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Tarquinia was one of the principal cities of ancient Etruria, the most powerful nation in pre-Roman Italy, and has been at the forefront of Etruscan studies since the early days of antiquarian scholarship. The lack of Etruscan literature and problems with the interpretation of ancient sources have given archaeology a very significant role to play in understanding this elusive civilisation. Robert Leighton charts the history of the site and its interpretation, from its use in early propaganda under the Medici and other Tuscan rulers, to nineteenth-century interest in the discovery of the painted tombs, for which the site is famous, and twentieth-century concentration on the extensive prehistoric burial grounds which provide evidence for the 'proto-Etruscan' Villanovan culture. He considers the significance of Etruscan art in the Archaic period, a topic of hot debate, setting it in the context of economic organisation, long-distance trade and the important role of Tarquinia's port of Gravisca. Recent explorations of the city walls and public and religious buildings of Hellenistic and later date are also discussed.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 192 pages
  • 154.9 x 231.1 x 20.3mm | 385.56g
  • Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • Gerald Duckworth & Co Ltd
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 30 b&w illustrations
  • 0715631624
  • 9780715631621
  • 1,416,349

Review quote

"University of Edinburgh Archaeology Lecturer Robert Leighton presents Tarquinia: An Etruscan City, a historical account of one of the great cities of ancient Etruria, one of the most powerful and creative civilizations of pre-Roman Italy. Charting Tarquinia's growth from prehistory to late antiquity, Tarquinia: An Etruscan City covers everything from what modern archaeology can tell us about the society to literary impressions of Tarquinia by great writers and poets such as Stendhal and D.H. Lawrence. An extensively researched and scholarly historical account, illustrated throughout with black-and-white diagrams and photographs, ideal for college library collections and historical reference shelves."The Bookwatch, May 2005show more

About Robert Leighton

Robert Leighton is an Honorary Fellow of the Department of Archaeology at the University of Edinburgh and author of Sicily Before History: an archaeological survey from the Palaeolithic to the Iron Age, also published by Duckworth.show more