Etruscan Corner Tombs and Necropolis

Etruscan Tombs and Necropolis

The Etruscan Necropolis are large cemeteries that were considered by them as cities of dead, and as such the layout follows the design of their urban cities.

The Etruscans used to choose the location for their Necropolis following the energy fields taking into account the rules of the Kardo (see also Cardo Mundi) and Duodecumanus (see also Decumano). These would be as the limits for the chosen area.

The Kardo (Hinge of the World) is an energetic field that goes from North to South, it has an energy peak every twenty-four meters.

Perpendicularly to the Kardo is the other energy field going from the West toward the East, the Duodecumanus (De Cuius Manus = the hand of gods that makes the Earth turn); this has as well an energy peak every thirty meters.

The lines form a large grid which covers the entire surface of the Earth; inside this grid there are smaller cells composed of terrestrial magnetic energy long twelve meters. Inside this grid lies another network formed by diagonal lines going from north-west to south-east, and from north-east to south-west with an energy peak every thirty-six meters.

The lines going from north-east to south-west create a network of beneficial energy that moves clockwise. Each intersection created by all these lines is a position where temples and sacred places used to rise; below them would flow underground rivers or there would be the presence of metallic minerals.

Thus, the Etruscans used to follow the indications of their priests (readers of energy fields) to build their Necropolis. Their Tombs are identical to their houses but buried or dug into the rock, in some cases decorated with vibrant colored paintings.

Each one is filled with furnishings the deceased had in life – work tools, weapons, perfumes, jewelry, mirrors, frames and ceramics. Generally, it is believed that the presence of many objects in the tombs represents the need of the deceased to recreate a familiar environment; for others, hiding many treasures inside the tombs used to indicate the faith in a life after death, and the vitality of the frescoes would represent the hope of a happy life after death. Death meant as a step to reach a new existential level.

It is not coincidence that the Necropolis construction was more accurate of the Acropolis. In the frescoes of the Tombs are displayed symbols of cosmic religion; the gods are drawn in multiform aspects recalling the power of Mother Nature.

Lions, bulls, birds and plants are the form cosmos assume for the Etruscans and their important link to nature. More emphasized is this cult when looking at the fresco of the diver found in the Tomb of Hunting and Fishing, in Tarquinia; a symbol of return to the Mother Goddess Nature that gives birth to all living beings.

It is not very clear what was the Spiritual Vision of the Etruscans; what we only know comes from Roman studies and so it is contaminated by the pragmatism of this people who did not listen to Mother Nature, and even worse downgraded it.

Etruscan Necropolis Etruscan Corner

Where history was speechless, graves speak.

In the complete lack of historical sources, the only way we have to reconstruct Etruscan history is to consider civilization evidences passed to us through the Monumental Necropolis in Italy.

The Etruscans appeared suddenly during the 10th century BC and ruled until the conquest of Veii in 396 BC by the Romans. Later on towards the end of the 1stcentury BC they were completely absorbed by the Romans.

What has been left to reconstruct approximately the history of the Etruscans lies in the historical descriptions from the Roman and Greek civilizations; while what concerns their costumes, daily routine, and lifestyle we can read their words through architecture, engineering, and above all their Necropolis whose walls echo and transmit how profound were their rituals and beliefs.

Their Necropolis were located out of the town-walls and were usually built in parallel to the Kardo and the Duodecimanus of their Acropolis.
What gave us information about their mysterious existence is related to their religiosity and respect towards the dead. Their esteem to the dead was immeasurable and continuously present in their sacred places. They were cities of the dead and not of the living so the approach had to be different, adequate and deeply profound. However, the archeological studies on the Etruscan Necropolis will barely fill the gaps caused by the loss of historical documents such as the Etruscan Annals (gli Annali Etruschi), Theophrastus’ studies, Verrius Flaccus’ studies, and the famous Tyrrenikà, a collection of twenty volumes written by the Roman Emperor Claudius.

Going back to the Etruscan architecture, all we know is that for each Acropolis would correspond one or more Necropolis. The list is incredibly long and some Necropolis cannot be reached easily or even visited.

For these reasons we would suggest the innumerable administrations or organizations to help the new generation, in a time where employment is hard even to pronounce as a word, to find an occupation by designating new jobs that regard to the supervision and maintenance of these sacred places that are UNIQUE IN THE WORLD.