Archaeology and Language: The Puzzle of Indo-European Origins

Archaeology and Language: The Puzzle of Indo-European Origins


By (author) Lord Colin Renfrew

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  • Format: Paperback | 368 pages
  • Dimensions: 155mm x 233mm x 23mm | 513g
  • Publication date: 1 March 1990
  • Publication City/Country: Cambridge
  • ISBN 10: 0521386756
  • ISBN 13: 9780521386753
  • Edition: New edition
  • Edition statement: New edition

Product description

In this book Colin Renfrew directs remarkable new light on the links between archaeology and language, looking specifically at the puzzling similarities that are apparent across the Indo-European family of ancient languages, from Anatolia and Ancient Persia, across Europe and the Indian subcontinent, to regions as remote as Sinkiang in China. Professor Renfrew initiates an original synthesis between modern historical linguistics and the new archaeology of cultural process, boldly proclaiming that it is time to reconsider questions of language origins and what they imply about ethnic affiliation--issues seriously discredited by the racial theorists of the 1920s and 1930s and, as a result, largely neglected since. Challenging many familiar beliefs, he comes to a new and persuasive conclusion: that primitive forms of the Indo-European language were spoken across Europe some thousands of years earlier than has previously been assumed.

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Review quote

'Mr. Renfrew has written this fascinating book to review the subject in general and to advance a revisionist idea about the mode and timing of the Indo-European spread.' Stephen Jay Gould, The New York Times Book Review 'Written for the nonspecialist, this book refreshens the mind with new information, rigorous analysis, scientific scruple, and critical panache.' Thomas D'Evelyn, Christian Science Monitor 'The argument is lively and lucid, and the book deserves a wide readership among specialists and non-specialists alike. It is a daring thesis ... Renfrew is not afraid of dealing with big attempt to move archaeology forward and to break its isolation ... he has started another of those debates on which progress in archaeology depends.' Richard Bradley, Nature