Talk:Bactria–Margiana Archaeological Complex

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He Who created the name "Oxus civilisation" for the BMAC? I've never heard it before. The BMAC is often called "Oasenkultur" in Germany, though. --Bender235 08:40, 9 August 2005 (UTC)


you mean who created it? I don't know, but a google search shows it has reasonable currency. The Oxus is the Amu Darya river, which fits quite, geographically. dab () 08:56, 9 August 2005 (UTC)
Sorry, of course I meant "Who" instead of "He". I know the Amu Darya was named Oxus in ancient times, but who established that name "Oxus civilisation" for the BMAC? --Bender235 15:40, 9 August 2005 (UTC)

stone seal with geometric markings[edit]

"The discovery of a single tiny stone seal with geometric markings from a BMAC site in Turkmenistan in 2001" .. anyone know where I can find an image? It would be good to add to the article if possible. prat (talk) 12:21, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

Do a search for "Anau seal" and you will find an image. — Preceding unsigned comment added by KelvinW 344 (talkcontribs) 19:53, 20 January 2011 (UTC)

But what of Comrade Tolstov?[edit]

The Soviet Encyclopedia, vol. II, p. 249, states that Sergei Pavlovich Tolstov discovered sites in the "BMAC" area, and that work was carried out on them from 1938. Tolstov wrote many books and papers, one from 1948 referring to Uzbekistan antiquities--see for his works.

Did Tolstov only find later levels of remains, or did he really scoop Viktor I. Sarianidi?

Terry J. Carter (talk) 21:12, 28 January 2009 (UTC)

Purblind scholarship[edit]

Was Sukumar Sen's suggestion that Rama Margaveya of the Aitareya Brahmana was a namesake of Rama Dasarathi deleted because it was written by an Indian and it is not familiar to the western pundits? Or was it due to the clout of the so-called Hindutva lobby which swears by an Ayodhya in U.P.? The editors of the Wikipedia have an onerous task, for without editing and deletion the Wikipedia would be reduced to a rubbish heap. But an editor needs to be not only more broad-based but also well-informed. I do not think the present editor has even heard of the name of Ram-sin. The crucial data relating to the Syaparnas and Rama Margaveya can be scoffed at by only those addicted to Harvard gruel. This is abuse of authority. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Mejda (talkcontribs) 04:07, 7 January 2010 (UTC)

—Preceding unsigned comment added by Mejda (talkcontribs) 04:22, 7 January 2010 (UTC)

Goat remains at Djeitun[edit]

I don't see Djeitun referenced in this article, but another article, History of Turkmenistan#Ancient history pipes "finds at Djeitun and Gonur Tepe" to here. I found information here [1] for the Goat article that puts Djeitun as one of the locations at which goat remains were found, pegging very early domestication of the animal here. I know very little about Turkmenistan. Is Djeitun part of this Bactria-Margiana complex, and if so, could someone weave it in here where it belongs? I also placed a redlink on the occurence of the word Djeitun at Turkmen people#history so if someone is really game, a separate article would be just great! duff 21:52, 21 July 2010 (UTC)

B.B. Lal is not a reliable source[edit]

It is Hindu Nationalist material that seeks to deny the evidence (including genetic sequencing) for Aryans entering Indus Valley from outside for political reasons. At most, articles in this field of study should all include a reference to Hindu Nationalism and its pet theories, but do not let it confuse the discussion. (talk) 07:01, 23 June 2014 (UTC)

BB Lal is a respected archaeologist who served as a director on the Archaeological Survey of India and worked under Mortimer Wheeler. His work helped further understanding the archaeology of various Indus Valley sites. So you ought to contemplate before making invective remarks against a well decorated scholar who has none of the strawman ties with Hindu Nationalist groups that you are trying to invent and disingenuously propagate. On a side note it is interesting how you expose your own POV pushing remarks in your unwarranted and misinformed assault. I think you might want to believe your own pet theories about bronze age migration patterns, but all that genetic sequencing has done to show about the demographics of India is that R1a1 and J2M410 are found in fairly large quantities in the northern part of India and that other groups in the South have J2M410 and other genes in increasingly larger quantities while the gradient of R1a1 decreases. And besides if you actually knew anything about the genetic situation you would understand that R1a*, the direct predecessor to R1a1 has its suspected location of origin in Iran which simply suggests a West Asian genetic component that branched into different subgroups before coming into India as a result of diffusion from Neolithic times. So read a little bit and do a little research before attacking archaeologists and other experts whose opinions need to be regarded as per Wikipedia policyGrathmy (talk) 14:50, 14 November 2014 (UTC)

Note that Grathmy sneakily added the adjective "tedious" to describe Mallory's "Kulturkugel" theory (and removed "Indo-Iranians", replacing it with "migrants", again sneakily, because this is not a grammar fix either). This theory is inconvenient for Lal's view as it provides a plausible explanation for the limited non-linguistic, especially material-cultural, evidence for the posited Indo-Iranian origin in the Andronovo culture. (Compare the intrusion of Turkic peoples from the steppes in the medieval period.) Therefore, I have strong doubts in the good faith of Grathmy and have reason to believe he is strongly biased against Mallory and in favour of Lal. This edit makes his criticism of the IP user come across as very hypocritical. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 22:01, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
I will also note that Grathmy's genetic argument does not convince at all. The articles about R1a and R1a1 note that the precise origin of both clades is unclear and disputed, and certainly cannot be pinned down as precisely as Iran. While an origin in the steppes cannot be proved either, the distribution of R1a1 in particular fits the Kurgan model excellently as the area coincides well with the reconstructible spread of Indo-European languages in the Late Bronze Age (prior to the Iron-Age Celtic expansion in Western Europe, that is).
That Mallory's theory, or linguistic but not material-cultural assimilation in general, is plausible can be shown from such parallels as in Mexico, where indigenous languages have been more and more marginalised ever since the coming of the Europeans, but genetically and culturally (regarding traditional/"low"/rural/folk culture, most obviously in the cuisine), the population remains strongly indigenous (most Mexicans being Mestizo with Mexican Spanish as their only native language), compare Mestizos in Mexico. Similarly, in Morocco, and to a lesser but still considerable extent in Algeria, Tunisia and Libya as well, the Berber (and other pre-conquest non-Arab) contribution to culture and genetics is high despite the linguistic (but at least in Morocco not necessarily also ethnic) Arab identity of the majority of inhabitants (though a Berber substratum is conspicuous in the local Arabic dialects), see Arabized Berber. Or compare Anatolia, where the Turkish-speaking local population has culturally and genetically far more in common with Western Asia and Southeastern Europe than with Central Asia. Material-culture-based archaeology can also only show continuity there and cannot prove an intrusion from Central Asia at all, even though historical records do show such a migration. Hungary, Nepal, Scotland ... the examples can be multiplied. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 22:47, 31 May 2015 (UTC)
I guess that his other edits have to be checked also. Thanks for your alertneess! Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 04:31, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

Why? Because he doesn't agree with JP Mallory's predetermined, and ultimately ill-fated, notions in support of Aryan invasion theory? In late 2014, population geneticists (Underhill, 2014), brought forth compelling evidence that Haplogroup R-M420 (as well as a range of descendant groups), long believed to be a marker reflecting Aryan invasion into India, in fact originated on the Iranian plateau. More importantly, in 2013 an Iranian-Italian team of archaeologist discovered a range of material clearly associated with BMAC, at the N.E Iranian site of Chalow, dating back to between 4200-3700 BC, indicating either BMAC was the product of received influences from an independent North-East Iranian culture (more generally supporting Viktor Sarianidi position, for a 'western' origin of BMAC), or alternatively, that BMAC is inclusive of these North-East Iranian sites. (Link to discovered BMAC Site in North East Iran). With our current state of evidences, only one who is indulged in a deep state of ethno-centric, self-delusion (eg. Florian Blaschke), could dismiss the hypothesis that there was a substantial genetic and/or cultural influence of Iranians on the eastern root of either PIE or IE. (talk) 17:00, 12 June 2015 (UTC)

The "Aryan invasion theory" is a strawman pushed by Hindutvas, Panturkists and other nationalists/"racialists". The Pontic steppe is far away from Scandinavia and Germany (the Germanic homeland), where the Nazis put the Indo-European (mislabelled as Aryan) Urheimat, so support for the Kurgan theory by Germans obviously cannot have anything to do with ethnocentrism, while Hindutvas and Panturkists are ethnocentric to the core and – unlike the Kurgan theory, which was developped by a leftist feminist – inspired by Nazism and fascism respectively (the stupid and hypocrisy, it burns). Your accusation against me backfires big time. Try again. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 16:20, 2 July 2015 (UTC)
Also, the genetic argument adduced by the IP is a red herring, as it concerns Haplogroup R1a, the ancestral clade of the supposedly Proto-Indo-European marker Haplogroup R1a1; the origins of R1a are not immediately relevant to Indo-European origins. At best this may mean that more distant ancestors of the Proto-Indo-Europeans themselves came from the Iranian Highland in a far earlier period, which is hardly surprising given that Europe was colonised from Western Asia in the last glacial period. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 16:47, 2 July 2015 (UTC)

How anyone in light of the extensive data on R1a distribution on the Iranian plateau, and vicinity (Underhill et. al., 2014), could refute an Iranian origin, at least as being highly plausible, is beyond me. Perhaps, only through a mastery of that self-delusion. I have reverted to a version that respects notable objections, including that by B.B Lal. (talk) 18:12, 2 July 2015 (UTC)

Take heed of those boomerangs. Genes don't talk. There is no indication that R1a is connected with the Indo-European expansion specifically. It's too old to be plausibly linked with an expansion starting at the end of the Neolithic at the earliest. It's the R1a1 subclade that's normally linked with Indo-Europeans. Also, according to the usual thinking, 4200–3700 BC is long before the Amu-Darya region was Indo-Europeanised, so this other evidence is irrelevant as well (unless you backdate everything implausibly far into the past). Nobody denies that the BMAC was originally a culture of local origin (most probably non-Indo-European originally, but later, from ca. 2000 BC, they mixed with Indo-European immigrants). So you would expect that the origin of the BMAC is in the Iranian Highland or Central Asia. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 18:45, 2 July 2015 (UTC)


@Florian Blaschke, Paul Barlow, and Krakkos: can you please take a look at this IP's additions and my revert? This doesn't look like a new user, and it's definitely POV-pushing, but I'm not sure about the details. Thanks, Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 05:02, 2 July 2015 (UTC)

He seems to have simply reverted to a previous version, but I don't know which one. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 06:12, 2 July 2015 (UTC)
Ah yes, Krakkos reverted this before. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 06:14, 2 July 2015 (UTC)
And it was added by Grathmy. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 06:15, 2 July 2015 (UTC)

Witzel's "would require"[edit]

The following passage, added by Grathmy and some supporting editors (who may all be the same person, I guess), intrigued me:

"The loan words related to local fauna and agriculture is opined by Witzel to indicate acculturation to settled life. However, Michael Witzel asserts that his theory on supposed loans "would require far more intimate relationships between the Andronovo and the Bactrian Margiana complex than the existing distribution of 'mutually exclusive material culture would permit'" (source:Michael Witzel, Linguistic Evidence for Cultural Exchange in Prehistoric Western Central Asia, Sino-Platonic Papers, no. 129 (December 2003).)

Witzel is actually quoting Mallory here, a fact that's being omitted; and he comes with a supplement, which is also being omitted:

"However, the question that has not been put yet is: exactly when should the extensive exchange as seen in the BMAC loan words in Vedic and OIran. have taken place? The steppe pottery found in the BMAC (see n.196, 197) may just reflect the forerunners (no horses!) of a more massive IA influx at the end of the BMAC, around 1600 BCE. While LambergKarlovsky (2002) is still looking for a model of such cultural change, the actual state of affairs may be still have been remembered in and is reflected by the conservative poetry of the RV."

So, a clear case of misleading editing. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 04:48, 3 July 2015 (UTC)

And: Witzel is referring to
"incoming steppe people with Andronovo cultural traits [who] must have shed many of these characteristics [c.q. "cultural traits"] in the greater BMAC area before moving on" [...] "[this] would require far more intimate relationships between the Andronovo and the Bactrian Margiana complex than the existing distribution of 'mutually exclusive material culture would permit'".
Quite a difference. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 13:26, 3 July 2015 (UTC)

B.B. Lal[edit]

I've removed twice diff diff this piece of "info":

"The Indian archaeologist B. B. Lal has seriously questioned the BMAC and Indo-Iranian connection, and disputed the proclaimed relations. Source: Lal, B. B. (2013). "Let not the 19th century paradigms continue to haunt us!". In Dennys Frenez; Maurizio Tosi. South Asian Archaeology 2007: Volume I – Prehistoric Periods - Proceedings of the 19th International Conference of the European Association of South Asian Archaeology Ravenna, Italy, 2-6 July 2007. ISBN 9781407310626."

The source in question is not a serious questioning of the BMAc and Indo-Iranian connection; it's a rejection of the IAmt, presented as the well-known strawman of the "Aryan Invasion Theory." The title is telling: To Revert to the Theory of ‘Aryan Invasion’. It shouldn't be necessary to repeat, but let's do so:

"On Lal's The Saraswati Flows on (2002), Farmer, Sproat & Witzel commented "one popular book strongly infuenced by Hindutva ideas" (S Farmer, R Sproat, M Witzel (2004), The collapse of the Indus-script thesis: The myth of a literate Harappan civilization, Electronic Journal of Vedic Studies, 2004."

The site itself also hosts authors like Michel Danino. So far for the reliability of both the author and the host. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 16:20, 25 February 2016 (UTC)

The order of the links[edit]

"Bactria was the Greek name for the area of Bactra (modern Balkh), and Margiana was the Greek name for the Persian satrapy of Margiana"

In the first part, the first instance of the name is linked, whereas in the second part, the second instance of the respective name is linked. Should it be corrected? Or is there some underlying logic to it?--Adûnâi (talk) 13:03, 25 February 2017 (UTC)

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