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Thread: Intact Etruscan Tomb Found Near Perugia

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    3 members found this post helpful.

    Intact Etruscan Tomb Found Near Perugia



    This is an extremely rare and exciting find, as many Etruscan tombs were despoiled by grave robbers.

    Here is the Discovery News article:
    http://news.discovery.com/history/ar...und-151204.htm

    "An intact Etruscan tomb, complete with sarcophagi, a full array of grave goods and a mysterious marble head, has has been brought to light in the Umbria region of Italy, in what promises to be one of the most important archaeological findings in recent history."


    "Once opened, the tomb revealed a 16 square-foot rectangular chamber with two sarcophagi, four marble urns and various grave goods. One of the sarcophagi, made from stone, bears a long inscription.


    So far Natalini and colleagues have been able to read the word “Laris.” Lars is a common Etruscan male first name. The stone coffin contains the skeleton of a male individual."


    "A mysterious marble head, clearly broken at the neck level, has been also found.


    “It portrays the beautiful face of a young man. We do not know yet its meaning. Perhaps it was part of a statue that honored one of the deceased,” Natalini said.


    Apart from grave goods, which include pottery, miniature votive vases and two intact ceramic jars, likely used to store food for the afterlife, the archaeologists found four urns with cremains.




    Made from fine grained alabaster marble, three of them are finely sculpted. The lid portrays the half naked deceased with a flower necklace reclining on two cushions as if at a banquet. He bears a patera, a shallow ritual offering dish, in the right hand.

    The use of alabaster marble, the style of the burial and clues from the inscriptions suggest the burial belongs to an aristocratic family from the nearby Etruscan stronghold of Chiusi, Natalini said."



    Most important, from a genetics point of view, there are two undisturbed, uncontaminated elite Etruscan skeletons, one of which is male.



    Some pictures. Unfortunately, a roof collapse means all the no doubt painted plaster has fallen to the ground.

    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-OCuJ4Oy-r-...an_tomb_01.jpg

    http://www.thehistoryblog.com/wp-con...-platforms.jpg

    http://img.huffingtonpost.com/asset/...che=b9zksm13ma

    http://static.ddmcdn.com/gif/7.food.jpg


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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    This is an extremely rare and exciting find, as many Etruscan tombs were despoiled by grave robbers.

    Here is the Discovery News article:
    http://news.discovery.com/history/ar...und-151204.htm

    "An intact Etruscan tomb, complete with sarcophagi, a full array of grave goods and a mysterious marble head, has has been brought to light in the Umbria region of Italy, in what promises to be one of the most important archaeological findings in recent history."


    "Once opened, the tomb revealed a 16 square-foot rectangular chamber with two sarcophagi, four marble urns and various grave goods. One of the sarcophagi, made from stone, bears a long inscription.


    So far Natalini and colleagues have been able to read the word “Laris.” Lars is a common Etruscan male first name. The stone coffin contains the skeleton of a male individual."


    "A mysterious marble head, clearly broken at the neck level, has been also found.


    “It portrays the beautiful face of a young man. We do not know yet its meaning. Perhaps it was part of a statue that honored one of the deceased,” Natalini said.


    Apart from grave goods, which include pottery, miniature votive vases and two intact ceramic jars, likely used to store food for the afterlife, the archaeologists found four urns with cremains.




    Made from fine grained alabaster marble, three of them are finely sculpted. The lid portrays the half naked deceased with a flower necklace reclining on two cushions as if at a banquet. He bears a patera, a shallow ritual offering dish, in the right hand.

    The use of alabaster marble, the style of the burial and clues from the inscriptions suggest the burial belongs to an aristocratic family from the nearby Etruscan stronghold of Chiusi, Natalini said."



    Most important, from a genetics point of view, there are two undisturbed, uncontaminated elite Etruscan skeletons, one of which is male.



    Some pictures. Unfortunately, a roof collapse means all the no doubt painted plaster has fallen to the ground.

    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-OCuJ4Oy-r-...an_tomb_01.jpg

    http://www.thehistoryblog.com/wp-con...-platforms.jpg

    http://img.huffingtonpost.com/asset/...che=b9zksm13ma

    http://static.ddmcdn.com/gif/7.food.jpg
    It seems to me that the burial rituals resemble a lot with Hellenic rituals. I mean the sculptures you are describing. Hellenes also used sculptures.

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    Excellent discovery. Body tissue should go straight to the DNA lab. :)
    Be wary of people who tend to glorify the past, underestimate the present, and demonize the future.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeBrok View Post
    Excellent discovery. Body tissue should go straight to the DNA lab. :)
    is there body tissue?
    Etruscans cremated their dead.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bicicleur View Post
    is there body tissue?
    Etruscans cremated their dead.
    If that were universally true we wouldn't have ancient mtDna on them, or the cursory report on autosomal dna.


    See:
    http://www.ancienthistoryarchaeology.com/etruscan-tombs

    "Throughout the Etruscan period, both inhumation and cremation were popular burial methods. Cremation was the first common burial method, with inhumation becoming fashionable during the Orientalising period.


    Burial practices were also localized. Cremation remained popular throughout the Etruscan period in northern Etruscan territories. Inhumation, which first began to appear in towns such as Tarquinia and Caere in the fifth century BC, remained a largely southern Etruscan phenomenon."


    See also:
    "Klein, Alesha Ann. The Etruscans: The Choice Between Cremation and Inhumation. Diss. University of Wisconsin La Crosse, 2013." for the proposition that there was also a distinction by class."

    This is, of course, problematical for genetic analysis, as we can't compare the people of the prior "Villanovan" culture to the early Etruscan remains from cremation or the later remains from inhumation. It also makes it very difficult to know the genetic relationship between the ruling Etruscan elite and the mass of the people in the area.

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    so all early Etruscans were cremated, but later some were inhumated

    and what about this tomb in Perugia?

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    Two skeletons were found (in sarcophagi), and one urn full of cremated remains. At least one of the skeletons is male.

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    3 members found this post helpful.
    I really hope that these remains are in a lab somewhere, because they would be relatively uncontaminated. It would also satisfy some of the many non-Italians who seem fascinated by their genetic make-up, speaking of which I find it very interesting that some of the vehement, vociferous proponents of the "Etruscans definitely are a product of a first millennium BC migration from Turkey" crowd seem to now be open to other possibilities, possibilities that we, or at least I, have suggested have some support as well.

    For one thing, they seem to have finally gotten around to reading up on Etruscan archeology, and have discovered that wow, all the Etruscan settlements are in Villanovan areas. :)

    The best recent treatment of the Etruscans is, in my opinion, this text with articles from internationally known specialists, over 70 of them, in various fields of Etruscology.

    https://scholarworks.umass.edu/cgi/v...ontext=rasenna

    http://bmcr.brynmawr.edu/2014/2014-07-07.html

    It's in google books, but of course that's spotty.

    Also, given that inflow from the area of Asia Minor probably started entering Europe in the late Neolithic and certainly in the Bronze Age, to attribute any "additional" Caucasus like ancestry all to some late movement around 900 BC, or in the Roman Era, seems to me, and has always seemed to me, at least for the last five to seven years or so, to be jumping the gun.

    Nice to see that people are now, with the new samples from southeastern Europe in Mathiesen et al showing that my speculation was correct, willing to be more open minded about the possibilities.

    Among those possibilities is that even if there was some first millenium BC migration from the east, it might have been very minor, and was basically absorbed by Villanovan, elites. The retention of a non-European language might be a case like that of the Basques.

    We need a lot more investigation and analysis before we can make any more conclusive statements.

    As for the PCA above, we'll first have to see if new results differ. If it does, it doesn't mean that there was necessarily a huge influx of more "southern" and "eastern" ancestry in the Roman Era and later. I was struck by how "southern" at least some of the samples from the Lombard cemetery from Collegno. Now, that might not be replicated throughout northern Italy, but it does show that some people living in northern Italy at the time were indeed very southern, as were some people from Iron Age Thrace. I think we have to remember that the Etruscan remains we will be able to analyze will be of elites, probably more "Indo-European", Central European admixed elites.

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    1 members found this post helpful.
    I spoke too soon. How could anyone still be relying on archaeology articles for Etruscans that date all the way back to 2004?

    Good grief.

    Also, before opining on Italian pigmentation it would seem best to look at the Biasutti map more carefully, and also to know something about Italian history.

    First of all, people in the Marche are not lighter haired than Tuscans. In addition, Tuscany as a whole is not lighter haired than Emilia, certainly not if you're talking about "historic" Tuscany, or the area of the historic "Etrurian" heartland.





    The "neck" region of Tuscany in the northwest where there is a cluster of lighter haired people is partly the Lunigiana, which was always traditionally either Ligurian or Emilian (Parma, Reggio, Mantua). It only got taken over politically by Tuscany in the last couple of hundred years.

    It is also definitely not part of the Etruscan heartland, which has traditionally been seen as stopping at the Arno as far as settlement of the interior northwest is concerned. Neither is the Garfagnana. It has been suggested that Luni on the plain was an Etruscan port, but it was a frontier area of the Etruscan settlements. There is also some evidence of the Etruscans up the Serchio in the Garfagnana, but we're not talking about the kind of presence we see in Toscana proper. The Etruscans used the Valley of the Serchio as a route to cross the Apennines; it was used for trade. So, while some Etruscans might have been there, this is not the place to look for a particular "Etruscan" look to be used as support for any grand scale theories. If you are trying to do that, I hate to disappoint, but Luni is around LaSpezia, which is the only "green" area of the "old" Lunigiana.




    Both of the mountainous regions of these areas were posited by Cavalli-Sforza to be refuge areas for the Celt-Ligurians after their defeat by the Romans. These areas have the highest concentrations of R1b in Italy.

    Luni:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luni,_Italy

    The Etruscans in the Garfagnana:
    http://www.segnidellauser.it/etrusch...%20leggero.pdf

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    In addition, Tuscany as a whole is not lighter haired than Emilia, certainly not if you're talking about "historic" Tuscany, or the area of the historic "Etrurian" heartland.
    Beh onestamente... according to Biasutti-Livi data, Tuscany is lighter haired than Emilia even if you remove northwestern Tuscany and Romagna. And Romagna is definitely less light haired than anywhere in Tuscany according to those data. Even genetically people from Romagna can be more southern-eastern shifted than Tuscans.

    The historic "Etrurian" heartland doesn't even coincide with modern-day Tuscany, Etrurian heartland was northern Lazio (down to central Lazio on the northern bank of the Tiber at the gates of Rome), southern Tuscany (up to the foothills of the central Tuscany) and western Umbria.

    For some strange reason the role of Lazio is underestimated, when in fact some of the most important Etruscan cities were located there.


    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    The "neck" region of Tuscany in the northwest where there is a cluster of lighter haired people is partly the Lunigiana, which was always traditionally either Ligurian or Emilian (Parma, Reggio, Mantua). It only got taken over politically by Tuscany in the last couple of hundred years.
    Lunigiana, including Luni, was part of Etruria during ancient Roman times and was called Tusciam ingressus by Paul the Deacon, the historian of the Longobards: «per Alpem Bardonis Tusciam ingressus». Alpem Bardonis is modern-day monte Bardone aka Passo della Cisa.

    In the Middle Ages many areas of Lungiana were for a long time under the rule of Pisa, Lucca, Florence. And Potremoli was part of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany since 1600s; not to mention that ancient Ligurians lived anywhere in Tuscany north of Arno, not only in northwestern Tuscany.

    Of course Lunigiana is an area of ​​transition between northern Italy and the center, but it can't be described as completely detached from the Tuscan reality and history, although nobody denies the historical links with Liguria and Emilia.

    And anyway the Etruscans arrived up to Liguria, in the historic center of Genoa in the port area were found numerous archaeological records of an Etruscan presence, so much so that some scholars even thought of an Etruscan origin of the name itself of Genoa.







    Another intersting data is this, height in Italy in 1879-1883

    Last edited by Pax Augusta; 12-03-18 at 03:04.

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    1 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Pax Augusta View Post
    Beh onestamente... according to Biasutti-Livi data, Tuscany is lighter haired than Emilia even if you remove northwestern Tuscany and Romagna. And Romagna is definitely less lighter haired than anywhere in Tuscany according to those data. Even genetically people from Romagna can be more southern-eastern shifted than Tuscans.



    Lunigiana, including Luni, was part of Etruria during ancient Roman times and was called Tusciam ingressus by Paul the Deacon, the historian of the Longobards: «per Alpem Bardonis Tusciam ingressus».

    In the Middle Ages many areas of Lungiana were for a long time under the rule of Pisa, Lucca, Florence. And Potremoli was part of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany since 1600s, not to mention that ancient Ligurians lived anywhere north of Arno in Tuscan, not only in northwestern Tuscany.

    Of course Lunigiana is an area of ​​transition between northern Italy and the center, but that are can't be described as completely detached from the Tuscan reality and history. And anyway the Etruscans arrived up to Liguria, in the historic center of Genoa in the port area were found numerous archaeological records of an Etruscan presence, so much so that some scholars even thought of an Etruscan origin of the name itself of Genoa.







    Another intersting data is this, height in Italy in 1879-1883

    I never mentioned the Romagna. It's clear from the map that it is a darker haired area than Toscana. I was speaking about EMILIA versus Toscana without the province of Massa Carrara (neither the Lunigiana nor the Garfagnana). Could you provide the data broken down in that way?

    As for who ruled various areas of the Lunigiana, where the fairest haired people lived, according to the map, that is a different story. The area with the lightest hair is the area in the northern Lunigiana bordering Emilia and is the area around Pontremoli and Zeri, the latter of which has been studied as a genetic isolate. For most of its history it was ruled by either the Milanesi or the Genovesi or the local robber barons, the Malaspina. It only came under Tuscan control in 1650.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pontremoli

    Mulazzo:Under the Malaspina until the 1700s.
    https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mulazzo

    Villafranca in Lunigiana:The Malaspina until the Tuscans took it over in 1567
    https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Villafranca_in_Lunigiana


    Aulla (including the area of Filetto where I had ancestors): From the Malaspina to the Tuscans in 1522.
    https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aulla

    Bagnone: Some of my mother's family have lived in the environs for generations. It went from the Malaspina to the Tuscans in the late 1400s.
    https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bagnone

    Licciana Nardi: The Malaspina
    https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Licciana_Nardi

    Fosdinovo: from the church to the Malaspina to the Tuscans
    https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fosdin...e_di_Fosdinovo

    Fivizzano: This is still the most "Tuscan" of the towns of the Lunigiana, although it too was ruled by the Malaspina. The difference was its strategic position, which caused it to be conquered a few times in the Middle Ages before being taken over by the Tuscans in 1477.
    https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fivizzano

    So, as I said upthread, most of the Lunigiana indeed only became Tuscan within the last four or five hundred years.



    I exclude La Spezia, which was very early taken over by Genova, and the coastal areas of Massa and Carrara, since those areas are "darker-haired".

    The point to which I was responding, after all, was that it has been suggested that one bit of proof that perhaps the Etruscans were just Villanovans from Central Europe, was that Tuscans are more fair haired than certain Northern Italians.

    My point was and is that this is rather silly, since the area with the “fairest” haired Italians in the area, the Lunigiana (in fact the northern Lunigiana), wasn’t even part of Toscana until four or five hundred years ago, and that the Lunigiana, or the Garfagnana, for that matter, was never in any way, shape, or form, part of the Etruscan heartland. In fact, other than in the case of Luni, where they were overwhelmed by the Ligures and the Romans, there is barely a trace of the Etruscans in the Lunigiana. You can barely find an Etruscan pot in the Lunigiana, much less a settlement.

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    What do you think?

    Are there relations of the Etruscans to the Minoans of Ancient Crete?

    Or to the Trojans in Asia Minor?

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    2 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by cybernautic View Post
    What do you think?

    Are there relations of the Etruscans to the Minoans of Ancient Crete?

    Or to the Trojans in Asia Minor?
    I honestly don't know. We'll have to see what the dna testing shows.

    I've been skeptical about claims that the Romans (not the Etruscans) are specifically descended from the "Trojans", because it's so typical of nations trying to distinguish themselves to claim descent from illustrious, almost mythical peoples. The Scots and the French also claimed descent from them. Is that true too? :) Julius claimed descent from Venus. A lot of Kings have claimed descent from the gods. I know that part at least is not true.
    https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Descent_from_antiquity

    On the other hand, I have always thought, and said, that there were many waves of settlement from around Anatolia, i.e. that it wasn't one migration 7-8,000 years ago bringing agriculture to Europe, but continued into the Chalcolithic and at least the Early Bronze Age. As turnover took place in Anatolia and perhaps places like Syria, with increasing input from Iran Neo and Chalcolithic type people, that ancestry was brought to Europe as well as the additional ANF ancestry which those people carried. Recent samples of ancient dna from both Anatolia and the Balkans and Greece seem to bear that out.

    In the case of Italy I think some of it might have been direct, perhaps via Crete as I have long suggested might have been possible, but also via mainland Greece.

    Now, whether there was a specific movement from Asia Minor, or perhaps more likely specifically from the Aegean, into specifically the area of modern day Toscana during the first millennium BC, I don't know. There's nothing in the archaeological record, in my opinion, to indicate any kind of invasion of the area in the first millennium BC. There is definitely a change to different kinds of settlements, but no indication of warfare or destruction.

    So, if there was such a movement I think it might have been minor, a movement of elites, not a mass folk migration.

    I am increasingly thinking that much of the change might be due to influence from Sardinia, which was itself more in contact with civilized centers in the east.

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    2 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by cybernautic View Post
    What do you think?

    Are there relations of the Etruscans to the Minoans of Ancient Crete?

    Or to the Trojans in Asia Minor?
    There are no archeological evidences or records of relations between Etruscans and the Minoans and ancient Crete.

    The Orientalizing phase of the Etruscan civilization is after the formation of the Etruscan civilization which starts with the Villanovan culture considered an early phase of the Etruscans, and it is mainly due to contacts with the Greek world and to the contacts that the Greek world had previously with the Oriental world, and the Orientalization was a phenomenon that did not concern only the Etruscans, but also many other pre-Roman civilizations that lived in Italy (for example the site of Passo Gabella in the territory of the Italic Piceni shows a clear Orientalizing phase but there are many other example of Orientalizing phase in Italy in non-Etruscan areas).

    The only linguistic theory that has any evidence is the theory of the Tyrrhenian family, with the Etruscan, the Rhaetian language spoken in the Alps and the one spoken at Lemnos as all descended from a language spoken before the Bronze Age, with a separation (split) between Etruscan and the Rhaetian language much older than that between Etruscan and the language of the few inscriptions of Lemnos.

    According to recent analysis, it would be the Lemnian language to descend from the Etruscan and not vice versa, as part of movements from west to east that took place from the Iron Age, but here the smoking gun is still missing.

    The Trojans in Asia Minor is just a myth, and the Romans themselves said they descended from the Trojans.

    In any case it can not be attributed to the Etruscans the increasing CHG that exists more you go south in Italy, because the people of Marche (and it's likely a trend already starting in Romagna), Abruzzo and so on, have on average more CHG than the Tuscans. In Italy areas where the Italic tribes settled have more CHG than the Etruscan areas.

    From an archaeological point of view, on the other hand, there is growing evidence that the role of mediator between the Etruscans and the east of the Mediterranean was played by the Nuragics of Sardinia. The Sardinians had been trading with Cyprus for a long time and in the south of Sardinia there were Phoenician colonies. And the other area of ​​mediation between north-central Italy and the east of the Mediterranean was the one found today between Spina, Adria on the Adriatic side, and perhaps something further south still on the Adriatic coast.

    It seems more and more evident to me that the seeds of Etruscan civilization were thrown when the copper mines were begun to be exploited. And so we talk about a time closer to the Chalcolithic rather than to the Iron Age.

    Both Otzi's ax (who lived in a proto-Rethian area) and another one found in the Alps of German-speaking Switzerland were made with copper from southern Tuscany. And this is unlikely due to simple and occasional trading.

    Even among some Italian archaeologists there is a growing consensus that the seeds are to be found in Rinaldone's culture, named after a village in northern Lazio. The Etruscans of the historic period were the result of all those proto-historical cultures that had succeeded in those territories, including precisely after Rinaldone, the Apennine culture, the Bell Beaker, the Proto-Villanovan and, last but not least, the Villanovans.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pax Augusta View Post
    There are no archeological evidences or records of relations between Etruscans and the Minoans and ancient Crete.
    The Orientalizing phase of the Etruscan civilization is after the formation of the Etruscan civilization which starts with the Villanovan culture considered an early phase of the Etruscans, and it is mainly due to contacts with the Greek world and to the contacts that the Greek world had previously with the Oriental world, and the Orientalization was a phenomenon that did not concern only the Etruscans, but also many other pre-Roman civilizations that lived in Italy (for example the site of Passo Gabella in the territory of the Italic Piceni shows a clear Orientalizing phase but there are many other example of Orientalizing phase in Italy in non-Etruscan areas).
    The only linguistic theory that has any evidence is the theory of the Tyrrhenian family, with the Etruscan, the Rhaetian language spoken in the Alps and the one spoken at Lemnos as all descended from a language spoken before the Bronze Age, with a separation (split) between Etruscan and the Rhaetian language much older than that between Etruscan and the language of the few inscriptions of Lemnos.
    According to recent analysis, it would be the Lemnian language to descend from the Etruscan and not vice versa, as part of movements from west to east that took place from the Iron Age, but here the smoking gun is still missing.
    The Trojans in Asia Minor is just a myth, and the Romans themselves said they descended from the Trojans.
    In any case it can not be attributed to the Etruscans the increasing CHG that exists more you go south in Italy, because the people of Marche (and it's likely a trend already starting in Romagna), Abruzzo and so on, have on average more CHG than the Tuscans. In Italy areas where the Italic tribes settled have more CHG than the Etruscan areas.
    From an archaeological point of view, on the other hand, there is growing evidence that the role of mediator between the Etruscans and the east of the Mediterranean was played by the Nuragics of Sardinia. The Sardinians had been trading with Cyprus for a long time and in the south of Sardinia there were Phoenician colonies. And the other area of ​​mediation between north-central Italy and the east of the Mediterranean was the one found today between Spina, Adria on the Adriatic side, and perhaps something further south still on the Adriatic coast.
    It seems more and more evident to me that the seeds of Etruscan civilization were thrown when the copper mines were begun to be exploited. And so we talk about a time closer to the Chalcolithic rather than to the Iron Age.
    Both Otzi's ax (who lived in a proto-Rethian area) and another one found in the Alps of German-speaking Switzerland were made with copper from southern Tuscany. And this is unlikely due to simple and occasional trading.
    Even among some Italian archaeologists there is a growing consensus that the seeds are to be found in Rinaldone's culture, named after a village in northern Lazio. The Etruscans of the historic period were the result of all those proto-historical cultures that had succeeded in those territories, including precisely after Rinaldone, the Apennine culture, the Bell Beaker, the Proto-Villanovan and, last but not least, the Villanovans.
    I have been saying the same thing about the lemnian stelae for over 2 years......it is just part of etruscan traders "leftovers" .................imo, etruscans are indigenous to Italy eversince they broke off from their ancestors the Umbri
    it is still not clear on a rhaetic-etruscan linguistic union.............what is clear is a rhaetic-euganei union ( the euganei later being renamed venetic )
    http://www.univie.ac.at/raetica/wiki...eti_and_Raetic
    .
    http://www.univie.ac.at/raetica/wiki/Script
    có che un pòpoło no 'l defende pi ła só łéngua el xe prónto par èser s'ciavo

    when a people no longer dares to defend its language it is ripe for slavery.

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