Historic Findings: Vetulonia

50204370 - the necropolis of pantalica in sicily

sharpness / 123RF Stock Photo



Etruscan discoveries are rare to come by but thankfully the site of Vetulonia has shown no stop to its treasures. The site has already been explored and ruins were discovered but now a new site is being explored. A large villa was discovered consisting of 10 rooms with other areas and measuring 4,300 sq. ft. overall. For that size you could fit quite a nice house but it also represents the wealth of the occupant. The ceiling was made from clay but the floor was opus signinum, made from mortar and broken tiles. The house had terracotta tiles and, “..early Pompeian-style frescoes” in one of the living rooms. For an example of what that means, the fresco pictured is from Pompeii. One room was filled with oil jars and another had bronze statuettes under the floor. This villa is so important it was called the, “…best conserved large Etruscan villa in the history of Italian archaeology” by researchers.

Another fantastic discovery was the coins. Since Vetulonia was allowed to make their own coins they could express their specific culture without being forced to simply copy the Romans. A large number were found but two were very unique. One coin was a bronze sestertius which, on the reverse side, had a trident in the center flanked by dolphins. The other was a silver denarius minted by Lucius Thorius Balbus. He was a Triumvir Monetalis which meant that he was in charge of making coins. He also supported Sulla in his wars and died fighting in Spain. The coin probably found its way to Ventulonia with the soldiers of Sulla who destroyed a number of Etruscan cities for supporting Marius. Archaeologist Simona Rafanelli has been in charge of the excavation for years



For more articles related to science & history go to Historic & Scientific Findings and check out my other pages for excellent content on science, technology, history and more!




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