World-famous Etruscan Scholars Share Latest Research, Theories at International Symposium at University of Pennsylvania Museum

Symposium Offered in Celebration of "Worlds Intertwined: Etruscans, Greeks, and Romans," Permanent New Suite of Classical World Galleries

28 FEBRUARY 2003, PHILADELPHIA, PA—The Etruscan civilization, the preeminent culture of central Italy from 800-100 BC, has attracted a renaissance of interest among scholars and the public in recent years. From the Etruscan alphabet and the language, to the furnishings, architecture, fashion and city planning initiatives, these inventive pre-Roman people have left an enduring legacy. They shocked Greeks and Romans with the freedom of their women, their technological prowess, and their control of the sea—and then gradually lost it all to Rome's military campaigns. Yet, with little in the way of actual Etruscan texts preserved, the cultural artifacts that remain—strange, beautiful, sometimes seductive or frightening—pose challenges to archaeologists and historians eager to tease out a better understanding of the Etruscan contributions to the Roman culture that eventually subsumed them.

On March 28th and 29th, leading Etruscan scholars from two continents join together to share their latest theories and newest discoveries at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, at an international symposium, "The Etruscans Revealed: New Perspectives on Pre-Roman Italy."

The symposium, part of an "Etruscan Weekend," includes a Friday night keynote address and the dedication of the new Kyle M. Phillips, Jr. Etruscan World gallery, part of Worlds Intertwined: Etruscans, Greeks, and Romans, the Museum's new suite of permanent classical world galleries. On Saturday evening, a Choral Arts Society of Philadelphia concert, featuring music inspired by the ancient classical world and a world premiere piece by composer Robert Convery, inspired by the Museum's collections from the Sanctuary of Diana at Lake Nemi, is also part of the special weekend. The public can make reservations for the full weekend, or for individual parts.

"To Hell with the Etruscans!," the keynote lecture on Friday evening, is offered by Dr. Nancy Thomson de Grummond, Florida State University. Dr. Thomson de Grummond, an archaeologist who has excavated the Italian site of Cetamura, will share her perspective on the Etruscans' complex view of the afterlife and the underworld, with some surpising evidence on the survival of portions of it into the modern world. Dr. Ingrid Edlund-Berry of the University of Texas at Austin gives a tribute address, "In the Hills of Tuscany," on the research of the late Kyle M. Phillips, Jr. a noted American archaeologist who excavated the famous Etruscan site of Murlo. The Etruscan World gallery will be dedicated in honor of Dr. Phillips at a special gallery reception following the talks.

More than a dozen leading Etruscan archaeologists and historians will present their latest discoveries about the Etruscans during Friday afternoon and Saturday talks, while a Friday morning collections workshop will provide participants with an opportunity to share in informal study of Etruscan objects from the Museum's collection not normally on public view. UPM's Etruscan collection is among the finest in the United States, and encompasses the full range of Etruscan culture from the 8th century BC to the final days of Etruscan civilization in the 1st century BC.

The world-renowned group of speakers include Dr. Sybille Haynes, affiliated with the British Museum, and author of "Etruscan Civilization," speaking about "Between Val di Chiana and Val d'Orcia" on recent excavations in the Etruscan heartland; Dr. Tom Rasmussen of the University of Manchester, author of "The Etruscans" (with G. Barker), sharing his research on Etruscan art featuring the Greek hero Herakles; and Prof. Gilda Bartoloni, University of Rome "La Sapienza," whose excavations in the 9th-8th century B.C. necropoleis of Veii, just northeast of Rome, are providing new information about the emergence of aristocrats and rulers in Italy at the time of Romulus and Remus. Prof. Giovannangelo Camporeale (University of Florence and Director of the Istituto Nazionale di Studi Etruschi) will present the latest finds from his excavations of Etruscan homes at Lago d'Accesa, north of Rome. Complete information about the symposium is available at

"The Etruscans Revealed" international symposium is co-sponsored by the America-Italy Society of Philadelphia; the Center for Ancient Studies, the Department of Classical Studies, and the Department of the History of Art, University of Pennsylvania.

The symposium and the "Etruscan Weekend" are part of the Museum's "classical year" of special events in honor of the March 16, 2003 opening of Worlds Intertwined: Etruscans, Greeks, and Romans, a multi-million dollar reinstallation of the permanent classical galleries at the Museum. In Worlds Intertwined, more than 1,400 ancient artifacts are on display—including marble and bronze sculptures, jewelry, metalwork, mosaics, glass vessels, gold and silver coins, and pottery of exceptional artistic and historical renown—drawn from the Museum's outstanding Mediterranean collection of more than 30,000 objects, dating from 3000 BC to the 5th century AD. More information about the exhibition is available on the Museum's website at

Registration for the symposium and Friday evening keynote address and dedication of the Kyle M. Phillips, Jr. Etruscan World gallery is $50; $35 for Museum members and students. The evening dedication and keynote address alone is $25; $20 for members and students. The optional Saturday evening Choral Arts Society concert is $35; $30 for museum members and registered symposium participants (tickets to the concert are available through the Annenberg box office at (215) 898-3900). A special pre-concert Italian buffet dinner is $20. For information and registration, call the Museum's Events Office at (215) 898-4890.

The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, located at 3260 South Streets on the Penn campus in Philadelphia, is dedicated to the study and understanding of human history and diversity. Founded in 1887, the Museum has sent more than 400 archaeological and anthropological expeditions to all the inhabited continents of the world. With an active exhibition schedule and educational programming for children and adults, the Museum offers the public an opportunity to share in the ongoing discovery of humankind's collective heritage. For general information, visitors may call (215) 898-4000, or visit the Museum’s award-winning website at


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