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India’s Ancient Past$
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R. S. Sharma

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195687859

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195687859.001.0001

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Identity of Aryan Culture

Identity of Aryan Culture

(p.94) 11 Identity of Aryan Culture
India’s Ancient Past

R.S. Sharma

Oxford University Press

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

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