This project investigates the development of complex polities and identities in Middle Tyrrhenian Italy by the examination of commercial, social and cultural interactions between Latins, Etruscans and other external agents such as Greeks, Phoenicians and Near Eastern peoples. It will provide an understanding of the mechanisms and causes of urbanisation and state formation in central Italy, as well as the construction of identities from the individual city-state, right up to regional (ethnic) and inter-regional levels. It will explaining ‘why’ only a few Bronze Age Etruscan and Latin villages became flourishing cities of the Archaic Period and then ‘how’ and possibly ‘why’ the Latins eventually prevailed.
While the formation of competing city-states, grouped into wider regional entities and ethnic groups, in central Italy between the Late Bronze Age and the Archaic Period has long been investigated, the Etruscan and Latin systems have always been studied separately and statically.This project will go beyond traditional studies by examining both together and identifying how the entire Etruscan and Latin city-state system functioned, how it formed, worked and developed. This project building on old and new data, already available will result in publication and public dissemination. Thus this project will benefit not only academia and general audience but also policymaker because by investigating identities and polities formation mechanisms in the past will help better understand identity, cultural and power relations in the present.
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