Opendata, web and dolomites


The Linguistic Roots of Europe's Agricultural Transition

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 EUROLITHIC project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the EUROLITHIC project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "EUROLITHIC" about.

produces    culture    driving    steppes    millennium    potentially    terminology    age    remained    entirely    archaeological    subgroups    prehistoric    germanic    dawn    language    languages    decisive    entered    slavic    baltic    greek    event    link    probably    linguists    invention    pontic    italic    speakers    academic    caspian    origin    provides    shifts    shed    continent    english    spread    global    indo    bronze    expansion    landscape    francas    wagon    almost    wheel    absorbed    place    russian    agriculture    decades    intense    linguistic    modern    yamnaya    riding    implications    unresolved    speech    domestication    fueled    unsurprisingly    farmers    record    french    suggested    profound    prehistory    swedish    spoke    cultural    italian    events    today    single    form    diffused    first    meticulous    shaped    ing    spanish    celtic    reconstructed    8th    patchwork    german    lingua    light    5th    anatolia    historical    lithuanian    history    horse    loanwords    family    centuries    europeanization   

Project "EUROLITHIC" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
address: RAPENBURG 70
city: LEIDEN
postcode: 2311 EZ

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Netherlands [NL]
 Total cost 1˙499˙578 €
 EC max contribution 1˙499˙578 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2016-STG
 Funding Scheme ERC-STG
 Starting year 2017
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2017-07-01   to  2022-06-30


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    UNIVERSITEIT LEIDEN NL (LEIDEN) coordinator 1˙499˙578.00


 Project objective

Today, Europe’s linguistic landscape is shaped almost entirely by a single language family: Indo-European. Even by the dawn of history, a patchwork of Indo-European subgroups, Germanic, Celtic, Italic, Baltic, Slavic and Greek, was covering the continent, and over the centuries, these subgroups evolved into the modern European languages, among which Russian, Italian, German, Lithuanian and Swedish, as well as the global lingua francas French, Spanish, and English.

The Indo-Europeanization of Europe was probably one of the most profound linguistic shifts ever to have taken place in the prehistory of Europe. The origin of the European languages, unsurprisingly, is therefore a matter of intense academic debate. There are currently only two prehistoric events that in the present academic debate are considered as likely driving factors behind the spread of Indo-European speech.

One the one hand, there are those historical linguists who by meticulous comparison of the different Indo-European languages have reconstructed a language and culture that is typical of the early Bronze Age. Terminology for horse-riding and wagon technology provides a possible link to the expansion of the Yamnaya culture on the Pontic-Caspian steppes, which was fueled by the invention of the wheel and the domestication of the horse. Others have suggested that the Indo-European languages diffused from Anatolia together with another major prehistoric event, the spread of agriculture to Europe between the 8th and 5th millennium.

The debate has remained unresolved for over two decades, but a new approach produces potentially decisive results. By studying prehistoric loanwords absorbed by the speakers of Indo-European when they entered Europe, and test the resulting cultural implications against the available archaeological record, new light can be shed on the language of Europe’s first farmers, and whether or not they spoke a form of Indo-European.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2017 Kristian Kristiansen, Morten E. Allentoft, Karin M. Frei, Rune Iversen, Niels N. Johannsen, Guus Kroonen, Łukasz Pospieszny, T. Douglas Price, Simon Rasmussen, Karl-Göran Sjögren, Martin Sikora, Eske Willerslev
Re-theorising mobility and the formation of culture and language among the Corded Ware Culture in Europe
published pages: 334-347, ISSN: 0003-598X, DOI: 10.15184/aqy.2017.17
Antiquity 91/356 2019-03-13
2017 Rune Iversen, Guus Kroonen
Talking Neolithic: Linguistic and Archaeological Perspectives on How Indo-European Was Implemented in Southern Scandinavia
published pages: 511, ISSN: 0002-9114, DOI: 10.3764/aja.121.4.0511
American Journal of Archaeology 121/4 2019-03-25
2018 Martin Sikora, Vladimir Pitulko, Vitor Sousa, Morten E Allentoft, Lasse Vinner, Simon Rasmussen, Ashot Margaryan, Peter de Barros Damgaard, Constanza de la Fuente Castro, Gabriel Renaud, Melinda Yang, Qiaomei Fu, Isabelle Dupanloup, Konstantinos Giampoudakis, David Bravo Nogues, Carsten Rahbek, Guus Kroonen, Michael Peyrot, Hugh McColl, Sergey Vasilyev, Elizaveta Veselovskaya, Margarita Gerasimova, Elena Pavlova, Vyacheslav Chasnyk, Pavel Nikolskiy, Pavel Grebenyuk, Alexander Fedorchenko, Alexander Lebedintsev, Boris Malyarchuk, Morten Meldgaard, Rui Martiniano, Laura Arppe, Jukka Palo, Tarja Sundell, Kristiina Mannermaa, Mikko Putkonen, Verner Alexandersen, Charlotte Primeau, Ripan Mahli, Karl-Göran Sjögren, Kristian Kristiansen, Anna Wessman, Antti Sajantila, Marta Mirazohn Lahr, Richard Durbin, Rasmus Nielsen, David Meltzer, Laurent Excoffier, Eske Willerslev
The population history of northeastern Siberia since the Pleistocene
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI: 10.1101/448829 2019-03-12
2018 Peter de Barros Damgaard, Rui Martiniano, Jack Kamm, J. Víctor Moreno-Mayar, Guus Kroonen, Michaël Peyrot, Gojko Barjamovic, Simon Rasmussen, Claus Zacho, Nurbol Baimukhanov, Victor Zaibert, Victor Merz, Arjun Biddanda, Ilja Merz, Valeriy Loman, Valeriy Evdokimov, Emma Usmanova, Brian Hemphill, Andaine Seguin-Orlando, Fulya Eylem Yediay, Inam Ullah, Karl-Göran Sjögren, Katrine Højholt Iversen, Jeremy Choin, Constanza de la Fuente, Melissa Ilardo, Hannes Schroeder, Vyacheslav Moiseyev, Andrey Gromov, Andrei Polyakov, Sachihiro Omura, Süleyman Yücel Senyurt, Habib Ahmad, Catriona McKenzie, Ashot Margaryan, Abdul Hameed, Abdul Samad, Nazish Gul, Muhammad Hassan Khokhar, O. I. Goriunova, Vladimir I. Bazaliiskii, John Novembre, Andrzej W. Weber, Ludovic Orlando, Morten E. Allentoft, Rasmus Nielsen, Kristian Kristiansen, Martin Sikora, Alan K. Outram, Richard Durbin, Eske Willerslev
The first horse herders and the impact of early Bronze Age steppe expansions into Asia
published pages: eaar7711, ISSN: 0036-8075, DOI: 10.1126/science.aar7711
Science 360/6396 2019-03-25

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