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“Unfashionable” Tomb Discovered in Italy

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Italy Cumae tombNAPLES, ITALY—Haaretz reports that a 2,200-year-old vaulted tomb constructed of volcanic tuff and decorated with well-preserved murals has been excavated in the necropolis of the ancient city of Cumae, a Greek colony located on Italy’s Tyrrhenian Sea coast, by a team of archaeologists from France’s National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS). Most of the other tombs in Cumae during this period had been painted white and red, without figures, said CNRS researcher Priscilla Munzi. The images in this tomb, however, appear to depict a banquet, complete with a nude servant carrying a jug of wine and a vase. “The theme of the banquet (preparation ceremony) is widespread in the oldest tombs,” Munzi explained. “But this is the first tomb of [the] second century B.C. in Campania that documents this motif.” Anthropological study of bones found in the looted tomb has not been completed, Munzi said. There may have been three occupants, since the tomb was equipped with three beds. Alabaster perfume vases, bone and bronze fittings for a wooden box, and game pieces were also recovered. To read about the restoration of frescoes in nearby Pompeii, go to “Saving the Villa of the Mysteries.”

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