Excavations at Isernia have uncovered remains of Palaeolithic Neanderthal man that date back 70,000 years. New Stone Age settlements have been found across the Italian peninsula and at the beginning of the Bronze Age there were several Italic tribes, including the Ligurians, Veneti, Apulians, Siculi and the Sardi. The Etruscans were established in Italy by around 1200 BC. Their highly civilized society flourished between the Arno and Tiber valleys, with other important settlements in Campania, Lazio and the Po valley. The Etruscans were primarily navigators and travellers competing for the valuable trading routes and markets with the Phoenicians and Greeks. During the 8th century BC the Greeks had begun to settle in southern Italy and presented a challenge to Etruscan domination of sea trade routes. Greek settlements were established along the southern coast, on the island of Ischia in the Bay of Naples and in Sicily where the Corinthians founded the city of Syracuse. These colonies were known as Magna Graecia and flourished for six centuries. Magna Graecia eventually succumbed to the growing power of Rome where the impact of the Hellenic culture had already been felt.
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- Palgrave Macmillan UK
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