An undisturbed Etruscan tomb was excavated near Città della Pievethe in the Umbria region of Italy. Inside the tomb a sarcophagi, a full array of grave goods and a mysterious marble head were found. The burial side is dated to the end of the 4th century BC and was found accidentally by a farmer who opened a void in the earth with his plow.
Clarita Natalini of the archaeological superintendency of Umbria and her team of archaeologists conducted excavations. After reaching the corridor leading to the tomb’s entrance a perfectly sealed double door made from heavy stone was found. Once opened a 16 square-foot rectangular chamber with two sarcophagi, four marble urns and various grave goods was revealed.
One of the sarcophagi, made from stone, bears a long inscription containing the word “Laris” (Lars is a common Etruscan male first name). Inside the stone coffin the skeleton of a male individual was found. The other sarcophagus, covered with painted plaster, also shows an inscription. Despite the damage, the 2,300-year-old painted coffin, weighting 3 tons and measuring about 2.5 metres, is still sealed.
A mysterious marble head, clearly broken at the neck level, has been also found. It is a face of a young man, probably a part of a statue. Apart from grave goods, which include pottery, miniature votive vases and two intact ceramic jars, the archaeologists found four finely sculpted urns with cremations. The lid of one portrays the half naked deceased with a flower necklace reclining on two cushions as if at a banquet. He bears a patera, a shallow ritual offering dish, in the right hand. The sarcophagi and the other grave goods have now been moved to a museum in Città della Pieve in order to conduct restoration and further study.