What impact did Indo-European-speaking peoples have on the basic patterns of Near Eastern life?

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The impacts of Indo-European-speaking peoples on the peoples of the so-called "Near East" (though this is a Euro-centric term that has fallen out of use among scholars) are debated among archaeologists and historians. The most obvious effect was linguistic. Just as in South Asia, where the so-called "Aryan" migration led to the spread of Indo-European languages, the spread of languages of similar origins followed migrations of Near Eastern people, most notably the Hittites. These peoples, who originated in modern Turkey, spread through military invasion (unlike in India) and brought their language with them. Aside from the wars they fought against other powers—most notably in Egypt—this was a lasting change. Many languages in the Mediterranean basin, including those spoken by the ancient Greeks, Hebrews, and Persians, were strongly influenced by this Indo-European language.

If there was an earlier influx of Indo-European language speakers than the Hittites, scholars have not yet identified it. Through other migrations, trade, and other mechanisms, Indo-European languages came to prevail throughout the European continent and much of the Middle and Near East.

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This is an incredibly difficult question to answer, because ancient history is nearly lost to us. To be honest, not many people know anything about Indo-European people. All theories are educated conjectures that have many critics. Moreover, when we come to the life of the Ancient Near East, the same problems emerge - the lack of reliable information.

In light of these points, there seems to have been a massive change in society around 900 BC in Greece and the Ancient Near East. The great civilizations of the Minoans in Crete seems to be destroyed. The more plausible explanation is the migration of Indo-Europeans. Similarly, when we move to the Ancient Near East, we see the presence of the Hittites, the earliest Indo-Europeans that we know of. They seemed to have be the greatest power during the Bronze and Iron ages.

Their impact can be seen in several areas. First, they brought their language. To be sure cuneiform did not persist as a language, but at least they wrote, which cannot be underestimated. They also influenced warfare. To the best of my knowledge, they were the first to introduce chariots. Finally, their religion influenced the Ancient Near East.

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