Talk:Indus Valley Civilisation

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Semi-protected edit request on 11 October 2015[edit] (talk) 15:13, 11 October 2015 (UTC)

Please indicate what change you would like to see in the article. --regentspark (comment) 15:15, 11 October 2015 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 19 October 2015[edit]

I would like to edit this because i have a reliable source (talk) 19:58, 19 October 2015 (UTC)

X mark.svg Not done This is not the right page to request additional user rights.
If you want to suggest a change, please request this in the form "Please replace XXX with YYY" or "Please add ZZZ between PPP and QQQ".
Please also cite reliable sources to back up your request, without which no information should be added to, or changed in, any article. - Arjayay (talk) 20:09, 19 October 2015 (UTC)

The Wright quote[edit]

I am very interested to learn how the Ancient Egyptian and Indus Valley civilisation coincided or interacted. However, I disagree with the displacement of Ancient Egypt out of Africa and to the 'East'. Ancient Egypt was an African civilisation, and the description of it as 'eastern' is misleading, but understandable considering the age of the quote. Also, Wright's opinion is stated as if it was fact. Also, he seems to be quoting Childe, from 1950? That's a long time ago. I would say that source is a little outdated. Wright 2010 (citing Childe in 1950):Quote: "The Indus civilisation is one of three in the 'Ancient East' that, along with Mesopotamia and Pharonic Egypt, was a cradle of early civilisation in the Old World (Childe 1950).MrSativa (talk) 20:45, 20 July 2016 (UTC)

-isation, -ization[edit]

From American and British English spelling differences[edit]

See also: Oxford spelling
"Origin and recommendations
The -ize spelling is often incorrectly seen as an Americanism in Britain.[1] However, the Oxford English Dictionary (OED) recommends -ize and notes that the -ise spelling is from French: "The suffix...whatever the element to which it is added, is in its origin the Greek -ιζειν, Latin -izāre; and, as the pronunciation is also with z, there is no reason why in English the special French spelling should be followed, in opposition to that which is at once etymological and phonetic." The OED lists the -ise form separately, as an alternative.[2]
Publications by Oxford University Press (OUP)—such as Henry Watson Fowler's A Dictionary of Modern English Usage, Hart's Rules,[3] and The Oxford Guide to English Usage[4]—also recommend -ize. However, Robert Allan's Pocket Fowler's Modern English Usage considers either spelling to be acceptable anywhere but the US.[5] Also, Oxford University itself does not agree with the OUP, but advocates -ise instead of -ize in its staff style guide.[6]
American spelling avoids -ise endings in words like organize, realize and recognize.[7]
British spelling mostly uses -ise, while -ize is also used (organise/organize, realise/realize, recognise/recognize):[7] the ratio between -ise and -ize stands at 3:2 in the British National Corpus.[8] The spelling -ise is more commonly used in UK mass media and newspapers,[7] including The Times (which switched conventions in 1992),[9] The Daily Telegraph and The Economist. Meanwhile, -ize is used in some British-based academic publications, such as Nature, the Biochemical Journal and The Times Literary Supplement. The dominant British English usage of -ise is preferred by Cambridge University Press.[5] The minority British English usage of -ize is known as Oxford spelling and is used in publications of the Oxford University Press, most notably the Oxford English Dictionary. It can be identified using the IANA language tag en-GB-oxendict (or, historically, by en-GB-oed).[10]
In Canada, the -ize ending is standard, whereas in Ireland, India, Australia and New Zealand -ise spellings strongly prevail: the -ise form is preferred in Australian English at a ratio of about 3:1 according to the Macquarie Dictionary.


  1. ^ "-ize or -ise?". Oxford Dictionaries. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 9 August 2013. 
  2. ^ Oxford English Dictionary "-ise1"
  3. ^ Cite error: The named reference hhart was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  4. ^ Weiner, E.S.C.; Delahunty, Andrew (1994). The Oxford Guide to English Usage (paperback). Oxford University Press. p. 32. 
  5. ^ a b Allen, Robert, ed. (2008). Pocket Fowler's Modern English Usage. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press. p. 354. ISBN 978-0-19-923258-1. may be legitimately spelled with either -ize or -ise throughout the English-speaking world (except in America, where -ize is always used)...Cambridge University Press and others prefer -ise 
  6. ^ University of Oxford Style Guide: Word usage and spelling Linked 2013-07-14
  7. ^ a b c "Are spellings like 'privatize' and 'organize' Americanisms?". 2006. 
  8. ^ Peters, p. 298: "[With] contemporary British writers the ise spellings outnumber those with ize in the ratio of about 3:2" (emphasis as original)
  9. ^ Richard Dixon, "Questions answered", The Times, 13 January 2004.
  10. ^ IANA language subtag registry, IANA, with "en-GM-oed" marked as added 2003-07-09 as grandfathered, and deprecated effective 2015-04-17, with "en-GB-oxendict" preferred (accessed 2015-08-08).

End copied text. Doug Weller talk 17:06, 4 February 2016 (UTC)


Indian English, however, uses -ise virtually exclusively, and since Ind/Pak are almost certainly going to provide a disproportionate number of readers of this article, I'd think one would need a very convincing argument to change it to American spelling. Whatever Wikipedia's article may say, Oxford Spelling is virtually dead in BrEng outside the OED itself—even Oxford University itself has abandoned it. ‑ Iridescent 17:46, 4 February 2016 (UTC)

And Wikipedia, where I and many other editors use it. Actually I don't agree with that at all, though it can be hard to distinguish between it and creeping Americanization. Johnbod (talk) 06:16, 5 February 2016 (UTC)
That's what the bit of our article that I quoted says about Indian English (it also mentions Oxford University). And why I posted it, to help explain why we spell it "civilisation" here. Doug Weller talk 19:37, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
Unfortunately, our theories break because plenty of Indians use "Civilization" [1]. That is why we have plenty of Indians coming and fixing the spelling! - Kautilya3 (talk) 20:57, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
Actually, if you look up the IP's they are almost exclusively from the US. But academic press, including in India often use -ize. The Times of India often uses civilisation AusLondonder (talk) 22:21, 4 February 2016 (UTC)
I too have noticed that in the comment sections of many Indian online newspapers there seems to be a fair amount of color, labor, and -ize, which would have been unthinkable 20 years ago. I don't know if this is the inevitable consequence of more Indians going to the US or the default spelling of the online editor (eg on Disqus), which might be (red) underlining colour, labour, and -ise. Fowler&fowler«Talk» 22:40, 4 February 2016 (UTC)

Newcomer needs help![edit]

I inadvertently messed up a link and associated text in the Bibliography section. I created an article on Naida Kirkpatrick, an author who was cited for her book on Indus Valley. I was attempting to link her name in this bibliography to her Wikipedia page. I'm not sure what I did wrong. I tried to fix it but it's still not correct.

I am hoping someone with more experience can correct the bibliography citation on this page, and link Naida Kirkpatrick's name to her Wikipedia page: Naida_Kirkpatrick

Thank you and I apologize for the inconvenience. Tjhouse23 (talk) 07:09, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

You might first want to add references and citations to the Naida Kirkpatrick page to demonstrate that its topic has the notability typically required for a Wikipedia page. A good place to look for such citations would be reviews of her work in newspapers or journals (not by publishers or in blogs), or mention of her in reliable sources. Good luck. Fowler&fowler«Talk» 10:59, 10 February 2016 (UTC)
In addition, it's a 64-page children's book. Not the kind of source that's really right for this article, sorry. This article isn't for listing every book on a topic if some are just rehashes of information available elsewhere. Blythwood (talk) 22:10, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

Lead revert[edit]

@Fowler&fowler:, Can you tell us what the problems were that necessitated this revert [2]? I am also not sure which "original version" has been reinstated here. - Kautilya3 (talk) 14:34, 21 February 2016 (UTC)

Sarasvati river again[edit]

Part 1 - Indus-Sarasvati civilisation[edit]

An edit by BodduLokesh got reverted this morning. The edit wasn't great, but I believe that it was on the right track. In the lead that got reverted by Fowler&fowler, I had put Indus-Sarasvati civilisation along with reliable sources. The importance of the Sarasvati river to the Harappan civilisation is acknowledge by contemporary scholars, e.g., Jane McIntosh.[1] The Left-Right ideological divide among the Indian scholars has generally clouded the issue, but the evidence is clear that the Sarasvati river was a major component of the civilisation. We should not underplay this issue.


  1. ^ McIntosh, Jane (2008), The Ancient Indus Valley: New Perspectives, ABC-CLIO, pp. 4, 10, 18–20, ISBN 978-1-57607-907-2 

- Kautilya3 (talk) 15:10, 21 February 2016 (UTC)

In that case, both could be mentioned. Replacing Ghaggar-Hakra River by Sarasvati River, that is, a factual river by a mythological river, is not exactly helpfull. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 15:48, 21 February 2016 (UTC)
Though, at second thought: the present name is Ghaggar-Hakra River; I dare to be quite sure that it wasn't called "Sarasvati river" by the Harappans. The real quetion is: should we speak about the "Indus civilisation," or the "Indus Ghaggar-Hakra civilisation." "Indus-Saraswati civilisation" is a politcal loaden term. So, I'd prefer to stick to the neutral name. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 15:52, 21 February 2016 (UTC)
Although not a perfect metric by any means, Indus-Sarasvati/Saraswati Civiliztion turns about a bit over 200 hits at GBooks, IVC over 11,000. This might be useful.[3] Doug Weller talk 16:04, 21 February 2016 (UTC)
I'm not sure it is a good idea associating a mythological river with the Indus civilization in the lead. Unless the scholarly consensus is that the civilization was the Indus-Saraswati civilization, that there is consensus (amongst scholars) that the river followed a course along the Indus valley settlements, and that it was an important part of the IVC, I suggest not mentioning it in the lead. --regentspark (comment) 16:11, 21 February 2016 (UTC)
(ec) Ghaggar-Hakra is also a politically loaded term. And, it is not likely to have been the term used by the Harappans either. The reality is that Ghaggar and Hakra are the remnants of a huge river system that got dried up. I prefer to follow neutral third party sources (even though sometimes they succumb to the Left-Right divide as well). Jane McIntosh and Asko Parpola fit the bill. I am not suggesting that the page should be retitled to Indus-Sarasvati civilisation. However the term should be mentioned in the lead because it is a redirect for this page. - Kautilya3 (talk) 16:28, 21 February 2016 (UTC)
Also, the point of mentioning Indus-Sarasvati is to highlight the wide expanse of the IVC. In the light of the new knowledge, "Indus Valley civilisation" is a misnomer coined during the British Raj era before the geographic extent of the civilisation was known. (By the way, Sarasvati is not a "mythical" river. It is a dried up river.) - Kautilya3 (talk) 16:36, 21 February 2016 (UTC)
Not sure about this Kautilya. Our article on the river says that it could be the ghaggra-hakra river or perhaps the milky way. That doesn't sound like a positive identification to me. I think we're better off not stressing Saraswati in the lead. Perhaps a discussion of the theory that the Indus valley civilization lay along two rivers - the Indus and possibly the Saraswati somewhere in the text of the article but we're pushing it if we start labeling the IVC as the Indus-Sarasvati Civilization. Even if it stretched well beyond the banks of the Indus, and even if it is a misnomer, we have to stick with scholarly consensus. --regentspark (comment) 20:48, 21 February 2016 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Being a redirect does not qualify for inclusion in the lead or for that matter in the rest of the article. The lead is very carefully worded. It does not say that the civilization is called the Indus-Ghaggar-Hakra civilization, only that many sites are found along the Indus and the seasonal Ghaggar-Hakra river, which once coursed through the region, that is, in greater volume. (Aside: That much the satellite imagery and coring data establishes. The dating of that ancient river and tectonic shift etc resulting in the switch across the continental divide, is not firmly of the Vedic- or Post-Vedic Age. The latest PNAS article casts doubt on even the fact of the full river. Say its authors,

"Contrary to earlier assumptions that a large glacier-fed Himalayan river, identified by some with the mythical Sarasvati, watered the Harappan heartland on the interfluve between the Indus and Ganges basins, we show that only monsoonal-fed rivers were active there during the Holocene. As the monsoon weakened, monsoonal rivers gradually dried or became seasonal, affecting habitability along their courses." See "Fluvial landscapes of the Harappan civilization" by Liviu Giosan et al, Proc. National Academy of Sciences USA, 2012)

Articles are not named according to their ancient names, besides the Harappan language remains undeciphered. The drying up of the larger Ghaggar Hakra river system, which some have identified with the river Saraswati of the Rig Veda, though without reliable evidence (as the PNAS article suggests), can be mentioned in the section on the decline of IVC (along with climate change etc), but it does not belong to the lead. There is an ideological history behind the use of the term Saraswati in things Harappan. It is a relatively recent term, dating back to the late 1980s, invented by some archaeologists of the Archaeological Survey of India, who in their retirement were to profess Hindu nationalist sympathies, who were also finding, some say manufacturing, a vast number of "sites," on the Indian side of the India Pakistan border. It is thus seen an attempt both to paint the Indus civilization in Aryan colors, and to claim it for the Republic of India. Other tertiary sources such as Encyclopaedia Britannica do not mention it, nor do they accept the exaggerated number of IVC "sites" in India (see here). The lead is sourced to Rita Wright's Ancient Indus, (Cambridge University Press, 2009), a book which uses the term "Ghaggar Hakra river" for the modern remnants of a putative larger ancient river system. The map in the lead, besides, shows only the Ghagggar-Hakra seasonal river, as does the Britannica map, which doesn't name it, as does the Jane McIntosh map, which calls it only Ghaggar. Here are a few more scholarly archaeology books which use Ghaggar Hakra in this manner, as a pivot for the geographical extent (described in present-day terminology) of the ancient civilization, and do not use Saraswati, which, obviously, is not the name of a modern river.

I am traveling and without sources. This is the best I can do at this time. Again, the Saraswati does not belong to the lead. For the drive-bys who periodically insert it in the lead, I suggest they read WP:Lead fixation. Fowler&fowler«Talk» 22:43, 21 February 2016 (UTC)

If this is what you reproduce from memory, I'm impressed! Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 06:02, 22 February 2016 (UTC)
Agree with Fowler&fowler. The Sarasvati stuff is clearly bunk. Athenean (talk) 07:24, 22 February 2016 (UTC)

Part 2 - Left-right divide[edit]

@Fowler&fowler: Thanks for the detailed response in the midst of your travel. I should have known that we would fall right into the Left-Right divide. The divide is real. For the right-wingers, the river is necessarily "Sarasvati." For the left-wingers it is necessarily "Ghagghar-Hakra." I don't subscribe to either ideology.

I can't access Rita P. Wright's book online, but I would be interested to know what she says about the "Sarasvati" river when you get a chance to check. Here is what I know. Gregory Possehl's "lead" says this:

"In this section, the cultural/ natural regions of the Indus Civilization, called Domains, are presented, along with the nature and history of the two principal rivers: the Indus and Sarasvati. Climatic change is discussed, and, finally, a short review of Indus Civilization settlement patterns and subsistence regimes is offered."[1]

The section on Sarasvati begins with

"There is a river in the Great Indian Desert that is mostly dry. Today it is generally called Ghaggar in India and Hakra in Pakistan. In ancient times it was called Sarasvati and appears in the Rgveda in many places. It was a holy river, the “foremost of rivers,” in the Vedas:...Linguistic, archaeological, and historical data show that the Sarasvati of the Vedas is the modern Ghaggar or Hakra."

Sudheshna Guha's review article has this footnote (29):

"Jonathan Mark Kenoyer and Gregory Possehl also accept this geography, believing that the ‘archaeological data supports the textual information that proclaims the ancient Sarasvati as a great river withmany populous settlements along its course’ (Kenoyer 1997: 52)[2], and that ‘the Sarasvati began to dry up at the beginning of the second millennium, but that seems to have taken a lot of time’ (Possehl 2002: 36)[3].They have not as yet speculated on its exact course from the source to mouth.[4]

Of the citations you have provided that I am able to access online,

  • The Erdosy volume has 18 occurrences of "Sarasvati," none of them call it "mythical" Only one of them qualifies it with "Ghaggar-Hakra" in brackets.
  • The Encyclopedia of Prehistory says, "diverse cultures throughout the region of the Indus and Ghaggar-Hakra (Saraswati) river valleys," which is more than we do.
  • Himanshu Prabha Ray uses "Ghaggar-Hakra" without a mention of "Sarasvati." But I note that this book is not about the Indus civilisation per se.
  • The Allchin and Allchin book introduces "valley of the Ghaggar (Sarasvati) river and its tributary the Chautang (Drisadhvati)" on p. 160 and switches to "Sarasvati" and "Drishadvati" when discussing the Vedic civilisation. No mention of any river being mythical.

So, as per the sources, I don't see any need to exclude the mention of "Sarasvati." - Kautilya3 (talk) 09:45, 22 February 2016 (UTC)

(Adding note:) I am not pushing for Indus-Sarasvati civilisation. I believe the term was there earlier when I edited it last time. After researching, I added Upinder Singh as a reliable citation. I agree that it is only the Indigenous Aryanists that push this term, and it is best to avoid it. However, I see no problem with mentioning the "Sarasvati river" as a key component of the civilisation. - Kautilya3 (talk) 10:35, 22 February 2016 (UTC)


  1. ^ Possehl, Gregory L. (2002), The Indus Civilization: A Contemporary Perspective, Rowman Altamira, p. 8-9, ISBN 978-0-7591-0172-2 
  2. ^ Kenoyer, J. M. (1997), "Early City-states in South Asia: Comparing the Harappan Phase and the Early Historic Period", in D. L. Nichols; T. H. Charlton, The Archaeology of City States: Cross Cultural Approaches, Washington: Smithsonian Institute, pp. 52–70, ISBN 1560987227 
  3. ^ Possehl, G. L. (2002), "Fifty Years of Harappan Archaeology: The Study of the Indus Civilization Since Indian Independence", in S. Settar; R. Korisettar, Archaeology of the Harappan Civlization: Indian Archaeology in Retrospect, II, New Delhi: Indian Council of Historical Research & Manohar, pp. 2–38, ISBN 8173043205 
  4. ^ Guha, Sudeshna (2005). "Negotiating Evidence: History, Archaeology and the Indus Civilisation". Modern Asian Studies. 39 (2): 399–426. JSTOR 3876625. 
I don't believe it has much to do with right or left, rather with rigor and context. Rita Wright (who doesn't mention "Sarasvati" or "Saraswati" at all) is not "left." Nor are Possehl or Kenoyer, who make passing reference to it, "right." A vignette to reel in the reader in a 300 page book, which mentions Saraswati, is not the same thing as mention in the lead of a summary-style WP article, the equivalent of which would be the synopsis of the book. The main point for me is that the PNAS article which is the most vetted current geological analysis does not consider the sites in the Ghaggar-Hakra system, comprising some significant IVC sites in India and eastern Pakistan, to have been watered by a river rising in the Himalayas and sustained by snow-melt, but rather by monsoonal rivers which eventually dried up to become seasonal. The Saraswati of the Rg Veda rises very definitely in the hills. Verses attest to it. The archaeologists or historians who have used the term "Saraswati," are not experts in geology; rather, they have accepted geological data, which they assumed was vetted, but which now appears to be problematic. An encyclopedia needs to be cautious with the terms it uses. Fowler&fowler«Talk» 11:39, 22 February 2016 (UTC)
PS That is an inaccurate assessment of the sources I had presented. It doesn't help when you do a Google count without thought to the context. Here they are again:
Anyway, this is as far as I go. Fowler&fowler«Talk» 15:41, 22 February 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for the response. This doesn't sway me from my position however. Since the eminent scholars in the field (Kenoyer and Possehl) accept the identification of Sarasvati with Ghaggar-Hakra, it needs to be covered, along with other scholars who reject it (Irfan Habib for one). But I will work on the body before attempting adjustment to the lead. - Kautilya3 (talk) 09:42, 23 February 2016 (UTC)
Kautilya, could you point to the specific references where Kenoyer and Possehl accept the identification of Sarasvati with Ghaggar-Hakra? I can't find Possehl's statement in the quoted reference (The Indus civilization :a contemporary perspective) and the Kenoyer reference quoted by Guha doesn't match with the list of Kenoyer's works. (Unfortunately, I can't get hold of a physical copy of Possehl's book for a bit but have placed a hold on it so we can look at the context in which he discusses Sarasvati.)--regentspark (comment) 16:33, 23 February 2016 (UTC)
Hi RP, I have quoted from Possehl's book above. He introduces the Sarasvati river in a section of that name on pages 8-9, and then uses the terminology throughout the book. I haven't yet dug into the Kenoyer's paper, but I have quoted Sudheshna Guha's summary above. - Kautilya3 (talk) 19:00, 23 February 2016 (UTC)
OK thanks. I'll wait for Possehl's book to show up. I'm curious about how positive the relationship between the mythological Sarawati and an actual river is. --regentspark (comment) 19:38, 23 February 2016 (UTC)
The Sarasvati is not "mythological" in the sense you seem to be thinking. All the rivers mentioned in the Rigveda have been identified. Even Sarasvati has been identified with Ghaggar quite a long time ago. But the Hindu nationalists are not satisfied because they think the Sarasvati was a "mighty river" as per the Rigvedic description whereas Ghaggar is a small stream. So they think the Rigveda was composed when the Sarasvati was a mighty river, which puts the Rigveda unreasonably back in time. That paradox has not yet been settled. The mightiness of the Rigvedic Sarasvati is often considered mythical by some scholars. (There are also mythical ideas about Sarasvati that developed in classical Hinduism well after the Rigveda, but that is a separate issue.) - Kautilya3 (talk) 20:17, 23 February 2016 (UTC)
I'm completely at a loss here and will wait till I see the sources for myself. The article on the river is not at all clear about the process by which the river was identified (compare the text there with the identification of Troy and you'll see what I mean). Our article posits that it could be the Ghagra Hakra or (a second 'popular' theory) the Helmand or perhaps merely a mythological river. What we need is clear evidence in the form of reliable sources that tell us where the river lies and how its course was figured out. And that should be done in the article on the river. If we don't clean up that article first, then the discussion here looks as if it is based on cherry picked sources and that's not a good thing. It ain't that hard to google-find sources to back up any point!--regentspark (comment) 15:58, 24 February 2016 (UTC)
Yeah, as I said, it is a Left-Right divide, and the article suffers from POV-pushing from both the sides. I started working on the Ghaggar-Hakra River page now. Sarasvati River will be a bigger job. - Kautilya3 (talk) 14:30, 25 February 2016 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Can you give us a few examples of what you consider the "Left" POV on this page? Fowler&fowler«Talk» 03:19, 26 February 2016 (UTC)

RP recommended that we avoid the Left-Right terminology, and I will do so. An example of this kind of POV-pushing is the text on the left in this diff, where you can see selective quoting to make a point. The true picture becomes evident only when you look at the sources, as I did on the right. - Kautilya3 (talk) 17:24, 26 February 2016 (UTC)
BTW, I looked at the Kenoyer text and he does say: "This second river is generally agreed to be the legendary Saraswati River, known from Vedic and later Sanskrit texts" (p.52). But that's the only mention of Saraswati in the entire article and I'd chalk it up as a passing mention rather than a definitive opinion. --regentspark (comment) 17:31, 26 February 2016 (UTC)

Part 3 - Giosan[edit]

Kautilya3, I'm afraid you might be claiming certainty where there is little or none. Irfan Habib is not an archeologist or historian of Bronze Age India. He has written a series on Indian history and he's been involved in debates. But that is a turf battle in Indian academia. Why do you keep bringing him up, and keep talking of the Left-Right divide, as if all sources are equal on WP? The best known researchers of IVC are not in India, so how does it matter what the Indians think? Sarasvati has by no means been positively identified, though there are many theories. The Rg Vedic Saraswati is a mighty river, rising in the Himalayas, or perhaps it is the Helmand river in Afghanistan, or perhaps the river that goes underground and reappears in Allahabad from below, or perhaps is a mighty river in the sky. Who has "identified" it with the Ghaggar and how? Auriel Stein had his theory, but he and others in the 1930s had many theories that would make them blush were they around today. The Sarasvati's cognate occurs in the Avestan and there is history of Indo-Iranian seven rivers (Hapta Hendu). It doesn't matter how many times Possehl (2002) or Kenoyer (1998) mention "Saraswati" or "Sarasvati." Their knowledge of geophysics is rudimentary (I know this with some certainty about one of them.) They have assumed that the researches of some Indian government geologists, itself flawed and of poor quality, had "identified" a the bed of a major extinct river flowing from the Himalayas westwards.

But the work of Giosan et al (a major 15 author study from many continents) has rendered all the old stuff null and void. There is simply no one big river, but rather many monsoon fed rivers that watered the general area in which IVC sites have been found in western India and eastern Pakistan, rivers which gradually became seasonal with considerably lessened discharge. It is only recently begun to find its way into research monographs and textbooks. See, for example, Brooke, John L. (2014), Climate Change and the Course of Global History: A Rough Journey, Cambridge University Press, p. 296, ISBN 978-0-521-87164-8 , which states the current consensus and which even mentions Possehl in the footnotes (also reproduced below with urls):

  • Brooke p.296: "The story in Harappan India was somewhat different (see Figure 111.3). The Bronze Age village and urban societies of the Indus Valley are some-thing of an anomaly, in that archaeologists have found little indication of local defense and regional warfare. It would seem that the bountiful mon-soon rainfall of the Early to Mid-Holocene had forged a condition of plenty for all, and that competitive energies were channeled into commerce rather than conflict. Scholars have long argued that these rains shaped the origins of the urban Harappan societies, which emerged from Neolithic villages around z600 BC. It now appears that this rainfall began to slowly taper off in the third millennium, at just the point that the Harappan cities began to develop. Thus it seems that this "first urbanization" in South Asia was the initial response of the Indus Valley peoples to the beginning of Late Holocene aridification. These cities were maintained for 30o to 400 years and then gradually abandoned as the Harappan peoples resettled in scat-tered villages in the eastern range of their territories, into the Punjab and the Ganges Valley....' 17" (footnotes, see below)

Secondly, the problem of mentioning it in the lead is not one of left or right, but of WP:UNDUE WEIGHT. For determining what is undue and what is not, WP suggests looking at review articles, other tertiary sources. These, especially in archaeology, hardly ever mention Sarasvati or Saraswati, whether they mention Ghaggar or Hakra. If the consensus is not to mention Ghaggar Hakra in the lead, so be it; but Saraswati is now dead in IVC, the death blow having been delivered by the paper Giosan et al, a paragraph from which I quoted in my very first post in this thread. Fowler&fowler«Talk» 06:13, 24 February 2016 (UTC)

Thanks for the link to the article; I'll read it. I also think that "Sarasvati" is undue for the lead. I didn't mean with "mythological," though, that the river never existed. But the term is being used to "claim" the Harappan civilisation for India, and connect it witht he Vedic period. I prefer the neutral terms "IVC" or "Harappan." But that's still a political consideration. I'll read the article for the geographic considerations. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 07:11, 24 February 2016 (UTC)
@Fowler&fowler: I am sure that RegentsPark, who is following the discussion, will advise us on how to determine DUE WEIGHT. For the present, we should follow WP:NPOV and mention all the view points in published reliable sources. - Kautilya3 (talk) 10:02, 24 February 2016 (UTC)
For now, I'd suggest avoiding mention of Saraswati in the lead. Like JJ, I don't mean that to imply that the river never existed but we do need clear reliable sources that connect the vedic Saraswati with an actual course. After that, we need reliable sources that establish the importance of the river for the IVC. And, finally, we need reliable sources that use the name I-S-C. In that order. Then we can talk about due or undue use of the term. --regentspark (comment) 16:06, 24 February 2016 (UTC)
Upinder Singh (2008), A History of Ancient and Early Medieval India: From the Stone Age to the 12th Century, p.138: "the best option is to use the term 'Harappan' civilisation." Time for a page-move? Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 11:28, 24 February 2016 (UTC)
There is little chance of that. Upender Singh's is an undergraduate textbook used in India. This has been a stable name for 15 years; it is moreover, the name used in the literature by an overwhelming margin. In tertiary sources (ie. other encyclopedias), "Indus civili(z/s)ation" OR "Indus Valley Civili(s/z)ation" yields 4,350 references; "Harappan civili(s/z)ation" only 410 references. That is an order of magnitude (ten-fold) difference. Fowler&fowler«Talk» 14:29, 24 February 2016 (UTC)
I agree. IVC is clearly the common name of the civilization. Heck, we even have a popular restaurant named after it - with no mention of Harrapa or Saraswati :)--regentspark (comment) 16:00, 24 February 2016 (UTC)

The spelling of "Sarasvati" and Indian IVC sites[edit]

Indian languages, especially Sanskrit and other Indo-Aryan languages, do not distinguish between "v" and "w" phonetically. There is only one letter in the Devanagari script for both these English letters. So, I'm a little mystified why the river on Wikipedia is spelled Sarasvati river but the goddess personifying the river is called Saraswati. If you examine the edit history of Sarasvati river you will see that it started out as "Saraswati river," but a few edits later an IP changed to spelling without explanation. I'm posting here because the river (ie the river of Indian literary/mythological tradition) seems to appear on this page more than it does on its own page. Any ideas?

The Indian IVC sites, which seem to double every few years, and the prerequisites for which, as far as I can tell, consist of anything more than two pieces of rock in the desert, one fragment of a clay pot, and one corner of anything that could pass for a Harappan seal, are in a sorry state on Wikipedia. A case in point is Rakhigarhi, which was first excavated in 1963, but which has been in the news in India in the last couple of years, as all sorts of claims are being made for it (that it is the center of IVC, or soon to be crowned so; that it is the largest IVC site, at last count, blank blank times bigger than Mohenjo-daro; that is will soon be a UNESCO World Heritage Site, ....) I've tried to make it more grounded, but I'm not very hopeful that it will remain so. It appears that Indian archaeologists, almost always from the Archaeological Survey of India, a government body, (which in its post-1947 incarnation, has been very touchy about granting foreign researchers the permission to excavate in India or even observe Indian excavations) have been engaging in optimistic speculation in interviews reported by Indian media, or in their own non-peer-reviewed draft reports, or even in Indian journal publications (which claim to be peer-reviewed, but which read like high school newspapers). WP editors, then, give these reports the imprimatur of a Wikipedia line, or paragraph, or .... Pakistani sites, in contrast, are much more sober. This may be in part because IVC, when all is said and done, is preeminently a civilization of Pakistan (ie its major sites are there), and Pakistanis being secure in that don't feel the need for one-upmanship or in part because Pakistan's national religion, Islam, is of much later vintage, and reveling antiquity (ie one that predates Islam) is not a part of Pakistan's national ethos. Be that as it may, for Wikipedia, we need to ensure that dubious claims, supported by dubious sources, do not worm their way into Wikipedia IVC-related articles. Other IVC sites that IVC-page-watchers might want to keep an eye on are: Mitathal, Bhirrana, Banawali, Baror, Kalibangan, Surkotada and many others in List of Indus Valley Civilisation sites. Fowler&fowler«Talk» 05:10, 23 February 2016 (UTC)

I also noticed this a few days ago for a book written by a Pakistani, in the context of the Indo-ryan migrations; what a relief to read. Just plain facts. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 05:25, 23 February 2016 (UTC)
@Fowler&fowler: Saraswati, the goddess of learning, is only vaguely related to the Sarasvati river. She is ot merely the personification of the river. (In fact, the connections between `Hinduism' and the Vedic religion are quite subtle and complicated.) Indians generally spell the name of the goddess with `w'. The river's name is generally spelt with `v' because it is transliterated in a formulaic way.
As for the pages on IVC sites and also rivers, I agree that much clean-up is needed. I noticed the battle at Rakhigarhi. I think I will work on it when I get a chance. - Kautilya3 (talk) 09:37, 23 February 2016 (UTC)
Thank you. That will be great if you can clean them up. Fowler&fowler«Talk» 06:58, 24 February 2016 (UTC)
On second thoughts I take that back. I just saw the tendentious, half digested stuff you have added to Ghaggar-Hakra river. That is shameful. The article is about a present-day river. Its content should be about the course of the river, its hydrology, etc, instead you (and others) have turned it into an article about the Vedic Saraswati river, adding of all things a map of the Sarasvati in the article about Ghaggar Hakra. Sorry, but your help is not needed. I can't stop you of course, but I remove the garbage you add. Fowler&fowler«Talk» 07:20, 24 February 2016 (UTC)
This of course belongs on Talk:Ghaggar-Hakra river. The edits I made are these. They consist of mostly deleting/tagging content that was unsourced or poorly sourced, and rearranging material. I added a small section on the identification with the Sarasvati river, using the sources that we have discussed here already. I haven't seen you mention any source that contests the identification. I would recommend WP:NPOV. - Kautilya3 (talk) 11:38, 24 February 2016 (UTC)
Sorry, I became frustrated because I thought that (ie, listing geophysics sources that reject the notion of a Saraswati is exactly what I have been doing upstairs, but perhaps I did not make that clear. I have now added that to the lead of Ghaggar-Hakra River page. Apologies also for misinterpreting what you were doing on that page. Fowler&fowler«Talk» 13:32, 24 February 2016 (UTC)
The geophysics sources are not rejecting the idea that the river could be identified with Sarasvati. Rather they are contesting the idea that the river was glacier-fed. "Glacier-fed" could have been the interpretation some people attached to the Rigvedic verses or it could have been an independent theory used to explain why the river might have been perennial. I don't know. I don't see Kenoyer and Possehl claiming this. Rigveda itself doesn't say anything about Sarasvati being glacier-fed or even that Yamuna and Sutlej flowed into it. All it does is to place the Sarasvati in between the Yamuna and Sutlej. I can double check. Cheers, Kautilya3 (talk) 14:36, 24 February 2016 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Glacier-fed is to be interpreted as "incising," ie. a stream that produces a valley by erosion. The tributaries of the rivers debouching (ie emerging in the plains) from the western Himalayas (whether of the Indus or the Ganges) are all incising, in contrast, for example, to Kosi and the eastern Himalayan rivers that have very small slopes and large alluvial fans on account of their decreased speed (causing Kosi to flood in the rainy season even today). That the Sarasvati is incising is found in RV 6.61.2 "6.61.2 She with her might, like one who digs for lotus-stems, hath burst with her strong waves the ridges of the hills." Few more evocative descriptions of an incising or degradational river exists in world literature. All western Himalayan rivers have "wide shallowly incised valleys" separated by plateau- or ridge-like landforms. However, in the Ghaggar-Hakra region there is an absence of large-scale incision. QED. If you don't buy what I am saying, you can read the authors' own words where they mention Possehl:

We note the sharp contrast between the degradational character of the tributaries of the Indus and the Ganges in the western Indo-Gangetic Plain and the lack of wide incision valleys along the Ghaggar-Hakra interfluve (Figs. 1 and 2A). Numerous speculations have advanced the idea that the Ghaggar-Hakra fluvial system, at times identified with the lost mythical river of Sarasvati (e.g., 4, 5, 7, 19), was a large glacier-fed Himalayan river. Potential sources for this river include the Yamuna River, the Sutlej River, or both rivers. However, the lack of large-scale incision on the interfluve demonstrates that large, glacier-fed rivers did not flow across the Ghaggar-Hakra region during the Holocene. (Where 4: Possehl GL (2002) The Indus Civilization: A Contemporary Perspective (Altamira Press, Lanham, MD). 5: Mughal MR (1997) Ancient Cholistan: Archaeology and Architecture (Ferozsons, Lahore). 7: Fuller DQ, Madella M (2002) in Indian Archaeology in Retrospect. Protohistory, eds Settar S, Korisettar R (Manohar Publishers, New Delhi), vol. II, pp 317–390); and 19: Radhakrishna BP, Merh SS (1999) Vedic Saraswati, Memoir (Geological Society of India, India), Vol. 42.

The authors, in their view, have countered the view of Possehl in his book. Here any additions should await what RegentsPark has suggested in the section above. Fowler&fowler«Talk» 16:59, 24 February 2016 (UTC)

Ok, thanks for the explanation! That does look like a pretty strong argument. - Kautilya3 (talk) 19:22, 24 February 2016 (UTC)

External links modified[edit]

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I have great respect for all of my fellow editors, and many of those I value the most are American. However, the stupidity of some IP users from the US, such as @ is truly astonishing. That IP editor has made SEVEN successive edits to change from British/Indian spelling to American spelling despite being warned several times. Attention all editors: "Civilisation" is how the word is spelt in India. By museums and by the press. Please take the time to read WP:STRONGNAT AusLondonder (talk) 01:12, 18 March 2016 (UTC)

Science and non-science[edit]

Science is published in scientific journals and undergoes rigorous peer review. Many scientists, when they make landmark discoveries, also write articles in press or give press interviews, where the results are explained in layman terms. Such reports are quite valuable for us at Wikipedia. However, if scientists only give press interviews without publishing in peer-reviewed articles, we only have the scientists' word to go by, and it cannot be regarded as "science." Any scientific claims made in newspapers without prior publication in peer-reviewed journals must be regarded as WP:SPS. They can be reported with in-line attribution when non-contentious. If they are inconsistent with other established science, they should be deleted as being WP:SPS. - Kautilya3 (talk) 13:51, 24 March 2016 (UTC)


Kenoyer et al. (2013), A new approach to tracking connections between the Indus Valley and Mesopotamia: initial results of strontium isotope analyses from Harappa and Ur, Journal of Archaeological Science, Volume 40, Issue 5, May 2013, Pages 2286–2297 (emphasis mine):

"Based on this distribution of values, it would appear from our preliminary analysis that almost half of the individuals sampled from the Harappa cemetery have isotope values outside the local baseline (0.7158e0.7189). Most of these individuals have values below the Harappa range. In addition, there are at least three non-local individuals with higher values, including one with an extremely isotope ratio that cannot be from the Harappa region. A more detailed discussion of the Harappa samples will be presented in a future publication on the Harappa cemetery, but it is clear that many of what appear to be local individuals at Harappa are females and they are associated in burial with nearby males who are clearly not local. These preliminary patterns require further testing before major conclusions can be proposed, but it does suggest that they represent a unique population of people from multiple regions of the Indus valley or beyond.

Fascinating, isn't it? And more and more complicated, also because of Coningham, Robin; Young, Ruth (2015), The Archaeology of South Asia: From the Indus to Asoka, c.6500 BCE–200 CE, Cambridge University Press, p.114:

"According to Lukacs and Hemphill, while there is a strong continuity between the neolithic and chalcolithic (Copper Age) cultures of Mehrgarh, dental evidence shows that the chalcolithic population did not descend from the neolithic population of Mehrgarh,[133] which "suggests moderate levels of gene flow."[133] They further noted that "the direct lineal descendents of the Neolithic inhabitants of Mehrgarh are to be found to the south and the east of Mehrgarh, in northwestern India and the western edge of the Deccan plateau," with neolithic Mehrgarh showing greater affinity with chalocolithic Inamgaon, south of Mehrgarh, than with chalcolithic Mehrgarh.[133]"

How many waves of migration, displacement and admixture have there been?!? Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 12:14, 25 March 2016 (UTC)

Lots and lots, because India is the happening place! You realize that this kills you theory of the ANI being the Harappans? - Kautilya3 (talk) 13:44, 25 March 2016 (UTC)
The latest wave were the western hippies, right? I don't think so my ANI-Harappans theory is killed by now. I'd rather say: it becomes more specific: a chalcolithic migration from which the IVC-population grew. Anyway, it's clear that Indian pre-history is very complicated, and does not fit into a monolithic narrative. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 14:02, 25 March 2016 (UTC)
Here's the follow-up, and two related articles which cite Kenoyer et al. (2013):
Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 14:12, 25 March 2016 (UTC)

This article is very,very biased[edit]

This article is very,very biased. Most scholars think it is a script — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:26, 10 May 2016 (UTC)

population of over five million[edit]

This is a problematic claim. There's a ton of works that repeat it, and do so probably copying Wikipedia. I did find a 1996 article ([4]) which contains a sentence "The whole region might have had about five million people." so it may be the citation we need, however. --Hanyangprofessor2 (talk) 03:02, 16 May 2016 (UTC)

I found this: by the end of the Mature Harappan period, the Harappans are estimated to have numbered somewhere between 1 and 5 million, probably well below the region’s carrying capacity.[1] - Kautilya3 (talk) 11:17, 16 May 2016 (UTC)


  1. ^ McIntosh, Jane (2008), The Ancient Indus Valley: New Perspectives, ABC-CLIO, p. 387, ISBN 978-1-57607-907-2 


According to "Scientists from IIT-Kharagpur and Archaeological Survey of India (ASI)," publishing in Nature, 25 may 2016, and cited in TOI, the Early Harappan culture is to be dated at 8,000-7,000 years ago. May be worth checking. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 04:57, 29 May 2016 (UTC)

8000 year old claim[edit]

First, hype set aside, I can't see any evidence for a civilization 8000 years ago in the Times of India article. It does say "While the earlier phases were represented by pastoral and early village farming communities,". But the main problem is that we should never use newspaper reports on archaology, among other things, to make statements of fact. We need to be able to source the original reports and normally to wait to see what the rest of the academic community has to say about it. Finding the original source was surprisingly difficult but it's here.Oxygen isotope in archaeological bioapatites from India: Implications to climate change and decline of Bronze Age Harappan civilization It does argue that " initiation of Harappan settlements (Hakra phase), is older than 8 ka BP." and that this phase "was primarily identified by ceramics such as mud appliqué ware, incised ware, and bi-chrome ware, much similar to the Pre-Harappan phase in Cholistan (Figs 1A and 3C 36) and was characterized by its subterranean dwelling, sacrificial and industrial pits" That phase it says was followed by the "Early Harappan phase shows settlement expansion, mud brick houses with advanced material culture including arrow heads, rings and bangles of copper...." It suggests the following phases: " Pre-Harappan Hakra phase (~9.5–8 ka BP), Early Harappan (~8–6.5 ka BP), Early mature Harappan (~6.5–5 ka BP) and mature Harappan (~5–2.8 ka BP". It's not until the mature Harappan phase commenced that you actually get what archaeologists call a civilization. Maybe "Kot Diji represents the phase leading up to Mature Harappan, with the citadel representing centralised authority and an increasingly urban quality of life." is one of the starting spots. Doug Weller talk 13:17, 29 May 2016 (UTC)

But the main problem is that we should never use newspaper reports on archaology

Well the newspapers were only reporting what the IIT and ASI scientists found but we know all efforts will be made by western propagandists to deny any such thing because according to them all civilization came from Europe or near to Europe in places like Egypt, Mesopotamia etc or whatever places mentioned in Biblical myths. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:29, 2 June 2016 (UTC)

Bull. I linked the actual report which doesn't back the newspaper headlines. Doug Weller talk 05:04, 2 June 2016 (UTC)


Removed Americanizations — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2601:602:100:DC9C:9C1B:C77D:DEA8:309A (talk) 21:32, 30 May 2016 (UTC)

IP is stalking me. Doug Weller talk 05:45, 31 May 2016 (UTC)

Undue information about Dravidian people[edit]

As we know that the connection between Dravidian and Elam has been promoted by a tiny minority of scholars and this hypothesis has been criticized by the scholars of the field as "ad hoc" and unfounded.[5] To this day, it remains "far from being universally accepted",[6] and it is generally accepted that Dravidians are indigenous.[7] See WP:FRINGE.

For such reasons I would remove whole Indus_Valley_Civilisation#Historical_context_and_linguistic_affiliation to the previous[8](version before this section) version and because its undue and selective information about Dravidian, most of the sources not even mentioning Indus Valley Civilisation. Nor I see any discussion on the talk page about having such a section on this article. Ping |Fowler, @RegentsPark: D4iNa4 (talk) 03:07, 31 May 2016 (UTC)

The section on Dravidian origins doesn't say that these views are "universally accepted." It says "possible near Eastern Dravidian origins", and attributes all views to their proponents. This is not a problem. The proponents are respectable researchers. It is not appropriate to call them "fringe theories." And, please don't start yet another indigeneity debate. Practically nobody is "indigenous." -- Kautilya3 (talk) 03:40, 31 May 2016 (UTC)
You refer to one author who gives a critical analysis; that's an even smaller minority. Referring to Fischer is cherrypicking; he is clearly wrong when he says "generally accepted," as is clear from the fact that there is an alternative theory, which is supported, or at least not contradicted, by recent genetic research. Demanding a discussion on the talkpage for a section before including it is against the basic spirit of Wikipedia; see WP:BOLD and WP:OWN. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 04:12, 31 May 2016 (UTC)
Of course its a fringe theory when the "alternative" depends on only a single linguist (David McAlpin) and only when the purpose is to talk about it as nothing more than a opinion of McAlpin. Unless it is too mainstream then only we should start a separate section for it, for claiming that there is a different possibility. Which is of course undue of for this article. Scholarly consensus for now is that Dravidians are indigenous to India as they are generally referred.[9][10][11][12]
None of the undue "DNA" information is required either as sources don't even mention Indus Valley Civilization.[13][14] Whenever you add a lot of controversial material to the article without making a discussion, onus is on you to prove if you had consensus or not and to establish that how it is worth it to include, especially on an article where we had extended discussion only over a name. D4iNa4 (talk) 07:43, 31 May 2016 (UTC)
I don't see a point in having this section that is only repetition of what already noted in above ("It has been compared in particular with the civilisations of Elam") section, with massive unrelated amount of WP:OR and WP:SYNTH about the genepool that only belongs to Genetics and archaeogenetics of South Asia. Capitals00 (talk) 08:21, 31 May 2016 (UTC)
McAlpin is not fringe and not "only a single linguist"; see also
  • Renfrew and Cavalli-Sforza;
  • Kivisild (1999): "lends credence to the suggested linguistic connection between the Elamite and Dravidic populations."
  • Palanichamy et al. (2015): "The presence of mtDNA haplogroups (HV14 and U1a) and Y-chromosome haplogroup (L1) in Dravidian populations indicates the spread of the Dravidian language into India from west Asia."
The references D4iNa4 gives for his opinion that "Scholarly consensus for now is that Dravidians are indigenous to India as they are generally referred" don't offer any substantial treatment of the topic, nor do they mention McAlpin, Renfrew or Cavalli-Sforza. So, rather than calling this "scholarly consensus," I'd call it insufficient treatments of the topic. The qualification "controversial" is unsubstantiated; it takes more than a personal opinion to exclude this info from the article.
Gallego Romero et al. (2011) is in line with these publications, so I don't understand why Capitals00 calls this "massive unrelated amount of WP:OR and WP:SYNTH," when it's clearly related to this topic.
All this info puts those explicit statements about the presumed indigenousness of the Dravidians into question, which makes it very relevant to mention. Attempts to censor this are against Wiki-policies, which clearly state that the relevant point of views should be presented. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 13:26, 31 May 2016 (UTC)
Thing is that academics don't take McAlpin seriously and his findings have been refuted. None of your other sources are mentioning Indus Valley Civilization, describing Indus Valley Civilization is what we need, and your sources are far very from that. You who came with an idea and now you are somehow trying to establish by using source about gene pool, while forgetting that there are studies that show contrary. That's how you are doing original research on a issue where we look for major view and relevance. Genetic studies say that Dravidian people are not a specific race they are common genetic pool between Dravidian and non-Dravidian people of in South India. Indian origin of dravidian has "overwhelming"[15] support. Colin Renfrew and Paul Bahn also say that McAlpin is "far" from what is generally accepted and Dravidian is not known to any other language and better assumed that its native to India.[16] D4iNa4 (talk) 15:40, 31 May 2016 (UTC)
Your writing is too incoherent for me to follow. If there are reliable sources of equal stature that contradict the views, please feel free to add them. Of course, there might be contest about whether they are equally reliable and whether they are really contradicting. But that is your first step, not to say you want to delete reliably sourced content. -- Kautilya3 (talk) 16:59, 31 May 2016 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Indeed. Deleting relevant info from reliabl sources sounds more like POV-pushing. NB": speaking about controversial, the R1a debate is notorious; 2006 (Sengupta et al.) is almost prehistory in this regard, especially given Underhill (2014). You should also have quoted the full sentences, to get the context:

"Associated microsatellite analyses of the high-frequency R1a1 haplogroup chromosomes indicate independent recent histories of the Indus Valley and the peninsular Indian region. Our data are also more consistent with a peninsular origin of Dravidian speakers than a source with proximity to the Indus and with significant genetic input resulting from demic diffusion associated with agriculture."

What Sengupta et al. are arguing is that R1a came from the south; they imply that the Dravidians came from the south. The other reference you gave, Renfrew and Bahn, straight out contradicts this POV. Their concern is how Dravidian languages spread throughout India. But alas, it's worth mentioning that McAlpin may be incorrect. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 04:46, 1 June 2016 (UTC)

Interesting chapter, by the way: "South and Island Southeast Asia: Lanuages", in "The Cambridge World Prehistory." Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 05:21, 1 June 2016 (UTC)

Indus Valley Civilisation is 2500 year older than previously thought[edit]

Recent findings by IIT and ASI scientists have discovered that IVC is at least 8,000 years old and not 5500 years old as previously thought or misthought. They used a technique called optically stimulated luminescence to find that out. I think this article needs to be updated in accordance with the scientific study. Here are few sources

— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:23, 2 June 2016 (UTC)

See above and read the actual report.Oxygen isotope in archaeological bioapatites from India: Implications to climate change and decline of Bronze Age Harappan civilization Doug Weller talk 05:06, 2 June 2016 (UTC)
Ah, I just wanted to make a similar comment. There's a big difference between a farming settlement and an urban civilisation. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 05:16, 2 June 2016 (UTC)
Agreed, plus we should wait for secondary sources. But this does seem to suggest dating is on the move. Johnbod (talk) 13:12, 2 June 2016 (UTC)
Recently published research paper( May 2016) in the 'Nature' journal concludes that IVC is 2500 years older than presently accepted which places the civilisation in the 6,000 BC. Institutions involved in the research study: 1. Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, 2. Institute of Archaeology, Deccan College, Pune, 3. Physical Research Laboratory and; 4. Archaeological Survey of India
Research paper name: Oxygen isotope in archaeological bioapatites from India: Implications to climate change and decline of Bronze Age Harappan civilization Anindya Sarkar, Arati Deshpande Mukherjee, M. K. Bera, B. Das, Navin Juyal, P. Morthekai, R. D. Deshpande, V. S. Shinde & L. S. Rao Scientific Reports 6, Article number: 26555 (2016) doi:10.1038/srep26555 Palaeoclimate Received: 05 November 2015 Accepted: 29 April 2016 Published online: 25 May 2016 Their links: 1. 2. 3. — Preceding unsigned comment added by BodduLokesh (talkcontribs) 08:59, 6 June 2016 (UTC)


I'm removing this image for three reasons. Please address both reasons if you disagree. And please seek consensus before re-adding the images.

  1. The images are poor quality. The policy on historical images is designed to include images that were taken a long time ago and have historical value. These images are of existing objects.
  2. The images add nothing to the article (see point 3).
  3. The caption pushes an association between the IVC and Hinduism that is contentious in scholarly work and is definitely not borne out by the text of the article.

--regentspark (comment) 14:54, 4 June 2016 (UTC)

Yes, your statement to poor quality image is absolutely right but your statement to association of IVC to Hinduism is wrong but many seals, linga and yoni were found at Harappa and kalibangan and there is a discussion for the linga and yoni in the article so there is a need to add a file related to topic or discussion. And finally better image was updated to previous file so i adding once again this file. Adding this file does'nt connect IVC to Hinduism but this file just connect to worship of stones by IVC people only but not Hinduism be consensus on this file amd avoid personal reactions. Thank you WP MANIKHANTA Talk 10:13, 6 June 2016 (UTC)
Thanks for responding Manikhanta. Even putting the quality of the images aside, the issue with your image is the association of lingas and shiva with the stones. Unlike the pashupati seal, which is well discussed in academia, the stones in your image are not backed up by any scholarly association between the stones themselves and shiva lingas or even between the existence of these stones and the idea that they were used for worship. That association is being made in the article and could very well qualify as OR. At best you could use the images with a caption that says "stone formations found at Harappa'. But, that doesn't add anything to the article and the poor quality of the images disqualifies them from use. --regentspark (comment) 13:08, 6 June 2016 (UTC)

DNA of IVC people will be the next major breakthrough of the IVC study.[edit]

Good news for IVC truth seekers, but bad news for some prejudiced editors.The DNA of IVC people(from Rakhigarhi) is being analysed and the results are about to come in near future which will be the major discovery of IVC till date, so all great prejudiced editors of IVC wiki be ready from now on to tackle ways to oppose it. Because the results will definitely not be a sweet hearing for you. It is going to establish the truths of IVC. 100 years worth research material is under excavation from the largest IVC site ever discovered till date i.e., Rakhigarhi

So, all truth seekers of IVC, don't worry, science and technology is our tool to establish the truths. No matter how much genuine and recent scientific material is available some prejudiced editors will not bother about it and will stay in the debunked theories of 20th century and always protect them from being edited. BodduLokesh (talk) 09:36, 6 June 2016 (UTC)

So, those results have to still be published, but you already know what they are? Talking about prejudice... I guess your prediction is something like 'The IVC was populated by indigenous people, which proves that India is the oldest civilisation in the world.' Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 10:58, 6 June 2016 (UTC)
This quote is indicative of the kind of thinking we find in some publications on the IVC:
"Archaeologists have termed Rakhigarhi as the biggest Indus Valley civilisation site in the world"
Does this indicate that IVC-sites are being found worldwide? Anyway, here's some more background. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 13:18, 6 June 2016 (UTC)
Wait, it still takes time to get the DNA analysis results, b/c they are being analysed at research institutions of 3 countries at the same time,i.e., US, South Korea and India. It takes time to reach the boiling point, until then it seems as if there is no change in liquid state, it doesn't mean it will never change its state, once the boiling point is reached, instantly change occurs to vapour. Every state change has its boiling point(same with IVC). The point here is to keep boiling(doing genuine research with the only objective as finding the truth without any presumptions)! Joshua Jonathan. I don't understand by your word indigenous people b/c as per the accepted research theory, all human race came from Africa to all remaining earth 70000 years ago, then how can there be separate indigenous people in IVC and as for your other mention i.e., oldest civilization of the world, I donot have any intention to find out the oldest civilization in the world. The only thing that makes me take note is that 100 years worth research material is being awaiting at Rakhigarhi, so there is much scope for more and more genuine research. BodduLokesh (talk) 05:19, 7 June 2016 (UTC)
Okay,apologies for my harsh words. We've just seentoomuch POV-pushing by Indian nationalists, soI read your words as another attemptin this direction. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 05:40, 7 June 2016 (UTC)
Apologies accepted. BodduLokesh (talk) 11:49, 7 June 2016 (UTC)


@Diannaa: could you take a look at these edits? Loos like they're copy-vio's of multiple sources. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 06:03, 21 June 2016 (UTC)

Never mind; SpacemanSpiff already took care of this. Thanks! Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 08:15, 21 June 2016 (UTC)

Iranian farmers[edit]

Lazaridis et al. (2016)

"The impact of the Near Eastern farmers extended beyond the Near East: farmers related to those of Anatolia spread westward into Europe; farmers related to those of the Levant spread southward into East Africa; farmers related to those from Iran spread northward into the Eurasian steppe; and people related to both the early farmers of Iran and to the pastoralists of the Eurasian steppe spread eastward into South Asia." [17]

I have to check the publication, but this sounds very interesting. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 05:25, 26 June 2016 (UTC)

Wow, it is!
"In South Asia, our dataset provides insight into the sources of Ancestral North Indians (ANI), a West Eurasian related population that no longer exists in unmixed form but contributes a variable amount of the ancestry of South Asians (Supplementary Information, section 9)(Extended Data Fig. 4). We show that it is impossible to model the ANI as being derived from any single ancient population in our dataset. However, it can be modelled as a mix of ancestry related to both early farmers of western Iran and to people of the Bronze Age Eurasian steppe; all sampled South Asian groups are inferred to have significant amounts of both ancestral types. The demographic impact of steppe related populations on South Asia was substantial, as the Mala, a south Indian population with minimal ANI along the ‘Indian Cline’ of such ancestry is inferred to have ~18% steppe-related ancestry, while the Kalash of Pakistan are inferred to have ~50%, similar to present-day northern Europeans." [18].
Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 05:30, 26 June 2016 (UTC)
And this too:
"the spread of ideas and farming technology moved faster than the spread of people" [19]
Compare, from the Wiki-article:
"Lukacs and Hemphill give a more complex picture, pointing at an initial local development, with a continuity in cultural development but a change in population."
Local origin, but substantial immigration, c.q. population shift, from the Near East? Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 05:40, 26 June 2016 (UTC)
See also the discussion at eurogenes.blogspot, Genetics of an early Neolithic pastoralist from western Iran (Gallego Llorente et al. preprint), and eurogenes.blogspot, Another ancient genome from Iran coming soon. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 06:00, 26 June 2016 (UTC)
And see also Nature, Farming invented twice in Middle East, genomes study reveals. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 06:24, 26 June 2016 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Still more:

"While the Early/Middle Bronze Age ‘Yamnaya’-related group (Steppe_EMBA) is a good genetic match (together with Neolithic Iran) for ANI, the later Middle/Late Bronze Age steppe population (Steppe_MLBA) is not. Steppe_MLBA includes Sintashta and Andronovo populations who have been proposed as identical to or related to ancestral Indo-Iranians9,19, as well as the Srubnaya from eastern Europe which are related to South Asians by their possession of Y-chromosome haplogroup R1a1a1b2-Z935. A useful direction of future research is a more comprehensive sampling of ancient DNA from steppe populations, as well as populations of central Asia (east of Iran and south of the steppe), which may reveal more proximate sources of the ANI than the ones considered here, and of South Asia to determine the trajectory of population change in the area directly." (Supplementary Information Page 123)

This means that ANI, c.q. IVC (who else?) is closely related to the Yamna-culture c.q. Neolithic Iran, while the Indo-Iranians are less related! Which means, hypothetically, that ANI, c.q. the IVC, was genetically close to farmers from Iran. My bet for those upcoming IVC DNA sequences: closely related to Iranian neolithic farmers. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 13:50, 28 June 2016 (UTC)

From another blog:
  • "In The Agricultural Revolution in Prehistory : Why did Foragers become Farmers? by G. Barker, although the thesis is that at Mehrgarh in Baluchistan agriculture starts indipendently from South-West Asia, it is observed at p.162 that in Neolithic Mehrgarh the technology "included geometric microliths such as those used by the late Pleistocene and early Holocene foragers of the Zagros and Turkmenistan.""
  • " In a very recent paper, The Near-Eastern Roots of the Neolithic in South Asia by K. Gangal, G.R. Sarson and A. Shukurov, we read: "Neolithic domesticated crops in Mehrgarh include more than 90% barley and a small amount of wheat. There is good evidence for the local domestication of barley and the zebu cattle at Mehrgarh [19], [20], but the wheat varieties are suggested to be of Near-Eastern origin, as the modern distribution of wild varieties of wheat is limited to Northern Levant and Southern Turkey[21]. A detailed satellite map study of a few archaeological sites in the Baluchistan and Khybar Pakhtunkhwa regions also suggests similarities in early phases of farming with sites in Western Asia [22]. Pottery prepared by sequential slab construction, circular fire pits filled with burnt pebbles, and large granaries are common to both Mehrgarh and many Mesopotamian sites [23]. The postures of the skeletal remains in graves at Mehrgarh bear strong resemblance to those at Ali Kosh in the Zagros Mountains of southern Iran [19]. Clay figurines found in Mehrgarh resemble those discovered at Zaghe on the Qazvin plain south of the Elburz range in Iran (the 7th millennium BCE) and Jeitun in Turkmenistan (the 6th millennium BCE) [24]. Strong arguments have been made for the Near-Eastern origin of some domesticated plants and herd animals at Jeitun in Turkmenistan (pp. 225–227 in [25])."
"J.F. Jarrige, in an article in Pragdhara 18, of 2006, Mehrgarh Neolithic, p.151, speaks of similarities of Mehrgarh with the early Neolithic settlements "in the hilly regions forming the eastern border of Mesopotamia." These 'hilly regions' are the Zagros"
Very interesting blog to read. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 13:08, 29 June 2016 (UTC)

Rakhigarhi, Bhirrana and Mehrgarh[edit]

My first concern is that Bhirrana and Mehrgarh are described as cultures in this article but not in their own.

Secondly, Rakhigarhi is described as "the site of a Pre-Indus Valley Civilisation settlement dating to as early as 4600 BCE." while Bhirrana "According to a December 2014 report by the Archaeological Survey of India, Bhirrana is the oldest Indus Valley Civilization site, dating back to 7570-6200 BCE". [1][2][3] It would be nice to see the original report(s). Note that Rakhigarhi is mentioned as maybe the largest IVC site. Doug Weller talk 12:19, 6 July 2016 (UTC)


  1. ^ "Haryana's Bhirrana oldest Harappan site, Rakhigarhi Asia's largest: ASI". Times of India. 15 April 2015. 
  2. ^ "History: What their lives reveal". livemint. 4 January 2013. 
  3. ^ Akhilesh Pillalamarri (18 April 2015). "Exploring the Indus Valley's Secrets". The diplomat. Retrieved 18 April 2015. 

Questionable sources[edit]

This edit[20] by User:Lorstaking changed Mehrgarh to Bhirrana on the basis of these sources.[1][2] The first is a self-published work by Srini Kalyanaraman, ie "S Kalyanaraman, a PhD in Public Administration, University of Philippines, anddirector of the privately-funded Sarasvati Research Centre in Chennai,"[21] and seems pretty clearly to fail WP:RS. The second is Mint (newspaper), dated January 2013. I don't like using media sources instead of official reports as they often get them wrong or even spin them, and of course this is relatively old now. Doug Weller talk 12:29, 6 July 2016 (UTC)


It was an unsourced statement with regards to Mehrgarh, I had added these sources and included in table too. I have removed these sources and mentions from the paragraph and changed section title of Mehrgarh since it included some information about Mehrgarh and Bhirrana. Lorstaking (talk) 14:42, 6 July 2016 (UTC)
@Doug Weller: I note that @Lorstaking: is engaging in edit warring, and has certainly by now violated 2RR. As for the sources, they are the usual rumors bouncing in the echo chambers of the Indian media. The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) has been engaging in dubious historical research since the early 1950s. The ASI has walled out all non-Indian archaeologists from excavating any putative bronze age sites in India. None of these ASI reports have been published in an international journal. In contrast, Mehrgarh was excavated by a Jarige and Jarige, a French team whose discoveries have been widely published internationally. Fowler&fowler«Talk» 15:59, 6 July 2016 (UTC)
Fowler, you had made an accidental revert of the content that you wanted to remove,[22](compare edit summary with the actual edit) it seemed like an accident that you happen to reinstate the material that I had already removed. Lorstaking (talk) 16:03, 6 July 2016 (UTC)
@Lorstaking: I'm afraid it was no accident. I was attempting to remove the claims about Bhirrana, which are not reliably sourced. The subtitle "Mehrgarh and Bhirrana" is still there. When Bhirrana has several chapters of a major text book Wright's Ancient Indus (CUP, 2011) devoted to it, as Mehrgarh does, not simply simply unpublished ASI reports, we can examine these claims again. As they stand now, they can't go in. Fowler&fowler«Talk» 16:13, 6 July 2016 (UTC)
That's fine, subtitle changed to "Mehrgarh" again now. Lorstaking (talk) 16:17, 6 July 2016 (UTC)
I'm afraid, the claims about Bhirrana have to go in their entirety (ie from the bottom of the section). Primary sources (such as ASI reports) cannot be interpreted reliably by newspaper articles, and these interpretations do not become reliable secondary sources. Nor do quick publications in Indian "home" journals (of the various ad hoc institutes the authors are affiliated with) become reliable sources. All claims about Bhirrana (oldest) and Rakhigarhi (largest) are of this form. Do you seriously believe that the Jarige Institute in France would not have written something if they seriously believed that Bhirrana was older than Mehrgarh? As for the other speculation, it is being claimed (see here) that a primitive etching of a woman with one hand on hip found on a pottery shard in Bhirrana is a precursor of the sophisticated "dancing girl of Mohenjo-daro," and the ancient inhabitants of Bhirrana had anticipated the former. But such primitive etchings can be found in paleolithic cave art all over the world, including very likely in India. Fowler&fowler«Talk» 16:39, 6 July 2016 (UTC)


@Fowler&fowler: I am seeing you removed a map about genetics[23], I don't oppose that edit since this whole section was new to article. So what do you think about the whole Indus Valley Civilisation#Genetics section? To me it seems undue and irrelevant because none of the sources are talking about Indus Valley. Have a look at above section for previous discussion. Capitals00 (talk) 16:57, 6 July 2016 (UTC)

@Capitals00 and Joshua Jonathan: In my edit, I had removed a piece of original research, a user's graphical interpretation of recent work in Human Genetics, most of which is couched in the language of statistical estimates, in the form of actual migration paths. Wikipedia does not allow this. Will take a look at that debate later. Thanks for the link. For now, I think it is enough for me to say that the entire section on Genetics suffers from unreliable interpretation, and from WP:Recentism and will need to go as a section. Perhaps a line or two from the section can be mentioned in another more relevant section. Fowler&fowler«Talk» 17:18, 6 July 2016 (UTC)
No way. The intent is clear here (not from you, F&F): now that it's finally dawning on some people that the Vedic people are not the source for Indianness, the claims are being transported toward the IVC. The fact that genetic research clearly points to Near eastern influences on the IVC, c.q. pre-Vedic northern India, is not welcome in this view. The comment "the whole Genetics section [...] seems undue and irrelevant because none of the sources are talking about Indus Valley" is typical in this regard; it's rhetorical, and incorrect, since several sources do explicitly mention the Indus Valley, as hs been mentioned before. Better look-up the sources, or read the previous discussion, instead of repeating rhetorical comments.
And it's not WP:Recentism; the supposed link between the IVC and the Near East is old; the genetic reasearch on this topic also started at least already in the 1990s (Cavalli-Sforza, Kivisild), if not earlier.
By the way, Gallego Romero et al. (2011) does refer to migration routes, as does Haak et al. (2015). And Lazaridis et al. (2016) also speaks about movements, not only about statistics. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 20:13, 6 July 2016 (UTC)
It's funny, by the way, how a couple of editors, who all have made less than 1,000 edits, seem to pop-up recently at related topics and support each other. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 20:21, 6 July 2016 (UTC)

Lukacs and Hemphill[edit]

@Capitals00 and Joshua Jonathan: The cultural link by way of artifacts is old, mentioned in early IVC sources, in Dani et al, and Jarige et al, who excavated Mehrgarh. But the genetic links have not been improperly interpreted. For example, in the last paragraph of the genetics section you make an incomplete interpretation from the source, Coningham, Robin; Young, Ruth (2015), The Archaeology of South Asia: From the Indus to Asoka, c.6500 BCE–200 CE, Cambridge University Press, pp. 114–115, ISBN 978-1-316-41898-7 , quoting only page 114. The entire quote on pages 114-115 is more cautious:

"Lukacs and Hemphill also compared the chronological and physical differences of skeletal remains between Neolithic and 'Chalcolithic' Mehrgarh (about 1,500 years. and half a kilometre apart) and those from Neolithic Mehrgarh and later `Chalcolithic Inamgaon (about 5,000 years and 1,440 kilometres apart) (1991: 4).They concluded their work by suggesting that "the direct lineal descendants of the Neolithic inhabitants of Mehrgarh are to be found to the south and to the east of Mehrgarh, in northwestern India and the western edge of the Deccan Plateau, rather than in post-Neolithic Baluchistan" (Lukacs and Hemphill 1991: .4). They also concluded that there were greater similarities between the skeletons of Timargarha in the north-west (Iron Age), populations of Central Asia, and the Neolithic Mehrgarh population than between Neolithic and Chalcolithic Mehrgarh (Lukacs and Hemphill 1991: 113; Lukacs 1983: 392) (page 114)"

"This study demonstrates that studying human skeletal remains is critical as it raises many interesting questions about our understanding of population continuity. It may be that increased DNA analysis will help further understand links between different groups but this is a costly process and DNA does not always survive well. Teeth on the other hand are generally quite robust in archaeological contexts, and carry a number of genetically determined traits that can be incredibly useful in exploring genetic movement. In conclusion, although this dental analysis may suggest firm links between the north-west of South Asia and the Deccan, there is as yet no corresponding artefactual evidence – leaving this dental study as an intriguing data set. (page 115)"

As you will see here, the authors are really suggesting that the teeth data, let along the genetic interpretation of the data, is an intriguing data set, but not yet vetted by artefactual evidence. They are hardly suggesting that it forms a significant view of the people of IVC. I have notice many other such misinterpretations. Fowler&fowler«Talk» 20:52, 6 July 2016 (UTC)

Thank you for your reply. Please do read the original passage on Lukacs and Hemphill in this article; it was cherrypicking on a litle piece of info which suggested that the IVC was autochtonous. When I dived into it, I found out that they noted a changed in physiology; this info was omitted by the original author. There was also discussion ont his, with one editor trying to get out the additional info.
What's more, Coningham and Young talk about the relation between "between the north-west of South Asia and the Deccan" and the lack of "artefactual evidence" for this relation:
"this dental analysis may suggest firm links between the north-west of South Asia and the Deccan, there is as yet no corresponding artefactual evidence"

The Wiki-article is about the discontinuity in the north-west South Asia, as observed by Lukacs and Hemphill. And as ypou noticed yourself, "The cultural link by way of artifacts is old, mentioned in early IVC sources." So, your objection is interesting and relevant, but does not apply the way you intended. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 06:57, 7 July 2016 (UTC)

Underhill (2015)[edit]

@Joshua Jonathan, Capitals00, and RegentsPark: Joshua Jonathan, You have also misinterpreted the results of Underhill et al (2015), which guardedly states on page 128, that (my italics):

"It may have been in this cultural context that hg R1a-Z282 diversified in Central and Eastern Europe. The corresponding diversification in the Middle East and South Asia is more obscure. However, early urbanization within the Indus Valley also occurred at this time and the geographic distribution of R1a-M780 (Figure 3d) may reflect this."

and which explicity states in its conclusion on page 130 (my italics):

Our phylogeographic data lead us to conclude that the initial episodes of R1a-M420 diversification occurred in the vicinity of Iran and Eastern Turkey, and we estimate that diversification downstream of M417 occurred B5800 years ago. This suggests the possibility that R1a lineages accompanied demic expansions initiated during the Copper, Bronze, and Iron ages, partially replacing previous Y-chromosome strata, an interpretation consistent with albeit limited ancient DNA evidence.54,60 However, our data do not enable us to directly ascribe the patterns of R1a geographic spread to specific prehistoric cultures or more recent demographic events. Highthroughput sequencing studies of more R1a lineages will lead to further insight into the structure of the underlying tree, and ancient DNA specimens will help adjudicate the molecular clock calibration. Together these advancements will yield more refined inferences about pre-historic dispersals of peoples, their material cultures, and languages."

That is a far cry from what you have written, which is:

"recent research by Underhill (2014/2015) on the spread of haplogroup R1a. Underhill et al. (2014/2015) conclude that R1a1a1, the most frequent subclade of R1a, split into Z282 (Europe) and Z93 (Asia) at circe 5,800 before present[149] in the vicinity of Iran and Eastern Turkey. It may have spread with "demic expansions initiated during the Copper, Bronze, and Iron ages," going to India and spreading further with the early urbanization of the Indus Valley Civilisation."

In other words, they are saying that they don't have any way as yet of calibrating the molecular clock assumptions either with fossil evidence or ancient human DNA. Yours is a misinterpretation of their conclusion, imputing certainty to results that are highly uncertain and conjectural. Fowler&fowler«Talk» 23:03, 6 July 2016 (UTC)

Compare Underhill 2015
"early urbanization within the Indus Valley also occurred at this time and the geographic distribution of R1a-M780 (Figure 3d) may reflect this"
with the Wiki-article
"It may have spread with "demic expansions initiated during the Copper, Bronze, and Iron ages," going to India and spreading further with the early urbanization of the Indus Valley Civilisation."
That's not a far cry, that's a paraphrase that can be improved, which I shall do. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 06:57, 7 July 2016 (UTC)
Done.Note that Underhill (2014/2015) refers explicitly to the early urbanisation of the Indus Valley. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 07:04, 7 July 2016 (UTC)

Gallego Romero et al. (2011)[edit]

@Joshua Jonathan, Capitals00, and RegentsPark: Finally, the Romero results are also incompletely stated. First of all, as many Indian physicians know, most people in India are lactose intolerant. In fact, the newsletter of the University of Chicago, where she (Romero) was a post-doc at the time of the publication of the letter, says clearly (quoting her): "Another surprising fact was turned up by the researchers when they measure just how common the lactose tolerance mutation was among Indian populations. The mutation was found in less than 1 out of 5 individuals tested, a figure far lower than anticipated by many of the project’s Indian advisors. 'When I became interested in this project, everybody said "Everyone in India drinks milk,” ' Gallego Romero said. “But when we got the results, we said, ‘No, only 18 percent of people in India are digesting milk, nobody else is.'” In other words, we are talking about a trait present in 18% of Indians in the context of the spread of neolithic cultures from the Iranian plateau to Balochistan. Romero's actual paper concludes with,

"Taken together, our results indicate that the -13910*T allele is responsible for the substantial proportion of lactase persistence in the country. Furthermore, haplotype analyses indicate that the -13910*T allele in India is identical by descent to that found in Europe and western Asia, whereas examination of the pattern of haplotype block structure in the context of the archaeological history of herding across this intercontinental region suggests that the -13910*T allele was introduced to India from the west. However, within India, the lactase persistence phenotype has had a more structured adaptive history, with higher frequencies clustered in those groups that traditionally practice a dairying economy. Lactase persistence remains one of, if not, the best examples of coevolution between cultural and biological innovations, and the historical and socioeconomic complexity of India provides a unique opportunity for exploring the processes that generate human diversity."

This is not an independent genetic result that supports an archaeological fact (ie of spread of neolithic cultures), but rather one that uses the well-established spread of neolithic cultures to posit a time frame for the spread of the lactose tolerance allele in the Indian population. Fowler&fowler«Talk» 00:54, 7 July 2016 (UTC)

I'll have to look into that again; thanks. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 06:57, 7 July 2016 (UTC)
Actually, there are two points here: the spread of this haplotype with farming herding, while the line of thought in the Wiki-article is on farming; and using "the well-established spread of neolithic cultures to posit a time frame." Nevertheless, Gallego Romero does clearly posit population movement from the near East, which is relevant in this context. But, and I was thinking about this late night, it may also suggest multiple migrations, including migrations preceding the IVC. It even leaves open the possibility that the earliest farmers in the Indus Valley came from the near East, and were replaced by other farmers from the near East! Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 07:32, 7 July 2016 (UTC)
Gallego Romero et al. (2011) p.9:
"The earliest evidence of cattle herding in south Asia comes from the Indus River Valley site of Mehrgarh and is dated to 7,000 YBP (Meadow 1993)"
Note, again, that this publication too explicitly mentions the Indus Valley. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 07:28, 7 July 2016 (UTC)
Mehrgarh is not an IVC site. The inaccurate labeling of it by a post-doctoral researcher in Human Genetics, i.e. Romero, as "Indus River Valley site of Mehrgarh and is dated to 7,000 YBP (Meadow 1993) does not make it so." It is preeminently a neolithic site, with some chalcolithic sites nearby and some urban cultures still farther away. The aridification of the Kachi plain of Balochistan, and the emigration of humans from it, had begun long before the beginning of the urban civilization (that we call IVC). I believe you are grasping at the straws for any mention of IVC in any genetics paper, even if the mention is not exactly relevant, or itself inaccurate. What urban civilization (i.e. Indus Valley Civilisation, which in the lead sentence we date to: 3300–1300 BCE; mature period 2600–1600 BCE) was there in Mehrgarh 7,000 years before present (YBP)?. Fowler&fowler«Talk» 11:20, 7 July 2016 (UTC)
None, indeed. But as it is now, the Wiki-article includes the following statements:
  • "According to Ahmad Hasan Dani, professor emeritus at Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad, the discovery of Mehrgarh "changed the entire concept of the Indus civilisation […] There we have the whole sequence, right from the beginning of settled village life."[26]"
  • "Mehrgarh is one of the earliest sites with evidence of farming and herding in South Asia.[44][45] According to Parpola, the culture migrated into the Indus Valley and became the Indus Valley Civilisation.[46]"
So, obviously, Mehrgarh is relevant to the origins of the IVC. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 13:13, 7 July 2016 (UTC)
But none of the genetics paper document this migration from Mehrgarh to the IVC proper. Fowler&fowler«Talk» 13:28, 7 July 2016 (UTC)
That's a good one! :) (except for the word "migration," of course; but I understand what you mean. Though I seriously doubt that you'd like to argue for a non-IVC, pre-Vedic Eurasian component in the ANI which would be large enough to explain the share of Eurasian genes in the Indian population. It would be a truly missing link). Best regards, Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 13:35, 7 July 2016 (UTC)


PS In other word, I am not convinced that if three examples that I picked out of the hat are incorrectly or incompletely summarized from the source material, that this problem does not plague the entire section. I believe this section needs to be removed in its entirety, until such time its accuracy can be vetted on the this talk page. Best regards, Fowler&fowler«Talk» 00:59, 7 July 2016 (UTC)

@Fowler&fowler: thank you for your extensive reply, and for actually reading the sources. I can't agree that the whole section has to be removed, though, based on three examples for which you give a different interpretation. If you think the section needs improvement, then we'll discuss all of it, just like I've already improved the section on Lukacs and Hemphill; and like the whole section on genetics, which is an addition to and improvement of McAlpin, which one editor also wanted to remove.
We don't build an encyclopedia by removing sourced info, but by improving it, by discussing the presentation and interpretation of it. But again, thanks again for your effort! Highly apreciated. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 06:57, 7 July 2016 (UTC)
So, I've gone through your comments; they've provided the opportunity for some improvements, as is in the spirit of Wikipedia, and which I've made; thanks. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 07:41, 7 July 2016 (UTC)
I don't have problem with keeping or removing genetics, I never wrote there. Although if any other editor can agree with removing mentions of Bhirrana, I won't object. Lorstaking (talk) 08:50, 7 July 2016 (UTC)
@Joshua Jonathan, Lorstaking, Doug Weller, and RegentsPark: Joshua Jonathan, you have not addressed anything. As someone who understands some of the mathematical methods in human genetics and let me suggest politely that you have not understood these papers, that you have conflated the likely (but not archaeologically established) spread of neolithic cultures from the Iran Plateau to Balochistan, circa 9,500 to 10,000 years before present, to which these papers have some connection, with the later Indus Valley Civilization (3300–1300 BCE; mature period 2600–1600 BCE). None of the statements in the "Genetics" section are accurate, none are written in WP:Summary Style, indicating understanding and perspective related to the source material. I will await others' response, but so sure am I of the irrelevance of this section to the Indus Valley Civilization, that I'm happy to ask for an independent expert evaluation. At best, such a section, greatly reduced and summarized, in a manner than indicates understanding, belongs to the Demic diffusion page. Fowler&fowler«Talk» 11:10, 7 July 2016 (UTC)
Regarding the connection between the spread of neolithic cultures and the IVC, see above. Regarding "None of the statements in the "Genetics" section are accurate", that's a gross generalisation. You cannot so easily dismiss a statement like this:
"According to Underhill et al. (2014/2015), "[t]his suggests the possibility that R1a lineages accompanied demic expansions initiated during the Copper, Bronze, and Iron ages."[142] They further note that the diversification of Z93 and the "early urbanization within the Indus Valley also occurred at this time and the geographic distribution of R1a-M780 (Figure 3d) may reflect this."[142]"
The whole point here still is that some people want to argue for an 'indigenous' development of the IVC, as if the IVC, or its people, is unrelated to any outside development of population. So, you may be correct that the timelines differ, that the IVC, as an urban civilisation, developed millennia after the neolithic spread of farming, and that this section fits better at, say, Demic diffusion or History of India, but I'd like to see you address this issue of this 'Indianness' of the IVC. I'm sure you understand my point here. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 13:26, 7 July 2016 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I'm the camp that is the polar opposite of the "Out of India" theory. I don't have any issues with outside trapping of Indian civilization. After all, we all, including all Indians, left Africa only about 60 to 70 K years ago. One solution could be to change the Mehrgarh section title to "Neolithic origins and influences." There, remove the garbage about Bhirrana, and introduce one paragraph, which is a highly compressed summary of your section, without actual quotes. I could live with that. It would stand as supplementary genetic data and analysis. But it can't be as extensive as the Genetics section itself. Fowler&fowler«Talk» 14:02, 7 July 2016 (UTC)

I went through this genetic discussion, I can view problems with this section, now either remove it, but summarizing in one or two lines can be a good option, better its done in some already existing section. Lorstaking (talk) 14:49, 7 July 2016 (UTC)
Thanks F&f; I'll keep it in mind and think about how to summarize it. Merging the section with the Mehrgarh section sounds like a good idea to me. In the meantime, we can expect some results, hoepfully soon, on IVC-DNA; like so many people, I'm really curious what those results will be. Best regards, and thank you for your input, Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 15:49, 7 July 2016 (UTC)

periodization table[edit]

Those weren't improvements, they were errors based on newspaper reports of unpublished research. I've fixed it. The report is at Oxygen isotope in archaeological bioapatites from India: Implications to climate change and decline of Bronze Age Harappan civilization byAnindya Sarkar, Arati Deshpande Mukherjee, M. K. Bera, B. Das, Navin Juyal, P. Morthekai, R. D. Deshpande, V. S. Shinde & L. S. Rao. It does say "Within the experimental errors both the stratigraphically controlled new ages agree with the time scale based on archaeological evidences (as well as 14C ages) proposed by earlier workers8,17,18,34; Fig. 3C,D) and suggest that the Bhirrana settlements are the oldest of known sites in the Ghaggar-Hakra tract" and that "The climate reconstruction at Bhirrana demonstrates that some of the Harappan settlements in the Ghaggar-Hakra valley are the oldest in India and probably developed at least by the ninth millennium BP over a vast tract of arid/semi-arid regions of NW India and Pakistan." It also says "The recent excavations at Rakhigarhi suggest hitherto unknown largest Harappan settlement in India preserving all the cultural levels including the Hakra phase" but this is too vague to use. Doug Weller talk 18:59, 9 July 2016 (UTC)

Proposed name change for Periodisation of the Indus Valley Civilisation[edit]

See Talk:Periodisation of the Indus Valley Civilisation. The article is about the Indus Valley tradition, not just the IVC, and I've suggested it be called that. Doug Weller talk 19:01, 9 July 2016 (UTC)

Requested move 10 July 2016[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: not moved. Andrewa (talk) 18:22, 18 July 2016 (UTC)

Indus Valley CivilisationIndus Valley tradition – I originally started a rename proposal at Talk:Periodisation of the Indus Valley Civilisation but another poster suggested that the periodisiation article be merged to this one, and this one should be renamed. That makes much more sense as the content of this article is more than just the IVC, in fact it encompasses the Indus Valley tradition. As I said there, the Indus Valley tradition includes "Indus Valley CivilizatioN", "Harrapan Civilization" - ie the urban phases of the Indus Valley tradition, as well as the cultural phases that led up to the urban phase. As another author wrote, the IV tradition "may be thought of as the milieu of cultural/technological adaptations in the Greater Indus region within which urbanized civilization eventually emerged and existed"[24] Hopefully this might be an aid in cutting down on some of the pov editing, the "my civilization is older than yours" editors. This is a fairly standard name, see for instance Google scholar.[25] Doug Weller talk 12:37, 10 July 2016 (UTC)


Feel free to state your position on the renaming proposal by beginning a new line in this section with *'''Support''' or *'''Oppose''', then sign your comment with ~~~~. Since polling is not a substitute for discussion, please explain your reasons, taking into account Wikipedia's policy on article titles.
  • Oppose A "civilization" includes not just the traditions, but the humans who practice those traditions. We can't say, "At its peak, the Indus tradition may have had a population of over five million." as we do in the second paragraph of the lead. The entire article will require long rephrases. IVC is by far the most recognizable and consistent name for the culture (see WP:TITLE: This page in a nutshell: Article titles should be recognizable, concise, natural, precise, and consistent.), and has been in use since 1922. In Google Scholar alone there are some 11,500 references to "Indus valley civilization" OR "Indus civilization," in contrast to 310 for "Indus valley tradition." Mark Kenoyer, who is listed first in the Google Scholar cites for "tradition," himself has not changed the title of his book, which remains, Ancient Cities of the Indus Valley Civilization. Tertiary sources, such as Wikipedia, are typically even more conservative in their choice of titles than text-books, such as Kenoyer's. Over four thousand tertiary sources have chosen "civilization" in their page/entry name; in contrast, only nine have chose "tradition." I don't see how changing the name to "tradition" will change POV-pushing. The POV-pushers will instead say, "My tradition is older than yours." I will also oppose a name change to "Harappan civilization/tradition" mainly because it is not the most recognizable. Fowler&fowler«Talk» 15:08, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
  • Oppose In this instance, the common name as well as the scholarly name are in concordance. No reason to make up our own us a less used name. --regentspark (comment) 15:52, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
  • Oppose. I understand the desire to tidy things up and cut through tedious naming disputes, and IVT probably is the better name, but it doesn't seem to be the WP:COMMONNAME at all, even when referring to the non-urban phases. Although Doug has cited a few sources that use "Indus Valley Tradition" (big T) in the way he describes, it still only gets a tiny 300 hits on Google Scholar, compared to IVC's 60,000, and the majority of these seem to be using it in the sense of "the <insert artefact type> of the Indus Valley tradition" (little t), i.e. they are talking about individual material culture traditions within the IVC. And obviously there's no doubt that outside of archaeology people talk about the IVC, not the IVT. Maybe in a couple of years if IVT becomes the established scholarly terminology then we can move it, but I don't think we're there yet. Joe Roe (talk) 09:15, 12 July 2016 (UTC)
  • Comment. I think I understand where the proposal is coming from. However, it is not conceivable that Wikipedia won't have an article on Indus Valley Civilisation but rather have one on "Indus Valley tradition." I don't see why there can't be a section on "Indus Valley tradition" within the "Indus Valley Civilisation" article, and cover the antecedents of the Civilisation proper. -- Kautilya3 (talk) 14:41, 12 July 2016 (UTC)
    • User:Kautilya3, what do you think of User:Fowler&fowler's suggestion for a separate article on IVt? Doug Weller talk 15:18, 12 July 2016 (UTC)
      • That would be perfectly fine. I would expect that it would be, to start with, a scholarly survey of the ideas of Schaeffer and Kenoyer et al. But I doubt if it will allow us to transfer Mehrgarh from here to there. We can certainly send Rakhigarhi and Bhirrana there, but the POV pushers will still want to come here. -- Kautilya3 (talk) 15:30, 12 July 2016 (UTC)


Any additional comments:

@Fowler&fowler: That's a misunderstanding. We would still call the IVC the IVC. It's part of the Indus Valley tradition. That wouldn't change. This would simply delineate more clearly the phases of the tradition, and not lump them all incorrectly IMHO into the IVC. Doug Weller talk 15:26, 10 July 2016 (UTC)

  • {{re|[[RegentsPark}} Why do you suggest I'm making up this name? I've linked to Google scholar sources. Google books[26]. My point is that the article isn't just about the IVC, it's about the cultural phases that led up to it as well. Doesn't anyone see the difference? Maybe it's my experience in archaeology that leads me to this approach. Doug Weller talk 16:31, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
    Sorry Doug. I tend to rely more on jstor and IVT barely shows up there (9 results versus 450 approximately for civilisation/civilization). If that's an accepted term, my apologies. Regardless, I don't see this as a workable proposition since, as Fowler says, tradition is subsumed in civilization. At best, this will give carte blanche to pov warriors to link more modern mores with stuff from the IVC. --regentspark (comment) 16:42, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
    @Doug Weller and RegentsPark: Will IVC be a section in the new page Indus Valley tradition, and Mehrgarh etc would be moved out of the IVC section? If that's what you are saying, then I would still prefer, this page to remain IVC, but a new page Indus Valley tradition to be created, which would have highly condensed sections on IVC, Mehrgarh, other pre-IVC cultures in the region, etc, with links to the latter. I think the use of Indus Valley Civilization should remain preeminently about the urban civilization in Pakistan and northwest India, which lasted from 3300 BCE to 1900 BCE. Otherwise, we open the floodgates. And especially Indian archaeologists who don't have real sites, but are scouring the desert for shards of anything, will publish more in mega journals such as Scientific Reports (which charge $2,000 processing fees, have 80% acceptance rate, and 3 months turnaround time), while at the same time keeping out most foreign archaeologists from excavating in India. They will claim that Bhirrana (which was excavated some 20 years ago, and whose excavator is dead) is the oldest site of the Indus valley tradition without claiming that it is either neolithic or IVC. I'm very leery. Fowler&fowler«Talk» 17:04, 10 July 2016 (UTC)

(edit conflict) User:Fowler&fowler]] Before our edit conflict I wrote "**Of course IVC shows up more, it's a larger and more important period. Right now the article has for instance Mehrgarh as part of the IVC. Ok, maybe I need to look to see how JSTOR etc define the IVC, and JStor isn't the best source of archaeology articles, most of them doing seem to be on JSTOR as I've found to my dismay. Because of that I'd stick to GScholar unless there's something comparable to JSTOR that includes the archaeology journals. If most of the archaeology sources define IVC as including Mehrgarh etc, then I'm wrong. In that case we mustn't let our articles make the assumption/claim that the earliest IVC date marks the oldest civilization, because that's not how archaeologists do it. " Yes to your first question. Your suggestion might work very well and I'd definitely back it. Doug Weller talk 17:10, 10 July 2016 (UTC)

Properly ping User:Fowler&fowler Doug Weller talk 10:56, 12 July 2016 (UTC)
An alaternative is to add something like "The IVC is part of the IVt, which encompasses the larger development of ... in the Indus Vally from ... to ..." Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 20:44, 10 July 2016 (UTC)
@Doug Weller: Sorry for the delay. I will reply here at greater length later this weekend. I have some new ideas. Fowler&fowler«Talk» 14:54, 16 July 2016 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

"International Journal of Informative & Futuristic Research" and Rakhigarhi as the largest IVC site[edit]

What do people think about the source and the claim? Doug Weller talk 19:29, 12 July 2016 (UTC)

Iranians again[edit]

Another interesting genetical study: Broushaki et al. (2016), Early Neolithic genomes from the eastern Fertile Crescent, Science, 14 Jul 2016. See Eurones Blog and for discussions. Quotes:

  • "We conclude that multiple, genetically differentiated hunter-gatherer populations adopted farming in SW-Asia, that components of pre-Neolithic population structure were preserved as farming spread into neighboring regions, and that the Zagros region was the cradle of eastward expansion."
  • "... the affinities of Zagros Neolithic individuals to modern populations of Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, and India is consistent with a spread of Indo-Iranian languages, or of Dravidian languages (which includes Brahui), from the Zagros into southern Asia, in association with farming (19)."
  • " it seems probable that the Zagros region was the source of an eastern expansion of the SW-Asian domestic plant and animal economy. Our inferred persistence of ancient Zagros genetic components in modern day S-Asians lends weight to a strong demic component to this expansion."

Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 14:09, 21 July 2016 (UTC)


This: "Proto-Munda (or Para-Munda) and a "lost phylum" (perhaps related or ancestral to the Nihali language)[150] have been proposed as other candidates for the language of the IVC. Michael Witzel suggests an underlying, prefixing language that is similar to Austroasiatic, notably Khasi; he argues that the Rigveda shows signs of this hypothetical Harappan influence in the earliest historic level, and Dravidian only in later levels, suggesting that speakers of Austroasiatic were the original inhabitants of Punjab and that the Indo-Aryans encountered speakers of Dravidian only in later times.[151]"

I don't intend to get involved, but this seems very unlikely from what little I've read elsewhere - I gather that the latest thinking on Austroasiatic is that it formed only 4000 years ago, in the middle-Mekong valley. The authority is a certain Professor Sidwell. Anyway, if anyone's interested, I leave it to them.PiCo (talk) 00:50, 17 September 2016 (UTC)

Hexahedron weights?[edit]

Two points. First, it seems more sensible to refer to these as cubes. Second, despite the article currently saying that these were decimal, in fact they appear to have been mainly made in a binary sequence 1, 2, 4 ... 16 etc - albeit with x10 and x100 steps above that. ( and Thoughts? Snori (talk) 21:05, 11 October 2016 (UTC)