By 'Uralic' it's here, of course, meant the branch (also called Uralo-Siberian) of the linguistic tree that at its stem in time goes deeper than any language family based on agriculture (and most possibly the deepest of modern humans), and geographically comprises an area (north and mid-Eurasia) that is bigger than any other. The technical term 'proto-Uralic' doesn't mean that the lineage abruptly started there but deepens into what might be called Altaic/Eurasiatic.
Although the modern Finnish vocabulary may be one which contains among the highest amount of loan-words, it also contains a remarkable old kernel (some 200-300 words) that is not only immensely old but also often reflects more exactly reconstructed "original" words in a way its sister languages do not. This may be due to, among other factors, its westernmost location (see Kvenland - the origin of the Goths).
From Ural to the Baltic Sea and Britain
(to really grasp the significance of this ancient water route please take a look at the islamic Origin of Vikings and Russia)
Klevius intellectual bias warning: There has been a severe "mongoloid complex" (social, not genetic) going on for long in the debate about the original Europeans, not the least among the Samis and the Finns (see what Klevius wrote about the mongoloid complex almost a decade ago). The Finns were introduced to "civilization" via Klevius ethnic people, the Finland-Swedish "colonizers", who, after Sweden's loss of Finland in the 1808-09 war, said "We aren't Swedes anymore, and we don't wanna be Russians, so let's be Finns". So they learned Finnish, many of them translated their Swedish names into Finnish ones, and one of them gathered the ancient Finnish epic Kalevala, all in an effort to strengthen the Finnish ethnicity.
Klevius brief intellectual aid to the background of the topic: Finnish and Sami researchers are possibly the least reliable (together with Afro-centrists) when it comes to the "Urheima" of the Europeans. So you will have a hard time finding info if you don't read Klevius. But keep two basic facts in mind: Proto-Uralic was here before the farmers - proto-Indo-European (PIE) was not, simply because it was tied to farming/pastoralism. And ultimately, no matter if we call it proto-Altaic or something else, what seems certain is that modern humans and their language developed in the very midst of the mongoloid hunting-gathering area (where the 40,000 BP Denisova bracelet below was found), not among farmers.
Don't you think the producers of this bracelet were able to talk?!
After the last ice age Doggerland still connected Uralic speaking Sweden (and the Baltic Sea) with Britain a couple of thousands of years before the arrival of farming. The oldest complete skeleton of a Brit (the Cheddar man in Gough's Cave, outside Baath near Bristol) is from this time.
Ago Künnap: From the Ukrainian refuge the people spread over the area that eventually extended from the so-called North Sea Land on the site of the present-day British Isles as far as the Urals. It should be regarded as probable that the Uralic lingua franca was functioning in the area also before the Last Glacial Maximum, consequently before the people gathered in the refuges. It continued functioning in the Ukrainian refuge and, in addition to this, also in the ice-free area, creating a foundation by making languages into the present-day Uralic languages. As a result of people’s spreading out from the larger refuges the whole northward Europe was shared by the Basque and Uralic type of languages.
Klevius: Today's Basques/Iberians have almost nothing to do with Europe's original hunter-gatherers. Samis do. Geneticists have long since proved that ice-age humans entered Europe from Siberia (haplogroup M173 aka R), not Mideast. Linguists have proved that they spoke a language related to Uralic. Many linguists have for long connected East and West-Eurasia in the proto-Altaic language complex at the very spot where geneticists see the splitting point that gave the birth to the truly modern humans and real Aurignacian culture. Common sense does the rest by considering the map, geography, food sources and the mix of cold-adapted northern-most Neanderthals and Denisovans.
The mongoloid features of Sami people may be explained as follows (also consider evolution map below): The first Europeans were a mix of Mongoloid and Cro-Magnon traits due to the blend of Denisova and northern Neanderthal traits with southern Homos. However, while spreading southward, what we now call the Caucasoid traits (Klevius "bastard belt") increased while the Mongoloid traits got stronger in the north due to pressure from the east.
Cheddar man certainly didn't speak Indoeuropean
Cheddar man was found near Bristol in England. His Finnish/Sami type of DNA closely matches contemporary Brits near the location where the skeleton was found. And the amber found beside him came from the Baltic Sea.
Cheddar man stature is estimated to 166 cm and he has a relatively high (compared to modern Sami but not to modern Finns) crural index and tibial length/trunk height indices but a total morphological pattern considered cold-adapted. This mix is in line with Klevius Out of Africa as pygmies and back as global mongoloids theory, which states that human like Homos what we used to think of as our predecessors were, in fact, big brained but dumb non-humans, and that the smart ones were small ape-like creatures (Floresiensis, Red Deer Cave people, Denisovans etc) who in Euraisa mixed with Neanderthals and later on with the southern Homos from whom we didn't get our intelligence but only part of our physical appearance (in fact, we started loosing intelligence and are now on a much lower level than some 30,000 years ago - just compare the stunning performance of Aurignacian art below). So for example, what has "puzzled" fossilized academics the most about the tiny ape-like Floresiensis with a brain size barely exceeding that of a Chimp, is how to explain its tools, use of fire etc.
Compared to many presumptuous and subjective PC academics Klevius' theory has a much better fit to existing evidence out there.
Doggerland and a harpoon found in it. Altough the historical Goths emerge some 7,000 years later it's worth mentioning that Gotland in the Baltic Sea was already populated more than 9,500 years ago. Moreover, although no one knows the true origin of the name Gotland and Goth confusing efforts have been made to connect the origin of the name to different and less likely later forms such as e.g. 'gut' and 'jut'. Due to an enormous general ignorance there thrives a bias that could be described as a majority complex which blurs topics of evolution and linguistics etc. by covering them under the "Out of Africa" or the "Indo-European" or the "monotheist" blanket. This type of prejudice is easily seen when you, for example, tell an English speaker that the word 'boy' comes from the Finnish/Uralic 'poika'. In fact, if we really start digging we will soon realize that most of the really old Indo-European words can be traced to the original Uralic speaking inhabitants of Europe. Btw, on Gotland 'peika' mens a girl and became maid ('piga') in Swedish. Just like the English word for child that transformed into 'girl'.
Cheddar man has been genetically tested as belonging to haplogroup U5a which happens to be most common today in northern Finland and Scandinavia among Sami people and, to a lesser extent, among Finns. Haplogroup U5 is spread all over Europe but is by far best presented among Finnish speaking populations in the north. That U5 is also found in North-Africa is in line with the mixing theory below. U5a is a latecomer and hence fits a pattern of increasing blend of genes along the Atlantic coastline. U5b is also toprated among Samis as is V.
At this time all hunter-gatherers in mid/northern (and possibly sourhern) Europe talked an Uralic language. Uralic languages preceeded Indo-European and Finno-Ugric languages and, according to linguistics, is today best survived in the Finnish* language. It is important here to realize that proto-Sami people populated all of the fringes of glacial and post-glacial Europe and that Basque language most probably was Sami related although heavily distorted by incoming linguistically non-related farmers, whereas the northern Sami became influenced by related Finnish speakers, hence explaining why today's Sami sounds so Finnish and Basque doesn't sound Finnish at all although it has many features in common with Uralic/Finnish languages.
* As Klevius has pointed out for decades, in Finnish (as in most other languages) there is no sex segregation. A person is 'hän' regardless of sex, not the stupid he/she apartheid Europe has inherited from sexist Mideastern "monotheisms".
To PC-people and others with a racist agenda blurring the facts: Non-African art from 40,000 - 25,000 years ago - i.e. long before anything like this emerged in Mideast or Africa! And one thing is for certain, they weren't neolithic farmers!
In Dolní Věstonice, Central-Europe, an extremely well sculptured portrait is dated to 29,000 years ago, i.e. even earlier than the Brassempouy "Venus" portrait below, which was found in Mid-France.
Brassempouy "Venus" approx 26,000 BP
and with some make up by Klevius
From the left: Red Deer Cave, Sami, Cro-Magnon
First and third from the left are Red Deer Cave people 14,300-11,500 years ago. Second and fourth the so called Venus from Brassempuoy in France 25-26,000 years ago. The last pic is a reconstruction of a 1.9 Million year old Homo rudolfiensis skull. They all had flat broad cheeks, no chin and rounded forehead.
From Altai to Gotland, Sami, God, Vikings, Shakespeare and Tolkien
Klevius etymology and history remarks relating to the Britain-Scandinavia connection: The ancient Persian (which is extremely young compared to Uralic) word for god 'khoda' connects to the even more ancient Finnish 'koti' and Finno-Ugric 'kota' (=home/house/seed vessel - see Klevius definition of religion and the Vagina gate), Saami 'goahti'. German Gott (god) and Swedish gott (good) as well as Gotland (pronounced Gottland), the island in the Baltic sea that constituted a (the?) main Viking hub in their slave trade with Jews and muslims.
Gotland in particular is famous as the probable ancestral home of the Goths: "a Gothic population had crossed the Baltic Sea before the 2nd century AD, reaching Scythia at the coast of the Black Sea in modern Ukraine where Goths left their archaeological traces in the Chernyakhov culture. In the 5th and 6th centuries, they became divided as the Visigoths and the Ostrogoths, and established powerful successor-states of the Roman Empire in the Iberian peninsula and Italy. Crimean Gothic communities appear to have survived intact in Crimea until the late 18th century.
The father of Shakespeare's prototype for Hamlet was a Goth from the Gothenburg area in Sweden (were Klevius father also happened to be born). These Goths came originally from Gotland via those very same waterways that were shaped already some 9,000 years ago, hence connecting the Baltic Sea with Doggerland/North Sea.
Gotland was also the home port and treasure island for the Vikings because it naturally connected West and East via Staraja Ladoga southeast of Finland on the river way down to the south. Gotland has revealed the biggest hoards of Viking age old Arab/islamic silver coins in Northern Europe.
Immediately north of Staraja Ladoga is the homeland of the Finnish national epic Kalevala which Tolkien based his writing on.
The world's oldest fishing net is found in southeastern Finland and is some thousand years older than Cheddar man the "oldest Brit".
Bromme culture existed in what is today's Sweden already 11,700–11,000 bp.
As a curiosity it might be noted that film director Ingmar Bergman lived most of his life on Gotland where some of his most powerful movies were filmed.
In conclusion one might well argue that the Baltic Sea has been a main hub since the birth of modern humans.