Sunday, 5 May 2019

Northern Etruscans

The Pomeranian culture, was an Iron Age culture with origins in parts of the area south of the Baltic Sea, from the 7th c. to the 3rd c. BC, which eventually covered most of today's Poland

People of the Pomeranian culture made these amazing bronze collars.

These collars are commonly thought of being jewellery but it is possible that they were a type of a neck armour. These are depiction of warriors from Tiryns Peloponnese (c. 1500-1200 BC). Bronze statuettes of warrior from Sardinia Italy (c. 1900 BC). Both wearing ring neck amour.

This type of armour was found in Italy (c. 2000-1600 BC).

From Greek age of Bronze.

Pomeranian culture is also known as face urn culture. Reason for that is that they put ashes of the deceased in urns with sculpted faces, possibly resembling the faces of the deceased.

Now interestingly, at the same time, or a bit earlier (they first appear during the 8th centuries BC. ) in Italy, Etruscans also made urns with faces.

I love the more stylised design of the older versions of these Etruscan face urns, like these 4.

One of the most striking examples, to me anyway, is this one. It could have been made in 1930s...

At the same time when both people in Etruria and in South Baltic made face urns, the people in both places also made house urns.

The House Urns culture was an early Iron Age culture of the 7th century BC in central Germany, in the Region between Harz Mountains and the junction of river Saale to river Elbe. It was the western periphery of the bronze and Iron Age Lusatian culture.

At the same time (actually slightly earlier) in Italy, we find Villanova culture, (Early Etruscan culture) which also made house shaped urns

The most elaborate house urns made in Italy come from the Etruscan city of Vulci and date to the 9th century BC. They are made of bronze.

One of my favourite Etruscan house urns is this one, today kept in Vatican museum. Some people will find symbols adorning this urn interesting. I particularly like this one:

Etruscans loved amber, and amber comes from South Baltic. So the trade connection between the two places definitively existed during the time when these two urn traditions developed in both Italy and South Baltic.

Villanovans, early Etruscans, were master amber carvers

What is interesting is that both urn traditions are developed earlier and to the much higher level in Etruria. This points to the corresponding North European traditions being cultural exports from Etruria.

Cultural exports brought along the amber road? The shortest route directly connects these two cultural areas.

These cultural traits are not present along the whole length of the Amber Road. Does this indicate the presence of the Etruscan settlers in the South Baltic area? Maybe to control the amber trade?

Latest Etruscan genetic data shows that they were a very mixed population...But "...the finding of the Central European lineage G2a-L497 (7.1%) at considerable frequency would rather support a Northern European origin of Etruscans"...



  1. Really enjoy your work, simply amazing! Greets from Rascia :)

  2. The pictured Etruscan urns of males, are cleaned shaved (or just representing youth). The Pomeranian urns "cone" seem to represent a beard extension?
    Anyway, pre-Islamic South Arabian tombstones show similar geometric and shaved, facial forms.
    Even though the Etruscan ones are more plastic in appearance.

    Some minor examples of South Arabian tombstones.

  3. I don't see any resemblance between pre-Islamic South Arabian tombstones and the Pomerian and Etruscan ones. Pre-Islamic South Arabian tombstones are more similar to the Egyptian ones.

  4. Etruscans were clearly indigenous.

    All samples from the recently published Antonio et al. ancient Rome paper

    Eurogenes K15 PCA

    1. I don't understand your comment. Indigenous where? And how is it related to this article?