The Origin of the Indo-Iranians
BRILL, 2007 - 762 pagina's
Here then is the fruit of Elena Kuz'mina's life-long quest for the Indo-Iranians. Already its predecessor ("Otkuda prishli indoarii?," published in 1994) was considered the most comprehensive analysis of the origins of the Indo-Iranians ever published, but in this new, significantly expanded edition (edited by J.P. Mallory) we find an encyclopaedic account of the Andronovo culture of Eurasia. Taking its evidence from archaeology, linguistics, ethnology, mythology, and physical anthropology pertaining to Indo-Iranian origins and expansions, it comprehensively covers the relationships of this culture with neighboring areas and cultures, and its role in the foundation of the Indo-Iranian peoples.
Wat mensen zeggen - Een review schrijven
The Andronovo cradle of Indo-Iranian?
(Dr. Koenraad Elst, in India Facts, 31 May 2016)In 2006, the late Russian archaeologist Elena Kuzmina wrote a hefty book on the Origin of the Indo-Iranians (Brill, Leiden). It gives a very detailed history of the Andronovo culture and its surroundings in time and space. The Andronovo culture spanned most of Central Asia in the 2nd millennium BCE, from the Urals to Bactria. At the same time, the book contains a lot of speculation about links with the information given in the Veda and the Avesta, generally convincing. While it has become a very authoritative work on Andronovo, there remains a big question-mark over its presumptuous title: was this culture indeed the cradle of the Indo-Iranians?
No one who is serious about deciding the Indo-European Homeland question can afford to leave this book unread. It promises to give the prehistory of the Aryan invasion, the preceding movements of the tribes concerned, perhaps even the events that triggered their migration into India. No one serious about arguing the case for an Indian Homeland can afford to leave it unanswered. I have had it on my shelves for a few years, hoping to find time to thoroughly review it. Realistically I still haven’t found that time, and I have not yet co-operated with an archaeologist on this. But a review simply cannot wait anymore.
The book ends with a discussion of the procedure for establishing the chronology of Andronovo, and starts with a detailed explanation about the archaeological method and the rules for ethnographic reconstruction. Then follows an analysis of the typical Andronovo features that allow her to define the spatial and temporal boundaries of the culture she studies. Culturally important and archaeologically easily accessible are funeral practices: “Cremation dominates in the Urals; in central and northern Kazakhstan the cemeteries are bi-ritual; in eastern Kazakhstan and south Siberia, inhumation prevails.”
And at once we notice something that will characterize many passages: though convinced of the Aryan invasion, she furnishes data that are compatible with, or even point to, an opposite Bactria-to-Urals migration. In this case, the Indo-Europeans, historically known to practise both types of disposal of the dead, but mainly cremation (though inhumation will be magnified in the eyes of the archaeologists as it leaves so many more traces), brought cremation with them along the Amu Darya to the Aral Lake area and on to the Urals. The native practice was predominantly inhumation, and it was preserved far from this trajectory, in areas where the Indo-Europeans didn’t come.
An Indo-Iranian culture
While the observation has no evidential value in itself, it deserves noting that the cultural identity of the Andronovo culture has now virtually become a matter of consensus: the Andronovo culture was Indo-Iranian. This book itself has greatly contributed to that consensus, for before its publication, there was still some hesitation.
Thus, many sacrificial and burial practices (and sati, the self-immolation of widows) “characterize the burial practice of the majority of Indo-European peoples: Hittites, Greeks, Germans, Balts, Slavs etc. It leads to the undisputable statement that the Andronovans were Indo-Europeans. However, the common Indo-European character of the whole burial complex does not, strictly speaking, permit one to declare the Andronovans as Indo-Aryans.” (p.195) However, she finds that «the variety of Andronovo funeral rites finds a complete and thorough correlation in early indic texts ». (p.195)
What decides the question for her, is the wealth of correspondences beween her material findings and references in Indian or Iranian texts. Thus, she describes the typical fireplace and then the corresponding reference in Vedic literature. These “hearths comprise a shallow round or oval pit… often covered with flat stone slabs on the bottom…. This hearth is described in ancient Indian texts as
History of Research on the Andronovo Culture
Methodological Aspects of Ethnocultural Reconstruction
Classification of Sites and the Primary Features
Settlements and Domestic Architecture
Mining Metallurgy and the Metal Industry
Textiles and Dress
The Agricultural Tribes of South Central Asia
The Settlement of Pastoral Tribes in Central Asia
Relation of the Andronovans with the Population
Cultures of Northern Bactria in the Late Bronze Age
TransCaspia and Turkmenia
Modern State of the Problem of IndoIranian Origins
The Genesis of the Dards andNuristani
The Genesis of the IndoAryans
The Ethnogenesis of the IndoIranians
Verification of the Hypothesis
IndoIranian Contacts with Other Linguistic Groups
Conclusions to Part One
Cultures of Central Asia in the 4th3rd Millennia BC
The IndoAryan Migration and the First Stage of