Horses in India and Mesopotamia

Yaroslav V. Vassilkov yavass at YV1041.SPB.EDU
Wed Jul 29 15:45:45 UTC 1998

>From yavass Wed Jul 29 19:24:52 MSD 1998
Dear Dr. Subrahmanya,
        in your last posting you wrote:

.AFAIK, there is no evidence of any sudden increase
.of the horse or chariots from 1800BC when the Aryans are supposed to have
.trickled in.
        Some months ago I already answered to it. How could there be a "sudden chariots" in IVC times, if Harappans did not know any chariots
at all? They had perfectly developed figurative art, and if, as you think,
their culture was Vedic, how could it be that there is no one pictorial
representation of a chariot (we know that the chariot, its concept, its image
played a central role in Vedic religion)? As for the date "1800 BC and after" -
have not many representations of horses been found at Pirak? Have not various
metal items of horse's harness been found on mass scale in the early Megalithic
burials? Is it not a fact that as soon as the Gangetic civilization developed
a figurative art of its own, i.e. in the first centuries BC there appear
pictorial representations of chariots in large numbers (see, e.g. M.Sparreboom.
Chariots in the Veda. Leiden, 1983, Chapter VI).
         You also wrote:

>All the papers by archeologists that I have seen
>say that the Harappan and the later Historic sites are a continous local
>development  (no dark ages) If you think other wise, please give the references.

        But as far as I know, on the contrary, there is NO archaeological site,
where the Harappan culture would steadily grow into something "later Historic",
if only you don't mean by it Late Harappan). The only "exception" was Kaushambi,
with its excavated fortification wall, which archaeologists from
Allahabad University ar first interpreted as being of Harappan origin but used
in historical times. But now the wall is ascribed to Mauryan period, and the
old interpretation, AFAIK, is discarded. If you know any real case of
cultural continuity - then it is up to you to give references.
        On my part, I would gladly look for references and invent arguments,
if only I was sure that my words are heard by my opponent. But I have some
reasons to doubt it. For example, I wrote last time:

   >>The Akhal Teke horses definitely appear in Central Asia for the first time in the
   >>PARTHIAN period, i.e. in II-I centuries B.C. (Prof. Vadim M. Masson,
   >>personal communication).

        And after that you ask:

        >4. Since when has the Akhalteke been present in Turkmenistan ?.
        >These questions will be important in knowing whethar the Harappans knew
        >about horses or not .

        But if one of the two persons talking does not hear or does not want
to hear the words said by another, is there any reason to continue such a
                Yours sincerely
                                        Yaroslav Vassilkov

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