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Etruscan necropolis of Vulci continues to offer extraordinary discoveries

Archaeologists of the Vulci Foundation, coordinated by the Superintendence of Archaeology, Fine Arts and Landscape for the Metropolitan Area of Rome, and Provinces of Viterbo and Southern Etruria, had an exceptional Christmas present after they discovered a woman's tomb dating from the 3rd/2nd century BC.

Etruscan necropolis of Vulci continues to offer extraordinary discoveries
Excavation of the recently discovered tomb at Vulci dubbed 'the make-up artist's grave' 
[Credit: ANSA]
Some of the unusual objects found in the tomb seem to indicate that its occupant was familiar with grooming and cosmetics, enough in fact to be dubbed la tomba della 'Truccatrice' or 'the make-up artist's grave' .

The presence of a case that was originally made of leather, as evidenced by traces of organic material found, with recesses for silver hooks and containing a small spoon and spatula, both of bronze, associated with rare pearls of rouge coloured dye used to paint her face, make the discovery unique.

Among the items recovered from the woman's grave were several ceramic vases, including a laghinos (a jar with a bottle shape and a long, thin neck), a bronze pin in the shape of a harpy, a set of embossed bronze vases and a lavishly engraved mirror, a ‘situla’ (a type of vessel), a pan, a small pail (container of objects for women's make-up), a pair of scissors, a strigil (an object used to clean the body) and a water bottle still corked.

Carlo Casi, Scientific Director of Vulci Foundation, explains the recent finds of the Etruscan Tomb 
‘della Truccatrice’ in the necropolis of Poggio Mengarelli at Vulci [Credit: EtruriaOggi]

"It will be interesting to find out what the bottle originally held," said the scientific director Carlo Casi.

"The analysis of the findings is already under way and samples which will be examined by Professor Rambaldi from the Faculty of Chemistry at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia have already been taken," he added.

"The discovery is even more important when we consider its clear connections with the Greek East, well represented here by the colourful dyes and the laghinos, a vessel filled with wine that was carried in processions by women in the Ptolemaic era in Alexandria during festivals in honour of Dionysus," explained superintendent Alfonsina Russo.

"We therefore have the opportunity to study a very original and interesting find that will certainly help us to reveal yet another small piece of the history of Vulci and Etruria in general," he concluded.

Source: ANSA [December 30, 2016]

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