[cybalist] Cowboys on Horseback
- Mark Odegaard said:
>If you are managing herds of horses or cattle, however, being mountedon >horseback is almost obligatory. I cannot imagine how you would
>a free-ranging bull otherwise. A shepherd's job and a cowboy's job arequite >different.
Piffle. People manage cattle afoot without trouble. There are very few
mounted cowboys in Wisconsin managing their dairy herds. How did the
first horse wranglers manage to get their mounts; from cattle-back?
[Mark - Fancy meeting you here. Always knew you rock crushers were up
to no good from ONR 480 times]
Piffle. People manage cattle afoot without trouble. There are very few mounted cowboys in Wisconsin managing their dairy herds. How did the first horse wranglers manage to get their mounts; from cattle-back?
First, I'm not that Mark Odegard (there are actually three of us on the net, one is a geologist, the second is a lawyer, and then there's me). We hang out in different areas of the net; I'm the one found in the humanities fora chatting about language and its history.
My comments were limited to free-ranging cattle. The Masai,of course handle their cattle without horses, but they are also known as extraordinary runners.
Modern cattle, especially dairy herds where one has only one bull or so to keep the ladies contentedly well-serviced, represent thousands of years of selective breeding. 3,000-4000 years ago, you were not that far removed from Bos primigenius--the aurochs. Behaviorally, the critters would have been closer to what modern bull-riders or bull-fighters encounter. The distinction between cattle then and cattle now might be compared to the present-day distinction between reindeer and caribou (they are the same species, Rangifer tarandus, the former being the considerably more tractable domesticated strain).
With a dairy cow, her need to be milked is sufficient to cause her to return to the barn twice a day. This behavior is absolutely predictable and, as a consquence, she can be allowed to range freely. A heifer or a dried-up cow, however, takes some watching, though her affection for her herd and familiar surroundings will keep her nearby.
Herds of free-ranging (unfenced) beef cattle ('beeves' as they are called in Texas) have to be rounded up. Even today, such cattle often need some physical encouragement if they are to driven to where you want them. A 4-wheel drive vehicle, or a motorcycle can substitute for a horse, but getting all the animals moving towards the same place requires the cowboy to have something more than what his own two legs can do.
I believe it was the Indo-Europeans who perfected the technique of managing free-ranging stock on horseback, sometime around or just before 2500 BCE. Combined with sturdy, steppe-worthy carts, this allowed them to expand enormously -- both in terms of geographic expanse and in terms of absolute numbers. They were filling what had been an unfilled ecological niche. They were a well-fed (and consequently, fertile) people.
I think it really was a Big Bang. The only real historic parallel would be the expansion of the European population of the US westwards of the Appalachians (and probably, the Russification of Siberia during the same period). It took us less than 100 years to fill a continent, most of it accomplished with little more than ox-drawn carts and wagons. In 1865, a single dominant language was spoken from San Francisco to Baltimore, more than 3000 miles. About 2500 BCE, a single dominant language was spoken for at least an equivalent distance, and probably an even greater one. Excluding the problems encountered with Anatolic and Germanic, all known Indo-European languages are neatly explained by such a scenario.
Where are the Saymaly-Tash petroglyphs located?
About the petroglyphs in Alexander Stolbov's post -- any comments?
And what about cowboys, horses, and Scythians? What language did the
Scythians speak? Did they speak a PIE language or simply an IE?
When Mallory states that we need to keep the IE homeland within credible
boundaries, do you agree? After all, it took less than 100 years for
movement to spread from the eastern US to the west coast. A similar
time frame existed for population movement in Eurasia.
cybalist message #142cybalist: Odp: Cowboys on HorsebackPiotr wrote:<< I suggest, instead, that PIE was spoken as a relatively homogeneous language some 7500 years ago in the Danubian area (certainly "within credible boundaries"), from which the bearers of the Linear Pottery culture took its descendants to northern Europe, and from which its other descendants spread to Anatolia and to the steppes.>>According to this, the scheme of the initial IE branching must look like the following, must not it?P I E/ \/ \Northerh Southernbranch branch(apparently Germano-Balto-Slavic) / \/ \Anatolian Steppe groups(all other IE)If so, the degree of similarity of, say, Indic and Slavic languages must be less, than of Indic and Anatolian and much less, than of Indic and Celtic. Does linguistics confirm this?<<... some distinctly "Indic" Aryas were present in Anatolia and Babylonia before 1500 BC.>>Do you mean anything besides (and earlier than) Mitanni Aryas? I'm ready to expect some Aryas there about 18th c. BC but have no evidence.<<By the way, the neolithic cattle of central and northern Europe were derived from the native subspecies of the aurochs, different from the one domesticated in Anatolia and brought from there to Greece (while sheep and goats were simply imported).>>Very interesting! Does this conclusion made on the base of genetic investigations? Could you supply us with the relevant references and/or quote the principal propositions? Do the authors mention cattle of the Saharan origin? Do you have data on pigs?