Prospering between 950 and 300 BC, the Etruscans occupied a region in northwest Italy between the River Tiber and the Arno River.
Leaving unanswered questions about their culture and origin due to lack of literature and historical inscriptions, the only knowledge we have of these people was by studying their building remains, monuments, tombs and artifacts.
Disappearing without trace, one theory suggests the Etruscans migrated to Greece or even Tuscany whose culture rapidly developed by means of acquired tools and trading.
By skillfully exploiting their natural resources, the Etruscans amassed wealth, separating the powerful aristocracy into stone palaces while their serfs occupied wooden huts.
Although Etruscan mariners gave rise to Etruscan pirates and there didn’t appear to be a single societal leader, there was evidence of local autonomy and their social customs together with their religious and military practices appears to be largely similar.
Ancient Etruscan jewelry was particularly inspired by the Greek Hellenistic styles characterized by great workmanship and intricate detailing.
Their immaculate designs and works of art served as source of inspiration for many archeological revival styles in the late 19th century Victorian era. Etruscan granulation is the covering of a gold surface with minute gold spheres.
This difficult process required soldering the spherules to the surface without deforming them. In 1870, Alfredo Castellani claimed to have discovered the Etruscan secret from goldsmiths in a remote village in the Appennines.
While the Etruscans used the original technique called ‘colloidal hard soldering’, Castellani used one that is very similar but without quite the delicate and light effect of the original.
It is said that young Etruscans wore a bulla around their neck while women wore fibulae bracelets and Greek style fringed necklaces as well as Castellanis Roman mosaic brooches of Byzantine inspiration inscribed in Greek and Latin.