Monday, December 9, 2013

Indo-Iranian Origins and The Oxus Civilization (Part 2)

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Click Here to View the Main Index

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Notes excerpted from….'The Indo-Aryan Controversy: Evidence and Inference in Indian History….edited by Edwin Bryant, Laurie Patton (2005)…."For the first time in a single volume, this book presents the various arguments in the Indo-Aryan controversy. It also provides a template for the basic issues addressing four major areas: archaeological research, linguistic issues, the interpretation of Vedic texts in their historical contexts, and ideological roots. The volume ends with a plea for a return to civility in the debates which have become increasingly, and unproductively, politicized, and suggests a program of research and inquiry upon which scholars from all sides of the debate might embark."

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"….. there is no unequivocal evidence, either on the steppes or in Central Asia, for human sacrifice."….….The Indo-Aryan Controversy: Evidence and Inference in Indian History….ed. Edwin Bryant, Laurie Patton (2005) (Page 163)

"….There is scant evidence to support the notion of an extensive migration from Syro-Anatolia to Bactria-Margiana at any point in the archaeological record!."….….The Indo-Aryan Controversy: Evidence and Inference in Indian History….ed. Edwin Bryant, Laurie Patton (2005) (Page 163)

"One gets the impression that Sarianidi chose the Syro-Anatolian region as the homeland of the BMAC in order to situate it within the geographical region in which the first Indo-Aryan texts, were recovered. This presum- ably strengthens his Indo-Aryan claim for the BMAC (1999). His book Myths is devoted to convincing the reader that the BMAC seals derive their thematic inspiration and style from the Syro-Anatolian region. For another expansive catalog of BMAC and related seals see Baghestani (1997)….."…..….….The Indo-Aryan Controversy: Evidence and Inference in Indian History….ed. Edwin Bryant, Laurie Patton (2005) (Page 163)

"Myths is an extremely important and valuable publication. A total of 1,802 seals are illustrated, describing (1) seal type: cylindrical, flat, three-sided prisms, compartmented; (2) material: stone, copper, silver, shell, faience, gypsum, clay; (3) size; description of scene; and (4) provenience. Of the 1,802 seals less than 250 have an archaeological provenience; the largest provenienced corpus is from Gonur where almost a hundred were recovered. Most of the seals are attributed to their places of sale: the Kabul Bazaar, the Anahita Gallery; or museums: the Louvre, the Metropolitan Museum of Art; or private collectors: Ron Garner, Jonathan Rosen. There are less than two dozen sealings and ten sealed bullae (some baked) listed as coming from Gonur and/or Togolok. "…..….….The Indo-Aryan Controversy: Evidence and Inference in Indian History….ed. Edwin Bryant, Laurie Patton (2005) (Page 163)

"….the origins of the BMAC remains a fundamental issue. Although some scholars advance the notion that the BMAC has indigenous roots, the fact remains that the material culture of the BMAC is not easily derived from the preceding Namazga IV culture, thus suggesting its intrusive nature. The wide scatter of BMAC materials from south- eastern Iran to Baluchistan and Afghanistan suggests that the beginnings of the BMAC could lie in this direction, an area of enormous size and an archaeo- logical terra nullius. In fact, the BMAC of Central Asia may turn out to be its most northern extension while its heartland might be found in the vast areas of unexplored Baluchistan and Afghanistan."…..….The Indo-Aryan Controversy: Evidence and Inference in Indian History….ed. Edwin Bryant, Laurie Patton (2005) (Page 164)

"Indo-Iranian is a linguistic construct that formed a shared culture prior to its separation into Iranian and Indic branches. One branch of the Indo-Iranians went to Iran and another to northern India. The date of their arrival in these new home- lands is typically taken to be in the second millennium BC. One conclusion can be readily stated: there is not a single artifact of Andronovo type that has been identified in Iran or in northern India! The same cannot be said of the BMAC. There is ample evidence for the presence of BMAC materials on the Iranian Plateau and Baluchistan: Susa, Shahdad, Yahya, Khurab, Sibri, Miri Qalat, Deh Morasi Ghundai, Nousharo, etc. (for a review see Hiebert and Lamberg-Karlovsky 1992). "…..….The Indo-Aryan Controversy: Evidence and Inference in Indian History….ed. Edwin Bryant, Laurie Patton (2005) (Page 168)

"Dennis Sinor (1999: 396), a distinguished linguist and historian of Central Asia offers advice that more might heed: “I find it impossible to attrib- ute with any degree of certainty any given language to any given prehistoric civilization.” …...….The Indo-Aryan Controversy: Evidence and Inference in Indian History….ed. Edwin Bryant, Laurie Patton (2005) (Page 172)

"Bactria was, along with Sogdia, a launching-pad for the most ambitious migration in premodern history;….Until the eastward expansion of Russia, Central Asia was subject to an over-arching dynamic of east-to-west migration. This may have started as early as the end of the Ice Age, when a depopulated Europe became hospitable again, and lasted until the reversal of the demographic equation, when European population pressures forced an eastward expansion.."…..….The Indo-Aryan Controversy: Evidence and Inference in Indian History….ed. Edwin Bryant, Laurie Patton (2005) (Page 249)

"The Indo-Europeans certainly knew the species homo, and had no need to be told about its existence by natives of some invaded country. Well, Latin homo/hom-in-is is an artificial derivative of hum-u-s, ‘soil’, hence ‘earth-dweller’ (cfr. Hebrew adam, ‘man’, and adamah, ‘earth’), as opposed to the heaven-dwellers or gods, which gives us a glimpse of the philosophy of the PIE-speaking people. The Iranian-Armenian term for this species, mard, is another philosophical circumlocution, ‘mortal’. The Sanskrit term manusa, and possibly even purusa, is a patronym: ‘descendent of Manu’ and ‘descendent of Puru’ (cfr. Urdu âdmî, ‘man’, i.e. ‘son of Adam’), with manu itself apparently derived from *man-, ‘mind’."…...….The Indo-Aryan Controversy: Evidence and Inference in Indian History….ed. Edwin Bryant, Laurie Patton (2005) (Page 262)

"….Nichols (1997: 127) finds that in the fourth millennium BC, “Abkhaz-Circassian and Nakh- Daghestanian are in approximately their modern locations, and Kartvelian and IE are to the east.” More precisely, Kartvelian is “likely to have emanated from somewhere to the south-east of the Caspian” while the “locus of IE was farther east and farther north” (1997: 128) – which can only be Bactria…..Whether Bactria was the homeland in its own right or merely a launching-pad for Indians trekking west remains to be seen. But if Nichols’ findings, as yet based on a limited corpus of data, could be corroborated further, it would generally help the OIT."…...….The Indo-Aryan Controversy: Evidence and Inference in Indian History….ed. Edwin Bryant, Laurie Patton (2005) (Page 262)

"… it does at least argue strongly for some Central-Asian population center, most likely Bactria-Sogdia, as the meeting-place of Proto-Uralic, Proto-Dravidian and PIE, before IE and Uralic would start their duet of continuous (one-way) linguistic interaction on their parallel migrations westward."…...….The Indo-Aryan Controversy: Evidence and Inference in Indian History….ed. Edwin Bryant, Laurie Patton (2005) (Page 272)

"…in the case of Sino-Tibetan, all we have is loans, early but apparently not PIE. The early dictionaries suggested a connection between Tibetan lama, written and originally pronounced as blama, and Sanskrit brahma (S. C. Das 1902: 900); blama is derived from bla-, ‘upper, high’ (as in (b)¬a-dakh, ‘high mountain-pass’), and doesn’t Sanskrit brh-, root of brahma, mean ‘to grow’, that is, ‘to become high’, close enough to the meaning of Tibetan bla-? But more such look-alikes to build a case for profound kinship were never found.."…..….The Indo-Aryan Controversy: Evidence and Inference in Indian History….ed. Edwin Bryant, Laurie Patton (2005) (Page 272)

"…Likewise, trivial glottochronology allows us to say that the time-lapse between ̧gveda and Avesta must be longer than approximately zero. It is often said that with a few phonetic substitutions, an Avesta copy in Devanagari script (as is effectively used by the Parsis: Kanga and Sontakke 1962) could be read as if it were Vedic Sanskrit. But in fact, there is already a considerable distance between the two lan- guages, including a serious morphological recrudescence in Avestan as compared to Vedic. Indeed, in the introduction to his authoritative translation of Zarathushtra’s Gâthâs, Insler writes: “The prophet’s hymns are laden with ambiguities resulting both from the merger of many grammatical endings and from the intentionally com- pact and often elliptical style . . .” (1975: 1, emphasis mine). Having evolved from a common starting-point, the Avestan language represents a younger stage of Indo- Iranian, a linguistic fact matched by the religious difference between the ̧gveda, which initially knows nothing of a Deva/Asura conflict, and the Avesta where this conflict has come center-stage, just as it has in younger Vedic literature."…..….The Indo-Aryan Controversy: Evidence and Inference in Indian History….ed. Edwin Bryant, Laurie Patton (2005) (Page 276)

"….the Vedic poets’ orientation to the east ….reflects a ritual or religious orientation to the rising sun. This explains not only the eastern orientation of Vedic society and ritual in general, but also the similar orientation in Old Irish…. the fact that English north and its Germanic cognates are related to words meaning ‘left’ elsewhere in Indo- European; and the very etymology of the words orient, orientation, which derive from Lat. oriri ‘to rise’, "…..….The Indo-Aryan Controversy: Evidence and Inference in Indian History….ed. Edwin Bryant, Laurie Patton (2005) (Page 291)

"The first chapter of the Vendidad enumerates sixteen holy lands created by Ahura Mazda….sixteen different regions mentioned in Videvdad 1,
1. Airiianim Vaejah….abandoned by the ancestors of the Iranians because of severe winter and snow;
2. Gava inhabited by the Sogdians….North of the Oxus
3. Margiana
4. Bakhtria/Balkh…S of the Oxus
5. Nisay between Margiana and Bakhtria
6. Haroiium…Herat
7. Vaekirita
8. Urva
9. Xnanta, inhabited by Hyrcanians
10. Haraxvaiti….Arachosia
11. Haetumint
12. Raga
13. Caxra
14. Varina
15. Hapta Hindu
16. Ra ̆ha
.….The Indo-Aryan Controversy: Evidence and Inference in Indian History….ed. Edwin Bryant, Laurie Patton (2005) (Page 293)

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Email....okarresearch@gmail.com

John Hopkins.....Northern New Mexico….December 2013

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