Beginning in the eighth century B.C., an expanse of central Italy extending from the edges of the Po River plain to the shores of the Tyrrhenian Sea became the setting for the civilization of the Etruscans. Although this people's geographic and linguistic origins remain controversial, the Etruscans were deeply rooted in the region and wove a tightly knit fabric of commercial and artistic trade throughout the Mediterranean.This well-organized and richly illustrated book examines the discoveries and masterpieces of the Etruscan world. Unforgettable paintings, works in gold, and sculpture in terracotta and bronze were created by the Etruscans, while extraordinary painted vases were imported from Greece. Scattered throughout central Italy and marked by a variety of architectural forms, ancient cemeteries can be found at the seashore, carved into tufa, clinging to cliff walls, or buried beneath the fields. From these necropolises, dazzling evidence continues to emerge of a culture that was rich, multifaceted, open, and peaceful-a culture destined to merge with Rome after centuries of independence.The Etruscanstells the story of this culture in a clear narrative that will appeal equally to both scholarly and popular audiences.