Necropolis of Cerveteri - History and Facts | History Hit

Necropolis of Cerveteri

Cerveteri, Lazio, Italy

The Etruscan necropolis at Cerveteri in northern Lazio is one of the very best examples of its kind into the entire Mediterranean basin with a thousand tombs and is known as the 'City of the Dead'.

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About Necropolis of Cerveteri

The Etruscans, whose origins to this day are subject to intense debate, inhabited what is now northern Lazio through to Tuscany from the 9th century BC. Over the centuries, they constructed a magnificent necropolis which formed part of the earliest urban civilization in the northern Mediterranean. Today, the necropolis is located in Cerveteri, a town of northern Lazio in the region of Rome.

History of Necropolis of Cerveteri

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. Of the site’s 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. On top of different types of standard tombs – which are seemingly dependent on time period, wealth, and societal status – visitors can enjoy the stunning, intricately detailed wall paintings and a number of well-known tombs. These tombs include 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, meaning that their final resting places were eerily similar to their homes.

Necropolis of Cerveteri Today

Today, visitors to this truly magnificent ancient historical site can explore the necropolis as well as the National Museum of Cerveteri, which offers an insight into the Etruscans lived and died three thousand years ago.

Getting to Necropolis of Cerveteri

From the centre of Rome, the site is reachable in an hour by car via the A12/E80 roads. By train, from Roma Termini take any train in direction of Pisa or Grosseto or Civitavecchia and get off at Marina di Cerveteri. By bus, from the town of Cerveteri take any domestic line running to Necropolis. Check out detailed timetables visiting the web site of Comune di Cerveteri.