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A Critical History of Early RomeFrom Prehistory to the First Punic War$
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Gary Forsythe and John Connelly

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780520226517

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520226517.001.0001

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Italy in Prehistory

Italy in Prehistory

Chapter:
(p.6) (p.7) Chapter 1 Italy in Prehistory
Source:
A Critical History of Early Rome
Author(s):

Gary Forsythe

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520226517.003.0002

This chapter examines the prehistoric background of Italy. The Italian peninsula, measuring 116,372 square miles, exhibits great diversity of mountains, plain, and hill country, which frequently exist together in the same locale. The other major area of Italy is the peninsula south of the Po Valley. Italy's complex geography fostered the growth of cultural and linguistic diversity, which is perhaps best illustrated by a map showing the distribution of languages in pre-Roman times. The material remains of prehistoric peoples uncovered by archaeology can usually provide only a partial picture of past cultures. The body of the Ice Man is almost fully preserved, and scientists have begun to study his internal anatomy in detail. Its remarkable state of preservation offers unique insights into the living conditions and technology of his culture. Finally, the ancient languages and modern archaeology are discussed.

Keywords:   Italy, prehistory, ancient languages, archaeology, Ice Man, geography

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