A slab that's more than 2,500 years old with a goddess named Uni is inscribed on it was found in Poggio Colla in Italy. The relic is confirmed as an important archaeological find from Etruscan civilization.
According to Phys.org, the 500-pound ancient stone was embedded on a temple wall at Poggio Colla, where an archaeological dig sponsored by the Southern Methodist University, Dallas is ongoing. According to archaeologist Gregor Warden, the inscription found is possibly the longest Etruscan inscription found in a stone.
"We can at this point affirm that this discovery is one of the most important Etruscan discoveries of the last few decades," Warden said via Science Daily. "It's a discovery that will provide not only valuable information about the nature of sacred practices at Poggio Colla, but also fundamental data for understanding the concepts and rituals of the Etruscans, as well as their writing and perhaps their language."
It is very rare to find surviving Etruscan inscriptions. Etruscans usually uses linen cloth books and wax tablets to write texts and these materials aren't exactly the best in preservation. Stones, on the other hand, can last. That is why researchers find surviving Etruscan inscriptions on graves, which means that such inscriptions are of funerary in nature. Discovering Uni's name in a slab called a stele is an exciting discovery as this will shed light to Etruscan's religious beliefs.
Highly cultured, Estrucans once ruled Rome. Their civilization had influenced art, government, architecture and religion. Estrucans were also very religious, and it is possible that religion is daily embedded to their society. Uni is said to be a mother goddess and a divinity of fertility.
Aside from slab, there were many Etruscan objects found, including ceramic fragments that depic the earliest birth scene in European art.
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