eli5: Who would be the indigenous peoples of Europe?



eli5: Who would be the indigenous peoples of Europe?

In: Other

Depends on how far back you want to go. Best current evidence is that Mankind started in Africa and migrated outwards. By that logic, Europe has no ‘indigenous’ people.

Europeans are the indigenous people of Europe.

‘Indingenous’ does not imply that they can’t be the dominant cultural group.

But there is no clear boundary between indiginous groups. The UK has been invaded or inhabited by many foreign groups over the centuries, and so it doesn’t really make sense to claim any demarcation between indigenous British and non-indigenous British.

Talking about Indigineous groups really only makes sense when there’s a clear separation between one group and another, as there is for the indigenous people of Australia or North America, among others.

In Europe, these groups largely do not exist, because everyone has been intermingling with everyone else for centuries.

The germans, slavic, italian, nordic and greek people never got displaced a lot, so they still are in most part indigenous.
On the british isles there were the viking invasions that displaced parts of the native population and the roman invasion that killed some. For the scottish the picts would be indigenous.

The europeans don’t have a special “Indigenous” population because most of them never got displaced from their home country, instead they slowly changed into the modern cultures they are and left their old cultural ways behind. For the many countries this happened with christianisation. Where their indigenous way of life got replaced with the culturally dominant christian faith, that brought many other customs along with it.

Here’s a map showing some of the general trends of the first migrations out of Africa.

It’s tricky, because our ancestors who migrated from Africa weren’t homo sapiens yet, and they were well before the point of having written language so they had little ability to leave us anything besides fossils to tell us about themselves.

We could maybe count the first neanderthals to get into Turkey as the indigenous peoples of Europe, or if our definition of ‘people’ is homo sapiens, then they started popping up by evolutionary processes maybe 50,000 years ago around the Mediterranean Sea. They couldn’t go much further north for a while, because an ice age had made most of Europe a little too cold for people, but as the land warmed up, the people inched north and started to settle Europe. Those first groups get names like proto-Germanic and proto-Slav, depending on where they settled.

This is not an objective question considering there is no cut and clear definition of indigenous people of Europe.

If you mean who were there before the Indo-European language speakers, then the answer would be ‘[Western European Hunter Gatherers](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_Hunter-Gatherer)’ and ‘[Eastern European Hunter Gatherers](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_Hunter-Gatherer)’.

The contemporary nations that you can trace back to have been the oldest peoples to survive the Indo-European migrations would be the Basque people and The Finno-Ugric people.


TLDR: **Basque people** (Minority in France and Spain)

**Finnish people** (Finland)

**Sami people** (Sweden/Norway/Finland)

**Estonian people** (Estonia)

Your post has been removed because ELI5 is not for straightforward factual queries.