Archaeological Museum of Bologna

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Collections / Ricerca / Etruscan Collection: Villanovan phase (900-680 B.C.)

Male's grave goods from Benacci Tomb 855

The tomb appears to be male and is a square trench with a slab roof and walls covered by pebbles. It stands out amongst both older and contemporary burials for its size, its structure and also for the elaborate, extensive grave goods. It is a good example of the moment when increasingly accentuated differences in burial practices began to appear from one person to another.

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The bits, phalerae and rings are equestrian harness. Ownership of a horse would indicate wealth and prestige, here underscored by the fact that horse’s bones also emerged precisely on the tomb covering slabs, showing that the animal might have been sacrificed during the funeral rites. 
The axes are also quite significant since they are linked to the sphere of war and sacrifice. The slimness of the blade and lavish decoration suggest a symbolic function, whereas the ritual breakage removes it from the land of the living and prevents the deceased making use of it


Provenance: Bologna, Benacci Necropolis, tomb 855
Datation: 800–770 B.C.

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