National Lecture Program

AIA Lecturer: Ann Steiner

Affiliation: Franklin and Marshall College

Ann Steiner is the Shirley Watkins Steinman Professor of Classics (Emerita) at Franklin and Marshall College. Professor Steiner received her Ph.D., M.A., and A.B. from Bryn Mawr College. Her area of specialization is the uses of pottery in ancient cultures, and her volume Dining in the Center of the Democracy: The Tholos Pottery in Historical Context (in progress) was the recipient of the ASCSA Samuel Kress Foundation Publication Grant.  Since 2002 she has been the Director of Research for the Mugello Valley Archaeological Project and Excavations at Poggio Colla.Professor Steiner is the AIA Cinelli Lecturer for 2021/2022.


The ancient Etruscans, who flourished in central Italy between the eighth and third centuries BCE, are among the most poorly understood people in the ancient Mediterranean.  We know they influenced Roman religion a great deal, and their control of metal resources brought them enormous wealth. They left very few written records, and scholars still struggle to translate their language.  Archaeological excavation has helped to develop a fuller picture of this enigmatic culture; this presentation will focus on results of excavations from 1995-2015 at the Etruscan site of Poggio Colla, a sanctuary to the goddess Uni, where the speaker serves as a director. When excavation began, virtually nothing was known about the site including its ancient name;  all that remained were scraps of ancient fortification walls, robbed-out tombs, and a flattened hilltop.  The lecture takes the audience through the process of uncovering a monumental temple, at least ten votive deposits including a large cache of gold jewelry, and the discovery, on the last day of the last season of work, of one of the longest inscriptions ever found in the Etruscan language.  The lecture emphasizes the process the excavation staff used to interpret the site from season to season as well as the final results and the questions that remain.


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