Jonathan Mark Kenoyer

American Archaeologist, worked on the Indus Valley Civilization sites and other places in South Asia

Jonathan Mark Kenoyer (born 28 May 1952, in Shillong, India) is an American archaeologist and George F. Dales Jr. and Barbara A. Dales Professor of Anthropology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. He earned his Bachelor of Arts, Master's, and Doctorate degrees at the University of California, Berkeley, finishing in 1983.

Quotes

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  • “Although the overall socioeconomic organization changed, continuities in technology, subsistence practices, settlement organization, and some regional symbols show that the indigenous population was not displaced by invading hordes of Indo-Aryan speaking people. For many years, the ‘invasions’ or ‘migrations’ of these Indo-Aryan-speaking Vedic/Aryan tribes explained the decline of the Indus civilization and the sudden rise of urbanization in the Ganga-Yamuna valley. This was based on simplistic models of culture change and an uncritical reading of Vedic texts. Current evidence does not support a pre- or proto-historic Indo-Aryan invasion of southern Asia. Instead, there was an overlap between Late Harappan and post-Harappan communities, with no biological evidence for major new populations.”
  • There is no archaeological or biological evidence for invasions or mass migrations into the Indus Valley between the end of the Harappan Phase, about 1900 B.C. and the beginning of the Early Historic period around 600 B.C.
    • (Kenoyer 1998: 174). Kenoyer, M., 1998. Ancient Cities of the Indus Valley Civilization. Oxford: Oxford University Press. quoted in Subhash Kak, Vedic astronomy and early Indian chronology in: Bryant, E. F., & Patton, L. L. (2005). The Indo-Aryan controversy : evidence and inference in Indian history. Routledge.
  • Contrary to the common notion that Indo-Aryan speaking peoples invaded the subcontinent and obliterated the culture of the Indus people; we now believe that there was no outright invasion; the decline of the Indus cities was the result of many complex factors.
    • Kenoyer, M., 1998. Ancient Cities of the Indus Valley Civilization. (quoted in What is the Aryan Migration Theory? by V. Agarwal)
  • There is evidence for the intensification of subsistence practice, multicropping and the adoption of new forms of transportation (camel and horse). These changes were made by the indigenous inhabitants, and were not the result of new people streaming into the re- gion. The horse and camel would indicate connections with Central Asia. The cultiva- tion of rice would connect with cither the Late Harappan in the Ganga-Yamuna region or Gujarat. (Kenoyer 1995, 227;)
    • in Bryant, E. F. (2001). The Quest for the Origins of Vedic Culture : the Indo-Aryan migration debate. Oxford University Press.
  • In earlier models, the northwestern regions were the source of the so-called movements of Indo-Aryan speaking peoples. Yet, if there were such movements, why were the mi- grants not supplying one of the most important raw materials for bronze production, i.e. tin? This cannot be answered simply by saying that iron was replacing copper and bronze, because the prominent use of iron does not occur until much later, in the NBP [Northern Black Polished Ware] period. (230)
    • in Bryant, E. F. (2001). The Quest for the Origins of Vedic Culture : the Indo-Aryan migration debate. Oxford University Press.
  • Although the overall socioeconomic organization changed, continuities in technology, subsistence practices, settlement organization, and some regional symbols show that the indigenous population was not displaced by hordes of Indo-Aryan speaking people. . . . For many years, the "invasions" or "migrations" of these Indo-Aryan-speaking Vedic/ Aryan tribes explained the decline of the Indus civilization and the second rise of urbanization. . . . This was based on simplistic models of culture change and an uncritical reading of Vedic texts. Current evidence does not support a pre- or proto-historic Indo-Aryan invasion of southern Asia. . . . Instead, there was an overlap between Lite Harappan and post-Harappan communities . . . with no biological evidence for major new populations.
    • (Kenoyer 1991a, 371) in Bryant, E. F. (2001). The Quest for the Origins of Vedic Culture : the Indo-Aryan migration debate. Oxford University Press.
  • More surveys have revealed large, post-Harappan settlements in the Indus region after the major Indus centres were abandoned. . . . Research . . . is beginning to demonstrate that there really is no Dark Age isolating the protohistoric from the historic period.
    • (Kenoyer 1987, 26). in Bryant, E. F. (2001). The Quest for the Origins of Vedic Culture : the Indo-Aryan migration debate. Oxford University Press.
  • ‘It is clear that this period of more than 700 years was not a chaotic Dark Age, but rather a time of reorganization and expansion.’
    • Kenoyer, Jonathan Mark, ‘Interaction Systems, Specialized Crafts and Cultural change’, in George Erdosy, (ed.), The Indo-Aryans of Ancient South Asia: Language, Material Culture and Ethnicity, Walter de Gruyter, Berlin & New York, 1995, p. 234.in Danino, M. (2010). The lost river : on the trail of the Sarasvatī. Penguin Books India.
  • To be precise, ‘current studies of the transition between the two early urban civilizations claim that there was no significant break or hiatus.’
    • Kenoyer, Jonathan Mark, Ancient Cities of the Indus Valley Civilization°, p. 180.in Danino, M. (2010). The lost river : on the trail of the Sarasvatī. Penguin Books India.

Culture change during the Late Harappan period at Harappa: new insights on Vedic Aryan issues (2005)

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in : Bryant, E. F., & Patton, L. L. (2005). The Indo-Aryan controversy : evidence and inference in Indian history. Routledge
  • This suggests that the changes and discontinuities reflect a transformation of the local population rather than the appearance of new people and the eradication of the Harappan inhabitants.
    • 26
  • The significance of these similarities or dissimilarities should not be taken too seriously since the biological anthropologists themselves caution that this is only a tentative suggestion due to the small sample size of the Late Harappan burials. Generally speaking, the biological evidence does not support any hypothesis involving the movements of new populations into Harappa from outside the Indus Valley during the Harappan or Late Harappan periods.
    • 32
  • The dating of glass in the Indus Valley and northern India, between 1900 and 1700 BC suggests that this industry was becoming common in all three regions at about the same time. ...No analysis of the recently discovered Late Harappan glass has been undertaken, but the styles of beads and the presence of a highly developed faience industry suggests that the Indus glass technology was an indigenous development.
    • 38
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