Sometimes reality is more wonderful than fiction
Prehistoric Place Names in Central-Eastern Europe
          The application of archaeometrical methods in historical research can not only save researchers' time, minimize the volume of technical work, and ultimately yield precise results to aid seemingly unsolvable problems - it can also help set the direction and content of research in branches of science where traditional methods were formerly indispensable. Recently, research carried out in comparative historical linguistics via the graphical-analytical method has allowed its practitioners to determine, with considerable precision, the physical territory where the formation of several dozen primary ethnic groups took place. Under the influence of various natural and historical circumstances, most of these ethnic groups have since developed into modern nations or, in spite of the circumstances, maintained their ethnic uniqueness up to the present (Stetsyuk V., 1998, 2000). Traces of their habitation found on the territory of ancient settlements have occasionally been preserved either as place names or in a language substratum discussed elsewhere (Stetsyuk V., 2000, 55-62).

          Accounting for the linguistic and ethnic connection to physical geographical areas by way of the graphical-analytical method, an exhaustive search for such traces in modern-day toponyms is yielding results suitable for etymologization. And though that material has been found in all areas surveyed, the volume of data for different areas differs substantially. The reasons for such disparities owe to both objective and subjective issues. Due to the long time span between the present and the era of settlement activity being investigated, not all of the changes have been preserved in the toponymic record. One may also presume that less than all of the primary ethnic groups attained a cultural and economic level sufficient to create permanent settlements to which a given group might assign its own name. On the other hand, most toponyms either cannot presently be translated, or can be interpreted on the basis of two or more related languages alone. Particularly difficult is the process of matching place names of Iranian origin in Left Bank Ukraine (the territory east of the Dnieper River) to their designators' languages, since the speakers of various Iranian languages remained in the area for a considerable amount of time. Matching the prevailing 'majority' toponyms to certain languages is not very difficult for areas in Right Bank Ukraine, however. The only Iranian inhabitants of the Right Bank were the Cymmerians, whose language is close to modern Kurdish, and the Chuvash, whose language differs markedly from other Turkic languages.
          For research purposes, a list of toponyms in Ukraine and neighboring countries has been created in consultation with topographical maps of separate regions at a 1:200,000 scale. Settlement names that are unintelligible to the common Ukrainian speaker were included in the list. In total, more than one thousand toponyms appear in the list. The languages of the Germanic, Iranian, Turkic and other families have been used in an attempt to etymologize each of these place names. Etymologization was possible for almost three-fourths of the words, most of which represent toponyms from Right Bank Ukraine. Accordingly, this article concentrates on several physical geographical areas where toponyms have been found and etymologized via one language to such a degree that one can no longer doubt the interrelation between the deciphered place names and the ethnic makeup of the areas former inhabitants.
The place names of the Teutonic origin in the present-day Ukraine
In detail here
The place names of the Anglo-Saxon origin in the present-day Ukraine
In detail here

Above: The place names of Bulgarish and Kurdish origin in Western Ukraine. The Bulgarish place names are marked by red spots and black characters, the Kurdish ones are done by black spots and red characters.
Valentyn Stetsyuk
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