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Thread: Prehistoric Human Migrations

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    Administrator lpetrich's Avatar
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    The article then went into the issue of the homeland of the ancestral Indo-European speakers. That has been much debated since the recognition of the Indo-European family in the early 19th cy., with numerous hypotheses proposed.

    A little over a century ago, German scholar Gustav Kossinna proposed northern Germany was the IE homeland. German nationalists loved that idea, and the Nazis were extreme German nationalists. "Aryan" is an old Indo-Iranian self-designation, roughly meaning "noble", and that used to be a common synonym for "early Indo-European". With the curious consequence that some of the Nazis' targets, the Roma, had better claim on "Aryan" than they did.

    A recent proposal has been Colin Renfrew's proposal that it was Neolithic farmers who brought the IE languages with them. Since they did not mix very much as they spread outward, they would have brought their languages with them as they went. But there are linguistic difficulties with CR's hypothesis, like vocabulary mismatch and a poor match between Neolithic spread and Indo-European dialect relationships.

    But the most successful so far has been the Kurgan hypothesis, named after the kurgans or burial mounds associated with Yamnaya and related cultures. It is that the PIE speakers were the Yamnaya people or predecessors of them. It agrees with the linguistic evidence: words for horses and wheels and axles and the like. It also fits in well with the spread of Yamnaya people into Europe.

    It's another slap in the face to Nazi ideology, because it's south Russians who are the original "Aryans" in this scenario. The Nazis considered Slavs "untermenschen", subhuman people, and they wanted to conquer territories where Slavs lived, turn them into German colonies complete with German settlers, and pretty much enslave the Slavic inhabitants. Those territories were to become Lebensraum (habitat, living space) for the German people. To quote Adolf Hitler himself, in a speech to his generals just before invading the Soviet Union, "As for the ridiculous hundred million Slavs, we will mould the best of them to the shape that suits us, and we will isolate the rest of them in their own pig-styes; and anyone who talks about cherishing the local inhabitant and civilising him, goes straight off into a concentration camp !" (The Holocaust-Denial Debate)

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    Cyborg with a Tiara
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    Very interesting reading, Loren, Thanks!

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    Administrator lpetrich's Avatar
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    Massive migration from the steppe was a source for Indo-European languages in Europe -- the professional-journal paper for the three-migration model.

    Northern and eastern Europeans have the most steppe-herder ancestry, while southern Europeans have the most Neolithic-farmer ancestry.

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    Veteran Member C_Mucius_Scaevola's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swammerdami View Post
    (You'll also want a good book on the Indo-European languages, but I'm so cheap I've never replaced Mallory's 1989 book.
    I read this one recently, and can recommend it:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Ho...,_and_Language

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    Member aupmanyav's Avatar
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    And where did those people come from: Sub-Arctic regions. Arctic Home in Vedas (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Ar...e_in_the_Vedas)

    Many people might remember my rants on the subject.

    5 Reasons: 1. Mention of the dawn extending for one month 2. Mention of a long night extending from 2 months to up to 100 days 3. Mention of seven months of continuous day-light 4. Mention of priests who completed their annual sacrificial cycle in 7 months (Saptagu - Avesta), Nine or ten months (Navagwahas, Dashagwahas - Vedas) 5. Old roman calendar before the correction by Emperor Numa in 7th Century BC had only 304 days. January and February were added later.

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    Quote Originally Posted by C_Mucius_Scaevola View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Swammerdami View Post
    (You'll also want a good book on the Indo-European languages, but I'm so cheap I've never replaced Mallory's 1989 book.
    I read this one recently, and can recommend it:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Ho...,_and_Language
    Seconded.

    A few years ago a friend of mine died and left me a cat and that book. She was kind of skittish and I wanted to get her used to the sound of my voice, so I read her the book. She is now the world's greatest cat expert on Ukrainian archaeology.

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    Administrator lpetrich's Avatar
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    The "Arctic Home" is likely the Sintashta culture in the steppe zone to the northeast of the Caspian Sea. With its latitude, it would have had long summar days and long winter nights, and that could have been remembered in the Vedas.

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    Administrator lpetrich's Avatar
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    This looks like publication of some earlier work on South Asian ancestry that I'd reported on.
    Largest-ever ancient-DNA study illuminates millennia of South and Central Asian prehistory -- ScienceDaily
    Researchers analyzed the genomes of 524 never before-studied ancient people, including the first genome of an individual from the ancient Indus Valley Civilization. Insights answer longstanding questions about the origins of farming and the source of Indo-European languages in South and Central Asia. The study increases the worldwide total of published ancient genomes by some 25 percent.
    Colin Renfrew's Anatolian hypothesis for the Indo-European homeland? Marija Gimbutas's south-Russian steppe-zone hypothesis?
    "We can rule out a large-scale spread of farmers with Anatolian roots into South Asia, the centerpiece of the 'Anatolian hypothesis' that such movement brought farming and Indo-European languages into the region," said Reich, who is also an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the Broad Institute. "Since no substantial movements of people occurred, this is checkmate for the Anatolian hypothesis."
    Then the similarities between the Indo-Iranian and the Balto-Slavic branches of Indo-European, despite their speakers being very separated. After moving into Europe, their ancestors moved back into Asia, going into central and southern Asia.
    "The finding that Brahmins often have more steppe ancestry than other groups in South Asia, controlling for other factors, provides a fascinating new argument in favor of a steppe origin for Indo-European languages in South Asia," said Reich.
    Brahmins = Hindu priestly caste.
    The researchers concluded that farming in South Asia was not due to the movement of people from the earlier farming cultures of the west; instead, local foragers adopted it.

    "Prior to the arrival of steppe pastoralists bringing their Indo-European languages about 4,000 years ago, we find no evidence of large-scale movements of people into South Asia," said Reich.
    From Anatolia, some early farmers spread into nearby Iran, and then some local people learned how to farm and then spread into the Indian subcontinent.

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    Administrator lpetrich's Avatar
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    Ancient DNA suggests that some Northern Europeans got their languages from Siberia -- ScienceDaily
    Most Europeans descend from a combination of European hunter-gatherers, Anatolian early farmers, and Steppe herders. But only European speakers of Uralic languages like Estonian and Finnish also have DNA from ancient Siberians. Now, with the help of ancient DNA samples, researchers suggest that these languages may have arrived from Siberia by the beginning of the Iron Age, about 2,500 years ago, rather than evolving in Northern Europe.

    ...
    "Since the transition from Bronze to Iron Age coincides with the diversification and arrival time of Finnic languages in the Eastern Baltic proposed by linguists, it is plausible that the people who brought Siberian ancestry to the region also brought Uralic languages with them," says Lehti Saag of University of Tartu, Estonia.

    ...
    The Bronze Age individuals from the Eastern Baltic show an increase in hunter-gatherer ancestry compared to Late Neolithic people and also in the frequency of light eyes, hair, and skin and lactose tolerance," Tambets says, noting that those characteristics continue amongst present-day Northern Europeans.
    Another Uralic language, Hungarian, was brought to Central Europe from the Ural Mountains in the Middle Ages.

    The Arrival of Siberian Ancestry Connecting the Eastern Baltic to Uralic Speakers further East: Current Biology

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    Ancient DNA reveals the Biblical-era Philistines originated in Europe | Science News
    Hard-won genetic clues from the bones of Philistines, a people known from the Old Testament for their battles with Israelites, have taken some of the mystery out of their hazy origins.

    DNA extracted from the remains of 10 individuals buried at Ashkelon, an ancient Philistine port city in Israel, displays molecular links to ancient and modern populations in the eastern Mediterranean, archaeogeneticist Michal Feldman and her colleagues report. Ashkelon residents carried that southern European genetic signature between around 3,400 and 3,150 years ago, but it disappeared rapidly as mating increased with locals, the researchers conclude in a paper published online July 3 in Science Advances.
    noting Ancient DNA sheds light on the genetic origins of early Iron Age Philistines | Science Advances

    Around 1200 - 1150 BCE was the Late Bronze Age collapse. This was a period of great strife in the Eastern Mediterranean.

    The Mycenaean Greek kingdoms were destroyed, their palaces burned down. But their burning baked some clay tablets with accounting records, and those tablets were rediscovered over the last century. The writing on them, Linear B, is the first written record of the Greek language. But Linear B disappeared with the palaces, and Greeks had to learn to write a second time. But that second time has survived to this day as the Greek alphabet.

    The Hittite kingdom of central Anatolia was also destroyed, and rediscovered only in the last century.

    There was also a lot of strife in the Levant, the land on the east end of the Mediterranean, and Egypt fought off invaders in the Nile Delta. Though they bragged about their success in doing so, they did not mention that they lost their New-Kingdom Levantine empire. Giving their brags a Baghdad-Bob quality.


    This most recent work shows that east-coast cities like Ashkelon were invaded by southern Europeans, but it is hard to go much further than that. But it seems like those Greeks who destroyed the Mycenaean palaces.

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