Tocharians Who They Were, Where They Came From And Where They Lived
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In 2008 one century will be passed after the recognition of inhabitants of Tang’s Chinese Turkestan as speakers of until that time unknown original branch of Indo-European languages. So the eastern border of the Indo-European pre-colonial space passed even the 90th meridian eastwards from Greenwich (to be exact, in the same time also Indo-Iranian peoples overpassed this line in the area of contemporary Bangladesh and the Indian confederative state of Assam). Tocharians kept their Indo-European identity not only by their long trans-continental drift through Eurasia, but still some thousands years after their arrival to the Chinese border. Interesting is that they didn’t yield Chinese cultural and linguistic assimilation; on the contrary, the ancestors of Tocharians brought to the early Chinese civilization achievements from field of technology (war chariot), food (honey), knowledge of some exotic animals (lion) and religion (especially buddhism). Situation of the 9th (or 10th?) century, when the Tocharians became to disappear from the history of Central Asia, remains in darkness of informational vacuum. The only thing that we certainly know is that they didn’t yield sinization, but vanished away in expansion of the Turkic nations, represented in this area by Old Uyghurs.
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