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Etruscan Finds at the "Necropolis of the Pub"

For the last three years, Italian archaeologists have been excavating a large Etruscan necropolis at the site of Vulci, 75 miles from Rome. Called (for reasons now obscure) the “Necropoli dell’Osteria,” or "Necropolis of the Pub," the large cemetery's most spectacular burial has been been dubbed "The Tomb of the Silver Hands," after the discovery of a pair of silver hands once adorned a wooden dummy. But the team has also uncovered dozens of other tombs containing remains and grave goods belonging to Etruscan nobles and common folk alike who lived in this region of Italy more than 2,500 years ago. Below is a selection of some of the most interesting artifacts from the site.




Among the many tombs in the necropolis, the team also found a small rectangular altar (left) that once held a jar containing cremated remains, and impressive tomb (right) filled with artifacts, including a pair of silver hands, that likely belonged to an Etruscan noble family.



Etruscan-Necopolis-SphinxAnother wealthy tomb, excavated in 2012 near the “Tomb of the Silver Hands,” contained this spectacular stone figure of a sphinx.



Etruscan-Necropolis-ScarabThe “Tomb of the Sphinx” also contained a blue faience scarab dating from sometime in the 25th or 26th Dynasty (746-525 B.C.). The Etruscans were particularly fond of Egyptian objects, many of which are found in tombs in this and other Etruscan tombs.



Etruscan-Necropolis-Family-GraveAlong with the tombs belonging to Etruscan nobility, archaeologists also found small family tombs like this one in the necropolis containing at least one, and possibly several, pottery jars in which the deceased cremated remains were buried.



Etruscan-Necropolis-Terracotta-DecorationMany of the artifacts, such as this painted terracotta architectural element from a well-decorated tomb in the necropolis, have been taken to a nearby lab to be reassembled, if possible, and conserved.