Ancient Steppe civilisation

4 Oct 2010

The Daily Mail and the Sunday Times and various other papers have printed a story about the discovery of swastikas and Aryans with the implication, this is where they originated - in southern Siberia? See also www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/unearthed-aryan-cities-rewrite-history/story-e6frg6so-1225933563131  which outlines the story more fully, beginning with the discovery of Bronze Age settlements in Russian and Kazakhstan dating back 3500 to 4000 years ago. It is of course journalistic over-reaction and deliberate sensationalism as nobody as yet knows when the Arans entered India, let alone from where they might have originated - although it is generally assumed they came from the steppe zone. The journalists appear to have been fed some speculative archaeological interpretations of what has been found as the report goes on to claim the cities (?) resembled the city states of Greece - and we all know the Aryans reached the Aegean. It is being suggestedd these were cities of the Aryans and for some reason they left this region and moved south into Mesopotamia and India, and west into Europe - and the horse was an important part of that culture, as well as cattle herding and horse burials and various other things. The swastika is just one symbol associated with the Aryans - but the swastika is found all around the world and is clearly a rotating object such as a meteoroid or comet. It has got nothing to do with the Sun because the Sun does not rotate in a rapid fashion. Somewhere involved in this story is the BBC. British historian Bettany Hughes has spent the summer in the region as she is making a programme for the BBC, with the title, Tracking the Aryans' - so it seems this is where the bumph has come from. What has actually been found are some 50 or so settlement sites along the border between Russia and Kazakhstan, where they had been buried and hidden under grassland for thousands of years. Aerial photography was used to locate them but excavations are at a fairly early stage. So what has been found? The sites were laid out in a spiral street plan - described as like an ammonite shell but clearly a series of concentric rings, a design that reappers quite commonly in various parts of the world (at Durringto Walls for example, or Windmill Hill near Avebury). Pieces of pottery have turned up with symbols which include the swastika - representing a gyrating cosmic body. What Hitler has to do with it is anyone's guess - but I suppose the BBC have their reasons. The sites have provisionally been dated between 2000 and 1500BC so I suppose it is possible there was a connection with the Aryans - but strictly, these are the people that entered India and their point of entry could have been as early as 2000BC (at the same time these sites were thriving in southern Siberia). Supposing the Aryans entered India around 1500BC, or as late as 1200BC, there may well be a connection - but what is the justification of hyping the word Aryan? The actuality of these settlements is more interesting than anything the BBC might deduce as they appear shortly after the confusion between 2300 and 2000BC where there is plenty of evidence of folk migrations over wide geographical areas - and these settlements should be seen in the light of that disruption. The more interesting question is - where did these people originate? The most likely explanation is somewhere in Europe as Bronze Age horsemen moved as far east as the borders of China.