Indus Valley Civilization.

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Beagle
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Post by Beagle » Sat Aug 11, 2007 5:44 am

Folks - a favor please. I've been slowly posting about the Indus Valley Civilization since last March. DB I realize that you are only following suit, having just started re-posting here.

Could we please do the off topic conversations in another thread? Early on, there was a mis-informed poster who really disrupted this thread, but at least he was on topic.

I would appreciate it. Thanks.

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daybrown
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Post by daybrown » Sat Aug 11, 2007 7:57 am

The thread has wandered around some, but this also is part of the point, that the Indus civilization was not, in fact, as isolated as its fans would have us believe.

The same kind of well documented corruption seen in Rome was certainly going on India in earlier millennia. The story of civilization has been that the cost of management continually rises until some unforeseen factor, a crop failure or the arrival of either armies or hordes of refugees, disturbs the group think, and the whole thing collapses abruptly.

One diff between India and Rome is that the legions were equal opportunity employers. The equstrian class never held the kind of control the Brahmins did. So, there were several times when crisis produced enough chaos to allow real talent to emerge, and put the empire back together again. India didnt have enuf social mobility until there was complete anarchy.

Did India ever have a Thucydides, Tacitus, Xonophon or Plutarch? Men who wrote down what they knew for the benefit of future generations. The Vedas are so different, nobody really knows who or where, I've read that both the Torah and Homer were composed to unify a nation against the perceived threat of Persia. I dont see that political agenda in the Vedas. The Aryans who wrote it were not afraid of anyone. Like the Greek plays, they were allegorical messages for personal interpretation.

Thucydides and Xonophon were aware of ambiguous reports, and each set out to deliberately make an accurate record of just who did what when and where. But Vatsyayana & Ramprasad dont seem to have the same sense of time or future generations. So, the efforts now, to reconstruct ancient India, has some real problems.
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Post by DougWeller » Sat Aug 11, 2007 9:20 am

Some archaeology would be nice. Telling us that some people were 'certainly' like something isn't terribly helpful.
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Post by Minimalist » Sat Aug 11, 2007 10:07 am

The story of civilization has been that the cost of management continually rises

That's an interesting way to put it, DB.

I have to consider that one for a while.
Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.

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daybrown
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Post by daybrown » Sat Aug 11, 2007 11:16 am

DougWeller wrote:Some archaeology would be nice. Telling us that some people were 'certainly' like something isn't terribly helpful.
Some of us draw our understanding from a myriad of somewhat ambiguous sources, and some from what they regard as literal, verified authority.

Academic archeology departments were established to verify the claims of literal truth in scripture. The effort to do that now with Vedic texts has not been very rewarding, but at least what has been discovered has not discredited the sources since they never claimed to be literal truth in the first place.

They didnt hold heresy trials over what the Bagavad Gita meant. Certainly these people had a different mind frame. Archaeology has lagged bringing the insights of psychology and sociology into play because of the Levantine mind frame, that unless its written in an ancient revered source, its not true.

Roman Sen. Seneca on fame. "Why should I care if future generations should revere my name? Will they not be just as gullible and foolish as the men we see today?" Well, yes they are. If anything, even worse.

Since we now know that so much of what people are is written in their DNA, we can speak with far more certainty about what they were like. You may, as I have, contract with http://www.dnaancestryproject.com to trace your Y chromosome far more faithfully than the 'authoratative' birth records, since we now know that some 20-25% of the sperm donors were not what the official record claimed. <snurk.>

Certainty just aint what it usta be.
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Post by DougWeller » Sat Aug 11, 2007 11:54 am

daybrown wrote:
DougWeller wrote:Some archaeology would be nice. Telling us that some people were 'certainly' like something isn't terribly helpful.
Some of us draw our understanding from a myriad of somewhat ambiguous sources, and some from what they regard as literal, verified authority.
And archaeologists from the material culture. You prefer not to have to verify your claims.
[quote/]
Academic archeology departments were established to verify the claims of literal truth in scripture.

Bullshit. Oh, I'm sure you can find one or two like that, but the vast majority of archaeological departments were not founded for that reason (and most probably were founded since WWII).

The effort to do that now with Vedic texts has not been very rewarding, but at least what has been discovered has not discredited the sources since they never claimed to be literal truth in the first place.

They didnt hold heresy trials over what the Bagavad Gita meant. Certainly these people had a different mind frame. Archaeology has lagged bringing the insights of psychology and sociology into play because of the Levantine mind frame, that unless its written in an ancient revered source, its not true.
Oh. You don't understand what archaeology is. I hadn't realised that. Archaeologists don't rely on written sources. They may treat them as archaeological artefacts, they may look at them for some help at times. But they are primarily interested in material culture, and where, for instance Tacitus clashes with that, they go with the material evidence.

[SNIP]
Since we now know that so much of what people are is written in their DNA, we can speak with far more certainty about what they were like.
What they were like? We can't tell personality, skin colour, etc from DNA, so I have no idea what you mean.

You may, as I have, contract with http://www.dnaancestryproject.com to trace your Y chromosome far more faithfully than the 'authoratative' birth records, since we now know that some 20-25% of the sperm donors were not what the official record claimed. <snurk.>
I couldn't care less. And that shouldn't be a surprise to anyone.

But the bottom line is that this is a board to discuss archaeology. Others indeed have used it to push their own religious or quasi-religious beliefs often, as does yours, based on 'a myriad of somewhat ambiguous sources' rather than the archaeological evidence. It's still off-topic and a diversion. And usually impossible to argue with because it is based on speculation, assertion, and gross oversimplification.
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Post by daybrown » Mon Aug 13, 2007 5:36 am

You, or anyone else, can define "archeology" any damn way you want. But unless you can bring the inferences from sociology, psychology, & genetics to table to analyze artifacts, and thereby give people today a greater sense of what their own ancestors were like, they dont giva fuck.

And you dont get the funding for your expeditions.

While its not politically correct to point it out, and while genetics is a crap shoot that tells you very little about any given individual, it has a huge effect on how a group evolves, or fails to.

Jared Diamond reports of following a New Guinea Highlander into the forest, and listening to the man expound for hours on the minutae of the various flora & fuana encountered. Since Diamond cannot remember all this, they think he is retarded. Yet the same men cannot handle simple algebra.

This precludes them from developing much in the way of a trading culture.
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Post by DougWeller » Mon Aug 13, 2007 9:13 am

daybrown wrote:You, or anyone else, can define "archeology" any damn way you want. But unless you can bring the inferences from sociology, psychology, & genetics to table to analyze artifacts, and thereby give people today a greater sense of what their own ancestors were like, they dont giva fuck.

And you dont get the funding for your expeditions.

While its not politically correct to point it out, and while genetics is a crap shoot that tells you very little about any given individual, it has a huge effect on how a group evolves, or fails to.

Jared Diamond reports of following a New Guinea Highlander into the forest, and listening to the man expound for hours on the minutae of the various flora & fuana encountered. Since Diamond cannot remember all this, they think he is retarded. Yet the same men cannot handle simple algebra.

This precludes them from developing much in the way of a trading culture.
Then perhaps you should start your own discussion forum. Of course it is true that others use the findings from archaeology to illuminate their own hypotheses based on whatever. I have no problem with that. I do have a problem when people ignore the physical data from archaeology. (I also have a problem with people who use the term 'politically correct' to attack something, funny how those people are usually pretty right wing, but that's another issue).
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Post by Digit » Mon Aug 13, 2007 11:37 am

You, or anyone else, can define "archeology" any damn way you want. But unless you can bring the inferences from sociology, psychology, & genetics to table to analyze artifacts, and thereby give people today a greater sense of what their own ancestors were like, they dont giva fuck.
And in my opinion rightly so. When my interest in this discipline was first aroused the idea of an archaeologist calling on another discipline was completely out of order.
Look at the early recons of HSN for example, any half awake Doctor would have recognised the arthritis at once and avoided the deductions of 'cave man' that sprang from those mistakes.
First people deny a thing, then they belittle it, then they say it was known all along! Von Humboldt

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Post by DougWeller » Mon Aug 13, 2007 1:04 pm

Digit wrote:
You, or anyone else, can define "archeology" any damn way you want. But unless you can bring the inferences from sociology, psychology, & genetics to table to analyze artifacts, and thereby give people today a greater sense of what their own ancestors were like, they dont giva fuck.
And in my opinion rightly so. When my interest in this discipline was first aroused the idea of an archaeologist calling on another discipline was completely out of order.
Look at the early recons of HSN for example, any half awake Doctor would have recognised the arthritis at once and avoided the deductions of 'cave man' that sprang from those mistakes.
Yes, archaeologists need to call on other disciplines where appropriate, I agree entirely. But that is not the same thing that Brown is doing. He's starting from another perspective entirely.

And I think when you start trying to apply sociology and psychology (subjects I've studied by the way), to people thousands, sometimes tens of thousands, of years ago, you are on very, very shaky grounds.

There is of course a subject called in the US cultural anthropology, in the UK social anthropology. Archaeology can be seen as a subset of this, which means that cultural anthropologists would call on archaeologists for their insights.
http://anthropology.net/ is an interesting site.
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kbs2244
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Post by kbs2244 » Mon Aug 13, 2007 6:40 pm

I am sorry, but what does all this have to do with the Indus valley?

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Post by Minimalist » Mon Aug 13, 2007 6:57 pm

They're both making good points, kb. It's an interesting discussion.
Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.

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daybrown
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Post by daybrown » Mon Aug 13, 2007 11:39 pm

One class of problems results from the boosterism of those in India. And the dismissiveness from Levantine professionals whose careers have benefited from the attempt to veryify scripture, and dont wish to see the grant money dry up with a shift to any other region.

And the area that was so important to so much of the original Aryan culture, Central Asia, like Turkmenistan, is full of mysogenistic Islamic Jackasses who dont want anyone looking into anything that predated Mohammet.

Another issue is just who the original Aryans were, and since so many were nomadic, there hasnt been much found to go on. Gimbutas, Campbell, Oswald, Ballantine, Ryan & Pitman, have all published works trying to unravel this, but not based on the artifacts, but the language and myth, parts of which survived in the descendant languages & cultures. Computers have helped enormously, finding similar words with similar usage and applying the rules of Etymology to reconstruct Proto-Indo-European.

And now recently, we've been able to factor in haplotypes to get some idea of which people came from where. Also, if you look at the work of Bouchard at the U of MN, you have a clue as to the heritability of talent and personality. And if you know anything about group dynamics, you can see how different groups would develop over time, or fail to.

When you add all this up, you see the Aryans did not evolve in India. Not that they didnt come by, or that India didnt already have its own very advanced civilization. What JP Mallory says marks out the Aryans, is not military conquest, but assimilation.

And the reason for the assimilation was a matriarchic power structure, which you can see from all the female words for important resources in PIE, as well as the evidence from the Amazon graves.

While we dont have Amazon texts to support this, we do have Tocharian documents, and the language itself, which say they were matriarchic. I hardly think it was something they invented on the spot.

Patriarchy tends to be mysogenistic and jingoistic. It has a 'not invented here' attitude twards innovation, The rules of Koshur came out of the patriarchic habit of group identification based on what they eat, or wont eat. Patriarchy has a preference for red meat. Matriarchy for herbs, new cusine, and new foods. Women would never invent Kashrut.

The artifacts dont tell you much about this. Gimbutas shows us lotsa "Phallic Wands". She seems clueless. But I've seen porn flix, and I know dildos when I see them, even if they are 7000 years old. And I know enuf about the psychology of patriarchy to know they would not permit dildos to be made in any significant numbers for obvious reasons.

To academic archaeologists, its all trees, and no forest.
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Post by War Arrow » Tue Aug 14, 2007 4:47 am

Matriarchal societies. Again.
Am I missing something here?
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Post by kbs2244 » Tue Aug 14, 2007 10:19 am

Most nomadic societies I have heard of seem to have been pretty male dominated.
But you are saying the Aryans assimilated into the Indus divination because it was female dominated?
Somehow, that does not seem very likely to me.

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