Anatolian hypothesis

The Anatolian hypothesis is a theory of the spread of Indo-European languages ​​in accordance with the findings on archaeological cultures of the Neolithic. After this first developed in the late 1980s, British archaeologist Colin Renfrew hypothesis of the development of Indo-European would have taken its beginning already 8,000 years ago in Anatolia and spread in the wake of Neolithization to Europe. The Indo-European proto-language had spread to the first farmers and ranchers.

Archaeological background

→ Main article Neolithization, Neolithic, Kurgan hypothesis

The splitting of the European languages ​​can be set with high probability in the Neolithic Period. Over and above the temporal dimension different views. But it is clear that in the 3rd millennium BC already splittings Indo-European languages ​​in the archaeological context are tangible. The Anatolian hypothesis was preceded in the 1950s by Marija Gimbutas developed and later developed Kurgan hypothesis, which has been criticized by Renfrew.

Renfrew stresses in contrast to Gimbutas that successful newcomers ( immigrants) must have brought a technique during the colonization of Europe, which the former was superior. There had been in the pre-and early history only an event that had not provided a radical improvement of living conditions: the development of agriculture, specifically from agriculture and animal husbandry in the course of Neolithization. Cultivation of einkorn, emmer and barley, and the domestication of sheep and goats can be the beginning of the pre-pottery Neolithic first in the Middle East, prove especially in the south of Anatolia.

In a recent presentation from 2003 Renfrew expects a gradual migration of Indo-European languages ​​, also known as "Indo - Hittite " model. The modified scenario can be explained mainly with new insights into the genetics of European populations ( spread of haplogroups );

Genetic research

→ Archäogenetik, haplogroups

Support for the actually verifiable migration of populations from Anatolia to the western Mediterranean region offer the genetic studies by Robert R. Sokal.

The population geneticist Luigi Cavalli - Sforza sees the connection between Anatolia and Kurgan hypothesis no opposition. In his view, farmers had brought an ancient Indo-European from Anatolia and spread in Europe; in a second wave, the remaining Indo-European languages ​​from the Kurgan area had spread. Cavalli - Sforza speaks of three main components of the " genetic tableaux of Europe ":

And brings both component 1) and 3) with the spread of Indo-European languages ​​in conjunction.

As Luigi Cavalli - Sforza is using a variety of human genetic studies, is not a singular hypothesis. The introduction of mixed farming allows a much higher (factor 10-50 ) population density and leads to a population explosion. On the human gene map, these consequences can be detected at different locations - such as in North China as a result of millet cultivation and in southern China for rice. The identification of said first main component with the spread of the crop culture is obvious. And the counter-thesis that farming culture is not also support a specific language family have been, is not very plausible.

Arguments against the Anatolian hypothesis

The thesis Renfrews are still to some weighty arguments:

  • In the early history of immigrations are covered with impact on the population composition in which the conquering people could enforce its language, civilization but largely took over the existing of the conquered and at most evolved. Particular examples are the German -language area of the Roman Empire and the territory of present-day Hungary and in North Africa ( the Romans took over the Punic agriculture and the Arabs, the Byzantine). In contrast conquests were carried out large areas with relatively small armies, as the examples of the Visigoths in Spain, the Vandals in Africa or the Lombards in Italy show.
  • According to archaeological findings shall be in the Middle East about 7000 BC and delayed in Central Europe by agriculture. In early neolithisierten regions in Spain ( Tartessos ), Italy ( already established proto- Tyrrhenians or proto- Etruscan ) and Greece (before immigration of Greeks in Minoan and Pelasgian time) come support the Indo-European language at some time resident non- Indo-European peoples with developed agriculture. Renfrews theory explains moreover, not the non-Indo- language islands ( in the Iberian Peninsula, the Apennine peninsula, but especially not in the Aegean Sea, on the islands of Crete and Cyprus, Pelasgians, Leleges in Greece, among others ), who settled in part only in the Neolithic were.
  • In Asia Minor the culture was taken over by the Hittites in the form of Hatti in the center, already established in the eastern part of the Hurrians and south of the Semites and business agriculture. When around 1500 BC at most small parts of Asia Minor were Indo-European by 2000 as ought to then spread out from there, given the resident around for a long time there non- Indo-European Indo-European to Persia, India and West Turkestan ( Tocharian )? The Indo-European the time preceding (formerly held for Dravidian, Austro- Asiatic now made ​​as credible) Indus civilization of Harappa and Mohenjo -daro had then also been agriculture.