Science24 August 2012:
Vol. 337 no. 6097 pp. 957-960
There are two competing hypotheses for the origin of the Indo-European
language family. The conventional view places the homeland in the Pontic steppes about 6000 years ago. An
alternative hypothesis claims that the languages spread from Anatolia
with the expansion of farming 8000 to 9500 years ago. We used Bayesian phylogeographic approaches, together with basic
vocabulary data from 103 ancient and contemporary
Indo-European languages, to explicitly model the expansion of the family and test these hypotheses. We found decisive support for an
Anatolian origin over a steppe origin. Both the inferred timing and root location of the Indo-European language trees fit with an
agricultural expansion from Anatolia beginning 8000 to 9500 years ago.
These results highlight the critical role that
phylogeographic inference can play in resolving debates about human
ps: The main result is the phylogeography: First branch, Anatolian; second branch, Tocharo-Armenian; third branch, Indo-Iranian + Greco-Albanian; 4th branch, Balto-Slavic, and last branches, Germanic, Italic and Celtic. I'd like to see you comments..