Archaeology and Language: The Puzzle of Indo-European Origins

Front Cover
CUP Archive, Jan 26, 1990 - Social Science - 346 pages
2 Reviews
In this book Colin Renfrew directs remarkable new light on the links between archaeology and language, looking specifically at the puzzling similarities that are apparent across the Indo-European family of ancient languages, from Anatolia and Ancient Persia, across Europe and the Indian subcontinent, to regions as remote as Sinkiang in China. Professor Renfrew initiates an original synthesis between modern historical linguistics and the new archaeology of cultural process, boldly proclaiming that it is time to reconsider questions of language origins and what they imply about ethnic affiliation--issues seriously discredited by the racial theorists of the 1920s and 1930s and, as a result, largely neglected since. Challenging many familiar beliefs, he comes to a new and persuasive conclusion: that primitive forms of the Indo-European language were spoken across Europe some thousands of years earlier than has previously been assumed.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

User Review - Flag as inappropriate

Archeology and Language - The Puzzle of the Indo-European Origins by Colin Renfrew is an interesting book, but not what I thought it would be. This was due to my own ignorance when purchasing the book. Something I read about a year ago caused me to want to read more about the origins of language. Any reader of the Scriptures is surly fascinated by the story told about the Tower of Babel. Well this book will not help quench that direction of interest.
This work states clearly in the introduction that the Darwinistic understanding invalidates the idea that the origins of the world (and beginning of language) was about 4000 years BC. I have no problem reading someones research, that seems honest, even when they disagree with my "world view", but it helps lay perspective. What always seems funny to me, as is the case with this book, is all dates that try and get back as far as they can range - 3000BC-6000BC. I fully see that is 2000 years before the estimate of Creation, but really how accurate can they be. Lets just call it 4000BC and start from there.
My interest is really the Phoenicians and Hebrew language (or any Semitic language). The author does talk about both, but only to educate the reader on the differences in the language families. This book is, of course, of the Indo-European. The book is rather good and I was excited to learn that Hittite is an Indo-European language. Being a large player in early Hebrew history this was good to learn.
 

Contents

The IndoEuropean Problem in Outline
9
Archaeology and the IndoEuropeans
20
Homelands in Question
75
Language and Language Change
99
Early Language Dispersals in Europe
145
The Early IndoIranian Languages and their Origins
178
Who were the Celts?
211
IndoEuropean Mythologies
250
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

Bibliographic information