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Transliteration: kuhilina : un : a : a : sṇa : er?(?) : / aχu?(?)le :   : ii : iiii : i : i : / siara : ??[ : alv : vịṣị : isθ̣iu : ṣ?aịχ :
Original script: punctuation6 s(?)?R sE spunctuation6 sA dN sS dpunctuation6 sA dpunctuation6 sA dpunctuation6 sN sU2 spunctuation6 sA dN sI sL2 sI sH2 dU2 sK s
punctuation6 sI spunctuation6 sI spunctuation6 sI sI sI sI spunctuation6 sI sI spunctuation6 sspace spunctuation6 sE sL2 s(?)?U2 sΧ sA d
punctuation6 sΧ sI sA d?S dpunctuation6 sU2 sI sΘ sS dI spunctuation6 sI sS dI sV spunctuation6 sV sL2 sA dpunctuation6 s]??punctuation6 sA dR sA dI sS s

Object: RN-2 rod (wood)
Position: right-hand side"right-hand side" is not in the list (front, back, top, bottom, inside, outside, neck, shoulder, foot, handle, ...) of allowed values for the "position" property.
Script: North Italic script (Sanzeno alphabet)
Direction of writing: sinistroverse
Letter height: 1 cm
Number of letters: 54
Craftsmanship: engraved
Current condition: complete, damaged
Date of inscription:
Date derived from:

Language: unknown
Meaning: unknown

Alternative sigla: PID 189 bis
MLR 39
TM 218542
Sources: Schumacher 2004: 184 f.



First published in Ghislanzoni 1928: 308 ff.

Images in Ghislanzoni 1928: Fig. 11–14 (photos and drawing), Battisti 1934: tav. 29 (photos), Ravanelli 1937 (drawings), LIR (drawings), MLR (photo).

Inscribed along one end (considered the lower one by Whatmough: 9, the upper one by Battisti 1934: 193) of a wooden rod in what appear to be three irregular lines. Length of the inscribed part about 22 cm. The rod is recently broken in three pieces, one of the breaks damaging the inscription in the last sector. However, the pieces still fit in with each other very neatly, so that the legibility is hardly impeded. The characters are scratched deeply, but damaged by corrosion and the disintegration of the wood; in one part, the outer layer has broken off completely.

The inscription is segmented by six vertical rows of short scratches running around the rod, the leftmost one marking its end. The scratches are not easy to be seen, as they tend to disappear in the grain of the wood. Whatmough mentioned the possibility of them not primarily serving as separators, but representing "traces of former metal attachments" (p. 10). The characters would then have been arranged between them. Approx. breadth of sectors (right to left): (5.6 cm from S d in siara to the first separator), 3.4 cm, 3.4 cm, 2.6 cm, 3.3 cm, 3.4 cm. Not every sector is completely filled with characters – some of them appear to contain words, others only single characters or rows of I s. It is unlikely that the incompletely inscribed sectors contained more characters, as Whatmough supposed, seeing as the remaining scratches are still rather deep. It cannot be determined how the sectors relate to each other, or indeed where the inscription starts. Our transliteration starts with kuhilina as is customary since Whatmough; for simplification we will consider this line the first, the line beneath it starting with aχu?(?)le the second, and the line starting with siara the third.

Although the hastae and bars hardly ever touch, the characters on the right end of the inscription are fairly well legible. kuhilina seems clear, apart from the group between U2 s and I s, but no other interpretation than H2 d seems possible. Similarly, siara with the S s slightly longer than the other letters is unproblematic. Although the sequence is not as long as kuhilina, which appears to determine the position of the first separator, it is set off to the right. Note that while S d as it occurs in the rest of the inscription is still longer than the other letters, it is in all other instances turned with the upper angle opening against writing direction, as is more typical in Raetic context. The sequence in the beginning of line 2 is damaged: After U2 sΧ sA d, only the upper parts of three hastae, standing rather close, are visible, the rightmost one being fainter than the others and possibly irrelevant. A reading P2 s p of the other two is not implausible, although 1. the gap between U2 s and P2 s would be rather wide; 2. the bar sems to be longer than necessary for P2 s (but cp. L2 s in line 2, sector 3); 3. while P2 s is the expected form for p in the Bozen area, the letter does not occur elsewhere in this inscription; also see below in sector 2. L2 s with the lower part damaged seems clear; the last letter is damaged on top and may be V s or, phonetically plausible, E s (not A d: the bar is slanting in the wrong direction!).

In the second sector, only the characters in line 1 are legible: Unambiguous N sU2 s is inscribed in the centre of the sector. Lines 2 and 3 are damaged by the outer layers of wood having broken off. While nothing remains of line 2, we can see in line 3, on the right, the remains of a hasta and a bar line d 10 s (possibly L s?), then the bottom tip of another hasta. In the lower part of the imperfection, a discolouration suggests a shape line d 01 sline v 01 sline d 02 s, which might be considered the remains of deeply scratched characters, though they are situated slightly below the line.

In the third sector, line 1 features a solitary A d in the centre, while line 2 has only two shortish vertical scratches on the right side, situated right above and very close to the characters of line 3. In line 3 we see alv filling the sector. In sector 4, line 1 again has a single centric A d; line 2 has four short vertical scratches, again close to the characters of line 3, but here in the left area of the sector. visi in line 3 is damaged in the upper part of the last three letters, but no other reading suggets itself. In sector 5, line 1 has sna, the hasta of N s damaged by a break. Line 2 has another vertical scratch on the right side. In line 3, we find isθiu with doubtful Θ s (the right part not being well visible) and U2 s with a particularly big gap between the lines.

The recent break of the rod occurs immediately to the left of the next separator. The area after it is damaged by blackened horizontal cracks. In line 1, E s and R s can be made out with some certainty, then something like line d 1 sline v 1 s or possibly Θ s (see Battisti 1934) before a pronounced final hasta. Line 2 appears to have featured yet another vertical scratch on the right side, where the rod broke (see older drawings). In line 3, one can make out S d, then a unidentifiable character, then clear A d. The last letter is Χ s; before it, a short oblique scratch line d 10 s may be interpreted as I s, considering that I s is shortish throughout the inscription.

The inscription remains entirely unclear. Irrespective of whether the rod was some sort of staff used in ritual, the fact that we are not confronted with a homogenic sequence of letters, but rather a deliberate arrangement of characters, some of which cannot have language content, suggests that we have to expect an encoding of information on a metalinguistic level.

Further references: Buonamici 1929: 508 f., PID: 544, Battisti 1934: 193 ff., Goldmann 1934, Ribezzo 1934b: 107, NRIE 107, Battisti 1936b: 588 ff., Ravanelli 1937, Battisti 1937, Vetter 1943: 78 ff., Battisti 1944: 217 ff., Tibiletti Bruno 1978: 229 f.


Battisti 1934 Carlo Battisti, "L'Etrusco e le altre lingue preindoeuropee d'Italia", Studi Etruschi 8 (1934), 179–196.
Battisti 1936b Carlo Battisti, "Rassegna critica degli studi linguistici sull'Alto Adige nel quinquennio 1931-36", Archivio per l'Alto Adige 31/2 (1936), 561–611.
Battisti 1937 Carlo Battisti, "Ancora sull'Iscrizione del lituo di Collalbo", Archivio per l'Alto Adige 32/2 (1937), 669–673.
Battisti 1944 Carlo Battisti, "Osservazioni sulla lingua delle iscrizioni nell'alfabeto etrusco settentrionale di Bolzano", Studi Etruschi 18 (1944), 199–236.
Buonamici 1929 Giulio Buonamici, "Rivista di epigrafia etrusca 1927–1928", Studi Etruschi 3 (1929), 498–513.
Ghislanzoni 1928 Ettore Ghislanzoni, "Collalbo-Stazione preistorica", Notizie degli Scavi di Antichità comunicate all'Accademia dei Lincei , Serie VI, Vol. IV (1928), 294–323.
Goldmann 1934 Emil Goldmann, "Zur nordetruskischen Inschrift von Collalbo", Studi Etruschi 8 (1934), 197–216.
LIR Alberto Mancini, Le Iscrizioni Retiche [= Quaderni del dipartimento di linguistica, Università degli studi di Firenze Studi 8–9], Padova: Unipress 2009–10. (2 volumes)