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Transliteration: ka[? ?]isθi : puχe : ̣ṭumis : p[ ]θiaḳ[? ?]auþile : ẹḷuku : ̣
Original script: K2 dA3 s[]I2 dS dΘ dI2 dpunctuation3 dP2 dU2 dΧ dE dpunctuation3 dT3 dU2 dM dI2 dS dpunctuation3 dP2 d[]Θ dI2 dA3 sK2 d[]A3 sU2 dÞ3 dI2 dL2 dE dpunctuation3 dE dL2 dU2 dK2 dU2 dpunctuation3 d

Object: SZ-30 situla (bronze)
Position: inside
Frame: Frame middle: top and bottomFrame middle: top and bottom   (none, top and bottom, none)
Script: North Italic script (Sanzeno alphabet)
Direction of writing: dextroverse
Letter height: 1.2 cm – 2.5 cm
Number of letters: 35
Number of characters: 40
Number of lines: 1
Craftsmanship: embossed
Current condition: damaged, fragmentary, restored
Date of inscription: 5th–4th centuries BC [from object]
Date derived from: typology [from object]

Language: Raetic
Meaning: unknown

Alternative sigla: IR 29
MLR 194
TM 218400
Sources: Schumacher 2004: 139



First published in IR. Autopsied by TIR in November 2013.

Images in IR (photo tav. XLI and drawing = LIR).

The characters are struck from what was apparently the inside of the situla, and are usually read from this side, even though dextroverse inscriptions are unusual. It is unlikely that the strokes would have been visible on the outside of the vessel even in the absence of copper rust. (Compare, however, IT-5 where the positive side seems to have been the face side.) This raises the question of when and why the characters were embossed. It is generally assumed that the inscription was applied secondarily: The situla was dismantled and inscribed, possibly for votive purposes (suggested also by the presence of the word eluku), on what had been the inside, apparently making use of two decorative lines as a frame for the letters.

The presence of the rivetted rime before K2 d has been taken to suggest that fragment A bears the beginning of the inscription, though the separator to the left of the rivetted rim, with the uppermost dot missing, may indicate otherwise. While it might mark the end of the inscription, it is possible that the situla was constructed of more than one piece of bronze sheet. In that case, even if the writer started at one of the rims, there were one ore even more of them traversing the inscription. After A3 s, a discolouration is visible along the breaking edge in the lower half of the line, maybe indicating a stroke (Θ d?). Based on the reconstruction of the situla, fragment B bears the second (or next) part of the inscription. Fragments A and H may possibly fit together; in that case, as few as three or four letters may be missing between A3 s and I2 d. The very tip of the letter before the first I2 d is visible. A small piece missing in the upper area where fragment B was broken (see SZ-30 situla) damages the separator (the uppermost dot being gone) and the character following it, but no other reading than T3 d is plausible. Judging by the bent edges of fragments B and C, a rivetted rim may have been separating them. In that case, hardly any letters would be missing between P2 d and Θ d. K2 d is damaged in the middle area, the upper bar being gone; no white inlay in the remaining bar. The right part of the fragment shows only the upper parts of the following letters: an angle representing the tip of E d, V d or P2 d, followed by the tip of an oblique stroke, most probably Θ d, and one of a hasta. Fragments D and E have not been joined together by the restaurator like the fractions of fragment B, but belong together without a doubt. The size of the lacuna between fragments C and D is not securely determinable (see SZ-30 situla). Before A3 s, the upper tip of an oblique stroke. A hole is located right at the tip of Þ3 d – while it is deep and irregular and does not look intentional like the dots of the separators, no similar defect can be found on the situla's surface. See NO-13 for possibly a similar execution of the special character and Þ for details. E d and L2 d of eluku are damaged by the break between the two fragments, but the reading is non-ambiguous. Fragment G fits neatly onto fragment A.

The characters are neatly and consistently executed, with K2 d appearing always with short bars, A3 s with the bar rising in writing direction, S d with the upper angle opening in writing direction, I s shorter than the other letters, and a separator consisting of three dots.

The inscription appears to be the longest document of the Raetic language which has so far come down to us; unfortunately, it is shortened to an unknown extent by the disintergration of the object. Of the complete words, only eluku is attested in other Raetic inscriptions. luχe or puχe lends itself to various interpretations; the segmentation of tumis as a personal name plus genitive suffix is not implausible, but cannot be confirmed in the absence of other attestations of such a name. Only one pertinentive form can be found in )auþile. Note that if fragments B anc C should indeed fit close together, a name starting with piθ- might be conjectured (piθi? cp. piθie, though an inflected form would be expected in an inscription of this length; piθiave is excluded, as the letter is definitely Kappa, not Digamma).


IR Alberto Mancini, "Iscrizioni retiche", Studi Etruschi 43 (1975), 249–306.
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)