Notes: Aratta, the Aryan/Iranian land of the chariot

Some Earliest Traces of the Aryan:
Evidence from the 4th and 3rd Millennium B.C.
By: Jahanshah Derakhshani

4.7. Names of peoples and countries
4.7.1. Aratta. In the country Aratta, situated in Eastern Iran[129] and possessing legendary wealth, gold, silver, carneol and lapis lazuli, one could come upon a series of other Iranian elements. The designation of the land itself is Aryan: in the cuneiform texts the OIA rátha-‘wheel, war-chariot’ is rendered as *arata-, like in the Akk.
eratti(ja)nnu ‘part of a weapon?’, probably the wheel of the chariot and the Hittite aratianni ‘chariot equipment, a part of a chariot’, as well as aratiyanni in the texts from Alalakh, which all descend from the Aryan rátha-(see Aryans 5.4.1.24). Besides, it is necessary to take into consideration that initial ‘r’ is usually preceded by an euphonic element ‘a’ in the cuneiform script[130] (cf. the euphonic vocal ‘i’ by (I)nanna, (I)dig(i)na, see above 3.1). Hence after removing this ‘a’, we obtain the original ratta < rátha-. Thus there might be no objections against the cuneiform rendering of rátha-by aratta. The Aryan analogy of Aratta could be seen in. Xvaniratha, the designation of the part of the earth (kaÓvar-) in the middle of the earth, which enclosed the homeland of the Aryans.[131] The possible roots for Xvaniratha can be restored by connecting rátha-‘wheel’ with xvarenah-(= Med. farnah-< IE *sëel ‘sun’), thus ‘wheel of kingly brilliance’, as well as with the Av. hvar-, hence ‘wheel of the sun’. Rátha-and the symbolic description of all parts of the world, in the middle of which Xvaniratha is situated, as the homeland of the Aryans,[132] found its continuation in the Avesta and in the Indian sources.[133] In the list of the countries in the Avesta among the 16 Ahurian countries also ?Chxra is mentioned. Later it became the NP charx ‘wheel’. NP Charx was also the name of a town Khor~s~n, north of Neish~bur,[134] also Òarq not far from Bukh~r~[135], and another place near Ghazn§n.[136] All those names should be understood as the survivals of the term rátha-(Aratta) in Eastern Iran; in spite of the linguistic transformation they have been preserved semantically until the Islamic times. According to HERODOTUS and HELLANICUS the Persians were called also Artaioi (Artaians).[137] Later, the inhabitants of the country Barygaza were mentioned by the Greeks as Arattii, Arachosi and GandarÉi, subdued by the bellicose Bactrians.[138]

Sumerian mentions of Aratta as the land of Inanna:
(Wikipedia)
Enmerkar and the Lord of Aratta [1] – The goddess Inanna resides in Aratta, but Enmerkar of Uruk pleases her more than does the lord of Aratta, who is not named in this epic. Enmerkar wants Aratta to submit to Uruk, bring stones down from the mountain, craft gold, silver and lapis lazuli, and send them, along with “kugmea” ore to Uruk to build a temple. Inana bids him send a messenger to Aratta, who ascends and descends the “Zubi” mountains, and crosses Susa, Anshan, and “five, six, seven” mountains before approaching Aratta. Aratta in turn wants grain in exchange. However Inana transfers her allegiance to Uruk, and the grain gains the favor of Aratta’s people for Uruk, so the lord of Aratta challenges Enmerkar to send a champion to fight his champion. Then the god Ishkur makes Aratta’s crops grow.

3 thoughts on “Notes: Aratta, the Aryan/Iranian land of the chariot

  1. I am aware of the theory that Sumerians came from Armenia, but genetics shows J1 civilization had its origin in the Marsh Arabs called the Mi’dan (Mittani?) of South Iraq, who then dispersed elsewhere, see Footprints of the Sumerians: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21970613

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