Eurasian Ancient History
by Dr Stanislav A. Grigoriev
cm, hardback, many illustrations.
Editor: Dr. J.F. Hargrave
V.V. Ivanov (Department of Linguistics, University of California, Los Angeles),
member of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
V.I. Sarianidi (Institute of Archaeology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow).
M.F. Kosarev (Institute of Archaeology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow).
The book is addressed to archaeologists, linguists, historians and specialists in ancient mythology.
It is discussed the problems of the origins of people speaking Indo-European languages. It is based on archaeological evidence. The author believes that it is impossible to correlate directly archaeological and linguistic evidence, and suggests comparing extremely broad models of historical processes reconstructed by both these disciplines. This has required the bringing together of archaeological material from a vast area (England to China and India) into one general scheme with the purpose of showing the connections between such material. The main attention is paid to material from Northern Eurasia, an area covered by Russian-language archaeological literature. This is probably the first book to be published in English, which describes the problems of the Bronze Age archaeology of this area in detail. The knowledge of Western archaeologists about this area tends limited to some of the best-known cultures – Pit-Grave (Yamnaya), Timber-Grave (Srubnaya) and Andronovo. The author discusses a number of other cultures and concludes that the existence of the Andronovo culture is an archaeological myth and that the materials combined into it relate to different cultures which reflect different historical processes. He shows similarities between the cultures of this area and those in the Near East, Transcaucasia and Central Europe. On this broad background a picture of a number of long migrations crossing the continent in different directions is presented. The book covers the period from the eighth millennium BC to the seventh century BC.
It is divided into three parts. The first describes the Sintashta culture of the Southern Urals (Middle Bronze Age), its origin and connections with the Near East. The conclusion is drawn that we can regard the appearance of this culture as representing the coming of the Indo-Iranian tribes from the Syro-Anatolian area. In addition, the problems of the contemporary Abashevo cultures are discussed.
The second part consists of some chapters where the problems of archaeological cultures in Bactria, Margiana, Iran and India and the origins of southern Indo-Iranian tribes are described, as well as the migrations of Tocharians, ancient Europeans (Balts, Slavs, Germans, Celts, Italics) and Scythians.
In the third part the history of other Indo-European people is described (Anatolians, Greeks, Thracians). A general picture of Indo-European origins and migrations is given.
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