The term and toponym “Maydan” in the light of the Indo-European peoples migrations

Aleksandr Bukalov, Olga Karpenko

Abstract


The origin of the term “maydan” (“maidan”, “majdan”, “майдан”) is considered. The analysis of its distribution in Eurasia shows that the term has not Iranian, but earlier - Indo-Iranian origin, because, for example, it is widely represented in India, Nepal , Bangladesh, and even - in small numbers - in southern China, the Philippines and Indonesia. The spread of the term correlates well with the early migrations of Indo-Iranian peoples, marked by the spread of the corresponding sub-clades of the haplogroup R1a1 in the Near East, Middle East, Central Asia, Indos, and the Slavic peoples in Eastern Europe, including the Balkans. In Western Europe, where the sub-clades of haplogroup R1b1 dominate, the considered toponym is absent. At the same time, the number of semantic meanings of the term “maydan” reaches a maximum in the territory of Ukraine and adjacent north-eastern regions, and the term “maydan” is rooted and distributed in the Ukrainian folk and household culture that incorporated a number of terms and aspects of Indo-Aryan culture. They also include the name of ritual structures - temples of the Bronze Age in the form of embankments of complex shape, different from the usual mounds. The number of ritual Maidans of the Bronze Age on the territory of Ukraine, in the Voronezh and Kursk regions is estimated in 2000, and such a density of sanctuaries is nowhere in Eurasia anymore. These facts can say that the formation and distribution of the term as a sacral name of a ritual place occurred in the specified region. During the migration, the name “Maydan” was given to sacred rivers, lakes, mountain and hilltops, ritual structures, settlements and their centers, where religious ritual ceremonies and public gatherings of a number of migrating Indo-European peoples were held.


Keywords


toponym; oronim; hydronym; Maidan; mound; sanctuary; Ukrainian culture; Indo-Aryans; Indo-Iranian peoples; Slavs; Indo-European migrations

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