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Sunday, September 2, 2018

Major horse paper coming soon


Horse domestication is an important and controversial topic, in large part because it's intimately tied to the debate over the location of the Proto-Indo-European (PIE) homeland. Based on the currently available genetic and archaeological data, it seems likely that all modern domesticated horse breeds ultimately derive from the Pontic-Caspian steppe in Eastern Europe (see here and here).

In the interview linked to below (click on the image) horse expert Alan Outram reveals that a new paper will be published within months that will test this theory, and either confirm or debunk it.


Outram also talks about the colonization of Central Asia during the Middle Bronze Age by groups from the west associated with the Sintashta culture. He says that this was probably an aggressive affair, akin to the more recent European colonization of North America, that may have pushed the Botai people, who were the indigenous inhabitants of the Kazakh steppe, and their horses far to the east. This, he suggests, might explain why the Przewalski horse of Mongolia appears to be derived from the Botai horse.

See also...

The mystery of the Sintashta people

Focus on Hittite Anatolia

Friendly Yeniseian steppe pastoralists

17 comments:

EastPole said...

Professor Alan Outram says that the status of the horse in Yamnaya culture is not completely clear:

https://youtu.be/50o0KSWB42Y?t=615

So it is also not completely clear that Yamnaya was PIE.
Maybe PIE originated after Yamnaya as a result of expanding of Yamnaya tribes to the west, mixing with Post-Stog tribes and CT/GAC.

“ON DATING PROTO-INDO-EUROPEAN: A CALL FOR HONESTY” Stefan Zimmer
“Given the well-attested possibility of rapid social changes including language growth/change/death (cf. the history of the Germanic tribes, the Turks, Arabs and Mongols, and of their respective languages), I would like to make an appeal to linguists and archaeologists to abstain from using the term Indo-European or ‘ProtoIndo-European’ for anything older than roughly 2500 BC. In another article (Zimmer Ms.), I have argued for the probability of a rather rapid genesis of the ‘Proto-IndoEuropean’ people out of a colluvies gentium (see Zimmer 1989, in press) at the fringe of advanced civilizations, the development of a new common language by way of creolization patterns, and a rapid spread though processes involving the ‘snowball system’ (Schlerath 1973, 20).
The reconstructed ‘Proto-Indo-European’ is nearly unanimously understood to represent the ancestor of the different Indo-European languages in a state just before the beginning of spread and disintegration. On the prehistory of this ‘Proto-IndoEuropean’, a scientific discourse is not possible. “One cannot reconstruct ad infinitum” as Jerzy Kuryłowicz said. To my mind, it is therefore historically irresponsible for the linguist to speak of ‘Proto-Indo-European’ in the 4th millennium, and linguistically meaningless for the archaeologist to argue about ‘Proto-Indo-Europeans’ living [375] somewhere before ca. 2500 B.C.”

https://www.academia.edu/2945212/1989_On_Dating_Proto-Indo-European._A_Call_for_Honesty


Davidski said...

@EastPole

I understand what you're saying, but considering the very close relationship between Yamnaya and the almost certain direct ancestors of present-day Indo-Europeans rich in R1b-M269 and R1a-M417, the eastern Bell Beakers and Corded Ware people, it's very difficult for me to accept that Yamnaya wasn't Indo-European.

Have a look at these mixture models using my own genome. Note how Yamnaya, Corded Ware and the early Slavs melt into each other. Coincidence? I don't think so.

Modeling genetic ancestry with Davidski: step by step

Ric Hern said...

Looking at the video it seems that some type of domesticated horse spread from the West into Central Asia. The question seems to be "From Where ?"

Also an interesting focus on the Spotted Horse Colour. It sounds as if the Spotted Horse from Botai remains looks like an import from somewhere else....

We see Spotted Horses in Cave Paintings in Western Europe. We see Spotted Horse Breeds such as the Pinzgauer Noriker, Knapstrupper and Appaloosa originating from Europe and some horses among the Altai and Karabair breeds in Central Asia.

Then there is also the Tabiano Coloured Horse from Salzmünde +-3000 BCE...

And we see bigger types of horses in the Early Bronze Age in the Czech Republic not far from Hungary....

Ric Hern said...

And it looks like they are reevaluating how the horse could have been used during early domestication...

Ric Hern said...

I think when looking at the probable continuation of interaction of People on the Steppe since 8000 BCE till +-3900 BCE because of periodic Climate changes and the shifting plant and animal resources which they followed it is not totally loony to think that there was a long time of dialect levelling happening in the Pontic-Caspian Steppe maybe more intensely from 6000 to 4000 BCE...

EastPole said...

@Davidski
“Have a look at these mixture models using my own genome. Note how Yamnaya, Corded Ware and the early Slavs melt into each other. Coincidence? I don't think so.”

I am only saying that not everything is clear and certain for me at this stage.
Corded Ware is a better fit for you than Yamnaya, and Corded Ware probably originated from Western Yamnaya as a result of mixing of Eastern Yamnaya and Post-Stog tribes.
If the Eastern Yamnaya didn’t have the right horses and Western Yamnaya and Corded Ware did have the right horses, which were the same as in Sintashta and expanded with IE, then where was the PIE homeland?

Ric Hern said...

I wonder what type of horse was depicted in the Southern Urals, Kapova Cave Painting ? It certainly didn't look small compared to the Wooly Rhino...

Philippe said...

According to Indian newspapers the Pontic-Caspian Steppe is in Central Asia.

Davidski said...

So I guess Ukraine is in Central Asia. Hmmm...interesting. Does that mean that Poland is in West Asia? Haha.

MaxT said...

@Ric Hern
The question seems to be "From Where ?"

In interview he says "maybe in Eastern Europe and maybe in areas south of that"

These were most likely very small pony-like horses. Horses in bronze and iron age weren't as big as today. I would say it would be something-similar to Caspain horse breed we see today in terms of appearance.


Palacista said...

@Davidski
As long as thr Ponic8 Steppe isn't in Europe the Indians will be happy.

Ned said...

@Eastpole quotes Zimmer saying:
'I would like to make an appeal to linguists and archaeologists to abstain from using the term Indo-European or ‘Proto-Indo-European’ for anything older than roughly 2500 BC.'
There is here an issue. Remember that the oldest identified language split is between the Anatolian languages and the rest. Proto-Indo-European is a word used by most comparative philologists (historical linguists) for the forebear of all the I-E languages including Hittite however the linguistic evidence suggests Anatolian broke away BEFORE the adoption of wheeled vehicles.
A close reading of Zimmer's 1989 article would suggest that 2500BC is actually the latest not the earliest date for proto-Indo-European and this leaves on his timescales only 500 years for all the independent developments in Hittite. Although this may support his slightly wayward argument for Indo-European to have been a creole I would be surprised if many scholars of Proto-Indo-European would support such a late date.

Wastrel said...

Just a couple of points I think need to be made on the linguistic side:

- PIE is absolutely NOT the result of "creolization" or similar. Creoles are characteristically simple and regular, because they evolve to cope with vast numbers of second-language learners. PIE, by contrast, is insanely and unnecessarily complicated. It's phonologically improbable, syntactically a little odd, and morphologically downright baroque. Half a dozen cases, half a dozen ablaut paradigms - the verbs in particular are hellish to learn because you have at least three forms, each formed by one of a range of semi-regular processes. PIE is absolutely NOT what a community of non-native speakers would come up with.

- that said, there are arguably signs in PIE of simplification. In particular, lots of the complications are being sidestepped through the innovation of the thematic paradigms. They haven't taken over the languge yet, but you could plausibly suggest that they suggested a period of expansion, in which a significant number of non-natives were at least trying to bring some sense of order to the language, even if they had not yet succeeded.

- the really noticeable thing, however, is the collapse of PIE into the later families. The PIE phonological system was rapidly lost EVERYWHERE. The PIE morphological system was rapidly and extensively reworked, in varying different ways, EVERYWHERE. This certainly suggests a loss of contact between the groups, but it might also fit very neatly with the idea that these languages came to be spoken by non-native populations: a bunch of new populations looked at the unwieldy structure of PIE and each reformed it in their own way. This is unusual. [But even then, no creolisation. Sanskrit or Ancient Greek are not simplistic, creolesque languages. And on the western periphery people eventually evolved Old Irish, Satan's response to the complaint that Sanskrit was too hard...]

- PIE definitely WAS spoken before 2500. MAYBE you could get from Late PIE to the fully-differentiated Indo-Aryan superstrate in Mitanni in only 900 years. I really doubt it, but maybe. But then you've got to factor in Anatolian as an even earlier branch, and I just don't see how that's feasible.

Ric Hern said...

@ MaxT

Well there seemed to be two different size horses among remains at Alikemek-Tepesi and bigger horses among Bell Beaker and also in the Czech Republic and Hungary....

Sofia Aurora said...

@Davidski

David is the paper going to come in a few months or it will turn out to be the "South Asia" paper???

Also i find it to be too optimistic!!
A single paper will solve the horse domestication issue?
A doubt it.
Of course it is a welcomed new paper that will add things but i find its announcement very pompous!

Davidski said...

@Sofia Aurora

A number of papers have been published recently dealing with horse domestication that have answered a number of key questions. But this one will focus on the really big question of where the modern domesticated horse clade ultimately comes from.

This isn't the South Asian paper. The South Asian paper, or rather papers, are based on human DNA not horse DNA, and one of them has already been released as a preprint.

https://eurogenes.blogspot.com/2018/03/andronovo-pastoralists-brought-steppe.html

Sofia Aurora said...

@Davidski

Yes i know that this is not the "South Asia" paper.
The reason that i mention it is because i was wandering if it will take the same time as the "South Asia" paper to appear!
And the "South Asia" paper did not appear fully and it has been announced more than a year before