I’m living blogging from a lecture by Professor Richard Foltz. This is happening at the shockingly elegant Ancient Indian & Iranian Institute (full house / I took the last seat and I was 5mins late). I’m simply going to relay what I’m hearing.
(1.) The remains at Sintashta seem to form a basis for Vedic rituals, a millennial or so later, discrediting the Indian indigenous Aryan theory (his words not mine).
(2.) Evidence of some exchange between Uralics and proto Indo-Iranians. The goddess Anahita wears beaver skins and has more “northern features” than should be for someone from the Iranian plateau.
(3.) Stalin is a hero among the Ossetians and is seen as one of their own.
(4.) Sintashta folk referred to themselves as “Arya” (he pronounced in a slightly Persian way, more emphasis on the beginning of the A). Aryan Vaejho (Eran Vaej, then Iran) land of the noble people.
(5.) Soviets were into facial reconstructions; skeletons from Sintashta sites. He shows a bronze picture of a 4,000 year old Aryan girl.
(6.) there is a wonderful map of the ancient world from IVC to Multi-cordon ware. Cultures range from Late Corded Ware culture – MCW – Hattians. I’ll try to get the map. Apparently BMAC was interacting with IVC and the Elamites (speculative on how the latter two interacted).
(7.) BMAC deity was a goddess cognate to Sumerian Ishtar (this continues all the way to Sogdian times). Lot of interchange and many connections between BMAC & Mesopotamia.
(8.) the Aryans and the BMAC people were trading with each other. BMAC seems to have been an cultural-industrial hub.
shotur (camel) – gandom (wheat) – and the persian word for brick are not Indo-Iranian but seem to stem from BMAC.
(9.) is there a common ancestor to the Vedic and Gathic rituals? Dating of Zoroastrians and the Gathas is extremely problematic.
(10.) Chariot key to aryans (Apollo / Bhagavad Gita. Wheel image with a cross is pervasive (it’s even there in the Caucasus in the 19th century).
(11.) Homa has strikingly similar chemical properties to ecstasy. Aethidra (the precursor plant to Homa) is prolific in BMAC and Aryans picked up from Homa/Soma from BMAC.
(12.) Pair of priests with large erections facing each other (I believe it’s in the BMAC site). Followed by front to back sex (gender unknown); we know nothing what the picture is.
(13.) Ossetians have a historic deity, women cannot pronounce his name and is essentially a Mithraic deity. Italian mafia is a relic of Mithraic (fraternal solidarity, secret society). The idea of having an underground ceremony (bull sacrifice); these things are so common across such a wide range of places (Aryans were a patriarchical war mongering society) that Mithras may have been their principal deity. Apparently Mithras has a 1,000 eyes hence why he was the guarantor of oaths. He then went on to show from drawing from Wakhan corridor.
(14.) dispute about Golnar Teppe site (Turkmenistan). Evidence of fire worship but dispute on whether it was actually a Zoroastrian site.
(15.) Tajiks of China don’t speak Persian but East Iranian languagues (Pamiri languages). Apparently Muslims in Xinjiang if they receive a call from abroad; it might warrant them being sent off to camp.
Apparently there is an ancient site in that county that is a “ritual earth calendar” each black and white line dates to ritual dates. 40 burial sites are also there but seems to be 500BC Saka site (China claims it is the world’s earliest Zoroastrian site; proving that Zoroastrianism originated in China). The city is called Tashk kurgan.
(16.) Richard Frye had a bumper; “Sogdians were everywhere.” Their cosmopolitanism meant that their art touched on Byzantine, India and China.