ETRUSCANS Etruscan Civilization was created on the now known Tuscany region of Italy. It isn't known where they came from, but the character of their art and many distinctive features of their religion make it clear that the original Etruscans were from a region in Asia Minor. During the Iron Age (1000 to 1 B.C.), urban civilization spread throughout Etruria - Tarquinia was probably the oldest city and is the most famous. The other centers were Caere (Cerveteri), Vulci, and Veii (Veio).
ETRUSCANS When they arrived, they brought a high level of a Greek-like culture with them. Like the Greeks, the Etruscans lived in fortified cities. For their Greek contemporaries and Roman successors, the Etruscans were clearly a different ethnic group. For their Greek contemporaries and Roman successors, the Etruscans were clearly a different ethnic group.
Architecture Etruscans built palaces, public buildings, and early temples in wood and brick, so nothing remained. Ceramic models of temples, as well as traces of later stone structures, indicate how temples were built in enclosures and had tiled, gabled roofs supported on pillars, like their Greek counterparts. An Etruscan temple, to meet religious requirements, was located on a north-south axis and stood on a high podium with a four-columned porch. Roman temples were patterned on the form developed by the Etruscans.
Most Etruscan cities were fortified and with encompassing walls enforced by double gates and towers. The Etruscans also built aqueducts, bridges, and sewers. Outside the cities were cemeteries containing family tombs. They were built underground but had large vaults of overlapping stones covered by mounds of earth.
ETRUSCAN SCULPTURE The Etruscans created artistic objects mostly for religious purposes. Important part of their art is associated with their funerary customs. The cult of the dead, similar to contemporaneous Egyptian practices, produced a highly developed sepulchral art. The sculptured lids of sarcophagi often represented a single figure or a couple with the haunting archaic smile so evident in early Greek sculpture.
ETRUSCAN SCULPTURE The most famous Etruscan works are in terra-cotta, or baked clay, and these include besides sculptures on sarcophagi, also works from temples.
ERTRUSCAN FRESCO The Etruscan paintings that have survived to modern times are mostly wall frescoes from graves, and mainly from Tarquinia. These are incredibly important as the most important example of pre-Roman figurative art in Italy known to scholars. The frescoes consist of painting on top of fresh plaster, so that when the plaster is dried the painting becomes part of the plaster and an integral part of the wall, which helps it survive so well. Colors were made from stones and minerals in different colors that ground up and mixed in a medium, and fine brushes were made of animal hair (even the best brushes are produced with ox hair).
ETRUSCAN DECORATIVE ARTS The Etruscans at first imported and copied painted Greek pottery. They were particularly noted for their black bucchero pottery with incised or relief decoration suggesting metalwork. They were experts with the potter's wheel. It was at its height in the late 7th and 6th centuries B.C. Working in bronze, the Etruscans made chariots, bowls, candelabra, cylindrical coffers, and especially polished mirrors, all richly engraved with mythological motifs. The Etruscans were famous for their gold jewelry. Their goldwork was among the finest anywhere in the ancient world. They also crafted silver, and ivory jewelry, using filigree and granulation
temple of Juno Sospita, Lanuvium (6th - 5th Century BCE)