"Museo dei dolmen" (Dolmen Museum) is a virtual museum of Mediterranean and Western Europe prehistory and early history, set up and directed by Federico Bardanzellu.


Dolmen Museum     


Prehistory and Early History of the Mediterranean and Western Europe


Museo dei Dolmen


Movements of peoples in Mediterranean Sea between Bronze and Iron Age


1. Sea Peoples, who were they?  > Read more  

2. Iconography of the warriors > Read more

3. Bronze Age collapse > Read more

4. Origin area of Sea Peoples  > Read more

5. Sea Peoples in Syro-Palestinian Levant > Read more

6. Doric invasion in Greece > Read more

7. Sea Peoples in Sardinia and Corsica > Read more

8. Sea Peoples in Sicily and the Italian peninsula > Read more


 9. The Iron Age 


  Model of a Sardinian ship


Tharros may have been a

settlement of Teresh

Bronze Sardinian figurine from

Vulci      depicting a prayerful


            Apollo of Veii




Despite the landing of people in possession of casting techniques and manufacture of iron weapons the beginning of the new Iron Age in the Italian peninsula and its islands is canonically fixed on 900 BC;  that is delayed by about three hundred years compared to Near East.

  A substantial replacement of the material of manufacture of weapons, anyway, it'is not visible before the seventh century. In Sardinia, however, the delay is even less significant, and essentially ends only with the arrival and the seizure of power of the Phoenician-Punic, in the middle of the sixth century.

  This is largely due to the lack of raw materials and, probably, it confirm that the arrival of the Sea Peoples, especially in Sardinia , preceded the Dorian invasion of Greec, made by people already in full possession of weapons of iron .

  The situation evolved with the discovery of iron substantial deposits on the Island of Elba and the Tuscan hills.

  This fact can not had left indifferent the community of the Mediterranean peoples  (including Greeks and Phoenicians), but, most importantly, it aroused the interest of the Sardinian civilisation.

  Starting from the first half of the ninth century, they appear and numerous zoomorphic bowed Sardinian bronze ships in Tuscan burials, and this attests the arrival of Sardinian sailors and traders on the Tuscan coast, attracted by the exploitation of iron deposits in Elba.




In this context , the action of the descendants of Teresh seems to have been predominant. Otherwise it would explain the change in Tyrrhenian Sea of the name of the sea between Sardinia and the Italian peninsula, formerly referred as Okeanos (Ocean) by Homer and then "Sardinian Sea". Nor would explain the Greek name "Tyrrhenia", taken by the area between Arno and Tiber and "Tyrrhenians" by the local population (later turned into " Tusci " and, therefore , "Etruscans ", by Romans) .


Tharros may have been the departing port of these migratory flows; its etymology reflects that of Teresh and their possible place of origin, ie the Anatolian Tarsus .

  The peninsula of Tharros was inhabited by Sardinian people  well before the Sea Peoples, as evidenced by the presence of a nuragic tower on its Acropolis and another nuragic village on its  peninsular  isthmus.

  Tharros is one of the most obvious natural harbor of Sardinia and could not fail to arouse the interest of the Sea Peoples for their strategic purposes, since the arrival on the island. Nearby, also, the mouth of river Tirso, which, in the ancient times , it might have meant "the river of Teresh" or "the river of Tyrrhenians".

  It's  significant the agricultural and handicraft products depiction of some  Sardinian ships that were found inside Iron Age tombs of Tuscany and Latium.

 However,  the rare anthropomorphic bronze figurines, mostly representing priests or priestesses with a tall wide brimmed hat, already identified on the island, which will find evidence in the archaic Etruscan frescoes.

Even the type of the hair of these priests and priestesses, grouped in long braids, is found in the Etruscan ceramic, such as, for example, in Apollo of Veii .


All suggests that the penetration of Sardinian-Tyrrhenian people into Etruria, had a character of  élite: an entrepreneurial class interested in mining, trading in agricultural products and crafts and a  priestly male and female class; an élite dedicated to the economic intermediation and cultural cooperation between local populations (Villanovan culture) and the great maritime Iron Age civilizations (Phoenicians and Greeks), which were attracted in the "Tyrrhenian Sea" to swap their handmade products with the Elbans and Tuscan hills mine ones.

   The Indo-Aryan language of origin that the Sardinian-Tyrrhenians had kept in their wanderings became a "lingua franca" of the commercial transactions and a courtly language for the religious ceremonies, without overlap the native Villanovan one.

  According to the linguist Piero Bernardini Marzolla, in fact, Etruria was a bilingual country, where next to a still undeciphered language (Villanovan) there was a learned language, closer to the Sanskrit, with whom it probably shared an Indo-Aryan origin.


10. Phoenicians beyond Melqart Pillars > Read more

Credits - Text by Federico Bardanzellu  2013      facebook