Paired Horse and PIE breakup

N. Ganesan naga_ganesan at HOTMAIL.COM
Wed Nov 4 19:11:18 UTC 1998

>If we accept that the Ashokan and related scripts came from the
>"Middle East" and are related to Phoenician-type scripts, how did these
>vault over to India and when?  And if Vedic peoples came from Ural and
>Caucasus mountain region (or the Caspian-Aral one) how did they come
>about using a phonetic script rather than cuneiform (given a lower
>limit of 2000 BCE for the PIE breakup).

   After the demise of Achaemenid empire, the Iranian artisans
   found no patronage in Iran. They dispersed. Some of them
   could have been at Paa.taliputra, according to scholars.
   Compare with Mughal painters at the time of Aurangzeb
   left for Hindu courts. Mughal style in Rajput painting,
   Pahari painting, gets established after that.

   There were Greek ambassadors at Mauryan courts. Not
   long ago, Aramaic inscriptions of Asoka are found.
   J. C. Harle, The art and architecture of the Indian
   subcontinent, p. 22:
   "Although they no doubt  conformed to a practice
    derived from Achaemenid Iran, Asoka's edicts ..."
   "Some of the pillars were unquestionably raised by Asoka.
    others are probably somewhat earlier, but not a great
    deal, for a longer tradition of stone carving would
    certainly have left other remains. The sudden appearance
    of stone carving of such sophistication probably argues
    for some foreign workers or at least contacts, just as the
    rather cold hieratic style of the Saranath lions shows
    obvious Achaemenid or Sargonid influence. ..."

    From R. Salomon, On the origin of Early Indain scripts,
    JAOS, 1996, I gather that Brahmi is most likely derived
    from Aramaic of Achaemendid empire. Shri. Iravatham Mahadevan
    also says that Brahmi is derived from the West of India.

 N. Ganesan

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