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Thread: Rituals of Bronze Age Indo-Europeans

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    3 out of 3 members found this post helpful.

    Rituals of Bronze Age Indo-Europeans



    I guess they never heard that the dog is man's best friend. Yuck.

    This is sort of what they showed in "The 300" isn't it? I don't remember the animal in that. Was it a wolf?

    See:
    http://www.archaeology.org/news/5795...e-wolf-rituals

    "KRASNOSAMARSKOE, RUSSIA—Science Newsreports that researchers believe they have discovered evidence for Indo-European initiation rituals that took place between 1900 and 1700 B.C. on the Russian steppe. Hartwick College archaeologists David Anthony and Dorcas Brown led excavations at the Bronze Age Krasnosamarskoe site and discovered more than 2,000 dog bones and several wolf bones. Analysis of the animals' teeth showed that they were all likely killed during winter. Several ancient Indo-European cultures were known to practice wintertime coming-of-age rituals that linked young warriors with dogs or wolves. In some of these cultures, teenagers could join a warband only after killing a canid and either eating it or wearing its skin. Anthony and Brown believe the finds at Krasnosamarskoe show this practice is at least 4,000 years old. "

    Yes, that's a really good thing...teen-agers in a war band.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    I guess they never heard that the dog is man's best friend. Yuck.

    This is sort of what they showed in "The 300" isn't it? I don't remember the animal in that. Was it a wolf?

    See:
    http://www.archaeology.org/news/5795...e-wolf-rituals

    "KRASNOSAMARSKOE, RUSSIA—Science Newsreports that researchers believe they have discovered evidence for Indo-European initiation rituals that took place between 1900 and 1700 B.C. on the Russian steppe. Hartwick College archaeologists David Anthony and Dorcas Brown led excavations at the Bronze Age Krasnosamarskoe site and discovered more than 2,000 dog bones and several wolf bones. Analysis of the animals' teeth showed that they were all likely killed during winter. Several ancient Indo-European cultures were known to practice wintertime coming-of-age rituals that linked young warriors with dogs or wolves. In some of these cultures, teenagers could join a warband only after killing a canid and either eating it or wearing its skin. Anthony and Brown believe the finds at Krasnosamarskoe show this practice is at least 4,000 years old. "

    Yes, that's a really good thing...teen-agers in a war band.
    Yep, you can't find anyone more eager to go to war than boys. And of course they usually die first.
    Be wary of people who tend to glorify the past, underestimate the present, and demonize the future.

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    how they make the connection between dog bones and warbands, I don't know
    if DNA studies have proven one thing, it is that archeological evidence on it's own is very hard to interprete

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    0 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    The scene that was most disturbing in 300 was when those elephants fell off the cliffs. I'm glad the circuses shut themselves down. Most people don't understand how sentient elephants are.
    There's something greek about decades ending in 7...in 1997 disney released its rendition of Hercules....in 2007 God of War II was released on Playstation 2, 300 was in theaters, and I experienced greek coffee for the first time...2017 we know more about the genetics of the Peloponnesians, Mycenaeans, and Minoans.
    Btw God of War 2 was a great game...especially when you get to smash the talking statue of Athena in the face. Take my punch, Athena. lol

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    2 out of 2 members found this post helpful.
    From the link Angela provided:

    In the ancient Celtic, Germanic, Greek, and Indo-Iranian traditions, young men often left their families to form warrior societies. “These were young guys on the edge of society who occasionally would steal cows, and you’d rather they were off stealing someone else’s cows,” says Anthony. “So they were expelled from their social groups and told to raid other communities.” In Germanic traditions, these bands of young warriors thought of themselves as wolf packs. A famous myth about the hero Siegfried has him donning a dog skin to go raiding with his nephew, whom he is training to become a warrior. In the Rigveda, an ancient Sanskrit text composed sometime before 1000 B.C., young men can only become warriors after sacrificing a dog at a winter ceremony and wearing its skin for four years, which they burn upon their return to society.


    Enigmatic stelae dating from about 1300 to 1000 B.C. were found in a tomb near Kivik, Sweden. One (second from left) may depict a long-standing Indo-European rite initiating boys into the warrior class. Along its bottom, eight hooded figures follow a leader. The number eight may have held some special significance to youthful Indo-European war bands.

    The institution of youthful war bands that go on seasonal raids is so widespread in Indo-European cultures that historical linguists and mythologists concluded that it had to be a long-standing PIE tradition, and that these young men became warriors during a mid-winter ritual that involved dog sacrifice. Linguists even reconstructed the PIE word for these warrior bands: koryos. But, as with many reconstructed PIE words and ideas, physical proof that koryos actually roamed the Eurasian steppes thousands of years ago had been lacking. Anthony and Brown, however, because of the sheer number of dog and wolf bones at the site, strongly suspected Krasnosamarskoe might indeed be a site of one of these midwinter koryos initiations. But they needed to prove that this reconstructed tradition existed 4,000 years ago.

    Once they sent the canine teeth from the site to archaeozoologist Anne Pike-Tay, who studies incremental growth bands on teeth to determine what season an animal died in, the final piece of the puzzle fell into place. She was able to determine the season of death for 17 of the canines and found that 16 of them were killed in the wintertime. Cows sacrificed at the site, by contrast, were killed year-round. For Anthony and Brown, this was a powerful piece of evidence that koryos existed hundreds of years before they were first mentioned in the Rigveda.

    Just as roving bands of youthful raiders played an important role in later Indo-European societies, Anthony thinks they would have been critical to the Timber Grave people. “It was an organized way of not just controlling potentially dangerous young men,” he says, “but it was a way of expanding and gaining wealth.” Indeed, Anthony thinks koryos could help explain why Indo-European languages spread so successfully. Previous generations of scholars imagined hordes of Indo-Europeans on chariots spreading their languages across Europe and Asia by the point of the sword. But Anthony thinks Indo-European spread instead by way of widespread imitation of Indo-European customs, which included, for example, feasting to establish strong social networks. The koryos could have simply been one more feature of Indo-European life that other people admired and adopted, along with the languages themselves.

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    The last paragraph contradicts genetic evidence, people don't leave their languages and customs because some other culture is "cool".
    But Anthony thinks Indo-European spread instead by way of widespread imitation of Indo-European customs, which included, for example, feasting to establish strong social networks. The koryos could have simply been one more feature of Indo-European life that other people admired and adopted, along with the languages themselves.
    Ignoring the Canicide part, I find this really beautiful for some reason, I'm weird. There is something thrilling about stealing someone else's cow in the middle of the night in the open steppes with your initiated warrior brothers wearing dogskin pretending to be wolves, romantic.
    Last edited by IronSide; 09-08-17 at 10:06.

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    Sending out the young men is also something the polygamist Mormons would do to reduce competition.

    Do we have evidence of polygamy? I know the Irish kings such as Conn and Niall were reputed to have many many sons.

    This type of practice could help explain the YDNA spread that is so prolific.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bicicleur View Post
    how they make the connection between dog bones and warbands, I don't know
    if DNA studies have proven one thing, it is that archeological evidence on it's own is very hard to interprete
    In my personal opinion, Anthony does this a lot, often on very little evidence.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeBrok View Post
    Yep, you can't find anyone more eager to go to war than boys. And of course they usually die first.
    Not only do a lot of them die, but they kill a lot of other people in the process.

    I've read quite a bit about the teen-age mind and the studies which show that the brain doesn't fully develop until past adolescence. I've raised teen-agers and that certainly rings true to me. All of those raging hormones and, in the case of boys, sometimes aggression are barely kept in control.

    Nothing good came of unleashing that on other people, imo.

    Even worse if one reason for the custom was so that lecherous, disgusting older men could have more women.

    I wonder how this fits in with the homosexuality aspect of some of these rituals? I suppose if you want to keep them away from your women encouraging them to turn to other men makes sense.

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    You send your surplus young men to conquer (raid, etc).
    "Normal" strategy for bronze age. May be hard to feed them otherwise. population size control... Make them someone else's problem.

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    Quote Originally Posted by IronSide View Post
    From the link Angela provided:

    In the ancient Celtic, Germanic, Greek, and Indo-Iranian traditions, young men often left their families to form warrior societies. “These were young guys on the edge of society who occasionally would steal cows, and you’d rather they were off stealing someone else’s cows,” says Anthony. “So they were expelled from their social groups and told to raid other communities.” In Germanic traditions, these bands of young warriors thought of themselves as wolf packs. A famous myth about the hero Siegfried has him donning a dog skin to go raiding with his nephew, whom he is training to become a warrior. In the Rigveda, an ancient Sanskrit text composed sometime before 1000 B.C., young men can only become warriors after sacrificing a dog at a winter ceremony and wearing its skin for four years, which they burn upon their return to society.


    Enigmatic stelae dating from about 1300 to 1000 B.C. were found in a tomb near Kivik, Sweden. One (second from left) may depict a long-standing Indo-European rite initiating boys into the warrior class. Along its bottom, eight hooded figures follow a leader. The number eight may have held some special significance to youthful Indo-European war bands.

    The institution of youthful war bands that go on seasonal raids is so widespread in Indo-European cultures that historical linguists and mythologists concluded that it had to be a long-standing PIE tradition, and that these young men became warriors during a mid-winter ritual that involved dog sacrifice. Linguists even reconstructed the PIE word for these warrior bands: koryos. But, as with many reconstructed PIE words and ideas, physical proof that koryos actually roamed the Eurasian steppes thousands of years ago had been lacking. Anthony and Brown, however, because of the sheer number of dog and wolf bones at the site, strongly suspected Krasnosamarskoe might indeed be a site of one of these midwinter koryos initiations. But they needed to prove that this reconstructed tradition existed 4,000 years ago.

    Once they sent the canine teeth from the site to archaeozoologist Anne Pike-Tay, who studies incremental growth bands on teeth to determine what season an animal died in, the final piece of the puzzle fell into place. She was able to determine the season of death for 17 of the canines and found that 16 of them were killed in the wintertime. Cows sacrificed at the site, by contrast, were killed year-round. For Anthony and Brown, this was a powerful piece of evidence that koryos existed hundreds of years before they were first mentioned in the Rigveda.

    Just as roving bands of youthful raiders played an important role in later Indo-European societies, Anthony thinks they would have been critical to the Timber Grave people. “It was an organized way of not just controlling potentially dangerous young men,” he says, “but it was a way of expanding and gaining wealth.” Indeed, Anthony thinks koryos could help explain why Indo-European languages spread so successfully. Previous generations of scholars imagined hordes of Indo-Europeans on chariots spreading their languages across Europe and Asia by the point of the sword. But Anthony thinks Indo-European spread instead by way of widespread imitation of Indo-European customs, which included, for example, feasting to establish strong social networks. The koryos could have simply been one more feature of Indo-European life that other people admired and adopted, along with the languages themselves.
    There was an article I read that they still did those things in Livonia XV or XVI century. Werewolf trials had some materials and witnesses for rites possibly similar to initiation of young men. They were called "Dieva suņi" ("Hounds of God") by locals.

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    It was definitely unethical, problematic, violent, but I do see the reasoning behind this cultural institution. It serves many purposes useful in a Bronze Age warlike, probably polygamous and competitive world: you get rid of the surplus of young uneducated, irremediably single (because in a polygamous society a big % of the male youth remains single) and improductive men (non-priestly, non-noble, non-artisan); you use their unleashed frustrations, desires and ambitions onto other communities, not your own tribe, and to the eventual benefit of your own community, in the form of accumulated (pillaged) wealth that they'd bring back when they are readmitted into their villages after a few years. And, finally, that temporary and institutionalized "band of brothers" certainly selected (in the most violent form, eliminating the least able and clever) and prepared the male youth to become adult warriors in the defense of their own tribe and attack against rival communities. Many Brazilian natives also formed bands of youthful warriors to raid, kidnap women and take useful objects in other (rival) villages, while simultaneously there were rigid rules for peace, self-control and social cohesion within their own village. It's all very tough and unfair, but not irrational.

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