Italians on Italians
Beyond Toscano

Tuscany’s Etruscans – a forgotten civilization

Tuscany’s Etruscans – a forgotten civilization
It may be the Romans that spring to mind when you think about ancient Italian civilizations, but there have been many lesser-known societies that played just as vital role to the development of the nation.

One such people were the Etruscans, thought to be thriving in regions of Italy including Tuscany and Umbria around 400 B.C. Despite plenty of evidence of their existence, they didn’t seem to keep written records, so relatively little is known about them.

It’s thought the Etruscans originally came from nearby Greece, Turkey and parts of Asia Minor, forming a society of their own inspired by the ones they’d left behind. Paintings, sculptures and pottery are some of the key artifacts that survived to this day, many of which were found in the tombs and burial chambers of wealthy Etruscans.

Some of the most fascinating Etruscan artifacts discovered are pieces of jewelry. They seemed to have developed a style and technique of their own – granulation, in which they soldered tiny grains of gold onto metal, creating a spectacular shimmering effect that reflected the sunlight.

The Etruscan eye for details and excellence was an early testament to fine Tuscan craftsmanship, providing a source of inspiration to the Romans who eventually came to dominate Italy.