• Part of
    Ubiquity Network logo
    Contact us Submit a book proposal

    Read Chapter
  • No readable formats available
  • Celto-Germanic and North-West Indo-European vocabulary: Resonances in myth and rock art iconography

    John T. Koch

    Chapter from the book: Larsson, J et al. 2024. Indo-European Interfaces: Integrating Linguistics, Mythology and Archaeology.

    Buy Paperback

    The chapter develops historical linguistic work undertaken as part of a four-year cross-disciplinary project funded by the Swedish Research Council. New evidence tracing metals in Bronze Age artefacts has revealed that Scandinavia was in trade contact with metal-rich regions in Wales and the Iberian Peninsula, as well as the Italian Alps. This new knowledge leads to reopening two long-known, but poorly explained phenomena: (1) a large body of inherited vocabulary shared by Celtic and Germanic languages, but not Indo-European generally, and (2) detailed similarities shared by the Bronze Age rock art of Scandinavia and the “warrior” stelae of the Iberian Peninsula. In the past, the Celto-Germanic words have been explained as reflecting contacts in Central Europe from 500 BC down to the Roman period. However, that dating seemed possibly too late as many of the words pre-dated Grimm’s Law and lacked earmarks as loanwords, looking instead like inheritances from Proto-Indo-European with limited geographic distributions. Recent archaeogenetic discoveries have also undermined the once prevalent view that only non-Indo-European languages were spoken in Ireland, Britain, Brittany and western Iberia until ~1000 BC or later. Therefore, we now pursue the hypothesis that shared rock art motifs and Celto-Germanic words can be better explained as reflections of the ideology and language of highly mobile Bronze Age warrior/traders who brought copper from Atlantic and Central Europe to metal-poor Scandinavia. The Celto-Germanic word stock highlighted in this paper has to do with myths, beliefs, ideology and their possible resonances in rock art iconography.

    Chapter Metrics:

    How to cite this chapter
    Koch, J. 2024. Celto-Germanic and North-West Indo-European vocabulary: Resonances in myth and rock art iconography. In: Larsson, J et al (eds.), Indo-European Interfaces. Stockholm: Stockholm University Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.16993/bcn.j

    This chapter distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution + Noncommercial 4.0 license. Copyright is retained by the author(s)

    Peer Review Information

    This book has been peer reviewed. See our Peer Review Policies for more information.

    Additional Information

    Published on June 11, 2024


    comments powered by Disqus