Aryan Invasion and Fall of the Indus Empire

Nomadic Aryans invaded India ca. 1500 BC destroying the Indus valley civilization and exterminating the Indus inhabitants. Thus ended the most brilliant civilization of the ancient world. Subsequent to this invasion, India was plunged into 2000 years of the Vedic Dark Ages. When cities were built again, it was under Scytho-Greek influence. The ziggurat of the Indus disappeared forever.

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Aryan Invasion and Fall of the Indus Empire

Table of Contents

Around 1500 BC, the Indus civilization came, after 2000 years of prosperity, to a comparatively abrupt end. Conclusive evidence shows that the reason for this decline, in fact the sole reason for it, was an invasion by highly barbaric Aryans. They invaded, destroying the Indus cities and exterminating the native peoples.

1. Archaeological Evidence

1.1 Thick Ash Layers

Thick ash layers occur in the upper strata of many Indus cities. At Nal the last phase of the Zhob-ware was burnt down so much so that the mound is known as the Sohr Damb, or the Red Mound, from the reddening due to fire. At Dabar Kot the upper 6 feet of the tell show 4 thick ash layers that indicate repeated destruction by conflagration and the RG V encrusted ware is associated with the last settlements of Harappa [ Piggott 215 ].
At the Rana Ghundai mound everywhere overlying the foundation level of the RG III c phase there are pockets of ash. Above the RG III c phase the pottery is markedly different from the preceding type, the RG IV phase pottery being painted with coarse bands. RG IV was again destroyed by fire, and the RG V phase is marked by another change in pottery. The RG V pottery is unpainted and contains patterns in relief [ Piggott p. 214 ].

1.2 Fractured Skulls

At Mohenjo-daro, Harappa and Chanhu-daro, skeletons/fragments of skeletons indicate violent massacres in the final stages of the cities' history. Huddled skeletons of persons murdered in the streets indicate that the mass dyings were not due to poisonings etc. but were violent.
-- [ Piggott p. 145 ]

1.3 Aryan Weaponry

Copper axe-adzes are intrusive ar Harappan sites ( Harappa, Shahi-tump and Chanhu-daro ) but are similar to those found at North Persian sites ( Hissar III, Shah Tepe, Turang Tepe ) and Akkadian sites ( Assur, Sialk B cemetary : here the specimens are probably as late as the 9th century BC ).
-- [ Piggott p.228 ]
Swords 1.5 foot long and strengthened at the mid-rib are non-Harappan and are found only in the later strata of the cities. These swords at Mohenjo-daro have a tang and rivet to hold the handle exactly as found in Palestine, where such implements are associated with the Hyksos 1800-1500 BC
-- [ Piggott p. 229 ]
Copper harpoons found in the indus Valley are similar to those found in Europe and elsewhere in Asia.
-- [ Piggott p. 237 ]

1.4 Flooding by Aryan Destruction of Indus Dams

Signs of flooding were discovered in the Indus cities, mainly in the form of silt deposits. It was thus considered that this flooding explantaion could explain the fall of the Indus cities and was considered as the most viable alternative to the idea of an Aryan invasio. It was subsequently discovered, however, that flooding had been pointed out as a consequence several decades before the actual discovery of flooding. It is now accepted that flooding was caused by the Aryans' destruciton of the Indus dam and irrigation system, and was merely another aspect of the genocide.

+ He smote Vrtra who encompassed the waters [ RgV VI.20.2 ]
+ He smote Vrtra who enclosed the waters, like a tree with the bolt [ RgV II.14.2 ]
+ He is referred to as `conquering the waters' ( apsujit ), which is his prime attribute.
+ Indra let loose the streams after slaying Vrtra [ RgV IV.19.8 ]
+ He cleaves the mountian, making the streams flow [ RgV I.57.6; X.89.7 ], even with the sound of his bolt [ RgV VI.27.1]
-- [ RgV I.57.6; II.14.2; IV.19.8; VI.20.2; VI.27.1; X.89.7 ] [ ST 368 ]

In Sanskrit, `vrtra' is an `obstacle', and denotes a barrage or blockage [ ISISH 70-71]. It is thus a word for `dam'. Dams now called Gebr-band are found on many water-courses of the western parts of the Indus region. Aryans shattered the dam system of the Indus, leading to silt deposits in Mohenjo-daro [ S & T 369].

+ When he [Indra] laid open the great mountain, he let loose the torrents and slew the Danava, he set free the pent up springs, the udder of the mountain. [ RgV V.32.1-2 ]
+ He slew the Danava, shattered the great mountian, broke open the well, set free the pent up waters. [ RgV I.57.6; V.33.1 ]
+ He releases the streams which are like impisoned cows [ RgV I.61.10 ]
+ He won the cows and soma and made the 7 rivers flow. [ RgV I.32.12; II.12.12 ]
+ He releases the imprisoned waters [ RgV I.57.6; I.103.2 ]
+ He dug out channels for the streams with his bolt [ RgV II.15.3 ], let the flood of waterrs flow into the sea. [ RgV II.19.3 ]
+ He caused the waters pent up by Vrtra to flow [ RgV III.26.6; IV.17.1 ]
-- [ MacDonnell ] [S & T 368-9 quotg Macdonell ]

Another verse explicitly metnions him as a destroyer of dams:

rinag rodhamsi krtrimani
= " he removed artificial barriers"
-- [ RgV 2.15.8 ]

Now, rodhas = "dam" elsewhere in the Rig Veda and in later Sanskrit [ S & T 369 ]. The above evidence, taken directly from the Rig Veda and not from any secondary source, is sufficient to implacate the Aryans as the destroyers of the dam systems of the ancient Indus.

1.5 Aryan Settlements

Aryan settlements occur atop the destroyed cities towards the end of the civlization. THey are primitive brick structures made of material taken from the ruins of the preceding towns.

1.3 Aryan Weaponry

Aryan weaponry, including the horse and chariot occur towards the end of the Indus cities' history.

2. Anthropological

2.1 Northern Dravidians

Several Dravidian tribes still inhabit isolated parts of northern India. The Brahui inhabit parts of Baluchistan and stil speak a Dravidian language. The Bhils inhabit parts of southern Rajastan. The black Gonds inhabit parts of central India about the Vindhyans.

2.2 The Black Sudroids ; Dravidians and African Race

The Aryans and Dravidians today still retain by and large, the original features. The Aryans have fair-pale skin, leptorrhine (thin) noses and straight hair. The Dravidians have broad noses, curly-wavy hair and dark-black skin. They are related to the Africans [ Winters* ]. [ Risley ].

2.3 White Indo-Aryan Caucasoids

The Indo-Aryans belong to the Caucasoid or white race and are very similar to Latins. The Indo-Aryan languages belong to the Indo-European family of languages. Racially the Indo-Aryans posess white to fair skin, thin noses and lips and straight hair.

3. Literary

3.1 Sanskrit Literature

References abound to an Aryan invasion in Sanskrit literature.

The ancient singer praises the god who "destroyed the Dasyans and protected the Aryan colour." [ Rg.V. III.34.9 ] [ Ann. 114 ] and "the thunderer who bestowed on his white friends the fields, bestowed the sun, bestowed the waters." [ Rg.V. I.100.18 ] [ Ann. 114 ] Numerous are the references to "the black skin" `Krishnam Vacham' [ Rg.V. IX.41.1, Sama Veda I.491, II.242 ] [ Ann. 114 ] which is mentioned with abhorrence. Again " stromy gods who rush on like furious bulls and scatter the black skin." [ Rg.V. IX.73.5 ] The singers mention "the black skin, the hated of Indra", being swept ourtof heaven [ RgV. IX.73.5 ] "Indra protected in battle the Aryan worshipper, he subdued the lawless for Manu, he conqured the black skin." [ Rg.V. I.130.8 ] [ Ann.114 ] The sacrificer poured out thanks to his god for "scattering the slave bands of black descent", and for stamping out " the vile Dasyan colour." [ Rg.V. II.20.7, II.12.4 ] [ ANn. 115 ] "Dasam varnam adharam" [ Rg.V. II.12.4 ] [ Muir part I, p.43, II, p.284, 323 etc. ] [ Ann. 114 ff ] Rakshas are aboriginals
- Ravana = Rakshasendra [ Ann. 111 ]
- Rakshas = Ceylon aborigines since Chinese tracvellers and CInghales chronilces , Rakko or Yakko in the ernalculr [ An. 111 ]

Destruction of Cities -
The Aryan gods are proudly presented by the Vedic "sages" as the destroyeres of cities. Of these Indra, later considered an incarnation of the God Vishnu, is the prime culprit. Indra is called Puroha or Purandhara, `sacker of cities' - [ S & T 366 ] Indra overthrew 100 Puras made of stone ( asmanmayi ) for his worshipper Divodasa [ RgV 4.30.20 ], evidently belonging to Sambara who is a Dasa ( non-Aryan/demon ) of the mountain [ RgV 6.26.5 ] -- [ Chanda ] [ S & T p.364 ]

No regard was shown to the life of non-Aryans. An Aryan poet says,

" Ye mighty ones [ Asvins ] what do you do there;
why do you stay there among the people wh are held in high esteem through not offering sacrifices;
ignore them, destroy the life of the Panis "
-- [ RgV I.83.3 ] [ S & T 365 ]

Indra's Destruction of Harappa : The Vedic Harappa Hymn

The famous Harappa hymn of the Rig Veda describes with praise Indra's destruction of Harappa :

" In aid of Abhyavartin Cayamana, Indra destroyed the seed of Virasakha.
"At Hariyupiyah he smote the vanguard of the Vrcivans, and the rear fled frighted."
-- [ Rg.V. XXVII.5 ]
This Hariyupiyah is likely to be the Harappa of tte Indus valley.

3.2 Dravidian Literature

The date of 1500 BC corresponds to the end of a sangam period when invasions by barbarians occurred.

4. Sociological

4.1 Caste System

The caste system is another `fossil' of the Aryan conquest, with the lower and exterior castes representing the aboriginal inhabitants that managed to survivie the Aryan slaughter. Exactly the same occurred in other parts of the world where one race has subjugated others, eg. Latin America ( Iberians conquered Aboriginals ), USA ( Anglo-Saxons ruling over Hispanics and Afro-Americans ) etc. These include the Adivasis ( aboriginal tribals ), the Dalits ( semi-settled aborigianls ) and the Sudras ( the lowest caste ). However, some of the Sudras were imported under Muslim rule from Southern India.

The caste system consists of several different "varnas" ( Sans. "colors"), three of which are Aryan. The lowest caste, the Shudra, consists of aboriginals, as well as the exterior untouchable castes.

4.2 Sati and Child Marriage

The Aryans introduced tremendous restrictions on the life of women, including sati and child mariage. According to Aryan "Hindu" (ie. Vaishnavite) scriptures, a man must marry a maiden one-third his age.

4.3 Cow-Worship

Cow-worship is another feature introduced by the Aryans. This probably arose because the Aryans were nomads and hence required the cow.

5. Theological

5.1 Shiva and Shakti

Siva is the god of the Dravidians. Vishnu is the god of the Aryans

The star-calendar used by the Aryan-Vaishnavites today was adopted from the Semito-Dravidian Indus Valley civilization, since:
  1. It is not referred to in the Rig Veda or Avesta
  2. It was compiled when the Indus Valley was at its peak, before the Aryans came to India. [ Parpola ]
The Indus people practiced astronomy because the streets are oriented towards the cardinal directions, presupposing the use of the sun-stick. A seal from Mohenjo-daro depicts an Indus deity with a star on either side of his haed in the fashion of the Near East. Inanna-Ishtar, the goddess of love and war, for example, was associated with the planet Venus [ Parpola ]. This may have led to the cult of worshipping the planets, the astral religion of India.

5.2 Fire Altars

Fire altars occur late towards the Indus cities history. They are primitve in nature, constructed from material from the destroyed Indus cities.

6. Global Aryan Invasions

Aryans invaded several parts of the world, putting an end to various brilliant civilizations. Babylonia was destroyed by Kassites, Hittites and Mittani, Egypt was devastated by the Hyksos, and Minoan culture by the Dorians.

7. Rival Theories

Several other explanations have been put forth to explain the demise of the Indus civilisation besides the Aryan invasion. These are:

These have severe problems, however.

Cometary Impact . The problems with this theory are:

  1. No crater/craters have been found with an age matching 1500 BC, nor of the requisite size. The size is narrowly constrained, for if the impact was too large, catastrophe would have been global, while if it were too small, the effect would have been negligible.
  2. No iridium anomaly , the characteristic of all impacts from the mammoth K/T Chiczulub crater [ ALvarez ] to the Sudbury intrusive, has been found in the Indus valley of the required age.
  3. No shocked glasses , or tektites with the requisite shock deformation features, have been found anywhere near the Indus valley.
Thus, although a cometary candidate for the extinction has been found in Comet Enke [ ], this is a far-fetched theory, to say the least. The destruciton of several civilizations simultaneously requires a global catastrophe. But some civilizations, eg. in Central and South AMerica, and China, survived the 1500 BC discontinuity. Asteroidal impacts tend to leave larger craters and more iridium, so the arguments against this variant of impact apply more forcefully.

Flooding . Undisputed evidence of flooding has been found in the form of silt deposits and barrage system erected as a defensive measure. Flooding thyus remained a serious candidate until it was pointed out that several Vedic scholars had realized that the Aryans had destroyed the irrigation and dam system of the Indus. Thus flooding is a natural consequence of Aryan invasion and not an independant mechanism.

Internal Decline

1. To suppose that, after two millenia of stability some internal revolt was the cause behind the downfall is stretching the imagination.

2. No evidence has been found for this, and when indisputable evidence of violence perpetrated with new weapons exists, it is disregarding evidence.

Other Opponents

Although the following may seem rather harsh, yet it is necessary to expose the real designs of some of the opponents of one of the most well-established theories of all time.

The opponents of the concept of Aryan invasion fall into 3 categories:
  1. Aryan Hindu Fanatics
  2. Neo-Nazis
These mostly have ulterior motives. The former oppose any vilification of their "gods" who are implicated in the worst massacres and atrocities recorded in history. They wish to see the Vedas, in acutality the songs of promitive cow-herds, as the repository of all science. The latter do not want to accept that their ancestors perpetrated such crimes. One religious fanatic who opposed the notion of Aryan invasion during its infancy was Narendra Nath Datta, later known as Vivekananda. All he could do was to vilify honest schloars:
" And what your European pandits say about the Aryan's sweeping fron some foreign land, snatching away the alnds of the aboriginals and settling India by exterminating them, is all pure nonsense, foolish talk. Strange, that our Indian scholars too say amen to them, and all these monstrous lies are taught to our boys. This is very bad indeed.
In what Veda, in what Sukta, so you find that the Aryans came to India from a foreign country? Where do you get the idea that they slaughtered the wild aborigines? What do you gain by talking such nonsense?"
-- [ ` Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda ', 1963, p.534-535 ] [ Panda 70 ]

Another fundamentalist who opposed the notion of Aryan invasions is Srviastava, who apparently only conducted his research to prove the innocence of the Aryan gods :

"Indra, therefore stands completely exonerated"
-- [ Srivastava 441 ]

Later, lacking any scientific evidence whatsoever, he degenerates into vilifying Wheeler himself :

" .. we see him as a brgiadier in the British army during WW II, we feel he could not interpret the dubious evidence of Mohenjo-daro and Harappa in any other manner "
-- [ Srivas 442 ]

A.K.Pateria writes,
" Both Dayananda and Aurobindo refuted in clear terms the historical doctrines of Aryan invasion and struggle of Aryans with Dravidian, which was originated by the Westerners and has even been popularised among a large section of the Indian Historians."
-- [ A.K.Pateria, `Modern Commentators of the Veda', p.63 ] [ Panda 70 ]
Who this Dayananda was must be fully exposed.

The Aryans were so barbaric that they did not even have a word for brick in Sanskrit [ S & T 372 ] [ Woolley ]


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  2. `Hymns of the Rig-veda', R.T.H.Griffith, 1896

  3. `The Rig-Veda: An Anthology', W.D.O'Flaherty 1981

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  5. [ Manu ] = `Manu Smirti', Manu, Aryavarta 10 000 BC - 1500 BC ?; several translations exist.

  6. [ Garud ] = Garuda Purana

  7. [ Atharva ] = Atharva Veda

  8. [ Taitt. Samh. ] = Taittriya Samhita

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  13. [ Alvarez ] = `Extraterrestrial cause of the Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction', L.W.Alvarez, W.Alvarez, F.Asaro and H.V.Michel, Science 208 (1980) 1095-1108

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    [ Ann. ] = `The Annals of Rural Bengal', W.W.Hunter, Broomhill House 1868, reprinted in `Landmarsk in Indian Anthropology', vol. 7, Cosmo Publishing, N.Delhi 1987

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  21. [ Chanda 29 ] = ` Survival of the Prehistoric Civilization of the Indus Valley ' - R.P.Chanda, Mems. of the ASI No. 41 ( 1929 ) Delhi

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  23. [ Childe 26 ] = `The Aryans: A Study of Indo-European Origins', Gordon V. Childe, Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. 1926 locates the Indo-Aryan home north of the Black Sea

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  25. [ Childe 54 ] = `New Light on the Most Ancient East', Gordon V. Childe, N.Y. rev. ed. 1954

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    an excellent rebuff of the opponents of the Aryan invasion idea; quotes from all the following ref's of Kosambi and Chanda

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  71. [ Vats ] = M. Vats, `Excavations at Harappa' Delhi 1940

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  75. [ Raikes 67 ] = R.L.Raikes, `The Mohenjo-daro Floods - Riposte', Antiquity 41 (1967) 309-310

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    against the Aryan invasion `theory'.

  77. [ Raja ] = `Aryan Invasion of India: The Myth and the Truth', by N.S. Rajaram, Voice of India Publication,
    an opponent of the Aryan invasion idea.

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    2nd ed., edtd. by Sir W. Crooke 1969

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  81. [ Tala ] = `The Aryan Invasion Theory and Indian Nationalism', by Shrikant G. Talageri, Voice of India, 1993
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  82. [ Tuttle ] = `Dravidian and Nubian', E.H.Tuttle, J. of the Amer. Oreintal Society 52 (1932) 133-144

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  86. [ Winters ] = `The Harappan Script', Clyde A. Winters, J. of Tamil Studies 30 (1987) 89-111

  87. [ Winters ] = `The Inspiration of the Harappan Talismanic Seals', Clyde A. Winters, Tamil Civilization 2 (1984) 1-8

  88. [ Winters ] = `Review article on Dr. Asko Parpola's "The Coming of the Aryans to Irna and India and the CUltural and Ethnic Identity of the Dasas", Clyde A. Winters, Intnl J. Of Dravidian Lingiuistics XVIII (1989) 98 - 127; a rebuff to Parpola's theory that the Dasas were Aryans.

  89. [ Winters ] = `The Genetic Unity of Dravidian and African Language and Culture', Clyde A. Winters, 1st Intnl Symosm. on Asian Studies 5 1105-1120

  90. [Winters:Agri] - `African Influences on Indian Agriculture',
    J of African Civlization, 3:1 (April 1981) p.100-110

  91. [Winters:Sympos] - `The Genetic Unity of Dravidian and African Languages and Culture', 1st Intl Symposium on Asian Studies 5 p.1105-20

  92. [ War ] = P. Chakravarti, `The Art of War in Ancient India', Ramna 1941

  93. [ Waddell ] = L.A.Waddell, `The Makers of Civilization', Angriff Press, Hollywood, CA 1929

  94. [ Weisman ] = Charles A. Weisman, `The Origins of Race and Civilization', SFA 1990

  95. [ Wheeler 47 ] = `Ancient India', No.3 (1947) 82, SIr R.E.M.Wheeler

  96. [ Wheeler 66 ] = `Civilization of the Indus and Beyond', London 1966

  97. [ Wheeler 79 ] = `The Indus Civilization', 3rd ed., Cambridge 1979

  98. [ Wheeler 59 ] = `Early India and Pakistan', London 1959

  99. [ Wheeler 50 ] = `5000 years of Pakistan: An Archaeological Outline', Londoon 1950

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