Friday, December 6, 2013

BMAC: Margu (2300–1700 BC)

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"Margus…..The Bactria–Margiana Archaeological Complex (or BMAC, also known as the Oxus civilization) is the modern archaeological designation for a Bronze Age civilisation of Central Asia, dated to ca. 2300–1700 BC, located in present day northern Afghanistan, eastern Turkmenistan, southern Uzbekistan and western Tajikistan, centered on the upper Amu Darya (Oxus River). Its sites were discovered and named by the Soviet archaeologist Viktor Sarianidi (1976). Bactria was the Greek name for the area of Bactra (modern Balkh), in what is now northern Afghanistan, and Margiana was the Greek name for the Persian satrapy of Margu, the capital of which was Merv, in modern-day southeastern Turkmenistan."…..http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bactria–Margiana_Archaeological_Complex

"Margu (Latin: Margiana from Greek: Μαργιανή) was a satrapy of the Achaemenid Empire. The ruler who lost a Bactrian revolt is mentioned as a Margian in the Behistun inscriptions of ca. 515 BCE by Darius Hystaspis. It is not mentioned as a satrapy in the inscription, because it was included in a larger satrapy of the empire. It was located in the valley of the river Murghab which has its sources in the mountains of Afghanistan, and passes through Murghab District in modern Afghanistan, and then reaches the oasis of Merv in modern Turkmenistan. Merv was the centere of Margiana."….http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margu

"The Qala……Sarianidi regards Gonur as the "capital" of the complex in Margiana throughout the Bronze Age. The palace of North Gonur measures 150 metres by 140 metres, the temple at Togolok 140 metres by 100 metres, the fort at Kelleli 3 125 metres by 125 metres, and the house of a local ruler at Adji Kui 25 metres by 25 metres. Each of these formidable structures has been extensively excavated. While they all have impressive fortification walls, gates, and buttresses, it is not always clear why one structure is identified as a temple and another as a palace…. Mallory points out that the BMAC fortified settlements such as Gonur and Togolok resemble the qala, the type of fort known in this region in the historical period. They may be circular or rectangular and have up to three encircling walls. Within the forts are residential quarters, workshops and temples.….http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bactria–Margiana_Archaeological_Complex

"…According to the Greek-Russian archaeologist, Sarianidi, who explored the tepes, Gonurtepe was the "capital or the imperial city –of a complex Bronze Age state, one that stretched at least a thousand square miles and encompassing hundreds of satellite settlements….with its refined society called the "Turkmenistan's Morghab River society", formally called the "Bactria-Margiana Archaeological Complex"."…..http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Turkmenistan_Complex_Archaeological_Expedition

"Religious life in Gonur-Tappeh appears to have been complex, with ritual sheep sacrifices and separate temples dedicated to the elements of fire and water. According to Sarianidi, these rituals included the drinking of haoma. It was likely this beverage that Prophet Zoroaster criticized as he promoted his eponymous new religion, considered by many to be the world’s first monotheistic faith. Based on the haoma connection and other links between Murgab society and descriptions in Zoroastrian texts….."…http://www.cais-soas.com/News/2007/May2007/22-05.htm

"….there are still many sites in the Central Asia region from Turkey to Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan that's being lost to history. The discoveries suffers from lack of funding and the political troubles of the region…..A large sophisticated civilization equal to Sumeria and Mesopotamia and thriving at the same time at least 5,000 years ago was lost in the harsh desert sands of the Soviet Union near the Iran and Afghanistan borders. But now details are beginning to emerge. ... he has some exquisite pottery shards .... from his recent excavations in the Kara Kum desert of Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan on the Iran and Afghanistan borders..... discovered ancient ruins at Anau in southern Turkmenistan near Iran. .... working west of Afghanistan reported vast ruins, all built with the same distinct pattern of a central building surrounded by a series of walls. ... were found in Bactria and Margiana on the border that separates Afghanistan from Russia's Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. But nothing was reported beyond a few Soviet journals that were never translated..... discovered it is about 2,000 years older than the Bactria and Margiana sites further to the east, going back nearly seven thousand years to at least 4,500 B. C., or the Bronze Age. Not only are the oldest shards from there of high craftsmanship, .... also found a black rock carved with red-colored symbols that, to date, are unidentified but considered to be evidence of a literacy independent of Mesopotamia. The discovery is revolutionary to earlier academic thought that Sumeria was the first civilization with language…..the oldest known horse domestication site appears to be that of the Botai Culture in Kazakhstan….Gonur-Tappeh was the capital – or imperial city, as he prefers to call it – of a complex, Bronze Age state."….http://www.cais-soas.com/News/2007/May2007/22-05.htm

"The remains of a highly important Late Bronze Age building from North Afghanistan, the palace of Dashly-III shows strong similarities with the discussed group of seals. Ignoring the area of the entrance, we get the picture of a well planed 'mandala'….. Sarianidi, V. I., Soviet Excavations in Bactria: The Bronze Age, Fig. 11 / 9, in: Ligabue, G., Salvatori, S., eds., Bactria An ancient oasis civilization from the sands of Afghanistan, Venice, 1990

"Language of the Bactria–Margiana Archaeological Complex (BMAC)[…..
Terms borrowed from an otherwise unknown language include those relating to cereal-growing and bread-making (bread, ploughshare, seed, sheaf, yeast), water-works (canal, well), architecture (brick, house, pillar, wooden peg), tools or weapons (axe, club), textiles and garments (cloak, cloth, coarse garment, hem, needle) and plants (hemp, mustard, Soma plant).Lubotsky pointed out that the phonological and morphological similarity of 55 loanwords in Iranian and in Sanskrit indicate that both share a common substratum, or perhaps two dialects of the same substratum. He concludes that the BMAC language of the population of the towns of Central Asia (where Indo-Iranians must have arrived in the 2nd millennium b.c.) and the language spoken in Punjab (see Harappan below) were intimately related."….A. Lubotsky, The Indo-Iranian Substratum, in: Early Contacts between Uralic and Indo-European: Linguistic and Archaeological Considerations, ed. Chr. Carpelan, A. Parpola, P.Koskikallio (Helsinki, Suomalais- Ugrilainen Seura 2001), pp. 301-317.

BMAC *anću ‘soma plant (ephedra)’ → Skt. aṃśú-; Av. ąsu-…..
BMAC *atʰr̥ → Skt. átharvan ‘priest’, Av. āϑrauuan-/aϑaurun- ‘id.’, Pehlevi āsrōn; Toch. A atär, B etre ‘hero’…..
BMAC *bʰiš- ‘to heal’ → Skt. bhiṣáj- m. ‘physician’; LAv. bišaziia- ‘to cure’…..
BMAC *dr̥ća → Skt. dūrśa- ‘coarse garment’; Wakhi δirs ‘goat or yak wool’, Shughni δox̆c ‘body hair; coarse cloth’…..
BMAC *gandʰ/t- → Skt. gandhá-; LAv. gaiṇti- ‘odor’…..
BMAC *gandʰ(a)rw- ‘mythical beast’ → Skt. gandharvá-; LAv. gaṇdərəβa-…..
BMAC *indra theonym → Skt. Índra; LAv. Iṇdra daeva's name…..
BMAC *išt(i) ‘brick’ → Skt. íṣṭakā- f. (VS+); LAv. ištiia- n., OP išti- f., Pers. xešt; Toch. B iścem ‘clay’

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Email....okarresearch@gmail.com

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

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