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Date: 28 Dec 1999
There has been a lot of debate on the dating of Zarathutsra. Generally, the dates around 1800 seem more credible on scholarly ground, and Boyce's original estimate of 1200 she later revised to the earlier date. The reasons for this are both philological (Avestan is gramatically slightly older than Sanskrit which dates c.1500) and referential - the internal evidence in the Gathas and other parts of the Avesta suggests a society just moving from the neolithic to the bronze age. The range in dates is not surprising. There is a simialr range of dates given for Abraham ( anywhere from 2200 - 1400 BC). Until someone finds archaelogical corroboration or a contemportary written refernce, this is the best one can do. One thing is ceratin, the 600 BC date is most certainly wrong.