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Reconstructing Indo-European Prehistory: Lessons from Linguistics, Archaeology, and Genetics

Arte rupestre_preistoria
Data From 30.10.2024 orario
End Date To 31.10.2024 orario

Piazza Martiri della Libertà, 33 , 56127 Italia

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On October 30th and 31st, 2024, the symposium “Reconstructing Indo-European Prehistory: Lessons from Linguistics, Archaeology, and Genetics” is scheduled. The event will be held at the Aula Magna of Sant'Anna School and is jointly organized by the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna and the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore.

Over the course of more than a century of scholarship, it has become increasingly evident that many of the world’s languages are related to each other and may be traced back to a single ancestor language, despite being very different from each other and being spoken in very distant regions — from the far reaches of Northern Europe to India and China, from the shores of the British Isles to those of Anatolia and Persia.

The so-called Indo-European languages comprise all the languages that may be traced back to Proto-Indo-European, a prehistoric ancestor language that was probably spoken by nomadic pastoralist communities in the Eurasian steppe (between present-day Ukraine and Russia) over 5,000 years ago.

The migrations that led the Indo-European languages to branch out from the common ancestor – and to spread throughout Eurasia – have been reconstructed by the specialists with great precision. The last decade has seen great advancements in this research field thanks to the development of an interdisciplinary methodology of reconstruction that integrates linguistics, archaeology, and palaeogenetics.

The reconstruction of the prehistoric context within which the earliest Indo-European languages developed and spread, however, goes far beyond the mere reconstruction of features of grammar and material culture. Comparative analysis and interdisciplinary research allow us to go even further: we can reconstruct multiple aspects of the social structures, the ritual practices, the mythology and the poetic culture of the speakers of Proto-Indo-European.

The symposium brings together internationally renowned experts from these three disciplines. The symposium aims to introduce the audience – especially those who are not experts in these fields – to a fascinating story of successful integration between three apparently distant disciplines, which have managed to forge a common language and mutually complement each other. Of course, as is always the case with hypotheses dealing with scientific analyses, the debate is – and should remain – open.

The full program and event flyer are attached.

Pre registration at the following address is appreciated: