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The Origins of the Etruscans

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Author Topic: The Origins of the Etruscans  (Read 931 times)
Victoria Liss
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« on: October 14, 2010, 01:26:17 pm »

The origin of the Etruscan population is still unclear and is being constantly investigated by scholars on cultural, linguistic and genetic grounds.  Several major authors of the Roman Empire, such as Livy, Cicero and Horace called them as Tusci  or Tursci  (1).  These names are in good agreement with  Tur-Osc, discussed in the previous chapter. There are several indicators pointing to the Asiatic origin of the Etruscan population. Their language is known to be non-Indo-European and many similarities have been found with both the Altaic –especially with Turkish- as well as the Uralic languages (2).

  Recently a serious genetic research has been published by a group of Italian scientists. They have investigated several bone samples from the Etruscan remains and came up with the following conclusions (3):

   Etruscan sites appear to have rather homogeneous genetic characteristics. Their mitochondrial haplotypes are very similar, but rarely identical, to those commonly observed in contemporary Italy and suggest that the links between the Etruscans and eastern Mediterranean region were in part associated with genetic, and not only cultural, exchanges. The Etruscans show closer relationships both to North Africans and to Turks than any contemporary population. In particular, the Turkish component in their gene pool appears three times as large as in the other populations.

  Since the Turkish population originated –to a large extent- from Central Asia, it can be claimed that the Etruscans too came to Italy from Asia, through the Alp Mountains in the north of Italy. Their early settlements were on a high plateau named Valcamonica, where they left many marks in the form of petroglyphs (see Chapter 6 and 7). A further sign for their Uighur origin is the name of the Alp Mountains. Alp means “tall and formidable” in Turkish. There are several proper names starting with Alp; such as Alpaslan, Alpagut, Alperen, Alper and Alp-Er-Tunga.
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