Homeland of the Indo-Europeans

Humans being sensitive by nature often developp an idealized and romantic (but understandable) affection to his house, childhood suburbs, native region, native country, family, mother tongue, “nation”, relatives, close looking persons, etc…However when dealing with science those emotions should be dropped out.

Also it’s understandable when some third world countries do include inaccurate “nationcentric” ideas and thoughts in their school curriculums to rise up the self esteem, nationalism and the adulation of the religion/founder person/current ruler/language/national history etc…of the school children; though those policies do not succeed and those countries as well the education of the pupils remain “backward”+absence of scienitifc (as well as other fields) “accomplishements” (perhaps because the whole system and pradigmas are wrong as well as the lack of money BUT NOT BECAUSE OF LACK OF INNER INHERITED abilities).

Of course the leading “victorious” countries and nations dont have (and DONT NEED) such deals ie one should not expect that such huge emphasis be put in a historical non attested nomad tribe that, at the end of the day, did not have any accomplishment (they did not invent script nor alphabet nor build pyramids etc…) but such attitudes were common in the 19 th century (see Black Athena of Martin Bernal to discover much about those issues).

Personally I am interested in the indo-europeans and spend much time and money to acquire and read books about them, because I used to think that the population of Anatolia were indo-europeans that adopted a Turkish languages since the first attested and written indo-european language was the hittite language of Anatolia which, besides, was the most archaic and internally diversified indo-european language And since Hittite language diffused to central western Anatolia from the south east, it was very close to my native region.

I used to think of the Khatti,Hurri,Luluby,Kassite,Mushki,Kolkhi… languages of Anatolia as Caucasic languages that diffused to Anatolia from the Caucasus and that “genetically speaking” Anatolians would be more “indo-europeanic” than “caucasic”, of course all of this was before the improving of my cknowledge about genetics-especially after Behar’s study-and illustrated my current thoughts about those issues with the image in my signature.

Interestingly, while there is no big interest with indo-europeans and indo-european homeland in Turkey I discovered (reading various books especially Black Athena+on the web) that that was not the case in other countries where indo-european languages were very lately attested and written. Also there is the “swastikas” motifs found in potteries in Central Iraq near the town of Samarra dating to 6300-5500 bc (hassuna-halaf cultures) and we know that “swastikas” were one of the characteristic symbols of Indo-Europeans.

For the interested ones I recommand you to read the books below to understand why “scholars do favor western Asia as an “urheimat” for the proto indo-european language” http://books.google.com/books?id=R64…page&q&f=false


Here a book to learn about the politization of that issue http://books.google.com/books?id=yFL…page&q&f=false

Here below a free mini paper explaining the reasons for south anatolia-north levant-north mesopotamia as the “urheimat” of the proto indo-european language. http://www.nostratic.ru/books/(151)m…drav%20ela.doc

The Pontico-Caspian theory of Proto-Indo-European refuted by purely linguistic arguments By Arnaud Fournet


According to the standard theory, as described and promoted by the Communis Opinio of the Indo-Europeanists, Proto-Indo-European (PIE) originates in the Pontico-Caspian area in Southern Russia and the final disintegration of PIE is dated in the time bracket that corresponds to the second phase of Neolithic.

Linguists generally date the initial separation of the IE stocks to the period c. 5,000–2,500 BC but these dates are provided largely on the basis of estimation rather than the product of an empirically validated methodology. (Mallory 1997) This dating is based on the premise that the Indo-European languages contain a number of words which are coherent enough to support the hypothesis that they are cognates rather than loanwords and therefore give substance to the reconstruction of the corresponding realia in the PIE language itself.

Reconstructed PIE reflects a vocabulary which unequivocally exhibits an economy based on domesticated plants (grain) and animals (cattle, sheep, goat, pig, dog), and associated technology (grinding stone, sickle) indicating that the separation of the IE stocks was unlikely to have occurred anywhere before c. 7000 BC and later, depending on its geographical location. It also contains a number of items such as plough, yoke, wheeled vehicles, wool, possibly silver, which are not generally attested earlier than c. 5000–3000 BC (Mallory 1989). It should be emphasized that the time-depth of these reconstructions is valid for all IE languages. (Mallory 1997).

In this paper, I will show that several claims made by the standard theory about PIE are in fact completely unsupported or even refuted by the lexical documentation of the IE languages.


The standard and widely accepted way to compare languages and reconstruct proto-languages is the comparative method. This method resorts to sound correspondences. According to this principle, semantically related words can be cognates only if they display a perfect or near perfect match of their phonetic structures. Occasional and minor irregularities should be explainable by plausible reasons, such as accentuation or morphological emendations. In addition words should have a geographic distribution as widespread as possible among Indo-European languages.

It can be first noted that the Indo-European languages display a massive coherence. A huge bulk of any Indo-European language can be handled and explained satisfactorily within the PIE theory. Most languages display a huge number of phonetic, prosodic or morphological details, which are critical and nearly impossible to borrow. In addition mythological themes and poetical formulas and patterns can be retrieved among the daughter languages.

These features clearly show that there must have been at one particular time in one particular place a limited community of speakers that had PIE as its primary if not unique mother-tongue. All Indo-European languages result from the disintegration of that initially unified PIE and its expansion into the areas where they are historically attested. It can be noted that none of the IE languages can be equated with PIE itself. PIE is therefore an unattested prehistorical language. This raises the issue of the PIE homeland, an issue which is generally considered to involve two basic questions:

– Where is there a place out of which IE languages could have expanded?

– When did that expansion begin?

To these questions should be added a third question, which is not always explicitly dealt with but which is critical in my opinion:

– Why did this expansion start at that particular time, and not before or later?

In other words, the issue of the PIE homeland is threefold. Any theory must provide:

– a location: preferably (much) smaller than half a million km2, which is the maximal area on which a language can possibly remain fairly unified in prehistorical conditions,

– a dating: preferably coherent with the lexical items reconstructed for PIE,

– a cause, or some other principle(s) of causality, that accounts for the expansion starting out of that particular place at that particular time.

Another issue is the potential relatives of PIE and the potential early borrowings into PIE from neighboring languages.

As regards the standard Pontico-Caspian theory, its epistemological status is as follows:

– location: out of the area located to the North of the Caspian Sea

– dating: ca. -4500 BC or later

– cause: (21th c.) none. (19th c.: PIE speakers were culturally superior superheroes)

– PIE’s closest relative(s): PIE will never be proved to have relatives

This can be compared with the Anatolian theory (Renfrew):

– location: out of (the western half of) present-day Turkey

– dating: ca. -7500 BC

– cause: demographic expansion fuelled by increased food availability

– PIE’s closest relative(s): this issue is not addressed

It must be emphasized that the current version of the standard Pontico-Caspian theory does not explain the expansion, it states that the expansion happened at that date ca. -4500 BC or later. The absence of any plausible cause(s) accounting for the expansion is clearly one of the major weaknesses of the standard Pontico-Caspian theory, now that the depiction of PIE speakers as an unstoppable group of culturally superior superheroes is considered to be an absurd and colonialist eulogy completely unacceptable as a potential cause or explanation. In fact, the absence of cause(s) is more than a weakness: it is a major flaw of the theory.

In all cases, the “explanation” that PIE expanded because PIE speakers were an unstoppable group of culturally superior superheroes is in fact nonsense: if this premise were true, why did the expansion not begin before? What happened ca. -4500 BC? They had been complete unknowns for thousands of years and all of a sudden they became an unstoppable group of culturally superior superheroes. This Pontico-Caspian theory is nonsensical and belongs to the category of insane crap invented by narcissically unhinged minds.

Another point about a theory accounting for the IE expansion is the scenario. The implicit scenario in most theories is a one-shot expansion. In my opinion this implicit scenario is most probably wrong. There are numerous clues that IE languages expanded in more than one wave and that several of the historically attested languages overran other IE languages or languages which had considerable affinities with PIE or IE languages.

Another problem with most theories is the fiction that IE languages could expand as if the whole world were empty before they came there. The persistent problem of near-Indo-European substrates embedded in toponyms (Old European for example) or in existing IE languages indicates that the scenario of a one-shot expansion cannot be accepted.


As noted before, the standard Pontico-Caspian theory makes a number of claims about what PIE speakers knew and which realia had a name in the unified PIE language: cattle, sheep, goat, pig, dog, horse, etc. Most of these claims are in fact unsupported or refuted by the IE languages themselves. Most of these claims are fictions that can be proved unacceptable for purely linguistic reasons.

According to archeological records, the gradual domestication of several wild animals can be dated as follows:

– horse: ca. – 4 500 BC or later

– goat and sheep: ca. – 9 000 or earlier

– cattle and pig: ca. – 7 000 BC

– dog: ca. – 12 000 BC or earlier

In fact, only the dog can be determined to be a domesticated animal at the time when PIE was unified and had not yet split into several independent branches of IE languages. The protoword *ǩuon ‘dog’ is massively attested in Indo-European languages:

– Anatolian: Hieroglyphic Luwian śuwanis

– Indian śvā́, ś(u)vā́ ‘dog’, Gen. śúnas, Acc. śvā́nam, Acc. Pl. śúnas,

– Avestic spā, spānǝm, Gen. Pl. sū̆ nam, Medic (Herodot) σπάκα (< *k̂ u̯n̥ -ko- ‘dog-like’: Cf.

– Indian śvaka- ‘wolf’), Farsi (Middle) sak, (Modern) sag, Kurdish sah, Wāẋi šač,

– Iranian loanwords: Albanese shak(ë) ‘bitch’, Greek σπάδακες κύνες Hes. (< *σπάκαδες) and Russian sobáka ‘dog’; Cf. Farsi sabah,

– Armenian šun, Gen. šan ‘dog’ (with unclear š),

– Greek κύων, κυνός ‘dog’(κυνάμυια, Lituanian šun-musė ̃ ‘dogfly’),

– Latin canis ‘dog’ (unclear phonetics), cănēs ‘bitch’, canīcula (Cf. Indian śunī f.). This may be another word: Middle Iraish cano, cana ‘wolf puppy’, Welsh cenaw ‘young wolf or dog’

– Old Irish cū (Gen. con = κυνός), Welsh ci (Pl. cwn – κύνες, Lituanian šùnes), Breton Cornish ki ‘dog’ (< *k̂ u̯ō),

– Gotic hunds, Old Icelandic hundr, OE hund, OHG hunt ‘dog’ (< k̂ u̯n̥ -tó-),

– Lituanian šuõ (Gen. šuñs) ‘dog’ (Lituanian (dial.) šunis, Latvian suns, Old Prussian sunis ‘dog’); with suffix -t- Latvian suntana ‘big dog’, Latvian kuńa ‘bitch’

– Tocharian A ku, Obl. kon, В Nom. ku.

This word is not perfect: (1) there are some interferences between ‘dog’ and ‘wolf’, (2) some phonetic problems can be detected in Latin or Armenian, (3) the word is poorly attested in Anatolian. But it can be noted that there is an interesting compound: ‘dog-killer’ which refers to an unlucky dice cast: Latin canis, Indian śva-ghnín- and Greek κίνδῡνος ‘danger, risk’.

This compound supports the idea that the word *ǩuon ‘dog’ was known to PIE speakers. It can be further noted that this word is probably inherited from PIE’s ancestor language but it probably first meant ‘wolf’. It is unclear when the transition from ‘wolf’ to ‘dog’ happened.

The lexical data make it reasonable to think that the transition had already occured when PIE began to split.

On the contrary the words related to the horse are completely unacceptable as is examined in the following document: http://www.scribd.com/doc/16522951/T…the-Horse-asa- PIE-Stage-Domesticated-Animal. These words are mostly Altaic loanwords and the only word which may be a PIE word ≈Heǩwos is phonetically unacceptable and erratic.

Another peg in the chronology of the PIE terminus post quem is the domestication of goats and sheep. It can be shown that when the domestication of goats and sheep happened, IE languages were already dispersed and that the different IE branches resorted to different and independent words to describe goats and sheep. There is a major division between Italo-Celtic and Germanic (through Italo-Celtic loanwords) on the one hand and the other languages on the other hand.

Widespread words are *H2owi, *H2awi ‘sheep’ and *buǩ(ǩ)os, *buğos ‘goat’ but nothing shows if these generic words apply to domestic or wild animals. The major problem is that precise words are not shared by Indo-European languages but on the contrary show major divisions among the family. It can be noted that several languages display aberrant phonetics with explicit laryngeal segments like initial #h-.

– Italo-Celtic and Germanic (through loanwords)

1. a ram: *mul- (A) Celtic *multo: French mouton ‘mutton, sheep’, Welsh mollt, Irish molt, Breton maout ‘castrated ram’, (B) Italic *mul-dhro: Italian muflone, (C) Cf. Spanish morueco ‘ram’ (with irregular -r-), (D) Germanic *hamal (aberrant phonetics) ‘castrated ram’. This word has Afrasian counterparts *ḥ_m_l: Cf. Berber (with regular ḥ > z) Kabyle izimer ‘ram’, izamaren ‘lamb’, tizamarin ‘she-lamb’, Arabic ḥamal ‘lamb’.

2. a lamb: incoherent data (A) Celtic *oghwnos: Irish ūan, Welsh oen, Cornish oin, Breton oan ‘lamb’, (B) Italic *aghw-: Latin agnus, avillus ‘lamb’, Umbrian habina(f) (aberrant phonetics) ‘lambs’, (C) Greek *agwnos: ἀμνός m. f., ἀμνή ‘lamb’, (D) Germanic *aghw-: OE ēanian, English to yean, Dutch oonen, (E) Slavic *agw-: (j)agnę ‘lamb’. This word is clearly a Western dialectal word and the phonetics is incoherent. Greek and Slavic can only be loanwords of western IE languages. A possible Afrasian counterpart is *ˁ_g: Arabic ˁiğl, ˁiğğawl ‘calf’, ˁağā ‘to breast-feed’.

3. a goat: incoherent data (A) Old French gade < *g(h)ad(h) ‘she-goat’, gadel ‘kid’, (B) Latin haidus < *ghaid(h) ‘buck’, (C) Germanic *gait < *ghaid ‘she-goat’, (D) Albanese kats (aberrant phonetics) ‘kid’ > Greek loanword kats-iki. This word has Afrasian counterparts *gad: Cf. Berber taγatt ‘goat’ (ta- -t is fem. article), Semitic *gadī ‘kid’: Arabic *ğaddi. The intrusive -i- of Italic probably has a relationship with *kit ‘kid’ and Germanic is probably a loanword of Italic.

4. a kid: incoherent data (A) Albanese qith ‘kid’, (B) Middle Irish cit ‘sheep’, (C) Old Norse kið ‘young animal’ (from Celtic). A possible Afrasian counterpart is *k_t: Arabic katt ‘thin, skinny’, katta ‘worthless and skinny herd’, kutˁ ‘small skinny fox cub’.

5. a buck: incoherent data (A) Celtic *caperakos ‘sheep’: Irish caerach, Celtic *gabros ‘buck’ (B) Italic *capros: Latin caper, Umbrian cabru, capru ‘buck’, Latin capra ‘goat’ (C) Germanic *hafra ‘buck’. This word has Afrasian counterparts *ġ_p_r: Arabic ġafr, ġufr ‘kid (of goat or mountain goat)’.

These precise words only exist in western Indo-European languages, especially in Italic and Celtic which are most often coherent, and they are incoherently and scantily attested in Germanic, Greek, Albanese or Balto-Slavic. Moreover these words have very strong connections with Afrasian words. This situation is to be interpreted as a specific wave of loanwords into western Indo-European languages in relationship with sheep and goat breeding.

– Eastern Indo-European languages

1. a goat *H2a(i)ğ-: (A) Greek aigs ‘goat’, (B) Armenian aic, (C) Avestic izaena ‘made with goat-skin’, (D) Slavic (j)azno, Lituanien ožys ‘goat’, Sanskrit ajah ‘buck’. This word has Kartvelian counterparts: Georgian dzixgi ‘Caucasian goat’. Kartvelian dz was adapted as *H2 > *a. Cf. *dig ‘goat’ below.

2. a lamb *werH1: (A) Greek *Farēn ‘lamb’, Mycenian we-re-ne-ia ‘made with lamb-skin’, (B) Armenian garn ‘lamb’, (C) Sanskrit ur-anah ‘lamb, ram’, urā ‘ewe’, Avestic varen ‘lamb’, (D) Tocharian B yrîye < *werH1-en. The connection with Latin vervix ‘ewe’ is phonetically impossible.

3. a male (animal) *H1ers-: (A) Greek arsēn ‘male’, Grec erraos ‘ram, boar’, (B) Armenian oroj ‘ram’, (C) Sanskrit rṣa-bha ‘bull’, This word is in fact a specialized meaning of a generic PIE word for ‘male or man’.

– Words shared by Germanic and Greek

1. a goat *dig: (A) Greek (Spartian) diz-as (<*dig-ia), (B) Germanic *tigōn: German Ziege ‘goat’, OE ticcen ‘kid’. This word is probably a variant of dzixgi > *digi, with a different reflex of dz > *d.

2. a one-year-old goat *ghim-: (A) Greek khimaira, (B) Germanic *gimri. This word is a derivative of the word *ghey ‘winter’.

The Eastern Indo-European languages do not have the same vocabulary as the Western Indo-European languages as regards goat and sheep breeding. Contrary to the Western branch, which has Afrasian-sounding words, the Eastern branch has Kartvelian-sounding words. This situation means that the Eastern Indo-European languages have been involved in breeding by a separate wave of Neolithization, which is independent from that of the Western Indo-European languages.

This is what Mallory (1996) described: The first sheep found in the steppic area betwen the Don and the Ural rivers are bigger and substantially differ from those of the Balkanic area, and they look very much like those found in the Neolithic sites of the Caucasus.

1 There is no lexical basis to support the claims made by the standard Pontico-Caspian theory that PIE knew domesticated sheep and goats (or even more absurdly domesticated horses). These realia did not belong to the unified PIE stage. Only the dog may have belonged.


In other words, it can be proved that Indo-European languages have not been involved in the same waves of Neolithization: the Western Indo-European languages received domesticated animals through the Balkans and have an Afrasian-sounding vocabulary to describe those animals whereas the Eastern Indo-European languages received domesticated animals through the Caucasus and have a vocabulary which is of Kartvelian origin mixed with a specialized reuse of PIE inherited words.

This clearly shows that such a low dating as – 4 500 BC for unified PIE is nonsense and that PIE started to disintegrate at the time of the domestication of the dog (or maybe slightly before) and that at the time of the domestication of the sheep and goat ca. -9 500 BC, Indo- European languages were already occupying a large swath of land from the Balkans to the Pontico-Caspian area, which are respectively the secondary homeland of the Western branch and the Eastern branch of Indo-European languages.

My proposal for the PIE homeland:

– location: out of Western Turkey

– dating: ca. -12 000 BC

– cause: repeopling of Central and Eastern Europe freed after the end of Würm ice age

– closest PIE relatives: Hurrian and Hattic

In my proposal, IE languages began to expand as soon as it was possible to do so, after Central and Eastern Europe had become an inhabitable area after the end of Würm ice age.


Mallory, James P. 1997. The homelands of the Indo-Europeans. Blench, Roger & and

Matthew Spriggs. Archaeology and Language I: Theoretical and methodological

orientations. One World Archaeology, vol. 27. London and New York: Routledge.

Mallory, James P. 1996. In search of the Indo-Europeans.

Homeland of the Indo-Europeans

The scholars of the 19th century that originally tackled the question of the original homeland of the Indo-Europeans (also called Urheimat after the German term), were essentially confined to linguistic evidence. A rough localization was attempted by reconstructing the names of plants and animals (importantly the beech and the salmon) as well as the culture and technology (a Bronze Age culture centered on animal husbandry and having domesticated the horse). The scholarly opinions became basically divided between a European hypothesis, positing migration from Europe to Asia, and an Asian hypothesis, holding that the migration took place in the opposite direction.

However, from its early days, the controversy was tainted by romantic, nationalistic notions of heroic invaders at best and by imperialist and racist agendas at worst. It was often naturally assumed that the spread of the language was due to the invasions by some superior Aryan race. Such hypotheses suffered a particularly severe distortion for purposes of political propaganda by the Nazis. The question is still the source of much contention. Typically, nationalistic schools of thought either claim their respective territories for the original homeland, or maintain that their own culture and language have always been present in their area, dismissing the concept of Proto-Indo-Europeans altogether.

The Indo-European names for trees and plants include *t’e’orw- ‘tree; oak’, * pher(kho) -‘ * pheru- ‘oak; cliff’, *aik’- ‘mountain oak’, * k’oelH- ‘ acorn’, *bherf.l}{‘- ‘birch’ , * bhaHk ‘o- ‘beech’ , * (s)k’robho- ‘hombeam’ , *Hos’ ash’, * Hosph- ‘aspen’ , *so(e)likh- ‘willow’ , *ei-‘ *oi- ‘yew’, *phith- ‘pine, fir’, * q har- ‘ walnut; nut tree’ , * wer- ‘heather’ , * wrot ‘ -‘ * w rt’- ‘rose’ , *m(e)us- ‘moss’ .

This inventory agrees with the mountainous topography of the Indo-European proto-homeland and localizes it in relatively more southern regions: the Mediterranean in the broad sense, including the Balkans and the northern part of the Near East (Asia Minor, the mountainous areas of Upper Mesopotamia, and adjacent areas). lO Oak forests were not characteristic of northern Europe, where they spread only in the fourth to third millennia B.C

The relatively southern character of the Proto-Indo-European ecological environment suggested by geographical and botanical evidence is supported by analysis of the Indo-European animal names: *w!kho- ‘ * wlph_, * weit’-(n)’ wolf’ , *Hrth}{h- ‘bear’, *phars-‘ *phart’- ‘panther, leopard’ , * leu- ‘lion’,*Ieukh- ‘ lynx’ , * wl – o -phe k’h_(a) ‘fox, jackal’ , * qhweph- ‘ wild boar’ , * e l-(e)n-I *el-J{h- ‘deer, European elk, antelope’ , * thauro- ‘wild bull, aurochs, bison’ , * J{has-(no-) ‘hare’, * qhe/oph- ‘monkey, ape’, *yebh-I *Hebhand * lebh-onth-I * leHbho- ‘elephant; ivory ‘ , * oghoi-I *anghoi- ‘ snake’ , * mlis- ‘mouse’ , * kharkhar- ‘crab’, *mus- ‘fly’ , * I lis- ‘louse’ , *ghnit’- ‘nit’ , *dhghii- ‘fish’, *Hwei- ‘bird’, *He/or- ‘eagle’, *k’er- ‘crane’, *kher- ‘crow’, * theth(e)r- ‘capercaillie, black grouse ‘ , * (s)phikho- ‘woodpecker; small songbird, finch’, *ghans- ‘water bird, goose, swan’. Some of these animals * phars-I *phart’- ‘panther, leopard’, * Ieu- ‘lion’, * qhe/oph- ‘monkey, ape’, *yebh-I * Hebh- and * Iebh-onth- ‘elephant, ivory’ , *kharkhar- ‘crab’ – are peculiar to southern areas, which rules out central· Europe as a possible protohomeland for the Indo-European tribes.

The evidence against placing the Indo-European proto-homeland in central or eastern (although not southeastern) Europe provided by the reconstructed topography and ecological environment is consistent with culture-historical data on the domestic animals and cultivated plants with which the ancient IndoEuropeans must have been familiar. In the fourth millennium B.C., the time of Proto-Indo-European, herding and agriculture were in a rudimentary state in central Europe (Clark 1 952 [ 1 953]), while for Proto-Indo-European we can reconstruct a well-developed system of herding with the basic domestic animals, *ek’hwo- ‘horse’, *osono- ‘donkey’, * k ‘o(o)u- ‘bull, cow’ , *Howi- ‘ sheep, ram’, *qhok” – ‘goat’, *k’hwon- ‘dog’, * sU- ‘pig’ , *phorJ{ho- ‘piglet’, as well as terms for the products of livestock raising and terms having to do with herding, *Hak” -ro- ‘unworked field for grazing livestock’ , *phaH- ‘herd, tend livestock’, *wes-ther- ‘herder, shepherd’. In eastern Europe, in particular the northern Mediterranean area and the Volga steppe, developed herding of this type is known only from the third millennium B.C. on (see Goodenough 1970:255ff., Merpert 1 974). In central Europe, sheepherding, strongly developed among the ancient Indo-Europeans as shown by their elaborated sheepherding terminology (see II.3.1 .4), is almost entirely absent until the first millennium B.c. This also agrees with the lack of wool in neolithic Europe (Clark 1 952: 1 17- 1 8 [ 1953 : 124-25, 235-36], Curwen and Hatt 1953:41). Goat-breeding is first observed in Europe, including eastern Europe, at an even later time (Calkin 1 956). Also characteristic of Proto-Indo-European culture was well-developed beekeeping (*bhei- ‘bee’, *mel-ith-, *medhu- ‘honey’), which is known in the Near East from very ancient times. The developed agriculture which is characteristic of ancient Indo-European society is established on the evidence of reconstructed Indo-European words for cultivated plants (*yewo- ‘barley’, *phiir- ‘ wheat’, * Ifno- ‘flax’), fruit trees (*sam(a)lu- ‘apple, apple tree, fruit tree’, * khrno- ‘cornel cherry, cherry’, * m o r o – ‘mulberry’ , * maHlo- ‘apple’ , *w(e/o)ino- ‘ grape ‘), tools for working land (*Har- ‘plow’ (verb), *Har-l1-thro-m ‘plow’ (noun), *seH(i)’ sow ‘ , *soelkh- and *pherk:h- ‘furrow’ , *serph- ‘ sickle’), agricultural seasons (*(e)s-en- ‘harvest time’, *Ham- ‘time of ripening’, *meH(i)- ‘ripen; gather harvest’), agricultural products (*selph- and * ongho- ‘oil’), and tools and activities involved in processing agricultural products (*bhrek:’ – ‘prepare barley grains over fire’, *pheis- ‘thresh, mill grain’ , * mel- ‘ grind, crush, thresh’ , *k’orau- ‘mill’ ; such tools enter Europe from Southwest Asia only during the Iron Age, i.e. in the first millennium B.C.: Clark 1 952: 1 1 3 [ 1 953:120]).

This is convincing evidence for locating Proto-Indo-European in those regions where agriculture was most highly developed in the fourth millennium B.c., namely in the same southern area stretching from the Balkans to Iran. The elaborate terminology for agriculture and wine-growing excludes the more northerly regions of Europe. Grains such as barley become a dominant cultivar in Europe only by the end of the second or beginning of the first millennium B.c. (ClarkI952: 108 [1953:1 15]). Of particular value for establishing the original habitation of the ancient IndoEuropeans is the Indo-European terminology for transport: the words for wheeled carriages (*khoel-, *khoekholo- ‘wheel, wheeled carriage, chariot’, *rotho- ‘wheel’ , *Hwer-th-, *Hwer-gh- ‘turn, rotate; wheel, circle; carriage’ , *His- ‘pole (of carriage)’ , * dhur- ‘harness’ , *HaI{hs- ‘axle’, *yuk’om ‘yoke’, * wegh- ‘carry by vehicle’ , *yaH- ‘ride in vehicle’), the word for ‘bronze’ (*Haye/os-), indispensable for making wheeled carriages from mountain hardwoods, and the word for ‘horse’ (*eI{hwo-), which must be assumed to have been used as a draft animal in the Proto-Indo-European period, i.e. by the fourth millennium B.C.

This set of facts again restricts the original territory of Proto-Indo-European to the region reaching from the Balkans to the Near East and the Transcaucasus as far as the Iranian plateau and southern Turkmenia (see 11.6.6 above). The manufacture of wheeled carriages is dated to about the fourth millennium B.C. Their center of dispersal is recognized to be the region from the Transcaucasus to Upper Mesopotamia (see Childe 1 954, Piggott 1969, 1974). From this Near Eastern center they spread to the Volga-Ural region (Gening 1977),12 the northern Black Sea area (Kuz’mina 1974, 1976, 1977), the Balkans, and Central Europe (see 11.6.6. 16 and Map 1). The same time period marks the beginning of the Bronze Age in the Near East (Forbes 1950).

This same territory is one of the possible areas where the horse was first domesticated and used as a draft animal, or in any event a center of dispersal for the previously domesticated horse (see 11.3.1 . 1 . 16). The elaborate Proto-Indo-European terminology for transport carriages and for the harness and its parts, as well as for horses and bronze, is grounds for placing the Indo-European proto-homeland of the fourth millennium B.C. within the area extending from the Balkans (including the Near East and Transcaucasus) to southern Turkmenia.

There is also reason to reconstruct water transport for the Indo-Europeans: *erij- l * reH- ‘navigate in boat or ship using oars ‘, *naHw- ‘boat, vessel’ , *phleu- ‘travel by boat’. In the fourth to third millennia B.c., well-developed water transport is known in the Near East, in particular in ancient Mesopotamia: see Childe 1934 [ 1 956], Komor6czy 1976: 17ff.

Proto-Indo-European, Kartvelian, and Semitic show a distinctive isomorphic structure in their consonantism, which displays three series of stops, defined as glottalized (or pharyngealized, for some of Semitic), voiced, and voiceless (see 1.2.5 above). !3 Kartvelian and Indo-European have identical systems of sonants, with syllabic and non-syllabic variants depending on position in the word. Also identical are the structural canon for root and affixal morphemes and the rules for combining them which involved ablaut alternations of vowels (see I.4.3 for details). Such similarity, complete down to isomorphism of structures and root canons, would be the result of long interaction of these languages in a linguistic area, and their allogenetic association with one another (see Cereteli 1968).

Further testimony to this relationship comes from the numerous lexical borrowings observed among the languages of this former linguistic area.

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