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Greeks indigenous?

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  Quote Rebelsoul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Greeks indigenous?
    Posted: 17-Aug-2004 at 06:48

This topic should probably bear the fruits of more research and contain a substantial bibliography and/or references, but I do it while at work, so I dont have access to any reference material.

 

So, Ill keep it as just a collection of thoughts and remarks and Id love some constructive criticism (that is: try to keep flaming at a possible minimum, if any) by anyone who wishes to contribute to, challenge, criticize these thoughts.

My basic point is this: There was never an invasion of subsequent waves of tribes in the Helladic area and the Greek people are more or less (with the expected intermixtures and absorbing of different elements) indigenous in the area of the southern Balkans.

This sounds rather controversial, as the traditional archeology still cant really abandon the outdated, unfounded and downright stupid, to be honest Indoeuropean theory to move on to face reality: that throughout Europe, genetic, linguistic and archeological evidences suggest a continuum dating from the late Paleolithic era all the way into the classical times, without large waves of outside migration, but mostly with disruptions caused by internal shifting and moving.

One has to see and carefully examine the findings of Cavalli-Sforza and Brian Sykes, for instance. And Colin Renfrew, for a theory that combines the traditional Indo-European deriving theories (Gimbutas Old Europe vs Kurga theory, and its modifications by James Mallory) with the Neolithic roots of the so-called Indo-Europeans in the continent.

Suffice to say, the Indo-European farce has been founded upon purely linguistic evidence (namely: the observation of a Bitish judge in India, that Sanskrit is similar to Greek and Latin) and has nothing to do with archeology. Several dozens archeologists thought their duty to create a framework to justify the linguist construct (extremely popular during the 19th century) and since it was widely accepted nobody actually dared to seriously challenge it without hard evidence, since the falsification of evidence has created a whole Indo-European universe.

Genetic studies (those are indeed hard evidence) show that the supposed IEans and Arryans that invaded Europe and the middle east sometimes between 2000 and 1500, are actually indigenous to Europe, or have lived around these parts from 6500 BC.

Even more recently, a glottochronological study on Bayesian principles (Gray and Atkinson, 2003) suggests that the origin of Indo-European goes back over 11.000 years (9000 BC) so down the drain go all the theories about the invasions during the late 3rd, early 2nd millennia BC.

Nevertheless, the Aryans as depicted by the 19th century scholars and by archeologists like Gimbutas, never existed (even their counterparts who invaded India are a product of wide speculations) and there was never a massive invasion.

In the Helladic area, the first human traces go back to 270.000 BC. The first signs of advanced settlements date to 6500 BC (Sesklon is the most ancient city in Europe, or if city sounds a bit too much, advanced settlement would do the same job). 

Officially, the first Greek culture is the Achaean Mycenean culture, dating from the early 2nd millennia BC, while the Aegean culture and the Minoan culture dating both from the early 3rd millennia BC, were until previously considered non-Greek or more diplomatically pre-Greek, to fit into the Indo European origin of the Greeks proper theory.  According to this, since the proper Greeks didnt reach southern Balkans but only after the invasion of their race (Indo-Europeans) has occurred (that was 2000 BC at the earliest), a culture that was at its height in 2500 BC couldnt be Greek, right?

Newest findings place the Minoan and Aegean civs from the Pelasgian and Pre-Greek side, to the Proto-Greek umbrella term. Meaning, that they were literally the forefathers of the proper Greeks, not some imaginary Easteners who got slaughtered when the advanced Arryans came down the Balkans.

In the same context, the Dorian invasion has been altogether dismissed and the most credible theories point out at the signs of Dorians in the Balkans since 2700 BC, in the area of Macedonia (which was named after them, anyway: Macednos is another name for Dorian) and Epirus, and also to their coexistence with the other Greek races (Aeolian, Ionian, Achaean) in the Greek area, even in Peloponesos, during the 2nd millennia BC.

What do you think?



Edited by Rebelsoul
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  Quote Cornellia Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Aug-2004 at 07:18

What do I think?  

Well, I know that mitochondrial DNA testing appears to indicate that there were few, if any, mass migrations of people in the days of old.  I remember reading recently that DNA testing seems to show that the Basques and those folks residing in what may be termed as the Celtic fringe areas are from the same stock.

Then there is the matter of the skeletal remains somewhere in South America that some are claiming predate the Clovis man.  If so, this blows holes in the migration across the landbridge from Asia theory for the Americas.

What does this mean?   If true, this means it was a migration of  ideas, language, information and influences rather than people that shaped pre-history.

But that said, DNA testing is not without its inherent problems.  There are questions raised about it AND about the testing procedures itself so I personally am going to withhold judgement until more conclusive data is possible.

But personally, I think the modern rethinking is probably closer to the truth than the mass migration and Indo-European theories of the 19th century.  Remember it was these same folks who refused to believe that the folks who built the mounds (and the culture necessary to support them) throughout the eastern and midwestern part of the US could possibly have been Native Americans.......an idea that has been shot to bits.

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  Quote Cornellia Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Aug-2004 at 07:22

All that said, there is historic evidence of mass migrations - such as Europeans to the Americas, the Celts and Germanic peoples into Italy......so its not that much of a stretch to see the same happening in pre-historic times.

 

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  Quote Yiannis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Aug-2004 at 07:28

I'm aware that the IE theory is losing ground latelly, as well as the fact that researches show that people shpould be considered, generally speaking, indigenus. But there aren't enough data to support the theory that you present Rebelsoul. At the moment I can consider it as an option, at best. Perhaps there's thuth in both theories but genetics can be a bit tricky.

E.g. how would you explain the fact that Linear B was a Greek language written with non-Greek characters (those of Minoan Linear A)?

 

 

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  Quote Rebelsoul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Aug-2004 at 07:44

Yiannis, "Greek" characters are borrowed from a non-Greek source (Phoenice, according to the dominant theory) so, one could (and should, actually) consider the "Linear B" as the actual "Greek" characters. It's similarity with the Linear A doesn't mean much, of course, since we haven't deciphered the latter yet, but there seems to be ample evidence suggesting that Minoans are a proto-Greek people and not Pre-Greek, as the Indo-European theory implications have imposed upon us.

Yes, my thoughts and speculations are theoretical at best, but Archeogenetics is based on hard evidence - genetic evidence. And since that suggests that the so-called Indo-Europeans from the Black Sea, the "Battle Axe people" are the same as the "peaceful farmers of the Old Europe" - to Giburtas great dismay - I assume that they hold more water than the Arryan theory.

 

Cornelia, I think you are on the right track. Questioning the IE theory (which was build upon racist doctrines and was used to enforce those, with the abomination of the Nazism as its apogee) is the right thing to do. Of course since archeology only in the last decade has started to stray from the dogmatic IE approach, it will take some time to form a more coherent theory on what happened - after finding evidence (and not the other way around, as it happened with the IE thing).

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  Quote Yiannis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Aug-2004 at 08:09

Coming back to the Linear B part, it's characters are based not on the Phoenician but on the Linear A characters. My interpretation is that the victorius Myceneans, used the characters of the Minoans to represent their language.

The first Greek alphabet as we know it is the Eboean around 700 BC and it derives from the Phoenician one. But with one great evolution: it was not based on consonants nor was it representing syllabels as the Phoenician one.

It represented different sounds/letters so, for the first time in history, a person who was not Greek could learn the alphabet and manage to reproduce the sounds of the Greek language.

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  Quote Rebelsoul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Aug-2004 at 08:23

 

Yiannis, we are saying the same thing: that Linear B derived from Linear A and that the later known as "Greek" alphabet is the evolution of a non-Greek (Phoenician) alphabet.

So, Linear B is a Greek alphabet anyway... especially regarding the newest classification of the Minoan people (as proto-Greek rather than pre-Greek).

 

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  Quote ihsan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17-Aug-2004 at 11:04

Greeks natives of the Aegean? Definitially not (ethnicially, lingually and culturally, at least, but I don't know about genetical)...

E.g. how would you explain the fact that Linear B was a Greek language written with non-Greek characters (those of Minoan Linear A)?

For centuries, Iranians and Turks wrote in their own languages with the Arabic alphabet.

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  Quote Rebelsoul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Aug-2004 at 06:47

Ihsan, a question: if Greeks are indigenous to the Balkan peninsula  (and according to genetic studies they are) how is their culture not?

 

P.S. nice Yurt... it is a Yurt, no?

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  Quote ihsan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Aug-2004 at 17:55

Originally posted by Rebelsoul

Ihsan, a question: if Greeks are indigenous to the Balkan peninsula  (and according to genetic studies they are) how is their culture not?

Genetically, Greeks aren't indigenous, but Aegeans are. I think "Greek genes" that dominate in modern Greece, Macedonia, Western Turkey, Albania (for short, Southern Balkans) aren't "Greek" but "Aegean". 

(Though I'm not an expert on the genetics)

Originally posted by Rebelsoul

P.S. nice Yurt... it is a Yurt, no?

Thanks, yes  It's Ger in Mongolian, Eb/Kerek/Kereg in Old Turkic, y in Kyrgyz and Uyghur and adr in Anatolian Turkish (though, Eb is now Ev, used for "House").

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  Quote Rebelsoul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-Aug-2004 at 03:59
Originally posted by ihsan

Genetically, Greeks aren't indigenous, but Aegeans are. I think "Greek genes" that dominate in modern Greece, Macedonia, Western Turkey, Albania (for short, Southern Balkans) aren't "Greek" but "Aegean". 

(Though I'm not an expert on the genetics)

That's the point of the most recent evidence: it points out to the fact that what we call "Greeks" and what we call "Aegeans" are excactly the same people (with a few intermixtures here and there, of course).

Meaning, that the genes are indigenous anyway, wether we call them "Greeks" or "Aegeans" or "Balkanians" or whatever . We use "Greek" because the Greek culture is the one that flurished in both sides of the Aegean first.

Thanks, yes  It's Ger in Mongolian, Eb/Kerek/Kereg in Old Turkic, y in Kyrgyz and Uyghur and adr in Anatolian Turkish (though, Eb is now Ev, used for "House").

Interesting... where does the name "Yurt" derives from? It bears some distant resemblance to "Ger" but not much... is it an anglified "Ger" or what else?

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  Quote Gallipoli Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-Aug-2004 at 04:14
I remember a serious discussion group talking about this issue some years ago at BBC...
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  Quote ihsan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Sep-2004 at 16:44

Interesting... where does the name "Yurt" derives from? It bears some distant resemblance to "Ger" but not much... is it an anglified "Ger" or what else?

Ah, Yurt is a Turkic word meaning "Homeland" but I think it was the Russians who adopted this word and started using it for the meaning of a nomadic tent. Similar to "Kurgan" which drives from Turkic Korugan meaning "Preserver" (used for forts).

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  Quote Cywr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Sep-2004 at 16:56
(namely: the observation of a Bitish judge in India, that Sanskrit is similar to Greek and Latin)


A little more than the observation of one judge, but the combined effort of an entire field of study known as comparative linguistics.
The only thing thats disputed is the how and when the spread of languages took place, which is wishy washy anyways seeing as it was so long ago.
That languages are related is not dusputed, all human languages go back to one mother language.

Language and Genes are not the same thing.
Look at Turkey, genetics has virtualy proven that there is great continuity between the people who live there now and the people who lived there in the past, but you'd have a hard time arguing that Turkish was spoken in Anatolia 2000 years ago.

Old migration theories are dead or dying, comparative linguistics isn't.
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  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10-Oct-2004 at 07:50

According to greek mythology,it was Dionysos  that  first  invaded Asia,reached and conquered India,"establishing the worship of greek Gods" there.An Egyptian called Nonos describes this expentition in his "Dionysiaka" book.

Hercules and his clan-"Heracleides"-invade both west Europe and Asia,reaching Gibraltar(Heracleies Styles) from one and India from another side.After some generations Herakleides returned to their homeland,destroying the Achaean kingdoms.Ancient greek sources never mention an "Indoeuropean invasion" or the "coming of Dorians" but the "Return of Heracleides".Hercules was the direct ancestor of Dorian Greeks.

Alexander was competing both his ancestors in the conquest of India.Plutarch mentioned that he crossed the borderline of Hercules conquest after he captured the fort of "Aornos Petra",a place that Hercules failed himself.

Well,they may were the "Aryan invaders" if you consider mythology a reliable source  

I also think Indoeuropean theory as stupid and Minoans as "Proto-Greeks" than "Pre-Greeks" but we still need a new Ventris to depict Linear A to a form of greek language to consider it an established theory than a possible option

 

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  Quote Nikolaos Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Dec-2005 at 18:38
in my THEORY our Geneitics overlap each other actualy Greeks are a at first from the Fertile Creasnt(like all civilizations)the first Greek speaking people if i remeber right came in about 8000BC im not sure i should check that the dorians came from the north east but after all this ancient mixing and matching we pretty much stayed the same with out change until the Turks(who are a Lydian,Greek and mongulain mix  occupied greece for 400 years notice i say occupied not conqured  and thus our genetics are now so mixed that its easer to just say were Indo-Euripean and Middle eastern i hope my Greek Breathern wont attack me for that last remark thank you-Nikolaos Stamas
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  Quote akritas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Dec-2005 at 13:24

I want also to add and the theory-hypothesis that the Greeks were a part of the Pelasgians. As you know the Pelasgians were more ancients from the Greeks. 

The supporters of this theory  have  Herodotus quote (Historia, 1-58) that mention for the Greeks were a part of the Pelasgians when he spoken for the Hellenic language.

[As for the Hellenic race, it has used ever the same language, as I clearly perceive, since it first took its rise; but since the time when it parted off feeble at first from the Pelasgian race, setting forth from a small beginning it has increased to that great number of races which we see,  and chiefly because many Barbarian races have been added to it besides.]

Personnaly I believe that the decryption of the Linear A will be give us a lot of answers. 



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  Quote Maju Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Dec-2005 at 14:14
I'm more sympathetic with the IE invasion theory, mostly because if there was no IE invasion in Greece, in India nor in Britain, as it seems to be the fashion lately, IEs would have sprung from many sources at the same time and that is totally ilogical.

Anyhow, I want to comment that the main indication supporting Minoan alphabets as originally non-Greek is that they have characters that don't fit well in Greek pronunciation. If Linear alphabets would have been concieved to support Greek language writting, then they would be specifically adapted to that language (as, for instance, Turk alphabet is specifically meant for Turkish language) and they are not.

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  Quote Sharrukin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28-Dec-2005 at 18:26

There is no argument that Greek mythology does not describe an external origin of the Greeks.  However, it does describe Greece as inhabited by other peoples, and that these other peoples are older than they were, just as they were conscious that the Egyptians were older than they, and that they attribute some facits of their culture to their southern neighbors across the Sea just as they did to those peoples which shared their own land. 

In terms of the Minoan script itself, Maju is right.  It was ill-adapted to convey the Greek language, which included characters representing sounds that were alien to the Greek language, and even lacking characters for sounds which did not exist in Minoan.  When the Greeks adopted the Phoenician script, even they had to modify it to suit Greek sounds.  When the Anglo-Saxons adopted the Latin script they had to adapt it to their particular sound system and created character combinations or even new characters to express those sounds, such as "ae", "th", "ch", etc. to convery sounds foreign to Latin script. 

Regardless as to how some try to defend the purity of the Greek language, the state of linguistics is that ancient Greek had adopted vocabulary and place-names (i.e. words of no Greek etymology) mainly from other tribes and peoples inhabiting the same land.  Even those who subscribe to the continuity theory of Greek ethnogenesis in Greece, grudgingly except that.  Once that is accepted, however, they then have to explain how words of similar construction and similar meaning (not just individual words, but a great corpus of words) can be found in languages distantly and geographically separated.

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  Quote Alkiviades Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Jan-2006 at 02:50

The Greeks did not adopt the Phoenician script, that's another popular myth that has no solid ground to stand on and is just one of these myths (like IE "invasions" and other similar fairy tales) that refuse to go no matter how much evidence there is to the contrary.

The Greek alphabet is clearly evolved from the Linear B (which is evolved from Linear A, which bears striking resemblances with older scripts found all over the Greek area and date from the early 4th milenia and on) with some Phoenician influences. The latter apparently can be traced to the 2nd milenia interaction with the Phoenicians, and those interactions can be traced even in the Greek myths that talk about two of the (more than a dozen, actually) Greek "tribes" being of Semitic (and most specificaly Phoenician) origins.

The evolution of the Greek script and language is evident from many fidings and those who deny to accept this either do not have evaluated (or even taken into account) the overwhelming data, or are just refusing to let go of outdated and unfounded theories of the past.

There is one point I definitely agree on: the "Greeks" were not a "pure" race. They were an intermixture of people inhabiting the southern balkans (those under the umbrella term "Pelasgians", the "Minoans" and many others) and people coming from other places (either Anatolia, or northern Balkan and Euxeinos Pontos). Those people gradually formed what became known in the 1st milenia BC as "the Greek people". There was probably a "dominant" class/tribe that imposed the corpus of its language over the others, and that class/tribe seems to have descended to Greece or rose to power in the late 3rd-early 2nd milenia. But they are not "the Greeks", as the Turkic "Bulgarians" are not what later became known as "Bulgarians" - the only trace the latter left in the makeup of the their people is their name, nothing past that.

One should also not forget that being Greek was primarily an issue of culture and not blood - and that is illustrated in the Greek tradition and myths quite eloquently. That is also illustrated in the ease with which the Balkan and Anatolian people got hellenized over the ages.

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