India's civilization has had a long existence that is documented in a huge amount and variety of literature, its scientific advancements over the centuries, its continuing cultural practices and preservation of art and music. This volume comprises papers that explore various aspects relating to the origin and ancientness of the Indian civilization.
Scholars here present diverse perspectives to delve into the contentions and controversies that surround questions such as the one concerning the origin of the Aryans. The papers examine the events that gave rise to the Aryan invasion theory and debunk the theory as a myth and present evidence and arguments supporting the theory that the Rigveda was composed in its bulk in the fourth millennium bce. An effort focuses on the problem of identifying the earliest region of the Aryan ecumene or homeland, including that of identifying its epicentre in India. Incorporating the latest research in history, archaeology, philosophy, genetics, and other disciplines, the papers explain the origin and evolution of the idea of the ancient South Asian city. Quoting from the epic literature, they attempt to derive the date of the Mahabharata War on the basis of the numerous astronomical references in the epic. They also analyze patterns of Y-chromosome diversity in the contemporary South Asian gene pool to throw light on migrations of modern humans within South-west Asia.
Accompanied by maps and other illustrations, the volume will interest scholars from a range of disciplines who are keen to study the origin and evolution of Indian civilization and culture.