- The direct evidence of Etruscan shipping comes from a number of shipwrecks, such as Bon Porte, Cap d’Antibes, and Giglio. A prominent shipbuilding technique appears to have been the “sewing” together of the planks with wooden pegs. Indirect evidence comes from artistic depiction dating back to as early as the Villanovan An Etruscan ship from a vase of the Pittore delle Palme, seventh century BC. period. Other artistic sources include the early seventh-century BC Missouri vase, seventh-century BC fired clay models from Vulci and Capena, a sixth-century Etruscan krater from Caere, the famous fifth-century BC Tomba della Nave (Tomb of the Ship) from Tarquinia, and many bas-reliefs from the sarcophagi of Volterra. These images reveal curved keels, sails, and rudders and, in some cases, oars and rams on the prow. The importance of shipping is confirmed by the opinion of the ancient authors, who express the importance of maritime control (Dionysius of Halicarnassus) and (from their non-Etruscan perspective) a particular interpretation of piracy (e.g., Apollodorus), which are linked to their participation in the battles of Cuma and Alalia. Further evidence of the importance of the sea is provided by the ports of trade (Gravisca, Pyrgi, and Regisvilla), important coastal settlements (Populonia and Pisa), and the widespread distribution of certain trade products such as bucchero.
Historical Dictionary of the Etruscans. Simon K. F. Stoddart.