Salvage Excavations of Looted Etruscan Chamber tombs
From 2016 to 2019, SGARP conducted salvage excavation of four Etruscan tombs: Tomb E13-035, found in the Caiolo tomb concentration; and Tomb G13-001, located within the ambit of the Chiusa Cima tomb concentration, and Tombs G12-060 and G12-062, positioned in the cluster of tombs around Tomba Rosi. These four tombs had been extensively looted and most excavated contexts were disturbed. The exceptions were found outside of the tombs, particularly outside of Tomb G12-060, where in tact contexts, including a cremation urn positioned outside of the tomb appeared to be essentially undisturbed. SGARP selected these tombs for excavation because of the presence of artifact and human bone material visible on the surface. Without excavation these remains were in danger of being lost, trampled, and destroyed.
In 2018 and 2019, we pursued the excavation of the area external to Tomb G12-060 and G12-062. These external areas, which feature paths, roads, and/or small piazzas and raised platforms, were also the sites of ceremonial activities related to burial events and ceremonies honoring the ancestral dead. On either side of the tomb door of G12-060, for instance, we recovered a cremation urn and and a rectangular cut into an elevated platform that surely held a cipu (a monolithic caved stone that likely signaled family identity). The 2018-2019 excavation of G12-060 revealed the existence of a small piazza-esque area outside of the tomb door and a built path lined with white limestone stones. In 2019, we explored the vertical connection between tombs by excavating G12-062, which lay in the tomb row immediately below G12-060. From this approach, we are seeing how the tiered rows of tombs are layered along small intersecting and multi-phased necropolis roads.