Today, in their History section, the Catalan digital daily El Nacional has published an amazing article by Marc Pons taking a great look at the Basque traces to be found in what is now the Pyrénées régions of Aragon and Catalonia.
It’s a journey that got off to a “late” start as the article relates the proto-Basques to a westward migration that may have started 20,000 years ago from the Caucuses. It’s a bit hard to accept that proto-Basques were moving about so much during the Ice Age, especially when there are abundant signs of their presence in the Basque-Cantabrian refuge dated to well before that, giving credence to the idea that the Basques started “colonizing” the continent as the glaciers retreated.
But that’s getting us into the world of theories, which can be used to support almost any argument, even the idea of “Late ‘Basquification'”, stating that Basque wasn’t spoken in the western part of our country until after the Romans left, that is, in the Middle Ages.
While some would try to convince us of this, even with documentaries on Basque public television, in Catalonia, they’re remembering the long and storied presence of Basque language and culture along the length of the Pyrenees. It lasted until just recently, and it has left a mark, felt even today, on the history, language, and culture in the Eastern Pyrenees.
So we just want to thank our Catalan friends for remembering this part of the history of the Land of the Basques.
El Nacional – 9/8/2020 – Catalonia
La raíz vasca de Catalunya
Roma, siglo I. Los escritores, geógrafos y viajeros romanos Estrabón y Plinio documentan el primer mapa político y cultural de la península Ibérica. Y describen la existencia de un pueblo establecido en las dos vertientes del Pirineo (entre las actuales Cerdanya —en el este— y Baztan —en el oeste—), que no formaba parte ni del mundo celta, ni del mundo ibérico: los vascos.
Header image: The oldest preserved map of the Pyrenees (1482) / Source: Cartoteca de Catalunya