The Rig-Vedic Settlements
Most of the Rig-Veda civilization was centred on the River Saraswati which is now lost in the Deserts of Rajasthan. The Rig-Veda mentions rivers Kabul, Swat, Kurram, Gumal, Indus, Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, beas, Sutlej etc. which proves that the settlements were in Afghanistan and Punjab as well. The cradle of Rig-Vedic civilization is called Sapt Saidhav Region.
Source of Our Knowledge
Our knowledge of the Vedic Civilization is based upon the information derived from the Vedic literature. It consists of 4 Vedas and Brahman. The Rig-Veda is most ancient covering a period from 1500 BC to 1000 BC and this is called Early Vedic Civilization.
Most of the Rig-Veda civilization was centred on the River Saraswati which is now lost in Deserts of Rajasthan. The Rig-Veda mentions rivers Kabul, Swat, Kurram, Gumal, Indus, Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Beas, Sutlej etc. which proves that the settlements were in Afghanistan and Punjab as well. The cradle of Rig-Vedic civilization is called Sapt Saidhav Region. Sapta-Sindhu meaning 7 rivers is the term which gave birth to the word “Hindu”. Sapta-Sindhu was referred to as Hapta-Hindu by Persians etc. The term is found in Avesta of Zoroastrians.
The names and identity of the 7 rivers
Scholars are not of same opinion on the names and identity of the seven rivers of Sapta Sindhu. There is a verse in Nadistuti sukta of Rigveda , hymn of praise of rivers which mentions the following 10 rivers: Ganga, Yamuna, Saraswati, Sutudri, Parusni, Asikni, Marudvrdha , Vitasta , Arjikiya , Susoma.
The Shutudri was Sutlej, Parushni was Ravi, Asikni was Chenab and Vitasta was Jhelum. The majority of the scholars believe that Sindhu & Saraswati (located in Rajasthan) were the most popular and sacred rivers of that era. Some scholars are of the opinion that the hymns in praise of the Saraswati are probably some of the oldest, composed more than 8000 years ago. The 5 rivers Sutudri, Parusni, Asikni, Vitasta, Vipas all were tributaries of Sindhu River. Together with Sarasawti and Sindhu, these 5 rivers constituted the Sapta Sindhu. However Saraswati has been mentioned as saptasvasa, which means she with 7 sisters. So, This further leads to a group of 8 Rivers.
|Rig-Vedic Name||Modern Name||Notes|
|Vipas||Beas||The name Vipas or Vipasa signified the legend of Vasishtha's attempted suicide conveyed in the Mahābhārata. Prior to this, Beas river was also known as Uranjira and Arijikia.|
|Gumal / Gomal||Gomati|
Archaeological Evidences in context with Aryans
The initial knowledge about the dispersal of Aryan groups was based only on comparative philology. Later some small archaeological information has been found which includes the 60 thousand horse bones and some chariots. Horse was the best friend of Aryans and it made them able to make inroads in Asia. Archaeological evidence of the horse and horse specific have been unearthed in southern Tajikistan and in the Swat valley in Pakistan. Then, the grey pottery of the North East Iran is also one of the representative evidence of arrival of Aryans, because the Caspian region was the place where the grey pottery independently originated.