Prehistoric Transatlantic Trade and Lost Civilizations

Finnish and Hungarian are Uralic languages. The evidence is pretty plain that this family did originate in the Ural Mountains region just as the name says.

Sami (formerly called Lapp) is another Uralic language, related to Finnish, Estonian, Hungarian. The Sami people themselves may be the descendants of you Neolithic Reindeer Hunter culture. (What’s that about hunting reindeer? I thought they herded them.) Whether or not that’s so, their language is not indigenous to Scandinavia. I’ve heard a theory that they were a different race who took to speaking a Uralic language after contact with Uralic peoples, and lost their original language.

This kind of language transfer is not unknown. The Orang Asli, negrito aborigines of Malaysia, now all speak Austroasiatic languages. The Negrito being racially and culturally different from the main Austronesian speakers (like the Khmer & Viet), they have lost their original language after contact with Austroasiatic speakers. The Negritos in the Philippines speak Austronesian languages like the Filipinos around them. One idea of what the real original Negrito language might have been like are the still-living languages of the Andaman Islands, populated by Negritos who were isolated from the rest of humanity for many thousands of years.

On Basque and Canaries: no relationship known. The Guaranche (sp) by all evidence spoke a Berber language. Despite much ink spilled, no link has ever been established with Berber and Basque. Dead end, else regarding ‘neolithic lang. of europe’ – what everyone else said, the assumption is faulty.

Let me add something here: the racial difference is something of a falsehood. Genetic analysis has clearly established that ‘Negrito’ or South East Asia negroid populations are in fact from the same line of descent as their more ‘Asian’ looking cousins, but arrived earlier, much earlier, and apparently shifted physical morphology due to selection pressures.

Right, Col, I don’t believe in “race” either. All I meant was physical morphology alongside culture, indicating a long period of separation. I was just using “race” in the loose sense, sort of like Robert Burns calling haggis the chieftain of the “pudding race.” Too lazy to type “physical morphology,” that’s all.

Badtz- by “advanced” do you mean a civilization as advanced as the Incas or Egytians? If so- possible there are some, minor ones which are “lost”. But if by advanced you mean spaceships, airplanes & cable-tv: Nope, sorry.

Righto, sorry to jump on that.

Well, my two cents worth on the subject.

I think there are two main reasons why most people dismiss the idea of advanced pre-historuc civilizations:

A) Nobody has ever come up with tangible evidence that couldn’t be explained much more simply than by postulating Atlantis. Admittedly there are some things that are open to interpretation but it always seems to require such a looooong stretch to attribute it to “Atlantean-type” people. Many people have proudly announced their “evidence” in popular magazines but have then been caught either mis-interpreting what they had or in some cases actually manufacturing it. Speaking personally, linguistics is fascinating but just doesn’t make it in my book as serious evidence.

B) This one is somewhat unfair but true. It seems that many of the people who believe in ancient technological civilizations also believe in alien abductions, the healing powers of impure quartz, homeopathy, and other fringe ideas, many of which are just plain wrong. Hanging around with true believers in Atlantis will get you the reputation of being so open minded that your brains have dropped onto the floor.

Personally, I love the idea. The thought that someone, maybe 100,000 years ago or even more, could do some of the things that we do now is amazing and exciting. The only problem is that, if they existed at all, they left absolutely nothing behind them. When I consider what it would take to TOTALLY remove even a single modern city it boggles the mind. As far as I can see, it is MUCH more reasonable to assume they never existed than to believe they went around deliberately picking up after themselves.

The theories I’ve read believe that the ancient civilization was removed by some cataclysm such as earthquakes, massive floods, or the like. While those things could destroy a civilization if sufficiently severe, they would not remove the evidence that one even existed.

I once read (sorry, no site on this one) that even nuclear weapons in large quantities would be unable to totally obliterate a city. It seems that the one thing that would survive almost any abuse would be toilet bowls. So, until someone finds the prehistoric version of Thomas Crapper’s invention I think I’ll keep on not believing in Atlantis or the like. S

All the best.


I very much believe that there was Neolithic cultural and RACIAL homogeneity in Europe. The Aurignacians came out of Anatolia, pushed out/absorbed the Neanderthals and developed there in Europe until a further, invasion of their primitive agriculturalist Anatolian cousins came up the Danube and either themselves spread over Europe or spread their ideas. I have seen wall murals from Catal Hoyuk, 20,000 years after the Cave Painters, that are very similar in style and composition. I think that is because they were the same people, from Ireland and Morocco well into western Asia. Certainly it is a postulate that the Aurignacians all spoke Aurignacian. But, if so, the Neolithic people of Europe and west Asia spoke various descendant variations of that mother tongue

Three or four months ago, somebody came up with one of those genetic studies showing Europeans were the result of only a few original groups (read RACES). There is a very good chance that the classic Mediterranean type is close to the original Neolithic people. I have said before that the Cave Painters probably looked more like Moamar Khadaffi than Dolph Lundgren.

All of this occured well before the I-E invasion.

Coll, the most cursory view shows the physical relationship between the Phillipino Negritos and the indigenous Australians AND their difference from other Phillipino and SE Asian peoples. Those differences can be classified as RACE.

Pckets of the Negrito/Austrailian morphological type are found scattered across south Asia. Undoubtedly, they are the original settlers of the area, driven out to the margins of the area by later invaders. You would deny their cultural heritage/history and turn a blind eye to a significant chapter of prehistory to further a political goal.

Sexual crimes and discrimination are also evil. Will your next crusade be to deny that there are sexual differences?

Ahh, I’m always so happy when people stick to their ideological guns and ignore science. Brings a warm feeling to my bowels.

So, what can we say about mipsman’s comments? He’s had the occasion to read the real data, but prefers the fairy tale.

Feel free. There are lots of mythologies in the world. One more can’t hurt. Just don’t mistake this for science.

Genetic analysis of modern homo sapiens, cross referenced with statistically significant sample of Neandertal DNA (from samples widely seperated in time and space) effectively rule out Neandertal contribution to Modern humanity. While we can not rule out extinct hybrids, the lack of data reflecting hybridity, despite long contact time (leaving aside the as yet controversial Portuguese discovery) suggest none occured. H.n probably was not interfertile with H.s. As for your concept of time, please do note that Neandertal went extinct more than 30k years ago.

(I snip your fine tale-spinning with the sole notation that it strikes me as a fun-house mirror reflection of what modern scholarship tells us.)

I’m afraid you did not understand what the articles you were reading were telling you. I frankly don’t recall the details, but the issue was paternal line descent traced to I believe nine lineages for a percentage of European descent. This is not race. Since you have already had the chance, in prior discussions, to read the data which I have provided on your misconceptions re race, I’m going to forgo lecturing you once more. If there are actual substantive questions from people with open minds and a willingness to read actual data, please feel free. I’ll have to find and read the original (scientific) articles in question to really comment though (if anyone has cites to share I would appreciate, can’t keep up with this stuff.)

Cursory views trump genetic analysis? Whatever.

Your confusion of genetics and politics is duly noted. Insofar as you’re the only one clinging to the political idea, I am forced to conclude that you’re the one with the political angle on this.

Disappointed but not surprised.

mipsman writes:

Unfortunately, whilst you can say anything you wish, it is unlikely that it will be correct in this case.

The Troy of the Trojan War (which probably occurered early in the 13[sup]th[/sup]th BCE) was in Luwian-speaking territory, and the Trojans were very likely Luwian speakers, with a small probability that they spoke Hurrian (no inscriptions from this period have, to my knowledge, been found). Since neither Anatolian nor Hurrian loanwords are found in Etruscan (as, e.g., Indic loanwords are found in Mitannian Hurrian), this theory has no evidence behind it.

Additionally, at the range of dates postulated for the Trojan War, it is unlikely that there were any speakers of IE languages in Italy; certainly, a reflux model has very little to recommend it.

Akat, I agree that the Trojan ruling class probably spoke an ancestral Luwian dialect, descended like Hittite, from the language that their mutual ancestors spoke when they crossed the Bosphorus 800 years earlier. But they might even have spoken Mycenean if the sack of Troy by Hercules in the generation before Priam is a legend cloaking an actual earlier conquest. I don’t see how the Hurrians could come in (except as a Hittite imported and imposed military ascendancy) since they were in SE Anatolia/Syria and weren’t even Anatolian. Their rulers, the Mitanni, were I-E but had the same relationship to the Hurrians that the Hittites had to the Hatti.

I would think that before the I-E invasion all of Anatolia spoke related languages. How close are Hatti, Carian, and Cretan? My point is that at the time of the Trojan War there were people in NW Anatolian who still spoke the old Anatolian language. There is a town south of Troy, Assos, whose name preserves the old Anatolian tongue.

You have a problem with I-E speakers in Italy at the time of the Trojan War? They had been in Greece since 2000BC and in central Europe at least that long. Why do you have a problem with them moving, in the intervening 800 years, into Italy? I have to look it up (I am living out of a suitcase for the next month) but doesn’t the Reflux refer to the Iberian peninsula?
Can your long suffering, patronizing attitude. I have asked you before if every forensic pathologist who identifies the race from a skeleton is a fraud or a racist and you gave me a "What

You want to argue, great. You think you win arguments with patronizing comments
If your philosopy can not tell the difference between Naomi Campbell and Pamela Anderson

Let me explain: If I had sex with Pamela Anderson, our children would have blond hair and blue eyes because

Sorry, I left part of a response to Coll on that post.

Coll, if you can’t tell Naomi Campbell from Pamela Anaderson, no, I do not want to read your references. If I had sex with Pamela Anderson, our kids would have blond hair and blue eyes. If I had sex with Naomi Campbell, our kids would look like OJ’s. The reason is that there are Races that pass on characteristics.

I have asked you before if all forensic pathologists who can identify the race by the skeleton are charlatans or racists and you gave me a “Whatever”. So can your patronizing attitude. You want to argue, fine. You want to patronize, kiss my butt. (can I say “butt” outside the pit?"

We went over the forensics issue with peace on multiple occasions. What it boils down to is that a forensic pathologist working in an area with known populations can, with a certain percentage of accuracy that is rather less than 100%, place a skeleton into a broad category. Well over 95% of the slaves imported to the U.S. were taken from a fairly well-defined region in Africa. The bulk of the people who immigrated from the Pacific rim came from rather few ethnic enclaves in China and Japan (Vietnamese, Koreans, and others are a more recent development and are still a fairly small group). It is not that difficult to place a skeleton into the vague categories of European-origin, African-origin, or Asian-origin.

peace made a great show of finding the St. Louis repository of skulls (skeletons?) and the fact that they had developed protocols for identifying a “race” with a high degree of certitude. What he overlooked or omitted was that the groups being examined were all in the very narrow range of humanity who happen to have inhabited urban North America in the late 20th century. The protocols simply were not effective if they were applied to skeletons of people whose ancestors came from other parts of the world.

There are no forensic pathologists that I am aware of who would go out on a limb to correctly identify the “race” of a skeleton outside one of those three very broad groups or who would attempt to correctly identify the “race” of a Samoan, a Negrito, or a Tehuelche with only a skeleton to go on.

No one denies that people who have interbred for centuries tend to have similar features. The problem is that if one begins at any point on the globe and begins examining people across the globe, there will be no point where one can identify that this “race” ends here and that “race” begins over there. Beyond that, when looking at actual genetic markers, the mixture of traits is fairly widespread, with no group having any exclusive markers.

DITWD, by advanced I meant Neolithic, i.e. early Mesopotamian culture, though not necessarily as advanced. Maybe not even with permanent villages and farms on the scale of the people who were practicing intensive farming in river valleys, with some kind of organized social structure on a larger scale than the extended family or tribal groups of mesolithic hunter-gatherers like we find occasionally in remote areas, one that spread it’s language and culture far and wide enough to be considered the seed for most or all of modern cultures.

Primitive humans do sometimes end up isolated in a rather small area, like in the mountainous regions of New Guinea, but in areas that weren’t as fertile they tended to migrate, and primitive humans can range pretty far. Most of the native North American people were not yet at the technological level of what are now considered the first civilizations, and there were many language groups and even more languages, but there were means of communication that had developed that were used over thousands of miles. In South America, the Incas built a wide-ranging and very organized empire with only primitive agricultural knowledge, supposedly independently of the civilizations that developed in the Old World.

It seems to me that at some point or another in those tens of thousands of years someone else made the mental leap, started organizing those around them and a common culture arose. A small technological or sociological advantage would give a large enough advantage to expand, and there was plenty of time for it to cover the world. Then something caused it to fall, maybe climate changes isolated parts of the civilization from each other and things broke down. Most of the knowledge would be lost, but language, religion, and cultural traditions would be passed down, though they would evolve. Then at a later time, maybe due to population pressure, people started coming together again somewhere, and the memes associated with that lifestyle spread and in other areas appropriate to primitive agriculture civilizations popped up.

Apologies for my earlier reply. Somehow, I got the idea you meant some of the more mythical cultures, Atlantis or the like. Anyway, I’ll back out of this one with my tail firmly between my legs and go bother someone else.

Apologies again and all the best.


Ah, I love this response. My mipsman have you been taking debating lessons from Peace? It’s hard to fight ignorance when someone refuses to read. What are you doing on this Board, may I ask?

No, the reason is how our genes interact. Races don’t pass on characteristics, individuals do. You might be well served to read some of the literature I have directed you to so that you can understand how these things work, the underlying science of why the race concept does not work in biological terms. Or you can just remain ignorant. I’m not going to waste electrons redirecting you to sources you’ve already had a chance to consult.

I’m patronizing you because, frankly, that’s what you deserve. Your ‘I refuse to read any sources which contradict my deeply held racial belief system’ deserves little to no respect. I recall our last discussion you resorted to calling me, what was it, a marxist. Never did explain what was liberal or marxist or whatever political terms you want to bandy about, about genetics. Tom has helpfully answered this objection, but I’ll note for the record this was asked and answered before.

So, there we have, this can be a discussion, or it can be name calling. I have provided references and solid information. If you have substantive comments, please feel free.

No need to apologize Testy, it’s not like I clarified what I meant until just now…I was home sick yesterday and I usually don’t surf the web much from home.

Basically, I find the idea that people didn’t move beyond the mesolithic hunter-gatherer stage until about 10,000 years ago a little odd, though of course it could be possible. True, there’s no hard evidence for it (though there’s a bit of circumstantial), but I don’t think we should rule out the possibility, and speculate on what exactly is possible and what isn’t. For instance, I think we can be pretty sure that there were no past human civilizations as sophisticated and large as modern ones, even if they were between ice ages and only in areas that were later scraped clean by glaciers we would be finding artifacts from them. Maybe one or two such cities might go undiscovered, but I don’t think a civilization that advanced would be confined to a relatively small area. If there was a civilization comparable to the Egyptians or Incas in a relatively unexplored area 20 or 40,000 years ago, I doubt we would have found it yet, though we might see it’s influence on later cultures.

Recent genetic studies conducted by the South Africa Institute for Medical Research have determined that the Khoisan people go back 100,000 to 120,000 years ago and are the oldest group of people in the world. Eurasians however share genes that only go back 40,000 to 60,000 years. In light of this revelation, would that mean the click languages of the Khoisan are the original languages of homo sapiens? They do sound as if they are primitive.


badtz- i see no reason why a small “civilization” with very advanced paleolithic science (such as the Inca/Aztecs etc) could not have sprung up= but have been lost in the jungles, or drowned, or swallowed by a volcano- etc. (Maybe even early bronze age.) In fact- I do remember there are some tantalizing hints of such found here & there. Just a short time ago, as these things go, we found out about the Minoans. And there was one over in Burma or thereabouts. In fact- there is an excellent chance, IMHO that we WILL find some more or less “lost civilization”.

Umm- Collounsbury- you DO play that tune very well, but this is hardly the thread for it. Some of us are a bit tired of it, also. Same to the rest of you. Badtz asked a very interesting query, and you folks have hijacked his thread mercilessly.

DITWD, are any of those possible lost civilizations dated from before the ‘end’ of the last Ice Age (‘end’ in quotes because technically we are still in an Ice Age, but it gets awkward trying to describe that time frame otherwise and explain it all to people)? That would be intriguing if it was true.

I’m not quite talking about a single, isolated settlement, though…I’m thinking of a civilization that could have spread it’s language and culture over several continents (though it’s conceivable for them to do that without building cities everywhere, if they had missionaries or traders roaming about).

One of the things that puzzles me, and leads to my thinking there may have been earlier civilizations, is how these civilizations popped up all over the planet, many of them in places that shouldn’t (according to what is commonly accepted now) have had contact with others. The Tigris and Euphrates are close enough to the Nile for that to be a case of one area making the jump to Neolithic and then spreading the knowledge to the other…but there is a lot of wilderness between Mesopotamia and the Indus River valley, and it’s even further to the Yellow River. Then there are the New World civilizations, though those came along quite a while later it was still a short time when you look at how long homo sapiens sapiens has been around. I think either people were moving around and trading ideas a lot more than we thought during that time frame, or agriculture was old knowledge, maybe a nearly lost art, revived when the climate changed and old ways of living weren’t as efficient.

Badtz- sorry, AFAIK, all the “mostly” lost civilizations are THOUGHT to be dated no earlier than perhaps 10000 years ago. See, Humans do not need “civilization” (ie cities, etc), until the population gets to the point where folks have to co-operate in very large groups- or everyone starves. (one can argue the other way, also- that a high population density ALLOWS a people to become 'civilized"). There just did not seem to be that many humans 20000 years ago. Now- perhaps in some geographically isolated spot, it could have happened earlier- but there is no evidence, AFAIK.

As for a continent-wide civilization, prior to 10000BC- ain’t very likely- altho i would hesitate to say “impossible”. I could buy a small “advanced” group, that spreads by trading, like the Beaker people. But- the “trade” and the 'advancement" would have to be in perishables- as stuff like pottery, flintwork, etc- survives a LOOOOONG time. So- yes, if we are talking about a very small, isloated area, that had a pop boom, made some advancements- then spread out by trading or missionaries- then I would say- why not? Hmm, maybe they invented wicker, or a very superiour method of tanning hides, or cloth. That sort of stuff would leave very few remains. I actually think that the folks who “invented” starting fires by friction, and later by flint- likely spread it.