Necropolis of Cerveteri | Attraction Guides | History Hit

Necropolis of Cerveteri

Cerveteri, Lazio, Italy

History Hit

24 Nov 2020

About Necropolis of Cerveteri

The Etruscans (whose origins to this day are subject to intense debate) inhabited in what is now northern Lazio through to Tuscany from the 9th century BC. Over the centuries they constructed the most magnificent necropolis which formed part of the earliest urban civilisation in the northern Mediterranean.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2004, the Necropolis of Cerveteri has been described as ‘masterpieces of creative genius’ in part due to its town planning. There are New York-style blocked streets, residential neighbourhoods and piazzas, the same as you’d find in an ancient city and of the sites’ 1,000 acres, only 25 are accessible. Inside the 25 acres are two roads that are almost 3,000 years old – the Via dei Monti Ceriti and the Via dei Monti della Tolfa.

The most recent tombs are from the third century BC and as well as different types of standard tombs – seemingly dependent on time period, wealth and societal status – visitors can see stunning, intricately detailed wall paintings and the most well-known tombs. The Tomb of the Greek Vases, the Tomb of the Cornice, the Tomb of the Capitelli and the most famous of all, the Tomb of Reliefs which is painted with red pillows, domestic utensils and animals and is said to be the most accurate representation of what Etruscan life was life in the 4th and 3rd centuries BC.

The aristocratic families that were interred in the necropolis left behind tableware, precious metals, illustrated vases, bronzes, weapons, belts, razors, jewellery and belt buckles and their final resting places were eerily similar to their homes.

Today, visitors to this truly magnificent ancient historical site will find not only the necropolis but also the National Museum of Cerveteri and you will find an amazing snapshot of how the Etruscans lived and died three thousand years ago.

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