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date: 01 June 2023


The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Archaeology

Timothy Darvill

[CP]Successors to the Villanovans in north central Italy (modern Tuscany) during the early 1st millennium bc, they had become a recognizable society by the 8th century—a loosely knit but powerful confederacy of city‐states. They developed long‐distance trade contacts to Greece, Carthage, and across the Alps into central Europe. Their cities were substantial and wealthy: for example, Populonia, Vetulonia, and Tarquinia. Their influence extended over wide areas, including Aleria, the Po Valley, and parts of Campania. The area is rich in natural resources, notably gold, copper and iron, and this led to a strong and influential craft base. The Etruscan language still causes problems because, although it is written in an eastern Greek alphabet, many aspects of its syntax and vocabulary are uncertain. But the Etruscans were under constant pressure from communities to the north, and increasingly from Rome in the south. Between the 4th and 2nd centuries Rome conquered all of Etruria, but, despite their political extinction, the Etruscans contributed much to Roman civilization in such matters as infrastructure, political and social organization, art, architecture, theatre, and engineering skills.... ...

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