Archaeology and language : the puzzle of Indo-European origins

by Colin Renfrew

Paper Book, 1987



Call number

P525 .R46 1988


New York : Cambridge University Press, 1988, c1987.


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.… (more)

User reviews

LibraryThing member tripleblessings
A controversial new theory on the spread of Indo-European languages. Suggests our language evolved among the first settled farmers of Anatolia around 7000 BC and spread gradually and peacefully from there through agriculture. (Not the traditional theories of mass migrations, conquests on a huge
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scale.) Interesting arguments.
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LibraryThing member wickenden
Renfrew believes that the Indo-European languages spread from Anatolia into Europe (into Greece and beyond). He says it spread with the expansion of farming. Interesting.


Original publication date


Physical description

xiv, 346 p.; 24 cm


0521354323 / 9780521354325


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