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2,300-Year-Old Etruscan Tomb Discovered in Italy

Monday, December 7, 2015

Intact Etruscan tomb

PERUGIA, ITALY—A farmer working in his fields near the town of Città della Pieve discovered an Etruscan tomb dating to the late fourth century B.C. “It was a totally unexpected discovery. The area is away from the sites visited by tomb robbers and indeed the burial is undisturbed,” Clarita Natalini of the Archaeological Superintendency of Umbria told Discovery News. Natalini’s team excavated a corridor leading to a dromos, or stone double door, and found a rectangle-shaped chamber containing two sarcophagi, four alabaster marble urns containing cremains, and grave goods including pottery, miniature votive vases, two intact jars, and a marble head broken at the neck. One of the sarcophagi had been marked with the male first name “Laris” and other inscriptions yet to be translated. The other sealed sarcophagus had been covered with painted plaster. “Unfortunately a collapse which occurred in antiquity damaged the plaster. The inscription is now lost in thousands of fragments. Piecing them together won’t be an easy task,” Natalini said. To read about a similar discovery, go to "The Tomb of the Silver Hands."