Archaeology / Cultural Heritage / History

[Archaeology] [twocolumns]

Anthropology / Human Evolution / Linguistics

[Anthropology] [twocolumns]

Palaeontology / Palaeoclimate / Earth Sciences

[Palaeontology] [twocolumns]

Evolution / Genetics / Biology

[Evolution][twocolumns]

Intact tomb of Etruscan noblewoman discovered in San Giuliano, Tuscany


The archaeological research project of San Giuliano is in the middle of an incredible and productive third season of excavations. The collaboration between Baylor University, the Virgil Academy, the Archaeological Superintendence of the Province of Viterbo and Southern Etruria, and the Municipality of Barbarano Romano, has laid the foundations for significant discoveries. A survey was carried out on the necropolis of San Giuliano, which was lacking an overall site plan, operating in some selected sectors. The research team also investigated the medieval fortification on the plateau at the top of San Giuliano.

Intact tomb of Etruscan noblewoman discovered in San Giuliano, Tuscany
Credit: Tuscia Web
An overview of the life, economy and religious beliefs of the people who lived in San Giuliano in the period between the eighth century BC and the thirteenth century AD emerged from this research. The important discovery made by Baylor's team in mid-June was particularly impressive. The overall intention of the archaeological mission was, in fact, to investigate the history of the region over a long period of time. And for this reason they were looking for evidence of the early Etruscan period.

From the surveys on the top of San Simone, one of the five hills surrounding San Giuliano, a possible Etruscan tomb has been identified in an area known for having housed other tombs used between the end of the Villanovan period and the beginning of the Etruscan one. It was expected that the whole area had already been looted in the past by the grave robbers.

Intact tomb of Etruscan noblewoman discovered in San Giuliano, Tuscany
Credit: Tuscia Web
The first two days of excavations seemed to confirm that all the tombs had indeed been ransacked. Towards the end of the third day, however, it was understood that, in one particular tomb, the disturbance had been caused by agricultural work in the post-medieval period and had not reached the actual burial.

While the last layer of limestone closing the tomb was being removed, a small glittering object of green colour came to light: it was a bronze fibula (i.e. a pin to fasten a garment). It was immediately understood that the tomb, which dates back to about 2700 years ago, was intact.

Intact tomb of Etruscan noblewoman discovered in San Giuliano, Tuscany
Credit: Tuscia Web
"Tombs like this were monuments built by people who loved or were close to the dead and with them the importance of that family was communicated to the whole of society. The work of the archaeologists", says the director of the excavation, Davide Zori, "is to ensure that these silent remains speak again, to give a voice to the dead and to the society in which they lived.

The remains of the skeleton were in a precarious state, but thin fragments and traces of bone were found, as well as fairly well-preserved teeth and part of the jaw. From these remains it appears that the burial belonged to an adult woman.

Intact tomb of Etruscan noblewoman discovered in San Giuliano, Tuscany
Credit: Tuscia Web
The objects, in particular the ceramic pendants and the seven bronze fibulae, help to recognize the female sex of the deceased. The recovered bronze objects include a fibula attached to a chain of wide rings and another that includes a circular disk of amber imported from the Baltic Sea region.

Thirteen complete ceramic vessels, bowls, glasses, two cups, a trilobed jar of refined clay, a brown hemispherical cup with two handles and a large bowl with signs of ancient repair were also recovered from the tomb.

Intact tomb of Etruscan noblewoman discovered in San Giuliano, Tuscany
Credit: Tuscia Web
During the burial these objects were placed in the tomb as a gift that was intended to accompany the dead woman to the other world. The pottery can be dated to a period that stretches from the second half of the eighth century BC to the first half of the seventh century BC, meaning that the tomb was constructed between the Etruscan and Villanovan periods.

Work on these artefacts and on the bones of this woman from the early Etruscan period in San Giuliano is only just beginning. These findings promise to reveal new insights into the period in which the Etruscan civilization emerged.

Source: Tuscia Web [June 28, 2018]

TANN

Post A Comment
  • Blogger Comment using Blogger
  • Facebook Comment using Facebook
  • Disqus Comment using Disqus

No comments :


Exhibitions / Travel

[Exhibitions] [bsummary]

Natural Heritage / Environment / Wildlife

[Natural Heritage] [list]

Astronomy / Astrobiology / Space Exploration

[Universe] [list]