Were Harappans the Vedic people?

According to the Aryan Invasion/Migration theory folks, Aryans came to India sometime between 1500 – 1200 BCE and then composed the Vedas. In the book In Search of the Cradle of Civilization, Georg Fuerstein, Subhash Kak and David Frawley demolish this theory and suggest that the Vedic people were residents of the cities of Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro.

The authors argue that the people of Harappa were Vedic Aryans who had reached India a long time back. Indo-European speakers are now thought to have been present in Anatolia at the beginning of the Neolithic age. Migrations would have happened during the Harappan times as well, but the new immigrants would have found a prominent Sanskrit speaking Vedic people in Harappa. It is possible that the Vedic people walked on the streets of Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa and even possibly Mehrgarh and they did not come as conquerors or destroyers from outside India, but lived and even built the cities in the Land of Seven Rivers.[Book Review: In Search of the Cradle of Civilization]

A while back Nanditha Krishna also wrote an article suggesting the same. In a recent lecture, Jonathan Mark Kenoyer, associate professor in anthropology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison agrees with this.

Kenoyer said modern archaeological findings do not support the idea of an Aryan ‘invasion,’ but show that Vedic people were among those who lived in cities such as Mohenjo Daro in Sindh and Harappa in Punjab towards the end of the Indus civilization, which stretched between 7,000 BC and 1,900 BC. “These were sophisticated cities with wide roads, gates designed to keep intruders out and where those coming in or going out of the city with goods could be taxed. There was a water supply and proper drains. It was only when the Saraswati dried up and Mohenjo Daro and Harappa became overpopulated because other cities lost their water supply that the cities declined,” said Kenoyer, comparing that period with the fate of cities such as Amritsar and Lahore at the time of Partition. As many as 50,000 people may have lived in Harappa at certain periods and the people of the Indus civilisation formed ethnic groups, said Kenoyer, citing figurines showing seals with symbols such as the buffalo or unicorn to represent different ethnic groups. The unicorn symbol was invented by the Indus people, and spread to Europe centuries later via Mesopotamia and Near East, he said.

There was no single ruler in these cities. We’ve found no palace. Instead, there seems to have been a republic in which a group of elders ruled,” said Kenoyer.

What was earlier believed by archaeologists to be a grain store in Harappa now seems likely to have been a textile weaving centre, and fine cloth from the area was exported far away, he said.[Harappa was like any other metro: US prof]

2 thoughts on “Were Harappans the Vedic people?

  1. JK,
    I think you should compile all of your articles related the Aryan invasion (so called) theory into one central place. The vast amount of information that you have compiled is getting lost in between lots of other information. If I run into a person who is interested in knowing about this, it will be easier to point to one location. But currently if I point them to varnam, they will get lost into a world of interesting other information. So bottom line, revive your old palmleaf, just restructure you vast content.
    Good to see you back.

  2. Kesh,
    I would love to do it, but even writing one post/day has become difficult now due to various factors which you know. Reviving Palm Leaf requires lot more energy and time which is currently not possible. But atleast to make you happy, I can put a static page with an overview.

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