The Horse, the Wheel, and Language: How Bronze-Age Riders from the Eurasian Steppes Shaped the Modern World

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Princeton University Press, Jul 26, 2010 - 568 páginas
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Roughly half the world's population speaks languages derived from a shared linguistic source known as Proto-Indo-European. But who were the early speakers of this ancient mother tongue, and how did they manage to spread it around the globe? Until now their identity has remained a tantalizing mystery to linguists, archaeologists, and even Nazis seeking the roots of the Aryan race. The Horse, the Wheel, and Language lifts the veil that has long shrouded these original Indo-European speakers, and reveals how their domestication of horses and use of the wheel spread language and transformed civilization.


Linking prehistoric archaeological remains with the development of language, David Anthony identifies the prehistoric peoples of central Eurasia's steppe grasslands as the original speakers of Proto-Indo-European, and shows how their innovative use of the ox wagon, horseback riding, and the warrior's chariot turned the Eurasian steppes into a thriving transcontinental corridor of communication, commerce, and cultural exchange. He explains how they spread their traditions and gave rise to important advances in copper mining, warfare, and patron-client political institutions, thereby ushering in an era of vibrant social change. Anthony also describes his fascinating discovery of how the wear from bits on ancient horse teeth reveals the origins of horseback riding.



The Horse, the Wheel, and Language solves a puzzle that has vexed scholars for two centuries--the source of the Indo-European languages and English--and recovers a magnificent and influential civilization from the past.

 

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LibraryThing Review

Crítica de los usuarios  - pbjwelch - LibraryThing

Educated in an era when the Tigris-Euphrates "Fertile Crescent") region was credited with the invention of the chariot, this work's most fascinating contribution to our understanding of world history ... Leer comentario completo

LibraryThing Review

Crítica de los usuarios  - fist - LibraryThing

In short, this is the prequel to Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond (to which the author refers in the text and in the title trifecta). Maybe this book is a bit more technical in its archeological ... Leer comentario completo

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Contenido

The Opening of the Eurasian Steppes
121
Authors Note on Radiocarbon Dates
467
Notes
471

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Acerca del autor (2010)

David W. Anthony is professor of anthropology at Hartwick College. He is the editor of The Lost World of Old Europe (Princeton). He has conducted extensive archaeological fieldwork in Ukraine, Russia, and Kazakhstan.

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