Journal article Open Access
Semenenko, Aleksandr Andreyevich
Rigveda and Atharvaveda Shaunaka Samhitas have been carefully analyzed to check whether they mention copper or bronze swords. It has turned out that both texts do not know swords (only knives) and therefore must be dated in their habitats in the Northwest of the Indian subcontinent prior to the introduction of such weapons into the region. Swords have been archaeologically evidenced both in the Indus valley and in the Yamuna–Ganges Doab only after 2000 BC. This confirms the dating of Atharvaveda Shaunaka prior to 2000 BC, and of more archaic Rigveda – a few centuries earlier (prior to 2600 BC). Then all available data on the copper and bronze swords of different types (straight double-edged, machete–cleaver, sickle-shaped, ‘rapier’, ‘harpoon’) originating from the Old World and dating back to 3500–2000 BC have been collected and scrutinized. Thus Cyclades, Anatolia, Syria, Palestine/ Israel/ Canaan, North-Western Caucasus, Transcaucasia, Akkad, Sumer, Elam and Bactria–Margiana territories have been excluded from the possible homelands of Indo-Aryans in the periods when they already had copper or bronze swords.