Cerveteri and Tarquinia

Cerveteri and Tarquinia

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This brief video displays images of the two necropolises of Cerveteri and Tarquinia for a closer look into these important Etruscan sites.


Tarquinia vs Cerveteri for Etruscan antiquities if you had to choose

We're planning to stop in one of these cities on the way out of Rome to view the Etruscan tombs and visit the Etruscan museum there. Do you have a preference for the antiquities of one of these areas over the other, and if so why? My impression is that the museum in Tarquinia may be better in terms of quality of artifacts. Also that we would see tomb paintings in the Tarquinia necropolis vs sculpted tombs at Cerveteri. There is the famous ƉD' tomb at Cerveteri which is the tomb of the Matuna family but are there others of similar quality in the necropolis? I read that at Tarquinia you view the tomb paintings from a window outside the tomb - is the viewing good? I'll probably never get to this part of Italy again, so just wanting to get the best from our time there. Any suggestions are much appreciated.

I'm also interested to know if anyone has thoughts on these sites. We've just watched a Great Courses lecture series called The Mysterious Etruscans and can't wait to visit Cerveteri and Tarquinia. This trip however, we're off to France, so will check out the Louvre for their Etruscan art collection.

Last time I went was on one of my high school field trip. Given my considerable age, that would make this info rather obsolete. Nevertheless I think that both the Tarquinia museum and the Necropolis in Cerveteri would make it a great day trip. Since Tarquinia and Cerveteri are so close (we visited both on the same day with my school as they are about 35-40 min apart), I think you can easily hit both. I presume you have a car, as both Cerveteri and the Necropolis out of town are a certain distance from the Ladispoli station.

We're picking up a car in Civita first, so I'm glad you are also recommending a car. I could definitely do both, but I'll have to check on my fellow travelers enthusiasm levels. Since Tarquinia and Cerveteri are both UNESCO sites I assume they're pretty cool, particularly for history nerds like me. We're spending the night at Santo Stefano, Argentario, so also wanting to make sure we have at least some time to enjoy that area. Wish I had a month or a season in Italy instead of just two weeks!

I don't think you will find rental car offices in Civita Di Bagnoregio.
Since you are coming from Rome, I recommend you pick up your car on your way out of Rome at any of the many city locations and drive to your destinations from there.

We're picking up a car in Civitavecchia. Looks like I'm improperly calling it Civita. Sorry for the confusion.

The tomb sites in each of these cities are hugely different. I would see each of the fields of tombs (one is underground and one is above ground -- entirely different styles). I would skip the museum and just go to Villa Julia in Rome for Etruscan relics.

FWIW there are also tombs in the hills near Sovana. We got a map of the sites in town and then drove up to several tombs in the hills.


The Etruscan Necropolises of Cerveteri & Tarquinia

When thinking about Italy’s ancient history, the first name that comes to mind – obviously – is Rome. The former global power, the tremendous imperium, the unique architectural and cultural heritage… but what / who was before the Romans? The Etruscans populated the northern part of Central Italy from around 800 BC until far into the second half of the 1 st century BC and left many a fascinating cultural evidence still researched intensely to this day party due to the many mysteries surrounding them. The old burial grounds and rites of the Etruscans are regard as exceedingly interesting. As such, you’ll hardly be surprised to hear that the Etruscan Necropolises of Cerveteri and Tarquinia, two especially grand examples of such grounds, were declared UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004.

About the Etruscan culture

How the Etruscan culture actually came to Etruria – their heartland’s name, which stretches across most of today’s Tuscany, northern Lazio and parts of Umbria – is unknown. Experts believe that migration and emergence of said culture were not too far apart. There are still many theories about where the Etruscans originated – some think they immigrated from Lydia (today’s Turkey), others believe they emerged from the Iron Age Villanova culture of Bologna. First documented grave finds date back to the 9 th century BC. Various necropolises reflect significant changes in the burial rites over the course of the centuries. Several practices were carried out either at the same time or after one another allowing the historic placement of the various sites.

In fact, far too little is known about the Etruscans today. Remains of Etruscan architecture are extremely rare – only very few foundations here and there, mostly of temples, survived – objects of art depicting the transition from oriental to Greek imprint are few and far between. The language, too, has only been rudimentarily studied at best due to lack of extensive written records. Thus, the Etruscan culture still captivates researchers to this very day. While it mostly disappeared upon assimilation into the Roman Empire in pre-Christian times – the granting of unlimited civil rights around 90 BC put a formal end to Etruscan history – the hunt for clues remains an exciting challenge.

The Necropolises of Cerveteri

Our first stop takes us near Rome, approx. 42 km west of the capital. The friendly town of Cerveteri is situated between the Monti Sabatini and the Tyrrhenian Sea. Founded by Etruscans, it was originally called Caere or, to give it its Etruscan name, Caisra. Iron ore exports turned Cerveteri into one of the largest and most populous towns in Etruria, about 15 times its current size.

Where there was a lot of living, there was a lot of dying. Admittedly, that sounds quite morbid, but this mere fact grants you fascinating insights into a culture still heavily shrouded in mystery. The two Necropolises of Cerveteri with their thousands of graves were laid-out like a sort of city map with various squares and districts. Size and burial equipment depend on both the era and the importance of the family. Among the most important tombs are:

  • Tomba dei Capitelli: The tomb of the capitals looks like typical Etruscan dwellings. Its flat roofs with timber boards and straw convey a classic, almost family-like look.
  • Tomba dei Vasi Greci: A long corridor, highly evocative of an Etruscan temple, leads into this 6 th century BC burial site. If you’re wondering why this area is called “Tomb of the Greek Vases”, well, see for yourself.
  • Tomba dei Rilievi: Presumably only established around 300 BC and, thus, one of the youngest graves, a long stairwell leads you to a magnificent hall supported by massive pillars. Elaborately decorated reliefs around the 13 burial alcoves line this site granting exciting insights into the life (and death) of an affluent Etruscan family.
  • Tomba della Cornice: Another long corridor after the ascending entrance leads to this final resting place. Two smaller side rooms with two deathbeds each aside, the simple yet imposing architecture of the three main death rooms in the central room knows to impress.
  • Tomba Regolini-Galassi: Remember the oriental imprint we mentioned earlier? This feature of early Etruscan culture is visible throughout this 7 th century BC tomb, likely the oldest accessible tomb of the city. Originally, it was richly lined with gold. Many of the elaborate burial objects are currently exhibited in regional, even international museums.

Cerveteri is faced with the rather severe issue of grave robbery. The town isn’t even close to having fully explored all tombs, even less are accessible to the public. Due to the sheer mass of graves, not all entrances can be monitored allowing grave robbers with high-grade technical equipment to do their appalling deed. International auction houses in London and Los Angeles, among other cities, sell such robbed items every once in a while causing understandable upset.

Tarquinia’s Necropolises

Called Tarchuna in Etruscan times, Tarquinia played an important role in ancient culture as well. Founded during the times of the Villanova culture, the town with high tactical significance was surrounded by an eight-kilometre-long wall. Situated in north-western Lazio, it is now predominantly known for its excavation sites. The main attraction, if you will, is the Necropolis of Monterozzi at the southeast town limits where around 6,100 tumulus-covered burial chambers carved in stone were created between the 6 th and the 2 nd century BC. Around 150 chambers are decorated with frescoes. They play a key role in Etruscan art and are absolute must-sees. Visit the following burial sites:

  • Tomba del Cacciatore: You’ve always wanted to know what the inside of an Etruscan hunting pavilion looks like? This 4 th century BC tomb with its wooden structure provides you with thrilling insights.
  • Tomba della Caccia e della Pesca: The tomb of hunting and fishing displays scenes of these very aspects of life as well as a Dionysian dance. You also get to see portraits of the buried family making this site one of the best-explored in all of Tarquinia.
  • Tomba delle Leonesse: Enjoy deep insights into the life of Etruscan aristocracy surrounded by soaring birds and leaping dolphins. An ash container suggests that the tomb was intended for cremations.
  • Tomba degli Auguri: Sadly, this burial chamber, like so many other Etruscan tombs, fell victim to grave robbers. You can still the marks of the deathbeds on the ground. Wrestling scenes on the wall depict what might’ve been the predecessor of Roman gladiator fights.
  • Tomba dei Tori: This is the only Greek-themed tomb in Tarquinia. A depiction from the life of the hero Achilles – a typical motif of Greek vases – lines this mythologically inclined resting place.

If you’ve always wanted to enjoy deep insights into the unique Etruscan culture, this trip to north-western Lazio is a must. The necropolises display various aspects of life (and death) across half a millennium with many other excavation sites and museums in close proximity. It doesn’t get any more Etruscan than this!


Contents

The burial ground dates from the Iron Age, or Villanovan period (9th century BC), up to Roman times. From the Villanovan period simple round tombs carved from rock for cremation burials can be seen at the site.

Towards the end of the 8th c. BC, the first funerary chambers appeared as family tombs due to the rise to power of an aristocracy. These appeared on the surface as tumuli, sometimes assuming impressive proportions to enhance the power and prestige of the nobles, as can be seen especially in the so-called King and Queen tombs. There were about 600 tumuli still visible in the 19th century, following which many were razed after excavation.

The tumuli usually covered subterranean chambers carved into the rock, containing sarcophagi and personal possessions of the deceased, and many of which have wall paintings.

The earliest sarcophagi are carved with the image of the deceased supine on the lid. The later and more numerous types show him or her reclining on the left side, facing the spectator and frequently holding a libation vessel occasionally a man displays an inscribed scroll listing his ancestry and the magisterial offices he occupied. During the second half of the 4th century BC sculpted and painted sarcophagi of nenfro, marble and alabaster came into use. They were deposited on rock-carved benches or against the walls in the now very large underground chambers. [5]

Sarcophagi were also decorated with reliefs of symbolic or mythological content, often derived from Tarentine models. Sarcophagi of this type, which continue until the second century, are found in such numbers at Tarquinia that they must have been manufactured locally. The walls of the tomb-chambers of the late period are painted with underworld demons escorting the dead on their journey to the beyond, scenes in the nether world, processions of magistrates and other symbols of the rank of the eminent members of the families buried there. [5]

Among the most notable painted tombs famous for the artistic quality of their frescoes are:


Necropolis of Banditaccia, Cerveteri

Halfway between Rome and Civitavecchia, at 50 km from the Capital, in Cerveteri we find the Necropolis of Banditaccia, a UNESCO World Heritage site since 2004, which is by far the finest example of Etruscan funerary architecture and extends over a volcanic rock plateau of about 100 hectares.
The necropolis contains thousands of Etruscan tombs. The site is laid out on an urban plan similar to that of a city, with streets, squares and districts. The tombs vary in type according to the historical period or status of the family in question.

Among the most representative examples of these structures is the Tomb of the Greek Vases , dating back to the 6th Century BC, and accessible through a corridor that appears to imitate an Etruscan temple. The Tomb of the Cornice, on the other hand, allows access by way of a rising walkway onto which two “lesser” rooms open on either side, each holding a funereal bed. From there, the pathway continues to a large central room on to which three principal funerary chambers give. The Tomb of the Capitelli [ Capitals of a column] owes its singularity to its flat roof that is an exact copy of that of the Etruscan home, with support beams of oak and reed. But the most famous tomb is the Tomb of the Rilievi [Reliefs], completed in the 4th century BC. It is accessible by way of a long stairway dug into the rock which leads to a large room whose ceiling is supported by two columns Aeolian columns. Thirteen matrimonial funerary plaster niches fill the space, and are painted with red pillows, domestic objects and animals. It gives a perfect picture of a well-to-do Etruscan family of the 4th /3rd centuries BC.

To reach the funerary areas we pass through gates with sculptural reliefs on their frames, suggesting a house of the time. Then other simple, square, so-called “dice” tombs line Via dei Monti Ceriti and Via dei Monti della Tolfa . These were built in more recent times compared to the tumuli (4-2 c. BC) and were arranged in regular blocks, also homogeneous from the point of view of materials used for the facades and the architectural ornamentation.

The Via Sepolcrale Principale: after a flat stretch lined with tumuli from the 6th century BC the road becomes more tortuous and, taking on the name of Via degli Inferi, plunges down to the valley floor, embedded between two volcanic rock (tuff) walls into which tombs (4 c. BC) have been cut – creating a wonderfully evocative scene, especially when the surrounding greenery is at its lushest.

The archaeological finds from Banditaccia and the other necropolises (Sorbo, Monte Abbadone) are of enormous significance, and they are kept in the Museo Nazionale Cerite, in modern Cerveteri, in the recently reconstructed Rocca, as well as in Rome, in the Museo Nazionale Etrusco of Villa Giulia.


The Necropolises of Tarquinia and Cerveteri

Cerveteri - Tumuli (Burial Mounds)

Tarquinia - Fresco of the Young Girl Velca

Cerveteri - Tomb Interior (6th Century B.C.)

Tarquinia - View of the Necropolis

Tarquinia - Tomb of the Auguri or Augurs (Necropolis of Monterozzi)

Tarquinia - Tomb of Hunting and Fishing (Necropolis of Monterozzi, 6th Century B.C.)

Cerveteri - Tomb of Reliefs (Necropolis of the Banditaccia - 4th Century B.C.)

Tarquinia - Tomb of the Leopards (Necropolis of Monterozzi - 6th Century B.C.)

Tarquinia - Tomb of the Panthers (Necropolis of the Monterozzi - 6th Century B.C.)

Cerveteri - Tomb of the Reliefs (Necropolis of Banditaccia - 4th Century B.C.)

Tarquinia - Tomb of the Bulls (Necropolis of Monterozzi - 6th Century B.C.)

Tarquinia - The Baron's Tomb (Necropolis of Monterozzi)

Cerveteri - Tomb of the Reliefs (Necropolis of the Banditaccia - 4th Century B.C.)

Tarquinia - Tomb of the Triclinium (Necropolis of Monterozzi - 5th Century B.C.)

The Necropolises of Cerveteri and Tarquinia, inserted onto the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2004, constitute a unique and exceptional testimoney of the ancient Etruscan Civilization, the only urban civilization of the pre-Roman Age. The frescoes inside the tombs – true-to-life reproductions of Etruscan homes – are faithful depictions of this disappeared culture’s daily life. These tumuli or burial mounds reproduce the homes in their various types of constructions because they were built to mirror the Etruscan habitation itself, they are the only examples left of such in any form anywhere. The two necropolises of northern Lazio are identical replications of the Etruscans' urban grid, and are among the primary exemplars of burial centers or hubs that one can find in Italy. The necropolis of Banditaccia in Cerveteri was developed from the 9th Century B.C., and then expanded beginning with the 7th Century, following a well-defined urban plan. Similar is the developmental history of the necropolis of Monterozzi in Tarquinia.

Both the painted tombs of the nobles and those in more simple styles are singular and extraordinary testaments to Etruscan quotidian life, as well as their ceremonies, mythology and even their artistic capacities.

The Etruscans inhabited central-western Italy, between Tuscany and Lazio, from the 9th Century B.C., and experiencing a cultural climax around the 6th Century B.C. before completely disappearing - a result of the impact of Roman civilization, with which it merged in part.

No definite answer exists as to this people’s origins, and neither does any trace of a similar community – in regards to its ethnic and social characteristics – between Europe and Asia.

Cerveteri’s Necropolis
The necropolis tombs have very different traits one from the other, depending on the construction period and technique. Those located in the vast archaeological site of Cerveteri are in the thousands. Organized according to an urban plan that resembles that of a city with streets, piazzas and quarters (or neighborhoods), their typology differs in relation to the historical period and the status of the family to whom they belonged.

Among the most representative examples of these structures is the Tomb of the Greek Vases, dating back to the 6th Century, and accessible through a corridor that seems to imitate an Etruscan temple. The Tomb of the Cornice, rather, allows access by way of an incline walk that leads to two smaller rooms that hold funereal beds on each side. From there, the pathway continues to a large central room that itself connects to three other principal funerary rooms. Meanwhile, the Tomb of the Capitelli (or the Capitals of a column) owes its peculiarity to its flat roof that is an exact copy of that of the Etruscan home, with support beams of oak and reed.

Still, the most famous tomb – of the thousands at Banditaccia – is the Tomb of Reliefs, completed in the 4th Century B.C. It is accessible by way of a long stairway dug into the rock and running to a large room. Here, the ceiling is supported by two columns with capitals unique to Etruria. Thirteen matrimonial funerary niches fill the space, and are painted with red pillows, domestic objects and animals. It is a perfect cross section of a well-to-do Etruscan family of the 4th and 3rd Centuries.

The Necropolis of Tarquinia
The necropolis of Monterozzi in Tarquinia is also famous for its painted tombs, also dug into rock and accessible by means of inclined corridors or stairways. It was realized predominantly for one couple and is composed of one burial room. The first tombs were painted in the 7th Century, but it is only from the 6th Century that they were completely covered in frescoes.

Of the most famous, the Tomb of the Lionesses dates back to the 4th Century, and consists of a small room with a two-sloped roof. Here, the painting features birds flying and dolphins jumping around scenes of the Etruscan aristocracy. The Hunter’s Tomb, also 4th Century, is presented as the inside of a tent, a pavilion with a wooden support structure. The Tomb of Hunting and Fishing, then, is one of the best-known and most studied composed of two rooms, the first is complete with a fresco of a Dionysian dance in a sacred wood, while the second offers a scene of the tombs' owners hunting and fishing.

In the Environs
The numerous visitors to the necropolises every year travel to the archaeological sites of Upper Lazio on excursion from their primary destination, the Eternal City, Rome, or during a stay in Tuscany or a trip to the thermal spas of Viterbo. This area is characterized by a rich enogastronomic and viticulture tradition, offering travelers a number of occasions in which to taste local products and typical dishes (e.g. the DOC Cerveteri Wine, or DOP Olive Oil from Canino) and to enjoy the entertainment (such as music, festivals) during summer and holidays.

Useful Information

Geolocation
Region: Lazio
Province: Rome and Viterbo
Communes: Cerveteri and Tarquinia

Cerveteri
By Boat
Fifteen minutes from the port at Civitavecchia. Take Rome direction.
By Plane
Twenty minutes from Fiumicino Airport.
By Car
Take Via Aurelia and the Roma-Civitavecchia Autostrada (A/12)
By Train
Pisa - Grosseto - Civitavecchia Line, stopping at station Marina di Cerveteri

Tarquinia
By Ship
Fifteen minutes from the port at Civitavecchia. Grosseto direction.
By Plane
Forty-five minutes from Fiumicino Airport.
By Car
From Rome: Take Autostrada to Civitavecchia, State Road (Statale) Aurelia
From Grosseto: Take the Statale Aurelia south.
From Viterbo: Take the Viterbo-Civitavecchia Superstrada to Monte Romano
By Train
Pisa – Grosseto Line station is 1.86 miles from Tarquinia with bus connection


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THE MYSTERIOUS ETRUSCANS (Cerveteri: Part One)


Ancient Peoples

"The Etruscans or the Jews?”

. Then his real story begins…

The Etruscans were a distinct people with their own language and culture, famed for their wealth and their luxurious way of life. They dominated much of Central Italy for hundreds of years (from the 8th through the 4th centuries, B.C.) Then they gradually adopted the Latin language and Roman ways, losing their identity as a unique society.

For Giorgio Bassani back in 1957 (when the famous excursion to Cerveteri took place), the "real Etruscans" were largely beside the point. For him, they evoked a mythic past beyond time - or at least, before Roman hegemony. (In Giannina's school book, it is presumably with the Romans that the historical narrative begins.)

In fact, our response to the Etruscans is overwhelmingly aesthetic and more than a little romantic. They look so wonderfully mysterious with their Archaic smiles, their aristocratic poise and their seeming indifference to the passage of time. The Sarcophagus of the Married Couple (from Cerveteri) is the iconic expression of the Etruscans as we want them to be - as confirmed by the Italian Government on a recent postage stamp.


Two Views of Cerveteri (illustrations 1 and 3) and the Etruscan-Jewish tomb in Florence © Lyle Goldberg
Other images from the web.

9 comments:

This is great - I had recently decided I wanted to learn a bit more than the nothing I already knew about the "mysterious" Etruscans - and here it is! Love the introduction, proceeding as it does from Ferrara - erstwhile residence and place of business of famed musician and scholar *Tarquinia* Molza. Coincidence? I think not )
Question - how do we know that Etruscans still dominate the gene pool in some areas? What are the signs - maybe a congenitally smug smile? Do tell!

Stay tuned! The next post continues in Cerveteri, but the one after that moves on to Tarquinia (As in Molza? Did the noble Molza family claim Etruscan descent and possibly even a direct line to the Tarquin Kings?) Actually, the country where the Etruscan genetic presence is quantifiably strongest is TURKEY (where they all came from in the first place.) Here in Florence, someone who is stocky and square-faced with a dusky complexion is often referred to as “a real Etruscan", as differentated from the Liguri (taller, thinner, lighter skinned, darker haired - often spotted in Pisa and Lucca) and the Romagnoli from the northeast (often blondish, with Gallic elements.) Meanwhile, “the blood of our Etruscan ancestors that still courses through our veins” has not quite disappeared from rhetorical effusions. HOWEVER, I think that I am going to pop an “allegedly” into that “gene pool” sentence!

TRUTH IN ADVERTISING: I decided to stick with the Etruscans but postpone the Tarquinia post, in order to share some recent photos that my brother took at the Archeological Museum here in Florence. See "ETERNITY, ETRUSCAN STYLE?", posted on 1 September.

Someone at another blog directed me here. I love history. I visited Italy when I was a child and it was one of my favorite places to visit in all of Europe.
Your articles are very interesting and I look forward to visiting often. Take care!

Thanks, Sharon, for stopping by and commenting! It sounds to me as if you are ready for another (non-virtual) visit to Italy. But in the meantime, maybe I can help you add a few Secret Places to your "must-see" list?

Tuscany is perhaps the most beloved region of Italy, but how many venture beyond Florence, Siena or San Gimignano? There is an entire country just waiting to be explored and - as the treasure house of Western civilization - Italy is a cultural repository unlike any other place on earth.

Amazing, isn't it, I.C. And how many people ever really make contact with even those few obvious spots on the tourist map? That, basically, is what this blog is all about! But tell me, what are your own favorite "secret places"?

Good morning Mr. Goldberg, just stumbled into your blog and liked a lot!! Italy is full of secret places which I love to visit (when I can). Last month just visited those necropolis (Cerveteri, Tarquinia) along with Carsulae and Ferento. I'm not into archaelogical fella but have interest about those old civilizations. great blog, congrats.

It always good to hear from people who share my enthusiasms (and obsessions)! Sorry that it took me so long to publish your comment but I am traveling and have been a bit out of touch. Ed G.


The Palazzo Vitelleschi was built between 1436 and 1439 for the cardinal of Corneto, the former name of Tarquinia. After the cardinal's death the palace was used as stopover for the popes. Over time the Soderini family became its new owner and it was turned into a hotel. In 1900 it was acquired by the city of Tarquinia, which donated it to the Italian state in 1916. The state intended to use the palace for the current museum, which opened in 1924. It was the result of the merger of the Municipal Collection and the private collection of the counts Bruschi-Falgari. Over the time the collection was enriched by the numerous finds from the ancient city of Tarquinia and the Necropolis of Monterozzi. [1]

The courtyard of Palazzo Vitelleschi

The Palazzo Vitelleschi has three floors. On the ground floor the sarcophagi and other stone artifacts from the middle of the fourth century BC are exhibited in chronological order. The most notable sarcophagi which belonged to the most important Tarquinian families are seen in the tenth room. Some of these were carved from Greek marble. [2]

The first floor shows the pottery in chronological order, starting with the Villanovan culture. Both the native Etruscan type of pottery called bucchero and imported pottery is on display here. Pottery dated to the Orientalizing period and onward was imported from Ancient Egypt, Phoenicia and Ancient Greece. Among these ceramics was the Bocchoris vase, which dates from the Ancient Egyptian 24th dynasty. Especially pottery from Corinth was imported in large quantities from the end of the seventh to the sixth century BC and imitated by the Etruscans. Some bronze tableware also dates to the Orientalizing period. After this comes the Attic black-figure and red-figure pottery from the fourth century BC, the Classical period. A collection of Etruscan bronze coins is exhibited in the ballroom. In the same room are later gold coins from the Roman Empire which were found at Gravisca, Tarquinia's ancient harbor, and gold jewelry. The first floor ends with a collection of votive offerings. [2]

The winged horses relief which decorated the pediment of the Ara della Regina temple.


Tarquinia

Tarquinia, antiikin Tarquinii, on historiallinen kaupunki Italiassa Viterbon maakunnassa Latiumin alueella. Keskiajalta vuoteen 1934 kaupunkia kutsuttiin nimellä Corneto.

Tarquiniassa on 16 475 asukasta (31.12.2015) [1] .

Tarquinii oli etruskien merkittävin kaupunki, ja modernin Tarquinian liepeillä onkin huomattavia muinaisjäänteitä heidän ajaltaan, kuten tuhansia hautoja käsittävä nekropoli, joka kuuluu Unescon maailmanperintöluetteloon. [2]

Legendan mukaan Tarquinius Superbus, Rooman viimeinen kuningas, oli kotoisin Tarquiniista.

Tarquinian haudat ovat geometrisesti koristeltuja, maahan kaivettuja hautoja. Niissä olevista kuvista vain harva viittaa suruun tai kuolemaan. Esimerkiksi Tomba del Orco -hauta on vuodelta 375 eaa., ja se on Spurinna-suvun ruumishauta. Kuvissa on etruskinainen, hellenististä ihmiskuvausta, tummat pilvet. Toisen kammion kuvituksessa on demoneita, hirviöitä ja Odysseus-aihe. Tomba degli Scudi eli kilpihauta on sotaisan Velcha-suvun hauta. He olivat sukua Spurinna-suvulle. Siinä on kuvailtu soittaja kulkueessa etruskijohtaja Laart Velchan kunniaksi. Maalauksissa on tarkasti kuvatut kengät, joka viittaa etruskien käsityötaitoon. Poikkeuksellisesti yhdellä naisella on surullinen ilme. Sankarillisuus ilmenee Vether-sankarin sauvasta.

400-luvulta on Naarasleijonahauta, jossa on kuvattu musiikkia, tanssia ja juhlia. [3] Maalauksissa on myös delfiineitä ja lentäviä lintuja. [2]


Angelokastro is a Byzantine castle on the island of Corfu. It is located at the top of the highest peak of the island"s shoreline in the northwest coast near Palaiokastritsa and built on particularly precipitous and rocky terrain. It stands 305 m on a steep cliff above the sea and surveys the City of Corfu and the mountains of mainland Greece to the southeast and a wide area of Corfu toward the northeast and northwest.

Angelokastro is one of the most important fortified complexes of Corfu. It was an acropolis which surveyed the region all the way to the southern Adriatic and presented a formidable strategic vantage point to the occupant of the castle.

Angelokastro formed a defensive triangle with the castles of Gardiki and Kassiopi, which covered Corfu"s defences to the south, northwest and northeast.

The castle never fell, despite frequent sieges and attempts at conquering it through the centuries, and played a decisive role in defending the island against pirate incursions and during three sieges of Corfu by the Ottomans, significantly contributing to their defeat.

During invasions it helped shelter the local peasant population. The villagers also fought against the invaders playing an active role in the defence of the castle.

The exact period of the building of the castle is not known, but it has often been attributed to the reigns of Michael I Komnenos and his son Michael II Komnenos. The first documentary evidence for the fortress dates to 1272, when Giordano di San Felice took possession of it for Charles of Anjou, who had seized Corfu from Manfred, King of Sicily in 1267.

From 1387 to the end of the 16th century, Angelokastro was the official capital of Corfu and the seat of the Provveditore Generale del Levante, governor of the Ionian islands and commander of the Venetian fleet, which was stationed in Corfu.

The governor of the castle (the castellan) was normally appointed by the City council of Corfu and was chosen amongst the noblemen of the island.

Angelokastro is considered one of the most imposing architectural remains in the Ionian Islands.


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