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 Cow evidence backs Herodotus on Etruscan origins
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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 02/17/2007 :  12:33:19  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message
The Etruscans, those highly cultured, non-Indo-European speaking people who preceded the Romans in central Italy, have long been mysterious. Especially their origins.

Some, like Dionysius of Halicarnassus (100 BCE), have felt they were an indigenous pre-IE people, others, like Herodotus in the 5th Century BCE said they came by sea from Lydia (in Anatolia). Scholars and scientists in both (and other) camps have been disputing the matter ever since.

Now comes some genetic evidence that tends to support Herodotus. It's been found in modern cattle from the old Etruscan area. The mitochondrial DNA from those cattle is passed down exclusively in the female line. It turns out that this DNA matches modern cattle in Anatolia and the Middle East, but not those in northern or southern Italy. Also, since there have been no other archaelogical signs of Etruscan culture between Anatolia and Italy, this supports the idea that they came to Italy by sea.

Here's an article in New Scientist about the research.


Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.

Edited by - HalfMooner on 02/17/2007 14:55:56

beskeptigal
SFN Die Hard

USA
3834 Posts

Posted - 02/17/2007 :  21:31:42   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send beskeptigal a Private Message
Another avenue genetic science is taking us. Man, I love new discoveries. It isn't so much this particular human migration but the fact we can trace their animals and the people.
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HalfMooner
Dingaling

Philippines
15831 Posts

Posted - 02/17/2007 :  22:28:05   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send HalfMooner a Private Message
Yeah! And isn't it cool and lucky that the descendants of the Etruscan cattle were still around? Probably bred for millennia with bulls from elsewhere, and almost indistinguishable in nuclear DNA from other Italian cattle, but still the same matrilineal mtDNA line. I wouldn't have thought to check out what those researchers investigated. Pretty smart of them! Now, maybe they can try the same thing with the local people?

And old Herodotus comes out smelling like a rose, something that may make people take his histories just that much more seriously.


Biology is just physics that has begun to smell bad.” —HalfMooner
Here's a link to Moonscape News, and one to its Archive.
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Original_Intent
SFN Regular

USA
609 Posts

Posted - 02/18/2007 :  07:29:35   [Permalink]  Show Profile Send Original_Intent a Private Message
Cool, I love history.

Thanks,
Joe
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