Before the glory of Rome, the Etruscans ruled much of what is now Italy. Some of Rome’s first kings were from Etruria, and Etruscans may have established the city-state that would rule much of the known world for centuries.
With a unique and still largely unknown language, this early civilization differed significantly from other Iron Age societies and had an ingenious knowledge of agriculture, metalworking, and sculpture that greatly influenced ancient Greek and Roman cultures.
“[T]he is the first known superpower of the western Mediterranean, ”so the words of Live scienceBen Turner’s Ben Turner prospered the Etruscans for centuries, only around in the third century BC. Conquered by the Romans and until 90 BC
For generations, researchers have wondered who the Etruscans were and where they came from. As early as the fifth century BC The Greek historian Herodotus wrote that the mysterious people first lived in a distant land before they emigrated to the Italian peninsula.
Now Ariel David reports for Haaretz, an extensive genetic test has confirmed the Etruscans’ ancestry, suggesting they were local – and proves Herodotus was wrong. The new DNA analysis, which focused on 82 people who died between 800 BC. BC and AD 1000 shows that these ancient humans had many of the same genes as their Roman neighbors. The researchers collected genetic samples from skeletons found in the former Etruria region, which stretched across Tuscany in northern Italy and the central part of the peninsula, as well as the island of Corsica.
As the authors of the study write in the journal Scientific advances, “[T]he local gene pool [was] in the first millennium BC
“This enormous genetic shift in the imperial era transformed the Italians from a people firmly anchored in the genetic cloud of Europe into a genetic bridge between the Mediterranean and the Middle East,” says lead author Cosimo Posth, geneticist at the University of Tübingen in Germany Haaretz.
Previous archaeological and genetic research showed that Italy was settled around 8,000 years ago by people who immigrated from Stone Age Europe and later from the Eurasian steppes and Anatolia.
“The Etruscans are indistinguishable from the Latins, and they also have a high proportion of steppe ancestors,” says Posth Andrew Curry from science Magazine.
The still largely indecipherable language of civilization is noticeably different from other societies of the period, but has some similarities with Greek, including similar alphabets; in fact, Herodotus once speculated that the Etruscans were indeed ancient Greeks from Anatolia.
According to Michelle Starr of Science alert, the new study suggests that the Etruscans managed to withstand admission by later migrations of Indo-European peoples and to retain their unique language – at least for a time.
“When Indo-European arrives, it usually replaces the languages that existed before,” says Guus Kroonen, co-author of the study, a linguist at Leiden University in the Netherlands science. “So why do the Etruscans speak a non-Indo-European language?”
The fact that the Etruscans were able to retain their language despite subsequent waves of migration shows the strength of their culture. The study suggests that ancient society passed on linguistic traits to other civilizations that later emerged on the Italian peninsula.
“This linguistic persistence, combined with genetic turnover, challenges simple assumptions that genes are the same as languages,” said David Caramelli, co-author of the study, an anthropologist at the University of Florence in Italy, in a statement.
He adds that this “suggests a more complex scenario, possibly involving the assimilation of the early cursive speakers by the Etruscan language community, possibly during an extended period of intermingling in the second millennium BC. Chr. “.
Although the language lasted for centuries after the collapse of its society, Etruria was eventually absorbed by Rome. Later the Etruscan language and culture also disappeared. Next, the researchers want to find out why civilization lasted so long and how it finally ended.