Arzawa = Razawa?

philjennings at philjennings at
Wed Mar 14 22:20:09 UTC 2001

I wrote:

>> The simple step of identifying Raza with Rase gives the Etruscans a "Lydian"
>> homeland.

Douglas G. Kilday answered:

> One could just as easily give them an "Assyrian" homeland by identifying
> Rasna with the city of Resen (Gen.  10:12), which someone else has done. In
> this business "simple steps" alone don't amount to much. Unless they are
> backed up by other evidence, they usually turn out to be steps in the wrong
> direction.

Perhaps during their sojourn in Assyria, the proto-Etruscans learned the trick
of using tular boundary stones from the Kassites next door, whose "kudurrus"
were an innovation.  But now I'm being silly.  Please don't think I'm ready to
have the Etruscans wander the world anywhere the letters "r", "s" [and "n"] are
found in dangerous proximity.

(I am, however, almost brave enough to notice Anatolian-type "ta-prefixed"
place names in the Balkans, where some people think the Anatolian-speaking
peoples originated.  Or perhaps, like the "trail of tears" this is an Etruscan
"trail of ta-'s."  Even if the phenomenon exists, it might be interpreted in
several ways.  As a continuation of this parenthesis, I was expecting someone
well-versed in Common Anatolian and its daughter languages to shoot me down
about my ta-prefix idea, and the fact that I'm still on my feet has me rather

The Razawa hypothesis is just a hypothesis.  As long as the only texts
referring to Arzawa are in the Hittite language, or distant and indirect, all
we'll see is the way the Hittites worked the name.  Then too, Arzawa must have
embraced populations that spoke Anatolian languages, and had equal difficulties
pronouncing "Razawa."  The dominant ethnicities of Arzawa may have shifted
through time, and/or people switched languages.  The emigration of refugees
would have tilted the balance.  Perhaps the Khirbet Kerak incursion in Canaan
represents the first of a series of refugee movements, each of which weakened
the position of "pre-Anatolian" peoples and languages in Asia Minor.

I admit ignoring the t-r-s-k sequence.  If t-r-s-n evolved from r-s-n as I
hypothesize (or simply wish - hypothesis is a pretty fancy name for it), then
I'm obliged to assert that t-r-s-k had a separate evolution, or that someone
found it meaningful to add the -k.  Kilday points out that t-r-s-k has the
oldest attestation, and here I'm making it out to be younger and possibly
derivative, to which I plead guilty.  With my focus on Arzawa and on dates of
1200 bce or before, a date of 600 bce for "Tursikina" allows for six centuries
of change.

Assuming an east-to-west movement of proto-Etruscan refugees, and noting that
the t-r-s-n form is the more eastward form, my musings are at least slightly
coherent.  Whether they correspond to reality is another story.

I will now page among all these archives, in the suspicion that this "-k" issue
has been dealt with at great length.

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