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Thread: The genetic prehistory of the Greater Caucasus[preprint Harvard/Jena]

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    Problem is that Hittite gone extinct around the BA collapse, and was on a verge of extinction for some times before. And proto-italics reached Italy during the IId millenium BC (unlikely from Anatolia). So the influences must have happened before.

    Something to take into consideration: as discuted in another thread: if BBs were a evolution of some single graves groups, it would mean that Western IE were linked with CW rather than with Yamnaya. A side effect would be that proto-Italic could be linked with Hungarian BBs. And with contact with Yamnaya.

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    ffoucart, food for thought. My immediate thoughts on that:

    I wouldn't have guessed how Hittites per se are relevant, since there's nothing pointing to a specific link to Hittite I don't think. Or if there were it wouldn't be good (strengthening) for hypothesis of early Anatolian contact with proto-Italic (instead would seem odd). Could you break down the thought process on why whether Hittite is extinct or not would matter, as it's not likely that any mutual influence of Italic or Anatolian would have anything to do specifically with Hittite?

    Also re, Italics, why would influence have to be at a very early stage prior to Italic entry to Italy, when Italic with these features is only attested far later? (Early Latin and Umbric I think?)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eterne View Post
    ffoucart, food for thought. My immediate thoughts on that:

    I wouldn't have guessed how Hittites per se are relevant, since there's nothing pointing to a specific link to Hittite I don't think. Or if there were it wouldn't be good (strengthening) for hypothesis of early Anatolian contact with proto-Italic (instead would seem odd). Could you break down the thought process on why whether Hittite is extinct or not would matter, as it's not likely that any mutual influence of Italic or Anatolian would have anything to do specifically with Hittite?

    Also re, Italics, why would influence have to be at a very early stage prior to Italic entry to Italy, when Italic with these features is only attested far later? (Early Latin and Umbric I think?)
    Hittite is the best known Anatolian language and attested earlier than any other. It became extinct before IA and could not have been influenced directly by Latin, contrary to Lydian for which this is chronologically a possibility. So any influence on Hittite could be attested for an earlier period than any other Anatolian Language (including Luwian, HLuwian included).

    In his paper, Melchert is pointing examples only with Latin, which didn’t existed at the time of Hittite and Luwian.

    And there are no known relation at all between Anatolia (and specifically the Hittite kingdom) and the Italian peninsula during BA. So any contact must have happened before, at a time when proto-italics were not yet in Italy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eterne View Post
    @VedicScholar, would recommend, the Prehistory chapter of Melchert's "The Luwians" (2003, "state of the art" then) as a good read for these questions.

    His tentative map of language distribution in Anatolian in mid late 3rd millennium BC is a good alternative to maps that may be a composite of earlier and later attested distributions: Attachment 28427

    (Speculative as much as all maps before attestation must be speculative, but I don't think more so, and from an expert view of things).

    The summary section on page 24 on "Indo-European Speakers in Anatolia: when and from where?" is only a few pages and worth looking at. I'll reproduce in screenshots below, which I assume is OK as this is openly accessible on Google Books (even though they're quite long):

    In brief he finds the Neolithic 7000 BCE origin of Anatolian untenable, and favours "the end of the fifth millennium or fourth millennium as a terminus post quem for a PIE speech community that includes Anatolian. Lehrman arrives at a similar date of 4000 BC" and seems to mildly favour a "reasonable scenario ... that a group of PIE speakers isolated themelves by moving into Anatolia at this time." (Presented as an alternative hypothesis per Steiner is differentiation outside Anatolia and entry of a number of small groups into Anatolia but he suggests that even Steiner accepts this must have happened at least a millennium before attested records, e.g. by 2600 BCE).

    Also states that, on where this is from, the west or east distribution, attestation support the west, but "If one assumes that the movement into Anatolia was a full millennium before our first records (as does Steiner), it seems hard to exclude the possibility that all traces of an early migration from east to west have simply been obliterated (or not yet discovered). That the Luwians subsequently moved from a western base south and east does not logically require that prior movement followed the same trajectory".

    He also favours a "long and slow infiltration and acculturation rather than an 'invasion' or 'conquest' and the imposition of a ruling class of Indo-Europeans on pre-existing populations".

    His conclusion on Luwians is "For the present we must be satisified with a more vague characterisation: the pre-Luwians entered Anatolia along with or only slightly later than other Indo-European speakers, surely no later than the first half of the third millennium. They then spread across extensive areas of western and southern Anatolia already in the second half of the third millennium" (note that surely no later does not mean surely no earlier).

    Attachment 28428Attachment 28429

    Comments which I'll excerpt on some of the overly dramatised reads of the situations regarding Hattic and Hittite relationships as inferred from believed loanwords from Hattic (which he indicates are often described in an inflated way) and so on are also quite interesting:

    Attachment 28430Attachment 28431

    (https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=...page&q&f=false)
    there is too much to figure out in that confused map

    lydians?
    According to Greek source, the original name of the Lydian kingdom was Maionia (Μαιονία), or Maeonia: Homer (Iliad ii. 865; v. 43, xi. 431) refers to the inhabitants of Lydia as Maiones (Μαίονες).[7] Homer describes their capital not as Sardis but as Hyde (Iliad xx. 385);

    Maeonia are mysians
    i.3 Ancient testimonies
    That the Lydians came from the north is in my view confirmed by a story
    given by Greek authors. It is very shortly referred to by Herodotus (7, 74),
    where he says about the Mysians (MusoiŁ): ‘These are colonists of the
    Lydians, after the mountain Olympos called OlympieOEnoi’. (The Olympos
    in Mysia is meant.) (ou’'toi deŁ ei’si Ludwn aŁ ’ poikoi, a’p’ ’OluŁmpou deØ oŁ ’ reov
    kaleŁontai ’OlumpihnoiŁ.) The story is told at some length by Strabo (i2. 8,
    3). He says that there is uncertainty in the authors he consulted about the
    Mysians, and that some say that they are Thracians, ‘buti4a others say that
    they [the Mysians] were Lydians, thus concurring with an ancient
    explanation given by Xanthos the Lydian and Menekrates of Elaia, who at
    the same time explain the origin of the name of the Mysians, (by) saying
    that the oxua-tree is so named by the Lydians [this means that this tree has
    a name in Lydian which strongly resembles the word Mysoi]. And the
    oxua-tree abounds in the neighbourhood of Mt. Olympus, where they say
    that the decimated persons were put out [i.e. where a Lydian colony was
    established] and that their descendants were the Mysians of later times, so
    named after the oxua-tree, and that their language too bears witness to
    this; for, (they add,) their language is, in a way, a mixture of the Lydian
    and the Phrygian languages


    Mysia is related to Moesia in the balkans

    Did the Lydians or where the Lydians part of the Hittite/Luwian linguistic tree ?

    Note..Thracians lived on the north of where lydians are placed on your map

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    Quote Originally Posted by ffoucart View Post
    And there are no known relation at all between Anatolia (and specifically the Hittite kingdom) and the Italian peninsula during BA. So any contact must have happened before, at a time when proto-italics were not yet in Italy.
    There is evidence of CHG related admixture (without EHG) on Sardinia and Sicily by the Middle Bronze Age (2100BCE-1600BCE roughly). See Rocca's thread on it - https://anthrogenica.com/showthread....ica-and-Sicily - "In Sardinia, we identified the appearance of Iran-related ancestry from the Aegean as early as the Middle Bronze Age, with no genetic influences seen from populations carrying Steppe-related ancestry despite cultural or commercial exchanges with Bell Beaker populations. In Sicily, during the Early Bronze Age, and possibly earlier, we found evidence for admixture with groups carrying both these ancestries." Unless the mainland is different.

    The most plausible vector for this ancestry (really the only plausible vector) is Anatolia (via the Aegean). What language these people spoke would be unknown. If we follow Melchert's tentative 2003 map, of Anatolian language distribution around 2500-2000 BCE, and the ancestry reflects migration during or post this period, this is likely to be an Anatolian Indo-European language. If we are strongly skeptical of his conclusions then, then you could conclude it would be a totally unknown, unattested and non-described non-Indo European language (or the proximate source could have been speaking something different). Seems a plausible vector for Anatolian influence to me, though far from high confidence (though anyway the evidence linking Latin and Italic to Anatolian is "suggestive" at best in Melchert's own words).
    Last edited by Eterne; Yesterday at 09:04 AM.

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    Double post.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eterne View Post
    There is evidence of CHG related admixture (without EHG) on Sardinia and Sicily by the Middle Bronze Age (2100BCE-1600BCE roughly). See Rocca's thread on it - https://anthrogenica.com/showthread....ica-and-Sicily - "In Sardinia, we identified the appearance of Iran-related ancestry from the Aegean as early as the Middle Bronze Age, with no genetic influences seen from populations carrying Steppe-related ancestry despite cultural or commercial exchanges with Bell Beaker populations. In Sicily, during the Early Bronze Age, and possibly earlier, we found evidence for admixture with groups carrying both these ancestries." Unless the mainland is different.

    The most plausible vector for this ancestry (really the only plausible vector) is Anatolia (via the Aegean). What language these people spoke would be unknown. If we follow Melchert's tentative 2003 map, of Anatolian language distribution around 2500-2000 BCE, and the ancestry reflects migration during or post this period, this is likely to be an Anatolian Indo-European language. If we are strongly skeptical of his conclusions then, then you could conclude it would be a totally unknown, unattested and non-described non-Indo European language (or the proximate source could have been speaking something different). Seems a plausible vector for Anatolian influence to me, though far from high confidence (though anyway the evidence linking Latin and Italic to Anatolian is "suggestive" at best in Melchert's own words).
    I am rather skeptical on this. Not only because there is no trace at all of Anatolian IE languages presence in Italy. Sardinia was non IE speaking before Roman conquest. Sicilian is a more complex case (the Sicani language is unclassified) but anyway, we are far away from the Latium.

    Neither Hittites nor Luwians territories were maritime powers, and Melchert’s map is highly speculative regarding the Luwian branch (Carian, Lydian... are only attested in last millenium BC). As pointed by him, there is no reason to postulate that they were not already in SW Anatolia in the last IId millenium (not necessarily where they are attested later, as pointed by Melchert), but there is nothing in favor either. And the last IId millenium is not 2000 BC. As pointed by other scholars, his argument has no real weight. It is highly speculative. We have simply no clue at all about where they were during the IId millenium.

    So, it looks like special pleading to me to postulate that Anatolian IE migrated from SW Anatolia to Italy during MBA. Not only there is no trace of them in Italy, but also in SW Anatolia.

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    Sure. There's no more evidence of attestation of Anatolian in Sardinia or Italy than there is in the Balkans, which is to say none at all. By the time of writing, of attestation being possible, there clearly isn't, and we're discussing prehistory.

    I'm arguing for continued contact over time, a sphere of influence and contact, development of shared features, rather than for an Anatolian linguistic community in Italy. Continuous contact predominantly from Anatolia outwards is at least viable in autosomal terms, in the sense of a fairly clear signal of Anatolian Bronze Age genetic (whether linguistic or not) intrusion into Italy, which is the only signal so far (with no signal of copper age, early or middle Bronze Age influence from Italy or the Balkans visible in Anatolia at all from what we have, no genetic intrusion at all). Autosomal and probably uniparental y terms as well.

    But I'll agree that evidence for such linguistic contact would be insubstantial; the isoglosses are fairly weak suggestive evidence as is, let alone any other inferences needed to suggest a specific place of interaction. I just disagree that it is any more so than an interaction between a proto-Italic and Anatolian languages in the Balkans, which again to underline are totally unattested there.

    (Not that I'd call a proto-Italic and paleo-Balkan interaction special pleading, even if I believe it to be wrong. Something like preferring to associate the Bronze Age movements of Bronze Age Anatolian ancestry into Italy with transplantation of languages totally unattested in Anatolia at any time, over influence from languages we later know to be present in Anatolia, if only attested at a later time... now that I'd call special pleading).

    Would you mind providing a ref of who some of the other scholars who you think are of interest also btw? I wouldn't mind reading them if possible.
    Last edited by Eterne; Yesterday at 06:04 PM.

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