Our network: Guides | Hotels
Saturday 25 June 2022
Italiano English

Melone II° del Sodo - The Altar Platform

Email this page | Printable


Cortona il Melone II° del Sodo: The Altar PlatformOpposite the first tomb, eastwards towards Cortona, the digs carried out by the Soprintendenza Archeologica della Toscana from 1990 have unearthed a vast altar platform that would have been used for performing funerary rituals.

A flight of steps, of which six remain, leads up to the platform. The steps are made from carved stone blocks with carved decorations depicting two warriors armed with daggers as they fend off an attack by wild beasts. The decorations are probably a symbolic allusion to the struggle between life and death.

Only the left hand external surface of the platform has been reconstructed so far (1994-5). A first step marks the edge of the platform, with other surrounding architectural details and three large palms for decoration. This is the only Etruscan tomb to have retained a funerary altar with some of its sculptures. It was probably erected in the early 6th century BC and has stylistic affinities with objects from the inner areas of the Etruscan dominions, from Chiusi to Florence, in particular items of carved ivory that exerted an influence over the sculpture that followed.

Burials Near the Altar Platform
During the excavations carried out in the eastern area of the burial ground a total of 17 tombs were found near the steps leading up to the altar platform. These tombs date from at least two periods, with four tombs erected here prior to the altar’s collapse and the others dating up until the late-Republican period under Rome in the 1st century AD. This indicates that the entire area was used as a cemetery well after the altar platform was built. Most of the tombs are simple graves containing humble funerary objects. While some are almost completely destroyed, others have survived well enough to identify the kind of covering that was used for the coffin. The presence of nails in some of the graves indicates that a wooden coffin was used.



For more detailed information regarding this monument consult
La Cortona dei Principes, Catalogo della Mostra. Cortona 1992, pp. 121-167 e AA.VV. Il Museo dell'Accademia Etrusca di Cortona, pp.95-112.

[Le informazioni riportate sono tratta da Schede in distribuzione gratuita di un Ciclostilato a cura della Sezione Didattica della Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici della Toscana, via della Pergola 65, Firenze. Testo del ciclostilaro a cura di Paola Zamarchi Grassi

Le immagini fotografiche sono tratte dai materiali del progetto "Archaeology without barriers", promosso dal Comune di Cortona (con partner Francia – Associazione Memoire et Patrimoine, Parigi - e Grecia – Soprintendenza ai Beni Bizantini di Salonicco), finanziato dalla Commissione Europea, Divisione Formazione e Cultura, nell’estate 2001, all’interno del Programma di finanziamenti “Cultura 2000”. Per ulteirori informazioni sul progetto si prega di contattare il Comune di Cortona, Assessorato alla Cultura]


  General information
The City of Cortona 
The Weather in Cortona 
Local Opening Times 
Useful and Emergency Numbers 
Pharmacies in Cortona 
Famous Lines About Cortona 
Post Office 
Teatro Signorelli  

  Transport in town
Road Map 
Traffic Restrictions 
Parking in Cortona 
Town Map 
Hotels Map in Cortona 
How to Reach Cortona 

  Transport out of town
Surrounding Towns and Villages 
Buses Outside Town 

  Where to Stay
Farmhouse Residences and Country Houses 

  Where to eat and drink

University of Georgia studies abroad at Cortona 
Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa 
Sant'Agostino Conference Centre 

  Art and monuments
Association for the Recovery of the Heritage of Cortona 
The Palazzone 
Palazzo Casali 

  Art and religion
The "Celle" Hermitage 
Church of San Marco 
Church of San Cristoforo 
Church of San Benedetto  
Church of Sant'Antonio Abate 
Church of Santa Margherita 

  Museums and galleries
Archivio Storico 
Museo Diocesano del Capitolo 
MAEC - Museo dell'Accademia Etrusca 
Museo Archeologico e Paleontologico of Farneta 
Accademia Etrusca and Council Library 

  Tourist attractions
The Melone II° del Sodo 
Cortona Archaeological Park 


  Major historical figures
Silvio Passerini (1469-1529) 
St Margherita (1247-1297) 
Luca Signorelli (144?-1523) 
Pietro Berrettini (1596-1669) 
Gino Severini (1883-1966) 
Brother Elia 
Famous Cortonese 

  What to see & do
Lake Trasimeno 
Weddings in Tuscany 
Archaeological Itinerary 

  Lake Trasimene
Lake Trasimene 
Eating well by Lake Trasimene 
Where to stay by Lake Trasimene 
Bathing - Lake Trasimene 
The islands - boat tours 
Ristorante Da Massimo, lago Trasimeno - Magione 

  Specials - Out of town
Gift Ideas for traveling 
Wedding in Cortona 
Arezzo - where to sleep - Discover the city of Antiquarian and Gold 
Pierle and Its Castle 
Stay in Val di Chiana aretina 

Typical Tuscan products 

  Typical products
Signal a Craft