[cybalist] Saymaly-Tash petroglyphs
- Technically I'll be able to do copies of the Saymaly-Tash petroglyphs on Monday or Tuesday. Thereafter I'll supplay the list
members with them and their interpretation given in the book by Y.A. Scher [spelling may vary] "Petroglyphs of Middle and
Central Asia" + my own speculations.
- This is the interpretation of the Saymaly-Tash petroglyphs (the earlier layer) given by Y.A.Scher.
Some of peculiarities of the pictures (different animals harnessed in chariots) can be explained on the basis of the IE
Ashvins literally are connected with horses and usually they are described in Rigveda on the chariot with horses. However in
some hymns their chariot is carried by bulls, donkeys, falcons, swans, ox and crocodile (RV I, 116, 18). In all probability
non-horse chariots are most archaic.
At the wedding of Surya and Soma a chariot competition took place. Agni drove mules, Ushas drove red bulls, Indra drove horses,
Ashvins drove donkeys. (To my mind more logically would be to give bulls to Indra and horses to Ashvins or Agni).
The Greek myth of Admet and Alkesta tells how Apollo succeed to harness a lion and a boar in a chariot.
There are different ancient Greek artifacts picturing chariots with lion and boar, horse and sphynx, deer and sphynx, 2 goats,
or 4 animals - lion+panthera+2 deers.
Lithuanian Perkunas and Tor in Edda drive chariots with goats.
Hittite describing of a royal ritual mentions a vehicle (apparently a chariot) with a horse (right) and a mule (left).
Data on the Freya's chariot with cats can be added to this.
There is a later layer of the Bronze Age petroglyphs in Saymaly-Tash: typical IE chariots with horses in "plan composition" like
Scandinavian or Sibirian ones. Apparently they are made by the bearers of the Andronovo culture (they seem to be Iranians).
Therefore the earlier layer is made by people of IE branch, which split off the main IE massif earlier than Indo-Iranians and
other groups, i.e. aproximately as early as Anatolians did. They could belong to the same earliest wave of IE, which brought
bearers of the Afanas'yevo culture to Yenisei. As we can see they did not have real war chariots (Iranians did), but chariots as
a 2-wheeled vehicle already appeared. Apparently they were used in the beginning not as a transport (they were to small) but as
a sacral thing. Maybe such a chariot was just a way to roll a wheel (symbol of the Sun) with the help of animals (in this
situation no matter what kind of animals). Only later in the main massif of IE the war chariots were (accidentally?) invented.
This is my speculation.
Besides pictures with the chariots and 'cowpokes' I've attached 2 more pictures of the same layer. Can we find parallels to
their subjects in the IE mythology?
- The petroglyphs you included in your post are most interesting.
In "the boxer", both figures have tails and one body is shaped like a
cigar and the other resembles an anvil.
In "worship" the figures are ape-like and all have tails and elongated
arms except of the person carrying a "sun-shaped" object.
And in the image of "chariots", one of the horse-like creatures has
antlers shaped like something that resembles what Martynov (1991) refers
to as The Tree of Life in the form of a ram with hypertrophied horns,
QUESTION: Where are the Saymaly-Tash petroglyphs located?
junkAlexander Stolbov writes
This is where I myself ask the same question. I'm at a point where I want to further study IE mythology, provided I find time, and more importantly, provided I can find someone to lead me by the hand through such things as the Rig Veda.
Besides pictures with the chariots and 'cowpokes' I've attached 2 more pictures of the same layer. Can we find parallels to their subjects in the IE mythology?
Dumezil wallowed in things like this. Each of the three castes (priest, warrior, worker) had their own sacrificial animals. There are parallels in Greek and Indo-Aryan myths for this. The Greek word "Hecatomb" describes what seems to have constituted the biggest and most solemn of sacrifices; the word literally means '100 cows'. The Brahmins had a similar extravagant sacrifice.
With the Indic Asvins, as I remember, they are actually rather democratic gods who served the workers.
- [Gerry Reinhart-Waller]
> QUESTION: Where are the Saymaly-Tash petroglyphs located?Saymaly-Tash (in Kirghiz 'Patterned Stone') is a place situated at a height of 3000 m above sea level at the North-East slopes
of the Fergana ridge (Inner Tien Shan).
You can find this place on a map of the SIEM
(the Early Bronze Age map - the arrow of the gray dotted line with the question mark directly points this place. Having clicked
the gray area of the "Afanas'yevo branch" or the gray rectangle of the "Surtandy-Botay c." you can read some comments on it.)
There are at least 3 chronological groups of local petroglyphs: the earlier layer of the Bronze Age (with stylistical traits of
both IE and South Asiatic areals), the later layer of the Bronze Age (typical 'mature' IE) and more recent layer(s) in Old
Turkic and 'Beast' styles.