A fascinating comparison.
I wonder however if the simplicity of the design makes it easier to produce and thus reducing the chances of a connection? If you asked a child to draw a mans head it might come out like this.
However, an interesting enough post for me to search for Samnium history and art!
Alex, you might be right about the simplicity factor but still i found the two to be so uncannily similar down to the nose shape, eyes and braided(curly) hair style, that it tweaked my interest enough to dig deeper.
I wrote an e-mail to D.A. Petts the archaeologist in charge but have not at this point received any reply. He had in fact wrote on the university website that he had been bombarded by people interested in the dig and would try to reply when and how he could.
Heres a few links about the find, there are some good photographs in "The Journal link".http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-tees-23164533http://news.sky.com/story/1111362/stone-geordie-god-head-discovered-by-studenthttp://www.thejournal.co.uk/news/north-east-news/image-celtic-geordie-god-found-4865961
All the best