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6. Etruscan Society

In the Early Iron Age (ca. 1000 BCE), civilization in Italy was rather simple. The most sophisticated cultures in the peninsula were not the Romans at all, but rather groups to the north of Rome who have come to be called The Villanovans, who exploited the metal resources of northern Italy even before the officially noted founding of Rome. Later the Etruscans would appear (ca. 800 BCE), Rome's first great rivals. The Etruscans were a loose confederation of city-states north of Rome who even expanded into Rome and further south, as far as Pompeii. The Etruscans are particularly noted for their magnificent art, in particular the glorious painted tombs of Tarquinia.

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