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Populonia or Populonia Alta (
Etruscan__NOTOC__ Etruscan may refer to: Ancient civilisation *The Etruscan language, an extinct language in ancient Italy *Something derived from or related to the Etruscan civilization **Etruscan architecture **Etruscan art **Etruscan cities **Etruscan ...
: ''Pupluna'', ''Pufluna'' or ''Fufluna'', all pronounced ''Fufluna'';
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became ...

Latin
: ''Populonium'', ''Populonia'', or ''Populonii'') today is a ''
frazione A ''frazione'' (plural: ) is a type of subdivision of a ''comune The (; plural: ) is a Administrative division, local administrative division of Italy, roughly equivalent to a township or municipality. Importance and function The pro ...
'' of the ''
comune The (; plural: ) is a Administrative division, local administrative division of Italy, roughly equivalent to a township or municipality. Importance and function The provides essential public services: Civil registry, registry of births a ...
'' of
Piombino Piombino is an Italian Italian may refer to: * Anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Italy ** Italians, an ethnic group or simply a citizen of the Italian Republic ** Italian language, a Romance language *** Regional Italia ...
(
Tuscany it, Toscano (man) it, Toscana (woman) , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = Citizenship , demographics1_footnotes = , demographics1_title1 = Italian , demogra ...
, central Italy). As of 2009 its population was 17. Populonia is especially noteworthy for its
Etruscan__NOTOC__ Etruscan may refer to: Ancient civilisation *The Etruscan language, an extinct language in ancient Italy *Something derived from or related to the Etruscan civilization **Etruscan architecture **Etruscan art **Etruscan cities **Etruscan ...
remains, including one of the main
necropolis A necropolis (plural necropolises, necropoles, necropoleis, necropoli) is a large, designed cemetery A cemetery, burial ground, gravesite or graveyard is a place where the remains of dead people are burial, buried or otherwise interred. The ...

necropolis
in Italy, discovered by Isidoro Falchi.


Description

left, Detail of the fortress of Populonia. image:Populonia Necropoli di San Cerbone Tomba.jpg, left, The Tomb of the Bronze Statuette of the Offering Bearer in the San Cerbone necropolis at Casone Farm. The tomb and the entire area around it was once deep under slag. The date of the tomb is estimated at 530-500 BC. Modern Populonia is located within a small portion of the walled acropolis of a large ancient city, which covered the entire north end of ''Monte Massoncello'', a promontory, its northern slopes down to the Bay of Baratti, and the shores of the bay, which was its port. The city was an industrial one, smelting copper ore brought from the ''
Colline Metallifere The Colline Metallifere (), or the Metalliferous Hills ("Metal-bearing Hills"), are a mountain-hill group in the Tuscany, Tuscan Antiapennine, in central Italy. They occupy the central-western part of Tuscany, divided between the province of Livor ...
'', the "ore-bearing hills" inland, and iron ore from nearby
Elba Elba ( it, isola d'Elba, ; la, Ilva; Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into ...

Elba
, in beehive blast furnaces. Over the thousand years of its life it came to cover the entire southern shore of the bay with
slag Slag is a by-product of smelting Smelting is a process of applying heat to ore in order to extract a base metal. It is a form of extractive metallurgy. It is used to extract many metals from their ores, including Silver mining#Ore processing, ...

slag
, piling it over abandoned residences and cemeteries, until it lost its utility as a metals manufacturer. Then it was abandoned. The metal-rich slag was reworked for its content by Feromin Co., 1929–1969, which cleaned the shore of the bay and left but little behind. During the process Etruscan necropoleis and other buildings were uncovered. They attracted the attention of the archaeologists. Soon it was realized that not only Populonia but the entire ''Val di Cornia'', Valley of the nearby Cornia River, had been densely populated in Etruscan times. Moreover, the Val had been populated continuously from Paleolithic times. In recognition of the area's importance to archaeology, a system of parks was created, the ''Parchi della Val di Cornia'', with a key park being the ''Parco archeologico di Baratti e Populonia'', the " Baratti and Populonia Archeological Park", which covers the hill with the acropolis and the entire Bay of Baratti and its shores. Another is the Archaeological Area of Poggio del Molino. The port has long since been replaced by the city of
Piombino Piombino is an Italian Italian may refer to: * Anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Italy ** Italians, an ethnic group or simply a citizen of the Italian Republic ** Italian language, a Romance language *** Regional Italia ...
on the southern slopes of Monte Massoncello, which is the departure point of maritime traffic leading to Elba and elsewhere. The parks and museums host large numbers of visitors; the village at the top has mainly a caretaker function. The heights feature a massive fortress built in the 15th century by the Appiani lords of Piombino, with stones taken from Etruscan remains. The hill has been kept in a disarmingly forested and rural condition. It was once clear and populated. The remains of a city wall go around the top.


Etruscan Fufluna


Name

The name of the Etruscan city is known from its coins. It has been suggested that it was named after a god,
Fufluns In Etruscan religion Etruscan religion comprises a set of stories, beliefs, and religious Religion is a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether ...
, as other Etruscan cities were named after divinities. It would mean, then, "the city of Fufluns." The word was written in Hellenistic times with the Etruscan letter f, only introduced then. Before then Etruscans and Romans made do with a p, resulting in such spellings as Pupluna or Populonia, but the pronunciation must have been Fufluna. It has been further suggested that Pliny's mention of a statue of Zeus at Populonia carved from one vine (hence very ancient, possible hundreds of years) suggests a pre-metallurgical wine industry flourishing at the time Fufluna was officially named.


Foundation

The earliest evidence of Etruscans at Fufluna is from two necropoleis containing material of the
Villanovan culture The Villanovan culture (c. 900–700 BC), regarded as the earliest phase of the Etruscan civilization The Etruscan civilization () of ancient Italy The history of Italy covers the Ancient Period, the Middle Ages and the modern era. Since c ...
, which was
Iron Age The Iron Age is the final epoch of the three-age division of the prehistory Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history Human history, or world history, is the narrative of Human, humanity's pa ...
and began about 900 BC. Except for some cities that probably began in the Proto-Villanovan, 900 is the foundation time for the majority of Etruscan urbanizations. The cemeteries are ''San Cerbone'' on the south shore of the Bay of Baratti and ''Piano e Poggio della Granate'' further north on the bay. The presence of the cemeteries can only be explained by a large settlement nearby, which can only have been Fufluna. The
acropolis An acropolis (Ancient Greek: ἀκρόπολις, ''akropolis''; from ''akros'' (άκρος) or ''akron'' (άκρον), "highest, topmost, outermost" and ''polis'' (πόλις), "city"; plural in English: ''acropoles'', ''acropoleis'' or ''acropol ...

acropolis
of the city extended over two hills at the top of the promontory: ''Poggio del Castillo'', the site of the castle and modern structures, and ''Poggio del Telegrafo'', also called, confusingly, ''Poggio del Molino'', not the only hill of that name in the area. Remains of a Roman villa, ''Villa le Logge'', share ''Telegrafo'' with an excavation last conducted in the seasons of 2003–2005, which uncovered among other things postholes from a village of huts of the same date as the Villanovan cemeteries, about 900 BC. The presence of a few Proto-Villanovan tombs at ''Villa del Barone'' on another ''Poggio del Molino'' near ''Punta del Stellino'' just to the north of Baratti indicates the foundation population was proto-Etruscan. It was excavated in the 1980s by the University of Florence. The
Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric Periodization, period that was characterized by the use of bronze, in some areas proto-writing, and other early features of urban civilization. The Bronze Age is the second principal period of the Three-age sys ...
Proto-villanovan (which is not part of the Villanovan) began as early as 1200 BC. Another excavation at another Roman villa on Poggio del Molino near ''Baroni'' began in 2009. A report from the second season, 2010, mentions that a Bronze Age village of huts was found under the villa. The excavators date it to "the Late Bronze Age" by the pottery, tentatively assigning it to 1200–1100 BC, a time falling within the Final Bronze Age of the Italian system and also within the Proto-Villanovan Period. They have not yet made any such distinctions. The village is assumed to have been associated with the Populonian population. Throughout the Val di Cornia are remains much older. It cannot be presumed, however, just because the archaeology of the region goes back to the
Stone Age The Stone Age was a broad prehistoric Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history Human history, also known as world history, is the description of humanity's past. It is informed by archaeology ...

Stone Age
, that their populations represent the Proto-Etruscans. The ''Poggio del Molino'' (or ''Mulino'', "the mill") north of Baratti must be associated with Fufluna because of a geographical barrier, not there now, once termed Lake Rimigliano. In Etruscan times it was a lagoon fringed by a barrier island (the current beach area) extending from San Vincenzo in the north southward to the foot of ''Poggio del Molino'', where it was broken by an egress point (today the mouth of an irrigation channel). The lake went as far inland as the mines at
Campiglia Marittima Campiglia Marittima is a ''comune'' (municipality) in the Province of Livorno in the Italy, Italian region Tuscany, located about southwest of Florence and about southeast of Livorno. Its toponym has been attested for the first time in 1004 as '' ...
, an easy route for ore barges between there and the Bay of Baratti. The lagoon eventually became a swamp, disappearing in favor of agricultural land in 1832. The lagoon and its swamps would have created conditions conducive to
malaria Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease that affects humans and other animals. Malaria causes symptoms Signs and symptoms are the observed or detectable signs, and experienced symptoms of an illness, injury, or condition. A sign fo ...

malaria
, meaning that free Etruscans who could afford it would have preferred to live on the heights. Around 600 BC, the city joined the confederate
Etruscan League The Etruscan civilization () of List of ancient peoples of Italy, ancient Italy covered a territory, at its greatest extent, of roughly what is now Tuscany, western Umbria, and northern Lazio, as well as parts of what are now the Po Valley, Emilia ...
or twelve cities. It served as one of the only two port cities.


Proto-historic foundation myths

A number of stories about the foundation of Populonia promulgated by the classical authors concerning these events removed from their times by at least several hundred years, the better part of it prehistoric, have been found to have no basis in any known archaeological fact.
Maurus Servius Honoratus Servius was a late fourth-century and early fifth-century grammarian Grammarian may refer to: * Alexandrine grammarians, philologists and textual scholars in Hellenistic Alexandria in the 3rd and 2nd centuries BCE * Biblical grammarians, schola ...
in his commentary on Vergil's
Aeneid The ''Aeneid'' ( ; la, Aenē̆is ) is a Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the p ...
says that Populonia was founded later than the other cities by
Corsica Corsica (, Upper , Southern , ; french: link=no, Corse ; lij, link=no, Còrsega) is an island in the Mediterranean Sea The Mediterranean Sea is a connected to the , surrounded by the and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north ...

Corsica
ns, who were driven out by Etruscans from
Volterra Volterra (; Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relati ...

Volterra
or by Volterraneans without the Corsican interlude. However, Populonia, is Villanovan in provenience. Moreover, no material remains of any Corsicans have been found or excavated, the tombs are unlike those of Volterra, and finally, between Populonia and Volterra, the former was by far the major settlement.
Strabo Strabo''Strabo'' (meaning "squinty", as in strabismus Strabismus is a condition in which the eyes do not properly align with each other when looking at an object. The eye that is focused on an object can alternate. The condition may be pre ...

Strabo
claimed that Populonia was the only Etruscan coastal city; the others were removed from the coast by several miles. He may not have known that
Pisa Pisa ( , or ) is a city and ''comune The (; plural: ) is a Administrative division, local administrative division of Italy, roughly equivalent to a township or municipality. Importance and function The provides essential public ser ...

Pisa
had been a major Etruscan city before it was Roman. Pisa was built also in the Villanovan period on the delta of the
Arno The Arno is a river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. In some cases, a river flows into the ground and becomes dry at the end of its course without reach ...

Arno
River and was a port during the floruit of Etruscan civilization.
Spina Spina was an Etruscan__NOTOC__ Etruscan may refer to: Ancient civilisation *The Etruscan language, an extinct language in ancient Italy *Something derived from or related to the Etruscan civilization **Etruscan architecture **Etruscan art **Et ...

Spina
also had been placed at the edge of the
Po River The Po ( , ; la, Padus or ; grc, Πάδος, Pádos, or , ; Ancient Ligurian: or ) is the longest river in Italy. It is a river that flows eastward across northern Italy starting from the Cottian Alps; it, Alpi Cozie , photo=Monviso_Cottian ...
. It has been termed by moderns the Etruscan Venice. As far as minor settlements are concerned,
Pyrgi Pyrgi (Πύργοι in Ancient greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to by speakers simply as Gree ...

Pyrgi
and
Gravisca Gravisca (or the Latin) Graviscae) was the port of the Etruscan city of Tarquinii, situated 8 km west of the city center. The Etruscan settlement, occupied ca. sixth to third centuries B.C., had four principal occupational phases from ca. 60 ...

Gravisca
were Etruscan ports as early as any. By Strabo's time, the Romans had seized the entire coastline and had ejected the Etruscans from it. It is true that Etruscans preferred the most defensible positions on inland escarpments. If none were convenient or available they did not hesitate to settle in the plain or at the water's edge whether of lake or sea.


The metals industry

In geology, the "Tuscan metallogenic province" derived from volcanic intrusions into southern Etruria due to extension of the crust there (which also created a
karst Karst is a topography Topography is the study of the forms and features of land surfaces. The topography of an area could refer to the surface forms and features themselves, or a description (especially their depiction in maps). Topography ...

karst
topography in western Italy) from the late
Miocene The Miocene ( ) is the first geological epoch In geochronology, an epoch is a subdivision of the geologic timescale that is longer than an age (geology), age but shorter than a period (geology), period. The current epoch is the Holocene Epoch of ...
to the
Pleistocene The Pleistocene ( , often referred to as the ''Ice Age'') is the geological Epoch (geology), epoch that lasted from about 2,580,000 to 11,700 years ago, spanning the earth’s most recent period of repeated glaciations. Before a change finally ...
. This process emplaced
iron oxide Iron oxides are chemical compounds composed of iron and oxygen Oxygen is the chemical element with the chemical symbol, symbol O and atomic number 8. It is a member of the chalcogen Group (periodic table), group in the periodic table, ...

iron oxide
deposits on
Elba Elba ( it, isola d'Elba, ; la, Ilva; Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into ...

Elba
,
pyrite The mineral In geology and mineralogy, a mineral or mineral species is, broadly speaking, a solid chemical compound with a fairly well-defined chemical composition and a specific crystal structure that occurs naturally in pure form.John P. ...

pyrite
in southern Tuscany and various kinds of
skarn Skarns or tactites are hard, coarse-grained metamorphic rocks that form by a process called metasomatism Metasomatism (from the Greek μετά (change) and σῶμα (body)) is the chemical alteration of a rock by hydrothermal and other fluids. ...

skarn
including copper-bearing in the ''Colline Metallifere'', called ''Etruria Mineraria'' in the Middle Ages. The ancient
slag Slag is a by-product of smelting Smelting is a process of applying heat to ore in order to extract a base metal. It is a form of extractive metallurgy. It is used to extract many metals from their ores, including Silver mining#Ore processing, ...

slag
-heaps are estimated to weigh 2–4 million tons, representing an annual iron production of between 1,600–2,000 and 10,000 tons, according to varying modern estimates. Especially of interest to the Etruscans and later Romans of Populonia were the polymetallic ores of
Campiglia Marittima Campiglia Marittima is a ''comune'' (municipality) in the Province of Livorno in the Italy, Italian region Tuscany, located about southwest of Florence and about southeast of Livorno. Its toponym has been attested for the first time in 1004 as '' ...
, which contain copper, lead, zinc, iron, silver and tin; in short, all the ingredients bronze and steel with the added bonus of silver. The modern mine there descends from the ancient. Feromin Co. removed mainly the iron slag from the shores of the Gulf of Baratti. Copper slag remains on the beach, which has been dated to the 9th and 8th centuries BC by
radiocarbon Carbon-14 (14C), or radiocarbon, is a radioactive isotope A radionuclide (radioactive nuclide, radioisotope or radioactive isotope) is a nuclide that has excess nuclear energy, making it unstable. This excess energy can be used in one of thre ...
methods; in other words, the city may have been founded to process ore.


Roman Populonia

Under Roman rule the harbour continued to be of some importance, and the place was already an
episcopal see The seat or ''cathedra'' of the Bishop of Rome in the Archbasilica of Saint John Lateran An episcopal see is, in the usual meaning of the phrase, the area of a bishop's ecclesiastical jurisdiction. Phrases concerning actions occurring within o ...
in the 6th century. The city was destroyed in 570 by the
Lombards The Lombards () or Langobards ( la, Langobardi) were a Germanic people The Germanic peoples were a historical group of people living in Central Europe Central Europe is an area of Europe between Western Europe and Eastern Europe, based on ...
. The few survivors, led by bishop St. Cerbo, fled to the island of
Elba Elba ( it, isola d'Elba, ; la, Ilva; Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into ...

Elba
, off the coast.


In literature

Populonia is mentioned in ''
HoratiusHoratius may refer to: People Roman era * several ancient Roman men of the ''Horatia gens, gens Horatia'', including: ** Quintus Horatius Flaccus, the poet known in English as Horace ** one of the Horatii, three members of the ''gens Horatia'' who f ...
'', the poem by English author
Lord Macaulay Thomas Babington Macaulay, 1st Baron Macaulay, FRS FRSE Fellowship of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (FRSE) is an award granted to individuals that the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Scotland's national academy of science and Literature, let ...

Lord Macaulay
: "From seagirt Populonia,/Whose sentinels descry/Sardinia's snowy mountain-tops/Fringing the southern sky", although Macaulay wrongly wrote that Sardinia is visible from it.


See also

* Archaeological Museum of Populonia * Baratti and Populonia Archeological Park * Baratti *
Etruscan__NOTOC__ Etruscan may refer to: Ancient civilisation *The Etruscan language, an extinct language in ancient Italy *Something derived from or related to the Etruscan civilization **Etruscan architecture **Etruscan art **Etruscan cities **Etruscan ...
s *
Etruscan coins Like the Egyptians Egyptians are the people originating from the country of Egypt Egypt ( ; ar, مِصر ), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country spanning the North Africa, northeast corner of Africa and W ...
*
Piombino Piombino is an Italian Italian may refer to: * Anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Italy ** Italians, an ethnic group or simply a citizen of the Italian Republic ** Italian language, a Romance language *** Regional Italia ...
*
Populonia Stazione Populonia Stazione is a village in Tuscany it, Toscano (man) it, Toscana (woman) , population_note = , population_blank1_title = , population_blank1 = , demographics_type1 = Citizenship , demographics1_footnotes = , ...
*
Volterra Volterra (; Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relati ...

Volterra


References


Bibliography

* * *Cambi, Franco, and Giorgia Maria Francesca Di Paola. (2013). "Etruscan Strategies of Defense: Late Classical and Early Hellenistic Hilltop Fortresses in the Territory of Populonia." ''Etruscan Studies'' 16 (2): 190–209. *


External links

* * * {{Authority control Frazioni of Piombino Etruscan sites
Castles in Italy Note: some of the links here refer to cities housing castles. {{Commons category, Castles in Italy Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of a Northern It ...
Former populated places in Italy Etruscan cities Villanovan culture