Honors Theses

Date of Award

Spring 5-9-2020

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Department

Classics

First Advisor

Jacqueline DiBiasie-Sammons

Second Advisor

Molly Pasco-Pranger

Third Advisor

John Samonds

Relational Format

Dissertation/Thesis

Abstract

In this thesis, I explore the usage and purpose of amber objects in burials from Etruria, specifically from the late Villanovan Period (ca. 800-720 BCE) to the Orientalizing Period (ca. 720-580 BCE). I have followed a combination of quantitative and qualitative research approaches as well as visual analysis of amber grave goods. While there has been extensive research on the medicinal and ritual purposes of amber grave goods from excavated Etruscan tombs, I show that there was likely a specific interest in amber that contains organic inclusions likely because of the Etruscans’ interest in nature. I examine the presence and types of amber objects found in female graves of two Etruscan necropoleis and hypothesize what these objects might tell us about the lives of Etruscan women. The findings suggest that amber artifacts exemplify the culture’s biophilia, i.e. reverence for nature.

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