Template talk:Ancient history

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Olmecs : Had a developed writing system between 1200 to 300 BC (Olmec#Writing).

Mayans : Had a developed writing system between 300 BC to AD 500 (Maya script).

... more at: Mesoamerican writing systems ...

J. D. Redding 19:29, 15 July 2008 (UTC)

The amount of kingdoms in template is overwhelming[edit]

Is there such thing as a template having too many things? Because its gotten to the point of ridiculousness to how many kingdoms there are. This template isn't supposed to be an entire Wikipedia article of every kingdom in existence, only the noteworthy ones to start with. Does anyone feel the same way? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 73.15.114.246 (talk) 06:02, 19 April 2018 (UTC)

Absolutely, this is just toooooo long! The solution is to remove it. Johnbod (talk) 01:17, 29 April 2018 (UTC)
Restored to a usable version where the links lead to patented articles with more links.--Moxy (talk) 01:43, 29 April 2018 (UTC)
Thanks! Johnbod (talk) 01:45, 29 April 2018 (UTC)
I still think that Mesoamerica and the Andean Civilizations should have been kept. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 73.15.114.246 (talk) 23:19, 1 May 2018 (UTC)

'Followed by'[edit]

I have changed the follow by link to go to the Post-classical history article as that has a global focus rather than the Middle Ages which is for Europe only. -Sunriseshore — Preceding unsigned comment added by Sunriseshore (talkcontribs) 17:46, 20 May 2018 (UTC)

Error in labels[edit]

The term 'Pontic steppes' only applies to the steppes north of the Black Sea. I have replaced the label with 'Eurasian steppes' which is the appropriate descriptor for all the cultures listed below it. (gnanvit (talk) 09:46, 26 May 2018 (UTC))

Sardinia[edit]

Might I add the civilization of the ancient Sardinians?Dk1919 (talk) 17:04, 5 June 2018 (UTC)

West Africa and Oceania[edit]

I added West African and Oceania into this template to give it a more complete representation of ancient cultures all over the world.

Every little article linked[edit]

is there any way we can get this IP editor here..... can't spam every related article in this template. I think it's best we just lock it up for now.--Moxy (talk) 00:26, 18 November 2018 (UTC)
I am here and willing to have a conversation about this. I am the one who made the first subsection in the talk page.  — Preceding unsigned comment added by 73.15.114.246 (talk) 00:29, 18 November 2018 (UTC) 

Europe[edit]

Hello Gnanvit, I have added a unique subsection for Europe in the template. I hope this is a sufficient compromise to our dispute. I also added a few new significant cultures to the new subsection if that's alright with you. Regards 73.15.114.246 —Preceding undated comment added 21:47, 11 January 2019 (UTC)

Yes that's quite welcome. (gnanvit (talk) 07:21, 12 January 2019 (UTC))

Editing Oceania and Mississippi[edit]

The Oceania subsection of the template is a little messy and some cultures are more prevalent to Southeast Asia as opposed to Oceania. I want to make a few edits to clean it up a little and improve it's overall quality. I also want to include the Puebloans to the Missisippi subsection as they were also a prominent advanced Native American civilization. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 73.15.114.246 (talk) 06:25, 12 January 2019 (UTC)

Can we make the following changes?[edit]

Eurasian steppe : Add Xiongnu, Remove Tocharians (as they are medieval and also not even on the Eurasian steppe proper), Remove Khazars (they are covered under Turks). Scythians, Saka and Sarmatians are all Indo-Iranian. But I don't know if they are adequately covered in the Indo-Iranian article.

Overall, I think the present structure and categorization of the template cannot be feasible in the long run. Because it covers a large time period right from the Bronze Age to the Migration Period.

Please let me know what you think. (gnanvit (talk) 06:34, 13 January 2019 (UTC))

Hello gnanvit, Xiongnu is covered under Mongolia so it wouldn't make sense to include them again. The Tocharians were among the earliest Indo-Europeans to have split from the main Proto-Indo-European peoples and were the founders of the Afansevo culture (far before the medieval period). Tocharians still lived in the steppes for a very long time before migrating to the Tarim Basin. This is why I replaced the Afansevo culture with Tocharians as I thought the latter would be more broad. The Indo-Iranians were an older and distinct peoples that formed the Sintasha and Andonovo archeological cultures and were the last common ancestor of both the Indic peoples and Iranian peoples. The purely Iranian Scythian, Saka, and Sarmatian peoples were all distinct cultures in their own right, but I also kept them on the template because I couldn't find a good article that covered only the Iranian peoples of the steppe. As for the Khazars, they were a significant state in their own right which is why I kept them on the article (similar to how both the Hittites and Anatolians are on the template). It didn't feel right to remove them given how significant they were in the region though I ultimately agreed with your assessment. As for the Xionites, nobody's entirely sure where they were originally from or what ethnicity they were. They didn't fit into any other subcategory so I kept them in the template. I hope my explanations helped. User:73.15.114.246 (talk)

@73.15.114.246 "Xiongnu is covered under Mongolia so it wouldn't make sense to include them again." : Xiongnu belong to the Eurasian steppe. They are the first Eastern steppe confederation as described in their article, so that makes them really important. Also what's the purpose of having a Eurasian steppe category if you are not going to make the difference between a Mongolian (steppe) culture and an East Asian culture (like China)? So I support having them there since we are anyway including little known cultures like the Xionites.
"Tocharians still lived in the steppes for a very long time before migrating to the Tarim Basin." : I think you are probably referring to the Afanasevo culture, whose link to the medieval Tocharians is not exactly clear. I'm ok with including Afanasevo culture in the list, but they are already covered under Proto Indo-Europeans.
I don't have a problem with including Tocharians, but as pointed out previously, they lived in the post-Classical age in the Tarim basin, not on the steppe. But Xiongnu should be a definite keep. Hope this answered your objections. (gnanvit (talk) 06:40, 15 January 2019 (UTC))

@ gnanvit. Mongolia has expansive and rich history, unfortunately it's boundaries doesn't include significant cultures from the central or western steppe regions. This is probably why a Eurasian Steppe category was necessary. Also Mongolia is usually considered to be part of the East Asian sphere of influence hence probably why its included under East Asia. We also don't want to go overboard with adding every single significant state as that would risk the template of becoming too cluttered. I was having an earlier dispute with another user for exactly this reason. In response to that, I have tried to clean this template and simplify as efficiently as I could while at the same time trying not to miss significant peoples. Simplification is not always possible however as there might not be a sufficient Wikipedia article to cover a group of similar cultures, for example in the case of the Iranian peoples of the steppes which I mentioned in my last response. It's a sort of balancing act in a way. In the case for the Tocharians, I have already given you my reason to why I replaced the Afanasevo culture with it. I think it makes the most sense that the proto-Tocharians were the Afanasevo culture. Though honestly I would be fine as long as one of them stayed on the template. I was trying to remove archeological cultures and replacing them with their ethno-linguistic counterparts as I thought that this specific format style would be more consistent with the rest of the template. Also it saves a lot of space. I hope my explanations make sense to you. If you have any more questions please don't hesitate to ask. User:73.15.114.246 (talk)

@73.15.114.246 As I was saying, Xiongnu is definitely notable and I support replacing Xionites with them, if you want to keep the template uncluttered. And I just noticed Xionites are covered under Huns.
Indo-Iranians, Saka, Scythians have a lot of overlap, so why don't we take off one of them to create space? (gnanvit (talk) 08:47, 15 January 2019 (UTC))

@ gnanvit. As I've stated already Xiongnu is already covered under Mongolia. They never left the East Asian sphere of influence. They weren't even the earliest recorded confederation in the eastern steppe region. That honor would go to the Yuezhi which is also covered under Mongolia. The Sakas and the Scythians were distinctly Iranian groups not Indo-Iranians which are an earlier and seperate group, so removing one over the other doesn't make any sense. The reason the Xionites are in the template was because how consequential they were to Persian and Indian history (i.e Sassanian decline and Buddhist decline in India). I do see your point about the Xionites possibly being considered related to the Huns, though in my thought process, the Huns were more specific to the Pontic steppe region while the Xionites were specific to the central steppe region. If you absolutely have to have the Xionites removed from the template, it would make a lot more sense to replace them with the Yuezhi who actually migrated to the central steppe and later became the Kushans. User:73.15.114.246 (talk)

Ok, I see where you are coming from, but allow me to explain my thought process. For one, the template already includes a lot of cultures which shouldn't be there. Proto Indo-Europeans are not part of recorded ancient history. But since we are keeping PIE, we should be careful not to let the steppe section become all about Indo-Europeans. Both Proto-Tocharians (the steppe ancestors of the medieval Tocharians like you say) and early Indo-Iranians are well covered under various sections in this article so I see no reason for having separate items for them. On the other hand, many eastern steppe cultures (like Xiongnu) that are the ancestors of steppe tribes like the Huns and Turks which play a key role in Classical history are not covered. So I think it's fair to seek a more balanced coverage of topics under the steppe section. (gnanvit (talk) 13:25, 15 January 2019 (UTC))
And I obviously disagree about including Mongols under the East Asian cultural sphere, but so be it. I think the steppe is its own cultural sphere which is why it merits a separate heading (gnanvit (talk) 13:25, 15 January 2019 (UTC))

@ gnanvit. In the future please wait for my response before trying to significantly alter this template. I may not agree with your changes. If it will lessen the confusion for you, it might be necessary to change the name of "Eurasian Steppe" to just "Central Asia". Just because some cultures occurred before there was written language in the area doesn't mean they aren't a part of Ancient History (3500BC - 500/600CE), as the Proto-Indo Europeans were contemporaries to the early Sumerians, Egyptians and Harappans. For example every single one of the cultures shown under Andes were prominent well before there was recorded history in the region however they are still considered to be a part of ancient history. The same can be said about the majority of cultures under Mesoamerica as well. I don't want to sound like a broken record but just because the Scythian and Sarmatians lived in the same area as the Indo-Iranians did thousands of years prior does not mean that they were the Indo-Iranians who are a separate earlier group, I cannot stress that enough. The Proto-Indo Europeans (who specifically domesticated the horse) are an even more ancient peoples but they were different and distinct from from the later Indo-Iranians (who specifically invented the chariot). Saying that Indo-Iranians shouldn't be included because they are covered under Proto-Indo Europeans is like saying France shouldn't be included because they came from the Romans. Just because the the French came from the Romans doesn't mean they are the same peoples. Do you see what I mean? And let me stress again that when I refer to the Proto-Indo Europeans and Indo-Iranians I am not talking about language families, I am talking about specifically the specific historical peoples themselves that spoke the Proto-Indo European language (Yamanaya culture) and the newer but separate group that spoke Proto-Indo-Iranian (Sintashta and Andronovo). I would prefer if the Scythians, Sarmatians, and Sakas were compressed into a single Iranian steppe link but as I have already stated, there isn't a good wikipedia article that is specific to Eastern Iranians. Also classical antiquity you keep referring to is specific to only the Greco-Roman world. This does not apply to places in East Asia or South Asia which have their own unique classical era defintions. Because of this discrepancy, the "classical era" is usually just lumped into Ancient history like you see in this template and the article about it itself. Ancient History is however far more universal just as long as the cultures in question were prominent between the 3500 BC and 500/600 CE range. The Xiongnu were not an ethnic group but were a confederation of proto-Mongolic and Proto-Turkic tribes. Please look at the Mongolia link. The Xiongnu are literally the first people the article talks into depth about. So it is unnecessary to include them in the template again. The Huns were an ethnically and linguistically ambiguous group of peoples so it wouldn't be fair to link them to Turks when no such connection has been proven. Also the main problem with your article is that it is not specific to the Eurasian Steppes as it also encompasses cultures deep into Europe and South Asia as well. Also I don't see why you have such an issue with the Eurasian Steppe containing mostly Indo-European (specifically Satem) cultures. They dominated the Eurasian Steppe for most of ancient history, that's just a fact. They didn't become supplanted by the Turks until just right before the Medieval period. User:73.15.114.246 (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 19:57, 15 January 2019 (UTC)

@User:73.15.114.246 Fair enough, I admit to a misunderstanding about the time scope of the template. But my objections to the inclusion of Tocharian still stand. The Ancient History article defines itself as such : "Ancient History covers all continents inhabited by humans in the 3,000 BC – 500 AD period.". From the Tocharians article,
"The Tocharians or Tokharians (/təˈkɛəriənz/ or /təˈkɑːriənz/) were Indo-European peoples who inhabited the medieval oasis city-states on the northern edge of the Tarim Basin (modern Xinjiang, China) in ancient times."
"The Tocharian languages, a branch of the Indo-European family, are known from manuscripts from the 6th to 8th centuries AD.".
So two clear contradictions there and I'm going to have to remove that item from the list. You are free to insert the hypothetical Pre-Tocharian cultures (such as Afanasevo) if you wish, like you yourself agreed to in a previous comment, but keep in mind that that would amount to overcrowding an already cluttered template and that Pre-Tocharians are covered under the Proto Indo-European article.
As a further note, I wish to clarify that my good faith edits are only meant to prevent the steppe part of the template from becoming one-dimensional in its focus on Indo-European cultures and give space to Turkic and other tribes that played a major role in antiquity. We are required to discuss and reach a consensus on the talk page, on parts that we obviously don't agree on. The Eastern Steppe is also part of the Eurasian Steppe and we can't ignore cultures there. The fact that Xiongnu is included in the History of Mongolia article doesn't mean they are not to be included here. The Xiongnu are the first major eastern steppe confederation and are proposed as the probable ancestors (or at least the precursors) of not just Mongols, but many antique steppe tribes including the Huns and Avars. (gnanvit (talk) 05:19, 16 January 2019 (UTC))

@ gnanvit When it comes to Mongolia, I'll admit it's kind of a gray area as there are significant amounts of both Scytho-Siberian and Chinese influences in the region. The main reason Mongolia is placed in East Asia is because geographically speaking it's considered to be part of East Asia as can be seen by the article. Though it is also true that Mongolia can be considered a part of Eurasian Steppe region. The reason why I am against including states like the Xiongnu, Xianbei, Rouran etc. in the template is because the Mongolia article goes into them in great detail anyways. The Mongolia article is of high quality specifically because of how thorough it is. I'll state again that the Xiongnu is literally the first thing covered in the article so i'm not really understanding your concerns about Xiongnu not being included when it clearly is. The Mongolia link covers the history of the geographical region of Mongolia, not just exclusively the Mongolian peoples. Unfortunately I could not find articles of similar quality on the general history on other parts of the steppe (i.e Eastern Iranian peoples). This is why the several cultures themselves from other parts of the steppe are included in the template for now, at least until a high quality all encompassing article related to them as a group is developed in the future. If you would rather have the Mongolia link under Eurasian Steppe rather than East Asia, go for it. Mongolia being in either of them would still technically be correct.

With respect to the Tocharians, the line you provided "The Tocharian languages, a branch of the Indo-European family, are known from manuscripts from the 6th to 8th centuries AD." isn't sourced in the article. The Tocharians were in Chinese records long before the 6th century. I will give you sourced lines from the same article proving my point. "The first record of the oasis states is found in Chinese histories. The Book of Han lists 36 statelets in the Tarim basin in the last two centuries BC.[1] These oases served as waystations on the trade routes forming part of the Silk Road passing along the northern and southern edges of the Taklamakan desert.[2] The largest were Kucha with 81,000 inhabitants and Agni (Yanqi or Karashar) with 32,000.[3] Chinese histories give no evidence of ethnic changes in these cities between that time and the period of the Tocharian manuscripts from these sites.[4] Situated on the northern edge of the Tarim, these small urban societies were overshadowed by nomadic peoples to the north and Chinese empires to the east. They conceded tributary relations with the larger powers when required, and acted independently when they could.[5]".

The Huns as I've previously stated well as the Avars you have now mentioned are of unknown ethnicities and origins so it wouldn't be fair to claim them to being decenants or influenced by either the Mongols, Turks or even the Xiongnu as can be stated by my sources.[6][7][8][9]<ref name="Kyzlasov">Kyzlasov 1996, p. 322:"The Juan-Juan state was undoubtedly multi-ethnic, but there is no definite evidence as to their language

User:73.15.114.246 (talk)

"With respect to the Tocharians, the line you provided "The Tocharian languages, a branch of the Indo-European family, are known from manuscripts from the 6th to 8th centuries AD." isn't sourced in the article. The Tocharians were in Chinese records long before the 6th century. I will give you sourced lines from the same article proving my point. "The first record of the oasis states is found in Chinese histories. The Book of Han lists 36 statelets in the Tarim basin in the last two centuries BC.[1] These oases served as waystations on the trade routes forming part of the Silk Road passing along the northern and southern edges of the Taklamakan desert.[2] The largest were Kucha with 81,000 inhabitants and Agni (Yanqi or Karashar) with 32,000.[3] Chinese histories give no evidence of ethnic changes in these cities between that time and the period of the Tocharian manuscripts from these sites.[4] Situated on the northern edge of the Tarim, these small urban societies were overshadowed by nomadic peoples to the north and Chinese empires to the east. They conceded tributary relations with the larger powers when required, and acted independently when they could.[5]".
That's a lot of WP:SPECULATION and WP:SYNTHESIS which cannot be the basis for this claim. Also it's besides the point anyway since the Tarim basin is not in the steppe, which you yourself admitted a few comments above. The hypothetical ancestors of the Tocharians who probably came from the steppe are covered in the article on Proto Indo-Europeans.
My major issue, as I stated before is in seeing no representation for the eastern Eurasian steppes. This was ok some time ago, when the section was titled Pontic-Caspian steppe, but clearly is not OK and biased for the current title. I will repeat, the Xiongnu are clearly an important eastern steppe confederation. They and the Rouran Khaganate played a major role in the events of the template time period, so I don't understand your rationale for excluding these steppe cultures in favor of Tocharians who are not even on the steppe. Hence reverted. (gnanvit (talk) 07:43, 16 January 2019 (UTC))
I don't want to get involved in the specificities of Mongolian history as I don't have the necessary information and this is already consuming a lot of my time (gnanvit (talk) 07:43, 16 January 2019 (UTC))

@ gnanvit With respect to the Tocharians fair point, I will replace them with the Afansevo culture as I have hinted at doing before. But as I recall you the one who changed the article name from "Pontic-Steppe" to "Eurasian Steppe" thus creating the discrepancy (https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Template:Ancient_history&oldid=843021550) in the first place. Also Mongolia was already under East Asia before you made your name change, but that's fine. I will simply move Mongolia to the Eurasian Steppe category to satisfy your concerns. But I will have revert your inclusion of Xiongnu because as I have stated several times already, it is already covered under the Mongolia link. User:73.15.114.246 (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 08:09, 16 January 2019 (UTC)

You are not answering my objections directly, instead going off on tangents about the Mongolian history item. Xiongnu is an ancient steppe culture from the eastern steppes in its own right. They are at least far more important from the perspective of history than Afanasievo, which means it deserves to be included under the steppe section. There is enough information on Afanasievo under Proto Indo-Europeans and from the perspective of history, they are not as important as Xiongnu or Rouran. So I frankly don't understand the obsession here and it just screams WP:BIAS. Ok I'll just add Xiongnu and leave the question of whether to keep/remove Afanasievo to other editors because quite honestly, I think the section needs balanced coverage. Reverting this again might result in a WP:3RR violation (gnanvit (talk) 11:20, 16 January 2019 (UTC))
  1. ^ Mallory & Mair (2000), p. 66.
  2. ^ Millward (2007), p. 6.
  3. ^ Mallory & Mair (2000), pp. 68, 72.
  4. ^ Mallory & Adams (1997), p. 591.
  5. ^ Mallory & Mair (2000), p. 72.
  6. ^ "Avar". Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved May 14, 2015. Avar, one of a people of undetermined origin and language...
  7. ^ Frassetto, Michael (1 January 2003). Encyclopedia of Barbarian Europe: Society in Transformation. ABC-CLIO. pp. 54–55. ISBN 978-1576072639. Retrieved 28 May 2015. The exact origins of the Avars remain uncertain...
  8. ^ Waldman, Carl; Mason, Catherine (2006). Encyclopedia of European Peoples. Infobase Publishing. pp. 46–49. ISBN 978-1-4381-2918-1. Retrieved 5 May 2013.
  9. ^ Beckwith 2009, pp. 390–391: "... the Avars certainly contained peoples belonging to several different ethnolinguistic groups, so that attempts to identify them with one or another specific eastern people are misguided."