Re: [tied] Danubian homeland?

From: Piotr Gasiorowski
Message: 9188
Date: 2001-09-07

Any model of IE expansion has to explain how northern and central Europe became IE-speaking. The "steppe impulses" of the classical Kurgan scenario appear questionable, while there is at present good evidence of the spread of the Globular Amphora culture from north-central into eastern Europe ca. 3000 BC, and an even earlier (4000-2900 BC) penetration of western Ukraine of by the southestern branch of the Funnel Beaker culture. A consistent picture emerges if we observe that the Funnel Beaker culture displays most of the material and sociopolitical elements attributed to the "IE culture" as reconstructed on the basis of linguistic palaeontology (including wheeled transport, farming, villages with longhouses, palisaded fortifications, emergence of low-level hierarchical societies, etc.). It is therefore tempting to attribute it to early IE-speakers.
The Funnel Beaker culture collapsed (in different ways in different regions ca. 3200-2900) because of an unfavourable combination of climatic and anthropogenic changes, but some groups within its area developed a new style of subsistence, depending more upon herding and transhumance than sedentary farming. This way of life assured them some considerable success in colonising the steppe (especially after domestic horses became available). This process, perhaps combined with the Indo-Europeanisation of indigenous communities, led to the formation of the eastern block of Indo-European languages (the Satem languages, with the later Proto-Balts/Slavs in the forest-steppe zone of Eastern Europe, the Indo-Iranians in the steppes, and minor Satem groups roughly along the Black Sea coast). The Proto-Tocharians and the Proto-Greeks were presumably the first groups to move east, perhaps during the the Funnel Beaker times if not earlier (see below), the Greeks spending some time in the vicinity of the Tripolye culture and staying close enough to the Indo-Iranians, Proto-Armenians and Proto-Albanians for a vaguely defined Sprachbund to emerge.
My further claim is that, since the Funnel Beaker culture emerged within the northwestern part of the central European Linear Pottery area, there was continuity, at least in terms of linguistic descent, between Linear Pottery and Funnel Beaker communities. Depending on how early the Proto-Greeks and the Proto-Tocharians separated, it is either the Funnel Beaker culture or the central European Linear Pottery culture that can be correlated with the most recent common ancestor of the extant non-Anatolian IE languages.
Linear Pottery farmers colonised the loess belt of the North European Plain moved towards the Black Sea along the Dniester Valley during the period 5500-4500, after migrating rather rapidly from the Middle Danube Valley (later regional variants derived from the Linear Pottery culture expanded via similar routes, though much less widely). Note the chronological coincidence with the Black Sea event, perhaps not entirely accidental; note also that this is the only part of the scenario where I agree with Renfrew and rely on a Neolithic wave of advance model to explain the thorough initial IEisation of north-central Europe. Accordingly, it is in the Middle Danubian region that the "ultimate" PIE homeland can be located, assuming that the (very distant) ancestors of Anatolian-speakers were the IEs who stayed behind. What happened to them later is a whole nother question.
That's it in a nutshell. Comments welcome.
----- Original Message -----
From: Mark DeFillo
Sent: Friday, September 07, 2001 4:47 PM
Subject: [tied] Danubian homeland?

Dear Piotr,

Clearly the Danube valley is very significant in IndoEuropean history in any
case. I am very interested to hear about why you favor it as the homeland.