WI: Indo-Iranians head to China

The land stretch from the Proto Indo-Iranian homeland near the Volga Basin and Southern Russia to the fertile region of China is incredibly hostile and the possibility that a group will make it through with numbers and fertility rates to make any change is very very small. Cold grassland, cold desert, hot desert, cold forests, etc, you have them all, en-route.

However one possibility of an Indo-Iranian China could arise from a migration Anti-clockwise from the North of the Caspian sea and they manage to pull off an exceptionally good food production capacity. The route could be from Volga Basin (possible homeland)-Caucasus (or via Balkans)- Turkey- Iran- India- Burma- China. Previous point holds good and they need an exceptional food production and management capacity, to use this route and create a predominantly Indo-Iranian China.

Forget the route via the steppes, Siberia and the deserts. They will probably die off on the way.
I agree with some and disagree with other.

Those lands you just mentioned weren't the same until the 1100 CE. It's at that juncture that land turned into the one you just described, true from 1100 bce the lands of the steppe began to turn arid but it wasn't all Catastrophic, say you got khwarazmia, bactria, sogdia etc all of them were located on fertile land. Until 1900 bce northern Kazakhstan was forest steppe and the central kazakh was a lush grasslands with lands further south was watered by rivers from the Hindu kush and pamir mountains, the lands North and south were suited for agriculture but because of the culture of indo Iranian agriculture didn't really take off. Supposing if you did have a culture further down south with sophisticated agricultural technique you can have larger population.
Now as far indo Iranian people in China and to turn it into indo Iranian culture, I too have my doubt, i don't think it's possible
 
The Han dynasty Chinese where familiar with the Wusun, who were Indo-European nomads. They were conquered by the Xiongnu though, who were a proto Mongolic/Turkic/etc. confederation. To conquer China, you would have to be at least as powerful as the Xiongnu or China needs to suffer one hell of an stability crisis.
There is not enough proof in my view to argue that the Xiongnu were proto-Mongollic or Turkic, it is more clear that the nearby Donghu to the east of the Xiongnu were the group that we may say were predecessors to at least the majority of the peoples we come to call Mongols, Tartar, Turks etc... The Donghu preceding the Xianbei and they preceding the first Mongollic realm in the Rouran Khaganate which included a vast assortment of these peoples termed 'Altaic.' The Xiongnu on the other hand were either some kind of group now more rare today such as the Yenisei or were Indo-European of an unknown and lost variety, likely a mixture of both.

Secondly, the Wusun were not conquered by the Xiongnu. The Wusun were confederate allies of the Xiongnu generally and were part of the wider Xiongnu coalition and alliance sphere. In fact, the Xiongnu seemed to have had a great comradery with the Wusun evident by the Xiongnu king taking the young king of the Wusun, according to the Han sources, as his sworn son and alongside the Wusun, defeated the Wusun's traditional rival and hated foe, the Yuezhi who ruled the Tarim and Gansu.
 
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Weren't the Tocharians an Indo-European people living western China/Xinjiang? They might have tried to take the more populated parts of China but failed - the North China Plain had a (relatively) high population density even back then IIRC, and the south has a lot of jungle and hills that would make chariots (which from what I remember were one of the things that let them conquer so much stuff) a lot less useful.

Even if they took the North China Plain, they might eventually assimilate into the locals and end up speaking their language, like the Mittani (who had an initially Into-European ruling class that eventually ended up speaking Hurrian, a language isolate that the locals spoke).
 
A very short post.

The Wusun and the Yuezhi were Europoid style people who lived on the border of western Zhongguo during the end of the Warring States era. Their influence went as far east as the Ordos region and they have very rich trade relations with both the Qin and Zhao Kingdoms.

The Wusun and the Yuezhi were forced to move west being defeated by the Xiongnu who certainly were the proto Mongols.
 
The Wusun and the Yuezhi were forced to move west being defeated by the Xiongnu who certainly were the proto Mongols.
Some evidence suggests that at least some Xiongnu tribes were Yeniseian and they strongly influenced the Turko-Mongolic peoples in that area. For instance, the word "khan" may have come from a Yeniseian language at an early date as "*qeh" (great) as it has a cognate in the Athabaskan (a split from the Yeniseians) ending "*-ka" which signifies seniority, wealth or the status of chief in numerous Athabaskan languages. We can also determine mythological parallels between suggested Yeniseian myth/folklore which was borrowed in Turko-Mongolic and Athabaskan myth/folklore.
 
The earliest this could have happened is maybe the Shang Dynasty? I don't see how this could happen, the Shang dynasty was a strong power that would have crushed any Indo-Iranian nomads.

It took the Xiongnu pioneering an Imperial steppe state (far more centralized and sophisticated compared to earlier nomadic confederations like the Scythians or the Cimmerians) for steppe societies to seriously threaten Chinese states.
 
Maybe if the Shang dynasty was hit by a plague killing 50% of population.

Or the Aryans just had some inherent trait that would make them assimilate the Han. THey did assimialte most Dravidians in China
 
Maybe if the Shang dynasty was hit by a plague killing 50% of population.

Or the Aryans just had some inherent trait that would make them assimilate the Han. THey did assimialte most Dravidians in China

It really doesn't take a mass die off at all. As you stated, much of India became, well, Indo-Iranian (especially in the North) within centuries of their arrival - and the sub continent wasn't exactly underpopulated. For that matter, Roman Britain didn't lose 50 percent of it's population when the Anglo-Saxons arrived nor did Europe in general see a mass die off when the Indo-Europeans showed up. The fact of the matter is, the ways in which one population gives up its culture, language and identity to become another isn't particularly well understood, and though there's a number of 'rules' when people pass around like old wive's tales (the whole "people grow up speakingthe language of their mother" canard for instance), they don't really pass the smell test in the majority of situations.

Honestly, there's no reason that the people of Shang or pre-Shang China would be any more likely to resist Indo-Iranianization than were the Dravidians of the subcontinent (not, having said there, there's also no reason that they would be any less likely to resist it as well).

I think for the sake of this discussion, we should just go with the assumption that there is some acculturization, and that a merger of cultures develops. Primarily because it's more akin to what the OP is looking for, but also because it is a fascinating subject!
 
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I think an interesting fusion of cultures may emerge.

How to combine Indo Aryan religion with Shang Chinese one?

Me too! And yes, I wondering what a merger of the Shang and Vedic religion would look like as well.

On the face of it, the Shang and Vedic faiths have enough in common that a merger should be possible - both viewed Gods as embodiment of natural events, sought their favor through sacrifices, etc. There seems to be no reason to assume that a priestly class would develop as they would be in charge of the neccesary sacrifices. These priests would naturally be viewed and learned and would be instrumental in transmitting the culture and its values.

What would be interesting is if the Vedic-Shang continue the Shang emphasis on ancestor worship (which seems to preclude the development of a belief in reincarnation). That would give a very interesting distinction between the Vedic-Shang in comparison to OTL's Vedic Indian era.
 
Language is another interesting thing... Do I talk too much of them?

Dravidian languages are agglutinative, Sinitic ones are analytic. Wonder if with Old Chinese substrate Indo Aryan language may develop in a similar direction to Chinese?
 
For that matter, Roman Britain didn't lose 50 percent of it's population when the Anglo-Saxons arrived nor did Europe in general see a mass die off when the Indo-Europeans showed up.
Well we don't know exactly, post-Roman England certainly saw a demographic decline in the 5th and early 6th century, decline to maybe 1/2 or even 1/3 of the peak population, but compared to the late Roman population the decline wasn't that large.

In any case given what we know of replacement rates for the Indo-Europeanization of the continent, given that the overall population did not increase and given the extinction of many pre-Indo European male lines that were prior ubiquitous, it's clear that the reproductive success of locals was at the very least lower for a while given their virtual population size through admixture declined during the 3rd millennium.
 
The Indo-Europeans basically committed Gendercide on the Neolithic populations of Europe and the North Indian Plain. The prior male haplogroups of G and H/L were almost completely replaced by Indo-European R haplogroups. A completely different approach from later Indo-European and Turko-Mongol steppe societies, who only had minor genetic impacts on conquered populations. Except for perhaps the Mongols, but even then you only really saw major population changes in Central Asia.
 
A completely different approach from later Indo-European and Turko-Mongol steppe societies, who only had minor genetic impacts on conquered populations.
You saw replacement events later on too, Turks definitely had a big impact on Anatolia and Central Asia, same goes for Slavs and Anglo-Saxons and Ibeiran colonies specifically too parallel those kind of dominance on the Y-DNA side.

What characterizes the period isn't merely a reduction of neolithic lineages, but the dominance of single y-dna lineages, showing maybe strong patrilineality and founder effects even among Indo-Europeans.
 
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