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.