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This title in other editions

The Horse, the Wheel and Language: How Bronze-Age Riders from the Eurasian Steppes Shaped the Modern World

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The Horse, the Wheel and Language: How Bronze-Age Riders from the Eurasian Steppes Shaped the Modern World Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Roughly half the world's population speaks languages derived from a shared linguistic source known as Proto-Indo-European. But who were the early speakers of this ancient mother tongue, and how did they manage to spread it around the globe? Until now their identity has remained a tantalizing mystery to linguists, archaeologists, and even Nazis seeking the roots of the Aryan race. The Horse, the Wheel, and Language lifts the veil that has long shrouded these original Indo-European speakers, and reveals how their domestication of horses and use of the wheel spread language and transformed civilization.

Linking prehistoric archaeological remains with the development of language, David Anthony identifies the prehistoric peoples of central Eurasia's steppe grasslands as the original speakers of Proto-Indo-European, and shows how their innovative use of the ox wagon, horseback riding, and the warrior's chariot turned the Eurasian steppes into a thriving transcontinental corridor of communication, commerce, and cultural exchange. He explains how they spread their traditions and gave rise to important advances in copper mining, warfare, and patron-client political institutions, thereby ushering in an era of vibrant social change. Anthony also describes his fascinating discovery of how the wear from bits on ancient horse teeth reveals the origins of horseback riding.

The Horse, the Wheel, and Language solves a puzzle that has vexed scholars for two centuries--the source of the Indo-European languages and English--and recovers a magnificent and influential civilization from the past.

Synopsis:

"If you want to learn about the early origins of English and related languages, and of many of our familiar customs such as feasting on holidays and exchanging gifts, this book provides a lively and richly informed introduction. Along the way you will learn when and why horses were domesticated, when people first rode horseback, and when and why swift chariots changed the nature of warfare."--Peter S. Wells, author of The Battle that Stopped Rome

"A very significant contribution to the field. This book attempts to resolve the longstanding problem of Indo-European origins by providing an examination of the most relevant linguistic issues and a thorough review of the archaeological evidence. I know of no study of the Indo-European homeland that competes with it."--J. P. Mallory, Queen's University, Belfast

Synopsis:

Roughly half the world's population speaks languages derived from a shared linguistic source known as Proto-Indo-European. But who were the early speakers of this ancient mother tongue, and how did they manage to spread it around the globe? Until now their identity has remained a tantalizing mystery to linguists, archaeologists, and even Nazis seeking the roots of the Aryan race. The Horse, the Wheel, and Language lifts the veil that has long shrouded these original Indo-European speakers, and reveals how their domestication of horses and use of the wheel spread language and transformed civilization.

Linking prehistoric archaeological remains with the development of language, David Anthony identifies the prehistoric peoples of central Eurasia's steppe grasslands as the original speakers of Proto-Indo-European, and shows how their innovative use of the ox wagon, horseback riding, and the warrior's chariot turned the Eurasian steppes into a thriving transcontinental corridor of communication, commerce, and cultural exchange. He explains how they spread their traditions and gave rise to important advances in copper mining, warfare, and patron-client political institutions, thereby ushering in an era of vibrant social change. Anthony also describes his fascinating discovery of how the wear from bits on ancient horse teeth reveals the origins of horseback riding.

The Horse, the Wheel, and Language solves a puzzle that has vexed scholars for two centuries--the source of the Indo-European languages and English--and recovers a magnificent and influential civilization from the past.

About the Author

David W. Anthony is professor of anthropology at Hartwick College. He is the editor of "The Lost World of Old Europe" (Princeton). He has conducted extensive archaeological fieldwork in Ukraine, Russia, and Kazakhstan.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi

PART ONE: Language and Archaeology 1

Chapter One: The Promise and Politics of the Mother Tongue 3

Ancestors 3

Linguists and Chauvinists 6

The Lure of the Mother Tongue 11

A New Solution for an Old Problem 15

Language Extinction and Thought 19

Chapter Two: How to Reconstruct a Dead Language 21

Language Change and Time 22

Phonology: How to Reconstruct a Dead Sound 24

The Lexicon: How to Reconstruct Dead Meanings 32

Syntax and Morphology: The Shape of a Dead Language 36

Conclusion: Raising a Language from the Dead 38

Chapter Three: Language and Time 1: The Last Speakers of Proto-Indo-European 39

The Size of the Chronological Window: How Long Do Languages Last? 39

The Terminal Date for Proto-Indo-European: The Mother Becomes Her Daughters 42

The Oldest and Strangest Daughter (or Cousin?): Anatolian 43

The Next Oldest Inscriptions: Greek and Old Indic 48

Counting the Relatives: How Many in 1500 BCE? 50

Chapter Four: Language and Time 2: Wool, Wheels, and Proto-Indo-European 59

The Wool Vocabulary 59

The Wheel Vocabulary 63

When Was the Wheel Invented 65

The Signifi cance of the Wheel 72

Wagons and the Anatolian Homeland Hypothesis 75

The Birth and Death of Proto-Indo-European 81

Chapter Five: Language and Place: The Location of the Proto-Indo-Europe an Homeland 83

Problems with the Concept of "the Homeland" 83

Finding the Homeland: Ecology and Environment 89

Finding the Homeland: The Economic and Social Setting 91

Finding the Homeland: Uralic and Caucasian Connections 93

The Location of the Proto-Indo-European Homeland 98

Chapter Six: The Archaeology of Language 102

Persistent Frontiers 104

Migration as a Cause of Persistent Material-Culture Frontiers 108

Ecological Frontiers: Different Ways of Making a Living 114

Small-scale Migrations, Elite Recruitment, and Language Shift 117

PART TWO: The Opening of the Eurasian Steppes 121

Chapter Seven: How to Reconstruct a Dead Culture 123

The Three Ages in the Pontic-Caspian Steppes 125

Dating and the Radiocarbon Revolution 126

What Did They Eat? 128

Archaeological Cultures and Living Cultures 130

The Big Questions Ahead 132

Chapter Eight: First Farmers and Herders: The Pontic-Caspian Neolithic 134

Domesticated Animals and Pontic-Caspian Ecol ogy 135

The First Farmer-Forager Frontier in the Pontic- Caspian Region 138

Farmer Meets Forager: The Bug-Dniester Culture 147

Beyond the Frontier: Pontic-Caspian Foragers before Cattle Arrived 154

The Gods Give Cattle 158

Chapter Nine: Cows, Copper, and Chiefs 160

The Early Copper Age in Old Europe 162

The Cucuteni-Tripolye Culture 164

The Dnieper-Donets II Culture 174

The Khvalynsk Culture on the Volga 182

Nalchik and North Caucasian Cultures 186

The Lower Don and North Caspian Steppes 188

The Forest Frontier: The Samara Culture 189

Cows, Social Power, and the Emergence of Tribes 190

Chapter Ten: The Domestication of the Horse and the Origins of Riding: The Tale of the Teeth 193

Where Were Horses First Domesticated? 196

Why Were Horses Domesticated? 200

What Is a Domesticated Horse? 201

Bit Wear and Horse back Riding 206

Indo-European Migrations and Bit Wear at Dereivka 213

Botai and Eneolithic Horseback Riding 216

The Origin of Horse back Riding 221

The Economic and Military Effects of Horseback Riding 222

Chapter Eleven: The End of Old Europe and the Rise of the Steppe 225

Warfare and Alliance: The Cucuteni-Tripolye Culture and the Steppes 230

The Sredni Stog Culture: Horses and Rituals from the East 239

Migrations into the Danube Valley: The Suvorovo-Novodanilovka Complex 249

Warfare, Climate Change, and Language Shift in the Lower Danube Valley 258

After the Collapse 260

Chapter Twelve: Seeds of Change on the Steppe Borders: Maikop Chiefs and Tripolye Towns 263

The Five Cultures of the Final Eneolithic in the Steppes 265

Crisis and Change on the Tripolye Frontier: Towns Bigger Than Cities 277

The First Cities and Their Connection to the Steppes 282

The North Caucasus Piedmont: Eneolithic Farmers before Maikop 285

The Maikop Culture 287

Maikop-Novosvobodnaya in the Steppes: Contacts with the North 295

Proto-Indo-European as a Regional Language in a Changing World 299

Chapter Thirteen: Wagon Dwellers of the Steppe: The Speakers of Proto-Indo-European 300

Why Not a Kurgan Culture? 306

Beyond the Eastern Frontier: The Afanasievo Migration to the Altai 307

Wagon Graves in the Steppes 311

Where Did the Yamnaya Horizon Begin? 317

When Did the Yamnaya Horizon Begin? 321

Were the Yamnaya People Nomads? 321

Yamnaya Social Organization 328

The Stone Stelae of the North Pontic Steppes 336

Chapter Fourteen: The Western Indo-European Languages 340

The End of the Cucuteni-Tripolye Culture and the Roots of the Western Branches 343

Steppe Overlords and Tripolye Clients: The Usatovo Culture 349

The Yamnaya Migration up the Danube Valley 361

Yamnaya Contacts with the Corded Ware Horizon 367

The Origins of Greek 368

Conclusion: The Early Western Indo-European Languages Disperse 369

Chapter Fifteen: Chariot Warriors of the Northern Steppes 371

The End of the Forest Frontier: Corded Ware Herders in the Forest 375

Pre-Sintashta Cultures of the Eastern Steppes 385

The Origin of the Sintashta Culture 389

Warfare in the Sintashta Culture: Fortifications and Weapons 393

Tournaments of Value 405

Sintashta and the Origins of the Aryans 408

Chapter Sixteen: The Opening of the Eurasian Steppes 412

Bronze Age Empires and the Horse Trade 412

The Bactria-Margiana Archaeological Complex 421

The Opening of the Eurasian Steppes 435

The Srubnaya Culture: Herding and Gathering in the Western Steppes 437

East of the Urals, Phase I: The Petrovka Culture 441

The Seima-Turbino Horizon in the Forest-Steppe Zone 443

East of the Urals, Phase II: The Andronovo Horizon 448

Proto-Vedic Cultures in the Central Asian Contact Zone 452

The Steppes Become a Bridge across Eurasia 456

Chapter Seventeen: Words and Deeds 458

The Horse and the Wheel 459

Archaeology and Language 463

Appendix: Author's Note on Radiocarbon Dates 467

Notes 471

References 507

Index 547

Product Details

ISBN:
9780691148182
Author:
Anthony, David
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Author:
Anthony, David W.
Subject:
Archaeology
Subject:
Ancient - General
Subject:
History
Subject:
World History/Comparative History
Subject:
Archaeology and Ancient History
Subject:
Anthropology
Subject:
World History-Ancient History
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20100831
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
3 halftones. 86 line illus. 16 tables. 2
Pages:
568
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 28 oz

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History and Social Science » Anthropology » Linguistics
History and Social Science » Archaeology » Ancient Languages
History and Social Science » Archaeology » General
History and Social Science » Linguistics » General
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History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » World History » Ancient History
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The Horse, the Wheel and Language: How Bronze-Age Riders from the Eurasian Steppes Shaped the Modern World New Trade Paper
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Product details 568 pages Princeton University Press - English 9780691148182 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , "If you want to learn about the early origins of English and related languages, and of many of our familiar customs such as feasting on holidays and exchanging gifts, this book provides a lively and richly informed introduction. Along the way you will learn when and why horses were domesticated, when people first rode horseback, and when and why swift chariots changed the nature of warfare."--Peter S. Wells, author of The Battle that Stopped Rome

"A very significant contribution to the field. This book attempts to resolve the longstanding problem of Indo-European origins by providing an examination of the most relevant linguistic issues and a thorough review of the archaeological evidence. I know of no study of the Indo-European homeland that competes with it."--J. P. Mallory, Queen's University, Belfast

"Synopsis" by , Roughly half the world's population speaks languages derived from a shared linguistic source known as Proto-Indo-European. But who were the early speakers of this ancient mother tongue, and how did they manage to spread it around the globe? Until now their identity has remained a tantalizing mystery to linguists, archaeologists, and even Nazis seeking the roots of the Aryan race. The Horse, the Wheel, and Language lifts the veil that has long shrouded these original Indo-European speakers, and reveals how their domestication of horses and use of the wheel spread language and transformed civilization.

Linking prehistoric archaeological remains with the development of language, David Anthony identifies the prehistoric peoples of central Eurasia's steppe grasslands as the original speakers of Proto-Indo-European, and shows how their innovative use of the ox wagon, horseback riding, and the warrior's chariot turned the Eurasian steppes into a thriving transcontinental corridor of communication, commerce, and cultural exchange. He explains how they spread their traditions and gave rise to important advances in copper mining, warfare, and patron-client political institutions, thereby ushering in an era of vibrant social change. Anthony also describes his fascinating discovery of how the wear from bits on ancient horse teeth reveals the origins of horseback riding.

The Horse, the Wheel, and Language solves a puzzle that has vexed scholars for two centuries--the source of the Indo-European languages and English--and recovers a magnificent and influential civilization from the past.

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