ancient etruscan

Etruscan Bronze Helmet & Chest Armor, 500-450 BC

From Etruria, Northern Italy. A rare bronze Negau type helmet, breast and backplate ensemble, unusual for their preserved golden finish (as these were found in a river in superb condition).

Why have ancient suits of armor been found in rivers? Some have attributed this phenomenon to accidental losses; however, according to recent scholarship, discoveries of ancient armor in aquatic environments may be the result of intentional practices. Some have suggested that the ancients’ veneration of water played a significant role, that gear found in waters was the consequence of a conscious religious act, a dedication of armor and weapons as a religious rite. Others have argued that when ancient warriors who were forced into retreat came upon a river, they elected to toss their armor in the water, since it would be next to impossible to cross a river wearing such heavy gear.

Depositing the armor on the enemy’s land was not viewed upon as an attractive option, because the warriors feared that their foes would either use the armor to impersonate them during ensuing battles or melt the armor down for the valuable precious metals.

Friendly reminder that the invention of pasta dates back to ancient Etruscan civilizations and is not something that we “stole” from Asia. 

The words pasta and lasagna come from the Greek words πάστα and làganon. When they founded Naples, the Greeks also adopted a dish made by the natives, made up by barley-flour pasta and water dried to the sun, called macaria. The existence of a dish similar to modern lasagna is also documented by Cicero. The Romans also had machineries similar to the modern ones used to manufacture the pasta. And there are other proofs of the existence of pasta in ancient times.

The legend about Marco Polo bringing pasta to Italy was started by the Macaroni Journal, in 1938. They wanted to make pasta look more international and take it away from its cultural context (italian-american neighbourhoods, that were seen as places for criminals). This legend has been proved wrong by many historians, but apparently it’s gonna be a long while before people stop believing it.

Orvieto is a town in the Province of Terni in Umbria. The site is among the most dramatic in Europe, rising above the almost-vertical faces of tuff cliffs that are completed by defensive walls built of the same stone. The ancient city, populated since Etruscan times, has been associated with Etruscan Velzna, but some modern scholars disagree. Orvieto was certainly a major center of Etruscan civilization; the archaeological museum houses some of the Etruscan artifacts that have been recovered in the immediate neighborhood.

Faliscan Black-Glazed Askos, 4th Century BC

The Falisci were and an Italic people who lived in what was then Etruria (map), on the Etruscan side of the Tiber River, in the region now known as Lazio, Italy. They spoke an Italic language, Faliscan, closely akin to Latin. Originally a sovereign state, politically and socially they supported the Etruscans, joining the Etruscan League. This conviction and affiliation led to their ultimate near destruction and total subjugation by Rome.