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Azgar Mukhamadiev
PROBLEMS OF LINGUOETHNOHISTORY OF THE TATAR PEOPLE
KAZAN, 1995
KHAN DIGGIZ DISH INSCRIPTION
Excerpts from the article Turanian Writing, published in the book Problems Of Linguoethnohistory Of The Tatar People (Kazan, 1995. pages 36-83).

Introduction

Based on the numerous literary evidence from toreutic inscriptions, literacy came to Eastern Europe with the Western Huns. Dating of the artifacts carrying the Türkic inscriptions indicates that they are roughly contemporaneous with the art of Middle Asia  of the 5th c. The script predates the Orkhon inscriptions by half of a millennia, and is distinctly different, though genetically connected. The finds came from a common general area, contemporaneous with the culture that archeologists defined as a very distinct.  Professor A.Mukhamadiev connects the numismatic, toreutic, religious, and monetary evidence with the Eseg/Esgil/Askel tribes, who became known in Eastern Europe as members of the Bulgar state, and identifies them with the Imenkov Culture. This identification, supported by Türkologists, is strenuously disputed by Slavist archeologists, who for a number of reasons are ignoring the literary and linguistic evidence. They connect the Imenkov Culture with another disputed, Chernyakhov Culture, which is officially labeled as a Slavic culture, against all the indicators pointing to its Türkic roots.

 

These chapters are on separate pages on this site:

I     Inscriptions on the coins of the antique time
II.   Inscriptions on the coins of the new time

In the Chapter III below, the sections describing other inscriptions are omitted. A complete Chapter III is presented separately.

***

Only one place seems to be insufficiently justified in the magnificent work of the Professor A. Muhamadiev: not only Attila could name his son Dikkiz. Moreover, Atilla probably was not the first who named his son Dikkiz. Our knowledge of the ancient Türkic history, and in particular of the history of the Türkic Central Asia and Eastern Europe is so fragmented that the attribution of the inscription to the Eastern European Huns can only be taken as a healthy hypothesis. Only the clan tamga can make the hypothesis a fact.

III. Inscriptions on vessels

In addition to coins, minted in Turan from the beginning of the new era, various artistically made vessels of precious metals began to appear in the Itil/Volga and Ural regions. All this variety of coins and precious vessels testifies not only to the growth of the trade exchange between the Turan and the Itil/Volga and Ural regions, but also about some large movements of the population and the formation of new ethnic unions.

Posting Note
This conceptual Turan map of the past century follows the myopic reading of the Avestan news. However, we know better, much better. By the 7th c. BC the Hunnic tribes reached China, and the first Chinese geographical entries about Huns already place them in the area later named in the Chinese annals as Western Territory, which in the 3rd C. BC included areas of Takla Makan desert, Tarim Basin, and the steppes extending from the Tarim Basin to Gansu, and possibly inclusive of the Yan kingdom. Thus the classical fairly contiguous "Turan" area of the Türkic predominantly nomadic pastoralists in the south extended from Bactria to China, bordering on the way on India, Tibet, and Tangut. In the north it includes the Tele Dinlins extending from the Aral Sea to Altai, and Kirgizes from the Altai to Baikal, and then a strip on the Baikal eastern shore. In the east, Turan bordered on Mongols ( Siajiadian) and Tunguses who before encountering Huns were forest foot hunters with sedentary agriculture and without a trace of the animal husbandry. The detailed political organization is not known, but the first records attest a bewildering number of independent tribes. The footprint of the Turanian tribes approximately overlays the footprint of the Andronov Culture

Also confirmed by the archeological research, such movements in the Itil/Volga and Ural regions were, it seems, connected with the formation of the Kushan state. Created by the Hunnish Kushan branch in the Bactria during a flourishing period (1-3-th cc. AD), this state included a significant part of the Turkestan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Northern India.

Probably, Turan did not completely enter into the domain of the Kushan empire, but the significant part of its territory was taken by Kushan, and a part of the population of Turkestan and East Turkestan, especially during disintegration of Kushan, had to move north to the Itil/Volga and Ural regions.

Just in the 4-5-th cc. AD here appear new cultures; Lomovatov in the region of Perm, extending by its roots to the Andronovo culture, Polomian, Azelian, Mazunin, Bakhmutin and Imenkov cultures. If Turanians earlier collected only pelts of fur animals as tribute, afterwards here is a strong union of Imenkovs, who brought with them a higher culture very different from that of the Kama region [Gening V.F., 1959, 208].

The Imenkov culture has an extensive territory: basin of the river White, Lower Kama region and Middle Itil/Volga region. Some fairly large Imenkov settlements of 6-8-th cc. AD, such as, for example, Scherbetsk on Itil/Volga, near Bulgar city, with a thick cultural layer and bronze casting workshops, where the bronze ingots the first metal money of Eastern Europe were produced, remind real early feudal cities. Investigating this culture V.F. Gening truly believed, that "Imenkov peoples, judging by the large number and the huge sizes of their settlements, constituted a major mass of the population of the Itil/Volga Bulgaria" [Gening V.F., 1959, 210].

On the subject of the origin of the Imenkov culture there are few points of view [Mukhamadiev A.G., 1990, 65]. V.F. Gening, who discovered and investigated this culture, believed that it has developed as a result of the influx of Turkic peoples from the east. However alongside with eastern there were western sources of this culture, more obviously notable after the formation of a strong western Hun Empire (3-5-th cc. AD), with Khazar and Bulgar peoples in its mixture.

Only the quantity of vessels reaching us from Itil/Volga and Ural regions is in tens of articles. In the scientific literature the Kama silver has received a name of Sasanian after the name of the dynasty ruling in Iran from 268 to 651 AD, even though the researchers noted long ago that the finds of Sasanian precious metal artifacts in Iran itself are quantitatively in single digits. The reliable cases of these finds do not exceed three articles [Orbeli I.A., Trever K.V., 1935, 11]. Based on Turanian inscriptions, on religious symbolic connected to the contents of inscriptions of some vessels, we suppose that the vessels found in the Itil/Volga and Ural regions should fairly be named as Turanian metals. Imported vessels of a Byzantian and Arabian origin belong to a later period and supplement the above named body of vessels.

The interest to various kinds of ancient things, especially of precious metals, grew in 17-th c., when all kurgans of somewhat significant sizes and even the ordinary burials were plundered by Kazaks, who, "gaining a hold of new territories", organized bands of few hundred people for marauding excavations. The ancient precious metal vessels were usually melted down. From the 18-th c they began to be collected. Some of them went to the Kunstkamera of the Peter I.

The artistically made vessels of precious metals from Itil/Volga and Urals regions found in the pre-soviet period were published in two summary illustrated works [Smirnov Ya.I., 1909; Orbeli I.A., Trever K.V., 1935].

On edges of some cups or vessels are located fairly clearly engraved inscriptions in the Turanian letters. Ya.I. Smirnov in the introduction article about the mentioned inscriptions writes: "The inscriptions on the group of cups (42- 47, 286), terminating, apparently, with weight, cant be read, based on the words of the academician K.G.Zaleman, as written, probably, on some unknown language". He attributed them to late period of "Indo-Scythian kingdom" 3-7-th cc. AD, and also found analogies, to some images on cups, of deities on Indian coins of the Gupta dynasty Smirnov Ya.I., 1909, 6-7).

S.P.Tolstov, reviewing these inscriptions, noted, that " all characters on coins were represented on cups and only a few of characters on the later are absent from monetary legends" [Tolstov S.P., 1948, 193]. Though he closely investigated various images of the people, animals and plants engraved on vessels, he could not clearly read any separate word from the inscriptions.

Ya.I. Smirnov mentions in his work seven silver and gilt cups with inscriptions, though actually there are more of them. One more find transferred to a museum in 1951 is known, a silver dish with a fairly long Turanian inscription [Bader O.N., Smirnov A.P., 1954, 15]. Probably, in the collections of museums of Russia and other countries, to where they were removed from Itil/Volga and Ural regions, there are much more of them. As show the contents of inscriptions, they are mainly of the religious character. Therefore, many cups with distinctive images of animals, plants etc., i.e. symbols connected to religious beliefs, belong to the same circle of Turanian metal. The images of the people on some cups, judging by the inscriptions, belong to the Turan or Hun rulers. The images of wild and predatory animals, in a state of struggle between themselves or in a majestic rest on the background of a sacred tree, water and earth, on cups without inscriptions immediately ascend to Hunno-Turkic world of believes. It should be noted that the fairly strong influence on the decoration of vessels of the Turanian type, especially for early periods, was made by Greco-Bactrian art.

Judging by Hinduistic contents of the majority of inscriptions on vessels, presence on some of them of four armed deity holding a scepter, a bat, a symbol of the Moon and Sun, all of which the Huns, including Turanians, worshipped, is not accidental. Hinduism, it should be believed, especially in the period of Kushan dominance, penetrated fairly deeply into the beliefs and culture of Turanians. It seems that the precious metal vessels with engraved images of Gods and the artwork of religious symbols were in great demand as special ritual objects.

The area of the distribution of the similar vessels is rather wide: from the Perm and Orenburg to the Nizhni Novgorod, where before the appearance of the latter was an ancient Bulgar settlement. But, mainly, they are found in the Kama region. For example, the richest places of finds are the vicinities of a Tatar village Bartym of the Perm area, located on the right bank of Bartym river. Probably, in the very name of the village were preserved remnants of ancient rituals. Per M.Kashgari, the scientist - philologist of 11-th c., the word bart in ancient Turkic (Oguz dialect) language meant 'vessel', 'vase'.

The ancient precious metal vessels sometimes come from the settlements or the burials. There are known cases of finding them near the settlements of Lomatov culture. Two rather late Arabian vessels were also found in a burial [Bader O.N., Smirnov A.P., 1954, 20]. Circumstances of the finds of vessels are frequently accidental. For example, in a 1925 peasant G. Davletshin from the village Bartym found a Byzantian dish during ploughing. In 1947, a tractor operator Kh. Kaprizov, an inhabitant of the same village, found a silver cup in the form of a boat. In 1949 on that field a foreman Kalliullin found a massive silver vase, and in 1950 a collective farmer Faizkhanov found a large silver cup; containing 264 silver coins. In a 1951 a schoolboy from Kopchikovsky school (the village Kopchik is located near Bartym) M.Salikhov found next to the village Bartym a silver gilt dish with figures of two lions and with a Turanian inscription.

Afterwards the researchers, questioning the local inhabitants, established places of all finds. However the dispersion of the places, and the trial digs and excavations have shown that under a ploughed layer of 25-30 cm lay continental clays, and there are no traces of a cultural layer [Bader O.N., Smirnov A.P., 1954, 7].

The presence on some vessels of Indian Gods, it seems, has pushed Stralenberg, a Swedish officer captured at Poltava, to try to prove the existence in an antiquity of a great trade road from India to Biarmia and then to the White sea. The Perm collector V.F.Teploukhov stated the supposition that the ancient inhabitants of northern regions used ancient silver in pagan sanctuaries, and some ethnographers described cases, when in Ostyak sanctuaries were used metal plates and coins of an European origin [Bader O.N., Smirnov A.P., 1954, 21].

Ya.I. Smirnov in a brief introduction to the atlas of "Eastern Silver" I.A. Orbeli and K.V. Trever, and also O.N. Bader and A.P.Smirnov adhere to the same judgment. However the indicated facts and descriptions of ethnographers about the use of metal cups in pagan sanctuaries are late, secondary, and there is nothing to indicate that there was a direct tie with the ancient cult rituals. If such ties existed, we would know about such massive use for the cult purposes of Khazarian, Bulgarian or Kipchak Kaganate vessels and coins, i.e. cult subjects of intermediate periods, but these are not known.

Bartym finds show that the objects were found in different places, without dwellings or settlements.

Therefore, their appearance is connected to the nomadic activities. If it were different, there would be the clan settlements of forest peoples, instead of simple sanctuaries. A clan was small and included not more than 45-50 persons [Gening V.F., 1967, 37]. Therefore artistic vessels of precious metals, obviously coming from the dinner tables of the rulers of nomadic empires or world countries were objects hardly accessible for such clans.

In one tomb of Bartym burials was found a copper coin in good preservation, minted on behalf of king of Turan Sakassak, i.e. a coin identical by its alphabet with the inscriptions of cups from Bartym [Mukhamadiev A.G., 1990, 58].

Availability of skillfully made symbols and inscriptions of religious character on cups testify that they are made not for a sale to the wild peoples, but for themselves, for complex cult rituals, for the population having a fairly high culture and a developed written civilization.

The reading of the following inscriptions is of a preliminary character. The main difficulty of reading of the inscriptions consists of that the publishers do not always exactly copy the characters. Is necessary the visual familiarization with the inscriptions of cups, scattered in various collections. Therefore after a direct study of them some not so clearly readable letters, and possible also separate words, can be corrected. The next difficulty in the reading of inscriptions is that they, unlike coins, are unique, i.e. are the only artifacts, and the arrangement of the inscription depended on the literacy and skill of the engraver etching the inscription. Some inscriptions are made so gracefully and competently that it is possible to recreate the correct writing of separate letters, and other inscriptions remind a difficult puzzle.

Dish 53. Found in 1893 in the Kerchev village of the Cherdyn district in the Perm province
Gilted silver, diameter 28 cm.

On inside of the dish is a classical image of a king on a horse, axing with a straight sword an attacking boar. On the head of the king is a crown in a form of the horns of a ram. Above the horns is a disk (sun). The face of the king is bearded, the moustache is twisted upward, and on the right visible ear is an earring.

On the reverse of the dish is a tamga reminiscent of the Khoresmian , but distinguished from it in details. Then the Turanian inscription is engraved with a magnificent handwriting and competency.

     .

Fig. 11. A dish inscribed with the name of Diggizikh

Transcription of the inscription (Fig. 11):

Transliteration:


Kinkeg Dikkiz ükü kessä
Kiji sax sax saxynil gür Tänrig

Translation:

Be fearful of blow by the king Dikkiz the Wise! Retreat to the God beyond the world!

Even though the inscription is engraved with an excellent handwriting, it turned out to be the most difficult for the reproduction and translation. The reason is that, generally, the inscriptions of the above vessels are of religious character identical to some degree, and the inscription of the vessel 53 sharply differs in its contents from them and in this sense is completely unique.

Secondly, judging by distinct graphics and rendering of the words, let alone the presence in the inscription of the name of King Dikkiz, the son Attila, a ruler of the "Scythia and Germany" state, the inscription belongs to the language of western Huns.

The first word, the title "king", unlike the legends of the Turanian coins engraved in the form kitu, in the cup inscription is engraved as kink - with the letter k in the end, and the whole word ends with an indicator of the accusative inflection consonant g, i.e. the word is translated akin 'to the king'.

The first letter of the second word, the name Dikkiz, is distinctive. It is an interdental ð, resembling the pronunciation of d, and of the letter s of the Turanian alphabet. Priscus from Panium, Byzantian who himself saw Attila and his sons, in his travel notes gives the name of the second son of Attila as Diggizikh.

The third word, ükü, in ancient Turkic language uga, means 'wise', therefore in this case this word is a title. The name of Attilas son given by Priscus in the form Diggizikh, it seems, included the title.

The fourth word kiser - 'will split with a blow' - has in the end a diminutive differential particle kiya which gives this word a meaning 'special' or 'favorite' blow of sword.

In the M.Kashgaris dictionary sak sak (in the cups inscription sax sax) is translated as 'be vigilant! ', 'be careful!'. Some dampening of the consonants is explained as specific to the Hunnish language.

The following sixth word of the inscription skhnyl can be read as sakhynyl and as sykhynyl (sokhynyl), but depending on position of the vowels a or y (o) the meaning of the this word is changing. Judging by the contents, the second version more reflects a meaning of the inscription. In the ancient Turkic language syk or sok meant 'to push (in a fight) or 'insert' somewhere. The word sykhynyl with the ending of the passive voice can be translated: 'be displaced' or 'be inserted'. The last word grouping gur tengrigä means 'to the God of the world beyond the grave'.

The inscription on the cup 53 in its contents somewhat reminds the speech of Attila made in June of 451 before the Catalaun battle. Inspiring the Huns and subsidiary Goth warriors to fight with the Roman legionnaires, he finished his speech by words, that he will first strike himself the enemy, and that, if at his blow someone still was remaining peacefully (does not attack), consider that he is already buried (in the world beyond the grave) [Jordanes, 1960, 238].

* * *

The earliest vessels with Turanian inscriptions occur in the 4-6-th cc. AD, i.e. mainly are related to the Hunnish period and are connected to a penetration of early Türks in the Itil/Volga and Ural region. The carriers of this written civilization were, it seems, Imenkov people, which have brought, judging by the archeological data, in to the Itil/Volga and Ural region a distinctive and higher level culture. The large Imenkov settlements of 5-7-th cc. AD, as was noted, with a strong cultural layer and with bronze casting foundries, where ingots were produced the earliest Eastern European metal money, really resemble the early feudal cities [Mukhamadiev A.G., 1990, 64].

In the Imenkovs believes, it seems, a large place took Buddhism and Hinduism before their later confluence, mixed with paganism of early Türks. Judging by the inscriptions of the vessels, a large value was given not to the teachings of Buddha, but the rituals of cult ceremonies. It is visible from the fact, that none of the cup inscriptions has a citation from Buddhist teachings, and there is only "a live word", which makes sense only during a dialogue with Tengri, i.e. with God.

One from Buddhists of the early period wrote, that "... Our teaching about the law, darma, in the basis has a concentration and wisdom... The pupils of this idea should not say that the originally existing concentration became a wisdom, or that concentration and wisdom differ from one another" [ Andrushkevitch O.V., 1990, 75].

The modern researcher of Buddhism L.Abegg characterizes it thus: " we either feel, or philosophize, or prey, while in the East Asia the person does it simultaneously" [Andrushkevitch O.V., 1990, 77].

The similar religious rituals were made, it seems, at a sacred fire, with religious phrases or incantations repeated uncountable times. In the household also were used various symbols, specifically, a sign of swastika a symbol of the sun and life. Such a sign is met on the bottoms of Hunnish ceramics of the antique times, and on the Turanian coins. In one medieval Uigur religious composition is said: suvastic akat ot teg, i.e. 'swastika (denotes) a sacred light' [ DTC, 1969, 31]. It should be added, that in one of the Imenkov burials an archeologist E.P.Kazakov found a bronze talisman-swastika of approximately 55 cm in size.*

The time of the penetration of artistically made vessels to the Itil/Volga and Ural region is also established by numismatic data. The early coins accompanying the vessels correlate, basically, to the 5 - 6-th cc. AD, and the appearance of both coins and vessels, undoubtedly, is connected to the formation of a strong Imenkov union. For example, extremely rare are the coins of the 3-4-th cc. AD. [ Mukhamadiev A.G., 1990, 34].

The Khoresmian coins of the 1-2-nd cc. AD were minted primarily of copper, and consequently they seldom fell outside the limits of those cities where they were minted. Nevertheless, they are fairly frequently met in the Itil/Volga and Ural region.

More widespread are here in the1-2-nd cc. AD the Sasanid coins. In the catalogue of A.K.Markov, for example, the earliest of such coins correlate to the minting of Varakhran V (420 - 438 AD.). Discovered in the last years, during archeological excavations, the Sasanid coins are also fit in this chronological range, i.e. correlate to the 5-6-th cc. AD. Here are rare the Sasanid coins of 7-th c. AD.

The new finds allow to narrow down when the importation of the Sasanid coins became more intensive, and based on it to produce certain conclusions about when the contacts of the Imenkov people with Iran, started during the reign of Varakhran V, become more intensive. For example, in the Bolshevisimsk burial of Chernomoz region in the Perm province, among the 17 Sasanid drachmas found in the burial, the earliest 5 coins are of Peroz (457, 459-484 AD). The following 10 coins belong to the 6-th c. AD, and are minted on behalf of five rulers, and only 2 drachmas belong to the 7-th c. AD.

In the Nevolinsk burial of Kungur region of Perm province of 14 found coins one drachma belongs to to the minting of Peroz, 6 drachmas - to the minting of Khosrov I (531-579 y.s.), and 5 drachmas - to the minting of Khosrov II (591-628 y.s.). One coin of Khoresmian minting belongs to the 6-th c., and one is indefinable.

The coins from the Bartym burial of Berezovsk region of Perm province show the same chronological picture. Two of 8 coins belong to the minting of Peroz, and 4 drachmas belong to the minting of Kavadu (488-531 AD). One Byzantian coin belongs to the minting of Justin II (565-578 AD.), and one Khoresmian coin of Sakassak, minted not later than 6-th c. AD (Mukhamadiev A.G., 1990, 35].

Thus, the beginning of the penetration to the Itil/Volga and Ural region of the Sasanid drachmas pertain to the 20-ieths of the 5-th c. AD, and the more abundant influx pertains to the 6-th c. AD, and is concluded in the 7-th c. The Byzantian, Arabian coins and vessels from Itil/Volga and the Urals region belong to the fairly late times and are connected to other historical and political events happening in this region.

Traced in the historical literature desire to explain the importation of precious metals to Itil/Volga and Ural region by the Sogdian traders does not withstand an elementary criticism and on is not based on facts. Firstly, as it was noted, many vessels came obviously from the tables of crowned persons of Turan or Iran, i.e. they are luxury objects, accessible to few Sogdian traders.

Secondly, it should not be forgotten that in the early Middle Ages such distant trade operations were simply impossible to the individual traders because of the absence of roads and regular settlements required for the replenishment of provisions. Even later, in the -th c., per Marvazi, for example, only the road from Khorezm to the land of the Bulgars took three months. It was also known to Ibn-Fadlan, who notes, that they "collected bread, millet, dried meat for three months" [Zakhoder B.N., 1967, II, 36].

It is thought, that such concepts are born from an underestimate of the role of the state formations in the Itil/Volga and Ural region. This region, rich in natural resources, was a-powerful economic center not only of Kazan Khanaate or the Bulgar state, but also of such world states of the early and late Middle Ages as Khazar Kaganate or Ok Horde.

The ancient intensive trade relations arose not only because there was an important product for exportation or trade, but also because of the arrival of more developed trader peoples or the creation by them of strong confederations or states. In the Itil/Volga and Ural region, in fact, was a product in a great demand, furs. However in the Moderate Band from the Baltic to the Pacific Ocean there were fur animals everywhere, but the evidence of heavy trade the coins and metallic ingots of the early Middle Ages are find out only in the Itil/Volga and Ural region. Judging by the numerous archeological data, such trade people were the Imenkovs. The weight of the "good of goods", the early metal money of Imenkovs (bronze ingots) - was connected to drachma. The ingots were cast by weight of the 25 drachma weights. They spread also to the more northern regions and, curiously, continued to be there in circulation later, even in Khazar-Bulgarian period [Mukhamadiev A.G., 1990, 71].

Judging by the inscriptions on cups, it was not only a trade people, but also the people with a higher written civilization connected to Turan. Likely not only the early, but also the consequent history of Imenkovs is tightly connected to the history of Central Asia.

How was the self-name of these peoples? It is thought, the self-title of these well-known and strong peoples could not disappear without leaving a trace from the pages of written sources. The Bulgars arrived on Itil/Volga somewhere in the beginning of 8-th c AD. They were ruling or "royal" peoples, to whom were submitted many other Turkic populations. In the Scythian period the "royal" people were, per Herodotus, Escolots, in the Sarmatian period - Sarmats, and later, according to Byzantian sources, the "royal Scyths" were the Huns. Therefore, among peoples, who were subject to Bulgars, should be those peoples who were the aboriginal or more ancient inhabitants of Itil/Volga and Ural region.

The Arabian authors mention people of Barsil and Askel, subordinated to Bulgars [ Zakhoder B.N., 1967, 102]. The Barsils fail for the role of Imenkovs, because their history is tightly connected to the history of Khazars in the Northern Caucasus. The Barsils and Khazars are also mentioned in the Turkic monument of 8-th c. in Mongolia [Klyashtorny S.G., 1990, 91], but, it seems, they have not left any special tracks in the Middle Itil/Volga region.

However, Barsils and Askels were related peoples. To attention comes the occurrence in the names of both peoples of the ancient Turkic word al - 'union', although it is used differently. The Arabian authors frequently transmit the title of the first people as Bersula, i.e., it seems, Bersale - 'union of Barses', and the second one, one of the early Arabian authors Ibn - Rusta, gives in two ways: Asgel or Askel (Khvolson D.A., 1869, 95]. Therefore, in the second case the word al is incorporated into the name of the people by an obsolete, more ancient Hunnish way of a inflection: asyg al, i.e. 'Union of Ases '. The Ases or Azes are known from the more ancient sources. The double spelling can be explained by a special pronunciation of the letter s in the language of Ases. The expression "Steppe Azes" is in the Tonyukuk monument of the beginning of 8-th c. [Malov S.E., 1951, 23rd line]. V.V. Bartold considered it possible to equate Azes with Azians a generation of Turgeshes of the 8-th c. [Bartold V.V., 1943, 21]. It is also necessary to say that in the title Turgesh itself, which in the Turkic texts is transmitted as trgs and trgis, it is possible to see 'Ases of the state' or having the state Ases, as oppose to, say, 'Steppe Azes By the way, the combination of the words 'Steppe Azes, analogous to trgis, in the Turkic text is conveyed as chulgiz [Malov S.E., 1951, 23].

Imenkov culture covers extensive territory between the rivers White, Kama and Itil/Volga. Unfortunately, the names of the fairly large Imenkov settlements of the early Middle Ages did not reach us. It is only possible to suggest that the word Siberia, ascending to the name of the city Isker, has preserved the remote echo of times. As the names of the cities Bulgar, Bilyar or Suvar, connected with the names of the peoples, Isker also could mean ' city of Ases '. On the map of brothers Pitsigani of 1367, the city "Sibir" is located as a small fortress on the left bank of Kama above the cities of Bulgar and Sakatin (Jukotin), i.e. on the main Imenkov territory.

Posting Note - Imenkov Culture
The map attempts to depict a much lower level of the Caspian Sea at the time of the rise of Khazars. Hydrological changes during the Late Antique and Early Middle ages periods were severe, impacting the course of the rivers (Uzboi, Cheihun/Amudarya, Seihun/Syrdarya), and the level in the Aral and Caspian Seas and Sarykamysh lake. A sudden severe drought in the deltas alredy badly impacted by the desiccation and desertification would create an immediate impetus for the agricultural and horse husbandry population of the deltas to migrate to other deltas. The conditions at the deltas of Oka and Kama rivers would be similar to the lost Caspian/Horezmian deltas. The impact of the loss of the habitat is a much stronger force then the religious persecution by the Persian conquerrors. This paradigm, distinct from the Slavyanofilic version, and the Ephtalite version, can explain better the literacy of the Imenkov settlrs, the initiation of monetary system in the Eastern Europe, the agricultural industriousness of the migrants, and their semi-nomadic horse and sheep husbandry, which was a traditional form of animal husbandry in the Caspian and Aral delta zones.

Probably, the advance of the peoples with Turanian written culture to the north begun in the 4-th c. and was connected with the disintegration of the Kushan state and the increase in the influence of Iran. Iran split from the Kushan kingdom a significant part its territory: Sakastan, Turestan, etc. It seems that the main reason of resettlement were the religious prosecution from the Persians fire worshippers after their acquisition of Turanian territory.

Southern nomadic Kidarites, and the inhabitants of north White Huns Ephtalites, began the struggle for liberation against the Sasanid Iran. The Ephtalites professed Buddhism adopted from Kushans. By the way, the Kushu people themselves were also a part of the group of Turgesh peoples [Klyashtorny S.G., 1964, 162].

The boundaries of Iran in the first half of the 5-th c. run in the north of Turkestan. Further in the north was located the territory of Ephtalites. Per Meander, the Ephtalites lived in cities, and Procopius Caesarean wrote: "Though Ephtalites are of Huns people, they are not mixed and do not communicate with known to us Huns, for they do not have a common border, nor live near them: but they are neighbors with Persians from the north, where a city called Gorgo (Urgench A.M.), is at the very Persian edge; here between them and Persians are frequent frontier wars, for they are not nomads and like other Hunnish peoples, but from the beginning occupied the fertile country, thats why they never attacked Roman lands other than together with the Medes' army. Of all Huns they alone have white bodies... " [Procopius of Cesarea, 1876, 20-25].

The Ephtalites in this period were "royal", i.e. ruling peoples, to which were subjected many other peoples. The Byzantine authors, speaking about the White Huns, call them Ephtalites, though in the Huns language there is absolutely no letter f. Therefore, it should be thought, that in the Hunnish language the word Ephtalite was pronounced completely differently, with interdental s. Judging by the inscriptions on coins, for example, of Athrikh, the interdental Turanian s in his name (Athrix) was transmitted via f as Afrig by the differently lingual authors. Therefore, it is possible to conclude that the Ephtalites of the early Byzantian authors (variations Naftal, Eftal, Eptal, Abdel) are the same Askels who remained in the Itil/Volga and Ural region and preserved their name. The letter t, at the end of the word Ephtalite, is a plural suffix in the ancient Turkic language, i.e. the word can be translated as Askels. The similar use of peoples name in plural was also characteristic for other peoples. For example, Th. Simokatta, a Byzantian author of 7-th c., names the tribe Barsil in the form Barselt [Theophilact Simokatta, 1957, 160]. Thus, the Ephtalites of the Iranian and Byzantian authors quite could be the very same Askels, who had a rich written civilization and have left a higher archeological culture in Itil/Volga and Ural region, later dissolving among the related Bulgar peoples.

 

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