Archaeological evidence and linguistic evidence converge in support of an origin of Indo-European languages on the Pontic-Caspian steppes around 4,000 years BCE. The evidence is so strong that arguments in support of other hypotheses should be reexamined.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Literature Cited

  1. Anthony DW. 1995. Horse, wagon, and chariot: Indo-European languages and archaeology. Antiquity 69:554–65 [Google Scholar]
  2. Anthony DW. 2007. The Horse, the Wheel, and Language Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press [Google Scholar]
  3. Anthony DW. 2013. Two IE phylogenies, three PIE migrations, and four kinds of steppe pastoralism. J. Lang. Relatsh. 9:1–22 [Google Scholar]
  4. Anthony DW, Brown DR. 2011. The secondary products revolution, horse-riding, and mounted warfare. J. World Prehist. 24:131–60 [Google Scholar]
  5. Bakker JA. 2011. Is social differentiation detectable in the TRB culture? See Furholt et al. 2011, pp. 261–72
  6. Bakker JA, Kruk J, Lanting AL, Milisauskas S. 1999. The earliest evidence of wheeled vehicles in Europe and the Near East. Antiquity 73:778–90 [Google Scholar]
  7. Bellwood P. 2013. First Migrants: Ancient Migration in Global Perspective Oxford, UK: Wiley-Blackwell [Google Scholar]
  8. Bellwood P, Renfrew C. 2002. Examining the Farming/Language Dispersal Hypothesis Cambridge, UK: McDonald Inst [Google Scholar]
  9. Benveniste E. 1969. Le Vocabulaire des institutions Indo-Européennes. Transl. E Palmer, 1973, as Indo-European Language and Society. Coral Gables, FL: Univ. Miami Press. From French
  10. Bergsland K, Vogt H. 1962. On the validity of glottochronology. Curr. Anthropol. 3:115–53 [Google Scholar]
  11. Bicbaev V. 2010. The Copper Age cemetery of Giugiuleşti. The Lost World of Old Europe: The Danube Valley, 5000–3500 BC Anthony DW, Chi J. 212–24 New York: Inst. Study Anc. World [Google Scholar]
  12. Blench R, Spriggs M. 1997. Archaeology and Language, Vol. 1: Theoretical and Methodological Orientations. London: Routledge
  13. Bouckaert R, Lemey P, Dunn M, Greenhill SJ, Alekseyenko AV et al. 2012. Mapping the origins and expansion of the Indo-European language family. Science 337:957–60 [Google Scholar]
  14. Brandt G, Haak W, Adler CJ, Roth C, Szécsényi-Nagy A et al. 2013. Ancient DNA reveals key stages in the formation of central European mitochondrial genetic diversity. Science 342:257–61 [Google Scholar]
  15. Bremer J. 1982. The suodales of Poplios Valesios. Z. Papyrol. Epigr. 47:133–47 [Google Scholar]
  16. Brugmann K. 1906. Grundriss der vergleichenden Grammatik der indogermanischen Sprachen Strassburg, Ger.: Trübner, 2nd ed.. [Google Scholar]
  17. Carpelan C, Parpola A. 2001. Emergence, contacts and dispersal of Proto-Indo-European, Proto-Uralic and Proto-Aryan in archaeological perspective. See Carpelan et al. 2001, pp. 55–150
  18. Carpelan C, Parpola A, Koskikallio P. 2001. Early Contacts Between Uralic and Indo-European: Linguistic and Archaeological Considerations. Helsinki: Suom. Ugr. Seura
  19. Clackson J. 2007. Indo-European Linguistics: An Introduction. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press
  20. Das RP, Meiser G. 2003. Geregeltes Ungestüm. Brüderschaften und Jugendbünde bei altindogermanischen Völkern Bremen, Ger.: Hempen [Google Scholar]
  21. Deguilloux M-F, Leahy R, Pemonge M, Rottier S. 2012. European neolithization and ancient DNA: an assessment. Evol. Anthropol. 21:24–37 [Google Scholar]
  22. Diakonoff IM. 1985. On the original home of the speakers of Indo-European. J. Indo-Eur. Stud. 13:93–173 [Google Scholar]
  23. Diakonoff IM. 1988. Review of Renfrew 1987. Annu. Armen. Linguist. 9:79–87 [Google Scholar]
  24. Dietler M, Hayden B. 2001. Feasts Washington, DC: Smithsonian Inst [Google Scholar]
  25. Ecsedy I. 1994. Camps for eternal rest—some aspects of the burials by the earliest nomads of the steppes. In The Archaeology of the Steppes: Methods and Strategies, ed. B Genito, pp. 167–76. Naples, Italy: Ist. Univ. Orient.
  26. Evans SN, Ringe D, Warnow T. 2006. Inference of divergence times as a statistical inverse problem. See Forster & Renfrew 2006, pp. 119–29
  27. Falk H. 1986. Bruderschaft und Würfelspiel Freiburg, Ger.: Hedwige Falk [Google Scholar]
  28. Fansa M, Burmeister S. 2004. Rad und Wagen. Der Ursprung einer Innovation: Wagen im vorderen Orient und Europa Mainz, Ger.: Philipp von Zabern [Google Scholar]
  29. Forster P, Renfrew C. 2006. Phylogenetic Methods and the Prehistory of Languages Cambridge, UK: McDonald Inst. [Google Scholar]
  30. Fortson BW IV. 2010. Indo-European Language and Culture: An Introduction Oxford, UK: Blackwell, 2nd ed.. [Google Scholar]
  31. Furholt M. 2003. Absolutchronologie und die Entstehung der Schnurkeramik. J. Neolit. Archaeol. Online 5:1–28. http://www.jna.uni-kiel.de/index.php/jna/issue/view/2
  32. Furholt M, Lüth F, Müller J. 2011. Megaliths and Identities: Early Monuments and Neolithic Societies from the Atlantic to the Baltic Bonn, Ger.: Rudolf Habelt [Google Scholar]
  33. Furholt M, Müller J. 2011. The earliest monuments in Europe—architecture and social structures (5000–3000 BC). See Furholt et al. 2011, pp. 15–32
  34. Gamkrelidze TV, Ivanov V. 1995. Indo-European and the Indo-Europeans: A Reconstruction and Historical Analysis of a Proto-Language and a Proto-Culture, Vol. 1. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter
  35. Gimbutas M. 1970. Proto-Indo-European culture: the Kurgan culture during the fifth, fourth, and third millennia B.C. In Indo-European and the Indo-Europeans, ed. G Cardona, H Hoenigswald, A Senn, pp. 155–98. Philadelphia: Univ. Pa. Press
  36. Gimbutas M. 1977. The first wave of Eurasian steppe pastoralists into Copper Age Europe. J. Indo-Eur. Stud. 5:277–338 [Google Scholar]
  37. Gray RD, Atkinson QD. 2003. Language-tree divergence times support the Anatolian theory of Indo-European origin. Nature 426:435–39 [Google Scholar]
  38. Gray RD, Atkinson QD. 2005. Gray and Atkinson’s response to Larry Trask (and other critics). http://www.ceacb.ucl.ac.uk/cultureclub/files/2004-2005/CC2005-04-14-Response_to_Trask_Take2.pdf
  39. Harris AC. 1991. Overview of the history of the Kartvelian languages. In The Indigenous Languages of the Caucasus, Vol. 1: The Kartvelian Languages, pp. 7–83. Delmar, NY: Caravan
  40. Hayden B. 2001. Fabulous feasts: a prolegomenon to the importance of feasting. See Dietler & Hayden 2001, pp. 23–64
  41. Hayden B, Villeneuve S. 2012. Who benefits from complexity? A view from Futuna. In Pathways to Power: New Perspectives on the Emergence of Social Inequality, ed. TD Price, GM Feinman, pp. 95–146. New York: Springer
  42. Heyd V. 2011. Yamnaya groups and tumuli west of the Black Sea. In Ancestral Landscapes: Burial Mounds in the Copper and Bronze Ages, ed. E Borgna, SM Celka, pp. 535–56. Lyon, Fr.: Trav. Maison Orient Méditerr.
  43. Hoenigswald HM. 1960. Language Change and Linguistic Reconstruction Chicago: Univ. Chicago Press [Google Scholar]
  44. Janhunen J. 2000. Reconstructing pre-Proto-Uralic typology: spanning the millennia of linguistic evolution. Congr. Nonus Int. Fenno-Ugr. 1:59–76
  45. Janhunen J. 2001. Indo-Uralic and Ural-Altaic: on the diachronic implications of areal typology. See Carpelan et al. 2001, pp. 207–20
  46. Jasanoff JH. 2003. Hittite and the Indo-European Verb Oxford, UK: Oxford Univ. Press [Google Scholar]
  47. Kallio P. 2001. Phonetic Uralisms in Indo-European? See Carpelan et al. 2001, pp. 221–34
  48. Kammenhuber A. 1969. Das Hattische. In Altkleinasiatische Sprachen, ed. B Spuler, pp. 428–546. Leiden, Neth.: Brill
  49. Kershaw C. 2000. The One-Eyed God: Odin and the (Indo-)Germanic Männerbünde Washington, DC: Inst. Study Man [Google Scholar]
  50. Kessler B, Lehtonen A. 2006. Multilateral comparison and significance testing of the Indo-Uralic question. See Forster & Renfrew 2006, pp. 33–42
  51. Klochko VI, Kośko A. 2009. The societies of Corded Ware cultures and those of Black Sea steppes (Yamnaya and Catacomb Grave cultures) in the route network between the Baltic and Black Seas. Balt.-Pontic Stud 14:269–301 [Google Scholar]
  52. Koivulehto J. 2001. The earliest contacts between Indo-European and Uralic speakers in the light of lexical loans. See Carpelan et al. 2001, pp. 235–63
  53. Kortlandt F. 1990. The spread of the Indo-Europeans. J. Indo-Eur. Stud. 18:131–40 [Google Scholar]
  54. Kristiansen K, Larsson T. 2005. The Rise of Bronze Age Society: Travels, Transmissions, and Transformations Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press [Google Scholar]
  55. Lewis M, Pereltsvaig A. 2012. Linguistic phylogenies are not the same as biological phylogenies. GeoCurrents Blog, Oct. 17. http://geocurrents.info/cultural-geography/linguistic-geography/linguistic-phylogenies-are-not-the-same-as-biological-phylogenies
  56. Lincoln B. 1991. Warriors and non-herdsmen: a response to Mary Boyce. Death, War, and Sacrifice: Studies in Ideology and Practice Lincoln B. 145–66 Chicago: Univ. Chicago Press [Google Scholar]
  57. Mair V. 1998. The Bronze Age and Early Iron Age Peoples of Eastern Central Asia Philadelphia: Univ. Pa. Mus. [Google Scholar]
  58. Mallory JP. 1989. In Search of the Indo-Europeans London: Thames & Hudson [Google Scholar]
  59. Mallory JP. 1997. The homeland of the Indo-Europeans. See Blench & Spriggs 1997, pp. 93–121
  60. Mallory JP. 1998. A European perspective on Indo-Europeans in Asia. See Mair 1998, pp. 175–201
  61. Mallory JP. 2001. Uralics and Indo-Europeans: problems of time and space. See Carpelan et al. 2001, pp. 345–66
  62. Mallory JP, Adams DQ. 2006. The Oxford Introduction to Proto-Indo-European and the Proto-Indo-European World Oxford, UK: Oxford Univ. Press [Google Scholar]
  63. Marciniak A. 2008. Communities, households, and animals: convergent developments in central Anatolian and central European Neolithic. Doc. Praehist. 35:93–109 [Google Scholar]
  64. Markey TL. 1990. Gift, payment, and reward revisited. When Worlds Collide: The Indo Europeans and the Pre-Indo-Europeans Markey TL, Greppin J. 345–62 Ann Arbor, MI: Karoma [Google Scholar]
  65. McCone K. 1987. Hund, Wolf, und Krieger bei den Indogermanen. Studien zum Indogermanischen Wortschatz Meid W. 101–54 Innsbruck, Austria: Inst. Berufsbegleit. Stud. [Google Scholar]
  66. Melchert HC. 2001. Critical responses. Greater Anatolia and the Indo-Hittite Language Family Drews R. 229–35 Washington, DC: Inst. Study Man [Google Scholar]
  67. Mercer R. 2007. By other means? The development of warfare in the British Isles 3000–500 BC. War and Sacrifice: Studies in the Archaeology of Conflict Pollard T, Banks I. 119–52 Leiden, Neth.: Brill [Google Scholar]
  68. Nichols J. 1997. The epicentre of the Indo-European linguistic spread. See Blench & Spriggs 1997, pp. 122–48
  69. Nichols J, Warnow T. 2008. Tutorial on computational linguistic phylogeny. Lang. Linguist. Compass 2:760–820 [Google Scholar]
  70. Outram AK, Stear NA, Bendrey R, Olsen S, Kasparov A et al. 2009. The earliest horse harnessing and milking. Science 323:1332–35 [Google Scholar]
  71. Parker-Pearson M, Willis CC. 2011. Burials and builders of Stonehenge: social identities in Late Neolithic and Chalcolithic Britain. See Furholt et al. 2011, pp. 285–93
  72. Parpola A. 2012. Formation of the Indo-European and Uralic (Finno-Ugric) language families in the light of archaeology: revised and integrated ‘total’ correlations. Suom. Ugr. Seuran Toim. 266:119–84 [Google Scholar]
  73. Powell EA. 2013. Wolf rites of winter. Archaeology, Sep. 17, pp. 33–36
  74. Renfrew C. 1987. Archaeology and Language: The Puzzle of Indo-European Origins London: Jonathan Cape [Google Scholar]
  75. Renfrew C. 2002a. The emerging synthesis: the archaeogenetics of farming/language dispersals and other spread zones. Examining the Farming/Language Dispersal Hypothesis Bellwood P, Renfrew C. 3–16 Cambridge, UK: McDonald Inst [Google Scholar]
  76. Renfrew C. 2002b. The Indo-European problem and the exploitation of the Eurasian steppes: questions of time depth. In Complex Societies of Central Eurasia from the 3rd to the 1st Millennium BC, Vol. 1: Ethnos, Language, Culture, ed. K Jones-Bley, DG Zdanovich, pp. 3–20. Washington, DC: Inst. Study Man
  77. Ringe D. 1997. A probabilistic evaluation of Indo-Uralic. Nostratic: Sifting the Evidence Joseph B, Salmons J. 153–97 Philadelphia: Benjamins [Google Scholar]
  78. Ringe D. 2000. Tocharian class II presents and subjunctives and the reconstruction of the Indo-European verb. Tocharian Indo-Eur. Stud. 9:121–42 [Google Scholar]
  79. Ringe D. 2009. The linguistic diversity of aboriginal Europe. Language Log Blog, Jan. 6. http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/nll/?p=980
  80. Ringe D, Warnow T, Taylor A. 2002. Indo-European and computational cladistics. Trans. Philol. Soc. 100:59–129 [Google Scholar]
  81. Salminen T. 2001. The rise of the Finno-Ugric language family. See Carpelan et al. 2001, pp. 385–96
  82. Scheu A, Georg C, Schulz A, Burger J, Benecke N. 2012. The arrival of domesticated animals in South-Eastern Europe as seen from ancient DNA. Population Dynamics in Prehistory and Early History Kaiser E, Burger J, Schier W. 45–54 Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter [Google Scholar]
  83. Schmidt KH. 1991. Latin and Celtic: genetic relationship and areal contacts. Bull. Board Celt. Stud. 38:1–19 [Google Scholar]
  84. Schrader O. 1890. Sprachvergleichung und Urgeschichte Vol. 2 Jena, Ger.: Hermann Costanoble [Google Scholar]
  85. Sherratt A. 1997. The secondary exploitation of animals in the Old World. Economy and Society in Prehistoric Europe: Changing Perspectives Sherratt A. 199–228 Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press. Rev. ed [Google Scholar]
  86. Thomas J. 2010. The return of the Rinyon-Clacton folk? The cultural significance of the Grooved Ware complex in later Neolithic Britain. Camb. Archaeol. J. 20:1–15 [Google Scholar]
  87. Vandkilde H. 2006. Warriors and warrior institutions in Copper Age Europe. Warfare and Society: Archaeological and Social Anthropological Perspectives Otto T, Thrane H, Vandkilde H. 393–431 Aarhus, Den: Aarhus Univ. Press [Google Scholar]
  88. Vehik S. 2002. Conflict, trade, and political development on the southern plains. Am. Antiq. 67:37–64 [Google Scholar]
  89. Watkins C. 1995. How to Kill a Dragon: Aspects of Indo-European Poetics Oxford, UK: Oxford Univ. Press [Google Scholar]
  90. Wilhelm G. 2004. Hurrian. The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the World’s Ancient Languages Woodard RD. 95–118 Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press [Google Scholar]
  91. Winter W. 1998. Lexical archaisms in the Tocharian languages. See Mair 1998, pp. 347–57
  92. Witzel MM. 2003. Sintashta, BMAC and the Indo-Iranians: a query. Sino-Platonic Pap. 129:1–70 [Google Scholar]
  93. Yakubovich I. 2010. Sociolinguistics of the Luvian Language Leiden, Neth.: Brill [Google Scholar]
  94. Zimmer S. 2009. “Sacrifice” in Proto-Indo-European. J. Indo-Eur. Stud. 37:178–90 [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

  • Article Type: Review Article
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error