[ eBook ] The Horse, the Wheel, and Language: How Bronze-Age Riders from the Eurasian Steppes Shaped the Modern WorldAuthor David W. Anthony – 91videos.co

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 Indo European languages are now some of the most widely spoken languages in the world The Indo European languages and the cultures and traditions associated with them which have influenced most of the world have come from a shared source known as proto Indo European language.The main purpose of the book is to trace the proto Indo European and its evolution through a study of philological and archaeological sources The author here makes the case for the Pontic Caspian steppes as the homeland of proto Indo European language based on linguistic and archaeological evidences The first part was very fascinating It deals with the linguistic part where the author discusses the various techniques of reconstructing the proto Indo European language and how the language can throw some important light on the culture and traditions of the speakers of the language.The second part deals with the archaeological sites of various Bronze Age cultures in the Pontic Caspian steppes This was a bit difficult to go through because of my lack of knowledge in eastern European geography and the amount of detailed information we are given regarding the various archaeological sites The author provides us a lot of data, numbers and graphs regarding the pottery, animal bones, burial postures etc Rather too many of those details making it a little confusing.On the whole, this is a very well researched and informative work with extensive footnotes and bibliography that takes on a fascinating journey through the Bronze age cultures and does a good job of showing how the Proto Indo European and it s daughter languages might have spread. The Horse, the Wheel and Language How Bronze Age Riders from the Eurasian Steppes Shaped the Modern World, David W Anthony 2016 1395 530 9789643214357 21 I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book Admittedly it does get bogged down describing archeological sites but you can skim through those sections without missing anything.Anthony combines linguistics and archeology to localize the origins of the Indo European language family and plot its spread across Eurasia, similar to Spencer Wells efforts to combine genetics and archeology to trace the spread of humans from Africa.The author marshalls the evidence to argue that Proto Indo European PIE emerged in the Pontic Caspian steppe between 4500 and 2500 BC, and that it got its greatest impetus to expansion with the introduction of wheeled transport around 3300 BC with the Yamnaya cultural horizon The herders in this region of the steppe were the first to domesticate the horse as a source of food, only later were they ridden to control larger herds and range over larger territories Anthony is also able to document the rise of social hierarchies as exemplified in grave sites, and shows how the wheel opened up the deep steppes to year round exploitation.Anthony shows that this increased economic exploitation led to increased competition and violence While the reader doesn t need to subscribe to a theory of peaceful, sedentary, matriarchal cultures mowed down by savage, nomadic, patriarchal war machines, it is true that violence was less efficient and effective before the introduction of horses and wheels One can find evidence of cultures suddenly disappearing from the stratigraphic record and graves full of bodies hacked apart by axes But he also shows that the relationship between the herder and the cultivator was never so simple indeed, the violent marauders of lurid legend were often the exception rather than the rule The relationship was mediated by a system of patron client host guest customs A tradition which, to varying degrees, stretched from Europe to East Asia.This parallels the argument Karen Armstrong makes that the great moral traditions of the Western religions arose between 2500 and 1500 BC as a response to the incredible violence inherent in the cultures that arose with the horse riding steppe herders.The obvious success of PIE speaking cultures made their dialects prestigious and worth knowing, dominating and eventually driving non PIE languages to extinction in most areas Indo Europeans reached In addition, PIE cultures appear to have been very inclusive, basing identification on language and ritual rather than race and ethnicity, which also helped facilitate their spread This tradition was long lived Rome s success two thousand years later owed much to her ability to accomodate foreign elites and co opt them into the ruling hierarchy.I could have wished for a littleexplanation of the language side of the equation Unfortunately, Anthony is an archeologist and not a linguist and he gave it short if interesting shrift.Despite that, if you re at all interested in this topic, I can easily and with confidence recommend this book. 3.5 stars The Horse, the Wheel, and Language investigates the possible origins of the Proto Indo European language, the reconstructed language posited by philologists and historical linguists to be the mother tongue from which a host of modern languages were derived, including English, French, German, Italian, Punjabi, Spanish, Russian and Persian to mention only a few The mere reality of Proto Indo European PIE is contested by some, who insist that a purely hypothetical language, produced by linguists by using linguistic and grammatical rules discovered in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, to reconstruct a dead language based on scraps of evidence and the corelation of words and concepts that appear to share a common ancestor is skating on thin ice Thus Anthony begins his book by setting up a defense of the concept of PIE, the work of language reconstruction, and an overview of the building blocks of language and the apparent rules behind them that are the primary tools of historical linguists From this he moves on to a discussion of the dating for the lifetime of PIE, setting out the possible dates and sequence of early PIE daughter languages.Two key questions arise when was PIE spoken what are its birth and death dates , and where did this occur what is the homeland of the PIE peoples A combination of linguistic and archaeological evidence is used to discover this Anthony begins his investigation of the first question by examining key vocabulary in PIE and its daughter languages centring on the concept of wheels chariots wagons, as well as words and concepts related to wool and corelating this with the archaeological record for evidence of such objects that have been found This then leads to the question of what is the PIE homeland The debate has raged since the question was first asked, making it everywhere and nowhere, often pushed by nationalistic and racial racist ideologies Once again using some PIE vocabulary such as the words for bees and honey , which let us know something about the physical and natural characteristics of the landscape, and words for horse , sheep , wool , milk , pig , grain , and chaff Anthony contends that we can ascertain that these peoples were farmers and herders, not hunter gatherers, who lived in an area whose climate was conducive to bees and the kind of plants that allowed the creation of honey, all of which helps to narrow down the possible locations Anthony admits that many Archaeologists argue the validity of using a hypothetical reconstructed language as the basis for any hypothesis, though he makes, I believe, a strong case for its validity.By presenting evidence from a large number of archaeological sites which are then related to the linguistic record and concepts that appear to be key to the PIE cultures Anthony builds a strong argument for his characterization of what the original PIE cultures were like They were a people that discovered and implemented a cattle and sheep herding economy which co existed with the rise of a newly hierarchical society Using this evidence Anthony argues that PIE spread widely through the Pontic Caspian steppe zone around 3000 BC The PIE culture s early domestication and use of horses was key to this spread Initially Horses appear to have been domesticated purely as a food source that wasviable in the winter than cattle or sheep though once domesticated they were eventually ridden first probably as herding transport which allowed herds and their territory to grow far larger, and then as transport to and from cattle raids, and only later in a full battle context The exact dates of horse domestication have been like everything else investigated in this book hotly contested, though the author came up with an innovative, and seemingly convincing, manner of investigation though his implementation of the examination of bit wear on horse s teeth as a new key archaeological clue to when horse domestication first occurred, helping to pinpoint both a time and place for the PIE cultures.This heightened mobility provided by their early use of horses allowed the PIE speakers to have much greater grazing areas, and thus larger herds, making them very wealthy When they came across non PIE speakers in their travels on the steppes this wealth, along with their greater knowledge and use of horses, gave PIE speakers great prestige and, Anthony argues, allowed them to promote their own culture and ultimately adopt these peoples as dependents PIE culture and thus language promoted verbal contracts and sacred religious oaths for the exchange of wealth along with guest host obligations Anthony argues that it is these key elements of their culture that allowed them to promote patron client relationships basically legitimizing inequality with some of the other cultures they met They could integrate these new peoples cultures into their tribe as dependents with no social stigma, primarily using the promise of wealth As these relationships grew and expanded they became integrated as a people, losing genetic homogeneity, but maintaining cultural homogeneity due to the social cultural ties that bound them in patron client relationships and their shared use of the now dominant PIE language that only served to reinforce their cultural ideals.Sandwiched in between the arguments Anthony makes is a lot of archaeology and I have come to appreciate how integral this discipline has been to our understanding of ancient cultures while at the same time I becomeconvinced than ever that my early assessment after my Indiana Jones daydreams of adventure were shattered that archaeology is also one of the most boring studies one could pursue Still, without the evidence that Anthony carefully presents from site after archaeological site his argument wouldn t have much of a leg to stand on It may not be worth much since I m neither an expert in linguistics nor archaeology, but I have to say that I m pretty convinced by Anthony s arguments about the origins, movements, and influence of the PIE culture s I d definitely recommend this book to anyone interested in the origins and growth of Indo European cultures, especially in regards to the key role that seems to have been played in their growth and development by the domestication of horses, the innovation of the wheel which ultimately led to the chariot, but also opened up the previously unusable area of the steppe grasslands as a newly rich and profitable zone of influence , and the use of cultural ideals as promoted by their language in the growth and, ultimately, vast success of the PIE speakers Just be prepared for a lot of archaeology. David W Anthony s The Horse, The Wheel and Language How Bronze Age Riders from the Eurasian Steppes Shaped the Modern World HWL , is a worthy addition to Indo European scholarship Using a synthesis of linguistics and many recent additions to the archaeological record from Russia and other Central Asian countries, Anthony attempts to answer the lingering questions of the Proto Indo European languages namely, who spoke it, where was it spoken and when The focus here is on science and reasonable conclusions not on ideology In the first chapter, Anthony make is clear that he despises the use of scholarship on this subject by governments or groups who wish to claim the Proto Indo European language speakers as descendants of a pure race or for any use in determining national superiority Anthony is very conscious to state that the use of the term Aryan is only applicable in the context of Iran and India and only within the construct of a religious language group not a genetically similar group of people After the first chapter the term is never used again Almost two thirds of the bookshelves into the archaeological history cultures from Southern Europe to just east of the Ural mountains of Eurasia particularly the Pontic Caspian steppe region This thorough almost too thorough examination of midden, grave goods, and building structures turns some major theories of Proto Indo European language speakers on their heads For example, most authorities credit the invention of the chariot to Near Eastern societies around 1900 to 1800 BCE Through an analysis of horse teeth found in steppe graves to determine whether or not horses were bitted and an examination of very early spoked wheels and cheekpieces also found in those same graves, Anthony posits that chariots were actually first developed by people of the steppe regions around 2000 BCE My only two criticisms of HWL are that the book really isn t an examination of how the Proto Indo European speakers shaped the modern world which I would have liked The analysis really stops at the Bronze age Also, while the Notes to Chapters and References sections are well done and helpful the index is much less so Several times I attempted to look up concepts specifics referenced in the volume but could find no corresponding listing in the index. I feel a little bad rating The Horse, the Wheel, and Language at all, because it s primarily advancing an argument that I simply do not have the qualifications to evaluate I have no background in archeology at all, and my background in linguistics is a single survey level course in university and an amateur interest thereafter, so the hundreds of pages of descriptions of grave sites and red ochre placement and pottery sherds made my eyes glaze over and are part of why it took me so long to finish the book Simply because of that, I can t give it too many stars, but I did find a lot of interesting tidbits inside mixed among the archeological descriptions.The basic thesis of the book is that it s possible to use linguistic reconstruction married to archeological evidence to determine where the speakers of Proto Indo European originated, and the answer is in the Russian steppes, near the Urals I thought this was a settled question and had assumed that was widely known, but see above about my lack of qualifications There are a lot of interesting points made about historical linguistics For example, what does it mean to reconstruct a language which was spoken over millennia Surely the language must have changed quite a bit over that time, right This is true, and it s important to remember that a reconstructed language is a bit like the Oxford English Dictionary, which contains hundreds or thousands of words which haven t been in common use for decades, and some that haven t been used for centuries Despite that, it s still possible to learn a lot about Proto Indo European speakers just from the words we ve been able to reconstruct They were familiar with honeybees and drank fermented honey PIEm d u, descended through the millennia to us as mead , which means they must have come from an area with honeybees They had words for horse and cow and sheep, as well as for wool, which required a mutation among sheep for longer hair before it could be woven They had a word for the wheel They had words for sky gods and the sacrifices necessary to propitiate them They had words for plowing, milking, grinding meal, and other agricultural and herding practices Apparently horses were originally domesticated not for riding or as beasts of burden, as one might expect from their uses in the modern day, but for meat There are a lot of examples of wild horse bones found in middens of early steppe settlements or nomad camps, in some casesthan 60% of animal bones, and at least one subspecies of steppe horse was hunted to extinction Even after domestication, horses formed the bulk of the meat diet for millennia as well as being frequently used for sacrificial feasts Riding did come about relatively early, though Anthony did studies on horse teeth from Don and Dneiper river civilizations, showing that they demonstrated wear patterns consistent with organic rope, leather, etc bit use even if metal bits weren t found in the remains The nomad horse archer wouldn t develop for millennia due to the lack of other technologies, though the steppe riders had no stirrups and their bows were around 1.5 meters long, far too long to use on horseback What probably happened is that they d ride their horses to a raiding site, steal animals PIE also has a word for bride price, so it may have been young men seeking to get married and use their horses mobility to flee with their loot Horse riding also allowed much larger herds to be cultivated by the same number of people, increasing inequality as some people could afford large herds Anthony mentions that herding leads to a shift toward patriarchy, but sadly doesn t really develop the concept There s a bit at the beginning about how language can spread due to prestige rather than through conquest If neighboring cultures perceive that speakers of another language have higher status, they ll encourage their children to be bilingual, and eventually the original language will be lost This might be part of how Proto Indo European spread, coupled with gaining tribe members from agricultural societies, because a mobile herd is easier to defend than stationary agricultural land.I wish I had a better background to appreciate all the information in here, instead of getting lost in the maze of Bug Dnieper and Sintashta and Dnieper Donets II and Cucuteni Tripolye and all the other names of the steppe and near steppe cultures I could still pick out enough to interest me, but someone without the appropriate background might be best reading the first hundred pages and putting the book down after that There s a lot that s interesting in here, but quite a bit of wading to get to it. Educated in an era when the Tigris Euphrates Fertile Crescent region was credited with the invention of the chariot, this work s most fascinating contribution to our understanding of world history to me was the identification of the Pontic Caspian steppes as the origin of horse riding about 4200 4000 BCE, and the invention of wheeled vehicles around 3300 BCE Chariots used in warfare utterly changed world history, so dating their appearance is important because it helps us understand so many other bits and pieces we have of ancient history in the region including Indian and Chinese history Author David Anthony reminds us that the oldest images in Near Eastern art of spoked wheels which identifies chariots used in warfare from carts used for otherdomestic purposes appear about 1900 BCE, which leads us to the realization that chariots were developed first in the steppes, and introduced to the Near East through Central Asia The appearance of chariot riding warriors can explain the sudden appearance and disappearance of armed settlements, large scale migrations, technologies that focus on instruments of war, the replacement of the heroic warrior with the strategizing general of armies, etc Even if you re not interested in language, this detail rich volume has many threads for historians to follow it is a monumental work for anyone. One of the things I did in grad school was to become a Proto Indo European otaku, a long, lonely voyage into the dark and uncharted seas of PIE myth and mythology I did this because I was amused by facts such as the following a the English word sweat and its Sanskrit cognate, svet are practically homophonic b Erin, the ancient name for Ireland, is a cognate of the Persian word Iran and of the Vedic Sanskrit word Aryan the race that inspired Hitler Why should cultures at such distances speak languages in the same family Why do blonde, blue eyed Lithuanians speak a language that is closer to India s primordial tongue than is any other European language Example English God gave us teeth God will give us bread Lithuanian Dievas dave dantis,Dievas duos ir duonas.Sanskrit Devas adat datas,Devas dasyati dhanas In fact, it was the contemplation of such puzzles that led humans to discover that there are language families, and thus cognates If you think understanding a cultural continuum spanning a swath of geography stretching from ancient India to ancient Ireland might have some bearing on your understanding of your own cultural roots, this volume, though not for sissies, might do. Makes the case for the Indo Europeans coming out of the region just north of the Black Sea I don t know if I buy it or not The author marshalls a lot of linguistic and archeological evidence to make his case but with a people who left no writing and some metal trinkets behind there is room for tons of interpretation There does seem to be something about the wide swath of linguistic root words from India to Ireland that suggest a common origin but a tribe of people from the Black Sea being the ancestors of a big chunk of Eurasia is a bit of a stretch Still, the picture is fascinating.