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AIRYANEM VAEJAH (Airyanəm Vaējah, approximately “expanse of the Aryans ”, i.e. Iranians ) is the homeland of the early Iranians and a reference in the Zoroastrian Avesta
Avesta
( Vendidad , Farg. 1) to one of Ahura Mazda 's "sixteen perfect lands."

CONTENTS

* 1 Etymology and related words * 2 Historical concepts * 3 See also * 4 References * 5 External links

ETYMOLOGY AND RELATED WORDS

The Avestan
Avestan
term airyanəm vaējah is formed from the plural genitive case of airya and the word vaējah (whose oft-used nominative case is vaējō). The meaning of vaējah is uncertain. It may be related to Vedic Sanskrit vej/vij, suggesting the region of a fast-flowing river. it has also been interpreted by some as “seed” or “germ”. Avestan
Avestan
airya is etymologically related to the Old Persian ariya.

The related Old Iranian term *aryānām xšaθra- is the origin of the modern Persian term " Iran
Iran
" via Middle Persian Ērān-shahr and Ērān during the Sasanian Empire
Sasanian Empire
.

HISTORICAL CONCEPTS

The historical location of Airyanem Vaejah is still uncertain. In the first chapter of the Vendidad is a listing of 16 countries, and some scholars believe that Airyanem Vaejah lies to the north of all of these. As Darmesteter notes in his translation of the Avesta, Bundahishn 29:12 directly states that it was beside Azerbaijan, however most modern scholars favor a more eastern location.

Bahram Farahvashi and Nasser Takmil Homayoun suggest that Airyanem Vaejah was probably centered on Khwarezm , a region that is now split between several Central Asian republics. The University of Hawaii historian Elton L. Daniel likewise believes Khwarezm to be the “most likely locale” corresponding to the original home of the Avestan-speaking peoples, and Ali-Akbar Dehkhoda
Ali-Akbar Dehkhoda
once called Khwarezm “the cradle of the Aryan tribe”.

Conversely, according to Michael Witzel , Airyanem Vaejah lies at the center of the 16 lands mentioned in the Vendidad: an area now in the central Afghan highlands (around Bamyan Province ).

David Anthony's The Horse, the Wheel and Language
The Horse, the Wheel and Language
, makes no direct reference to Airynem Vaejah. Anthony may, however, provide evidence linking it to four successive Indo-European cultures.

* On the lower and middle Volga River ,

* the Poltavka culture
Poltavka culture
of 2700–2100 BCE and * the Abashevo culture of 2500–1900 BCE.

* In the area that is now Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan
:

* the Sintashta culture of 2200–1600 BCE; and * the Andronovo culture
Andronovo culture
of 2000–900 BCE.

Shrikant G. Talageri, in his book The Rigveda: A Historical Analysis , proposes that Airyam Vaejah was located in Kashmir
Kashmir
.

SEE ALSO

* Avestan
Avestan
geography * Ahura Mazda * Ariana
Ariana
* Āryāvarta , its Hindu counterpart * Indo-Iranians

REFERENCES

* ^ see p. 164 in: P.O. Skjaervo, The Avesta
Avesta
as source for the early history of the Iranians. In: G. Erdosy (ed.), The Indo-Aryans of Ancient South Asia. (Indian Philology and South Asian Studies, A. Wezler and M. Witzel, eds.), vol. 1, Berlin/New York: de Gruyter 1995, pp.155-176. * ^ Darmesteter, James. Sacred Books of the East (1898). Peterson, Joseph H., Avesta
Avesta
- Zoroastrian Archives: VENDIDAD (English): Fargard 1. * ^ see Edwin Bryant, The Quest for the origins of Vedic culture, 2001: 327 * ^ Zoroaster’s Time and Homeland: A Study on the Origins of Mazdeism and Related Problems by Gherardo Gnoli, Instituto Universitario Orientale, Seminario di Studi Asiatici, (Series Minor VII), Naples, 1980 * ^ Darmesteter, James. Sacred Books of the East (1898). Peterson, Joseph H., Avesta
Avesta
- Zoroastrian Archives: VENDIDAD (English): Fargard 1. * ^ Nasser Takmil Homayoun , Kharazm: What do I know about Iran?. 2004. ISBN 964-379-023-1 * ^ Elton L. Daniel, The History of Iran. 2001. ISBN 0-313-30731-8 * ^ M. Witzel, "The Vīdēvdað list obviously was composed or redacted by someone who regarded Afghanistan
Afghanistan
and the lands surrounding it as the home of all Aryans (airiia), that is of all (eastern) Iranians, with Airiianem Vaẽjah as their center." page 48, “The Home Of The Aryans”, Festschrift J. Narten = Münchener Studien zur Sprachwissenschaft, Beihefte NF 19, Dettelbach: J.H. Röll 2000, 283-338. Also published online, at Harvard University (LINK) * ^ Anthony, David W. (2007). The Horse, the Wheel, and Language. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0-691-05887-0 * ^

EXTERNAL LINKS

* Avesta
Avesta
terminology: Eranvej

.