Chapter

Identity of Aryan Culture

R.S. Sharma

in India’s Ancient Past

Published in print January 2007 | ISBN: 9780195687859
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199080366 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195687859.003.0011
Identity of Aryan Culture

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  • Ancient History (Non-Classical, to 500 CE)

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The principal traits of Aryan culture are started by Vedic, Iranian, and Greek literary texts and cognate terms found in the proto-Indo-European languages. The texts that help to reconstruct the material and other aspects of Aryan culture comprise the Rig Veda, Zend-Avesta, and Iliad and Odyssey. These texts present agriculture and pastoralism as the principal sources of livelihood. The horse plays a crucial role in the life of the early Indo-Europeans. War chariot with spoked wheels also appear. The pit-dwelling may have developed in cold conditions. The use of birch-wood appears to be an Aryan feature along with underground houses. The fire altar is mentioned in the Rig Veda, and fire worship is very important in Avesta. Animal sacrifice was an important Aryan ritual. The cult of soma was confined to only the Iranian and Vedic peoples. The migration of the Indo-Aryans is finally described.

Keywords: Aryan culture; Rig Veda; agriculture; pastoralism; horse; animal sacrifice; soma; fire worship; Indo-Aryans; pit-dwelling

Chapter.  4272 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Ancient History (Non-Classical, to 500 CE)

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