Indo-European languages

Cradle of Indo-European Languages in Anatolia Biologists say

Indo-European languages

A team of biologists from New Zealand claim to have solved one of the big problems in archeology: where do the modern Indo-European languages originate from.

Using the same tools as when drawing evolutionary family trees, a team of biologists at  the University of Auckland in New Zealand led by Quentin Atkinson have analysed the existing vocabulary and areas of 103 Indo-European languages, both existing and extinct. Then they essentially walked them back in time and place using computer simulations until they found their statistically most likely origin.

This process led the team back to Anatolia which would also fit the agricultural expansion from Anatolia that started 8000 to 9500 years ago.

A rival and already more established theory sees the origins of Indo-European languages in the steppes north of the Black Sea from which warriors conquered Europe and India about 3000 years ago. The key evidence for this theory is that all Indo-European languages have similar words for chariot related vocabulary like “wheel,” “axle,” “harness-pole” and “to go or convey in a vehicle” which was the predominant weapon of those conquerors.

For a more detailed overview of the research and arguments for and against the family tree of Indo-European languages, head over to the New York Times. There you will also find the family tree and a map of the different languages.