Germanic and Romance languages originated in Western Russia

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The international team of scientists (including specialists from St. Petersburg and Samara) has found new genetic evidence of the Kurgan theory of the Indo-European languages origin. The results of the research are published in the journal Nature, and some brief information is available on the web-site of the University of Adelaide.

According to the scientists, at least some of the Indo-European languages emerged in Europe as a result of mass migration of proto-language speakers from the European territory of modern Russia. In particular, such migration is likely to have given birth to the Balto-Slavic, Germanic and Romance languages.

The experts came to this conclusion having studied the genomes of 94 people who lived in Europe 3-8 thousand years ago. Geneticists have found that from 4.5 thousand years ago on about 75 percent of people in Central Europe had ancestors from the Russian steppes. The representatives ofthe Corded Ware culture turned out to be the ancestors of the Yamna culture (the Pit culture) representatives, who lived in the territory between the Dnieper and the Volga.

This may be the evidence of the theory, according to which the Corded Ware culture originated from or under the strong influence of the Yamna culture. The scientists also note that the Yamna culture people could introduce new technologies of that time into the territory of Europe, wheels, for example. This is actually proved by the fact that wheeled vehicles and domesticated horses appeared in Europe about 5-6 thousand years ago.

It is believed that the first humans came to Europe from Africa about 45,000 years ago. Approximately eight thousand years ago, there was a second wave of migration, and Europe got inhabited by farmers from the Middle East. The third migration wave described by scientists happened 5-6 thousand years ago with people moving from the European part of modern Russia and Ukraine which, as scientists believe, led to the emergence of a number of modern European languages.

The scientists` research confirms the so-called Kurgan theory of the Indo-European languages origin. Archaeologists and linguists stick to this theory and believe that the Indo-European proto-language speakers lived in the territory of modern Russia and Ukraine between the Volga and the Dnieper. Proponents of the second most popular theory, the Anatolian hypothesis, think that the Indo-European language family emerged as a result of the migration from the territory of modern Turkey (ancient Anatolia) eight thousand years ago.

The scientists note that their study allows to understand the way the main Indo-European languages spread throughout Europe 5-6 thousand years ago. However, it doesn`t explain the origin of the southern languages of this family, particular the Greek language. Now scientists hope to find out how the proto-language (proto-languages) speakers migrated and how this migration is related to the Indo-European languages of the Caucasus, Iran and India.

Text and pictures by Lenta.ru