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Visuel étrusque

“The Etruscans, a Mediterranean civilisation”

15 April – 23 October 2022

Of all the Mediterranean civilisations of Antiquity, the Etruscans were one of the most refined and intriguing, but also one of the least widely known today.

This exhibition invites us to follow in the footsteps of this ancient and distinctive people, who were very much ahead of their time. For centuries, before the rise of the great power of Rome, the Etruscans lived in the centre of the Italian peninsula (Tuscany, Umbria, Latium), in close contact with the other civilisations living on the Mediterranean shores.

The Etruscans were noted for their refined lifestyle, rich in expertise, as can be seen in their wonderful craftsmanship, their astonishing skill in metalwork and precious stones or their expert knowledge of architecture and town planning. Their advanced culture was enriched by contact with Greece and Phoenicia, and the great empires of the eastern Mediterranean, while preserving their own identity. Etruscan civilisation left behind an extraordinary cultural heritage that had a deep influence on ancient Rome.

The development of trade, their social, political and urban structure, their influence, religion, ritual and funerary practices will be highlighted in loans of exceptional works from the National Archaeological Museum of Florence and the “Mario Guarnacci” Etruscan Museum. The visit will feature pieces from the Campana collection at the Musée de la Romanité, as well as objects from archaeological excavations, especially underwater searches carried out in southern Gaul.

Over 140 works are on display: everyday objects, amphoras, cremation urns, objects of war, jewellery, statuettes, etc.

Videos, projections, technological and interactive kiosks, reconstitutions and multimedia are displayed throughout the visit, including an “immersive” room with the chance to experience a journey into the heart of the Etruscan worlds…

To enhance your visit, a programme of guided tours and talks is available to unlock all the secrets of Etruscan civilisation… And for families, a booklet for young visitors has been published and is available in the entrance area.

The exhibition catalogue is on sale from the shop (Contemporanea Progetti srl; 160 pages – €24.90).

  • Mask of Jupiter - Museum of Romanity - Etruscan
    Mask of Jupiter – Museum of Romanity – Etruscan
  • Cinerary urn with lid - Musée de la Romanite 2022
    ©Volterra, Etruscan Museum “Guarnacci”
  • Mollusc shell - Romanite Museum - The Etruscans
    ©Florence, National Archaeological Museum

Exhibition visit

The Etruscans have always been seen as a distinctive, intriguing and mysterious people. Their contemporaries described them as “an ancient people, unlike all the others”. A people of the earth but also of the sea, with the capacity to impose control over trade in all the Mediterranean, along with the Phoenicians and Greeks.

The history of this people of skilled navigators and refined craftsmen developed from the 9th century B.C. and reached its peak between the 7th and 5th centuries, before gradually falling under Roman domination between the 4th and 1st centuries B.C.

The exhibition presents the historical and geographical framework of the period and shows the wide-ranging contacts between the Etruscans and the other peoples of the Mediterranean. It goes on to unveil all aspects of Etruscan society in its social, political and urban structure, and the customs and habits of daily life, where women played an important role. You can also explore all aspects of Etruscan religion, beliefs, devotional practices and their view of the afterlife.

One of the most intriguing aspects of Etruscan civilisation is the distinctive heritage it bequeathed to the Romans and Antiquity. Long after the disappearance of the “Etruscan World”, their cultural and technological heritage was to have a deep impact on the roots of Rome.

  • Etruscan female funeral urn
    ©Florence, National Archaelogical Museum
  • Balsamarium in the shape of a helmeted head - The Etruscans
    ©Florence, National Archaelogical Museum
  • Votive animal - Temporary exhibition "The Etruscans" 2022
    ©Florence, National archaeological Museum

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