The Indo-Europeans: Archaeology, Language, Race, and the Search for the Origins of the West

The Indo-Europeans

Archaeology, Language, Race, and the Search for the Origins of the West
 
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Product details:

ISBN13:9780197683286
ISBN10:0197683282
Binding:Paperback
No. of pages:568 pages
Size:234x155x31 mm
Weight:818 g
Language:English
746
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Short description:

The book explores a famous, unresolved, historical problem: How is it that all the languages of Europe and parts of Asia belong to a single family of Indo-European languages? The Indo-Europeans: Archaeology, Language, Race, and the Search for the Origins of the West by Jean-Paul Demoule offers a survey of the historiography of the Indo-European debate across several centuries and disciplines and poses a devastating challenge to the Indo-European origin story at its roots.

Long description:
The existence of an Indo-European linguistic family, allowing for the fact that several languages widely dispersed across Eurasia share numerous traits, has been demonstrated for several centuries now. But the underlying factors for this shared heritage have been fiercely debated by linguists, historians, archaeologists, and anthropologists. The leading theory, of which countless variations exist, argues that this similarity is best explained by the existence, at one given point in time and space, of a common language and corresponding population. This ancient, prehistoric, population would then have diffused across Eurasia, eventually leading to the variation observed in historical and modern times.

The Indo-Europeans: Archaeology, Language, Race, and the Search for the Origins of the West argues that despite its acceptance and use by most researchers from different disciplines, such a model is inherently flawed. This book describes how, beginning in the late eighteenth century, Europeans began a quest for a supposed original homeland, from which a small conquering people would one day spread out, bringing their language to Europe and parts of Asia (India, Iran, Afghanistan). This quest was often closely tied to ideological preoccupations and it was in its name that the Nazi leadership, claiming for the Germans the status of the purest Indo-Europeans (or Aryans), waged genocide. The last part of the book summarizes the current state of knowledge and current hypotheses in the fields of linguistics, archaeology, comparative mythology, and genetics. The culmination of three decades of research, this book offers a sweeping survey of the historiography of the Indo-European debate and poses a devastating challenge to the Indo-European origin story at its roots.

With this ambitious volume, Jean-Paul Demoule exposes and criticises the theoretical and methodological flaws inherent to the 'tree model,' which propounds that Indo-European languages and speakers dispersed and branched out from a unique point in space and time. An impressive display of historiographical knowledge stretching across several centuries and disciplines, including linguistics, archaeology, history of religions, biological anthropology, and politics.
Table of Contents:
Preface
The official Indo-European hypothesis: the 12 canonical theses
OVERTURE
From the Renaissance to the French Revolution
1. The search for a long-anticipated discovery
The Indo-European golden legend
Uncertain inventors
The search for an anticipated discovery
A recurring discovery
Why was Leibniz unable to publish in German?
Schizophrenic Europeans
The slow secularization of the world
India, an alternative myth
FIRST MOVEMENT (FROM 1814 TO 1903)
All is resolved!
2. The invention of comparative grammar
The search for origins
On the superiority of (Indo-) European languages
Comparative grammar, a German science?
Colonialism as an understanding of history
August Schleicher and the botany of languages
The young Turks of comparative grammar
Other possible models so soon?
3. From India to Germania, the return of the wheeled cradle
The Indian cradle
An ephemeral Earthly Paradise
The return of the homeland
Those who refused to repatriate the homeland
From texts to objects
Imaginary communities
The rise of archeological excavations
More primitive
Bathing, kissing and chastity
Linguistics of absence
The return to Germania
Pan-Germanism and anti-Semitism
Occultist beliefs
The ambiguities of official linguistics
4. The invention of "scientific racism"
God and the polygenists
The art of measuring skulls
From divine right to nation
The terrors of the "Count" de Gobineau
A science of man?
Who are the French?
On the origins of the Aryans
Are the Prussians German?
The three positions of French anthropologists on the Indo-European question
Moderation among German anthropologists
Does "race" exist?
The Count and the Aryan
Sex, fantasies and racisms
The first symptoms of political racism
The mismeasure of man
SECOND MOVEMENT (FROM 1903 TO 1945)
Crimes and errors
5. From comparative grammar to linguistics: a language of leaders?
The ambiguities of Ferdinand de Saussure
Antoine Meillet, chief and master
A language of chiefs
Do you speak a "language of civilization"?
An instinct for conquest and a love of wide open spaces
Linguistic sentiment?
Meillet versus Schuchardt
The triumph of structural linguistics
And what if there never had been an Original People?
6. From Aryan Pan-Germanism to Nazism
The methods of archeology
Kossinna's law
The Kossinnian Indo-German narrative
"A pre-eminently German discipline"
Erasing the memory of Kossinna
Nazism, one of the possible horizons for the Aryans
The Atlantis of the Far North
Sects and secret societies
Hitler himself was not a believer
The rallying of archeologists
SS against SA, and the pillaging of conquered lands
International cowardice and complicity
7. A circling cradle
"Culture circles" of the European Neolithic
Uncertain European chronologies
Childish, not Childeish!
Regarding the superiority of declensions
Skulls and words
The dominance of the Nordic theory
Eminently respectable universities
Weaknesses in the Nordic hypothesis
A die-hard Asiatic cradle
Excavations in central Asia
A return to (Eastern) Europe
The Pontic steppes endure
Marxism and archeology
Marr, Stalin and linguistics
8. Excesses and crimes of racial theories
Ordinary racism and institutional racism
The anthropological dead-end
Genetics to the rescue
Eugenics and scientific charlatanism
The dreams of German geneticists
From skulls to crimes
And what of France?
Those who collaborated
THIRD MOVEMENT (FROM 1945 TO THE 3RD MILLENNIUM)
All is re-resolved!
9. The Return of the Aryan, pagan, extreme right (from 1945 to the present)
A truly "New" Right?
The "magician" prodromes
A view from the (extreme) right
From Gobineau to Konrad Lorenz
A re-armed extreme right
The limits of "entryism"
Contemporary "Aryan" ideology
A racial "Que sais-je"?
The "racist" International
Close collaborations
10. From racial anthropology to biological anthropology
The twilight of the "races"
Medals and survivals
From skulls to red blood cells
A truly new synthesis?
We have rediscovered the Indo-Europeans!
Racism by means of psychology and IQ
11. What archaeology tells us today
The first Europeans
The Neolithic revolution
Sedentary hunter-gatherers
The rise of chiefdoms
What happened on the steppes?
From the Copper Age to the Bronze Age
New power networks
From proto-history to history
The search for the Indo-Europeans
12. Archeology: What if the Indo-Europeans had always been there?
A nebulous autochthony
Paleolithic continuity?
13. Did the Indo-Europeans really come from Turkey?
Ex oriente lux
A new hypothesis?
The language of the original Homeland
From Indo-European to Indo-Hittite?
Part of the family tree of all the world's languages?
Concerning the difficulties of classification
The linguistic impacts of agriculture?
The return of Trubetzkoy
A non-verifiable model
How can we rid ourselves of the initial brief
An incomplete critical approach
14. Did the Indo-Europeans really come from the Black Sea Steppes?
A (very) old hypothesis
From Vilnius to Los Angeles
Initial cautiousness
The return of the steppes
Feminism and invaders
A new demonstration?
A unified and coherent theory?
The horse, of course and the chariot, naturally!
Warrior invasions or a vicious circle?
And what of genetics?
15. From prehistory to history: the rediscovered routes taken by the Indo-Europeans?
How do we prove a migration?
The coming of the Greeks
An early Bronze Age arrival
Tiles, gray ware and princely tombs
The arrival of the "Aryans" in India?
The world of the steppes and national issues
Invisible migrations and Kulturkugel
The mysteries of the Tocharians
Our ancestors, the Celts
Romans and Italics
Hittites and Anatolians
Their ancestors, the Germani
Slavs or Germani?
16. Georges Dumézil, a French hero
A sense of the epic
The three functions
The original texts
The "Dumézil affair"
Occupation and occultism
One College, two Academies and a New Right
Trifunctionality and Indo-Europeanness
By excess and by default
Heritages and heredities
The unavoidable detour into archeology
Other mythologists?
Dumézil and the myths
17. Linguistic reconstructions and models in the 21st century
Discovering original sounds?
What exactly are we reconstructing?
Of roots and words
Thinking in trees
The tree of all the world's languages
An apple, a hat and a car
Measuring the speed of language evolution
From the tree to the network
18. Words and things of the Indo-Europeans
The dead-ends of linguistic paleontology
Demonstration by absence
From words to meaning
Regarding Indo-Europeanness
A primordial poetry?
From words to things, and creating the "impression of reality"
Indo-European, or universal?
How to always be right
FINALE AND 2ND OVERTURE
19. Models, counter-models, ideologies and errors of logic: are there any alternatives?
How languages change
Invisible conquerors and secular empires
Cultures and ethnic groups
Archeological culture as Nation State?
Lessons from the barbarians
Languages and material cultures
Languages without frontiers
The inadequacy of trees
"No language is totally pure"
Mixes and interferences
Substrates, adstrates and superstrates
Pidgins and creoles
Sprachbund and the Balkan laboratory
"Areal" linguistics
The tools of sociolinguistics
Epilogue
An alternative vision: the 12 Indo-European antitheses
Appendices
1. Simplified chronological table of the main archaeological cultures and civilizations in Eurasia (from - 300 000 BC to the present).
2. Dates of emergence of the major Indo-European languages.
3. August Schleicher's tree of the Indo-European languages.
4. The development of the Indo-European languages according to Gamkrelidze and Ivanov (1985).
5. A map of some of the solutions of the Indo-European homeland problem proposed since 1960.
6. Map of the main archaeological cultures defined in the 1930s.
7. The Indo-European migrations, after Gustav Kossinna.
8. The early historical distribution of the main Indo-European speaking peoples.
9. The neolithization of Europe.
10. The spread of Indo-European languages, after Colin Renfrew.
11. Spread of Indo-European people, after Marija Gimbutas' theories.
12. Map of the Chalcolithic cultures in the 5th millennium BC.
13. Map of the Chalcolithic cultures in the 4th millennium BC.
14. Map of the Chalcolithic cultures in the 3rd millennium BC.
15. Map of the Chalcolithic cultures in the 2nd millennium BC.
16. Comparative trees of human genes and language families.
17. The Indian linguistic area, after Colin Masica
18. Relationships between the Indo-European languages, after Paul Heggarty
19. Relationships between the Indo-European languages, after Alfred Kroeber
Bibliography
Index