Indo-Aryan migration The separation of Indo-Aryans proper from Proto-Indo-Iranians has been dated to roughly 2000 BC–1800 BC. The Nuristani languages probably split in such early times, and are either classified as remote Indo-Aryan dialects, or as an independent branch of Indo-Iranian. It is believed Indo-Aryans reached Assyria in the west and the Punjab in the east before 1500 BC: the Indo-Aryan Mitanni rulers appear from 1500, and the Gandhara grave culture emerges from 1600. This suggests that Indo-Aryan tribes would have had to be present in the area of the BMAC (southern Turkmenistan / northern Afghanistan) from 1700 BC at the latest (incidentally corresponding with the decline of that culture). The spread of Indo-Aryan languages has been connected with the spread of the chariot in the first half of the second millennium BC. Some scholars trace the Indo-Iranians (both Indo-Aryans and Iranians) back to the Andronovo-Sintashta-Petrovka culture (ca. 2200 BC–1600 BC). Other scholars like Brentjes (1981), Klejn (1974), Francfort (1989), Lyonnet (1993), Hiebert (1998), Bosch-Gimpera (1973) and Sarianidi (1993) have argued that the Andronovo culture cannot be associated with the Indo-Aryans of South Asia or with the Mitannis because the Andronovo culture took shape too late and because no actual traces of their culture (e.g. warrior burials or timber-frame materials of the Andronovo culture) have been found in South Asia or Mesopotamia (see Edwin Bryant 2001). The archaeologist J. P. Mallory (1998) found it "extraordinarily difficult to make a case for expansions from this northern region to northern South Asia" and remarked that the proposed migration routes "only gets the Indo-Iranian to Central Asia, but not as far as the seats of the Medes, Persians or Indo-Aryans" (Mallory 1998; Edwin Bryant 2001: 216). The best evidence, however, is linguistic, 'not' archaeological (see e.g. Hans Hock in Bronkhorst & Deshpande 1999) Other scholars see some relationship between the BMAC and the Indo-Aryans. But although horses were known to the Indo-Aryans, evidence for the presence of horse in form of horse bones is missing in the BMAC (e.g. Bryant 2001). Asko Parpola (1988) has argued that the Dasas were the "carriers of the Bronze Age culture of Greater Iran" living in the BMAC and that the forts with circular walls destroyed by the Vedic Aryans of the Rigveda were actually located in the BMAC. Parpola's hypothesis has been criticized by K.D. Sethna (1992) and others. Moreover, cultural links between the BMAC and the Indus Valley can also be explained by reciprocal cultural influences uniting the two cultures. The Indo-Aryan migration is often compared and associated with the Indo-European migrations, the Indo-Iranian migrations and with other Eurasian nomads. Many scholars also believe that the Dravidian speakers migrated to South Asia from the north-west. Other migrations that are connected with South Asia include the migrations of Ghandari/ Niya Prakrit, Parya and Dumaki speakers, the Indo-Scythians, the Indo-Greeks and the Islamic conquest of South Asia. The Vedic Corpus provides no evidence for the so called "Aryan Invasion" of India Koenraad Elst The dominant paradigm concerning the presence of the Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo‑European language family is the so-called Aryan invasion theory, which claims that Indo-Aryan was brought into India by "Aryan" invaders from Central Asia at the end of the Harappan period (early 2nd millennium BC). Though the question of Aryan origins was much disputed in the 19th century, the Aryan invasion theory has been so solidly dominant in the past century that attempts to prove it have been extremely rare in recent decades, until the debate flared up again in India after 1990. The main attempt to prove the Aryan invasion (presented in Bernard Sergent : Genlse de l'Inde, Paris 1997) uses the archaeological record, which, paradoxically, is invoked with equal confidence by the non‑invasionist school (e.g. B.B. Lal : New Light on the Indus Civilization, Delhi 1997). Here we will consider the sparse attempts to discover references to the Aryan invasion in Vedic literature, and argue that these have not yielded any such finding. A first category consists of old but still commonly repeated cases of circular reasoning, e.g. the assumption that the enemies encountered by the tribe with which the Vedic poet identifies, are "aboriginals" (e.g. in Ralph Griffith's translation The Hymns of the Ŗgveda, 1889, still commonly used). In fact, there is not one passage where the Vedic authors describe such encounters in terms of "us invaders" vs. "them natives", even implicitly. Among more recent attempts, motivated explicitly by the desire to counter the increasing skepticism regarding the Aryan invasion theory, the most precise endeavour to show up an explicit mention of the invasion turns out to be based on mistranslation. Michael Witzel ("Ŗgvedic History", in G. Erdosy, ed.: The Indo-Aryans of Ancient South Asia, Berlin 1995, p.321) tries to read a line from the "admittedly much later" Baudhayana Shrauta Sutra as attesting the Aryan invasion: "Pr�n ayuh pravavr�ja, tasyaite kuru-panchalah k�sh�videh� ity, etad �yavam, pratyan am�vasus tasyaite g�ndh�rayas parshavo'ratt� ity, etad �m�vasyam" (BSS 18.44:397.9). This is rendered by Witzel as: "Ayu went eastwards. His (people) are the Kuru- Panch�la and the K�sh�-Videha. This is the Ayava (migration). (His other people) stayed at home in the West. His people are the G�ndh�r�, Parshu and Aratta. This is the Am�vasava (group)." This passage consists of two halves in parallel, and it is unlikely that in such a construction, the subject of the second half would remain unexpressed, and that terms containing contrastive information (like "migration" as opposed to the alleged non-migration of the other group) would remain unexpressed, all left for future scholars to fill in. It is more likely that a non-contrastive term representing a subject indicated in both statements, is left unexpressed in the second: that exactly is the case with the verb pravavr�ja "he went", meaning "Ayu went" and "Amavasu went". Amavasu is the subject of the second statement, but Witzel spirits the subject away, leaving the statement subjectless, and turns it into a verb, "am� vasu", "stayed at home". In fact, the meaning of the sentence is really quite straightforward, and doesn't require supposing a lot of unexpressed subjects: "Ayu went east, his is the Yamuna-Ganga region", while "Amavasu went west, his is Afghanistan, Parshu and West Panjab". Though the then location of "Parshu" (Persia?) is hard to decide, it is definitely a western country, along with the two others named, western from the viewpoint of a people settled near the Saraswati river in what is now Haryana. Far from attesting an eastward movement into India, this text actually speaks of a westward movement towards Central Asia, coupled with a symmetrical eastward movement from India's demographic centre around the Saraswati basin towards the Ganga basin.