|two colors of tufa for this tomb |
Last week we invited young American archeologists Tim and Erika to describe their visit to Tarquinia, one of the area’s two UNESCO World Heritage sites.
|beehive shaped funerary mounds|
The other is Cerveteri, further south in the province of Rome, which I visited this week for the first time in over 40 years, when it was a favorite field trip for my international school students back in the 60s and 70s . I hope some of them who read this will leave a comment, here below.
|entrance drive to Banditaccia necropolis|
|carved rings decorate the tomb mounds|
|my book on the area is available at the bookshop|
|cart ruts dating from 300 BC|
|columns with carbon inclusions|
|path among the tombs|
Not much has changed at the Banditaccia necropolis since that time, only the majestic pines which flank the entrance drive have grown and their roots have made the road bumpier , but visitors are even more welcome thanks to the new snack bar and bookshop.
|Isabella at the snack bar|
|taking a break at the snack bar|
When I visited with student groups years ago a packed lunch was imperative and we had to be sure to bring our own flashlights in order to see anything in the dark tombs.
Another change is that the Tomb of the Reliefs , the most important, is now sealed off with a glass door, like Tarquinia’s painted tombs , for protection.
|walking among the tomb mounds|
|dromos entrance to tombs|
|Tomb of the Reliefs|
The atmosphere felt in the necropolis is still awe inspiring, mysterious and lush.
This “City of the Dead” is a peek into how the Etruscans lived, what they found important and how they perceived life after death.
|closeup of the tufa stone blocks|
The tombs, excavated in tufa stone, have rooms and funerary beds to recreate what the Etruscan homes looked like.
Outside the dromos entrance way there are often phallic symbols or cippi for male occupants, or house shaped cippi for female burials.
Have you visited either Tarquinia or Cerveteri ? Which is your favorite Etruscan site?