Southwest Texas Archaeological Society Lecture: Jean MacIntosh Turfa

Tuesday, April 10 at 7:30pm to 10:00pm

As part of the Southwest Texas Archaeological Society lecture series, Dr. Jean MacIntosh Turfa, with the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, will give a talk titled "The Secret Lives of Etruscan Women."

Etruscan women “… are big drinkers and especially good-looking…” said the Greek author Theopompus.Etruscan literature is lost, and the Romans and Greeks, their rivals, have left us a wildly biased perspective on Etruscan culture. What is the truth about these women, who, while their Greek and Roman sisters had to keep out of sight doing housework, owned land and ran factories, even bought and sold slaves (and sometimes married them)? Thanks to archaeology and their inscriptions, we now know the stories of some Etruscan women, like Kanuta the slave girl who gained her freedom, married into the ruling family of Volsinii (Orvieto), and patronized the great sanctuary, the Fanum Voltumnae. Many Etruscan women were highly literate and left thousands of votive body parts at healing shrines. They wove plaid clothing, used state of the art cosmetics and medical remedies, drove their own chariots, and were the only ancient people to use false teeth. In Orvieto in 263 BCE, desperate Etruscan housewives triggered a counter-revolt that toppled their oppressors – and delivered the impregnable city into Rome’s clutches. Etruscans’ personal experiences lie at the roots of today’s rock-star Grillz, the gauge of European railways, and perhaps even our modern attitudes toward women and literacy, travel and citizenship. A look at Etruria’s powerful females shows there really is no secret about it – they were modern women in the Old World.

Co-sponsored by Classical Studies, the Southwest Texas Archaeological Society, and the Archaeological Institute of America. 

Chapman Center Auditorium
One Trinity Place, San Antonio, Texas 78212



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