On Proto-Indo-European Agriculture – A Brief Excerpt

Running this as an excerpt [it’s from my latest long-form (A)Arti-cle], because I think that this is quite important:

“The supposition that this may, therefore, preserve an archaic PIE traditional understanding is likely to run into the immediate objection that so far as we know the Proto-Indo-Europeans were not large-scale plantation farmers. Which is often misinterpreted by many as the archaic Indo-Europeans not being farmers at all – presumably because this does not fit comfortably with a reductionist ‘headcanon’ about steppe pastoralists as a sort of raiding, hunting, and assumedly barely-even-omnivorous “barbarian” pastiche.

While some of the (later) Classical corpus of texts around Triptolemos make an interesting point about his boon of agriculture being unavailable to the Scythians (and/or potentially Thrace) due to an incident in which Triptolemus or one of the Dragons drawing the chariot was attacked by a barbarian king … this contrasts rather heavily with the evidence available to us that Scythians did, in fact, know how to farm, consumed cereals, and were even exporting significant quantities of grain to Greece many centuries before these later texts had been written (which, when placed alongside the name of the supposed Scythian king in question, leads me to suspect that at best this is a symbolic representation for something else, that has become misunderstood, misinterpreted, and therefore misapplied).

Further, the fact that we have an array of Proto-Indo-European terms shared among both East and West branches of its descent for not only various agriculturally derived edibles (including quite specifically grains and cereals) but also the actual mechanics entailed in their production (featuring sowing, ploughing, threshing, chaff, etc.) … would appear to rather strongly suggest at least some active facility with agriculture (notwithstanding the saliency for non-IE substrate contributions about particular elements where these later-encountered non-IE populations may have held competitive advantage – for example, the potentially BMAC-origin terms for ‘irrigation channels’ encountered in Indo-Iranian and Tocharian) ; and there is also the again demonstrable fact that we have mythic/religious concordancies in multiple Indo-European descendant populations for ritual and mythic occurrences of significant import for agriculture.

Even if agriculture were left largely out of the equation, I see no reason to suspect that the earthy abundance of consumable foodstuffs sourced from plants should have no space within the archaic Indo-European world view – nor, therefore, their devotional framework of tangible applications.”

One thought on “On Proto-Indo-European Agriculture – A Brief Excerpt

  1. Pingback: On Proto-Indo-European Agriculture – A Brief Excerpt – Glyn Hnutu-healh: History, Alchemy, and Me

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