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Thread: [Split] Indo-Iranians: Chariots, Language and Archaeological Assignments

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    [Split] Indo-Iranians: Chariots, Language and Archaeological Assignments

    Quote Originally Posted by DMXX View Post
    Agreed. Lazaridis made a mistake using Yamnaya-era steppe samples to model South Asians, as well.

    In the absence of BMAC, IVC or "pure" ASI samples, the most accurate combination they could've run was Iran_N (better than Chalcolithic given the absence of EHG), Sintashta, Onge and Han.

    If Generalissimo or Chad can run the above, they will immediately improve the Lazaridis output.



    I completely agree with you, actually. Much of the "EHG" we're seeing in the prehistoric Near-East (including at Hotu) is probably some ANE-related component (possibly of the same origin that appears present in South Asia based on formal statistics).

    Did the Reich lab not discover that EHG fits as well as our Mal'ta-derived ANE component for Amerindians? I believe Chad mentioned this on your blog once. If true, that would support our perspective here.

    Now we've found something EHG-like (ANE derivative?) in paleolithic Iran, and have evidence of something similar in modern South Asians, Occam's razor (per geography and the intersection between ancient and modern DNA) permits us to safely assume something EHG-like definitely was in Central Asia before the Indo-Iranian migrations.
    Ok with some lingering clarifications, what about Sintashta- important for its connections to I-A.
    Now they have Neolithic stuff from Europe to Iran, they have stayed with the model of Sintashta = steppe + MN Europe
    This essentially cements Z93 being from "Europe" ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gravetto-Danubian View Post
    Ok with some lingering clarifications, what about Sintashta- important for its connections to I-A.
    Now they have Neolithic stuff from Europe to Iran, they have stayed with the model of Sintashta = steppe + MN Europe
    There's no widely-held scholarly position on which steppe cultures are firmly Iranian or Indo-Aryan. There are quite a few, which differ in chronology, location and interactions with another (Potapovka, Srubnaya, Poltavka, Sintashta, Petrovka, Abashevo from memory).

    I can't remember what Kuz'mina's perspective is on those cultures, other than Potapovka representing something similar to proto-Indo-Iranian. My own personal current opinion is that Srubnaya represents proto-Indo-Iranian, with Sintashta and Petrovka representing the proto-Iranian and proto-Indo-Aryan cultures respectively (both occur near-contemporaneously in the same zone around the Urals and are highly similar in terms of material culture).

    This essentially cements Z93 being from "Europe" ?
    Based on the totality of the aDNA and modern DNA we have, R1a1a-Z93 is quite clearly a late bronze age European export into Asia.

    The "Near-Eastern patriots" David (Anthony ) spoke of in a past lecture must come to terms with the fast accumulation of data that contradicts their a priori position.
    Last edited by DMXX; 06-17-2016 at 11:49 PM. Reason: export, not import

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    Quote Originally Posted by DMXX View Post
    There's no widely-held scholarly position on which steppe cultures are firmly Iranian or Indo-Aryan.
    I'm surprised that you say that. It has been generally held for decades that Andronovo = Indo-Iranian. See Mallory and Adams (eds.), Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture (1997), on Andronovo and p. 73:

    it has become increasingly clear that if one wishes to argue for Indo-Iranian migrations from the steppe lands south into the historical seats of the Iranians and Indo-Aryans that these steppe cultures were transformed as they passed through a membrane of Central Asian urbanism.
    Which fits the substrate evidence - words borrowed from a language of urbanism and irrigation agriculture into Proto-Indo-Iranian and from the same language into Archaic Old Indic, which can be deduced to be the language of the BMAC. These words include Indra. So the Andronovo contacts with the BMAC which appear in the archaeology are telling.

    Sintashta is the earliest form of Andronovo, or its progenitor, whichever you prefer. David Anthony says in The Horse, the Wheel and Language, pp. 408-410 that:

    The funeral sacrifices of the Sintashta culture are a critical link betwen archaeology and history. They closely resemble the rituals described in the Rig Veda ...Common Indo-Iranian probably was spoken during the Sintashta period, 2100-1800 BCE. Archaic Old Indic probably emerged as a separate tongue from archaic Iranian about 1800-1600 BCE ... The RV and AV agreed that the essence of their shared parental Indo-Iranian identity was linguistic and ritual, not racial. If a person sacrified to the right gods in the right way using the correct forms of the traditional hymns and poems, that person was an Aryan. ... Similarity between the rituals excavated at Sintashta and Arkaim and those described later in the RV have solved, for many, the problem of Indo-Iranian origins... The explosion of Sintashta innovations in rituals, politics, and warfare had a long-lasting impact on the later cultures of the Eurasian steppes. This is another reason why the Sintashta culture is the best and clearest candidate for the crucible of Indo-Iranian identity and language. Both the Srubnaya and Andronovo horizons, the principal cultural groups of the Late Bronze Age in the Eurasian steppes ... grew from origins in the Potapovka-Sintashta complex.
    Eurasia2000BC.jpg
    Last edited by Jean M; 06-18-2016 at 11:10 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DMXX View Post
    I can't remember what Kuz'mina's perspective is on those cultures,
    Her conclusion:

    The majority of Russian archaeologists and linguists accept that the sites of the Sintashta type reflect the formation of the Indo-Iranian group of cultures whose origins lie in the earlier Pit-grave culture. Proto-Indo-Iranian became an independent language during the period of the end of the 3rd and the beginning of the 2nd millennia BC. The population knew agriculture, stock-raising, including horse-breeding. They built fortified settlements comparable with the vara, manufactured gold and copper, and at the end of the period, also bronze artifacts. The main achievement of the epoch is the introduction of horse-drawn chariots and the privileged position of charioteers who were buried in large barrows with horses, chariots and rich grave goods including all types of weapon that had common-Iranian names. This set of weapons is recorded in the culture of the Aryans of Mitanni and represented in the Rigveda and the Avesta in the late hymn to Mithra where the ancient Indo-Iranian tradition could have been preserved. This situation corresponds well with the reconstruction of the culture of the Proto-Indo-Iranians and is reliably supported by J. Mallory’s hypothesis on the genesis of the Indo-European peoples and O. Skjęrvų and G. Fussman’s conclusion that the Indo-Iranian linguistic community split between 1700 and 1500 BC.

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    Have we found any chariot burials or horse burials in Iran? It seems that Etruscans practised it. It was practised also in Iron Age Salamis, Cyprus by non-Greeks most likely.
    If their ancestors practiced it why did they stop doing so?
    Last edited by Kanenas; 06-18-2016 at 11:40 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kanenas View Post
    Have we found any chariot burials or horse burials in Iran? It seems that Etruscans practised it. It was practised also in Iron Age Salamis, Cyprus by non-Greeks most likely.
    There are indeed horse-burials in Iran. However horse-burial is not exclusive to Indo-Europeans. It could be taken up by any people who adopted horse-riding and/or chariots from Indo-Europeans. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horse_burial This should not confuse us about the origins of the ritual.

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    But not any chariot burials. I personally believe that it's possible that Indo-Europeans adopted horse-riding and/or chariots by non-Indoeuropean cultures. There weren't any chariot burials in Greece, Rome and chariots weren't used for warfare.
    (Celts did use chariots for warfare but that doesn't mean much)

    Here's a burial costume, sometimes considered Greek or Greco-Roman, but very widespread and of Indo-European origin imo.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charon%27s_obol

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kanenas View Post
    But not any chariot burials. I personally believe that it's possible that Indo-Europeans adopted horse-riding and/or chariots by non-Indoeuropean cultures.
    The chronology is against you. The relevant section from AJ 2nd edn:

    The invention of spoked wheels around 2000 BC made possible a lighter vehicle - the horse-drawn, two-wheel chariot, which could be used to devastating effect in warfare. Early images of the technology appear in the Near East, but its origin lies in the Eurasian steppes. In the Sintashta culture, Russia, a man could be buried with his chariot. As the wood rotted it left stains in the ground, preserving the shape of the two-wheeled vehicle, including the spokes of the wheels. So far at least 16 such graves have been found. They are dated 2100-1700 BC, older than any chariots elsewhere. From the steppe, chariots were introduced into the Near East together with steppe horses and studded disk cheek-pieces.

    In northern Mesopotamia the Mitanni were famed charioteers. The names of their kings appear in the record from about 1500. These names were Indic. One meant 'having an attacking chariot'. The mass of their people spoke Hurrian, a non-Indo-European language. Their aristocracy had its origin in military charioteers. So we may guess that a band from afar had used the chariot to seize power.

    The swift-moving chariot became the favoured transport of the elite. From the Levant it was taken to Egypt, probably by the Hyksos, a Semitic people who invaded Lower Egypt. Once the Egyptians adopted chariot warfare themselves, they were able to expel the Hyksos. It was an early example of the arms race.

    Meanwhile the chariot also moved westward via the steppe into Europe. Its progress up the Danube can be tracked by chariot burials and cheek-pieces from horse-harness. From the Carpathian Basin it seems that the chariot reached Mycenean Greece by about 1600 BC. The characteristic Myceanean type had four spokes per wheel ... The concept had spread right across Europe by about 1300 BC, when chariots are depicted on engraved slabs in a noble's tomb in Sweden and warrior stelae in south-west Iberia.
    There weren't any chariot burials in Greece, Rome and chariots weren't used for warfare....
    The cultures of various branches of the Indo-European family differ, just as their languages do. We don't need to find a trail of chariot burials or chariot warfare into every culture that used chariots in order to understand the culture of the Indo-Iranians.

    The crucial evidence for determining the cradle of Indo-Iranian is the chain of steppe cultures that followed Sintashta on the Asian steppe, one clearly emerging from another right up to the historic period when we know that these people (Scythians) spoke an Iranic language. This is actually one of the most straightforward and obvious deductions in the whole of Indo-European studies.
    Last edited by Jean M; 06-18-2016 at 12:45 PM.

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    We don't know that the Scythians spoke Indo-Iranian. It's speculative pseudoscience based on the work of an Ossetian nationalist.

    We know though that the Scythians have cultural affinities to modern-day mostly Turkic-speaking Central Asian populations. Non-IE and IE languages are likely to have coexisted in the Steppes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kanenas View Post
    We don't know that the Scythians spoke Indo-Iranian. It's speculative pseudoscience based on the work of an Ossetian nationalist.

    We know though that the Scythians have cultural affinities to modern-day mostly Turkic-speaking Central Asian populations. Non-IE and IE languages are likely to have coexisted in the Steppes.
    Cultural affinities to modern-day mostly Turkic-speaking Central Asian populations is mostly caused by similar nomadic lifestyle and the fact that there was massive language shift in Central Asia.

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