Post by hjernespiser on Mar 28, 2010 23:30:55 GMT 3
Here's from a footnote in "Mounted Archers":
Gimbutas believes that traces of the successive waves of IE expansion may be followed by kurgans which mark their burial sites west of the Ural mountains. She dates the first of these waves to the 5th millennium and the fourth to the 3rd millennium BC. ... Findspots of this Kurgan culture cover an area which we suspect, on linguistic grounds, to have been Indo-European territories at the time. This enables her to trace the expansion of the IE languages by the spread of dateable "Kurgan culture" deposits. These appear to have been superimposed on remains of an earlier society of matriarchal, sedentary agriculturalists.
Post by hjernespiser on Mar 29, 2010 0:19:28 GMT 3
Here's how it goes back to Herodotus. I don't want to write out too much detail from this "Mounted Archers" book. I'll try to touch on the major points. The author of this book tries to summarize recent (1997) research, isn't much of a researcher himself. This is from a chapter trying to identify the Sai of Chinese records.
The Scythian-Saka equation is based on an isolated remark by Herodotus in his chapter dealing with the campaigns of Xerxes, and it is prudent to have it confirmed by an independent source.
Achaemenid ... inscriptions ... none of the nine relevant texts refers to Scythians, only to Saka, and then only in combinations with qualifiers, such as Saka tigrahauda (Sakas of the pointed hat) ... But following Szemerenyi, there is now good evidence that on two of these inscriptions the term Saka para draya (Sakas beyond the water) refers to those Pontic warriors north of the Black Sea whom Darius attacked in 512-514 BC, and whom Herodotus knew as the Pontic Scythians. This information seems to be consistent with Herodotus's statement that Scythians were called Saka by the Persians, but is not decisive on whether all Saka would have been regarded as Scythians by the Greeks. Indeed, later Greek geographers routinely referred to the Eurasian steppe-nomads west of the Volga as Scythians, and to the east of it as Sakas. Herodotus was actually undecided whether the Massagetai, north of the Jaxartes, called Saka para Sugdam by the Persians, were true Scythians or merely aped some of their customs. ... Szemerenyi starts his investigation by accepting that the Pontic Scythians did have a self-appellation (let us call it X) and then proceeds to search his sources for answers to the following questions:
If X existed, did it have a meaning?
Was Scythian derived from the Greek transcription of X?
Was X used as an ethnonym by steppe-nomads east of the Volga as well?
Was Saka the Old Persian transcription of X?
Herodotus records "two, heavily Hellenised Scythian legends of origin". In one legend, the Scythian self-appellation is Scolotai, named after legendary king Scules. In the other legend, the name comes from hero Scuthes. Scolotai is a Greek corruption of Iranic Skulatai, note the non-Greek plural suffix /-tai/ found elsewhere as in Sauromatai, Paralatai (self-designation of Royal Scyths), Massagetai. The singular form of Skulatai is Skula, Hellenised to Scules. Apparently Paralatai is related to the Gathas section of the Avesta as para-đata meaning 'in front of' or 'at the helm' (/đ/ is like the /th/ in English 'this'. The plural of Scuthes is Scuthai and this is attested well before Herodotus in a fragment attributed to Hesiod. In the legend origins, the semantic connection of "archer" for these names is retained. The book then shows a table of cognates in the Germanic and Italic branches of IE that all have a meaning connected with shooting an arrow. The cognates are missing in classical Greek and Old Persian. The book then talks about the Assyrian Asguzai/Askuzai (Isguzai/Iskuzai) and shows how the /l/ in Skula, the /th/ in the Greek Skuthes, and the /z/ in Assyrian *Skuza are all linked. Apparently Greek used /th/ for /đ/ at that time and Assyrian /z/ was the closest symbol that language had to the /đ/. This proto-Iranic /đ/ changed into /d/ in one group of Iranic dialects and to /l/ in another group. Old Persian belongs to the first group so Skutha would have been Skuda while the Iranic languages on the steppes belong to the other group and would result in Skula. Proto-Iranic Skutha can turn into Sgutha to Sugtha to Suguda (aka Sogdiana). Further evidence of such a hypothetical change comes from the Ancient Sogdian Letters where the self-appellation of the Sogds occurs in two alternative spellings: sghude and sughde. The same process occurs in Germanic and Italic cognates of this word (ie Latin sagittarius).
The proto-Scythians called themselves *Skutha
*Skutha developed into Avestanic Sugda
Transoxiana is Sugda (Sogdiana); the inhabitants called themselves Sughde.
Old Persian Transoxiana was inhabited by the Saka
The Saka were the same people as the Sughde
The Sughde had essentially the same name as the proto-Scythians, i.e., *Skutha
It follows that all Saka were Scythians
As Szemerenyi puts it:
*Skutha = 'archer'. More precisely, this was the name of the North Iranian nomadic tribes between the Caspian and, say, Lake Balkhash until, early in the first millennium BC, the [Massagetai and others] ... drove these tribes in ever increasing numbers on a westward trek. This expansion led to linguistic differentiation. In the Pontic region the name developed to Skula. In the East, the name developed into Sughda. Nomads of the same general linguistic and cultural type beyond the Sogds were designated as Saka. And when, in the course of their westward drive to and into Anatolia, the Achaemenids reached and then crossed the Bosphorus, and moving north met tribes of much the same linguistic habits as the Sakas known to them in the East, they called them also Sakas. The Greeks, on the other hand, viewed the steppe world from their own end; for them all steppe-nomads where Scythians.
The chapter then gets back to the Sai.
A note from this chapter:
Assyrian skuza, written skwz, was the origin of the Hebrew name Askhenazi, written sknz, apparently becaues of the similarity between Hebrew /w/ and /n/ at the time.
Post by hjernespiser on Mar 29, 2010 0:22:51 GMT 3
One detail I left out to help understand why the names Saka, Scythian, and Sughde all need to have a link linguistically is because 'Saka' might have been simply a Persian designation for 'steppe-nomad' and not an ethnonym, like how later Europeans used the word Scythian as a designation for 'steppe-nomad'.
Post by hjernespiser on Mar 30, 2010 7:13:37 GMT 3
Here's a note from another book I have (A History of Russian, Central Asia, and Mongolia Vol. 1 by David Christian) that may lead to the answer of your original question.
"The strength of ethnic and cultural ties between Saka and Scythian groups is emphasized in Klyashtornyi and Sultanov, Kazakhstan: Letopis' trekh tysyachiletii, pp. 31-48. 1992"
From the linguistic side, I find it significant that there's rather strong evidence of influence from Indo-Iranian speakers on Finno-Ugric languages during the time period in question while possible Turkic loans from that time have semantic and phonological problems.
Post by H. Ihsan Erkoc on Mar 30, 2010 15:30:22 GMT 3
Interesting I'd like to have a look on these names. Yet Roman period is very long we have to be specific. Could you provide me with more of the Turkicness of the language of the Sarmatian.
I had to go through my books to find where I had read that, and found it in Zeki Velidî Togan's Umumî Türk Tarihi'ne Giriş (Introduction to General Turkic History), printed by the Enderun Kitabevi in Istanbul, 1981, pp.40-41 (the book was first published in 1946). Here, Togan gave a list of ethnonyms and place names from Volga to the borders of China given by Greco-Latin geographers such as Strabon (63 BC-19 AD), Cl. Ptolemeus (2nd century AD), Plinius the Great/Elder (23-79 AD) and Pomponius Melae (wrote his work at 42 AD); he identifies these as Turkic, but I am not sure if all designations are accurate at all:
- Oxianoi = Oghuz - Pasiak (Pestik and Pesik) = Pechenek - Dahae (Dae) = Adaghï, Aday (a Kazakh tribe) - Camac = Kemak (the Kimäks) - Uran = Uran (I think these are among the Kazakhs) - Coman = Koman (Cumans) - Comar = Komar (I don't know what they are) - Kumith = Kümidh - Cam = Kang (must be the Qañlï [Qangli], a branch of the Qypchaqs) - Kotier (or Kasir) = Khazar - Pisuut = Bisuut (a Mongol tribe) - Matien = Müyten () - Derbik = Derbek () - Kirrath = Kirder () - Carat = Karat () - Argas = Argayas () - Tabyn = Tabïn (an 11th century Turkic people) - Giöynö () = Geyne () - Khun = Hun - Phun = Hun - Sabir = Sabir (Sabars) - Borsusk = Boruch () - Avarin = Avar - Suun = Suvun () - Anar = Amar/Yamar () - Askat = Azïgart () - Daikh = Yayïq (Volga) - Oykhard = Uyghur - Kasia = Kaz - Turcae/Nurcae = Turk
He also indicated that the -t particle in the names Asiut and Masaget might have been the (Mongolian) plurality suffix.
However, I am myself very sceptical about these identifications, because I am not familiar with some of the names (Komar, Müyten, Derbek, Kirder, Karat, Argayas, Geyne, Boruch, Suvun, Amar and Azïgart) and some others are much later Turkic names (Oghuz, Pechenek, Kimek, Cuman, Qañlï, Uyghur and Khazar). The name Oghuz might be a bit more realistic actually, because before the Huns came to Europe in the 4th century, there were the Oghurs living in the Pontic-Caspian steppe alongside the Sarmatians; however, this doesn't mean that the Oxianoi were the same with the Oghuz Turks that came to the Middle East in the 11th century. As for the identification of the Dahae with the Aday, it's quite hard but not impossible. The Usun tribe among the Kazakhs might be the descendents of the ancient Wusun people, and it's not impossible for some Dahae to survive in the later centuries and merge into the Kazakhs (though one has to trace them between the ancient times and the early modern age when the Kazakh union was formed). Among these identifications, only Hun, Sabar and Yayïq seem more believable for me.
Akdes Nimet Kurat in his book IV-XVIII. Yüzyıllarda Karadeniz Kuzeyindeki Türk Kavimleri ve Devletleri ("Turkic Peoples and States North of the Black Sea During 4th-18th Centuries") printed by Murat Kitabevi Yayınları in Ankara, 2002, pp.7 gave brief information about the Scythians and Sarmatians. About the Scythians, he commented that most of them were Iranic, but they included elements from other peoples and it's not a far probability that there were Turkics among them. For the Sarmatians, he wrote similar things, saying that they were Iranic, and it was not possible to detect if there were any Turkic elements among them or not. For him, it was "obvious that the Roxolani were Iranic", and while it was claimed that the Iaziges were Iranic, they might have been Turkic as well (here, he identified the name Iaziges as Turkic Yazïgh or Yazïq). On the other hand, the famous conservative historian İbrahim Kafesoğlu does not make any comments regarding the Scythians in his book Türk Millî Kültürü ("Turkic National Culture") printed by Ötüken Neşriyat in Istanbul, 2002, and several times he clearly states that the Sarmatians were an Iranic people. The only scholar who really studied the Scythians and Sarmatians in Turkey is İlhami Durmuş, but right now I don't have time to read his books and transfer all his views here. I will, however, give his list (in his book İskitler ["Scythians"], Kaynak Yayınları, Istanbul, 2007) of Scythian words recorded in tablets found at Susa and it's vicinity (I will correct myself here as in the previous posts, I wrote "Assyrian"), which he identifies as "Turkish words" (note that the meanings I give are made by myself; he just gave the Turkish words):
- Anira (identified as Onarmak meaning "to repair") - Arta (identified as Oturmak meaning "to sit") - Artak - Ata (identified as Ata meaning "father") - Attata (identified as Ata) - Artari (identified as Ata) - Ativa (identified as Ortasında meaning "in the middle") - Atza (identified as Uzak meaning "far" and Uzun meaning "long") - Atzasni - Atzakka - Balu (identified as Baru but I don't know what it means) - Dal (no identifications made, but this word means "branch") - Dalva (identified as Dolu meaning "full" and "drinking cup") - Dalva Achtu (identified as Dolduruldu meaning "it has been filled up") - Daldu (identified as Doldurmak meaning "to fill in") - Dalduk (identified as Doldu meaning "it is filled up") - Du (identified as Tutmak meaning "to hold") - Evidu (identified as Tutmak) - Gami (identified as Gemi meaning "ship") - Gamina - Gik (identified as Gök meaning "blue") - Gikka (identified as Gök) - I (identified as Irmak meaning "river") - Irchikki - Irchigifana - Irchigi (identified as Artık meaning "remain" and Artmak meaning "rising") - Ivaka (identified as Ayaklanmak meaning "to revolt") - Kappika (identified as Kapamak meaning "to close") - Karata (identified as Kart meaning "old") - Katzavana (identified as Kazımak meaning "to scratch") - Kichi (identified as Kişi meaning "person") - Kichirranna - Kichirana - Kichirra - Kutis (identified as Getirmek meaning "to bring") - Kutta (identified as Katmak meaning "to add") - Piri (identified as Barmak/Varmak meaning "to reach") - Pirij - Piris - In-pigurat - In-pirik - Pirifa - Ap-pirik - Rilu (identified as Yazmak meaning "to write") - Riluva - Rilucha - Riluk - Rup - Rupuchaghri - Chaghri (identified as Oğul meaning "son", but this looks like Çağrı meaning "falcon" or "call") - Charak - Charakappika (identified as Kapamak) - Chatanika (identified as Uzun, Uzatmak meaning "to lengthen" and Çatmak meaning "to run against", "knit", "slap", etc) - Takaparrapa (identified as Tuğ meaning "animal-hair banner") - Taka - Tan (identified as Tanrı/Täñri meaning "Sky" and "God") - Tanri - Tanripi - Tanrik - Tannijat - Tanpafa - Tap (identified as Tap meaning "to serve") - Tari (identified as Talamak but I don't know it's meaning) - Tarista - Tarinti - Tarna (identified as Tanışmak meaning "to meet") - Tarnainti - Tarnas - Tarnasti - Tarnampi - Tarti (identified as Tartınmak meaning "to be weighed") - Tartinti - Tartinta - Taufa (identified as Dayamak meaning "") - Tauvalufa - Tiri (identified as Demek meaning "to say") - Tirij - Tirinti - Tiris - Tirira - Tirinta - Tirichcha - Tirikka - Tarrika - Tirimaniun - Tirimapi - Tiristi - Tirijs - Ufarri (identified as Obiri but I don't know it's meaning) - Ut (identified as İtmek meaning "to push") - Utta - Uttas - Uttaut - Uttutta - Uttiut - Uttara - Uttasti - Uttasta - Uttirti - Uttis - Uttainti - Uttivara - Uttiniunupa - Vara (identified as Dedi meaning "he/she said" and Dedim meaning "I said") - Val (identified as Yol meaning "road") - Vartarakka - Tarra (identified as Töre meaning "traditional law, order") - Vit (identified as Gitmek meaning "to go") - Vita - Vitgini - Vitas - Vurun (identified as Urun which he gives the meaning "place")
However, he didn't really identifiy that much of the words, plus most of his identifications are quite dubious. Bad thing is that I couldn't see any explanations of how he did these identifications. Yet, some of them seem logical to me.
But the Khotan findings actually don't seem to show that the language of more northern nomads of the time was the same.
But he said that "Saka language" of Khotan has nothing to do with Nomadic Sakas.
Hmmm I see.
Hmmm... If we had enough linguistic evidence we probably wouldn't discuss this question now.
I mean, did anyone make a comparison of Scythian, Saka and Sarmatian words recorded in various sources?
And he also mentioned that only Turkic tribes preserved the name "Saka," like for example in Sakha (Yakut) case.
I wonder if a connection between the Sakha and the Saka really exists?
nah he didn't said that, he said that Sauromatae spoke a related language, not the same. that means if we can trace either one language, we can say that the other one belonged to the same group.
Ok, this is what he wrote:
"The language of the Sauromatae is Scythian, but not spoken in its ancient purity, since the Amazons never learned it correctly."
It talks about the haplogroup DNA of the Scythian here:
The Central Asian branch
An early group of R1b1b people is thought to have migrated from Caspian Sea region to Central Asia, where it evolved into the R1b1b1 (M73) branch. This variety of R1b occurs almost exclusively in very specific Central Asian populations. The highest percentages were observed among the Uyghurs (20%) of Xinjiang in north-west China, the Hazara people of Afghanistan (32%), and the Bashkirs (55%) of the Abzelilovsky district of Bashkortostan in Russia (border of Kazakhstan).
Central Asian R1b1b1 could correspond to the Tocharian branch of the Indo-Europeans. It is possible that the Tocharians split from the main R1b body as early as 7,000 BCE. Over the centuries some groups of these nomadic tribes ended up around the southern Urals, others in the Tarim Basin (Xinjiang) or in southern Central Asia. Another theory is that a group of early horse riders from the Repin culture (3700-3300 BCE) migrated from the Don-Volga region to the Altai mountain, founding the Afanasevo culture (c. 3600-2400 BCE), then moved south to the Tarim Basin.
Mummies of fair-haired Caucasian people were found in the Tarim Basin, the oldest of which date back to 1800 BCE. The modern inhabitants of the Tarim Basin, the Uyghurs, belong both to this R1b-M73 subclade (about 20%) and to R1a1 (about 30%). This could mean that they had become a hybrid R1b-R1a society by the time they reached the Tarim Basin. But R1a1 could also have arrived independently during the later Indo-Iranian migrations (approx. 2000 BCE), or much later through some nomadic Scytho-Iranian tribes (after 700 BCE).
Scythian possessed the R1a1 type and probably Iranic in origin.