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Thread: PIE Homeland in Western Asia a plausible theory?

  1. #1
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    PIE Homeland in Western Asia a plausible theory?

    An Iranian user on another forum has argued that the Proto-Indo-European homeland lied in the Western Asia/Transcaucasus region.


    Quote Originally Posted by user
    You're argument has no basis, the latest DNA research has put away the theory of Iranians descending from Andronovo, and Sintashta. The Iranian Split off from PIE has been pushed back 1500 years, making it one of the earliest Split offs right after Anatolian, and the latest PIE theories from Mathieson, Reich, Lazaridis and Max Planc Institute are putting PIE in Armenian Highlands and Western Iran, and they have all admitted that the Steppe theory cannot explain Anatolian languages, which would most likely mean that Western Iranians were also never from the Steppe but their ancestors contributed to the Steppe, through Maykop. Add in the fact that it is now being proposed that the Mitanni were actually Iranian rather the Indo-Aryan, also that according for Lazaridis, a population similar to the Iranian Chalcolithic from the Kurdistan Caves in Western Iran contributed to half of Yamnaya's ancestry, then we Can say that Iranians are closer to the Original PIE then all other Indo-Europeans.

    https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-cLOANsm3n...use_IE_map.png

    From this presentation https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dH_O...tu.be&t=21m17s

    And Mitanni spoke a pre Avestan Iranian
    http://new-indology.blogspot.ca/2017...ryans.html?m=1


    I was wondering if there was any truth to this theory and if its plausible at all. I do know that the Anatolian hypothesis was an earlier thought out theory, with the placing of Anatolia as the PIE homeland. Some have also previously identified the Caucasus region as the PIE homeland. Though I've thought both these theories were largely abandoned for the Eurasian Steppe origin of the PIE. Of course, I still subscribe to the steppe origin of IE, though I'd like to see arguments for/against the West Asian theory as well.
    Last edited by Kulin; 05-31-2017 at 03:29 AM.

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    Actually ancient DNA confirms the opposite, there's are extremely good reason to think that iranic speakers originated on the steppe in the late bronze age. I guess that the iranian is just upset that genetically he's less 'iranic' than east-iranic speakers such as pashtuns and pamiri tajiks

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    The second line:

    ...the Iranian Split off from PIE has been pushed back 1500 years, making it one of the earliest Split offs right after Anatolian
    ...Effectively invalidates this user's perspective from the outset. The Indo-Iranian branch is most certainly younger than Anatolian, Tocharian and probably Italo-Celtic. That position doesn't make sense given the circumstantial data we have.
    The user whose views you're querying, as an aside, holds the peculiar view that the Mitanni represented some sort of pre-split Indo-Iranian society. That is unlikely for numerous reasons based on careful assessment of Kikkuli's manual, such as the mention of Varuna, a God which is mentioned in the Rg Veda, but not in the Avesta. There are bloody good reasons why scholars consider the Mitanni to be Indo-Aryans rather than Iranians. This position is unconventional to say the least (if pushed I'd venture to say uninformed).

    As for the plausibility of the PIE homeland in West Asia, aDNA has reduced that position to relying on special pleading to account for the absence of data currently.

    The most popular model among this camp from what I can tell currently was (prior to the Balkan study) for pre-PIE to have emerged from a CHG-rich population possessing Y-DNA R subclades somewhere in the Caucasus or eastern Anatolia, the Anatolian branch splitting from them first, the "late" PIE community moving northwards into the steppes, mixing with EHG populations, and forming the subsequent branches that invariably departed. In a sense, this is a modified Gamkrelidze-Ivanov with a secondary steppe movement.

    The traditional Gamkrelidze-Ivanov urheimat never made sense with respect to the deep links between PIE and PU, less than ideal match with reconstructed flora and fauna, among other things. I have no idea how proponents of this hypothesis are interpreting the current data in support of it. If the linguistic evidence didn't support it, then arguably, it shouldn't be considered any further.

    One point I'll concede to the West Asia camp is that it would explain why a specifically CHG increase is observed in Anatolia come the Eneolithic(?). However, this inference is based on a relative absence of samples from that time period across Anatolia compared to mainland Europe. IMHO, we'll be seeing a patchy (but nonetheless detectable) presence of EHG once more samples come in.

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    About the Anatolian branch, which is used as proof of migration from a South Asian Urheimat, as current samples are showing a migration from a Iran_ChL admixed population, it must be highlighted the low number of samples, the lack of archeoligical evidences and the various theories trying to explain the presence of Indo-European languages in Anatolia around 2000BC.
    One of the last theories, popular in the English speaking academic world, postulate an early entry around 4000BC, with as consequence a wide diffusion of Indo European languages in Anatolia. Clearly, the DNA results are not showing such an early migration, and many specialists are not agree on a wide diffusion of Indo European languages in Anatolia, given the presence of native non Indo European languages after 2000 BC.

    And a diffusion by a CHG rich population is in itself a difficulty, as all CHG rich populations can't be linked to Indo European languages.

    Now, if it doesn't rule out a South Asian origin for Indo European languages, but the odds are not favoring it. Between the wrong haplogroups, the linguistic evidences, the Steppe admixture,... The most parsimonious possibility remains the Pontic Steppe.
    Last edited by ffoucart; 05-31-2017 at 03:26 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DMXX View Post
    The traditional Gamkrelidze-Ivanov urheimat never made sense with respect to the deep links between PIE and PU, less than ideal match with reconstructed flora and fauna, among other things. I have no idea how proponents of this hypothesis are interpreting the current data in support of it. If the linguistic evidence didn't support it, then arguably, it shouldn't be considered any further.
    In fact, not only does their scenario not make sense considering the Indo-Uralic links and PIE lexicon, it doesn't even make sense from a phonological standpoint since Gamkrelidze and Ivanov are proponents of the glottalic theory (which is now widely discredited).
    מכורותיך ומולדותיך מארץ הכנעני אביך האמורי ואמך חתית
    יחזקאל פרק טז ג-


    ᾽Άλλο δέ τοι ἐρέω, σὺ δ᾽ ἐνὶ φρεσὶ βάλλεο σῇσιν:
    κρύβδην, μηδ᾽ ἀναφανδά, φίλην ἐς πατρίδα γαῖαν
    νῆα κατισχέμεναι: ἐπεὶ οὐκέτι πιστὰ γυναιξίν.


    -Αγαμέμνων; H Οδύσσεια, Ραψωδία λ

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    ^ Interesting answers so far, I've assumed so as to that the theory bring forth by that particular user only would explain certain West Asian branches of IE such as Armenian in a way but would be rather confusing in regards to other branches and the data wouldn't be able to be connected/pieced together for a solid hypothesis.

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    I would say that the most likely homeland of PIE is somewhere in Kazakhstan or very close to it. And that proto-Uralic arose in the same general area.

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    The Armenian branch is particularly hard to assign to a material culture given how young it is (per the reasoning below).

    Old Armenian (which was attested quite late in the 5th century AD) doesn't fulfill all the criteria for a fully satem IE language (there's an absence of labiovelar-valar mergers). OA shares this with Albanian. Herodotus stated that the Armenians resided in Thrace initially. Combined with the linguistic traits shared with Greek, we can entertain the idea of a proto-Armenian home in the Balkans before the 5th century B.C., which would be around the Iron Age. I am somewhat ignorant of Iron Age Balkan archaeology, so I have no opinion on which cultures fit the bill (Gravetto-Danubian would be the man with the expertise for this).

    I haven't seen a satisfactory explanation for these features from the G-I hypothesis camp. Please note I don't state that as an attempt to drown out debate. On the contrary, it must be welcomed. However, as is the case with the Indocentrists, the G-I hypothesis proponents generally don't convincingly address the various points in favour of the P-C steppe theory (if they even address it).

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    Quote Originally Posted by kinman View Post
    I would say that the most likely homeland of PIE is somewhere in Kazakhstan or very close to it. And that proto-Uralic arose in the same general area.
    Not disagreeing, but just pointing out that Kazakhstan itself (not including areas close to it) is the size of western Europe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kulin View Post
    I was wondering if there was any truth to this theory and if its plausible at all. I do know that the Anatolian hypothesis was an earlier thought out theory, with the placing of Anatolia as the PIE homeland.
    The Anatolian hypothesis seems plausible now if we do not consider haplogroup R1 as originally Indo-European. V. Ivanov is still convinced of his conclusions.
    Anatolian hypothesis was created in 80 years of the 20th century after the Kurgan hypothesis. Therefore, Ivanov knows all "kurgan" arguments including Finno-Ugric-Indo-European links. As he said a few years ago: from the linguistic viewpoint the Anatolian hypothesis has no equal competitors.
    There are many arguments against the Kurgan hypothesis, but this does not make much sense since none of them completely refutes the Kurgan hypothesis and makes it only less likely, due to the fact that the Kurgan hypothesis is formulated very vaguely.
    So let's wait for the results of future genetic researches.
    I dublicate my concept map: https://ibb.co/cqRiQk

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