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Chapter Six. Remains of the ritual at the sanctuary of Poggio Colla

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Chapter Summary

Ritual is a physical manifestation of belief or a special type of action which is somehow connected to the belief system. Physical action is tantalizingly difficult to reconstruct through archaeological excavation. What remains is material culture, the sacred detritus that results from ritual or a series of rituals. The offerings that provide evidence for religion at sanctuaries like Poggio Colla are usually explained as evidence for votive religion, a rubric that is both broad and potentially misleading, for not all objects found in sanctuaries are necessarily votive in nature, and the range of votive religion is vast. New evidence from the Etruscan sanctuary at Poggio Colla raises questions about whether such sacred contexts would always have remained closed. Finally, the acropolis sanctuary of Poggio Colla is beginning to reveal itself through a series of archaeological contexts that document dramatically the richness and complexity of Etruscan ritual practice.

Keywords: Etruscan ritual practice; Etruscan sanctuary; Poggio Colla; votive religion



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