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Thursday, December 8, 2016

Middle Ages: rotten time to be a spotted horse

Scientific Reports has a new paper on the history of coat patterns in domesticated horses and the domestication process itself. Emphasis is mine:

Horses have been valued for their diversity of coat colour since prehistoric times; this is especially the case since their domestication in the Caspian steppe in ~3,500 BC. Although we can assume that human preferences were not constant, we have only anecdotal information about how domestic horses were influenced by humans. Our results from genotype analyses show a significant increase in spotted coats in early domestic horses (Copper Age to Iron Age). In contrast, medieval horses carried significantly fewer alleles for these phenotypes, whereas solid phenotypes (i.e., chestnut) became dominant. This shift may have been supported because of (i) pleiotropic disadvantages, (ii) a reduced need to separate domestic horses from their wild counterparts, (iii) a lower religious prestige, or (iv) novel developments in weaponry. These scenarios may have acted alone or in combination. However, the dominance of chestnut is a remarkable feature of the medieval horse population.


In addition, we discovered that tobiano spotting, which only occurs in domestic horses and had thus far only been detected after 1500 BC, was present in the Eneolithic/Copper Age (Kazakhstan, cal. 3654–3630 BC, and Germany, cal. 3368–3101 BC). Similar to chestnut and sabino spotting, the tobiano phenotype appears to arise shortly after domestication, which is assumed to have started approximately 4000–3500 BC in the Ponto-Caspian steppe region (modern day Kazakhstan and Ukraine) [17].


Moreover, the detection of the tobiano phenotype in two Eneolithic domestic horses from distant regions has important implications regarding the origins of horse domestication [17] and their subsequent distribution. It also supports previous claims that the emergence of domestic horses in Central Europe at the end of the fourth millennium BC was facilitated by introduced horses from the Ponto-Caspian steppe [19].

Wutke, S. et al. Spotted phenotypes in horses lost attractiveness in the Middle Ages. Sci. Rep. 6, 38548; doi: 10.1038/srep38548 (2016).

See also...

Sintashta and Scythian horses came from Hyperborea


Ric Hern said...

Is spotted an accurate term ? When talking about spotted I rather think of the Appaloosa,Pinzgauer Noriker and the Altai horse that show Leopard spotting.This leopard spots date back to the Paleolithic Cave paintings in Western Europe.....Tabiano I think of Patched markings rather than spotted. However this is interesting.Thanks.

Davidski said...

I have no idea. I don't know anything about horses, except for the fact that one bit me when I was 9 years old.

Nirjhar007 said...

I have no idea. I don't know anything about horses, except for the fact that one bit me when I was 9 years old.

Well ... that explains a few things.....


Ric Hern said...

That is bad.I had a similar experience with a donkey. Avoid them ever since..

Marjeta Vakar Manfreda Bissue said...

Davidski, how can I writte you? I want to send you genetic study of slovenian DNA. It is interesting because of very high mtDNA J1c in west Slovenia - Littoral Region 24,5% and Tolmin area particulary - 28,9%. It is scientific paper. I hope you can publish some of it here. It was published by Annals of Human Biology in 2015.

Olympus Mons said...

Horses, Horses, horses.

I started this journey by "Horses, dogs and grapes". I still think there is something there. ALthough those are the chapters of my shulvari2Bellbeaker that I have never wrote (!).

One of the those Horses links from ancient domestication are Sorraia horses. the fact that those are found at the sorraia river, the place near VNSP (bell beakers, copos culture, so forth) has always been telling to me.
See this video. If you dont have the time (5m) just jump to minute 2.30 and see the Phylogenetic for the sorraya and their closeness to Przewalski's horse.


And if ever in Lisbon area, spend a weekend there (60euros night) and ride to see them rooming wild.

Olympus Mons said...

Another interests was Dogs. Something about the Huge Serra da Estrela dog and the closeness to Kangal horse of Eastern Turkey...
Let me tell you a story. During 2015 my daughter has been undergoing a oncological treatment every Friday. During that period there was a toddler that loved my daughter. later during this summer my wife insisted on meeting that couple outside the hospital environment. To make it short. During a tea on a Sunday afternoon in September ... to my amazement the mother of young Luca (a tribute to his strength and courage always with a smile) …. is Zooarchelologist Ana Pires, and the father is David Goncalves.
He is one of the authors of paper “The Bom Santo Cave (Lisbon, Portugal):
Catchment, Diet, and Patterns of Mobility of a Middle Neolithic
Population “ which DISCOVERED THE H10E FOR THAT 3700BC women in Portugal.

But the reason why I am talking about this is because she, Ana Pires, is the author of the paper “Mitochondrial DNA Sequence Variation in Portuguese Native Dog Breeds:
Diversity and Phylogenetic Affinities” .
Now, I always new that the only Mtdna hp D for dogs were Portuguese Serra da estrela, Kangal (eastern Turley) and Spanish Galgo. In this paper she discovered that The Aidi (Berber dog in Morocco) from North Africa (Tunisia, Algeria, Libya and Morocco, probably originating in the Sahara is also mtdna D.

Amazing right. Sorraia horse, dogs, bell beaker, north africa....see...:)

Goto go ... Dinner in reykjavik

Davidski said...

@Marjeta Vakar Manfreda Bissue

I remember that paper.

But I have a good number of Slovenian samples and I run them regularly; not using their mtDNA, but data from their 22 autosomes, which carry more information.

You can see how a few typical ones compare to hundreds of other modern and ancient samples in the spreadsheet here...

The Basal-rich K7

FrankN said...

The discovery of the Salzmünde horse burial (3368–3101 BC) has given reason to re-assess earlier finds of horse bones, indicating that domesticated horses may have at least been present in CE from Baalberge onwards. Apparently, Steppe cultural influence in CE commenced nearly a millennium before Yamnaya/ CWC.

Looking at Dave's Admix.13.Q, small traces of the Steppe_EMBA component have already been present with LBK (0.58%), and they only increase slightly towards Baalberge (1.33%). Unfortunately, we still lack aDNA to trace the further evolution of Steppe_EMBA admix prior to CWC [Esperstedt_MN is a poor representative as it strongly represents Danubian (Baden Culture) immigration].
Nevertheless, the horse study serves as further warning against overinterpreting the Yamnaya-likeness of CWC as signature of a sudden and massive Steppe immigration during the early/ middle 3rd mBC. We may as well be dealing with a gradual build-up during MN interaction between Elbe-Saale and the Steppe (Ukraine). Note in this respect also "East European" mtDNA U4 and U5a in Polish (Kujawia) Lengyel.

Ric Hern said...

FrankN I agree. It just don't mare sense that Afanasevo could have started at 3300 bC.and be found thousands of kilometres from Yamna but there were no migration to the West just as early.....

Karl_K said...


"It just don't mare sense"

Great. Classic horse puns happening here.

FrankN said...

a propos mare: I always wondered whether the similarity to Mongolian mori "horse" was just accidental. The root *markos isn't standard IE, aside from Germanic it only occurs in Celtic, e.g. Irish marc "horse".
"The form has been connected to words for 'horse' that extend eastward in non-IE languages, but the dating and direction of borrowing remains uncertain. T. Gamkrelidze and V. Ivanov associate the word to horse riding in the Bronze Age."

BA would probably mean Sintashta - but should we really expect Mongols to have borrowed their word for "horse" from the West? More parsimonous seems an East-West transfer of the root during the MN.

Ric Hern said...

Heheheeeh 😨 Oops.This wordpredictor bites me in the arse time and again.

Ric Hern said...

Looking at those words it makes me think that the first horses to be domesticated were female...

FrankN said...

Ric: Mare has been contaminated by French mére "mother". The original meaning was "stallion", as preserved in the marshall

FrankN said...

P.S: Irish marc "horse" is of masculine gender, as was OEngl. mearh, OldNorse marr.

FrankN said...

@Dave: In looking for words related to mare "stallion", I also came across Hungarian mar "to bite"...)

Rob said...

@ FrankN

"We may as well be dealing with a gradual build-up during MN interaction between Elbe-Saale and the Steppe (Ukraine)."

Or..interaction & reciprocity (MN) followed by a more rapid shift westward (LN).

Ric Hern said...

What about Capall and Each ?

Ric Hern said...

Well regarding Mongolian I wonder if the Pottery that spread from Lake Baikal into Samara at 7000 bC. and on into Europe could have carried the word ?

Ric Hern said...

The Haplogroup Q found in the Khvalynsk Culture alongside R1a and R1b makes me think.....

Ric Hern said...

Why does Archaeologists point to a connection between the Samara Culture and Dnieper Donets and say that they could be Related ? Is it only due to the Pottery Type from Lake Baikal ?

postneo said...

przewalski's horse has not contributed to domestic horses.

Ric Hern said...

And the Sorraia Horse is an Isolate.

Nirjhar007 said...

GAC will come out by this month , if everything goes as planned.....

FrankN said...

@Ric: What about Capall and Each ?
Each represents standard PIE *ekwo (Lat. equus, Sanskr. asva etc.).

Capall (m.) is a bit more obscure. IE parallels are Lat. caballus "castrated horse, gelding", OGrk kabállēs “nag” and Slavic *kobyla "mare": However, most of the Latin evidence dates late (early medieval), the root is missing with Slavic's sibling, Baltic, and semantic/ gender variation is strong. This all points towards borrowing.
Outside IE, we a/o have Turkish kaval, Karakhanid (Silk Road Middle Turkish) kevel "well-bred fast horse", possibly linked to Mongol *gewü-n "mare". Then there is Udmurt. val, Lezghian balḳan, Lak (dial.) balčan [*ka(n) seems to be a female qualifier in Altaic]. Scyth. *bālya- "troup of horse riders" *bālti- "horse ride" may also belong here. Attempted connection to Osset. baegh “horse”, from suggested *balc-, is phonologically questionable.
All in all, we seem to deal with another “Steppe” term of unclear origin that reached Western IE during antiquity by either Scythian or Anatolian intermediation.

While I am at it, let me also point to two North Caucasian “horse” roots that spread to CE, possibly during the Migration period (Goths/ Alans/ Avars):

1) PNC *gwä̆lV (Chechen: gila, Tsezi gulu etc.) ~ German Gaul, MHG gûl(e) “(work-)horse”

2) PNC *ɦɨ[r/n]čwĭ-, acc. to Starostin “one of the most secure common NC roots. (..) Cf. also Hurr. eššǝ 'horse'.“
->Proto-Avaro-Andian *ʔičʷa , Abkhaz a-čǝ́ ~ Goth. eyz (fifth letter of the Gothic Alphabet)
->Proto-Dargwa *ʔurči > Oss. urs > MHG, Old Dutch ors. |Considering the initial [ɦ]/[ʔ] of the Caucasian proto-forms, one might even wonder whether they are at the root of PGerm. *hrussa >”horse”.]\data\cauc\caucet (search for meaning “horse”)

postneo said...

words for horse in north indian languages are typically ghORA
The traditional sanskrit and indo-iranian ashva/aspa is not used much in India but remains in high usage in iranic.
in sanskrit ghORA is rendered ghOTaka , tamil has kutirai. These resemble chechen rather than IE.

The retroflex R and T sounds are close to l in sound, gh is a voiced aspirate perhaps it is a reflex to a guttural g ?

Its also quite possible that the north indian word is close to the archaic form where voiced aspirate and retroflex relaxed to the simpler caucasian or dravidian words.

It will be hard to determine when such a wanderwort spread.

postneo said...

I found this as well

The blog does not discuss the indic word ghoRA which can only reinforce the scenario further.

FrankN said...

@Postneo: Indeed, Starostin's database lists Chech., Ing. gowr "horse", as potential borrowing from Proto-Tsezian *gurV, which brings us quite close to Indic ghoRA. In fact, we don’t necessarily have to deal with a Caucasian borrowing here, but may also look towards BMAC influence in both directions (though ghoRA doesn’t seem to be included in the lists of BMAC substrate proposed by Witzel and others).

PDrav *kudir- "horse", with (irregular?) k>g(h) alteration in Central Dravidian (Naikri ghurram), and d>t alteration in some S. Drav languages, e.g. Tamil, Malayam, looks like borrowed from Indian.

PAfrAs *ʕaywr- "donkey, horse" is also interesting in this respect, especially when considering that the initial "ʕ" may originally have sounded more like "gh", as suggested by Proto-Berber *ɣayul- "horse, mare, donkey, mule". The latter somewhat closes the geographical circle to the German "Gaul". [Is anybody here with knowledge about Basque sound shifts, to tell us whether zaldi “horse” might belong here as well?]

Getting back to the “mare”: Tungus-Manchu *murin (e.g. Ulcha muri), Korean *mằr, Chinese: 馬 *mrāʔ, Burmese mraŋh, all meaning „horse“, speak against W. Eurasian origin of the root. Starostins DB furthermore lists Kachin gumra2 “horse, pony”, and PAA *Cǝ(m)rVŋ (e.g. Lamet mraŋ.2) “horse”. To which extent the root spread only with the medieval Mongol expansion, or already (much) earlier, will partly be difficult to establish.
PDrav *mūr “buffalo, cow”, SDr *mar-ai “a k. of deer”, PAfAs *mar- „bull, cow, calf, sacrificial animal“, Haussa mariri 'White Oryx antelope' suggest a paleo-meaning of “(strong/ fast) ungulate” that later was transferred onto domesticates, in a way specific to each eco-zone (c.f. on this process German Rind “bovine” < “reindeer”).

Olympus Mons said...

About GAC. if you have to bet...what it would look like?

Olympus Mons said...

Just a curiosity. Remember that proto indo europeans did not tame horses. But mares. Because stallions were untreatable.
Its just a curiosity... But the portuguese still say ÉGUA for mare wich should sound exactly like ...Ekwo.

I think is the only language that does it. Like god. Nobody else say Deus.

FrankN said...

Well, from *ekwo to EGUA, I count three sound changes. Also, the horse was in all likeliness domesticated after the Ubaid expansion, and also after PIE developed.

As it currently looks, horse, wheel and cart first found together around 3500 BC with the Funnelbeakers. In fact, the wagon looks quite "organic" within Germanic, semantically and phonologically connected to terms like "(a)way", "weight", German wagen "to venture, dare", Waage ("scales, balance", indicating that the first wagons were probably two-wheeled, c.f. wogen "to sway).
This isn't a claim for a PIE homeland in ancient Funnelbeaker terrain. Grammatically, Germanic is probably as farthest removed from PIE as can get within IE. I think I also have made quite clear my belief that the FB term for "horse" was more like "mare" than like "ekwo". It is just a bit of Anthony-bashing (who, btw, also has produced a lot of bullshit when it comes to perceived PIE agricultural terminology).

I use this occasion to draw attention to the "Ostorfer Spitzen" – three pieces of antler, with a central borehole, wear traces and biting marks, which were found in the MN gravefield of Ostorf, a suburb of Schwerin. Some researchers interpreted them as cheekpieces or ‘’psalia’’ for horse bits, and experimental archeology (Lichardus 1980) demonstrated them suitable for that purpose: However, as for very similar finds from Dereivka n. Kiev (Dniepr-Donetsk culture) such function was denied by mainstream archeology for lack of other horse-related finds, and chronological reasons.
In the meantime the Ostorf site has undergone re-excavation and –evaluation. This has a/o produced a couple of horse bones, plus a horse tooth within a human burial context. Correction for freshwater reservoir effects has brought down the site’s dating from initially 3,800 BC to 3,400-3,000 BC, i.e. in line with other evidence for presence of domesticated horses in E. Germany. The original interpretation of a HG enclave is also coming under review, a/o for the discovery of three FB enclosures within 25 km distance of Ostorf`*, and aDNA showing a 50/50 split between SHG (U5[a]) and EEF (K, J, T2a) mtDNA. All this suggests to me that the possible function of the “Ostorfer Spitzen” as horse bit cheekpieces deserves a re-assessment.

Background reading on Ostorf, and 4th mBC archeology in MecklenburgVorpommern in general (Rob – you’ll love this!), without reference to horses and cheekpieces:

*) Google Map showing Ostorf, and FB enclosures in NE Germany, with the Lenzen Elbe fording added for better understanding:,12.0305443/Plate/Ostorfer+See,+Schwerin/H%C3%B6gersdorf/Walmstorf,+Emmendorf/Altbrandsleben,+Oschersleben/Lenzen/Zietlitz,+Sukow/53.6097199,11.6098022/@53.0041405,11.1298565,9z/data=!4m25!4m24!1m0!1m2!1m1!1s0x47add614b0d72143:0x164838fd449c6c36!1m2!1m1!1s0x47add994a8ef36ef:0xeec020d14f521cd2!1m2!1m1!1s0x47b23e65016c1cbf:0x4248963c6583570!1m2!1m1!1s0x47ae2949e4a21eef:0x103b57ccba0cd8c9!1m2!1m1!1s0x47a585e6a3a247ef:0xa23665c88259360!1m2!1m1!1s0x47aef608f4b44de7:0xebf1f8a12ceb2735!1m2!1m1!1s0x47add5d2d742a8c9:0x4ba48c056e92e1c0!1m0!3e2?hl=en-DE

Rob said...

@ Frank N
Yes awesome paper! I've only skimmed it as as yet; I note the side- crouched burial
Are they moving onto full genome analysis in addition to mtdna ?

Nirjhar007 said...

About GAC. if you have to bet...what it would look like?

Betting is never a good idea ;) .

Rob said...

@ Frank N, Epoch, e.a.

You asked previously if Iberian Chalcolithics differ from each other, I tested several. These are based on PCA generated data. (NB I had to update the sheet, with some corrections) - with Remedello - without)

It seems clear enough that, to date, all non- & pre-BB Iberian samples are mostly from the local middle Neolithic, with some added input from central Europe and perhaps Italy. Chalcolithic sample I1280 shows ~ 30% admixture from the Aegean or East Mediterranean.
The one Bronze Age sample shows significant (40- 45 %) admixture from something ? Balkan-like (= 'old LBK' + Armenian Chalcolithic).

Thus, the question is how groups using BB culture might have differed from pre-BB and non-BB groups in Iberia, and how they compare to those in central and northern Europe. Can't wait..

Olympus Mons said...


"Well, from *ekwo to EGUA, I count three sound changes. Also, the horse was in all likeliness domesticated after the Ubaid expansion, and also after PIE developed."

Just a note about the "After".
You do not have to tame to know the animal. right?

And the people Johannes Krause has going to the steppe by 4900 bc and giving CHG to steppe sure lived with a lot of horses around. - The shulaveri-Shomu of southern Caucasus (My Shulaveri! ;) ) had a staggering amount of horse remains in their settlements. for instance in kamiltepe, by the basin of Kura river and its plains most people don't acknowledge the importance of so many horses in the sites found so far. It was full of horses t 5500BC and that amount of horses is unseen anywhere (I think) for those dates.

Olympus Mons said...


"Well, from *ekwo to EGUA,"

Well I am not a linguistic. But I can assure by what I so far know about PIE Pronunciation, if I say Ekwo and then portuguese Égua ...I can assure you wont notice the difference. NONE AT ALL.

Same applies to DEUS (god) or other base words. Its just strange I think.

Alberto said...


Do you have any reference for the horses at the Shulaveri-Shomu culture? I never heard of horses during the Neolithic in the south Caucasus. There were wild horses all around (Anatolia, Iran, Central Asia, the steppe), but, as far as I know, not in the South Caucasus itself.

Ric Hern said...


Olympus Mons said...

Hi Alberto.

Well for anything Shulaveri first always resort to K. Kh. Kushnareva! - Goto page 174 (see table 7)


Then, later archaeologists always include Horse and Dogs in the remains found in all shulaveri settlements.

Olympus Mons said...

and from my thesis.

"never to forget the first horse to show “bit wear” was a 5 year old stallion from Armenia 4000 BC (at Mokhrablur, Armenia 100km from Shulaveri site itself) . And to get to horse bit wear… probably riding a horse was something they would be doing for a while until figuring out that a rope or stick trough the mouth was a better way to control a horse. "

Read this 2016 paper on the matter. Look at the tables where is mentioned Alikemektepesi and
Everybody here loves Anthony, right?
4000–3500 BC
E. caballus
P2 molar with >3mm bit-wear (Anthony, 2007: 221)

Mokhrablur is between ARATASHEN and Aknashen! - All shulaveri.

In the passage I keep mentioning from the Sevan lake to the places in shulaveri the other side of the lesser caucasus, many horse remains are being found. Even after the vanishing of the shulaveri. That passage is where they would run to in case of danger.

Anyway the number of horses found in the settlements of shualveri in the basin Kura tople anything (Alikemektepesi),

Olympus Mons said...

Just another paper worth while reading.

Olympus Mons said...

Will end here. ETC in text is Kura araxes.

"Kazakhstan during the same period, so bit wear at Mokhrablur would not be unique. At Alikemek Tepesi the horses of the ETC period were thought by
Russian zoologists to be domesticated. Horses the same size as those of Dereivka appeared as far south as the Malatya-Elazig region in southeastern Turkey, as at Nor^untepe; and in northwestern Turkey at Demirci Hoyuk.
Although horses were not traded into the lowlands of Mesopotamia this early, they might have been valuable in the steppe-Caucasian trade. 39 "

Nirjhar007 said...

Yes. Nice references , thanks.

FrankN said...

OM: Nice links, thx a lot. Just note that, as in many other parts of the former Soviet Union, Armenian chronologies seem to have been revised. Mokhrablur is now assigned to the EBA (Kura-Araxes Culture), 3500-2500 BC (Link, p.8), Anthony’s dating shouldn’t be used anymore.

Nevertheless, the Shev paper very credibly argues for domesticated horses arriving from the Steppe in KA during the early second half of the 4th mBC. This would more or less be contemporary with domesticated horses reaching Central Europe.
KA seems to have been instrumental in spreading the horse further, as e.g. indicated by appearance of horse remains in Godin IV (Central Zagros), contemporary with the intrusion of KA pottery there. While I haven't checked on it in detail, the spread of horses to the Levante also seems to be connected to the KA expansion.

For the likely Transcaucasian entry of the horse into the Near East, possible Caucasian roots for "horse" words deserve attention. Several linguists have noted parallels between PIE *(h)ekwo and Proto-Avaro-Andian *ʔičʷa, with the direction of borrowing disputed. The Mittani’s A-AŠ-ŠU-UŠ “horse”, claimed by Witzel as IndoAryan, and by Starostin as Hurrian of ultimately North Caucasian descent, illustrates the dilemma.

Now, representation of , PIE *(h)ekwo in Germanic is poor, missing in NGerm, and otherwise restricted to OEngl e(o)h and OSax. ehu-skalk "horse-servant". [Goth. aihwa-tundi, glossed in Grk. as "thornbush", hardly convinces as horse-related term]. Both eoh and ehu differ from the expected *ehwa, as if they had derived from eku rather than *ekwo. And, in fact, Venetic had eku “horse”, and intensive Venetic-PGerm language contact is well evidenced a/o from the Negau helmet (earliest evidence of Germanic, written in Venetic script). Hence, I deem borrowing from Venetic quite likely (for OEngl, an OIrish borrowing [monks] may also be considered, c.f. OIr. echrad „horses“ vs. OEngl eōred „cavalry“].
Then, there is Slavic, lacking any reflexes of PIE *(h)ekwo. For Baltic, Pruss./ Lith. ašvà „mare“ is referenced, missing in contemporary dictionaries, but still appearing in a few older ones (18th/ early 19th century). Maybe “organic” IE, but a Caucasian borrowing is equally possible.
In summary, PIE *(h)ekwo. hasn’t survived in Germano-Balto-Slavic, and its historic, spurious representation may well be explained by borrowing. This also implies that it most likely wasn’t part of Scythian core vocabulary – they probably used something akin to Gaul / ghora.

In this case, *(h)ekwo should have spread out of the Caucasus with the KA Culture – westwards into Anatolia and via Anatolian languages further through the Mediterranean, while Godin IV (Central Zagros) provides connection to Iranic. (Vedic) Indic may of course have been reached via Sintashta from the north.

Davidski said...

Nirjhar: Yes. Nice references, thanks.

Frank: Nevertheless, the Shev paper very credibly argues for domesticated horses arriving from the Steppe in KA during the early second half of the 4th mBC.


Alberto said...


Thanks for all the references. I've been checking them, but unfortunately I can't say I've found any evidence of horses at the Neolithic levels.

The Kushnareva book (Page 174) says that most finds of domestic horses are from the second half of the third millennium (2500-2000 BC), while there are a few finds from the late Eneolithic, like those from Aliketepe Tepesi. These are finds from the 1970's, and anyway from the 4th mill.

The paper about Aknashen finds very few wild horse remains in the late levels (Chalcolithic?).

So indeed, the first domestic horse known in the South Caucasus is the Mokhrablur one, but that's from 3500 BC the earliest possible date. So at least 1500 years after the Shulaveri-Shomu culture was gone.

I think that for early horse domestication (other than the steppe), you might want to look further east in Central Anatolia:

BTW, in the latest paper about Mentesh Tepe from Lyonnet (link) he mentions that Marjan Mashkour is looking at the animal remains. She's well acquainted with horse domestication, as she has a paper about the Botai horses (Chevaux de Botai, in French, in which she doesn't support a steppe origin of domestic horses, but that's just based on osteological/dental analysis, so not too reliable IMO).

Olympus Mons said...

Cheers. Let me find more clear datings. There are at least clear 5th millennia datings.

And. please lets all be careful. Do not confuse taming, Domestication, with having horses remains being found in pits.

But let me see if I can find clear stratification.

Unknown said...


"In summary, PIE *(h)ekwo. hasn’t survived in Germano-Balto-Slavic, and its historic, spurious representation may well be explained by borrowing. This also implies that it most likely wasn’t part of Scythian core vocabulary – they probably used something akin to Gaul / ghora."

Wrong Frank. Davidski surely speaks Polish and could've pointed this out. (h)ekwo Polish jechaj (same sound) literally means to ride.

Olympus Mons said...

Just to be clear.... Do you all, especially davidsi, know that we had horses...then someone TAMES the horse, later someone DOMESTICATES the horses.

You all see there i a diference.right?

After anthony work... Everybody saw steppe everywhere. After Olympus everybody will see shulaveri shomu wverywhere. /joking!

Olympus Mons said...

Yeah yeah. To me all i see is that the furthest point away from the bitrh of pie still says Deus, Égua, Ainda...and say Ekwa and égua and it really sounds unadultered. But not my game. Just looking if it meant something to linguistics.

Olympus Mons said...

And still about horses... You all knkw there were horses in catalhuyk..right? These day people talk as if there were only horses in steppe.

FrankN said...

@Mark Maz: None of the standard IE etymological dictionaries (Pokorny etc.) includes any Slavic reference for *(h)ekwo. Proto-Slavic regularly shifted PIE "kw" into "k" (c.f. Lat. quod, Russ. kak "what"), which later, depending on vocalism and position within the word, might have undergone palatisation into "č" or "c". So if you had come up with something like eko or ecie, I would have agreed.

But Pol. jechać "to go, ride, drive", 1st sg. jadę has a different phonology and etymology. It is derived from PSlav *jьtī (Chech jiti, Sorb. jěć jědu, Russ. ехать etc., c.f . Baltic *iêt(i) “to go”). The root is explained as having evolved from PIE *ey- “to go” (Lat. ire, Avest. aēiti etc.) by prothesis, i.e. insertion of *j before unrounded vowels. As the root apparently lacks in S. Slavic, borrowing from Baltic may also be considered.

capra internetensis said...


Frankly I think you should stick with archaeology and give linguistics a rest until you have a more solid basis in it.

Let's look at some more fundamental vocabulary than horses and deities:

mãe, pai, irmão, irmã, filho, filha
mother, father, brother, sister, son, daughter
*maḫtēr, *pḫtēr, *braḫtēr, *swesōr, *suḫnus, *dhugḫtēr

As you can see English is much closer to PIE than Portuguese. Clearly the Indo-Europeans sailed via Britain.

Olympus Mons said...

Sure, not making much of it.
But you are not seeing the point. Completely. like many here:
Latin made Portuguese language. therefore I am looking for stuff that is not Portuguese/latin. Words that Portuguese do not really share with Latin (which is PIE) all over and does not replicate in Latin world. Mostly those that can be remains from Lusitanian. It should enthusiasm everybody.

Like INDI (and) found in Lusitanian and the only people in the world planet that says it still are Portuguese and galiza with "Ainda" (and, still).

Or words that really maintain sound pronunciation with PIE. Deus, Ekwo for Égua that it really should be very close to each other and someone spokes it out loud. Or not. It really doesn't matter.

However people are very quick to dismiss it without a real explanation. Shouldn't lusitanian, spoken at AD, that was a very old Pie and with so many archaisms close do Vedic and Indo-aryan leave in present day Portuguese some very ancient words? - Should really be the most natural thing in the world.

So, why does it tickles so much some people?

capra internetensis said...


Of course in principle looking for a Lusitanian substrate is valid. But you aren't doing that, you are just throwing out random conjectures without any critical thought. Of course we are quick to dismiss nonsense.

Deus and egua are completely normal developments from Latin, there is nothing special about them at all. I don't know the etymology of ainda but it sounds like a cognate to English and or Albanian ende, which again is hardly remarkable.

Nirjhar007 said...

Yes, I think OM you should listen to what Capra suggests . Also about Lusitanians , their geographical position is in the periphery and we do know that languages in the periphery usually show archaic features intact . A fine example can be the Lithuanians also.

postneo said...

marathi(marAThI) uses "ANI" for and. The capital N is a nasal retroflex. So its very similar to english/germanic "and" and different from equivalent words in neighbouring north indian languages.

Olympus Mons said...

Nirjarh and Capra,
Guys. I understand what you mean. However…
I see why we are having this difficulties communicating this issue:
So, when I talk about lusitanian I am not using “IF”. No, no, the first point to be clear is that according to all Lusitanian linguistics experts (Blazk, witczak, Prosper, etc) Lusitanian is an unclassified PIE language that predates PROTO (Celtic, Italic, Germanic). Its not my opinion its their certainty. So I am not a linguistic, nor an expert…. But they are.
So, a I AD inscriptions, 3 centuries after Latin (roman) occupation, in the land of the origin of Bell beakers was a PIE language that show lots or archaism that ARE NOT even shown in PROTO (Celtic, proto italic , so forth) let alone in Latin or Celtic. So, a language that predates all the PROTO of languages that one might try to use to explain it. This is a given.

@Capra - So, when you give the explanation for “indi” you didn’t get that "ainda" comes from INDI and it predates even the tetra_grand_Father of English and Albanian, let alone those itself. ---humm not very “expert like” don’t you think to use those to explain the later? – so, either we all stop talking linguistics or lets give some latitude “your honor”! :-)

OK so when they (the experts) talk about INDI it’s about an “and” that was not seen anywhere before in Celtic or italic and it is shown next to things like “-P” that even in PROTO celtic (let alone celtic) was already dropped. It’s a language that is only explained with correlations to Indo-Aryan languages. That is important.

Maybe you are both right. it is nothing.
Maybe having basic PIE words being said, pronounced, the same way when I read in PIE or Portuguese is meaningless because how one pronounces a name has nothing to do with the related of words. Fine.
if I say it’s strange that the Portuguese are the only language that uses the word Doente which only is found in Lusitanian (Doenti) but not found even in Proto celtic, celtic, Latin (so forth), I think is fair to say that when all other say mare (or derived, portugese say Egua which would sound exactly Ekwo, or Cão (dog) which if I read it to you and say Cao or Kwon I can assure you won’t notice the difference. But is I say "Canis" (latin) or derives, I can assure with wont sound anything like Kwon!

But I agree with you guys… I might have read all those authors but I assume I know “shit” of linguistics. :)

Alberto said...


Which of the authors that you read says that ainda comes from Lusitanian indi? Do you have a reference for that?

Because ainda is not a conjunction meaning and. It's an adverb, and if I'm not mistaken is often used in the exact same way as the Spanish adverb aún (meaning still, yet). And aún comes from -surprise!- Latin: ad hoc.

So I'm not sure if you really read that somewhere or it's another thing that just grew up in your mind all by itself.

postneo said...


I don't disagree. But what if its true? what does it even prove?

In general the genetic structure of conjuction seem fluid.

The older sense of germanic and/und apparently was temporal in meaning e.g thereupon/after that.

Conjucts in Hindi, bengali etc sound like aur/Ar which may have weak correlation with english other.

Whereas gujarati, marathi further to the south have ANI, anE closer seemingly to english and but might relate to sanskrit anya meaning other !

there is also sanskrit antara meaning difference, sounds like other. latin has inter .. a gap(small) between two entities

The lexical/cognate space here is extremely dense and murky. I doubt linguists can draw specific reliable trajectories except a vague sense of relationship. This murkiness probably reflects the true state of affairs of diverse mutations even among closely related languages

Ebizur said...


Chinese 犬 "dog" (Mandarin quǎn [t͡ɕʰyɛn] ~ [t͡ɕʰyan], Korean /kjʌn/, Japanese /keN/, Vietnamese khuyển)

Korean -ㄴ데 /-nte/ [] "and, but, so" (e.g. nande, mun jom yeoreo jwo "It's me, so open the door, please," in which nande may be analyzed as the 1st person singular pronoun na + a null allomorph of the copula i- + -nde)

Ainu ani "to hold, to carry (in one's hand or arms); instrumental case marker: with (a hammer, etc.), using, by; when/if [one] has ~ed; suffix for forming singular personal pronouns," etc.

(Ainu ani has been used frequently in many grammatical contexts in which it has lost its verbal meaning and rather functions as a postposition that might be used to translate any of several English prepositions. Furthermore, some of its usages, including at least the usage in personal pronouns, appear to be derived from an "[singular subject] to be" rather than from the verb ani "to hold.")

And for postneo's Indic words, cf. Nivkh ena "other, different, another," Korean /jʌnɯ/ "any other ~, another usual ~."

The critical factor in making comparative linguistic findings statistically significant is systematic correspondence of form and meaning among comparands. Finding a word in any random language that happens to resemble a word in some other language is not a significant result by itself; it would only be significant if you could demonstrate that many words in both languages could be derived from a postulated proto-language through regular sound changes.

Olympus Mons said...


Regarding “INDI” and “AINDA”,


Naturally I am 100% sure is something that also grew out of his mind.

Olympus Mons said...

WITCZAK, another expert on lusitanian, has several good works on Lusitanian language. Here he has a very good go on INDI.

£ódŸ ----- Page 67.

Witczak has also a go on the relationship of Bell Beakers and Lusitanians. Naturally he has it backwards, like we now know, that it was the ancestors of the lusitanians, the bell beakers, that took the bell beaker culture to al over Euroe and not the other way around.

WITCZAK at (see his lusitanian works)

Olympus Mons said...


... It would mean nothing.
Apart from the fun fact that it would be amazing if one could track some words in Portuguese that derive directly form IE lusitanian and not from IE Latin.

Olympus Mons said...

I confess my ignorance on linguistics so, go soft. My point is of reasoning!
I accept It must be me. But I don’t really get it. Again.

Focus on the same 400 mile territory!. Got it ? OK:

I am not trying to prove that Lusitanian is IE --- IT IS! Simple.
I am not trying to prove that Latin is IE --- IT IS!

Secondly, I also know that Lusitanian had IE that were more archaic than Latin. Even than Proto-Latin (!). – Apparently was older because not derived from. So much that remains a western IE unclassified derived directly form PIE.

Thirdly, If it was “older” than those, it can happen that is wrong to try to explain current setup of word pronunciation in THERE, the same 400 mile area, based on Latin, when Latin ITSELF can be a derived from the original PROTO-LUSITANIAN and not say, hey, look how they still say DOG (cão) that really sounds like the original PIE (Kown) and not like all the other guys around them that say “Perro”, or “canis” (latin) or whatever. Maybe it’s me. And again is not a big issue. But in terms of reasoning I don’t get it.

Alberto said...


Thanks. At least in this case of INDI - AINDA it's really not you to blame. Just a bogus comment by a real linguist. And if those can say such things, oh well...

capra internetensis said...


Thanks for finally citing your sources.

Blazcek: "The etymological and grammatical analysis of the lexical and onomastic corpus of Lusitanian, which is at our disposal, indicates that this language belongs into the circle of the Western Indo-European languages, with closest cognates with the Italic and Celtic languages, but undoubtedly different from them, representing its own group comparable with the statute of Italic, Celtic, Germanic, etc. On the other hand, the specific isoglosses connecting Lusitanian with IndoAryan/Iranian apparently reflect the peripheral archaisms, which are also typical for Italic and Celtic."

He also remarks that aindi in Portuguese can only be explained as a substrate loan. From a perfectly normal IE word in Lusitanian. Which is not exactly earth-shaking.

Witczak: "Lusitanian belongs, in my opinion, to the western subgroup of the Indo-European languages, but it differs from the Celtic speech by some phonological phenomena (e.g. in Lusitanian IE. *p is preserved, but IE *d is changed into r; Common Celtic, in contrary, retains IE. *d and loses *p)."

Lusitanian equivalent of deus, Zeus is Revs.

Both of these authors say that Lusitanian is an independent Western IE language, sharing vocabulary with Italic and Celtic, but not a member of either branch. They are of course arguing with those scholars who want to make Lusitanian a branch of Celtic.

Your confirmation bias is off the charts.

Olympus Mons said...

@ Alberto.
...In this case?!? what you mean!? :)

Olympus Mons said...

"Your confirmation bias is off the charts."

I've read, all 5 papers from Witzack, all from BLazek, read about 5 or 6 from Blanca Prósper (inclusive book online), read most of Peter Schrijver and I am still reading Portuguese Lusitanian experts (as you imagine there are many) at a rhythm of one a day. at least.

you read 1 reference I give you (and probably not the all paper) ... and get to the conclusion that my confirmation bias is off the charts?... well speaking of Confirmation bias or motivational reasoning shouldn't you then look to your own belly button?

capra internetensis said...


So you only cited the sources which fail to support your ramblings, but if I read those other sources, they'll totally support you.

Sounds plausible.

Olympus Mons said...

Sometimes things are what they are.

it cannot all be Steppe fantasies.

capra internetensis said...


For heaven's sake, can you not even say what at that link I am supposed to look at? Talking to you is like pulling teeth.

Olympus Mons said...

you are a non argument. because you do not really defend anything do you? Just try to find an "error" in others arguments to pick, pick, pick. Its your Anterior Cingulate cortex doing what it does, and that defines you, and really who cares?

Gould be obvious the link. Just post a link to official classification of Languages. So, no, Lusitanian is not an offshoot of Celtic. The initial argument that it was always so thin that nobody really payed any value to it.

The link shows you those PIE languages that are UNCLASSIFIED. Jesus!

Nirjhar007 said...


Thank you for citing the works . So we find the Lusitanian as another case where peripheral archaisms were conserved as I suggested earlier . Its also of course very interesting in some cases like Lusitanian has :
ARIMO – instr. sg. m. from *arimos “dignitary” or “aristocrat”, cf. Old Indic áriya- “man of the
upper caste”, Greek ¥ristoj “best in birth and rank, noblest”, ¢risteÚj “chief, prince, lord”,
Old Irish aire, gen. airech “aristocrat”.

I think the Vedic Aryaman can be compared with it . Also PETANIM – acc. sg. f. of the female noun in *-H2
> Old Indic -inī, Greek *-anÔa > -aina. The
word proper has to be comparable with Old Indic pátnī “lady”, Avestan ha-paθnī- “wife”, Greek
πότνια “mistress, lady”, Old Lithuanian vieš-patni “majestic” .

So quite enjoyable reading for people of Linguistics .

The question of course that I find significant , is that how they reached there?. Did they come from BBC ? or what were their origin Steppe or Anatolia ?. I personally don't find anything surprisingly old or weird as the archaisms can be seen in other groups in parallel also , they can be a group of Italo-Celtic branch ! like Nuristani is in case of Indo-Iranian.

As for your suggestion that Portuguese inherit direct loans from Lusitanian, I prefer that you make a list of such words or at least give a list here made by others so we can observe . One or two possible instances are not exactly a big deal .

Olympus Mons said...

I wasnt making a big issue out of it. Apart from the slight help it gives to the ever so mounting evidence to Lisboa origin for BB people. Help because at its origin point in I AD still spoke a language that was older then all other around them and all over europe.

Will try to find a linguistic and spike him into looking for those words.... :)

Unknown said... Gurre ist eine im heutigen Deutsch bis auf Reste verschwundene althochdeutsche Bezeichnung für ein einzelnes weibliches Pferd.

Old High German for a female horse