The Society of the Fergiartuya

II. The Early Society

Let us take another look at the early settlement traces to try and find some indications for our subsequent research. The first finding, the "Prince's Grave" of RemayÍka, originates from the time around 600 b.M. At this point in time, the tribe, whom this prince probably has led, must still have lived nomadically. Because the first settlement traces are about fifty years older, we have at least to assume this. But actually a prince's grave seems not to fit to a nomadic people; here you would expect a cremation burial or an exposure of the corpse in nature. So maybe it was a transitional phase, in which the Fergiartuya  were still predominantly nomadical.  Another argument for this is the fact that horses and sheep were buried with the man. Less convincing, however, are the bronze blades, because where should the metal for their production have come from? Mines or smithies in this area come from a much later time. So they are probably goods from barter or booty. Unfortunately, no signatures or similar are found on the blades so we cannot say where they have come from. The most probable sources are the  Isles of the Magicians or the Cities of  Darkness. The blades are also cited in favour of the conquest thesis. The absence of settlement traces of the Fergiartuya from this time, however, is another point against it. But if we assume that the autochthon inhabitants of these areas knew trade and that the Fergiartuya acquired the blades from them - in which way whatever - this thesis is no longer as compelling.

Be that as it may, the horse and sheep bones are clear indications in any way. Both are quite common finds for a nomadic people. The votive statue of the "snake man" has less informative value in this connection because a clay figure can be relatively easily burnt in a camp fire. Whether the statue really has to do with the god Ohisa, is especially important for our concerns, because it would allow the presumption that the tribe, who has left the prince's grave behind, travelled further southeast. However, the traces at RemayÍka are not rich enough in content  to deliver material for comparisons. As pertains to the social order of the tribe, we can only say that it probably had one (or more) leaders, whose status was honored by precious burial objects.

The first settlement traces of the Fergiartuya developed around 525 b.M. Researchers do not agree whether the postholes in the bay of ValyÍkana indicate a nomad camp or a village, the more so as no further remains of fortifications could be found. The numerous glazed clay fragments and pieces of jewellery that were found here, rather indicate a permanent settlement. It could have been a conquest of course, but no traces of fires or similar were found.

Apparently priests or holy men played an important role in the everyday life of these Fergiartuya. Presumably, the roles in this area were still not very pronounced and so we have to assume a shamanistic belief system. This thesis is supported by the fact that people in the East believed less in the  System of the Seven Gods of Hakrivarg than in gods likeTrÓnya und Belana. The most important question in connection with the finds in the Bay of ValyÍkana, however is, whether the inhabitants, which had built this settlement, were already of the tribe of the Fergiartu. Now there are certainly similarities among the findings - especially the pieces of jewellery - with the handicraft products of the Fergiartu. Unfortunately also with those of other Fergiartan tribes. It is therefore believed in research that the finds originate from a relatively uniform phase of cultural development of the Fergiartan tribes. A little more typical is the crown at the staff of "the King of ValyÍkana", because this design feature spread in the third century b.M., starting from the residential areas of the Fergiartu living north of the Ahipassni. In the time of the Fergiartan Empire only the Parshu used this badge of power.

Also interesting is the corpse with the skull fracture. But this discovery fits less with the tribe of the Fergiartu and can more easily be found further west in the Senimarga. This fact also speaks against an identification of the tribes living in the bay with the proper tribe of the Fergiartu. But it is well possible that the resident tribe was a substrate within the society of the Fergiartu. Possibly the tribe migrated  to the West later on as the Fergiartu settled in the bay. Of course, it is also possible that the man got his wound in combat and was buried after his death (maybe resulting from the wound) properly.

The findings within the
Egarsa stem from a culturally more advanced stage of Fergiartan development. Even if one wants to believe that the tribe living here took over the mine from a culturally advanced indigenous people, this has to be no contradiction. And in contrast to sites named first, the fire altar gives us relatively reliable indications for the affiliation of the tribe living here. Since the god Puranka was especially holy to the tribe of the DivasŻnÓ, who saw themselves as his descendants, the inhabitants of the Egarsa from this time are also called Proto-DivasŻni. Furthermore because of the fire the smithy was believed to be sacred to the god. At least here, we can thus make a relatively clear association of the finds and the inhabitants. In later times, however, the system of the seven gods of Hakrivarg asserted itself  here also; but the god Puranka was further worshipped here and could persist relatively undamaged beside the high religion.

Thus we can make a short - although not very significant - conclusion of the time before the origin of the first Fergiartan kingdom: Between the immigrants of the first Fergiartan tribes in the eighth century and the sixth, latest the fifth century before Meyapotina, the Fergiartu have to be seen as a predominantly nomadic people. As the finds of RemayÍka indicate, the tribes were ruled by princely families, where the prince won his esteem especially by his leadership on the march and the execution of those tasks necessary for a people on the march, like arrangement and supervision of the marching order, upkeep of order within the camp and organization of the riders guarding the people's trail. Maybe his person was seen as semi divine, if we generalize from the burial objects found at  RemayÍka.  Horses were important as draught if not as riding animals, and sheep constituted the wealth and secured the nutrition of the tribe. The most important religious authorities will have been the shamans and maybe the sacrosant princes. If one imagines the uncertainty of a people on the march - the warriors may be as mighty as they are - , one will be able to judge the importance of oracles and visions.

Those tribes advancing further East will have retained their nomadic lifestyle well up to the fourth century b.M. and the tribes that migrated to the Strait of Ghormas, appear as already sedentary tribes in the first century before Meyapotina. In the West we will have to assume a general sedentariness probably since the fourth century b.M. Some Fergiartuya should have already advanced to the Isles of the Magicians during this time. However, they founded the first settlements here soon. Up to the sixth century we will have to assume a relatively uniform level of cultural development. As the lowest level - at least in the West -  should apply the end of the fifth century. Unfortunately we are lacking discoveries from the area between the western mountains and the one that the MaqŠra inhabited; the same holds true for traces from the fifth century.