Lactose Intolerance/Renfrew

Stanley Friesen sarima at
Wed Apr 18 02:33:54 UTC 2001

At 11:44 AM 4/15/01 -0400, X99Lynx at wrote:
>That's not my understanding of the situation with "aboriginal" languages in
>New Guinea.  I believe that most of the languages yield no comparative
>relatedness to neighboring languages and that the explanation is that the
>highly local isolation of these languages dates back more than 10,000 years.
>Do you have better information?

There are many language groups in New Guinea, and adjacent languages tend
to be from different groups.  But many, even most, of the languages are
demonstrably related to some other languages, either on New Guinea or
elsewhere.  There are even some Malayo-Polynesian languages spoken in parts
of New Guinea. In addition Foley recognizes 26 language families, ranging
in size from two languages to 21 languages.  And there is some suggestion
that there may be larger groupings such as East Papuan and West Papuan
(though these are less widely accepted).

Foley's book is actually quit interesting, as it discusses patterns of
language distribution, with different families in the valleys than in the

>I wrote:
><<Or perhaps it was just the other languages in Anatolia that were the
>intruders.  Who exactly is the candidate for the aboriginal Anatolian
>language - especially in western and southern Anatolia?>>

>Stanley Friesen replied:
><<My first guess would be Hattic. Or the aboriginal language could have
>become extinct by the time of the Hittite Empire.>>

>But again why couldn't Hattic be intrusive?  And assuming an aboriginal
>language begs the question, doesn't it?  Any other language you find in
>Anatolia could have just as easily intruded on Anatolian.

Patterns matter.  The pattern of borrowing, and the distribution of the
various languages, at least *suggest* that Anatolian is intrusive.  Too
little is known of Hattic to tell if it falls in the intrusive pattern.

>Stanley Friesen replied:
><<Oh?  Horse riding, possibly wheeled vehicles (and later chariots for sure -
>but that was after PIE split up) - these sound like innovation to me!>>

>I've asked the following question on three different archaeology lists. I've
>asked it of members of the team that did the recent gene study on horses.
>I've even sent Prof Anthony an unanswered e-mail.  Here are the questions:

><< How many other instances of tooth bit-wear, bits, cheek pieces, saddles or
>any other evidence of HORSE RIDING have been found in Europe between the time
>of the early finds in the Ukraine and the clear appearance of the bit after
>circa 2000BC.

>Have any horse teeth been found in Europe after 4000BC but before say 1500BC
>and what percentage show the stated indicia of bit wear?>>

>The only answers I've ever received all say none that anybody knows of.
>Nothing.  Zip.  Plenty of bones.  Plenty of horse skulls.  But nothing else.

Forget bits - there is also evidence, in the form of changes in equine
anatomy, for domestication at time *preceding* 4000 BC.  Now it is
possible, even likely, that it was originally domesticated as a food
animal. However, its transition to a major sacrificial animal, especially
in association with prestige graves, suggests that by the time the Kurgan
cultures have emerged it had changed its status to something more
special.  The general treatment of the horse in ritual in all of the Kurgan
cultures gives it a central place in their value system.

Perhaps riding without a bit preceded use of the bit?

>The wheel just plain seems to go the other way.  The Near East, Poland, the
>Danube, then into the Ukraine.

The earliest wheel dates are difficult to make into a sequence, and are
ambiguous as well.  Wooden wheels will not survive readily unless used as
grave goods.  Thus we are unlikely to actually have the earliest wheels.

One can at least make a case for more or less independent invention in the
Near East and the Danube area - given the radically different construction
techniques used for making wheels in the two areas.

May the peace of God be with you.         sarima at

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