Posts Tagged ‘etruscan’

Sutri is a town in the province of Viterbo, about 50 km from Rome, and about 30 km south of Viterbo. It is picturesquely situated on a narrow tuff hill, surrounded by ravines, a narrow neck on the west alone connecting it with the surrounding country. Sutri has a few more than 5,000 inhabitants. It ancient remains are a major draw for tourism: a Roman amphitheatre excavated in the tuff rock, an Etruscan necropolis with dozens of rock-cut tombs, a Mithraeum incorporated in the crypt of its church of the Madonna del Parto, a Romanesque Duomo. The city was founded by the Etruscans on a tufaceous hill at the confluence of two streams. It was conquered by the Romans in 389 BC and it flourished under their rule because of its position on the Via Cassia. Part of Sutri is on higher ground (acropoli) and notwithstanding the fact that it is now occupied by the Cathedral and by Palazzo Vescovile (bishop’s palace) it still conveys the image of a fortress.
The main medieval buildings of Sutri retain something of the Etruscan and Roman times and this applies to the whole town.
About 1 km south of Sutri there is to be found a Roman necropolis consisting of 64 tombs of various shapes and sizes carved directly out of the ‘tuff’ rock.
From Sutri you can reach very easily the following latium sites: LakeVico and Lake Bracciano.


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Starting from Rome and going in the north direction along Via Aurelia, you will arrive after 40 Km in Cerveteri, where you will find the most famous attraction of this city that is the Necropoli della Banditaccia, which has been declared by UNESCO a World Heritage Site together with the necropoleis in Tarquinia. It covers an area of 400 ha, of which 10 ha can be visited, encompassing a total of 1,000 tombs often housed in characteristic mounds. The necropolis is a city of the dead. It is the largest ancient necropolis in the Mediterranean area.
The most ancient ones are in the shape of a pit, in which the ashes of the dead were housed; also simple potholes are present.
From the Etruscan period are two types of tombs: the mounds and the so-called “dice”, the latter being simple square tombs built in long rows along “roads”.
The mounds are circular structures built in tuff, and the interiors, carved from the living rock, house a reconstruction of the house of the dead, including a corridor, a central hall and several rooms. Modern knowledge of Etruscan daily life is largely dependent on the numerous decorative details and finds from such tombs. The most famous of these mounds is the so-called Tomba dei Rilievi , identified from an inscription as belonging to one Matunas and provided with an exceptional series of frescoes, bas-reliefs and sculptures portraying a large series of contemporary life tools. Etruscan phallic symbols. “Cippi” indicating that tomb occupants were male.
Most finds excavated at Cerveteri necropolis are currently housed in the National Etruscan Museum, Rome. Others are in theArchaeologicalMuseum at Cerveteri itself.

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