Beyond Rakhigarhi Beyond Rakhigarhi: The Peopling of South-Asia Debate

By Meera Vishvanathan (faculty, Department of History, Shiv Nadar University)

Recent genetic finds at Rakhigarhi, an Indus Valley Civilisation site, has re-energised an old debate about the origins of civilisation in South Asia. A school of thought, based on hollow national pride, claims that India is the birthplace of Sanskrit-speaking Aryans. This is pitted against an approach based on a scientific study of the past, that critically examines evidence from various sources such as archeological, linguistic, genetic and textual. This lecture shows how a scientific study of different sources tell us a complex history of the past where no specific group or community can be seen as having an unchanging and undifferentiated past.

About the Speaker: Meera Visvanathan teaches at Shiv Nadar University in the Department of History. She did her PhD from Centre for Historical Studies, JNU. Her area of expertise is epigraphs and written cultures in early India.

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