FI-1 antler

From Thesaurus Inscriptionum Raeticarum
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Classification: handle
Material: antler
Size: length: 7 cm, width: 3.4 cm, height: 2.7 cm
Condition: incomplete, restored
Archaeological culture: Fritzens-Sanzeno B (Retico B)
Date: half of the 5th–beginning of the 4th centuries BC
Date derived from: archaeological context

Site: Tesero (Trento, Trentino-Alto Adige, Italy)
Field name: Sottopedonda
Archaeological context: settlement of the Iron Age
Coordinates (approx.): 46° 17' 24.00" N, 11° 30' 28.80" E [from site]
Find date: 1981
Find circumstances: rescue excavation
Current location: Soprintendenza per i beni culturali della Provincia autonoma di Trento – Ufficio beni archeologici (repository)
Inventory Nr.: TSP 81

Inscription: FI-1 (ṣ a[/kakaka[(?)/θarani[?/saφ̣ạṇa/θ̣]arani[?)

Sources: Sebesta 1981: 193–204, fig. 1, 2, 3, 3a
Silvestri 1983: 195–196, fig. 8
Dal Rì 1987: 175–176 [No. 724]
Roncador 2011: 645–646, fig. 7.22



Antler point.
Tube-shaped and full-round. Abraded and fire-blackened by an ancient fire as the lustre indicates. One side with regular border, the other side however broken.
The above-mentioned dimensions result of the autopsy by the Thesaurus Inscriptionum Raeticarum. Dal Rì indicates: "Lung. max. cm. 7; Ø max. cm. 3,4" (cp. Dal Rì 1987: 175).
Different material indications: Sebesta notes a piece of "l'osso tubulare, probabilmente di cervo" (cp. Sebesta 1981: 197), however Silvestri mentions a "corno di cervo" (cp. Silvestri 1983: 195). In consequence of these different material indications also the following references presents diverse material indications: Dal Rì indicates "corno di cervo" (cp. Dal Rì 1987: 175), Nothdurfter mentions "Hirschhornvotiv" (cp. Nothdurfter 2002: 1147) and Roncador describes an "osso iscritto" (cp. Roncador 2011: 645). Marchesini notes: "Corno di cervo" but then "(...) dell'osso" (cp. MLR: 242).
Outside, around the antler an inscription in five lines.
The antler was found during a rescue excavation, due to construction works, effected in 1981 in Sottopedonda. In consequence an archeological excavation was executed in 1982. During this excavation remains of a Raetic settlement came to light (cp. Sebesta 1993: 8). Besides the antler further ceramic material, i.a. a bowl with S-shaped profile and stamped decoration, and 84 astragaloi were found (cp. Marchesini 2012: 178; for the astragoloi cp. Sebesta 1993: 8–12). The antler was found in different fragments and restored by the monument protection service (Silvestri 1983: 195). Currently the antler is kept in the Soprintendenza per i beni culturali della Provincia autonoma di Trento – Ufficio beni archeologici, with inventory number "TSP 81" whereas "TSP" refers to the finding place Tesero, Sottopedonda.
The object was dated to the 4th–3rd centuries BC (Dal Rì 1987: 176; Roncador 2011: 646; Marchesini 2012: 178). Marzatico dates the complex in Sottopedonda to the beginnings of the Retico B period, i. e. from the half of the 5th century BC to the beginning of the 4th century BC (cp. Marzatico 2001b: 498; likewise Sebesta 1993: 10). Marchesini refers to this age determination given by Marzatico in her recently released study about the Raetic inscriptions (cp. MLR: 242). Related to the other findings a dating to the second half of the 5th century until the beginning of the 4th century BC is to be favoured.
In all probability the antler was used as handle protection of a bronze tool as Sebesta as well as Dal Rì suggest it due to the poriferous interior part which is perforated at the centre (cp. Sebesta 1981: 198; Dal Rì 1987: 175). It is conceivable that the antler was used as key handle in primary function and later, after the incision of the inscription, became a votive offering in secondary function (cp. likewise (Nothdurfter 2002: 1147 [list 2, No. 3]). Schumacher supposes also the use as key handle in accord with a oral message given by Gleirscher (cp. Schumacher 2004: 204).
In the recently released study about the Raetic inscriptions by Marchesini the antler is listed with "MLR 275", an autopsy was effected (cp. MLR: 242 [MLR 275]).
The 84 caprine astragaloi were first published by Sebesta (cp. Sebesta 1993: 8–12). Some of these astragaloi are incised. Related to the incisions Sebesta mentioned that "i segni (...) sono di due tipi: segno ad asta e segno a croce con aste incrociate obliquamente." Although it is be said that "essi potrebbero forse corrispondere a lettere dell'alafabeto retico" Sebesta preferred to describe them as "sigle in un senso molto più allargato (...) volendo intendere segni incisi intenzionalmente che abbiano aspetto o sapore di lettere alfabetiche (...)" (cp. Sebesta 1993: 11). Marchesini listed the astragaloi in her recently released study about the Raetic inscriptions with "MLR 276" (cp. MLR: 243 [MLR 276]). The current repository must also be the Soprintendenza per i beni culturali della Provincia autonoma di Trento – Ufficio beni archeologici (cp. MLR: 243 ) however the astragaloi are currently untraceable.
Autopsied by the Thesaurus Inscriptionum Raeticarum in October 2014.



Dal Rì 1987 Lorenzo Dal Rì, "Influssi etrusco-italici nella regione retico-alpina", in: Raffaele De Marinis (Ed.), Gli Etruschi a nord del Po, Mantova: Regione Lombardia - Provincia e Comune di Mantova 1987, 160–179.
Marchesini 2012 Simona Marchesini, "La ricezione di elementi culturali allogeni in ambito retico: Taranis in Val di Fiemme (TN)", in: –, Mode e modelli. Fortuna e insuccesso nella circolazione di cose e idee [= Officina Etruscologia 7], Roma: 2012, 177–190.
Marzatico 2001b Franco Marzatico, "La seconda età del Ferro", in: Michele Lanzinger, Franco Marzatico, Annaluisa Pedrotti (Eds), Storia del Trentino. Vol. 1: La preistoria e la protostoria, Bologna: Il Mulino 2001, 479–573.