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Indo-European tribes of Ancient China

NykyusNykyus Registered Users Posts: 64

In ancient times, the territory of China was little like the modern one. It was covered with virgin forests and swamps fed by rivers that overflowed in high water, vast lakes, impenetrable salt lakes, and only on the plateaus stretched meadows and steppes.

To the East, between the lower reaches of the yellow river and the Yangtze, there was a chain of quicksand. The modern province of Hebei was a huge Delta called the "nine rivers". Beyond the seashore were wide lakes and swamps, and the Yi and Huai rivers disappeared into the swampy valley of the lower Yangtze river. "Lush vegetation clothed the entire basin of the Weihe river; majestic oaks grew there, and groups of cypresses and pines were everywhere visible. In the forests lived tigers, snow leopards, yellow leopards, bears, buffaloes, wild boars; jackals and wolves were always howling."

The fight against rivers has always occupied a large place in the life of the Chinese people. In the dry season, they were very shallow, but as soon as the rains passed in the mountains, they swelled and overflowed their banks. Overflowing, rivers lost their speed and deposited sediment. One part of the ancient inhabitants of Northern China left the raging waters in the mountains, where they supported their lives by hunting, while the other part entered into a decisive struggle with the elements of rivers - these were the ancestors of the Chinese. Industrious Chinese farmers from ancient times began to build dams to save their lives and their fields from flooding. "The territory of China has long been inhabited by tribes with different cultures, who had different ancestors. On the lands where they lived, each tribe developed its own culture in the struggle with the forces of nature." These tribes often fought each other. According to Chinese historical tradition, the first of the Chinese dynasties, the semi-legendary Xia, entered into a struggle with other tribes that inhabited the territory of China in the third Millennium BC. These tribes were called the Zhun and di. They inhabited the wooded mountains, while the ancestors of the Chinese got the lowlands. To the North, in the dry steppes, lived the Hun-Yu tribes. From the legends it is known that in 2600 BC the "Yellow Emperor" took a campaign against them. But the main opponents of Xia were not they, but the Rong and Di. In Chinese folklore, there are echoes of the struggle of the" black-headed "ancestors of the Chinese with" red-haired devils ". The Chinese won the thousand-year war. They drove the "barbarians" into the mountains, steppes, and even the southern jungles, but as we will see later, this victory was not final. Despite its success, the Xia Kingdom held only the Henan region and the southwestern part of Shanxi; it was here that the core of the future Chinese people was concentrated.

In 1764 BC in China, as a result of the revolution, instead of the Xia dynasty, the Shang dynasty was established, under which the foundations of ancient Chinese civilization were formed and the ancient Chinese people were formed.

The Shang-Yin is the first completely historical dynasty of China. It is associated with the emergence of the first Chinese state. Numerous excavations restore the picture of its culture, but the political history is still dark. It is clear that the Shan was already a real slave state with hereditary power and aristocracy. The most important cultural achievement of this era was the invention of hieroglyphic writing, which played an extremely important role in the subsequent history of China. Trade developed not only with Hebei, which lay to the North of the yellow river, but also through the North-East of China to lake Baikal and the Angara coast. Of course, only goods got there, and not the Chinese themselves, who usually made the exchange with the help of intermediary tribes. Metal was sent to Siberia: tin, bronze, and from Siberia - green and white jade, precious furs, and possibly slaves. This is how the far Eastern center of culture was formed.


  • united84united84 Registered Users Posts: 832
    What a good way to destroy a classic.
  • KrunchKrunch Junior Member Registered Users Posts: 4,522
    While undoubtedly there were indo-europeans in part of "china" as we know it today(namely the Tarim basin), I find it doubtful that they got to China Proper or that they became such an important part of the eastern world as this is trying to imply.
  • NykyusNykyus Registered Users Posts: 64
    edited August 2020
    About Wusun Wikipedia clearly speaks as about the Indo-Europeans https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wusun The Soviet orientalist Gumilev was more cautious, writing about them as Caucasians (race, not language) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xirong.

    Although by the time of the three kingdoms, all of them were almost completely subdued and probably assimilated, except for the Wusun tribe

    Post edited by Nykyus on
  • NykyusNykyus Registered Users Posts: 64
    The Xiongnu were of a European race. Rug from Noin-Ula

    Pazyryk culture of Altai. The Pazyryk culture probably belonged to the Yuezhi, exiled by the Xiongnu from Central Asia.

  • NykyusNykyus Registered Users Posts: 64
    A warrior from Pazyryk. Reconstruction

    Maybe the Scythians saw the last representatives of the extinct deer, megaloceros? Because their culture is saturated with images of these animals, or there is some tradition left.

  • NykyusNykyus Registered Users Posts: 64
    edited August 2020
    Gumilev reported that the Uyghurs come from the Zhun tribe, the Chidi (Red Di). And I saw this text in the translated ancient Chinese chronicle. However, the Uyghurs did not yet stand out from the General crowd of related tribes. They were called Gaoju. in another way, and most likely they called themselves Tele https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiele_people.
  • IchonIchon Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 5,221
    edited August 2020
    LIkely this thread will be closed but saying what ancient peoples were by current definitions is wrong in the first place as they didn't think of themselves as moderns do and secondly, we don't know enough.

    Most genetic studies on ancient populations are going from only 2-4 samples from elite burials that survived or guessing at admixtures by studying the current population which had a further 3,000 years of genetic mixing and assimilation.

    Best guess is some Tolcharians or Scythians from Volga/Irtysh river basins that were of heavier Indo-European ancestry married into or conquered some tribes that moved east but these people would still be hugely varied genetically and look more Turkic than anything else. There are no pure genetic peoples since the last ice age 10,000 years ago, and probably even before that, aside from the 'narrowing' when human populations declined to a few 100s.

    All genetic studies which examine haplogroups and mitochondrial DNA show that even within a similar population there are 100s of variations showing that mixing was a frequent and steady occurrence over thousands of years.

    Turkic remnant populations in central Asia show wide variance from 20-70% Indo-European and 10-30% East Asian with the majority 30-90% being a Uralic/Siberian/Turkic mix which has existed in that region of the world since humans arrived on the last ice age.
    YouTube, it takes over your mind and guides you to strange places like tutorials on how to talk to a giraffe.
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