Anatolian hypothesis

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The Anatolian hypothesis, also known as the Anatolian theory or the sedentary farmer theory, first developed by British archaeologist Colin Renfrew in 1987.


  • “All the migrations postulated by Renfrew ultimately stem from a single catalyst: the crossing of Anatolian farmers into Greece… For all practical purposes, Renfrew’s hypothesis disregards Tocharian and Indo-Iranian.”
    • Heaven, Heroes and Happiness: The Indo-European Roots of Western Ideology by Shan M.M. Winn, University Press of America, Lanham-New York-London, 1995. Quoted in Talageri, S. (2000). The Rigveda: A historical analysis. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan.
  • In the 1990s, this view was briefly challenged by the British archaeologist Colin Renfrew, who posited a Homeland in Anatolia. Thence, the IE-speaking tribes would have spread as early as about 7000 BCE, on the strength of their mastery of agriculture. This new development allowed for a fast population growth, as illustrated by the more recent spread of the Bantu languages throughout Africa along with agriculture. His merit was that he tied the spectacular expansion of IE to a powerful mechanism, the demographically useful new technology of agriculture. However, this theory has been widely rejected as linguistically untenable and archaeologically unsupported. The targeted studies that sought to decide between the Anatolian and the Russian Homeland have generally favoured the latter option.
    • Elst, Koenraad (2018). Still no trace of an Aryan invasion: A collection on Indo-European origins.

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