A Conference on the Sindhu-Sarasvati Valley Civilization

A conference titled “International Conference on the Sindhu-Sarasvati Valley Civilization: A Reappraisal” is being held in Los Angeles on Feb. 21 and 22, 2009.

The aim of the conference is to discuss, reconsider and reconstruct a shared identity of the Sindhu (Indus) and Saraswati cultures, using archaeological and other scientific evidence as well as Vedic literature. For two days eminent archaeologists, linguists, anthropologists, historians, religious studies specialists and geneticists will present and discuss their findings on the salient issues of the Sindhu-Saraswati civilization and assess its contribution to Indian culture.  The conference hopes to inform the general educated public about the contribution of these early South Asian cultures to world civilization, and about the issues and problems of interpretation related to them.

The title of the conference itself will cause alarm among one section of historians who believe that Indus Civilization and Vedic culture have nothing in common. Now the ritual will start with the precision of the south west monsoon and words will start pouring – Hindutva, Gujarat, rich NRIs, minorities, oort cloud etc. This is despite the fact that some of the participants — Jonathan Mark Kenoyer (University of Wisconsin), Jim G. Shaffer (Case Western Reserve University), Carl C. Lamberg-Karlovsky (Harvard University), Edwin Bryant (Rutgers University), Maurizio Tosi (University of Bologna, Italy) and Nicholas Kazanas (Omilos Meleton Cultural Institute, Athens) —- are not even Hindus.

These conferences, whether ideology driven or not, are happening regularly in India and United States. Also the rivalry between the AIT camp and the opponents has resulted in a great debate which would have been one sided otherwise. For a historian who is not bound by dogma, these discourses are educational, since it brings out data, which would have remained buried.
Note: The conference is free for public.

6 thoughts on “A Conference on the Sindhu-Sarasvati Valley Civilization

  1. Hi JK,
    This fascinates me and has been fascinating me for a long time and tremendously so. Are there any podcasts about the Sindhu, the Saraswati civs, or about this controversy that you might be able to recommend?

  2. 2 things:
    1)Interesting parallel between how mainstream AIT/AIM historians control the history curricula as opposed to out-of-india historians and how mainstream anti-hindu media controls much of the country’s bandwidth. I guess our country needs to fight a battle on more than one front.
    2)if you look at some/most/all (one can pick according to how much one has seen vedic culture and rituals), of the vedic rituals, they are require bio-degradable materials– wood, grass, milk products, grains, and perhaps animal flesh and other animal products. I am not an archaeologist, but I am fairly certain that such materials cannot be preserved, unless they are frozen over for millennia.
    I can only hope that there might have been some buildings/pottery that may have been made of materials that are generally well preserved. Otherwise, I dont think that here much hope of archaeological excavations yielding something regarding vedic culture.

  3. JK,
    How could you miss SN Balagangadhara’s 2nd of the rethinking Religion in India series, that just concluded last month in Delhi. The 1st conference last year was about whether India has religions at all. The theme this year was on secularism. The next year it will be about the AIT/AMT and evolutionary biology’s impact on the humanities thinking in India.

    1. kaangeya, did not see any announcement of this series in hindutva, secular and eurasian mailing lists. but there are some videos of it in youtube
      i have not seen them yet. but thanks for the note.

  4. JK,
    Please check out the following links for info, news, and readings about the work of Baalu and his collaborators.
    http://colonial.consciousness.googlepages.com/ (has the full text of The Heathen in His Blindness – no need to buy the book an several articles)
    -takes you the the yahoo group “Heathen in his Blindness” http://preview.tinyurl.com/amopx3
    -http://www.youtube.com/cultuurwetenschap videos from the RRI 2008/2009 events – there’s even Achin Vanaik talking this year! The RRI is now too big to be ignored and too provocative to be derided. Also a(n) (in)famous Ivy League poseur and his flunky were recently laughed off the stage by some v.astute heathens, leaving them smarting with indignation. As always well read and informed criticism is the best way ahead, and it takes years to turn heat into light.
    Keep up the good work JK and sorry for turning this thread into a link farm

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