The Etruscans were ancient people, living in middle Italy (Tuscany, Umbria, Latium).
The Etruscan culture can be traced back from 800 to100 B.C. The Etruscans left after the conquest of the Romans (300- 90 B.C.). Etruscans remade with Terra Nigra, bronze age vessels. Only the rich Etruscans could afford imported bronze.
The Romans took over these skills and began to make household articles in great quantities. Throughout Europe where Romans had their camps, excavations to search for earthenware took place. The most beautiful pieces have been excavated in Carnuntum (Austria). Carnuntum was the administrative centre of the Legion’s camp Vindobona in the 1st century A.D. The Romans stayed in and around Vienna for about 350 years.
The Roman legionary camp was situated in the centre of Vienna. Some road courses in Vienna 1st district (Graben, tiefer Graben, Naglergasse, Rotenturmstraße…) are based on the Roman legionary camp in Vindobona. Further information about Vindobona can be found at the Roman museum in the 1st district of Vienna, where the very rare Terra-Nigra ceramics can be admired. Archaeologists’ excavations up to the present day have discovered finds from the Romans. One of the archeological excavation sites is situated at Michaelerplatz in the 1st district of Vienna. The Marc Aurel street is named after the Roman emperor, who lived for many years in Vindobona. The Terra-Nigra company logo pictures the bust of Marcus Aurelius.
The Downfall of Terra-Nigra
The Romans tried everything in order to preserve the manufacturing process secrets for themselves. In hindsight this was a fatal error. The last Roman manufacture was destroyed in 79A.D. with the eruption of Vesuvius in Pompei. Since that time no one has been able to replicate “ Bucchero”or Terra-Nigra, because the formula produced, was irretrievably lost.
The rediscovery of Terra-Nigra
The master potter Franz Kukowetz in Flandorf, Austria, was encouraged by his professors at the Academy of Applied Art , to start the research in order to demonstrate that the reduction process is the secret behind Terra-Nigra. Scientists examined the firing results and confirmed Mr. Kukowetz’s discovery behind the secret of Terra-Nigra in 1956.
With the correct chemical composition of clay and firing, it was possible again to produce, after 2000 years Terra-Nigra! He accomplished what many research centres around the world failed to do over decades.
dating from the year 1964
as published in the American newspaper “The Titusville Herald”.
The secret of the ancient art of Terra-Nigra ceramics was revealed!