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Pubblicato aprile 9, Da Antrocom Rare religious artifact found at ancient temple site in Italy is from lost culture fundamental to western traditions The Etruscan stele was embedded in the foundations of a monumental temple where it had been for more than 2, years.
Mugello Valley Project Archaeologists in Italy have discovered what may be a rare sacred text in the Etruscan language that is likely to yield rich details about Etruscan worship of a god or goddess.
The lengthy text is inscribed on a large 6th century BCE sandstone slab that was uncovered from an Etruscan temple.
A new religious artifact is rare. Most Etruscan discoveries typically have been grave and funeral objects.
The slab, weighing about pounds and nearly four feet tall by more than two feet wide, has at least 70 legible letters and punctuation marks, said Warden, professor emeritus at Southern Methodist University, Dallas, main sponsor of the project.
Scholars in the field predict the stele STEE-leeas such slabs are called, will yield a wealth of new knowledge about the lost culture of the Etruscans. The stele has at least 70 legible letters and punctuation marks, likely with new words never seen before.
The Etruscan civilization once ruled Rome and influenced Romans on everything from religion to government to art to architecture. Considered one of the most religious people of the ancient world, Etruscan life was permeated by religion, and ruling magistrates also exercised religious authority.
The slab was discovered embedded in the foundations of a monumental temple where it had been buried for more than 2, years.
At one time it would have been displayed as an imposing and monumental symbol of authority, Warden said. The slab would have been connected to the early sacred life of the sanctuary there.
The architecture then was characterized by timber-framed oval structures pre-dating a large temple with an imposing stone podium and large stone column bases of the Tuscan Doric type, five of which have been found at the site, Warden said.
Mugello Valley Project Conservation and study of the stele, with full photogrammetry and laser scanning to document all aspects of the conservation process and all details of the inscribed surfaces, is underway in the next few months at the conservation laboratories of the Tuscan Archaeological Superintendency in Florence by experts from the architecture department of the University of Florence.
The sandstone, likely from a local source, is heavily abraded and chipped, with one side reddened, possibly from undergoing burning in antiquity. Cleaning will allow scholars to read the inscription.Members of the Achaemenid royal bodyguard, from a bas-relief at Persepolis.
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