Researchers found the inscribed slab near Florence and believe it might hold secrets behind the language of Italy’s pre-Roman culture
The Fox News segment “Digging History” covered SMU sponsored research at Italy’s Poggio Colla site where archaeologists have found what may be rare sacred text in the lost language of the Etruscans. The text is inscribed on a large 6th century BC sandstone slab and could reveal name of the god or goddess that was worshipped at the site.
The article, “2,500-year old slab unearthed, offers glimpse into the ancient Etruscan world,” published March 31.
Archaeologists have unearthed a rare text from an ancient temple in Italy that could reveal new details about the Etruscan civilization.
The text is inscribed on a large sandstone slab from the 6th century B.C. and may provide insight into Etruscan worship of a god or goddess.
“This is probably going to be a sacred text, and will be remarkable for telling us about the early belief system of a lost culture that is fundamental to western traditions,” said archaeologist Gregory Warden, in a statement released by Southern Methodist University.
Warden, professor of archaeology at Franklin University, Switzerland, is professor emeritus at Southern Methodist University and co-director and principal investigator of the Mugello Valley Archaeological Project, which made the discovery.
The Etruscan civilization existed from approximately the 8th century B.C. to the 3rd century in what is now central and northern Italy. Etruscans influenced many aspects of the Roman Empire, such as religion, government, art and architecture, according to experts.
Weighing about 500 pounds, the slab is nearly four feet tall and more than two feet wide. Warden notes that the slab has about 70 legible letters and punctuation marks.
The slab, or stele, was found in the foundations of an Etruscan temple northeast of Florence, where it had been buried for more than 2,500 years.
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