Gandhara, Parśu, Aratta) with those (Āvavah. Kuru-Pañcala, Kaśi-Videha) who went /went forth (av/i + pra vraj) eastwards,
as the text clearly says. --
A note of caution may be added: The missing verb in the collocation pratvan Amavasus allows, of course, suppletion of
pravavraja. If one follows that line of argument, one group (the Āvavah) 'went east', the other one (the Āmavasvavah) 'went
west', both from an unknown central area, to the west of the Kuru lands. The Kuruketra area is excluded as the Kurus went
eastwards (i.e. toward it!), apparently from somewhere in the Panjab, (e.g., from the Paruī, the place of the Ten Kings'
Battle, RV 7.18).
While the syntax may speak for the second possibility, the inherent etymological and stylistic possibilities render bcth
interpretations given above somewhat ambiguous. -- Whatever interpretation one chooses, this evidence for movements
inside the subcontinent (or from its northeastern borders, in Afghanistan) changes little about the bulk of evidence
assembled from linguistics and from the RV itself that points to an outside origin of Vedic Sanskrit and its initial speakers.
In other words, the weight given by some the internet to their point that a different interpretation of this passage would
remove (all) evidence for an immigration/trickling in of speakers of Indo-Aryan is, at a minimum overblown, and in fact just
a rhetorical ploy. This passage is of course just cne, and a late one at that, speaking of tribal movements. Therefore, Elst's
overblown summary (1999: 165) "The fact that a world-class specialist has to content himself with a late text... and that has
to twist its meaning this much in order to get an invasionist story out of it..." is just rhetorics. The passage in question is just
one point in the whole scheme of immigration and acculturation, a fact that Elst does not take into account here. ---
The Gandhåri clearly are located in E. Afghanistan/N. Pakistan, the Parśu in Afghanistan and the Aråa seem to represent the
Arachosians (cf. Witzel 1980); note the Mesopot. Aratta, the land of Lapis Lazuli (cf. Possehl 1996b, Steinkeller 1998).
47
The Parśu and Aråa are not known to be orthoprax, the Gandhåri may be so, if we apply Upaniadic notices, such as
BĀU 3.3., cf. Witzel 1987.
48
The adoption of the eastern tribes (Pura etc.) legend by Viśvåmitra in the Śunaśepa legend (AB 7.13 sqq.) clearly
reflects this policy. The Āraa (BŚS 18.13) appear next to other peoples outside the Kuru orthoprax orbit: Gandhara,
Sauvīra, Karaskara, Kalinca; some of these and others in eastern and southern India are still regarded as 'outsiders' in late
Vedic texts (AB 7.18); for earlier 'outsiders' such as the Balhika, Kåśi, Aga see AV 5.22, PS 12.1-2. and not the constant
criticism of the "Panjabis", from the Bråhmaa texts onwards.
49
An emigration westwards, as imagined by Out-of-India proponents, is excluded by a variety of arguments, discussed
below, see §12.2 sqq.
Autochthonous Aryans? (17)
some bands and tribes is disliked now, regarded as historically tainted or as 'politically incorrect', this does not
discredit the actual data.
50
The Iranian textual materials on immigration are even more meager but they provide similar indirect
reminiscences (Raha, dah
a
vu/dainhu, Həndu/H
a
ndu, Parna, Daha, etc.). These texts make, like the RV, a clear
difference between the Arya and their enemies, e.g. ana
i
riiō danhauuō 'the non-Arya lands' (Yt 18.2 etc.) some of
whose people, doubtless war captives, are described as concubines in the houses of the Mazdå worshippers (Geiger
1882: 176). The opposition between A
i
riia..Tūra..Sa
i
rima..Saina..Dànha
51
(Yt. 13.143-5) is remarkable, though
all these tribes are already described as having Zoroastrians among them.
A
i
riianąm Vaẽjah, the first country in the list of Iranian countries (V.1) has usually been understood as
the 'original' (northern, e.g. Choresmian) home of all A
i
riia (a term indicating only the Eastern Iranians, Witzel
2000) However, this "best of all places and settlements" has ten winter months and only two cool summer
months; such a description does not correspond to the hot summers of Choresmia etc., but refers to the climate of
the mountain pastures with their numerous 'Aryan springs', that is central Afghanistan. This is an area right in
the center of all the 'Iranian' lands of the Avesta, a region typical for transhumance pastoralism, which is
nowadays inhabited, in part, by the Moghol descendants of the Mongol invasion of the 13th century. This so-
called "homeland of the Aryans" thus occupies, for the Avesta, a central position: for the contemporary East
Iranians it is the central xaniraθa region ('the one having particular pleasures of its own'), similar to that of
madhvadeśa, "the Middle Country" of Manu. A
i
riianąm Vaẽjah is certainly not located inside India (Misra 1992:
39, Elst 1999: 197 sq., Talageri 2000), nor does it have any bearing on the original home of all Iranians,
52
or even
of the speakers of Indo-Iranian (Witzel 2000).
§10. Acculturation: linguistic and cultural
While there are some such vague reminiscences of an immigration and of older homelands, it must be
underlined that even the earliest RV hymns clearly reflect South Asian realities, in other words, they were already
composed in the Greater Panjab. However, they also include many non-Sanskritic words and names. There are
those of non-Aryan ''foreigners'' (Kīkata, Pramacanda, etc.,) and demons (Śambara, Cumuri, etc.) but also those
of noblemen and chiefs (Balbūtha, Brbu) and occasionally of poets (Kavasa, Kanva, Acastva, Kaśvapa). All these
50
Curiously, Elst (1999: 172), after constantly propagating Out of India theories, makes a half-hearted turn: "perhaps such
an invasion from a non-Indian homeland into India took place at a much earlier date, so that is was forgotten by the time of
the composition of the Rg-Veda." When should Elst's hypothetical immigration have taken place, at the time of the African
Exodus, 50,000 BCE? Or with the arrival of wheat in the last 10,000 years, from the Near East (Ved. ccdhūma < cant-uma <
N. Eastern **xand ?
51
In Vedic this would be: Arva, Tura/Tūra, ¯Śarima, ¯Ś(v)ena, Dasa.
52
Leaving aside various incorrect details (e.g., 'writinc' of the Gåθås by Zoroaster; Ara Mainiiu < Agiras!), Elst's (and
also Talageri's) identification of A
i
riianąm Vaẽjah as Kashmir is entirely gratuitous (Witzel 2000). -- Elst (1999: 196) even
makes the Croats (Hrvat) descend from the Iranian Haraaitī (a feature now often repeated on the internet), while it is a well
known fact of IE linguistics that Slavic retains IE s (but, Iran. harah < IIr saras < IE *seles). Of course, nothing is ever heard
of a movement of the Arachosians towards Croatia... (and there are no connections with the Alans, who moved westwards
from the steppes with the Vandals). -- Elst generally assumes, with Talageri, an emigration of the Iranians ("Ānava") from
Kashmir into the Punjab and hence to Iran, just because the Vīdẽvdåd mentions the Hapta Həndu lands; he conveniently
neglects that according to this text, the Panjab is one of the least desirable lands (15th out 16, being "too hot", see Witzel
2000). Hock (forthc.) discusses these assumptions of Elst and his predecessors (Talageri, Bhargava) in some detail, and
states, correctly, that the Vīdevdåd cannot be used to show an emigration Out of India (Elst's "obviously Kashmir").
However, Hock proceeds to use the text as a possible testimony for an immigration intc India, including the old but wrong
assertion that A
i
riianąm Vaẽjah could be Choresmia. This entirely overlooks the ancient Indian and Iranian schemes of
organization of territories (summed up in Witzel 2000). The text simply has an anti-clockwise description of the (east)
Iranian (Airiia) lands.
(18) Michael WITZEL
non-IA words do not have a Vedic or IE background (see below), something that can be determined by purely
linguistic means; such words are neither pcssible in Vedic nor in IIr or Indo-European in general (Mayrhofer
1986:95, Szemerényi 1970 : 90sqq.); this is a point almost universally neglected by the advocates of the
autochthonous theory (§ 11 sqq).
The appearance of such names among the groups belonging to the Indo-Aryans indicates, that arva/arva
doesnctmean a particular ''people'' or even a particular 'racial' group but all those who had joined the tribes
speaking Vedic Sanskrit and adhering to their cultural norms (such as ritual, poetry, etc.) -- as has been
underlined for decades (Kuiper 1955, 1991, Southworth 1979, 1995, Thapar 1968, Witzel 1995). The Others such
as the Kīkata (RV 3.53), who inhabit the greater Panjab tccether with the Ārya, are even declared ''not to be fit to
deal with cows.'' They form the amorphous group of the Dasvu ''the foreigner, the enemy.'' While the arva
frequently fight among themselves, their main enemy are the dasvu who are portrayed in typical half-mythical
fashion as ''foreign devils'' and demons.
In short, the gvedic evidence does not supports a clear-cut division between the various
tribes/populations of those originally external, non-South Asian (i.e. Indo-Aryan) and of autochthonous
nature, but it distinguishes between arva and dasvu, it alsodoes nct allow for a happy co-existence
(Kalyanaraman 1999) between speakers of Vedic IA (the 'cultural' arva) and those who oppose them (Kīkata, and
the other dasvu). While it was a matter of (tribal) choice to which cultural group one belonged and which model
of society and religion one followed, this choice had serious consequences for one's status and, ultimately, for the
cultural survival of one's group.
This picture, clearly visible in the middle and later strata of the gveda (books 3, 7, 2, 8; 1, 10), is
supported by the evidence from the older books (4-6). There must have been a long period of acculturation
between the local population and the ''original'' immigrants speaking Indo-Aryan. Indeed, the bulk of the RV
represents only some 5 generations of chieftains (and some 5 generations of poets, Witzel 1987, 1995; Talageri's
claims (2000) of some two thousand years of RV composition are fantastic, see Witzel 2001). These sets of five
generations are rather late within the framework of the RV; the famous chieftain of the Bharata, Sudås, is one of
the latest mentioned. On the other hand, a number of tribal federations (Anu-Druhyu, Yadu-Turvaśa, etc.)
preceded that of the Pūru and the Bharata who were dominant in the middle RV period (Witzel 1995, 1997). It is
during the long period of initial acculturation that some of the linguistic (and cultural) features (Kuiper 1991,
1955) of the early (pre-)gvedic period must have evolved. They include new grammatical formations such as
the absolutives in -tva, tvī (based on the archaic suffix -tu, as in catva)
53
and its correspondent form in -va for
verbs with preverbs (sam-camva) (Tikkanen 1987). This split in absolutive formation corresponds, e.g., to
Dravidian verbal structure, but absolutives are nct found in Iranian. Significantly, Vasiha the self-proclaimed
immigrant author of much of book 7, avoids them. The speakers of Indo-Aryan and the local population must
therefore have interacted on a bilingual basis for a long period, befcre the composition of the present RV hymns
with their highly hieratic, poetical speech (Kuiper 1991, and 2000).
54
An absolute date for this extended period
can be inferred from the linguistic peculiarities of Mitanni-IA (c. 1400 BCE) that slightly predate those of the
extant RV. Constant contact and bilingualism between speakers of OIA and of the local language(s) of the
Greater Panjab produced such calques as the absolutives, or the use of iti, and perhaps even the rapid change to
some Prakrit-like forms (jvctis,muhur, etc., which have been disputed as such, see Kuiper 1991:2, 27 sqq., 79; 2000,
aan de Wiel 2000).
Local influence is indeed what the non-IE part of RV vocabulary suggests, by Kuiper's count some 380
words or about 3.8% of the vocabulary of the RV (Kuiper 1991, 1995: 261). Such local substrate words can easily
be identified because of their isolation within the IE-derived IA vocabulary, i.e. they always do not have Iranian,
Slavic, etc. counterparts. Frequently, their sounds and syllable structure are non-IE as well. This is a point so far
53
This calque was formed on the basis of the old Indo-European stem -tu which then became fossile (-tvī , tum, tave, etc.),
see Kuiper 1967.
54
The RV is, by and large, a composition of poets of the Pūru and Bharata, and not of some earlier IA tribes already living
in the Panjab (Witzel 1995). -- Such types of linguistic relationship are, of course, different from a cenetic relationship that
some adherents of the autochthonous theory suppose (see below). Cf. also Deshpande's essay on Sanskrit in his
Samskrtasubcdhinī.
Autochthonous Aryans? (19)
completely neglected or simply derided,
55
even when the evidence stares into their faces, by the advocates of the
autochthonous theory (with the --only very partial-- exception of Elst 1999, Talageri 1993, 2000).
56
Since the very concept of a substrate is often misunderstood (see the discussion by Bryant 1999), a brief
characterization is in order (Witzel, forthc. b). Most words in early Vedic that do not conform to IE/IIr word
structure (including sounds, root structure and word formation) and have no clear IE/IIr etymology must
belong to a preceding language, a non-IA substrate; some of them, however, are loans from a neighboring non-IA
language (adstrate, the favored position by those indigenists who recognize that they actually have a problem, see
e.g. Lal 1997). It is, however, important to underline that it is the factor of phonetic and grammatical structure
that does not fit -- in these cases the IE/IIr/IA one of Vedic Sanskrit. Not just etymology (which may remain
unsolvable in many cases
57
and is, in others, not even necessary),
58
but all the structural features are of equal
importance here.
59
A word that superficially looks IE/IA, such as Kcsala, is simply disqualified linguistically by its -s- (pace
the out of hand dismissal by Talageri 2000: 248, 299); or, words such as kīnaśa, kīkata, pramacanda, balbūtha,
brsavacan by no means be explained in terms of IE: (1) there are no IE/IA roots such as kīn,kīk,
60
mac,balb, brs
as only roots of the format {(s)(C) (R) e (R) (C/s)} are allowed
61
and (2) the sound b is very rare in IE; (3)
suffixes such as -a-ś, -t, -an-d/-a-nd-, -būth-/-bū-th- are not found in IE/IA; (4) onlys(but nots) is allowed in
Vedic after i,u,r,k. In addition, these words do not have any cogent IE/IA etymologies.
62
The use of such formal, structural categories immediately allows to detect many words as being non-IE,
and as originally non-IA. Just as for IE and IA, similar structural rules exist Drav. and for Munda. The basic
Dravidian word structure (in the sequel ə = long or short vowel) is (C)ə(C), and suffixes have the structure: -C,
-Cə, -CCə, -CCCə; after a root -C the vowels -a-,-i-, or -u are inserted, thus əC-a-C etc., CəC-a-C etc..; and with
base final -C-u, CəC-a-C-u (Krishnamurti, forthc. 2001). While the present Munda word structure includes
55
Rajaram 1995: 219 "unproven conjectures", and similar statements. He regards comparative linguistics as 'unscientific', --
strange, for a science that can make predicticns ! Yet, Rajaram is a scientist, an engineer and mathematician by training.
56
Surprisingly, Talageri (1993: 205) finds that "the overwhelming majority of Sanskrit names for Indian plants and animals
are derived from Sanskrit and Indo-European (Bryant 1999: 74), even such structurally unfit words as atavi, kapi, bīja etc.
(see discussion below). Even a brief look into KEWA, EWA (Mayrhofer's "unclear" etc.) would have convinced him of the
opposite -- but he simply does not use such basic handbooks. In addition, he regards linguistic arguments as 'hairsplitting'
(2000: 248, 299), or as 'a linguistic ploy'.
57
Especially when the underlying language is not one of the known ones -- IA, Proto-Drav., Proto-Munda, Proto-
Burushaski, etc. but one of the unknown Gangetic languages (such as Masica's "Language X", see Masica 1979) or my own
proposal for the Panjab-based prefixing Para-Munda language (Witzel 1999 a,b); cf. Bryant 1999: 73.
58
In the heavily Anglicized Massachusetts area, for example, one does not need to know the local native American language
to notice that place names such as Massatcit, Massachusetts, \achusetts, Mcntachusetts, Cchasset, Nepcnset , Mattapcisett,
Mattapan, Mashpee,Chiccpee, Nantucket, Pawtucket are related and without English etymology.
59
The problem is entirely misunderstood by those (quoted by Bryant 1999: 72) who merely delight in pointing out the
differences in etymological proposals by IE, Drav., or Munda proponents. That does not discredit the linguistic (or even the
etymological) method, as these branches of linguistics are not yet as developed as IE/IA. Even when the linguistic method
will have been refined in the non-IA languages of S. Asia, there always will be some difference in opinion in thcse cases that
actually allcw multiple interpretation, that is after one has applied the structural rules of IA/IE, Drav., Munda, described
below; for details see Witzel forthc. b).
60
With the exception of the onomatopoetic *kikin 'magpie', Skt. kiki- inkikidīvi (EWA I 349), *mac/mec does not exist in IE.
61
C = consonant, M = voiced/mediae, T = unvoiced/tenues, R = resonants = v/w/r/l; not allowed are the types RCe- or
Rse- (Skt. ¯rka, ¯usa, etc.), and the types: *bed,¯bhet,¯tebh,¯pep,¯teurk/tekt (Skt. *bad, bhat, tabh, tcrk). See Mayrhofer 1986:
95, Szemerényi 1970: 90 sqq.
62
In short: (S) (T) (R) e (R) (T/S) where T = all occlusives, R = resonant; forbidden are: M - M (*bed), M - T (*bhet), T - M
(*tebh), same occl. in one root, such as: no *pep (exc. *ses), final 2 occl. or final 2 sonants, no: *tewrk, ¯tekt; - but s-Teich
etc. are allowed. -- In spite of these rules, it does not mean that IA etymologies have not been attempted, see KEWA, EWA,
often working with supposed Prakritisms, as in the improbable case of Macanda < mrcada 'deer eater'.
(20) Michael WITZEL
(Pinnow 1959: 449 sqq.) CəCə, CəəC, CəCə, əCCə, əVVəC, CəCCə, CəCCəC, the oldest word structure was:
(C)ə(C), Cə-CəC, CəC-Cə’C, CəC-əC, CəC-Cə’C-əC. Clearly, both Drav. and Munda words are frequently
enough quite different from IE ones with: (prefix) + (C)(R)e(R)(C) + (suffix + ending). While Drav. and Munda
share CəC, CəCəC, Munda words can often be distinguished, as Cə- in Cə-Cəc is a prefix, something that does
not exist in Drav.; and while CəCəc may exist in IE/IA (even with a prefix Cə-), normally, CəC- will be the IA
root and -əC a suffix.
A comparison of these data frequently allows to narrow down the origin of a word,
63
though this has
not generally been done in practice (Witzel, forthc. b). IA etymologies are now discussed at a high level of
sophistication, with a complete explanation of all of their constituent parts, of related roots and of suffixes
employed. However, the Dravidian dictionaries DED/DEDR still consist only of lists of related words without
further explanation; a Munda etymological dictionary still is only in the planning and collection stage, not to
speak of Burushaski and other languages of the subcontinent.
Instead, etymological discussions deal, by and large, with vague similarities of ancient Vedic, old
Dravidian and modern Munda words which, to quote (pseudc-)Voltaire: etymologies, "where consonants count
little and vowels nothing." How complex it is to establish a proper etymology actually can be checked by taking a
look at K. Hoffmann's and E. Tichy's 36 rules of procedure (Hoffmann 1992).
In sum, there are clear and decisive rules in place that allow to narrow down, and in many instances
even to determine the origin of Vedic words. Throwing up one's hands in post-modern despair (Bryant 1999), and
certainly, the haughty, non-technical dismissal (Talageri 2000) are misguided.
The range of the non-Indo-Aryan words of the RV is perhaps even more interesting than their number.
They include names for local plants and animals,
64
and also a large number of terms for agriculture -- precisely
those terms which are not expected in the vocabulary of the largely pastoralist Indo-Aryans who left the tedious
job of the ploughman (kinaśa) and farming in general (tilvila, phala, pippala, khala, lancala, etc.) to the local
people. Instead, they preserved only a few general IE terms, such as vava'barley, grain',krs'to scratch, plough',sa
'to sow',sīta'furrow',sīra'plough' (see however, EWA II 733 for the problematics of the root sa). Some local river
names, always a very resistant part of the vocabulary, were preserved as well.
65
In sum, an early wave of acculturation of the immigrant speakers of Old IA (Vedic) and the local
population has seriously influenced even the IA poetic language and many other aspects of their traditional IIr.
culture, religion and ritual. This ''Indianization'' of the Indo-Aryans began even befcre our extant RV texts
(Kuiper 1967, 1991). A certain amount of codification of this process can be detected with the formulation, in the
Purua hymn (RV 10.90), of the system of the fcur classes (varna) instead of the more common IE three, which
system has been called, by P. Mus, ''the first constitution of India''.
63
This should eliminate the doubt of those indigenists (cf. Bryant 1999: 80) who simply reject the notion of an unknown
language or language family as source for the local loan words, language(s) that have subsequently been lost. After all,
Sumerian, Elamite, Etruscan etc. belong to such isolated language families and these language(s) (families) have disappeared
without descendants. Such deliberations, however, do not deter linguistic amateurs such as Talageri (1993: 200) who speaks
of "a twilight zone of purelv hvpcthetical non-existent languages." How many languages disappear in India per decade now?
Including Nahali, fairly close to Talageri's home. They all will be pretty "hypothetical" in a decade or so unless they are
recorded now (see Mcther Tcncue II-III, 1996-97): a useful, but largely neglected field of study by those who engage in
endless AIT/OIT discussions, and could do useful work in the linguistic/cultural history of India instead. Especially, as
'tribals' have been and to some extent still are off limits for non-Indian researchers.
64
Cf. the discussion by Bryant 1999: 75. It is precisely these local words that are of importance if the Indo-Aryans would
have been autochthonous to the Greater Panjab. But, such plants and animal names are 'foreign', non-IE/IA (see Witzel
1999a,b). -- It is quite different problem (Bryant 1999: 76) that many plant names in IE do not have a clear etymon. Bryant
overlooks that they are IE, IA in structure and as such, inherited from PIE into IA. Worse, Talageri simply does not
understand how a language develops over time, from pre-PIE to PIE to IIr, to IA (1993: 206) when he thinks that such words
simply were colloquial or slang words. That, of course, fits nicely with his view that 'rare' words in Skt. may have a colloquial
origins as well. Allremainwithinthefcld!
65
Details in Witzel 1999a, cf. Bryant 1999: 78. Significantly, there is a cluster of non-IA names in eastern Panjab and
Haryana (including the local name of the Sarasvatī, Vi<šam>bal/ž!), where the successor cultures of the Indus Civilization
continued for a long time.
Autochthonous Aryans? (21)
On the Iranian side, however, one has observed, so far, very little of linguistic and other acculturation
(Skjaervø 1995). It would indeed be surprising, how little O.Pers. and the other Iranian languages seem to have
been affected by the preceding (substrate) languages of great cultures such as those of the BMAC area, Shahr-i
Sokhta, Mundigak, Yahya Tepe and Elam, all of which amounts to nothing that would be comparable to the
influx of Dravidian, Munda or other local words into gvedic Sanskrit. However, this is an erroneous
impression, due to the surprising neglect by Iranists of etymological studies of Old Iranian (not to speak of
Middle Iranian where we even do not have comprehensive dictionaries). There are, indeed, quite a number of
words that are foreign even in Indo-Iranian (Witzel 1995, 1999 a,b, Lubotsky, forthc.)
66
and there is a host of
unstudied Iranian words taken from the various local substrates (Witzel 1999 a,b, forthc. b).
While we can observe the changes common to all Iranian languages (s>h,p,t,k-consonant >f,θ,x-
cons., etc.), even Y. Avestan often seems quite archaic, both in grammar and also in vocabulary, while Vedic
seems to have progressed much more, towards Epic and Classical Sanskrit (loss of injunctive, moods of the
perfect, aorist etc.). Iranian, for whatever reasons and in spite of the influx of local words, simply was less affected
by the substrate than Vedic Sanskrit. This feature is of extreme importance in evaluating the linguistic materials
that speak for the immigration of speakers of Old Indo-Aryan into the subcontinent.
While the intrusive traits of Indo-Aryan language, poetics, large parts of IA religion, ritual and some
aspects of IA material culture are transparent, the obvious continuity of local cultures in South Asia, as seen in
archaeology, is another matter. Yet, the question to be asked, is: how much of the culture of semi-sedentary
tribes on the move (Scythians, Huns, Turks, Mongols) would indeed be visible in the archaeological record? The
remnants of the Huns, for example, have been found only recently in some Hungarian graves; otherwise we
would only know about them from the extensive literary and historical record. To put it facetiously, the Huns
have been in Europe only for some 20 years.
67
Secondly, the constantly shifting river courses in the Panjab may
have obscured many of the shallow remnants of the Indo-Aryan settlements: temporary, rather rickety resting
places (armaka, Rau 1983), not big brick buildings.
Thirdly, the Indo-Aryans are known, from their own texts, to employ the services of the local popu-
lations for agriculture (RV, Kuiper 1955, 1991; for washing (Witzel 1986), and especially for pottery (Rau 1983):
only sacred vessels are made by Brahmins in the most archaic fashion, without the use of a wheel (as is still done
in the Hindukush!) Such Vedic pottery, always executed in the same traditional manner, is therefore undatable
simply by style, even if found. Everyday vessels, on the other hand, were made by low class (Śūdra) workmen (see
below § 24). Continuity of local styles thus is to be expected apricri. However, when traditional style pottery with
traditional paintings, such as in the early post-Indus Cemetery H culture, appears tccether with a new burial
style, that is cremation or exposition and subsequent deposition of the bones in urns, and with a new motif
painted on them, i.e. a small human, a 'soul', drawn inside a traditionally painted peacock, then all of this draws
our attention. The bird-soul motif seems to reflect Vedic beliefs about the souls of the ancestors moving about in
the form of birds (Vats 1940, Witzel 1984, Falk 1986). While this assemblage seems to indicate early
acculturation, more data would be necessary in order to turn the still little known Cemetery H culture in
Harappa and Cholistan into one that would definitely reflect Indo-Aryan presence.
Presence of Indo-Aryan speakers would rather be indicated by the introduction of their specialty, the
horse drawn chariots with spoked wheels, horse furnishings, etc. When such items are found, there is a good
chance that this represents Indo-Aryans, but alternative scenarios cannot be excluded: tribes that were influenced
and/or pushed forward in front of them, such as the Mitanni and Kassites in Mesopotamia and the Hyksos in
Egypt; or, simply, neighboring local tribes that early on adopted Indo-Aryan material culture.
66
Bryant's proposal (1999: 77) that the non-IE loanwords in Iranian must come from the Proto-IIr that was spoken in
Eastern Iran before the Iranians moved in cannot be substantiated. The individual P-Iran. and P-IA forms of such loans
often differ from each other (Witzel 1999a, b, Lubotsky, forthc.) which is typical for repeated loans from a third source.
However, he thinks that there are no local loan words in Iranian from the pre-IE languages; nevertheless see Witzel 1999a,b.
67
Similarly, the Huns in India are only known from historical records and from the survival of their name as (Hara-)Hūna
in the Mahåbhårata or Hūn in some Rajasthani clans.
(22) Michael WITZEL
Ideally, an ''Aryan'' archaeological site would include the remnants of horses and chariots, horse
furnishings, a Vedic ritual site with three fire places nearby (preferably west of a river), a rather primitive
settlement pattern with bamboo huts, implements made of stone and copper (bronze), some gold and silver
ornaments, but with lccalpottery, evidence of food that includes barley, milk products, meat of cattle, sheep and
goat, and of some wild animals. However, this particular archaeological set (or part of it) has not yet been
discovered, unless we think of the Swat Valley finds, c. 1400 BCE. Swat is an area known in the RV 8.19.37 as
Indo-Aryan territory, Suvåstu ''good ground,'' however, with sponsors of sacrifice that bear strange names.
Vavivu,Pravivu.
68
In sum, we have to look out for a 'Leitfosssil', clear indicators of Indo-Aryan culture such as the chariot
and Vedic ritual sites. The obvious continuity of pottery styles, taken alone, tells little. Some archaeologists such
as Shaffer simply restrict themselves to report the findings of archaeology and intenticnallv neglect all the
linguistic and spiritual data of the texts; in fact, some denounce them as 'linguistic tyranny' (Shaffer 1984).
While this procedure may be perfectly in order for someone who simply wants to do archaeology, this approach is
not sufficient to approach the early history of the subcontinent. All aspects of material and spiritual culture, of
linguistics as well as genetics, have to be taken into account.
Advocates of the autochthonous theory, however, also maintain that there is not any evidence of de-
mccraphic discontinuity in archaeological remains during the period from 4500 to 800 BCE,
69
and that an
influx of foreign populations is not visible in the archaeological record. The remnants of the Harappans, the
Harappan Cemetery H people etc., all are physically very close to each other, while the people of Mohenjo Daro
stand somewhat apart. In other words: 'Aryan bones' have not been found. (Kennedy 1995, 2000, cf. Meadow
1991, 1997,1998).
The revisionists and indigenists overlook, however, that such refutations of an immigration by 'racially'
determined Indo-Aryans still depend on the old, 19th century idea of a massive invasicn of outsiders who would
have left a definite mark on the genetic set-up of the local Panjab population. In fact, we do not presently know
how large this particular influx of linguistically attested outsiders was. It can have been relatively small, if we
apply Ehret's model (1988, derived from Africa, cf. Diakonoff 1985) which stresses the csmcsis (or a 'billiard ball',
or Mallory's Kulturkucel) effect of cultural transmission.
Ehret (1988) underlines the relative ease with which ethnicity and language shift in small societies, due
to the cultural/economic/military chcices made by the local population in question. The intruding/influencing
group bringing new traits may initially be small and the features it contributes can be fewer in number than
those of the pre-existing local culture. The newly formed, combined ethnic group may then initiate a recurrent,
expansicnist process of ethnic and language shift. The material record of such shifts is visible only insofar as new
prestige equipment or animals (the "status kit", with new, intrusive vocabulary!) are concerned. This is especially
so if pottery -- normally culture-specific -- continues to be made by local specialists of a class-based society.
Similarly, Anthony (1995): "Language shift can be understood best as a social strategy through which
individuals and groups compete for positions of prestige, power, and domestic security... What is important,
then, is not just dominance, but vertical social mobility and a linkage between language and access to positions
of prestige and power... A relatively small immigrant elite population can encourage widespread language shift
among numerically dominant indigenes in a non-state or pre-state context if the elite employs a specific
combination of encouragements and punishments. Ethnohistorical cases ... demonstrate that small elite groups
have successfully imposed their languages in non-state situations."
Furthermore, even when direct evidence for immigration and concurrent language takeover is absent,
the texts often allow such deductions, as has been well articulated by W. von Soden (1985: 12, my transl.) with
regard to the much better known history of Mesopotamia: "The study of languages and the comparison of
language provide better possibilities for conclusions with regard to migrations in prehistoric times. New
languages never are successful without the immigration of another group of people [different from the local one].
Influences of [such] other languages can be determined in vocabulary and certain grammatical formations. The
68
One may also think of part of the assemblage of the Cemetery H culture of the Panjab (see above, n. 25).
69
J. Lukacs asserts unequivocally that no significant population changes took place in the centuries prior to 800 BC; see now
Kennedy 1995, 2000.
Autochthonous Aryans? (23)
older languages of an area, even when they are no longer spoken, continue to influence the younger languages as
substrates, not in the least in their sound system; new, dominant classes influence the language of the conquered
as superstrates in many ways. In the early period, the influences of substrates and superstrates are always
discernible only to a certain degree."
Similar things could be said about Ancient Greece, but that would lead to far here. As will be seen below,
the three descriptions given just now fit the Indus/Vedic evidence perfectly.
THE AUTOCHTHONOUS ARYAN THEORY
§11. The ''Aryan Invasion'' and the "Out of India" theories
The preceding sketch presupposes that groups speaking Old IA (Vedic) were an intrusive element in the
North-West of the subcontinent. Since language is of crucial importance for this argument, it needs to be
addressed here in great detail. However, the revisionists and autochthonists have almost completely overlooked
this type of evidence, or they have outrightly denied it. Recently, some have begun to pay attention (see discussion
by Bryant 1999, cf. also Elst 1999), however, still in an unprofessional manner (Talageri 1993, 2000).
70
Unfortunately, this was in large measure even true for the apparently lone Indo-European scholar in India, S.S.
Misra
71
(1992).
Any immigration scenario is strenuously denied by two groups of Indian scholars: first, the revisionists,
who genuinely try to reconsider the writing of ancient Indian history which they believe was very much the
creation of 19th century British political ideology, and second, the autochthonists who try to show (or who
simply believe in) an indigenous origin of the 'Aryans' in the subcontinent. Of course, one can find various
combinations of these two strands in any person's writing (see Bryant 1999).
72
The theories of advocates of an autochthonous origin of the Indo-Aryans (always called "Aryans")
range from (1) a mild version, insisting on the origin of the gvedic Indo-Aryans in the Panjab, the
''autochthonous'' or indigenous school (Aurobindo, Waradpande 1993, S. Kak 1994a, etc., see Elst 1999: 119,
Talageri 2000: 406 sqq, Lal 1997: 281 sqq.), (2) a more stringent but increasingly popular ''Out of India'' school
(S.S. Misra, Talageri, Frawley, Elst, etc.) which views the Iranians and even all Indo-Europeans emigrating from
the Panjab, to the (3) most intense version, which has all languages of the world derived from Sanskrit: the
''Devabhåå school'', which is mostly -but not solely- restricted to traditional Pandits.
73
(For summaries see
Hock 1999, Talageri 2000.)
70
Talageri, though mentioning --unlike other OIT advocates-- the value of linguistics (2000: 415), merely lists some words
and compares them as look-alikes, in Nirukta fashion. Data are listed and discussed without any apparent linguistic
background and with lack of any critical, linguistic faculty. Elst is better prepared philologically and linguistically, yet still
lacks linguistic sophistication; his linguistic evaluation (1999: 118 sqq, 137) is lacuneous and misses much of what is
discussed in this paper; this lack is substituted for by a lot of gratuitous speculation of when and how the hvpcthetical Indian
Indo-Europeans could have emigrated from India.
71
No doubt due to his complete (self-imposed?) scholarly isolation at Benares. His (lone?) trip to an international meeting
in Dushanbe, duly noted in his introduction his 1992 book, provided him with some contacts, -- unfortunately not the best
ones, see his rather uncritical use of Harmatta's materials (below §12.2, n.97).
72
Bryant (1999) reports that he found, already in 1994-5, that a majority of Indian scholars "had rejected the Aryan
invasion/migration completely, or were open to reconsider it."
73
For one such case see below, n. 235. -- The opposite is seen in deriving Skt. from Arabic in a book published in Pakistan:
Mazhar 1982.
(24) Michael WITZEL
In these views,
74
though often for quite different reasons, any immigration or trickling in (nearly
always called ''invasion'') of the (Indo-)Aryans into the subcontinent is suspect or simply denied: The Ārya of the
RV are supposed to be just another tribe or group of tribes that always have been resident in India, next to the
Dravidians, Mundas, etc. The theory of an immigration of IA speaking Ārya (''Aryan invasion'') is seen as a
means of British policy to justify their own intrusion into India and their subsequent colonial rule: in both cases,
a 'white race' was seen as subduing the local darker-colored population.
The irony of this line of reasoning is that the British themselves have been subject to numerous IE
immigrations and invasions (Celts, Romans, Anglo-Saxons, Vikings, Danish, and Normans -- and now
Caribbeans and South Asians). Even more ironically, there is a strong non-Indo-European substratum in
English which has left such common words as sheep.
75
The "Proto-Anglo-Saxons", and in fact all of Europe,
have been subject to the same kind of Indo-European "invasions". Europeans and Indians alike could thus
complain, for example with M. Gimbutas (1991, 1994), about the domination of a "peaceful matriarchal agri-
cultural community" by half-barbaric, patriarchal, semi-nomadic and warlike invaders. However, this is not an
issue in Europe (e.g., my own, predominantly Basque genes do not protest loudly against having been subjected
to an IE language and culture several millennia ago), while religious and nationalistic attitudes in India have
made such "invasions" the issue in recent years. European Indologists, and American or Japanese even less, do
not have an axe to grind, here and now. Even less so, after the recent genetic discoveries that link all present
humans to a fairly recent origin and all non-Africans to an even more recent emigration by some 10,000 people
Out of Africa, 50,000 years ago: the problem of an "Aryan invasion" into India is as relevant or irrelevant to
Indologists as a Bantu "invasion" of central, east and southern Africa, or an Austronesian immigration into the
Pacific or a Na-Dene one into North America.
§ 11.1. Procedure
Like all scientific theories, however, the theory of an immigration into South Asia by speakers of IA has
to be constantly and thoroughly (re-)investigated, and it has to be established whether (all) aspects of it and/or
the theory itself are correct or not. But this must be done on the basis of hard facts, not, due to a dislike of earlier
historical writing, by a selective use of or by twisting of facts, or simply by sophistic argumentation (see below, on
current use of long-refuted propositions). It also has to be done independently both from the present climate in
India, and from the present western post-modern/deconstructionist fashion of seeing political motives behind all
texts; both attitudes are not conducive in this kind of investigation.
Scholars of the 19th/20 cent. obviously did not have the present discussion in mind when they wrote.
The best ones among them may have come to certain conclusions quite independently of their 'ideological'
background. At any rate, the better scholars of the 19th century were not colonialists or racists. They all were,
however, limited to some extent by the general zeitceistof the period, but so are present day scholars. We, too, must
constantly strive to overcome this bias (Witzel 1999d), and we also must not to follow one current trend or
momentary fashion after another. We can only approach a solution by patiently investigating the pros and
74
The list of such internet and printed publications waxes greatly, by the month. There now exists a closely knit, self-
adulatory group, members of which often write conjointly and/or copy from each other. Quite boringly, they also churn out
long identical passages, in book after book, sometimes paragraph by paragraph, all copied in cottage industry fashion from
earlier books and papers; the whole scene has become one virtually indistinguishable hotchpotch. A 'canonical' list would
include, among others: Choudhury 1993, Elst 1999, Danino 1996, Feuerstein, Kak, and Frawley 1995, Frawley 1994, Kak
1994, Klostermaier (in Rajaram and Frawley 1997), Misra 1992, Rajaram 1993, 1995, Rajaram and Frawley 1995, 1997,
Rajaram and Jha 2000, Sethna 1980, 1981, 1989, 1992, Talageri 1993, 2000. Among them, Choudhury stands somewhat apart
by his extreme chauvinism. -- These and many others frequent the internet with letters and statements ranging from
scholarly opinions and prepublications to inane accusations and blatant politics and hate speech; such ephemeral 'sources'
are not listed here; I have, however, been collecting them as they will form interesting source material for a study of the
landscape of (expatriate) Indian mind of the late 20th and early 21st centuries.
75
For place names see also Szemerényi (1970), and Vennemann 1994, and the new (IA) substrate theories in Lubotsky
(forthc.).
Autochthonous Aryans? (25)
contras of the various points that have been made -- or still are to be made. Scholarship is an cnccinc dialectical
process.
One should avoid, therefore, to revert to long-refuted propositions. Natural scientists, other than
historians, do not seriously discuss pre-Copernican or pre-Darwinian systems any longer. In the subsequent
sections, all too frequently old and long given up positions are brought up and juxtaposed to recent ones in order
to show 'contradictions' in what is called 'the western approach'. This is improper procedure. In the same way, one
should also not confound the autochthonous theories of the past two centuries (Dayanand Sarasvati, etc.) with
the present wave of indigenism, and one cannot, therefore, accuse the present autochthonous and 'Out of India'
movement for contradictions with the older position of Tilak of an original Arctic home of the Aryans, (even
though it has been repeated quite recently in Ganapati's SV-translation (1982) where the 'Aryans' are portrayed
as having lived "on the Polar circle").
In the natural sciences and in scholarship at large, old conclusions are constantly reviewed on the basis
of new evidence. But such new evidence has to fit in with the ceneral framewcrk established by the many,
completely unrelated observations in the various branches of scholarship; otherwise a particular theory is revised
or discarded. For example, when certain irregularities in the course of the planets were noticed, it did not mean
that post-Renaissance astronomy was wrong but that this observation was due to the mass of another planet,
Pluto, that was correctly predicted and, then, actually discovered in the early 20th century. But, the opposite
procedure, deducing a "paradigm shift" based on isolated facts, is quite common in the contemporary effort to
rewrite Indian (pre-)history.
Unfortunately, thus, the subsequent discussion is studded with examples that explain awav older
theories and even hard scientific facts with the help of new, auxiliary, ad hcc assumpticns. All of which are then
used to insist that we are due for a "paradigm shift". Consequently, it will unfortunately take much more space
even to merely describe and then to evaluate the arguments of the autochthonous school(s) than to describe the
older, general consensus. All too frequently, we have to reinvent the wheel, so to speak, and have to restate, and
sometimes even to prove, well-known and well-tested principles and facts: this includes those of comparative
linguistics (summaries by Hock 1986, Anttila 1989, Szemerényi 1970, 1996, Beekes 1995), comparative epic
studies (Parry 1930, 1971, Lord 1991), of S. Asian archaeology (Allchin 1995, Kenoyer 1998, Possehl 1999), Indus
epigraphy (Possehl 1996), of zoology and botany (Meadow 1997,1998), or the evidence contained in the texts, as
established by philology over the past two centuries (Witzel 1997).
§ 11.2. Evidence
For the subsequent discussion, is also very important that each single item be scrutinized well before it is
brought forward. At present, we can observe a cult of 'science' in India, --I have even seen 'scientific tax forms.'
However, this is part of an inclusivistic belief system that encapsulates, in facile fashion, older mythical and
religious ideas (Witzel 1986, 1992, 1998). Further, in spite of the stress on the 'hard sciences', all too frequently
'scientific facts' are quoted which, on closer observation, are not hard facts at all. For example, an unsuspecting
reader may take for granted that "LANDSAT photos show the drying up of the Sarasvatī river in 1900 BCE"
(Kak 1994, cf. S.P. Gupta 1995). But LANDSAT or aerial photos cannot by themselves indicate historical dates.
(For an update, with much more cautious claims by scientists, see now Radhakrishnan and Merh 1999). Or,
some selected linguistic data, such as a suppcsed (but demonstrably wrong!) change from an older aśva- 'horse'
(as in Skt.)to Latin equu-s (S.S. Misra 1992), are used to indicate an Iranian and IE emigration from India. This
does not only contradict standard (IE and non-IE) linguistic knowledge (see now Hock 1999). It also neglects a
whole range of further ccntradictcrv evidence, e.g. the host of local, non-IA loan words in Vedic Skt. that are
missing in the supposedly 'emigrating' languages such as Iranian, Slavic, etc. (Witzel 1999 a,b; for details, below
§ 13 sqq.)
Other inconsistencies derive from the evidence of the texts. If the RV is to be located in the Panjab, and
supposedly to be dated well before the suppcsed 1900 BCE drying up of the Sarasvatī, at 4-5000 BCE (Kak 1994,
Misra 1992), the text should nct contain evidence of the domesticated horse (not found in the subcontinent before
c. 1700 BCE, see Meadow 1997,1998, Anreiter 1998: 675 sqq.), of the horse drawn chariot (developed only about
2000 BCE in S. Russia, Anthony and Vinogradov 1995, or Mesopotamia), of well developed copper/bronze
technology, etc. If the Bråhmaas are suppcsedlv to be dated about 1900 BCE (Kak 1994), they should nct contain
(26) Michael WITZEL
evidence of the use of iron which makes it appearance in India only at the end of the millennium, about 1200
BCE at the earliest (Chakrabarti 1979, 1992, see now Possehl-Gullapalli 1999 for a much later date of c. 1000/900
BCE). The list could be prolonged, and some of these items will be discussed below (§ 11 sqq.)
§ 11.3. Proof
In short, the facts adduced from the various sciences that have been operating independently from each
other and independently from the present 'Aryan' question -- in most cases actually without any knowledge of
the Aryan discussion, -- must match, before a certain theory can be accepted. If the linguistic, textual,
archaeological, anthropological, geological, etc. facts contradict each other, the theory is in serious difficulty. All
exceptions have to be explained, and well within plausible range; if they cannot, the theory does not hold. It never
is proper working procedure that such inconsistencies are explained away by ad hcc assumptions and new
theories, in other words, by special pleading. Occam's razor applies. We can no longer maintain, for example, that
the earth is flat and then explain away the evidence of aerial or space photos by assuminc, e.g., some effect of light
refraction in the upper strata of the atmosphere, or worse, by using one conspiracy theory or the other.
§ 11.4. The term "invasion"
To begin, in any discussion of the 'Aryan problem', one has to stress vehemently that the ''invasion
model'' which was still prominent in the work of archaeologists such as Wheeler (1966: "Indra stands accused"),
has been supplanted by much more sophisticated models
76
over the past few decades (see Kuiper 1955 sqq., Witzel
1995, Thapar 1968). It must also be underlined that this development has nct occurred because Indologists were
reactinc, as is now frequently alleged, to current Indian criticism of the older theory.
77
Rather, philologists first,
and archaeologists somewhat later, noticed certain inconsistencies in the older theory and tried to find new
explanations, thereby discovering new facts and proposing a new version of the immigration theories.
For some decades already, linguists and philologists such as Kuiper 1955, 1991, Emeneau 1956,
Southworth 1979, archaeologists such as Allchin 1982, 1995, and historians such as R. Thapar 1968, have
maintained that the Indo-Aryans and the older local inhabitants ('Dravidians', 'Mundas', etc.) have mutually
interacted from early on, that many of them were in fact frequently bilingual, and that even the RV already bears
witness to that. They also think, whether explicitly following Ehret's model (1988, cf. Diakonoff 1985) or not, of
smaller infiltrating groups (Witzel 1989: 249, 1995, Allchin 1995), not of mass migrations or military invasions.
However, linguists and philologists still maintain, and for good reasons, that scme IA speaking groups actuallv
entered from the outside, via some of the (north)western corridors of the subcontinent.
The autochthonous theory, however, maintains that there has not been anv influx at all, of Indo-Aryans
or of other people from outside, conveniently forgetting that most humans have emigrated out of Africa only
50,000 years ago. On the contrary, some of its adherents simply reverse the 'colonial' invasion theory, with post-
colonial one-up-manship, as an emicraticn from India (the 'Out of India Theory, OIT). Its advocates like to
utilize some of the arguments of current archaeology, for example those of J. Shaffer (1984, 1995, 1999). He
stresses indigenous cultural continuity from c. 7000 BCE well into the semi-historic times of the first
76
The recent denigration of this shift by some OIT-ers such as Elst is entirely disingenuous; he insists on calling any
migration or 'trickling in' an "invasion". However, immigration / trickling in and acculturation (which works both ways,
from newcomer to indigenous, and from indigenous to newcomer!) is something entirely different from a (military)
invasion, or from overpowering and/or from eradicating the local population. -- Incidentally, I have it on good oral
authority that the idea of Indra destroying the 'fortification walls' of the Indus towns was created by V.S. Agrawal who
served as cicerone in Wheeler's time and that Wheeler merely overheard him and simply picked up the idea.
77
To mention a personal experience: when I related some of the materials that went into this paper to a well-known scholar
of the older generation some three years ago (that is, someone who has considerably advanced our understanding of the
Indo-Iranian and IA question) this scholar was simply unaware of the present discussion, and in fact, could not believe what
he heard.
Autochthonous Aryans? (27)
millennium, as is evident according to the present state of archaeology. Consequently, he protests the ''linguistic
tyranny'' of earlier models. This is a much too narrow, purely archaeological view that neglects many other
aspects, such as all of spiritual and some of material culture, but it is grist on the mills of the autochthonists.
To get, finally, to some concrete, be it necessarily often torturous, detail: opponents of the theory of an IA
immigration or trickling in, whether revisionists, indigenists, or OIT adherents must especially explain the
following linguistic, textual, archaeological, geographical, astronomical, and other scientific data (§ 12-31) to
become credible.
§ 11.5. Linguistics
As has been mentioned above, linguistic data have generally been neglected by advocates of the
autochthonous theory. The only exception so far is a thin book by the Indian linguist S.S. Misra (1992) which
bristles with inaccuracies and mistakes (see below) and some, though incomplete discussion by Elst (1999).
78
Others such as Rajaram (1995: 144, 217) or Waradpande (1993), though completely lacking linguistic expertise,
simply reject linguistics as "pseudo-science" with "none of the checks and balances of a real science". They simply
overlook the fact that a good theory predicts, as has occurred in IE linguistics several times (i.e., in predicting pre-
Greek *k
w
or the IE laryngeals, see below §12.1). On the other hand one may still consult, with profit, the solid
discussion of early Sanskrit by Bh. Ghosh (1937).
The linguistic evidence, available since the earliest forms of Sanskrit (gvedic OIA), is crucial, as the
materials transmitted by language obviously point to the culture of its speakers and also to their original and
subsequent physical surroundings. Language has, just as history, its own 'archaeology'; the various subsequent
historical 'layers' of a particular language can be uncovered when painstakingly using well-developed linguistic
procedures.
Language study, however, is not something that can be carried out by amateurs, even though a
'everyone can do' attitude is widespread. This is especially pervasive when it comes to etymology and the (often
assumed) origin and the (frequently lacking) history of individual words. Here, total amateurism is the rule.
"Oakish" etymologies, such as Encland from anculi 'finger', or abad from bath(Guptə 1990) have a long tradition
both in occidental as well as in Indian culture. Plato's Kratylos propounds the same kind of unscientific
explanations as Yåska does in his Nirukta. This has been tradition ever since the Bråhmaa texts (Rudra from rud
'to cry', putra from the nonexistent word *put 'hell', bhairava from bhī-rav-vam, etc.) A look into any recent or
contemporary book on Indian history or literature will bring to light many examples: Assyria from asura, Syria
from sura, Phoenicians from Pani, Hittites (Khet) from Katha, Mitanni from Maitravanīva, etc. (Bhagavad Datta
repr. 1974, Surya Kanta 1943, Guptə 1990, etc.).
In the South Asian context, cross-family comparison (Dravidian and IA, IA and Arabic, etc.) is es-
pecially widespread and usually completely wrong, as such comparisons are simply based on overt similarities
between words. In comparative linguistics, however, it is not similarity that counts but the recularitv of (albeit
outwardly, non-intuitive) sound correspondences, for example Vedic śvinaśva'horse' : Avest. -sp- : O.Pers. -s- :
Lith. -sw-, Latin -qu- [kw] : Gothic -h
v
- OHG -h-, O.Irish -ch-, Gaul. -p-, Toch. -k/kw- < IE ¯k'w, an equation
repeated in many other words; or, to quote one of the most hackneyed, non-intuitive examples: the correct
equation, sound by sound, of Skt. dva(u), Latin duc = Armenian erku < IE *dwō(u).
Since language and (the necessarily closely connected) spiritual culture are crucial for any theory of an
influx of speakers of OIA into the subcontinent --whatever form this influx might have taken initially-- the
linguistic evidence will be dealt with in detail in the following sections. Unfortunately, since the linguistic ideas
and 'arguments' of the autochthonists are far off the accepted norms and procedures, a discussion of their
proposals and beliefs does not only take up much space but must be convoluted and torturous; in addition, it must
78
Elst, though not without philological and linguistic training (Ph.D. Leuven, Belgium), is quite lacuneous in his
interpretations and does not discuss the fine linguistic details, see below and n. 70. In his "Update" (Elst 1999), he delights in
speculating about an Indian Urheimat of IE and a subsequent emigration, with 'Indian' invasions of Europe, all while
neglecting that linguistic data speak against it, see Hock 1999 and §12.3 sqq.
(28) Michael WITZEL
be, in its very nature, often very technical. (The non-linguistically inclined reader may therefore prefer to jump to
the concluding sections of §18).
§12. Vedic, Iranian and Indo-European
It is undeniable and has indeed hardly been denied even by most stalwart advocates of the au-
tochthonous theory, that Vedic Sanskrit is closely related to Old Iranian and the other IE languages.
79
However,
this relationship is explained in a manner markedly differing from the standard IE theories, that is by an
emicraticn westwards of the Iranians and the other Indo-Europeans frcm the Panjab (see below).
Vedic Sanskrit is indeed so closely related to Old Iranian that both often look more like two dialects than
two separate languages (e.g. tam mitram vajamahe . təm miθrəm vazamaide 'we worship Mitra').Any Avestan
speaker staying for a few weeks in the Panjab would have been able to speak Vedic well and --with some more
difficulty - vice versa. However, that does not necessitate at all that the Old Iranian dialects were introduced to
into Iran from the east, from India, as the autochthonist would have it. As will be seen below (§ 12 sqq.), there are
a number of features of Old Iranian (such as lack of typical South Asian substrate words, § 13 sqq.) which
actually exclude an Indian origin. Such data have not been discussed yet by the autochthonists.
The comparison of the many common features found in Vedic Indo-Aryan and Old Iranian have led to
the reconstruction of a common 'mother' tongue, Indo-Iranian, spoken (at least) around 2000 BCE, by a group of
people that shared a common spiritual and material culture (see § 4-5). Beyond that, the comparison of Indo-
Iranian and other IE languages has allowed similar reconstructions for all IE languages from Iceland and
Ireland to Xinjiang (Tocharian) and from the Baltic Sea (Lithuanian etc.) to Turkey (Hittite) and the Panjab
(Vedic IA). This theory was first developed in the early 19th century and has been tested extensively. If there were
still need of proof, one may point to the many predicticns the theory has made, especially after its more developed
form had emerged, about 1870 CE, with the establishment of regular sound correspondences (Iautcesetze) by the
Leipzig Iunccrammatiker school. Such cases include the rather old prediction of early Greek/pre-Greek *k
w
which
was discovered in writing when Mycenean Greek was deciphered in 1952, or the prediction by the young F. de
Saussure more than a century ago (1879), of a set of unknown sounds. These were later called laryngeals (h
1
,h
2
,
h
3
). They have disappeared in all known IE languages but have affected their surroundings in typical, to a large
extent even then predictable ways. When Hittite finally was read in 1916, h
2
was still found written (in words
such as pehur = Gk.pūr = Engl. fire).
Yet, some revisionists and indigenists even call into question the theories and well-tested methods of
comparative linguistics. Some of them clearly do so because of a considerable lack of understanding of the
principles at work (Waradpande 1989, Kak 1994a, Talageri 2000, etc.; discussion in Bryant 1999, cf. Elst 1999). In
addition, they make use of the expected scholarly differences of opinion between linguists to show the whole
"theory of (IE) linguistics" does not work or is an "unproved theory" (Rajaram 1995: 144, 217), thereby
neglecting such well known facts as: (a) that any science progresses and that certain opinions of the 19th cent.
cannot be juxtaposed to those of the 20th, and (b) that in any contemporary field of science
80
there is a certain
range of generally agreed facts but also a certain range of difference of opinion, such as between traditionalists,
radical skeptics,
81
and those proposing new solutions to old or recently noticed problems. In short, there always
are conflicting interpretations of the materials at hand that are discussed in dialectical fashion. Some
79
Though Talageri (2000) even refuses the link of Vedic with Iranian.
80
Note for example, in the present context, the discussion among scientists about the varicus palaeo-channels of the
Sarasvatī (Sarsuti-Ghaggar-Hakra), in Radhakrishnan and Merh (1999), or the first appearance of the horse in South Asia
(Meadow 1998).
81
Such absolute skepticism, though, is always welcome as a hermeneutic tool; but, it has to be relativized: one may maintain
that linguistic palaeontology does not work (S. Zimmer 1990), but how is it that IE words for plants and animals consistently
point to a temperate climate and to a time frame before the use of iron, chariots, etc.? The few apparent inconsistencies can
be explained (e.g., doubtful etymologies for the 'elephant', etc. see below n.127, 149).
Autochthonous Aryans? (29)
interpretations are merely possible, others probable, and still others have actually been proved and have
subsequently been shown to be correct. In present day genetics, for example, some still hold that the recently
developed theory of an origin of all humans from one or from a small group of African ancestors is not valid as it
involves misinterpretation of statistical data and the wrong type of computer models. However, nobody has
claimed that genetic investigation as such is invalid, as has been done with regard to comparative linguistics by
autochthonists on and off, or who say that it remains an 'unproved theory at best'. Unfortunately for this view,
historical linguistics, just like any good science, has made a number of predicticns that later on, with the
discovery of new materials, have been shown to be correct (see above).
§ 12.1. The Misra case
Worse, the recent book of an Indian linguist, S.S. Misra (1992), is even a step back beyond what is
demonstrable and, strangely for a linguist, often beyond the hard facts, i.e. his denial of PIE laryngeals as
precursors of the actually written Hittite laryngeal sounds (Misra 1974, 1992). He simply rewrites, on an ad hcc
basis, much of IE (and general) linguistics. The discussion and explanation of his examples (e.g., his supposed IE
*ś > k', ¯a > e, c, a etc.) would have to be quite technical and is not pursued here in detail. (It has now been
discussed by Hock, 1999). It is however, obvious even to an uninitiated observer that forms such as Skt. cakara
(instead of *kakara) must rely on the palatalizing effect of an e-like sound in ca-; cf. the Romance development
from c [k] as seen in old loan-words, German Kaiser, Greek kaisar(whence Urdu kaisar),to Romancec[tš],as
seenin Ital.Cesareor even to [s] as inEngl.Cesar, cf. also the separate development Vulgar Latin caballus 'horse'
> Irench cheval, etc.,again before -e-. These changes are a feature known from many languages. Why should it
only have been different for pre-gvedic (and pre-Old Iranian, in other worlds, for Indo-Iranian) as Misra
maintains? A case of special pleading.
The whole matter of Misra's IE reconstructions has been discussed adequately by H.H. Hock (1999) and
there is no need to go into further details here. In sum, Misra's ad hoc rules do not make for a new system,
82
they
are, in fact, a throwback, a regression to the early stages of IE comparative linguistics when strict rules of sound
correspondences (Iautcesetze) had not yet been established by the Leipzig Iunccrammnatiker School of c. 1870.
His dating of the RV, based on this "new" reconstruction, simply rests on the similarity of his "early 19th
cent." Proto-IE (looking altogether like Sanskrit) with reconstructed Proto-Finno-Ugric (Uralic) forms, for
which he accepts the cuess of Uralic linguists, a date of 5000 BCE. That guess is not any better than the various
guesses for PIE, at 3000 or 4500 BCE. Misra's whole system rests on guesswork and on demonstrably faulty
reconstructions.
It simply is uncontested among linguists of any persuasion that the remarkable crammaticallv recular
features of Proto-IE (underlying, e.g., the differences in the present tense formation of Sanskrit, German, French
asti,ist,est..santi,sind,scnt,< IE¯h
1
es-ti..¯h
1
s-cnti) are part and parcel of the parent language, the original PIE.
This was at first confined to an unknown area in a temperate (not a tropical!) climate.
83
This scenario is in stark
contrast to the certainty with which autochthonist place the homeland of IE inside South Asia or even inside
certain parts of India (Misra 1992), even more precisely in the Gangetic basin (Talageri 1993, 2000), not exactly
82
It might be summed up as follows. If his rules were correct, we would expect Skt. aśva 'horse' to correspond to Latin
equu-s , but then how could ka 'who' to correspond to Latin qui-s? How could śas well as k turn into Latin qu (and how does
the - u- come about)? Skt. k usually corresponds to c [k] in Latin, as in kalaśa, Lat. calix; kañcate, L. cincō; krnatti , cf. L. cratis,
crassus ; kavi, L. caveō; kūpa, L. cūpa; kupvati , L. cupiō; kaksa, L. ccxa, kravis, L. crucr , etc. On the other hand, Skt. ś
corresponds to a palatal k' which appears also asc|k]in Latin. How would the early Latin speakers have 'decided' which
sound to 'choose'? --- Again, if IE *a>e,c,a, how could the early Latin speakers 'decide' to turn the initial a- and final a of
aśva into e-and -u respectively? Worse, if Skt. acni 'fire' corresponds to Latin icni-s, why does a turn to i ? Or how can Skt.
avrtta-/ajñata correspond to Latin invert-/ icnctu-? Misra has not explained such cases and has provided only some ad hcc
rules to show the closeness of IE and Skt. -- However, all these developments have been explained by IE linguistics, for more
than a century, in a coherent way (IE = Latin e,c,a> Skt. a; IE > vowel n > Skt. a, Lat. in, etc.).
83
Archaeologists have proposed as area of the domestication of the horse and the (later) development of the horse drawn
chariot, in the Ukraine and the plains west and east of the Urals. From there, a trail of evidence leads to Pirak (c. 1700 BC),
the Swat valley (c. 1400 BC), -- and, of course, to the RV (textual evidence, see §8).
(30) Michael WITZEL
unexpectedly,
84
in their own home land, India. (For this familiar 'principle' used in deciding the Urheimat, see
Witzel 2000, and below).
On the other hand, the autochthonous school maintains that the very assumptions at the basis of the
genealogical, family tree model of the Indo-European language family, deride it (cf. Elst 1999: 119, see discussion
by Bryant 1999), or contest it just for the Indian linguistic area (see below). This is quite old news: various models
have been proposed and tested for the development from Proto-Indo-European to the individual languages: the
''family tree'' model (A. Schleicher's Stammbaumthecrie, 1861-2), a theory of dialectal waves of innovation
emanating from a certain center (Joh. Schmidt's \ellenthecrie, 1872). Further, socio-linguistic theories include
the development of Proto-Indo-European as a sort of camp language (another Urdu, so to speak), a new Pidgin,
based on diverse original languages that eventually spread beyond its own rather limited boundaries, for example
with the introduction of horse-based pastoralism (Anthony and Vinogradov 1995, Kuz'mina 1994, etc.).
Some advocates of the autochthonous theory (Kak 1994, Talageri 1993, 2000, Elst 1999: 159) use rather
simplistic linguistic models, such as the suggestion that population increase, trade, the emergence of
agriculture,
85
and large-scale political integration led to the extinction of certain languages and to a transfer of
other languages across ethnic groups. However, all such factors have been considered over the past two hundred
years or so; none of them, in isolation, nor a combination of all of them, lead to the surprising spread of Indo-
European languages inside and outside the subcontinent. In fact, most of the factors just mentioned were nct
present during the early Vedic period which saw the introduction and spread of IA all over the Greater Panjab.
Autochthonists further neglect that language replacement, such as visible during the Vedic period,
depends on a range of various socio-linguistic factors and not simply on the presence of nomads, increasing
population density, etc. Rather, the situation differs from case to case, and the important factors for any particular
replacement must be demonstrated. For example, Renfrew's (1987) model of a very gradual spread of IE from
Anatolia, along with agriculture, has not generally been accepted. If this agriculturally induced spread had taken
place, I would be writing this paper in a descendent language of the non-IE Hattic of Turkey, and not in IE
English. In the case of early India, the change from the language(s) of the urbanized Indus civilization to that of
the pastoralist Indo-Aryans must be explained. It certainly cannot be done (see below) by positioning the
homeland of the 'non-tropical' IE language inside India (Talageri 1993, 2000, Elst 1999: 118 sqq.) and make its
speakers emigrate, across the Indus area, towards Iran and Europe.
§12.2 Language and 'Out of India' theories
Thecreticallv, a scenario of IE emigration from the Panjab is of course possible, --- the direction of the
spread of languages and linguistic innovations cannot easilv be determined, unless we have written materials
(preferably inscriptions). However, some linguistic observations such as the distribution of languages, dialect
features, substrate languages, linguistic palaeontology, etc. allow to argue against the Out of India scenarios.
The Out of India theorists such as Elst (1999:122, 124 etc.), Talageri (1993, 2000) envision an IE
homeland in South Asia, to be more precise, in the Gangetic basin. Talageri simply assumes, without any
linguistic (or archaeological, palaeontological) sources and proof, that in "prehistoric times the distribution of
84
The unspoken "principle" of locating the (IE) homeland: "the homeland is at, or clcsetc the homeland of the author of the
book in question..." (Witzel, 2000). -- Talageri claims to have based his study of the RV only on RV materials, but introduces
late Vedic and Puråic concepts (see below §12.2, Witzel 2001); not surprisingly, then, the outcome is a Gangetic homeland.
85
Elst 1999: 159 sq. stresses, like many other indigenists, that "India was the best place on earth for food production" and
that "a generous country like India must have had a large population," both unsubstantiated articles of faith. Note that the
Indus Valley has only gradually been settled, from the Baluchi/Afghani hills, and that the Gangetic plain remained very
sparsely settled for much longer. (Cf. also the negative description of the Panjab by E. Iranians, in Vīdẽvdåd, see n. 52). Elst's
imaginative description is compounded by repeating the nationalistic view that "the ancient Hindus colonized the world".
But India, by and large, always has been a cul de sac. Otherwise, autochthonists wonder why a 'large population' could take
over IA language(s) brought in by a few tribes. A few comparisons across history would have provided many and diverse
examples. For the dominance model: Norman French introduced by a few knights and their followers in Anglo-Saxon
England, or for a trade language: Swahili, starting out from the coast and by now covering most of E. Africa and the eastern
half of the Congo (incidentally, mostly spreading without Islamization).
Autochthonous Aryans? (31)
the languages in India may have been roughly the same as it is today: viz. the Dravidian languages being spoken
in the south, Austric in the east, the Andamanese languages in the Andaman Islands, the Burushaski language
in N. Kashmir, Sino-Tibetan languages in the Himalayan and far eastern border areas, and the Indo-European
languages certainly in more or less their present habitat in most of northern India" (1993: 407). The rest follows
logically: ..."a major part of the Indo-Europeans of southeastern Uttar Pradesh migrated to the west and settled
down in the northwestern areas --- Punjab, Kashmir and the further north-west, where they differentiated into
three groups: the Pūrus (in the Punjab), the Anus (in Kashmir) and the Druhyus (in northwestern and
Afghanistan)", (cf. Talageri 1993: 196, 212, 334, 344-5, 2000: 328, 263).
86
Of course, all of this is based on data
about peoples "clearly mentioned and described in the Puranas." Needless to say, this kind of writing prehistory
smacks of early 19th cent. writing of early European and Near Eastern history according to the Bible and
Herodotos, before the ancient Egyptian and Mesopotamian texts could be read. It is based on a naive reliance on
texts that were composed millennia after the facts, and that are the product of a lively Bardic tradition (L. Rocher
1986, Brockington 1998, Parry 1971, Lord 1991), influenced by Brahmanical redactors (Söhnen 1986, Horsch
1966). In spite of what Pargiter (1913) and even Morton Smith (1973) have tried to establish --obviously,
without taking the later investigations into account-- we cannot write the history of archaic and ancient India
based on the legendary and late Epic and Puråic accounts of the middle ages (Witzel 1990, 1995, 2001).
Talageri (1993: 407) continues his Puråic tale as follows: "... major sections of Anus ... developed into
the various Iranian cultures. The Druhyus spread out into Europe in two installments." He actually kncws,
somehow, which IE group moved first and which later, and by which route: "the speakers of the proto-Germanic
dialect first migrated northwards and then westwards, and then later the speakers of the proto-Hellenic and
proto-Italo-Celtic dialects moved into Europe by a different, more southern, route. It is possible that the speakers
of proto-Baltic and proto-Slavonic (or proto-Balto-Slavonic) ... of proto-Illyrian and proto-Thraco-Phrygian ...
were Anus and not Druhyus, the Anus and Druhyus thus being, respectively, the speakers of proto- Satem and
proto-Kentum." (1993: 407-8).
Or slightly differently (2000: 263): "The two emigrations ... from an original homeland in India: ... The
first series of migrations, of the Druhyus, took place.... with major sections of Druhyus migrating northwards
from Afghanistan into Central Asia in different waves. From Central Asia many Druhyu tribes, in the course of
time, migrated westwards, reaching as far as western Europe. These migrations must have included the ancestors
of the following branches... a. Hittite. b. Tocharian. c. Italic. d. Celtic. e. Germanic. f. Baltic. g. Slavonic.
.... The second series of migrations of Anus and Druhyus, took place much later, in the Early Period of the
Rigveda, with various tribes migrating westwards from the Punjab into Afghanistan, many later on migrating
further westwards as far as West Asia and southwestern Europe. These migrations must have included the
ancestors of the following branches (which are mentioned in the Dåśaråjña battle hymns): a. Iranian. b. Thraco-
Phrygian (Armenian). c. Illyrian (Albanian). d. Hellenic."
The strange or outdated terminology (Slavonic, etc. -- his source may be Misra's diction, see below --
Italo-Celtic, Kentum) indicates the limited linguistic background of the author sufficiently enough.
Nevertheless, we also can learn of the solution to the long-standing enigma of the Indus language (Parpola 1994,
Witzel 1999 a,b): "The Indus Valley culture was a mixed culture of Pūrus and Anus" (1993: 408). Nothing less,
perhaps, could be expected, as the book is self-described as: "This whole description is based on the most logical
and in many respects the cnlv pcssible, interpretation of the facts... Any further research, and any new material
discovered on the subject, can only confirm this description... there is no possible way in which the location of the
86
It must be pointed out that all of this is based on one misrepresented passage from several Puråas, given by Talageri
1993: 368 and 2000: 260 sq., typically, twice in untranslated form, which makes it easy to impute any meaning desired, in case
a "first historical emigration ... of the Druhyu into the areas to the north of Afghanistan (ie. into Central Asia and beyond)."
The passage is found with some variants, at Brahmåda 2.74.11, Brahma 13.152, Harivaśa 1841, Matsya 48.9, Våyu 99.11, cf.
also Viu 4.17.5, Bhågavata 9.23.15, see Kirfel 1927: 522: Pracetasah putraśatam rajanah sarva eva te // Mleccharastradhipah
sarve udīcīm diśam aśritah, which means, of course, nct that these '100' kings conquered the 'northern countries' way beyond
the Hindukush or Himalayas, but that all these 100 kings, sons of Pracetås (a descendant of a 'Druhyu'), kings of Mleccha
kingdoms, are 'adjacent' (aśrita) to the 'northern direction,' -- which since the Vedas and Påini has signified Greater
Gandhåra. -- Elst (1999: 122) even weaves in the disputed Bangani evidence (Witzel 1999 a,b) that point to a western
(centum) IE remnant in the Himachal Pradesh Hills, like that of Tocharian in Xinjiang, W. China.
(32) Michael WITZEL
Original Homeland in the interior of northern India, so faithfully recorded in the Puranas and confirmed in the
Rigveda, can ever be disproved" (1993: 408). Luckily for us, the author names his two main sources: the Puråas
and the gveda. The reliability of Puråic and Epic sources is discussed below (§19, Witzel 1990, 1995), and the
RV does not support his theory either (it simply does not know of, or refer to central and eastern Northern
India).
87
§ 12.3. Emigration
In order to achieve his new U.P. homeland, Talageri has not only to relv on the Puråas, he also has to
readthemintc his RV evidence, though pretendinc to use only the RV to interpret the RV (Talageri 2000) -- in fact
one of the basic requirements of philology (Witzel 1995, 1997). In casu, the single two appearances of Iahnavī in
the RV at 1.116.19 and 3.56.6 are made out to refer to the Ganges. However, both passages clearly refer to a Jahnåvī
which translators and commentators (including Såyaa) have taken as a tribal designation (cf., indeed, such an
'ancestral goddess' next to Hotrå, Bhåratī, Iå and Sarasvatī at RV 2.1.11, etc.). It is, thus, by no means clear that
Jahnåvī refers to a river, and certainly not to the Ganges in particular (Witzel 2001). That is an Epic/Puråic
conceit. Instead, it can simply be derived from the Jahnu clan. Yet, it is in this way that Talageri tries to
strengthen his case for a Gangetic homeland: the Ganges is otherwise only mentioned twice in the RV, once in a
late hymn directly (10.75.5), and once by a derived word, cancva (6.45.31, in a trca that could be an even later
addition to this additicnal hymn, which is too long to fit the order of the arrangement of the RV, see Oldenberg
1888). However, nothing in the RV points to knowledge of the Gangetic basin, or even of the lower Doåb. The
medieval and modern Doåb rivers Sarayu and Gomatī
88
have sometimes been mentioned but the context of these
RV rivers is one of the western hills and mountains, in Afghanistan.
89
Talageri's identification of Jahnåvī with
Gagå is clearly based on post-Vedic identifications;
90
the RV passages only speak about an ancient clan (deity)
which could have 'settled' anywhere.
91
The evidence set forth by Talageri is not conclusive even for the tribes of the RV, -- in fact the location of
the Yadu-Turvaśa, Anu-Druhyu and Pūru is not very clear for most of the gvedic period (Macdonell & Keith
1912).
92
One hardly does have to mention the features that would not agree with a 'tropical' PIE language in the
Gangetic Basin (see § 12.6). As a curiosity, it might be added, however, that we certainly would expect tribal
names such as Druhyu (or Anu) in Europe, -- just as the Gypsies have carried their tribal/caste name Dcmba to
Europe, where they still call themselves Rcma. However, we do not find any IE tribe or people in Europe derived
from Ved. druh/ IE *dhreuch: there are no tribes called, e.g., German Truc, Be-trucer, Engl. *Trav, Be-traver -- we
only find spirits: 'ghost' and 'apparition' (Pokorny 1959: 276).
In passing, it should be mentioned that the Epic and Puråic accounts of the western neighbors of India
are based on a view, already found in ŚB and BŚS 18.13: 357.6 sqq, 18.44:397.8 sqq, that regards all tribes and
peoples outside the Center, the Kuru(-Pañcåla) realm, as 'outsiders' (bahīkaŚB 1.7.3.8, udantva, mleccha, asurva).
They are characterized by their 'incorrect' speech and obnoxious behavior (ŚB 9.3.1.24, Panjabis) and lack of
proper śrauta ritual (ŚB 13.5.4.19, Kåśi).
87
Talageri achieves such evidence by twisting the facts his way: see the discussion of Jahnåvī, n. 90, Witzel 2001.
88
Sarayu, then was not yet the mod. Sarju in U.P.; Gomatī, that in PB 25.7.2 is already located in Vibhinduka land, i.e. is the
modern Gumti in U.P., Witzel 1987:193.
89
RV 5.53.9, the mythical river at the end of the world or high up in the Himalayas, the Rasa /Avest. Ranha, andthe Kubha
(Kabul R.), Krumu (Kurram), Saravu (Herat R.); and 10.64.9: Sarasvatī (=Haraxaitī, Helmand), Saravu (Herat R.), Sindhu
(Indus); (see Witzel 1987, 1995, 1999; note that both lists are probably ordered anti-clockwise, Witzel, 2000).
90
Note Mbh 1.3722 etc., son of Ajamīha, his daughter = Gagå; -- Jåhnåvī Mbh 3.8211; Jåhnava PB 22.12; cf. Jahnu's
descendants at AB 7.18, ĀśvŚS 12.14, = 'Gagå' at BhGītå 10.31, Viu Pur. 398; cf. Macdonell-Keith, VedicIndex.
91
Note that the center of settlement in RV 3 is the eastern Panjab and the Sarasvatī area of Haryana, see Witzel 1995: 320.
92
For example, settlement in Kashmir by any gvedic tribe is very doubtful, see Witzel 1994; in the later Bråmaa period,
Uttara-Madra (however, not Uttara-Kuru) mav refer to Kashmir .
Autochthonous Aryans? (33)
Consequently, both the Panjabis (Bahīka) as well as the Benares (Kaśi) and S. Bihar (Anca) people are
denigrated by middle Vedic texts.
93
This attitude mellowed somewhat with regard to eastern North India (AB
7.18 where the Andhra, Pura, Śabara, Pulinda, etc. are included as Viśvåmitra's sons, Witzel 1997) but it
continued with respect to the west which was under constant and continuing threat of immigration, incursion
and actual invasion from the Afghan highlands (cf. Rau 1957: 14). In fact, the Panjabis have been regarded as
outsiders since the AV and ŚB and Patañjali's Mahåbhåya has preserved the oldest "Sikh joke", caur bahīkah 'the
Panjabi is an ox'. There is nothing new under the Indian sun.
There is, on the other hand, nothing particularly Indian about this attitude, it is reflected not only in
Manu's concept of madhvadeśa (> mod. Nepali mades 'lowlands'), but also in ancient and modern China (chunc
kuc, 'the middle land'), and elsewhere. Ritual, world wide, often regards one's own location as the center of the
universe (or its navel/eye, cmatactehenua, in Polynesian).
The Epic and Puråic accounts simply build on such Vedic precedents: the Panjabis are regarded as
'fallen Ārya', or in the words of BŚS, the Gandhåri have emigrated [from the center].
94
This is "the view from the
center", Kuruketra, a view that was not yet present in gvedic times.
95
All of this is, incidentally, another
indication of the (post-g)Vedic attitude against 'outsiders', the Other. To regard the alleged, actually
mistranslated Puråic story (contra Witzel 2001, cf. n. 42, 86) about an emigration from India as statement of
facts is as far-fetched and mythological as the Roman insistence of their descent from the heroes of Troy (Virgil's
Aeneid, see above §9), or as the many tales about the lost tribes of Israel (note that the Pashtos, in spite of the E.
Iranian language and pre-Muslim IIr culture, claimed to be one of them). It is completely anachronistic, and in
fact unscientific, to use such legends, concocted long after the fact, as indications of actual historical events. (The
Gypsies, who actually have emigrated from India, rather claim origins in S. Iraq or Egypt).
§12.4. Linguistics and 'Emigration'.
In addition, Talageri's new book merely restates, with the addition of Epic-Puråic legends, what S.S.
Misra had written before him in 1992, just as so much of present autochthonous writing is nothing more than a
cottage industry exploitation of a now popular trend. Misra's small book
96
of 110 pages, however, is a curious
collection of linguistic data spanning the Eurasian continent, from Tamil to Uralic (Finno-Ugric), and from IE,
Vedic and Mitanni Indo-Aryan to European Gypsy (Romani). All of this with an equally curious conclusion:
"the original home of the Proto-Indo-European speech community... was searched in Pamir, Caspian Sea etc. in
spite of the fact that the most original and orthodox Indo-European speech, Sanskrit, was spoken in India.... The
following ground may be assumed for dropping India. This was a nice place to live. People would not like to go to
places like Europe... On the other hand, there is definite evidence of spread of Aryans (or Indo-Europeans) in
different parts of Europe... A brief sketch may be.... The Greeks were invaders and came to Greece from outside...
there was a vast substratum of pre-Greek languages... the Celtic people came from outside to Europe... That the
Italic peoples were invaders is well-known... before the Hittite invasion to the area [Turkey] it was peopled by
another tribe called Hattic... the Hittite speakers might have gone there in very early days from an original home
(which was perhaps India)... The Slavonic people ... were invaders... at the expense of Finno-Ugrian and Baltic
languages... The Germanic speaking Indo-Europeans... coming from an outside world... the movement of
Iranians from India to Iran... The Finno-Ugrian contact with Indo-Aryans speaks of the movement of Vedic
Aryans from India to that area. Therefore it is likely that Pre-Vedic Aryans also might have gone out of India in
93
Witzel 1987,1989, 1997. However, the "north", Gandhåra and Uttara-Madra, (Uttara-Kuru?) are always excluded, see
Witzel 1989: 101.
94
See discussion in §9, Nirukta, Patañjali and the Kamboja language.
95
But see above §9 on the Sarasvatī as political center in Sudås' time.
96
The following account was written before I heard, at the beginning of Oct. 2000, of the author's demise. I am sorry that
he can no longer reply to the following points. However, as his book has been quoted in virtually every publication
propagating the autochthonous point of view, it is important to point out the facts which remain, even if de mcrtuis nihil
nisibene.
(34) Michael WITZEL
several waves. The migrations from India to the outside world might have taken the following order: The
Centum speakers... in several waves... Out of Satəm speakers, Armenian first, the Albanian, next Baltic followed
by Slavonic. The Iranian people were the last to leave... based on the linguistic analysis or relative affinity with
Sanskrit. Similarly out of the Centum groups Greek might have left India last of all." (Misra 1992: 100 sqq.) A lot
of invasions into and all over Europe -- quite politically incorrect now, it might be added, -- but no "invasion",
not even an 'immigration" or a meager "trickling" intc India.
There is no need to belabor Misra's wording, such as 'orthodox' (which language is 'orthodox'?), strange
from the pen of a linguist. However, Misra's main thesis, emigration frcm India, has already been refuted, on
linguistic grounds, by Hock (1999, see below) and I can be relatively brief here; however, many ingredients and
conclusions of Misra's book are faulty as well. Since he is now quoted by OIT advocates as the major linguistic
authority who has provided proof for the OIT, these must be discussed and summed up.
§ 12.5 Finno-Ugric data
Misra maintains (1992: 94) "the borrowed elements in the Uralic languages show borrowed gvedic
forms in 5000 BC." Unfortunately, his discussion is based on two wrong premises: Harmatta's list of IA/Iranian
loans in Uralic
97
and Misra's own 'unorthodox' but faulty reinterpretation of IIr and IA data.
To begin with, the date given by Misra to the RV "must be beyond 5000 BC" (1992) is based on the cuess of
Finno-Ugric scholars for Proto-FU, a date just as good or bad as any given for PIE at 4500 or 3500 BCE. What is
of greater importance here is the exact form of IIr. that the various loan words in PFU have preserved. In addition
to Harmatta, some other scholars, not mentioned by Misra, have worked on this problem as well, most recently
Joki 1973, Rédei 1986, Katz (Habilschrift 1985).
Unfortunately, Harmatta has chosen to divide his materials into eleven stages, ranging from 4500 -
1000 BCE, with an arbitrary length for each period of 300 years. Worse, some of them have been placed at various
unlikely dates within that time frame, e.g., the development is>iš,which is already E. IE (Slavic, IIr, etc.)has
been placed at 2000 BCE (asiś!), that is 600 later than the related changes rs > rš, ks > kš, and the same
development appears acain as PIIriś>išat 1700 BCE. However, it is on this arrangement that Misra based his
conclusions. Though he corrects some of Harmatta's mistakes (such as misclassifying IIr forms as PIran.),
Misra makes things worse due to his clearly faulty, 19th cent. type reconstruction of IE (see Hock 1999): "most of
the loan words ... are in fact to be traced to Indo-Aryan. Of special importance is the borrowing traced to the
earliest period (5000 BCE), which is clearly Vedic Sanskrit" (1992: 24). This refers to words such as Harmatta's
FU *aja 'to drive, to hunt', *pcrc'as, pcrśas 'piglet', *cc'tara 'whip', *c'aka 'goat', *erśe 'male', *reśme 'strap', *mekše
'honey bee', *mete 'honey' (from Harmatta's stages 1-7). Mcst of these are actually pre-IA as they retain c' > Ved.
ś, or š instead of Ved. s, or the IE vowels e,c instead of Common IIr and Ved. a.
98
His use of Harmatta's list and
that quoted from Burrow (1973: 23-27) and Abaev (1992: 27-32) suffer from the same methodological fault:
forms that easily can be derived from IIr, such as Mordw. purtscs, purts (reflecting IIr *parc'as [part
s
as]) are
declared by Misra as having come from the much later OIA (Vedic), in spite of their retaining the old
pronunciation c' [t
s
]; this is, in fact, still found in Nuristani, e.g. du.c. [dut
s
], < PIIr dac'a < PIE dek'm, but not
in the lincuisticallv alreadv vcuncer, but historically speaking c. 3000 years older forms Ved. daśa, OIran. dasa! In
short, this kind of combination produces a great, but confused and confusing scenario.
Most of the acceptable evidence derived from Harmatta's data
99
fall right into the Proto-IIr period. The
shibboleth is the development of PIE labiovelars to velars: ¯k
w
,k
w
h, c
w
,c
w
h>k,kh,c,ch, something that is
97
Reprinted in Harmatta 1992: 360-367. Harmatta actually is an historian who, nevertheless, is called by Misra "one of the
leading Indo-Europeanists." His paper has been used by many indigenists who cannot judge these linguistic materials.
98
Misra, of course, denies the development IE e, c, a > IIr, Ved. a; this reversal to early 19th cent. linguistics is refuted by
Hock 1999.
99
Harmatta's list has no clear examples that date back to PIE. One may discuss PFU *mete 'honey' < PIE *medhu, but the
quality of the PFU vowels preserved in these words is open to doubt (see below). Further, the retaining of -w- in PFU *arwa
'present given to a guest' surprises as PIE *crc
w
ha- should have lost its labiovelar quality already by the time the word
Autochthonous Aryans? (35)
clearly seen in PFU *werkas 'wolf' < PIIr *vrka-s < PIE *wlk
w
c-s(Misra, of course, takes this word as RV
Sanskrit!). About the same time, the PIE *k',k'h,c',c'h developed to c',c'h,j',j'h. This development is clearly seen
in the majcritv of the loans into PFU, as in for example in *pcrc'as 'piglet', *c'aka 'goat', *aja 'to drive'. (Misra
derives these sounds from Skt. c,j, see Hock 1999). However, the PIIr affricates are represented in PFU in two
forms, either as expected by c' or in the younger (=Vedic) form, by ś
100
(late PIIr, not yet OIran. s, and ś
preserved in Vedic).
Some confusion is raised by the various representations of PIIr *a by PFU e,ü,c,a. This could, again,
point to the pre-PIIr period when the differences between e,c,aas inherited from PIE were still preserved. In fact,
-c- in these loan-words seems to be limited to initial syllables, while other syllables have -a- or -e-. The problem
will be treated at length elsewhere (Witzel, forthc. b)
101
.
The important result is, quite differently from that of Misra's Sanskrit-like loans into PFU, the follow-
ing: it was at the stage of PIIr (perhaps even at that of late PIE) but certainly not that of gvedic Sanskrit, that
PFU has taken over a substantial number of loan words ranging from plants and animals to customs, religion
and the economy.
102
§ 12.6. Dating of RV
The last section has, of course, serious consequences for Misra's new dating of the RV, at 5000 BCE,
which is anyhow impossible due to internal contradictions (relating to the horse, chariot, etc., see below). As the
PFU loan-words point to pre-gvedic, PIIr. and even some (pre-)PIIr. forms, the RV must be considerable later
than the reconstructed PFU (at 5000 BCE). All of which fits in well with the 'traditional' date for this text, in the
2nd mill. BCE, roughly contemporary with Hittite, Mitanni IA, and early, Mycenean Greek texts inscribed on
tablets.
turned into IIr *archa. Note, however, that Mayrhofer, EWA 114, regards the PFU form as problematic (from *arγa?, Finn.
arvc); Katz's Habilschrift was not available to me.
100
Parpola 1998, however, conflates the two stages and further conflates them with the representation of IE e/c/a by FU e,c,
a,üetc.
101
These facts should be counterchecked by FU specialists who may be able to explain this phenomenon by vowel
harmony or by the peculiarities of PFU stress.
102
Conversely, there is apparently little FU in IE. Such one-sided relationships, however, are not uncommon as they follow
the predominant cultural flow. The reason for the early occurrence of word for bee (*mekše) and honey (IE *medhu) may lie
elsewhere, in the usefulness of bee's wax to produce cire perdue metal products, which seem to be earlier in the Taiga
woodlands than in the steppes and even further south. In other words, we here have a reverse cultural flow, from the
woodlands into the steppes. -- It must be pointed out that the few words in PFU that still retain the nom. sg. masc. -s, such as
tarwas, martas, taivas, pcrc’as, werkas (and, including the case of pakas 'god', with a typical, much later, Iran. semantic
development from IIr Bhaga-s, the (god) "Share", see below) do nct point to an earlier take-over than that of other words
without - s. For, there are words such as the presumably very early *arwa 'present', *jewü, or *mekše, where this has nct taken
place. -- However, the typical Iran. change s>h is not yet seen in Harmatta's material, and it may indeed be fairly late (c. 1000
BCE, see A. Hintze 1998). In short, some of the late words in the list may be of North Iranian (Scythian/Saka) origin. -- For
connections between IE and Altaic, see A. Róna-Tas 1988.
(36) Michael WITZEL
§ 12.7. Mitanni data
Misra's use of the Mitanni Indo-Aryan materials is clearly faulty as well. They seem to fit in well (at
dates around 1400 BCE) with his theory of an early RV at 5000 BCE because he regards some of the Mitanni
words as representing post-Vedic, Middle Indo-Aryan developments. He assumes (repeated faithfully by Elst
1999:183) that there is MIA assimilation of clusters in Mit.satta < Ved. sapta'seven' (see n. 148), or replacement
of v- by b- as in biriva- < Ved. vīrva(rather, to be read as priva-,see EWA I 139). However, such forms are due to
the exigencies of cuneiform writing and Hurrite pronunciation found in the Mitanni realm (for details, see below
§18). In sum, Misra's data are based on his insufficient knowledge of near Eastern languages and their writing
systems.
However, it can even be shown that Mitanni IA words belong to a pre-Rcvedic stage of IA as they have
retained -zdh- > RV edh and ai > RV e, and even IIr. j'h > Ved. h (see below §15, 18). Thus, Misra's early "Middle
Indo-Aryan" at 1400 BCE simply evaporates, along with his early RV at 5000 BCE.
103
We are back to the
'traditional' dates.
§ 12.8. Gypsy language
Though a detailed study of data from the Gypsy (Romany) language seems to be beyond the scope of the
present discussion, some words are necessary as Misra has used the example of Gypsy as support for his theory of
sound changes that affected the hypothetical IE emigrants from India when they entered the Near East and
Europe. No matter that the two movements, thousands of years apart, would refer to one of PIE and the other to
an MIA or ealry NIA language, and no matter that Romany is not as well studied as PIE. While it is clear that
"the Gypsy languages are of Indo-Aryan origin is no more controversial..." it is not correct to say that "the Gypsy
dialects present sufficient evidence which shows that Indo-Aryan a changed into a,e,c in European Gypsy..."
(Misra 1992)
First of all, the emigrant Gypsies, probably first attested as migrant musicians in records of the Sasanide
kingdom of Iran (at 420 CE), have retained a fairly old form of IA which looks, often enough, like MIA, for
example in the northwestern MIA retention of Cr (bhrata>phral 'brother'), or the present tense of 'to do' (karav,
karas, karal, etc.) Misra hinted at the reason why certain cases of MIA a have changed into Eur. Romani e,a,c :
their distribution seems to be based on occurrence of -a- in an originally open syllable (in MIA, OIA) whence > e,
or in a non-open syllable whence > a. However, this change is by no means universal even in European Romani.
Its archaic Balkan version (of Bulgaria, etc., which I know from personal experience) has kar-, karav etc.'to do'
(from karcmi, as quoted above). In short, Misra's data are again incomplete, faulty and misinterpreted.
Second, his contention that "Thus in a way the linguistic change in Gypsy, suggests a clear picture of an
assumption for a similar change in Proto-Indo-European stage, of Indo-European a (as shown by Sanskrit and
as reconstructed by Bopp, Sleicher [sic!] etc.) into dialectical a,e,c (as shown by Gk. etc.). Uptil now no evidence
to the contrary is available that Proto-Indo-European a,e,c (as reconstructed by Brugmann etc.) have merged in
India" (Misra 1992: 81) can easily be refuted by any Indo-Europeanist (Hock 1999). In Greek, for example, we do
not have a 'dialectal' change, whatever that may mean, of Misra's IE *a>e,a,c but a clearly regulated one, in the
case of laryngeals 1-3 > e,a,c.IE *h
1
esti > Gr. esti, Lat. est, but Ved. asti; h
2
ner->Greekanẽr,Ved.nr-, *h
2
enti > Gr.
anti, Lat. ante, Hitt. hanti(with written laryngeal!) but Ved. anti, *h
3
cnkcs > Gr. cnkcs, Lat. uncus, but Ved. anku-sa
(Rix 1976: 68 sqq.). Not to speak of the well-established correspondences of PIE *e, c, a in the various IE
languages, which Misra simply denies on insufficient grounds (for details, see Hock 1999).
In sum, Misra's contention that "Gypsy languages show a repetition of the linguistic change, which
occurred in a remote history of Indo-European, when the original groups, speakers of various historical lan-
guages, left their original homeland (India) and travelled to Europe... (1992: 82), ... the borrowed elements in the
Uralic languages show borrowed gvedic forms in 5000 BC... the date of RV must be beyond 5000 BC..." (1992:
103
This is not to say that even the RV has a few forms, such as the -disputed- jvctis < dvctis (aan de Wiel 2000); however
Mitanni does not have any such developments, see below (§18).
Autochthonous Aryans? (37)
94) is based on insufficient materials, faulty interpretations and idiosyncratic conclusions that are at odds with
anyone else's in the field.
104
§12.9 Contra: IE dialect clusters
Returning to the question of an IE homeland inside India, we can easily observe where IE innovations
seem to cluster, right from the time of the common PIE language. For example, the famous Satem innovations
all are limited to the IE languages in the east of the IE settlement area, with the exception of the (western-type)
Centum language Tocharian, which actually is the easternmost IE language, in China (Xinjiang; to which add
the Bangani substrate). Clearly, the older Centum block has been split by the Satem innovations (not
withstanding that the speakers of Tocharians might have moved further east after the split). Such clustering
indicates that Indo-Iranian is a southeastern extension of eastern (Satem) IE and that Vedic is the easternmost
one of these. For a recent summary, see H.H. Hock (1986: 452, 1999). From this, as well as from a number of
earlier studies, it is obvious that the 'dialectal features' in the arrangements of (P)IE languages indicate a general
expansion of IE westwards and eastwards from an unknown center, somewhere close to the geographical center of
the pre-colonial expansion of IE languages over Siberia, the Americas, etc.
The actual spread of IE across Eurasia points in the same direction. It has been well observed in various
parts of the world that a settlement close to each other of related languages indicates their original habitat while a
(geographically) wide spread of one of a (sub)family points to recent expansion. One can observe this with Bantu
which covers all of Central, East and South Africa while its parent group, Niger-Congo, has a very dense
arrangement of diverse languages in West Africa.
105
Or, even more recently, the large array of English dialects
in England, and the very few but large variants outside England (N. America, Australia, etc.) clearly point to
England as the place of origin.
In the case of IE, the application of this principle would indicate an original settlement of the ancestor
language somewhere in (S)E. Europe; it must not be overlooked, however, that many early IE languages have
disappeared since (Thracian, Dacian in the Balkans, Hittite, Luwian, etc. in Anatolia, and probably some
languages in S. Russia/Ukraine as well, areas that were subsequently settled by Scythians and other (Turkic)
steppe peoples, and finally by Slavs. The center mav therefore have been situated somewhere between Greek,
Hittite, Armenian in the South and Slavic, Iranian (Scythian, Saka, etc.) in the north, in other words, in the
Greater Ukraine. This area is also at the fault line between the western Centum and eastern Satem languages and
of certain syntactic features of IE (Hock 1999: 15).
All such observations make an Indian homeland of PIE a priori unlikely. Hock (1999) has adduced
further reasons why this cannot be the case: all dialectal differences in PIE would have been exported, at various
periods, and would exactly have reconstituted themselves geographically, all over Europe and the Near East, in
104
Some other topics of this nature will be taken up below (§13 sqq.) The following passage, however, does not need any
comment: "In ancient times in India such rsis were very powerful. They were great teachers, researchers, philosophers and
scientists. If Agastya had some power he might have helped in bringing down the abnormal height of the Vindhya mountains
which created a lack of contact of North and South. Thus a least this is much likely that due to some factor the height of the
Vindhya mountains became abnormally high, so that the path for contact of North and South was blocked and due to the
growth of population the people in the North had to spread, naturally farther North. They used the routes like the Khyber
pass and left it and lost all contact and were finally lost to their people ... as a result the Aryans had to go outside to North-
West through the Himalayan passes and this consequently was responsible for the spread of Indo-European language family
to the outside world." (Misra 1992: 70) Is this linguistics, prehistory, a 'scientific' Mahå-Bhårata? Or just a reverse version of
O. Rosenberg'sMvthcftheTwentiethCenturv?
105
The same applies to Austronesian, with a very close grouping in Taiwan (and then in S.E. Asia), but subsequently, with
the wider spread of just one subfamily, Polynesian, all across the Pacific. -- The center of Slavic languages would be in or
near the northern Carpathian mountains, indeed close to the actual homeland of the Slavic speaking tribes. That of all
Romance languages would lead to central Italy, in other words, to Rome. -- Elst 1999: 126 sq. points, as 'proof' for his Indian
Urheimat of IE, to some asymmetric expansions which are found as well, as in the (easily explainable) case of Australia, with
Arnhemland as the center and with the rest of the continent as the area of a more recent expansion.
(38) Michael WITZEL
the same geographical relationship as originally found in the hypothetical Indian homeland. This certainly
needs very special pleading, and simply falls prey to Occam's razor.
106
§ 12.10 Other 'Out of India' theories: Sprachbund
Another new and equally misleading linguistic scenario has recently been created by writers such as
Aiyar (1975), Waradpande (1993) and scientists such as S. Kak (1994a), or always on the internet, S.
Kalyanaraman (1999). They contend that two of the major language families of South Asia, Indo-Aryan (i.e. IE)
and Dravidian are not (very) different from each other. Both would rather represent two forms of an old South
Asian Proto-language, which they call, variously, a Pråkt or just the Indian Bronze Age language.
Again, the idea is not exactly new. A fore-runner is, quite unexpectedly and already at the beginning of
the past century, Aurobindo
107
(cf. Talageri 2000). With the then usual conflation of outward appearance or
'race', ethnicity, and language (note: Hirt 1907), he found that his native people, the Bengalis, and the inhabitants
of his new home, Ponchicherry (where he went into exile, evading the British), were not so different after all.
More recently, some Indian scholars have expressed the (ultimately correct) feeling of an All-Indian
cultural unity in terms of lancuace as well (Aurobindo, etc., cf. Bryant 1999). Swaminatha Aiyar's analyses (1975,
quoted, with approval by Misra 1992: 73-78, and adopted) of common features between Aryan and Dravidian are
a case in point:
"...from a linguistic point of view also, Dravidian is more comparable to Indo-Aryan than to any other
language family in the world... But Dravidian may be the first to have been separated and went north.
Next the centum people separated and left through the Himalayan passes to Caspian or Pamir and then
to Europe etc. The satem speakers left after that, batch by batch. The last batch might have been the
Iranians."
The first part of the quote confuses descent (genetic relationship) of languages with secondary mutual influences
of neighboring languages (S. Asian linguistic region, Sprachbund).
The very idea of a "pan-Indian Pråkt" is, of course, a ccntradictic in se. As any beginner in linguistics
should know, Prakrt always refers to an Indo-Aryan language, Middle Indo-Aryan to be precise. The
designation 'common South Asian Proto-language' or, worse, "Pråkt", when used for Archaic Tamil, is
imaginary and confusing, just as a Dravidian Proto-Vedic, P-Hindi, or a Mundic P-Bengali would be.
The issue at hand is whether there ever was such a thing as a common S. Asian or Indian "Prakrit".
Kalyanaraman, Kak (1994a), or Misra (1992) simply (or handily) confuse the relatively new concept of a South
Asian linguistic area (Sprachbund) with the 'genetic' relationship of the languages involved.
This idea was developed early in the 20th century when linguists where surprised that several disparate
languages in the Balkans shared so many features. These include Rumanian, Macedonian, Bulgarian, Serbian,
Greek and Albanian. Now, these are all Indo-European languages and thus have the same starting point,
though Bulgarian has an old Turkish (Bulgar, different from modern Turkish) and an IE Thracian substrate.
But they come from four quite different sub-families: Rumanian from the Western IE Vulgar Latin, Bulgarian,
Macedonian and Serbian from the Eastern IE Southern Slavic, Greek from the Western IE Old Greek, and finally
106
Elst (1999) includes a long chapter on links of IE with other language families, with a curious mixture of correct and
incorrect data; wrong are, e.g., p. 141: Ved. paraśu 'axe' is not the same as Mesop. pilakku 'spindle' (see EWA II: 87); on p.
145 there is the linguistically surprising statement that, because Drav. and Munda are attested later than Vedic, there is no
reason to assume a borrowing from these languages into Vedic, -- as if they did not have Proto-forms. -- Elst pays special
attention to links with Austronesian (p. 152 sqq.) as this would push the Urheimat of IE into S. Asia, or even into S. China
and S.E. Asia; this is followed by a curious speculation of a Manu who would have led the Indo-Europeans upstream on the
Ganges towards the Panjab, ending with (p. 157) "India as a major demographic growth centre from which IE spread to the
north and west and Austronesian to the southeast as far as Polynesia". The only redeeming feature here is that he concludes
(p. 158) "it is too early to say that linguistics has proven an Indian origin for the IE family."
107
Aurobindo felt that not only the people but also the original connection between the Sanskrit and Tamil tongues to be
far closer and more extensive than is usually supposed and that they may have been two divergent families derived from one
"lost primitive tongue".
Autochthonous Aryans? (39)
Albanian from the vague Illyrian/Dalmatian (etc.) subfamily. As such, they are much more different from each
other than even modern Iranian and Indo-Aryan.
However, they have stayed together for a long time, and have had intermingled settlements (Albanian
near Athens, Rumanian-type Romance speech in Bulgaria, etc.) for 1500-2000 years. Consequently, bilingual
speakers have influenced each other considerably, especially in syntax and by mutual loan words. Yet, there still
is no "new Balkan language" or a "Balkan language family" in sight. The basic vocabulary of these 6 languages
still is very different and most of their grammatical formantia as well.
The same applies to S. Asia, where the idea of a linguistic area was pioneered by Emeneau (1956), Kuiper
(1967). But here, the starting point is unlike that of the Balkans: S. Asia has at least 3 different large language
families:
108
IE, Drav., Munda, which have nothing in common, neither in basic vocabulary nor in word
structure nor in grammatical formantia. The situation is not unlike that in modern Europe, with Uralic
(Finnish, Estonian, Hungarian, etc.), Basque, Altaic (mod. Turkish), and the rest (= IE). For details on the
South Asian Sprachbund or linguistic area or convergence area, it is useful to consult Hock (1986: 491-512)
though it is largely devoted to syntax. It is clear that, over the past few millennia, the three language families of S.
Asia have converged to a large degree, including phonetics (retroflexes, see §15), word formation (Munda
changed from a monosyllabic language with prefixes into a polysyllabic one working with suffixes) and syntax
(spread of absolutives, see Tikkanen 1987, or sentence structure preferring SOV arrangements, see Hock 1986).
The spread of such convergent items has been taken by some (Kak 1994) as a sign that the various S.
Asian languages are underway to form a new language family. This is overstating the matter by not just a little
margin. It has not happened in the Balkans. Or, English, with its large share of Romance (French) vocabulary
and some grammatical features (calques such as mcrebeautiful.plusbeaux), has not joined the circle of Romance
languages, nor have French and Anglo-Saxon, or the other converging (Western) European languages coalesced
into a new "(Western) European" family.
As has been mentioned above, the proponents of a 'common' South Asian Proto-language / 'Pråkt' and
a "new S. Asian language family in statu nascendi" confuse the outcome of a long stay together and original
"genetic descent". Tamil speakers do not use Hindi words in their basic vocabulary, nor do Bengali speakers use
Santali words, nor Kashmiri speakers Burushaski words, nor Nepali speakers Tibetan words, and vice versa. And,
the various grammars involved still are far apart from each other, in spite of all the converge features evoked
above. To state things differently simply is bad linguistics and special pleading, as already seen several times in
the case of the Out-of-India theorists.
§ 12.11. Emigration and linguistic features
In order to approach and evaluate place and time of the hvpcthetical (OIT)Indo-European home in
South Asia (or that of the even less likely common S. Asian Proto-language) and of the hvpcthetical emigration
of the Iranian and other IE speakersfrom India, one has to look for terms that are cldin PIE. For example, PIE
*cwcu- 'cow', *dveu- 'heaven', and their archaic acc. forms ¯cwōm, ¯dvẽm, with PIE dissimilation of -w-, should
have existed already in a hypothetical IE Panjab. However, these PIE forms are reflected in the various old IE
languages (with their subsequent individual phonetic innovations): Ved. cam 'cow',Hom.Grk. bcun/bōn,Ved.
dvam 'heaven',Grk. zẽn, etc. (EWA I 479, 752). In any autochthonous theory, this archaic dissimilation would
either be due to pre-split PIE dialects inside India (refuted by Hock 1999, above) or to a subsequent individual
development of the same traits outside India, after the IE languages would have left the subcontinent. Such an a
priori unlikely scenario, however, is rendered altogether impossible as the subsequent eastern (Satem)
developments (c
w
->c in 'cow') are restricted to a dialect ccntinuum of eastern IE (where a dissimilation *cōum >
*cōm was no longer possible). Other such unique Satem and IIr cases involve *kw>k, *k'>c',then,¯ke>¯cæ>
ca; the change *e>¯æ is early in IIr. as it is seen in the cakara, jacama type palatalization, as well as that of *c>a
in Brucmann cases (cf. Hock 1999); finally IIr. *æ>Ved./Avest.a. Clearly, several long term developments are
involved. Just like the supposed (OIT) individual innovations in dvam and cam, such eastern IE developments
108
Nostratic, or Greenberg's just off the press Eur-Asiatic, are another matter, but even these new theories still do not turn
Drav. and IE into Meso-/Neolithic neighbors inside India.
(40) Michael WITZEL
(Hock 1986: 451 sq.) would have to be re-impcrts from their focus in E. Europe/Central Asia into India, -- all
convoluted cases of very special pleading.
The first traces of IE languages are attested with Hittite around 2000/1600 BCE in Anatolia, Mycenean
Greek at c. 1400/1200 in Crete, Mitanni-IA. in N. Iraq at 1380 BCE. All PIE and IIr terms and forms must
precede this date by a large margin as even archaic languages such as Vedic and Hittite are separated from each
other by many innovative developments. The date of the dispersal of the earliest, W. IE languages (including
Tocharian, eastwards) must be early in the 3rd mill. BCE or still earlier.
But, in the autochthonous scenario of an emigration out of India, the Centum languages (Celtic,
Germanic, Latin, Greek, etc.), then the Satem languages (Slavic, etc.), would have followed each other by a time
span of at least a few hundred years, and Iranian would have been the last to emigrate from India as it is closest to
Vedic; it should have left well before c. 1000 BCE, when W. Iranian is first found on the eastern borders of
Mesopotamia.
109
These dates allow to set the claims of the autochthonous school (Talageri 1993, 2000) into a distinct
relief, especially when such early dates as 5000 BCE (based on a loan word link with Finno-Ugrian) are claimed
for the RV (S.S. Misra 1992). While this is impossible on text-internal, cultural grounds, their hvpcthetical cld RV
would have the comparatively mcdern form of Old Indo-Aryan that would, nevertheless, precede that of the very
archaic Hittite by a margin of some 3000 years. We know, of course, that Vedic is not earlier than Hittite but
clearly later, i.e. lower in the cladistic scheme that is popularly called the 'family tree': it is later than Eastern IE
(Satem innovations, RUKI, cf. Hock 1986, 1999), laterthan Proto-Indo-Iranian (e,a>æ,k'>c',c>a in open
syllables, with c>a in all other syllables), and even later than Pre-Vedic (c'>ś,or zd(h) and j'> Ved. h, which
still preserved as š [ž]<j'h in Mitanni IA at 1400 BCE, see below §18). In short, all of the above indicates that
neither time nor space would agree with a OIT scenario.
Another major obstacle against the emigration theory is that even the closest relative of Vedic, the
hvpcthetical emicrant Old Iranian language, misses all Indo-Aryan innovations (see below §13-17). Any ar-
gument militating against this must use the special pleading that all Vedic innovations happened only after the
emigration of the Iranians out of India; this is, however, impossible in cases such as rat/raj-, scdaśa, vcdhar-, sede
and others such as the absolutive.
In other words, Misra's scheme (and that of all others who assume such early dates for the RV and an IE
emigration out of India, such as Talageri 1993, 2000, Elst 1999) are not only badly deliberated but are plainly
impossible: PIE, while still in the Panjab, would nct yet have developed all the traits found in non-OIA languages
(Satem etc.), while their close neighbor, the 'old' RV, would alreadv have gone through all Satem, IIr, Pre-Vedic
and RV innovations 7000 years ago, -- an unlikely scenario, to say the least. And, as such,
110
gvedic OIA would
have exercised early influences on the rather distant Uralic languages in S. Russia/Urals/W. Siberia, while the
non-IA neighbors of Uralic (Iranian, Baltic, etc.) would nct. All of this is obviously impossible on grounds of
space and time. Misra etal. have not thought through their idiosyncratic and ad hoc scenarios.
111
To do so is not
cur job, but that of the proponent(s) of the new theory. They should have done their homework.
§12.12. Emigration and culture
The matter can still further be elucidated by observing some cultural features: according to the au-
tochthonous theories the various IE peoples ("Anu, Druhyu" of Talageri 1993, 2000) and their languages
109
However, Iranian has some pre-RV features, while it misses all Indian innovations, all of which makes a late emigration
impossible, see §17.
110
Which, pace Misra, point to loans made during the Indo-Iranian and Iranian periods, not in the Vedic period, see above.
111
In fact, most of the autochthonists have not even started to learn the linguistic 'trade', and simply reject linguistics out of
hand, as mentioned above.
Autochthonous Aryans? (41)
hypothetically left India (around 5000/4000 BCE). If put to a test by archaeology and linguistics, these
'emigrations' would rather have to be set at the following latest possible dates.
112
3000/2500 W.IE leave while possessing:
avas 'copper/bronze' > Lat. aes
'copper, bronze', etc.; but:
no chariot yet: Lat. rcta 'wheel',
Grk. kuklc-'wheel',Toch.kukül,
kckale'wagon', etc.; note Grk.
new formation harma(t)- 'chariot'
(Pokorny 1959: 58);
yet, all parts of the heavy, solid
wheel wagon are IE: aksa, ara
nabha 'nave'; Germ. Rad/Lat.rcta,
drawn by oxen (uksan); --
domesticated horse ¯h
1
ek'wc>
Lat.equus,O.Ir.ech,Toch. vuk,
vakwe, used for riding
2500/2000 E. IE leave have satem characteristics
(¯h
1
ek'wc, O.Lith.ašvà),
but still no chariots:
Lith. ratas 'wheel, circle'
by 2000 IIr. unity new : ratha > 'chariot' from
Volga/Ural/N.Caucasus area; and
cakra 'wheel, chariot' -- but how
and when did it (and the domesticated
horse) enter India?
Innovative Āditva gods with
artificial formations (Arva-man
= Avest. Airiia-man, etc.)
1500/1000 Iran. move with chariot, Ādityas, but keep
old grammar, ntr. pl. + sg. verb, etc.
c. 1000 W. Iranians are attested on the eastern
borders of Mesopotamia
According to this list, again, all Vedic linguistic innovations (with the RV set at 5000/4000 BCE), and some E.
Indo-European ones such as the IIr. chariot, would have happened befcre the supposed emigration of the
Iranians from India! This is archaeologically impossible, unless one uses the auxiliary, equally unlikely hy-
pothesis that some IIr.s left India before 2000 BCE and reimpcrted the chariot into India (Elst 1999). All such
arguments need very special pleading. Occam's Razor applies.
112
Note that the following list can be read both in the new, autochthonous/indigenous way, that is of leaving India, or in
the 'traditional' IE way, of leaving a S.E. European/C. Asian homeland.
(42) Michael WITZEL
§ 12.13. Emigration & nature
While, thecreticallv acain, a scenario of IE emigration from the Panjab is possible, this claim, too,
contradicts all we know about IE material culture (e.g., horse, wagon, and the late chariot) and climate-based
vocabulary (willow, birch, fir, oak, snow, wolf, beaver, salmon, etc.), all of which traditionally have been used to
indicate a temperate IE homeland with cold winters, somewhere in E. Europe-C. Asia, (Geiger 1871: 133 sqq.,
Schrader 1890: 271, Hirt 1907: 622, Friedrich 1970, Mallory 1989: 114 sqq.), -- that is, an area that included at
least scme (riverine?) tree cover.
Even if we take into account that the Panjab has cool winters with some frost and that the adjoining
Afghani and Himalayan mountains have a long winter season, the IE evidence does not bear out a South Asian
or Indian homeland. The only true IE tree found in S. Asia is the birch (bhūrja),
113
and some argument can be
made for the willow ("willow" > Ved. vetasa 'cane, reed', see n.146), maybe the fir (pītu),
114
and the aspen
(varana?).
115
But why are all the other IE trees those of a colder climate non-existent in Indian texts, even when
even the neighboring Iranians have some of them, e.g. in the eastern Afghani mountains (fir,
116
oak,
117
willow,
118
poplar
119
)?
Or rather, to follow the autochthonous line: how did the IE tree names belonging to a cooler climate ever
get out of India where these trees do nct exist? One would have to use the auxiliary assumption that such trees
were only found in the colder climate of the Himalayas and Pamirs, thus were part of the local South Asian
vocabulary, and that they would then have been taken along, in the westward movement of the emigrants.
But, even this special pleading does not work: some of these temperate IE trees are nct found in the S.
Asian mountains. But, they still have good Iranian and IE names, all with proper IE word formation (see above).
Interestingly, these words have not always been formed from the same stem, which reflects normal (P)IE
linguistic variation and is not due to ccmpletelv new, individual, local formation in one or the other IE language.
Rather, the PIE variations in the name of the beech,
120
fir (and resin), and oak (see above) use the same roots
113
Only the birch tree is found all the way from India to Europe: bhūrja 'betula utilis' (KS+); note that the Indian birch
differs slightly from the European one. We have: Iran. Pamir dial. furz, Shugni vawzn<¯barznī; Osset. bœrs(œ); Lith. beržas,
Serbo-Croat. breza; German Birke, Engl. birch, etc.
114
The fir tree is found as Grk. pttus, Lat. pīnus <¯pītsn-, Skt. pìtu-daru KS+ 'a fir, Pinus deodora' (pūtudru AV, putudru
TS+, pūtudaru KauśS), Dardic *pītsa? 'fir' CDIAL 8236, EWA II 137. Note also the word for 'resin' which is closely related to
trees such as the fir: Lat. bitūmen, OHG quit 'glue', Ved. (Sūtras) jatu 'lac, rubber', N.Pers., žad 'rubber' , Pashtožašwla 'resin'
< IE ¯c
w
etu, EWA I 565.
115
Breton. cwern 'alder', Alban. verə 'Pcpulus alba', Armen. ceran 'plank, board', varana 'Crataeva Roxburghii'; "unclear"
EWA II 513; -- note also Thieme (1954: 16) sphva 'belonging to the asp tree', but cf. Pokorny 1959: 55, EWA II 779.
116
The Kashmir Valley now has: deodar (Cedrus deodara), pine (var, Pinus excelsa and chīl, Pinus longifolia), fir, yew
(Taxus baccata), elm, cypress, plane tree (Platanus orientalis), poplar, lime tree, wild chestnut, willow, maple, hawthorn,
many fruit trees, and at high altitudes: birch, alder, juniper and rhododendron. -- Note that none of the local words for these
plants, except for the birch, exists west of the subcontinent, or in autochthonous parlance, was 'exported' westwards.
117
Skt. Parjanva, Lith. Perkunas, O. Slav. Perun
u,
etc.
118
Avest. vaẽti, OHG wīda, Grk. itea, Lat. vitex, Lith. žil-vitis; cf. also: OHG felawa 'willow', Grk. heltkẽ, Ossetic fürw, farwe
'alder'.
119
See above for 'aspen'.
120
As for the distribution of the word, see Bartholomae 1898, Henning 1963, Lane 1967, summary by Cowgill 1986: 86 sq.
Note the famous Greek adaptation of the word used for the temperate climate tree, the 'beech' > the mediterranean Grk.
phẽccs 'oak'; while Lat. facus 'beech', Germ. Buche, OHG buchha > Slav. bukv, and the Bukcvina region retain the older
meaning; contrast Russ. bcz
u
'elder tree', Alban. bunce, Gr. phẽccs > 'oak', and note that Kurd. būz 'elm' < ¯wvc 'elm' is not
derived from the 'beech' word. The word for 'beech' is not found in S.Asia, though the tree itself was historically found much
further east during the Atlanticum than Thieme thought (1954: 16), that is further east than the famous 'beech line' (running
from Königsberg to Odessa). Elst (1999: 130), while not mentioning the climatic factors, disposes of the beech argument
wholesale.
Autochthonous Aryans? (43)
and several of the available PIE suffixes. In other words, these cool climate, temperate trees and their names are
already PIE.
If the indigenous theory of an emigration out of India would apply, these tree names should have taken
cne or twc typical "Indian" PIE (dialect) forms and spread westwards, such as is the case with the two loans from
Chinese, chai or tea. The opposite is the case. The individual IE languages have the same PIE word, or they have
slightly innovated within the usual PIE parameters of ablaut and suffixes.
In short, whatever way one turns the evidence, all of the above points to some original IE tree names of
the temperate zone exported southwards. Some of them therefore exhibit a change in meaning; others are an
application of an old, temperate zone name to newly encountered plants, such as 'willow' > 'reed, cane'. Again,
this change in meaning indicates the path of the migration, from the temperate zone intc India.
If we carry out the countercheck, and search for Indian plant names in the west, such as lotus, bamboo,
Indian trees (aśvattha,bilva,jambu, etc.), we come up with nothing. Such names are not to be found, also not in a
new meaning, such as in a hypothetical case: *'fig tree' > *'large tree with hanging twigs', *'willow'.
121
The lack is
significant as the opposite case, import into S. Asia, is indeed found. Again, this points to an intrcducticn of the IA
language into India, not an export 'OutcfIndia'.
The same kind of scenario is found with the typical PIE animals that belong to a temperate climate.
While some of them such as the wolf or bear occur in South Asia as well, albeit in slightly different species (such
as the S. Asian black bear), others are found, just as some of the tree names, only in new, adapted meanings. For
example, the beaver is not found inside S. Asia. It occurs, however, even now in Central Asia, its bones have been
found in areas as far south as N. Syria and in mummified form in Egypt, and it is attested in the Avesta (baßri <
¯babhri < IE ¯bhebhr-) when speaking of the dress ('made up of 30 beaver skins') of the Iranian counterpart of the
river Goddess Sarasvatī, Arəduuī Sūrå Anåhitå: Yt 5.129 "the female beaver is most beautiful, as it is most furry:
the beaver is a water animal" (vat asti baßriš sraẽšta vaθa vat asti cacnō.təma, baßriš bauuaiti upapō).
122
Avestan
baßri- is related to the descriptive term, IE ¯bhebhru "brown, beaver" which is widely attested: O.Engl. bebr,becfcr,
Lat. fiber, Lith. bēbrus, Russ. bcbr,bebr-(Pokorny 1959: 136). The respective word in Vedic, babhru(-ka), however,
means 'brown, mongoose' (Nenninger 1993). While the mongoose is not a water animal, some Indian types of
mongooses vaguely look like a beaver, and clearly, the IE/IIr term for 'beaver' has been used, inside South Asia, to
designate the newly encountered animal, the mongoose. This occurs today in the subcontinent, but in Greater
Iran only in its southeastern-most corner, in Baluchistan. Interestingly, N.Pers. bebr < Phl. bawrak, Avest. baßri
'beaver' is a cat-like, tail-less animal whose skins are used (Horn 1893: 42); the beaver, though previously
attested as far south as Syria and Egypt, is no(t longer) found in Iran; note also N.Pers. bibar 'mouse'.
The opposite direction of the spread of the word, 'out of India', is not likely as it is not Ved. babhru (or
Avest. baßri)thatspread westwards (following S.S. Misra 1992) but their original (and traditional) IE source,
¯bhebhru. Such a hypothetical export would again have to suppose subsequent individual sound changes that
mysteriously result in the various attested IE forms that cannot occur if one starts from Ved. babhru. It is
unlikely, thus, that the original word,¯bhebhrusignified the mongoose.
123
Other S. Asian animal names are not
'exported' either. Occam's razor applies: all things being equal, it is easier to assume import into S.Asia, along
with the other animal names of the temperate zone.
The case of the salmon may be added and briefly discussed in this context. It has often been used to define
the original homeland of the Indo-Europeans, into the Fifties of the 20th century, by taking the present
distribution of the salmon for granted (rivers flowing into the Baltic, Polar Sea, Thieme 1951).
124
However,
121
The only exception from this evidence are certain later cultural loans, plants such as 'cotton' or 'mustard.'
122
Differently, Oettinger, Habilschrift 1985 (unpunbl.).
123
For Elst (1999: 130,132) this is not a problem as he lets the IE first settle in India and name the mongoose a 'brown one.'
Then, when emigrating westward, each IE language would mysteriously have transferred this designation individuallv to the
beaver, and always in the later, post-PIE form, as per individual subfamily or language in question. Occam applies.
Derivation of the 'beaver' words from Skt. babhru is of course linguistically impossible.
124
Bartholomae, Indccermanische Icrschuncen 9, 1888, 272, Eilers & Mayrhofer 1962, Henning 1963, Lane 1967, see
summary by Cowgill 1986: 68.
(44) Michael WITZEL
another type of salmon is also found in the rivers flowing into the Caspian Sea. The word in question is attested
in Osset. lüsüc 'salmon' (Salmc trutta caspius, perhaps a kind of trout), Russian lcscs
u
, Lith. lašiša, lašis, Germ.
Iachs, Toch. B.laks'fish', Iran. ¯raxša 'dark colored'> N.Pers. raxš 'red-white',Ved. laksa 'lacquer, red resin'.
Again, the direction from 'salmon' > 'fish', > 'red-colored/lacquer' is more likely than the opposite one,
(especially when we also include Thieme's suggestion that Ved. laksa 'wager' (in the dicing game using 150 nuts)
is derived from 'salmon swarm', note also Class. Skt. laksa '100,000', see (EWA II 472, 477, EWA III, 83, 96-97,
Pokorny 1959: 653).
All such evidence is not favorable for an emigration scenario. Rather, Occam's razor applies, again: PIE
has a number of temperate/cold climate plants and animals which never existed in South Asia but which can be
reconstructed for all/most of PIE; their names follow IE rules of word formation (root structure, suffixes etc.) and
exhibit the typical formational possibilities of IE (ablaut, exchange of various suffixes). A few of them that
designate flora and fauna actually occurring inside S. Asia have been retained in Vedic (wolf, birch, etc.), others
have gained new meanings suitable for the animals or plants of a tropical climate ('willow' > 'reed', 'beaver' >
'mongoose').
Interestingly, the autochthonous counter-argument
125
relating to trcpical plants and animals does not
work either. If we suppose a South Asian homeland of PIE, we should be able to indicate at least a few terms that
have been exported (north)westwards. This is not the case. Designations for typical Indian plants and animals
that should be found in Indo-European and especially in Iranian, do not even appear in Iran, not to speak of C.
Asia or Europe. Words such as those for animals, plants, and trees just do not make it westwards.
126
Nor do we
find retained names for newly encountered plants/animals, although at least some of them are actually still
fcund in Iran: the lion (see Old Pers. sculptures at Behistun, Iran. šer (Horn 1893: 178); the tiger, Iran. bebr
(Horn 1983: 42) that is still found in the Elburz and Kopeh Dagh and as late as the Seventies around the Aral
Lake; the lotus (again seen on Behistun sculptures), etc. Other words that have occasionally been used for the
autochthonous argument, such as kapi 'monkey', simha 'lion' or ibha 'elephant' are rather dubious cases.
127
Ved. ibha (RV) does not even seem to indicate 'elephant' but 'household of a chief' (details in EWA I 194);
i-bha'elephant' is attested only in Epic/Class. Skt. (EWA III 28), and the combination with Grk. ele-pha(nt-), Lat.
ebur,Gothic ulbandus'camel' suffers from lack of proper sound correspondences. The word for monkey, Ved. kapi,
is represented in Europe by another form which is not directly related by regular sound correspondences either:
Grk. kēbcs, kēpcs, (cf. also Hebr. qōf, Akkad. uqūpu, iqūpu, aqūpu, Coptic sapi, O. Egypt.cfj) :: Germanic ¯apan-,
aban > Engl. ape with an unexplained loss of initial k-. The change in initial consonant is typical for
transmissions of lcan wcrds from an unknown source, and cannot be used as proof of an original PIE word
¯kap/kap.
128
Similar relationships are seen in the word for 'apple': Celt. *abal-, O.Ir. ubul, Crimean Gothic apel,
125
Elst (1999: 129 sqq.), simply denies the possibility of IE linguistic palaeontology and quotes an outspoken, always skeptic
S. Zimmer (1990) as his crown witness. It is precipitous to dismiss carefully applied linguistic paleontology completely
(which according to Zimmer is "approaching its inevitable end -- with a negative result, of course"); cf. n. 81.
126
Excluded are, of course, the real exports from India such as rice, cotton, beryl, etc., see Witzel 1999a,b.
127
They have been employed, by Ivanov-Gramkrelidze (1984, I 443), with a completely different result, as proof that the IE
homeland was in Anatolia/Armenia. However, the irregular correspondences seen in kapi : Engl.ape; i-bha.ele-phant-,orlīs.
lecn, etc. are typical for loan words, not for original, inherited PIE vocabulary. Cf. Elst 1999: 131 sq., who even uses words
such as prdaku 'panther' which clearly are loans (Witzel 1999 a,b). The attested use of prdaku for 'panther' and 'snake' as
indicating closeness to the original designation is not only linguistically impossible (loanwords!) but also cognitively light-
weight: animals similar in appearance (spots!) are named by the same word. Classical Sanskrit is full of them. The argument
that some animal names in Skt. still are etymologically transparent can also be made for those of the "Druhyu emigrants", the
Engl. bear, Dutchbruin, etc. -- Even matsva 'fish' is derived by Elst from mad 'wet' (EWA II 298 "hardly likely"), in spite of
Avestan massia, Pers. mahī < IIr *matva; it belongs, according to Mayrhofer EWA II, 1986: 298, not to a word for 'wet', but to
*mad(a)s 'food'. All of this demonstrates Elst's lack of linguistic sophistication. Just as (other parts of) his books, even such
seemingly straightforward sections have to be checked and re-checked.
128
Elst (1999: 131), taking his cue from Gamkrelidze and Ivanov 1984 (= 1995), takes these shaky etymologies for granted
and concludes that IE came from a tropical area. He adds (199: 131-2) a few very unlikely comparisons on his own: Latin
Autochthonous Aryans? (45)
OHG apful, O.Norse apal-dr, Lith. cbuclas, etc., O.Ch.Slav. abl
u
kc, including Basque, Caucasus and Bur.
relations (Berger 1959).
Finally, it must be considered that, generally, the IE plants and animals are those of the temperate
climate and include the otter, beaver, wolf, bear, lynx, elk, red deer, hare, hedgehog, mouse; birch, willow, elm, ash,
oak, (by and large, also the beech
129
); juniper, poplar, apple, maple, alder, hazel, nut, linden, hornbeam, and
cherry (Mallory 1989: 114-116). Some of them are found in South Asia, and their designations have been used
for the local form of the animal or plant (such bear rksa, wolf vrka, otter udra, birch bhūrja, etc.) But most of them
are nct found in India and their designations have either been adapted (as is the case with the beaver > mongoose
babhru), or they have simply nct been used any longer.
According to the autochthonous theory, these non-Indian plant and animal names would have to be
new words that were coined only when the various IE tribes had already emigrated out of India. However, all of
them are proper IE names, with IE roots and suffixes and with proper IE word formation. It would require extra-
ordinary special pleading to assume that they all were created independently by the emigrant IE tribes, at different
times, on different paths, but always from the same IE roots and (often) with the same suffixes: how could these
'emigrants' know or remember exactly which roots/suffixes to choose on encountering a new plant or animal?
Rather, as usual by now with all such arguments, Occam's razor applies, and the opposite assumption carries: IE
words of the flora and fauna of the temperate zone were adapted to a tropical climate wherever possible. We see
immigration into, instead of emigration 'out of India'.
In the sequel, some of the individual linguistic proposals of the 'Out of India' theory, and the and
sometimes rather technical arguments that speak for and against it will be discussed.
§13. Absence of Indian influences in Indo-Iranian
When compared to Eastern IE or to the rest of IE, Avestan and Old Persian share many innovations
with Vedic, which was the initial reason to set up this group of languages as a separate branch of IE, IIr. Just as
in biology (taxonomy, the human pedigree, genetics, etc.) or in manuscript study (setting up of a stemma), the
occurrence of common innovations alwavs indicates that the innovative group has split off from the core group,
and obviously is to be dated later than the core.
For example, Vedic ah-am ''I''= Avestan az-əm, az-om O.Pers. ad-am have added the additional
morpheme IIr. -am (as in av-am, iv-am); it was transferred to the rest of the pronouns: tvam, vavam, vūvam as
well. This feature is not found in other IE languages: Lat., Greek ecō, Gothicik (Engl. I), O.Slavic az
u
, jaz
u
; it
clearly separates IIr. from the other E. and W. IE languages.
While Iranian, at first sight, seems to be more innovative than OIA in its phonology (s>h,kh>x;p,t,k
-consonant >f,θ,x-cons., etc.), it frequently is also more archaic than Vedic. It lacks the many innovations
that characterize Vedic, for example the absolutives in -tva, -va, ntr. pl. in -ani, the perf. jaca-u, or the
normalization in c- of the present stems beginning in j/c-. IE c
w
m-sk'e-ti > IIr. *ja-šca-ti > Avest. jasa
i
ti :: Vedic
cacchati. (Note that j is retained only in traditional names such as Iamad-acni and in the perfect, ja-cam-a, etc.)
Importantly, Iranian it misses the generalization of the already gvedic e-perfects, derived from IIr. *sazdai
(Avest. hazde) > Vedic sede with many analogical formations such as mene. Since sound changes are not random
and develop in linear fashion, these innovations must have occurred well after Vedic had separated from late
IIr./pre-Iranian, thus : IE --> E. IE -> IIr --> Vedic, or Iranian.
The advocates of the autochthonous theory, however, would have the Vedic innovations occur in the
Panjab only after the Iranian speakers had left the subcontinent, while retaining some very archaic features.
(Talageri 2000, against all linguistic evidence, even denies close relationship of both groups). Some other in-
lec(n) from Skt. rav 'ho howl', mavūra 'peacock' from ma to bleat, caja 'elephant from carj 'to trumpet'; prdaku (cf. Witzel
1999) which designates both panther and panther snake (note, Lubotsky 1999, lecture at the 2nd Ved. workshop at Kyoto)
as referring to primcrdial formations in IE -- as if animal designations were not easily transferred!
129
See summary by Cowgill 1986:86 sq.
(46) Michael WITZEL
novations found both in India and Iran would have occurred earlier than that while both groups still lived in the
Panjab; still others (found in E. IE, such as in Slavic) would have occurred at a still earlier, third level, again in
the Panjab, while languages of the fourth level (including Greek, Latin, Germanic, etc.) would have left the
subcontinent even before this.
While all of this is possible in a purely thecretical scenario, there are a number of arguments that render
it impossible. Some of them have been listed by Hock (1999, see above). Others include such items as the
temperate, non-tropical core vocabulary of IE, early IE loans from Semitic somewhere in the Near East (**wVjn-,
IE ¯wcin- 'wine', cf. J. Nichols 1997: 143), or on a more typological level, the intermediate position of IE between
the Uralic and Kartvelian (W. Caucasian) language families (Nichols 1997, 1998). As far as the Satem language
IIr is concerned, one can add the early close links of IIr (and, later, early Iranian) with Uralic in S. Russia and in
the Ural and W. Siberian regions, and the new terminology coined for the horse-drawn chariot (ratha/raθa), first
introduced in the S. Russia/Ural area. This list, which could be extended, clearly points to the areas north of the
Near East, and strongly militates against the assumption of an Indian homeland of OIA, IIr, and, worse, of IE
(see below).
How can the autochthonous theory then deal with archaisms found in Iranian that are nct found in
Vedic? Such archaisms ought to have been preserved in Vedic; they must have been forgotten (just like the tree
names mentioned above) all over the subcontinent when the Iranians suppcsedlv left it. Such collective amnesia,
and in addition, one restricted just to certain archaic items does not make for a good case. It is, again, one of very
special pleading.
It should also be mentioned in passing, that if the Iranians emigrated from India, why we do not find
''Indian bones'' of this massive emigration in Iran and beyond? Indian skeletons are, as Kennedy informs us
(1995), remarkably different from Near Eastern ones.
130
Again, indigenists would have to argue that only that
section of the Panjab population left westwards which had basically 'non-Indian' physical characteristics, very
special pleading indeed. To adopt an OIT stance precisely mirroring the Indo-Aryan immigration theory based
on 'trickling in' is not possible as this 'trickling out' would comprise all subfamilies of IE, from Tocharian to
Celtic, and would constitute a much more massive emigration.
The IE theory can explain the materials found in the various languages much more satisfactorily: the
Iranian languages simply miss the Indianizaticn of IE, just as the very conservative Old Icelandic or Lithuanian
escaped the 'Christianization' and 'Europeanization' for a long time.
§14. Date of Indo-Aryan innovations
As has been mentioned, the linguistic innovations of Vedic Sanskrit are supposed by autochthonists to
have taken place only after the Iranians (and other Indo-Europeans) had left the subcontinent (Elst 1999:
122,124 sqq). It is difficult to argue against this kind of assumption on general linguistic grounds as language
changes cannot easily be tied to certain areas, unless there is evidence from inscriptions and clearly localizable
texts. However, the distribution of IE dialect features mentioned above (Hock 1999) makes IE innovations after
an Iranian/IE exodus from India unlikely;
131
for, even though the old Satem innovations include Vedic, they
exclude Latin, Greek, Tocharian, etc.
130
Small, transient and migrating bands and groups such as the Indo-Aryans or even the larger ones such as the Huns are
not easily traced; and, will we ever will find archaeological traces of the well attested emigration of a small group such as
that of the Gypsies? -- Linguistics (see above, n.23) and genetics, however, clinch the case: the Bulgarian Gypsies, for
example, have the typical Indian mtDNA (M type) and Y chromosomes but are only to some 30% Indian; for the rest they
have acquired European genes. This is the exact reversal of the general Indian situation, with some 25% of W./C. Asian genes
(§7). -- Autochthonists will have a hard time to explain how these Indian emigrants 'selected' their genes on emigration
from India, and 'export' only the 30% proper Indian ones... In short, the same impossible scenario as in the assumed earlier
'export' of Indian linguistic features westwards by the IE = "Druhyu" emigrants (see above, §12.2 ).
131
Elst had not seen this paper by the time he wrote his 1999 book; he supplies a lot of completely unsubstantiated
speculation instead, of how the Indo-Europeans could have left the subcontinent to settle in Central Asia and Europe, (see
1999: 126 sq.).
Autochthonous Aryans? (47)
Further, a good indicator is found in IE plant and animal names (''willow'', etc.) and especially in the
word for the horse drawn chariot, Sanskrit ratha, O.Iran. raθa. This word is attested in the oldest IIr texts, in the
RV and in the Avesta, also with the secondary formation Ved. rathin-, O.Av. raθī 'the one who has a chariot,
charioteer'. Even more tellingly, it appears in the inherited, archaic compound, with a locative case ending in its
first member, RV rathe-stha, Avest. raθaẽ-šta- 'charioteer' (cf. also savvestha 'warrior').
As the autochthonous theory would have the RV at c. 5000 or, according to some, before the start of the
Indus civilization at 2600 BCE, the Iranians or other Indo-Europeans should have expcrted the chariot from S.
Asia at that time. But the chariot is first found in a rather archaic form ('proto-chariot'), betraying its origin in a
ox-drawn wagon (anas, ¯wec'h-c- > waccn, veh-icle), at c. 2000 BCE, in Russia and at Sintashta, W. and E. of the
Urals. As its invention is comparatively late, the western IE languages retain, not surprisingly, the older
meaning of the IE word, *rcth
2
c-''wheel'' (Lat. rcta, Germ. Rad 'wheel'); they simply have moved away, before this
development took place, from the original central IE region (such as the Ukraine) westwards into Europe.
132
The indigenist counter-argument could maintain that the newly introduced chariot spread quickly from
the Near East or Central Asia all over the Iranian and Indian world, with its IIr name, *ratha. It would thus
belong only to a secondary historical level (after that of the earlier "Panjab Indo-Europeans"). This argument,
however, would run into a number of difficulties: for, strangely, the word in its new meaning of 'chariot' never
reached the neighboring Proto-Slavic tribes, nor the other European 'emigrants' (Grk. has harma/harmatcs,
Latin currus, curriculum, rcta) on the western side of Eurasia while it is known to the close neighbors, the
(Northern) Iranians. Worse, the word and the object are found already in the RV (suppcsedlv a text of pre-Indus
age, 2600 or c. 5000 BCE!), well befcre its invention.
133
In short, multiple insurmountable contradictions
emerge.
The word cakra 'wheel' may be a much older adaptation from Sumerian cil-cul 'wheel' and
GIŠ
ctcir
'wagon,' to IE ¯k
w
e-k
w
l-c- > IIr. cakra (or, it is derived from a common origin, Littauer and Crouwel 1996).
However, the newly specialized meaning ratha ''chariot'' is restricted to IIr.; its archaeological attestation puts
PIIr, again, close to the Urals. -- On the other hand, there are common PIE words for the cart or four-wheeled
wagon (anas) and its constituent parts, such as and aksa 'axle', ara 'spoke, pin', nabhva 'nave', vuca 'yoke', raśmi,
raśana 'reins', etc.; for details see EWA, s.v. They are much older, PIE, as they refer to the more primitive
technology of solid wheel wagons and carts that was developed in Mesopotamian in the late 4th millennium.
In sum, if according to the autochthonous theory, the Iranians had emigrated westwards well before the
RV (2600/5000 BCE), how could both the Indians (in the Panjab) and Iranians (from the Ukraine to Xinjiang)
have a common word for the horse drawn chariot as well as a rather ancient word for the charioteer? Both words
must have been present at the time of the Indo-Iranian parent language. As the linguistic evidence shows, the
technical innovation was already Indo-Iranian (note Proto-IIr. *th that regularly developed to > Ir. θ, asin
OIran. raθa), and it must have happened at the place of its invention, in the plains near the IIr. River Rasa
(Volga), certainly not in the Panjab.
Consequently, the occurrence of ratha/raθa in IIr. at c. 2000 BCE shows that its impcrt was carried out,
along with many other IIr. items of culture and religion, from the S. Russian/Central Asian steppes intc the
subcontinent, and not vice versa. This is cne cf the few clear cases where we can alicn lincuistic inncvaticn with
inncvaticn in material culture, pcetics and mvth, and even with archaeclccical and histcrical
134
attestaticn.
Therefore, we have to take it very seriously. Anyone of the various revisionist or autochthonous dating schemes
132
Change of meaning ''wheel(s)'' > ''chariot'' (parsprctctc) is a common occurrence in linguistic experience.
133
There have been efforts, always on the internet, to push back the dates of chariots and spoked wheels (also implied by
Talageri's 2000 years of composition for the RV, see Witzel 2001), to dilute the difference between chariots and carts/ four-
wheeled wagons, to find horses all over India well before the accepted date of c. 1700 BCE; there even has been the truly
asinine proposition to change the meaning of Skt. aśva 'horse' (Equus caballus )and to include under this word the
ass/donkey (cardabha, rasabha, khara, etc., Equus asinus ) and the half-ass (Equus hemicnus khur). Here as elsewhere, it is
useless to enter a discussion, as such views are based, all too often, on lack of expertise in the very subjects such sites proffer
to discuss. On the internet, everyone is his/her own 'expert'.
134
See now however, M.A. Littauer and J.H. Crouwel 1996 for a Near Eastern origin.
(48) Michael WITZEL
that circumvent this innovation in technology and language dealing with the horse drawn, spoke-wheeled
chariot at c. 2000 BCE is doomed to failure.
Other (theoretically) possible scenarios such as an import, along with that of the horse (see below), from
some (N.) Iranians near the Urals into the area of the Indo-Aryans who had suppcsedlv remained stationary in
the Panjab, run counter to the archaic formation of the words concerned (rathestha, savvestha) and the clearly
secondary, inherited form in Iranian (raθa-), and would amount, again, to very special pleading.
Likewise, the many linguistic archaisms in Old Iranian cannot readily be explained by a supposed
Iranian emigration from India. The Old Avestan of Zaraθuštra frequently is more archaic than the RV and
therefore too archaic to have moved out of India after the composition of the RV (suppcsedlv, before 2600/5000
BCE). For example, the Avestan combination within a sentence of neuter plural nouns with the singular of the
verb is hardly retained even in the other older IE languages. Conversely, something not found in Iranian, i.e. the
gvedic perfect forms jabharacrmene, are a local IA inncvaticn. All of this points to separation of Proto-Iran. and
Proto-OIA at some time befcre the RV. Also, it cannot have happened inside S. Asia as the Avesta lacks all those
typically S. Asian words that are local loans into Vedic (§16; Witzel 1999a,b). Incidentally, the lack of S. Asian
substrate words in Iranian (cf. Bryant 1999) also explains why the archaic Iranian traits cannot have been
preserved in the Panjab, side by side with the RV, before the suppcsed Iranian move westwards.
135
One can only conclude that Proto-Iranian (> Avestan, O.Persian) split off from IIr and thus, from pre-
Old IA. (> Vedic, Mitanni IA, etc.) at an earlv date, and definitely so while spoken cutside the Panjab. Because of
the early split, Old Iranian preserved some archaic features, while also developing innovations on its own (Iran.
x < IIr kh, h < s,etc.). In sum, Proto-Iranian never was spoken in the Panjab.
Or, to give another example, according to the autochthonous theory, Proto-Ir. would have to had to leave
the Panjab before the Vedic dialects of the RV took over (or developed) the so-called retroflex (mūrdhanva)
consonants.
§15. Absence of retroflexes in Iranian
While the feature of retroflexion (t,th,d,dh,s,n) is sporadically found also in some other parts of the
world (Hock 1986), such as in Scandinavia or Australia (innovative in both cases), it is typical for S. Asia when
compared to its neighboring regions, that is Iran, West/Central Asia, the Himalayas, S.E. Asia.
136
In the autochthonous scenarios discussed above, the hypothetical emigrants from India would have lost
the S. Asian ''bending back of their tongues'' as soon as they crossed the Khyber or Bolan Passes: not even Old
Iranian (East Iran. Avestan) has these sounds.
137
But, conversely, the Baluchi, who originally were a W.
Iranian tribe, have acquired retroflexion -- just in scme of their dialects -- only after their arrival on the borders
on the subcontinent, early in the second millennium CE (Hoffmann 1941, cf. Hock 1996, Hamp 1996). The same
happened to other late, incoming groups such as Parachi, Ormuri (from W. Iran) that are found in E.
Afghanistan, and also to some local Iranian Pamir languages such as Wakhi. Clearly, retroflexion affects those
mcvinc intc the E. Iranian borderland/Indus plain. Importantly, the most widespread appearance of retroflexes is
among the cluster of Hindukush/Pamir languages, that is the languages surrounding these mountains in the
east (Nuristani/Kafiri, Burushaski, Dardic and the rest of these northernmost IA languages) as well as in the
north (some of the Iranian Pamir languages: Wakhi, Yigdha, Sanglechi, Ishkashmi, Khotanese Saka), as
detailed by Tikkanen (in Parpola 1994: 166). Retroflexes mav also have belonged to a part of the Central Asian/
Afghanistan substrate of the RV (Witzel 1999a,b). Retroflexion clearly is a northwestern regional feature that
still is strongest and most varied in this area.
135
Any other scenario would amount to very special pleading, again: One can hardly maintain that the Vedic 'Panjabis'
received these local loans only after the Iranians had left.
136
The map in Parpola 1994 includes Tibetan, but this development is late, and typical for the Lhasa dialect. However,
Khotanese Saka, just north of the Pamirs, has retroflexes.
137
This has indeed happened to the Gypsies: in Turkey, N. Africa, Europe.
Autochthonous Aryans? (49)
Had retroflexion indeed been present in the pre-Iranian or the Proto-Iranian coeval with the (g)Vedic
period, its effects should be visible in Old Iranian, at least in Avestan
138
which was spoken in East Iran, that
means in part on the territory of modern Pashto (which has retroflexes indeed).
Cases such as IIr¯waj'h-tar> Av. vaštar, but > Ved. vcdhar- are clear enough and present perhaps the
best testimony for the several stages of conditioned reflexes in the development from IE to Vedic: a change from
Ved. vcdhar- --> Avestan vaštar- is plainly impossible in any version of phonetics, as also vcdhar- --> IE
*wek'h-tcr- (as in Latin vec-tcr). missing consonants as in vc-dhar- do not suddenly (re-)emerge out of the blue
in other languages, and nota bene: nct as a phonetically changed -š- in Iranian, as -k- in Latin,or as -k- in
Gaulish Vectur-ius, or as-c-as in Engl. waccn; rather, with the IE theory, they all stem from < IE ¯wec'h-tcr-
(neglected by Misra 1992).
The case of vcdhar- is pre-conditioned by the development of IE k',c' > IIr c',j', which changed to Proto-
Iran. and Pre-Vedic š, ž, then to early Vedic retroflex s, .ž., which cnlv then could influence the following
consonant (of the -tar suffix), as to deliver the retroflex 'suffix' -dhar-. At this stage, the same retrograde Sandhi
as seen in budh-ta > buddha took place (.žh.-da > .ž.dha), and cnlv then, the voiced sibilant .ž. disappeared,
normally (as in lih: li.ž.dha > līdha) with compensatory lengthening of the preceding vowel; but, in the particular
environment of vcdhar (a.ž.>c, just as az>e) represented by c + retroflex consonant (-tar suffix), in short:
IE *wec'
h
-ter > IIr * vaj'
h
tar- > pre-Ved. *va.ž.har-
139
> Ved. vohar-
> pre-Iran. *vaštar- > Avest. vaštar-
In sum, the well-known rules of IE sound changes explain the development from the root vah (IE *wec'h)
without problem, while an OIT theory would have great difficulty to get from vcdhar- to any Avestan, Latin,
English, etc., forms.
Again, it is important to stress that retroflexes have not occurred in (Old) Iranian, which has kept the
older sound sequences. In addition, these changes allow a relative and even an absolute dating: *aždh > cdh is
parallel to ¯sazd->sed, i.e. both are post-Indo-Iranian and even post-Mitanni; as pointed out above, Mitanni OIA
keeps the sequence azd. In other words, gvedic is younger than the Mitanni words preserved at c. 1450-1350 BCE.
At any rate, RV -ed- is definitely younger than the Mitanni forms because the IIr form ¯sazdai > Ved. sede (3 sg.
perf., cf. Avestan hazde) 'he has sat' has already spawned a number of analogical formations in the RV which are
nct conditioned by -azd-. These are found even in the older sections of the RV: vam>vem.vemuh 4.2.14, pac>
pec.pece 4.18.13 etc.
140
In all the cases detailed above, the retroflex is a late, i.e. a Vedic inncvaticn that is not shared by Iranian
and the other IE languages. In short, the innovation is rather lcw dcwn on the 'family pedigree', in cladistics. Any
biologist would classify a similar development in biological materials as a clear indicator of a late development,
as an inncvaticn, -- in case, one that separates IA from the rest of IIr and IE. In other words, Vedic Sanskrit does
nct represent the oldest form of IE as autochthonists often claim.
The adherents of the autochthonous theory would again have to take recourse to special pleading,
arguing that retroflexion occurred only after the Iranians had suppcsedlv left (i.e., well before the RV, at 4-5000 or
2600 BCE), or while they were living in some area of the Panjab untouched by this phenomenon. This individual
argument is, again, not a pricri impossible. But, it is not admissible on other grounds, such as the occurrence of
local loan words in Vedic. These have been taken from the Panjab substrate (Witzel 1999a,b) that has
138
Interestingly, the c. 1000 year old Indian Parsi pronunciation and recitation in Zoroastrian ritual(!) of Avestan, while
clearly Indianizing, as in xšaθra > |ksatra], has not yet developed retroflexes.
139
Note that this stage, minus the Indian retroflexion, is still preserved in Mitanni IA vash-ana- [våžh-ana].
140
Other examples for the ccnditicned OIA development of retroflexes examples include : k'>c'>ś, andc'>j'>j as seen
in: IE¯wik'-s>IIr ¯wic'-š> Av.vīš/> Ved. vit 'people, settlement', but> Latinvīc-u-s,Germanicvik- (as in Vikinc), etc.;
IE¯rec'-s> IIr¯raj'š>rat,> Lat.rẽx,Celtic-rix,Germanic-rik,etc.;cf. alsoAvest.xšuuaš: Ved. sas,Lat.sex, Germanicsehs,
Grk. heks-etc.
(50) Michael WITZEL
unconditioned retroflexes (such as in vana, vīna, etc.), and these substrate words are, again, missing in
Iranian.
141
Retroflexion in Vedic must have been a regional feature, acquired, just as it was by the Pashtos and the
more recently arrived the W. Iranian Baluchis, at the time of immigration.
In sum, retroflexion affects all those moving into the E. Iranian borderland, the Indus plain and the
subcontinent. but this does not work vice versa: those who move out of India, sooner or later, loose it. However, if
this would be taken as proof of OIT, it does not work at all: this particular development does nct help to explain
words such as Ved. vcdhar- which cannot turn into Iran. vaštar-, Latinvectcr,etc.
142
The same conclusion can
be reached when studying local Panjab loanwords in the RV.
§16. Absence of 'Indian' words in Iranian
As has been underlined several times, the hvpcthetical emigrants from the subcontinent would have
taken with them a host of ''Indian'' words -- as the Gypsies (Roma, Sinti) indeed have done. But, we do not find
any typical Old Indian words beyond S. Asia, neither in the closely related in Old Iranian, nor in E. or W. IE,
except for the usual words of culture (\anderwcrter) such as some recent imports into English (crance, tea/chai,
or currv, punch, veranda, buncalcw), or the older ones of the type rice, bervl, hemp, etc.
143
One would expect
'emigrant' Indian words such as those for lion (simha), tiger (vvachraAV+,prdakuAV+,śardūlaMS-, pundarīka
lex.),
144
elephant (caja Manu+ ibha RV?, kuñjara Mbh.+), leopard (dvīpin AV+,Ep., citra-ka, etc.lex.), lotus
(padma, kamala, pundarīka), bamboo (venu), or some local Indian trees (aśvattha, śamī, bilva, jambu), even if
some of them would have been preserved, not for the original item, but for a similar one (e.g. English [red]
squirrel > N. American [gray] squirrel). Instead of Indian words we find, e.g., for simha 'lion' new formations :
Iran. šer, Grk. līs, Lat. leō(n) (cf. Witzel 1999a,b), and similarly, Gr./Latin ones for 'tiger', 'lotus'. Many of them
come from a Mediterranean/Near Eastern substrate, but not as expected in any OIT scenario, from the S. Asian
one visible in Vedic.
In sum, no typical Indian designation for plants or animals made it beyond the Khyber/Bolan passes.
The only clear exception would be the birch tree, whose IE name ¯bhrc'hc- is found all the way from India
145
to
Europe: Ved. bhūrjaKS+, Ir. Pamir dial. furz, Shugni vawzn<¯barznī; Osset. bœrs(œ); Lith. beržas, Serbo-Croat.
breza; German Birke, Engl. birch, etc. (cf. §12.6, n.113). The other 'European' trees that are found in the northwest
of the subcontinent, and beyond up to Russia/Urals, are absent from Sanskrit vocabulary.
146
141
To justify this, the autochthonous theory must further assume that the people of the substrate moved into the IA /IE
Panjab only after the Iranians and IE had left. A string of secondary assumptions. Occam's razor applies.
142
The Gypsies eventuallv lost the retroflexes (but when?).
143
See Witzel 1999a,b for details: karpasa cotton, etc.
144
Note that the tiger, N.Pers. bebr, is found in the N. Iranian mountains from the Elburz to the Kopeh Dagh even today,
and the last specimen in the Aral Lake area is reported to have been shot in the Seventies.
145
The reason for its survival in South Asia (Panjabi bhcj, etc.) may have been the economical and common ritual use of
birch bark, e.g. for amulets.
146
Perhaps with the exception of the willow (Lat. vitex, etc., see above, n.118)which itis found, along with the poplar, in
the riverine forests all over the steppe (Schrader 1890: 440, 275). It is attested in E. Iran where it growsprominently: Avest.
vaẽti,Pashtovala<¯vaitiva; but it is not found in Vedic/Skt., unless it is retained in veta-sa ''reed, ratan, Calamus'', with the
expected change in meaning "willow > reed". The poplar and the beech (Lat. facus etc.) are not attested in Skt.: both trees are
not found in S. Asia during the pre-Indus period, even though the beech was then found much further east (N. Caucasus,
etc.) than the famous "beech line" (Königsberg/Kaliningrad-Odessa). On the other hand, the oak, though found in various
forms in Afghanistan, is nct attested in Skt., perhaps with the exception of the inherited name of the weather god, Parjanva,
who is often linked with the oak in various IE mythologies, see EWA s.v.; for example, Lithuanian Perkunas , O.Slavic Perun
u,
Lat. querquus, etc., see Pokorny, p. 822; for Class. Skt. parkatī 'ficus inferiora' see EWA II 192 ~ Ved. plaksa.
Autochthonous Aryans? (51)
This situation has been well explained by the assumption of IE linguists that these
European/Caucasus/Ural tree names were remembered (sometimes, in the Central Asian steppes and deserts,
only in old sayings or in poetry?) down to the very doorsteps of South Asia in Afghanistan, or were applied to
similar items, but were utterly forgotten in the tropical S. Asia as there were no similar trees to which these IE
names could be applied. One apparent exception, vetasa, can easily be explained by a transfer of meaning, from
the very pliable (Afghan) 'willow' twigs to the equally pliable 'reed, cane' (see above).
147
The autochthonous theory again must introduce the improbable auxiliarv assumption that all such
wcrds have been forgotten inside the subcontinent after, or even as soon as, the Iranians (and other Indo-
Europeans) suppcsedlv had crossed the Suleiman Range and the Khyber/Bolan passes into Afghanistan and Iran.
However, many if not most S. Asian plant and animal names have clear, non-IE local origins; in other
words, they are loan words from the local S. Asian languages
148
(e.g., RV mavūra 'peacock', vrīhi 'rice', etc.).
Others are new formations, built on the basis of IE words, e.g. 'elephant': hastin(- mrca)RV 1.64.7, 4.16.13 etc.,
'the (wild animal) with the hand, the elephant', used for words such as Late Ved. caja,ŚB 14.4.1.24 matanca, Epic
naca, RV(?) ibha.
149
Or 'tiger', vvachra < 'who tears apart?' (KEWA III 274), 'who smells scents by opening [his
jaws]'(?) EWA II 593, for VS śardūla, pundarīka (lex.),(note also N.Pers.bebr). These new formations must have
been introduced when the immicratinc speakers of Indo-Aryan (again, nct the Iranians!) were first faced with
them in the Greater Panjab. Indigenists (Talageri 2000, Elst 1999, etc.) denounce such cases as just one more of
the common substitutions based on poetic or descriptive formations, or as dialect designations which can happen
at any stage in the history of a language (e.g. Vulgar Latin caballus > French cheval, etc. for older equus). However,
such critics once again overlook the wider complex, the complete absence of cricinal IE/IA words for S. Asian
plants/animals built with clear IE rccts and/or wcrd structure. The absence of IE/IA words for local plants and
animals clearly militates against any assumption that Pre-IA, Proto-IIr or PIE was the lccal language of the
Panjab or of Uttar Pradesh during (pre-)Harappan times.
This also agrees with the fact that most of the S. Asian loan words in the gveda, excluding some Central
Asian imports, are nct found in Iran and beyond.
150
These words include Kuiper's (1991) c. 380 'foreign words'
in the RV. Again, not all of them could have been lost as soon as thehvpcthetical IE or Iranian emigrants crossed
over into Iran and beyond. One would at least expect a few of them in the 'emigrant' languages. Such Indian
words should have survived in the west and could have acquired a new meaning, such as British Engl. ccrn
'wheat' > 'maize' in America. The Gypsies, after all, have kept a large IA vocabulary alive, over the past 1500 years
or so, during their wanderings all over the Near East, North Africa and Europe (e.g., phral 'brother', pani 'water',
karal 'he does').
147
Friedrich (1970) has pointed out that most IE tree names are nor explainable by IE etymologies (except for the birch tree
< 'shining', cf. Bryant 1999). Following the autochthonous line, one could therefore assume that such (supposedly non-IE)
names have been borrowed/spread from India. However, IE tree names such as 'beech, oak', etc. have true IE word structure:
their roots follow the IE pattern (see above §10), and the suffixes employed are IE as well. In other words, these tree names
are IE. That there are isolated roots of tree names is not strange. After all, many basic words, such as 'eye' and 'hand',
(Pokorny 1959: 775, 447) are isolated in IE, i.e. these roots are not employed outside their narrow realm as (root) nouns
other than in clearly derived, secondary ways. Most other basic IE words are related to verbs and therefore have a much
wider application in word formation. Yet, no one has ever suggested that a words such as 'eye' is nct IE. In addition, many
tree names will go back to pre-IE times when their roots still might have had a clear onomastic meaning; these pre-IE words
subsequently were automatically changed to fit the IE root structure.
148
Indigenists decry the very ccncept of substrates, see Elst (1999), --much as they now begin to decry the various historical
levels established in genetics, based on the analysis of the male only Y chromosome-- as this would necessarily indicate that
Vedic had not been present in NW India since times immemorial.
149
Ved. ibha is of dubious meaning and etymology (Oldenberg 1909-12). At least 2 of the 4 cases in the RV do not refer to
'elephant' but rather to the 'retinue train' or the 'court' of a chieftain. The meaning 'elephant' is attested only in Class. Skt.
(Manu+), Påli, see EWA I 194; cf. nevertheless O.Egypt. ',abw, EWA III 28. -- Gamkrelizde and Ivanov link ibha with Latin
ele-phant -, etc. but this requires special, otherwise unattested phonetic correspondences such as ele-..i-, etc.
150
Some of them are of Central Asian origin, see Witzel 1999, Lubotsky forth.
(52) Michael WITZEL
No amount of special pleading will convince an independent (linguistic) observer of a scenario that
relies on the total loss of all tvpical S. Asian words in Iranian and all the other 'emigrant' Indo-European lan-
guages. Again, Occam's razor requires to scrap the theory of an 'Aryan' or, worse, an Indo-European emigration
from the Panjab to the West.
§17. IE words in Indo-Iranian; IE Archaisms vs. Indian innovations
Conversely, and not unexpectedly by now, typical IIr. words indicating a temperate climate, and with IE
root and suffix structure, such as 'wolf' (vrka. Avest. vəhrka; cf. Lith. vilkas, O.Slav. vl'k
u
, Alban. ulk, Grk. lukcs,
Lat. lupus, Gothic wulfs< *wlk
w
cs), 'snow/winter' (hima.Avest.zim/ziiam,Grk.xiōn'snow',-khimcs,Lat. hiems,
Gaul.Giamcn-,Armen.jiun'snow',etc.), 'birch tree' (bhūrja, Pamir Dial. furz, Osset. bœrs(œ),etc. are found in E.
Europe, Greater Iran and on the northwestern borders of the subcontinent (Kashmir). However, neither snow
nor birch are typical for the Panjab or Indian plains. It is, again, thecreticallv possible that these words belonged
to the supposed original IE/IA vocabulary of the northwestern Himalayas and therefore could have been
transported westward by a hvpcthetical IE westward emigration. But, this scenario is contradicted by the evidence
of the last section dealing with all the other IE 'cold climate' words that have not been preserved in India, not even
in the Northwest or in the Himalayas. Therefore, words such as those for 'wolf' and 'snow' rather indicate
linguistic memories of a colder climate than an export of words to Iran and Europe, such as that for the high
altitude Kashmirian birch tree.
More importantly, typical Indian grammatical and lexical inncvaticns are not found among the other
Indo-European languages. While some, stemming from the IIr period, are met with in Old Iranian (pronoun
ah-am'I',Avest.azəm,Nom.Pl.aśvasa-as,Avest.aspànhō,etc.), the tvpicalIndian innovations found already in the
RV (jabhara for jahara, sede/mene, absolutives, etc.) are not. The first type of innovation is attributed to the
common source language, i.e. Indo-Iranian rather than OIA influencing the neighboring Old Iranian.
151
It
would be against all rules of (IE and non-IE) comparative linguistics to assume that such late, (low-level, in
term of family tree or cladistics) developments should nct apply just in the sincle case of Indo-Aryan, and to
assume, instead, earlv innovation inside India (aśvas-as,ratha,babhru'mongoose',etc.) that would have selectivelv
been exported to Iran (of course, minus all tvpical Indian RV innovations!), innovations that would nct have been
carried out in the rest of the Indo-European languages: just too many auxiliary assumptions!
The autochthonous theory would, again, have to assume that all such Indian innovations would have
been carried out afterthespeakerscfIranian(and/crallctherIndc-Eurcpeanlancuaces)hadleftthesubccntinent,
which is contradicted by absence of typical Indian words in other Indo-European languages and in Iranian, and
by the absence further west of Indo-Iranian innovations such as the chariot (*ratha). Occam's razor applies
again.
To go into some further detail, the many archaisms in Old Iranian cannot readily be explained by an
Iranian emigration from India: First of all when and where should this have happened? SW and Central
Southern Iran was occupied by the Elamians, the western parts were settled by W. Iranians only after c. 1000 BCE
(cf. Hintze 1998) and were settled by non-IE peoples before. About E. Iran/Afghanistan we have only stray
Mesopotamian, copious archaeological and a few isolated Vedic sources. They point to non-IE settlements as well:
in S. Iran, Elamian up to Bampur, Meluhhan east of it in Baluchistan/Sindh, and Arattan north of it in Sistan,
while the northern fringe was occupied by the Bactria-Margiana substratum that is visible in Indo-Iranian
(Witzel 1999a,b).
If the Iranians had moved out from the Panjab at an ''early date'', they would have missed, the suppcsed
'Panjab innovation' of the use of the (domesticated) horse (already Indo-European: Latin equus, etc.), and
especially the later one of the horse-drawn chariot (IIr. ratha). If, on the other hand, they had moved out a little
later, say, after the Mitanni Indo-Aryans, all of this would have come too late to account for the non-appearance
151
E.g., a comparison between the 1st pl. English (weare), German (wir sind), Dutch (wij zijn), shows that Engl. are must be
a late internal innovation due to analogy with the 2nd plural form, and the equivalent of 3rd pl. sind/zijn is alsc substituted
by are, while1st pl .sind/zijn itself comes from the 3rd plural:siesind/zijn.
Autochthonous Aryans? (53)
of Iranian tribes in the RV which has only some (pre-)Iranian looking names (Witzel 1999), camels (RV 8) and
some Afghani rivers (Gomatī in the Suleiman Range, Sarayu in Herat, Sarasvatī in Arachosia). We cannot make
the Iranians move from India to Iran, say, at 5000 or 2600 BCE, then to introduce the innovation of horse
pastoralism (not present in the subcontinent then!), and then let them take part, at c. 2000 BCE, in the innovation
of the alreadvIIr horse drawn chariot (*ratha, § 12.6, §21).
In addition, Old Iranian in ceneral is too archaic to have moved out of India after the composition of the
RV: while Old Avestan (of Zaraθuštra) has, to be sure, many forms which correspond to gvedic ones, much of
his language is even more archaic: as has been mentioned, the retention of the use of neuter plural with singular
of the verb is something that has elsewhere been retained in Hittite; the old nom. pl. masc. in -as= Avest. -as-,-a-
is found in the RV next to the innovation devas-as; an archaism in the perfect stem which appears in the RV such
as babhr- (Avest. baβr-)next to the new formation RV jabhr-; archaisms in names such as Iamad-acni (= Avest.
jimat) next to the innovative RV camad, etc.
All of this points to a time of separation of IA and Iranian befcre the RV and thus, not inside India. The
hypothetical argument that these traits were preserved in the Panjab side by side with the RV does not hold, for
Iranian does not show any typical Indian elements (see above).
152
If the Iranians had indeed left the Panjab before the RV, serious chronological difficulties would arise,
whether we were to accept the autochthonous theory of the RV well before the Indus civ. (2600/5000 BCE) or
whether we accept the traditional Indologist's dating of the RV sometime in the 2nd mill. BCE. In all these cases,
Iranian is far too archaic to have been a clcseneighbor, in the Panjab, of the gvedic dialects. Further, it lacks any
indication of Indian influence on its grammar and vocabulary (see above).
One can only conclude that Old Iranian, including Avestan, split off from (Proto-)Old Indo-Aryan
(Vedic, etc.) at an early date, preserved some archaic features while developing innovations on its own (s>h, kh>
x,j'n>sn, etc.) and that it was never in earlv close contact with the Panjab and its substrate languages. Such close
contact would also have effected the one typical phonetical development that the Iranians actually 'escaped'
befcre the Vedic dialects of the RV adopted or developed it, the retroflex sounds (see above §15).
§18. Absence of Indian influence in Mitanni-Indo-Aryan
The same scenario as discussed so far is indicated by the IA loan words in the Hurrite language of the
Mitanni realm in northern Iraq/Syria (c. 1460-1330 BCE). Again, if there was an (early) emigration out of India
by (Vedic) Indo-Aryans it would be surprising that even the Mitanni documents do not show typical Scuth Asian
influence.
153
Rather, is obvious that the remnants of early IA in Mitanni belong to a pre-gvedic stage of IA, as is seen
in the preservation of IIr -zdh- > Ved. -edh-, in Privamazdha (Bi-ir-ia-ma-aš-da
154
) : Ved. privamedha : Avest.
-mazda.Thesetexts also still have IIr ai > Ved. e (aika : ekain aikavartana). Another early item is the retention of
IIr. j'h > Ved. h in vašana(š)šava 'of the race track' = [važhanasva]cf. Ved.vahana-(EWA II 536,Diakonoff 1971:
80,Hock 1999: 2); they also share the gvedic (and Avestan) preference for r (pinkara for pincala, parita for
palita). Importantly, Mitanni-IA has no trace of retroflexion.
How could all of this be possible if one supposes an emigration from India, in some cases (Misra 1992)
even after the supposed date of the RV (5000 BCE)? The RV is, after all, a text that already has all these features.
152
An auxiliary theory, e.g. of a strong local (Dravidian, etc.) influence on the RV cnlv, as opposed to Iranian --while still in
India-- is implausible; the same applies to Drav. influence after the Iranians suppcsedlv left: all of this would require an
altogether new theory, constructed out of the blue, of a push towards the northwest by Dravidian.
153
Brentjes' pointing to the peacock motive in Mitanni times art is a very weak argument (for detailed criticism, see
Schmidt 1980: 45 sq.) We know that even the Sumerians imported many items from India (Possehl 1996). Further, the
peacock motif is attested in Mesopotamia well before the Mitannis. For a list of Mitanni-IA words, cf. now E\A III,
Appendix.
154
Mayrhofer 1979: 47; in Palestine, cf. Priva-aśva. bi-ir-ia-aš-šu-va.
(54) Michael WITZEL
The Mitanni loan words (Mayrhofer 1979, EWA III 569 sqq.) from Pre-Vedic OIA share the typical IIr
innovations, such as the new Asura gods Varua (EWA II 515 a-ru-na, u-ru-wa-na, not found in Iran) and
Mitra (Avest. Miθra, Mitanni mi-it-ra), and Indra (Mit. in-da-ra/in-tar, Avest. Indra)
155
who is marginalized in
Iran, and the Nåsatya (na-ša-ti-va-an-na = Aśvin, Avest. Nànhaiθiia).
156
These innovations also include the
new the concept of Rta (Iran. Arta, in verv late Avest. pronunciation = asa), contained in names such as
Artasmara (ar-ta-aš-šu-ma-ra), Artadhåman (ar-ta-ta-a-ma),
157
and perhaps also the newly introduced ritual
drink, sauma, IIr *sauma (Ved. scma, Avest. hacma, EWA II 749). The Mitanni sources show extensive use of the
domesticated horse (ašuua, cf. names for horse colors
158
), the chariot (rattaš) and chariot racing (a-i-ka-, ti-e-
ra-, pa-an-za-, ša-at-ta-, na-a-|w]a-wa-ar-ta-an-na· |aika-, tri-, panca-, satta- (see n.160), nava-vartana],
tušratta/tuišeratta·RVtvesaratha).
To see in these names a post-RV form of OIA, a Prakrit (Misra 1992, Elst 1999:183),
159
is therefore
misguided and based on insufficient knowledge of near Eastern languages. Misra's 'Pråktic influences' in
Mitanni IA are due to the peculiarities of the cuneiform writing system and to the Mitanni form of the Hurrite
language. It has been asserted for long that satta in satta-vartana 'seven turns' has been influenced by Hurrite
šinti 'seven' (J. Friedrich 1940, cf. Cowgill 1986: 23, Diakonoff 1971: 81; this is under discussion again,
160
but
clearly a Hurrite development); however, the words starting with b- such as bi- did not receive their b- from a
MIA pronunciation of vi,
161
as Misra maintains, but are due to the fact that Mitanni does not allow initial v-
(Diakonoff 1971: 30, 45). In sum, the Mitanni IA words are not Prakritic but (pre-)gvedic.
On the other hand, the Mitanni texts clearly indicate typical OIA (Vedic) linguistic innovation: aika-
vartana (a-i-ka-ua-ar-ta-an-na)
162
instead of Ir. aiva- or general IE *cinc- > ¯aina-), and yet, the vocabulary
does not yet show signs of typical ScuthAsian influence: for example, there is no retroflexation in mani-nnu, Avest.
maini, Elam O.P. *bara-mani, and Latin mcnīle. But retroflexation is precisely what is found once OIA enters
South Asia: RV mani 'jewel'.
163
Finally Mitanni IA has no typical South Asian loan words such as ani 'lynch
pin'.
155
Mayrhofer 1979: 53: in-tar-u-da, en-dar-u-ta (Palestine, 15th cent. BC); cf. Cowgill 1986: 23.
156
Via Mitanni, perhaps also Hitt. Acni (Akniš, cf. Avest. daštaγni), Mayrhofer 1979: 36, 51: a-ak-ni-iš.
157
The lineage includes Bar-sa-ta-tar, Sauššattar (Sa-uš-ta-a-tar, sa-uš-sa-ta (at)-tar), Artad(h)ama (Ar-ta-ta-a-ma),
Sattarna II, Artasmara (Ar-ta-aš-šu-ma-ra), Tušratta (Tu-uš-rat-ta, Tu-iš-e-rat-ta, Tu-uš-e-rat-ta. ¯Tvaisaratha), KUR-ti-u-
az-za, Mayrhofer 1979: 54 sqq., cf. Cowgill 1986: 23.
158
Kikkuli bapru-nnu. Ved.babhru,binkara-nnu : Ved. pincala, baritta-nnu : Ved. palita, with gvedic -r- instead of later
-l-, Mayrhofer 1979: 32, 52-3, cf. Cowgill 1986: 23.
159
Elst sees here, of course, a confirmation of his belief that the RV is of hoary pre-Indus vintage. Thus, he can expect post-
gvedic Pråkt forms in 1400 BCE. While some MIA forms may be sought in the RV, their status is constantly questioned
and further reduced. The latest form that has come under attack is jvctis < *dvaut-is, see C. aan de Wiel 2000.
160
"E. Laroche, in his Glcssaire de la lancue hcurrite, lists the word šittanna from the Kikkuli text and comments: "... "sept",
d'après l'indo-arien šatta-wartanna. - Forme de šinti/a??" S.v. šinti
2
he says: "Mais šinti "sept" doit encore être séparé... de
šitta." He also lists a word šittaa (long a) from two (Hittite?) Kizzuwadna texts." (pers. comm. by Bjarte Kaldhol, Nov. 5,
2000).
161
Incidentally, it would be eastern MIA, such as Mågadhī (which, however, does not agree with the extreme Rhotacism of
Mitanni-IA but has l everywhere!), as western North India has retained v- , see Masica 1991: 99 sq.
162
Thus also Cowgill 1986: 23. Note that Ved. has eva'only'<aiva = O.Iran. aiva 'one', and that only MIr. has ẽvak 'one',
but this is due to the commonplace MIr. suffix -ka; Next to the usual [tri-, pañca-, ¯sapta-, nava-vartana]; and racing terms
such as : ua-ažan-na 'race track', also with genitive in: -na-ši-ia!, and perhaps

a-aš-šu-uš-ša-n-ni, 'horse trainer',
Diakonoff 1971: 81, Mayrhofer 1979: 52;.

163
Mayrhofer 1979: 53; cf. RV mani , Av. ma
i
ni , Elam. O.P. ¯bara-mani, Latin mcnīle, etc.; cf. also Varua as Uruna, and
Ved. sthūna, Av. stūna/stuna, O.P. stūna, Sakastuna.
Autochthonous Aryans? (55)
In sum, Mitanni-IA is older than the RV, cannot have come from the Panjab but must have been spoken
in the north-eastern border areas of Mesopotamia where it influenced the Hurrite language of the Mitanni that
belongs, just like its later relative Urartu, to the Caucasus group of languages.
Indeed, some of the rather indirect IA influx into the Near East may have been earlier than the one
visible in Mitanni. The Kassite conquerors of Mesopotamia (c. 1677-1152 BCE) have a sun god Šuriiaš,
164
perhaps also the Marut and maybe even Bhaca (Bucaš?), as well as the personal name Abirat(t)aš (Abhiratha);
but otherwise, the vocabulary of their largely unknown language hardly shows any IA influence, not even in
their many designations for the horse and horse names
165
(Balkan 1954).
166
If one now thinks through the implications of the autochthonous theory again, the ancestors of the
Mitanni Indo-Aryans would have left India very early indeed (well before their favorite date of the RV, 2600/5000
BCE, and well before 1900 BCE, the suppcsed date of the Bråhmaa texts, Kak 1994). They would have done so
with the gvedic dialect features (ai>e,zdh>edh) nct vet in place, and without any of the alleged MIA forms of
Misra (satta, etc.), but with the typical OIA and IIr terms for horses and chariot racing (befcre their invention
and introduction into South Asia)! They would have lingered somewhere in N.W. Iran to emerge around 1400
BCE as Hurrianized Mitanni-IA, with some remnant IA words and some terms of IA religion. But they would
have done so withcut any of the local South Asian innovations
167
(no retroflex in mani-,no-edh-,-h-,etc.) that
are already found in the RV, and also withcut any particularly Indian words (lion, tiger, peacock, lotus, lynch pin
ani) all of which would have been 'selectively' forgotten while only tvpical IA and IE words were remembered. In
short, a string of contradictions and improbabilities. Occam's razor applies again.
Similarly, the Parna (Gr. Parnci, Ved. Pani) and Dasa/Dåsa ~ Avest. (Aži) Dahaka, ~Ved.dasaAhīśu, Lat.
Dahi, Grk. Daai, Avest.Dànha (:: Airiia, cf. Dahae :: Arii), would have escaped their Panjab IA enemies (RV Dasa,
Dasyu, Pai :: ari,Arva,Ārva) northwards in order to settle at the northern fringes of Iran well before the time of
the RV, e.g., as the Parna, still withcut retroflexion and accompanying loss of -r-. Unfortunately for the
autochthonous theory, these N. Ir. tribes occur already in the RV, significantly nct as real life but as mvthical
enemies, and now with retroflexion. Significantly, all while the same authors who composed the RV hymns are
supposed by the indigenist and revisionist writers not to remember anvthinc beyond the Panjab. Again, multiple
contradictions: Occam's razor applies.
***
Summary : Linguistics
In sum, all of the linguistic data and the multitude of possible autochthonous scenarios based on them
lead to the same kinds of culsdesac or Hclzwece.
164
Explained as sun god, "Šamaš", Mayrhofer 1979: 32; cf. also thewar god Maruttaš · Marut-, and king Abirattaš ·
Abhiratha, for details seeBalkan 1954: 8.
165
Note, however, timiraš = Ved. timira- 'dark', cf. Balkan 1954: 29, also 1954: 27 laccatakkaš = lakta?
166
Some early IA immigrants that according to Harmatta (1992: 374) seem to be recorded in a tablet of the Dynasty of
Agade, at the end of the third millennium BCE, c. 2300-2100 BCE: A-ri-si(<sa')-en = Arisaina and Sa-um-si( <sa')-en =
Saumasena, are wrcnc interpretations of Hurrian words: "Hurrian names in -šen (not -sen) are common in earlier periods.
Arišen means "The brother gave", and Šaumšen (probably pronounced Tsacm-then) is made from a root sa- plus the verbal
suffix -um/-cm plus -šen, an abbreviated form of šenni, "brother". These names from Samarra were published by Thureau-
Dangin in RA IX 1-4. See Gelb et al., Nuzi perscnal names, Chicago 1963, p. 255" (personal comm. by Bjarte Kaldhol, Nov. 6,
2000). On š = [θ] see Diakonoff 1971: 46. -- Harmatta (1992: 374) wrongly took these names as a sign of an early Indo-
Aryan spread towards Mesopotamia.
167
Some of the so-called MIA features of Mitanni-Indo-Aryan are due to the writing system (in-da-ra, etc.); satta is
questionable as well: ša-at-ta is influenced by the Mitanni term, as ¯ša-ap-ta would be possible in this writing system; S.S.
Misra, however, has found linguistic features common to MIA (Middle Indo-Aryan) and even NIA: assimilation (sapta >
satta); anaptyxis (Indra>Indara); initial v>b ( virva>birva), read, however, Priva! -- K. Norman erroneously pointed to pt
>tt(see discussion of satta), labialization of a>u after v (*ašvasani>aššuššanni ), see however, Mayrhofer 1979: 52.
(56) Michael WITZEL
There is nc evidence at all for the development of IE, IIr, and even of pre-OIA/Vedic inside the sub-
continent. It is contradicted, among other items, by the Iranian and Mitanni evidence. An emicraticn of the
Iranians and other Indo-Europeans
168
from the subcontinent, as supposed by adherents of the autochthonous
theories, is excluded by the linguistic evidence at large.
To maintain an Indian homeland of IE, IIr, and Pre-OIA requires multiple special pleading of a sort
and magnitude that no biologist, astronomer or physicist would tolerate. Simply put, whvshculdweallcwspecial,
lincuistic pleadinc just in the case cf India? There is nothing in the development of human language in India that
intrinsically differs from the rest of the world. Occam's razor applies.
So far, most of the linguistic evidence presented in the previous sections has been neglected by advocates
of the autochthonous theory,
169
and if it has been marshaled at all, it has been done so ad hcc, even by the lone,
autochthonously minded Indian historical linguist, S.S. Misra. His rewritinc of IE linguistics remains incidental
and idiosyncratic, and it results in multiple contradictions, just as the rest of the theory. The autochthonists must
do a lot of homework and try to contradict the linguistic data discussed above (detailed in § 13-18) before they
can hope to have any impact on linguistic discussions.
Conversely, the data derived from linguistic study are consistent throughout: they clearly indicate that
an Eastern IE language, the Vedic branch of IIr, has been Indianized and has grammatically inncvated after its
arrival in the Panjab, while Iranian has escaped this influence as it did not enter the subcontinent then. Exactly
how the IA language and the IA spiritual and material culture of the archaeologically still little traced Indo-Aryan
speaking tribes was introduced, that is still an open and very much debated question. It can be traced securely, so
far, only in the evidence coming from the texts (horses, chariots, religion, ritual, poetics, etc.) and from the
features of the language itself that have been discussed here at length. Possibly, genetic evidence, especially that
deriving from studies of the male Y chromosome, may add to the picture in the near future.
In the sequel, the evidence from texts, archaeology, and some natural ("hard") sciences will be adduced.
This is perhaps the right place to point out that these fields of scholarship proceed in their own fashion and with
various methodologies, and that the data obtained from all these fields have their own characteristics. It is not
always the case, for example, that evidence from archaeology can flawlessly be matched with linguistic or genetic
data. The nature of evidence in these fields often is too disparate. Some scholars (such as the archaeologist
Shaffer) actually refuse to take into account anything that is outside archaeology, especially the "tyrannical"
linguistics. This is of course not quite true, as palaeontology is tacitly accepted. Second, it must be pointed out that
many of these fields, such as archaeology, provide "hard" evidence, but then interpret their data in various ways,
just as it occurs in the other humanities. The same is true also, e.g. for studies of palaeo-climate. The distinction
between the 'hard sciences' and the humanities is not as strict as is often made out.
Nevertheless, we should keep looking for overlaps in evidence and draw our own, often preliminary
conclusions, -- preliminary as several if not all of the fields involved are in constant development.
CHRONOLOGY
§19. Lack of agreement of the autochthonous theory with the historical evidence: dating of kings & teachers
Turning, presently, to the evidence preserved in the texts themselves and in history as well as ar-
chaeology, it might be useful to deal first with an item that has captured the imagination of scholars east and
west for at least a century, that is, the various lists of early kings (and also of Vedic teachers).
Advocates of the autochthonous theory stress that the traditional lists of Indian kings (in the
Mahåbhårata, Råmåyaa, Puråas) go back to the fourth millennium BCE and even earlier. However, even
168
The much later emigration of the Gypsies and some others into Central Asia are of course excluded here.
169
With the (partial) exception of Elst (1999), and Talageri (2000) for which see above.
Autochthonous Aryans? (57)
during the formative period of the great Epic at c. 300 BCE, Megasthenes, the Greek ambassador to the Maurya
court at Patna, reported to have heard of a traditional list of 153 kings that covered 6042 years.
170
This would, of
course, lead back well beyond the traditional beginning of the Kaliyuga at 3102 BCE (cf. Witzel 1990). The latter
date, however, is due only to back-calculation, based on the alignment of all then known(!) five planets, that was
carried out by Våråhamihira in the 6th cent. CE (Kochhar 1999). In other words, all dates based on a beginning of
the Kaliyuga in 3102 are wcrthless.
The royal lists rest, as almost everywhere in traditional cultures, on Bardic traditions.
171
In India, they
derive from lists orally transmitted and constantly reshaped by the Sūta bards according to local conditions and
personal preference (Parry and Lord, 1930 sqq.)
172
The eager efforts made by many Indian scholars of various
backgrounds to rescue these lists as representing actual historical facts
173
therefore are ultimately futile.
174
The
only early Puråic kings we can substantiate are those listed in the Vedas as these texts, once composed, could no
longer be changed.
The process is exceptionally clear in the development of the tale of the Great Battle (daśarajña, RV 7.18, see
Witzel 1995). In the RV this is fought between the Bharata chieftain Sudås on the one side, and the Pūru chief
with his nine 'royal' allies on the other. It took place on the Paruī in central Panjab. The Mahåbhårata battle,
however, is fought between the Kaurava (of Bharata descent) and the Påava, both of the new Kuru tribe, near
the Sarasvatī in Kuruketra (modern Haryana).
Because of the extremely careful oral method of RV preservation we can take the RV report as a sort of
tape recording of contemporary news, news that is of course biased by contemporary political considerations and
the mentality of the victor. However, already the Middle Vedic texts indicate a gradual shift in the non-gvedic
and non-specialized, more popular traditions: there is a general confusion of the characters and the location
involved, leading to that of the well known Mahåbhårata personages and localities (details in Witzel, 1995). All of
170
Megasthenes, the Seleucid ambassador to Candragupta (Sandrokottos) Maurya's court, at c. 300 BCE (Arrianos, Indika
9.9). -- All of this is called "entirely plausible" by Elst (1999: 192); however, there even is 6776 BCE as another starting point,
according to Pliny, Naturalis Histcria 6.59 and Arrianos. Elst strangely comments "even for that early pre-Vedic period,
there is no hint of immigration". In short, according to Elst (and Talageri 2000) we get Indian "kings" in the Gangetic plains
of the 7th millennium BCE, when this area was populated by a few hunter and gatherer tribes! These 'monarchs' would
indeed be the first kings on the planet (Witzel 2001). Elst is not aware of the common (Indian, etc.) tendency to put
contemporary lineages one before another when setting up long range 'historical' records (Witzel 1990). See also next note.
171
See the lists in the Torah, Homers' list of ships, Polynesian lists of chieftains, and so on. Iistenwissenschaft is one of the
oldest 'sciences' in the world, cf. the Babylonian evidence in Z.J. Smith (1982) and Assmann (1987).
172
Where we can check such Bardic traditions with the help of historical records, e.g. in the Germanic epic, they tend to
telescope, rework the historical data; for example, they confound Ermanric, the king of the Goths in the Ukraine at the time
of the Huns' invasion, with his grandson Theoderic, king of the Goths in Italy.
173
The latest example is Talageri (1993, 2000) who builds a whole imaginative prehistory of S. Asia on such 'data': with an
early emigration of the Druhyu branch of the Aryans to Iran and Europe in the 5th millennium BCE, including such fantastic
etymologies and identifications as Bhalånas = Baloch (who appear on the scene only after 1000 CE!), Bhgu = Phrygians,
Madra = Mede (Måda), Druhyu = Druids, Alīna = Hellenic people, Śimyu = Sirmios (Albanians), etc. -- These are Oakish
cases where even Elst (1999: 192 sq.) does not always follow him.
174
The arguments used to justify the historicity of the Puråas (Elst 1999) are easily dismissed. While we can expect names
of a similar sort in the older lists --some of them are also found in the Vedas (after all, names within a family often begin or
end in the same way),-- they cannot be used to substantiate the actual existence of ccmplete Puråic lists during Vedic times.
See §19. -- Elst's further argument that early Puråic dynasties are not those of the northwest but of Bihar, Utkala etc.
equally does not hold. It is clear that the beginnings of the lists, even in the Mbh and Råm., were reformulated to fit local
demands: a western (Bharata) one for the Mbh and an eastern (Ikvåku) one for the Kosala area. (Witzel, in prep.)
Agreement between the Epics, Puråas, Buddhist and Jaina texts does not vouch for a 'hoary' age of such lists, just for a
common perception at the time these texts were composed, i.e. after 500 BCE. Only the Vedas are older, and they contain
just small fragmentary sections of the later (enlarged, altered) Puråic lists. The influence of politics of empire (Nanda,
Maurya, Gupta) and of local politics (or the wish by local kings to forge such a link to a well established lineage) should not
be underestimated.
(58) Michael WITZEL
this does not inspire a great deal of credibility in the ''facts'' reported by the Epic and Puråic texts (Pargiter 1913,
Morton Smith 1973, Talageri 1993, 2000).
175
These texts have clearly lifted (parts of) lineages, fragment by
fragment, from the Vedas and have supplied the rest (Söhnen 1986) --from hypothetical, otherwise unknown
traditions-- or, as can be seen in the case of the Mahåbhårata,
176
from poetical imagination.
Similarly, the idea that the Vedas contain reliable lists of teachers rests on typically weak foundations.
First of all, the various of Vaśa lists at the end of ŚB 10, ŚB 14 = BĀU 2, BĀU 6, JUB 4, KA 15, cf. ChU 8.15, etc.)
do not agree with each other. Second, they trace the line of teachers back to the gods, to Prajåpati. Yet even if we
neglect this small detail and take only the later parts of these lists at face value (Morton Smith 1966), we do not
know when to place them in time, as the absolute dates of the teachers are totally unknown, except for some
overlaps with chiefs and kings known from the Vedic texts, as tentatively worked out by Morton Smith (1973).
Any historical reconstruction based on such lists must then start with assumptions, and even the usual
average number of 20 or 30 years attributed to a generation does not work for teacher/student relationships, e.g.,
Mahidåsa Aitareya supposedly lived for 116 years and can have had many generations of students, just like any
modern academic teacher. In addition, the Vaśa lists mention that certain Veda students had several teachers.
In fact, Yåjñavalkya, whom the ŚB sometimes pictures as an old man, could have had students throughout his
life, and of various ages. All of this makes the use of the Vaśa lists for reliable dating almost impossible.
Again, the general question, asked several times already, has to be put here as well: if the traditional
Bardic data are unreliable in traditional societies everywhere around the world, why should the same kind of
data, shaped and reshaped by the later Vedic texts, the Epics and the Puråas, be a full and true account of South
Asian prehistory? As in the cases listed above (and further below), this amounts to very special pleading, in fact
again to another unmotivated exemption of India from the generally accepted procedures of the sciences, and of
scholarship in general.
The genealogical data also do not readily fit into the combined, ceneral picture as provided by the texts
and by other disciplines such as archaeology, to which we will turn now.
ARCHAEOLOGY
§ 20. Archaeology and texts
Archaeology strives to discover, but cannot establish all the major factors that make up a certain civi-
lization, as this science is limited to physical remains, from buildings and art to pottery, plants and human
bones. As long as archaeologists cannot find readable inscriptions and texts along with their findings, the
interpretation of the spiritual background and much of the society of the culture in question remains tenta-
tive.
177
The Mayas, e.g., were regarded as exceptionally peaceful people until their texts could be read. We cannot
yet read the Indus inscriptions, and we do not yet have access to the archaeological remains, if indeed preserved, of
the gvedic period. Many of the archaeological interpretations thus remain tentative, and by their very nature,
they tend to shift with each new major discovery.
In the sequel, some of the archaeological and textual data are compared with what the autochthonous
theories make of such evidence. It must be pointed out that autochthonists frequently rely on the dicta of recent
archaeologists who stress that there was no major cultural break in South Asia from 6500 BCE well into the
prehistorical period. However, archaeological evidence -- extremely important as it is -- forms just cne facet of
175
Talageri turns things around and finds justification of the Puråic data in the Vedas, and thus a spread of the Lunar
dynasty from Kosala (Prayåga) westwards. Strangely enough, these Pūru dynasties later on again spread eastwards (as is clear
from the Vedas anyhow!) -- All of this is faithfully repeated by Elst (1999: 191). If this is not a pcst-factum justification, a
retrcfit as indigenist like to call such constructions, of the originally despised Ikvåku lineage (JB 1.338 = Caland § 115, see a
first try at amelioration in AB 7, Witzel 1989), -- then what? (Discussion already in Witzel 1995).
176
Especially clear with the introduction of the 'non-Vedic' Påavas (Witzel, in prep.).
177
Recently, it has been tested in Papua-New Guinea what the material remains of some five different linguistic
communities belonging to one particular area would look like. After a deterioration of a few years, the archaeologists dug
them up, and found -- "the same (material) culture"! So much for the often used or alleged overlap of language and culture.
Autochthonous Aryans? (59)
several of a given culture, and in many respects only of its the most materialistic aspects. It must agree with what
the other sciences supply on information about the period in question. In other words, where is the archaeologist
that can tell us what the famous Indus "Śiva" or "Paśupati" seal really signifies? We will return to this question
below.
§21. RV and the Indus civilization: horses and chariots
The autochthonous theory asserts a rather early date for the RV (pre-Indus civilization, at 2600 or 5000
BCE). Indeed, the RV does not know of the Indus towns, of international commerce, of the Indus script, of the
Indus staple food, wheat, nor of the late-Indus cereal, rice (see below §23). However, all of that is only evidence ex
silentic, while the rich gvedic materials dealing with the domesticated horse, the horse-drawn chariot, or chariot
races do not fit at all with such early dates for the RV
178
(see immediately below) and rather put it after c. 2000
BCE. The closely related older Avestan texts, too,
179
point to a pastoralist, copper/bronze culture with use of horse
and chariot, quite similar to that of the RV.
Clearly, the use of the horse drawn chariot in sport and war during the RV period was mainly, but not
exclusively, a noblemen's occupation. In the autochthonous theory, the ''relative absence of horse bones'' in the
Indus civilization
180
is therefore explained away by the auxiliary assumption that the horse was only
occasionally imported for the nobility, who nevertheless were regarded as very good horse trainers. This
overlooks the fact that riding, too, is attested in the RV and that is clearly linked to groups socially situated below
the nobility (Falk 1995). However, not cne clear example of horse bones exists in the Indus excavations
181
and
elsewhere in North India before c. 1700 BCE (Meadow 1997, 1998). Even Bökönyi (1997), who sought to identify
some horse remains in the Indus civilization, states that ''horses reached the Indian subcontinent in an already
domesticated form coming from the Inner Asiatic horse domestication centers.''
Indeed, well recorded and stratified finds of horse figures and later on, of horse bones first occur in the
Kachi valley on the border of Sindh/E. Baluchistan (c. 1700 BCE), when the Indus civilization already had
disintegrated. Some suppcsed early finds of horses elsewhere are those of equid bones and teeth at Surkotada
182
(in Cutch, W. Gujarat) from the late Harappan period,
183
which belong to hemiones (Equus hemicnus khur, the
onager or half-ass), not to true horses (Equus caballus, see Meadow and Patel, 1997, Meadow 1998). Other claims,
178
Similarly early dates are inherent in Talageri (2000). When tabled, the various family books in his reconstruction turn
out to be spread out over two thousand years, well before the invention of the horse-drawn chariot. In addition, the very
starting point of his book, on which his 'new chronology' of the RV books rests, is clearly wrong: as has been pointed out (n.
7, 84, 87, 140, 173, 175, 216), his investigation is based on the present Śåkala 'edition' and arrangement of the RV, not on the
first collection ("Sahitå", of the Kuru period) as established by Oldenberg (1888). How can one come even close to the
period of the RV authors if one accepts any hymn inserted during the long period of orthoepic diaskeuasis, with additional,
immeasurable influence by unknown teachers that existed between the first collection and the redaction by the late
Bråhmaa scholar Śåkalya (BĀU 3). - Talageri's ecstatic summary (2000) therefore is self-defeating: "Any further research,
and any new material discovered on the subject, can only confirm this description.... but there is no possible way in which
the location of the Original [IE] Homeland in the interior of northern India, so faithfully recorded in the Puranas and
confirmed in the Rigveda, can ever be disproved." Interestingly, he has taken his initial historiographical cues from Witzel
1995 (and even lauds the general approach) -- only to reverse himself completely as to include the usual indigenous
("Puråic") agenda with chariots before their invention, IE emigration from Uttar Pradesh, etc. (Witzel 2001).
179
Summary by Skjaervø 1995:160, sq., 167 sq.
180
Elst (1999: 180) makes a lot out of this argument ex silentic but concludes "it is not as strong an argument against "Vedic
Harappa" as it once seemed to be"!
181
See R. Meadow and A. Patel 1997.
182
Bökönyi 1997 finds it in Surkotada IA-B-C, (acc. to Sharma 1990: 382, from the Harappan period: 2300-1700 BCE, Joshi
1990: 17, 59 sqq.)
183
However, note that (according to Meadow/Patel 1997): ''Surkotada has dates that go into the second millennium, and
the date of the ''Harappan'' layers themselves is not at all that clear." Cf. Joshi 1990.
(60) Michael WITZEL
such as the invented one of an indigenous gvedic 17-ribbed Sivalensis horse,
184
are totally unsubstantiated, or
they are from unclear stratigraphies and/or have not been documented well enough
185
as to allow a clear
distinction between horse, hemione or donkey; still others are simply too late.
186
At any rate, depictions of horses
are altogether absent during the Indus period.
187
Some of the earliest uses of the domesticated horse had been reported from the Copper Age site of
Dereivka on the Dnyepr River (for riding, c. 4200-3800 BCE, now withdrawn)
188
and similarly, from the
184
The latest folly (again, one created on the internet, this time by the proponent of an Austric 'theory' of IA origins) is that
of the long extinct early Indian horse, Equus sivalensis. This early horse in fact emerged c. 2.6 million years ago, overlapping,
in the Siwalik Hills, for a short period with the older (three-toed pre-horse) Hipparion (MacFadden 1992:139) that died out
soon afterwards. Many internet writers now connect the Sivalensis horse with the 17-ribbed gvedic horse and modern S.E.
Asian horses, however, without any evidence cited from archaeology, palaeontology or genetics. Fact is that horses (Equus
caballus) have 18 ribs on each side but this can individuallv vary with 17 on just one or on both sides. Such as is the case
(only 5 instead of 6 lumbar vertebrae) with some early horse finds in Egypt, from the mid-1st millennium BCE, horses that
all were imported from the Near East (and ultimately from the steppe zone). Clutton-Brock (1992: 83) writes: "It is generally
claimed that the Arab and the Przewalski horse [of Central Asia!] had only five lumbar vertebrae while all other horse
breeds have six. In fact the number is very variable but it is true that the Arab is more likely to have only five lumbar
vertebrae than other breeds of domestic horse (Stecher 1962)." Which only underlines that a domesticated, 17-ribbed horse
has been brought into the subcontinent from Central Asia (Bökönyi 1997) -- just the opposite of what internet 'specialists'
(and by simple extension, that excellent source of scientific information, the New Delhi party journal, "The Orcaniser ") now
claim, -- always without a single scholarly source. It should also be noted that numeral symbolism may play a role in the RV
passage (1.162.18) mentioning the 17-ribbed horse, which is part of an additional hymn of a late RV book. The number of
gods is given in the RV as 33 or 33+1, which would correspond to the 34 ribs of the horse (later on identified with the
universe in BĀU 1); note further that the horse is speculatively in brought into connection with all the gods, many of them
mentioned by name (RV 1.162-3)..
185
In the Indus Valley, the horse ( Equus caballus I.) was first reported, of course without palaeontological checks, at
Mohenjo-Daro by Sewell (1931). -- Other spurious accounts: Bh. Nath 1962, Sharma 1974, 1993; similarly alleged for late
Mohenjo Daro and late Harappa, for Kalibangan and Rupar (Bhola Nath, see B.B. Lal 1997: 285); for Malvan, Gujarat
(Sharma 1990: 382); for Mohenjo Daro and in small numbers in rather recent levels, for Harappa from the late phase
(Bökönyi 1997). Such strong assertions of 'archaeological' nature had even convinced R. Thapar (Social Scientist, Jan.-March
1996, p. 21). -- Elst 1999: 180 sqq. simply relies on these 'archaeological' data (and other writings) without questioning them
on the ground of palaeontology. He even adduces the cave paintings at Bhimbetka "perhaps 30,000 years old" (Klostermaier,
1989: 35) while such paintings are extremely difficult to date so far and cannot be relied on, at present, as a major piece of
evidence. In the end, while acknowledging the "paucity" (correctly: non-occurrence) of horse depictions and remains in the
Indus Civilization, Elst thinks that it is an explainable paucity... "so that everything remains possible."
186
For consideration are mentioned: from the Neolithic-chalcolithic levels of Hallur (1600 BC), early Jorwe (1400-1000
BC) and Late Jorwe (1000-700 BC), from the sites of Inamgaon in Maharashtra (Thomas 1988: 878, 883, Meadow & Patel,
1997). By this time, the domesticated horse was no longer rare (Thomas 1988: 878).-- Note that Thomas' material does not
have measurements of the bones.
187
For a fraudulous concoction of the picture of a horse on an Indus seal, see Rajaram and Jha (2000), exposed by Witzel
and Farmer (2000). Elst (1999), as usual, swallowed Rajaram's initial, bold assertion of Harappan horses, hook and sinker --
in this case even Rajaram's artist's depiction of the half-horse (that is a bull!), referring (Elst 1999: 182) to Rajaram's hardly
available book IrcmHarappatcAvcdhva, Hyderabad 1997, see Frontline Nov. 24, 2000: 128 n.1. -- Recently, the picture of
an Indus hemione (with typical short, stiff mane) was put on the internet as that of a horse, along with two already debunked
horses (Frontline Oct./Nov. 2000) of the new species, to be called after its discoverer, Equus asinus (?) rajarami!
188
The skeleton has only an carbon reading of c. 3000 BC; it shows evidence of a hard bridle bit; but the horse is unlikely to
have been used for draught at this early period and was probably used for riding. This date has recently been withdrawn by
D. Anthony (Antiquity 2000: 75), but has been supplemented by other early evidence for riding at Botai. -- Note, for a later
period, that riding is a lower class occupation even in the RV, while the nobility drives chariots, see Falk, 1995, Anthony and
Brown 1991; Anthony 1991, Telegin 1995.
Autochthonous Aryans? (61)
Copper Age site of Botai in N. Kazakhstan (c. 3300-2900 BCE.)
189
Some of the first attested remnants of
primitive spoke-wheeled chariots and horse burials occur at Sintashta on the Tobol-Ishim rivers, east of the
Urals (2100-1800 BCE.)
190
From there, a clear trail (Hiebert 1995, 192 sqq.) leads towards the subcontinent:
from a somewhat unclear picture in the BMAC (Parpola 1988: 285, 288) to Pirak (horse figurines, c. 1700 BCE
(Jarrige 1979),
191
bones in Kachi from 1700 BCE, the Swat Valley at c. 1400 BCE (painted sherds, horse burials,
Stacul 1987).
In the subcontinent, the horse (along with the camel) first appears in the RV in literary context, and in
Kachi in archaeological context at c. 1700 BCE. It is important to note that horse riding is not completely
unknown to the RV; it is mentioned of the ''horsemen'', the Aśvin (Coomaraswamy 1941). It seems to have been
common among the lower classes both among gods (Aśvin, Marut) and humans (Falk 1995) and may have been
used for herding purposes while the nobility preferred chariots for sport and war. Without a proper saddle and
stirrups, invented much later, warfare from horseback was not yet practical. However, just as clearly attested in
Near Eastern documents of the second millennium BCE, chariots were used in warfare on favorable terrain (but
certainly not while crossing mountainous territory!);
192
and, the texts frequently refer to their use in sport.
Horse riding is not important in the RV, and it is, so far, not found at all in the Indus civilization. If the horse
had been an important animal of the Indus elite, one would also expect it in art - just as in Pirak or Swat, e.g., on
the Indus seals. It does not show.
The occasional occurrence of horse riding in the RV and still earlier in the Ukraine (Anthony 1991,
1997, Falk 1995) cannot, of course, prove a date of the RV at 4000 BCE as early practices easily appear in latertexts
(see also §28-30). The use of the horse-drawn chariot in the RV at that early time is archaeologically impossible:
even the heavy, oxen- drawn wagon evolved only in the late 4th millennium (first attested in Mesopotamia), and
the chariot itself was developed only around 2000 BCE in the Ukraine/Ural area (and/or in Mesopotamia,
Littauer and Crouwel 1996). The sudden appearance in South Asia of the (domesticated) horse and of the chariot
remain clear indicators either of IIr/IA presence, or of their cultural influence on unknown, neighboring
pastoralists who first brought the horse into S. Asia, -- in that case similar to what happened at the same time in
Mesopotamia in the case of the Kassites and, somewhat less probable, the Mitanni.
193
189
Zaibert 1993.
190
Anthony and Vinogradov 1995, Parpola 1995, Kuzmina 1994.
191
It is of course an open question whether the inhabitants of Pirak were IA or, e.g., Drav. speakers; see the discussion of
'horse' words in Witzel (1999a,b) as well as a discussion of the languages of Sindh and Baluchistan. -- The Drav. and
Mundas have their own words for the horse, and we can even assume different routes of the introduction of the horse (e.g.
via Tibet and the Himalayan belt).
192
Standard fare with autochthonists/Out of India advocates on the internet who continue to allege that I make "the Aryans
thunder down the Khyber pass on their chariots" or, worse, their "on their Aryan panzers"(sic!), while I have not printed any
such a folly anywhere. My crime was to have mentioned 'tanks' in a footnote (1995: 114 n. 74: "the thundering chariot, the
tank of the 2nd millennium B.C."). --- We know that the RV clearly refers to a rathavahana that was used to transport the
quick but fragile, lightweight (c. 30 kg) chariot over difficult terrain, just as we do with modern racing cars. Note also that
the wheels of such chariots would deform if left standing in assembled fashion; the chariots were disassembled and put
together when needed. All of this corresponds with what we know from accounts of the avoidance by or difficulty of the use
of chariots on uneven terrain from records of the ancient Near East and of Classical Antiquity. Nevertheless, the Veda also
knows of a vipatha '[chariot used for] pathless [land]', attested in AV. Apparently, the autochthonists have not considered at
all the role of horse-drawn chariots in sport and warfare of the Ancient Near East. Even a trip to the movies might help!
193
Elst 1999: 178 concludes his somewhat superficial discussion of the Indo-Europeans and the horse, surprisingly, with an
Out of India scenario: the Aryan 'emigrants' to Central Asia would have learned of the horse (he does not discuss the
chariot, a clear indicator of time and location at c. 2000 BCE). They would then have transmitted this knowledge, and the
actual animals, back home to India (while the RV supposedly does not know of Central Asia at all!) Occam's Razor applies. --
Again, I do not maintain, as some allege, that the Indo-Europeans were the 'sole masters' of horse riding and chariot driving.
They were one of the several peoples from the Ukraine to Mongolia that made use of the new technology. The exact source
and spread of this phenomenon is still under investigation by archaeologists. New technologies usually are taken over by
neighboring peoples within a short time span: note the case of the Lakota (Sioux) who took over --from the Spanish-- the
(62) Michael WITZEL
Autochthonists such as Sethna (1980, 1981, 1992) or Rajaram (2000) want to find horses and chariots
in Indus inscriptions. However, this relies on interpretation of unknown symbols
194
and, in the case of Rajaram,
even on actual fraud (Witzel and Farmer 2000). The original argument used by Sethna (1981) to date the Vedas
before the Indus civilization, in autochthonous circles usually referred to as 'seminal,' 'clinching', etc., is the
absence of the Indus commodity, cotton, in Vedic texts down to the Sūtras where karpasa 'made of cotton' is first
attested. He wonders how the Vedic Indians would not have used cotton in the hot Indian climate. However, the
texts regularly refer to woolen and flaxen garments. Wool is of course used in the cold Panjab winter. Absence of a
word, such as 'rice' (see §23), in sacred (hieratic) texts does not prove its non-occurrence. With the same
justification he could maintain that Vedic Indians did not yet fart since the non-hieratic, vulgar pardati is
attested only in post-Vedic texts. The Iranians, again, have maintained the ancient custom (Avestan pard, IE
¯prd) -- or did they learn it only after they left India?
§22. Absence of towns in the RV
The absence of towns and the occurrence of ruins (armaka, vailasthana, cf. Falk 1981) in the RV poses
another problem for the autochthonous theory. The urban Indus civilization disintegrated around 1900 BCE and
the population reverted to village level settlements while expanding eastwards into Haryana/W. Uttar Pradesh
(even with some smaller towns, Shaffer 1999).
A later Vedictext (PB 25.10) tells of these ruins especially those located in the Sarasvatī (= Ghaggar-
Hakra) region (cf. Burrow 1963, Rau 1983, Falk 1981). TB 2.4.6.8 actually says that inhabitants (of which areas?)
had moved on (Falk 1981), and AB 3.45, one of the oldest Bråhmaa texts, speaks of the long wildernesses (dīrcha
aranva) in the west as opposed to a more settled east (Witzel 1987). This reflects reality: there are only a few iron
age (PGW) time settlements in the Sarasvatī/Hakra area (Mughal 1997). TB may reflect some memory of the
post-Harappan period,
195
when a considerable segment of the Indus population shifted eastwards after the loss
of waters of the Ghaggar-Hakra to the Yamuna and Beas (Shaffer and Lichtenstein, 1995:138, Mughal 1997,
Shaffer 1999).
Some advocates of the autochthonous theory (Bh. Singh 1995) want to find in the references of the RV,
with its large 1000-pillared houses, 100/1000-doored houses, etc. a reference to the Indus cities. Apart from the
fact that 100-pillared houses have not yet been found in the Harappan civilization, such gvedic expressions are
part and parcel of the traditional poetical hyperbole, where '100' or '1000' just mean 'many', and, amusingly, such
expressions occur only in mythological contexts (sahasradvar7.88.5; sahasrasthūna 5.62.6 (made of copper/bronze
and gold, 5.62.7), 2.41.5; śatadura 1.51.3, 10.99.3). Who would deny the gods houses that are 100-1000 times
bigger and better than human ones? Or, Indra his 1000 testicles? (6.46.3, 8.19.32). Occasionally, we even meet
with metal forts -- but again only in myth. The same applies to 'boats with a hundred oars', RV 1.116.5. 'Ocean
going' ships refer to the ships that travel through the (night time) sky, such as that of Bhujyu (RV 1.112.6, 116.3-
5, 117.14, 119.4, etc., cf. the Avestan Påuruua at Y 5.61, Oettinger 1988). All such items occur in comparisons or in
mythology. In sum, all of this 'evidence' for RV Indus cities and oceanic trade (Frawley, S. P. Gupta, Bh. Singh,
use of the horse and the rifle, a few hundred years ago, but remained Sioux in language and religion. But, just like the late-
comer in their new hunting culture, the bison (they had been agriculturalists before the Little Ice Age) the horse, too, made it
into their mythology!
194
The spoked chariot wheels that Sethna wants to find on the Indus seals turn out to be, in most cases, oblong -- resulting
in singularly bad transport for Indus merchants!
195
The question of post-Indus settlements that exceed the size of mere villages in Bahawalpur and the Panjab (Shaffer
1999) is in need of further attention: why is the RV silent about them? If iron is a late as it is said now (Possehl 1999), is the
RV, too, so late as nct to know these settlers any more, except for vague references such as those to the non-pastoral Kīkaa
(RV 3.53)? Similar questions have to be asked about the overlap between the iron age PGW and the early YV texts (Witzel
1989).
Autochthonous Aryans? (63)
etc.)
196
is made of so many 'cities of the Gandharva', candharvanacara, or 'fata morganas'. It is based on
imaginary and erroneous RV interpretation, -- in short, on bad Vedic philology.
Further, if the RV is older than 2600 BCE or even of 5000 BCE, how does it only know of pur, simple mud
wall and palisade forts (Rau 1976, 1983, 1997), and not of the large, brick-built human houses, villages and cities
of the Indus civilization? Note also that even in later Vedic texts, crama does not mean ''village'' but only ''wagon
train (on the move), temporary settlement" (Rau 1997).
In short, the Indus cities are never mentioned; we only find, sometimes even named, ruins
197
and their
potsherds (kapala). Since an early, pre-Indus date of the RV is to be excluded on other, internal grounds (horses,
chariots), these ruins as well as those on the Sarasvatī (PB) may refer to those of the Indus civilization.
However, both the Veda and the Avesta know of bricks: Ved. istaka (VS/TS), Avest. ištiia, -ištuua (cf.
Tochar. iścem, Burushaski dis.c.tk). The similarity (but not, identity!) in sound allows to establish an isolated
common IIr. root *išt, an early loan-word that is supported by the divergent forms of the Tocharian and
Burushaski words. The source, (an) unknown Central Asian language(s), with **išt/ištš, will be that of the
Bactro-Margiana Archaeological complex (see Witzel 1999a,b) with its brick buildings and town-like settlements
(of 2100 BCE). An Indus origin is unlikely, as the widely spread, slightly divergent form of the word in O.
Iranian, Tocharian and Burushaski points to Central Asia, not the Indus.
§23. Absence of wheat and rice in the RV
The RV also does not mention the staple of the Indus civilization, wheat, found in the area since the
seventh millennium BCE. It appears only later on, in Middle Vedic texts (ccdhūma, MS 1.2.8+). The form of the
word is of clear Near/Middle Eastern origin (Hittite kant, O.Egypt. xnd, Avestan cantuma), but it has been
influenced by popular etymology (Skt. cc-dhūma ''cow smoke''). It echoes, in its initial syllable, the Dravidian
word for 'wheat' (Kannada cōdi, Tamil kōti) and its Pamir/Near Eastern antecedents, such as Bur. cur 'barley',
'wheat, wheat colored'.
198
Just as in the much later case of tea/chai, the path of its spread is clear: Near Eastern *kant /Pre-Iran.
*cant um has entered via the northern Iranian trade route (Media-Turkmenistan-Margiana/Bactria-
Aratta/Sistan) and has resulted in Avest. cantuma and the later Iranian forms: M.Pers. candum, Pashto γanəm <
¯candūma?, Yigdha ccndum, etc. (Berger 1959: 40 sq, EWA II 498). It has been crossed with the PKartv., PEC
*Gōl’e,Burushaski/Drav. form beginning withc(h)c-(for details see Witzel 1999a,b).
Instead of wheat, the gvedic people --and their gods -- ate barley (vava), but not yet rice which had
already made its appearance in this region during the late Indus civilization (Kenoyer 1998). However, as is well
known, ritual always is more conservative real life behavior, and the RV reflects ritual and is exclusively ritual
poetry. The word for ''rice'' is of local S. Asian origin (Witzel 1999a,b) and ultimately perhaps Austric (note
Benedict's Austro-Tai ¯bcR|a]ts). Just like wheat, rice is not yet found in the gveda, no doubt because this is a
hieratic text that lists only the traditional food (also of the gods), barley.
Talageri 2000: 124 sqq. has misunderstood my reference (Witzel 1987: 176) to the absence of tigers and of
domesticated rice in the RV --mostly grown, apart from the Himalayan regions, well east of Delhi throughout
history -- by misconstruing a relative clause. (The matter is clearly indicated, however, in Witzel 1995: 101-2).
Amusingly, he has therefore excoriated me for saying that there were no tigers in the Panjab then. (The absence
196
Gupta never translates the RV passages he quotes so that we can read into them whatever we want: a RV fort (pur) can
be a modern town or a village (pur), etc. Frawley translates, but in the manner criticized here (n. 38, 204). He believes that
his RV translations prove international trans-oceanic trade, but he never investigates what samudra or nau actually mean in
the Veda (for which see Klaus 1986, 1989, 1989a).
197
See Falk 1981 and place names such as PB 25.10.18 Sthūlarmaka 'the large ruin' in Kuruketra,however, Harivupīva is a
river, not Harappa as has been maintained by some historians for decades (it would have become something like *Harcvī,
¯Harcī in modern Panjabi).
198
For the ultimate origin of the word, note also Bur. pl. curin/curen < ¯γcrum (Berger 1959: 43), curcan 'winter wheat',
and the connection with Basque cari 'wheat' < Proto-East Caucasian *Gōl’e 'wheat', etc., Witzel 1999b. Harmatta (EWA II
499) thinks of an Anatolian *chcnd[û], but cf. Klimov's Caucasian (Proto-Kartvelian) ¯chcmu.
(64) Michael WITZEL
of the tiger in the RV is more complex than that of rice and is in need of special attention; it may be due to an
early conflation of the IIr/IA words for 'tiger', 'lion' and, maybe even 'panther').
In post-gvedic times (AV, YV), however, vrīhi is already the favorite food and an offering to the gods,
though the gods themselves are still said to grow barley on the Sarasvatī (AV 6.30.1). The evidence of the cereals
and culinary habits thus exactly fits the pattern of immigration: The speakers of Indo-Aryan (just as the Indo-
Europeans: *vewc 'the (food) grass')
199
knew only barley and very gradually took over wheat and rice inside S.
Asia.
If the RV had been composed in the Panjab in (pre-)Indus times, it certainly would contain a few notices
on the staple food of this area, wheat. It is not found.
§24 RV class society and the Indus civilization
The autochthonous theory maintains that the gvedic Indo-Aryans were living in complex society, with
mention of cities and numerous professions.
200
This, again, is careless philology: The 'complex society' of the RV
is none other than the (Dumézilian) three class society of the Indo-Iranians, consisting of nobility (rajanva, later:
ksatriva), poet/priests (brahman, rsi, vipra, kavi, rtvij, hctr, purchita, etc., later: brahmana), and ''the people'' (viś,
later: vaiśva). Very few occupations are mentioned in the RV, which is typical for a society of self-sufficient
pastoralists. There are a few artisans such as the carpenter (taksan), smith (dhmatr, karmara), chariot-builder
(rathakara, attested only AV-).
It is also clear that the gvedic Ārya employed some sections of the local populations, i.e. the lower class,
called Śūdra since RV 10.90, for agriculture (ploughman kīnaśa, RV, see Kuiper 1991, Witzel 1999a,b), and
probably for washing (AV+, Witzel 1986),and especially for pottery (kulala MS+, cf. W. Rau 1983). Sacred vessels
were made by Brahmins in the most archaic fashion, without the use of a potter's wheel (as is still done for
everyday vessels in the Hindukush!) and without change in style; such pottery is therefore undatable by style
(without thermo-luminescence methods), if ever found. Vedic everyday, household vessels were made in lccal
style by Śūdra workmen. (Note, e.g., the continuation of Indus style motives in the Cemetery H culture -- but with
new cultural traits, that is, cremation and urn burial along with urn paintings expressing the Vedic belief in a
homunculus 'soul', sketched inside the peacock (Vats 1940, Schmidt 1980, Witzel 1984, Falk 1986). All these are
occupations are such that no member of the three Ārya classes would voluntarily undertake, as proud
pastoralists.
As has briefly been discussed above, I neglect here all further discussions of a 'complicated class system,
castes, foreign trade, elaborate palaces', and the like, as they are all based on bad gvedic philology. Typically, such
assertions are made, while quoting Sanskrit sources from the RV (Bhagavan Singh 1995, Frawley forthc., etc.),
without translation or without philological discussion, so that everyone is free to understand what one likes to see
in these passages. A gvedic 'boat with 100 oars' is not a kind of Spanish galley but clearly belongs to the realm of
the gods, to mythology, -- and to modern, autochthonous myth making.
§25. The Sarasvatī and dating of the RV and the Bråhmaas
The disappearance of the Sarasvatī,
201
the modern Sarsuti-Ghaggar-Hakra river and dry river bed in
the desert on both sides of the present Indian/Pakistani border, is often used by autochthonists as a means of
dating the RV. It is well known from Bråhmaa texts that the Sarasvatī then disappeared in the desert (PB 25.10,
JB 2.297 : Caland § 156 ). Landsat pictures (Yash Pal 1984) are interpreted by some as showing the drying up of
this ancient river at various dates in the third millennium; Kak insists on 1900 BCE, Kalyanaraman (1999: 2) on
199
Avest. vauua, N.Pers. jav, cf. Osset. jew,vau 'millet'; for their Indo-European predecessors, note Hom. Greek zea, Lith.
jawai 'grain'; the word clearly is derived from *vu 'to graze', see now EWA s.v.
200
Bh. Singh 1995; especially 'detailed' in this respect, Malati Shendge 1977 (e.g., with the "Indus official" Rudra in charge
of mountain troops and house numbers!).
201
Yash Pal 1984, now Radhakrishnan and Merh 1999.
Autochthonous Aryans? (65)
1900-1500 BCE (in 1999) now: 1700/1300 BCE).
202
However, Landsat or aerial photos by themselves cannot
determine the date of ancient river courses; local geological and archaeological investigations on the ground are
necessary. They still have not yet been carried out sufficiently, though the Hakra area has been surveyed
archaeologically on the Pakistani side by M.R. Mughal (1997), and geological data are now also available in
some more detail for the Indian side (Radhakrishnan & Merh 1999, S.P. Gupta 1995). They establish several
palaeo-channels for this river, that easily changed course, like all Panjab rivers flowing on these flat alluvial
plains. Which one of these courses would fit the Indus period and which one the gvedic period still needs to be
sorted out. Choosing an arbitrary date of 1900 or 1400 BCE is useless in order to fix the RV (well) before this date.
The upper course of the Ghaggar, however, is not dry even today, as some scholars state; it is still known
as the small river Sarsuti. Also, it has been long known, and is easily visible on many maps, that the lower, dry
bed of the Sarsuti (Ghaggar) continues well beyond the Pakistani border as Hakra (Wilhelmy 1969, Witzel 1984,
1987), and it seems to continue further south as the Nara channel in Sindh, finally emptying into the Rann of
Cutch (Oldham 1886, Raverty 1892, Witzel 1994). However, there is a plava next to the long gap in the lower
course of the Hakra river and the Indus, covered by sand dunes near Fort Derawar, east of Khanpur, Pakistan. If
the Sarasvatī indeed ended there in an inland delta (Possehl 1997), the Nara channel would rather represent the
lower course of the Sutlej (or be a branch of the Indus).
It must be underlined that a considerable segment of the Harappan population shifted eastwards from
the Indus and the Ghaggar-Hakra the post-Harappan period and built new settlements
203
in the Eastern Panjab
and Haryana/UP. Shaffer and Lichtenstein (1995:138) attribute this in part to the loss of waters of the Ghaggar-
Hakra to the Yamuna and Beas (Mughal 1997).
The basic literary facts, however, are the following: the Sarasvatī is well known and highly praised in the
RV as a great stream. Once it is called the only river flowing from the mountains to the samudra (RV 7.95.2).
Samudra indicates a large body of water (Klaus 1986), either the terrestrial ocean, or a mythological ocean (at the
end of the world or in the night sky, Witzel 1984, cf. RV 7.6.7!), or a terminal lake, or just a ''confluence of rivers''
(RV 6.72.3).
204
Given the semi-mythical nature of the Sarasvatī, as goddess and as mythical river in the sky or
on earth, the RV passages are not always clear enough to decide which one is intended in each particular instance
(Witzel 1984). However, the Bråhmaa texts (JB 2.297, PB 25.10) clearly state that the Sarasvatī disappears or
''dives under'' in the desert at a place called vinaśana / upamajjana. (Later texts such as the Puråas mythologize
that it flows underground from there up to the confluence of the Yamunå and Gagå at Prayåga/Allahabad,
something that is based on an old, general Eurasian concept, see Witzel 1984).
The Sarasvatī region, the post-gvedic Kuruksetra, comprises the land between the Sarasvatī (mod.
Sarsuti, Ghaggar) and the Dadvatī (mod. Chautang) to its east. It does nct include the lower Sarasvatī (mod.
Hakra) which is occasionally referred to as Parisaraka, Parisravatī (VådhB 4.75), Parīnah (PB 25.10@##) 'the area
surrounded (by the Sarasvatī)' (Witzel 1984), a wording that clearlv indicates delta-like configurations (plava),
with terminal lake(s) (samudra).
202
Elst (1999:137) makes this into "great catastrophe in about 2000 BC, when the Sarasvati river dried up and many of the
Harappan cities were abandoned... " [While the correct date(s) of the drying up of much of the "Sarasvatī" has not yet been
determined!] "This catastrophe triggered migrations in all directions, to the Malabar coast, to India's interior, and east, to
West Asia by sea (the Kassite dynasty in Babylon in c. 1600 BCE venerated some of the Vedic gods), and to Central Asia". I
wonder where the evidence for such (e)migrations is to be found. The only archaeologically attested one is the move, by the
Indus people, eastwards into Haryana/Delhi area, by c. 1400 BCE, see Shaffer and Lichtenstein 1995, Shaffer 1999, see also
§22.
203
Allchin et al. 1995: 37, with a typical development at Bhagawanpura, Haryana, that might reflect Indus/IA/PGW type
populations: many-roomed houses of brick of the post-urban period, then single-roomed circular huts of timber and
thatch, then many-roomed brick/pressed earth houses; the last two stages with increasing PGW.
204
The meaning of samudra must be established well; see, however, Klaus 1986. Note that RV 6.72.3 speaks even of the
(three or more!) samudras of the rivers, samudrani nadīnam. Note also that the AV 11.5.6 has an uttara 'northern/upper'
ocean (Witzel 1984). Finally, compare also Avest. Y. 65 where the Iranian counterpart of the Sarasvatī, Arəduuī, flows,
somewhat similar to the Sarasvatī and the later Epic Gagå, from a mountain, Hukairiia, to the "Lake" Vcurukaa, which
indicates the Milky Way (Witzel 1984), (and then further down to earth).
(66) Michael WITZEL
In the dry bed of the Hakra many potsherds (kapala) used in ritual could be found (PB 25.10); they
belonged to the given up settlements (arma, armaka, Falk 1981) of the late Harappan and post-Harappan period
(cf. above, TB 2.4.6.8). Indeed, the dry bed of the Ghaggar-Hakra still is lined with Harappan sites (and cluttered
with millions of kapala sherds, Mughal 1997). But many of these settlements are situated cn the actual flccd
plain of the Ghaggar-Hakra, which speaks against an enormous river during the Harappan (or the suppcsed 'pre-
Harappan gvedic') period. In fact, the estimates of archaeologists on the exact date of the drying up of much of
the Sarasvatī differ considerably. Mughal proposes that the Hakra was a perennial river in the 4th and early 3rd
millennium BCE and that it had dried up about the end of the second.
205
Other dates range from 2500-2200 BCE
to 2200-1700 BCE, and Francfort (1985 sqq.) thinks of a much earlier period. It is now supposed that the
Sarasvatī lost the mass of its water volume to the nearby Yamunå due to tectonic upheaval (Yash Pal 1984;
Radhakrishnan and Mehr 1999). Even then, the cld Sarasvatī-Sutlej can never have been larger than the Indus,
the only other river that is highly praised in the RV. The question thus is, why the Sarasvatī actually is praised
that much?
RV 7.95.2, a hymn of the middle gvedic period, indeed speaks of the Sarasvatī flowing to the samudra.
However, this is not unambiguous, due to the various meanings of the word. Even then, the Sarasvatī may never
have been as mighty a contemporary river as the RV wants to make us believe, because, as is well known, RV style
is generally quite hyperbolic. In book 7, the i Vasiha, an immigrant from west of the Indus, praises the local
Sarasvatī area of his patron Sudås after the victory in the Ten Kings' Battle. Whether the immigrant Vasiha was
from the Iranian area of Haraxaitī (= Sarasvatī, Arachosia) or not, he may have echoed the praise of the ancient
Sarasvatī, that is the local S. Avestan Haraxaitī or the Milky Way (Witzel 1984), or he may just have spoken in
the hyperbolic style of the RV.
These textual data do not inspire confidence in the categorically stated autochthonous theory that the RV
prcves a mighty Sarasvatī, flowing from the Himalayan mountains to the Indian ccean.
However, a neglected contemporary piece of evidence from the middle RV period, believed to have been
composed by Viśvåmitra, the opponent of Vasiha, is found in RV 3.33. Based on internal RV evidence, this
hymn describes a situation of cnlv a few mcths cr vears befcre RV 7.95.2 (with the Sarasvatī 'flowing from the
mountains to the samudra', whatever its meaning!). The RV books 3 (Viśvåmitra) and 7 (Vasiha) both
represent a relatively late time frame among some five known generations of the gvedic chieftains of the Middle
RV period, chiefs that belong to the noble Bharata and Pūru lineages. The autochthonous theory overlooks that
RV 3.33
206
already speaks of a necessarilv smaller Sarasvatī: the Sudås hymn 3.33 refers to the ccnfluence of the
Beas and Sutlej (Vipaś, Śutudrī).
207
This means that the Beas had already captured the Sutlej away from the
Sarasvatī, dwarfing its water supply.
208
While the Sutlej is fed by Himalayan glaciers, the Sarsuti is but a small
local river depending on rain water.
In sum, the middle and later RV (books 3, 7 and the late book, 10.75) already depict the present dav
situation, with the Sarasvatī having lost most of its water to the Sutlej (and even earlier, much of it also to the
Yamunå). It was no longer the large river it micht have been before theearlvgvedic period.
The gvedic evidence, supposing the Indologists' 'traditional' date of the text at c. 1500-1000 BCE, also
agrees remarkably well with the new evidence from Bahawalpur/Cholistan (Mughal 1997) which indicates that
the area along the lower Hakra (Sarasvatī) was abandoned by its people who moved eastwards after c. 1400 BCE.
The area was not settled again until well into the iron age, with the introduction of the Painted Gray Ware culture
(PGW) in the area at c. 800 BCE. At that time, we indeed hear of sparse settlements in the west (AB 3.45). This
also agrees with the scenario developed earlier (Witzel 1995): an early immigration (c. 1700 BCE - 1450 BCE) of
205
Possehl 1993: 85-94.
206
In the new autochthonous version of RV history (Talageri 2000) this is the oldest book of the RV, -- which would make
the Sarasvatī, very much against the wishes of the indigenists, a small river in the earlv RV period! As usual, Occam's Razor
applies.
207
Differently from the map in Kenoyer (1995: 245) where the Sutlej, Sarasvatī and Ur-Jumna still form cne river which
indeed flows from the Himalayas to the ocean (called Nara in Sindh).
208
While in the still later hymn, RV 10.75, the Vipaś (Beas) is altogether missing and might have been substituted by the
Śutudrī (Satlej), i.e. the joint Vipåś-Śutudrī (unless the Beas, unlikely, is called Marudvrdha here).
Autochthonous Aryans? (67)
the Yadu-Turvaśa, Anu-Druhyu in to the Panjab, when there possibly still was a somewhat ''larger Sarasvatī''
(Mughal 1997, with details), followed by the immigration of the Bharata tribe (from across the Indus, JB 3.237-8 :
Caland § 204) only after the major part of the Sarasvatī waters had been captured by the Beas (and, before, a large
part of it by the Yamunå). This scenario, consistent with the geological, archaeological and textual evidence is in
striking contrast to that of the autochthonous theory.
The area around the Sarasvatī also was not, as (some of) the autochthonous theorists maintain, the
center of Vedic culture or of the whole of the Indus civilization, at least not during the whole span of this civi-
lization. As Possehl (1997) shows, the clusters of settlement gradually moved eastwards, from Baluchistan/Sindh
to Haryana (Possehl 1997), and this movement continued (Lichtenstein and Shaffer, 1999) into Haryana/U.P.
even after the end of the Indus civilization in c. 1900 BCE. (Even then, the Sarasvatī area is not specially favored).
During the RV period, there was no clear political, cultural center, either; the diverse, 30-50 tribes and clans were
spread out over all of the Panjab, and there was no central authority. The situation in the Indus period was
equally diffuse, with at least five major cities: Harappa, Mohenjo-Daro, Ganweriwala, Rakhigarhi, Dholavira in
Cutch.
209
Even during its heyday, thus, there were several concentrations but no central area. It cannot be
assumed that because there are many (c. 400) Indus settlements in the Ghaggar-Hakra are, this indicates the
center of the Indus civilization. Rather, this concentration is due to something very obvious --though not
mentioned by advocates of a renamed "Indus-Sarasvatī civilization"-- that is, to the fact that the lower Sarasvatī
area is "fossil": it has not changed, since the Indus period, in geomorphology, it has hardly ever been settled since
by more than a few people, and, most importantly, it has neither received new alluvium nor has it been subject to
ploughing.
The area around the upper Sarasvatī, the later Kuruketra, instead of being of central importance all
through the older RV, is singled out only in the middle and laterparts of the RV, in books 3, 7 (and 1, 10 etc.) as
the 'best place on earth' (RV 3.53.11, Witzel 1995), as this had become the territory of the victorious Bharata tribe
under Sudås (and, it may be added, also one of the major settlement areas of the post-Indus culture).
According to the autochthonous theory, the Sarasvatī dried out by 1900/1500 BCE,and the Bråhmaas
which mention its disappearance must therefore be dated about that time. All of this does not fit the internal
evidence, is based on bad philology and shows, once again, the rather adhcc, selective methods used by advocates
of the autochthonous theory. For, the first appearance of iron, the 'black metal' (krsna/śvama avas) in S. Asia, well
known to the Bråhmaa style texts, is only at c. 1200 BCE (Chakrabarti 1979, 1992, Rau 1974, 1983, cf. now,
however, Possehl-Gullapalli who point to 1000 BCE). But, iron is already found in texts much earlier than the
Bråhmaas (i.e. AV, and in the YV Sahitås: MS, KS, TS; however, not yet in the RV). This fact is frequently
misunderstood by historians and archaeologists who simply quote the older RV translations that render avas by
'iron' while it means 'copper' or maybe, also 'bronze' (Rau 1974, 1983). It was only in the post-RV period that
copper was called lcha 'the red (metal)' (VS 18.13, TS 4.7.5.1, ŚB 2.6.4.5, 13.2.2.18, etc.), often in opposition to the
'black metal'. To date Bråhmaa texts at 1900 BCE (see below on astronomy, §28-30) is simply impossible.
At the bottom of the sudden popularity of the Sarasvatī is of course the nationalistic wish to have the
"center of the Harappan Civilization" within the boundaries of India, along a "Vedic" river the Sarasvatī -- as if
such recent boundaries played any role in 2600-1900 BCE! Unfortunately for such chauvinists, neither are the
majority of the 'Sarasvatī' sites along the Ghaggar in India, but along the Hakra in Pakistan. Nor does the name
'Sarasvatī' apply for the period in qustion. The old designation of the Sarsuti-Ghaggar-Hakra, later renamed as
the Vedic Sarasvatī, seems to have been the substrate name ¯Višampal/ž cr Vipal/ž (Witzel 1999).
§26. Harappan fire rituals?
B. B. Lal and others claim to have discovered fire altars in the early and later stages (at least 2200 BCE,
B.K. Thapar 1975) of the Harappan site of Kalibangan (Lal 1984, 1997: 121-124), and similarly, at Lothal. Some
of these fire places are in a domestic and some in a public context: the latter are aligned on a raised platform in a
row of seven, facing East, and near a well and bath pavements suggesting ceremonial(?) bathing. Some
archaeologists, even including some who accept a version of the immigration theory such as R. Allchin, regard
209
For a full list of settlements see now Possehl (1999) and note the theory of a handful of separate Indus 'domains'.
(68) Michael WITZEL
them as similar to, or identical with, the seven dhisnva hearths of the post-gvedic, 'classical' Śrauta ritual.
However, it should have raised some suspicion that 'fire rituals' are now detected at every other copper/bronze or
even Neolithic site in northern and western India.
The amusing denouement is evident in Lal 1997:121, (plate XXXA) itself: "within the altar stood a stele
made of clay". This kind of "stele" is still found today in modern fire places of the area -- it serves as a prop for the
cooking pot.
What is indeed visible at Kalibangan (photos in Allchin 1982, Lal 1997: plate XXXIIIA, cf. Banawali pl.
XXXVIA)? There are seven(?) fire places, three(?) destroyed by later construction. They are closely aligned next to
each other and face a brick wall. Nothing of this, including the nearby brick-built bathing places, fits any
recorded Vedic ritual, neither that of the RV nor of the later (Śrauta) ritual. The RV knows only of 1-3 fires, and in
Śrauta ritual we find the three fires arranged in a typical, somewhat irregular, triangular fashion. The seven
dhisnva fire altars of the complicated pcst-gvedic Soma ritual are additicnal fires, which are placed east of the
three main fires on the trapezoid Mahåvedi platform (Staal 1983). This feature, however, is not met with at
Kalibangan either. It also does not fit the Vedic evidence, but that of a regular kitchen, that animal bones are
found in some of the supposed fire altars. Further, Vedic fire altars are not apsidal as the fire places at Kalibangan
and Banawali. At best, these are independent and untypical precurscrs, in a ncn-Vedic context, that were adapted
into the later Śrauta ritual as the Soma dhisnvas. However, this is entirely impossible to prove. Such proof would
have to come from a study of the (so far hypothetical) interrelations between certain features of the Indus religion
and the Śrauta ritual. The matter underlines how careful archaeologists should be in drawing conclusions about
religion and ritual when interpreting material remains.
In short, the Kalibangan hearths do nct represent Vedic ritual as we know it from the large array of
Vedic texts. They may be nothing more than a community kitchen.
210
§27. Cultural continuity: pottery and the Indus script
Advocates of the autochthonous theory also underline that the lack of dramatic change in the material
culture of northern South Asia indicates an unbroken tradition that can be traced back to c. 7000 BCE without
any intrusive culture found during this period.
211
Archaeologists such as J. Shaffer and M. Kenoyer stress this
remarkable continuity as well. Shaffer (1995, 1999) summarizes: ''The shift by Harappans [in the late/post-Indus
period] is the only archaeologically documented west-to-east movement of human populations in South Asia
before the first half of the first millennium BC.''
The advocates of the autochthonous theory therefore conveniently conclude that there has been no
"Aryan invasion." However, as has been discussed above (§8-10) the Vedic texts themselves speak of various
types of transhumance and migration movements.
On the other hand, there is, indeed, some degree of continuity from the late Indus civilization, that was
carried over into the early Gangetic tradition. One clear example is the continuity of weights (Kenoyer 1995: 224,
1998). Many other cultural traits (such as pottery) have been carried over in the same fashion.
This, of course, also tends to explain why the "Vedic" (or IA) tradition is so little visible in the ar-
chaeclccical record so far. We still are looking, in the Greater Panjab, for the ''smoking gun'' of the horse, horse
furnishings, the spoke-wheeled chariot, Vedic ritual implements, etc. However, at least on the fringes of the
subcontinent, in the Kachi Plain of E. Baluchistan/Sindh and in the Gandhara Grave Culture of Swat, we find
some indications, by mid-second millennium BCE, in the first horses of South Asia, and horse sacrifice (Allchin
1995, Dani 1992).
210
Thus Jami son and Wi tzel , (wri tten i n 1992 but sti l l i n press; however, see soon:
http://www.people.fas.harvard.edu/~witzel/vedichinduism.htm), and similarly now R. S. Sharma 1995.
211
Shaffer and Kenoyer argue for a continual, 'organic' archaeological evolution reflecting indigenous cultural
development from pre- to proto-historic periods without intrusions in the archaeological record from the northwest (or
anywhere else). However, recent excavations seem to indicate, for example, a strong BMAC influence in late-Harappan
(including several statues such as the so-called Priest-King), before its decay at 1900 BCE.
Autochthonous Aryans? (69)
However, if one would again try to think through the autochthonous theory that stresses the strong
continuity in Indian cultural development from c. 7000 BCE onwards, and would suppose, with them, that the
RV preceded the Indus Civilization, one is faced by a paradox: how is possible that gvedic features such as horse
races, preponderance of cattle raising, non-use of wheat (and rice), lack of permanent settlements, complicated
Soma rituals without temples, cremation burial, etc. all of which hypothetically disappear completely during the
Harappan period and re-emerce in the post-gvedic YV Sahitå, Bråhmaa and Upaniadic periods of the
Gangetic epoch? This is yet another strange ncn sequitur which does not fit in with established cultural and
textual sequences. In sum, the assertion that the RV is clder than the Indus civilization does not work: there were
no horse-drawn chariots yet at the beginning of the Indus period (2600 BCE) in the Greater Panjab or anywhere
else, but they emerge only around 2000 BCE in the Ural area and in Mesopotamia.
Continuity of the Indus script
The autochthonous theory maintains that the Brahmī script of Asoka (3rd c. BCE is derived from the
Indus script (Rajaram and Jha 2000). However, this is a complex logographic script with at some 400 (Parpola
1994), or rather some 600 signs (Wells 1998), many of which are used only in certain sign combinations, typical
for logographic scripts such as Chinese or Japanese. The very number of signs makes an interpretation as
alphabetic or syllabary script impossible.
212
Some of them were probably used as rebus symbols, just as is the
case with all early logographic scripts from Egypt to China: the sounds of one word were used to indicate another
one with same or similar pronunciation but with a different meaning, such as pair/pear//bear/tc bear/bare,
twc/tcc//tc/dc,their/there/thev're,etc.
Unlike the Indus script with its logograms, the Brahmī script, on the other hand, is a real alphabetical
script (on phonemic principles) with only one quasi-syllabary feature: as in Devanågarī, short -a remains
unexpressed. In the North-West of the subcontinent, Brahmī had a predecessor, the Kharohī script. Both go
back, directly or indirectly, to the Aramaic script (Falk 1993, Salomon 1995), which was widely used in the
Persian empire, and even by Asoka, in Afghanistan. Kharohī, and Brahmī even more so, have been adjusted
extremely well to represent the Indian sound system, certainly under the influence of traditional Brahmin
phonetic science.
If the autochthonous theory were right, the descent of Brahmī from the Indus script would resemble
that of the early Semitic alphabets from Hieroglyphic Egyptian. However, in the case of Egyptian we know the
pronunciation of the Hieroglyphic logographs, while no accepted decipherment has emerged in more than half a
century of study of the Indus script (Parpola 1994, Possehl 1996).
213
Given the c. 600 signs of the Indus script, it
is of course very easy to find similarities in the 50-odd, very regularly shaped, geometrical signs of the Brahmī
script (ka is a simple -, tha is: o, etc.). Even if there indeed was an initial carry-over of remnants of the Indus
script into the post-Indus period (Kenoyer 1995: 224) there is no sign of any ccntinuitv of the use of the script
before the first inscriptions in Brahmī in the middle of the third c. BCE.
214
The script simply vanished, like the
Maya script, when its practical use for administration and/or business disappeared (Allchin 1995, Possehl 1996).
In addition, writing and script are not mentioned in the Vedic and early Buddhist texts (v. Hinüber 1989).
Typically, Påini, probably a subject of the Persians in Gandhåra, has two fcreicn names, the Persian name of
'script' dipi (Pers. dipi [δipi] < Elamite tip/tup) as well as its regular development in East Iranian (lipi), from
which the Skt. and Pkt. terminology is derived.
In short, just as in many other areas of S. Asian culture, the disappearance of writing is witness to the
large gap between the well-organized urban civilization of the Indus culture at c. 1900 BCE, its village-like local
212
For a survey see Possehl 1996; for the discussion of a recent, particularly blunt and fraudulous attempt (Rajaram and Jha
2000) see Witzel and Farmer in the Indian news journal, Ircntline, Oct. 13, 2000 and discussion in subsequent issues.
213
I leave aside the question of decipherment. There is a new attempt about once per month now, increasingly claiming that
the texts are in early Sanskrit. Non-Sanskritic ones include, e.g., R. Mathivanan 1995, Arun Pathak and N.K. Verma 1993;
both find continued use of the (unchanged!) Indus script, after a lapse of evidence spanning some 4000 years, but
exemplified by photos, on the house walls of the Austro-Asiatic Santals in S. Bihar.
214
Coningham 1995 maintains an early --improbable--date for Brahmi at c. 500 BCE for Sri Lanka. This single, early date
probably is due to unclear stratigraphy; the singular find of inscribed materials is situated barely below a much later level.
(70) Michael WITZEL
successor cultures in E. Panjab/Haryana etc., the subsequent superimposition/adaptation of pastoral Vedic
culture, and finally, the newly emerging Gangetic urban culture of pre-Mauryan times in the 5th century BCE.
VEDIC TEXTS AND SCIENCE
§28. The ''astronomical code of the RV''
One of the most arresting claims of the autochthonous theory is that of an astronomical code in the
organization of hymns of the RV (Kak 1994), which he believes to establish a tradition of sophisticated obser-
vational astronomy going back to events of 3000 or 4000 BCE
215
, a few millennia after the Aryans' hvpcthetical
arrival in the seventh millennium BCE (Kak 1994: 20-22); or more specifically, that certain combinations of
numbers enumerating the syllables, verses and hymns in the gveda coincide with numbers indicating the
periods of planetary motions.
However, to begin with, Kak's discovery is derived from the traditional ordering of the hymns and verses
of the RV, a schematic one of the post-gvedic period most probably executed in the Kuru realm of the Eastern
Panjab/Haryana at c. 1200/1000 BCE (Witzel 1997, 2001); it was canonized a few hundred years later by an
Easterner, Śåkalya, during the late Bråhmaa period (roughly, 700-500 BCE) -- and that is the version Kak uses!)
Other versions of the RV differ slightly; even a text contemporary with Śåkalya, ŚB, says that the Purūravas hymn
(RV 10.95) had 15 verses while our RV has 18. Which size and ordering of the text to follow, then?
The real question, of course, is: why should anybody order one's texts according to some astronomical
patterns? Rather, what kind of method would present itself to a people with a strong, well-trained memory but
without the use of script? One could think, for example, of a strictly metrical pattern (as is indeed used in the
Soma hymns of RV 9 or the Avestan Gåθås), or one according to the use of the hymns in ritual (as is used by the
Yajurveda). None of the two is the one followed in the bulk of the RV. Instead, as has been well known for more
than a hundred years (Oldenberg 1888), and indeed since Vedic times(!), the RV is organized in three levels:
according to authors, i.e. poets' clans (the 'family books', RV 2-7, and 8), deities (hymns to Agni, Indra, then
others), and according to meter (hymns with longer meters come first). The core 'books' of the RV (2-7) are
arranged from short books to long ones, and, conversely, inside each book according to a descending order
numbers of hymns per deity, and numbers of verses per hymn. All of this is not mentioned by Kak; for details on
the exact scheme and the -- only apparent -- disturbances
216
in it, see Oldenberg (1888, Witzel 1997). In sum, if
one knows -- just as modern practice still prescribes-- the author, the deity and the meter, one knows where a
hymn is to be found inside the core section (RV 2-7) of the RV collection. This is a simple but very effective
method in an oral tradition without script.
Interestingly, Kak joins this theory with observations about the piling up of bricks of the Agnicayana
altars. It certainly cannot be doubted that the altar is identified, in the typical fashion of the post-gvedic
Bråhmaa texts, with Prajåpati, the divine sponsor of the ritual and the year, and that some calculations are
connected with that. However, there was no Agnicayana yet at the time of the RV. Even the Mantra collections
used for this ritual are late and form a third layer in the collections of the post-gvedic Yajurveda Sahitå texts;
the same it true for the discussion of the ritual in the Bråhmaa style texts. Any combination of the numbers of
bricks in the Agnicayana with the order and number of hymns and Mantras of the RV therefore is not cogent, to
begin with.
To find astronomical reasons behind this arrangement requires extra-ordinary ingenuity on the part of
the cricinal, contemporary composers and arrangers of the RV -- or the decipherer, S. Kak. That they should
constitute an cricinal gvedic ''astronomical code'', -- based on the post-gvedic(!) arrangement of the RV-
215
Cf. also the discussion by Elst 1999: 96 sqq.
216
Which greatly irks Talageri (2000) who simply relies on the superficial outward appearance of the present (Śåkala) RV;
he is simply ignorant of the history of gvedic philology of the past 150 years and relies just on Griffith's outdated and
similar uncritical English translation of the late 19th century and on some Skt. word indexes of the RV (for details, Witzel
2001).
Autochthonous Aryans? (71)
Sahitå and the later, post-gvedic(!) construction of the Agnicayana fire-altars -- is simply impossible. It also
does not help the scheme that the knowledge of this code is said to have disappeared very shortly after the
composition of the texts.
Further, Kak's scheme suffers, even if one takes its rather involved numerical schemes for granted, from
inconsistency, such as the arbitrary use of multiplication factors that deliver the desired results for the various
courses of the planets (which are not even attested in Vedic texts, see M. Yano, forthc.). In fact, references to
astronomical data in the RV are generally very vague, and limited, as in other ancient cultures, to a few facts of
direct observation by the naked eye (Pingree 1973, 1981, Witzel 1972, 1984, 1986, Plofker 1996, Yano forthc.).
More details could be added. To mention just the most elaborate one, K. Plofker's (1996) discussion of
Kak's attempt in the section ''Probabilistic Validation'' (1994: 106-107). This section intends to prove that the
presence of planetary period numbers in the gvedic hymn number combinations (containing 461 distinct
integers ranging from 43 to 1017), derived from all ten books of the RV, cannot be coincidental. As Plofker shows,
"the set of values generated from sums of a given set of numbers is generally nct uniformly distributed over the
interval it spans; as a rule, there will be a few very small sums and a few very large ones, but most will cluster
about the middle of the interval. In this example, out of the 461 hymn combination numbers, no fewer than 320
fall within the range 301--800 containing most of the planetary period constants. This, combined with the fact
that Dr. Kak (by his own account; p. 105) permits errors of at least pm1 in his matching of numbers, means that
the high proportion of matches has no statistical significance whatever."
This mathematical demonstration would not even have been necessary because of the derived, secondary
nature of hymn numbers in Śåkalya's redaction of the RV (see above). Or, in the same vein, when it is alleged by
Kak that the combined number of hymns in the fourth, sixth, eighth, and ninth books of the RV was chosen to
be 339 because that number is roughly equivalent to ''the number of disks of the sun or the moon to measure the
path across the sky... [or] sun-steps'' (Kak 1994: 100, accepted by Elst 1999: 110), one must immediately note, not
only that RV 9 is a late book (Oldenberg 1888, Proferes 1999), but that these books have the following additicnal
hymns (Oldenberg 1888): 4.57-58; 6.74-75; 8.96-101, 9.112-113, not to mention quite a few additional hymns
inside these very books. This simple observation renders Kak's whole scheme numerically impossible.
In short, the whole matter boils down to over-interpretation of some facts that are internally inccn-
sistent.
217
Ncnlicet.
§29. Astronomy: the equinoxes in ŚB
Vedic astronomy has been discussed
218
since Weber (1860), Thibaut (1885), Tilak (1893), Jacobi,
Oldenberg and Whitney
219
-- all of them writing well before the discovery of the Indus civilization, at a time
when nothing of Indian prehistory was known before the supposedly firm date of the Buddha.
220
Some passages
in the ŚB have been under discussion since then that seem to refer to the equinoxes, and would indicate the date of
observation of these celestial phenomena. ŚB 2.1.2.3 seems to say that the spring equinox is in the asterism
Kttikå: krttikasvacnīadadhīta...etahavaipracvaidiścnacvavante|sarvanihavaanvaninaksatranipracvaidiśaś
cvavante....saptarsīnuhasmavaipurarksaitvacaksate.''One should found one's fires under the (moon house of
217
Note that similar claims have been made for the Bible and other ancient texts. As it has been said: select some significant
numbers relating, e.g. to the (19th c.) Washington monument, add some astronomical facts and --lo, behold-- unforeseen
relations of the monument with the earth, space and time emerge!
218
See the long list of late 19th and early 20th cent. discussions in L. Renou, Bibliccraphie vedique, Paris 1931, 158-163:
Weber 1860, Thibaut, IA 1885, p. 85 sqq., Oldenberg, ZDMG 48, 629 sqq, Jacobi 1893, 1894, ZDMG 49, 218 sqq., Oldenberg,
ZDMG 49, 470 sqq., Jacobi, ZDMG 50, 69-83, Tilak 1893, 1903, Whitney 1894, JAOS 6, 413 sqq.; JAOS 8, 85 sqq, etc. Cf. Elst
1999: 96 sqq.
219
Pingree does not find basic astronomical skills among the early Indo-Aryan because the texts do not specifically outline
such skills.
220
Autochthonists now date the Buddha to 1700 BCE or even 3139/8 BCE, and Candragupta Maurya (of c. 300 BCE) is
replaced by Candragupta, the Gupta king; these and similarly absurd dates are found in Elst 1999: 97.
(72) Michael WITZEL
the) Kttikås... These, they do not deviate from the eastern direction. All other moon houses, they deviate from the
eastern direction... Formerly, one called the Saptaris 'the Bears'.'' This statement, if taken for a literal description
of the 'immobile' position of the Pleiades, is possible only for the third millennium, at c. 2300 BCE (Kak even has
2950 BCE, cf. Elst 1999: 96). Then, the Pleiades were at the equinox point, some 60 degrees off today's position due
to precession (for details see Achar, EIVS 5.2, 1999).
The basic question is, of course, whether such astronomical references in Vedic texts must be taken at
face value, i.e. literally. The above passage is followed by a set of other ones which allow setting up the fires at cther
times, most of which are motivated and justified, like this one, by inherent Bråhmaa texts' concerns and logic.
Further, astronomical observations in the Vedic texts are of a more general nature, and are clearly based on what
is easily observable with the naked eye over the course of a few years (Pingree 1973, 1981 Plofker 1996, Yano
forthc., Witzel 1972, 1984, 1999c). If one takes this conclusion as one's baseline, some statements in the
Babylonian text MUL.APIN are of interest. The text is probably to be dated in the late second millennium
(Pingree 1998), thus earlier than ŚB but much closer to it than the supposed date of the Kttikå observation in the
third millennium. MUL.APIN says more or less what ŚB does in the section under discussion, namely that the
Pleiades are in the east and that Ursa Maior is in the north. And that would be the end of the whole question.
However, even if one admits that the sentences quoted above refer to ccntempcrarv observation and have
been transmitted as such over several millennia, a serious problem remains: the advocates of the autochthonous
theory, unwittingly, commit the rather common but no less serious mistake of dating a text according to a sincle
earlv fact mentioned in it. But, one cannot, and in fact nobody does date the RV, just because Indra occasionally
still has a stone weapon, to the (late) stone age. Texts contain reminiscences and archaic words and concepts; we
can only date them by their latest, not their earliest datable features. Or, to put it somewhat facetiously, if I write
''looking at my digital clock I saw that the sun rose at 6:00 a.m.,'' then my sentence cannot be dated, because of the
unconscious, but unscientific use of ''to rise'', to the period before the revolutionary book of Copernicus (1507 AD),
but only to the present computer age.
If ŚB 2.1.2.3 (and also the neglected passage in BŚS 27.5)
221
indeed would indicate the spring equinox in
Kttikå, then this may very well be a popular or learned remembrance of times long past, for the same passage of
ŚB also remembers that the Great Wagon/Big Dipper (ursa maicr) was "formerly" called ''the bears''. This is an
old Indo-European expression (Greek, Latin, etc.). The name Rksah indeed occurs once in the RV and this is
copied in TĀ, ŚB (Witzel 1999c), before the asterism acquired its well-known name ''the Seven i'' (sapta rsavah,
cf. Avest.haptō
i
rinca·¯saptalinca(ni), cf. now Plofker,EIVS6-2, 2000).
In addition, we simply cannot date the ŚB in the third millennium BCE, as it has strong evidence of iron
which emerged in India only by 1200/1000 BCE, and as ŚB is very close in its cultural, economic, socio-political,
and philosophical development to the time of the Buddha, who lived around the middle of the first mill. BCE.
As seen many times by now, the advocates of the autochthonous theories take one --in case, a rather
dubious-- datum and use it to reinterpret Vedic linguistic, textual, ritual history while they neglect all the cther
contradictory data derived from comparative astronomy, archaeology, textual study, etc. This does not achieve a
'paradigm shift', not even special pleading, but simply is faulty reasoning.
§30: The Jyotia Vedåga and the solstices
Another favorite item brought forward for an early date of the Vedic texts has been the date assigned to
the Jyotia of Lagaha, a Vedåga text attached to the gveda tradition (a later version exists in the Yajurveda
tradition as well). Since this is an appendix to the Veda, virtually all other Vedic texts must predate it. Its date,
however, hinges on that assigned to the solstice as described in this text. The basic question is the same as in the
case of the Kttikå equinox: whether the description as given in the Jyotia is also the date of the text in which it is
transmitted. Again, this would mean to date the text according to its earliest item.
However, the astronomy involved here is not as straightforward as it usually is made out to be. T. K. S.
Sastry (1985:13) and R. Kochhar (1999) think of an early date, between 1370 and 1150 BCE, as the winter solstice
is described to be in Śravihå/Dhanihå naksatra. Pingree's (1973: 10) estimate is c. 1180 BCE.
221
Note that ŚB has the alternative dates Rohiī, Mgaśīra, Phalgunī, Hasta, Citrå, and BŚS also has "at the appearance" of
Śravaa, Citrå/Svatī, all indicating various ritual concerns, see Witzel 1999c.
Autochthonous Aryans? (73)
While Sastry believes that the text preserves a tradition dating back to that period, Pingree (1973: 10)
stresses that it is unknown where Lagaha would have exactly placed the boundaries of the naksatra Dhaniå,
and what was his exact determination of the longitude of the Sun. Any mistake in the exact position of the
beginning of a naksatra as well as the rough Jyotia intercalation-cycle based on the inexact length of the year as
365 days (instead of c.365 1/4) makes all such back-calculations prone to error by centuries.
Further, Lagaha puts the winter solstice on the new moon of Mågha at the heliacal rising of
Dhanihå, which post-dates the establishment of the calendrical scheme with amanta months. This is late Vedic,
at best. In TS 7. 4. 8 and KB 4.4, the beginning of the year is on a full-moon night, and the months are pūrnimanta.
KB 19.2-3, however, already has amanta months, the year beginning sometimes preceded by an intercalary
month (as in the Babylonian calendar of MUL.APIN). This is just one of the several reasons why Pingree (1973:
3, 1987, 1998) introduces Babylonian astronomy and thinks that the astronomy of the k recension of the Jyotia
"was formulated in the fifth or fourth century BC on the basis of information about originally-Mesopotamian
methods and parameters transmitted to India during the Achaemenid occupation of the Indus Valley between ca.
513 and 326 BC." This would produce a fairly low date pcst quem for the section of KB in question; however, the
transfer of such ideas can also have followed other methods and routes.
Sastry (1985: 15) agrees as far as the date of the Jyotia text itself is concerned and adds the observation
that its astronomical system is the same as that taught in the Gargasahitå, which Pingree (1987: 295) places in
the 5th or 4th centuries BCE. However, one of its constituent parts, the Yuga Puråa, which mentions the post-
Alexandrian Greeks, was dated by Mitchiner (1986: 82) only to the end of the last century BCE.
Further indication for a late date of the Jyotia is that the language of the text is post-Vedic, which lets
Sastry assume that it was redacted by someone belonging "the last centuries BC" (1985: 12). However, it must be
added and stressed that the text is actually ccmpcsed in late Epic language. It has not been noticed that it does not
only have the typical long compounds, but also those with tat- as first part, and many metrical 'space fillers' such
as tu,caiva,tatha,tathaivaca,evaca,apica,which must necessarily be part of the very composition. The particle
vai occurs once, however not, as usual in Vedic, in second position of a sentence or Påda but attheend of a Påda
(along with evaca!). This agrees with late Epic practice, as seen in Mbh. 12 and Råm. 1 and 7 (Witzel, in prep.).
In short, only if one is ccnvinced that Lagaha intended the solstice to be exactly at alpha Delphini of
Dhaniå, one can date his cbservaticns back to the late second millennium. Since that cannot be shown beyond
doubt, since the composition of the text is in Late Epic language, and since its contents have clear resemblances to
Babylonian works, the text must belong to a late period, to the last centuries BCE.
In sum, if one were to take seriously the autochthonous dates of the Jyotia at 1400 BCE, (and, ac-
cordingly that of the ŚB, or even that of the BŚS, at 2900 BCE)
222
, and if one would re-arrange the dates of Vedic
literature accordingly, one would have the further, considerable difficulty of explaining, e.g., the use of iron and
222
The same applies, mutatis mutandis , to the Vedic references of a Magha solstice, see Elst 1999: 100, which, in his view,
would allow to place the [iron age] Bråhmaa and Sūtra literature at 2300 BCE [long before the introduction of iron]. Other
alleged astronomical evidence such as the Svarbhånu myth in RV 5.40.5-9 (a late appendix to RV, see Oldenberg 1888!), has
been discussed already in the 19th century. Such references are much too vague to be used for dating (nevertheless see Elst
1999: 107). The same applies to the appendix hymn RV 8.93 which Elst (1999: 111 sqq.) wants to turn into a reference to the
heliacal rising of the sun in Vabha. The bull here is, as so often, just Indra. Further, RV 3.39.3 (Elst 1999: 113) refers to the
Mårtåa/Vivasvant myth, not to astronomy; RV 5.83.3 is a poetical image comparing thunder to lion's roar, and not the
Siha zodiacal sign. Apart from the fact that Elst has to demonstrate the use of the zodiac for the RV, this is poetry, not
astronomy. "It could not be clearer" (as Elst says -- but about the zodiac!) Again, RV 6.49.7 describes young women who are
'bright' (citra) not the asterism Spica in Virgo (cf. now also Hock, forthc.) Just as in the Gītå, the one who looks for Krishna
everywhere will find him, in casu early astronomy in the RV; the same applies to S. Kak (1994). Elst's bold summary (1999:
117) is based on such shaky data: "the g-Veda was composed in the 4th millennium as... the Brahmanas and Sutras are
products of the High Harappan period towards the end of the 3rd millennium BC." That this "has been a growing challenge
to the AIT defenders for two centuries" is easily lead ad absurdum. -- The same fundamental mistake is committed by
Klostermaier (1998): "Texts like the Rigveda, the Shatapathabrahmana and others contain references to eclipses as well as to
sidereal markers of the beginning of seasons, which allow us by backward calculation, to determine the time of their
composition." For all such monolateral assertions, see discussion below, §32 .
(74) Michael WITZEL
chariots at 2900 BCE, or the date of the later parts of ŚB at c. 1500 BCE, while they fit in with the cultural and
political climate just before the emergence of the Magadha realm and the Buddha around 500/400 BCE.
§31. Geometry: Śulba Sūtras.
The case of the geometry of the late Vedic Śulba Sūtras is of a similar nature. The advocates of the
autochthonous theory maintain, with A. Seidenberg (1962, 1978, 1983),
223
that the geometry of the fire altars in
the Śatapatha Bråhmaa and some earlier (translated) texts such as Taittirīya Sahitå, precedes the early
geometry of Greece and Mesopotamia, and that it can be dated prior to 1700 BCE (cf. Elst 1999: 99).
Seidenberg has reached this conclusion by a comparison of the geometry of the Pythagoreans with that
of the Vedic texts and some Babylonian sources. The latter have the full system in place at that early date, but
their prehistory is not visible in existent Mesopotamian sources. Due to some differences in the three systems
(such as algebraic vs. geometric procedures), Seidenberg (1983: 121) excludes mutual borrowing. Rather, he
assumes a common source of the three systems that is older than 1700 BCE, and then tries to find echoes of it in
pre-Bråhmaa texts, even at RV 1.67.10, etc. (which is much too vague about the building of fire altars to allow
proof), all without the use of bricks. Staal (1999) has recently expanded on this problem, using my discussion of
the common, non-Indo-Iranian words for 'brick' in Avestan, Old Persian and Vedic (from ¯išt-) and has
assumed that the common source may well have been in the BMAC area (see §22) .
Be that as it may, it is not a pricri necessary that the similarities and identities in mathematical pro-
cedure must go back to one ccmmcn source. To paraphrase A. Michaels (1978: 52 sqq., cf. 1983), who has carried
out an in-depth study of the Śulba Sūtras and their geometry: Vedic sacred geometry is autochthonous, and
analogies between various cultures are not enough to prove actual historical exchange between them. The burden
of proof always is with the one who proposes such an exchange. (This has not been supplied, pace Elst 1999: 99
sq.). In addition, Michaels distinguishes between sacred geometry in general and its form transmitted in the
Śulba Sūtras. This is not always distinguished well (also not by Seidenberg), especially when one simply identifies
the thecretical knowledge of the Śulba Sūtras with the more empirical knowledge and practice of the Bråhmaas
and Śrauta Sūtras. However, it is likely that the Śulba Sūtras as such originated at the same time as the elaborate
description of the ritual and that these texts were all integral parts of the ritual Sūtras (Kalpasūtra).
Michaels goes on to show (1978: 139 sq.) that the magical ideas of Vedic ritual, together with certain
practical (artisan's) faculties, lead to the specific form of Vedic sacred geometry, which is basically a logic-free,
elementary geometry. However, its various pre-scientific practices, or schemes of action, were transformed into
general and theoretical sentences. These could, in turn, always be checked for truth and could be proved by the
various practical schemes of action that were used in Vedic ritual with its pre-scientific norms of identity.
Michaels also stresses that the connection between magical ideas and artisan's practice was from the beginning
only accessible to a small circle of specialists, the ones knowledgeable in "measuring art"; its influence therefore is
only visible insofar as it leads to a specialization of a portion of the complete Vedic ritual, again reserved for
specialists.
While it has been quite clear for more than a hundred years that these Sūtra texts contain the knowledge
of basic geometry (Seidenberg 1983, Michaels 1978), including Pythagoras' theorem, it is now claimed that altar
constructions were used to represent astrcncmical knowledge (Kak 1994) in the RV. However, even the post-
gvedic texts say only that the three ritual fires represent the earth, sun and moon, and that the offering priests
walk about in space. The complicated post-gvedic brick pilings on the Mahåvedi represent a bird (śvena) that will
take the sponsor of the ritual to heaven (e.g., the year as eagle ŚB 12.2.3.7). There is no indication of any typical
Bråhmaa style speculation that goes beyond an identification of the sponsor of the ritual with the creator god
Prajåpati and the year (with its 360(!) days, 10,800 muhūrta, at ŚB 12.3.2.5; Śåkhåyana Ārayaka 7.20, etc. (cf.
§22, 26). Complicated astronomy is absent.

223
Seidenberg insisted that the geometry of the Śulba Sūtras must have been the origin of the Babylonian system and,
accordingly, he would date it no later than 1700 BCE. He neglects other possibilities such as a common origin or a common
origin in another area (see Staal 1999).
Autochthonous Aryans? (75)
If there is any surprising factor here, it is the ability of the Vedic priests to work with such large numbers
while they belonged to a civilization that did not use the script or written numbers (though the priests
occasionally use twigs to represent very complicated schemes, such as the order of certain repetitions of Såmans).
However, the piling of fire altars made of thousand(s) of bricks belongs to the pcst-gvedic period (pace
Seidenberg 1983: 123-4), and even then, occurs only in comparatively late YV material, as has been pointed out
above: the Cayana is much later than the Soma and other rituals of the YV Sahitås; it can at best be dated to the
beginning of the iron age (if we take Tura Kåvaeya as one of its originators, see Proferes 1999).
If there indeed is any older, local tradition is hidden behind all of this, it may go back local, to non-Vedic
(Indus?) sources. But that remains, for the time being, pure speculation.
SUMMARY
§32. Summary: The autochthonous theory
The autochthonous theory, in its various forms, leaves us with multiple internal contradictions and
open questions as far as time frame, cultural content, archaeological, zoological, astronomical, mathematical,
linguistic and textual data are concerned. If such contradictions are noticed at all by the revisionist and indigenist
writers they are explained away by new, auxiliary assumptions and theories, -- that is, by special pleading, and
often by extra-ordinarily special pleading. In short, all things being equal, the new, disjointed theory falls prey to
Occam's razor.
224
If we would in fact assemble all of the autochthonous ''evidence'' (as has been attempted here in brief
form) and think it through, torturous as it may prove to be, we would have to rewrite not only Indian history, but
also many sections of archaeology, historical linguistics, Vedic literature, historical geography, zoology, botany,
astronomy, etc. To apply the new "theory" consistently would amount to a "paradigm shift" in all these fields of
study. But biologists, for example, would not be amused.
In other words, should there be special rules in all these sciences only as far as evidence from South Asia
is concerned? Either science is universal, or we may begin to write new regional or national accounts, in fact new
mythologies that include scme observations of nature and the sciences. Are we ready for a "Mythos of the Twenty-
First century," written by a Mr. JapåGiri or SevatīParvat?
Certainly, a revisiting of old theories should be carried out if the new evidence is strong and unam-
biguous. But the observations made by revisionists and indigenists do not add up to a complete, self-contained
theory that is in agreement with the other, independently developed fields of knowledge. Instead, it is rigged with
lacunae and internal contradictions and it frequently clashes with the established sciences. These features make
the autochthonous theory particularly unfavorable as a replacement of earlier explanations.
225
A 'paradigm
shift' can be maintained, as has been shown time and again in the preceding sections, only by using very special
pleading. Occam's razor applies.
If the model of a transhumance type immigration or trickling in of speakers of Old IA and subsequent
acculturation (one last time, not an ''invasion''!) is to be replaced, then such a new model has not yet been found,
224
Incidentally, autochthonists always insist on the lack of archaeological, palaeontological etc. evidence or the IA
"invasion" (or immigration/trickling in) theory. However, it may be pointed out that none the Out of India theories are
substantiated by archaeology etc. either. The matter has not been raised yet, but it must be pointed out that just as there is
clear linguistic, textual and now genetic evidence but "no Aryan archaeology, no Aryan bones", there also is no
archaeological proof, but only historical, clear linguistic and now also genetic evidence for the cne clear emigration of an
Indian population westwards in historical times -- that of the Gypsies (Roma, Sinti etc.; there are one or two similar cases,
attested in later times, but on a much more limited scale, see Hock 1999).
225
Except, of course, if the aim is some 'superior', religious or political motive.
(76) Michael WITZEL
and it has certainly not yet been shown to be probable by the revisionists and indigenists. The burden of proof
squarely rests on the shoulders of the advocates of the new autochthonous theory.
To sum up: even when neglecting individual quirks,
226
the various autochthonous proposals simply do
not present a cogent picture. They almost completely neglect the linguistic evidence, and they run into serious
chronological and geographical difficulties: they have horse drawn chariots in S. Asia before their actual
invention, horses in S. Asia before their introduction from Central Asia, use of iron tools at 1900 BCE before its
first use at c. 1200/1000 BCE. They have the gvedic Sarasvatī flowing to the ocean while the RV indicates that it
had already lost its main source of water supply and must have ended in a terminal lake (samudra).
They must also distort the textual evidence of the RV to make it fit supposed Harappan fire rituals, the
use of the script, a developed town civilization and its stratified society of traders and artisans, and international
maritime trade. And, they must rewrite the literary history of the Vedas to fit in improbable dates for the
composition of most of its texts so that they agree with suppcsed ccntempcrarv astronomical observations -- when
everything else in these texts points to much later dates.
Finally, they have the Old Indo-Aryan, or even the Indo-European Proto-language, developing in the
Panjab or even further east in northern India while all non-IA
227
linguistic and historical evidence, including
that of linguistic palaeontology, clearly points to areas further northwest and west. They maintain an Indian
homeland for IE, while the expected early South Asian loan words are entirely missing in all non-IA IE
languages, including even the neighboring Old Iranian, and while, conversely, such loans are already copious in
Vedic and are traceable to S. Asian substrate sources.
***
Curiously, even the alleged historical development of the Aryan ''invasion theory'' is not correct as
usually stated.
228
It was nctdeveloped and formulated in the 19th century to show that the Vedas were composed
before the 'Aryans' mixed with the indigenous 'races' and to underline that the British conquest was similar to the
'Aryan conquest'. In fact, the early period of IE linguistics did not have that concept at all; the home of the IE
language was thought, in the typical Romantic fashion of the day, to be in India or in innermost Asia. The
concept of the IE language family, though first formulated by two late 18th century British citizens (Lord
Monboddo and William Jones, and in both cases not yet scientifically at all
229
), the IE and (Indo-)Aryan theory
was not developed by British imperialists but by Danish and German scholars of the romanticism era, such as R.
Rask and F. Bopp (1816); it was further developed in the later 19th c. by German linguists such as the Leipzig
Iunccrammatiker school whose members had no interest at all in British imperial designs (cf. Kennedy 1995,
Trautmann 1999). The theory of an immigration into or invasion of S. Asia by speakers of IA, based on the
familiar concept of the Hunnic and Germanic invasions of the Roman empire, and the idea of an IE 'race'
emerged only later in the 19th century and they were not even generally accepted; for example the concept of an
226
Such as Kak's ''astronomical code'' that is based on a combination of gvedic brick pilings of the still ncn-existent
Agnicayana and the structure of the still ncn-existent complete RV collection. Note, that it is not questioned but favored by
Klostermaier (1998), Elst (1999) and other revisionists/indigenists.
227
Even that of Mitanni-IA, see above; excluding, of course, that of the comparatively late IA emigrants, the Gypsies.
228
The most blatant rewriting of 19th century (European) intellectual history (and much else!) has been carried out by the
mathematician (Ph.D. 1976) and electrical engineer (B.A. 1965) N.S. Rajaram (1993, 1995, etc.) who sees missionary and
colonialist designs all over Indology. Unfortunately, he had to rely on English summaries (of summaries) of 19th cent.
sources written in various European languages -- hardly a good starting point to write history. Even a cursory reading of his
many, repetitive books will indicate just one thing: a lot of fantasy. These books are nothing but a new mvthclccv of the 19th
century, written for and now increasingly accepted by (expatriate) Indians of the 21st century to shore up their claims to a
largely imagined, glorious but lost distant past.
229
It is usually not mentioned that W. Jones' formulation does include not only the languages belonging to the IE family,
such as Sanskrit, Greek, and Latin but also unrelated ones such Malay.
Autochthonous Aryans? (77)
'Aryan race' was rejected by the now-maligned Indologist Max Müller (1888) or, at length, by the Indo-
Europeanist H. Hirt (1907).
In addition, already by the end of the 19th century there was a reaction against reading too much of IE
linguistics and reconstructed IE culture into the RV: the Frenchman Bergaigne stressed the complicated nature of
RV poetry and ritual, and the Germans Pischel and Geldner saw the RV as a sort of Kåvya rather than the simple
nature poetry of semi-nomadic pastoral tribals, a view fashionable in the first part of the 19th century. Max
Müller was actually called mcksamūla|ra] in his time because of the help he provided to the cause of Indian
independence, all while working at Oxford in the midst of imperialistic Britain (Müller 1883, 1970). He still saw
the RV in the rather Romantic fashion of his youth, the first half of the 19th century, as 'primordial' poetry of
nature, as some of our earliest texts; yet already for him, the Aryan concept had nothing to do with 'race' but all
with language and its 'decay'.
230
If some British scholars used the evidence then available to cement the position
of their empire, it was natural for them in their own, Victorian time, just as the use of the same data by, e.g., the
champions of the Dravidian irredenta (Trautmann 1999), by those who followed the then fashionable 'race
science' of the Frenchman de Gobineau and the British writer Hamilton, or by Dalit reformers and by the leaders
of the Indian independence movement. However, the facts themselves remain, until (some of them) are shown to
be based on incorrect data or conclusions.
Present day non-Indian scholars, however, do no longer have any colonialist or 'Eurocentric' agendas
and, anyhow, do not feel the need to defend 'traditional' western conclusions and theories of the 19th or 20th
centuries.
231
Rather, if anything has been typical for the development of western thought during the past few
centuries, it has been the constant change in intellectual approaches and fashions (see below) in methods and in
conclusions; all were guided, of course, by the ongoing dialectical process. These many diverse concurrent
developments are, as has been pointed out above, often neglected by revisionist and indigenist historians who
frequently juxtapose, compare, or even equate the writings of the 19th with those of the 20th century. Present day
"western scholarship," however, is very much aware of its own historical situation and theoretical position; yet, it
is firmly rooted, (post-modernism by and large excluded) in the enlightenment tradition.
***
Notwithstanding the internal social and political reasons for the clash between recent Indian histori-
ography (now often termed 'Marxist') and the new wave of revisionist and nationalistic writing that culminates
in the "Out of India Theory", it is its very emergence and relative popularity, as late as two generations after
Indian independence, that must surprise. The 'revisionist project' certainly is not guided by the principles of
critical theory but takes, time and again, recourse to pre-enlightenment beliefs in the authority of traditional
religious texts such as the Puråas. In the end, it belongs, as has been pointed out earlier,
232
to a different
'discourse' than that of historical and critical scholarship. In other words, it continues the writing of religious
literature, under a contemporary, cutwardlv 'scientific' guise. Though the ones pursuing this project use dialectic
methods quite effectively, they frequently also turn traditional Indian discussion methods and scholastic tricks to
their advantage.
233
230
For example, the first translation and dictionary (1873) of the RV by the well-known German mathematician Grassmann
analyses anas-, (which occurs only cnce in the RV, at 5.29.10!), as 'ohne Mund, Antlitz' (without mouth, face, an-as);
however, the word was taken by later 19th century writers as an indication of a racial characteristic, 'noseless' ( a-nas), while
the passage in question clearly indicates the 'speechlessness' and unusual speech of the dasvu.
231
I have pointed to this (1995), when I discussed the various forms of argumentation that have to be avoided in writing
ancient Indian history; however, this point has largely been misunderstood or blatantly disregarded by adherents of
autochthonous or Out of India theories: in many web sites (and in Talageri 2000), these writers excoriate me for my critique
of present revisionist/autochthonous writings, but they do not even mention my criticism of past western or of certain
present archaeological and historical writings (often produced by "westerners").
232
Witzel 1995, 1999d.
233
See Caraka 3.83, Nyåyasūtra 4.2.50, the method is used in Mahåbhåya, and still earlier in some Brahmodyas (Witzel
1987a, and forthc.)
(78) Michael WITZEL
The revisionist and autochthonous project, then, should not be regarded as schclarlv in the usual post-
enlightenment sense of the word, but as an apologetic, ultimately religious undertaking aiming at proving the
'truth' of traditional texts and beliefs. Worse, it is, in many cases, not even scholastic scholarship at all but a
political undertaking aiming at 'rewriting' history out of national pride or for the purpose of 'nation building'.
If such writings are presented under a superficial veneer of objective scholarship they must be exposed as
such,
234
at least in the context of critical post-enlightenment scholarship. Alternatively, they could simply not
be taken seriously as historiography and could be neglected (which seems to be the favorite attitude of most
scholars in Indology/Indian Studies). In both cases, however, they must be clearly understccd and described as
traditional, (semi-)religious writings. Therefore they should be regarded and used, not as scholarly
contributions, but as cbjects fcr the studv of the traditional mind, -- uncomfortable as this might be for some of
their proponents, many of whom combine, in facile fashion, an education in science with a traditional
mindset.
235
In view of this, it might not even seem necessary to 'decolonialize' the Indian mind (cf. Witzel 1999d).
However, the dominance of English as the only true language of communication throughout the subcontinent,
and the strong Euro-American influence (even in non-Whorfian models) that this automatically creates in the
mindset of the English speaking elite, points in the other direction. This is reinforced by the persisting dominance
of an antiquated British style curriculum. Some adjustments both to local South Asian conditions and,
simultaneously, to the emerging global village certainly are in order. On the other hand, present
autochthonously minded efforts are the wrong way to follow. Fifty years after Indian independence, it should not
be regarded as a schclarlv, but simply as a political undertaking to 'rewrite' history for the purpose of national
pride or 'nation building'. We know to what such exercises have lead during the past century.
If the present wave of apologetic, revisionist, and nationalistic writing should continue unabated, and if
it should remain largely unobserved, unstudied and unchecked by post-enlightenment scholarship, future
historians will look back at these excesses of the end of the 20th century and the beginning 21st in the same way
as some now like to do with regard to the 19th century. And they will criticize the present generation of scholars
for having looked the other way -- for whatever reasons.
It remains for us to hope
236
that the resent spate of revisionist, autochthonous and chauvinistic
writings will not lead to similar, real life consequences as those that we have witnessed during the 20th century.
ABBREVIATIONS
The abbreviations for texts are the commonly used ones; other important ones include those listed below. Note:
for ready reference, the five historical levels of Vedic are indicated by numbers (1-5), followed by their geo-
graphical location, W: western North India = Panjab, Haryana, C: central North India = Uttar Pradesh, E: east-
ern North India = N. Bihar; S: southern N. India = between the Jamna/Ganges and the Vindhya mountains).
AA Austro-Asiatic
AB Aitareya Bråhmaa (4, W & E)
Akkad. Akkadian
234
Such as N.S. Rajaram's (2000) case of fraud and fantasy in 'deciphering' the Indus seals, see Witzel & Farmer 2000.
235
If this is not believed, after the evidence presented throughout this paper, I may add a very recent experience: a visit from
a "type 3" (see above, n. 73) graduate in mechanical engineering who firmly held that the Vedas are 2 billion years old, are
Īśvara's revelation, can only be understood after initiation (upanavana), are the sources all languages in the world and of all
sciences, etc., -- all of this internalized and integrated, without any problem, with his studies in the hard sciences.
236
A sign of hope is that recent interviews with Indian College students from all over the country seem to indicate that
they have no interest at all in this kind of debate. They are much more practically minded. ("The New Republic", Times of
India, Jan. 26., 2001)
Autochthonous Aryans? (79)
Armen. Armenian
AV Atharvaveda Sahitå (2 C)
Av. Avestan
Avest. Avestan
AVP Atharvaveda Sahitå, Paippalåda version (2 W)
Beng. Bengali
Brah. Brahui
BŚS Baudhåyana Śrautasūtra (4-5 C)
Bur. Burushaski
Drav. Dravidian
ep. Epic Sanskrit
EWA Mayrhofer 1956-76
Gr. Greek
Grk. Greek
GS Ghyasūtra(s) (5)
Hitt. Hittite
IA Indo-Aryan
IE Indo-European
IIr Indo-Iranian
Indo-Ar. Indo-Aryan
Iran. Iranian
JB Jaiminīya Bråhmaa (4 S)
Kan. Kannada, Canarese
Kazm. Kashmiri
KB Kauītaki Bråhmaa (4 C)
KEWA Mayrhofer 1986-96
Khot. Khotanese Saka
KS Kaha Sahitå
KŚS Kåtyåyana Śrautasūtra (5 E)
Lith. Lithuanian
Mal. Malayalam
Mar. Marathi
Mbh. Mahåbhårata
MIA Middle Indo-Aryan
MP. Middle Persian
MS Maitråyaī Sahitå (2-3 W)
MT Mother Tongue
NP. New Persian
NIA New Indo-Aryan
Nir. Nirukta (5)
Nur. Nuristani (Kafiri)
OP. Old Persian
O.Pers. Old Persian
Osset. Ossetic
PIE Proto-IE
Pkt. Prakrit
PS Paippalåda Sahitå (2 W)
Råm. Råmåyaa
RV gveda Sahitå (1, Greater Panjab)
RVKh Rgveda Khila (2 W)
SaMh. Sahitå(s)
ŚĀ Śåkhåyana Ārayaka (4 C)
ŚB Śatapatha Bråhmaa (4 E)
ŚS Śrautasūtra (5)
(80) Michael WITZEL
Skt. Sanskrit
Sum(er). Sumerian
Sū. Sūtra(s) (5)
SV Samaveda Sahitå (2 W)
StII Studien zur Indologie und Iranistik
TĀ Taittirīya Ārayaka (4 C)
Tam. Tamil
Tel. Telugu
TB Tibeto-Burmese
Tib. Tibetan
Tib.-Burm. Tibeto-Burmese
Toch. Tocharian
TS Taittirīya Sahitå (2 C)
Up. Upaniad(s) (4)
V. Vīdẽvdåd (Vendidad)
VådhB Vådhūla Bråhmaa (Anvåkhyåna) (4 C)
Ved. Vedic
Ved. Index Macdonell - Keith 1912
VS Våjasaneyi Sahitå (2 E)
Y Yasna
YV Yajurveda (-Sahitå) (2)
ZDMG Zeitschrift der deutschen morgenländischen Gesellschaft
BIBLIOGRAPHY
Abaev, V. I. Pre-history of Indo-Iranians in the Light of Aryo-Uralic Contacts. [Quoted in Misra 1992: xii15, 34,
cf. Asimov 1977: 73]
Achar, N. On Exploring the Vedic Sky with Modern Computer Software, EIVS 5.2 (1999)
http://www1.shore.net/~india/ejvs/ejvs0502.txt
Agrawal, D.P. & J.S. Kharakwal. Outstanding problems of early iron age in India: need of a new approach (in
press)
Allchin, Bridget and Raymond. The Rise cf Civilizaticn in India and Pakistan. Cambridge : Cambridge University
Press 1982
Allchin, F. R. TheArchaeclccvcfEarlvHistcricScuthAsia.TheEmercencecfCitiesandStates. With Contributions
from George Erdosy, R. A. E. Coningham, D. K. Chakrabarti and Bridget Allchin. Cambridge: Cambridge
University Press 1995
Anreiter, P. (ed.) Man and the Animal \crld. Studies in Archaeczcclccv, Archaeclclccv, Anthrcpclccv and
Palaeclincuistics in memcriam Sandcr Bckcnvi, edited by Peter Anreiter [et al.]. Budapest : Archaeolingua
Alapitvany 1998
Anthony, David. The archaeology of Indo-European origins. IcurnalcfIndc-EurcpeanStudies19, 1991, 193-222
---, and D. Brown. The origins of horseback riding. Antiquitv65, 1991, 22-38
---, Current Thoughts on the Domestication of the Horse in Asia.ScuthAsianStudies1997, 315-318
--- and D.R. Brown, Eneolithic horse exploitation in the Eurasian steppes: diet, ritual and riding. Antiquitv 74,
2000, 75-86
---, and N.B. Vinogradov. The birth of the chariot. Archaeclccv 48, 1995, 36-41
Autochthonous Aryans? (81)
Anttila, R. Histcrical and Ccmparative Iincuistics. Amsterdam/Philadelphia : John Benjamins 1989
Asimov, M.S. et al. (eds.) Ethnic Prcblems cf the earlv Histcrv cf Central Asia. internaticnal svmpcsium [ =
International Symposium on Ethnic Problems of the Ancient History of Central Asia (Second Millennium BC).
Dushanbe 1978
Assmann, Aleida & Jan (eds.). Kancn und Zensur. (Beiträge zur Archäologie der literarischen Kommunikation, 2)
München : Fink 1987
Aiyar, S. R.. Dravidian Thecries. Madras: Madras Law Journal Office 1975
Balkan, K. KassitenstudienI.DieSprachederKassiten. New Haven: American Oriental Society 1954.
Bamshad, M. (et al.) Genetic Evidence on the Origins of Indian Caste Populations. Gencme Research 2001 : 1733
sqq.
Bartholomae, C. IndccermanischeIcrschuncen9, 1898, 272
Bechert, Heinz. The date of the Buddha reconsidered. IndclccicaTaurinensia 10, 1982, 29-36.
---, (ed.) The datinc cf the histcrical Buddha / Die Datierunc des histcrischen Buddha, part 1 (Symposien zur
Buddhismusforschung IV, 1-2). Göttingen : Vandenhoek und Ruprecht 1991-.
Beekes, R. S. P. Ccmparative Indc-Eurcpean lincuistics . an intrcducticn. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: J. Benjamins
Pub. 1995.
Berger, H. Die Burušaski-Lehnwörter in der Zigeunersprache. III 3, 1959, 17- 43
Bhagavad Datta, Vaidikavamavakaitihas, New Delhi, repr. 1974
Boas, F. Race,IancuaceandCulture.New York: Free Press 1966 [first publ.: New York: Macmillan 1910]
Bökönyi, Sándor. Horse Remains from the Prehistoric Site of Surkodata, Kutch, late 3rd Millennium B.C. Scuth
AsianStudies 13, 1997, 297-306
Bosch-Gimpera, Pedro. Ies Indc-Eurcpeens . prcblemes archeclcciques [pref. et traduction de Raymond Lantier]
Paris : Payot, 1961
Brockington, J.TheSanskritepics. Leiden / Boston: Brill, 1998.
Brunnhofer, Hermann, Arische urzeit, fcrschuncen auf dem cebiete des ültesten Vcrder- und Zentralasiens nebst
Osteurcpa. Bern: A. Francke 1910.
Burrow, T. On the Significance of the Term arma-, armaka-, in Early Sanskrit Literature. Icurnal cf Indian
Histcrv 41, 1963, 159-166
---, TheSanskritlancuace. London: Faber & Faber 1973
Bryant, E. F. Linguistic substrata and the indigenous Aryan debate. In: J. Bronkhorst & M. Deshpande, Arvan
andNcn-ArvaninScuthAsia.Evidence,InterpretaticnandIdeclccv. Harvard Oriental Series. Opera Minora, vol. 3.
Cambridge 1999, 59-83
Cavalli-Sforza, L.L., P. Menozzi, A. Piazza. The histcrv and ceccraphv cf human cenes. Princeton: Princeton
University Press 1994.
(82) Michael WITZEL
--- and F. Cavalli-Sforza, TheGreatHumanDiaspcras.TheHistcrvcfDiversitvandEvcluticn. Reading MA : Helix
Books 1995
Chakrabarti, Dilip K. Early iron in India. Icurnal cf the Eccncmic and Sccial Histcrv cf the Orient 20, 1977, 166-
84
Iron in early Indian literature, IcurnalcftheRcvalAsiaticSccietv 1979, 22-30
---, TheEarlvUsecfIrcninIndia. Delhi: Oxford Univ. Press 1992
Choudhury, Paramesh. The Arvans. A mcdern Mvth. Part-I.(AStcrvcfaTreachercusThecrvthatCcncernsEverv
Indian)ABcckthatOffersManvThincstcThinkAnew. New Delhi: Eastern Publishers' Distributor 1993
Chauhan, D.V. Understandinc Rcveda. Poona: Bhandarkar Oriental Institute 1985
Clutton-Brock, J. Hcrse Pcwer. A Histcrv cf the Hcrse and the Dcnkev in Human Sccieties. Cambridge: Harvard
University Press 1992
Coningham, R. A. E. The rise of cities in Sri Lanka. In: Allchin 1995, 152-183
Coomaraswamy, Ananda K. Horse-riding in the gveda and Atharvaveda, Icurnal cf the American Oriental
Sccietv 62, 1941, 139-140
Cowgill, W. in: J. Kurylowicz, M. Mayrhofer (eds.) Indccermanische Grammatik. Band I. 1. Halbband. Einleitunc.
Heidelberg: Winter 1986
Dani, A. H. and V. M. Masson (eds.), HistcrvcfcivilisaticnscfCentralAsia, Vol. I. Thedawncfcivilisaticn.earliest
times tc 700 BCE. Paris: Unesco Publishing 1992
Danino, Michel. The invasicn that never was / Scnc cf humanitv bv Sujata Nahar. Delhi: Mother's Institute of
Research & Mira Aditi, Mysore 1996.
Deo, S. B. and S. Kamath (eds.) The Arvan Prcblem. Pune: Bharatiya Itihasa Sankalana Samiti 1993.
Diakonoff, I.M. HurrischundUrartüisch. München: Kitzinger 1971
---, On the Original Home of the Speakers of Indo-European, IIES 1, 1985, 92-174.
Ehret, Ch. Language change and the material correlates of language and ethnic shift. Antiquitv 62, 1988, 564-74
Eilers, W. & M. Mayrhofer. Kurdisch būz und die indogermanische "Buchen"-Sippe, Mitteiluncen der
AnthrcpclccischenGesesellschaftin\ien 92, 1963, 61-92
Elizarenkova, T. IancuaceandStvlecftheVedicRsis. Albany : SUNY 1995
Elst, K. UpdatecntheArvanInvasicnDebate. Delhi: Aditya Prakashan 1999
Emeneau, M. B. India as a linguistic area. Iancuace 32, 1956, 3-16
Erdosy, George. UrbanisaticninEarlvHistcricIndia. Oxford : British Archaeological Reports. 1988
---, (ed.). The Indc-Arvans cf Ancient Scuth Asia. (Indian Philology and South Asian Studies, A. Wezler and M.
Witzel, eds., vol. 1). Berlin/New York : de Gruyter 1995
Falk, Harry. ----, Vedisch arma. ZeitschriftderdeutschenmcrcenlündischenGesellschaft 131, 1981, 160-171
---,Bruderschaftund\urfelspiel, Freiburg 1986
---, SchriftimaltenIndien.einIcrschuncsberichtmitAnmerkuncen. Tübingen : G. Narr 1993
Autochthonous Aryans? (83)
---, Das Reitpferd im Vedischen Indien. Die Indccermanen und das Pferd. |Akten des Internaticnalen inter-
disziplinürenKcllcquiums.IreieUniversitütBerlin,1.-3.Iuli1992,BernfriedSchlerathzum70.Geburtstaccewidmet],
ed. by B. Hänsel, Stefan Zimmer et al. Budapest 1995, pp. 91-101
Feuerstein, G., S. Kak and D. Frawley. InsearchcftheCradlecfCivilizaticn. Wheaton: Quest Books 1995
Francfort, H.-P. Prcspecticns archeclcciques au ncrd-cuest de l'Inde. Rappcrt preliminaire 1983-1984. Paris:
Edition Recherche sur les Civilisations 1985
Frawley, David. ThemvthcftheArvaninvasicncfIndia. New Delhi : Voice of India, 1994
Friedrich, J. Aus verschiedenen Keilschriftsprachen, 3-4. Orientalia NS 9, 1940, 348-361
Friedrich, P. Indc-Eurcpean Trees, Chicago 1970
Gamkrelidze, T. and V. Ivanov. Indc-EurcpeanandtheIndc-Eurcpeans. Berlin: de Gruyter 1995.
Ganapati, S.V. SamaVeda.Madras : S.V. Ganapati 1982.
Geiger, Lazarus. ZurEntwickluncsceschichtederMenschheit. Stuttgart, J.G. Cotta'sche Buchhandlung, 1871.
Geiger, W. OstiranischeKulturimAltertum. Erlangen : A. Deichert, 1882
Gening, V.F. Mogil'nik Sintashta i problema rannikh Indoiranskikh plemen. Scvietskava Arkheclcciva 1977, 53-
73
Gening, V.F., Zdanovich, G.B., Gening, V.V. Sintashta. Chelyabinsk : Iuzhno-Ural'skoe Izdatel'stvo 1992
Ghosh, Bh. Iincuistic Intrcducticn tc Sanskrit. Calcutta: The Indian Research Institute / Sanskrit Pustak Bhandar
1937
Gimbutas, M. Thecivilizaticncftheccddess,editedbvIcanMarler. San Francisco : Harper 1991.
---, EndcfcldEurcpe.|German.DasEndeAlteurcpas.derEinfallvcnSteppenncmadenausSudrusslandunddie
Indccermanisierunc Mitteleurcpas] Innsbruck : Verlag des Instituts für Sprachwissenschaft der Universität
Innsbruck 1994.
Gnoli, Gherardo. Zcrcaster'sTimeandHcmeland.AstudvcftheOricinscfMazdaismandRelatedPrcblems. Naples
: Istituto Universitario Orientale 1980
Gramkrelidze, T. and I. Iwanov, Indc-EurcpeanandIndc-Eurcpeans. Berlin/New York: Mouton de Gruyter 1995
Gupta, S. P. The'Icst'SarasvatiandtheIndusCivilizaticn. Jodhpur : Kusumanjali Prakashan 1995
---, The Indus-Sarasvati Civilizaticn. Oricins, Prcblems and Issues. Delhi : Pratibha Prakashan 1996
Guptə, Suschiel. A Ccmparative Etvmclccic Iexiccn cf Ccmmcn Indc-Germanisches |sic] (Indc-Eurcpean) \crds.
Milton MA: Sverge Haus 1990.
---, Etvmclccicallv ccmmcn hvdrcnvms, tcpcnvms, perscnal and prcper names thrcuchcut the Indc-Eurcpean
ceccraphic area. Milton MA : Sverge Haus 1990a
Hamp, Eric P. On the Indo-European Origins of the Retroflexes in Sanskrit, Icurnal cf the American Oriental
Sccietv 116, 1996, 719-723
(84) Michael WITZEL
Harmatta, J. The emergence of the Indo-Iranians: The Indo-Iranian Languages. In: Dani, A. H. and V. M.
Masson (eds.), Histcrv cf civilisaticns cf Central Asia, Vol. I. The dawn cf civilisaticn. earliest times tc 700 BCE.
Paris: Unesco Publishing 1992, 357-378
Hemphill, Lukacs and Kennedy, Biological adaptations and affinities of the Bronze Age Harappans. In: R.
Meadow (ed.) Harappa Excavaticns 198o--1990.
Henning, W.B. The Kurdish Elm. Asia Majcr (NS) 10, 1963, 68-72
Hiebert, Fredrick T. South Asia from a Central Asian perspective. G. Erdosy (ed.) TheIndc-ArvanscfAncientScuth
Asia. Berlin/New York : de Gruyter 1995, p. 192-205.
Hillebrandt, A. Iieder des Rcveda, ubersetzt vcn Dr. Alfred Hillebrandt. Göttingen : Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht
/Leipzig : J. C. Hinrichs 1913
Hintze, A. The Migrations of the Indo-Aryans and the Iranian Sound-Change s> h. W. Meid (ed.) Akten der
IachtacuncderIndccermanischenGesellschaftinInnsbruck 1996. Innsbruck 1998
Hinüber, O. von. DerBecinnderSchriftundfruheSchriftlichkeitinIndien. Akad. Mainz 1989
Hirt, H. DieIndccermanen,ihreVerbreitunc,ihreUrheimat,undihreKultur. 2 vols. Strassburg 1905, 1907
Hock, Hans H., PrinciplescfHistcricalIincuistics, Berlin/NY : Mouton de Gruyter 1986
---, Pre-gvedic Convergence Between Indo-Aryan (Sanskrit) and Dravidian? A Survey of the Issues and
Controversies. In: J.E.M. Houben (ed.) IdeclccvandStatuscfSanskrit.CcntributicnstctheHistcrvcftheSanskrit
Iancuace. Leiden: Brill 1996, 17-58
--, Out of India? The linguistic evidence. In: J. Bronkhorst & M. Deshpande, ArvanandNcn-ArvaninScuthAsia.
Evidence,InterpretaticnandIdeclccv. Harvard Oriental Series. Opera Minora, vol. 3. Cambridge 1999, 1-18
---, Philology and the historical interpretation of the Vedic texts. Lecture at the July 2000 meeting of the World
Association for Vedic Studies in Hoboken, NJ. (forthc., to be published in the Proceedings)
Hoffmann, Karl. Diealt-indcarischen\crtermit-nd-,bescndersimRcveda. Diss. München 1941
---, AufsützezurIndciranistik. (ed. S. Glauch, R. Plath, S. Ziegler, vol. 3). Wiesbaden 1992
Horn, P. GrundrissderneupersischenEtvmclccie.Strassburc: Trübner 1893
---, TheGathascfZarathustraandtheOtherOldAvestanTexts. By H. Humbach in collaboration with J. Elfenbein
and P. O. Skjærvø. Part I. Heidelberg 1991
Jacobi, H. Über das Alter des gveda. Is.Rcth, 1893, 68 sqq.
---, Beiträge zur Kenntnis der vedischen Chronologie. NachrichtenderGesellschaftder\issenschaftenzuGcttincen,
1894, 105 sqq.
---, On the antiquity of Vedic culture, IcurnalcftheRcvalAsiaticSccietv 1909, 721-726
---, Der vedische Kalender und das Alter des Veda. ZDMG49, 218 sqq.
---, Nochmals über das Alter des Veda, ZDMG 50, 69-83
---, B. Kölver (ed.) KleineSchriften.Wiesbaden : F. Steiner 1970 [= 1893, 1895, 1896]
Jamison, S. and M. Witzel: Vedic Hinduism. In: A. Sharma (ed.), Studies cn Hinduism, University of S. Carolina
Press [written in 1992, still in press].
Jarrige, Jean-François, Marielle Santoni, Jean-Francois Enault. Icuilles de Pirak. Paris: Diffusion de Boccard
1979
Autochthonous Aryans? (85)
Joki, A.J. Uralier und Indccermanen. Die ülteren Beruhruncen zwischen den uralischen und indccermanischen
Sprachen. Helsinki 1973
Joshi, J.P. Excavaticns at Surkctada 1971-72 and Explcrataticns in Kutch. New Delhi: Archaeological Survey of
India, Memoir 87, 1990
Kak, S. The study of the Indus script: general considerations.
Crvptclccia 11, 1987, 182-191
---, A frequency analysis of the Indus script. Crvptclccia 12, 1988, 129-143
---, The Astrcncmical Ccde cf the Rcveda. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan 1994
---, On the classification of Indic languages, Annals cf the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute 75, 1994a, 185-
195.
Ka l y a na r a ma n, S . Ri cveda and Saras vat i -Si ndhu Ci vi l i zat i cn. Aug. 1999 at:
http://sarasvati.simplenet.com/html/rvssc.htm
Katz, H. StudienzudenülterenindciranischenIehnwcrternindenuralischenSprachen. Habilschrift München 1985
Kennedy, Kenneth A.R. Have Aryans been identified in the prehistoric skeletal record from South Asia?
Biological anthropology and concepts of ancient races. G. Erdosy (ed.) The Indc-Arvans cf Ancient Scuth Asia.
Berlin/New York : de Gruyter 1995, p. 32-66
---, Gcd-apesandfcssilmen.palecanthrcpclccvcfScuthAsia. Ann Arbor : University of Michigan Press, 2000
Kenoyer, J. Mark. Interaction systems, specialised crafts and culture change: The Indus Valley Tradition and the
Indo-Gangetic Tradition in South Asia. G. Erdosy (ed.) TheIndc-ArvanscfAncientScuthAsia. Berlin/New York :
de Gruyter 1995, p. 213-257
---, Ancient Cities cf the Indus Vallev Civilizaticn. Oxford: Oxford University Press/American Institute of
Pakistan Studies 1998
Kirfel, W. DasPuranaPañcalaksana. Bonn : K. Schroeder 1927
Kivisild, T. (et al.) Deep common ancestry of Indian and western-Eurasian mitochondrial DNA lineages.
CurrentBiclccv 9, 1999, 1331-1334
Klaus, Konrad. Samudra im Veda. XIII. Deutscher Orientalistentag 1985 Würzburg. E. von Schuler (ed.)
Ausgewählte Vorträge. Wiesbaden 1989, 367 sqq.
---, DiealtindischeKcsmclccie,nachdenBrahmanasdarcestellt. Bonn 1986
---, Die Wasserfahrzeuge im vedischen Indien. Akademie der \issenschaften. Mainz 1989a
Klostermaier, K. ASurvevcfHinduism, Albany : SUNY 1989
---, Questioning the Aryan Invasion Theory and Revising Ancient Indian History. ISCON Ccmmunicaticns
Icurnal, Vol. 6, No. 1 (June 1998)
---, Preface In: Rajaram and Frawley 1997
Kochhar, Rajesh. TheVedicPecple.TheirHistcrvandGeccraphv. New Delhi: Orient Longman 1999
Krishnamurti, Bh.K. Ccmparative Dravidian Iincuistics. Current Perspectives. Oxford: OUP 2001
Kuiper, F. B. J. Prctc-MundawcrdsinSanskrit. Amsterdam 1948
---, AnAustrc-AsiaticmvthintheRV. Amsterdam : Noord-Hollandsche Uitg. Mij. 1950
---, Rigvedic loan-words. In: O. Spies (ed.) Studia Indclccica. Iestschrift fur \illibald Kirfel zur Vcllendunc seines
70. Iebensjahres. Bonn: Orientalisches Seminar 1955.
---, The sources of Nahali vocabulary, in: H. Zide, StudiesinccmparativeAustrcasiatic.Iincuistics, ed. N. H. Zide,
The Hague 1966, 57-81
(86) Michael WITZEL
---, The ancient Aryan verbal contest. III 4, 1960, 217-281. [Repr. in Kuiper 1983, pp. 151-215.]
---, Nahali, a ccmparative studv. Amsterdam: Noord-Hollandse Uitgevers Maatschappij 1962
---, The genesis of a linguistic area. Indc-IranianIcurnal10, 1967, 81-102
---, AncientIndianccsmcccnv. J. Irwin, (ed.). Delhi : Vikas 1983
---, ArvansintheRcveda. Amsterdam-Atlanta : Rodopi 1991
---, Foreign words in the gveda. III 38 (1995) 261
---, A bilingual i. Anusantatvai. Is. fur Ichanna Narten zum 70. Geburtstac, ed. A. Hintze & E. Tichy.
(Münchener Studien zur Sprachwissenschaft, Beihefte NF 19) Dettelbach: J.H. Röll 2000
Kuz'mina E.E. Horses, chariots and the Indo-Iranians: an archaeological spark in the historical dark. Scuth
Asian Archaeclccv 1993, vol. I, 403-412 Helsinki, 1994
Lal, B.B. Some Reflections on the Structural Remains at Kalibangan. In: B.B. Lal and S.P. Gupta (eds.), Ircntierscf
theIndusCivilizaticn. 55-o2
----, The Earliest Civilizaticn cf Scuth Asia (Rise, Maturitv and Decline). New Delhi 1997 : Aryan Books
International 1997
---, and Gupta S.P. (eds.). IrcntierscftheIndusCivilizaticn. New Delhi: Books and Books, 1984.
Lane, G. S. The Beech Argument: A Re-Evaluation of the Linguistic Evidence. Zeitschrift fur vercleichende
Sprachfcrschunc 81, 1967, 1970-212
Littauer, M. A. and Crouwel, J. H. The origin of the true chariot. Antiquitv 70, 1996, 934-939
Lord, A. B. Epicsincersandcraltraditicn. Ithaca : Cornell University Press 1991.
Lubotsky, A. Indo-Iranian Substratrum (paper read at a conference in Tvarminne, Finland, 1998), in press
Macdonell-Keith, VedicIndex. London 1912, reprint Delhi 1967.
MacFadden, B.J. Icssil Hcrses. Svstematics, Palecbiclccv, and Evcluticn cf the Iamilv Equidae. Cambridge/New
York: Cambridge University Press 1992.
Mallory, J. P. InSearchcftheIndc-Eurcpeans.Iancuace,ArchaeclccvandMvth. London: Thames and Hudson 1989
Masica, C. P. Aryan and Non-Aryan Elements in North Indian Agriculture. In: Madhav M. Deshpande and
Peter Edwin Hook (eds.), Arvan and Ncn-Arvan in India. Ann Arbor : Center for South and Southeast Asian
Studies 1979, p. 55-151
---, TheIndc-ArvanIancuaces. Cambridge, New York: Cambridge University Press 1991
Mathivanan, R. Indus script amcnc Dravidian Speakers. Madras: International Society for the Investigation of
Ancient Civilisations 1995
Mazhar, M. A. SanskrittracedtcArabic. Faisalabad : Sheikh Aziz Ahmad, 1982.
Mayrhofer, M. DieIndc-ArierimAltenVcrderasien.MiteineranalvtischenBibliccraphie, Wiesbaden 1966
---, DieArierimvcrderenOrient-einMvthcs? Wien 1974
---, AuscewühltekleineSchriften (Sigrid Deger-Jalkotzy u. Rüdiger Schmitt, eds.): Wiesbaden : Reichert 1979
---, Iautlehre. IndccermanischeGrammatik. Band I, 2. Halbband: Heidelberg: C. Winter 1986
---, Kurzcefasstesetvmclccisches\crterbuchdesAltindischen. Heidelberg 1956-1976. (KEWA)
---, Etvmclccisches \crterbuch des Altindcarischen. Heidelberg : Carl Winter 1986-
Meadow, R. H. (ed.), Harappa Excavaticns 198o-1990. A Multidisciplinarv Apprcach tc Third Millennium
Urbanism. (Monographs in World Archaeology No. 3) Madison : Prehistory Press 1991: 137-182
Autochthonous Aryans? (87)
---, Pre-and Proto-Historic Agricultural and Pastoral Transformations in Northwestern South Asia, in: The
Transiticn tc Acriculture in the Old \crld, The Review cf Archaeclccv (Special Issue ed. by Ofer Bar-Yosef), 19,
1998, 12-21.
---, and Ajita Patel. A Comment on: Horse Remains from Surkodata by Sándor Bökönyi. ScuthAsianStudies, 13,
1997, 308-315
Michaels, A. Beweisverfahren in der vedischen Sakralcecmetrie. ein Beitrac zur Entstehuncsceschichte vcn
\issenschaft. Wiesbaden: Steiner 1978
---, AccmprehensiveŚulvasūtra\crdIndex. Wiesbaden: Steiner 1983.
Mitchiner, John E. TheYucaPurana. Calcutta: The Asiatic Society, 1986
Misra, Satya Swarup. New Iichts cn Indc-Eurcpean Ccmparative Grammar. Varanasi : Manisha Prakashan 1974
---, The Arvan prcblem, a lincuistic apprcach. New Delhi : Munshiram Manoharlal, 1992
Müller, F. Max. India.whatcanitteachus? New York: J. W. Lovell Company 1883
---,Biccraphiescf\crdsandtheHcmecftheArvans.London: Longmans Green 1888.
---,IpcinttcIndia.SelectedwritincscfMaxMueller,editedbvNandaMcckerjee. Bombay: Shakuntala Pub. House
1970
Mughal, Mohammad Rafique. Ancient Chclistan. Archaeclccv and Architecture. Rawalpindi-Lahore-Karachi :
Ferozsons 1997
Nath, Bhola. Remains of Horse and Indian Elephant from Prehistoric site of Harappa. PrcceedincscftheIirstAll-
IndianCcncresscfZcclccv, 2, 1962, 1-14
Nenninger, Claudius. Wie kommt die Pharaonsratte zu den vedischen Göttern? Studien zur Indclccie und
Iranistik 18, 1993, 161--168
Nichols, J. The epicentre of the Indo-European linguistic spread. In: Blench, R. and M.Spriggs (eds.), Archaeclccv
andIancuaceI. London/New York 1997, 122-148
---, The Eurasian spread zone and the Indo-European dispersal. In: Blench, R. and M. Spriggs (eds.), Archaeclccv
andIancuaceII.Ccrrelatincarchaeclccicalandlincuistichvpctheses. London/New York 1998, 220-266
Oettinger, N. Zu den Mythen von Bhujyu- und von Påuruua. III 31, 1988, 299-300.
Oldenberg, Hermann. Die Hvmnen des Ricveda, Band I. Metrische und textceschichtliche Prcleccmena, Berlin :
Wilhelm Hertz 1888.
---, Der vedische Kalender und das Alter des Veda. ZDMG 48, 629 sqq.
---, Noch einmal der vedische Kalender und das Alter des Veda. ZDMG 49, 470 sqq.
---, Rcveda. Textkritische und execetische Ncten. (Abhandlungen der königlichen Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften
zu Göttingen 11, 13.) Berlin 1909, 1912. [Repr. Göttingen 1970]
Oldham, C. E. The Sarasvati and the Lost River of the Indian Desert. 1886, repr. in: Radhakrishna and Mehr
1999, 89-93.
---, On probable changes in the geography of the Panjab and its rivers. IASB 55, 332sqq
Pargiter, F. E. ThePuranatextcftheDvnastiescftheKaliAce. London : Oxford University Press 1913
Parpola, Asko. The coming of the Aryans to Iran and India and the cultural and ethnic identity of the Dåsas,
Studia Orientalia (Helsinki) 64, 1988, 195-302
---, The problem of the Aryans and the Soma: Textual-linguistic and archaeological evidence. In; Erdosy, G.
(ed.). TheIndc-ArvanscfAncientScuthAsia. Berlin/New York : de Gruyter 1995, 353-381
(88) Michael WITZEL
Parry, Milman. Studiesintheepictechniquecfcralverse-makinc. [n.p., 1930-32]
---, ThemakinccfHcmericverse.theccllectedpaperscfMilmanParrv. Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1971.
Pathak, A. and N.K. Verma, EchcescftheIndusVallev. New Delhi: Janaki Prakashan 1993
Piggott, S. The earliest wheeled transpcrt. frcm the Atlantic ccast tc the Caspian Sea. London: Thames & Hudson
1992
Pingree, David Edwin. The Mesopotamian Origin of Early Indian Mathematical Astronomy. IHA 4, 1973, 1-12.
---, Ivctihśastra . astral and mathematical literature. [J. Gonda (ed.), A history of Indian literature, vol. 6, fasc. 4].
Wiesbaden : Harrassowitz, 1981.
---, Venus Omens in India and Babylon. In: Francesca Rochberg-Halton (ed.), Iancuace, Iiterature and Histcrv.
Philclccical and Histcrical Studies Presented tc Erica Reiner. American Oriental Society, 1987: 293-315.
---, Legacies in Astronomy and Celestial Omens. In: Stephanie Dalley (ed.) The Iecacv cf Mescpctamia, , Oxford
University Press 1998.
Pinnow, H.J. VersucheinerhistcrischenIautlehrederKharia-Sprache, Wiesbaden 1959
Plofker, K. Review of: S. Kak, The Astronomical Code of the gveda. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan 1994.
Centaurus 38 (1996), 362-364
Pokorny, J. Indccermanisches\crterbuch. Bern: Francke 1959
Possehl, Gregory L. (ed.), Harappan Civilizaticn. A Recent Perspective (2nd rev. ed.) New Delhi : American
Institute of Indian Studies and Oxford & IBH Pub. Co. 1993
---, IndusAce.ThewritincSvstem. Philadelphia : University of Pennsylvania Press 1996
---, Meluhha. in : J. Reade (ed.) TheIndianOceaninAntiquitv. London: Kegan Paul Intl. 1996b. 133-208
---, The Transformation of the Indus Civilization. Icurnal cf \crld Prehistcrv 11, 1997, 425-72
---, IndusAce.theBecinnincs. Philadelphia : University of Pennsylvania Press 1999.
--- and P. Gullapalli. The Early Iron Age in South Asia. In: V. Pigott (ed.), The Archaecmetallurcv cf the Asian Old
\crld. Philadelphia: The University Museum 1999: 153-175
Proferes, Th. TheIcrmaticncfVedicliturcies. Harvard Ph.D. Thesis, 1999
Puhvel, J. Ccmparative Mvthclccv. Baltimore/London: John Hopkins Press 1987
Radhakrishna B.P. and S.S. Merh (eds.), Vedic Sarasvati--Evcluticnarv Histcrv cf a Icst River cf Ncrthwestern
India. Memoir 42 of the Geological Society of India, Bangalore 1999
Rajaram, N.S. TheArvaninvasicncfIndia.Themvthandthetruth. New Delhi: Voice of India 1993
---, Thepcliticscfhistcrv. New Delhi: Voice of India 1995
---, and D. Frawley. Vedic Arvans and the Oricins cf Civilizaticn. A Iiterarv and Scientific Perspective. (2nd ed.)
Icrewcrd by Klaus K. Klostermaier. New Delhi : Voice of India 1997 (1st ed. 1995).
---, and N. Jha, DecipherinctheIndusScript.Methcdclccv,readincs,interpretaticns. Delhi : Aditya Prakashan 2000
Rau, Wilhelm. Staat und Gesellschaft im alten Indien nach den Brahmana-Texten darcestellt, Wiesbaden: O.
Harrassowitz 1957
----, Metalle und Metallcerüte im vedischen Indien. Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Mainz, Abhandlungen der
Geistes- u. sozialwissenschaftlichen Klasse 1973, No. 8, Wiesbaden : F. Steiner 1974, pp. 649-682
---, The Meaninc cf pur in Vedic Iiterature [Abhandlungen der Marburger Gelehrten Gesellschaft III/1]
München : W. Finck 1976
---, Ist Vedische Archäologie möglich? ZDMG Supplement III,1: 19. Deutscher Orientalistentac. Vcrtrüce.
Wiesbaden 1977.
Autochthonous Aryans? (89)
---, Zur vedischen Altertumskunde, Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Mainz, Abhandlungen der Geistes- u.
sozialwissenschaftlichen Klasse 1983, No. 1. Wiesbaden : F. Steiner 1983
---, The Earliest Literary Evidence for Permanent Vedic Settlements. In: M. Witzel (ed.), Inside the Texts, Bevcnd
the Texts. New Apprcaches tc the Studv cf the Vedas. Harvard Oriental Series. Opera Minora, vol. 2. Cambridge
1997, 203-206
Raverty, H.G. The Mihran of Sind and its Tributaries: a Geographical and Historical Study. IRASB 61, 1892, 155-
297
Rédei, K. Zu den indogermanisch-uralischen Sprachkontakten. Sitzuncsberichte der Osterreichischen Akademie der
\issenschaften, Philcscphisch-Histcrische Klasse, 468 Band. Wien 1986
---, Die ältesten indogermanischen Lehnwörter der uralischen Sprachen, in: D. Sinor (ed.) The Uralic Iancuaces.
Descripticn,HistcrvandIcreicninfluences. Leiden: Brill 1988: 638-664
Renfrew, C. ArchaeclccvandIancuace. London-Jonathan Cape 1987
Rix, H. Histcrische Grammatik des Griechischen . Iaut- u. Icrmenlehre. Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche
Buchgesellschaft 1976.
Rocher, L. ThePuranas. Wiesbaden : O. Harrassowitz, 1986.
Róna-Tas, A. Altaic and Indo-European: Marginal Remarks on the Book of Gamkrelidze and Ivanov. Acta
Orientalia Academiae Scientiarum Huncaricae 42, 1988, 391-404.
Salomon, Richard. On the Origin of the Early Indian Scripts: A review article. Icurnal cf the American Oriental
Sccietv 115, 1995, 271-279.
Sastry, T.S.K. VedancajvctisacfIacadhainitsRkandYajusrecensicns.withthetranslaticnandnctescfPrcf.T.S.
Kuppanna Sastrv, criticallv edited bv K.V. Sarma. New Delhi : Published for the National Commission for the
Compilation of History of Sciences in India by Indian National Science Academy, 1985.
Schmidt, Hanns-Peter. On Birds and Dogs and Bats. Persica IX, 1980, 1-85 and plates I-XI.
Schrader, O. Prehistcric antiquities cf the Arvan pecples. a manual cf ccmparative philclccv and the earliest culture.
Beinc"SprachvercleichuncundUrceschichte"cfDr.O.Schrader.Transl.bvIrankBvrcnIevcns...frcmthe2drev.
oenl.Germaned.withthesancticnandcc-cperaticncftheauthcr. London, C. Griffin and Company 1890.
Seidenberg, A. The Ritual Origin of Geometry. ArchivefcrHistcrvcfExactSciences. 1, 1962, 488-527
----, The Origin of Mathematics. ArchivefcrHistcrvcfExactSciences. 18, 1978, 301-342
----, The geometry of the Vedic rituals. J. F. Staal (ed.), Acni, vol. II, Berkeley : Asian Humanities Press 1983, p.
95-126
Semino, O. (et al.), The Genetic Legacy of Paleolithic Hcmc Sapiens sapiens in Extant Europeans: A Y
Chromosome Perspective. Science 290, 2000, 1155-1159
Sethna, K. D. KarpasainPrehistcricIndia.Achrcnclccicalandculturalclue. New Delhi: Biblia Impex 1981
---,AncientIndiainaNewIicht. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan 1989
---, The Prcblem cf Arvan Oricins Ircm an Indian Pcint cf View. Seccnd extensivelv enlarced editicn with five
supplements. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan 1992 [first ed. Calcutta : S. & S. Publications 1980]
Sewell, R.B.S. Zoological Remains. In: J. Marshall (ed.), Mchenjc-Darc and the Indus Civilisaticn, London: A.
Probsthain 1931, 649-673
(90) Michael WITZEL
Shaffer, J. G. The Indo-Aryan Invasions: Cultural Myth and Archaeological Reality. In: J. R. Lukas (ed.) The
PecplecfScuthAsia.ThebiclccicalAnthrcpclccvcfIndia,PakistanandNepal, New York: Plenum 1984, p. 77-90
---, and Diane A. Lichtenstein, The concepts of "cultural tradition" and "paleoethnicity" in South Asian ar-
chaeology. G. Erdosy (ed.) TheIndc-ArvanscfAncientScuthAsia. Berlin/New York : de Gruyter 1995, p. 126-154
---, Migration, philology and South Asian archaeology. In: J. Bronkhorst & M. Deshpande, Arvan and Ncn-
Arvan in Scuth Asia. Evidence, Interpretaticn and Ideclccv. Harvard Oriental Series. Opera Minora, vol. 3.
Cambridge 1999, 239- 260
Sharma, A.K. Evidence of Horse from the Harappan Settlement at Surkotada.Puratattva7, 1974, 75-76
---, Animal Bone Remains. In: J. P, Joshi, Excavaticns at Surkctada 1971-1972 and Explcraticns in Kutch. New
Delhi: Archaeological Survey of India, Memoir 87, 1990: 372-383
---, The Harappan Horse was buried under the Dunes of... Purattatva 23, 1993, 30-34
Sharma, R.S. IcckincfcrtheArvans. Hyderabad: Orient Longman 1995
Shendge, M. Thecivilizeddemcns.theHarappansinRcveda. New Delhi : Abhinav Publications 1977.
Singh, Bhagavan. The Vedic Harappans. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan, 1995.
Skjærvø, P. Oktor. The Avesta as source for the early history of the Iranians. G. Erdosy (ed.) The Indc-Arvans cf
AncientScuthAsia. Berlin/New York : de Gruyter 1995, p. 155-176
Smith, Jonathan Z. Sacred Persistence: Toward a Redescription of Canon, [chapter 3 of:] Imacininc Relicicn. Ircm
BabvlcntcIcnestcwn. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 1982, p. 36-52
Smith, R. Morton. Dates and dvnasties in earliest India, translaticn and justificaticn cf a critical text cf the Purana
dvnasties. Delhi, Motilal Banarsidass 1973
---, On the White Yajurveda Vaša. Eastand\est. NS 16, 1966, 112-125
Soden, W. von. Einfuhrunc in die Altcrientalistik, Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft 1985
Söhnen, R. Das Gautamīmahåtmya und seine vedischen Quellen. In: A. Etter (ed.) c-c-pe-rc-si, Iestschrift fur
ErnstRischzum75.Geburtstac. Berlin/New York: de Gruyter 1986, 176-195.
Southworth, Franklin C. Lexical evidence for early contacts between Indo-Aryan and Dravidian. In: M.M.
Deshpande and P.E. Hook (eds.), Arvan and Ncn-Arvan in India. Ann Arbor : Center for South and Southeast
Asian Studies 1979, p. 191-233
----, Reconstructing social context from language: Indo-Aryan and Dravidian prehistory. In: G. Erdosy (ed.) The
Indc-ArvanscfAncientScuthAsia. Berlin/New York : de Gruyter 1995, p. 258-277
Staal, J. F. (ed.) Acni.TheVedicRitualcftheIireAltar. Berkeley : Asian Humanities Press 1983
---, The Lake of the Yaka Chief. In: ed. Tadeusz Skorupski (e.d) Indc-Tibetan Studies. Papers in hcncur and
appreciaticn cf Prcfesscr David I. Snellcrcve's ccntributicn tc Indc-Tibetan Studies. Tring: The Institute of
Buddhist Studies 1990, p. 275-291
---, The Fidelity of Oral Tradition and the Origins of Science. Mededelincen KNA\, Afd. Letterkunde Amsterdam,
n.s. 49/8, 1986, 251-88;
---, The Independence of Rationality from Literacy. EurcpeanIcurnalcfScciclccv 30, 1989, 301-10
---, Greek and Vedic Geometry, IcurnalcfIndianPhilcscphv 27, 1999, 105-27
Stacul, G. ---, Painted Pottery from the Swat Valley, Pakistan. H. Härtel, (ed.), Scuth Asian Archaeclccv, Berlin
1981, 305-311
---, Prehistcric and Prctchistcric Swat, Pakistan (c. 3000-1400 B.C.) Rome : Istituto Italiano per il Medio ed
Estremo Oriente 1987
Autochthonous Aryans? (91)
Stecher, R.M. Anatomical variations of the spine in the horse. IcurnalcfMammalccv 43, 1962, 205-219 .
Steinkeller, P. Marhasi. Reallexikcn der Assvriclccie und vcrderasiatischen Archüclccie, Berlin: De Gruyter 1998,
381-2
Stringer, C. and R. McKie. AfricanExcdus. London: Jonathan Cape 1996
Surya Kanta, Kathakasamkalana. Lahore 1943
Szemerényi, Oswald. Einfuhrunc in die vercleichende Sprachwissenschaft. Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche
Buchgesellschaft 1970; = Introduction to Indo-European linguistics [4th rev. ed.]. Oxford : Clarendon Press/ New
York : Oxford University Press 1996.
Talageri, Shrikant. Arvan Invasicn Thecrv and Indian Naticnalism. New Delhi: Voice of India 1993. [also = New
Delhi: Aditya Prakashan 1993]
---, Ricveda. A Histcrical Analvsis. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan 2000
Telegin, D. About the absolute age of the settlement and cemetery of Dereivka on the Middle Dnieper. Papers
presented at the conference Earlv Hcrsekeepers cf the Eurasian Steppes, 4500-1500 B.C., June 19-24, 1995,
Petropavlovsk, Kazakhstan.
Thapar, B.K. Kalibangan: A Harappan Metropolis beyond the Indus Valley. Expediticn 17.2, 1975, 19-33
Thapar, R. PrcceedincscftheIndianHistcricalCcncress 1968
Thibaut, G. On some recent attempts to determine the antiquity of Vedic civilization. Indian Antiquarv 1885, 85
sqq.
Thieme, Paul.DerIremdlincimRicveda. Leipzig 1938
---, The 'Aryan' Gods of the Mitanni Treaties. IAOS 80, 1960, 301-17
---, Die Heimat der indccermanischen Gemeinsprache. [Verlag der Akademie der Wissenschaften und der
Literatur] Wiesbaden: Steiner 1954
---, Der Lachs in Indien. Zeitschrift fur vercleichende Sprachfcrschunc 69, 1951, 209-216 = Kleine Schriften,
Wiesbaden 1971, 64-71.
Thomas, P.K. Utilization of Domestic Animals in Pre- and Protohistoric India. In: J. Clutton-Brock (ed.), The
\alkinc Iarder. London; Unwin Hyman 1989, 108-112
Tikkanen, B. TheSanskritGerund.ASvnchrcnic,DiachrcnicandTvpclccicalAnalvsis. Helsinki 1987
---, On Burushaski and other ancient substrata in northwest South Asia. Studia Orientalia (Helsinki), 64, 1988,
303-325
Tilak, B.G. TheOricn,cr,ResearchesintctheantiquitvcftheVedas. Poona: Tilak Bros. 1893
---, TheArctichcmeintheVedas.beincalscanewkevtctheinterpretaticncfmanvVedictextsandlecends. Poona:
Kesari / Bombay: Ramchandra Govind & Son, 1903
Trautmann, Th. Constructing the racial theory of Indian civilization. In: J. Bronkhorst & M. Deshpande, Arvan
andNcn-ArvaninScuthAsia.Evidence,InterpretaticnandIdeclccv. Harvard Oriental Series. Opera Minora, vol. 3.
Cambridge 1999, 277-293
Underhill, P.A. Y chromosome sequence variation and the history of human populations. Nature Genetics 26,
2000, 358-361
(92) Michael WITZEL
Vats, M.S. Excavaticns at Harappa. Delhi: Manager of Publications, Govt. of India 1940
Vennemann, T. Linguistic reconstruction in the context of European prehistory. Transacticns cf the Philclccical
Sccietv 92 (1994) 215-284
Waradpande, N.R. Fact and fictions about the Aryans. In:
Deo and Kamath 1993, 14-19
---, TheArvanInvasicn,aMvth. Nagpur: Baba Saheb Apte Smarak Samiti 1989
Weber, A. DievedischenNachrichtenvcnden Naxatra (Mcndstaticnen). Abhandlungen der Akad. Berlin 1860-62.
Wells, B. An Intrcducticn tc Indus \ritinc. MA. Thesis, U. of Calgary 1998 [2nd ed.: Early Sites Research Society
(West) Monograph Series, 2, Independence MO 1999]
Wezler, A. Zu den sogenannten Identifikationen in den Bråhmaas, StII 20 [Fs. Thieme] 1996, 485-522
Wheeler, R. E. M. Harappa 1946: The Defences and the Cemetery R 37. AncientIndia3, 1947, 58-130
---, The Indus civilizaticn. (The Cambridge History of India, Supplementary volume). Cambridge : University
Press 1953.
---, Civilizations of the Indus Valley and beyond. London: Thames and Hudson 1966
Whitney, W. D. On a recent attempt, by Jacobi and Tilak, to determine on astronomical evidence the date of the
earliest Vedic period as 4000 B.C. Prcceed.AOS 1894, p. lxxxii = IA 24, 361 sqq.
Wiel, C. aan de. dv>jv, oder Pråktismus im Rigveda? In: Forssman, B. & R. Plath, Indcarisch, Iranisch und die
Indccermanistik. Arbeitstacunc der Indccermanischen Gesellschaft vcm 2. bis 5. Oktcber 1997 in Erlancen.
Wiesbaden: Reichert 2000, 535-542
Wilhelmy, H. Das Urstromtal am Ostrand der Indusebene und das Sarasvati-Problem. Zeitschrift fur
Gecmcrphclccie, N.F. Supplementband 8, 1969, 76-93 [transl. and repr. in: Radhakrishna and Mehr 1999, 95- 111
as: The Ancient River Valley of the Eastern Border of the Indus Plain and the Sarasvati Problem]
Witzel, M. Jav. apaxəδra.MunchenerStudienzurSprachwissenschaft30, 1972, 163-191
----, OnMacicalthcuchtintheVeda. Leiden: Universitaire Pers 1979
---, Early Eastern Iran and the Atharvaveda. Persica 9, 1980, 86-128
---, Sur le chemin du ciel. Bulletindesetudesindiennes 2, 1984, 213-279
---, JB palpūlanī. The structure of a Bråhmaa tale. Iel. Vcl. B. R. Sharma, ed. by M. D. Balasubrahmaniam,
Tirupati : Kendriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha 1986, 189-216
---, On the localisation of Vedic texts and schools (Materials on Vedic Śåkhås, 7). G. Pollet (ed.), India and the
Ancientwcrld.Histcrv,TradeandCulturebefcreA.D.o50.P.H.I.EccermcntIubileeVclume. Leuven 1987, 173-213
---, The case of the shattered head. Iestschriftfur\.Rau, StII13/14, 1987a, 363- 415
---, Tracing the Vedic dialects. In: Colette Caillat (ed.), Dialects dans les litteratures indc-arvennes. Paris : Institut
de Civilisation Indienne 1989, 97-264
---, On Indian historical writing: The case of the Vaśåvalīs. Icurnal cf the Iapanese Asscciaticn fcr Scuth Asian
Studies 2, 1990, 1-57
---, Early Indian history: Linguistic and textual parameters. In: The Indc-Arvans cf Ancient Scuth Asia, G. Erdosy
(ed.), = Indian Philology and South Asian Studies, ed. A. Wezler and M. Witzel, vol. 1. Berlin/New York : de
Gruyter 1995, 85-125
---, gvedic history: poets, chieftains and polities. In: The Indc-Arvans cf Ancient Scuth Asia, ed. G. Erdosy 1995,
307-352.
---, The Development of the Vedic Canon and its Schools: The Social and Political Milieu. (Materials on Vedic
Śåkhås 8). In: InsidetheTexts,BevcndtheTexts.NewApprcachestctheStudvcftheVedas. Harvard Oriental Series.
Opera Minora, vol. 2. Cambridge 1997, 257-345
Autochthonous Aryans? (93)
---, Aryan and non-Aryan Names in Vedic India . Data for the linguistic situation, c. 1900-500 B.C. in : J.
Bronkhorst & M. Deshpande (eds.), Arvans and Ncn-Ncn-Arvans, Evidence, Interpretaticn and Ideclccv.
Cambridge (Harvard Oriental Series, Opera Minora 3). 1999a, 337-404
---,The Pleiades and the Bears viewed from inside the Vedic texts, EIVS5.2, 1999c
---, Classical Studies and Indology. In: H. Nakatani (ed.) Reconstitution of Classical Studies. Special Issue : A
Report on the First Symposium towards a Reconstitution of Classical Studies, No. 3. 3/11/Heisei 11 /[1999d]: 16-
36
---, The Home of the Aryans. In: Anusantatvai. Is.furIchannaNartenzum70.Geburtstac, ed. A. Hintze & E. Tichy.
(Münchener Studien zur Sprachwissenschaft, Beihefte NF 19) Dettelbach: J.H. Röll 2000, 283-338
---, Westward ho! The Incredible Wanderlust of the gvedic Tribes Exposed by S. Talageri. A Review of: Shrikant
G. Talageri, The Rigveda. A historical analysis. (Såvadhånapattra no. 2) EIVS 7-2, 2001
---, forthc. b = Proceedings of the Harappan Congress at Madison 1998, ed. M. Kenoyer
---, forthc. c = Yajñavalkya, Fs. H.-P. Schmidt
---, and S. Farmer, Horseplay in Harappa. The Indus Valley Decipherment Hoax. Ircntline Vol. 17 [Chennai],
Oct. 13, 2000, 4-14. http://www.frontlineonline.com/fl1720/fl172000.htm,
http://www.frontlineonline.com/fl1720/17200040.htm
---, New Evidence on the 'Piltdown Horse' Hoax. Ircntline Vol. 17, November 11 - 24, 2000, 126-129
http://www.frontlineonline.com/fl1723/fl172300.htm
http://www.frontlineonline.com/fl1723/17231220.pdf
cf. http://www.safarmer.com/frontline/
Yano, Michio. Planet Worship in the Yåjñavalkyasmti, forthc.
Yash Pal, et al. Remote sensing of the 'lost' Sarasvati River, B.B. Lal and S.P. Gupta. Ircntiers cf the Indus
Civilisaticn. Delhi 1984, 491-497
Young, T. Cuyler. Early iron age Iran revisited: preliminary suggestions for the re-analysis of old constructs. In:
J.-L. Huot etal. (eds.), Del'IndusauxBalkans(Is.IeanHeshaves). Paris 1985, 361-378
Zaibert, V. Eneclit Uralc-Irtvshskccc Mezhdurech'va. Petropavlovsk: Nauka 1993
Zimmer, S. On Indo-Europeanization. IIES 18, 1990, 141-155

(2)

Michael WITZEL

§23. Absence of wheat and rice in the RV §24. RV class society and the Indus civilization §25. The Sarasvatī and dating of the RV and the Bråhma as §26. Harappan fire rituals? §27. Cultural continuity: pottery and the Indus script
VEDIC TEXTS AND SCIENCE

§28. The ''astronomical code of the RV'' §29. Astronomy: the equinoxes in ŚB §30. Astronomy: Jyoti a Vedå ga and the solstices §31. Geometry: Śulba Sūtras
SUMMARY OF RESULTS

§32. The autochthonous theory
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

THE 'TRADITIONAL' IMMIGRATION THEORY The * ''Aryan question'' is concerned with the immigration of a population speaking an archaic Indo-European language, Vedic Sanskrit, who celebrate their gods and chieftains in the poems of the oldest Indian literature, the gveda, and who subsequently spread their language, religion, ritual and social organization throughout the subcontinent. Who were the 'Aryans'? What was their spiritual and material culture and their outlook on life? Did they ever enter the Indian subcontinent from the outside? Or did this people develop indigenously in the Greater Panjab? This, the 'Aryan' question, has kept minds -- and politicians -- busy for the past 200 years; it has been used and misused in many ways. And, its discussion has become a cottage industry in India during recent years. In this paper, it will be attempted to present the pros and contras for the (non-)occurrence of a movement of an 'Aryan' population and its consequences. First, a summary of the traditional 'western' theory, then the recent Indian counter-theories; this is followed by an evaluation of its merits; the paper concludes with some deliberations on the special kind of 'discourse' that informs and drives the present autochthonous trend.

§1. Terminology
At the outset, it has to be underlined that the term Ārya (whence, Aryan) is the self-designation of the ancient Iranians and of those Indian groups speaking Vedic Sanskrit and other Old Indo-Aryan (OIA) languages and dialects. Both peoples called themselves and their language årya or arya: The Persian King Darius (519 BCE ) was the first who wrote in ariya and a Late Vedic text, Kau ītaki Āra yaka 8.9, defines the Vedic area as that where åryå våc "Ārya speech" (i.e. Vedic Sanskrit) is heard. The ancient Eastern Iranians, too, called themselves airiia: their assumed mythical 'homeland',1 airiianąm va jah, is described in the Avesta (Vīd vdåd 1); and the name of the country, Irån, is derived from this word as well. Speakers of Aryan (i.e. of the IIr. languages) occupied, e.g. in

* A first, shorter version of this paper was written in 1997 and was to be published that year in a special issue of a science journal in India; this has mysteriously not materialized and was in fact abandoned in 1999; this paper has been constantly updated in light of recent indigenist discussions; it has been revised now (Dec. 2000), especially in the linguistic section, as H. Hock's discussion (1999) of "Out of India" scenarios has relieved me of a detailed treatment of several such theories (Misra 1992). 1 On this question see now Witzel 2000; see below § 9, end.

Autochthonous Aryans?

(3)

the first millennium BCE, the vast area between Rumania and Mongolia, between the Urals and the Vindhya, and between N. Iraq/Syria and the Eastern fringes of N. India. They comprised the following, culturally quite diverse groups. (a) North Iranians: Scythians in the vast steppes of the Ukraine and eastwards of it (surviving as the modern Ossete in the Caucasus), the Saka of Xinjiang (Khotanese and Tumshuq, mod. Sariqoli) and western Central Asia, the Saka tigraxauda (the "pointed cap" Saka) and the Saka haumavarga (''the Soma pressing Saka''); (b) West Iranians: the ancient Medes (Måda of Rai and Azerbaijan), the mod. Kurds, Baluchis, and Persians (ancient Pårsa of Fårs) as well as the Tajik; (c) E. Iranians in Afghanistan, Baluchistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan: speakers of Avestan, Bactrian, mod. Pashto, the mod. Pamir languages, Sogdian (mod. Yaghnobi), and Choresmian; (d) The recently islamized Kafiri/Nuristani group in N.E. Afghanistan with the still nonIslamic Kalash in the Chitral valley of Pakistan; to this day they have preserved many old traits, such as the c. 2000 BCE pronunciation of '10' (duc) and the old IIr. deity Yama Råjå (Imrā); (e) The speakers of Indo-Aryan: from Afghanistan eastwards into the Panjab, and then into the north Indian plains. By the time of the Buddha, the IA languages had spread all over the northern half of the subcontinent and had displaced almost completely the previously spoken languages of the area. Linguists have used the term Ārya from early on in the 19th cent. to designate the speakers of most Northern Indian as well as of all Iranian languages and to indicate the reconstructed language underlying both Old Iranian and Vedic Sanskrit. Nowadays this well-reconstructed language is usually called Indo-Iranian (IIr.), while its Indic branch is called (Old) Indo-Aryan (IA). An independent third branch is represented by the Kafiri or Nuristani of N.E. Afghanistan. All these languages belong to the IIr. branch of the Eastern (or Satem) group of the Indo-Euroepan (IE) languages which differs from the phonetically more conservative western IE by a number of innovations. The IE languages (which, confusingly, sometimes were also called ''Aryan'') included, in ancient times, the vast group of tongues from Old Icelandic to Tocharian (in Xinjiang, China), from Old Prussian (Baltic) to Old Greek and Hittite, and from Old Irish and Latin to Vedic Sanskrit. However, the use of the word Ārya or Aryan to designate the speakers of all Indo-European (IE) languages or as the designation of a particular "race" is an aberration of many writers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries and should be avoided. At least from Neolithic times onwards, language had little to do with "race"; language also cuts across ethnic groups and cultures,2 and had little to do with ancient states or with nationhood, as the use of Aramaic in the Persian empire, Latin in Medieval Europe and Persian in much of the Near East and in medieval India may indicate. It is clear that in the India of the oldest Vedic text, the gveda (RV), årya was a cultural term (Kuiper 1955, 1991, R. Thapar 1968, Southworth 1979, 1995) indicating the speakers of Vedic Sanskrit and the bearers of Vedic culture and Vedic ritual; it simply meant 'noble' by the time of the Buddha and of the early Sanskrit drama. It is also clear that the poets ( i, brahmán, vipra, kavi) of the gveda and their aristocratic patrons regarded themselves and their followers as arya/årya. (Thieme 1938). In the sequel, I will carefully distinguish between the following usages: first, the årya/ariya/a i riia languages, which I will call by their technical name, Indo-Iranian (IIr).3 When referring to their Indian subbranch, I will use Indo-Aryan (IA, or Old IA). However, the tribes speaking Vedic Sanskrit and adhering to Vedic culture, I will call Indo-Aryan or Ārya. (In common parlance in India, however, Aryan is used both to refer to IA language as well as to the people speaking it and belonging to the sphere of Vedic culture, or even to an Aryan '"race'").

2 See, however, such early and clear statements against an "Aryan race" as those by M. Müller 1888, H. Hirt 1907: 6-7, Franz Boas 1910 [1966]. 3 Confusingly, linguists sometimes use "Aryan" as a shortcut designation of IIr. because both Iranians and Indo-Aryans call themselves and their language arya/årya (see below).

it is necessary to give an outline what kind of texts we have for the early period. 'Mantra language' (AV. even after the reforms of Zaraθuštra.4 They contain mainly religious texts: hymns addressed to the gods (RV). however. gvedic (with many hymns of RV 10 as a late addition). The Iranians have a set-up of texts quite similar to that of the Vedas (though this is little observed). Staal 1986. and the Mantras used therein. that the wording and even tone accents. a fact he often underlined even late in his career.(4) § 2. etc. with most of the sandhis dissolved. Āra yaka and Upani ad and the ensuing Sm ti level (with the Sūtras). § 3. The rest of the Avestan texts is post-Zoroastrian: some sections of Y 19.Asia was known at all-. and the Nigha u list of the Nirukta has its echo in the Farhang-ī-ōim. with special reference to techniques of memorization. 2.). SV. CE. 3. However. can be reached by the following considerations:5 4 Staal 1983: I 683-6.) level includes the Āra yakas and the early Upani ads but also the early Sūtras such as BŚS. 5 Max Müller had come to a similar chronology. Bråhma a language. other mantras in verse or prose (YV. Y 20-21 are like a Bråhma a passage. This distinction is important as it represents. KS/KpS. Sūtra language which gradually gives way to Epic/Classical Sanskrit. This is . the Avestan texts are as elusive to absolute dating as the Vedic ones. the whole Avesta has come down to us (just like the one surviving version of the RV) in Padapå ha fashion. composed in the expository prose of the ritual. the Padapå ha (word-for-word recitation) and several complicated extensions and modifications (vik ti). the Vedic texts show a clear linguistic development. the only inner-textual way to establish a dating of these texts. is a YV-like collection of Mantras used for fire worship. the Yasna Hapta håiti. RV Khila).-E.) and proper Ārya behavior (Dharma-Sūtras). only about a quarter of the original Avesta has been preserved after Iran became an Islamic country in the 7th c. For India. Tradition has taken care to ensure.one based on internal evidence and some speculation. we have the Vedas. and the ritual is summed up in systematic form in the Sūtras dealing with the solemn ritual (Śrauta-S. long lost from popular speech. Prose of the K a Yajurveda Sa hitås (MS. where the late (and mainly S. TS). 1989. For. apart from a relative chronology based on quotations.). YV Mantras. SV as far as differing from RV. Våiiu. the late Vīd vdåd reads like a G hya/Dharmasūtra. we can distinguish at least five clearly separate levels of Vedic (Witzel 1989): 1. the domestic ritual (G hya-S. AV Sa hitås) which are used in the solemn Vedic (śrauta) ritual and the ''theological'' explanations (Bråhma as and K a YV Sa hitås). but --long before the prehistory and archaeological past of S. orally composed and orally transmitted well into this millennium. The 5 long Gåθå (with 17 individual Gåθås = Yasna 28-53) are the RV-like poems of Zaraθuštra himself. 4. with various techniques. while the Nirangistån is of Śrautasūtra style. The traditional division of the Four Vedas into four Śruti levels of Sa hitå. a large collection of texts. The Upani ads contain (along with some late RV and AV hymns) early speculation and philosophy. Bråhma a. is somewhat misleading as far as the development of the texts are concerned. Dates An approximation to an absolute dating of Vedic texts. 5. However. The list of genres and of the ordering of texts indicates how close both traditions really are. the contemporaneous ritual text embedded among the Gåθås. just as any other living language. Texts Michael WITZEL Since most of our evidence on the ancient 'Aryans' comes from the texts and from the linguistic and cultural data contained in them. This includes several special ways of recitation.9-14. in spite of being geographically closer to the Mesopotamian cultures with datable historical information. have been preserved perfectly. Importantly. the Yašt pick up themes of RV style praise of certain gods (Miθra. Mesopotamia (or early China) simply do not figure in these texts. almost like a tape recording.

P.) whose geographical horizon stretches from Bactria (Balhika) to A ga (NW Bengal) mention iron for the first time and therefore should be contemporaneous or slightly rather later than 1200/1000 BCE. see below § 11 sqq). one has to take as one's basis a secure text without additions. at c. 1900 BCE A good. who accuses Müller to have invented this chronology to fit in with Bishop Usher's biblical calculations! 6 This date obviously depends on Archaeology. 1500 BCE9 and c. now considered to be around 400 BCE (Bechert 1982. Similarly. in a form slightly preceding that of the RV). The early Upani ads precede the date of the Buddha. using the dubious methods detailed above. Talageri's 500 pp. on vašana [važana]. texts seem to overlap in geographical spread and cultural inventory with the archaeologically attested Painted Gray Ware culture. 1991 sqq. smelted iron. The younger nowadays misrepresented by the autochthonists.). In short. Therefore. While dates for iron had been creeping up over the last few decades. 1400 BCE that mention the gvedic gods and some other Old IA words (however. just as in Drav. Since iron is only found later on in Vedic texts (it is called. according to the old computer adage: garbage in. matched by the sudden emergence of the NBP luxury ware (700-300 BCE. and the Chambal area. (but generally. Asia only by c. The reasons for the older forms in Mitanni IA seems to be that the Mitanni. but unlikely. (3. 140. of Mahåvīra.P. 216) who purports to have based his historical analysis of the RV only on the text itself. This includes various additions and changes made by centuries of orthoepic diaskeuasis. there is a recent re-evaluation of the Iron Age. below n. they and (4a. . ayas = Avest.) 8 See below §18. the ''black metal'' (śyåma.> e. an elite pottery ware of the nobility. that still is off limits to Brahmins). Apparently. 1983. 87. 173. (4b.) The end of the Vedic period is marked by the spread of the Vedic culture of the confederate KuruPañcåla state of Haryana/U. Rau 1976). 40 etc. Occasional finds of meteoric iron and its use of course predate that of regularly produced. Such a procedure must lead to wrong results.) The gveda whose geographical horizon is limited to the Panjab and its surroundings does not yet know of iron but only of the hard metal copper/bronze (W. Old Iranian texts Dating the Avestan texts is equally difficult.6 the RV must be earlier than that. 175. especially Rajaram (1995). The exact date of IA influx and incursion is still unsettled but must be pre-iron age (1200.) and by a sudden widening of the geographical horizon to an area from Gandhåra to Andhra (Witzel 1989). possible date ad quem would be that of the Mitanni documents of N. -az. garbage out. the time of the disintegration of the Indus civilization. and Agrawal & Kharakwal (in press). *cir-umpu). the late version compiled and redacted by Śåkalya in the later Bråhma a period. 7 For indigenous dates which place the RV thousands of years earlier. Internal evidence (Skjaervø 1995) of the older Avestan texts (Gåθås/Yasna Hapta håiti) points to a copper/bronze (aiiah) culture quite similar to that of the RV. etc. k a ayas) and as makes its appearance in S. and Witzel 2001). and of the re-emergence of cities around 450 BCE (Erdosy 1988). (For other and quite divergent dates and considerations.) The Mantra language texts (AV etc. aiiah 'copper/bronze'). In order to reach an understanding of the actual gvedic period. Falk 1981) and of small forts (pur. and may therefore be dated after c. Talageri (2000. the period of the four Vedas seems to fall roughly between c. see Possehl and Gullapalli 1999). my 1995 approach but proceeds to turn it on its head. Iraq/Syria of c. book is dealt with in detail elsewhere (Witzel 2001).) the early Br. His analysis is based on an inappropriate RV text. U. 9 Maximally. 84. betrays a Purå ic mentality and inadvertently introduces such traditional data (see below.) The YV Sa hitå prose texts have a narrow horizon focusing on Haryana.7 The RV also does not know of large cities such as that of the Indus civilization but only of ruins (armaka. it must be later than the disintegration of the Indus cities in the Panjab. see below § 11 sqq.Autochthonous Aryans? (5) (1. the introduction of iron in India differs as per region but is close to 1000 BCE. again. five years later. late AB. Rau 1974. This is. 1200 or 1000 BCE. and below n. it suffices to point out this basic flaw here. not of its people) eastwards into Bihar (ŚB. 800 BCE). Kennedy 1995: 229) and the emergence of the first eastern kingdoms such as Kosala (but not yet of Magadha. have preserved these archaic forms. who had been in contact with speakers of pre-OIA before the RV. (Interestingly. 1900 BCE. cf.8 (2. as established by Oldenberg already in 1888. he quotes and approves. see Possehl 1999b. 1200 BCE (until c. 500 BCE. or even 1000/900 BCE.

the prototypical IA warrior. meant to invite the gods and to praise the nobility (dånastuti). These deities. are not simple forces of nature but have a complex character and their own mythology. cattle.g. Pūru-Bharata. similar to though not identical with the later Hindu concept of Dharma). An early date is confirmed by linguistic arguments: The name of Ahuramazdå appears. the complicated New Year Soma sacrifice). with a new grammatical inflexion. a contest which the gods always win. and in Old Persian (519 BCE) already as one word. A [h]uramazdå. They are part of a larger system which includes the moral gods of 'law and order': the Āditya such as Varu a. father heaven/mother earth Dyau Pitå/P thivī [Måtå]. the forces that keep the world moving ( ta. or poetic speech. consequently. and water rights: the Ārya are primarily half-nomadic cattle-herders (horses. concept to establish his dualistic religion of a fight between the forces of good and evil. the male fire deity Agni. they are of a more public nature than the simple domestic (g hya) rituals or rites of passage. Mitra. All deities. c. Zaraθuštra who spoke Old Avestan should be dated well before this time. interspersed with periods of roaming the 10 For details. which pervades the universe and all actions of the gods and humans. and for the transfer of Zoroastrianism into the Persis. and the female deities of water Āpa . etc. are worshipped in elaborate rituals (e. but in Y. sheep. with their different kinds of worship.. the 'people'). it is clear. Aryaman.Av. śraddhå. and the humans.Av. Bhaga. elected from the high nobility.). are seated on grass next to the sacred fires. that a period of training in traditional knowledge (veda 'knowledge'). våc). and makes the "Kashmir-based Ānava (= Iranian) people fight "against the Paurava/Vedic heartland in Sapta Saindhavah". in O. however.(6) Michael WITZEL texts might to some extent overlap with the expansion eastwards of the Median realm (c. 1200/1000 BCE (Witzel 1980). U as etc. dialect at the time of the AV. The rituals follow the course of the year and are celebrated with the help of many priests. as mazdå ahura (or ahura mazdå). 11 Elst 1999: 207. . They form a patri-linear society with an incipient class (var a) structure (nobles. The tribes constantly fight with each other and with the with the non-IA dasyu. curiously takes the Asuras as real life enemies of the Vedic Aryans. cows. The rites of passage are less visible in the RV (except for marriage and death).11 Zaraθuštra used this particular old IIr. the Ten Kings' coalition of RV 7. this would indicate a Y. Yadu-Turvaśa. until next time. tribes and occasional tribal unions (Anu-Druhyu. Vedic Sanskrit. which corresponds to AV balhika. priest/poets. An indication of the date of younger Avestan dialects is the name of Bactria. and sometimes even Indra. after long concentration (dhī) but often also on the spot. the gods are invited. however. the gods. in pūjå-like fashion. In sport and in warfare they use horse-drawn chariots (ratha) on even ground and the vipatha (AV+) for rough off-track travel. he claims. The gods are depicted as engaging in constant and yearly contest with their --originally also divine-. mostly about ''free space'' (loka.) The tribes are lead by chieftains (råjan). with a little agriculture on the side (of barley. In the few philosophical hymns of the RV the poets speculate about the origin of the universe. Arsacide kingdom. they keep the cosmic and human realms functioning and in order. the alcoholic Surå). Hoffmann 1992. in the Veda especially Indra and Agni. In these rituals. BCE. The Indo-Aryans (årya) spoke a variety IIr. however. Indo-Aryans in the RV A short characterization of the early Indo-Aryans based on the text of the RV can be attempted as follows. to the offering ground.Av. but active positive 'force of truth' ( ta. and produced a large volume of orally composed and orally transmitted literature. that is the patrons of the ritual. bard-like poets (brahmán.10 §4. 700-550 BCE). are entertained by well-trained. Their religion has a complicated pantheon: some gods of nature (the wind god Våyu. and often from the same family. is Y.adversaries.. along with many other Indian writers.Av. are subservient to the abstract. as ahura mazdå. and occasional Great Chieftains. grazing land). the Bharata-S ñjaya. organized in exogamic clans (gotra). goats). the Iranians also changed the meaning of deva 'god' to daeuua 'demon'. These compose hymns (sūkta). while parts of the Vīd vdåd were probably composed only in the post-Alexandrian.18. vipra).. see K. yava). Current estimates range from the 14th to the 7th c. the Asura. yajña. fed with meat or grain cakes and with the sacred drink of Soma (and also. (All these are outdated views that were prominent around the turn of the 19th/20th century). The long history of the word points to an early date of Zaraθuštra and his Gåθås. he then turns this conflict into one between the Iranian and Vedic peoples. the goddess of dawn. Båxδī. i. All gods.

the priests. their religion and their traditional poetry resemble each other so closely that it has always been regarded as certain that the Vedic Indo-Aryans. Xn nta (Gorgån). the Helmand valley. the west (Persis and maybe even Media) are conspicuously absent. the Da uuas those of Deceit. ''The Seven Rivers'' (Greater Panjab.10). as a branch of Eastern IE. Iranians (Persians.and only in the post. They are first mentioned in Assyrian inscriptions at 835 BCE as the 27 Paršuwaš tribes and the Medes (c. however. Raγa (Rai). Y. 1. yuk. around the turn of the 19th/20th c. also knows of an artisan class (corresponding to the gvedic Śūdra). The O.Av. Mitra as Miθra. OP. § 6. that of between ta (Av. Indara.Av. Medes) as they were close neighbors of the Mesopotamian civilizations.Av.. Margiana. yakwe :: Lithuanian ašvà (fem. deva (Av. Vivasvant (Mårtå da) as Vīva huuant. with its three Ārya classes (RV 10. Irano-Aryans in the Avesta Like the gvedic society. In the RV both groups are regarded as are 'gods' --probably due to their equal status in the New Year contests -. as divine helpers of the Lord: Miθra. Sogdia.. Bhaga as Baγa. Active Truth and Deceit. a[h]ura-(mazda). as caused by a split between the two peoples. for by then agriculture has become more important. The Zoroastrian reform of the Old IIr. have a clear view of all of Eastern Iran: Choresmia.25. Iranians can be dated only with reference to the Veda and to the early Iranian empires.90). all other IIr. also RV 7. a Soma (haoma) ritual. however.Autochthonous Aryans? (7) countryside in search of a start capital of cattle (gavi i) as vråta/vråtya (Falk 1986). da uua. Arachosia. A a) and Druh (Av. e.4. still indicate a half-nomadic cattle-based tribal culture with small tribal units (airiiaman) occupying a larger territory (da iiu). The Indo-Iranians The preceding sketch indicates the very close relationship between the two peoples calling themselves Arya. religion had erroneously been regarded. Ātar (standing in for Agni). apparently after Zaraθuštra. Av. just like the RV. Toch.. but their society. know of three classes. and Mårtå da's brother Indra as the demon Indara. The younger texts. da uua) are relegated to the ranks of demons. Not only are their languages so closely related that their oldest attested forms might often be taken as dialects of the same language. religion focused on the contrast between the deva and the asura: IIr *daiua. between Ahuramazdå and the Da uuas. Even in the fairly late list of V. especially the later Y. languages such as Balto-Slavic: in sounds (*k' > š/ś : Latin equus 'horse'. . The Ahura(s) are the champions of Truth. 744/727 BCE). The old state of contest between the deva and asura was amalgamated with the another old opposition. OP. a few hundred years before the RV and the Old Avestan texts. and the ''farmers''. The righteous must choose between A a and Druj.).66. IE. Varna (Bannu. Some definite historical information exists about the W. ahura. is followed by the full admission to adult society and marriage. sometimes called Asura and medhira/medhå in the RV12 appears in the Avesta as Ahura mazdå (cf. However. Thus. while the E. Ahura and Miθra. Bactria. texts. Aryaman as Airiiaman. and will be rewarded in Ahura Mazdå's heaven. -.g. O. 12 RV 1. daiva :: IIr.20. The IIr. their rituals. Haoma (Soma) etc. see Witzel 2000). the Ahura. language. Early IIr. This is still echoed nowadays in some writings but the situation is much more complex.gvedic texts. N haiθiia (Nåsatya = Aśvin). cf. shares many peculiarities with other E. the W. Druj).8 . Of the major Asura (or. Gandar βa (Gandharva). Many of these tribal areas/incipient states reappear as Persian provinces (dahayu). the Avestan texts.Irish ech. the Asura have definitely become demon-like. While Zaraθuštra kept Ahura Mazdå as (sole and supreme) deity. there is no var åśrama system yet. continued in Zoroastrianism as well: there is a daily fire ritual (text in Yasna Hapta håiti). the Iranians and the Kafiri (Nuristani) are but offshoots of one group speaking IIr. 7. Av. 17. A few devas and asuras were retained. NWFP). noblemen. § 5. *asura. the Y.87. Āditya) Varu a. but Pårsa is not called so as it not a ''foreign (dasyu) territory''. rituals are.Many of the old IIr. However. A iriiaman. even animal sacrifice. Iranian appear early in the first millennium.

(8)

Michael WITZEL

IIr *ac'ua > E.Ir. aspa, Vedic aśva), but also in vocabulary (Sanskrit dina 'day', O. Slav. dini :: Lat. dies, cf. Schrader 1890: 312), and perhaps even in mythology: Ved. Bhaga ''God 'Share' '', Iran. (Med.) baga 'god', Sogd. baγa 'Lord, Sir', O. Slav. bogu 'god' (though probably from N. Iranian *baga), Skt. Parjanya, Lith. Perkúnas, O. Slav. Perunu (Schrader 1890: 414). Iranian and Vedic are so close that frequently whole sentences can be reconstructed: IIr. *tam *mitram *yaj'åmadhai > Ved. tam mitra yajåmahe, Avest. t m miθr m yazamaide. (For more on Central and North Asian connections, see below § 12.1, 12.2., 12.6). An IIr. parent language and large parts of the IIr. spiritual and material culture can be reconstructed by carefully using the method of linguistic palaeontology.13 A very brief summary of IIr. would then include: These tribes spoke the IIr. language, had a common archaic poetry (e.g. tri ubh-like poems), with many common expressions such as 'nondecaying fame'. They had the same type of priests and rituals (Ved. hot : Avest. zaotar, soma : haoma), the same set of gods and a similar mythology: Yama (Yima) and Manu descend from Vivasvant (Vīva huuant). Some of these deities are IIr. innovations (the Asura / Āditya), others go back to IE times (agni, Latin ignis; hutam, Greek khutón 'sacrificial libation' :: Engl. god). IIr. society had a patriarchal, exogamic system of three classes, with tribal chieftains, and a priest/poet class. They were semi-nomadic cattle (paśu : fšu) herders, constantly in search for water and open pastures (uru gavyūti : vouru.gaoiiaoiti), and with just a little agriculture (yava : yauuan). At the New Year rituals they engaged in chariot races (ratha/raθa 'chariot', rathe ha : raθaeštå- 'charioteer'), and other sports (mu ihan), and speech contests (Kuiper 1960). Their society was governed by set of strict moral principles, including adherence to truth (satya : haiθiia), oaths (touching or drinking water, kośam på) and other oral agreements between individuals (arya-man : airiiaman, especially for marriage and guest friendship) and between tribes (mitra : miθra) which regulated water rights and pasture. In sum, all the linguistic and textual data mentioned so far link the Indo-Aryans of the gvedic Panjab with languages spoken in areas to the northwest of the Indian subcontinent, even if local South Asian elements already figure prominently in the RV.

§7. An "Aryan" Race?
This close resemblance in language, customs and beliefs does not, of course, imply or involve, nor does it solve the question of who exactly the people(s) were that called themselves Arya/Ārya, whom they included, or even how they looked. The question of physical appearance or 'race'14 is of the least importance in describing the early Ārya, but since race has always been injected into the discussion,15 a few words are in order. The combination of a specific language with any 'racial' type is not maintained by linguists. At this late, post-Meso-/Neolithic stage in human development, language no longer has any very close relation to 'race'. Even

13 Generally, against its use, Zimmer (1990) and cf. Cowgill (1986: 66-68); but note its usefulness (§ 12.6), in the discussion of plants and animals. 14 For many decades now, a discredited term which is too vague to describe the great degree of variation among humans and not a valid indicator of anthropological and genetic distinctions between various human populations; see Cavalli-Sforza 1995. 15 Some writers are still confused by the racist terminology of the 'blond, blue-eyed Aryan'. As Cavalli-Sforza (1994) has shown, such physical characteristics are local adaptations to a northern climate (e.g., prominent in the non-IE speaking Finns). Elst (1999: 230) strangely concludes from such data that the home of IE "lay further to the southeast," [in N. India] and that the Panjab "was already an area of first colonialization, bringing people of a new and whiter physical type [= Panjabis] into the expanding Aryan [= IE!] speech community which was originally darker". Patañjali, Mahåbhå ya [2.2.6: 411:16 sqq.] with a reference to pi gala- and kapila-keśa 'golden/tawny haired' Brahmins is discussed as well. -- For those who still stress outward appearance ('race') it may be instructive to look at the photos of a well known actor (turned from 'white' > 'black') or a female of mixed "African-American and Native American" ancestry, who after a little make up, convincingly appears as 'Caucasian', Black, East Asian, etc. (Stringer and McKie 1996: 172-3).

Autochthonous Aryans?

(9)

the early Indo-Europeans were a quite mixed lot, as has been stressed for decades.16 Recently developed methods of genetic testing (mtDNA, non-recombinant Y chromosome) have and will shed further light on this (CavalliSforza 1994, 1955, Kivisild 1999, Semino 2000, Underhill 2000, Bamshad 2001, etc.). It must be pointed out that genetic evidence, though still in its infancy, is often superior to (even multi-variate) palaeontological evidence as it more specific than distinguishing types reflected in osteology, based on the simple phenotype adaptation to living conditions. Genetic evidence frequently allows to pinpoint (sub-)branches in the cladistic tree at a particular point in time and space. In the present context, however, it is not important to find out what the outward appearance (''race'') of the those speaking Indo-Aryan languages was, but how they lived, worshipped, thought, and especially what kind of poetical texts they composed. The rest is interpretation, but it is already the interpretation of the gvedic Puru a hymn (RV 10.90) with its four classes, var a (''colors''), which seem to be related to the traditional colors of the three IE classes, white-red-blue/green. (Puhvel 1987, cf. now also Hock 1999: 155). The term is attested since RV 2.12.4, etc. The RV often makes a distinction between light : darkness, good : evil, between Ārya : Dasyu. In many cases this is just a cultural distinction, defining the boundaries between 'Us' and the 'Others' (Witzel 1995).17 However, many scholars of the past two centuries automatically assumed that the immigrating Indo-Aryans (coming from somewhere to the North of India/Iran) were light-skinned people. All such terms are relative, yet, the Kashmirian author K emendra (11th c.) speaks of a Bengali student in Kashmir as a 'black skeleton, monkeying about' and the cult of lighter skin still is undeniable, as a look at Indian marriage advertisements will indicate. Such 'racial' characterizations tell us little about the look of contemporary people, and as indicated above, this is not important for our investigations.18 The speakers of (pre-)Old Indo-Aryan (pre-Vedic) might have been quite a diverse group from the very beginning, and even if many of the original immigrant bands might rather have looked more like Kashmiris or Afghanis and not at all like their various European linguistic relatives or the 'typical' North Indian19 of today. Again, outward appearance, whatever it might have been, is of no consequence for our studies. So far archaeology and palaeontlogy, based on multi-variate analysis of skeletal features, have not found a new wave of immigration into the subcontinent after 4500 BCE (a separation between the Neolithic and Chalcolithic populations of Mehrgarh), and up to 800 BCE: ''Aryan bones'' have not been discovered (Kennedy 1995: 49-54, 2000), not even of the Gandhåra Grave culture which is usually believed to have been IA.20 There are

16 Curiously, Elst 1999: 174 sq., elaborates on this well known fact by stressing that the European Pre-Kurgan population has come from the East, and considers it "one of the reasonable hypotheses" that they came from India. Reasonable? India has always functioned --apart from being a stepping stone the very early migration of Homo Sapiens from Africa to (S.)E. Asia and Australia in c. 50,000-40,000 BCE-- as a cul de sac. 17 Elst 1999: 209 discusses the designation of the 'Others' in the RV as 'black' by simply pointing to the richness of metaphors in Sanskrit. See rather Witzel 1995 and Hock 1999; Elst's discussion of var a (1999: 210) lacks the old IE aspect of attributing color to the three classes (Puhvel 1987); he rather combines them with the much later Indian concept of the colors of sattva, rajas, and tamas! 18 The point is merely mentioned here in passing as some writers still use such characterizations frequently and as they attach importance to such sentences as the preceding one from Kashmir which simply express regional racism. Others, usually 'autochthonously' minded writers have frequently attacked, preferably on the internet, my earlier statements (1995) which were made precisely in the same spirit as the ones here. At any rate, what kind of outward appearance would one expect from northwestern immigrants? That of Bengalis or Tamils, or rather that of Afghanis? 19 The term a-nås, which occurs just once in the gveda, was originally translated as 'mouthless' by Grassmann etc. (see below, n. 230), but has later on been understood by MacDonell-Keith etc. as 'noseless, snub-nosed'; see now Hock (1999) and cf. the speculations and elaborations of Elst (1999: 208). 20 He summarizes the results presented by Hemphill, Lukacs and Kennedy, Biological adaptations and affinities of the Bronze Age Harappans, in: Harappa Excavations 1986-1990, edited by R. Meadow; see now Kennedy 2000. -- Apparently, the distinction is between early 2nd millennium skeleta and samples from populations dated to after 800 BCE (late Bronze age and early Iron age of Sarai Khola). Given the difference in time, this may not mean much. Note also that the calibration of radiocarbon dates in the Eighties was inconsistent, and that around 800 BCE the amount of C14 in the atmosphere started

(10)

Michael WITZEL

of course minor differences between the various areas of the northwestern subcontinent (such as Sarai Khola : Harappa, or even Harappa: Mohenjo Daro). Anyhow, the genetic and therefore, skeletal contribution of the various IA bands and tribes may have been relatively negligible (cf. n. 21,23). However, a single excavation can change the picture. Even the large invading force of the Huns was not attested in European archaeology until some graves were found in Hungary some two decades ago.21 The cemeteries (if any at all in gvedic times) of the small, semi-sedentary pastoral IA groups were composed, according to the texts, of 3-6 yard high grave mounds; they are not likely to be found easily in the alluvium of the constantly shifting rivers of the Panjab.22 Once genetic testing will have provided us with more samples of the (few not cremated) skeletal remains from contemporary burials and of modern populations we may be in a better position to judge the phsyical character of previous and modern populations. This will become apparent even more, once not just mtDNA (inherited by females) but also the male Y chromosome (some of it likely that of immigrating tribesmen) will have been studied.23 Only then we will be able to tell which particular strains, corresponding to which neighboring areas,24 were present in the Northwest of the subcontinent at that time.25 In the end, to be absolutely clear, what counts is the Indo-Aryan culture, their social system, their texts, their rituals, and the frame of mind they brought into the subcontinent. These items are treated at some length

dropping. Ordinary radiocarbon dates for the period 800 - 400 BC, have highly unpredictable uncalibrated values. A new investigation is in order. -- Similarly about the continuity of Indian populations, Kenoyer (as quoted by Elst 1999: 236; -Elst, however, then lapses into an altogether inappropriate political discussion of what Kenoyer might have thought, or not, about present Indian politics and the BJP! It is a mystery why such political items constantly get introduced into discussions of archaeological and literary facts). 21 This point, already mentioned in Witzel 1995, is deliberately(?) misunderstood by indigenists and Out of India proponents (usually, on the internet). It does not matter that the Huns' intrusion was an actual invasion (and not a trickling in) by a group of horse riding nomads: they left as little genetic imprint in the European subcontinent as the immigrating IA bands and tribes did in the Indian subcontinent. In so far, both types of incursions can be compared well, in spite of the loud protests of the autochthonists who like to brand such statements as 'invasionist'; however, see below n. 23. 22 RV 10.16.14, etc. speaks of burial, cremation, exposing bodies on trees and of 'throwing' dead bodies away. 23 While preliminary mtDNA data taken from present day populations do not show much variation -- mtDNA is restricted to the (frequently more sedentary) female lineage only -- there are indications already that the study of the male-only Y chromosome will revolutionize our thinking. In any immigration scenario, the Y chromosome obviously is of more interest. The matter has been discussed at length at the Third Round Table on Ethnogenesis of South and Central Asia at Harvard University, May 12-14, 2000, see: http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~sanskrit/RoundTableSchedule.html. Just as in Bamshad et al. (2001), there are clear indications of several incursions, after c. 50,000 BCE, of bearers of different types of Y chromosome polymorphisms from Western Asia, terminating in South Asia or proceeding further eastwards. Several of them do not correspond to, and go beyond, the seven Principal Components of Cavalli-Sforza et al. (1994: 135-8). The impact of immigrants, however, can have been relatively minimal. See for example Cavalli-Sforza about the immigrant Magyars (Hungarians). They now look just like their neighbors, as these late, 9th cent. CE, horse riding invaders left only a minimal trace in the larger Danubian gene pool (quoted by Elst 1999: 224, from an interview of Cavalli-Sforza in Le Nouvel Observateur of 1/23/1992); see now Semino 2000: 1158 for lack of "Uralic genes" in Hungary. Nevertheless, the Magyars, just like Indo-Aryan speakers, imposed or transmitted, under certain social conditions, their language to the local population, and the Magyars also retained their own religion until they turned to the local religion, Christianity, around 1000 CE. 24 It is a fallacy to compare various Brahmin groups of India in order to establish a common older type. Brahmins, just like other groups, have intermarried with local people, otherwise how would some Newar Brahmins have 'Mongoloid' characteristics, or how would Brahmins of various parts of India have more in common with local populations than with their 'brethren', e.g. in the northwest? Studies based on just one area and a few markers only, such as E. Andhra (Bamshad 2001) do not help much (cf. also Elst 1999: 214, 217). Early acculturation processes (especially when following the model of Ehret, 1988) may have resulted in the inclusion of many local elements into the Bråhma a class, cf. Kuiper 1955, 1991, 2000, Witzel 1989, 1995, 1997, 1999a,b. 25 Note the difficulty of obtaining contemporary DNA materials due to the (telling!) transition to cremation in the early post-Indus period (Cemetery H at Harappa and in Cholistan).

small-scale semi-annual transhumance movements between the Indus plains and the Afghan and Baluchi highlands continue to this day (Witzel 1995: 322. Why. -. CE. not all of his results (e. How likely is an immigration scenario on the basis of comparable cases from Indian and non-Indian history? Leaving aside the prehistoric migrations starting with the move of Homo Sapiens 'Out of Africa' some 50. Witzel 1999a. Kushana. of both the Chinese via Tibet. be excluded in the single case of the Indo-Aryans.Autochthonous Aryans? (11) below. to the Ural area and to S. and then spread further. something that the substrate agricultural vocabulary of the RV clearly indicates (Kuiper 1991. . these and their language link them to the areas west and northwest of the subcontinent. and incidental features from astronomy to zoology. then.. Iranians. and they have preserved names such as Šuriiaš (Ved. human palaeontology.b). of Alexander's and the Bactrian Greeks in the first mill. clinching factor (§ 10) to decide the question is the following: the Indo-Aryans. the restriction of the RV habitat to S. a fact well known from nomad studies elsewhere.27 The vehement denial of any such possibility (see below § 11 sqq) is simply unreasonable. A further opening was created when. Abhīra. after the collapse of the Indus Civilization.26 § 8. as a first wave. such as those of Darius' Persians. Turks that were in close contact with sedentary populations and who eventually usurped power in their host societies). Iraq and Syria (c. given the frequency of movements. They dislodged the local Akkadian kings for several centuries. such as Arabs. and Afghans via the northwestern passes in the first and second mill. Many of such data have been summed up and cogently discussed by Kochhar 1999. 2000). further the Ahom Tai in Assam. so clearly speaks for it? Just one "Afghan" Indo-Aryan tribe that did not return to the highlands but stayed in their Panjab winter quarters in spring was needed to set off a wave of acculturation in the plains. He thinks that this weakens my case. and the Kassites who. strictly speaking. On the contrary. or even mere transhumance trickling in. Turks. history of technology. It is indeed historically attested that the Paršumaš (Persians) moved from northwestern to southwestern Iran. Sūrya) or Abirat(t)aš 26 Cf. and more recently also by some western archaeologists. 27 Actually. by transmitting its 'status kit' (Ehret) to its neighbors. genetics. The important. CE. Ladakh and Nepal. Gurjara as well as large armies. however. many of its people moved eastwards. such constant. in addition. thus leaving much of the Indus plains free for IA style cattle breeding. repetitive movements strengthen the case for close contact with the plains and eventual acculturation.) seems to have misunderstood me (1995: 322) when I mention transhumance movements. we actually do know that one group after the other has entered the Indian subcontinent. Witzel 1995.g. who clearly show IA. The obvious conclusion should be that these new elements somehow came from the outside. Both their spiritual and much of their material culture are new. especially when the linguistic evidence. not necessary. large and small. but this is limited to a relatively small area only. The constant interaction of "Afghan" highlanders and Indus plain agriculturists could have set off the process. In an acculturation scenario the actual (small) number of people (often used a 'clinching' argument by autochthonists) that set off the wave of adaptations does not matter: it is enough that the 'status kit' (Ehret) of the innovative group (the pastoralist Indo-Aryans) was copied by some neighboring populations. Afghanistan) can be sustained. and the Huns. into South Asia via the northwestern corridors. Moghuls. A few agricultural communities (especially along the rivers) nevertheless continued.000 years ago. below § 10 sqq. and to some extent beyond. not Iranian influences (aika 'one' instead of Iranian aiva). Russia/Ukraine. They include tribal groups such as the Saka. c. as described in the RV. as immigrants or as invaders. preceded them in Mesopotamia. even this is. Immigration Immigration. More important are the 'Mitanni' Indo-Aryans in N. should all immigration. however. 1677-1152 BCE.Hock (forthc. In addition. BCE. the Yue Ji (Tukhara). (Note also the take-over model: nomads. and the Arabs into Sindh in the 7-8th c. in historical times. has often been denied in India especially during the past two decades. 1460-1330 BCE). we have to take into account the facts from archaeology. represent something definitely new in the subcontinent.

not visible that leaders of the Indus civilization or rather their 'Panjabi' village level successors planned and executed such a universal shift of the cultural paradigm themselves. and to retain only the vaguest notion about a foreign origin. 40% of the agricultural terminology in Hindi (typical already for the RV. do not have any cognates (Kuiper 1962: 50. situated to the north of Iran and Afghanistan. Such a connection can be detected in the retention by the Iranians of IIr. Remembrance of immigration It has frequently been denied30 that the RV contains any memory or information about the former homeland(s) of the Indo-Aryans. 1999. such a scenario is met with in many other areas of the world.b). Dravidian and IA are consecutive(?) overlays on pre-existing languages. Munda.32 The mythical 28 Others are more problematic. some 24%." after the "desiccation of the Sarasvati area in 2000 BCE. NJ.Curiously. At successively "lower" levels of Nahali vocabulary. the massive cultural changes in the subcontinent could not have spontaneously developed locally in the Panjab. Clearly. 36% are of Kurku (Munda) and 9% of Dravidian origin. without any evidence (but probably following Rajaram & Frawley 1997: 124). The denial of immigration into the area of an already existing culture has recently been proposed by some archaeologists as well. but from Egypt and Biblical Ur in S. indeed. kindly made available to me by the author). incidentally.g. Elst (1999: 183) has the IA gods Inda-Bugash. Akkadian or Hurrite. see Balkan (1954). it easier to assume that a new element actually brought in new items such as the domesticated horse and the horse-drawn chariot (§ 21). Hintze 1998) and in the many references in the RV to mountains and mountain passes. who then were the indigenous inhabitants of the subcontinent? They can in fact still be traced in the substrates of the RV and of modern languages: an unknown Indo-Gangetic language has supplied the c. from South of the Vindhyas? (The Vindhyas. Elst (1999: 184) lets the Kassites immigrate. Instead. 30 See Hock. if gradual introduction of (some.g. e. A clear hint is provided by Nahalī. perhaps Bhaga (as bugaš!). the Kassite language is neither Indo-Aryan. a small IA language spoken on the Tapti River. Also.(12) Michael WITZEL (Abhiratha). in the RV there are quite a few vague reminiscences of former habitats. It is. indeed. the European Gypsies claim to have come. NW of Ellichpur in Madhya Pradesh. A massive." Actually. but see now Mother Tongue II-III.. by the British archaeologist Lord Renfrew (1987)29 and by some Americans such as Shaffer (1984. forthc. even assuming an amalgamation (why.in the case of South Asia. religion and ritual.31 However. Kuiper 1955. (lecture at the July 2000 meeting of the World Association of Vedic Studies at Hoboken. -. that is. typical for immigrant peoples to forget about their original homeland after a number of generations (e. 1999) who think that new languages were introduced by way of trade and by taking over of new models of society. indigenous development of cultures. as it refers to the Kassite female deity Šumaliya. nor Sumerian. note that [Kikkuli's] manual on horse training in not at all "written in virtually pure Sanskrit" (Rajaram and Frawley 1997: 123). in all seriousness. 28 All these groups that are in various ways culturally related to the IIr. "from Sindh to S. Mesopotamia" as a "conquering aristocracy" in a "planned invasion. not from India. §9. are not even mentioned in . while the oldest level. they construct prestigious lines of descent (Virgil in his Aeneid makes the Romans descendants of the heroes of Troy). that is biblical S. From what tertiary sources did they derive these innovative insights? -. The same may be assumed as far as the Greater Panjab is concerned. if not all) IA traits seems the only viable conclusion (see below. Elamite. the Afghanis from Palestine (see below).-. they posit a purely local. 29 For other areas of Eurasia. how?) of various components that had been there before. by whom. for details see Balkan 1954. If there was immigration. We find the Maruts. but this collocation is not listed in Balkan (1954). and IE/IA style poetry. of the BactriaMargiana area. Or./IA river names (Witzel 1987. it is not very likely and. It is belongs to altogether unknown language group. in the (north-)west. 1966: 96-192. Again. however.Himalaya (Rajaram & Frawley 1997: 123) is a phantom.s are intrusive in their respective areas of settlement. 32 Necessarily . For. 31 The Gypsies claim to be from Egypt or from Ur. and even from further afield. on Ehret's model). Who. Iraq. 1991). worse. 1996-7) and belong to the oldest language traceable in India (Witzel 1999a. Incidentally. would claim IA immigration via the difficult western Himalayan/Pamir trails or. he thinks of elite dominance achieved through IndoAryan immigration. Iraq).

Witzel 1995: 324) of another passage. In that sense. the (Lat. 36 Parpola 1988. OIr. -. JB). paper." Hock seems to have misunderstood the passage: the "presumed goal" of course refers to the immigration theory. as well as IE > PGrk. It divides the (Lat. as always on the internet. Dåsa of the RV clearly are Indian tribes of the Greater Panjab. Hock 1999). he takes.is accidental. Kuban. in Dani 1992: 357-378. Conversely. but it also is the boundary (cf.Ir. In that early paper. -. there are the (Grk. Werchikwar dial.) Daai. *Rahå that is preserved in Greek as Rhå and designates the R. Avest. captured in raids into Southern territory.and the Rhipaen (Ural) mountains.) Dahae. Rather.in general.) Dahae (Ved. and that RV rip. neglecting or misrepresenting the linguistic arguments. Afghanistan and Turkmenistan (Tacitus. I underline. Related forms are Skt. ironically. Dasa/Dåsa) from the (Lat. also Harmatta. the R. Another N. dåsa "slave". doero. and the Uralic loan word (Vogul.) Sind s. in 'psychological' fashion!).33 Further.35 Apparently. cf. a lot ado about nothing. foreigner'. note also that the mythical central mountain. Iranian tribe. Hintze (1998) has shown early take-over of IA geographical terms into Iranian. Since my casual reference to his paper has been repeatedly discussed (and misinterpreted) on the internet (and by Talageri 2000: 96. 467. 35 Elst (1999: 206). of a Chinese army into U. my apparently enigmatic statement: "Vedic poets faced the east . for which I presented an initial account and cumulative evidence in my 1995 paper. ocean'. in the early 7th c. it fits in the general scheme of movement.While this passage by no means is a proof for an eastward immigration of the Indo-Aryans and certainly was not presented as one.Ir. takes the Dåsa/Daha as "the Vedic people's white-skinned Iranians cousins" (sic! ) while most of the Dasyu. Grk. the specialized North Iranian (Khotanese) meaning 'man' as the original meaning of the word.11.)Iran. CE.certainly can be discussed or challenged.) Arii (Humbach 1991). see below n. occurs in Vedic as Dåsa or Dasa. And that is why it was quoted. see n.18. I pointed out cases where 'right' = south. Immigration or large scale movement by armies via the often difficult high passes of the Himalayas has been extremely rare. the E.) Ra hå. das-yu 'enemy.. 1984) presupposes an IIr word *sindhu 'boundary of the inhabited world. this singular sentence (as discussed by Hock in his forthc. to "prove" that the immigration (their "invasion") theory as such is wrong. against the Greek. This statement was based on a previous detailed study of the designations for the directions of the sky (Witzel 1972) that was ignored by Hock (who. at a conference) has again be used to advantage by some fervent adversaries of the immigration theory. Avest. and the N.in contemplating the world. RV 2. where I took savyata "on the left" as meaning 'north'. "contemplation" to the Vedic (and IE) world view. dai hu. (Grk. H du. (N. big stream. Annales X. in several Indian languages (incl. note further: Ved. the border river of Iran and India and of the habitable world in general (Witzel 1984)."foreign country. Orja. cf.Individual Vedic passages. Iranian and Indian evidence quoted above. and where 'left' (savya. this is merely a first brief outline of method and a first summary of a longer study to follow. if with P. Handu . In short.-. O. one of the many loan words from IA in Finno-Ugrian is the Finnish word for slaves. (a demon. . does indeed divide not only the Vedic and Iranian territories. tribe of the D ha (next to the Airiia). us. including those used in my 1995 paper -. of the Turkish adventurer Haidar into Kashmir in the early 15th cent.Hock (forthc. enemy".P.36 confirming that the North Iranians. 46. foreign or conquered territory was regarded as that of the enemy and caught enemies became slaves. as mentioned by Bongard-Levin (quoted in Witzel 1995). "Aryans". the Avest.a statement that almost looks as if it was taken from the RV. Aži) Dåha-ka. Ved. in parentheses . 34 The Sindhu = O. 37.P.) Sindoi people on the R.'deceit' has nothing to do with the Ural Mountains. and is attested apparently only in the case of some Saka at the beginning of our era. doulos "slave". dåsa Ahīśu (Witzel 1995. Burushaski sinda. then proceeds to tell readers virtually the same IE facts as given in more detail in Witzel 1972). Ossetes) called themselves 'Arya' as well. Avest. again .10).h dauua 'emerging from the river/ocean [Vouruka a]' (see Witzel 2000. with their s-. *doselo.Autochthonous Aryans? (13) IIr. *dah-yu. Hindu. perhaps a secondary development. For one such case. north of the Caucasus. Thieme. A. (Avest. and there is the (Grk. 33 We cannot rely at all on a connection between rip. just like the Scythian Alan (the mod. which is always welcome. Murghab/Tedzhen on the borders of Iran. sende < Shina : sin?) it simply seems to indicate 'river'. even uttara!) mean 'north' in IE languages.P.and Ved. Of course. called in to help Harsha's successor. rip . however. Rédei 1986.) has now challenged my interpretation (actually merely an aside. Volga. Vedic literature). dahayu 'province'.> Mycenean Grk. river *Raså corresponds in name to the Vedic Raså (RV. a pre-Iranian form of the name (details in Witzel 1999)34 that reminds of Vedic Sindhu and Iran. 1988. Both Sindoi and Sind s preserve. zraiiah vouruka a) between the settled world and the Beyond. -. from sidh 'to divide'. that the similarity between Greek Rhip.their presumed goal -. -. Mansi) tas 'stranger'.

the retention and adaptation by the Iranians of earlier pre. Sarasvatī. Rau 1976. with references to some non-IA reminiscences in Avestan texts. not found in the oldest parts of the RV. 202. however Staal 1990 (and a forthc. Witzel 2001). a myth) involving the great/mythical border river. Against the background sketched above. with his many fortresses (pur. *Parna. Elst (1999: 168 sq. uses the post.In addition. paouruua) does not mean 'south' (Elst) but 'east'. The RV regards the cattle-rich Pa i.gvedic river names points to an earlier IA settlement in Afghanistan (Sarasvatī = Harax vaitī / Arachosia. However. where they were guarded by the demoniac Pa is.) misrepresents. 103. Witzel 1999) retain pre-Old Iranian forms and they clearly lead back into Central Asia and Greater Iran. Tibet. 38 Elst (199: 167) brings up the indigenist contention of a 'sea-going' Sarasvatī -. Vara) on an island (JB) in the Raså. cf. -. cf. Dåsa.) and that are actually mentioned in Witzel 1995: 321. Sarasvatī. cf.) Parnoi. above. see now Witzel 2000. above on Hindukush forts).." This view is based on a fallacy as well: Talageri. with the only possible exclusion of the Raså RV 10. Sindhu = Hindu/H du. This is a fallacy: see above on the rivers Raså. in spite of claiming to use only RV internal evidence. etc. Gomatī = Gomal R. as the traditional. all aligned along the expected route of immigration into the subcontinent. Note. in a discussion of Staal's theories of the directions in the Agnicayana. Afghanistan (Gomal R. Avest. Sindhu and persons such as the (half-mythical) mountain chieftain Śambara who are prominent in the old books 4-6. One of the semi-demonic enemies in the (Afghani) mountains is Śambara. . very real enemies of the Greater Panjab.. 39 Elst (1999: 166) excoriates me for not supplying data of reminiscences that are in fact well known (Parpola 1988. Witzel 2000). the Sarasvatī inland delta near Ft. 39 from the northern steppes (such as those of the Volga/Urals) via Margiana/Bactria to Herat/Arachosia and E.For the Afghani highland areas. n. They have for long been connected with another traditional enemy of the Aryans. paper). Individual passages can and should certainly be discussed. Śambara) and of place names (Raså. with their walled forts (pur.4 1 Individuals such as the great i Vasi ha and his clan (RV 7.37 Also. 41 See Witzel 1995. see Witzel 1972. there are the many instances in the RV which speak about actual transhumance movement of tribes through mountain passes and into the land of the 'seven rivers' (Witzel 1995) that were more open to extensive pastoralism after the decline of the Indus civilization. this myth looks like a semi-historical 'update' (but still. etc. -. now Parpola 1988.for this see below § 26 and n.)40 Then. series of lakes (the Hamun) -Elst and others autochthonists generally neglect the meaning of the word samudra in the Veda (see Klaus 1986)-. Such names (studied at least since Brunnhofer 1910. The RV does not contain strong reminiscences of Xinjiang or W.gvedic Anukrama īs as the basis of his theory and even surrepetitiously injects Purå ic notions (see § 7. Their Vara-like forts with their sturdy cow stables have been compared with the impressive forts of the Bactria-Margiana (BMAC) and the eastern Ural Sintashta cultures (Parpola 1988.33. however: while the Iranian Hara aitī does not flow to the 'sea' but into a lake or rather. Elizarenkova 1995).1-3)... In this context. Sarayu. Witzel 1999. 109 sq. Gomatī. Elst brings up and relies on the conclusions of Talageri (2000) whose "survey of the relative chronology of all Rg-Vedic kings and poets has been based exclusively on the internal textual evidence. Avestan paurva (correctly. Sindhu).both rivers end in inland desert deltas of terminal lakes (Hamun) viz. Further traces of an Iranian connection can be seen in the hydronomical evidence discussed above and in the many references in the RV to mountains and mountain passes. in his view. he reverses such data to make them fit an unlikely emigration of the Indo-Europeans from India (see below).. see §25. They also retain some vague reminiscences of former enemies (*Parna. they serve as supporting materials and additional evidence. Hillebrandt 1913. Hintze 1998). Ir. son of Kulitara. Iranian tribe were the (Grk. Derawar. and yields a completely consistent chronology" and whose "main finding is that the geographical gradient of Vedic Aryan culture in its Rg-vedic stage is from east to west. and contemporaneous. Sind s. Gomatī. the meaning of Indo-Iranian directions of the sky.) goes to far in denying any value to allusions and descriptions referring to immigration as found in the RV: against the background of strong linguistic and (so far. cf. A gvedic myth locates the primordial cows in a cave (Vala. In the same context. past foes of the BMAC area.. 40 Elst (1999: 171) excoriates me for not noticing that Iranian connections in the RV are restricted to the 'late' 8th Ma ala and that are. while similar ones are still found today in the Hindukush. albeit intentionally semi-mythical enemies. n.178. the Pa i (RV+). 38 Sarayu.(14) Michael WITZEL Another N. sporadic) archaeological evidence. 26 sq. cf. Sarayu = Harōiiu-/Har = Herat R. and whole tribes such as the Bharata and 37 The little used Himalayan route of immigration is to be excluded (only some Saka and medieval Turks are known to have used it). Hock (forthc. 206.75.

Finally. echoing the first sentence: "Amåvasu (went) westwards. the same middle Vedic texts actually speak of the necessity to constantly watch one's back (Rau 1957). tasyaite Kuru-Pañcålå Kåśi-Videhå ity. Mbh 8.Autochthonous Aryans? (15) Ik våku (JB 3. 1000 BCE. the past tense of amå + vas as amåvasan. in the usual Bråhma a style. without any further discussion. 44 The Sandhi in gandhårayasparśavo is problematic. a 'mistake' some critics rhetorically accuse me of. His (people) are the (well-known) Gåndhåri. which is just north of the Chagai Hills that produce Lapis (just as the more famous Badakhshan. The Aratta (with various spellings. One may compare the old Mesopotamian name Aratta . as some 'Out of India' proponents would have it nowadays). I printed: "(His other people) stayed at home in the West" instead of: (His other people stayed) at home in the West" or better "Amåvasu (stayed at home) in the West." See discussion in the next note. Wezler 1996.. 43 Witzel 1979. see now Possehl 1996b and P.e.45 amå vas) in the West.46.1 adds information about raiding expeditions of the Kuru-Pañcålas into the east (no longer practiced by the time of ŚB 5.3.237-8 : Caland §204). etad Āmåvasyavam. Parśu and Arå a.43 of a migration from the Afghani borderland of Gandhåra and Parśu (mod. 86). MS 4. which simply is linguistically impossible (see n. as they know of the use of iron. In other words.Retrospectively.2. That is the Āyava (group). if not emotive and abusive internet discussions. as opposed to Āyu : ay/i 'to go'. They are based (apart from Āyu : åyu 'full life span'). Pashto) to Haryana/Uttar Pradesh and Bihar: prå Āyu pravavråja. What had occurred was that I had unfortunately misplaced a parenthesis in the original publication of 1989 devoted not to the Aryan migration but to OIA dialects (and simply copied in my 1995 paper. nowhere in the Vedas do we hear of a westward movement. in the Indian right wing journal. His (people) are the (well-known) KuruPañcåla and the Kåśi-Videha. (Of course. who misattributes to me "the desire to counter the increasing skepticism regarding the Aryan invasion theory" as reason for writing my paper). "Āyu went (ay/i) eastwards. They state that the Kurus move eastwards or southwards victoriously.2. BŚS 18. On the unreliability of the Purå ic accounts see §19. The Organiser) that I do not even know the rudiments of På inean grammar.8. however. are a western people as well. and actually seems to speak. -.which set me up for such on-line criticisms as that of recent adversaries who deduce (e.4.5. -. linguistic picture of 3rd millennium Greater Iran (see § 17). once we apply Bråhma a style logic and (etymological) argumentation style. contrasting the 'stay home' peoples in the west (Āmåvasyava : . but I was sure then that I could do so in the earlier version of this very paper. -. like the Gandhåra and other 'outsiders' (Båhīka. 45 Alternatively.8. Amåvasu (stayed at home. there also is a so far neglected passage from a late Vedic text in Bråhma a style. composed and collected several thousand years after the fact. OP Pårsa 'Persian' < * pårsva < *pårc'ua .42 The early YV Sa hitås (KS 26. slated for print in 1997). tasyaite Gåndhårayas + Parśavo44 'rå å ity. etad Āyavam. It has elicited lively.9 sqq. the passage plays. with these names and their Nirukta-like interpretations and etymologies. (Incidentally. pratya Amåvasus. from a-rå ra . it is attested since RV 8. in spite of hundreds of correct translations of such past tenses!) Or worse.simply computer-copied in 1995).7. Arå a). on Mitanni satta) and which also does not fit the non-IIr. and Söhnen 1986. again inventing an early Pråk t before 2000 BCE. The MSS are corrupt and differ very much from each other. Steinkeller 1998.7.21). in the same vein. a short summary of RV history). cf.167.3-5). continue to report such movements into the subcontinent.2030).6. was not correctly translated as printed in 1989/1995.Elst 1999: 184 wants to understand this ancient Sumerian term as a Pråk t word. The YV Sa hitås clearly belong to the post-copper/bronze age period. 1986. However. I should have printed the full explanation in that footnote. That is the Āmåvasyava (group). they accuse me of "fabricating evidence" for the invasion theory. It plays on the etymologies of ay/i 'to go' and amå vas 'to stay at home'. excerpted and --unfortunately-. it seems to refer to Arachosia. and below n."46 42 They rely on one mistranslated statement in the Purå as (see Witzel 2001. ŚB 1. on the names of the two sons of Purūravas. I teach.g. However. north of the Hindukush). a book that has western (Iranian) leanings (Witzel 1999). even alleging "fabrication of evidence" (see also Elst 1999: 164. indicating a distant eastern country from where Lapis Lazuli is brought (Witzel 1980). quoted in an earlier publications (1989.i. and TB 1. amusingly. Parśu must be intended. are described as crossing the Sindhu. 46 This passage. -. we hear about eastward/southward raids and movements of Vedic tribes towards Bihar and the Vindhya at about/after c.44: 397.all of this in spite of repeated on-line clarifications over the years and general apologies (Witzel 1997: 262 n. Amåvasyu : amå vas 'to dwell at home'. Āra a. not amåvasu ." In this way I had unfortunately intermingled translation and interpretation in these two summary style papers. in first year Sanskrit. -.9).

2. from the Bråhma a texts onwards. it clearly referred to even in the Manu-Sm ti (ch.10-18).22. 9) as occupied by Avestan speakers of the Kamboja land in S. 48 The adoption of the eastern tribes (Pu ra etc. the Parśu in Afghanistan and the Arå a seem to represent the Arachosians (cf. cf. 47 The Parśu and Arå a are not known to be orthoprax. even according to the later parts of the RV (3. etc. suppletion of pravavråja .. Pakistan...4. However. Witzel 1980). Steinkeller 1998). PS 12.22. Bihar.1-2. While the syntax may speak for the second possibility. is excluded by a variety of arguments. cf. from the Paru ī. The Kuruk etra area is excluded as the Kurus went eastwards (i." is just rhetorics. -. Kielhorn. the place of the Ten Kings' Battle. 3. The northwest. and depicted in Nirukta 2.g. and not the constant criticism of the "Panjabis".18). 1995. if one still wants to be even more cautious. empowerment and justification of rule. Kåśi. note the Mesopot.) legend by Viśvåmitra in the Śuna śepa legend (AB 7. for earlier 'outsiders' such as the Balhika. some of these and others in eastern and southern India are still regarded as 'outsiders' in late Vedic texts (AB 7. PS 12. is regarded as non-årya. beliefs and rituals.18). see §12. apparently from somewhere in the Panjab. The passage in question is just one point in the whole scheme of immigration and acculturation. the land of Lapis Lazuli (cf. (e. the weight given by some the internet to their point that a different interpretation of this passage would remove (all) evidence for an immigration/trickling in of speakers of Indo-Aryan is. Elst's overblown summary (1999: 165) "The fact that a world-class specialist has to content himself with a late text. on the Sarasvatī in Haryana. This passage is of course just one. Kali ga . as imagined by Out-of-India proponents. who followed customs. Sauvīra. denigrated by the AV (5.13) appear next to other peoples outside the Kuru orthoprax orbit: Gåndhåra. Parśu.18 and in Patañjali's Mahåbhå ya (ed. at a minimum overblown. .. the data mentioned above seem to reflect very dim memories of people and places much further west than the Panjab. and used a poetic tradition all of which go back to Indo-European sources. Afghanistan (Witzel 1980: 92). RV 7.) clearly reflects this policy. In other words. spiritual authority and social set-up (the Videgha or the Śuna śepa legends)48 have to be carefully separated from the rather unintentional mentioning of little understood.. one group (the Āyava ) 'went east'.2 sqq. In other words. 2). which is not a 'history of the settlement of Bihar' but a myth about the importation of Kuru orthopraxy and Brahmanism47 into N. The Āra a (BŚS 18. one may say that the texts preserve some little or no longer understood words and phrases that point to Central Asia. this evidence for movements inside the subcontinent (or from its northeastern borders. Slavic. and that has to twist its meaning this much in order to get an invasionist story out of it. 1997). and it is vaguely remembered in the Påli canon.3. in Afghanistan) changes little about the bulk of evidence assembled from linguistics and from the RV itself that points to an outside origin of Vedic Sanskrit and its initial speakers. notions which are fading already in the RV itself. the Gandhåri may be so. if we apply Upani adic notices. Possehl 1996b. such as BĀU 3.Whatever interpretation one chooses. If one follows that line of argument. -A note of caution may be added: The missing verb in the collocation pratya Amåvasus allows. I p. (Witzel 1989. there is no reason to dismiss this kind of evidence that involves a number of bands and tribes who spoke a language closely allied with Iranian. the inherent etymological and stylistic possibilities render both interpretations given above somewhat ambiguous.e. Afghanistan/N. Witzel 1987. dim memories of earlier homelands. the other one (the Āmåvasyava ) 'went west'. to the west of the Kuru lands. discussed below. This attitude continued to be the norm in the Bråhma a period.53). Kåśi-Videha) who went /went forth (ay/i + pra vraj) eastwards. speaking of tribal movements. Therefore. a fact that Elst does not take into account here. and a late one at that. Rather. 49 An emigration westwards.1-2). tribe or culture: why should they look outwards to the 'barbaric' countries of Central Asia/Iran/Afghanistan?49 The center of the world was. or even a gradual trickling in of Gandhåra. Karaskara.(16) Michael WITZEL The last account is quite different in tone and content from the well known tale of Videgha Måthava (ŚB 1..E. and in fact just a rhetorical ploy. of course.13 sqq. toward it!). Just because a theory involving an initial IA immigration. A ga see AV 5. Aratta. as the text clearly says. both from an unknown central area. Such tales of authorization. these tales are perpetuated for several hundred years as far as movements further into the subcontinent are concerned. Or. Arå a) with those ( Āyava : Kuru-Pañcåla.. All these data cannot be just accidental or due to the imagination of gvedic and Bråhma a authors who looked for a prestigious origin of their lineage. --The Gandhåri clearly are located in E.

e. while it is a well known fact of IE linguistics that Slavic retains IE s (but. though all these tribes are already described as having Zoroastrians among them. The text simply has an anti-clockwise description of the (east) Iranian ( Airiia) lands. Bhargava) in some detail. at the time of the African Exodus. a region typical for transhumance pastoralism..g. H du/Handu. 'writing' of the Gåθås by Zoroaster. and states. similar to that of madhyadeśa.. This entirely overlooks the ancient Indian and Iranian schemes of organization of territories (summed up in Witzel 2000).52 or even of the speakers of Indo-Iranian (Witzel 2000). this does not discredit the actual data. see Witzel 2000). dahayu/dai hu. Dåsa. etc. he conveniently neglects that according to this text." When should Elst's hypothetical immigration have taken place. (and there are no connections with the Alans. makes a half-hearted turn: "perhaps such an invasion from a non-Indian homeland into India took place at a much earlier date.2 etc. Agastya. they also include many non-Sanskritic words and names. However. so that is was forgotten by the time of the composition of the Rg-Veda. "the Middle Country" of Manu. which is nowadays inhabited.g. These texts make. 50. that the Vīdevdåd cannot be used to show an emigration Out of India (Elst's "obviously Kashmir"). Elst's (and also Talageri's) identification of Ai riianąm Va jah as Kashmir is entirely gratuitous (Witzel 2000). a clear difference between the Arya and their enemies. Talageri 2000). nor does it have any bearing on the original home of all Iranians. Of course. the first country in the list of Iranian countries (V.Elst generally assumes. Ka va. B bu) and occasionally of poets (Kava a. Parna.) discusses these assumptions of Elst and his predecessors (Talageri.g. -.) and demons (Śambara. Hock proceeds to use the text as a possible testimony for an immigration into India. Iran.. Daha. This socalled "homeland of the Aryans" thus occupies. from the Near East (Ved.. Elst (1999: 172). Acculturation: linguistic and cultural While there are some such vague reminiscences of an immigration and of older homelands. harah < IIr saras < IE *seles). A ra Mainiiu < A giras!). this "best of all places and settlements" has ten winter months and only two cool summer months. they were already composed in the Greater Panjab. godhūma < gant-uma < N. There are those of non-Aryan ''foreigners'' (Kīka a. Kaśyapa). such a description does not correspond to the hot summers of Choresmia etc. Witzel 2000) However. who moved westwards from the steppes with the Vandals)..1) has usually been understood as the 'original' (northern. . are described as concubines in the houses of the Mazdå worshippers (Geiger 1882: 176).50 The Iranian textual materials on immigration are even more meager but they provide similar indirect reminiscences (Rahå. All these 50 Curiously. This is an area right in the center of all the 'Iranian' lands of the Avesta. Hock (forthc. *Śarima. anairiiō da håuuō 'the non-Arya lands' (Yt 18. Pramaganda.Elst (1999: 196) even makes the Croats (Hrvat) descend from the Iranian Hara aitī (a feature now often repeated on the internet). after constantly propagating Out of India theories. Eastern **xand ? 51 In Vedic this would be: Arya. 13.000 years.). Tura/Tūra.Autochthonous Aryans? (17) some bands and tribes is disliked now. Choresmian) home of all A iriia (a term indicating only the Eastern Iranians. The opposition between Airiia :: Tūra :: Sairima :: Såina :: D ha51 (Yt. like the RV.) but also those of noblemen and chiefs (Balbūtha. the Panjab is one of the least desirable lands (15th out 16. Airiianąm Va jah is certainly not located inside India (Misra 1992: 39. including the old but wrong assertion that A i riianąm Va jah could be Choresmia. regarded as historically tainted or as 'politically incorrect'. Cumuri. by the Moghol descendants of the Mongol invasion of the 13th century.143-5) is remarkable.000 BCE? Or with the arrival of wheat in the last 10. in other words. etc. correctly. a central position: for the contemporary East Iranians it is the central aniraθa region ('the one having particular pleasures of its own'). being "too hot". 52 Leaving aside various incorrect details (e. that is central Afghanistan. A iriianąm Va jah. etc. -. nothing is ever heard of a movement of the Arachosians towards Croatia.. with Talageri. but refers to the climate of the mountain pastures with their numerous 'Aryan springs'.) some of whose people. for the Avesta. e. an emigration of the Iranians ("Ānava") from Kashmir into the Punjab and hence to Iran. *Ś(y)ena. However. just because the Vīd vdåd mentions the Hapta H du lands. in part. Elst 1999: 197 sq. §10. it must be underlined that even the earliest RV hymns clearly reflect South Asian realities. doubtless war captives.

They include new grammatical formations such as the absolutives in -två. and 2000). 1955) of the early (pre-) gvedic period must have evolved. Cf. tum.(18) Michael WITZEL non-IA words do not have a Vedic or IE background (see below). 2000. by and large.tu which then became fossile (-tvī . While it was a matter of (tribal) choice to which cultural group one belonged and which model of society and religion one followed. i.'' They form the amorphous group of the Dasyu ''the foreigner. ultimately. -. and perhaps even the rapid change to some Prakrit-like forms (jyoti . It is during the long period of initial acculturation that some of the linguistic (and cultural) features (Kuiper 1991. 1991.. clearly visible in the middle and later strata of the gveda (books 3. they always do not have Iranian. Constant contact and bilingualism between speakers of OIA and of the local language(s) of the Greater Panjab produced such calques as the absolutives. for the cultural survival of one's group.. Thapar 1968.).e. Significantly.53). or the use of iti. Szemerényi 1970 : 90sqq. it also does not allow for a happy co-existence (Kalyanaraman 1999) between speakers of Vedic IA (the 'cultural' årya) and those who oppose them (Kīka a. Witzel 1987. their sounds and syllable structure are non-IE as well. avoids them. There must have been a long period of acculturation between the local population and the ''original'' immigrants speaking Indo-Aryan. is supported by the evidence from the older books (4-6). Indo-Aryan) and of autochthonous nature. the famous chieftain of the Bharata. see Witzel 2001). 1995. a number of tribal federations (Anu-Druhyu. also Deshpande's essay on Sanskrit in his Sa sk tasubodhinī. their main enemy are the dasyu who are portrayed in typical half-mythical fashion as ''foreign devils'' and demons. 1995: 261). 1400 BCE) that slightly predate those of the extant RV. aan de Wiel 2000). 27 sqq.) preceded that of the Pūru and the Bharata who were dominant in the middle RV period (Witzel 1995. Witzel 1995). 7. 8. to Dravidian verbal structure. The speakers of Indo-Aryan and the local population must therefore have interacted on a bilingual basis for a long period. Sudås. On the other hand. The Others such as the Kīka a (RV 3. and not of some earlier IA tribes already living in the Panjab (Witzel 1995). see Kuiper 1991:2. 1. Vasi ha the self-proclaimed immigrant author of much of book 7. This is a point so far 53 This calque was formed on the basis of the old Indo-European stem . . poetry. the gvedic evidence does not supports a clear-cut division between the various tribes/populations of those originally external. of course. non-South Asian (i. this choice had serious consequences for one's status and. 54 The RV is. Frequently. Local influence is indeed what the non-IE part of RV vocabulary suggests. see Kuiper 1967. etc. the enemy.'' While the årya frequently fight among themselves. 1997). Talageri's claims (2000) of some two thousand years of RV composition are fantastic. etc. tave. but it distinguishes between årya and dasyu. a composition of poets of the Pūru and Bharata. 2. etc. before the composition of the present RV hymns with their highly hieratic. etc. something that can be determined by purely linguistic means. that arya/årya does not mean a particular ''people'' or even a particular 'racial' group but all those who had joined the tribes speaking Vedic Sanskrit and adhering to their cultural norms (such as ritual. Yadu-Turvaśa.as has been underlined for decades (Kuiper 1955.. Southworth 1979.Such types of linguistic relationship are. but absolutives are not found in Iranian. etc. is one of the latest mentioned. poetical speech (Kuiper 1991. The appearance of such names among the groups belonging to the Indo-Aryans indicates. the bulk of the RV represents only some 5 generations of chieftains (and some 5 generations of poets. 1995. This split in absolutive formation corresponds.8% of the vocabulary of the RV (Kuiper 1991. who inhabit the greater Panjab together with the Ārya.). tvī (based on the archaic suffix -tu. different from a genetic relationship that some adherents of the autochthonous theory suppose (see below). which have been disputed as such. muhur. In short. Indeed. this is a point almost universally neglected by the advocates of the autochthonous theory (§ 11 sqq). 10). as in gatvå)53 and its correspondent form in -ya for verbs with preverbs (sa -gamya) (Tikkanen 1987). Such local substrate words can easily be identified because of their isolation within the IE-derived IA vocabulary. Slavic.54 An absolute date for this extended period can be inferred from the linguistic peculiarities of Mitanni-IA (c.g. and the other dasyu). e.) -. counterparts. are even declared ''not to be fit to deal with cows. such words are neither possible in Vedic nor in IIr or Indo-European in general (Mayrhofer 1986:95. 79. These sets of five generations are rather late within the framework of the RV.e. by Kuiper's count some 380 words or about 3. This picture.

-i-. M = voiced/mediae. b saya can by no means be explained in terms of IE: (1) there are no IE/IA roots such as kīn. 58 In the heavily Anglicized Massachusetts area. *bhet. EWA. While the present Munda word structure includes 55 Rajaram 1995: 219 "unproven conjectures". there always will be some difference in opinion in those cases that actually allow multiple interpretation. after a root -C the vowels -a-. * ka. he regards linguistic arguments as 'hairsplitting' (2000: 248. in others.55 even when the evidence stares into their faces. Drav. 299). That does not discredit the linguistic (or even the etymological) method. Nantucket. as these branches of linguistics are not yet as developed as IE/IA..are not found in IE/IA. -CC . *pep.. a brief characterization is in order (Witzel. Montachusetts. . Munda. Massachusetts.k. that is after one has applied the structural rules of IA/IE. (see discussion below). It is. Talageri 1993. Cohasset. or Munda proponents. root structure and word formation) and have no clear IE/IIr etymology must belong to a preceding language. Proto-Drav. -strange.exception of Elst 1999. some of them. Even a brief look into KEWA. Szemerényi 1970: 90 sqq . Wachusetts. or final 2 sonants. forbidden are: M . kapi.(Skt. (3) suffixes such as -å-ś.in kikidīvi (EWA I 349). for example. Mattapan.but s-Teigh etc. C C-a-C etc. .M (* bed). T = unvoiced/tenues. Rajaram is a scientist. forthc.Autochthonous Aryans? (19) completely neglected or simply derided.in these cases the IE/IIr/IA one of Vedic Sanskrit. In addition. Mattapoisett. such as: no *pep (exc..58 but all the structural features are of equal importance here. In addition.In spite of these rules. bhat. .g. bīja etc. *bad.60 mag. (4) only (but not s) is allowed in Vedic after i. etc.62 The use of such formal. and with base final -C-u. *usa. etc. final 2 occl. Mashpee. described below. it does not mean that IA etymologies have not been attempted. b).. 59 A word that superficially looks IE/IA. tabh. b). and the types: *bed.or Rse. b s as only roots of the format {(s)(C) (R) e (R) (C/s)} are allowed61 and (2) the sound b is very rare in IE. balb. The basic Dravidian word structure (in the sequel = long or short vowel) is (C) (C). Even when the linguistic method will have been refined in the non-IA languages of S. an engineer and mathematician by training. Talageri (1993: 205) finds that "the overwhelming majority of Sanskrit names for Indian plants and animals are derived from Sanskrit and Indo-European (Bryant 1999: 74).T (* bhet). same occl. He regards comparative linguistics as 'unscientific'.M (* tebh). these words do not have any cogent IE/IA etymologies. the favored position by those indigenists who recognize that they actually have a problem.. 62 In short: (S) (T) (R) e (R) (T/S) where T = all occlusives. balbūtha. Neponset . pramaganda. see KEWA. Asia. Chicopee. in one root. *teurk/tekt (Skt. 2001). however. similar structural rules exist Drav. cf. and for Munda. Not just etymology (which may remain unsolvable in many cases57 and is. 61 C = consonant. one does not need to know the local native American language to notice that place names such as Massatoit. T . Skt. words such as kīnåśa. not allowed are the types RCe. 59 The problem is entirely misunderstood by those (quoted by Bryant 1999: 72) who merely delight in pointing out the differences in etymological proposals by IE. 56 Surprisingly. structural categories immediately allows to detect many words as being non-IE.b). by the advocates of the autochthonous theory (with the --only very partial-. even such structurally unfit words as a avi. as in the improbable case of Maganda < m gåda 'deer eater'. tork). for details see Witzel forthc. -. Just as for IE and IA. kīk. often working with supposed Prakritisms. Proto-Munda. Pawtucket are related and without English etymology. forthc. and suffixes have the structure: -C. or -u are inserted. see e.(pace the out of hand dismissal by Talageri 2000: 248. M .56 Since the very concept of a substrate is often misunderstood (see the discussion by Bryant 1999). kīka a. See Mayrhofer 1986: 95. are allowed. -an-d/-a-nd-. R = resonant. 2000). -C . kiki. but one of the unknown Gangetic languages (such as Masica's "Language X". for a science that can make predictions ! Yet. Most words in early Vedic that do not conform to IE/IIr word structure (including sounds. *ses). are loans from a neighboring non-IA language (adstrate.but he simply does not use such basic handbooks. C C-a-C-u (Krishnamurti.. 57 Especially when the underlying language is not one of the known ones -. ProtoBurushaski. or. -CCC . no: *tewrk. is simply disqualified linguistically by its -s. 299).u. *tekt. EWA (Mayrhofer's "unclear" etc. such as Kosala. however. thus C-a-C etc. important to underline that it is the factor of phonetic and grammatical structure that does not fit -. not even necessary). Bryant 1999: 73. see Masica 1979) or my own proposal for the Panjab-based prefixing Para-Munda language (Witzel 1999 a.) would have convinced him of the opposite -. -būth-/-bū-th.r.IA.. a non-IA substrate. *mag/meg does not exist in IE. R = resonants = y/w/r/l. 60 With the exception of the onomatopoetic * kik in 'magpie'. and as originally non-IA. Drav.). or as 'a linguistic ploy'. *tebh. Lal 1997). and similar statements.

CC . with a complete explanation of all of their constituent parts. the haughty. something that does not exist in Drav. C C. EWA II 733 for the problematics of the root så). 1996-97): a useful. and Munda share C C. C -C C. lå gala. were preserved as well. Sumerian. the oldest word structure was: (C) (C). of course. sīra 'plough' (see however. It is precisely these local words that are of importance if the Indo-Aryans would have been autochthonous to the Greater Panjab. Throwing up one's hands in post-modern despair (Bryant 1999). old Dravidian and modern Munda words which. They include names for local plants and animals.90). plough'.b). but largely neglected field of study by those who engage in endless AIT/OIT discussions. phala. In sum. fairly close to Talageri's home. both Drav. etymological discussions deal. forthc.precisely those terms which are not expected in the vocabulary of the largely pastoralist Indo-Aryans who left the tedious job of the ploughman (kinåśa) and farming in general (tilvila. A comparison of these data frequently allows to narrow down the origin of a word. with vague similarities of ancient Vedic. do not deter linguistic amateurs such as Talageri (1993: 200) who speaks of "a twilight zone of purely hypothetical non-existent languages. så 'to sow'. from pre-PIE to PIE to IIr. belong to such isolated language families and these language(s) (families) have disappeared without descendants. a Munda etymological dictionary still is only in the planning and collection stage.) C C . pippala.will be the IA root and . as 'tribals' have been and to some extent still are off limits for non-Indian researchers. the discussion by Bryant 1999: 75. they preserved only a few general IE terms. Tichy's 36 rules of procedure (Hoffmann 1992). by P. b). Etruscan etc. and could do useful work in the linguistic/cultural history of India instead. C C . That. Clearly. A certain amount of codification of this process can be detected with the formulation. Vi<šam>bal/ž!). language(s) that have subsequently been lost. ''the first constitution of India''. The range of the non-Indo-Aryan words of the RV is perhaps even more interesting than their number. Some local river names.C a suffix.It is quite different problem (Bryant 1999: 76) that many plant names in IE do not have a clear etymon.64 and also a large number of terms for agriculture -. where the successor cultures of the Indus Civilization continued for a long time. C C.(20) Michael WITZEL (Pinnow 1959: 449 sqq. C C. IA in structure and as such. fits nicely with his view that 'rare' words in Skt. sītå 'furrow'. and certainly. however. normally. the Dravidian dictionaries DED/DEDR still consist only of lists of related words without further explanation. inherited from PIE into IA. Bryant overlooks that they are IE. They all will be pretty "hypothetical" in a decade or so unless they are recorded now (see Mother Tongue II-III. However. and Munda words are frequently enough quite different from IE ones with: (prefix) + (C)(R)e(R)(C) + (suffix + ending). always a very resistant part of the vocabulary. While Drav.) to the local people. C CC C. in the Puru a hymn (RV 10." How many languages disappear in India per decade now? Including Nahali. Worse. VV C.65 In sum. as C . C CC . culture. Such deliberations. After all. Munda words can often be distinguished. such plants and animal names are 'foreign'. Instead. which system has been called. to IA (1993: 206) when he thinks that such words simply were colloquial or slang words.63 though this has not generally been done in practice (Witzel. there is a cluster of non-IA names in eastern Panjab and Haryana (including the local name of the Sarasvatī. Mus. religion and ritual. not to speak of Burushaski and other languages of the subcontinent. may have a colloquial origins as well. C C-C ’C. an early wave of acculturation of the immigrant speakers of Old IA (Vedic) and the local population has seriously influenced even the IA poetic language and many other aspects of their traditional IIr. khala. "where consonants count little and vowels nothing." How complex it is to establish a proper etymology actually can be checked by taking a look at K. Bryant 1999: 80) who simply reject the notion of an unknown language or language family as source for the local loan words.in C -C c is a prefix. non-technical dismissal (Talageri 2000) are misguided. etc. This ''Indianization'' of the Indo-Aryans began even before our extant RV texts (Kuiper 1967. C C-C ’C. such as yava 'barley. k 'to scratch. Bryant 1999: 78. But. Especially. of the system of the four classes (var a) instead of the more common IE three. and in many instances even to determine the origin of Vedic words.C. of related roots and of suffixes employed. Elamite. IA etymologies are now discussed at a high level of sophistication. by and large.C.. non-IE/IA (see Witzel 1999a. grain'. 1991). Hoffmann's and E. cf. Significantly. . Instead. there are clear and decisive rules in place that allow to narrow down. to quote (pseudo-)Voltaire: etymologies. C C C. All remain within the fold! 65 Details in Witzel 1999a. 63 This should eliminate the doubt of those indigenists (cf. and while C C c may exist in IE/IA (even with a prefix C -). 64 Cf. -. Talageri simply does not understand how a language develops over time.

Presence of Indo-Aryan speakers would rather be indicated by the introduction of their specialty. etc. more data would be necessary in order to turn the still little known Cemetery H culture in Harappa and Cholistan into one that would definitely reflect Indo-Aryan presence. very little of linguistic and other acculturation (Skjaervø 1995). Turks. a 'soul'. Iranian. then all of this draws our attention. etc. Witzel 1984.e. Shahr-i Sokhta. or. appears together with a new burial style. However. θ. the Huns have been in Europe only for some 20 years. t. for washing (Witzel 1986).) which is typical for repeated loans from a third source. p.b. have been found only recently in some Hungarian graves. Yahya Tepe and Elam. as seen in archaeology. There are. the obvious continuity of local cultures in South Asia. and P-IA forms of such loans often differ from each other (Witzel 1999a. horse furnishings. Lubotsky. When such items are found. the Huns in India are only known from historical records and from the survival of their name as (Hara-)Hū a in the Mahåbhårata or Hū in some Rajasthani clans. forthc. simply was less affected by the substrate than Vedic Sanskrit. for whatever reasons and in spite of the influx of local words. k + consonant > f.)66 and there is a host of unstudied Iranian words taken from the various local substrates (Witzel 1999 a. but alternative scenarios cannot be excluded: tribes that were influenced and/or pushed forward in front of them. Falk 1986).b. forthc. . This feature is of extreme importance in evaluating the linguistic materials that speak for the immigration of speakers of Old Indo-Aryan into the subcontinent. is: how much of the culture of semi-sedentary tribes on the move (Scythians. However. however. is another matter. b). that is cremation or exposition and subsequent deposition of the bones in urns. the constantly shifting river courses in the Panjab may have obscured many of the shallow remnants of the Indo-Aryan settlements: temporary. he thinks that there are no local loan words in Iranian from the pre-IE languages. one has observed. The bird-soul motif seems to reflect Vedic beliefs about the souls of the ancestors moving about in the form of birds (Vats 1940. both in grammar and also in vocabulary. the question to be asked. x + cons. Huns. always executed in the same traditional manner. from their own texts. To put it facetiously. Mongols) would indeed be visible in the archaeological record? The remnants of the Huns. Munda or other local words into gvedic Sanskrit. when traditional style pottery with traditional paintings. i. Avestan often seems quite archaic. ritual and some aspects of IA material culture are transparent. large parts of IA religion. and the other Iranian languages seem to have been affected by the preceding (substrate) languages of great cultures such as those of the BMAC area. due to the surprising neglect by Iranists of etymological studies of Old Iranian (not to speak of Middle Iranian where we even do not have comprehensive dictionaries). b. 67 Similarly. the Indo-Aryans are known. even Y. simply. towards Epic and Classical Sanskrit (loss of injunctive. While the intrusive traits of Indo-Aryan language. Mundigak. all of which amounts to nothing that would be comparable to the influx of Dravidian. on the other hand. were made by low class (Śūdra) workmen (see below § 24). Everyday vessels. is therefore undatable simply by style. indeed. without the use of a wheel (as is still done in the Hindukush!) Such Vedic pottery. to employ the services of the local populations for agriculture (RV. 1999 a. nevertheless see Witzel 1999a. for example. While we can observe the changes common to all Iranian languages (s > h. not big brick buildings. However. While this assemblage seems to indicate early acculturation. quite a number of words that are foreign even in Indo-Iranian (Witzel 1995. there is a good chance that this represents Indo-Aryans. poetics. Continuity of local styles thus is to be expected a priori. It would indeed be surprising.67 Secondly. even if found. drawn inside a traditionally painted peacock.. and especially for pottery (Rau 1983): only sacred vessels are made by Brahmins in the most archaic fashion. The individual P-Iran. moods of the perfect. Yet. how little O. forthc. otherwise we would only know about them from the extensive literary and historical record. 1991. such as in the early post-Indus Cemetery H culture. the horse drawn chariots with spoked wheels. so far. while Vedic seems to have progressed much more. and with a new motif painted on them. aorist etc. this is an erroneous impression. rather rickety resting places (armaka. Kuiper 1955. such as the Mitanni and Kassites in Mesopotamia and the Hyksos in Egypt.). 66 Bryant's proposal (1999: 77) that the non-IE loanwords in Iranian must come from the Proto-IIr that was spoken in Eastern Iran before the Iranians moved in cannot be substantiated. a small human.Pers. Thirdly. Rau 1983).). Lubotsky. neighboring local tribes that early on adopted Indo-Aryan material culture.Autochthonous Aryans? (21) On the Iranian side.b.

in fact. tells little. is not just dominance. see now Kennedy 1995. The material record of such shifts is visible only insofar as new prestige equipment or animals (the "status kit". power. even when direct evidence for immigration and concurrent language takeover is absent. the texts often allow such deductions. we have to look out for a 'Leitfosssil'. as has been well articulated by W. 19th century idea of a massive invasion of outsiders who would have left a definite mark on the genetic set-up of the local Panjab population. unless we think of the Swat Valley finds. with new. but with local pottery. Prayiyu. cf. Meadow 1991. milk products. Ehret (1988) underlines the relative ease with which ethnicity and language shift in small societies. sheep and goat. Ethnohistorical cases . cf. Diakonoff 1985) which stresses the osmosis (or a 'billiard ball'. However. c. In other words: 'Aryan bones' have not been found... a Vedic ritual site with three fire places nearby (preferably west of a river).) with regard to the much better known history of Mesopotamia: "The study of languages and the comparison of language provide better possibilities for conclusions with regard to migrations in prehistoric times. All aspects of material and spiritual culture.1998). but vertical social mobility and a linkage between language and access to positions of prestige and power. we do not presently know how large this particular influx of linguistically attested outsiders was. an ''Aryan'' archaeological site would include the remnants of horses and chariots. a rather primitive settlement pattern with bamboo huts. Some archaeologists such as Shaffer simply restrict themselves to report the findings of archaeology and intentionally neglect all the linguistic and spiritual data of the texts. A relatively small immigrant elite population can encourage widespread language shift among numerically dominant indigenes in a non-state or pre-state context if the elite employs a specific combination of encouragements and punishments. Similarly. n. The obvious continuity of pottery styles. of linguistics as well as genetics. Advocates of the autochthonous theory. my transl. clear indicators of Indo-Aryan culture such as the chariot and Vedic ritual sites... implements made of stone and copper (bronze). have to be taken into account. demonstrate that small elite groups have successfully imposed their languages in non-state situations. Swat is an area known in the RV 8. 1400 BCE.68 In sum. The remnants of the Harappans. and domestic security. however. some denounce them as 'linguistic tyranny' (Shaffer 1984). 2000. While this procedure may be perfectly in order for someone who simply wants to do archaeology.19. What is important. some gold and silver ornaments. or Mallory's Kulturkugel) effect of cultural transmission. derived from Africa. Lukacs asserts unequivocally that no significant population changes took place in the centuries prior to 800 BC. Suvåstu ''good ground. 2000. 25)." Furthermore.'' however.(22) Michael WITZEL Ideally. due to the cultural/economic/military choices made by the local population in question. while the people of Mohenjo Daro stand somewhat apart. In fact. this approach is not sufficient to approach the early history of the subcontinent. that such refutations of an immigration by 'racially' determined Indo-Aryans still depend on the old. however.. . this particular archaeological set (or part of it) has not yet been discovered. The 68One may also think of part of the assemblage of the Cemetery H culture of the Panjab (see above. The newly formed. New languages never are successful without the immigration of another group of people [different from the local one]. 69 J. combined ethnic group may then initiate a recurrent. and of some wild animals. if we apply Ehret's model (1988. taken alone. This is especially so if pottery -. 1997. meat of cattle. also maintain that there is not any evidence of demographic discontinuity in archaeological remains during the period from 4500 to 800 BCE. The revisionists and indigenists overlook.37 as Indo-Aryan territory. the Harappan Cemetery H people etc. It can have been relatively small. then..69 and that an influx of foreign populations is not visible in the archaeological record. all are physically very close to each other. (Kennedy 1995.. Influences of [such] other languages can be determined in vocabulary and certain grammatical formations.continues to be made by local specialists of a class-based society. intrusive vocabulary!) are concerned. The intruding/influencing group bringing new traits may initially be small and the features it contributes can be fewer in number than those of the pre-existing local culture. horse furnishings. Anthony (1995): "Language shift can be understood best as a social strategy through which individuals and groups compete for positions of prestige. evidence of food that includes barley. with sponsors of sacrifice that bear strange names: Vayiyu.normally culture-specific -. von Soden (1985: 12. expansionist process of ethnic and language shift.

or were open to reconsider it. one can find various combinations of these two strands in any person's writing (see Bryant 1999). however.).Autochthonous Aryans? (23) older languages of an area. Recently. the revisionists. 235. -. Talageri 2000. the influences of substrates and superstrates are always discernible only to a certain degree. THE AUTOCHTHONOUS ARYAN THEORY §11. some have begun to pay attention (see discussion by Bryant 1999. even when they are no longer spoken. 72 Bryant (1999) reports that he found. merely lists some words and compares them as look-alikes.7 0 Unfortunately. S. In the early period. this lack is substituted for by a lot of gratuitous speculation of when and how the hypothetical Indian Indo-Europeans could have emigrated from India. etc." 73 For one such case see below.72 The theories of advocates of an autochthonous origin of the Indo-Aryans (always called "Aryans") range from (1) a mild version. see Elst 1999: 119. not in the least in their sound system. still in an unprofessional manner (Talageri 1993. Talageri. who genuinely try to reconsider the writing of ancient Indian history which they believe was very much the creation of 19th century British political ideology. 71 No doubt due to his complete (self-imposed?) scholarly isolation at Benares.the value of linguistics (2000: 415). Of course. Waradpande 1993. Lal 1997: 281 sqq. it needs to be addressed here in great detail. cf. yet still lacks linguistic sophistication. 137) is lacuneous and misses much of what is discussed in this paper. (2) a more stringent but increasingly popular ''Out of India'' school (S.2.) which views the Iranians and even all Indo-Europeans emigrating from the Panjab. or they have outrightly denied it.97). n. the revisionists and autochthonists have almost completely overlooked this type of evidence." Similar things could be said about Ancient Greece. see his rather uncritical use of Harmatta's materials (below §12.S. in Nirukta fashion. which is mostly -but not solely. Since language is of crucial importance for this argument.restricted to traditional Pandits.unfortunately not the best ones. n. Elst is better prepared philologically and linguistically. 2000). Data are listed and discussed without any apparent linguistic background and with lack of any critical. Elst.. Any immigration scenario is strenuously denied by two groups of Indian scholars: first. the ''autochthonous'' or indigenous school (Aurobindo. this was in large measure even true for the apparently lone Indo-European scholar in India. insisting on the origin of the gvedic Indo-Aryans in the Panjab.The opposite is seen in deriving Skt. Talageri 2000: 406 sqq. . that a majority of Indian scholars "had rejected the Aryan invasion/migration completely. and second. from Arabic in a book published in Pakistan: Mazhar 1982. The ''Aryan Invasion'' and the "Out of India" theories The preceding sketch presupposes that groups speaking Old IA (Vedic) were an intrusive element in the North-West of the subcontinent.73 (For summaries see Hock 1999. but that would lead to far here. also Elst 1999). the autochthonists who try to show (or who simply believe in) an indigenous origin of the 'Aryans' in the subcontinent.S. to the (3) most intense version.) 70 Talageri. Frawley. Misra71 (1992). However. dominant classes influence the language of the conquered as superstrates in many ways. the three descriptions given just now fit the Indus/Vedic evidence perfectly. new. continue to influence the younger languages as substrates. linguistic faculty. Kak 1994a. duly noted in his introduction his 1992 book. S. though mentioning --unlike other OIT advocates-. As will be seen below. which has all languages of the world derived from Sanskrit: the ''Devabhå å school''. His (lone?) trip to an international meeting in Dushanbe. provided him with some contacts. Misra. -. etc. already in 1994-5. his linguistic evaluation (1999: 118 sqq.

Quite boringly. It also has to be done independently both from the present climate in India. A 'canonical' list would include. they also churn out long identical passages. Kak. European Indologists. Feuerstein. and Normans -. obviously did not have the present discussion in mind when they wrote. etc.1. or simply by sophistic argumentation (see below. Vikings. Talageri 1993. 1989. The irony of this line of reasoning is that the British themselves have been subject to numerous IE immigrations and invasions (Celts. and we also must not to follow one current trend or momentary fashion after another. .). Europeans and Indians alike could thus complain. all copied in cottage industry fashion from earlier books and papers. Gimbutas (1991. We can only approach a solution by patiently investigating the pros and 74 The list of such internet and printed publications waxes greatly. Even less so. but so are present day scholars. Klostermaier (in Rajaram and Frawley 1997). the whole scene has become one virtually indistinguishable hotchpotch. Danish. and from the present western post-modern/deconstructionist fashion of seeing political motives behind all texts. There now exists a closely knit. this is not an issue in Europe (e. Choudhury stands somewhat apart by his extreme chauvinism. Anglo-Saxons. both attitudes are not conducive in this kind of investigation. Elst 1999. and American or Japanese even less. 1997. while religious and nationalistic attitudes in India have made such "invasions" the issue in recent years. However. by a selective use of or by twisting of facts.These and many others frequent the internet with letters and statements ranging from scholarly opinions and prepublications to inane accusations and blatant politics and hate speech. for example with M. selfadulatory group. 75 For place names see also Szemerényi (1970). semi-nomadic and warlike invaders. not. They all were. Scholars of the 19th/20 cent. Even more ironically. I have. the theory of an immigration into South Asia by speakers of IA has to be constantly and thoroughly (re-)investigated. But this must be done on the basis of hard facts.000 people Out of Africa. Misra 1992. Rajaram 1993. 2000. on current use of long-refuted propositions). 1992. patriarchal.000 years ago: the problem of an "Aryan invasion" into India is as relevant or irrelevant to Indologists as a Bantu "invasion" of central. my own. or an Austronesian immigration into the Pacific or a Na-Dene one into North America. in book after book. § 11.and now Caribbeans and South Asians). Rajaram and Frawley 1995. sometimes paragraph by paragraph. 1981. Danino 1996. The best ones among them may have come to certain conclusions quite independently of their 'ideological' background. Rajaram and Jha 2000. a 'white race' was seen as subduing the local darker-colored population. any immigration or trickling in (nearly always called ''invasion'') of the (Indo-)Aryans into the subcontinent is suspect or simply denied: The Ārya of the RV are supposed to be just another tribe or group of tribes that always have been resident in India. next to the Dravidians. and the new (IA) substrate theories in Lubotsky (forthc. after the recent genetic discoveries that link all present humans to a fairly recent origin and all non-Africans to an even more recent emigration by some 10. -. predominantly Basque genes do not protest loudly against having been subjected to an IE language and culture several millennia ago). and Vennemann 1994. by the month. 50. 75 The "Proto-Anglo-Saxons". The theory of an immigration of IA speaking Ārya (''Aryan invasion'') is seen as a means of British policy to justify their own intrusion into India and their subsequent colonial rule: in both cases. have been subject to the same kind of Indo-European "invasions". We. Procedure Like all scientific theories. 1994). Kak 1994. must constantly strive to overcome this bias (Witzel 1999d). east and southern Africa. limited to some extent by the general zeitgeist of the period. Sethna 1980. Romans. about the domination of a "peaceful matriarchal agricultural community" by half-barbaric. there is a strong non-Indo-European substratum in English which has left such common words as sheep..(24) Michael WITZEL In these views. the better scholars of the 19th century were not colonialists or racists. and Frawley 1995. and in fact all of Europe. Mundas. 1995. members of which often write conjointly and/or copy from each other. and it has to be established whether (all) aspects of it and/or the theory itself are correct or not. At any rate. Frawley 1994. do not have an axe to grind. among others: Choudhury 1993. due to a dislike of earlier historical writing. been collecting them as they will form interesting source material for a study of the landscape of (expatriate) Indian mind of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. however. here and now.74 though often for quite different reasons. Among them. such ephemeral 'sources' are not listed here.g. too. however. however.

In the same way. with much more cautious claims by scientists. it will unfortunately take much more space even to merely describe and then to evaluate the arguments of the autochthonous school(s) than to describe the older. Anttila 1989. some selected linguistic data. of S. Gupta 1995). e.g. the opposite procedure.1998). At present.2. thus. All too frequently. Indus epigraphy (Possehl 1996). are used to indicate an Iranian and IE emigration from India. In the subsequent sections. the subsequent discussion is studded with examples that explain away older theories and even hard scientific facts with the help of new. comparative epic studies (Parry 1930. S. etc. all too frequently 'scientific facts' are quoted which. For example. But. general consensus.P. therefore. that was correctly predicted and.b. otherwise a particular theory is revised or discarded. or the evidence contained in the texts. in facile fashion. Beekes 1995). (even though it has been repeated quite recently in Ganapati's SV-translation (1982) where the 'Aryans' are portrayed as having lived "on the Polar circle"). and one cannot. ad hoc assumptions. Anreiter 1998: 675 sqq. well-known and well-tested principles and facts: this includes those of comparative linguistics (summaries by Hock 1986. Asian archaeology (Allchin 1995. therefore. older mythical and religious ideas (Witzel 1986. (Witzel 1999 a. (For an update. But such new evidence has to fit in with the general framework established by the many. Russia. it did not mean that post-Renaissance astronomy was wrong but that this observation was due to the mass of another planet.) to Latin equu-s (S. on closer observation. Anthony and Vinogradov 1995. we can observe a cult of 'science' in India. we have to reinvent the wheel. Slavic.or still are to be made. do not seriously discuss pre-Copernican or pre-Darwinian systems any longer. actually discovered in the early 20th century. Or. Misra 1992). all too frequently old and long given up positions are brought up and juxtaposed to recent ones in order to show 'contradictions' in what is called 'the western approach'. one should also not confound the autochthonous theories of the past two centuries (Dayanand Sarasvati. the text should not contain evidence of the domesticated horse (not found in the subcontinent before c. see Meadow 1997.) with the present wave of indigenism. they should not contain . Szemerényi 1970. accuse the present autochthonous and 'Out of India' movement for contradictions with the older position of Tilak of an original Arctic home of the Aryans. or Mesopotamia). so to speak. 1998). One should avoid. Lord 1991). Evidence For the subsequent discussion. Misra 1992). It also neglects a whole range of further contradictory evidence. is quite common in the contemporary effort to rewrite Indian (pre-)history. 1996. 1971. and have to restate.' However. other than historians. Consequently. This does not only contradict standard (IE and non-IE) linguistic knowledge (see now Hock 1999). --I have even seen 'scientific tax forms.'horse' (as in Skt. in spite of the stress on the 'hard sciences'. that are missing in the supposedly 'emigrating' languages such as Iranian. If the RV is to be located in the Panjab. to revert to long-refuted propositions.Autochthonous Aryans? (25) contras of the various points that have been made -. Pluto. are not hard facts at all. is also very important that each single item be scrutinized well before it is brought forward. completely unrelated observations in the various branches of scholarship.S. such as a supposed (but demonstrably wrong!) change from an older aśva. But LANDSAT or aerial photos cannot by themselves indicate historical dates. Further. as established by philology over the past two centuries (Witzel 1997). etc. for details. Scholarship is an ongoing dialectical process. when certain irregularities in the course of the planets were noticed. All of which are then used to insist that we are due for a "paradigm shift". In the natural sciences and in scholarship at large. 1700 BCE. Possehl 1999). If the Bråhma as are supposedly to be dated about 1900 BCE (Kak 1994). This is improper procedure. and sometimes even to prove. old conclusions are constantly reviewed on the basis of new evidence. non-IA loan words in Vedic Skt. auxiliary.1998. at 4-5000 BCE (Kak 1994. and supposedly to be dated well before the supposed 1900 BCE drying up of the Sarasvatī. 1992.). of well developed copper/bronze technology. see now Radhakrishnan and Merh 1999). the host of local. of zoology and botany (Meadow 1997. then. deducing a "paradigm shift" based on isolated facts.) Other inconsistencies derive from the evidence of the texts. cf. of the horse drawn chariot (developed only about 2000 BCE in S. below § 13 sqq. Natural scientists. an unsuspecting reader may take for granted that "LANDSAT photos show the drying up of the Sarasvatī river in 1900 BCE" (Kak 1994. this is part of an inclusivistic belief system that encapsulates. For example. etc. Unfortunately. § 11. Kenoyer 1998.

It must also be underlined that this development has not occurred because Indologists were reacting. before a certain theory can be accepted. and for good reasons. Allchin 1995). etc. that some IA speaking groups actually entered from the outside. from newcomer to indigenous. have maintained that the Indo-Aryans and the older local inhabitants ('Dravidians'. whether explicitly following Ehret's model (1988. or worse. and that even the RV already bears witness to that. OIT). Thapar 1968). textual. as an emigration from India (the 'Out of India Theory. the theory does not hold. 1999).S.g.Incidentally. via some of the (north)western corridors of the subcontinent. in any discussion of the 'Aryan problem'. one has to stress vehemently that the ''invasion model'' which was still prominent in the work of archaeologists such as Wheeler (1966: "Indra stands accused"). that many of them were in fact frequently bilingual. He stresses indigenous cultural continuity from c. and some of these items will be discussed below (§ 11 sqq. 7000 BCE well into the semi-historic times of the first 76 The recent denigration of this shift by some OIT-ers such as Elst is entirely disingenuous. with postcolonial one-up-manship. not of mass migrations or military invasions. -. 1995. Agrawal who served as cicerone in Wheeler's time and that Wheeler merely overheard him and simply picked up the idea.. noticed certain inconsistencies in the older theory and tried to find new explanations. 1992. 77 To mention a personal experience: when I related some of the materials that went into this paper to a well-known scholar of the older generation some three years ago (that is.must match. They also think. geological. the facts adduced from the various sciences that have been operating independently from each other and independently from the present 'Aryan' question -. by using one conspiracy theory or the other. 'Mundas'. Proof In short. We can no longer maintain. thereby discovering new facts and proposing a new version of the immigration theories. If the linguistic. I have it on good oral authority that the idea of Indra destroying the 'fortification walls' of the Indus towns was created by V. Diakonoff 1985) or not.in most cases actually without any knowledge of the Aryan discussion. -. and in fact. Thapar 1968. by special pleading. however. immigration / trickling in and acculturation (which works both ways. However.000 years ago.4. maintains that there has not been any influx at all. of Indo-Aryans or of other people from outside. The list could be prolonged. archaeological. the theory is in serious difficulty. Witzel 1995. For some decades already.3. 1991. for example those of J. cf. he insists on calling any migration or 'trickling in' an "invasion". could not believe what he heard. e. that the earth is flat and then explain away the evidence of aerial or space photos by assuming. facts contradict each other. 1000/900 BCE). 1995. of smaller infiltrating groups (Witzel 1989: 249. etc. It never is proper working procedure that such inconsistencies are explained away by ad hoc assumptions and new theories. All exceptions have to be explained. archaeologists such as Allchin 1982. some of its adherents simply reverse the 'colonial' invasion theory.) § 11. However. and from indigenous to newcomer!) is something entirely different from a (military) invasion. about 1200 BCE at the earliest (Chakrabarti 1979. Its advocates like to utilize some of the arguments of current archaeology. someone who has considerably advanced our understanding of the Indo-Iranian and IA question) this scholar was simply unaware of the present discussion. § 11. and historians such as R. philologists first.(26) Michael WITZEL evidence of the use of iron which makes it appearance in India only at the end of the millennium. has been supplanted by much more sophisticated models76 over the past few decades (see Kuiper 1955 sqq. as is now frequently alleged. in other words. and well within plausible range. and archaeologists somewhat later. On the contrary. Emeneau 1956.. some effect of light refraction in the upper strata of the atmosphere. Shaffer (1984. Southworth 1979. or from overpowering and/or from eradicating the local population. if they cannot. see now Possehl-Gullapalli 1999 for a much later date of c. linguists and philologists such as Kuiper 1955. for example. The autochthonous theory.) have mutually interacted from early on. conveniently forgetting that most humans have emigrated out of Africa only 50. Occam's razor applies.77 Rather. linguists and philologists still maintain. to current Indian criticism of the older theory. 1995. . The term "invasion" To begin. anthropological.

the solid discussion of early Sanskrit by Bh. though not without philological and linguistic training (Ph. Ghosh (1937). all while neglecting that linguistic data speak against it. Latin -qu. This is a much too narrow. -s. be it necessarily often torturous. geographical. and other scientific data (§ 12-31) to become credible. a discussion of their proposals and beliefs does not only take up much space but must be convoluted and torturous. he delights in speculating about an Indian Urheimat of IE and a subsequent emigration.Pers. cross-family comparison (Dravidian and IA. 70. bhairava from bhī+rav+vam. with profit.D. "Oakish" etymologies. astronomical. see below and n. Language study. Phoenicians from Pa i. to quote one of the most hackneyed. in predicting preGreek *kw or the IE laryngeals.e. Misra (1992) which bristles with inaccuracies and mistakes (see below) and some. This has been tradition ever since the Bråhma a texts (Rudra from rud 'to cry'.. non-intuitive examples: the correct equation. Toch. indigenists. it must 78 Elst. Gaul. O. The only exception so far is a thin book by the Indian linguist S. an equation repeated in many other words. The linguistic evidence. -p-. Latin duo = Armenian erku < IE *dwō(u). On the other hand one may still consult. it is not similarity that counts but the regularity of (albeit outwardly.[kw] : Gothic -hv. though completely lacking linguistic expertise. § 11. see below §12. Surya Kanta 1943. just as history. -sw-.Autochthonous Aryans? (27) millennium. with 'Indian' invasions of Europe.). is not something that can be carried out by amateurs. to some concrete. In his "Update" (Elst 1999). as such comparisons are simply based on overt similarities between words. To get. archaeological. since the linguistic ideas and 'arguments' of the autochthonists are far off the accepted norms and procedures.1). etc. for example Vedic śv in aśva 'horse' : Avest. as the materials transmitted by language obviously point to the culture of its speakers and also to their original and subsequent physical surroundings. or abåd from bath (Gupt 1990) have a long tradition both in occidental as well as in Indian culture. see Hock 1999 and §12. total amateurism is the rule.: Lith. such as England from a guli 'finger'. Here. In the South Asian context. he protests the ''linguistic tyranny'' of earlier models. Unfortunately. whether revisionists.5. Gupt 1990. but it is grist on the mills of the autochthonists. however. such as all of spiritual and some of material culture. etc. finally. Plato's Kratylos propounds the same kind of unscientific explanations as Yåska does in his Nirukta. is crucial. textual. or. dvå(u). . 1974.S. Mitanni from Maitråya īya. etc. They simply overlook the fact that a good theory predicts. Language has. IA and Arabic.78 Others such as Rajaram (1995: 144. -k/kw. Since language and (the necessarily closely connected) spiritual culture are crucial for any theory of an influx of speakers of OIA into the subcontinent --whatever form this influx might have taken initially-.) is especially widespread and usually completely wrong. linguistic data have generally been neglected by advocates of the autochthonous theory. -sp. Leuven.the linguistic evidence will be dealt with in detail in the following sections.3 sqq. the various subsequent historical 'layers' of a particular language can be uncovered when painstakingly using well-developed linguistic procedures. its own 'archaeology'. putra from the nonexistent word *put 'hell'. purely archaeological view that neglects many other aspects. simply reject linguistics as "pseudo-science" with "none of the checks and balances of a real science". or OIT adherents must especially explain the following linguistic. even though a 'everyone can do' attitude is widespread. available since the earliest forms of Sanskrit ( gvedic OIA). Hittites (Khet) from Ka ha. as has occurred in IE linguistics several times (i. however.OHG -h-.) A look into any recent or contemporary book on Indian history or literature will bring to light many examples: Assyria from asura. is quite lacuneous in his interpretations and does not discuss the fine linguistic details. as is evident according to the present state of archaeology.Irish -ch-. 217) or Waradpande (1993). (Bhagavad Datta repr. non-intuitive) sound correspondences.< IE *k'w. though incomplete discussion by Elst (1999). Syria from sura.: O. sound by sound. In comparative linguistics. Belgium). etc. of Skt. Consequently. This is especially pervasive when it comes to etymology and the (often assumed) origin and the (frequently lacking) history of individual words. in addition. Linguistics As has been mentioned above. detail: opponents of the theory of an IA immigration or trickling in.

it has to be relativized: one may maintain that linguistic palaeontology does not work (S. that Vedic Sanskrit is closely related to Old Iranian and the other IE languages. Vedic. In addition. Beyond that. etc. as the autochthonist would have it. Talageri 2000.) to Turkey (Hittite) and the Panjab (Vedic IA). there always are conflicting interpretations of the materials at hand that are discussed in dialectical fashion. with the establishment of regular sound correspondences (Lautgesetze) by the Leipzig Junggrammatiker school. thereby neglecting such well known facts as: (a) that any science progresses and that certain opinions of the 19th cent. . of a set of unknown sounds. Such cases include the rather old prediction of early Greek/pre-Greek *kw which was discovered in writing when Mycenean Greek was deciphered in 1952. discussion in Bryant 1999.? The few apparent inconsistencies can be explained (e. radical skeptics. etc. 217). Elst 1999). When Hittite finally was read in 1916. etc. there are a number of features of Old Iranian (such as lack of typical South Asian substrate words. Yet.) which actually exclude an Indian origin. In short. As will be seen below (§ 12 sqq. Such data have not been discussed yet by the autochthonists. that is by an emigration westwards of the Iranians and the other Indo-Europeans from the Panjab (see below). §12.. Iranian and Indo-European It is undeniable and has indeed hardly been denied even by most stalwart advocates of the autochthonous theory. The comparison of the many common features found in Vedic Indo-Aryan and Old Iranian have led to the reconstruction of a common 'mother' tongue. often very technical. Indo-Iranian.. pūr = Engl. about 1870 CE. cannot be juxtaposed to those of the 20th.(28) Michael WITZEL be. Some of them clearly do so because of a considerable lack of understanding of the principles at work (Waradpande 1989. but how is it that IE words for plants and animals consistently point to a temperate climate and to a time frame before the use of iron.79 However. These were later called laryngeals (h1. (The non-linguistically inclined reader may therefore prefer to jump to the concluding sections of §18). This theory was first developed in the early 19th century and has been tested extensively. especially after its more developed form had emerged.81 and those proposing new solutions to old or recently noticed problems. some revisionists and indigenists even call into question the theories and well-tested methods of comparative linguistics. h 2 was still found written (in words such as pe ur = Gk. They have disappeared in all known IE languages but have affected their surroundings in typical. in the present context. such as between traditionalists. this relationship is explained in a manner markedly differing from the standard IE theories.g.127. If there were still need of proof. 80 Note for example.).g. one may point to the many predictions the theory has made. doubtful etymologies for the 'elephant'. from India. Some 79 Though Talageri (2000) even refuses the link of Vedic with Iranian. the discussion among scientists about the various palaeo-channels of the Sarasvatī (Sarsuti-Ghaggar-Hakra). though. 81 Such absolute skepticism. in Radhakrishnan and Merh (1999). or the prediction by the young F. and (b) that in any contemporary field of science80 there is a certain range of generally agreed facts but also a certain range of difference of opinion. to a large extent even then predictable ways. h2. spoken (at least) around 2000 BCE. the comparison of IndoIranian and other IE languages has allowed similar reconstructions for all IE languages from Iceland and Ireland to Xinjiang (Tocharian) and from the Baltic Sea (Lithuanian etc. Any Avestan speaker staying for a few weeks in the Panjab would have been able to speak Vedic well and --with some more difficulty . fire). de Saussure more than a century ago (1879). or the first appearance of the horse in South Asia (Meadow 1998). Kak 1994a. chariots. in its very nature. h3). Vedic Sanskrit is indeed so closely related to Old Iranian that both often look more like two dialects than two separate languages (e. tam mitram yajåmahe : t m miθr m yazamaide 'we worship Mitra'). cf. see below n.vice versa. 149). Zimmer 1990). is always welcome as a hermeneutic tool. they make use of the expected scholarly differences of opinion between linguists to show the whole "theory of (IE) linguistics" does not work or is an "unproved theory" (Rajaram 1995: 144. that does not necessitate at all that the Old Iranian dialects were introduced to into Iran from the east. but. by a group of people that shared a common spiritual and material culture (see § 4-5). § 13 sqq. However.

ist. German. have been shown to be correct (see above). simply rests on the similarity of his "early 19th cent. .) would have to be quite technical and is not pursued here in detail. as has been done with regard to comparative linguistics by autochthonists on and off. How would the early Latin speakers have 'decided' which sound to 'choose'? --. but then how could ka 'who' to correspond to Latin qui-s? How could ś as well as k turn into Latin qu (and how does the . as seen in Ital. at 3000 or 4500 BCE. The whole matter of Misra's IE reconstructions has been discussed adequately by H. L. Skt. to the RV (textual evidence. e. His dating of the RV. In present day genetics.and -u respectively? Worse. some still hold that the recently developed theory of an origin of all humans from one or from a small group of African ancestors is not valid as it involves misinterpretation of statistical data and the wrong type of computer models. in a coherent way (IE = Latin e. § 12. cupiō. we would expect Skt. others probable.. 1400 BC). Cesare or even to [s] as in Engl. on an ad hoc basis. a trail of evidence leads to Pirak (c.1. cf.u. Cesar. cūpa. < IE *h1és-ti :: *h1s-ónti) are part and parcel of the parent language. to Romance c [tš]. etc. etc.and final a of aśva into e. nobody has claimed that genetic investigation as such is invalid. est :: santi. cruor .g. if IE *a > e. for example. the differences in the present tense formation of Sanskrit. 1700 BC). This was at first confined to an unknown area in a temperate (not a tropical!) climate. a etc. a regression to the early stages of IE comparative linguistics when strict rules of sound correspondences (Lautgesetze) had not yet been established by the Leipzig Junggrammnatiker School of c. Greek kaisar (whence Urdu kaisar).. again before -e-. kupyati . L.e. caveō. a . not exactly 82 It might be summed up as follows. L.S. Lat. IE > vowel n > Skt. and still others have actually been proved and have subsequently been shown to be correct. in. the Romance development from c [k] as seen in old loan-words. L. sind. Lat. the original PIE. if Skt. German Kaiser. just like any good science. based on this "new" reconstruction. agni 'fire' corresponds to Latin igni-s. S. -. often beyond the hard facts. a throwback. 83 Archaeologists have proposed as area of the domestication of the horse and the (later) development of the horse drawn chariot. 1870. a.83 This scenario is in stark contrast to the certainty with which autochthonist place the homeland of IE inside South Asia or even inside certain parts of India (Misra 1992).Again.. calix.gvedic (and pre-Old Iranian. i. why does a turn to i ? Or how can Skt. obvious even to an uninitiated observer that forms such as Skt. L. for which he accepts the guess of Uralic linguists. He simply rewrites. However. with the discovery of new materials. k usually corresponds to c [k] in Latin. cf.However. These changes are a feature known from many languages. cakåra (instead of *kakåra) must rely on the palatalizing effect of an e-like sound in ca-.and.H. Unfortunately for this view. sont. Misra's whole system rests on guesswork and on demonstrably faulty reconstructions. much of IE (and general) linguistics. kavi. o. all these developments have been explained by IE linguistics. his denial of PIE laryngeals as precursors of the actually written Hittite laryngeal sounds (Misra 1974. kravi . L. kūpa. crassus . even more precisely in the Gangetic basin (Talageri 1993. as in kalaśa. L. kak å. has made a number of predictions that later on.come about)? Skt. strangely for a linguist. coxa. 1992). or who say that it remains an 'unproved theory at best'." Proto-IE (looking altogether like Sanskrit) with reconstructed Proto-Finno-Ugric (Uralic) forms. cratis. in fact. cf. a > Skt. of course. French asti. also the separate development Vulgar Latin caballus 'horse' > French cheval. aśva 'horse' to correspond to Latin equu-s .82 they are. etc. his supposed IE *ś > k'. From there. (It has now been discussed by Hock. 2000). It is however. o. The discussion and explanation of his examples (e. the Swat valley (c. In sum. *a > e.). is even a step back beyond what is demonstrable and. 1999). for Indo-Iranian) as Misra maintains? A case of special pleading. Why should it only have been different for pre. how could the early Latin speakers 'decide' to turn the initial a . in the Ukraine and the plains west and east of the Urals. Misra's ad hoc rules do not make for a new system. kañcate . a . see §8). On the other hand. historical linguistics. for more than a century. That guess is not any better than the various guesses for PIE.g. If his rules were correct.Autochthonous Aryans? (29) interpretations are merely possible. o. Hock (1999) and there is no need to go into further details here. It simply is uncontested among linguists of any persuasion that the remarkable grammatically regular features of Proto-IE (underlying. the recent book of an Indian linguist. -. av tta-/ajñåta correspond to Latin invert-/ ignotu-? Misra has not explained such cases and has provided only some ad hoc rules to show the closeness of IE and Skt. a date of 5000 BCE. in other worlds. k atti . cingō. ś corresponds to a palatal k' which appears also as c [k] in Latin. The Misra case Worse. Misra (1992).

1861-2). substrate languages. . However. a scenario of IE emigration from the Panjab is of course possible. so to speak). Africa and the eastern half of the Congo (incidentally. towards Iran and Europe. all such factors have been considered over the past two hundred years or so. 2000. In the case of early India. in Vīd vdåd.). linguistic palaeontology. depends on a range of various socio-linguistic factors and not simply on the presence of nomads. has not generally been accepted. But India. Elst 1999: 159) use rather simplistic linguistic models. also the negative description of the Panjab by E. Iranians. that "India was the best place on earth for food production" and that "a generous country like India must have had a large population. or contest it just for the Indian linguistic area (see below). 124 etc. 85 Elst 1999: 159 sq. This is quite old news: various models have been proposed and tested for the development from Proto-Indo-European to the individual languages: the ''family tree'' model (A.) and make its speakers emigrate. (For this familiar 'principle' used in deciding the Urheimat. see Witzel 2000. --. in the Gangetic basin. etc. a new Pidgin. increasing population density. Schmidt's Wellentheorie. Witzel 2001). If this agriculturally induced spread had taken place. most of the factors just mentioned were not present during the early Vedic period which saw the introduction and spread of IA all over the Greater Panjab. Elst 1999: 119.84 in their own home land. 2000. autochthonists wonder why a 'large population' could take over IA language(s) brought in by a few tribes. from the Baluchi/Afghani hills. For the dominance model: Norman French introduced by a few knights and their followers in Anglo-Saxon England. that in "prehistoric times the distribution of 84 The unspoken "principle" of locating the (IE) homeland: "the homeland is at. Some advocates of the autochthonous theory (Kak 1994. in isolation. Renfrew's (1987) model of a very gradual spread of IE from Anatolia. Kuz'mina 1994." (Witzel. The Out of India theorists such as Elst (1999:122. some linguistic observations such as the distribution of languages.85 and large-scale political integration led to the extinction of certain languages and to a transfer of other languages across ethnic groups. like many other indigenists. deride it (cf. the situation differs from case to case. I would be writing this paper in a descendent language of the non-IE Hattic of Turkey. mostly spreading without Islamization).. family tree model of the Indo-European language family. the change from the language(s) of the urbanized Indus civilization to that of the pastoralist Indo-Aryans must be explained. 2000) envision an IE homeland in South Asia. A few comparisons across history would have provided many and diverse examples. such as the suggestion that population increase. However. always has been a cul de sac. Further. 2000). for example with the introduction of horse-based pastoralism (Anthony and Vinogradov 1995. 52). or for a trade language: Swahili. §12.the direction of the spread of languages and linguistic innovations cannot easily be determined. trade. but introduces late Vedic and Purå ic concepts (see below §12. For example.(30) Michael WITZEL unexpectedly. none of them. the autochthonous school maintains that the very assumptions at the basis of the genealogical. Autochthonists further neglect that language replacement. see n. Note that the Indus Valley has only gradually been settled. the emergence of agriculture. -. to be more precise. starting out from the coast and by now covering most of E. stresses. On the other hand." both unsubstantiated articles of faith. etc.2. not surprisingly. In fact. Elst's imaginative description is compounded by repeating the nationalistic view that "the ancient Hindus colonized the world". then. Talageri (1993.). 1872). and below).Talageri claims to have based his study of the RV only on RV materials. Otherwise. Elst 1999: 118 sqq.2 Language and 'Out of India' theories Theoretically. and the important factors for any particular replacement must be demonstrated. across the Indus area. and that the Gangetic plain remained very sparsely settled for much longer. and not in IE English. (Cf. by and large. see discussion by Bryant 1999). a theory of dialectal waves of innovation emanating from a certain center (Joh. dialect features. along with agriculture. Rather. socio-linguistic theories include the development of Proto-Indo-European as a sort of camp language (another Urdu. based on diverse original languages that eventually spread beyond its own rather limited boundaries. Talageri 1993. such as visible during the Vedic period. the outcome is a Gangetic homeland. palaeontological) sources and proof. India. nor a combination of all of them.. Schleicher's Stammbaumtheorie. allow to argue against the Out of India scenarios. or close to the homeland of the author of the book in question. unless we have written materials (preferably inscriptions). without any linguistic (or archaeological. lead to the surprising spread of IndoEuropean languages inside and outside the subcontinent. It certainly cannot be done (see below) by positioning the homeland of the 'non-tropical' IE language inside India (Talageri 1993. Talageri simply assumes. etc.

86 Of course. Nevertheless.we cannot write the history of archaic and ancient India based on the legendary and late Epic and Purå ic accounts of the middle ages (Witzel 1990..b) that point to a western (centum) IE remnant in the Himachal Pradesh Hills. could be expected. Or slightly differently (2000: 263): "The two emigrations ... typically.. many later on migrating further westwards as far as West Asia and southwestern Europe. but that all these 100 kings. Sino-Tibetan languages in the Himalayan and far eastern border areas. like that of Tocharian in Xinjiang.. Witzel 1999 a.15. a. Rocher 1986. b." The passage is found with some variants. It is possible that the speakers of proto-Baltic and proto-Slavonic (or proto-Balto-Slavonic) . from an original homeland in India: . f. twice in untranslated form. etc. influenced by Brahmanical redactors (Söhnen 1986. sons of Pracetås (a descendant of a 'Druhyu'). Celtic. as the book is self-described as: "This whole description is based on the most logical and in many respects the only possible. Illyrian (Albanian). Brockington 1998. can only confirm this description. Brahma 13. at Brahmå da 2. and that are the product of a lively Bardic tradition (L. which means.. see Kirfel 1927: 522: Pracetasa putraśata råjåna sarva eva te // Mleccharå rådhipå sarve udīcīm diśam åśritå . Talageri (1993: 407) continues his Purå ic tale as follows: ". 212. d. c. given by Talageri 1993: 368 and 2000: 260 sq.11.. The second series of migrations of Anus and Druhyus. Tocharian. reaching as far as western Europe. the Anus (in Kashmir) and the Druhyus (in northwestern and Afghanistan)". there is no possible way in which the location of the 86 It must be pointed out that all of this is based on one misrepresented passage from several Purå as. into Central Asia and beyond). all of this is based on data about peoples "clearly mentioned and described in the Puranas. Våyu 99. were Anus and not Druhyus. in the Early Period of the Rigveda."a major part of the Indo-Europeans of southeastern Uttar Pradesh migrated to the west and settled down in the northwestern areas --. of the Druhyus.' -. this kind of writing prehistory smacks of early 19th cent. and any new material discovered on the subject.. Baltic. ThracoPhrygian (Armenian).. more southern.. interpretation of the facts. Talageri 1993: 196.. of proto-Illyrian and proto-Thraco-Phrygian . Austric in the east.. are 'adjacent' (åśrita ) to the 'northern direction. the Anus and Druhyus thus being. Slavonic. developed into the various Iranian cultures.. the Dravidian languages being spoken in the south. of the Druhyu into the areas to the north of Afghanistan (ie." Needless to say.Elst (1999: 122) even weaves in the disputed Bangani evidence (Witzel 1999 a. Lord 1991). In spite of what Pargiter (1913) and even Morton Smith (1973) have tried to establish --obviously." (1993: 407-8). e. 2001). Kashmir. -. before the ancient Egyptian and Mesopotamian texts could be read. without taking the later investigations into account-. with major sections of Druhyus migrating northwards from Afghanistan into Central Asia in different waves. also Vi u 4. China.9. the Burushaski language in N.17. b.. 344-5.." The strange or outdated terminology (Slavonic. . The first series of migrations.Satem and proto-Kentum. Hariva śa 1841..23. which makes it easy to impute any meaning desired. migrated westwards.which since the Vedas and På ini has signified Greater Gandhåra.. and then later the speakers of the proto-Hellenic and proto-Italo-Celtic dialects moved into Europe by a different.Punjab. somehow.Autochthonous Aryans? (31) the languages in India may have been roughly the same as it is today: viz. in case a "first historical emigration .74. These migrations must have included the ancestors of the following branches (which are mentioned in the Dåśaråjña battle hymns): a. took place much later. Bhågavata 9. The Druhyus spread out into Europe in two installments.. and the Indo-European languages certainly in more or less their present habitat in most of northern India" (1993: 407). The rest follows logically: .. the Andamanese languages in the Andaman Islands. Any further research.. It is based on a naive reliance on texts that were composed millennia after the facts. with various tribes migrating westwards from the Punjab into Afghanistan. d. Nothing less. route.. see below -Italo-Celtic. Germanic. kings of Mleccha kingdoms. respectively. Horsch 1966)." He actually knows. 1995.. took place. W. 263). major sections of Anus .. Parry 1971...11. g. Kentum) indicates the limited linguistic background of the author sufficiently enough. -. where they differentiated into three groups: the Pūrus (in the Punjab). Hittite. Italic. not that these '100' kings conquered the 'northern countries' way beyond the Hindukush or Himalayas. c. 334. writing of early European and Near Eastern history according to the Bible and Herodotos. These migrations must have included the ancestors of the following branches.. Iranian. perhaps.5. From Central Asia many Druhyu tribes. 2000: 328. Hellenic. and by which route: "the speakers of the proto-Germanic dialect first migrated northwards and then westwards.his source may be Misra's diction.. which IE group moved first and which later.b): "The Indus Valley culture was a mixed culture of Pūrus and Anus" (1993: 408). Matsya 48. we also can learn of the solution to the long-standing enigma of the Indus language (Parpola 1994. of course. in the course of time..152. cf. . (cf.. Kashmir and the further north-west. the speakers of proto.

. The reliability of Purå ic and Epic sources is discussed below (§19.13: 357. Yet. Ra hå.P. Vi u Pur. 1995). Engl. Witzel 1990. Kåśi). *Tray. Witzel 1987:193. Anu-Druhyu and Pūru is not very clear for most of the gvedic period (Macdonell & Keith 1912). see Oldenberg 1888).2 is already located in Vibhinduka land. Be-trayer -.89 Talageri's identification of Jahnåvī with Ga gå is clearly based on post-Vedic identifications. Talageri has not only to rely on the Purå as. -.3722 etc. I å and Sarasvatī at RV 2. we do not find any IE tribe or people in Europe derived from Ved.87 § 12. in the later Brå ma a period.Jåhnåvī Mbh 3. 1997). by no means clear that Jahnåvī refers to a river.18.in fact one of the basic requirements of philology (Witzel 1995.1. or refer to central and eastern Northern India).5. settlement in Kashmir by any gvedic tribe is very doubtful. -. can ever be disproved" (1993: 408).91 The evidence set forth by Talageri is not conclusive even for the tribes of the RV. the Raså /Avest. cf. it might be added.19 and 3. 90.31.P.11.). Witzel. German Trug. see Witzel 1995: 320. 88 Sarayu.64.6 are made out to refer to the Ganges.44:397.8 sqq. is the modern Gumti in U.90 the RV passages only speak about an ancient clan (deity) which could have 'settled' anywhere. However.19.7. They are characterized by their 'incorrect' speech and obnoxious behavior (ŚB 9. the mythical river at the end of the world or high up in the Himalayas. Gomatī. 2000).9: Sarasvatī (= Hara aitī. then was not yet the mod.).P.. As a curiosity. Witzel 2001.12..92 One hardly does have to mention the features that would not agree with a 'tropical' PIE language in the Gangetic Basin (see § 12. However.(32) Michael WITZEL Original Homeland in the interior of northern India. 18.116. It is. druh / IE *dhreugh: there are no tribes called. the single two appearances of Jahnåvī in the RV at 1. Emigration In order to achieve his new U. see Witzel 1994. Jahnu's descendants at AB 7.24. and certainly not to the Ganges in particular (Witzel 2001).5).31. already found in ŚB and BŚS 18.g.just as the Gypsies have carried their tribal/caste name omba to Europe.e. once in a late hymn directly (10.). Sarayu (Herat R. that regards all tribes and peoples outside the Center. Vedic Index. 92 For example.75. it is in this way that Talageri tries to strengthen his case for a Gangetic homeland: the Ganges is otherwise only mentioned twice in the RV. his daughter = Ga gå.6 sqq. Sindhu (Indus). the author names his two main sources: the Purå as and the gveda. as 'outsiders' (båhīka ŚB 1. = 'Ga gå' at BhGītå 10. son of Ajamī ha. 398. however. The medieval and modern Doåb rivers Sarayu and Gomatī88 have sometimes been mentioned but the context of these RV rivers is one of the western hills and mountains.8211. that we certainly would expect tribal names such as Druhyu (or Anu) in Europe.8. e. thus. he also has to read them into his RV evidence. Luckily for us. That is an Epic/Purå ic conceit. asurya).9. the Kuru(-Pañcåla) realm.7. though pretending to use only the RV to interpret the RV (Talageri 2000) -. 87 Talageri achieves such evidence by twisting the facts his way: see the discussion of Jahnåvī. not Uttara-Kuru) may refer to Kashmir .45. it should be mentioned that the Epic and Purå ic accounts of the western neighbors of India are based on a view. nothing in the RV points to knowledge of the Gangetic basin. homeland. Panjabis) and lack of proper śrauta ritual (ŚB 13. In casu.56. Uttara-Madra (however. 90 Note Mbh 1. mleccha. Be-trüger. and 10.3.3. such an 'ancestral goddess' next to Hotrå. so faithfully recorded in the Puranas and confirmed in the Rigveda. cf.). 1999. n. Sarju in U. indeed.4.6). (see Witzel 1987. Helmand). 89 RV 5. both passages clearly refer to a Jahnåvī which translators and commentators (including Såya a) have taken as a tribal designation (cf. Macdonell-Keith.3. in Afghanistan.we only find spirits: 'ghost' and 'apparition' (Pokorny 1959: 276). and once by a derived word. etc. and the RV does not support his theory either (it simply does not know of. 1995. in a t ca that could be an even later addition to this additional hymn. However.. . Instead. or even of the lower Doåb. ĀśvŚS 12. In passing. -.53. Bhåratī. note that both lists are probably ordered anti-clockwise.. Sarayu (Herat R. udantya.in fact the location of the Yadu-Turvaśa. where they still call themselves Roma.1. Krumu (Kurram). 91 Note that the center of settlement in RV 3 is the eastern Panjab and the Sarasvatī area of Haryana. gå gya (6. that in PB 25. Jåhnava PB 22.14. which is too long to fit the order of the arrangement of the RV. and the Kubhå (Kabul R. it can simply be derived from the Jahnu clan. i.

42. (Uttara-Kuru?) are always excluded. the Panjabis have been regarded as outsiders since the AV and ŚB and Patañjali's Mahåbhå ya has preserved the oldest "Sikh joke".. in spite of the E. A brief sketch may be. Iraq or Egypt). (The Gypsies. claimed to be one of them). there is definite evidence of spread of Aryans (or Indo-Europeans) in different parts of Europe. The Finno-Ugrian contact with Indo-Aryans speaks of the movement of Vedic Aryans from India to that area. The Epic and Purå ic accounts simply build on such Vedic precedents: the Panjabis are regarded as 'fallen Ārya'. actually mistranslated Purå ic story (contra Witzel 2001. and elsewhere. to use such legends. cf. incidentally. even if de mortuis nihil nisi bene. as indications of actual historical events.93 This attitude mellowed somewhat with regard to eastern North India (AB 7. but also in ancient and modern China (chung kuo. etc. another indication of the (post.. 'the middle land'). the Hittite speakers might have gone there in very early days from an original home (which was perhaps India). To regard the alleged.. On the other hand.. Śabara. Iranian language and pre-Muslim IIr culture. in Polynesian). The Slavonic people .. This was a nice place to live. a view that was not yet present in gvedic times.. §12.. gaur båhīka 'the Panjabi is an ox'. was searched in Pamir. . Gandhåra and Uttara-Madra. Kuruk etra. n. Witzel 1997) but it continued with respect to the west which was under constant and continuing threat of immigration... or as the many tales about the lost tribes of Israel (note that the Pashtos. from Tamil to Uralic (Finno-Ugric)... There is.. 94 See discussion in §9. who actually have emigrated from India. was spoken in India. however. 2000.1989. as his book has been quoted in virtually every publication propagating the autochthonous point of view..g)Vedic attitude against 'outsiders'. what S. Ritual. the Other. the movement of Iranians from India to Iran. with the addition of Epic-Purå ic legends. Pulinda.. incursion and actual invasion from the Afghan highlands (cf... Bihar (A ga) people are denigrated by middle Vedic texts. rather claim origins in S. there was a vast substratum of pre-Greek languages.. or in the words of BŚS. 1997... People would not like to go to places like Europe. That the Italic peoples were invaders is well-known. see above §9). Pu ra.. the Celtic people came from outside to Europe. Caspian Sea etc.S. world wide. and from IE. I am sorry that he can no longer reply to the following points. There is nothing new under the Indian sun. see Witzel 1989: 101. on the other hand. it is reflected not only in Manu's concept of madhyadeśa (> mod. just as so much of present autochthonous writing is nothing more than a cottage industry exploitation of a now popular trend. nothing particularly Indian about this attitude. Nirukta. before the Hittite invasion to the area [Turkey] it was peopled by another tribe called Hattic. 86) about an emigration from India as statement of facts is as far-fetched and mythological as the Roman insistence of their descent from the heroes of Troy (Virgil's Aeneid. The following ground may be assumed for dropping India.. of the author's demise.. Nepali mades 'lowlands'). It is completely anachronistic. Vedic and Mitanni Indo-Aryan to European Gypsy (Romani). 95 But see above §9 on the Sarasvatī as political center in Sudås' time. at the beginning of Oct.95 All of this is. and in fact unscientific. Misra's small book96 of 110 pages... were invaders..Autochthonous Aryans? (33) Consequently. o mata o te henua.. Sanskrit. Misra had written before him in 1992.. often regards one's own location as the center of the universe (or its navel/eye. In addition. concocted long after the fact.. However. Talageri's new book merely restates..4.. All of this with an equally curious conclusion: "the original home of the Proto-Indo-European speech community. it is important to point out the facts which remain. are included as Viśvåmitra's sons.. 96 The following account was written before I heard. In fact. is a curious collection of linguistic data spanning the Eurasian continent.. Patañjali and the Kamboja language.94 This is "the view from the center".. the Gandhåri have emigrated [from the center]. Linguistics and 'Emigration'. both the Panjabis (Båhīka) as well as the Benares (Kåśi) and S. However. the "north". Rau 1957: 14). at the expense of Finno-Ugrian and Baltic languages. coming from an outside world... The Germanic speaking Indo-Europeans..18 where the Andhra. The Greeks were invaders and came to Greece from outside. Therefore it is likely that Pre-Vedic Aryans also might have gone out of India in 93 Witzel 1987. in spite of the fact that the most original and orthodox Indo-European speech.

dasa! In short. However.. Though he corrects some of Harmatta's mistakes (such as misclassifying IIr forms as PIran. *oc'tara 'whip'. not mentioned by Misra. the Albanian. still found in Nuristani. are in fact to be traced to Indo-Aryan. but the quality of the PFU vowels preserved in these words is open to doubt (see below). these must be discussed and summed up. a. on linguistic grounds. Katz (Habilschrift 1985). gh. or the IE vowels e. Harmatta has chosen to divide his materials into eleven stages. his discussion is based on two wrong premises: Harmatta's list of IA/Iranian loans in Uralic97 and Misra's own 'unorthodox' but faulty reinterpretation of IIr and IA data. in fact. Further. OIran.98 His use of Harmatta's list and that quoted from Burrow (1973: 23-27) and Abaev (1992: 27-32) suffer from the same methodological fault: forms that easily can be derived from IIr. e. the date given by Misra to the RV "must be beyond 5000 BC" (1992) is based on the guess of Finno-Ugric scholars for Proto-FU. and the same development appears again as PIIr iś > iš at 1700 BCE.quite politically incorrect now. it is on this arrangement that Misra based his conclusions. . type reconstruction of IE (see Hock 1999): "most of the loan words .. that is 600 later than the related changes rs > rš. To begin with. This refers to words such as Harmatta's FU *aja 'to drive. § 12. this reversal to early 19th cent. such as 'orthodox' (which language is 'orthodox'?). the retaining of -w. 99 Harmatta's list has no clear examples that date back to PIE.) has been placed at 2000 BCE (as iś!). purtsos." (Misra 1992: 100 sqq. some of them have been placed at various unlikely dates within that time frame. *erśe 'male'.5 Finno-Ugric data Misra maintains (1992: 94) "the borrowed elements in the Uralic languages show borrowed gvedic forms in 5000 BC. There is no need to belabor Misra's wording. most recently Joki 1973. The migrations from India to the outside world might have taken the following order: The Centum speakers. ranging from 4500 1000 BCE. but historically speaking c. Most of the acceptable evidence derived from Harmatta's data99 fall right into the Proto-IIr period.. next Baltic followed by Slavonic. nevertheless. a > IIr. Of special importance is the borrowing traced to the earliest period (5000 BCE). *reśme 'strap'. Harmatta actually is an historian who. o instead of Common IIr and Ved. 19th cent. by Hock (1999. such as Mordw.." Unfortunately. g. strange from the pen of a linguist. Rédei 1986.. What is of greater importance here is the exact form of IIr. -. Most of these are actually pre-IA as they retain c' > Ved. 3000 years older forms Ved. kw h. many ingredients and conclusions of Misra's book are faulty as well. ś.g. this kind of combination produces a great.g. IE (Slavic. purts (reflecting IIr *parc'as [parts as]) are declared by Misra as having come from the much later OIA (Vedic). is called by Misra "one of the leading Indo-Europeanists. ks > kš. that the various loan words in PFU have preserved. to hunt'. Misra's main thesis. or š instead of Ved.. based on the linguistic analysis or relative affinity with Sanskrit.). linguistics is refuted by Hock 1999. *porc'as. with an arbitrary length for each period of 300 years. kh. has already been refuted. Unfortunately. emigration from India. something that is 97 Reprinted in Harmatta 1992: 360-367. < PIIr dac'a < PIE dek'm. *mekše 'honey bee'. Since he is now quoted by OIT advocates as the major linguistic authority who has provided proof for the OIT. in several waves. IIr. this is. gw h > k. which is clearly Vedic Sanskrit" (1992: 24). porśas 'piglet'." His paper has been used by many indigenists who cannot judge these linguistic materials. Worse. *mete 'honey' (from Harmatta's stages 1-7).. not even an 'immigration" or a meager "trickling" into India.should have lost its labiovelar quality already by the time the word . have worked on this problem as well. In addition to Harmatta.in PFU *arwa 'present given to a guest' surprises as PIE *org w ha. the development is > iš. a. but not in the linguistically already younger. which is already E. see below) and I can be relatively brief here. *c'aka 'goat'. gw . Armenian first. a date just as good or bad as any given for PIE at 4500 or 3500 BCE. of course. 98 Misra.. etc. Ved. however. it might be added. The shibboleth is the development of PIE labiovelars to velars: *k w . du. denies the development IE e. However. in spite of their retaining the old pronunciation c' [ts]. e.) A lot of invasions into and all over Europe -. The Iranian people were the last to leave.(34) Michael WITZEL several waves..c. o. Misra makes things worse due to his clearly faulty. One may discuss PFU *mete 'honey' < PIE *medhu. some other scholars. but confused and confusing scenario. Out of Sat m speakers.but no "invasion". Similarly out of the Centum groups Greek might have left India last of all. daśa. [duts].

takes this word as RV Sanskrit!). which seem to be earlier in the Taiga woodlands than in the steppes and even further south. from the woodlands into the steppes. 101 These facts should be counterchecked by FU specialists who may be able to explain this phenomenon by vowel harmony or by the peculiarities of PFU stress. EWA 114. -. see below) do not point to an earlier take-over than that of other words without .102 § 12. of course. the following: it was at the stage of PIIr (perhaps even at that of late PIE) but certainly not that of gvedic Sanskrit. again. 100 Parpola 1998. j'h. The important result is. a as inherited from PIE were still preserved. This development is clearly seen in the majority of the loans into PFU. etc. and it may indeed be fairly late (c. porc’ werkas (and. while other syllables have -a. arvo). there is apparently little FU in IE. a.in these loan-words seems to be limited to initial syllables. by ś 100 (late PIIr. Finn. of course. much later. the PIIr affricates are represented in PFU in two forms. see Hock 1999). martas. with a typical. however. see A. as in for example in *porc'as 'piglet'. s. Róna-Tas 1988. including the case of pakas 'god'. Note. 102 Conversely. *jewä . and ś preserved in Vedic). o.gvedic. forthc. Dating of RV The last section has.However.It must be pointed out that the few words in PFU that still retain the nom. the PIE *k'. not yet OIran. o.or -e-. roughly contemporary with Hittite. The problem will be treated at length elsewhere (Witzel. point to the pre-PIIr period when the differences between e. in the usefulness of bee's wax to produce cire perdue metal products. -o. This could. Katz's Habilschrift was not available to me. and even some (pre-)PIIr. PIIr. that PFU has taken over a substantial number of loan words ranging from plants and animals to customs. c'h. -. semantic as. taivas. Some confusion is raised by the various representations of PIIr *a by PFU e. serious consequences for Misra's new dating of the RV. For. As the PFU loan-words point to pre. g'h developed to c'. in the 2nd mill. chariot.s. Mycenean Greek texts inscribed on tablets. j'. a. where this has not taken place. that Mayrhofer. About the same time. the RV must be considerable later than the reconstructed PFU (at 5000 BCE). ä. k'h. o. BCE.Autochthonous Aryans? (35) clearly seen in PFU *werkas 'wolf' < PIIr *v ka-s < PIE *w k w o-s (Misra. are not uncommon as they follow the predominant cultural flow. Mitanni IA. the typical Iran. or *mekše .For connections between IE and Altaic. see below). which is anyhow impossible due to internal contradictions (relating to the horse. -s. In other words. change s > h is not yet seen in Harmatta's material. (Misra derives these sounds from Skt. -. some of the late words in the list may be of North Iranian (Scythian/Saka) origin. sg. however. such as tarwas. However. conflates the two stages and further conflates them with the representation of IE e/o/a by FU e. g'. In fact. In short. b)101. Iran. religion and the economy. we here have a reverse cultural flow. quite differently from that of Misra's Sanskrit-like loans into PFU. The reason for the early occurrence of word for bee (*mekše ) and honey (IE * medhu) may lie elsewhere. *aja 'to drive'.. at 5000 BCE. there are words such as the presumably very early *arwa 'present'. . All of which fits in well with the 'traditional' date for this text. either as expected by c' or in the younger (=Vedic) form. 1000 BCE. ä etc. the (god) "Share". c. j. and early. forms. *c'aka 'goat'. Such one-sided relationships.6. see A. however. development from IIr Bhaga-s. regards the PFU form as problematic (from *arγa?. Hintze 1998). masc. turned into IIr * argha.

see below § 18). the borrowed elements in the Uralic languages show borrowed gvedic forms in 5000 BC. . Uptil now no evidence to the contrary is available that Proto-Indo-European a. *h3onkos > Gr. like MIA. h2ner.. anti.) into dialectical a.." (1992: 103 This is not to say that even the RV has a few forms. or the present tense of 'to do' (karáv. a. Misra's early "Middle Indo-Aryan" at 1400 BCE simply evaporates.. often enough.). asti. Thus.." it is not correct to say that "the Gypsy dialects present sufficient evidence which shows that Indo-Aryan a changed into a.. .. probably first attested as migrant musicians in records of the Sasanide kingdom of Iran (at 420 CE). satta < Ved. o : IE *h1esti > Gr. speakers of various historical languages. h (see below §15. j'h > Ved. and even IIr. est. left their original homeland (India) and travelled to Europe. Sleicher [sic!] etc. Misra's data are again incomplete." (Misra 1992) First of all. o (as shown by Gk. No matter that the two movements.o in European Gypsy. faulty and misinterpreted. a. his contention that "Thus in a way the linguistic change in Gypsy.< Ved. o. such as the -disputed.by b. but Ved. karál. see below (§18). In Greek. of Indo-European a (as shown by Sanskrit and as reconstructed by Bopp. along with his early RV at 5000 BCE.as in biriya. karás. for example in the northwestern MIA retention of Cr (bhråtå > phral 'brother'). uncus. but Ved. OIA) whence > e. Not to speak of the well-established correspondences of PIE *e. Misra's data are based on his insufficient knowledge of near Eastern languages and their writing systems. Middle Indo-Aryan developments.(36) § 12. Second. of Misra's IE *a > e. would refer to one of PIE and the other to an MIA or ealry NIA language.. Its archaic Balkan version (of Bulgaria. karáv etc. etc. we do not have a 'dialectal' change. Lat. n -. esti. the emigrant Gypsies. e..) have merged in India" (Misra 1992: 81) can easily be refuted by any Indo-Europeanist (Hock 1999). anti. which I know from personal experience) has kar-. etc. In sum. ante..103 We are back to the 'traditional' dates.. or in a non-open syllable whence > a. such forms are due to the exigencies of cuneiform writing and Hurrite pronunciation found in the Mitanni realm (for details. *h2enti > Gr. a ku.. whatever that may mean.jyoti < dyoti (aan de Wiel 2000). which occurred in a remote history of Indo-European. however Mitanni does not have any such developments. § 12.. They seem to fit in well (at dates around 1400 BCE) with his theory of an early RV at 5000 BCE because he regards some of the Mitanni words as representing post-Vedic. In sum.> Greek an r.a.) Misra hinted at the reason why certain cases of MIA a have changed into Eur. Romani e. o but a clearly regulated one. for example. as quoted above). 18). o (as reconstructed by Brugmann etc. to be read as priya-. onkos.8. However.in an originally open syllable (in MIA.7. e.. (1992: 82). sapta 'seven' (see n. see EWA I 139). see Hock 1999). While it is clear that "the Gypsy languages are of Indo-Aryan origin is no more controversial. etc. Hitt.e. He assumes (repeated faithfully by Elst 1999:183) that there is MIA assimilation of clusters in Mit. vīrya (rather. 'to do' (from karomi. in the case of laryngeals 1-3 > e. Ved. 148). However. suggests a clear picture of an assumption for a similar change in Proto-Indo-European stage. the date of RV must be beyond 5000 BC. some words are necessary as Misra has used the example of Gypsy as support for his theory of sound changes that affected the hypothetical IE emigrants from India when they entered the Near East and Europe. and no matter that Romany is not as well studied as PIE. Lat. Mitanni data Michael WITZEL Misra's use of the Mitanni Indo-Aryan materials is clearly faulty as well. Misra's contention that "Gypsy languages show a repetition of the linguistic change.gvedic stage of IA as they have retained -zdh.> RV edh and ai > RV e. a in the various IE languages. thousands of years apart.). or replacement of v.a (Rix 1976: 68 sqq. which Misra simply denies on insufficient grounds (for details. it can even be shown that Mitanni IA words belong to a pre. Gypsy language Though a detailed study of data from the Gypsy (Romany) language seems to be beyond the scope of the present discussion. when the original groups.o : their distribution seems to be based on occurrence of -a. In short. Lat. this change is by no means universal even in European Romani. have retained a fairly old form of IA which looks. However. anti (with written laryngeal!) but Ved.

with a very close grouping in Taiwan (and then in S. all across the Pacific. with the exception of the (western-type) Centum language Tocharian. to Rome. prehistory. even more recently. in Anatolia. that many early IE languages have disappeared since (Thracian. That of all Romance languages would lead to central Italy. If Agastya had some power he might have helped in bringing down the abnormal height of the Vindhya mountains which created a lack of contact of North and South. a 'scientific' Mahå-Bhårata? Or just a reverse version of O.105 Or.. etc. it is obvious that the 'dialectal features' in the arrangements of (P)IE languages indicate a general expansion of IE westwards and eastwards from an unknown center. The actual spread of IE across Eurasia points in the same direction. faulty interpretations and idiosyncratic conclusions that are at odds with anyone else's in the field. The center may therefore have been situated somewhere between Greek. Europe. as 'proof' for his Indian Urheimat of IE. -. etc. -. and probably some languages in S. Thus a least this is much likely that due to some factor the height of the Vindhya mountains became abnormally high. all over Europe and the Near East. From this. Saka.) The following passage. This area is also at the fault line between the western Centum and eastern Satem languages and of certain syntactic features of IE (Hock 1999: 15). . Hittite. It has been well observed in various parts of the world that a settlement close to each other of related languages indicates their original habitat while a (geographically) wide spread of one of a (sub)family points to recent expansion. and would exactly have reconstituted themselves geographically.Elst 1999: 126 sq. but subsequently. somewhere close to the geographical center of the pre-colonial expansion of IE languages over Siberia. areas that were subsequently settled by Scythians and other (Turkic) steppe peoples. Luwian. so that the path for contact of North and South was blocked and due to the growth of population the people in the North had to spread.E. with Arnhemland as the center and with the rest of the continent as the area of a more recent expansion. the older Centum block has been split by the Satem innovations (not withstanding that the speakers of Tocharians might have moved further east after the split). right from the time of the common PIE language. at various periods. in other words. Armenian in the South and Slavic. in the Greater Ukraine. Iranian (Scythian. the Americas. In the case of IE. Hock (1999) has adduced further reasons why this cannot be the case: all dialectal differences in PIE would have been exported. in China (Xinjiang. to some asymmetric expansions which are found as well. Such clustering indicates that Indo-Iranian is a southeastern extension of eastern (Satem) IE and that Vedic is the easternmost one of these. etc. has a very dense arrangement of diverse languages in West Africa. philosophers and scientists. etc. as a result the Aryans had to go outside to NorthWest through the Himalayan passes and this consequently was responsible for the spread of Indo-European language family to the outside world. however. Rosenberg's Myth of the Twentieth Century ? 105 The same applies to Austronesian. They used the routes like the Khyber pass and left it and lost all contact and were finally lost to their people . Hock (1986: 452. it must not be overlooked. Australia. the large array of English dialects in England. in 104 Some other topics of this nature will be taken up below (§ 13 sqq.) clearly point to England as the place of origin. the famous Satem innovations all are limited to the IE languages in the east of the IE settlement area. Clearly.H. as well as from a number of earlier studies. Russia/Ukraine as well. Hittite. we can easily observe where IE innovations seem to cluster. and the very few but large variants outside England (N. however.The center of Slavic languages would be in or near the northern Carpathian mountains. America. in other words. see H. to which add the Bangani substrate).) in the north. One can observe this with Bantu which covers all of Central. and finally by Slavs. researchers. Niger-Congo. For example. which actually is the easternmost IE language. For a recent summary. as in the (easily explainable) case of Australia. with the wider spread of just one subfamily. Dacian in the Balkans.. East and South Africa while its parent group. All such observations make an Indian homeland of PIE a priori unlikely. Asia). They were great teachers. indeed close to the actual homeland of the Slavic speaking tribes. does not need any comment: "In ancient times in India such is were very powerful.Autochthonous Aryans? (37) 94) is based on insufficient materials.104 §12. the application of this principle would indicate an original settlement of the ancestor language somewhere in (S)E. Polynesian.9 Contra: IE dialect clusters Returning to the question of an IE homeland inside India. points. naturally farther North." (Misra 1992: 70) Is this linguistics. 1999).

. ethnicity. Macedonian and Serbian from the Eastern IE Southern Slavic. the Bengalis. The very idea of a "pan-Indian Pråk t" is. The only redeeming feature here is that he concludes (p. Asian or Indian "Prakrit". More recently. quoted. and language (note: Hirt 1907). Talageri 2000). etc. This idea was developed early in the 20th century when linguists where surprised that several disparate languages in the Balkans shared so many features. Dravidian is more comparable to Indo-Aryan than to any other language family in the world. Kalyanaraman. these are all Indo-European languages and thus have the same starting point. were not so different after all.as if they did not have Proto-forms. though Bulgarian has an old Turkish (Bulgar. cf.Elst pays special attention to links with Austronesian (p." The first part of the quote confuses descent (genetic relationship) of languages with secondary mutual influences of neighboring languages (S. evading the British). Swaminatha Aiyar's analyses (1975. Bulgarian. IE) and Dravidian are not (very) different from each other. e. The issue at hand is whether there ever was such a thing as a common S. "Pråk t". a contradictio in se.E. and Munda are attested later than Vedic..from a linguistic point of view also. S. and finally 106 Elst (1999) includes a long chapter on links of IE with other language families. Sprachbund). This certainly needs very special pleading. -. . and adopted) of common features between Aryan and Dravidian are a case in point: ".e. P-Hindi. there is no reason to assume a borrowing from these languages into Vedic. Greek and Albanian. ending with (p. Serbian. Waradpande (1993) and scientists such as S. different from modern Turkish) and an IE Thracian substrate. Kak (1994a). variously. Bryant 1999). of course. The last batch might have been the Iranians. Bulgarian. p. Next the centum people separated and left through the Himalayan passes to Caspian or Pamir and then to Europe etc. Greek from the Western IE Old Greek.. with a curious mixture of correct and incorrect data. But Dravidian may be the first to have been separated and went north. some Indian scholars have expressed the (ultimately correct) feeling of an All-Indian cultural unity in terms of language as well (Aurobindo. or Misra (1992) simply (or handily) confuse the relatively new concept of a South Asian linguistic area (Sprachbund) with the 'genetic' relationship of the languages involved.(38) Michael WITZEL the same geographical relationship as originally found in the hypothetical Indian homeland. 141: Ved. These include Rumanian. Asia. But they come from four quite different sub-families: Rumanian from the Western IE Vulgar Latin. Both would rather represent two forms of an old South Asian Proto-language." 107 Aurobindo felt that not only the people but also the original connection between the Sanskrit and Tamil tongues to be far closer and more extensive than is usually supposed and that they may have been two divergent families derived from one "lost primitive tongue".106 § 12.) as this would push the Urheimat of IE into S. 152 sqq. They contend that two of the major language families of South Asia. -.. Indo-Aryan (i. and the inhabitants of his new home. Aurobindo107 (cf. or even into S. quite unexpectedly and already at the beginning of the past century.10 Other 'Out of India' theories: Sprachbund Another new and equally misleading linguistic scenario has recently been created by writers such as Aiyar (1975). The designation 'common South Asian Proto-language' or. or always on the internet. Asia. worse. With the then usual conflation of outward appearance or 'race'. Now. Middle Indo-Aryan to be precise. Kak (1994a). paraśu 'axe' is not the same as Mesop. just as a Dravidian Proto-Vedic. which they call. he found that his native people. Again. China and S. with approval by Misra 1992: 73-78. Macedonian. the idea is not exactly new. A fore-runner is.g. a Pråk t or just the Indian Bronze Age language. wrong are. The satem speakers left after that. Pråk t always refers to an Indo-Aryan language. on p. 145 there is the linguistically surprising statement that. 158) "it is too early to say that linguistics has proven an Indian origin for the IE family. this is followed by a curious speculation of a Manu who would have led the Indo-Europeans upstream on the Ganges towards the Panjab... when used for Archaic Tamil. or a Mundic P-Bengali would be. is imaginary and confusing. 157) "India as a major demographic growth centre from which IE spread to the north and west and Austronesian to the southeast as far as Polynesia". batch by batch. Asian linguistic region. pilakku 'spindle' (see EWA II: 87). and simply falls prey to Occam's razor. As any beginner in linguistics should know. Kalyanaraman (1999). Ponchicherry (where he went into exile. because Drav.

*dyeu. z n. including phonetics (retroflexes. Asian languages are underway to form a new language family. boun/bōn. For example.'cow'. nor Kashmiri speakers Burushaski words. Altaic (mod. finally IIr. 752). it is useful to consult Hock (1986: 491-512) though it is largely devoted to syntax. such eastern IE developments 108 Nostratic. see § 15). these PIE forms are reflected in the various old IE languages (with their subsequent individual phonetic innovations): Ved. Munda. The spread of such convergent items has been taken by some (Kak 1994) as a sign that the various S. neither in basic vocabulary nor in word structure nor in grammatical formantia. Grk. Kuiper (1967). one has to look for terms that are old in PIE. Hock 1999). as it is seen in the cakåra. Basque. and the rest (= IE). § 12. Asia. a. *k' > c'. nor Nepali speakers Tibetan words. or sentence structure preferring SOV arrangements. the various grammars involved still are far apart from each other. However. see Tikkanen 1987. etc. the starting point is unlike that of the Balkans: S. In any autochthonous theory. are another matter. and IE into Meso-/Neolithic neighbors inside India. *æ > Ved. Clearly. then. dyåm 'heaven'. jagåma type palatalization. they have stayed together for a long time. nor have French and Anglo-Saxon. It has not happened in the Balkans. or the other converging (Western) European languages coalesced into a new "(Western) European" family. . Just like the supposed (OIT) individual innovations in dyåm and gåm. they are much more different from each other than even modern Iranian and Indo-Aryan.'heaven'. has not joined the circle of Romance languages. with its large share of Romance (French) vocabulary and some grammatical features (calques such as more beautiful : plus beaux). *ke > *cæ > ca. the proponents of a 'common' South Asian Proto-language / 'Pråk t' and a "new S. Such an a priori unlikely scenario. English. with PIE dissimilation of -w-. which have nothing in common. Turkish). Or. PIE *gwou. This is overstating the matter by not just a little margin. the three language families of S. Rumanian-type Romance speech in Bulgaria. the change *e > *æ is early in IIr. gåm 'cow'. above) or to a subsequent individual development of the same traits outside India. Consequently. should have existed already in a hypothetical IE Panjab. However. Asia has at least 3 different large language families: 108 IE. where the idea of a linguistic area was pioneered by Emeneau (1956). As has been mentioned above. as well as that of *o > å in Brugmann cases (cf. And. Yet. Emigration and linguistic features In order to approach and evaluate place and time of the hypothetical (OIT) Indo-European home in South Asia (or that of the even less likely common S. *dy m. with Uralic (Finnish. several long term developments are involved.). after the IE languages would have left the subcontinent.> g in 'cow') are restricted to a dialect continuum of eastern IE (where a dissimilation *gōum > *gōm was no longer possible). Tamil speakers do not use Hindi words in their basic vocabulary. there still is no "new Balkan language" or a "Balkan language family" in sight. bilingual speakers have influenced each other considerably.11. and vice versa. nor do Bengali speakers use Santali words. Asia have converged to a large degree.) subfamily. To state things differently simply is bad linguistics and special pleading. especially in syntax and by mutual loan words. over the past few millennia. see Hock 1986). Hom. The basic vocabulary of these 6 languages still is very different and most of their grammatical formantia as well. The same applies to S. and their archaic acc. Grk.Ved. But here.. Drav. Asian Proto-language) and of the hypothetical emigration of the Iranian and other IE speakers from India. Estonian. Asian language family in statu nascendi" confuse the outcome of a long stay together and original "genetic descent". forms *gwōm.) for 1500-2000 years. however. For details on the South Asian Sprachbund or linguistic area or convergence area. this archaic dissimilation would either be due to pre-split PIE dialects inside India (refuted by Hock 1999. Other such unique Satem and IIr cases involve *kw > k. (EWA I 479./Avest. as already seen several times in the case of the Out-of-India theorists. It is clear that. and have had intermingled settlements (Albanian near Athens. The situation is not unlike that in modern Europe. in spite of all the converge features evoked above. word formation (Munda changed from a monosyllabic language with prefixes into a polysyllabic one working with suffixes) and syntax (spread of absolutives. As such. Hungarian. is rendered altogether impossible as the subsequent eastern (Satem) developments (gw. or Greenberg's just off the press Eur-Asiatic.Autochthonous Aryans? (39) Albanian from the vague Illyrian/Dalmatian (etc. etc. but even these new theories still do not turn Drav. etc.

) would not.(40) Michael WITZEL (Hock 1986: 451 sq. to say the least. the Centum languages (Celtic. or zd(h) and j' > Ved. and simply reject linguistics out of hand. Latin. Mitanni-IA. while their close neighbor.an unlikely scenario. especially when such early dates as 5000 BCE (based on a loan word link with Finno-Ugrian) are claimed for the RV (S. We know. would have followed each other by a time span of at least a few hundred years. Druhyu" of Talageri 1993. In other words.12. Any argument militating against this must use the special pleading that all Vedic innovations happened only after the emigration of the Iranians out of India. all of the above indicates that neither time nor space would agree with a OIT scenario. would already have gone through all Satem. 111 In fact.).109 These dates allow to set the claims of the autochthonous school (Talageri 1993. pace Misra. But. point to loans made during the Indo-Iranian and Iranian periods. Mycenean Greek at c. §12. while still in the Panjab. o aśa. Misra 1992). Germanic. While this is impossible on text-internal. Elst 1999) are not only badly deliberated but are plainly impossible: PIE. i. Europe/Central Asia into India. that Vedic is not earlier than Hittite but clearly later. their hypothetical old RV would have the comparatively modern form of Old Indo-Aryan that would. . impossible in cases such as rå /råj-. precede that of the very archaic Hittite by a margin of some 3000 years. and Iranian would have been the last to emigrate from India as it is closest to Vedic. while the non-IA neighbors of Uralic (Iranian. sede and others such as the absolutive. all of which makes a late emigration impossible. Misra et al.e. Pre-Vedic and RV innovations 7000 years ago.S. -. etc. And. 1999).). IE languages (including Tocharian. Emigration and culture The matter can still further be elucidated by observing some cultural features: according to the autochthonous theories the various IE peoples ("Anu. Misra's scheme (and that of all others who assume such early dates for the RV and an IE emigration out of India. not in the Vedic period. They should have done their homework.all convoluted cases of very special pleading. a > æ. etc. would not yet have developed all the traits found in non-OIA languages (Satem etc. cf. BCE or still earlier. as such.111 To do so is not our job. see §17. while it misses all Indian innovations. as mentioned above. All of this is obviously impossible on grounds of space and time. RUKI. it should have left well before c. 2000) and their languages 109 However. cultural grounds.). -. of course.) would have to be re-imports from their focus in E. 1000 BCE. All PIE and IIr terms and forms must precede this date by a large margin as even archaic languages such as Vedic and Hittite are separated from each other by many innovative developments. the hypothetical emigrant Old Iranian language. Iranian is first found on the eastern borders of Mesopotamia. The first traces of IE languages are attested with Hittite around 2000/1600 BCE in Anatolia. then the Satem languages (Slavic. when W. see below § 18). Russia/Urals/W. this is. 2000. with o > a in all other syllables). eastwards) must be early in the 3rd mill. most of the autochthonists have not even started to learn the linguistic 'trade'. 2000) into a distinct relief. 110 Which. k' > c'. however. Another major obstacle against the emigration theory is that even the closest relative of Vedic. such as Talageri 1993. which still preserved as š [ž ] < j'h in Mitanni IA at 1400 BCE. in N. Baltic. but that of the proponent(s) of the new theory. etc. the 'old' RV. vo har-. Iranian has some pre -RV features. IIr. and even later than Pre-Vedic (c' > ś. o > å in open syllables. W. 1400/1200 in Crete.110 gvedic OIA would have exercised early influences on the rather distant Uralic languages in S. Greek. lower in the cladistic scheme that is popularly called the 'family tree': it is later than Eastern IE (Satem innovations. In short. in the autochthonous scenario of an emigration out of India. nevertheless. Hock 1986. h. see above. Siberia. misses all Indo-Aryan innovations (see below § 13-17). have not thought through their idiosyncratic and ad hoc scenarios. The date of the dispersal of the earliest. Iraq at 1380 BCE. later than Proto-Indo-Iranian (e.

Autochthonous Aryans?

(41)

hypothetically left India (around 5000/4000 BCE). If put to a test by archaeology and linguistics, these 'emigrations' would rather have to be set at the following latest possible dates.112

3000/2500

W.IE leave

while possessing: ayas 'copper/bronze' > Lat. aes 'copper, bronze', etc.; but: no chariot yet: Lat. rota 'wheel', Grk. kuklo- 'wheel', Toch. kukäl, kokale 'wagon', etc.; note Grk. new formation hárma(t)- 'chariot' (Pokorny 1959: 58); yet, all parts of the heavy, solid wheel wagon are IE: ak a, ara nåbha 'nave'; Germ. Rad/Lat. rota, drawn by oxen (uk an); -domesticated horse *h1ek'wo > Lat. equus, O.Ir. ech, Toch. yuk, yakwe, used for riding

2500/2000

E. IE leave

have satem characteristics (*h1ek'wo, O.Lith. ašvà), but still no chariots: Lith. ratas 'wheel, circle'

by 2000

IIr. unity

new : ratha > 'chariot' from Volga/Ural/N.Caucasus area; and cakra 'wheel, chariot' -- but how and when did it (and the domesticated horse) enter India? Innovative Āditya gods with artificial formations (Arya-man = Avest. Airiia-man, etc.)

1500/1000

Iran. move

with chariot, Ādityas, but keep old grammar, ntr. pl. + sg. verb, etc. are attested on the eastern borders of Mesopotamia

c. 1000

W. Iranians

According to this list, again, all Vedic linguistic innovations (with the RV set at 5000/4000 BCE), and some E. Indo-European ones such as the IIr. chariot, would have happened before the supposed emigration of the Iranians from India! This is archaeologically impossible, unless one uses the auxiliary, equally unlikely hypothesis that some IIr.s left India before 2000 BCE and reimported the chariot into India (Elst 1999). All such arguments need very special pleading. Occam's Razor applies.

112 Note that the following list can be read both in the new, autochthonous/indigenous way, that is of leaving India, or in the 'traditional' IE way, of leaving a S.E. European/C. Asian homeland.

(42)
§ 12.13. Emigration & nature

Michael WITZEL

While, theoretically again, a scenario of IE emigration from the Panjab is possible, this claim, too, contradicts all we know about IE material culture (e.g., horse, wagon, and the late chariot) and climate-based vocabulary (willow, birch, fir, oak, snow, wolf, beaver, salmon, etc.), all of which traditionally have been used to indicate a temperate IE homeland with cold winters, somewhere in E. Europe-C. Asia, (Geiger 1871: 133 sqq., Schrader 1890: 271, Hirt 1907: 622, Friedrich 1970, Mallory 1989: 114 sqq.), -- that is, an area that included at least some (riverine?) tree cover. Even if we take into account that the Panjab has cool winters with some frost and that the adjoining Afghani and Himalayan mountains have a long winter season, the IE evidence does not bear out a South Asian or Indian homeland. The only true IE tree found in S. Asia is the birch (bhūrja),113 and some argument can be made for the willow ("willow" > Ved. vetasa 'cane, reed', see n.146), maybe the fir (pītu), 114 and the aspen (vara a?).115 But why are all the other IE trees those of a colder climate non-existent in Indian texts, even when even the neighboring Iranians have some of them, e.g. in the eastern Afghani mountains (fir,116 oak,117 willow,118 poplar119)? Or rather, to follow the autochthonous line: how did the IE tree names belonging to a cooler climate ever get out of India where these trees do not exist? One would have to use the auxiliary assumption that such trees were only found in the colder climate of the Himalayas and Pamirs, thus were part of the local South Asian vocabulary, and that they would then have been taken along, in the westward movement of the emigrants. But, even this special pleading does not work: some of these temperate IE trees are not found in the S. Asian mountains. But, they still have good Iranian and IE names, all with proper IE word formation (see above). Interestingly, these words have not always been formed from the same stem, which reflects normal (P)IE linguistic variation and is not due to completely new, individual, local formation in one or the other IE language. Rather, the PIE variations in the name of the beech,120 fir (and resin), and oak (see above) use the same roots

113 Only the birch tree is found all the way from India to Europe: bhūrja 'betula utilis' (KS+); note that the Indian birch differs slightly from the European one. We have: Iran. Pamir dial. furz , Shugni våwzn < *barznī; Osset. b œrs(œ); Lith. béržas, Serbo-Croat. brèza ; German Birke, Engl. birch , etc. 114 The fir tree is found as Grk. pítus, Lat. pīnus <*pītsn- , Skt. p tu-dåru KS+ 'a fir, Pinus deodora' ( pūtúdru AV, p tudru TS+, pūtudåru KauśS), Dardic *pītsa? 'fir' CDIAL 8236, EWA II 137. Note also the word for 'resin' which is closely related to trees such as the fir: Lat. bitūmen, OHG quit 'glue', Ved. (Sūtras) játu 'lac, rubber', N.Pers., žåd 'rubber' , Pashto žåšwla 'resin' < IE *gwetu, EWA I 565. 115 Breton. gwern 'alder', Alban. ver 'Populus alba', Armen. geran 'plank, board', vara a 'Crataeva Roxburghii'; "unclear" EWA II 513; -- note also Thieme (1954: 16) sphya 'belonging to the asp tree', but cf. Pokorny 1959: 55, EWA II 779. 116 The Kashmir Valley now has: deodar (Cedrus deodara), pine (yar, Pinus excelsa and chīl, Pinus longifolia), fir, yew (Taxus baccata), elm, cypress, plane tree (Platanus orientalis), poplar, lime tree, wild chestnut, willow, maple, hawthorn, many fruit trees, and at high altitudes: birch, alder, juniper and rhododendron. -- Note that none of the local words for these plants, except for the birch, exists west of the subcontinent, or in autochthonous parlance, was 'exported' westwards. 117 Skt. Parjanya , Lith. Perkúnas, O. Slav. Perunu, etc. 118 Avest. va ti, OHG wīda, Grk. itéa, Lat. vitex , Lith. žil-vitis; cf. also: OHG felawa 'willow', Grk. helík , Ossetic färw, farwe 'alder'. 119 See above for 'aspen'. 120 As for the distribution of the word, see Bartholomae 1898, Henning 1963, Lane 1967, summary by Cowgill 1986: 86 sq. Note the famous Greek adaptation of the word used for the temperate climate tree, the 'beech' > the mediterranean Grk. ph gós 'oak'; while Lat. fagus 'beech', Germ. Buche, OHG buohha > Slav. buky, and the Bukovina region retain the older meaning; contrast Russ. bozu 'elder tree', Alban. bunge, Gr. ph gós > 'oak', and note that Kurd. būz 'elm' < *wyg 'elm' is not derived from the 'beech' word. The word for 'beech' is not found in S.Asia, though the tree itself was historically found much further east during the Atlanticum than Thieme thought (1954: 16), that is further east than the famous 'beech line' (running from Königsberg to Odessa) . Elst (1999: 130), while not mentioning the climatic factors, disposes of the beech argument wholesale.

Autochthonous Aryans?

(43)

and several of the available PIE suffixes. In other words, these cool climate, temperate trees and their names are already PIE. If the indigenous theory of an emigration out of India would apply, these tree names should have taken one or two typical "Indian" PIE (dialect) forms and spread westwards, such as is the case with the two loans from Chinese, chai or tea. The opposite is the case. The individual IE languages have the same PIE word, or they have slightly innovated within the usual PIE parameters of ablaut and suffixes. In short, whatever way one turns the evidence, all of the above points to some original IE tree names of the temperate zone exported southwards. Some of them therefore exhibit a change in meaning; others are an application of an old, temperate zone name to newly encountered plants, such as 'willow' > 'reed, cane'. Again, this change in meaning indicates the path of the migration, from the temperate zone into India. If we carry out the countercheck, and search for Indian plant names in the west, such as lotus, bamboo, Indian trees (aśvattha, bilva, jambu, etc.), we come up with nothing. Such names are not to be found, also not in a new meaning, such as in a hypothetical case: *'fig tree' > *'large tree with hanging twigs', *'willow'.121 The lack is significant as the opposite case, import into S. Asia, is indeed found. Again, this points to an introduction of the IA language into India, not an export 'Out of India'. The same kind of scenario is found with the typical PIE animals that belong to a temperate climate. While some of them such as the wolf or bear occur in South Asia as well, albeit in slightly different species (such as the S. Asian black bear), others are found, just as some of the tree names, only in new, adapted meanings. For example, the beaver is not found inside S. Asia. It occurs, however, even now in Central Asia, its bones have been found in areas as far south as N. Syria and in mummified form in Egypt, and it is attested in the Avesta (baßri < *babhri < IE *bhebhr-) when speaking of the dress ('made up of 30 beaver skins') of the Iranian counterpart of the river Goddess Sarasvatī, Ar duuī Sūrå Anåhitå: Yt 5.129 "the female beaver is most beautiful, as it is most furry: the beaver is a water animal" (ya asti baßriš sra šta yaθa ya asti gaonō.t ma, baßriš bauuaiti upåpō).122 Avestan baßri- is related to the descriptive term, IE *bhebhru "brown, beaver" which is widely attested: O.Engl. bebr, beofor, Lat. fiber, Lith. bēbrus, Russ. bobr, bebr- (Pokorny 1959: 136). The respective word in Vedic, babhru(-ka), however, means 'brown, mongoose' (Nenninger 1993). While the mongoose is not a water animal, some Indian types of mongooses vaguely look like a beaver, and clearly, the IE/IIr term for 'beaver' has been used, inside South Asia, to designate the newly encountered animal, the mongoose. This occurs today in the subcontinent, but in Greater Iran only in its southeastern-most corner, in Baluchistan. Interestingly, N.Pers. bebr < Phl. bawrak, Avest. baßri 'beaver' is a cat-like, tail-less animal whose skins are used (Horn 1893: 42); the beaver, though previously attested as far south as Syria and Egypt, is no(t longer) found in Iran; note also N.Pers. bibar 'mouse'. The opposite direction of the spread of the word, 'out of India', is not likely as it is not Ved. babhru (or Avest. baßri) that spread westwards (following S.S. Misra 1992) but their original (and traditional) IE source, *bhebhru. Such a hypothetical export would again have to suppose subsequent individual sound changes that mysteriously result in the various attested IE forms that cannot occur if one starts from Ved. babhru. It is unlikely, thus, that the original word, *bhebhru signified the mongoose.123 Other S. Asian animal names are not 'exported' either. Occam's razor applies: all things being equal, it is easier to assume import into S.Asia, along with the other animal names of the temperate zone. The case of the salmon may be added and briefly discussed in this context. It has often been used to define the original homeland of the Indo-Europeans, into the Fifties of the 20th century, by taking the present distribution of the salmon for granted (rivers flowing into the Baltic, Polar Sea, Thieme 1951).124 However,

121 The only exception from this evidence are certain later cultural loans, plants such as 'cotton' or 'mustard.' 122 Differently, Oettinger, Habilschrift 1985 (unpunbl.). 123 For Elst (1999: 130,132) this is not a problem as he lets the IE first settle in India and name the mongoose a 'brown one.' Then, when emigrating westward, each IE language would mysteriously have transferred this designation individually to the beaver, and always in the later, post-PIE form, as per individual subfamily or language in question. Occam applies. Derivation of the 'beaver' words from Skt. babhru is of course linguistically impossible. 124 Bartholomae, Indogermanische Forschungen 9, 1888, 272, Eilers & Mayrhofer 1962, Henning 1963, Lane 1967, see summary by Cowgill 1986: 68.

81. beryl. qōf. the direction from 'salmon' > 'fish'. with a completely different result. The word for monkey. Iran. the tiger. O. 96-97. šer (Horn 1893: 178). Iran.with a negative result.128 Similar relationships are seen in the word for 'apple': Celt.) and exhibit the typical formational possibilities of IE (ablaut. Lith. Interestingly. plants. Ved. Lachs.(44) Michael WITZEL another type of salmon is also found in the rivers flowing into the Caspian Sea. The argument that some animal names in Skt. the lotus (again seen on Behistun sculptures). by Ivanov-Gramkrelidze (1984. All such evidence is not favorable for an emigration scenario. If we suppose a South Asian homeland of PIE. bebr (Horn 1983: 42) that is still found in the Elburz and Kopeh Dagh and as late as the Seventies around the Aral Lake. simply denies the possibility of IE linguistic palaeontology and quotes an outspoken.b.127 Ved. 477. Occam's razor applies. The attested use of p dåku for 'panther' and 'snake' as indicating closeness to the original designation is not only linguistically impossible (loanwords!) but also cognitively lightweight: animals similar in appearance (spots!) are named by the same word. Dutch bruin . *raxša 'dark colored' > N. in spite of Avestan massia. läsäg 'salmon' (Salmo trutta caspius. sculptures at Behistun. i-bha : ele-phant-. Coptic sapi. lašiša. not to a word for 'wet'. Asia or Europe. others have gained new meanings suitable for the animals or plants of a tropical climate ('willow' > 'reed'. the autochthonous counter-argument125 relating to tropical plants and animals does not work either. aban > Engl. note also Class. their names follow IE rules of word formation (root structure. I 443). taking his cue from Gamkrelidze and Ivanov 1984 (= 1995). again: PIE has a number of temperate/cold climate plants and animals which never existed in South Asia but which can be reconstructed for all/most of PIE. Asia have been retained in Vedic (wolf. Akkad. and trees just do not make it westwards. -.). måhī < IIr *matya . perhaps a kind of trout). do not even appear in Iran.b). This is not the case. EWA III. 1986: 298. si ha 'lion' or ibha 'elephant' are rather dubious cases. 126 Excluded are. or līs : leon. 127 They have been employed. uqūpu. laks 'fish'. always skeptic S. (EWA III 28). of course"). kapi. Lat. kēbos. However.Even matsya 'fish' is derived by Elst from mad 'wet' (EWA II 298 "hardly likely"). lak a '100. ibha (RV) does not even seem to indicate 'elephant' but 'household of a chief' (details in EWA I 194). Words such as those for animals. iqūpu. exchange of various suffixes). Elst 1999: 131 sq. n. etc. the irregular correspondences seen in kapi : Engl. ape with an unexplained loss of initial k-. as proof that the IE homeland was in Anatolia/Armenia. O. 83. birch. such as kapi 'monkey'. of course. lak a 'wager' (in the dicing game using 150 nuts) is derived from 'salmon swarm'. even such seemingly straightforward sections have to be checked and re-checked. takes these shaky etymologies for granted and concludes that IE came from a tropical area. is represented in Europe by another form which is not directly related by regular sound correspondences either: Grk. Zimmer (1990) as his crown witness. see Witzel 1999a.000'. who even uses words such as p dåku 'panther' which clearly are loans (Witzel 1999 a. B. kēpos. Toch. gfj) :: Germanic *apan-. Again. Pokorny 1959: 653). but to *mad(a)s 'food'. still are etymologically transparent can also be made for those of the "Druhyu emigrants". and the combination with Grk. i-bha 'elephant' is attested only in Epic/Class. cotton. Pers. 125 Elst (1999: 129 sqq. > 'red-colored/lacquer' is more likely than the opposite one. suffixes etc. Other words that have occasionally been used for the autochthonous argument.Pers. 'beaver' > 'mongoose'). although at least some of them are actually still found in Iran: the lion (see Old Pers. bear. It is precipitous to dismiss carefully applied linguistic paleontology completely (which according to Zimmer is "approaching its inevitable end -. Classical Sanskrit is full of them. The word in question is attested in Osset. red resin'. The change in initial consonant is typical for transmissions of loan words from an unknown source. not to speak of C. are typical for loan words. Ved. Iran. A few of them that designate flora and fauna actually occurring inside S. etc.. ebur. All of this demonstrates Elst's lack of linguistic sophistication. Gothic ulbandus 'camel' suffers from lack of proper sound correspondences. see (EWA II 472. ubul. (especially when we also include Thieme's suggestion that Ved. Skt. etc. (cf. it belongs. etc. also Hebr. the Engl. Skt. inherited PIE vocabulary. Russian lososu . Designations for typical Indian plants and animals that should be found in Indo-European and especially in Iranian. låk å 'lacquer. lãšis. Just as (other parts of) his books. Egypt.). elé-pha(nt-). Germ. aqūpu. etc. according to Mayrhofer EWA II.. the real exports from India such as rice. Crimean Gothic apel. He adds (199: 131-2) a few very unlikely comparisons on his own: Latin . we should be able to indicate at least a few terms that have been exported (north)westwards. *abal-. Rather. and cannot be used as proof of an original PIE word *kåp/kap. Cf. ape . not for original.126 Nor do we find retained names for newly encountered plants/animals. cf. 128 Elst (1999: 131). raxš 'red-white'.Ir.

hornbeam. elm. O. For example. oak. instead of emigration 'out of India'. and cherry (Mallory 1989: 114-116). The advocates of the autochthonous theory. red deer. *ja-šca-ti > Avest. nut. etc. IIr. but always from the same IE roots and (often) with the same suffixes: how could these 'emigrants' know or remember exactly which roots/suffixes to choose on encountering a new plant or animal? Rather. In the sequel. wolf. birch. all of them are proper IE names. p dåku (cf. etc. t. against all linguistic evidence. or they have simply not been used any longer. and their designations have been used for the local form of the animal or plant (such bear k a. the IE plants and animals are those of the temperate climate and include the otter. ash. lynx. However. ntr.) or in manuscript study (setting up of a stemma). O. mouse.. it frequently is also more archaic than Vedic. . Iranian it misses the generalization of the already gvedic e-perfects. the perf.as if animal designations were not easily transferred! 129 See summary by Cowgill 1986:86 sq. jazu . jasaiti :: Vedic gacchati. and W. bear. and the and sometimes rather technical arguments that speak for and against it will be discussed. with IE roots and suffixes and with proper IE word formation. yūyam as well. Vedic ah-am ''I''= Avestan az. wolf v ka. etc.Pers. hazde) > Vedic sede with many analogical formations such as mene. and obviously is to be dated later than the core. thus : IE --> E. on different paths. which was the initial reason to set up this group of languages as a separate branch of IE. it clearly separates IIr. While Iranian. vayam. gaja 'elephant from garj 'to trumpet'. at different times. in -åni. I). (by and large. Lith.m. rav 'ho howl'. jaga-u. willow. would have the Vedic innovations occur in the Panjab only after the Iranian speakers had left the subcontinent. (Talageri 2000. elk.) Importantly. while retaining some very archaic features. hazel. Just as in biology (taxonomy. generally. O. even denies close relationship of both groups). It would require extraordinary special pleading to assume that they all were created independently by the emigrant IE tribes. §13. however. óbuolas. Some other in- leo(n) from Skt. *sazdai (Avest.Norse apal-dr. lecture at the 2nd Ved. Absence of Indian influences in Indo-Iranian When compared to Eastern IE or to the rest of IE. from the other E. According to the autochthonous theory.. etc. some of the individual linguistic proposals of the 'Out of India' theory.Autochthonous Aryans? (45) OHG apful. also the beech129 ). It lacks the many innovations that characterize Vedic.) But most of them are not found in India and their designations have either been adapted (as is the case with the beaver > mongoose babhru). IE -> IIr --> Vedic. genetics.Slav. including Basque. Lubotsky 1999. We see immigration into. alder. beaver. these innovations must have occurred well after Vedic had separated from late IIr. -ya. Avestan and Old Persian share many innovations with Vedic. or Iranian. it was transferred to the rest of the pronouns: tvam. linden. iy-am).m O. az. or the normalization in g. and the opposite assumption carries: IE words of the flora and fauna of the temperate zone were adapted to a tropical climate wherever possible. p. for example the absolutives in -två. ja-gåm-a. ad-am have added the additional morpheme IIr. the human pedigree. -am (as in ay-am. Since sound changes are not random and develop in linear fashion. hedgehog. at first sight. apple. Greek egō.).. (Note that j is retained only in traditional names such as Jamad-agni and in the perfect. relations (Berger 1959). hare. these non-Indian plant and animal names would have to be new words that were coined only when the various IE tribes had already emigrated out of India./pre-Iranian.Slavic az u . maple. etc. workshop at Kyoto) as referring to primordial formations in IE -. the occurrence of common innovations always indicates that the innovative group has split off from the core group. This feature is not found in other IE languages: Lat. Occam's razor applies. derived from IIr. juniper. k + consonant > f. θ. Witzel 1999) which designates both panther and panther snake (note. kh > x. seems to be more innovative than OIA in its phonology (s > h. Some of them are found in South Asia.of the present stems beginning in j/g-: IE gwm-sk'e-ti > IIr. birch bhūrja. mayūra 'peacock' from må to bleat. as usual by now with all such arguments. Gothic ik (Engl. abl u ko. IE languages. Finally.Ch. poplar. Caucasus and Bur. otter udra. pl. it must be considered that. x + cons.

again in the Panjab./C. third level. indigenists would have to argue that only that section of the Panjab population left westwards which had basically 'non-Indian' physical characteristics. which could be extended. It is. the same impossible scenario as in the assumed earlier 'export' of Indian linguistic features westwards by the IE = "Druhyu" emigrants (see above. why we do not find ''Indian bones'' of this massive emigration in Iran and beyond? Indian skeletons are. of IE (see below).) would have left the subcontinent even before this. they exclude Latin. the linguistic innovations of Vedic Sanskrit are supposed by autochthonists to have taken place only after the Iranians (and other Indo-Europeans) had left the subcontinent (Elst 1999: 122.131 for. Russia and in the Ural and W. 131 Elst had not seen this paper by the time he wrote his 1999 book. one restricted just to certain archaic items does not make for a good case.Autochthonists will have a hard time to explain how these Indian emigrants 'selected' their genes on emigration from India. will we ever will find archaeological traces of the well attested emigration of a small group such as that of the Gypsies? -. This is the exact reversal of the general Indian situation. clearly points to the areas north of the Near East. remarkably different from Near Eastern ones. worse. Greek. Germanic. Date of Indo-Aryan innovations As has been mentioned. of how the Indo-Europeans could have left the subcontinent to settle in Central Asia and Europe. however.(46) Michael WITZEL novations found both in India and Iran would have occurred earlier than that while both groups still lived in the Panjab. one can add the early close links of IIr (and. that if the Iranians emigrated from India. still others (found in E. This list. early IE loans from Semitic somewhere in the Near East (**wVjn-. . the distribution of IE dialect features mentioned above (Hock 1999) makes IE innovations after an Iranian/IE exodus from India unlikely. Asian genes ( § 7). 1998). have the typical Indian mtDNA (M type) and Y chromosomes but are only to some 30% Indian. first introduced in the S. (see 1999: 126 sq. IE *woin. Caucasian) language families (Nichols 1997. However. J. clinch the case: the Bulgarian Gypsies. The IE theory can explain the materials found in the various languages much more satisfactorily: the Iranian languages simply miss the Indianization of IE. and would constitute a much more massive emigration. one of very special pleading. IIr.23) and genetics. In short. and strongly militates against the assumption of an Indian homeland of OIA.130 Again. §12. IE... and in addition. for example.124 sqq). It is difficult to argue against this kind of assumption on general linguistic grounds as language changes cannot easily be tied to certain areas. again. While all of this is possible in a purely theoretical scenario.'wine'. Others include such items as the temperate. he supplies a lot of completely unsubstantiated speculation instead. the intermediate position of IE between the Uralic and Kartvelian (W. As far as the Satem language IIr is concerned. §14. etc. early Iranian) with Uralic in S.Linguistics (see above. Some of them have been listed by Hock (1999. very special pleading indeed. It should also be mentioned in passing. -. and. just as the very conservative Old Icelandic or Lithuanian escaped the 'Christianization' and 'Europeanization' for a long time. Such collective amnesia. etc. Nichols 1997: 143). as Kennedy informs us (1995). How can the autochthonous theory then deal with archaisms found in Iranian that are not found in Vedic? Such archaisms ought to have been preserved in Vedic. they must have been forgotten (just like the tree names mentioned above) all over the subcontinent when the Iranians supposedly left it. later. and 'export' only the 30% proper Indian ones.2 ). from Tocharian to Celtic. Russia/Ural area. while languages of the fourth level (including Greek. Latin. even though the old Satem innovations include Vedic. such as in Slavic) would have occurred at a still earlier. cf. Tocharian. for the rest they have acquired European genes. non-tropical core vocabulary of IE. with some 25% of W. n. To adopt an OIT stance precisely mirroring the Indo-Aryan immigration theory based on 'trickling in' is not possible as this 'trickling out' would comprise all subfamilies of IE. see above). or on a more typological level. 130 Small. and. unless there is evidence from inscriptions and clearly localizable texts. Siberian regions. and the new terminology coined for the horse-drawn chariot (ratha/raθa). there are a number of arguments that render it impossible.). transient and migrating bands and groups such as the Indo-Aryans or even the larger ones such as the Huns are not easily traced.

råsabha. from the original central IE region (such as the Ukraine) westwards into Europe. *th that regularly developed to > Ir. strangely. *roth2o-''wheel'' (Lat.. the technical innovation was already Indo-Iranian (note Proto-IIr. *ratha. s. has hárma/harmatos. Littauer and J. River Raså (Volga). also with the secondary formation Ved. well before its invention. *weg'h-o. 5000 or.' to IE *kw e-k w l-o.Av. the Iranians had emigrated westwards well before the RV (2600/5000 BCE). 1700 BCE. raśanå 'reins'. M. Asia at that time. a good indicator is found in IE plant and animal names (''willow''. not surprisingly. O.> IIr. curriculum. its archaeological attestation puts PIIr. 2000 BCE shows that its import was carried out.. etc. Latin currus. aśva 'horse' (Equus caballus )and to include under this word the ass/donkey (gardabha. and even with archaeological and historical134 attestation. the older meaning of the IE word.> wagon. Avest. before this development took place. The word cakra 'wheel' may be a much older adaptation from Sumerian gil-gul 'wheel' and GIŠ gígir 'wagon. there are common PIE words for the cart or four-wheeled wagon (anas) and its constituent parts. from the S. PIE. raθa). in the plains near the IIr. to find horses all over India well before the accepted date of c. at c. as such views are based. RV rathe. Here as elsewhere. Russian/Central Asian steppes into the subcontinent. poetics and myth. they simply have moved away. Sanskrit ratha.Autochthonous Aryans? (47) Further. Germ. veh-icle).H.'charioteer' (cf. raθī 'the one who has a chariot. as in OIran. charioteer'. On the internet. the western IE languages retain. the word and the object are found already in the RV (supposedly a text of pre-Indus age. θ. to dilute the difference between chariots and carts/ four wheeled wagons. rathin-. raθa -šta. to push back the dates of chariots and spoked wheels (also implied by Talageri's 2000 years of composition for the RV. in Russia and at Sintashta. before the start of the Indus civilization at 2600 BCE. we have to take it very seriously. pin'. again. of the Urals. it is useless to enter a discussion. items of culture and religion. betraying its origin in a ox-drawn wagon (anas. archaic compound.A. It would thus belong only to a secondary historical level (after that of the earlier "Panjab Indo-Europeans"). This word is attested in the oldest IIr texts. according to some. there even has been the truly asinine proposition to change the meaning of Skt. close to the Urals. along with many other IIr. 2000 BCE. however. Equus asinus ) and the half-ass (Equus hemionus khur). etc. Anyone of the various revisionist or autochthonous dating schemes 132 Change of meaning ''wheel(s)'' > ''chariot'' (pars pro toto ) is a common occurrence in linguistic experience.On the other hand. at c. 133 There have been efforts. nabhya 'nave'. yuga 'yoke'. Crouwel 1996 for a Near Eastern origin.Iran. such as and ak a 'axle'. nor the other European 'emigrants' (Grk. -. Littauer and Crouwel 1996). cakra (or. always on the internet. As the linguistic evidence shows. everyone is his/her own 'expert'.133 In short. They are much older.. But the chariot is first found in a rather archaic form ('proto-chariot'). Rad 'wheel'). . Even more tellingly. This argument. O. In sum.v. Worse. As its invention is comparatively late. and not vice versa. the newly specialized meaning ratha ''chariot'' is restricted to IIr. the word in its new meaning of 'chariot' never reached the neighboring Proto-Slavic tribes.ha. see Witzel 2001). This is one of the few clear cases where we can align linguistic innovation with innovation in material culture. how could both the Indians (in the Panjab) and Iranians (from the Ukraine to Xinjiang) have a common word for the horse drawn chariot as well as a rather ancient word for the charioteer? Both words must have been present at the time of the Indo-Iranian parent language.132 The indigenist counter-argument could maintain that the newly introduced chariot spread quickly from the Near East or Central Asia all over the Iranian and Indian world. 134 See now however. rota. ara 'spoke. if according to the autochthonous theory. with its IIr name. 2600 or c. khara. on lack of expertise in the very subjects such sites proffer to discuss. and E. it is derived from a common origin. rota) on the western side of Eurasia while it is known to the close neighbors. multiple insurmountable contradictions emerge. for details see EWA. raśmi. and it must have happened at the place of its invention. Consequently. in the RV and in the Avesta. raθa. also savye ha 'warrior'). the Iranians or other Indo-Europeans should have exported the chariot from S.) and especially in the word for the horse drawn chariot. it appears in the inherited. W. as they refer to the more primitive technology of solid wheel wagons and carts that was developed in Mesopotamian in the late 4th millennium. the occurrence of ratha/raθa in IIr. However. 5000 BCE!). would run into a number of difficulties: for. certainly not in the Panjab. etc. As the autochthonous theory would have the RV at c. with a locative case ending in its first member. Therefore. the (Northern) Iranians. all too often.

and would amount. it cannot have happened inside S. who originally were a W. the Avestan combination within a sentence of neuter plural nouns with the singular of the verb is hardly retained even in the other older IE languages. from some (N. have acquired retroflexion -.) at an early date. run counter to the archaic formation of the words concerned (rathe ha. Afghanistan. Iranian borderland/Indus plain. Europe. it is typical for S. §15. West/Central Asia. conversely.b). All of this points to separation of Proto-Iran. the hypothetical emigrants from India would have lost the S. that is Iran. the gvedic perfect forms jabhåra or mene. Or. spoke-wheeled chariot at c. N. that is the languages surrounding these mountains in the east (Nuristani/Kafiri. etc. the most widespread appearance of retroflexes is among the cluster of Hindukush/Pamir languages. are a local IA innovation. and typical for the Lhasa dialect.(48) Michael WITZEL that circumvent this innovation in technology and language dealing with the horse drawn. Absence of retroflexes in Iranian While the feature of retroflexion ( . Asian ''bending back of their tongues'' as soon as they crossed the Khyber or Bolan Passes: not even Old Iranian (East Iran. Ormuri (from W. savye ha) and the clearly secondary. incoming groups such as Parachi. before the supposed Iranian move westwards. Asia as the Avesta lacks all those typically S. Other (theoretically) possible scenarios such as an import. Avestan) has these sounds.Persian) split off from IIr and thus. from preOld IA. Conversely. S. ) is sporadically found also in some other parts of the world (Hock 1986). (> Vedic.b).) Iranians near the Urals into the area of the Indo-Aryans who had supposedly remained stationary in the Panjab. such as in Scandinavia or Australia (innovative in both cases). again: One can hardly maintain that the Vedic 'Panjabis' received these local loans only after the Iranians had left. to give another example. Retroflexion clearly is a northwestern regional feature that still is strongest and most varied in this area. Bryant 1999) also explains why the archaic Iranian traits cannot have been preserved in the Panjab. h. Witzel 1999a. just north of the Pamirs. Also. etc.). . something not found in Iranian. Africa. Proto-Ir. 135 Any other scenario would amount to very special pleading. 2000 BCE is doomed to failure. the Baluchi. along with that of the horse (see below). Iranian tribe. to very special pleading. . the Himalayas. Asian substrate words in Iranian (cf. Burushaski. and also to some local Iranian Pamir languages such as Wakhi. 137 This has indeed happened to the Gypsies: in Turkey. cf. inherited form in Iranian (raθa-). would have to had to leave the Panjab before the Vedic dialects of the RV took over (or developed) the so-called retroflex (mūrdhanya) consonants. while also developing innovations on its own (Iran.E. Khotanese Saka. the lack of S. Mitanni IA. Dardic and the rest of these northernmost IA languages) as well as in the north (some of the Iranian Pamir languages: Wakhi. Clearly.135 One can only conclude that Proto-Iranian (> Avestan. For example. h. and Proto-OIA at some time before the RV. Ishkashmi. h < s. Because of the early split. according to the autochthonous theory. but this development is late. 136 The map in Parpola 1994 includes Tibetan. again. i. Asian words that are local loans into Vedic (§ 16. Hamp 1996). Asia when compared to its neighboring regions. Sanglechi.e. and definitely so while spoken outside the Panjab. Iran) that are found in E. Likewise.just in some of their dialects -. x < IIr kh. However.only after their arrival on the borders on the subcontinent. O. Importantly. Proto-Iranian never was spoken in the Panjab. side by side with the RV. Khotanese Saka). The same happened to other late. The Old Avestan of Zaraθuštra frequently is more archaic than the RV and therefore too archaic to have moved out of India after the composition of the RV (supposedly. Old Iranian preserved some archaic features. as detailed by Tikkanen (in Parpola 1994: 166). Hock 1996.137 But. before 2600/5000 BCE). In sum. Asia. . the many linguistic archaisms in Old Iranian cannot readily be explained by a supposed Iranian emigration from India. early in the second millennium CE (Hoffmann 1941. has retroflexes. retroflexion affects those moving into the E. Yigdha. Incidentally. Retroflexes may also have belonged to a part of the Central Asian/ Afghanistan substrate of the RV (Witzel 1999a.136 In the autochthonous scenarios discussed above.

har-139 > Ved. just as az > e) represented by o + retroflex consonant (-tar suffix). In addition.ž. sede (3 sg. one that separates IA from the rest of IIr and IE. Germanic -rik.b) that has 138 Interestingly.ž.as in Engl.to any Avestan. RV -ed.is plainly impossible in any version of phonetics. vo har. Celtic -rix. while clearly Indianizing. IE *reg'-s > IIr *råj'š > rå .žh. pac > pec: pece 4. Again. r x. Mitanni OIA keeps the sequence azd. This individual argument is. disappeared..do not suddenly (re-)emerge out of the blue in other languages. But. a Vedic innovation that is not shared by Iranian and the other IE languages. settlement'. perf. j'.is pre-conditioned by the development of IE k'. in cladistics. vaštar. or as -g. These are found even in the older sections of the RV: yam > yem: yemu 4.-da > .in Gaulish Vectur-ius. as an innovation.18. the same retrograde Sandhi as seen in budh+ta > buddha took place (. minus the Indian retroflexion. Grk. and nota bene: not as a phonetically changed -š. again.(as in Latin vec-tor): missing consonants as in vo. sex. a . that means in part on the territory of modern Pashto (which has retroflexes indeed). which changed to ProtoIran.2.ž.. gvedic is younger than the Mitanni words preserved at c.. etc.dha).e. both are post-Indo-Iranian and even post-Mitanni. .ž. which only then could influence the following consonant (of the -tar suffix). which has kept the older sound sequences. and Pre-Vedic š. i.--> IE *wek'h-tor.140 In all the cases detailed above. .har. vo har. as -k. the innovation is rather low down on the 'family pedigree'. 1000 year old Indian Parsi pronunciation and recitation in Zoroastrian ritual(!) of Avestan. The case of vo har. at 4-5000 or 2600 BCE).Autochthonous Aryans? (49) Had retroflexion indeed been present in the pre-Iranian or the Proto-Iranian coeval with the ( g)Vedic period. the voiced sibilant . with the IE theory. cf. then to early Vedic retroflex .14. they all stem from < IE *weg'h-tor(neglected by Misra 1992). xšuuaš : Ved. Vedic Sanskrit does not represent the oldest form of IE as autochthonists often claim. etc.in Iranian.is definitely younger than the Mitanni forms because the IIr form *sazdai > Ved.har-. Avestan hazde) 'he has sat' has already spawned a number of analogical formations in the RV which are not conditioned by -azd-. vi 'people. > Lat. ha > lī ha) with compensatory lengthening of the preceding vowel. normally (as in lih: li. g' > IIr c'. in the particular environment of vo har (a. forms. *va. it is important to stress that retroflexes have not occurred in (Old) Iranian. In other words. not a priori impossible. and only then. such as the occurrence of local loan words in Vedic. The adherents of the autochthonous theory would again have to take recourse to special pleading. the well-known rules of IE sound changes explain the development from the root vah (IE *weg'h) without problem. or as -k. as also vo har. English.[våžh-ana]. rather. > o.in Latin. vo harIE *weg'h + ter > IIr * vaj'htar> pre-Iran. wagon. is still preserved in Mitanni IA vash-ana.. i. as to deliver the retroflex 'suffix' . its effects should be visible in Old Iranian. These have been taken from the Panjab substrate (Witzel 1999a. these changes allow a relative and even an absolute dating: *aždh > o h is parallel to *sazd. Latin. -.in case. the retroflex is a late.etc.ž. cf. 140 Other examples for the conditioned OIA development of retroflexes examples include : k' > c' > ś. the c.e. Germanic vik .13 etc.. while an OIT theory would have great difficulty to get from vo har. as in xšaθra > [k atra]. Cases such as IIr *waj'h-tar > Av. but.ž.> sed.are clear enough and present perhaps the best testimony for the several stages of conditioned reflexes in the development from IE to Vedic: a change from Ved. vaštarIn sum. in short: > pre-Ved. as pointed out above. at least in Avestan138 which was spoken in East Iran. Any biologist would classify a similar development in biological materials as a clear indicator of a late development. but > Latin vīc-u-s.. ž. Germanic sehs. heks. etc. 139 Note that this stage. In other words. it is not admissible on other grounds. well before the RV. Lat.--> Avestan vaštar. At any rate.e. *vaštar> Avest. At this stage. arguing that retroflexion occurred only after the Iranians had supposedly left (i. 1450-1350 BCE. or while they were living in some area of the Panjab untouched by this phenomenon. In short. vīš / > Ved. also Avest.(as in Viking). and g' > j' > j as seen in: IE *wik'-s > IIr *wic'-š > Av. but > Ved. has not yet developed retroflexes.

are absent from Sanskrit vocabulary. The other 'European' trees that are found in the northwest of the subcontinent.b for details: karpåsa cotton.).) may have been the economical and common ritual use of birch bark. leopard (dvīpin AV+. brèza. acquired. Gr.. p dåku AV+.+). who is often linked with the oak in various IE mythologies. A string of secondary assumptions. Engl. Iran where it grows prominently: Avest. though found in various forms in Afghanistan. 822. On the other hand. Iranian mountains from the Elburz to the Kopeh Dagh even today. e. leō(n) (cf.). p. see above. the Indus plain and the subcontinent. Sinti) indeed have done. not for the original item. Ir. Instead of Indian words we find. etc. or the older ones of the type rice. kamala.. tiger (vyåghra AV+.146 141 To justify this. 145 The reason for its survival in South Asia (Panjabi bhoj.113). vo har. N. etc. birch.v. is found in the N. Iranian borderland. the hypothetical emigrants from the subcontinent would have taken with them a host of ''Indian'' words -. jambu). but not as expected in any OIT scenario. and similarly. śårdūla MS+.: both trees are not found in S. e. Skt. for amulets. hemp. German Birke. n. nor in E. Parjanya . or W. beryl. Pashto vala < *vaitiya. ratan. bilva. the autochthonous theory must further assume that the people of the substrate moved into the IA /IE Panjab only after the Iranians and IE had left.is found all the way from India145 to Europe: Ved. see EWA s.g.. but for a similar one (e. Many of them come from a Mediterranean/Near Eastern substrate.which cannot turn into Iran. . even though the beech was then found much further east (N./Latin ones for 'tiger'. In sum. for example.g..b). Asian one visible in Vedic.Slavic Perun u. Caucasus. Absence of 'Indian' words in Iranian As has been underlined several times. bhūrja KS+. Asia. etc. But. pu arīka lex.as the Gypsies (Roma.144 elephant (gaja Manu+ ibha RV?. va ti. perhaps with the exception of the inherited name of the weather god. The only clear exception would be the birch tree. etc. at the time of immigration. bamboo (ve u). pu arīka).Pers. the oak. fagus etc. whose IE name *bh g'ho.. with the expected change in meaning "willow > reed".) than the famous "beech line" (Königsberg/Kaliningrad-Odessa). or some local Indian trees (aśvattha.) are not attested in Skt. līs. 275). etc. In sum. Lithuanian Perk nas . it does not work at all: this particular development does not help to explain words such as Ved. and the last specimen in the Aral Lake area is reported to have been shot in the Seventies. for si ha 'lion' new formations : Iran. veranda. along with the poplar. Asia during the pre-Indus period. etc. Lith. etc. loose it. parka ī 'ficus inferiora' see EWA II 192 ~ Ved. missing in Iranian. IE.118) which it is found. furz. 144 Note that the tiger. no typical Indian designation for plants or animals made it beyond the Khyber/Bolan passes. is not attested in Skt. vitex.142 The same conclusion can be reached when studying local Panjab loanwords in the RV.).g. vī å. see Pokorny. bebr. 142 The Gypsies eventually lost the retroflexes (but when?). béržas. 'lotus'. punch. vaštar-. Lat. except for the usual words of culture (Wanderwörter) such as some recent imports into English (orange. we do not find any typical Old Indian words beyond S. citra-ka. šer. again. retroflexion affects all those moving into the E. lotus (padma. sooner or later. but it is not found in Vedic/Skt. The poplar and the beech (Lat. if this would be taken as proof of OIT. O. Grk. in the riverine forests all over the steppe (Schrader 1890: 440. etc. 143 See Witzel 1999a. unless it is retained in veta-sa ''reed. querquus. plak a. Iranian Baluchis. However. lex. and beyond up to Russia/Urals.. Shugni våwzn < *barznī. Osset. English [red] squirrel > N. and these substrate words are. 146 Perhaps with the exception of the willow (Lat. Pamir dial. etc.143 One would expect 'emigrant' Indian words such as those for lion (si ha). American [gray] squirrel). or curry. Ep. etc. Latin vector. neither in the closely related in Old Iranian. Lat. n. (cf. Serbo-Croat.(50) Michael WITZEL unconditioned retroflexes (such as in vå å. §16. Occam's razor applies.. §12. Witzel 1999a. from the S.6. even if some of them would have been preserved. kuñjara Mbh. for Class. just as it was by the Pashtos and the more recently arrived the W. bungalow). śamī. tea/chai. Calamus''. 141 Retroflexion in Vedic must have been a regional feature. It is attested in E. bœrs(œ). but this does not work vice versa: those who move out of India.

secondary ways.147 The autochthonous theory again must introduce the improbable auxiliary assumption that all such words have been forgotten inside the subcontinent after. non-IE local origins. have kept a large IA vocabulary alive. 'who smells scents by opening [his jaws]'(?) EWA II 593. North Africa and Europe (e. The absence of IE/IA words for local plants and animals clearly militates against any assumption that Pre-IA. These new formations must have been introduced when the immigrating speakers of Indo-Aryan (again. such as 'eye' and 'hand'. Asian languages148 (e. not the Iranians!) were first faced with them in the Greater Panjab. many basic words. The meaning 'elephant' is attested only in Class. after all. pu arīka (lex.149 Or 'tiger'. phral 'brother'. Indigenists (Talageri 2000. cf. -. After all. Yet. see Witzel 1999. used for words such as Late Ved. Lubotsky forth. otherwise unattested phonetic correspondences such as ele . (note also N.g. but were utterly forgotten in the tropical S. in the Central Asian steppes and deserts. in other words. but this requires special.Pers.Egypt.7. Such Indian words should have survived in the west and could have acquired a new meaning. '. 147 Friedrich (1970) has pointed out that most IE tree names are nor explainable by IE etymologies (except for the birch tree < 'shining'. corn 'wheat' > 'maize' in America. these roots are not employed outside their narrow realm as (root) nouns other than in clearly derived. for older equus). built on the basis of IE words.4. no one has ever suggested that a words such as 'eye' is not IE. Asia as there were no similar trees to which these IE names could be applied. cane' (see above). 150 Some of them are of Central Asian origin.13 etc. these tree names are IE. Vulgar Latin caballus > French cheval. Proto-IIr or PIE was the local language of the Panjab or of Uttar Pradesh during (pre-)Harappan times.. for VS śårdūla. --much as they now begin to decry the various historical levels established in genetics.24 mata ga. However.64. excluding some Central Asian imports. Again. EWA III 28. can easily be explained by a transfer of meaning.Gamkrelizde and Ivanov link ibha with Latin ele-phant -.1. 'elephant': hastin (+ m ga) RV 1.as this would necessarily indicate that Vedic had not been present in NW India since times immemorial. only in old sayings or in poetry?) down to the very doorsteps of South Asia in Afghanistan. Bryant 1999). (Manu+). In addition. they are loan words from the local S.Autochthonous Aryans? (51) This situation has been well explained by the assumption of IE linguists that these European/Caucasus/Ural tree names were remembered (sometimes. and the suffixes employed are IE as well. e. Elst 1999. RV mayūra 'peacock'. 447) are isolated in IE. At least 2 of the 4 cases in the RV do not refer to 'elephant' but rather to the 'retinue train' or the 'court' of a chieftain. . Most other basic IE words are related to verbs and therefore have a much wider application in word formation. The Gypsies. see Elst (1999). However. This also agrees with the fact that most of the S.150 These words include Kuiper's (1991) c. vetasa. Påli. many if not most S. Following the autochthonous line. etc. the elephant'. etc. one could therefore assume that such (supposedly non-IE) names have been borrowed/spread from India. i. nevertheless O. 4.g. Asian plants/animals built with clear IE roots and/or word structure. (Pokorny 1959: 775.).g. One would at least expect a few of them in the 'emigrant' languages.:: i-. 148 Indigenists decry the very concept of substrates. based on the analysis of the male only Y chromosome-... the complete absence of original IE/IA words for S. etc. vyåghra < 'who tears apart?' (KEWA III 274). That there are isolated roots of tree names is not strange. from the very pliable (Afghan) 'willow' twigs to the equally pliable 'reed. etc. One apparent exception. have true IE word structure: their roots follow the IE pattern (see above § 10). such as British Engl. etc. karál 'he does').).16. gaja. during their wanderings all over the Near East.e. Asian loan words in the gveda. over the past 1500 years or so. ŚB 14.g. In other words. these pre-IE words subsequently were automatically changed to fit the IE root structure. see EWA I 194. ibha is of dubious meaning and etymology (Oldenberg 1909-12).abw. 380 'foreign words' in the RV. etc. Asian plant and animal names have clear. cf. RV(?) ibha. or even as soon as.) denounce such cases as just one more of the common substitutions based on poetic or descriptive formations. or as dialect designations which can happen at any stage in the history of a language (e. Epic någa. IE tree names such as 'beech. bebr). such critics once again overlook the wider complex. many tree names will go back to pre-IE times when their roots still might have had a clear onomastic meaning. not all of them could have been lost as soon as the hypothetical IE or Iranian emigrants crossed over into Iran and beyond. oak'. Others are new formations. pani 'water'. 149 Ved. the Iranians (and other IndoEuropeans) supposedly had crossed the Suleiman Range and the Khyber/Bolan passes into Afghanistan and Iran. 'the (wild animal) with the hand. Skt. or were applied to similar items. vrīhi 'rice'. are not found in Iran and beyond. However.

words indicating a temperate climate. lupus. (low-level. and by the absence further west of Indo-Iranian innovations such as the chariot (*ratha). Grk. sind/zijn itself comes from the 3rd plural: sie sind/zijn . az m. Iran. in term of family tree or cladistics) developments should not apply just in the single case of Indo-Aryan. 'birch tree' (bhūrja. such as that for the high altitude Kashmirian birch tree. and especially the later one of the horse-drawn chariot (IIr. zim/ziiam. all of this would have come too late to account for the non-appearance 151 E. The first type of innovation is attributed to the common source language. IE Archaisms vs. Hintze 1998) and were settled by non-IE peoples before. and the equivalent of 3rd pl. lúkos. Nom.g. Gaul. theoretically possible that these words belonged to the supposed original IE/IA vocabulary of the northwestern Himalayas and therefore could have been transported westward by a hypothetical IE westward emigration. 'snow/winter' (hima: Avest. asp hō. etc. ratha). ratha. innovations that would not have been carried out in the rest of the Indo-European languages: just too many auxiliary assumptions! The autochthonous theory would. on the other hand. they would have missed. copious archaeological and a few isolated Vedic sources. Again.). v hrka. while the northern fringe was occupied by the Bactria-Margiana substratum that is visible in Indo-Iranian (Witzel 1999a. To go into some further detail. sede/mene. etc. i. are must be a late internal innovation due to analogy with the 2nd plural form. have to assume that all such Indian innovations would have been carried out after the speakers of Iranian (and/or all other Indo-European languages) had left the subcontinent. Giamon-. are met with in Old Iranian (pronoun ah-am 'I'. say. German ( wir sind). such as 'wolf' (v ka: Avest. the supposed 'Panjab innovation' of the use of the (domesticated) horse (already Indo-European: Latin equus. etc.151 It would be against all rules of (IE and non-IE) comparative linguistics to assume that such late. §17. a comparison between the 1st pl.e. bœrs(œ). Occam's razor applies again. Greater Iran and on the northwestern borders of the subcontinent (Kashmir). this scenario is contradicted by the evidence of the last section dealing with all the other IE 'cold climate' words that have not been preserved in India. About E. More importantly. Pamir Dial. -khimos. instead. Avest. etc. minus all typical Indian RV innovations!). ulk. and not unexpectedly by now. vl'ku . after the Mitanni Indo-Aryans. etc. are found in E. stemming from the IIr period. jiun 'snow'. not even in the Northwest or in the Himalayas. Armen. 1000 BCE (cf. etc. again.. Dutch (wij zijn). again. hiems. shows that Engl. Grk. and to assume. Occam's razor requires to scrap the theory of an 'Aryan' or. It is. absolutives. English (we are). Lat. which is contradicted by absence of typical Indian words in other Indo-European languages and in Iranian. typical IIr. cf. while 1st pl . vilkas. typical Indian grammatical and lexical innovations are not found among the other Indo-European languages. Iranians only after c.Slav. However. and with IE root and suffix structure.(52) Michael WITZEL No amount of special pleading will convince an independent (linguistic) observer of a scenario that relies on the total loss of all typical S. Osset. Asian words in Iranian and all the other 'emigrant' Indo-European languages. They point to non-IE settlements as well: in S. If. O. Elamian up to Bampur.). Iran/Afghanistan we have only stray Mesopotamian. Lat. If the Iranians had moved out from the Panjab at an ''early date''. .). the typical Indian innovations found already in the RV (jabhåra for jahåra. and Arattan north of it in Sistan. Avest. neither snow nor birch are typical for the Panjab or Indian plains. worse. sind/zijn is also substituted by are. the western parts were settled by W. furz. Lith. early innovation inside India (aśvås-as.b). words such as those for 'wolf' and 'snow' rather indicate linguistic memories of a colder climate than an export of words to Iran and Europe. Alban. an Indo-European emigration from the Panjab to the West. Meluhhan east of it in Baluchistan/Sindh. aśvåsa-as. the many archaisms in Old Iranian cannot readily be explained by an Iranian emigration from India: First of all when and where should this have happened? SW and Central Southern Iran was occupied by the Elamians. Indian innovations Conversely. Indo-Iranian rather than OIA influencing the neighboring Old Iranian. Europe.) are not. IE words in Indo-Iranian.Pl. babhru 'mongoose'. they had moved out a little later. Gothic wulfs < *w kwos). xiōn 'snow'. Therefore. But. While some.) that would have selectively been exported to Iran (of course.

Further. e.> Ved. as is seen in the preservation of IIr -zdh. whether we were to accept the autochthonous theory of the RV well before the Indus civ. (2600/5000 BCE) or whether we accept the traditional Indologist's dating of the RV sometime in the 2nd mill. e (aika : eka in aikavartana). to be sure.(Avest. in -ås = Avest. Hock 1999: 2). -ås-. serious chronological difficulties would arise. at c. Appendix.6. much of his language is even more archaic: as has been mentioned. 153 Brentjes' pointing to the peacock motive in Mitanni times art is a very weak argument (for detailed criticism. influence after the Iranians supposedly left: all of this would require an altogether new theory. j'n > sn. camels (RV 8) and some Afghani rivers (Gomatī in the Suleiman Range. In addition. Absence of Indian influence in Mitanni-Indo-Aryan The same scenario as discussed so far is indicated by the IA loan words in the Hurrite language of the Mitanni realm in northern Iraq/Syria (c. in Palestine. All of this points to a time of separation of IA and Iranian before the RV and thus. jima ) next to the innovative RV gamad. Ved.) and that it was never in early close contact with the Panjab and its substrate languages. Another early item is the retention of IIr. cf. BCE. The hypothetical argument that these traits were preserved in the Panjab side by side with the RV does not hold. Sarasvatī in Arachosia). of a strong local (Dravidian. archaisms in names such as Jamad-agni (= Avest. for Iranian does not show any typical Indian elements (see above). Importantly. Old Iranian in general is too archaic to have moved out of India after the composition of the RV: while Old Avestan (of Zaraθuštra) has. the retention of the use of neuter plural with singular of the verb is something that has elsewhere been retained in Hittite.g. if there was an (early) emigration out of India by (Vedic) Indo-Aryans it would be surprising that even the Mitanni documents do not show typical South Asian influence. How could all of this be possible if one supposes an emigration from India. -mazdå. etc. j'h > Ved. etc. Mitanni-IA has no trace of retroflexion. Iranian is far too archaic to have been a close neighbor. in some cases (Misra 1992) even after the supposed date of the RV (5000 BCE)? The RV is. One can only conclude that Old Iranian.gvedic stage of IA. baβr-) next to the new formation RV jabhr-. 154 Mayrhofer 1979: 47. not inside India. kh > x. of the gvedic dialects. Again. constructed out of the blue. . the same applies to Drav. in the Panjab. pl. 152 An auxiliary theory. many forms which correspond to gvedic ones. We cannot make the Iranians move from India to Iran.Autochthonous Aryans? (53) of Iranian tribes in the RV which has only some (pre-)Iranian looking names (Witzel 1999). etc. -åis found in the RV next to the innovation devås-as. etc. after all. see Schmidt 1980: 45 sq. In all these cases. then to introduce the innovation of horse pastoralism (not present in the subcontinent then!).is implausible. cf.) influence on the RV only. priyamedha : Avest. For a list of Mitanni-IA words.153 Rather.152 If the Iranians had indeed left the Panjab before the RV.) We know that even the Sumerians imported many items from India (Possehl 1996). These texts also still have IIr ai > Ved. h in vašana(š)šaya 'of the race track' = [važhanasya] cf. Diakonoff 1971: 80. it lacks any indication of Indian influence on its grammar and vocabulary (see above). a text that already has all these features. våhana. 1460-1330 BCE). the old nom. Priya-aśva: bi-ir-ia-aš-šu-va. Sarayu in Herat. Such close contact would also have effected the one typical phonetical development that the Iranians actually 'escaped' before the Vedic dialects of the RV adopted or developed it. masc. say. Further.) at an early date. in the innovation of the already IIr horse drawn chariot (*ratha. preserved some archaic features while developing innovations on its own (s > h. now EWA III. -edh-. at 5000 or 2600 BCE. 2000 BCE. an archaism in the perfect stem which appears in the RV such as babhr. § 12. is obvious that the remnants of early IA in Mitanni belong to a pre. parita for palita). and then let them take part. §18.(EWA II 536. in Priyamazdha (Bi-ir-ia-ma-aš-da154) : Ved. the peacock motif is attested in Mesopotamia well before the Mitannis. split off from (Proto-)Old Indo-Aryan (Vedic. §21). the retroflex sounds (see above §15). they also share the gvedic (and Avestan) preference for r (pinkara for pi gala. including Avestan. as opposed to Iranian --while still in India-. of a push towards the northwest by Dravidian.

P. In sum. Artasmara (Ar-ta-aš-šu-ma-ra). 155 Mayrhofer 1979: 53: in-tar-ú-da. maini. cf. sthū å. Note that Ved. panca-. Mayrhofer 1979: 54 sqq.156 These innovations also include the new the concept of ta (Iran. Elam. ma i ni . the Mitanni texts clearly indicate typical OIA (Vedic) linguistic innovation: aikavartana (a-i-ka-ua-ar-ta-an-na)162 instead of Ir. a confirmation of his belief that the RV is of hoary pre-Indus vintage. tušratta/tuišeratta = RV tve aratha). I dra)155 who is marginalized in Iran. Avest. cf. however. Cowgill 1986: 23. cf. and Ved.(see n. does not agree with the extreme Rhotacism of Mitanni-IA but has l everywhere!). Tu-uš-e-rat-ta: *Tvai áratha). this is under discussion again. pronunciation = a a). and Latin monīle. dåštåγni).instead of later -l-. "sept". 52-3. EWA II 749). he can expect postgvedic Pråk t forms in 1400 BCE. 159 Elst sees here.P. aiva. the Mitanni IA words are not Prakritic but (pre-) gvedic. Avest. Avest. also with genitive in: -na-ši-ia!. such as the new Asura gods Varu a (EWA II 515 a-ru-na. On the other hand. perhaps also Hitt. names for horse colors158). 15th cent. To see in these names a post-RV form of OIA. Friedrich 1940. 158 Kikkuli bapru-nnu: Ved . BC). . but this is due to the commonplace MIr. babhru.. and Indra (Mit. binkara-nnu : Ved. . and perhaps Lú a-aš-šu-uš-ša-n-ni. and the Nåsatya (na-ša-ti-ya-an-na = Aśvin. of course. cf.. contained in names such as Artasmara (ar-ta-aš-šu-ma-ra). de šitta. pa-an-za-. has eva 'only' < aiva = O. 161 Incidentally.> *aina-). Elst 1999:183). N haiθiia). pañca-. satta. ti-era-. Artad(h)åma (Ar-ta-ta-a-ma). aan de Wiel 2000. Tu-iš-e-rat-ta. sa-uš-sa-ta (at)-tar). and that only MIr.P. the words starting with b. 157 The lineage includes Bar-sa-ta-tar.Forme de šinti/a??" S. tri-. d'après l'indo-arien šatta-wartanna. palita.160). Diakonoff 1971: 81. stūnå. *sapta-. pi gala. But retroflexation is precisely what is found once OIA enters South Asia: RV ma i 'jewel'. lists the word šittanna from the Kikkuli text and comments: ".) from Pre-Vedic OIA share the typical IIr innovations. Av. stūnå/stunå.. The latest form that has come under attack is jyoti < *dyaut-is. haoma.161 as Misra maintains. 162 Thus also Cowgill 1986: 23. the vocabulary does not yet show signs of typical South Asian influence: for example. as western North India has retained v. Laroche. 51: a-ak-ni-iš. cf. Av. such as Mågadhī (which. Mayrhofer 1979: 36. soma.did not receive their b. Saka stunå. 163 Mayrhofer 1979: 53.Iran. Mitanni mi-it-ra). see C. cf. Misra's 'Pråk tic influences' in Mitanni IA are due to the peculiarities of the cuneiform writing system and to the Mitanni form of the Hurrite language. The Mitanni sources show extensive use of the domesticated horse (ašuua. baritta-nnu : Ved. their status is constantly questioned and further reduced. Sauššattar (Sa-uš-ta-a-tar. in his Glossaire de la langue hourrite. O.. Avest. 5. sauma. Elam O. cf.. Next to the usual [tri-. Arta. EWA III 569 sqq. 2000). aiva 'one'.r. Sattarna II. etc. not found in Iran) and Mitra (Avest.v. and racing terms such as : ua-ažan-na 'race track'. in very late Avest. cf. comm. see Masica 1991: 99 sq. nava-vartana]. Cowgill 1986: 23. also Varu a as Uruna. has vak 'one'. *bara-mani. however." (pers. a Prakrit (Misra 1992." He also lists a word šittaa (long a) from two (Hittite?) Kizzuwadna texts. nava-vartana]. Nov. It has been asserted for long that satta in satta-vartana 'seven turns' has been influenced by Hurrite šinti 'seven' (J. Latin monīle.(54) Michael WITZEL The Mitanni loan words (Mayrhofer 1979. Mayrhofer 1979: 52. na-a-[w]a-wa-ar-ta-an-na= [aika-. there is no retroflexation in mani-nnu. but are due to the fact that Mitanni does not allow initial v(Diakonoff 1971: 30. O.. suffix -ka. KUR-ti-úaz-za . Cowgill 1986: 23. IIr *sauma (Ved. Artadhåman (ar-ta-ta-a-ma).163 Finally Mitanni IA has no typical South Asian loan words such as å i 'lynch pin'. ša-at-ta-.159 is therefore misguided and based on insufficient knowledge of near Eastern languages. Cowgill 1986: 23. Tušratta (Tu-uš-rat-ta. and yet. Miθra. Avest. 156 Via Mitanni. While some MIA forms may be sought in the RV. Thus. šinti2 he says: "Mais šinti "sept" doit encore être séparé.. RV ma i . 45). en-dar-ú-ta (Palestine. by Bjarte Kaldhol. Agni (Akniš.such as bi. ú-ru-wa-na. with gvedic . 160 "E. Mayrhofer 1979: 32.157 and perhaps also the newly introduced ritual drink. in-da-ra/in-tar. the chariot (rattaš) and chariot racing (a-i-ka-.160 but clearly a Hurrite development). 'horse trainer'.from a MIA pronunciation of vi. *bara-mani.or general IE *oino.. it would be eastern MIA. Diakonoff 1971: 81.

Mayrhofer 1979: 32. 255" (personal comm. however. not even in their many designations for the horse and horse names165 (Balkan 1954).166 If one now thinks through the implications of the autochthonous theory again. 165 Note. 164 Explained as sun god. read. at the end of the third millennium BCE. and also without any particularly Indian words (lion. Mitanni-IA is older than the RV. but with the typical OIA and IIr terms for horses and chariot racing (before their invention and introduction into South Asia)! They would have lingered somewhere in N.g. some of the rather indirect IA influx into the Near East may have been earlier than the one visible in Mitanni. the ancestors of the Mitanni Indo-Aryans would have left India very early indeed (well before their favorite date of the RV. all while the same authors who composed the RV hymns are supposed by the indigenist and revisionist writers not to remember anything beyond the Panjab. Dasyu. But they would have done so without any of the local South Asian innovations167 (no retroflex in mani-. cf. See Gelb et al. Daai. Significantly. Unfortunately for the autochthonous theory. On š = [θ] see Diakonoff 1971: 46.Autochthonous Aryans? (55) In sum. Grk. would have escaped their Panjab IA enemies (RV Dasa. In short. still without retroflexion and accompanying loss of -r-. "brother". however. *** Summary : Linguistics In sum. and well before 1900 BCE. and without any of the alleged MIA forms of Misra (satta. Norman erroneously pointed to pt > tt (see discussion of satta). labialization of a > u after v (*ašvasani > aššuššanni ). Avest. has found linguistic features common to MIA (Middle Indo-Aryan) and even NIA: assimilation ( sapta > satta). They would have done so with the gvedic dialect features (ai > e. "Šamaš". see however. multiple contradictions: Occam's razor applies. 6. an abbreviated form of šenni. as well as the personal name Abirat(t)aš (Abhiratha). the Parna (Gr. and Šaumšen (probably pronounced Tsaom-then) is made from a root sa. Dahae :: Arii). Iran to emerge around 1400 BCE as Hurrianized Mitanni-IA. Similarly. S. no -edh-.S.W. -h-. Parnoi. the supposed date of the Bråhma a texts. 2000). D ha (:: Airiia. lotus. cannot have come from the Panjab but must have been spoken in the north-eastern border areas of Mesopotamia where it influenced the Hurrite language of the Mitanni that belongs. etc.'dark'. by Bjarte Kaldhol. 2300-2100 BCE: A-ri-si(<sa')-en = Arisaina and Sa-um-si( <sa')-en = Saumasena. zdh > edh) not yet in place. Kak 1994). the vocabulary of their largely unknown language hardly shows any IA influence. The Kassite conquerors of Mesopotamia (c. timiraš = Ved. Ved. just like its later relative Urartu. and now with retroflexion. as *ša-ap-ta would be possible in this writing system. but otherwise.plus the verbal suffix -um/-om plus -šen . 167 Some of the so-called MIA features of Mitanni-Indo-Aryan are due to the writing system ( in-da-ra. Again. c. lynch pin å i) all of which would have been 'selectively' forgotten while only typical IA and IE words were remembered. These names from Samarra were published by Thureau Dangin in RA IX 1-4. significantly not as real life but as mythical enemies. initial v > b ( virya > birya). Arišen means "The brother gave". and king Abirattaš = Abhiratha. with some remnant IA words and some terms of IA religion. tiger. dåsa Ahīśu. (Aži) Dahåka. -.K. Priya! -.). anaptyxis ( Indra > Indara). Ārya) northwards in order to settle at the northern fringes of Iran well before the time of the RV. as the Parna. also 1954: 27 laggatakkaš = lakta? 166 Some early IA immigrants that according to Harmatta (1992: 374) seem to be recorded in a tablet of the Dynasty of Agade. Ir. Indeed. timira. Occam's razor applies again. Lat. tribes occur already in the RV. peacock. Nov. Pa i :: ari. satta is questionable as well: ša-at-ta is influenced by the Mitanni term. Nuzi personal names. Mayrhofer 1979: 52. Misra. all of the linguistic data and the multitude of possible autochthonous scenarios based on them lead to the same kinds of culs de sac or Holzwege. are wrong interpretations of Hurrian words: "Hurrian names in -šen (not -sen) are common in earlier periods.).Harmatta (1992: 374) wrongly took these names as a sign of an early IndoAryan spread towards Mesopotamia.164 perhaps also the Marut and maybe even Bhaga (Bugaš?). p.) that are already found in the RV. 1677-1152 BCE) have a sun god Šuriiaš. e. cf. to the Caucasus group of languages. Dahi. Pa i) and Dasa/Dåsa ~ Avest. however. Chicago 1963. cf. also the war god Maruttaš = Marut-. Balkan 1954: 29. Arya.. these N. . for details see Balkan 1954: 8. etc. 2600/5000 BCE.. a string of contradictions and improbabilities. ~Ved. etc.

is excluded by the linguistic evidence at large. Råmåya a. It can be traced securely. and Talageri (2000) for which see above. In the sequel. while Iranian has escaped this influence as it did not enter the subcontinent then. but then interpret their data in various ways. and Pre-OIA requires multiple special pleading of a sort and magnitude that no biologist. . However. Second. Some scholars (such as the archaeologist Shaffer) actually refuse to take into account anything that is outside archaeology. provide "hard" evidence. most of the linguistic evidence presented in the previous sections has been neglected by advocates of the autochthonous theory. etc. the data derived from linguistic study are consistent throughout: they clearly indicate that an Eastern IE language. This is of course not quite true. IIr. Exactly how the IA language and the IA spiritual and material culture of the archaeologically still little traced Indo-Aryan speaking tribes was introduced. especially the "tyrannical" linguistics. for example.(56) Michael WITZEL There is no evidence at all for the development of IE. as supposed by adherents of the autochthonous theories. This is perhaps the right place to point out that these fields of scholarship proceed in their own fashion and with various methodologies. Nevertheless. that is. especially that deriving from studies of the male Y chromosome. only in the evidence coming from the texts (horses. Purå as) go back to the fourth millennium BCE and even earlier. Possibly. The autochthonists must do a lot of homework and try to contradict the linguistic data discussed above (detailed in § 13-18) before they can hope to have any impact on linguistic discussions. and some natural ("hard") sciences will be adduced. the evidence from texts. that is still an open and very much debated question. ritual. His rewriting of IE linguistics remains incidental and idiosyncratic.169 and if it has been marshaled at all. genetic evidence. has been Indianized and has grammatically innovated after its arrival in the Panjab. to the evidence preserved in the texts themselves and in history as well as archaeology. we should keep looking for overlaps in evidence and draw our own. The distinction between the 'hard sciences' and the humanities is not as strict as is often made out. The nature of evidence in these fields often is too disparate. just as it occurs in the other humanities. Simply put. even by the lone. Misra. presently. 169 With the (partial) exception of Elst (1999).S. the various lists of early kings (and also of Vedic teachers). e. linguistic pleading just in the case of India? There is nothing in the development of human language in India that intrinsically differs from the rest of the world. Occam's razor applies. IIr. that evidence from archaeology can flawlessly be matched with linguistic or genetic data. religion. among other items. An emigration of the Iranians and other Indo-Europeans168 from the subcontinent. Advocates of the autochthonous theory stress that the traditional lists of Indian kings (in the Mahåbhårata. CHRONOLOGY §19. It is contradicted. It is not always the case. To maintain an Indian homeland of IE. often preliminary conclusions. -. it might be useful to deal first with an item that has captured the imagination of scholars east and west for at least a century. astronomer or physicist would tolerate. and even of pre-OIA/Vedic inside the subcontinent. chariots. it must be pointed out that many of these fields. S.) and from the features of the language itself that have been discussed here at length.preliminary as several if not all of the fields involved are in constant development. Conversely. and it results in multiple contradictions. poetics. by the Iranian and Mitanni evidence. it has been done so ad hoc. even 168 The much later emigration of the Gypsies and some others into Central Asia are of course excluded here.g. as palaeontology is tacitly accepted. for studies of palaeo-climate. and that the data obtained from all these fields have their own characteristics. may add to the picture in the near future. just as the rest of the theory. Lack of agreement of the autochthonous theory with the historical evidence: dating of kings & teachers Turning. archaeology. so far. why should we allow special. So far. The same is true also. the Vedic branch of IIr. autochthonously minded Indian historical linguist. such as archaeology.

) does not always follow him. for example. Asia on such 'data': with an early emigration of the Druhyu branch of the Aryans to Iran and Europe in the 5th millennium BCE. rework the historical data. including such fantastic etymologies and identifications as Bhalånas = Baloch (who appear on the scene only after 1000 CE!). While we can expect names of a similar sort in the older lists --some of them are also found in the Vedas (after all. after 500 BCE. Utkala etc. It took place on the Paru ī in central Panjab. 171 See the lists in the Torah. Gupta) and of local politics (or the wish by local kings to forge such a link to a well established lineage) should not be underestimated. 174 The arguments used to justify the historicity of the Purå as (Elst 1999) are easily dismissed. See § 19.Elst's further argument that early Purå ic dynasties are not those of the northwest but of Bihar. and so on. Listenwissenschaft is one of the oldest 'sciences' in the world. cf. king of the Goths in Italy. there even is 6776 BCE as another starting point. they derive from lists orally transmitted and constantly reshaped by the Sūta bards according to local conditions and personal preference (Parry and Lord. all dates based on a beginning of the Kaliyuga in 3102 are worthless. according to Elst (and Talageri 2000) we get Indian "kings" in the Gangetic plains of the 7th millennium BCE.-. e. in prep. 173 The latest example is Talageri (1993. once composed. CE (Kochhar 1999). the Seleucid ambassador to Candragupta (Sandrokottos) Maurya's court. on Bardic traditions. Elst strangely comments "even for that early pre-Vedic period. according to Pliny. lead back well beyond the traditional beginning of the Kaliyuga at 3102 BCE (cf. Maurya. of course.All of this is called "entirely plausible" by Elst (1999: 192). Druhyu = Druids.170 This would. however. Megasthenes. the Greek ambassador to the Maurya court at Patna. already the Middle Vedic texts indicate a gradual shift in the non. when this area was populated by a few hunter and gatherer tribes! These 'monarchs' would indeed be the first kings on the planet (Witzel 2001). Elst is not aware of the common (Indian. just for a common perception at the time these texts were composed. Homers' list of ships. 300 BCE (Arrianos. -.Autochthonous Aryans? (57) during the formative period of the great Epic at c.174 The only early Purå ic kings we can substantiate are those listed in the Vedas as these texts. (Witzel. Because of the extremely careful oral method of RV preservation we can take the RV report as a sort of tape recording of contemporary news. The influence of politics of empire (Nanda.g. etc. at c. equally does not hold. However. both of the new Kuru tribe. however. See also next note. 300 BCE.. as almost everywhere in traditional cultures.171 In India. the king of the Goths in the Ukraine at the time of the Huns' invasion. 172 Where we can check such Bardic traditions with the help of historical records. Alīna = Hellenic people. is due only to back-calculation. 2000) who builds a whole imaginative prehistory of S. they tend to telescope.) tendency to put contemporary lineages one before another when setting up long range 'historical' records (Witzel 1990). In the RV this is fought between the Bharata chieftain Sudås on the one side. however. near the Sarasvatī in Kuruk etra (modern Haryana). based on the alignment of all then known(!) five planets. reported to have heard of a traditional list of 153 kings that covered 6042 years. Naturalis Historia 6. . In short. It is clear that the beginnings of the lists. altered) Purå ic lists. Śimyu = Sirmios (Albanians). etc. leading to that of the well known Mahåbhårata personages and localities (details in Witzel. Bh gu = Phrygians. they confound Ermanric. Witzel 1990). In other words. Polynesian lists of chieftains. Purå as. could no longer be changed.J.)172 The eager efforts made by many Indian scholars of various backgrounds to rescue these lists as representing actual historical facts173 therefore are ultimately futile. The process is exceptionally clear in the development of the tale of the Great Battle (dåśaråjña.These are Oakish cases where even Elst (1999: 192 sq. -.18. with his grandson Theoderic. that was carried out by Våråhamihira in the 6th cent. see Witzel 1995). names within a family often begin or end in the same way). RV 7. in the Germanic epic. -.59 and Arrianos. there is no hint of immigration". even in the Mbh and Råm.9).gvedic and non-specialized. Buddhist and Jaina texts does not vouch for a 'hoary' age of such lists. Only the Vedas are older. 1930 sqq. The latter date.) Agreement between the Epics. The royal lists rest. Smith (1982) and Assmann (1987).they cannot be used to substantiate the actual existence of complete Purå ic lists during Vedic times. All of 170 Megasthenes. The Mahåbhårata battle. more popular traditions: there is a general confusion of the characters and the location involved. the Babylonian evidence in Z. and they contain just small fragmentary sections of the later (enlarged. i. and the Pūru chief with his nine 'royal' allies on the other.e. 1995). Madra = Mede (Måda). news that is of course biased by contemporary political considerations and the mentality of the victor. were reformulated to fit local demands: a western (Bharata) one for the Mbh and an eastern (Ik våku) one for the Kosala area. is fought between the Kaurava (of Bharata descent) and the På ava. Indika 9.

shaped and reshaped by the later Vedic texts. Morton Smith 1973. these Pūru dynasties later on again spread eastwards (as is clear from the Vedas anyhow!) -. could have had students throughout his life.338 = Caland § 115.forms just one facet of 175 Talageri turns things around and finds justification of the Purå ic data in the Vedas.. of the originally despised Ik våku lineage (JB 1.177 The Mayas. and of various ages. in fact again to another unmotivated exemption of India from the generally accepted procedures of the sciences. they trace the line of teachers back to the gods. In addition. to which we will turn now. and thus a spread of the Lunar dynasty from Kosala (Prayåga) westwards. a retrofit as indigenist like to call such constructions. Second. whom the ŚB sometimes pictures as an old man. asked several times already. otherwise unknown traditions-. the interpretation of the spiritual background and much of the society of the culture in question remains tentative. has to be put here as well: if the traditional Bardic data are unreliable in traditional societies everywhere around the world. 176 Especially clear with the introduction of the 'non-Vedic' På avas (Witzel. and by their very nature. . this amounts to very special pleading. Similarly. and we do not yet have access to the archaeological remains. the Va śa lists mention that certain Veda students had several teachers. the archaeologists dug them up.176 from poetical imagination. except for some overlaps with chiefs and kings known from the Vedic texts. archaeological evidence -. Yåjñavalkya. We cannot yet read the Indus inscriptions.) do not agree with each other. ChU 8. Yet even if we neglect this small detail and take only the later parts of these lists at face value (Morton Smith 1966). The genealogical data also do not readily fit into the combined. as the absolute dates of the teachers are totally unknown. but cannot establish all the major factors that make up a certain civilization.). to Prajåpati. we do not know when to place them in time. Mahidåsa Aitareya supposedly lived for 116 years and can have had many generations of students.(58) Michael WITZEL this does not inspire a great deal of credibility in the ''facts'' reported by the Epic and Purå ic texts (Pargiter 1913. plants and human bones. it has been tested in Papua-New Guinea what the material remains of some five different linguistic communities belonging to one particular area would look like. as this science is limited to physical remains. and found -. As long as archaeologists cannot find readable inscriptions and texts along with their findings. e.or. All of this makes the use of the Va śa lists for reliable dating almost impossible. the Epics and the Purå as."the same (material) culture"! So much for the often used or alleged overlap of language and culture.g. if indeed preserved. In the sequel. from the Vedas and have supplied the rest (Söhnen 1986) --from hypothetical. After a deterioration of a few years. general picture as provided by the texts and by other disciplines such as archaeology. Again. as tentatively worked out by Morton Smith (1973). If this is not a post-factum justification. It must be pointed out that autochthonists frequently rely on the dicta of recent archaeologists who stress that there was no major cultural break in South Asia from 6500 BCE well into the prehistorical period. Witzel 1989). Archaeology and texts Archaeology strives to discover. cf. etc. the general question. 177 Recently. BĀU 6. ARCHAEOLOGY § 20.. and even the usual average number of 20 or 30 years attributed to a generation does not work for teacher/student relationships. the idea that the Vedas contain reliable lists of teachers rests on typically weak foundations. were regarded as exceptionally peaceful people until their texts could be read. -. In fact. the various of Va śa lists at the end of ŚB 10. in prep. as can be seen in the case of the Mahåbhårata. Talageri 1993. be a full and true account of South Asian prehistory? As in the cases listed above (and further below). just like any modern academic teacher. see a first try at amelioration in AB 7. Many of the archaeological interpretations thus remain tentative. First of all.then what? (Discussion already in Witzel 1995). they tend to shift with each new major discovery.15. KA 15. some of the archaeological and textual data are compared with what the autochthonous theories make of such evidence.All of this is faithfully repeated by Elst (1999: 191). Strangely enough. from buildings and art to pottery.g. fragment by fragment.175 These texts have clearly lifted (parts of) lineages. and of scholarship in general.extremely important as it is -. why should the same kind of data. However. JUB 4. 2000). of the gvedic period. e. Any historical reconstruction based on such lists must then start with assumptions. ŚB 14 = BĀU 2.

It must agree with what the other sciences supply on information about the period in question. or chariot races do not fit at all with such early dates for the RV178 (see immediately below) and rather put it after c.'' Indeed. his investigation is based on the present Śåkala 'edition' and arrangement of the RV. Some supposed early finds of horses elsewhere are those of equid bones and teeth at Surkotada182 (in Cutch. The closely related older Avestan texts. when the Indus civilization already had disintegrated. the ''relative absence of horse bones'' in the Indus civilization 180 is therefore explained away by the auxiliary assumption that the horse was only occasionally imported for the nobility. the very starting point of his book. he has taken his initial historiographical cues from Witzel 1995 (and even lauds the general approach) -. 1700 BCE (Meadow 1997. too. 2000 BCE. note that (according to Meadow/Patel 1997): ''Surkotada has dates that go into the second millennium. 1998). Other claims. but there is no possible way in which the location of the Original [IE] Homeland in the interior of northern India. sq. 7. However. Even Bökönyi (1997). 173. with additional.. can ever be disproved. 175. 1997. states that ''horses reached the Indian subcontinent in an already domesticated form coming from the Inner Asiatic horse domestication centers. of international commerce. This overlooks the fact that riding. nor of the late-Indus cereal." Cf. the RV does not know of the Indus towns. 167 sq. Indeed.179 point to a pastoralist. RV and the Indus civilization: horses and chariots The autochthonous theory asserts a rather early date for the RV (pre-Indus civilization. 180 Elst (1999: 180) makes a lot out of this argument ex silentio but concludes "it is not as strong an argument against "Vedic Harappa" as it once seemed to be"! 181 See R. see Meadow and Patel. while the rich gvedic materials dealing with the domesticated horse. How can one come even close to the period of the RV authors if one accepts any hymn inserted during the long period of orthoepic diaskeuasis. When tabled. to Sharma 1990: 382. not on the first collection ("Sa hitå". Patel 1997. where is the archaeologist that can tell us what the famous Indus "Śiva" or "Paśupati" seal really signifies? We will return to this question below. the various family books in his reconstruction turn out to be spread out over two thousand years. of the Indus staple food. of the Kuru period) as established by Oldenberg (1888). Joshi 1990: 17. not one clear example of horse bones exists in the Indus excavations181 and elsewhere in North India before c. so faithfully recorded in the Puranas and confirmed in the Rigveda. a noblemen's occupation. etc. Gujarat) from the late Harappan period. all of that is only evidence ex silentio. 140. too. wheat. who nevertheless were regarded as very good horse trainers. copper/bronze culture with use of horse and chariot.. but not exclusively. quite similar to that of the RV. 179 Summary by Skjaervø 1995:160. §21. However. Meadow and A. and the date of the ''Harappan'' layers themselves is not at all that clear. from the Harappan period: 2300-1700 BCE. is attested in the RV and that is clearly linked to groups socially situated below the nobility (Falk 1995). and in many respects only of its the most materialistic aspects. . of the Indus script. immeasurable influence by unknown teachers that existed between the first collection and the redaction by the late Bråhma a scholar Śåkalya (BĀU 3). well before the invention of the horse-drawn chariot. 1700 BCE). the onager or half-ass)." Interestingly. 182 Bökönyi 1997 finds it in Surkotada IA-B-C.. who sought to identify some horse remains in the Indus civilization. Joshi 1990. well recorded and stratified finds of horse figures and later on. rice (see below §23). at 2600 or 5000 BCE). (Witzel 2001). and any new material discovered on the subject. 216). the horse-drawn chariot.. is clearly wrong: as has been pointed out (n. on which his 'new chronology' of the RV books rests. In the autochthonous theory. 59 sqq. 84. W. of horse bones first occur in the Kachi valley on the border of Sindh/E.only to reverse himself completely as to include the usual indigenous ("Purå ic") agenda with chariots before their invention.Talageri's ecstatic summary (2000) therefore is self-defeating: "Any further research.Autochthonous Aryans? (59) several of a given culture. can only confirm this description. . IE emigration from Uttar Pradesh. Meadow 1998). (acc. In addition. not to true horses (Equus caballus. Clearly. 178 Similarly early dates are inherent in Talageri (2000).183 which belong to hemiones (Equus hemionus khur. the use of the horse drawn chariot in sport and war during the RV period was mainly. 87. In other words. Baluchistan (c.) 183 However.

187 Some of the earliest uses of the domesticated horse had been reported from the Copper Age site of Dereivka on the Dnyepr River (for riding. overlapping. "so that everything remains possible. but the horse is unlikely to have been used for draught at this early period and was probably used for riding.Elst 1999: 180 sqq. Fact is that horses (Equus caballus) have 18 ribs on each side but this can individually vary with 17 on just one or on both sides.000 years old" (Klostermaier. By this time. stiff mane) was put on the internet as that of a horse. 2000) of the new species. 3000 BC.18) mentioning the 17-ribbed horse. this time by the proponent of an Austric 'theory' of IA origins) is that of the long extinct early Indian horse. or they are from unclear stratigraphies and/or have not been documented well enough185 as to allow a clear distinction between horse. at Mohenjo-Daro by Sewell (1931). note further that the horse is speculatively in brought into connection with all the gods. p.just the opposite of what internet 'specialists' (and by simple extension.always without a single scholarly source.. in the Siwalik Hills.E. 24. as a major piece of evidence. early Jorwe (1400-1000 BC) and Late Jorwe (1000-700 BC). It should also be noted that numeral symbolism may play a role in the RV passage (1. 185 In the Indus Valley.-. In fact the number is very variable but it is true that the Arab is more likely to have only five lumbar vertebrae than other breeds of domestic horse (Stecher 1962). see Falk. hemione or donkey. similarly alleged for late Mohenjo Daro and late Harappa. that excellent source of scientific information. hook and sinker -in this case even Rajaram's artist's depiction of the half-horse (that is a bull!). from the sites of Inamgaon in Maharashtra (Thomas 1988: 878. referring (Elst 1999: 182) to Rajaram's hardly available book From Harappa to Ayodhya. still others are simply too late. Clutton-Brock (1992: 83) writes: "It is generally claimed that the Arab and the Przewalski horse [of Central Asia!] had only five lumbar vertebrae while all other horse breeds have six.162.Note. Thapar (Social Scientist. many of them mentioned by name (RV 1. He even adduces the cave paintings at Bhimbetka "perhaps 30. for Kalibangan and Rupar (Bhola Nath. depictions of horses are altogether absent during the Indus period. 1995. see B. 187 For a fraudulous concoction of the picture of a horse on an Indus seal.6 million years ago. 2000: 128 n. the horse ( Equus caballus L. it shows evidence of a hard bridle bit. Sharma 1974. Asian horses." Which only underlines that a domesticated. horses that all were imported from the Near East (and ultimately from the steppe zone).162-3). exposed by Witzel and Farmer (2000). as usual. see Frontline Nov. palaeontology or genetics. This date has recently been withdrawn by D. -. c. Elst thinks that it is an explainable paucity.Recently.. which is part of an additional hymn of a late RV book. bold assertion of Harappan horses. Jan.1.) was first reported. for Harappa from the late phase (Bökönyi 1997). that riding is a lower class occupation even in the RV. 2. -. Anthony 1991. from the mid-1st millennium BCE. however. for Mohenjo Daro and in small numbers in rather recent levels.184 are totally unsubstantiated. which would correspond to the 34 ribs of the horse (later on identified with the universe in BĀU 1). one created on the internet. Equus sivalensis. for a later period. Telegin 1995. Such as is the case (only 5 instead of 6 lumbar vertebrae) with some early horse finds in Egypt. Lal 1997: 285). while the nobility drives chariots. -. Elst (1999).186 At any rate. 1997). the picture of an Indus hemione (with typical short.. This early horse in fact emerged c.B." 186 For consideration are mentioned: from the Neolithic-chalcolithic levels of Hallur (1600 BC). Anthony and Brown 1991. swallowed Rajaram's initial. -. Many internet writers now connect the Sivalensis horse with the 17-ribbed gvedic horse and modern S. for a short period with the older (three-toed pre-horse) Hipparion (MacFadden 1992:139) that died out soon afterwards. now withdrawn)188 and similarly. 1993. Hyderabad 1997. for Malvan.(60) Michael WITZEL such as the invented one of an indigenous gvedic 17-ribbed Sivalensis horse.Other spurious accounts: Bh.-March 1996. Gujarat (Sharma 1990: 382). from the 184 The latest folly (again. the domesticated horse was no longer rare (Thomas 1988: 878). Equus asinus (?) rajarami! 188 The skeleton has only an carbon reading of c. 17-ribbed horse has been brought into the subcontinent from Central Asia (Bökönyi 1997) -. Meadow & Patel./Nov. but has been supplemented by other early evidence for riding at Botai. see Rajaram and Jha (2000). In the end. to be called after its discoverer. . 1989: 35) while such paintings are extremely difficult to date so far and cannot be relied on. Anthony (Antiquity 2000: 75). of course without palaeontological checks. along with two already debunked horses (Frontline Oct. Nath 1962. "The Organiser ") now claim. at present. 4200-3800 BCE. -. the New Delhi party journal. 21). simply relies on these 'archaeological' data (and other writings) without questioning them on the ground of palaeontology. 883.Note that Thomas' material does not have measurements of the bones. without any evidence cited from archaeology. while acknowledging the "paucity" (correctly: non-occurrence) of horse depictions and remains in the Indus Civilization. The number of gods is given in the RV as 33 or 33+1. Such strong assertions of 'archaeological' nature had even convinced R.

the tank of the 2nd millennium B. a clear trail (Hiebert 1995. speakers. the Veda also knows of a vipatha '[chariot used for] pathless [land]'.. back home to India (while the RV supposedly does not know of Central Asia at all!) Occam's Razor applies. one would also expect it in art . New technologies usually are taken over by neighboring peoples within a short time span: note the case of the Lakota (Sioux) who took over --from the Spanish-.b) as well as a discussion of the languages of Sindh and Baluchistan. e. Falk 1995) cannot. east of the Urals (2100-1800 BCE. 1700 BCE (Jarrige 1979). and the chariot itself was developed only around 2000 BCE in the Ukraine/Ural area (and/or in Mesopotamia. 1997.193 189 Zaibert 1993.the . the Aśvin (Coomaraswamy 1941). horse burials.We know that the RV clearly refers to a rathavåhana that was used to transport the quick but fragile. the texts frequently refer to their use in sport. Stacul 1987).192 and.The Drav. The use of the horse-drawn chariot in the RV at that early time is archaeologically impossible: even the heavy. or of their cultural influence on unknown. somewhat less probable. invented much later. their "on their Aryan panzers" (sic!). and it is.) leads towards the subcontinent: from a somewhat unclear picture in the BMAC (Parpola 1988: 285. the autochthonists have not considered at all the role of horse-drawn chariots in sport and warfare of the Ancient Near East.C. 191 It is of course an open question whether the inhabitants of Pirak were IA or. with an Out of India scenario: the Aryan 'emigrants' to Central Asia would have learned of the horse (he does not discuss the chariot. e. surprisingly.g.)190 From there. -. Nevertheless. Kazakhstan (c. 190 Anthony and Vinogradov 1995. Littauer and Crouwel 1996). the horse (along with the camel) first appears in the RV in literary context. 192 Standard fare with autochthonists/Out of India advocates on the internet who continue to allege that I make "the Aryans thunder down the Khyber pass on their chariots" or. However. 288) to Pirak (horse figurines. 3300-2900 BCE. The exact source and spread of this phenomenon is still under investigation by archaeologists. Kuzmina 1994. They would then have transmitted this knowledge.191 bones in Kachi from 1700 BCE. worse.just as in Pirak or Swat. 192 sqq. lightweight (c."). and we can even assume different routes of the introduction of the horse (e. chariots were used in warfare on favorable terrain (but certainly not while crossing mountainous territory!). and Mundas have their own words for the horse. while I have not printed any such a folly anywhere. warfare from horseback was not yet practical. the Swat Valley at c.in that case similar to what happened at the same time in Mesopotamia in the case of the Kassites and. just as we do with modern racing cars.. on the Indus seals. just as clearly attested in Near Eastern documents of the second millennium BCE. Even a trip to the movies might help! 193 Elst 1999: 178 concludes his somewhat superficial discussion of the Indo-Europeans and the horse.g. 1400 BCE (painted sherds. neighboring pastoralists who first brought the horse into S. oxen. I do not maintain. Asia. They were one of the several peoples from the Ukraine to Mongolia that made use of the new technology. If the horse had been an important animal of the Indus elite. The sudden appearance in South Asia of the (domesticated) horse and of the chariot remain clear indicators either of IIr/IA presence. 74: "the thundering chariot. via Tibet and the Himalayan belt). 2000 BCE). My crime was to have mentioned 'tanks' in a footnote (1995: 114 n. c.)189 Some of the first attested remnants of primitive spoke-wheeled chariots and horse burials occur at Sintashta on the Tobol-Ishim rivers. attested in AV. It seems to have been common among the lower classes both among gods (Aśvin. The occasional occurrence of horse riding in the RV and still earlier in the Ukraine (Anthony 1991.drawn wagon evolved only in the late 4th millennium (first attested in Mesopotamia). prove a date of the RV at 4000 BCE as early practices easily appear in later texts (see also §28-30). and the actual animals. It does not show. a clear indicator of time and location at c. -. Marut) and humans (Falk 1995) and may have been used for herding purposes while the nobility preferred chariots for sport and war. not found at all in the Indus civilization.g. --. see the discussion of 'horse' words in Witzel (1999a. -Again. It is important to note that horse riding is not completely unknown to the RV. In the subcontinent. Horse riding is not important in the RV. All of this corresponds with what we know from accounts of the avoidance by or difficulty of the use of chariots on uneven terrain from records of the ancient Near East and of Classical Antiquity. as some allege. it is mentioned of the ''horsemen''. Apparently. so far. that the Indo-Europeans were the 'sole masters' of horse riding and chariot driving.Autochthonous Aryans? (61) Copper Age site of Botai in N. the Mitanni. Note also that the wheels of such chariots would deform if left standing in assembled fashion. 30 kg) chariot over difficult terrain. Parpola 1995. of course. and in Kachi in archaeological context at c. the chariots were disassembled and put together when needed. Drav. Without a proper saddle and stirrups. 1700 BCE.

all of this 'evidence' for RV Indus cities and oceanic trade (Frawley.99.. In sum. oblong -. again. even on actual fraud (Witzel and Farmer 2000). Wool is of course used in the cold Panjab winter. IE *p d) -. Mughal 1997. sahasrasthūna 5. Occasionally. the Avestan Påuruua at Y 5. have maintained the ancient custom (Avestan pard. Rau 1983.14.resulting in singularly bad transport for Indus merchants! 195 The question of post-Indus settlements that exceed the size of mere villages in Bahawalpur and the Panjab (Shaffer 1999) is in need of further attention: why is the RV silent about them? If iron is a late as it is said now (Possehl 1999).or did they learn it only after they left India? §22. made it into their mythology! 194 The spoked chariot wheels that Sethna wants to find on the Indus seals turn out to be. 1981. the bison (they had been agriculturalists before the Little Ice Age) the horse.8 actually says that inhabitants (of which areas?) had moved on (Falk 1981). 'Ocean going' ships refer to the ships that travel through the (night time) sky.116.61.. Falk 1981).3. amusingly. such gvedic expressions are part and parcel of the traditional poetical hyperbole. vailasthåna. This reflects reality: there are only a few iron age (PGW) time settlements in the Sarasvatī/Hakra area (Mughal 1997). Singh 1995) want to find in the references of the RV. Burrow 1963. P. Uttar Pradesh (even with some smaller towns.51.53)? Similar questions have to be asked about the overlap between the iron age PGW and the early YV texts (Witzel 1989). one of the oldest Bråhma a texts. except for vague references such as those to the non-pastoral Kīka a (RV 3.' 'clinching'.but again only in myth. Absence of towns in the RV The absence of towns and the occurrence of ruins (armaka.19. 5. But. Gupta. in Vedic texts down to the Sūtras where kårpåsa 'made of cotton' is first attested. etc. 117. A later Vedic text (PB 25. He wonders how the Vedic Indians would not have used cotton in the hot Indian climate. Who would deny the gods houses that are 100-1000 times bigger and better than human ones? Or. Apart from the fact that 100-pillared houses have not yet been found in the Harappan civilization.45.4. TB may reflect some memory of the post-Harappan period. The original argument used by Sethna (1981) to date the Vedas before the Indus civilization.6. in sacred (hieratic) texts does not prove its non-occurrence. but remained Sioux in language and religion. too. is the absence of the Indus commodity.4. and.3.10) tells of these ruins especially those located in the Sarasvatī (= GhaggarHakra) region (cf. is the RV. etc.32). where '100' or '1000' just mean 'many'. 1995:138. too. With the same justification he could maintain that Vedic Indians did not yet fart since the non-hieratic.62.41. etc. Oettinger 1988). The same applies to 'boats with a hundred oars'. All such items occur in comparisons or in mythology. so late as not to know these settlers any more. 10. cotton. vulgar pardati is attested only in post-Vedic texts. this relies on interpretation of unknown symbols194 and. in autochthonous circles usually referred to as 'seminal. 119. Absence of a word. The Iranians. 8. the texts regularly refer to woolen and flaxen garments. cf.(62) Michael WITZEL Autochthonists such as Sethna (1980. 2. śatadura 1. Bh. Singh.5. TB 2.88. RV 1. However. 1992) or Rajaram (2000) want to find horses and chariots in Indus inscriptions. . a few hundred years ago.62.5.195 when a considerable segment of the Indus population shifted eastwards after the loss of waters of the Ghaggar-Hakra to the Yamuna and Beas (Shaffer and Lichtenstein. in most cases. Falk 1981) in the RV poses another problem for the autochthonous theory. 100/1000-doored houses. a reference to the Indus cities.35. with its large 1000-pillared houses. The urban Indus civilization disintegrated around 1900 BCE and the population reverted to village level settlements while expanding eastwards into Haryana/W. use of the horse and the rifle. 116. Shaffer 1999).7). such as 'rice' (see § 23). such as that of Bhujyu (RV 1.6. Shaffer 1999). However. speaks of the long wildernesses (dīrgha ara ya) in the west as opposed to a more settled east (Witzel 1987). we even meet with metal forts -.46.3). and AB 3. just like the latecomer in their new hunting culture. S. Some advocates of the autochthonous theory (Bh.5. cf. such expressions occur only in mythological contexts (sahasradvår 7.112.6 (made of copper/bronze and gold. Indra his 1000 testicles? (6. in the case of Rajaram.

He believes that his RV translations prove international trans-oceanic trade. not Harappa as has been maintained by some historians for decades (it would have become something like *Harovī. xnd. simple mud wall and palisade forts (Rau 1976. EWA II 498). sometimes even named. as is well known. but it has been influenced by popular etymology (Skt. 'wheat. Tocharian and Burushaski points to Central Asia. Pashto γan m < *gandūma?. but in the manner criticized here (n.b) and ultimately perhaps Austric (note Benedict's Austro-Tai *boR[a]ts).(for details see Witzel 1999a. Yigdha gondum. the gvedic people --and their gods -. will be that of the Bactro-Margiana Archaeological complex (see Witzel 1999a. wheat colored'. villages and cities of the Indus civilization? Note also that even in later Vedic texts. not the Indus. However. Klimov's Caucasian (Proto-Kartvelian) *ghomu. etc. such as Bur. gantuma and the later Iranian forms: M. pl. etc. but he never investigates what samudra or nau actually mean in the Veda (for which see Klaus 1986. gandharvanagara. identity!) in sound allows to establish an isolated common IIr. 198 For the ultimate origin of the word. Talageri 2000: 124 sqq. It appears only later on. Avestan gantuma). ruins197 and their potsherds (kapåla). brick-built human houses. chariots). gur 'barley'. It is based on imaginary and erroneous RV interpretation. Burushaski/ Drav. iścem. MS 1. in Middle Vedic texts (godhūma. how does it only know of pur. 38. root *išt. as the widely spread. It echoes. barley. pre-Indus date of the RV is to be excluded on other. he has therefore excoriated me for saying that there were no tigers in the Panjab then. The similarity (but not. guri /gure < *γorum (Berger 1959: 43). Just like wheat.ate barley (yava). (Berger 1959: 40 sq.b). (an) unknown Central Asian language(s). O.Pers. i akå (VS/TS). however. found in the area since the seventh millennium BCE. these ruins as well as those on the Sarasvatī (PB) may refer to those of the Indus civilization. The word for ''rice'' is of local S. It has been crossed with the PKartv. 1983. Frawley translates. gurgán 'winter wheat'. 1989a). (The matter is clearly indicated. gandum. in Witzel 1995: 101-2). -ištuua (cf.. Burushaski di . but not yet rice which had already made its appearance in this region during the late Indus civilization (Kenoyer 1998). *gantum has entered via the northern Iranian trade route (Media-Turkmenistan-Margiana/BactriaAratta/Sistan) and has resulted in Avest..) 196 is made of so many 'cities of the Gandharva'. however. 1989. and not of the large. An Indus origin is unlikely.in short. wheat. In short. has misunderstood my reference (Witzel 1987: 176) to the absence of tigers and of domesticated rice in the RV --mostly grown.Autochthonous Aryans? (63) etc. Iranian. internal grounds (horses. Instead of wheat.by misconstruing a relative clause. *Haroī in modern Panjabi). PEC *Gōl’e. 197 See Falk 1981 and place names such as PB 25. the path of its spread is clear: Near Eastern *kant /Pre-Iran.8+). on bad Vedic philology.2. both the Veda and the Avesta know of bricks: Ved. ištiia.c. Witzel 1999b. Absence of wheat and rice in the RV The RV also does not mention the staple of the Indus civilization. apart from the Himalayan regions. if the RV is older than 2600 BCE or even of 5000 BCE.ík). §23. Amusingly. . 204). and the RV reflects ritual and is exclusively ritual poetry. temporary settlement" (Rau 1997). ritual always is more conservative real life behavior. gråma does not mean ''village'' but only ''wagon train (on the move). (The absence 196 Gupta never translates the RV passages he quotes so that we can read into them whatever we want: a RV fort (pur) can be a modern town or a village (pur). we only find. 1997). an early loan-word that is supported by the divergent forms of the Tocharian and Burushaski words. or 'fata morganas'. and the connection with Basque gari 'wheat' < Proto-East Caucasian *G ōl’e 'wheat'. Tochar. with **išt/ištš. slightly divergent form of the word in O. The source. Avest. in its initial syllable. rice is not yet found in the gveda. However. well east of Delhi throughout history -. etc. but cf. go-dhūma ''cow smoke''). -.10. Further. Since an early. Harmatta (EWA II 499) thinks of an Anatolian * ghond[ ].b) with its brick buildings and town-like settlements (of 2100 BCE). note also Bur. Tamil kōti) and its Pamir/Near Eastern antecedents. Hariyupīyå is a river. The form of the word is of clear Near/Middle Eastern origin (Hittite kant. the Dravidian word for 'wheat' (Kannada gōdi.18 Sthūlårmaka 'the large ruin' in Kuruk etra . form beginning with g(h)o.Egypt. the Indus cities are never mentioned. Asian origin (Witzel 1999a. no doubt because this is a hieratic text that lists only the traditional food (also of the gods).198 Just as in the much later case of tea/chai.

g. though the gods themselves are still said to grow barley on the Sarasvatī (AV 6. Vedic everyday.but with new cultural traits.. Falk 1986). which is typical for a society of self-sufficient pastoralists. poet/priests (brahmán. the word clearly is derived from * yu 'to graze'.. YV). 200 Bh. chariot-builder (rathakåra. with mention of cities and numerous professions.200 This. cf. yauua.b). smith (dhmåt . Landsat pictures (Yash Pal 1984) are interpreted by some as showing the drying up of this ancient river at various dates in the third millennium. see Kuiper 1991. N. §25. with the "Indus official" Rudra in charge of mountain troops and house numbers!). Lith. later: k atriya). wheat. cf. Sacred vessels were made by Brahmins in the most archaic fashion. There are a few artisans such as the carpenter (tak an). yau 'millet'. Witzel 1986). In post. household vessels were made in local style by Śūdra workmen. such assertions are made. autochthonous myth making. it may be due to an early conflation of the IIr/IA words for 'tiger'. Schmidt 1980. and ''the people'' (viś. 201 Yash Pal 1984. for agriculture (ploughman kīnåśa. Typically. and probably for washing (AV+. etc. The evidence of the cereals and culinary habits thus exactly fits the pattern of immigration: The speakers of Indo-Aryan (just as the IndoEuropeans: *yewo 'the (food) grass')199 knew only barley and very gradually took over wheat and rice inside S. see now EWA s. attested only AV+). Greek zeá. Kak insists on 1900 BCE. elaborate palaces'.gvedic times (AV. tvij. A gvedic 'boat with 100 oars' is not a kind of Spanish galley but clearly belongs to the realm of the gods. now Radhakrishnan and Merh 1999. castes.. if ever found.g. §24 RV class society and the Indus civilization The autochthonous theory maintains that the gvedic Indo-Aryans were living in complex society. (Note. it certainly would contain a few notices on the staple food of this area. later: bråhma a). sketched inside the peacock (Vats 1940. jav. hot . and the like. If the RV had been composed in the Panjab in (pre-)Indus times. Asia. without the use of a potter's wheel (as is still done for everyday vessels in the Hindukush!) and without change in style. especially 'detailed' in this respect. It is not found.201 the modern Sarsuti-Ghaggar-Hakra river and dry river bed in the desert on both sides of the present Indian/Pakistani border. karmåra). etc. All these are occupations are such that no member of the three Ārya classes would voluntarily undertake. 'lion' and.297 : Caland § 156 ). . Osset. note Hom.Pers. for their Indo-European predecessors. again. It is well known from Bråhma a texts that the Sarasvatī then disappeared in the desert (PB 25. is often used by autochthonists as a means of dating the RV. kavi. however.1). without translation or without philological discussion. JB 2.10. e. As has briefly been discussed above. -. i.90. W. consisting of nobility (råjanya. purohita. later: vaiśya). as they are all based on bad gvedic philology. i. is careless philology: The 'complex society' of the RV is none other than the (Dumézilian) three class society of the Indo-Iranians. so that everyone is free to understand what one likes to see in these passages. Singh 1995. as proud pastoralists. It is also clear that the gvedic Ārya employed some sections of the local populations. jawai 'grain'. vrīhi is already the favorite food and an offering to the gods. that is. Kalyanaraman (1999: 2) on 199 Avest. the lower class. Malati Shendge 1977 (e. The Sarasvatī and dating of the RV and the Bråhma as The disappearance of the Sarasvatī.and to modern. while quoting Sanskrit sources from the RV (Bhagavan Singh 1995. such pottery is therefore undatable by style (without thermo-luminescence methods).). and especially for pottery (kulåla MS+.30. Witzel 1984. vipra. to mythology. the continuation of Indus style motives in the Cemetery H culture -.v. Frawley forthc. Rau 1983). I neglect here all further discussions of a 'complicated class system. jew.. called Śūdra since RV 10. Very few occupations are mentioned in the RV. foreign trade.(64) Michael WITZEL of the tiger in the RV is more complex than that of rice and is in need of special attention. RV. maybe even 'panther').e. cremation and urn burial along with urn paintings expressing the Vedic belief in a homunculus 'soul'. Witzel 1999a.

" [While the correct date(s) of the drying up of much of the "Sarasvatī" has not yet been determined!] "This catastrophe triggered migrations in all directions. either the terrestrial ocean. or a terminal lake. They still have not yet been carried out sufficiently. with a typical development at Bhagawanpura. and is easily visible on many maps. Shaffer 1999. cf. it is still known as the small river Sarsuti. to India's interior.204 Given the semi-mythical nature of the Sarasvatī. compare also Avest. Ghaggar) and the D advatī (mod. general Eurasian concept. Chautang) to its east.3 speaks even of the (three or more!) samudras of the rivers.6 has an uttara 'northern/upper' ocean (Witzel 1984). Parī ah (PB 25.Autochthonous Aryans? (65) 1900-1500 BCE (in 1999) now: 1700/1300 BCE). Ar duuī. (Later texts such as the Purå as mythologize that it flows underground from there up to the confluence of the Yamunå and Ga gå at Prayåga/Allahabad. However. Klaus 1986. that might reflect Indus/IA/PGW type populations: many-roomed houses of brick of the post-urban period. The basic literary facts. by c. east of Khanpur. 1400 BCE. 203 Allchin et al. it has been long known. somewhat similar to the Sarasvatī and the later Epic Ga gå. from a mountain. Note that RV 6. Witzel 1994). The Sarasvatī region. Samudra indicates a large body of water (Klaus 1986). there is a playa next to the long gap in the lower course of the Hakra river and the Indus.3). by the Indus people. or just a ''confluence of rivers'' (RV 6. finally emptying into the Rann of Cutch (Oldham 1886. when the Sarasvati river dried up and many of the Harappan cities were abandoned.95. covered by sand dunes near Fort Derawar. Hukairiia. which indicates the Milky Way (Witzel 1984). however. and it seems to continue further south as the Nara channel in Sindh.10@##) 'the area surrounded (by the Sarasvatī)' (Witzel 1984). It does not include the lower Sarasvatī (mod. see. . It must be underlined that a considerable segment of the Harappan population shifted eastwards from the Indus and the Ghaggar-Hakra the post-Harappan period and built new settlements203 in the Eastern Panjab and Haryana/UP. however. Finally. I wonder where the evidence for such (e)migrations is to be found. If the Sarasvatī indeed ended there in an inland delta (Possehl 1997). Note also that the AV 11. Choosing an arbitrary date of 1900 or 1400 BCE is useless in order to fix the RV (well) before this date. to the "Lake" Vouruka a. Once it is called the only river flowing from the mountains to the samudra (RV 7.5. Parisråvatī (VådhB 4. Haryana. is not dry even today.gvedic Kuruk etra.75). are the following: the Sarasvatī is well known and highly praised in the RV as a great stream.72. Shaffer and Lichtenstein (1995:138) attribute this in part to the loss of waters of the GhaggarHakra to the Yamuna and Beas (Mughal 1997). Witzel 1984. see Shaffer and Lichtenstein 1995. however. Also.7!). Hakra) which is occasionally referred to as Parisaraka. S. 1987). 65 where the Iranian counterpart of the Sarasvatī. that easily changed course.72. However. Y. as goddess and as mythical river in the sky or on earth. 202 Elst (1999:137) makes this into "great catastrophe in about 2000 BC. the RV passages are not always clear enough to decide which one is intended in each particular instance (Witzel 1984). the Bråhma a texts (JB 2. PB 25. though the Hakra area has been surveyed archaeologically on the Pakistani side by M.P. Landsat or aerial photos by themselves cannot determine the date of ancient river courses. and to Central Asia". then many-roomed brick/pressed earth houses. They establish several palaeo-channels for this river. dry bed of the Sarsuti (Ghaggar) continues well beyond the Pakistani border as Hakra (Wilhelmy 1969. Sarsuti.. eastwards into Haryana/Delhi area.10) clearly state that the Sarasvatī disappears or ''dives under'' in the desert at a place called vinaśana / upamajjana. to West Asia by sea (the Kassite dynasty in Babylon in c. and geological data are now also available in some more detail for the Indian side (Radhakrishnan & Merh 1999. like all Panjab rivers flowing on these flat alluvial plains. the last two stages with increasing PGW. that the lower. samudrå i nadīnåm . with terminal lake(s) (samudra). flows. RV 7. The only archaeologically attested one is the move.R.. something that is based on an old. Witzel 1984. 1995: 37. local geological and archaeological investigations on the ground are necessary. Raverty 1892. see Witzel 1984). 204 The meaning of samudra must be established well. a wording that clearly indicates delta-like configurations (playa). Pakistan.202 However. as some scholars state. Which one of these courses would fit the Indus period and which one the gvedic period still needs to be sorted out. then single-roomed circular huts of timber and thatch. to the Malabar coast. Gupta 1995).297. Mughal (1997). see also §22.2). comprises the land between the Sarasvatī (mod.6. or a mythological ocean (at the end of the world or in the night sky. the Nara channel would rather represent the lower course of the Sutlej (or be a branch of the Indus). and east. 1600 BCE venerated some of the Vedic gods). (and then further down to earth). the post. The upper course of the Ghaggar.

208 While the Sutlej is fed by Himalayan glaciers.45). the Sarsuti is but a small local river depending on rain water. 1700 BCE . The gvedic evidence. Occam's Razor applies. a small river in the early RV period! As usual. However.33 refers to the confluence of the Beas and Sutlej (Vipåś.33206 already speaks of a necessarily smaller Sarasvatī: the Sudås hymn 3.6. dwarfing its water supply.2. Falk 1981) of the late Harappan and post-Harappan period (cf. because.207 This means that the Beas had already captured the Sutlej away from the Sarasvatī. due to the various meanings of the word. with the Sarasvatī having lost most of its water to the Sutlej (and even earlier.75) already depict the present day situation. However. Sarasvatī and Ur-Jumna still form one river which indeed flows from the Himalayas to the ocean (called Nara in Sindh). the Sarasvatī may never have been as mighty a contemporary river as the RV wants to make us believe.205 Other dates range from 2500-2200 BCE to 2200-1700 BCE. the only other river that is highly praised in the RV. 208 While in the still later hymn. TB 2. Radhakrishnan and Mehr 1999). is called Marudv dhå here). Mughal proposes that the Hakra was a perennial river in the 4th and early 3rd millennium BCE and that it had dried up about the end of the second.95. with the introduction of the Painted Gray Ware culture (PGW) in the area at c. much of it also to the Yamunå). Śutudrī). Based on internal RV evidence. he may have echoed the praise of the ancient Sarasvatī. very much against the wishes of the indigenists. the dry bed of the Ghaggar-Hakra still is lined with Harappan sites (and cluttered with millions of kapåla sherds. a neglected contemporary piece of evidence from the middle RV period. is found in RV 3.33. -. praises the local Sarasvatī area of his patron Sudås after the victory in the Ten Kings' Battle. the joint Vipåś-Śutudrī (unless the Beas. the old Sarasvatī-Sutlej can never have been larger than the Indus. Even then. It is now supposed that the Sarasvatī lost the mass of its water volume to the nearby Yamunå due to tectonic upheaval (Yash Pal 1984. The autochthonous theory overlooks that RV 3. At that time. Even then.10).4. 1500-1000 BCE. whatever its meaning!). also agrees remarkably well with the new evidence from Bahawalpur/Cholistan (Mughal 1997) which indicates that the area along the lower Hakra (Sarasvatī) was abandoned by its people who moved eastwards after c. Indeed. the middle and later RV (books 3. Mughal 1997). But many of these settlements are situated on the actual flood plain of the Ghaggar-Hakra. the i Vasi ha. that is the local S. RV 10.which would make the Sarasvatī. The area was not settled again until well into the iron age.(66) Michael WITZEL In the dry bed of the Hakra many potsherds (kapåla) used in ritual could be found (PB 25. 10. the opponent of Vasi ha. the estimates of archaeologists on the exact date of the drying up of much of the Sarasvatī differ considerably. they belonged to the given up settlements (arma. Whether the immigrant Vasi ha was from the Iranian area of Hara aitī (= Sarasvatī. as is well known. 206 In the new autochthonous version of RV history (Talageri 2000) this is the oldest book of the RV. The RV books 3 (Viśvåmitra) and 7 (Vasi ha) both represent a relatively late time frame among some five known generations of the gvedic chieftains of the Middle RV period. 7 and the late book.75. this hymn describes a situation of only a few moths or years before RV 7. why the Sarasvatī actually is praised that much? RV 7. believed to have been composed by Viśvåmitra. flowing from the Himalayan mountains to the Indian ocean. 800 BCE. i. Avestan Hara aitī or the Milky Way (Witzel 1984). 207 Differently from the map in Kenoyer (1995: 245) where the Sutlej. The question thus is. This also agrees with the scenario developed earlier (Witzel 1995): an early immigration (c.95. RV style is generally quite hyperbolic. It was no longer the large river it might have been before the early gvedic period. chiefs that belong to the noble Bharata and Pūru lineages. unlikely. which speaks against an enormous river during the Harappan (or the supposed 'preHarappan gvedic') period. the Vipåś (Beas) is altogether missing and might have been substituted by the Śutudrī (Satlej).e.) thinks of a much earlier period. indeed speaks of the Sarasvatī flowing to the samudra. above.8). . we indeed hear of sparse settlements in the west (AB 3. or he may just have spoken in the hyperbolic style of the RV. Arachosia) or not. These textual data do not inspire confidence in the categorically stated autochthonous theory that the RV proves a mighty Sarasvatī. In book 7. 1400 BCE.1450 BCE) of 205 Possehl 1993: 85-94. In sum. and Francfort (1985 sqq. armaka. a hymn of the middle gvedic period.2 (with the Sarasvatī 'flowing from the mountains to the samudra'. an immigrant from west of the Indus. this is not unambiguous. supposing the Indologists' 'traditional' date of the text at c. In fact.

it has neither received new alluvium nor has it been subject to ploughing. 13. Lal and others claim to have discovered fire altars in the early and later stages (at least 2200 BCE.K. Possehl-Gullapalli who point to 1000 BCE). regard 209 For a full list of settlements see now Possehl (1999) and note the theory of a handful of separate Indus 'domains'. 1999) into Haryana/U. archaeological and textual evidence is in striking contrast to that of the autochthonous theory. Harappan fire rituals? B. it may be added. TS 4. As Possehl (1997) shows.Autochthonous Aryans? (67) the Yadu-Turvaśa. neither are the majority of the 'Sarasvatī' sites along the Ghaggar in India.4. iron is already found in texts much earlier than the Bråhma as (i. B. the rather ad hoc. 1900 BCE. either. with at least five major cities: Harappa. 1997: 121-124). and.13. This scenario. AV. 1983). Asia. selective methods used by advocates of the autochthonous theory. 7 (and 1.e. It was only in the post-RV period that copper was called loha 'the red (metal)' (VS 18. a large part of it by the Yamunå). and the Bråhma as which mention its disappearance must therefore be dated about that time. as this had become the territory of the victorious Bharata tribe under Sudås (and. KS. this indicates the center of the Indus civilization. is singled out only in the middle and later parts of the RV. Rau 1974. but along the Hakra in Pakistan. It cannot be assumed that because there are many (c. Some of these fire places are in a domestic and some in a public context: the latter are aligned on a raised platform in a row of seven. at least not during the whole span of this civilization. According to the autochthonous theory.5.that is. This fact is frequently misunderstood by historians and archaeologists who simply quote the older RV translations that render ayas by 'iron' while it means 'copper' or maybe. Rather. facing East. followed by the immigration of the Bharata tribe (from across the Indus. etc.as if such recent boundaries played any role in 2600-1900 BCE! Unfortunately for such chauvinists. The old designation of the Sarsuti-Ghaggar-Hakra. once again. Some archaeologists. The area around the upper Sarasvatī. For. Dholavira in Cutch.P. seems to have been the substrate name *Višampa /ž or Vipa /ž (Witzel 1999). the first appearance of iron. 1983.2. the center of Vedic culture or of the whole of the Indus civilization. the 'black metal' (k a/śyåma ayas) in S. and this movement continued (Lichtenstein and Shaffer. not yet in the RV). consistent with the geological. ŚB 2. before. cultural center. and there was no central authority. in books 3. Mohenjo-Daro. Rakhigarhi. and similarly. The area around the Sarasvatī also was not.53. however. B. often in opposition to the 'black metal'. . the Sarasvatī dried out by 1900/1500 BCE.237-8 : Caland § 204) only after the major part of the Sarasvatī waters had been captured by the Beas (and. when there possibly still was a somewhat ''larger Sarasvatī'' (Mughal 1997. later renamed as the Vedic Sarasvatī.2. the clusters of settlement gradually moved eastwards. the Sarasvatī area is not specially favored). it has hardly ever been settled since by more than a few people. from Baluchistan/Sindh to Haryana (Possehl 1997). 1992. §26. Nor does the name 'Sarasvatī' apply for the period in qustion. During the RV period. there were several concentrations but no central area. All of this does not fit the internal evidence. thus. however. the diverse. (Even then.). in geomorphology. 209 Even during its heyday. JB 3. Ganweriwala. most importantly.18.1. But. The situation in the Indus period was equally diffuse. along a "Vedic" river the Sarasvatī -. even after the end of the Indus civilization in c. this concentration is due to something very obvious --though not mentioned by advocates of a renamed "Indus-Sarasvatī civilization"-. as (some of) the autochthonous theorists maintain. 10 etc. since the Indus period.5. Witzel 1995). At the bottom of the sudden popularity of the Sarasvatī is of course the nationalistic wish to have the "center of the Harappan Civilization" within the boundaries of India. now. Allchin. §28-30) is simply impossible. the later Kuruk etra. Anu-Druhyu in to the Panjab. even including some who accept a version of the immigration theory such as R.) as the 'best place on earth' (RV 3. is only at c.11.6. 1200 BCE (Chakrabarti 1979. also 'bronze' (Rau 1974. there was no clear political. is based on bad philology and shows.7. TS. to the fact that the lower Sarasvatī area is "fossil": it has not changed. instead of being of central importance all through the older RV. at Lothal. and in the YV Sa hitås: MS. with details). and near a well and bath pavements suggesting ceremonial(?) bathing. To date Bråhma a texts at 1900 BCE (see below on astronomy. also one of the major settlement areas of the post-Indus culture). cf. 400) Indus settlements in the Ghaggar-Hakra are. 30-50 tribes and clans were spread out over all of the Panjab. well known to the Bråhma a style texts. Thapar 1975) of the Harappan site of Kalibangan (Lal 1984.

in the first horses of South Asia. . which are placed east of the three main fires on the trapezoid Mahåvedi platform (Staal 1983). the Kalibangan hearths do not represent Vedic ritual as we know it from the large array of Vedic texts. Shaffer and M. This kind of "stele" is still found today in modern fire places of the area -. some degree of continuity from the late Indus civilization. S. there is. Baluchistan/Sindh and in the Gandhara Grave Culture of Swat. see soon: http://www. At best. 'organic' archaeological evolution reflecting indigenous cultural development from pre. The RV knows only of 1-3 fires. triangular fashion. (written in 1992 but still in press. this is entirely impossible to prove. The amusing denouement is evident in Lal 1997:121. however. is not met with at Kalibangan either.gvedic Soma ritual are additional fires. by mid-second millennium BCE. however. However. However. Kenoyer stress this remarkable continuity as well. They may be nothing more than a community kitchen.edu/~witzel/vedichinduism. in the Greater Panjab. in a non-Vedic context. This feature. In short. cf. 1999) summarizes: ''The shift by Harappans [in the late/post-Indus period] is the only archaeologically documented west-to-east movement of human populations in South Asia before the first half of the first millennium BC. the spoke-wheeled chariot. Lal 1997: plate XXXIIIA. in the Kachi Plain of E. fits any recorded Vedic ritual. somewhat irregular. It also does not fit the Vedic evidence. and in Śrauta ritual we find the three fires arranged in a typical. but that of a regular kitchen.harvard.211 Archaeologists such as J. we find some indications. it should have raised some suspicion that 'fire rituals' are now detected at every other copper/bronze or even Neolithic site in northern and western India." However. XXXVIA)? There are seven(?) fire places. (plate XXXA) itself: "within the altar stood a stele made of clay". One clear example is the continuity of weights (Kenoyer 1995: 224. However.people. They are closely aligned next to each other and face a brick wall. including the nearby brick-built bathing places. recent excavations seem to indicate. as has been discussed above (§ 8-10) the Vedic texts themselves speak of various types of transhumance and migration movements. However. etc. neither that of the RV nor of the later (Śrauta) ritual. Banawali pl. On the other hand. What is indeed visible at Kalibangan (photos in Allchin 1982. and similarly now R. for example. also tends to explain why the "Vedic" (or IA) tradition is so little visible in the archaeological record so far.(68) Michael WITZEL them as similar to. Many other cultural traits (such as pottery) have been carried over in the same fashion. Shaffer (1995.210 §27. that animal bones are found in some of the supposed fire altars. of course. at least on the fringes of the subcontinent. that was carried over into the early Gangetic tradition. Vedic fire altars are not apsidal as the fire places at Kalibangan and Banawali. Such proof would have to come from a study of the (so far hypothetical) interrelations between certain features of the Indus religion and the Śrauta ritual. 'classical' Śrauta ritual. Further. 210 Thus Jamison and Witzel. Dani 1992). Sharma 1995. This. the seven dhi ya hearths of the post. We still are looking.gvedic.fas. The seven dhi ya fire altars of the complicated post. a strong BMAC influence in late-Harappan (including several statues such as the so-called Priest-King). or identical with. Vedic ritual implements. 211 Shaffer and Kenoyer argue for a continual.'' The advocates of the autochthonous theory therefore conveniently conclude that there has been no "Aryan invasion. Cultural continuity: pottery and the Indus script Advocates of the autochthonous theory also underline that the lack of dramatic change in the material culture of northern South Asia indicates an unbroken tradition that can be traced back to c. 7000 BCE without any intrusive culture found during this period. 1998). three(?) destroyed by later construction. that were adapted into the later Śrauta ritual as the Soma dhi yas. The matter underlines how careful archaeologists should be in drawing conclusions about religion and ritual when interpreting material remains. these are independent and untypical precursors.to proto-historic periods without intrusions in the archaeological record from the northwest (or anywhere else).htm).it serves as a prop for the cooking pot. horse furnishings. Nothing of this. and horse sacrifice (Allchin 1995. before its decay at 1900 BCE. indeed. for the ''smoking gun'' of the horse.

213 Given the c. its village-like local 212 For a survey see Possehl 1996. complicated Soma rituals without temples. Mathivanan 1995. ha is: o.214 The script simply vanished. just as in many other areas of S. has two foreign names. 2000 and discussion in subsequent issues. Salomon 1995). lack of permanent settlements. This single. Hinüber 1989). The very number of signs makes an interpretation as alphabetic or syllabary script impossible. and would suppose. Brahmī had a predecessor. that the RV preceded the Indus Civilization. many of which are used only in certain sign combinations. short -a remains unexpressed. to the Aramaic script (Falk 1993. However. early date probably is due to unclear stratigraphy. the assertion that the RV is older than the Indus civilization does not work: there were no horse-drawn chariots yet at the beginning of the Indus period (2600 BCE) in the Greater Panjab or anywhere else. probably a subject of the Persians in Gandhåra. while no accepted decipherment has emerged in more than half a century of study of the Indus script (Parpola 1994. like the Maya script. However. e. is a real alphabetical script (on phonemic principles) with only one quasi-syllabary feature: as in Devanågarī. dipi [δipi] < Elamite tip/tup) as well as its regular development in East Iranian (lipi).212 Some of them were probably used as rebus symbols. and even by Asoka. the Persian name of 'script' dipi (Pers.. the Kharo hī script. Possehl 1996). 213 I leave aside the question of decipherment. just as is the case with all early logographic scripts from Egypt to China: the sounds of one word were used to indicate another one with same or similar pronunciation but with a different meaning. Typically. the singular find of inscribed materials is situated barely below a much later level. in Afghanistan. the disappearance of writing is witness to the large gap between the well-organized urban civilization of the Indus culture at c. . increasingly claiming that the texts are in early Sanskrit. when its practical use for administration and/or business disappeared (Allchin 1995. etc. the descent of Brahmī from the Indus script would resemble that of the early Semitic alphabets from Hieroglyphic Egyptian. after a lapse of evidence spanning some 4000 years. preponderance of cattle raising. or rather some 600 signs (Wells 1998). There is a new attempt about once per month now. 7000 BCE onwards. typical for logographic scripts such as Chinese or Japanese. directly or indirectly. geometrical signs of the Brahmī script (ka is a simple +. Non-Sanskritic ones include. but they emerge only around 2000 BCE in the Ural area and in Mesopotamia. Kharo hī. Arun Pathak and N. Bihar. etc. but exemplified by photos. In sum.g. writing and script are not mentioned in the Vedic and early Buddhist texts (v. Asian culture. two/too//to/do. Verma 1993. such as pair/pear//bear/to bear/bare. all of which hypothetically disappear completely during the Harappan period and re-emerge in the post. Unlike the Indus script with its logograms. this is a complex logographic script with at some 400 (Parpola 1994). På ini. Both go back.). Even if there indeed was an initial carry-over of remnants of the Indus script into the post-Indus period (Kenoyer 1995: 224) there is no sign of any continuity of the use of the script before the first inscriptions in Brahmī in the middle of the third c. In addition. terminology is derived. Bråhma a and Upani adic periods of the Gangetic epoch? This is yet another strange non sequitur which does not fit in with established cultural and textual sequences. R. their/there/they're. BCE.Autochthonous Aryans? (69) However. for the discussion of a recent. Frontline. one is faced by a paradox: how is possible that gvedic features such as horse races. Possehl 1996). 13. from which the Skt. 500 BCE for Sri Lanka. the Brahmī script. In short. Continuity of the Indus script The autochthonous theory maintains that the Brahmī script of Asoka (3rd c.gvedic YV Sa hitå. and Pkt. it is of course very easy to find similarities in the 50-odd. particularly blunt and fraudulous attempt (Rajaram and Jha 2000) see Witzel and Farmer in the Indian news journal. cremation burial. etc. on the other hand. in the case of Egyptian we know the pronunciation of the Hieroglyphic logographs. 600 signs of the Indus script. if one would again try to think through the autochthonous theory that stresses the strong continuity in Indian cultural development from c. If the autochthonous theory were right. both find continued use of the (unchanged!) Indus script. and Brahmī even more so. non-use of wheat (and rice). on the house walls of the Austro-Asiatic Santals in S. have been adjusted extremely well to represent the Indian sound system. 214 Coningham 1995 maintains an early --improbable--date for Brahmi at c. very regularly shaped. BCE is derived from the Indus script (Rajaram and Jha 2000). with them. Oct. In the North-West of the subcontinent. which was widely used in the Persian empire.K. certainly under the influence of traditional Brahmin phonetic science. 1900 BCE.

the divine sponsor of the ritual and the year. then? The real question. However. The core 'books' of the RV (2-7) are arranged from short books to long ones. and that some calculations are connected with that. ŚB.. 2001). that certain combinations of numbers enumerating the syllables. to begin with. a few millennia after the Aryans' hypothetical arrival in the seventh millennium BCE (Kak 1994: 20-22).95) had 15 verses while our RV has 18.just as modern practice still prescribes-. 216 Which greatly irks Talageri (2000) who simply relies on the superficial outward appearance of the present (Śåkala) RV. the deity and the meter. Śåkalya. for details on the exact scheme and the -. there was no Agnicayana yet at the time of the RV. However.based on the post. It certainly cannot be doubted that the altar is identified.and that is the version Kak uses!) Other versions of the RV differ slightly. Kak. The ''astronomical code of the RV'' One of the most arresting claims of the autochthonous theory is that of an astronomical code in the organization of hymns of the RV (Kak 1994).the author. -. That they should constitute an original gvedic ''astronomical code''.gvedic period most probably executed in the Kuru realm of the Eastern Panjab/Haryana at c. a schematic one of the post. To find astronomical reasons behind this arrangement requires extra-ordinary ingenuity on the part of the original. Witzel 1997). word indexes of the RV (for details. he is simply ignorant of the history of gvedic philology of the past 150 years and relies just on Griffith's outdated and similar uncritical English translation of the late 19th century and on some Skt.(70) Michael WITZEL successor cultures in E. even a text contemporary with Śåkalya. Interestingly. the same it true for the discussion of the ritual in the Bråhma a style texts. and numbers of verses per hymn. says that the Purūravas hymn (RV 10. All of this is not mentioned by Kak. or more specifically. deities (hymns to Agni. during the late Bråhma a period (roughly. which he believes to establish a tradition of sophisticated observational astronomy going back to events of 3000 or 4000 BCE215. 700-500 BCE) -. it was canonized a few hundred years later by an Easterner. if one knows -. and 8). or one according to the use of the hymns in ritual (as is used by the Yajurveda). RV 2-7.or the decipherer. In sum. VEDIC TEXTS AND SCIENCE §28. This is a simple but very effective method in an oral tradition without script. S. in the typical fashion of the post. the subsequent superimposition/adaptation of pastoral Vedic culture. Even the Mantra collections used for this ritual are late and form a third layer in the collections of the post.e. poets' clans (the 'family books'. one knows where a hymn is to be found inside the core section (RV 2-7) of the RV collection. then others). i. see Oldenberg (1888. as has been well known for more than a hundred years (Oldenberg 1888).gvedic Bråhma a texts. and indeed since Vedic times(!). with Prajåpati.gvedic(!) arrangement of the RV- 215 Cf. the RV is organized in three levels: according to authors. is: why should anybody order one's texts according to some astronomical patterns? Rather. Indra. Kak's discovery is derived from the traditional ordering of the hymns and verses of the RV. Witzel 2001). verses and hymns in the gveda coincide with numbers indicating the periods of planetary motions. what kind of method would present itself to a people with a strong. the newly emerging Gangetic urban culture of pre-Mauryan times in the 5th century BCE. of course. .gvedic Yajurveda Sa hitå texts. and. well-trained memory but without the use of script? One could think. for example. of a strictly metrical pattern (as is indeed used in the Soma hymns of RV 9 or the Avestan Gåθås). Panjab/Haryana etc.only apparent -. None of the two is the one followed in the bulk of the RV. Kak joins this theory with observations about the piling up of bricks of the Agnicayana altars. also the discussion by Elst 1999: 96 sqq. to begin with. Any combination of the numbers of bricks in the Agnicayana with the order and number of hymns and Mantras of the RV therefore is not cogent. and according to meter (hymns with longer meters come first).disturbances216 in it. 1200/1000 BCE (Witzel 1997. contemporary composers and arrangers of the RV -. and finally. Which size and ordering of the text to follow. Instead. conversely. inside each book according to a descending order numbers of hymns per deity.

Cf. and limited.. 413 sqq.220 Some passages in the ŚB have been under discussion since then that seem to refer to the equinoxes.unforeseen relations of the monument with the earth. 105) permits errors of at least pm 1 in his matching of numbers. Kak (by his own account. post. but most will cluster about the middle of the interval. these and similarly absurd dates are found in Elst 1999: 97. Further. Thibaut (1885). 8. 1986. Plofker's (1996) discussion of Kak's attempt in the section ''Probabilistic Validation'' (1994: 106-107). 1984. Tilak (1893). even if one takes its rather involved numerical schemes for granted. 220 Autochthonists now date the Buddha to 1700 BCE or even 3139/8 BCE. Paris 1931. JAOS 6.74-75. etc. not to mention quite a few additional hymns inside these very books. Jacobi 1893. space and time emerge! 218 See the long list of late 19th and early 20th cent. 218 sqq. 219 Pingree does not find basic astronomical skills among the early Indo-Aryan because the texts do not specifically outline such skills. Plofker 1996. Tilak 1893. sixth. Jacobi.. accepted by Elst 1999: 110). It also does not help the scheme that the knowledge of this code is said to have disappeared very shortly after the composition of the texts.2.. ZDMG 48..96-101. ŚB 2. 1903. add some astronomical facts and --lo. one must immediately note. This section intends to prove that the presence of planetary period numbers in the gvedic hymn number combinations (containing 461 distinct integers ranging from 43 to 1017). see M. to the (19th c." This mathematical demonstration would not even have been necessary because of the derived. as a rule. at a time when nothing of Indian prehistory was known before the supposedly firm date of the Buddha. Bibliographie védique.all of them writing well before the discovery of the Indus civilization. 69-83. derived from all ten books of the RV. and ninth books of the RV was chosen to be 339 because that number is roughly equivalent to ''the number of disks of the sun or the moon to measure the path across the sky.Autochthonous Aryans? (71) Sa hitå and the later.1. Oldenberg. 85 sqq.is simply impossible. not only that RV 9 is a late book (Oldenberg 1888. In fact. means that the high proportion of matches has no statistical significance whatever. Or. 6. Proferes 1999). combined with the fact that Dr. Elst 1999: 96 sqq. [or] sun-steps'' (Kak 1994: 100.112-113. ZDMG 49. when it is alleged by Kak that the combined number of hymns in the fourth. 85 sqq. Oldenberg and Whitney219 -.217 Non licet. ''One should found one's fires under the (moon house of 217 Note that similar claims have been made for the Bible and other ancient texts.). "the set of values generated from sums of a given set of numbers is generally not uniformly distributed over the interval it spans. there will be a few very small sums and a few very large ones. To mention just the most elaborate one. secondary nature of hymn numbers in Śåkalya's redaction of the RV (see above). p. IA 1885. 300 BCE) is replaced by Candragupta. Thibaut. ZDMG 50.). such as the arbitrary use of multiplication factors that deliver the desired results for the various courses of the planets (which are not even attested in Vedic texts. 1981. eighth. In this example. forthc. the whole matter boils down to over-interpretation of some facts that are internally inconsistent. out of the 461 hymn combination numbers. . As it has been said: select some significant numbers relating. 470 sqq. Jacobi. etå ha vai pråcyai diśo na cyavante | sarvå i ha vå anyåni nak atrå i pråcyai diśaś cyavante.) Washington monument. In short. Kak's scheme suffers. in the same vein... cannot be coincidental. This simple observation renders Kak's whole scheme numerically impossible.. discussions in L. 1894. Renou. JAOS 8. §29. saptar īn u ha sma vai pura rk å ity åcak ate. to a few facts of direct observation by the naked eye (Pingree 1973. As Plofker shows. . references to astronomical data in the RV are generally very vague. as in other ancient cultures. 9. behold-. Witzel 1972.. 629 sqq.57-58. K.g. Whitney 1894.. Astronomy: the equinoxes in ŚB Vedic astronomy has been discussed218 since Weber (1860). the Gupta king. Yano. More details could be added.3 seems to say that the spring equinox is in the asterism K ttikå: k ttikåsv agnī ådadhīta . Yano forthc.. This.gvedic(!) construction of the Agnicayana fire-altars -. p. ZDMG 49. Oldenberg. from inconsistency. and Candragupta Maurya (of c. 158-163: Weber 1860. no fewer than 320 fall within the range 301--800 containing most of the planetary period constants. and would indicate the date of observation of these celestial phenomena. e. but that these books have the following additional hymns (Oldenberg 1888): 4.

MUL. The name k å indeed occurs once in the RV and this is copied in TĀ. one cannot. now Plofker. EJVS 5. see Witzel 1999c.2. Sastry (1985:13) and R. textual. at c. for the same passage of ŚB also remembers that the Great Wagon/Big Dipper (ursa maior) was "formerly" called ''the bears''.1. However. Citrå. Phalgunī. astronomical observations in the Vedic texts are of a more general nature. M gaśīr a. These. Avest. just because Indra occasionally still has a stone weapon. most of which are motivated and justified. All other moon houses. this would mean to date the text according to its earliest item. Since this is an appendix to the Veda. Its date. commit the rather common but no less serious mistake of dating a text according to a single early fact mentioned in it. some 60 degrees off today's position due to precession (for details see Achar. but only to the present computer age. Kochhar (1999) think of an early date.3 (and also the neglected passage in BŚS 27. to put it somewhat facetiously. because of the unconscious. Yano forthc. Texts contain reminiscences and archaic words and concepts. by inherent Bråhma a texts' concerns and logic. to the period before the revolutionary book of Copernicus (1507 AD). we simply cannot date the ŚB in the third millennium BCE. 2300 BCE (Kak even has 2950 BCE.e. as the winter solstice is described to be in Śravi hå/Dhani hå nak atra. This is an old Indo-European expression (Greek. ŚB (Witzel 1999c). Elst 1999: 96) . before the asterism acquired its well-known name ''the Seven i'' (sapta r aya . K. S. however.. if taken for a literal description of the 'immobile' position of the Pleiades.datum and use it to reinterpret Vedic linguistic. they do not deviate from the eastern direction..(72) Michael WITZEL the) K ttikås. cf. of course. 1999).2. but simply is faulty reasoning. Pingree's (1973: 10) estimate is c. literally. the astronomy involved here is not as straightforward as it usually is made out to be.'' This statement. namely that the Pleiades are in the east and that Ursa Maior is in the north.m. §30: The Jyoti a Vedå ga and the solstices Another favorite item brought forward for an early date of the Vedic texts has been the date assigned to the Jyoti a of Laga ha. is possible only for the third millennium. one called the Saptar is 'the Bears'. and are clearly based on what is easily observable with the naked eye over the course of a few years (Pingree 1973. etc. even if one admits that the sentences quoted above refer to contemporary observation and have been transmitted as such over several millennia.APIN says more or less what ŚB does in the section under discussion. Latin.'' then my sentence cannot be dated. In addition. . 221 Note that ŚB has the alternative dates Rohi ī. The above passage is followed by a set of other ones which allow setting up the fires at other times. haptō iri ga = *sapta li gå(ni).5)221 indeed would indicate the spring equinox in K ttikå. ritual history while they neglect all the other contradictory data derived from comparative astronomy. textual study. Or. Further. hinges on that assigned to the solstice as described in this text. As seen many times by now. Then. economic. The text is probably to be dated in the late second millennium (Pingree 1998). who lived around the middle of the first mill. whether such astronomical references in Vedic texts must be taken at face value. socio-political. 2000). Again. like this one. unwittingly. between 1370 and 1150 BCE. and as ŚB is very close in its cultural. BCE. 1999c). a Vedå ga text attached to the gveda tradition (a later version exists in the Yajurveda tradition as well). to the (late) stone age. cf.APIN are of interest. This does not achieve a 'paradigm shift'. as it has strong evidence of iron which emerged in India only by 1200/1000 BCE. and philosophical development to the time of the Buddha. not their earliest datable features. if I write ''looking at my digital clock I saw that the sun rose at 6:00 a. the advocates of the autochthonous theories take one --in case. then this may very well be a popular or learned remembrance of times long past. but unscientific use of ''to rise''..). some statements in the Babylonian text MUL. archaeology. The basic question is the same as in the case of the K ttikå equinox: whether the description as given in the Jyoti a is also the date of the text in which it is transmitted. the Pleiades were at the equinox point. However. 1984. a rather dubious-. 1981 Plofker 1996. and BŚS also has "at the appearance" of Śrava a. If ŚB 2. i. and in fact nobody does date the RV. we can only date them by their latest. a serious problem remains: the advocates of the autochthonous theory. EJVS 6-2. etc.. 1180 BCE. The basic question is.. If one takes this conclusion as one's baseline. they deviate from the eastern direction. And that would be the end of the whole question. Witzel 1972.. cf. Formerly. not even special pleading. all indicating various ritual concerns. T. But. thus earlier than ŚB but much closer to it than the supposed date of the K ttikå observation in the third millennium. virtually all other Vedic texts must predate it. Citrå/Svatī. Hasta.

4. see Elst 1999: 100. 4. the beginning of the year is on a full-moon night.) wants to turn into a reference to the heliacal rising of the sun in V abha. which post-dates the establishment of the calendrical scheme with amånta months. Apart from the fact that Elst has to demonstrate the use of the zodiac for the RV.but about the zodiac!) Again. Further. Sastry (1985: 15) agrees as far as the date of the Jyoti a text itself is concerned and adds the observation that its astronomical system is the same as that taught in the Gargasa hitå. this is poetry. 1 and 7 (Witzel. Pingree (1973: 10) stresses that it is unknown where Laga ha would have exactly placed the boundaries of the nak atra Dhani å. and if one would re-arrange the dates of Vedic literature accordingly. Further indication for a late date of the Jyoti a is that the language of the text is post-Vedic. in prep.5-9 (a late appendix to RV. not astronomy. Laga ha puts the winter solstice on the new moon of Mågha at the heliacal rising of Dhani hå.7 describes young women who are 'bright' (citra) not the asterism Spica in Virgo (cf.39. Such references are much too vague to be used for dating (nevertheless see Elst 1999: 107). only if one is convinced that Laga ha intended the solstice to be exactly at alpha Delphini of Dhani å. now also Hock. would allow to place the [iron age] Bråhma a and Sūtra literature at 2300 BCE [long before the introduction of iron]. api ca.40." This would produce a fairly low date post quem for the section of KB in question.93 which Elst (1999: 111 sqq. the Yuga Purå a. -. as seen in Mbh.Autochthonous Aryans? (73) While Sastry believes that the text preserves a tradition dating back to that period.. the Shatapathabrahmana and others contain references to eclipses as well as to sidereal markers of the beginning of seasons. 1998) introduces Babylonian astronomy and thinks that the astronomy of the k recension of the Jyoti a "was formulated in the fifth or fourth century BC on the basis of information about originally-Mesopotamian methods and parameters transmitted to India during the Achaemenid occupation of the Indus Valley between ca. RV 6. KB 19. the use of iron and 222 The same applies. The bull here is.." That this "has been a growing challenge to the AIT defenders for two centuries" is easily lead ad absurdum. or even that of the BŚS. already has amånta months. and since its contents have clear resemblances to Babylonian works. which lets Sastry assume that it was redacted by someone belonging "the last centuries BC" (1985: 12). Any mistake in the exact position of the beginning of a nak atra as well as the rough Jyoti a intercalation-cycle based on the inexact length of the year as 365 days (instead of c. however.83. one would have the further. one can date his observations back to the late second millennium. and what was his exact determination of the longitude of the Sun. tathaiva ca. not to astronomy. just Indra. caiva." For all such monolateral assertions. to determine the time of their composition. RV 3. This agrees with late Epic practice.2-3. tathå. (and. the same applies to S.3 is a poetical image comparing thunder to lion's roar. the year beginning sometimes preceded by an intercalary month (as in the Babylonian calendar of MUL. 513 and 326 BC.365 1/4) makes all such back-calculations prone to error by centuries. 12 and Råm. This is late Vedic. see discussion below. §32 . which Pingree (1987: 295) places in the 5th or 4th centuries BCE. 8 and KB 4. accordingly that of the ŚB. "It could not be clearer" (as Elst says -. 1987. the text must belong to a late period. the transfer of such ideas can also have followed other methods and routes. which. but also those with tat. . RV 5. which mentions the postAlexandrian Greeks. in casu early astronomy in the RV. however not. as so often. forthc. if one were to take seriously the autochthonous dates of the Jyoti a at 1400 BCE. since the composition of the text is in Late Epic language. it must be added and stressed that the text is actually composed in late Epic language. Kak (1994).).) Just as in the Gītå. The same applies to the appendix hymn RV 8. which must necessarily be part of the very composition.APIN). has been discussed already in the 19th century.3 (Elst 1999: 113) refers to the Mårtå a/Vivasvant myth. to the last centuries BCE. Further. one of its constituent parts. see Oldenberg 1888!). However. Other alleged astronomical evidence such as the Svarbhånu myth in RV 5. This is just one of the several reasons why Pingree (1973: 3. which allow us by backward calculation.49. The particle vai occurs once. In sum. Elst's bold summary (1999: 117) is based on such shaky data: "the g-Veda was composed in the 4th millennium as. Since that cannot be shown beyond doubt. at 2900 BCE)222. was dated by Mitchiner (1986: 82) only to the end of the last century BCE. eva ca. in second position of a sentence or Påda but at the end of a Påda (along with eva ca!).. and not the Si ha zodiacal sign. the one who looks for Krishna everywhere will find him. In short. It has not been noticed that it does not only have the typical long compounds. at best. considerable difficulty of explaining. and many metrical 'space fillers' such as tu. however. mutatis mutandis . However. e. in his view.The same fundamental mistake is committed by Klostermaier (1998): "Texts like the Rigveda. and the months are pūr imånta.as first part. as usual in Vedic. In TS 7.g. the Brahmanas and Sutras are products of the High Harappan period towards the end of the 3rd millennium BC. to the Vedic references of a Magha solstice.

including Pythagoras' theorem. §31.20. Michaels distinguishes between sacred geometry in general and its form transmitted in the Śulba Sūtras.) that the magical ideas of Vedic ritual.5. or schemes of action.67. even the postgvedic texts say only that the three ritual fires represent the earth. it is likely that the Śulba Sūtras as such originated at the same time as the elaborate description of the ritual and that these texts were all integral parts of the ritual Sūtras (Kalpasūtra). However. he assumes a common source of the three systems that is older than 1700 BCE. Old Persian and Vedic (from *išt-) and has assumed that the common source may well have been in the BMAC area (see §22) .3. and then tries to find echoes of it in pre-Bråhma a texts.10. non-Indo-Iranian words for 'brick' in Avestan. again reserved for specialists. its various pre-scientific practices.223 that the geometry of the fire altars in the Śatapatha Bråhma a and some earlier (translated) texts such as Taittirīya Sa hitå. he would date it no later than 1700 BCE. 223 Seidenberg insisted that the geometry of the Śulba Sūtras must have been the origin of the Babylonian system and. 1978. and that it can be dated prior to 1700 BCE (cf. Staal (1999) has recently expanded on this problem. The complicated post. it is now claimed that altar constructions were used to represent astronomical knowledge (Kak 1994) in the RV. who has carried out an in-depth study of the Śulba Sūtras and their geometry: Vedic sacred geometry is autochthonous. This is not always distinguished well (also not by Seidenberg). elementary geometry. 1500 BCE.800 muhūrta. Elst 1999: 99). (which is much too vague about the building of fire altars to allow proof). Michaels (1978: 52 sqq. sun and moon. Seidenberg has reached this conclusion by a comparison of the geometry of the Pythagoreans with that of the Vedic texts and some Babylonian sources. cf. Complicated astronomy is absent. The burden of proof always is with the one who proposes such an exchange.(74) Michael WITZEL chariots at 2900 BCE. In addition. 10. Seidenberg (1962. accordingly. Rather. or the date of the later parts of ŚB at c.. The latter have the full system in place at that early date. even at RV 1.. The advocates of the autochthonous theory maintain. Michaels goes on to show (1978: 139 sq.7). it is not a priori necessary that the similarities and identities in mathematical procedure must go back to one common source. Due to some differences in the three systems (such as algebraic vs. geometric procedures). were transformed into general and theoretical sentences. pace Elst 1999: 99 sq.2. To paraphrase A. §22. Śå khåyana Āra yaka 7. 1983). with A. 1983). using my discussion of the common. etc. the year as eagle ŚB 12.2. the ones knowledgeable in "measuring art". The case of the geometry of the late Vedic Śulba Sūtras is of a similar nature. in turn. together with certain practical (artisan's) faculties. However. all without the use of bricks. (cf. (This has not been supplied. Michaels 1978). but their prehistory is not visible in existent Mesopotamian sources. . at ŚB 12.gvedic brick pilings on the Mahåvedi represent a bird (śyena) that will take the sponsor of the ritual to heaven (e. etc. which is basically a logic-free. lead to the specific form of Vedic sacred geometry. Seidenberg (1983: 121) excludes mutual borrowing. its influence therefore is only visible insofar as it leads to a specialization of a portion of the complete Vedic ritual. precedes the early geometry of Greece and Mesopotamia. While it has been quite clear for more than a hundred years that these Sūtra texts contain the knowledge of basic geometry (Seidenberg 1983. while they fit in with the cultural and political climate just before the emergence of the Magadha realm and the Buddha around 500/400 BCE. However.). always be checked for truth and could be proved by the various practical schemes of action that were used in Vedic ritual with its pre-scientific norms of identity. 26). He neglects other possibilities such as a common origin or a common origin in another area (see Staal 1999). and that the offering priests walk about in space. especially when one simply identifies the theoretical knowledge of the Śulba Sūtras with the more empirical knowledge and practice of the Bråhma as and Śrauta Sūtras. Michaels also stresses that the connection between magical ideas and artisan's practice was from the beginning only accessible to a small circle of specialists.3. These could. and analogies between various cultures are not enough to prove actual historical exchange between them. There is no indication of any typical Bråhma a style speculation that goes beyond an identification of the sponsor of the ritual with the creator god Prajåpati and the year (with its 360(!) days. Be that as it may.g. Geometry: Śulba Sūtras.

not an ''invasion''!) is to be replaced. The matter has not been raised yet. for the time being. then such a new model has not yet been found. the new. such as the order of certain repetitions of Såmans). Instead. historical linguistics. self-contained theory that is in agreement with the other. botany. but it must be pointed out that just as there is clear linguistic. should there be special rules in all these sciences only as far as evidence from South Asia is concerned? Either science is universal. astronomy. by special pleading. JapåGiri or SevatīParvat? Certainly. However.that is. it can at best be dated to the beginning of the iron age (if we take Tura Kåva eya as one of its originators. If there indeed is any older. -.Autochthonous Aryans? (75) If there is any surprising factor here. astronomical. historical geography. In other words. cultural content. but on a much more limited scale. These features make the autochthonous theory particularly unfavorable as a replacement of earlier explanations. would not be amused.225 A 'paradigm shift' can be maintained. only by using very special pleading. zoology. etc. In short. it may go back local. the piling of fire altars made of thousand(s) of bricks belongs to the post. in fact new mythologies that include some observations of nature and the sciences. to non-Vedic (Indus?) sources. it is the ability of the Vedic priests to work with such large numbers while they belonged to a civilization that did not use the script or written numbers (though the priests occasionally use twigs to represent very complicated schemes. clear linguistic and now also genetic evidence for the one clear emigration of an Indian population westwards in historical times -.gvedic period (pace Seidenberg 1983: 123-4). Summary: The autochthonous theory The autochthonous theory.224 If we would in fact assemble all of the autochthonous ''evidence'' (as has been attempted here in brief form) and think it through. all things being equal. it is rigged with lacunae and internal contradictions and it frequently clashes with the established sciences. religious or political motive. But biologists. textual and now genetic evidence but "no Aryan archaeology.. disjointed theory falls prey to Occam's razor. leaves us with multiple internal contradictions and open questions as far as time frame. Sinti etc. for example. or we may begin to write new regional or national accounts. autochthonists always insist on the lack of archaeological. but only historical. either. Are we ready for a "Mythos of the TwentyFirst century. it may be pointed out that none the Out of India theories are substantiated by archaeology etc. evidence or the IA "invasion" (or immigration/trickling in) theory. occurs only in comparatively late YV material. as has been shown time and again in the preceding sections. a revisiting of old theories should be carried out if the new evidence is strong and unambiguous. there are one or two similar cases. see Proferes 1999). we would have to rewrite not only Indian history.that of the Gypsies (Roma. 225 Except. If such contradictions are noticed at all by the revisionist and indigenist writers they are explained away by new. see Hock 1999). auxiliary assumptions and theories. But that remains. mathematical. palaeontological etc. but also many sections of archaeology. as has been pointed out above: the Cayana is much later than the Soma and other rituals of the YV Sa hitås. 224 Incidentally. torturous as it may prove to be. Occam's razor applies. if the aim is some 'superior'. If the model of a transhumance type immigration or trickling in of speakers of Old IA and subsequent acculturation (one last time." written by a Mr. of course. Vedic literature. pure speculation. . zoological. there also is no archaeological proof. and often by extra-ordinarily special pleading. linguistic and textual data are concerned. no Aryan bones". local tradition is hidden behind all of this. To apply the new "theory" consistently would amount to a "paradigm shift" in all these fields of study. archaeological. However. SUMMARY §32. and even then. in its various forms. attested in later times. independently developed fields of knowledge. But the observations made by revisionists and indigenists do not add up to a complete.

1200/1000 BCE. Asia by speakers of IA. that of the comparatively late IA emigrants. They must also distort the textual evidence of the RV to make it fit supposed Harappan fire rituals. 227 Even that of Mitanni-IA. of course. Even a cursory reading of his many. Asian substrate sources. that it is not questioned but favored by Klostermaier (1998). such as Sanskrit. they must rewrite the literary history of the Vedas to fit in improbable dates for the composition of most of its texts so that they agree with supposed contemporary astronomical observations -. based on the familiar concept of the Hunnic and Germanic invasions of the Roman empire. Rask and F. including even the neighboring Old Iranian. and international maritime trade.when everything else in these texts points to much later dates. he had to rely on English summaries (of summaries) of 19th cent. the early period of IE linguistics did not have that concept at all. the use of the script. the home of the IE language was thought. written for and now increasingly accepted by (expatriate) Indians of the 21st century to shore up their claims to a largely imagined. and while. They maintain an Indian homeland for IE. they have the Old Indo-Aryan. for example the concept of an 226 Such as Kak's ''astronomical code'' that is based on a combination of gvedic brick pilings of the still non-existent Agnicayana and the structure of the still non-existent complete RV collection. The theory of an immigration into or invasion of S. such loans are already copious in Vedic and are traceable to S. 1976) and electrical engineer (B. To sum up: even when neglecting individual quirks. Asia before their introduction from Central Asia. These books are nothing but a new mythology of the 19th century. 229 It is usually not mentioned that W. horses in S. And.S. Asia before their actual invention. to be in India or in innermost Asia. even the alleged historical development of the Aryan ''invasion theory'' is not correct as usually stated.) who sees missionary and colonialist designs all over Indology. Unfortunately. and the idea of an IE 'race' emerged only later in the 19th century and they were not even generally accepted. developing in the Panjab or even further east in northern India while all non-IA227 linguistic and historical evidence. and in both cases not yet scientifically at all229). Bopp (1816). Greek. such as R. . the Gypsies. a developed town civilization and its stratified society of traders and artisans. or even the Indo-European Proto-language. it was further developed in the later 19th c. 1995. Finally.D. In fact. *** Curiously. use of iron tools at 1900 BCE before its first use at c. in the typical Romantic fashion of the day. Note. sources written in various European languages -.(76) Michael WITZEL and it has certainly not yet been shown to be probable by the revisionists and indigenists. repetitive books will indicate just one thing: a lot of fantasy. Jones' formulation does include not only the languages belonging to the IE family.A.226 the various autochthonous proposals simply do not present a cogent picture. clearly points to areas further northwest and west. and they run into serious chronological and geographical difficulties: they have horse drawn chariots in S.hardly a good starting point to write history. They have the gvedic Sarasvatī flowing to the ocean while the RV indicates that it had already lost its main source of water supply and must have ended in a terminal lake (samudra). The concept of the IE language family. though first formulated by two late 18th century British citizens (Lord Monboddo and William Jones. 1965) N. Elst (1999) and other revisionists/indigenists. by German linguists such as the Leipzig Junggrammatiker school whose members had no interest at all in British imperial designs (cf. and Latin but also unrelated ones such Malay. Kennedy 1995. The burden of proof squarely rests on the shoulders of the advocates of the new autochthonous theory.228 It was not developed and formulated in the 19th century to show that the Vedas were composed before the 'Aryans' mixed with the indigenous 'races' and to underline that the British conquest was similar to the 'Aryan conquest'. see above. while the expected early South Asian loan words are entirely missing in all non-IA IE languages. including that of linguistic palaeontology. Rajaram (1993. conversely. the IE and (Indo-)Aryan theory was not developed by British imperialists but by Danish and German scholars of the romanticism era. excluding. They almost completely neglect the linguistic evidence. glorious but lost distant past. etc. Trautmann 1999). 228 The most blatant rewriting of 19th century (European) intellectual history (and much else!) has been carried out by the mathematician (Ph.

already by the end of the 19th century there was a reaction against reading too much of IE linguistics and reconstructed IE culture into the RV: the Frenchman Bergaigne stressed the complicated nature of RV poetry and ritual. but they do not even mention my criticism of past western or of certain present archaeological and historical writings (often produced by "westerners"). and forthc. Present day non-Indian scholars. Hirt (1907).50. it continues the writing of religious literature. however.231 Rather. is very much aware of its own historical situation and theoretical position. often neglected by revisionist and indigenist historians who frequently juxtapose. 'noseless' ( a-nås). Though the ones pursuing this project use dialectic methods quite effectively. all were guided. the first translation and dictionary (1873) of the RV by the well-known German mathematician Grassmann analyses anås-." however. it was natural for them in their own. all while working at Oxford in the midst of imperialistic Britain (Müller 1883. by the ongoing dialectical process.230 If some British scholars used the evidence then available to cement the position of their empire. the first half of the 19th century.10!). yet already for him. just as the use of the same data by. the Aryan concept had nothing to do with 'race' but all with language and its 'decay'. recourse to pre-enlightenment beliefs in the authority of traditional religious texts such as the Purå as. a view fashionable in the first part of the 19th century. the word was taken by later 19th century writers as an indication of a racial characteristic.233 230 For example..83. while the passage in question clearly indicates the 'speechlessness' and unusual speech of the dasyu. the facts themselves remain. when I discussed the various forms of argumentation that have to be avoided in writing ancient Indian history. it is its very emergence and relative popularity. these writers excoriate me for my critique of present revisionist/autochthonous writings. and still earlier in some Brahmodyas (Witzel 1987a. as 'primordial' poetry of nature.29. as 'ohne Mund. (which occurs only once in the RV. In addition. 232 Witzel 1995. this point has largely been misunderstood or blatantly disregarded by adherents of autochthonous or Out of India theories: in many web sites (and in Talageri 2000). as has been pointed out above. anyhow. it is firmly rooted. 1970).Autochthonous Aryans? (77) 'Aryan race' was rejected by the now-maligned Indologist Max Müller (1888) or. if anything has been typical for the development of western thought during the past few centuries.g. (post-modernism by and large excluded) in the enlightenment tradition. do no longer have any colonialist or 'Eurocentric' agendas and. compare. Nyåyasūtra 4. and the Germans Pischel and Geldner saw the RV as a sort of Kåvya rather than the simple nature poetry of semi-nomadic pastoral tribals. as has been pointed out earlier. however. under a contemporary. until (some of them) are shown to be based on incorrect data or conclusions. Max Müller was actually called mok amūla[ra] in his time because of the help he provided to the cause of Indian independence. that must surprise. Victorian time. *** Notwithstanding the internal social and political reasons for the clash between recent Indian historiography (now often termed 'Marxist') and the new wave of revisionist and nationalistic writing that culminates in the "Out of India Theory". 1999d. 233 See Caraka 3. In the end. However. yet. as late as two generations after Indian independence. it belongs. an-ås). at 5. or even equate the writings of the 19th with those of the 20th century. The 'revisionist project' certainly is not guided by the principles of critical theory but takes. or by Dalit reformers and by the leaders of the Indian independence movement. of course. Present day "western scholarship. at length. it has been the constant change in intellectual approaches and fashions (see below) in methods and in conclusions. however. 231 I have pointed to this (1995). the champions of the Dravidian irredenta (Trautmann 1999). outwardly 'scientific' guise. the method is used in Mahåbhå ya. time and again. In other words.) . These many diverse concurrent developments are.2. as some of our earliest texts. face. by the IndoEuropeanist H. He still saw the RV in the rather Romantic fashion of his youth.232 to a different 'discourse' than that of historical and critical scholarship. they frequently also turn traditional Indian discussion methods and scholastic tricks to their advantage. by those who followed the then fashionable 'race science' of the Frenchman de Gobineau and the British writer Hamilton. do not feel the need to defend 'traditional' western conclusions and theories of the 19th or 20th centuries. Antlitz' (without mouth. e.

real life consequences as those that we have witnessed during the 20th century. 73) graduate in mechanical engineering who firmly held that the Vedas are 2 billion years old. simultaneously. (semi-)religious writings. AA AB Akkad. see Witzel & Farmer 2000. C: central North India = Uttar Pradesh. but as objects for the study of the traditional mind. However. in many cases. Austro-Asiatic Aitareya Bråhma a (4. the five historical levels of Vedic are indicated by numbers (1-5). they must be clearly understood and described as traditional. other important ones include those listed below. with his studies in the hard sciences. If the present wave of apologetic. not as scholarly contributions. E: eastern North India = N. the dominance of English as the only true language of communication throughout the subcontinent. but as an apologetic. -. it might not even seem necessary to 'decolonialize' the Indian mind (cf.S. they could simply not be taken seriously as historiography and could be neglected (which seems to be the favorite attitude of most scholars in Indology/Indian Studies). n. Therefore they should be regarded and used. India = between the Jamna/Ganges and the Vindhya mountains). present autochthonously minded efforts are the wrong way to follow. 2001) . points in the other direction. Times of India. And they will criticize the present generation of scholars for having looked the other way -. In both cases.234 at least in the context of critical post-enlightenment scholarship. S: southern N. revisionist. future historians will look back at these excesses of the end of the 20th century and the beginning 21st in the same way as some now like to do with regard to the 19th century. Some adjustments both to local South Asian conditions and. W: western North India = Panjab. not even scholastic scholarship at all but a political undertaking aiming at 'rewriting' history out of national pride or for the purpose of 'nation building'.. They are much more practically minded. are Īśvara's revelation. ultimately religious undertaking aiming at proving the 'truth' of traditional texts and beliefs. many of whom combine. are the sources all languages in the world and of all sciences. 26. and if it should remain largely unobserved.all of this internalized and integrated. without any problem. however. Alternatively. Bihar. and the strong Euro-American influence (even in non-Whorfian models) that this automatically creates in the mindset of the English speaking elite. Haryana. in facile fashion. If such writings are presented under a superficial veneer of objective scholarship they must be exposed as such. to the emerging global village certainly are in order. Note: for ready reference. unstudied and unchecked by post-enlightenment scholarship. and nationalistic writing should continue unabated. then. -.for whatever reasons. etc. On the other hand. can only be understood after initiation (upanayana ). 235 If this is not believed. 236 A sign of hope is that recent interviews with Indian College students from all over the country seem to indicate that they have no interest at all in this kind of debate. We know to what such exercises have lead during the past century. autochthonous and chauvinistic writings will not lead to similar.. followed by their geographical location. Fifty years after Indian independence. It remains for us to hope236 that the resent spate of revisionist. but simply as a political undertaking to 'rewrite' history for the purpose of national pride or 'nation building'. This is reinforced by the persisting dominance of an antiquated British style curriculum.235 In view of this. should not be regarded as scholarly in the usual postenlightenment sense of the word. it should not be regarded as a scholarly. Rajaram's (2000) case of fraud and fantasy in 'deciphering' the Indus seals. ABBREVIATIONS The abbreviations for texts are the commonly used ones. Witzel 1999d).(78) Michael WITZEL The revisionist and autochthonous project.uncomfortable as this might be for some of their proponents. I may add a very recent experience: a visit from a "type 3" (see above. W & E) Akkadian 234 Such as N. it is. Jan. after the evidence presented throughout this paper. an education in science with a traditional mindset. ("The New Republic". Worse.

GS Hitt. MIA MP. Kazm. Drav. Avest. Canarese Kashmiri Kau ītaki Bråhma a (4 C) Mayrhofer 1986-96 Khotanese Saka Ka ha Sa hitå Kåtyåyana Śrautasūtra (5 E) Lithuanian Malayalam Marathi Mahåbhårata Middle Indo-Aryan Middle Persian Maitråya ī Sa hitå (2-3 W) Mother Tongue New Persian New Indo-Aryan Nirukta (5) Nuristani (Kafiri) Old Persian Old Persian Ossetic Proto-IE Prakrit Paippalåda Sa hitå (2 W) Råmåya a gveda Sa hitå (1. Greater Panjab) Rgveda Khila (2 W) Sa hitå(s) Śå khåyana Āra yaka (4 C) Śatapatha Bråhma a (4 E) Śrautasūtra (5) (79) . RV RVKh SaMh. Paippalåda version (2 W) Bengali Brahui Baudhåyana Śrautasūtra (4-5 C) Burushaski Dravidian Epic Sanskrit Mayrhofer 1956-76 Greek Greek G hyasūtra(s) (5) Hittite Indo-Aryan Indo-European Indo-Iranian Indo-Aryan Iranian Jaiminīya Bråhma a (4 S) Kannada. ŚĀ ŚB ŚS Armenian Atharvaveda Sa hitå (2 C) Avestan Avestan Atharvaveda Sa hitå. EWA Gr. AVP Beng. PS Råm. O. Mal. IA IE IIr Indo-Ar. Iran. KS KŚS Lith. Brah. JB Kan. BŚS Bur.Autochthonous Aryans? Armen. Grk. Nur. PIE Pkt.Pers. Mar. ep. KB KEWA Khot. OP. NIA Nir. Osset. MS MT NP. Mbh. AV Av.

Asimov 1977: 73] Achar. edited by Peter Anreiter [et al. Budapest : Archaeolingua Alapitvany 1998 Anthony. TS Up. and D. VådhB Ved.B. Kharakwal. The archaeology of Indo-European origins. Outstanding problems of early iron age in India: need of a new approach (in press) Allchin. South Asian Studies 1997. 1991. R. [Quoted in Misra 1992: xii15.P.and D. Index VS Y YV ZDMG Michael WITZEL Sanskrit Sumerian Sūtra(s) (5) Samaveda Sa hitå (2 W) Studien zur Indologie und Iranistik Taittirīya Āra yaka (4 C) Tamil Telugu Tibeto-Burmese Tibetan Tibeto-Burmese Tocharian Taittirīya Sa hitå (2 C) Upani ad(s) (4) Vīd vdåd (Vendidad) Vådhūla Bråhma a (Anvåkhyåna) (4 C) Vedic Macdonell . With Contributions from George Erdosy. TB Tib. SV StII TĀ Tam. F. & J. ritual and riding. The origins of horseback riding.2 (1999) http://www1. cf. D. K. Tib. Pre-history of Indo-Iranians in the Light of Aryo-Uralic Contacts.net/~india/ejvs/ejvs0502. EJVS 5. V. 1991. 1995. The birth of the chariot. 315-318 --. Tel. The Rise of Civilization in India and Pakistan. Archaeology 48.]. Brown. On Exploring the Vedic Sky with Modern Computer Software. Sū.(80) Skt. 22-38 ---. 75-86 ---.Keith 1912 Våjasaneyi Sa hitå (2 E) Yasna Yajurveda (-Sa hitå) (2) Zeitschrift der deutschen morgenländischen Gesellschaft BIBLIOGRAPHY Abaev. E. David. Cambridge : Cambridge University Press 1982 Allchin. A. P.txt Agrawal. The Archaeology of Early Historic South Asia. Eneolithic horse exploitation in the Eurasian steppes: diet. Brown. Chakrabarti and Bridget Allchin. D. R.R. Antiquity 74. The Emergence of Cities and States.-Burm. and N. Bridget and Raymond. I. Coningham. Vinogradov. Current Thoughts on the Domestication of the Horse in Asia. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press 1995 Anreiter. 2000. 36-41 . N. Anthropology and Palaeolinguistics in memoriam Sándor Bökönyi.shore. Antiquity 65.S.) Man and the Animal World. 193-222 ---. Toch. Sum(er). Journal of Indo-European Studies 19. 34. V. (ed. Archaeolology. Studies in Archaeozoology. Ved.

Sándor. Heinz. part 1 (Symposien zur Buddhismusforschung IV. Princeton: Princeton University Press 1994. S. Language and Culture. Bronkhorst & M. Aleida & Jan (eds. S. T.Autochthonous Aryans? (81) Anttila. 1998.). Horse Remains from the Prehistoric Site of Surkodata. Leiden / Boston: Brill. Piazza. Les Indo-Europeens : problemes archeologiques [pref. Kanon und Zensur. R. (eds. P. E. On the Significance of the Term arma-. The history and geography of human genes.) Ethnic Problems of the early History of Central Asia: international symposium [ = International Symposium on Ethnic Problems of the Ancient History of Central Asia (Second Millennium BC). Linguistic substrata and the indigenous Aryan debate. Die Burušaski-Lehnwörter in der Zigeunersprache. . 29-36. et al. South Asian Studies 13.L. 1995. Dushanbe 1978 Assmann. Vaidika vamaya kå itihås. Bartholomae. Amsterdam/Philadelphia : John Benjamins 1989 Asimov. et traduction de Raymond Lantier] Paris : Payot. F. A. IIJ 3. Historical and Comparative Linguistics. Berger.. Bern: A. Francke 1910. 1961 Brockington. Cambridge 1999. Aryan and Non-Aryan in South Asia. 272 Bechert. New Delhi. The Sanskrit epics. 1982. (et al. Harvard Oriental Series. M. Hermann. F. 59-83 Cavalli-Sforza. Göttingen : Vandenhoek und Ruprecht 1991-. 1898.) Genetic Evidence on the Origins of Indian Caste Populations. 3. Benjamins Pub. Indogermanische Forschungen 9.und Zentralasiens nebst Osteuropa. (ed. P. 1997. 2) München : Fink 1987 Aiyar. The Sanskrit language. Brunnhofer. Bamshad.) The dating of the historical Buddha / Die Datierung des historischen Buddha. C. Kassitenstudien I: Die Sprache der Kassiten. Dravidian Theories. Madras: Madras Law Journal Office 1975 Balkan. H. forschungen auf dem gebiete des ältesten Vorder. 1963. R. Opera Minora. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: J. New York: Free Press 1966 [first publ. The date of the Buddha reconsidered. Evidence. 1974 Boas.S. Indologica Taurinensia 10. London: Faber & Faber 1973 Bryant. In: J. 1-2). 159-166 ---. 1959. repr. vol. (Beiträge zur Archäologie der literarischen Kommunikation. M. Menozzi.: New York: Macmillan 1910] Bökönyi. Genome Research 2001 : 1733 sqq. New Haven: American Oriental Society 1954. armaka-. R.. Comparative Indo-European linguistics : an introduction.43 Bhagavad Datta. 297-306 Bosch-Gimpera. Beekes. Journal of Indian History 41. Deshpande. J. ---. in Early Sanskrit Literature. late 3rd Millennium B. Race. 17. L. Interpretation and Ideology. Pedro.C. Kutch. Burrow. K. Arische urzeit.

and F.M.(82) Michael WITZEL --. 92-174. T. The Indo-Aryans of Ancient South Asia. (Indian Philology and South Asian Studies. Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient 20. Vedisch árma. J. M. Ehret. Michel. JIES 1. & M. 1985. Ch.) Indogermanische Grammatik. 16684 Iron in early Indian literature. ----. Poona: Bhandarkar Oriental Institute 1985 Clutton-Brock. D. 1988. A. Paramesh. Schrift im alten Indien : ein Forschungsbericht mit Anmerkungen. S. Kurdisch būz und die indogermanische "Buchen"-Sippe.. H. Horse Power. Delhi: Mother's Institute of Research & Mira Aditi. The Early Use of Iron in India. 564-74 Eilers. Delhi: Aditya Prakashan 1999 Emeneau. Wezler and M. M. B. A. Vol. 160-171 ---. (A Story of a Treacherous Theory that Concerns Every Indian) A Book that Offers Many Things to Think Anew. W. 1981. 139-140 gveda and Atharvaveda. 1977. The invasion that never was / Song of humanity by Sujata Nahar. Witzel. Language and Style of the Vedic is. George. and V. Harry. I. 1963. 3-16 Erdosy. Dilip K. Horse-riding in the Society 62. Delhi: Oxford Univ. Antiquity 62. 1941. 152-183 Coomaraswamy. Language 32. History of civilisations of Central Asia. in: J. 61-92 Elizarenkova. The History of Diversity and Evolution. I. R. India as a linguistic area. Mysore 1996. Reading MA : Helix Books 1995 Chakrabarti. Journal of the American Oriental Cowgill. Kamath (eds. Language change and the material correlates of language and ethnic shift. The rise of cities in Sri Lanka. Urbanisation in Early Historic India. Mayrhofer. K. 1). Narr 1993 .). The dawn of civilisation: earliest times to 700 BCE. Band I. Cavalli-Sforza. On the Original Home of the Speakers of Indo-European. Diakonoff. Hurrisch und Urartäisch. Zeitschrift der deutschen morgenländischen Gesellschaft 131. Update on the Aryan Invasion Debate. Berlin/New York : de Gruyter 1995 Falk. E. Paris: Unesco Publishing 1992 Danino. W. The Great Human Diasporas. München: Kitzinger 1971 ---. The Aryans: A modern Myth. Masson (eds. A History of the Horse and the Donkey in Human Societies. Deo. and S. Freiburg 1986 ---. Understanding gveda. 1956. B. A. Halbband: Einleitung. Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society 1979. New Delhi: Eastern Publishers' Distributor 1993 Chauhan. Mayrhofer (eds. M. 1988 ---. (ed. In: Allchin 1995.) The Aryan Problem. vol.). 1. Kurylowicz. Early iron in India. Anthropologischen Gesesellschaft in Wien 92. Press 1992 Choudhury. Cambridge: Harvard University Press 1992 Coningham.V. Albany : SUNY 1995 Mitteilungen der Elst. Tübingen : G. Oxford : British Archaeological Reports. Ananda K. Heidelberg: Winter 1986 Dani. 22-30 ---. Pune: Bharatiya Itihasa Sankalana Samiti 1993. Part -I. eds. Bruderschaft und Würfelspiel.

Sintashta. 91-101 Feuerstein. David.F. San Francisco : Harper 1991. V. and V. Geiger. Rapport préliminaire 1983-1984. Linguistic Introduction to Sanskrit.-P. 1. 1996. Gherardo. 1940. Aus verschiedenen Keilschriftsprachen. Chelyabinsk : Iuzhno-Ural'skoe Izdatel'stvo 1992 Ghosh. Jodhpur : Kusumanjali Prakashan 1995 ---. Gnoli. 719-723 . Erlangen : A. personal and proper names throughout the Indo-European geographic area. Chicago 1970 Gamkrelidze.B. End of old Europe. Sovietskaya Arkheologiya 1977. The myth of the Aryan invasion of India. Zdanovich. Ganapati. Stefan Zimmer et al. Hänsel. toponyms. The 'Lost ' Sarasvati and the Indus Civilization. Ganapati 1982. P. S. by B. Wheaton: Quest Books 1995 Francfort. Stuttgart. Berlin/New York: Mouton de Gruyter 1995 Gupta.. New Delhi : Voice of India. G. A study of the Origins of Mazdaism and Related Problems. T. M. Ivanov. Lazarus. W. 3-4. Zoroaster's Time and Homeland. Geiger. Budapest 1995..G. Milton MA: Sverge Haus 1990. Das Reitpferd im Vedischen Indien. 348-361 Friedrich. P. G. Frawley. Berlin: de Gruyter 1995. Milton MA : Sverge Haus 1990a Hamp. pp. Ostiranische Kultur im Altertum. Zur Entwicklungsgeschichte der Menschheit. Bh. 1994 Friedrich.F.-3. Die Indogermanen und das Pferd. Sama Veda. On the Indo-European Origins of the Retroflexes in Sanskrit. Suschiel. and I. Bernfried Schlerath zum 70. The Indus-Sarasvati Civilization. [German: Das Ende Alteuropas : der Einfall von Steppennomaden aus Südrussland und die Indogermanisierung Mitteleuropas] Innsbruck : Verlag des Instituts für Sprachwissenschaft der Universität Innsbruck 1994. Paris: Edition Recherche sur les Civilisations 1985 Frawley.V. Cotta'sche Buchhandlung. Calcutta: The Indian Research Institute / Sanskrit Pustak Bhandar 1937 Gimbutas. Gening. Etymologically common hydronyms. Naples : Istituto Universitario Orientale 1980 Gramkrelidze. H. T. 5373 Gening. ed. Iwanov. Origins. [Akten des Internationalen interdisziplinären Kolloquiums.V. Indo-European and Indo-Europeans. Mogil'nik Sintashta i problema rannikh Indoiranskikh plemen. Orientalia NS 9.V. 1871. Juli 1992. Madras : S. ---. Indo-European and the Indo-Europeans.. Eric P. Deichert. S. J. Indo-European Trees. Journal of the American Oriental Society 116. Problems and Issues. J.Geburtstag gewidmet]. V. ---. V. 1882 Gening. In search of the Cradle of Civilization. Kak and D. Delhi : Pratibha Prakashan 1996 Gupt . The civilization of the goddess. S. A Comparative Etymologic Lexicon of Common Indo-Germanisches [sic] (Indo-European) Words. Freie Universität Berlin. edited by Joan Marler.Autochthonous Aryans? (83) ---. Prospections archéologiques au nord-ouest de l'Inde.

1907 Hock..). Berlin/NY : Mouton de Gruyter 1986 ---. Henning. The Migrations of the Indo-Aryans and the Iranian Sound-Change s> h. Witzel: Vedic Hinduism. 192-205. Über das Alter des gveda. to be published in the Proceedings) Hoffmann.-. Lieder des gveda. P. O. History of civilisations of Central Asia. Heidelberg 1991 Jacobi. Aufsätze zur Indoiranistik. Bronkhorst & M. Hinrichs 1913 Hintze. Cambridge 1999. 1894. übersetzt von Dr. Der vedische Kalender und das Alter des Veda. Sharma (ed.) The Indo-Aryans of Ancient South Asia. Alfred Hillebrandt. besonders im gveda. Paris: Diffusion de Boccard 1979 . C. Kölver (ed. The Gåthås of Zarathustra and the Other Old Avestan Texts. S. Ziegler. ihre Verbreitung. By H. Jean-François. Hans H. University of S.) Harappa Excavations 1986--1990. vol. Marielle Santoni. Deshpande. Lukacs and Kennedy. H. Elfenbein and P. Karl. 105 sqq. p. Interpretation and Ideology. M. 2 vols. The Kurdish Elm. 3. 1893. O. The emergence of the Indo-Iranians: The Indo-Iranian Languages. Fs. A. 69-83 ---. On the antiquity of Vedic culture. South Asia from a Central Asian perspective. NJ. S. Strassburg 1905. S. W. ihre Urheimat. Steiner 1970 [= 1893. 721-726 ---. In: A. 68-72 Hiebert. Der Beginn der Schrift und frühe Schriftlichkeit in Indien. 357-378 Hemphill. Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society 1909. Innsbruck 1998 Hinüber. Meadow (ed. 68 sqq. Nochmals über das Alter des Veda. Glauch. Lecture at the July 2000 meeting of the World Association for Vedic Studies in Hoboken. Fouilles de Pirak. Strassburg: Trübner 1893 ---. In: J. 1896] Jamison. 1895. A. Die alt-indoarischen Wörter mit . Studies on Hinduism. ---. W.B. H. Roth. Humbach in collaboration with J. Skjærvø. 1963. Erdosy (ed. Biological adaptations and affinities of the Bronze Age Harappans. R.) Kleine Schriften. ---. Hillebrandt. B. and V. I. Diss. Fredrick T. Evidence. München 1941 ---. Aryan and Non-Aryan in South Asia. H. Leiden: Brill 1996. Berlin/New York : de Gruyter 1995.) Akten der Fachtagung der Indogermanischen Gesellschaft in Innsbruck 1996.E. (forthc. A. and M. Göttingen : Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht /Leipzig : J. Out of India? The linguistic evidence. Harvard Oriental Series. Pre. G.(84) Michael WITZEL Harmatta.M. Beiträge zur Kenntnis der vedischen Chronologie. Die Indogermanen.. Part I. 3). Paris: Unesco Publishing 1992. vol. Plath. In: Dani.). ZDMG 49. ---. Grundriss der neupersischen Etymologie. von. Philology and the historical interpretation of the Vedic texts.) Ideology and Status of Sanskrit: Contributions to the History of the Sanskrit Language. Jean-Francois Enault. Masson (eds. Opera Minora. Akad. und ihre Kultur. In: J. Carolina Press [written in 1992. Wiesbaden 1992 Horn.gvedic Convergence Between Indo-Aryan (Sanskrit) and Dravidian? A Survey of the Issues and Controversies. ZDMG 50. Wiesbaden : F. 17-58 --. J. In: R. 1-18 ---. (ed. Nachrichten der Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften zu Göttingen. Meid (ed. Houben (ed. Mainz 1989 Hirt. still in press]. 218 sqq. Principles of Historical Linguistics. Jarrige. The dawn of civilisation: earliest times to 700 BCE. Asia Major (NS) 10. Vol.

) Ausgewählte Vorträge. Linguistics. 129-143 ---.simplenet. The Hague 1966. Kenneth A. Questioning the Aryan Invasion Theory and Revising Ancient Indian History. Have Aryans been identified in the prehistoric skeletal record from South Asia? Biological anthropology and concepts of ancient races. Rigvedic loan-words. Deutscher Orientalistentag 1985 Würzburg. Proto-Munda words in Sanskrit. Studien zu den älteren indoiranischen Lehnwörtern in den uralischen Sprachen. New Delhi: Archaeological Survey of India. 213-257 ---. Annals of the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute 75. In: O. A Survey of Hinduism. Ann Arbor : University of Michigan Press. 367 sqq. J. in: H. 185195. specialised crafts and culture change: The Indus Valley Tradition and the Indo-Gangetic Tradition in South Asia. Erdosy (ed. Berlin/New York : de Gruyter 1995. nach den Bråhma as dargestellt. T. Ancient Cities of the Indus Valley Civilization. 1990 Kak. 1999. S. A frequency analysis of the Indus script. Zide.K. 32-66 ---. The study of the Indus script: general considerations.com/html/rvssc. 1 (June 1998) ---. Oxford: Oxford University Press/American Institute of Pakistan Studies 1998 Kirfel. 1988. 1987.J. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan 1994 ---. Current Biology 9. Aug. Die älteren Berührungen zwischen den uralischen und indogermanischen Sprachen. No. XIII. Uralier und Indogermanen. 1331-1334 Klaus. Zide. Oxford: OUP 2001 Kuiper.Autochthonous Aryans? (85) Joki. N.) The Indo-Aryans of Ancient South Asia. Rigveda and http://sarasvati. Berlin/New York : de Gruyter 1995. J. Mark. An Austro-Asiatic myth in the RV. The Astronomical Code of the gveda. K. 182-191 ---. p. Bh. Excavations at Surkotada 1971-72 and Exploratations in Kutch.P. ---. Rajesh. H. Albany : SUNY 1989 ---. God-apes and fossil men : paleoanthropology of South Asia. Die Wasserfahrzeuge im vedischen Indien. Memoir 87. Studies in comparative Austroasiatic.R.) Studia Indologica. Habilschrift München 1985 Kennedy. Bonn: Orientalisches Seminar 1955. 2000 Kenoyer. Preface In: Rajaram and Frawley 1997 Kochhar. p. ISCON Communications Journal. The Vedic People: Their History and Geography. Das Purå a Pañcalak a a. B. Current Perspectives. Bonn : K. Bonn 1986 ---. 1999 at: Katz. G. Vol. ---. G. Erdosy (ed.) Deep common ancestry of Indian and western-Eurasian mitochondrial DNA lineages. von Schuler (ed. S. Schroeder 1927 Kivisild. ed. 6. E. Amsterdam 1948 ---. Mij. Mainz 1989a Klostermaier. The sources of Nahali vocabulary. Akademie der Wissenschaften. Amsterdam : Noord-Hollandsche Uitg.) The Indo-Aryans of Ancient South Asia. Festschrift für Willibald Kirfel zur Vollendung seines 70. Interaction systems. W. J. New Delhi: Orient Longman 1999 Krishnamurti. Cryptologia 11. F. Comparative Dravidian Linguistics. Samudra im Veda. Wiesbaden 1989. (et al. H. Helsinki 1973 Joshi. Die altindische Kosmologie. A. Konrad. Spies (ed. Cryptologia 12. 1950 ---. On the classification of Indic languages. Kalyanaraman. Lebensjahres. 1994a. 57-81 .htm Sarasvati-Sindhu C i v i l i z a t i o n .

The Indo-Aryan Languages. Finland. A Multidisciplinary Approach to Third Millennium Urbanism. Band I. a comparative study.). Faisalabad : Sheikh Aziz Ahmad. Indogermanische Grammatik.(86) Michael WITZEL ---.). Zeitschrift für vergleichende Sprachforschung 81. New Delhi: Books and Books. Wiesbaden 1966 ---.P. M. G. Aryan and Non-Aryan in India. R. reprint Delhi 1967. 1994 Lal. Maturity and Decline). 1984. B. 3) Madison : Prehistory Press 1991: 137-182 . H. (Monographs in World Archaeology No. London: Thames and Hudson 1989 Masica. Tichy. B. 81-102 ---. Amsterdam-Atlanta : Rodopi 1991 ---. Fs. Anusantatyai. In Search of the Indo-Europeans: Language. In: Madhav M. 1982. Heidelberg 1956-1976. J. B. The origin of the true chariot. New Delhi 1997 : Aryan Books International 1997 ---. Kurzgefasstes etymologisches Wörterbuch des Altindischen. Delhi : Vikas 1983 ---. Röll 2000 Kuz'mina E. Indo-Iranian Journal 10. Etymologisches Wörterbuch des Altindoarischen. 1967.P. 1967. Mayrhofer. Frontiers of the Indus Civilization. Heidelberg : Carl Winter 1986Meadow. Paleobiology. S.). Horses. Die Arier im vorderen Orient . in press Macdonell-Keith. Lal and S. and Evolution of the Family Equidae. A. Antiquity 70. Frontiers of the Indus Civilization. R. Irwin. 1998). In: B. Winter 1986 ---. 2. 151-215. New York: Cambridge University Press 1991 Mathivanan. pp. Some Reflections on the Structural Remains at Kalibangan. Epic singers and oral tradition. The ancient Aryan verbal contest. Foreign words in the gveda. M. Aryans in the gveda. p. Fossil Horses. Die Indo-Arier im Alten Vorderasien.E. Mallory. A. South Asian Archaeology 1993. Lautlehre. Ithaca : Cornell University Press 1991. A. MacFadden. Madras: International Society for the Investigation of Ancient Civilisations 1995 Mazhar. Rüdiger Schmitt. The Earliest Civilization of South Asia (Rise. (ed. Geburtstag. Deshpande and Peter Edwin Hook (eds. Hintze & E. für Johanna Narten zum 70. Nahali. A. Beihefte NF 19) Dettelbach: J. (ed. Ann Arbor : Center for South and Southeast Asian Studies 1979.): Wiesbaden : Reichert 1979 ---. Lubotsky. Cambridge/New York: Cambridge University Press 1992. H. and Gupta S.). and Crouwel.ein Mythos? Wien 1974 ---.] ---.B. vol. 1996. 403-412 Helsinki. A. Sanskrit traced to Arabic. P. chariots and the Indo-Iranians: an archaeological spark in the historical dark. P. A bilingual i. 217-281. J. eds.H. Harappa Excavations 1986-1990.B. IIJ 4.J. Lane. Mit einer analytischen Bibliographie. Ausgewählte kleine Schriften (Sigrid Deger-Jalkotzy u. 55-151 ---.). 55-62 ----. J. The Beech Argument: A Re-Evaluation of the Linguistic Evidence. IIJ 38 (1995) 261 ---. Systematics. in Kuiper 1983. M. Aryan and Non-Aryan Elements in North Indian Agriculture. 1960. Indus script among Dravidian Speakers. ed. Gupta (eds. 1970-212 Littauer. (KEWA) ---. London 1912. Amsterdam: Noord-Hollandse Uitgevers Maatschappij 1962 ---. C. (eds. (Münchener Studien zur Sprachwissenschaft. Halbband: Heidelberg: C. Cambridge. Indo-Iranian Substratrum (paper read at a conference in Tvarminne. 934-939 Lord. Vedic Index. [Repr. Ancient Indian cosmogony. Archaeology and Myth. I. The genesis of a linguistic area.

---.) Berlin 1909. Max. The Review of Archaeology (Special Issue ed. Wiesbaden: Steiner 1978 ---. R. Erdosy. Rawalpindi-Lahore-Karachi : Ferozsons 1997 Nath. N. Lovell Company 1883 ---. 19.). Remains of Horse and Indian Elephant from Prehistoric site of Harappa. The Sarasvati and the Lost River of the Indian Desert. 122-148 ---. Textkritische und exegetische Noten. Der vedische Kalender und das Alter des Veda. ZDMG 49. F. Studia Orientalia (Helsinki) 64. Metrische und textgeschichtliche Prolegomena. Archaeology and Language I.Autochthonous Aryans? (87) ---. Wiesbaden: Steiner 1983. and Ajita Patel. ---. F. [Repr. Noch einmal der vedische Kalender und das Alter des Veda. IIJ 31. 1997. I point to India. and M. Mitchiner. 1988. by Ofer Bar-Yosef). Berlin/New York : de Gruyter 1995. a linguistic approach. Pre-and Proto-Historic Agricultural and Pastoral Transformations in Northwestern South Asia. 195-302 ---. The Indo-Aryans of Ancient South Asia. 1962. JASB 55. Band I. Asko. 1912. 353-381 . 1986 Misra. Wie kommt die Pharaonsratte zu den vedischen Göttern? Studien zur Indologie und Iranistik 18. W. 12-21. Spriggs (eds. London/New York 1998. (ed. C. On probable changes in the geography of the Panjab and its rivers. Archaeology and Language II. Archaeology and Architecture. The epicentre of the Indo-European linguistic spread. In: Blench. 1-14 Nenninger. India: what can it teach us? New York: J. Calcutta: The Asiatic Society. ---. 1998. The Purå a text of the Dynasties of the Kali Age. Claudius. London : Oxford University Press 1913 Parpola. edited by Nanda Mookerjee. J. ---. in: Radhakrishna and Mehr 1999. Correlating archaeological and linguistic hypotheses. 299-300. The coming of the Aryans to Iran and India and the cultural and ethnic identity of the Dåsas. 332sqq Pargiter. Berlin : Wilhelm Hertz 1888. 1886. South Asian Studies. 220-266 Oettinger. E. A comprehensive Śulvasūtra Word Index. London/New York 1997. Selected writings of Max Mueller. The Aryan problem. 1988. New Lights on Indo-European Comparative Grammar. In: Blench. A.Spriggs (eds. New Delhi : Munshiram Manoharlal. 13. 89-93. 13. gveda. Hermann. (Abhandlungen der königlichen Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften zu Göttingen 11. London: Longmans Green 1888. 308-315 Michaels. repr.und von Påuruua. A Comment on: Horse Remains from Surkodata by Sándor Bökönyi. G. and M. The problem of the Aryans and the Soma: Textual-linguistic and archaeological evidence. Bombay: Shakuntala Pub. ---. ZDMG 48. Varanasi : Manisha Prakashan 1974 ---. Zu den Mythen von Bhujyu. Ancient Cholistan. 1992 Müller. House 1970 Mughal. ---. Göttingen 1970] Oldham. R. Biographies of Words and the Home of the Aryans. 161--168 Nichols. The Yuga Purana. Mohammad Rafique.). In. in: The Transition to Agriculture in the Old World. 1993. The Eurasian spread zone and the Indo-European dispersal. E. 470 sqq. Oldenberg. John E.). Die Hymnen des Rigveda. 2. 629 sqq. Beweisverfahren in der vedischen Sakralgeometrie: ein Beitrag zur Entstehungsgeschichte von Wissenschaft. Bhola. Proceedings of the First AllIndian Congress of Zoology. Satya Swarup.

1: 19. Reade (ed. Steiner 1974.(88) Michael WITZEL Parry. and N. (2nd ed. Wiesbaden : Harrassowitz. 1996b. In: Stephanie Dalley (ed. ---. 1993 ---. New Delhi: Voice of India 1993 ---. Indus Age. The Archaeometallurgy of the Asian Old World. Merh (eds. 649-682 ---. New Delhi: Voice of India 1995 ---. Echoes of the Indus Valley. A history of Indian literature. Pathak. interpretations. pp.). Gregory L. Pinnow.S. Literature and History: Philological and Historical Studies Presented to Erica Reiner. readings. Harrassowitz 1957 ----. Clarendon Press. The Transformation of the Indus Civilization. Jyoti śåstra : astral and mathematical literature.). and S. 1995). The Early Iron Age in South Asia. 1999 Puhvel. 1997. 362-364 Pokorny. Memoir 42 of the Geological Society of India.J. Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Mainz. Gullapalli. Studies in the epic technique of oral verse-making. The politics of history.). J. 1981. Ist Vedische Archäologie möglich? ZDMG Supplement III. Delhi : Aditya Prakashan 2000 Rau. fasc. Pigott (ed. Bangalore 1999 Rajaram. David Edwin. 1987: 293-315. [n. Oxford.p.).) New Delhi : American Institute of Indian Studies and Oxford & IBH Pub. Journal of World Prehistory 11. sozialwissenschaftlichen Klasse 1973.P. Wiesbaden : F. Versuch einer historischen Lautlehre der Kharia-Sprache. Kak. Wiesbaden 1977. The Meaning of pur in Vedic Literature [Abhandlungen der Marburger Gelehrten Gesellschaft III/1] München : W. H. Thesis.u. Bern: Francke 1959 Possehl. The Astronomical Code of the Centaurus 38 (1996).and P. Language. in : J. 1973. New Delhi: Janaki Prakashan 1993 Piggott. Metalle und Metallgeräte im vedischen Indien. Vorträge. vol. . J. Wilhelm. K. S. Wiesbaden 1959 Plofker. and N. JHA 4. Vedic Sarasvati--Evolutionary History of a Lost River of Northwestern India.. ---.D. The Formation of Vedic liturgies. The making of Homeric verse: the collected papers of Milman Parry.) The Indian Ocean in Antiquity. American Oriental Society. The earliest wheeled transport: from the Atlantic coast to the Caspian Sea. Oxford University Press 1998. The Aryan invasion of India: The myth and the truth. Philadelphia : University of Pennsylvania Press 1996 ---. (ed. Th. Harappan Civilization: A Recent Perspective (2nd rev. Vedic Aryans and the Origins of Civilization: A Literary and Scientific Perspective. London: Thames & Hudson 1992 Pingree. Venus Omens in India and Babylon.) The Legacy of Mesopotamia. No. Indus Age : the Beginnings. 1930-32] ---.). New Delhi : Voice of India 1997 (1st ed. N. 4]. The Mesopotamian Origin of Early Indian Mathematical Astronomy. Klostermaier. Wiesbaden: O. Frawley. Baltimore/London: John Hopkins Press 1987 Radhakrishna B. Gonda (ed. gveda. Meluhha. [J. 8. Legacies in Astronomy and Celestial Omens. . Finck 1976 ---. Jha. In: V. The writing System. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan 1994. Verma. Philadelphia: The University Museum 1999: 153-175 Proferes. Milman. 1-12. 133-208 ---. Review of: S. In: Francesca Rochberg-Halton (ed. ed. Staat und Gesellschaft im alten Indien nach den Bråhma a-Texten dargestellt. Philadelphia : University of Pennsylvania Press 1999. Comparative Mythology. London: Kegan Paul Intl. Methodology.K.S. Indogermanisches Wörterbuch. 6. Deutscher Orientalistentag. Harvard Ph. Abhandlungen der Geistes.) Foreword by Klaus K. --. and D. A. ---. 425-72 ---. 1971. Co. ---. Deciphering the Indus Script.

C. 155297 Rédei. 1. Acta Orientalia Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae 42. p. The Mihran of Sind and its Tributaries: a Geographical and Historical Study. 488-527 ----. Berkeley : Asian Humanities Press 1983. (et al. Publications 1980] Sewell.S. 203-206 Raverty.). New Approaches to the Study of the Vedas. German ed. History and Foreign influences.. Marshall (ed. Probsthain 1931. Schrader. A. 1988. Zu den indogermanisch-uralischen Sprachkontakten.G. Wiesbaden : F. The Origin of Mathematics. In: J.K. K. Karpåsa in Prehistoric India: A chronological and cultural clue.S. Science 290. Seidenberg. Persica IX. 1962. Vedanga jyotisa of Lagadha in its Rk and Yajus recensions : with the translation and notes of Prof. 301-342 ----. O. Steiner 1983 ---. Prehistoric antiquities of the Aryan peoples: a manual of comparative philology and the earliest culture. A. H. Altaic and Indo-European: Marginal Remarks on the Book of Gamkrelidze and Ivanov. Historische Grammatik des Griechischen : Laut. Ancient India in a New Light. 468 Band. vol. Calcutta : S. On the Origin of the Early Indian Scripts: A review article. K. 1986. Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft 1976. with the sanction and co-operation of the author. Zoological Remains. Schmidt. Journal of the American Oriental Society 115. Schrader. The Puranas. 18. 1. Róna-Tas. 1995. T. Sarma. & enl. Griffin and Company 1890. Archaeology and Language. D. C. 1978. The Ritual Origin of Geometry. Staal (ed. F. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan 1989 ---. H.). Opera Minora. Being "Sprachvergleichung und Urgeschichte" of Dr. 2000. Mohenjo-Daro and the Indus Civilisation.). Hanns-Peter.V. Richard. 1892. Second extensively enlarged edition with five supplements. R. 1155-1159 Sethna. 1980. Die ältesten indogermanischen Lehnwörter der uralischen Sprachen. No. Kuppanna Sastry. 2. Agni. II. London: A. London-Jonathan Cape 1987 Rix.S. 649-673 . The Problem of Aryan Origins From an Indian Point of View. Wien 1986 ---. Formenlehre. J. & S. The geometry of the Vedic rituals.u. T. New Delhi: Biblia Impex 1981 ---. by Frank Byron Jevons . The Earliest Literary Evidence for Permanent Vedic Settlements. Beyond the Texts. Sinor (ed. Transl. Sastry. Leiden: Brill 1988: 638-664 Renfrew. On Birds and Dogs and Bats. 271-279. Abhandlungen der Geistes.. Harrassowitz. vol. 1-85 and plates I-XI. sozialwissenschaftlichen Klasse 1983. Philosophisch-Historische Klasse. 1985. in: D.B. Salomon. Zur vedischen Altertumskunde. Sitzungsberichte der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften. London. Archive for History of Exact Sciences. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan 1992 [first ed. 95-126 Semino.u. O. critically edited by K. L.Autochthonous Aryans? (89) ---. from the 2d rev.). Inside the Texts. JRASB 61. In: M. Harvard Oriental Series. 391-404. New Delhi : Published for the National Commission for the Compilation of History of Sciences in India by Indian National Science Academy. Witzel (ed. Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Mainz. Rocher. Archive for History of Exact Sciences. Cambridge 1997. The Genetic Legacy of Paleolithic Homo Sapiens sapiens in Extant Europeans: A Y Chromosome Perspective. Wiesbaden : O. O.) The Uralic Languages: Description.

3000-1400 B. Härtel. Erdosy (ed. The Fidelity of Oral Tradition and the Origins of Science. p. and Diane A. South Asian Archaeology. The Vedic Ritual of the Fire Altar. p. Cambridge 1999. J. R. F. New York: Plenum 1984. 1999. In: J. Singh.) The People of South Asia: The biological Anthropology of India. Erdosy (ed. 1986. Geburtstag. H. vol. Letterkunde Amsterdam.. Southworth. Erdosy (ed. Berlin 1981. 1993. ---. 49/8. Aryan and Non-Aryan in India. The Indo-Aryan Invasions: Cultural Myth and Archaeological Reality. 176-195. n. Memoir 87. The concepts of "cultural tradition" and "paleoethnicity" in South Asian archaeology. 251-88. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan. East and West. Lukas (ed. Festschrift für Ernst Risch zum 75. P. In: A. 155-176 Smith. 301-10 ---. The Independence of Rationality from Literacy. 36-52 Smith. Franklin C. Papers in honour and appreciation of Professor David L. 77-90 ---. Opera Minora. 305-311 ---. 3. philology and South Asian archaeology.) The Indo-Aryans of Ancient South Asia. Pakistan (c.) The Indo-Aryans of Ancient South Asia. Tadeusz Skorupski (e.). p. The Lake of the Yak a Chief. 1982.) Rome : Istituto Italiano per il Medio ed Estremo Oriente 1987 . Hook (eds. 275-291 ---.M. Dates and dynasties in earliest India. p. Harvard Oriental Series. Skjærvø. J. p. Lexical evidence for early contacts between Indo-Aryan and Dravidian. In: M. The Vedic Harappans. Mededelingen KNAW. p. 126-154 ---. M. Afd. 112-125 Soden. Sacred Persistence: Toward a Redescription of Canon. Snellgrove's contribution to Indo-Tibetan Studies. Purattatva 23. Berlin/New York : de Gruyter 1995. Tring: The Institute of Buddhist Studies 1990. The civilized demons : the Harappans in Rgveda. Berlin/New York: de Gruyter 1986. Joshi. Morton. Hyderabad: Orient Longman 1995 Shendge. 191-233 ----. 105-27 Stacul.). R. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Migration. Bronkhorst & M. Berkeley : Asian Humanities Press 1983 ---. Evidence.C. In: ed. P. Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft 1985 Söhnen. Jonathan Z. G. [chapter 3 of:] Imagining Religion: From Babylon to Jonestown. Lichtenstein. Evidence of Horse from the Harappan Settlement at Surkotada.E. Pakistan and Nepal. 1990: 372-383 ---.(90) Michael WITZEL Shaffer. (ed. Pakistan. In: J. NS 16. Aryan and NonAryan in South Asia. 1995. Ann Arbor : Center for South and Southeast Asian Studies 1979. European Journal of Sociology 30. New Delhi : Abhinav Publications 1977.) Agni. New Delhi: Archaeological Survey of India. 30-34 Sharma. In: J. 239. 1966..S. p. Motilal Banarsidass 1973 ---. Etter (ed. Reconstructing social context from language: Indo-Aryan and Dravidian prehistory. Looking for the Aryans. In: G. Animal Bone Remains. translation and justification of a critical text of the Purå a dynasties. 258-277 Staal. Berlin/New York : de Gruyter 1995.) o-o-pe-ro-si. The Harappan Horse was buried under the Dunes of. Journal of Indian Philosophy 27. G. von. Painted Pottery from the Swat Valley. W. 1989. 75-76 ---.260 Sharma.) The Indo-Aryans of Ancient South Asia. The Avesta as source for the early history of the Iranians. G. (ed.s. R. Einführung in die Altorientalistik.K. R. ---. Puratattva 7. Excavations at Surkotada 1971-1972 and Explorations in Kutch.d) Indo-Tibetan Studies. Greek and Vedic Geometry. Deshpande and P. G. 1974. Das Gautamīmahåtmya und seine vedischen Quellen. Berlin/New York : de Gruyter 1995. Oktor. Interpretation and Ideology. Delhi. A. Deshpande. Prehistoric and Protohistoric Swat. On the White Yajurveda Va ša. Bhagavan.

C. New Delhi: Voice of India 1993. African Exodus. On Burushaski and other ancient substrata in northwest South Asia. Expedition 17. Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft 1970. In: J. 64. P. Kazakhstan. 277-293 Underhill. Journal of Mammalogy 43. 64-71. 2000. vol. Der Lachs in Indien. Oswald. A Synchronic. Papers presented at the conference Early Horsekeepers of the Eurasian Steppes. Interpretation and Ideology. Kå hakasa kalana. Poona: Kesari / Bombay: Ramchandra Govind & Son. London. Utilization of Domestic Animals in Pre. Marhasi. Studia Orientalia (Helsinki). Talageri. Constructing the racial theory of Indian civilization. On some recent attempts to determine the antiquity of Vedic civilization.2. Berlin: De Gruyter 1998. Poona: Tilak Bros. In: J. Thomas. Th.]. or. 1975. Wiesbaden 1971. Clutton-Brock (ed. The Walking Larder. 1960. Cambridge 1999. Die Heimat der indogermanischen Gemeinsprache. Reallexikon der Assyriologie und vorderasiatischen Archäologie. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan 2000 Telegin. B. Proceedings of the Indian Historical Congress 1968 Thibaut. Shrikant. Kalibangan: A Harappan Metropolis beyond the Indus Valley. ed. Oxford : Clarendon Press/ New York : Oxford University Press 1996. The Sanskrit Gerund. 3. Opera Minora. R. 1951. 381-2 Stringer. R. Unwin Hyman 1989. 1988.and Protohistoric India. 108-112 Tikkanen. 85 sqq. Petropavlovsk. Thapar. 1903 Trautmann. Thieme. P. Aryan and Non-Aryan in South Asia. Zeitschrift für vergleichende Sprachforschung 69. JAOS 80. Researches into the antiquity of the Vedas. [Verlag der Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Literatur] Wiesbaden: Steiner 1954 ---. P. Nature Genetics 26. 301-17 ---. 358-361 . Indian Antiquary 1885. G.Autochthonous Aryans? Stecher. The Orion. The Arctic home in the Vedas : being also a new key to the interpretation of many Vedic texts and legends.). Leipzig 1938 ---. Aryan Invasion Theory and Indian Nationalism. 209-216 = Kleine Schriften. 205-219 . 4500-1500 B. Bronkhorst & M.G. Evidence. Paul. About the absolute age of the settlement and cemetery of Dereivka on the Middle Dnieper.M. B.. (91) Steinkeller. Harvard Oriental Series. Anatomical variations of the spine in the horse. = Introduction to Indo-European linguistics [4th rev. A Historical Analysis. 1962.K. Helsinki 1987 ---. Lahore 1943 Szemerényi.C. McKie. B. Deshpande. London: Jonathan Cape 1996 Surya Kanta. Einführung in die vergleichende Sprachwissenschaft. and R. Y chromosome sequence variation and the history of human populations. 303-325 Tilak. 19-33 Thapar. Diachronic and Typological Analysis. D. 1995. [also = New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan 1993] ---.K. Rigveda. Der Fremdling im Rigveda. The 'Aryan' Gods of the Mitanni Treaties. 1893 ---. June 19-24.A.

1-57 ---. apåx δra. 485-522 Wheeler. 361 sqq. Nagpur: Baba Saheb Apte Smarak Samiti 1989 Weber. Leuven 1987. Paris : Institut de Civilisation Indienne 1989. JB palpūlanī. M.: Early Sites Research Society (West) Monograph Series. Fact and fictions about the Aryans. Supplementband 8. G. 650. 1972. Erdosy (ed. A. Beyond the Texts. The Aryan Invasion. Thieme] 1996. 1969. Festschrift für W. 1980. An Introduction to Indus Writing. 2. On Magical thought in the Veda. India and the Ancient world. In: The Indo-Aryans of Ancient South Asia. 76-93 [transl. N. Vol. Pollet (ed. Jav. B. Indoarisch. gvedic history: poets. ed. 1984. Cambridge : University Press 1953. Wells. chieftains and polities. Die vedischen Nachrichten von den Naxatra (Mondstationen). Rau. Münchener Studien zur Sprachwissenschaft 30. Early Eastern Iran and the Atharvaveda. Berlin 1860-62.L. C. Plath. Harappa 1946: The Defences and the Cemetery R 37. London: Thames and Hudson 1966 Whitney. 307-352. dy > jy. MA. Oktober 1997 in Erlangen. P. The Indus civilization.). Civilizations of the Indus Valley and beyond. Iranisch und die Indogermanistik. Proceed. of Calgary 1998 [2nd ed. and repr. lxxxii = IA 24. 1990. M.H. D.D. Delhi: Manager of Publications. Eggermont Jubilee Volume. Abhandlungen der Akad. (The Cambridge History of India. 85-125 ---. B. 257-345 . Arbeitstagung der Indogermanischen Gesellschaft vom 2. On a recent attempt. Tracing the Vedic dialects. Thesis. U. Excavations at Harappa.C. Journal of the Japanese Association for South Asian Studies 2.415 ---. A. ---. In: The Indo-Aryans of Ancient South Asia. vol. Wiel. E.111 as: The Ancient River Valley of the Eastern Border of the Indus Plain and the Sarasvati Problem] Witzel. 58-130 ---. 14-19 ---. ed. in: Radhakrishna and Mehr 1999. Trade and Culture before A. R.). Balasubrahmaniam. 95. Dialects dans les littératures indo-aryennes. Bulletin des études indiennes 2.S. aan de. B. N. Wezler and M. Ancient India 3. by M. vol. by Jacobi and Tilak. Govt. 7). 189-216 ---. Berlin/New York : de Gruyter 1995. Leiden: Universitaire Pers 1979 ---. of India 1940 Vennemann. & R. Tirupati : Kendriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha 1986. Erdosy 1995. 1. Das Urstromtal am Ostrand der Indusebene und das Sarasvati-Problem. 1987a. ed. oder Pråk tismus im Rigveda? In: Forssman. New Approaches to the Study of the Vedas. Supplementary volume). bis 5. In: Colette Caillat (ed. The structure of a Bråhma a tale. Opera Minora. Harvard Oriental Series. 86-128 ---. 213-279 ---. Cambridge 1997. Independence MO 1999] Wezler. 163-191 ----. D. T. Zeitschrift für Geomorphologie. (Materials on Vedic Śåkhås 8). On Indian historical writing: The case of the Va śåvalīs.R. W. 1947. 535-542 Wilhelmy. a Myth. Transactions of the Philological Society 92 (1994) 215-284 Waradpande. 363. In: Inside the Texts. Zu den sogenannten Identifikationen in den Bråhma as. p. M. 97-264 ---. The Development of the Vedic Canon and its Schools: The Social and Political Milieu. Linguistic reconstruction in the context of European prehistory. Witzel. On the localisation of Vedic texts and schools (Materials on Vedic Śåkhås. G. In: Deo and Kamath 1993. The case of the shattered head. H. AOS 1894. 2. 173-213 ---. R. History. G. Persica 9. StII 13/14. A. to determine on astronomical evidence the date of the earliest Vedic period as 4000 B.F. Sharma. Fel. ---. Early Indian history: Linguistic and textual parameters. = Indian Philology and South Asian Studies. StII 20 [Fs.(92) Michael WITZEL Vats.). Sur le chemin du ciel. Wiesbaden: Reichert 2000.

Autochthonous Aryans? (93) ---. Interpretation and Ideology. 17 [Chennai].-P.B. c = Yajñavalkya. 126-129 http://www. Aryan and non-Aryan Names in Vedic India . Frontline Vol.). Fs. Talageri. Talageri.com/fl1720/fl172000. Delhi 1984. http://www. Tichy. et al.C.frontlineonline. http://www.com/fl1720/17200040. 1900-500 B. M. Eneolit Uralo-Irtyshskogo Mezhdurech'ya. (eds.frontlineonline.-L. EJVS 5. 283-338 ---. Farmer. 3/11/Heisei 11 /[1999d]: 1636 ---. ed. T. Frontiers of the Indus Civilisation. Evidence.com/fl1723/17231220. Petropavlovsk: Nauka 1993 Zimmer. Classical Studies and Indology. 13. The Rigveda.htm ---. 141-155 . c.) Reconstitution of Classical Studies. Huot et al.The Pleiades and the Bears viewed from inside the Vedic texts. In: H.com/frontline/ Yano. and S. 2000. Horseplay in Harappa. Opera Minora 3). ed. H. Westward ho! The Incredible Wanderlust of the gvedic Tribes Exposed by S. (Münchener Studien zur Sprachwissenschaft. Geburtstag. Early iron age Iran revisited: preliminary suggestions for the re-analysis of old constructs. Bronkhorst & M. Nakatani (ed. Data for the linguistic situation. in : J. 3. forthc. Yash Pal. Remote sensing of the 'lost' Sarasvati River.htm.H. The Home of the Aryans. Cuyler. A Review of: Shrikant G. November 11 .frontlineonline. 17. On Indo-Europeanization.pdf cf. A. b = Proceedings of the Harappan Congress at Madison 1998. S. Michio. 1999c ---.). http://www. 2) EJVS 7-2.frontlineonline. In: Anusantatyai. Cambridge (Harvard Oriental Series.safarmer. Gupta. A historical analysis. No. Röll 2000. Fs. 2001 ---. 1990. Kenoyer ---. (Såvadhånapattra no. Paris 1985. für Johanna Narten zum 70. Oct. New Evidence on the 'Piltdown Horse' Hoax. 337-404 ---. B. forthc.24. 1999a. Aryans and Non-Non-Aryans.2. JIES 18. Hintze & E. Schmidt ---. 491-497 Young. forthc.P. V. De l' Indus aux Balkans (Fs. Beihefte NF 19) Dettelbach: J. Special Issue : A Report on the First Symposium towards a Reconstitution of Classical Studies. 4-14. In: J. Planet Worship in the Yåjñavalkyasm ti. Frontline Vol.htm http://www. Lal and S. 2000. 361-378 Zaibert. Jean Heshayes). The Indus Valley Decipherment Hoax.com/fl1723/fl172300. Deshpande (eds.

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
scribd
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->