The Horses & Chariots….AGAIN!
Dr. Elst writes….
“And if you are skeptical of literary and astronomical data, consider the harder material data.
The central event of the MBh is a chariot battle. Now, chariot battles were popular in a very specific window of history, viz. the bronze age when metallurgy was already sophisticated enough for strong and light chariot wheels; and before the rise of cavalry made chariots redundant. The first chariot found by archaeology dates to 2200 BC (Sintashta, Asian Russia).”
This is all fine. What this confirms is that we have evidence of chariots as early as 2200 BCE in some parts of Russia. So far so good.
Dr. Elst writes…
“Its high tide in warfare was in the later 2nd and the early 1st millennium BC: many wars of that period were fought with chariots, e.g. the Trojan war of ca. 1200 BC.”
Interesting, but irrelevant piece of information in the context of problem of the timing of Mahabharata War.
Dr. Elst states…
That is why the scriptural reference dating Pandava Arjuna’s grandson Parikshit 1050 years before the coronation of Mahapadma Nanda (ca. 380 BC), i.e. in the 15th century BC, may well be right.
Dr. Elst does not site specific source(es) of his ‘scriptural reference’. We will state that the reference (es) appears in Vishnu Puran (also Bhagavat Purana.. and many other commentaries refer to these references).
These references are NOT from the Mahabharata text and all astronomy references from the Mahabharata text (multiple sets of them) decisively falsify the naïve timeline speculated by many Mahabharata researchers based on these Purana references.
Dr. Elst infers..
“The classical date, 32nd century BCE, is extremely unlikely to have seen chariot warfare,”
I have falsified, in my book, this 32nd century BCE timeline for the Mahabharata war, but for very different reasons than stated by Dr. Elst. And thus while Dr. Elst and I agree on the impossibility of 32nd BCE timeline for the Mahabharata war, Dr. Elst reasoning is faulty and based on classic (or classical) confusion of ‘Absence of evidence’ (for horses, domesticated horses, chariots…etc. in 6th Millennium BCE) with that of ‘Evidence of Absence’.
Dr. Elst infers…using the same faulty arugment..
“and for Oak’s date of the mid-6th millennium BCE, this is simply impossible.”
I see no need to repeat the futility of such illogical argument, other than stating that my assertion for 5561 BCE for the timing of Mahabharata War is based on testable (i.e. independently and repeatedly) evidence (multiple data points from the text of Mahabharata War). Total number of evidences (references) exceed 200, all from the Mahabharata text.
Dr. Elst concludes…
“So, I don’t know yet how to make astronomical sense of this alleged observation of Arundhati rising before Vasishtha. But a number of different reasons exclude the explanation that it points to a date in the 12th-5th millennium bracket.”
All one has to do is keep 200+ references of Mahabharata text handy, download Voyager, Sky-Gazer or such similar advanced Astronomy software and test each of my inferences (some 75 Error Eliminations experiments) all leading to 16 October – 2 November 5561 BCE for the 18 days of Mahabharata War and to the day of 31 January 5560 BCE for the day of Bhishma Nirvana.
AV observation indeed stands in its glory and nothing alleged about it.
Fortunately, the assertion of 5561 BCE does not depend on one single observation of Arundhati. In fact, AV observation is only the beginning of rational and scientific, logical and deductive search for the timing of Mahabharata War.
Once a skeptic is past AV observation, wonderful world of 200+ astronomy and chronology observations from the pages of Mahabharata text awaits.