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As Indo-European or Indo-Europeans are to linguistic speakers of today reconstructed understanding of Indo-European proto-language called (it thus is not to " Germans ", the term is rather a regression from the adjective "Indo-Germanic"; see name of Indo-European languages ). This reconstructed original language is also called Proto-Indo-European (PIE) according to current international scientific practice. Correspondingly, the term Proto-Indo-Europeans is used to distinguish them from the speakers of later languages ​​of Indo-European origin (or, analogously, Ur-Indo-Europeans ).

The “original Indo-Europeans” should not be viewed as an ethnicity or culture , as they are defined solely by a language reconstructed by science . On the contrary, it is predominantly assumed that the historically tangible speakers of Indo-European languages ​​are descendants of a population that adopted the language from immigrating groups, with fragments of the displaced ancient languages ​​remaining as substrates in the Indo-European languages. Nevertheless, certain conclusions can be drawn from the common language about the way of life of the Proto-Indo-Europeans as well as their spatial and temporal distribution. This has led to a number of speculations as to which archaeologically verifiable culture they might be identical to. In general, preference is given to an origin from the steppe areas north of the Black and Caspian Seas . So far, however, there is no unanimously accepted assignment. In some cases it is even denied that this is even possible with the means of Indo-European studies .

Many scientists take the period between 4000 and 3000 BC for Urindo-European. Chr. A reason arises from the techniques, for example car building, which are reflected in the common vocabulary.

The Indo-European original language

Spread of the Indo-European languages ​​in 500

At the end of the 18th century, the British Indologist and lawyer William Jones pointed out that many languages ​​in Europe and Asia are so similar that they must have a common root.

The Indo-European language family discovered in this way includes all Germanic , Slavic , Baltic , Celtic and Italian languages as well as Albanian , Armenian and Greek in Europe . In Asia, the Indo-Aryan and Indo-Iranian as well as the Nuristani languages belong to them. The Anatolian , Illyrian and Tocharian languages are extinct .

Since the discovery of the relationship between the Indo-European languages, linguists have tried to reconstruct the underlying common language . This is traditionally referred to as the Indo-European original language, although of course it must also have had predecessors. We do not know which languages ​​the pre-Indo-European populations spoke. Some hints are given by hydronomy and, in Southeastern Europe, place names or their endings (e.g. -assos).

Franz Bopp is considered to be the founder of Indo-European linguistics with his work on the conjugation system of the Sanskrit language , published in 1816, in comparison with that of the Greek, Latin, Persian and Germanic languages . With the conjugation system presented therein, Bopp provided methodological evidence for the relationship between the Indo-European languages ​​postulated by William Jones. The first attempts to reconstruct the hypothetical Indo-European original language were made by August Schleicher in the middle of the 19th century. In addition to the Indo-European languages ​​that were still spoken, he also included extinct languages ​​documented in writing and created one of the first family trees that showed the assumed relationship between the languages. The convention of adding asterisks to reconstructed forms of language also goes back to Schleicher.

The original Indo-European language is now considered to be largely precisely reconstructed, even if of course there are always new findings and controversial details. Comparative linguistics developed from Indo-European linguistics , which is also applied to other language families.

The German-Finnish linguist Harald Haarmann assumes that there was also a language exchange between the proto-Urural language and the Indo-European original language. In this way, convergent elements in both the vocabulary and the grammar could be reconstructed, such as lexical word stem forms , basic grammatical structures and different pronominal stems . Such an exchange ( language federation ) can have taken place through direct close or long-distance contacts between representatives of the Finno-Ugric peoples and Proto-Indo-Europeans, whereby one understands by long-distance contacts relationships that do not take place through spatial proximity in the immediate home country, but z. B. through trade relations or political embassies. However, an indirect language exchange through related dialects or another language that acted as a "mediator" between the two languages ​​is also possible. Haarmann assumes, however, that the original home of the Proto-Uralians was north of the Urindo-European settlement area (according to the Kurgan hypothesis ) and that a direct exchange took place.

Indo-European vs. Indo-European

The terms Indo-European and Indo-European are congruent in their application and are often used synonymously in German-speaking countries . They express that the distribution area of ​​these languages ​​extends from India to Europe , or more specifically to Iceland , where a Germanic language is spoken. The Celtic languages were not yet classified as belonging to the language family; the Anatolian and the two Tocharian languages could only be recognized as belonging in the 20th century after their discovery and decipherment. The term langues indo-germaniques was coined by the Danish-French geographer Conrad Malte-Brun in 1810, while the term Indo-European languages was introduced by Thomas Young in 1813 . The German term Indo-European was first used by Heinrich Julius Klaproth , a term that soon became established in the German-speaking world, but was avoided by Franz Bopp. From 1833 he preferred the name Indo-European .

However, German-speaking philology traditionally uses the term Indo-European . Especially on college campuses is almost exclusively by Indo-European linguistics or from the (historical) comparative linguistics spoken while outside the German-speaking countries, the term Indo-European ( English Indo-European , French européen Indo- , Spanish protoindoeuropeo ) is in use.


The vocabulary of the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European language gives clues about the way of life of its speakers. For example, common words for silver , gold and especially bronze show that the Indo-Europeans already processed these metals , but not yet iron . The words plow , wheel , wagon , axle , drawbar and yoke also have a common root in the Indo-European languages, which means that the speakers of Indo-European agriculture must have operated and used wagons. There are also linguistic references to a domestication of the horse (* h₁ék̑-u; -u-strain to the root * h₁ek̑ 'fast' became * h₁ék̑-wo-, e.g. in Latin equus 'horse'), but it it is controversial whether the Indo-Europeans were already horsemen . The argument that there is no common word for riding is offset by the fact that it would be hard to imagine a greater spread without riding horses. Many different expressions for "walking" do not prove that the Indo-Europeans could not walk.

Before the Indo-Germanization in Europe, wild horses only occurred regionally, while they formed large herds in steppe areas. There the archaeologist David Anthony discovered signs of wear on horse teeth from Dereivka in the Ukraine, which suggest the use of a bridle for riding. This is clear evidence that this horse was used for riding. Ultimately, however, this horse tooth was dated to an age of 410 to 200 years. However, Anthony has collected numerous other pieces of evidence that suggest that the Indo-Europeans developed riding around 4700 years ago, without any definite evidence of this being found.

According to their vocabulary , the Indo-Europeans must have practiced both agriculture and animal husbandry , more precisely pastoralism , with animal husbandry probably playing the greater role. Because the Indo-European original language contains many terms from the dairy and livestock industry (milk, butter, wool, weaving technology) which is only opposed to the name for a single, so far unidentified type of grain. Some researchers therefore even assume a semi-nomadic way of life. Above all, the Indo-Europeans probably kept sheep (Nom.Sg. * h₃éw -i -s, e.g. in Latin ovis 'sheep'), from whose wool they made clothes, and cattle (Nom.Sg. * gʷṓw -s ). A man's social position was presumably measured by how many cattle (* pék̑-u; -u-tribe to the root * pek̑ 'plucking') he owned. In Latin, the word for money ( pecūnia ) is related to the word for cattle ( pecū ). The German word Vieh and the English fee (fee) also have a common root. Cattle seem to have played a role in religion and mythology too.

The social system was organized patrilinearly . There are references to sacred kingdoms in which the tribal leader also assumed the role of a high priest. In addition, slaves appear to have been kept. The French religious scholar Georges Dumézil takes the view that, similar to many later cultures with the Indo-European language, society was divided into three parts, the clergy , a warrior class and simple peasants.

From the religion of the later cultures with the Indo-European language, conclusions can be drawn about the religious practices of the Indo-Europeans (see also Indo-European religion ). Accordingly, they had a polytheistic heaven of gods in which a heavenly father (* diwós ph 2 tḗr) played a central role. Sacrificial rites , which were performed by a caste of priests , were probably at the center of religious practices . Influential leaders may already have been buried with their property, perhaps even with certain family members such as their wives, as they did later in numerous cultures with the Indo-European language.

From these references it is generally concluded that the speakers of the Indo-European original language had a Bronze Age culture in the 4th millennium BC. Chr. Represented. The separation into different language groups probably took place between 3400 and 3000 BC. Chr.

Ideas about the origin and spread of the Indo-European language

The commonalities of the known Indo-European languages ​​require common linguistic preliminary stages, speakers who have spoken them, as well as a communication space in which - under the initially still limited mobility - this language served for mutual understanding. This area of ​​expression is commonly referred to as the “original home”. As far as we know, this, like other languages, could only have spread through the constant influence of people with the appropriate power, prestige and inner cohesion. Every origin hypothesis of whatever kind must therefore relate to times and spaces of which we have more or less knowledge only through archeology and, more recently, through genetic engineering. None of the original hypotheses has been able to fully prevail so far. Therefore, they are presented individually below.

The various hypotheses differ even when trying to capture the time of the Urindo-Europeans. Beginning with the Upper Paleolithic (Otte), the origins lie in North Africa. The latest assumptions date the expansion of the Indo-Europeans to Europe in the Neolithic or in the Bronze Age, which began differently from region to region (in Central Europe approx. 2500 BC).

Spatially, common plant names in the Indo-European languages ​​indicate moderate latitudes. They locate most of the approaches in the steppe regions north of the Black and Caspian Seas . However, other regions were discussed again and again. Nationalist arguments often played a role. For example, in Germany during the time of National Socialism , but also in Iran, attempts were made to locate the “ original home ” of the “ Aryans ” (in the sense of the original Indo-Europeans) within their own sphere of influence. Even apart from such purely ideological arguments, linguists warn that a connection between a reconstructed original language such as the Indo-European and a culture is in principle hypothetical. Even if speakers of a linguistically reconstructed language could be associated with an archaeologically proven culture, it could not be concluded that this speaking community was a people or that its language was limited to one culture.


The historical-comparative linguistics and the language typology reveal so-called original languages ​​(proto - languages) by comparing related languages .

The same applies to archaeological cultures as to proto-languages: Numerous Indo-Europeanists tried to determine the original home of their bearers by analyzing the plant and animal names common to some Indo-European languages, which are therefore part of the Indo-European original language . These approaches are criticized because of the frequent changes in meaning. However, the common plant and animal names point to middle or moderate latitudes and, due to loan words, to early contact with speakers of Uralic and Altaic languages.

In the Kurgan hypothesis, which is represented by the majority today, these considerations and language analyzes point to an area in southern Russia, to cattle herders who were no longer hunters and gatherers and - analogous to corresponding terms in the basic Indo-European language - probably practiced rudimentary agriculture.

Common Indo-European names for agriculture, such as B. plow , as well as transport such as wheel, wagon and yoke suggest that the Indo-European tribes only spread after taking over the wagon transport (initially pulled by oxen). According to this, they cannot have been the bearers of the first arable cultures that migrated from Asia Minor to Europe in the early Neolithic , but rather later (approx. 3600–2600 BC) migrants. Like agriculture, this Early Metal Age brought about a major upheaval. Archaeologists organize the finds into find horizons . Horizons with sufficiently extensive data are called cultures. A so-called “culture” is defined by typical finds, mostly ceramics (key finds). However, equating archaeological cultures with ethnic units, clans or peoples is usually impossible, even if this was attempted in the 19th and early 20th centuries, especially in Germany by Gustaf Kossinna .

Linguists describing a proto-language often try to find archaeological evidence for that proto-language, and sometimes (but less often) archaeologists describing a culture try to find linguistic evidence in the absence of historical data. This does not change the fact that a connection between proto-languages ​​and cultures is in principle hypothetical, so that one can speak of societies in general and the speaker community of the linguistically reconstructed proto-language could have been wholly or partly bearer of the archaeological culture in question, but this does not mean with certainty It can be said that these societies were one people or that their language was limited to the cultural level.

Through studies, Cavalli-Sforza found parallels between the genetic relationship of different peoples and that of the languages ​​they speak.

The hypotheses described below are based - each individually - on completely different assumptions. Some hypotheses, while seeming to contradict one another, are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

Kurgan hypothesis

The assumption expressed by many linguists at the beginning of the 20th century that the original home of the Indo-European languages ​​was in the steppes north and northeast of the Black Sea is still favored by the majority of linguists today and has been in effect since the hypotheses were refuted Renfrews (see below) are increasingly being used again as the standard in ethnology. The primitive Indo-Europeans could therefore be viewed on the basis of existing words as a patriarchally organized, semi-nomadic society that knew the plow , used the horse and, with some certainty, was not at home by the sea. Archaeologists tried to check this with the help of archaeological evidence. During the Neolithic and early Bronze Age in South Russia , the Ukraine and Moldova existing cultures north and east of the Black Sea and the Volga were of the Lithuanian-American archaeologist Marija Gimbutas in 1956 after the characteristic funeral manner in grave hills ( Kurgan ) for so-called Kurgankultur summarized .

Connections of European-West Asian archaeological cultures according to genetic criteria, with migrations from the 5th millennium BC BC (Kurgan hypothesis)

According to this Kurgan hypothesis, the Indo-Europeans lived as a warlike pastoral people in southern Russia in the 5th millennium BC . They domesticated the horse (Sredny-Stog culture around 4000 BC), around 3500 BC. They invented or took over the wagon (words for wheel, axle, drawbar, harness, hub stand for it), and ran cattle and grazing with sheep and cattle. According to this hypothesis, they are between 4400 and 2200 BC. Moved west, south and east in several waves. The carriers of the corded ceramics therefore formed one of these waves of emigration of the Kurgan people , which z. B. spread to western Central Europe and mixed with the local population. Long before Marija Gimbutas, many archaeologists regarded the battle ax, which was widespread at the end of the 4th millennium, as a sign of an Indo-European invasion.

With her Kurgan hypothesis, Marija Gimbutas explains the social upheavals that, in her opinion, shook the Neolithic society of Central and Southern Europe in the 3rd millennium: in the north, collective burial in megalithic graves gave way to individual burials, other items appear in the grave inventory (weapons, jewelry, etc. ), Forms of jewelry and decorations in ceramics are changing. In Greece around 2200 BC An extended fire horizon, which is associated with the break-in of Indo-European Proto-Greeks, which spread until around 1600 BC. Mixing with the Mediterranean pre-population - a process from which the early Greeks and the Mycenaean culture emerged, which began around 1600 BC. Begins. Troy also experienced around 2200 BC. A fire disaster, a little later in central Asia Minor the Hittites become tangible.

In summary, the Kurgan hypothesis postulates a rapid social upheaval to which the older Neolithic cultures, which have been tangible since the 7th millennium, fall victim to large parts of Europe. The socially non-stratified and presumably matrilineal peasant cultures are overlaid by a patriarchal and feudally structured Indo-European conqueror class, which, due to their warlike and technological superiority and despite considerable numerical inferiority, permeates their language and social structure.

The hypothesis of Marija Gimbutas, which was at times heavily criticized because of the equation of the South Russian spa culture with the Indo-Europeans and the postulated social structure of the non-Indo-European pre-population ( old Europe ), fits best with the linguistic finding, in contrast to Renfrew's assumption the Indo-Europeans did not come to Europe at the beginning of the Neolithic, but only at a relatively later time in the 3rd millennium BC. Advanced westward. With these suspected migrations, the horse also spreads westward again. However, evidence of early riding horses in the west is still pending: the carts were long pulled by oxen.

A genetic study published in 2015 by researchers at Harvard Medical School in Boston supports Gimbuta's theory. The researchers identified two waves of immigration to Europe. First came between 5000 and 6000 BC. The first arable farmers via Anatolia from the Middle East. Finds from Spain, primarily the linear ceramicists in Germany and their forerunners of the Starčevo culture (from Serbia to Hungary) turned out to be very closely related. After 4000 BC Then there must have been a massive immigration from the southern Russian steppes. The researchers found that the DNA of the Central European corded ceramics examined corresponds to 75 percent with that of members of the Yamnaja culture , a successor culture to the Kurgan people. A Danish study carried out around the same time, but independently, points in the same direction. The Italian geneticist Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza also assumed earlier that Anatolia would expand and later emigrated, but believed that the Anatolia emigrants could also have spoken an Indo-European language.

The Anatolia Hypothesis

The British archaeologist Colin Renfrew equates the Indo-Europeans with the Neolithic (Neolithic) farmers who started farming from 7000 BC. Brought to Central and Northern Europe via the Balkans as well as the western Mediterranean region. At first glance, the thesis appears convincing because this type of economy also represented an economic advantage. Renfrew's theory assumes that Urindo-European appeared too early in Europe, since the reconstructed basic language contains words for things that have only been used since the 3rd to 4th centuries. Millennium BC Were found in Europe, such as B. yoke , wheel and carriage .

Distribution of y-DNA J2

The Anatolia Hypothesis postulates the transfer of culture , especially for languages , agriculture and animal husbandry, to Europe through immigration from Anatolia. In a narrower sense, it is seen as the spread of an Indo-European original language from Anatolia to Europe through and with the Neolithic revolution .

The modified hypothesis primarily integrates the latest findings on the genetics of European populations (spread of haplogroups );

  1. from 6,500 BC The Neolithic expansion from Anatolia via the Balkan Peninsula ( Starčevo culture , Körös-Cris culture ) to the Central European ribbon ceramics took place;
  2. against 5,000 BC With the spread of Copper Age cultures, the Indo-European languages ​​were divided into three parts in the Balkans, with a split into a north-western European branch (Danube region) and an eastern steppe branch (ancestors of the Tocharians ).
  3. only after 3000 BC The split of the language families from Proto-Indo-European ( Greek , Armenian , Albanian , Indo- Iranian , Baltic - Slavic ) took place.

Further arguments can be found under Indo-European languages .

The South Caucasus / Armenia Hypothesis

The linguists Tamas Gamqrelidse and Vyacheslav Vsevolodowitsch Iwanow , however, saw the area south of the Caucasus as the starting point of the Indo-European language and an Indo-European migration from here in several directions in the context of the glottal theory . This first led eastwards around the Caspian Sea , where it experienced its Tocharian or North Indian split, and then westwards into the northern Pontic region .

The linguistic reinterpretation of the development of the Indo-European languages ​​and the South Caucasus / Armenia hypothesis based on extensive semantic reinterpretations were largely rejected by Indo-Europeanists. Gamkrelidze responded to the criticism presented in 2010 with an updated hypothesis. It was recorded by Allan Bomhard , among others .

The Black Sea flood hypothesis takes a different approach . This was presented in 1996 by William Ryan and Walter C. Pitman , both geologists at Columbia University , in a popular article in the New York Times . According to this thesis, the Proto-Indo-Europeans lived in the immediate vicinity of the prehistoric Black Sea and left their homeland after a gigantic flood disaster.

The Armenia and Anatolia hypotheses partially support each other.

Old Europe hypothesis

The “ Old Europe Theory ”, founded by Hans Krahe and further developed by Wolfgang P. Schmid, is based on the investigation of old water names. She assumes that names of waters have proven to be particularly resistant to renaming and thus represent a very old language class. The researchers use a sub-discipline of linguistic research, the so-called onomastics ( name research ). The Göttingen school of water naming ( hydronymy , last representative: Jürgen Udolph ) adopts a so-called “old European” linguistic continuum .

Central Europe hypotheses

Followers of this direction, following Gustaf Kossinna's entourage, assume that the Indo-Europeans go back to the Mesolithic population of Central Europe and thus form the indigenous population. In their opinion, the area in question extended between the Weser , the Baltic Sea , eastern Poland and the Carpathian Mountains . Around 4000 BC These early Indo-Europeans would have developed the funnel beaker culture and around 2500 BC. Began their migrations to the Balkans, the Middle East and India. There would not have been an invasion from Asia or southern Russia after that.

From the late 19th century onwards, numerous Central European scholars took this view, especially those who, as nationalists and pan-Germanists, rejected Indo-European immigration from the steppe areas of southern Russia for ideological reasons. In addition to such scientists who were close to the proto-Nazi ideology of the “Nordic gentleman”, there were Indo-Europeanists and prehistorians who favored the Central Europe hypothesis for purely scientific reasons (e.g. Julius Pokorny , Nikolai Sergejewitsch Trubetzkoy , Ernst Meyer and others). Central European theories experienced their greatest heyday, however, in the 1930s and 1940s in connection with the National Socialist racial theory .

After 1945, any Central European theories on the origin of the Indo-Europeans were and are largely rejected due to their formerly prominent nationalist and racist instrumentalization and inspiration. At the same time, however, the entire Indo-European research in the German-speaking area fell into disrepute, because by the end of the Second World War, the local popularist public discourse had made Indo-European studies the basis of a Nordic man-man ideology for half a century by locating its original home in Central Europe.

More recently, the archaeologist Alexander Häusler (2003) has again taken the view that the Indo-European language bearers belong to the autochthonous population of Europe and have been resident there since the Mesolithic without major invasions or migrations from outside. He explains the widespread use of the Indo-European languages ​​only through cultural contacts.


Since 2015, genetic material from archaeologically obtained human bone finds from all over Europe (Asia Minor, Central Europe, Russia west of the Urals, Spain and England) can be evaluated in large numbers for the first time. The result is that the ancient DNA researchers now assume that more than 90 percent of the people of the early Neolithic culture of ribbon ceramics descended from a Mediterranean population in Asia Minor, that the Middle Neolithic cultures originated from the sinking band ceramics mixed with "indigenous" western hunter-gatherer peoples, so that the proportion of people with genetic origins from the European Mesolithic grew to up to 17%, and that the late Neolithic cultures of the string ceramics and bell beakers due to massive immigration from the Northern Black Sea Areas emerged that mixed with the people of the Middle Neolithic cultures of Central Europe. As David Reich said in a lecture in 2017, the indo-Europeans originated from the mixing of Eastern European hunters and gatherers with early Neolithic farmers from Iran . In his 2018 publication he wrote "The location of the population who spoke Indo-European for the first time is probably in today's Iran or Armenia". With these findings, however, no proof of the actual origin of the Indo-European language can be produced. The paleogeneticist Johannes Krause has a similar opinion . This opinion roughly corresponds to the Armenia hypothesis .

The spread of the Indo-European

Map of the Indo-European migration from approx. 4000 to 1000 BC BC (Kurgan hypothesis)
  • Original home according to the Kurgan hypothesis
  • Indo-European speaking peoples up to 2500 BC Chr.
  • Settlement up to 1000 BC Chr.
  • There is also intensive discussion of how the language and culture of the Indo-Europeans spread in the later Indo-European or Indo-Aryan language area ( language contact ). The ideas range from an Indo-European invasion of Europe and India to a gradual infiltration and mixing up to the pure transmission of language and cultural achievements without any significant genetic exchange. Harald Haarmann draws a comparison with the development of modern Creole languages with regard to the mechanisms of development . Colin Renfrew sees the spread of the Indo-European languages ​​in connection with the elite domination that occurred with the development of complex societies. A small group of particularly capable individuals seize the socio-economic and military power in a region through occupation (the type of ability is not specified). This position of power increases the value of the language spoken by this small group, so that the dominated population with their own language ( substrate language ) feels compelled to accept this language or at least to give it preference in everyday life.

    According to the Kurgan Hypothesis of Marija Gimbutas , the Indo-Europeans are between 4400 and 2200 BC. Moved west, south and east in several waves. She sees a long drought as the trigger, which modern geologists only recently caused by the end of the previously unknown Eastern Mediterranean monsoons from 7000 to around 4500 BC. Could explain.

    One of these waves was therefore the bearers of the corded ceramics or battle ax culture , which, with the exception of western France and the Iberian Peninsula, spread throughout Europe and mixed with the local population. The Neolithic peasant cultures , which had not been socially stratified or not very stratified and possibly matrilineal peasant cultures since the 7th millennium, were superimposed by a patriarchal and feudally structured Indo-European conqueror stratum, which, due to their warlike and technical superiority and despite considerable numerical inferiority, prevailed their language and social structure. The American anthropologist David W. Anthony expressly emphasizes that this was not a coordinated military invasion, but the immigration of tribes that forced the old European population into a clientele based on their military and economic superiority and thus made them dependent on themselves would have.

    In the north, collective burial in megalithic graves gave way to individual burials, with stools and ocher strewn in the graves , as was common in steppe graves in southern Russia and Central Asia. Battle axes and boat axes appeared in the grave inventory , as well as ceramics decorated with cord and other additions that suggest an origin from Southeast Europe. The forms of jewelry and decorations in ceramics also changed. The earliest dating of ceramic tombs is currently from the 29th century BC from Lesser Poland. Around 2300 BC The Bronze Age begins in Europe with the Aunjetitz culture . In Greece around 2200 BC An extended fire horizon, which is associated with the incursion of Indo-European Proto-Greeks, who mixed with the Mediterranean pre-population - a process from which the early Greeks or Achaeans and the Mycenaean culture emerged . Even Troy experienced 2200 v. A fire disaster, a little later the Hittites became tangible in central Asia Minor .

    The Indo-Aryan and Baltic languages have particularly ancient components of the Ur-Indo-European language.

    In Asia, from 2000 BC onwards, The Andronowo culture between the Ural River and the Yenisei is seen as a possible place where a Proto-Indo-Iranian language developed from the Urindo-European . From there, further expansion into what is now Iran and what is now India could have resulted. There was a further spread in the Altai and to Tuva . New genetic research suggests that the people of the Afanasjewo culture there may have been the first speakers of the Tocharian language .

    The paleogenetic findings already presented seem to contradict the preceding theories. Two massive waves of immigration have been observed in Europe since the Mesolithic. About 8000 years ago arable farmers immigrated from Anatolia to Europe, who initially largely replaced the Mesolithic population and pushed it to the outskirts, from where it then pushed back again and mixed with the arable farmers. About 5600 years ago immigrants from the Iranian region met and mixed with immigrants from Northern Eurasia in the Pontic-Caspian steppe. This mixed population migrated 4800 years ago to an apparently almost deserted Europe that had been found free for 5000 years before the present. The hypothetical cause of the depopulation is assumed to be an epidemic such as the plague

    See also



    • David W. Anthony / Don Rings: The Indo-European Homeland from Linguistic and Archaeological Perspectives. In: Annual Review of Linguistics. Issue 1, 2015, pp. 199–219, doi: 10.1146 / annurev-linguist-030514-124812 (English).
    • Will Chang, Chundra Cathcart, David Hall, and Andrew Garrett: Ancestry-constrained phylogenetic analysis supports the Indo-European steppe hypothesis. In: Language. Volume 91, Issue 1 (2015), pp. 194–244 ( PDF, English).
    • Asya Pereltsvaig, Martin W. Lewis: The Indo-European Controversy. Facts and Fallacies in Historical Linguistics. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2015 (English).
    • Harald Haarmann : The Indo-Europeans: Origin, Language, Culture. Munich 2012, ISBN 978-3-406-60682-3 .
    • Ernst Kausen : The Indo-European languages. From prehistory to the present. Helmut Buske Verlag, Hamburg 2012, ISBN 978-3-87548-612-4 .
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    • Harald Haarmann: World history of languages. From the early days of man to the present. Munich 2006, ISBN 3-406-55120-3 .
    • Quentin Atkinson, Geoff Nicholls, David Welch, Russell Gray: From Words to Dates: Water into wine, mathemagic or phylogenetic inference? In: Transactions of the Philological Society. Volume 103, No. 2, 2005, ISSN  0079-1636 , pp. 193-219, doi: 10.1111 / j.1467-968X.2005.00151.x , ( PDF; 322 kB).
    • Benjamin W. Fortson: Indo-European Language and Culture. An Introduction. Blackwell Publishing, Malden 2004, ISBN 1-4051-0316-7
    • Thomas W. Gamqrelidse , Wjatscheslaw Iwanow : The early history of the Indo-European languages. In: Spectrum of Science . Dossier. The evolution of languages. Heidelberg, 1, 2000, pp. 50-57. ISSN  0947-7934
    • Robert Stephen Paul Beekes: Comparative Indo-European Linguistics: An Introduction. John Benjamin, Amsterdam 1995, ISBN 1-55619-505-2
    • Oswald Szemerényi : Introduction to Comparative Linguistics. 4th edition. Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 1990, ISBN 3-534-04216-6 .
    • William B. Lockwood: Overview of the Indo-European languages. G. Narr, Tübingen 1979, ISBN 3-87808-100-6 .
    • Emile Benveniste : Le vocabulaire des institutions indo-européennes. Editions de Minuit, Paris 1969.


    • David Anthony: The Horse, the Wheel, and Language: How Bronze-Age Riders from the Eurasian Steppes Shaped the Modern World. Princeton University Press, Princeton 2007, ISBN 978-0-691-14818-2 .
    • Elisabeth Hamel: The Development of the Nations in Europe. Rottenbücher Verlag, 2007, ISBN 978-3-00-027516-6 .
    • Alexander Häusler: About old and new hypotheses on the origin and spread of the Indo-Europeans. In: Fennoscandia archaeologica. XXI, 2004, pp. 23-36 ( PDF).
    • Jürgen E. Walkowitz: The language of the first European farmers and archeology. In: Varia neolithica III, 2004, ISBN 3-937517-03-0 .
    • Alexander Häusler: nomads, Indo-Europeans, invasions, the creation of a myth. In: Orientwissenschaftliche Hefte 5, 2003, ISSN  1617-2469 . ( PDF; 6 MB).
    • Alexander Häusler: Origin and Expansion of the Indo-Europeans. Alternative explanatory models. Indo-European research. in: Journal for Indo-European Studies and General Linguistics 107 2002, pp. 47–75. ISSN  0019-7262 .
    • Colin Renfrew, A. McMahone, Larry Trask (Eds.): Time Depth in Historical Linguistics. McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, Cambridge 2000, ISBN 1-902937-06-6 .
    • Colin Renfrew: The Indo-Europeans - from an archaeological point of view. In: Spectrum of Science . Dossier. The evolution of languages. Heidelberg 2000, pp. 40-48.
    • Elizabeth W. Wayland Barber: The Mummies of Ürümchi. WW Norton & Company, New York, Mc Millan, London 1999, ISBN 0-333-73024-0 , Scientific Approach: Web Techniques.
    • Alexander Häusler: On the origin of the Indo-Europeans. Archaeological, anthropological and linguistic aspects. In: Ethnographic-Archaeological Journal . (EAZ) 39 1998, pp. 1-46. ISSN  0012-7477 .
    • Marija Gimbutas: The Kurgan Culture and the Indo-Europeanization of Europe. Selected Articles From 1952 to 1993. Institute for the Study of Man, Washington DC 1997, ISBN 0-941694-56-9
    • James P. Mallory, D. Q. Adams (Eds.): Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture. Fitzroy Dearborn, London / Chicago 1997, ISBN 1-884964-98-2
    • James P. Mallory: The Homelands of the Indo-Europeans. In: Roger Blench / Matthew Spriggs (eds.): Archeology and Language I: Theoretical and Methodological Orientations. Routledge, London / NY 1997, pp. 93-121.
    • Marija Gimbutas: The Civilization of the Goddess. English: The civilization of the goddess. The world of old Europe. Two thousand and one, Frankfurt / M. 1996, ISBN 3-86150-121-X .
    • Marcel Otte : Diffusion des langues modern en Eurasie préhistorique. In: Comptes rendus de l'Académie des Sciences. Series 2 A. Elsevier, Paris 321 1995, pp. 1219-1226. ISSN  0764-4450 .
    • Calvert Watkins: How to Kill a Dragon. Aspects of Indo-European Poetics. Oxford University Press, New York NY et al. 1995, ISBN 0-19-508595-7 .
    • Marija Gimbutas: The End of Old Europe. The invasion of steppe nomads from southern Russia and the Indo-Germanization of Central Europe. in: Archeolingua. Series minor 6., jointly edited by the Archaeological Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and the Linguistic Institute of the University of Innsbruck. Archaeolingua Alapítvány, Budapest 1994 (also as a book). ISSN  1216-6847 , ISBN 3-85124-171-1 .
    • Marija Gimbutas: The Ethnogenesis of the European Indo-Europeans. Institute for Linguistics, Innsbruck 1992, ISBN 3-85124-625-X .
    • David Anthony, Dorcas Brown: The origins of horseback riding. In: Antiquity 65 1991, pp. 22-38. ISSN  0003-598X
    • James P. Mallory: In Search of the Indo-Europeans. Language, Archeology and Myth. Thames and Hudson, London 1989, 1991, 1997, ISBN 0-500-27616-1
    • Colin Renfrew: Archeology and Language. The Puzzle of Indo-European Origins. Jonathan Cape, London 1987; Cambridge 1990, ISBN 0-521-38675-6
    • David Anthony: The Kurgan culture. Indo-european origins and the domestication of the horse, a reconsideration. in: Current Anthropology 27 (1986) 291-313.
    • George Cardona (Ed.): Indo-European and Indo-Europeans. University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia 1968, 1970.


    • CW Ceram: Narrow Gorge and Black Mountain. Rowohlt, Reinbek near Hamburg 1966, ISBN 3-499-16627-5 .
    • Jahanshani Derakshani: The Aryans in the Middle Eastern sources of the 3rd and 2nd millennium BC Chr. Tehran 1998, ISBN 964-90368-1-4 .
    • Bernard Sergent : Les Indo-Européens. Payot, Paris 2005.
    • Jean-Paul Demoule: Isn't it so much the Indo-Européens? Aux origines du mythe de l'Occident (= La Librairie du XXIe siècle. ) Seuil, Paris 2014, ISBN 978-2-02-029691-5 .

    Religious studies

    • Marija Gimbutas: The Living Goddesses. University of California Press. Berkeley and Los Angeles 1999, ISBN 0-520-22915-0 .
    • Marija Gimbutas: The Goddesses and Gods of Old Europe. German: Goddesses and Gods in Ancient Europe. Uhlstädt-Kirchhasel 2010, ISBN 978-3-86663-043-7 .



    • Harald Haarmann: In the footsteps of the Indo-Europeans. From the Neolithic steppe nomads to the early advanced civilizations. CH Beck, Munich 2016, ISBN 978-3-406-68824-9 .
    • Hans J. Holm: The new Arboretum of Indo-European 'Trees'. Can new Algorithms reveal the Phylogeny and even Prehistory of IE? In Journal of Quantitative Linguistics 14-2, 2007, pp. 167-214. (English; linguistic, archaeological, and mathematical examination of the current family tree constructions).
    • Hans J. Holm: Steppe homeland of Indo-Europeans favored by a Bayesian approach with revised data and processing , in: Glottometrics 37, 2017, pp. 54–81 (PDF full text )
    • Augustin Speyer : Attempt on Syntax in Protoindo-European. In: Elisabeth Rieken, Paul Widmer (Ed.): Pragmatic categories. Form, function and diachrony. Files from the working conference of the Indo-European Society from September 24 to 26, 2007 in Marburg. Reichert, Wiesbaden, pp. 287-305.
    • Martin Kuckenburg: In the footsteps of the Indo-Europeans. In: Adventure archeology. Spektrum der Wissenschaft Verl.-Ges., Heidelberg 2006, 2, p. 48 ff. ISSN  1612-9954 (good current introduction)
    • JP Mallory, DQ Adams: The Oxford Introduction to Proto-Indo-European and the Proto-Indo-European World. Oxford University Press, Oxford 2006, ISBN 0-19-929668-5 .
    • Reinhard Schmoeckel: The Indo-Europeans. Departure from the prehistory (= Bastei-Lübbe-Taschenbuch. 64162). Bastei-Lübbe, Bergisch Gladbach 1999, ISBN 3-404-64162-0 (each section is divided into an illustrative fiction and a concrete scientific chapter).
    • Konstantin G. Krasuchin: Studies on the relationships between Protoindoeuropean verbs and nouns. In: Benjamin W. v. Fortson, Elisbeth Rieken, Paul Widmer (eds.): Indo-European research. Volume 101, ISSN  1613-0405 , pp. 47-72.


    • Journal of Indo-European Studies. University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg Miss 1. 1973 ff. ISSN  0092-2323 .
    • Journal of Indo-European Studies. Monograph. Institute for the Study of Man. Washington DC 1975, 1 ff. ISSN  0895-7258 .

    Web links

    Individual evidence

    1. Harald Haarmann: In the footsteps of the Indo-Europeans: From the Neolithic steppe nomads to the early advanced civilizations. HC Beck, Munich 2016, ISBN 978-3-406-68824-9 .
    2. Harald Haarmann: In the footsteps of the Indo-Europeans: From the Neolithic steppe nomads to the early advanced civilizations. HC Beck, Munich 2016, ISBN 978-3-406-68824-9 , pp. 43-44.
    3. ^ Conrad Malte-Brun: Précis de la geographie universelle. Volume 2. Fr. Buisson, Paris 1810, pp. 577-581 ( Google Book ); For the origin of the term, see also Fred R. Shapiro: On the Origin of the Term 'Indo-Germanic'. In: Historiographia Linguistica. International Journal of the History of Linguistics. Volume 8, 1981, p. 166.
    4. Thomas Young: Adelung's General History of Languages. In: Quarterly Review . Volume 10 No. 19, 1813, pp. 250-292, here: pp. 255 f. 264 f .; Harald Haarmann: The Indo-Europeans. Origin, languages, cultures. CH Beck, Munich 2012, ISBN 978-3-406-60682-3 , p. 9.
    5. ^ Heinrich Julius Klaproth: Asia polyglotta. Paris 1823, pp. 42-44. 62, 74 f. 82 and more often; see also Gustav Meyer : Who did the name Indo-Europeans come from? In: Indo-European Research . Volume 2, 1893, pp. 125-130 ( digitized version ).
    6. Compare for example Wilhelm von Humboldt : About the Dualis. Publishing house of the Royal Academy of Sciences, Berlin 1828, p. 16 Note 1 ( digitized version ).
    7. ^ Franz Bopp: Comparative grammar of Sanskrit, Zend, Greek, Latin, Lithuanian, Gothic and German. Volume 1. 1st edition. In Ferdinand Dümmler, Berlin 1833, ( Google Books ) p. 1199: in the Indo-European language stem , p. 1410 in the Indo-European languages , but p. 1021: on Indo-European causal education ; 2nd edition as a comparative grammar of Sanskrit, Send, Armenian, Greek, Latin, Lithuanian, Old Slavic, Gothic and German . Ferd. Dümmler's Verlagbuchhandlung, Berlin 1857, p. XXIV ( Google Books ).
    8. David W. Anthony, Dorcas R. Brown: The origins of horseback riding. In: Antiquity. 65, 1991, pp. 22-38.
    9. ^ David Anthony: The Horse, the Wheel, and Language. Preinceton 2001, p. 215.
    10. ^ David Anthony: The Horse, the Wheel, and Language. Preinceton 2001, pp. 216-224.
    11. ^ Benjamin W. Fortson: Indo-European Language and Culture. An Introduction. Blackwell Publishing, Malden 2004, ISBN 1-4051-0316-7 , pp. 58 f.
    12. Harald Haarmann: World history of languages. From the early days of man to the present. Munich 2006.
    13. Harald Haarmann: World history of languages. From the early days of man to the present. Munich 2006
    14. Marija Gimbutas Alseikaitė: The Prehistory of Eastern Europe. Part I: Mesolithic, Neolithic and Copper Age Cultures in Russia and the Baltic Area. Peabody Museum, Cambridge, Massachusetts 1956.
    15. Marija Gimbutas: Culture Change in Europe at the Start of the Second Millennium BC A Contribution to the Indo-European Problem. In: AFC Wallace (Ed.): Selected Papers of the Fifth International Congress of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences. Philadelphia, September 1-9, 1956. University of Philadelphia Press, Philadelphia 1960, pp. 540-552.
    16. Bridget Drinka: Phylogenetic and areal models of Indo-European relatedness: The role of contact in reconstruction. Journal of Language Contact Volume 6: Issue 2, 379-410 [1]
    17. ^ Russell D. Gray, Quentin D. Atkinson, Language-tree divergence times support the Anatolian theory of Indo-European origin. Nature. 2003 Nov 27; 426 (6965): 435-9.
    18. Hans JJG Holm: The Earliest Wheel Finds, Their Archeology and Indo-European Terminology in Time and Space, and Early Migrations around the Caucasus. Archaeolingua Alapítvány, Budapest 2019, ISBN 978-615-5766-30-5
    19. Massive migration from the steppe is a source for Indo-European languages ​​in Europe.
    20. ^ Carl Zimmer: DNA Deciphers Roots of Modern Europeans. In: The New York Times. June 10, 2015.
    21. ^ Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza: Genes, Peoples and Languages. The biological foundations of our civilization. 1999.
    22. ^ Colin Renfrew: Time Depth, Convergence Theory, and Innovation in Proto-Indo-European. In: Alfred Bammesberger, Theo Vennemann (Ed.): Languages ​​in Prehistoric Europe. 2003,
    23. Harald Haarmann: The riddle of the Danube civilization. The discovery of the oldest high culture in Europe. CH Beck, Munich 2012, ISBN 978-3-406-62210-6 , p. 31 f.
    24. Thomas V. Gamkrelidze, Vjacheslav V. Ivanov: Indo-European and the Indo-Europeans. Translated by Johanna Nichols. Two volumes. Mouton, de Gruyter, Berlin / New York 1995; Thomas W. Gamkrelidze, Vyacheslav Iwanow: The early history of the Indo-European languages. In: Spectrum of Science. Issue 1, 2000, pp. 50-57.
    25. Review of the work Thomas W. Gamkrelidze, Wjatscheslaw Iwanow: Indo-European and the Indo-Europeans. Berlin / New York 1995 by Jost Gippert (1997), contributions to name research. Volume 33/1, 1998, pp. 39-54; KM Hayward, Review article: The Indo-European language and the history of its speakers. In: Lingua. Volume 78, 1989, pp. 37-86.
    26. Thomas V. Gamkrelidze: In Defense of Ejectives for Proto-Indo-European (A Response to the Critique of the "Glottalic Theory"). In: Bulletin of the Georgian National Academy of Sciences. Volume 4, number 1, 2010, pp. 168–178 ( PDF ).
    27. ^ Allan R. Bomhard: The glottalic model of Proto-Indo-European consonantism: re-igniting the dialog. In: Slovo a slovesnost. Volume 77, number 4, 2016, number 4, pp. 371-391 ( abstract ).
    28. Alexander Häusler: Nomads, Indo-Europeans, Invasion. The creation of a myth. In: Difference and Integration. Volume 3, No. 1, 2003.
    29. ^ David Reich: Ancient DNA and the new science of the human past. Midsummer Nights' Science, July 12, 2017, Broad Institute
    30. ^ Reich, David (Of Harvard Medical School), Who we are and how we got here: ancient DNA and the new science of the human past . First ed. New York, ISBN 978-1-101-87032-7 .
    31. Johannes Krause with Thomas Trappe: The journey of our genes. A story about us and our ancestors. Propylaen Verlag, Berlin 2019, ISBN 978-3-549-10002-8 , p. 148 ff.
    32. Harald Haarmann: In the footsteps of the Indo-Europeans. From the Neolithic steppe nomads to the early advanced civilizations. CH Beck, Munich 2016, ISBN 978-3-406-68824-9 , p. 127 f.
    33. Colin Renfrew: The linguistic diversity of the world. Spektrum Heft 7 (1995), pp. 72-78.
    34. ^ HW Arz, F. Lamy, J. Pätzold, PJ Müller, M. Prins: Mediterranean Moisture Source for an Early-Holocene Humid Period in the Northern Red Sea. In: Science. 300, 5616, 2003, pp. 118-121. doi: 10.1126 / science.1080325 .
    35. ^ David Anthony: The Horse, the Wheel, and Language. 2007, pp. 367-370.
    36. Martin Furholt: The absolute chronological dating of cord ceramics in Central Europe and Southern Scandinavia. (= University research on prehistoric archeology. 101). Habelt, Bonn 2003, ISBN 3-7749-3206-9 .
    37. Masica: The Indo-Aryan Languages. 1991, p. 3.
    38. z. B. Christian Carpelan, Asko Parpola, Petteri Koskikallio (eds.): Early Contacts between Uralic and Indo-European. Linguistic and Archaeological considerations (= Suomalais-Ugrilaisen Seuran Toimituksia. Volume 242). Papers presented at an international Symposium held at the Tvärminne Research Station of the University of Helsinki, January 8-10, 1999. Suomalais-Ugrilainen Seura , Helsinki 2001, ISBN 952-5150-59-3 .
    39. ^ Subgrouping of Main Indo-European Language Branches according to SLRD-Method (Holm 2007) Map
    40. Christine Keyser, Caroline Bouakaze, Eric Crubézy, Valery G. Nikolaev, Daniel Montagnon, Tatiana Reis, Bertrand Ludes: Ancient DNA provides new insights into the history of south Siberian Kurgan people. Human Genetics. In: Human Genetics. Volume 126, No. 3, September 2009, ISSN  0340-6717 , pp. 395-410, doi: 10.1007 / s00439-009-0683-0 .
    41. Johannes Krause with Thomas Trappe: The journey of our genes. A story about us and our ancestors. Propylaen Verlag, Berlin 2019, ISBN 978-3-549-10002-8 , p. 114 ff.
    42. Johannes Krause with Thomas Trappe: The journey of our genes. A story about us and our ancestors. Propylaen Verlag, Berlin 2019, ISBN 978-3-549-10002-8 , p. 120
    43. ^ Geoffrey Sampson: Say something in Proto-Indo-European. ( Memento of the original from February 23, 2017 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /