Some have claimed that they were in Italy before the coming of the Latins, while others claim their origin fromAnatolia or Troy. The newest explanations are that they had some contacts with the area of Hungary. There is noagreement. Some claim their known presence from about 1600BC to references as late as 400AD, while othersclaim only 700BC to 14AD, when writing proves their presence.Etruscan origin is a highly controversial subject, which often tends to repeat the old disproven ideas for the most part. The latest opinion is that they came to Italy after the Latins, who were already living there from about 1850BC. Some classical writers such as Dionysus of Halicarnassus, argued that the Etruscans were the original people of the peninsula while others like the Greek Herodotus, claimed that they were colonists of the Lydians.However, since their language wasn’t like Lydian that cannot be true. Hellanicus of Lesbos however seemsclosest to finding the proper link, when he writes that Tyrrhenians, who were previously called Pelasgians, the pre Greek inhabitants of Greece and surroundings. The Etruscans received their present name after they hadsettled in Italy. These are his words in the Phoronis: "Phrastor was the son of Pelasgus, their king, and Menippe,the daughter of Peneus; his son was Amyntor, Amyntor's son was Tutamides, and the later's son was Nanas. Inhis reign the Pelasgians were driven out of their country by the Greeks, and after leaving their ships on the river Spines in the Ionian Gulf, they took Croton, an inland city and proceeding from there, they colonized the countrycalled Tyrrhenia."Because their culture and their many innovations weren’t present in earlier times on the Italian peninsula, they probably weren't there yet. Their latter arrival brought their many new contributions. Some archeologists likeHugh Hencken claim they came from the area of Hungary. Barfield called this area of Europe the "heartland of technology of the Bronze Age". The American archeologist, Hugh Hencken has claimed their origin was fromHungary due also to the similar type of Urn burial customs and metallurgy, which was present there, and the bronze technology they brought from there, as well as their equestrian customs. The senior Italian linguist MarioAlinei has done extensive comparisons of the language of the Etruscans and has come to the conclusion that itwas an archaic form of Hungarian and its predecessors the Ugrians. His theory of origin was that the ancestors of the Hungarians were living in Hungary at the end of the 3
millenium BC, long before they were supposed tohave arrived from the nearby Ukraine at 896AD. The main confusion factor in regards to Hungarians is that theyhad several fairly widely separated colonies in the Caucasus Mountains, in the Volga region and the supposed birthplace of the nation near the Sea of Azov (Meotis). Hencken also claims that the Etruscans were part of the people who attacked Egypt under the confederation known as the Sea People. Therefore they also had colonieson the island Lemnos in the Aegian Sea and Anatolia (Troy).The most recent linguistic origin theory, claimed by Mario Alinei, that ties Etruscan to Ugrian, had several previous champions, besides Alinei, but they were much less detailed than the new theory. This theory still has alot of biases to overcome in the linguistic community, which is infamous for its extreme conservatism andreluctance to change as well as its willingness to persecute those who stray from the "established" facts withouteven checking it out. However there is no reason to think that the Etruscans didn’t have ties to several other places, such as Troy, the island of Lemnos, the Balkans as well as the Carpathian Basin in their early history.When we try to trace their origins through Europe back through their source nations, it becomes very likely thatthere was a link through different branches of these related people.
A Historic Hunt for the origins of the Etruscans
Lets attempt to trace them backwards in time and see where that takes us. The Etruscans are generally associatedwith the Villanovan Culture of Italy. This culture entered Italy from the south, from the direction of the Balkans,where traces of the Etruscans were also found. One of the early Greek writers even stated that the Etruscanswere related to the pre-Greek aboriginals of Greece, known as the Pelasgians. The archeologist Hencken hasstated that the Italian Villanovan Culture that entered Italy is Balkan in origin. This area was for a long timeinhabited by the people known as the Thracians, whose very name sounds much like "Tursci", which is the localLatin name of the Etruscans. Thrace had a very long history from about 1800BC to the start of the Christian Era.Later they also spread to the Eastern Carpahian Basin under the name of Dacian, a name which sounds a bit likethe early ethnic designation for Turk or the Scythian tribe known in the east as Daha.The names Thraci-an and Troja-n are names that sound very similar, especially if we assume that the internal Cwas more like a ch, which is a distinct possibility after we compare the Etruscan words to its derivatives. Thraceand Troyas were in fact on the opposite sides of the Aegian Sea, before the entrance to the Sea of Marmara, andguarded the access to the Black Sea. The European side of this area was called Thrace while the Asian side was