By Mehmet Kurtkaya, First Published on October 22, 2018
"We all come out from Gogol's 'Overcoat'" Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Genetics research and Indo-European Languages: Chasing ghosts or establishing facts?The ultimate aim of many genetic research papers published in the last few years is to find the original homeland of the Indo-Europeans. With every research paper, progress is being made but the Urheimat of Indo-Iranian languages still remain elusive. Why does it prove to be so difficult?
Indo-European is ultimately a linguistic construct even though there are many cultural traits that connect these languages, mythology included. In many instances, language and genetics are not directly related. Hence using genetics to trace a language is a difficult task and prone to major mistakes.
The results of Scythians, Cimmerians, Sarmatians genetics study published on October 2018, must have shocked those who relied on Wikipedia for Cimmerian and Scythian information (that Scythians and Cimmerians were Indo_European) or those who tried to link haplogroup R1a to Scythians and Indo-European languages.
There are currently two -perhaps- competing hypothesis, the Anatolian origin and Steppe Origins of Indo-European languages theories. Problem with the Steppe Theory is that there are no written records in the Eurasian steppes, Siberia, Pontic Caspian, or Europe until 10th century BC, legacy of the Etruscan civilization founded by migrants from Turkey Hence, the Steppe Theory is more difficult to prove as researchers try to connect population groups identified by genetics and archaeological data to languages.
Origin of LanguagesNostratic proposal was put forward first by Danish linguist Holgar Pedersen in 1903, in an article on Turkish phonology! He proposed that Indo-Germanic, now known as Indo-European, was related to Finno-Ugric, Samoyed, Turkish, Mongolian, Manchu, Yukaghir, Eskimo and Afro-Asiatic languages. His article in German can be found here
In 1905, Italian linguist, Alfredo Trombetti, has presented evidence of monogenesis in his book "L'unità d'origine del linguaggio" and some other linguists followed suit.
Nostratic suggested by the Soviet linguists, Illich-Svitych and Dolgopolsky in the 1960s, was a smaller union of languages.
Russian linguist Starostin suggested Borean (Northern) language macrofamily including the Dené–Caucasian and Austric with Nostratic macrofamily.
The beginnings of the Laryngeal Theory were proposed by French linguist Ferdinand de Saussure in 1879. Hittite the first language attested in written records is said to have PIE based "h breve" laryngeals sounds. Evidence of the laryngeals has been found in Uralic languages too.
Storm, Weather Gods: Sumerian Iskur and Enlil, Assyrian Adad, Hatti Taru, Hurrian Teshub, Hittite Tarhun, Greek Zeus and Roman Jupiter
Images from Wikimedia. Left: Sumerian gods Enlil and Ninlil, 2500 BC Right: Akkadian Adad
Left: storm-god Tarhunzas king Warpalawas, Ivriz Turkey, Wikimedia by Klaus-Peter Simon Right: Storm god "Tarhunzas" in Aleppo, Syria, Wikimedia by Verity Cridland
Left: Zeus hurling lightning, archaic bronze statuette, Wikimedia Right: Jupiter of Smyrna (Modern Izmir, Turkey), Louvre Museum Wikimedia
Of all the above weather / thunder / storm gods, Indo-European Zeus is by far the most famous and the second latest in chronology.
Sumerian storm god Iskur dates to mid third millenium BC. Adad (or Hadda, Haddu, Hadad) is the Akkadian version, dates to about the same period. These are Mesopotamian gods from Iraq and Syria, southern neighbors of Turkey (Anatolia).
In Turkey, wheather gods, Hatti (Ugat) Taru and Hurrian (Ugur) Teshub predate another Anatolian weather god: Hittite Tarhun (Luwian Tarhunt / Tarhunz).
The first two Anatolian ancient gods (Taru, Teshub) are non-Indo-European and not only they are from prior civilizations but also they are the basis of the later Indo-European gods.
The extent of influence is not restricted to chief gods. Hittite religion and pantheon is largely based on Ugat (Hatti) and Ugur (Hurrian), both indigenous Anatolian civilizations.
Zeus is known to be based on the Anatolian storm god Taru/Tarhun/Teshub, long before genetic studies proved that the founders of Ancient Greek civilization migrated from Turkey. For more, see Sumerian Influence on Ancient Greece: Minoan, Mycenaean and Classical Greece).
Greek Zeus is a sky and storm god just like Anatolian Teshub and Tarhun(z). Roman god Jupiter is based on Greek Zeus. One can clearly see the succession of mythologies, albeit with changes, from Anatolia/Mesopotamia to Greece/Italy.
Tarhunz, the Hittite storm god, is represented holding a lightning bolt or an axe, often standing on top of a bull which was the sacred animal of Anatolia since at least the time of Catalhoyuk, and probably Gobeklitepe as wild aurochs feature prominently on huge stone slabs.
The weather god Tarhunz is also connected with mountains and heavens. This fact is often overlooked. Zeus is also associated with the mountains: Mount Lykiaon and Mount Olympus. For the origins of the mythological importance of the mountains, see Mystery of the Egyptian Pyramids solved: Siberian mountains and Sumerian Ziggurats!.
Both Hatti and Hurrian were present in Anatolia/Turkey at least a thousand years before the founding of the Hittite Empire whose written texts are considered as the first Indo-European texts and date to around 1650 BC. There are earlier mention of Indo-European names in Assyrian records from around 1900 BC and a few names suggested to be Indo-European from earlier sources in the Syrian ancient city of Ebla from around 2600 BC but the first texts considered to be Indo-European are Hittite texts.
This should be an important matter in Indo-European studies. In fact, the first written Indo-European language, Hittite, appeared about 1500 years after Sumerian, and on tablets based on Akkadian cuneiform which in turn was based on Sumerian.
Hence we should note that Indo-European writing appared amongst Hurrian, Hatti, Sumerian, all agglutinative, SOV languages. Let us not forget that Old Akkadian, the ancestral Afroasiatic language, was also agglutinative and SOV.
In "How to Kill a Dragon: Aspects of Indo-European Poetics", Calvert Watkins observes that Hittite god Attas Sius was written in Sumerogram UTU-ush and Indo European semantics for "father god" are best preserved in Old Irish and Hittite rather than Greek or Sanskrit, noting similarity between Greek Zeus and Hittite Sius while citing other Indo-European gods.
All remaining Hatti texts, are of religious nature and concern rituals. A major pillar of Ataturk's Sun Language Theory which I have proven, is the relationship between language and ancient religious rituals.
An integrative approach to the study of history is necessary if we are to establish facts. Unfortunately, Western approach since the mid-late 1800s, basically since the failed European revolutions of 1848, has been divisive and isolating, per European bankers and their academic minions' imperialist ambitions.
A correct analysis of Indo-European religions and mythologies should always involve prior non-Indo-European mythologies which form their basis. God names and their sociocultural functions must be analyzed together with languages per Sun Language Theory.
Sanskrit Indra: Anatolia - India connection, and Germanic Thor, Slavic Perun, and Norse OdinThe first mention of the Indian deities Indra, Mitra, Varuna, and Nasatya (Ashvins) is found in a tablet mentioning the treaty between the Hittites and the Ugur (Hurrian) kingdom of Mitanni in 1380 BC. Mitanni was a Hurrian kingdom located in Southeast Turkey and some of its rulers bore Indo--European names. The treaty tablet was found in Bogazkoy, capital of the Hittite empire.
Interestingly, Grassman's linguistic law applies to only two Indo-European languages, Greek and Sanskrit, the earliest of Indo-European languages and often mentioned as the two closest to reconstructed hypothetical Proto-Indo-European (PIE).
Indra, god of thunder and storms, is often compared to Greek Zeus, Roman Jupiter, and Thor, Odin, Perun of the German, Slavic and Norse mythologies. Indra's heavenly home is on Mount Meru, also called Sumeru!
Indo-European words for highest god are based upon the concept of brightThis is Mel Copeland's and some other Indo-European scholars' view. Those who work on Proto-Indo-European (PIE) suggest that Zeus/Deus is based on the words for sun and day.
Mel Copeland, a neglected researcher, suggests that these words come down to a variation of "Deus" or "Bog" (for Slavic) in Indo-European languages.
You may see his research at Maravot Indo-European and Maravot Phrygian.
Ons should consider the above together with Sumerian mythology and the above UTU-us Sumerogram for Hittite god Attas-Sius as UTU means sun. It is already known that T > S and S/Z sound changes happen regularly in Mesopotamian records.
Ancient Religions / Mythologies and LanguagesThe analysis of toponyms and king names largely overlaps with mythological analysis, since city and king names were also religion based.
Charles Burney quotes Speiser: "The Hurrians greatly influenced the Hittites “in regard to writing, literature, law, religion, and art; small wonder that the Hittite vocabulary teems with Hurrian loan words” (E. A. Speiser, “Hurrians,” IDB 2:665). The term "loan-word" is incorrect but the idea still stands.
Sumerian Turkish, Ugur (Hurrian) and Ugat (Hatti) together must be checked against Indo-European languages starting with Hittite which is considered to be quite different than other Indo-European languages, and closer to Hatti.
Some Properties of the Turkish languageIn addition to being SOV and agglutinative language like Hungarian, Finnish, Mongolian, Japanese, Korean and some others, Turkish has the following properties:
- No genders (an indication of its ancient nature, paleolithic / stone age)
- Very regular with virtually no exceptions. Logical.
- No consonant (C) or vowel (V) clusters. Written easily, as it sounds. Mostly CV, VC, CVC sylabbic structures.
- Context is very important, more meanings with fewer words (like Sumerian). The placement of the word in a sentence is also important apart from its regular SOV structure.
- Many monoslyllabic words used as roots. It is even possible to construct a full sentence with monosyllabic words.
Agglutination is addition, like playing with legos, you make up new words adding suffixes to a root(s) or words or sometimes roots and words are added to form a new one.
The general properties of Turkish is similar to Sumerian language which is related to both Hungarian and Finnish.
You must have heard of the saying "Mathematics is a language". How about a language that is mathematical?
Sumerian Turkish - Ugur/Gur Turkish (Hurrian) > Etruscan / Turuk > Latin > Spanish/French/Italian/PortugueseThe most important ancient languages that show the process of Indo-Europeanization are Hurrian and Etruscan which gave way to Latin. Since there are written materials, the progression Sumer/Hurrian > Etruscan > Latin SOV > Latin SVO is crucial, but hardly analyzed in vigor.
In the article How I proved that Ugur Turks / Hurrians were the founders of Ancient Greece I suggested this linguistic progression for Romance Languages such as French, Italian, and Spanish. Gat/Hattic may have had an influence on Indo-European languages in addition to Hurrian.
In addition to Latin, that there is also a possibility of Etruscan > French, Etruscan > Italian connection or an indirect one through Italic languages and Celtic.
English derives from Sumerian Turkish / Ugur TurkishBritish historian Lawrence Waddell was a proponent of hyperdiffusionism and he had written books suggesting on Sumerians being founders of civilizations and ancestors of the British people.
A ground-breaking genetics study was published early 2018: About 4500 years ago, Britain's Stonehenge era population was replaced by migrating Bell Beaker people whose roots were in Central Asian steppes (ancestral home of the Turks)! Western refusal to acknowledge the fact that migration is key for the spread of ancient civilizations is no longer tenable!
"Of all languages derived from Turkish, English may well be the closest to Turkish." From Sun Language Theory Proven: The Birth of Languages and Civilizations published two months before this study.
Some Indo-European words of Sumerian origins (not only English): Red, Copper, SickleBefore giving examples, I would like to point out to an important article: Sumerian - Indo European suprising connections has some very important word comparisons both by the blogger and the blog commentators, especially Ninjhar.
The history of the Sickle and the word "Sickle" is a very informative article on how the first sickle was developed from deer and donkey mandibles in the Near East and a very good linguistic analysis of the word for sickle in Celtic and South Slavic, other Indo-European languages that shows derivation from the Sumerian word for "to cut, to break, to harvest". For a short but great journey into millenias past, see Old European Culture blogpost.
Origins of the English word Red, its Indo-European counterparts and Sumerian word for Copper reveals deep Sumerian connection and hints at the Urheimat of Indo-European languages.
Languages, Genetics, and Indo-EuropeanizationSpread of languages might be due to migrations, genetic relations such as mixing of populations, or areal contact. There is also the possibility of language changes / language shifts, often overlooked in Indo-European studies. Basically it means a language evolving/changing into another and in the case of Indo-European languages, that would be Indo-Europeanization.
Many users in genetics forums provide important comments, suggestions that genetics professionals may miss.
Blog comment: anonymous user states "that R1b(-Z2103) were initially non-Indo-Europeans, but Indo-Europeanized in the process." who mentions the process of Indo-Europeanization which is often overlooked.
User Chetan remarks: "Goes without saying now that the people and culture of the Inner Asian Mountain Corridor (IAMC) had a real influence on Proto Indo Aryans. The origin of cremation rites, Soma and perhaps some early Rigvedic deities all lie in that region probably."
I have brought up these comments as important examples but there are many other commentators with good insight and I add them to my articles whenever possible.
Indo-European and SOV-Agglutinative languagesIt is already known that the world's first language was SOV and I had shown that it had to be additive (agglutinative).
The only agglutinative SOV language which spans the largest geographic area and attested since millenias is Turkish with great diversity, and historic record.
An interesting article regarding Proto-Indo_European: A call for honesty by Stefan Zimmer.
Linguistic map of Altaic, Turkic, Uralic languages
The spread of the Uralic languages was at associated with movement of people. Indo-Uralic language group has long been suggested and recent research both genetic and linguistic, points in that direction with Ugur Turkish being the ancestral language.
The below article must be considered together with others including Turkish Ugur/Oghur/Hungarian Ugor/Ugric (Uralic) character of Sumerian, Hattic, Hurrian, and Etruscan: On Certain Aspects of Distance-based Models of Language Relationships, with Reference to the Position of Indo-European among other Language Families by Russian scholar Alexander Kozintsev
The expansion of the Indo-European languages by Frederik Kortlandt: "It now turns out that this study provides unexpected strong support for the theory that Indo-European originated as a branch of Indo-Uralic with an extensive North Caucasian substratum (Kortlandt 2010: 31-36 and 387-403). The correlation is perfect."
There is a very important fact that linguists miss: Uralic is not a language! Better to work with languages first, ten move to language groups.
Hurrian and Indo EuropeanHurrian is misnamed Ugur, obviously related to Hungarian Ugor, hence an Ugric language and part of the Uralic classification. Sumerian is also Ugur Turkish and related to Hurrian. the problem of placing ugric into uralic as a group.
Charles Burney's 1997 pioneering work Hurrians And Indo Europeans In Their Historical And Archaeological Context involves a very good overview of the Hurrian archaelogical, cultural, linguistic records as they relate to Indo_European or Proto Indo_European languages.
Hurrians and Indo-Europeans had much in common in their cultural traditions as explained by Burney who also notes the following on the linguistics:
"An Indo-Aryan — Hurrian symbiosis has been suggested (Mayrhofer 1966: 29). One linguist even claims (Justins 1992: 450) that "if the Hurrian language... were not so clearly non-Indo-European in its particulars, one would ask if the Hurrians were not more Indo-European than the Hittites." What more can be said ? "
Hurrian - Sumerian - Hittite - Caucasus - Egypt - Unattested Indic Language
Chelsea Sanker's Hurrian Meter and Phonology in the Boğazköy Parables , we see a short summary of the comparions of Hurrian with other languages: "There is evidence for contact between Hurrian and several language families of the Near East, most importantly Akkadian, Sumerian(Wilhelm 2008), Hittite (Wegner 2007) and an unattested Indic language (Watkins 2006), among others as far north as the Caucasus Mountains (Diakonoff 1985) and as far south as Egypt (Wegner 2007).
Indo-European elements in Hurrian (Hurro-Urartian) has been observed by Czech linguist Bedrich Hrozny who was the first linguist to decipher Hattusa texts (Hittite language).
A major paper regarding the Urheimat of Indo-European Languages is Vyacheslav V. Ivanov and Thomas Gamkrelidze, “The Early History of Indo-European Languages”, Scientific American vol. 262, no. 3 (March, 1990): 110-116.
Starting with the ending quote of the paper: The homeland of the Indo-Europeans, the cradle of much of the world's civilization, was in the ancient Near East: "Ex oriente lux!".
- The rooting of the Indo-European languages in eastern Anatolia is also suggested by the frequency of words borrowed from a number of languages that flourished there: Semitic, Kartvelian, Sumerian and even Egyptian. Conversely, Indo-European contributed words to each of those languages.
Would you like some wine with your cheese?From the paper by Vyacheslav V. Ivanov and Thomas Gamkrelidze we learn that
"Nickolai I. Vavilov, a prominent Soviet plant geneticist, found a vivid instance of such an exchange: the Russian vinograd ("grape"), the Italic vino and the Germanic wein ("wine"). These all reach back to the Indo-European *woi-no (or *wei-no), the proto-Semitic *wajnu, the Egyptian *wns, the Kartvelian *wino and the Hittite *wijana."
There is also another important archaeological evidence on Vine, Viticulture and Indo-Europeans: The oldest evidence of wine production comes from Iran and Georgia respectively, and date to 5th and 6th millenium BC.
With important linguistic examples, including one based on a Hurrian-Hittite bilingual tablet, they show that the Greeks migrated from Central/Eastern Anatolia which is now permanently confirmed by the genetic studies, especially those made in 2017 and 2018.
The late British archaeologist James Mellaart's important 1958 article The End of The Early Bronze Age in Anatolia and the Aegean is also important.
Important articles on the subject: Comparative Notes on Hurro-Urartian, Northern Caucasian and Indo-European by Vyacheslav V. Ivanov
Hurrian structurally similar to Etruscan, Artemis borrowed into Greek from Hurrian and many other major suggestions can be found in Ivanov's article.
Hattic - Indo-EuropeanLa langue hattique et sa pertinence possible pour les contacts linguistiques préhistoriques en Europe occidentale
Anatolia/Turkey or the Eurasian Steppes ?A recent paper from Iosif Lazaridis The evolutionary history of human populations in Europe has an interesting note:
"...In the next few years this lingering mystery will be solved: either Anatolian speakers will be shown to possess steppe-related ancestry absent in earlier Anatolians (largely proving the steppe PIE hypothesis), or they will not (largely falsifying it, and pointing to a Near Eastern PIE homeland)..."
While the absence of steppe ancestry among Hittites, will prove Near Eastern origins of IE, the opposite may not be a done deal. In other words, the existence of Steppe people among the Hittite may not be enough to prove Steppe Theory.
It is possible to suggest an Indo-European urheimat using existing information provided in my books and articles on this website. Indo-European language family is an offshot of a prior SOV and additive (agglutinative) language as I have previously demonstrated. Parallel to hypothetical Proto-Indo-European (PIE) reconstruction existing and extinct ancient languages must be analyzed whether there exist any that fits this criteria.
There is one recently published genetics paper that would support Damgaard et. al. and Anatolian Origin of Indo-European languages. Arslantepe, Malatya, Eastern Turkey DNA results:
"18 ancient individuals spanning from the Late Chalcolithic period to the Early Bronze Age of Arslantepe. Our results show no evidence for a major genetic shift between the two time periods. However, we observe that individuals from Arslantepe are very heterogeneous and differentiated from other ancient western and central Anatolians in that they have more Iran/Caucasus related ancestry."
This is very much in line with the Lazaridis paper and other genetics results done since the publication of the paper, that both Mycenaean and Minoan Greeks had Caucasus and Iran ancestry. Hajji Firuz samples from the Lake Urmia region show genetic relationship with the Minoans and Mycenaeans too.
Arslantepe is a major historic site, a site dedicated to Arslantepe
Steppe - Anatolia connections: Through Iran first, and maybe in addition, via the BalkansIndo-European and the Indo-Europeans: A Reconstruction and Historical Analysis of a Proto-language and a Proto-culture by Thomas V. Gamkrelidze and Vjaceslav V. Ivanov, 1994.
"Links between the Pontic-Caspian zone and the Near East beyond the ETC zone at this time were very possibly more significant via the Balkans and north-western Anatolia than via the Caucasus, though such north-south movements have been suggested (Mallory 1989: 263-4)."
Quoting Charles Burney: "Not to be overlooked are the etymological parallels between PIE k"'ek K lo-, Sumerian gigir, Semitic galgal- and Kartvelian gigar, all but the Sumerian being asterisked as PIE and other linguistic constructs (Gamkrelidze and Ivanov 1984; Mallory 1989: 163)."
Sun Language TheoryAfter Ataturk's death in 1938, Western propaganda arms told people in Turkey: "Nothing to see here, go find your written history records in Asia." And everyone in Turkey obeyed because, maybe except a few people out of tens of millions, there was no real Ataturkist in Turkey back then, just like today.
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Discover groundbreaking revelations on the roots of modern civilization in one short book. How did we arrive to where we are? How ancient civilizations a world apart, Sumer and Maya were connected. An overview that covers a wide range of topics from human migrations 50000 years ago to Gobeklitepe, the first temple in history, the first matriarchal society with written records, Elam, and to the Sun Cult of the Hattis. Their origins and influence on other ancient civilizations including their neighbors, distant relatives: Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, Hurrian, Scythian, Oguz, Kassite, Gutian, Hyksos and more. (Many of my articles on this website included)