Rediscovering Indus Civilization and Aryans: Journey to Our Renaissance -- Shamsuzzoha Manik and Shamsul Alam Chanchal

লিখেছেনঃ Shamsuzzoha Manik and Shamsul Alam Chanchal, আপডেটঃ September 9, 2012, 2:23 PM, Hits: 1686


In the ancient world four major urban civilizations are well known for their magnificent architecture, extension over time and encompassing large area with the formation of states. These are the Egyptian Civilization in the Nile River Valley, Mesopotamian Civilization in the Euphrates and Tigris River Valley in Iraq, Chinese Civilization in the Huang He (Yellow) River and the Yangzi (long) River Valley and Indus Civilization in the Indus River Valley in north-western part of South Asia. The Indus Valley Civilization is unique among the contemporary civilizations with its excellently decorated artifacts, high level of architectural and city planning, drainage system and general uniformity of culture and religion over a vast area. It is also the greatest in spread than other civilizations, over 680,000 square kilometers1 of north-western part of South Asia (at least twice in area than ancient Egypt or Mesopotamia). The cultures continued from the beginning of the farmer-gatherers settled community from the eighth millennium B.C. to the demise of the urban settlements in the second half of the second millennium B.C.2


Naturally the question arises that who were the founder of this magnificent civilization and is there any relation with these people to the Aryans, who civilized a large part of the ancient world. This question becomes more relevant since the Rigveda, the most ancient literature as well as the scripture of the Aryans, is closely associated with the land that covered the same area as encompassed by the Indus Civilization. Besides mentioning names of different localities the names of the rivers including the Indus (Sindhu) and the Sarasvati (for long a dead river) have been mentioned many times in the scripture. The Vedic composers frequently mention their land as the Sapta Sindhu or seven rivers i.e., the land of the seven rivers, which flowed once over a vast region covering most of the north-western part of the Indian subcontinent. Their gods are also mentioned as the gods of the Sapta Sindhu and thus found to be closely associated with this land. And nowhere in the Rigveda it has been told that the authors of the Rigveda and thereby the Aryans are invaders or immigrants to the land of the seven rivers.


The Indian subcontinent, known also as South Asia, presently encompasses the territory of the independent states like Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan, etc., what was called early as India, is rich in ancient literatures which are unprecedented in the history of the ancient world. These are Vedic Samhitas (Rigveda, Yajurveda, Atharvaveda and Sāmaveda), Brāhmaṇas (Śatapatha Brāhmaṇa, Taittirīya Brāhmaṇa, etc.), Āraṇyakas and Upaniṣads (both of these are cosmogonic and philosophical treatises, like Chāndogya Upaniṣad, Kauṣītakī Upaniṣad, Kaṭhapaniṣad, Muṇḍaka Upaniṣad). There are Sutras (Śulbasūtra, Śtrautasūtra, etc.), epics like Rāmāyaṇa and Mahābhārata, mythologies like Purāṇas (Vāyu Purāṇa, Viṣṇu Purāṇa, Kūrma Purāṇa, etc.). The Hindus, the Buddhists and the Jains had their literatures, many of them, in general, supposed to be more than or close to be two thousand years old (some are much earlier and some are later). The Rigveda3 is assumed to be the most ancient, came down to us through millennia almost unchanged and composed between 1500 and 1200 B.C. according to the existing theories4 (interlinking with so called Aryan invasion in India). It has been observed that the religious literatures of the Hindus, the Buddhists, the Jains and the religious literature of the Zoroastrians of ancient Iran, the Avesta, manifest pride with the name “ārya.” The term ārya is depicted in those ancient literatures as noble or civilized. It is also used to address the respected people to express honour. Thus the name ārya was intertwined with the sense of civilization and nobility in ancient India.


It was in the eighteenth century, when the British colonialists came in contact with the languages of India, found that Sanskrit, the sacred and dead language of the Hindus of India, had surprising similarities with the languages and grammars of the Iranian and European languages like Greek, Latin, German, Slavic, Baltic and English. They later reached the conclusion that all these languages were cognate and called them the Indo-European language family. Later, study of the most ancient literatures of the Hindus, the Rig-Veda, the other Vedas and the ancient literatures of India made them infer that there were people called Aryans, derived from the term ārya, who dispersed and civilized India, Iran, vast region of Central and West Asia and the whole of Europe. The scholars wrongly inferred that these Aryan people were nomadic and pastoral in their original land. Thus wrong identity was attributed to the Aryans. They wrongly inferred also that these nomadic and pastoral people, in hordes, originated from some unidentified land in central Asia, north Europe or some unidentified part from Europe invaded the north-western part of India, and developed a civilization there. They also explained that the Aryans were a superior race with fair skin, protruded nose and blue eyes.


The German scholars started proclaiming the theory that the Germans were the original or closest to the original Aryans. Adolf Hitler accepted and utilized this theory to establish German superiority over other nations of the world and utilized its inspiration for the inception of the Second World War. After the defeat of the Germans in the war Europeans have almost stopped proclaiming the racial theory of Aryans. They are telling that Aryans are linguistic group, but they are still maintaining the theory of Aryan invasion in India for us.


Recently some scholars are trying to relate the origins of the Aryans in Anatolia to a small tribe of people called Kurgan people. They are thinking that these people dispersed from the area and developed the Endo-European languages and culture over a vast region of Europe and Asia. However, there are still lots of questions in relation to the Aryan language and culture which cannot be answered with this theory.


There is nowhere written in the Rigveda that the Aryans had migrated from elsewhere to India or invaded India, or that the Aryans are not of indigenous origin as we have mentioned earlier. There is no connotation showing racial essence for Aryans. Even it does not mention Aryans as nomadic and pastoral people anywhere in the Rigveda. The Rigveda rather presents the Aryans or ‘Ᾱrya’s as a civilized and sedentary people with owners of brick built houses and cities (buildings with thousand columns and thousand doors, as mentioned in the Rigveda), engaged in seafaring trade, agriculture, crafts and industry. The composers of the Rigveda portray their richness in literature and philosophy in many verses, which by no means could have derived from nomadic hordes.


If read with unprejudiced and careful mind, it can be easily understood that the wars demonstrated in many verses in the Rigveda clearly depict conflicts between same groups of people as almost all the names belonging to the conflicting groups show surprising similarities. The terms dāsa (meaning savage, barbarian, infidel, slave, servant, impious, etc.) and dasyu (meaning barbarian, robber, impious man, any outcast who has become so by neglect of the essential rites, etc.) often used for the enemies of the Vedic people are merely used to treat them with indignity or contempt and have no relation with any specific class of alien people or community. There is not any reference of fair complexion, protruded nose or blue eyes with the term ārya, which was attributed by the nineteenth and early twentieth century scholars. The Rigveda also mentions the rivers and lands of the north-western part of South Asia where the composers of the Rigveda reside. How does an ancient literature, so much rich in literary value and with so much vivid description of civilized life, can be a document of a nomadic or pastoral people or even a backward agrarian people?                       


Recent anthropological studies show that there was not any major population migration between fifth millennium B.C. to 800 B.C. in that region5. Thus from all points of judgment the theory of the entry of Aryan invaders to India in the middle of the second millennium B.C. from the west to civilize Indians has been proved totally false.


The modern archaeological explorations in the Indus Civilization, starting from the 1920s till now, in the north-western part of Indian sub-continent (encompassing the whole of Pakistan, and Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Indian Punjab, Rajasthan and Gujarat in India) shows that the urban civilization evolved and developed there from already an existing previous culture and society. Starting archaeological explorations from the 1970s many sites have been found clustering in the region of Ghaggar-Hakra River Valley, which was then called the Sarasvati River. The Sarasvati was once a huge river and flowing from the Himalaya discharged water into the Gulf of Cambay in the Early Harappan and Harappan periods. It dried up completely at the end of the Harappan Phase of Indus Civilization6. For the large concentration of sites around the dried bed of the Sarasvati River some scholars now term the Indus Valley Civilization as Indus-Sarasvati Civilization7 and the region is called Greater Indus Valley8 or Indus-Sarasvati Valley. The Indus Civilization is sometimes termed as the Harappan Civilization after the name of the famous site Harappa in Punjab in Pakistan. According to the phases of the civilization over time in history it is generally divided as Neolithic (ca. 7500 B.C. to 5000 B.C.), Calcolithic (ca. 5000 to 3400 B.C.), Early Harappan (ca. 3400 to 2600 B.C.), Mature Harappan or Harappan (ca. 2600 to 1900 B.C.) and Late Harappan (ca. 1900 to 1000 B.C.)9. Mature Harappan or Harappan is the urban phase of the Indus Civilization, sometimes called Harappan Civilization, will be our main focus of discussion.


It may not be so brilliant like the ancient Egypt or Mesopotamia in terms of building magnificent palaces and temples of the kings, but it reflects a society with surprisingly less division of social stratification and less inequality in distribution of wealth and power10. The Indus Civilization was evolved by peaceful means as demonstrated by the low quality and meager number of arms, both metal and non-metal, no depiction of war scene on any stone, terracotta or metal objects and no other remains of the archaeological evidences. It can be deduced from all the available evidences from the sites of the Indus-Sarasvati Valley that the builders of the civilization integrated large number of different tribes or social groups or communities into a common empire under a single leadership over a vast area by peaceful means. Due to the peaceful means of integration different traits and diversities along with the common similarities in the vast expanse of this civilization could have existed.


Cruelty in the civilizations was a common feature in the ancient world. It was a common practice in ancient China and Mesopotamia that when the kings died, the servants were also killed and buried with the kings to serve them afterlife. There was no such practice in the Indus Civilization throughout its life. Not a single structure has been found in the entire civilization that can be identified as a king’s palace, a temple or a royal tomb. The absence of palace indicates that there was no over-centralization of power and resources. It also indicates that there was not any permanent or hereditary king to rule the whole empire. That is why none could have accumulated extravagant resource and power and as a result could not erect any monumental structure to display one’s power and wealth.


We have seen how the reign of tyranny had been established by the kings of ancient civilizations in Egypt, Mesopotamia and China. It is proved from figures in the artifacts, remains in the graves and by the monumental architecture of palaces and temples. To build the great pyramids in Egypt the rulers utilized the labour of thousands or millions of slaves throughout the centuries. They must have applied coercion to extract their labour.


The presence of metal objects in the Indus Civilization sites were relatively evenly distributed throughout the habitation area, no definite association of metal artifacts found with any particular area of the Harappan site or type of architecture within a particular site11. This indicates that there was relatively even distribution of wealth among the populace and there was absence of over-centralized authority in the state and society.


It was normal in the ancient urban centres of other civilizations that the houses of the rich people were centralized around the ruler’s residence or palace and the less rich people lived at the outer periphery of the cities. The kings of the city states of Mesopotamia built elaborate palaces and magnificent temples to assert their power. In the Mesopotamian cities the poor used to live at the outside of the walled city12.


In Egypt no large cities identified, but the kings built great pyramids as burial monuments and monumental temples and erected sculptures representing accumulation of centralized power in the hands of pharaohs or kings.


In the Indus Civilization the houses of the rich and other classes of people were evenly distributed throughout the city area and there were no huts or thatched houses found in the Indus cities and towns. The cities and towns were elaborate and comprise the residences of almost all classes of people, straight roads and lanes, which were uncommon in the ancient civilizations. It introduced wider range of specialized groups, among which are specialist craft groups, potters, stone makers, metal workers in copper, bronze, silver and gold, jewelers, seal cutters, bangle-makers, bead-makers, sculptors, and many more. Another specialized activity for cities, towns and villages were construction of carts and wheels. There must have been boat-builders and sailors who participated in the long distance trade. The cities also had groups of people who had been involved in writing, measuring, surveying, urban planning and religious and ritual activities. All the indications of social complexity are evidenced in the cities and towns of the Indus Civilization, with their buildings, layouts and metal, terracotta and other objects. Covered drains in the cities and towns were common in the Indus-Sarasvati Valley, indicates that the rulers were careful to provide the urban amenity for the maximum number of people living in the cities and towns.


Examination of skeletons from the major sites indicates that there was less difference in pattern of growth and development, caused by nutrition and diets, between the higher status and the lower status of people in the Harappan Civilization13. It was common in other civilizations in the ancient world that there was presence of dietary stresses in the lower status of population. This indicates the presence of an affluent society with less discrimination of wealth and power in the Indus-Sarasvati Valley. Main large urban centres of the Indus Civilization are Harappa (76 hectare), Mohenjodaro (83 hectare), Ganeriwala (81.5 hectare) and Rakhigarhi (80 hectare) 14. No one of these cities can be identified as capital, as there was not any indication of centralization of wealth and power in any certain city or there is no big difference in size among the cities. All of these traits indicate a society with certain extent of democracy.


The Harappan society was also utilitarian as known from the use of metal objects. Here the people used the metal objects for necessity in practical life, not for decoration or demonstration of status in the society like other ancient urban civilizations15.


The Harappan script was present even at the smallest sites including other cultural traits. The archeologists mention that all the essential characteristics of the urban centre are duplicated at smaller sites, including the literacy, known from the presence of scripts on seals and other objects. At Dholavira it was found a sign board at the city gate with depiction of Indus scripts (the scripts were about 37 cm high and 25 – 27 cm wide) 16. This indicates that large number of people of the Indus Civilization was literate; probably there was some message to the traders or strangers who used to come to the city. This is the earliest known evidence of use of sign board in the ancient history of mankind. Without deciphering the Indus texts it is difficult to understand how the Harappan cities and towns were functioning and how such a vast empire was administered. Fire alters, which is associated with the Aryans, were found in some of the Harappan sites, in Banawali, Kalibangan and Lothal. Equally, the seals depicted with Swastika, another sign associated with the Aryans, were also found in Indus Civilization.


In a book, The Aryans and the Indus Civilization written by both of us (Shamsuzzoha Manik and Shamsul Alam Chanchal)17, published in 1995, it has been deduced from the Rigveda, the archaeology and anthropology of Indus Civilization that the Aryans are the indigenous people of the north-western part of the South Asia and built the Indus Civilization. After the decline of the civilization between 2000 to 1700 B.C.18 they dispersed in hordes in the west to Iran, middle east, central Asia and all over Europe, and on the other hand, in the east to the Ganges Valley and southern India.


In the book it has been derived that the Rigveda is the document of a civil war that occurred at the end of the Harappan Phase of the Indus Civilization, which accelerated the demise of the civilization. In the context of certain social and economic crisis at the last phase of the civilization the depreciated and discontent part of the society started reforming the existing Indus state religion and incepted the civil war. As Rigveda is the product of a religious reformation movement that led to a civil war and it was composed by the priests, naturally there are relatively few manifestations of Indus society and culture in the Rigveda. In contrary to the existing theory we have shown that the Aryans from the Indus-Sarasvati Valley civilized some part of Iran, West Asia, Europe and continued the civilization in a lower and degenerated form in the society of South Asia. The book is presently out of market, but can be available free of cost at the website Bangarashtra (Library section of or    


That the Aryans, who formed the Indus Civilization, were the most civilized people of the ancient world can be understood best when we put together the evidences of the Rigveda and other ancient literatures of India and the archaeological remains of Indus and other civilizations and make a comparative study. We strongly pronounce that they are indigenous people who developed the civilization through a long continued social and cultural process of at least five thousand years before the inception of the Mature Harappan Civilization at around 2600 B.C. There is no doubt that by making a false and obscure interpretation of the Rigveda the western scholars during India’s colonial days under the British rule intentionally made the false theory on the Aryan issue to deprive the people of India of the pride of being the possessor of a brilliant civilization of the ancient world. Thus a book of the most civilized people of the ancient world has become the book of a pastoral, nomadic and barbarian people! The people who were indigenous to South Asia have been made invaders or immigrants to South Asia!


To understand the Indus Civilization we need use the Rigveda keeping in mind that it is the product of a religious reformation movement and composed by a faction of the priests of the Indus Civilization. So, it will be a wrong approach to try to match every aspect of the Rigveda with the Indus Civilization. During the time of composition of the Rigveda the civilization was already in the declining stage. It was important for the priests of the Rigveda to compose hymns to introduce new elements and practices of religion and deities with a view to introducing new Vedic religion. So, there is a big possibility that at least some of the important deities in the Rigveda should not be the important deities in the Indus-Sarasvati society and state.


Every successful religion comes as an effort to reform the existing old one. Otherwise, the people of the concerned society do not accept it. The Vedic religion is also no exception. In order to reform the existing religion of the Indus Civilization the Vedic reformers had to accept many old elements and at the same time they had to introduce many new and even foreign elements. Thus the Vedic reformers practically established a new religion by replacing the old one.  


The Vedic reformers introduced a new religion where war would play a major role to fulfill their needs. But we know from the archaeological evidences that the Indus Civilization evolved and expanded over a vast region primarily by non-violent methods unlike any other civilizations on earth. It seems that at least for a major time-frame of this magnificent civilization violence or coercion and warfare played a minor or insignificant role. But a time came when the foundation of the non-violent development and expansion of the civilization started collapsing due to crisis from within the civilization19 and as a result the society felt the need to adopt violent methods. It is easily understandable that the founders of Indus Civilization had to develop an ideology of non-violence in order to sustain the peaceful or non-violent way of building and protecting the civilization. For the common people religion should have played the major role in the ideological frame. In this situation the Vedic reformers had to reform the existing religion in order to mobilize the people for war or violent methods. Thus, in many respects the Vedic reformation separated itself from the past legacy of Indus Civilization.  


In order to have a clearer understanding of the Rigveda, we can compare the Vedic religion with Islam. Muhammad introduced a new religion in Arabia by reforming the existing pagan religion. He made Allah, the chief god of the pagan Quraish and other pagan people living in and around Mecca as the only god and rejected all other gods and goddesses and prohibited the existing image worship. In the process he absorbed many old beliefs and practices of the native pagans as well as introduced many foreign beliefs and practices of the Christians and Jews in his new religion. Since Islam is the product of Arab land, it reflects much of its social reality. But does Islam or its book the Quran reflect the society in its entirety of the time of its birth? Despite having many similarities there is a gulf of difference between the two Arabias, the one before Islam and the other after Islam. Despite having the same language and some common traits, the two Arab societies belong to two different and conflicting worlds. Still the Quran, the scripture of Islam, helps us to have an idea of the contemporary Arab society.  


Such is the case with the Vedic religion or the Rigveda. Through the Rigveda we can have only a partial view of the Indus Civilization. But of course, that the Rigveda is the product of a group of indigenous people of Indus Civilization can easily be understood through an unbiased and careful study of the Rigveda.          


During the religious reformation movement carried out by the Rigvedic priests, we can find another religious reformation movement, initiated by Zarathustra, whose scripture is the Avesta20. Despite having gone through many changes by calamities in history the Avesta can be identified as a scripture that was originally formed in Indus-Sarasvati region. The Avesta clearly depicts a parallel religious reformation movement in the Indus-Sarasvati Valley region at the same time, which was aimed to confront the Vedic reformation movement21. It is interesting to note that both the contending Rigvedic and Avestan factions boastfully claimed themselves to be Aryans and gave bad names to the opponent factions. Like in the Rigveda it is impractical to find the exact picture of the Indus Civilization in the Avesta also. However, it should be obvious that both the documents are the products of two confronting religious reformation movements in the Indus-Sarasvati Valley which led to a great civil war throughout the collapsing vast state.


Now it is understandable that after the decline of Indus Civilization the Avestan Aryans carried the heritage of building a great empire to Iran. However, in a changed situation the method of building a great empire through relatively peaceful means pursued by Indus Civilization no longer continued in Iran. Still the Avestans continued the spirit of accommodating different social groups, religious ideas and cultural practices of Indus Civilization in ancient Iran. In later history even at times of its highest expansion the Avestan Iranian empire applied the same principle of accommodation or tolerance throughout its vast empire. The ancient Iranians continued the pride of being Aryan and named their country Iran derived from their identity as Aryan.


Studies in recent archaeological findings and studies in anthropology, ecology and surveys by modern means reveal that the Indus Civilization was a glorious civilization in the remote past that evolved through peaceful means from previous cultures and societies within the area, had affluence in the society with relatively even distribution of wealth, had vast number of literate population and existence of some form of democracy in the society and state administration. These factors made the civilization unparallel in the ancient world. The relatively peaceful and modest means of state administration and giving relatively less emphasis on coercion and more emphasis on the welfare of the common people by the Indian rulers in the later Indian societies till before the Islamic invasion in the mediaeval time surely have descended from the heritage of the Indus Civilization.  


Now we can easily identify Buddhism and Jainism to be the continuation of that heritage may be in a changed form in a changed situation. In fact, no great civilization dies without handing down its legacies to the next generations of civilizations. A civilization like Indus, the greatest of all the ancient civilizations with having such a long background and lifespan, must have devolved its legacies and spread its influence over a vast expanse either through migrations or through contacts in different forms. This is true more for the subcontinent and Iran where we will find that despite going through many disruptions, degradations and changes the cultural continuity of Indus Civilization has survived longer than in any other place on earth.


The power of this civilization has resulted in the richness, longevity and influence of Vedic or Sanskrit language in the subcontinent and in the development and spread of so many cognate languages over a vast expanse both inside the subcontinent and beyond. In fact, language is a product of society. So, a developed language reflects a developed society. If we have to believe that without having the background of an enormously powerful civilization some barbarian, nomadic or backward agrarian people could have created such a rich and powerful language like that of the Rigveda, the parent of so many languages spreading over an enormous space, we will have to believe in divine design also and explain anything as God’s will.


The theory of Aryan invasion in India was established to denounce the truth of history, which still continues to do so even after so much progress in the archaeological explorations in the Indus-Sarasvati Valley and the studies on the ancient literatures including the Rigveda. Once it was a part of the agenda of the western rulers to keep the people of the colonies subjugated. The western scholars implemented the agenda by theorizing the knowledge to suit their purpose. It was necessary for them to deprive the people of their colonies of the pride of having a glorious past. So, the theory of Aryan invasion in India was invented.


The Indian subcontinent or South Asia is no longer a colony. But the scholarship of imperialist politics is still continuing its domination over epistemology. So, history is still being written in the same old colonial fashion in order to continue the colonial legacy both in the intellectual or mental and material fields.      


The developed and industrialized nations, who now exist proudly on earth, attained their development only because they had aimed high and had pride for their own history. There was a time when Europe was lost in the Dark Age of ignorance for a millennium. But before that the Greeks and the Romans had built brilliant civilizations in Europe. By the end of the thirteenth century and from the beginning of the fourteenth century the Europeans started discovering the old knowledge of the Greeks and started taking pride in their Greek and Roman heritage. Thus they shattered the fetters of darkness of mediaeval age and began their renaissance. Similarly, if we want to develop the nations of South Asia and the adjoined region including Iran, inhabited by the inheritors of Indus Civilization and Aryans with dignity and freedom, we need to find out the source of our real pride in history. There we find our brilliant heritage of Indus Civilization, built by the Aryans, indigenous to this soil.     


Now, we need to overthrow the deceitful theory of Aryan invasion in India and establish the truth of our own history by building the theory of our independent knowledge. Our heritage of the Indus Civilization and the Aryans, the builders of this magnificent civilization, can be a great source of inspiration and pride for way forward to the new horizon of our future civilization. The realization of the Indus Civilization and its culture and people from a new perspective can be the starting point of our Renaissance.





1.      Jonathan Mark Kenoyer, Ancient Cities of the Indus Valley Civilization, Oxford University Press and American Institute of Pakistan Studies, Karachi, 1998, p. 17.

2.      M. Rafique Mughal, “Further Evidence of the Early Harappan Culture in the Greater Indus valley: 1970-90”, in, South Asian Studies 6, 1990, pp. 177-197.

3.      The Rigveda has been translated into English by several writers. One them is translated by Ralph T.H. Griffith, The Hymns of the Ṛgveda, Motilal Banarsidass Publishers Pvt. Ltd, Delhi, 1973.

4.      There are discussions by several scholars to place the so-called advent of Aryans in India during the periods of 1500 B.C. to 1200 B.C.  

5.      Kenneth A.R. Kennedy, “Have Aryans been identified in the prehistoric skeletal record from South Asia? Biological anthropology and concepts of ancient races”, in, George Erdosy, ed., The Indo-Aryans of Ancient South Asia: Language, Material Culture and Ethnicity, Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi, First Published 1995, pp. 46-61.

6.      D.P. Agrawal and R.K. Sood, “Ecological Factors and the Harappan Civilization”, in, Harappan Civilization: A Contemporary Perspective”, ed. Gregory L. Posssehl, Oxford & IBH Publishing Co. in Collaboration with American Institute of Indian Studies, New Delhi, 1982, pp. 223-226.

7.      S.P. Gupta, “The Indus-Sarasvatī Civilization: Beginnings and Developments, in, The Aryan Debate, ed., Thomas R. Trautmann, Oxford University Press, New Delhi, 2005, pp. 157-165.

8.      M. Rafique Mughal, “Further Evidence of the Early Harappan Culture in the Greater Indus Valley: 1971-1990,” in, South Asian Studies 6 (1990), p.176.

9.      Jean-Francois Jarrige, “Chronology of the Early Periods of the Greater Indus as seen from Mehrgarh, Pakistan,” in, South Asian Archaeology 1981, ed., Bridget Allchin, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1984, pp. 22-23.

M. Rafique Mughal, Further Evidence of the Early Harappan Culture in the Greater Indus Valley: 1971-1990, in, South Asian Studies 6 (1990), p. 177-197.

Jim G. Shaffer & Diane Lichtenstein, 1999: “Migration, philology and South Asian archaeology”, in, Aryan and Non-Aryan in South Asia: Evidence, Interpretation and Ideology: Proceedings of the International Seminar on Aryan and Non-Aryan in South Asia, ed. by Johannes Bronkhorst and Madhav M. Deshpande, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, pp. 244-256.

10.  Jim G. Shaffer, 1993: “Harappan Culture: A Reconsideration”, in, Harappan Civilization: A Recent Perspective, ed. by Gregory L. Possehl, IBH Publishing Co. Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi, Second Revised Edition, p. 48.

11.  Ibid, p. 47.

12.  Susan Pollock, Ancient Mesopotamia, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1999, pp. 46-52.

13.  M. Rafique Mughal, “The Harappan “Twin Capitals” And Reality”, Journal of Central Asia, Vol. XIII, No. 1 (Juluy, 1990), pp. 158-159

        J.M. Kenoyer, Ancient Cities of the Indus Valley Civilization (1998), pp. 50-53.

14.  Gregory L. Possehl, ed., Harappan Civilization: A Contemporary Perspective, Oxford & IBH Publishing Co., New Delhi, 1982.

In 2000 and 2001, a submerged city was discovered by sonar underwater landscape testing in Gulf of Cambay, near Gujarat, with giant geometric structures resembling those remains found in ancient cities in Indus Civilization at a depth of 20 to 40 meters. Continued sonar results displayed miles of this city like appearance. The sonar results also showed deep channels indicating the area known as the Gulf of Cambay or Khambat once extended further out to sea and had rivers or estuaries running through the land.


Under water dredging from the area revealed a piece of wood, with many artifacts, appearing to be man-made due to its cylindrical shape and centered hole, was tested first and came back with a date of 9500 years old, or 7,500 B.C. The wood fragment was tested separately at another facility, and shown a date of only 5,000 B.C. Later in 2003 and 2004 more underwater dredging was performed and pottery, beads, more wood and semi-precious stones were collected from the site.

The numerous sea bed landscape surveys showed large temple like structures, buildings placed on huge foundations similar to the Harrapan style, columns, domes and even what appeared to be staircases.

Turbidity and high velocity of sea water makes it difficult to carry out any detailed under water surveys and thereby research on this site. Before reaching any conclusion we have to wait for further field studies on this site and published documents.

15.  Jim G. Shaffer, 1993: “Harappan Culture: A Reconsideration”, in, Harappan Civilization: A Recent Perspective, ed. by Gregory L. Possehl, IBH Publishing Co. Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi, Second Revised Edition, p. 48.

16.  Jonathan Mark Kenoyer, Ancient Cities of the Indus Valley Civilization, Oxford University Press and American Institute of Pakistan Studies, Karachi, 1998, p. 53.

17.  Shamsuzzoha Manik and Shamsul Alam Chanchal, The Aryans and the Indus Civilization, Dinratri Prakashani, Dhaka, 1995.

18.   Bridget and Raymond Allchin, in, Origins of a Civilization: The Prehistory and Early Archaeology of South Asia, Published by Viking in Penguin Books India (P), Ltd., 1997, pp.208-213.

19.  We have discussed the causes of the crisis in our book The Aryans and the Indus Civilization.

20.  The scripture of the Zoroastrian religion, the Avesta, has been translated into English by James Darmesteter, The Zend Avesta,  Second Edition, Oxford 1895, Sacred Books of the East series, vol. IV & XIII.

21.  The comparative study of the Rigveda and the Avesta has led us to a very important conclusion that the two scriptures are the products of two simultaneous and opposing religious reformation movements of the Indus Civilization during its declining phase. At first the Vedic reformation took place to replace the traditional Indus religion. The Vedic reformation rejected the traditional non-violent methods and adopted violent methods to bring the desired change in the social conditions. In fact, the population including the ruling class of the civilization became divided during its declining phase.  It seems that a minority section of the ruling class went for change and violence. So, they patronized or inspired the Vedic reformation of the old religion to mobilize people.  From the same study we have also deduced that the Vedic reformation forced the majority of the ruling class to patronize another reformation of the old religion. Thus a counter reformation took place, which led to the formation of the Avestan religion by Zarathustra. In order to counter the Vedic war Avestan religion also had to abandon the general principle of non-violence of the traditional Indus religion and society. Thus a prolonged civil war began that ended in the death of an already dying civilization.    


In fact, the conditions which allowed or even compelled the founders and leaders of the civilization to pursue the non-violent or peaceful way of formation and development of society and state did no more exist in its declining phase. So, non-violence could not cope any more with the changed situation. In this situation a reformation was necessary or became inevitable to unleash the forces of war and destruction from within the society. That was done from the two ends by both the Vedic and the Avestan reforms. Thus in most cases war started playing a dominant or important role in the subsequent history of the Aryans, wherever they went.


The conflict between the Vedic and the Avestan people depicted a deep impression on the later Indian literature. The mythology of India is filled with the memory of this conflict. Innumerable stories of Purāṇas or myths telling about the conflicts between Suras (gods) and Asuras (demons or opponents of the gods) remind us of this remote past conflict between the Vedic and the Avestan factions.  


When we published our English book The Aryans and the Indus Civilization in 1995, we could not yet reach the above mentioned conclusion that the Avestan reformation also took place in Indus-Sarasvati river valley. So, we told there that after migrating from the greater Indus valley to Iran the Aryans made another reformation there, which led to the formation of the Avesta. Further study led us to the conclusion that Vedic and Avestan both the religious reform movements took place simultaneously as two opposing movements in the Indus-Sarasvati Valley during the declining phase of the civilization. We have discussed about this new realization in our Bengali book Arzajan O Sindhu Sabhyata (The Aryan People and the Indus Civilization), published in 2003, which is richer and more elaborate than the English book. The Bengali book is posted for free reading and downloading at the Bengali Library section of (in Bengali Boishakhi font). We are intending to publish an English version of the book.


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