Sedentary Iranian and Aryan Civilizations

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by PostHumans of the Avengers Universe, Jul 12, 2019.

  1. PostHumans of the Avengers Universe Posthumans of the Multiverse Banned

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    Greetings folks,
    The Iranian and the Aryan(both subset of the greater Indo-Iranian family) civilizations of OTL have mostly a nomadic root in their founding, probably due to the way they expanded. They expanded, from what it seems most plausible, from the Corded Ware Culture in Northeast Europe into the mostly arid regions of Central Asia, where they parted ways and split into the various groups who migrated and influenced regions from Levant(Mitanni Aryans) in the West to India in the East(Dardic, Gandhara and Vedic Aryans) with the Western Iranian peoples dominating the regions in between and Eastern Iranian peoples dominating the Nomadic regions to the North(Sogdia, Scythia, Sarmatia).

    All these were born mostly out of Nomadic tribes(Medes(ancestors of Kurds), Old Persians, Aryans, Scythians, Sogdians being the prominent and their sub-tribes). Civilizations with a Nomadic root tend to develop in a particular way, which happened in OTL, so in this ATL, I want to experiment how they would grow if they adopted sedentary lifestyle before or just after splitting from the Corded Ware culture.

    Of course, parts to the East of the Caspian(where the Andronavo and Sintashta Culture had their root) aren't suitable to found large Sedentary societies so we need to find greener regions in today's Russia or Caucasus to have them found such an empire. These were people of the White European stock, for the most part and so I want to experiment how the Civilization developments of Russia, Caucasus and the adjacent parts happen and also the Genetic impact on the other regions in the later days and how different would the History unfold in the later days. After establishing themselves strongly in the Southern Russia or the Caucasus, they could enter Iran and Gandhara regions like how they did in OTL and settle the River valleys there and expand into Medea, in the same way.
     
  2. manitobot Well-Known Member

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    Sep 28, 2014
    The Aryans already established a sedentary civilization, when they cultural synthesized with IVC-descendant natives in the Indo-Gangetic Plain.
     
  3. PostHumans of the Avengers Universe Posthumans of the Multiverse Banned

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    I am talking about them doing it soon after they split from the Corded Ware Culture. Even the Persians, Medes, Scythians(from whom descend various populations of Eastern parts of Europe) did but later on. I want to have them do it more early.
     
  4. Dfront21 Well-Known Member

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    Generally speaking, the Pontic-Caspian steppe is more suitable for a nomadic lifestyle.
     
  5. PostHumans of the Avengers Universe Posthumans of the Multiverse Banned

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    I have wondered this often. But why? Pontic regions are the most fertile lands one could find. I agree, to the east of the Caspian would be suitable for Nomadic lifestyle as it was mostly a desert. But North Caucasus and Pontic regions were quite fertile.
     
  6. Dfront21 Well-Known Member

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    Well, there were agricultural settlements, but they were dominated by steppe nomads. Also, while the Sintashta culture partly descended from the Yamnaya, they didn't dominate the region until later. Also, we are not sure if the Sintashta considered themselves to be Arya because they didn't leave any written recordeds. Arya is only later attested to in Vedic, Avestan and Old Persian. But, they probably did because the Scythians and Old Persians were considered kin and the endonym for the Ossetian is Iron, which is cognate with Iran and Aryan.
     
  7. PostHumans of the Avengers Universe Posthumans of the Multiverse Banned

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  8. John7755 يوحنا Lightweight Faqih

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    Dec 30, 2014
    1. It is most likely that the early Iranic arrivals into the plateau of modern Iran were not necessarily nomadic, not in the sense of the later Scytho-Dahae, but are what we would consider to be semi-nomadic. That is, the people practiced small scale sedentary life but upon certain events would move from place to place, or even so would spent a portion of the year in a settlement and then the other part of the year grazing across the land with horses and livestock. This custom is seen today from peoples in the Kwarezm, Iran, and other parts of Central and Western Eurasia, in lands that the Iranic peoples would have passed through at various times. So, my opinion is that, the Iranic peoples were most likely a semi-nomadic people similar to say Early Roman Germanic tribes, but less sedentary than the Celtic Gauls. They would spend portions of the year tending to crops of living in sedentary enclosures and then upon certain events, would leave or revert to more migratory activities, raising horses and other livestock on the move. From what we know, the distant Tocharian-Yuezhi were practitioners of this lifestyle to a more extreme stance, that is, many of them were nomadic or semi-nomadic but a large portion were also urban in the true sense, thus they formed a system that was neither truly urban yet not fully nomadic. Why this formed in the Pontic Steppe is only a guess, I am not so well versed in these topics. Yet, it is also plausible that there was some sort of aversion to continual sedentary living, we know of cultures near the Pontic Steppe west of the Dnieper, that had a custom of burning their large towns every 20 years or so and then moving to a new location and starting over. This is a radical example, but perhaps the peoples of the Pontic Steppe held this custom in the region to a lesser extent?

    2. With that said, the Iranic peoples were already somewhat sedentary by the 10th century BCE in the plateau of Iran and even earlier when they reached their synthesis with the IVC in the Indo-Gangetic plains. For instance, as scholars of Elam will tell you, the Persianization or Aryanization of the lands east of the Zagros, was both gradual but also rapid. It did not occur with decisive conquests, but with a series of counter habitation. Pottery from the Neo-Elamite empire, on its eastern fringes show Persian pottery and so forth entering the spaces of Elamite villages in 900 BCE, by 650 BCE, these Persianized sets dominate and overtake the Elamite villages and the Elamites in Anshan are seemingly replaced and assimilated by people who once lived among them as a growing minority. How this replacement occurred, I am not sure of. However, what it does show us, is that the Aryan element that entered upon the Elamite realm, was not one of outright conquest, but one of intermingling replacement and counter-assimilation. Anyway, what this shows you, is that the peoples had become more willing to reside in villages sometime before they arrived in Anshan.

    3. In the times prior to the Arsacid, the region of Parthia was a settled land, with villages, towns, cities and so forth. In other words, the post Dahae invasion of Parthia should not paint our perception. More of what we woudl later see as steppe lands, were settled by Iranic peoples related to the Medes and the Persians. When Sargon II invaded Iran, he conquered as far east as Parthia. There, he established a Qepu to oversee the population and collect tribute from the towns and principalities therein with the goal of acquiring horses from the steppe to the north of Parthia.

    Ultimately, what we arrive at is, that the peoples that we called the Arya (referring to the Iranics, not to the Arya in Hindustan), were already to a degree sedentary, just a semi-sedentary existence or semi-nomadic depending upon extremes. Upon contact with Elam, Lydia, Assyria, Mannaea, Urartu and others, these peoples adopted radically even more sedentary lives and by intermingling, would come to replace these peoples or assimilate them in their own lands. Examples of this include:

    The Medes replacing the Mannaeans, Kassites, Gutians and others in the Northern Zagros and region of the Arab Jibal
    The replacement of more southern oriented Kassites and so forth with the proto-Kurds and similar groups, likely related to the Medes
    The rapid replacement of the Urartu system with the Armenian kingdom and the assimilation of these identities, in some ways, this was the most seamless transfer, akin to what occurred in Hindustan
    And finally that discussed in regards to Anshan and Elam with the Persians

    It is also worthwhile to mention, that in some of these areas, there may have been existing Indo-European peoples prior to the Aryans. We know of the continuation of the Anatolian states, but there too was Indo-European cities and people that persisted until the Assyrian empire as far south as lower Syria and possibly further.