Europa · Serie: Europa Vascónica

‘Europa Vascónica’. Capítulo 3: por qué el Neolítico principal europeo debe necesariamente ser ‘vascónico’? Razones genéticas, lingüísticas y culturales.

Capítulos anteriores: 1, 2

Esta es una pregunta que me surge continuamente; hay desde gente que se adhiere a la antigua idea de la continuidad paleolítica vasca, hasta quienes parecen creer que “lo vasco” viene del espacio exterior o algo así (incluyo aquí las absurdas conjeturas sobre la “vasconización tardía” con que tanto el nacionalismo español, como el francés, como incluso aislacionistas vascos que veneran la excepcionalidad étnica de forma extrema, nos bombardean continuamente). Yo mismo era partidario hasta hace unos años de la teoría de continuidad paleolítica vasca, la arqueología, de manera engañosa parecía en algún grado apuntar hacia ello y la arqueogenética estaba aún muy inmadura para desvelar la realidad prehistórica. Múltiples prejuicios tradicionales convergían en rechazar un posible origen mediterráneo para esta etnia, en especial su extremo occidentalismo genético, conocido desde la época de los grupos sanguíneos, allá por principios del siglo XX.

Pero en ciencia hay que estar dispuesto a cambiar de opinión, si no fuera así, sería pseudociencia (abuso del discurso de apariencia científica para respaldar, con pocos y malos datos, ideas preconcebidas). Y yo tuve que cambiar de opinión a medida que se acumulaban datos tanto arqueogenéticos como lingüísticos que no me daban la razón sino que cuestionaban el paradigma de continuidad paleolítica que había defendido hasta entonces, abierto a otras posibilidades pero con bastante convicción en todo caso.

Hay dos líneas de evidencia que demuestran de manera casi apabullante que el vascónico (la familia lingüística de la cual sólo sobrevive el euskera) y los aspectos culturales y genéticos que la acompañan se originaron en el Neolítico de Asia Menor y Grecia:

  1. Arqueogenética: la evidencia del ADN antiguo lleva casi una década demostrando que hubo un masivo reemplazo poblacional, colonización, en el Neolítico Inicial y que esta población colonizadora (cuyo fósil viviente son los sardos) es el constituyente principal de la genética vasca, aunque ésta se encuentre mezclada con la genética aborigen paleoeuropea (aprox. al 40%).
  2. Arqueolíngüística (y aspectos etno-culturales relacionados): en los últimos años no sólo ha retornado el vasco-iberismo (que para más narices tiene apoyo arqueogenético) sino que se ha demostrado más allá de toda duda razonable que la lengua prerromana de Cerdeña estaba emparentada con el euskera. Además se aprecia un sustrato vascónico abrumador en las lenguas europeas cada vez mejor conocido (a pesar de la falta de interés de la facultad de filología de la UPV-EHU).

Vayamos por partes pues.

 

Arqueogenética

El año clave fue 2013. Fue entonces cuando Lazaridis, Patterson, Mittnik et al. pre-publicaron su estudio seminal (formalmente publicado en 2014) que estudiaba el ADN autosomal (recombinante, la mayoría del ADN) de poblaciones paleoeuropeas (cazadoras-recolectoras) y neoeuropeas (neolíticas), demostrando de manera bastante razonable, a pesar de mi resistencia inicial a aceptar sus conclusiones, que las poblaciones modernas de Europa, vascos incluidos, tenemos más raíces genéticas, más proporción de antepasados de origen agricultor neolítico que de cazador-recolector epipaleolítico. Las proporciones varían, pero quizá con excepciones menores en Europa Oriental, el patrón es claro: los colonos neoeuropeos, que yo ya denomino como inequívocamente vascónicos, son la contribución genética dominante. Además detectaron un componente menor, paleosiberiano (y afín a los nativos americanos) que denominaron “ancient North Eurasian” (ANE) que, aunque algo fantasmagórico y después revisado/refinado, apuntaba ya a la migración indoeuropea de la Edad de los Metales, por supuesto vascos y sardos eran una vez más quienes destacaban en tener cero o muy bajo este componente “siberiano”.

trianglecomponents
Gráfico triangular de Lazaridis et al. 2014, con mi anotación aún escéptica “other WHGs?”, que sintetiza los hallazgos arqueogenéticos de este estudio clave (más tarde refinados y pulidos por otros analásis). EEF = colonos neolíticos, WHG = paleoeuropeos, ANE = paleosiberianos

Rápidamente surgieron más evidencias que lo apoyaban, matizaban y complementaban, tanto dese la Academia como desde estudios informales por blogueros especializados (porque tanto las secuencias genéticas como las herramientas informáticas para procesarlas son de domino público, open access y open source respectivamente). En particular Dasakali y Skoglund publicaron dos estudios paralelos que confirmaban y complementaban los hallazgos del equipo de Lazaradis, añadiendo un dato que hasta ahora es la evidencia más antigua del tipo vasco (vascónico 2 en mi jerga), no en Euskal Herria ni en Francia (que siguen sin ser estudiadas adecuadamente), sino en el Sur de Suecia (Neolítico Atlántico de tipo megalítico, yacimiento de Gökhem). Por contra, el cercano yacimiento de Portalón (Atapuerca) mostraba una genética parecida a la de los sardos o toscanos (vascónico 1, más tarde se verá que es más “sardo” que “toscano” en realidad).

Gokheim
Gráfico de la tesis de Evangelia Dasakali (izquierda: geografía, derecha: genética).

Sería sólo en 2015 cuando el confuso componente “ANE” empezaría a ceder paso a un component más realista: la genética de los proto-indoeuropeos de cultura “kurgán” (enterramientos individualistas en túmulo). Con el tiempo aprenderíamos que esta genética “kurgán” o indoeuropea es a su vez una mezcla de paleuropeos orientales (EHG, quizá proto-urálicos, por su influencia siberiana y extensión por el extremo norte europeo: Volga, Rusia Norte, Karelia y Noruega confirmadas de momento) y colonos agricultores de un subtipo distinto al vascónico que llegaron a través del Cáucaso (ver Wang et al. 2018, pre-pub). Esto resulta en que la posterior migración/conquista indoeuropea trajo consigo la genética de estos paleoeuropeos orientales pero también de los neouropeos orientales originarios de la región de los Zagros (aprox. Kurdistán). Incidentalmente la mayor característica genética vasca es una polaridad opuesta al componente caucásico (que también es importante en Asia Occidental y Meridional), por lo que este componente puede ser interpretado, al menos fuera del mediterráneo (donde tiene otros orígenes en parte) como un marcador genético indoeuropeo, aunque sólo representa aprox. la mitad de esta influencia oriental o esteparia.

Así, p.e., tenemos esta síntesis de la genética del sudoeste europeo por Alentoft et al. 2015 que es muy explicativa:

 

GuntherAutosomal
El componente “negro” representa aproximadamente la mitad de la ascendencia proto-indoeuropea (esteparia, Khvalynsk, casi ausente en vascos y sardos), la otra mitad correspondería a una fracción igual o ligeramente menor del componente azul (paleoeuropeo), el componente naranja es el neoeuropeo o vascónico 1 y estaba ausente en los indoeuropeos originales.

En conclusión: la evidencia arqueogenética claramente marca un dominio apabullante del componente neoeuropeo (neolítico, EEF, vascónico 1) en los sardos, así como en muchísimas poblaciones de la Europa Neolítica. Este es el tipo de genética que por ejemplo tenía el viejo Ötzi, el enigmático hombre de los Alpes, pero la vemos también en Iberia, en Irlanda, en Languedoc, en Gran Bretaña, en Polonia, en Bulgaria, etc. Hay sin duda otro tipo más mestizo, que es el tipo proto-vasco (vascónico 2) sobre cuyos orígenes exactos aún sabemos poco: Dinamarca y alrededores es un foco sin duda pero la zona entre el Alto Ebro y el Rin aún está sin explorar, excepto por el ADNmt y el gen de la tolerancia a la lactosa en algunos casos, y es un candidato mucho mejor en mi opinión, al menos para la población vasca propiamente dicha y sus parientes cercanos antiguos: aquitanos, íberos, etc. Es de todas formas un tipo que es 60% vascónico 1 (EEF, sardo) así que es muy razonable pensar que su lingüística y cultura eran al menos en lo fundamental las mismas, lo mismo que los mexicanos y cubanos modernos hablan básicamente el mismo idioma castellano a pesar de que los primeros son un 50% indígenas y los segundos no.

 

Pero para confirmar esta probabilidad hay otros datos complementarios lingüísticos y genéticos.

 

Arqueolingüística y antropología

En este tema al primero que hay que mencionar es a Theo Vennemann. Seguramente no fue el primero en apuntar al probable sustrato vascónico (Krutwig ya lo hizo hace décadas) pero sí el que mejor lo ha sabido sistematizar (a pesar de algunas críticas su teoría es bastante sólida) y además es el que ha bautizado a la familia lingüística del euskera como “vascónica”. El problema de Vennemann, aparte de que su “semidítico” no parece sostenerse en absoluto, es que cuando estructuró su teoría (pub. 2003) el paradigma era sin duda el de la continuidad paleolítica y él se adhirió a esta idea, desdeñando posible sustrato vascónico en el sudoeste europeo, adonde el Magdaleniense nunca llegó (o eso se creía entonces, ahora está un poco menos claro en términos de epipaleolítico, la verdad).

En este sentido para mí es muchísimo más relevante en cambio el trabajo de Juan Martin Elexpuru, publicado en 2017 (sólo en euskera) como Euskararen aztarnak Sardinian? (Las huellas del euskera en Cerdeña?) y que cuenta con un apéndice mío (cuyo borrador en castellano está disponible en este blog).

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Mapa doble de J.M. Elexpuru mostrando los topónimos probablemente vascónicos de Cerdeña y sus correspondencias en Euskal Herria (fuente: blog de Elexpuru).
samugheo02
Mamutzones sardos

Pero Elexpuru estaba tras estas huellas desde mucho antes y  yo era consciente de ello desde al menos 2011. No sólo era el tema del lenguaje: sabemos desde hace mucho que un haplogrupo (ADN-Y) típico de cerdeña I2-M26 llegó hasta Euskal Herria, donde es el único patrilinaje significativo aparte del hegemónico R1b-S116. Además la lingüista y (de hecho también antropóloga) Roslyn Frank ha documentado extensivamente las similitudes culturales del carnaval sardo con el vasco, sorprendentes incluso a simple vista.

 

Por qué hay una conexión lingüístico-cultural tan intensa entre sardos y vascos? Había sido Cerdeña colonizada por proto-vascos? No, a medida que surgía la evidencia arqueogenética que menciono sintéticamente en la primera parte de este capítulo, era evidente que los sardos no son vascos, pero que lo contrario sí que es cierto, al menos en parte. No es que hubiera una colonización directa desde Cerdeña, sino que la isla actúa de refugio para una población vascónica original que se expandió por Italia hacia el oeste, generando por mestizaje la población proto-vasca, que es la que por azares (y luchas) de la (pre-)historia ha logrado conservar el legado lingüístico.

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Zanpanzarrak vascos

La conexión mediterránea también se manifiesta con la resurrección de la teoría vasco-ibérica, es decir: que el euskera y el íbero antiguo están relacionados. El trabajo de Orduña y Ferrer i Jan sobre los números ibéricos es no sólo apabullante, sino que explica expresiones vascas que de otra forma no tienen sentido: (h)amaika (“once”) equivale a abar-ke-ban en íbero, eta abar (“etcétera”) se explica porque abar significa “diez” en íbero. Sin embargo ahora sabemos por la arqueogenética que los antiguos íberos sí que derivan de los proto-vascos y eran genéticamente casi idénticos a los vascos modernos, habiendo un reemplazo poblacional en Iberia probablemente en el período del Vaso Campaniforme (Calcolítico Final). De esto ya hablaré más adelante pero hay que indicarlo aquí porque, aunque en su día esto me dirigiera al origen Neolítico-Mediterráneo de la familia vascónica, no es al final una pista concluyente.

 

360px-museum_of_anatolian_civilizations_1320259_nevit
Gaia? Diosa de Çatalhöyuk

Entonces que más hay? Cerdeña es muy importante pero hay más? Yo creo que sí: por un lado muchas de las pistas con las que suelo especular las encuentro, sorprendentemente, en la mitología griega, en especial en su capa más profunda: Gaia y Urano. Gaia no sólo es un nombre de la Diosa Madre o Diosa Tierra que observamos en todo el Neolítico Vascónico, sino que es un nombre que en euskera moderno tiene perfecto sentido: gai (nominativo simple: gaia) significa en euskera dos cosas perfectamente apropiadas para esta divinidad primigenia: (1) materia, sustancia, y (2) potencial, capacidad. A mi entender es un nombre absolutamente vascónico, mucho más claramente que la forma conservada en la mitología vasca (Mari). Urano (hijo y consorte de Gaia según Hesíodo) es igual un poco menos claro pero para mí se parece mucho a la personificación vasca del firmamento, Urtzi (también Ortz, Ost), documentada hasta la Edad Media (et Deus vocant Urcia) y aparente tanto en días de la semana (osteguna = día de Ost = jueves, ostirala = helechal de Ost = viernes) como en fenómenos metereológicos (ortzadar = cuerno de Ortz = arcoiris, oskarri = piedra de Ost = rayo). Urano es también la personificación (pre-)griega del firmamento, en especial del nocturno, asociado con la astronomía. Además ambos nombres llevan la raíz ur-, que en mi opinión es el moderno ur = agua, en el mismo sentido que urte = año, que seguramente vendría a significar algo así como “ciclo del agua” (en el sentido de lluvias sobre todo, cruciales para los agricultores), cuyo actor mitológico primordial sería Urtzi-Urano, el cielo personificado, el “río celestial”.

 

En Grecia podemos seguramente encontrar otros términos que podrían (o no) ser vascónicos, pero prefiero centrarme en lo que parece más claro, a expensas de que algún lingüista serio continúe con el trabajo sobre “hilo de Ariadna” que Krutwig nos animaba a seguir para hallar la salida al laberinto confuso de nuestras raíces. Un caso extremadamente chocante es que en serbocroata a “arriba” dicen gore, casi idéntico a su forma vasca gora. Gora es una palabra clarísimamente vascónica, ya que deriva literalmente de goi (alto) + -ra (a, nora? = a dónde?) La subfamilia eslava tiene además otra palabra similar que parece vascónica gora = montaña, pero se trata creo de dos préstamos separados: el gora pan-eslavo se debió de adoptar en los Cárpatos, antes de la expansión de esta subfamilia lingüístca, mientras que el gore exclusivamente serbocroata parece una adopción sólo adquirida a la llegada a los Balcanes Occidentales.

ibar_valley
Río Ibar (Kosovo)

Aún más contundente para mí es la hidronimia vascónica, en particular el término ibar (vega, rivera) y derivados (en particular iber). Ibar es claramente vascónico: cognato de eusk. ibai (río) y del aragonés ibón (lago glacial), además está documentadísimo como el nombre original del río Ebro (iberus), que da nombre a la Península Ibérica, donde sabemos que muchos de los nativos (íberos) hablaban vascónico y tenían genética de tipo vasco en la antigüedad (ahora también aunque un poco más diluida). Si sigues las noticias internacionales en los últimos años, habrás aprendido que en medio de Kosovo hay un río de ese nombre, el río Ibar, además en la frontera greco-búlgara existe el río Ébros (Maritsa en búlgaro), que muy aparentemente sigue la misma evolución fonética que Iber > Iberus > Ebro (Iber > Iberos > Ebros). Finalmente tenemos el Tíber (Tiberis para los romanos antiguos), que parece ser t-+iber (+ declinación latina -is). Qué esta t-? No lo sé con certeza pero podría ser un artículo etrusco ya que vemos como Rassena (etrusco en etrusco) da Tyrsenos en griego, que se puede reconstruir como ty-r(a)ssen(a)-os. Sabemos que los determinantes “este” y “ese” se escribían como “ta” (pero también como “ca”), me pregunto si el artículo “el” sería “tu” (transcrito como “ty” en griego pero pronunciado /tu/ o /tü/).

Mi impresión es que hay toponimia y sustrato lingüístico vascónico en el sudoeste de Europa (Italia y Balcanes) pero que está por explorar. No seré yo quien haga ese estudio pero es una investigación que debería hacerse sin duda. En todo caso creo que hay hilo lingüístico y cultural ya como para que sirva de apoyo a la evidencia arqueogenética, que es abrumadora.

Por todo esto (y más porque al final esto no es más que una breve síntesis) entiendo que las lenguas vascónicas se expandieron con el Neolítico Principal Europeo, de raíz egea o anatolia, y que esa expansión fue casi exclusivamente mediante la colonización, aunque con el tiempo y la distancia empezamos a encontrar poblaciones mestizas, que darían lugar a los vascos modernos e íberos antiguos, entre otras poblaciones.

18 comentarios sobre “‘Europa Vascónica’. Capítulo 3: por qué el Neolítico principal europeo debe necesariamente ser ‘vascónico’? Razones genéticas, lingüísticas y culturales.

  1. “Mamutzones sardos” and “Zanpanzarrak vascos” remind me of many similar traditions we have here in Greece during the carnival festivities. For example, have a look at a few.

    Μπαμπούγερα from Eastern Macedonia

    Μωμόγεροι (Pontic Greek tradition)
    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-MKQTMmh_COY/UsW8arUgMKI/AAAAAAAA4J0/GClHbIT6c1g/s1600/%CE%9C%CF%89%CE%BC%CF%8C%CE%B3%CE%B5%CF%81%CE%BF%CE%B9+%CE%98%CF%81%CF%85%CE%BB%CF%8C%CF%81%CE%B9%CE%BF.jpg (one version)
    https://www.thepressroom.gr/sites/default/files/styles/article/public/2018-12/%CE%9C%CE%A9%CE%9C%CE%9F%CE%93%CE%95%CE%A1%CE%9F%CE%99.jpg?itok=59Bmic6S (second version)

    Έθιμο της Καμήλας from Crete (Chania), Macedonia, Thrace, and elsewhere

    Κουδουνοφόροι from Langadas (outside Thessaloniki), Central Macedonia

    Αράπηδες from Eastern Macedonia

    Γέρος και Κορέλα from Skyros Island

    Thessaly

    These are just some examples.

    As for some of the etymologies in the article, i do have a few different hypotheses but yours have merit as well.

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  2. I was unaware of these wooden bells, very interesting. But take note that bells are a rather young invention, with the first examples found in the late stage of the Yangshao culture of Neolithic China (sidenote – this culture shares many similarities with other contemporary cultures such as the Cucuteni-Trypillian culture – here is an interesting study as well, https://www.academia.edu/4220221/A_DNA_genealogy_solution_to_the_puzzle_of_ancient_look-alike_ceramics_across_the_world). First bells were made of pottery. Then some centuries later we see the innovation of the first metal bells made out of copper at the sites of Taosi and Erlitou (during the Taosi phase of the Longshan culture, namely 2000 BCE). Here is also a map showing that the two sites overlapped with both the previous Yangshao culture and the Longshan culture, https://brewminate.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/EastAsia05.png. On the other hand, in West Asia, the first bells appear at approximately 1000 BCE. Here is an Urartian example, https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/326225.

    Although all these don’t negate the possibility of being a Neolithic tradition that spread with the advent of the early European farmers/herders, the fact that we see bells in all of the aforementioned traditions suggests that the bell tradition might have reached Sardinia and Iberia during the Roman era, if not Neolithic after all. Of course more ethnographic research is required to trace its extent throughout the broader region in order to come to safer conclusions. What i can add to this though, is that during the Classical Greek period these traditions would be considered Bacchic/Dionysian (pertaining to God Dionysus), hence why the seemingly Satyr’s costumes and the bells which are associated with herding. Satyrs were considered as Dionysus’s companions, and per the mythology lived in forests and mountains, herding cattle and hunting. The most famous of them was the God Pan associated with the wilderness, shepherds and flocks, among other things. Last, festivities and traditions associated with Dionysus were meant to be cathartic.

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  3. We don’t have any evidence of such bell carnival tradition in Rome, whose cultural and religious festivals are reasonably well known. This is something else. I’d argue for wooden bells pre-dating bronze bells.

    I do find merit however to the “goddess tradition”, incl. swastikas, being scattered from pre-Neolithic centers such as the Gravettian culture, famed for its goddess statuettes and for what I have read in several occasions at least one usage of the swastika symbol, probably representing the four corners and the four seasons (i.e. the simple cross represents more emphatically the four corners, i.e. cardinal points, while the swastika represents these in a more dynamic fashion, what I take as the four seasons and even if you wish the four elements — in China they use five elements but one, earth, is central to the other four, not a fifth corner). You can extend this speculation, extremely hard to bring us to anywhere well defined, to the four colors for the cardinal points, which were used in America and Europe alike (and the parcheese somehow reprepresents all this, being a cross and swastika design of four colors, which can be associated to the four classical elements and cardinal points).

    I’ve been split about how to interpret the seemingly widespread “gender binary montheistic fertility religion” of Mari-Sugaar (Basques), Gaia-Eros (deepest Greek layer), Shakti-Shiva (deepest Hindu layer) and Ying-Yang (Taoism). Was it Neolithic (spreading from West Asia) or was it Dolmenic (spreading West to East)? Maybe it’s even older? I doubt it’s related to R1a because this lineage is tightly associated with Indoeuropeans which were clearly outside this paradigm, and rather inside one of Patriarchal polytheism instead.

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  4. Hola Maju: Que bueno que hayas seguido con el tema de la Europa Vascónica, ya que hay rastros por todos lados. En los cárpatos Eslovacos existe un pueblo pastor de montaña, que se
    llaman Goral, montañeses. En un antiguo mapa de distibión de grupos sanguineos en Europa aparecía un manchón de Rh negativos en los Cárpats, justamente.
    Hasta Go-be-kli podría ser Go-be-ili. Esos nombres con el componente Go, ga, Gora ,Gar están por todos lados. Y para ríos tienes el Rio Wadi-alq-ibir que sería como la tercera capa del Iber
    Slds

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  5. No iría yo tan lejos. Göbekli Tepe es un nombre turco que significa literalmente “colina de la barriga”. Eso es normal muchos yacimientos antiguos tienen nombres más o menos modernos en lenguas modernas: los yacimientos vascos de San Juan Ante Porta Latinam o La Hoya son ejemplos claros de nombres que no pueden corresponder en absoluto con cómo los llamarían en su día los nativos. O la capa más profunda de la civilización sumeria se llama por el yacimiento de El Ubaid (a veces El Obeid), que es un nombre árabe, ya que no se sabe el verdadero nombre de la antiquísima ciudad que allí se encontró.

    Ahora bien en el caso de los goral esos, sin duda deriva de gora (montaña en eslavo), que yo creo que es uno de esos elementos del sustrato vascónico. Es posible que monte y mound (túmulo) también deriven de una forma vasca mendi, relacionada con mende = poder, pero esto es más dudoso y podría también ser una influencia en dirección opuesta. Esto lo digo sobre todo porque la presunta raíz indoeuropea *men- (destacar, sobresalir) sólo parece tener descendientes en las tres lenguas más occidentales: latín (itálico), britónico (parte del celta, parte particularmente notoria por sus afinidades vascas en vocabulario) y una forma menor en germánico (“moenir” nórdico antiguo para la arista del tejado). Hipotéticamente podría sugerir que el vascónico continental (“danubiano”) podría haber usado “gora” para montaña, mientras que el marítimo (cardial y megalítico) usaría en cambio “mende” y “mendi” en cambio, pero es muy tentativo, ya que estoy reconstruyendo sólo o casi sólo a partir de restos (sustrato) que creo ver en el indoeuropeo.

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  6. PD a la entrada (posiblemente incluya en edición futura): la linguista Roslyn Frank ha argumentado (en conversación privada al menos, no sé si tiene algo formal al respecto, probablemente porque es su temática central de la mitología ursina) que Artumes (Artemisa, Diana) debe ser un vocablo vascónico, en particular algo así como (h)artz-(k)ume (osezna) o (h)artz-eme (osa). Se trata de una diosa sin precursores indoeuropeos claros, al contrario que su hermano Apolo, que sí que encaja bien con otros caracteres “heroicos” y “matadragones” de la mitología indoeuropea.

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  7. You write, “This is something else. I’d argue for wooden bells pre-dating bronze bells.”.
    You might be right on this. Assuming that wood rarely survives archaeologically (https://historicengland.org.uk/listing/what-is-designation/heritage-highlights/wood-survive-underground-for-thousands-of-years/), and also taking into consideration that the first Chinese bells were made out of pottery. You would expect something simpler such as wood for a prototype, but again nothing survives or hasn’t been recovered. Could have indeed come from the West through the Neolithic expansion. For example, i believe that the first yin/yang symbol is found in the Cucuteni-Trypillian culture, and only after it shows up in the contemporary Yangshao culture.

    Excuse me for the short and late answer. I have been very busy. I will also comment on the other post you left me on “Capítulo 2” sometime tomorrow.

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  8. Did you see my comment (in Spanish) on Artumes (Artemis) being possibly another Vasconic remnant? Her name should be read, per Frank, as hartz-ume, i.e. “young bear”, not “cub”, as that would be “kume” (another case of Basque-Germanic cognates) but “bear child”. She interprets it in her bear cosmology, which she associates with Ursa Maior and Ursa Minor, she thinks it’s somethig “Boreal” but I’d argue it’s rather Upper Paleolithic West Eurasian, else the Uralics would have the same iconography and the Hebrews wouldn’t. Upper Paleolithic because it somehow reached America and the last time the ancestors of Native Americans and West Eurasians were one it was some 50-40,000 years ago.

    Anyway the name could be Vasconic and Artumes is indeed identified with a she-bear.

    This had me thinking hazily this morning about Aita = Hades and Atis, Cybeles’ consort. Cybeles is clearly another form of the Magna Mater, of Gaia, just an Anatolian form. Atis’ name is very similar to Aita (i.e. Hades in Pelasgo-Etruscan version). However “aita” is “father” in Basque, but this is a nursery word, so it may have been reinvented a zillion times by babies pretending to talk (Turks also use “atta” and “pater” is not that different, “ama/mama” is almost universal for “mother” as it’s the first thing after ggggg that babies can articulate), so I’m not using as any strong “evidence” of anything, but had me thinking the following: what if Aita-Hades-Atis is Uranos by an epitethet? That would explain the mythical castration of Atis, in classical mythological theory Uranos was imprisoned in Tartaros but is there really a non-erudite difference between Tartaros and Hades (underworld realm)? Is there an absolute difference between being imprisoned and being the lord of that underworld, is the Minotaur king of the Labyrinth or its prisoner? Or both?

    Also how different are Urtzi-Uranos-Atlas the sky god, consort of Gaia in Greek mythology and Eros-Python-Sugaar, the Dragon God, consort of Mari in Basque mythology? Notice also how the same divine couple (Basque-like version) become antagonists in the Nordic mythology (Hel and Jormungandir) and how Hel is imprisoned / made queen of the underworld, much as Uranos-Hades would be in my conjecture in the Greek mythology. After all the chthonic world was not the natural realm of the Indoeuropean deities but of the Vasconic ones, we should always expect some hybridization and synchretism in what regards to the chthonic, but for that very reason it can get quite confusing.

    Food for thought, hopefully. Please do not interpret this in any finished nor completed way. Just some thoughts I had today.

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  9. In Greek we also have “άρκτος” (arktos) for bear. It stems from PIE root *h₂ŕ̥tḱos (https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Reconstruction:Proto-Indo-European/h%E2%82%82%C5%95%CC%A5t%E1%B8%B1os). It’s quite common in other IE languages as well. Who knows, maybe it’s a root of a Palaeolithic or Neolithic substrate. Furthermore, the Ursa Major and Ursa Minor are the Latin equivalents of Greek “Μεγάλη Άρκτος” (Megali Arktos) and “Μικρή Άρκτος” (Mikri Arktos), which in turn is an Arcadian (hence the name) original myth. The Arctic which also stems its name from them, is due to the prominent position of their constellations in the northern portion of the celestial sphere. Other than the “arktos” hypothesis, there is also the following unrelated described by Ivanov in this paper, https://pies.ucla.edu/IESV/1/VVI_Horse.pdf. He presents it as Hurrian via a Lydian mediation. Nonetheless, it was present from Mycenaean times.

    Its later Roman equivalent, namely “Diana”, seems to stem from the Indo-European root that also gave rise to Greek “Δίας” (Días, alternative name of Zeus) and Latin “Deus” which pertain to “God, deity, or divine”. There is also an interesting correlation to Greek “Διώνη” (Dione) which is viewed as the female side/counterpart of “Δίας” (Días). Both of them were actually venerated as patron/matron deities in the oldest Greek oracle and second in prestige after the one of Delphi, namely the one at Dodona. They represented a syzygy, namely a pair of opposites like Yin and Yang in Chinese philosophy. Syncretistically their case is similar to the Latin Janus and Jana, Jupiter (equivalent of Zeus) and Juno (equivalent of Hera – wife of Zeus), or the twins Apollo (same in Greek) and Diana (equivalent of Artemis) which are most probably an anachronistic archetype of the same Neolithic story pertaining to “Gaia/Eros” and others. It’s not accidental that Apollo and Diana/Artemis are also Gods of the Sun and Moon respectively, and we all know of the symbolic duality attached to these astronomical objects.

    Regarding the name of Apollo, it could have followed this evolution, Apollo (Greek)<Apaliunas (Trojan)<Apeljōn (Hittite)<Aplu (Hurrian)<Aplu Enlil (Akkadian – Son of Enlil, namely Nergal). As a sidenote, notice that the Etruscan name for Greek God Apollo, was also "Apulu/Aplu". In terms of attributes, they were all solar Gods and related to plague.

    Regarding Aita and Hades, we have already discussed this back in February through email. Back then i had written that the earliest attested form of the name was "Ἀΐδης", which can be given an etymology of "α-" (not) and "ἰδεῖν" (seen). By the way, this is the official meaning, have a look here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hades#Name. Furthermore, there is an obvious relation between the literal meaning (if we go with the aforementioned etymology) of "Ἀΐδης" and the mythological characteristics attributed to him (look at the "Helm of Hades" for example https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cap_of_invisibility). On the other hand, Basque "Aita" tends to appear more as a "lallnamen" word or an extremely old word of some hypothetical proto-proto-language. We find words for father and mother, with versions like Atta and Anna/Ama respectively in many Indo-European languages, the Basque language, the Altaic languages, the Eskimo-Aleut languages, the Semitic languages and even in Sumerian like with the Sumerian Goddess Inanna and the Hurrian Goddess Ḫannaḫanna appear etymologically connected. On IE specifically, we don't just have the PIE root *ph₂tḗr (https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Reconstruction:Proto-Indo-European/ph%E2%82%82t%E1%B8%97r) which gave rise to "pater", but also the PIE root *átta (https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Reconstruction:Proto-Indo-European/%C3%A1tta).

    Regarding "Ουρανός" (Uranos) i had written that it is literally a personification of the "sky" (ουρανός) in Greek, just like the name "Κρόνος" is a personification of "time" (χρόνος). What i have known from Primary school, is that "sky" (ουρανός) comes from the noun "mountain" (οὖρος) and the adjective "above/upper" (ἄνω), therefore "above the mountain", which is the sky. In any case, that doesn't disregard what you have written, since in Nuragic (maybe related to Vasconic) we also have "Òrol" that is found in a good number of mountain microtoponyms in Sardinia, although "οὖρος" (mountain) is also explained through an IE root.

    We have even touched upon "Κρόνος" (Kronos) and the personification of "time" (χρόνος), mentioned above, which i know you had a different opinion but you seemed to have agreed with me. Namely i had written that both Etruscan "Karun" and Greek "Charon" could be related to a Pelasgo-Tyrsenian root. In any case, "time" has a lot to do with eventual destruction and the void that swallows everything into nothingness. Even "Hades" means "the unseen one", correlating to the great void. I could even go as far to state that "Charon" the servant of "Hades" could be the same as "Kronos". Even their staff with which they are depicted is the same, namely the "scythe" or "sickle". You can easily find depictions for "Kronos" with it. As for "Charon", you can also easily find depictions of him holding it but mostly in Greek searches, although his English version known as "Grim" would be able to solve that problem for you with an Enligh search.

    Again, i don't have any dogmas concerning these, just some different opinions based on what i know.

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  10. Of course, Greek has arktos, a rather conservative variant of PIE *h₂ŕ̥tḱos (https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Reconstruction:Proto-Indo-European/h%E2%82%82%C5%95%CC%A5t%E1%B8%B1os ) but see this please, because it’s Roz Frank explaining her theory about this PIE *hrktos being cognate with Basque “hartz” (via proto-vasconic or her own interpretations of the connection, which are different from mine): https://forwhattheywereweare.blogspot.com/2010/11/linguistics-more-on-shared-ie-basque.html

    Interestingly PIE *h₂eHs- (ash, see: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Reconstruction:Proto-Indo-European/h%E2%82%82eHs- ) seems to be cognate of Basque “hauts” (ash, dust) following the same phonetic pattern. There’s a larger amount of apparent cognates, maybe 15% or more, always PIE-Basque, which is well above noise level. My interpretation is that both proto-languages were in tight contact (but were surely not strictly affiliated) in the West Asian Neolithic, what caused a large amount of shared vocabulary at that level (proto-Vasconic and proto-PIE).

    In any case Basque “hartz” is at least as conservative than arktos, even if the PIE reconstruction is very similar to the Greek version and it also has ume (child) and kume (cub) to make her etymology valid, at least suggestive. Greek as other words that seem Vasconic, BTW, compare:

    Greek-Basque-English
    bios-bizi-live (in Basque also “to live”)
    ekos/oikos-etxe-house/home
    oxi-ez-no

    There may be others but my knowledge of Greek is very shallow. I do believe there are reasons to think of a Vasconic substrate in Greek (and linking to the previous comment-reply, maybe they were not incorporated in Greece, but further North, in the Western Vucedol region maybe, which has no Vinca background but was Vasconic all the time before Vucedol).

    Of course Diana as such name is unrelated. The deity is probably a Greek influence in Italy. Incidentally in Spanish “diana” means “target, bullseye” (the goal of a missile shooting sport, typically archery but also darts), it’s not believed to derive from Diana the goddess but who knows? She did practice archery, didn’t she? Maybe it’s a reflex of invoking Diana for luck in archery? Incidentally in Irish “diana” or “dian” means (1) vehement, intense, violent, severe, (2) (obsolete) swift, quick, which could fit the goddess as an apellative. I doubt it’s related to “dia” = day, which only works in Finnish (a non-IE language) and has no particular relation to the goddess.

    Linguistics is very complicated and murky, that’s why I’m not dwelling too much on it in the main work.

    What you say about Hades maybe being “”α-” (not) and “ἰδεῖν” (seen)”, that can be a wordplay but does not seem the real etymology to me. Haides or ”Aides must be reconstructed, if pre-IE, by first removing the final -s (a Greek custom for male names), what leaves us Haide or ”Aide, this is very similar to Etruscan Aita, plus an initial aspiration also very typical of Greek phonetics. Also they have exactly the same role: god of the netherworld and are assisted by the same psychopomp: Charon (Χάρων) or Karun. To me there’s no debate on this aspect, more so as IE infernal deities, if any, vary a lot (the underworld is not what PIEs were religiously concerned about, at least not in a way to leave a legacy common to their branches); Hades is a Pelasgo-Tyrsenian heritage, and so is Charon and many othere elements of Greek mythology probably (unavoidable synchretism when two cultures meet even if in unequal terms).

    I fully concur that relating to Basque “aita” is very speculative and I said so in my “rant” already, it was just a mental clue that led me to a further speculation: what if Aita ws an aplleative from the unavoidable Vasconic substrate. “Father” in Etruscan was “apa” (similar to Semitic “aba”), so it’s not the Etruscan normal way of saying it but maybe it was in their Vasconic substrate and was retained as proper name. In the reconstructed Vasconic religion that “aita” or father could only be the Dragon or Snake God (Sugaar, probably both Eros and Python in Greek mythology, Jormungandir in the Nordic one, etc.) or alternatively, following Hesiod and my identification of Uranos with Urtzi, the sky god or personified sky. Uranos was castrated and doomed by Kronos, act that represents in terms mythological the Pelasgo-Tyrsenian victory over the Vasconics some 7000 years ago (only in parts of the Balcans and Asia Minor). My speculation here is: was he allowed the overlorship of the Netherworld then (being the distinction between Tartaros and Hades-realm only a later interpretation)? And also the question is: how distinct were originally Sugaar and Urtzi, the Dragon and the Sky? As you are probably aware mythology in oral societies is not monolithic but tends to evolve somewhat, what can become confusing. The Mother Goddess (primarily Gaia) having many names and “avatars” of sorts, such as Demeter for example, has been argued for often, and with good reason IMO, why could not this also happen to the Father God, Aita?

    It’s just a speculation but I’d dare say that a worthy one to consider, if nothing else.

    Quote: “just like the name “Κρόνος” is a personification of “time” (χρόνος)” — You know I disagree (and many others do as well). Kronos has no mythological relation with time, if anything it’s possible that the pre-IE (unknown origin) “χρόνος” (khronos) might derive from Κρόνος, the name of the major Titan. The Etruscans called him (or at least their main god, similar to Zeus, ruling lightning particularly), Tinia, which means “day” (tin, tinia) and which may be root of “titan” (“tito” is also day in Indoeuropean Anatolian and a more plausible direct root of “titan”) was the same as Kronos, whose name I’ve argued might also be related to Karun/Karon (underworld “demon”, psychopomp), with Kar- > Kr- being the typical thing Indoeuropeans do with vowels: smash them to dust, so Karon-os > Kronos. We have discussed this before so let’s agree to disagree.

    Quote: “I could even go as far to state that “Charon” the servant of “Hades” could be the same as “Kronos”” — That’s almost what I say but not quite the same actually, it’s rather that somehow Karun was assigned to Tinia as appellative and turned into Kronos, while a variant of Tinia, “titos”, was assigned to the wider divine cohort as “titanes”. At least a thousand years, maybe two, of interethnic complex relations are involved here, some confusion is the least that can happen. Of course, if Charon was depicted with a sickle, that explains a lot about the origin of the Scythe-armed “Grim Reaper” (death personified), that detail I was not aware of but it even complements my reasoning of Kronos and Charon/Karun being related.

    Just thought you’d find the “rant” (speculation) interesting. I do myself but it may be a case of intellectual narcissism, who knows?

    Enjoy.

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  11. Interesting answer by Roslyn M. Frank. Although as you noticed and commented as well below, the date she gave is assigned to PIE, in any case, i agree its arguable. Nonetheless interesting stuff. Regarding cognates, Basque and PIE could have come into contact at one of my suggested PIE Urheimats, namely north of Caucasus. The close proximity of the contemporary Dolmen culture is interesting in relation to that, https://media.springernature.com/full/springer-static/image/art%3A10.1038%2Fs41467-018-08220-8/MediaObjects/41467_2018_8220_Fig1_HTML.png and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dolmens_of_North_Caucasus.

    As for your question, yeah, Diana was the Roman Goddess of the hunt, therefore related to archery, same as Artemis.

    Regarding Greek names. Their nominative case always ended with a consonant, which in our case would be “Ἀΐδης” (Aḯdēs) in Ionic/Attic or “Ἀΐδᾱς” (Aḯdās) in Doric. On the other hand, their vocative case would respectively be “Ἀΐδη” (Aḯdē) in Ionic/Attic or “Ἀΐδα” (Aḯdā) in Doric. There are three elements which could corroborate your hypothesis.
    1. Taking note that Doric was the most conservative ancient Greek dialect, hence considering “Ἀΐδᾱς” (Aḯdās) as the proto-Greek form.
    2. That τ/t and δ/d were two of the three Greek dental consonants (in addition to θ/th) that could easily interchange between them. See the evolution of Greek word “Θεός” (Theós) for example from PIE to Greek, https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%CE%B8%CE%B5%CF%8C%CF%82#Etymology.
    3. Accusative form is used to address someone, including the Gods.

    Personally i prefer the official etymology and its relation to the God’s attributes that i aforementioned. But as you can see, i am always open-minded, hence why i provided you with more corroborations above. I also like very much your relation of migratory-populations/religious-layers. Concerning Basque, i also find interesting that “Jainko” (God) could maybe be related to Roman syzygy “Janus/Jana” that i aforemenioned. I don’t know what’s the Basque feminine form, can you clarify?

    On “Κρόνος” (Kronos), don’t get me wrong, i like your analysis too which makes sense as well. Can’t recall you mentioning Tinia and titan in the past, but they do seem related if we consider the religious layers. And as you notice, we more or less agree on the possibility of Charon/Kronos/Hades being one and the same.

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  12. ”Aidas works well with my theory. Aita > ”Aida(s) makes total sense.

    Jainko is obscure. In the Middle Ages it seems Basques still used Urtzi for the Judeo-Christian Deus, just the same they did before with Jupiter probably. French pilgrim Aymeric Picaud, which described Basques in nonchalant terms left that very clear: “et Deus vocant Urcia” (-a is basic nominative sing., “c” before “i” must be read /s/ or /z/, not /k/).

    Most people think that Jainko is a shortened form of Jaungoikoa (Lord of the Above), which is also used for “God” but this may be a romantic reconstruction and not the true root. Can’t say for sure. I strongly doubt it has any direct derivation from Janus, although maybe this one has a Vasconic root either in “jaun” (lord) or its root “jas” (clan, gens). My etymology for “jaun” (jas-on, with lose of intermediate -s- afterwards) is surprisingly similar to the mythical Greek name Jason, by the way, but unsure how solid it is, much less if there’s any actual relation, but it’s apparent that the Greek etymology of Ἰάσων is at least obscure. Ref. https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/%E1%BC%B8%CE%AC%CF%83%CF%89%CE%BD#Ancient_Greek

    “On “Κρόνος” (Kronos), don’t get me wrong, i like your analysis too which makes sense as well”. — OK, we can agree to disagree as well, what matters is exchange of ideas.

    “Can’t recall you mentioning Tinia and titan in the past”… — It’s actually a new idea, and actually since “titos” seems to be the Anatolian version of the same concept (day), it makes even more sense. Day and Sun are about the same concept and it seems in Arinna they worshiped a Sun Mother Goddess, (which is coincident with this line of thought re. Tinia and the Titans). Is everybody wrong in considering Tinia a male deity? Was Tinia a she or did she undergo gender-bending under Indoeuropean influence? Refs. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun_goddess_of_Arinna, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arinna, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sundisk_Alacahoyuk.jpg

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  13. PS- On the last I say, well, it seems quite clear that classical Tinia was a he (assimilated to Zeus under Greek influence), husband of Uni (assimilated to Hera) and father of Menrva (assimilated to Athena). So there should be some differences between the tyrsenian (arzawan, rasnal) and the Hattic religion, even if they are ultimately related (or not).

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  14. “Jaun” seems to come from Latin, https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/jaun. You have another etymology? For “Ἰᾱ́σων” (Iā́sōn) i always thought of it as a cognate of “ἴασις” (íasis) meaning “cure or the result of cure”, therefore “Ἰᾱ́σων” (Iā́sōn) would be the “cured” one. His name could maybe correlate with the story, where his later wife (for some time) and sorceress Medea intervened with an ointment and potion to help him complete the tasks of the fire-breathing oxen (Khalkotauroi) first, and then the sleepless dragon which guarded the Golden Fleece. His wife Medea assisted in other instances as well. Surely if my aforementioned etymology is true, it’s related to her as well. Even her name is somewhat related, namely “Μήδειᾰ” (Mḗdeia), which comes from “μέδω” (médō) meaning “to protect, rule over”.

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  15. That’s the Dalmatian “jaun” (young) etymology, the Basque etymology is a bit uncertain but to me it’s plausible that it’s an aumentative of “jas” (clan, gens), which is surprisingly similar to Indian “jati” (same meaning). My speculation is that the Castilian (Spanish) aumentative -ón, -ona could be a fossil of ancient Basque or otherwise Vasconic (Castilian is one of those Romances with strong Basque influence, just as Gascon and Navarro-Aragonese). This -ón or a variant -un also appears in Basque toponymy and vocabulary, for example (h)iri = city, town, Irun, Iruina = large city (actual cities: ancient Oiasso, Pompaelo and Veleia); giza = human (adj.), gizon = man. So my conjecture is that jas > jason > jaun (i.e. “great one of the clan”, “chieftain” and by extension “lord”). There’s also “jabe” (owner), which may also derive from “jas” from a time in which there was no real private property, as jas-be would mean “under the clan”, i.e. someone who has the right of use of some parcel or facility but under the collective property of the community/clan. These are my speculations anyhow.

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  16. Yeah, my mistake of going through the Wiktionary entry quickly. Indeed, your hypothesis has merit as well. What you describe is rational, but i consider the aforementioned etymology likely as well.

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