Etruscan sculpture was one of the most important artistic expressions of the Etruscan people, who inhabited the region of northern and central Italy between about 9th century BC and 1st century BC. Its art was largely a derivation of Greek art, although developed with many characteristics of its own. Given the almost total lack of Etruscan written documents, a problem compounded by the paucity of information on their language—still largely undeciphered—it is in their art that the keys to the reconstruction of their history are to be found, although Greek and Roman chronicles are also of great help. Like its culture in general, Etruscan sculpture has many obscure aspects for scholars, being the subject of controversy and forcing them to propose their interpretations always tentatively, but the consensus is that it was part of the most important and original legacy of Italian art and even contributed significantly to the initial formation of the artistic traditions of ancient Rome. The view of Etruscan sculpture as a homogeneous whole is erroneous, there being important variations, both regional and temporal.