Re: Afro-Asiatic

From: Alexander Stolbov
Message: 1246
Date: 2000-01-29

> At any rate, carry on. We all know that AfroAsiatic is from the Middle-East
> and not Africa. Nostratic in the Zagros, though? You're being somewhat
> specific don't you think? Why not just about anywhere in Anatolia?

The Near East center of neolithization seems to be not a single thing like SE
Asian center (where from IMO the Austric, i.e. Austroasiatic+Daic+AN, languages
started) or Huanghe center (ST languages). On one hand, we find here roots of
both all Nostratic folks and some obviously non-Nostratic ones. On the other
hand the set of the very first domesticated species is double: 2 wheats (emmer
and einkorn) and barley, 2 kinds of animals which were almost identical for the
EARLY Neolithical farming - goats and sheep (keep in mind that they at that
stage were bred only for meat and skin - not for milk and wool yet - if you had
goats you just didn't need to domesticate sheep and vice versa). In the very
beginning of the Neolithic we can retrace 2 distinctive variants of many things,
although I must say that rather soon due to contacts this features of different
things started to intermingle giving us a motley pattern. Nevertheless is it
possible to distinguish 2 initial variants with well correlated comlexes:

Typical artifacts - microliths - arrowheads
Typical "distant" weapon - sling - bow&arrows
Plan of houses - round - rectangle
Source of obsidian - Nemrut Dag (near L.Van) - Ciftlic (Taurus Mts.)

The 1st variant initially occupied Zagros and Levant and only easternmost part
of Turkey (lowest strata of Cayuonu). Then everywhere in East (India, Central
Asia end further).
The 2nd variant was initially spread in South Anatolia, North Mesopotamia and
had pressed 1st var. from Levant (PPNB instead of PPNA). Then in North-West
(Neolithic West Europe).
For a very long time the border between these 2 variants (arrowheads/microliths)
was well established in Iraq - Tigris R.

Which of this variants can be associated with Nostratic? IMO only the 1st one.
Thus Zagros rather than Anatatolia.