The Capestrano Warrior
VI sec a.C.
This famous statue was discovered by chance in 1934, during farm works conducted on the land of Capestrano. Because of this unusual find, archaeological investigations were carried out for a better understanding and knowledge of the area. 33 tombs were identified and excavated and the bust of a female statue, today known as the “Capestrano Lady”, was also found. Among the most significant finds were the bust of a male statue – sold during an auction and bought for a private collection – and two stone bases for statues.
Some fragments of the statues were found near tomb 3, a pit grave with rich goods, which were partially lost. The tomb was oriented in a different way to others and was probably surmounted by a small mound or by a stone circle and decorated with the statues found nearby. The characteristics of both the Warrior and the Lady suggest that they were made by the same artist to be part of one group representing members of the same wealthy and powerful family to whom the tomb belonged.
The limestone statue is entirely preserved and has traces of red colour still visible on the surface. It represents a standing male figure. The feet are placed on a stone base, while the sides are held by two small pillars. The warrior wears a torque around his neck, armillae (bracelets) on his arms, a kilt to protect his belly, held around the waist with a belt, and sandals. His social role is emphasized by the weapons: the large parade helmet with a crest made of feathers, the single disc-armor, composed of a disc to protect the chest and another to protect the back. The arms are bent over the chest and hold a long sword and a knife, possibly used to sharpen the sword, and an axe, perhaps used for ritual or religious purposes. The handles of the swords and of the knife are embellished with decorations representing human figures and animals.
On the pillars there is a spear per side, with the point upwards. On the left pillar there is also an inscription, incised on a red painted band, that names the figure represented in the statue as Nevio Pomp(uled)io.
On the basis of the stylistic and epigraphic characteristics, the statue is dated to around the first half of the 6th century BC.
The good preservation of the red colour on the statues of the “Capestrano Warrior” and the “Capestrano Lady” may indicate that these artifacts were not exposed to the weather for a long period of time. The breaks in the lower part may be clue for an intentional disruption, a sort of damnation memoriae (memory condemnation).