Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Intact Etruscan Tomb discovered

I have a lot of backlog built up, and I'll be emptying it out here over the next few days. First, I wish to report that archaeologists have just announced that an intact Etruscan tomb has been found in central Italy. The tomb is rather small, only 2 x 1.8 meters in size, but was well-stocked nonetheless, with intact vessels and bronze artifacts. Most known Etruscan tombs were either discovered and emptied in the 18th and 19th centuries, or looted (which in some cases amounts to the same thing). Finding an intact tomb is pretty rare. Best of all, the tomb contains cremation burials (the usual Etruscan custom). It is not often that early excavators preserved osteological (i.e. bone) remains. At the Pennsylvania Museum, we have some human bones from tombs in central Italy, but finding more is definitely nice. From the reports, it sounds like many of the burials in this tomb were of children. No paintings are mentioned, so it is likely that the tomb was relatively undecorated, which given its modest size is not surprising.

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