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Ancient Europe  >>  Classical Europe (900-290 BC)

Ancient Europe (Before 900 BC)
Origins of European Nations and Ethno-Groups

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Ancient Europe

Humans Migrate Into Europe (~ 50,000 Years Ago): The first humans enter Europe about 50,000 years ago from Africa, by way of the Middle East. They cover most of the continent by about 10,000 BC. At this point, all European peoples are homogenous, living as an extensive network of various tribes, but not yet divided into "nations". Only their lighter skin separates them from their Asian and African relatives, due to a skin pigmentation genetic alteration caused by the colder climate.

Article: Out of Africa Hypothesis and the Concept of Race

Farming Revolution (~ 7000 - 2000 BC): Farming spread from the Fertile Crescent (Middle East) to Greece around 7000 BC, then to the rest of Europe by 2000 BC. Resulted in population explosion, commercial trade, and concept of land ownership.

(Timeline Continued Below)

Proto-Indo-European Culture (Begins ~ 5000 BC): Proto-Indo-Europeans surface around 5000 BC in Caucus region of SW Russia. Nearly all European languages are a sub-branch. PIE's were first Europeans to domesticate the horse, probably enabling them to spread their language and culture throughout continent. Evidence shows it was largely a peaceful process, likely achieved by trade and cultural diffusion.

Inception of Basque People (Before 5000 BC): Genetic & linguistic studies show that the Basque are not a sub-branch from Proto-Indo-European culture & language. Therefore, the Basque have been a distinct people since before 5000 BC.

Inception of Iberian Peoples (Before 5000 BC): Other original inhabitants of Iberia were referred to as the Iberians. Unlike the Basque, they would not remain a distinct ethnogroup throughout history. Instead, they would be absorbed by Celts around 400 BC. Iberian culture & language would disappear, although their genetic imprint remains with modern Spanish & Portuguese.

Settling of British IslesOriginal Settlers of British Isles (Before 5000 BC): Genetic & archaeological evidence shows that the British Isles were originally settled before the Proto-Indo-European revolution, by settlers from northern Iberia (Spain), including the Basque & other nearby/related peoples. Celt culture & language would arrive later to the British Isles from the mainland, around 800-400 BC. Although Celt culture & language would dominate the islands, there was very little change in the population from a genetics standpoint. The original "Iberian" genetic composition is therefore preserved in modern Irish & Scots, & English to a lesser extent, as the English would be more exposed to Scandinavian & Germanic invaders in post-Roman times.

Article: Proto-Indo-European - The Root of Nearly All European Cultures & Languages

Article: How Original European Peoples Splintered into Distinct Ethnogroups (i.e. Nations)

Proto-Uralic People (Before 4000 BC): Proto-Uralic peoples inhabit area around Ural Mountain Range in modern Russia. Their culture would spread west, serving as a predecessor to Finnish and Estonian cultures. P-U peoples would migrate south to form the Magyar nation (future Hungarians). Proto-Uralic language may not be a sub-branch of Proto-Indo-European, but possibly the head of its own language family.

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Origin of Finnic Peoples (~ 4000 BC): Finnic peoples break off from the Proto-Uralic group, becoming primary inhabitants of the heart of modern Russia (the highly populated NW region surrounding Moscow).

Finnic migrationsDivision of Finnic Peoples (~ 3000 BC): Finnic culture spreads to the Gulf of Finland. As Finnic peoples splinter to the NW and SW, they become permanently divided into separate "nations", such as Slavs and Baltic peoples, settling the east shores of the Gulf of Finland, while original Finnic peoples are pushed into modern Finland.

Proto-Baltic-Slav Peoples (~ 3000 BC): Proto-Baltic-Slavs become a distinct ethnogroup (shared culture & language), a sub-branch of Proto-Indo-European language & culture. Centered around modern Lithuania, became ancestors to both Baltic (modern Lithuanians and Latvians) and Slav nations. - The World's Largest Maps Store!

Distribution of Germanic People (~ 3000 - 750 BC): Original Distribution of Germanic peoples by 750 BCProto-German language branches off from Proto-Indo-European around 3000 BC in modern Scandinavia, giving birth to the Germanic "nation" (ethnogroup). Germans became the ancestors to all Scandinavians (except Finnish), as well as Germans. Germanic peoples would later migrate to the mainland (modern Germany), becoming a separate ethnogroup from their Scandinavian relatives to the north.

Minoan Culture (2700 - 1450 BC): A highly advanced society on island of Crete (shaded, left). Engaged in manufacturing & trade. Upheld equal distribution of wealth & equal rights for women. Minoans of unknown origin. Conquered by Greeks ~ 1450 BC.

Origins of Finnish and Estonians (~ 2000 BC): A group of Finnic people splinter toward the NW, becoming ancestors to modern Finnish. The Finnic peoples that continue westward, south of the Gulf of Finland, become ancestors to modern Estonians.

Thracians (~ 1500 BC): Thracian culture & language splinter from Proto-Indo-European, resulting in Thracian ethnogroup. Ancient Thrace, covering SE Balkan peninsula (shaded) rivals Greek city-states for superiority. Along with Slavs, a primary ancestor of the modern Romanians.

Greeks (~ 1500 BC): Ancient Greek culture and language branch off from Proto-Indo-European on southern Balkan peninsula, forming the Greek ethnogroup (Greeks).

Note: Why Greece Becomes Europe's Most Sophisticated Civilization. Due to proximity to advanced civilizations to the east, such as Hittites in modern Turkey, Phoenicians in modern Syria & the Egyptians. Geography & fertile lands around Med. Sea's eastern shores brought large & diverse cultures into contact, where they interacted through trade, learning from one another & pushing each other toward greater progression.

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Greeks Conquer Minoans (~ 1450 BC): Greeks conquer island of Crete, ending Minoan Civilization. Conquer island of Cyprus in 1125 BC. Both islands permanently assimilated into Greek culture & genetic lines.

Greek Dark Ages (1100 - 750 BC): The advanced Greek civilizations collapsed due to war/invasion & possibly famine. Greeks reverted from sophisticated city-states to small villages. Art, government, academics, trade, farming, etc. all regress substantially.

Celts (~ 1300 - 1000 BC): Inhabitants in central Europe become banded together under a fairly unified culture/language known as "Celtic", a branch of Proto-Indo-European language/culture. Celt speakers would form the Celt "nation", which would grow to cover much of Europe by 400 BC. Celt peoples would become a major genetic contributor to many modern Europeans.

Illyrians (~1300 BC): Illyrian language becomes distinct sub-branch of Proto-Indo-European, distinguishing Illyrians as new ethnogroup. Ancestors to modern Albanians.

Scythians (~ 1000 BC): Scythians, originating in modern Iran, spread to southern Russian and Ukraine. They are a sub-branch of Indo-Iranian peoples, which are the sub-branch of Proto-Indo-Europeans which migrated east of the Ural Mountains (Asian side) in modern Russia.

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Slavs (~ 1000 BC): The Proto-Baltic-Slav culture & language spreads south into modern Ukraine, evolving into a new culture/language known as Slavic, giving birth to the Slav peoples, the forefathers of most Eastern Europeans. Slavs are the primary ancestors to Russians, Belarusians, Ukrainians, Poles, former Yugoslavians, and partial ancestors to Bulgarians, Romanians and Albanians.

Magyars (~ 1000 BC): Magyar tribe splinters from Proto-Uralic group in Ural Mountains (modern Russia), migrating south of Ural Mountain range, north of the Caspian Sea. Will eventually migrate to modern Hungary, becoming the modern Hungarians.

Etruscans Settle Italy (Before 800 BC): A group of people from outside of Europe (likely Anatolia - modern Turkey) become primary inhabitants of Italian peninsula, concentrated in central region (modern Rome). They become known as Etruscans. After 800 BC, they intermix with Celts from the north & Greek settlers from the south to form the Italians of the Roman Empire. After the collapse of the Roman Empire in the 5th century, other invaders will intermix with Italians to form the modern Italian "nation" or ethnogroup.

Next: Classical Europe (900 - 290 BC)

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Comments (51)

Very insightful and informative. Highly recommended
#1 - - 08/01/2009 - 00:25
Try to learn more about old Europe.
For example magyrs arrived in Europe around 890 AD
Slav arrived at least 500 AD.
Agriculture - the oldest dicovered proves are around 10 000 BC in low Danube river(in later Dacia)
Check Cucuteni culture 6000BC or the oldest writtings in the Word tables from Tartaria around 5000 with 1000 years before the sumerian writtings.
#2 - Ionel - 08/06/2010 - 15:26
no... in 500AD slaves just migrated from poland to all the places where there are now but they came to europe with all the indo-europeans... magyars also came to their toaday\'s homeland in 890... but they were around the Ural mountains much earlier together with finnics, estonians, lapons etc... so ionel... a small fail
#3 - pallly - 01/13/2011 - 15:43
Proto and Baltic slavs where the Thracians should have been?first of all the terms are absurd,especially for that era,second. Baltic Slavs don`t exist.Lithuanians are not slavs.and
correction: Greeks Conquer Minoan THRACIANS(~ 1450 BC) not minoans. be more specific.
"Both islands permanently assimilated into Greek culture & genetic lines."??? lol think again it might just be the other way around.
From Tessalia to the baltic region.including Lidia.there were thracians.
#4 - Trakai - 01/25/2011 - 20:10
#5 - hfdh - 01/10/2012 - 20:46
"...due to a skin pigmentation genetic alteration caused by the colder climate." huh?
Eskimos are brown. One lie maybe all a lie.
#6 - tyga - 03/17/2012 - 08:41
I Don\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'t agree with the Albanians\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\' origin, because they Don\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'t discend from russian people. They are of turanic origin.
#7 - Pierluigi - 04/13/2012 - 15:48
The map is pretty well done. Thank you.
BUT I have to tell you that the Thracians are at the origins of Romanians, Serbians, Bulgarians and other nations in Balkan and Central-Eastern Europe.
The Romanian's ancestors are: Thracians(Dacians), the Roman colonists(mostly from Italy) and in a lesser measure, slavic people. Some pockets of celts came to the Balkan peninsula as well.
#8 - reader - 08/21/2012 - 17:21
i enjoyed this, it was very helpful. Thanks
#9 - #lemondrops - 10/28/2012 - 11:25
Wait, I take that comment back. Eskimos are not even close to being brown. This information is unheard of, in conclusion these facts are not true, so by default this is not true infromation.
#10 - #lemondrops - 10/28/2012 - 11:28
I wonder if the inclusion of "Basque" and "Iberians" on the first map: Ancient Europe (Before 900 BC) is a mistake. At that time they surely were "on their way to the region".
#11 - Bronze migrant - 11/04/2012 - 06:39
Albanians do not originate from Iliryans, cause they were imported to Europe by some Roman Emperor. Modern Albanians originate from Albania which existed on west coast of Caspian sea.
#12 - Alji - 11/08/2012 - 23:00
Missing Welsh people who have been in England for over 10,000BC. Research Cheddar Man.
#13 - steve - 11/13/2012 - 10:43
Albanians from rusia!?
Albanians from turanic people!?
Albanians not Illyrians!?
-you ppl are too funny
Just learn albanian language and you will understand yours!
All Of You!!
#14 - fat - 11/16/2012 - 12:24
Whoever said "Albanians do not originate from Iliryans" is the biggest idiot you can find.
#15 - VF - 11/23/2012 - 11:17
...Albanian people are in large part descendants of the ancient Illyrians, who, like other Balkan peoples, were subdivided into tribes and clans. The name Albania is derived from the name of an Illyrian tribe called the Arber, or Arberesh
#16 - VF - 11/23/2012 - 11:32
who cares where the shiptars come from
#17 - dondomat - 01/08/2013 - 08:25
interesting and informative!
#18 - pie - 01/30/2013 - 18:48
where are the pictures?????????
#19 - hey - 01/30/2013 - 22:15
I ve also read that recent linguistic evidence suggests that, the anchestors of albanians might have been neighbours to modern romania. The illyrian origintheory is an old assumption, based to the geography of the distribution, but the illyrian language did not really leave enough linguistic evidence to be sure sure of anything beyond reasonable doubt. Particulary interesting is the number of words that identify with romanian and the fact that any loans from the greek language are all very recent and dont go as back in time as they should to support the illyrian assumption something very weird for such a long neighboring period. It's possible that dacians were the actual anchestors and that they migrated from the eastern to the western balcanic peninsula for some reason. Its all theories anyway, as long as there is no enough leftovers of the old languages to work on...
#20 - linguist - 02/04/2013 - 19:58
We did not all come from Adam and Eve and we were never from the same place that is bulshit and you cannot. Prove this because it is untrue to say that an aboriginal australian is the same as a greek or an Asian or an African is rubbish we all come from tribes in different parts of the world we then mixed races after that like if an African mixes with an Asian
#21 - Peter god given - 03/19/2013 - 20:03
Genetic & archaeological evidence shows that the British Isles were originally settled before the Proto-Indo-European revolution, by settlers from northern Iberia (Spain), including the Basque & other nearby/related peoples.

No mention of the Picts of Scotland?Our culture and people are as old if not older than any on your charts.Scotland was never populated by Iberians and there is no archaeological evidence of it either.The British Isles were never made up of the same people.
#22 - The Pict - 04/17/2013 - 16:02
Proto-Baltic Slavs and Slavs as two seperate groups??? that's astonishing way to try to solve several hypothesis of slav origin. First mention of slavs in historical account's are connected with the great migration so placing them at this time in the map is completely out of historically content about a millennium to early. This is a wishful thinking and preaching 'cause there isn't any historical nor archeological evidence for that.
#23 - yllbardh - 05/20/2013 - 12:38
Basque people in Iberia around the year 900 BC? That's something very unlikely. First mention of Basques in historical accounts date back only to the first century BC. Where were the Basques before that time? Maybe it's more accurate to call them simply "Iberians" before Roman historians start writing about them.
#24 - Bronze migrant - 05/25/2013 - 09:11
Some of the Romanian ancestors were also Germanic groups, starting with the Bastarni, Marcomani, Quadi, Goths and Saxons. As well, Greeks, Celts (such as Scordiscii), Panonians, Sarmatians and Yaziges, Scythes, Pechenegs, Cumans, Avars, Bulgarians (pre-Slavic), Hungarians. All these groups mixed and were absorbed culturally, but maybe not generically, into the current population of Romania.
#25 - Dan - 07/21/2013 - 20:16
hola es posible obtener este exelente mapa interactivo en espa
#26 - daniel - 08/15/2013 - 10:00
Very awesome!
#27 - I like dicks - 09/11/2013 - 18:08
Hola, me llamo Lola. Tengo trienta anos. Vivo en espana. Me encanta!
#28 - Lola - 09/14/2013 - 08:36
Ditto to the earlier comments. I would add the concept of refuge areas during advances and retreats of ice until LGM and the warming during he last 10,000 years and the implication for genetic changes in groups in relative isolation.
#29 - GeoPinball - 09/18/2013 - 10:54
#30 - Jim - 09/26/2013 - 18:41
Where are the Macedonians in this picture! See some old maps, thear is no Bulgarian or Albania!

#31 - Lav - 10/24/2013 - 12:43
History...always important
#32 - bhupinder singh mussonhi - 12/07/2013 - 09:51
Celts did not come from Germany they came from south west france.
The Celtic myth is very misunderstood victorian fiction
#33 - David - 12/24/2013 - 08:11

There's a Germanic history of Europe which hasn't come to light yet. So far our vision of history has been dominated by people who have ignored the importance of people settled in the Scandinavian peninsula.
#34 - Bronze migrant - 12/28/2013 - 04:58
Where are sources of information???
#35 - vas - 12/29/2013 - 05:35
Sources of information?
See, for example, this recent article by Johan Ling and others:

#36 - Bronze migrant - 12/29/2013 - 08:42
#37 - Tom Skylark - 12/31/2013 - 16:08
I had to use this so yea
#38 - DAT GUUUY - 01/15/2014 - 16:30
The Freemason/Illuminati/Bilderburg/Zionist/Vatican lies abound here beginning with the Out Of Africa bull they would have everyone believe in, for cheap labor, future markets, and a completely mixed, cultureless, easily manipulable labor pop eventually, (no pride=controllable and the overlords mentioned know it. 1st conquer and divide, then mix \'em up, have \'em forget their past, so they won\'t have ancestors to look up to. Ingenious selfserving plot of the NWO. Homo Sapiens Sapiens, modern man remains have been found in the Carpathian basin and going east all the way to the Pacific far older than 50,000 yrs., the Hungarians were in Hungary when the magyars arrived, (magyar was only one tribe out of several of Scythian Huns (former Subartoi, check Greek, Turkic, Arabic records)and had been there since Paleolithic times at least, the Szeklers=Pannonici (Pun)west of the Danube and Troyan who dwelled in both Pannonia and Transylvania having migrated their because their Paeonnes=Pannonici, as in Pontus Sea, today called Black Sea, and had been in Hungary when the magyars are recorded as having arrived around 890 supposedly. This is not even taking into consideration the 300 years of history that was rewritten about the so called Dark Ages in order to cover up the achievements of the Huns in comparison to the Romans. The Romans by the way according to their own admission were blood brothers of the Hungarians on one branch because the Etruscans were basically half their forebears and had migrated to Italy (Ital=drink, n., in Hungarian, which can be any type of drinkable liquid, but colloquially often refers to wine) the Etruscans having been tribes of Trojans who first migrated to Pannonia knowing their relatives, the Paeonnes were (Scythian is just a greek term for Persian Steppe=Puszta peoples were already there. As you can see, it is not just the German history, or the Albanian they\'re covering up, in fact they\'re covering up the histories of all ancient peoples today in favor of the new McDonalds-Coke and oil and cars consumer/business culture of he international conglomerates. They wouldn\'t be able to sell the (C)Rap music, or the junk foods, or even the neckties symbolizing male slavery, if it wasn\'t for eliminating your pride in your own culture.
#39 - Truth - 02/26/2014 - 00:54
#40 - 1123 - 02/28/2014 - 07:59
While Germanic tribes came out of southern Scandinavia, what also can be seen on similarities with some of the old tribal names, then it is utterly wrong to then put early Scandinavians up as "Germans", and the opposite can be said to be closer to the truth. Germanic does not equal German as the main focus, in a historical view, that is a much later development...
#41 - Poul Martin Jensen - 03/10/2014 - 09:44
Boo Yah

#42 - Beatrice Laurve - 03/21/2014 - 12:26
There must be a mistake on the map (I mean the map "Ancient Europe (Before 900 BC)"). By looking at it, it seems that Iberians and Basques were contemporary, but there is no evidence to think so. Evidences seem to favour the hypothesis that the Iberians are in the origin of the Basque people, who -of course- were not there at that time (900 BC), but much later.
#43 - Bronze migrant - 03/23/2014 - 08:10
White Power!!!!!
#44 - James - 04/22/2014 - 21:37
you left out Cucuteni and other similar neolithic cultures. They were way more advanced than anything you found in Greece at the time. Nothing spread out "from" Greece, this analysis is very amateurish, also regarding all the other historic data.. but then again this is the internet, where everyone is a scientist
#45 - me - 05/21/2014 - 11:01
Just want to counter on the 20th comment by linguistic,says that,we all not descendants of adam nd eve.Tell you what,if the bible says that,you cant argue with that,either you're the most wealthiest man on earth,or the most powerful figure or the queen of uk,or the wbc heavyweight chmp,I don't care.If God gave His words to moses on mt sinai nd says that adam nd eve was our first parent,so,be,it!!..You can't argue with the if,no but,no sorry,..its a one way system nd its gods word,nd it never change..all man have to suck it in,or face the consequences by get into hell fire.
#46 - mystery edenian - 06/14/2014 - 15:51
You forgot to mention the Welsh who live in Wales, which also part of the UK. You mentioned the Irish and the Scots but not the Welsh. This really makes me angry because the Welsh are descended from the original British people
#47 - Christopher Williams - 06/16/2014 - 06:25
you don't know history at all , therefore you should stop writing about it .
your comments about Celts and Illyrians is tonally wrong so are comments about the greeks .
for your information the Albanians came to where they are today in the 9th century AD ,from Sicily , they were brought there by the Sicilian mad man know as the Maniac ( silicon ruler at the time ) who's army was killed and the Albanians who are NOT AT ALL SLAV PEOPLE , THEY ORIGINATE FROM THE KAVCAS.
#48 - LOU TASIC - 06/20/2014 - 03:20
Your reference to the Celtic people of Britain fails to mention the Welsh. They are of some significance as they speak a different, older language to the Irish and Scots. I.e. Brythonic Celtic as compared to Godaelic Celtic.
#49 - Les Davies - 07/28/2014 - 08:34
I believe some of your history is incorrect. Albanians are no way related to the Slavs. Thank you
#50 - Arben Alimi - 08/13/2014 - 20:20
#51 - #51-STRAWHAT LUFFY - 10/04/2014 - 03:00
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