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Man Leads Archaeologists To Frescoed Tomb (Europe's Oldest)
ABC News ^ | 6-16-2006

Posted on 06/16/2006 2:21:35 PM PDT by blam

Man Leads Archaeologists to Frescoed Tomb

Suspected Tomb Raider Leads Archaeologists to Frescoed Tomb North of Rome; May Be Europe's Oldest.

This photo provided by the Italian Ministry of Culture on Friday, June 16, 2006 shows a frescoed burial decorated with migratory birds, in the town of Veio, near Rome. Experts on Friday, June 16, 2006 described the tomb as the oldest known frescoed burial chamber in Europe. It belonged to a warrior prince from the nearby Etruscan town of Veio, and dates back to 690 B.C.(AP Photo/Courtesy of Ministry of Culture, HO)

VEIO, Italy Jun 16, 2006 (AP)— A suspected tomb raider turned police informant has led archaeologists to what experts described Friday as the oldest known frescoed burial chamber in Europe.

The tomb, located on a hilly wheat field north of Rome, belonged to a warrior prince from the nearby Etruscan town of Veio, according to archaeologists who took journalists on a tour of the site.

Dating from around 690 B.C., the underground burial chamber is decorated with roaring lions and migratory birds.

"This princely tomb is unique and it marks the origin of Western painting," said Culture Minister Francesco Rutelli, referring to the ancient art of burial painting.

Authorities were led to the site in May by an Italian on trial for trafficking in illegally excavated artifacts. He revealed the location of the tomb in hopes of gaining leniency from the court, said Carabinieri Gen. Ugo Zottin.


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: archaeologists; etruria; etruscan; etruscans; frescoed; godsgravesglyphs; italy; leads; man; tomb; tuscany

1 posted on 06/16/2006 2:21:38 PM PDT by blam
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To: SunkenCiv

GGG Ping.


2 posted on 06/16/2006 2:22:11 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam

Advertisement for Kentucky Fried Chicken?


3 posted on 06/16/2006 2:28:00 PM PDT by OldFriend (I Pledge Allegiance to the Flag.....and My Heart to the Soldier Who Protects It.)
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To: blam

Gen Ugo Zottin? IBTZottin? Bwahahahaha!


4 posted on 06/16/2006 2:45:18 PM PDT by lexington minuteman 1775
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To: blam

Gen Ugo Zottin? IBTZottin? Bwahahahaha!


5 posted on 06/16/2006 2:45:28 PM PDT by lexington minuteman 1775
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To: blam

Drat, sorry about the double posting;-)


6 posted on 06/16/2006 2:46:28 PM PDT by lexington minuteman 1775
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To: blam

Oldest know depiction of the question, "Why did the chicken cross the road?"
7 posted on 06/16/2006 2:57:58 PM PDT by catpuppy
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To: catpuppy

um...uh...to get to the other side?!


8 posted on 06/16/2006 3:02:06 PM PDT by vladimir998 (Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ. St. Jerome)
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To: blam

The city's name is Veii in Latin...there was a long war between Rome and Veii which ended with the destruction of Veii in 396 B.C. A lot of the best examples of Etruscan art were found there.


9 posted on 06/16/2006 3:14:08 PM PDT by Verginius Rufus
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To: blam
Man Leads Archaeologists To Frescoed Tomb (Europe's Oldest)

COOL!

10 posted on 06/16/2006 3:44:03 PM PDT by GinaLolaB
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To: catpuppy
"Why did the chicken cross the road?"

To show the armadillo that it could be done.

11 posted on 06/16/2006 5:43:09 PM PDT by blam
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To: Ptarmigan

No reason.


12 posted on 06/16/2006 8:49:59 PM PDT by SunkenCiv ("A father is a man who expects his son to be as good a man as he meant to be." -- Frank A. Clark)
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To: blam; FairOpinion; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; 24Karet; 3AngelaD; ...
Thanks Blam.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list. Thanks.
Please FREEPMAIL me if you want on or off the
"Gods, Graves, Glyphs" PING list or GGG weekly digest
-- Archaeology/Anthropology/Ancient Cultures/Artifacts/Antiquities, etc.
Gods, Graves, Glyphs (alpha order)

13 posted on 06/16/2006 11:00:01 PM PDT by SunkenCiv ("A father is a man who expects his son to be as good a man as he meant to be." -- Frank A. Clark)
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To: Pharmboy

Ping.


14 posted on 06/17/2006 5:29:37 AM PDT by blam
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To: blam

"It reads, 'Here may be found the last words, of Joseph of Arimathea. He who is valiant, and pure of spirit, may find the Holy Grail, in the Castle of... aaaaaagggh.'"


15 posted on 06/17/2006 5:34:11 AM PDT by AndrewB
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To: blam

Thanks, blam. The Times had a different headline so i could not find it. This is a big find, it would appear, eh?


16 posted on 06/17/2006 5:40:38 AM PDT by Pharmboy (Democrats lie because they must)
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To: Pharmboy; Radix

Thanks Radix:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,13509-2229278,00.html

Thanks Pharmboy:

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/06/17/arts/17wall.html


17 posted on 06/17/2006 11:14:58 AM PDT by SunkenCiv ("A father is a man who expects his son to be as good a man as he meant to be." -- Frank A. Clark)
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To: blam

duck, duck, goose


18 posted on 06/19/2006 4:26:56 AM PDT by Hegemony Cricket (Rugged individualists of the world, unite!)
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To: blam
Photo

19 posted on 06/29/2006 9:50:51 PM PDT by Coleus (I Support Research using the Ethical, Effective and Moral use of stem cells: non-embryonic "adult")
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VEIO, Italy-- A suspected tomb raider turned police informant has led archaeologists to what experts described yesterday as the oldest known frescoed burial chamber in Europe. The tomb -- located on a hilly wheat field north of Rome -- belonged to a warrior prince from the nearby Etruscan town of Veio, said archaeologists who took journalists on a tour of the site.

Dating from around 690 B.C., the underground burial chamber is decorated with roaring lions and migratory birds. Experts are hailing it as the earliest example of the funerary decorations that would later become common in the Greek and Roman world. "This princely tomb is unique and it marks the origin of Western painting," said Culture Minister Francesco Rutelli.

Authorities were led to the site in May by an Italian man on trial for trafficking in illegally excavated artifacts. He revealed the location of the tomb in hopes of gaining leniency from the court, said Carabinieri Gen. Ugo Zottin, who heads the paramilitary police squad assigned to art theft. Zottin declined to reveal the man's identity or discuss further details of his collaboration.

"Sometimes the smugglers arrive before the archaeologists, but luckily they could not remove the frescoes," Rutelli said. Looters who plundered the tomb overlooked several funerary objects that were hidden from sight by the collapse of part of the chamber's red-painted ceiling. Besides the frescoes, archaeologists have uncovered decorated vases imported from Greece, a sword and metal spits used to roast meat for the prince's table. A two-wheeled bronze chariot was found standing in front of the rounded archway that leads into the burial chamber.

The recovery of elegant broaches, a wool spindle and other objects usually used by females suggests that at least one woman, possibly the prince's wife, was buried in the tomb, said Francesca Boitani, the lead archaeologist on the dig. The urns containing the cremated remains of the tomb's owners, normally placed in one of the chamber's niches, are believed to have been taken by looters, Boitani said. The images of birds and fang-baring felines remain the highlight of what experts are calling "The Tomb of the Roaring Lions."

Although decorated prehistoric caves predate by millennia the Etruscan tomb, experts say it is the oldest example in the Western world of a specially built funerary chamber decorated with mural paintings. "Prehistoric paintings are something else," Boitani said. "Here we see used for the first time the techniques described in ancient texts and used in Western civilization in the following centuries."

Mural paintings have been found in some burial chambers in Turkey, but those date back to the 6th century B.C., while the Etruscan tomb is at least a century older, said Giovanni Colonna, an expert on the Etruscan civilization at Rome's La Sapienza University. The architecture of the tomb, the style of the paintings and the images of lions -- an animal that didn't roam central Italy -- show the builders were influenced by art coming from Greece, Egypt and Asian kingdoms, Colonna said.

Although the same art is used on Greek vases of the time, no decorated tombs from that period have been found in Greece or elsewhere in Europe, he said. The images in the Etruscan tomb were outlined in black and red with paints produced from minerals and archaeologist believe they were fixed on the wall using a compound created by crushing ancient fossils found in the area.

The birds are symbols of the passage into the afterlife, while the lions "represent the horror for what lies beyond life," said Anna Maria Moretti, the superintendent for antiquities in areas around Rome. The surrounding hills are likely to hide further tombs, but a lack of funds means it will be difficult to conduct further digs soon, she said. The prosperous town of Veio rivaled for centuries with Rome -- just 10 miles away -- finally succumbing to the invading legions in 396 B.C., a fate soon shared by the rest of the Etruscan civilization.

Lavish tombs the Etruscans left behind riddle the region north of Rome and their treasures are often prey to looters. Artifacts found in the newly discovered tomb are likely to go to Rome's Villa Giulia Museum, the city's top repository for Etruscan art, Moretti said. Archeologists working to restore the frescoes hope the tomb will be open to the public in the future but no date has been set, she said.


20 posted on 06/29/2006 9:54:07 PM PDT by Coleus (I Support Research using the Ethical, Effective and Moral use of stem cells: non-embryonic "adult")
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21 posted on 06/29/2006 10:02:12 PM PDT by Coleus (I Support Research using the Ethical, Effective and Moral use of stem cells: non-embryonic "adult")
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To: SunkenCiv

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22 posted on 07/29/2010 4:17:28 AM PDT by SunkenCiv ("Fools learn from experience. I prefer to learn from the experience of others." -- Otto von Bismarck)
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