The Tokharians

From: george knysh
Message: 10495
Date: 2001-10-21

This elusive IE population has been talked about a
number of times in the past on this forum. Could we
come back to them for a bit in the context of IE
origins? I suppose most people know Mallory's and
Weir's recent stuff about "The Tarim mummies". In his
characteristically cautious way M. does not quite
assert that the Sinkiang Tokharians migrated there
from the area of the Afanasievska c. to the north.
Anthony is bolder and in his review of M/W does make
the claim. Now if this be so, then the Tokhs would
have migrated eastward sometime in the very late IVth
millennium BC. They would have had the wheels to do
it. I wonder why they chose to travel so far? Almost
like neolithic Mormons... I've not done much study of
Afanasievska but understand that it is considered very
close to Yamna (?). So unlike Catacomb (which is very
much linked to the Indic/Iranian/Nuristani complex)
its predecessor culture would have been much more
"ethnically" diverse (IIN+prot-Grk+prot-Arm+Tokhs+??).
What do linguists say about the possible location of
the Tokharians before their trek eastward? And
therefore about the state of IE at that time (this may
entail some repetition but can one ever have enough of
a good thing?)

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