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12th-century family tomb uncovered in the Arena di Verona

The remains of three skeletons dating back to the 12th century have been found in the Arena of Verona during restoration works carried out by the Verona, Vicenza and Rovigo Archaeology, Landscape and Fine Arts Department. The discovery was announced by superintendent Vincenzo Tinè together with archaeologist Brunella Bruno, who is directing the excavation, and the mayor of the Veneto municipality Federico Sboarina.

12th-century family tomb uncovered in the Arena di Verona
The three skeletons found during the excavations in Archway X inside the Arena
[Credit: City of Verona]

The discovery took place in Archway X of the inner ring of the Verona Amphitheatre where three individuals were found in a large pit: an adult male, a young woman and a young boy. 

This is not the first discovery at this site. Last December, another female skeleton was found in Archway XXXI of the inner ring, which is still being studied and analysed. 

This initial discovery prompted the Superintendency to continue excavations to find out whether other inner archways were also used for funerary purposes. This is how archaeologists came to the discovery of this family burial. 

12th-century family tomb uncovered in the Arena di Verona
Female skeleton found in Archway XXXI inside the Arena
[Credit: City of Verona]

Many people thought that the Arena of Verona had already been plundered and despoiled over the centuries, but it seems that this site still contains many finds.

The positioning of the bodies in Archway X suggests that this space had been carefully planned for the burial of the dead. A belt buckle found on the male skeleton seems to date from the early medieval period, while silver denarii contained in a bag seem to have been used in the 12th century.

Indeed, a numismatic analysis has shown that these coins were issued by the Verona mint in the 12th century and were widespread not only in the Veneto but also in the Tyrol, France and Spain.

Source: inItalia [trsl. TANN; June 10, 2021]

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