Marija Gimbutas had a detailed knowledge of the archaeology of prehistoric Europe and of the cultures of ‘Old Europe’ with their rich iconography of goddesses and gods, which she viewed as overwhelmed at the onset of the Bronze Age by the Kurgan invasion, an incursion of a new population from the East European steppe lands, north of the Black Sea. This she saw as the key impetus which brought Old Europe to an end, and which introduced to Europe a new population speaking early Indo-European languages.
The first Memorial Lecture will offer a critical review of the question of Indo-European language origins, and will highlight the contribution of one of the leading prehistorians of the twentieth century.
Genes, diseases, and migrations: what relationship? Indo-European expansions reconsidered
In this paper I attempt to define and interpret the driving forces behind the 3rd millennium migrations, based on a pastoral mode of production. Kinship system, traction technologies and diseases are evaluated, as well as Indo-European texts. Also a comparison with ethnographically know pastoral groups.