Etruria and Rome. Life patterns and social change in Central Italy, 4th - 1st centuries B.C.

Project Details

Layman's description

Etruria, once a polity of independent city-states, came under the dominance of Rome in the 3rd century B.C.The aim of the project is to analyse the production and consumption of artefacts used in various domestic spheres of Southern Etruria in the late period, in order to understand what happened to the Etruscan cultural infrastructure in the face of the Roman political takeover.

Swedish Etruscological research (e.g. at San Giovenale and Acquarossa) has traditionally focussed on the Archaic period (7th-6th centuries B.C.), when the Etruscan cities were organised in a federation of independent states. The Late Etruscan period, characterised by words such as ‘decline’ and ‘Romanisation,’ has traditionally been considered to be a second-rate area of research. Recently, however, new methods and perspectives have begun to change this situation, as visualized by a major exhibition at Orbetello in 1985 on the city of Vulci and its territory during the Late Etruscan period (Carandini).

The scrupulous district-based analysis can be considered as a step towards larger, more all encompassing goals, such as ascertaining relationships in a whole region in late Etruria. Our group has chosen to study Southern Etruria (between the Tiber and Fiora rivers) through a broad spectrum of materials – pottery (Fuglesang), bronze utensils (Wikander), sarcophagi and cinerary urns (Nielsen) and gems (Hansson) – reflecting usages connected with city and countryside, home and grave, public and private spheres and upper and lower social orders. The project is based on the premise that the production and consumption of these artefacts will be a good barometer of change and continuity in life patterns and expressions of identity in the period when Etruria, with age-old cultural features still prominent, faced political subjection by Rome.
Effective start/end date2001/01/012020/12/31