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Etruscan tomb discovered in ruins of ancient Vulci

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A team of archaeologists have discovered an Etruscan tomb during excavations in Vulci, an ancient Etruscan city in present-day Lazio, central Italy.

Vulci, named for the Vulci people, one of the twelve people of the Etruscan civilisation, was a major Etruscan city which developed from a trade in precious metals mined in the Colline Metallifere hills.

During the 6th century BC, Vulci enjoyed a prosperous period of power and affluence, dominating over cities such as Orbetello, Saturnia, Sovana, Castro, Pitigliano, and Marsiliana.

This era marked its golden age, characterised by a thriving trade in exquisite Attic pottery, valuable oriental balm, and unique, finely-crafted jewels to cater to the desires of its affluent populace.

During the Roman–Etruscan Wars, the Romans took the coast from Vulci, cutting the base of their power which led to the decline of the city. The Etruscan league splintered apart during the war and the Etruscans were soon assimilated into the expanding Roman Republic.

Excavations in Vulci have recently discovered an Etruscan tomb dating from the 6th century BC in the Osteria necropolis. The tomb is a rock-cut tomb carved directly into tuffaceous rock, which was sealed shut by two slabs, each measuring 60cm in width and weighing 40kg.

Inside the tomb is a burial belonging to an Etruscan woman, who was found placed inside an urn on a rock-cut platform. Various grave goods were deposited beneath the urn, including ceramics, a chalice, a spindle, and a traditional brazier with spit used in funerary rites.

Director of the Vulci Foundation, Dr Carlo Casi, said: “An analysis of the human remains will further add to our study of the subjects already discovered in this sector of the necropolis of the Osteria and the Etruscans of Vulci.”

Header Image Credit : Vulci Foundation

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Archaeology

Trove of Roman objects linked to feasting found at Ostia antica

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Archaeologists have uncovered a trove of Roman objects linked to ritual feasting at Ostia antica.

Ostia Antica is an ancient harbour town located at the mouth of the Tiber River. The harbour served as the main port for Rome, transporting goods and people from the coast along the Via Ostiensis.

Archaeologists recently excavated the area of Regio I – Insula XV, a “sacred area” or precinct housing several temples and sanctuaries. At the centre is the temple of Hercules,  a 31 x 16 metre monument which dates from the Republican Era.

Excavations have revealed a substantial well situated at the base of the temple of Hercules. Upon draining the well, it was discovered to hold a significant collection of objects dating from the 1st to 2nd century AD.

Among the objects are various ceramics, miniatures, lamps, glass containers, fragments of marble, and burnt animal bones (pigs and cattle). According to the archaeologists, the trove corresponds with ritual feasting associated with cult at the temple.

In a press statement by the Ministry of Culture: “The discovery of burnt bones confirms that animal sacrifices were carried out in the sanctuary, while the common ceramics, also bearing traces of fire, indicate that the meat was cooked and consumed during banquets in honour of divinity. The remains of one or more ritual meals were thrown into the well, the last ones probably when their function had ceased.”

Header Image Credit : Ministry of Culture

Sources : Ministry of Culture

This content was originally published on www.heritagedaily.com – © 2023 – HeritageDaily

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Archaeology

Labyrinthine structure discovered from the Minoan civilisation

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Archaeologists have discovered a monumental labyrinthine structure on the summit of Papoura Hill in Crete.

The discovery was made during the installation of a radar system in preparation for the construction of a new airport in the area.

According to experts, the structure dates from between 2000 to 1700 BC shortly before or at the start of the palaeopalatial Minoan period.

The Minoan civilisation was a Bronze Age culture that emerged on the island of Crete around 3100 BC. The culture is known for the monumental architecture and energetic art, and is often regarded as the first civilisation in Europe.

Image Credit : Greek Ministry of Culture

The chronology of the Minoans is characterised into three distinct phases – Early Minoan (EM), Middle Minoan (MM), and Late Minoan (LM).

The palaeopalatial structure is part of the MMI – II grouping in the Middle Minoan, a period in which the first palaces were built and saw the development of the Minoan writing systems, Cretan hieroglyphic and Linear A.

The structure comprises of 8 concentric stone rings that converge on a central circular building. The entire diameter of the complex measures 48 metres and covers an area of approximately 1800 square metres.

Within the central structure are four designated zones in which radial walls intersect vertically and form a labyrinthine structure. Zones A and B appear to be have the main concentration of human activity, evidenced by the presence of large amounts of animals bones.

According to the experts, this residential area likely had a truncated cone or vaulted appearance and is the first monument of this type excavated in Crete. It can perhaps be paralleled with the elliptical MM building of the Chamezi Archaeological Site, as well as with the so-called circular proto-Hellenic cyclopean building of Tiryns.

The Minister of Culture, said: “This is a unique and highly significant find. Solutions are in place to ensure the completion of the archaeological research and the protection of the monument.”

Header Image Credit : Greek Ministry of Culture

Sources : Greek Ministry of Culture

This content was originally published on www.heritagedaily.com – © 2023 – HeritageDaily

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