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Terracotta seated figure


Height: 21.500 inches

Castellani Collection

GR 1873.8-20.638 (Terracotta D 219)

Room 71: Etruscan world

    Terracotta seated figure

    Etruscan, about 625-600 BC
    Found at the Tomb of the Five Chairs, Cerveteri, Lazio, Italy

    This is one of five seated figures found in the 'Tomb of the Five Chairs' discovered at Cerveteri in 1865. They were originally enthroned on five chairs cut from the rock, and they are thought to represent ancestors who were occasionally visited inside the tomb for the performance of some kind of rite. This is suggested by the fact that there was also an altar in the chamber and the figures' hands are outstretched as if to hold or accept offerings.

    The figures were not found in their entirety: both this one and its companion in The British Museum have been restored with female heads, but the bodies are probably those of men. The figure wears a chequered tunic and mantle fastened at the shoulder with clasp.

    The figures resemble north Syrian and other eastern prototypes, but the details of clothing and jewellery are distinctly Etruscan.

    E. Macnamara, Everyday life of the Etruscans (Barsford/Putnams, 1973)

    E. Macnamara, The Etruscans-1 (London, The British Museum Press, 1990)

    L. Bonfante, Etruscan dress (John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore and London, 1975)

    L. Burn, The British Museum book of G-1, revised edition (London, The British Museum Press, 1999)


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