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Etruscan tomb of child discovered in Vulci


A new archaeological discovery was made during works at the Casaletto Mengarelli necropolis in Vulci. An intact burial dating back to the 6th-5th century BC has been found, possibly of an Etruscan child.

Etruscan tomb of child discovered in Vulci
Credit: Il Messaggero
The burial is of a deep pit type and contains a red tufa sarcophagus. The lid, carefully carved from a single monolithic block, has an upper section in the shape of a tortoise shell, while on the lower section the recesses used for its placement are still clearly visible. The tomb was reused in the Hellenistic age (4th-2nd century BC), when an adult individual was placed on top of the older grave.



The most important object found inside the small chamber is an amphora of figuline clay painted with geometric motifs with miniature oinochoai mounted on the shoulder. A rare shape that finds an interesting comparison, even if of a lower stylistic level, with an amphora from the so-called Tomb C of Mandrione di Cavalupo, today preserved in the Museum of the Badia di Vulci. The only other existing comparison for this decorative apparatus is a krater, also coming from Vulci and exhibited at the Louvre Museum.

Etruscan tomb of child discovered in Vulci
Etruscan tomb of child discovered in Vulci
Credit: Il Messaggero



Etruscan tomb of child discovered in Vulci
Etruscan tomb of child discovered in Vulci
Credit: Il Messaggero
Judging from the small size of some bones that have survived the cremation ritual and the presence of a short iron spear the grave is probably that of a male child. Of particular interest is a situla (drinking vessel) made of figuline clay, completely covered with a layer of red paint. Other artefacts typical of the Vulci region of this period include a ridged ollae with lid. Some small personal objects such as ivory vases, bronze rings and chains were also found in the grave.



"This is a young member of the emerging Etruscan aristocracy of Vulci" explains Carlo Casi, scientific director of the Vulci Foundation. "This discovery allows us to unveil yet another small piece of the history of the first Etruscans of Vulci and beyond."

Etruscan tomb of child discovered in Vulci
Etruscan tomb of child discovered in Vulci
Credit: Il Messaggero
The excavation is conducted by the Soprintendenza Archeologia, Belle Arti e Paesaggio dell'Etruria meridionale in collaboration with the Vulci Foundation, the Municipality of Montalto di Castro and the Lazio Region.

Sources: ANSA & Il Messaggero [trsl. TANN, June 04, 2020]

TANN

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