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Thread: Origins of Germanic

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    Origins of Germanic

    Here's my latest map, improved I hope on the rough one thrown together for a talk. The larger dark red dots show the proposed main route from the Black Sea to Scandinavia, with alternative/additional routes in smaller, paler dots. The intent this time is to take the reader only as far as CW (and related) cultures and the following Nordic Bronze Age. So it does not show the retreat south and the Jastorf culture.

    TrekNorth.jpg

    Feel free to argue, point out errors or whatever.

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    So you envisage that proto-Germanic arrived in Scandinavia c. 2500 BC, then moved south to Germany, then moved back north again considerably later?
    Last edited by Gravetto-Danubian; 03-31-2017 at 01:47 AM.

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    I don't know if you have seen this posted recently by Dr. Iain McDonald on the U106 project group? I think he says it should be regarded as "latest/best estimate" rather than conclusive.
    There is quite a lot of work going on through that group, most of which is way beyond my knowledge, so I can't offer anything further but I get the impression that the ages of the U106 clades may be older than previously thought. Hope this is of interest. John

    http://www.jb.man.ac.uk/~mcdonald/genetics/tree.html

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gravetto-Danubian View Post
    So you envisage that proto-Germanic arrived in Scandinavia c. 2500 BC, then moved south to Germany, then moved back north again considerably later?
    Pre-Germanic at the CW to Nordic Bronze Age stage. Proto-Germanic seems to have developed c. 500 BC in Jastorf etc. and spread in various directions from there. Here's the draft accompanying text.

    If we picture Yamnaya groups moving up rivers from the steppe into northern Europe, we can imagine them speaking a dialect of PIE. Certainly there are river-names across Europe that appear to be derived from Alteuropäisch (Old European), by which is meant a form of Indo-European in Europe earlier than any of its known branches.[Krahe 1963] How did Germanic develop? On the tree of Indo-European languages [Illustration 26], you can see a group splitting away from its parent about 3000 BC, which millennia later, around 500 BC, had developed Proto-Germanic, the immediate ancestor of the separate Germanic branches. So there was a long period of evolution, which we could call Pre-Germanic. It was not a fixed language, but a period of development.

    Where did this happen? [Illustration 38] Linguists usually work out such things by traces of contacts with other languages – a borrowed word perhaps. From these it seems that Germanic has a complex history. Picture a journey starting in the Indo-European homeland, in contact with the dialect that would become Balto-Slavic, then losing contact with that easterly sister at an early stage to come in contact with Italic and Celtic, [Ringe, Warnow, Taylor 2002, pp. 110-111] or more likely at that date, the parent of both language branches, Italo-Celtic. Elsewhere I have proposed that the extension of Yamnaya up the Danube valley saw the gradual development of Italo-Celtic from Alteuropäisch. Proto-Celtic probably developed around the heads of the rivers Danube and Rhine, north of the Alps. [Manco 2015, Blood of the Celts, 94-96.] Most specialists envisage Balto-Slavic developing from PIE in the Middle Dnieper region. [Andersen 1996, 49-50] A route between the Danube and the Dnieper would make sense of those linguistic links. Archaeologist David Anthony argues for a starting point in the Usatovo culture around the Dniester estuary and movement up river into the Late Funnel communities, to form part of the Corded Ware culture. The Usatovo culture was a mixture of Yamnaya and Late Cucuteni-Tripolye.[Anthony 2008] Pre-Germanic picked up farming vocabulary, such as words for 'pea' and 'goat', from a now lost non-Indo-European language.[Kroonen 2012] Its speakers were evidently farmers. So the lost language could have been that of Cucuteni-Tripolye, though as Usatovo people moved north, they would also encounter the Funnel Beaker farmers. It may not make a great deal of difference linguistically, if the Funnel Beaker people had a Balkan origin. A lost Balkan farming language would best explain why traces of the same non-Indo-European language are found in Germanic, Greek, Latin and Celtic.[Kroonen 2012]

    Although the Dniester route was probably the main one, an additional route could have followed the Yamnaya culture as it expanded up the Danube valley into the Carpathian Basin. From there one branch moved up the Tisza river and interacted with the Corded Ware people beyond the Carpathian Mountains. [Illustration 34] There is no linguistic reason to suppose that the people who eventually came to speak Germanic were all descended from just one band that stayed together in a long trek north from the Black Sea to Scandinavia. On the contrary, the complexity of Germanic suggests that Indo-European speakers arriving from several routes could have banded together to form the linguistic community in which Pre-Germanic evolved. [ref to wave theory in here?]

    Moving further north, Corded Ware spread into southern Scandinavia, where it is known as the Battle Axe culture. There Pre-Germanic speakers would encounter the now lost language of the early Scandinavian hunter-gatherers, labelled Palaeo-Laplandic, and be close enough to the homeland of Finnic to help explain the large number of words borrowed into Pre-Finnic from Pre-Germanic. [Aikio 2012; Kallio 2012] Indeed so close in the relationship between Germanic and Finnic, that is has been suggested that some Finnic speakers shifted to speaking Germanic with a 'Finnish accent', which left its mark more widely on Germanic. [Schrijver, 2014, 161-179.]

    Again two routes are possible, not mutually exclusive. The one giving the most prolonged contact with Funnel Beaker farmers would be via Jutland. Yet a route via the Baltic might best explain the considerable contact with Finnic. The Battle Axe pottery in Sweden most nearly resembles a Corded Ware type which seems to have evolved in southwest Finland.[Larsson 2009.] However they arrived, in Scandinavia this blend of peoples developed the Nordic Bronze Age ....
    Last edited by Jean M; 03-31-2017 at 09:31 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnHowellsTyrfro View Post
    I don't know if you have seen this posted recently by Dr. Iain McDonald on the U106 project group?
    Thank you. I had not seen it before. All I have on U106 in the chapter I've just finished comes immediately before the text above and just says:

    Corded Ware males predominantly carried Y-DNA R1a. However R1b-U106 has been found in a man of the Swedish Battle Axe culture at Lilla Beddinge. [Mathieson 2015.] Today this haplogroup shadows the spread of Germanic languages. [Illustration 37]
    I've written more on the autosomal stuff, but this thread is in the linguistics section, so I'd better not diverge into that.
    Last edited by Jean M; 03-31-2017 at 09:02 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jean M View Post
    Pre-Germanic at the CW to Nordic Bronze Age stage. Proto-Germanic seems to have developed c. 500 BC in Jastorf etc. and spread in various directions from there. Here's the draft accompanying text.
    Yes I see, thanks.
    If I were to hazard a guess, I might dare say that the 'major' route might have been slightly different. The 'Genetic History of Northern Europe' favoured that the major source for Nordic Battle Axe culture was via the East Baltic, correlating here with Nordic R1a-Z284, whatever branch of pre-Germanic it was. A second, and likely the major, source of pre-proto-Germanic, or Nordic Bronze Age language might have been U106 people. It is hard to divorce this from BB appearing in Norway, via Denmark, and ultimately NW Germany (as the exchange networks suggest). Of course, it would be a guess to trace this path back to L21 and its link to P312; and that would diverge us into genetics..

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gravetto-Danubian View Post
    The 'Genetic History of Northern Europe' favoured that the major source for Nordic Battle Axe culture was via the East Baltic..
    Yes I saw that in Mittnik 2017, thanks. I already had the Larsson 2009 PhD and the Larsson & Graner 2010 paper, so this aspect was in my preparatory notes last year for the new book. However I have not spent enough time reading up on CW in Denmark to be able to actually rule out that route. Seems unlikely that I will, but who knows?

    I'm still swaying to and fro over the question of whether to label one route the major one, or just leave them all as equal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gravetto-Danubian View Post
    A second, and likely the major, source of pre-proto-Germanic, or Nordic Bronze Age language might have been U106 people.
    You probably wrote this before I replied to John above. U106 is only one of the Y-DNA haplogroups in the mix carried by Germanic speakers today, but it is naturally mentioned in my text. At the moment we do not have the clues we need from aDNA to be sure whether U106 travelled into CW via the Danube and Tisza or via the Dniester. Either is possible. We just know that it was in the Swedish Battle Axe culture. Apart from R1a, the other haplogroup I want to know more about from aDNA is I1. I suspect that this travelled up the Dniester, rather than being already in Scandinavia before the arrival of Battle Axe, but cannot be sure as yet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jean M View Post
    You probably wrote this before I replied to John above. U106 is only one of the Y-DNA haplogroups in the mix carried by Germanic speakers today, but it is naturally mentioned in my text. At the moment we do not have the clues we need from aDNA to be sure whether U106 travelled into CW via the Danube and Tisza or via the Dniester. Either is possible. We just know that it was in the Swedish Battle Axe culture. Apart from R1a, the other haplogroup I want to know more about from aDNA is I1. I suspect that this travelled up the Dniester, rather than being already in Scandinavia before the arrival of Battle Axe, but cannot be sure as yet.
    Can you remind me if it was about this U106 individual from corded ware/ battle axe Sweden was that which Michał doubted its BAx provenance on account its later date and somewhat different burial rite ? But I agree it's all just hypithetical ATM

    As for I1, Atanas found one of the Stora Forvar individuals to be I1. I recall Genetiker found the same thing too. The Pitted ware culture expanded through eastern Sweden at the expense of TRB (perhaps a unique situation in history- we're not talking about mere "WHG bounce back", but actual takeover and reversion from farming back to fisher -foraging).
    So we have PWC (I1); then battle axe arrives from Baltic (R1a), then BB from north Germany (R1b); broadly speaking .
    Let me know if you want references

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    There's also Neolithic I1 in Hungary, and all modern I1 descends from a ~4600 bp MRCA so there is a possibility of a central European origin of I1 as well.

    There's no way to point a clear origin with basal diversity either. Germany is undersampled so disproportionaly high number of old (4000+ bp) branches are in Britain or America.


    https://www.yfull.com/tree/I1/

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