Aryan Chariots & Coaches: By Eduljee  


Aryan Chariots & CoachesHeritage that Extends to the Beginnings of History
We had previously noted that the 1893 Gazetteer of the Bombay Presidency appears to credit the Parsees with the introduction of the first (personal) horse carriage in Bombay around 1800 CE, though we would think the British would have done so.
The Aryan (ancient Iranian) tradition of using wheeled horse drawn chariots and carriages extends to the earliest of records and artifacts.
The old Avestan word for wheel is ‘chakhra’ and that for chariot is ‘ratha’. The word for charioteer, ‘rathaeshtar’ is the Avestan word for soldier. 
Aryan artifacts of horse-drawn chariots are common enough from east to west of Aryana (old greater Iran, Iran-shahr). 
What is surprising is the appearance of chariots in petroglyphs (scratched art on rock) dating back to the early Bronze Age, say, 3,000 – 1000 BCE (cf. Tajikistan’s Ak Jilga site and Saimaly-Tash in the Ferghana Valley). 
The Hittite archives of Hattusa, near present-day Bogazkale, Central Turkey, contained what is the oldest surviving horse training manual in the world. The elaborate work was written c. 1345 BCE on four tablets and contains 1080 lines by a Mitanni (people who lived in the area of today’s Greater Kurdistan) horse trainer named Kikkuli. The language of the text is close to Avestan and Vedic. For more see http://www.heritageinstitute.com/zoroastrianism/ranghaya/mitanni.htm
Images: 

1. Petroglyph from Ak Jilga site, Tajikistan.

2. Gold miniature chariot from the Achaemenid era (c.650-330 BCE) Oxus Treasures. Image credit: Nickmard Khoey.

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