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II. Stone

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Chapter Summary

Cinerary urns of stone or terracotta provide one of the most important sources for studying Etruscan culture during the Hellenistic period. Etruscan workshops in Volterra, Chiusi, and Perugia mass-produced many of these urns as indicated by the numerous examples which have survived to the present day. Most of these urns exhibit panel relief scenes of a mythological, decorative, or funerary nature which shed light on contemporary Etruscan religious beliefs and class distinctions. The stone mythological urns usually depict Greek myths carved in fine alabaster such as DIA urns 23.139 and 74.69a-c (Cat. Nos. 1, 3). These were intended for the wealthy individuals who appreciated Greek culture and could afford the more expensive material. The stone urns with decorative or funerary motifs were usually carved in rough tufa and depict simple ornaments or scenes of the deceased shortly after death as in DIA urn 26.172 (Cat. No. 2).

Keywords: Chiusi; Cinerary Urns of stone; Etruscan culture; Greek myths; Hellenistic period; Volterra



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