- Evidence for mobility is an exciting new area of reseach in prehistory and pre-Roman periods. Some schools of thought have played down movement of peoples in prehistory, others have empasized iconic figures such as Demaratus or Sostratos, but new approaches suggest a more nuanced scale of mobility, based on inscriptions and scientific evidence. A very specific early example of mobility is an Etruscan krater from Cerveteri bearing the name of a Greek, Aristonothos. More generally, traders’ marks on pottery reveal mixed groups of traders in sanctuaries such as those of Gravisca and Pyrgi, and have also been suggested for Greek sites such as Pithekoussai. Other work in Etruria has been undertaken on the descent group names revealed in inscriptions. Some work has been undertaken on the ethnic character of descent group names, suggesting the slippage of identities. Other work has looked at the mobility of descent groups between cities. A good example is the expansion of the Curuna from Tarquinia into the more frontier areas of Chiusi and Perugia. Given the wide availability of human remains in Etruscan evidence, there are good possibilities for scientific examination through isotopic studies (contrasting chemical signatures of bones laid down early and late in the human life cycle) or perhaps even DNA, but these have not been widely developed so far.
Historical Dictionary of the Etruscans. Simon K. F. Stoddart.