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Proto-Indo-European homeland

Prehistoric "Urheimat" of the Indo-European languages / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The Proto-Indo-European homeland was the prehistoric linguistic homeland of the Proto-Indo-European language (PIE). From this region, its speakers migrated east and west, and went on to form the proto-communities of the different branches of the Indo-European language family.

The Proto-Indo-European homeland according to the steppe hypothesis (dark green) and the present-day distribution of Indo-European languages in Eurasia (light green).

The most widely accepted proposal about the location of the Proto-Indo-European homeland is the steppe hypothesis,[note 1] which puts the archaic, early, and late PIE homeland in the Pontic–Caspian steppe around 4000 BCE.[1][2][3][4][5] The leading competitor is the Anatolian hypothesis, which puts it in Anatolia around 8000 BCE.[1][6][7][8] A notable third possibility, which has gained renewed attention due to aDNA research in the 2010s, is the Armenian hypothesis, which situates the homeland for archaic PIE south of the Caucasus.[9][10][11][12][13] Several other explanations have been proposed, including the outdated but historically prominent North European hypothesis, the Neolithic creolisation hypothesis, the Paleolithic continuity paradigm, the Arctic theory, and the "indigenous Aryans" (or "out of India") hypothesis. These are not widely accepted, and are considered to be fringe theories.[14][2][15]

The search for the homeland of the Indo-Europeans began in the late 18th century with the rediscovery of the Indo-European language family.[16] The methods used to establish the homeland have been drawn from the disciplines of historical linguistics, archaeology, physical anthropology and, more recently, human population genetics.

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