Friday, 3 October 2014

Can we finally identify the real cradle of Indo-Europeans?

The real position of the cradle of Indo-Europeans has been to me a fascinating enigma since I learned about this mysterious 'people', and I often dreamed about a research project on that, but never daring to propose one in a real academic context. I am an Indologist with some knowledge of historical linguistics, and Indo-European studies are for me a sort of hobby, implying sciences that I have not properly studied like archaeology, genetics, physical anthropology. Anyway, in the last days, having finally some time after conferences and applications, I have looked again at the topic, starting from a remarkable passage of an important book.   
Previously in this blog, I have already cited the great work of Bernard Sergent on Indo-Europeans (Les Indo-Européens. Histoire, langues, mythes, Paris 1995), that I could buy more than two years ago in a shop of secondhand books in the 5th arrondissement of Paris, kept by Armenians. The price was not cheap, but it looked like an interesting and rich book, and now I can confirm that even more. Sometimes it is impressive how the fortuitous finding of a book can influence your future ideas and research, that is, if you are a researcher, your life itself. At p.432, in the chapter about Indo-Europeans and archaeology, it is written that the lithic assemblage of the first Kurgan culture in Ukraine (Sredni Stog II, identified with the Indo-Europeans by Gimbutas), coming from the Volga and South Urals (p.399), recalls that of the Mesolithic-Neolithic sites to the east of the Caspian sea, Damdam Chesme 2 and the cave of Dzhebel, where there are already individual burials in a flexed position and breeding of sheep and goats. Therefore, Sergent adds, the authors who have remarked this similarity have concluded that the men who settled on the Volga came from the region of Dzhebel. He writes more precisely that the people of the first Kurgan phase are ancient Mesolithic people of Dzhebel who, having learned agriculture, have brought it to the Volga. Thus, he places the roots of the Gimbutas' Kurgan cradle of Indo-Europeans in a more southern cradle. But he does not stop here. He adds that the Dzhebel material is related to a Paleolithic material of Northwestern Iran, the Zarzian culture, dated 10000-8500 BC, and in the more ancient Kebarian of the Near East. He also remarks that the mutton appears to be domesticated at Zawi Chemi Shanidar, one of the most important Zarzian sites, from 9000 BP, as it is later in Dzhebel. Then, he adds the linguistic remark that many authors consider the Indo-European language related, first of all, to the Semitic-Hamitic linguistic family, because of root structure (with 2 or 3 consonants), grammar (the fusional system instead of agglutinative), phonetics (including laryngeals), and a very important common vocabulary, especially with Semitic, for instance the number seven, and he adds that there is a rich comparative material showing that all seven first numbers are common between Indo-European and Semitic. He concludes (p.434) that more than 10000 years ago the Indo-Europeans were a small people close to Semitic-Hamitic populations of the Near East.



I had already an idea of Sergent's theory from the writings of K. Elst, nonetheless when I read it in detail in this book, I found it surprising and intriguing, and I tried to know more about Dzhebel and Damdam Chesme, but I could not find much. I did not give the due importance to the Zarzian element, actually I had a prejudice about the Zagros area, that I used to identify with the Elamite culture and language. But only a southwestern part of the Zagros mountains was part of Elam in historical times. The Zarzian sites are more to the north: Zarzi, Palegawra and Zawi Chemi Shanidar are in the Iraqi Kurdistan, to the east of Kirkuk and Erbil. In the Wikipedia description of the Zarzian culture (apparently taken from A. Burns, cp. this post), we read this sentence: "The Zarzian culture is found associated with remains of the domesticated dog and with the introduction of the bow and arrow. It seems to have extended north into the Kobistan region and into Eastern Iran as a forerunner of the Hissar and related cultures." Kobistan is more often called Gobustan, in Azerbaijan, while the Hissar culture normally indicates a Neolithic culture in northern Afghanistan and southern Tajikistan.

Doing research on Google on these topics, I have found again and again the Zagros area as the source of different cultures in areas associated with Indo-Europeans, already in the Mesolithic. In the book edited by Zvelebil Hunters in Transition: Mesolithic Societies of Temperate Eurasia and Their Transition to Farming, we find this strong statement (p.138) by G. Matyushin: 
the geometric microliths and points found in the mesolithic sites of the southern Urals are identical with the inventory of the remains found in Belt Cave, Hotu, Shanidar B, Karim Shahir, Zawi Chemi Shanidar, Jarmo and other sites in southwestern Asia - the area of the origin of domestication during the tenth to eighth millennium bc.
Now, these sites are in two areas, the South Caspian region and the northern Zagros. In the previous page, the same author writes: "Sudden ecological changes at the end of the Pleistocene led to the penetration of the southern Urals by South Caspian populations, with the result that a unique culture (Yangelskaya)... developed in the area." At p.143, he observes that "anthropological data provide further evidence for the arrival of population from the south to the Urals, in the Mesolithic." For example, a burial in Davlekanovo under a hearth containing ceramics of the Mullino II type (Neolithic) had a skeleton with clear 'mediterranoid' characteristics.
At p.124, Dolukhanov writes about the cave sites at Dam-Dam-Cheshma 1 and 2, and Dzhebel in Western Turkmenistan (east of the Caspian sea, as already said), that their Mesolithic assemblages belonged, according to Korobkova, to two kinds of industries: one related to the Belt and Hotu caves, one to the Zarzian. The Zarzian again, confirming what was said by Sergent. So, we have a route going from the northern Zagros to the South Caspian to the East Caspian to the southern Urals. A route followed by Mesolithic hunters, but in the same sites we often find later domesticated goats and sheep. And, as observed by Matyushin at p.141:
Taking into account that wild sheep are absent from the Urals and the surrounding areas, and that their region of origin was northern Mesopotamia and northern Iran, it can be assumed that stockbreeding was introduced to the Urals from Iran and the southern shores of the Caspian. The introduction of the 'southern' stockbreeding elements may date well back into the Mesolithic, possibly to the date of the appearance of the geometric microliths (ninth to seventh millennia bc). 
However, according to the table that he gives at p.143, ovicaprids are attested in South Urals only a short time before 6000 BC.
Sarianidi, at p.115 f. of the History of Civilizations of Central Asia, vol.1, remarks that the same region contained Late Mesolithic caves of hunters and gatherers and sedentary villages with an economy of production, and that the earliest Neolithic sites are not those of Turkmenistan (Jeitun culture), but of northeastern Iran close to the Caspian region, where there are also Mesolithic caves, like Dzhebel and Damdam Cheshme, used as shelters by hunters even in the Early Mesolithic period (10th to 7th mill. BC). In the Dzhebel cave and Damdam Cheshme 2 domesticated animals, however, appear comparatively late, in upper Neolithic strata, suggesting that they arrived there in a fully domesticated form. And although wild sheep and goats roamed in the area, the domesticated varieties appear to have descended not from the local strains, but from those of western Asia.  

Damdam Cheshme cave
The southern Urals where the Zarzian people apparently arrived through the Caspian region are close to the area of the Samara culture on the Volga of the late 6th-early 5th millennium BC, regarded as the origin of the Kurgan Indo-European cultures. About the Neolithic period in the southern Urals, in Prehistoric Russia, p.130, it is written:
Some scholars (N.Ia. Merpert) suggest that the Yamnaya culture emanated from the south of Soviet Central Asia; graves of Zaman Baba I, Djebel, etc. have been mentioned. The influence emanating from the Kelteminar culture had evidently reached the South Ural culture (Cherbakul II) of the Middle Neolithic. The tribes who lived in the area bordering on the Urals to the west, the presumed ancestors of the Yamnaya people, were most probably influenced as well.
At p.142, about the Yamnaya stock-breeding:
Stock-breeding was not an invention of the Yamnaya people. They may have learnt it from the west Siberian tribes, their eastern neighbours, and, if so, it was of Central-Asiatic, Iranian derivation.
And about the "Central Asiatic centre of early agriculturalists":
only very late in its development did it influence the neighbouring Mesolithic tribes in the country further North. The earliest of the latter peoples to learn about pottery were the men of the Kelteminar culture, which was formed about the beginning of the third millennium. A pottery closely related and presumably taken over from the Kelteminar culture, appeared soon in the region of the south Urals, further North in the Gorbunovo culture, and also in the Kama and Kazan cultures west of the Urals. All these cultures belonged to a wider Ural/West-Siberian Kulturkreis. The Kelteminar pottery, which seems to be the earliest, was probably adopted from the Anau or Namazga cultures of the southern part of Soviet Central Asia.
The Neolithic Kelteminar culture, dated 5500-3500 BC, spread from northern Turkmenistan to Kazakhstan. Its stone industry had common elements with the Caspian, Ferghana and Hissar cultures (see here and here). It is remarkable that all these areas, when they first appear in history, belong to Iranian cultures. According to the Wikipedia entry, the Kelteminar people were Mesolithic groups coming from the Hissar area (South Tajikistan/North Afghanistan), with bow, arrow and dog. And we have already seen how the Hissar culture has been derived from the Zarzian.   

But there is another route from the Zagros through the Caspian. Sarianidi speaks at p.124 of the Mesolithic strata of the 9th millennium BC at Kara-Kamar in northern Afghanistan and adds: "It has been suggested that like the Ghar-i Kamarband [Belt cave] and Hotu caves, Kara-Kamar reflects the spread of Mesolithic people from the Zagros mountains to the northern foothills of the Hindu Kush via the Caspian coast." And the route could go further east. In The Agricultural Revolution in Prehistory : Why did Foragers become Farmers? by G. Barker, although the thesis is that at Mehrgarh in Baluchistan agriculture starts indipendently from South-West Asia, it is observed at p.162 that in Neolithic Mehrgarh the technology "included geometric microliths such as those used by the late Pleistocene and early Holocene foragers of the Zagros and Turkmenistan." J.F. Jarrige and M. Lechevallier, in an article in French of 1980, Les fouilles de Mehrgarh, Pakistan : problèmes chronologiques, observe that the trapezoidal microliths of Neolithic Mehrgarh are characteristic of the Mesolithic sites from the Kizil Kum, near the Caspian sea, to the left bank of the Amu Darya in Afghanistan.
But leaving aside the remnants of the Mesolithic period, also the new Neolithic elements point to an origin from the Zagros. In a very recent paper, The Near-Eastern Roots of the Neolithic in South Asia by K. Gangal, G.R. Sarson and A. Shukurov, we read:
Neolithic domesticated crops in Mehrgarh include more than 90% barley and a small amount of wheat. There is good evidence for the local domestication of barley and the zebu cattle at Mehrgarh [19], [20], but the wheat varieties are suggested to be of Near-Eastern origin, as the modern distribution of wild varieties of wheat is limited to Northern Levant and Southern Turkey[21]. A detailed satellite map study of a few archaeological sites in the Baluchistan and Khybar Pakhtunkhwa regions also suggests similarities in early phases of farming with sites in Western Asia [22]. Pottery prepared by sequential slab construction, circular fire pits filled with burnt pebbles, and large granaries are common to both Mehrgarh and many Mesopotamian sites [23]. The postures of the skeletal remains in graves at Mehrgarh bear strong resemblance to those at Ali Kosh in the Zagros Mountains of southern Iran [19]. Clay figurines found in Mehrgarh resemble those discovered at Zaghe on the Qazvin plain south of the Elburz range in Iran (the 7th millennium BCE) and Jeitun in Turkmenistan (the 6th millennium BCE) [24]. Strong arguments have been made for the Near-Eastern origin of some domesticated plants and herd animals at Jeitun in Turkmenistan (pp. 225–227 in [25]).
 J.F. Jarrige, in an article in Pragdhara 18, of 2006, Mehrgarh Neolithic, p.151, speaks of similarities of Mehrgarh with the early Neolithic settlements "in the hilly regions forming the eastern border of Mesopotamia." These 'hilly regions' are the Zagros: 

The circular houses of the earliest Neolithic villages have not been found at Mehrgarh. But quadrangular houses built with about 60 cm long narrow bricks with a herringbone pattern of impressions of thumbs to provide a keying for the mud-mortar, have been uncovered at several aceramic Neolithic sites in the Zagros, such as Ganj Dareh or Ali Kosh in the Deh Luran region of Iran, where, like at Mehrgarh, traces of red paint have also been noticed on the walls.
These are very close similarities. The circular houses are the so-called Pre-Pottery (or Aceramic) Neolithic (PPN) A of the Levant and Anatolia, the quadrangular houses the PPN B: it seems that the PPNB people of the Zagros moved directly to Mehrgarh. 
As to the burials, already in the French article already cited Jarrige and Lechevallier observed in Ali Kosh and Mehrgarh a similar flexed position of the skeletons, coated with ochre, along with baskets coated with bitumen. In the Pragdhara article, he adds also "oblong-shaped cakes of red-ochre". Moreover, common gravegoods are seashells, turquoise (which was mined in Khorasan, in NE Iran, and also in Kerman, in SE Iran, see here), and even copper beads. This detail of copper already in the Neolithic levels belonging to an age of the 8th-7th mill. BC is remarkable, because it shows that the Indo-European term for copper or generally metal (ayas in Sanskrit, aiiah in Avestan, aes in Latin, aiz in Gothic) could be developed already in such an old Neolithic period (see also here about the presence of copper in Mesopotamia around 8700 BC).
Moreover, in Mehrgarh as well as in Ali Kosh and Ganj Dareh, the skeletons of children are the most richly adorned. In Sang-e Chakhmaq, in Northern Iran (south of the Alborz mountains), a site recently investigated again, a 10 month fetus was buried with 183 shell beads and 90 clay beads in the West Tappeh, dated from the end of the 8th to the early 7th mill. BC. Also there, the bodies were lying in a contracted position on the side, a burial form that according to a paper presented this year, is found in other Iranian sites like Sialk, Tepe Hissar, Shah Tepe, and Shar-i Sokhta. Thus, already in the earliest Neolithic, we find a common culture from the Zagros to northern Iran to Baluchistan. J.F. Jarrige speaks of "a sort of cultural continuum", and Catherine Jarrige, in The figurines of the first farmers at Mehrgarh and their offshoots (also in Pragdhara 18), writes about the clay figurines:
the early figurines of Mehrgarh are an essential component in the vast geographical zone which extends from Central Asia to the Zagros, whose ramifications will reach even further during the 2nd millennium. [...] These symbols circulate through the same exchange networks as raw materials, technology and funerary pratices and reveal the links, the contacts and the exchanges which occur between the different regions bounded by the Zagros flanks, Baluchistan and the Indus, the Kara Kum desert and the Makran coast.
Also the paper on Sang-e Chakhmaq compares the figurines found there to those of Jarmo in the Zagros. 

The next step is agriculture. In a 2013 paper Riehl from the University of Tübingen (see also here) analyzes a Neolithic site of the Zagros, Chogha Golan, and finds there proofs of a progressive domestication of emmer from 9800 BP; moreover, there were wild barley, different wheat species, lentils and peas. So, all the elements for developing a the farming lifestyle were present, including goats (Ganj Dareh on the Zagros is one of the first sites for domesticated goats, 10000 yr BP, see here), and most of the same elements are found in Neolithic Mehrgarh and other contemporary sites in Iran: emmer and other wheat species, barley, goats.
About barley, there is a map to show:

  
The blue dots and asterisks are the places with wild barley belonging to the 'western cluster', the red dots and asterisks are those with wild barley of the 'eastern cluster'. The triangles with the names are the Neolithic sites with domesticated barley. As we can see, the barley of the eastern type is found in the Iranian area. The difference is due to the Zagros mountains but probably also to the diffusion of a different domesticated barley, because often wild barley derives from cultivated barley. As the authors (Morell and Clegg) of the paper write:
Geographic patterns of genetic differentiation are associated with the major topographic feature within the range of wild barley, namely the Zagros Mountains (Fig. 1), that trend northwest to southeast and roughly bisect the range of the species. The Zagros also delineate the eastern edge of the Fertile Crescent; thus, the most dramatic differences in haplotype composition in wild barley occur between the Fertile Crescent and the portion of the range east of the Zagros (17). Differences in haplotype frequencies among regions also suggest that human activity, including transportation of cultivated barley among regions, has not homogenized genetic diversity across the range of the wild progenitor.
And there is also a map of cultivated barley races:


Here we see how the cultivated barley of Iran belongs to the eastern type, especially in the Zagros, and also in the Indian region it is mainly of the eastern cluster. As the authors say "Accessions from the Zagros Mountains and Caspian Sea region show the lowest probability of origin in the Fertile Crescent (Fig. 2 and SI Fig. 5)." And the conclusion is that the Zagros can be the origin of the eastern domesticated barley:
The relatively broad, species-wide sample mesh in the present study suggests an origin of eastern landraces in the western foothills of the Zagros or points farther east. Much of the region immediately east of the Zagros is a high-elevation plateau, where both wild barley populations (4) and known human Neolithic sites are relatively rare (5). However, the locations of early Neolithic agropastoral settlements suggest three general regions in which the secondary domestication could have taken place. In the foothills of the Zagros, at such sites as Ali Kosh and Jarmo (Fig. 1), domesticated barley is dated to ≈7,000–8,000 cal. B.C. Domesticated barley is found at the Indus Valley site of Mehrgarh (in present day Pakistan) from ≈7,000 cal. B.C. Finally, in the piedmont zone between the Kopet Dag mountain range and Kara Kum Desert (east of the Caspian Sea in present day Turkmenistan), cultivated barley was present by ≈6,000 cal. B.C.
We can add that Fuller, in a paper on Sang-e Chakhmaq (see above), which is more ancient than the Kopet Dag sites and probably a source of them, remarks that there is no evidence there for local domestication although there is also wild barley. But there is more. In a 2008 paper by Huw Jones et al. we read:
The foothills of the Zagros Mountains are among the 3 general regions suggested as centers for a secondary domestication of barley (Morrell and Clegg 2007). One of the 2 wild barleys that our analysis suggests as likely progenitors of the nonresponsive cultivated barleys was sampled in this region (HOR 2882, 32°33′N, 48°33′E). The second of these accessions originates in the north of the Zagros Range (HOR 2680 36°30′N, 48°42′E).
'Nonresponsive' hear means that its flowering is not conditioned by the length of the daylight. It is a special variety which is found also in European cultivated barley races, but more in the continental regions than in the Mediterranean ones, as shown in the black dots in the map below. 

And these races appear to have a coalescent age later than the responsive ones:
"barley with the nonresponsive form (ppd-H1) dispersed into Europe more recently than barley with the responsive form. If the Group A haplotypes do represent a later spread of domesticated barley into Europe from Iran, as suggested for crops such as the oil plant Lallemantia, introduced during the Bronze Age (Jones and Valamoti 2005), this raises the possibility that these nonresponsive landraces spread to northern Europe not via Turkey and Greece but through Transcaucasia and around the north coast of the Black Sea."
Or maybe, we can suggest, from Central Asia itself, brought by Indo-Europeans in the Late Neolithic. But for migrations of Indo-Europeans towards Europe we should indeed consider also the Caucasus route, as we see from the Maykop culture of the 4th mill. BC, which reveals strong links with Iran and South Central Asia, but I will come back to this topic in a next post. 

Caspian horse
The next step is about the horse. The assumption that domesticated horses came exclusively from the steppes is apparently wrong. Ivanova writes that horse bones have been found at Tepe Zaghe near the Alborz in a level of the 6th mill. BC, then in Ghabristan in the same area in the 4th mill., at Tall-i-Iblis in South-central Iran remains of horses belong to 3500 and 3000 BC (here dated also 4400-4100), and in Godin Tepe IV in the central Zagros to 2900-2400 BC (see here). Also Mundigak in Afghanistan has given ancient traces of domesticated horses in Neolithic levels (see here), and Tepe Siyalk around 5000 BC (see here). And probably many cases of alleged Equus hemionus (onager) are in reality horses, because in Iran there is a special breed, discovered only in 1965 in the Caspian region, which can be confounded with the onager for the slenderness of the metapodials, as observed by Bokonyi. After his study of Caspian horses, he could identify also bones of equids from Neolithic Anau in Turkmenistan (4000 BC) as horses and not onagers. So, also the remarks of this 1974 study of the fauna of the Zarzian Palegawra cave must be reconsidered, suggesting that some of the alleged onagers were actually horses.
Moreover, in a recent excavation in Mazandaran at Gohar Tappeh, remains of the Caspian horse were found in a cemetery dated 3400 BC. All these dates do not match with the mythical arrival of the steppe horsemen in the 2nd mill. BC, but reveal a presence of particular breeds of horses already in Neolithic times in Iran and South Central Asia.

Louise Firouz, the discoverer of the Caspian breed, writes (see here) that there was a tiny wild horse in the Zagros mountains of western Iran, and also possibly south of the Alborz mountains, already during the Ice Age. She also remarks that this horse appears on Sumerian terracotta plaques from the 3rd mill. BC, showing small boys riding the tiny horse. It is known that the Sumerian name of the horse was ANŠE.KU.RA, 'ass of the mountains'. M.J. Shendge notes a cylinder seal from Susa with a scene of horse capture, dated at least 3150-2900 BC. All this suggests that these Zagros horses were known and domesticated at that time, and they appear again on Achaemenian seals like this on the left. Moreover, Herodotus wrote that the horses of the Medes (inhabitants of Western Iran) were particularly small, as is shown also from this Assyrian relief below (from here).



But it is also remarkable that the Caspian horse, according to a genetic study, has the most primitive position in the group of three breeds (the others are Yabou and Turkoman) which represent "the most primitive (ancestral) breeds of the Oriental cluster". What is the Oriental cluster? It is the kind of horse breeds including the Arabian, the Kurd and the Turkmen Akhal Teke: they are slender and fit for dry climates, different in many features from the 'Occidental' horses, and more similar to asses.

We can understand how important this is for the Indo-European question. If horses were already present in Iran in the Neolithic, the name of the horse, so typically Indo-European and found from Sanskrit aśva to Latin equus, could be already present in the Zagros region in the Mesolithic, and the horses found in different Indo-European cultures were not necessarily brought from the Central Asian steppes, but also from Iran. If we look at Anatolian and Greek horses in reliefs and statues, they often belong to the Oriental type. The same probably for Indian horses, which were described in the Rigveda as having 34 ribs as the Arabian horse (and Southeastern Asian breeds like the Timor pony of probable Indian origin, see here), and were also described as particularly small by Herodotus.

The next step is human genetics. In a paper by Underhill et al. published in March 2014, the origin of the Y-DNA haplogroup R1a is given. This haplogroup, that is found particularly in Slavs, Central Asian Iranians and North Indians, was initially associated with Ukraine as the clear trace of 'Kurgan' expansion. Then, someone discovered that the STR diversity is highest in South Asia, which was interpreted as a proof of a more ancient history of this haplogroup there; therefore the theory of an Indian origin appeared, and genetics suddenly became no more significant for the invasionists. Moreover, the typical European R1a (M458) is not found in India. But it was also observed that South Asia had limited SNP subclades, and the most ancient branches have been found in the region of Iran or Eastern Anatolia. Thus the abstract says:
The spatial frequency distributions of R1a sub-haplogroups conclusively indicate two major groups, one found primarily in Europe and the other confined to Central and South Asia. Beyond the major European versus Asian dichotomy, we describe several younger sub-haplogroups. Based on spatial distributions and diversity patterns within the R1a-M420 clade, particularly rare basal branches detected primarily within Iran and eastern Turkey, we conclude that the initial episodes of haplogroup R1a diversification likely occurred in the vicinity of present-day Iran.
A more detailed account is quoted by Maju in his post on this paper:
To infer the geographic origin of hg R1a-M420, we identified populations harboring at least one of the two most basal haplogroups and possessing high haplogroup diversity. Among the 120 populations with sample sizes of at least 50 individuals and with at least 10% occurrence of R1a, just 6 met these criteria, and 5 of these 6 populations reside in modern-day Iran. Haplogroup diversities among the six populations ranged from 0.78 to 0.86 (Supplementary Table 4). Of the 24 R1a-M420*(xSRY10831.2) chromosomes in our data set, 18 were sampled in Iran and 3 were from eastern Turkey. Similarly, five of the six observed R1a1-SRY10831.2*(xM417/Page7) chromosomes were also from Iran, with the sixth occurring in a Kabardin individual from the Caucasus. Owing to the prevalence of basal lineages and the high levels of haplogroup diversities in the region, we find a compelling case for the Middle East, possibly near present-day Iran, as the geographic origin of hg R1a.
Among the Iranian M420* cases in Underhill's paper, the highest frequency (1.7%, 5 on 297) is found in the Iranian Azeris, who live just to the north of the Zagros and have Median ancestors. But a similar frequency (1,2%) is also in Iran North and Iran South, and in a larger sample (5 on 403 in the North, 5 on 408 in the South). The highest frequency in general is in Cappadocia, Turkey, 2.2%, but on a sample of only 93 persons. Cappadocia however is a significant region, because there was Kanesh or Neša, the first center of the Hittites in Anatolia, so that their language was called Nešili; morevoer, it had centuries of Persian domination (see here), and consequently local noblemen of Persian descent, like Ariobarzanes in the Roman period. 
The Kabardin R1a1-SRY10831.2* is interesting, because the Kabardins live in a region were the Maykop culture was present, a region which could be reached from Iran through the Caucasus: the Iranian heritage there is revealed also by the name of the main mountain of the region, the Elbrus, corresponding to the Alborz in Iran and the Harā Bərəzaitī of the Avesta. It is also remarkable that 3 Kabardins in the list of this paper have Z93, which is the typical Asian R1a. The Iranian cases of R1a1-SRY10831.2* belong to Northeast, North and South Iran, and one case taken from the study of Regueiro comes from North Iran.
We can add the discovery of a R1a* haplotype in a Yezidi Kurd reported by the blog KurdishDNA. The Yezidis or Yazidis, who have recently become sadly famous for the recent persecution by the jihadists in Iraq, have preserved ancient Iranian religious traditions and their main shrine is in Laliş on the mountains north of Mosul. Thus, we have come back close to the region from which we have started, the area of the Zarzian culture, which is presently inhabited by Kurds. The paper by Grugni et al. says about them: 
The prehistory of the Kurds is poorly known, but their ancestors seem to have inhabited the same inhospitable mountainous region for millennia remaining relatively unmixed with the invaders. The records of the early empires of Mesopotamia contain frequent references to mountain tribes with names resembling ‘‘Kurd’’. They inhabit broad lands from the Azerbaijan to Khuzestan but in the 17th century a large number of Kurds were also present in Khorasan. 
According to that study, the main haplogroup in Iranian Kurds is R1a1a* (M198*), with 20.3% (12 on 59).
In the table S7 we have the ages of microsatellite variation of R1a-M198* in different populations. The highest is in Nepal (17.5+/-5 kya), and in Pakistan (17.5+/-3.2), followed by India (16.5+/-3.5) and South Iran (15.2+/-4.2). Iran in general has 14.6, Caucasus and Poland have 13.6, Germany 12.1, Russia 9.5 kya. It is clear that all these estimates are improbable and inconsistent with the ancient DNA: the most ancient case of R1a in Europe is from the Corded Ware burials of Eulau, less than 5 kya. And the most ancient date in Nepal or Pakistan is not consistent with the presence of the ancestral chromosomes in Iran. The high variance in South Asia can be explained with the large population and with multiple arrivals of carriers of R1a in that region; anyway an ancient presence there, more ancient than in Europe, seems clear.
  
Kurds have also one case of the rare R1-M173* (1,7%), a chromosome ancestral to all R1a and R1b. The highest frequency in this study is in Balkarians (5.26%, 2 on 38), the neighbours of Kabardins, and it is very close (5.1%, 2 on 39) in Assyrians of Azarbaijan-Gharbi, who "with the fall of the Assyrian Empire in 539 BC and the coming into power of the Persians, [..] remained in north-western Iran for many thousands of years". A significant frequency is found also in Gilaks from the Caspian region (3.1%, 2 on 64), in Baluchis (4.2%, 1 on 24), who come originally from Northwest Iran, as the affinity of their language with Kurdish shows, and in Persians from Yazd (4.3%, 2 on 46). These data suggest that all R1 is from Western Iran.

Moreover, Kurds and Iranians have high percentages of R1b-M343*, the ancestral haplogroup of R1b. Kurds from Kazakhstan, mainly deported there from Soviet Caucasian countries, have 13% of this haplogroup, a frequency with no match in other populations. However, this haplogroup is found also in Iranian populations: 4.3% in Persians of Yazd, 3.2% in Azeris, 1.7% in Kurds and Persians of Khorasan, 1.6% in Gilaks. Outside Iran, according to Grugni's paper, is found only in Central Turkey (1 on 152, 0.6%), Eastern Turkey (4 on 208, 1,9%), a region inhabited by Kurds, and in the Arab Emirates (1 on 163, 0.6%). No other cases have been found in other Near Eastern, North African or European samples. This suggest that also R1b, a haplogroup highly present in Europe, although not only in Indo-Europeans, is of Iranian origin, and maybe particularly connected with Kurds. However, R1b-M269, the most common R1b in Europe, was not found among the 59 Kurds sampled here, whereas it is quite frequent among Assyrians (14 on 48, 29.2%), Lurs (23.5%), who live on the central and southern Zagros, Armenians of Tehran (23.5%). So, it seems that the M269 mutation happened not among the Kurds of the Zagros. It is impressive that the paragroup R1b-M269* is found at 15.4% in Zoroastrians of Tehran. As Grugni et al. write: "the variance distribution of the rare R1b-M269* Y chromosomes, displaying decreasing values from Iran, Anatolia and the western Black Sea coastal region, is also suggestive of a westward diffusion from the Iranian plateau, although more complex scenarios can be still envisioned because of its non-star like structure." They give in fact for the M269* of Iran 11.5*+/- 3.3 kya, and for Turkey 10.9+/-2.6 kya.

R1b had clearly a different history from R1a, reflecting apparently a more northern position. The fact that R1b has not been found yet in Early Neolithic sites of Europe but only in the Late Neolithic Bell Beaker culture suggests that the diffusion was not westward from Anatolia, but rather through the Caucasus. Or maybe also through Turkmenistan, where the frequency of R1b is over 35% (see here).
According to Myres' study, the variance of R1b-L23 (the main clade of M269) is very high in the Caucasus (12,217 years), but it is highest in Pakistan (14,493 years), although it is not common there (2/3%, but in the Newars of Nepal R1b is 10.6%). Iran strangely is not mentioned in the table (S2), but I suppose that it should be close to the level of Pakistan.
The fact that the variance is higher in the East than in the West, and that the frequency of M269* is highest among Zoroastrians of Tehran, suggests that M269 appeared in northern Iran.

Then, there is another macro-haplogroup which is very ancient in Iran, J. Grugni et al. say:
Haplogroup J is predominant in Iran where both its subclades, J2-M172 and J1-M267, are observed. Its highest frequencies are registered in the populations located along the southwestern shores of the Caspian Sea and along the Zagros Mountains ridge. Exceptionally high is the frequency observed in the Baluchi of Sistan Baluchestan, in agreement with their likely Caspian Sea origin.
However, J1 and J2 "display opposite distribution at the two sides of the Zagros Mountains, with the first prevalent in Iraq and Saudi Arabian Arab populations, and the second in the Iranian plateau, Anatolia and southern Europe." J1 appears to be related to Semitic peoples and probably also Elamites (it is frequent in Khuzestan), while J2 is rather related to Indo-Europeans (Indo-Iranians, Greeks, Italics), but also to Caucasian peoples, and had a special diffusion in the Mediterranean region. In this study, the ancestral J2-M172* is found in Baghdad, Marsh Arabs of South Iraq and Arabs of Khuzestan. Thus, it appears of Mesopotamian origin.
Grugni's paper remarks:
Among the different J2a haplogroups, J2a-M530 [46] is the most informative as for ancient dispersal events from the Iranian region. This lineage probably originated in Iran where it displays its highest frequency and variance in Yazd and Mazandaran (Figure 2). Taking into account its microsatellite variation and age estimates along its distribution area (Tables S3 and S7), it is likely that its diffusion could have been triggered by the Euroasiatic climatic amelioration after the Last Glacial Maximum and later increased by agriculture spread from Turkey and Caucasus towards southern Europe. [...] The M530 diffusion pattern seems to be also shared by the paragroups J2a-M410* and J2a-PAGE55*.

M530 is absent from the samples of India (Delhi) and Nepal, and it is quite frequent out of Iran only in Georgia, Turkey and South Italy, but the general haplogroup J2a-M410 is well present also in Pakistan, India, Turkey and Greece. The fact that the paragroup M410* is present with 27,3% in Persians of Isfahan and that its estimated age is 17.6+/-6.7 in North Iran compared with 12.9+/-7.8 in the Caucasus, is really remarkable. And it is also remarkable that J2 has not been found in Early Neolithic skeletons of European sites, suggesting that it came mainly with Indo-Europeans.
So, it seems that three haplogroups that can be connected with Indo-Europeans, R1a, R1b and J2a, are originary from the Zagros area or North/West Iran. R1a had a special diffusion towards the steppes, reaching also Turkic tribes, and the microsatellite variance of M198 in Russia shows how it is more recent there. But leaving aside molecular genetics, also from the anthropological analysis migrations from the South to the European steppes seem to be proved. Khudaverdyan, in his 2012 paper Bioarchaeological Analysis Mutual Relations of Populations Armenian Highlands and Eurasia Using Craniological and Dental Nonmetric Traits writes (the grammatical integrations are mine):
on the basis of the analysis [of] craniological series from the Neolithic and Bronze Ages from [the] territory of Eurasia, the judgments of Khokhlov and Mimokhod (2008) about the periodic penetration into northeast areas of the European steppes of different morphological complexes connected with the Mediterranean anthropological type is proved.
Going more into details, there are special affinities between Armenian highlands, Turkmenistan and steppe cultures traditionally connected with Indo-Europeans. Odontologic samples from the Painted ceramics culture of Turkmenistan (5000-3000 BC), the Pit Grave (Yamna) culture of Ukraine (dated here 4000-3000 BC) and the Corded Ware culture of Kiwytkalnsk in Latvia (2000 BC) have close affinities. Samples from Gonur Depe in Turkmenistan (3000-2000 BC) are close to those from Armenian highlands (3000-1000 BC), and those from Altyn Depe (2500-2100 BC) have close affinities with those from the Andronovo culture in the Altai (1700-1200 BC). Craniological samples from Tepe Hissar III in Iran (here dated 3000 BC) and Sapalli Tepe in Uzbekistan (2000-1000 BC), have the closest affinities with samples from Shirochanski in Ukraine (1800-1100 BC) and Corded Ware sites in Poland and Germany. The sample from Dzharkutan in Uzbekistan (2000-1000 BC) has the closest affinities with the Timber grave (Srubna) samples from the Volga region (1800-1100 BC).
Also a book of J.V. Day, Indo-European Origins: The Anthropological Evidence (2001) showed craniometric affinities between Tepe Hissar II and III and Corded Ware skulls in Germany, between Ochre Grave in Rumania, Tepe Hissar IIIC, Fatyanovo and Corded Ware in Poland. And also between Tepe Hissar, Shakhr-i-Sokhta (2900-2000 BC) and Zimnicea, the oldest Bronze age culture site in Rumania (2000-1000 BC). Tepe Hissar III has craniometric affinities also with Cemetery R37 at Harappa and at Timargarha in the ancient Gandhara, Pakistan (1400-800 BC). The important site of Namazga in Turkmenistan (4000-3000 BC) is in the same cluster with the Bronze Age Mnogovalikovaya culture in Ukraine (1800-1500 BC, but also dated 2200-1800 BC, see here).
In my previous post on Indo-Iranians, I have shown Tepe Hissar and the Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan sites cited above as part of the Iranian Bronze Age, arisen from the Iranian Neolithic. Now, we see how physical features of the people of these sites are very similar to those of more recent European cultures from the Late Neolithic to the Bronze Age, commonly identified with Indo-Europeans. These affinities suggest various migrations from Iran (particularly the Caspian region) and South Central Asia to the steppes and Eastern Europe. These Indo-European migrations belonged to a culture which apparently had its roots in the Zagros and the Caspian region since the Mesolithic, and had a great expansion in the Neolithic and Bronze Age. After the Last Glacial Maximum, the populations from Iran and South Central Asia were moved by the search of game, pastures, cultivable lands and metals. The aridification that stroke the Iranian plateau and the Central Asian regions often compelled to live as nomads and to move to other areas, and this can explain the frequent and wide movements of these populations, that also in the Eurasian steppes could not find a stable abode and had to migrate to the humid and temperate regions of Europe.
      
From the linguistic point of view, in the Zagros mountains and the Caspian region of Iran now we have Iranian languages: Kurdish dialects, Luri, Farsi, Talysh, Tati, Gilaki, Mazandarani, Semnani. Also Armenian can be included in this area. These languages are quite far from Proto-Indo-European, however there are some significant elements common with ancient Indo-European languages. Old Persian, like Sanskrit, had 8 cases, which were lost already in Middle Persian, but Armenian has preserved 7 cases, without vocative, which is present instead in Kurdish. The sentence in Iranian languages is generally Subject-Object-Verb like in Sanskrit or Latin. Phonologically, Kurmanji Kurdish, the northern dialect, has voiceless aspirated stops (kh, th, ph), also preserved in Eastern Armenian. But what is more surprising is that Kurdish (and sometimes Persian and Armenian) has the so-called 'laryngeals'. According to the common opinion, some laryngeals were preserved only in the lost Anatolian languages. But if we look at many Kurdish words, we find them well alive.
'Bone' in Sanskrit is asthi, in Greek is osteon, in Latin os, in Persian asteh, in Hittite hastai, in Kurdish hestī (or hestik with aspiration of t as in Sanskrit). 'Star' is aster in Greek, haster in Hittite, hēstirk in a Kurdish dialect. Persian has the two copulas ast and hast.  
'Horse' is hesp in Kurdish, in this case more similar to Greek hippos than to Hieroglyphic Luwian asuwa. 'Eight' is heşt in Kurdish, hesht in Persian. In Armenian there is hoviw 'shepherd', corresponding to Luwian hawi 'sheep'.
There is also a special case, that was used to introduce a hypothetic fourth laryngeal, lost in Hittite arki 'testicle', but preserved in Albanian herdhe. Well, in a Kurdish dialect a word used for that is hêlik, and in Armenian gełjk 'glands', where it was derived from *ghelg̑h-, like Russian železá. Pokorny cites another Armenian form for 'testicles', orjik, derived from a root *org̑hi-, r̥g̑hi-, like Greek orchis, Middle Irish uirgge, Avestan әrәzi, and Albanian herdhe. It seems that PIE *gh- gives normally Albanian g- (see here). To suppose a special mysterious sound just for this word would be absurd, and the Kurdish form here gives us an interesting link, also because we can find the l instead of in Kurdish also in other words, cp. 'eagle', Kurdish helo, elo, Hittite hara-, Gothic ara. So we can think that the original root was *ghg̑h-, which became *(h)r̥g̑h- in some dialects (the Avestan form is very clear), *ghelg̑h- in others, from which the Kurdish form. A possible parallel can be found in Kurdish hes 'feeling, mind', hîshest 'feeling, emotion', which I would connect with the root *g̑hais- of German Geist 'mind, spirit', English ghost, Skt. hḗḍa- 'anger, passion' (from *haizda-, see here).
Another interesting element of Kurdish phonetics is the presence of the ‘ayn (Arabic letter ع), pronounced as a voiced pharyngeal fricative (see here). It is found also in purely Iranian words like ‘asman 'sky'. This would be the third laryngeal in Kümmel's reconstruction, but as I have written in the post on the 'vowel destroyers', I do not agree with the system of three laryngeals invented to explain the different vowels, although I do not exclude that this sound was present in PIE: it would be interesting to see if its effects can be seen independently from the idea of causing a vowel o. The case of asman, in Persian and Avestan without ‘ayn or aspirate, would show no trace. Modern linguistics gives the root as *h2ek'-mon.

Anyway, the similarities between some Kurdish and Anatolian forms make me think that Luwians and Hittites were simply people from the Zagros who colonized Anatolia from the southeast, where a lot of Kurds live now. The fact that they did not share many innovations of other Indo-European languages is probably due to the fact that they were the first to go to the west, in a foreign environment, while the other Indo-European languages were developed to the east of the Zagros. Maybe the Anatolian Luwians are connected with the Lulubi of the Zagros, of whose language we know only one word, ki-ú-ru-um 'god', which - considering ki- as a palatalised velar, which becomes ś in Sanskrit and s in Iranian - recalls Sanskrit śūra 'strong, hero', Avestan sūra or sura 'strong, hero, ruler', an epithet also given to gods, and Greek kyrios 'lord'.
As we can see from this map showing the area of Luwian hieroglyphic inscriptions, Luwian language was concentrated in Southeastern Anatolia:


Kanesh near Kayseri in Cappadocia has the first documents (of the beginning of the 2nd mill. BC) of Indo-European (Hittite and Luwian) names of men and gods, but they are mixed with Assyrians, Hurrians and other languages like Hattic (see here if you can read German). Therefore, we have the impression that the Indo-European presence there is not very ancient. This is the big problem of the theory of the Anatolian origin of Indo-European: Anatolia was not an Indo-European region, but a mix of populations, and Anatolian languages were full of loanwords of non-Indo-European origin. Ancient Iranian languages, instead, have a very pure and rich Indo-European vocabulary.
Thus, archaeology, the history of barley and horses, human genetics, physical anthropology and linguistics, all seem to support an Indo-European homeland in the Zagros and more widely in Northwestern Iran including the Caspian region. The details of the movements from there can be deepened in the future, but this seems a very promising point of departure.    

 Giacomo Benedetti, Impruneta, Italy, 3/10/2014



                                                                                                                                              

   



       
  



    

379 comments:

  1. I am waiting for some noble people to come, i sense here its gonna be a party! .....
    Have a good day.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I for one, strongly suspect a homeland somehwere in the south Caspian region. The difficulties arising with this, however, are linguistic evidence, stated commonly. Ie
    -apparent lack of convincing semitic loans into early PIE
    - the fact that Urartian lacks any PIE interference, on the one hand, but Armenian clearly has Urartian substratum, on the other - suggesting PIE (ie proto-Armenian) was intrusive into the south-Caspian- Zargos region.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Mike Thomas, for your comment. About Semitic loans, I have cited the opinion of Sergent that Semitic-Hamitic (Afroasiatic in other terms) is the linguistic family closest to Indo-European, including common roots. I suggest to see this page as example: http://grzegorj.w.interia.pl/lingwen/iesem3.html Many of these common roots concern only European languages, which, I think, is to be explained with a pre-Indoeuropean substratum. But some concern also Indo-Iranian, for instance the numbers six and seven.

      About Urartian I do not know much of the linguistic data, I have read of 13 or 16 words of Hurro-Urartian origin. However, Urartu appears quite late in history, it is possible that Urartians conquered their historical kingdom, I suppose from the Caucasus since their language has been connected with Northeast Caucasian languages. The area of Van maybe was already occupied by Armenians or other IEs. In this case, the substratum can be rather an adstratum or superstratum, an influence due to domination and historical contact. It is true that if really there is no PIE interference in Urartian, this is difficult to accept.
      On the other hand, it is also possible that the Van area was not originally part of the IE cradle but colonized only later by IEs, and the result was the Armenian people and language.
      Here I have found that these different theories have already been proposed: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urartu#Armenian_ethnogenesis

      But I do not follow the Gamkrelidze theory of IE origins from Armenian highlands, the cradle is for me the Iraqi-Iranian Kurdistan, not the area of Urartu in the Armenian highlands. And also the South Caspian region does not concide with Urartu. I have cited Armenians because they are very close to these areas and have some archaic elements like aspirated stops, but they are not in the area of Zarzian culture. To better understand the issue of Armenians, we must deepen the archaeological data of their region.

      Delete
    2. About the connection of Urartean with IE, I have found in this book of Gamkrelidze some common roots or loanwords: http://books.google.it/books?id=M2aqp2n2mKkC&printsec=frontcover&hl=it#v=onepage&q=urartean&f=false
      E.g., Ur atu 'to eat', PIE *ad/ed, Ur aš 'to sit, PIE *as/es, Ur burgana 'fortress', PIE *bhrgh- (German Burg, Greek pyrgos).

      Delete
  3. Okay, Lets get started,
    Question no. 1
    Don't you think the Migration patterns you have projected for example India or Europe are too old to be related to PIE since it is put~4000 B.C. but older age proposal do exist from Anatolian reconstruction,So age wise the Anatolian reconstruction is correct? Since Agriculture made a crucial role on PIE migrations?.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have written of various diffusions of IEs from the Mesolithic to the Bronze Age, there was a net of routes from the Zagros to the Caspian to the Urals on one side, to Baluchistan on the other side. Europe, I propose, was colonized in the Late Neolithic, the period of the Corded Ware (around 3000 BC) and maybe also the Globular Amphora (3400 BC).

      Anatolia was very near but it belonged mainly to other cultures, although the IE Anatolian languages spread there quite early, as is shown by their archaic features. I have to deepen the knowledge of Anatolian archaeology to say when it could have happened.

      Delete
    2. Nirjhar Ji,

      I think the 4000 BCE date for PIE is purely based on horse evidence :)

      Delete
    3. Should we have to look for another theory like Pre-Proto Indo European(of Renfrew) or Indo-Hittite theory for the case of Anatolia in the Zagros PIE point of view?Although these theories seems to be highly speculative.

      Delete
    4. Indo-Hittite is essentially a stress on the peculiarity of Anatolian languages, with PIE considered in the way it was before the discovery of them. It can harmonize with an ancient westward colonization separate from the main body of IE languages developed to the east of the Zagros, but we can also speak of PIE including Anatolian languages, if we accept the reform of PIE caused by them.

      About the date, one reason normally are the common words for wheel and chariot (although there are some differences, ratha is chariot in Avestan and Sanskrit, rota is wheel in Latin). Actually, wheels appear in the 4th mill. BC, which is anyway the probable first period of the arrival of IEs in Europe. They appear very early in the Maykop culture, which is very related with Iran and Central Asia. And it is interesting that the word for wheel is different in Hittite (hurki), related with a different root. See here: http://armchairprehistory.com/2011/05/25/indo-european-wheel-words/

      Delete
    5. (I am having some problem with the comment section,please don't approve this comment if this one is a double post)

      Yes,Indo-Hittie theory proposes that the Anatolian branch split from PIE at the earliest level.The earliest attested Anatloian language is the Hittie language,which appeared at around 2000 BCE give or take.It also contains archaic elements.So we must confirm presence of a pre-Hittie IE language in Anatolia from an even earlier date because the IE's from Zagros would have migrated to the neighbouring Anatolia first,before they moved on to Europe,Central Asia and South Asia.

      Yes,Ratha as chariot is only attested in IIr languages.This is one of the main reason why the mainstreamers identify Sintashta culture with proto-IIr because it contains the first recorded evidence of actual chariots.I think wheels and wagons were also used by the Yamnaya and its preceding culture.That is why Anthony named his book as Horse,Wheel and Language instead of Horse,Chariot and Language :)
      Also it seems that Maykop culture was just south of Yamnaya.

      Btw,I have a query.If the IE urheimat was in Zagros region,shouldn't we see good amount of IE contacts with the Elamites and vice versa?

      Delete
    6. This is a question to be investigated, actually it seems that there are some common roots between Elamite and PIE, as is said here at p.779: http://books.google.it/books?id=M2aqp2n2mKkC&dq=elamite+indoeuropean&hl=it&source=gbs_navlinks_s

      We can also add tun/dun 'to give', ba-at/pa-at 'foot', r(i)sha 'big', Skt. rsh-va 'high, great'. See this: http://starling.rinet.ru/Texts/elam.pdf

      Delete
    7. Thanks for the link,Giacomo.Although I feel that these 'common roots' are purely hypothetical.We also have other 'common roots' theories like Elamo-Dravidian,Indo-Uralic etc....

      Delete
    8. Yes, but some roots or words are really convincing, paat for instance has even the long vowel as in Vedic. I have read an interesting confutation of Elamo-Dravidian, the author observed that the very general common traits of Elamite and Dravidian can be found also in other languages of the 'Nostratic' group. These common elements can be explained with ancient relationships, there were many migrations in prehistory and all men are ultimately related...

      Delete
    9. \\These common elements can be explained with ancient relationships, there were many migrations in prehistory and all men are ultimately related..//

      Yes,but I think it is impossible to trace the roots of languages after a limit,because all languages evolved from some sort of proto-speech.Although I may be underestimating the linguistics in this case :)

      Delete
  4. @Giacomo
    ''Europe, I propose, was colonized in the Late Neolithic, the period of the Corded Ware (around 3000 BC) and maybe also the Globular Amphora (3400 BC).''
    Makes sense since you know latest researchers have found the ANE Component to be entering Europe probably from little more or less 5000 YBP-
    ''The findings suggest that the arrival of modern humans into Europe more than 40,000 years ago was followed by an influx of farmers some 8,000 years ago, with a third wave of migrants coming from north Eurasia perhaps 5,000 years ago''
    http://www.theguardian.com/science/2014/sep/18/ancient-ancestors-europeans-dna-study
    and ANE Component is related to R1a1 spread and R1b (a bit) and CWC (~3000BC) is related to ANE Spread in Europe-
    http://eurogenes.blogspot.in/2014/09/corded-ware-culture-linked-to-spread-of.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the quotations and the links, Nirjhar. I have also a quotation from the Guardian article: "The modern English inherited around 50% of their genes from early European farmers, 36% from western European hunter-gatherers, and 14% from the ancient north Eurasians. According to the study, published in Nature, modern Scots can trace 40% of their DNA to the early European farmers and 43% to hunter-gatherers"
      Now, according to the Genographic Project, British (all UK) have 50% Northern European (identified with the hunter-gatherers), 33% Mediterranean (identified with farmers), and 17% Southwest Asian, so defined: "This component is found at highest frequencies in India and neighboring populations, including Tajikistan and Iran in our reference dataset. It is also found at lower frequencies in Europe and North Africa. As with the Mediterranean component, it was likely spread during the Neolithic expansion, perhaps from the eastern part of the Fertile Crescent." So, it harmonizes well with my model. The difference of the ANE component and the Genographic SW Asian is that the ANE seems to include the Genographic Native American and SW Asian components, while if they are distinguished they do not overlap. Native Am. component in Asia is given only at 4% in Altai (Siberia) and Mongolia, showing the probable region of origin of this component, evidently later submerged by others.
      SW Asian is 58% in Western and Southern India, 44% in Pamir, 42% in Iran. The fact that India has more than Iran is because India was less touched by the Mediterranean component, and the Neolithic expansion was dominated by the SW Asian component.

      Delete
    2. I totally love what you are trying to project on the basis on SW Asian component but UK is not exactly an Ideal population for PIE projection, the study is also a big one like the Underhill et al of R1a.
      Instead of the UK population the more relevant question is what does the Genographic project tell about the Eastern European Populations like Slavs? whom Carry a lot R1a1a and its SNP Mutations and are Quite importantly related to the Kurgan sphere of Cultures, Giacomo?.
      I also have some more news from news papers On the European WHG,EEF and ANE populations its relation to the Indian ANI population, According to Thangaraj-
      ''Dr. Thangaraj says he suspected that the Middle Eastern component of milk-digesting gene might have contributed to ANI.''
      This Middle-Eastern population is related to the EEF instead of ANE!, On ANE they say-
      ''The novel third group is a more mysterious population that spanned North Eurasia and genetically connects Europeans and Native Americans.''
      http://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/science/new-light-on-genetic-makeup-of-europeans/article6420041.ece
      There is another article also in which the relation is not specified but Indian ANI is matched up to 70% of Europeans Genome, So the relation is deep.
      http://www.business-standard.com/article/beyond-business/new-study-reveals-genetic-make-up-of-europeans-114091800433_1.html
      You will also find many interesting remarks also on those articles.
      But as I have linked you The ANE component also peaks in South Asians from ~20+ to very high in Kalash and Pathans,etc So clearly with R1a,R2a Y-dna and some Mtdnas like of U2 ANE has a high impact on Indo-Aryans also.
      And next week The CWCs and its close by areas sites European genome is going to be published with aDNA From 5500B.C To 1500B.C.
      See the Eurogenes link i have given above and scroll down for the update, this will have Y-DNA as well as Component data! So exciting!.....

      Delete
    3. Good news! About UK, I cited that to show that WHG, EEF and ANE percentages cited for English and Scots roughly correspond to the percentages of North European, Mediterranean and SW Asian components in the British according to the Genographic project.
      The Genographic in Eastern Europe gives e.g. the percentage of Russians: 51% North European, 25% Mediterranean, 18% SW Asian, 4% NE Asian. Tatars of Russia (settled on the Volga) are also interesting: 40% N Eur, 21 % Med, 21% SW Asian, 16% NE Asian. Siberian people from the Altai have 53% NE Asian, 22% SW Asian, 17% N Eur, only 2% Med, 4% Native American.
      Also interesting Northern Caucasian (including Daghestani and Abkhazians): 46% Med, 33% SW Asian (close to the ANE percentage in Lezgins of Daghestan), 16% N Eur, 4% NE Asian.
      It is important that the Mal'ta boy, foundation of the ANE, was R* for Y Dna, and the R Hg is present also in America as R1-M173.

      Delete
    4. Hi!,
      Here the preview link on presentation of Samara aDNA from 9000-3000YBP by Reich et al.
      https://mcidublin.conference-services.net/reports/template/onetextabstract.xml?xsl=template/onetextabstract.xsl&conferenceID=3958&abstractID=814052
      Here is the partial preview of the findings-
      Samples from the Samara region possess Ancient North Eurasian (ANE) admixture related to a recently published 24,000 year old Upper Paleolithic Siberian genome. This contrasts with both European agriculturalists and with European hunter-gatherers from Luxembourg and Iberia who had little such ancestry (Lazaridis et al. arXiv.org 2013). "

      "Samara experienced major population turnovers over time: early samples (>6000 years) belong primarily to mtDNA haplogroups U4 and U5, typical of European hunter-gatherers but later ones include haplogroups W, H, T, I, K, J." These look like West Asian mtdna haplogroups, but the actual levels are not described here, nor is how much later this transition takes place and Y-DNA +Component data also is expected this Monday.
      And here is Davids important post on it-
      http://eurogenes.blogspot.in/2014/06/coming-soon-genome-wide-data-from-more.html

      Delete
    5. What is said there about mtDNA is very interesting, because it shows that there was a change of population around 4000 BC, and it is probably significant that those Hgs are found in Iran and more generally in West and South Asia. There is a recent study on Iranian mtDNA: http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0080673.
      The Y DNA will tell more, and I am curious to see if the male population changed earlier and more massively, as it often happens due to groups of male explorers and conquerors. In the Urals the arrival of southern populations seems sure at least before 6000 BC.

      Delete
    6. Thank you for that Important Iranian link! After the First reading i can say that there is some Evidence of mtdnas Migrating from Iran to Europe and India for example HV2 ! but by far Y-DNA evidence will be more clear!.
      I have given you the preview of CWC Horizon and Samara aDNA and other important links now we have to see what next weeks Publications/Presentations reveal more!.....
      I today have an Important question related to archaeology and PIE People-
      Why the Kurgan Typical Burials-Mounds are so scarce in Central Asian and South Asian Archaeological Sites? as this Burials and Mounds are almost directly associated with PIE and Indo-European cultures?...

      Delete
    7. The tumuli or barrows are typical of the Kurgan cultures but are also found in other cultures: the Mongols, the Turks (Kurgan is a Turkic word), the Japanese, the Etruscans, Megalithic cultures of Ireland and Portugal, the Native Americans. I would not say the Kurgans are connected with PIEs. Maybe the Kurgan IEs adopted the idea of the tumulus from other cultures, or they developed autonomously. There are tumuli also at Se Girdan in Iran, it is not clear if it is before or after Maykop... In South Asia, there are at Dholavira, with the inner wheel like later Stupas... so, barrows can be developed in different cultures and periods, when there is the will to celebrate the burial of a special individual...

      Delete
    8. ''I would not say the Kurgans are connected with PIEs. Maybe the Kurgan IEs adopted the idea of the tumulus from other cultures, or they developed autonomously.''
      That is my point of view also! but what about Cremation? Can it be a custom Autonomously and Separately Developed in the late periods of IE Cultures worldwide?

      Delete
    9. Ah,about the 'stupa' at Dholavira,I remember reading about it on one of your earlier post.Do you have any additional info regarding this complex?Also,do you think we can date the stupa at Mohenjo Daro to an earlier date?The current consensus is that the stupa from MJ was built during Kushana era,although it is only based on the evidence from the Kushana coins present near the stupa.

      And yes,tumulus were erected by various cultures,not restricted to IE.Tumulus were present even in pre-IE Europe,such as this one http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tumulus_Saint-Michel in neolithic France....

      Delete
    10. Yes, I visited the Newgrange tumulus in Ireland which must also be pre-IE.
      About the Mohenjodaro Stupa, I think there is no doubt that it was built in the Buddhist age. In other sites, Sufi Muslims have built tombs of saints on the ancient mounds.

      Delete
    11. But the bricks of stupa is like the bricks of nearby structures like the great bath.May be the Kushans used the bricks from nearby structures to build the stupa.

      Delete
    12. That is maybe possible, but it is also true that Indian bricks continued the Harappan pattern... I think with thermoluminescence it would be possible to date them.

      Delete
    13. Guys you are forgetting the Cremation Question i asked?:)
      @Akshai
      Today is the festival of Light I hope you are not doing any Sound Pollution;)......

      Delete
    14. Yes,also weight system,town planning etc continued to later times as cited by Michel Danino.

      This article contains an interesting read of MJ stupa:
      https://www.scribd.com/doc/156909248/Mohenjo-Daro-s-New-story-Andrew-Lawler-2013

      By the way,do you have any additional information about the stupa-like structure from Dholavira which is cited by Bisht?I found this article:

      http://www.frontline.in/static/html/fl2712/stories/20100618271207000.htm

      Delete
    15. @Nirjhar bhai

      Ah,about cremation,there are many post-cremation burials found across ISC.Possehl cites Mackay in support for the practice of cremation at least in the site of Mohenjo Dari

      http://books.google.co.in/books?id=pmAuAsi4ePIC&pg=PA166&lpg=PA166&dq=cremation+mohenjo+daro&source=bl&ots=8z_bvY-zM-&sig=pAvxHllb6lQyulMiFR4jm2T3TM0&hl=en&sa=X&ei=xOJIVJOrIMP08QWQ14DwCQ&ved=0CCsQ6AEwBA#v=onepage&q=cremation%20mohenjo%20daro&f=false

      Don't worry,I have not bought any crackers :)

      Delete
    16. @Akshai, I have sent you a power point file of the presentation of Dholavira burials at the EASAA conference 2012, directly received from Kenoyer, although it was made by Bisht.
      Thank you for the paper on Mohenjodaro, Verardi's observations are maybe right, so only the dome would be of the Buddhist period, built on the mound of the Indus platform... platforms with stairs were also in Kalibangan in connection with the 'fire altars', and platforms for cult (particularly of fire) are present in the Iranian world at least from the 2nd mill. BC until the Achaemenid period (see https://archive.org/stream/TempleArchitectureInTheIranianWorld/tempele#page/n21/mode/2up) This is another, very significant, proof of the common Indo-Iranian civilization of the Harappan period.

      Delete
    17. About cremation, in Harappan sites there are often pots with ashes and bones, but rarely human. A work on Kalibangan's cemetery observes that the tombs were too few for all the population, so cremation could be a way of managing the dead, but there were also fractional burials after exposure. Clear cremation is present in Cemetery H at Harappa, and it can be connected with a different ideology, as in Europe and the Near East. It is thought that cremation is connected with a more spiritual view, where the body has no more importance and the soul has to leave it. It is possible that it is connected with the belief in reincarnation, but not only, in Homeric Greece it was believed that cremation made possible that the soul enters the Hades. But in various cultures inhumation and cremation are found together, for instance the Etruscans introduced again the inhumation burials only for the elite, while the common people continued cremation as in the Villanovan period. Also in Hittite Anatolia inhumation and cremation are found sometimes in the same cemeteries, and also Greeks and Romans practiced both. See here: https://www.academia.edu/1906015/Inhumation_and_Cremation_how_burial_practices_are_linked_to_beliefs

      Delete
    18. Dear Giacomo,thank you very much for sharing the file,I shall go through it soon.I am aware of Kalibangan's complex,and it indeed seems like a fire-temple.I think we have similar cult centres in BMAC region as well.

      About cremation,I think it was practised along with burial as said by Mackay,cited by Possehl.Although it may not have been as popular as the burial system.Cemetery H phase comes at the end of mature Harappan phase,but in the city of Harappa itself.

      By the way,I need your help in one matter.See think link: http://asi.nic.in/asi_exca_2007_dholavira.asp

      At the end of the page it says that "The kind of design that is of spoked wheel and unspoked wheel also remind one of the Sara-rata-chakra-citi and sapradhi-rata-chakra-citi mentioned in the Śatapatha Brahmana and Sulba-sutras.
      However, there is a solitary example of a grave with skeleton, with a copper mirror in it. "

      Although,I could not locate the mention of both chakra chitis in Eggeling's translation of Satapatha Brahmana.If I am not mistaken,'chiti' means altar.Could you please help me in locating the mentions of aforesaid chitis in Satapatha Brahmana?

      Delete
    19. I have made a research in the Shatapatha and also in the dictionaries, and I have found no traces of those words. In the MW there are no words ending with -cakraciti. Finally, searching rathacakra, I have found rathacakracit, which is an altar with the form of a wheel: http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/sbr/sbe41/sbe4150.htm

      Delete
    20. Thank you very much Giacomo,for searching up this word!Do you agree with Bisht's view?I do not think that the Dholavira wheel shaped structure represents a fire altar as said in StptBrh.But we'll never know.This sort of stuff is fascinating!

      Delete
    21. @Giacomo
      ''I have made a research in the Shatapatha and also in the dictionaries, and I have found no traces of those words. In the MW there are no words ending with -cakraciti. Finally, searching rathacakra, I have found rathacakracit, which is an altar with the form of a wheel''
      So what they made up those names then?

      Delete
    22. According to the power point I have sent you, his view was of a funerary monument, not a fire altar. It is interesting that for SBr 13.8.1.5 the round tombs are of the Asuric people (http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/sbr/sbe44/sbe44113.htm), but maybe it is referred to the round pits with cairns (where there are also cists, and according to SBr 13.8.2.1 Asuric people used also vessels (camū) for burials, see http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/sbr/sbe44/sbe44114.htm#fn_1140). In fact, the Dholavira's 'stupas' have rectangular burial chambers.

      Delete
    23. @Nirjhar: "So what they made up those names then?" If I understand your question, I cannot know the origin of those names, maybe they come from some essays and commentaries... on my database nothing with -cakraciti appears, but I have seen that the form rathacakraciti is used by a translator of the Apastamba Sulbasutra. Also there (14.9) it is said that tombs are rectangular or round, but without judgment of devic or asuric.

      Delete
    24. Yes You understand the question correctly:) and thank you again for providing your valuable observation!.
      However, Giacomo by the connection of Devic- Asuric Conflict do you have any idea of a ''Varshagira battle"? fought between Indo-aryans and Iranian Aryans ? according to Elst -
      ''..the term Asura again refers to the Iranians. At first, Asura was virtually a synonym with Deva, as correctly observed here. But by the time of the Rig-Veda’s tenth and youngest book, after the war with the Iranians (Battle of the Ten Kings and Varshagira battle, the latter featuring Zarathushtra’s patron king Vishtaspa), the two terms had ethnically grown apart: Deva meant “deity” for the Indians, “devil” for the Iranians; and with Asura/Ahura, it was the reverse. In war psychology, everything relating to the Iranians was demonized. By the time the two sides became friends again, the term Asura had frozen in its meaning of “demon”, and became associated with all kinds of enemies or evils unrelated to its original ethnic connotations.''
      So., Even Zarathushtra’s patron king Vishtaspa is ''featured''.
      See the end of the portion ''Arya, Dasa, Asura'' here-
      http://koenraadelst.blogspot.in/2014/10/outlining-hinduisms-essence-and-history.html

      Delete
    25. Dear Giacomo,thank you very much for the information from SBr and ApsSS.Bisht said the spoked wheel-like structures were 'symbolic memorial graves'.

      I am aware about the Devic and Asuric tombs.But according to SBr, it is the 'easterners' who built the round graves,Dholavira was probably in south of the Vedic area ;)

      Delete
    26. I know, but it is said 'the Easterners and others'...

      Delete
    27. We cant track down who those 'others' are ! :) By the way, I too want to ask on your opinion about Vishtaspa = Ishtasva & Arejataspa=Rjrasva equation.Do you think the Avestan and Vedic personalities are identical as said by Talageri?Avesta does mention about the conflict b/w Vishtaspa and Daeva worshipers headed by Arejataspa.

      Delete
    28. I think that 'others' means that they could be in various areas. According to the Sulbasutra, later than SBr, both round and square tombs are possible. Dholavira is older than SBr, but the round pits with cists correspond quite well to the allusions of SBr about Asuric burials. If we want to search in the east, at Sonpur in Bihar there are post-cremation circular pit burials of a Chalcolithic culture, which is dated 1000-650 BC, that is, possibly contemporary with the SBr.

      About the Vishtaspa = Ishtasva & Arejataspa=Rjrasva equation, it does not work. The similarity of the words is superficial, only the term 'aspa' 'horse' corresponds, the first members of the compounds are different. Not only, iṣṭaśva is maybe a simple adjective besides iṣṭaraśmi in RV I.122.13 (this is the interpretation of Griffith, Geldner thinks that they are both proper names), and the idea that an Iranian name was translated with an Indo-Aryan form is quite improbable. Moreover, Arejataspa is presented as a Hvyaona, identified as Central Asian nomads.

      Delete
    29. Yes,it could be possible.But note that 1000-600 BCE date of SBr is based on mainstream chronology.In my opinion,atleast the Kanva SBr would date prior to 1000 BCE because it contains archaic mention about the drying up of Sarasvati river in a symbolic manner.It also mentions migration of a king eastward from Sarasvati region if I remember correctly.

      Btw some of the early Buddhist stupas are also have spoked-wheel shaped base.

      Thank you for your opinion on Ishtasva=Vishtaspa & Rjrasva = Arejataspa equation.It is true that Ishtarasmi is also mentioned along with Ishtasva in the RV,and Ishtarasmi has no parallel in Avestan tradition.But for Arejataspa,Avesta mentions another Daeva worshiper named Humayaka along with Arejataspa...while in RV Rjrasva and Somaka are closely associated(Somaka being son of Sahadeva,the comrade of Rjrasva).Obviously,Soma is Huma/Homa/Hoama etc in Iranic usage.So I see some connections b/w Arejataspa+Humayaka and Rjrasva+Somaka duo.

      Delete
    30. In my doctoral thesis I calculated, on the basis of the Vamshas, that the ritual system of the SBr is completed in the 13th-12th century BC, and this corresponds to the period of PGW, which is spread in the Kuru-Panchala region, that is the main kingdom of SBr.

      As to Humayaka, the name is not the same as Somaka, Soma in Avestan is Haoma not Huma, while Hu- is a prefix corresponding to Su- 'good' in Sanskrit. The adjective humaya means 'blessed' according to Bartholomae, who compares Humayaka with the Armenian name Hmayeak.

      Delete
    31. But it seems you are considering that the name was translated. The idea it is that Avesta transliterated and did not translated the name.

      Delete
    32. SBr was authored by Yajnavalkya,he was close with the king Janaka of Mithila.Yes,Kurus also finds mention in Sbr.Kurukshetra is described as a holy land in SBr.The story of Pururavas and Urvashi also revolves around Kurukshetra.

      Thanks for clarifying Humayaka.Now I can reconsider Talageri's thesis.

      Delete
  5. @Giacomo
    ''Anatolia was very near but it belonged mainly to other cultures, although the IE Anatolian languages spread there quite early, as is shown by their archaic features. I have to deepen the knowledge of Anatolian archaeology to say when it could have happened.''
    That is not i wanted to say i was i think unclear, i was pointing that in some researches the age of PIE is dated like for example-
    '' "Our main result is a unimodal posterior distribution for the age of Proto-Indo-European centred at 8400 years before Present with 95% highest posterior density interval equal to 7100–9800 years before Present." which was found to support the Anatolian Hypothesis.''
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anatolian_hypothesis#Support
    An older age more than 4000BC is in favour of the Anatolian Theory date of Early neolithic spread with Farming but probably not directly related to the Place i.e. Anatolia but age is suggestive.
    ''They appear very early in the Maykop culture, which is very related with Iran and Central Asia. And it is interesting that the word for wheel is different in Hittite (hurki), related with a different root. See here: http://armchairprehistory.com/2011/05/25/indo-european-wheel-words/''
    Thanks for the link i will investigate!.
    However, i say this Hurki and its probable Tocharian cognate is related to root *Ghur related to Sanskrit Ghurnana-shaking , whirling ,'' revolving'' related to Greek gyros "circle, ring," related to gyrós "rounded''/
    What do you think?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Tocharian cognate is controversial, but hurki is connected with the Skt. root varj- 'to bend, turn', from PIE *huer-g- 'bend, turn' (English wring). GhUrN- does not work well because PIE *gh- normally becomes k- in Hittite and it does not explain the final -ki. But maybe we can suggest that gh- in ghUrN- is an unusual Indo-Aryan result of the 'laryngeal' from *huәr-n-!

      Delete
    2. " but hurki is connected with the Skt. root varj- 'to bend, turn', from PIE *huer-g- 'bend, turn' (English wring)''
      I haven't found those roots of PIE and Sanskrit, can you please give the reference?

      Delete
    3. You can see this: http://www.utexas.edu/cola/centers/lrc/ielex/U/P2159.html
      I have given the 'modern' form of the root with the laryngeal, in Pokorny you find just uerg-.
      The Sanskrit root can be given also as vṛj-.

      Delete
    4. Congratulations! this means you have discovered a new Root! it is almost equal to a scientist to predict a new element successfully!

      Delete
  6. @Akshai Bhai
    ''Yes,Ratha as chariot is only attested in IIr languages.This is one of the main reason why the mainstreamers identify Sintashta culture with proto-IIr because it contains the first recorded evidence of actual chariots.I think wheels and wagons were also used by the Yamnaya and its preceding culture.That is why Anthony named his book as Horse,Wheel and Language instead of Horse,Chariot and Language :)
    Also it seems that Maykop culture was just south of Yamnaya.''
    Sanskrit Ratha has come from PIE root *Rath- "to run, to turn, to roll"
    Old Irish roth, Welsh rhod "carriage wheel" Lithuanian ratas "wheel," ritu "I roll;" Old High German rad, German Rad, Dutch rad, Old Frisian reth, Old Saxon rath.
    another Possible PIE related root is likely PIE *reidh- "to ride" (cognates: Old Irish riadaim "I travel," Old Gaulish reda "chariot".
    About Chariot you must take in the consideration the Conservative Climate of Steppes which is 3 times more conservative than SC Asia for Sure and hardly any Wooden Artifacts from SSC Civilization is found so far even aDNA is hard to come by with failed attempts, about Chariot you should remember this post by Giacomo -
    http://sanscritonline.blogspot.in/2013/07/ruote-con-raggi-ai-confini-indo-iranici.html
    Where artifacts clearly showing Spoked Wheels dated 2200 B.C and Before are already present from objects excavated at Shahr-i Sokhta , the 'Burnt City', an important site in eastern Iran on the Helmand River, on the border with Pakistan and Afghanistan, discovered by Maurizio Tosi and dating back to the Bronze Age from 3200 BC.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @Nirjhar Ji

      \\ Sanskrit Ratha has come from PIE root *Rath- "to run, to turn, to roll"
      Old Irish roth, Welsh rhod "carriage wheel" Lithuanian ratas "wheel," ritu "I roll;" Old High German rad, German Rad, Dutch rad, Old Frisian reth, Old Saxon rath.
      another Possible PIE related root is likely PIE *reidh- "to ride" (cognates: Old Irish riadaim "I travel," Old Gaulish reda "chariot". //

      Thanks for the cognates :)


      \\ About Chariot you must take in the consideration the Conservative Climate of Steppes which is 3 times more conservative than SC Asia for Sure and hardly any Wooden Artifacts from SSC Civilization is found so far even aDNA is hard to come by with failed attempts, about Chariot you should remember this post by Giacomo -
      http://sanscritonline.blogspot.in/2013/07/ruote-con-raggi-ai-confini-indo-iranici.html
      Where artifacts clearly showing Spoked Wheels dated 2200 B.C and Before are already present from objects excavated at Shahr-i Sokhta , the 'Burnt City', an important site in eastern Iran on the Helmand River, on the border with Pakistan and Afghanistan, discovered by Maurizio Tosi and dating back to the Bronze Age from 3200 BC. //

      Yes,I agree with you.Also we have no evidence of extensive chariot usage in post Harappan cultures either! This would not have been the case if the Sintashta-Andronovans migrated into post-Harappan India,they would have flooded NW India with chariots then....just like they did in steppes.

      Yes,and it is not only in Shahr i Sokhta,but we have spoked wheels from Harappan iconography and toys as well....

      Delete
    2. Yes, and the fact that chariots were used in the Late Harappan is necessary from what we read from the Rigveda, that must be dated in that period, at least because then the area between Sarasvati and Drishadvati was inhabited.

      Delete
    3. @Akshai Bhai
      ''Yes,and it is not only in Shahr i Sokhta,but we have spoked wheels from Harappan iconography and toys as well....''
      Can you please give the prominent links providing the depiction of the wheels from Harappan iconography and toys because that kind of data is very crucial and will also help other readers!
      @Giacomo
      ''..the fact that chariots were used in the Late Harappan is necessary from what we read from the Rigveda, that must be dated in that period, at least because then the area between Sarasvati and Drishadvati was inhabited.''
      Good solid Reasoning again! BTW In Rigveda if i'm not wrong The Bhrigus Are The Makers of the Chariot, Can it Be indicating of more Iranian/West Of Indus Origins Of the Vehicle From Areas like Shahr I Sokhta Or SSC also have similar time frame Evidence?.

      Delete
    4. I am actually planning to write on horses and chariot issue on FB after my exams next month.I recently read about finds of MS Vats from Harappa,which mentions large amount horse bones.I will also write about archaeological,linguistic,genetic,anthropological and textual arguments related to AIT.So stay tuned :)

      By the way happy Diwali(or rather Deepavali!) in advance!
      Gotta fill my tummy with laddoos and gulab jamuns ;)

      Delete
    5. @Nirjhar bhai

      \\Can you please give the prominent links providing the depiction of the wheels from Harappan iconography and toys because that kind of data is very crucial and will also help other readers!//

      I think you should go through Danino's paper 'Horse and the Aryan debate' he cites the findings of toy spoked wheels.We also have spoked wheel iconography in Harappan seals and tablets like this one :
      http://www.harappa.com/indus/gif2/industablet2.jpg

      Delete
    6. Nirjhar, you can find them also in this post of my Italian blog: http://www.sanscritonline.blogspot.it/2010/12/lardore-e-la-storia-2.html

      Delete
    7. Thanks guys for the links!! BTW I'm elaborating aDNA data from Europe now, and i also asked a Question;)....

      Delete
  7. Here Guys,
    Razib khans Tweets so far from ASHG related to Samara+Yamnaya aDNA as he is attending the conference-
    #ASHG14 eastern hg away from western hg. yamnaya toward one malta
    #ASHG14 late neolithic different from mid Neolithic
    #ASHG14 eastern hg from Karelia and sammara. ANE related to Eastern hg. yamnaya had near East and Caucasus
    #ASHG14 ANE in Europe from eastern hg groups? (via yamnaya)
    #ASHG14 corded ware 36% nonlocal ancestry. Karelian. low bound
    #ASHG14 yamnaya better source for intrusive group into north Europe late Neolithic bronze age
    #ASHG14 yamnaya modeled as 50/50 Armenian Karelian. corded ware 75% yamnaya
    #ASHG14 yamnaya % peaks in north Europe. lower in south Europe. lowest in Sardinia
    #ASHG14 corded ware localized to center north Europe. not clear if ANE west Europe due to later migrations
    #ASHG14 yamnaya = proto-indoeuropeans (That is his opinion he is an invasionist ;))
    #ASHG14 south Asia hard to model. no ancient dna
    https://twitter.com/razibkhan
    Here davids discussion from the tweets Start from the End but he is also an invasionist, things will get more clear later today and tomorrow, i will update you guys.
    Happy Dipavali!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry Guys i didn't give the link of David but it isn't significant anyway, rather this one of his is more to the point but is biased as expected-
      http://eurogenes.blogspot.in/2014/10/pie-homeland-update-paleogenomics.html
      There is another interesting finding Y-DNA J2 has been found from Bronze age Hungarian site which was absent before-
      http://dienekes.blogspot.in/2014/10/ancient-dna-from-prehistoric.html
      ''A new finding is that the Bronze Age individual BR2 belonged to haplogroup J2a1. I think this is the first time this has been found in ancient DNA and it falsifies the Phoenician sea-faring theory of the dispersal of this lineage.''
      The Connection of J2 with Indo-European expansions gets another point!.
      Giacomo,
      Don't forget to reply on my 'Yantrik Vartaa'!.
      Again, Happy Dipavali to you Guys and Others;).

      Delete
    2. Thanks! What is J2a1 is not clear (maybe M47, which is found in Iran), but the fact that we have J2a in an Urnfield site is quite interesting, also because J2a is typical of the Balkans and Italy, where we also have the proto-Villanovan culture of cinerary urns. IE Italics are actually regarded as derived from the Danubian Urnfield culture! The question is why they are J2a and not R1a as Corded Ware... It should mean that they have a different origin and route of migration from the Iranian J2a homeland...
      What do you mean with 'Yantrik Vartaa'?

      Delete
    3. Hi!,
      About Urnfield I think you know that R1a was found there but not sure if it was Middle-Danube Urnfield culture region or not-
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haplogroup_R-M420#The_data_on_DNA-archeology
      BTW i have an interesting question today related to linguistics -
      Is it correct that Slavic Languages are the most pure Indo-European languages? Free from Substratum Influences like in Greek,Aryan,Germanic etc which goes with supporting the Kurgan Model And its Zone?...

      Delete
    4. Thank you for the remark about Urnfield dna, I didn't notice, but it is not of the Danube, is close to Eulau where the CW R1a was found. So, it seems that the Danube J2a is regional,
      and I suspect it came from Anatolia and not from the steppes, where it is almost absent!

      Delete
    5. About Slavic languages, they are conservative in the preservation of 6-7 cases, but phonetically they are not so close to PIE! For instance, they have no aspirated stops,
      and a lot of palatalization...

      Delete
    6. I do not know of linguistic aspects,but historically speaking,the Kurgan urheimat area(Pontic steppes) was under control of Scythians and Cimmerians before the arrival of Slavs.Slavic langauges are only attested from early centuries CE onwards i think.And probably Sanskrit preserves more IE elements than in Baltic and Slavic.I'll let Giacomo comment on this isuue.

      Delete
    7. @Giacomo ''.. but phonetically they are not so close to PIE! For instance, they have no aspirated stops,
      and a lot of palatalization...'' Yes that is true but is it also true that the Balto-slavic family has no Non-Indo-European Substratum effect as observed in Sanskrit, Hittite,Germanic, Greek etc or those features you mentioned like of no aspirated stops,
      and a lot of palatalization etc are the indicators for the Language Family to be intrusive there also?.

      Delete
    8. Yes, there are many changes from PIE in Balto-Slavic, as you can see in this detailed description: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proto-Balto-Slavic_language#Development_from_Proto-Indo-European_to_Proto-Balto-Slavic The accent for instance is different from Vedic and Greek. There are also sounds not found in other IE languages and not reconstructed for PIE, like palatal lateral and palatalized trill. In vocabulary, they share some European terms not found in Indo-Iranian and close to Semitic, probably of the Early Neolithic (LBK) European civilization, like apple, wild boar (wepr-/vepr-), plough (plug-), etc. The phonetic developments, being specific of Balto-Slavic, are rather due to a hunter-gatherer substratum. In effect, palatalization is typical also of Uralic languages: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Uralic_languages#Phonology

      Delete
    9. Hi!,
      About plough (plug-) OED suggests this is a Germanic loan -
      http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=plow&allowed_in_frame=0
      But yes not found outside Europe so can be of Non-IE source also same with the wild-boar one.
      ''The accent for instance is different from Vedic and Greek.''
      First lets deeply discuss it Giacomo as that is something that sparked a controversy as i asked you on your monumental post on Vowels, the thing is as you know ''Traditionally the PIE accent is reconstructed straightforwardly—by the comparison of Vedic, Ancient Greek and Germanic; e.g. PIE *ph₂tḗr 'father' from Sanskrit pitā́, Ancient Greek πατήρ, Gothic fadar. When the position of accent would match in these languages, that would be the accent reconstructed for "PIE proper". It was taken that the Vedic is the most archaic and the evidence of Vedic would be used to resolve all the potentially problematic cases''
      But there seems to be a different view emerged by Vladislav Illich-Svitych in 1963 that the Balto-Slavic accent does not match with that presupposed PIE accent reconstructed on the basis of Vedic and Ancient Greek—the Greek-Vedic barytones correspond to Balto-Slavic fixed paradigms, and Greek-Vedic oxytones correspond to Balto-Slavic mobile paradigms. Moreover, in about a quarter of all cognate Vedic and Ancient Greek etymons accents do not match at all e.g.
      PIE *h₂eǵros 'field' → Ancient Greek ἀγρός : Vedic ájras
      PIE *sweḱuros 'father-in-law' → Ancient Greek ἑκυρός : Vedic śváśuras
      PIE *kʷoteros 'which' → Ancient Greek πότερος : Vedic katarás
      And you probably also know that Vladimir Dybo and Sergej Nikolayev have been reconstructing PIE accentual system as a system of two tones: + and − (probably high and low tone). Proto-Indo-European would not thus have, as is usually reconstructed, a system of free accent more or less preserved in Vedic, but instead every morpheme would be inherently high or low (i.e. dominant or recessive, as it cannot be known for sure how those features were phonetically actually manifested), and the position of accent would be later in various daughter languages determined in various ways (depending on the combinations of (+) and (−) morphemes), whereas Vedic would certainly not be the most archaic language. Many correspondences among IE languages, as well as certain phenomena in individual daughters dependent on PIE tones, should corroborate this interpretation.
      Moreover,Dybo lists several shortcomings of the traditional approach to the reconstruction of PIE accent. Amongst others, wrong belief in the direct connection between PIE accent and ablaut which in fact does not actually explain the position of PIE accent at all. Usually, however, it is thought that zero-grade should be unaccented, but that is provably not valid for PIE (e.g. *wĺ̥kʷos 'wolf', *septḿ̥ 'seven' etc.) according to the traditional reconstruction. Furthermore, Dybo claims that there is none whatsoever phonological, semantic or morphological reason for the classification of certain word to a certain accentual type, i.e. the traditional model cannot explain why Vedic vṛ́kas 'wolf' is barytone and Vedic devás 'deity' is oxytone. According to Dybo, such discrepancies can only be explained by presupposing lexical tone in PIE.
      .What is your Explaination? as we can see the different view though minor originating from Vladimir Dybo and others considers Balto-Slavic accentuation (based on correspondences in the Germanic, Celtic, and Italic languages) more archaic than Greek-Vedic, and therefore closer to Proto-Indo-European!.

      Delete
  8. Giacomo Benedetti,

    consider this picture of horse riding painting in a Cave in Iran, dated from the 8th millenium BCE:
    https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cave_painting_in_Doushe_cave,_Lorstan,_Iran,_8th_millennium_BC.JPG , more here:
    http://ajbasweb.com/old/ajbas/2013/March/796-802.pdf

    Considering the spread of barley, would not consider that the place of origin of PIE, but of a node of Nostratic, branching away from Afro-Asiatic. I think that the Elamo- Dravidian branch could and old and diverse group, occupying southern Iran to the Punjab. ED would be probably spoken in Southern Iran to the Gujarat. It would strangled by the expansion of Iranian branch, but the strength of the IVC dravidian speaking part(?), made it sure it not only survived but expanded towards south India (IVC southern most extension went down to Marathi). So, Dravidian survived, and is younger due the founder effect.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Daniel, thank you for your comments, where do you write from?
      Thank you very much for the links on the horses, the date of the image in the 8th mill. BC is to be checked, obviously it is not sure to date a painting, but in the pdf there are many prehistorical paintings. About Elamo-Dravidian, that theory is supported mainly by McAlpin but criticized by most scholars, I have read that the common elements can be found also in other languages of the so-called 'Nostratic' group. Genetically, Dravidians are a special population, with some haplogroups typical of South Asia, the Middle Eastern hgs are more frequent in the high castes which were introduced by the Aryans of North India. I have met Brahmans of Kerala and I was impressed to see how different they are from the local people and how similar they are to Irano-Afghan types, even more than average North Indians. They tend to have brown hair and yellow eyes... They have adopted the local Dravidian languages but they still preserve the Vedic hymns.

      Delete
    2. Well,many of my friends are Namboothiris and I'm yet to meet a Namboothiri Brahmin with brown hair and yellow eyes!! ;)

      Anyway,Namboothiris might be recent migrants from Ahichatra,the capital of Uttara Panchala.It is narrated in a text named Keralolpathi,which contains details about Kerala's folklores.They might have bought snake cult into Kerala from Ahichatra or Ahikshetra(land of snakes).Women from my community intermarried with Namboothiris and we also worship Nagas as our family deities(Kuladevatas).

      By the way,the Todas of Nilgiris are also distinct from other Dravidian populations.Although they speak Dravidian language,they have astonishing Irano-Afghan features.

      This Toda man can pass as a Pashtun

      http://www.arcticphoto.co.uk/Pix/II/02/II.7201-17_P.JPG

      Delete
    3. Akshai, I was not thinking of Nambuthiris, although they are also close to North Indians, but when I was speaking of brown hair and yellow eyes I was thinking of a village in the hinterland of Samavedic Brahmins from Tamil Nadu. Thank you for the interesting information about the origin of Nambuthiris!
      Todas are interesting, yes, someone even compared them with Jews... for instance, they have the myth of the first woman coming from a rib of the man... they have much J2a, it seems. It is possible that they migrated very early to South India and adopted the Dravidian language, but with an unusual number of vowels, fricatives and thrills, and other aberrations from other South Dravidian languages: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toda_language
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toda_people#Language

      Delete
    4. I posted here yesterday, but my computer lost the post... In summary, the old haplotypes among dravidians should be related to IVC lasting 500years longer than the north and also, by people moving away from the West and slowly gathering there, for a better life, with also a common language. Then, they expanded to the south there, as IVC went as south as Marathi, but the language was common to those people of that common area and they expanded from there.

      Later people came from recent expansions, from the west, like the who, that may have looked after people that were harder to convert.

      Delete
    5. Ah yes,some Tamil Brahmins seems to have more Caucasoid features.My teacher is a RigVedic Tamil Brahmin,her husband has greenish eyes.

      Thank you for the information of Todas.I don't think they are related to the Jews just because that similarity.Buffaloes play an important role in their mythology.Also phenotypically,they are closer to Irano-Afghan types rather than Jews.Also J2 is found in many Indian castes.Although my caste has high amount of J2,we got it from intense relations with the Middle East during ancient times.Anyway,yes,the Todas might have came from somewhere else.But it is astonishing that they dont show any other linguistic trace other than Dravidian! And yes,certain features of Toda language is distinguishable from neighbouring Dravidian languages.

      Delete
  9. Giacomo Benedetti,

    The equation by Talageri is Vishtaspa <= Ishtasva & Arejataspa <=Rjrasva equation, and not the opposite. For example, my name, Daniel, has a meaning in Hebrew, but is meaningless in my mother language, Portuguese. It is only means of religion that it became a name in my language.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The same with my name Giacomo in Italian. But those alleged equations are not equations, they have different meanings and roots.

      Delete
  10. Can you tell me the root in each case? When I try to pronounce they are similar. It seems that chances for this to happen are low. Maybe it's one with a name, that means (crazy example): Neat Horses vs. Weak Horses. Similar sounds, but opposite semantic areas. Like hooligans of different teams naming each other teams.

    I noticed that Bharata dynasty started their expansion in an area supposedly dominated by the anavas, renaming it Angas, and going/growing west. This is an observation of mine reading Pargiter, but nohwere he said this. I concluded from his text.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The root in iṣṭāśva is 'iṣ-' 'desire, search', meaning 'who has desired (best) horses', while Vištāspa is debated, according to http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/gostasp the best interpretation is of Mayrhofer, “whose horses are let loose (for the race)”.
      ṛjrāśva means 'having quick (more lit. going straightforward) horses', while Arəǰaṱ.aspa means 'who has worthy horses' (arəǰaṱ=arhat in Sanskrit).

      Delete
    2. BTW, there is a talk about the mapping of the evolution of networks between IVC sites and genes.
      http://www.tifr.res.in/~archaeo/FOP/FOP%20pdf%20of%20ppt/Vahia%20Indus%20Civilisation.pdf

      It's interesting that they find 3 clusters, that is, the Harappan civilization had 3 regions. And it seems the rest of India was also integrated, even though they were in the chacholithic. The spread of relationship resembles what is in the itihasas.

      Delete
    3. Hi Guys!
      @Giacomo
      ''The root in iṣṭāśva is 'iṣ-' '....
      I totally agree with your etymological references.
      However on a related note which location exactly fits with the Avestan Airyanem Vaejah? is it Kashmir,Afghan highlands or around Khwarezm(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Khwarezm)
      or Around Zagros? or some where between them:)??

      Delete
    4. Once in Paris I listened to a lecture of Grenet, proposing that Airyanem Vaejah 'land of the swift river of the Aryans' is in Pamir, 'the feet of Mitra', and the Daitya river is the Oxus/Amu Darya. The position of the following lands in Vendidad, Sogdia, Merv and Balkh, supports this theory, which is adopted also here:
      http://www.heritageinstitute.com/zoroastrianism/aryans/location.htm
      http://www.heritageinstitute.com/zoroastrianism/tajikistan/page3.htm
      The Pamir is close to the Hissar culture, an ancient Mesolithic culture connected with the Zarzian. It is possible that when the Zarzian people moved there identified the cosmic mountain, called in Avesta Harā Bərəzaitī, with the Pamir, which became an area of Zoroastrian cult.
      When Zoroastrianism had its center more in the west, in Sasanian times, the 'Eran Wez' was placed in the Caucasus, where we also have a mount Elbrus, and there is also the Alborz near the Caspian sea: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hara_Berezaiti

      Delete
    5. That's not much different to what Pargiter, Talageri and Koenraad Elst claims. The frontier of Pamir, Himalays and Hidukush (it's more or less where the moutain seem to make an inverted Y shape, from the collision of the plate) in the extreme northwest of Kashmir, the part controlled by Pakistan.

      I spent some time looking there, on Google maps, looking. The odd thing. that is located Yassin valley, which is the closest path between the, the sources of the Oxus and the Indus and the Tarim basim. Also, there is a 3 mountain passes.
      http://goo.gl/w2SNbK and http://goo.gl/iFOd1y . It's also interesting to notice that in this Valley lives the Burusho People of the Yassin dialect, and only there.

      The distance between the northernmost IVC site to Yassin valley is ~400Km, straight line.

      Also, that Yassin valley is pretty much in the center of the square presented here: http://www.heritageinstitute.com/zoroastrianism/images/maps/PamirBoundaries.jpg

      Delete
    6. @Giacomo-
      ''When Zoroastrianism had its center more in the west, in Sasanian times, the 'Eran Wez' was placed in the Caucasus, where we also have a mount Elbrus, and there is also the Alborz near the Caspian sea: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hara_Berezaiti''
      So there was a westward shift but tell me in the Caucasus, where we also have a mount Elbrus can it reflect an earlier shift of the Pre-Zoroastrian Aryans to the Middle East with like of Mitannians? whom you noted shows Iranic specific linguistic features?.

      Delete
    7. The name Elbrus in the Caucasus can be a heritage of the Alans/Ossetes or the Scythians. I don't think that it must be very ancient. But the Iranian presence there seems possible already in the Maykop period. We have no hint that Mitannians went there.
      The Alborz in the Caucasus instead can be a very ancient name, but we cannot know, it is evident a shift from east to west in the Zoroastrian tradition, but I am quite sure that proto-Iranian tradition was already present also in western Iran.
      @Daniel, the Yasin valley is not in the Pamir, and the fact that the people there speak Burushaski suggests that it was not originally an Iranian region, nor an IE one. Maybe the Burusho people was connected with the northern Neolithic of Burzahom, which was different from South Asian contemporary cultures and with some links with northern China (dog burials, harvesters).

      Delete
    8. But I found that Yasin valley is in the Pamir:

      "They[Pamir mountains] lie mostly in Gorno-Badakhshan province, Tajikistan and Badakshan Province, Afghanistan. To the north they join the Tian Shan mountains along the Alay Valley of Kyrgyzstan. To the south they join the Hindu Kush mountains along the Wakhan Corridor (or Wakhjir Pass) in Afghanistan and Gilgit–Baltistan in Pakistan."
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pamir_Mountains

      You can check yourself that the Yasin is right in the middle of the intesection. Gilgit - Balistan, contains the not only the Yasin in the Yasin district, but the Hunza dialect, which is in the Hunza valey, just to the north of Gilgit, in the Gojal distric.
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gilgit%E2%80%93Baltistan#mediaviewer/File:Northern_Areas_Pakistan.svg

      Yiansin river is 30km to the south of the source of Pamir river and 50km Pamir Highway of the Silkroad. Burusho is surrounded by Wakhi speakers and is heavily influenced by it (which by itself has a lot of Urdu vocabulary).

      Delete
    9. Look, even a journalist site about news on the Pamir moutains considers the Yasin valley part of it: http://pamirtimes.wordpress.com/2008/09/29/stunning-yasin-valley/

      Delete
    10. ''The Alborz in the Caucasus instead can be a very ancient name, but we cannot know, it is evident a shift from east to west in the Zoroastrian tradition, but I am quite sure that proto-Iranian tradition was already present also in western Iran.''
      Of course....

      Delete
    11. Dear Daniel, obrigado :) but the 'Pamir Times' just speaks of the Yasin valley, it does not say that it is Pamir, and the Wiki entry says that the Pamir joins the Hindukush in Gilgit-Baltistan, not that the Gilgit region of the Yasin valley is Pamir. The Yasin valley is placed in the Hindukush: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yasin_Valley
      Certainly Burusho people live close to Iranian and Dardic speakers, but if they are the original inhabitants of the Yasin valley, that cannot be seen as a home of Indo-Europeans.

      Delete
    12. De nada! :)

      Well, Pamir is the under the pressure many plates, so, it belongs to many of them. I think this is kind of subjective, but since the Yassin Valley is in the North of the Gilgit-Baltistan, and the Hindukush is intersected somewhere in the region, so, I think it is reasonable to include it the Yasin, or at least, more likely. If you see Google, Yassin is surrounded by the sources of many rivers that are drained to all those different plates, it also has many passes, going to different planes nearby.

      But, the odd thing it is that I didn't suggest anything. I said it was interesting, only! :D That it was interesting to find a language isolate right there, just checking the map (I was using wiki maps, it overlays regions, defined by users with google maps, I put it a link to it above, to the Yassin valley location), while I was looking for a place that could justify a straightforward migration, that could lead randomly wandering and clueless people to a wide range of places in asia, as fast as possible, linking Indian subcontinent, Tarim basin and the Caspian Sea surroundings. Well, this is the place.

      Well, there are many bonus to this area. You get an access to mount Meru, feet of Mitra, Olympus, Asgard, to people who speak Burushaski, to people who speak Dardic languages (basal to Indo Aryan, or deeper), that is 20km away from a Yarkum range, where there are many Nuristani speakers (a third branch of Indo Iranian), near the center of gravity of the whole IE languages (considering Tocharian, near the center of gravity of Nostratic languages, near the center of gravity of the Dene Daic, near the center of gravity of Borean language. I know, this is crazy, insane, but just check the map. I am not affirming that this is the source of this whole lot, but these are a lot of coincidences.

      Delete
    13. @Daniel
      Hi!
      ''Dardic languages (basal to Indo Aryan, or deeper)''
      No that is i think incorrect as the Language family is a Sub-Branch of Indo-Aryan and have degenerated from some crucial aspects of Indo-Aryan features (Also Indo-European features) like the massive loss of Aspirated Consonants.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dardic_languages#Characteristics_of_Dardic_languages

      Delete
  11. The roots are different, well, but the meanings and sounds of both names are very similar! WOW! It's like they spoke similar languages, could get the meaning, but used a different root, but one which would sound similar. These people were not philologists. I read the entry you posted. It seems the enemy was bad, but not demoniac.

    It seems Sanskrit is like old Chinese, which has many consonant clusters, some with semivowels values, while Iranian is more like Spanish or Portuguese. Sanskrit looks like a pidgin, with sounds of old chinese and root structure of a semitic language

    ReplyDelete
  12. @Akshai
    ''Ah yes,some Tamil Brahmins seems to have more Caucasoid features.My teacher is a RigVedic Tamil Brahmin,her husband has greenish eyes.''
    I have done an impressive study before on Physical features described in different Arya scriptures but i haven't found any reference which suggests that they had any European similar features like colored Eyes or Hair but Clear Skin with reddish Eye and some times brownish hair ( like of Sachin Tendulkar ;))is depicted but not greenish/Bluish eye or yellowish hair etc ever!
    A good example is here in this 3000 year old scripture-
    http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/sbe15/sbe15098.htm
    Read from the 14th verse...
    Actually having features like Bluish eyes etc are depicted as non-noble and negative features in scriptures like of Puranas!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Can you give us a reference about bluish eyes as negative in Puranas? It sounds interesting.

      Delete
    2. A related phrase is here while describing positive negative bodily signs-
      ''1.65.115 stout neck: she becomes very fierce. Squint in the eyes, dark blue or tawny in the eyes, roving eyes: absence of chastity''
      http://www.veda.harekrsna.cz/encyclopedia/garuda-purana.htm
      Here in Page 732 we find Having Yellowish eyes a girl is not to be married!-
      http://books.google.co.in/books?id=JkOAEdIsdUsC&pg=PA732&lpg=PA732&dq=good+and+bad+bodily+signs+according+to+puranas&source=bl&ots=SN4kqXN1Cm&sig=7vO6Bqisaz16RWHtWJTuPvfc9yw&hl=en&sa=X&ei=45RZVMC9LoS0uAS3mIGAAg&ved=0CC8Q6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=good%20and%20bad%20bodily%20signs%20according%20to%20puranas&f=false
      Many signs you will find for example in p.736 having Tawny eye is associated with bad character.....
      @Akshai
      There are many others from puranas and smritis etc but at the moment i don't have the time:( So i ask Akshai to dig on this important subject if he has the time!

      Delete
    3. Nirjhar bhai,

      Thank you for the interesting references.But note that Patanjali speaks of having brown or blonde hair and fair tone as qualities of being a Brahmana.But we have verses from Atharva Veda which speaks of growing thick black hair.Also Buddhist texts speaks of black hair.So Patanjali might be referring to some sort of metaphor probably,but we cannot assure it.

      Delete
    4. @Akshai
      ''Thank you for the interesting references.But note that Patanjali speaks of having brown or blonde hair and fair tone as qualities of being a Brahmana...''
      Well that is very interesting! can you give the links depicting that statement? It will be great if it also shows the original Devanagari script so we can do the analysis on the possible meanings!:).

      Delete

    5. Dear Bharat friends, I find funny this debate, where our 'Dravidian' is more pro-blonde ;)
      The remark of Nirjhar about the original text is important (although we don't need Devanagari), because translations are often misleading. The Garuda Purana texts says: kekare piṅgale netre śyāme lolekṣaṇā satī
      A very similar text in Varahamihira: netre yasyāḥ kekare piṅgale vā / sā duḥśīlā śyāva^lola^īkṣaṇā ca
      Now, śyāva means 'dark brown' (like bay horses), and śyāma is black or dark brown (dark blue is a strange interpretation, because it can be used for a dark human skin).
      piṅgala is tawny/yellow, and it is regularly used for eyes. In fact, the passage of
      Patanjali cited by Akshai uses also the same term: gauram śucyācāraṃ piṅgalam kapilakeśam dṛṣṭvā adhyavasyati brāhmaṇaḥ ayam iti "Having seen one of white skin, of pure conduct, with yellow/tawny eyes, with brown hair, he ascertains: this is a Brahmin."
      I think that this has a good match in the aspect of the Tamil Brahmins we spoke about,
      although 'gaura' types maybe are more probable in North India.

      Delete
    6. @ Nirjhar bhai

      Giacomo has already provided the verse from Mahabhashya by Patanjali :)

      @Giacomo

      I am not 'pro blonde' or 'anti blonde' ,obviously,I was just highlighting the verse by Patanjali ;)
      Here is the verse from AV which describe black hair
      http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/av/av06137.htm

      Also in this sutta,Buddha claims himself as having black hair and 'bright colour'(the 'gaura' type)http://www.accesstoinsight.org/tipitaka/mn/mn.036.than.html

      So this contradicts the statement of Patanjali.

      Delete
    7. I would not say that this contradicts the statement of Patanjali, the AV charm simply reflects that normally hair were black (asita), and the Buddha Gautama was not a Brahmin by birth.
      I think that it is improbable that Patanjali knew only Brahmins with brownish hair and tawny/yellow eyes, but he considered these features typical of Brahmins, in the 2nd century BC in the regions where he lived, probably in North India.

      Delete
    8. @Giacomo and Akshai
      First thanks to Guru-G for providing the original Sanskrit texts as i didn't had the time and to our Dakshini Brother for clarifying that he is not a member of South Indian Nazi Party!;))
      So from the Garuda Purana and Vrarahamihira text we find another compelling case of absence of Blue Eyes! clearly śyāma is not blue and neither śyāva, this also reminds me of the Abhinila eyes of Buddha and in Upanishads also which means Deep Black instead of blue as some translations try to wrongly suggest.see also here-
      http://spokensanskrit.de/index.php?script=HK&beginning=0+&tinput=+abhinila&trans=Translate&direction=AU
      and here-
      http://www.sanskrit-lexicon.uni-koeln.de/cgi-bin/tamil/recherche
      On Patanjalis remark-
      The word kapilakeśam the word Kapila is Reddish or Or Brown hair it can mean yellowish or tawny hair also but that is very unlikely as we don't have textual evidences to support that so the translation provided by Giacomo is correct .

      Delete
    9. ''I think that it is improbable that Patanjali knew only Brahmins with brownish hair and tawny/yellow eyes, but he considered these features typical of Brahmins, in the 2nd century BC in the regions where he lived, probably in North India. ''
      Yep and those features were not the general ones but scattered ones.
      '' although 'gaura' types maybe are more probable in North India.''
      Gaura is whitish and it is very interesting that Europeans and South Asians share by descent SLC24A5 light skin allele as is discussed here-
      http://dienekes.blogspot.in/2013/11/europeans-and-south-asians-share-by.html
      See also Razibs old websites post on that-
      http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/gnxp/2013/11/big-sweeps-happen/#.VFw9E2f5nXQ
      Akshai, Giacomo Please don't forget to give your suggestions on the prominent links and discussions on this genetics reference of white/light skin mutation i gave....
      It should be noted that South India is out of the mutation zone and it is a Prominent Ancestral North Indian feature as should be!.

      Delete
    10. Yes,but the poet was familiar with black hair and it was probably the common hair type.Otherwise why else would the poet genericize black hair? :)

      Yes,Siddhartha was not a Brahmin,and I also wonder why Patanjali specially speaks of Brahmins,while excluding other varnas.

      Although this is just a speculation,is it possible that the Brahmins applied some sort of colours in their dreadlocks(jata) like Sadhus do it today with vibhuti or sacred ash?We know from early Indianart and Buddhist texts that most Brahmins during ancient times had dreadlocks....

      Also according to Elst,Patanjali was talking about the Brahmins of northern regions like Gandhara,since he was commenting upon Panini.Brownish and even yellowish hair are common there even today among certain Pashtuns and Dardics.

      Delete
    11. It is possible that also Patanjali was from the northwest, he also speaks of Saketa in Punjab, and there it was probably easier to find Brahmins with brownish hair and light skin (I have checked on Petersburg's dictionary, it translates pingala as 'reddish brown'), but I remark again that I have seen such features also in Tamil Brahmins. I would also not exclude that the typical brownish dreadlocks influenced the idea, but about skin and eye colour we cannot find this expedient. If I make a research on google image on Brahmins, I find some people with light skin and tawny eyes, see for instance these Shivalli Brahmins from Karnataka: http://matrimony.shivallibrahmins.com/testimonials.php?post_id=1&action=view
      You ask why especially Brahmins. But because they were (and are) the most 'pure' Aryans from the Irano-Afghan stock, which, due to the rules of endogamy, preserved more strongly those features. It is not a case that some Brahmin groups show high percentages of R1a1 and J2a Hgs.
      About the black hair of the AV, you say exactly what I meant.

      @Nirjhar, I don't think that syava and syama are the same as abhinila, otherwise they could not be used to mark inauspicious signs. How could the most common Indian eye colour, black, be inauspicious? Very black, 'abhinila' eyes are presented in Buddhist texts as a mark of the great man, mahapurusha, while syava/syama eyes are negative in the two cited texts, and the fact that these words are used for bay horses or skin colour suggests that they meant dark brown, in opposition to black eyes. Apparently, in these texts, the tawny (pingala) eyes were no more seen as typical of auspicious Brahmins, but unusual dangerous features. The Garuda Purana is probably of the Gangetic region, dated around 400 CE, and Varahamihira was of the Avanti region in MP in the sixth century CE.

      Delete
    12. Dear Giacomo,

      Yes,Patanjali was definitely from northern Aryavarta because he emphasized the region.But he is also revered in Tamil tradition as a Shaivite Siddha.I am not aware of any emphasis of eye colour mentioned in Vedic texts when referring to Brahmins,but the term 'guara' can mean any fair toned person.You can look at Shashi Tharoor,he is from my community and has light eyes and fair tone as well.Aishwarya Rai also has same features.She is from Bunt community,cousins of my Nair community(both are from Nagavamsha).But these features are not common among most of the Indians.But I have seen many Rajasthanis having light eyes and brown hair as compared to other Indians.

      About Shivalli or Tulu Brahmins,they are from the same stock of as Namboothiris since their tradition also traces origins from the Brahmins who were invited into south by Kadamba king Mayuravarma(he was originally a Brahmin as well,but changed varna like Pusyamitra did).

      Clearly,Brahmins are not the only 'purest Aryas' since they had Kshatriyas to lead them :)

      Delete
    13. Akshai, I did not expect that there is still competion between Brahmins and Kshatriyas... ;)
      The fact of leading however has not to do with endogamy within the caste, which, it seems, was generally more respected among Brahmins, while Kshatriyas had to create alliances through marriage. This has allowed Brahmins to be so different from the surrounding people in South India. Here three examples of South Indian Brahmins with light skin (for Indian standards) and brown/tawny eyes:
      http://luthfispace.blogspot.it/2011/07/subramanian-swamy-hindu-fascism-and.html
      http://www.andhrawishesh.com/home/wishesh-special/31399-living-legend-turns-49.html
      http://www.jithumpa.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/meera-nandan-6-3.jpg

      Delete
    14. @Giacomo
      ''How could the most common Indian eye colour, black, be inauspicious?''
      Okay so lets go with dark brown! BTW i am little disappointed as you guys didn't say a word about the Genetics links i gave on light skin pigmentation Shared by Europeans and Indians!!

      Delete
  13. My question is: why in such a lengthy essay (which to me seems a succession of many debatable ideas without any obvious conclusion) not a single mention is done of the key issue of increased Siberian-like genetics in Europe (Basques and Sardinians excepted) after Neolithic as per Lazaridis 2014 and other recent studies.

    That fact underlines, along with the extremely solid Kurgan model, that Europe experienced a minor but significant and very clear process of Orientalization (of the Central Eurasian kind) since the Chalcolithic that can only be attributed to Kurgans. Also pre-Kurgan farmer peoples seem Vasconic.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hola Maju, I think you speak of the so called Ancient North Eurasian component associated with the Mal'ta boy (MA1) from a Siberian Upper Paleolithic site. But the fact that he was found in Siberia does not mean that this component was of North Eurasian origin, as the authors themselves admit (p.124): "We have conveniently labeled MA1-related ancestry “Ancient North Eurasian” because of the provenance of MA1 in Siberia, but at present we cannot be sure whether this type of ancestry originated there or was a recent migrant from some western region."
      The Y DNA Hg R* found in the Mal'ta boy is considered of Central Asian origin, and if it was present in Western Iran in Paleolithic times nothing forbids that R1a and R1b developed in that region. In the Lazaridis study, I do not see any ancient Near Eastern or Iranian DNA, and this is a serious shortcoming, but in a finer analysis of components they find this: "K=15 shows the appearance of a component, maximized in the Kalash, that becomes the most predominant signal in Indus Valley and Caucasus populations. It is also prominent in the rest of South Asia, Central Asia, Near East and in diminishing strength in Europe. It is absent in Sardinians, Basques, and all ancient Europeans, although it is present in MA1."
      This component recalls the Genographic Southwest Asian component, very high in Iran, Tajikistan and India, and found in Europe around 15% (8% in Sardinians). I think this was brought by IEs, also through the Kurgans but originally from Iran and Central Asia.

      Delete
    2. Absolutely Giaccomo. However I would discern between Y-DNA and autosomal DNA, which may be totally or almost totally unrelated. For example Irish, Uyghurs and some Chadic peoples have high frequencies of R1b (various subclades) but their overall genome is otherwise unrelated (beyond what is normal between those regions in general terms). I'm not discussing this issue from the viewpoint of Y-DNA because it is probably unrelated and older in most areas, including India and much of Europe (although let's keep our minds open to further data).

      The issue in Europe is that we see three apparent ancestral populations, except for Sardinians and Basques, which can be explained in terms of just two populations: the aboriginal Western Hunter-Gatherers (WHG) and the mixed Early European Farmers (EEF), who probably coalesced in Greece as a mix of local aborigines plus a West Asian farmer input that clearly has some African-like tendency (Palestinian-like rather than Anatolian-like). Only Sardinians and Basques can be explained in these simple terms of ancestry, with Sardinians being nearly identical to EEF and Basques quite more mixed (and from other studies similar to Atlantic Neolithic peoples cum Megalithism).

      All other populations (especially as you move away from the SW and Italy) require a third component undocumented up to Neolithic (except very mildly in Scandinavia). This third component is not like anything we see in West Asia but only like that ancient Siberian boy (ANE). Actually the carrier population must have been something like WHG+ANE and not just ANE but such WHG+ANE population was not found anywhere in North or West Europe, so it must be from Eastern Europe. Of course only further aDNA data can fully confirm this but it's the most parsimonious explanation. Modern Russians or Lithuanians would be like a somewhat diluted version of that Eastern European population quite probably.

      The closest thing alive to ANE are however Yeniseian peoples (Kets).

      Judging in other areas is difficult for lack of local ancient DNA references but the approximative attempts I've seen in some blogs suggest that there is also a cline of ANE influence in the Indo-Iranian area with peak around Afghanistan (Kalash, Pashtun, etc. seem to have high ANE scores, much like Russians and Baltics do in Europe). So it seems reasonable to infer the same kind of process.

      Notice please that I do think that R1a expanded from Iran but in a Late Paleolithic to Neolithic context and therefore before the Indoeuropean expansion proper. Similarly I think that the conqueror IE expansion had limited genetic impact because they were (in most areas) not settlers but warlords. Instead the preceding farmers were settlers and therefore had a greater impact (in the case of Europe first the EEFs and later the Atlantic Megalithic farmers). IEs did not wipe the pre-existant farmer populations but rather submitted them for exploitation and eventually assimilation. Their cultural and linguistic impact however was massive.

      Delete
    3. I agree for many aspects, but I think that R1a was brought to Europe by IEs, as is shown also by the fact that it appears first in aDNA of the Corded Ware people.
      I think that Y DNA, showing the paternal lineages which have taken a dominant position, is more useful than the autosomal components for language shift.
      The ANE component peaks in Karitianas of Brasil (more than 40%): http://eurogenes.blogspot.it/2014/03/ancient-north-eurasian-ane-levels.html
      It is interesting to see in that analysis that ANE (red) peaks in Central Asia rather than Siberia. But the fact that it is a Paleolithic component found also in Amerindians make the use of it not very clarifying for IEs. The K=15 'Kalash' component mentioned above seems more promising...

      Delete
    4. "... I think that R1a was brought to Europe by IEs, as is shown also by the fact that it appears first in aDNA of the Corded Ware people".

      I would think that R1a within Europe (the European main subclade and not R1a as a whole) may well have expanded largely within the Western Indoeuropean expansion process, from a further eastward origin (which judging on Underhill 2014 would be not far from Kiev). Actually a more derived subclade may have expanded from Poland with Corded Ware.

      In Western Europe (West of the Rhine and the North Sea), where IE influence is more recent (mostly Iron Age), I do make a direct correlation between R1a apportions and actual male IE settlement. But using Germany as control, because in essence IEs arrived to West Europe from what is now Germany grosso modo. So if Germans have like 20% R1a and English have like 5% R1a, that may speak of a ~25% male colonization with Celts and Germanics.

      Further East it's harder to estimate because IE expansion is much older but in an overly simplistic (and not really implausible) scenario in which we take the Polish frequency of ~50% R1a as reference, we could estimate that Corded Ware expansion had ~40% impact in Germany in terms of paternal ancestry.

      Maternal (mtDNA) and overall (autosomal) "IE ancestry" is no doubt much smaller in all cases.

      "The ANE component peaks in Karitianas of Brasil"...

      Davidski did not include Kets nor Selkups. Kets are actually the closest living thing to Ma-1 and Afontova Gora, very clearly so.

      Anyways it is indeed certain that Native Americans (but not non-Siberian East Asians) have a very strong ancestry from that same "First Siberian" origin. This is directly related to the whereabouts of Y-DNA P and its derived subclades Q and R, which coalesced (IMO) in the MP-UP transition between India and Iran, some 50 Ka ago. Some derived Q subclades had a notorious founder effect among proto-Amerindians in Eastern Siberia (and maybe Mongolia, North China, where Q1 is still found), who were the ones spreading the "mode 4" (blade tech characteristic of the Upper Paleolithic) to East Asia and beyond. The resulting mixed population had another founder effect in Beringia and into America, surely soon after the LGM.

      So it's all about Siberia in any case when we talk of ANE. However I would expect late UP and more recent Eastern Europeans to have a sizable ANE ancestry fraction and be at the origin (via IE expansion) of modern reinforced ANE ancestry in Europe (and possibly elsewhere, although in Asia I would definitely factor Central Asia/SW Siberia as an alternative or complementary source - only aDNA will tell for sure).

      Delete
    5. Now the Reply Button Works...
      @Maju
      About aDNA we will i think get it from Rakhigarhi( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rakhigarhi) of SSC civilization -
      http://shinpaleopathology.blogspot.in/2014/02/our-work-on-rakhigarhi.html
      When i asked the scientist in the blog it looked like he understood the importance of it-
      http://shinpaleopathology.blogspot.in/2014/10/poster-presentation-at-indian.html
      But he is not a revealing person it seems....
      It will be very important that which Y-DNA the aDNA will yield! i am sure it will have R1a-Z93+ but also expect r1a-L657 and J2a/J2b and G2 which is found now only in far south and north Autosome wise they should be ANI dominant as studies indicate.
      BTW don't forget to reply on our debate on the Neolithic Presence of Indo-Europeans in SC Asia below!!

      Delete
    6. @Nirjhar bhai

      Awesome news !! Can't wait for the aDNA results to come out ! :)

      I am also sure that it will belong to some Eurasian lineage,since we have central Asian and Iranic like skull types in SSC cemeteries.

      Delete
  14. Kurgans and Siberian like genetics may be explained by movement of Uralic people and of Altaic people at its West and North East extremes, to the South West, India, we have IE. All of these are sister languages within Eurasiatic. Eurasiatic starting point can be located in among the farmers of Zagros. Euroasiatic is sister to Dravidian in Nostratic, so a continuum of euroasiatic- dravidian and a continuum of languages going to india, could be a starting point.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No. The Uralic markers such as Y-DNA N1 and at least slight East Asian affinity at genomic level are not present in this flow. It's Siberian-related but of the pre-Uralic kind. Also Uralic languages are quite restricted geographically (other than the Hungarian exception).

      Eurasiatic is speculative and almost certainly wrong.

      Delete
  15. So, it's Altaic. Altai is the area with the eastermost extension of kurgans. It also allows a free route for Sino - Caucasian to expand and dominate the whole Europe, before the arrival of IE from India and Iran. So, altaic dialect of nostratic went north taking some people that spoke euroasiatic, which would become uralic, the rest went to India or stayed in Iran. So, the continum of the Zagros (NW - E) was like this:
    Eurasiatic (Altaic -Uralic - IE) - Dravidian, following the directions of mountain ranges.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Sino-Caucasian (like Eurasiatic/Nostratic) is another totally failed linguistic speculation. You should not think based on such wacko speculations, because it is trash-in trash-out. I believe I have totally demonstrated false any possibly affinity between Basque and Chinese or Tibetan in any case: http://forwhattheywereweare.blogspot.com/2014/07/sino-basque-is-not-for-real.html

    Another thing would be Basque-Nubian, which I believe plausible on unpublished research, as well as Basque-Indoeuropean (proposed by several others and also plausible on my own research). Note: if both are correct, then Vasconic would be hybrid in terms of vocabulary, what is consistent with the mixed origins of early European farmers in terms genetic. But anyhow we'd be talking of extremely old connections dating to before Neolithic times and of roots of all these languages in the circum-Mediterranean region.

    As for Uralic, I have not studied it enough but I know that it has sprachbund with proto-IE and later Ugric has sprachbund with Indo-Iranian (or rather Indo-Aryan). All this is consistent with a common origin in the Volga-Urals area, with Uralics expanding in essence only in their boreal niche, uninteresting for the IE Kurgan horse-riders, who expanded further south around the Western Eurasian Steppe axis.

    As for Dravidian, it seems to me that it has distinct origins, possibly related to Elamite (i.e. ancient languages of what is now Iran, especially the South) and, much like Vasconic was surely in Europe the language of Neolithic, Dravidian was in South Asia. Again there is a strong parallel between Europe (particularly Western Europe) and South Asia in terms of paleo-historical ethno-linguistic layering.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @Maju
      ''Sino-Caucasian (like Eurasiatic/Nostratic) is another totally failed linguistic speculation. You should not think based on such wacko speculations, because it is trash-in trash-out. I believe I have totally demonstrated false any possibly affinity between Basque and Chinese''
      I am not interested on what you have projected for Basque and Chinese but the Eurasiatic/Nostratic is not a dud specially when you analyse this website and their large data on the subject and other various issues-
      http://starling.rinet.ru/
      ''As for Uralic, I have not studied it enough but I know that it has sprachbund with proto-IE and later Ugric has sprachbund with Indo-Iranian (or rather Indo-Aryan). All this is consistent with a common origin in the Volga-Urals area, with Uralics expanding in essence only in their boreal niche, uninteresting for the IE Kurgan horse-riders, who expanded further south around the Western Eurasian Steppe axis. ''
      There are some adstratum influences from Indo-European languages to those languages which do not help much on the original place of PIE it can be easily the result of migrations from the Southern areas Around Caspian and Zagros....
      ''Vasconic was surely in Europe the language of Neolithic, Dravidian was in South Asia. Again there is a strong parallel between Europe (particularly Western Europe) and South Asia in terms of paleo-historical ethno-linguistic layering.''
      Indo-European was present in SC Asia from Neolithic read the article carefully!! about europe There was a surge of ANE in around 3000B.C. deep into the continent from cultures like CWC who were most likely Indo-Europeans! BTW what is your opinion on the possible Eastern Hgs for Yamnaya as Razib Suggests?

      Delete
    2. I know that website well, Nirjhar and, while it does contain a huge amount of data, when you make a critical analysis of the alleged cognates, often enough everything quickly melts like snow down the slippery slope of wishful thinking. After all it's a homage page to Starostin by his son and the real thing is that Starostin's macro-families are not accepted by most or even I'd dare say almost any linguist today. The web is still used as a massive reference multilingual dictionary because it does contains much data, including on rare languages hard to find elsewhere, but that as such does not back Starostin's hypotheses, sorry.

      "I am not interested on what you have projected for Basque and Chinese".

      It was you who mentioned Sino-Caucasian and since I first ever heard of that conjecture and I began comparing Basque with Chinese, it was clear like water that the hypothesis holds no ground at all. But the same happens with Nostratic/Eurasiatic, really, only that sprachbund between steppe languages and generic Neolithic wanderworts (with likely origin in West Asia usually) act as confounding factors.

      "... it can be easily the result of migrations from the Southern areas Around Caspian and Zagros...."

      No. Unless you make every single ethno-linguistic group wander around in endless circles around Eurasia. Uralics were never even close to those areas you mention, being a specialist taiga-tundra population very clearly since its remote origins already in the Late UP (judging on the expansion of Y-DNA N1, a very clear marker of this ethnos).

      So no.

      "Indo-European was present in SC Asia from Neolithic read the article carefully!!"

      Because of Kurds? Nope. Where we now find Kurds (i.e. people who speak Kurdish), there were in antiquity Hurrians, who were clearly not Indoeuropean speakers. The first trace of IE in that area were the Mittanni, who spoke Indo-Aryan but apparently did not yet manage to assimilate the Hurrians. Only later with the Median invasions were the Hurrians assimilated to Iranian language and became known as Kurds.

      Are Anatolian IE languages (Hittite, Luwian, etc.) related to Kurdish? Not directly as such IE language, however it's very likely that they shared substrate influence from pre-IE languages and adstrate influences between them and with other languages of the region.

      You need to understand the IEs not as mere ancestors, which they probably were to some extent but a minor one, but mostly as conquerors of the vast majority of ancestors, who were subjugated or "allied" to them after conquest and eventually assimilated into their language, religion and identity (it was not a mere one-sided thing though: the substrate was also influential everywhere, transforming the original IE elements). Once you understand that, everything becomes more clear.

      Delete
    3. Forgot this:

      "BTW what is your opinion on the possible Eastern Hgs for Yamnaya as Razib Suggests?"

      Not sure. Have not checked my feed in a month or so and anyhow I'm bored of Razib's recipe for a blog: 80% far right politics, 20% anthropology (at most). It does not get any better with time, rather the opposite, so I'm every other day considering to unsubscribe from his feeds.

      Can you excerpt or provide a link, so I can judge?

      Delete
    4. A remark on Kurds and Hurrians: Hurrians lived in Northern Mesopotamia in historical times, particularly the Khabur valley in Syria, a region that is inhabited by Arabs (with some Assyrians, Aramaic speakers) besides Kurds. Hurrians did not live in the Iranian Kurdistan on the Zagros, which is the region of the ancient Neolithic sites mentioned here. And the Kyrtioi of Strabo lived in Atropatene, modern Azarbaijan/Kordestan: http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/cyrtians-gk
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atropatene
      Moreover, Hurrians were replaced in Mesopotamia by the Assyrians, and the more recent kingdom of Urartu, where a language close to Hurrian was spoken, was Armenia rather than Kurdistan before the genocide in the 20th century. Only south of lake Van, in classical times there was Corduene, a kingdom probably related to other ancient Kurds, which was earlier under Urartu: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corduene
      In Sumerian sources, the Guti of the Zagros are proposed as the ancestors of the Kurds: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gutian_people
      Anyway, obviously we cannot say that Kurds colonized South Central Asia, because the concept of a Kurdish people appears in historical times and is mainly confined to the Zagros and Taurus regions. But the Zagros sites have clear cultural connections with Iran and Baluchistan in the Neolithic, starting a continuous civilization which emerged in historical times in the Avestan regions or Persian satrapies.

      Delete
    5. Maju, the comparison you posted on your website cannot prove that Portuguese and English are Indo European languages. The only cognates I can find with some certainty are three (tres), vomit(vomito), fruit(fruto), many(muitos), dois(two). I am not fond of using nursery words. Fuqin and Muqin are not good comparisons in this list. Fu = Father qin = kin, Mu=mother. Mandarin does not use single phonemes to ask questions and not all of them can be traced to old chinese. In any case, you have to take several languages, see sound laws, and reconstruct each step of them. It's possible to go beyond indo european.

      I also do not see the material conditions for any invasion of India that could change anything, specially their language. Horses were still minute to carry agile and small chariots. It would hardly win against elephants. Indeed, even by the time of Alexander, horses were still small, and few horses, like Alexander's, could be used for heavy infantry. So, he couldn't go beyond Bactria.

      So, on the contrary, the slowly loss of part of their already huge agricultural, with the drying of the Saraswati, would very likely explain the entry and change of language to IE of all Europe, with just a small part of their population emigrating during the from the 4th to early 2nd millenium bc. The indus civilization still increased a lot though, due their advances in irrigation.

      Assuming the contrary, is like saying European are smarter and more violent, by nature. That, I won't accept. No, I am not sympathetic to Hindutvas ideas, like anti islam. But, I still think India is an economic colony, despite their independence, so people are right to justify that their culture is still being predated by western powers. And I won't feed such mainstream pseudoscience, and I don't care how many specialists say otherwise, because it is not logical. It goes against historical and material method of analysis and any antropological sense.









      Delete
    6. Maju, starostin page is not a homage, despite having his name. He was still alive when the page was named. Most of their data come way after his death. The Moscow school most polemic part, as far as I had noticed, is the Sino Caucasian, since it competes with other clades, due the its enormous extension.

      Nostratic, as far as I had noticed is basicaly a radial expansion from the early proto agriculturalists in the levant. So, it is far less controversial.

      In my view, Nostratic and Sino-Caucasian is the farthest that can be probed. I think at large time depths, it's not likely single origin for languages. It's not logical.

      Suppose that Nostratic and Sino Caucasian, whatever are their urheimats, met somewhere. At that place, there would be a pidgin. Including the rate of innovations and movements of people, would form new languages or entire new languages. For example, suppose that at the place of meeting, with the said "pidgin", there were a technological innovation that allowed a populational increase. With an exponential increase, it would likely "take over" other languages, and with a mutation rate, form new branches.

      Delete
    7. → http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurrians (totally core Kurdistan), also related http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Urartu (totally historical Armenia plus nearby Kurdish regions missing in the previous map) and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitanni (the last Hurrian state, with a just-arrived Indo-Aryan elite).

      "the Kyrtioi of Strabo lived in Atropatene"

      I'd rather discard the Kyrtioi unless they are a variant name, think http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corduene and its "Carduchoi" inhabitants, also mentioned by Strabo.

      Anyways ethnic identification in that period is very confusing because there were many tribes who may or not be related and that's very hard to understand. Here in the Basque Country we get all kind of fancy "theories" (total rantings often) based on almost nothing (in any case it's not at all as simple as identifying modern Basques with ancient Vascones or the like: it's clear that there were many ancient Basque tribes but that the modern exonym only comes from one of them, in a rather convoluted way).

      "Hurrians were replaced in Mesopotamia by the Assyrians".

      Not really or only in a very specific area around Assur and Nineveh (Mosul, pretty much at the Kurdish border today). Assyrian traders did scatter but the Assyrian(-ized) farmer population did not expand ever beyond core Assyria.

      "In Sumerian sources, the Guti of the Zagros are proposed as the ancestors of the Kurds"...

      Their geography would at best overlap with the southernmost Kurdish area most likely, more like Lors than Kurds proper. We don't know enough about them in any case and they do not seem yet to belong to the Indoeuropean speaking area (some have claimed relation with Tocharian, most dubious, but would not be Iranian nor Indo-Iranian in any case, nor Anatolian, nor Semitic, nor anything else we can identify).

      Of course the formation of early Kurds as an Indo-Iranian speaking ethnicity was no doubt related to the Iranian expansion, notably that of the Medes, in the Iron Age. That does not mean that Kurds are just descendants of the Medes but that their modern language was no doubt strongly influenced by the expansion of these (and later surely the Persian Empire - Greeks made no clear difference between both Iranian groups). Their ancestry, as that of other modern IE peoples, surely has something of their original IE conquerors but mostly should be aboriginal pre-IE (in this case apparently Hurrian-like).

      Delete
    8. About Kyrtioi, their name is closer to 'Kurd' than Karduchoi, a name used by Xenophon that I have not found in Strabo (he speaks of Gordyene near Armenia), and they are described as nomads, which is a stereotype about Kurds. But obviously, the name alone does not say much about their ethnic and linguistic identity.
      About Hurrians, the wikipedia entry says: "By the thirteenth century BC all of the Hurrian states had been vanquished by other peoples, with the Mitanni kingdom destroyed by Assyria. The heartlands of the Hurrians, the Khabur river valley and south eastern Anatolia, became provinces of the Middle Assyrian Empire (1366 - 1020 BC). It is not clear what happened to these early Hurrian people at the end of the Bronze Age. Some scholars have suggested that Hurrians lived on in the country of Nairi north of Assyria during the early Iron Age, before this too was conquered by Assyria. The Hurrian population of northern Syria in the following centuries seems to have given up their language in favor of the Assyrian dialect of Akkadian, and later, Aramaic." Later, as we know, came the Greeks/Macedonians and the Arabs. So, the Kurds that live there apparently arrived when the region had forgotten the Hurrians since centuries. The first mention of Kurds in Arabic sources (7th century) is about the mountains near Arbil, and the first written text in Kurdish, of the same period, is found in the Sharazur cave near Sulaymaniyah, both places on the Zagros. According to the entry on the history of the Kurds (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_Kurdish_people): "Throughout Kurdish history after the Muslim conquests, there was a tendency for Kurdish tribes to move westwards as vassals of greater Muslim powers—from the Zagros to east Assyria and south-central Armenia, to west Assyria and west Armenia."
      So, it seems that their homeland was in the Zagros, and they moved to the west mainly in the Middle Ages, besides the possible enclave of Gordyene. My theory at present is that their homeland was the PIE homeland, but obviously they were influenced in the course of centuries by other Iranian populations like Medes and Persians.

      Delete
    9. @Daniel: so are you saying that Portuguese and English are not Indoeuropean languages? What can I say? You're arguing against two centuries of Indoeuropean studies and all can bother to add is: "(one), two, three, four, five...", for example.

      I never tried to demonstrate that: it's common knowledge and massively accepted, so you may want to debate with a zillion linguists rather than with me.

      "In any case, you have to take several languages, see sound laws, and reconstruct each step of them".

      That beats my means and intent. I do believe that mass lexical comparison has some merits and I do think it is a useful tool for preliminary research, which can produce negative results as well. Of course, I'll let the hard stuff to linguists, but most linguists do not accept neither Eurasiatic/Nostratic nor Sino-Caucasian (and also from a Paleohistorical viewpoint they make no sense, especially Sino-Caucasian).

      "I also do not see the material conditions for any invasion of India that could change anything, specially their language".

      Many disagree, including myself. Seeing in Late Harappan and later cultures evidence of Indoeuropean conquest. It's doubtful that elephants were already domesticated, much less used in war. Elephants were not so decisive in battle either because they can be turned against their masters by means of inducing panic in the animals, as the Romans did against Hannibal's beasts. Actually even horses are not as powerful, as the Pyrenean almogavars demonstrated once and again when fighting against armored knights in Greece (they'd kill the horses in the charge, forcing the knights to fight on foot, where they were at disadvantage): there's no definitive weapon but there are or were populations more dedicated to fighting who eventually became conquerors, notably Indoeuropeans but also Semites (without any mount), Turco-Mongols, etc. The key is that they lived in less productive areas (steppe, semi-desert) which were virtually impossible to conquer by the polities organized around cities and/or sedentary farming, so when the sedentary societies went into crisis, they took advantage and conquered them.

      "Assuming the contrary, is like saying European are smarter and more violent, by nature."

      I'm not saying that at all. Actually from a Western European view, Indoeuropeans are often perceived as somewhat "Asiatic" for whatever it's worth. In fact the division between Europe and Asia in that area is nearly non-existent (the European isthmus would rather be between Kaliningrad and the Danube Delta but for historical reasons the arbitrary border was said, by Greeks, to be at the Volga and later moved even farther east to the Ural river). Europe, much like India, is a mere subcontinent of Asia, just a bit more complicated in its convoluted geography and also somewhat larger.

      Whatever the case I'm not motivated by Eurocentrism in all this and I would beg everyone to disregard this kind of modern bias on this matter.

      Delete
    10. "About Kyrtioi, their name is closer to 'Kurd' than Karduchoi"...

      I do not see it that way: Kyrtioi only shares two letters (K.R...) with Kurd, while Karduchoi shares three (K.RD...). It might be argued that Y (upsilon) sounds closer to U (oo) but it was already pronounced back then as French U or German Ü and today it's a mere EE. Vowels are usually more subject to fancy dialectal changes anyhow. In the best case it'd place both names in similar standing and highly suspect of being precursors BOTH of the modern name Kurd.

      "Later, as we know, came the Greeks/Macedonians and the Arabs."

      Actually the Medes and Persians came first. It were the Persians who destroyed and replaced the Assyrian Empire until Alexander's famous campaign.

      And then of course the Iranians (Parthians first, later Sassanid Persians) and Romans (later Byzantines, who called themselves Romans but spoke Greek primarily) were fighting in that area often until mutual exhaustion and the Muslim Arab expansive drive altered the situation dramatically.

      So you are missing many many centuries of Iranic influence and domination (also Roman but less important). There was also a Jewish (convert) state in Kurdish lands at some point.

      "So, the Kurds that live there apparently arrived when the region had forgotten the Hurrians since centuries".

      You're here assuming mass repopulation, what is not at all likely. Peoples change languages, we know well from history, and with languages they also change identity. Many North Africans for example consider themselves "Arabs" but they are as much Arab as I could be (or just slightly more at best), modern Turks have very thin genetic ancestry from steppe Turkics and are instead descendants of the peoples who lived in Anatolia in antiquity, speaking various IE languages (earlier other languages like Hattic) but eventually Greek mostly. Southern Han Chinese are much much closer genetically to non-Han minorities from that area than to Northern Han. The Irish now speak English almost exclusively. Etcetera. People change languages (and ethnic affiliation) by elite domination: it's a fact of life.

      On the other hand farmers are not so easily displaced nor can conqueror elites muster enough settlers to colonize every corner of their empires. Aristocratic conquerors need serfs and slaves to work for them, allies and vassals to give them tribute of varied kinds; they eventually assimilate these subjugated peoples, who in turn are often keen to accept that assimilation because it confers many advantages. So at least in Metal Ages' contexts mass population replacement was the exception, not the rule.

      "My theory at present is that their homeland [the Zagros] was the PIE homeland"...

      That's inconsistent with all the languages known historically to have been spoken in nearby areas: Sumerian, Elamite, Hurrian, none of which is IE or even shows any marked signs of IE influence (or vice versa). Sumerian ethnogenesis is rooted to the North Zagros anyhow in what was probably a mass settlement of previously semi-desert marshes. Personally I do not discard at all a Sumerian + Hurro-Urartean + NE Caucasian linguistic family.

      It's also inconsistent with known historical and paleohistorical processes.

      Delete
    11. Maju,

      I showed to you that your comparison list was not enough to prove not even a relationship between Portuguese and English. That you were actually going against 2 centuries of research by doing that list, exactly as you say.

      Now, that is the reasoning against comparing straightforwardly Chinese and Basque. You are ignoring the work of people that studied dozens of languages, just like people did with Indo European, to reconstruct old vocabulary, so that a reliable means of comparison could be established.

      Note, I am not even citing mass lexical comparison, because that is not needed to be done at sino caucasian level, nowadays. That method is like light in a fog road at night, but eventually, you won't needed, because you will find the way to the city, even if turns to wrong cities might be takesn. But the comparison method is the judge.

      Dolphins, apes and whales are not domesticated. They are all tamed that is, they are all wild. The difference it is that they are extremely intelligent in comparison to wolves, cat, equids or bovids, or at least, they are extremely less aggressive or fearful of being attacted.

      Regarding the horse vs. elephants issue, remember, you are comparing a late situation vs. an early situation in the history of evolution of domesticated horse. The horse was initially fast, but had low strength and resistance. By the time of the Mongols, they were already war machines, being later a taken as a unit for power (HP), but by the time Alexander, they were still in a intermediate to final transition.
      By mid second millenium BC, it could be mounted by a heavy warrior, it had to be used to pull a chariot, a light one. Many or required to pull a heavy. But note that models of light chariots dating to late 3rd millenium (~2200BC) were found among the southernmost extensions of Harappans, in Marathi.

      But as you say, the harder to conquer, the harder is to impose something. Mongols never imposed their language to anyone. Not even when some of them became muslims and invaded india. They changed much of the vocabulary of Hindi, but not beyong what happended to Portugese during the Muslim conquest. Also, the Mongols in China became Chinese, Han indeed, even though the first rulers had barbarian faces (the ones that invaded China were blue eyed and blonde, it seems). Basque were very resistant to domination and used the terrain to their strategy, sure.

      But wide language change was achieved before the capitalist stage by mass movement of people proportional to their population. India was extremely populous at all states, just like China.

      Delete
    12. Maju, by European I mean, people that has the appearance of a "typical" European. It could be on the Americias too, the white elite and speaking and IE language. Even if non delcared, their perceived superiority over the other people, even if not declared, but learned.
      So, the European, or the White, all dominating people of color, red, black or yellow. Or white, but that speaks too differently, like the Basque or in that invasion theory, India.
      I notice that many whites have a resistance to acknowledge the evolution of modern man in Africa. There's always an excuse to prove otherwise or show a tremendous difference as to show Africans as nearly non human. This is why I usually cannot stomach genetic discussion forums.

      Delete
    13. Maju, by European I mean, people that has the appearance of a "typical" European. It could be on the Americias too, the white elite and speaking and IE language. Even if non delcared, their perceived superiority over the other people, even if not declared, but learned.
      So, the European, or the White, all dominating people of color, red, black or yellow. Or white, but that speaks too differently, like the Basque or in that invasion theory, India.
      I notice that many whites have a resistance to acknowledge the evolution of modern man in Africa. There's always an excuse to prove otherwise or show a tremendous difference as to show Africans as nearly non human. This is why I usually cannot stomach genetic discussion forums.

      Delete
    14. What's a "typical" European. Erdogan or Saddam Hussein looks more "typical European" to me than Putin, for example. Northern Europeans often sport partial epicanthic fold, including my aristocratic Italian grandfather who was like Chingis Khan in blue-eyed blond.

      Check this: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bx7bO1-VAF2UdVRMaXZaekYxNlE/view?usp=sharing

      A friend from Tami Nadu sent that picture to me. The guy of the right looks "a typical European" but they are both 100% Tamil cousins, just that the "blond" one is albino. So what the heck is "typical European" in looks, really. Skin color is very shallow and misleading.

      I know that there is all that racist **** all around but things are anything but nearly as simple. Even if genetically Europeans are somewhat homogeneous, there's still clines and the clinal structure largely include at the very least West Asia, Central Asia and North Africa, and even it does stretch into India (ANI and all that).

      I have absolutely no problem with the African origins or even with the more than likely later African minor admixture that seems to pervade Europe, especially to the South (most of which seems related to Neolithic settlement, although some may be even older). So, yeah, maybe other people enjoys that Eurocentric racist view of things that you rightly reject but I do not. The only "Eurocentrism" that I'll admit to is that, being European myself, I have somewhat more interest on the issues of Europe, but that's absolutely normal.

      However I try not put my ideology (which is very radically progressive for the record) before the scientific facts. Europe quite obviously has played a non-negligible role in human history and paleohistory and that can't be rejected just because of ideology. It'd be like denying the existence of colonialism just because we are anti-colonialists, like denying the existance of slavery, human sacrifice, cannibalism, sexism and many other forms of brutal exploitation just because we don't like them. One thing is fighting against them and another very different is denying their existence just because we dislike them.

      Delete
    15. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    16. Maju, we know the weight of appearances. I am pretty sure we are close in ideology, but I am not talking about you and me, but society, including scientists, they live in, specially those who have to deal with issues about human history. There's also the issue of how experts are influenced in that and how the facts appear to us.

      I can thing of 3 situations here. There are people who turn the head because things are ugly. There are people who don't turn out the head away from ugly things. There are people who see ugly things.

      I guess in this situation we are dealing with the latter 2 and the source of this is not us, but people who feed us with data or theories. So, it is known that the carrying capacity of the Sarasawati, Indus and Ganges could host a really large population. The Saraswati was slowly drying, but people were living there in higher and higher numbers, due advances in irrigation. This valuable source meant that people were fighting for less and then people were leaving. As people left, they carried themselves their culture, which of course, changes. So, these people were carrying their culture to the steppes.

      The ISC( Indus Saraswati Civilization) was the most advanced of its time and it traded intensely with the peoples from the steppes, Mesopotamia. So there was also a bidirectional influence in this way. So, being the most advanced and organized culture of its time, it is unlikely that they would not know the horse and any kind of chariot. In fact, even a light 2 people chariot model dating from 2200bc in the southernmost site of ISC was found, as I mentioned.

      So, don't you think there's a causality problem here? People from the steppes were adopting the language and culture from ISC and perhaps bringing back some elements. Some people of the ISC went out of India to try and gain power. At least one ISC site, in Bactria is known, located near a lapis lazuli mine. So, why not going further out and conquering lands? This is known from Indian tradition. The Haihayas were a beligerant people, deep in the traditional history. They were expelled or defeated, but were known to had founded reigns outside India. These could be among BMAC, Afanasevo and so on.

      Of course, none of these people of the steppe spoke a unique language or have a unique phenotype, like the hordes of Mongolians, Turks, Huns. The Mongolians (Mughals) did not manage to change the language deeply the languages of India to Arabic or Turkish, wherever they invaded India, despite massive conversions and massive proselytism. But they couldn't even dismantle the cast system, they cultivated the art of calligraphy in many of these places. Similarly, kurgans is cultural element that was never unique to a single people, except to those that had strong affinities with the steppes. This is true from bulgarians, to altai and scythians.

      Delete
    17. Maju, you have an Italian grandfather, even aristocratic! may I ask you what is his surname and city or region of origin? It's true that also in Italy we have some people with Mongolian features, probably descended from 'barbarians' with Turkic elements (many Germans have Mongolian features) or from slaves coming from Central Asia. Since he was an aristocratic, he should be of German origin.

      About Hurrians, most scholars think that they too were a dominating elite arrived in the late 3rd mill. BC (when we have the first attestations), probably on a Semitic substratum, and so did not leave significant traces of their presence when the Assyrians displaced them. If their language is really related to NE Caucasian languages we can propose that they descended from the Caucasus in the Bronze Age. The Mittani 'Indo-Aryan' elite for me is rather proto-Iranian, for instance the names in Arta- are closer to Persian names than Indian, and their knowledge of horses was typical of Western Iran populations (Mannaeans, Medes).
      You're right in mentioning the Persian domination in Syria, but what has to do with Hurrians and Kurds? By the way, I have discovered that Kurds are mentioned also in Sassanid period, as Iranic nomads: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madig

      You wrote:
      "My theory at present is that their homeland [the Zagros] was the PIE homeland"...
      That's inconsistent with all the languages known historically to have been spoken in nearby areas: Sumerian, Elamite, Hurrian, none of which is IE or even shows any marked signs of IE influence (or vice versa). Sumerian ethnogenesis is rooted to the North Zagros anyhow in what was probably a mass settlement of previously semi-desert marshes."
      It is not clear where was the origin of Sumerians. It seems that they identified their original homeland and holy land in Dilmun on the Persian Gulf. Elamite was different from Sumerian and it was spoken in present Fars, in a part of Zagros which is different from the Zarzian region, later colonized by Persians. For both Sumerian and Elamite, scholars have found terms or roots akin to IE.
      Hurrian, as we have seen, was on the plains of northern Mesopotamia and it could be of Caucasian origin as already remarked. We can add the Kassite language, probably from some part of the Zagros, but without certain origin, and with some IE words and deities like Suryash. So, we practically have no sources about the language spoken in northern and central Zagros, although the Lulubi word cited in my post can be IE, and it would be interesting to know more about Gutian and its alleged similarity with Tocharian. We also don't know about the languages spoken on the Iranian plateau north and east of Elam. But the great cultural net of Iran, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Baluchistan shown by archaeology and its continuity suggests that Iranians were developing there. We must also consider the linguistic paleontology, which brought Pictet to place the IE homeland in Bactria, and Gamkrelidze in Armenian highlands.

      "It's also inconsistent with known historical and paleohistorical processes."

      Why?

      Delete
    18. @Daniel: I don't think there was any major replacement with Indo-Aryans in South Asia, except maybe in the arid frontier of the NW (Pashtuns and such).

      For whatever there was, I also think that the Indo-Iranian branch was probably very much "Asian" as in "Central Asian" (not sure if that helps the problems some have re. ideological consequences) because not a drop of European R1a subclades is seen in Southern Asia, so this pretty much discards an Europe to South Asia migration. What we actually see most likely is Indoeuropeanized (or true IE if you wish) peoples from Central Asia doing the job, much as what we see in Europe seems to be Indoeuropeanized peoples from here and there doing the job. The "Indoeuropeans" in a "racial" sense are non-existent. But they do exist in an ethno-linguistic sense: because each kid that learns IE languages instead of his granparents' languages becomes IE (unless he/she fights actively against that assimilation and even then).

      Re "ugliness" it's not a category with scientific value and should not be considered at all (although I understand that it bothers some). For my particular situation the main local IE expansion was that of the Roman Empire and its successor states. It's 100% clear that the Roman Empire expanded, that they invaded, that they cut hands, enslaved lots of people and, later, when faced with decline, established a successor feudalism that was not less horrible at all. So what should I do: deny the Roman Empire's existence? Claim that it expanded from the Basque Country? Be a crybaby about the possible implications of acknowledging the existence of the Roman Empire and hence go into denial? No. Should I make an apology of their rival Carthaginian empire, which was basically the same thing just that they spoke Semitic instead of IE? No or mostly not. I have to accept the facts of history and, if anything, research that other part of history which is almost unknown: that of resistance to Romanization, slavery and Feudalization, which is pretty epic but also tragic. I admire Spartakus, but Spartakus lost. I admire the historical resistance of Basques to all that but Basques lost and are still losing. Those are the very tragic facts. Every tragedy is an epic with a bad ending.

      "People from the steppes were adopting the language and culture from ISC and perhaps bringing back some elements. Some people of the ISC went out of India to try and gain power."

      No and no. Urban civilizations did not in those times had the means to expand to the semi-deserts in any comprehensive way. That was their doom. Sumerians and Egyptians did not expande to the deserts, except for some outposts in their glory days, and the same can be concluded from IVC and others. In their times of weaknesses they were raided and sometimes conquered by nearby nomads. Today in all that area the languages of the nomads (Semitic, IE and Turkic) are the ones spoken with very few exceptions which are pushed into the mountains (Caucasus) or other marginal situations (Coptic, Nubian). Surely the same happened in South Asia but we lack the written record.

      Delete
    19. @Giaccomo: email me and I'll tell you about my grandpa. I don't want to discuss my personal details in public. My email is in my blogger profile (delete the anti-spam protection "DELETETHIS").

      "Since he was an aristocratic, he should be of German origin".

      Not that I know (all traceable lines are 100% Italian, North and Central). Was lower aristocracy anyhow (just "knights" until late in the family history). Not all aristocracy was of Germanic origin, Roman patricians and knights were assimilated by the conquerors and often enough slaves made it to become noblemen (they were more trustworthy, lacking family interests of their own, and monarchs like Charlemagne promoted them). Even in a caste system there is some social mobility.

      "About Hurrians, most scholars think that they too were a dominating elite arrived in the late 3rd mill. BC"...

      Nobody knows for sure because there's no clear evidence of what was before them in that area in terms ethno-linguistic. The only clear thing is that they were not IE nor Semitic.

      "The Mittani 'Indo-Aryan' elite for me is rather proto-Iranian"...

      Not what I've read really. Wikipedia: Mitanni:

      The ethnicity of the people of Mitanni is difficult to ascertain. A treatise on the training of chariot horses by Kikkuli contains a number of Indo-Aryan glosses.[9] Kammenhuber (1968) suggested that this vocabulary was derived from the still undivided Indo-Iranian language,[9][10] but Mayrhofer (1974) has shown that specifically Indo-Aryan features are present.[11]

      The names of the Mitanni aristocracy frequently are of Indo-Aryan origin, but it is specifically their deities which show Indo-Aryan roots (Mitra, Varuna, Indra, Nasatya), though some think that they are more immediately related to the Kassites
      ...

      Kassite language has been suggested to be related to Hurro-Urartean, for the record.

      "You're right in mentioning the Persian domination in Syria, but what has to do with Hurrians and Kurds?"

      Not "in Syria" but in all the region, including Kurdistan (→ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Achaemenid_Empire). Also Medes before them (it's often argued that Kurdish is rather Median than Persian).

      "It is not clear where was the origin of Sumerians. It seems that they identified their original homeland and holy land in Dilmun on the Persian Gulf".

      That is the creation myth of Enki. Archaeology supports a migration from the North Zagros Neolithic area via Samarra to the Sumerian lowlands. It's still possible that there was some sort of localized invasion from Bahrain (Dilmun) but not too likely and certainly not one that altered in substance the overall Sumerian culture.

      "For both Sumerian and Elamite, scholars have found terms or roots akin to IE".

      I haven't seen them in Sumerian certainly (have not studied Elamite). Anyhow if there was some sort of connection (not impossible) it was not a close one and Sumerian and Elamite are clearly not Indoeuropean in any case. Basque could also have important connections with IE but it is still very clearly a pre-IE language and hence unrelated to the IE expansion as such.

      "Why?"

      Because there is no cultural expansion from the Zagros to the West and East that we can document in any way. Even if we are extremely sloppy and take the overall Neolithic expansion as such (not realistic but let's be sloppy for the sake of it), the result is not Indoeuropean languages but a mosaic of non-IE languages such as Sumerian, Semitic, Egyptian, Hurrian, Elamite, Hattic, Tyrsenian, Ibero-Basque, Dravidian, Eteo-Cretan, Eteo-Cypriot, and the various Caucasian families. Only the Anatolian languages can be early on detected in the area of "mainline Neolithic" spread and they can be easily tracked to an steppe origin archaeologically (Maikop → Kura-Araxes).

      Delete
    20. @Maju, I used your category of "dislike" as "ugly" (" just because we don't like them. One thing is fighting against them and another very different is denying their existence just because we dislike them).

      You are assuming that ISC was a monolithic entity, and that was not necessarily the case. The Sumerians, the Ancient Greeks, Phoenicians and the Mayas weren't. These were city states that where sometimes a city had larger dominion or were organized in leagues. But the difference that I stated it is that ISC population was enormous and there was nothing stopping some them of expanding, independently of any state support to outside India That some parties could themselves become people of the steppe and forming hoards or just becoming long range traders. Indeed, the ISC did have at least a city which worked as an output post, in Shortughai, near a Lapis Lazuli mine in the margin of the Oxus, just like the trade outposts of Phoenicians and Greeks. Maybe the whole BMAC was an outlier of the the ISC culture and cultural relations with it, since it has grown the most when ISC was at its heyday and fell at the same time.

      The population of ISC was 5 million. Bigger than anything at the time. There's no sign of destructions of ISC cities, no destruction layer. Mostly what happened was a migration to south (ISC lasted until 1400bc, with further change of culture intrusive to the Deccans) and to the Ganges, while the settlements decreased in size. Whoever were these people from steppes, they were invisible.

      And, except for the seal, there was not sudden change of culture (and also of the abandon of these large forts) that would also not be synchronized with these internal movements.

      Delete
    21. @Maju

      The mosaic is there, or fused its grammar into other languages. For example, many Indo Aryan languages of East India have classifiers, just like Chinese and Japanese. Some of them are tonal.

      Delete
    22. @Maju, I am answering the question of the tapestry of languages.

      Delete
    23. @Giacomo,Daniel,Maju
      Nice fruitful conversation! BTW on ELEPHANTS it is interesting that Rigveda has frequent mention of Elephants mostly as Wild ones which is paradoxical as per Witzels hypothesis which hold that Rigveda was composed mainly in Afghanistan, the Afghan area was and is poor in Elephants though as we know there are tons of other evidences to prove his theory as a gigantic DUD! -
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hastin
      @Maju
      ''"The Mittani 'Indo-Aryan' elite for me is rather proto-Iranian"...
      Not what I've read really. Wikipedia: Mitanni:''
      About Mitannians as Pre-Zoroastrian Iranians Giacomo found evidence for their linguistic features to be typical of Iranian than Indo-Aryan!

      Delete
    24. "The Sumerians, the Ancient Greeks, Phoenicians and the Mayas weren't [a monolithic entity]"

      They were quite homogeneous nations (partial exception maybe with Mayas). The fact that they were divided into city-states (often allied to each other) does not change this ethnic homogeneity, which always holds some variance, of course, but is also neatly oppossed to nearby non-nationals ("barbarians" in Greek terms). National (ethnic) identity does not originate in the state but in the language especially, as well as other cultural traits which in those times were often religious (ethnic pantheons and mythologies). Nations (ethnicities) pre-date states in many cases and certainly that was the case in antiquity.

      "Maybe the whole BMAC was an outlier of the the ISC culture"...

      Well, BMAC is pretty much discarded as the origin of Indo-Aryans by now anyhow.

      By the way, what does ISC stand for? I'm assuming from context you mean IVC (aka "Harappan") but what does the S stand for: Sarasvati?

      "There's no sign of destructions of ISC cities"...

      There are plenty of signs of widespread violence in the late stage of IVC (aka Cemetery H), associated to cultural change (cremation, new pottery styles). Most likely the Late Harappan was already under brutal IE domination. Final Late Harappan overlaps in time and space with other putative early Indo-Aryan cultures as Painted Grey Pottery, etc.

      You tell me but it seems apparent that climatic pressures and military conquest (and social disruption) by Indo-Aryans converged to make the late IVC collapse, even if this collapse was somewhat gradual.

      Delete
    25. @Maju, thank you for the suggestion about email.
      About IE words in Sumerian, I suggest to read this: https://www.academia.edu/1869616/The_Case_for_Euphratic

      As to Mitanni/Mittani, I know the accepted remarks of Mayrhofer, and I liked a lot the idea of Indo-Aryans ruling Anatolia, but recently I changed my view. One of the main arguments is that 'one' in Mitanni is aika-, close to Skt. eka- rather than Avestan aeuua, Old Persian aiva. But in Kurdish and Modern Persian 'one' is yek. And the fact that there is no aspiration of the sibilant is simply the Indo-Iranian situation, before the phonetical change. Besides Arta-, identical to Old Persian and Median (in Vedic is Rta), we have also -masda, closer to Avestan mazda rather than Vedic medha. Or pinkara- and parita- for the horse colours have the Western (Iranian) r instead of the Eastern (Indian) l of pingala and palita. Mitra was also an Iranian god, even accepted by Zoroastrians, while his companion Asura Varuna lost his name to be called only Ahura. In the Mitanni treaty, Varuna is called Uruwana, a strange form that reminds Greek Uranos. Indra and Nasatyas were presented in Zoroastrian texts as demons, which means that they were worshipped by pre-Zoroastrian Iranians, the Daevayasna people: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daeva.
      You wrote:
      "Because there is no cultural expansion from the Zagros to the West and East that we can document in any way."
      To the west I still don't know, but to the East there is documentation from archaeology as I have shown in the post! I suggest particularly to read the articles of Jarrige. And in the regions of what I call the Iranian Neolithic and Bronze Age we do not have remnants of non-IE languages, only the Turks have changed the situation. If they spoke non-IE languages, we should have not only language pockets, but also a lot of non-IE loanwords that we do not have.

      Delete
    26. @Maju, why are you discarding BMAC as IE and the conquest as violent? Well, the mainstream is not in accord to this. Certainly, the view discarded the conquest as violent decades ago. The BMAC part is more recent and tends to viewed as the language of those who got into India. This is the view of Witzel and what he writes is taken like god's word, by the mainstream. You can find the arguments for these much more easily than otherwise.

      Yes, ISC stands for Indus Saraswati Civilization. But, it should be Sindhu Saraswati Civilization, sorry. It's just that I didn't know this name until 10 days ago, when I found this blog. Giacomo has a paper published here: http://www.exoticindiaart.com/book/details/sindhu-sarasvati-civilization-new-perspective-NAH346/ , but he's paper is freely available elsewhere, it's easy to find.

      The thing about cremation is not a clear point. In the vedas, there are 4 types of cremation, including sky burials. Giacomo should know better.

      Hinduism is a cultural unit, but it is also very varied to the point that I don't know how to say what it is. Some Hindus say that such and such sects are not Hinduism, other say it's all Ok. For example, Sai Baba of Shirdi, which has a large following, is worship by many as an Avatar, an Incarnation of Vishnu. His teachings contained elements of Islam and Sufism. He usually slept in a mosque or under a palm tree and lived by alms.

      So, hinduism has stages, where the view of a guru may predominate at times and at some regions. At times, it can lead to radical re evaluations of concepts, which spreads rapidly. Local deities and people can be adopted to the pantheon.

      Delete
    27. @Maju
      ''There are plenty of signs of widespread violence in the late stage of IVC (aka Cemetery H), associated to cultural change (cremation, new pottery styles). Most likely the Late Harappan was already under brutal IE domination. Final Late Harappan overlaps in time and space with other putative early Indo-Aryan cultures as Painted Grey Pottery, etc.

      You tell me but it seems apparent that climatic pressures and military conquest (and social disruption) by Indo-Aryans converged to make the late IVC collapse, even if this collapse was somewhat gradual.''
      Once again poor and dull interpretation and the climatic change which is the 4.2 kyo event (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/4.2_kiloyear_event) actually had destructive effect on SSC (http://geology.gsapubs.org/content/early/2014/02/24/G35236.1.abstract) the aridity which it created Shrank Rain Fed Ghaggar-Hakra aka Sarasvati , detroyed cultivation and forced the population to move East-South to the Areas like Of Ganga and others it for sure created social unrest and violence which is documented beautifully in ancient scriptures as Giacomo has shown in the Research i linked you and you neglected!
      BTW it did brought some Iranic people (again recalled in Ancient Arya scriptures) which can be drawn from studying Cemetery-H but it had no kind of Major cultural impact! again described in the Research!!
      About PGW it is far older than you think and integral part of Sindhu civilzation as recently proven-
      ''Recently, University of Cambridge and Banaras Hindu University excavated at Alamgirpur near Delhi where sample OxA-21882 showed a calibrated radiocarbon dating from 2136 BC to 1948 BC for PGW levels, overlapping Mature Harappan phase at the site, suggesting PGW early phases are much older than previously thought.[18] Confirmation of this early PGW came when a team of the Archaeological Survey of India led by B.R. Mani and Vinay Kumar Gupta collected charcoal samples from Gosna, a site 6 km east of Mathura across the Yamuna river where two radiocarbon dates from PGW deposit came out to be 2160 BC and 2170 BC.[19]''
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Painted_Grey_Ware_culture
      So Sorry but you are wrong again!

      Delete
    28. @ Maju, don't be too angry with Nirjhar, I have admonished him ;) but please consider his data.
      @Daniel wrote: "The thing about cremation is not a clear point. In the vedas, there are 4 types of cremation, including sky burials. Giacomo should know better."
      Yes, in Atharva Veda we find mention of cremation, inhumation, 'casting' and exposing bodies. In Shatapatha Brahmana we have a detailed description of a secondary burial in a rectangular tomb inclined towards the north like Harappan cemeteries.


      Delete
  17. @Maju
    ''...but that as such does not back Starostin's hypotheses, sorry.''
    Well i have seen many compelling cases and some non-compelling wishful ones also but it is the compelling ones which matter! also as Giacomo pointed ''there are some common roots between Elamite and PIE, as is said here at p.779: http://books.google.it/books?id=M2aqp2n2mKkC&dq=elamite+indoeuropean&hl=it&source=gbs_navlinks_s

    We can also add tun/dun 'to give', ba-at/pa-at 'foot', r(i)sha 'big', Skt. rsh-va 'high, great'. See this: http://starling.rinet.ru/Texts/elam.pdf''
    ''It was you who mentioned Sino-Caucasian...''
    What? When did i mention that???:)
    ''No. Unless you make every single ethno-linguistic group wander around in endless circles...''
    I am just pointing out that since those languages don't show any contribution to the Indo-European languages it was obviously the Indo-Europeans who migrated in their zone and those people don't have to be closer to Zarzian or the Zagros horizon and it can also be a result of distant commercial contacts!
    ''Because of Kurds?....''
    No!! why will be because of Kurds??:) Giacomo has clarified the situation of Kurds as you see or has already replied, Some reasons of Indo-Europeans to be Neolithic in SC Asia is as follows-
    a).Archaeological and Cultural ties as Giacomo has described springing from Zarzian-Zagros archaeological horizon reaching Mehrgarh of SC Asia to CWC,Yamnaya and Sredny-stogII of European Horizon.
    b) Anthropological connection similar of the above observed from like craniometry, Odontologic data provided by various researches as cited here and the previous post on Indo-Iranians showing clear ancestral connections between the Population Around Zagros and Neolithic SC Asian population with of course the Ancient European Ones...
    c)Archaeotextual data from SC Asia of which we have a great courtesy since other I-E Populations completely lack them, for example as a bit discussed above Shatapatha Barhamana has records of various types of burial customs which we find strikingly similar to that of various newly discovered burials from the Archaeological sites of Sindhu civilization and there is much much more if you read the Thesis of Giacomo titled ''The Chronology of Puranic Kings and Rigvedic Rishis in Comparison with the Phases of the Sindhu–Sarasvati Civilization'' there are some other important ones from other academic scholars as you will find here-
    http://www.dkprintworld.com/product-detail.php?pid=1280857371
    and in this previous post-
    http://new-indology.blogspot.in/2014/07/a-new-book-on-debate-about-identity-of.html
    and also this very interesting post where we solve a mystery by also the help of Archaeotextual evidences!-
    http://new-indology.blogspot.in/2014/03/which-animal-was-unicorn-of-indus-seals.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was Daniel who mentioned Sino-Caucasian, not you. My bad.

      Anyhow, I'm not going to insist on the matter of Eurasiatic and Sino-Caucasian being in essence not accepted by the academic community. Only a few linguists follow that thread today, while most are terribly skeptic:
      → http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eurasiatic_languages
      → http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Den%C3%A9%E2%80%93Caucasian_languages

      Whatever you want to believe, these conjectures are no grounds for any debate because they are mere hotly questioned hypotheses and therefore have no evidence value whatsoever.

      Delete
    2. Maju,
      What i have given to you holds at least 10 times more evidence value than your traditional taken for granted hypothesis! BTW you should have at least read the Research paper of Giacomo as it is thrilling and revolutionary in the field of Indological Studies!.....

      Delete
  18. @Maju
    Why every time you come the Reply Button freezes?;)
    ''Not sure. Have not checked my feed in a month or so and anyhow I'm bored of Razib's recipe for a blog: 80% far right politics, 20% anthropology (at most). It does not get any better with time, rather the opposite, so I'm every other day considering to unsubscribe from his feeds.

    Can you excerpt or provide a link, so I can judge?''
    Well your judgement on my Fellow Bengali Razib is spot on!
    He tweeted from ASHG conference it is his twitter account but didn't reveal much i have given the link and his tweets a bit above from here as you will find!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Namaste Giacomo,do you any more sources on linking Yamnaya culture with Turkmenistan?If I'm not mistaken,the Jeitun culture also played an important role in the formation of BMAC as well,right?

    ReplyDelete
  20. Namaste Akshai! The Jeitun culture is a sort of ancestor of the BMAC, very far in time, because it belongs to the Neolithic period, starting around 6500 BC and ending around 4500 BC, while the BMAC is of the middle and late Bronze Age (2500-1700 BC). In the middle, there are the subsequent Namazga phases of Chalcolithic and early Bronze Age. About the links of Yamnaya and Turkmenistan, I have cited my sources in the post, although I want to write a post also on the study of Mariya Ivanova on the links of Maykop with Iran and Central Asia, that you can find on Academia.edu, in German, but there is also her book in English: http://books.google.it/books?id=wNsgAwAAQBAJ&vq=yamna&dq=Telmankend&hl=it&source=gbs_navlinks_s

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the book Giacomo it looks really interesting!

      Delete
  21. (Seems like reply button hates me !!)

    Yes,I know that that Jeitun is a neolithic culture and there were different cultures inbetween BMAC and Jeitun :) So Jeitun does have links in the origins of BMAC,right?

    I obviously cant read German or French by Bernard Sergent(your source)! I did a search on that book about Jeitun,it gave me no results :(

    I hope you will write more on Jeitun-Yamnaya association soon!
    This is a critical factor related to the Kurgan origins....

    ReplyDelete
  22. @Guys
    There is an Interesting new paper on European History-
    http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S004724841400253X
    See the full article here-
    http://www.researchgate.net/publication/268333605_Human_paleogenetics_of_Europe__The_known_knowns_and_the_known_unknowns
    As David quotes-
    http://eurogenes.blogspot.in/2014/11/new-review-paper-human-paleogenetics-of.html
    ''Firstly, the authors leave open the possibility that Indo-European languages were introduced into Europe by early Neolithic farmers from Anatolia.''
    @Giacomo
    i think the Article will be very useful for you!!
    BTW as David newsed in his post the Yamnaya aDNA paper will be published in Two Weeks so i suggest to at least wait for that before Creating another research!
    From the Paper-
    ''The Indo-European language dispersal The origin and timing of the spread of the Indo-European lan- guage family has been heavily debated in archaeology and lin- guistics. Archaeological and linguistic models have proposed either an expansion of Proto-Indo-European from Anatolia associated with the spread of farming (Renfrew, 1987, 1999), a Near Eastern model with origin south of the Caucasus slightly later and largely decoupled from the spread of farming (Gamkrelidze and Ivanov, 1984), and an origin in the Pontic-Caspian steppes northwest of the Black Sea and dispersal via Kurgan communities (Gimbutas, 1991; Anthony, 2007). While some scholars consider it a ‘cardinal sin’ to conflate linguistic with archaeological and genetic data (see Lawler, 2008; Soares et al., 2010 paraphrasing Phil Kohl), we rather agree with Balanovsky et al. (2013) in that we can learn more about past populations when we look at linguistic and genetic data in parallel and attempt integrative analyses, than keeping the fields separated. The quantity and quality of data are decisive factors for such questions with wide implications as the search for the origins and the spread of the Indo-European language. A recent example of parallel evolution of (non-Indo-European) languages and genes in the Caucasus (Balanovsky et al., 2011) seems to have met these prerequisites by showing a strong correlation between the two factors language and genes. We believe that the field of human genetics and genomics (including workonancient human DNA) has made major advances in the last five years, now providing a solid genetic framework against which archaeological and linguistic models can be tested. This includes progress in datingof divergence times of population and/or particular lineages of interest (Soares et al., 2010; Scally and Durbin, 2012; Fu et al., 2013). Conse- quently, the ‘props of the edifice are not as shaky’ anymore as they were a decade ago (Sims-Williams, 1998, 2012), which at least holds true for the genetic data. We feel that data gleaned from the most recent aDNA studies now allow a cautious reappraisal (perhaps not a new synthesis) of the issues raised above. We would therefore like to address the potential implications of some of the migration events AeD identified in Brandt et al. (2013) for the origin and spread of the Indo-European language family.''
    I think Maykop culture and its relation with Zarzian-Zagros cultures is going to be very vital!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't have time for this but that study has some odd blanks in the data and makes assumption on the archaeological side that make me look at it as a poor attempt of synthesis and not at all the best one possible.

      Critically and I want to underline this very strongly, the European Neolithic did NOT arrive from Anatolia directly into the Central Balcans but coalesced for many centuries first in Thessaly in a time when Neolithic had not yet arrived to Western Anatolia. The genetic trail suggests a coastal route via Cyprus and a major admixture event with the European aborigines in the Southern Balcans before the main pulse of Neolithic expansion into Europe took place.

      See here: http://forwhattheywereweare.blogspot.com/2014/06/ppnb-ancient-mtdna-and-its-legacy.html

      This is similar to what we see in South Asia, where Neolithic is not a mere West Asian colonization flow but the product of a more localized transition in Iran and Pakistan, later expanding to the rest of the region.

      See here: http://forwhattheywereweare.blogspot.com/2014/05/south-asian-first-neolithic-and-its.html

      Delete
    2. @Maju, this theory of the origin of European Early Neolithic from the Levant through Cyprus is very interesting and can explain why in Anatolia we have non-Semitic languages while in Europe we find Semitic or Afro-asiatic words related to agriculture, stockbreeding and sedentary life. Examples: Alpine Italian word 'baita' 'hut', Arabic 'bayt' 'house', Latin 'taurus', Arabic thawr 'bull', Old English gat 'goat', Gothic gaits, Aramaic 'gdh' 'goat' Arabic 'gadyi' 'kid (young goat)', English sparrow, Norse spörr, Aramaic ṣpr 'sparrow', Latin 'marra' 'hoe', Aramaic marrā 'hoe', Old English ploh 'plow', Arabic falaha 'to plow', Aramaic plḥ 'till, cultivate'.

      Delete
    3. Doesn't this indicate close affinities with IE and Semitic?Contacts with Semitic is only possible if IE's had their homeland somewhere near Semitic regions.

      Delete
    4. I insist that the only thing clear about the genesis of the mainline European Neolithic is its genesis in Thessaly, involving almost surely both West Asian (with an African touch) and local aboriginal elements, before West Anatolia was yet into farming. It must have some sort of West Asian roots or influences but as it coalesced before pottery this is very hard to determine on mere archaeological grounds.

      I haven't explored the linguistic possibilities in full but I do find parallels between Basque ahari (ram) and aker (billy goat) and Latin aries, which seems to have some cognates within IE but essentially in the Mediterranean only.

      Notice that some influences may be of later times via Phoenicians or Arabs. Others have argued for a more or less direct PIE-Proto-Semitic connection. Can't say for sure but unless these connections can be systematized I suspect wanderworts rather than direct phylogenetic connections, much as telephone or Internet are international words today, among others.

      Delete
    5. @Yajna: "Doesn't this indicate close affinities with IE and Semitic?Contacts with Semitic is only possible if IE's had their homeland somewhere near Semitic regions."
      I have cited words not present in Indo-Iranian, only in European languages. So, I think they are not of IE origin, they are often considered of obscure origin, but they find a clear etymology in Semitic. My hypothesis is that Proto-Semitic speakers arrived into SE Europe and spread their language, probably mixing with local languages, but it seems that hunter-gatherers have few chances to compete 'demographically' and linguistically with farmers. The paternal Hg G2a regularly found in Early Neolithic sites appears to be of Near Eastern origin: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haplogroup_G-M201#Origins

      @Maju, thank you for mentioning Basque ahari and aker, it has a wonderful correspondence in Berber akarr (Tawllemmet) or ikarri (Rif, Iznassen) 'ram'. This Berber-Basque connection is very interesting, and it can support a migration from Africa to Iberia of Bell Beaker people originally coming from the Near East, the homeland of Afro-Asiatic languages:
      http://bellbeakerblogger.blogspot.it/2014/10/african-origin-of-bell-beaker-lithics_30.html

      Latin 'aries' can be related to Armenian aru 'male animal', Tocharian yrīye 'male sheep'. Others propose a root 'jumping': http://etymonline.com/index.php?allowed_in_frame=0&search=aries&searchmode=none

      Delete
    6. Giacomo, when you refer to Berber, you are talking about a living language. I am not sure anyone knows what language people were talking there in the neolithic. Suppose it was something related to proto afro asiatic. The problem it is that there is no consensus on its reconstruction.

      Don't you think it is more likely it is more related to the people of Islam religion that occupied of Iberia? I think it is not reasonable that not everyone one was Arabic speaker or even Arab. I bet there was a large number of Jews and Berbers there.

      Delete
    7. I am not an expert in Semitic language,so I'm taking your words :)

      Delete
    8. Giaccomo: The Berber cognate is interesting, yes, but should not be obviated from the IE-Med cognates mentioned before (Latin, Greek and Armenian). Internally in Basque a k<>h paleohistorical change is believed common: "aker" is documented in Aquitania as "Aherbelts Deo" (to the Black Billy-Goat God - notice that this animal is considered lucky and strongly associated to Goddess Mari and her akelarre rituals, from where it passed to pan-European "demonology" with a negative twist in the age of witch hunts) and as "Akir" in Iberian texts (possibly a personal name).

      However don't you think that there are several other occasions for the word to have crossed the Mediterranean and not necessarily in the direction you suggest. First we have the Oranian genesis, tightly linked to the Southern Iberian Gravetto-Solutrean in archaeology and very probably population genetics, then there is the Cardial Neolithic, which probably "bounced" in Arif (North Morocco) before reaching West Iberia, then there is the Dolmenic Megalithic phenomenon, original from Portugal and which affected strongly Algeria and nearby areas. Only in fourth place we have a very conjectural "origin" of Bell Beaker in North Africa, where it is actually not documented as such (except in Northernmost Morocco). If you read the comments I posted in that blog entry, you'll realize that I disagree with the hypothesis and that the current understanding is the BB originated in Portugal, not far from where Dolmenic Megalithism did, being a mere extension of this one (with a twist).

      BTW, which dialect is Tawllemmet. I can't find any references. Riffian is the dialect closest to Iberia and surely the one where most Ibero-Vasconic influences could be expected.

      "Tocharian yrīye 'male sheep'".

      Interesting as well. Still don't you find surprising that aries and ahari are almost identical (not just in sound but meaning)? And that an aker(i) <> ahari connection can be made by well established Basque paleolinguistics (k<>h shift)? To me it looks Vasconic, although I can't explain how it reached to the Tocharian homelands unless it's one of those "paleoeuropean" (Frank's theory) words like hartz/arctos, hauts/ash, which seem to link Vasconic and IE at the deepest levels.

      Delete
    9. "Don't you think it is more likely it is more related to the people of Islam religion that occupied of Iberia?"

      Iberia was partly converted to Islam. Colonization was nimious. Later it was converted to Christianity and again colonization was limited.

      Delete
    10. About the Bell Beaker origin, probably we don't have enough elements to judge (for instance radiocarbon dating of African sites), but it would be an explanation of how R1b arrived to Iberia. We can suppose that the first Bell Beaker wave from Portugal spread Vasconic languages in Western Europe together with R1b Hg.

      Anyway, I don't find ahari and aries identical. As you observed, ahari corresponds to akeri, actually the intervocalic aspiration of k is easy (for example it is a typical feature of the Tuscan dialect), and the Afro-Asiatic root is *kar-.
      Aries instead has a root ar(i)-. I would not exclude the possibility that it is related to IE *aria- 'lord', because the ram is the lord of the herd. It can also be related to Armenian ari 'brave', Greek aretè 'manly valour'.
      About Tawllemmet, you can find a mention here: http://www.prayway.com/unreached/peoplegroups3/1642.html
      I have found those Berber forms on starling.rinet.ru, and what I find significant is that they are more similar to Basque forms than the Semitic ones, in the vowels preceding and following the root. I have seen that the theory of Berber-Basque connection has a long tradition. The similarities mentioned here, although few, are very significant: http://www.kondaira.net/eng/Euskara0008.html The donkey, an African animal, is also included, and scientists have found that it arrived in Iberia at least in the Chalcolithic period: http://geogenetics.ku.dk/latest-news/african-wild-asses/

      Delete
    11. There is no need of a religious conversion to loan words in either direction. I don't get you. The words are similar in sound, is Basque was a great supplier of sheep, why not a loan to berber? I think it is more likely than a deep etymological given that the words are still phonetically recognizable.

      The second possibility, which you mentioned unintentionally, cardium pottery, as well as Giacomo, by semitic, that is due the East expansion of Nostratic in northern Mediterranean, so due an early branch of a daughter language of another daughter of Nostratic, afro Asiatic, along the southern coast is also likely.

      Here's a suggestion, including Rif dialect, it's burried down in a 3rd layer from afroasiatic:
      http://goo.gl/jooZkn

      Delete
    12. The mainstream etymology for aries is quite unexpected. http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=Aries

      So, I think it is more likely to be attested in writing.

      Delete
    13. Notice the "h" is only pronounced in "Aquitanian" dialects, in "Iberian" dialects the "h" is ø and the pronunciation is ari or aari.

      I do suspect ahari and aker to be related but that is less strong than my suspicion of ahari and aries to be related. Yes Vasconic seems pivotal between the Med-IE and the "Berber" forms via the k<>h shift proposed by Mitxelena (actually he proposed k→h, bidirectional k<>h is my own variant largely based on the fact that it is also documented historically: "aherbelts" → "akerbeltz").

      "the theory of Berber-Basque connection has a long tradition."

      There's never been a theory as such. Only some very horrible speculations based on nothing but wishful thinking. Some of the words they proposed appear to be real cognates (wanderworts or adstrate most likely) but some 80-90% is just meaningless sub-substandard junk.

      "The similarities mentioned here, although few, are very significant: http://www.kondaira.net/eng/Euskara0008.html "

      That's a list of JUST SEVEN (!!!) apparent coincidences, one of which aste → asto → asinus → ass is shared with Western IE (because word and animal surely migrated in that direction). So we have just SIX which are not wanderworts. That's not real evidence. I can find many more with just English or even something as remote as Ainu. What is needed (as preliminary research) is a mass lexical comparison using a standard list like a Swadesh list (http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Appendix:Swadesh_lists) or even if you want to browse faster a list of numbers, for example (http://www.zompist.com/numbers.shtml).

      I don't have time for lots of linguistic work of this kind but Afroasiatic in general is not significantly close to Basque (I tested it), while Nubian may be related instead (produced a surprisingly high number of apparent cognates). Anyways some coincidences between unrelated languages always do happen: the human phonetic range is not ample enough to prevent that - but any systematic research beyond the anecdote, should be able to test if these coincidences are mere noise or seem to be something real. In this case I must totally dismiss the "evidence" as noise.

      Delete
    14. Maju, what kind of comparision with Afroasiatic did you make? There are 2 dictionaries with reconstructed words, and they disagree almost on everything. Here's a wordlist of agreements:
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Afroasiatic_languages#Similarities_in_grammar_and_syntax

      Delete
    15. "I don't get you. The words are similar in sound, is Basque was a great supplier of sheep, why not a loan to berber? I think it is more likely than a deep etymological given that the words are still phonetically recognizable".

      Agree here. Basque is a relic of a once more widespread family which included Iberian for sure and very probably (because of substrate and toponym evidence) many other languages spoken in much of Europe once. IMO these Vasconic languages were the languages of mainline European Neolithic (rooted in Thessaly), although there are others who have argued for a Paleolithic origin (Venneman, Frank, etc.)

      So the word may have arrived to some parts of NW Africa from Iberia.

      I do not believe in "Nostratic" but in empiric evidence and, so far, all I find are connections of Basque with proto-IE (equivalent to the "paleoeuropean" of R. Frank) and recently (my own research) with Nubian (which conjecturally may have been a close relative of the language of the peoples who brought agriculture to Thessaly via a coastal route). Vasconic would be therefore a mix of paleoeuropean (related to PIE) and a branch of proto-Nubian (Neolithic input, erased in West Asia by Semitic later on). This is my current paradigm but it is of course open to further research.

      What I do not accept are discredited a-prioris like "Nostratic", etc. I think that paleolinguistics must be addressed with a very open mind (not disregarding the evidence that may come from archaeology and population genetics, but discarding all those old-school fantasies that just make no sense like "Nostratic", "Eurasiatic" and "Sino-Caucasian").

      Delete
    16. @Giacomo and Maju
      ''Basque ahari and aker, it has a wonderful correspondence in Berber akarr (Tawllemmet) or ikarri (Rif, Iznassen) 'ram'.
      I may be wrong here but Bengali and of course Sanskrit has the word Chagala (chAgol in Bengali) for goat-
      http://spokensanskrit.de/index.php?tinput=chAgala&direction=SE&script=HK&link=yes&beginning=0
      http://www.sanskrit-lexicon.uni-koeln.de/cgi-bin/tamil/recherche
      Now this Aker,akarr,ikarri is interesting as in Chagala we have the 'agala' similar of Aker.Akarr where we know l/r are in many cases change to each other and also g/k the 'Ch' that Skt has may be then a laryngeal,Fricative type of archaic feature? although the Skt word most likely have a different root! what do you guys think?.
      @Maju
      I want your critical judgement on the Following conclusions of David based on his '3-Pop analysis featuring 19 ancient reference genomes and over 80 present-day populations'
      1.West Eurasians by and large appear to have become less Mediterranean and Near Eastern after the Neolithic, or even the Copper Age.

      2.Populations closely related to MA-1 had a profound impact on the genetic structure of almost all West Eurasians and South and Central Asians.

      3. West Eurasians share basically the same ancestral components, although often in very different proportions (which unfortunately the f3-stats aren't able to show).

      4.The only groups in Europe that are better fitted as mixtures of Stuttgart and Loschbour or La Brana-1, as opposed to Stuttgart and MA-1, are found in southwestern Europe, which just happens to be the most distant part of Europe from the Eastern European/Central Asian steppe.

      5.Turkic and Uralic groups generally show stronger signals of admixture with the Saqqaq as one of the reference genomes than the Indo-Europeans.

      6.Only two European groups, Lithuanians and Finns, are best fitted as Gokhem2/MA-1, probably because they harbor the lowest levels of Near Eastern ancestry in this analysis.

      7.None of the European populations has any of the post-Copper Age genomes near the top of their stats, which suggests that the present-day European genetic structure formed very rapidly during or just after the Copper Age.
      http://eurogenes.blogspot.in/2014/11/3-pop-analysis-featuring-19-ancient.html
      My key interests are no. 1,2 and 7.
      The reason of referring to you is that you are by far the best neutral describer of the Genetic Data In The Web:).........

      Delete
    17. @Maju I don't get your concept your discredited. Discredited by whom? And why should I listen to them?

      Delete
    18. "what kind of comparision with Afroasiatic did you make?"

      I believe I've compared with Semitic but do not keep record of it apparently (try it yourself and tell me: with the Swadesh lists available it is relatively easy) - my memory is that Basqu-Semitic is within the "noise zone" of ~5% of "cognates". With very rare exceptions I always use modern/historical languages and words, because reconstructed words are always conjectural and can only add likelihood of error, at least if actual documented languages are not used for comparison. The main exception is PIE because the amount of data needed to process IE as a set otherwise would be huge and much of it appears to be "tainted" with Vasconic substrate influence, adding to confusion.

      In any case a cursory comparison with the traits agreed to be common in Afroasiatic per your link makes almost zero hits re. Basque, clearly not above the significance barrier of 5-10% in any case. By comparison check my Nubian-Basque analysis (which appears to give quite more than 20% hits) and the quadruple West-South Eurasian comparison Basque-PIE-NECaucasian-Dravidian (which suggests that Basque-PIE connections are stronger than the others, reinforcing the notion of Frank's "paleoeuropean").

      Delete
    19. About chagala, in Sanskrit the base form is chaga, more often chāga 'he-goat', also used for the zodiacal sign Aries. -la is just a common suffix. Since cha- is regularly a phonetic evolution of *sk'a- in Sanskrit, the IE root should be *sk'aga-. In Slavic we have koza 'goat', which I think comes from kag'a, probably related. In Middle Low German we have a form 'schēge' for goat, which has a very good correspondence with *sk'aga-.

      About ahari/aries, I have seen that a form comparable with the Basque is North Caucasian ahar 'ram', and a Proto-North Caucasian root *χ_[ǝ]rV 'ewe, ram'. So, I think that we have two different roots for he-goat and ram, ker- and har-, with a preceding a- according to Basque phonetical laws. I have seen another Basque word for goat, ahuntz, which corresponds to the Semitic root ʕnz 'goat'. Also here, we have the adding of a-.
      The Latin aries, arietis, can be related maybe to the same root found in N Caucasian, with a loss of aspiration, but we have to explain also the suffix -et-. In Umbrian there is 'erietu'.
      In Greek we have eriphos 'kid' with an IE suffix -bha- found also in Sanskrit ṛṣabha 'bull, male animal' and Greek elaphos 'deer'.
      Maybe the root *ari- can be compared with Semitic *ʔayl, as in Hebrew ʔayil, 'ram', but also 'ruler', so the connection of *ari- with *aria- 'lord' can have a parallel in Semitic.

      About the Berber correspondences, words like goat and donkey can be loanwords (but very close), while words like I and brother are rather common roots, although being so short it is not a very strong argument. I also don't think that Afro-Asiatic and Basque are strictly related, because Basque is agglutinative, but this does not exclude an Afro-Asiatic influence. Nubian languages can be an interesting comparison, can you give some examples? I have discovered that a Spanish linguist, Jaime Martin, claims to have found more than 1000 correspondences between Basque and Dogon language. And Dogon maybe also came from Nubia, although they live now in Mali.

      Delete
    20. Re. "agala". Sure g/k change is common and some scripts like Iberian don't even make a difference. However I don't see how "agala" compares better with "aker" than with "goat", really. Anyhow, for the record Basque for goat (fem.) is "ahuntz" and the aker/ahari/aries issue seems to specifically refer to MALE animals.

      "I want your critical judgement on the Following conclusions of David"...

      He is serious but sometimes biased by his own ethnocentric obsessions. I try to take him always with respect but also prudence. We do not have consistent aDNA data re. West and South Asia yet so any argumentation about West Eurasians in general or South Asians should be taken with caution.

      "1.West Eurasians by and large appear to have become less Mediterranean and Near Eastern after the Neolithic, or even the Copper Age".

      This can only be said with certainty of Europeans and more safely only of Central Europeans. In my understanding the SW or West European influence (Megalithic/Bell Beaker) was decisive in this change, while the East European (Indoeuropean/Kurgan) was less important. Basques remain essentially unchanged since the Neolithic. This is probably also the case of Sardinians. However Sardinians approach the mainline European Neolithic genotype (Ötzi, Stuttgart), while Basques approach a more mixed (with important extra Western aboriginal blood) Atlantic Neolithic genetic pool very similar to that of Megalithic Scandinavia.

      2.Populations closely related to MA-1 had a profound impact on the genetic structure of almost all West Eurasians and South and Central Asians.

      Again I remain quite agnostic and somewhat skeptic towards regions other than Europe for lack of aDNA data.

      There are also many uncertainties about the exact impact of the Eastern European (MA1-influenced) genetic impact in Europe itself in and after the Chalcolithic. We need more aDNA data before we can reach to solid conclusions. However some impact is hard to deny.

      "3. West Eurasians share basically the same ancestral components, although often in very different proportions (which unfortunately the f3-stats aren't able to show)."

      West Eurasians share a common basic root genetic pool, which is probably closely related to "paleo-Indian" (ASI?) with West Asia being the main pivot of this. "Components" are to some extent artificial items (statistical produce) and must be taken with proper understanding and due caution.

      "4.The only groups in Europe that are better fitted as mixtures of Stuttgart and Loschbour or La Brana-1, as opposed to Stuttgart and MA-1, are found in southwestern Europe, which just happens to be the most distant part of Europe from the Eastern European/Central Asian steppe."

      Quite correct. Sardinians are essentially like Stuttgart, while Basques are an almost pure 60-40 or 50-50 mix between these and the Western European aborigines. There's uncertainty about how much modern populations in the SW arch (Italy to Britain) have Eastern European (IE/Kurgan) admixture. Notice that some Early European farmers (Mirador-Atapuerca) appear like modern Italians rather than Sardinians while some Atlantic farmers appear like modern Iberians or French rather than Basques. Re. the NW it is likely that part of the high frequencies of MA1 affinity are pre-IE (as Epipaleolithic Scandinavians had already stronger MA1 affinity than Western continental ones).

      (continues)

      Delete
    21. (continuation)


      "5.Turkic and Uralic groups generally show stronger signals of admixture with the Saqqaq as one of the reference genomes than the Indo-Europeans."

      Probably true. However they represent two very different waves from NE Asia: Uralics are much much older in the West, while Turkic are historical.

      "6.Only two European groups, Lithuanians and Finns, are best fitted as Gokhem2/MA-1, probably because they harbor the lowest levels of Near Eastern ancestry in this analysis".

      The premises of this claim seem absurd. There was no "pure MA1" migration. MA1 affinities (ANE) must have expanded in an already mixed population. In other words: "ANE" is a signal, not a population. The carrier populations must have been everywhere ANE+something else.

      "7.None of the European populations has any of the post-Copper Age genomes near the top of their stats, which suggests that the present-day European genetic structure formed very rapidly during or just after the Copper Age".

      I don't understand this well. Which are the "post-Copper Age genomes" (no legend and I do not recognize some of the abbreviations)? Basques, "Southern French" (Gascons), Aragonese, Murcians and Sardinians for example score as Stuttgart+Lochsbour/Braña admixture, what is clearly pre-Chalcolithic. He may mean the other Europeans, which typically score highest for Stuttgart-MA1 admixture.

      In any case I recommend strong caution. Because there is information missing here. Just for Europe we need reference aDNA from Epipaleolithic and maybe Neolithic: Balcans, Britain and definitely Eastern Europe. And then these comparisons are quite meaningless outside Europe in any case because we lack Neolithic and Late Paleolithic aDNA from those regions (Siberia partly excepted).

      "Discredited by whom? And why should I listen to them?"

      Discredited in the Academy. Whether you listen to them or not is your problem but do not try to use your pet conjectures as "evidence" of anything.

      Delete
    22. There is no generally acknowledged "North Caucasian". Can you specify in which actual languages the "ahar" word is documented. I find it interesting but would like to know what is real and what is mere theoretical speculation about it.

      "Maybe the root *ari- can be compared with Semitic *ʔayl, as in Hebrew ʔayil, 'ram', but also 'ruler', so the connection of *ari- with *aria- 'lord' can have a parallel in Semitic".

      That's an interesting speculation which would fit best a world of nomadic shepherds in which the ram is lord of the herd. Such socio-economic reality is believed to have been true for both Semitic and IE early populations.

      "Nubian languages can be an interesting comparison, can you give some examples?"

      I already linked to my Swadesh list comparison of Basque and several Nubian languages (and English for translation and control). Hope it serves you but it's not focused on Neolithic words however.

      "Jaime Martin, claims to have found more than 1000 correspondences between Basque and Dogon language."

      I've read something but haven't seen any systematization yet. Martín claims a most unlikely 70% hits (in an expanded 2000 words list) but that sounds absolutely unlikely (it'd imply a very recent divergence of the kind of Spanish and Italian) and I have yet to see the spreadsheet or study backing those claims. I'll believe when I see. An additional problem is that Dogon is not a single family but two (Bangime is a language isolate and maybe substrate of Dogon proper).

      Delete
    23. Maju, I don't know what is Academy. What I know is what real word data I get and whether if I agree or not with the interpretation. So, it's impossible for me to use my "pet theory" as evidence of anything. On the contrary, I seek evidence for my pet theory. This is not Physics, or any exact science, so, the variables are much looser. So, I came here because I agree with 90% of Giacomo thesis, because I came to almost the same conclusion, without going too deep as he did, of course.

      BTW, I don't agree with your use of English. This is a language which is randomly mixed with Romance, Norse and Celtic languages. It is an odd pidgin. You should use a control of a language well attested, insulated from African or Vasconic. Why not Old Swedish?

      Delete
    24. About Caucasian ahar, unfortunately I cannot specify, it is given here, not a very reliable source I fear: http://projetbabel.org/basque/dictionnaire.php?q=ahari
      On starling.rinet.ru it is also used the term North Caucasian, maybe including NW and NE Caucasian, you can see some forms here: http://starling.rinet.ru/cgi-bin/query.cgi?basename=\data\cauc\caucet&root=config&morpho=0
      Search for 'ram', the results are always without initial a-. Actually the meaning ram is given only for the root *ʁo(r) of 'Proto-Tsezian, like Gunzib χor.
      About the kr- root for the male goat, in Greek there is Krios, which however means 'ram', like in Akkadian 'kari'. In Semitic this root is associated with the sheep, while in Chadic and Cushitic it is associated with goats. In the Berber Nefusa language, a-krar is 'billy goat', differently from most of the other Berber languages where we have 'ram' for that root.

      About Basque anaia, 'brother', I have noticed that the Proto-Afro-Asiatic root is *ni(h)nay-, relative, brother. In Proto-Omotic, it is *naynay-.

      Delete
    25. Indeed Giaccomo: the Starostin database holds a large number of "proto-Caucasian" conjectures for ram but not a single one matches your suggestion (just search for "ram" at any field). You have: *kwɨ̄ʡnɨ̄ (~-ǝ̆,-ă), *qālk_wǝ, *dwănʔV (~-nh-), *wĭlq̇ǝ(rǝ) and *ɵ_HuṭV. The specific language forms also don't show any semblance with ahari or aries.

      The "Afroasiatic" line of research looks more productive but anyhow uncertain. In any case it's quite possible that the name of the animal once traveled with the animal itself, i.e. it is a wanderwort at least to some extent.

      Can't say about anai (which is brother of man, brother of woman is neba). Notice that it may well be a nursery word, which are totally unreliable etymologically. Amma variants are almost universal for mother, and nano, tato, nene, etc. are common for brother or other relatives. This is surely because nursery words are reinvented every generation as each new baby babbles his/her first attempts of words. They always have basic consonants like M, N, T, D, etc. and tend to repeat the vowels. The first word of a baby is always MA (hence mamma, ama, etc.), the second nursery word (TA or DA) usually goes to the father, and the new ones go to other relatives such as siblings (NA is likely here).

      I strongly suggest to make systematic comparisons before jumping to conclusions and also not to believe everything one reads on these matters (there's a lot of misinformation around) without double checking.

      Delete
    26. "Why not Old Swedish?"

      Because I don't know any Old Swedish and English is Indoeuropean enough to be used as control.

      What's the role of a control? Basically serve as contrast to purge the noise out, to estimate the level of coincidence that must be considered random noise. English has sufficiently low apparent "cognates" with Nubian to serve that purpose. It would not serve probably if the comparison was done with Russian or Proto-IE but it's not the case.

      Re. Nostratic. I just beg you not to force-feed it on us as if it was some sort of demonstrated paradigm. It is not and serves no purpose in an open-minded linguistic debate other than sabotaging it.

      Delete
    27. @Giacomo
      Thank you so much for discarding my hypothesis as i hate hypothesis:).
      @Maju
      I totally agree with you and you have given the glimpses again of why you are the best genetic data describer in the web! BTW on aDNA of SC Asia we have a chance that we will get it from Rakhigarhi as i linked before but tell us what should we expect from it? i mean Hgs and Autosomal component wise, can it be different from modern North Indian Populations?...

      Delete
    28. @Maju, it seems you have not found what I cited ('ram' should be written in 'meaning'), but there is *ʁo(r) and *χ_[ǝ]rV, you can find it also in the Starostin page on Basque etymology of ahari (*ahali): http://starling.rinet.ru/cgi-bin/query.cgi?root=config&morpho=0&basename=\data\sinocauc\basqet
      Anyway, maybe that Caucasian root is derived from Semitic kr-.
      If the proto-Basque form was *ahali, it is even closer to the Proto-Afro-As. root *ʔayl- ~ *ʔallVy- 'ram', which gives in Ghat Berber či-hali 'sheep', where či- seems to be a prefix.

      Delete
    29. If I introduce ram in "meaning" in the first search link you mentioned (for proto-Caucasian and not for proto-Basque), I get the following: *kwɨ̄ʡnɨ̄ (~-ǝ̆,-ă), *qālk_wǝ, *dwănʔV (~-nh-), *wĭlq̇ǝ(rǝ), *ɵ_HuṭV and *χ_[ǝ]rV (~ *-l-). Almost exactly the same as mentioned above. The last one is the exception and is claimed to produce ewe in Avaro-Andian (mostly in the form "riha" or similar, which does not seem related to the alleged root) and ram in Tsezian (mostly as the suffix -ʁu, where ʁ stands for a guttural R, almost G, as in French or German). Notice that sheep (ewe) in Basque is ardi, apparently unrelated. Also Basque has simple R and Ŕ, as Castilian-Spanish or to some extent Italian.

      Anyhow basically there's a possible connection in Tsezian (what is not the same as "proto-Caucasian"). Tsez or Tsezian is a small language of the SW border of Daghestan with Ishkeria (Chechnya) and Kartvelia (Georgia) which can well have been influenced separately by other languages from further south (or alternatively preserve forms that have been lost in other NE Caucasian languages). I think it's interesting but very inconclusive, especially considering its ambiguous meaning (both ewe and ram) and the abundance of other unrelated terms for "ram" in other North Caucasian languages.

      "If the proto-Basque form was *ahali".

      There's no reason to think so. Sounds like wild speculation to me, more so considering that ahari (ram) and aker (billy goat) seem cognates via k<>h switch. Akir is documented in Iberian and Aherbelts (= modern "aker beltz") in Aquitanian. Nowhere it's "*ahali" documented.

      Delete
    30. @Maju

      You were talking about a Swadesh is a sample for comparison, I don't think it requires any deep knowledge of the language, in fact, it's a language to infer some information about relationships. But some care is required. For example, it better to get lists with people acquainted or with notes about the language.

      You took a list from Chinese and some other sino tibetan word. The question words were compounded morphemes, with relatively recent origin, and could not be possibly used to be compared in distant languages. I did a comparison with Portuguese, my mother language, and all I could find is words with romance origin. Your list also also too short in comparison to the one you used with Nubian-Basque, so, I think increasing the quantity of words would not be bad in the other case. So, even in this case, use an old IE, from a distant place, which is relatively insulated, like old Norwegian, Icelandic, etc. It's even more likely that you will get more knowledgeable than Nubian or other sino tibeban language, given that you will recognize many words in these Germanic languages in English, but which have a much lower use frequency than you used in 100 or 250 word lists.

      So, I ask you not to use English. It's language that has with too many "wander words", from being invaded and for invading or economically colonizing 80% of the landmass, so it susceptible to noise. I found your list very interesting but I'd suggest you to justify why you think some are look a like or why some less so.

      When you go to Starostin website, try to select meaning in the fields you wish to compare. It will automatically select the usual semantic changes of a word. For example, ram will usually show, right in the first page, the word bump, or butt in, which is related to the actual origin of the word Aries. This is the matting ritual of ovids.

      Also, you can go up in the chain of languages, even if you do not agree with the existence of these reconstructions, but they do are helpful.

      Delete
    31. @Maju,

      In your list with Basque - Nubian, I'd make a match between rain <--> water, exchanging meangins, and make another cognate.

      Delete
    32. @Guys
      Another very related and Interesting paper!
      ''Human paternal lineages, languages, and environment in the caucasus''.
      The authors associate haplogroups with language families in following manner:
      R1b- Indo-European
      R1a- Scytho-Sarmatian
      J2- Hurro-Urartian (Which is strange)
      G2- Kartvelian
      From the paper-
      '' The analysis showed significant associations of (1) G2 with wellforested mountains, (2) J2 with warm areas or poorly forested mountains, and (3) J1 with poorly forested mountains. R1b showed no association with environment. Haplogroups J1 and R1a were significantly associated with Daghestanian and Kipchak speakers, respectively, but the other haplogroups showed no such simple associations with languages. Climate and landscape in the context of competition over productive areas among diffferent paternal lineages, arriving in the Caucasus in diffferent times, have played an important role in shaping the present-day spatial distribution of patrilineages in the Caucasus. This spatial pattern had formed before linguistic subdivisions were finally shaped, probably in the Neolithic to Bronze Age. Later historical turmoil had little influence on the patrilineage composition and spatial distribution. Based on our results, the scenario of postglacial expansions of humans and their languages to the Caucasus from the Middle East, western Eurasia, and the East European Plain is plausible.''
      http://digitalcommons.wayne.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1053&context=humbiol_preprints
      also see Dienekes post-
      http://dienekes.blogspot.in/2014/11/paternal-lineages-and-languages-in.html
      Enjoy!

      Delete
    33. @Maju, the proto-form *ahali apparently is based on other terms like aal-zain (Baztan dialect) 'shepherd', from *ahal 'sheep'+zain 'keeper, guardian'. There is also alondo 'castrated sheep'.
      However, I have found another AfroAs root, *hVr- meaning 'sheep, goat', which gives terms for 'ram' in Berber, like e-hǝrǝ. Another root is Proto-Berber *HarVy 'sheep, small cattle', giving ähruy 'ram' and ti-hray 'sheep' in Semlal Berber. They all seem variants of the same root, which can be related to the Basque ahari. I find again remarkable that also in Berber it is often added a preceding vowel like in Basque forms.

      I have found another possible cognate, the word for dog, in Basque zakur, txakur, but also hor (Zuberoan).
      In AfroAs there is a root *kar, which gives in Proto-South-Cushitic *ta-kur- 'wild dog', in Proto-Chadic *kur 'dog'. In East Chadic it is *gVr.

      In East Chadic there is also beke 'kine, cows', comparable with Basque behi 'cow', from a AfroAs root *bVq̇ (Arabic baqara 'cow', Egyptian bh_ 'sacred bull').

      Delete
    34. @Giacomo,

      In Portuguese, the most used form for dog in speech is not "Cão", but "Cachorro", at least in Brazil. (ch has a sound of "sh" of English). The etymology for the word is not very clear.

      Delete
    35. @Nirjhar007 Looking at wikipedia, it coincidences best with Vasconic europe.

      Delete
    36. R > L transformation is common the opposite is not (euskara > euskal-). You also have txahal: lamb, obviously a diminutive form of ahar(i). Ahal on the other hand means "to be able", "can" (verb) but I doubt it has any relation with shepherdry.

      I beg you to stop using "proto-words" without considering the attested words. Also I beg you to begin with a mass lexical comparison and not anecdotal instances, which are almost certainly just noise. It's possible that the cow word has something to do but on its own it can only be considered a wanderwort.

      Delete
    37. As for the Caucasus:

      1. J1 is much much older than Semitic and probably spread from near Kurdistan (much as its sibling J2) and it probably did deep in the Upper Paleolithic.

      2. What I see is much simpler geographical patterns in the Caucasus: G2a is Western, J2 is Central-Western (and largely overlaps with G2a), J1 is Eastern (with lesser distribution in the Southern fringe towards the West), R1a is Northerner, R1b is Southerner (and concentrated in Armenia).

      Incidentally G2a and J2 are the main "Neolithic" lineages in Europe, along with E1b-V13, which has a much more Western distribution along the Mediterranean shores and therefore is rare in the Caucasus. Of these only J2, which is the most eastern and has a prominence in the Zagros area, affected South Asia in the same period.

      Delete
    38. About J1, I suggest to read this paper, that you probably already know, showing a correlation with shepherds and Semitic populations: http://www.nature.com/ejhg/journal/v18/n3/full/ejhg2009166a.html
      It shows that the highest variance is in Turks, and that the highest frequency of J1* is in the area of Van lake (http://www.eupedia.com/europe/Haplogroup_J1_Y-DNA.shtml), which was the center of the Urartu kingdom. So, the connection of Hurro-Urartian with NE Caucasian would be confirmed by the J1 Hg. So, I accept that it is older than Semitic, but it seems that it is mostly related with Semitic (particularly Arabs and Jews) and NE Caucasian (particularly Dargin). In Iran, as shown in Grugni's study, J1 is mostly present in Assyrians, who are Semitic speakers and come from the Hurrian area, and Arabs of Khuzestan.
      About J2, it is traditionally considered Neolithic, but it is not found in European Early Neolithic, the first appearance by now is in a Bronze Age Urnfield site in Hungary.
      So, I think it came with IEs, and probably through Anatolia because is rare north of the Black Sea.

      About proto-words, I have considered the attested words, very similar to them. If proto-forms are well made (following sound change laws) are more useful than evolved forms, if you compare for instance Hindi, Armenian and Irish, probably you wouldn't understand that they are related. The AfroAs-Basque connections are Wanderworter? It's possible, but words did not wander without people, and also sheep and goats and cows did not cross sea and mountains by themselves ;) Thank you for mentioning the passage r to l, in Italy there is rather the opposite, but maybe not in Sardinia, where a Vasconic substrate is suspected!

      @Daniel, cachorro has been related to the Basque form.

      Delete
    39. @Giacomo, yes I've seen that in one of the discussion lists, I think the long ranger, years ago. But people do not comment there anymore as far as I know. Anyway it is not in our etymology dictionaries. Neither Cavalo (horse).

      For Cachorro, there are some explanations in the net. Also for cavalo. For Cabra, there is an etymology that goes up to PIE. But it seems that it exists only aprox. in western european languages. I don't know if there is something going on with "ca", like fossilized morpheme, like words staring with "a,al-" in portuguese, or is it just a coincidence.

      Delete
    40. I think that cachorro, found also in Spanish with the meaning 'puppy', I think that it is just a metathesis of a Vasconic txakor- (pron. chacor- in Spanish orthography). txa-, as Maju has observed for txahal 'lamb', is a prefix for young animals or diminutive. So, the root for dog is kur/kor, probably the origin also of the Basque form hor. In Chadic and Cushitic the root kur- is found for dog, in Proto-Afro-As. is *kar- 'dog and *kVl- (rather *kul/kwil) 'dog, wolf'.

      For the etymology of Latin 'caper, capra', there are many hypotheses, a good one is from a root kap- 'to stink', in Latin caper means also 'stink'. The Vulgar Latin 'caballus' 'horse' is considered of Celtic origin.

      Delete
    41. Yes, not only in Celtic, but in many branches, according to wiki dictionary. But I meant that this would be also a substrate word.

      As for metathesis, I think it usually happens with tongue breakers. It doesn't sound likely to my ears. But I have an idea. What if *kar is also a classifier for animals

      So, why not ka(r)txakor, kartxahor? Now a metathesis sounds extremely natural to my ears.

      Cavalo (horse) - ka(r)abele (abele - animal, cattle, according to SD (Starostin Database))
      Cabra (goat) - ka(r)beko, note that bukkô is male goat in proto germanic.

      Delete
  23. Also, it is not unreasonable that Basque (or the language that gave origin to it) carried words to Berber. Where ram can be raised with more ease?

    ReplyDelete
  24. @Nirjhar, thank you for the paper, it shows how complicated is the Caucasian situation, but it gives also some useful data. Association of J1 with poorly forested mountains confirms that it was brought by shepherds, it is generally associated with Semitic people, maybe they had to change their language in the Caucasus. R1b in Armenians is interesting, but we must also remember that Armenia was a region of Urartean domination. R1a in Turks is a heritage of the Scythians, I guess. I am not convinced by the proposed places of origin, it is incredible that still says that R1a originated north of the Black sea. The Hg G is found also in Europe up to Portugal and much in the Levant, which is the homeland of Western Semitic. I think that G2a of Early European Neolithic (LBK and Cardial) came from the Levant, which is the most probable origin of the Cardial ware which reached Portugal: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cardium_Pottery. So I think that if Hg G came from the Caucasus it was in a pre-Neolithic period, and apparently it did not spread the Kartvelian languages which remain isolate in the area of Georgia, although they have some deep connection with IE (for instance the root mkerd 'breast'-IE kerd 'heart', and ablaut: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proto-Kartvelian_language), and phonologically they are quite close to Semitic (uvular stops, velar/uvular fricatives).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. @Giacomo
      ''So I think that if Hg G came from the Caucasus it was in a pre-Neolithic period, and apparently it did not spread the Kartvelian languages which remain isolate in the area of Georgia, although they have some deep connection with IE''
      And we also know that the Hg is also expected from SSC aDNA.

      Delete