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African shorthorn cattle and Afro-Asiatic; A language family
Topic Started: Sep 26 2011, 11:44 PM (494 Views)
faintsmile1992
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I'm trying to figure out the origins of the Afro-Asiatic language family yet. Quoth Gatto regarding early cattle in Africa.

"The African pathway to food production differs consistently from those developed in other areas of the world. The Neolithisation in the Near East, Mesoamerica and Eastern North America was primarily focused on the domestication of plants: it occurred in well-watered localities with relatively abundant resources, and yield was probably the major concern during intensification. In Africa, Neolithisation was based on cattle domestication: it occurred in unstable, marginal environments, and predictability and scheduled consumption were the driving forces behind the process (Marshall and Hildebrand 2002). So far, the earliest evidence for domestic cattle in Nubia and Africa has been reported from Bir Kiseiba and Nabta Playa, dated to c. 8400 and 7750 BC respectively (Gautier 1980, 1987, 2001; Wendorf, Schild and Close 1984; Wendorf and Schild 2001). Unfortunately the sample is small, poorly preserved and from unsealed cultural contexts. All this, together with the difficulties in finding clear evidence of morphological changes, has led to an ongoing criticism of the discovery (Clutton-Brock 1981; Grigson 2000; Muzzolini 1993; A. B. Smith 1984, 1986; Wengrow 2003).

However, the Combined Prehistoric Expedition (CPE) interpretation of the findings as domesticated was based on an ecological assumption: without human intervention, no wild cattle could survive in the unstable environment of the desert (Wendorf, Schild and Close 1984; Wendorf and Schild 1998). Support for the CPE’s hypothesis can be gathered from different sources. Cattle remains interpreted as domesticated and dated to 7000 BC were found in a stratified context at Wadi el-Arab, a recently discovered site in the Kerma region (Chaix 2009; Honegger 2007; Honegger et al. 2009). Although so far the findings have been only briefly published, it seems to have more secure morphological traits and stratigraphical provenance than the Nabta-Kiseiba findings, thus in spite of the paucity of the sample, it is hard to question the interpretation. The Wadi el-Arab discovery confirms autochthonous cattle domestication in Africa prior to the arrival of the domesticated sheep/goat from the Levant (c.6000 BC; Close 1992). It also, and for the first time, locates such early evidence of domesticated cattle along the Nile Valley and not just in the desert. As a matter of fact, the deserts and the Nile Valley were both part of the territory seasonally in use by the population at that time. Morphological and genetic research seems to provide further support for the topic. According to Grigson (1991, 2000) Egyptian cattle of the 4th millennium BC were morphologically distinct from Eurasian cattle (Bos taurus) and Zebu (Bos indicus), meaning that African cattle may have been domesticated from the local wild Bos primigenius before the aforementioned date.

Nevertheless, Grigson strongly questioned the Nabta-Kiseiba findings, because, according to her, they are not conclusive enough to confirm the chronology of the African domestication. Genetic studies indicate that the wild cattle in Eurasia and in Africa diverged 22,000 years ago and suggest an autochthonous domestication for the latter (Blench and MacDonald 2000; Bradly et al. 1996; Caramelli 2006). Linguistic research also provides help in supporting the CPE’s theory. The detailed work done by Ehret (2006) on linguistic stratigraphies in North-eastern Africa revealed how terms connected with cattle herding are older than those associated with agriculture, chronologically placing their origin at the beginning of the Holocene."


Following most scholars of Afro-Asiatic who place the homeland for Afro-Asiatic in the Horn of Africa with Omotic (also known as Western 'Cushitic') as the first to diverge, Blench places the Afro-Asiatic homeland in southwestern Ethiopia at > 10,000bp and the North Afro-Asiatic offshoot that moved into the Nile Basin have a heartland much further north at > 7,500BP. His argument for an Ethiopian homeland for Afro-Asiatic is that Omotic languages originally shared no word for cattle with the other Afro-Asiatic languages, nor do North Omotic and South Omotic share a word for cattle with one another, meaning that there was a split between Omotic and the other Afroasiatic languages and that omotic diversified after the introduction of cattle. The proto-Cushites were however pastoralists, although no date for cattle in Ethiopia that is earlier than 3,500bp is accepted. However in the mid 4th millenium BC the Egyptians were already importing short-horned humpless catle from Punt. Later in the text, he says that "Broadly speaking, taurine cattle began to cross the Sahara 7,000 years ago, penetrating both East and West Africa around 4,000BP and finally reaching South Africa 2,000 years later."

To help date the origins of North Afro-Asiatic, Berber is especially unlikely to have more recent origins than the Capsian Neolithic, and heiroglyph-like signs are present in Egypt as far back as 5,000BC whilst a Semitic language is attested at 2,800BC.
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faintsmile1992
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A Bayesian analysis placed the most recent common ancestral language of Akkadian and all other Semitic languages at 5,750BP during the Early Bronze Age. These other Semitic languages are divided into a Central branch (Ugaritic, Hebrew and Aramaic with a common origin 4,050BP) and an South branch (divided into Modern South Semitic and Ethiosemitic, with a common origin 4,650BP), with he position of Arabic unresolved between the Arabian and Central Semitic branches.

"The expansion of the Levantine languages of Central Semitic approximately 3650–4400 YBP was probably part of the migration process that was definitive of the transition from the Early
to the Middle Bronze Age in the Levant (Ehrich 1992; Ilan 2003; Richard 2003a). This period in the Levant involved the devolution of many urban societies at the end of the Early Bronze Age (Richard 2003a) and their replacement with new urban societies that were culturally and morphologically distinct at the start of the Middle Bronze Age (Ilan 2003). Our analysis suggests that the shift in urban populations during the Early to Middle Bronze Age may be temporally associated with the wider expansion of Central Semitic in the Levant.

Within South Semitic, the early emergence of a South Arabian lineage between approximately 3300 and 6250 YBP (figures 1 and 2, node E) may reflect an Early Bronze Age expansion of Semitic from the Levant southward to the Arabian desert. This lineage was ancestral to the MSA languages, for which the more recent divergence less than 3100 YBP (figures 1 and 2, node F) suggests that early MSA speakers probably inhabited the southern coasts and coastal hinterlands of the Arabian Peninsula (the current distribution of MSA). The recurrent spread of early Semitic peoples and their languages into the steppe and desert lands of the Arabian Peninsula (first South Semitic
and later Arabic; see below), combined with Biblical testimony on early Hebrew subsistence, lead us to propose that the earliest West Semitic society may have had a largely pastoralist economy particularly adapted to such conditions."


The words for bitumen, naphtha, ice, oak, pistachio, almond, horse and camel as well as four different words for hill were present in proto-Semitic, whilst Eblaite, an early form of Akkadian from northwestern Syria, has almost no non-Afro-Asiatic nouns in its lexicon. All of this suggests there was a northern Levantine origin for Semitic proper, but there must have been other North Afroasiatic languages involved in the early Levant. Has ths somethng to do with the possible Afro-Asatic afinties of Elamite in West Asia?
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Jprezy87
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faintsmile1992
Sep 27 2011, 05:54 PM
A Bayesian analysis placed the most recent common ancestral language of Akkadian and all other Semitic languages at 5,750BP during the Early Bronze Age. These other Semitic languages are divided into a Central branch (Ugaritic, Hebrew and Aramaic with a common origin 4,050BP) and an South branch (divided into Modern South Semitic and Ethiosemitic, with a common origin 4,650BP), with he position of Arabic unresolved between the Arabian and Central Semitic branches.

"The expansion of the Levantine languages of Central Semitic approximately 3650–4400 YBP was probably part of the migration process that was definitive of the transition from the Early
to the Middle Bronze Age in the Levant (Ehrich 1992; Ilan 2003; Richard 2003a). This period in the Levant involved the devolution of many urban societies at the end of the Early Bronze Age (Richard 2003a) and their replacement with new urban societies that were culturally and morphologically distinct at the start of the Middle Bronze Age (Ilan 2003). Our analysis suggests that the shift in urban populations during the Early to Middle Bronze Age may be temporally associated with the wider expansion of Central Semitic in the Levant.

Within South Semitic, the early emergence of a South Arabian lineage between approximately 3300 and 6250 YBP (figures 1 and 2, node E) may reflect an Early Bronze Age expansion of Semitic from the Levant southward to the Arabian desert. This lineage was ancestral to the MSA languages, for which the more recent divergence less than 3100 YBP (figures 1 and 2, node F) suggests that early MSA speakers probably inhabited the southern coasts and coastal hinterlands of the Arabian Peninsula (the current distribution of MSA). The recurrent spread of early Semitic peoples and their languages into the steppe and desert lands of the Arabian Peninsula (first South Semitic
and later Arabic; see below), combined with Biblical testimony on early Hebrew subsistence, lead us to propose that the earliest West Semitic society may have had a largely pastoralist economy particularly adapted to such conditions."


The words for bitumen, naphtha, ice, oak, pistachio, almond, horse and camel as well as four different words for hill were present in proto-Semitic, whilst Eblaite, an early form of Akkadian from northwestern Syria, has almost no non-Afro-Asiatic nouns in its lexicon. All of this suggests there was a northern Levantine origin for Semitic proper, but there must have been other North Afroasiatic languages involved in the early Levant. Has ths somethng to do with the possible Afro-Asatic afinties of Elamite in West Asia?
so you think that afro asiatic originated around ethiopia?
Fear knocked at the door...I answered...fear ran like a hoe..
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faintsmile1992
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There's no question of that because Omotic, and even the branches within Omotic, lack a common root word for cattle as found in other Afro-Asiatic speakers. This reveals an early division between pastoralists and non-pastoralists amongst Afro-Asiatic speakers, relating to the early domestication of humpless cattle in northeastern Africa.
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faintsmile1992
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This .pdf associates the Cushitic languages with Leiterband pottery related to the Khartum Neolithic and distinct from the Nubian C-group pottery.

http://rogerblench.info/Archaeology%20data/Africa/Inter-Saharan%20hypothesis.pdf
This .pdf by the same author contains information about the subsistence of Arabian people.

http://rogerblench.info/Archaeology%20data/Arabia/Boivin,%20Blench,%20Fuller%20offprint.pdf

" The arrival of domesticated plants and animals in the Arabian subcontinent naturally greatly impacted on cultural and economic developments in the region. Not only did domesticated species provide the basis for new types of societies in Arabia, they also catalysed new patterns of contact, trade and exchange. Domesticates moved into Arabia by both maritime and land routes, and accordingly hold clues to maritime routes of contact and trade. The earliest arrival of domesticates into Arabia appears to have been primarily by land, however. Livestock seem, on present evidence, to have spread initially in the absence of plant-based agriculture in Arabia (Edens and Wilkinson, 1998 ; Uerpmann et al., 2000 ; see also McCorriston and Martin, 2009 ; Uerpmann et al., 2009) , much as was the case in Saharan and East Sudanic Africa (Marshall and Hildebrand, 2002 ; Garcea, 2004) , as well as parts of savannah India (Fuller, 2006 : 58). Secure finds of domesticated cattle generally coincide with the arrival of sheep and goat, and occur at roughly the same time in eastern and western Arabia, after ca. 6000 BC, making it likely that domesticated cattle were ultimately introduced from the Near East rather than Africa. The sheep/goat/cattle triad appeared at roughly the same time in Egypt and western Arabia, suggesting parallel processes of dispersal, moving from the Levant through the Sinai region. This suggests a hunter-forager-herder economy in Arabia, as in the Sahara, but with possible precursors in the Pre-Pottery Neolithic C period of desert margins of eastern Jordan (Martin, 2000 ; Wengrow, 2006 : 25).

The earliest fi eld crops in Arabia were the cereals wheat and barley, which also originated in the Near East (Zohary and Hopf, 2000) , although they may not have arrived in Arabia until the fourth millennium BC. The earliest hard archaeobotanical evidence for these cereals dates from ca. 3000 BC, both in Yemen, at al-Raqlah, Hayt al-Suad and Jubabat al-Juruf (see Costantini 1990 ; de Moulins et al., 2003 ; Ekstrom and Edens, 2003) , and in the United Arab Emirates, as at Hili (see Cleuziou and Costantini, 1980 ; Tengberg, 2003) . These cereals were accompanied by the Near Eastern pulses, pea and lentil. While these continued to be the dominant cereals, and important pulses, through prehistory and historical times, there is an intriguing difference between western and eastern Arabia that suggests agricultural interaction spheres focused on the Gulf and the Red Sea, respectively. Sites on the eastern side of the peninsula more often have evidence for free-threshing wheat, likely bread wheat ( Triticum aestivum ), which was also the most common wheat in the Indus region beyond. By contrast, sites in Yemen sites have more often produced the glume wheat emmer ( Triticum diococcum ), which was also the wheat that dominated ancient Egypt (Murray, 2000) , Nubia (Fuller, 2004) and the limited archaeobotanical record for Ethiopia (Boardman, 2000) and Eritrea (D’Andrea et al., 2008) . Maritime activities may have been responsible for introducing these Near Eastern crops (and others such as chickpea, grasspea and fl ax) as well as sheep and goat into the Ethiopian highlands, where they have been the basis of a plow based agricultural system throughout history. The association of this agriculture with speakers of Ethiosemitic languages may be indicative of a prehistoric agricultural system-language co-dispersal from Arabia across the Red Sea (see below)."



" The linguistic geography of the Arabian peninsula and adjacent area also provides some intriguing clues to early settlement patterns and population movements in the region, as well as, possibly, to maritime migrations. Today, the languages of the Arabian peninsula are wholly drawn from the Semitic branch of the Afroasiatic phylum (see Fig. 8 ). Essentially, the pattern is that Arabic dominates most of the land area, but all along the southern coast in the Hadramaut and Oman as well as on the island of Socotra, a set of archaic and rather diverse Semitic languages, are spoken, the so-called ‘South Semitic’ branch (Fig. 9 ; Johnstone, 1977, 1981, 1987 ; Simeone-Semelle, 1991) . Most linguists consider that these languages would formerly have been much more widespread in the peninsula prior to the expansion of Islam and consequently Arabic in the seventh century. Epigraphic materials survive in the so-called ‘Sabaean’ languages which are generally considered ancestral to modern South Semitic (Beeston, 1981 ; Korotayev, 1995) . These include Sabaean, Minaean and Qatabanian inscriptions and are generally dated to between the eighth century BC and the sixth century AD (Versteegh, 2000) . However, the assumption is that these languages were spoken much earlier still as their closest relatives outside Africa are the ‘West Semitic’ languages, which include both Arabic and Hebrew, but also all the epigraphic languages of the Near East, such as Akkadian.

The ultimate homeland of Afroasiatic is Africa and most probably Ethiopia, where its most diverse branches, Omotic and Cushitic, are spoken. Despite its aura of antiquity, Semitic is a relatively late branching from Afroasiatic, as testifi ed by the relative closeness of all Semitic languages. As a consequence, the dominance of Semitic in the Arabian peninsula is comparatively recent. It must be the case that other quite different languages were spoken prior to Semiticisation several thousand years ago. There is no evidence as to the nature of these languages or their affi liation; although such a major cultural transformation must have left traces in regional archaeology, no proposals have been made as to the ‘signal’ of the Semitic expansion.

Across the Red Sea, in Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa, the pattern of languages is quite different. With limited exceptions in the west and north of Ethiopia, all the languages spoken are also Afroasiatic. However, the dominant branches are Cushitic and Omotic, much more internally diverse subgroups of considerable antiquity. Figure 8 shows the internal classifi cation of the Afroasiatic phylum and the highlighted fi ll indicates the branches that occur on either side of the Red Sea. The pattern of Semitic in Ethiopia represents something of a puzzle. The highlands and northeast are dominated by an extensive group of languages usually called ‘Ethiosemitic’ and including well-known languages such as Tigrinya and Amharic. Comparisons between South Semitic and Ethiosemitic suggest that the Ethiopian languages are a branch of the epigraphic languages of South Arabia, and that it is therefore likely that the ancestors of the Amhara migrated back across the Red Sea within the last few millennia. Bender argues that the South Arabian languages share a number of innovations with Ethiosemitic (Bender, 1970) . There are also signifi cant bodies of oral tradition; the story of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba [from Yemen] is virtually an Ethiopian national myth and artifacts in Axum have South Arabian inscriptions.

This hypothesis is also suggested by linguistic geography; Ethiosemitic forms a coherent territorial bloc imposed upon and acting to fragment the in situ Cushitic and Omotic languages in the highlands from the northeast. This migration was potentially driven by the development of an innovative type of agriculture: the seasonal cultivation of cereals based on the plow. Ethiopia has a characteristic plow, an ard which fractures and disturbs the soil, which was perhaps introduced following the migrations of Ethiosemitic speakers across from Arabia. McCann points out that rock-drawings in Eritrea point to the use of the plow as early as 500 BC and that it shows similarities to implements in South Arabia (McCann, 1995 : 40). Historical evidence points to a north-south spread of Semitic in Ethiopia. The Amharic term for plow, maräša , has been borrowed into all the main languages of Ethiopia. Barnett canvasses the idea of introductions of the plow from Arabia or Egypt 3,000–4,000 BP (Barnett, 1999 : 24), but the linguistic evidence suggests a more recent date.

Almost all classifi cations of Ethiosemitic languages treat them as a single branch. However, in the south, there is a distinctive subgroup, the Gurage cluster, which is significantly more diverse than all the other Ethiosemitic languages (Leslau, 1979) . It used to be thought that Ethiosemitic was a single subgroup, but more recently its internal diversity has led scholars to question this. It may be that the origin of the Gurage languages is different, either they are a core Semitic group that stayed behind after the break-up of North Afroasiatic or they represent an earlier and different migration from Arabia. Features that the Gurage languages have in common with the Amharic group would thus be the result of long interaction rather than direct genetic affi liation.

The implications of this overall linguistic geographical pattern are as follows: the Semitic languages are likely to have expanded southwards into the Arabian peninsula from the Near East. This expansion is likely to have had both a maritime, coastal component and an overland component, perhaps based on livestock. As we have indicated, the early Sabaeans developed an elaborate literate culture and were in intensive contact with the Ethiopian coast through interactions across the Red Sea. At some point, it appears that there was a signifi cant population migration from Arabia, presumably in the region of modern-day Eritrea, which transformed the economy of highland Ethiopia. Cultural contacts across the Red Sea seem to have stimulated the development of an indigenous maritime trading culture reaching as far as India, whose members acted independently as brokers in the aromatics trade."
Edited by faintsmile1992, Oct 24 2011, 08:40 AM.
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Nam
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What is afro-asiatic? guanches+east asians. Iknow the fact still bring mindfvck to average europeans.
FucЖeveriwon
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..maybe like sun too, as if these tiny beings loved sunlight so much, they imitated the radiating sun, created their own architecture of sun worship.
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faintsmile1992
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Afroasiatic is a language family that includes Omotic and the Erythraic languages, which in turn include North Afroasiatic (Berber, Egyptian and Semitic) and the Chadic and Cushitic languages. Guanche and Ongota are both widely thought to belong in here too, and also possibly Elamite.
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Nam
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Berber, Egyptian and Semitic
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E is the signature y-dna for guanches and berbers, J for semites, they used to be found togather populating the same sites since 4000BC. They belong to the afro component, the asiatic component has never been identified, but I very sure the asiatic here is east asian.
FucЖeveriwon
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..maybe like sun too, as if these tiny beings loved sunlight so much, they imitated the radiating sun, created their own architecture of sun worship.
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