The collection of skulls exhibited at the Congress of 1871 was in no wise remarkable except for its poverty. The principal contribution of the palaeolithic (Post Pleiocene) age was the (Colle del) Olmo skull from near Arezzo, now in the Royal Museum Of Natural History, Florence: this CALVARIA or calotte was, as I have said, found in the diluvial tyavertino. The (Isola del) Liri skull, also dolichocephalous, and probably synchronous, was discovered in sand under a stratum of the same concretionary deposit, 80 centimetres in thickness. The cubic contents of the latter are laid down at only 1,306 cubic centimetres (= 79∙701 cubic inches), showing a brain of 1,156 grams (= 2 pounds 8∙78 ounces); and the likeness to the Engis skull has been generally remarked. The neolithic specimens were more abundant. Two skulls from the Monte Tignoso cave, near Leghorn ‑‑ one exceedingly brachycephalic (cephalic index 92), the other
very dolichocephalic (cephalic index 71) [footnote 1: Doctor Paul Broca, the learned Secretary of the Anthropological Society of Paris (page 398, Sur la Classification et la Nomenclature Céphaliques and the rest, Revue d' Anthropologie, established five several groups: ‑‑
It is rare, he tells us, that the mean cephalic index of a race, not including its deformities, natural or artificial, descends to 71 or rises to 87, thus giving an écart of 16; the normal extremes being respectively 65 and 92 (= 27)] ‑‑ show, during the second Stone Age, the existence of the two distinct types still characterising the Italian race. It is an observation generally made that the modern peoples of upper Italy are mostly short headed, and the southerners long headed, whilst the two forms blend in the Island of Elba, in modern Umbria, and in the Province of Rome, where, however, the brachycephalic is said to be waxing rarer.
The Tignoso skulls are both small, with restricted, depressed, and narrow frontal regions, and exaggerated occiputs. Two brachycephalic skulls from the Grotta di Castello, on the Monte Pisano, beyond the Serchio, greatly resembled them, although only the CALVARIAE remained. A third pair, from the neolithic
Caverna delta Matta, fortunately had lower jaws: one was of the dolichocephalic division (cephalic index 68), very long, and flattened at the sides, a type found in Sardinia, but rarely on the adjacent continent: the other was of the marked brachycephalic or Ligurian type (cephalic index 84). To the latter people probably belonged the cannibals of the Palmaria Island in the Gulf of Spezia: their remains have been ably described (Grotta de' Colombi) by Professor Giovanni Capellini, a native of that place, who, at the early age of 34, has risen to be Rector of the venerable University of Bologna. He it was who conceived the idea of the Congress of Bologna, who has taken a leading part at every meeting of the kind, and who had the moral courage to declare his belief (L' Antropofagismo in Italia all' Epoca della pietra, Gazzetta dell' Emilia, numver 11, 1869) in the universal prevalence of cannibalism, and who consequently was long regarded, with the usual inconsequence, as little better than a cannibal himself. I am pleased to find in this savant, as in my distinguished friend, the anthropologist Professor Carl Vogt, such efficient support for the theory which I formed and published many years ago. It is still my conviction that anthrophagy has,
like polygamy and slavery, belonged to all peoples at some epoch of their history; that cannibalism, like both the so called patriarchal institutions, not only satisfied physical wants, but led to moral progress; that human sacrifice ending in bestial sacrifice, which in turn has yielded place to the bloodless sacrifice; and thus that it was not only beneficial to the state of society which recorded it, but it has also tended to the progress and the development of mankind.
The only specimens of the Bronze Epoch were three skulls discovered in a sepulchral cave of Monte Calamita (Elba); and they were described by Professor Vogt (Di alcuni antichi crani rinvenuti in Italia.) Those of the terramare of the Emilia, also bronze, have not been found; but the kitchen middens of Modenese Gorzano yielded two of Ligurian type, probably buried in subsequent times.
Most of these skulls and other synchronous finds (for example, the brachycephalic Mezzana Corte, and the rest) have been commented upon by Cav. Dott. Giustiniano Nicolucci, the well known craniologist, and the accomplished author of the volume Delle Razze Umane. According to him (L' homme pré‑historique en Italie, Congrès, pages 233‑238), this palaeolithic
or early Quaternary man represented the original and primitive type of the actual Italian races. The CRANIVM, here short, there long, was of small capacity and solid thickness; the form was an ogival arch spreading out posteriorly; the frontal region was low, narrow, and retreating, with prominent and even connecting GLABELLAE; and an external crest, with a corresponding internal channel, ran from the mid forehead to the centre of the sagittal suture, whilst the FORAMEN MAGNVM abnormally approached the occiput. As the lower MAXILLAE are wanting in the earliest specimens, it cannot safely be determined whether the race was prognathic or orthognathic; but the strongly marked attachments for muscles show vigour accompanying short stature.
In the earlier neolithic age, as we see by the two skulls from Cantalupo Mandela, near Rome, there is considerable improvement; the crania, both long and short, are less thick; the temporal region is higher, straighter, and broader, the great FORAMEN is nearer the axis, and the posterior as well as the anterior divisions are better proportioned. The capacity and the contents, which in the Quaternary Liri skull were 1,306 cubic centimetres and 1,156 grams, now
become 1,408 cubic centimetres (=85∙926 cubic inches) and 1,245 grams (= 2 pounds 11∙91 ounces). Both the skulls above specified have a slight maxillary prognathism, corrected, however, by the position of the teeth, which are set vertically in the ALVEOLI, and we have reason to believe that the whole body had followed the progress of the head.
In the Bronze Age, as we see by the skulls from Torre della Maina and from Elba (Aethalia, Ilva, an Etrurian State, according to Vergil, X, 173), the process of development is not arrested; the bones again become thinner, the capacity is 1,500 cubic centimetres (= 91∙540 cubic inches), [Jeff Hill's footnote: c. c. i. PRO c. i.] and the contents 1,326 grams (= 2 pounds 14∙78 ounces); about the same, in all three points, as in the modern man. Lastly, the Age of Iron shows the greatest removal from the Quaternary peoples; and the types begin to distribute themselves into those of the modern Italian areas, with modifications arising only from cosmic conditions and mixture of blood.
At the Congress, Count Gozzadini exhibited a valuable series of 26 skulls, two from Villanova and 24 from Marzabotto. Two of the former were prognathous, possibly distorted by pressure; most of the latter were fragmentary, and all showed brachycephalism
as well as dolichocephalism. Professor Nicolucci (Sui cranii rinvenuti nella Necropoli di Marzabotto e di Villanova), who recognised the two types, the dolichocephalic being 63 to 37 of the other, having compared one CRANIVM from Villanova and three from Marzabotto with undoubted Etruscan specimens (in his Antropologia dell' Etruria: Naples, 1869) decided that the four former were non Etruscan. Having also failed, after equal study, to detect any affinities with the Kelts of Cisalpine Gaul, he therefore concluded that they belong to the men still holding Bolognese ground, that is, to the Italic Umbri. This well known anthropologist, whose opinions carry great weight, defended his Umbrian theory in two letters addressed to Count Gozzadini, against the Etruscoligurian ideas of Professor Carl Vogt. The latter had judged a skull from Villanova to be of Etruscan type, whilst he attributed those of Marzabotto to the Ligurians (Sur quelques Crânes antiques trouvés en Italie, Bulletin de la Soc. Anthrop. de Paris, tom. I, série 2, fasc. 1); but he also persisted, with Lagneau, in reviving the old theory of Baer (1839) versus Andreas Retzius (1842), that the Etruscans were dolichocephals. Professor Nicolucci's theory is discussed
by the learned Cav. Dott. Antonio Garbiglietti, one of the first to call the attention of anthropologists to the peculiarities of Etruscan type (page 39, Sopra alcuni recenti scritti di craniologia etnografica dei Dottori G. Nicolucci e J. Barnard Davis: Torino, tip. Favale, 1866). The learned Professor Cav. Alberto Gamba (Special Report To The Royal Academy Of Medicine, Turin), after honourably mentioning his brother anthropologist, declares di non potere abbracciare in modo assoluto l' opinione del Nicolucci, e ciò perchè la differenza di forma, di proporzione e di misure che i cranii Etruschi e quelli di Marzabotto e Villanova non sono abbastanza pronunziati per dichiarare questi ultimi di stirpe più moderna. After offering reasons for this conclusion, he adds: Se noi osserviamo lo specchietto dall' illustre dott. Nicolucci presentato, noi vediamo che i cranii di Marzabotto e Villanova appartengono ad una stirpe differente perfettamente dalla Celtica, e la differenza sta principalmente nella forma, o tipo generale del cranio. Ma se osserviamo le differenze dal Nicolucci notate fra i due cranii di Villanova e Marzabotto e quelli Etruschi, io vi confesso ingenuamente, di non poterne sottoscrivere la sentenza di separazione, nè di epoca storica, ne di stirpe. He
thus pronounces all to be of the same race, guarding himself, however, by noting the insufficient number which had come under his observation; and finally, he offers a wise caution concerning the difficulty of determining the characteristics that distinguish the Etruscan CRANIVM. A people which emigrated from three different regions at various eras not determined by history and which mingled with four older races, the Umbri, the Ligurians, the Osci, and the Iapygian Volsci, perhaps even with the Cisalpine Keltogalli, cannot have acquired the racial type of CRANIVM without passing through centuries of change and the progressive development of pacific institutions. He would therefore hold as characteristic only the crania of the Twelve Cities of Middle Etruria during their most flourishing period 500 to 400 BC.
On the other hand, Professors P. Montegazza (Congrès, page 239) and A. Zannetti (page 166, Studi sui crani Etruschi. Arch. per l' Antrop. e la Etno.: Florence, 1871) compare, and find a resemblance between, the Villanova and Marzabotto skulls and those of Chiusi, Tarquinii, and well known Etruscan centres. But the former denies, in the present obscurity of Italian ethnography, the right
of giving scientific definitions to the racial elements which we call Umbrian, Etruscan, Roman. He cites the case of Sardinia, where he made a fine collection, and which he carefully visited, not neglecting even the smaller villages. Popular scientific opinion divides the island into two zones, Latin in the north; in the south Arab, or rather Semitic: yet he observed, without noticing other secondary elements, such as Siculi, Catalans, and others, a distinctly Egyptian type, which extends even to the neighbouring TERRA FIRMA; whilst the peasantry of the Cannobina Valley retain the characteristics of its old colonists, the Romans. Professor Montegazza especially denies our ability to deduce, in the actual state of science, the intellectual hierarchy of the brain from the shape or size of the skull which contained it, and he concludes with the sensible observation: Ou s' introduit la passion, la vérité se cache la figure de ses deux mains.
Not a few have attempted to prove, I have said, that the Boian conquerors buried their dead in the same cemeteries with the Etruscan. This funereal infiltration is generally rejected; although the shapes of the swords, the forms of certain objects of luxury, and even the mode of burial,
seem to prove an interchange or a reciprocity of ideas between the Etruscans and the Gauls.
The THESAVRVS CRANIORVM (London, 1867) of my learned correspondent Doctor J. Barnard Davis, a work of which I am glad to say that a Supplement has been issued, contains a description of one Oscan and of two Etruscan CALVARIAE. The former is quasibrachycephalic, and the very narrow forehead is a striking contrast with the typical Roman. Of the latter pair, one (number 769) was found at Villanova; unfortunately, it is imperfect: the second is by far the finest of the three (number 1,173, page 85, accompanying the Etruscan inscription). This large CALVARIVM of a young woman, exhumed in 1857 near Perugia, is exceedingly like an ancient Roman skull. The author records also the remarks of Professor L. Calori, which are principally directed to oppose the impression, derived from certain cases of prognathism, that the Etruscans were allied to the Ethiopic races, and cites Doctor Antonio Garbiglietti's study of an Etruscan skull, which exhibits on both sides the singularity of a suture running along the lower edge of the OS IVGALE, and dividing the bone into two portions. Regarding Professor Calori's Phoenician Origin Of The Etruscans ‑‑ I shall have
more to say of it ‑‑ Doctor Barnard Davis considers that the opinion of such a competent and thoroughly honest investigator deserves every consideration. The author of the THESAVRVS, however, has one good example of an ancient Phoenician skull (number 1,174, page 86) from Sardinia, and he seems to think that it does not agree very closely with the ancient Etruscan. He mentions the fact that Doctor G. Nicolucci, who described and figured the skulls in the Museum of Antiquities, Cagliari, classed them with those of the Semites ‑‑ Arabs and Jews. Finally, he has an Oscan skull (number 1,049, page 84) from Nola, strikingly distinguished from the Roman by the narrowness of the frontal region.
Etruscan Bologna, A Study