Necropoli dei Monterozzi, Tarquinia

#4 of 15 in Historic Sites in Tarquinia
Historic Walking Area · Hidden Gem · Ruin
The Monterozzi necropolis is an Etruscan necropolis on a hill east of Tarquinia in Lazio, Italy. The necropolis has about 6,000 graves, the oldest of which dates to the 7th century BC. About 200 of the gravestones are decorated with frescos. Monterozzi was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004, notable as the depiction of daily life in the frescoed tombs, many of which are replicas of Etruscan houses, is a unique testimony to this vanished culture.DescriptionThe 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.
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  • If you are in to history, this is the place you should visit. But be prepared, there is 18 tombs and many stair to walk  more »
  • Fantastic.
  • Acquistato il biglietto cumulativo con il museo archeologico nazionale, visitato il giorno prima, questa visita mi ha immerso ancora di più nella antichissima cultura degli Etruschi. Per fortuna la giornata non era caldissima, dato che volendo visitare tutte le tombe si salgono e scendono in sacco di scale, ed il tasso di umidità all'interno è molto alto. Interessanti gli affreschi, anche se talvolta ci vuole un po' di fantasia per riuscire a distinguere quello che il cartello esplicativo all'esterno di ogni tomba racconta. In ogni modo la visita è molto interessante.

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