Sunday, June 5, 2016

The Western World in 300 Events: Event 17 - The Rise of Early Europe

Although the core of the history of Western Civilization was centred on Europe itself in ancient times (at least until the emergence of the Greeks and Romans) Europe was very much the backwater of the emerging world sphere of influence.
The first humans entered Europe about 50,000 years ago and by 10,000 BC an extensive network of tribes (often characterized by lighter skins – a favoured genetic mutation in colder climates) were dominant over what was essentially a peninsula of the Eurasian super continent.
A farming revolution between 7000-2000 BC allowed for a burgeoning of population and by 5000 BC the Proto-Indian-European Culture appeared to be widespread. Almost all the European languages branch out from this tradition  (a notable exception is the Basque population of Northern Spain and Southern France).
There was extensive trade between various communities with the domestication of horses playing an important role in the dynamic. 

Table 1 lists the various sub-groups that make up the European patchwork of people and their subsequent arrival on the geographical scene (dated by archaeological discoveries).

European People
Time Period
Iberian – Spain and Portugal
c. 5000 BC
Finnic – Settled Northern Russia, Finland, the Baltic Coast
c. 4000 BC. Language Divisions about 3000 BC
Proto-Uralic People - Ural Mountains in Modern Russia
c. 4000 BC
Proto-Baltic-Slavic – Settled Modern Lithuania and Latvia + several modern Slav regions.
c. 3000 BC
Germanic – Germany and Scandinavia (not including Finland)
c. 3000 BC
Thracians – European Turkey, Northern Greece, SE Balkans and Romania.
c. 1500 BC
Minoans – Crete and Greek Peninsula
c. 1500 BC
Celts – Central Europe + British Isles.
c. 1300-1000 BC
Illyrians – Modern Albania
c. 1300 BC
Scythians – Southern Russia and the Ukraine
c. 1000 BC
Slavs – Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Poland, former Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Romania and Albania.
c. 1000 BC
Magyars - Hungary
c. 1000 BC
Etruscans – Italian Peninsula. Most likely came from Anatolia (Modern Turkey)
800 BC

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