'The Etruscans' have been one of the enigmas of history. A cultured, artistic, socially adept, prosperous and pleasure-loving people, they dominated Central Italy for 800 years until, eclipsed by the power of Rome, their civilization was absorbed and their identity obliterated. This companion to Kruta’s great volume on the Celts, and Schmidt, de la Garza and Nalda’s on the Maya, accompanied the Palazzo Grassi’s huge exhibition on the Etruscans and offers far more than the exhibition could. Some twenty chapters, contributed by the most prominent scholars in the field, provide the very latest knowledge on topics as diverse as religious beliefs, city building and the ideology of the town, the Etruscans’ language, slavery and trade. More than 800 illustrations, plans and line drawings and specially commissioned photographs displaying the glory of the Etruscans’ richly frescoed tombs, their exquisite jewelry and sculpture, metalwork and painted vases, comprehensively document what we know about the Etruscan world.