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“Trading Religions” from Bronze Age Iran to Bactria

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Chapter Summary

This chapter addresses the following questions: whether religious transfer took place between Iran and Central Asia in the Bronze Age, and if so, how, when and why did it come about, and which models of transfer, transformation and change can be found. Regarding the question of "Trading religion" the objects, subjects and the different levels of religious trade have to be analyzed. The intention is therefore to diagnose: What was "traded" (symbols, gods, heroes, religious objects or a symbol system/ religion as a whole), who was the trader (merchants, travelling craftsmen, people) and what was the socio-economic background? The art of Bactria seems to be characterized to a high degree by goddesses, mixed beings and mythological motifs which can be traced back to Iranian forerunners that themselves have older roots in periods of Iranian prehistory.

Keywords: Bactria; Bronze Age; Iran; mythological motifs; trading religions



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