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Currently shown

Cinerary Urn: Battle Scene

Location

CENTRAL ITALY, probably CHIUSI

Era

7th-1st c. B.C.E.

Culture

Etruscan

Title

Cinerary Urn: Battle Scene

Date

2nd c. B.C.E.

Materials

Earthenware, moulded decoration, traces of pigment

Dimensions

33.5 x 47.5 x 2 cm

Credits

Gift of Sidney Carter, inv. 1935.Cb.2

Collection

Archeology and World Cultures

The Etruscans practised both inhumation and cremation, and cremated remains were placed in stone or ceramic urns. The moulded decoration on ceramic urns would be quite standardized, with the deceased on the lid and a mythical or funerary scene – often apparently unrelated to the gender of the deceased – on the box. This standardization makes it difficult to ascertain if the lid and box presented here were originally used together or not. Based on the reclining female figure holding a fan, we know that the lid was part of an urn holding the ashes of a woman. The high-relief scene on the box, showing four figures battling over a fallen fifth figure is among the most commonly depicted scenes. Associated with workshops in Chiusi, it was once heightened by polychrome painting.

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