Monday, March 03, 2014

Art, History, and a dash of old Tuscany

So this week in history, among other things, we are going to be studying the Etruscan people--they are the forerunners to the Romans. Off hand, what do you think of when you think of the Etruscans? This is the first thing I think about:

Source: Wiki
Now if you have never seen this 2,500 year-old sarcophagus before, there are so many neat places to read about this particular piece of funerary art, but Khan has a great write-up. Part of it:

One of the distinguishing features of Etruscan society, and one that caused much shock and horror to their Greek neighbors, was the relative freedom enjoyed by Etruscan women. Unlike women in ancient Greece or Rome, upper class Etruscan women actively participated in public life—attending banquets, riding in carriages and being spectators at (and participants in) public events. Reflections of such freedoms are found throughout Etruscan art; images of women engaged in these activities appear frequently in painting and in sculpture. 

The "Sarcophagus of the Spouses," Etruscan, c. 520-510 B.C.E., painted terracotta (Louvre) The "Sarcophagus of the Spouses" was found in Cerverteri, a town in Italy north of Rome, which is the site of a large Etruscan necropolis (or cemetery), with hundreds of tombs. The sarcophagus vividly evokes both the social visibility of Etruscan women and a type of marital intimacy rarely seen in Greek art from this period.

I love the personal nature of this piece of artwork and what really looks like a beautiful friendship between the spouses. It is so unusual for ancient art that it has always helped me remember the people group who made it.  

Source: Wiki
The Etruscan necropolis is absolutely fascinating. It is a World Heritage Site for good reason. 

This video is part III of a muti-part video series on Youtube on the largest underwater shipwreck discovery of an Etruscan wine merchant. The video below showcases the necropolis--both inside and out. The whole series is definitely worth watching, but this one in particular had so much fascinating information on the Etruscans. 

How do you flesh out your history study? I am always shocked at just how much is out there on the net for us for free! One has to be wise and not everything found is worth using or watching, but then there are these kinds of finds and I just love it. Homeschooling in our time is certainly easier than it was before the internet! 

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