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An exquisite memorial of an unknown Estruscan.

An exquisite memorial of an unknown Estruscan, 6th century B.C.

My mantra for the day was, “I am timeless and ageless.” This phrase kept repeating itself as I wandered through the National Archaeological Museum of Chiusi in Italy. The three of us had the museum to ourselves, the only people exploring this treasure of ancient Etruscan history. Even the town of Chiusi felt lonely that day, perhaps haunted by its early inhabitants.

Chiusi's beautiful view of Tuscany.

Chiusi’s beautiful view of Tuscany.

National Archaeological Museum of Chiusi

National Archaeological Museum of Chiusi

The Etruscans, whose roots have been traced by scholars as far back as 700 B.C., were artistically advanced and flourished in the 5th and 6th centuries B.C. The museum showcases the best of the artifacts recovered from hillsides in the surrounding areas.

Nike?

Nike?

She captivated me. 5th century B.C.

She captivated me. 5th century B.C.

The extensive display of artifacts showcases tombs, urns, sculptures, pottery, embossed bronzes and even culinary utensils and vessels (my favorite!).

Assorted cooking utensils. The pronged star is for roasting meat. 5th century B.C.

Assorted cooking utensils. The pronged star is for roasting meat. The green triangle on the table is a grater. 4th -6th century B.C.

Clever and unique bronze vessels. 4-6th century B.C.

Clever and unique bronze vessels. 4-6th century B.C.

Fine mosaic. Incredible.

Intricate mosaic. A true artist.

Unlike other eras of art, these pieces were meaningfully created for a purpose. The tombs were a focal point with the intention of honoring the deceased visually, and preparing them spiritually. Did the Etruscans realize they were talented artists or did they simply put their heart and soul into what was necessary for daily life? Did they even think they would be recognized thousands of years later? What an anonymous legacy to leave and challenge us to appreciate the art in everyday living. History is fascinating!

“History is formed by the people, those who have power and those without power. Each one of us makes history.” Anselm Kiefer

Ciao for now!

Maria