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The Basques as Southern Descendants of Sea Peoples

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Author Topic: The Basques as Southern Descendants of Sea Peoples  (Read 142 times)
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« on: May 23, 2008, 01:13:42 am »

The Basques as Southern Descendants of Sea Peoples

I believe that all the Atlantic oceanic people originated from the same origins - the skin boat peoples who harvested the seas off the coast of arctic Norway. That was their training ground. Once they had mastered their way of life and their populations grew, some wandered south, discovered the British Isles, and then with continued success, some continued further south. Now finding themselves in regions with large trees, they could create ocean-going vessels again with wood.

That brings us to the question of the Basques. The Basques in recent centuries have been well known as harvesters of the Atlantic, including whaling in the waters off the North American coast from as early as the 16th century. It is easy to believe that they are descended from the same world of oceanic seafarers as the Picts, Norwegian "Finns", and the Inuit. One does not learn to be at home on the waters of the Atlantic overnight. (Similarly the Portuguese have the same origin, except that the coastal Portuguese have lost their original language in much the same way as the original people of the Norwegian coast did.)
The Basque language, is acknowledged to be pre-Indo-European. Some scholars assume that the Basques are descended from the original peoples of nearby regions dating back to the cave people who left art on cave walls. However, we have to recognize that there were two types of people during the pre-Indo-European civilization in Western Europe - the seagoing people and the interior people. The Basques display strong seafaring traditions, and therefore it is reasonable to propose that they are descended from the Atlantic seagoing peoples. This in turn implies that they are distantly related to Finnic and Inuit cultures, to the peoples of the expansion of boat-peoples. While it is possible the Basques learned whaling in the modern era, it is equally possible that the Basques have always known, and have had an ancient connection with peoples like the Greenland Inuit whalers. We don't know very much about what the Basques did in ancient times.
It happens that Basque presents some words that can be interpreted with Estonian. Not too many - otherwise linguists would already have made a connection common knowledge - but it is there. Reasoning the possibility of Estonian and Basques having a common origins, if the Basques originated from the earlier boat-people, the dugout people, and not the later oceanic skin-boat people, then the separation between Basque and the Finno-Ugric languages would have been maybe as much as 12,000 years, because that is when the "Maglemose" dugout-boat peoples began to expand. That amount of separation is far too great to find any similarlities at all. On the other hand, if the Basques emerged from oceanic hunters, then the linguistic distance would be less, less than 6000 years, dating back through arctic Norway and Lake Onega to the "Kunda" culture. In other words, if Basque roots lie at the same place as the roots of Inuit, that is going back to the whale hunters of the White Sea, then the common language is about the time of the Lake Onega or White Sea rock carvings, or about 6000 years ago. It follows that we SHOULD find the same nature of similarities between Estonian and Basque as between Estonian and Inuit, or other boat people descended from the same "Descendants of KALLU".
Would it be reflected in a comparison of Basque and Estonian?
A genetic connection between two languages cannot be proven by conventional comparative linguistic analysis if the two languages are more than about 3000 years apart. However the ability to find a great number of coincidences that are unlikely to have been borrowed from a mutual third language, has statistical significance. If there are coincidences better than what would occur by random chance, conclusions can be drawn from it. Let us do a short comparison of Basque and Estonian words. For more discussion about how reliable such comparisons may be, see the sidepanels in PART TWO.
The grammatical structure of Estonian and Basque are similar, having many case endings, for instance. But it is not close enough to merit discussion. Our intention here is not to make definitive linguistic discoveries, but to show that - along with the other evidence - comparing Basque with Finnic does not contradict our theory.
I will focus on words: I used a mere 1000 common Basque words as the source, and my own basic knowledge of Estonian words. I found that the majority of Basque words were obviously Basque versions of Romance names, borrowed from many centuries of influence from Romans and then French and Spanish. Thus if we eliminate the Romance words, we greatly reduce the number of usable Basque words.
From this limited word list I found a rate of coincidence with Estonian that is significantly greater than random chance. One has to recognize that the Basque words have to not only resemble Estonian words but the meanings have to resemble each other too. The probability of such double coincidence by random chance is very low. Usually, when bad comparisons are done, the analyst finds correspondence in the form, and then contrives an explanation to bring two meanings such as "insect" compared to "small" because an insect is small - such absurdity. You will not that in the following comparisons, the meanings are the same or very close.
Words I found include: Basque su 'fire', compared to Estonian süsi 'coal, ember', süüta 'fire up'; Basque oroi 'thought' compared to Estonian aru 'understanding'; Basque ama 'mother' compared to Estonian ema 'mother'; Basque uste 'believe' compared to Estonian usk 'belief', usu 'believe'; Basque ola 'place' vs Estonian ala 'field (of endeavour)'; Basque kale 'street' vs Estonian kald 'bank, shore' (ie original streets of boat people were rivers, shores); Basque ke 'smoke' vs Estonian kee 'boil'; Basque leku 'space' vs Estonian lage 'wide open (place)'; Basque hartu 'take' vs Estonian haara 'grab hold'; Basque ohar 'warning' vs Estonian oht 'danger'; Basque tira 'pull' vs Estonian tiri 'pull away, pull loose'; Basque gela 'room' vs Estonian küla 'living place, abode, settlement'; Basque lo 'sleeping' vs Estonian läbeb looja '(it, like the sun) sets, goes down, goes to sleep'; Basque marrubi 'strawberry' vs Estonian mari 'berry'; Basque txotx 'twig' vs Estonian oks 'branch''; Basque ohe 'bed' vs Estonian ase 'bed'; Basque osatu 'complete' vs Estonian osata 'without any part''; Basque or zakur 'dog' vs Estonian koer 'dog'; Basque jan 'eat' vs Estonian jänu 'thirst'; Basque jarraitu 'continue' or jarri 'become' vs Estonian järg 'continuation', järel 'remaining, to-come', etc; Basque giza 'human' vs Estonian keha 'body'; Basque haragi 'beef/meat' vs Estonian härg 'ox'; Basque izen 'name' vs Estonian ise(n) 'of oneself'; Basque lau 'straight' vs Estonian laud 'board, table' (ie straight piece of wood); Basque lasai 'calm' vs Estonian laisk 'lazy' or lase 'let go'; Basque ezti 'honey' vs Estonian mesi 'honey;
Basque is considered to be descended from the people the Romans generally called Aquitani, located mainly in the Garonne River water basin as far as the Pyrennes mountains. Aquitani in fact implies 'water-people'. The name may originate from Uituriges or Uitoriges ( Caesar Gallic Wars, I, 18) the name of a people who controlled Burdigala the town on the lagoon formed by the outlets of the Garonne River. The word Uituriges or Uitoriges resembles Estonian/Finnish because the the first part corresponds well with UI- words meaning basically 'swim', such as Estonian uju, Finnish uida. The latter part of Uituriges, is the word meaning 'nation' (as in Estonian riik, riigi), hence the name Uituriges means 'floating nations'. An alternative name for them in the historical record was Bituriges. If this was a true alternative name, then we should look to BI in the meaning of 'water', and the full word paralleling modern Estonian Veederiigid, meaning 'water-nations'. This latter version would be the most applicable inspiration for the Latin Aquitani. I believe in a pre-literate world where people and places were named by describing them, that it is possible BOTH versions Uitoriges and Bituriges were used.
The most interesting word in Basque from the point of view of sea-peoples is the word for 'water' which is ur. This word exists, in my view, in the name "Uralic Mountains". Clearly URALA is a Finno-Ugric word. But can we connect the first part UR- with Basque ur? Perhaps we can if we allow ur to an abbreviation of UI-RA. The -RA is a widely used element of the ancient world, appearing in association with travel-ways. Furthermore, the Basque allative case ending (motion towards) is -ra. Combining this with the appearance of UI in the historical name Uitoriges, suggests it is possible Basque ur is an abbreviation of UI-RA, 'the way of the floating, swimming'. It obviously did not view 'water' originally as the liquid but as the sea over which the seafarer travelled.
The Basque word for 'earth' appears to add an L to ur producing lur. But it is more likely from ALU-RA, 'land-territory path'. ALU (Estonian alu 'base, foundation, territory') is reflected in Basque ola meaning 'place (where something is done)'. Thus here once again the Estonian interpretation mirrors something in Basque, indicating too that Basque and Estonian were closer at an earlier time. The chances of the Basque lur being based on ALU is supported by the fact that in Roman times the stem ALU occurs several times, especially in the Roman name Albion but more clearly in the Greek Alouiones (read ALU-AVA-N). If the native British used ALU or ALO 'land-base', 'territory' as the stem for some geographic names, then we can expect that the ancestors of the Basques did too, since in seafaring terms both places were part of the same Atlantic world.
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