Horse in Mesopotamia and ancient India

Yaroslav V. Vassilkov yavass at YV1041.SPB.EDU
Sun Jul 26 22:52:32 UTC 1998

On 23 July Sn. Subrahmanya wrote:
>... The Akhal Teke has been present in Turkmenistan atleast from
>Harappan times.
        I am afraid, the "Harappan" antiquity of Akhal Teke horses is
a myth. They appear much later (probably came with the Arabs?).
Archaelolgists working in Central Asia say that in South Turkmenia (in
contrast to North-East Iran = Gurgan region) there is no evidence of
domesticated horse till the Namazga VI period (= Late BMAC).

>>But Tepe Hissar in its periods III B and C demonstrates close cultural
>>connections not with the Indus/Sarasvati civilization, but with
>>Margiana/Bactria and Mittanni in Syria - both cultures being probably
>>connected with the movements of Indo_Iranian and Indo-Aryan tribes.

>Exactly - if there was a migration into India then the influence
>must appear later on in India as well, which doesnt seem to be !

        Yes, and this "influence" is so evident: the practice of chariot
warfare first appears in Gurgan region and BMAC, and THEN in Vedic India.
Could you refer to any evidence of such practice in Indus/Sarasvati
Civilization? I do not mean simply the acquaintance with horse and the
presence of horse remains.

>If you notice, the BMAC also did not seem to need any "migrating Aryans" for
>its development. On the other hand, the BMAC influence
>seems to have spread into Iran (refer to Hiebert,Erdosy Vol).
>Also,the BMAC is exactly where the Dasas,Dahyu and the Panis are placed
>(Parpola in same vol).

        OK, and who were the "Dasas, Dahyu and Panis"? According to Parpola,
whom you refer to, they were Aryans - though not Indo-Aryans, but Eastern
(or Northern) Iranians, proto-Scythians (Aryans all the same)!
       Now most archaeologists seem to agree that BMAC emerged as a result
of a synthesis in which an ancient local culture interacted with Aryan
newcomers (probably, two waves of them: Indo-Aryans from the West and then
Eastern Iranians from the North) - under strong influences from Elam,
Syria/Mesopotamia and Indus/Sarasvati.
       By the way, the discovery of BMAC just makes true the "heretical"
suggestion offered as early as in the 1940-ies and early 1950-ies by
R.N.Dandekar who wrote that the ancestors of Vedic Indians and Avestan
Iranians had lived together in the "region around Balkh" for a pretty long
time before their final separation (see e.g. his article on "VritrahA Indra").
        Best regards
                                        Yaroslav Vassilkov

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