Imagine having to write about a rock. A simple thing really? Well, no, you aren’t allowed to see the rock. All you are allowed to do is witness the splash and ripples in the pond after the rock’s been thrown in. From the size of the splash, the noise and the resulting ripples you can guess what the rock might look like in terms of size and dimensions. But it’s not the same as holding that rock in your hand. This is an apt metaphor for trying to work out the Etruscans, they were hugely influential and their ripples pulse through Roman culture yet so much of what we’d normally use to define and understand them is absent. We don’t have any Etruscan plays or writings, we rely instead on the reports of others. It’s a delicious mystery.