Sami Nomads in Arctic (photo in 1900s) evoke the Botai in 3800 BC
Researching the novel I’m writing, I must remove some of the ambiguity around the Botai culture, which means I must get specific on issues which are not yet covered in published research. One major issue, of course, is the matter of whether those at Botai in 3,800 BC are integrated into the Steppes Nomad culture. I’m confident they were an outpost of the Steppes Culture’s eastward movement, which eventually reached southern Siberia. Consequent to that assumption, I will assume that the Botai culture will have been pollinated by the developing Proto-Indo European (PIE) culture of the Central Steppes around the northern Caucasus Mountains. Having long ago concluded that, I need to understand the Botai culture across the full range of the cultural and material horizon. We’ve already seen from the digs in Kazakhstan, courtesy of the Carnegie Museum’s excavation summary, much of the material culture regarding home and corral construction, pottery, horse meat and milk products core diet, cutting-edge of horse domestication including riding, and nature of the surrounding terrain. But, I need to know everything currently available to add to my enjoyment in crafting my novel as accurately to the up-to-date knowledge of the culture.
What I need right now and don’t know is what were the core features of the PIE religion—which subject we should realize has defined the worldview of virtually all cultures throughout the history of the Holocene. Whether we want to talk about it or not, I must know what and how these PIE people worshipped. But, as I started searching the web for the latest information, I discovered a bonanza:
Wikipedia is producing freshly updated sites on many things related to the ancient Steppes culture. These updates (October 2017) have become my Babette’s Feast for the coming Christmas season. (If you haven’t seen Babette’s Feast, you’re missing something very special, one of my top ten favorites. If you’re going to see it, don’t read the spoilers in this Wikipedia review.)
We should learn enough about the subject (for who really knows the subtleties?) from the following web sites related to Indo-Europeans and their religion. First, for those like me who want an October 2017 update on the Indo-European languages, this will provide a splendid introduction. Second, here’s an October 2017 update on the Indo-European migration. Third, here’s this month’s update on the Indo-European religion. And fourth, here’s this month’s update of Indo-Iranian religion.
If this subject interests you, you’ll read these four Wikipedia websites, with their fresh updates.
In this latest material, I have found what I need for the coming weeks’ writing. I will pick up here in next week’s post, assuming you’ve read all four of the above Indo-European links.
Thanks for visiting,
R. E. J. Burke