|Geographical range||Europe (Northern-Central Italy: Emilia-Romagna, Tuscany, Lazio)|
|Period||Early Iron Age. Early phases of the Etruscan civilization.|
|Dates||c. 900–700 BC|
|Preceded by||Proto-Villanovan culture|
|Followed by||Orientalizing period (later 700–500 BC) of the Etruscan civilization|
| Iron Age |
|↑ Bronze Age|
Ancient Near East (1200–550 BC)
South Asia (1200–200 BC)
East Asia (500 BC – 300 AD)
|↓ Ancient history|
The Villanovan culture (c. 900–700 BC), regarded as the earliest phase of the Etruscan civilization,was the earliest Iron Age culture of Central Italy and Northern Italy. It directly followed the Bronze Age Proto-Villanovan culture which branched off from the Urnfield culture of Central Europe. This gave way in the 7th century BC to an increasingly orientalizing culture influenced by Greek traders and colonists who settled in South Italy.
The Villanovans introduced iron-working to the Italian Peninsula. They practiced cremation and buried the ashes of their dead in pottery urns of distinctive double-cone shape.
The name Villanovan of the early phases of the Etruscan civilization comes from the site of the first archaeological finds relating to this advanced culture, which were remnants of a cemetery found near Villanova (Castenaso, 12 kilometres south-east of Bologna) in northern Italy. The excavation lasting from 1853 to 1855 was done by the scholar and site owner, count Giovanni Gozzadini, and involved 193 tombs, six of which were separated from the rest as if to signify a special social status. The "well tomb" pit graves lined with stones contained funerary urns. These had been only sporadically plundered and most were untouched. In 1893, a chance discovery unearthed another distinctive Villanovan necropolis at Verucchio overlooking the Adriatic coastal plain.
The burial characteristics relate the Villanovan culture to the Central European Urnfield culture (c. 1300–750 BC) and Celtic Hallstatt culture that succeeded the Urnfield culture. It is not possible to tell these apart in their earlier stages. Cremated remains were placed in cinerary urns, specifically in biconical urnsand then buried. The urns were a form of Villanovan pottery known as impasto. A custom believed to originate with the Villanovan culture is the usage of hut-shaped urns, which were cinerary urns fashioned like the huts in which the villagers lived. Typical sgraffito decorations of swastikas, meanders, and squares were scratched with a comb-like tool. Urns were accompanied by simple bronze fibulae, razors and rings.
The Villanovan culture is broadly divided into Villanovan I from c. 960 BC to c. 801 BC and the Villanovan II from c. 800 BC to 720 BC. The later phase (Villanovan II) saw radical changes, evidence of contact with Hellenic civilization and trade with the north along the Amber Road. This evidence takes the form of glass and amber necklaces for women, armor and horse harness fittings of bronze, and the development of elite graves in contrast to the earlier egalitarian culture.[ citation needed ] Chamber tombs and inhumation (burial) practices were developed side-by-side with the earlier cremation practices. With the last phase of Villanovan II the Etruscans, in particular Southern Etruria, entered the Orientalizing period. The northernmost areas of the Etruscan world, such as Etruria Padana, continued in their development as Villanovan III (750–680 BC) and Villanovan IV (680–540 BC).
|Villanovan I||900–800 BC|
|Villanovan II||800–720 BC|
|Villanovan III (Bologna area)||720-680 BC|
|Villanovan IV (Bologna area)||680-540 BC|
|Early Orientalizing||720–680 BC|
|Middle Orientalizing||680–625 BC|
|Late Orientalizing||625–580 BC|
The metalwork quality found in bronze and pottery demonstrate the skill of the Villanovan artisans. Some grave goods from burial sites display an even higher quality, suggesting the development of societal elites within Villanovan culture. Tools and items were placed in graves suggesting a belief in an afterlife. Men's graves contained weapons, armor, while those for women included weaving tools. A few graves switched or mixed these, indicating the possibility that some women employed tools and that some men made clothing.
During the Villanovan period Etruscans traded with other states from the Mediterranean such as Greeks, Balkans, and Sardinia. Trade brought about advancement in metallurgy, and Greek presence influenced Villanovan pottery.
Buildings were rectangular in shape. The people lived in small huts, made of wattle and daub with wooden poles for support. Within the huts, cooking stands, utensils and charred animal bones give evidence about the family life of early inhabitants in Italy.Some huts contained large pottery jars for food storage sunk into their floors. There was also a rock cut drain to channel rainwater to communal reservoirs.
Generally speaking, Villanovan settlements were centered in the Adriatic Etruria, in Emilia Romagna (in particular, in Bologna and in Verucchio, near Rimini), in Marche (Fermo), and in the Tyrrhenian Etruria, in Tuscany and Lazio. Further south, Villanovan cremation burials are to be found in Campania, at Capua, at the "princely tombs" of Pontecagnano near Salerno,at Capo di Fiume, at Vallo di Diano and at Sala Consilina.
Small scattered Villanovan settlements have left few traces other than their more permanent burial sites, which were set somewhat apart from the settlements—largely because the settlement sites were built over in Etruscan times. Modern opinion generally follows Massimo Pallottino in regarding the Villanovan culture as ancestral to the Etruscan civilization.
A genetic study published in Science in November 2019 examined the remains of a female from the Villanovan culture buried in Veio Grotta Gramiccia, Italy between ca. 900 BC and 800 BC. She carried the maternal haplogroup K1a4.and her autosomal DNA was a mixture of 72.9% Copper Age ancestry (EEF + WHG) and 27.1% Steppe-related ancestry. There was evidence for consanguinity for this sample with another ancient sample (700 BCE - 600 BCE) from the Etruscan necropolis of La Mattonara near Civitavecchia, compatible with being the latter an offspring of third-degree relatives from the former.
Lydia was an Iron Age kingdom of western Asia Minor located generally east of ancient Ionia in the modern western Turkish provinces of Uşak, Manisa and inland İzmir. The language of its population, known as Lydian, was a member of the Anatolian branch of Indo-European language family. Its capital was Sardis.
The Etruscan civilization of ancient Italy covered a territory, at its greatest extent, of roughly what is now Tuscany, western Umbria, and northern Lazio, as well as parts of what are now the Po Valley, Emilia-Romagna, south-eastern Lombardy, southern Veneto, and Campania.
Tuscany is named after its pre-Roman inhabitants, the Etruscans. It was ruled by Rome for many centuries. In the Middle Ages, it saw many invasions, but in the Renaissance period it helped lead Europe back to civilization. Later, it settled down as a grand duchy. It was conquered by Napoleonic France in the late 18th century and became part of the Italian Republic in the 19th century.
Tarquinia, formerly Corneto, is an old city in the province of Viterbo, Lazio, Italy known chiefly for its ancient Etruscan tombs in the widespread necropoleis or cemeteries which it overlies, for which it was awarded UNESCO World Heritage status.
Northern Italy is a geographical and cultural region in the northern part of Italy. Non-administrative, it consists of eight administrative Regions in northern Italy: Aosta Valley, Piedmont, Liguria, Lombardy, Emilia-Romagna, Veneto, Friuli-Venezia Giulia and Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol. As of 2014, its population was 27,801,460. Rhaeto-Romance and Gallo-Italic languages are spoken in the region, as opposed to the Italo-Dalmatian languages spoken in the rest of Italy. The Venetian language is sometimes considered to be part of the Italo-Dalmatian languages, but some major publications such as Ethnologue and Glottolog define it as Gallo-Italic.
Caere is the Latin name given by the Romans to one of the larger cities of southern Etruria, the modern Cerveteri, approximately 50-60 kilometres north-northwest of Rome. To the Etruscans it was known as Cisra, to the Greeks as Agylla and to the Phoenicians as Kyšryʼ.
Vetulonia, formerly called Vetulonium, was an ancient town of Etruria, Italy, the site of which is probably occupied by the modern village of Vetulonia, which up to 1887 bore the name of Colonnata and Colonna di Buriano: the site is currently a frazione of the comune of Castiglione della Pescaia, with some 400 inhabitants.
Mario Torelli was an Italian scholar of Italic archaeology and the culture of the Etruscans. He taught at the University of Perugia.
Populonia or Populonia Alta today is a frazione of the comune of Piombino. As of 2009 its population was 17. Populonia is especially noteworthy for its Etruscan remains, including one of the main necropolis in Italy, discovered by Isidoro Falchi.
The Golasecca culture was a Late Bronze Age/Early Iron Age culture in northern Italy, whose type-site was excavated at Golasecca in the province of Varese, Lombardy, where, in the area of Monsorino at the beginning of the 19th century, Abbot Giovanni Battista Giani made the first findings of about fifty graves with pottery and metal objects.
Giovanni Gozzadini was an Italian archeologist.
Etruscan history is the written record of Etruscan civilization compiled mainly by Greek and Roman authors. Apart from their inscriptions, from which information mainly of a sociological character can be extracted, the Etruscans left no surviving history of their own, nor is there any mention in the Roman authors that any was ever written. Remnants of Etruscan writings are almost exclusively concerned with religion.
Etruscan art was produced by the Etruscan civilization in central Italy between the 10th and 1st centuries BC. From around 750 BC it was heavily influenced by Greek art, which was imported by the Etruscans, but always retained distinct characteristics. Particularly strong in this tradition were figurative sculpture in terracotta, wall-painting and metalworking especially in bronze. Jewellery and engraved gems of high quality were produced.
The prehistory of Italy began in the Paleolithic period, when the Homo species colonized the Italian territory for the first time, and ended in the Iron Age, when the first written records appeared in the Insular Italy.
The Este culture or Atestine culture was an Iron Age archaeological culture existing from the late Italian Bronze Age to the Roman period. It was located in the present territory of Veneto in Italy and derived from the earlier and more extensive Proto-Villanovan culture. It is also called "civilization of situlas", or paleo-venetic.
In antiquity, several theses were elaborated on the origin of the Etruscans that can be summarized into three main hypotheses. The first is the autochthonous development in situ out of the Villanovan culture, as claimed by the Greek historian Dionysius of Halicarnassus who described the Etruscans as indigenous people who had always lived in Etruria. The second is a migration from the Aegean sea, as claimed by two Greek historians: Herodotus, who described them as a group of immigrants from Lydia in Anatolia, and Hellanicus of Lesbos who claimed that the Tyrrhenians were the Pelasgians originally from Thessaly, Greece, who entered Italy at the head of the Adriatic sea. The third hypotheses was reported by Livy and Pliny the Elder, and puts the Etruscans in the context of the Rhaetian people to the north and other populations living in the Alps.
The Latial culture ranged approximately over ancient Old Latium. The Iron Age Latial culture coincided with the arrival in the region of a people who spoke Old Latin. The culture was likely therefore to identify a phase of the socio-political self-consciousness of the Latin tribe, during the period of the kings of Alba Longa and the foundation of the Roman Kingdom.
The Proto-Villanovan culture was a late Bronze Age culture that appeared in Italy in the first half of the 12th century BC and lasted until the 10th century BC, part of the central European Urnfield culture system.
Rofalco was a fortified late-Etruscan settlement, located about twenty km north of Vulci, at the edge of the Selva del Lamone volcanic plateau. The site controlled the important natural route formed by the valley of the Olpeta stream and contributed to the defense and the organization of the southeastern portion of the ancient territory of Vulci.
Etruscan architecture was created between about 900 BC and 27 BC, when the expanding civilization of ancient Rome finally absorbed Etruscan civilization. The Etruscans were considerable builders in stone, wood and other materials of temples, houses, tombs and city walls, as well as bridges and roads. The only structures remaining in quantity in anything like their original condition are tombs and walls, but through archaeology and other sources we have a good deal of information on what once existed.
Il termine “Villanoviano” è entrato nella letteratura archeologica quando, a metà dell ’800, il conte Gozzadini mise in luce le prime tombe ad incinerazione nella sua proprietà di Villanova di Castenaso, in località Caselle (BO). La cultura villanoviana coincide con il periodo più antico della civiltà etrusca, in particolare durante i secoli IX e VIII a.C. e i termini di Villanoviano I, II e III, utilizzati dagli archeologi per scandire le fasi evolutive, costituiscono partizioni convenzionali della prima età del Ferro
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|Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Villanova .|