Saka) west into Sogdiana, where around 140 and 130 BC the latter crossed the Syr Darya into Bactria.The Saka also moved southwards towards to the Pamirs and northern India where they settled in Kashmir, and eastwards to settle in some of the oasis city-states of Tarim Basin sites like Yanqi (焉耆, Karasahr) and Qiuci (龜茲, Kucha).According to the Book of Han, the Saka split and formed several states in the region.
A document from Khotan written in Khotanese Saka, part of the Eastern Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages, listing the animals of the Chinese zodiac in the cycle of predictions for people born in that year; ink on paper, early 9th century The official language of Khotan was initially Gandhari Prakrit written in Kharosthi, and coins from Khotan dated to the 1st century bear dual inscriptions in Chinese and Gandhari Prakrit, indicating links of Khotan to both India and China.Surviving documents however suggest that an Iranian language was used by the people of the kingdom for a long time Third-century AD documents in Prakrit from nearby Shanshan record the title for the king of Khotan as hinajha (i.e.Sakā and Skuthai evidently constituted a generic name for the nomads on the northern frontiers." The Saka people were an Iranian people who spoke a language belonging to the Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages.They are known to the ancient Greeks as Scythians and are attested in historical and archaeological records dating to around the 8th century BC.The linguistic heartland of Saka was the Kingdom of Khotan, which had two varieties, corresponding to the major settlements at Khotan (now Hotan) and Tumshuq (now Tumxuk).
The Issyk inscription, a short fragment on a silver cup found in the Issyk kurgan (modern Kazakhstan) is believed to be an early example of Saka, constituting one of very few autochthonous epigraphic traces of that language. Harmatta identifies the dialect as Khotanese Saka, tentatively translating its as: "The vessel should hold wine of grapes, added cooked food, so much, to the mortal, then added cooked fresh butter on".
Indications of Saka presence have also been found in the Tarim Basin region, possibly as early as the 7th century BC.
The Saka were pushed out of the Ili and Chu River valleys by the Yuezhi, thought by some to be Tocharians.
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who were known to the ancient Greeks as the Cimmerians, were closely associated with the Sakas.