Codex of Inscriptions - Index
Ogur and Oguz
Scythians and their descendents
A.Askarov The Aryan problem
S. Kak Indo-European, Arians, Dravidian, and Rigveda
L.T. Yablonsky Ancient Chorasmia
Sh.Kamoliddin Ancient Türkic toponymy
Academician of the Uzbekistan Academy of Sciences Prof. A.Askarov addresses the controversial subject of the Arian phenomenon in conjunction with the Türkic history. The text is a double translation from the Uzbek to Russian, and then to English. Though some inaccuracies may result from incorrectly transmitted idiosyncrasies of the terms and grammar in the double translation, the gist of the matter and the logic of the arguments are loud and clear.
Posting notes are in blue, or in blue boxes.
Historical science settled that according to the ancient written sources (Rigveda and Avesta) in the middle of the 2nd mill. BC Iran and India were conquered by Aryans. On a question “who were Arians?” the 20th century experts in historical linguistics, from the linguistic analysis of texts of “Rigveda” and “Avesta”, asserted that they in antiquity the Indo-Iranian tribes were pastoralists, the gods of the Indo-Iranian pantheon were called “possessors of extensive pastures”, “deliverers of treasures of splendid horses”; their prays to gods “implore gods to irrigate pastures, grant horses and bulls”; horses, bulls and rams were sacrificed to them; gods are depicted riding horse chariots, the creator god Tvashtar is held as a first maker of chariots (which indicates that Indo-Iranians were familiar with chariots). The names for different types of wheel transport, chariots, their parts, harnesses, steppe nomadic clothing, are common Indo-Iranian (Smirnov, Kuzmina 1987, p. 52; Geiger, 1882; Oldenberg, 1894).
That depiction of the economy of the Indo-Iranian tribes, compiled from the linguistic analysis is reflected in the archeological complexes of the Eurasian stepes (Kuzmina 1974, pp. 42-45; Kupper 1957; 1959, p. 152). Archeologists even managed to determine the Arian archeological traits, according to which, first, the grave of a diseased Arian should be a huge kurgan matching his position in the society (like the Soloha, Arjan, Tegisken, New Kumak-25, Kul-Oba kurgan, etc.); secondly, the Arian grave is located under kurgan's center, equipped with rich funeral inventory and matching military armor; thirdly, the Arian grave is accompanied by slaughtered battle horses; fourthly, the Arian grave is accompanied by violently killedone of his wives with rich funeral inventory and a golden chariot.
With these typical Arian traits, archeologists intended to prove a scientific credibility of the linguists' theory on the origin of the Indo-Iranian tribes and to locate their native Urheimat, for that were sought toponyms confirming that the ancient N.Pontic steppes were the native lands of the Indo-Iranian tribes; that the legendary river Ranha was an Iranian name of the river Itil (Volga); for that was conducted research on the Indo-Iranian linguistic influence on the Finno-Ugric languages (Vasmer 1923; Abaev 1949 1972; Toporov, Trubachev 1962; Strijak 1965; Barrow 1976; Miller 1987).
In the 1960s, among archeologists and linguists congealed a hypothesis about Indo-Iranians' spreading in steppes east of Itil (Volga) and their identification with the people of the second half of the 2nd millennium BC Andronov culture (I.Diakonov 1956, p. 124; Ivanov, Toporov 1960, p. 13; M.Dkonov 1961, pp. 40-43; Bongard-Levin, Ilyin 1969, pp. 121-124; Grantovsky 1970, pp. 351-358; Gafurov 1972, pp. 27-33; Smirnov, Kuzmina 1977, p. 52). According to that hypothesis, the people of the Abashev and Poltavka cultures in the lower course of the Don (Bratchenko 1969, pp. 20-23 1976 pp. 117-118) appeared in the Itil (Volga) basin and assimilated with local tribes (Smirnov, Kuzmina 1977, pp. 51-52), then from the Lower Itil (Volga) to the southeast Urals under the influence of the new strata were formed new archeological complexes, one of which is the New Kumak complex of the Andronov culture (Smirnov, Kuzmina 1977, pp. 26-33). The monuments of the New Kumak type are genetically connected with the Alakul monuments and the ancient Alakul complex of the Andronov culture. The burials of the New Kumak stage are identical with the Andronov, in both cases the affluent diseased members of the society are given sacrifices of a horse or bullock and a ram.
Thus, K.F.Smirnov and E.E.Kuzmina came to a conclusion that for the solution of the Indo-Iranian problem a salient role played a western impulse, conductive for the formation of the New Kumak archeological complex of the Andronov culture (Smirnov, Kuzmina 1977, p. 52). Many other archeologists also assert the attribution of the Timber-Grave and Andronov culture peoples to the Indo-Iranian tribes. S. P.Tolstov (Tolstov 1948, p. 68 1962, p. 59) was the first to come to that conclusion, he was followed by A.N.Bernshtam, who stipulated that India was conquered by the Aryans, i.e. the peoples of the Andronov culture (Bernshtam 1957, p 19). The archeologist S.S.Chernikov originally held another position, he believed that the Andronov culture peoples most likely spoke one of the most ancient dialects of the Türkic languages (Chernikov 1957, pp. ??), then he wrote that ethnically the Andronovans probably were multi-lingual tribes (Chernikov 1960, p. 112).
However, under both versions, his views did not satisfy the supporters of the “Eurocentrist” theory. On the contrary, his opponents repeatedly drew new reasons, which ostensibly were proving convincingly the genetic relationship between the archeological materials of the Timber-Grave and Andronov tribes and the Sauramato-Saka tribes (7th-5th centuries BC), supported by the written sources of the antique authors (Bernshtam 1957; Smanirnov 1957, 1964; Kuzmina 1963; Akishev 1973, pp. 43-58). However, that hypothesis implies a racial and cultural unity of the peoples belonging to the Indo-European system of languages. In reality, archeological sources do not attest to the language of the Timber-Grave and Andronov culture peoples, but attest only their economy and daily life, thus the final resolution of the question needs written and many other additional materials. In reality, such hypotheses reflects the political aspect of the “Eurocentrist” theory, which gives the European countries a “legal base” to subjugate Asian and African peoples. Albeit the Soviets criticized the racist nature of the “Eurocentrism” (BSE, vol. 3, 1950, p. 3), but left its colonial essence in a shadow. Considering the Russian colonization policy toward the east, started from the period of the king Ivan the Terrible (by the 16th century, in the east the Slavs spread to the Ural mountains), and the Central Asian campaigns of conquest of the Imperial Russia, the question becomes clear that the “Eurocentric” theory spiritually served the Soviet policies also.
The Aryan problem
In accordance with Rigveda and Avesta, the word “arian” initially were called local Iranian-lingual tribes and meant “aliens”, “foreigner”, “conqueror”, then it obtained a meaning of “owner”, “aristocrat”, “master”. The country “Ariyanam Vaija” of the Arians was first created by god Ahuramazda near a river Daitya, which was rich cattle and pastures. “Ten months there are wintery, two months are summer months, and in these (winter months) the waters are cold, the earth is cold, in the middle of winter the plants are cold there; when the winter there comes to an end, comes great high water” (Vendidad, Ch. 1, pp. 431). S. P. Tolstov allows that the river Daitya maybe the Avesta name for Amu Darya. If so, the ancient Chorasm during an Bronze Epoch could be only a southern part of the “Ariyanam Vaija”, rich with cattle and pastures.
In our concept, the territory of the “Ariyanam Vaija” is very wide, i.e. extends in the steppes from the northern and north-eastern coast of Black Sea to the lake Baikal. Its northern border in accordance with Avesta is bound by forests with winter periods lasting up to ten months a year. In accordance with archeological research, in the first half of the 2nd millennium BC in these spacious steppes suitable for cattle breeding, from the nomadic cattle breeding developed horse husbandry. Horse husbandry is an important factor in the transition from the local cattle breeding to nomadic husbandry. It brought about a cardinal change in social and economic life of the society. The fruits appeared in the structure of a cattle breeding community: large private property horse property, and leaders in whose hands concentrated tens cattle corrals.
It is known that in a cattle economy, in comparison with agricultural, the process of a property inequality is fairly intensive. For this reason,the cattlemen faced a vital task of protecting and pasturing of cattle, for expansion and acquisition of new pastures to tender to the intensively growing nomadic husbandry, which resulted a creation of military cavalry within the cattle breeding communities. That happened naturally in the middle of the 2nd millennium BC.
In the social life of society, they constituted a free, mobile military stratum of the owners of numerous cattle. This layer and the close members of their families, in contrast with their lay fellow tribesmen, were called in Avesta “azads” i.e. arians. Their land was a “country of Arians”, “Aryan expanses”, “Ariana” i.e. the “Ariyanam Vaija”. The main wealth of the population of that country was cattle husbandry, i.e. a small and large horned livestock + horse and camel. The daily household life of them was built on the base of steppe environment of the nomadic communities.
The cattle husbandry economy was more profitable than agriculture, and an appetite of a large cattle owner has no limits. The opportunities of the military democracy period, the transitive stage from a primitive-communal system to the initial class society, provoked numerous intertribal conflicts for new and rich pastures. Sometimes the fight permanent. In such situations cavalry needs mobile and dexterous, strong and sturdy military bogatyr riders with initiative and judiciousness. A predominant nomadic cattle husbandry lifestyle opened wide opportunities for producing soldiery. Education of the descendants in a spirit of fidelity to the traditions is distinctive among the Türkic-lingual tribes in the Eurasian steppes. Therefore, in Antiquity and Middle Ages the steppe tribes were training children from yearly years to the military trade, which was a prestigious calling, and it became a vital inspiration for many young Türks. At the end, the military spirit of the transitive stage ensued in formation of mounted Arians, their conquest of foreign possession became an important enrichment source for the cattle breeding tribes. These military riders of the cattle husbandry tribes felt liberated and free, did not feel themselves to be dependent of anybody, except for the gods, felt themselves economically and politically independent Azads-Arians. In accordance with communal traditions of that period, the relatives and tribesmen of the Arians also viewed themselves belonging to the Arians. We believe that a prestige for growing a true Arian first of all belonged to the children of prosperous families. Therefore, the final education had to be crowned with forming a true Arian from every young soldier. So, the Aryans were a social phenomenon in the development of the nomadic phase of pastoral tribes' life, an active and thoughtful segment of the society, an aristocratic stratum of the newly born early class society.
In the archeological science a Pan-Iranist spirit penetrated scientific ideological direction in archeological research, and bent it toward Eurocentrism theories. That spirit is especially evident in the studies of the monuments belonging to the Eurasia cattle husbandry tribes during Bronze Epoch. The archeological historiography of the Soviet period was reciting that in the sacred books of Rigveda and Avesta the noble country of the Arians, “Ariyanam Vaija”, was rich in cattle and pastures, that in the middle of the 2nd millennium BC the Arians conquered northwestern India and Iran, that the ancestors of Indoarian tribes spread in the Eurasian steppes, was reciting about their customs, unity of culture and language, uniformity of the religious beliefs, and at last was accentuating the common base of the lexicon (Tolstov 1948; Tolstov 1962; I.Diakonov 1956; Bernshtam 1957; Smirnov 1957; Ivanov, Toporov 1960; M.Diakonov 1961; Grantovsky 1970; Bongard-Levin, Ilyin 1969; Kuzmina 1963; Smirnov, Kuzmina 1977; Akishev 1973; Kuzmina 1994).
Accordingly, the Indo-European theory holds that assimilation of the Indo-Iranian tribes with local tribes, and local tribes' adaptation of Arian language finally resulted in forming of the Iranian system of languages there.
Contrary to the Indo-European theory so widely imbedded in the science of the former USSR, we advanced a concept about the Türkic-linguality of the Great steppe population, instead of Iranian-lingual; in particular, was suggested for the first time to connect with the population of the Great steppe the peoples of the Andronov culture, widely spread in the huge open spaces of the Great steppe.
In antiquity and Middle Ages, and during the Bronze Epoch, the Türkic ethnos has been widely spread not only across the Mountain Altai, but also across Middle and the Lower Syr-Darya, and in the East its boundaries reached the Minusinsk depression. Subsequently, these regions had a name “Dashti Kipchak”. In antiquity the modern Tashkent oasis, the whole territory of Kazakhstan, Jeti-su, Mountain Altai, Southern Siberia and East Turkestan were considered to be a native land of the Türkic-lingual peoples speaking various dialects.
In a former Soviet science, based on the of found earlier linguistic affinity of “Avesta”, “Rigveda” and modern European languages, prevailed views about Indo-Iranian linguistic classification of the ancient peoples in the Great steppe and the Middle Asia. As a result has coagulated a habitual point of view that the initial native land of Indo-Europeans was in the areas east of Urals, southeast from the Ural ridge, and that the initial peoples of these languages, the languages of the Arians, were the steppe tribes (Kuzmina 1994). The postulate about Iranian-linguality of the autochthonous steppe tribes, accepted on the base of existing connection between the “Avesta” and “Rigveda” languages, does allow a place in the steppe zone for the Türkic ethnos, and therefore it was presumed that in antiquity the zone of the Türkic-lingual tribes was limited to Mountain Altai, and the whole peripheral zone, down to Baikal, was taken as populated by the Iranian-lingual tribes.
In practice, was it so? The material culture, household life, anthropological form of the Great steppe populations are close to each other, in many cases being straightforward identical, is it for real that the peoples of the Mountain Altai culture spoke in Türkic, and the population of the surrounding zones were Iranian-lingual? First, is rising a question about ethno-linguistic processes that were going 3,5 thousand years ago in the Eurasian steppes, and about their languages. Historical data testifies that in that and subsequent periods there lived Türkic-lingual tribes. Certainly, the language is inextricably connected with a written culture. Therefore, writing is recognized in a science as a factor in social and economic, and political and cultural unity, as one of leading factors in ethnic consolidation. Therefore, the writing is recognized as an important component in unification of the clan and tribal languages into a language of ethnos, and this view underlies ethnogenesis and ethnic history of the Türkic-lingual peoples. The territory of the Türkic ethnoses can be traced through geographical distributions of the ancient Turkic written monuments.
According to the information of the Sogdiologist M.Iskhakov, the ancient Turkic writing had numerous local versions (Iskhakov, 2003, pp. 7-12). The ancient Turkic written monuments are found not only in Orkhon and Yenisei, but also in the Southern Siberia, in Mountain Altai, in Yakutia (i.e. Sakha), in the Ob and Irtysh river basins, from Mongolia to the Jeti-su, in the Talas valley, in Fergana valley, in the Kashkadarya oasis, in Kazakhstan steppes, Itil/Volga basin, in the Don river basin, in the Northern Caucasus, in the Kuban river basin, in Crimea, in Moldova, in Hungary and Bulgaria. The spread of the ancient Turkic writing to the basin of Danube testifies about a wide arena where in antiquity formed the Türkic historical, cultural, and sociopolitical space.
During the Middle Age period, in connection with the advance of the Slavs in the Eastern Europe to the south, in the chain of Türkic ethnos formed relatively small gap, but in the Itil/Volga area, in the Northern Caucasus, in the northwestern Caspian sea area, in Crimea and Moldova, the Türkic-lingual peoples live till now. Bulgars In the last millenium, under an influence of the prevailing surrounding language, Bulgars became Slavic-lingual (see the linguistic and historical analysis of P. Tzvetkov “Origin Of Bulgarians”). The Magyars, who belong to the Altai linguistic family, till now live on the banks of Danube (The Altaic component of the Hungarian language is a widely known and argued secret). A recognition of the Don - Kuban complex of written monuments as a variation of the Türkic writing does not leave any doubts of its attribution to the Türkic ethnos. In this respect is important the opinion of a known linguist A.M Scherbak, who came to a conclusion that “significant number of the Türkic writing samples found in the basin of Don, from Novocherkassk (47°25′N 40°05′E) to Voronej (51°40′18″N 39°12′38″E), can be attributed as belonging to Besenyos (Badjinaks)” (750 - 900 AD) (Scherbak 1971, pp. 27-34).
Professor M.Ishakov, after studying the geographical area of ancient Turkic written monuments, came to a conclusion that distribution of Türkic writing along the thousand kilometers, in the valleys and oases of the Eurasian steppes, and emerging of several its local variations, cannot be geographically restricted only only to the territory of the Mountain Altai, Eastern Turkestan, and Southern Siberia, because the finds of written monuments point that the Türkic-lingual tribes from the most ancient times were autochthonous population in all inner part of the Central Asia, from Yakutia in the east to Danube in the west, and from the Kipchak northern steppes to the southern Turan (Iskhakov, 2003, pp. 7-12) (Iskhakov DM Southeast Tatarstan: Problem of study the ethnic history of the region in the XIV-XVII centuries. / Elmet - Almetievsk. 2003 ?).
Unfortunately, in the historical science settled an opinion that Türkic-lingual tribes came there as “immigrants”, “conquerors”, “invaders”. This view has no scientific base. In reality, the migration took place in the most ancient and ancient history of our peoples. For example, during Bronze Epoch the migration of the ancient farmers was connected with a need for fertile lands, and migration of the nomadic tribes was connected with acquiring pastures for cattle.
However, these migrations did not prove that since most ancient times in the Middle Asia lived only Iranian-lingual tribes. Simultaneously, in these territories side by side also lived Türkic-lingual tribes and peoples. This historical truth is well traced on an archeological material since an Bronze Epoch.
Sogdiologist professor Mirsadik Iskhakov stated that at several stages of Türkic statehood a big role played the steppes of Kazakhstan, basins of the Lower Volga, southeast regions of the Urals, Mountain Altai, Eastern Turkestan, Southern Siberia, and the steppes of Mongolia. they Across the whole Eurasia, in particular also in Middle Asia, they based their power on the local Türkic tribes, who settled there earlier. The polyethnic situation in Middle Asia did not substantially affect the political process. On the contrary, the autochthonous Iranian-lingual Bactrians, Sogdians, Chorasmians, the population of Chach and ancient Fergana were interested in the protection of the Türkic states for international connections, economical and cultural development.
Due to the Great Silk Road, in the 6th-8th started a rapid developments of the social, economic, and spiritual and cultural mutual relations and influences that resulted in Türko-Sogdian symbiosis, and a significant part of the Sogdians, Bactrians, and Chorasmians completely assimilated with the Türkic-lingual tribes, and knew Türkic language. Subsequently, these assimilating processes resulted in a formation of the Uzbek nation. Another part of the Sogdians and Bactrians partially assimilated with the Türkic-lingual tribes, and during a period od Islamization under a strong influence of the Persian language during the Samanid period formed Iranian-lingual Tadjik people. The ethnoses Sugd, Bahtar, Chorasm and similar groups disappeared from the historical arena and their languages have gone out of use.
Secondly, returning to the ethnic structure of the most ancient population of the Eurasian steppes, other ethnic layers in addition to the Türks gradually began appearing in these regions from the period of Russian king Ivan the Terrible (Bahrushin 1927; Krasinsky 1947). Before that, the eastern extent of the Slavs reached the Ural ridges, the southrn reached the river Yaik (Ural) (Artsihovsky 1946; Grekov 1946; Tretiakov 1953; GSE 1956, volume 39, pp. 291-293).
Thirdly, well defined in the archeological materials of the Bronze Epoch Eurasian steppes cultures (first of all the Andronov and Timber-Grave cultures) close similarity and at times total identity, close parallels shown in ceramic and metallurgical manufactures, the unity and uniformity in anthropological type of the tribes had researchers facing a most serious question about linguistic affiliation of the Great steppe population. However, none of the researchers asked themselves a question “How come the Andronovans of the Mountain Altai are being Türkic-lingual, and the Andronov culture peoples of territories surrounding them are Iranian-lingual”?. Because during the former Soviet Union so much scientific literature was composed by the supporters of the Indo-European theory, the ideological and spiritual direction of which constituted the ideological policy of the colonialists (For the genetical origin of the Middle Asian nomads, see L.T. Yablonsky Ancient Chorasmia. For Caspian-Aral populations and depopulations, see E. Tsvetsinskaya Amudarya Sarykamysh People).
It should be noted that it is possible to agree with the historico-archeological interpretation of the origin of the Arians, and scientific interpretation of their primal native land. Actually, the Arians were a social layer, forming in a community of nomadic cattlemen of the Eurasian steppes. The subject of their advance to the south in the middle of the 2nd millennium BC also matches the historical reality. However, the assertion of the linguists, founded in our opinion on abstract rationalization of their Iranian-linguality, and attempts of some archeologists following them to artificially confirm the correctness of the linguists still demands a weighty specific scientific proof.
It is known, that in the Soviet historical historiography it is considered to be, that Huns are Türkic-lingual tribes. A known Turkologist L.N.Gumilev in his monograph “Hunnu (Huns)” writes that in the Chinese sources the Huns as an ethnos for the first time are mentioned in the 1,764 BC, then again in the 822 and 304 BC (Gumilev 1960, p. 23). Prof. A.Hodjaev states that in the last years, the Chinese and Japanese scientists carried out a thorough joint research for the 24-volume history of China (”Ershi si shi”) (”History of twenty-four dynasties”, 20 volumes, Zhonghua shuju reprint version 1997 ?) and established that the term “Türk” in different variations is found in the Chinese sources from the 2,205 BC, i.e. more then 4 thousand years ago (Hodjaev, 2003, p. 178).
For example, the northern province detachments of the of kingdom “Shya” (Xia Dynasty) (2205-1766 BC) attacked a tribe “Tufang, Guifang, Kuyung” that lived beyond the western and northwestern border of China (Duan Lianchin, vol. 1, p. 124). The tribe Guifang of the northern kingdoms “Shya” (Xia Dynasty) (2205-1766), “Shong” (Shang Dynasty) (1766-1122) and “Chjou” (Zhou Dynasty) (1122-771) is the people Dingling (Duan Lianchin, vol. 1, p. 115). A prominent Chinese historian Lui Simian (Tsen Chünmian ?) writes that “the earlier name Dinlin or Dingling later was called Chile or Tele (Tiele). Now we call them “Uigur”, and in the west they are called “Türks”. Actually, the Türks and Uigurs were members of the “Dingling” tribal union. The Chinese also called Chile (Tele) “Gavche” (Gaoche) (Gaoche) (”љангли”) (Kangli). Though these names are also externally not similar, they are unitary in their origin. The reason for their monikers “Tele” и “Gavche” (Gaoche) (Gaoche) happened that (when the Chinese historians - “shi” - encountered them - А.А.) a part of them that lived in the south of Great Sands were subordinated by the dynasty Wei “(220-260 AD) and were called “Gavche” (Gaoche); another part lived in the north of the same sands, and those who subordinated to Jujan tribe were called Tele (Tiele) (Lui Simian (Tsen Chünmian ?) 1987, p. 87). In accordance with the Chinese written sources, during the kingdom “Shya” (Xia Dynasty) (2205-1766) the tribes “Tele” и “Hunnu (Huns)” were part of the tribal union “Shyungnu” (Hsiung-nu, Xsiung-nu, etc.) or “Hu” (”Hun”).
The terms “Tufang” and “Di” were earliest ethnonyms in the Chinese sources (Hodjaev, 2003, p. 179). The “Historical notes” of Sima Tsyan (Sima Qian), based on the information of the ancient Chinese sources written on stone, bone and Chinese reed, state that from 2,205BC on the western and northwestern border of the Northern kingdom “Shya” (Xia Dynasty) lived peoples “Hu” or “Hu-lu” (Bichurin 1950, p. 40). The Sinolog professor A.Hodjaev states that the tribe “Hu” geographically is divided onto the western and eastern “Hu”. Later, the Chinese sources called the (eastern) “Hu” with an ethnonym “Dunghu” (Eastern Hu). Through the Russian literature, this term came to our language as an ethnonym “Tungus”. The western wing of “Hu” consists of two tribes, “Rung” (Rong) and “Di”. The “Di”, in turn, consist of Red Di (”Chi Di”), Great Di (”Zhong Di”) and White Di (”Bai Di”) (Bei Di). The tribe “Rung” (Rong) is divided into Western Rung (”Shi Rung “) (Shi Rong), Mountain Rung (”Shan Rung”) (Shan Rong), and forest Rung (”Ling Rung”) (Ling Rong). The second part of the “anthology of the Huns” in the Han dynasty history states that “in the south is a great Han, in the north is a strong Hu” i.e. is “Hunnu (Huns)”. The historian of the Eastern Han Chjeng Shuan (Zhang Shuang)) wrote, that “Hu are the real Sunnu (Xsiung-nu)” i.e. “Hunnu (Huns)” (Large Dictionary of the Chinese hieroglyphs, vol. 3 1987, p. 2057).
Thus, from the analysis of the ancient Chinese written sources in the “shi” notes of the Northern Chinese kingdom “Shya” (Xia Dynasty) (2205-1766), “Shong” (Shang Dynasty) (1766-1122) and “Chjou” (Zhou Dynasty) (1122-771) along the northwestern border in the second half of the 3rd and during of the 2nd millennium BC, under the names “Hu”, “Di”, “Hun” and “Tiek” lived the Türkic-lingual cattle breeding tribes. Though in the Chinese hieroglyphs they were pronounced differently, their belonging to the Türkic ethnos is without doubt.
In those periods in the territory of the Southern Siberia were two archeological cultures: Glazkov culture in the eastern Southern Siberia, and Andronov culture in the west (Okladnikov 1955, p. 8). The peoples of the Andronov culture were spread from the west of Kazakhstan to the north-eastern region of the Ural ridges. S.V.Kiselev especially emphasized that the monuments of the Andronov culture disPersed in the 18th century BC in Minusinsk depression and in the Yenisei basins in many respects were close to the Timber-Grave culture of the Lower Volga, Donets and Don steppes (Kiselyov 1951, p. 100). The areas of their wide distribution reached from the steppes of the Lower Volga to Mongolia, from the northeast Ural ridges to the Middle Asia (Gryaznov 1956; Krivtsova-Grakova 1955; Formozov 1951; Chernikov 1960; Moshkov 1962; Sorokin 1962; Fedorova-Davidova 1964; Davidov 1964; Gening 1975; Stokolos 1972; Salnikov 1967; Margulan et al. 1966; Chernykh 1970; Kuzmina 1963; Itina 1977; Zdanovich 1984; Zdanovich 1988, Avanesova 1991, and others). Consequently, the mentioned in the ancient Chinese sources ethnonyms “Hu”, “Di”, “Guifang”, “Tufang”, “Rung”, “Hun” and “Chile” were peoples of the Andronov culture. From those Andronov communities in the 2nd millennium BC came the Arians. Hence, the Arians originated from the Türkic nomadic cattle husbandry tribes.
The concept about Andronov culture belonging to the peoples of the Türkic-lingual ethnos were also postulated earlier (Chernikov 1957; Amanjolov 1971, pp. 64-66; Amanjolov 1975; Amanjolov 1980). Now the numbers of scholars expressing this position gradually grows (Askarov 1996, p. 71; Askarov, 2001, pp. 69-72; Askarov, 2002, p. 55; Askarov, 2004, p. 4-6; Hodjaev, 2003, pp. 176-184; Iskhakov, 2003, 7-12).
The archeological material confirms a penetration in two stages of the Arians (”barbaric occupation”) in the 2nd millennium BC deeply to the south. The first stage happened in the middle of the 2nd millennium BC (Masson 1959, pp. 116-118; Askarov 1962, pp. 28-41), and the second stage happened in the last quarter of the 2nd millennium BC (Askarov 1989, pp. 160-166). The mass migration of the Arians to the Middle Asia, started in the Bronze Epoch, resulted in the Early Middle Age epoch with creation there Turko-Sogdian social and ethnocultural space, and in that space the Türkic-lingual ethnic layer gradually increased, which facilitated there a domination of the Türkic linguistic environment. However, in the territory of India and the Iranian highlands during the Bronze Epoch and even in the subsequent periods such social and ethnocultural process is not traced. Therefore it does not appear possible that the Arians, who during the Bronze Epoch expanded to India and Iran, with their lower cultural and economic level than the locals, could change the language of the autochthonous population. Actually, the hypothesis about Iranian-linguality of the Eurasian steppe cattlemen, built on the comparative analysis of linguists between the languages of “Avesta” and modern European languages, is a fruit of the Eurocentrism theories. According to that theory the Türkic-lingual cattle breeding tribes of the Eurasian steppes were declared to be Iranian-lingual.
The term “aria” (independent, free, master) is widely spread among ancient Indo-Iranians. The cattlemen, who came from the northern regions, received in Avesta the name Ariana, and occupied the Iranian heights. Therefore, according to historical tradition, the ancient name of the Iranian heights became Ariana. “Iran” is a new form of Ariana. In the ancient history the term Ariana meant not only Iran per se, but it also applied to the territory where Iranian languages were spread. For that reason, the science terms those Arians who remained in Iran Iranians, and who left to India are called Indo-Arians.
Thus, the term “Arian” originally was used in a social aspect. Later, when it assimilated with the local population, it meant a new ethnic content, and under the influence of the prevailing local language the Arians gradually lost their native Türkic language and finally Iranized. Possibly, in the Middle East region in antiquity along with Hurrian and Elamite languages also existed side by side the ancient Persian language Dari. Most likely it developed in the south of Iran, in Persida, as a native language of the Iranian Parses. The Arians, who initially ensconced in Iran, established their political dominance over the Persian-speaking communities. This power, starting with a ruler Chishpish (Teispes), a descendant of the Arian military leader Ahaman (Ahamani, Ahaeman, Achaemenes), formed a ruling system not only for economy, but also in the political-administrative direction, i.e. within the limits of Southern Iran formed a possession Persida. During the kingdom of Kir II (Cyrus II, 600 or 576 BC–530 BC) and Doro I (Darius I, 550–486 BC) this possession reached a position of a world kingdom, and the sphere of influence the Dari language as a language of the state extended to a wide geographical zone.
Thus, the logical analysis of the historical processes happening in the second half of the 2nd millennium and the beginning of the 1st millennium BC led to a conclusion that the origin of the Ahaemenid dynasty is directly connected with the migration to the south from the Eurasian steppes of the Türkic-lingual Arians. Under a strong influence of the prevailing autochthonous language and cultural-economic potential of the ancient Persian communities, they became Iranized. Therefore, the Ahaemenid kings Kir II (Cyrus II) and Doro I (Darius I), knowing well that by the origin they are Arians, in their rock inscriptions proudly declared that they are “true Arians”. Not only they, but even the Kushan (ref. to the Rabatak document) held themselves to be Arians, i.e. Türks by origin.
Recently in the archeological literature, contrary to the existing concept about the origin of the Arians, has appeared an unusual hypothesis, according to which the Arians belong to the peoples of the ancient agricultural tribes of the Bronze Epoch in the Bactria and Margiana (Sarianidi, 2001). The suggestion of such hypothesis was prompted by a find of one tomb, in a necropolis of the Bronze Epoch fortress Gonur in the Murgab oasis, with a burial of a foal. The foal in the tomb was in contracted position without a skull. V.I.Sarianidi writes that till then, it was accepted in the science that IndoArians were Andronov nomadic tribes, that they formed in the Eurasian steppes in the middle of the 2nd millennium BC and migrated to the south. Those Arians who remained in Iran became Iranians, and those who left to India became Indo-Arians. Presently, prompted by this find, is necessity to re-evaluate the subject of the initial native land of the Arians. Further, writes the author of the new hypothesis, in a Swat necropolis in the northern Pakistan half a century ago were found two skeletons of a horse. The formation of the of the Swat and BMAK (Bactriab-Margian) archeological complexes have of a common origin. Considering that, it becomes clear that the Arians were formed within the chain of the Bronze Epoch monuments in the Swat and BMAK (Sarianidi, 2001, pp. 37-43). Apparently, V.I.Sarianidi did not factor those moments of the Arian characteristic which stipulate that an Arian tomb should include a few horse skeletons with accompanying matching objects, etc. Therefore finding Arians in the materials of the Swat and BMAK we deem to be premature (For review of Sarianidi works, see C.C.Lamberg-Karlovsky The case of the Bronze Age Indo-Iranians).
The Arians are a social phenomenon in the development of a nomadic stage in the life of the Eurasian steppes cattle husbandry tribes, they are an initiative and judicious layer of the society, an aristocratic layer of recently forming early class societies. Contrary to the historical linguistics, they were not the peoples of the Iranian languages; on the contrary, according to the comparative scientific analysis of the ancient Chinese sources, the Arian language belonged to the Türkic-lingual ethnos. Their migration to the south in the middle of the 2nd millennium BC is well traced on the archeological material.
They spread most widely across the territory of the Middle Asia, where during Early Middle Age epoch formed a Turko-Sogdian social and ethnocultural space, as a result of that within the limits of this ethnocultural space formed the Uzbek and Tadjik ethnoses. Though the archeological material do not allow to trace the material culture associated with the penetration of the Arians in the territory of Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and northern India, it is possible to evaluate the social and economic changes connected with the crisis of the Harappan civilization.
However, the Arians could not change the languages of the local population neither in India, nor in Iran. On the contrary, the languages of the newcomers were finally absorbed by the languages of the autochthonous tribes. At that time in Persida in the south of Iran functioned a local Farsi-Dari-Ancient Iranian language. Ensconcing their political rule over the Persida, the Arians facilitated the expansion of the distribution area of the Ancient Persian language as a language of the state under their rule. Consequently, for the territory of the Ariana, the Iranian language is not a foreign, but a local language. The language of the newcomerswas absorbed by the local languages.
Unedited Literature section
(Not edited, but still an excellent reference, with few funny mistakes - Translator’s Note)
Ахмадали АСКАРОВ, академик, (ТГПУ имени Низами).
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