Ariets Research Blog

December 3, 2009

Archaeology and Languages in Prehistoric Northern Eurasia

Filed under: Asia — Ariets @ 6:52 pm

The distribution of frequencies of radiocarbon-dated Palaeolithic sites in northern Eurasia shows peaks culminating at 40-30 thousand, 24-18 thousand, and 17-11 thousand years before the present. These peaks are viewed as reflecting the waves in the colonization of that area by Anatomically Modern Humans, originally stemming from Africa and Western Asia. The waves of colonization were triggered by environmental stress that became particularly acute in western Eurasia during the Last Glaciation maximum. The expansion of the mating networks aimed at the avoidance of inbreeding was the primary mechanism of migration. The population of AMH spreading in the eastern direction included “softened” Mongoloid elements. The “dialectal continuum” consisting of Proto-Uralic, Proto-Altaic and Palaeo-Siberianrelated languages formed the principal communication media of Early Modern Humans in northern Eurasia.

Pavel M. Dolukhanov, School of Historical Studies, University of Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom

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