Thursday, January 17, 2013

Central Asia: Historical Timetable Notes….40,000 BC - 800 BC


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40,000 years ago – Upper Paleolithic begins in Europe. An abundance of fossil evidence includes elaborate burials of the dead, Venus figurines and cave art. Venus figurines are thought to represent fertility goddesses. The cave paintings at Chauvet and Lascaux are believed to represent religious thought.

The youngest Neanderthals include the Vindija Cave fossils in Croatia, which are between 33,000 and 32,000 years old. No definite specimens younger than 30,000 years ago have been found, but evidence of fire by Neanderthals in Gibraltar indicate they may have survived there until 24,000 years ago.

Glacials, on the other hand, refer to colder phases within an ice age that separate interglacials. Thus, the end of the last glacial period is not the end of the last ice age. The end of the last glacial period was about 12,500 years ago....The geologic time period we are now living in is known as the Holocene. This epoch began about 11,000 years ago which was the end of the last glacial period and the end of the Pleistocene epoch. Since the glacial period known as the "Wisconsin" in North America and "Würm" in Europe when over 10 million square miles (about 27 million square kilometers) of North America, Asia, and Europe were covered by ice

At the end of the Pleistocene, the geological period roughly ending 12,000 years ago, many of the world's large animals, such as giant sloths, saber-toothed cats, dire wolves, stag-moose, and mammoths, vanish from the geological record.

Identifying the exact origin of agriculture remains problematic because the transition from hunter-gatherer societies began thousands of years before the invention of writing.....Anthropological and archaeological evidence from sites across Southwest Asia and North Africa indicate use of wild grain from c. 20,000 BCE .....after 9500 BCE that the eight so-called founder crops of agriculture appear: first emmer and einkorn wheat, then hulled barley, peas, lentils, bitter vetch, chick peas and flax. These eight crops occur more or less simultaneously on PPNB sites in the Levant, although the consensus is that wheat was the first to be grown and harvested on a significant scale......At around the same time (9400 BCE), another study argues, parthenocarpic fig trees appear to have been domesticated. The simplicity associated with cutting branches off fig trees and replanting them alongside wild cereals owes to the basis of this argument......By 7000 BCE, sowing and harvesting reached Mesopotamia, and there, in the fertile soil just north of the Persian Gulf, Sumerians systematized it and scaled it up. By 8000 BCE farming was entrenched on the banks of the Nile River. About this time, agriculture was developed independently in the Far East, probably in China, with rice rather than wheat as the primary crop.

Agriculture involving domestication of plants and animals was developed at least 10,000 years ago, although people began altering plant and animal communities for the own benefit through other means such as fire-stick farming even earlier... Early forms of farming are called protofarming. The transition from hunter-gatherer to agricultural societies, based on evidence from south west Asia and China indicates an antecedent period of intensification and increasing sedentism.....When major climate change took place after the last ice age (c. 11,000 BC), much of the earth became subject to long dry seasons.[citation needed] These conditions favoured annual plants which die off in the long dry season, leaving a dormant seed or tuber. These plants tended to put more energy into producing seeds than into woody growth. An abundance of readily storable wild grains and pulses enabled hunter-gatherers in some areas to form the first settled villages at this time......

8000 BCE......"we are looking at a part of the world, even though it had been forgotten by western scholars, which really takes its place as a partner in the development from the first farmers about 10,000 years ago up to early villagers when we see the beginning of our settlement in Anau at Turkmenistan 4,500 B. C., all the way through the development of these large cities that we are finding out in the deserts. And I am quite convinced that 5,000 years ago an ancient Sumerian would have some understanding of what a central Asian was, or what central Asian artifacts were and vice versa."....Fredrik Talmage Hiebert, Ph.D., Prof. of Anthropology, Univ. of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology and Assistant Curator of Near Eastern Archaeology, Philadelphpia, Pennsylvania

Although horses appeared in Paleolithic cave art as early as 30,000 BCE, these were truly wild horses and were probably hunted for meat. How and when horses became domesticated is disputed. The clearest evidence of early use of the horse as a means of transport is from chariot burials dated c. 2000 BCE. However, an increasing amount of evidence supports the hypothesis that horses were domesticated in the Eurasian Steppes approximately 4000-3500 BCE....Evidence from mitochondrial DNA studies suggests that the domestication of horses occurred in multiple locations and at various times. It is generally thought that Central Asia is among the sites that domestication occurred, with sites in Ukraine and Kazakhstan providing archeological evidence.

5400 BC....According to the Sumerian kinglist Eridu was the first city in the World. The opening line reads...."When kingship from heaven was lowered, the kingship was in Eridu."....In Sumerian mythology, it was said to be one of the five cities built before the Deluge occurred....Eridu appears to be the earliest settlement in the region, founded ca. 5400 BC, close to the Persian Gulf near the mouth of the Euphrates River.

True writing of language (not only numbers) is first found in Mesopotamia (specifically, ancient Sumer) around 3200 BCE....In 2600-2700 BCE Mesoamerican scripts are known, the oldest being from the Olmec or Zapotec of Mexico.....Egypt around 3200 BCE and China around 1200 BCE

the Akkadian Empire, which lasted from 2334 BC to 2154 BC, ...The Akkadian Empire reached its political peak between the 24th and 22nd centuries BC, following the conquests by its founder Sargon of Akkad (2334–2279 BC). Under Sargon and his successors, Akkadian language was briefly imposed on neighboring conquered states such as Elam. Akkad is sometimes regarded as the first empire in history, though there are earlier Sumerian claimants.....

2300 BC...The Anau Seal.... inscribed stamp seal dated to about 2,300 B. C. that clearly had symbols on it......A large sophisticated civilization equal to Sumeria and Mesopotamia and thriving at the same time at least 5,000 years ago was lost in the harsh desert sands of the Soviet Union near the Iran and Afghanistan borders......recent excavations in the Kara Kum desert of Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan on the Iran and Afghanistan borders......No American archaeologist had been there since 1904 when New Hampshire archaeologist and geologist, Raphael Pumpelly, discovered ancient ruins at Anau in southern Turkmenistan near Iran..... in 1988 after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Dr. Hiebert first received permission to travel to Anau. He has discovered it is about 2,000 years older than the Bactria and Margiana sites further to the east, going back nearly seven thousand years to at least 4,500 B. C., or the Bronze Age. Not only are the oldest shards from there of high craftsmanship, this past summer Dr. Hiebert also found a black rock carved with red-colored symbols that, to date, are unidentified but considered to be evidence of a literacy independent of Mesopotamia. The discovery is revolutionary to earlier academic thought that Sumeria was the first civilization with language.

PROTO-INDO-ARYAN...Refers to that stage of the language existing before the migrations into India and after the separation from Iranian. The Proto-Aryan Period was 2000 BC at the latest. (Burrow: 125)

The common ancestor of the historical languages is called Proto-Aryan. The Vedic, Avestan, and Old Persian show remarkable similarities. (Old Indo Aryan: arya...Old Persian: ariya...Avestan: airiia). The linguistic history indicates that the Aryans originally formed a single people until the beginning of the 2nd millenium BC when the Indian Aryans and the Iranian Aryans went separate ways." (Yarshater: 684)...

SANSKRIT....(Tibetan: legs sbyar gyi skad)...Sanskrit appears about 2000-1500 BC in India with the migration of the Indo-Aryan branch of speakers into northwest India. The nearest relative of Indo-Aryan is Persian.

The most archaic Sanskrit is the Vedas (1500-1200 BC)......

Age of Gaya Maretan.....Gaya means life and maretan means mortal. In some sources, Gaya Maretan is the first mortal or human being. The name Gaya Maretan evolved to Gayomard (Pahlavi), and then Kayomars or Kaiumars (Persian).] .....Ferdowsi's Shahnameh, complemented by the Farvardin Yasht 13.87, recounts that Aryan prehistory started with Gaya Maretan, founder of the Aryan nation. The Shahnameh states that he was the first Aryan King and that during his reign, people lived in the mountains (also see Aryan homeland location: Mountains - Hara Berezaiti) and wore animal skins and leaves. They gathered fruits and other plant foods. Animals were first domesticated, and the herding of cattle began. ......During the age of Gaya Maretan, religion and religious rites were developed. According to the Avesta and the Shahnameh, Gaya Maretan was a Mazdayasni, a worshipper of Mazda or God. In the oldest Hindu scriptures, the Rig Veda, worship in a supreme God, Asura Varuna, preceded deva or polytheistic worship amongst the Aryans.......The Shahnameh tells us that Ahriman, the leader of the deva worshippers was envious of Gaya Maretan and wanted to seize Gaya Maretan's throne, the throne of the Aryans. As a result, the first religious wars between the Mazda and deva worshippers took place during this period. At first the deva worshippers were victorious in a battle in which Gaya Maretan's son Siyamak was killed. Gaya Maretan regrouped, assembled an army under the command of his grandson Haoshyangha (Hushang - see below), and defeated the deva worshippers. While this second battle established the Mazdayasni as the dominant religious group between the Mazda and deva worshippers, the two groups continued to live together in close proximity. (Later, at the end of the Jamshidi / Yima era, dominance would shift to the deva worshippers (see below), after which it would move back and forth between the two groups.) ....

.."Shenrab was born in a palace south of Mount Yungdrung Gutseg in 1857 B.C." (Wangyal: 29)..."Shen rab was born in Sam bha la (sTag gzigs) in the west in the town called Yans pa can, in the dwelling place of the 33 Gods, the palace called Barpo so brgyad". (Kvaerne: 220)...SHENRAB...."his origins are said to be in Iran-Elam and his name is given as Mithra. The Tibetan word Tsug-Pu (gtsug.phud) meaning 'crown of the head' approximates the actual word Mithra." Campbell, June...."Traveller in Space".....New 37.......Kungtuzangpo gave the teachings to Shenlha Okar who passed them to Shenrab Miwo who taught them in Zhang Zhung......."Shenlha Wokar, the deity who is the source of the lineage of teachings of the Dzogchen (rDzogs chen), the Great Perfection, in the lands of Lha, Nyen, and Lu". (Thangka in Kvaerne: 63)

From the 10th century BCE to the late 7th century BCE, the Iranic Medes and Persians fell under the domination of the Neo Assyrian Empire based in Mesopotamia.

"....some consider the Vendidad a link to ancient early oral traditions, later written as a book of laws for the Zoroastrian community. The writing of the Vendidad began - perhaps substantially - before the formation of the Median and Persian Empires, before the 8th century B.C.E.......

Tengriism (Tengerism, Tengrianism, or Tengrianizm) was the major belief of the Xiongnu, Xianbei, Turkic, Bulgar, Mongolian, Hunnic, and Altaic peoples before the vast majority accepted Buddhism, Islam, or Lamaism. It centers around the deity Tengri (also Tangri, Tangra, Tanrı) and incorporates elements of shamanism, animism, totemism, and ancestor worship. Tengriism replaced an earlier polytheistic Turkic religion; it was also the religion of the Huns, Eurasian Avars, and early Hungarians. In the ancient Turkish world, as it is now, the word for god was "Tengri." Tengri, identified with a “celestial sky,” timeless and infinite, was the chief deity....

The oldest surviving example of the tabulations of the rules of Sanskrit grammar is Panini's "Astadhyavi" (literally translating to "Eight-Chapter Grammar") dated to have been written around the 5th century BC. .....

Two ancient Iranian languages: Avestan (Northeastern Iran: 6th Century BC). Old Persian: (Southwestern Iran)

Shamis en Balkh was of the the largest and most grand of ancient cities. Balkh was at it height from 2700- 2000 BC but of great importance from 600 BC until 600 AD.....

Founded by the Iranian prophet and reformer Zoroaster in the 6th century BC, Zoroastrianism contains both monotheistic and dualistic features. Its concepts of one God, judgment, heaven and hell likely influenced the semitic monotheistic traditions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

"The old Vedic religion survived for a pretty long time in corners of Iran. The evidence of the survival of the devas comes from the daiva - inscription of Khshayarshan (Xerxes) (ruled 486-465 BC). The revolt by the daiva worshipers in West Iran is directly referred to: Proclaims Khshayarshan the King: When I became king, there is among these countries one which was in rebellion. Afterwards Ahuramazda bore me aid. By the favor of Ahuramazda I smote that country and put it down in its place."....


John Hopkins.....Northern New Mexico….January 2013


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