1. Horse and 2. Dice in India

Rolf Heiner Koch roheko at MSN.COM
Sat Mar 21 18:27:32 UTC 1998

If I remember well it looks not quadrangle, more 2
or three times the length in relation to the
bright. It has two or four long rows. I saw this
in Ajanta.
roheko at msn.com
-----Ursprüngliche Nachricht-----
Von: Yaroslav V. Vassilkov
<yavass at YAVASS.USR.PU.RU>
Datum: Samstag, 21. März 1998 09:48
Betreff: 1. Horse and 2. Dice in India

>>From yavass Sat Mar 21 11:22:50 MSK 1998
>On March 20 (or 21) Edwin Bryant wrote:
><I think it is relevant to note that just as
horses were central to the
><Vedic Indians they have always been central in
Indian history, but *they
><have always been imported into the subcontinent*
from the Epic, Mauryan,
><Mughal through to the British period. So the
horse has always been highly
><prized despite not being indigenous to the
subcontinent (although there is
><an indig species of onager native in the NW).
>        and at the end of his contribution Edwin
Bryant uses the same
>supposed fact as a base for an important
historical conclusion:
><...just as the horse has always been imported
><central to Indic culture right throughout the
historic period, it could
><likewise have similarly been imported and
central in the proto-IA period
><(for the Indig. Aryan School, and earlier still
in the PIE period for the
><Out-of-India school).
>        But can we really say that *the horse has
always been imported* while
>since the Vedic period Sanskrit literature
constantly mentions horse-breeding
>in the North-West of the subcontinent? The first
such mention one can probably
>find in the Nadiistuti of the Rgveda (X.75.8)
where the Sindhu river is called
>*svazvaa, surathaa* and *vaajiniivatii* - *famous
for its fine horses, good
>chariots* and *rich in race-horses*. After that
we can see that in many
>sources different regions of the North-West
(Sindhu-Sauvira, Gandhara, Kamboja)
>are described as well-known centers of
horse-breeding (see, e.g, Mbh. V.46.13;
>VI.86-3-4; VII.137.3; XII.36.11).
>        By the way, I think that the participants
in the debate on the spread
>of horses in India quite undeservedly ignored the
archeological materials
>of the *megalithic* culture which at some sites
(e.g. on the territory of
>historical Vidarbha) can be dated now as early as
the beginning of the I
>mill. BC. Here we can speak really in terms of
MASS material, consisting of
>bone remains and innumerable articles of metal
harness. The megalithic
>material makes quite possible its comparison with
the relevant data from
>"Scythian graves" (while some of the participants
has asserted earlier
>that the latter have no analogues in India).
>    2. DICE.
>        As the participants in this debate
demonstrate vast knowledge of the
>present state of archeological studies in India,
it gave me idea to address
>them a special question.
>        Many years ago (in the early 1970-ies?)
Professor B.B.Lal visited
>Leningrad in the USSR (now St Petersburg in
Russia) and read two lectures
>(at the Institute of Archeology and the Institute
of Oriental Studies) on
>the progress of his studies of the Painted Grey
Ware culture.
>        I remember very well one of the slides
that he demonstrated to the
>audience. It was a picture of a gambling die:
oblong and biconical, made
>of terracotta. Since then I tried many times but
failed to find any published
>information bearing on the PGW dice.
>        Can you give me a reference to any source
containing a picture or
>a good description of the dice typical of the PGW
>        Thanks in advance
>                                Yaroslav
>                                St Petersburg

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