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III. Bronze

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Chapter Summary

The northern half of Italy began its long tradition as an important Mediterranean metalworking region under the Villanovan culture, 10th-early 7th century's bce. One of the keynotes of early Etruscan culture was the marked increase in direct contact between Etruria and the Middle East. This "Orientalizing" contact is clearly evident in early Etruscan votive bronze figurines such as Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) statuette 70.973. Etruscan bronze-working skills were further enhanced by the inclusion of iron intarsio, an eastern technique probably introduced through Orientalizing trade connections. The DIA Clasp 26.236 provides a fine example of this unusual inlay technique. Etruscan bronze production encompassed not only figurines but also a wide variety of luxury objects as well as everyday utensils. The more common luxury items include mirrors such as DIA 47.399 which are engraved with figural scenes taken from mythology or daily life.

Keywords: Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA); Etruscan bronze; Italy; Villanovan culture



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