View Poll Results: What do you think: Where did the Proto-Indo-Europeans live?

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  • between North and Black Sea (indigenous farmers)

    14 45.16%
  • Anatolia (neolithic farmers)

    7 22.58%
  • Ukraine (patriarchalic Kurgan semi-nomades)

    7 22.58%
  • Don´t know/Who cares?

    3 9.68%
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Thread: Danubian Bassin: the Indo-European Urheimat?

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    Danubian Bassin: the Indo-European Urheimat?

    Personally, I regard the glacial refugee area in the Danubian bassin as the most probable kernel for the IE expansion. As time frame I´d like to suggest the Atlanticum climate optimum around 6.500 BC.

    Just some thoughts of mine:

    Lexical components of IE indicate a moderate climate (e.g. there existed words for beech and oak, but not for camel or cypress).

    The Danubian centre historically shows the greatest linguistic diversity with ties to all four major IE meta-families:
    Balkan-IE (Albanian, Armenian, Phrygian, Thracian, Illyrian, maybe Messapian),
    NW-IE/Old European (Germanic, Celtic, Italic, Veneto-Liburnian, Balto-Slavic),
    East-IE (Indo-Aryan) and even with the Hethito-Luvic group - which some archaeologists tend to link with Starcevo-Körös-Cris.

    Modern archaeology is emphasizing a mesolithic-neolithic continuity in most parts of Europe.

    The TBK and Bandkeramik culture, respectively their successors and mixture forms like SK and laterly Adlerberg-Mondsee or Aunjetitz culture show a commmon hydronymic base, the so-called "old-European" which one could try to identify with the north-west group and which proofs ethnic continuity since the neolithics in central Europe.

    Commenting on the most important opponent theories:

    C14 data confirm that SK expanded from west to east, so there is no indication of a Kurgan invasion into central or SE Europe.

    Concerning the Anatolia thesis I only want to underline one point among many others: If Asia minor really has been the original homeland then the neolithic culture of Greece and Bulgaria, namely Sesklo-Dimini is a perfect candidate for a missing link between Anatolia and the Balkans.

    The problem with that is that the inhabitants of the southern Balkan peninsula before the first Hellenic wave most probably have been non-IE as the strong non-IE substrate in Greece much place names indicate.

    Place names even indicate that the unknown pre-IE "Pelasgian" language also existed in southern Italy, western Anatolia and the valleys of the Pindos mountains.

    Genetically Europe has been developed out of its own UP gene pool. The minor "neolithic" contribution attributed to farming came to Europe via two ways: from Turkey to SE Europe and from Northern Africa to the Mediterranian coast of Italy, France and Spain. Only the first one is relevant in this context despite both are clumbed together to found the Renfrew thesis.

    Because of a lower sea level during the ice age, there was a land bridge between Anatolia and Europe. And remember that the Gravettian culture was introduced into Europe via Anatolia and the Middle East in the Würm II-III-interstadial.

    So I claim: Much of the "neolithic" genes are in fact UP or mesolithic and spread to Europe in a many milennia lasting diffusion process.

    Also note that the dissemination gradient of "neolithic genes" towards north is decreasing fast which is more in-line with a diffusion model than a invasion scenario.

    So why not assume that the IE tribes originated where the bulk of them historically appear?
    Last edited by beowulf_; Thursday, December 2nd, 2004 at 04:57 AM.

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    Post Re: Where was the Indo-European urheimat?

    Quote Originally Posted by beowulf
    The Danubian centre historically shows the greatest linguistic diversity with ties to all four major IE meta-families:
    Balkan-IE (Albanian, Armenian, Phrygian, Thracian, Illyrian, maybe Messapian),
    NW-IE/Old European (Germanic, Celtic, Italic, Veneto-Liburnian, Balto-Slavic),
    East-IE (Indo-Aryan) and even with the Hethito-Luvic group
    which some archaeologists tend to link with Starcevo-Körös-Cris.
    Because Phrygian, Thracian and Illyrian are poorly known, their reltaionship is speculative, and I doubt there is a Balkan lineage of Indo-European languages.

    Concerning the Anatolia thesis I only want to underline one point among many others: If Asia minor really has been the original homeland than the neolithic culture of Greece and Bulgaria, namely Sesklo-Dimini is a perfect
    candidate for a missing link between Anatolia and the Balkans.
    The problem with that is that the inhabitants of the southern Balkan
    peninsula before the first Hellenic wave most probably have been non-IE
    as the strong non-IE substrate in Greece much place names indicate.
    Place names even indicate that the unknown pre-IE "Pelasgian" language
    also existed in southern Italy, western Anatolia and the valleys of the Pindos
    mountains.
    In the Mediterranean, unrelated languages can be spoken by nearby communities, so I imagine that languages seperate from Indo-Hittite were also introduced by prehistoric populations entering Europe so pre-Greek languages could be introduced in the Neolithic themselves.

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    Post Re: Where was the Indo-European urheimat?

    @atlanto-med

    I base my opinion mainly on a classical German language encyclopedia,
    Realenzyklopädie der klassischen Altertumswissenschaften (großer Pauly).

    Yet antic historicians has said that Phrygian and Armenian together came
    from the surroundings of the Rhodopes. Phrygian shares some
    characteristics with Greece, for example the -menos participle, and a
    Thraco-Phrygian subbranch has been postulated.
    So the idea of a Balkan group is not so far fetched although an
    intermediate proto-Balkan-IE language is highly questionable.

    But I must concede that some of these languages are meagerly
    documented and there remains much uncertainty. Especially problematic:
    The kentum/satem division runs in the middle of the hypothetical Balkan
    group and the place names seem to indicate early contacts with
    Balto-Slavic.

    In my view the problem with Greece and Anatolia is: Pelasgian is not the
    only documented or reconstructed non-IE language there, so are Minoan,
    Tyrrhenian, Hurrian and proto-Hattian among others. The IE languages of
    Anatolia all seem to be not autochtonous because of a strong substrate
    influence and cultural relations with the Balkans during the migration
    of the sea folks (Seevölkersturm), a fact which becomes important for
    locating the supposed split of Indo-Hittite into IE and Hittite.

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    Post Re: Where was the Indo-European urheimat?

    Quote Originally Posted by beowulf
    In my view the problem with Greece and Anatolia is: Pelasgian is not the only documented or reconstructed non-IE language there, so are Minoan, Tyrrhenian, Hurrian and proto-Hattian among others. The IE languages of Anatolia all seem to be not autochtonous because of a strong substrate influence and cultural relations with the Balkans during the migration of the sea folks (Seevölkersturm), a fact which becomes important for locating the supposed split of Indo-Hittite into IE and Hittite.
    As far as Im aware, Anatolian, Armenian and Greek share a substratum thats Caucasian and because Caucasian languages turned out to represent a sprachbund between three unrelated language families, the substratum of the earliest branches in Indo-European suggests a geographical area of origin.

    The Pelasgian language is unknown, unless Lemnian represents Pelasgian. In the catalogue of ships, Homer describes the Pelasgians as inhabiting the border of Thrace and the Hellespontine cities which is around where Herodotus described them later. Although the Pelasgians were a nation, by the time of Theucidides the name was used to describe other pre-Greeks. This is why I feel that Lemnian writing mignt notbe Pelasgian, because Lemnos was associated with the pre-Greeks called Minyans.

    The Lemnian inscriptions mignt suggest an affinity between Lemnian and Tyrrhenian, which would seem to confirm the origins of the Tyrrhenians in the Agean. They mignt both be Anatolian languages.

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    Post Re: Where was the Indo-European urheimat?

    I voted for between North and Baltic sea but no-one can know or prebably never will know the answer to that enigma.

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    Post Re: Where was the Indo-European urheimat?

    @atlantomed

    I find it rather unfair to say that the origin of IE languages must have been in
    the south because the oldest records of IE languages lie there while at the
    same time the south is favoured through the early and opportune reference
    situation at the Mediterranian Sea.

    Today by convention Pelasgian often means the language which is responsible
    for the pre-Greek -ssos/-nthos element in narcissus, Korinth or Knossos
    and maybe is the language of Linear A. It formerly must have been more
    widespread as more northern names as Nis (old Naissus) or the -nda and -ssa
    suffix in Luvian names confirm.

    About the character of the pre-IE substrate being either Nakho-Dagestanian,
    Abchaso-Adygian or Kartwelic I´ve not yet read something, but my knowledge
    on this topic is very limited.

    Homer writes with an aristocratic traditionalist background 500 years after the
    destruction of Troy VIIa about the good ol´ Mykenian time before the arrival
    of the Dorian intruders. The remembrance of the Pelasgians is rather dark,
    they are mentioned in the ship catalogue as inhabitants of the district of
    Larissa whose localization is insecure.

    And yes, the Aeneas myth which the Romans borrowed from the Etruscans
    perhaps was not so displaced:
    http://www.etruskisch.de/pgs/og.htm

    @AryanKrieger

    Right, it´s not about a stringent mathematical proof but about weighing
    the validity of each argument and seeing which one has the greatest
    plausabalitiy.

    I would have liked if the left-wing pseudointellectual German magazine
    "Der Spiegel" had had the same approach when they wrote:
    "Riddle solved - proto-language came from Anatolia" and in the same edition is a pro-EU-membership article about Turkey:
    http://www.hamarsiske.de/Artikel/Indogermanisch-spo (in German)

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    Post Re: Where was the Indo-European urheimat?

    Quote Originally Posted by beowulf
    I find it rather unfair to say that the origin of IE languages must have been in the south because the oldest records of IE languages lie there while at the same time the south is favoured through the early and opportune reference situation at the Mediterranian Sea.
    I think this is fair but Im not referring to the the record of Indo-European languages in the Mediteranean, but to glottochronology.

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    Post Re: Where was the Indo-European urheimat?

    Well, if there also were as much written records from the 2nd millenium BC
    in central Europe, like at the discovery of Tocharyan and Hittite-Luwic, some
    adjustions in the overall model would have to be made.

    Glottochronology has the inherent difficulty that the rate of change and various
    substrate/superstrate and assimilation effects are unknown. Don´t worry
    but many Indo-Europeanists think it is junk science.

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    Post Re: Where was the Indo-European urheimat?

    Quote Originally Posted by beowulf
    Glottochronology has the inherent difficulty that the rate of change and various
    substrate/superstrate and assimilation effects are unknown. Don´t worry
    but many Indo-Europeanists think it is junk science.
    The Atkinson and Gray study produced results from a set of data, based on the similarities between the languages. If you disagree with the time depths they suggest, then the sequence of seperation in their study is still interesting, and supports relationships within Indo-European such as North-West Indo European, or the association of Greek with Armenian.

    And they found the order of divergence within the Indo-European languages to be stable. Most of the uncertainty in their results was about the relatoinships within North-Western Indo-European, but a minority of their results questioned the association of Greek with Armenian, and Albanian with Indo-Iranian. But where these relationships werent supported, they still formed lineages that diverged next to each other.

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    Post Re: Where was the Indo-European urheimat?

    Every Prof. I cross-examined in college (a long time ago) told me IE language originated near the mouths of the Dom, Dnieper and Donau (Danube) rivers. This would put it slightly on the northwest side of the Black Sea if my memory is correct. This was based on linguistic and archaelogical evidence with really hasn't changed since I asked them.

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