Chapter 9 – Inside the Mind of Homo Superior
“A man paints with his brains and not with his hands.“ – Michelangelo
Homo Superior was a product of genetic mutation and is part of the evolutionary process of which we are all a part. This mutation created a Homo species that stood tall and was massively strong, but more importantly in our evolutionary process had a larger brain than any Homo in history. However, this massively intelligent brain was different from the Homo Sapien Sapien brains that we are blessed with today.
If we venture into the mental differences of Homo Superior and compare it to our own cognitive abilities and processes, we just might catch a glimpse of how this ancestor of ours not only thought but moreover, acted in the past. The first and most important brain mutation of Homo Superior was the language; it is only speculation to find if both Neanderthal and Sapiens had the ability 50,000 years ago to speak. But one thing is proven – Homo Superior could ‘talk’, and that being the case, it would be interesting to ask what language would he have spoken and whether we would recognise it today.
We have seen from the archaeological and genetic evidence; in the previous chapters, that Homo Superior originated in the Caucasus on the border of Europe & Asia. The final piece of the evolutionary trail is to find where language originated in the same location which will allow us to find out what language the Atlanteans spoke.
The Indo-European Language
In the 16th century, European visitors to the Indian subcontinent began to suggest similarities between Indo-Aryan, Iranian, and European languages. In 1583, an English Jesuit missionary in Goa called Thomas Stephens wrote to his brother noting similarities between Indian languages, specifically Sanskrit, and Greek and Latin. This letter remained unpublished until the 20th century.
Another account which mentioned the ancient language Sanskrit came from Filippo Sassetti (born in Florence in 1540), a merchant who travelled to the Indian subcontinent. Writing in 1585, he noted some word similarities between Sanskrit and Italian (these included devaḥ/dio “God”, sarpaḥ/serpe “serpent”, sapta/sette “seven”, aṣṭa/otto “eight”, nava/nove “nine”). However, neither Stephens’s nor Sassetti’s observations led to further scholarly inquiry.
In 1647, Dutch linguist and scholar Marcus Zuerius van Boxhorn noted the similarity among Indo-European languages, and supposed that they derived from a primitive common language he called Scythian. He included in his hypothesis Dutch, Albanian, Greek, Latin, Persian, and German, later adding Slavic, Celtic, and Baltic languages. However, Van Boxhorn’s suggestions did not become widely known and did not stimulate further research.
The Ottoman Turkish traveller Evliya Çelebi, who visited Vienna in 1665–1666 as part of a diplomatic mission, noted a few similarities between words in German and Persian. Gaston Coeurdoux and others made observations of the same type. Coeurdoux made a thorough comparison of Sanskrit, Latin and Greek conjugations in the late 1760s to suggest a relationship between them. Similarly, Mikhail Lomonosov compared different language groups of the world, including Slavic, Baltic (“Kurlandic”), Iranian (“Medic”), Finnish, Chinese, “Hottentot”, and others. He emphatically expressed the antiquity of the linguistic stages accessible to the comparative method in the drafts for his Russian Grammar (published 1755).
The hypothesis reappeared in 1786 when Sir William Jones first lectured on the striking similarities between three of the oldest languages known in his time: Latin, Greek, and Sanskrit, to which he tentatively added Gothic, Celtic, and Persian, though his classification contained some inaccuracies and omissions.
It was Thomas Young who in 1813 first used the term Indo-European, which became the standard scientific term through the work of Franz Bopp, whose systematic comparison of these and other old languages supported the hypothesis. A synonym for “Indo-European” is Indo-Germanic (Idg. or IdG.), which defines the family by indicating its south eastern most and north western most branches. In most languages, this term is dated or less common, whereas in German it is still the standard scientific term. Advocates of Indo-Germanic often claim that “Indo-European” is misleading because many historical and several living European languages (the unrelated Uralic languages, as well as several others, are also spoken in Europe) do not belong to this family. Advocates of Indo-European counter that Indo-Germanic is misleading because many of the European languages included are not in fact Germanic.
Franz Bopp’s Comparative Grammar, which appeared between 1833 and 1852, is the beginning of Indo-European studies as an academic discipline. The classical phase of Indo-European comparative linguistics leads from this work to August Schleicher’s 1861 Compendium and up to Karl Brugmann’s Grundriss, published in the 1880s. Brugmann’s junggrammatische re-evaluation of the field and Ferdinand de Saussure’s development of the laryngeal theory may be considered the beginning of “modern” Indo-European studies. The generation of Indo-Europeanists active in the last third of the 20th century (such as Calvert Watkins, Jochem Schindler and Helmut Rix) developed a better understanding of morphology and, in the wake of Kuryłowicz’s 1956 Apophonie, understanding of the ablaut.
In recent times a new paper has been produced whose authors are very confident to suggest it proves that the first ‘Proto-Indo-European’ languages originated in the Caucasus. “Archaeological evidence and linguistic evidence converge in support of an origin of Indo-European languages on the Pontic-Caspian steppes around 4,000 years BCE. The evidence is so strong that arguments in support of other hypotheses should be re-examined” The Indo-European Homeland from Linguistic and Archaeological Perspectives, David W. Anthony and Don Ringe, Anthropology Department, Hartwick College, Oneonta, New York.
Within the report they state: “Readers might reasonably ask whether a reconstructed prehistoric language such as Proto-Indo-European (PIE) is “real enough” to be linked to the archaeological record. Most historical linguists would say yes—with qualifications.
It is true that we can recover only part of any prehistoric language: a larger or smaller portion of its lexicon and a larger or smaller fragment of its grammar, depending on how much inherited material is preserved by the actually attested daughter languages. Some details may remain unrecoverable, and our reconstructions are sometimes temporally “out of focus,” including slightly older and slightly less old details in the same reconstruction.”
However, as there is a lack of written records to compare the language against the spoken word they use look at words from newly discovered artefacts which can be dated to indicate when the language evolved – so long as the dates of the artefacts are accurate. Here is an example:
The late PIE word for ‘axle’ is unproblematically reconstructible as *h2eḱs- (e.g., Mallory & Adams 2006, p. 248). All its descendants, called cognates, retained the meaning ‘axle’ in Indo-Iranian, Balto-Slavic, Germanic, Celtic, Italic, and Greek. Some cognates are attested very early (e.g., in Latin, Ancient Greek, and Sanskrit). This is a protolexeme with an established meaning (as defined by Clackson 2007, pp. 186–89). It is difficult to explain the shared meaning except by inheritance from late PIE; so also the shared sequence of sounds, which can be shown to have evolved into the attested cognates from an ancestral form *h2eḱs- by regular rules of sound change for each language. Axles cannot exist apart from wheeled vehicles, so a word meaning ‘axle’ in late PIE is evidence that wheeled vehicles existed during the period when late PIE was spoken. The invention of the wheel-and-axle principle, which first made wagons and carts possible, is solidly dated by radiocarbon after 4000–3500 bce, a very well studied external fact (Bakker et al. 1999, Fansa & Burmeister 2004, Anthony 2007). This external fact ties late PIE to a real-world date after wheeled vehicles were invented, that is, after 4000–3500 BCE..
As we have seen earlier in the book the wheel was invented at least two thousand years before the date on which they base their findings and if we accept the cart tracks at Stonehenge’s Avenue, we are looking at four thousand years. As the Atlanteans were the discoverers of the wheel and the word axle we can now confidently establish their language was ‘Proto-Indo-European’ which we also know was invented at their birth place the Caucasus region.
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