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Water, LBK

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  • tgpedersen
    Remember ... *kÜ-) ? from Pulleyblank: The Historical and Prehistorical Relationships of Chinese 9. COUNTRY, TERRITORY Ch. guó .. EMC kw&k
    Message 1 of 52 , Mar 28, 2006
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      > Early Middle Chinese kwen' "watering channels" (from Old Chinese

      from Pulleyblank:
      The Historical and Prehistorical Relationships of Chinese
      Ch. guó .. EMC kw&k < *xÜ&´k 'country'; yù .. EMC wik < *a-
      xÜ`&k 'territory, region.' The phonetic element is xu:.., the
      phonogram for *xÜ. The presence of a palatal feature is also
      indicated by the interchange between the graphs .. and .. for the
      word xù EMC xwik 'water channel, city moat.' The word rhymes in *-
      &kj in the Shijing, where it is written .., with xue^ ... EMC xwet <
      *xÜ&´kj 'blood' as phonetic - compare TB *s-hyw&y 'blood' (Benedict
      1972:51). It is one of a number of examples of words in *-&k that
      were palatalized to *&kJ in the Shijing dialect (Pulleyblank 1960).
      The assumption that the original initial in the word guó .. was a
      fricative rather than a stop is supported by the fact that yù ..,
      which is obviously closely related, had initial w- rather than gw-
      in EMC and also by the fact that Type B derivatives with voiceless
      initials such as 'water channel, moat' have x- rather than k-. The
      hardening of a velar fricative to a stop has parallels in the case
      of ji^ .. EMC kï', which I take to be the ganzhi phonogram for *x
      and the alternation between Middle Chinese j- and k- in cases like
      gu^ .. EMC k&wk 'valley,' also read yu EMC juawk,
      which I assume to have originally had initial *G.
      Compare IE *weikJ- 'house, settlement,' OI vis´-, 'dwelling place,
      house,' Gk. oîkos 'house,' Lat. vi:cus 'group of houses, village,'
      Goth weihs 'town, village.' For the correspondence between initial
      *w in PIE and *xÜ in PST see YEAR above.

      The thing that caught my attention was the close relationship
      between words for "water course" and "strip of land".
      Here, the -kW- "water" root extended with a dental means "strip of
      land along water". In Old Chinese (see above) the extension is a
      velar. There is connection between the two extensions in Proto-Sino-
      Tibetan, I seem to recall; I'll have to check.

      The question is: if *akW-/*ap- "water" is a loan in IE, did it come
      from a substrate, and if yes, which one. The answer is (ta-dah!)
      LBK, Linearbandkeramik.

      Cf. from "Europe in the Neolithic"
      Chapter 6


      The Linear Pottery culture (LBK), c. 5500 to after 5000 BC
      The Linear Pottery culture was the first Neolithic culture in
      central and western Europe. The name derives from the
      characteristic decorated pottery, Linearbandkeramik or
      Linienbandkeramik in German, and the acronym LBK is preferable to
      the more clumsy English transcription.4 Closely related to but
      distinct from the Linear Pottery culture of the Alföld or
      Great Hungarian plain, the LBK culture is found from western
      ('Transdanubian') Hungary to the southern Netherlands, eastern
      Belgium and the river valleys of central-northern France, in the
      Paris basin. It is distributed through Slovakia and the
      Czech Lands, northern and eastern Austria, southern and parts of
      central Poland, and in Germany as far north as Braunschweig
      and Magdeburg. Crudely speaking, its northern limits more or less
      coincide with the northern limits of loess soils, or
      conversely with the southern limits of the varied sandy and clayey
      soils of the morainic landscape of the north European
      plain, but there are important outliers in Poland in Kujavia, in
      Chelmno-land and near Szczecin, beyond the loess

      Central and western Europe, c. 5500 to before 4000 BC
      The settlements in the north-west part of this distribution were not
      the earliest of the culture. Those are found from
      western Hungary, through northern and eastern Austria, Slovakia and
      the Czech Lands, to southern and parts of central
      Germany, as far west as ihe Neckar, a tributary of the middle part
      of the Rhine.6 In the next phase of expansion the LBK
      culture reached southern Poland and the Rhine, and it is from this
      phase that the Aldenhoven plateau and Dutch Limburg
      sequences begin. Later still, LBK sites appeared in eastern Belgium
      and northern France. Some LBK sites are known beyond
      the loess in central and north-east Poland, but they serve to
      underline the general observation that the limits of
      distribution were reached comparatively early and then not
      significantly extended.7 This process is discussed in more
      detail later in the chapter.

      LBK settlements are typically found on fertile soils and near water
      in valleys or low-lying situations. Right across the
      distribution, the natural environment was woodland, in its climax
      phase of post-glacial growth. The rather scanty pollen
      evidence suggests that, as on the Aldenhoven plateau, limited
      inroads were made into these woodlands."
      The LBK culture is characterised by a high degree of uniformity,
      especially in its earlier phases.10 Across the LBK
      distribution, people made similar choices of locations for
      settlement, and built longhouses in Bohemia and Poland very
      similar to those in north-west: Germany. Enclosures and cemeteries
      were widely distributed across the LBK range. Within the
      constructed domestic focus of longhouse and clearing, similar stone
      adzes and pottery were in use, especially in the early
      and middle phases of the culture. In some situations stone adzes and
      flint supplies were obtained from greater distances in
      earlier phases than towards the end of the culture, when pottery
      styles became more regionalised.11 The scale of early
      uniformity can be exaggerated, however, since details of house
      construction and crop choice, for example, were quite varied
      even in early phases.12 Such uniformity has often been linked to the
      question of origins and to the nature of pioneer
      In sum, the LBK has usually been taken as representing a clean break
      with the indigenous forager population of central and
      western Europe. That has been seen as thin on the ground in the
      woodlands of inland temperate Europe, and as lacking both
      the social complexity and the technological knowledge perceived as
      necessary to become Neolithic. Somewhat by default,
      since the process of cultural transformation has not yet been traced
      in any detail, the LBK culture is normally seen as a
      colonisation from the fringes of southeast Europe, a demographic
      overflow from the Hungarian plain and points south, held
      together by shared material culture and practice.13
      This chapter will explore alternative ways of approaching the LBK
      phenomenon, which involve the native forager population.
      The radical hypothesis is that the LBK culture represents a
      transformational indigenous lifestyle, both in response to local
      factors of resource supply and in contact with Neolithic
      communities. I will explore the nature of LBK society, since
      standing at the head of the sequences of central and western Europe
      it is a critical baseline to understand. The radical
      hypothesis is that the LBK culture represents an extension of an
      indigenous ethic of cooperation and integration. I will
      challenge aspects of the now conventional model of settlement and
      subsistence, arguing that more attention needs to be given
      in this area too to the process of creating Neolithic society.

      The colonisation hypothesis
      Even those who have argued most vigorously against the colonisation
      hypothesis for both south-east and north-west Europe have
      accepted it for the beginnings and spread of the LBK culture.
      Radiocarbon dates suggest that the rate of spread was relatively
      rapid, again consistently with demographically fuelled

      The case for indigenous transformation
      There are many problems with the details of the colonisation
      hypothesis, and I set out here the case for a radical
      While some sites are on land of good agricultural potential, others
      are in surprising situations for supposed agricultural
      colonists, in narrow, sometimes hilly, side valleys. In southern
      Slovakia, earliest sites are quite widely dispersed through the
      valleys of tributaries of
      the Danube like the Váh, Nitra and Hron.18
      The duration of the earliest LBK phase is thought generally to have
      been no more than a few generations. The sites themselves seem to be
      quite small. With the colonisation hypothesis, it has always been
      attractive to see the valleys and loess soils of central and western
      Europe as favourable, empty niches waiting to be filled, but there
      were real risks and uncertainties from climatic and resource
      It is not easy to understand the cultural transformation represented
      by the LBK culture, if there was continuity of population from
      Transdanubia and the Hungarian plain to the west, though there are
      other unexplained cultural re-formations, for example the appearance
      of the Vinca complex. The physical anthropological evidence from LBK
      cemeteries is compatible with continuity of indigenous population,
      since there is considerable variation from area to area within the
      LBK distribution. One analysis suggests substantial difference
      between LBK populations in Transdanubia and the Great Plain.22

      Two sorts of forager situations can be explored. Inland foraging
      communities may have been more numerous than at first appears. They
      may have changed their earlier strategies of mobility, some to
      operate in more circumscribed areas. They must have been indirectly
      in contact with Neolithic communities to their south or east,
      through the movement of obsidian and flint.
      Expansion from the late Körös phase onwards may have intensified
      such contact, and the availability of new resources would have
      allowed the consolidation of indigenous ways. The construction of
      longhouses could have enhanced indigenous practices of aggregation
      and cooperation, and cattle and cereals could have been taken up to
      underpin these.
      In coastal areas, around the Baltic, in south Scandinavia, in the
      Netherlands, and perhaps in Brittany and parts of Britain
      and Ireland, forager populations probably became more numerous.
      Their patterns of mobility may have altered too, with more
      continuous use of the coastal zone and 'logistical' use of the
      hinterland. By the later sixth millennium bc, forager populations of
      the North European plain and Baltic/Scandinavian coasts were not far
      from the northern limits of LBK communities. The appearance of
      burial grounds beside coastal forager settlements like Skateholm II
      in southern Sweden may be due not only to reduced mobility but also
      to redefinition of identity as the nature of the wider world shifted.

      The spread of LBK culture
      The first phase of the LBK culture has been defined above all by a
      simple style of pottery including flat-based bowls,
      variously tempered, and decorated with simple incised curved linear
      and rectilinear motifs. This älteste Keramik defines
      a series of sites in northern Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Lands,
      parts of eastern and northern Austria, and parts of
      Germany as far west as east of the middle Rhine and as far north as
      near Magdeburg.

      Many earliest sites are found on loess and other fertile soils,
      often but not exclusively in valleys and close to water.
      Timber long houses were built from the outset,

      Many of the ditched enclosures appear to belong to the late
      phase, although some may date to the middle phase.53

      The settlement system of the LBK culture

      Subsistence: sedentism and mobility
      LBK people, whatever their origin, lived in a still very wooded
      environment. In this they kept animals, particularly cattle,
      and seem to have done little hunting after the earliest phase. There
      is some evidence for river fishing, and simple dugout
      canoes of a little later date (from the Chasseen period) have been
      found recently in Paris.54

      Were animals kept in LBK houses? The house plans give no clear
      indications of such a use. There has been little application
      of phosphate analysis.64
      Longhouse life
      The longhouse has been taken for granted. In the context of
      developments in south-east Europe up to this date, especially in the
      more northern area of the Starcevo-Körös and Alföld LBK cultures,
      where large houses first appeared on the Great Plain in the
      Szakálhát phase (between the Linear Pottery and Tisza cultures), the
      LBK longhouse was in itself a remarkable construction.

      LBK material culture
      There was much uniformity through the LBK world. Not only were
      longhouses, settlements and burial grounds laid out in rather
      similar ways across broad areas, but the material equipment used by
      LBK people was similar from area to area, especially in
      earlier phases.

      This could also indicate seasonal movement.
      Longer-range movement of raw material has also been documented. At
      the earliest phase site of Bruchenbrücken, most of the flint also
      came from Maas valley sources, here some 200 km away. At Bylany, the
      distances involved were even greater. In the first occupation, most
      of the flint was derived from Baltic erratics from the Elbe valley
      100 km and more to the north.

      Note the puzzlement of the author at the siting of these new
      settlements: preferably along rivers, sometimes inaccessible, with
      small plots alongside. It's rater obvious to me that the *akW-/*ap-
      word in IE must have been taken from a LBK substratum (I'll take my
      Noble prize in small bills, thank you).

      I'll add my own interpretations to those of the author's on the
      genesis and purpose of these LBK sites: they were trading posts,
      similar to that of Fort X and Y on the American Frontier, except
      here the Indians in the end made up the majority. That means that
      the driving force of this culture was a new mode of transport: boats
      on the rivers.

    • george knysh
      ... ****GK: It is unlikely that the language of LBK was IE, since LBK cannot plausibly account (directly or indirectly) for the IE-isation of northern and
      Message 52 of 52 , Mar 31, 2006
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        --- Piotr Gasiorowski <gpiotr@...> wrote:

        > On 2006-03-28 14:28, tgpedersen wrote:
        > > The question is: if *akW-/*ap- "water" is a loan
        > in IE, did it come
        > > from a substrate, and if yes, which one. The
        > answer is (ta-dah!) LBK,
        > > Linearbandkeramik.
        > I'm inclined to believe that the bearers of the LBK
        > culture were PIE (or
        > pre-PIE)-speaking. Their rapid expansion would
        > account for the thorough
        > IE-isation of central and western inland Europe, and
        > the environment in
        > which they lived fits the findings of IE "linguistic
        > palaeontology".

        ****GK: It is unlikely that the language of LBK was
        IE, since LBK cannot plausibly account (directly or
        indirectly) for the IE-isation of northern and eastern
        Poland (cf. the article of Nowak in ANTIQUITY
        discussed back in 2001), the Baltic area, Ukraine, or
        points east and north (cf. messages 17082, 17109,
        17097 and 17125). And the notion that LBK was the
        substrate which provided the "water" word to IE is
        even less plausible, since it is not a demonstrable
        substrate to any culture in these areas other than
        TRB. TRB itself is hardly IE since it cannot plausibly
        account for the IE-isation of the Baltics, Ukraine, or
        points east and north. On the other hand, CW, which
        originated from SS, and which plausibly accounts for
        the IE-isation of central and northern Europe,
        including the erstwhile GA area, (except for
        adstrates, eastern Europe is just as 'thoroughly
        IE-ised' as central and western inland Europe), need
        not have borrowed the IE water word from any

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