Aryan Invasion in the Indian Subcontinent: Facts and Fallacies The Physical Anthropological Perspectives

Document Type: Research Paper


Department of Anthropology, University of Pune, Pune, India


The concept of Indo-Aryan group of peoples and their invasion has played a prominent role in explaining the
cultural history of the Indian sub-continent. It was propounded that the Aryans, living somewhere outside India,
invaded the Indian sub-continent around 1500 B.C. and after supplanting the indigenous powers and cultures
settled in India. The Aryans were held responsible for the destruction of the earlier populations (esp. Indus valley
civilization) and building of new cultures in the areas they invaded. The subject of this paper is to examine the
physical anthropological dimensions of the “Aryan problem”, which are two fold: a. “foreign phenotypic
element” in the later phases of Harappan culture, and b. the “massacre evidence” at Mohenjo-Daro.
Findings of the restudies of Harappan skeletal series and implications thereof for evaluating the 'Aryan Invasion
Theory' have been discussed. The findings strongly indicates that the hypothesis of identification of “foreign
phenotypic element” or unceremonious slaughter of native Harappans is not supplemented by bone evidence.