Archeologists in Italy found what may be a very rare inscribed ancient slab that may shed light on rich details about Etruscan worship and culture.
The discovery could give scientists valuable information about the religion of ancient Etruscans, a missing piece of the puzzle they have been searching for. Majority of ancient relics about Etruscan culture came from funeral objects and graves. While all these might give information on how Etruscans lived in the past, it does not give hints in its religion and worship practices.
"This is probably going to be a sacred text, and will be remarkable for telling us about the early belief system of a lost culture that is fundamental to western traditions," said Gregory Warden, president and professor of archaeology at Franklin University Switzerland.
Etruscan Worship And Culture
The archeologists unearthed the stele at the Poggio Colla, a settlement 20 miles northeast of Florence, Italy.
Weighing about 500 pounds, the nearly 4-feet tall and 2-feet wide stele contains approximately 70 legible punctuation marks and letters.
Since the stone was found buried near a temple, it could probably contain information about the ancient people's religion. Researchers estimate that the stone was buried for about 2,500 years and it could have been on display outside the temple in the past.
The life of these people was infused with religion while their leaders practiced religious authority. They are considered one of the most religious groups of people in the ancient world.
Translating The Text
The archeologists are currently studying the language embedded on the slab to properly translate its contents. Etruscans once ruled Rome which could mean that the stele may give valuable information about culture thousands of years ago.
Warden said that long inscriptions on a stone are rare. The slab may contain words that are never heard before, especially that it's not a funeral text like other artifacts found. The researchers hope to discover new information about the Etruscan life, faith and culture through the stone.
The scientists are now focused on preserving the stele by using modern laser technology. The researchers, however, need more time to properly translate the ancient text.