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Thread: Copper to Tuscany – Coals to Newcastle? Dynamics of metalwork exchange in early Italy

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    Copper to Tuscany – Coals to Newcastle? Dynamics of metalwork exchange in early Italy



    Copper to Tuscany – Coals to Newcastle? The dynamics of metalwork exchange in early Italy

    Andrea Dolfini, Ivana Angelini, Gilberto Artioli
    Published: January 22, 2020

    https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0227259


    "The paper discusses results of an interdisciplinary research project integrating lead isotope, chemical, and archaeological analysis of 20 early metal objects from central Italy. The aim of the research was to develop robust provenance hypotheses for 4th and 3rd millennia BC metals from an important, yet hitherto neglected, metallurgical district in prehistoric Europe, displaying precocious copper mining and smelting, as well as socially significant uses of metals in ‘Rinaldone-style’ burials. All major (and most minor) ore bodies from Tuscany and neighbouring regions were characterised chemically and isotopically, and 20 Copper Age axe-heads, daggers and halberds were sampled and analysed. The objects were also reassessed archaeologically, paying special attention to find context, typology, and chronology. This multi-pronged approach has allowed us to challenge received wisdom concerning the local character of early metal production and exchange in the region. The research has shown that most objects were likely manufactured in west-central Italy using copper from Southern Tuscany and, quite possibly, the Apuanian Alps. A few objects, however, display isotopic and chemical signatures compatible with the Western Alpine and, in one case, French ore deposits. This shows that the Copper Age communities of west-central Italy participated in superregional exchange networks tying together the middle/upper Tyrrhenian region, the western Alps, and perhaps the French Midi. These networks were largely independent from other metal displacement circuits in operation at the time, which embraced the north-Alpine region and the south-eastern Alps, respectively."





    Late Neolithic Italy was home to complex networks of metal exchange


    During the 4th and 3rd millennia BC, Italy was home to complex networks of metalwork exchange, according to a study published January 22, 2020 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Andrea Dolfini of Newcastle University (UK), and Gilberto Artioli and Ivana Angelini of the University of Padova (Italy).

    Research in recent decades has revealed that copper mining and metalwork in Italy began earlier and included more complex technologies than previously thought. However, relatively little is known about metalwork exchange across the country, especially south of the Alps. In this study, Dolfini and colleagues sought to understand how commonly and how widely copper was imported and exchanged throughout Late Neolithic (Copper Age) Italy.

    The researchers conducted an analysis of 20 copper items, including axe-heads, halberds, and daggers, from central Italy dating to the Copper Age, between 3600 and 2200 BC. Comparing archaeological data and chemical signatures of these items to nearby sources of copper ore, as well as to other prehistoric sites, they were able to determine that most of the examined objects were cast from copper mined in Tuscany, with the rest sourced from the western Alps and possibly the French Midi.

    These results not only confirm the importance of the Tuscan region as a source of copper for Copper Age communities in Italy, reaching as far as the Tyrolean area home of the Alpine Iceman, but also reveal the unexpected finding that non-Tuscan copper was a significant import to the region at this time. These data contribute to a growing picture of multiple independent networks of Copper Age metal exchange in the Alps and neighboring regions. The authors note that future research might uncover other early sources of copper, as well as more details of the interactions between these early trade networks.

    The authors add: "The first systematic application of lead isotope analysis (a geological sourcing technique) to Copper Age metal objects from central Italy, 3600-2200 BC, has shed new light on the provenance of the copper used to cast them. The research has revealed that, while some of the copper was sourced from the rich ore deposits of Tuscany, as was expected, some is from further afield. This unforeseen discovery demonstrates that far-reaching metal exchange networks were in operation in prehistoric Europe over a thousand years before the Bronze Age."


    https://phys.org/news/2020-01-late-n...e-complex.html

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    This is the same working group that discovered that the copper with which Otzi's axe was made always came from the same mining in southern Tuscany.

    The culture of Rinaldone is considered by some archaeologists to be the Neolithic-Copper Age culture ancestral to the Etruscans. In simple terms, the non-Steppe part in the Etruscans.

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    They've been mining the same material since 2010 and before.

    I posted about their work and findings from Toscana in 2013.

    https://www.eupedia.com/forum/thread...hlight=Dolfini


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    Quote Originally Posted by Pax Augusta View Post
    This is the same working group that discovered that the copper with which Otzi's axe was made always came from the same mining in southern Tuscany.

    The culture of Rinaldone is considered by some archaeologists to be the Neolithic-Copper Age culture ancestral to the Etruscans. In simple terms, the non-Steppe part in the Etruscans.
    Thanks for this note and connecting Otzi with this "non-Steppe" part of Etruscan culture.

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    do they have DNA to link to the non-steppe Etruscan part?

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    I think the hypothesis would be this site is pre-Steppe migration into Europe, i.e. pre-Corded Ware and pre Beaker Culture. Perhaps I am mistaken though.

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    The metallurgy the paper is investigating is 4th and 3rd millennium.

    These are the pre-Bronze Age samples published by Antonio et al.

    We've been working with them on the Vahaduo thread.


    As you can see there's one specifically Rinaldone sample. Closest modern population is Sardinian. The hypothesis would be that if you add steppe you get Etruscan. That makes sense given where they plot and their make up.

    Distance to: R1014_Chalcolithic___Monte_San_Biagio
    10.33699666 Sardinian

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    Angela: Ok, that helps me to try to tie this together. The Tuscany civilization was pre-Steppe (4th-3rd millennium BC) since Steppe did not reach Central Europe to circa 2500 BC, thus predominantly neolithic Early European Farmer (EEF). R1014 dates to 3500-2500 BC and plots with Sardinians, who are > 80% Neolithic EEF so adding some Steppe to R1014 would approximate who the Etruscans. Very plausible hypothesis that is supported by the data. Thanks for that quick reference back to the Vahaduo thread with the Roman samples.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    The metallurgy the paper is investigating is 4th and 3rd millennium.
    These are the pre-Bronze Age samples published by Antonio et al.
    We've been working with them on the Vahaduo thread.

    As you can see there's one specifically Rinaldone sample. Closest modern population is Sardinian. The hypothesis would be that if you add steppe you get Etruscan. That makes sense given where they plot and their make up.
    Distance to: R1014_Chalcolithic___Monte_San_Biagio
    10.33699666 Sardinian
    and how much steppe do you have to add to make Rinaldone become Etruscan?
    I assume that the newcomers were not pure steppe - more bell beaker like : half EEF - half steppe

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    Bicicleur: Well as someone who is not a fan of the Steppe migration theory in the context of Italy and ancient Rome being made up of people with 100% Steppe migration ancestry, I think your question is interesting. And just my humble opinion, the Antonio et al. (2019) paper and the samples that Angela reported here and that are being analyzed in the other thread is starting to put to rest that theory. Again, in my opinion. Figure 2 in that paper clearly shows Steppe ancestry was never anywhere near the majority ancestry of Iron Age Romans.

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    is there a significant difference between Etruscans and Latins or early Romans?

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    Quote Originally Posted by bicicleur View Post
    is there a significant difference between Etruscans and Latins or early Romans?
    There's more variety in the Iron Age and Republican Era Romans, with some being more "southern" than the Etruscans. In any case, the steppe amount varies; it was the amount of WHG which was a little more surprising, at least to me.

    It's all laid out in the Moots/Antonio et al paper.
    https://www.eupedia.com/forum/thread...ht=Moots+paper

    You could say that the Etruscans are in a sort of no man's land between Northern Italians and Iberians. Some Latins are like that, but some lean more in the direction of modern Italy, and some are definitely more "southern", i.e. R437 and R850.

    So, in both cases they're Southern European autosomally,despite the fact that they carry "steppe" y Dna. Anyone who hoped they'd be Corded Ware or Beaker like was, I'm afraid, disappointed. Likewise for those who insisted until the day the paper came out that the Etruscans would be Bronze or Iron Age Anatolians or heavily mixed with them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    There's more variety in the Iron Age and Republican Era Romans, with some being more "southern" than the Etruscans. In any case, the steppe amount varies; it was the amount of WHG which was a little more surprising, at least to me.

    It's all laid out in the Moots/Antonio et al paper.
    https://www.eupedia.com/forum/thread...ht=Moots+paper

    You could say that the Etruscans are in a sort of no man's land between Northern Italians and Iberians. Some Latins are like that, but some lean more in the direction of modern Italy, and some are definitely more "southern", i.e. R437 and R850.

    So, in both cases they're Southern European autosomally,despite the fact that they carry "steppe" y Dna. Anyone who hoped they'd be Corded Ware or Beaker like was, I'm afraid, disappointed. Likewise for those who insisted until the day the paper came out that the Etruscans would be Bronze or Iron Age Anatolians or heavily mixed with them.
    I concur. Lots of disappointed people out there who are not Southern European autosomally.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Angela View Post
    There's more variety in the Iron Age and Republican Era Romans, with some being more "southern" than the Etruscans. In any case, the steppe amount varies; it was the amount of WHG which was a little more surprising, at least to me.
    It's all laid out in the Moots/Antonio et al paper.
    https://www.eupedia.com/forum/thread...ht=Moots+paper
    You could say that the Etruscans are in a sort of no man's land between Northern Italians and Iberians. Some Latins are like that, but some lean more in the direction of modern Italy, and some are definitely more "southern", i.e. R437 and R850.
    So, in both cases they're Southern European autosomally,despite the fact that they carry "steppe" y Dna. Anyone who hoped they'd be Corded Ware or Beaker like was, I'm afraid, disappointed. Likewise for those who insisted until the day the paper came out that the Etruscans would be Bronze or Iron Age Anatolians or heavily mixed with them.
    the Remedello Y-DNA (I2a1a1a-L672/S327) is associated with megalithic atlantic europe and an Iberian origin :

    Euro CoBr Chalc Euro Remedello RISE487 Italy Remedello I2a1a1-Y2189 Remedello Italy Remedello di Sotto [RISE487] M 3483-3107 BC I PF3661, Z16985, CTS4088, CTS6231, CTS8545, PF3780, L41;
    Tagankin reads I2a1a1 (PF3983+ V2245/PF3976+ PF3972+ V1694/PF3969+ PF3865+ CTS10400/PF4045+ CTS3854/PF4007+ CTS2224/PF3998+ PF3863+ CTS7984/PF4029+, Y15473-, Y15462- , CTS11034/PF4099- PF4060- CTS6426/PF4094- L160/PF4013/S184- ) H2a Allentoft 2015; Mathieson 2015; additional info from Vladimir Tagankin
    Euro CoBr Chalc Euro Remedello Italy Ötztal Alps [Otzi]
    Brown eyes; brown hair; fair skin M 3350-3100 BC G2a1b2 L91 K1f Rollo 2006; Ermini 2008; Endicott 2009;
    Keller 2012
    Euro CoBr Chalc Euro Remedello RISE489 Italy Remedello I2a1a1a-L672/S327 Remedello Italy Remedello di Sotto [RISE489] M 2908-2578 BC I [*I2a1a1] CTS1301, FGC2413, PF3665, Z16985, CTS4848, CTS5946, CTS6231, CTS6343, CTS9264, PF3811, PF3815;
    [*Tagankin reads I2a1a1 (Y3995+ PF4069+ PF4065+ PF4054+ PF4048+ PF4046+ PF3983+ V2245/PF3976+ PF3875+ PF3848+ PF3832/S6104+ CTS8644/PF4033+ CTS575/PF3952+ PF4074+ PF4055+ PF4049+ PF4014+ PF3977/S6233+ PF3874+ PF3863+ CTS11548/PF3877+ V3296/CTS8968/PF4036+ CTS7964/PF3767+ CTS6027+ CTS3353/PF3866+ CTS3276/PF3713+ CTS3128/PF4005+ CTS1581/PF3993+ CTS799/PF3954+, PF4096- PF4066- CTS4506/PF4010- I-PF4188: PF4195- PF4189- PF4188-, Y15654- Z27397+ Y15580-) ] X2c1 Allentoft 2015; Mathieson 2015; *additional info from Vladimir Tagankin
    Euro CoBr Chalc Euro Remedello RISE486 Italy Remedello I2a1a1a-L672/S327 Remedello Italy Remedello di Sotto [RISE486] M 2134-1773 BC I [*I2a1a1] PF3640, PF3661, FGC2415, CTS2536, CTS4272, PF3800, CTS10941, CTS11540; [*Tagankin reads Y3995+ PF4051+ PF4047+ PF3986+ PF3848+ CTS7671/PF4026+ CTS5526/PF3741+ PF4055+ PF4049+ CTS9771/PF4040+ V3296/CTS8968/PF4036+ CTS8830/PF4035+ CTS7977/PF4028+ CTS2925/PF3710+ L1300/PF4050+ Z2053/CTS11766/PF4071+, Y11895+ Y11222+ Y11223+ Z27401/CTS7023/PF6937+, Z27397+ Y15658- , Y15463- Y15461- I-L160: PF4066- CTS11972/PF4072- CTS6406/PF4093- ] J1c1b Allentoft 2015; Mathieson 2015; *additional info from Vladimir Tagankin

    ötzi who was not found in the Remedello area but who is associated with it does not fit in there
    it is strange to find megalithic tribes associated with copper working, because they rejected metallurgy, they were digging in flint mines instead

    on the other hand, it could explain the 'Iberian admixture'

    I must admit, I didn't read the Moots paper in detail, I was to bussy at the time it was published

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    The Antionio et al (2019) (Moots paper) is still published.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bicicleur View Post
    the Remedello Y-DNA (I2a1a1a-L672/S327) is associated with megalithic atlantic europe and an Iberian origin :

    Euro CoBr Chalc Euro Remedello RISE487 Italy Remedello I2a1a1-Y2189 Remedello Italy Remedello di Sotto [RISE487] M 3483-3107 BC I PF3661, Z16985, CTS4088, CTS6231, CTS8545, PF3780, L41;
    Tagankin reads I2a1a1 (PF3983+ V2245/PF3976+ PF3972+ V1694/PF3969+ PF3865+ CTS10400/PF4045+ CTS3854/PF4007+ CTS2224/PF3998+ PF3863+ CTS7984/PF4029+, Y15473-, Y15462- , CTS11034/PF4099- PF4060- CTS6426/PF4094- L160/PF4013/S184- ) H2a Allentoft 2015; Mathieson 2015; additional info from Vladimir Tagankin
    Euro CoBr Chalc Euro Remedello Italy Ötztal Alps [Otzi]
    Brown eyes; brown hair; fair skin M 3350-3100 BC G2a1b2 L91 K1f Rollo 2006; Ermini 2008; Endicott 2009;
    Keller 2012
    Euro CoBr Chalc Euro Remedello RISE489 Italy Remedello I2a1a1a-L672/S327 Remedello Italy Remedello di Sotto [RISE489] M 2908-2578 BC I [*I2a1a1] CTS1301, FGC2413, PF3665, Z16985, CTS4848, CTS5946, CTS6231, CTS6343, CTS9264, PF3811, PF3815;
    [*Tagankin reads I2a1a1 (Y3995+ PF4069+ PF4065+ PF4054+ PF4048+ PF4046+ PF3983+ V2245/PF3976+ PF3875+ PF3848+ PF3832/S6104+ CTS8644/PF4033+ CTS575/PF3952+ PF4074+ PF4055+ PF4049+ PF4014+ PF3977/S6233+ PF3874+ PF3863+ CTS11548/PF3877+ V3296/CTS8968/PF4036+ CTS7964/PF3767+ CTS6027+ CTS3353/PF3866+ CTS3276/PF3713+ CTS3128/PF4005+ CTS1581/PF3993+ CTS799/PF3954+, PF4096- PF4066- CTS4506/PF4010- I-PF4188: PF4195- PF4189- PF4188-, Y15654- Z27397+ Y15580-) ] X2c1 Allentoft 2015; Mathieson 2015; *additional info from Vladimir Tagankin
    Euro CoBr Chalc Euro Remedello RISE486 Italy Remedello I2a1a1a-L672/S327 Remedello Italy Remedello di Sotto [RISE486] M 2134-1773 BC I [*I2a1a1] PF3640, PF3661, FGC2415, CTS2536, CTS4272, PF3800, CTS10941, CTS11540; [*Tagankin reads Y3995+ PF4051+ PF4047+ PF3986+ PF3848+ CTS7671/PF4026+ CTS5526/PF3741+ PF4055+ PF4049+ CTS9771/PF4040+ V3296/CTS8968/PF4036+ CTS8830/PF4035+ CTS7977/PF4028+ CTS2925/PF3710+ L1300/PF4050+ Z2053/CTS11766/PF4071+, Y11895+ Y11222+ Y11223+ Z27401/CTS7023/PF6937+, Z27397+ Y15658- , Y15463- Y15461- I-L160: PF4066- CTS11972/PF4072- CTS6406/PF4093- ] J1c1b Allentoft 2015; Mathieson 2015; *additional info from Vladimir Tagankin

    ötzi who was not found in the Remedello area but who is associated with it does not fit in there
    it is strange to find megalithic tribes associated with copper working, because they rejected metallurgy, they were digging in flint mines instead

    on the other hand, it could explain the 'Iberian admixture'

    I must admit, I didn't read the Moots paper in detail, I was to bussy at the time it was published
    Yes, very different yDna. I personally have felt for a while that there were two streams migrating toward Italy, one coming perhaps by way of the Balkans, and one over the Alps more toward the western entrances or around them on the narrow coastal access in the west.

    Copper metallurgy in Italy predates Remedello, and I think a lot of it came by way of the Balkans.

    The Remedello samples are very diverse autosomally, however, One is as "EEF" as Otzi, one has quite a bit of steppe, and one is in between. Now that we have the coordinates for all three of them, I find that I indeed match one of them.

    So, the admixture may have been uneven. That would explain the varying amounts of steppe and WHG in the Iron Age samples.

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    1 members found this post helpful.
    Another article on this early metallurgy in Italy. Late Neolithic/Copper Age Italy was home to complex networks of metal exchange.

    See:
    https://www.heritagedaily.com/2020/0...xchange/125563

    "The researchers conducted an analysis of 20 copper items, including axe-heads, halberds, and daggers, from central Italy dating to the Copper Age, between 3600 and 2200 BC. Comparing archaeological data and chemical signatures of these items to nearby sources of copper ore, as well as to other prehistoric sites, they were able to determine that most of the examined objects were cast from copper mined in Tuscany, with the rest sourced from the western Alps and possibly the French Midi.These results not only confirm the importance of the Tuscan region as a source of copper for Copper Age communities in Italy, reaching as far as the Tyrolean area home of the Alpine Iceman, but also reveal the unexpected finding that non-Tuscan copper was a significant import to the region at this time. These data contribute to a growing picture of multiple independent networks of Copper Age metal exchange in the Alps and neighboring regions. The authors note that future research might uncover other early sources of copper, as well as more details of the interactions between these early trade networks."


    The chamber tomb pictured is typical of Rinaldone.

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