What are the Harappan socio-cultural elements that have continued in later India? In the light of these elements, do you think that the time has come to put the Aryan invasion theory to rest? Discuss critically.

Published: February 19, 2017

There are a number of Harappan socio-cultural elements which have continued in later India. Some of these include:

  • Potter’s wheel, carts, boats etc.
  • The use of water-jars and the habit of throwing away the goblets of terracotta after use.
  • The methods of house building, particularly the Harappan use of stucco.
  • Practice of building ritual bathing tanks and of the large number of bathrooms (but no lavatories)
  • The ritual items and cults such as the mother-goddess, lingas, yonis, proto-Siva and swastikas
  • Trade in ivory and cotton and precious items.
  • Binary and decimal system and other measurements and weights which were used by the Harappans.
  • Use of dice, Kajal for the eyes that was kept in jars with sticks in them, ivory combs, bangles and the use of garments for both men and women that needed no pinning.
  • The breeds of cattle depicted on the seals of Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro.

Despite these facts of cultural continuity, there is a popular and oft-quoted theory of Aryan invasion. The continuity of these traditions strongly supports the argument that the so called Aryan invasion either did not happen at all or could not destroy at least the socio-cultural traditions of the Harappan society. The extinction of the Indus Valley Civilization on account of replacement by the Aryans or the so called human massacre at Mohenjo-Daro have never been convincingly proved. Also, it remains unlikely that the nomadic Aryans remained unimpressed by the magnificence and abundance of the Indus Valley and destroyed the cities to establish their own primitive pastoralism. If this was the case, it would have been unique case of replacement of a full grown urban culture with a primitive culture. Thus, the time has come that the Aryan invasion theory is put to rest.

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