April 17, 2011

Minoans in Ancient Canaan

While it has been generally accepted that the Philistines originated in the Aegean, new archaeological research from the Levant shows that they were not the first Aegean peoples to influence the area of Canaan. How strange that we've gone from a "legendary" Minos, to the excavation of the Bronze Age Minoan civilization, to a gradual confirmation of its thalassocracy, as described by the ancient authors.

Archaeologists Uncover Evidence of a Minoan Presence Among Ancient Canaanites
A recent and ongoing excavation at the remains of an expansive Middle Bronze Age Canaanite palace in the western Galilee region of present-day Israel is opening a new window on the possible presence of ancient Minoans at an ancient Canaanite palace, revealing what may be the earliest known Western art found in the eastern Mediterranean.
Known as Tel Kabri (located near its namesake kibbutz not far from historic Acco and the resort town of Nahariya on the coast of Israel), the site features an early Middle Bronze Age (MB I) palace dated to the 19th century B.C.E., making it, along with ancient Aphek and possibly Megiddo, the earliest MB palace discovered in present-day Israel. This conclusion was drawn as a result of excavations conducted there as recently as December 20, 2010 to January 10, 2011. But the tell-tale signs of an Aegean presence or influence at the site show up in a later developmental phase of the palace structure some 150 to 200 years later in the overlying MB II palace dated to the 17th century. Reports Dr. Eric Cline of George Washington University and Co-Director of the excavations along with Assaf Yasur-Landau of Haifa University, "Excavations conducted by [Aharon] Kempinski and [Wolf-Dietrich] Niemeier from 1986 to 1993 at the site of Tel Kabri -- now identified as the capital of a Middle Bronze Age Canaanite kingdom located in the western Galilee region of modern Israel -- revealed the remains of a palace dating to the Middle Bronze (MB) II period (ca. 1700 - 1550 B.C.E.). Within the palace, Kempinski and Niemeier discovered an Aegean-style painted plaster floor and several thousand fragments originally from a miniature Aegean-style wall fresco."(1) The new excavations under the direction of Cline and Yasur-Landau have added to the discovery. Reports Cline, et al., "During the 2008 and 2009 excavations at Tel Kabri more than 100 new fragments of wall and floor plaster were uncovered. Approximately 60 are painted, probably belonging to a second Aegean-style wall fresco with figural representations and a second Aegean-style painted floor."(2)

39 comments:

Gregor Brand said...

The article reminds me of the theory (Michael Astour and others) that those Minoans spoke North-Western Semitic. Maybe the Minoans and the Canaanite people were indeed closely related.

Dienekes said...

Quite unlikely. The only reason this can be linked to the Minoans in the first place is the fact that Aegean art of the period is different from contemporary styles of the Levant.

The language(s) of the Minoans are undecyphered, but my money is on the theory that they spoke a distant relative of Anatolian IE languages, and the reason they've been so difficult to decypher is that they were separated for thousands of years (Crete was colonized early in the Neolithic) from their linguistic cousins, themselves only partially known, as they've left no living relatives.

The Semitic hypothesis also doesn't make sense in light of the fact that Semitic languages are very young (compared to IE), so a new Semitic language ought to be easy to decypher, or at least to identify as Semitic.

Onur said...

The Semitic hypothesis also doesn't make sense in light of the fact that Semitic languages are very young (compared to IE)

Yes, that is why Semitic tongues are quite similar to each other.

so a new Semitic language ought to be easy to decypher, or at least to identify as Semitic.

Totally agree.

apostateimpressions said...

I heard a theory that Cypriots have some Minoan descent from before a 12th century BCE Greek settlement.

Does anyone have any thoughts on the matter?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cypro-Minoan_syllabary

http://www.ancientscripts.com/cypriot.html

Cuah123 said...

Ironic how Hollywood has painted this area as barren and hegemonic. It appears with this type of evidence to be quite a mutlicultural location. Time to clean up history.

Could this also account for J2a in the area?

AdygheChabadi said...

Hi, Dienekes!

Dienekes said:
"The language(s) of the Minoans are undecyphered, but my money is on the theory that they spoke a distant relative of Anatolian IE languages, and the reason they've been so difficult to decypher is that they were separated for thousands of years (Crete was colonized early in the Neolithic) from their linguistic cousins, themselves only partially known, as they've left no living relatives."

I doubt that Minoan/ Eteo-Cretan is a distant relative of the Anatolian languages and as the Tyrrhenian (Etruscan and Lemnian) languages are not even IE...It is thought that Minoan/ Eteo-Cretan and Eteo-Cypriot are related to the Tyrrhenian languages in a family called the Aegean family.

Any similarities between the Anatolian languages would be due to areal contact as the Tyrrhenian languages (especially Lemnian) existed in the same area on the Western coasts of Anatolia...Even the Romans remarked at how very different the Etruscan language was...it was nothing like they had ever heard.

Some have suggested that because of borrowing from Tyrrhenian into Luwian like the number four, "Maua" and other such borowings that the languages are related...this is simply not the case in linguistics.

There is far more evidence for the case of the ancient unclassified Iberian language and isolate Basque language being related than the isolate Tyrrhenian language family and the Indo-European Anatolian languages being related...

With that said...I have also thought that the Philistines were a missed grouping...coming from the coasts of Anatolia and the Aegean islands...

This is so exciting that they found Minoan related artifacts!!!

andrew said...

The case for Minoan being neither IE nor Semitic seems strong. Transliteration of Linear B to Linear A produces place names, but not words clearly recognizable as either IE or Semitic.

Homer and Egyptian records suggest a common pre-Mycenean culture for the region, whose oldest relict pocket was Lemnian, which in turn is reasonably solidly related to non-IE, non-Semitic Etruscan, and Etruscan tradition places their origins on the SW Anatolian coast not far from the Minoans.

Quite possibly this would be a lost branch of a dead or near dead language family that would also include Hattic and Hurrian, which in turn have a closet living relative in the NW Caucasian languages, which like Minoan, Lemnian and Etruscan appear to have been vowel poor and were agglutinative leaning. (Minoan probably had only four vowels).

eurologist said...

The language(s) of the Minoans are undecyphered, but my money is on the theory that they spoke a distant relative of Anatolian IE languages, and the reason they've been so difficult to decypher is that they were separated for thousands of years (Crete was colonized early in the Neolithic) from their linguistic cousins, themselves only partially known, as they've left no living relatives.

But isolated populations typically preserve ancient language features very well, and develop more slowly. With Sumerian, Hurro-Urartian, Kartvelian, Northwest Caucasian, Northeast Caucasian, Elamite, and Afro-Asiatic in the region agriculture developed and its vicinity, and with Lemnian and Etruscan being non-IE, I think chances are much, much higher that both Minoan/Eteocretan and early neolithic Greek are related to one of the above non-IE languages.

royking said...

This is fascinating stuff! Maybe the reason that the Druze ( CEPH Druze are from Mt. Carmel on the Levantine coast near Tel Kabri)share genetic affinity with the Ashkenazi Jewish, Aegean and Mediterranean populations from GWAS studies is that there has been recurrent migration all across the Eastern Mediterranean via the Neolithic, the Sea-Peoples, the Hellenistic Greeks, and now the Minoan thalassocracy.

genealogy11 said...

Possible book of interest on this topic:

Seagoing ships and seamanship in the Bronze Age Levant By Shelley Wachsmann, George F. Bass

Points of interest from below:
Minoan presence/art in ancient Egypt (Theban tombs, Kabri, as mentioned in your post, and Mari in Syria).

See this link: (google books)
http://books.google.com/books?id=apna4pv7Ks8C&pg=PA84&lpg=PA84&dq=israel+minoan&source=bl&ots=m0raOIYLjQ&sig=759tPMxsKBgfhBgcc3zMXt3OS-Y&hl=en&ei=RDStTYWlIY7AgQfE9KiVDA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CB0Q6AEwATgU#v=onepage&q=israel%20minoan&f=false

Creative said...

The Hyksos Capital of Avaris in Egypt displayed Minoan input via Art.
http://www.auaris.at/html/ez_helmi_en.html#8

Dienekes said...

There is no real reason to link the language of Linear A with the Tyrrhenians. For one thing, the two are separated by only about a thousand years or so in their attested monuments, and it's a good guess that both can be read phonetically to a great extent. Hence, the inability to discover a link between them is puzzling.

Nor is there any evidence that links the language of Linear A with any of the non-IE languages of the Caucasus.

The simplest explanation about the origin of the Minoans is Southwestern Anatolia, which is relatively close to Crete. The high frequency of haplogroup J2a in Crete also links Crete with Anatolia. Since the people of the coast and interior of Western Anatolia spoke Anatolian languages, that's the most likely language family spoken by the Minoans, but separated by a long time.

Of course, Crete's Neolithic colonization occurred 5 thousand years before the earliest attestation of Hittite and the Anatolian language group. Moreover, the latter is understandable partially as it became extinct quickly. So, the odds are stacked against us ever decyphering the language of the Minoans.

Dean said...

The mother language of Greek and Minoan is Albanian-Pelasgian...

Sorry, couldn't help myself.

piertrink said...

larspodolski
thanks for the enlightening thread I am the user ashraf but there are problems in my gmail
I think minoan is connected to phillistine and pelasgian with affinity to the pre IE languages of Europe connected with last ice age refugium

AdygheChabadi said...

Hi, Dienekes!

I said, "missed grouping" when I meant, "mixed grouping"...

I am sorry to disagree with you about Linear A and Tyrrhenian Languages...the consensus seems to point in the direction of Linear A is Minoan and Eteo-Cretan is a later form of Minoan...and the etymologies for what words can be sussed out in Linear A/ Minoan shows links to Tyrrhenian...

Every legitimate expert in the field of the Etruscan language acknowledge that there are some very striking links between the Tyrrhenian group and the Minoans, at least linguistically. The Minoans maybe the older group as far as we know...but that does not preclude the increasing evidence of Etrusco-Leminan and like languages (Eteo-Cypriot and, in all likelihood, Linear A/ Minoan/ Eteo-Cretan) from being related...

Have you read a blog called Paleoglot??? I highly recommend it...it is not one of those crazy, off-the-wall theorist blogs...very legitimate indeed.

Dienekes said...

There is no consensus on what language Linear A represents. The best theory on the topic I've read is Gareth Owens'

http://www.teicrete.gr/daidalika/thesis.html
http://www.teicrete.gr/daidalika/thesis.pdf (bilingual Epilogue)

AdygheChabadi said...

Hi, Dienekes!

Ugh, I hate to further disagree with you, because I greatly respect you...but I have to.

I am sure Gareth Owens is top-notch, but he fails to make any comparisons with any languages other than Mycenaean and other Indo-European languages, some of which could be questionable comparisons...He makes one measly connection with Etruscan...but there are far more than that one concerning the Etruscan god(dess), Turan.

I did a thorough 2 hour web search...the majority consensus is that Minoan is to be treated as an isolate or related to Etruscan, Lemnian, and Eteo-Cypriot in an Aegean family...Only the minority say it is Indo-European. I even saw one highly comical claim that Linear A has been deciphered as an Indo-Iranian language (!!!) and another saying it is connected to Hurro-Urartian (!!!).

I saved that paper though...it is good scholarship nonetheless (even though I disagree with it...hahaha).

http://paleoglot.blogspot.com/

http://minoablog.blogspot.com/

Those are the scholarly blogs I spoke of earlier.

Dienekes said...

Your 2-hour web search notwithstanding, Linear A is undecyphered, and the best case for it is that it is a very early form of Indo-European.

As I've mentioned above, Linear A and Etruscan can both be read -if not understood- and they are separated by a thousand years. If they were closely related languages, we would know by now.

In addition, the ancient authors connect them with various places in the Aegean, but never with Crete, and we do know that non-Greek languages continued to be spoken in Crete long after the demise of the Minoan civilization.

eurologist said...

Linear A and Etruscan can both be read -if not understood- and they are separated by a thousand years. If they were closely related languages, we would know by now.

Conversely, PIE is extremely well known, by now - if Linear A was closely related, we would know by now. I mean, seriously, any e.g. Germanic speaker of today can look at Tocharian or Sanskrit vocabulary and immediately see huge similarities - that's how close IE languages have remained over many millennia (let alone certain grammatical aspects).

As to your other point, agriculture did not originate in eastern Anatolia (look e.g. at Fig. 1 of the Gignoux et al. paper you just posted). Thus, with due respect, in my opinion, the languages I listed above from the Levant and western Anatolian/Caucasus/Euphrates-Tigris and beyond are more pertinent to the discussion than some hypothetical, undocumented early PIE in eastern Anatolia.

Dienekes said...

Conversely, PIE is extremely well known, by now - if Linear A was closely related, we would know by now

PIE is a reconstructed language based on the set of languages currently understood, many of them extant. It is not at all obvious that the relationship between Anatolian languages and the language of Linear A would be preserved over 5,000 years, or that we would be able to discover it, given our less than optimal knowledge of most Anatolian languages and the massive changes they'd underwent relative to other IE languages that branched off later.

As to your other point, agriculture did not originate in eastern Anatolia

Not sure what point you ascribe to me here, or how it's related. Agriculture did originate in southeastern Anatolia and adjoining regions of Syria and Iraq, AFAWK, btw. Indo-European languages did not, however, necessarly originate there.

For the sake of the present, we do know that the entirety of Western and Southwestern Anatolia, and most of the western half of the peninsula spoke nothing but Indo-European languages for the entirety of recorded history.

eurologist said...

I apologize - please exchange eastern with western in my comment about Anatolia, above. I changed around the sentence structure without correcting the designations.

Basically, what I am driving at is that early Anatolian languages most likely originated from the LGM refugia that most profited from early serial foraging and domestication. I see that origin in the east and south - not in west Anatolia. Any language found there 5,000 years later should be, at face value, considered coincidental - given known archaeology and cultural movements.

Dienekes said...

I apologize - please exchange eastern with western in my comment about Anatolia, above.

So, what you meant to say is:

Thus, with due respect, in my opinion, the languages I listed above from the Levant and western Anatolian/Caucasus/Euphrates-Tigris and beyond are more pertinent to the discussion than some hypothetical, undocumented early PIE in western Anatolia.

I really fail to see your logic here. Do you think the Neolithic Cretans took a flight to Crete? Of course the languages of Western Anatolia are more pertinent to the question of Minoan origins than those of Mesopotamia.

And, as it's become clear, ALL languages of Western Anatolia were Indo-European at the dawn of history, both the earliest ones (Hittite, Luwian, Palaic), and all the ones that followed them, such as Lydian, Pisidian, and Carian.

So, I find it unparsimonious to think that the language of the Minoans was anything other than Indo-European, when West Anatolia was so thoroughly IE, and so were the Balkans, with Greek and the Thraco-Illyrian languages to the north of it also being IE.

I wonder how the "Anatolians" are supposed to have entered Anatolia: if from Balkans, then why are Anatolian languages so much diverged from European ones? Where were the Anatolian speakers isolated in Europe for thousands of years prior to their entry in Anatolia? If from the steppes north of the Caspian, from the east, then how come Anatolian languages came to be so overwhelmingly concentrated in the West?

AdygheChabadi said...

Part 1 (had to break it apart to post it)

Hi, Dienekes!

Once again, hahahaha, I must most respectfully disagree with you...

Dienekes said:
"Linear A is undecyphered, and the best case for it is that it is a very early form of Indo-European."

The evidence is just not forthcoming on that, Dienekes...The evidence is strongly suggesting that Tyrrhenian is a much more likely a candidate for being related to Linear A/ Minoan/ Eteo-Cretan. I hate to keep repeating that like a broken record...but the fact are the facts in this situation. Whatever Indo-European connection Linear A/ Minoan/ Eteo-Cretan has...it is strictly due to areal contact or borrowing...The core lexicon of Linear A/ Minoan/ Eteo-Cretan is purely non-IE. The structure of the words...morphologically, typologically, syntactically...it is at its core non-IE. The connections to Tyrrhenian are far stronger than those to Indo-European.

There is about as much evidence for Indo-European being related to the North Caucasian Languages as to the Aegean ones...like in the cases of the North Caucasian languages...any similarity is due to areal contact or borrowing...not genetic relationship. As we know that Indo-European was present in the regions immediately adjoining the Cauacsus...as they were for a time with the Aegean languages.

Dienekes said:
"And, as it's become clear, ALL languages of Western Anatolia were Indo-European at the dawn of history, both the earliest ones (Hittite, Luwian, Palaic), and all the ones that followed them, such as Lydian, Pisidian, and Carian"

Sorry, Dienekes...you are wrong on that claim also...Hattic is the first known language of Anatolia that we have record of and it is CLEARLY NOT Indo-European. Hattic is more related to the Caucasian languages as some suspect or that maybe also due to areal contact. Also, we must include the Hurro-Urartian languages in Anatolia as they did exist there...in the east. And, yes, there may be SOME Hurrian toponyms in Western Anatolian. Perhaps, placed there by the speakers of the Luwian group of Anatolian IE languages...

Hattic speakers may have lived near the Western coasts of Anatolia, there are Hattic toponyms in Western Anatolia so that is a clue...There are may even be Hattic toponyms that can be found in Aegean and mainland Greece (!!!). Even the city we know as Troy ultimately may have a Hattic-derived name...

Western Anatolia was also home to Etrusco-Lemnian (Tyrrhenian)...NOT AN Indo-European Language family. There were languages in the area of the Balkans and Western Anatolia before the spread of IE languages (most likely those of Aegean origin)...Indo-European DID NOT exist in these areas always. There is a though that there is a Aegean substrate that is found in the Aegean Basin...names found on both sides of the Aegean Sea. It has been explained that the etymologies are possibly explicable IE terms as well.

Take the case of Basque...before the spread of Indo-European...I have no doubt that much of the population in Iberia spoke some Basque-Iberian Language...this is evidenced in the Basque-Iberian substrate found in Sardinian (not lying or crazy, check it out on Wikipedia)...That could be related to Haplogroup I2a1-M26 which is found in relatively high frequency Basque areas...but anyway.

AdygheChabadi said...

Part 2

The situation is the same with Burushaski...The Burushaski language may have been much more widespread before the spread of the IE languages in that region. Perhaps, even the original language of the BMAC was related to Burushaski...or even Elamite (who knows exactly). There are "Banana" names that also appear in the Indo-Iranian substrate as it is concerned with the BMAC. These "Banana" names also appear in Sumerian and are linked to SOME degree to Elamite names, for example, A-mu-mu, Ap-pi-i-pi, A-Si-Si, E-la-la, Ga-zi-zi,
In-ti-ti, La-te-te, Li-nu-nu. Many of these "Banana" names maybe linked to Hurrian...others to unknown sources (possibly Semitic). One scholar has actually said that the language of the BMAC may have been some eastern variant of Hurrian (who knows?), but anyway...you can see my point about Pre-Indo-European languages.

It is even thought that the Kusunda language (a Nepalese Isolate) was more widespread...again...my point about pre-Indo-European languages is intact...

In many cases...the invading Indo-European languages took over a certain amount of non-IE vocabulary, hence, the original language spoken in the area becomes a substrate...Like the Hurrian substrate in Armenian, the proposed Pre- Greek substrate, the Vedda substrate in Sinhalese, (a different, but still valid case in point) the Nilo-Saharan substrate of Afro-Asiatic Ongota language.

Dienekes said:
"So, I find it unparsimonious to think that the language of the Minoans was anything other than Indo-European, when West Anatolia was so thoroughly IE, and so were the Balkans, with Greek and the Thraco-Illyrian languages to the north of it also being IE. "

Again, with the great respect due to you, Dienekes...you can not say that in light of so much other evidence. See the above comments.

Sorry...I have not learned to use the italics thing yet...don't know how that works...lol

eurologist said...

@ Dienekes:
"I wonder how the "Anatolians" are supposed to have entered Anatolia: if from Balkans, then why are Anatolian languages so much diverged from European ones? Where were the Anatolian speakers isolated in Europe for thousands of years prior to their entry in Anatolia?"

Yes. That's exactly the way I envision it. The southern Balkans were populated by non-IE neolithic new-comers from Anatolia with one or more likely two languages from there (different pottery styles, sea-fares vs. continental migrations, etc.).

All this while IE further developed at the intersection to the sophisticated northern Balkan natives (long settled in permanent buildings before the advent of agriculture, long separated into different professions with separate intricate wooden structures, with a competitive high protein fish/animal diet and intricate local climate knowledge). With differentiation within the Balkans, and later PIE adaptation in Greece, one can easily allow several millennia before back migration either via the Mediterranean sea, the mainland, or the Black sea to explain an old form of PIE arriving in eastern Anatolia.

Dienekes said...

eurologist, you are not making much sense.

@ Dienekes:
"I wonder how the "Anatolians" are supposed to have entered Anatolia: if from Balkans, then why are Anatolian languages so much diverged from European ones? Where were the Anatolian speakers isolated in Europe for thousands of years prior to their entry in Anatolia?"

Yes. That's exactly the way I envision it.

...

With differentiation within the Balkans, and later PIE adaptation in Greece, one can easily allow several millennia before back migration either via the Mediterranean sea, the mainland, or the Black sea to explain an old form of PIE arriving in eastern Anatolia.


1. Historical Anatolian speakers were concentrated in western, not eastern Anatolia.
2. You've failed to answer the question of where in Europe Anatolian speakers differentiated from other Indo-Europeans prior to their late arrival in Anatolia.

If they lived in the Balkans next to other Indo-Europeans, then there's no reason that they would've diverged from them so drastically.

To harmonize your theory with the known facts we would need:

1. Long-term isolation of northern Balkan Indo-Europeans from Anatolians. Where?
2. Late entry of Anatolian from Europe

I see zero linguistic or archaological evidence that Anatolian differentiated from other IE in the Balkans and entered Anatolia late. Indeed, I see no reason why the earliest branch out of the common ancestor would target Anatolia, and the whole theory stinks of teleology.

Dienekes said...

Sorry, Dienekes...you are wrong on that claim also...Hattic is the first known language of Anatolia that we have record of and it is CLEARLY NOT Indo-European.

Hattic is not a language of Western Anatolia. My claim that only Indo-European languages are attested in Western Anatolia is 100% correct.

Western Anatolia was also home to Etrusco-Lemnian (Tyrrhenian)...NOT AN Indo-European Language family.

You saying so does not make it so.

Again, with the great respect due to you, Dienekes...you can not say that in light of so much other evidence. See the above comments.

You have not presented "so much other evidence". The evidence is clear that Western Anatolia and the Balkans have always been populated by Indo-Europeans from the earliest times in which there are records.

piertrink said...

ms adyghe
In the book "indo-europeans and the indo-european languages" of gamkrelidze&ivanonv they wrote about proto indo-european (proto and not one of ie daughter languages) toponyms in the area centered around the lake van.
Also hittites in their accounts write that they conquered hattian areas caming from the south-east and they did not tax the
towns of eastern anatolia
in colin renfrew's model PIE is connected with the çatalhöyük culture and western anatolia is IE since day 1 however in gamkrelidze+ivabonv armenian hypothesis hypothesis PIE is connected with the eastern anatolian cultures of kura-araxes+hassuna-halaf and the area around lake van has toponyms that could be analyzed as proto indo-european (and not a daughter late IE tongue)
notice that 1 of the flaws of the pontic steppes theory is that the old toponyms of the pontic steppes region are indo-iranian and not proto indo-european

piertrink said...

"Of potential interest in this connection are names of countries neighboring on
Mesopotamia that are preserved in Sumerian documents. One of them, Aratta, may be etymologized
as Indo-European: *ar-th- 'water, river', i.e. 'the country of the river Aratta' (cf.
ndrA-rat-ta-a 'Aratta River', which flowed in the region of 'seven mountains' according to the
well-known inscription of Sargon II (col. I 30: see Thureau-Dangin 191 2:8» . The country of
Aratta, located 'beyond the seven mountains', is mentioned in S umerian epic legends reflecting
events which date back to the beginning of the third millennium B.C. According to the Surnerian
poem 'Enmerkar and the Lord of Aratta', the S umerians traded with Aratta for precious metals,
minerals, and stones, including lapis lazuli. Enmerkar, the ruler of Uruk, sends ambassadors to
the ruler of Aratta to request delivery of goods to Mesopotamia (according to an unpublished
paper by 1. B. lusifov, 'Early contacts of Mesopotamia with northeastern neighbors').
According to Kramer 1957, Aratta was located near the Caspian Sea, in the vicinity of Lake
Urmia. This is approximately the area we propose as the Proto-Indo-European homeland"

AdygheChabadi said...

Well, Dienekes...

Dienekes said:
"Hattic is not a language of Western Anatolia. My claim that only Indo-European languages are attested in Western Anatolia is 100% correct."

Hattic toponyms are found in Western Anatolia as I said...don't believe me, do the same web search I did. You will find the same books and scholarly articles I found.

Dienekes said:
"You saying so does not make it so."

Hmmm, well, I guess you argue with the overwhelming consensus of scholars who outright classify Etrusco-Lemnian (Tyrrhenian) as an isolate family...my opinion is derived from their many, many years of work and education on the issue. If Tyrrhenian and by connection Minoan and Eteo-Cypriot were Indo-European, the evidence would be conspicuously obvious, but it is not because they are not Indo-European...not my words, but the words of so very many who have great scholarship in the field. Just Google "Etruscan Language"...see for yourself...it is not difficult, Dienekes.

I have not read anywhere where a scholar calls, Lemnian...Indo-European, of course, that language was found on a stele on the island of Lemnos...close to the shores of WESTERN ANATOLIA. Scholars agree that Lemnian is related to Etruscan and ENTIRELY NON-INDO-EUROPEAN.

You entirely ignored the point that I made with that whole spiel about Pre-Indo-European languages...that was not cute.

You almost entirely ignored my point about the HATTIC TOPONYMS found in WESTERN ANATOLIA...There is NO evidence that Hattic was confined to one circumscribed spot on Anatolia...the evidence and common sense could easily tell one better. Languages do travel because people do...people move around and they take their languages with them. The evidence of toponyms clearly show that Hattic was in Western Anatolia to whatever degree, it was present and that is inarguable. Even Kanesh was a Hattic city before the Indo-Europeans showed up...Yes, Kanesh, the city the Hittites called themselves and their IE language after was originally Hattic with a Hattic name. The Hittites even called the land after the Hattians...HATTI (which has a possible cognate in the Bible with HETH)! Again, I mention Troy (a western Anatolian city)...as ultimately having a Hattic-derived name.

Nesili (Hittite) even has numerous borrowings and loans from Hattic, even Hurrian! The Hittites even worshiped Hattic and Hurrian gods!

It is also not crazy to say...that the Anatolian IE languages are so different because of the fact of them being surrounded by languages that are mostly isolate cases...Hattic, Kartvelian, Hurrian, Aegean...not to say, at all, that that is the only reason...but my point is to say...it is not crazy (rather reasoned actually) to think that those isolate languages had some influence on the Anatolian IE languages, mainly by way of areal contact.

On top of all of that, we all know that the Etruscans came from the area of Western Anatolia as mounting genetic evidence of the human and bovine variety strongly suggest...Herodotus did not get it all wrong, he did get that right.

The scholarly consensus is that ETRUSCAN IS NON-INDO-EUROPEAN (and by relation, Linear A/ Minoan/ Eteo-Cretan and Eteo-Cypriot are NON-INDO-EUROPEAN)..not my words, but the words of the overwhelming majority of scholars. Lemnian, which is a Tyrrhenian language, is never called Indo-European, by any legitimate linguistic scholar. The growing consensus based on the above-mentioned genetical data strongly suggests that Western Anatolia or at least the Aegean Basin is the urheimat of these people and thus their languages.

If those are incorrect statements...then prove them wrong and I will change my opinion, Dienekes...I am open-minded, if I am wrong I will openly admit it, apologize to you, and change my opinion. I just ask that you be fair, that is all. Reasonable people can have reasonable discourse, yes?

Dienekes said...

Hattic toponyms are found in Western Anatolia as I said...don't believe me, do the same web search I did. You will find the same books and scholarly articles I found.

This may come as a surprise to you, but the presence of Hattic toponyms in Western Anatolia does not indicate that Hattic is indigenous to Western Anatolia.

For example, there are Latin, Slavic, Albanian, Turkish, and probable Anatolian toponyms in Greece, and none of these languages are indigenous to Greece.

I would be surprised if Hattic toponyms did not exist in Western Anatolia, rather than the opposite. Western Anatolia's neighbors are Greece and more eastern parts of Anatolia, and, as expected there are toponyms from these neighboring regions on it.

So, I repeat that Western Anatolia was 100% Indo-European speaking in all of recorded history.

Hmmm, well, I guess you argue with the overwhelming consensus of scholars who outright classify Etrusco-Lemnian (Tyrrhenian) as an isolate family

No, I disagree with your unfounded claim that Etrusco-Lemnian was spoken in WESTERN ANATOLIA, unless you claim that Lemnos is part of Anatolia (which it is not).

Nesili (Hittite) even has numerous borrowings and loans from Hattic, even Hurrian! The Hittites even worshiped Hattic and Hurrian gods!

So what? Greek has borrowings from Turkish and Italian and Greeks worship a Galilean, I guess that means the original inhabitants of Greece were Semitic Turks from Italy.

AdygheChabadi said...

Hi, Dienekes!

Wow, I am honored that you have responded to my posts as much as you have...thank you.

I am glad you acknowledge that Hattic was spoken in Western Anatolia...my point was not that Hattic was indigenous to Western Anatolia (it is indigenous to Anatolia as a whole however), but that it was indeed one of the languages spoken there and that it's speakers indeed inhabited that region...

One point you missed about my pre-Indo-European speil...is that invading languages pick up words from the languages of the original population...Like with Hittite and Hattic and Luwian and Hurrian.

"So, I repeat that Western Anatolia was 100% Indo-European speaking in all of recorded history."

"No, I disagree with your unfounded claim that Etrusco-Lemnian was spoken in WESTERN ANATOLIA, unless you claim that Lemnos is part of Anatolia (which it is not)."

Okay, Dienekes...How can you disagree with my statement about Etrusco-Lemnian being spoken in Western Anatolia and not argue against my point about the mounting genetic evidence (both human and bovine) that says they were from Western Anatolia or at least the Near East. I mentioned Lemnian because of the proximity of Lemnos to coastal western Anatolia. We both know that the Etrusco-Lemnians and the Minoans were admirably sea-faring peoples...

Thanks to archaeology, we also know that the Minoans had settlements on the western coasts of Anatolia which the Mycenaeans later took over. What do we do with this data? Ignore it?

"So what? Greek has borrowings from Turkish and Italian and Greeks worship a Galilean, I guess that means the original inhabitants of Greece were Semitic Turks from Italy."

No, Dienekes, with all due respect...I think you missed my point again.

My point was that there were languages and cultures present in Anatolia before IE showed up and that the invaders...in this case...the Anatolian IE's picked up traces of culture and language from the non-Indo-Europeans that preceded them.

To me, the Anatolian IE's seem to migrate in from the north either via the Caucasus or the Balkans. I doubt it is from the west...as there are few if any Aegean loan words present in the substrates of the best attested Anatolia IE language, Hittite.

I agree with the Kurgan Theory, certain things about it just make superior sense...that other (much weaker) theories seem to struggle with.

I have no idea what the original inhabitants of Greece spoke...but I do know that the one(s) preceding the Indo-Europeans were most likely Aegean ones. That is based upon linguistic substratal evidence.

That is what I have been going by all along...the ancient linguistic substrates that can be parsed in the Indo-European languages (ancient or modern) of the region.

To Ashraf:
I will look more into that...I think the origins of Indo-European are more complex than saying they were here or there...

apostateimpressions said...

How strange that we've gone from a "legendary" Minos, to the excavation of the Bronze Age Minoan civilization, to a gradual confirmation of its thalassocracy, as described by the ancient authors.

Atlantis next!

terryt said...

"I repeat that Western Anatolia was 100% Indo-European speaking in all of recorded history".

'All of recorded history' is correct, but 'recorded history' tells us nothing about prehistoric times.

"It is also not crazy to say...that the Anatolian IE languages are so different because of the fact of them being surrounded by languages that are mostly isolate cases...Hattic, Kartvelian, Hurrian, Aegean..."

Quite likely so.

"the presence of Hattic toponyms in Western Anatolia does not indicate that Hattic is indigenous to Western Anatolia".

But we certainly could not argue effectively that any Hattic presence in Western Anatolia was post IE.

"there are Latin, Slavic, Albanian, Turkish, and probable Anatolian toponyms in Greece, and none of these languages are indigenous to Greece".

But at least we know from history when those languages arrived in Greece. And we know when the Galilean religion was introduced to Greece. So we know for sure that the original inhabitants of Greece were not Semitic Turks from Italy.

eurologist said...

Western Anatolia was 100% Indo-European speaking in all of recorded history.

Dienekes, statements like that are like political sound bites. They isolate an extraordinarily simple truth and just seem to be designed to counter a strawman argument. The development and spread of IE is a much more complex issue that is simply not bothered by the mentioning of a single item like that.

There are main initial and boundary conditions any theory of PIE must satisfy. If, in addition, we accept that PIE is 9,000+ years old and has oldish representations in the Balkans and both western and eastern Anatolia, this gives us a hint of roughly were it started. Moreover, we have a huge assembly of completely different and unrelated languages in the Levant, in Anatolia, in the Caucasus, and in the two-stream region and beyond (and in the Aegean, according to the vast majority of scholars). With that, we can judge where and when people/ a language was in contact with others. We know with certainty that PIE was not. We also know with absolute certainty that early Indo-Iranian must have come from the north for the same reason. This leaves southeastern Europe as the only reasonable point of origin of PIE - not because of teleological preconceptions, but simply by using what we know and using classical deduction.

IE in Anatolia is just a very tiny piece of the puzzle, and one that is easily explained by back-migration from the Balkans via any of three viable and often open pathways.

(Detail: The Balkans have been host to numerous fragmented and different languages throughout history, so it is very reasonable to assume that also happened early on. It is straightforward that emigrants of a particular, small coastal/ southeastern area would have retained more ancient features in their language than much-connected people in the center of where things developed and interchanged - such as the very northern Balkans and central and eastern Europe. There is no need for "long-term isolation" - just the formation of different language areas within southeastern Europe, which is pretty much a given. If ancient Greek is a bit closer to "standard PIE" than the Anatolian languages, that just should be automatically assumed, given steady contact to and inflow of people from the north for many millennia, and also given the well-documented Sprachbund shared within the historic Balkans.)


AdygheChabadi

Dienekes said...

Moreover, we have a huge assembly of completely different and unrelated languages in the Levant, in Anatolia, in the Caucasus, and in the two-stream region and beyond (and in the Aegean, according to the vast majority of scholars). With that, we can judge where and when people/ a language was in contact with others. We know with certainty that PIE was not.

Not sure what you mean that "PIE was not". There has been evidence that PIE was in contact with both Semitic and Kartvelian and perhaps NE Caucasian.

We also know with absolute certainty that early Indo-Iranian must have come from the north for the same reason.

Not sure what reason is that.

This leaves southeastern Europe as the only reasonable point of origin of PIE - not because of teleological preconceptions, but simply by using what we know and using classical deduction.

Southeastern Europe was indeed the source of most Indo-European languages, but if you accept the deep chronology of G&A and others, in addition to the overwhelming Indo-Europeanity of Western Anatolia, it makes better sense to envision an early movement of PIE speakers from Anatolia to the Balkans, rather than a long-term isolation of Anatolian speakers in the Balkans (where they left no trace), and their late arrival and dominance of the entirety of West Anatolia (why?).

My scenario is well-supported archaeologically, whereas the small Balkan tribe that stayed isolated for thousands of years and then decided to conquer West Anatolia and become fragmented into numerous languages scenario has none.

Where are the Indo-Europeans supposed to have come from? The area around the Sea of Marmara is conspicuous for the relative _absence_ of Anatolian languages. So, there is no evidence for Anatolians entering from there.

Indeed, the Hittites captured Hattusa from Kultepe, i.e. from the southeast, and this is hardly compatible with their late arrival from the northwest.

terryt said...

"If, in addition, we accept that PIE is 9,000+ years old and has oldish representations in the Balkans and both western and eastern Anatolia, this gives us a hint of roughly were it started".

And an apparently old representation somewhere in the east with Indian and Iranian languages.

eurologist said...

terryt,

And an apparently old representation somewhere in the east with Indian and Iranian languages.

But apparently, not nearly as old. Indo-Iranian is a derivative that in most models comes out to at most 4,500 to 6,500 ya - i.e., originating 4,500 to 2,500 BCE.

terryt said...

"Indo-Iranian is a derivative that in most models comes out to at most 4,500 to 6,500 ya - i.e., originating 4,500 to 2,500 BCE".

That's the way Gray and Atkinson have it. But this paper has Indo-Iranian separating early, although that says nothing about its actual expansion. Interestingly the paper has its separation into Indo and Iranian at 5500 years ago, almost exactly the same time as Greek, Armenian and Tocharian parted ways, and when the North European languages began their movement westward.