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Encyclopedia > Tusharas

The Tocharians were the easternmost speakers of an Indo-European language in antiquity, inhabiting the Tarim basin in what is now Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, northwestern People's Republic of China. Their unique culture spanned from the 1st millennium BCE to the end of the 1st millennium CE. Their language is called Tocharian. Proto-Indo-European Indo-European studies Indo-European is originally a linguistic term, referring to the Indo-European language family. ... The Tarim River (Mandarin Dayan) is the principal river of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in the Peoples Republic of China. ... Xinjiang (Chinese: 新疆; pinyin: Xīnjiāng; Wade-Giles: Hsin1-chiang1; Postal Pinyin: Sinkiang; literal meaning: New Frontier; Uyghur: شينجاڭ) Uyghurs Autonomous Region of the Peoples Republic of China (PRC), sometimes known as Chinese Turkestan, Eastern Turkestan (Turkestan also spelt Turkistan) or Uyghuristan. ... (Redirected from 1st millennium BCE) (2nd millennium BC – 1st millennium BC – 1st millennium AD – other millennia) Events The Iron Age began in Western Egypt declined as a major power The Tanakh was written Buddhism was founded Cyrus the Great conquered Babylon and created the Persian Empire (6th century BC) Sparta... Tocharian is one of the most obscure branches of the Indo-European language group. ...

Contents


Archaeology

The Tarim mummies suggest that precursors of these easternmost speakers of an Indo-European language may have lived in the region of the Tarim Basin from around 1800 BCE until finally they were assimilated by Uyghur Turks in the 9th century CE. A Tarim Basin mummy photographed by Aurel Stein circa 1910. ... Taklamakan Desert in the Tarim Basin. ... (19th century BC - 18th century BC - 17th century BC - other centuries) (3rd millennium BC - 2nd millennium BC - 1st millennium BC) Events 1787 - 1784 BC -- Amorite conquests of Uruk and Isin 1786 BC -- Egypt: End of Twelfth Dynasty, start of Thirteenth Dynasty, start of Fourteenth Dynasty 1766 BC -- Shang conquest of... The Uyghur (Uyghur: ئۇيغۇر; Turkish: Uygur; Simplified Chinese: 维吾尔; Traditional Chinese: 維吾爾; Hanyu Pinyin: ) are a Turkic-speaking ethnic group living in northwestern China, mainly in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, where they are the largest ethnic group, together with Han Chinese, Uzbeks, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, Turks, and Russians. ... As a means of recording the passage of time the 9th century was that century that lasted from 801 to 900. ...

"Tocharian donors", possibly the "Knights with Long Swords" of Chinese accounts, depicted with light hair and light eye color and dressed in Sassanian style. 6th century CE fresco, Qizil, Tarim Basin. Graphical analysis reveals that the third donor from left is performing a Buddhist vitarka mudra. These frescoes are associated with annotations in Tocharian and Sanskrit made by their painters.
"Tocharian donors", possibly the "Knights with Long Swords" of Chinese accounts, depicted with light hair and light eye color and dressed in Sassanian style. 6th century CE fresco, Qizil, Tarim Basin. Graphical analysis reveals that the third donor from left is performing a Buddhist vitarka mudra. These frescoes are associated with annotations in Tocharian and Sanskrit made by their painters.

There is evidence both from the mummies and Chinese writings that many of them had blonde or red hair and blue eyes, characteristics also found in present-day Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Central Asia, due to the populations' high genetic diversity. This suggests the possibility that they were part of an early Indo-European migration that ended in what is now the Tarim Basin in western China. According to a controversial theory, early invasions by Turkic speakers may have pushed Tocharian speakers out of the Tarim Basin and into modern Afghanistan, India, Turkmenistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. Download high resolution version (776x603, 549 KB)Fresco from Qizil. ... Download high resolution version (776x603, 549 KB)Fresco from Qizil. ... Head of king Shapur II (Sasanian dynasty A.D. 4th century). ... Tocharian donors, with light hair and light eye color, dressed in Sassanian style, 6th century CE fresco, Qizil, Tarim Basin. ... Taklamakan Desert in the Tarim Basin. ... A replica of an ancient statue found among the ruins of a temple at Sarnath Buddhism is a philosophy based on the teachings of the Buddha, Siddhārtha Gautama, a prince of the Shakyas, whose lifetime is traditionally given as 566 to 486 BCE. It had subsequently been accepted by... In Hinduism, a mudra (Sanskrit, literally seal) is a symbolic gesture made with the hand or fingers. ... Tocharian is one of the most obscure branches of the Indo-European language group. ... Sanskrit ( संस्कृतम्) is an Indo-European Classical language of India and a liturgical language of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. ... Mummified cat from Ancient Egypt. ... One of the worlds most famous blondes Marilyn Monroe, who was in fact a natural brunette Blond (feminine, blonde) is a hair colour found in certain mammals characterised by low levels of the dark pigment eumelanin and higher levels of the pale pigment phæomelanin, in common with red or... Red hair (also referred to as auburn, ginger or titian) is a hair color that varies from a deep red through to bright copper. ... Blue is any of a number of similar colors. ... Proto-Indo-European Indo-European studies Indo-European is originally a linguistic term, referring to the Indo-European language family. ... Taklamakan Desert in the Tarim Basin. ... The Turkic languages constitute a language family of some thirty languages, spoken across a vast area from Eastern Europe to Siberia and Western China with an estimated 140 million native speakers and tens of millions of second-language speakers. ...


The Tarim Basin mummies (1800 BCE) and the Tocharian texts and frescoes from the Tarim Basin (800 CE) have been found in the same general geographical area, and are both connected to an Indo-European origin. The faces on these frescos were usually vandalized in the past due to their "European" features. The mummies and the frescoes both point to Caucasian types with light eyes and hair color. There is no evidence that directly connects them however, as no texts were recovered from the grave sites. (19th century BC - 18th century BC - 17th century BC - other centuries) (3rd millennium BC - 2nd millennium BC - 1st millennium BC) Events 1787 - 1784 BC -- Amorite conquests of Uruk and Isin 1786 BC -- Egypt: End of Twelfth Dynasty, start of Thirteenth Dynasty, start of Fourteenth Dynasty 1766 BC -- Shang conquest of... Tocharian is one of the most obscure branches of the Indo-European language group. ... Events December 25, Rome, coronation of Charles the Great (Charlemagne) as emperor by Pope Leo III. Celtic monks begin work on the Book of Kells on the Island of Iona. ... The term Caucasian race is used almost exclusively in North America to refer to people whose ancestry can be traced back to Europe, North Africa, West Asia, South Asia and parts of Central Asia. ...


A recent article (Hemphill and Mallory, 2004) reaches the following conclusions:

This study confirms the assertion of Han [1998] that the occupants of Alwighul and Krorän are not derived from proto-European steppe populations, but share closest affinities with Eastern Mediterranean populations. Further, the results demonstrate that such Eastern Mediterraneans may also be found at the urban centers of the Oxus civilization located in the north Bactrian oasis to the west. Affinities are especially close between Krorän, the latest of the Xinjiang samples, and Sapalli, the earliest of the Bactrian samples, while Alwighul and later samples from Bactria exhibit more distant phenetic affinities. This pattern may reflect a possible major shift in interregional contacts in Central Asia in the early centuries of the second millennium BC.

However, another theory states that the earliest Bronze Age settlers of the Tarim and Turpan basins originated from the steppelands and highlands immediately north of East Central Asia. These colonists were related to the Afanasievo culture which exploited both open steppelands and upland environments employing a mixed agricultural economy. The Afanasievo culture formed the eastern linguistic periphery of the Indo-European continuum of languages whose centre of expansion lay much farther to the west, north of the Black and Caspian seas. This periphery was ancestral to the historical Tocharian languages. See J. P. Mallory and Victor H. Mair, The Tarim Mummies — 2000 Thames and Hudson Ltd ISBN 0-500-05101-1. The Tarim River (Mandarin Dayan) is the principal river of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in the Peoples Republic of China. ... Turfan (Modern Chinese 吐魯番; pinyin: Tulufan, ancient Chinese Gaochang, also: Kao-chang, Turpan) is an oasis city in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region of the Peoples Republic of China. ... Shaded area represents Minusa River basin of the upper Yenisei River catchment, and approximate center of the Afanasevo culture. ...


Textile analysis has shown some similarities to the Iron Age civilizations of Europe dating from 800BC, including woven twill and tartan patterns strikingly similar to Celtic tartans from Northwest Europe. One of the unusual finds with one of the mummies was a classical pointy hat, worn by some European cultures in Ancient and Medieval times, suggesting very ancient Indo-European roots for this tradition. The female mummies also wore the same kind of skirts as have been found preserved in graves from the Nordic Bronze Age. It has been suggested that Textile manufacturing be merged into this article or section. ... Iron Age Axe found on Gotland This article is about the archaeological period known as the Iron Age, for the mythological Iron Age see Iron Age (mythology). ... World map showing Europe Europe is conventionally considered one of the seven continents of Earth which, in this case, is more a cultural and political distinction than a physiogeographic one. ... A twill weave can easily be identified by its diagonal lines. ... A tartan is a specific woven pattern that often signifies a particular Scottish clan in the modern era. ... the tigrakhauda (Orthocorybantians) relief of eastern stairs of the Apadana of Persepolis. ... Map of the Nordic Bronze Age culture, ca 1200 BC The Nordic Bronze Age (also Northern Bronze Age) is the name given by Oscar Montelius (1843-1921) to a period and a Bronze Age culture in Scandinavian pre-history, ca 1800 BC - 600 BC, with sites that reached as far...


Language

Main article: Tocharian languages Tocharian is one of the most obscure branches of the Indo-European language group. ...

Wooden plate with inscriptions in the Tocharian language. Kucha, China, 5th-8th century. Tokyo National Museum.
Wooden plate with inscriptions in the Tocharian language. Kucha, China, 5th-8th century. Tokyo National Museum.

The Tocharians appear to have originally spoken two distinct languages of the Indo-European Tocharian family, an Eastern ("A") form and a Western ("B") form. According to some, only the Eastern ("A") form can be properly called "Tocharian", as the native name for the Western form is referred to as Kuchean (see below). Commonalities between the Tocharian languages and various other Indo-European language families (as with Germanic, Balto-Slavic, even Italic or Greek) have been suggested, but the evidence does not support any close relationship with any other family. The only consensus is that Tocharian was already far enough removed, at an early date, from the other eastern I-E proto-languages (Proto-Balto-Slavic and Proto-Indo-Iranian), not to share some of the common changes that PBS and PII share, such as early palatalization of velars. Download high resolution version (842x625, 162 KB)Wooden plate with inscription in the Tocharian language. ... Download high resolution version (842x625, 162 KB)Wooden plate with inscription in the Tocharian language. ... Tocharian is one of the most obscure branches of the Indo-European language group. ... Kucha (Modern Chinese Simplified: 库车, Traditional: 庫車, pinyin ku che, also romanized Chiu-tzu, Kiu-che, Kuei-tzu. ... The Tokyo National Museum. ... The Indo-European languages are a family of several hundred languages and dialects (443 according to the SIL estimate), including most of the major languages of Europe, as well as many in Southwest Asia, Central Asia and Southern Asia. ... Tocharian is one of the most obscure branches of the Indo-European language group. ... Proto-Indo-European Indo-European studies Tocharian is one of the most obscure branches of the Indo-European language group. ... The Balto-Slavic language group is a hypothetical language group consisting of the Baltic and Slavic language subgroups of the Indo-European family. ... The Italic subfamily is a member of the Centum branch of the Indo-European language family. ... The Balto-Slavic language group is a hypothetical language group consisting of the Baltic and Slavic language subgroups of the Indo-European family. ... The Indo-Iranian languages are the language links between India and Iran. ... Diachronic map showing the Centum (blue) and Satem (red) areals. ...


Tocharian A of the eastern regions seems to have declined in use as a popular language or mother tongue faster than did Tocharian B of the west. Tocharian A speakers probably yielded their original language to Turkic languages of immigrating Turkic peoples, while Tocharian B speakers were more insulated from outside linguistic influences. It appears that Tocharian A ultimately became a liturgical language, no longer a living one, at the same time that Tocharian B was still widely spoken in daily life. Among the monasteries of the lands inhabited by Tocharian B speakers, Tocharian A seems to have been used in ritual alongside the Tocharian B of daily life. The Turkic languages are a group of closely related languages that are spoken by a variety of people distributed across a vast area from Eastern Europe to Siberia and Western China. ... A sacred language is a language, frequently a dead language, that is cultivated for religious reasons by people who speak another language in their daily life. ...


Besides the religious Tocharian texts, the texts include monastery correspondence and accounts, commercial documents, caravan permits, medical and magical texts, and a love poem. Their manuscript fragments, of the 8th centuries, suggest that they were no longer either as nomadic or "barbaric" as the Chinese had considered them.
Medicine is the branch of health science and the sector of public life concerned with maintaining human health or restoring it through the treatment of disease and injury. ... This article deals with magic in the context of religion and the anthropology of religion. ... Bust of Homer, one of the earliest European poets, in the British Museum Poetry (ancient Greek: ποιεω (poieo) = I create) is an art form in which human language is used for its aesthetic qualities in addition to, or instead of, its notional and semantic content. ... (7th century — 8th century — 9th century — other centuries) Events The Iberian peninsula is taken by Arab and Berber Muslims, thus ending the Visigothic rule, and starting almost 8 centuries of Muslim presence there. ... // Greek origin of the term Barbarian comes the French barbarien or Medieval Latin barbarinus, from Latin barbaria, from Latin barbarus, from the ancient Greek word βάρβαρος (barbaros) which meant a non-Greek, someone whose (first) language was not Greek. ...


Historic role

Blue-eyed Central Asian (Tocharian?) and East-Asian Buddhist monks, Bezaklik, Eastern Tarim Basin, 9th-10th century.
Blue-eyed Central Asian (Tocharian?) and East-Asian Buddhist monks, Bezaklik, Eastern Tarim Basin, 9th-10th century.

The Tocharians, living along the Silk Road, had contacts with the Chinese and Persians, and Turkic, Indian and Iranian tribes. They might be the same as, or were related to, the Indo-European Yuezhi who fled from their settlements in Gansu under attacks from the Xiongnu in the 2nd century BCE (Shiji Chinese historical Chronicles, Chap. 123) and expanded south to Bactria and northern India to form the Kushan Empire. Central Asian and East Asian Buddhist monks, Bezaklik grottoes (57km Northeast of Turpan), Eastern Tarim Basin, 9th-10th century. ... Central Asian and East Asian Buddhist monks, Bezaklik grottoes (57km Northeast of Turpan), Eastern Tarim Basin, 9th-10th century. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Taklamakan Desert in the Tarim Basin. ... For other uses, see Silk Road (disambiguation). ... The migrations of the Yuezhi through Central Asia, from around 176 to 30 BCE. Yuezhi (Chinese:月氏, also 月支, Wade-Giles: Yüeh-Chih) or Da Yuezhi (Chinese:大月氏, also 大月支, Great Yuezhi) is the Chinese name for an ancient Central Asian people. ... Gansu (Simplified Chinese: 甘肃; Traditional Chinese: 甘肅; Hanyu Pinyin: ; Wade-Giles: Kan-su, Kansu, or Kan-suh) is a province located in the northwest of the Peoples Republic of China. ... A Xiongnu belt buckle. ... (3rd century BC - 2nd century BC - 1st century BC - other centuries) (2nd millennium BC - 1st millennium BC - 1st millennium AD) Events BC 168 Battle of Pydna -- Macedonian phalanx defeated by Romans BC 148 Rome conquers Macedonia BC 146 Rome destroys Carthage in the Third Punic War BC 146 Rome conquers... The Records of the Grand Historian or the Records of the Grand Historian of China was the magnum opus of Sima Qian, in which he recounted Chinese history from the time of the mythical Yellow Emperor until his own time. ... Bactria (Bactriana) was the ancient Greek name of the country between the range of the Hindu Kush (Caucasus Indicus) and the Amu Darya (Oxus); its capital, Bactra (now Balkh), was located in what is now northern Afghanistan, southern Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan. ... Boundary of the Kushan empire, c. ...


The Tocharians who remained in the Tarim Bassin adopted Buddhism, which, like their alphabet, came from northern India in the first century of the 1st millennium, through the proselytism of Kushan monks. The Kushans and the Tocharians seem to have played a part in the Silk Road transmission of Buddhism to China. Many apparently also practised some variant of Manichaeanism. Buddhism (more correctly Pāli Buddhadhamma or Sanskrit Buddhadharma) is a religion and philosophy based on the teachings of the Buddha, Siddhārtha Gautama, a prince of the Shakyas, whose lifetime is traditionally given as 566 to 486 BCE. Buddhism spread throughout the ancient Indian sub-continent in the five... Boundary of the Kushan empire, c. ... Boundary of the Kushan empire, c. ... Blue-eyed Central Asian and East-Asian Buddhist monks, Bezaklik, Eastern Tarim Basin, 9th-10th century. ... Manichaeism was one of the major ancient religions. ...


Protected by the Taklamakan desert from steppe nomads, the Tocharian culture survived past the 7th century. The Kingdom of Khotan was one of the centers of this ancient civilization. Dust storm in Taklamakan from space, June 25, 2005 The Taklamakan (also Taklimakan) is a desert of Central Asia, in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region of the Peoples Republic of China. ... A steppe in Western Kazakhstan in early spring In physical geography, a steppe (Russian степь or step and pronounced in English as step) is a plain without trees (apart from those near rivers and lakes); it is similar to a prairie, although a prairie is generally considered as being dominated by... Communities of nomadic people move from place to place, rather than settling down in one location. ... // Overview Events The Roman-Persian Wars end. ... The Kingdom of Khotan is an ancient Buddhist kingdom that was located on the branch of the Silk road that ran along the southern edge of the Taklamakan desert in the Tarim basin. ... The word civilization (or civilisation) has a variety of meanings related to human society. ...


Naming

The term Tocharians has a somewhat complicated history. It is based on the ethnonym Tokharoi (Greek Τόχαροι) used by Greek historians (e.g. Ptolemy VI, 11, 6). The first mention of the Tocharians appeared in the 1st century BCE, when Strabo presented them as a Scythian tribe, and explained that the Tokharians — together with the Assianis, Passianis and Sakaraulis — took part in the destruction of the Greco-Bactrian kingdom in the second half of the 2nd century BCE: Claudius Ptolemaeus (Greek: ; ca. ... (Redirected from 1st century BCE) (2nd century BC - 1st century BC - 1st century - other centuries) The 1st century BC starts on January 1, 100 BC and ends on December 31, 1 BC. An alternative name for this century is the last century BC. (2nd millennium BC - 1st millennium BC - 1st... Strabo (squinty) was a term employed by the Romans for anyone whose eyes were distorted or deformed. ... Scythia was an area in Eurasia inhabited in ancient times by an Indo-Aryans known as the Scythians. ... Approximate extent of the Greco-Bactrian kingdom circa 220 BCE. The Greco-Bactrians were a dynasty of Greek kings who controlled Bactria and Sogdiana, an area comprising todays northern Afghanistan and parts of Central Asia, the easternmost area of the Hellenistic world, from 250 to 125 BCE. Their expansion... (3rd century BC - 2nd century BC - 1st century BC - other centuries) (2nd millennium BC - 1st millennium BC - 1st millennium AD) Events BC 168 Battle of Pydna -- Macedonian phalanx defeated by Romans BC 148 Rome conquers Macedonia BC 146 Rome destroys Carthage in the Third Punic War BC 146 Rome conquers...

"Most of the Scythians, beginning from the Caspian Sea, are called Dahae Scythae, and those situated more towards the east Massagetae and Sacae; the rest have the common appellation of Scythians, but each separate tribe has its peculiar name. All, or the greatest part of them, are nomads. The best known tribes are those who deprived the Greeks of Bactriana, the Asii, Pasiani, Tochari, and Sacarauli, who came from the country on the other side of the Jaxartes, opposite the Sacae and Sogdiani."
(Strabo, 11-8-1)

These Tochari are identified with the Yuezhi and one of their major tribes, the Kushans. The geographical term Tokharistan usually refers to 1st millennium Bactria (Chinese Daxia 大夏). Scythia was an area in Eurasia inhabited in ancient times by an Indo-Aryans known as the Scythians. ... Caspian Sea viewed from orbit The Caspian Sea is a landlocked endorheic sea between Asia and Europe (European Russia). ... Ideograms for Ta-Hsia. ... Massagetae were an Iranian people of antiquity. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Bactria (Bactriana) was the ancient Greek name of the country between the range of the Hindu Kush (Caucasus Indicus) and the Amu Darya (Oxus); its capital, Bactra (now Balkh), was located in what is now northern Afghanistan, southern Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan. ... Syr Darya (also known as Syrdarya or Sirdaryo) is a river in Central Asia. ... The Sogdians were an ancient people of Central Asia, who inhabited the region known to the West as Sogdiana. ... Strabo (squinty) was a term employed by the Romans for anyone whose eyes were distorted or deformed. ... The migrations of the Yuezhi through Central Asia, from around 176 to 30 BCE. Yuezhi (Chinese:月氏, also 月支, Wade-Giles: Yüeh-Chih) or Da Yuezhi (Chinese:大月氏, also 大月支, Great Yuezhi) is the Chinese name for an ancient Central Asian people. ... Boundary of the Kushan empire, c. ... Tokharistan is a name which was given to Bactria, following its settlement by various Central Asian people in the 2nd century BCE. The first literary mentions of Thokaristan appear at the end of the 4th century CE in Chinese Buddhist sources (the Vibhasa-sastra). ... (1st millennium BC – 1st millennium – 2nd millennium – other millennia) // Events If we had to caracterize the 1st millenium AD, it may be called The era of division. ... Bactria (Bactriana) was the ancient Greek name of the country between the range of the Hindu Kush (Caucasus Indicus) and the Amu Darya (Oxus); its capital, Bactra (now Balkh), was located in what is now northern Afghanistan, southern Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan. ... Ideograms for Ta-Hia. ...


Today, the term is associated with the Indo-European languages known as "Tocharian". Based on a Turkic reference to Tocharian A as twqry, these languages were associated with the Kushan ruling class, but the exact relation of the speakers of these languages and the Kushan Tokharoi is uncertain, and some consider "Tocharian languages" a misnomer. Tocharian A is also known as East Tocharian, or Turfanian (of the city of Turfan), and Tocharian B is also known as West Tocharian, or Kuchean (of the city of Kucha) The Indo-European languages are a family of several hundred languages and dialects (443 according to the SIL estimate), including most of the major languages of Europe, as well as many in Southwest Asia, Central Asia and Southern Asia. ... Tocharian is one of the most obscure branches of the Indo-European language group. ... Turfan (Uyghur: تۇرپان; Uyghur latin: Turpan; Modern Chinese 吐魯番, Pinyin: TÇ”lÇ”fán; Ancient Chinese 高昌, Pinyin Gāochāng, Wade-Giles: Kao-chang; 42°59′ N 89°11′ E) is an oasis city in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region of the Peoples Republic of China. ... Kucha (Modern Chinese Simplified: 库车, Traditional: 庫車, pinyin ku che, also romanized Chiu-tzu, Kiu-che, Kuei-tzu. ...


The term is so widely used, however, that this question is somewhat academic. Tocharians in the modern sense are, then, defined as the speakers of the Tocharian languages. These were originally nomads, and lived in today's Xinjiang (Tarim basin). The native name of the historical Tocharians of the 6th to 8th centuries was, according to J. P. Mallory, possibly kuśiññe "Kuchean" (Tocharian B), "of the kingdom of Kucha and Agni", and ārśi (Tocharian A); one of the Tocharian A texts has ārśi-käntwā, "In the tongue of Arsi" (ārśi is probably cognate to argenteus, i.e. "shining, brilliant"). According to Douglas Q. Adams, the Tocharians may have called themselves ākñi, meaning "borderers, marchers". Kazakh nomads in the steppes of the Russian Empire, ca. ... Xinjiang (Uyghur: (Shinjang); Chinese: æ–°ç–†; Hanyu Pinyin: ; Wade-Giles: Hsin1-chiang1; Postal Pinyin: Sinkiang), full name Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (Uyghur: شىنجاڭ ئۇيغۇر ئاپتونوم رايونى (Shinjang Uyghur Aptonom Rayoni); Simplified Chinese: 新疆维吾尔自治区; Traditional Chinese: 新疆維吾爾自治區; Hanyu Pinyin: ), is an autonomous region of the Peoples Republic of China (PRC). ... Taklamakan Desert in the Tarim Basin. ... This Buddhist stela from China, Northern Wei period, was built in the early 6th century. ... (7th century — 8th century — 9th century — other centuries) Events The Iberian peninsula is taken by Arab and Berber Muslims, thus ending the Visigothic rule, and starting almost 8 centuries of Muslim presence there. ... JP Mallory is the nom-de-plume of Irish-American archaeologist and Indo-Europeanist Prof. ... Douglas Q. Adams is a professor of English at the University of Idaho and an Indo-European comparativist. ...


Tocharians in Indian Literature

The Ancient Sanskrit literature refers to Tocharians as Tusharas, Tukharas, Tokharas and Tuharas etc. There are numerous references to this people in the ancient Sanskrit texts. E.g: Sanskrit ( संस्कृतम्) is an Indo-European Classical language of India and a liturgical language of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. ...


The Santi Parva of Mahabharata associates the Tusharas with the Yavanas, Kiratas, Gandharas, Chinas, Kambojas, Pahlavas, Kankas, Sabaras, Barbaras, Ramathas etc. and brands them all as Barbaric tribes of Uttarapatha, leading lives of Dasyus (MBH 12.65.13-15). The Mahabharata (Devanagari: महाभारत, phonetically Mahābhārata - see note), sometimes just called Bharata, is one of the two major ancient Sanskrit epics of India, the other being the Ramayana. ... Yona, Yonaka or Yavana is a Pali word used in ancient India to designate Greeks. ... The Kiratas mentioned in early Hindu texts are the non-Aryan aborigines of the land. ... Gandhāra (also Ghandara, Ghandahra, Chandahara, and Persian Gandara) is the name of an ancient kingdom in eastern Afghanistan and north-west province of Pakistan. ... Kambojas are a very ancient people of north-western parts of ancient Pakistan and India, frequently mentioned in ancient texts, although not in the Rig Veda. ... Coin of Gondophares (20-50 CE), first and greatest king of the Indo-Parthian Kingdom. ... Barbarian was originally a Greek term applied to any foreigner, one not sharing a recognized culture or degree of polish with the speaker or writer employing the term. ... Viewed historically or developmentally, a tribe consists of a social formation existing before the development of, or outside of, states. ... Ancient Buddhist and Brahmanical texts reveal that Uttarapatha was the name of northern division of Jambudvipa of ancient Indian traditions. ...


The kings of Tusharas, Shakas, Paradas, Kambojas, Kankas, Romaras, Daradas etc are stated to have paid tribute to Yudhishtra king of Hastinapura. Kings of Tusharas and Kambojas were present in the Rajasuya Yajna performed by Yudhisthira at Hastinapura. Later, the Tusharas, Shakas, Yavanas had participated in the Mahabharata war on Kauravas’ side. Along with the Yavanas and Shakas, the Tushara soldiers had formed a part of the Kamboja military division and fought against the Pandava army at Kurukshetra (MBH 6.66.17-21; MBH 8.88.17). Karna Parva of Mahabharata describes the Tusharas as very ferocious and wrathful warriors. Only known drawing of Shaka - some details like the spear and feather may be fanciful Shaka (sometimes spelled Tshaka, Tchaka or Chaka; ca. ... There are parishes that have the name in Portugal: Parada, a parish in the district of Alfândega da Fé Parada, a parish in the district of Almeida Parada, a parish in the district of Arcos de Valdevez Parada, a parish in the district of Bragança Parada, a parish in the... ... In the epic Mahabharata, Hastinapura is the capital of the Kauravas, the desendents of Kuru, which include the Pandavas In the present world Hastinapura is a small town called Hastinapur, 37km from Meerut and 120km from Delhi. ... Kambojas are a very ancient people of north-western parts of ancient Pakistan and India, frequently mentioned in ancient texts, although not in the Rig Veda. ... In Hinduism, Yajña यज्ञ (Sanskrit yajñá worship, prayer, praise; offering, oblation, sacrifice) is a Vedic ritual of sacrifice performed to please the Devas, or sometimes to the Supreme Spirit Brahman. ... The term Kaurava is a Sanskrit term, that means the descendants of Kuru, a legendary king who is the ancestor of many of the characters of the Mahabharata. ... Look up Kamboja in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... In the Mahabharata, the Pandavas are the five acknowledged sons of Pandu, by his two wives Kunti and Madri. ... Kurukshetra may refer to: The Kurukshetra war described in the Mahabharata, an Indian epic The town and district of Kurukshetra in the Indian state of Haryana This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists pages that might otherwise share the same title. ...


Puranic texts like Vayu Purana, Brahamanda Purana and Vamana Purana etc associates the Tusharas with the Shakas, Barbaras, Kambojas, Daradas, Viprendras, Anglaukas, Yavanas, Pahlavas etc and refer to them all as the tribes of Udichya i.e. north or north-west (Brahmanda Purana 27.46-48). The Puranas are part of Hindu Smriti; these religious scriptures discuss devotion and mythology. ... The Vayu Purana is a Shaiva Purana, dedicated to Vayu (the wind), containing some 24,000 shlokas. ... Vamana Purana, one of the major eighteen Puranas, a Hindu religious text, is devoted to the Vamana avatar of Vishnu. ... The Daradas were a foreign people in ancient India at the beginning of our ear, who lived to the north-east of Kashmir. ... Ancient Buddhist and Brahmanical texts reveal that Uttarapatha was the name of northern division of Jambudvipa of ancient Indian traditions. ...


Puranic literature further states that the Tusharas and other tribes like Gandharas, Shakas, Pahlavas, Kambojas, Paradas, Yavanas, Barbaras, Khasa, Lampakas etc would be invaded and annhilated by king Kaliki at the end of Kaliyuga. And they were annhilated by king Pramiti at the end of Kaliyga (Vayu I.58.78-83; cf: Matsya 144.51-58). Viewed historically or developmentally, a tribe consists of a social formation existing before the development of, or outside of, states. ... The Khasas are an ancient people, believed to be a section of the Iranians who originally belonged to Central Asia from where they had penetrated, in remote antiquity, the Himalayas from Central Asia through Kashgar and Kashmir and dominated the whole hilly region. ... According to most inrepretations of Hindu scriptures, the Kali Yuga (Iron Age) began at the end of Krishnas bodily lifespan (approximately 5100 years ago, 3102 BC) and will last exactly 432,000 years — placing its conclusion in the year AD 428,899 (it began with a year 0). ...


According to Vayu Purana and Matsya Purana, river Chakshu (Oxus) flowed through the countries of Tusharas, Lampakas, Pahlavas, Paradas and the Shakas etc (Vayu Purana I.58.78-83). It’s the sixteenth Purana. ... The Amu Darya (in Persian آمودریا; Darya means river in Persian) rises in the Pamirs and flows mainly north-west through the Hindu Kush, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan to join the Aral Sea in a large river delta. ...


The Brihat-Katha-Manjari (verses 10/1/285-86) of Pt Kshmendra relates that around 400 AD, Gupta king Vikramaditya (Chandragupta II) had "unburdened the sacred earth by destroying the barbarians" like the Tusharas, Shakas, Mlecchas, Kambojas, Yavanas, Parasikas, Hunas etc. The period of prominence of the Gupta dynasty is very often referred to as the Golden Age of India. ... Coin of Gondophares (20-50 CE), first and greatest king of the Indo-Parthian Kingdom. ... For the Indian Hunas see Hephthalite Huna is the name that spiritualist entrepreneur Max Freedom Long gave his version of Hawaiian spiritualism. ...


Rajatrangini of Kalhana attests that king Laliditya Muktapida, the 8th century ruler of Kashmir had invaded the tribes of north, and after defeating the Kambojas, he had attacked the Tusharas. The Tusharas did not give a fight but fled to the mountain ranges leaving their horses in the battle field (RT IV.165-166). This shows that during 8th century AD, a section of Tusharas were living as neighbors of the Kambojas near the Oxus valley. Kalhana (c. ... Shown in green is the Kashmiri region under Pakistani control. ... Viewed historically or developmentally, a tribe consists of a social formation existing before the development of, or outside of, states. ... Kambojas are a very ancient people of north-western parts of ancient Pakistan and India, frequently mentioned in ancient texts, although not in the Rig Veda. ... The Amu Darya (in Persian آمودریا; Darya means river in Persian) rises in the Pamirs and flows mainly north-west through the Hindu Kush, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan to join the Aral Sea in a large river delta. ...


But 6th century AD Brhatsamhita of Vrahamihira also connects the Tusharas with Barukachcha (Bhroach) and Barbaricum (on Indus Delta) in western India (See: Brhatsamhita XVI.6; (The Geographical Data of Early Purana, 1972, p 26, Dr M. R. Singh). This shows that a section of the Tusharas had also moved to western India and was living there around Vrahamihira's time. The Indus is a river; the Indus River. ...


Going out of Iron Pass, 7th century AD Chinese pilgrim Hiun Tsang entered Tu-huo-lo (Tushara) country which lied to the north of the great snow mountains (Hindukush), to the south of Iron Pass and to the east of Persia. During Hiun Tsang’s times, country of Tushara was divided into 27 administrative units. The Kumitos of Hiun Tsang's accounts (the Kumijis of Al-Maqidisi) appear to be the Kambojas who were neigbors to the Tusharas accross the Hindukush. For albums named Pilgrim, see Pilgrim (album). ... Xuanzang, Dunhuang cave, 9th century. ... The Hindu Kush or Hindukush (هندوکش in Persian) is a mountain range in Afghanistan as well as in the Northern Areas of Pakistan. ... For other uses of this term see: Persia (disambiguation) The Persian Empire is the name used to refer to a number of historic dynasties that have ruled the country of Persia (Iran). ... The Hindu Kush or Hindukush (هندوکش in Persian) is a mountain range in Afghanistan as well as in the Northern Areas of Pakistan. ...


The 10th century Kavyamimamsa of Chandra Sheikher lists the Tusharas with several other tribes of Uttarapatha viz: the Shakas, Kekeyas, Vokkanas, Hunas, Kambojas, Bahlikas, Pahlavas, Limpakas, Kulutas, Tanganas, Turushakas, Barbaras, Ramathas, etc. (See: Kavyamimamsa, Chaper 17). Ancient Buddhist and Brahmanical texts reveal that Uttarapatha was the name of northern division of Jambudvipa of ancient Indian traditions. ...


The Rishikas are said to be same people as the Yuezhis (Dr V. S. Aggarwala, K. D. Sethna). The Kushanas or Kanishkas are also the same people (Dr J. C. Vidyalnkara). Prof Stein says that the Tukharas (Tokharois/Tokarais) were a branch of the Yue-chi or Yuezhi. Thus Rishikas, Tusharas/Tukharas (Tokharoi/Tokaroi) and the Yuezhi probably are same or an allied people. There is mention of Rishikas in the Mahabharata, Brhat Samhita, Markendeya Purana and Ramayana etc. ... The migrations of the Yuezhi through Central Asia, from around 176 to 30 BCE. Yuezhi (Chinese:月氏, also 月支, Wade-Giles: Yüeh-Chih) or Da Yuezhi (Chinese:大月氏, also 大月支, Great Yuezhi) is the Chinese name for an ancient Central Asian people. ... Boundary of the Kushan empire, c. ...


See also

Tocharian is one of the most obscure branches of the Indo-European language group. ... A Tarim Basin mummy photographed by Aurel Stein circa 1910. ... The Hephthalites, also known as White Huns, were a nomadic people who lived across northern China, Central Asia, and northern India in the fourth through sixth centuries. ... Boundary of the Kushan empire, c. ... Sogdiana (Sug`ud,Sug`diyona -Uzbek, Sughd - Tajik, Sugdiane, Old Persian Sughuda, Persian:سغد, Chinese: Kang-Kü) ancient civilization of Iranian peoples, then was a province of the Achaemenian Empire, the eighteenth in the list in the Behistun Inscription of Darius the Great (i. ... The migrations of the Yuezhi through Central Asia, from around 176 to 30 BCE. Yuezhi (Chinese:月氏, also 月支, Wade-Giles: Yüeh-Chih) or Da Yuezhi (Chinese:大月氏, also 大月支, Great Yuezhi) is the Chinese name for an ancient Central Asian people. ...

References

Note: The recent discoveries have rendered obsolete René Grousset's classic The Empire of the Steppes: A History of Central Asia, published in 1939, which still provides the broad background against which to assess more modern detailed studies.

  • Baldi, Philip. 1983. An Introduction to the Indo-European Languages. Carbondale. Southern Illinois University Press.
  • Barber, Elizabeth Wayland. 1999. The Mummies of Ürümchi. London. Pan Books.
  • Beekes, Robert. 1995. Comparative Indo-European Linguistics: An Introduction. Philadelphia. John Benjamins.
  • Mallory, JP and Mair, Victor H. 2000. The Tarim Mummies: Ancient China and the Mystery of the Earliest Peoples from the West. Thames & Hudson, London. ISBN 0500051011
  • Hemphill, Brian E. and J.P. Mallory. 2004. "Horse-mounted invaders from the Russo-Kazakh steppe or agricultural colonists from Western Central Asia? A craniometric investigation of the Bronze Age settlement of Xinjiang" in American Journal of Physical Anthropology vol. 125 pp 199ff.
  • Lane, George S. 1966. "On the Interrelationship of the Tocharian Dialects," in Ancient Indo-European Dialects, eds. Henrik Birnbaum and Jaan Puhvel. Berkeley. University of California Press.
  • Walter, Mariko Namba 1998 Tocharian Buddhism in Kucha: Buddhism of Indo-European Centum Speakers in Chinese Turkestan before the 10th Century C.E. Sino-Platonic Papers No. 85. October, 1998.
  • Xu, Wenkan 1995 “The Discovery of the Xinjiang Mummies and Studies of the Origin of the Tocharians” The Journal of Indo-European Studies, Vol. 23, Number 3 & 4, Fall/Winter 1995, pp.357-369.
  • Xu, Wenkan 1996 “The Tokharians and Buddhism” In: Studies in Central and East Asian Religions 9, pp. 1-17.[1]

JP Mallory is the nom-de-plume of Irish-American archaeologist and Indo-Europeanist Prof. ...

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