Monday, June 18, 2007

Rome, Etruscans, and Turkey(s)

Geneticist have decided that the Etruscans, the Italian tribe that dominated Italy before Rome, originally came from Turkey. The well-educated scientists determined this by testing men whose families had lived in the Etruscan area (now Tuscany) for at least three generations, and who had Etruscan names.

This was in the Los Angeles Times, here, and probably in a bunch of other newspapers.

Um. . . OK, they tested men whose families lived in the area for three generations. That's what--60 to 90 years, tops? And based on that, these geneticists assume descent from a tribe that flourished 2600 to 3200 years ago? I wonder if the Times has left something out--something that would make this assumption sound . . . I dunno. . . rational? Or just a bit less loopy?

Oh yeah, the subject men had Etruscan names.

But the Etruscan language is lost. They left no writing. How on earth do you identify a surname as Etruscan after 2600 years?

The scientists say they will now look at the DNA from excavated Etruscan burials. That might be a good idea. In fact, it might have been smart to do that before holding a press conference about their findings.

Three generations? Etruscan names? Puh-leese!


Papadesdeux said...

I am so impressed. You write about such cool stuff. And great tid-bits like the Ut photo. How bizarre is life?

Vix said...

Tres bizarre. Thank you for writing!
I've seen your peaches and heard them referred to as doughnut peaches.