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Thread: Etruscan’s genealogical linguistic relationship with Nakh-Daghestanian

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    Etruscan’s genealogical linguistic relationship with Nakh-Daghestanian

    see:
    https://web.archive.org/web/20110810...329)EGRWND.pdf

    I enjoyed reading it :)

    This is a paper by Ed Robertson from 2006 where he argues for a genetic relationship between Etruscan (and the Tyrrhenian family) and Nakh-Daghestanian languages of north east Caucasia, which have been linked before with Hurro-Urartian.

    His argument is built on three shared features between the two languages, in ascending order of importance:

    i) Cognate key items of vocabulary supported by regular sound correspondences.

    ii) Agreement of the majority of key grammatical morphological items, above all the identity of the morphology relating to decade and iterative numerals, and shared allomorphy of sibilants and laterals in the case system, some of which constitute individual-identifying evidence.

    iii) Evidence of a number of shared irregularities: shared ablaut patterns, and shared theme extensions in the same specific cognate words, which in some cases also constitutes individual-identifying information.
    Italy and the Aegean region both have high amounts of J2 (and other Caucasian haplogroups) and Caucasus like admixture relative to other regions of Europe, this, in my opinion, strengthens the argument for a common proto language for the pre-Indo-European peoples that spread it in the Bronze Age.

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    Definitely, finding linguistic connection between European Mediterranean and Anatolia/Caucasus would definitely strengthen narration of massive BA invasion. I can't wait for many BA and IA samples from South Europe.
    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
    Definitely, finding linguistic connection between European Mediterranean and Anatolia/Caucasus would definitely strengthen narration of massive BA invasion. I can't wait for many BA and IA samples from South Europe.
    Ed Robertson is an Esperantist and an amateur linguist. His study was inspired by those of Starostin, Ivanov, Diakonoff etc..., who were a group of Soviet scholars very active in the 70s and 80s. There is also the Dené–Caucasian languages theory that includes the Basque language. Bengtson added the Vasconic languages (including Basque, Aquitanian, and possibly Iberian) to Dené–Caucasian languages theory. The linguistic theories about the Caucasian languages are many, and many, unfortunately, do not have archaeological support.

    Etruscans hardly have something to do with the spread of this component and J2, being J2 is higher in Italy in areas where there was no Etruscan civilization. It was rather a BA migration to the Balkans and to Italy, with no particular link to the Etruscan civilization. Etruscan civilization flourished at least 2000 years later this BA migration. This BA migration could have intensified links and exchanges between the Central Mediterranean and the Aegean-Balkan areas, this is obviously plausible.

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    @Pax Augusta

    did you read it? because it seemed very convincing to me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pax Augusta View Post
    Ed Robertson is an Esperantist and an amateur linguist. His study was inspired by those of Starostin, Ivanov, Diakonoff etc..., who were a group of Soviet scholars very active in the 70s and 80s. There is also the Dené–Caucasian languages theory that includes the Basque language. Bengtson added the Vasconic languages (including Basque, Aquitanian, and possibly Iberian) to Dené–Caucasian languages theory. The linguistic theories about the Caucasian languages are many, and many, unfortunately, do not have archaeological support.

    Etruscans hardly have something to do with the spread of this component and J2, being J2 is higher in Italy in areas where there was no Etruscan civilization. It was rather a BA migration to the Balkans and to Italy, with no particular link to the Etruscan civilization. Etruscan civilization flourished at least 2000 years later this BA migration. This BA migration could have intensified links and exchanges between the Central Mediterranean and the Aegean-Balkan areas, this is obviously plausible.
    could they be G2?
    I have just a strong feeling they were G2a
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    This is a table for regional Italian Y-DNA http://www.eupedia.com/genetics/regi...logroups.shtml

    It's not low in Tuscany, Emilia-Romagna or Veneto. Keep in mind their migration didn't consist of J2 alone, a good deal of E-V13 , G2a and R1b-Z2103 should have been present as well, if we assume their Aegean or west Anatolian origins. The high frequency of R1b-U152 found in Tuscany today can be attributed to Italic tribes absorbed by the Etruscans, and to the Romans who resettled part of Etruria.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yetos View Post
    could they be G2?
    I have just a strong feeling they were G2a

    Yes, likely G2a was part of their paleo-Mediterranean substratum.


    Quote Originally Posted by IronSide View Post
    @Pax Augusta

    did you read it? because it seemed very convincing to me.
    Of course I've read it. People on forums cite often this study because it's avalaible as pdf and easy to download, while they haven't usually read the works of Starostin, Ivanov, Diakonoff because are written almost all in Russian and not easy to access.


    Quote Originally Posted by IronSide View Post
    This is a table for regional Italian Y-DNA http://www.eupedia.com/genetics/regi...logroups.shtml

    It's not low in Tuscany, Emilia-Romagna or Veneto. Keep in mind their migration didn't consist of J2 alone, a good deal of E-V13 , G2a and R1b-Z2103 should have been present as well, if we assume their Aegean or west Anatolian origins. The high frequency of R1b-U152 found in Tuscany today can be attributed to Italic tribes absorbed by the Etruscans, and to the Romans who resettled part of Etruria.
    I have the impression that I already had this conversation with another user.

    In Tuscany the average of J2 is 11.5%, even lower than the Italian average, and similar to the average of North Italy (10%) and Sardinia (9%) (the Austrian average is 9%, the Portuguese average is 9,5%, the French average is 6%). The peak of J2 in Italy is in Calabria with 29.5%, almost the triple. It is stronger in the Adriatic coast (Marche 24.5%, Abruzzo 21%) rather in the Tyrrhenian coast. J2 is definitely more spread in areas who have nothing to do with Etruscans. G2a is Otzi Haplogroup, E-V13 can be anything, R1b-Z2103 has been found in the Yamnaya culture. J2 in Italy follows clearly a east-west gradient. There is even more J2 in Veneto than in Tuscany. Exceptions are represented by Calabria (29.5%) and Sicily (23%).

    J2 is 19.5% in Albania, in Crete J2 is 32%, in Greece J2 is 23% as national average (the Italian national average is 15%), while in Bulgaria J2 is 11%, Romania J2 is 13.5%, in Serbia J2 is 9%, in Macedonia J2 is 14%.

    Probably, J2 is also linked to the BA migrations from the Balkans to Italy, mentioned by LeBrook. But there are J2 who arrived earlier. There may also have been Etruscans who were J2, yes of course. But the spread of J2 is not specifically due to them.

    J2 in ancient samples in Europe:

    - 10090-9460 BC WHG Rhône-Alpes France (Aven des Iboussières à Malataverne, sample Iboussieres25-1, 0.1x) in Mathieson et al 2017 is J2?

    - 5500-4775 BC LBK Lower Austria (Kleinhadersdorf Flur Marchleiten, sample I5068, 0.4x) in Mathieson et al 2017 is J2-L228;

    - 5030-4840 BC Neolithic Sopot Culture in Hungary (sample ALE14) in Szecsenyi-Nagy 2015 is J2-M172;

    - 5000-4300 BC? Neolithic Lengyel Culture in Hungary (sample FEB3) in Szecsenyi-Nagy 2015 is J2-M172;

    - 4800-4500 BC Neolithic Lengyel Culture in Hungary (sample I1902/FEB3a) in Lipson et al 2017 is J2a-L152;

    - 1700-1500 BC Croatia EM Bronze Age Balkans (Veliki Vanik, sample I4331, 3.1x) in Mathieson et al 2017 is J2b2a1-L283

    - 1270-1110 BC late Bronze Age Kyjatice Culture boy in Hungary (sample BR2) in Gamba et al. 2014 (OG>AM) is J2a1a1a1b1-M67>Z7671>CTS900>Y11202>Z30695>Z30685;






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    We hopefully will know within a few years the yDna which the Etruscans carried, but we don't as of yet have ancient yDna from a single Etruscan source, so I'm not quite sure about the source of all this certainty. Also, even if they carried some J2, which is certainly possible, as Pax Augusta has pointed out it doesn't necessarily mean that there was a specific J2 carrying migration from the Caucasus in the first millennium BC which brought it to Tuscany.

    As to the linguistics aspect, Robertson is not a professional linguist, and this is not a theory which holds much currency among actual linguists. There are lots of fringe linguistic theories out there which unfortunately are latched onto by amateurs on the internet.


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    I wouldn't be very surprised if there is a really ancient relationship between Nakh-Dagestanian and Thyrrhenian languages. However, I find it implausible that both of those language families come directly from the same language at least after the Middle/Late Neolithic, as far as linguistic reconstructions can reasonably go. Nakh and Dagestanian themselves diverged very long ago, as much as 5,000 years ago, so a J2a-derived Thyrrhenian family would've existed together with Nakh-Dagestanian thousands of years earlier than that, perhaps during the Early Neolithic. However, one should also consider the possibility that Northeast Caucasian languages are a sole remnant of the languages originally spoken by J1-majority people, most of which switched to Semitic, Hurrian-Urartian and Indo-European languages by the Bronze Age. Nakh-Dagestanian areas have high peaks of both J2a and J1 haplogroups. If you compare Etruscan numerals with Nakh-Dagestanian and then with Hurrian numerals, there are certainly more "look-alikes" with Hurrian, what would fit nicely with the speculations that Hurrians and Urartians were the historically documented examples of the Kura-Araxes expansion. See:

    HURRIAN: shuki, shini, kike, tumni, nariya, sheshe, shinti, kiri, tamri, eemani.
    ETRUSCAN: thu, zal, ci, huth, max, sha, semph, cezp,nurph, halx.


    Etruscan, like Rhaetic and Lemnian, looks like the remnant of pre-Indo-European Southern Europe before the arrival of (already admixed) Indo-European and partly steppe-derived Indo-Europeans from central and eastern Europe. That "pre-Indo-European" Southern Europe was possibly formed by EEF+WHG G2a-majority or I2-majority languages, and increasingly by J2a-majority languages brought in during the Late Neolithic/Early Bronze Age (if the noticeable increase in CHG and Iran_Neolithic components are any good indication).

    Since Etruscan doesn't seem to have any direct link with Basque or Iberian, which were possibly the least affected regions of Europe during the Bronze Age movements of peoples (from the steppe and from Anatolia/Caucasus), I would definitely bet that Etruscan was brought to Italy by J2a or J1 majority people, probably already very diluted by Southeastern European admixture (Y-DNA G2a, E-V13, I2, some R1b).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ygorbr View Post
    I wouldn't be very surprised if there is a really ancient relationship between Nakh-Dagestanian and Thyrrhenian languages. However, I find it implausible that both of those language families come directly from the same language at least after the Middle/Late Neolithic, as far as linguistic reconstructions can reasonably go. Nakh and Dagestanian themselves diverged very long ago, as much as 5,000 years ago, so a J2a-derived Thyrrhenian family would've existed together with Nakh-Dagestanian thousands of years earlier than that, perhaps during the Early Neolithic. However, one should also consider the possibility that Northeast Caucasian languages are a sole remnant of the languages originally spoken by J1-majority people, most of which switched to Semitic, Hurrian-Urartian and Indo-European languages by the Bronze Age. Nakh-Dagestanian areas have high peaks of both J2a and J1 haplogroups. If you compare Etruscan numerals with Nakh-Dagestanian and then with Hurrian numerals, there are certainly more "look-alikes" with Hurrian, what would fit nicely with the speculations that Hurrians and Urartians were the historically documented examples of the Kura-Araxes expansion. See:

    HURRIAN: shuki, shini, kike, tumni, nariya, sheshe, shinti, kiri, tamri, eemani.
    ETRUSCAN: thu, zal, ci, huth, max, sha, semph, cezp,nurph, halx.


    Etruscan, like Rhaetic and Lemnian, looks like the remnant of pre-Indo-European Southern Europe before the arrival of (already admixed) Indo-European and partly steppe-derived Indo-Europeans from central and eastern Europe. That "pre-Indo-European" Southern Europe was possibly formed by EEF+WHG G2a-majority or I2-majority languages, and increasingly by J2a-majority languages brought in during the Late Neolithic/Early Bronze Age (if the noticeable increase in CHG and Iran_Neolithic components are any good indication).

    Since Etruscan doesn't seem to have any direct link with Basque or Iberian, which were possibly the least affected regions of Europe during the Bronze Age movements of peoples (from the steppe and from Anatolia/Caucasus), I would definitely bet that Etruscan was brought to Italy by J2a or J1 majority people, probably already very diluted by Southeastern European admixture (Y-DNA G2a, E-V13, I2, some R1b).
    Very well written and informative. Welcome to Eupedia Ygorbr.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ygorbr View Post
    Since Etruscan doesn't seem to have any direct link with Basque or Iberian, which were possibly the least affected regions of Europe during the Bronze Age movements of peoples (from the steppe and from Anatolia/Caucasus)
    Actually, there are theories for all tastes. Basque, Aquitanian, and even Iberian (the so called Vasconic languages), are often included in the Dené–Caucasian languages theory.

    Dené–Caucasian is language family that includes also the Northeastern Caucasian languages, also known as Nakho-Dagestanian languages, exactly the same languages we are talking about in this thread.

    Not to mention the Alarodian languages, a language family that encompasses the Northeast Caucasian (Nakh–Dagestanian) languages and the extinct Hurro-Urartian languages.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ygorbr View Post
    ETRUSCAN: thu, zal, ci, huth, max, sha, semph, cezp,nurph, halx
    There's no shortage of theories about the Etruscan numerals either. There is even a large group of linguists who thinks Etruscan numerals are of Indo-European origin. Obviously there is also a large group of linguists who supports the opposite.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pax Augusta View Post
    Dené–Caucasian is language family that includes also the Northeastern Caucasian languages, also known as Nakho-Dagestanian languages, exactly the same languages we are talking about in this thread. Not to mention the Alarodian languages, a language family that encompasses the Northeast Caucasian (Nakh–Dagestanian) languages and the extinct Hurro-Urartian languages.
    Thanks for your comment, apart from Dené-Caucasian I wasn't aware of the proposal of an IE origin of Etruscan numerals (which, at least on a first thought, looks very implausible to me), and of the Alarodian hypothesis. That said, I've tried to assume linguistic connections based on more recent (and thus likely) connections, with some hints given by genetics and genetics. The fact that both Tyrrhenian and Hurrian-Urartian existed in broadly J2-heavy regions (not necessarily in Roman-era Tuscany, but in Italy, but certainly in Southeastern Europe and the Armenian Plateau), the relative similarities in vocabulary, all of that.

    What bothers me about proposals such as Dené-Caucasian is that they go so far back in time that the distinction between chance and real relationship, between loanword and veritable ancestral roots gets totally blurred, and the probability of sheer coincidence extremely high, especially as these proposals usually rely on just a small sample of supposedly common words.

    For instance, in the case of Dené-Caucasian, Sumerian itself was already a very distinct language 5,000 years ago. Proto-Sino-Tibetan was definitely very different from Proto-Northeast-Caucasian, and they were spoken at least 5,000-6,000 years ago. So, we'd be talking about deep relationships as early as 15,000 years ago. But at least in the case of Afro-Asiatic, spoken at least 10,000-15,000 years ago, we have much more evidence about connections between the language families, not just a handful of random similarities and words.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeBrok View Post
    Very well written and informative. Welcome to Eupedia Ygorbr.
    Thanks a lot, LeBrok! That was very kind.

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    The Etruscans originated from the previous Villanovian culture, which originated from the Urnfield culture in Central Europe during the late bronze age.

    The Villanovians started developing complex settlements on top of plateaus around the 12-10th century bc, many of these settlements had a complex plant and spanned several hectares, some of these settlements can be described as proto-cities due to their complex features and careful planning.

    Most Etruscan cities originated from these Villanovian sites and became full fledged cities around the 8-7th century bc, therefore there is a strong continuity between the Etruscans and the local Villanovians.
    Their pottery was local, and while there is evidence for intensive trade with nearby civilizations and for the presence of small foreign communities of Sardinians and people from the Padanian plain in Villanovian settlements, there is no evidence at all for the presence of Anatolian communities, let alone for massive migrations from Anatolia or the Near East.

    Source: The Etruscan world (2013)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pygmalion View Post
    The Etruscans originated from the previous Villanovian culture, which originated from the Urnfield culture in Central Europe during the late bronze age.
    The Villanovians started developing complex settlements on top of plateaus around the 12-10th century bc, many of these settlements had a complex plant and spanned several hectares, some of these settlements can be described as proto-cities due to their complex features and careful planning.
    Most Etruscan cities originated from these Villanovian sites and became full fledged cities around the 8-7th century bc, therefore there is a strong continuity between the Etruscans and the local Villanovians.
    Their pottery was local, and while there is evidence for intensive trade with nearby civilizations and for the presence of small foreign communities of Sardinians and people from the Padanian plain in Villanovian settlements, there is no evidence at all for the presence of Anatolian communities, let alone for massive migrations from Anatolia or the Near East.
    Source: The Etruscan world (2013)
    If there is continuity between the Etruscans and Villanovans then that does contradict any Iron Age Anatolian migration.

    I find it interesting that R1b-U152 (the supposed Italic IE subclade) distribution in Italy fits Villanovan and Etruscan territory more than it does for the Italic tribes.





    A similar situation to Ancient Iberians (a non-IE people) and R1b-DF27





    And of course, Basque speakers are predominantly R1b.

    A better surrogate for the Italic tribes would be J2a1-L70, and the Etruscans would basically be R1b-U152 and the older Neolithic G2a2, which would be the source of the Etruscan language. If any real relationship exists between Etruscan and Nakh languages then it would be in some common origin in the Anatolian Neolithic.

    Yes I changed my mind.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pygmalion View Post
    The Etruscans originated from the previous Villanovian culture, which originated from the Urnfield culture in Central Europe during the late bronze age.
    The Villanovians started developing complex settlements on top of plateaus around the 12-10th century bc, many of these settlements had a complex plant and spanned several hectares, some of these settlements can be described as proto-cities due to their complex features and careful planning.
    Most Etruscan cities originated from these Villanovian sites and became full fledged cities around the 8-7th century bc, therefore there is a strong continuity between the Etruscans and the local Villanovians.
    Their pottery was local, and while there is evidence for intensive trade with nearby civilizations and for the presence of small foreign communities of Sardinians and people from the Padanian plain in Villanovian settlements, there is no evidence at all for the presence of Anatolian communities, let alone for massive migrations from Anatolia or the Near East.
    Source: The Etruscan world (2013)
    Villanovan culture never appears north of the Po River , its most northern point being near Bologna.
    Etruscans appear in the early iron age as a branch of the Umbrians

    The two are linked.......creation of Villanovan, creation of Etruscans, same time, same place
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    Quote Originally Posted by LeBrok View Post
    Definitely, finding linguistic connection between European Mediterranean and Anatolia/Caucasus would definitely strengthen narration of massive BA invasion. I can't wait for many BA and IA samples from South Europe.
    Have any samples been found, and just not added yet? or are samples still dry?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dibran View Post
    Have any samples been found, and just not added yet? or are samples still dry?
    All the PCA/MDS including Etruscan samples







    - It's not a PCA, it's a multidimensional scaling (MDS) built from the matrix of the FSt where Etruscans are somewhat close to early Middle Ages people from Modena, Emilia-Romagna (5th to the 7th century AD). It comes from a 2015 Italian poster.









    - This is another MDS but less easy to read (it comes from another study).




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    Quote Originally Posted by IronSide View Post
    If there is continuity between the Etruscans and Villanovans then that does contradict any Iron Age Anatolian migration. I find it interesting that R1b-U152 (the supposed Italic IE subclade) distribution in Italy fits Villanovan and Etruscan territory more than it does for the Italic tribes.
    Compare the distribution of proto-Villanovan and Villanovan sites in Italy with the distribution of a specific R1b-U152 subclade: Z56. R1b-U152 Z56.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sile View Post
    Villanovan culture never appears north of the Po River , its most northern point being near Bologna.
    In fact north of the Po River there are proto-Villanovan sites according to this map. In Lombardy to be exact.

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    Was Villanovan R1b even R1b-M269? I don't really remember, but I don't think so. In my opinion there isn't necessarily a continuous genetic relationship between Villanovan people in northern Italy and R1b-U152 heavy Italian regions nowadays. The R1b subclades of Villanovan, Iron Gates and other European hunter gatherers may simply have gone the same way of C1a2 and other Paleolithic haplogroups, i.e. extremely low and dispersed presence. I suppose that subclades of R1b-M269 proper would've arrived from further east, near the Ukraine (Carpathians? Black Sea coast?).

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    2 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ygorbr View Post
    Was Villanovan R1b even R1b-M269? I don't really remember, but I don't think so. In my opinion there isn't necessarily a continuous genetic relationship between Villanovan people in northern Italy and R1b-U152 heavy Italian regions nowadays. The R1b subclades of Villanovan, Iron Gates and other European hunter gatherers may simply have gone the same way of C1a2 and other Paleolithic haplogroups, i.e. extremely low and dispersed presence. I suppose that subclades of R1b-M269 proper would've arrived from further east, near the Ukraine (Carpathians? Black Sea coast?).
    Villanovans are Iron Age people, Ygorbr. Are you thinking perhaps of Villabruna? That would be different. We have his R1b clade. We don't have anything for any Bronze or Iron Age people of Italy except for Remedello who were European farmer like with some additional WHG, and they carried I2a. It can get confusing with such similar names.

  23. #23
    Regular Member Sile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pax Augusta View Post
    In fact north of the Po River there are proto-Villanovan sites according to this map. In Lombardy to be exact.
    Are you sure this has not been superseded by more recent studies?
    Is it not confused with Golassca culture?
    https://www.ancient.eu/Villanovan_Culture/
    .
    .
    here is a link which will interest you in regards to early iron-age italy
    http://www.bollettinodiarcheologiaon.../1_NIJBOER.pdf

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    Moderator Pax Augusta's Avatar
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    2 members found this post helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sile View Post
    Are you sure this has not been superseded by more recent studies?
    Is it not confused with Golassca culture?.
    More Canegrate than Golasecca. Golasecca is more recent.

    Anyway, they all, including proto-Villanovans, derive from the same culture, the Urnfield culture. So it's pretty obvious that these sites were considered overlapping.


    David W. Anthony in "The Horse, The Wheel and Language"

    The widely separated pockets of Yamnaya settlement in the lower Danube
    valley and the Balkans established speakers of late Proto-Indo-European di-
    alects in scattered islands where, if they remained isolated from one another,
    they could have differentiated over centuries into various Indo-European
    languages. The many thousands of Yamnaya kurgans in eastern Hungary
    suggest a more continuous occupation of the landscape by a larger population
    of immigrants, one that could have acquired power and prestige partly just
    through its numerical weight. This regional group could have spawned both
    pre-Italic and pre-Celtic. Bell Beaker sites of the Csepel type around Buda-
    pest, west of the Yamnaya settlement region, are dated about 2800-2600
    BCE. They could have been a bridge between Yamnaya on their east and
    Austria/Southern Germany to their west, through which Yamnaya dialects
    spread from Hungary into Austria and Bavaria, where they later developed
    into Proto-Celtic. 31 Pre-Italic could have developed among the dialects
    that remained in Hungary, ultimately spreading into Italy through the
    Urnfield and Villanovan cultures
    . Eric Hamp and others have revived the
    argument that Italic and Celtic shared a common parent, so a single migra-
    tion stream could have contained dialects that later were ancestral to both. 32
    Archaeologically, however, the Yamnaya immigrants here, as elsewhere,
    left no lasting material impression except their kurgans.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    Villanovans are Iron Age people, Ygorbr. Are you thinking perhaps of Villabruna? That would be different. We have his R1b clade. We don't have anything for any Bronze or Iron Age people of Italy except for Remedello who were European farmer like with some additional WHG, and they carried I2a. It can get confusing with such similar names.
    Yes, sorry, I misread the terms, they're so similar, and to make things more confusing R1b was also found in the Villabruna cluster! LOL

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