First we have to see the characteristics of Indo – Europeans. Are they?
Hunter gatherers, Pastoral Nomads, Agriculturists etc
Vocabulary : Animals, Plants, Agriculture etc
Collin Renfrew says Indo-European homeland as Anatolia and they practiced agriculture around 7000BC. one of their groups moved westward to Europe, crossing the Bosporus and another -group, moving eastward, via the region south of the Caucasus mountains and the Caspian Sea, into Iran from where it must have subsequently entered Afghanistan and India. In an alternative scenario, Renfrew thinks that the Indo-Europeans split up after entering Europe and then the eastern branch went to south-central Asia, via north of the Black and Caspian Seas, whence it moved on to northeastern Iran, Afghanistan and India.
Theory fails on two counts
If Indians and Europeans lived together as farmers ,their vocabulary should have common words or words originating from common words. But there are none.
Secondly Hittite language from which the commonness is perceived is a minority language of Elite and basal language is non-European.
Gamkrelidze and Ivanov say Indo-European homeland between Black Sea and Caspian sea. This theory is based on linguistic paleontology. Since there is mountains , rivers, Lakes in the vacabulary. They also added that the Indo-European has lot of semitic loan words.
This theory fails because.
Many scholars have shown semitic loan words as misplaced theory.
Armenian language spoken in the area has large number of non Indo-European words, meaning there is another native language spoken. Which suggest that Indo-Europeans are not from that area.
Kurgan is steppes north of Black and Caspian Sea. There archaeological remains of Burial barrows (Kurgan in Slavic language) have been found. Maria Gimbutas says Indo- Europeans are essentially horse riding warriors who can thrust the weapons and can easily overrun the area. By 4000BC they reached central Europe.
This theory fails because
On the technology and cultural level kurgan were essentially pastrol nomads.
Mounted warriors were seen in Europe around 1000BC only says Renfrew
Linguistically there is no relation between pastrol Kurgan and Farming Indo – European says Kathrin Krell, Mallory and Schmitt
Johanna Nichols says Sogodiana was their homeland, from there they spread to Aral sea and they split into two.
This theory fails on the basis
There seems to be only language spread with no people movement. It is unlikely to have happened when there was No TV , Radio or Internet.
There is no centre to periphery spread, there is no eastern spread of the language which is baffling.
According to this theory India is the home of Indo- European languages. This theory was put forward in 18th century but has no takers then. Why now? Because new findings have come which has resurrected the theory. They are
Mehrgarh neolithic are farming in wheat , domesticated animals in contrast to pastrol sheep and goat. So the Mehrgarh are Indigenous.
Journey from Early charcolithic to Indus valley civilization is continuous. After studying the skulls there was a Biological continuity as well right up to the present day from early charcolithic days.
Most Important one is finding the Indus valley and Rig veda people are same Mentioning of the River saraswathi which is cradle of Indus valley Civilization.
Geographical evidence of confirms to Rivers , Mountains , Lakes etc.
Boghaz Kuei inscription(1400BC), refers to Indra, Mitra, Nasatya and Varuna as witnesses to a treaty between the Mitanni king Matiwaza and the Hittite king Suppiluliuma.
T. Burrow came to the conclusion: “The Indo- Europeans appear in Mitanni from 1500 BC as the ruling dynasty, which means that they must have entered the country as conquerors from no where else but from India.
Indo- Europeans are from India. Whether the Greek , Latin and Sanskrit (Vedic) are related we will see in another article.
The Homeland of Indo-European Languages And Culture: Some Thoughts
Author: Prof. B. B. Lal