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Melone II° del Sodo - Tomb One

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Cortona il Melone II° del Sodo: Tomb OneBetween 1928 and 1929 a tomb with marked oriental elements of design was unearthed in the south-western area of the burial ground. A long access corridor, or dromos, leads westwards through an imposing doorway, of which the architrave still survives, into the tomb. The corridor opens into two rectangular vestibules that lead into six lateral, rectangular cells and into the main cell at the far end – also rectangular in shape.

The covers of the tombs are only partly conserved and are of a half-vaulted design, with slabs joined together by a central spine, almost a precursor of the gothic archway.

The tomb itself is made of blocks of sandstone that is notably more refined than the other tombs of the Cortona area.

The finds unearthed in this tomb, along with all those found in the burial ground, are in the Museo dell'Accademia Etrusca.

As well as many fragments of vases made in the Chiusi area, recent digs have unearthed a rich assortment of large vases similar to those unearthed during the 1928-29 excavations. Although the vases are shattered into tiny fragments, they are of Attican ceramic with black figures and date from between 570 and 550 BC, which makes them among the oldest items of Attican pottery to have been found in Etruria. The shapes of the vases are finer than many found in other areas and are proof of the early trade relations established between Athens and Cortona.
Among the objects unearthed during recent excavations there is also an arched gold buckle in the shape of a feline, dating from the mid-6th century BC, which was found at the extremity of the dromos.

Although little of the funerary items of the ancient tombs have survived, it is worth noting that a number of objects from the late-Hellenistic and early Roman tombs have in fact been preserved. These are mostly daily-use pottery, particularly kitchen-ware.
A glass salve vase was found in Tomb One.


For more detailed information on 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]


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