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The Celts

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Indo-European Migrations

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Indo-European peoples

Indo-European languages — one of the largest language families in the world, which includes the following groups: Hitto-Luwian, or Anatolian; Indo-Aryan, or Indian; Iranian Armenian Phrygian; Greek Thracian; Albanian; Illyrian; Venetian Italian Romance Celtic German baltic; Slavic Tocharian. Presented on all inhabited continents of the Earth, the number of speakers exceeds 2.5 billion. According to the views of modern linguists, it is part of the macro-family of Nostratic languages, the Indo-European language, according to the hypothesis of the Danish scientist H. Pedersen, developed by V.M. Illich-Svitych and S.A. Starostin, is included in the nostratic (from the Latin word noster) macro-family of languages, among which he is especially close to the Kartvelian languages (Georgian, Mingrelian, Chan, Svan), which, like him, have an ablaut (alternating vowels in the same morpheme). Danish linguist X. Pedersen at one time put forward a hypothesis about the genetic connection of the languages of several largest families, which were considered unrelated. Scientific studies have shown the validity of combining Indo-European, Semitic, Hamitic, Uralic, Altai and some languages into a large nostratic macro-family of languages. This macrofamily has developed in the Upper Paleolithic on the territory of South-West Asia and its adjacent areas. During the retreat of the last Wurm glaciation and climatic warming in the Mesolithic, the Nostratic tribes settled throughout the vast territory of Asia and Europe; they pushed aside and partially assimilated the tribes that had lived there before. In this historical process, the Nostratic tribes formed a number of isolated areas where the formation of special language families began. The largest of them, the Indo-European language community, began to form on the territory of the Southern Urals, and then in the “Great Steppe” — from Altai to the Black Sea.

Indo-European areas of Kentum (blue) and Satem (red). The estimated initial area of satelliteisation is shown in bright red. Kentum-satem division is called isogloss in the Indo-European language family, related to the evolution of three rows of dorsal consonants reconstructed for the Pra-Indo-European language (PIE), * k-W (labio-velar), * k (velar), and * k; (chamber). The terms are derived from words meaning the numeral “hundred” in the representative languages of each group (Latin centum and Avestan satem).

Archaeological studies show that the homeland of the Indo-Europeans is the region of the Southern Urals, where they formed as a single language group. Indo-European languages are formed in ancient times and come from a single pra-Indo-European language, whose speakers lived about 5—6 thousand years ago. In 1903, Keshav Gangadhar Tilak (1856 — 1920 years of life) wrote the book “The Arctic House in the Vedas.” In it, he argued that the Vedas could only be composed in the Arctic, and the Aryan (Indo-European) bards brought them south after the start of the last ice age. On the territory of the South Urals, ancient beliefs are formed, which became the basis of the following religions: Vedism and Mazdaism, which, in turn, developed from primitive beliefs. Borrowing from each other and from previous beliefs, various ideas and ideas are created on the basis of the specific conditions of human existence, such faiths as: Vedism — Brahmanism — Hinduism, in the VI century BC, Buddhism and Jainism arise as an opposition to Brahmanism, which sanctifies caste system in India. Zoroastrianism — Mithraism in Iran (the word “Iran” goes back to the word “Arian”, and it, in turn, goes to the word “Arias” — “ram, aries”, in Latin “aries”, “an ancient totem animal of the inhabitants of the Southern Urals” Judaism — Christianity — Islam in Asia Minor, Shintoism in Japan, Taoism and Confucianism in China.

Gradual warming caused the melting of glaciers, which receded to the north, and the earth began to awaken to life, young shoots appeared — plants, they were eaten with pleasure by animals that migrated along with the melting of glaciers. Primitive hunters who hunted for migrating animals followed the animals. The Ural ridge was the center of glaciation of the Urals, ice from the mountains flowed from the ridge in the lowlands during warming, forming seas and lakes, glaciers of the Ural Mountains gave rise to icebergs in the Arctic Ocean. Ancient glaciation was more clearly expressed in the north of the Ural Mountains: in the Polar and Subpolar Urals. In the Holocene (15—10 thousand years ago, the postglacial epoch), due to significant climate warming, the size of the ancient Pleistocene (Lower Quaternary) glaciation decreased sharply. At this time, most of the glaciers of the Urals disappear. A new cooling in the Urals during the so-called sub-Atlantic period (the middle of the 1st millennium BC — 3—4 centuries AD) led to the appearance of new glaciers that preceded the modern ones.

Ancient Indo-Europeans build special closed villages. Indo-Europeans learned to mine swamp ores and smelting iron from them. Iron was affordable and cheap metal for them. Iron ores are more widespread than copper and bronze, and therefore no monopoly on this metal has arisen: its ores in large quantities are formed under the influence of microorganisms in swamps and other standing bodies of water. And the area of resettlement of the Aryans was just characterized by an abundance of lakes and wetlands. Iron was easily mined, but its smelting and processing required certain skills, which gave impetus to the widespread development of blacksmithing and other crafts. Iron tools replaced soft bronze and finally replaced the stone. Through the use of iron sickles, plowshares, scythes and axes, necessary for conducting slash-and-burn agriculture, Aryan agriculture began to develop more intensively. Settlements began to form everywhere, between which lively trade was established over time.

The general meaning here was most likely in the following. The ancient Aryans used these marshy lands to obtain ore, when the ore was depleted, the villages were burned, the ditches were filled up. Therefore, the villages existed for about 100—200 years. The main thing was to keep the secret of technology (know-how) for the manufacture of various metal products using metallurgy techniques, so that other tribes would not know about it and leave competition.

According to one hypothesis, the ancient Aryans made a gigantic movement from the southern Ural steppes through southern Ukraine, the Balkan Peninsula to Mycenae, and then to Iran and India. It is possible that it was they who brought to Mykonos and Asia Minor a horse-breeding culture, previously unknown there, the art of making and using war chariots. The oldest chariot found in the world from the Arkaim culture (dated 2026 BC).

Chariots and images of horses from Arkaim (1, reconstruction), Persepolis (2 Iran), Egypt (3), Sumer (4):





A reconstruction of a Celtic two-wheeled war-chariot, Zaitseva S.D., Early Britain, A Reader for the Seventh Form in English-Language Schools, Edited by Professor A. A. Kirillova, Second edition, Moscow, “Prosveshcheniye”, 1981, p. 19

About 4 thousand years ago, the Indo-European tribes, or then the Aryans, left their homeland in modern southern Russia. Some of them moved south to the lands now within the borders of Iran, and further to India. Others moved to Anatolia (the territory of modern Turkey).

From the 3rd millennium BC to the 7th century BC, the great migration of peoples from the Middle East to Central Asia and India takes place in waves. In the southern Urals (Chelyabinsk and Orenburg regions, Bashkortostan, Northern Kazakhstan), there is a famous archaeological culture that includes dozens of similar ancient monuments, named after the most famous settlement — Arkaim culture (in Arkaim in the Chelyabinsk region, 26 towns and villages in the present Chelyabinsk, Orenburg regions, Bashkortostan and northern Kazakhstan). The “Country of Cities” is located in the Chelyabinsk Region, Orenburg Region, Bashkortostan of the Russian Federation and northern Kazakhstan. Settlements are scattered over a territory with a diameter of 350 km. The term “Country” best describes this location of cities. In addition to the fact that all the cities found were built on a compact territory at the same time period, in the same architectural style and with the use of the same engineering solutions, similar materials, other unifying properties are also visible. Cities of Sintashta culture were inhabited by people of one ethnos (belonging to the Caucasians) and conducted similar economic activities. The age of the monuments is the youngest of them, 3700 years old.

Arkaim is represented by a giant wheel with a diameter of 180 meters with two circles of powerful walls: external and internal. Particularly impressive is the outer wall of five meters thick, made of soil and having an internal gallery. A deep moat was dug from the outside around the wall. The inner moat is covered with log flooring, possibly representing a storm sewer. From the walls towards the central square were dwellings. These houses were quite large: up to 20 meters long and more than 6 meters wide, where, according to experts, up to 50 people could be accommodated. In each house there were hearths, wells, pits for storing food, rooms for individual families. The floor was covered with a solid layer of lime mortar. In total, the settlement accommodated up to two and a half thousand people. The inhabitants had a lot of cattle, especially horses — slender, thin-legged, fast, harnessed to war chariots, these ancient “tanks” of the Eurasian steppes. A high degree of perfection was achieved in the production of bronze products. They are believed to disperse from here to very distant places. Most scholars believe that these are ancient Aryans, Indo-Aryans, that is, the peoples of the Iranian group of languages.

The opening of monuments of this type caused a discussion about what these structures were. Some researchers believe that this is a caravanserai — a fortress in which caravans with copper ore from the rich Tash-Kazgan deposit took refuge at night. As arguments, it is indicated that they are arranged in two chains stretched from north to south at a distance of about 50 km from each other, that is, one day crossing. Others claim that these are religious centers in which several hundred people constantly lived: priests, artisans and guards, while the rest came here for religious festivals from a rural district. Still others call them religious temples of the ancient Aryans, similar to those described in the ancient Indian epic “Avesta”. In the most ancient layers of the Avesta — yashts, as well as in the hymns of the Rigveda (Veda) — the lands of the South Urals are actually mentioned.

From the Urals to the Dnieper, a succession of 3 archaeological cultures took place: ancient pit, catacomb and log-house. The name of the culture was given to the grave designs characteristic of each of them (a ground pit, a catacomb pit with a side niche and a ground pit with a wooden log house). Pit culture is an archaeological culture of the late copper age — early bronze age (3600—2300 BC). It occupied the territory from the South Urals in the east to the Dniester in the west, from Ciscaucasia in the south to the Middle Volga in the north. Some of the Indo-European languages in Europe arose as a result of mass migration of proto-language speakers from the European territory of modern Russia. In particular, as a result of such migration, the Baltic-Slavic, Germanic and Romance languages most likely arose. Experts came to this conclusion by analyzing the genomes of 94 people who lived 3—8 thousand years ago in Europe. Genetics have found that, starting from 4.5 thousand years ago, approximately 75 percent of people in Central Europe had ancestors from the steppes of Russia. These representatives of the culture of cord ceramics turned out to be the ancestors of people of another culture — the pit, who lived on the territory between the Dnieper and the Volga. This may mean confirmation of the hypothesis that the culture of string ceramics arose either under the influence of the pit or its representatives were strongly influenced by the previous one. Scientists also note that people of the pit culture could spread to the territory of Europe relevant technologies for that time, in particular, movement with the wheel. This, in particular, is indicated by the fact that wheeled vehicles and domesticated horses appeared in Europe about 5—6 thousand years ago. At least half of the men of European descent are descendants of the Egyptian pharaohs, and in particular relatives of Tutankhamun. Biologists have conducted interesting studies of DNA analyzes of the Y chromosome — the male sex chromosome. Specialists studied the so-called haplogroups — the totality of certain DNA sequences, including both genes and intergenic space, which almost always occur on chromosomes together. The unusual attachment of individual DNA fragments to each other is explained by the fact that during the transfer of genetic material from parents to descendants, it partially shuffles, and as a result, whole blocks of maternal and paternal DNA are mixed on the chromosomes of children. By analyzing these haplogroups and comparing them with different people, scientists were able to judge the origin of their “owner”. Haplogroups located on the male sex chromosome are especially interesting in this respect, since it is inherited “unambiguously” — only from father to son, as well as mitochondrial DNA (DNA contained in special organelles and transmitted only from mother to daughter). Accordingly, if two people on the same sex chromosome have the same haplogroups, this means that they are relatives. Over time, various mutations can accumulate in DNA that do not affect or do not greatly affect the functioning of genes (due to their harmlessness, they are inherited and not removed from the population by selection), and, assessing the number of such mutations, researchers determine how long a haplogroup has formed. With these data in hand, specialists can find out where the ancestors of various human populations came from and what were their migration routes. The science that studies such things is called genogeography. The authors of a new study from the iGENEA genealogy research center in Switzerland just conducted analysis of haplogroups in DNA isolated from the remains of the pharaoh Tutankhamun (born as Tutankhaton), who ruled from approximately 1333 to 1323 BC (although in reality this pharaoh did not lead the country, since at the time of accession to the throne he was ten years old). He died at the age of 19.

Nefertiti was his mother or stepmother, and her husband Akhenaten (Amenhotep IV) was his father, it was during his eruption of the Santorin volcano (Tyra) around 1380 BC, and a series of earthquakes, which is known from the biblical book “Exodus,” after this Pharaoh changed his name to Akhenaten “Pleasant to Aton” — the solar disk). Scientists were able to partially restore the sequence of the Tutankhamun Y-chromosome and, in particular, determine which haplogroups are present on it. One of them turned out to be R1b1a2 — and if for most readers this combination of letters and numbers does not say anything, then it is well known to specialists. More than half of the males in Western Europe carry this haplogroup on their Y chromosomes, and in some countries the proportion of relatives of the pharaoh is close to 70% (for example, in France, this haplogroup is present in 60% of men, and in Spain — in 70%). Presumably, R1b1a2 was formed about 9.5 thousand years ago in a population of people living on the shores of the Black Sea. About 9 thousand years ago, the carriers of this haplogroup began to slowly move to the north-west — it was they who brought agriculture to Europe. Moreover, among modern Egyptians, the proportion of carriers of the haplogroup R1b1a2 is less than one percent. The authors of a new study are considering several hypotheses that explain how rare in Egypt R1b1a2 could get into the chromosomes of Tutankhamun. One option suggests that the haplogroup “traveled” in the DNA of the Hittites, the Indo-European people who lived in Asia Minor in the Bronze Age. About 4400 BC, some of the Hittites, in whose Y chromosomes R1b1a2 was present, went to Europe, and between 2500 and 2300 BC, the Hittites partially migrated to Egypt. The genealogy of Tutankhamun can be traced only in a relatively short period of time, so it is possible that the young pharaoh could have Hittite, that is, Indo-European, roots.

In the first millennium BC and in the first centuries of our era, Iranian-speaking tribes of the Sarmatians and Scythians were located on the expanses of the Great Steppe. Scientists believe that these were the descendants of the Andronovo and Srubnaya cultures. The steppes of the Southern Urals, where the distribution border of these cultures passed, the mutual contacts between them were a zone of active ethnic processes, as a result of which the Sarmatian world formed. The terms “Sarmatians” and the earlier “Savromats” are collective, meaning an extensive group of related tribes of the early nomads. In the descriptions of ancient authors, we find the names of some of these tribes: Aors, Alans, Roxolans, Syraks, Yazamats, Yaksamats and others. Perhaps the only monuments of the Sarmatians” thousand-year stay are numerous mounds, sometimes reaching 5—7 meters in height. The Savromat and Sarmatian mounds are most often located in groups in high places, hilltops, syrts, from where a wide panorama of the vast steppes opens.

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