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According to Herodotus , the Persians gave the name "Saka" to all " Scythians ". Some argued for the Pamirs or Xinjiang as their location, although Jaxartes is considered to be their more likely location given that the name says "beyond Sogdiana" rather than Bactria. In the Book of Han , the area was called the "land of the Sak", i. Indications of Saka presence have also been found in the Tarim Basin region, possibly as early as the 7th century BC.

The ancient Greco-Roman geographer Strabo noted that the four tribes that took down the Bactrians in the Greek and Roman account — the Asioi , Pasianoi, Tokharoi and Sakaraulai — came from land north of the Syr Darya where the Ili and Chu valleys are located.

Kashmir , of modern-day India and Pakistan. Mair speculate that some Sakas may also have migrated to the area of Yunnan in southern China following their expulsion by the Yuezhi. Excavations of the prehistoric art of the Dian Kingdom of Yunnan have revealed hunting scenes of Caucasoid horsemen in Central Asian clothing.

Animal scenes of felines attacking oxen are also at times reminiscent of Scythian art both in theme and in composition. The rich graves at Tillya Tepe in Afghanistan are seen as part of a population affected by the Saka. Beckwith [73] have demonstrated. Khotan, first century. Obv: Kharosthi legend, "Of the great king of kings, king of Khotan, Gurgamoya. Rev: Chinese legend: "Twenty-four grain copper coin". A document from Khotan written in Khotanese Saka , part of the Eastern Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages , listing the animals of the Chinese zodiac in the cycle of predictions for people born in that year; ink on paper, early 9th century Later Khotanese-Saka-language documents, ranging from medical texts to Buddhist literature , have been found in Khotan and Tumshuq northeast of Kashgar.

These Saka states may include two states to the northwest of Kashgar, and Tumshuq to its northeast, and Tushkurgan south in the Pamirs. In the 11th century, according to Mahmud al-Kashgari , some non-Turkic languages like the Kanchaki and Sogdian were still used in some areas in the vicinity of Kashgar, [93] and Kanchaki is thought to belong to the Saka language group.

Herodotus IV. They bore the bow of their country and the dagger; besides which they carried the battle-axe, or sagaris. They were in truth Amyrgian Western Scythians, but the Persians called them Sacae, since that is the name which they gave to all Scythians. In the 1st century BC, the Greek-Roman geographer Strabo gave an extensive description of the peoples of the eastern steppe, whom he located in Central Asia beyond Bactria and Sogdiana.

These tribes included the Saka. They are all for the most part nomads. But the best known of the nomads are those who took away Bactriana from the Greeks , I mean the Asii , Pasiani , Tochari , and Sacarauli , who originally came from the country on the other side of the Iaxartes River that adjoins that of the Sacae and the Sogdiani and was occupied by the Sacae.

Now of these the Aparni are situated closest to Hyrcania and the part of the sea that borders on it, but the remainder extend even as far as the country that stretches parallel to Aria. Between them and Hyrcania and Parthia and extending as far as the Arians is a great waterless desert , which they traversed by long marches and then overran Hyrcania, Nesaea , and the plains of the Parthians.

And these people agreed to pay tribute , and the tribute was to allow the invaders at certain appointed times to overrun the country and carry off booty. But when the invaders overran their country more than the agreement allowed, war ensued, and in turn their quarrels were composed and new wars were begun.

Such is the life of the other nomads also, who are always attacking their neighbors and then in turn settling their differences. Strabo, Geography, Note the royal tamga on the coin.



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Dictionary of Khotan Saka



Saka language




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