Chariot - Early Indo-Iranians

Early Indo-Iranians

The earliest fully developed true chariots known are from the chariot burials of the Andronovo (Timber-Grave) sites of the Sintashta-Petrovka Proto-Indo-Iranian culture in modern Russia and Kazakhstan from around 2000 BC. This culture is at least partially derived from the earlier Yamna culture. It built heavily fortified settlements, engaged in bronze metallurgy on an industrial scale and practiced complex burial rituals reminiscent of rituals known from the Rigveda and the Avesta. The Sintashta-Petrovka chariot burials yield the earliest spoke-wheeled true chariots. The Andronovo culture over the next few centuries spread across the steppes from the Urals to the Tien Shan, likely corresponding to early Indo-Iranian cultures.

Chariots figure prominently in Indo-Iranian mythology. Chariots are also important in Hindu and Persian mythologies, in which deities are portrayed as charioteers.

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