Further Reading (Intermezzo)

Further reading


My fundamental source for this account of the Etruscans has been The Etruscan Civilisation, a Cultural History, by Sybille Haynes, a book combining history, archaeology and art, beautifully produced by the Paul Getty Museum in California

Etruscan Art by Nigel Spivey has proved unexpectedly useful, going well beyond the basic description of ‘art’.

The same author’s earlier work with Simon Stoddart:  Etruscan Italy, an Archaeological History is useful but was written in an era when archaeology was still dominated by the ‘new’ archaeology.

Everyday Life of The Etruscans by Ellen McNamara has been my standby account ever since it was published in 1973.

Italy before Rome by John Reich (1979) is useful about the earlier period.

The Changing Landscape of South Etruria by Tim Potter was an epoch-making account of the South Etruria project by the British School at Rome which was a revelation when it first appeared in 1979. I was bowled over and gave it a rave review: it opened my eyes as to what can be achieved by field-walking, and it is still a very valuable introduction though I updated it in Current World Archaeology 42


A History of Earliest Italy is by Massimo Pallotino who was the Grand Old Man of Etruscan archaeology when it was first published in 1984, and it still gives a wonderful overview of the whole subject of early Italy.


Tim Cornell’s The Beginnings of Rome is for me the basic foundation for the history of early Rome and he has a fascinating chapter on ‘The Myth of Etruscan Rome’. I do not altogether follow his arguments — I fear he goes too far in arguing that Rome was never an Etruscan city. Rome, he says, ‘was never an Etruscan city. It was an independent Latin settlement with a cosmopolitan population and a sophisticated culture’. I think he pushes his argument too far, but it is nevertheless a fascinating and challenging chapter.


Phoenicians by Glenn E. Markoe

This is an excellent account, particularly for the early period and the Late Bronze Age at Tyre and Sidon

The Phoenicians by Donald Harden

This is the classic account published in 1962 in the ‘Ancient Peoples and Places’ series.  The magisterial text is accompanied by numerous line drawings and superb black and white photos which still form a treasure house of information.

Kition: Mycenaean and Phoenician Discoveries in Cyprus by Vassos Karageorghis

An account of the principal Phoenician settlement in Cyprus by Vassos Karageorghis, the grand old man of Cypriot archaeology.



Carthage: a history by Serge Lancel

Serge Lancel is the former French excavator of Carthage and in this magisterial work  published in 1992 he sums up the work often led by the French on Carthage.

Shipsheds of the Ancient Mediterranean edited by David Blackman is an account of shipsheds round the Mediterranean, including those at Carthage.

Carthage Must be Destroyed: the rise and fall of an ancient civilization by Richard Miles

For me, this is an infuriating book. It tells the story of Carthage from the first foundation down to its final destruction by the Romans; but it is written in the style of Livy as a mellifluous history, and it has deservedly become a best seller. In his text, he tends to pass over his sources,  but he knows  both his history and his archaeology and his judgement is good – and he devotes nearly 80 pages at the end to notes.  But at times it is a little bit too detailed and gives an account that is just a little too smooth.

Kerkouane: a Punic town in the Berber region of Tamezrat by Mhamel Hassine Fantar

This is the guide book to this best preserved Carthaginian town. I bought it on site and it is a very valuable description of this best preserved town and the onsite museum.

Carthage: fact and myth edited by Roald Docter, Ridha Boussoffara and Pieter ter Keurs is a handbook to accompany an exhibition held in Holland at Leyden in 2014-15, but it goes rather beyond the normal limits of an exhibition handbook to give an overall account of Carthage.

Excavations at Carthage: the British mission by H.R. Hurst

This is the excavation report on the excavations carried out by the British on the harbour at Carthage as part of the UNESCO rescue project



Tartessos and the Phoenicians in Iberia by Sebastian Celestino & Carolina Lopez-Ruiz.

This is the basic book on Tartessos. The first part, by Carolina Lopez-Ruiz is deals with the historical evidence mainly from Greek sources, —though at times is rather like trying to make bricks out of straw. However the second half by Sebastian Celestino is an excellent account of the archaeology: this is the book that puts Tartessos on the map.

The Phoenicians and the West: politics, colonies and trade by Maria Eugenia Aubet

This is a landmark account by a Spanish scholar of the Phoenicians as seen from Spain with an excellent account of Tartessos.

 Europe Between the Oceans: 9000 BC-AD 1000 by Barry Cunliffe

Barry Cunliffe only deals with Tartessos as part of his overall account of European archaeology, but he has made a particular study of Southern Spain, and this is a brilliant account that puts the whole story of Southern Spain into context.

Mountains of Silver & Rivers of Gold: the Phoenicians in Iberia by Ann Neville

This was originally a doctoral thesis submitted in 1998 but published with amendments in 2007. Sadly it leaves out Tartessos which is only mentioned only fleetingly, but it is a very good account of the Phoenician settlements,  all of whom are described, many with plans.

The archaeology of Iberia: the dynamics of change,  edited by Margarita Diaz-Andreu and Simon Keay  springs from a Theoretical Archaeology Group conference held in 1992. Sadly it is too theoretical to be of any practical use




13th February 2017