Archaeology and Language: The Puzzle of Indo-European Origins - Colin RenfrewLondon: Jonathan Cape, 1987, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Very Good — in Good+ Dust Wrapper. Heavily faded at the spine of the dust wrapper. Previous owners' name & date to the title page. Pages lightly age-tanned.
2nd impression, first edition the same year. Includes: Black & white photographs; Black & white drawings; Maps; Tables; Maps to the endpapers and blanks;
From the cover: “Why should we care ‘What song the sirens sang’? Because our identity, or at least our sense of it, is closely connected with language and lies with the past. In order to understand ourselves we need to comprehend our origins.
In this book Professor Renfrew examines the ancient links between archaeology and language, and looks specifically at the puzzle of the similarity between the Indo-European languages, and how their ancestors came to extend from Anatolia and ancient Persia across Europe and much of the Indian subcontinent, with evidence for related languages found as far away as Sinkiang in China.
He initiates a synthesis between modern historical linguistics and the New Archaeology of cultural process, and boldly claims 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. He challenges familiar concepts and comes to a new conclusion.
The solution he proposes is powerfully persuasive and deeply surprising. Professor Renfrew argues that early forms of Indo-European language were spoken across Europe some thousands of years earlier than has long been assumed. There was, for instance, no ‘coming of the Celts’, but a parallel development of Celtic-speaking peoples in much the same areas in which they are found today. These lands have been our lands, then, for very much longer than is widely thought, and the Britishness, or Irishness, or Spanishness of our origins goes much deeper than we have long believed.”