Greetings to All,
Below is an e-mail forwarded to me by a friend and scholar. The forwarded e-mail is by a German gentleman who is attempting to promote pan-Turk/pan-Turan propaganda from the Grey Wolf movement that ancient Avestan-speaking North Iranian peoples were not Iranians, but of Turco-Mongol stock.
The new Grey Wolf theory now states that the cited peoples were Iranian-speaking but not Iranian (meaning Mongoloid-Turkic). You will see my humble retort below the forwarded e-mail.
All the Best
The Forwarded E-mail:
I received the following email from a German resident,
More discoveries have been made on the Scythians by German, Russian and Mongolian archaeologists but they finally summed up on their origuins and you won’t like it:
The Germans say that the Scythians were Mongols, and some of them had Blond hair and blue eyes, hinting that the Grey Wolves-Turks were right about their origins ie that they were Turko-Finnnish people speaking the langauge of the Persians, because they were the superpower of that time but had no coonection to them
Retort by Kaveh Farrokh:
I would not honestly worry about this e-mail at all.
(1) Which “German” researchers is he referring to? German Professor Rolle, who has produced the latest book on the Scythians, affirms the Iranian origins of the Scythians. It appears that there is some mis-quoting or distortion being made by the e-mail sender.
(2) As per the “Mongoloid” features – what region are we referring to? The Kurgan region finds and reconstructions (see examples in Renfrew and Mallory) firmly place the Scythians of the Ukraine and the Caucasus as Indo-European with NO Mongoild features. The Cavalli-Sforza studies also have proven that no Turkic-Mongoloid peoples were present on the Steppes during the Andronovo (Sintasha-Petrovka)-Kurgan-Iranian transition eras. It is true that the eastern Scythians resident in Western Mongolia by Mede- Achaemnid times were close to the Tien Shan Mountains had Mongoloid admixtures as they neighbours of the proto-Turkic-Mongoloid peoples (The Hsiang-Nou confederation came over a 1000 years later and the word “Turk” came in the AD era with first references seen in Chinese sources. But we are looking at the extreme east of Eurasia – how does this apply all across to the Ukraine and Central Europe?
In any event, I can list a handful of the plethora of sources (see further below) that affirms the Iranic basis of the Saka/Scythians. Contrary to what the German e-mail sender has stated – Russian, Ukrainian, Polish and western scholars have overwhelmingly rejected these theories: modern scholarship overwhelmingly attests to the Iranian origin of the aforementioned peoples. Interesting how the e-mail sender has provided you with no references.
The fact that Northern Iranian peoples spoke Iranian languages is an established academic fact – even the Grey Wolves have been forced to acknowledge this. What;s interesting is that they are now stating that “they spoke Iranian languages but were Mongolian-Turkic in stock”. This is the same argument they use towards the Iranian-speaking Kurds as well as the Tajiks.
The descendants of the North Iranian peoples, the Ossetians (see National Geographic photos below), speak an old North Iranian language (Ir-On and Digor) related to Persian and Kurdish. Turkish has no linguistic connection to modern Ossetian (I am partly of Ossetian descent):
These certainly do not look “Mongoloid” – and neither did my Ossetian ancestors (who did not speak Turkish at all before they fled Czarist-Soviet Russia to Iran’s Azarbaijan province).
“Ossetian” (by the way) is a term of Russian and Georgian origin. The Ossetians refer to themselves as Ir-On a variation of the term Ir-An (land of Aryans). Ir and/or Eire are the old Iranic, Indic and Celtic designations of Aryan (Noble, Lord). Ossetian historians, who acknowledge their Iranian heritage, explain their migration to Northern Georgia as a tactic of survival in the face of multitudes of Turkish, Hun and Mongol conquests that rummaged across Eurasia over the centuries.
Many of these Northern Iranians escaped and/or migrated to Persia and Europe to avoid annihilation or extermination at the hands of Turkic, Hun and Mongol invaders over the centuries. Their descendants live in Iranian Kurdistan (known formerly as Ard-Alan), Luristan (Sak-Vand) and Seistan (Saka-istan). None speak any Turkic languages nor bear any affinities to Asiatic Turkic peoples.
Genetic studies of Ossetians place them firmly in the Indo-European family. A landmark study is that by the Richards team