only in obscure Russian-language journals, described a culture with the tongue-twisting name Bactria-Margiana Archaeological Complex. S. Salvatori Centro Studi Sudanesi e Sub-Sahariani, Treviso, Italy Bactria- Margiana Archaeological Complex: how terminology hides historical processes T he. The Bactria–Margiana Archaeological Complex (or BMAC, also known as the Oxus civilization) is the name given to a Central Asian Bronze Age culture.
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Physical proof of an advanced civilization in northern Afghanistan around BC or BC, or more broadly BC has come from more than a dozen exacavations conducted during the s in the region that archaeologists refer to as the Bactria-Margiana Archaeological Complex BMAC.
While we can still only glimpse at the constellation of cities that existed in ancient times, margkana made at BMAC already reveal a series of cities and settlements, each with a distinctive and exceptionally large architectural footprint, with temple structure, administrative quarters and defensive walls. The Bactria-Margiana Archaeological Complex culture is defined on the basis of typologically similar artifacts seals, ceramics and monumental buildings, reflecting the emergence of a complex society.
Bactria Margiana Archaeological Complex –
It lasted for about years and then collapsed, as evidenced by the precipitous decline of urban settlements and the disappearance coplex artifacts. At the same time, however, there is an abundance of BMAC artifacts on the Iranian plateau and in the Indo-Iranian borderland, although no artifacts indigenous to the plateau and Indo-Iranian borderland have been found in the heartland of the BMAC culture itself.
The material culture of BMAC is distinctive both arcaeological style and quality of its production.
Large numbers of nomadic invaders or migrants, pastoral citiless people travelling on horseback and by chariot, long known conveniently, perhaps wrongly as Aryans derived from the Sanskrit word for “nobles”migrated south from the Caspian Sea region across the Oxus present-day Amu Darya River to present-day Afghanistan during the late early 2nd millennium by circa BC.
No contemporaneous record exists of the Aryans’ journey. But according to legend, they sang hymns as they travelled that were passed on by word of mouth from one generation of priests to another archaeklogical c.
Central Asia’s Lost Civilization
These texts celebrate a tribe, centuries earlier, emerging from the Hindy Kush and crossing the Kubha, or Kabul, River around BC, as these nomadic wanderers put the Central Asian vastness behind them. Though evidence remains slim, some of the Aryan migrants appear to have stopped their wandering and settled in Afghanistan, while others continued south toward the India subcontinent.
Meanwhile, a third branch of the Aryan Migration turned westward and settled on the Iranian plateau, in a place called Ariana, where an unknown scribe, or scribes, around BC produced the Persian hymns known as the Avesta, which mentions a city in northern Afghanistan termed Bakhdi Balkh “beautiful, crowned with banners.
Some scholars have suggested that the Old Avestan texts belong to the Iranian communities of the Bactria-Margiana Archaeological Complex, whereas the Young Avestan reflect the religious evolution of the same population after they settled in the northeastern part of the Iranian Plateau ca.
Some suggest the Indo-Aryans were in India a archaeolgical time before traditional dating, and that they were coming from a zone in the Middle East that could correspond to the Iranian plateau with a migration from there essentially East and North East, meeting then the BMAC.
Like any other facet of human culture, Rigvedic religion was neither static nor without history. The steppe war chariot could have been introduced to the Near East through Central Asia, where there was clear and undoubted evidence for contact between the fortified, brick-walled oasis cities of the Bactria-Margiana Archaeological Complex BMAC and Sintashta and Petrovka charioteers from the northern steppes about BCE.
The BMAC oasis communities had far-flung trade relationships with cities and citadels across the Iranian Plateau, where the Martiana state and other smaller alliances were locked in combat with Mesopotamian kings during the Ur III period.
BACTRIA MARGIANA (OXUS CIVILIZATION) AND EARLY CENTRAL ASIAN POLITIES | Facts and Details
All known cities in the Bactria-Margiana Archaeological Complex contained monumental structures with heavy defensive walls, each located aproximately 30 to 50 kilometers roughly a day’s march from each other. The city in northern Afghanistan named Baktra present-day Balkh is recorded in the Avesta as the birthplace of Zarathustra Spitama Zoroasterthe founder of Zoroastianism, one of the first great world religions that is continually practiced to this day.
The reasons that the cities of the Bactria-Margiana Archaeological Complex were suddenly abandoned are not known.
Possibly the widespread calamity known as the Bronze Age Collapse acrhaeological imploded the palace economies of the Aegean and Anatolia during the late 2nd millennium impacted trade with settlements in Central Asia. Sign In Sign Out. Enter Your Email Address.