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Topic : Harappans and Vedic People: Are They Connected?

GS-1 Mains  : Art and Culture

Revision Notes

Archaeological Investigation

  • Vasant Shinde is researching a link between the Harappan civilization and Vedic people.
  • Collaboration with Sanskrit scholars to understand Rigvedic texts for comparison with archaeological finds.

Evidence for Connection

  • DNA Analysis: Recent findings suggest Harappans were indigenous (4,600-year-old skeleton).
  • Ritual Platforms: Excavations at Rakhigarhi revealed fire altars, aligning with Rigvedic descriptions. (Vedic period origin debated: 1500-2000 BC vs. Shinde’s proposed 2500 BC)
  • Saraswati River: The Rigveda frequently mentions the Saraswati, where many Harappan settlements were found (1200 out of 2000). Settlements declined and re-emerged further away (2400 years ago). (Modern Saraswati: Ghagghar-Hakra river)

Debate on Animal Bones

  • Horse vs. Wild Ass: Debate surrounds animal bones found in Surkotada (Gujarat). Hungarians claim domesticated horses, while Harvard suggests wild asses. Terracotta figurines from Lothal and Mohenjo-daro hint at horses, but evidence remains inconclusive.

South Asian Ancestor Theory

  • NCERT Revision: Harappans were indigenous (dating back to 10,000 BC).
  • Sanskrit Origin: Shinde proposes Sanskrit, possibly the base of Indo-European languages, originated in India.
  • Genetic Findings: DNA analysis from Rakhigarhi skeleton shows no connection to Steppe or Iranian populations. Genetic chronology traces Harappan ancestry back to 10,000 BC with a split from hunter-gatherers near the Iran-Afghanistan border.
  • Modern Indian DNA: Analysis of 3,000 modern South Asians revealed genetic similarities to the Harappan woman. This suggests most Indians have Harappan ancestry, challenging previous notions of separate ancient ancestor populations in North and South India.
  • Unified Ancestry: Shinde proposes a common “ancient ancestor south Asian” for all Indians based on genetic evidence.


Source : https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/archaeologists-sanskrit-scholars-join-hands-to-decipher-rigveda-text-seeking-evidence-that-harappans-and-vedic-people-were-the-same/article68240285.ece#:~:text=The%20Rigveda’s%20description%20of%20life,point%20to%20such%20a%20relationship

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