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Thread: Andronovo Culture Burials

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    Andronovo Culture Burials



    I found this interesting story on the Archeology New Network website about unusual burials by members of the Andronovo culture.

    "These compelling images show ancient burials in Staryi Tartas village, in Novosibirsk region, where scientists have studied some 600 tombs. Dozens contain the bones of couples, facing each other, some with their hands held together seemingly for eternity. Russian archaeologists have uncovered the bones of dozens of couples buried facing each other in Staryi Tartas village in Siberia [Credit:Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences] Others show men or women buried with a child or children. But why? Archaeologists are struggling for explanations and believe DNA tests will provide the answers to these remarkable burials which one writer Vasiliy Labetskiy described poignantly as skeletons in 'post-mortal hugs with bony hands clasped together'. As eminent academic Vyacheslav Molodin, 65, told The Siberian Times there are a number of theories about these Andronovo burials - for example that after the man died, his wife was killed and buried with him - but for now the true reason remains unclear. Another version even suggests that some of the couples were deliberately buried as if in a sexual act, possibly with a young woman sacrificed to play this role in the grave. 'We can fantasise a lot about all this. We can allege that husband died and the wife was killed to be interred with him as we see in some Scythian burials, or maybe the grave stood open for some time and they buried the other person or persons later, or maybe it was really simultaneous death,' said Professor Molodin, Director of Research of the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Along with the bodies were buried people's belongings, some of the pottery, with ornaments including swastikas,.belonged to people who were very different from native Siberians' [Credit: Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences] 'When we speak about a child and an adult, it looks more natural and understandable. When we speak about two adults - it is not so obvious. So we can raise quite a variety of hypotheses, but how it was in fact, we do not know yet.' Another theory is that especially the couples buried between the 17th and 14th centuries BC signify the beginnings of the nuclear family as a unit, so that in death they demonstrate the importance attached by these ancient people to this form of relationship. 'This could be the case. But, you see, we need to firstly establish unequivocally the kinship of those who were buried,' said Professor Molodin referring to the necropolis close to the confluence of the rivers Tartas and Om. 'Until recently archaeologists had no such opportunity, they could establish only the gender and age. But now as we have at our disposal the tools of paleogenetics, we could speak about establishing the kinship.' Some graves at the site in Novosibirsk region in western Siberia show adults buried with children [Credit: Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences] He hopes that 'in the nearest future' his researchers 'will have significantly more data'. In five to ten years the secrets of these remarkable burials maybe revealed. 'For example, we found the burial a man and a child. What is a degree of their kinship? Are they father and son or....? The same question arises when we found a woman and a child. It should seem obvious - she is the mother. But it may not be so. She could be an aunt, or not a relative at all. To speak about this scientifically we need the tools of paleogenetics. 'We have a joint laboratory with the Institute of Cytology and Genetics, of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Science, and we actively work in this direction. We do such analysis but it is quite expensive still and there are few specialists. We are also solving other questions with help of paleogenetics.' One writer described the scenes in the graves poignantly as skeletons in 'post-mortal hugs with bony hands clasped together' [Credit: Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences] With such couple burials, Professor Lev Klein of St Petersburg State University has proposed they are linked to reincarnation beliefs possibly influenced by deeksha rituals in the ancient Indian sub-continent at the time when the oldest scriptures of Hinduism were composed. 'The man during his lifetime donated his body as a sacrifice to all the gods,' he wrote. 'The 'deeksha' was considered as a 'second birth' and to complete this ritual the sacrificing one made a ritual sexual act of conceiving.' In other words, in death a man should perform a sexual act to impregnate a woman. 'Perhaps in the pre-Vedic period relatives of the deceased often sought to reproduce the 'deeksha' posthumously, and sacrificed a woman or a girl (or a few), and simulated sexual intercourse in the grave'. Professor Lev Klein of St Petersburg State University has proposed the coupled burials are linked to reincarnation beliefs possibly influenced by deeksha rituals [Credit: Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences] There has been theorising that on the man's death, his wife was sacrificed and buried with him for posterity in an act of intimacy. Or, as Klein suggests, could a young woman have been sacrificed for this purpose, used to fulfil the female part in this ritual? Professor Molodin doesn't rule out this version, yet makes clear it is only a hypothesis. 'It is again a suggestion. As a suggestion, it could be. This idea of Klein can be extended to Siberia too, because significant part of the researchers think that Andronovo people were Iranians. 'So this hypothesis can be extended to them. But, I will repeat, it is only a hypothesis.' The 'deeksha' was considered as a 'second birth' and to complete this ritual the sacrificing one made a ritual sexual act of conceiving' [Credit: Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences] There are he says 'a good number' of these couple graves. 'The number impresses. More that this, we see some interesting facts. For Andronovo culture, cremation is more typical, and here we can see such interesting combination like cremation and inhumation in one burial. Why it is so? 'There is a version that they did not just pour the ashes into the grave, but made a doll and put the ashes in this. But we can not say for sure. There are also burials with just several cremated remains. So it is more complicated than 'They loved each other and died in one day'.' He thinks that in most cases the couple graves were filled at the same time; so that it is not a case of a man dying and his wife being added to the grave when she died some years later. 'It is very hard to say. I believe that all of them were buried almost at the same time, but on this necropolis we meet quite often robbed graves. And it turned out that one body was intact, and the second was damaged'. Archaeologists are struggling for explanations and believe DNA tests will provide the answers to these remarkable burials [Credit: Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences] The couples were buried together with care, this much is clear. These were no hasty funerals after battles. 'Along with the bodies were buried people's belongings; not everything has survived, but some of the bronze decorations, ceramic pottery and armaments was found by archaeologists,' recounted historian and writer Labetskiy. 'Some of the pottery, with ornaments including ... swastikas ... belonged to people who were very different from native Siberians. Archaeologists classify them as the Andronovo archaeological culture. Their burials are recognised by the position of the body, which is crouched on the side, while locals buried people lying on the back.' It is hoped that DNA analysis will establish if these ancient couple burials were related [Credit: Institute of Archeology and Ethnography of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences] These incomers in western Siberia looked like Caucasian people, it is believed. They 'bred cattle, were well acquainted with metallurgy and used the innovation of the times, carts and combat chariots drawn by horses'. 'Grave goods consisted of pottery vessels, bronze ornaments, bronze daggers, 'gaming pieces' (horse phalanges and sheep astragals) and bone arrowheads, a special find was a four-sided stone mould for casting ear rings and pendants,' states one account detailing co-operation between the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Science in Novosibirsk and the the Eurasia-Department of the German Archaeological Institute. 'Large ritual pits associated with the burials contained animal bones, bone and bronze artifacts, but also, for example, a well preserved casting mould for a large socketed axe.' Professor Vyacheslav Molodin pictured at Staryi Tartas archaeological site [Credit: Novosibirsk Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography] As Labetskiy wrote: 'Archeology can't answer all these questions precisely, at least not yet. Behind Andronov burials lay extraordinary stories about travels and discoveries, about human destinies and the destinies of whole civilisations.' There is, he argues, 'a certain beauty in this unfinished story' conjuring for him the Welsh poet Dylan Thomas' classic 'And Death Shall Have No Dominion'. 'The best fairytales have always ended 'They lived happily ever after, and died on the same day'. 'It is quite astonishing how the fairytales become life, as the bronze burials tell us a story how some people were not divided even by death'. Author: Anna Liesowska | Source: The Siberian Times [December 27, 2013] "



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    very interesting - have a good and instructive new year, by the way

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    Quote Originally Posted by MOESAN View Post
    very interesting - have a good and instructive new year, by the way
    Thanks, Moesan. I have been having a good and instructive time on this forum so far. Although the fact that I still have a lot to learn about DNA doesn't seem to have prevented me from having opinions.

    I thought these burials were very interesting and I look forward to the release of the DNA information. Will the Y-DNA be all R1a or will it also include J2 or perhaps even an Asian lineage, considering how far east these nomads are? What will the mtDNA lineages be? And will I found the swastikas interesting - they're common throughout the east and not just in India - considering that Native Americans used them, are they something that IE folk adopted from Asians on their way to India or are they something that the ancestors of the IE folk from the steppes had in common with the ancestors of Native Americans from way back when?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aberdeen View Post
    Thanks, Moesan. I have been having a good and instructive time on this forum so far. Although the fact that I still have a lot to learn about DNA doesn't seem to have prevented me from having opinions.

    I thought these burials were very interesting and I look forward to the release of the DNA information. Will the Y-DNA be all R1a or will it also include J2 or perhaps even an Asian lineage, considering how far east these nomads are? What will the mtDNA lineages be? And will I found the swastikas interesting - they're common throughout the east and not just in India - considering that Native Americans used them, are they something that IE folk adopted from Asians on their way to India or are they something that the ancestors of the IE folk from the steppes had in common with the ancestors of Native Americans from way back when?
    the question of the 'swastika' is a new thing to me: Dolfi H. would not be too glad seeing this symbol so widespred among not fully aryan people, would he?
    concerning DNA, if I rely on my short readings about other asian places assigned to I-E, the male ligneages would be almost 100% european-west-asian - and some mt DNA and a part of autosomals would be east- or even rather north-asian (mt C for the most of these last ones) - contacts with Finn-Ugrix people and Altaic ones?






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    Quote Originally Posted by Aberdeen View Post
    Thanks, Moesan. I have been having a good and instructive time on this forum so far. Although the fact that I still have a lot to learn about DNA doesn't seem to have prevented me from having opinions.

    I thought these burials were very interesting and I look forward to the release of the DNA information. Will the Y-DNA be all R1a or will it also include J2 or perhaps even an Asian lineage, considering how far east these nomads are? What will the mtDNA lineages be? And will I found the swastikas interesting - they're common throughout the east and not just in India - considering that Native Americans used them, are they something that IE folk adopted from Asians on their way to India or are they something that the ancestors of the IE folk from the steppes had in common with the ancestors of Native Americans from way back when?
    Tibet has the Swastika symbol since time began. Which is why from 1936 to 1939 German scholars went there to seek the foundations of the aryan race
    có che un pòpoło no 'l defende pi ła só łéngua el xe prónto par èser s'ciavo

    when a people no longer dares to defend its language it is ripe for slavery.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sile View Post
    Tibet has the Swastika symbol since time began. Which is why from 1936 to 1939 German scholars went there to seek the foundations of the aryan race
    That's one of the things I wonder about - was it there before the Bronze Age or did some wandering group of IE people bring it to Tibet. Because if the Iranians and proto-Iranians used it, but it was also familiar to Asians who weren't IE in origin, that would be curious.

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    LOL they went to Tibet to seek answers to the foundation of the Aryan's race

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    Quote Originally Posted by adamo View Post
    LOL they went to Tibet to seek answers to the foundation of the Aryan's race
    No;
    To examine whether Buddhism/Buddha was of Aryan (i.e. Indo-European/Indogermanen) foundations;
    I think the expedition was SS/Ahnenerbe;


    Swastika is a Sanskrit (i.e. Indo-European) word and as a symbol (seal) discovered at Altyndepe and Harrapa; Not sure of the exact dates and how it therefore corresponds with the Aryan invasion of the Indus-valley in the RigVeda;

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nobody1 View Post
    No;
    To examine whether Buddhism/Buddha was of Aryan (i.e. Indo-European/Indogermanen) foundations;
    I think the expedition was SS/Ahnenerbe;


    Swastika is a Sanskrit (i.e. Indo-European) word and as a symbol (seal) discovered at Altyndepe and Harrapa; Not sure of the exact dates and how it therefore corresponds with the Aryan invasion of the Indus-valley in the RigVeda;
    Yep, I remember Brad Pitt was there for 7 years for the same reason. :)
    Be wary of people who tend to glorify the past, underestimate the present, and demonize the future.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nobody1 View Post
    No;
    .............
    Swastika is a Sanskrit (i.e. Indo-European) word and as a symbol (seal) discovered at Altyndepe and Harrapa; Not sure of the exact dates and how it therefore corresponds with the Aryan invasion of the Indus-valley in the RigVeda;
    Therein lies a mystery, since the Harrapans were pre-IE. But they did have extensive contact with Mesopotamia, so I suppose they could have also had contact with the Indo-Europeans before the IE invasion of India. But I'm curious as to whether some symbols, such as the swastika, could have been cross-cultural symbols. it was used by Native Americans, so must have been widely used over a very long period of time.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeBrok View Post
    Yep, I remember Brad Pitt was there for 7 years for the same reason. :)
    It gets even better;
    Indiana Jones managed to destroy the entire organization when he teamed up with his old dad Sean Connery;

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aberdeen View Post
    Therein lies a mystery, since the Harrapans were pre-IE. But they did have extensive contact with Mesopotamia, so I suppose they could have also had contact with the Indo-Europeans before the IE invasion of India.
    Thats exactly why the exact dates are so important;
    But i see it the same way; Harrapa must have had the symbol already before the Indo-European invasion;
    But equally also the Indo-Europeans otherwise it would not occur across the entire Indo-European range from the NorthSea-IndusValley and the Indo-Europeans would not have carried an own (Sanskrit) term for it;

    All in all - i think that the Swastika could very well be a much broader mythological/spiritual symbol; developed independently;

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nobody1 View Post
    ...............

    All in all - i think that the Swastika could very well be a much broader mythological/spiritual symbol; developed independently;
    Yes, too bad the Nazis mutilated it and turned it into a symbol of really shitty behaviour - it seems to have been a favorite symbol for people over a very wide area for a very long time. I see it as a Sun symbol.

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    The swastika was in use in the Balkans during the neolithic, definitely by the Vinca culture, and, I think, in Bulgaria as well(Karanovo culture?), long before Indo-Europeans moved into that area.

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    The fact of the swastika's use by Native Americans, who almost certainly had no contact with indo-europeans in prehistory, makes me think that it probably first appeared in paleolithic eurasia, god knows where or when. I doubt that it's origins can be associated with any particular culture.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skaheen15 View Post
    The fact of the swastika's use by Native Americans, who almost certainly had no contact with indo-europeans in prehistory, makes me think that it probably first appeared in paleolithic eurasia, god knows where or when. I doubt that it's origins can be associated with any particular culture.
    It is so easy to make it probably orig anted independently in different places. It's basically just a cross with either clockwise or counterclockwise attachments to the end.

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    Quote Originally Posted by elghund View Post
    It is so easy to make it probably orig anted independently in different places. It's basically just a cross with either clockwise or counterclockwise attachments to the end.
    Yeah, it is definitely easy to make and may well have originated independently in different places, like the cross. But if I were going to posit a singular origin somewhere, as a symbol with significance, rather than as just a shape that's easy and natural to draw, it would be paleolithic Eurasia.

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