®LBC:\IPSA\2009\INDEX.HTM¯ Twenty-Sixth International Literature and Psychology Conference: Cerveteri tour


The 26th International Literature and Psychology Conference

A brief description of Cerveteri


    Cerveteri is a town and comune of the northern Lazio, in the province of Rome. Originally known as Caere, it is famous for a number of Etruscan necropoleis. The most famous attraction of Cerveteri is the Necropoli della Banditaccia, which has been declared by UNESCO a World Heritage Site together with the necropoleis in Tarquinia. It covers an area of 400 ha, of which 10 ha can be visited, encompassing a total of 1,000 tombs often housed in characteristic mounds. It is the largest ancient necropolis in the Mediterranean area. The name Banditaccia comes from the leasing (bando) of areas of land to the Cerveteri population by the local landowners.

    The tombs date from the 9th century BC (Villanovan culture) to the late Etruscan age (3rd century BC). The most ancient ones are in the shape of a pit, in which the ashes of the dead were housed; also simple potholes are present. Mound tomb, Cerveteri

    From the Etruscan period are two types of tombs: the mounds and the so-called "dice", the latter being simple square tombs built in long rows along "roads". The visitable area contains two such "roads", the Via dei Monti Ceriti and the Via dei Monti della Tolfa (6th century BC).

    The mounds are circular structures built in tuff, and the interiors, carved from the living rock, house a reconstruction of the house of the dead, including a corridor (dromos), a central hall and several rooms. Modern knowledge of Etruscan daily life is largely dependent on the numerous decorative details and finds from such tombs. Mound tomb, CerveteriThe most famous of these mounds is the so-called Tomba dei Rilievi (Tomb of the Reliefs, 3rd century BC), identified from an inscription as belonging to one Matunas and provided with an exceptional series of frescoes, bas-reliefs and sculptures portraying a large series of contemporary life tools. The most recent tombs date from the 3rd century BC. Some of them are marked by external cippi, which are cylindrical for men, and in the shape of a small house for women. Most finds excavated at Cerveteri necropolis are currently housed in the National Etruscan Museum, Rome. Others are in the Archaeological Museum at Cerveteri itself.