In this study of language, archaeology and culture, Hartwick College anthropology professor Anthony hypothesizes that a proto-Indo-European culture emerged in the Ponto-Caspian steppes 4,000 years ago, speaking an ur-language ancestor to the Romance, German and Slavic family of languages, Sanskrit, Persian and modern English. Citing discoveries in the Ukraine, Russia and Kazakhstan made possible only after the fall of the Iron Curtain brought together Soviet and western scientists, Anthony combines evidence from radioactive dating, demographic analysis of migration patterns, linguistic analysis and the study of epics such as the Iliad and the Rig Veda to substantiate his contention. Central to his thesis is the role of the horse, originally domesticated for food and first ridden to manage herds; only later, with the development of the chariot, were they ridden during combat.
In the first quarter of the book, the author provides an account of the development of early Indo-European languages and their theorized source, Proto-Indo-European. The remainder is devoted to a detailed survey of current archaeological knowledge of the Neolithic and Bronze Ages in the Pontic-Caspian steppes and surrounding areas.
David W. Anthony
The Horse, the Wheel, and Language: How Bronze-Age Riders from the Eurasian Steppes Shaped the Modern World
Princeton University Press; Reprint edition (July 26, 2010)