The Early Cultural Relations of India and Iran

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Item Code: NAB903
Publisher: Dev Publishers And Distributors
Author: G.A. Qamar
Edition: 2011
ISBN: 9788192075204
Pages: 273 (47 B/W Illustrations & 6 Maps)
Cover: Hardcover
Other Details 10.0 inch X 7.5 inch
Weight 690 gm
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Book Description
From the Jacket

This book deals with the cultural relations between India and Iran. It evaluates the cultural heritage which bequeathed upon each one of them as a collective phenomenon or individually and the indigenous growth in each case actions and determining influence to which they were subjected.

In the first two, chapters cultural backgrounds of both countries and the growth of civilization in the neighbouring region of Iran has been examined. An analytical study of the Indus culture with all its aspects has elaborately been done in the chapter three concluding that its original roots are Iranian. The chapters from IV to VIII cover the cultural history of Aryans from the Indo-Europeans to the Indo- Aryans. The most controversial point of original home of Aryans has been touched pin pointing, the region extending from Hindukush to Pamir. The comparison of all Indo-European languages has been constituted in respect of vocabulary, syntax and formation of sentences, substantiating that Sanskrit is the mother of all Indo-European languages which presided original words and original meanings. It includes the facts that Iranian Aryans and Indian Aryans were once one and the same people speaking the same language, worshipping the same gods and following the same social customs and traditions. The close affinity between Sanskrit and Avesta has elaborately analyzed preying it is so great in syntax, vocabulary, diction and general style that by mere application of phonetic laws whole stanzas may be translated word for word into Vedic mantras so as to produce verses correct not in form but in poetic spirit. In dealing with the Indo Aryan culture, the author, first of all, adequately emphasized the place of the Rgveda which contains the original feelings, the oldest thoughts and primitive ideas of undivided Ayarans. In this field no substantial work has been done, whatever has been done is not free from bias and prejudices and national sentiments have been allowed to colour the facts. The Semitic religious beliefs and the legends which crept in the religions of Avesta and Rigveda have been ingeniously traced.


About the Author

Dr. G.A. Qamar is a retired assistant superintending archeologist from Archaeological survey of India Government of India. He did his Ph.D. from the Agra University on the subject entitled. The comparative study of cultural evolution in India and Iran from the earliest time to the Later Vedic Period and obtained the degree of fazil from Dar-Ul-Uloom Deoband U.P.

He has good knowledge of medieval Indian archaeology. He deciphered numerous coins of medieval period and deciphered inscriptions recorded on monuments in Arabic and Persian. He possesses a great insight in the Indo Islamic architecture especially in Mughal architecture. He studied the Lucknow architecture thoroughly and wrote a research paper namely Monumental glory of Lucknow which received great appreciation.

The author was appointed at Taj Mahal as caretaker which he was attached for more than 25 years. By virtue of being placed at this world famous monuments visited by tourists from every nook and comer of the world the author got a good opportunity to come in contact with the people of different countries consequently he acquired and accumulated profound knowledge and penetrating insight in various cultures of the world.

He attended national and international seminars and conferences and delivered lectures on the Agra monuments. He has authored several research papers the research paper entitled. The lesser known monuments of Agra is much appreciated.



This book originally formed part of my thesis entitled the Comparative Study of Cultural Evolution in India and Iran from the earliest time to die later Vedic period", which the Agra University approved in 1976 for the degree of Ph.D. It includes an evaluation of the cultural heritage which bequeathed upon each one of them as a collective phenomenon or individually and the indigenous growth in each case actions and interactions of thoughts and concepts and the determining influences to which they were subjected.

Chapter I is introductory to the study. It deals with the pre—historic cultural background of India. Chapter II seeks to study the growth of civilization in India and Iran since the New Stone Age and the influences which were mutually exchanged. During the Chalcolithic period India came very nearer to Iran. It appears that during this period the region in between India and Iran was culturally homogeneous. In this chapter sufficient light has been shed on the obscure phases of the Indian culture. Chapter III gives an appraisal of the evolution of the Indus Valley civilization. It appears that Iranian influence was more determining in its formation than that of summer, though in fact, it was largely of an indigenous growth. This has been studied from the point of view of almost all aspects of culture, viz., religion, town-planning and architecture, terracotta’s, pottery, ornaments, seals and miscellaneous objects of usage. Chapter IV is devoted to the study of the Aryans. The great controversy as to their original home has been touched. Primitive Indo-European culture has been studied in chapter VI from the socio-religious point of view. The original religious beliefs and social conditions of the undivided Aryans have been reconstructed on the basis of a critical study of comparison in regard to cults, conceptions, gods, myths and social customs prevalent among the various Aryan branches and many controversial points have been taken up. Chapter—V studies the linguistic affinity between Sanskrit and Avesta vis-a-vis the stock of the Indo- European languages. As a mater of fact Sanskrit occupies unique position among the Indo-European languages and it appears to be their mother. Sanskrit is the chiefest witness as what was the original word and its original meaning. In the” light of new researches this chapter seeks to champion the real cause of Sanskrit. Indo-Iranian culture has been taken up in Chapter VII. No doubt the Indo Iranian is the most important branch of the Aryans. The Indo—Iranian people developed a distinct culture of high order. It is also fairly certain that the Indo-Iranians inherited the largest share of the common heirloom and preserved it very zealously. They advanced further in the path of civilization than any other Aryan Nation. They developed a highly sublime conception of Rta which is beyond the reach of any other people in such a remote past. Chapter VIII deals with the Indo-Aryans culture. In this chapter the place of the Rigveda has been adequately emphasized. It is an undoubted fact that the Rigveda represents the primitive Aryans in its all aspects. Of course, the Rigveda contains the original feelings, the oldest thoughts and primitive ideas of the undivided Aryans. In this field no substantial work has been done, whatever has been done is not free from bias and prejudices and national sentiments have been allowed to colour the facts. Hence attempts have been made in Chapters VII and VIII to present the subject in its true perspective. Chapter IX summaries the various conclusions.

Without doubt, it was an extremely difficult and complicated work. The data which is available is not only in fragments, it is also mutually conflicting and there are more controversies than conclusions. The archaeologists have studied only from the point of view of a world culture and no aspect-wise consistent and intensive study has been made so far, least from an Indian point of view Surprising is the fact that the Rigveda which is the source book of Aryan culture has not been given the importance which it deserves and without which a proper study of the Indo-Europeans vis-a-vis the Vedic people and their brothers in Iran, cannot be pursued with profit. The study was particularly handicapped by the non-availability of the books, and but for the kind help. I received from various Institutions, particularly the Iran Society, Calcutta and Her as Institute of Indian History and Culture, Bombay, this work could not have been completed.

These difficulties which at times appeared to be insuperable beset the pursuit of this subject which was originally registered for the degree of Ph.D. at Agra University in 1968. The Vice-Chancellor of Agra University in view of its great magnitude and the handicaps, has been kind enough to grant me three extensions, one after the other, enabling me to complete this work to my satisfaction and that of my learned supervisor Professor G.L. Mukerji and to submit it 1975. I have no words to express my gratefulness to the Vice-Chancellor, Agra University. I am also immensely thankful to Dr. NLC. Gupta, Registrar, Dr. R.A. Sharma and Shri RK. Bansal. Agra University for their kindly looking into the matter from time to time for their encouragement and whole hearted assistance.

I feel grateful to my supervisor Professor G.L. Mukerji whose learned guidance has helped me to understand this difficult work. He has taken a great interest and pain to guide me in order to find out new facts. He has guided me with fatherly affection and love which cannot be expressed in words.

I am also thankful to Dr. R. Nath whose scholarship and deep knowledge of the medieval Indian History impressed me of Indian History and gave me a great incentive to work on this difficult topic. He has personally seen my work and made valuable suggestions.

I express my gratitude to my daughter and son-in-law namely——Kishwar Nahid M.A. (Sanskrit), M.A. (Sociology) and Falak Mohammad Meo (Advocate) in Delhi High Court who gave me a great incentive and encouragement to work on this difficult topic. In spite of insurmountable family problems and hard ships of their personal life, they have taken a great pain and exertion to get this book published. All credit goes to Mr. Falak, who, much to his inconvenience, with his hard perseverance, with his whole hearted devotion and with his persistingly engaged attachment to the pursuit, has rendered this form and shape of this book.

I am also beholden to my elder son, Sarfraz Ahmad Khan who checked the typed and printing material and made necessary corrections at his great inconvenience and a busy life.

I have no words to express my gratitude to Dr. Ram Bilas Sharma, Retired Director of KM. Institute, Agra, one of the greatest linguists of the country, who not only gave me valuable guidelines on the chapter on linguistic affinity and discussed the various points but also checked it up word by world, much to his inconvenience. But for his help, I am afraid this chapter could not have come to its present standard. I am also greatly obliged to Dr. Y.D. Sharma, Ex-Superintending Archaeologist, Dr. S.C. Ray, then Superintending Archaeologists, and Shri J.S. Nigam, Deputy Superintending Archaeologist, Archaeological Survey of Indian for their constant help which they have kindly extended to me in preparation of this thesis.

I am grateful to Mr. P.D. Jhamb, then Assistant Librarian, Central Archaeological Library, and Mr. G.N. Uniyal, then Assistant Librarian, Northern Circle, Agra, Archaeological Survey of India and Mr. S.A. Tripathi, then Librarian, Agra College, Agra and Mr. D.K Samuel Raj, then Librarian, St. john College, Agra, for library assistance which constitutes a major part of this study. I am also greatly thankful to Dr. Anthony d'Costa, St. Xavior College, Bombay and Mr. KM. Yusuf and Mr. M.A. Majid, Iran Society Calcutta, for all assistance they have kindly extended to me during these years.

I feel extremely grateful to Shri A. Majid and Shri K.K Nagar, caretaker, Taj Mahal, Archaeological Survey of India, who always extended their cooperation in my work and rendered their help whenever I needed it. Mr. Nagar, who had been working with me for several years at Taj Mahal, has provided great assistance in typing work and in other respect.

I cannot forget to pay my gratitude to Shri B.B. Sur, Draftsman, Archaeological Survey of India, who has rendered a valuable assistance in my work. All the diagrams, maps and sketches given in this thesis have been prepared by him.

I also pay my gratefulness to Shri T.R. Suyal, Conservation Assistant, Shri A.N. Dubey, Stenographer and Sarva Shri Balbir Singh, Mohan Singh, R.K Kapoor, K.V. Subrahamaniam, M.U. Khan, Aqueel Ahmad, Sita Ram, R.P. Sharma, Chandan Singh, H.K Kathpal, A.K Goswami, L.D. Cs, Shri Banwari Lal of the Archaeological Survey of India, who rendered help in my work.

I feel extremely thankful to Shri Harun of Photo Centre studio and to Shri Ram Sanehi, Chopra Studio, Agra, who prepared the photographs and to Shri “KK. Gupta who has typed this thesis very carefully.

Lastly, I owe a deep sense of gratitude to my wife, Mrs. Quresh Khanum who gladly rendered whole-hearted assistance and I acknowledge that without herco-operation this work could not possibly have been done. She has scarified all her ambitions and desires and shared moments of anxieties and troubles of hard life with little grumble and murmur.

With profound respect I dedicate this back to the memory of my late mother in token of the in repayable debt I owe to her.



( a) The Earliest Man—The origin of man has been ascribed to different regions. Asia was considered to be the most probable birth-place of the first man. Of course, certain fossil remains discovered from the Siwaliks indicate man’s early evolution in India} In the light of the new researches, however, it has now been established that Africa was the cradle of the first man.?

Geological evidence tends to show that man evolved out from primate (Fig. 1). The first appearance of man is marked with the dawn of the Pleistocene which is the last period of Cenozoic era in the geological reckoning of time. Several thousands of years elapsed before man grew to his distinctive physical and mental capacities. The primate evolution shows its several different stages from the tree shrews up to the Hominidae, which includes other intermediate stages of the primates such as lemurs, tarsiers, monkeys and apes. The fossil remains, scattered all over the world, show that the earliest known primates were wide-spread during the Eocene period. In the Oligocene period the various species of apes emerged out in Africa. In the succeeding Miocene period, the apes further diversified. By this time an important ape known as Proconsul appeared. It was more human than the modem man. Proconsul is believed to have been ancestral to both ape and man. The fossil remains indicate that before the close of Miocene period these diversified species of apes migrated from Africa to other parts of the world. Many species of these apes are traced to have lived on the Siwaliks in India at this time. Another species of apes, Oreopithecus, lived in southern Europe during early Pliocene, which is believed to be a fully evolved hominid. Our true hominid was the first group of Paleaoanthropus, the man of the Paleolithic age, which marks the dawn of culture.

The Australopithecine or ape-man who inhabited several localities of Africa was very primitive and is assignable nearly to a million years ago. He was small and stood to about the size of modern pigmy and seems normally to have walked upright? A complete skull of Australopithecine assigned to the middle Pleistocene has been discovered in Oldoway George, Tanganiyaka.5 Oldoway man is known as Zinjanthropus which is claimed to be half-way between the Australopithecine and the hominid. By this time nowhere except in Africa the true hominids were seen. During the middle Pleistocene a new species of Palaeoanthropus which was somewhat more advanced than Australopithecine and known as Pithecanthropus, was found living in south east Asia. He was half-brained man and walked upright. The fossil remains also show their presence in Africa, java, China and in the north west India. The Choukoutien cave of China revealed that the Pithecanthropus was a true genus Homo, the first toolmaker and the inventor of fire? They must have lived in the middle Pleistocene or about 5,00,000 BC Later on in the upper Pleistocene the Neanderthals who had highly developed—brain appeared in Europe. They were the last group of Paleaoanthropus in Europe, Africa and western Asia during c. 5,00,000 to 50,000BC. They were full brained-man. They were the authors of famous cave paintings of Spain and France. They were the first to give ceremonial burials to their dead and also to entertain the religious ideas of the Palaeolithic man.

It is commonly believed that all the Paleaoanthropus species disappeared suddenly near the close of the last Ice Age (c. 50,000 BC) and our own species the Homo sapiens emerged. The scholars have divergent views about the ancestral line of the Homo sapiens. As a matter of fact, in the present state of knowledge a satisfactory solution of the problem of emergence of Homo sapiens is not an easy task. It has, however, been generally admitted that Australopithecines, then Pithecanthropus and finally Homo sapiens represent three main stages of man’s evolution in the Lower, Middle and Upper Pleistocene periods respectively.

(b) Formation and Diversification of Races—During the period from the Pleistocene to the Late Pleistocene (c. 40,000 to 8,000 BC) the whole old world and probably America were peopled by Homo sapiens. During this period Homosapiens began to be diversified into different races. Many factors were responsible for ethnological variations: "Sun and frost, forest and plains, humidity and dryness, height and latitude, diet and water content, a variable in heritance from the remoter past and the chance movement of the peoples, all united during these millennia to give our single species the differences of height and proportion of facial structures and skin colors of shade and texture of hair, which make the rich variety of mankind.

During Late Pleistocene period, the formation and diversification of races appeared clearly, first of all, in Africa. By this time the African population showed two distinct divisions. One is Australoid and the other Bushmanoid. Bushmen who were once widespread in Africa during pre—historic times, were pushed southwards towards the tip of the continent. The Australoid element is found in aborigines of Australia and in the population in the Hadramaut, throughout the East Indies, the Pacific Islands and. in south and south-east India. Now this region of India is inhabited by the Dravidian stock, who most likely had descended from the pre-Caucasoid aborigines of India with a racial admixture of Australoids.

The Negroid race appeared during the post Pleistocene period. The centre of differentiation of this race is probably Sudan. The Negroid people are found on both sides of the Equator in Africa. The Negroid element is suspected in the population that appeared in Europe after the extinction of Neanderthals. The forest pygmies of Australia, Tasmania, Philippines: `the `Malay peninsula, the Andaman Islands and India are genetically related to Negroid of Africa.

The Mongolian race emerged in the eastern Asia during the Late Pleistocene. This race is genetically related to the inhabitants of Choukoutien cave of China." ‘The Polynesian—Micronesian race that inhabits Islands of pacific, is believed to have grown from a mixture of Mongolian people with Australoid population of East Indies and Philippines. The Caucasoid, the major racial group, are found in Europe, north and north east Africa, western Asia. India and Ceylon. The I Semites, the African Watusi, the Indian Brahmans and the European Danes belong to this race. The Mediterranean race originated in the region, east of the Mediterranean during the Upper Paleolithic period course. Mis race dispossessed the Neanderthals in Europe. In the Mesolimic period in the south-east Asia the Mediterranean race diversified into Semitic and Hamitic stocks, the Semitic stock inhabits, now the south—west hia and north Africa and the Hamitic, people cover the region south of the Semitic population. Another stock, limited; to the cool and temperate zone in the north and west Europe is Nordic. The Alpine race that originated over the great mountain backbone of the old world entered Europe after last glaciations. The hut group is Eskimo.

(c) Evolution 0f Culture—There is little doubt that the early man or hominid was, for several thousands of years, one among, other species, who gathered their food from the nature. When he began hunting is not exactly known. Perhaps by natural instinct, the early man learnt the use of stone or stick to protect himself from wild animals. Gradually he learnt to shape ston, bone and wood as tools, which marks the beginning of culture. This is the dawn of culture which took place in the Lower Pleistocene period.

The cultural history of man of the Pleistocene period has been reconstructed on the evidence of his implements and fossil, remains which have been found scattered all over the world. The stone tools had been, made by the Paleaoanthropus (Australopithecines, Pithecanthropus and Neanderthals) show different techniques and stages of development during, the Paleolithic period.

The stone tools of Palaeolithic period scattered in many parts of the world show two techniques of tool making. One is known as core-tool industry in which a block is chipped to the desired form. The other is the flake—tool technique in which a large flake is detached from a block of stone and the flake is then worked out into the finished tool. The core-tool tradition originated in. Africa and flake-tool mainly in eastern Asia. These techniques of tool-making divide the, Old world into two principal cultural divisions. The chopper—chopping tools of flake industry made of rough flakes have been found in java, Burma, China, Europe and in north central India. Abbevillion and Acheulian hand axe evolved from the core Industry in Africa, Europe, peninsular India and in the region from eastern Mediterranem to the Black Sea. Thus we find the two cultural traditions mingling and overlapping at some places and mutually influencing each other in Europe and India.

Africa was not only the home of the early man and the Homo sapiens, but also of the first tool maker as is proved by the discovery of the implements. They are made of quartz and water-worn pebbles of lava. These pebble-tools have been classified into two different cultures-viz., the Kafuan and the Oldowan. Kafuan tools are no longer regarded as man-made tools. The Oldowan pebble tools of Sterkfontein are sure proof of origin of the oldest stone tools in Africa. ‘In this culture pebbles were flaked on both the faces. The pebble tools of the Oldowan culture were fully rounded. The characteristic tools of its early phase are scrapers, chopping and cutting implements. The tools of the latest Oldowan phase were chipped from both sides to form oval bifacial tools. They have been found in the Sterkfontein cave, the Vaal Yalley. the Oldoway Gorge and at Kanam in Kenya in the deposits dating back to a later phase of the Lower Pleistocene period.19 It is generally held that the bifacial pebble tools of the Oldowan culture are ancestral to the true Abbevillion hand axe culture. It has been established that the core-tool culture of hand-axe had evolved into the full Abbevillion culture in central Africa. The Abbevillion tradition shows increasing elaboration and clarity of purpose. Its tools are peer-shaped but a tongued—shaped tool having point at one end is most common. The Acheulian is the immediate successor of the Abbevillion tradition.

At the dawn of Pleistocene, the tool making communities are now here traceable outside Africa. No doubt second Interglacial age witnessed the tool-making communities at three centers outside Africa. The first was the Flake Industry in India. The second culture, Anyathian developed in Burma; and, lastly, the Choukoutien culture was established in China. These industries are related to the chopper—chopping tools complex. The most elementary workmanship of these stone tools indicates that Palaeolithic man entered Asia already as a tool maker. It is most probable that the first hominids entered Asia from Africa with the practice of battering stones to get cutting edge on rough points. In Africa this basic tradition steadily developed into that of the bifacial pebble tools and ultimately hand-axe, while the people in Asia remained backward, and failed to develop much beyond this basic tradition.




  Preface vii
  Abbreviations xi
1 Introduction 2
2 India and Iran Since the New Stone Age 9
3 The Indus Valley Civilization 27
4 Aryans 63
5 Linguistic Affinity 75
6 The Indo European culture 110
7 The Indo Iranian Culture 131

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