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  PREFACE  2017 


    The world of science is inspired to dig up data that contains information about the past, and had become good at it, but interpreting the information is another thing, that requires a mind that can see all the possibilities and find the most probable one.
    The interpreting of all the information about the past in the various sciences concerned with the past, has lagged behind. There is now far more information than was available only a century ago. But  who is looking at this information and interpreting it? I was surpised to discover just how much information can be found about the prehistoric past, if you look for it in scientific papers - now readily available on the internet. There are maps and pictures too. But it takes a creative person to process the accumulated information and discover the story it tells about the past. History has shown how important it is for a scientist to have a creative mind. How was Einstein able to discover theories that contemporaries with the same information and even more mathematical skills was able. We can go back to Leonardo da Vinci whose inventive mind not only made him an artist but an inventor of brilliant ideas in the realm of science and engineering.
   I  became interested in the prehistory of northern Europe aleady when I was a teenager and was interested in my own northern European roots.It was purely a diversion, not part of any educational programme. But I was a graduate of Applied Science at the University of Toronto, and had access to the university library, and I used it to access books in all applicable fields - wherever the research took me.,
    But I discovered that the academic world had basically ignored the history and prehistory of northern peoples of aboriginal origins. Most academia in our Western civilization is and has always been interested in the expansion of southeast Europe's civilizations. Academia had assumed the typical thinking of European civilization - that early people, aboriginal, prehistoric, people were irrelevant, like animals of the wilderness, and so prehistory and history was constructed on the assumption that, for all intents and purposes, regions with the indigenous hunter-gather peoples were empty.
    This perspective had major consequences. Humans everywhere have always been evolving, and aboriginal peoples do not necessarily remain children of the wilderness.  In the case of northern Europe, the aboriginal peoples along their southern frontier were in contact with settled farming peoples moving into continental Europe in the search for farmlands, and these peoples interracted with one another, and learned of each others ways of life. Thus the hunter-gatherers both borrowed useful practices from the south, and more importantly took their own initiatives, such as turning their nomadic life with canoes into a profession of being long distance shippers for the settled peoples who could not travel far from their settlement.
    If we take the original North America, as observed by Europeans a few centuries ago, for example, and note how towards the south, where climate was favourable, the aboriginal peoples developed civilizations - such as the Aztecs, Mayans, and many others across the southern regions about which archeologists are most familiar. If we transfer such observations to Europe, it is clear that aboriginal hunter-gatherers actually began the celebrated southeast European civilization. For example, tje Sumerian civilizations would have arisen from aboriginal peoples, from hunter-gatherers. Looking towards the west, it has been suggested that the civilization that created megalithic constructions in southern Spain about 7,000 years ago, was actually created by seagoing boat peoples ultimately originating in the seas north of the British Isles and west of arctic Norway.  In other words, the traditional belief that somehow northern aboriginal peoples can be excluded from the history of development of Europe is a major error.
    This attitude that aboriginal peoples can be ignored resulted in for example, the early reconstruction of events associated with the development of the "Uralic Language Family" pictured the languages arising at the Urals and migrating westward, as if the regions into which they migrated was vacant and the immigrants did not have to deal with indigenous peoples. Archeology since the 1960's reveals that when the world climate was rapidly warming around 12,000 years ago, and the lands formerly under Ice Age glaciers where freed from under ice, but also flooded with glacial meltwater, decendants of reindeer peoples had to convert to a new way of life hunting-gathering in a wetland environment and abandoning walking on tundra, to using canoes.  When this boat-based way of life was mastered, these people expanded quickly through the water highways as far as the Urals and beyond. (The archeological find called the Shigir statue - a wooden board/pole with a portrait of a man's face at the top - was found in a bog, and as carved with beaver teeth, and that can only mean it was made by such boat peoples. The statue has been dated to 11,000 consistent with archeological estimations of the date of the beginnings of the archeological "Maglemose" and "Kunda" cultures at the Baltic.
    Therefore the entire area was inhabited, and therefore IF a new language began at the Urals, then it did NOT spread into a vacant land. Speakers of a new language, and a new genetics (such as the N1c1-haplogroup in men) did not expand into a vacant land, but expanded into lands inhabited by the Maglemose/Kunda boat peoples, and therefore, the foreign language and genes could only INFLUENCE that of the established inhabitants.
   Linguistics can only determine relationships between modern languages and the methodology is based on the assumption that languages separated from contact with one another, diverge from one another, and that causes a language family to develop an array of descendant languages. However linguistics has no methodology to deal with two different languages coming together and influencing one another.Thus, any reconstrucion of past events by linguists is well, as if it was done by amateurs.  If we actually look at what archeology and population genetics reveals, and we DO NOT assume that the boat peoples inhabiting the Kama, Volga, etc were irrelevant or not event there, then we MUST view the modern picture of linguistic relationships as the result of plain interraction between the language of the boat peoples who arrived at the Urals, and the language of the reindeer people in the Urals at that time.  In other words, the modern observation of the "Uralic Languages" involving languages of both boat peoples (="Finno-Ugric") and reindeer peoples (="Samoyedic"), is not the result of divergence from an imagined "Uralic" parent, but the interractions between the boat peoples and reindeer peoples at the Urals about 11,000 years ago.
    The interractions would have decreased with distance, so there would have been a diffusion of influences, decreasing with distance, along the major waterways. (We can also add the diffusion of the N-haplogroups too) Add to this the natural in situ dialectic divergence caused by barriers fo communication - the Ural Mountains between the Kama-Pechora rivers and the Ob-River, and the boundaries of water systems Kama vs Volga, Volga vs Baltic. Thus what linguists percieved was a combination of natural in situ dialectic divergence, and the natural diffusion of the consequences of interractions between the boat peoples and reindeer peoples about at the middle Urals.
    But the point here is,. that because a century ago when the linguists were considering the real world events asociated with linguistic change, early peoples were not considered to be relevant, they did not even consider the fact that the regions into which the migrating languages were entering were already inhabited. While it is certainly possible that very powerful peoples, especially coming with armies, could dominated indigenous peoples, and force their language onto the natives, - like for example Romans imposing Latin on Western Europe, or Goths imposing Germanic on natives in the original Scandinavia -  the reality was that the reindeer peoples at the Urals were not superior, not able to dominate, the boat peoples. In fact the reindeer peoples in the Urals were in a weak state, as their way of life was threatened by the warming climate. The boat peoples had the superior way of life for the warm, wet, landscape.
    When I was looking for information about the aboriginal peoples of northern Europe, I generally found only some footnotes about the north having had "hunter gatherers", nothing more.  The academic world was basically ignorant about the history of the aboriginal north, or simply did not care to know. This ignorance, as I say, comes from thinking of aboriginal peoples as irrelevant, like animals of the wilderness,  completely passive, easily conquered and assimilated.  Aboriginal peoples, even those identified by archeology, the scholars assume, had absolutely nothing to do with European history. In order for aboriginal people to be recognized, they have to begin to behave in some kind of civilized manner. For example Europeans would today never regard Estonians or Finns as aboriginal people to be ignored, because they are extremely integrated into European civilization, including having their own political nations in Europe.
    In earlier times, Europeans had an excuse for ignoring aboriginal peoples. There was little information about them. Unitl the development of archeology, European civilization obtained information about the past from ancient Greek or Roman texts.   While Julius Caesar wrote about the peoples of western Europe and Britain before he conquered it for the Roman Empire, little if anything was revealed about those peoples. Caesar wrote at the beginning of his account of his campaign to conquer western Europe or "Gaul", that it was divided in three each with its own 'language, laws, and institutions" - the Belgae in the northeast, the Aquitani in the southwest and the Celtae in the center. (Later Roman political division of Gaul suggests that the Belgae tribes may have originated from boat peoples because they appear to have been associated with the northern coasts, and possibly were traders in the Rhine; the Aquitani without question were defined by the Garonne River, and the Celtae appeared to belong to the Loire River water system which reached into the highlands of central Gaul.)
    Originally Europeans had few ways of even learning about these ancient texts. Only the Roman Catholic clergy learned  Latin and Greek and were able to read the ancient texts, copied one at a time by monks, before there was any printing. As a result, myths developed about the past, and every nationalistic people tried to rationalize a connection back to ancient heros. In addition much of what was written was not understood. When Romans spoke about Europe, it was originally in terms of geographically defined regions. Gaul was the region west of the Rhine, and Germania was the region east of the Rhine but north of the Danube as far east as the Vistula. Beyond the Vistula was Sarmatia, and above Sarmatia, behind the east Baltic was Scythia. These were not vast political empires but numerous small tribes and kingdoms never any larger than what a king could rule from his palace. The Romans were probably the first to introduce a heirarchical government that permitted the central power to rule a vast area of many tribes. Europe was originally held together more by the bonds of trade than by political power and enforcement. The Aquitani for example, were united by the Garonne River. The port and market at the mouth was the de facto capital. The common language, laws and institutions were determined more by common acceptance of them than it being imposed by central laws. Of course on the smaller scale each of the divisions would be comprised of numerous independent tribes each with their chiefs and council. The original practice for dealing with a matter of collective interest was to form a council of all the chiefs, with the chief of the strongest assuming leadership.
    Thus even in the region of Gaul there was no central political power over the three divisions. Those three divisions were shaped by the river being shared. Without those rivers and coasts, the many independent tribes would have little interraction with one another, and a common trade language within the water system would not develop.
    It was only with the rise of archeology, that Europeans became increasingly aware of the earlier Europe, but still, the glamour of ancient Greece and Rome, motivated various peoples to look for inspiring interpretations.  When archeology found objects identified as "Celtic" located in many locations around Europe, the notion that they arrive there by trade, did not occur to them. So as not to be upstaged by the Roman Empire, Celtic scholars began claiming there was a Celtic Empire before the Roman Empire, and the three divisions of Gaul became Celtic, and it did not matter that Caesar had stated that each of the divisions had their own language. The Aquitani, Belgae, were claimed to have been "Celtic" without there being any evidence.  The Romans had called the Roman Gaul they created "Gallia", and that was an alternative name for "Celtae". So they said all of Gaul was Celtic because of the name.
    The same distortions were applied to the region Romans called Germania. The myth developed, and still prevails, that there was a giant Germanic nation or empire from the Rhine to the Vistula, when the reality was that there was never even any tribe called Germans. But the Romans had no interest in the region from the Rhine to the Vistula because it was mostly Oder and Vistula swamps.  The Germanic cultures were represented by the people Tacitus called Chatti, which can be interpreted as the same as Göta - "Goth"  He described them in his Germania of 98AD to be practically worshipping war, and having by then already marched north and conquered the Cherusci and Fosi tribes to their north. We can infer from Tacitus and other information that the Germanic language and culture did not begin to spread north until that time, nor for that matter the Goths began to make military excursions east or south.
    If we are to evaluate the region the Romans called Germania, we can find from Tacitus that it was divided between marsh, river, and coast peoples in the Jutland Peninsula, southern Sweden, the south Baltic along the Oder River Valley and the Vistula Valley.  These were the peoples Tacitus wrote comprised independent tribes with common customs, which collectively could be called Suebi. We might consider that the Suebic language may belong to descendants of the original boat peoples thousands of years earlier, and we might speculate that these tribes of the marshes and lowlands may be speaking a Finnic language. There is much merit in the idea that because farming peoples needed high ground and fertile soils, that in general farming peoples were not interested in the wetlands, rivers, lakes, and coasts of the descendants of the "Maglemose" boat peoples., It follows that with so little interest  in the parts of Germania, that had been under the glaciers - the UIRALA - that the original peoples kept perpetuating the language and culture (allowing natural dialectic change of course).
    In addition to Tacitus, the Greek geographer Ptolemy also  wrote about the geographic region of Germania, but he failed to mention many of the tribes near the coast. It appears that Ptolemy had the benefit of the information collected some decades after Tacitus' time, by a Roman survey party that marched eastward in the interior through the farming settlements. As a result Ptolemy presents mostly settlement names in the interior highlands beyond the river valley swamps. Few if any of the names associated with the interior settlements names by Ptolemy can be interpreted via Finnic, but the tribe named of the  Oder Valley and  Jutland Peninsula, in Tacitus' time  yielded easily to interpreting with Finnic.

    Today, there is no excuse for anyone to be ignorant about the aboriginal past of Europe.
    Today it is possible to make refined interpretations of the past because we now have a wealth of information coming from all the sciences. More importantly because of all the literature that has accumulated originally in books and articles, but now published and spread on the internet, it is possible to reconstruct the past much more accurately and in much greater detail than anytime before. Most importantly, the peoples before ancient Greece and Rome are no longer as hidden as they once were. We know much more about the peoples that were in Europe before the Roman Empire.
    Science has reconstructed how the Ice Age covered Europe, how it receded, and how humans responded to the changes, and repopulated the regions formerly covered by the glaciers. The main purpose of the UIRALA project I have followed for years, actually beginning as early as 1970's, has been to look at all the accumulated new information available from archeology and other sciences, and to organize it to find the story that it all tells. The story that has not been possible to tell earlier when we did not have the sciences looking into the past.
   In this pursuit, I began to see that contrary to traditional assumptions that the aboriginal peoples were passive and irrelevant, they actually were at the foundations of European civilization.  From adapting to the flooded lands below the glaciers they became accustomed to making and using boats and living a nomadic life moving from campsite to campsite in their annual rounds. Thus when farming settlements developed containing people who were tied to one place, some of these northern boat peoples saw an opportunity to move goods from settlement to settlement, from where they were inexpensive to where they were valuable, and making a living from the difference. Professional traders developed, who others and perhaps they themselves, called 'boat peoples' (Finnic Livonians some centuries agocalled the Wends, and Votes, by the term VENEDE, also valid today in Estonian, which means '(people) of the boats' Clearly the Livonians did not use that word because that was the name of the Wends, but it was a generic refence to the long distance traders with their boats, and it included the Russ who travelled the rivers to the Black Sea.)


     The term "Uirala" is one I invented to describe the lands flooded by the melting glaciers and to which former reindeer peoples adapted by creating a new way of life involving hunting in the flooded landscape and developing the use of boats.

11,000 years ago, climate like today, but glaciers still half melted, and the landscape flooded. The purple dotted line represents the original extent of the glaciers, so that the region we can call "UIRALA" would be the green region within the purple dotted line. The intention of the green tone is to show also the lowlands that were affected by the glacier melting: Waters of the glaciers draining to the Black Sea via the Danube, Dneiper and Volga, and the Ob River at one stage draining glacier water southward and then northward from glaciers melting in the mountains of central Asia. We can thus expand pur concept of "Uirala" to those glacier drainage water basins. It is through all these flooded lands into which humans had to adapt, by both learning to hunt and gather aquatic animals and plants, and to move around in dugout and skin boats since travelling far on foot was now impossible now that the solid open tundra plains were gone everywhere other than in northeast Siberia.

    The term "Uirala" is created by me,  inspired by words from Finnic languages - Estonian and Finnish - simply because most of the area released from from under the glacers, and being depressed and flooded, have contained peoples speaking Finnic languages. (the larger grouping of languages in called "Finno-Ugric", the "Finnic" to the west and "Ugric"  towards the east beyond the Ural Mountains. But these terms and the languages they describe are modern ones. While we can from historical texts project  these modern languages backward perhaps a couple of millenia. But the traditional "Uralic Language Family" theory places the origins of the family about 5,000 years ago, which is 5000 years since the beginning of the development and expansion of the boat peoples. It has always been understood that if there was an expansion of the "Uralic" languages (including "Finno-Ugric") from an Uralic origin, that it occurred after the expansion of the boat peoples. That would mean the "Uralic" languages would have been a linguistic layer on top of the established language(s) of the boat peoples.
    The nature of these established boat peoples and their language has always been a thorn in the side of the traditional "Uralic Languages Theory". Later I will show that the languages that comprise the "Uralic" family could have arisen from the original expansion, with dialectic subdivision creating the different linguistic groups, instead of migrations. Complicating the story of simple dialectic subdivision of boat peoples is the reality that at the time the boat peoples expanded from the Baltic to the Urals, reindeer peoples of Asian origins were migrating north into the  Urals, which means there was a meeting of two cultures. This meeting would have caused the mixing of cultures, genetics, and language, Thus what the linguists seemed to see as an east-to-west movement of reindeer people N-haplogroups, and a hybrid language from the meeting, can simply be a diffusion with some dialectic boundaries, that can falsely be interpreted as a sequence of  migrations. The approach of diffusion and dialectic subdivision does not require creating the problem of a new language being layered over an unknown established language.
    Linguists and population geneticists do not wish to consider the founding layer of boat peoples because it challenges a deeply entrenched theory invented a century ago by linguists that claimed a migration west from the Urals rather than the reverse always presented by the archeological story.

A.P.  2017

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