To Revert to the Theory of ‘Aryan Invasion’ (Part 7)

(iv) Motifs on BMAC glyptics

The fourth argument that has been pressed into the service of the supposed BMAC = Aryan equation is that the motifs on the BMAC seals compare with certain motifs on the Syro-Hittite glyptics and since there occur on some Boghaz Qui tablets the names of Vedic deities, viz. Indra, Mitra, Varuna and Nasatya, the Boghaz Qui Aryans must be at the root of BMAC ethnic make-up. To quote Sarianidi (op.cit.: 677): “Since it is Mitanni texts that contain the oldest mention of Aryan deities, there cannot be any doubt about the connection of the Mitanni empire with the so-called Aryan problem. As the replication of Mitanni art in Bactria and Margiana is clearly not coincidental, we are justified in connecting the tribes migrating into Central Asia and the Indus Valley with the settlement process of the Aryan or Indo-Iranian tribes.”

Elsewhere Sarianidi goes into the details of these Syro-Hittite vis-a-vis Bactria-Margiana glyptic parallels. For example, he states (1993b: 12-13):

In this connection worthy of utmost attention is the impression of a cylinder seal on one of the Margianian vessels, found .... at Gonur. The central figure of a frequently repeated frieze composition is a standing nude anthropomorphic winged deity with an avian head holding two mountain goats by the legs....

Such anthropomorphic winged and avian-headed deities are represented fairly fully in the glyptics and on the seals of Bactria.... These Bactrian images find the most impressive correspondence in Syro-Hittite glyptics....

If the fact that it’s for the Mittani kingdom that the names of Aryan deities are evidenced is taken into account the importance of the Bactrian-Margianian images will become obvious in the light of solving the Aryan problem on the basis of new archaeological data.

While one has little hesitation in accepting the above-noted Syro-Hittite vis-a-vis Bactria-Margiana parallels, what indeed is the basis of connecting these motifs with the Aryan gods, viz. Indra, Maruta, Varuna and Nasatya? (cf. Fig. 23).


Fig. 23. Impression of cylinder seal from Gonur-1


Does Sarianidi think that the ‘standing nude anthropomorphic winged deity with avian head’ and holding animals by their tails in each hand represents one of the above-mentioned Vedic gods– Indra, Maruta, Varuna, Nasatya?

Likewise, what precisely Aryan is there in the narrative portrayed on another cylinder seal? (Fig. 24).


Fig. 24. Cylinder seal from Togolok-21 and its impression.

Perhaps one fine morning someone might be tempted to designate the scene depicted on the next seal as “ The offering of Soma to Indra”, where Indra is the central figure seated on a chair and his devotees are offering the soma in cups, the beverage itself being stored in the jar! (Fig. 25).


Fig. 25. Scene on a cosmetic flacon, Bactria.


1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8