Saturday, March 19, 2011

Cerveteri - Italy

Gisela "protea" also sent a new italian Unesco site, Cerveteri, on the WHS list together with the necropolises in Tarquinia, since 2004.
Cerveteri is a town in northern Lazio, province of Rome. The town is famous for a large number of Etruscan necropolises.

"The Etruscan Necropolis at Cerveteri is a uniquely haunting archaeological site. Built by this prosperous people between the seventh and the third centuries BC, the 'city' is still not fully excavated, but there are a remarkable number of stone tombs lining little streets, and you can easily spend several hours exploring.

The enigmatic Etruscans built cities and ports that have long since disappeared, but the care and industry they put into the homes for their dead has resulted in a lasting monument. The experience of clambering inside these tombs is unmissable... it's also rather eerie and feels faintly invasive. One hopes that, unlike the pyramids of Egypt, there are no curses here to blight the adventurer.

The Banditaccia Necropolis site, a short distance outside the small town of Cerveteri, is huge and surprisingly bare of visitors. You can wander as you please - and take a torch. The major tombs are signposted, have steps for access and lights for illumination, but the majority of interiors are accessible only to the intrepid. There are distinct types and ages of tomb. The majority contain stone 'beds' with carved pillows, some also provide what seem to be stone chairs. There are round tombs, square tombs, posh tomb development and streets of terraced tombs. Most are bare inside; although some coloured paint is visible in places. The Tomba dei Rilievi contains appealing painted reliefs.

The best finds from the archaeological digs are mostly in Rome, in the Villa Giulia Etruscan museum. But the smaller museum in Cerveteri is worth a look. It's in an old castle on the main piazza close to the bus stop. You may need to ring the bell for admittance. Entrance is free, and you can admire Etruscan art and artefacts found locally, including the contents of some of the tombs." -in:

1 comment:

Aritha said...

Very nice postcard!