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Klejn L.S. Ancient migrations and the origins of Indo-European peoples (Abstract)

In print at St. Petersburg University, in Russian

By Leo S. Klejn


The book by archaeologist and philologist Professor L. S. Klejn is written on the basis of the author’s many years of studies (from the mid 1980s) on the problem of the origins of Indo-European peoples. All chapters of this book were previously discussed in seminars led by the author in 2006 – 2007 at the School of Indo-European studies under the aegis of the Institute of Linguistic Research (Russian Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg). This School was under the leadership of the Director of the Institute N. N. Kazansky, Member of the Academy, and Prof. L. B. Herzenberg. The papers presented by L. S. Klejn make up the chapters of this book and are followed by (after each chapter) the protocols of the discussions.


The book is devoted to the problem of the co-operation between archaeology and linguistics in the research of ethnogenesis – primarily in the study of the origins of Indo-European peoples. This problem is not a new one, but is still pertinent, for many of its questions have yet to find satisfactory answers. Consequently, there are several different hypotheses regarding the origins of the Indo-European peoples. Some scholars have the Indo-Europeans emerging from Asia Minor, others from Central Europe (from Danube basin or further north), whilst a third group favour the Ponto-Caspian steppes.


The author tries to solve this problem not en masse but by isolating one of its components, the origin of one branch of Indo-Europeans – that from which the Iranian and Indo-Aryan peoples are descended, as well as the Greeks and Armenians and some other peoples of South-Eastern Europe and part of Asia. In determining the origins of these peoples, he also deals with origins of Hittites and Tocharians - the enigmatic branch of Indo-Europeans that broke away from all others. Via this route the author approaches the problem of the origins of Indo-Europeans as a whole. His suggested solution involves migrations, including distant migrations, the reconstruction of which the majority of archaeologists have preferred to avoid.


In proposing a solution to this problem the author suggests some means of co-operation between both disciplines, archaeology and linguistics. He recognises that the help of anthropology, palaeogenetics, toponimics etc. is also required, but he argues that understanding the relationship between archaeology and linguistics sheds light on the relationship between archaeology and other disciplines.


The author suggests new and original solutions to the problems of the origins of the Indo-Aryans, Iranians, Greeks, Phrygians, Thracians, Hittites and Tocharians. He investigates archaeological cultures of their ancestors, and advances new hypotheses.


As well as surveying the latest literature on this theme, he also subjects recent theories to critical appraisal, including para-scientific theories in esoteric and politicised archaeology.


The participants of the seminar came to produce their own notes on some of the discussed problems. These sketches are published as supplements to the relevant chapters.


The book is by no means of interest only to specialists in ethnogenesis, i. e. archaeologists, linguists, historians and ethnographers; it is of interest to all who would know the latest research  on the origins of the peoples of Europe and Asia.


The book is ca. 550 pages in length. It comes supplied with illustrations, maps, indices and a vast bibliography. An agreement for its publication has been signed with St. Petersburg University.

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1.         Archaeology: illusions and reality

2.         Linguistics: overcoming illusions

3.         Migrations

4.         The Genealogical tree and the river delta model

5.         Matching and retrospective methods

6.         South-East Indo-Europeans on the genealogical tree schemes

7.         An Alternative



Koncha S. V. Filiation of Indo-European family: the choice of sequence

Chapter I. Iranians

1.    Historical tradition

2.    Cattle breeders or agriculturalists?

3.    Bronze Age: The Frame-grave and the Andronovo cultures

4.    BMAK

5.    Archaeology in the recognition of the Iranian ethnos

6.    Andronovo cultures: – Iranians or Indo-Aryans?

7.    Problems and searching

8.    Testing the hypothesis

9.    Conclusion



Kovalev A.A. Scythians-Iranians from Jungaria and the Chemurchek culture

Kozintsev A.G. Anthropological data on the origins of Scythians

Palaguta I.V. Central-European rondelles and the tradition of building round monumental constructions in Neolithic and Bronze Age of Europe

Chapter II. Indo-Aryans

1.    Indo-Aryans as new arrivals in India

2.    The Rig-Veda and archaeology

3.    Indo-Aryans in the Near East

4.    The Protourban and Andronovo hypotheses

5.    Catacomb-grave cultures and their Indo-Aryan attributes

6.    Contact with the Finno-Ugric population: the evidence of language and archaeology

7.    The evaluation of proofs

8.    Territorial matches

9.    The Indo-Aryan heritage of the Scythians

10. Consequences for the analysis of contact situations



Kondakov V.V. On the question of Soma in the Rig-Veda

Pustovalov S.Zh. The estate-caste system in the Catacomb society of the Northern Black Sea area

Chapter III. Aryans and Proto-Aryans

1.   The linguistic groups and archaeological communities of the Bronze Age

2.   The path to initial unity from Frame-grave – Andronovo cultures

3.   The path to initial unity from Catacomb-grave cultures

4.   The Linguistic situation

5.   The problem of archaeological correspondence

6.   Pit-grave culture – an Aryan culture?

7.   Ochre graves in the West

8.   Horse and chariot

9.   Riders

10. Attribution with the help of prototypes

11. The sphere of Pit-grave impact

12. Varieties of solution


Chapter IV. Problem of Greek-Aryan unity

1.    The Lingual kinship of Aryans and Greeks

2.    The Roots of Pit-grave culture

3.    A Megalithic basis

4.    Maykop and its surroundings

5.    The European character of Novosvobodnaya culture

6.    Unexpected parallels to Indo-Aryans and Greeks

7.    Aryans in Maykop and Triploye?

8.    To the beginnings of sansara



Kuznetsov P.F. ‘Repino and Pit-grave culture – identical or not?’

Kozintsev A.G. ‘On the ceramics of the Maykop and Navasvobodnaya settlements and the anthropology of North Caucasus’

Chapter V. Greek-Aryans and their origins

1.         Anthropomorphic stelae

2.         Dancing men and the Nalchik sepulchre

3.         Sanctuaries of the Eneolithic

4.         Sredniy Stog

5.         Khvalynian culture

6.         Barrow cultures of the Early Eneolithic

7.         The Roots of Pit-grave (Repino) culture and the Western contribution

8.         The problem of matching of cultural and lingual filiations

9.         Implications for linguists

10.       Greek-Aryans - unity in mythologies: Centaurs

11.       Gandharvas and Kinnaras

12.       The Kernosovo idol



Vasil’kov Ya.V. ‘On the most ancient anthropomorphic stelae in general and the Kernosovo idol in particular’

Berezkin Yu.E. ‘On the ethnogenesis of Indo-Europeans: some motifs in comparative mythology’

Chapter VI. The Migrations of Phrygians and the origins of Armenians

1.         The Origins of Armenians

2.         Historical tradition

3.         Phrygians – Bhrigae – Mushk

4.         Chronology of the invasion of Asia Minor

5.         The Archaeological identification of migrants

6.         Nosed vessels and Nasatya

7.         Middle Danube cultures of the Bronze Age in India

8.         The first hearth beside the Middle Danube

9.         Ethnic identification in India: Bhrigu

10.       Connecting the Phrygians of Asia Minor with the Danube

11.       The place of Phrygian migration in history



Panchenko D.V. The Northern barbarians in Sub-Mycenean Greece: from the pedigree of the classical Greeks

Chapter VII. Greeks and Thracians

1.         The coming of the Greeks?

2.         The Arguments of autochthonists

3.         The choice of migration

4.         Newcomers to Mycenaean culture

5.         Substratum or superstratum? The Thracian question

6.         Thracian fates

7.         Archaeological correspondences

8.         The Identification of proto-Thracians

9.         The Ethnogesis of Thracians

10.       The Heritage of proto-Thracians



Kasuba M. T. Thracian Halstatt in Northern Black sea area: the current state of the debate

Chapter VIII. Greeks and Hittites

1.    The sought-after change of culture

2.    The Problem of the starting area of the migration

3.    The problem of true substratum

4.    Once more on the starting area of the migration: Baden culture

5.    Hittites and others

6.    Catastrophes in Asia Minor

7.    The Hittite-Louvian heritage of the Greeks

8.    Hittites and Aryans

9.    Summation


Chapter IX. The Elusive proto-Greeks

1.    The problem and the solution:  a spectrum of possibilities

2.    Invisible migrations

3.    The nearest analogy: the coming of the Dorians

4.    Traces of proto-Greeks

5.    Who were the Greeks?

6.    A Fan of hypotheses



Kazansky N.N. ‘The Coming of the Greeks’

Chapter X. The Migration of Tocharians in the light of archaeology

1.    Under the name of Tocharians

2.    Seres on the Silk Road

3.    The Europid neighbours of China

4.    The Indo-European contribution to Chinese language and culture

5.    The choice of archaeological culture for Tocharians in Asia: Karasuk

6.  The sylvan past of Tocharians and Fatyanovo culture

7.  Criticism of my hypothesis and my defence


Conclusion: conjectures and implications

1.    Results and three conjectures

2.    Three original homelands

3.    Esoteric archaeology

4.    Temptations: methods of overcoming them

5.    Politicised archaeology

6.    An array of hypotheses

7.    Some prospects



List of participants in the discussions


List of illustrations

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