Spina was an Etruscan port city, established by the end of the 6th century BCE,on the Adriatic at the ancient mouth of the Po, south of the lagoon which would become the site of Venice.
The site of Spina was lost until modern times, when drainage schemes in the delta of the Po River in 1922 first officially revealed a necropolis of Etruscan Spina about four miles west of the commune of Comacchio.
The fishermen of Comacchio, it soon turned out, had been the source of "Etruscan" vases (actually ancient imports from Greece) and other artifacts that had appeared for years on the archeological black market.
The archaeological finds from the burials of Spina were discovered with the help of aerial photography. Aside from the white reflective surfaces of the modern drainage channels there appeared in the photographs a ghostly network of dark lines and light rectangles, the former indicating richer vegetation on the sites of ancient canals. Thus the layout of the ancient trading port was revealed, now miles from the sea, due to the sedimentation of the Po delta.
Spina was founded around 525 BC, soon after Atria. It had the predominantly Etruscan population, but also a significant Greek trading emporium.
The population of Spina became significantly Hellenised.
Many of the goods imported through Spina were destined for the bigger Etruscan city of Felsina (ancient name of Bologna).
The city was at the southern end of the ancient Amber road from the Baltic sea. This trade was done through the Veneti, whose cities were to the north. They also traded in horses, for which the Veneti were famous.
Etruscan hydraulic engineers managed to confine the wide Po river at Spina to its bed, by the means of constructing many canals to direct its flow. As a result the disastrous spring floods were mitigated. Much other evidence of Etruscan hydraulic engineering works remains in the area. They have drained the marshes and provided irrigation for dry lands.
The Tyrrhenian Sea is part of the Mediterranean Sea off the western coast of Italy. It is named for the Tyrrhenian people identified with the Etruscans of Italy.
The Etruscan civilization of ancient Italy covered a territory, at its greatest extent, of roughly what is now Tuscany, western Umbria, and northern Lazio, as well as parts of what are now the Po Valley, Emilia-Romagna, south-eastern Lombardy, southern Veneto, and Campania.
Adria is a town and comune in the province of Rovigo in the Veneto region of northern Italy, situated between the mouths of the rivers Adige and Po. The remains of the Etruscan city of Atria or Hatria are to be found below the modern city, three to four metres below the current level. Adria and Spina were the Etruscan ports and depots for Felsina. Adria may have given its name during an early period to the Adriatic Sea, to which it was connected by channels.
Etruria was a region of Central Italy, located in an area that covered part of what are now Tuscany, Lazio, and Umbria.
The Veneti were an Indo-European people who inhabited northeastern Italy, in an area corresponding to the modern-day region of Veneto.
The Province of Rovigo is a province in the Veneto region of Italy. Its capital is the city of Rovigo. It borders on the north with the provinces of Verona, Padua and Venice, on the south with the province of Ferrara, on the west with the province of Mantua, and on the east with the Adriatic Sea.
The Villanovan culture, regarded as the earliest phase of the Etruscan civilization, was the earliest Iron Age culture of Central Italy and Northern Italy. It directly followed the Bronze Age Proto-Villanovan culture which branched off from the Urnfield culture of Central Europe. This gave way in the 7th century BC to an increasingly orientalizing culture influenced by Greek traders and colonists who settled in South Italy.
Comacchio is a town and comune of Emilia Romagna, Italy, in the province of Ferrara, 48 kilometres (30 mi) from the provincial capital Ferrara. It was founded about two thousand years ago; across its history it was first governed by the Exarchate of Ravenna, then by the Duchy of Ferrara, and eventually returned to be part of the territories of the Papal States. For its landscape and its history, it is considered one of the major centres of the Po delta.
Caere is the Latin name given by the Romans to one of the larger cities of southern Etruria, the modern Cerveteri, approximately 50-60 kilometres north-northwest of Rome. To the Etruscans it was known as Cisra, to the Greeks as Agylla and to the Phoenicians as Kyšryʼ.
The Via Popilia is the name of two different ancient Roman roads begun in the consulship of Publius Popilius Laenas. One was in southern Italy and the other was in north-eastern Italy.
Populonia or Populonia Alta today is a frazione of the comune of Piombino. As of 2009 its population was 17. Populonia is especially noteworthy for its Etruscan remains, including one of the main necropolis in Italy, discovered by Isidoro Falchi.
The Po Valley, Po Plain, Plain of the Po, or Padan Plain is a major geographical feature of Northern Italy. It extends approximately 650 km (400 mi) in an east-west direction, with an area of 46,000 km2 including its Venetic extension not actually related to the Po river basin; it runs from the Western Alps to the Adriatic Sea. The flatlands of Veneto and Friuli are often considered apart since they do not drain into the Po, but they effectively combine into an unbroken plain.
Etruscan art was produced by the Etruscan civilization in central Italy between the 10th and 1st centuries BC. From around 750 BC it was heavily influenced by Greek art, which was imported by the Etruscans, but always retained distinct characteristics. Particularly strong in this tradition were figurative sculpture in terracotta, wall-painting and metalworking especially in bronze. Jewellery and engraved gems of high quality were produced.
Adria was a former channel of the Po river delta, passing by the town of Adria, that ceased in the 1st century BC.
The prehistory of Italy began in the Paleolithic period, when the Homo species colonized the Italian territory for the first time, and ended in the Iron Age, when the first written records appeared in the Insular Italy.
There are three main hypotheses as to the origins of the Etruscan civilization in the Early Iron Age. The first is autochthonous development in situ out of the Villanovan culture, as claimed by the Greek historian Dionysius of Halicarnassus who described the Etruscans as indigenous people who had always lived in Etruria. The second is a migration from the Aegean sea, as claimed by two Greek historians: Herodotus, who described them as a group of immigrants from Lydia in Anatolia, and Hellanicus of Lesbos who claimed that the Tyrrhenians were the Pelasgians originally from Thessaly, Greece, who entered Italy at the head of the Adriatic sea. The third hypotheses was reported by Livy and Pliny the Elder, and puts the Etruscans in the context of the Rhaetian people to the north and other populations living in the Alps.
In the 8th century BC, the Etruscans expanded their power to Northern and Southern Italy, specifically towards Emilia and Campania, there they founded Etruscan dominions who are modernly known under the names of Padanian Etruria and Campanian Etruria. Moving from the northern city-states of the Etruscan Dodecapolis they swept into the Po valley through the Apennine passes.
The Po is the longest river in Italy. It is a river that flows eastward across northern Italy starting from the Cottian Alps. The Po flows either 652 km (405 mi) or 682 km (424 mi) – considering the length of the Maira, a right bank tributary. The headwaters of the Po are a spring seeping from a stony hillside at Pian del Re, a flat place at the head of the Val Po under the northwest face of Monviso. The Po then extends along the 45th parallel north before ending at a delta projecting into the Adriatic Sea near Venice.
Etruscan architecture was created between about 900 BC and 27 BC, when the expanding civilization of ancient Rome finally absorbed Etruscan civilization. The Etruscans were considerable builders in stone, wood and other materials of temples, houses, tombs and city walls, as well as bridges and roads. The only structures remaining in quantity in anything like their original condition are tombs and walls, but through archaeology and other sources we have a good deal of information on what once existed.
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