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[cybalist] Odp: Cowboys on Horseback

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  • Piotr Gasiorowski
    junk ... From: markodegard@hotmail.com To: cybalist@eGroups.com Sent: Monday, November 01, 1999 2:25 PM Subject: [cybalist] Cowboys on Horseback
    Message 1 of 6 , Nov 1, 1999
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      junk
       
      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Monday, November 01, 1999 2:25 PM
      Subject: [cybalist] Cowboys on Horseback

      kir-@... wrote:

      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.

      Mark.


      Dear Mark,
       
      The domestication of European cattle took place some 8500 years ago, antedating the first horsemen by millennia. The first neolithic communities of Western, Central and Northern Europe already kept cattle derived from the local subspecies of the aurochs. I agree that the tending of herds was rendered much more effective by the introduction of horse-riding; but at the time when the first mounted cowboys appeared in Central Europe pastoralism was regularly practised by much of its farming population. Riding was by no means the principal use of the horse immediately after its domestication; it was used mainly as a draught animal -- and eaten, too.
       
      Now, the advantage that riders had over pedestrian cowherds was obvious in the case of large free-ranging herds in the open grasslands of the Pontic area, Central Asia or modern Hungary, but for equally obvious reasons nomadic pastoralism could not become the dominant occupation of the ancestor of the Germani, Balts, Slavs, Italici or Celts. How did your cowboys manage to dominate woodland Europe linguistically without being able to deploy their economic advantages?
       
      The American South and the Plains were colonised by people with a central political power to back them up, and with superior technology (from the cotton gin and modern firearms to the telegraph and the railway in the later phase of the conquest); so was Siberia. The linguistic domination of Latin in much of Roman Europe was achieved thanks to the combined military, political, ideological and economic strength of the empire. The contrast between the Pontic horsemen and the European farmers was of a different nature, even if the former were warlike and heroic-minded. They could raid and pillage, perhaps marry into the local elites, but I do not think they were capable of imposing permanent power structures. And even if they were, they would not necessarily retain their language in the process. England is not French-speaking, after all.
       
      The only IE Big Bang I can imagine in connection with horse-riding was the Aryan one, involving as the most important ethnic element the Iranian-speaking tribes. With my chronology of IE dispersals THAT was what happened before 2000 BC. The later Turkic, Mongolian and Ugric Big Bangs were secondary to it; again, their lasting effects were typically restricted to areas where the natural conditions were favourable to nomadic pastoralism. The Huns for a few decades managed to harass and debilitate the Roman Empire, collect an annual tribute from Rome and help themselves to the wealth of the provinces, but after Attila's death the Hunnish dominion evaporated.
       
      Piotr
    • Marc Verhaegen
      Piotr & Mark, may I give my view (for what it s worth)? There s firm evidence IMO that the beaker peoples spoke PIE (Balto-Slavic, Germanic, Celto-Italic). We
      Message 2 of 6 , Nov 1, 1999
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        junk
        Piotr & Mark, may I give my view (for what it's worth)? There's firm evidence IMO that the beaker peoples spoke PIE (Balto-Slavic, Germanic, Celto-Italic). We see the corded ware of Ukraine ca.3000 BC progress to the Rhine delta ca.2800; there it changed into bell beakers; then north unto Scotland, and south via the Rhone valley to S-France ca.2500 & then unto Portugal & Sicily (Sherrat). We know a lot about these peoples (Sherrat): horse, sheep & wool, ox wain, wooden houses (timber=domus), full wooden wheels, hempen rope, barley, yeast, kurgans, weapons... Perhaps the horse, wain, yeast (food conservation?) & woolen cloths suggest they were extensive & mobile farmers (after all they probably were semi-nomadics that had adopted agriculture). The barley suggests that in the N-European plains they perhaps occupied at first the less fertile hills (the earlier farmers occupied the fertile valleys (loess)), perhaps they burned the woods for their sheep & cattle (& barley?). In this sense I see them as some sort of cowboys or at least sheep-boys, that perhaps wandered in the region around their father's farm. IMO they did not necessarily immediately dominate the earlier farmers in the valleys, perhaps that came only after centuries, but probably the horse riding (cf. hempen ropes?) gave them a strategic dominance over the earlier populations. Genetically they're still a minority (Cavalli-Sforza), but the earlier populations adopted their language, which explains the wide differences between the N+W-European IE languages. We don't know when the earlier populations adopted the IE languages, that was probably only centuries, perhaps even 1-2 millennia after the beaker peoples entered Europe (the Basks still haven't adopted it, and the process was still going on in the first centuries BC in Italy (Etrusks)). Just an impression after reading Sherrat. It's not clear to me how much their were agriculturalists & how much they were herders & how both could be mixed, but in the Far West the economy was also based upon both farming & herding.
         
        Marc
         
        +++++++++++++
         
        Mark (?) said: 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.

        Dear Mark,    The domestication of European cattle took place some 8500 years ago, antedating the first horsemen by millennia. The first neolithic communities of Western, Central and Northern Europe already kept cattle derived from the local subspecies of the aurochs. I agree that the tending of herds was rendered much more effective by the introduction of horse-riding; but at the time when the first mounted cowboys appeared in Central Europe pastoralism was regularly practised by much of its farming population. Riding was by no means the principal use of the horse immediately after its domestication; it was used mainly as a draught animal -- and eaten, too.        Now, the advantage that riders had over pedestrian cowherds was obvious in the case of large free-ranging herds in the open grasslands of the Pontic area, Central Asia or modern Hungary, but for equally obvious reasons nomadic pastoralism could not become the dominant occupation of the ancestor of the Germani, Balts, Slavs, Italici or Celts. How did your cowboys manage to dominate woodland Europe linguistically without being able to deploy their economic advantages?        The American South and the Plains were colonised by people with a central political power to back them up, and with superior technology (from the cotton gin and modern firearms to the telegraph and the railway in the later phase of the conquest); so was Siberia. The linguistic domination of Latin in much of Roman Europe was achieved thanks to the combined military, political, ideological and economic strength of the empire. The contrast between the Pontic horsemen and the European farmers was of a different nature, even if the former were warlike and heroic-minded. They could raid and pillage, perhaps marry into the local elites, but I do not think they were capable of imposing permanent power structures. And even if they were, they would not necessarily retain their language in the process. England is not French-speaking, after all.            The only IE Big Bang I can imagine in connection with horse-riding was the Aryan one, involving as the most important ethnic element the Iranian-speaking tribes. With my chronology of IE dispersals THAT was what happened before 2000 BC. The later Turkic, Mongolian and Ugric Big Bangs were secondary to it; again, their lasting effects were typically restricted to areas where the natural conditions were favourable to nomadic pastoralism. The Huns for a few decades managed to harass and debilitate the Roman Empire, collect an annual tribute from Rome and help themselves to the wealth of the provinces, but after Attila's death the Hunnish dominion evaporated.        Piotr
      • markodegard@hotmail.com
        cybalist message #142cybalist: Odp: Cowboys on Horseback I don t think Piotr or I are in much disagreement. A matter of emphasis, perhaps. Much of what I write
        Message 3 of 6 , Nov 1, 1999
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          cybalist message #142cybalist: Odp: Cowboys on Horseback
          I don't think Piotr or I are in much disagreement. A matter of emphasis, perhaps. Much of what I write here is speculative. I am greatly influenced by Mallory and his demand that we keep the IE homeland within credible boundaries. Having an essentially undifferentiated PIE being spoken from the headwaters of the Yenisey to the mouth of the Seine before 3500 is not possible.
          The domestication of European cattle took place some 8500 years ago, antedating the first horsemen by millennia. The first neolithic communities of Western, Central and Northern Europe already kept cattle derived from the local subspecies of the aurochs. I agree that the tending of herds was rendered much more effective by the introduction of horse-riding; but at the time when the first mounted cowboys appeared in Central Europe pastoralism was regularly practised by much of its farming population. Riding was by no means the principal use of the horse immediately after its domestication; it was used mainly as a draught animal -- and eaten, too.
          The Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture, in the article on 'Cow' states:
          Domestication of of cattle began during the transition to the Neolithic economy, appearing earliest in Anatolia and Greece in the seventh millennium BC and subsequently throughout the rest of Europe, reaching northern and western Europe in the centuries before 4000 BC. Domestic cattle are also found by the sixth millennium BC north of the Caucasus as they spread through the steppe regions or were there locally domesticated from the native aurochs. [p.137]
          Elsewhere it states (and this is new to me, but quite pertinent to our ongoing discussion) that *tauros meant 'aurochs' (of either sex) and then only later was the word transferred to male bovines.
          Now, the advantage that riders had over pedestrian cowherds was obvious in the case of large free-ranging herds in the open grasslands of the Pontic area, Central Asia or modern Hungary, but for equally obvious reasons nomadic pastoralism could not become the dominant occupation of the ancestor of the Germani, Balts, Slavs, Italici or Celts. How did your cowboys manage to dominate woodland Europe linguistically without being able to deploy their economic advantages?
          I don't put cowboys in the Northern European forest. I put them on the steppe, and on the plains of Hungary (and the plains of Thessaly),  where they belong. For IE cowpokes in Thessaly, we are talking of something quite late, 1900, 1800, and probably later; proto-Thracians, perhaps.

          With Germanic, so I gather, the only reasonable explanation offered for the phonological and lexical peculariaties is a substrate, which suggests elite dominance. With Balto-Slavic, they've always been there, just north of the IE Homeland, and for the last 1400 years or so, they own the IE homeland. It's not necessary to say all IE speakers turned into steppe nomads. The emergence of Celtic seems to be very late, late Bronze Age, even early Iron Age (ca 1200), almost 1000 years after Greek and Armenian began to differentiate. The origin of Italic is as obscure as that of Celtic.

          The American South and the Plains were colonised by people with a central political power to back them up, and with superior technology (from the cotton gin and modern firearms to the telegraph and the railway in the later phase of the conquest); so was Siberia.
          By 1865, English was coast-to-coast. This was done mostly without railroads or the telegraph, but yes, the technological differences between 2500 BCE and 1865 CE are immense. The IE expansion in Eurasia was probably entirely unopposed: whoever lived there was co-opted by the superior economic system they brought. The US expasion westward was opposed but this was balanced by technological superiority.
          The linguistic domination of Latin in much of Roman Europe was achieved thanks to the combined military, political, ideological and economic strength of the empire. The contrast between the Pontic horsemen and the European farmers was of a different nature, even if the former were warlike and heroic-minded. They could raid and pillage, perhaps marry into the local elites, but I do not think they were capable of imposing permanent power structures. And even if they were, they would not necessarily retain their language in the process. England is not French-speaking, after all.
          On the steppe, there were no farmers outside river valleys. Free-ranging livestock offered a higher standard of living.
          The only IE Big Bang I can imagine in connection with horse-riding was the Aryan one, involving as the most important ethnic element the Iranian-speaking tribes.
          If we are to keep the post-Anatolic homeland within credible bounds, the breakup of (non-Anatolic) Indo-European is almost co-incident with the Indo-Iranian Big Bang. We still don't know enough about how well horse and man had adapted to each other at the deeper dates. By 2000, so I'm told, we have actual spoke-wheeled chariots.
          With my chronology of IE dispersals THAT was what happened before 2000 BC. The later Turkic, Mongolian and Ugric Big Bangs were secondary to it; again, their lasting effects were typically restricted to areas where the natural conditions were favourable to nomadic pastoralism. The Huns for a few decades managed to harass and debilitate the Roman Empire, collect an annual tribute from Rome and help themselves to the wealth of the provinces, but after Attila's death the Hunnish dominion evaporated.
          Attila's confederacy was a jumble of different tribes. It seems the Huns had both saddles and metal stirrups -- a technological innovation sufficient to devastate the Roman Empire, a devastation which was worse east of the Carpathians, and which led to the Slavs filling the cultural vacuum south and west of them.

          The known historic pattern for the steppe is one of invasion by steppe nomads from the east, usually one people being displaced by another further east. Only in the earliest of times, when no one knew how to live on the steppe, at least up out of the river valleys, would it seem the flow went west-to-east -- though, were we to place the IE homeland in the Volga-Samara-Ural region, the pattern would hold true to type, at least for Europe.

          Mark.

        • Piotr Gasiorowski
          cybalist message #142cybalist: Odp: Cowboys on Horseback----- Original Message ----- From: markodegard@hotmail.com To: cybalist@eGroups.com Sent: Monday,
          Message 4 of 6 , Nov 2, 1999
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            cybalist message #142cybalist: Odp: Cowboys on Horseback
            ----- Original Message -----
            Sent: Monday, November 01, 1999 10:02 PM
            Subject: [cybalist] Cowboys on Horseback
            What follows I also pertinent to some of the issues raised by Marc Verhaegen:
            ----- Original Message -----
            Sent: Monday, November 01, 1999 8:41 PM
            Subject: [cybalist] Re: Odp: Cowboys on Horseback


            [Mark:] I don't think Piotr or I are in much disagreement. A matter of emphasis, perhaps. Much of what I write here is speculative. I am greatly influenced by Mallory and his demand that we keep the IE homeland within credible boundaries. Having an essentially undifferentiated PIE being spoken from the headwaters of the Yenisey to the mouth of the Seine before 3500 is not possible.
             

            [Piotr:] I think we respect the same principles while experimenting with various permissible interpretations of the same data. I absolutely subscribe to what Mallory stipulates. I don't propose that there was anything like an undifferentiated PIE smeared all over the map of Eurasia in the fourth millennium BC. 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. By 3500 BC the IE languages -- whatever their geographical distribution -- would have been as differentiated as the Romance, Germanic or Slavic languages are today (with a comparable chronological depth).
             
            The separation of Proto-Anatolian would have taken place well before 5000 BC. Early IE loanwords in Finno-Ugric suggest that the Satem languages were already a distinct group within the IE family about 2300 BC, and I bet they are much older than that, as some distinctly "Indic" Aryas were present in Anatolia and Babylonia before 1500 BC. As for northern Europe, I believe that many different or even quite distantly related IE languages were spoken there in the third millennium, though they did share some secondary similarities due to areal convergence.
             

            The Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture, in the article on 'Cow' states:
            Domestication of of cattle began during the transition to the Neolithic economy, appearing earliest in Anatolia and Greece in the seventh millennium BC and subsequently throughout the rest of Europe, reaching northern and western Europe in the centuries before 4000 BC. Domestic cattle are also found by the sixth millennium BC north of the Caucasus as they spread through the steppe regions or were there locally domesticated from the native aurochs. [p.137]
            Elsewhere it states (and this is new to me, but quite pertinent to our ongoing discussion) that *tauros meant 'aurochs' (of either sex) and then only later was the word transferred to male bovines.

            This is deduced from the fact that the Slavic word for 'aurochs' is a reflex of *tauros. Polish, for example, differentiates tur 'aurochs' (never used of domestic bovines), żubr (OPolish ząbr) 'European bison, wisent', byk 'bull', also = 'hart', wół 'ox', bydło 'cattle' and krowa 'cow', also colloquially = 'Bos taurus, of either sex'. The last aurochs (a cow) expired on a royal game reserve in central Poland in 1627, so one could assume that we Slavs should know best what a tauros is like (in Polish, we still say silny jak tur 'as strong as an aurochs'). This may be right but I've seen no corroborative evidence from Baltic or Germanic (the other ethnoi to whom the beast was familiar) to reduce the likelihood of tur being a wandering loanword in prehistoric Europe (the theory that it ultimately comes from Semitic is still favoured by many).
             
            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).
             

            Attila's confederacy was a jumble of different tribes. It seems the Huns had both saddles and metal stirrups -- a technological innovation sufficient to devastate the Roman Empire, a devastation which was worse east of the Carpathians, and which led to the Slavs filling the cultural vacuum south and west of them.

            East and north of the Carpathians there was no Roman Empire or Roman influence. There was a Gothic "empire" in those parts -- a rather primitive political organism, which proved unable to resist the Huns. It was mainly the elimination of the Gothic elite (the defeated King Ermanaric committed suicide, others sought Roman protection in Moesia or accepted the dominance of the Huns) that created a vacuum filled by the opportunistic Slavs once the Huns had relaxed their grip on central Europe. The first step in the expansion of the Slavs was from the east into modern Poland and towards the Elbe, then across the Carpathians and the Danube towards the Adriatic and Aegean seas, into the disintegrating Roman provinces of the Balkan region.

            Piotr Gasiorowski

          • Piotr Gasiorowski
            cybalist message #142cybalist: Odp: Cowboys on Horseback ... From: Alexander Stolbov To: cybalist@egroups.com Sent: Tuesday, November 02, 1999 4:29 PM Subject:
            Message 5 of 6 , Nov 2, 1999
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              cybalist message #142cybalist: Odp: Cowboys on Horseback
               
              ----- Original Message -----
              Sent: Tuesday, November 02, 1999 4:29 PM
              Subject: [cybalist] Re: Cowboys on Horseback

              Piotr 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       Southern
                                                    branch          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?
               
              This is not what I believe to be the case. In particular, I didn't wish to imply that Anatolian was more closely related to the steppe groups than to the rest of IE. In fact, I believe the first split was into (Proto-)Anatolian and non-Anatolian IE. The latter (possibly after the separation of Proto-Tocharians, though it's extremely difficult to place Tocharian anywhere in any schema) underwent differentiation into two blocks; let's call them Western and Eastern.
               
              The Western group arose as a result of a migration up the Danube basin. After a few hundred years of independent existence it was divided into three major dialectal groupings. We need new names at this point, so let's call these groups Pannonian (the ancestor of Illyrian, Messapic and other extinct languages), Italo-Celtic (north of the Alps, on the upper Danube and Rhine, including odd fellows like Venetic, probably a northern subbranch of Italic) and Northern (possibly more than one branch, occupying the lower courses of the main rivers of the North European Plain, the only surviving group is Germanic, originally a periferal northernmost subbranch; this branch is responsible for most of the so-called Old European hydronymy).
               
              The first branch to split from the main Eastern stock was Hellenic, which migrated southwards into the Balkans; after its separation the other groups underwent phonological innovations known as the satem palatalisations, let's therefore call that group Satemic. (Note that Satemic is a monophyletic taxon, while the "Kentum" group is not!) The Satemic-speakers partly remained in the Danubian homeland, partly spread into the Black Sea steppes (perhaps in the wake of the Proto-Tocharians). The "Transylvanian" group gave rise to Thracian (+ Armenian) and Getic (+ Albanian) languages; the "North Pontic" group split into Balto-Slavic (ocupying the northern zone of the Pontic region, between the Bug and the Dnieper) and the Aryan (= Indo-Iranian) branch (the steppe horsemen proper).
               
              This is the "family-tree" part of the story, but the history of IE has areal aspects as well. Interaction between distantly related languages occurred frequently in the North European Plain, where the Northern, Balto-Slavic and northward-migrating Pannonian dialects formed a Sprachbund during the late Neolithic. For some reason the Northern branch suffered a severe crisis at the beginning of the Bronze Age (epidemic diseases? destruction by Pontic nomads? -- but the Scandinavian outpost remained unscathed); the vacuum was filled by the Veneti who moved from their Alpine cradle (also the starting point of the Indo-Europeanisation of Italy at a later date) to the Elbe and the Oder, creating trading routes that linked the Baltic Sea to the Adriatic. Even before that happened there had been IE movements towards the eastern Baltic area and Finland by diverse Eastern groups including the Proto-Aryans.
               
              The beginning of the Iron Age was marked by a Celtic expansion in Western and central Europe; they wiped out the northern Veneti and established contacts with the survivors of the Northern branch (the Germani). The Slavs still lived in the shadow of the Pontic Iranians and within the sphere of Scythian cultural influence. The rest is familiar history.
               
              I do not insist that all of the above is true; there are many speculative details that you may find implausible. I'll be grateful for any comments.
              <<... 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. 
              I mean -- in addition to the Mitanni, of course -- the more-or-less contemporaneous Kassite ruling clans in Babylonia. Their lists of official divinities include such familiar Aryan names as Surias 'Sun God' and Maruttas 'War God'.
              <<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?
              Several Polish prehistorians repeat this piece of information, noting also that the proportion between cattle and sheep/goats changed drastically in favour of the former among the Danubian cultures. This is hardly surprising, given the ecological differences between the Balkans and the plains to the north. I gather that the inference was made on the basis of anatomical features rather that genetic data, but I don't know, really. Nor do I know much about the origin of European domestic pigs. If I find any precise references to archaeozoological publications, I'll send you word. Perhaps somebody on the Cybalist knows something of relevance to these questions.
               
              Piotr
            • Alexander Stolbov
              cybalist message #142cybalist: Odp: Cowboys on HorsebackPiotr wrote: This is not what I believe to be the case. In particular, I didn t wish to imply that
              Message 6 of 6 , Nov 3, 1999
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                cybalist message #142cybalist: Odp: Cowboys on Horseback
                Piotr wrote:
                This is not what I believe to be the case. In particular, I didn't wish to imply that Anatolian was more closely related to the steppe groups than to the rest of IE. In fact, I believe the first split was into (Proto-)Anatolian and non-Anatolian IE. The latter (possibly after the separation of Proto-Tocharians, though it's extremely difficult to place Tocharian anywhere in any schema) underwent differentiation into two blocks; let's call them Western and Eastern.
                 
                The Western group arose as a result of a migration up the Danube basin. After a few hundred years of independent existence it was divided into three major dialectal groupings. We need new names at this point, so let's call these groups Pannonian (the ancestor of Illyrian, Messapic and other extinct languages), Italo-Celtic (north of the Alps, on the upper Danube and Rhine, including odd fellows like Venetic, probably a northern subbranch of Italic) and Northern (possibly more than one branch, occupying the lower courses of the main rivers of the North European Plain, the only surviving group is Germanic, originally a periferal northernmost subbranch; this branch is responsible for most of the so-called Old European hydronymy).
                What does force you to postulate that Northern (and actually we can discuss only Germanic) group belongs to the Westrn block?
                There are evidences of the closeness of Germanic to both Italo-Celtic and Balto-Slavic. It seems to be obvious that one (either first or second) of such similarities is caused by the common genetic origin and another one by mutual influences (Sprachbund). I believe to those linguists who proves a close genetic kinship of Germanic and Balto-Slavic but the opposite opinion is respected too if one explains similarity between them by establishment of a Sprachbund as you do below:
                 
                <<Interaction between distantly related languages occurred frequently in the North European Plain, where the Northern, Balto-Slavic and northward-migrating Pannonian dialects formed a Sprachbund during the late Neolithic.>>
                 
                And thereafter you write:
                  
                <<The beginning of the Iron Age was marked by a Celtic expansion in Western and central Europe; they wiped out the northern Veneti and established contacts with the survivors of the Northern branch (the Germani).>>
                 
                This means that you postulate a Sprachbund of Celtic and Germanic although you explained already the similarity between them by common origin. Probably you need to do this under pressure of archaeological and historical evidences? Thus you draw together Celtic and Germanic twice. Not too wasteful? Maybe it is better to locate Germanic (with other Northern) in the Eastern block together with Balto-Slavic? Germanic with its *at the place of *k is not Satemic? And Iranian with the same *h is?
                <<... 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. 
                I mean -- in addition to the Mitanni, of course -- the more-or-less contemporaneous Kassite ruling clans in Babylonia. Their lists of official divinities include such familiar Aryan names as Surias 'Sun God' and Maruttas 'War God'.
                Great! It is exactly that what I expected while Kassite were the first in Mesopotamia who used war chariots. As far as I know Kassite language can't be attested as IE. Perhaps the story was the same as in Mitanni wuth the Hurrites? If you know any datails please inform me.
                Another place where I expect to find Aryan traces in the same period are Hyksos tribes (apparenly of Semitic origin but Aryan elite dominance could take place).
                 
                Alexander Stolbov
                 
                 
                 
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