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Author Topic: Huge Ancient Civilization's Collapse Explained  (Read 957 times)
Curtis Pigman(Pigmon)
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« on: June 16, 2012, 04:42:30 PM »

I've always wondered what happened to the Indus people and this article could help explain where they (we?) went.  Could this be the ultimate "origin" of the Indo-European speakers? Maybe some of the questions presented on these forums could be answered on this article.

from:  http://www.livescience.com/20614-collapse-mythical-river-civilization.html

"The mysterious fall of the largest of the world's earliest urban civilizations nearly 4,000 years ago in what is now India, Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh now appears to have a key culprit — ancient climate change, researchers say.

Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia may be the best known of the first great urban cultures, but the largest was the Indus or Harappan civilization. This culture once extended over more than 386,000 square miles (1 million square kilometers) across the plains of the Indus River from the Arabian Sea to the Ganges, and at its peak may have accounted for 10 percent of the world population. The civilization developed about 5,200 years ago, and slowly disintegrated between 3,900 and 3,000 years ago — populations largely abandoned cities, migrating toward the east."

"Eventually, over the course of centuries, Harappans apparently fled along an escape route to the east toward the Ganges basin, where monsoon rains remained reliable.

"We can envision that this eastern shift involved a change to more localized forms of economy — smaller communities supported by local rain-fed farming and dwindling streams," Fuller said. "This may have produced smaller surpluses, and would not have supported large cities, but would have been reliable."

This change would have spelled disaster for the cities of the Indus, which were built on the large surpluses seen during the earlier, wetter era. The dispersal of the population to the east would have meant there was no longer a concentrated workforce to support urbanism.

"Cities collapsed, but smaller agricultural communities were sustainable and flourished," Fuller said. "Many of the urban arts, such as writing, faded away, but agriculture continued and actually diversified."

These findings could help guide future archaeological explorations of the Indus civilization. Researchers can now better guess which settlements might have been more significant, based on their relationships with rivers, Giosan said."
« Last Edit: June 16, 2012, 05:07:01 PM by Curtis Pigman(Pigmon) » Logged

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intrestedinhistory
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« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2012, 05:56:56 PM »

No. IE languages come from the Yamna culture of Ukraine.

And there is no evidence that Harrapans fled east. Neolithic lineages which include a small pocket of R1b-M269 and J1 and T along with J2a, J2b, G2a, R2a, L1a and L1c are concentrated around and most diverse around the Sindh-Punjab-Balochistan-NWFP region.

Also poorly written article. The Indus Valley civilization was focused around  Pakistan and NW India along with portions of West India And Afghanistan. Nepal And Bangladesh have nothing to do with this and neither does most of India.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2012, 06:19:11 PM by intrestedinhistory » Logged
Curtis Pigman(Pigmon)
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« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2012, 06:22:41 PM »

Researcher Liviu Giosan, a geologist at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts came up with the conclusion that they moved east over a few centuries.  I am thinking they moved north but that is just a guess on my part.
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rms2
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« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2012, 07:53:03 AM »

No. IE languages come from the Yamna culture of Ukraine.

. . .


That is nowhere near an established fact, so it would be nice if you prefaced such a remark with In my opinion . . . or I think . . ., or some such qualifier.

Not everyone agrees that "IE languages come from the Yamna culture of Ukraine", certainly not all linguists.

I'm not saying I think IE emerged from Harappa/Mohenjo-Daro (I don't).
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intrestedinhistory
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« Reply #4 on: June 18, 2012, 10:53:21 AM »

No. IE languages come from the Yamna culture of Ukraine.

. . .


That is nowhere near an established fact, so it would be nice if you prefaced such a remark with In my opinion . . . or I think . . ., or some such qualifier.

Not everyone agrees that "IE languages come from the Yamna culture of Ukraine", certainly not all linguists.

I'm not saying I think IE emerged from Harappa/Mohenjo-Daro (I don't).

It is the most accepted theory.   I didn't feel the need to entertain Anatolian or Out of India theories. But I can add the qualifier in the future.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2012, 10:54:40 AM by intrestedinhistory » Logged
intrestedinhistory
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« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2012, 02:14:49 PM »

Actually why should I add that qualifier? It is the view of the majority of experts. Why should I add the qualifier because you personally disagree with it? Why should I consider fringe theories and choose to respect them enough with a qualifier? Because others choose to do so?
« Last Edit: June 18, 2012, 02:16:17 PM by intrestedinhistory » Logged
rms2
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« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2012, 07:00:57 PM »

Actually why should I add that qualifier? It is the view of the majority of experts. Why should I add the qualifier because you personally disagree with it? Why should I consider fringe theories and choose to respect them enough with a qualifier? Because others choose to do so?

It's up to you, but without a qualifier you are stating it as an established fact, which it is not. In that way, you are misleading the uninitiated.

By the way, not all alternatives to the PC steppe are "fringe theories". For example, two of the world's leading linguists and experts on Indo-European, Gamkrelidze and Ivanov, place the PIE Urheimat in eastern Anatolia or Armenia. They aren't kooks and their ideas are well respected.

Just because the PC steppe theory has a lot of R1a fans on internet forums who really really like it doesn't make it an established fact.
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intrestedinhistory
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« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2012, 10:13:56 AM »

Actually why should I add that qualifier? It is the view of the majority of experts. Why should I add the qualifier because you personally disagree with it? Why should I consider fringe theories and choose to respect them enough with a qualifier? Because others choose to do so?

It's up to you, but without a qualifier you are stating it as an established fact, which it is not. In that way, you are misleading the uninitiated.

By the way, not all alternatives to the PC steppe are "fringe theories". For example, two of the world's leading linguists and experts on Indo-European, Gamkrelidze and Ivanov, place the PIE Urheimat in eastern Anatolia or Armenia. They aren't kooks and their ideas are well respected.

Just because the PC steppe theory has a lot of R1a fans on internet forums who really really like it doesn't make it an established fact.

Because we know they are so much more respected than Mallory. It is not lke Mallory is the leading authority.

Haha the PC steepe theory? What is PC about saying IE languages were spread by Northeast Europeans? Nothing PC about that. The Anatolian theory is about as PC as it gets.  The idea that a bunch of farmers who btw are likely to not be R1b spread the languages to R1a steepe tribes without any remnants of R1b among those tribes is ridiculous.
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Jean M
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« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2012, 02:06:20 PM »

By the way, not all alternatives to the PC steppe are "fringe theories". For example, two of the world's leading linguists and experts on Indo-European, Gamkrelidze and Ivanov, place the PIE Urheimat in eastern Anatolia or Armenia. They aren't kooks and their ideas are well respected.

Frankly they are fringe theorists in terms of the amount of academics supporting them on this particular theory. Yes they are perfectly respectable academic linguists, but linguists disagree among themselves as much as archaeologists. Simply having academic tenure does not make any specific linguist or archaeologist right about everything, or a serious contender for top of the pile in the squabbling for eminence in a given field.  

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Just because the PC steppe theory has a lot of R1a fans on internet forums who really really like it doesn't make it an established fact.

What Polako has chosen to assert is not in fact supported by Mallory, Anthony or any other academic these days to my knowledge. It might seem to you that Polako is following the steppe theory, but he in fact wants the origin of PIE to be the North European Plain. That idea was promoted endlessly by a Dutch chap on the DNA Forums that you might recall. It is one of the many old ideas that have fallen by the wayside.



« Last Edit: June 19, 2012, 02:07:32 PM by Jean M » Logged
Jean M
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« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2012, 02:15:05 PM »

What is PC about saying IE languages were spread by Northeast Europeans? Nothing PC about that.

I believe that "PC" here means Pontic-Caspian, not Politically Correct.

It appears to me that people are talking at cross purposes here. Fury is falling upon you because you keep asking about ideas well known to be the brain-child of Polako. So you are assumed to be a follower of Polako, though it is obvious to me that you just want his position refuted. I do my best to refute his position, but it gets tiresome to have the same questions raised over and over and over again on multiple forums. Can we take it now as cleared up?  
« Last Edit: June 19, 2012, 02:32:57 PM by Jean M » Logged
rms2
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« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2012, 09:05:44 PM »

By the way, not all alternatives to the PC steppe are "fringe theories". For example, two of the world's leading linguists and experts on Indo-European, Gamkrelidze and Ivanov, place the PIE Urheimat in eastern Anatolia or Armenia. They aren't kooks and their ideas are well respected.

Frankly they are fringe theorists in terms of the amount of academics supporting them on this particular theory. Yes they are perfectly respectable academic linguists, but linguists disagree among themselves as much as archaeologists. Simply having academic tenure does not make any specific linguist or archaeologist right about everything, or a serious contender for top of the pile in the squabbling for eminence in a given field.  

. . .


I strongly disagree, Jean. A "fringe theory" is a theory that is considered radical or extreme. The ideas of Ivanov and Gamkrelidze may be held by a minority of linguists, but that doesn't make them a "fringe theory"; it makes them a minority theory.

I don't think any of the PIE Urheimat theories is anywhere near proven. Pardon me, but you constantly post as if the PC Steppe idea is established fact, accepted by an overwhelming consensus of linguists. I haven't seen that. It has its adherents, but so do other viewpoints.

I personally think there are a number of problems with it.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2012, 09:06:53 PM by rms2 » Logged

Jean M
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« Reply #11 on: June 20, 2012, 05:18:37 AM »

I strongly disagree, Jean. A "fringe theory" is a theory that is considered radical or extreme. The ideas of Ivanov and Gamkrelidze may be held by a minority of linguists, but that doesn't make them a "fringe theory"; it makes them a minority theory.

Fair enough. The word "minority" is OK. The word "marginal" has been used by linguists discussing this. Of the three IE homeland theories most commonly mentioned in textbooks covering the homeland debate, that of Ivanov and Gamkrelidze is the most likely to be missed out.

Either way it is perfectly accurate to take the steppe theory as the standard one. I constantly post as though said theory is the one accepted by the majority of linguists who specialise in Indo-European studies because that is the case, as can be easily verified. No amount of haranguing and bullying on this or any other forum will change that fact, which you can find in any anglophone textbook for students on same.

I just Googled for a textbook in Google books and took the first, which happened to be Benjamin W. Fortson, IV, Indo-European Language and Culture: An Introduction 2nd edn (2010). His section 2.50 covers the homeland issue. He explains the evidence, points out the parts of the "Kurgan theory" of Gimbutas that have not stood the test of time, but concludes in section 2.67 "Nonetheless, among Indo-Europeanists, her basic notion of an incursion westward into Europe from the steppe region has become the most widely followed theory of IE expansion."

Why on earth would I misrepresent something like this? It would be like claiming that the sky is green. Anyone can almost effortlessly check the facts. You accused me not long ago of "cherry-picking" to misrepresent the position taken in an article which I had actually supplied to you in full. You could check for yourself that I was giving the author's own summary of her position. I am not so much insulted as bemused by this sort of accusation being hurled at me. It is so silly.

One final word here is important. The fact that a particular position on anything is favoured in academia doesn't stop you from arguing with it.  I never accepted the anti-migrationism that was orthodoxy in British archaeology for 30 years. Accepting that something is the orthodox position is not the same as agreeing with it. As it happens I do agree with the steppe IE theory. But don't imagine that I am putting forward my personal views in an inflated guise. I don't do that.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2012, 09:06:38 AM by Jean M » Logged
Jean M
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« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2012, 05:57:28 AM »

I haven't seen that.

Where have you been looking? Unless you move in IE linguistic circles, attend their conferences, read their journal etc, you are not going to be aware of the state of play there. I wouldn't use words like "established fact" by the way. "Predominant theory" would be more the position.

I think it is fair to say that the standard Anatolian homeland theory (rather than Gamkrelidze and Ivanov's patriotic take on the topic) has a fair number of adherents among archaeologists, most of whom are not really clued up on the linguistic evidence. It has had an appeal to a fair number of people outside either discipline (including me before I read into the topic more deeply). A link to the spread of farming seems satisfyingly neat. Views on DNA forums, blogs etc could well reflect that.  I'd say they do. That doesn't say anything about the position among academic IE specialists.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2012, 07:17:45 AM by Jean M » Logged
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« Reply #13 on: June 21, 2012, 08:26:03 AM »

Okay, Jean.

Now for something entirely different. I am not an expert on Slavic languages. I speak a little Russian (I'm not fluent though) because my wife is Russian. I am curious about the sudden appearance of Yamna in "Yamna Culture" as opposed to Yamnaya, as it appears in Anthony's book. The word yamna is the Ukrainian word for pit, which in Russian is yama. Yamna is a noun. Yamnaya is the feminine adjective. It's used in its feminine form because in Ukrainian and Russian the word culture, which it modifies in this case, is feminine.

So, isn't it improper to call the Yamnaya Culture the "Yamna Culture"? I mean, if we are going to bother using the Ukrainian word, why not stick with the correct form of it?

"Yamna Culture" kind of bugs me, but maybe I am being overly fastidious. It is rather like seeing "Germany Culture" instead of "German Culture". The former has an effect on me like the scraping of fingernails on a chalkboard.

So, I'll stick with Yamnaya Culture. It's two letters longer, but it is less irritating.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2012, 07:14:49 PM by rms2 » Logged

Jean M
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« Reply #14 on: June 21, 2012, 08:42:05 AM »

I don't speak any Slavic language, but had guessed that Yamnaya was the adjective. I'm not sure whether I am consistent in my current text (on computer) on that usage and Yangelskaya, but will check. I'm not updating the online text as you know.

[Added] Found one Yamna without "Culture". Wasn't sure what to use there. Have deleted to avoid confusion.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2012, 08:48:28 AM by Jean M » Logged
razyn
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« Reply #15 on: June 21, 2012, 09:57:26 AM »

Y'all could call them Pit People, and annoy Anthony's readers (and others) more even-handedly.  It would anyway be best to avoid the pit of declining the Slavic adjective depending on its use in the sentence.  That would just get all Yamniy, Yamnovo, Yamnie, it never ends... nor would the Russians and Ukrainians agree on one.  I didn't marry one, cлава Богу, but I hang out with these people in a balalaika orchestra and have to put up with their little ways.  And vice versa, of course.

In the meantime, I agree with rms2, that extra syllable is a small enough price to pay.
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« Reply #16 on: June 21, 2012, 10:20:08 AM »

The English version is "Pit-Grave Culture", which I virtuously give on first mention of Yamnaya and thereafter ignore as frankly lacking a certain je-ne-sais-quoi.

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It would anyway be best to avoid the pit of declining the Slavic adjective depending on its use in the sentence.


I think you are right. <Steps over pit (grave)>
« Last Edit: June 21, 2012, 10:30:25 AM by Jean M » Logged
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