The site includes the two necropolis of Banditaccia and Monterozzi, the main cemeteries of the ancient Etruscan city-states of Cerveteri and Tarquinia. Altogether they have provided much of the archaeological discoveries related to this civilization over the course of nine centuries.
The necropolis near Cerveteri, known as the Banditaccia, contains thousands of sepulchres organized in a similar way to urban planning, with streets, squares and neighborhoods. The site, 20 hectares wide, dates back to the ninth century BC and contains disparate types of sepulchres: trenches dug into the rock; mounds, often containing more than one tomb; and others, always carved into the rock, in the form of huts or houses, with richly detailed structures. The Banditaccia necropolis, one of the largest in antiquity, is a reproduction of the "city of the living". Since there are only a few written testimonies on the Etruscans, this site is an exceptional example of Etruscan domestic architecture from its origins to the Hellenic period.
The necropolis of Tarquinia, also known as Monterozzi, contains 6000 sepulchres carved into the rock. With its 130 hectares, it is the most extensive complex known. Tarquinia is known for its 200 painted tombs, of which the oldest dates back to the seventh century BC. These paintings are the only important evidence of classical art of the pre-Roman period existing in the Mediterranean basin.
Altogether, the Etruscan cemeteries of Cerveteri and Tarquinia are rare and precious testimonies of this people who established the first urbanization in the western Mediterranean, survived for about 700 years from the eighth to the first century BC, in the territories of central Italy ranging from Lazio to Tuscany.
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