ARCHAEOLOGY in Terni: Not The Celts BUT THE UMBRIAN NAHARKI lived there

marinaBy Marina Antinori

The population of “Umbrian Naharki” had been the topic of the show “Il salotto buono… di sera” hosted by Livia Torre, which aired on November, 21st at 20.40 on Teleterni, visible through web streaming. Dr. Maria Cristina De Angelis of the Superintendence for Archaeological Heritage of Umbria, Dr. Marina Antinori, Dr.. Stefano Ferrari, Stefano Montori Speleological Group of Terre Arnolfe as guests.

The topics were about the necropolis of Acciaierie (X-IV century BC.), the necropolis of the former Poligrafico Alterocca (VII-VI century BC.) And the villages in the Maratta Bassa area (one of which recently came to light during the works for the construction of the road that will connect the Gabelletta and Maratta districts). The two archaeologists pointed out that this population is identified with some certainty under the name of “Naharci” only from the IV century. a. C. For the preceding period there are some uncertainties.

Marina Antinori talked about the defensive system of the sanctuaries from the heights, in particular the sites of S. Erasmus and M. Torre Maggiore of Cesi, and the worship of the god Mars closely related to them (small bronze statues of the VI century. A. C). The sanctuaries were temporary structures, (VI centuries BC.. C), and only later they became monuments with the advent of Romanization (early III century. A. C.). Stefano Montori clarified some aspects of the numerous caves and cavities in the same area as the so-called “Devil’s Hole” (religious use?).

All participants tried – despite the objective difficulties of making comprehensible to a wide audience topics that need a technical terminology and that are based on ancient languages – to clearly divide the urban legends from those that are obtained by following a plausible hypothesis.

A conviction emerges on all – told by the authority represented by Dr. De Angelis in order to make it more effective – there are no material evidence of the Celts presence in the Terni area and nearby sites.

This conclusion may disappoint many people, but reveals an Umbrian civilization of which there are numerous and interesting examples that deserves to finally be recognized for its value in front of the general public. The findings suggest that Pliny the Elder is not that far from the truth considering the Umbrians Gens antiquissima Italiae ie the oldest people of Italy (NH, III, 112-113).

The ethnicity of the Umbrians – with its own language evidenced by inscriptions, traditions, institutions, and probably a complex theology – was divided into various tribal communities among which that of Naharki or Naharci that occupied the Terni area. In the Tavole Eugubine (VIb, 48 and 16-17 Ib) they were considered enemies of the tuta ikuvina (the community of Gubbio) and banned during the lustratio (purification) of the army.

There are many compelling hypothesis, but sometimes there are different opinions among scholars and some aspects still remain unclear for lack of evidence, however, the findings continue to emerge and the work does not stop.

Livia Torre was able to capture all the nuances of a such complex subject, managing the exchange between guests by setting a humorous and enjoyable atmosphere for the viewer. The anchor woman promised to devote more of its appointments for the study of this subject. In fact, the recapture of a “Place of Consciousness” in a time of crisis like the present one could be a surprisingly valuable resource.

We recommend a book still fresh off the press: “Colleluna: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. Archaeology, history and current events of the Second Circ. North of the city of Terni (ed. Thyrus) “, the main authors are Marina Antinori, Adriano Fabrizi, Luigi Di Sano and the photographer David Fratini. The volume is the result of a project supported by the Municipality of Terni and Archivio di Stato of Terni to make available to the common people scientific studies of academic and historical sources by comparing them with “the voices of the people” looking for a way of meeting or a final denial.

For info contact Marina Antinori: or Ed Thyrus 0744-389496



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