JoatSimeon at JoatSimeon at
Sat Feb 6 05:20:31 UTC 1999

>Odegard at (Mark Odegard <Odegard at>)

>I affirm it is *required* reading. I did not find it particularly difficult,
>though for someone with zero introduction to linguistics, Indo-European
>studies and archeology, this book would be forbiddingly difficult.

-- I agree.  Good comprehensive survey.

>This region as the homeland, however, leads to some other problems.
>Mostly, we're required to accept the model of Aryan hordes invading
>the Danube basin.

-- more in the nature of "infiltrating and immigrating to" -- none of the
societies in question had a state level of political development, after all.

The Galla invasions of Ethiopia would be a good historical analogue.

>For myself, this [Danube basin] feels right.

-- that just displaces the problem.  Instead of frenzied hordes of Indo-
European speakers slashing their way into the Danube Valley, you've got them
migrating from there all the way to the Punjab, cutting their way into the
work of the comparative philologists.  Either way, you've got a very small
area expanding over a very large one.

>Except for the historically understood Magyar intrusion, this region has
>*always* been IE

-- So has the Ukraine, except for the historically attested intrusions of
Altaic speakers.  It was IE-speaking at the dawn of history and stayed that
way for millenia.

>Mostly, Sredny Stog is not particularly agricultural, and seems to have gone
>from Neolithic hunter-gathering to pastoral nomadism without any evidence of
>serious agriculture intervening, whereas LBK in Hungary was agricultural --
>and there is no transitional culture that links the two beyond trade links.

-- I think you've slightly misinterpreted him.  Sredny Stog goes from
Mesolithic to a mixed agricultural/pastoral economy with an emphasis on
herding _in some areas_.

It was the domestication of the horse which allowed the exploitation of the
deep steppe zone; but full-blown pastoral nomadism of the type we're familiar
with is a _much_ later phenomenon.

The steppe zone cultures of the late Neolithic and Bronze Age were
_semi-_nomadic, some segments of them practicing mixed agriculture in more
favorable parts of the area (river valleys, the forest steppe, foothill zones)
while others moved seasonally to pasture areas.

>In historic terms, it would have been all in the blink
>of an eye, the only real restraint on expansion being the ability of
>themselves and their animals to reproduce. The Cavalli-Sforza number
>for agriculturalist spread is about 1 km per year on average. On
>horseback, the spread could have been an average of 1 km per *week*.

-- analagous to the expansion of the Plains tribes once they got the horse.

>I have his _The IndoEuropeanization of Europe_ on order. After this,
>what's the next book?

-- try Mallory and Adams, _The Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture_.

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