Jim G. Shaffer

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Jim G. Shaffer (born 1944) is an American archaeologist and professor of anthropology at Case Western Reserve University.


  • The Indo-Aryan invasion(s) as an academic concept in 18th- and 19th-century Europe reflected the cultural milieu of that period. Linguistic data were used to validate the concept that in turn was used to interpret archaeological and anthropological data.What was theory became unquestioned fact that was used to interpret and organise subsequent data. It is time to end the "linguistic tyranny" that has prescribed interpretative frameworks of pre- and proto-historic cultural development in South Asia.
    • Jim Shaffer, 1984, ‘The Indo-Aryan Invasions: Cultural Myth and Archaeological Reality’ in Lukacs JR (ed) The People of South Asia: the Biological Anthropology of India, Pakistan and Nepal, Phenum, NY. p.88.
  • ‘A diffusion or migration of a culturally complex ‘Indo-Aryan‘ people into South Asia is not described by the archaeological record.‘
    • Shaffer (1999:245), quoted in The Languages of Harappa. Witzel, Michael. Feb. 17, 2000.
  • [the demographic eastward shift of the Harappan population during the decline of their cities, i.e. an intra-Indian movement from Indus to Ganga,] “is the only archaeologically documented west-to-east movement of human populations in South Asia before the first half of the first millennium BC”, while the archaeological record shows “no significant discontinuities” for the period when the Aryan invasion should have made its mark.
    • Jim G. Shaffer and Diane A. Lichtenstein: “The concepts of ‘cultural tradition’ and ‘palaeoethnicity’ in South-Asian archaeology”, in G. Erdosy, ed.: The Indo-Aryans of Ancient South Asia, p. 139-140., quoted in Elst, Koenraad (1999). Update on the Aryan invasion debate New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan.
  • “No material culture is found to move from west to east across the Indus”. [in the relevant time period]

Quotes about Jim Shaffer[edit]

  • In a joint paper, “Migration, philology and South Asian archaeology”, two of the participating archaeologists, Jim Shaffer and Diane Lichtenstein, confirm and elaborate their by now well-known finding that there is absolutely no archaeological indication of an Aryan immigration into northwestern India during or after the decline of the Harappan city culture. It is odd that the other contributors pay so little attention to this categorical finding, so at odds with the expectations of the AIT orthodoxy.
    • Elst, Koenraad (2007). Asterisk in bharopiyasthan: Minor writings on the Aryan invasion debate.

External links[edit]

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