Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Ötzi man’s Tuscany copper axe, a proof of migration from Harappan Dwaraka?

 Ötzi man is in news again. (Ötzi was the oldest well-preserved remains of a man found on the highs of Alps and dated at around 3300 BCE wikipedia article). (As a disclaimer, let me say at the outset that this article is not about the migration of Otzi man).

After a recent discovery of the presence of the Indian- origin H.pylori bacterium in his stomach, establishing his ancestral origins in India (Subash Kak's article), now comes a research finding that says that the copper for his axe came from Tuscany in Italy.

The name Tuscany induces interest for two reasons:

(1) The presence of a specific subclade of mtDNA U, namely U1a is found only in Tuscany and also in Kerala in India.

(2) The once thriving of Urnfield culture in the same region of Tuscany at Veii of Villanovan settlements having parallels to Vel people who migrated from Dwaraka to Tamil lands at the end of Harappan culture (around 1500 BCE). Kerala and its adjoining regions in Tamilnadu and Karnataka housed these people. There even existed a region called “VeNadu” (Vel Nadu – meaning land of Vels) somewhere here in the later period of Sangam age.

Urnfield culture rings a familiarity with Indians, particularly those in Tamilnadu, as it refers to the deposition of ashes and bones after cremation in an urn and burying it underground. Such burials have been found in Adicchanallur and Sembian Kandiyur in Tamilnadu and were mentioned in many Sangma age poems.

This practice of collecting incinerated bones and ashes in pots is Vedic in origin as the very process of collection of the ashes and bones is done to the uttering of Veda mantras. The only difference is that the pots are disposed in running waters along with the collected items – here again guided by the Veda mantras.

A practice which is entirely Vedic in origin and present in India made its appearance in Tuscany and some other regions of western and central Europe that once had Celtic presence. The duration of this practice in these regions was between 1300 BC – 750 BCE. The period 1300 BCE roughly coincides with the end of Harappan civilization when Vel people of Dwaraka migrated to Tamil lands. A similar Urn culture appearing in Tuscany and West Europe around the same time gives rise to an opinion that another group of people of the same Harappan region having the same cultural habit had left for Europe and Tuscany in Italy.

Extent of Urnfield culture 1300 BCE – 750 BCE

The Ötzi man’s copper axe made of copper from Tuscany gives more hints on links with Tuscany for Harappan people of Dwaraka.

Ötzi man’s copper axe.

The date of Ötzi man is older than the period of Urn culture by nearly two millennia. What is of interest is the discovery that copper was mined in Tuscany as early as 5000 years BP. This date rings a familiarity to us, as that was when the mature phase of Harappan culture started with a sudden hike in commercial trade with Central Asia and Europe.

In the absence of evidence of manufacture of copper items in Tuscany at that period, the Ötzi man’s copper axe must have been made in another place. As of today there is no clue on the region where it was produced. At the present level of available records, Gola Dhoro, a Harappan site in the Kutch region of Gujarat stands a better chance to fit in.

The date of Gola Dhoro (2500 – 2000 BCE) is behind Ötzi man’s time by nearly 800 years. But there is scope to believe that Gola Dhoro existed much before the currently dated period. At the time of its end, Gola Dhoro was a shell and gem artefact factory.

Heaps of unused shells and half cut shells are found in that site.

But this site also has items made of copper. Copper axes, spear heads and the like are found in this site leading to a conjecture that commercial production of copper items must have existed here before it became a shell factory.

Copper items unearthed in Gola Dhoro.

Copper axe of Ötzi man

It remains to be seen if the copper axe of Otzi man has any similarities with Harappan copper tools.
Even in the absence of a research on establishing the origin of this axe to a Harappan site, there is room to believe that Harappan manufacturers of copper goods must have had knowledge of copper mining regions from where they received their supply of copper.

Copper works must have been at its advanced stage even as early as 5000 years ago known from the reference to copper-walls around Krishna’s city of Dwaraka in Tamil Sangam poems.  So the manufacturers of Kutch region must have had a good knowledge of copper mines of Europe and could have even visited those places out of professional interest.

The copper walls around Dwaraka mentioned by Sangam poets must have been in effect copper plated walls. The ruins at Bet Dwaraka caused by upsurge of sea water belonged to the period that saw the end of Harappan culture. That was around 1500 BCE. It was at that time, 18 clans of royalty connected with Krishna’s family and 18 groups of different types of artisans who originally belonged to the regions around the Ganges (who moved over to Dwaraka along with Krishna) made a migration to Tamil lands. A major group among them were experts in pottery! Potters were known as VeLs in Tamil.

Evidence of Vel Migration on the route to South.

The presence and migration of Vels from Gujarat (Gurjara) to south is established from the names of places in and around Gujarat and also on their route to the South. For example Ellora was one of the Vel settlements which is known from its name mentioned as “Velur” or Veluragam” in the inscriptions.

Sholapur was originally “Velapur”. Similar names with “Vel” or “Vela” are found on Maharashtra.
Coming further south, Belgaum was known as “Vel Gramam” in inscriptions.

Belhutti was “Vel patti” according some researchers. More of this information has been given by Mu. Raghava Iyengar in his book “Velir Varalaru” written a century ago.

Each of the 18 groups of artisans was engaged in a different kind of art or metal work. They brought everything from stone works (both building and inscribing) to pottery and copper works to gold smithy. Tamilnadu was enriched by these artisans only.

The urn culture of burying the pots underground is associated with Vels only. Earlier also potters had existed in Tamilnadu, but the huge burial pots made their appearance only with the arrival of Vel people. Until then urn pots must have been smaller in size and disposal of them was by throwing them into water as is done by Tamil Brahmins even today.

Urnfield culture of Tuscany and Europe.

The appearance of urn culture around the same time in Tuscany and spreading to adjacent regions could not have been a mere coincidence. When Dwaraka (Bet Dwaraka) suffered ruins, the people had left the city as had  happened when Krishna left the world 5000 years ago. A part of them had come to South India. Another group of them must have gone to Tuscany.

This could have happened only if those people have had some prior connection or familiarity with Tuscany. Such a connection is seen in the trade links with Tuscany from where they received their copper resources. There was a greater chance of the copper workers having made their destination to Tuscany as that could ensure continuing their profession there. They had taken along with them the Vedic practice of cremation and collecting the incinerated bones in pots. This required them to take along with them the ‘Vel’s, the potters!

The name of a town as Veii having phonetic resemblance to Vel with the Urn culture in that region gives an indication of a migration from Gujarat region of the Harappan culture which was very much Vedic in essence.

Veii s culture resembled everything that one can associate with the coastal people of Dwaraka. An interesting element in their culture is their patron Goddess Juno. She was the Goddess of prosperity and fertility and many more added after she was adopted by Roman culture. But her origin is traced to Veii people and this brings it back to Vedic concepts. That concept was none other than that of Lakshmi, the Goddess of prosperity and wealth in Vedic society.  To understand this link, the concept of how Lakshmi got connected with Kardama is discussed below.

Lakshmi, the daughter of Kardama

Lakshmi is a popular Goddess of Vedic religion. There is hymn dedicated to her in Rig Veda. Known as Sri Sooktham it says that Lakshmi or Sri is the daughter of Kardama rishi.

Who was Kardama?

Sages had always given the concepts in amazing forms of riddles and stories and based on the etymology we have to unlock them. The story of Kardama is one such thing.

The very personification of Kardama can be best understood from Valmiki Ramayana and further unlocked from Srimad Bhagavatha.

In chapter 3-14 of Valmiki Ramayana, Rama meets Jatayu, the eagle on the way. Jatayu tells Rama about his identity by tracing the very creation of all beings from the beginning. An analysis of this description by Jatayu shows a remarkable concept of how mankind evolved with its works.

The first creation was Kardama. Kardama means mud. This refers to the land we stand and also the availability of mud as a means for the betterment of man’s life.

The 2nd creation was Sesha. Though it means the left-over, it refers to snakes.

The 3rd creation was Samshraya. It means residence or a dwelling place. Snakes make holes in the mud (ground) and make their living. It is from snakes, man perhaps learned to make dwelling places. Earliest dwellings were supposed to be subterranean. Such dwellings are found in Mehrgarh dated at 9000 years BP.

Then came Sthanu, the 4th creation. Sthanu means firm or immovable. Man came to live in permanent dwellings.  

The 5th one was MarIchi. MarIchi means ray of light or just ray. Perhaps this refers to harnessing light or making fire.

The 6th creation is Atri. Atri means the devourer. Perhaps this refers to the losses suffered as is known from the next creation.

The 7th creation was Kratu. It means sacrifice. Perhaps this refers to conceiving the idea of Almighty, an unseen power that can protect man. This idea could have come only when man suffered losses beyond his control. So Atri (previous one) as devourer makes sense. When mankind,after settling down suffered losses, the prayer to an unseen power sprang up.

The 8th creation was Pulasthya, the name associated with birth of demons. Perhaps with knowledge of the Almighty and ways to tap its benefits, man became arrogant. The case of Hiranyakashipu is a good example to relate with.

The 9th creation was Angira. He stands for Agni – of the kind used for yajnas.

The 10th creation was Pracheta. This word means clever and wise. By now man has become clever, in tapping material and Godly benefits. 

Then came Pualaha, Daksha, Vivaswan and Kashyapa.

The last 4 are mankind-proper that indicates  birth of man as thinking and civilised person.
Of them Kashyapa was the progenitor of mankind. Even now, if someone does not know the gotra, the priests in the temple would mention Kashyapa as one’s gotra and do puja in their name for the deity.

The basic components or stages of growth and maturity of mankind are explained through these names.

Then came the daughters. They were married to these men mentioned above. Kashyapa married 8 daughters of Daksha according to Jatayu in that narration. It refers to the various genetic traits (mtDNA perhaps) that gave rise to diversified growth of mankind.

For this article, I am confining myself with the issues connected with Vel, the potter.

Lakshmi was Kardama’s daughter. Kardama refers to the mud and objects connected with mud. Lakshmi as daughter of Kardama refers to the wealth and prosperity that man could make from mud. The first houses were made of mud only. That was the first level of betterment in man’s life. That is why Lakshmi is connected with Kardama from the very basic level.

Kardama had another daughter called “Shraddha” which means effort.

Shraddha was married to Angiras, the agni. With sharadha when man works with mud (kardama) and fire (Angira), the result is a pot!

After learning to make pots, which was the first innovation and industry of mankind, man became prosperous. The pot became an inevitable object for everything from birth to death and kitchen to Yajna. The increase in his standard of living was therefore attributed to the daughter of Kardama, Lakshmi.

Juno of Veii people has all the trappings of Lakshmi.

The group that left Dwaraka / Kutch region on the wake of loss of habitat around 1500 BC found a home in Tuscany where copper workers found a new lease of life. {Conditions were no longer available to get copper imports in their previous abodes in Harappan sites. This forced them to move to regions where copper was available}.

With them went the potters and their Goddess. Due to lack of contact with ancestral culture, the newly established culture in Tuscany underwent changes with successive generations. Their memories faded but their habits and allegiance to their Goddess continued with modifications.
With the coming of Greeks, every name and form was altered. Today their links can be established only through genetics. The genetic link is already established in the presence of Haplogroup U1a in Tuscany and Kerala besides very less presence in East Europe, which only indicates the route of this migration through East Europe.

My articles in Tamil on Kardama-


Brooke said...

I've been reading up on astrology and I'm still not sure if it really works. Do you have any thoughts on this?

jayasree said...

@ Mr Brooke,

Astrology works on Karma theory. Karma theory works on the principle that whatever one does, either good or bad or mixed(a bad deed done with a good intention or a good deed that could cause bad results) must have to give back its due. Some actions bring back immediate result while most others may not give so. The best example for immediate results is violating a traffic rule for which we immediately get retribution. But there may have been many violations we have done, which go undetected in this birth - for which we may have repented or not, rectified or not - but all of which would be lying dormant with its associated resultant effect. They come back with us when we are born again. Those of the resultant effects that have to be experienced are known as Prarabdha karma. The moment of birth contains the road map of that prarabdha karma which is seen in the form of planetary combinations in the horoscope.

But here comes a problem. Thousands of people are born in this world at any given moment. In other words, thousands are born with the same horoscopy map of planetary combinations. This makes us think that all those people must have the same kind of experiences in life - which is not so in reality. The best way to understand this is to check the life of twins. They may have been born within a gap of 2 to 4 minutes which do not reflect in their horoscopes by any kind of change. But more often than not, the twins do not undergo the same fate. In the case of twins where one dies or suffers some disease while the other doesn't have any such problems, it is apparent that there is something else other than planetary combinations deciding the events. That something else is Karma.

One's karma that one is born with determines what one must undergo. Horoscope may show a number of permutation combinations for an event to happen. But if a person's karma is such that he should not suffer at a given moment, the period of that combination passes off without events, while someone else born in the same combination would undergo an event if his karmic map so warrants such an event.

So it boils down to something of 'us' - called in Hindu Thought as the atman, the indwelling consciousness that is the carrier of the karma. It is on this basis, astrology
(or sages who formulated this) says that one can manipulate karma by propitiation. What actually happens in this is, we tune up the indwelling consciousness with an awareness of karma, on avoidance of those karma that come back to us as a reaction and doing deeds that are in the nature of repentance (service is of that kind). A person who is on this mode has already started to burn out the retributive karma that is due. The uncompromising part of it have to be experienced anyway.

The role of astrology in this is to caution us where lies our our Achilles heel. You understand from the planetary combinations, the areas of life where you are likely suffer (on account of prarabdha karma) and how to go carefully in those regions and during the periods, indicated by the dasa system. Dasa system shows the actual time line when a particular karma is due. If you are cautioned about it even before that period comes, it is more likely you had spent out some part of that karma through anxiety, correctives etc so that when you are actually passing that period, the experience may be bearable or less or even nil.

Hope this helps or I have answered your question.