Intact Etruscan tomb with princely grave goods unearthed at Vulci

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More surprises at the Etruscan necropolis of Poggio Mengarelli at Vulci where a princely tomb dating back to the late eighth century BC has been discovered.

Intact Etruscan tomb with princely grave goods unearthed at Vulci

Archaeologists have found a surprising still intact assemblage of grave goods buried ca. 2800 years ago to honour the memory of a wealthy member of the burgeoning Etruscan aristocracy.

The offerings deposited in the grave are extraordinary.

Intact Etruscan tomb with princely grave goods unearthed at Vulci

In addition to a short iron lance with spiral rings of bronze on the handle (a typical characteristic of male graves from this period) and a double-headed spit, archaeologists also found an iron container with a few cups and bowls still fastened to hooks, several ceramic vases among which is an olla (pot-bellied jar with lid) painted ‘red on white’ of the Bisenzio Group and some bronze bowls containing organic residues probably for the last meal.

Intact Etruscan tomb with princely grave goods unearthed at Vulci

Other notable objects are a biconical bronze vase with a ball cap surmounted by a crested helmet, a decorated urn containing the ashes of the deceased and a bronze stamnos (mixing jar) with embossed lid decoration, possibly containing the ashes of a relative.

Intact Etruscan tomb with princely grave goods unearthed at Vulci

“The complex anthropomorphic form of the biconical cinerary urn is a unique find for the period and is intended to represent the body of the deceased which no longer exists because of the funeral rite of cremation,” said Carlo Casi, Scientific Director of Vulci Foundation.

Intact Etruscan tomb with princely grave goods unearthed at Vulci

“Another important element contributing to our understanding of Etruscan civilization emerges from the ongoing excavations at Vulci right now. Every day small and large discoveries come to light that add another piece to the jigsaw puzzle,” said Alfonsina  Russo, Superintendent of Archaeology, Fine Arts and Landscape for the metropolitan area of Rome, the province of Viterbo and Southern Etruria.

Source: ANSAmed [November 22, 2016]

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