Our Ancestors May Have Sounded Like This

Prof records story in millenia-old language

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Sep 30, 2013 7:03 AM CDT | Updated Oct 5, 2013 12:30 PM CDT

(Newser) – Recording studios were hard to find 6,500 years ago, but thanks to centuries of scholarship, we may now be able to get a sense of how our ancient ancestors sounded. A linguist at the University of Kentucky has recorded a short story in Proto-Indo-European, or PIE, a language probably spoken across Europe and Asia from about 4,500 BCE to 2,500 BCE. Professor Andrew Byrd used Latin, Greek, and Sanskrit to deduce what PIE might have sounded like, the Huffington Post reports.

It's "a very educated approximation," Byrd says. His recording for Archaeology magazine tells a story written in 1868 and then translated into PIE; in it, sheep and horses discuss their plight as servants of humans. English, Swedish, and Farsi all come from Indo-European languages, Byrd tells HuffPost. "Farsi and English were 6,500 years ago the same language," he notes. "That's pretty cool, and it kind of gives you a sense of unity."

A linguist has offered a recording of what our ancestors may have sounded like.
A linguist has offered a recording of what our ancestors may have sounded like.   (Shutterstock)
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A recording of what our ancestors may have sounded like.   (SoundCloud)

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