#Essential Read | Which Of Us Are Aryans? Rethinking The Concept Of Our Origins

Editor | Non-fiction

The question of which of us is Aryan is one of the most contentious in India today. In this eye-opening book (Aleph, Pages 224, Price Rs 499) scholars and experts critically examine the Aryan issue by analysing history, genetics, early Vedic scriptures, archaeology and linguistics to test and challenge various hypotheses, myths, facts and theories that are currently in vogue.

Romila Thapar tackles the definition of the ‘Aryan’ in her inimitable style by tracing the origins and progression of the ‘Aryans’ from old Iranian texts such as the Zend-Avesta, archaeological excavations and colonial interpretations made by Max Müeller. She also touches upon the following fields of enquiry: historiography, archaeology, linguistics, comparative mythology, social anthropology and, more recently, genetics.

Michael Witzel investigates the origins of the early ‘Aryans’ within and outside India. Jaya Menon examines data from excavations of Harappan culture. Kai Friese lucidly explains the Rakhigarhi research which has been talked about a lot in the recent past and Razib Khan provides insights arising from research into genetics.

About the authors

Romila Thapar is Emeritus Professor of History at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi.

Michael Witzel is the Wales Professor of Sanskrit at Harvard University and editor of the Harvard Oriental series.

Jaya Menon is Head of the Department of History at Shiv Nadar University.

Kai Friese is a managing editor at India Today.

Razib Khan is a geneticist who writes extensively on a broad range of topics. He has worked within the personal genomics industry for the past five years, and consults for PBS’s Finding Your Roots.

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