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The Horse, the Wheel, and Language: How Bronze-Age Riders from the Eurasian Steppes Shaped the Modern World Paperback – August 15, 2010

4.3 out of 5 stars 248 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A thorough look at the cutting edge of anthropology, Anthony's book is a fascinating look into the origins of modern man.", Publishers Weekly

"The Horse, the Wheel, and Language brings together the work of historical linguists and archaeologists, researchers who have traditionally been suspicious of each other's methods. Though parts of the book will be penetrable only by scholars, it lays out in intricate detail the complicated genealogy of history's most successful language."---Christine Kenneally, International Herald Tribune

"David W. Anthony argues that we speak English not just because our parents taught it to us but because wild horses used to roam the steppes of central Eurasia, because steppedwellers invented the spoked wheel and because poetry once had real power. . . . Anthony is not the first scholar to make the case that Proto-Indo-European came from this region [Ukraine/Russia], but given the immense array of evidence he presents, he may be the last one who has to.... The Horse, the Wheel, and Language brings together the work of historical linguists and archaeologists, researchers who have traditionally been suspicious of each other's methods. [The book] lays out in intricate detail the complicated genealogy of history's most successful language."---Christine Kenneally, The New York Times Book Review

"In its integration of language and archaeology, this book represents an outstanding synthesis of what today can be known with some certainty about the origin and early history of the Indo-European languages. In my view, it supersedes all previous attempts on the subject."---Kristian Kristiansen, Antiquity

"A key book."---David Keys, Independent

"The Horse, the Wheel and Language maps the early geography of the Russian steppes to re-create the lost world of Indo-European culture that is as fascinating as any mystery novel."---Arthur Krim, Geographical Reviews

"Winner of the 2010 Book Award, Society for American Archaeology"

"David Anthony's book is a masterpiece. A professor of anthropology, Anthony brings together archaeology, linguistics, and rare knowledge of Russian scholarship and the history of climate change to recast our understanding of the formation of early human society."---Martin Walker, Wilson Quarterly

"In the age of Borat it may come as a surprise to learn that the grasslands between Ukraine and Kazakhstan were once regarded as an early crucible of civilisation. This idea is revisited in a major new study by David Anthony.", Times Higher Education

"Starting with a history of research on Proto-Indo-Europeans and exploring how this field for obvious reasons assumed an ethno-political dimension early on, leading PIE scholar Anthony moves on to established facts . . . then shifts his focus to the interrelation of the three essential elements of horse, chariot, and language and how the first and second provided the means for the spread of Indo-European languages from India to Ireland. The bulk of the book contains the factual evidence, mainly archaeological, to support this argument. But a strength of the book is its rich historical linguistic approach. The combination of the two provides a remarkable work that should appeal to everyone with an interest not just in Indo-Europeans, but in the history of humanity in general."---K. Abdi, Dartmouth College, for, CHOICE

Review

"A very significant contribution to the field. This book attempts to resolve the longstanding problem of Indo-European origins by providing an examination of the most relevant linguistic issues and a thorough review of the archaeological evidence. I know of no study of the Indo-European homeland that competes with it."―J. P. Mallory, Queen's University, Belfast

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Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5
248 customer ratings
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Reviewed in the United States on September 30, 2016
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Reviewed in the United States on May 5, 2017
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Top international reviews

Philippa Berry
2.0 out of 5 stars A disturbingly sanitised account of a very violent epoch in prehistory
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 23, 2019
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Brian G Turner
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but with caveats
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 29, 2019
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Desmond J. Keenan
4.0 out of 5 stars ... class but on the number of people likely to enjoy it. It is for university students at least
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 7, 2015
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rob crawford
5.0 out of 5 stars a wonderful intellectual adventure in archaeology and linguistics
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 27, 2011
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S J S
5.0 out of 5 stars Review of "The Horse, the Wheel and Language: ...." by S.J.S.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 9, 2018
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S. Fr. Uys Rootenberg
5.0 out of 5 stars Prescient and pivotal
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 14, 2017
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Gautam Banerji
5.0 out of 5 stars An exhaustive analysis through archeological and linguistic sources, which ...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 8, 2016
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Muna
5.0 out of 5 stars Heroes & Poets
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 12, 2014
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Iain Shepherd
5.0 out of 5 stars fascinating but shame it was written before ancient DNA analysis
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 28, 2018
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Aw Boylston
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book but for the specialist
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 10, 2018
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Sian Plant
3.0 out of 5 stars A book of two halves
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 15, 2013
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flatroofstephen
5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly brilliant
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 30, 2018
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Hugo S.
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely brilliant. Complicated
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 26, 2015
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Hazel Davies
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating information.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 2, 2013
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 25, 2018
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