Skeletal remains found last month in an untouched Etruscan tomb likely belonged to an aristocratic woman (not a prince, as earlier reported) buried alongside a spear and her sewing needles.
Analysis revealed that a small bronze box found beside the skeleton in Tarquinia contain the needles — and some thread.
"X-rays showed the perfectly sealed box contains at least five needles, some threads remains and perhaps a sewing reel," Alfonsina Russo, Superintendent archaeologist for Southern Etruria, told Discovery News. Read more.
Last month, archaeologists announced a stunning find: a completely sealed tomb cut into the rock in Tuscany, Italy.
The untouched tomb held what looked like the body of an Etruscan prince holding a spear, along with the ashes of his wife. Several news outlets reported on the discovery of the 2,600-year-old warrior prince.
But the grave held one more surprise.
A bone analysis has revealed the warrior prince was actually a princess, as Judith Weingarten, an alumna of the British School at Athens noted on her blog, Zenobia: Empress of the East.
Historians know relatively little about the Etruscan culture that flourished in what is now Italy until its absorption into the Roman civilization around 400 B.C. Read more.
ROME (Reuters) - Italian police have recovered a hoard of ancient Etruscan funerary urns and other treasures including bronze weapons which were originally found during building works and trafficked illegally.
Described by officials as one of the most important recoveries of Etruscan art ever, the haul included 23 funerary urns from a tomb complex in the area of modern Perugia belonging to an already-identified aristocratic family called the Cacni.
"It’s an extraordinary find," said Luigi Malnati, director general of antiquities at Italy’s culture ministry. "It’s of incredible historical importance in its own right and it helps reconstruct the context for these objects," he said. Read more.
A team of archaeologists, students and volunteers will return again during the summer of 2012 to investigate the remains of a major Etruscan port city that straddles the Mediterranean coast of Tuscany, Italy. Located near the Italian town of Piombino, it features one of the most important necropolises in the country, as well as an acropolis and a history that goes back to Etruscan settlers around 900 B.C.E. and a Bronze Age culture that dates back to about 1200 B.C.E. The ancient site is known today as Populonia, a city that was for centuries a prominent Mediterranean center for iron smelting and trade.
The “main objective is to fill as many of the gaps as possible in our knowledge of the history of Populonia and its territory, from the late Etruscan period to the late Roman age”, reports the team leadership. Co-led by Andrea Camilli (Superintendence for Archaeological Heritage of Tuscany), Giandomenico De Tommaso (University of Florence), and Carolina Megale (Archeodig Project), they intend to focus their investigation on a section of the site’s lower city that is still intact, where they have identified evidence of a late Roman building and, beneath that, a part of the Etruscan necropolis. Read more.
An archaeological excavation at Poggio Colla, the site of a 2,700-year-old Etruscan settlement in Italy’s Mugello Valley, has turned up a surprising and unique find: two images of a woman giving birth to a child.
Researchers from the Mugello Valley Archaeological Project, which oversees the Poggio Colla excavation site some 20 miles northeast of Florence, discovered the images on a small fragment from a ceramic vessel that is more than 2,600 years old.
The images show the head and shoulders of a baby emerging from a mother represented with her knees raised and her face shown in profile, one arm raised, and a long ponytail running down her back. Read more.
Long pre-dating the Roman Empire, Italy was once inhabited by an advanced civilization which greatly influenced the culture of Rome, the power that would eventually conquer them in the 3rd century and lead to the civilization’s decline. With their origins shrouded in mystery, little evidence remains to tell the Etruscan story.
However, the area of Banditella near modern-day Marsiliana offers some hope for Etruscan scholars, and has been associated politically and economically with the influential Etruscan city of Vulci. Excavations were first carried out in the area in 1908 by Prince Tommaso Corsini who successfully excavated over one hundred graves, and the discovery of the Marsiliana d’ Albegna tablet has been confirmed as the earliest abecedarian helping shed light on the language of these ancient people. Read more.