L.S. Klejn. Ancient migrations and the origins of Indo-European peoples
In print at St. Petersburg University, in Russian
By Leo S. Klejn
The book by archaeologist and philologist Professor L. S. Klejn is written on the basis of the author’s many years of studies (from the mid 1980s) on the problem of the origins of Indo-European peoples. All chapters of this book were previously discussed in seminars led by the author in 2006 – 2007 at the School of Indo-European studies under the aegis of the Institute of Linguistic Research (Russian Academy of Sciences, St. Petersburg). This School was under the leadership of the Director of the Institute N. N. Kazansky, Member of the Academy, and Prof. L. B. Herzenberg. The papers presented by L. S. Klejn make up the chapters of this book and are followed by (after each chapter) the protocols of the discussions.
The book is devoted to the problem of the co-operation between archaeology and linguistics in the research of ethnogenesis – primarily in the study of the origins of Indo-European peoples. This problem is not a new one, but is still pertinent, for many of its questions have yet to find satisfactory answers. Consequently, there are several different hypotheses regarding the origins of the Indo-European peoples. Some scholars have the Indo-Europeans emerging from Asia Minor, others from Central Europe (from Danube basin or further north), whilst a third group favour the Ponto-Caspian steppes.
The author tries to solve this problem not en masse but by isolating one of its components, the origin of one branch of Indo-Europeans – that from which the Iranian and Indo-Aryan peoples are descended, as well as the Greeks and Armenians and some other peoples of South-Eastern Europe and part of Asia. In determining the origins of these peoples, he also deals with origins of Hittites and Tocharians - the enigmatic branch of Indo-Europeans that broke away from all others. Via this route the author approaches the problem of the origins of Indo-Europeans as a whole. His suggested solution involves migrations, including distant migrations, the reconstruction of which the majority of archaeologists have preferred to avoid.
In proposing a solution to this problem the author suggests some means of co-operation between both disciplines, archaeology and linguistics. He recognises that the help of anthropology, palaeogenetics, toponimics etc. is also required, but he argues that understanding the relationship between archaeology and linguistics sheds light on the relationship between archaeology and other disciplines.
The author suggests new and original solutions to the problems of the origins of the Indo-Aryans, Iranians, Greeks, Phrygians, Thracians, Hittites and Tocharians. He investigates archaeological cultures of their ancestors, and advances new hypotheses.
As well as surveying the latest literature on this theme, he also subjects recent theories to critical appraisal, including para-scientific theories in esoteric and politicised archaeology.
The participants of the seminar came to produce their own notes on some of the discussed problems. These sketches are published as supplements to the relevant chapters.
The book is by no means of interest only to specialists in ethnogenesis, i. e. archaeologists, linguists, historians and ethnographers; it is of interest to all who would know the latest research on the origins of the peoples of Europe and Asia.
The book is ca. 550 pages in length. It comes supplied with illustrations, maps, indices and a vast bibliography. An agreement for its publication has been signed with St. Petersburg University.