The Aryan problem is perhaps one of the most complex issues in world history. Many scholars have tried to trace the original homeland of the Aryans for over 200 years but failed to come to a conclusion. The problem cropped up when Filippo Sassetti, an Italian merchant from Florence, came to trade with India in 1583. He lived in Goa and acquired rudimentary knowledge of Sanskrit from a local purohit. He was fascinated by the apparent similarity between Latin and Sanskrit. He was followed by many scholars who considered India to be the cradle of world civilisation and also of the human race for they believed that all knowledge emanated from India.
The study of the Indo-Aryan problem received an impetus after Colebrook'sarticle on the Vedas was published in Asiatic Researches in 1805. Rosen, a German scholar, set about editing the Rig Veda but could not complete it. Finally it was Max Mueller who used the word ?Arya? and named Sanskrit as Indo-Aryan language. The approach to the Indo-Aryan problem in the 19th century was mostly linguistic but archaeologists began to take interest and made momentous discoveries in Anatolia (Turkey) and India. Excavations at Boghazkoy, ancient Hathi during 1906-12 yielded over 13,000 inscribed clay tablets. Since the records begin with an invocation to Indra, Varuna, Mitra and Nasatya, it becomes clear that the document belonged to the Indo-Aryans.
Another stupendous discovery was of the Harappan civilisation in 1921-22. Excavations revealed that a great civilisation existed in India some 5,000 years ago and which was older than that of the Egypt or Mesopotamia.
Various theories regarding the original homeland of the Aryans are discussed in detail in this book. Soon after the Boghazkoy inscription was deciphered, Gordon V. Childe said that the Aryans appeared on the northern borders of the Fertile Crescent as the occurrence of Aryan names testified and the kings of Boghazkoy belonged to an Indian stock.
The heavy concentration of late Harappan settlements in the upper Saraswati basin and their identification as those of Rig Vedic Aryans is supported by the occurrence of sacred centres in that region which were associated with Vedic sages.
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