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The Urheimat of the Nostratic Languages

The Relationship of the Altaic and Turkic languages. Origin and development.


Ethnicity of the Neolithic and Chalcolithic cultures of Eastern Europe.

Neolithic and Chalcolithic cultures correlated with the settlements of Nostratic language speakers in Eastern Europe

            It is well known that the linguistic data with archaeological ones can give conclusive results. In this connection, we can try to link the settlements of the Turkic, the Finno-Ugric and Indo-European tribes to certain archaeological cultures. The location of areas suggests that the first in Eastern Europe came the Indo-Europeans, the Finno-Ugric tribes moved behind them, and all they were driven northward by the Turks. The first Neolithic culture on the Left Bank Country of the Ukraine in the 5th mill BC was the Surski-Dnieper culture, which was formed on the basis of the Mesolithic and an arriving (probably from the Azov Sea area) more oriental culture. Existed 1-1.5 thousand years, it seemed to be dissolved in later cultures (Arkheologiya Ukrainskoy SSR. Tom 1. Pervobytnaya arkheologiya. 1985: 139). Ethnicity of the creators of this culture is difficult to determine. Perhaps it was some kind of North Caucasian tribes, which were pressed by the Indo-Europeans moved from the South Csucasus. Seeping under the pressure of the Turks in the Middle Dnieper region, the Indo-Europeans could not escape the Seversky Donets basin, so they can be connected with the Dnieper-Donets culture, one of the block of the comb-stroke ware, which appeared on the Left Bank in the valleys of the river Donets later of the Surski-Dnieper culture in the 5th mill BC. In time, the tribes of the Dnieper-Donets culture moved further northward and northwestward. According D. Telegin, they raised up along the rivers Dnieper, Sozh, Pripyat and almost reached their upper streams (TElEGIN D.Ya. 1968: 62). The population of this culture stayed in the Southern Ukraine about a thousand years until the middle of the 4th mill BC. But in northern Ukraine and Belarus, this culture disappears only in the middle-end of the 3rd mill BC after 2 – 2.5 thousand years of the existence (FORMOZOV A.A. 1977: 189). However, according to experts, the cultures of the comb-stroke ware participated in the formation of the Třynec culture that existed in the basin of the Pripyat and the surrounding areas (TElEGIN D.Ya. 1990-2: 94).
            The total area of the expanse of this culture, by definition, Telegina "embraces the valley of the Dnieper (from the town of Rohğachivka to the coast of the Sea of Kakhovka), Eastern Volhynia, middle and lower streams of the rivers Pripyat, Sozh, Desna, Vorskla, Pslo and Sula, as well as the middle stream of Siversky Donets" (TElEGIN D.Ya. 1968.: 9). The Neman, Narva relics having the western boundary of the Vistula come in the same block of the cultures comb-stroke ware The population of this "Vistula-Dnieper block" was very numerous, engaged in hunting and fishing, just starting to move to producing forms of farming (TElEGIN D.Ya. 1990-2: 92).
            A numerous group of Pit-Comb Ware cultures existed simultaneously with the Dnepr-Donets Culture in the basin of the Volga and the Oka. Some clans of these cultures entered the valleys of the rivers Seym, Desna, Psel, Sula and Donets and reached the region that nowadays is the suburbs of Voronezh and Tambov cities. This territory is almost the same as the localised territory for the ancient Finno-Ugrians. The Pit-Comb Ware Cultures were the descendants of local Mesolithic cultures but pottery manufacture was brought there from the outside, probably from the South. So we can presume that these cultures can be associated with Finno-Ugric tribes.
            Many known linguistic facts contradict Asiatic origin of Turks but scholars try to find them whichever explanation if only not refuse conventional views. For example, Sir Gerard Clauson, having examined the common Turkic name kendir for hemp (Cannobis), says: „Unlikely to have been an indigenous plant in the area originally occupied by the Turks and probably an Indo-European (?Tokharian) l.-w.“ (CLAUSON, SIR Gerard, 1972). It seems to be a strange thought considering the currency of this word in Turkic languages and its absolute absence in Indo-European languages. The Turkic languages are characterized by the lack of great diversity between them. This phenomenon is explained by the enough small territory occupied by Turks during forming their particular languages. The exchange with new invented and loan words could embrace large parts of this territory contrary to the Indo-European and Finno-Ugric languages.
            We have all the grounds to associate them with the creators of Seredniy Stiğ (Sredniy Stog – in Russian) and Yamna (Pit) cultures which existed in Pontic steppes in the 4th -3rd mill. It is naturally that the idea about the Altai Urheimat of Turks may contradict Turkish scholars, among them, e. g. Osman Karatay (KARATAY OSMAN, 2003-1, KARATAY OSMAN, 2003-2). The papers about European origin of Turks are readily published in Turkey, e.g. about Turkic belonging of some European archaeological cultures (STETSYUK VALENTYN, 2008) . The similar ideas have been supported in Europe? In particular, by Italian scholar Mario Alinei:

            The most economical and productive hypothesis is then to consider both the Serednyj Stog and the Yamnaya cultures as Turkic, which would imply that Turkic people were the first to have mastered horse domestication, and to have passed to the neighbouring people (ALINEI MARIO, 2003).

            In that case Türks had to force out Indo-Europeans from Pontic parts and forest-steppe zone at the end of the 5th mill B.C. Copper-age (Chalcolithic) culture of Seredniy Stih (Sredniy Stog in Russian) was discovered during excavation in the locality of Seredniy Stih (“Middle Rock”) on a rock-top on the Dnepr's bank near the city of Zaporizhia in 1927. About 100 settlements, cemeteries, and separated relics of this culture were studied by Ukrainian scholars in the next 40 years. The region of their spreading occupied the steppe country between the Dnieper and the Don, and also the south part of forest-steppe of Left-side Ukraine. This culture existed from the middle 4th mill till the middle 3d mill BC and had three local variants in the catchment of the rivers Dnieper, S. Donets, and Don. (Archeology of Ukranian SSR, 1985: 305.)
            The author of the monograph concerning the SS culture D. Telegin wrote that its origin is very unclear, but he thought that it was created by Indo-Iranians (TElEGIN D.Y, 1973, 144-146). This view prevails among scholars till present but according to conclusion of our study the mentioned territory was settled sometime by Turkic tribes. Therefore in this contribution, we can try to connect archaeological data with linguistic material confirming the Türkic origin of this culture. The culture of Seredniy Stih (SS) is characterized by certain mutual features which evidently distinguish it of other cultures of Eastern Europe of that time. The pottery of the culture SS had such peculiarity that fine pounded shells were added to the clay paste used for making pots, basins, bowls, goblets, etc. Pots and bowls had a high neck, reached to 1/3 or 1/4 of the whole height, and the great deal of them was decorated by comb, cord, and prick ornamentation. The sides of vessels were cone-shaped with rounded bottom. Some found artefacts, such as human or animal statuettes were made of clay too.
            Tools, weapons were made of flint, stone, bone, and horn. The most part of tools were presented by knives made of big flint plates. Axes were manufactured of flint in the shape of wedge oval. Diverse articles were made of horn – fighting hammers, mattocks, harpoons, fish-hooks etc. The hammers and mattocks were similar to those of Trypilla culture (in the basins of the Dnester and Southern Bug) and Maykop culture (on the Northern Caucasus) but they were differed much from horn tools of the north-western part of Eastern Europe. All hammers had a perforated round hole for handle. They were used as weapons. Copper was used for making of adornment and very seldom for axes. The chemical analyses of copper indicates sometimes on its Balkan origin but the greatest deal of copper articles were made on this locality (TElEGIN D.Y., 1973: 78-80)
            In obedience to archaeological data, the economy of the SS culture had stock-raising character, mainly horse breeding. According the volume of bones found at excavations of some stands, horse took more than 50% domestic herd. It was used mainly for riding, what was proved by the finds of horn elements (psalias) of bridles (Archeology of Ukranian SSR, 1985, 309). Horsemen could control horse herds easier and more efficient as pedestrian herdsmen therefore horse herds could be very numerous. Wide development of horse breeding among Türkic people is confirmed by linguistic data. Common Türkic words vocabulary has two words for the name of horse, in addition separately for mare and stallion, names for colts of several age, also mutual words for names of rider, saddles, bridles, stirrups, whip, manes, hoofs, amble. Wild horses were present in Pontic steppes as long ago as at Herodotus’ time, consequently there are all grounds to assume that they were domesticated by Old Türks for the first time. The Trypillians, the neighbours of Turkics on the Dnepr's right bank parts knew wild horses too but they began to use it later as Türks and the role of horse was very small in the economy of the Trypillians.
            The rivers Dnieper, Don, and their tributaries were very rich on fish such as sturgeon, stirlet, pike, perch-pike, bream, sheat-fish and other therefore fishing had the special significance for the SS-people. They used fishing-rods with horned hooks, nets, fish-traps, and other fishing-baskets. Many fish scales of sheat-fish were found in cooking refuses in many excavated settlements of the SS culture. It is interesting that the name of sheat-fish (yayın) is widely extended in many Türkic languages as other fish names too (čortan, čöke, süjrük, sazan etc). On the contrary, Indo-European languages have no common names for fishespecies and some names are borrowed by them from Türks (e.g. Eastern Slavic sazan, čabak have Turkic origin, plausible Lat sarda, sardina stems also from Turkic čortan ). All this can prove the long tradition of fishing among Türks which went back to the time of Türkic community. Thus, Türkic Urheimat could not be located near to the waterless steppes of Central Asia.
            Well known cord-like ornament of pottery, fighting hammers which later were extended throughout large territory of Europe, had appeared for the first time in the sphere of the SS culture. The scholars know that the SS culture was in a close genetic relationship with the Old Pit (Yamna) culture being a main component of its creation. The Old-Pit cultural-historical region was the first tribe association of East Europe in the Early Bronze Age, tied by the integrity of the inhabited territory, by the prevailing of common genetic components of material and spiritual culture (pottery’s shapes, their ornamentation, burial rite etc), by the same level of social and economical development, by the proximity of religious imaginations and the system of social relations (SHAPOSHNIKOVA O.G… 1986, 5)
            Some scientists unite the Pit, SS, and other cultures in the one, so called „kurgan culture” (burial mound culture). But the first kurgans (barrows) appeared only at the late period of the SS culture. The widespread construction of burial mounds above graves developed only at the times of the Pit culture, although the lay-out of graves stayed almost the same, as well as at the times of the SS culture. Graves were done in soil and recovered at the top level by flagstones or trees. The walls of grave were covered by rind, reed, or branches. Reed, rind and sometimes mats was laid on a bottom. Burials were solitary, rarely paired. The deceaseds were put on the back with their legs bent in knees at various orientation of the dead but mainly the head was turned to the sunrise (east or north-east according to season). The dead were often powered with red paint (ochre). The various accessories such as flint knives, axes, vessels, ornamentations were laid near the deceaseds. Some copper articles can be found in graves but very seldom. The kurgans at present have 1-1,5m height, rarely they reach 3-4 m, very rarely to 5-6,5m. The diameter is approximately 10 times more of the height. Owning to an asymmetric section of kurgans, they can be easily distinguished from the Scythian ones. This asymmetry appeared under natural influence during long time. Sometimes some graves of a different time were put in a one kurgan. Their number may reach to 10 and ever to 15-16. The size of kurgan evidences the social status of a deceased. Large tribe associations already had at the head authoritative leaders. A rich equipped grave has been found in an enormous great kurgan near the village of Vasylivka in Kherson district can confirm this conjecture. A stone sceptre lain alongside of the body and it confirmed that the deceased was a leader of some tribe or/and simultaneously a supreme priest, as it was at the pharaohs of Egypt and rulers of Mesopotamia. A sceptre was most likely the sign of power, and also to be used in religious-magic aims (KUBYSHEV A.I., NECHYTAYLO A.L, 1988.: 116-117). Excavations evince that SS-men were of europeod race type with the predominance of dolichocephalic shape of the skull.
            The Pit culture, developed on the base of the SS culture, existed since 25 till 19 century BC (TELEGIN D.Y., 1976: 29) . It occupied more large territory as the SS culture did:

            Territory of the extension of relics of Pit culture is enough broad. In the east it reached to the regions of Orenburg, Magnitogorsk, and the river Emba. The southern frontier of their spreading goes along the river Terek, along the whole coast of the Azov Sea and in the Crimea. In the north their records are found at Forest-steppe zone and arrived to the Samara curve on the Volga, riverheads of the Don, and Kiev on the Dnieper. The western frontier is lost in the country between of the Southern Bug and the Dniester (Arkheologiya Ukrainskoy SSR., 1985.: 337).

            The level of the Pit culture was higher as the SS culture, though metallic artefacts in graves are been found very rarely. Obviously, old metallic tool were melted once again to new ones. Besides for tools, metal was used for preparing woman adornment, i.e. ear- and finger-rings, necklaces, pendants etc. which are sometimes found among the remains of the Pit culture. As such things existed they had to have their names which had to be similar in related languages because the speakers of these languages dwelled in close adjacency at this ancient time. At least one of such names exists in almost all Turkic languages – syrga “ear-ring”. Indo-European languages have no common words for woman adornments that is the Ancient Indo-Europeans had no such things at the time when they stay in close neighbourhood on their Urheimat.
            Metallurgy of Pit-men was based on the use of copper without alloyed admixtures, which was stemmed by greater from the Southern Urals and the Caucasus. In the east of their territory, SS-men entered into the contact with cattle-breeding tribes, which had the dominant of their economy in the sheep breeding. The spreading of the sheep breeding among the Neolithic tribes of East Europe is connected with cultural and economic influences from the south and the east part of the catchment of Caspian Sea, where natural environment was favourable for the domestication of sheep. Frugal in the feed sheep gave large offspring and easily endured the distant trips on waterless steppes. Development of the sheep breeding among Türkic tribes was one of the factors caused the forming of the Old Pit culture played a deciding role in mastering of the steppes of Eurasia. (MASSON V.M., MERPERT N.Y., 1982: 238.) The population of the steppes rose with increased speed what was the reason for the mass migration of Turkic tribes.
            At first there was only certain infiltration of transmitters of SS culture westerward to the territory of Trypillian culture. This people reached to the rivers Syniukha and Ingulets . Plausible they moved further to the Middle Dniester, as it can be confirmed by Trypillian pottery resembled sometimes the pottery of SS culture having the admixture of pounded shells or sand in clay paste. Obviously, these people, which as the first Türkic tribes left their Urheimat, were the ancestors of the Volga-Bulgars and modern-day Chuvash. The remnants of Ancient Türks stayed on their Urheimat still for a long time, their languages developed in close mutual contact and became some mutual features which were absent in Proto-Bulgarish. Therefore the Chuvash language stands something aside from other Türkic languages.
            From the end of 3-rd mill. BC the mass penetration of Pit-people begun to the catchment of the Dnister. This fact may be confirmed by existence of the Usatovo group of Trypillian culture, some features of which are undoubtedly typical for the Pit culture. The Pit-men didn’t lose their customs on new settlements. The skeleton of the man buried on the back with feet bend in knee was found among other in the burial place near the village of Nezvisko of Ivano-Frankovsk district. This posture is characteristic for the burial places „kurgan” cultures. Also the ceremony of kurgan interment was scattered among the Trypillians (MASSON V.M., MERPERT N.Y., 1982.: 212, 230).
            Some part of the Pit-men from the basin of the Dniester moved further northwestward to the Central Europe. Using riding horses, they resettled quickly in great distances away, exerting cultural influence on indigenes and founded new cultural regions. In such a way well-known Corded Ware and Battle Axe cultures belonging to Turks was extended on the large territory of Europe. The Trypillian culture was at this time already in the stage of decline. When late Pit-men tribes settled the country between the Southern Bug and the Ingulets rivers, Trypillian population was already absent here (SHAPOSHNIKOVA O.G. a.o. 1986.: 59). The Trypilla culture was predominant based on the agriculture which lost its efficiency at that time. The nomadic sheep- and cattle-breeding gave the greater additional production than the farming as it could better utilize the steppe resources. The transition to the nomadic living way was accompanied by mutual assimilation Pit and Trypillian people. At the increase of the population, the reverse transition to agriculture became unavoidable. In almost five centuries the population in the area of the Middle and Upper Dnister turned to the settled way of living again. The archaeological records of the Battle Axe Komariv culture of the Middle Bronze Age, which developed on this territory, advised that the sedentary agriculture and cattle-breeding formed the basis of economy of the indigenous population.
            But the most part of Pit people crossed the Don and dispersed in the Volga river's basin, the Northern Caucasus, and further in the steppes of Kazakhstan. Plausible they were creators of the Fatianovo and the Balanovo cultures in the catchment of the Oka and the Volga. These cultures are considered as some variants of Corded Ware cultures, or the culture of fighting hammers. The Balanovo culture existed during the II mill BC approximately on the territory of modern-day Tatarstan and did large influence on the development of culture and economy of indigenous population (BADER O.N., KHALIKOV A.K., 1976: 41). Probably the creators of the Balanovo culture were the ancestors of the modern Volga Tatars. Scattering in Kazakhstan, Pit tribes, that were Ancient Türks, created the Andronovo culture in this area. Here meeting people of Central Asia they were mixed with them:

            The South-Siberian group of population was the product of mixing of Central-Asiatic Mongoloids with the representatives of the Palaeo-European type, in particular with the population of the Andronovo culture existed in Kazakhstan and in Southern Siberia at the time of Bronze (ALEKSEEV V.P., 1974: 85).

            Another study resulted that there were two large independent tribe associations on the territory of Mongolia already from the end the 3rd mill BC. One of these associations (the eastern) was related to Mongoloid population, and the second (western) had Europeoid (Caucasoid) origin (NOVGORODOVA E. A., 1981.:214). However, although probably all speakers of Türkic languages changed their anthropological type due drawing new anthropological groups into Türkic association, the population of the western part of Türkic territory avoided the cross-breeding with Mongoloids. These Türks were mixed only with other Europeoid types in Middle Asia, Asia Minor and in East Europe.
            Various opinions exist about the chronological frontiers of the Seredniy Stih Culture. Ukrainian archaeologists date it from the beginning of the second half of the 4th mill BC till the end of the first quarter of the 3rd mill BC, but M. Gimbutas considers it thousand years older. But the most important fact for us is that its creators are well identified with Turks. Further we shall consider the population of the territory between the rivers Dnepr and Don from the Sea of Azov to the forest-steppe zone as of Turkic origin and of European anthropology. The Pit Culture had three stages of development and should be related to the Copper Age because it ceased its existence with the beginning of the Bronze Age. Radiocarbon analysis dates its latest stage at 25-19 century BC. (Archeology of Ukranian SSR, 1985: 352).
            Karl Menges indicated that there are few Altaic words in the Chuvash language (MENGES K.H. 1979: 51). Only Chuvash is distinguished from the rest of Turkic languages by peculiarity of the well-known phonetic passage r, lz, s/š.. Probably, just the Proto-Bulgar were in majority among all Turkic tribes which crossed the river Dnepr and stayed in the Right-side Ukraine. The first people whom the Bulgar met on the right bank of the Dniepr were the creator of Trypilla (Tripolie in Russian) culture. Some words of their language could remain in the language of the Chuvash who are the descendants of the Bulgar. Moreover, in that period the Proto-Bulgar had language contacts with the ancient Hittites, Italics and Illirians. The Latin-Turkic lexical correspondences can be found in the list of traces of linguistic contakt between Indoeuropeans and Turks too. Naturally, the Chuvash words are present in the most frequent of all.





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