An Investigation into the Pantheon in Bactrian Economic Documents

Document Type: Research Paper


1 Assistant Professor, University of Religions and Denominations

2 Independent Scholar (PhD in Ancient Cultures and Languages, University of Tehran)


In the 90s, a remarkable number of manuscripts were found in Northern Afghanistan, including economic documents, legal documents, and letters, which have become an important resource for academic studies. This paper aims to investigate the Bactrian pantheon as reflected in the economic documents of this collection. At first, these economic documents and the pantheon mentioned in them are introduced. After that, the names of the gods that were commonly used in people’s names are studied, and finally the gods of the Bactrian pantheon are discussed in detail. The conclusion is that the names of the gods in the Bactrian pantheon are not Indian but Iranian, and also the gods themselves are rather pre-Zoroastrian than originally Zoroastrian.


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