Etruscan Bronze cheese grater, from a tomb at Poggio Buco, Tuscany. 8-1636
Etruscan bronze cheese graters were elite, upper-class items, often discovered alongside expensive wine drinking vessels and almost exclusively found in male tombs. Elite warriors (who were often some of the most powerful members of society) used a combination of wine and cheese as a ceremonial drink. Though the Etruscans are often portrayed in historical texts as mysterious due to their non-Indo European language and unique funerary culture, this recognizable cheese grater reminds us that these tropes can be misleading. Etruscans, like other cultures of the ancient Mediterranean, had a complex culture with unique cultural practices. This cheese grater is a perfect example – and was probably used during a warrior’s libation ceremony.
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