Massimo Pallottino in The Etruscans argues that the very first question posed about Etruscan civilization, the question of Etruscan provenance, is irrelevant because Etruscan civilization is a unique Italian product, a cultural phenomenon not found in any land other than the Italian peninsula.
Thus, according to Herodotus, the Etruscan civilization derives from the Lydian plateau of Asia Minor.
His analysis also answers many puzzling questions concerning Etruscan origins, demonstrating that Etruscan civilization is the sole result of interactions of Italic cultures.
The existence of an Etruscan civilization on Italian soil had in reality already been known since Roman times, but at this time the material rediscovery of Etruscan artistic wealth on Italian soil not only reopened the question of Etruscan origins, it gave confidence to Italian scholars to promote an entirely Italian cultural and artistic expression predating the Romans, one that developed solely on Italian land.
Drawn from the author's ten years of research into archaeological, historical, and linguistic evidence of Etruscan civilization
in Europe and the Near East, Mentors To The Romans: The Search for the Etruscans is an in-depth overview of what is known and what can be extrapolated about this ancient and mysterious civilization.