Ancient Etruscan Italy Greek Near East Gold Granulation Jewelry Fibulae Pectoral

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Seller: ancientgifts ✉️ (5,283) 100%, Location: Lummi Island, Washington, US, Ships to: WORLDWIDE, Item: 384101354852 Ancient Etruscan Italy Greek Near East Gold Granulation Jewelry Fibulae Pectoral. Etruscan Granulation by Gerhard Nestler. NOTE: We have 75,000 books in our library, almost 10,000 different titles. Odds are we have other copies of this same title in varying conditions, some less expensive, some better condition. We might also have different editions as well (some paperback, some hardcover, oftentimes international editions). If you don’t see what you want, please contact us and ask. We’re happy to send you a summary of the differing conditions and prices we may have for the same title. DESCRIPTION: Paperback. Publisher: Brynmorgen Press (2010). Pages: 96. Size: 10x7 inches; 1 pound. Originally published in Italian, this translation allows English-readers to explore the artistry and technical mastery of goldsmiths who created stunning work thousands of years ago. The authors combine goldsmithing, metallurgy, and archeology to explore in microscopic detail the methods and accomplishments of artists working in pre-Roman times. CONDITION: NEW. New oversized softcover. Brynmorgen Press (2010) 96 Pages. Unblemished, unmarked, pristine in every respect. Pages are pristine; clean, crisp, unmarked, unmutilated, tightly bound, unambiguously unread. Satisfaction unconditionally guaranteed. In stock, ready to ship. No disappointments, no excuses. PROMPT SHIPPING! HEAVILY PADDED, DAMAGE-FREE PACKAGING! Meticulous and accurate descriptions! Selling rare and out-of-print ancient history books on-line since 1997. We accept returns for any reason within 30 days! #8122a. PLEASE SEE DESCRIPTIONS AND IMAGES BELOW FOR DETAILED REVIEWS AND FOR PAGES OF PICTURES FROM INSIDE OF BOOK. PLEASE SEE PUBLISHER, PROFESSIONAL, AND READER REVIEWS BELOW. PUBLISHER REVIEWS: REVIEW: Follow along as two scholars trace the history of Etruscan granulation from its roots in the East through its development in Greece and Etruria. In addition to a detailed description of the science of diffusion bonding, the authors replicate the tools and processes used by ancient goldsmiths to create dazzling works of art that continue to amaze generations of lovers of jewelry. REVIEW: Brynmorgen Press is pleased to offer the publication of an Italian book now available for the first time in an English language edition. Through historical photos, electron microscopy, and experiments inspired by archeological research, the authors examine the methods and results of classical goldsmiths as they created works that continue to mesmerize us today. REVIEW: Master goldsmith Edilberto Formigli restored one of the Riace Bronses in Florence, which lead him to his current interest in archaeo-metallurgy. Gerhard Nestler works experimentally in the field of ancient goldsmithing techniques. He collaborated with Formigli in a professional symposium that lead to the creation of this book. Both authors live in Murlo, Italy, a small town of Etruscan origins not far from Sienna. PROFESSIONAL REVIEWS: REVIEW: Many aspects of the Etruscan civilization remain a mystery, because so much of it was ignored by the Romans and purposely destroyed by Christians. Part of the lost knowledge concerns the origin of Etruscan jewelry technologies and, particularly, of how the Etruscans attained the extremely fine granulation and filigree that characterizes much of Etruscan gold work. These techniques already existed, in more primitive forms, in other Mediterranean areas before they "suddenly" appear in Etruscan jewelry. It is most often conjectured that Syro-Phoenician* jewelers settled in southern Etruria, perhaps at Tarquinia and Cerveteri, and taught local apprentices the intricacies of gold granulation and filigree (decoration with fine spiral gold and silver wire). Granulation -- the art of decorating smooth surfaces of gold jewelry with patterns composed of minute granules of gold -- is first recorded in Mesopotamia in the third millennium BC and work of later date has been found in Anatolia, Syria, Egypt, Cyprus, and Mycenaean Greece. The collapse of the Bronze Age civilization in the Aegean brought with it the disappearance of such sophisticated arts in Greece, but they survived in the Near East and from there were reintroduced to Greece in the ninth century and transferred to Italy during the second half of the eighth. With these techniques new decorative motifs also began to appear in Etruscan jewelry. Syro-Phoenician sacred emblems, such as the solar disc and the half moon, were incorporated into the traditional geometric repertoire, but soon floral and figurative elements of oriental inspiration dominated. Older methods of stamping and incising designs into hammered gold and silver sheet continued in use, but jewelers in the service of aristocratic patrons began to use filigree and granulation to embellish precious-metal ornaments. Such decoration was applied, ever more exuberantly, to inherited forms, which had previously been worked in bronze, such as fibulae, hair spirals, pin-heads, beads, rings, bracelets, earrings, and large pectorals. The same artisans may have made the banqueting vessels of gold and silver that have been found in the princely tombs of Etruria and Lazio. Cerveteri, Tarquinia, and Vetulonia appear to have been the main centers for the production of this exquisite jewelry. READER REVIEWS: REVIEW: Buy this jewel! Extraordinary, beautiful and instructive. This book should be in any metallurgical or jewelry library. REVIEW: Understanding granulation. I almost bought it last autumn in Italian but would have struggled a bit to understand the technical details. It is fascinating and good clear explanations. REVIEW: Five stars! Both the photography and the text are exceptional.REVIEW: Deceivingly Direct. Good value for knowleable user. Great and accurate book. Can be misled to believe it is yet another picture book. But after doing some granulation and making my own discoveries over years, this book has info that allowed me to yet improve my technique. REVIEW: Excellent reference book for professors, students, and jewelers. Excellent presentation of the history of the technique of granulation (specifically dust or velvet granulation) and its spread through the ages and cultures. Micron pictures of truncated granules, x-ray photography of metallurgy, eutectic melting point graphs of alloys, alongside extant examples and detailed close-ups. Spot on. Well worth the price. Excellent addition to library. REVIEW: It is fascinating and good clear explanations. ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND: ANCIENT ETRUSCAN ARTS: AN OVERVIEW: Etruria and Etruscan Civilization: The Etruscan civilization flourished in central Italy between the 8th and 3rd century BC. The ancient nation of Etruria which was the homeland of the Etruscans was renowned in antiquity for its rich mineral resources and as a major Mediterranean trading power. Much of Etruscan culture and even history was either obliterated or assimilated into the conquering Roman Empire. Nevertheless surviving Etruscan tombs, their contents and their wall paintings convey to historians and archaeologists much about the culture. Roman adoption of certain Etruscan clothing, religious practices, and architecture, also convey that culture from the ancient past to the present. These constitute convincing testament to the great prosperity and significant contribution to Mediterranean culture achieved by Italy's first great civilization [Ancient History Encyclopedia]. Villanovan Culture: The Villanovan culture of Etruria developed during the Iron Age in central Italy from around 1100 BC. The name is of the Villanovan culture is actually misleading as the culture is the Etruscans in their early form. There is no evidence of migration or warfare to suggest the two peoples were different. The Villanovan culture benefited from a greater exploitation of the areas natural resources. This encouraged the formation of villages. Houses were typically circular and made of wattle and daub walls and thatch roofs with wooden and terracotta decoration added. Pottery models of houses survive. These were used to store the ashes of the deceased, but inform archaeologists and historians as to the appearance and structure of Villanovan houses. Well-managed and robust agriculture gave the Villanovans a dependable, regular yield of crops. Thus a portion of the community was freed to devote itself to manufacturing and trade. The importance of horses is evidenced by the many finds of bronze horse bits in the large Villanovan cemeteries located just outside their settlements. By around 750 BC the Villanovan culture had evolved into what historians recognize as the Etruscan culture proper. Many of the Villanovan sites would continue to develop as major Etruscan cities. The Etruscans were now ready to establish themselves as one of the most successful population groups in the ancient Mediterranean. The Etruscan cities were independent city-states linked to each other only by a common religion, language and culture in general. Etruria was geographically spread from the Tiber River in the south to parts of the Po Valley in the north, the major Etruscan cities included Cerveteri (Cisra), Chiusi (Clevsin), Populonia (Puplona), Tarquinia (Tarchuna), Veii (Vei), Vetulonia (Vetluna), and Vulci (Velch). Cities developed independently. Innovations then in such areas as manufacturing, art and architecture, and government occurred at different times in different places. Generally speaking coastal sites with their greater contact with other contemporary cultures evolved quicker. However the knowledge they gained eventually passed on as new ideas to the inland Etrurian populations. Notwithstanding this cultural dissemination, the Etruscan cities still developed along their own lines. Significant differences are evident in one city from another [Ancient History Encyclopedia]. Etruscan Civilization: Prosperity in ancient Etruria was based primarily on fertile lands and improved agricultural tools to better exploit it. It was also based on rich local mineral resources, especially iron. The prosperous economic base also included the manufacture of metal tools, pottery, and goods in precious materials such as gold and silver. Equally significant as a source of prosperity were the Etrurian trade networks. These not only connected the Etruscan cities to one another. They also connected the Etruscans to tribes in the north of Italy and across the Alps. Last but of equal significance, the trade routes included maritime networks with other maritime trading nations such as the Phoenicians, Greeks, Carthaginians, and the Near East in general. Slaves, raw materials, and manufactured goods, especially Greek pottery were imported. The Etruscans exported iron, their own indigenous bucchero pottery, and foodstuffs. Particularly notable exports of agricultural products included wine, olive oil, grain, and pine nuts. With trade flourishing from the 7th century BC onward the cultural impact of the consequent increase in contact between cultures also became more profound. Craftsmen from Greece and the Levant settled in Emporia. Semi-independent trading ports sprang up on the Tyrrhenian coast. The most famous port was at Pyrgri, one of the ports of Cerveteri. Eating habits, clothing, the alphabet, and religion are just some of the areas where Greek and Near Eastern peoples would transform Etruscan culture. This occurred during what cultural anthropologists, archaeologists, and historians have named the 'Orientalizing' period. Etruscan cities teamed with Carthage to successfully defend their trade interests against a Greek naval fleet at the “Battle of Alalia”, also known as the “Battle of the Sardinian Sea” in 540 BC. Such was the Etruscan dominance of the seas and maritime trade along the Italian coast that the Greeks repeatedly referred to them as scoundrel pirates. However in the 5th century BC it was Syracuse in Sicily that the dominant Mediterranean trading power. The Sicilian city combined with Cumae to inflict a naval defeat on the Etruscans at the “Battle at Cumae in 474 BC. Worse was to come when Dionysius I, the Tyrant of Syracuse, decided to attack the Etruscan coast in 384 BC. Many of the Etruscan ports were destroyed. These factors contributed significantly to the loss of trade and consequent decline of many Etruscan cities seen from the 4th to 3rd century BC. Inland Etruscan warfare seems to have initially followed Greek principles and the use of Hoplites. Warriors wore a bronze breastplate, Corinthian helmet, greaves for the legs, and a large circular shield. They were deployed in the static phalanx formation. However from the 6th century BC the greater number of smaller round bronze helmets would suggest a more mobile warfare. Although several chariots have been discovered in Etruscan tombs, it is likely that these were for ceremonial use only. The minting of coinage from the 5th century BC suggests that mercenaries were used in warfare, as they were in many cultures contemporary of the Etruscans. Also during the 5th century BC many towns built extensive fortification walls with towers and gates. All of these developments point to a new military threat. The threat would come from the south where a great empire was building. Starting with the conquest of the Etruscans, Ancient Rome was not only ascendant but also on the warpath. In the 6th century BC some of Rome's early kings, although believed mere legendary, were from Tarquinia, Etruria. By the late 4th century BC Rome was no longer the lesser neighbor of the Etruscans, and Rome was beginning to flex its muscles. In addition the Etruscan cause was not in any way helped by invasions from the north. Even if they would sometimes be their allies against Rome, Celtic tribes made repeated incursions into Etruria from the 5th to 3rd century BC. There would follow some 200 years of intermittent warfare between Etruria and Rome. Peace treaties, alliances, and temporary truces were punctuated by battles and sieges. Examples of such would include Rome's 10-year attack on Veii from 406 BC, as well as the siege of Chiusi and Battle of Sentinum, both in 295 BC. Eventually Rome's professional army, greater organizational skills, superior manpower and resources proved vastly superior to that of the Etruscans. Even more crucial was the lack of political unity amongst the Etruscan cities. All of these factors meant that there could only be one winner in the ongoing struggle between the Etruscans and Roman. The year 280 BC proved pivotal as it witnessed the fall of the Etruscan cities of among others, Tarquinia, Orvieto, and Vulci. Cerveteri fell in 273 BC. Cerveteri was one f the last major Etruscan city/states to hold out against the relentless spread of the Roman empire. The Romans often butchered and sold into slavery the vanquished Etruscans. The Romans then established colonies and repopulated formerly Etruscan areas with Rome’s veterans. The end finally came when many Etruscan cities supported Marius in the civil war won by Sulla. Sulla then turned around and sacked the Etruscan cities of his former allies all over again in 83 and 82 BC. The Etruscans were completely absorbed in to Roman Empire. Their culture and language gave way to Latin and Latin ways as they were completely “Romanized”. Etruscan literature was destroyed and their history obliterated. It would take 2,500 years and the almost miraculous discovery of intact tombs stuffed with exquisite artifacts and decorated with vibrant wall paintings before the world realized what had been lost. ETRUSCAN ART: The Etruscans flourished in central Italy between the 8th and 3rd century BC. Their art is renowned for its vitality and often vivid coloring. Wall paintings were especially vibrant and frequently capture scenes of Etruscans enjoying themselves at parties and banquets. Terracotta additions to buildings were another Etruscan specialty. They were also renowned for their carved bronze mirrors and fine figure sculpture in bronze and terracotta. Minor arts are perhaps best represented by intricate gold jewelry pieces. They were also talented potters. Their distinctive black pottery known as bucchero was crafted into shapes like the kantharos cup which would inspire Greek potters. The identification of what exactly is Etruscan art is made more complicated by the fact that Etruria was never a single unified state. This is a difficult enough question for any culture. But the Etruscans were a collection of independent city-states who formed both alliances and rivalries with one another over time. Although culturally very similar these cities nevertheless produced artworks according to their own particular tastes and proclivities. Another difficulty is presented by the influences consequence of the Etruscans not living in isolation from other Mediterranean cultures. Ideas and art objects from Greece, Phoenicia, and the Middle East reached Etruria via the long-established trade networks of the ancient Mediterranean. Greek artists also settled in Etruria from the 7th century BC onwards. Many “Etruscan” works of art are signed by artists with Greek names. Geography played a role too. Coastal cities like Cerveteri had much greater access to sea trade. As a result such cities were much more cosmopolitan in population and artistic outlook than were more inland cities like Chiusi. The Etruscans greatly appreciated foreign art and readily adopted ideas and influences in the art forms prevalent in other cultures. Then as now Greek art was highly esteemed by the Etruscans, especially work from Athens. However it is an error to imagine that Etruscan art was merely a poor copy of Greek art. It is true that Etruscan and Greek artists in Etruria may have sometimes lacked the finer techniques of vase-painting and sculpture in stone that their contemporaries in Greece, Ionia, and Magna Graecia possessed. Nonetheless at the same time other art forms such as gem-cutting, gold work, and terracotta sculpture demonstrate that the Etruscans had a greater technical knowledge in these areas. It is true that the Etruscans often tolerated works of a lower quality than would have been accepted in the Greek world. However that does not mean that the Etruscans were not capable of producing art which was the equal of that produced elsewhere. That the Etruscans greatly appreciated foreign art is evidenced by the fact that Etruscan tombs are full of imported pieces. Etruscans also readily adopted ideas and forms prevalent in the art of other cultures. However they also added their own twists to conventions. For example the Etruscans produced nude statues of female deities before the Greeks did. They also uniquely blended Eastern motifs and subjects with those from the Greek world. This was especially true with respects to mythological motifs and creatures never present in Etruria, such as lions. Etruria’s homegrown ideas can be traced back to the indigenous Villanovan culture of approximately 1000 to 750 BC. The Villanovan culture was the precursor of Etruscan culture proper. This perpetual synthesis of ideas is perhaps best seen in funerary sculpture. When one inspects each figure closely Terracotta coffin lids with a reclining couple in the round they may resemble Archaic Greek models. However the physical attitude of the couple when seen as a pair and the affection between them which the artist has captured are entirely Etruscan. Perhaps the greatest legacy of the Etruscans is their beautifully painted tombs found in many sites like Tarquinia, Cerveteri, Chiusi, and Vulci. The paintings depict lively and colorful scenes from Etruscan mythology and daily life. The depictions of daily life include in particular especially banquets, hunting, and sports. They typically also included heraldic figures, architectural features, and sometimes even the tomb's occupant themselves. Portions of the wall were often divided for specific types of decoration. Typically there was a dado at the bottom, a large central space for scenes, and a top cornice or entablature. The triangular space resulting was also reserved for painted scenes, reaching the ceiling like the pediment of a classical temple. The colors used by Etruscan artists were made from paints of organic materials. There is very little use of shading until influence from Greek artists via Magna Graecia. These used their new chiaroscuro method with its strong contrasts of light and dark in the 4th century BC. At Tarquinia the paintings are applied to a thin base layer of plaster wash. The artists first drew outlines using chalk or charcoal. In contrast many of the wall paintings at Cerveteri and Veii were applied directly to the stone walls without a plaster underlayment. Only 2% of tombs were painted. They are a supreme example of conspicuous consumption by the Etruscan elite. The late 4th century BC “Francois Tomb” at Vulci is an outstanding example of the art form. It contains a duel from Theban myth, a scene from the Iliad, and a battle scene between the city and local rivals. It even includes some warriors with Roman names. Another fine example is the misleadingly named Tomb of the Lionesses at Tarquinia. This tomb was built somewhere between 530 and 520 BC. It actually has two painted panthers. There is also a large drinking party scene. It is quite interesting as well for its unusual checkered pattern ceiling. The Tomb of the Monkey is also at Tarquinia and was constructed somewhere between 480 and 470 BC. The Tomb of the Monkey is noteworthy for its ceiling. The ceiling features an interesting single painted coffer which has four mythological sirens supporting a rosette with a four-leafed plant. The motif would reappear in later Roman and early Christian architecture but with angels instead of sirens. Etruria was fortunate to have abundant metal resources, particularly copper, iron, lead, and silver. The early Etruscans put these to good use. Bronze was used to manufacture a wide range of goods. But the Etruscans are particularly remembered in history for their sculpture. Bronze was hammered, cut, and cast using moulds or the lost-wax technique. It was also embossed, engraved, and riveted in a full range of techniques. Many Etruscan towns set up workshops specializing in the production of bronze works. To give an idea of the scale of production, the Romans were said to have looted more than 2,000 bronze statues when they attacked Volsinii (modern Orvieto) in 264 BC. The Romans melted down the art work to produce coinage. Often with a small stone base bronze figurines were a common form of votive offering at sanctuaries and other sacred sites. Some were originally covered in gold leaf, as with those found at the Fonte Veneziana of Arretium. Most figurines are women in long chiton robes, naked males like the Greek kouroi, armed warriors, and naked youths. Sometimes gods were presented, especially Hercules. A common pose of votive figurines is to have one arm raised, perhaps in appeal, and holding an object. The object being held was most commonly a pomegranate, flowers, or a circular item of food. The food object was most likely a cake or cheese. Fine examples of smaller bronze works include a 6th century BC figurine of a man making a votive offering. This came from the 'Tomb of the Bronze Statuette of the Offering Bearer' at Populonia. Volterra was noted for its production of distinctive bronze figurines which were of extremely tall and slim human figures with tiny heads. They are perhaps a relic of much earlier figures cut from sheet bronze or carved from wood. However the are curiously reminiscent of modern art sculpture. Celebrated larger works include the Chimera of Arezzo. This fire-breathing monster from Greek mythology dates to the 5th or 4th century BC. It was probably part of a larger composition of pieces. Typically it would have been in the company of the hero Bellerophon, who killed the monster. Bellerophon in turn would have been accompanied by his winged horse Pegasus. There is an inscription on one leg which reads tinscvil or 'gift to Tin'. This indicates that it was a votive offering to the god Tin (aka Tinia), head of the Etruscan pantheon. It is currently on display in the Archaeological Museum of Florence. Other famous works include the “Mars of Todi”. This is a very striking near life-size youth wearing a cuirass and who once held a lance. In the other hand he was probably pouring a libation. It is now in the Vatican Museums in Rome. Another famous sculpture is that of “The Minerva of Arezzo”. It is a representation of the Etruscan Goddess “Menerva”. Menerva was the equivalent of the Greek goddess Athena and Roman deity Minerva. Finally there is the striking figure “Portrait of a Bearded Man”. It is often known as “Brutus” after the first consul of Rome, but there is no evidence one way or another that it was indeed of Brutus. Most art historians agree that on stylistic grounds it is an Etruscan work of around 300 BC, centuries before the time of Brutus. It is now on display in the Capitoline Museums of Rome. The Etruscans were much criticized by their conquerors the Romans for being rather too effeminate and party-loving. The high number of bronze mirrors found in their tombs and elsewhere only fuelled this reputation as being the ancient Mediterranean's greatest narcissists. The mirrors were known to the Etruscans as “malena” or “malstria. They were first produced in quantity from the end of the 6th century BC right through to the end of Etruscan culture in the 2nd century BC. The mirrors were of course an object of practical daily use. However with their finely carved backs they were also a status symbol for aristocratic Etruscan women. They were even commonly given as part of a bride's dowry. The mirrors were designed to be held in the hand using a single handle. The reflective side of mirrors was made by highly polishing or silvering the surface. Some mirrors from the 4th century BC onwards were protected by a concave cover attached by a single hinge. The inside of the lid was often polished to reflect extra light onto the face of the user. The outside surface of the lid carried cut-out reliefs filled with a lead backing. Of the bronze mirrors produced about half were without decoration to the flat reverse side. However for the other half the flat reverse sides were an ideal canvas for engraved decoration, inscription, or even carved shallow relief. Some handles were painted or had carved relief scenes as well. The scenes and the people depicted on the decorative elements of the mirrors are often helpfully identified by accompanying inscriptions around the mirror edge. Popular subjects were wedding preparations, couples embracing, or a lady in the process of dressing. The most common subject for mirror decoration was mythology and scenes are often framed by a border of twisted ivy, vine, myrtle, or laurel leaves. The first indigenous pottery of Etruria was the impasto pottery of the Villanovan culture. These relatively primitive wares contained many impurities in the clay and were fired only at a low temperature. By the end of the 8th century BC potters had managed to improve the quality of their wares. Small model houses and biconical urns were popular forms. Biconical urns are those made of two vases with one smaller one acting as a lid for the other. They were frequently used to store cremated human remains. Chronologically the next pottery type was red on white wares. This type of pottery style originated in Phoenicia. The style was produced in Etruria from the end of the 8th century BC and into the 7th century BC. The style was most extensively produced at Cerveteri and Veii. The red-colored vessels were often covered with a white slip. They were then decorated with red geometric or floral designs. Alternatively white was often used to create designs on the unpainted red background. Large storage vases with small handled lids are common of this type. Kraters were also common and were frequently decorated with scenes such as sea battles and marching warriors. Bucchero wares largely replaced impasto wares from the 7th century BC onward. Bucchero ware was used for everyday purposes as well as for funerary and votive objects. Turned on a wheel this new type of pottery was characterized by more even firing and a distinctive glossy dark grey to black finish. Vessels were of all types were produced. They were mostly plain but they were often decorated with simple lines, spirals, and dotted fans incised onto the surface. Three-dimensional figures of humans and animals were also added on occasion. The Etruscans were Mediterranean-wide traders. Bucchero ware was exported beyond Italy to places as far afield as Iberia, the Levant, and the Black Sea area. By the early 5th century BC bucchero was replaced by finer Etruscan pottery such as black- and red-figure wares. These were influenced by imported Greek pottery of the period. One unusual field of pottery which became a particular Etruscan specialty was the creation of terracotta roof decorations. The idea went back to the Villanovan culture. However the Etruscans went one step further and produced life-size figure sculpture to decorate the roofs of their temples. The most impressive survivor from this field is the striding figure of Apollo from the Portonaccio Temple at Veii which is dated to about 510 BC. Private buildings also had terracotta decoration in the form of plants, palms, and figurines. Additionally terracotta plaques with scenes from mythology were often attached to outer walls of all types of buildings. The Etruscans cremated the remains of the dead. They were buried in funerary urns or decorated sarcophagi made of terracotta. Both urns and sarcophagi might feature a sculpted figure of the deceased on the lid. In the instance of sarcophagi they sometimes depicted a couple. The most famous example of this latter type is the “Sarcophagus of the Married Couple from Cerveteri”, now in the Villa Giulia in Rome. In the Hellenistic Period the funerary arts really took off. Figures depicted although rendered in similar poses to the 6th-century BC sarcophagi versions, become less idealized and rendered much more realistic portrayals of the dead. They usually portray only one individual and were originally painted in bright colors. The “Sarcophagus of Seianti Thanunia Tlesnasa from Chiusi” is an excellent example. The Etruscans were great collectors of foreign art but their own works were widely exported too. Bucchero wares have been found across the Mediterranean from Spain to Syria. The Etruscans also traded with central and northern European tribes. Thus their artworks reached the Celts across the Alps in modern Switzerland and Germany. The greatest influence of Etruscan art was on their immediate neighbors and cultural successors in general, the Romans. Rome conquered the Etruscan cities in the 3rd century BC. However these cities remained artistically independent centers of art production. However over time art works did reflect Roman tastes and culture however. Eventually at some point that Etruscan and Roman art often became indistinguishable. An excellent example of the proximity between the two is the bronze statue of an orator from Pila, near modern Perugia. Cast in 90 BC the figure, with his toga and raised right arm is as quintessentially Roman as a statue from the imperial period. The Etruscans played an obvious role as a cultural link between the Greek world and ancient Rome. However perhaps the most lasting legacy of Etruscan artists is the realism they oftentimes achieved in portraiture. Although still partially idealized the funerary portraits on Etruscan sarcophagi are honest enough to reveal the physical flaws of the individual. There is a clear attempt by artists to illustrate the unique personality of the individual. This was the same conceptual idealism that their Roman successors would also strive for. Roman artists were quite successful in capturing very often moving portraits of private Roman citizens brilliantly rendered in paint, metal, and stone. Much of the success Roman artists enjoyed is attributable to their Etruscan predecessors [Ancient History Encyclopedia]. ETRUSCAN BUCCHERO WARE POTTERY: “Bucchero” wares are a shiny dark grey to black pottery. They were produced by the Etruscans of central Italy from the 7th to 4th century BC. Bucchero was used for everyday purposes and as funerary and votive objects. And bucchero incorporated many forms from simple jugs to highly decorative pieces of sculpture. In the 8th century BC the Etruscans were already producing a rather crude pottery known as “impasto”. Impasto was made of clay containing impurities of mica or stone. Potters did manage to improve the quality of impasto through long practice. However impasto was replaced as the daily pottery of choice by an intermediary type known as “buccheroid impasto”. By the early 7th century BC bucchero proper had been developed and was the medium of choice amongst potters. Turned on the wheel bucchero was produced with extended firing. Using a process of reducing oxygen in the kiln the clay's red ferric oxide turned into black ferrous oxide. This resulted in the wares possessing a consistent and distinctive glossy dark grey to black finish. The earliest known examples come from Cerveteri and date to about 675 BC. Cerveteri was also known as Cisra or Caera. Bucchero wares were also produced in many Etruscan centers, most notable of which were Cerveteri, Tarquinia, Veii, and Vulci). This discovery of bucchero pottery fragments has become a hallmark indicative of Etruscan presence at archaeological sites in central and northern Italy. The Etruscans were Mediterranean-wide traders as well. Thus bucchero wares were exported beyond Italy to places afar afield as Iberia and the Levant. Curiously bucchero wares display the reverse trend of refinement seen in many other pottery type evolutions. The early period wares are finer with much thinner walls and more carefully made. This style of bucchero ware is known as “sottile”, or “fine”. There is then an intermediary stage known as “transizionale”, or “transitional”. Then there is a final phase when wares are described as “pesante”, or “heavy”. Finer wares are generally associated with the southern Etruscans cities and the heavier type in the northern. Chiusi became a particularly noted center for pesante wares, most of them being funerary objects. The dates for each style are usually cited as: fine bucchero from 675 to 625 BC; transitional bucchero from 625 to 575 BC; and heavy bucchero from 575 to 480 BC. Eventually by the early 5th century BC bucchero was replaced by finer Etruscan pottery such as black and red-glazed wares. There was also a significant amount of imported Greek vessels which were specifically made in Greece to suit Etruscan tastes. The Greek pottery eventually came to be made by local and immigrant potters in imitation of popular Greek styles. Despite the import of Greek pottery, Etruscan potters were not without ambition. They produced vessels for ordinary daily use such as bowls, single and two-handled cups, chalices, and jugs. However Etruscan potters also made more elaborate pieces with the addition of three-dimensional figures of both animals and humans, female heads especially popular. Greek influence on Etruscan pottery styles is seen in such choices as the ubiquitous amphora and two-handle cup or “kantharos”. Other forms include votive offerings and wares placed in tombs to accompany the dead into the next life. A common example of the latter votive offerings are the plain service trays known as “focolare”. These trays came complete with bowls, plates, cups, and utensils. Another form of votive offerings was figurines. These are closer to sculpture than pure pottery. The same is true of the anthropomorphic vessels such as the cockerel from Viterbo which possessed a small lid. If its inscription of the Etruscan alphabet is anything to go by the vessel functioned as an ink pot. The forms of bucchero were also influenced by contemporary metalwork, especially bronze goods. The pottery was probably esteemed for its shiny finish so like burnished metal. Indeed this imitation sometimes went so far as to manifest itself in some bucchero vases being covered in gold or silver leaf, and sometimes also a thin layer of tin. Decorations of ridges and applied sculpted pieces can complete the illusion of embossed metalwork. Many bucchero wares were left plain. However decoration when it is present can take the form of simple lines, spirals, and dotted fans incised onto the surface. Red ochre was sometimes painted in these incisions. However archaeologists have recovered but very few examples with their paint intact. Another popular decoration was the application of geometric shapes arranged symmetrically around the vessel. This gave the optical illusion that the vessel had been pressed from the inside. As was true with Etruscan art forms many decorative motifs and scenes employed in the production of pottery were influenced by Ionian and Near Eastern art. Greek decorated pottery from Attica and Corinth was especially popular in Etruria. Incised scenes from Greek mythology were also a very popular choice for bucchero artists. Patterns and scenes were applied to the pot before firing using either fixed stamp or a cylinder stamp [Ancient History Encyclopedia]. ETRUSCAN BRONZE SCULPTURE: The Etruscans produced bronze goods going back to the Villanovan period between 1100 and 750 BC. They used bronze for all manner of objects, both utilitarian as well as decorative. But it is Villanovan and Etruscan figure sculptures which have become some of the star attractions in museums worldwide. Bronze was a highly desirable material throughout antiquity. It was frequently and easily melted down for reuse. So it is even more remarkable that such fine works as the Chimera of Arezzo and Mars of Todi have survived extant. They bear testimony today of the exquisite artistry of Italy's first great civilization. Etruria was fortunate to have rich metal resources, especially copper, iron, lead, and silver. The early Etruscans put these to good use. Bronze was used to manufacture a wide range of goods. These included tools, weapons, armor, coinage, jewelry, hand fans, oil lamps, incense burners, mirrors, tripods, everyday dishes and utensils, cauldrons, horse bits, chests, and even chariots. The Etruscans utilized a full range of techniques. Bronze was hammered, cut, embossed, engraved, riveted, and cast using moulds or the lost-wax technique. Beginning in the mid-8th century BC Etruscan artists benefited from contact with traders from Phoenicia, Sardinia, Egypt, central Europe, and the Balkans. Etruria also benefited by the immigration of Greek settlers, especially Euboeans. These influences introduced technological refinements in metalwork and a whole new range of art ideas. Many Etruscan towns set up workshops specializing in the production of bronze works. These included Acquarossa, Cerveteri, Chiusi, Populonia, Tarquinia, Vulci, Volsinii, and Volterra. To give an idea of the scale of production and preponderance of bronze goods, the Romans were said to have looted more than 2,000 bronze statues when they attacked Volsinii in 264 BC. Volsinii was modern-day Orvieto. The looted statues were melted down to produce Roman coinage. Often mounted onto a small stone base, bronze figurines were a common form of votive offering at sanctuaries and other sacred sites. Some were originally covered in gold leaf as were those found at the Fonte Veneziana of Arretium. An early archaeological find was a 6th century BC hammered and cast bronze figurine of a female goddess holding a bird. Found in the “Tomb of Isis” at Vulci it is almost 15 inches tall. It originally possessed inlaid eyes and parts of it were covered in gold foil. The figurine is now in the British Museum London. Most figurines are women in long chiton robes, naked males like the Greek kouroi, armed warriors and naked youths. Sometimes gods were Represented, especially Hercules. A common pose of votive figurines is to have one arm raised perhaps in appeal, and holding an object. The object held could vary, but it was commonly a pomegranate, flowers, or a circular item of food which was probably a cake or cheese. Fine examples of smaller bronze works include a 6th-century BC figurine of a man making a votive offering. This particular archaeological find was from the “Tomb of the Bronze Statuette of the Offering Bearer” at Populonia. Another fine work is the 4th century BC statuette of two oxen and a plowman from Arretium. Volterra was noted for its production of distinctive bronze figurines. The most extraordinary characteristic which sets them apart are that they are exceedingly tall and slim human figures with tiny heads. They almost seem modernistic, as in curiously somewhat abstract modern art. But in fact they are most likely a relic of much earlier figures cut from sheet bronze or carved from wood. The most famous example dates to the 3rd century BC. It is known as the “Ombra della Sera”, or “Evening Shadow”. It is almost two feet all and is a representation of a naked boy who is rigidly standing to attention and displaying just a hint of a smile. The figure is on display in the “Museo Etrusco Guarnacci” in Volterra. Etruscan artworks were exported far and wide across the Mediterranean. Many have been discovered at sacred sites such as Olympia, Delphi and Dodona. Ancient writers such as the 1st century AD Roman Historian Pliny the Elder praised the Etruscans for their bronze sculpture stating, “We see the Tuscan Apollo, in the library of the temple of Augustus, fifty feet in height from the toe; and it is a question whether it is more remarkable for the quality of the metal, or for the beauty of the workmanship…” The contemporary historian W. Keller explains what was unique about Etruscan bronze sculpture compared to works in other contemporary cultures: “…It was not the Etruscan way to concentrate on externals, to aim at an unreal, idealized perfection of form. Their dynamic, vital works pulsed with life. Whether figures of animals or of human beings, they were not regular, balanced, or ideal. Etruscan artists aimed above all at bringing out the quintessence of their subject, its individual characteristics. They strove to express the inner driving force, the unconscious depths...Etruscan artists sought to grasp the personality of a man, its tough basic core, and to convey this realistically, regardless of aesthetics. It was their works that inspired the sober realistic art of the Roman portrait…” The Chimera of Arezzo is one such masterpiece. It is a fire-breathing monster from Greek mythology. The Chimera possessed the head of a lion, the tail of a snake, and a goat's head protruding from its back. This Etruscan sculpture was cast in bronze using the lost-wax technique. The sculpture is 31 inches high and measures 51 inches (over 4 feet!) 129 cm in length. It dates to the 5th or 4th century BC. The original tail was lost in antiquity and the present tail is the result of a restoration. The restoration was carried out in the 18th century based on a surviving fragment. The Chimera was probably part of a composition of pieces which would have included the hero Bellerophon, who killed the monster. The composition would also likely have included Bellerophon’s winged horse Pegasus. There is an inscription on one leg of the Chimera which reads “tinscvil” or “gift to Tin”. The inscription clearly indicates that the Chimera was a votive offering to the god Tin, also known as “Tinia”. Tin was the head of the Etruscan pantheon, as Zeus was to the Greeks and Jupiter was to the Romans. Miraculously the sculpture was found in a ditch in 1553 AD when new fortifications were being raised at Arezzo by Cosimo de' Medici, the Grand Duke of Tuscany. It is currently on display in the Archaeological Museum of Florence. Another Etruscan masterpiece is the “Mars of Todi”. Dating to the late 5th century or early 4th century BC, the striking near life-size figure wears a cuirass and once held a lance. In the other hand he was probably pouring a libation. The figure is 56 inches tall and carries an inscription in Umbrian, “ahal trutitis donum dede”. This reveals that the statue was dedicated by Ahal Trutitis, a Celt. It is thought to have been made in Arretium. However the statue was discovered near Todi where it was ritually buried in a stone-lined trench after having been struck by lightning. It is now on display in the Vatican Museums in Rome. Yet another Etruscan masterpiece in bronze is the “Minerva of Arezzo”. This statue is a representation of the Etruscan Goddess “Menerva”. Menerva was the Etruscan equivalent of the Greek goddess Athena and the Roman goddess Minerva. The statue “Minerva of Arezzo” was produced sometime between the 3rd and 1st century BC. Discovered in 1541 AD in a well in Arezzo, it is currently on display in the Archaeological Museum of Florence. Yet another masterpiece of Etruscan bronze is a portrait head known as “Portrait of a Bearded Man – ‘Brutus’”. This portrait head is mounted onto a modern bust and has been long been identified with Brutus. Brutus was the first counsel of Rome, circa late 6th century BC. However there is no solid evidence for this association. Most art historians agree that on stylistic grounds it is an Etruscan work of around 300 BC, centuries after the time of Brutus. The bronze portrait head is now on display in the Capitoline Museums of Rome. Another remarkable bronze Etruscan statue is the life-size depiction of “The Arringatore”, or “The Orator”. This life-size figure was made in the first half of the 1st century BC. The depiction presents a standing male figure wearing a short-sleeved tunic and toga. One arm is outstretched as if giving a speech. An inscription indicates it was offered in the name of one “Aule Meteli”. Of course the statue may or may not represent that specific individual). The statue was discovered near Lake Trasimene in 1566 AD and it is currently on display in the Archaeological Museum of Florence. No description of bronze statuary would be complete without mention of one of the most famous and instantly recognizable statues in the world. Originally thought to be of Etruscan origin, this masterpiece is known as the “Capitoline She-Wolf”. This globally recognizable portrayal is of a she wolf suckling the mythical co-founding brothers of Rome, Romulus and Remus. On display in the Capitoline Museums of Rome it was long thought to be an Etruscan sculpture. However experts now believe that this magnificent bronze was produced in the 11th or 12th century AD [Ancient History Encyclopedia]. ETRUSCAN BRONZE MIRRORS: The Etruscan civilization flourished in central Italy between the 8th and 3rd century BC. During that time the culture produced distinctive art in the form of decorated pottery, figure sculpture, wall paintings, and the engraved bronze mirrors. Perhaps rather unfairly it is for the engraved bronze mirrors that the Etruscans have been most famous for through the intervening millennia. The Etruscans long held a reputation for effeminacy and as lovers of luxury which was to the greatest extent undeserved. This image was encouraged and perpetuated by their conquerors the Romans. The high number of Etruscan-made bronze mirrors found in their tombs and elsewhere only fuelled this reputation as the ancient Mediterranean's great narcissists. Mirrors were known to the ancient Etruscans as “malena” or “malstria”. They were first produced in quantity from the end of the 6th century BC right through to the 2nd century BC conquest by Rome. They were locally made in such Etruscan towns as Vulci, Tarquinia, Cerveteri and Chiusi. This is amply attested to by the large number of finds in those places. Besides being an object of practical daily use, mirrors were a status symbol for aristocratic Etruscan women. They were frequently decorated with great craftsmanship. They also appear on Etruscan tomb wall paintings often carried by a lady's maidservant. If the fact that they were found in male-only tombs is an indicator then there is evidence that they were used by some men as well. Mirrors have survived in great numbers. Over 3,000 have been discovered. Mirrors were commonly given as part of a bride's dowry. It is quite likely that these valuable objects also acquired a sentimental value. They were commonly laid with the deceased in Etruscan tombs. Researchers speculate that reflects the sentimental value which one would ordinarily attach to one of the more valuable objects the person had used daily throughout their lives. Curiously many mirrors so placed in tombs have had their reflective surface made useless by the addition of the inscription “suthina”, meaning “of the grave”. Like their Greek counterparts Etruscan bronze mirrors were designed to be held in the hand using a single handle. The reflective side of mirrors was made by highly polishing or silvering the surface. From the 3rd century BC more tin was used in the bronze alloy. This resulted in a reflective surface with a clearer image that was less prone to scratching and corrosion. Some mirrors from the 4th century BC onwards were protected by a concave cover attached by a single hinge. The inside of the lid was often polished to reflect extra light onto the face of the user. The outside surface of the lid often carried cut-out reliefs filled with a lead backing. A third type of mirror has the round reflective surface set into the lid of a wooden box. Half of the bronze mirrors recovered by archaeologists have a plain reverse side. The other half of the specimens recovered proved an irresistible surface for engraved decoration, inscription, or even carved shallow relief. The latter decoration technique is even more rarely inlaid with silver. There is one such example of this exquisite and rare treatment in the British Museum, London. Handles were formed by casting the mirror with a tang at the bottom. This could then be inserted into a handle made from wood, bone, or ivory. However except for the tang few handles produced from such perishable substances as wood, bone, or ivory have survived the millennia intact. Some handles were painted or had carved relief scenes. A different type of mirror was produced from the 4th century BC onwards which had the handle cast along with the body. Many of this latter type have a bronze ram or hind's head decorating the end of the handle. The main purpose of Etruscan mirror decoration would seem to be just that, decoration. However, these valuable objects might also have become symbolic transfers of wealth and family ties. One example might have been when the bride and groom were from different clans. Then the decoration may have represented either directly or metaphorically the union of the heritage of two families. Scenes and the people embellished mirrors are often helpfully identified by accompanying inscriptions around the mirror edge, and these sometimes even describe the owner. One specimen for example possessed the inscription “I am the mirror of Larthi Puruhena”. Another specimen identified the donor or gift-giver with the inscription, “Tite Cale to his mother gave this mirror as a gift”. Around 300 mirrors discovered have names inscribed on them, most being female. They are thus an anthropologically significant indicator of literacy amongst Etruscan women. Some mirrors have scenes from daily life. These have included wedding preparations, couples embracing or a lady in the process of dressing. However by far the most common subject for mirror decoration were scenes from mythology. Here mirrors have illustrated the great influence of Greek culture on the Etruscans as the myths depicted are invariably of Greek origin. Sometimes the myth be a variant possessing an Etruscan “twist” or “flavor”, but they were nonetheless Greek in origin. Depicted scenes are often framed by a border of twisted ivy, vine, myrtle, or laurel leaves. Perhaps not surprisingly myths which involved a degree of vanity or gods renowned for their physical beauty were particularly popular subjects. Thus history has preserved scenes of Paris deciding which of the three goddesses are the most beautiful. Most depictions suggest that Aphrodite’s beauty was superior to that of Athena and Hera. Aphrodite was known to the Etruscans as “Turan”, the goddess of love and beauty. Alternatively Aphrodite was often depicted as being attended to and beautified by her entourage. Other depictions are of the impossibly handsome Adonis, favorite of Aphrodite, known to the Etruscans as “Atune”. Another common portrayal was that of Zeus carrying off the attractive youth Ganymede, known to the Etruscans as “Catamite”. Eos, the winged Dawn known for her love of handsome hunters also frequently depicted on the embellished side of engraved mirrors. Another very popular depiction was of that most famous earthly beauty of all – Helen of Troy. These were all mythological deities and personifications intended to inspire those who managed to pull themselves from the mirror's reflective side [Ancient History Encyclopedia]. THE ETRUSCAN CHIMERA: The Chimera of Arezzo is a bronze statue sculpted by the Etruscans of northern and central Italy during the 5th to 4th century BC. The creature is the fire-breathing monster from Greek mythology which has the head of a lion, tail of a snake, and a goat's head protruding from its back. The menacing statue was discovered in Arezzo in Tuscany, Italy and is often cited as the finest example of Etruscan art. It is now one of the star pieces in the National Archaeological Museum of Florence. In Greek mythology the fire-breathing monster Chimera was the offspring of Typhon and Echidna. Both Typhon and Echidna themselves were half-snake, half-human monsters. In other versions of the myth the Chimera it was reared by Amisodarus. The Chimera was eventually killed by the hero Bellerophon, son of Poseidon. This was a seemingly impossible challenge set him by Iobates, the king of Lycia, upon the instigation of his brother King Proteus of Tiryns. Helped by his winged horse Pegasus Bellerophon fatally stabbed the monster with his spear. Mythological subjects were a popular subject in Etruscan art. This was especially true of animals, and particularly when the art medium was bronze. The Chimera statue was discovered in 1553 AD when fortifications were being built in the city of Arezzo, ancient Arretium. The discovered occurred during the rule of Cosimo de' Medici, the Grand Duke of Tuscany. The Chimera was excavated in a trench along with other votive offerings such as small figure statues near the Porta San Lorentino. In 1566 AD the trench works revealed another fine Etruscan statue, the 'Orator.' So impressed with the Chimera figure he was Cosimo de' Medici, the Grand Duke of Tuscany adopted it as a symbol of his reign. The life-size creature stands 31 inches high and measures 50¾ inches in length. It was cast in bronze, using the lost wax technique. It strikes a tense pose, almost ready to pounce on its victim. The Chimera’s rear end crouches ready for the spring and its claws are fully extended. The lion head has a mane of layered triangular points which match the hairy spikes along its back to complete the look of bristling menace. The goat's head protruding from its back lurches to one side from a bleeding wound. The snake tail too has fangs at the ready. However it must be added that the snake tail is a restoration carried out in the 18th century AD based on a surviving fragment of the original tail. Another bleeding wound is found on the creature's rear leg. The piece was probably part of a larger composition which would have included Bellerophon and Pegasus, hence the bleeding wounds. The Chimera does include an inscription which was incised into the wax during the casting process. Written upon the front right leg, the inscription reads “tinscvil”, or “gift to Tin”. This indicates that the bronze masterpiece was intended as an offering to the god “Tin”, also known as “Tinia”. “Tin” was the supreme deity of the Etruscan pantheon, as was Zeus to the Greek or Jupiter to the Romans. The offering would have intended to either persuade the deity to give help or in appreciation for aid already rendered. Votive offerings were left at sacred altars at temple sites or even buried. The latter might explain the miraculous survival of this fine masterpiece of Etruscan statuary [Ancient History Encyclopedia]. ETRUSCAN TOMB PAINTINGS: The Etruscans flourished in central Italy from the 8th to 3rd century BC. One of their greatest historical, cultural, and artistic legacies is the beautifully painted tombs found in many of their important towns. Tarquinia, Cerveteri, Chiusi, and Vulci, in particular possess tombs with outstanding wall paintings. These depict lively and colorful scenes from Etruscan mythology and daily life. Sometimes the depictions are even of the tomb's occupant themselves. Inasmuch as the civilization was ruthlessly crushed, absorbed and eliminated almost without trace by the all-conquering Romans, these tomb paintings are a tantalizing glimpse into the lost world of the Etruscans. The colors used by Etruscan artists were made from paints of organic materials. White came from chalk or kaolin, black from a vegetable mix, and green from malachite. Red, ochre and yellow came from iron oxides. Blue occurs rarely and was perhaps made from imported material such as lapis lazuli. There is very little use of shading until 4th century BC influence from Greek artists via Magna Graecia. These artists introduced their new chiaroscuro method with its strong contrasts of light and dark. At Tarquinia tomb paintings were applied to a thin base layer of plaster wash. The artists first drew outlines using chalk or charcoal. In contrast many of the wall paintings at Cerveteri and Veii were applied directly to the stone walls without a plaster under layer. Unfortunately this has meant that they have deteriorated to a much greater extent than at other Etruscan sites, such as Tarquinia. Chiusi's “Tomb of the Monkey” offers another intriguing insight into technique. There the artist may have used a template for his subjects. This seems likely as some of the scenes closely resemble those in tombs at Tarquinia. Even more compelling, a pair of boxers who stand facing each other, mirror each other's outlines exactly. Magnificent though these paintings are, it is to be remembered that they were not seen by anyone except at the burial ceremony or perhaps briefly when another family member was later interred. The tombs are then a supreme example of conspicuous consumption. Only 2% of the tombs were painted. Thus for the elite this was a brief demonstration of their wealth and superiority within the community. However the paintings have another purpose beyond a mere demonstration of wealth, and certainly a more important one. The Etruscan tomb paintings show that these people believed in an afterlife. Along with the provision of grave goods from gold jewelry to dinner sets, decorations such as tomb paintings somehow comforted and helped the deceased on their journey into that new and unknown world. The earliest painted Etruscan tombs date to the mid-6th century BC and have only painted heraldic figures around doorways or the central wide column supporting two entrances. These are typically representations of sphinxes or mythical monsters which acted as tomb guardians and show an influence from Phoenicia and the Near East. The 6th century BC Campana “Tomb at Veii” is a good example of this type. In subsequent centuries the walls of tombs of the Etruscan elite were painted more ambitiously. Portions of the tomb were divided for specific types of decoration. There was a dado at the bottom, a large central space, a top cornice or entablature, and the triangular space reaching the ceiling like the pediment of a classical temple. In the large central wall space and pediment area colorful and lively scenes were painted from mythology, religious practices and ceremonies, and Etruscan daily life. The depictions of daily life were particularly of outdoor banquets, dancing, hunting, fishing, and sporting events such as funerary games. The funerary games depicted included competitions of running, jumping, wrestling, boxing, and discus. There are also occasional erotic scenes. Musicians are another common subject. The musicians were depicted playing tortoiseshell lyres, castanets, and the double aulos flute. All of the elements within these depictions show a decidedly Greek, particularly Ionian influence. This includes not only the objects illustrated such as the musical instruments and wine-mixing vessels. It also includes the activities illustrated. These include reclining diners on low one-armed couches, and the Greek drinking game of throwing wine slops (residual of unfiltered wine) into a vase, or “kottabos”. Perhaps surprisingly the tombs have very few scenes connected with burial and death. Instead the scenes concentrate on the joys of living. Feasting is a scene repeated over and over again at tombs across Etruscan sites. Indeed the Etruscans were famous throughout the Mediterranean for their lives of luxury and sumptuous banquets featuring exotic foodstuffs. The scenes give an important insight into social status. They show that Etruscan women could attend drinking parties when their counterparts in Greece could not. In Greece only courtesans could entertain the guests. However the inscriptions of some scenes depicted in Etruscan tombs clearly indicate that respectable women participated on an equal footing with males in these Etruscan soirées. We can only speculate the true significance of the painted banquets. Are they depictions of the deceased in a happy moment long since passed, recollections of their lives? Or is the depiction of mourners putting on a funeral feast for their lost loved one? Could they even be an imagined view of the afterlife where food and drink and merriment never cease? Perhaps we shall never know. Other decorative elements in the tomb paintings include architectural features which oftentimes frame the painted scenes described above, or are even depicted in them. Tombs frequently have a painted door and frame as a metaphor for the deceased's passage into the next life. Other features appearing in paint have included windows and columns. These have helped scholars in verifying and substantiating archaeological excavations of real Etruscan buildings. Tarquinia possesses has around 200 Etruscan tombs. These were found be rich in artifacts and decorated with magnificent wall-paintings. Consequently Tarquinia has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. The earliest tombs are rectangular rock-cut chambers which are painted to replicate the architectural features of real houses. Others have ceilings painted to mimic tent fabric alluding to the earlier Etruscan practice of using tents to cover the deceased. Mythical creatures are commonly painted on pillars and banquet scenes near the ceilings. Later tombs have false doorways and more ambitious painted scenes covering entire walls. The painted scenes most often depict diners reclining on couches, drinkers on mats, hunting, games, and figures bidding a fond farewell to the deceased. The Tomb of the Bulls dates to between 540 and 530 BC. This tomb has the name of its occupant painted on one wall, “Aranth Spurianas”. Painted scenes include Achilles attacking Troilus, the young Trojan prince. A frieze above this scene shows two bulls and two copulating couples. One of the depictions is that of one heterosexual trio, the other depicts a homosexual couple). Another wall in the tomb depicts the myth of Bellerophon and Pegasus with the hero riding a horse and facing the Chimera and a sphinx. Finally, there is a scene of a young man riding a hippocamp, which is a mythical sea-horse. The man rides the hippocamp over the ocean. Scholars believe that this is perhaps as a metaphor for the tomb occupant's journey into the next life. The misleadingly named “Tomb of the Lionesses” was built between 530 and 520 BC. It actually depicts two panthers, not lions. The tomb’s paintings depict a large drinking party scene. The tomb is also noteworthy for its unusual checkered pattern ceiling and six painted wooden columns. There is also a fine frieze of dolphins, birds, palmettes and lotus flowers. The Tomb of the Augurs was completed about 520 BC. The tomb paintings include the depiction of two nude wrestlers. Even their names are given, “Teitu” and “Latithe”. The two were probably slaves. Between the two wrestlers lies three bowls, the prizes for the victor. There is also depicted the representation of a figure who appears in several other contemporaneous tombs. The figure is that of “Phersu”. He is depicted as man wearing a black-bearded mask. He holds a ferocious dog on a long leash. The dog is depicted attacking a man whose head is wrapped in a cloth. The “Tomb of The Baron” dates to about 510 BC. The tomb is named after its discoverer Baron Kestner. The paintings within the tomb include a depiction various human figures either standing or riding. These include a woman caught in the act of saying farewell, presumably to the tomb's occupant. Contemporary with this tomb is the “Cardarelli Tomb”, named after a local poet. This tomb includes the depiction of a woman wearing a flowing cape and red pointed shoes. She is accompanied by a slave girl and boy, the latter carrying a fan. Other figures depicted in the tomb include two nude boxers, dancers, and musicians. The “Tomb of the Bigas” is dated to about 480 BC. The paintings within the tomb depict athletic games and a chariot race. A chariot was known as a “bighe” to the ancient Etruscans, thus the name “Tomb of the Bigas”. The depiction of the race includes a large crowd of spectators watching the race. The imaginatively drawn crowd includes some figures in three-quarter view and others foreshortened to provide perspective. The “Tomb of the Dying” and the “Tomb of the Dead Man” are both dated to about 470 BC. Both are unusual in that they actually portray their respective occupants laid out on their deathbed surrounded by mourning relatives. The “Tomb of the Blue Demons” was completed between 420 and 400 BC). The depictions within this tomb provide a rare glimpse of the Etruscan vision of the underworld. By this late stage of Etruscan Culture the view is likely heavily influenced by Greek ideas. Nonetheless the underworld depicted is inhabited by blue- and black-skinned demons. One of the demons is depicted holding two snakes. However there are also warmer depictions of the occupant’s already dead relatives waiting to welcome the tomb’s occupant, awaiting reunification in the afterlife. Tombs with wall paintings include the “Tomb of the Monkey” at Chiusi. This tomb was constructed between 480 and 470 BC. The depictions within the tomb include a scene of a monkey sitting in a tree. Another depiction is of a woman wearing a red robe sitting under a parasol. Her feet are up on a stool while she watches a parade of jugglers, athletes, dancers, and chariots. Another female figure is depicted dancing, while balancing an incense burner on her head. The incense burner provides a target for drinkers to throw their wine slops at. The ceiling has an interesting single painted coffer which has four sirens supporting a rosette with a four-leafed plant. The motif would reappear in later Roman and early Christian architecture but with angels instead of sirens. The splendid “Tomb of the Stucco Reliefs” was constructed at Cerveteri for the Matuna family during the last quarter of the 4th century BC. It is accessed via a steep stepped corridor. The corridor opens into a chamber with stone benches on all sides and places for 32 bodies. The chamber's two columns and walls are covered in painted stucco depictions of everyday objects such as rope, banners, jugs, cutlery, axes, fans, bed linen, armor, trumpets, and even board games. Many of the objects hang from nails in imitation of the typical Etruscan household. Storage cabinets were largely unknown in Etruscan homes and possessions were hung from the walls. Animals also appear seemingly at random with geese, ducks, and even a pet Maltese dog chasing a lizard. Vulci's outstanding contribution to Etruscan wall painting is the late 4th century BC “Francois Tomb” The tomb is named after its discoverer Alessandro Francois. The atrium of the tomb had two main scenes. Both scenes are of which are bloody massacres. One is a depiction from an episode from Theban myth. The other is from Homer's Iliad. The former shows Eteocles who was King of Thebes and son of Oedipus. He is shown in mortal combat against his brother Polyneikes. Both are depicted nude and just at the moment of killing each other with their swords. Blood spurts everywhere. The scene from the Iliad shows the sacrifice of Trojan prisoners during the funeral of Achilles' favorite sidekick Patroclus. Also depicted is the figure of Charun. Charun is the gatekeeper to the underworld and is depicted carrying his usual hammer. And then there is the depiction of a winged Vanth, one of the Etruscan female messenger divinities. Another wall seems to be a representation of an actual battle between the Etruscans of Vulci and rivals from the Etruscan towns of Volsinii and Sovana. To add another layer of complexity several of the ten figures depicted are named in Etruscan. Their home town is also identified. However while some have Etruscan names, others have Roman ones. This depiction could be a reference to the 6th century BC conflict between the Etruscans and Romans. This era saw various dynastic power struggles where several of Rome's early kings were of Etruscan origin. The names in the battle include three heroes of Vulci. First is Macstrna. This may be Rome's legendary second Etruscan king better known as Servius Tullius. The other two heroes depicted are Caile and Avle Vipinas, two brothers. They are probably actual historical figures. Tradition holds that they had settled in Rome on the Caelian Hill. Macstrna is in the act of freeing Caile Vipinas whose hands are tied. At the same time Avle Vipinas is depicted in the company of three others presumably also from Vulci. They are shown attacking with swords a coalition group from Volsinii, Sovana, and Rome. The Roman is identified as Cnaeus Tarquinius. He is depicted cowering beneath the sword of Marce Camitlnas, about to be killed. Some historians regard the Roman figure as Tarquinius Priscus, the legendary king of Rome who ruled from 616 to 579 BC. It could also be the depiction of a younger relative of King Tarquinius Priscus. If it is the king then the painting provides an alternative to the Roman tradition that Priscus was assassinated by his sons. The Francois Tomb would suggest that he lost his life and his throne in a battle with the Etruscans. Another painting in the tomb shows a man named in an inscription as “Vel Saties”. Originally located by the doorway of the atrium, this may perhaps be the occupant of the tomb. The figure depicted is possibly that of a magistrate or an auspicium, a reader of omens. He is depicted wearing a dark blue embroidered cloak which has several nude male figures who are dancing while carrying shields. The man also wears a laurel crown and is accompanied by a dwarf who is named as Arnza. The dwarf is depicted kneeling while holding a woodpecker or swallow attached to a string. The bird is about to be released as Vel Saties looks on. One scholar interprets the depiction as Verl Saties as auspicium about to read the flight of the bird and divine its significance as an omen. This was a common practice within the Etruscan religion, and would have been performed by an auspicium. Alternative interpretations of the depiction suggest the bird is no more than a child's pet. Yet another scholar suggests that Vel Saties gazes at the bird about to be released in a metaphor for his own imminent passage into the next life [Ancient History Encyclopedia]. SHIPPING & RETURNS/REFUNDS: We always ship books domestically (within the USA) via USPS INSURED media mail (“book rate”). Most international orders cost an additional $17.99 to $48.99 for an insured shipment in a heavily padded mailer. There is also a discount program which can cut postage costs by 50% to 75% if you’re buying about half-a-dozen books or more (5 kilos+). Our postage charges are as reasonable as USPS rates allow. ADDITIONAL PURCHASES do receive a VERY LARGE discount, typically about $5 per book (for each additional book after the first) so as to reward you for the economies of combined shipping/insurance costs. Your purchase will ordinarily be shipped within 48 hours of payment. We package as well as anyone in the business, with lots of protective padding and containers. All of our shipments are fully insured against loss, and our shipping rates include the cost of this coverage (through,, the USPS, UPS, or Fed-Ex). International tracking is provided free by the USPS for certain countries, other countries are at additional cost. We do offer U.S. Postal Service Priority Mail, Registered Mail, and Express Mail for both international and domestic shipments, as well United Parcel Service (UPS) and Federal Express (Fed-Ex). Please ask for a rate quotation. Please note for international purchasers we will do everything we can to minimize your liability for VAT and/or duties. But we cannot assume any responsibility or liability for whatever taxes or duties may be levied on your purchase by the country of your residence. If you don’t like the tax and duty schemes your government imposes, please complain to them. We have no ability to influence or moderate your country’s tax/duty schemes. If upon receipt of the item you are disappointed for any reason whatever, I offer a no questions asked 30-day return policy. Send it back, I will give you a complete refund of the purchase price; 1) less our original shipping/insurance costs, 2) less non-refundable eBay payment processing fees. Please note that eBay does NOT refund payment processing fees. Even if you “accidentally” purchase something and then cancel the purchase before it is shipped, eBay will not refund their processing fees. So all refunds for any reason, without exception, do not include eBay payment processing fees (typically between 5% and 15%) and shipping/insurance costs (if any). If you’re unhappy with eBay’s “no fee refund” policy, and we are EXTREMELY unhappy, please voice your displeasure by contacting eBay. We have no ability to influence, modify or waive eBay policies. ABOUT US: Prior to our retirement we used to travel to Europe and Central Asia several times a year. Most of the items we offer came from acquisitions we made in Eastern Europe, India, and from the Levant (Eastern Mediterranean/Near East) during these years from various institutions and dealers. Much of what we generate on Etsy, Amazon and Ebay goes to support The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, as well as some other worthy institutions in Europe and Asia connected with Anthropology and Archaeology. Though we have a collection of ancient coins numbering in the tens of thousands, our primary interests are ancient jewelry and gemstones. Prior to our retirement we traveled to Russia every year seeking antique gemstones and jewelry from one of the globe’s most prolific gemstone producing and cutting centers, the area between Chelyabinsk and Yekaterinburg, Russia. From all corners of Siberia, as well as from India, Ceylon, Burma and Siam, gemstones have for centuries gone to Yekaterinburg where they have been cut and incorporated into the fabulous jewelry for which the Czars and the royal families of Europe were famous for. My wife grew up and received a university education in the Southern Urals of Russia, just a few hours away from the mountains of Siberia, where alexandrite, diamond, emerald, sapphire, chrysoberyl, topaz, demantoid garnet, and many other rare and precious gemstones are produced. Though perhaps difficult to find in the USA, antique gemstones are commonly unmounted from old, broken settings – the gold reused – the gemstones recut and reset. Before these gorgeous antique gemstones are recut, we try to acquire the best of them in their original, antique, hand-finished state – most of them centuries old. We believe that the work created by these long-gone master artisans is worth protecting and preserving rather than destroying this heritage of antique gemstones by recutting the original work out of existence. That by preserving their work, in a sense, we are preserving their lives and the legacy they left for modern times. Far better to appreciate their craft than to destroy it with modern cutting. Not everyone agrees – fully 95% or more of the antique gemstones which come into these marketplaces are recut, and the heritage of the past lost. But if you agree with us that the past is worth protecting, and that past lives and the produce of those lives still matters today, consider buying an antique, hand cut, natural gemstone rather than one of the mass-produced machine cut (often synthetic or “lab produced”) gemstones which dominate the market today. We can set most any antique gemstone you purchase from us in your choice of styles and metals ranging from rings to pendants to earrings and bracelets; in sterling silver, 14kt solid gold, and 14kt gold fill. When you purchase from us, you can count on quick shipping and careful, secure packaging. We would be happy to provide you with a certificate/guarantee of authenticity for any item you purchase from us. There is a $3 fee for mailing under separate cover. I will always respond to every inquiry whether via email or eBay message, so please feel free to write. Condition: NEW. Without blemish or wear. See detailed condition description below., Format: Oversized softcover, Length: 96 pages, Dimensions: 10x7 inches; 1 pound, Publisher: Brynmorgen Press (2010)

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