Scientists unravel the mystery of the origin of Etruscan

Scientists unravel the mystery of the origin of Etruscan

Ben Turner

The newly completed genetic study seems to have revealed the appearance of the Etruscans, the mysterious people who established a civilization in Italy hundreds of years before Rome was founded.

The mysterious Etruscans were the local community of the region, with almost the same genetics as their Latin-speaking neighbors.

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This discovery, contrary to previous theories, was very different from other communities in the region for hundreds of years and now speaks a language other than the extinct and Indo-European language family — they came here from a different part of Latin. -Speaking neighbor.

In contrast, these two groups appear to have migrated from the plains of Pontic-Caspian geography, extending from the northern Black Sea, which includes Ukraine, to the northern parts of Russia’s Caspian Sea. After coming to Italy in the Bronze Age, the first Etruscan-speaking communities took root here; As they became a larger civilization over time, they integrated other language-speaking communities into their own cultures.

David Caramelli, professor of anthropology at the University of Florence, said the discovery “transcends the simple assumptions that genes are equivalent to languages ​​and reveals a very complex situation involving the integration of the first Italian-speaking communities spoken by Etruscan.”

They established a prosperous and strong civilization

Sophisticated cities, like the cities of the ancient Greeks, were the lucrative trade of the Phoenicians, the wealth of ancient Egypt, and the Etruscan civilization, the first superpower of the western Mediterranean. Surrounding its language and appearance. P.C. Etruria at the height of its power in central Italy in the 7th century BC. Conquered the Etruscans before the middle of the 3rd century BC. He ruled the region for centuries until it emerged on the stage of the history of the Roman Republic, which fully integrated them in the 90s.

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Archaeologists have long sought to transform the Etruscans into a large city from ancient Roman times, leading to their religious rites, metalwork, gladiatorial struggles, and the progress of the later Roman Republic in architecture and engineering. However, little is known about the geographical origin of the Etruscans or their mysterious and only partially understood language; This has been the subject of heated debate for over 2,400 years.

The ancient Greek writer Herodotus (commonly considered the first historian) considered the Etruscans to be of Anatolian and Aegean descent. Another ancient Greek historian, Dionysius of Holicornas, opposed the notion that pre-Roman civilization was the aboriginal people of the Italian peninsula, despite Greek traditions and non-Indo-European languages.

DNA paves the way for data

Scientists involved in the study say that “the absence of ancient DNA in the region is a contradiction in genetic research”, while recent archaeological finds showing little evidence of migration strengthen the claim of Dionysius of Holicarnasus. To answer this question, scientists collected ancient genetic information from the remains of 82 people who lived 2,800 and a thousand years ago in 12 archaeological sites in central and southern Italy.

After comparing the DNA of 82 people with other ancient and modern people, scientists found that despite the great differences in tradition and language, the Etruscans and their Latin neighbors shared genetic information with each other. In fact, the roots of both groups point to people who first migrated to the region from the grasslands of the Pontus-Caspian region during the Bronze Age. After the settlement of these early Etruscan peoples in northern and eastern Italy, the genetic pools were relatively stable during both the Iron Age and the period when Etruscan civilization was integrated by the Roman Republic. Following that, after the rise of the Roman Empire, there was a great influx of new genes, most likely the result of human settlements caused by the empire.

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Johannes Cross, director of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany, said in a statement: “This genetic change clearly demonstrates the role of the Roman Empire in mass migration at a time of increasing socio-economic and geographical movement.” Up or down. “

Now that the ancient controversies may have finally been resolved, scientists now plan to conduct extensive genetic research using ancient DNA from other parts of the Roman Empire. It will not only provide additional information about the origin of the Etruscans and their extinct and elusive language, but also the social movements that transformed their descendants into the genetically diverse citizens of the world power.


Original article Direct science Taken from the website. (Translated by Durgan Dufan)

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About the Author: Cary Douglas

Cary Douglas is a reporter who covers everything from oil trading to China's biggest conglomerates and technology companies. Originally from Chicago, he is a graduate of New York University's business and economic reporting program.

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