The Etruscans were an early civilization pre-dating the Romans from Etruria, now Tuscany, in central Italy. The Tusci or the Etrusci mined copper and iron, they were wealthy and bore a strong cultural influence in the region. Although no religious or philosophical texts survive, they are renowned for their artistry and manual skill, evident in their surviving vases, jugs, pots and drinking vessels–distinct in form, images, design and colours. The combination of black and terracotta/red from the local soil with classically drawn figures and borders–strongly influenced by the Greeks–has proved a long lasting influence in later design.
The celebrated ceramicist Josiah Wedgwood’s motto was Artes Etruriae Renascuntur, the arts of Etruria are reborn, evidence of his respect for their artistry and pottery. He later paid further homage to their heritage by naming his ceramics factory Etruria Works (1769), and his home Etruria Hall.