A more recent, revised and updated version of this paper has been published (2019)

Italo-Celto-Germanic contacts

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The initial phase of the Elp culture (1800-1200 BC) in the Low Countries is characterised by tumuli related to the Tumulus culture and later to the Urnfield culture.

Dutch-German lowland areas share cultural roots with the southern Scandinavian area[Butler, Arnoldussen, and Steegstra 2011/2012] which predate technologic and economic exchanges between Urnfield and Northern Bronze Age Scandinavia[Kristiansen and Suchowska-Ducke 2015].

These complicated cultural-economic networks that preclude precise ethnic (and thus linguistic) differentiation, supports the maintenance of late contacts between the languages ancestral to Germanic and Celtic, assuming a position of Proto-Celtic to the north of the Hallstatt culture – as supported by the known homelands of the La Tène culture.

Lacking aDNA samples to obtain admixture analysis, careful investigation of I2a2a-M223 lineages – found today distributed among Germanic and Italo-Celtic territories – might bring light to population movements and exchanges during the Bronze Age and the Iron Age in Europe.


  • [Kristiansen and Suchowska-Ducke 2015] ^ Kristiansen, Kristian, and Paulina Suchowska-Ducke. 2015. Connected Histories: the Dynamics of Bronze Age Interaction and Trade 1500–1100 bc. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society 81:361-392.