Update: 2018-09-30 08:52 PM -0400


Burma to Central Asia


by U Kyaw Tun (UKT) (M.S., I.P.S.T., USA), Daw Khin Wutyi, Daw Thuzar Myint, Daw Zinthiri Han and staff of Tun Institute of Learning (TIL). Not for sale. No copyright. Free for everyone. Prepared for students and staff of TIL  Research Station, Yangon, MYANMAR 
 - http://www.tuninst.net , www.romabama.blogspot.com

index.htm | Top

Contents of this page

Mon paradigm vs. Pyu paradigm
Dawei aka Tavoy - southern most Pyu sites
Burma paradigm
Origins of Burma farming
Long lost history of Talang Tuwo language


Contents of this page


- UKT 180913

UKT refutation on “Brahmadesh : Skt-Dev is an Abugida-Akshara script just like Bur-Myan. Just because a Bur-Myan word can be transliterated in Sanskrit does not mean that the Burmese word is derived from Sanskrit. Quoting the name of a distinguished person does not lend credit to it. - My message to the Myanmar historians.

Google gives: " Burma is the Burmese name, used at the beginning of the 12th century, but its origin is still unclear, but historians of Myanmar agreed that, the name derived from “Brahmadesh” in Sanskrit, which means “land of Brahma” Hindu god of all things." .
My question: Which "historians of Myanmar"? Was the first one Taw Sein Ko?
  My observation: historians are not scientists - newer ones quoting older ones!
My question: What about archaeologists writing history?
  My observation: Relying on stone inscriptions - which may be just as unreliable as those by modern historians - can be just hearsay. As an example, see Sacred Geography of Dawei, by E. H. Moore, 2013 in TIL HD-PDF and SD-PDF libraries:
- EHMoore-SacredGeogrDawei<Ô> / Bkp<Ô> (link chk 180813)

On (p3/34), E. Moore writes: "The paper opens by recounting the beginnings of Buddhism in Dawei as preserved in local chronicles and sustained in stupas marking the episodes of the chronicle narrative. (UKT ¶)

The chronicles start with a visit of the Buddha whose arrival triggers a series of events bringing together pre-existing tutelary figures, weiza, a hermit and offspring born of a golden fish, culminating in the establishment of the first Buddhist kingdom ca. the 8 - 10 century CE. The enshrinement of sacred hairs gifted by the Buddha also includes patronage by a king of the ‘Suvaṇṇabhūmi’ {þu.wûN~Na.Bu-mi.} lineage. (UKT ¶).

Associated with the monks Sona and Uttara from Sri Lanka sent by King Asoka’s son Mahinda, ‘Suvaṇṇabhūmi’ {þu.wûN~Na.Bu-mi.} literally can refer to the archaeology of Thaton, a walled site in the present day Mon State, or, as is the case here, more widely to the missionary tradition associated with Asoka (Sao Saimong Mengrai 1976). The third story in the establishment of the Buddhist king at Thagara is the longest of the chronicle, the tale of a royal hunter who failed to capture a golden peacock for the queen. The hunter became a hermit living by a pond with a golden fish and as he urinated in the pond, two children were born from the fish. (UKT ¶)

The boy becomes the first Buddhist king of Thagara, 11 km north of Dawei, where artefacts from survey and excavation confirm the chronology of the chronicle, with the closest archaeological parallels found not at the ancient sites of the Mon State, but to the first millennium CE Buddhist ‘Pyu’ heritage of Upper Myanmar which is notably absent in the chronicle compilation."


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Mon Paradigm vs. Pyu Paradigm

UKT 180829: "Mon Paradigm vs. Pyu Paradigm" has been moved under: - BEPS-indx.htm

Mon Paradigm - Culture in form of written script had spread from Lower Burma to Upper Burma
Pyu Paradigm - The opposite of the above.

Let's see: 
- DGDenovanEtAl-PyuLandscape<Ô> / Bkp<Ô> (link chk 180816)

UKT 180817: The English transcriptions below have been changed so much that even I have difficulty in changing to Bur-Myan.

"The Ayeyarwady Basin {É-ra-wa.ti mric-whûm:} occupies the depressional portion of a geological unit called the West Burma Plate. It is clearly demarcated by Arakan Yoma {ra.hkaín ro:ma.} on the west (an accretionary plism caused by collision of the Indian Plate to the West Burma Plate) [UKT ¶]

UKT 180819: accretionary plism - noun, Geology . a mass of sedimentary material scraped off a region of oceanic crust during subduction and piled up at the edge of a continental crustal plate. - Google

See Section 08 ¤ Geology -- geol-indx > Geology of Myanmarpré - myan-geol.htm - update 2018Feb  
which on Geology of Myanmarpré in which you will see why we, descendants of Pyus are so rich, in spite of ourselves.

and the Shan Plateau {shûm:koan:prín-mrín.} on the east (the boundary is the Sagain-Namyin strike-slip fault). The basin, mostly covered with Tertiary sediment, is divided into two parts, the western trough (interdeep) and the eastern trough (backdeep), by the now extinct Bago (Pegu) Yoma volcanic arc running north-south through the Jade Mine, Wuntho, Mt. Popa {poap-pa:taún}, and the Bago Yoma {pè:hku: ro:ma.}. The western trough is further subdivided into the Upper Chindwinn (Chindwin), the Central (or Ma-gway (Magwe)), and the Lower Ayeyarwady Basins. The Central and Lower Ayeyarwady Basins are separated by the Tayetmyo (Thayetmyo) Syntaxis. The eastern trough
consists of the Monywa-Shwebo Alluvial Plain, (p119end-p120begin) the Sittaung (Sittang) Depression, and the Bago Alluvial Area.

"The Ayeyarwady River flows down southward within the eastern trough until its makes an abrupt turn at Sagain toward the southwest. After crossing the volcanic arc around Pakkoku into the western trough, it flows down southward to the delta. Most probably, the Ayeyarwady used to flow straight to the south from Mandaley to the Mottama (Martaban) Bay through the Sittaung Depression. This depression becomes a narrow corridor (a few tens of km wide) between the Shan Plateau {shûm:koan:prín-mrín.} and the Bago Yoma {pè:hku: ro:ma.}. Presently the corridor is drained to the north to the Ayeyarwady {É-ra-wa.ti mric} and to the south to the Sittaung River {sic~taún: mric}. The divide is somewhere between Pyawbwe {pyau-Bwèý mro.} and Yamethin {ra.mæÑ:þín: mro.}.

"Thus, the Upper Ayeyarwady has two access routes to the sea; the one along the Ayeyarwady directly to the sea, and the other through the corridor to Mottama. The former actually is part of the great distant route to Yunnan via Bhamo, and navigable most of it. The part downstream of Pyay {præÑ mro.} along this route must have been only sparsely settled until the mid-19th century [UKT: the date mid-19th does not make sense.]. The latter is mostly an overland route and passes through the fertile lowlands apparently densely populated since the early times. Kyaukse, Meiktila (Meikthila), and Toungoo are all located along the corridor, with Bago at the southern exit."

UKT note: The paper gives the Pyu sites within the above area. Now, where are the Mon sites?

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Dawei aka Tavoy - southern most Pyu sites

- UKT 180924: The Bur-Myan word Dawei {hta:wèý} can mean the the Tanintharyi Division {ta.nïn~þa-ri teing:}, the capital city {hta:wèý mro.}, an ethnic of officially recognized 135 ethnic minorities speaking a dialect of Bamah language, or the river. - source: Wikipedia - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dawei 180924

PIX: Several brothers of Dr. U Soe Myint, gynaecologist  (husband of Prof. Daw Own Kyi, historian) - the eldest being Thakin Ba Thein Tin, former chairman of the Communist Party of Burma (CPB). My close friend U Soe Myint told me about his elder brothers joining the BIA in Dawei. He was too young to join them. Though children, we were eager to fight the Leik-Kan 'meaning English and Americans'.

Those at the TIL research station can watch how the Imperial Japanese Govt. had granted us "independence" in 1942 during WWII, and could imagine how elated we have been elated . Downloaded BBC video in TIL HD-VIDEO and SD-VIDEO undert Burma section:
- BurmaIndependence<Ô> / Bkp<Ô> (link chk 180930)

Read papers of E. Moore, the archaeologist working on Dawei sites in HD-PDF and SD-PDF libraries:
• The Early Buddhist Archaeology of Myanmar: Tagaung, Thagara, and the Mon-Pyu Dichotomy
- EMoore-BuddhArcheol<Ô> / Bkp<Ô> (link chk 180924)
• The sacred geography of Dawei: Buddhism in peninsular Myanmar (Burma)
- EMoore-SacreGeogDawei<Ô> / Bkip<Ô> (link chk 180924)

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Burma Paradigm

- A possible direct link between central Asia and Myanmarpré
that did not involve mainland India and Asokan script

UKT 180813: I beginning to get fond of the word Paradigm, after coming across Mon Paradigm and Pyu Paradigm !
par·a·digm - n. ¹. An example that serves as pattern or model. - AHTD

Scripts are the only reliable way to look for a connection. As for Speech, the analysis based on grammar (with tenses, gender and number) the picture is simply confusion, because some like Bur-Myan do not have tenses, genders and numbers. I keep myself insane only because of the Sonority scale.

It is interesting to note that the circularly rounded forms in scripts are not only unique to Myanmarpré. They are also found in the country of Georgia. With the background knowledge that King Asoka's Buddhist missionaries went even to Rome in Europe, I suggest that among them might have been monks from the Kingdom of Tagaung {ta.kaún:præÑ} of northern Burma. And the Myanmar script might have traveled with them to Central Asia. I base my conjecture on the presence of the circularly rounded script in Georgia, bordered by Russia in the north, and Turkey in the south. In the Georgian letters, there are definitely two from the Myanmar script:

UKT 170526, 180723, 180808:

თ (U10D7: consonant "Tan"), ი (U10D8: vowel "In") and /a/ inherent vowel ა (U10D0: vowel "An")(equiv. to {a.}. You can check on the pronunciations from: http://ilanguages.org/georgian_vocabulary.php 150220, 180723.
 e.g. (number)  Ten: ათი  [ati] ati<))

The name of the capital of Georgia - the country - is spelt the Bur-Myan თ {ta.}. Then the bombshell: why hadn't the Asokan Brahmi consonant, which has the shape of a bola 'the triangular cross' went along?

It suggests that Bur-Myan script is older than the Asokan Brahmi !

Or, it can also mean that Myanmar script is an improvement on Asokan Brahmi.

Or, it can mean that Myanmar script is descended from an unknown script which uses the logical idea of using a single shape - the circle , just as the Canadian Abugida, and Cuniform (central Asia) are based of the shape of triangle (note: the chevron is an open triangle, and a line is a remnant of the chevron). Whatever the case maybe Asokan, Pyu, and Myanmar are closely related.

Another connection between Myanmarpré and central Asia, is the use of Metonic cycles - discovered by Babylonian astronomers before the Greeks - in Burmese calendar calculations. It is not found in India. See Wikipedia:
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burmese_calendar 180813

So far, (up to 170526, 180806), scholars in Myanmarpré including those from Myanmar Historical Commission and Myanmar Language Commission, have failed to address my above problems. I continue to search for an answer to them. A possible source is in Greco-Buddhism - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greco-Buddhism 170526
"... is the cultural syncretism between Hellenistic culture and Buddhism, which developed between the 4th century BC and the 5th century AD in Bactria and the Indian subcontinent, ..." . I will now look into Empires of the Silk Road by C. I. Beckwith, 2009, in TIL HD-PDF and SD-PDF libraries: - CIBeckwith-EmpiresSilkRd<Ô> / Bkp<Ô> (link chk 180806)

What C. I. Beckwith has written on is history of central Eurasia from the Bronze age to the present. My interest is on Bronze age centered in Georgia: Ten: ათი  [ati] ati<)) : sounds {a-ti} to me which could be {a.ti.} 'exactly full'.

A possible connection between Burma (Myanmarpré) and Georgia is through the Scythian languages, in particular the Saka language:
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scythian_languages 180814
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saka_language 180814
"(Eastern) Saka or Sakan is a variety of Eastern Iranian languages, attested from the ancient Buddhist kingdoms of Khotan, Kashgar and Tumshuq in the Tarim Basin, in what is now southern Xinjiang, China. "

Now that there is mention of Pyus (original peoples of Burma) having their homeland in China, I must mention an article:
- http://factsanddetails.com/southeast-asia/Myanmar/sub5_5a/entry-2996.html#chapter-1 180814
"Based on limited archaeological evidence, it is inferred that the earliest cultures existed in Burma as early as 11,000 B.C. [11 Ka ago, cf. Buddha lifetime 2.5 Ka ago], mainly in the central dry zone close to the Irrawaddy. Circa 2nd century B.C., the Tibeto-Burman-speaking Pyu began to enter the Irrawaddy valley from present-day Yunnan via Tapain and Shweli rivers. The original home of the Pyu is reconstructed to be Kokonor Lake in present-day Qinghai and Gansu provinces. [UKT ¶]

UKT 180823: Qinghai Lake or Kokonor is China’s largest inland lake and saline lake [I presume it is the remnant of the ancient Tethys sea during the last tectonic change in Permian geologic period (299 - 251 Ma ago] with enchanting natural beauty and uncountable species of birds.
- from https://www.chinadiscovery.com/qinghai/xining/qinghai-lake.html 180823
See also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geology_of_the_Himalaya 180823
See also Section 8: Geology for Permian Period (299 - 251 Ma ago): Formation of the land of Myanmarpré
- geol-indx > permian.htm (link chk 180820)
   sublink: - permian-2.htm (link chk 180820)

The Pyu, the earliest inhabitants of Burma of whom records are extant, went on to found settlements throughout the plains region centered around the confluence of the Irrawaddy and Chindwin rivers that has been inhabited since the Paleolithic age. The Pyu realm was longer than wide, stretching from Sri Ksetra in the south to Halin in the north, Binnaka and Maingmaw to the east and probably Ayadawkye to the west. [Source: Wikipedia +] "

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Origins of Myanmar farming

- UKT 180924: Why do Westerners have to imagine that ancient peoples of Burma (presently called Myanmarpré) could not originate anything.? I was told that Burma was the origin of rice cultivation by a visiting Soviet Russian agricultural professor, Dr. Voronsov. I was his counterpart teaching Food Technology to Chemical Engineering , with whom I had to work as his counterpart during my tenure at Rangoon Institute of Technology (RIT) in 1966.


U Aung Kyaw and Dr T.O PryceD

The present-day Myanmar people have evolved from human-like primates who lived in Myanmar 40 million years ago. Primates started to use implements and tools at a period of relatively high culture, thereby letting researchers distinguish at which Age (Bronze or Iron) primates used these tools. Geologist Professor Dr. Nyi Nyi divided the Stone Age into the Palaeolithic Age, Mesolithic Age and Neolithic Age; there was no existence of Mesolithic Age in Myanmar, he continued to write about our ancient history. According to basic history of Myanmar, there were evidences of Palaeolithic Age and Neolithic Age , with discoveries of very few evidences of the Mesolithic Age. But the period between the two Ages could be generally assumed to be the Mesolithic Age.

Between one million years and ten thousand years, heavy rain poured out all over grassy plains in Myanmar, creating a layer of lateritic pebbles by means of erosion. Five terraced deposits along the Ayeyarwady Valley created the present-day Sale Town and Chauk Town within the duration of million of years. Weapons and chopping tools of Paleolithic Age were found among one to four terraced deposits and the Neolithic Age was discovered terrace of the river bank. A lot of Paleolithic Age weapons were found in Upper Myanmar and so Paleolithic Age was dubbed as the Anyathian Culture by researchers

Between one million years and ten thousand years, heavy rain poured out all over grassy plains in Myanmar, creating a layer of lateritic pebbles by means of erosion. Five terraced deposits along the Ayeyarwady Valley created the present-day Sale Town and Chauk Town within the duration of million of years. Weapons and chopping tools of Paleolithic Age were found among one to four terraced deposits and the Neolithic Age was discovered terrace of the river bank. A lot of Paleolithic Age weapons were found in Upper Myanmar and so Paleolithic Age was dubbed as the Anyathian Culture by researchers

The culture of Myanmar Stone Age flourished between five to six and ten thousand years ago. In Myanmar, the culture of late Stone Age or that of New Stone Age flourished in some areas in Salingyi Town, some areas in Kani town , some areas in Chaung-U, some from Monwya and some areas from including Oakaie from Butalin Township

Myanmar Bronze Age evidences in Nyaungkan Village Myanmar primate anthropoids went through the Paleolithic Age, Mesolithic Age and Neolithic Age and are believed by researchers to have reached to the Bronze Age since circa. 3500 years when they started to use weapons and tools on bronze metals. Myanmar Archaeology Department started recent excavations in 1904 and no evidences of the Bronze Age were found up until 1998. T. O. Morris who wrote an essay on Myanmar Stone Age said that he found bronze axes and arrows in Myanmar and wrote about them in vol.28 issue of Journal of Burma Research Society in 1938. He wrote about the bronze weapons found on the ground not from excavations, so the period of the Myanmar Bronze Age and the culture in that period cannot be described firmly.

In the course of world history, primate anthropoids went the Stone Age, the Bronze Age and the Iron Age, but some foreign researchers believed that there was no existence of the Bronze Age in Myanmar.

"Between 1998 and 1999 the researchers and scholars excavated an ancient graveyard , near Nyaungkan village , Butalin Town, finding a buried corpse surfacing and establishing a concept of the Bronze Age in Myanmar. Three more excavations revealed a lot of anthropoid fossils including cadavers, bronze tools and weapons, partially depicting a Myanmar Bronze Age culture. The place of flourishing culture is located one mile southwest of the village at northerly lat. of 22 degrees, 24 min, 40 sec and eastern long. Of 95 degrees, 3 min 28 sec and 500 feet above the sea level. The graveyard where three excavations were carried out is 250 feet long from the south to north and 130 feet from the east to west.

Some villagers from nearby villages often found ancient bronze Artefacts, human bones and broken pots near the Shinmachauk Hill some years back. The place once used to a graveyard and later that cultivated land belongs to U Chit Hlaing of Ywatha Village. He started hill-side cultivation by clearing underbrush and bushes, thereby finding human bones, earthen pots and bronze weapons. ‘A committee for studying evidences on ancient cultures’ was formed with scholars and members from Ministry of Defence Strategic Studies, Yangon University, Archaeology Department, Anthropology Department and Ministry of Culture. The Committee carried out extensive excavations systematically from January, 1998 towards the end of March , 1999.

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Long lost history of Talang Tuwo language

For Talang Tuwo Inscription, see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Srivijaya 180829
For location of the long lost empire, Sri Vijaya, see Palembang as Sri Vijaya by B. Bronson and J. Wisseman, 1975,
in TIL HD-PDF and SD-PDF libraries:
- BBronsonJWisseman-PalembangSrivijaya<)) / Bkp<)) (link chk 180829)
"Srivijaya is the best-described and most securely historical of the early statelike polities that can be more or less definitely located in Malesia. Wolters (1967: 220-21) has suggested that Srivijaya had predecessor states near its later location, and Wheatley (1961: 41-60) and Coedes (1968: 50-55, 77-80) have placed other "states" with citylike capitals elsewhere in the South at about the same time that Srivijaya was beginning its rise to power. But as far as the earlier sources go, Srivijaya is the most solidly authenticated 1st millennium state between Indochina and India. It was actually visited for an extended period in the 680s by the famous Buddhist pilgrim, I Ch'ing (Chavannes 1894; Takakusu 1896)."

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End of TIL file