August 01, 2013

Etruscans (maybe) not from Anatolia

There have been a few papers on the topic of Etruscan origins that argue in favor or against the Anatolian origin hypothesis. Two main lines of evidence exist on the topic: discontinuity between Etruscans and modern Tuscans (except some isolates); (perceived) similarity between Etrsucans' mtDNA and that of modern-day Turks.

Personally, I am not convinced either way, because I don't find it likely that a sample of modern-day Turks has much to tell us about the prehistoric relatives of the Etruscans. After all, modern-day Turks are descended from a a few dozen ancient Anatolian ethne plus a few extra-Anatolian influences from both west and east (and perhaps north and south) plus Central Asian Turkic influence minus Christian populations. We see evidence of genetic discontinuity in places with much simpler histories than Anatolia, so to claim that modern Turks have much of anything to tell us about Iron Age Etruscans is a not-so-believable proposition.

A similar complaint is that the specificity of the Etruscan gene pool can only be established by looking at their geographical neighbors. If Etruscans were intrusive to Italy, then, presumably, they would have retained differences from the surrounding Anatolian peoples.

A third (and perhaps more subtle) caveat is that "Etruscan" is polysemous. To the archaeologist and historian, it might mean a specific culture known from its remains and the texts of Romans and Greeks with which this culture interacted. To the linguist it might mean the language spoken by this culture when it attained literacy. To the geneticist it might mean the gene pool of individuals identified by archaeologists as "Etruscan".

These categories are not necessarily congruent. My favorite example is that of "Bulgarians" or "Croats", peoples who bear the name of a Turkic and Iranic people respectively, even though today they are geographically, culturally, and linguistically completely divorced from these antecedents. Or, the more controversial example of "Romans" themselves, whose nation spoke in historical times Latin, but whose histories preserved a memory of diverse origins, including, critically, an Anatolian genealogy for their eponymous ancestor.

So, the tale of Herodotus might be true (or false) on different levels. It might turn out that Etruscans did, in fact, form an isle of ancient west Anatolian genetics in Italy. Or, it might turn out that -as in the case of the Bulgarians- both language and genes are mostly native Italian, but the founding of the Etruscan nation can still be attributed to an extraneous influence. Or, perhaps Herodotus was 100% wrong, and Tyrrhenus never sailed to Italy.

Of course, I don't expect ancient DNA from all over Italy and all over Anatolia to materialize overnight, so studies such as this do help us constrain the space of possible solutions to the problem, i.e., a model with (i) substantial female participation in Etruscan colonization, (ii) genetic continuity in Anatolia to present-day Turks, and (iii) substantial contribution of Anatolian colonists to Etruscan gene pool may be falsified. But, assumptions (i-iii) describe only a small part of the space of models consistent with the Herodotean narrative.

Am J Phys Anthropol DOI: 10.1002/ajpa.22319

Genetic evidence does not support an etruscan origin in Anatolia

Francesca Tassi et al.

The debate on the origins of Etruscans, documented in central Italy between the eighth century BC and the first century AD, dates back to antiquity. Herodotus described them as a group of immigrants from Lydia, in Western Anatolia, whereas for Dionysius of Halicarnassus they were an indigenous population. Dionysius' view is shared by most modern archeologists, but the observation of similarities between the (modern) mitochondrial DNAs (mtDNAs) of Turks and Tuscans was interpreted as supporting an Anatolian origin of the Etruscans. However, ancient DNA evidence shows that only some isolates, and not the bulk of the modern Tuscan population, are genetically related to the Etruscans. In this study, we tested alternative models of Etruscan origins by Approximate Bayesian Computation methods, comparing levels of genetic diversity in the mtDNAs of modern and ancient populations with those obtained by millions of computer simulations. The results show that the observed genetic similarities between modern Tuscans and Anatolians cannot be attributed to an immigration wave from the East leading to the onset of the Etruscan culture in Italy. Genetic links between Tuscany and Anatolia do exist, but date back to a remote stage of prehistory, possibly but not necessarily to the spread of farmers during the Neolithic period.

Link

61 comments:

  1. Most historians and archaeologists agree that Etruscans are indigenous or northern in origin rather than from the east. There is nothing of note in genetics to disagree with them. On the contrary, genetics seems to support the indigenous or northern origin of Etruscans. Additionally, Etruscans seem to be the real founders of Rome. Latinization of Rome may have been a later development.

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  2. There could have easily been multiple waves of migrations from Anatolia/Armenia/Near East to the Mediterranean nations. Which is why it is confounding researchers today. The ancient Greeks mention the Pelasgians, and they are continuously cited as existing before and after the Phoenician navigators. Even as far as Spain, Tarraco and Saguntum were considered Pelasgian cities. In the Pozo Moro, the style of the stone lions are practically direct descendants of Neo-Hittite motifs. I think an "upper" Middle East continuum all the way to Spain also explains the genetics of some Hispanics have M.E. genetics but no connections to a Jewish or Moorish lineage.

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  3. I disagree with you Onur...the majority of scientists do not see the Etruscans as indigenous.

    Beekes makes a substantive argument in favor of the Etruscans coming from the East.

    There is some degree of similarity between the Tyrrhenian languages and the "pre-Greek" substrate (which is not all one language...the bulk maybe, but not all).

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  4. Beekes is a linguist and he makes a lot of speculations about ancient peoples based on mere words. I do not find his arguments convincing. Besides, linguistics is not a much reliable source when it comes to investigating histories of ancient peoples.

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  5. Flow of languages always correlate with at least some amount of population movement. Linguists might have a habit of extrapolating too much from it, but that shouldn't cause the information they present to be considered irrelevant or looked down on. It is also too simplistic to base Etruscan origins to a single source. Evidence from the various theories should be synthesized together, instead of completely disregarding one in favor of another.

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  6. Look at a picture of Julius Caesar, and realize he had red hair and blue eyes. Now look for pictures of ashkenazi jews with names like goldfoot and you will find a perfect match. These are the khazarian ashkenazi jews who mixed in with the borgogne/hurrian peoples along the rhine who later migrated southward.

    Genetically you find the r1a-qsomething marker in all three groups and they look the same and all have a similar origin point. And the look of the head is distinctive. And for the aDNA one of the articles found the greatest affinity for ashkenaz jews in the etruscans (and that was counting all of them not just the west german ones). I think this is picking up both of these components, not just etruscans.

    So I am thinking these guys are all the same and indeed lydian. It's pointless to look at what was once completely depopulated for reference ie anatolia. I am "guessing" it was mostly r1b with pockets of r1a before that happened, before ottomans, before selucid empire, before 250 years of plague etc. etc. Because the underlying "background" all across the whole area is exactly that while things like arab J2 have patterns more like recent newcomers (and we know where and when they come from).

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  7. Even Beekes admits that the pre-Greek substratum languages are quite distinct from the Tyrrhenian languages.

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  8. "Besides, linguistics is not a much reliable source when it comes to investigating histories of ancient peoples."

    It's good for some things and not others. It can tell you a lot about the cultural history of a people but much less about its genetics.

    The IE terminlogy around wheels and vehicles is one example where linguistics can add a lot to the hisotrical reocrd when it comes to direction of flow for technology, for instance.

    OTOH historical linguistics has not much at all to tell us about the ancestral Aztecs. Whatever they spoke ancestrally, they adopted Nahuatl when they setled in the Valley of Mexico.

    Usually it's somewhere in the midddle. think of how much lingusitics has to say about the history of Anatolia and of how much it cannot tell because the information has just vanished.

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  9. You are dreaming things, Grognard. J2 is well-established in Anatolia and its environs. You cannot explain its spread in Anatolia with historical events.

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  10. Culturally the Etruscans had significant differences to contemporaneous cultures to the east.

    In particular the role of women in society was much more prominant. But I suppose that might have been a more recent influence from the even more shocking celts to the west.

    Genetics, language and culture do not currently support an Anatolian origin (IMO). Even the ancient greeks disagreed on their probable origin. I think we can say Herodotus was wrong.

    Herodotus likely could not conceive that such an important, influential culture like the Etruscans could have emerged from anywhere he considered barbaric. Or maybe he just misheard libya as lydia. "Lidu" was a known area in ancient times.

    At this point in time I think the Etruscans emerged out of north African and became indigenous to Tuscany.

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  11. What about this?

    http://dienekes.blogspot.co.nz/2007/02/asian-origins-of-etruscan-cattle.html


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  12. I could not believe that this pathetic farce its going on , I mean ; THERE IS an IRREFUTABLE SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE , INCONTROVERTIBLE , that the Etruscans (Tusci) were obviously AUTOCHTHONOUS ITALIANS and were the offspring of the VILLANOVIAN and PROTO-VILLANOVIAN CIVILIZATION , that was developed EXACTLY in TUSCANY and in ITALY. Dienekes , do you know how is the aspect of VILLANOVIAN HELMS !?

    Look at the Etruscan Helms , they are EXACTLY VILLANOVIAN HELMS - what a coincidence , since the Villanovian civilization had his center in Tuscany , and the Etruscan civilization had its center (where?) in Tuscany(!) and there are NO TRACES of ANY fantastic "extern invasion" - at ANY LEVEL - from Mars , Venus or the Andromeda Galaxy.

    DATATION:

    PROTO-VILLANOVIAN CIVILIZATION: from 1200 b.C. to 960 b.C.

    ETRUSCAN ITALIC CIVILIZATION: from 1000-950 b.C. to 50 b.C.

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    And in this passage, there are NO EVIDENCES - NOT ANY SINGLE EVIDENCE - of ANY imaginary "invasion".


    I mean, there is someone blind, retarded or there is a dirty agenda behind this plebeian propaganda of "alien Etruscans" !?

    But there are ALOT of MORE OBJECTIVE EVIDENCES : the Etruscans-Tusci ALWAYS said that they had ALWAYS been in ITALY , and that they come "from nowhere, but from Italy" - like the original ancient sources testify - , and I'm surprised how all these "genetists, professors, academics" seems always to ignore this EXTREMELY IMPORTANT and CRUCIAL fact.

    More: the Italian Emperor Claudius , like we all know , married the etruscan woman Plautia Urgulanilla , and wrote a monumental HISTORY OF THE ETRUSCANS in 20 BOOKS ; worth to mention its that Claudius in 47 b.C. instituted the COLLEGE OF THE LX ARUSPICES ( Ordo LX Haruspicum ) for the solid perpetuation of the sacred ETRVSCA DISCIPLINA , called by the Emperor " VETVSTISSIMA ITALIAE DISCIPLINA " = " THE EXTREMELY ANCIENT ITALY'S DISCIPLINE " .


    Now, the Emperor Claudius was fluent in Latin, Greek and Etruscan , married an Etruscan woman , had a profound knowledge of the Etruscan Sacred Arts (Etrusca Disciplina) , instituted the College of the 60 Aruspices and wrote a majestic "History of the Etruscans" in 20 books .

    Claudius considered the Etruscans autochthonous Italians. This is an objective fact, he wrote " VETVSTISSIMA ITALIAE DISCIPLINA " and NOT " VETVSTISSIMA ANATOLIAE DISCIPLINA " or " VETVSTISSIMA ANDROMEDAE DISCIPLINA ", but " The ancient discipline of Italy " . End of the story.

    Claudius considered the Etruscans autochthonous Italians. The Etruscans considered themselves autochthonous Italians. Dionysus of Alicarnassus considered the Etruscans autochthonous Italians. Archaeology consider the Etruscans autochthonous Italians. The DNA in the Etruscan Necropolys its autochthonous Italian. No signs of invasions, change of culture, of architecture etc. but a florid autochthonous civilization (Protovillanovian) that had its center in Tuscany. The scientific proof that various modern Tuscans have EXACTLY the SAME DNA of the Etruscans(Tusci) , that isn't found in any other place of the world (first of all Asia minor).

    I repeat it, stop with this pathetic farce, stop with the vulgar "invasionist" pseudo-science.

    Not to mention that the Etruscan language doesn't have ANY serious correlation with the pre-hellenic languages of the Aegean, and there is a tradition that narrate that the ETRUSCANS-THYRRENOI were the colonists of the Aegean.

    Not to mention that the Etruscans DID NOT have WRITING like ALL the NEAR EASTERN PEOPLE , since they were WESTERNERS , Dienekes , could you explain me why they did not have WRITING ? And adopted a modified western greek alphabet from the Italo-Greeks of Cuma , ancient sacred center ? Its not irrelevant at all, since in the WHOLE NEAR and MIDDLE EAST THERE WAS WRITING FROM ANCIENT TIMES.

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  13. ETRUSCAN HELM :

    http://www.daringtodo.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/013.jpg


    VILLANOVIAN HELM :

    http://www.canino.info/inserti/monografie/etruschi/vari/villanoviani/museo-villanoviano-verucchio.jpg


    Are exactly the same, both originated from the same people in the same place.

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    But now I will pass to Genetic evidences, from the last study of the renowned genetist GUIDO BARBUJANI:

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    ORIGINS AND EVOLUTION OF ETRUSCANS' DNA


    " The Etruscan culture is documented in Etruria, Central Italy, from the 7 th to the 1 st century BC. For more than 2,000 years there has been disagreement on the Etruscans' biological origins, whether local or in Anatolia. Genetic affinities with both Tuscan and Anatolian populations have been reported, but so far all attempts have failed to fit the Etruscans' and modern populations in the same genealogy.

    We extracted and typed mitochondrial DNA of 14 individuals buried in two Etruscan necropoleis, analyzing them along with other Etruscan and Medieval samples, and 4,910 contemporary individuals. Comparing ancient and modern diversity with the results of millions of computer simulations, we show that the ETRUSCANS can be considered ANCESTRAL , with a high degree of confidence, to the MODERN INHABITANTS of two communities, CASENTINO and VOLTERRA.[...]

    We also estimate that the genetic links between Tuscany and Anatolia date back to at least 5,000 years ago [ 5,000 YEARS AGO! ITS LIKE TO SAY THAT GERMANS and FRENCH ARE ANATOLIANS , GREEKS ARE CENTRAL ASIANS and JAPANESE ARE SIBERIANS! ETRUSCAN CIVILIZATION ITS BORN IN 1000-900 b.C.! THERE IS A DOUBLE STANDARD HERE! ], strongly suggesting that the ETRUSCAN CULTURE DEVELOPED LOCALLY , WITHOUT a significant contribution of recent Anatolian immigrants. "


    http://dienekes.blogspot.it/2012/06/smbe-2012-abstracts-part-i.html

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    From the same definitive study:

    " Assuming an average generation time of 25 years [16], [21] and no migration after the split from the common ancestors, the most likely separation time between Tuscany and Western Anatolia falls around 7,600 years ago, with a 95% credible interval between 5,000 and 10,000 (Figure 5).

    These results are robust to changes in the proportion of members of the initial population being ancestral to the two modern populations (Figure S7B). We also considered an expanded Anatolian sample (total sample size = 123) coming from all over Turkey, to test whether a founder effect might have enhanced the role of the genetic drift in the previous analysis, inflating the DIVERGENCE time estimates; the resulting distributions of separation times completely overlapped with those previously estimated, with a lower bound of the 95% credible interval never smaller than 5,300 years ago. "

    Again:

    " Assuming an average generation time of 25 years , and no migration after the split from the common ancestors, the most likely separation time between Tuscany and Western Anatolia FALLS ARAOUND 7,600 YEARS AGO , with a 95% credible interval between 5,000 and 10,000 . "


    Continue--->

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  14. Another foundamental piece:

    " MtDNA data give much stronger support to a model of GENETIC CONTINUITY between the Etruscans and some Tuscans than to any other model tested, characterized by plausible population sizes and mutation rates.

    As for the second question, the IM analysis shows that indeed there might have been a genealogical link between modern Tuscans and the inhabitants of what Herodotus considered the Etruscans' homeland, Western Anatolia.

    However, even under the unrealistic assumption of complete reciprocal isolation for millennia, the likely separation of the Tuscan and Anatolian gene pools must be placed LONG BEFORE the onset of the ETRUSCAN CULTURE , at least in NEOLITHIC TIMES (!) ; if isolation was incomplete, the estimated separation must be placed further back in time. Consistent with this view is the observation that Etruscan and Neolithic mtDNAs are close to each other in the two-dimensional plot of Figure S4C. "

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    This is PERFECTLY LOGICAL , CONGRUOUS, and OBVIOUS to any mind that doesn't support a vulgar and plebeian agenda.

    " An analysis of the genetic makeup of Italy's modern population argues that the various distinctive genetic combinations currently found in different regions within the peninsula by and large track the linguistic distribution that resulted from the migrarions of the Iron Age.

    NO DATA INDICATE the subsequent large-scale infusion of NEW GENETIC MATERIAL into the populations of these regions except in the case of southern Italy and eastern Sicily, which is explained by the well-documented Greek migrations there. "

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    SOURCE: Rosenstein, Nathan. Rome at War: Farms, Families, and Death in the Middle Republic. University of North Carolina.

    http://books.google.it/books?id=CGgwN9ZLaPYC&printsec=frontcover&redir_esc=y#v=snippet&q=Greek%20migrations%20there&f=false

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    There are a lot of more things that need to be said , but all these material its more than sufficient for showing the pathetic idiocy or the disingenuousness of all the people that spoke of unexistent "misteries" or " the reptilian jewish etruscans , offspring of the Elohim of Mesopotamia".

    ANY person that spoke of "anatolians" in correlation with the etruscans its an objective idiot. Since he should spoke in the same misure of the Anatolian origins of German civilization , of the Anatolian origins of British "civilization" , of the Ibero-Anatolian origin of Irish culture , of the Sardinian origin of Scandinavian culture etc.etc.etc.

    This is called Double Standard.

    .

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  15. In my last comment I will respond to the ridicolous cheap idiocies of the poor ill jewish supremacist called "grognard" - its incredible and disturbing that certain puppets exist also in real life . Anyway I hope that he is a troll.

    Analphabet piece of imbecil Julius Caesar had BLACK EYES and HAIR !

    " Tall of stature with a fair complexion, shapely limbs, a somewhat full face, and intense BLACK eyes. "

    " Excelsa statura, colore candido, teretibus membris, ore paulo pleniore, NIGRIS VEGETISQUE OCULIS . "

    SUETONIUS , LIFE OF CAESAR , 45


    " NIGRIS VEGETISQUE OCULIS " ! Do you know what "NIGRIS" mean?



    "Khazarian ashkeNazi jews" are a bastardized and fantasious ethnicity , without history or roots, are and have always been the PARIA of the West, I don't know how could you link "khazarian ashkenazi reptilian jews" with Julius Caesar (or maybe Plato), at least if you are not a person that need an urgent mental hospital. " Hey look at the picture of Schopenhauer, he have brown hair, he must have Altaic-Jewish connections , look at that idiot of the Great Brother, he have the same face, he is for sure Altaico-Jewish , he also have dark hair etc. ".

    Anyway, if you want to see people similar to the ancient Italics you should go in Italy (!) the heart of Latin civilization , maybe in ROMA . at the Capitoline Museum, after the visit you will find that the people outside have THE SAME features of the roman statues and frescoes that you have seen in the rooms of the museum.

    Maybe this video will be an interesting experience ( it could interest also Dienekes ) :

    ANCIENT ROMAN FACES = ITALIAN MODERN FACES

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pdUPYm06gVc

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    JULIUS CAESAR :

    http://img410.imageshack.us/img410/4783/cesarecolorvx7.jpg

    DANTE ALIGHIERI:

    http://www.poesieitaliane.it/immagini/imgtestip/10/a_10_01.jpg

    JULIUS EVOLA:

    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-RESjANvcHXs/TySwZ_JLJFI/AAAAAAAAC_4/-1jBotzwRLY/s1600/Julius+Evola.jpg

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    THE APPEARANCE OF THE ANCIENT ROMANS, POMPEII'S FRESCOES:

    https://www.google.it/search?site=imghp&tbm=isch&source=hp&biw=1280&bih=709&q=AFFRESCHI+POMPEI&oq=AFFRESCHI+POMPEI&gs_l=img.3..0l5j0i24.5078.12895.0.15370.26.13.6.7.8.0.236.1850.2j10j1.13.0....0...1ac.1.23.img..4.22.1227.N1q6OusfqZQ

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    Is it enough? Yes, it is more than enough.

    Khazarian mongrel transformation!

    .

    P.S.: Onur, thanks God there is a person with a brain inside his cranium here! Be careful with the Ashki-Khazarian-Judaic-Mongol people!

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  16. Sorry, Dienekes I don't understand why you have not posted my comments?? And dll the materials that I have posted?

    Please I need a response.

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  17. "In particular the role of women in society was much more prominant. But I suppose that might have been a more recent influence from the even more shocking celts to the west. "

    A feature of celts/irish/welsh, basques, canaans, some ethnic iranians, and seemingly indus valley civilization. Basically coming from neanderthal heritage I am guessing, and all these people are somewhat related I imagine. Among the modern ones we can test they all have the highest neanderthal percentages.

    Aside from the DNA links and the overwhelming historical evidence the DNA of etruscan cattle is anatolian as well. They are not what anatolia is but they are what anatolia was (or part of it).

    The kurgan culture is completely different and very male-centric. That is what people think of and probably relates to separate (only) indo-european invasion of the west. The guys with G Y-DNA have a far east link and they are found a parculiar amount among european royalty but are relatively thin on the ground so they are a likely culprit.

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  18. "Herodotus likely could not conceive that such an important, influential culture like the Etruscans could have emerged from anywhere he considered barbaric. Or maybe he just misheard libya as lydia. "Lidu" was a known area in ancient times.

    At this point in time I think the Etruscans emerged out of north African and became indigenous to Tuscany."

    I am guessing it's more that they were fleeing the destruction and desertification of anatolia, which was once the world's bread basket. Or perhaps even fleeing the trojan war.

    It wasn't that they were some rare element that came to the mediterranean, the mediterranean was largely composed of similar people. They are just one of the various remnants escaping eastern and later middle eastern expansions and the collapse of a very large swath of farmland from pakistan to istanbul, due to climate change.

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  23. I have posted my comments again, because they probably did not arrived to the blog, and since there is a solid argumentation in them. If before you have not posted those comments, even if them arrived to you, please let me know the reason why you have not accepted them, because if that was the case I could not understand where is the problem. If there is ANY problem with them, just signal it to me, so that I could understand, thanks. I have also briefed all of them at the maximum possible.

    If not, its just not fair-playing.

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  24. The IE terminlogy around wheels and vehicles is one example where linguistics can add a lot to the hisotrical reocrd when it comes to direction of flow for technology, for instance.

    Beekes' arguments are clearly weaker than the kurganist arguments of IE origins.

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  25. At this point in time I think the Etruscans emerged out of north African and became indigenous to Tuscany.

    What is the basis of that claim?

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  26. Hi, Onur.

    I think to attack linguistic science is evil. There is a science to language. Language can tell us additional information that a gene can't. Language can be a very strong indicator of the past of a people. Again, it involves "linguistic archaeology".

    Jim and Unknown, both, make excellent points by the way.

    Also on your point about Beekes comment on "Pre-Greek", A. Lubotsky (whom I have deep respect for) and M. Witzel say the Indo-Iranian substratum is one language related to the BMAC, but it is not one language...it is group of substrate words from different languages Indo-Iranian had previous contact with. Namely, Northwest Caucasian, Northeast Caucasian, Uralic, Dravidian (yes, strangely I know), a few Elamite words, and possibly a couple other languages.

    This is likely the case of "Pre-Greek". We have not much information on Tyrrhenian to say anything definitively about the Tyrrhenian family. We don't even know what the ancestral language or it's possible relatives were like. There are words that are very much similar to known Etruscan (Lemnian and Rhaetic also) words in form and meaning (and for that matter, known "Minoan" words) in "Pre-Greek". There are some rare, but present Hattic words also.

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  27. If I see any further back to back comments they will be deleted as per the rules.

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  28. I have posted my comments again, because they probably did not arrived to the blog, and since there is a solid argumentation in them. If before you have not posted those comments, even if them arrived to you, please let me know the reason why you have not accepted them, because if that was the case I could not understand where is the problem. If there is ANY problem with them, just signal it to me, so that I could understand, thanks. I have also briefed all of them at the maximum possible.

    I am not over the computer 24x7 to approve comments instantly. You should post your comments ONCE and they'll be approved when they are approved.

    Also you should not post back-to-back comments. I repeat the rules that are at the top of the posting window:

    "Stay on topic. Be polite. Use facts and arguments. Be Brief. Do not post back to back comments in the same thread, unless you absolutely have to. Don't quote excessively. Google before you ask."

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  29. "Beekes' arguments are clearly weaker than the kurganist arguments of IE origins."

    Then they are weak indeed, Onur.

    There no lingusitc reason to insist on an Anatolian origin for the Etruscans. For one thing, Phrygian is pretty well-known and it bears no resemblance. The languages that bear the closest resemblance are Lesbian and Eteocretan and so on, or rather people have done work that points in that direction. That's close but it's not Anatolia and in sure is not Anatolia as a center of diffusion.

    There is as much linguistic evidence for diffusion eastward form Italay as there is westward from Anatolia, which is to say just about none.

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  30. Sorry dienekes sometimes I hit the comment button too soon and do the same thing.

    @ Adhyg - "I think to attack linguistic science is evil."

    I think that's vital for anything to be a science, it needs to be criticized. The conjecture part is not science, the science is the evidence gathering, the raw data. And there's often very little raw data behind elaborate conjecture when it comes to language as an archeological tool.

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  31. @Grognard,

    What collapse of a very large swath of farmland from Pakistan to Istanbul and large-scale population replacement are you talking about? Your theories do not make any sense and are not supported by the available evidence.

    @Jim,

    You must have meant Lemnian rather than Lesbian. Lemnos was probably a relatively late colony of Etruscans or other Tyrrhenian language family speakers from Italy. Such far-flung colonies were not uncommon in islands or coastal areas of mainlands in the Mediterranean Basin during the Iron Age. As for Eteocretan, there is no proven relationship between it and the Tyrrhenian languages.

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  32. @Adyghe,

    What Beekes does is not science at all. It is more like playing scrabble or any other word game.

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  33. "At this point in time I think the Etruscans emerged out of north African and became indigenous to Tuscany.

    What is the basis of that claim?"

    Most recently this paper.

    http://dienekes.blogspot.com.au/2013/06/analysis-of-multi-merge-dataset-of.html

    And other genetic tidbits over a period of time. I recognize the weakness in some of the evidence, but IMO this is what it looks like to me, given the current evidence, at this point in time.

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  34. @Grognard

    Nothing wrong with criticism. An outright attack is something rather different. That is what Onur did. There are limits to language just like there are limits to what genes can tell. There is only so much digging in the dirt can tell us. I think it is best when all three are used together (if possible) to give a vibrant picture of a people, their culture, and their history.

    We have enough of the Etruscan language to yield SOME educated working hypotheses. We have enough of their material culture to yield SOME educated working hypothesis. The genes are confusing...one test says "eastern" origin and another says they are seemingly indigenous. A test on their cattle say "eastern" also. Indeed, if the words Tyrsenoi > Τυρρηνοὶ - Turrhēnioi (Attic Greek), Τυρσηνοί - Tursēnoi (Ionic), Τυρσανοί - Tursānoi (Doric), Tyrrhēni (Latin), Tusci (Latin), *Tursci > Turskum (Umbrian), Etrusci (Latin) and τύρσις - Tursis (Greek) > Turris (Latin), τύραννος - tyrannos (Greek), tyrannus (Latin), Turan (Etruscan goddess) are related then an Eastern identication can be educatedly set forward. The hypothetical root word is *turs-.

    All the Latin (central and western Mediterranean area) words appear to be Greek (eastern Mediterranean area)and indicate (between the two peoples, Greeks and Latins) that the Greeks knew them first (which is a strong indicator of origin). What is further highly interesting is the number of non-borrowed, non-IE cognate words shared between Latin and Greek and no other IE languages. It strongly suggests a substratum language that both Greek and Latin had shared contact with. I have my opinions, you can form your own. One caveat to the above is Greek: elaion < *elaiwon and Greek: elaia <*elaiwa which shares cognacy with not only Latin (oleum, olea - oliva), but also with Armenian: իւղ - iwɫ (Modern), եւղ - ewɫ (Old), եղ (eɫ) (dialectal). This is highly interesting for the origin of Armenian and of the origin of the substratum language shared near exclusively between Greek and Latin (as far as we know). All related words in other IE branches come from Latin. There are even a small number of possibly non-IE cognates in the Anatolian IE languages of western Anatolia which again may speak for an "eastern" derivation.

    As far as speculation is concerned, it is not science, but that has never stopped scientists from massively using it.

    @Jim:

    I think you mean Lemnian not Lesbian. Lesbian is an ancient Greek dialect. I have to add a caveat to what you say also. As I said, based on language it looks like the Greeks knew them first. That strongly speaks for an "eastern" origin. All the Latin words for the Etruscans appear borrowed from Greek. What is even more interesting is that their autonym, Rasenna > Rasna, is not used by the Greeks or Latins for them, though, it must have been known by both. Adding even more to the strangeness, the Greek word from which Latin borrows is an exonym...it did not come from the Greeks, it came from elsewhere. From where is not known, but what is known is that it was quite possibly a pre- or non-IE source (perhaps the people themselves?).

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  35. AdygheChabadi,

    I think the Etruscan endonym, Rasenna > Rasna, could easily be cognate with Greek *Tyrsēnoi. The *Ty- of the Greek form could be a prefix (perhaps some variant of the Greek definite article, i.e. something meaning "the"), in which case Tyrsēnoi would have originally meant "The Rasēnoi" (i.e. the Etruscans). In this case, I could even imagine a relationship with the name of the Raeti ~ Rhaeti ~ Rhaitoi (? < *Rahet- < *Raset-), who were described by ancient authors as being relatives of the Etruscans.

    Another possibility is that the earlier form of the Etruscan endonym was something like *Trasenna, the initial */t/ having been preserved in Greek and Latin (with the addition of an anaptyctic /u/) but lost in the Etruscan language itself.

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  36. Most recently this paper.

    http://dienekes.blogspot.com.au/2013/06/analysis-of-multi-merge-dataset-of.html


    That paper's genetic analysis' markers are very limited in number and depth (it is just a microsatellite analysis!). That is why that analysis' Tuscan results are not replicated in any of more detailed genetic analyses involving Tuscans. Tuscans always show up as genetically closest to other non-Sardinian Italians and do not form a deviant cluster in more detailed genetic analyses. In conclusion, the thing you present as a proof for your idea of a North African origin for Etruscans is not a proof at all and cannot be used as a proof of anything, as it is refuted by more detailed genetic analyses.

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  37. @Adyghe,

    You are no different from Beekes in your habit of wild speculations based on mere words.

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  38. @Onur - Just that. Whole middle easta nd anatolia was once jungle then arable farmland now very arid. BMAC, messopotamia, arabia, indus valley civilization etc. etc. etc.

    @Annie - History, pretty much. I think I touched on the highlights of anatolia. Desertification, ottoman empire, sack of constantinople and surrounding lands by the fourth crusade, seleucid empire before which anatolia was pretty much wiped out completely due to peasants fleeing the land during all the conflict, and before that 250 years of plague that almost depopulated the area as well. If I need to go back further yes the sack of troy, even further the sack of every civilization that was there before during the bronze age collapse and again before that. Minor stuff like that which people seem to forget about....

    There was a post recently about the iberiomauretians as well. The obvious bias is to assume that people who are there currently always are but from history we know that's largely not the case, especially when it comes to the mediterranean and anatolia in particular.

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  39. I think a reasonable theory is that Etruscans, via the Villanova culture, are of Alpine descent, but probably mixed with (not all that different) locals. Alpine origin also resolves their linguistic relation with the Raeti, and the timing would have been right to preserve a non-IE island, while the Celtic/Italic/Germanic continuum condensed around the Alps. Still, they had caught up in the spread of the Urnfield "culture" - or Central European fashion of the day.

    If their language derives from the Cardium settlers, it could either originate from one of the many non-IE Anatolian (SW, or N Levantine) languages, or from an early PIE sister language. From the little I have seen, the cases, umlaut, inflection, prefixes and suffixes, and genitive s - while more agglutinative, all point to a language grammatically rather close to PIE (definitely not just from Greek influence) - but non-IE from the vocabulary. This would point to a relation to PIE to likely before the very beginning of the Neolithic.

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  40. @Onur

    You are shameful...I was not making any wild speculations. I merely made a well-reasoned postulation about the origins of a "mysterious" people based on what linguistic evidence we have at hand. It is not beyond reason or "wild" to speculate an eastern origin based on the facts I stated nor on what Beekes has done in his research.

    A wild speculation would be to say that Etruscan is Hungarian or Turkic/ Altaic, or that Eruscans were Sub-Saharan (Afrocentrist idea) or some such bunk. I do not like being attacked because I had an educated opinion and to be the bigger person, I will refrain from calling you a shameless, pseudo-intellectual a**hole.

    It is fine that you disagree, but to attack my intellect and that of Mr. Beekes (who has vastly more intellectual prowess in his pinky finger than you have in your whole ugly person) is beyond the pale. Then you present no reasonable, or for that matter even just barely intellectual, counter-argument (not that I think you are that much capable anyway). You just attack. Disagree with me, fine, but do not attack me or my intellect. Do try to make a decently intelligent counter-argument, if you are capable.

    Dienekes forgive me please.

    @Ebizur

    I agree with you...I thought about that. It is not inconceivable. I just don't know the linguistic mechanisms by which one would arrive at Tyrsenian from Rasenna. Certainly by the sound of the words they "sound" like they could be related. It is not impossible for "Tyrsenian" to be a Greek corruption of the Etruscan autonym. I would never be so brave as to say, "Yes, that is what it is", hahaha. Your suggestion is of interest though. I have seen an attempt to relate Rasenna to Arzawa also. I am not convinced by that etymology. I have also seen attempts to relate Etruscan to Northeast Caucasian which would make Tyrsenian (R. A. Brown considers that Eteocretan maybe related to this group) part of the proposed Macro-Caucasian (Vasco-Caucasian) macro-family along with Hattic (extinct), Hurro-Urartian, (extinct), Kaskian (extinct), possibly "Minoan" (extinct), Northeast Caucasian, Northwest Caucasian, Basque, and Burushaski. I am neutral concerning this. I will say I am not so sure Northwest Caucasian is all that related to Northeast Caucasian. Burushaski, Basque, and Northeast Caucasian do share SOME actual isoglosses, but not so much with Northwest Caucasian. That is neither here nor there though.

    I have seen the attempted relation of Rasenna to Rhaeti/ Raeti before. It was in a book. If I can recall it, I will post a link for you.

    I think you might find this interesting also, Ebizur. In that link it talks about things in the archaeology of the Villanovan culture that are positively Aegean.

    Harald Haarmann, Early Civilization and Literacy in Europe: An Inquiry into Cultural Continuity in the Mediterranean World

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  41. Now if we know for sure who PIE were we are golden ;)

    But seriously remember mountain areas are natural refugeums. I imagine that etruscan area is part from lydia, part from whatever was there beforehand. Higher neanderthal % than the basques bears this out.

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  42. "That paper's genetic analysis' markers are very limited in number and depth."

    Agreed.

    "That is why that analysis' Tuscan results are not replicated in any of more detailed genetic analyses involving Tuscans. Tuscans always show up as genetically closest to other non-Sardinian Italians and do not form a deviant cluster in more detailed genetic analyses. In conclusion, the thing you present as a proof for your idea of a North African origin for Etruscans is not a proof at all and cannot be used as a proof of anything, as it is refuted by more detailed genetic analyses."


    What papers do you mean? I cant think of anything that meets your description?

    Of course Tuscans are going to be similar to other Italians. IMO the Etruscans were there first, colonized the area first. It is said they even founded Rome. They didnt live on an island like the Sardinians. Tuscany is in the middle of one of the 2/3 main European population flow prehistorical superhighways. The largest historical population superhighway. They spread out to neighbours/colonies and would pickup any washes of population from the east. Of course Tuscans are going to be similar to other Italians. Doesnt mean they came from the east. It is their differences from other Italians that speak to their origins.

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  43. @Grognard,

    You are talking like someone who has never been to Anatolia. Anatolia and the adjacent terriories to the east have never been as arid as the most of the rest of West Asia (e.g., there have never been deserts) during their long history of human habitation, and farmlands have always been in abundance in Anatolia since the Neolithic times with no sign of any large-scale abandonment of farmlands and any ensuing depopulation since then. Effects of plagues were usually short-term, as populations usually recovered within few centuries following plagues. Invaders usually did not interrupt farming in any significant degree, as they always saw it much more preferable to keep local famers intact and benefit from their work. As for Ottomans, they acquired most of Anatolia from the Muslim emirates (=beyliks) of Anatolia, and those regions were already mostly Muslim when they passed to Ottomans. Ottomans in general did not make much change on the lifestyle of the Anatolian population after their conquests; they were much more concerned with the Balkans.

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  44. Amen, Silus Italicus.

    Let's call things what they are: to this day, a very small but vocal number of Northern Italian scientists and Americans who live mostly on the Eastern Coast, cannot believe -- just can't believe -- that the Etruscans were native Italians, that the modern Italians are descendants of the Romans, or that Columbus was Italian, etc.

    Their deep-seeded prejudices, perhaps from bad experiences with ignorant Italians, make them continue to come up with ridiculous pseudo-science, and we all have to put up with it. It is Herodotus 2500 years later: just as he couldn't believe such a sophisticated culture came from the West (good thing he never heard of Tartessos), these modern bigots can't believe anyone smart or advanced came from Italy (because of a few idiots along the jersey shore).

    So we will continue to hear nonsense like, "Was Galileo in fact Jewish? Tonight on History!" "Was Da Vinci Secretly British? Tonight on Discovery!"

    And crap within this realm.

    I repeat, and repeat: if you believe the foundation myths in selective ancient literature, you are an utter fool. Along with the ridiculous notion that Etruscans were Lydians, there are foundation myths that state that other tribes sprung up from an Eagle's womb, that other tribes came from the Amazons, etc. Get a grip. These were myths.

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  45. Agreed.

    Then surely you also agree that your theory has a very weak basis.

    What papers do you mean? I cant think of anything that meets your description?

    All more detailed genetic studies comparing Tuscans with other Italians and non-Italians. In them Tuscans are always shown to be genetically closest to non-Sardinian Italians (not necessarily exclusively them). This is a well-proven fact. I do not understand why you are still asking for evidence when the evidence is in abundance.

    But if you are still insisting on seeing evidence, here you can see on one webpage multiple detailed genetic analyses involving Tuscans, all of them confirming what I have been saying:

    http://dodecad.blogspot.com/search/label/Italians

    Of course Tuscans are going to be similar to other Italians.

    Not just similar. They are MOST similar to other non-Sardinian Italians (not necessarily exclusively them).

    It is their differences from other Italians that speak to their origins.

    They do not show any distinctiveness from other non-Sardinian Italians in detailed genetic analyses. They are typical Italians genetically.

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  46. @Onur, I know that west anatolia is relatively fertile.

    Ottomans brought in circassians and other mountain people of georgia and settled them everywhere. You can see their presence on the haplomap.

    Now if you have been to anatolia 3000 years ago then by all means I bow to your knowledge. However the bias on people talking about the place they live or their perceived race makes them jump to some startling conclusions.

    There's few, if any, places you can get a sample from today and find out what was there that long ago.

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  47. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haplogroup_R1a_%28Y-DNA%29

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haplogroup_R1b_%28Y-DNA%29

    I think the r1a and r1b maps are pretty instructive.

    r1a is all over india and europe but there's a big blank spot in middle east. Part of that is maybe due to a mainly north caspian route west, but I am guessing it shows a lot of loss of ground as well.

    r1b is basically everywhere like it's been there for 20k years. Even with all the changes to anatolia and ME it's at the same level as surrounding areas with a big concentration in the middle of cameroon and east africa. Obviously this happened some time ago.

    That's no doubt a big part of what being mediterranean was until relatively recently. I realize there's a big impetus on people to justify themselves as it were, but this isn't some superficial similarity in a few vases you can handwave away but a big presence of haplotypes that can't really be explained any other way. Combined with the newer haplotypes being from historical events.

    Plus every historical source simply says this is the case. I mean OF COURSE at the time anatolia was the big center of human civilization. That's what happens, civilization arises and spreads out, civilization collapses and people disperse or die out, and later other people move in (possibly their conquerors).

    But before anatolia the center of civilization was further east, then further east all the way to indus valle, and this was all spurred on by climate change.

    The only reason to believe anything else is politics, which seems to be what anthropology is all about.

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  48. Onur, that was a complete cop out. It appears you do not have any evidence to support your assertions given you cannot quote anything. I will thus give your opinion due weight.

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  49. @Grognard,

    You are making a lot of assertions without presenting any real evidence. All you do to back up your claims is to say history says this, history says that, which are actually your own views of history rathern than the real history. In reality, history is a much more limited discipline than you want to believe. Also, where is the ancient or modern DNA or archaeological evidence to support your assertions? I see none. You are more like prophesying than discussing. Lastly, those haplogroup maps you present by themselves cannot be used to support your claims.

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  50. Didn't notice it before but zoom in close and there's a hotspot of r1a right in kurdistan. What a surprise!

    Well, not really, they are one of the least affected by recent (or ancient) admixture so are a refugeum looking deep into the past.

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  51. Also Ebizur...this is a link to Alberto Palmucci's site about this very paper Dienekes posted about.

    DNA OF THE ETRUSCANS AND THE MIGRATIONS WITH TROY AND NEAR EAST

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  52. Onur, that was a complete cop out. It appears you do not have any evidence to support your assertions given you cannot quote anything. I will thus give your opinion due weight.

    Do you have a reading problem? Did not I give you a link which presents not one but many proofs of my assertions on one webpage, which is more than enough in content as evidence? If you have any objection to the content of the evidence I presented, share it with me. If not, please do not waste my time with your unsubstantiated opinions.

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  53. @Onur Of course they are evidence of something. If haplogroups aren't evidence of something then what is. How ludicrous. Now you may interpret it differently but you don't have any convincing counter explanation.


    I've also heard the all italians are the same nonsense from a few people but it's a hrd road to argue this. Again, history says otherwise. Haplogroups say much otherwise. Nature of the holy roman empire says otherwise, normans, catalans, arab and austrian influence say otherwise in incontrovertible terms. Five minutes walking in any italian city says otherwise.

    I have pointed out tons of historical events, you simply poo poo them.

    History doesn't matter and haplogroups don't matter so obviously (as has seemed case before) you have a bias that can't be overcome and there's no reasoning with you.

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  54. http://italydna.blogspot.com/2007/01/r1b-in-italy.html

    Look at the pictures. the haplogroups show several steep klines and the e3b+j2 are clustered in the south. This isn't evidence so much as just fact. Italy isn't homogenous and no one can make an honest argument to that effect. If your actual parentage doesn't count then what does.

    The only reason anatolia seems like a strange choice to modern historians is that troy was believed to be a fiction until recently. At the time it was not a fable, though, it was more recent to them than the romans were to us. There seems to be an assumption ancient peoples were illiterate but we know the pre classic greeks weren't, we just don't know how to translate their language. So at the time there'd be a fair continuity. And since the local cows are anatolian then this sews it up even without the genetic links that exist in humans with the r1a q version.

    Interestingly the franks are also purported to come from anatolia but the historical evidence is shakier.

    North africa makes no sense, we are talking about the etruscans after all.

    It also makes no sense that a pastoral people as romans originally were would be a seafaring people, if you do want to get into romulas and remus.

    Etruscan area is very easy to walk to from analtolia. If you skirted the greeks to the west it's the first place you'd come to.

    To the west we have the r1bs dominating. So where else did they come from? It's either anatolia or northeastern europe, really.

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  57. @Grognard,

    You are making unsubstantiated inferences about the past based on your own highly subjective and problematic view of history and the current distribution of some haplogroups and still dare accuse me of being biased. Is your standard of science so low?

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  58. Note, too, that last picture in the italian genetics link. Even though anatolia is not a current r1a area an ancient form of r1a radiates right out of anatolia and also influences greece and italia, even though it hardly exists in anatolia itself any more. And no I'm not r1a I just like the truth.

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  59. The real question is, when did Central Asia and West Asia become European centric?

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  60. Since mixing with the neanderthals, basically. They were pushed into refugiums during ice age and expanded out immediately afterwards.

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  61. http://italydna.blogspot.com/2007/01/r1b-in-italy.html
    This site is full of errors.

    It's enought funny to see people argue about Etruscans speaking od Herodotus and Dionysius but ignore the most recent archaeological discoveries.
    Croats and Slovenes do not descend by the Veneti of the italian Veneto. In Europe there are many peoples called Veneti or Venedi or Wendi (perhaps a word of Indo-European substrate), but they are not tied together.These Veneti are an italic tribe of wave of Latin-Faliscans, as their language shows. They occupied the region pushing over the indigenous peoples. No one has doubts that the Etruscans are related to indigenous Rethi and the Villanova civilization, although they had trade relations with the East because of the iron. Their civilization was born thanks to iron working, still in Tuscany you see the dross of iron the Etruscans worked, tons of slag.
    Rome was founded by the Latins. There is archaeological evidence that in the eighth century BC the Latins built the wall and the public buildings, Temples and a Royal Palace, that have joined 4 hills in a single city. They were builded in only a generation, with an urban plan clearly defined.

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Stay on topic. Be polite. Use facts and arguments. Be Brief. Do not post back to back comments in the same thread, unless you absolutely have to. Don't quote excessively. Google before you ask.