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.
Ritual dancing in a group setting was a way of forming social bonds, serving both religious and societal purposes. In this funeral dance, illustrated in a painting from 4th c. BC Etruscan tomb, the interlinked arms of the participants are symbolic of the unity of life and death.
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.
Gold Etruscan bulla (hollow pendant) bearing an image of Daedalus and Icarus. Artist unknown; 5th cent. BCE. Believed to have been found near
Comacchio, Italy; now in the Walters Art Museum, Baltimore.
Lekythos (oil container) in the Form of a Suspended Dead Hare
“Hunting hares was a popular sport among young men, and a vessel in the
shape of the kill was an appropriate gift to a hunting companion.
Similar containers are known from Corinth and Rhodes, but the type of
clay and other details suggest that this example belongs to a group made
by artisans of Greek origin who established workshops in Etruria in the
middle of the 6th century BC.”