An absolute must-see archaeological exhibition on the cities of southern etruria by one of italy's leading experts on the Etruscan civilisation. A wealth of essays and a vast collection of photographs illustrate original theories, previously unpublished finds and the lifesize reconstruction of whole temples and tombs.
The exhibition concentrates mainly on the 6th and 5th centuries BC, when the Etruscans were at the height of their prosperity and territorial expansion, illustrating the development of their main urban centres in Lazio. Veio (specialised in the production of terracotta decorations for buildings and votive sculptures), Cerveteri (with its spectacular funeral architecture and the work of its goldsmiths), Vulci (represented by its monumental sculptures) and Tarquinia (whose frescoed tombs together represent the most important collection of paintings surviving from the ancient world before those of Pompeii). Although they obviously stem from a common cultural matrix, each city-state had its own identity in terms of art, lifestyle and commerce. Just as the Etruscans were strongly influenced by the painted masterpieces of Corinthian, Eastern Greek and later Attic ceramics, so they in turn influenced their neighbours the Romans (Rome conquered Veio in 396 BC and extended her hegemony throughout southern Etruria), in particular with regards to religious practises and the symbols of power.