Gandhara grave culture

Gandhara grave culture

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The Gandhara grave culture emerged ca. 1600 BC, and flourished in Gandhara
Gandhara
Gandhāra , is the name of an ancient kingdom , located in northern Pakistan and eastern Afghanistan. Gandhara was located mainly in the vale of Peshawar, the Potohar plateau and on the Kabul River...

, Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

 ca. 1500 BC to 500 BC (i.e. possibly up to the time of Pāṇini).

Relevant finds, artifacts found primarily in graves, were distributed along the banks of the Swat
Lower Swat Valley
The Lower Swat Valley in Swat and Lower Dir Districts in Pakistan is an area of important archeological sites.The lower valley of the Swat River has been occupied for the last 3000 years. The area between Chakdara Bridge and Saidu Sharif is littered with the remains of pre historic Aryan's Gandhara...

 and Dir
Panchkora Valley of Dir
The Panjkora Valley is the valley of the Panjkora River in Lower Dir District, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan.-Archaeology:The Panjkora Valley contains important sites of the Gandhara grave culture....

 rivers in the north, Taxila
Taxila
Taxila is a Tehsil in the Rawalpindi District of Punjab province of Pakistan. It is an important archaeological site.Taxila is situated about northwest of Islamabad Capital Territory and Rawalpindi in Panjab; just off the Grand Trunk Road...

 in the southeast, along the Gomal River
Gomal River
Gomal River is a river in the historical region of Pashtunistan, consisting of areas in Afghanistan and Pakistan, inhabited by the Pashtuns...

 to the south. The pottery finds show clear links with contemporary finds from southern Central Asia
Central Asia
Central Asia is a core region of the Asian continent from the Caspian Sea in the west, China in the east, Afghanistan in the south, and Russia in the north...

 (BMAC) and the Iranian Plateau
Iranian plateau
The Iranian plateau, or Iranic plateau, is a geological formation in Southwest Asia. It is the part of the Eurasian Plate wedged between the Arabian and Indian plates, situated between the Zagros mountains to the west, the Caspian Sea and the Kopet Dag to the north, the Hormuz Strait and Persian...

.

Simply made terracotta figurines were buried with the pottery, and other items are decorated with simple dot designs. Horse
Horse
The horse is one of two extant subspecies of Equus ferus, or the wild horse. It is a single-hooved mammal belonging to the taxonomic family Equidae. The horse has evolved over the past 45 to 55 million years from a small multi-toed creature into the large, single-toed animal of today...

 remains were found in at least one burial.

The Gandhara grave people have been associated by most scholars with early Indo-Aryan
Indo-Aryan languages
The Indo-Aryan languages constitutes a branch of the Indo-Iranian languages, itself a branch of the Indo-European language family...

 speakers, and the Indo-Aryan migration
Indo-Aryan migration
Models of the Indo-Aryan migration discuss scenarios of prehistoric migrations of the proto-Indo-Aryans to their historically attested areas of settlement in the northwest of the Indian subcontinent...

 into South Asia
South Asia
South Asia, also known as Southern Asia, is the southern region of the Asian continent, which comprises the sub-Himalayan countries and, for some authorities , also includes the adjoining countries to the west and the east...

, that, fused with indigenous elements of the remnants of the Indus Valley Civilization
Indus Valley Civilization
The Indus Valley Civilization was a Bronze Age civilization that was located in the northwestern region of the Indian subcontinent, consisting of what is now mainly modern-day Pakistan and northwest India...

 (OCP
Ochre Coloured Pottery culture
The Ochre Coloured Pottery culture , is a 2nd millennium BC Bronze Age culture of the Indo-Gangetic Plain . It is a contemporary to, and a successor of the Indus Valley Civilization. The OCP marks the last stage of the North Indian Bronze Age and is succeeded by the Iron Age black-and-red ware and...

, Cemetery H
Cemetery H culture
The Cemetery H culture developed out of the northern part of the Indus Valley Civilization around 1900 BCE, in and around western Punjab region located in present-day India and Pakistan...

), gave rise to the Vedic civilization.

The Ghandara Grave culture people shared biological affinities with the population of Neolithic Mehrgarh
Mehrgarh
Mehrgarh , one of the most important Neolithic sites in archaeology, lies on the "Kachi plain" of Balochistan, Pakistan...

, which suggests a "biological continuum" between the ancient populations of Timargarha and Mehrgarh
Mehrgarh
Mehrgarh , one of the most important Neolithic sites in archaeology, lies on the "Kachi plain" of Balochistan, Pakistan...

.
This is however not the opinion of Elena E. Kuz'mina which notes remains similar to some from central Asians populations

Asko Parpola (1993: 54), argues that the Gandhara grave culture is "by no means identical with the Bronze Age
Bronze Age
The Bronze Age is a period characterized by the use of copper and its alloy bronze as the chief hard materials in the manufacture of some implements and weapons. Chronologically, it stands between the Stone Age and Iron Age...

 Culture of Bactria
Bactria
Bactria and also appears in the Zend Avesta as Bukhdi. It is the ancient name of a historical region located between south of the Amu Darya and west of the Indus River...

 and Margiana". Tulsa (1977: 690-692) argues that this culture and its "new contributions" are "nevertheless in line with the cultural traditions of the previous period", and remarks that "to attribute a historical value to ... the slender links with northwestern Iran and northern Afghanistan ... is a mistake", since "it could well be the spread of particular objects and, as such, objects that could circulate more easily quite apart from any real contacts." Antonini (1973), Stacul and other scholars argue that this culture is not related with the Beshkent
Beshkent
Beshkent is a village in the Leilek District of Batken Province of Kyrgyzstan....

 culture of Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan , officially the Kyrgyz Republic is one of the world's six independent Turkic states . Located in Central Asia, landlocked and mountainous, Kyrgyzstan is bordered by Kazakhstan to the north, Uzbekistan to the west, Tajikistan to the southwest and China to the east...

 and Vakhsh culture of Tajikistan
Tajikistan
Tajikistan , officially the Republic of Tajikistan , is a mountainous landlocked country in Central Asia. Afghanistan borders it to the south, Uzbekistan to the west, Kyrgyzstan to the north, and China to the east....

 (Bryant 2001).
However, E. Kuz'mina, in her book "The origin of the Indo-iranians, volume 3" (2007) argues the opposite on the basis of both archeology and the human remains from the sepultures.

In the centuries preceding the Gandhara culture, during the Early Harappan period (roughly 3200–2600 BCE), similarities in pottery, seals, figurines, ornaments etc. document intensive caravan trade between South Asia
South Asia
South Asia, also known as Southern Asia, is the southern region of the Asian continent, which comprises the sub-Himalayan countries and, for some authorities , also includes the adjoining countries to the west and the east...

 and Central Asia
Central Asia
Central Asia is a core region of the Asian continent from the Caspian Sea in the west, China in the east, Afghanistan in the south, and Russia in the north...

 and the Iranian plateau
Iranian plateau
The Iranian plateau, or Iranic plateau, is a geological formation in Southwest Asia. It is the part of the Eurasian Plate wedged between the Arabian and Indian plates, situated between the Zagros mountains to the west, the Caspian Sea and the Kopet Dag to the north, the Hormuz Strait and Persian...

.

External links

  • http://pubweb.cc.u-tokai.ac.jp/indus/english/3_1_05.html
  • http://pubweb.cc.u-tokai.ac.jp/indus/english/3_1_01.html
  • http://books.google.com/books?id=x5J9rn8p2-IC&dq=isbn:900416054X&hl=en