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Monday, 27 August 2018 06:31

... Ephtalites - "white Huns" .......

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 Pir-Panjal is a picturesque place in the Lesser Himalayas, which attracted the attention of Novosibirsk archaeologists who worked there together with the Indian archaeological expedition in 2017 to study the two complexes found high in the mountains, in which there were about 200 sculptures of stone horsemen. 

The history of these sculptures began a few years earlier than the beginning of the work, when the main research associate of the Institute of Archeology and Ethnography, archaeologist Natalya V.Polosmak, being in the town of Srinagar drew attention to the unusual stone sculptures of horses at the entrance to the archaeological museum.  Natalia Viktorovna Polosmak devoted almost all her life to the study of nomadic tribes, participated in excavations on the Altai plateau Ukok, where the famous Altai princess was discovered, as well as in the burial studies of the nobility of the Hunn in the Noin-Ula burial ground.  India, Natalya Viktorovna, is bound to be bound archeologically with Central Asia.  Although in fact to India, this culture of erecting such sculptures is not relevant due to the fact that the breeding of horses is not involved there.

 

         Riders attract attention not only to their history of origin, but also to the number of horsemen, from two to four soldiers, equipped with clearly-beaten guns, sitting one behind the other, in places, the arcuate back of a horse.  Some of the riders are observed and a woman with a child, or several women holding vessels. Judging by the images found on the plates with the stone horsemen, the role of the woman among the nomads of the Himalayas was high.  On the plates one can observe scenes of practically worshiping smartly dressed ladies.  On the same plate, images of dogs were also found, which was also unusual for Indian culture, but it is peculiar to the culture of nomads who came to this territory and brought their culture, traditions and way of life.

 

  The position of these sculptures was somewhat unenviable.  The local population has no idea of ​​the origin, destination and importance of these monuments.  They were often destroyed, laying the wreckage of the path, many lacking a head, the rest are transferred, since they interfere with the sowing farm where they were.  The sculptures are used by local residents as benches or are found even standing in the river, where as an auxiliary device for washing.

 

  Horsemen, who are higher in the mountains, in the second sanctuary, fate protected from the human factor, but there they were spared time and nature.  Many are literally dug in the ground or grew in vegetation.

 

 What kind of tribe belong to these works of art, one can assume, following the traces of historical facts, studies and records of the chroniclers of the past and modern epochs.

 

                           ............ Ephtalites - "white Huns" .......

 

 Nationality is a mystery for today.  And this is for all its might in the old days.  For the first time, they are mentioned in the 4th century AD, when Edessa was besieged, they were the eastern neighbors of the Persians.  Before this event did not play any significant role in history.  But by the middle of the 5th century they had become one of the most powerful nations.  Relying on sources, around the year 470 the northwest of India was dominated by the Ephthalites, who established their state there.  It is believed that today the population living in this territory is descendants of nomads.  The first ruler of the Ephtalites was Toramana.  His reign lasted until 515 and his son Mihirakula was elevated to the throne.

 

          Many contradictions are observed in the history of the Ephtalites.  Discussions about their origin do not cease, due to the incompatibility of some written sources with each other and no other archaeological monuments related to their culture on the territory of India and other countries.  Found stone riders can possibly shed light on this issue when all the necessary studies are done.  But can also assume, taking into account the look of the soldiers, each stroke in the equipment of the horse, in military uniforms, and especially the head shape of the riders with a severed back.  The shape of the head, identical in the images of the Ephtalite rulers on the found coins.

 

But nevertheless opinions about who they were in scientific circles are very different.  For some the Ephthalites the Iranian-speaking tribe, for others the descendants of the Huns, despite the external discrepancy with the Asian Huns, since the Ephtalites were in their majority with very pale skin, more often red hair and light eyes, which is why they were nicknamed the "white Huns".  For the third were the descendants of the Mongols.  Descendants of Germanic tribes, mixed with Asian Huns, who were faithfully served until the collapse of the empire.  Although some European sources point out the differences between the white and Asian Huns, not only externally, but also in culture, customs and characteristics, noting only possible service, but without confusion of births.  The same disunity of opinions is also present in the question of where the Ephtalites come from.  They include Central Asia, eastern Turkestan, northwest India and Afghanistan, and so on.

 

  We can lead to the example of scientists of minds, such as McGovern, who led the Ephtalites from Turfan in the II.  AD  and assumes that they have ties with Tibet.  In turn, Franz Altheim speaks for the steppe origin of the Ephthalites: "F. Altheim assumed the Turkic origin of the Ephtalites, in which he confirms that the Ephtalites were a Turkic-speaking Altai tribe, the ethnonym" Eftal "originates from the Turkic root: yap, meaning to do, to create plus verbal-  nominal suffixes t and l The reconstructed word yap-t-il means "creator, actor" ("Schaffender, Tätiger") .The language of the Ephtalites was Türkic and the presence of Iranian words is explained by elements penetrated into the language of Ephtalites  from conquered . Althaim identifies Chionites and Ephthalites, suggesting that the Ephtalites were members of the royal clan, and that the Chionites were a people's name "(c)

 

  Moses of Kalakantui indicates the Ephthalites, as one of the tribes of Caucasian Albania, calling them eptals, that is Huns - Ephtalites.

 

 Theophylactus Simocatta calls the Ephtalites white Huns, considering them part of the Hunnic tribes.

 

And the Arab historian at-Tabari writes about the events of the 6th century, where the Turks are mentioned with their khakan rulers and he considers the Ephtalites, Khazars and others who created powerful states on the territory of the Caucasus and the Near East.

 

  If we consider each feature of the Ephthalites, then we can find not a few parallels that intersect with the culture and way of life of nomads.  For example, the very same stone sculptures of horses.  After all, as is known the erection of such monuments is an ancient tradition of the Turkic nomads, for whom the horse was also a means of transportation and was cultic.  In addition to horses, the soldiers themselves on horses, as well as their images on the above mentioned coins, have an artificially deformed skull.  A similar tradition was characteristic of the Huns in the 1st century AD.

 

  Further, the range of distribution of stone sculptures of horses is wide.  They can be found in the northwestern parts of Iran, Azerbaijan, in the east of Turkey, etc.

 

  For comparison with the Himalayan horsemen horses from Lachin, Gazakh regions of the Azerbaijan Republic were brought.  Despite the fact that they do not have a rider on their own, nevertheless the equipping of the horse was recreated practically according to the general scheme, as well as the presence of weapons images.  Horses, in places where the Turkic culture took place, were put in the form of tombstones to the fallen brave warriors.

 

  Based on these facts, it is not superfluous to pay attention to the words of the chroniclers claiming the existence of Ephtalites in  Azerbaijani and surrounding territories.  With the name of the Ephtalites (white Huns), there are a number of ethnotoponyms and the existing genera to this day: Abdal, Avdal, Avdallah.  The range and scale of the prevalence of this ethno-toponym suggests that it is not just a genus or a certain tribe, but in the past a numerous people that constituted a tribal union.  The toponyms and ethnonyms of Abdal, Avdal are found in Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Bashkiria, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Turkey.

 

 In the Ordubad district of the Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic of Azerbaijan there is Mount Abdal.  There is also Abdal village in Tovuz region, in Gubadli district of Abdalanli.  The village of Abdalla in the Oguz region of the Republic of Azerbaijan, in the Khanlar district, the village of Choban Abdallar.

 

In Armenia can count a few: Abovyan region village Awdal, in the Garni region village Avdallar, Abdallar the name of the village during the Irevan khanate in the Karpibasar area, the fortress of Avdal Aga.

 

  Two villages of Abdallah were in the 19th century in Georgia.

 

 Abdal and Abdullar villages are also found in Iran.

 

 In the history of the Turkmen SSR, the white Huns are also called abdalas.

 

  The history of the Ephtalites contains many secrets and ambiguities and will continue to be the subject of long discussions and research, the veil of which

 

 the silent stone witnesses of the bright life of the mysterious Himalayan warriors were opened ...

 

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Thanks to the authors, whose writings were based on the writing of this article!

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The attached drawings of the Lachin and Gazakh horses - By: (Neimatova, 1981)

 

 Coins of Ephthalites (Hunn-Alkhon ruler of Meham, 461-493 AD) and their depictions.  Fig.  E. Shumakova

 

........

 

[F. Altheim, R. Stiehl. Ein asiatischer Staat. Feudalismus unter den Sasaniden und ihren Nachbarn I. Wiesbaden, 1954 - р.276-277]

 

[F. Altheim. Geschichte der Hunnen I. Berlin, 1959 - р.44, 31-56]

 

..

 

Article by Olga Kolesova "MYSTERIOUS TROOPS PIR-PANJALA"

 

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Gumilev L.N.  "Ephtalites and their neighbors in the IV century." "Bulletin of Ancient History."  1959, No. 1

 

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At-Tabari: History of the Prophets and Kings.  Shmidt AE Materials on the history of Central Asia and Iran / / Scientific notes of the Institute of Oriental Studies, Volume 16, 1958]

 

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Geibullaev G.A.  "Towards ethnogenesis of Azerbaijanis" vol.1, Baku Elm, 1991

 

 https://www.facebook.com/HuntersForArtifacts/posts/1944254099205899

 

Collection of material:  Sabit Djodjulu

 

 Author: Ina Babaeva

 

 

 

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