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The Indus Civilization demystified

February 11, 2009 13:55 IST

  • Who were the people of ancient Indian civilizations? Has archaeological evidence confirmed the existence of common features of Vedic and Indus culture(s)?
  • Is there an indigenous continuity of the culture in India and Pakistan or did the people come from outside the subcontinent?
  • How does the scientific evidence of the drying of the river Saraswati play a role in the interpretation of the history and chronology of the civilization?
  • How is the genetic evidence corroborated with archaeological evidences especially regarding the antiquity of the Indian gene?

A two-day international conference on the Indus Valley Civilization, organized by the Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California, will attempt to answer some of these questions.

'Sindhu- Saraswati Valley Civilization: A Re-Appraisal', to be held February 21-22, will discuss, reconsider and reconstruct a shared identity of the Sindhu (Indus) and Saraswati (Vedic) cultures, using archaeological and other scientific evidences as well as Vedic literature, the organizers said.

The focus will be on the relation between the Indus and the Vedic cultures from about 3,000 BC to 1,000 BC. The experts will attempt to bridge the chronological, linguistic and racial gap between the material and literary cultures of the Indus and Vedic.

Internationally known archaeologists, linguists, anthropologists, historians, religious specialists and geneticists will present their findings on the salient issues of the Sindhu-Saraswati Civilization and assess its contribution to Indian culture.

Scholars who will examine the issues include Jonathan Mark Kenoyer of the University of Wisconsin, Dr B B Lal, R S Bisht of the Archaeological Survey of India, Louis Flam from the City University of New York, S R Rao (ASI, National Institute of Oceanography), Edwin Bryant (Rutgers University) Shiva Bajpai (California State University, Northridge), Vijendra Kumar Kashyap (National Institute of Biologicals), Subhash Kak (Oklahama State University), Ashok Aklujkar (University of British Columbia), Jim G Shaffer (Case Western Reserve University), Dennis Frenez (University of Bologna) and Nicholas Kazanas (Omilos Meleton Cultural Institute, Athens).

"It is a public event and we expect about 150 people to attend the scholarly event," said Dr Nalini Rao, professor of World Art, Soka University of America, a host of the event along with Dr Christopher Key Chapple, Doshi Professor of Indic and Comparative Theology at Loyola Marymount University.

The sponsors are the Doshi Bridgebuilder Endowment at LMU and Nalanda International, founded by Navin Doshi, entrepreneur, Indologist and writer.

More details at www.nalandainternational.org

George Joseph in New York