This paper focuses on the dynamics of formation and development of hollow horn-shaped handle, a type widely spread in the Etruscan area, especially in the Early Iron Age. A morphological typology has been developed considering all the findings known up to now. Through the analysis, we can assume that this type of handle appeared during the Final Bronze Age (FBA 2) in the area between Romagna, Marche and northern Tuscany, probably starting from an older model with horns of the Recent Bronze Age. During the advanced Final Bronze Age (FBA 3), the model spread over a large area of central-northern Italy, from Veneto to Lazio, where new features were created, such as a suspension arch placed between the horns. During the Early Iron Age, the hollow horn-shaped handle was widespread in northern Tuscany, from Volterra to Fiesole, and especially in the Etruria Padana, particularly around Bologna (Felsina). Here a new openwork model of the arch was created and spread in the rest of Etruria, especially in the north. Starting from the end of the 8th century BC, this kind of vessel disappeared in almost all Etruria, except for Campania and northern Tuscany, where it further developed until the 5th century BC, as evidenced by the finds of Gonfienti. In broad terms, the study of the finds and related contexts allows us to hypothesize a function linked to ritual aspects for this type of vessel. We can assume that this function could be at the origin of its widespread diffusion and its persistence for a long chronological period (Final Bronze Age - beginning of the 4th century BC).

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