By Mehmet Kurtkaya, Published on November 28, 2017, Updated on December 12, 2017
Etruscans: Who were they and where did they come from?The origin of the Etruscans has been one of history's most debated topics.
In 2017, the evidence proving the origins of Etruscans is overwhelming, to say the least. Based on existing research and adding my own insight and research, I can say that I have solved the so-called puzzle.
The three interrelated questions must be answered simultaneously: their identity, their original location and the path they have taken to reach Italy. Analysis of all the existing information from different fields, archaeology, linguistics, genetics, and history including mythology answers this question unambiguously.
The genetic studies done between 2004 and 2015 explain the region Etruscans migrated from with a reasonable degree of accuracy that confirms almost all the linguistic associations suggested since the first major book on Etruscan studies The Origins of the Etruscans was written by Isaac Taylor, in 1874. He had suggested them to be Turkic (Ugric, Uygur, Turanian). His finding were confirmed by Bernard Carra de Vaux La langue étrusque; sa place parmi les langues published in 1911 and La langue étrusque by Jules Martha, in 1913. These authors had used Turkic, Finno-Turkish, Ugric and Turanian as attributes instead of Ugur (Oghur) Turkish.
Parallels between Sumerian and Etruscan studiesSumerian too was declared to be Turkish by English and European scholars including Edward Hincks who had deciphered cuneiform writing. See the History of Sumerian Turkish comparisons
And very interestingly, decades later, Etruscan was declared to be an isolated civilization with an isolated language just like the Sumerian, against all evidence pointing to the Turkish nature of their civilization.
Etruscan as part of Sumerian, Greek, Roman origins studyHistory is a whole and not a collection of isolated events and people. The whole can be constructed by not only analyzing its parts but also connecting them based on material evidence.
Sumerian and Ugur (Hurrians), are two of the most overlooked civilizations:
Sumerian Influence on Ancient Greece
Sumerian Influence on Ancient Rome
Ugur Turks / Hurrians founders of Ancient Greece
Political Nature of Etruscan Origins StudiesMany distinguished Italian scholars have indicated the political nature of Etruscan Origins discussions. They have also contributed vastly to the field of Etruscan research.
"I can never succeed in understanding why Italians still fail to recognize the enormous contribution that the Etruscan civilization has made to our Western civilization. We keep on believing the teaching that the Greeks and above all the Romans are the peoples to whom the Western world owes its origins. All of this is considerably exaggerated and based on historical falsehoods. However, I have ascertained instead that it is the Etruscans, coming from the East, who are the true founders of our European culture, for both good and bad aspects."
Professor Graziano Baccolini, founder of mysteriousetruscans.com, a great website that must be consulted first to get an overview of this neglected civilization.
An important analysis On Etruscan Language by Italian linguistics Professor Massimo Pittau ,author of I Grandi Testi della Lingua Etrusca tradotti e commentati (Sassari 2011), on Rina Brundu's website.
Sabrina Loriga remarks: " From the Renaissance to the dawn of the twenty-first century, recurrent efforts have been made in the Italian Peninsula to erase or at least minimize the traces of the Etruscans’ relationship to the East. However, the question of their origin has been reworked and reshaped to various—and sometimes conflicting—political ends."
Politics in Etruscan Studies in Italy
Mythology, Haruspicy, Augury and MoreHaruspicy, divination based on sacrificed animal's liver, gladiator fights, mythology and many more in
Sumerian Influence on Ancient Rome.
Transmission of liver divination from East to West
Aeneas: 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.
Minoan and Etruscan Hydro Technologies by Anastasia Zourou.
In addition to many scholars before him in the last 125 years, Robert Stephen Paul Beekes' The Origins of the Etruscans (2003) supported migration out of Anatolia (Turkey) thesis.
LINGUISTIC ASSOCIATIONS: COMPETING OR COMPLEMENTING SUGGESTIONS?There are different types of relations between languages: Areal contacts, genetical relationship, and other influences.
To solve a high school algebra question such as the one below, involving three unknowns, one must use all the equations simultaneously.
x+2y+4z = 17
5x+3y+z = 14
It is impossible to solve them one by one.
Another analogy would be the proverbial description of the elephant by blinds, each making a conclusion based on the part of the elephant.
The question to be answered: Who is the elephant in the room?
LANGUAGES RELATED TO ETRUSCANEtruscan has been compared with varying degrees of success to: Turkish, Ogur Turkish, Altaic, Hurrian, Hungarian, Finnish, Anatolian Languages,Latin, Sanscrit, Greek, Albanian, Armenian, Celtic, Sumerian, Minoan, and Aegean languages.
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See the high concentration of languages in and around Turkey, but also note that there are other languages around Eurasia that Etruscan is related to. An East-West direction can clearly be seen, compatible with Eurasian migrations of the last 25000 years. See Eurasian Migrations and Languages: Indo-European origins, Sumer, Yamna, Anatolia, Iran, and Indus Valley
TURKISHThe Origins of the Etruscans written by Isaac Taylor in 1874. He had suggested them to be Turkic (Ugric, Uygur, Turanian).
Automated generation of keywords for the topics in the book as: etruscan, ugric, turkic, turanian, latin, finnic, etruscan, ugric languages, etruscan language, turkic languages etc.
His finding were confirmed by Bernard Carra de Vaux La langue étrusque; sa place parmi les langues published in 1911 and La langue étrusque by Jules Martha in 1913. These authors had used Turkic, Finno-Turkish, Ugric and Turanian as attributes instead of Ugur Turkish.
By Turkish scholar Adile Ayda Etrüskler Türk Mü idi Les Etrusques étaient-ils des Turcs? Etruscans were they Turkish? 1974 Les Étrusques Étaient des Turcs. Preuves. Ankara: 1985 Etrüskler (Tursakalar) Türk idiler. İlmî Deliller. Ankara: 1992.
1998 “ETRÜSKLER Tarihleri, Yazıları ve Dilleri” Kâzım MİRŞAN
The Turkic Civilization lost in the Mediterranean basin by Azerbaijani professor Chingiz Garasharly in 2011.
A detailed linguistic treatise includes: "The systematic coincidence of the Etruscan – Chuvash (Ugur, Oghur Turkish language) interdental th with the Turkic y in pre-position and t in postposition reveals that the Chuvash language has kept the initial forms of some proto – Turkic consonants and serves as a key for "many Etruscan words."
Etrüsk Türk Bagi by Azerbaycani scholar Firudin Ağasıoglu published in 2013.
About the origin of Etruscans A significant number of names in Old and Roman onomasticon are discovered to be Old Turkic lexicon. By S. I. Mammadova, 2016.
Tarkan - Tarquin - TarquiniusArticle mentioning Tarkan and Targitaio: According to Herodotus European Scythians named their primeval king Targitaos, (Turkish Targitay). By F. W. Thomas
A Study of the Ancient Turkic Tarqan by Korean scholar Han-Woo Choi from Handong University.
Troy - TurogPeople of Troy were Turks (Troyalılar Türk İdiler), Elm ve tahsil, Baku, Azerbaycan 2013. Truvalılar ve Etrüskler Türk İdiler by Cingiz Garasarli
The Language of Troy was Etruscan by Alwin Kloekhorst.
Hittite Truisa and other words used for Troy as Troie, Eturs, Turskia, and Tursenoi. He correctly remarks that the "e" preceding Etrusci is a consonant cluster facilitator.
Tyrrhenian Languages (Tursenoi languages)Turhennoi is the original suggested name and Tursenoi is even better. But naming it Tyrrhenian only adds to the confusion as it obscures the root word Turs/Turogh in the name whose original form was Turuk.
Etruscan, Lemnian, Rhaethic and Camunic languages are grouped under the name Tyrsenian. Lemnian is Etruscan or a dialect of Etruscan, there is no doubt about it among scholars. Incidentally, Raeth and Ras as in Rasna which Etruscans called themselves are pretty close phonologically. Camunic is very close to Turkish etnonym Kamun known to have ruled from the Caucuses to Hungary, though Kamuns are recorded in history books a thousand year after the dissolution of the Etruscan civilization within Roman Empire. Kamun Turks are known from famed Polovec Dances of Prince Igor by Russian composer Alexander Borodin.
According to Alfred Toth, Tyrrhenian language family” was already invented by Kretschmer (1943), where all important points of Helmut Rix’ theory can be found, but that Rix does not even quote Kretschmer’s work. Unfortunately, Alfred Toth does the same when he mentions Isaac Taylor's major 1874 work as supportive of Hungarian while the book lays out Turanian, Turkic, Ugric thesis. He does not mention it in his article.
Tyrsenian language family was found related to the Caucasian languages by Soviet linguists Sergei Starostin and Igor Dyakonoff.
British researcher James Mellaart connected Tyrrhenian to pre-Indo-European Anatolian languages, based upon place name analysis in "The Neolithic of the Near East".
Let us also note that Raethic was suggested to be related to Illyrian and Celtic by Scullard in 1967 and Camunic to Celtic by Thomas Markey in 2008 in "Shared Symbolics, Genre Diffusion, Token Perception and Late Literacy in North-Western Europe."
Anatolian Tyrrhenian Hurrian adjectives by Mary Bachvarova in 2006
HURRIAN (Ugur Turkish) AND ETRUSCANEtruscan and Trysenian Languages : From a linguistic point of view Etruscan (and its close dialects Rhaetic and Camunic) is an evolved variety of Hurro-Urartian.
AEGEAN LANGUAGE FAMILYAn Aegean family including Eteocretan, Minoan and Eteocypriot has been proposed by G. M. Facchetti
SUMERIAN, ETRUSCAN, MINOAN LINEAR A, MINOAN, LINEAR BThe relation of Etruscan with ancient languages has been analyzed in many studies, among them Sumerian - Linear A - Etruscan - Linear B similarities and Sumerian - Linear A - Etruscan - Linear B - Lycian - Phaistos Disc - Cypro-Minoan similarities by Benon Zbigniew Szalek.
Etruscan-Minoan links in Facchetti, Giulio M. (2001). "Qualche osservazione sulla lingua minoica".
HUNGARIANEtruscan and Paleolithic Continuity Theory: Linguistic study of Etruscan as Uralic substrate with Türkic overlay by famed Italian linguist Mario Alinei.
Magyar Etruscan Affiliations from a Magyar point of view by Susan Tomory
Caucasian, North Caucasian, Nakh-DaghestanianIgor Diokonov, Sergei Starostin suggested relationship between Hurro-Urartian and EastCaucasian languages. Ancient East: ethno-cultural relations.Moscow, 1988 (in Russian).
Starostin, Sergei; Orel, Vladimir (1989). "Etruscan and North Caucasian". In Shevoroshkin, Vitaliy. Explorations in Language Macrofamilies. Bochum Publications in Evolutionary Cultural Semiotics.
Etruscan's Genealogical Relationship With Nakh-Daghestanian by Ed Robertson in 2006
Understanding Etruscan: A New Step by Wolodymyr H. Kozyrski1, Alexander V. Malovichko presenting evident lexical parallels in East Caucasian and Etruscan vocabularies.
On deciphering the name of the art of divination “Libri Haruspicini”: To the question of diachronic convergent relations in Etrusco-Adyghe languages West Circassian by Albek Ch. Abazov and Tamara M. Tanasheva from Kabardino-Balkarian State University Nalchik, Russia. The article is devoted to the reconstruction of Etrusco-Adyghe parallels based on the analysis of mythology and pantheon of gods (theonyms), which has not received sufficient light in science..
ANATOLIAN LANGUAGESAnatolian Languages consist of Hittite, Luwian, Palaic, Lycian, Lydian, Carian, Pisidian, Sidetic (Pamphylian)
More on Etruscan as an IE-Anatolian Language
Francisco R. Adrados Historische Sprachforschung / Historical Linguistics 107. Bd., 1. H. (1994),
The Etruscan Language: An Anatolian language with an archaic morphology and a Semitic lexicon by Marco Carrara
Two Areal Features in Anatolian Languages: The Sentential Particle Chain and Relational Adjective by Mary Bachvarova.
Anatolia and the Caucasus: the cradle of the Indo-Europeans by Dan Alexe
Bronze Age Areal influence in Anatolia and Etruscan
Etruscan Origins and Luwian by Fred C. Woudhuizen
Dieter Steinbauer (1999, 356–86), offers etymological arguments for an Aegean connection in the form of Anatolian loanwords in Etruscan. via Penney
An important paper by Martin Counihan An Etruscan Solution to a Celtic problem From the paper: "It is argued that what used to be called "P-Celtic" arose because Etruscans could not pronounce properly the Indo-European languages which they encountered in and around Italy. Etruscan influence can neatly explain not only the phenomenon of P-Celtic but also the corresponding phonological transition in Oscan and Umbrian. This scenario tends to support a relatively short timescale for the dissemination and diversification of the Western Indo-European languages."
Indo-European, Latin, Greek, SanskritIndo-Hittite Tyrsenian Hurrian origin of Etruscan
Towards a Peri-Indo-European Interpretation of the Etruscan Language by Perrotin, Damien Erwan.
Etruscan declension patterns as they relate to Latin, Greek and Sanskrit Work notes on Etruscan Devotional Texts among the Celts and Etruscan Phrases by Mel Copeland
ETRUSCAN AND PERI INDO-EUROPEAN HURRO-URARTIAN PARALLELS by Lurii Mosenkis
Etruscan as An Anatolian Language and Core Evidence for Etruscan as An Anatolian Language by Gianfranco Forni
Comparative Notes on Hurro-Urartian, Northern Caucasian and Indo-European by Vyacheslav V. Ivanov
Riccardo Massarelli's work on the Etruscan word Lautun Etruscan changed from agglutinative to fusional, inflectional language, he remarks.
Thalassa a Simple Etruscan Lemnian compound by Eduard Selleslagh-Suykens
An expose on the Orientalist Thesis Etruscan Origins, Language and Archaelogy by Bouke Van Der Meer 2004
He suggests three waves of colonization: first in 1100 BC, a second 900 BC, and the third in 700 BC.
Autochtonous "thesis" genetic data from 2013Genetic Study on MtDNA Samples from Etruscan Tombs
Unfortunately, this study is misused by the Wikipedia editors as proof of Autochtonous "thesis" (lie). There are no links in Wikipedia to the other genetic studies I list below! That's a typical lying by omission tactic frequently used by Wikipedia, in Sumerian articles too.
The study done on samples from the graves suggests that the people whose remains were analyzed in the study might have migrated from Anatolia 5000 years ago at the latest, so they were not the migrant Etruscans.
It is genetically proven that all the early farmers of Europe had migrated from Anatolia! So this study showed that these women were locals and might have arrived with the previous migration wave from Anatolia and not with the Etruscan wave.
Moreover, no one is claiming that when Etruscans migrated to Italy from Turkey the land was not already inhabited. To the contrary, anyone with critical thinking skills says that Etruscans had migrated to a region where there were locals and they mixed with them, and in time they enlarged their area of influence over Italy and parts of Central Europe to the North. Just like Sumerians and local hunter gatherer people, Akkadians, some three thousand years before them.
Hence, finding local people remains in graves never proves that Etruscan culture was autochthonous! On the other hand, finding Near Eastern Anatolian DNA from the period of migration, from around 1000 BC, in local Tuscans and local cattle proves beyond any doubt that the Etruscans had migrated from Anatolia to Italy with their cattle, probably on ship out of Troy, and/or Symirna or anywhere in the Aegean coast of Turkey.
Genetic study after genetic study proved beyond any doubt that 10-35% of current Tuscan population is of East Anatolian origin, and are descendants of the people who migrated from Turkey some 3000 years ago! In fact even the original homeland of the Etruscans can be derived from the genetic studies: a large area that covers Eastern Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Southern Caucuses and Syria.
GENETIC STUDIES PROVING SOUTHEAST TURKEY, IRAQ, SYRIA, IRAN AS THE ORIGINAL HOMELANDNow, let's see all the genetic studies done between 2004 and 2015 that prove this fact (what you cannot find in Wikipedia due to censorship!)
1996 The first genetic study showing Near Eastern origin of Etruscans: Sequence diversity of the control region of mitochondrial DNA in Tuscany and its implications for the peopling of Europe. Finding: "The pattern of mitochondrial variation in Tuscany indicates the persistence of an ancient European component subsequently enriched by migrational waves, possibly from the Middle East." 2007 This was the year to safely declare as of Anatolian (Turkey) origin. Mitochondrial DNA Variation of Modern Tuscans Supports the Near Eastern Origin of Etruscans Achilli, Piazza et. al. That same year, in 2007, Marco Pellecchia showed that DNA from Etruscan cattle was identical to that of cattle in Anatolia. and that these cattle must have reached Italy by sea. The mystery of Etruscan origins: novel clues from Bos taurus (cattle) mitochondrial DNA. 2007 should have seen the end of the Etruscan origins debate and beginning of further studies in Turkey! 2014 A genome-wide study of modern-day Tuscans: revisiting Herodotus's theory on the origin of the Etruscans by Pardo-Seco et al. Some of their major findings: Admixture analysis indicates the presence of 25-34% of Middle Eastern component in modern Tuscans and Eastern Anatolia/Southern Caucasus as the most likely geographic origin of the main Middle Eastern genetic component observed in the genome of modern Tuscans.The data indicate that the admixture event between local Tuscans and Middle Easterners could have occurred in Central Italy about 2,600-3,100 years ago. 2015 A very important genetic research work and analysis DNA Study proves Near East as the original homeland of the Etruscans From the paper written by Alberto Gómez-Carballa , Jacobo Pardo-Seco, Jorge Amigo, Federico Martinón-Torres, Antonio Salas and published:
"Within the Near East, the main genetic signature comes from Iran, although this view could be distorted by an overrepresentation of this region in the database of mitogenomes from the Near East. The genetic link between Tuscans and other Near East populations (e.j. Syria, Armenia) is in good agreement with the analyses of admixture carried out by Hellenthal et al. based on autosomal markers. The second most important signal in our study would come from South Caucasus. Note that an origin in South Caucasus of the Near East component of Tuscans would also fit well with the findings observed in the genome-wide SNP analysis carried out by Pardo-Seco et al."
More on genetic studies that also give information on Etruscans among other ancient populations:
A genetic atlas of human admixture history We used this to produce an atlas of worldwide human admixture history, constructed by using genetic data alone and encompassing over 100 events occurring over the past 4000 years. Science, 2014 Feb 14. By Hellenthal, Busby, Band, Wilson, Capelli, Falush, Myers
Discussions regarding genetic research as of May 2017 DNA analysis in 2016 and 2017 has identified a massive expansion, or a series of expansions, from Mesopotamia and/or surrounding area.
There is no need for many different genetic studies to prove Near Eastern origins. One or two is enough because once you establish the existence of eastern haplogroups of 3000 years ago in today's Tuscans then the result is final since the ancestors of these people did not take a plane to arrive Italy some 3000 years ago! One needs to start explaining how these people went to Italy! Reconfirming results is important to assure the safety of the genetic tests. The only extra advantage one can get from extra genetic tests is the ability to accurately pinpoint the original land Etruscans migrated from and to get some clues on the routes they have taken to migrate from Italy to Turkey!
We can safely say that the year 2007 was crucial and the studies published in 2007 were covered by major newspapers in the West. The work since 2007 must have concentrated in this direction after completely dropping authoctonus lie. Unfortunately, this was not the case in the West.
People Names, Etnonyms: Tur, Turus, Turog, Turuk and TarA user by the name Adyghe Chabadi cites some of the ancient etnonyms and suggests a root word:
Tyrsenoi, Turrhenioi (Attic Greek), Tursenoi (Ionic), Tursanoi (Doric), Tyrrheni (Latin), Tusci (Latin), *Tursci > Turskum (Umbrian), Etrusci (Latin) and Tursis (Greek) > Turris (Latin), Tyrannos (Greek), tyrannus (Latin), Turan (Etruscan goddess) are related then an Eastern identification can be educatedly set forward. The hypothetical root word is *turs-."
An important comment but it needs some small corrections and major additions. The root word one should actually look for is Tur. But later on it became Turuk and then Turs.
Turuska (Sanskrit term for Turks, or land of the Turks, later for Muslims). Tur / Tyr can be found in city names in the Ancient World around the Mediterranean. There are some variants too, like the name Tarsisi, Akkadian of Tarsus, based on local god name Tarku. In fact, Tur and Tar are also closely related as in Tarkan, and Tarquin, and Taurus mountains. Note the use of both the "u" and "a" sounds as if it is a superimposition of "Tar" and "Tur", hence the sound "Tor". Taru, Taur is the name of the Anatolian bull cult.
Tartar or Tatar is a major group of Turks from Central Asia. In Russia, the word Turk is synonymous with Tatar. Ancient Greek god Tartarus is probably related.
On a side note: is there any possibility that ancient Spanish Tartessian, Tartessos related to Tar? Basque - Caucasian linguistic relations are known.
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Map from my book "Sun Language Theory Proven: The Birth of Civilizations and Languages"
Turuk, not Turukku or TurukkeansTuruk presented as Turukku or even Turukki were a civilization located in Southeast Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria and can be found in Mesopotamian records of 3800 years ago. The city of Turukkum is also known from that same time period in Turkey (Anatolia).
Unfortunately only a few people in the world study this civilization.
They are now known to be both nomadic and city founders /dwellers. Exactly like the Turks of Central Asia and Siberia from 2000 years ago. I have dedicated one of the chapters of my book Sumerian Turks: Civilization's Journey from Siberia to Mesopatamia to Turuk(ku).
Reading of the etnonym Turuk from cuneiform tablets by F. Celilov – Baku, 2006 :
As you can see the ending is standart ki i. And Ki means land/people in Sumerian. The word is either Turu hence Tur (due to sylabbary nature of cuneiform Tur was written as Turu) or Turuk.
They spoke Hurrian (Ugur). The connection of the Oghur (Hurrian) Turkish language to the people name Turuk is first mentioned some 1000 years before Etursci appear in Italy!
Genetic Studies done between 2004 and 2015 point at the location of Turuk and Ugur (Huur) Turks known from Mesopotamian records some 3800 years ago! Etruscan is an Oghur Turkish (Hurrian) language with Anatolian characteristics!
One can check people and city names with Tar and Tur to find the path Turuk (Etruscans) have taken from Southeast Turkey to Italy.
Genetics and name of the people and cities along the route perfectly match Etruscan with Turuk!
Moreover Turuk had a major chieftain named Lidiya very similar to Lidya in Western Anatolia!
Another interesting note is that one of the Turuk chieftains is named Tabitu and Scythian's highest god is Tabiti. That's the eastern association of Turuk with Scythian. On the Western front in Italy, Etruscan primeval king is named Targitaos (Turkish Targitay, Yargitay means Supreme Court of justice, the word tay meaning the assembly) just like European Scythians.
So the connection of Etruscans to Scythians can firmly be established both in Eastern Anatolia and Italy!
Turuk from southeast Turkey, northeast Iraq and Syria and Western Iran as well as Caucuses were the Italian Etruscans and they were Ugur (Huur, Hurrian) Turks. Scythians were the alliance Oguz and Ogut Turks (Guz+Gut=Guzgut=Scyth) mixed with the Indo-Iranians from both the Caucuses and the Iranian plateau.
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