Journalist Dan Vergano has covered a new rare find at the archaeological excavation at Poggio Colla, the site of a 2,700-year-old Etruscan settlement in Italy’s Mugello Valley. Excavators turned up two images of a woman giving birth to a child. The article, “Blind archaeologist uncovers ancient childbirth inscription,” published Oct. 24.

The excavation is a project of Southern Methodist University, Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Penn., and the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, in collaboration with The Open University in Milton Keynes, England.

Greg Warden, professor and associate dean for academic affairs at the Meadows School of the Arts at SMU and a director of the Mugello Valley Archaeological Project, has called the birth scene “extraordinary,” saying it might have a bearing on the kind of worship that went on at the hilltop sanctuary of Poggio Colla.

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By Dan Vergano
USA Today

A legally blind archaeology student uncovered one of the oldest depictions of childbirth yet found, inscribed on a pottery sherd from an Etruscan temple site, perhaps 2,700 years old.

“I am visually impaired, almost totally blind, so I needed to find an archaeology role where I could work on new excavation strategies,” says William Nutt of the University of Texas at Arlington. He found one at the Mugello Valley Archaeological Project field school run by Southern Methodist University at the site of Poggio Colla, in Italy.

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