We have now inspected the many objects rescued from the kistvaen and the sarcophagus; we have visited the homes and the long homes of the Circumpadan Etrurians; and we may venture upon a little cautious generalisation.
The external shape of the sarcophagus at
Misanello and Misano is of two great varieties. The first is the quadrangular coffin of tufa slabs, numbering 4 to 6. The dimensions are, length 0∙90 metre (= 2 feet 11∙43 inches) to 2∙27 metres
(= 7 feet, 5∙37 inches); breadth, 0∙57 metre (= 1 foot 10∙44 inches) to 1∙60 metre (= 5 feet 2∙99 inches); height, 0∙42 metre (= 1 foot 4∙54 inches) to 1∙92 metre (= 6 feet 3∙59 inches); the thickness of the walls is from 0∙08 metre to 0∙32 metre (= 3∙15 inches to 1 foot 0∙60 inch); the cover is generally of one, sometimes of two pieces; and though flat roofs are mentioned, I saw only the pent shaped.
The second kind is surmounted by a heavy weight, which, under the pressure of earth, has
often broken through the lid, and has been found inside the tomb. The upper gradient was crowned by a cut stone, supposed, like the horseshoe, to represent the Homeric ΣΗΜΑ; the material was mostly macigno or sandstone grit, and water‑rolled
pebbles; the shape was either spheroid or lenticular; and, in some cases, the diameter reached four feet. Professor Conestabile (Congrès, page 255) mentions, as a third variety of sarcophagus, rectangular bases and truncated columns, which suggested to him the phallic STELLAE so common in the necropoles of central Etruria, but he apparently did not see them. He also includes amongst sepulchres the pebble lined wells, the caisses formées avec de grandes tuiles à couvercle, façonné en faîte (coffins formed by the large TEGVLAE); the pebble tumulus and kistvaen, and the pebble foundations before alluded to.
Incineration has prevailed at Marzabotto. Only three or four out of 170 contained the whole skeleton, which was supported by a quantity of marl and pebbles, and the presence of these articles did not appear accidental. The other contents were the AES (RVDE and the others), of which each individual had at least one; pottery, statuettes, weapons, bronzes, FIBVLAE, mirrors, and a variety of gold ornaments. Almost all the sarcophagi had been violated, but one, which had remained intact, yielded no less than 57 objects of the precious metal. Besides these, there were pietre dure of fine cutting and archaic Etruscan gems, for example, the carnelian scarabaeus, with a walking Minerva,
cuirassed and winged; the more advanced, as the engraved quartz, showing the heifer Io stung by the gadfly, and the pasto tumble bug representing a tailed man contending against a fabulous monster that stands before him. As usual, amber and bonedice were abundant, and so were the ossuaries, and the vases of plain and painted pottery. The bones picked up in the necropoles and the settlements are determined by Professors Cornalia and Rütimeyer to be those of the VRSVS ARCTVS, the CANIS FAMILIARIS (and PALVSTRIS?), the FELIS CATTVS, the MVS RATTVS (?), the EQVVS CABALLVS (and ASINVS?), the SVS PALVSTRIS (and SCROFA FERVS?), the CERVVS (ELAPHVS and CAPREOLVS), the OVIS ARIES, the CAPRA HIRCVS (with two other varieties), and the BOS BRACHYCERVS. [Jeff Hill's footnote: VRSVS ARCTOS PRO VRSVS ARCTVS; BOS BRACHYCEROS PRO BOS BRACHYCERVS.] The birds are chiefly the BVFO VVLGARIS and the GALLVS DOMESTICVS ‑‑ this Indian bird suggesting by no means a remote date. The shells, probably used for necklaces, are principally the PECTVNCVLVS GLYCIMERIS (fossil) and the CYPRAEA TIGRIS. So my friend, Professor, now Rector G. Capellini, an ardent archaeologist, of whom more presently, when exploring the cannibal Grotta dei Colombi, in the Island of Palmaria, found and figured (plate 2, Fava e Garagnani, Bologna, 1873) a valve
of the PECTVNCVLVS GLYCIMERIS, pierced near the apex, and a PATELLA CAERVLEA, cut to form a ring. [Footnote 1: Similar shells have been discovered in the Perigord Caves. Rector Capellini also brought from the Pigeon Grot large quantities of OSTRAEA EDVLIS, NATICA MILLEPVNCTATA, MVREX TRVNCVLVS, TROCHVS TVRBINATVS, COLVMELLA RVSTICA, PATELLA LVSITANICA, HELIX (NEMORALIS, and SINGVLATA), an undetermined TRITON, and a DENTALIVM not belonging to the existing Mediterranean species. It was probably brought to Spezia, like the SILEX, from some part of Tuscany.]
The essential difference between the systems of sepulture in northern and in central Etruria, is that, whilst the latter built in the interior of hills and upon plateaux adjoining the towns, the former laid out their graveyards in our modern style. Fortunately for students, we have thus three great monumental series, which cannot be considered to be of the same date; whilst certain crucial points of resemblance, for instance, the form, the system, and the ornamentation of the bronze FIBVLAE, and, briefly, the great lines of art, suggest the peoples to be of one race.
It is now given to us to trace how FORTIS ETRVRIA CREVIT. Villanova and the Certosa belong to FELSINA, whilst Marzabotto stands grandly alone. The greater antiquity of the first named is proved by the absence of statuettes; except the feminine idol with birds, the archaic horses, and the symbolical or conventional mannikins, raised upon the surface of
an ossuary. The ornaments are chiefly meanders, disks, concentric circles, crosses, or circles containing crosses; and animals, ducks, geese, and serpents. There is no goldsmiths' work; the only iron articles are some few ornaments, several lance points,
two hatchets (?), knife blades and shovels (?); and we must remember that the first kings of Rome were in the early iron epoch. Lead alloy is also wanting in the AES RVDE, which is of a ruder type than that of its neighbours. At Villanova there are no bas‑reliefs, no inscriptions, no STYLI for writing; and the cyst shaped ossuary of bronze is supported by plain unpainted pottery, generally black, and provided with handles of various forms. Thus the
Congress was enabled to date Villanova from the ninth and even the tenth century BC, synchronous with the early Etruscan epoch, or at the end of the bronze and the beginning of the iron age. The study of this period has served as guide to a host of sepulchral discoveries in Switzerland and Franche‑Comté.
The general aspect of the Certosa shows the greatest splendour of Etruscan art, a progress and development which would place it several centuries later; Cav. Zannoni assigns it to about the fourth century of Rome. The bronze contains more lead, and an AES GRAVE, apparently an AS of uncial weight, would fix the date after VRBIS CONDITAE 537 (BC 216), the year in which a decree of the Republic reduced the weight of an AS to an ounce. [Jeff Hill's note: AES PRO AS.]
Marzabotto is the latest of the three. Here we have three inscriptions, two on pottery and one on a silver FIBVLA, besides three bronze writing STYLI. The alloys consist of a greater proportion of lead, about 36 : 100. The AES RVDE is abundant; there is a large rectangular piece, perhaps the AES SIGNATVM [footnote 1: it weighs, according to Count Gozzadini (page 13, Renseignements and the rest), 2,157 grams (= 4 pounds 12 ounces avoirdupois, 45∙14 grains), and consequently exceeds by 367 grams (= 12 ounces avoirdupois, 454∙52 grains) the heaviest specimen cited in Mommsen's Monetary History. The AES RVDE weighed from 10 to 24 grams (= 169∙33 to 406∙40 grains avoirdupois) and contained about 36 percent of lead] (first century of Rome), bearing the trident and
the caduceus; while the AES GRAVE is wanting. Iron is much more common at Marzabotto than at Villanova, the articles being chiefly keys, bracelets, lance heads, blades, and scabbards of long knives, daggers, or swords. A Greek inscription upon a fragment of pottery, ΚΑΚΡΥΛΙΟΝ ΕΠΟΙΕΣΕΝ, proves an advanced commercial intercourse. The FIBVLAE, are often novel and beautiful: for instance, one represents a pair of tweezers; another, in silver, has a double spiral, and the lower end reverted, reminding M. G. de Mortillet of Gallic objects in the Museum of St. Germain. The metal might be considered rare, yet a hundred such bijous have been found at Marzabotto. Gold, as well as silver, becomes more abundant, denoting ideas of luxury and a social condition which could appreciate the value of the material and the beauty of the work; often, indeed, both were combined. Of this fact the necklace and the pendants, supposed to form part of a feminine collar (torques), figured by Count Gozzadini (Di ulteriori scoperte a Marzabotto, plate XVI, number 11, a, b, c; XVII, numbers 2 and 3), are sufficient proofs.
Finally, the bas‑reliefs and statuary, numbering about a hundred, enable us to compare the most archaic style (Venus), shapelessness, disproportionate limbs, unnatural length, rigidity, and drapery adhering to the body, with that of the most advanced civilisation (Venus and Mars). Thus Professor Count Conestabile is of opinion that the necropolis of Marzabotto was used for a considerable period after the Boian and Lingonian invasion; whilst the Abbé G. Chierici is of opinion that both Misanello and Misano owe their destruction to those barbarians.
Etruscan Bologna, A Study