Tomba dell’Aryballos sospeso (Tomb of the hanging Aryballos)
The University of Turin has discorevered an intact tomb of an Etruscan aristocrat in the Necropolis of Doganaccia, Tarquinia.
Blocked by a perfectly sealed stone slab, the rock-cut tomb in Tarquinia appeared promising even before opening it.
Indeed, several objects, including jars, vases and even a grater, were found in the soil in front of the stone door, indicating that a funeral rite of an important person took place there.
As the heavy stone slab was removed, Mandolesi and his team were left breathless. In the small vaulted chamber, the complete skeleton of an individual was resting on a stone bed on the left. A spear lay along the body, while fibulae, or brooches, on the chest indicated that the individual, a man, was probably once dressed with a mantle.
At his feet stood a large bronze basin and a dish with food remains, while the stone table on the right might have contained the incinerated remains of another individual.
Decorated with a red strip, the upper part of the wall featured, along with several nails, a small hanging vase, which might have contained some ointment. A number of grave goods, which included large Greek Corinthian vases and precious ornaments, lay on the floor.
The vases and ornaments on the floor may have once been hanging on the wall like the little aryballos — a vessel for oils and unguents — which was so amazingly still hanging from its nail when the archaeologists opened the tomb. The heavier pieces are thought to have fallen due to structural failings of the tomb and/or seismic activity. Among the vases were seals which might help identify the deceased and fragments of what may have been armour.
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