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Photographer's Note

Etruscan tombs are complex, imbued with symbolic meaning, although many of the messages they convey are still unknown to us. This is a good example: some archaeologists theorize that the cylindrical marking stones, some of them inscribed with family names, represent males and the small house figures represent women, but since numerous family members are found in the structures over many generations, this conclusion is often disputed. These remarkable tombs are a primary source of information we have about the Etruscan civilization, which predates the Roman one by several centuries. We have few texts in the Etruscan language, which is only partially deciphered, so material culture is critical for our understanding of their civilization.

The Etruscan Necropolis at Cerveteri covers an area of 400 hectares, only ten hectares of which can be visited by the public. More than a thousand mound or tumulus tombs can be found in this area, dating to a period ranging nearly 600 years, from the 9th century BC to the late Etruscan period, the 3rd century BC. The oldest usually take the form of pits where cremated remains were placed, but there are also many inhumation burials here. Bodies lay in repose on "couches" in later tombs, so it is evident that burial practices evolved over time. The two types of tombs primarily found at this site are the mound tombs, and "dice" tombs, which consist of square chambers in long rows. The latter look similar to housing units. The mounds are comprised of a tufa base capped by soil, usually with natural growth on top. The interior is typically carved from living rock, intended to emulate the houses of the living, complete with a corridor (dromos), central hall and various rooms. The most recent date to the 3rd century BC, and are marked by these external cippi stones. Many of the material remains are found in the National Etruscan Museum in Rome, the Vatican Museums and in other collections around the world. Cerveteri is now a UNESCO World Heritage site; although much remains undiscovered, it is one of the most important centers and a fountainhead for our understanding of pre-Roman Italy.

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Photo Information
  • Copyright: Terez Anon (terez93) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 74 W: 78 N: 612] (1380)
  • Genre: Lugares
  • Medium: Cor
  • Date Taken: 2014-01-00
  • Categories: Ruínas
  • Versão da Foto: Versão Original
  • Date Submitted: 2017-11-10 18:05
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Additional Photos by Terez Anon (terez93) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 74 W: 78 N: 612] (1380)
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