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View Full Version : Uralic in N. Europe = Mesolithic vs. Bronze Age vs. very late arrival to Europe????



Vesuvian Sky
03-03-2013, 04:49 PM
The Uralic languages of N. Europe have a questionable position. Peter Schrijver tried to show them as 'Mesolithic survivor languages' with his language of geminates theory but this is sketchy linguistic evidence at best.

Others have argued a ruling elite would have brought them to N. Europe during the Seima-Turbino cultural phenomenon.

Finally, some have argued Uralic as a very late arriver to N. Europe, only 500 years ago.

So what time period best explains Uralic's presence in N. Europe?

Please present any worthwhile article you have on the subject here as it seems there have only been coffee cup guesses to its position in N. Europe rather then any rigorous academic review.

Valtaves
03-03-2013, 07:11 PM
My personal favorite is the 500 years ago theory :thumb001:

Vesuvian Sky
03-03-2013, 07:13 PM
My personal favorite is the 500 years ago theory :thumb001:

Fantastic! We have a brave soul willing to respond to this question that helps us shape how we can possible view language and identity during pre-historic Europe. Please vote if you haven't already.:)

Any particular reason why though?

Hweinlant
03-03-2013, 09:04 PM
So what time period best explains Uralic's presence in N. Europe?


Proto-Uralic did not come to Europe anywhere, as it sprung up in Eastern Europe, very close to putative Indo-European homeland (they were neighbours). Linguistic paleontology (tree names etc) has been able to position the location of Proto-Uralic to Central Russia. If you have a map at hand, you can draw a triangle where the points are cities of Moscov-Yaroslavl-Perm. That is roughly the "Uralic urheimat".

Linguistic methodology can not yet answer to the exact age of Proto-Uralic, reconstructed words indicate hunter-fishermen type of society on the one hand, while on the other hand Bronze Age type of technology. What can be said is that Late Proto-Uralic (period just before the divergence into daughter languages/branches) was Bronze Age language. Earlier strata indicated Mesolithic type of culture. So timespan from early Proto-Uralic to Late Proto-Uralic is 2-3K years. This would make Proto-Uralic (from early to late) period span from "Forest Neolithic" to Bronze Age.

Proto-Uralic, like any other "proto-language" had ancestral language(s), in this case Pre-Proto-Uralic. There are two competing views about whereabouts of Pre-Proto-Uralic. Other school argues that it was spoken just east of Ural mountains, in Siberia, while the "archeologically credited" school argues that Pre-Proto-Uralic was spoken in one /some the Combed Ceramic Cultures of Northeast Europe. "Siberian school's" major argument has been presence of Proto-Uralic loanwords found from Yukaghiric languages of Northeast Siberia.

Yukaghirs are a small (very small, propably the language is R.I.P as you read this) language group. They moved to their current inhabitance (northern Yakutia / Sakha Republic) from more northwestern location, Arctic Urals on the Siberian side. Once upon-a-time they were more numerous than today. In this scenario they would have been northern neighbours of Siberian pre-Proto-Uralics.

This theory has recently received major blow as Russian archeologist have shown that typically Yukaghir materials have been found from Kola-peninsula (northeastern arctic Fennoscandia) Bronze Age cemetary. This is the cemetary which was also aDna tested by Dersarkissian in the huge aMtdna study recently. Cemetary site is called Bolshoy Oleni Ostrov (short BOO) in that study. People using the cemetary (near city of Murmansk) in Bronze Age had mixed package of mtdna, combining North Asian and mesolithic European ancestries. Their archeological material pointed out that they were maritime hunters (bone harpoons) and were burried in canoe-like graves. Sort of Paleo-Eskimos living on the arctic maritime fringe of Europe. Their pottery places them inside the huge Arctic Siberian horizon known as Ymiaktakh-culture. This culture is associated with Yukaghir-people in the literature. Thus the most obvious location for Yukaghirs to loan linguistic material from Uralics is infact in Arctic Europe. Dersarkissian's study also found out that modern day Saami are not genetically related to Bronze Age Kola-Peninsula people (atleast not to those buried into Ymiakhtakh cemetary).

Archeologists have "allways" argued that Pre-Proto-Uralic (or Proto-Uralic and it's preceding forms) was spoken in Comb Ceramic Culture(s) of Northeast Europe, special importance has been given to Volosovo-culture. From there the expansion of various different branches of Uralic can be followed with archeological methods (similar way as Indo-European branching can be followed from Khvalynsk culture -> Yamna culture -> etc).

Out of Indo-Europeans the late Proto-Uralics had contacts with atleast people who were linguistically still late Proto-Indo-Europeans. Especially lively connection were with the Aryans (proto-Indo-Iranians). Uralic speaking people on the river Volga still today have Aryan ethnonyms. There is plenty of supposedly Aryan linguistic material also covering the religious-field. For example modern Finnish words for God (Jumala), Fiest (Peijaiset) etc are all considered as Aryan loanwords and have wide distribution inside the Uralic family (meaning that they were present from very early on, just slightly after the divergence into sub-branches). On the other hand modern Finnish (and Estonian) word for slave is Aryan tribal self-ethnonym (Orja). So the relations between different Uralic and Aryan tribes were not allways peacefull and buddybuddy.

Uralic-Aryan contacts lasted for very long time, basically from the time when Aryans were not yet fully different from other Indo-European tribes (pre-proto-Indo-Iranian = late proto-Indo-European), to the stage when they expanded from Southern Urals (Sintasha-Arkaim-Petrovka culture) to South Asia as Indo-Aryans (Mitanni etc), and even after that with the Iranian Scythians.

Uralic languages contain memory of this period, and due regular sound shifts etc different loanwords can be stratified to the correct time frames. This is also very important evidence for the Indo-Europeanists and it seems that they have only recently discovered the full potential of understanding the Uralic linguistic history at Europe.

I still need to comment the Seima-Turbino phenomenom, which is usually completely misunderstud. It's not archeological culture in strict sense. It's trading & technology network. Also the current understanding is that the roots of S&T is to be found from Eastern Europe, from archeological cultures of Garino-Bor and Abashevo. Garino-Bor is eastern expansion of Volosovo culture (so quite likely Proto-Uralic speaking) while Abashevo is considered as mixture of Aryans and possibly even more western Indo-European tribes coming from Central European "Corded Ware Horizon".

Older theory of S&T roots at Altay has been nullified since some time ago all ready. It is quite likely that western end of the trading&technology network of S&T was speaking in Uralic language(s), and was somehow responsible for spreading the language. Same can not be said of the eastern half, which brought S&T technology to Altay/South Siberia. Back in the Bronze Age the Altay-Siberians seem to have been mainly Indo-Europeans (Tokharians, Aryans), Uralics (Samoyeds, possibly Ugrics aswell) got there later but before the Turkics and surely before the Mongols.

Anyhoo, the maps showing S&T spread from Altay to Europe are based on outdated information, as the oldest S&T artefacts are found from Garino-Bor culture (Turbino is one archeological site inside the Garino-Bor culture) and Abashevo culture.

From there it spread westwards all the way to Baltic sea, and eastwards to Altay where they started copper mining operation and secondary production site. Production site of S&T artefacts can be even identified today, measuring the arsenics from the copper. Archeologists can tell if the S&T product was made at Urals or at Altay. Pretty neat.

I hope I answered some of the questions you had.

Edit: I voted for "other" and this post is the explanation.

Vesuvian Sky
03-03-2013, 09:34 PM
Ok thanks yes. So many have felt that the Combed Ware archaeological horizon was related to Uralic somehow wether it be at the "pre-phase" or some other of Uralics development. I've heard this theory before, and it would more or less be in line with Mesolithic position and maybe Paleolithic to an extent. This seemed to be what Schrijver was getting at but the problem is that Germanic apparently shows no evidence of such and gemination is considered weak ground to stand on to prove any type of Uralic substratum.

But perhaps Uralic "mesolithic survival theory" may not require such.

For instance, perhaps if Combed Ware culture represents the true hub of "Uralic development" let's call it, it seems that IE presence in the area ended its linguistic presence where early IE's were able to fully establish themselves "culturally" let's say (if we are to assume S. Scandinavia as once having a Uralic presence). Reasons may be that Uralic at the time was strictly a hunter-gatherer language and that invading IEs simply did not adopt anything from them since this Uralic zone may have been represented by hunter gatherers who strictly wished not to interact with invading IEs and maintain let's say a hunter gatherer lifestyle.

RussiaPrussia
03-03-2013, 09:37 PM
it must be long long time ago because uralics mixed with the european population as they were originally asians.

Hweinlant
03-03-2013, 10:09 PM
Ok thanks yes. So many have felt that the Combed Ware archaeological horizon was related to Uralic somehow wether it be at the "pre-phase" or some other of Uralics development.


Some parts of it. CCC is pretty diverce actually and I doubt everyone inside of it spoke the same language nor were even that closely related. There are several larger, local variants inside CCC. Lyalovo -> Volosovo culture is the best candidate for Uralic speech. There might have been para-Uralic languages spoken in much wider area but the strictly proto-Uralic must have been located in rather small area and had low number of speakers.



I've heard this theory before, and it would more or less be in line with Mesolithic position and maybe Paleolithic to an extent. This seemed to be what Schrijver was getting at but the problem is that Germanic apparently shows no evidence of such and gemination is considered weak ground to stand on to prove any type of Uralic substratum.


There is no Uralic substrata in Germanic. It's more likely that Finnic and Germanic share non-Uralic non-IE paleoeuropean substrata.



But perhaps Uralic "mesolithic survival theory" may not require such.


Nope, imo Uralic is one of the surviving lineages from the languages of the Mammoth Steppe (http://mammothsteppe.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=8&Itemid=14). Indo-European and even Turkic might be aswell. Europe and Asia are pretty much meaningless concepts from the Mammoth Steppe pov , as it spanned from Atlantic France to Bering strait and even into Americas.



(if we are to assume S. Scandinavia as once having a Uralic presence).


I havent seen any concluding evidence for Uralic presence at South Scandinavia until historical times, when the area was allready mainly Germanic. Central Scandinavia (and northwards from there) is other topic.



Reasons may be that Uralic at the time was strictly a hunter-gatherer language and that invading IEs simply did not adopt anything from them since this Uralic zone may have been represented by hunter gatherers who strictly wished not to interact with invading IEs and maintain let's say a hunter gatherer lifestyle.

Most Uralics were farmers quite early on actually. We just kept the hunting as secondary occupation (fur trade made "money", farming made "food"). Finns forexample have been farmers as long as we have existed in Finland (about 2000 years). Farming vocabularity goes back to Bronze Age, and there are archeologically valid evidence for it aswell.

Hweinlant
03-03-2013, 10:10 PM
it must be long long time ago because uralics mixed with the european population as they were originally asians.

This has to do with linguistics ? Mods should delete this sort of off-topic nonsense.

Vesuvian Sky
03-03-2013, 10:14 PM
Most Uralics were farmers quite early on actually. We just kept the hunting as secondary occupation (fur trade made "money", farming made "food"). Finns forexample have been farmers as long as we have existed in Finland (about 2000 years). Farming vocabularity goes back to Bronze Age, and there are archeologically valid evidence for it aswell.

I was referring to parts of Combed Ware culture that are viewed as being Uralic hunter gatherer. Farming does not seem to really take significant effect in the Baltic littoral region until 3000-2000 BC.

Hweinlant
03-03-2013, 10:30 PM
I was referring to parts of Combed Ware culture that are viewed as being Uralic hunter gatherer. Farming does not seem to really take significant effect in the Baltic littoral region until 3000-2000 BC.

Around 2000bc would be pretty good estimate for Uralics (in strict sense) to reach Baltic littoral from the nearby Central Russia. Anyhow, it has been recently discovered that farming has actually been practised at North Europe much longer than previously thought. It just was not cereal farming, but buckwheat. Also it did not come from Middle East but via the steppes from East Asia. There are other similar pollen analysis carried on at the Balkans, which show the the presence of buckwheat around 4.000bc aswell.



The early stages of agriculture in the Boreal forests of Northern Europe remain poorly understood. Although pottery appeared during the 6th millennium B.C., this has not been seen as an indication of a true Neolithic in the north. In later prehistory, vast parts of the region are thought to have remained a wilderness. In order to test these assumptions, a high-resolution pollen analysis and an archaeological survey were carried out at Lake Huhdasjärvi, SE Finland. The results indicate signs of cultivation already by the early Neolithic, 5260–4260 B.C., and slash-and-burn cultivation concentrated on deciduous forests is recorded from ca. A.D. 600 onwards. By A.D. 930, an intensive form of swidden cultivation began in the coniferous forests, indicating a well-established agricultural settlement. The discovery of Neolithic (late 6th millennium B.C.) buckwheat pollen suggests that the roots of agriculture in northernmost Europe may have to be searched for in China rather than the Near East.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/gea.21428/full


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buckwheat

Vesuvian Sky
03-03-2013, 10:44 PM
Around 2000bc would be pretty good estimate for Uralics (in strict sense) to reach Baltic littoral from the nearby Central Russia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buckwheat

There is though the concept of the Pit-Combed ware archaeological horizon. Here is the map from EIEC:

http://imageshack.us/a/img688/1340/screenshot20130303at548.png

However, Mallory also writes this:


http://imageshack.us/a/img69/642/screenshot20130303at549.png

Hweinlant
03-04-2013, 10:26 AM
There is though the concept of the Pit-Combed ware archaeological horizon. Here is the map from EIEC:

http://imageshack.us/a/img688/1340/screenshot20130303at548.png


Yep, thats synonym for Comb Ceramic Culture. Also the Pitted Ware Culture from Sweden\Gotland belongs to same sphere. So we actually do have aDna in form of those neolithic hunter-gatherers from Gotland, belonging into that sphere.



However, Mallory also writes this:


Few research papers from Asko Parpola:

The problem of Samoyed origins in the light of
archaeology: On the formation and dispersal of
East Uralic (Proto-Ugro-Samoyed) (http://www.sgr.fi/sust/sust264/sust264_parpola.pdf)

This paper looks the eastward expansion from Proto-Uralic urheimat through the archeological and linguistic evidence.

In the nuttshell:



In my view, Proto-Uralic was spoken in the Volosovo culture (3650–1900
BCE), which expanded eastwards from its original area in the interfluve of the
Upper Volga and Oka so as to incorporate the Garino-Bor (Turbino) culture of
the Vyatka and Lower Kama areas (Krajnov 1987a). The genetically related predecessors of the Volosovo culture, the Lyalovo culture (c. 5000–3650 BCE), and the culture of the Upper Volga Ware (c. 5900–5000 BCE) already had contacts to the east (cf. maps 7–8 in Oshibkina ed. 1996: 138–139).

Moreover, four major waves of cultural influence spread from these three cultures northwards to the
areas east of Estonia, to Finland and to Russian Karelia (around 5300, 3900, 3600 and 1900 BCE). Without a doubt there was movement of people, and these probably spoke successive stages of a language that developed into Late ProtoUralic. The culture of the Netted Ware (also called Textile Ceramics or Fabric Impressed Ware) that succeeded the Volosovo culture in the west (c. 1900–500 BCE) matches the distribution of West Uralic. Central Uralic (comprising Mari and the Permic languages) appears to descend from the eastern Garino-Bor extension of the Volosovo culture via the Kazan (Prikazan) culture (c. 1900–800 BCE) of the Volga-Kama interfluve (Khalikov 1987) and its successor, the powerful Anan’ino culture (c. 800–200 BCE), which exerted a very strong influence on the Akhmylovo culture (c. 800–300 BCE) of the Mari area of the Mid-Volga


Another paper from Parpola:

The Nasatyas, the Chariot and Proto–Aryan Religion (http://www.helsinki.fi/~aparpola/jis16-17.pdf)

This paper talks more about religious and cultic aspects of Proto-Aryans but also contains plenty of interesting stuff about Aryan-Uralic contacts of the past.




Archaeology and Proto-Aryan loan words in Finno-Ugrian languages spoken in northeastern Europe have enabled locating the emergence of the Aryan branch of the IndoEuropean language family in southeastern Europe (the Poltavka, Abashevo and SintashtaArkaim cultures). Its diffusion can be followed in the Eurasiatic steppes and through
Central Asia (Bactria and Margiana Archaeological Complex) to Syria (Mitanni kingdom) and to South Asia (Gandhara Graves).

The horse-drawn chariot was centrally involved in this emergence and diffusion of
Proto-Aryan speakers. The two-man team of warrior and charioteer was deified, and the
mythology of these divine twins spread together with the chariot from the Proto-Aryans
to Proto-Greeks and Proto-Balts. Loanwords in Finno-Ugrian languages, too, suggest that
the Nasatyas were important divinities for Proto-Aryan speakers.


One more paper, this one from Christian Carpelan. This is purely archeological paper for Northeast Europe through the Uralic perpsective. It's a bit outdated for some parts but works still as pretty damn good background paper for understanding the complexity of NE Europe, which is often not quite well understud due the recent Slavic expansion. Slavs in the region are very late and recent phenomenom (inside the last 1000 years or so). While much have happened before that.

On Archaeological Aspects of Uralic, Finno-Ugric
and Finnic Societies before AD 800
(http://www.helsinki.fi/venaja/nwrussia/eng/Conference/pdf/Carpelan.pdf)

Vesuvian Sky
03-04-2013, 04:32 PM
Ok so Parpola's view is that Proto-Uralic is spoken within the confines of the Volosovo culture. But is this part of the greater PWC bloc?

Hweinlant
03-04-2013, 08:15 PM
Ok so Parpola's view is that Proto-Uralic is spoken within the confines of the Volosovo culture. But is this part of the greater PWC bloc?

Volosovo culture itself is too young to be part of the Comb Ceramic Cultures. There is no doubt that it is derived from those forest neolithic cultures, and especially from the typical comb ceramic of Ljalovo culture. Volosovo is direct, genetic heir of Comb Ceramic Ljalovo culture. Volosovo was preceded by Textile Ceramic culture, which is the archeological culture likely bringing the Uralic language to Baltic sea.

C14 dates from Pesochnoe-1 site (something like 150 kilometers NE of Moscov), which was continuously used through these "development" phases:

Ljalovo cultural layer cover 5600–5100 BP
Volosovo cultural layer span 4400–4200 BP
Textile Ceramics culture range from 3700 to 3200 BP

Textile Ceramic is also called Net Ceramic (and Netted Ware Ceramic) in some sources.

This is how the spread of Textile Ceramics looks like:

http://i47.tinypic.com/2ed1en5.png

The "Wafer-Ceramics" have absolutely nothing to do with Textile Ceramics so you can safely ignore that part.

Vesuvian Sky
03-05-2013, 05:13 AM
Ok I see, so during the PWC only that one core area of it represented by Volosovo culture represents Proto-Uralic, according to such a position. The areas of, near, and around the Baltic littoral region would not be considered to have anything to do with Uralic so the PW cultures there represent an unknown language (like in Gotland, Scandinavia in general, the parts of Poland where certain combed ceramic assemblages appear as well).

Interesting because some archaeologists would look at this and say the theory of persistent archaeological frontiers doesn't really work. Anthony's position of course is that some of these macro-level archaeological horizons act as proxy for language barriers.

But what of toponyms? Are there any Uralic language toponyms in the area of Volosovo culture? Granted, I don't always believe hydronyms/toponyms always present unequivocal evidence for who was where first but this non-IE component that Mallory brings up for toponyms in the area is certainly of great interest.

Hweinlant
03-05-2013, 07:47 PM
Ok I see, so during the PWC only that one core area of it represented by Volosovo culture represents Proto-Uralic, according to such a position.


Pretty much so, but it's more tricky. Proto-Uralic as such must have had relatives, allthough some have claimed it as language isolate. I dont found the isolate theory very convincing. So Proto-Uralic may have been related to other surrounding languages, which would perhaps best be described as para-Uralic. Expansion of late Proto-Uralic would then have consumed these "sister-languages" on it's way.

This is how Juha Janhunen put it:


Quite probably, Proto-Uralic had some living relatives which represented the parallel branches of a protolanguage that became extinct in Pre-ProtoUralic times. The other languages, if they existed, were not Uralic, but they may
technically be identified as Para-Uralic, meaning that they represented lineages
collaterally related to the lineage of Proto-Uralic




But what of toponyms? Are there any Uralic language toponyms in the area of Volosovo culture?

Simply yes.

Central area of Volosovo culture was in the Volga-Oka interfluent. Modern Finnish word Joki means river, it's reconstructed to Proto-Uralic as *juka. Volga itself may have Uralic etymology, even tho' the proto-Slavonic etymology is not bad either, just a little bit anachronistic as it's not very likely Proto-Slavonic (circa 500 AD) was spoken around Volga (*vlaga, "wetness"). There are literally myriads of Uralic hydronyms with word Valge- Valke- etc in the name. It means "white, bright".

It's ofcource no secret that the former Volosovo-area was still inhabited by Uralic (Finno-Permic) speaking Meryans, Mecherans etc still in the times of Mongol attacks to East Europe. Slavification of the area happened only after that. Meryans et al sprung up from the Dyakovo-culture, which was one of the successor cultures for the Textile Ceramic Culture. Moscov itself is built on old Meryan land.

Kama tributary of Volga likely also has Uralic etymology but it's more likely a transfer of Komi-Zyrian homeland designation to Russian vocabularity. That term was Kommu, Kom= Komi-people , mu=Land, thus Land of the Komi people.

Anyway, here's more:

Ancient Lakes in the Former Finno-Ugrian Territories of Central
Russia: An Experimental Onomastic-Pаlaeogeographical Study, Ahlqvist 2006 (http://www.helsinki.fi/venaja/nwrussia/eng/Conference/pdf/Ahlqvist.pdf)

Vesuvian Sky
03-05-2013, 08:05 PM
Thanks. One last question:

Are there any Uralic toponyms east of the Urals?

Hweinlant
03-05-2013, 09:45 PM
Are there any Uralic toponyms east of the Urals?

I'm pretty sure there are, as eastern dialect of late Proto-Uralic (dubbed as East Uralic) spread to western (and southern) Siberia allready during Copper Age. Pretty much all of the northern end of Andronovo culture (also termed as Cherkaskul' culture) is tought to have been East Uralic (or pre-Ugric, pre-Samoyedic). Eventually the South Samoyedic languages were spoken as far east as Sayan mountains (attested in mid-1800s and R.I.P soon after that, due the turkification) and who knows all the places where Hungarians have dwelled. I'm not aware of any Uralic toponyms which could not be explained either with Samoyeds or with Ugrians. Small nations of Khanti and Mansi still today live there on river Ob (eastern Urals) and speak their Ugrian languages.

Perhaps surprising info about the ethnonym/exonym Ugri (Yugra):



The Ugric languages share several very early Aryan loanwords (e.g. Hungarian Mèh 'bee').
The ethnic name Yugra is used of the Ob-Ugrians in the Old Russian "Nestor's Chronicle."
As shown by Tuomo Pekkanen (1973), this ethnic name was used of the Hungarians as well and
has Aryan etymology.

Proto-Aryan *ugrà- 'mighty, strong, formidable, noble' occurs in Old Indo-Aryan and Old Iranian
not only as an adjective but also as tribal name and as proper name.

The Greek historian Strabo (64 BC-AD 19) in his Geography (7.3.17) says that the Scythian tribe
of 'Royal Sarmatians' were also called Oûrgoi. This is a metathesis form of the word ugra,
attested also in Scythian proper names such as Aspourgos (=Old Iranian aspa- 'horse' + ugra-).

These Oûrgoi were settled between the Dniester and Dnieper; according to Strabo, they "in general are
nomads, though a few are interested in farming;these peoples, it is said, dwell also along the Ister (i.e.
the Danube), often on both sides." The Oûrgoi seem to have included also Hungarians, since a third-
or fourth-century Latin inscription (CIL III,5234) from the borders of Hungary mentions raiders called
Mattzari, which agrees with the later Byzantine transcriptions of Magyar, the self-appellation of Hungarians,
called Majghari in the tenth-century Muslim sources


-The Indo-Aryan Controversy: Evidence and Inference in Indian History
by Edwin Francis Bryant,Laurie L. Patton p. 120.