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The Homeland of the Aryans

B.B. Lal (Author)
Synopsis For well over seven decades two theories have been blinding our vision of India’s past, viz. that: (i) there was an ‘Aryan Invasion’ of India; and (ii) the invaders destroyed the Harappan Civilization which became extinct. Although in his book, The Sarasvati Flows On, the present author completely demolished these theories, there are still a few scholars who cling to them. Resurrectinig the ‘Aryan Invasion/Migration’ theory, a stalwart writes: ‘One thing seems certain; the speakers of Vedic Sanskrit… came from elsewhere. This conclusion comes from… Indo-European words for trees which are species such as birch, Scotch pine, linden, alder and oak. These are plants from a temperate environment and the fact that their names are shared among the early languages of the family suggests a homeland in this environment. Let it be squarely stated that the earliest book of the Aryans, viz. the Rigveda, does not mention any of the species of cold-climate trees enumerated above. On the other hand, all the trees mentioned in the Rigveda, such as the Asvattha (Ficus religiosa L.), Khadira (Acacia catechu Wild.), Nyagrodha (Ficus benghalensis L.), do not belong to a cold climate but to a tropical one. Likewise, the Rigvedic fauna, comprising such species as the lion, elephant, peacock, also belongs to a tropical climate. Further, During the Rigvedic period the Sarasvati was a mighty river, but it dried up by the time of the Panchavimsa Brahmana. The evidence of archaeology, hydrology and radiocarbon dates shows that the Sarasvati dried up around 2000 BC. All this proves that the Rigvada antedated that magic figure. Again, the Rigvedic geography covers the area from the Ganga-Yamuna on the east to the west of the Indus. Likewise, the archaeological evidence shows that prior to 2000 BC it was the Harappan Civilization that flourished in this very region. Thus, the textual and archaeological data combine to establish a perfect spatial-cum-chronological oneness between the Rigvedic and Harappan cultures. And since, as demonstrated in this book, the Harappans were ‘the sons of the soil’, it squarely follows that Rigvedic people were indigenous.
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About the author

B.B. Lal

An archaeologist of international repute, Professor B.B. Lal was the Director General of the Archaeological Survey of India from 1968 to 1972. In the latter year, he took voluntary retirement, better to pursue his research programmes independently. He joined Jiwaji University, Gwalior, as a Professor and later moved to the renowned Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Simla, of which he was also the Director for many years. Born on 2 May 1921, Lal had a brilliant academic career throughout. On joining the Archaeological Survey in 1946, he held charge of the Excavations Branch and participated with Sri Mortimer Wheeler in the excavations at Harappa. Soon he paved his way up, becoming in 1959 the first Director of the School of Archaeology. In 1971, Prof Lal was invited as Alexander White Visiting Professor at the University of Chicago. In 1994, he was awarded D.Litt. degree (honoris causa) by the Institute of Archaeology, St. Petersberg, Russia. The same year he was elected President of World Archaeological Congress-3. He has been President and Member of several UNESCO Committees. At home, the Nava Nalanda Mahavihara conferred on him the title of Vidya Varidhi and the Mithila Vishvavidyalaya, that of Mahamahopadhyaya. He has also been honoured by the Indian Science Congress, Indian Archaeological Society and Asiatic Society, Bombay. Professor Lal has many significant excavations to his credit, ranging from the palaeolithic times to early historical. In 1961, under a UNESCO project, he conducted excavations in Nubia, Egypt. His publications include, besides excavation-reports and other books, over a hundred and fifty research papers, published in scientific journals, both in India and abroad: in USA, UK, France, Italy, Egypt, Pakistan, Japan, etc.

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Bibliographic information

Title The Homeland of the Aryans
Author B.B. Lal
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2005
Edition 1st ed.
Language: English
isbn 8173052832
length xx+126p., Figures; Tables; Plates; Maps; Appendices; Bibliography; Index; 23cm.