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Amazing discovery – earliest representation of childbirth in western art

October 19, 2011

As reported in Art Daily (which is essential reading), a 2,600-year old Etruscan ceramic fragment found at an archaeological site northeast of Florence, Italy, may be the earliest representation of childbirth in western art.  Nothing remotely comparable appears in Greek and Roman art for another 500 years.

Closeup photo of the fragment taken by Phil Perkins, professor at The Open University in the U.K.

The discovery also has a remarkable side story:

The fragment was excavated by William Nutt, who is a graduate student in anthropology at the University of Texas at Arlington and who is legally blind. Nutt was participating in the Poggio Colla Field School, which has operated for six weeks every summer since 1995. Under the supervision of faculty from U.S. institutions and graduate students in classical archaeology and anthropology, the field school has trained approximately 20 students each year, from more than 70 American and European universities, in the theory and practice of archaeological research. Through excavation and scholarship, these students have played an integral role in understanding the Etruscan occupation of the Mugello Valley.

Read the entire and absolutely fascinating story here.

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