Peering Into the Past, With Words

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Science  19 May 2000:
Vol. 288, Issue 5469, pp. 1158
DOI: 10.1126/science.288.5469.1158

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Prehistorians typically rely on stones, bones, and DNA to piece together the past, but linguists argue that words preserve history too. Two new studies, both based on endangered languages, offer new insights into the identity of mysterious ancient peoples, from the first farmers to early inhabitants of the British Isles.