BMCR 2008.05.09

Gli Etruschi da Genova ad Ampurias. Atti del XXIV Convegno di Studi Etruschi ed Italici, Marseille-Lattes, 26 settembre – 1 ottobre 2002. Two volumes

Gli Etruschi da Genova ad Ampurias : atti del XXIV Convegno di studi etruschi ed italici, Marseille, Lattes, 26 settembre - 1 ottobre 2002.. Atti di Convegni ; 24.1-2. Pisa: Istituti editoriali e poligrafici internazionali, 2006. 2 volumes : illustrations ; 27 cm.. ISBN 8881474298 €960.00 (pb).

The Etruscans maintained extensive commercial relations with southern France (Languedoc and Provence) and Catalonia at least since the 7th c. BC, and recent finds of goods and inscriptions demonstrate the powerful influence they exerted on the cultures of these areas. The other foreign presence in these areas was of course the Greek colonies, seemingly spear-headed by Marseille, founded ca. 600 BC. The cargoes of ships wrecked in the Ligurian Sea and Gulf of Lyons offer a means of testing our interpretation of the terrestrial, domestic and cultic contexts of assimilated Etruscan and Greek culture. These are the proceedings of the first transalpine conference of the Istituto Nazionale di Studi Etruschi ed Italici (D. Briquel, “Présentation du colloque,” 21).

Here several eminent experts on Etruscan trade and technology, and excavators of ports and terrestrial sites discuss the extent and depth of Etruscan interaction in the northwestern Mediterranean. They follow the prescient lead of J.-P. Morel, expressed in the 1979 Convegno on L’Etruria mineraria (and below; see also C. Landes, N. Cayzac, V. Laissac and F. Millet, Les Étrusques en France. Archéologie et collections, exhibition, IMAGO-Museé de Lattes, 2003). In contrast, several other scholars, some who excavate in Gaul and Iberia, and others, like P. Pomey and M. Bats, who write on ancient seafaring, maintain a lesser role for Etruscans in the west, and see the wrecks as Greek. The answer probably lies in middle ground, but as G. Colonna says (p. 659) how could the people who colonized the Gulf of Salerno (10th-9th c.), drove Phokaian colonists from Corsica (Alalia, ca. 535), and attacked Lipari in the 5th c., have had no ships of their own afloat in the western half of the Mediterranean? (Or were Etruscan merchantmen so well constructed that they never sank?)

Most articles furnish fresh data on one or several topics from which to form one’s own opinion, from the realities of navigation to classes of artifacts associated with trade or colonization. Essentially, the picture created by new excavations of ports, terrestrial sites that received foreign goods, and wrecks is of an earlier start (8th century) to concerted exchange between Etruria, Gaul and Iberia, and of a greater quantity and extent to the interchange including resident communities of Etruscans and other Italians. There was also an earlier start to the “modern” type of trade in large single-commodity cargoes (like wine) that would characterize the Hellenistic and Roman Mediterranean for the first centuries BC-AD. Papers are presented in order of their delivery over the four days of the conference, without concerted cross-referencing (vol. 1 = pp. 1-413; vol. 2 = pp. 417-689): I have rearranged my comments in thematic sections. Articles contain precious and otherwise obscure bibliographic references; many furnish catalogues of artifacts, sites, or results of materials analyses. It is a large and useful work, but since it is priced beyond most scholars’ means, I offer some detailed commentary for those who must survive on interlibrary loan!

The Role of Etruscans in the development of Mediterranean western Europe

There is no simple means of recognizing the “nationality” of ancient Mediterranean wrecks. The quantity of identifiable goods in cargoes is not always a reliable index of the ship’s owners—for many years, Attic vases were called Etruscan, since more existed in Etruria than in Athens. A crew’s origins too could be mixed, though galley pottery is a clue to home cooking. Techniques of construction ought to help, but the use of ligatures (“sewn boats”) has been used to identify the same vessels as Greek, Etruscan, Massaliote or East Greek. Finally, identification of major cargoes in the archaeological record remains tricky, since the most important or distinctive cargoes such as raw metals, grain, or slaves cannot be reliably traced today.

G. Camporeale, “Gli Etruschi in Provenza e in Linguadoca,” 13-20, surveys the state of scholarship, from ancient authors to recent discoveries. Cato and Livy, among others, claimed that Etruscan hegemony once extended from the Alps to the Straits of Messina, and material finds support this. Etruscan products spanning the 7th to 4th c. BC have been documented at over 100 sites in Provence and the Languedoc (also along both coasts of Iberia). The artifact types, bronze bossed-rim basins, bucchero, Etrusco-Corinthian and other pottery, transport amphorae (and thus the vintages of Etruria) trace trade networks and modified social customs. Contexts range from houses to tombs, submerged sites and wrecks of commercial shipping. Villanovan fibulae of the 8th c. signal prior contacts of significant intensity (see Milcent, below). In settlements like Saint-Blaise, beginning around the mid-7th c., there is a clear progression from transport amphorae to a full range of bucchero vases, and then to Greek-inspired painted wares and Greek foodstuffs in amphorae, all linked to the formalized use of wine in social rituals. The earliest assemblages point to maritime trade with Vulci; Caere, whose imports to Carthage are earlier, acquires the Provincial markets late (early 6th c.); Tarquinia is little represented, except for Etrusco-Corinthian pottery (but see Bonghi Jovino, below). East Greek cups and oinochoai reached the native sites of France well before the foundation of Marseille ca. 600 BC, and they must have been carried by Etruscan traders (Greek vases in Etruria also bear Etruscan merchants’ marks). The famous shipwrecks at Cap d’Antibes (early 6th c.) and Grand Ribaud F (early 5th c., see Long et al., and Colonna, below) may be considered Caeretan, based on the numbers of amphorae. All the rest (like the oldest of them, Isola del Giglio, ca. 590-580) held extremely heterogeneous cargoes of foodstuffs and vases: pine nuts, wine, olives, resin and metal, to which should probably be added grain, as noted by the ancient authors. But cabotage can only thrive by offering products that will sell: the perfumes of Greece and Etruria, so common elsewhere, are very scarce in southern Gaul, where differences in the social identity of women and in traditional funerals diminished market demands. According to Camporeale, we should recognize centralized Etruscan control of markets, and links to famous characters such as Demaratus and Sostratos, as the names of other individuals appear in the growing number of inscriptions found at Lattes, Pech-Maho, Ampurias and on Grand Ribaud F.

Massilia was probably founded for, and quickly became a major player in, the trade between Etruria and the French coast: now that Massaliote amphorae can be identified, they are turning up from Elba to Pisa and in the Tarquinia-Caere region (but cf. Bats, below). And the battle over Alalia can be more thoroughly explained when we factor in the variable of a burgeoning Marseille, led by a group capable of the violent elimination of their Etruscan competitors as at Lattara (Py et al., below). The exports from France will have been slaves, tin, copper and lead——at first this sounds like carrying coals to Newcastle, given the famed Etruscan metallurgy, but 6th-5th-c. Vulci alone probably needed such surpluses for its bronze workshops and armories which incidentally were exporting over the Alps as well.

J.-P. Morel, in “Les Étrusques en Méditerranée nord-occidentale: résultats et tendances des recherches récentes,” 23-45, offers a comprehensive review of past scholarly developments and of the current state of our understanding, both of the urbanization of early Gaul and its integration into Mediterranean exchange, and of the role of Etruscans and others in these processes. Citing Bernard Bouloumié, he emphasizes that, to date, more Etruscan bucchero is known in the settlement of Saint-Blaise than in all of northern Italy! Where the scholarship of previous decades could only tally bucchero vases in French sites and interpret them as trinkets of a superficial sort of trade, several excavated sites now offer reliable statistics, and a pattern may be discerned of joint residence and shared social development between Etruscans and “natives.” The market for Etruscan metal artifacts was vast (as in native Sicily and elsewhere), and cargoes of mixed character are known for 8 to 10 wrecks. Morel raises the issue that perhaps some or all of these wrecks, including the “sewn” boats, are of “Etruscan registry” (contra, see Pomey, below). Mass quantities of Etruscan vases in Gaulish sites attest to a significant population of Etruscan residents and a culture that has adopted Etruscan materials as important aspects of its own identity. And not just Etruscan vessels, but Etruscan cuisine: for example, at Marseille, over half the Etruscan pottery found in the old port excavations is cookware or plainware. Names like the graffito of Uci on a vase at Lattes hint at Etruscan residents, perhaps married to Etruscanized native women (cf. Melli, below pp. 620-621). (Compare Barcid Iberia, and the “Imilco” who married Hannibal.)

J. Gran-Aymerich, “La diffusion des vases étrusques en Méditerranée nord-occidentale: l’exception gauloise,” 205-219. Etruscan imports in the Midi cover a wider range of categories than elsewhere, from food to arms and armor, coins, and also decorative tripods (one inscribed in Etruscan). Other inscriptions were found at Saint-Blaise, Pech-Maho, Lattes and Ampurias—such objects illustrate a concerted residential Etruscan presence, and also worship, as with a bowl dedicated to Uni at Saint-Blaise (see Colonna, below). Imitation bucchero kantharoi were disseminated from the region of Marseille (analyses by B. Velde, below, also for the Caeretan coastal site of La Castellina del Marangone; this excavation report is in press [2007], edited by J. Gran-Aymerich, to whom I am indebted for a pre-print: it will be an essential reference for Etruria and Mediterranean trade.) In the original port at Marseille vases with Etruscan graffiti and also impasto cookware and coarseware (possibly from Pyrgi) have been found, implying Etruscan residents who cooked in traditional style. Gran-Aymerich suggests a different model for Etruscan commerce in the west, not colonies but a metic presence in native or Greek settlements all along the coast.

G. Colonna, in “A proposito della presenza etrusca nella Gallia meridionale,” 657-678, notes the polarization of perceptions on Etruscans in the west, from Morel’s suggestion of permanent Etruscan trading posts to Bats’ near denial of autonomous Etruscan trade or travel. The Isola del Giglio ship that sank (580-570 BC) with a mixture of Etruscan and Greek finewares, was still carrying at least 130 Caeretan and Vulcian amphorae of wine and resin. (A carved wooden pyxis was from the same workshop as one found in San Rocchino and another just noted on a wreck off Mallorca.) The Cap d’Antibes wreck had 180 Etruscan amphorae, 65 bucchero kantharoi, and just a few Greek vases, yet both ships have been branded Greek by various authors. In the Marseille archaic port excavations, 80 to 90% of the amphorae dated 600-530 BC are Etruscan. Colonna makes the case for the Giglio ship (and probably Antibes, Estéu dou Mieú 3, and Grand Ribaud F) being Etruscan, noting that the evidence at Tarquinia’s port of Graviscae shows that Greek merchants were of a much lower social order than the aristocrats whom they served, in contrast to Demaratus or the Ionian naukleros conjured up by Cristofani for Giglio. Etruscan metics were living among Massaliotes: they left 6th-c. inscriptions at Marseille, Saint-Blaise and Lattes including a man’s double name (Asu Zufre). Etruscan cults abroad include Uni at Saint-Blaise, while a vase in a Caeretan sanctuary inscribed mi Celthestra may be the gift of an Etruscanized Celt.

Patterns in western exchange

A nuanced view of foreign goods and their effects upon native societies has developed thanks to recent excavations. Another sort of ground-truthing for Mediterranean colonization and trade is offered by P. Arnaud, “Les conditions naturelles de la navigation entre Elbe et la Catalogne,” 61-78, who furnishes a wealth of data on winds and currents in the zone between Tyrrhenian Etruria and the Catalan coast. Long-distance sailing—and thus trade patterns—in the eastern Mediterranean had to run counter-clockwise (the route from old Greece to Italy went by way of the upper Adriatic). Currents favor a voyage from Etruria to France or Spain, while prevailing winds often aim back toward Italy; numerous wrecks signal coastal routes and cabotage. Genoa and Toulon stand out as destination ports for planned, long-distance voyages, and this is corroborated by the density of Etruscan exports in their regions.

A. Maggiani, “Rotte e tappe nel Tirreno settentrionale,” 435-453. The cabotage route from Populonia and Pisa through Liguria is an old one, attested from the third quarter of the 8th c. by pottery from Vulci and Caere, and with links to Vetulonia-Populonia-Volterra; it waned with the Ligurian settlements in the early 6th c. The wine trade to Gaul operated from the late 7th c. to mid-6th c., using Giglio and Elba to sail directly to Marseille, bringing painted pottery from Vulci and Tarquinia. 5th c. contacts included Spain, now recognized in the Iberian clasp found at Genova (cf. Melli, below) and an Iberian annular brooch found north of Pisa.

M. Gras, “Échanges maritimes et implantations,” 417-421, comments on sites receiving Etruscan goods; we await publication of Rochelongue (Agde) with Etruscan bronzes etc. Inland tumuli with heroic burials hold evidence of “chieftain’s trade” while the slightly later assemblages of the emporia did not travel far up the river valleys, except for the bronze bossed-rim discs that so appealed to natives.

P. Leveau, “Les littoraux de Gaule du Sud au premier age du Fer, du delta de l’Argens au delta de l’Aude. Un état de la question,” 47-60, surveys the coast of early Iron Age Gaul, noting gaps in evidence at the Pyrenees, Maritime Alps, and a section of coastal central Southern Gaul. A study of the geomorphology of the coast has led to a reassessment of the ancient literary sources, such as Strabo (4.1.7) on the swamps and salt-pans of Saint-Blaise, and of the motives for and precise siting of a number of settlements.

M. Bats, “Systèmes chronologiques et mobiliers étrusques du Midi de la Gaule au premier age du fer (v. 6oo-v. 480 av. J.-C.): les rythmes de l’archéologie et de l’histoire,” 81-92. Many scholars have pegged the history of the central Mediterranean on the foundation of Marseille ca. 600 BC, yet a critical appraisal of the evidence does not inspire Bats’s confidence in the theory. The type-fossils are bucchero kantharoi, Etrusco-Corinthian painted wares of Veii, Vulci and Caere that only begin 590/580-550 BC, bronze basins (ca. 625-550), and amphorae that cannot be securely dated before 600. Sites in the region (Saint-Blaise, Tamaris, L’Arquet, Tonnerre I and La Liquière) show similar profiles of imported goods. B. maintains that objects did circulate prior to 600, except as elite gift exchange; they include Phoenician, Proto-Iberian and Etruscan amphorae, and might have been carried by Phoenician or Punic traders. The two Phokaian emporia, Ampurias and Marseille, galvanized trade and urbanization for the entire region. Just after 600 import quantities go from singlets to series; oonly then do amphorae appear in the tombs of Vulci. The Etruscan ports Pyrgi, Graviscae, Regisvillae burgeon ca. 590, and Etruscans had ports to visit in Gaul—in addition to others noted, Ensérune has an unpublished Etruscan grafitto.

T. Janin, “Systèmes chronologiques et groupes culturels dans le Midi de la France de la fin de l’âge du Bronze à la fondation de Marseille: communautés indigènes et premieres importations,” 93-102. The material culture of the Final Bronze communities of southern France is remarkably homogeneous and well organized, with the exception of the region of Hérault; but by the beginning of the Iron Age (8th c.), east and west have pulled apart. Prior to 600 BC, an array of Italian fibulae and some Phoenician jars were being deposited in tombs and settlements.

S. Duval, “Mobilier céramique et commerce à destination d’habitats indigènes en Provence occidentale, du VI[e] s. au debut du V[e] s. av. J.-C.,” 103-120, presents the Gaulish fortified coastal settlement at L’Arquet: imported vases arrive before the foundation of Marseille, in a situation comparable to that at Saint-Blaise. At 580-560 BC, Tamaris (only 2 km away) shows close association if not domination from Marseille. At Saint-Pierre-les-Martigues, slightly inland, by 560 we see the complete transformation of trade under the sway of the Greek colony.

Etruscan exports to the Languedoc

D. Ugolini and C. Olive, “De l’arrivée à la consommation: l’impact des trafics et des produits étrusques en Languedoc occidental,” 555-581, consider the 7th-century copper and tin trade that was gradually supplanted by Etruscan wine, and then by Etruscan pottery, both cookware and tableware, with Etruscans still active in the Languedoc even through the 4th century when Greek commerce is flourishing. The profile of distinctive Etruscan imports is similar to the rest of the Mediterranean (bucchero pottery, bronze basins, transport amphorae, fibulae) plus the metalwork of bossed bronze discs so favored in Gaul (a 6th-5th c. export also found stacked in the hold of the Grand Ribaud F wreck). In settlements like La Monédière and many oppida, vase imports begin ca. 575-550, although Etruscan bucchero kantharoi appear in tombs ca. 600 BC. While drinking cups arrive first, there is an interval before transport amphorae (wine) follow; initially valued as burial containers, only later (second quarter of 6th c.) were amphorae deposited as status symbols. By the later 5th c., when Massaliote wine dominated the market, Etruscan amphorae still turned up at the far ends of old routes. Etruscan commerce fades with the 4th century, attested only by some red-figured vases and a mirror from oppida and their necropoleis. See B. Dedet, M. Py, “Chronologie et diffusion des importations étrusques en Languedoc oriental,” 121-144; B. Dedet, T. Janin, G. Marchand, M. Schwaller, “Les Étrusques en Languedoc central: des premiers contacts au commerce,” 145-158; F. Hérubel, É. Gailledrat, “Répartition et chronologie du mobilier étrusque en Languedoc occidental et en Roussillon (VI[e]-IV[e] s. av. J.-C.),” 159-174.

Iberian Sites

X. Aquilué, P. Castanyer, M. Santos, J. Tremoleda, “El comercio etrusco en Emporion: evidencias sobre la presencia de materiales etruscos en la Palaia Polis de Empuries,” 175-192, present recent finds in early levels of Emporion/ Ampurias. The quantity of Etruscan vases and bronzes in the region is distinctly less that that farther east in non-Greek settlements, but excavations in the Palaia Polis, inhabited from Final Bronze through the Archaic period, have produced unanticipated amounts of transport amphorae, bucchero, and some other ceramics in habitation contexts of the 6th-5th c., showing that even rival commercial colonies came to rely on Etruscan goods in daily life

J. Sanmartí, D. Asensio, M. A. Martin, “Etruscan imports in the indigenous sites of Catalonia,” 193-202. There is still no evidence for concerted Etruscan trade with Iberia west of Ampurias. A mere 11 sites between the Ebro and Pyrenees have yielded a tiny amount of bronzes and fewer than 30 Etruscan vases, the majority at Ullastret. The trade was secondary at best, and ceased entirely before the end of the 5th c. I would suggest that 30 vases is significantly more than were known a few years ago; the relative dearth may be an expression of the Punic-Etruscan treaties noted later by Aristotle, Politics 3.5.10-11.


Several specialist studies cover archaic Etruscan pottery exports. G. Bagnasco Gianni, “Caratterizzazione e diffusione delle ceramiche depurate tra Etruria e Francia meridionale,” 221-231. At Tarquinia, the demand for Greek vases for ceremonial functions stimulated production of unpainted or banded fineware early in the 6th c. An analogous situation occurred in southern France with imitations of both Greek and Etruscan wares for votive use. R. F. Docter, “Etruscan pottery: some case studies in chronology and context,” 233-240, presents startling results of his recent clay analyses of 8th-c. amphorae at Carthage: some are Sardinian, others Etruscan versions of Levantine types which match jars in the tombs at Osteria dell’Osa (Gabii, ca. 725-650 BC). The early origin of Etruscan amphorae implies a Phoenico-Punic, not Greek, prototype for the containers and thus for wine production in central Italy. Etruscan 8th-c. sites lack amphorae because they were used only in seaborne cargoes. Docter identifies Etruscan bucchero kantharoi from the Pithekoussai settlement, and additional impasto, bucchero and Etrusco-Corinthian finds from Carthage (where recent studies attest to settlement by the late 9th c—see BMCR 2006.08.10).

B. Velde, “Les inclusions minérales des céramiques étrusques d’epoque archaique. Une étude comparative dans le Midi (Marseille, Saint-Blaise) et en Étrurie meridionale (Caere-Pyrgi, Tarquinia et La Castellina près de Civitavecchia),” 241-248, reports on analyses of Etruscan pottery: most imports in France were made in southern Etruria (especially Caere). There are also local imitations of Etruscan vases (cf. Docter, above, pp. 235-236, 240 and Gran Aymerich, above, pp. 212ff.). Supporting evidence comes from Velde’s research at Caeretan La Castellina del Marangone.

D. Frère, “La céramique étrusco-corinthienne en Gaule,” 249-280, catalogues all varieties and shapes, much made in Tarquinia, noting many examples in settlements (ca. 580-570 on), while most contexts in Italy are funerary. Many are well made vessels, but there are no masterpieces, in contrast to the Corinthian or Attic export pottery. Again, a dearth of perfume vases contrasts with the profile at Carthage, and highlights the different funerary customs of the two cultures: perfume is common at Ampurias in contrast to Marseille.

F. Marchand, “La céramique étrusque des chantiers Jules-Verne et Villeneuve-Bargemon de Marseille,” 281-304, describes the selection of imports from Marseille port (6th-4th c.) which parallel contents of local wrecks: drinking service in bucchero, Etrusco-Corinthian cups and plates, Black Gloss and Red Figure (Genucilia, superposed color) and most significantly, plain/coarseware (mortaria, jars, cups) made in Vulci and indicating Etruscan cuisine.

Bronze imports

P.-Y. Milcent, “Les importations italiques au nord-ouest du Midi gaulois (milieu du X[e] – debut du IV[e] s. av. J.-C.) : inventaire et perspectives d’interprétation,” 319-355, catalogues the early arrivals (10th c. on) in Gaul of Italian Iron Age bronzes, including axes, swords and fibulae. A. Naso, “Un carrello cultuale bronzeo da Veio,” 357-370, furnishes a catalogue of 8th-c. ritual wheeled vessels made at Veii. A fragmentary example now in the Ashmolean was found in France, probably the Auvergne, and extends evidence of Etruscan cultic equipment/votive deposition to the West, as numerous bronzes previously identified by Naso illustrate Etruscan worshippers in Olympia and elsewhere. R. M. Albanese Procelli, “I recipienti in bronzo a labbro perlato,” 307-318. Bossed rim bowls circulated and were imitated throughout the Italian archipelago and the southern Gaulish coast. Tarquinian exports were first, followed (6th c.) by goods from Vulci, and later (early 5th c.) products of Orvieto. Many imitations may have been produced in Lattes, perhaps even in a factory founded by Etruscans.

A. Cherici, “Forme di contatto tra mondo celtico e mondo non celtico: riflessi culturali e socio-economici del mestiere delle armi,” 371-413, melding literary sources with archaeological evidence, surveys situations in which the Greek and Italian cultures interfaced with Celtic peoples of Europe recruited as mercenaries, especially in the 5th-4th c. Their distinctive arms and armor are reflected in Greek- [or Etruscan-?] inspired stone sculpture depicting Celtic warriors (e.g. Roquepertuse, Elche, etc.). Cherici aptly refers to the “climate of osmosis” fostered in these areas, and across the Alps. The Hochdorf tomb with cart, furniture, banquet service and body displayed in costly apparel is another expression of the influence of Etruscan social values; the mid-6th c. restructuring of the Heuneburg settlement surely results from contact with the Classical world. Celtic warriors would bequeath to Etruria and Rome La Tène swords, Gaulish helmets and shields, and new models of mail tunic. Cherici’s focus is on Greek and Etruscan interaction, but a rich related field is the earlier, Phoenico-Punic recruitment of mercenaries in Iberia, the Balaerics and Sardinia.


Shipping is treated specifically for a newly excavated wreck, and by P. Pomey, “Les navires étrusques: mythe ou réalité?” 423-434. Presenting salient features of two sewn boats from the Marseille harbor, P. parts company with the excavators of the Grand Ribaud F ship to maintain that all the coastal wrecks containing Etruscan cargoes, especially sewn boats, are actually Greek, thus disagreeing with experts like Marco Bonino and Lucien Basch, who suggested that the construction technique could be Etruscan or Italian/Sardinian. I suggest that design features like the early implementation of a foresail, as in a Caeretan 7th-c. painting, are Etruscan not Greek innovations — J.M. Turfa and A.G. Steinmayer, “The Earliest Foresail, on Another Etruscan Vase,” IJNA 28.3 (1999): 292-296, omitted from p. 424 n. 2. Although overpainted, the vase has been shown to have significant ancient details preserving a special design.

L. Long, L.-F. Gantès, M. Rival, “L’épave Grand Ribaud F. Un chargement de produits étrusques du debut du V[e] siècle avant J.-C.,” 455-495. Several ships lie at the Grand Ribaud site (near many famous wrecks such as Porquerolles and Giens). Wreck F, still under excavation and study, should be added to the corpus (A.J. Parker, Ancient Shipwrecks of the Mediterranean & the Roman Provinces, B.A.R. Int. Ser. 580, 1992). The ship sank ca. 500-475 BC with a large cargo of Caeretan wine, Etruscan vases and bronzes, and some Greek items, including 4 Greek and 4 Massaliote amphorae (in contrast to the cargo of 800 to 1000 Etruscan amphorae packed in an estimated 5 or 6 layers). One Greek amphora bears Etruscan inscriptions: an Etrusco-Campanian man’s name (Maniies) and the number 902 (tally of amphorae? in Latin numerals—see Colonna, pp. 672-673, a cup on board is inscribed in Latin, posca). Leftover ballast from a previous long voyage consists of iron slag probably from Elba/Populonia; galley equipment implies Etruscans in the crew. Yet, in spite of the excavators’ attempted objectivity, most commentators identify the ship’s “nationality” as Greek! It has a partially-sewn construction technique similar to that of several ships of the end of the 6th and 5th c. (Marseille Jules-Verne 7 and 9, Gela I, and Ma’agan Michael.) Grand Ribaud F is estimated as the largest vessel yet known for its time (length approx. 30 m, beam 6.50-6.80 m, and cargo stacked 1.60-1.90 m deep in the hold). Of course at all times, many small caboteurs of 10-15 m long, carried mixed cargoes of only 5 to 12 tons.) The authors intriguingly hypothesize that after the battle over Alalia (ca. 535 BC since (Greek) pirates could no longer operate from Corsica, it became less of a risk to equip large vessels with single cargoes—the pattern that so characterizes Hellenistic and Late Republican Roman shipping. They suggest the route for export of Caeretan wine followed that originally developed for Populonian iron. Graffiti on vases in Lattes would also attest to large Etruscan communities in European ports to broker such cargoes, in exchange for raw materials, foodstuffs and slaves. That this trade, by 500 BC, had become one of large commodities, is implicit in the agricultural support network: the 800-1000 amphorae on this one ship (capacities 25-37 liters) represent the vintage of at least 12 hectares of land, and undoubtedly not the only holding of the Etruscan exporter.

Terrestrial sites

Data from several recently excavated terrestrial sites, especially ports of call, have changed perceptions of the extent and variety of Etruscan exports. Tarquinia, with its port Graviscae, is the only Etruscan site treated separately, although several authors refer to Pyrgi, Vulci, La Castellina, etc. M. Bonghi Jovino, “Contesti, modelli e scambi di manufatti. Spunti per un’ analisi culturale e socio-economica. La testimonianza Tarquinia-Gravisca,” 679-689. The notion that Tarquinian imports were rare in archaic exchange is changing as scholars gain the ability to identify city of origin for ceramic fabrics such as the Pittore Senza Grafitto’s Etrusco-Corinthian vases (also some bucchero etc.: exports recognized in Versilia, Provence, Languedoc and Carthage). There is still a dearth of transport amphorae, perhaps because wine and oil were not major exports of Tarquinia; its famous grains and pulses, like salt, would have been shipped in sacks invisible in the archaeological record.

F. Cibecchini, “L’Arcipelago Toscano e l’isola d’Elba: anfore e commerci marittimi,” 535-552, documents a surprising amount of evidence for Etruscan commercial exploitation of the Tuscan archipelago (Elba, Montecristo, Isola del Giglio etc.) from wrecks and transport amphorae, beginning with the last quarter of the 7th century (when Punic amphorae appear on Elba). Finds of bucchero pottery, bronze basins, etc. are analogous to assemblages in wrecks and larger ports. Several 6th-5th c. wrecks should be added to Parker 1992 (the clear map, p. 541 fig. 3, has only major cities labeled, so all the coastal and island finds are plotted but unnamed). Around the mid-4th c., Etruscan wine exports decline, and by the early 3rd c. are supplanted in Gaul by Massaliote products, and soon thereafter in the Tyrrhenian by the shippers of the Greco-Italic amphorae.

S. Bruni, “Pisa e i suoi porti nei traffici dell’alto Tirreno: materiali e problemi,” 513-534. The spectacular discovery (and timely publication) of the port of Pisa has revolutionized our view of northern Etruscan shipping. A series of small Pisan ports and networks can be attested from the Hellenistic period on, and probably had predecessors. Tombs with fine bronzes and bucchero show the commercial vitality of this region through the 7th-5th c. BC; the communities must have begun during the 8th c. A wealth of Roman through medieval data supports Bruni’s description of ports and mechanisms of exchange. Pisa itself was a grand mercantile city by the 6th c. with wooden launching-ramps and quays on pilings that would be replaced by masonry quays coordinated with development of the city plan.

M. Bonamici, “Lo scalo portuale di San Rocchino in Versilia,” 497-511. A small sounding at this port on the route northwest from Pisa shows a settlement of the 8th c. receiving Villanovan pottery imports from southern Etruria along with transport amphorae from the new colony of Pithekoussai, amphorae that have not yet been identified in Tyrrhenian Etruscan sites but are known at Carthage, Milazzo and Latin Laurentina (these are the sites noted only by numbers on the map, p. 503 fig. 7). As early as the Iron Age, Liguria was integrated into the Mediterranean network.

S. Paltineri, G. Leonardi, R. Maggi, “Progetto necropoli di Chiavari,” 641-652. Another Ligurian site, Chiavari, saw an uncommon change in character, as a Recent-Final Bronze village was abandoned in the late 8th c., and a large, walled necropolis constructed atop it. Discovered in 1959, the site is now in process of analysis and publication. The source of its Etruscan component is intriguing, as much of the imported pottery from the 8th and early 7th c. is south Etruscan (especially Vulci); by the mid-7th c., Pisa begins to dominate its commerce.

P. Melli, “L’emporio di Genova. Riflessioni e problemi aperti alla luce dei nuovi ritrovamenti,” 609-637: from the mid-6th c., Genoa fits the template of an oppidum, gaining massive fortifications during the 5th c. Its material culture shows the presence or influence of three distinct groups: Ligurian, Etruscan and Golaseccan from the northern inland region. Bronze vessels, utensils, and numerous graffiti, sigla and merchants’ marks attest the presence of Etruscans, as does a stone weight or marker with the Etruscanized Celtic name Nemetie (cf. Morel, p. 43). (An early 5th-c. Iberian belt clasp may speak to Etruscan use of mercenaries; drawings p. 626 fig. 9 — a photo is p. 453 pl. 4d of Maggiani’s article) During the 4th c. some Etruscan traditions/expressions continue, for instance the military funeral with arms or armor, attested by a Negau helmet of Vetulonian type. Also during the 4th c., changes were made in the town, as an increase in population created a lower town outside the fortifications.

M. Py, D. Lebeaupin, P. Séjalon, R. Roure, “Les Étrusques et Lattara: nouvelles données,” 583-608. The geographical range and typological variety of imports show that Lattes probably began in the 6th century as an Etruscan comptoir. In ca. 475 BC, a conflagration shows a violent change that destroyed the original, intricate fortifications, which were then salvaged, re-planned and rebuilt as the town carried on under Massaliote domination: pottery shows the abrupt disappearance of Etruscan goods and influx of Massaliote and Greek.

One additional article corrects the historical record: C. Cousin, “Redécouverte d’une urne perdue de Volterra au musée archéologique de Nîmes (inv. 001.58.1),” 653-656, notes that a 1st-c. Volterran urn with Recognition of Paris scene in Nîmes was almost certainly not actually found there.

Since the research presented in the conference is at the cutting edge, especially recently excavated materials, the coverage is necessarily hit or miss, with some areas/categories well represented and others not. The picture of Etruscan foreign relations, of the colonization and urbanization of the western Mediterranean has changed greatly over the last decades, and should serve to remind us that absence of evidence cannot, in this particular analysis, be taken as evidence of absence. Why couldn’t the Etruscans have inscribed their ships’ planking the way the Carthaginians did?