The question of what came before the Romans is as irrelevant to some as what occurred before time. However the Etruscan civilization that pre-dates the Roman one contributes to what many either take for granted or erroneously attribute to the Romans. In fact, even legendary gladiator fighting. considered the core of Imperial Roman entertainment, dervied from an Etruscan funeral ritual. The study of Etruscan archaeological sites and material culture is providing increasing insights into the people who gave Rome its earliest walls, first kings, the advanced drainage system of the Cloaca Maxima, nobility concepts and the arts of divination, banqueting, fresco painting and metal working.
For the full article I wrote for Wanted in Rome magazine and to discover more about what to see in Rome regarding the mysterious Etruscans, please see it published under the Publications tab or click this link.