SV: method of dating RV, III

Erik Seldeslachts erik.seldeslachts at RUG.AC.BE
Mon Oct 26 09:47:34 UTC 1998

Yaroslav V. Vassilkov wrote:

>         This is really a problem! And the only solution I can suggest (highly
> hypotetical of course) is that the branching (which had to take place earlier
> than 2000 BC, probably in the end of the IV or in the IIIrd mill.) really, as
> you say, "did not obliterate mutual intelligibility", and that is the reason
> why Proto-Indo-Aryans and Proto-Iranians (Andronovo people), when after
> centuries of separate migrations (PIA moving probably southwards across
> the Caucasus mountains and then eastward through the Iranian plateau -
> to Bactria, and Iranians moving south, from Southern Ural and Kazakhstan - to Bactria again)
> they reunited on the territory of BMAC, they could still understand each other
> and more than that: they evidently participated in some common cultural and
> religious process. Here, at their "second Aryan homelend" they probably went
> together through a period of some religious reform. In particular, I think it
> is improbable that the images of gods designed as personifications of
> abstract notions and moral categories: Mit(h)ra as "Social harmony" or
> "Friendship", A(i)ryaman as "Hospitality", Ahura Mazda / Asura VaruNa medhira
> as "Lord Wisdom" (socially: all-seeng sacred ruler, priest-king with miriads of
> spies) and so on - could appear in the primitive Neolithic Indo-Iranian society of the "first Aryan homeland";
> this is rather a result of a religious reform which took place in a priestly
> mileau, in proto-urban society with temples and complex priestly hierarchy,
> under strong influence of local ancient civilization(s). Does not it all
> looks like BMAC?
>       This is, of course, just a hypothesis. Any objections or comments are
> welcome.

This situation is no longer a problem if instead of two separate migrations of
Indo-Aryans and Iranians one only assumes one -very early - migration of Indo-Iranians.
The subsequent period may then have been one of both divergence of Iranian(s) and
Indo-Aryan(s) due to geographical, economical and political factors, and of convergence
due to uninterrupted contacts of neighbouring groups (Avesta - Rgveda) and to internal
migration (Iranians into Indian territory but certainly also Indians into Iranian
The theory of a double migration is perhaps the strongest impediment to a proper
understanding of both Iranian and Indian history.

Erik Seldeslachts
University of Ghent
Ghent, Belgium

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