The Introduction explains who the Etruscans were and puts them in a historical context. Where did they come from and why was their language so unusual? For 500 years, from around 400 to 900 bc, they were a powerful, wealthy, and highly creative community of people who lived in the centre of Italy. They were active in the fields of art, technology, sport, wine, music, and religion. The image of being a mysterious race has prevented the Etruscans from being properly integrated into classical history narratives, and this image needs to be broken down to answer the question of who they actually were.