Mystery of Horse: Sudden Appearance from Egypt to India! (Post No.3181)

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Written by London swaminathan

Date: 23 September 2016

Time uploaded in London: 15-30

Post No.3181

Pictures are taken from various sources; thanks.

 

Rig Veda, the oldest book in the world, contains references to horse, horse race, chariots and riding in almost all the ten Mandalas. No other literature in the world has so many references to horses. May be Zend Avesta which came after Rig Veda has some references. We know Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey came nearly 1000 years after the Rig Veda.

 

A research paper submitted on the basis of fossils discovered in Western India in 2014 showed that the ancient relatives of horses originated in India.

“Working at the edge of a coal mine in India, a team of Johns Hopkins researchers and colleagues have filled in a major gap in science’s understanding of the evolution of a group of animals that includes horses and rhinos. That group likely originated on the subcontinent when it was still an island headed swiftly for collision with Asia, the researchers report today in the online journal Nature Communications. It happened more than fifty million years ago. (20 November 2014 newspaper report)

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Though there is a very big gap in time between the Rig Veda and the fossils, the fossil discovery shows that horses are not new to this region. Actually a great mystery lies in the fact that horses appeared suddenly in Egypt, Middle East and India at the “same time”. But latest hydrological research in the Sarasvati basin shows that Rig Veda was “composed” or “heard” by the seers before 1900 BCE. The precession of the earth and the stars mentioned in the Vedic literature shows that Rig Veda must have been composed or heard before 3000 BCE. This means that the horses were exported from India to other parts of the world.

 

Is there any other proof to support this hypotheses? Yes, we have archaeological proof from the Hittite empire. They were trained in Sanskrit!

Mitannian kings had Sanskrit names found in Ramayana and Vishnu sahasranama such as Dasarata, Pratardana. But being distant from the place of origin they had corrupted spellings like Tushratta. We see such trends in Mauritius, Sri Lanka and Malaysia where the migrated Tamils write Turka instead of Durga, Tamayanti instead of Damayanti, Murder mootoo instead of Marudamuthu.

 

We also find the Sanskrit word asva/horse in their names: Biridaswa (Brhad Asva) possessing great horses, sattasva (Sapta+ Asva), possessing or winning seven horses.

 

Zend Avesta, holy book of Zoroastrians, also has names such as Drvaspa ( agoddess)- she who keeps horses in good health, Vistaspa ( a king of Bactria), son of Aurvat aspa, Pourus aspa, father of Zarathustra, he who possess many horses, Arbataspa master of war like hoses, Huaspa- having good horses.

Aspa= Asva= Hrasva= Horse

Kikkuli of Mitanni was the one who taught them to use war horses. His horse training manual is in Sanskrit:

Wartanna = vartana = a turn

Akika = Eka = one turn

Tera = tri = three turns

Panza = pancha = five turns

Nava artanna = nava = nine turns.

Foreigners looking at the colloquial form of Sanskrit thought that it was Proto Sanskrit. It is actually the localised Sanskrit. Even today Sanskrit words are Tamilized in Tamil Nadu and the ancient Tamil Grammar book has rules for it. Without understanding this, they thought it was a different language.

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There is another proof also. The Bogaizkoy inscription mentioned the Vedic Gods in the same order as Rig Veda. When two kings signed an agreement they sealed their agreement with the Vedic mantra. All the scholars who studied Vedas agree that the Vedas originated on Indian soil. This shows that  the Hindu scriptures have spread to Turkey-Syria border around 1400 BCE!

We see horses at the same time from Egypt to India

 

With the archaeological and linguistics evidence, now it is confirmed that the Hindus went from India to give training in horses. There are more proofs in the Rig Veda:-

The horse was called asva, atya (runner), arvant (swift), strong for pulling (vaajin), the runner (sapti). Mare was called with four different names. Different colours of horses are also described. A white horse with black ears is mentioned in the Athrva Vedas as of special value. Horses were highly prized. Gifts of 400 horse are mentioned. Horses were decorated with pearls and gold. Horses from Indus and Sarasvati were praised high.   Kings had names as Asvapati etc. chariots, races and Asvamedha Yajna are mentioned.

All these show that the technic of raising horses originated in India.

Now that we know the Rig Veda is dated between 1900 BCE and 3000 BCE following dates are better understood:–

Hittite empire, a city rebelling against King Anittas in 1750 BCE, fielded 40 Chariots; Hattusilis I (sathyaseela)  (1650 BCE) fielded 80 chariots at the siege of Urshu; by the Battle of Kadesh (1285 BCE) Hattusas fielded 2500 chariots under Muwattalis II (1306 BCE)

 

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The Hyksos (Hindu Yakshas)

Egypt used ‘equus asinus’ first for carrying burdens and then ‘equus caballus’. Asiatic Hyksos captured power in Nile delta in 1750 BCE. They were the one who brought horses from India to Egypt they are shown in chariots.

 

We see horses in a plaque of Tuthmose III (1479 BCE). Later we see more horses. So around 1400 BCE it is seen on a large area frm Egypt to Plains of Ganges. How was it possible where there was no modern transport like today. It was possible only because India sent trainers like Kikkuli to all the countries

 

Science of Horses

Mitochondrial DNA tests conducted on over 600 horses from 25 breeds world wide prove that at least 17 genetic groups are involved; that horses originally from diverse locations; and there were at least six locations in which horses were domesticated. At present no direct glimse of how the first horse was domesticated (Daily telegraph, 14-8-2002)

 

Domesticated horse was present in Mesopotamia from 2500 BCE. Horse remains found in Syria are dated 2400 BCE. Syria and Turkey were under Vedic Kings from very early times under Kassites, Hittites and Mitanni. Standard of Ur depicts five four wheeled wagons with four equids apiece. Mesopotamian horse artefacts are dated between 2800-2500 BCE. Sice the Vedas are dated before this date by astronomical refrences, we may assume that domesticated horses went for India to other countries.

 

The horse appears in a Sumerian text ‘The Curse of Agade” where the Goddess Inanna of Agade, capital of Sumer, sought to bring harmony to men and nimals, among them the ass of the mountains Anse Kur ra – the horse (2000 BCE)

 

There are proverbs about horses in Sumerian texts :

You sweat like a horse (it is) what you have drunk

If my burden is always  to be this, I shall become weak (horse says)

 

Domestic horse remains are recovered from south west Iran. They are from the Kaftari era (2100-1800 BCE)

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Biblical reference

Genesis 47:16 has reference to horses. Canaanites had come requesting food from Egypt; this was granted ‘in exchange for their horses, their sheep and goats, their cattle and donkeys’.

Mari used chariotry in war, and also the donkey mounted couriers. From mari comes the earliest personal record of horse riding. King Zimri Lim was advised to take the safer option of riding a mule, or in a chariot, rather than risk riding horses.

 

The scarcity of horses at this time is shown by the value of a single animal:

A horse is worth 30 times that of a slave

Or 500 sheep

Or 5 minas of silver (2-4 Kilos)

From the above facts  we can prove that the Rig Veda is the first source of horses provided the date 3000 BCE is accepted.

 

 

At Jaggayyapeta, India is a relief where the horse is depicted as a symbol of the world ruler- Chakravarti.

 

The horse sacrifice also appears in Zend Avesta , albeit in religious fiction, when 100 male horses, 1000 oxen, 10,000 lambs are offered to Ardvi sura Anahita on the Hara, the Alborz mountains south of Caspian Sea.

(This shows Zend Avesta is an imitation of Hindu scriptures, sometimes a caricature of the Hindu Vedas)

Source: The horse in the ancient world by Ann Hyland, 2003, Newspaper cuttings and my comments.

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–subham–

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