THE HORSE, THE WHEEL & LANGUAGE: How Bronze-Age Riders from the Eurasian Steppes shaped the Modern World by David W. Anthony

I found this book absolutely fascinating. Like many readers, I was drawn in by the first part of the book, by the first several chapters which deal with the linguistics issues of Proto-Indo-European (PIE).

It is remarkable that:

  1. scientists know when it was spoken ~ between (roughly) 4500 BCE and 2500 BCE
  2. scientists know where it was spoken ~ in the Pontic-Caspian Steppes, between the Black and Caspian seas.

It was fascinating to see how these people gradually transformed the steppes from a barrier between East & West (impossible to walk amongst waist-high grass) to a 6,000-mile trade route, by means of domesticating sheep, riding horses, inventing wheels, wagons, carts and chariots so that impenetrable grass became a highway for trade, which eventually became the Silk Road in the Middle Ages.

I was also fascinated to learn about the parallels between the RIG VEDA (Anonymous) and THE ILIAD (“Homer”). Yes, it is a university-level book, but fascinating nonetheless, and a very useful source of knowledge about life in the Steppes, Central Asia, Eastern Europe and the Middle East between 6000 BCE and 1600 BCE. Five stars.