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Re: Avestan and Vedic

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  • ayachitman
    Similarly, Mittani Indo-Aryan language is considered older than Vedic or Avestan because it has aika instead of eka. Vedic is supposed to have merged ai to
    Message 1 of 25 , Jan 14, 2007
      Similarly, Mittani Indo-Aryan language is considered older than Vedic
      or Avestan because it has aika instead of eka. Vedic is supposed to
      have merged 'ai' to 'e', hence younger. But at the same time Mittani
      contains satta for seven that corresponds to sound changes in
      prakrits, which is much later than Vedic. But lingusists somehow came
      to the conclusion that Mittani Aryan was older than Vedic. They also
      base their conclusion based on one or two words and take that one
      word as a proof of their assumption while ignoring others.

      regards,
      Mandar

      --- In IndiaArchaeology@yahoogroups.com, "raonath" <raonath@...>
      wrote:
      >
      > --- In IndiaArchaeology@yahoogroups.com, "munnubanerjee"
      > <munnubanerjee@> wrote:
      > > witzel claims that
      > > dialects at peripheries of liguistic family distribution are
      usually
      > > more innovative then the ones at the center.
      >
      > There are quite a few IE-ists who claim that the center is
      > more innovative than the periphery. You will find such claims
      > in the cybalist (on Yahoo groups). I don't know if either one
      > has empirical support.
      >
      > To go back to the question of innovations in Vedic vs Avestan:
      > If language A is in all respects more innovative than B, it is
      > likely that A evolved from B. In case of sister branches in IE,
      > it is always the case that one "preserves" some traits more
      > than the other. ["preserves" is in quotation marks because there
      > may be changes but starting from a more archaic point.] Thus,
      > in Sanskrit word-medial consonsnat clusters are generally
      > better preserved, but word-final clusters are drastically
      > simplified (compared to Greek and some extent Avestan).
      > Iranian (including Avestan) merge *d and *dh (for example),
      > but Sanskrit merges *g^ (>z in Avestan) and j from the secod
      > palatalization. It is impossible to use these things for
      > dating.
      >
      > Nath Rao
      >
    • Ravindra Jaju
      ... Seems like a pretty standard approach in proving one s point in such (may I call it) speculative science fields. Unlike pure sciences, deviations can be
      Message 2 of 25 , Jan 14, 2007
        On 1/14/07, ayachitman <ayachitman@...> wrote:
        Similarly, Mittani Indo-Aryan language is considered older than Vedic
        or Avestan because it has aika instead of eka. Vedic is supposed to
        have merged 'ai' to 'e', hence younger. But at the same time Mittani
        contains satta for seven that corresponds to sound changes in
        prakrits, which is much later than Vedic. But lingusists somehow came
        to the conclusion that Mittani Aryan was older than Vedic. They also
        base their conclusion based on one or two words and take that one
        word as a proof of their assumption while ignoring others.

        Seems like a pretty standard approach in proving one's point in such
        (may I call it) speculative science fields. Unlike pure sciences, deviations
        can be easily termed as exceptional or creative traits - or vice versa. Exceptions
        are cited as rules, and much evidence to the contrary termed as exception. And then a page
        full of samples (which are relatively pretty small - and ambiguous to boot!) are
        repeated ad nauseum - in various forms - to get established.

        It's amusing to see to what level the (English! ;-)) language of these people stoops down
        (especially coming from the supposedly well-established scholars) to be
        able to stick to one's theory.

        regards,
        Ravindra
      • mkelkar2003
        ... That vowel merger is an the gypsey language behaves in an opposite manner) which is itself based on another dubious theory of reconstructing laryngeals
        Message 3 of 25 , Jan 14, 2007
          --- In IndiaArchaeology@yahoogroups.com, "ayachitman" <ayachitman@...>
          wrote:
          >
          > Similarly, Mittani Indo-Aryan language is considered older than Vedic
          > or Avestan because it has aika instead of eka. Vedic is supposed to
          > have merged 'ai' to 'e', hence younger.

          That vowel merger is an the gypsey language behaves in an opposite
          manner) which is itself based on another dubious theory of
          reconstructing laryngeals into "PIE>"

          http://www.omilosmeleton.gr/english/documents/SPIE.pdf

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proto-Indo-European_language

          Two additional articles "Furture of Grimm's law" and "Colonial
          Linguistiics" have been posted in the files section of Cybalist.

          Thanks!

          M. Kelkar



          But at the same time Mittani
          > contains satta for seven that corresponds to sound changes in
          > prakrits, which is much later than Vedic. But lingusists somehow came
          > to the conclusion that Mittani Aryan was older than Vedic. They also
          > base their conclusion based on one or two words and take that one
          > word as a proof of their assumption while ignoring others.
          >
          > regards,
          > Mandar
          >
          > --- In IndiaArchaeology@yahoogroups.com, "raonath" <raonath@>
          > wrote:
          > >
          > > --- In IndiaArchaeology@yahoogroups.com, "munnubanerjee"
          > > <munnubanerjee@> wrote:
          > > > witzel claims that
          > > > dialects at peripheries of liguistic family distribution are
          > usually
          > > > more innovative then the ones at the center.
          > >
          > > There are quite a few IE-ists who claim that the center is
          > > more innovative than the periphery. You will find such claims
          > > in the cybalist (on Yahoo groups). I don't know if either one
          > > has empirical support.
          > >
          > > To go back to the question of innovations in Vedic vs Avestan:
          > > If language A is in all respects more innovative than B, it is
          > > likely that A evolved from B. In case of sister branches in IE,
          > > it is always the case that one "preserves" some traits more
          > > than the other. ["preserves" is in quotation marks because there
          > > may be changes but starting from a more archaic point.] Thus,
          > > in Sanskrit word-medial consonsnat clusters are generally
          > > better preserved, but word-final clusters are drastically
          > > simplified (compared to Greek and some extent Avestan).
          > > Iranian (including Avestan) merge *d and *dh (for example),
          > > but Sanskrit merges *g^ (>z in Avestan) and j from the secod
          > > palatalization. It is impossible to use these things for
          > > dating.
          > >
          > > Nath Rao
          > >
          >
        • Paul Kekai Manansala
          ... My belief based on discussion on the old ANE list is that no Mitanni or Near East specialists believe in Mitanni Aryan anymore. It s mainly
          Message 4 of 25 , Jan 15, 2007
            --- In IndiaArchaeology@yahoogroups.com, "ayachitman" <ayachitman@...>
            wrote:
            >
            > Similarly, Mittani Indo-Aryan language is considered older than Vedic
            > or Avestan because it has aika instead of eka. Vedic is supposed to
            > have merged 'ai' to 'e', hence younger. But at the same time Mittani
            > contains satta for seven that corresponds to sound changes in
            > prakrits, which is much later than Vedic. But lingusists somehow came
            > to the conclusion that Mittani Aryan was older than Vedic. They also
            > base their conclusion based on one or two words and take that one
            > word as a proof of their assumption while ignoring others.
            >
            >

            My belief based on discussion on the old ANE list is that no Mitanni
            or Near East specialists believe in 'Mitanni Aryan' anymore.

            It's mainly Indo-Europeanists still holding on to this theory.

            Regards,
            Paul Kekai Manansala
            Quests of the Dragon and Bird Clan
            http://sambali.blogspot.com/
          • munnubanerjee
            Minor mittani aryan presence among majority hurrian speaking must have been blown out of proportion by IEists. But that does not mean we have to swing the oher
            Message 5 of 25 , Jan 15, 2007
              Minor mittani aryan presence among majority hurrian speaking must have
              been blown out of proportion by IEists. But that does not mean we have
              to swing the oher way and rule mittani aryan speakers out completely.

              Mittani Aryan is a good assumption because the number of syllables and
              words used in a sentence that resemble sanskrit reduces the probablity
              of it being a coincidence.


              --- In IndiaArchaeology@yahoogroups.com, "Paul Kekai Manansala"
              <p.manansala@...> wrote:
              >
              > --- In IndiaArchaeology@yahoogroups.com, "ayachitman" <ayachitman@>
              > wrote:
              > >
              > > Similarly, Mittani Indo-Aryan language is considered older than Vedic
              > > or Avestan because it has aika instead of eka. Vedic is supposed to
              > > have merged 'ai' to 'e', hence younger. But at the same time Mittani
              > > contains satta for seven that corresponds to sound changes in
              > > prakrits, which is much later than Vedic. But lingusists somehow came
              > > to the conclusion that Mittani Aryan was older than Vedic. They also
              > > base their conclusion based on one or two words and take that one
              > > word as a proof of their assumption while ignoring others.
              > >
              > >
              >
              > My belief based on discussion on the old ANE list is that no Mitanni
              > or Near East specialists believe in 'Mitanni Aryan' anymore.
              >
              > It's mainly Indo-Europeanists still holding on to this theory.
              >
              > Regards,
              > Paul Kekai Manansala
              > Quests of the Dragon and Bird Clan
              > http://sambali.blogspot.com/
              >
            • Paul Kekai Manansala
              ... I don t agree. There never was really any argument for an Aryan presence in Mitanni. The linguistic evidence was always very weak, but the conjecture
              Message 6 of 25 , Jan 16, 2007
                --- In IndiaArchaeology@yahoogroups.com, "munnubanerjee"
                <munnubanerjee@...> wrote:
                >
                > Minor mittani aryan presence among majority hurrian speaking must have
                > been blown out of proportion by IEists. But that does not mean we have
                > to swing the oher way and rule mittani aryan speakers out completely.
                >
                > Mittani Aryan is a good assumption because the number of syllables and
                > words used in a sentence that resemble sanskrit reduces the probablity
                > of it being a coincidence.
                >
                >

                I don't agree. There never was really any argument for an "Aryan"
                presence in Mitanni. The linguistic evidence was always very weak,
                but the conjecture necessary to support the Aryan horse theory.

                Regards,
                Paul Kekai Manansala
                Quests of the Dragon and Bird Clan
                http://sambali.blogspot.com/
              • Francesco Brighenti
                ... The linguistic evidence for Mitanni Indo-Aryan -- i.e., an Old Indo- Aryan language spoken by a section, no matter how small that was, of the population of
                Message 7 of 25 , Jan 18, 2007
                  --- In IndiaArchaeology@yahoogroups.com, "Paul Kekai Manansala"
                  <p.manansala@...> wrote:

                  > --- In IndiaArchaeology@yahoogroups.com, "munnubanerjee"
                  > <munnubanerjee@> wrote:
                  >
                  > > Minor mittani aryan presence among majority hurrian speaking
                  > > must have been blown out of proportion by IEists. But that does
                  > > not mean we have to swing the oher way and rule mittani aryan
                  > > speakers out completely.
                  >
                  > I don't agree. There never was really any argument for an "Aryan"
                  > presence in Mitanni. The linguistic evidence was always very weak,
                  > but the conjecture necessary to support the Aryan horse theory.

                  The linguistic evidence for Mitanni Indo-Aryan -- i.e., an Old Indo-
                  Aryan language spoken by a section, no matter how small that was, of
                  the population of the Kingdom of Mitanni -- may have been "weak",
                  but it is yet there and needs to be explained (please note that the
                  scholarly debate on this subject is still open and that few scholars
                  would subscribe to the idea that the Hurrians of Mitanni had
                  an "Aryan" ruling elite today). I fully agree with Mannu on this
                  point.

                  It is beyond dispute that there was some prestige connected with the
                  Mitanni Indo-Aryans' expertise as charioteers and horse trainers
                  (part of which was no doubt imported from the east, and more
                  precisely, as per a widely accepted scholarly paradigm, from Central
                  rather than from South Asia). This is not a "conjecture" -- check
                  the relevant literature on Mitanni Indo-Aryan --, and your
                  proclaiming the inexistence of an "Aryan" (= Old Indo-Aryan)
                  linguistic element in the Kingdom of Mitanni (and, by extension, of
                  the people who spoke the concerned language) is unacceptable, more
                  so because you claim that this linguistic hypothesis was only
                  devised "to support the Aryan horse theory".

                  Exactly the reverse is true, namely, it is Mitanni Indo-Aryan's
                  distinctive association with horse-training and chariots that
                  reinforces what you call the "Aryan horse theory".

                  Regards,
                  Francesco
                • Paul Kekai Manansala
                  ... This is not a conjecture -- check ... Indeed it is only conjecture. The Mitanni literature itself makes no mention of Aryans and as I ve stated,
                  Message 8 of 25 , Jan 19, 2007
                    --- In IndiaArchaeology@yahoogroups.com, "Francesco Brighenti"
                    <frabrig@...> wrote:
                    >
                    >
                    > --- In IndiaArchaeology@yahoogroups.com, "Paul Kekai Manansala"
                    > <p.manansala@> wrote:
                    >
                    > > --- In IndiaArchaeology@yahoogroups.com, "munnubanerjee"
                    > > <munnubanerjee@> wrote:
                    > >
                    > >


                    This is not a "conjecture" -- check
                    > the relevant literature on Mitanni Indo-Aryan --, and your
                    > proclaiming the inexistence of an "Aryan" (= Old Indo-Aryan)
                    > linguistic element in the Kingdom of Mitanni (and, by extension, of
                    > the people who spoke the concerned language) is unacceptable,

                    Indeed it is only conjecture.

                    The Mitanni literature itself makes no mention of "Aryans" and as I've
                    stated, experts in Mitanni language have refuted the so-called "Aryan"
                    elements in the language.

                    It is part of a theory unsupported by physical evidence connecting
                    horses, chariots, etc. with Indo-Europeans.

                    Regards,
                    Paul Kekai Manansala
                    Quests of the Dragon and Bird Clan
                    http://sambali.blogspot.com/
                  • mkelkar2003
                    ... I do not know what widely accepted scholarly paradigm is being referred to here. Horses were introduced to the near east by Hurrians not the Mittani and
                    Message 9 of 25 , Jan 19, 2007
                      --- In IndiaArchaeology@yahoogroups.com, "Francesco Brighenti"
                      <frabrig@...> wrote:
                      >
                      >
                      > --- In IndiaArchaeology@yahoogroups.com, "Paul Kekai Manansala"
                      > <p.manansala@> wrote:
                      >
                      > > --- In IndiaArchaeology@yahoogroups.com, "munnubanerjee"
                      > > <munnubanerjee@> wrote:
                      > >
                      > > > Minor mittani aryan presence among majority hurrian speaking
                      > > > must have been blown out of proportion by IEists. But that does
                      > > > not mean we have to swing the oher way and rule mittani aryan
                      > > > speakers out completely.
                      > >
                      > > I don't agree. There never was really any argument for an "Aryan"
                      > > presence in Mitanni. The linguistic evidence was always very weak,
                      > > but the conjecture necessary to support the Aryan horse theory.
                      >
                      > The linguistic evidence for Mitanni Indo-Aryan -- i.e., an Old Indo-
                      > Aryan language spoken by a section, no matter how small that was, of
                      > the population of the Kingdom of Mitanni -- may have been "weak",
                      > but it is yet there and needs to be explained (please note that the
                      > scholarly debate on this subject is still open and that few scholars
                      > would subscribe to the idea that the Hurrians of Mitanni had
                      > an "Aryan" ruling elite today). I fully agree with Mannu on this
                      > point.
                      >
                      > It is beyond dispute that there was some prestige connected with the
                      > Mitanni Indo-Aryans' expertise as charioteers and horse trainers
                      > (part of which was no doubt imported from the east, and more
                      > precisely, as per a widely accepted scholarly paradigm, from Central
                      > rather than from South Asia).


                      I do not know what "widely accepted scholarly paradigm" is being
                      referred to here. Horses were introduced to the near east by Hurrians
                      not the Mittani and horses were ridden in the region long before the
                      famed Hiittite "horse texts." Read on:

                      "Recent evidence from the Khabur region of northeastern Syria strongly
                      suggests that here at least the horse arrived in association with
                      Hurrian-speaking peoples (not the Mittani!), first identified in the
                      cuneiform records at the time of Naram-Sin (c. 2554-18 BC). Certainly
                      there are important Hurrian city-states in this region by the last
                      quarter of the third millennium (Buccellati and Kelly-Buccellati 1997;
                      Oates et. al. 2001, 393-4) while, as we have seen, the earliest
                      written documentation of the horse belongs to the last century of this
                      period. In a recent paper Ivanov (1998) discusses the name of the
                      horse in Hurrian, and comments on the possible relationships, inter
                      alia, of Sumerian anse.zi.zi, Akkadian sisu (sisa'um) (*sisa'um),
                      Hurrian esse, Armenian es (`donkey'), Luwian assuwa. Unfortunately,
                      our knowledge not only of the early domestication of the horse but
                      also the spread of the North Caucasian, Hurrian, and satam dialects is
                      at present inadequate to resolve these questions.

                      We can conclude, however, that the domestic horse had certainly been
                      introduced into northern Syria and Mesopotamia by the last century of
                      the third millennium BC. Nor is there any doubt that in the second
                      millennium BC horses were both ridden and used to pull spoked-wheeled
                      chariots, indeed that the riding of the horse precedes by hundreds of
                      years the horse-training manual of the Mitannian Kikkuli and other
                      Hittite `horse-texts' of the Late Bronze Age (Kammenhuber 1961; Starke
                      1995). The military employment of horses as cavalry dates from at
                      least as early as the Assyrian armies of the ninth century BC (Oates
                      2003, pp. 123-124)."

                      Oates, Joan (2003), "A Note on the Early Evidence for Horse and the
                      Riding of Equids in Western Asia," in Prehistoric Steppe Adaptation
                      and the Horse," Marsha Levine, Colin Renfrew, and Kati Boyle (Eds.),
                      Cambridge, UK: McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research.

                      M. Kelkar





                      This is not a "conjecture" -- check
                      > the relevant literature on Mitanni Indo-Aryan --, and your
                      > proclaiming the inexistence of an "Aryan" (= Old Indo-Aryan)
                      > linguistic element in the Kingdom of Mitanni (and, by extension, of
                      > the people who spoke the concerned language) is unacceptable, more
                      > so because you claim that this linguistic hypothesis was only
                      > devised "to support the Aryan horse theory".
                      >
                      > Exactly the reverse is true, namely, it is Mitanni Indo-Aryan's
                      > distinctive association with horse-training and chariots that
                      > reinforces what you call the "Aryan horse theory".
                      >
                      > Regards,
                      > Francesco
                      >
                    • Francesco Brighenti
                      ... Did I hold that Indo-Aryan speakers living in the Kingdom of Mitanni *introduced* horses in Syria/N. Mesopotamia? I confined myself to saying that there
                      Message 10 of 25 , Jan 21, 2007
                        --- In IndiaArchaeology@yahoogroups.com, "mkelkar2003"
                        <swatimkelkar@...> wrote:

                        > Horses were introduced to the near east by Hurrians
                        > not the Mittani and horses were ridden in the region long before
                        > the famed Hittite horse texts.

                        Did I hold that Indo-Aryan speakers living in the Kingdom of Mitanni
                        *introduced* horses in Syria/N. Mesopotamia? I confined myself to
                        saying that "there was some prestige connected with the
                        Mitanni Indo-Aryans' expertise as charioteers and horse trainers
                        (part of which was no doubt imported from the east...)".

                        The distinctive association of the *linguistic material*
                        denominated "Mitanni Indo-Aryan" -- because it unfortunately IS a
                        form of Old Indo-Aryan (slightly earlier than Vedic Sanskrit, as it
                        is apparent) -- with horse-training and chariots makes it very
                        likely, as was recognized long ago, that an Indo-Aryan presence
                        closely connected with the latter technical abilities was felt,
                        directly OR indirectly (or both), in the Hurrian state of Mitanni.

                        The fact that horses were already known in the region before the
                        earliest attestations of Mitanni Indo-Aryan words in Near Eastern
                        texts, does not alter the picture.

                        Regards
                        Francesco
                      • mkelkar2003
                        ... Mitanni Indo-Aryans expertise as charioteers and horse trainers ... You are holding that Mitanni Indo-Aryans expertise as charioteers was no doubt
                        Message 11 of 25 , Jan 22, 2007
                          --- In IndiaArchaeology@yahoogroups.com, "Francesco Brighenti"
                          <frabrig@...> wrote:
                          >
                          >
                          >
                          > --- In IndiaArchaeology@yahoogroups.com, "mkelkar2003"
                          > <swatimkelkar@> wrote:
                          >
                          > > Horses were introduced to the near east by Hurrians
                          > > not the Mittani and horses were ridden in the region long before
                          > > the famed Hittite horse texts.
                          >
                          > Did I hold that Indo-Aryan speakers living in the Kingdom of Mitanni
                          > *introduced* horses in Syria/N. Mesopotamia?


                          "Mitanni Indo-Aryans' expertise as charioteers and horse trainers
                          > (part of which was no doubt imported from the east, and more
                          > precisely, as per a widely accepted scholarly paradigm, from Central
                          > rather than from South Asia)."

                          You are holding that Mitanni "Indo-Aryans' expertise as charioteers
                          was no doubt imported..as per widely accepted scholarly paradigm from
                          ...Central Asia"

                          What "widely accepted scholarly paradigm" holds that? The Pontic
                          Steppe theor *.assumes* that "IA" came from Central Asia and hence
                          everything they brought came from there.

                          M. Kelkar



                          I confined myself to
                          > saying that "there was some prestige connected with the
                          > Mitanni Indo-Aryans' expertise as charioteers and horse trainers
                          > (part of which was no doubt imported from the east...)".
                          >
                          > The distinctive association of the *linguistic material*
                          > denominated "Mitanni Indo-Aryan" -- because it unfortunately IS a
                          > form of Old Indo-Aryan (slightly earlier than Vedic Sanskrit, as it
                          > is apparent) -- with horse-training and chariots makes it very
                          > likely, as was recognized long ago, that an Indo-Aryan presence
                          > closely connected with the latter technical abilities was felt,
                          > directly OR indirectly (or both), in the Hurrian state of Mitanni.
                          >
                          > The fact that horses were already known in the region before the
                          > earliest attestations of Mitanni Indo-Aryan words in Near Eastern
                          > texts, does not alter the picture.
                          >
                          > Regards
                          > Francesco
                          >
                        • mkelkar2003
                          ... Speaking of Mittani Indo-Aryans : They have closer connection with Pakistan/India than to a presumed non demonstrable connection with Central Asia. Check
                          Message 12 of 25 , Jan 22, 2007
                            --- In IndiaArchaeology@yahoogroups.com, "Francesco Brighenti"
                            <frabrig@...> wrote:
                            >
                            >
                            >
                            > --- In IndiaArchaeology@yahoogroups.com, "mkelkar2003"
                            > <swatimkelkar@> wrote:
                            >
                            > > Horses were introduced to the near east by Hurrians
                            > > not the Mittani and horses were ridden in the region long before
                            > > the famed Hittite horse texts.
                            >
                            > Did I hold that Indo-Aryan speakers living in the Kingdom of Mitanni
                            > *introduced* horses in Syria/N. Mesopotamia? I confined myself to
                            > saying that "there was some prestige connected with the
                            > Mitanni Indo-Aryans' expertise as charioteers and horse trainers
                            > (part of which was no doubt imported from the east...)".

                            >
                            > Regards
                            > Francesco

                            Speaking of Mittani "Indo-Aryans": They have closer connection with
                            Pakistan/India than to a presumed non demonstrable connection with
                            Central Asia.

                            Check the following quotes from Kak (2004)

                            M. kelkar



                            "The Mitanni

                            The Mitanni, who worshiped Vedic gods, were an Indic kingdom that had
                            bonds of marriage across several generations with the Egyptian 18th
                            dynasty to which Akhenaten belonged. The Mitanni were known to the
                            Egyptians as the Naharin (N'h'ryn'), connected to the river (nahar),
                            very probably referring to the Euphrates. At its peak, the Mitanni
                            empire stretched from Kirkuk (ancient Arrapkha) and the Zagros
                            mountains in western Iran in the east, through Assyria to the
                            Mediterranean sea in the west. Its center was in the region of the
                            Khabur River, where its capital, Wassukkani was probably located
                            (Figure 1).

                            The first Mitanni king was Sutarna I (good sun). He was followed by
                            Baratarna I (Paratarna, great sun), Para´suksatra (ruler with axe),
                            Saus­tatar (Sauksatra, son of Suksatra, the good ruler), Paratarna II,
                            Artad ama (Rtadh aman, abiding in cosmic law), Sutarna II, Tushratta
                            (Da´saratha), and finally Matiwazza (Mativ aja, whose wealth is
                            thought) during whose lifetime the Mitanni state appears to have
                            become a vassal to Assyria. The early years of the Mitanni empire were
                            occupied in the struggle with Egypt for control of Syria. The greatest
                            Mitanni king was Sauksatra who reigned during the time of Tuthmose
                            III. He was said to have looted the Assyrian palace at Ashur. Under
                            the reign of Tuthmose IV, more friendly relations were established
                            between the Egyptians and the Mitanni.

                            "How do we know that the Mitanni were Indic and not Iranian? There are
                            several reasons, but to be brief, I shall only give three: 1the
                            deities Indra, Mitra, Varuna, and N asatya are Indian deities and not
                            Iranian ones, because in Iran Varuna is unknown and Indra and N asatya
                            appear as demons; 2the name Vasukh ani makes sense in Sanskrit as a
                            "mine of wealth" whereas in Iranian it means "good mine" which is much
                            less likely; 3satta, or sapta, for seven, rather than the Iranian word
                            hapta, where the initial `s' has been changed to `h'.

                            Why could not the Mitanni be the descendents of a pre-Vedic people as
                            in the Gimbutas model8 of the spread of the Indo-Iranian people from
                            the Kurgan culture of the steppes of Central Asia? They would then
                            have had no particular affinity for Indic deities. If the pre-Vedic
                            people in Central Asia already had Indin deities, how would these
                            small bands of people impose their culture and language over what was
                            perhaps the most densely populated region of the ancient world.
                            Furthermore, that view does not square with our knowledge of the
                            astronomical tradition within India. The Vedic Samhitas have very
                            early astronomical and its geography is squarely within India. The
                            Vednga Jyotisa, a late Vedic text, already belongs to the middle of
                            the second millennium BC. The earlier texts remember events within the
                            Indic geographical area going back to the third and the fourth
                            millennia BC.9 The theory of a proto-Indoaryan people in Iran from
                            whom the Aryans of India descended10 in the second millennium BC does
                            not work for the same reasons."
                          • Francesco Brighenti
                            ... The connection of the Mitanni-IA linguistic element with Central Asia (more exactly, with the BMAC area in the centuries after the decline of that culture
                            Message 13 of 25 , Jan 23, 2007
                              --- In IndiaArchaeology@yahoogroups.com, "mkelkar2003"
                              <swatimkelkar@...> wrote:

                              > Speaking of Mittani "Indo-Aryans": They have closer connection with
                              > Pakistan/India than to a presumed non demonstrable connection with
                              > Central Asia.

                              The connection of the Mitanni-IA linguistic element with Central
                              Asia (more exactly, with the BMAC area in the centuries after the
                              decline of that culture complex) is inferred on the basis of the
                              older form of attested Mitanni-IA words with respect to the
                              corresponding R.gvedic Sanskrit forms. A case in point is Mitanni-IA
                              aika- instead of Indic eka- 'one', with the former reflecting the
                              Proto-Indo-Iranian form *Hai-ka-/*Hai-ua-. Yet, other attested
                              Mitanni-IA terms have been long since recognized as Indo-Aryan, not
                              as common Indo-Iranian (though Prof. H.H. Hock expressed his
                              skepticism on this issue).

                              See related discussions on the old Liverpool Indology List:

                              http://listserv.linguistlist.org/cgi-bin/wa

                              > Check the following quotes from Kak (2004):
                              >
                              > "The Mitanni, who worshiped Vedic gods, were an Indic kingdom..."

                              Pace S. Kak (wow! what an authorithy in comparative linguistics you
                              chose!), I have already pointed out that there are very few scholars
                              today who would insist on the hypothesis that the Kingdom of Mitanni
                              was ruled over by an Indo-Aryan-speaking elite...

                              Regards,
                              Francesco
                            • JK
                              Commenting on some discussion on the time frame of RV and Avesta, Rajesh Kochchar writes http://acorn.nationalinterest.in/?p=2249#comment-94190 While
                              Message 14 of 25 , Jan 24, 2007
                                Commenting on some discussion on the time frame of RV and Avesta,
                                Rajesh Kochchar writes

                                http://acorn.nationalinterest.in/?p=2249#comment-94190

                                While discussing chronology of the Rgveda and its relation to Avesta,
                                a clear distinction needs to be made between the time of composition
                                and the time of the culture represented in the text.( Munshi Prem
                                Chand has written a story Shatranj ke Khiladi, which deals with a
                                period older than the writer's).Rv may contain material or references
                                that are as much as 1000 years older than the date of the hymn.(
                                Pururava ,e g , is mentioned in Rv as an ancient king.)
                                Avesta selectively rejects the "philosophy" articulated in the Rv. For
                                exam,ple, Indra is demonized , but his title vrtrahana appears in the
                                Avestan equivalent as a god . The Soma/Haoma cult is the same in the
                                two texts.
                                The oldest part of Avesta , the Gathas attributed to Zarathushtra
                                himself, must be as as old as Rv.
                                It must be kept in mind that it is impossible to make any firm
                                statement about chronology of amncient texts. ( The oldest firm date
                                in the Indian context is as recent as AD499, of the Aryabhatiya.)
                                The key point I am making is that the rituals , mythology etc , of
                                which we learn from Rv/Avesta, can be , must be , older than the date
                                of composition of the hymn , whatever that be.

                                --- In IndiaArchaeology@yahoogroups.com, "ayachitman" <ayachitman@...>
                                wrote:
                                >
                                > Similarly, Mittani Indo-Aryan language is considered older than Vedic
                                > or Avestan because it has aika instead of eka. Vedic is supposed to
                                > have merged 'ai' to 'e', hence younger. But at the same time Mittani
                                > contains satta for seven that corresponds to sound changes in
                                > prakrits, which is much later than Vedic. But lingusists somehow came
                                > to the conclusion that Mittani Aryan was older than Vedic. They also
                                > base their conclusion based on one or two words and take that one
                                > word as a proof of their assumption while ignoring others.
                                >
                                > regards,
                                > Mandar
                                >
                                > --- In IndiaArchaeology@yahoogroups.com, "raonath" <raonath@>
                                > wrote:
                                > >
                                > > --- In IndiaArchaeology@yahoogroups.com, "munnubanerjee"
                                > > <munnubanerjee@> wrote:
                                > > > witzel claims that
                                > > > dialects at peripheries of liguistic family distribution are
                                > usually
                                > > > more innovative then the ones at the center.
                                > >
                                > > There are quite a few IE-ists who claim that the center is
                                > > more innovative than the periphery. You will find such claims
                                > > in the cybalist (on Yahoo groups). I don't know if either one
                                > > has empirical support.
                                > >
                                > > To go back to the question of innovations in Vedic vs Avestan:
                                > > If language A is in all respects more innovative than B, it is
                                > > likely that A evolved from B. In case of sister branches in IE,
                                > > it is always the case that one "preserves" some traits more
                                > > than the other. ["preserves" is in quotation marks because there
                                > > may be changes but starting from a more archaic point.] Thus,
                                > > in Sanskrit word-medial consonsnat clusters are generally
                                > > better preserved, but word-final clusters are drastically
                                > > simplified (compared to Greek and some extent Avestan).
                                > > Iranian (including Avestan) merge *d and *dh (for example),
                                > > but Sanskrit merges *g^ (>z in Avestan) and j from the secod
                                > > palatalization. It is impossible to use these things for
                                > > dating.
                                > >
                                > > Nath Rao
                                > >
                                >
                              • mkelkar2003
                                ... That is exactly what I mean. It is a *presumed* relation based on linguistic reconstrcution and a hypothetical group of Indo-Iranians that no one can
                                Message 15 of 25 , Jan 24, 2007
                                  --- In IndiaArchaeology@yahoogroups.com, "Francesco Brighenti"
                                  <frabrig@...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > --- In IndiaArchaeology@yahoogroups.com, "mkelkar2003"
                                  > <swatimkelkar@> wrote:
                                  >
                                  > > Speaking of Mittani "Indo-Aryans": They have closer connection with
                                  > > Pakistan/India than to a presumed non demonstrable connection with
                                  > > Central Asia.
                                  >
                                  > The connection of the Mitanni-IA linguistic element with Central
                                  > Asia (more exactly, with the BMAC area in the centuries after the
                                  > decline of that culture complex) is inferred on the basis of the
                                  > older form of attested Mitanni-IA words with respect to the
                                  > corresponding R.gvedic Sanskrit forms. A case in point is Mitanni-IA
                                  > aika- instead of Indic eka- 'one', with the former reflecting the
                                  > Proto-Indo-Iranian form *Hai-ka-/*Hai-ua-. Yet, other attested
                                  > Mitanni-IA terms have been long since recognized as Indo-Aryan, not
                                  > as common Indo-Iranian (though Prof. H.H. Hock expressed his
                                  > skepticism on this issue).
                                  >

                                  That is exactly what I mean. It is a *presumed* relation based on
                                  linguistic reconstrcution and a hypothetical group of "Indo-Iranians"
                                  that no one can locate. Whether aika or eka came first depends on
                                  which theory of linguistic reconstruction and vowel change seqence one
                                  accepts, and whether one accepts laryngeals and other such problems
                                  related to a hypothetical reconstruction. The connections between
                                  Mittani and India pointed out by Kak (2004) are direct not based on a
                                  reconstructed past.

                                  M. Kelkar

                                  > See related discussions on the old Liverpool Indology List:
                                  >
                                  > http://listserv.linguistlist.org/cgi-bin/wa
                                  >
                                  > > Check the following quotes from Kak (2004):
                                  > >
                                  > > "The Mitanni, who worshiped Vedic gods, were an Indic kingdom..."
                                  >
                                  > Pace S. Kak (wow! what an authorithy in comparative linguistics you
                                  > chose!), I have already pointed out that there are very few scholars
                                  > today who would insist on the hypothesis that the Kingdom of Mitanni
                                  > was ruled over by an Indo-Aryan-speaking elite...
                                  >
                                  > Regards,
                                  > Francesco
                                  >
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