Uralic-speaking peoples today live dispersed over vast territories extending from Hungary in the west, over the Arctic Sea shore in the north, to Irtysh in the south, and to the Taimyr Peninsula to east. If one considers the Yukaghir language (a controverted hypothesis; better accepted is the classification as Palaeosiberian) as being an Uralic language, then the Yukaghir would be an eastern outpost beyond the Lena River, in the approximate area of the Ularovskaya River and its mouth.
Considering that Uralic languages have common features with Altaic (Turkic, Mongolian and Tungus-Manchu), the narrower area of Uralic origin was believed to lie somewhere on the upper Volga River or around the southern Ural mountain chain. According to these hypotheses, the ancient proto-Uralic people lived there roughly around 6000 BC and 2000 BC at latest, after which they began to disperse and migrate mostly to west, eventually reaching the Baltic Sea (Künnap 1998).
The traditional Uralic language tree has been disputed and alternative proposals have been made — like for example a brush-like model, where branches go off a single point simultaneously. In spite of that, this form of tree still persists in Uralistic research. Viitso (Finno-Ugric Congress 1995) has proposed a Finno-Ugric language tree as a gradually ongoing and progressively branching process from east to west. He based his hypothesis on typical changes in intervocalic and word-initial consonants in Finno-Ugric stock. Taagepera proposed an entirely new type of evolutive tree for Finno-Ugric with (possibly non-Uralic) branching roots and a distributed stem (Taagepera 1997, by Künnap).
According to Suhonen (1997) cited by Künnap, at least seven regions around the Urals are favoured by scholars as original home area of Proto-Uralic peoples. Analogously to what the archaeologist Alexander Häusler writes about "the Indoeuropeans"— namely that attempts to locate proto-peoples in narrow areas is unreasonable and that there are no archaeological artifacts of "the Indoeuropeans"(Häusler 1998) — is probably also more or less valid for "the Proto-Uralics". Taagespera's tree model is possibly a plausible solution to the problem of origins, at least conceptionally.