Hypogeum of the Volumni and Necropolis of Palazzone

Hypogeum of the Volumni and Necropolis of Palazzone

The Volumni Hypogeum, dug deep into the ground and accessed by a steep staircase, recreates the architectural structure of a Roman house. The name of the Velimna family (Volumni in Latin) can be deduced from the inscriptions placed on the cinerary urns and from that on the jamb of the access door, which recalls the Velimna brothers, founders of the tomb. Divided into several rooms, with the ceiling of the central one imitating a gabled wooden roof and other coffered ones with sculpted Medusa heads, the tomb houses magnificent cinerary urns with Medusa heads; that of Arunte, very notable, consists of a bed adorned with drapes, on which the deceased rests in the typical recumbent position. On the sides of the base, two winged demons, with a youthful appearance, guard the access door to Hades depicted in the painting. The dating of the tomb can be placed in the second half of the 2nd century. BC The door is made up of an architrave, jambs and closing slab in travertine. On the right jamb there is a vertical inscription in Etruscan in three lines, relating to the construction of the tomb. Beyond the door, on a rectangular atrium with a ceiling imitating the double-pitched wooden roof, with central columen and orthogonal beams, there are two rooms, a cubicula, on each side, at the end the tablinum, and two alae ending in two rooms, with ceilings decorated with geometric lacunars with gorgonian and human protomes. The tympanums are decorated with scenes referring to the afterlife. The tablinum is occupied by seven inscribed cinerary urns, six Etruscan, of excellent workmanship, in stuccoed travertine, one Roman in marble. The most notable is the one against the back wall of Arnth Velimnas Aules, represented half-reclining on the kline, in the center of which the door to Hades is painted, flanked by two Lase. On the right are four travertine urns with a half-reclining deceased and the head of Medusa in the front. They belong to the other members of the family, the grandfather, the father and the brothers; on the left is his daughter Veilia, depicted at a banquet, sitting. The marble urn belonging to the last person buried in the tomb represents a Roman building, decorated with festoons in relief, dating back to the 1st century. A.D; the name is engraved in both Etruscan and Latin. The dating of the tomb, placed in the second half of the 2nd century, is much debated. BC, but which, also following the discovery of the Cai-Cutu tomb in Monteluce, attempts were made to raise it to the 3rd century. BC In the modern vestibule, numerous cinerary urns from the surrounding Palazzone necropolis from the Hellenistic period are collected.

The necropolis, excavated in the nineteenth century and subsequently from 1963 onwards, consists of almost two hundred tombs. The tombs, dug into the natural ground, are chamber-shaped, preceded by a small dromos, and mostly date back to the Hellenistic age, but in part they also refer to the archaic age and are therefore of exceptional interest for the history of the city of Perugia in antiquity.

The necropolis, included in the archaeological park, is open to the public and can be visited following routes accompanied by educational panels. Also within the necropolis is the recently set up antiquarium, with thematic exhibitions focusing on aspects of daily life.


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Via Assisana, 53
06126 Ponte San Giovanni


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