- Exchange was already flourishing in the Neolithic and Bronze Age of central Italy. By the later phases of the Bronze Age, the exchange of finished bronze products had become a key element of the intensifying economy. In terms of external trade, imports were principally pottery (on a very small scale), while bronze objects found their way out of Italy. Only five sites (Monte Rovello [one fragment], Luni sul Mignone [five fragments], San Giovenale [one fragment], Scarceta, and Casale Nuovo) in western central Italy have Aegean-type pottery and of these, the oldest fragment from Luni, three samples from Casale Nuovo, and the San Giovenale sample appear to be Aegean imports. At least 85 objects of Italic origin have been found in the Aegean, many in Crete, including 65 pottery vessels and 20 bronze objects. The Idean cave on Crete yielded four knives and five swords. Peschiera-type swords were distributed from Transylvania to France and from the Balkans to Denmark. Gold sheets similar to those found in the Gualdo Tadino hoard have been found in Delos. Evidence for distinctive Italian winged axes has been found in Greece (including Mycenae).At the very end of the Bronze Age and at the very beginning of the Iron Age, exchange appears to have been more local, concentrating on local and regional trade with Sardinia and neighboring areas. The earliest trade, in the eighth century BC, appears to be a classic case of gift exchange between international elites of prestige products often connected with drinking cults and sometimes personally named. A key question is whether this resurgence of contact accompanied or preceded the foundation of Pithekoussai and Greek colonization. Some 250 bronzes of Italian origin have been found in the Greek world, many fibulae, and most from Olympia, as well as Delphi, Samos, and Dodona. The presence of fibulae may relate to the presentation of complete costumes to the gods. The presence of weapons probably demonstrates the dedication of war booty to the gods. Bucchero pottery was also dedicated at Miletus and Samos but has received less scholarly attention. From the Archaic period, trade to the Aegean is dominated by prestige metallurgical products such as incense burners, candelabra, and utensils (and from literary sources, sandals and trumpets) in settlements such as Olympia and Delphi. One special object is a tripod from Vulci on the Acropolis in Athens.Greek trade with Etruria may not have been under Greek management or control, given the prominence of Etruscan shipping. The presence of objects of Etruscan manufacture in Greek contexts may be another indicator of the active involvement of Etruscans. Even more convincing is the Etruscan dedication at Aphaia, showing the physical presence and ritual involvement of an Etruscan. The manufacture of Greek objects also seems to involve the actual engagement of Etruscans. Etruscan traders’ marks appear on Attic pottery found in Etruria. Furthermore, at Caere the work of one Athenian craftsman actively copied Etruscan forms and even manufacturing details. How much this trade in luxury products and pottery expanded into a generalized trade in heavier commodities is difficult to quantify, although contemporary trading packages such as those provided by the Giglio shipwreck give some indication of the transport of liquids. Other trade routes went north. The south of France had extensive imports of transport amphorae and bucchero, as well as evidence from inscriptions of the physical presence of Etruscan individuals. Eastern France and western Germany received imports particularly of Etruscan bronzework, most notably bronze jugs and basins, which some authors have suggested were in exchange for slaves and salt. It was estimated in 1985 that 192 Etruscan objects of reasonable size had been found in the so-called Celtic world, including 13 stamnoi, 7 stamnoi situlae, 3 amphorae, 3 tripods, 2 Rhodian-type oenochoe, 88 Schnabelkannen, and 53 basins.The locations where these imports have been found outside central Italy include the following: Altrier, Armsheim, Bad Durkheim, Basse-Yutz, Berschweiler, Besseringen, Courcelle-en-Montagne, Fellbach, Haguenau, Hatten, Hermeskeil, Hillesheim, Hoppstadten, Horhausen, Iffezheim, Karlich 4, Kleinaspergle, Marpingen, Mercy-sur-Saone, Panticapeus, Pech Maho, Perachora, Pertuis, Oberwallmenach, Remmesweiller-Urexweiller, Reinheim, Rodenbach, Schwarzenbach I and Schwarzenbach II, Sessenheim, Siesbach, Soufflenheim, Theley, Thomm, Urmitz, Urmitz-Weissenthurm, Vix, Waldgallscheid, Weiskirchen I, Weiskirchen II, Wiesbaden, Worms-Herrnsheim, and Zerf.
Historical Dictionary of the Etruscans. Simon K. F. Stoddart.