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"European" looking peoples in ancient central asia

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    Posted: 06 Feb 2010 at 00:40
I have just read about a new discovery of an ancient "European-like" human remain from Tarim region in Northwestern part of the Peoples Republic of China (Xingiang province perhaps Mongolia). Other findings from the same region there was ancient populations of people with genetically and probably cultural affinities westwards - towards "Europe". It may even be some of the earliest findings from that region, and researchers take it as proof of early migrations from west. But if it is an area relatively unexplored(?) how do we know they did not originate there? Which way did the migrations go?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Flipper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Feb 2010 at 01:17
I will give 2 hints that could explain this.

1) The sanskrit language in India is indo-european. That means that some wave of PIE people moved to the east.

2) The Tocharian language

Just because we trace the movement of PIE people in some areas, it doesn't mean that such people didn't move to other places as well (but didn't left much evidence).

Of course, these aspects are in linguistic sense. The pre-Indoeuropean speaking populations of europe can also be regarded as "european looking" since they are a part of the result that we label as "European-like".
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Feb 2010 at 01:22
This is a very well explored area and we had already many threads about this subject on AE.
 
It is very well known that Yuezhi original inhabitants of Tarim basin were Indoeuropean speakers with fair complexion, green and blue eyes and blond and red hair.
 
There are ancient mummies of Yuezhi with these European features and even numerous Chinese paintings which clearly show their "European" features.
 
There is a consensus among the scholars that Yuezhi are in fact the same people with Tocharians, Indoeuropean people of Central Asia described by Ancient Greek georgraphers.
 
Even the language of Tocharians survived and interestingly enough it is identified as a "Centum" IE language i.e. it's more related to Germanic, Celtic, Italic and other Western IE languages rather than to geographically more close Indoirainian or Slavi branches of IE linguistic family. That suggests that the ancestors of Tocharian had migrated to Tarim basin a very long time ago perhaps even before the clear Satem/Centum split happened.
 
It is also a consensus that IE migration went from the West to the East and Tocharians support that pattern.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote calvo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Feb 2010 at 04:15
Aren't the homeland of Indo European speakers supposed to be Central Asia?

Apart from Tocharians, Iranic-speaker also occupied large extensions of Central Asia; probably from western Mongolia to the Ukraine.
The westward spread of Turkic languages and the Mongoloid physical type is primarily a consquence of the westward migration of the Xiongnu (Huns), that occured in the 3rd century A.D.

Genetic studies show that even among Kazakhs and Kyrgyz today there is a high degree of western lineages, indicated that the ancient Tocharians and Iranians had mixed with the Xiongnu and Mongolic peoples, rather than being displaced by them.



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Feb 2010 at 04:47
Yes, Calvo. This is correct.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Harburs Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Feb 2010 at 07:34
Many Iranian ancient classical stories are about wars of Iranians and Turanians. Turan was located in Central asia and its kings were distant cousins of Iranian Kings, but there was a deep hostility between Turanians and Iranians due to Turanian kings claiming Iranian kingdom as their own and their constant invasions of Iran. There are many similarities in type of appearance, language, culture, Waring tactics between Iranians and Turanians. The only big difference could be the religion which later made this hostility worst. Iranians converted to Zoroastrianism, but their cousins didn't. Many of these legends are mentioned in Shahnameh (Book of Kings by Ferdowsi) and even some Zoroastrian holy books. If we take Zoroastrian texts and Shahnameh seriously, we can figure a time frame between 4 to 3 thousand years ago (most of these battles happened in central Asia.) These old legends all talk about these people in northern region of central Asia. In recent years, Pan-Turks use the Turanian term as a definition for Turkic people for propaganda (Turanians were not Turks).



Edited by Harburs - 27 Apr 2013 at 04:09
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fantasus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Feb 2010 at 08:05
I got an impression from ancient greek authors (translated and sometimes only by reference) that their idea of extention of Europe were not that clear, but probably included what today is called northern and cwentral asia ("Scythia"). Perhaps there was significant level of contacts over some distances(some thousands kilometres) from prehistory, before any "Silk Road". Traders, warriors adventurers  and explorers could have travelled the distances long before the armies of the chinese and huns, Achaemenid persians and later Macedonians and Greeks.

Edited by fantasus - 06 Feb 2010 at 08:05
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Feb 2010 at 08:06
Originally posted by Suren Suren wrote:

Many Iranian ancient stories  are about wars of Iranians and Turanians. Turan were located in Central asia and their kings were far cousins of Iranian Kings, but there was a deep hostility between Turanians and Iranians due to Turanians claims over Iranian kingdom and their constant invasion of Iran. There are many similarities in type of appearance, language, culture, waring tactics between Iranians and Turanians. The only big difference could be the religion which later made this hostility worst. Iranians converted to Zoroastrianism, but their cousins didn't. Many of this legends are mentioned in Shahnameh and even some Zoroastrian holy books. If we use Zoroastrianism books and Shahnameh, we can figure a time period from 4 to 3 thousand years ago and most of this wars happen in central Asia. These old legends all talk about these people in northern region of central Asia.In recent history Pan-Turks used the term of Turanian as a definition for Turkic people wrongly.
 
It's not entirely correct. The concept of Turan means nomadic world vs. sedentary world of Iran. Turan, basically, means steppan realm where people follow customs different of those of agricultural Iranians. Original Turanians were Scythian Iranic tribes. But in time they were replaced with Turkic nomadic tribes, who continued to represent the same Nomadic realm as described in Shahnameh. Moreover, the customs of Nomadic Turks are almost the same with the customs of Scythians, and Nomadic Turks of Central Asia, in fact, absorbed ancient Iranic speaking nomades into themselves. There are tribes among central Asian Turkic ehtnicities that originate directly from Scytho-Sarmatian tribes.
 
This similarity between the ancient Iranic and more recent Turkic nomades were apparent for Firdousi, so the identification of "Turan" with Turks actually comes from Shahnameh.


Edited by Sarmat - 06 Feb 2010 at 08:07
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Feb 2010 at 08:19
Originally posted by fantasus fantasus wrote:

I got an impression from ancient greek authors (translated and sometimes only by reference) that their idea of extention of Europe were not that clear, but probably included what today is called northern and cwentral asia ("Scythia"). Perhaps there was significant level of contacts over some distances(some thousands kilometres) from prehistory, before any "Silk Road". Traders, warriors adventurers  and explorers could have travelled the distances long before the armies of the chinese and huns, Achaemenid persians and later Macedonians and Greeks.
No. Actually Scythia for Greek authors was the region north to the Black Sea. They called the Central Asian Scythians, Saka or also they called them Asiatic Scythians. Greek authors also described other Central Asian tribes like Massagettae or Tocharoi, etc. In fact, seems that some Greeks even traveled very deeply into the region which is called Central Asia now and Southern Russia and Southern Siberia.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Harburs Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Feb 2010 at 08:23
Ferdowsi complete Shahnameh around 10 or 11 centurey and by that time Turkic tribe were almost the dominant ethnicity in Central Asia. Older sources which Ferdowsi used are Zoroastrianism books that mentioned Turiya (Turan) several times. According to some sources Zoroaster was martyred by Turanian invaders in his 70s when he was praying with some of his followers in a Zoroastrian temple near Balkh.


There is no actual evidence or sign of Turanians being nomadic in Shahnameh or other sources since they had their own towns and capital.



Edited by Harburs - 27 Apr 2013 at 04:13
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Yes, what I meant is that Firdousi saw that his contemporaries, Turkic nomades were basically look-alikes of those Turanians from ancient records.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Feb 2010 at 08:37
Originally posted by Suren Suren wrote:

Ferdowsi complete Shahnameh around 10 or 11 centurey and by that time Turkic tribe were almost the dominant ethnicity in Central Asia. Older sources which Ferdowsi used are Zoroastrianism books that mentioned Turiya (Turan) several times. According to some sources Zoroaster were martyred during his 70s when he was praying with some of his followers in a Zoroastrian temple by invading Turanians.


There is no actual evidence or sign of Turanians being nomadic in Shahnameh or other sources since they had their own towns and capital.
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It is known that Scythians also had towns and "capital cities."
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Anton Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Feb 2010 at 09:02
Originally posted by Sarmat Sarmat wrote:

No. Actually Scythia for Greek authors was the region north to the Black Sea. They called the Central Asian Scythians, Saka or also they called them Asiatic Scythians.
 
Scythia for greeks  starts with Dobruja (present day Romania and Bulgaria). And If I am not mistaken Asia in those lands is everything that is east of Kerch strait.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Feb 2010 at 09:25
I think you're correct. Smile  Seems that Asia was starting somewhere beyond Tanais (Don) river.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Flipper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Feb 2010 at 19:19
Originally posted by calvo calvo wrote:

Aren't the homeland of Indo European speakers supposed to be Central Asia?


No.
If you go by the Kurgan hypothesis, the first cradle is located in an area starting south-east above caucasus and the caspian shores, north-east reaching the samara reservoir (lake Kuybyshev), north west reaching around Novgorod and south-west reaching the shores of the black sea above Crimea.

In the second phase we can speak of central asia.

If you go by the hypothesis of Colin Renfrew, the IE homeland is Anatolia. There's a chronological issue there however, where someone has to explain how the PIE language remained unchanged for at least 1000 years.

The answer according to genetics may lie in a combination of both theories. That means that the Kurgan (tumulus) makers of the Gimbutas theory migrated to the abovementioned area from Anatolia. That would mean that the reinfrew hypothesis is partially right, in other words if we exclude the route he suggests in his theory.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pebbles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Feb 2010 at 19:42
Originally posted by Flipper Flipper wrote:

 
 
Originally posted by calvo calvo wrote:

 
Isn't the homeland of Indo European speakers supposed to be Central Asia?
 


No.
If you go by the Kurgan hypothesis, the first cradle is located in an area starting south-east above caucasus and the caspian shores, north-east reaching the samara reservoir (lake Kuybyshev), north west reaching around Novgorod and south-west reaching the shores of the black sea above Crimea.

In the second phase we can speak of Central Asia.

If you go by the hypothesis of Colin Renfrew, the IE homeland is Anatolia. There's a chronological issue there however, where someone has to explain how the PIE language remained unchanged for at least 1000 years.

The answer according to genetics may lie in a combination of both theories. That means that the Kurgan (tumulus) makers of the Gimbutas theory migrated to the abovementioned area from Anatolia. That would mean that the reinfrew hypothesis is partially right, in other words if we exclude the route he suggests in his theory.
 

 
 
I think these 2 theories are more plausible,without conpletely doubting that it could've stretched to Central Asia ( had presence there ) in interval period ( but less significant in historic context as to the actual homeland of PIE peoples ).
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Flipper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Feb 2010 at 19:59
Pebbles, the Kurgan hypothesis suggests a spread to Central Asia during the second period ~ 3000 -  2500BC.

Btw, the best book about the PIE-people with the latest data is David W. Antonys - The horse, the wheel and language. It covers every detail and explains in very simple terms how things must have been. It is definetely a top buy if you're interested in the history of IE languages.


Edited by Flipper - 06 Feb 2010 at 20:02
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pebbles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Feb 2010 at 20:10
Originally posted by Flipper Flipper wrote:

 
 
Pebbles, the Kurgan hypothesis suggests a spread to Central Asia during the second period ~ 3000 -  2500BC.

Btw, the best book about the PIE-people with the latest data is David W. Antonys - The horse, the wheel and language. It covers every detail and explains in very simple terms how things must have been.It is definetely a top buy if you're interested in the history of IE languages.
 

 
Thanks for the clarification.
 
Then,the Kurgan hypothese is close to accuracy.PIE people reached Central Asia by extension settlements.Hoever,we can't entirely rule out a branch of PIE people did originate in Anatolia ( for Italics and other indigenous tribes of Italy peninsula ).
 
Ok,I will keep the author name and book title for future reference.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Flipper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Feb 2010 at 20:26
Originally posted by pebbles pebbles wrote:

 
Thanks for the clarification.
 
Then,the Kurgan hypothese is close to accuracy.PIE people reached Central Asia by extension settlements.Hoever,we can't entirely rule out a branch of PIE people did originate in Anatolia ( for Italics and other indigenous tribes of Italy peninsula ).
 
Ok,I will keep the author name and book title for future reference.


You're welcome Smile

No, i agree that we cannot rule out the Anatolian hypothesis. Besides, i think both theories complete each other in some cases. The problem with the Anatolian hypothesis of Reinfrew is the dating. If around 6000BC the PIE people emerged, then we should have twice the number of languages that we have today. He corrected his dating and narrowed the margin for 1000 years. However, during those 1000 years the PIE remained unchanged without splitting into dialects. That is quite unprobable however. Maybe Reinfrew is right about an earlier position of the IE but not about their route. I'm not sure really. I find both theories exciting.

However, there's something we should keep in mind about Europeans and their looks. The farmers who entered europe that Reinfrew speaks of might have not been IE but they contributed for sure, together with the pre-IE natives to the looks of todays europeans. Europeans are not just a linguistic group, but rather a mix of different settlers that developed languages from the PIE dialects that the late PIE speakers brought to europe.

As for the Italics, they did not originate from Anatolia. You're probably thinking of the Etruscans that seems to have come from Anatolia to the Italian penisula.


Edited by Flipper - 06 Feb 2010 at 20:55
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Flipper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Feb 2010 at 20:32
Here's btw a scanned map from the book i mentioned



and here's the map of the movement of the first farmers of europe




Edited by Flipper - 06 Feb 2010 at 20:36
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fantasus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Feb 2010 at 21:05
Originally posted by Sarmat Sarmat wrote:

Originally posted by fantasus fantasus wrote:

I got an impression from ancient greek authors (translated and sometimes only by reference) that their idea of extention of Europe were not that clear, but probably included what today is called northern and cwentral asia ("Scythia"). Perhaps there was significant level of contacts over some distances(some thousands kilometres) from prehistory, before any "Silk Road". Traders, warriors adventurers  and explorers could have travelled the distances long before the armies of the chinese and huns, Achaemenid persians and later Macedonians and Greeks.
No. Actually Scythia for Greek authors was the region north to the Black Sea. They called the Central Asian Scythians, Saka or also they called them Asiatic Scythians. Greek authors also described other Central Asian tribes like Massagettae or Tocharoi, etc. In fact, seems that some Greeks even traveled very deeply into the region which is called Central Asia now and Southern Russia and Southern Siberia.
I have to confess it is some years ago, and I cannot point excactly the ancient book I have in mind (though I think it may be of the march(Anabasis) of Alexander "the great"). I read about some fighting between Alexanders troops and the schytrhians, and that he could not get any real victory since they were nomads and just could withdraw in the "vastelands" when he attacked. And the ancient author even mentioned some lands to the north (relative to newly conquered persian empire)  as "Europe" if I am not wrong.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pebbles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Feb 2010 at 23:48
Originally posted by Flipper Flipper wrote:

 

As for the Italics, they did not originate from Anatolia. You're probably thinking of the Etruscans that seems to have come from Anatolia to the Italian penisula.
 
 
 
 
Ok
 
they and all other indigenous tribes did come from somewhere outside of Italy peninsula,any idea where ?
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Flipper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Feb 2010 at 03:02
Originally posted by pebbles pebbles wrote:

Originally posted by Flipper Flipper wrote:

 

As for the Italics, they did not originate from Anatolia. You're probably thinking of the Etruscans that seems to have come from Anatolia to the Italian penisula.
 
 
 
 
Ok
 
they and all other indigenous tribes did come from somewhere outside of Italy peninsula,any idea where ?
 
 


I'm not very good at the populations of Pre-Indoeuropean Italy. Some neolithic settlers came to the south shore from the east for sure.

The proto-Italics however, moved together with the proto-Celts, who separated from the other proto-Indoeuropean speakers around Hungary. When they reached central europe, a group moved south to form the proto-Italics, while the proto-Celts continues westwards.

Italy has a very diverse past both during neolithic times and later during the IE invasions. The whole penisula includes other people as well such as the Messapians who were IE as well. The Etruscans who played an important role in roman culture where not even IE.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Feb 2010 at 14:47
Originally posted by Flipper Flipper wrote:

  The Etruscans who played an important role in roman culture where not even IE.
The Etruscan identity isn't in fact clear enough. There is still a possibility that they were Indoeuropeans.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Flipper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Feb 2010 at 20:23
Originally posted by Sarmat Sarmat wrote:

Originally posted by Flipper Flipper wrote:

  The Etruscans who played an important role in roman culture where not even IE.
The Etruscan identity isn't in fact clear enough. There is still a possibility that they were Indoeuropeans.


It looks like a language isolate. Loanwords cannot make it IE. Is there a recent study that proposes IE origin?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Harburs Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Feb 2010 at 22:42
Originally posted by Flipper Flipper wrote:

Originally posted by Sarmat Sarmat wrote:

Originally posted by Flipper Flipper wrote:

  The Etruscans who played an important role in roman culture where not even IE.
The Etruscan identity isn't in fact clear enough. There is still a possibility that they were Indoeuropeans.


It looks like a language isolate. Loanwords cannot make it IE. Is there a recent study that proposes IE origin?
Yes there is a recent study by Pan-Turkists historians who claim etruscans were actually Proto- Turkic tribes!Evil Smile


Edited by Harburs - 27 Apr 2013 at 04:15
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Feb 2010 at 23:56
Etruscan - Proto-Turkic stuff is nuts.
 
But AFAIK there are studies comparing it with Luwian and other Anatolian IE languages.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Flipper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Feb 2010 at 00:31
Originally posted by Sarmat Sarmat wrote:

But AFAIK there are studies comparing it with Luwian and other Anatolian IE languages.


I have never heard of such possibility. Are you sure you're not mixing it with the story that they came from Lydia?

Woodart, in the 2008 edition of Ancient Languages of Europe states the following:

pg 141

To the same language family as Etruscan there belong only two poorly attested languages: Lemnian in the Northeast of the Aegean (sixth century BC; Agostiniani 1986) and Rhaetic in the Alps (fifth to first centuries BC; Schumacher 1992:246–248; Rix 1998). Lemnian and Rhaetic are so close to Etruscan that Etruscan can be used to understand them. The date of the common source language, Proto-Tyrsenic, can probably be fixed to the last quarter of the second millennium BC. The location of its homeland is disputed, however; possibilities include: (i) the northern Aegean, whence Proto-Etruscan and Proto-Rhaetic speakers would have come in the course of the Aegean migration westwards at the end of the second millennium (similarly Herodotus [1.94] identifies Lydia as the Etruscan homeland); (ii) central Italy, from which Proto-Lemnian speakers would have migrated eastwards and Proto-Rhaetic speakers northwards. A decisive judgment is not currently possible.

pg 20

All of the chapters that follow are devoted to languages belonging to the Indo-European language family – with one exception: Etruscan.

I have no deep insight on Etruscan, but if what he says about the grouping with Lemnian is true, then it has no relation to anatolian languages nor any other IE.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Flipper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Feb 2010 at 00:46
Originally posted by Suren Suren wrote:

Yes there is a recent study by Pan-Turkists historians who claim etruscans were actually Proto- Turkic tribes!Evil Smile< id="gwProxy" ="">< ="jsCall;" id="jsProxy" ="">


Yes, I know. Here's an example of it: http://storm.ca/~cm-tntr/lemstelea.html

Obviously, any person who can do basic reading of Greek, can understand that the text suggested on the page above is not even in the content of this pretty clear text of the Lemnian stele.

The stele is read latinized as below:

holaiez:nafoth:ziazi
maraz:maw
sialxweiz:awiz
ewistho:zeronaith
ziwai
aker:tawarzio
wanalasial:zeronai:morinail
holaiezi:fokiasiale:zeronaith:ewistho:towerona
rom:haralio:ziwai:eptezio:arai:tiz:foke
ziwai:awiz:sialχwiz:marazm:awiz:aomai

There's no Hatapase or whatever that dude is reading.



Edited by Flipper - 09 Feb 2010 at 00:50
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Steppe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Dec 2010 at 14:49

.



Edited by Steppe - 21 Dec 2010 at 18:33
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