2H I S T O R YDisputed origins: either from West Asia, Mediterranean and surrounding civilizations or were people indigenous to Ancient ItalySettled Tuscany and Umbria c.900 and 800 BCThe height of Etruscan power and money came around 550 B.CBrought Urbanization to ItalyMysterious civilization, most knowledge of Etruscans stems from funerary pieces or accounts by contemporary ancient civilizationsfrom Lydia in Asia Minor and built up a culture 2,700 years ago. At that time Greeks were writing down the Iliad and the Odyssey. (Syrians had recently hatched a phonetic alphabet--an infinitely fruitful idea that sprang up only once on earth, to one people, and spread.) The Etruscans settled Tuscany and part of Umbria. They put the unrelated Italian peninsula natives to work collecting and refining iron ore."The Orator" - A second century BCE life-size representation of Aulus Metellus, magistrate and Master of the Etruscan Language.
3T E R R I T O R YThe territory spanned over north-eastern Italy between the Appenine mountain range and the Tyrrhenian Sea, and from the Arno river in the north to the Tiber river towards the center of the Italian peninsulaOn the Tiber river is the village of Latins, which later became RomeLeague of 12 City-States:ArrezoCisraClevsinCurtunPuplunaVeiiTarchnaVetlunaFelathriVelznaVelchEnriched by trading iron and copper ores around the Mediterranean, skilled at working metals and navigating, they set out a-conquering. They built city-states right and left, as far as the coast of Spain. Today, archaeologists still find their handiwork in France. They built a town from scratch at Pompeii. You would think a people big on auguries would stop right there. (Pretty soon, as it happened, people called the Samnites, who warred fitfully in the region, took Pompeii from them.) The height of Etruscan power and money came around 550 B.C., when Pythagoras came up with the priceless idea of pure mathematics.
4T R A D ESea Trade Evidence of trade throughout the Mediterranean Treaty with Carthage is only surviving treaty, but likely one of many.Each city state renowned for specific products“Etruria’s most distinctive products were sought throughout the Mediterranean world. Fine vases, metal utensils, arms and armor, wine, grain and timber were exchanged for Baltic amber, Gaulish slaves, Athenian olive oil, Corinthian and Rhodian perfumes, or glass, faience, and ivories from Phoenicia, Syria, or Egypt.”
5T R A D EBoatsStorageWe have a rough idea what Etruscan merchant ships must have looked like from a wall painting in The Tomb of The Ship in Tarquinia. This shows a two masted sailing ship, perhaps some 20 metres long. From a wreck of an Etruscan ship found off the island of Giglio, we have a reasonable idea of their construction. There is evidence to show that planks were butted together (not overlapped) and bound in place using thick ropes, which were passed through 2 centimetre (1") diameter holes in the planks. The gaps were probably then sealed using pitch.The ship was quite squat in shape, and this example was totally different from Greek and Roman ships, in that it had two masts, rigged with square sails. The fact that it had square sails meant that quite often they had to wait many days for a favorable wind.
6E T R U S C A N L I F E Religion Polytheistic beliefs and ritualistic practices Belief in predestination All of nature and occurences in life represented the “divine will.” Ancient Romans adopted beliefs, but religion lost with onset of Christianity Arnobius, one of the first Christian apologists, living around 300CE, wrote, "Etruria is the originator and mother of all superstition"DeitiesSimilar to Roman and Greek godsPracticed animal sacrifice. Image Model of sheep's liver used for divination. Would study organs of the dead for signs of disapproval from the gods. Religion determined every aspect of life, even building and engineering, they built cities in sacred forms Cross form
7E T R U S C A N L I F E Language Etruscans had a written language. Partially decipherable, many different dialects and interpretations.Most examples we find now are funerary inscriptions in tombs or identification of ownership on common place items (mirrors, urns) Unlike Greek and Latin, Etruscan, the third great ancient language of culture in Italy, does not survive in any great literary works. An Etruscan religious literature did exist and evidence suggests that there was a body of historical literature and drama as well. There is also evidence to suggest music and plays were written in form.
8E T R U S C A N A R T Pottery Geometric c.1000 to 700 BC Orientalization Phase c. 700 BCBlack and Red Figure C BCBucchero 7th and early 5th century BCE.Characteristically, the ware is black, sometimes gray, and often shiny from polishing. Achieved by firing in an atmosphere charged with carbon monoxide instead of oxygen
9E T R U S C A N A R T Bronzes Artists remain unknown First true masters of bronze worksPraised by Greek and Roman writers, techniques adopted.
10E T R U S C A N A R T Bronzes The Chimera of Arezzo Capitoline She-wolf 5th century B.C.E. Bronze. Roma, Musei Capitolini, Archivio Fotografico dei Musei Capitolini: MC cm.Brothers Romulus and Remus, being suckled by the wolf, were the legendary founders of Rome. They took part in the first Roman celebration of the Lupercalia, circa 753 B.C.E.Roma, Musei Capitolini, Archivio Fotografico dei Musei CapitoliniHead of young Man Cervereri, 3rd Cent BCE
11Etruscan Terra Cotta Sarcophagus E T R U S C A N A R TSculptureSarcophagus adornmentTerracotta sculptures of gods decorated temple roofsIn-organic forms, Archaic SmileEtruscan Terra Cotta Sarcophagus520 BCE, Italian peninsula
12E T R U S C A N A R T Frescoes Decorated walls of tombs. Light hearted celebratory scenes, celebrations of life.Suggest Etruscan involvement in the cult of DionysusDancers and a harpist on an Etruscan fresco from Tarquinia, Italy. This fresco was found on the wall of a tomb and dates from c. 465 BC.Some tombs were designated for a particular practice. Ex. Fresco from the hunting fishing tombCult of dionysus, wine, and ritualistic sexual practices. Later Christian romans saw them as sexual deviants.Fishing Scene, Tomb of Hunting & Fishing, Tarquinia
13E T R U S C A N A R T Jewelry Gold, Faience, Glass, Onyx, Carnelian Influences: Greek, Orient, CelticGreeks in Etruria began the practice of carving semi-precious stonesAmulets, necklaces, mirrors, fibulas
14A R C H I T E C T U R E“Etruscan architecture looked quite different from the familiar stone temples and gleaming marble statuary of Greek architecture. Constrained by a lack of fine stone, Etruscans built their temples of wood, with terracotta roofs and ornaments. Today the wooden superstructures have almost entirely disintegrated. Only the stone foundations and the terracotta roofs and decorations remain. Fortunately, the size and types of terracottas can often tell us what the whole building looked like, and something of its history.”
15A R C H I T E C T U R ERoman writers described an Etruscan temple as a high podium on which rose a broad, square building with gabled roof, wide overhang, and deep porch. Inside, three dark chambers ended in solid walls. In front of the temple was an augural area, where priests stood to observe messages from the gods in the flight of birds. A tiled roof protected the perishable wooden or mudbrick building blocks below. Half-round "cover" tiles protected the joints of a first layer of flat "pan" tiles. The end of a row of cover tiles was capped with a terracotta antefix. An array of terracotta fittings shielded important beams and joints. Revetments included frieze plaques to cover longitudinal beams, and gutters or simas to draw off rainwater. Beam ends, where exposed to the elements, were sheathed with rectangular columen or mutulus plaques.
16U R B A N I Z A T I O NFrom about 700 BCE onwards, fruitful groves, fields and gardens began to replace tracts of forest, swamps and impenetrable thickets which transformed the region. These waters were then channeled to wherever they were needed for farming purposes, and any excess still remaining was carried in big drains down to the sea The Etruscans first developed the technique of dry farming and applied it to the arid soils of the Maremma hills"Engineering, underground water pipes, pressure boxes, floor heating, introduced the construction of arch to ItalyWater Control, created clean water, prevention of rivers silting and cloggingExtensive knowledge of hydraulics controlled floods and let agriculture prosper
17U R B A N I Z A T I O NUse of Local Geology- Etruscans utilized the tufa layer of volcanic rock for both drainage and construction.At Viterbo, where the remains of Etruscan Surina lie, the underlying rock is perforated by innumerable channels, devised to drain the ground. Their construction shows that the builders had an incredibly detailed knowledge of the local geology. Below the topsoil lie volcanic formations of tufa, and beneath that again, a deeply fissured layer.At Viterbo, where the remains of Etruscan Surina lie, the underlying rock is perforated by innumerable channels, devised to drain the ground. Their construction shows that the builders had an incredibly detailed knowledge of the local geology. Below the topsoil lie volcanic formations of tufa, and beneath that again, a deeply fissured layer. A modern report reads " The deep layer is saturated with moisture from the subterranean outflow of the crater lakes. The topsoil absorbs all the rainwater. The surplus from the two layers passes into the middle layer from which it cannot evaporate and which remains permanently wet. The land was only dry and healthy as long as water was removed from this absorbent layer of Tufa". Investigation has shown that it was precisely through this layer that the Etruscans drove their cuniculi, as the drainage tunnels are called. This knowledge of hydraulic engineering was also put to good use in regulating river flows, in preventing the silting up of harbours, and in providing a complex system of reticulated water for public use. This has long since fallen into disuse, although traces of the pressurised water systems have been found in recent times.Fig. 2 Etrusco-latin cuniculus on the side of a hill near the via Torrevecchia on the outskirts of Rome (Italy). The bushes growing around the opening of the shaft are visible. The outlet of this cuniculus is on the left hand side of the photograph in correspondence with a curve in the valley.
18T H E A F T E R L I F E Caere or Cerveteri Tomb sites are most of the archeological evidence of the cultureThe aristocracy were buried in rich tombs or necropolises next to cities such as Tarquinia, Caere, Vulci and Veii.Burial Styles Organized into PeriodsVillanovan c. 9th-8th century BCEOrientalizing c.850-6th century BCEArchaic Period c. 6th-4th century BCECaere (modern day Cerveteri) spans many periods.Caere or Cerveteri
19T H E A F T E R L I F EThe Villanovan tombs: dead are cremated and buried in a biconical urn, each covered by an inverted, one-handled bowl or a helmet.Orientalizing Period Tombs: bodies are buried and not cremated. Increasing wealth and metallurgy is apparent, the dead are buried with sheet bronze objects, limestone slabs inscribed.Archaic Period Tombs: rock cut tombs are created. The dome structures create great necropolises. The interiors are decorated with frescoes.In the richer graves a hut-shaped urn is sometimes substituted for the more usual biconic vessel. Together with small impasto vases of various shapes, bronze objects such as razors and fibulae make up the earliest grave-goods. In the eighth century trench-graves appear in addition to pits. Imported painted pottery from Pithekousai from the first half of the eighth century and numerous later local imitations and derivations from the eighth and seventh centuries bear witness to the trade between Greeks from the motherland and those of Magna Graecia.Amongst the bronze grave-goods are fibulae of great variety; rectangular and lunate razor s with incised patterns; hammered, crested helmets with embossed decoration and calotte helmets with cast socket for insertion of a separate crest; swords with fine incised ornaments; chains, pendants, beads and miniature tripods. Somewhat rarer are objects such as shallow cups of embossed sheet bronze with tall handles, a wheeled container in the shape of a horned bird, a small cylindrical box with chains and a lid, the handle of which is formed by two birds set back to back.Orient: With the second half of the eighth century, when inhumation is gradually introduced, more orie ntal imports, precious metal objects and wheel-made pottery inspired by Greek prototypes characterize the increasing wealth of the tombs' owners.bronze versions of the biconic pottery ash-urns are now found, and in the tombs of warriors, as well as the traditional helmets, swords and lances, appear axes and pairs of horse-bits, the latter denoting the use of the two-horse chariot. The cheek-pieces of these horse-bits often take the form of small horses, sometimes with duck-like heads. The embossed decoration of sheet bronze objects, which now include new types such as amphorae, 'pilgrims' flasks' of lenticular shape and situlae, or buckets with movable handles, is composed from straight lines, zigzag, herring-bone, concentric rings, rows of dots and duck-heads.
20T H E A F T E R L I F EPictures of cerveteri, to give idea of outerstructures
21T H E A F T E R L I F E Inside the Tombs Dome shaped tombs
22The Tomb of the Jugglers T H E A F T E R L I F EFunerary GamesThe Tomb of the JugglersTomba Dei Giocolieriend of the 5th or beginning of the 6th Century BCEThe passion for games was very widespread among the Etruscans. Besides the funereal games of the Phersu (See: tomb of the Augurs), other games of skill were popular ( See tomb of the Juggler): In this game, the objective was to throw a series of disks into a large wine crater balanced on the head of a female performer. The game of Pertica, consisted of a slippery wooden pole which competitors had to climb.Sporting competitions were important events in the Etruscan world and took place at religious ceremonies such as funerals.“The juggler tosses some disks into the vase brought by the woman (the scene probably represents a type of funerary game). The woman (juggler's assistant) has a see-through dress. Nearby is the figure of an flute player.”
23T H E A F T E R L I F E The Tomb of The Augurs Tomba Dei Augures Funerary GamesThe Tomb of The AugursTomba Dei AuguresPeriod: BCE“To the center of the wall two wrestlers are depicted, possibly part of the funerary games.The passion for games was very widespread among the Etruscans. Besides the funereal games of the Phersu (See: tomb of the Augurs), other games of skill were popular ( See tomb of the Juggler): In this game, the objective was to throw a series of disks into a large wine crater balanced on the head of a female performer. The game of Pertica, consisted of a slippery wooden pole which competitors had to climb.Sporting competitions were important events in the Etruscan world and took place at religious ceremonies such as funerals.The next scene is also probably part of the funerary games, and depicts a masked figure holding a rope in his hand. The rope is attached to the collar of a dog. When the Phersu (masked person) pulls on the rope, a nail on the dog's collar bites into its neck, enraging the animal and causing it to attack a tethered man, possibly a condemned criminal. Up until recently the names of the characters could be read. “
24Etruscans responsible for the civilization and foundation of the city of Rome and many other Mediterranean cities.Contributed engineering, technology, and pottery techniques to entire Mediterranean.Learn about them through the impact they had on other societies.“Nearly the whole of Italy was once under Etruscan Rule.” - Cato 2nd Century BCE