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In Search of the Indo-Europeans

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  571 Ratings  ·  30 Reviews
An archaeological and linguistic monograph on the origins and expansion of the Indo-European
Paperback, 288 pages
Published April 1st 1991 by Thames & Hudson (first published January 1st 1989)
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Maya
Feb 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: indo-european
This is the third time that I read this book since I bought it last year. Every time I read it I discover something new. Its an amazing book for anyone interested in the Indo-Europeans.

The book is written from the point of view of an archeologist who has knowledge of historical linguistic methods. For dating the author uses dendrochronology and radiocarbon dating. He tells the story of how the Indo-Europeans where discovered, and then takes you on a journey to find out who are they in Asia, and
...more
Individualfrog
Generally speaking, I don't read toward any purpose, I read just to read. But now and again I read to learn something. When I do, though, I very rarely read a book cover-to-cover, but rather flip around gathering bits like an unsystematic magpie. I have books I've owned for decades, on topics I'm fascinated by, which I've probably not read the majority of, and certainly have never read in sequence, or even thought about doing so. But for whatever reason, I did read this book front to back. I tri ...more
Christopher
Aug 13, 2007 rated it really liked it
While superseded to some degree by David W. Anthony’s The Horse, the Wheel and Language, J.P. Mallory’s In Search of the Indo-Europeans is fine reading for those interested in the people who spoke the ancestor of most tongues of Europe and western Asia. While scholars have carefully reconstructed a proto-language, the identity of its speakers and their geographical origin remain a mystery, and J.P. Mallory shows what is currently thought in the field.

Mallory begins by tracing the historical deve
...more
Lee Drake
Feb 25, 2007 rated it it was ok
This wasn't the greatest book in the world. Mallory basically argues through holes in Indo-European theories. While it ties together archaeological and linguistic evidence, it is ultimately unsatisfying and doesn't really take a strong stance on when, where, and how all these languages spread.
Paul
Nov 05, 2010 rated it liked it
Sometimes interesting treatment of the people whose language is now spoken in all its derivatives by some two billion people, from India and Iran to the Americas. Horsemen, herders, pastoral nomads, poets, the Indo-Europeans came out of the mists of history and named the world.
Volsung
This book (an essential resource in the field) excels for its breadth of coverage, and its scholarly caution: the major theories are given attention, and even where the author favors one solution as more likely than another, adequate space is always given to counter-arguments which have been proposed for a given issue.(Were the Indo-Europeans ultimately, via the migrating Indo-Aryans, ultimately responsible for the introduction of the horse-drawn chariot to the Near East; how does Dumezil's theo ...more
Grace
To be honest, I didn't actually read this book all the way through--I kinda skimmed it and studied the charts and photos. Fascinating stuff, though, and I may read it more completely at a later date. It seems a rather scholarly work, a little dry perhaps, unless you're really into archeology and historical linguistics.
Matthew Young
Dec 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
Linguistic approach, good introduction to the topic. I would have liked genetics to have played a bigger role in Mallory's analysis, and it is becoming old, given the rapid evolution of its field.
Chris Godwin
Feb 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Chris by: ADF
I really enjoyed this work by J.P. Mallory which is an important read for those who are looking to know more about the cultures of their ancestors. Mallory initially enumerates the various IE cultures starting from Asia and ending with the Celts.

I really enjoyed his understanding of the PIE religion relating to the horse and cattle raiding. I found the parts about the stone axes and PIE burials very fascinating. When Mallory tested the Georges Dumezil’s Tripartite theory I began to see the vario
...more
Chad
Jun 23, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read for ADF dedicant path.

Mostly archeology, some language, very little myth.

Lots of descriptions of what kinds if pots where buried where and when with lots if caveats about how, without written records, it's guesswork to match material cultures with reconstructed languages anyway. So, no firm answers.

I was mostly interested in the reconstructed mythology, but it was a very short chapter, most of which seemed to be spent criticizing Dumezil's three functions hypothesis.

I was hoping for a mor
...more
Nevzat
Aug 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
it is always fun and informative to read about the problems faced in different science fields and solutions of those problems.

I had very little knowledge in reconstruction of cultures based on linguistical and archeological findings and very little idea of the problems archeologists and linguists face. I think the most satisfactory aspect of this book is not that it gives a brief summary of Indo-European studies but it does that with proper science ethics. besides drawing a good picture of this
...more
Plucino
Jun 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
"A very good introduction to an ancestral tongue"

Mallory employs linguistics and archeology to support the idea that several dozen modern and extinct languages descended from an Indo-European ancestral "tongue" (a reconstructed tongue).

The book is well documented, exhaustive, consistent: for every language or language branch, you will find a sample text and a map.
Non-indoeuropean languages / language groups are also introduced when relevant (for instance Kartvelian or North Picene).

I warmly sugg
...more
Allen
May 31, 2013 rated it liked it
I hated to rate it a 3 but it was tough sledding all the way...to nowhere. It was like reading a scientific review article, which I guess is what it really was. Everything that was known or believed about the original centre of the Proto Indo European language homeland to about 25 years ago was included. Every side of every argument. On and on and on forever...to no conclusion. It would be interesting to read a revised version which has the last 25 years included in it. At least now I can give i ...more
Patrice
Jan 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is a really fabulous book that seeks to discover who the Indo Europeans were and where they settled. I particularly liked it because it did not make leaps. The authors are honest about what is and isn't known. It was assigned reading for a class at the Oriental Institute of Chicago, which is the premier place for scholarly research of the near east. It's a great book!
TR
Fairly well done for what it is: a relatively recent synthesis of the IE theories that are still acceptable to mainstream anthropologists. Read also Tilak's Arctic Home in the Vedas, Haudry's The Indo-Europeans, and Evola's Revolt Against the Modern World for fascinating insights on the facts in this book.
Catherine
Jan 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: history, favorites
Fascinating overview of linguistic and archaeological evidence for who the Indo-Europeans were and where they came from. Raises more questions than it answers, but it seems safe to say we don't have all the answers - made me want to move to Ukraine and start digging. Yes, it's a bit dry, but I like dry.
Debeehr
Jan 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history, nonfiction
A sweeping overview of linguistic and archaeological evidence for the homeland of the indo-European language family. This is definitely a scholarly and academic work, and may be somewhat inaccessible to those without such a background.
IMPERIVM
Apr 10, 2016 rated it it was ok
Almost entirely a linguistic trek through Indo-European culture, mostly handling the homeworld problem, but describing some of the burial customs and horse rituals.
Samantha
Aug 01, 2011 rated it liked it
An interesting exploration of the Indo-European origins and culture. A little bogged down by the linguistic archeology, but interesting none the less.
Diana
Dec 13, 2012 marked it as to-read
J.P.Mallory
Matthew
Apr 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
Because of its easy approach to the subject, I never felt bogged down by the drabness of the topic at hand. Makes me wish I had studied linguistics a bit more at university.
Mariah
Mar 06, 2009 marked it as to-read
Mpls Central Library has this: P525.M35 1989
Roar
Sep 01, 2012 rated it liked it
Thought it was interesting, but maybe not bed time reading!
Isaura
Jul 28, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mythology, archeology
While I did really like this book for the information it gave, it was slow going to get through it all, and I just wish Mallory had a little less dense writing style.
Sebastian
Not the lightest read as a lot of the content is the author arguing various points without framing the argument too well first. Has a lot of interesting points, though.
Spencer Clevenger
Apr 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Great scholarship on a linguistic group. As a lover of Greek history, this book greatly expanded my knowledge.
Luis Elias
rated it it was amazing
Feb 23, 2017
Hester
rated it it was amazing
Aug 25, 2012
Ver Delivres
rated it really liked it
Aug 23, 2013
Jim
rated it it was amazing
Sep 15, 2017
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James Patrick Mallory is an Irish-American archaeologist and Indo-Europeanist. Mallory is a professor at the Queen's University, Belfast.

Born in 1945, Mallory received his A.B. in History from Occidental College in California in 1967, then served three years in the US Army as a military police sergeant. He received his Ph.D. in Indo-European studies from UCLA in 1975. He has held several posts at
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