David Anthony: The Horse, the Wheel, and Language Jul 21, 2018 18:40:45 GMT
Post by Admin on Jul 21, 2018 18:40:45 GMT
The Yamnaya horizon was the first more or less unified ritual, economic, and material culture to spread across the entire Pontic-Caspian steppe region, but it was never completely homogeneous even materially. At the beginning it already contained two major variants, on the lower Don and lower Volga, and, as it expanded, it developed other regional variants, Eastern Indo-European branches the spirit of the domestic hearth was female (Hestia, the Vestal Virgins), and in Indo-Iranian it was male (Agni).
Western Indo-European mythologies included strong female deities such as Q,Ieen Magb and the Valkyries, whereas in Indo-Iranian the furies of which is why most archaeologists are reluctant to call it the Yamnaya. A higher percentage (80%) of males than any other Yamnaya region. But many broadly similar customs were shared. In addition to kurgan graves, wagons, and an increased emphasis on pastoralism, ar-chaeological traits that defined the early Yamnaya horizon included shelltempered, egg-shaped pots with everted rims, decorated with comb stamps and cord impressions; tanged bronze daggers; cast flat axes; bone pins of various types; the supine-with-raised-knees burial posture; ochre staining on grave floors near the feet, hips, and head; northeastern to eastern body orientation (usually); and the sacrifice at funerals of wagons, carts, sheep, cattle, and horses.
The funeral ritual probably was connected with a cult of ancestors requiring specific rituals and prayers, a connection between language and cult that introduced late Proto-Indo-European to new speakers. The most obvious material division within the early Yamnaya horizon was between east and west. The eastern (Volga-Ural-North Caucasian steppe) Yamnaya pastoral economy was more mobile than the western one (South Bug-lower Don). This contrast corresponds in an intriguing way to economic and cultural differences between eastern and western Indo-
European language branches. For example, impressions of cultivated grain have been found in western Yamnaya pottery, in both settlements and graves, and Proto-Indo-European cognates related to cereal agriculture were well preserved in western Indo-European vocabularies. But grain imprints are absent in eastern Yamnaya pots, just as many of the cognates related to agriculture are missing from the eastern Indo-European lan-guages.' Western Indo-European vocabularies contained a few roots that were borrowed from Afro-Asiatic languages, such as the word for the war were male Maruts. Eastern Yamnaya graves on the Volga contained a ration of the feminine gender as a newly marked grammatical category in the dialects of the Volga-Ural region, one of the innovations that defined Proto-Indo-European grammar.