Lucas Knitel told on 27 November 2011 about the exhibition on Etruscan women at the Antiquities Museum in Leiden.
This exhibition is the counterpart of the present exhibition about Etruscan men, in the Allard Pierson Museum in Amsterdam.
In this culture in ancient Italy, women had a relatively strong position (somewhat like Egypt), if compared to Athens and other Greek states, Rome, and Mesopotamia.
We do not know as much about Etruscan culture as we might like. Much of their temples and other buildings were made of wood, so few of these survive. We also know much more about rich Etruscans than about poor ones. And the Etruscan language is still a problem. Not because of their alphabet, similar to the Greek alphabet; but because their language is unrelated to most European languages in antiquity.
There are varous theories on the origins of Etruscans. Eg, Italian nationalists tend to claim they were “autochthonous” ancient Italians. Another theory claims they were immigrants from Asia Minor. Mr Knitel tended to favour a third theory: that Etruscans were immigrants from central Europe. In what is now Austria, the Rhaetic language was spoken in antiquity. It seems that Rhaetian is related to Etruscan.