The Etruscans were a tribe who inhabited the lands above Rome in Italy in a region called Etruria, modern day Tuscany. Their civilization flourished from around 700 BC to the late 4th century when they were absorbed into the Roman republic. They were sea faring traders who left behind burial tombs with wall frescoes as some of the earliest surviving art in Italy. Their paintings showed human figures expressing their joy for life and a belief in an afterlife. Archaeologists found elongated human form statues which inspired modern sculptors such as Giacometti.