Etruscan tomb with female aristocrat

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Archaeoloy In a tomb in Tarquinia northwest of the Italian capital of Rome, archaeologists have made a remarkable discovery: Behind a stone shield, they found a vaulted tomb full of artefacts of the relatively unknown Etruscan civilisation. The tomb contained an 2,600-year-old skeleton, a huge number of funereal gifts, and the ashes of another human being.

The skeleton had a spear on its chest, and the archaeologists first thought that the dead person was a warrior prince. But analyses of the bones revealed that it was a 35-40-year-old woman – probably an aristocrat. The ashes on the stone bed belong to a man, so the tomb may be the resting place of a married couple.

The archaeologists are thrilled, as they rarely find intact Etruscan tombs. These ancient people, who lived in northern Italy until 800 BC, did not leave written sources of any kind.

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