By Mehmet Kurtkaya, First Published on November 28, 2017
MAIN ARTICLE Etruscan Origins
Mythology including god names like Aplu, Aeneas myth, Haruspicy, Augury, Lemnos Stele, the funerary stela of Tarhunpiyas, Subria and More
Augur and Bird AuguryAugury was introduced to Rome by the Etruscans and was part of the Roman religious and political scene.
Augury, reading omens based on bird flight paths, is of Northern Mesopotamian and Anatolian origin. It is known from the Hittite records of the 14th century BC but like most of the other Hittite religious practices, mythology and culture, it is of Ugur (Hurrian) origin.
In fact, it is well known that the first major civilizations of Turkey, Ugat (Hatti) and Ugur (Hurrian) were respectively at least 1000 and 2000 years older than the much more popular Hittite Empire.
Moreover, a large section if not the majority of the population of the Hittite Empire and its vassal states consisted of Ugur (Hurrian) and Hatti (Ugat) people. Hittites called themselves "the people of the land of the Hatti", and not Hittite! The rulers of the Hittite Empire mostly considered as migrants, but probably local or mixed with locals, largely considered as the first "Indo-Europeans" on written record (Anitta text, 1650 BC), adopted the culture of the people they ruled over.
Hurrians were contemporaneous with both the Hittite and the earlier Sumerian civilizations! Geographically they were located in between Sumer and Hittite lands. Hence, the relationship between the first Indo-European language, Hittite, and Sumerian language is not unexpected.
The word for "water" in Hittite language is "watar", almost same as in English! If interested, here's the proof how the word water derives from Sumerian Turkish.
This article on augury and divination practices casually states that augury spread from Anatolia / Northern Mesopotamia to Ancient Greece and Rome without giving any explanation on how that happened.
Academics speak of Hurrian art of augury.
Huur (Hurrian) = Ugur/Augur, as in Oghur (Oğur) Turks, Ugric languages etc, hence the use of the word Augury is self evident with regards to Hurrian culture. Ugur is also seen among the Turuk personal names of 3800 years ago in Assyrian records regarding Turuk /Turukkaeans and, also as the Mesopotamian god found also in ancient Hayasa, U.Gur associated with Nergal.
Learn more about this artwork from Louvre Museum's page: The funerary stela of Tarhunpiyas, from the Kingdom of Gurgum, Kahramanmaras, Turkey
This stele is very significant in many ways in determining the origins of the Etruscans. Bigger Image
As explained by Karen Radner it depicts augury in Southeastern Turkey.
Stone funerary steles are of Turkish origin and can be found all over the Eurasian steppes, especially in kurgans (tumulus) from Siberia to Eastern Europe. The earliest known balbal, Turkish word for the Eurasian funerary stele, is dated to 3000 BC and was found in Ukraine. Etruscans had tumulus/kurgan tombs in addition to other type of tombs. Kurgans are Turkish cimetery mounds and the word Kurgan is Turkish and has both Turkish and Sumerian Turkish etymology. Latin word "tumulus" too, has Turkish etymology.
Turkish balbal from Central Asia
The word "bal" also exists in Sumerian and it means "a type of stone". Balbal is a word duplication, a feature found in both Turkish and Sumerian Turkish languages.
Morever, Hurrian (and Hittite/Luwian) god Tarhun (Tessub/Teşub) and Etruscan Tarkan connection is well known as an important evidence of the Etruscan-Anatolian connection.
Let us note that Hurrians (Ugur) were a large population, living predominantly in Eastern, Central and Southern Turkey but also in Western Turkey at later dates. They also populated parts of Syria, Iraq and Lebanon. (See below how well the genetic signature of some modern Tuscans fit Ugur Turks / Hurrians below).
Gurgum kingdom, home to the funerary stela of Tarhunpiyas, was located in Kizzuwadna, another Hurrian kingdom to the east of Subria, closer to Lydia where Etruscans migrated from.
Subria, an ancient mountain kingdom in Southeast Turkey known from 9-6th century BC Assyrian records, was a refugee sanctuary located between the Assyrian Kingdom to its South and Urartu Kingdom to its north. Subria was contemporary with the early Etruscan civilization!
And even more interestingly, two genetic research studies done on Tuscan populations in 2014 and 2015 point to Southeastern Turkey /Northwestern Iran / Northern Syria and Iraq where Turuk kingdoms are known to have existed since at least 2400 BC and even more precisely to the area in Southern Caucuses / Lake Urmia near Kumme and nearby Ukku (modern Hakkari).
Another interesting info from Louvre's website: it can be related to the wooden stools covered in metal of similar date, discovered at Gordion in Phrygia. Consider this together with the Etruscan - Phyrigia connection as explained by Beekes, who had made some mistakes but overall has very important remarks.
Subria was Hurrian and westward from the center of the Turuk kingdoms in the Taurus and Zagros mountains. The lands of Subria, in all likelihood hosted a Turuk kingdom and/or Turuk people in the past or was itself a Turuk kingdom.
German professor Karen Radner's work on Subria (Subir in Sumerian, Subartu in Akkadian/Sumerian. Note Sumer/Subir similarity) provides some important information among them this very revealing line:
"I a[sk]ed the [Subria]n: Why do you seize deserters [f]rom the Urartian (king) fleeing to Assyria, and [settle them in] the city? Why do you [protect dese]rters and not give them to us?" His reply: "I fear the gods"." (SAA 5 35)"
The people living in Subria risked their lives to protect refugees because they feared the gods!
Etruscans were very religious people, in many cases, their tombs had more luxury than their homes. Moreover -UM is a suffix meaning afterlife. (Side note: If used as a prefix, instead of a suffix, replacing SU in Subria we get Umbria. Subria > Umbria. Hurrian mythological word Umbu may have been related to Umbria such as Umbu+ur+ia = Umburia. Italian Umbria may have Near Eastern roots as well).
See also: Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Musasir, Kumme, Ukku (Mmodern Hakkari) and Subria - The Buffer States Between Assyria and Urartu / And the Related Map showing Subria, Ukku, Kumme, Musasir
The etymology of the word Augur, the practice of Augury as well as haruspicy, divination based on sacrificed animal's liver, gladiator fights, mythology and many more in: Sumerian Influence on Ancient Rome. Also see Huur misrepresented Ugur (Later known as Oghur Turks) for how Augur and Ugur (Hurrian) are the same word and people.
Haruspicy Hepatoscopy transmission info : From Mesopotamia - Turkey to Greece - ItalyTransmission of liver divination from East to West
Haruspicy from the Ancient Near East to Etruria
Aeneas myth, Etruscan mythology and moreAeneas: An Etruscan Foundation Legend by Peter Mountford (University of Melbourne). He identifies seventy vases which show the Aeneas/Anchises in Etruria and concludes that Aeneas was the subject of a foundation myth in southern Etruria in the late sixth century B.C. He suggests a case can now be made for the movement of peoples in Asia Minor (Turkey) to Italy in the late Mycenaean Age.
In addition to many scholars before him in the last 125 years, Robert Stephen Paul Beekes' The Origins of the Etruscans (2003) supported the migration out of Anatolia (Turkey) thesis.. R.S.P. Beekes has some very important remarks among them:
"- the Greeks called the Etruscans Tyrsenoi (Tursenoi), a name they also used for people in the north-west of Asia Minor (Turkey).
- The story that the Etruscans were Pelasgians and the story of Nanas as the leader of the Etruscans coming from Greece.
- The triumphus complex.
- The Kumdanli inscription near Lake Burdur.
- The use of the name Taruisas instead of Ilios for Troy.
- The evidence that the story of Aeneas in Italy was preceded by a version where the journey from Troy went to Etruria."
Read Beekes' important work at: The Origins of the Etruscans (The article has some mistakes too, but they do not affect the major points he made.)
Consider Aeneas myth together with the archaeological Aeneas evidence above.
Also see Minoan and Etruscan Hydro Technologies by Anastasia Zourou.
There is a lot more to add to the mythological correspondences between Anatolia / Mesopotamia and Etruscan such as major Etruscan gods Tinia, Uni, Etruscan word for god Ais and Aiser, Mars, Apollo and others. Anatolia.
(Click on the image for the answer)
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Discover groundbreaking revelations on the roots of modern civilization in one short book. How did we arrive to where we are? How ancient civilizations a world apart, Sumer and Maya were connected. An overview that covers a wide range of topics from human migrations 50000 years ago to Gobeklitepe, the first temple in history, the first matriarchal society with written records, Elam, and to the Sun Cult of the Hattis. Their origins and influence on other ancient civilizations including their neighbors, distant relatives: Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, Hurrian, Scythian, Oguz, Kassite, Gutian, Hyksos and more. (Many of my articles on this website included)