Necropolis Of The Banditaccia
The Necropolis of Banditaccia, UNESCO site since 2004, is the best example of Etruscan funerary architecture. It extends west of the city of Cerveteri, on a tufaceous plateau. The necropolis extends for about 400 hectares and there are many thousands of burials, the fenced and open part represents only 10 hectares of extension and has about 400 tumuli, from the oldest of the Villanovan period (9th century BC) to the most recent of the period Hellenistic (3rd century BC). From the 7th century BC, with the prevalence of the burial rite, large tumuli with burial chambers dug into the tuff and decorated with motifs inspired by the forms of domestic architecture developed. These monuments, which belonged to high-ranking families, have returned rich grave goods in which the presence of materials imported from the Near East and Greece is frequent. The name "Banditaccia" derives from the fact that since the end of the nineteenth century the area has been "banned", that is, rented by public tender, by the landowners of Cerveteri in favor of the local population. The lands began to be indicated with the nickname "Banditaccia" because they did not lend themselves to the needs of grazing and agriculture. Given its grandeur, the Necropolis of Banditaccia is the largest ancient necropolis in the entire Mediterranean area.