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PsychoDad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-12-05 09:26 PM
Original message
Found: Europe's oldest civilisation
Found: Europe's oldest civilisation
By David Keys, Archaeology Correspondent
11 June 2005

http://news.independent.co.uk/europe/story.jsp?story=64...

Archaeologists have discovered Europe's oldest civilisation, a network of dozens of temples, 2,000 years older than Stonehenge and the Pyramids.

More than 150 gigantic monuments have been located beneath the fields and cities of modern-day Germany, Austria and Slovakia. They were built 7,000 years ago, between 4800BC and 4600BC. Their discovery, revealed today by The Independent, will revolutionise the study of prehistoric Europe, where an appetite for monumental architecture was thought to have developed later than in Mesopotamia and Egypt.
...
Archaeologists are now beginning to suspect that hundreds of these very early monumental religious centres, each up to 150 metres across, were constructed across a 400-mile swath of land in what is now Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and eastern Germany.

The most complex excavated so far - located inside the city of Dresden - consisted of an apparently sacred internal space surrounded by two palisades, three earthen banks and four ditches.

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ayeshahaqqiqa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-12-05 09:29 PM
Response to Original message
1. This is very interesting
I'm sure that further research will shed even more light on the development of culture and religion in this area....but I wonder why these places weren't found before?
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lenidog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-12-05 09:34 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Possibly evidence or clues that they places existed could have
been found before and been misinterpreted or intentionally quashed because it didn't fit into the current view of how history went according to the experts.
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Conservativesux Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-12-05 09:53 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. Caucasian remains were buried here in North America when that
didnt fit the long-held description of the Native Americans coming over here on a land bridge, well past the date the remains were carbon-dated at, before being buried by our government.

Sometimes people dont what to know the truth, if it doesn't fit with thier pre-concieved notions.
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lenidog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-12-05 10:16 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. Same thing with the theory on the age of the Sphinx
I forget his name but a geologist visited the necropolis at Giza as a tourist and while there of course took a look at the Sphinx. On the retaining wall he noticed erosion patterns on it that well he felt weren't made by sand. So he came back and started studying the Sphinx and its retaining wall and came up with the theory that the Sphinx is far older than archaeologists think. He believes that it is 10,000 to 12,000 years old. Now of course Egyptologists had an absolute fit and dismissed it out of hand without even considering it. Because that would mean either their dating of Egyptian history is WAY off or there was an advanced culture in the Nile Valley that they know nothing about. He then went to the annual meeting of the professional body of US geologists and they looked at his evidence and concluded that he was absolutely right. So the geologists who have no vested interest in how Egyptian history is written consider him right and the Egyptologists wont even consider his theory at all.
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chknltl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-12-05 10:41 PM
Response to Reply #8
11. I saw that too
It was on the Discovery Channel. Lots of Archaeologists have spoken out against him although I think his methods and science is quite sound. Not a cover up though. Mavericks like this guy are very important in the field. I am still waiting to hear more from him and others on that topic. The archaeologists and Egyptologists do have a good counterpoint in that: where is the evidence for a society that built that Sphinx in the model proposed by that geologist? We can plainly see the artifacts and structures of the builders of the other nearby structures but no evidence of a differing culture, earlier than the pyramid builders who may have been around here during the time the geologist has proposed.
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chknltl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-12-05 10:31 PM
Response to Reply #6
10. Not aware of deliberate burying of evidence...
....I am aware of 30,000 year old camp fire circles in Tierra Del Fuego for instance. That absolutely did not fit into the current models back in the 1980s when they were discovered. Archeology profs where I went to school spoke about them and how they did not fit into current schemes but I never heard of anyone covering up the evidence. Kenniwick man may have been an early Caucasian, I believe forensic modelers made him up to look like Jean-Luc Piccard (of Star Trek fame), he does not fit into current models either. The local natives took issue with the handling of one of their ancestors and one might even say they wished to have the info of Kenniwick mans ancestry not be spoken of. That may be evidence of cover-up but on a small scale. I could go on, there are many discoveries going on in the science of archeology, our models take awhile to catch up. This reflects the nature of the science. No big cover ups here Friends.
(Now if someone digs up a cave man with a ray gun......)
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-13-05 07:55 AM
Response to Reply #10
16. That is not entirely accurate.
The science of archaeology is always based on human interpretation, and the culture or the archaeologists, of course, can taint their view. Thus, in the late 1800s, archaeology was thought to confirm that Indians had gotten here a few years before old Christopher Columbus, and quickly set up shop ..... a view that conveniently supported the policy of manifest destiny.

It wasn't until a 2-inch projectile point was discovered lodged in the ribs of a long extinct bison, near Folsom, New Mexico in 1927 that archaeologists were forced to change their opinion on how long Indians had been in the Americas. It did away with silly theories about the "12 Lost Tribes," "Atlantis," and the "Island of MU" as the source of Indian inhabitants in America.

This resulted in the Bering Strait migration theories of the 1930s. However, these still viewed the human occupation of the Americas as post-Wisconsin glacier. By the 1950s, many archaeologists were considering pre-fluted point occupations, and the dates for occupation were pushing 20,000 bc. By the late 1960s, there were archaeologists discussing 40,000 bc; by the mid-1970s, the possibility of 60,000 + was being discussed.

I still have a copy of the July 4, 1976 Binghamton (NY) Press, with an article on an archaeologist from an Oneonta, NY college who had carbon-dated organic remains from a site at 70,000 bc. Further, the artifacts found at the site resembled those found in Europe at the same approximate age.

Yet these interpretations, even if accurate, in no way contradict the Bering Strait theories. They merely suggest three waves of migration, separated by glaciers. More, there is other evidence that strongly suggests that more human beings migrated to this land at other times, and that there was commerce between people from various parts of the world throughout what is considered "pre-history."
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chknltl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-14-05 02:08 AM
Response to Reply #16
21. I beg to differ
I was a student of anthropology with an emphasis on NW Coast Archeology at Western Washington University from 1980-'85. At that point in time earliest accepted models had "Olcott" groups occupying the pacific Northwest at between 8-11,000 bp. if memory serves me. Olcott Society was the earliest "accepted" models for our area at that time. Manis Mastodon site and the shoes at Ft.Rock were challenging this back then but not by the 20-30,000 years you suggest. My mentor, Dr. Garland Grabert, in a 400 level class back then used the 30,000bp Tierra Del Feugo example of a possible human use site to be distinctly outside of current models. I do recall some discussion of other sites which did not fit current models of the time including that 70,000 bp site you mentioned. My salient point in my earlier posts was this: Archeology is not today a science of covering up evidence when it does not fit a particular model. Archaeologists accept that models can and do change. I feel quibbling here to be non-productive. There is plenty enough of that going on without us picking apart each other over the history of Archeology
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Kraklen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-14-05 11:08 AM
Response to Reply #21
22. Hello, fellow Western alumnus.
Man, I sure miss Bellingham.
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chknltl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-14-05 04:40 PM
Response to Reply #22
28. Me too, and my profs as well. n/t
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-14-05 02:16 PM
Response to Reply #21
25. Interesting.
I was a student long before that, but of course I am not going on anything I thought of. The majority of archaeologists did accept the post-Wisconsin model. It was not the only one. But, in case my word will not do, look at the work by Bruce E. Raemsch from Hartwick College, starting circa 1964. I am not saying if I agree or disagree with his opinions, merely noting they existed.

Raemsche, BE
1968:Artifacts from Mid-Wisconsin Gravels near Oneonta, NY; Yager Museum Publications in Anthropology Bulletin 1:1-8. Oneonta.

1969: Archaeology Studies in Central NY; New York Glaciogram, 4(1).

1970: Preliminary Report on Adequentaga. Yager Museum Pub. 2:1-19.

1977: Some Early Man Cultures of the Catskill Region; Archaeology and Geochronology of the Susquehanna and Schoharie Regions; edited by Cole & Godfrey; pp 1-16; Hartwick College, Oneonta.

Raemsche and W.W. Vernon
1977: Some Paleolithic Tools from Northeast North America. Current Anthropolgy 18(1): 97-99.

Raemsche, Vernon, and G.F. Carter
1978: On Criticisms of "Some Stone Tools...."; Current Anthropolgy 19(1): 157-160.

Again, people disagreed with Raemsche. That's a good thing. There should always be room for different opinions, and different interpretations .... for that is what moves understanding forward.



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chknltl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-12-05 10:53 PM
Response to Reply #6
13. edited post nt
Edited on Sun Jun-12-05 10:53 PM by chknltl
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-13-05 07:35 AM
Response to Reply #6
15. Where? Do you have any documentation?
I assume you are not referring to the "Richland" or "Kennewick Man," which in no way challenges the Bering Strait migration theory. I am eagerly waiting to see your documentation of Caucasian remains buried in North America.
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chknltl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-14-05 01:45 AM
Response to Reply #15
20. It was from a Discovery program documentary on...
I believed he was called Kenniwick man. The documentary is but a few years old. I recall thinking that the head, when clay modeled had a nose similar to Jean Luc Piccard, I may be in error but I thought the documentary suggested that the skull was Caucasian or Caucasian in nature. I do not suggest this challenged anything. I used it as a possible example of evidence which some would see buried, as opposed to scientifically studied.
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Kraklen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-14-05 11:14 AM
Response to Reply #20
23. Yes, the reconstruction looked like Captain Picard.
Mostly because it was bald and made of white clay.

Other reconstructions make it look much more like modern Native Americans.

And yes, there were people claiming it was caucasian. This, IMHO, is mostly vestigial white supremacy. There's been myths for a couple hundred years now that white people must have inhabited North America in the past before being destroyed by those mongrel indians. Who else could have built the mounds and Mississippian pyramids.

Oh, and please take anything you hear on the Discovery Channel with a grain of salt. They have shows about UFOs and bigfoot, for crying out loud.
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-14-05 01:57 PM
Response to Reply #23
24. That individual's being caucasian
would in no way challenge the idea of migration across the Bering Strait, as had been suggested; nor would it in any means suggest that there was a significant white population, size-wise. The theories of a "more civilized race" living in North America pre-Indian are almost exclusively found circa 1800-1840. There are no archaeologists who have suggested that in the past century.
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muriel_volestrangler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-14-05 03:04 PM
Response to Reply #24
26. There was a BBC programme on a possible French origin for the Clovis Point
in 2002 - which said that mitochondrial DNA seemed to indicate some American Indian ancestors who left Europe about 15,000 years ago, living an Inuit-style existence on the edge of the ice cap.

transcript

I don't know if this theory has held up over the past 3 years.
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-14-05 04:00 PM
Response to Reply #26
27. I remember when Leon Shenandoah
the Tadodaho of the Haudenosaunee, or Six Nations Iroquois Confederacy, was asked by a lady from Syracuse about his opinions on human migrations. He said that he was convinced that the people from the east had come from the west; those in the south had come from the north; those in the west had journeyed from the east; and that those people in the north had traveled from the south.

At first, she thought he was making a joke at her expense. But he was actually giving a pretty accurate description.

The DNA might be seen as doing away with primitive beliefs in the idea of "race." It is a fascinating idea, that some of the early inhabitants came from a more European direction that may have been previously believed. (I must pick up my daughters from piano lessons, but will continue this soon. Thanks for your interesting addition.)
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-15-05 05:54 AM
Response to Reply #27
34. Part Two:
I find the DNA information fascinating. That seems perhaps more important than the possible relationship in artifact styles. I've always thought it important that fluted points do not seem common in Asia in the period that it is believed people were migrating across the Bering Strait. I'd be curious what points in Europe are being associated with clovis points in the New World.

Similarities alone in artifact styles, without the DNA, would not seem of value as evidence of relationship. I have a "leaf" shaped blade from the Adena phase that looks exactly like the Solutrean laurel leaf blades found by Roger Lewin and Bruce Bradley. Most occupation sites in the northeast have artifacts that resemble Oldowan and Acheulian tools. That would likely be because humans are humans.

I like to watch the type of show that you had mentioned. It's too early in the morning for me to remember anything clearly, but there was one on a while ago about some caucasian burials found I believe in Central Asia. There was a relationship to early domestication of horses, and some evidence of a Celtic fabric. I was watching it, when suddenly a friend from Hartwick College in Oneonta, who specializes in the domestication of horses, appeared on the screen.
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chknltl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-14-05 05:31 PM
Response to Reply #24
30. Absolutely agree with you there.
As a matter of fact that same Discovery show which I am shamefully sourcing here even said as much. Not sure if anyone here has disputed the Bering Migration models, If I gave that impression then my bad. Back when I was in school those were the primary models we used. If my poor memory serves, we had bands of hunter/gatherers coming down a corridor possibly devoid of ice and arriving somewhere around Montana during the early parts of the last altithermal, somewheres around 12,000bp. (Again that was what we were being taught back in the early '80s). Yes, of course we were also discussing potential influxes which were earlier. We did discuss the interstadials(sp?) of the Wisconsin Glaciation period, it was suggested that there may have been ice free corridors during them as well. I think one may have been around 36,000bp. I sorely miss my books at this point, all I have to draw on here is 25 year old memories from my college years,(No Fair), and a bunch of Discovery Channel style programs, which I really should not be sourcing. I do so only because they are being sourced by others here as well.
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-14-05 08:21 PM
Response to Reply #30
31. Another poster had ....
I wasn't disagreeing with you. Another poster said that caucasian remains didn't fit the Bering Strait theory, and speculated the government was involved in a "cover up." There is a controversy regarding the control of the remains, and most progressive interpretations of the grave protection & repatriation law favor the Native Americans. That law is hardly "pro (US) government," nor could it be said to favor old-school archaeology.

I've kept my notebooks from the college classrooms from so long ago. It is surprising how useful they occasionally are. I've been involved in burial protection & repatriation of human remains and Sacred Objects for many, many years, and have used the old notebooks dozens of times.
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chknltl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-14-05 10:09 PM
Response to Reply #31
32. My bad x2, Sorry, and you are right.
I turned down offers to work in the field as a photographer and/or dig supervisor a number of times. No regrets, life's been good. Do you know what ever became of Kenniwick Man? Was he eventually given over to the local, (Umatilla?), tribe? I had mixed feelings on that one. btw. I submitted an inquiry to my old school outlining our earlier discussions, my bet is that they will respond with "You are both right". I promise to post their response however it should turn out.
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H2O Man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-15-05 05:29 AM
Response to Reply #32
33. From my understanding
the remains of Kenniwick Man are in the control of the Native Americans there. I believe that there has been an effort to deny the likelihood that he was indeed caucasian. I do not think that it would in any way change burial protection/repatriation practices.

A few years back, on the other side of the country, there was a related controversy regarding the Roanoke site. You may be familiar with it. These were non-Indian people, who had wanted to live as Indians. The local people took them in. Years later, archaeologists dug them up to "study" them. The local Indians wanted them reburied. And the folks at the cultural center of the museum holding their remains fought our efforts.

Most of the burial protection and repatriation issues in the northeast involve the Iroquois. The March 1989 National Geographic made the issue very graphic with their story on the Slack farm. I remember when Chief Waterman and Tadodaho Leon Shenandoah got there, the Governor of Kentucky wanted to know what business it was of the Onondaga? Leon showed him the September 1987 National Geographic, which showed the cultural influence of the Iroquois in colonial times. Paul and Leon did the reburials.

Chief Paul Waterman did more reburials than any other individual east of the Mississippi. In the early years, most professional archaeologists opposed our efforts. The shift came slowly, and usually involved the younger ones who were far more open to seeing the traditional Indian point of view.

I'm working on another book now, which will be an Indian history of the northeast, that focuses on the overlap in the archaeological interpretation and the Indian traditions. I opt for a post-Wisconsin occupation of the northeast. But I keep an open mind, and realize that in a hundred years, people may have very different interpretations than what is believed today.
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chknltl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-14-05 04:51 PM
Response to Reply #23
29. Yep, I was feeling guilty sourcing the Discovery Channel,
I guarantee to you my profs from Western were spinning in their graves over that. Dr. Grabert, Head Archaeologist for Western back then rarely permitted that kind of "tom-foolery" in any of our papers.
"Slightly better than "Von Danikanisms" as he would have put it.
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Kellanved Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-13-05 09:13 AM
Response to Reply #1
17. actually they were
This is very old news; from the 90s. The locations were found in the post-reunification boom. Also, their use is totally unknown - there is no basis to the claim that they were "temples".

Nothing says "summer" like news without any new content.

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KlatooBNikto Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-12-05 09:30 PM
Response to Original message
2. But the earth is only 6000 years old.It says so right here in my Bible.
You are lying.
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clydefrand Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-12-05 09:36 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. You beat me to the punch.
:-(

4800BC and 4600BC If you add another 2005 years to that, that's over 6,000 years and that just can't be.

Let's tell the governor of Texas and make him cry.
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Maple Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-12-05 09:40 PM
Response to Original message
5. If they were built
of earth and wood, then they'd likely only be visible from the air.

But we've had aircraft and satellites for quite some time , so I don't understand why it's taken until now to discover them.

But then again they've recently discovered new cave paintings in the UK, and since the islands have been lived in continuously for several thousand years, I'd have thought every cave in the place would have been explored by now.

In any case I wish they'd stop attributing everything people in the past did to religion. The reason for building these things in a particular way might have more to do with agriculture than anything else.

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htuttle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-13-05 07:00 AM
Response to Reply #5
14. There didn't used to be so much of a difference
Edited on Mon Jun-13-05 07:49 AM by htuttle
...between religion and agriculture, that is.

on edit:

Since I just realized this is the Religion and Theology forum, I wanted to add one thing:

Can anyone think of an action which requires more 'faith' than staking your community's fate on a bunch of tiny seeds you've planted in the ground? (assuming that one doesn't have a modern knowledge of biology yet)

No, there didn't used to be much difference between religion and agriculture at all.

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chknltl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-12-05 10:16 PM
Response to Original message
7. Religious Temples????
perhaps I missed it but I didn't see any mention by the actual archaeologists of the large structures being "religious temples". Perhaps a little embellishment by the reporters? Some pretty exciting ongoing archeology going on over there though. I for one am looking forward to the underwater archeology of the Black Sea area to get going. Those early communities are still fairly intact, albeit underwater.
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lenidog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-12-05 10:18 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. Has anyone found out anything about the possible discovery of
Edited on Sun Jun-12-05 10:21 PM by lenidog
pyramids off the coast of Japan. I heard that they were going to be investigated to see if they were natural formations or man made but nothing since
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chknltl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jun-12-05 10:48 PM
Response to Reply #9
12. Saw the show about the divers myself
Not aware of any current archeology going on there. In the show prior to the dives I noticed similar formations in the backgrounds onshore. Maybe those underwater pyramids are only geological formations. Not enough evidence for them to be man made yet. It would be cool if they were though. Lots of cool stuff being found off the coast of India lately, as soon as India lets underwater archaeologists down there we will see some truly exciting things.
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PsychoDad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-13-05 03:30 PM
Response to Reply #7
19. That should be quite interesting.
Isn't it theorized that the flooding of the black sea basin in pre-history may be the source of the babylonian and biblical flood accounts?
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Igel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jun-13-05 12:04 PM
Response to Original message
18. It'll be interesting to see where the field takes this.
It might be very little. Megalithic construction seems to have spread, and been little associated with a specific culture or ethnic group.

On the other hand, it's likely that ethnicities were a bit thin on the ground in Europe at the time, so perhaps this was the outgrowth of a single culture or people. It almost certainly predates IE incursions into Europe, unless there there early breakoffs like the Hittites in Anatolia. Then again there was the claim about "thematische", was it, a purported IE language that only survives in traces of anomalous consonant correspondences between Germanic and Slavic, I think it was. (Never read the work.)

This is in the wrong place to be PIE, so would represent a different stream of immigration. The article (and others like it turned up in Google) tend to say the people were *pastoral*, i.e., not yet heavily into farming, which seems like a non sequitur to me. Pastoralists tend to have less time than farmers, much lower population densities, and more loosely centralized societies, than agriculture-based ones.

Esp. in areas with heavy forests.

Bears watching. On the other hand, Staeuble ... eh.
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