Archaeological Museum of Bologna

Museo Civico Archeologico
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Collections / Ricerca / Etruscan Bologna

Biconical ossuary with upturned bowl (S.Vitale necropolis, tomb 107)

The most ancient burial ground of Villanovan Bologna (900-700 BC) are connected to the villages along the river Savena: the necropolises of Savena, in the area now known as Via Rimesse, and San Vitale, between Via Fabbri, Via Musolesi, Via Bentivogli and Via Vincenzi.
Other important sites have come to light in recent years thanks to digs undertaken by Sovrintendenza Archeologica dell'Emilia Romagna: above all are important the findings in the area now known as Fair District (Quartiere Fieristico), where a necropolis of over 1.000 burials was discovered.

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The tomb comprised a simple trench where the biconical ossuary, with upturned bowl, containing the ashes of the deceased, was placed alongside grave goods.
In this tomb, as in general for all ancient burials, the goods include just a few objects that identify the gender of the deceased.
This bronze chain fibula is part of the deceased’s personal ornaments. There is also a pottery whorl, the small weight fitted to the bottom of the wooden spindle to keep its rotation steady. The spindle whorl is a clear reference to some of the main domestic activities undertaken by the women of the house – spinning and weaving – and was the quintessential item of a female tomb.

Provenance: Bologna, San Vitale necropolis, tomb 107
Datation: 900–820 BC

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