method of dating RV, III

Yaroslav V. Vassilkov yavass at YV1041.SPB.EDU
Wed Oct 14 17:57:11 UTC 1998

Dear colleagues,
        unfortunately I had no opportunity to see what it is said
about Scythians in the Cambridge History of Iran, but here, in the homeland
of Scyths, so to say, archaeologists and historians use the term to denote
the bearers of the very distinctive culture characterized first of all by
the so-called "Scythian triad" which consists of: 1. the famous "Animal style"
in art, 2. specific set of metal (bronze and then iron) weapons, and
3, specific set of metal horse harness. Though evidently related to the
previous steppe cultures (such as Cimmerians and others), the Scythian culture
suddenly emerges all over the enormous territory from the Ukraine to
Mongolia in the 8th cent. BC. The Eastern Scyths, called Sakas (ZAkas)
for the first time reached the northern borders of India around 6th-5th cent.
BC. So the Scythians proper could not in any way be the contemporaries of
the Vedic (RV VIII.46.21,24) KanIta, father of PRthuzravas. It would be safer
to define his name as not "possibly Scythian", but "possibly of Ancient
Eastern Iranian origin". The Scythian language belonged to the northern
group of the Eastern dialects of the Ancient Iranian. If the Vedic name
KanIta is really of Iranian origin, it came surely not from the distant
(and not existant at the time) Scythia, but most probably from the nearby
Central Asia, East Iran or Afghanistan, where the southern Eastern Iranian
dialects had been spoken at least since 2nd mill. BC.
        Best regards,
                                Yaroslav Vassilkov,
                                St Petersburg, Russia

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