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Transliteration: piθame
Original script: E sM sA dΘ sI sP2 s

Object: BZ-9 handle (bronze)
Position: handle, side"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: 0.50.5 cm <br /> – 0.9 cm
Number of letters: 6
Number of lines: 1
Craftsmanship: embossed
Current condition: complete, restored
Date of inscription: 5th–4th centuries BC [from object]
Date derived from: unknown [from object]

Language: Raetic
Meaning: 'Piθame' (PN)

Alternative sigla: PID 195
TM 218531
Sources: Schumacher 2004: 180, 341



First published in Orgler 1866: 2 ff. Autopsied by TIR in September 2014.

Images in Orgler 1866: 35 (drawing), Oberziner 1883b: tav. XXIV,13 (drawing), LIR (drawing), MLR (photos).

Length about 5.7 cm, situated on the upper or lower side of the handle (it cannot be determined which way round it was applied to the vessel), to the right of the centre (when looking at the inscription upright). Well legible despite the white inlay, much of which has crumbled away.

The letters were applied as they are read, the strokes being thicker toward the outside of the handle. The execution is neat, but not meticulous. The letters were applied either with only one stroke per line or with admirable straightness (the inlay hinders the determination of the stroke depth); the increasing inclination of the hastae, almost parallel to that of initial P2 d, suggests that the writer did not bother to move either the handle or his own position. Despite this and the fact that he did not make an effort for the hastae and bars to meet, the identification of the letters is unambiguous, all of which points to a practised workman who applied inscriptions, or even this particular inscription, habitually, and hence to an interpretation of the inscription as a manufacturer's signature. Compare SZ-67 for a doubtful inscription / pseudo-inscription on the same type of handle, as well as possible shorthand factory marks on diverse bronze handles: SZ-17, SZ-35, SZ-37.

Further references: NRIE 93, Herbig 1928: 24, Battisti 1944: 224 f., Tibiletti Bruno 1978: 227.


Battisti 1944 Carlo Battisti, "Osservazioni sulla lingua delle iscrizioni nell'alfabeto etrusco settentrionale di Bolzano", Studi Etruschi 18 (1944), 199–236.
Herbig 1928 Gustav Herbig, "Räter", in: Max Ebert (Ed.), Reallexikon der Vorgeschichte, Berlin: 1927–28, 23–27.
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)