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The Kurgan hypothesis (also theory, model) of Indo-European origins is the predominant model of early Indo-European origins, postulating that the Kurgan culture of the Pontic steppe were the Proto-Indo-Europeans, the hypothetical speakers of the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European language. Albanian (sq ''Gjuha shqipe'' ˈɟuha ˈʃcipɛ is an Indo-European language spoken by nearly 6 million peoplewhile others claim that it derives from Daco - The Armenian language (hy հայերեն լեզու hajɛɹɛn lɛzu —, conventional short form) is an Indo-European language spoken by the Armenian The Baltic languages are a group of related languages belonging to the Indo-European language family and spoken mainly in areas extending east and southeast of the Baltic The Celtic languages are descended from Proto-Celtic, or "Common Celtic" a branch of the greater Indo-European Language family. The Germanic languages are a group of related languages that constitute a branch of the Indo-European (IE Language family. Greek (el ελληνική γλώσσα or simply el ελληνικά — "Hellenic" is an Indo-European language, spoken today by 15-22 million people mainly The Indo-Iranian language group constitutes the easternmost extant branch of the Indo-European family of languages The Indo-Aryan languages (within the context of Indo-European studies also Indic) are a branch of the Indo-European language family The Iranian languages are a branch of the Indo-European language family and its subfamily Indo-Iranian. The Italic subfamily is a member of the Indo-European language family's Centum branch The Slavic languages (also called Slavonic languages) a group of closely related Languages of the Slavic peoples and a subgroup of Indo-European languages The Anatolian languages are a group of extinct Indo-European languages which were spoken in Asia Minor, the best attested of them being the Hittite language The Paleo-Balkan languages were the Indo-European languages that were spoken in the Balkans in Ancient times. The Dacian language was spoken by the ancient inhabitants of Dacia. The Phrygian language was the Indo-European language of the Phrygians a people from Thrace who later migrated to Asia Minor. The Thracian language was the Indo-European language spoken in ancient times by the Thracians in South-Eastern Europe Tocharian or Tokharian is one of the branches of the Indo-European language family. } Albanians (Shqiptarët are an Ethnic group and a Nation, in the sense of sharing a common Albanian culture speaking the Albanian language The Armenians (Հայեր Hayer) are a Nation and Ethnic group originating in the Caucasus and in the Armenian Highlands A large The Balts or Baltic peoples (People who live by the Baltic Sea) defined as speakers of one of the Baltic languages, a branch of the Indo-European Modern Celts are those peoples who are speakers of Celtic languages, or who consider themselves or have been considered by others to participate in a Celtic culture This is a list of Germanic peoples. Classical philosophy The Greeks assigned names to populations they considered distinct based on the city-state ( The Greeks ( Greek: Έλληνες) are a Nation and Ethnic group native to Greece, Cyprus and neighbouring regions The Iranian people are a collection of Ethnic groups defined along linguistic lines as speaking Iranian languages. Latin European peoples are those who speak Romance languages, descended from Vulgar Latin, spread during the time of the Roman Empire. Anatolia (Anadolu Ανατολία Anatolía) or Asia minor, comprising most of modern Turkey, is the geographic region bounded by the Black The Hittites were an ancient Anatolian people who spoke a language of the Anatolian branch of the Indo-European language family and established Luwian (sometimes spelled Luvian) is an extinct language of the Anatolian branch of the Celts (ˈkɛlts or /ˈsɛlts/, see Names of the Celts Ancient Galatia was an area in the highlands of central Anatolia in modern Turkey. Gaul (Gallia was the Roman name for the region of Western Europe comprising present day northern Italy, France, Belgium, western The Germanic peoples are a historical group of Indo-European -speaking peoples originating in Northern Europe and identified by their use of the Germanic Illyrians has come to refer to a broad ill-defined " Indo-European " group of peoples who inhabited the western Balkans ( Illyria, roughly Ancient peoples of Italy are all those peoples that lived in Italy (including the islands of Sicily and Sardinia) before the Roman domination The Sarmatians, Sarmatae or Sauromatae ( Old Iranian Sarumatah 'archer' Σαρμάτες The Scythians or Scyths (Σκύθες Σκύθοι were an Iranian speaking people of horse-riding Nomadic pastoralists who dominated the Pontic "Thracians" also refers to modern inhabitants of Thrace, regardless of ethnicity The Tocharians were the Tocharian -speaking inhabitants of the Tarim basin, making them the easternmost speakers of an Indo-European language in antiquity Indo-Iranian peoples consist of the Indo-Aryan, Iranian, Dardic and Nuristani peoples that is speakers of Indo-Iranian languages The Indo-Aryan tribes mentioned in the Rigveda are described as semi- Nomadic pastoralists subdivided into temporary settlements ( vish, viś and headed Ancient Iranian peoples who settled Greater Iran in the 2nd millennium BC first appear in Assyrian records in the 9th century BC. The Proto-Indo-Europeans (PIE were the speakers of the Proto-Indo-European language, who likely lived around 4000 BC, during the Copper Age and the The society of the Proto-Indo-Europeans (PIE existed during the Bronze Age (roughly fifth to fourth millennium BC and has been reconstructed The existence of similarities among the deities and religious practices of the Indo-European (IE peoples allows glimpses of a common Proto-Indo-European The question of the homeland ( Urheimat) of the Proto-Indo-European peoples and their Proto-Indo-European language has been a recurring topic in Indo-European The Anatolian hypothesis is also called Renfrew's NDT; it proposes that the dispersal ( Discontinuity) of Proto-Indo-Europeans originated in Neolithic The Armenian hypothesis of the Proto-Indo-European Urheimat, based on the Glottalic theory suggests that the Proto-Indo-European language The Out of India theory ( OIT, also called the Indian Urheimat Theory) is the proposition that the Indo-European language family originated in The Paleolithic Continuity Theory (or PCT,Italian La teoria della continuità) is a Hypothesis suggesting that the hypothetical Proto-Indo-European Indo-European studies is a field of Linguistics dealing with Indo-European languages, both current and extinct The question of the homeland ( Urheimat) of the Proto-Indo-European peoples and their Proto-Indo-European language has been a recurring topic in Indo-European The question of the homeland ( Urheimat) of the Proto-Indo-European peoples and their Proto-Indo-European language has been a recurring topic in Indo-European The term Pontic-Caspian steppe summarizes the vast Steppelands stretching from north of the Black Sea as far as the east of the Caspian Sea, from central The Proto-Indo-Europeans (PIE were the speakers of the Proto-Indo-European language, who likely lived around 4000 BC, during the Copper Age and the It was first formulated by Marija Gimbutas in the 1950s. Marija Gimbutas ( Marija Gimbutienė) ( Vilnius, January 23, 1921 – Los Angeles, United States February 2 There are a number of competing hypotheses, the most notable of these suggesting an Anatolian urheimat. The question of the homeland ( Urheimat) of the Proto-Indo-European peoples and their Proto-Indo-European language has been a recurring topic in Indo-European The Anatolian hypothesis is also called Renfrew's NDT; it proposes that the dispersal ( Discontinuity) of Proto-Indo-Europeans originated in Neolithic
Gimbutas divided the Kurgan culture into four periods, Kurgan I-IV, arranged by date, with Kurgan I corresponding to the early Yamna culture of the Volga region and its extension to the Sredny Stog II of the Dnieper region. The Yamna (from Russian / Ukrainian яма "pit" also known as Pit Grave or Ochre Grave culture) is a late copper age /early The Sredny Stog culture (named after the Ukrainian village of Serednyi Stih where it was first located for which Sredny Stog is the conventional Russian-language designation For the rocket see Dnepr rocket. For other uses see Dnieper (disambiguation. Furthermore, these pastoralists departed from their urheimat in "three waves of migrations to Europe" dated to Kurgans I, III and IV. Urheimat ( German: ur- Original, Ancient; Heimat Home, Homeland) is a linguistic term denoting the  The earliest cultures able to be associated in the theory are of the chalcolithic phase of technology. The Chalcolithic (Greek khalkos + lithos ' Copper stone' period or Copper Age period known as the '''Eneolithic''' ('''Æneolithic''' is a
When it was first proposed in 1956, Marija Gimbutas's contribution to the search for Indo-European origins was a pioneering interdisciplinary synthesis of archaeology and linguistics. In Academia, Pedagogy, Physical sciences, Earth sciences, Human sciences and Social sciences Archaeology, archeology, or archæology (from Greek grc ἀρχαιολογία archaiologia – grc ἀρχαῖος archaīos Linguistics is the scientific study of Language, encompassing a number of sub-fields The Kurgan model of Indo-European origins identifies the Pontic-Caspian steppe as the Proto-Indo-European (PIE) Urheimat, and a variety of late PIE dialects are assumed to have been spoken across the region. The term Pontic-Caspian steppe summarizes the vast Steppelands stretching from north of the Black Sea as far as the east of the Caspian Sea, from central Urheimat ( German: ur- Original, Ancient; Heimat Home, Homeland) is a linguistic term denoting the According to this model, the Kurgan culture gradually expanded until it encompassed the entire Pontic-Caspian steppe, Kurgan IV being identified with the Pit Grave culture of around 3000 BC. The term Pontic-Caspian steppe summarizes the vast Steppelands stretching from north of the Black Sea as far as the east of the Caspian Sea, from central The Yamna (from Russian / Ukrainian яма "pit" also known as Pit Grave or Ochre Grave culture) is a late copper age /early
The mobility of the Kurgan culture facilitated its expansion over the entire Pit Grave region, and is attributed to the domestication of the horse and later the use of early chariots. There are a number of hypotheses on many of the key issues regarding the domestication of the horse. The chariot is the earliest and simplest type of Carriage, used in both peace and war as the chief vehicle of many ancient peoples  The first strong archaeological evidence for the domestication of the horse comes from the Sredny Stog culture north of the Azov Sea in Ukraine, and would correspond to an early PIE or pre-PIE nucleus of the 5th millennium BC. The Sredny Stog culture (named after the Ukrainian village of Serednyi Stih where it was first located for which Sredny Stog is the conventional Russian-language designation The Sea of Azov (Азо́вское мо́ре - Azovskoye more; Азо́вське мо́ре - Azovs'ke more, Azaq deñizi is the world's shallowest sea linked Ukraine (Україна Ukrayina, /ukrɑˈjinɑ/ is a country in Eastern Europe.  The earliest known chariot was discovered at Krivoye Lake and dates to c. Krivoye Ozero is a small Lake in the Chelyabinsk Oblast of Russia, southeast of Magnitogorsk, near the Kazakhstani border 2000 BC. 
Subsequent expansion beyond the steppes led to hybrid, or in Gimbutas's terms "kurganized" cultures, such as the Globular Amphora culture to the west. Globular Amphora Culture, German Kugelamphoren, ca 3400-2800 BC is an Archaeological culture overlapping the central area occupied by the Corded Ware culture From these kurganized cultures came the immigration of proto-Greeks to the Balkans and the nomadic Indo-Iranian cultures to the east around 2500 BC. The Proto-Greek language is the assumed last common ancestor of all known varieties of Greek, including Mycenaean, the classical Greek dialects
From the 1990s on, new archaeological evidence from Northern European prehistoric cultures resulted in new questions concerning the influence and expansion of Kurgan cultures to the west. The process of "kurganization", especially of Corded Ware cultures, may not have been as extensive as Gimbutas believed. The Corded Ware culture, alternatively characterized as the Battle Axe culture or Single Grave culture is an enormous European Archaeological horizon that 
The model of a "Kurgan culture" postulates cultural similarity between the various cultures of the Chalcolithic to Early Bronze Age (5th to 3rd millennia BC) Pontic-Caspian steppe to justify the identification as a single archaeological culture or cultural horizon. In addition to its usual meaning in Social science, in Archaeology, the term culture is also used in reference to several related concepts unique to The eponymous construction of kurgans is only one among several factors. Kurgan (курга́н is the Russian word (of Turkic origin for a Tumulus, a type of Burial mound or barrow heaped over a As always in the grouping of archaeological cultures, the dividing line between one culture and the next cannot be drawn with any accuracy and will be open to debate.
Cultures forming part of the "Kurgan horizon":
Gimbutas defined introduced the term "Kurgan culture" in 1956 with the intention to introduce a "broader term" that would combine Sredny Stog II, Pit-Grave and Corded ware horizons (spanning the 4th to 3rd millennia in much of Eastern and Northern Europe). The Sredny Stog culture (named after the Ukrainian village of Serednyi Stih where it was first located for which Sredny Stog is the conventional Russian-language designation The Yamna (from Russian / Ukrainian яма "pit" also known as Pit Grave or Ochre Grave culture) is a late copper age /early The Corded Ware culture, alternatively characterized as the Battle Axe culture or Single Grave culture is an enormous European Archaeological horizon that  By the 1980s, it had become clear that this extended "Corded Ware-Battle Axe-Tumulus" burial complex envisaged by Gimbutas needed to be considered separately, under the heading of (3rd millennium) "Kurganization" (spread of "Kurgan elements" beyond the area of the Kurgan culture proper). The Kurgan hypothesis (also theory or model) is a model of early Indo-European origins, which postulates that the Kurgan culture of the Pontic steppe Mallory (1986, p. 308) points out that "by the mid-5th millennium BC, we already have very striking cultural similarities from the Dnieper-Donets culture in the west to the Samara culture of the middle Volga . . . this is continued in the later Sredny Stog period. " The "Yamna culture in all its regional variants" arose later, and may already represent diversification.
The comparison of cultural similarities of these cultures is a question of archaeology independent of hypotheses regarding the Proto-Indo-European language. The postulate of these 5th millennium "cultural similarities" informed by archaeology are a prerequisite of the "Kurgan model" which identifies the chalcolithic (5th millennium) Pontic-Caspian steppe as the locus of Proto-Indo-European.
Gimbutas' original suggestion identifies four successive stages of the Kurgan culture and three successive "waves" of expansion.
The "kurganized" Globular Amphora culture in Europe is proposed as a "secondary Urheimat", separating into the Bell-beaker culture and Corded Ware culture around 2300 BC and ultimately resulting in the European branches of Italic, Celtic and Germanic languages, and other, partly extinct, language groups of the Balkans and central Europe, possibly including the proto-Mycenaean invasion of Greece. Globular Amphora Culture, German Kugelamphoren, ca 3400-2800 BC is an Archaeological culture overlapping the central area occupied by the Corded Ware culture The Bell-Beaker culture (sometimes shortened to Beaker culture, Beaker people, or Beaker folk; Glockenbecherkultur) ca The Corded Ware culture, alternatively characterized as the Battle Axe culture or Single Grave culture is an enormous European Archaeological horizon that The Italic subfamily is a member of the Indo-European language family's Centum branch The Celtic languages are descended from Proto-Celtic, or "Common Celtic" a branch of the greater Indo-European Language family. The Germanic languages are a group of related languages that constitute a branch of the Indo-European (IE Language family. Mycenaean Greece is a cultural period of ancient Greece taking its name from the archaeological site of Mycenae in northeastern Argolis, in the Peloponnese Greece (Ελλάδα transliterated: Elláda, historically, Ellás,) officially the Hellenic Republic (Ελληνική Δημοκρατία
A specific haplogroup R1a1 defined by the M17 (SNP marker) of the Y chromosome (see: for nomenclature) is associated by some with the Kurgan culture. In the study of Molecular evolution, a haplogroup, from "ἁπλο-" (Greek haplo-: simple or single + "group" is a group of similar Haplotypes A Subclade of R1, R1a is a Y-chromosome haplogroup found at high frequency in the extreme north of India among the Kashmiri Pandits A single nucleotide polymorphism ( SNP, pronounced snip) is a DNA sequence variation occurring when a single Nucleotide - A, T The Y chromosome is the sex-determining Chromosome in most Mammals including Humans In mammals it contains the gene SRY, which triggers The haplogroup R1a1 is currently found in Slavic populations and in central and western Asia, India, but it is rare in most countries of Western Europe (e. g. France, or some parts of Great Britain) (see  ). However, 23. 6% of Norwegians, 18. 4% of Swedes, 16. 5% of Danes, 11% of Saami share this lineage (). The Sami people are the Indigenous people of northern Europe inhabiting Sápmi, which today encompasses parts of northern Sweden, Norway
Investigations suggest the Hg R1a1 gene expanded from the Dniepr-Don Valley, between 13 000 and 7600 years ago, and was linked to the reindeer hunters of the Ahrensburg culture that started from the Dniepr valley in Ukraine and reached Scandinavia 12 000 years ago. The Ahrensburg culture (11th to 10th millennia BC was a late Upper Paleolithic culture during the Younger Dryas, the last spell of cold at the end of the 
Ornella Semino et al. (see ) propose this postglacial spread of the R1a1 gene from the Ukrainian LGM refuge was magnified by the expansion of the Kurgan culture into Europe and eastward. The Ukrainian LGM refuge is one of the postulated LGM refuge areas, located 'around' the Black Sea, where groups of humans sought shelter from the glacial R1a1 is most prevalent in Poland, Russia, Ukraine, Hungary and is also observed in Pakistan, India, and central Asia.
Correspondingly, R1b (also Eu18 — see  for nomenclature conversions) was believed to have spread from the Iberian Peninsula (Spain and Portugal) following the last glacial period (20,000 to 13,000 years ago), and is still prevalent in western Europe, or Atlantic Europe, especially in the Basque Country, without being rare in eastern Europe. In Human genetics, Haplogroup R1b is the most frequent Y-chromosome Haplogroup in Western Europe The Iberian Peninsula, or Iberia, is located in the extreme southwest of Europe, and includes modern day Spain, Portugal, Andorra Spain () or the Kingdom of Spain (Reino de España is a country located mostly in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal, officially the Portuguese Republic (República Portuguesa is a country on the Iberian Peninsula. "Glacial" and "Glaciation" redirect here For the geological periods see Glacial period. }} Atlantic Europe is a geographical and anthropological term for the western portion of Europe which borders the Atlantic Ocean.
Another marker that closely corresponds to Kurgan migrations is distribution of blood group B allele, mapped by Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza. Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza (born January 25, 1922) is an Italian population geneticist born in Genoa, who has been a professor at The distribution of blood group B allele in Europe matches the proposed map of Kurgan Culture, and Haplogroup R1a1 (YDNA) distribution.
According to S. G. Talageri, Gimbutas's assignment of Indo-European attributes to archaeological artifacts is far too generalized and vague to be meaningful.
So far archaeologists can trace back the origins of the Kurgan culture to the 5th millennium, although its earlier antecedents are still unknown.  Archaeologists are generally more critical of the Kurgan hypothesis than Indo-Europeanists. New archaeological evidence contests the spread of Kurgan culture to the west and instead points at local developments within Corded Ware and previous Funnelbeaker cultures, pushing back the archaeological continuity of western Indo-European cultures to at least the 5th millennium BC. This has led some archaeologists to declare the Kurgan hypothesis "obsolete".  However, it is generally held unrealistic to believe that a proto-historic people can be assigned to any particular group on basis of archaeological material alone. 
Also, the field of linguistics is attempting to develop new investigative techniques for formative linguistic processes.  Linguists argue linguistic expansion does not imply "kurganization" of material cultures, and hold extrapolating current linguistic developments to the past to be precarious (for instance deflexion should be excluded for being a Western European non-representative linguistic process), to conclude a separation between Centum and Satem in the fourth millennium is appropriate but does not imply a different stance on the material cultures involved. Deflexion is a linguistic process related to Inflectional languages 
Krell (1998) points out that the Proto-Indo-European had an agricultural terminology and not merely a pastoral one. As for technology, there are plausible reconstructions suggesting knowledge of navigation, a technology quite untypical of Gimbutas' Kurgan society. Krell concludes that Gimbutas seems to first establish a Kurgan hypothesis, based on purely archaeological observations, and then proceeds to create a picture of the PIE homeland and subsequent dispersal which fits neatly over her archaeological findings. The problem is that in order to do this, she has had to be rather selective in her use of linguistic data, as well as in her interpretation of that data. This is putting the cart before the horse. Such an unsystematic approach should have given her linguistic proponents real cause for questioning the relevance of her theory, especially if one considers that, by virtue of its nature, the study of PIE is first and foremost a matter for linguistic, not archaeological investigation (Bryant 2004:40).
Gimbutas believed that the expansions of the Kurgan culture were a series of essentially hostile, military invasions where a new warrior culture imposed itself on the peaceful, matriarchal cultures of "Old Europe", replacing it with a patriarchal warrior society, a process visible in the appearance of fortified settlements and hillforts and the graves of warrior-chieftains:
In her later life, Gimbutas increasingly emphasized the violent nature of this transition from the Mediterranean cult of the Mother Goddess to a patriarchal society and the worship of the warlike Thunderer (Zeus, Dyaus), to a point of essentially formulating feminist archaeology. A mother goddess is a Goddess, often portrayed as the Earth Mother who serves as a general Fertility deity the bountiful embodiment of the Earth. Zeus (zjuːs in Greek: nominative: Zeús /zdeús/ genitive: Diós; Modern Greek /'zefs/ in Greek mythology In the Vedic religion Dyauṣ Pitar   is the Sky Father, husband of Prithvi and father of Agni and Indra ( RV 4 Feminist archaeology is an approach to studying ancient societies by critiquing what its practitioners perceive as an androcentric bias both in many past civilisations and also Many scholars who accept the general scenario of Indo-European migrations proposed, maintain that the transition was likely much more gradual and peaceful than suggested by Gimbutas. The migrations were certainly not a sudden, concerted military operation, but the expansion of disconnected tribes and cultures, spanning many generations. To what degree the indigenous cultures were peacefully amalgamated or violently displaced remains a matter of controversy among supporters of the Kurgan hypothesis.
JP Mallory accepts the Kurgan hypothesis as the de-facto standard theory of Indo-European origins, but he recognizes valid criticism of Gimbutas' radical scenario of military invasion: almost all the arguments for invasion and cultural transformation are far better explained without reference to Kurgan expansion. James Patrick Mallory is an Irish-American archaeologist and Indo-Europeanist.
The Corded Ware culture has always been important in locating the Indo-European origins. The Corded Ware culture, alternatively characterized as the Battle Axe culture or Single Grave culture is an enormous European Archaeological horizon that The German archaeologist Alexander Häusler was an important proponent of archeologists that searched for homeland evidence here. He sharply criticised Gimbutas' concept of 'a' Kurgan culture that mixes several distinct cultures like the pit-grave culture. The Yamna (from Russian / Ukrainian яма "pit" also known as Pit Grave or Ochre Grave culture) is a late copper age /early Häusler's criticism mostly stemmed from a distinctive lack of archeological evidence until 1950 from what was then the East Bloc, from which time on plenty of evidence for Gimbutas's Kurgan hypothesis was discovered for decades.  He was unable to link Corded Ware to the Indo-Europeans of the Balkans, Greece or Anatolia, and neither to the Indo-Europeans in Asia. Nevertheless, establishing the correct relationship between the Corded Ware and Pontic-Caspian regions is still considered essential to solving the entire homeland problem. 
While the Kurgan scenario is widely accepted as one of the leading answers to the question of Indo-European origins, it is still a speculative model, not normative. The main alternative suggestion is the theory of Colin Renfrew and Vyacheslav V. Ivanov, postulating an Anatolian Urheimat, and the spread of the Indo-European languages as a result of the spread of agriculture. Andrew Colin Renfrew Baron Renfrew of Kaimsthorn (b in Stockton-on-Tees) is an English Archaeologist, noted for his work on the Radiocarbon revolution Vyacheslav Vsevolodovich Ivanov (born 21 August 1929 Moscow) is a prominent Soviet / Russian Philologist and Indo-Europeanist probably The Anatolian hypothesis is also called Renfrew's NDT; it proposes that the dispersal ( Discontinuity) of Proto-Indo-Europeans originated in Neolithic Agriculture refers to the production of goods through the growing of plants and fungi and the raising of domesticated Animals The study of agriculture This belief implies a significantly older age of the Proto-Indo-European language (ca. 9,000 years as opposed to ca. 6,000 years), and among traditional linguists finds rather less support than the Kurgan theory, on grounds of glottochronology (though this method is widely rejected as invalid by mainstream historical linguistics), since the PIE language contained words for devices especially related to cattle-breeding and riding invented not earlier than the 5th millennium BC by nomadic tribes in Asian steppes, and because there are some difficulties in correlating the geographical distribution of the Indo-European branches with the advance of agriculture. Glottochronology refers to methods in Historical linguistics used to estimate the time at which languages diverged based on the assumption that the basic (core vocabulary of
A study in 2003 by Russell Gray and Quentin Atkinson at the University of Auckland, using a computer analysis based upon lexical data, favours an earlier date for Proto-Indo-European than assumed by the Kurgan model, ca. the 7th millennium consistent with Renfrew's Anatolian Urheimat. Their result is based on maximum likelihood analysis of Swadesh lists. A Swadesh list is one of several lists of vocabulary with "basic" meanings developed by Morris Swadesh in the 1940-50s which is used in Lexicostatistics Their results run counter to many accepted categorizations of linguistic relations between the different branches within the Indo-European languages tree, and claim the Hittite language to be 9,000 years old which does not hold up with the linguistic and correspondent archeological evidence as the earliest forms of Hittite contained words for wheel, cart, and chariot, which had not yet been invented at that date.
According to Gimbutas's hypothesis, the reconstructed linguistic evidence suggests that the Indo-Europeans were horse-riding warriors who used thrusting weapons and could easily overrun other areas, and did do so insofar as central Europe is concerned, around the fourth-fifth millennia BC. On the techno-cultural level, the Kurgan people were essentially at a pastoral stage. Discounting this equation, Renfrew (1999: 268) holds that on the European scene mounted warriors appear only as late as the turn of the second-first millennia BC and these could in no case have been Gimbutas's Kurgan warriors predating the facts by some 2,000 years. Mallory (1989, p136) also joins in here and enumerates linguistic evidence pointing to PIE period employment of horses in paired draught, something that would not have been possible before the invention of the spoked wheel and chariot, normally dated after about 2500 BC. According to Krell (1998), Gimbutas' homeland theory is completely incompatible with the linguistic evidence. Krell compiles lists of items of flora, fauna, economy, and technology that archaeology has accounted for in the Kurgan culture and compares it with lists of the same categories as reconstructed by traditional historical-Indo-European linguistics. Krell finds major discrepancies between the two, and underlines the fact that we cannot presume that the reconstructed term for 'horse', for example, referred to the domesticated equid in the protoperiod just because it did in later times. It could originally have referred to a wild equid, a possibility that would undermine the mainstay of Gimbutas's arguments that the Kurgan culture first domesticated the horse and used this new technology to spread surrounding areas, thus spreading the Indo-European languages (Bryant 2004:40).
On the linguistic turf, there comes a severe attack by Kathrin Krell (1998) who finds a great incongruity between the terms found in the reconstructed Indo-European language and the cultural level met with in the kurgans. For example, Krell holds that the Indo-Europeans had reached an agricultural level whereas the Kurgan people were just at a pastoral stage. There are others, like Mallory and Schmitt, who are equally critical of Gimbutas’s hypothesis. 
Frederik Kortlandt (comparative linguistics, university Leiden) proposes a revision of the Kurgan model. Frederik Herman Henri (Frits Kortlandt ( June 19 1946, Utrecht, The Netherlands) is a professor of descriptive and comparative Linguistics He states the main objection which can be raised against Gimbutas' scheme (e. g. , 1985: 198) is that it starts from the archaeological evidence and looks for a linguistic interpretation. Starting from the linguistic evidence and trying to fit the pieces into a coherent whole, he arrives at the following picture: The territory of the Sredny Stog culture in the eastern Ukraine he calls the most convincing candidate for the original Indo-European homeland. The Sredny Stog culture (named after the Ukrainian village of Serednyi Stih where it was first located for which Sredny Stog is the conventional Russian-language designation The Indo-Europeans who remained after the migrations to the west, east and south (as described by Mallory 1989) became speakers of Balto-Slavic, while the speakers of the other satem languages would have to be assigned to the Yamnaya horizon, and the western Indo-Europeans to the Corded Ware horizon. The Kurgan hypothesis (also theory or model) is a model of early Indo-European origins, which postulates that the Kurgan culture of the Pontic steppe The Yamna (from Russian / Ukrainian яма "pit" also known as Pit Grave or Ochre Grave culture) is a late copper age /early The Corded Ware culture, alternatively characterized as the Battle Axe culture or Single Grave culture is an enormous European Archaeological horizon that Returning to the Balts and the Slavs, their ancestors should be correlated to the Middle Dnieper culture. Then, following Mallory (pp197f) and assuming the origin of this culture to be sought in the Sredny Stog, Yamnaya and Late Tripolye cultures, he proposes the course of these events corresponds with the development of a satem language which was drawn into the western Indo-European sphere of influence. The Cucuteni culture, better known in the countries of the former Soviet Union as Trypillian culture or Tripolie culture, is a late Neolithic
According to Frederik Kortlandt, there seems to be a general tendency to date proto-languages farther back in time than is warranted by the linguistic evidence. However, if the Indo-Hittite and Indo-European could be correlated with the beginning and the end of the Sredny Stog culture, respectively, he states that the linguistic evidence from the overall Indo-European family does not lead us beyond Gimbutas' secondary homeland, so that the Khvalynsk culture on the middle Volga and the Maykop culture in the northern Caucasus cannot be identified with the Indo-Europeans. The Khvalynsk culture was an Eneolithic (copper age culture of the first half of the 5th millennium BC discovered at Khvalynsk on the Volga in Saratov The Maykop culture, ca 3500 BC &mdash 2500 BC, is a major Bronze Age archaeological culture situated in Southern Russia running from Any proposal which goes beyond the Sredny Stog culture must start from the possible affinities of Indo-European with other language families. Taken into account the typological similarity of Proto-Indo-European to the North-West Caucasian languages and assuming this similarity can be attributed to areal factors, Frederik Kortlandt thinks of Indo-European as a branch of Uralo-Altaic which was transformed under the influence of a Caucasian substratum. Such events would be supported by archaeological evidence and locate the earliest ancestors of the speakers of Proto-Indo-European north of the Caspian Sea in the seventh millennium (cf. Mallory 1989: 192f. ), essentially in agreement with Gimbutas’ theory.