Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Etruscan update Origins of the Etruscans: Was Herodotus right?
Geneticists have added an edge to a 2,500-year-old debate over the origin of the Etruscans, a people whose brilliant and mysterious civilization dominated northwestern Italy for centuries until the rise of the Roman republic in 510 B.C. Several new findings support a view held by the ancient Greek historian Herodotus - but unpopular among archaeologists - that the Etruscans originally migrated to Italy from the Near East.

Though Roman historians played down their debt to the Etruscans, Etruscan culture permeated Roman art, architecture and religion. The Etruscans were master metallurgists and skillful seafarers who for a time dominated much of the Mediterranean. They enjoyed unusually free social relations, much remarked on by ancient historians of other cultures.

Etruscan culture was very advanced and very different from other Italian cultures of the time. But most archaeologists have seen a thorough continuity between a local Italian culture known as the Villanovan that emerged around 900 B.C. and the Etruscan culture, which began in 800 B.C.

It mentions the cattle data posted here earlier and also another bit of work on modern inhabitants of a town that supposedly contains Etruscan descendents. The "Page 2" of the article isn't coming up for me though.