Was there an “Aryan Invasion?”

19 Comments

I’ve been fairly busy recently with work but I read a very good comment right now about semantics.

An Indo-European migration is a very different term to an “Aryan invasion”; the latter seems simply to be a Euro-colonialist divide & rule tactic.

I confess I don’t know much on the matter but I don’t see how the recent genetics somehow justifies anything more than a population movement.

Until there is more evidence of an “Aryan invasion”; I don’t see why such hurtful terms need to be bandied about (it only accentuates unnecessary divisions, which do have modern-Day political consequences).

We should be wary of external narratives foisted on a vulnerable Subcontinent; South Asians have a worrying propensity for ideology that has already cost so much in terms lives, prosperity & prestige..

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19 Replies to “Was there an “Aryan Invasion?””

  1. The offense minimizing thingy doesnt work unless one practices and values reason. Proper reasoning is to be taught necessarily so as to counter identity based reasoning. For that one should first give freedom of speech, This wont work because precisely for those very same political consequences. As long as there are political gains to be made from people who all engage in identity based reasoning and have not been taught a better form of reasoning. Then there really is no hope. And Philosophy is only taught in the west, no where else is it popular. when was the last time any philosopher of any worth made a useful contribution in India,pakistan, bangladesh or any where else for that matter. Philosophy is to hold others to account to reason. Here politicians dont even find it necessary to answer to press, precisely because the press is too stupid and vulgar in its questions as they themselves engage in identity reasoning. A society that cannot even figure out the proper way of reasoning will keep stumbling again and again.

    1. bharata, free thought and intuition comes from the east. Enlightenment scholars learned about this when they started reading eastern texts. There are many great Eastern philosophers and thinkers. From what time period would you like to know great eastern thinkers?

  2. the Y chromosomes of south asians are way skewed toward those brought by the indo-aryans. the mtDNA is way skewered toward those of the native hunter-gatherers (the west asian farmers brought some of both, though more of the Y too).

    the top of the caste hierarchy is overloaded with males who carry the indo-aryan Y chromosomes.

    1. Razib Khan,
      A friend yesterday told me about the first DNA extraction from an Egyptian mummy. What can you share about DNA markers in the Egyptian mummy? My friend said that the DNA had large Eurasian components.

      I am also very interested in DNA with respect to time evolution (ancient burial remains versus people living now), ancient Sumeria, ancient China, ancient Ethiopia. It is my view that many ancient civilizations had contact and trade–although data for this is limited. We do have extensive data regarding large scale trade between Sumeria and the India about 4,500 years ago. We also have data about trade between Egypt and India from around the same time–albeit more limited.

      +++++++++++++++++++++++++++
      Zachary Latif, understand that you are super busy. But I would be super grateful if you could share your wisdom and insights regarding:
      http://www.brownpundits.com/2018/03/26/pakistani-psychosis/

    2. What is interesting though that it is Brahmins who are the most “Aryan”; was it a conquering force on behalf of the Brahmins.

      Did the role of the Brahmins evolve into priests. #idlespeculation

      1. Zachary, why do you think it was a conquering force?

        Brahmins might have been invited in the way a famous Harvard professor is given a prestigious position at an Asian university (that probably pays him/her much more than Harvard does). Much the way Brahmins brought Dharma to China.

        The Hindu Itihasas (histories) are extensive. There should be references within it. In the corpus there are references to multiple different genealogical lineages and Jatis. Perhaps these are references to progenitor DNA markers.

        In the ancient eastern texts the concept of a non Hindu didn’t exist. As a result foreigners from other parts of the world were not seen as outsiders. Even other species (perhaps even aliens) were not seen as outsiders.

        1. Brahmins might have been invited in the way a famous Harvard professor is given a prestigious position at an Asian university (that probably pays him/her much more than Harvard does). Much the way Brahmins brought Dharma to China.

          do the local men let the famous professor inseminate their wives so that their paternal lineage disappears?

        2. Kumārajīva was half-brahmin. but buddhism came mostly through ppl from turan, not indians. and its widespread adoption was through barbarian states in the north china plain who were looking for non-confucian sources of authority (since they were barbarians they weren’t getting legitimacy from the local han elites, many of whom moved south anyway)

          1. Razib, thousands of years before Christ many Turans were Arya and would have been seen as “insiders” during the time of Krishna for example:

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turanian_languages

            Sudakshina, king of the Kamboja, was one of the leading generals in the Kaurava Army during the Mahabharata war. Kamboja was part of Turan. Unclear where. My guess is that much of it was in modern Uzbekistan (Bactria–where Mazar e Sharif is now located, was south of Kamboja). Kamboja was part of the Persian Empire and later fought against Alexander the Great.

            In my opinion Buddha might have been born more than 1000 BC although I don’t know for sure. Buddha likely had many followers in Turan around 1000 BC. They would have been what now might be called Hindu Buddhist.

            [PS. Sudakshina is a remarkable character. Bhishma praised him repeatedly for being one of the best warriors in the Kaurava army . . . sometimes while telling Duryodhana to stop freaking out about the sky falling down. Sudakshina heads the second of three military formations between Arjuna and Jayadratha on the 14th day. He is killed by Arjuna on the 14th day–and Arjuna penetrates through the formation.]

  3. A friend yesterday told me about the first DNA extraction from an Egyptian mummy. What can you share about DNA markers in the Egyptian mummy? My friend said that the DNA had large Eurasian components.

    mostly eursaian. some subsaharan admixture which increases with time.

    I am also very interested in DNA with respect to time evolution (ancient burial remains versus people living now), ancient Sumeria, ancient China, ancient Ethiopia. It is my view that many ancient civilizations had contact and trade–although data for this is limited. We do have extensive data regarding large scale trade between Sumeria and the India about 4,500 years ago. We also have data about trade between Egypt and India from around the same time–albeit more limited.

    ethiopians a mix of africa and eurasian ppl. >4,000 years ago.

    china and sumer probably indigenous.

    1. What are the connections if any between Eurasian (found in Egyptian mummy) and Indo-Iranian-European Aryan DNA markers?

  4. Razib Khan, could the Iranian farmer have come from Uttara Kuru?:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uttara_Kuru_Kingdom
    Uttara Kuru is thought to be modern Kyrgyzstan.

    Pururavas, son of Illa, seems to have visited Uttara Kuru. Pururavas is the progenitor of the Chandra Vansha (lineage of the moon). It is unclear to me geographically where Pururavas comes from.

    Illa is both male and female and switches back and forth many times. As a result Illa is both the mother and father of Puraravas.

    Pururavas married the Apsara Urvashi–who dumped him very soon after marrying him. As a result the Chandra Vansha descend from Urvashi–who appears constantly across many Eastern texts. She clearly isn’t human and has been alive for thousands of years–still suppose to be alive. She was some other type of being. Either a soul who could assume human bodies or incarnate in human bodies over thousands of years, an alien, or some pre-human life on earth.

    Almost all the human characters born after the passing of Rama in the Mahabharata, Bhagavatam, many other Puranas, many ancient texts are the descendants of Illa, Urvashi and Pururavas. [Note that Rama was from the Surya Vansha–a separate lineage and was a different type of human or hominid.]

    Illa appears in hundreds of places across many, many, many Puranas, Itihasas, and eastern texts. Illa mentions at great length the pros and cons of male and female in many different aspects of life–including the various aspects of courtship, conception, pregnancy, giving birth, raising children. She switched genders back and forth many times and is one of the most important characters of eastern philosophy. She is one of the reasons that “censorship” was an alien concept in the east. The East didn’t have the hang ups about erotica, copulation and conception that Abrahamics had.

    The idea of males and females without clothing has never been controversial in the east–at least until the Mohammedans alive. Many spiritual orders from long before the birth of Rama [or even before the advent of humans] have not worn clothes. The Digambara (female and male) are among them.

    I believe that the Avestan civilization might also derive from Illa, Urvashi and Pururavas.

  5. Razib Khan, could the Iranian farmer have come from Uttara Kuru?:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uttara_Kuru_Kingdom
    Uttara Kuru is thought to be modern Kyrgyzstan.

    probably not. it doesn’t look we south asia got any distinctive BMAC genetics. perhaps other way around.

    the iranian farmer came from western iran and spread east and north. in the north they mixed with local ppl. in the east they mixed with “AASI” (indian hunter-gatherers).

  6. ‘What is interesting though that it is Brahmins who are the most “Aryan”; was it a conquering force on behalf of the Brahmins.’

    wrong way to look at things, there were no brahmins to begin with, what we see is more steppe aspect in them as they mostly stuck to themselves I suppose in succeeding generations while others mingled more.

    This fits my view pretty nicely, people in India had forgotten, there was no written language of any worth. what i am interested though is origins of shramana groups of people, jainism, buddhism. My theory has always been that in absense of being able to preserve memory, there is no philosophy or anything sophisticated like that. Only vedic people had that, their oral literature created a strong incentive to preserve the texts, jains and buddhists got to their speculation from vedic association. even if their background was something else. And eventually it was this new class of what would become brahmins due to this infrastructure of preserving of oral literature that created group and its influence. This was threatened by the coming of writing from 2 BC to 5 AD, followed by collapse of gupta empire, that set the pieces of stagnation as advancement was contained . Before that jobs through oral tradition was guaranteed almost, who would spend 14 yrs training themselves in vedic initiations ?. Not many.

    explanations of class interests seem pretty good than racial explanations, If India had written language from the very start, history would have been very different, oral knowledge wouldnt be valued as much, an entire class wouldnt be created to preserve things, etc. In my idle moments, I dream this were to be true, much of math ,science would then have been discovered earlier if this were so. By comparison, greeks with access to written language and access to knowledge from Mediterranean and egypt recorded more, with works of individuals preserved, in India, its the work of a group that is preserved. India sits peculiarly as the civilization with highest degree of oral preservation and transmission of knowledge unlike any in any other part of the world and that took its toll.

    1. bharata bharatavanshi, writing is very old. Writing was common during the Ramayana period, for example. And many texts were written down before Rama’s birth. Including many Smritis and maybe some Vedangas.

      This said, for reasons that can be elaborated on another time, many oral traditions were not written down and continued to be passed down orally [in many ways these were “secret” teachings]. It was only during and after the life time of Krishna that all the now famous eastern texts were written down, including the Vedas. This would put traditional Hindu dating of the writing down of the eastern corpus around 3102 BC. After that the texts were locked so to speak. Which doesn’t mean that they were entirely accurate or that they were not modified due to politics or embellishment. (I have many suspicions about what was modified for political reasons–but I don’t know for sure.)

      Bharata, probably less than one ten thousandth of all the written down texts in the east now survive. The rest were destroyed by invaders, father time, or a lack of maintenance (people lost interest in protecting paper documents that were thousands of years old in old storage facilities from things such as flooding, insects etc.). The east had hundreds of thousands of commentators and philosophers who wrote down their ideas. Maybe millions. My family a few years ago lost large numbers of very ancient scrolls [including Sama Veda scrolls] in a flood. And I am not just speaking of South Asia. Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia also had many great Sanskrit commentators thousands of years before Christ.

      1. please do tell me of some written material before Ashoka. writing on metals, stone, clay tablets etc. Take your time, you wont be able to find any. Because they dont exist.

        1. bharata, there are written scrolls. Carbon dating them is a different matter. Few of the ancient scrolls have survived. They tended to be copied over and over again to preserve them over time. This said, during the lifetime of Rama and Krishna writing was prevalent and often intersected extensively with both stories.

          “metals, stone, clay tablets” . . . these were not used by Arya to my knowledge. They seemed to use scrolls.

          The overwhelming vast majority of written records from Sumeria 2 1/2 thousand to 4 thousand BC have not been translated. If they are translated we might find records of the Arya people. This is yet another reason funding needs to provided to preserve and study Sumerian records. We might find the decoder of the Indus Valley Civilization script. Given the very extensive trade and travel between Sumeria and India during that time . . . the Sumerians must have known the Indus Valley Civilization script, language and history. The Sumerians must also have known a lot about other ancient civilizations.

          If we can decipher the Indus Valley Civilization script you will have your written records bharata.

  7. scripts dont vanish, they are extremely very useful from astronomy to math to politics to just about everything. unless they encode very little information, the records from indus is of very few symbols at any image discovered thus far. So perhaps, name, product,price,place, things like that.

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