Paired Horse and PIE breakup

N. Ganesan naga_ganesan at HOTMAIL.COM
Fri Nov 6 18:42:32 UTC 1998

My theory is that these movements c. 5500 BC represent the breakup of
PIE (Proto-Hittite staying behind in the Balkan area, the Ko"ro"s/LBK
groups moving east and west to eventually become Western and Eastern

Admittedly, the common vocabulary for wheeled transport is a problem
for my theory (not as much as for Renfrew's version, of course).  If
wheeled transport was invented c. 3500 BC, there is still a gap of
two millennia between my date for PIE breakup and the wheel.

There is of course the possibility that future archaeological finds
may push the date a bit further back [we are dealing with perishable
wooden, non-metallic, artifacts after all], but it seems unlikely
that wheeled transport existed before 4000 BC, and 5500 BC is too
much to hope for.  But at the same time, what I am arguing for is an
early Indo-European-speaking area which had not yet expanded into its
present area (France, Great Britain & Ireland, Italy, Spain, Central
Asia, Iran, N. India had not yet been Indo-Europeanized by 3500 BC).
We can roughly compare the area occupied by IE between 5500 and 3500
with the present area of the Romance languages, and likewise the
linguistic distance between the IE languages at the time (Romance is
some 2000 years old).

      Thanks again, Dr. Vidal.

      I seriously doubt wheel impressions will be found
      further back than 3500 B.C. (Wheels are found only
      upto 3300 B.C., Anthony cautiously takes 3500 B.C.
      for PIE guys together.)

      There is a difficulty with the 5500 B.C. as the
      start date for Early Common PIE. Archaeological
      evidence points to PIE not even crossing Dnieper
      river before 3500 B.C. Please see below.

      Mr. J-C. Svadchii's post shows that we cannot
      support 5500 B.C. as the breakup date. Want
      to know how you reconcile the similarities
      between Roman and Indic religions for such a
      long time. This fact also argues for a late
      date for Late Common IE in a compact area
      (say, Romance tongue zone) given the paired horses
      in chariots appear in myth and ritual.
      Archaeology gives dates for 'proto'chariots as
      2000 B.C. and for true chariots as 1800 B.C.
      (Future digs may push these dates little back.)

N. Ganesan

                               Antiquity, Sept 1995 v69 n264 p554(12)
                          Horse, wagon & chariot: Indo-European
                          languages and archaeology. David W.

  Third, the clearest and most discontinuous
  archaeological boundary in all of Europe during the
  period 5000-3500 BC was at the Dnieper River in
  modern Ukraine (Anthony 1995). The Tripolye culture,
  west of the Dnieper, was utterly distinct from the
  groups east of the Dnieper in ceramic shapes,
  decoration and technology; in metallurgy; in the use
  of female figurines; in mortuary rituals; in house
  forms and construction methods; in settlement size
  and organization; in several aspects of lithic tool
  production; in economy; and in the developmental
  trajectory that led to its appearance. Archaeological
  cultures do not correlate with prehistoric language
  groups in a predictable manner, but in many
  ethnographic situations, material culture does
  correlate with language (Clarke 1968: 384-5; Hodder
  1978: 9-10; Jorgensen 1980: 88; Weissner 1983: 272;
  Moore & Romney 1994: 387-8). The Dnieper divide is
  likely to represent a 4th-millennium BC language
  boundary because: it originated as a boundary between
  immigrant farmers (west) and indigenous foragers
  (east); it was remarkably persistent, enduring for
  1500 years, even after the societies east of the
  Dnieper adopted food production; and it separated
  people who produced fundamentally different material
  cultures, reflecting basic differences in domestic
  and economic organization, ritual practice,
  technological expertise and social display (Anthony
  1995: 189-90).

  The Dnieper boundary is among the best candidates for
  a linguistic boundary in 4th-millennium BC Europe.
  PIE should be placed on one side or the other. The
  linguistic links to Uralic and Caucasic, just
  mentioned, and the archaeological background of early
  Indo-Iranian-speaking groups far to the east combine
  to suggest a PIE homeland east of the Dnieper. These
  new arguments lead to an old conclusion: that the PIE
  homeland was in the Pontic-Caspian steppes, north of
  the Black and Caspian Seas.

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