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

Embossed bronze offering tray ("presentatoio")

The term "presentatoio" designates a bronze tray propped up by a high empty truncated-conical base and made up of a shallow central bowl, framed by two trapezoidal wings.

More info

Two small truncated-conical receptacles are occasionally placed on the wings; they are also made from bronze foil. Offering trays are part of composite bronze-foil tableware set down in the most lavish sepulchres of Bologna between the second half of the 8th century and the 7th century B.C. The finding of hazelnut remainders in the central bowl provides clear evidence of the use of “presentatoi” as offering trays, in other words to “present” food or edible offerings for ritual purposes, as it is already suggested by their form.

Moreover, the similarity of the “presentatoi” from the area of Bologna to ceremonial vessels from Lazio and the Tyrrhenian area enables us to hypothesise an alleged ritual function.

The sample from Benacci-Caprara Necropolis was ornamented with repoussé technique, and small stud and dot motifs. It was also adorned with small chains hanging from the edge. This offering tray was part of luxurious grave goods that belonged to an eminent man.

Provenance: Bologna. Benacci-Caprara Necropolis, tomb 39
Datation: 750 - 720 B.C.
Material: bronze
Dimensions: Height: 7,6 cm; length: 46,2 cm; width: 21,7 cm.
Inventory #: 23296

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