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Necropolis of Sovana

What to see in Sovana, Grosseto, Tuscany


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The Necropolis of Sovana is located to the west of the village, along the road that leads to San Martino on the Fiora, and is reached also by the spectacular Vie Cave that connect to other necropolises in the area, in the evocative setting of the Tufa Archaeological Park. Sovana, in addition to having provided eneolithic testimonies, Grow it primarily in the Etruscan period; as is demonstrated by the numerous Etruscan tombs. Notable examples are:

  • the tomb of the Siren, niche, in the locality of the Poggio di Sopraripa,
  • the tomb of the Typhoon on poggio settled,
  • The cave Pula on the Poggio Prisca
  • the monumental Grave Ildebranda On Poggio Felceto.

Along the road that leads from the village of Sovana to San Martino on the Fiora, it can also reach the ruins of a rock oratory from historical origins are uncertain that it has dug in the tufa with a great cross graffito scratched on the ceiling.

The Tomba Ildebranda (III-II century a.C.), completely dug in the rock, presents itself as a monumental temple with portico with six columns resting on a podium with two lateral stairways; the funerary chamber, in which has been notched a single berth of deposition for The deceased, is reachable through a long central corridor in descent. The room was found completely empty, result of an ancient looting or action of grave robbers. The name was given in honor of Ildebrando Aldobrandeschi from Sovana, better known as Pope Gregory VII. The tomb was made known by Gino Rosi in 1925, which published a first report. The Mercklin, some years before, had probably noticed the emergence of some structure, but the investigations were not continue. A few years after the necropolis were studied by the archaeologist Bianchi Bandinelli, which he dedicated particular attention to the Grave Ildebranda, performing also the archaeological excavations. Bandinelli proposed a reconstruction più precise of the tomb and the decoration, we was allowed thanks precisely to the archaeological investigations which led to the discovery of various decorative elements which integrated it which remained of the tomb. In the seventies were performed new studies on the necropolis which led to the realization of a more precise cartography and to a new proposal for the reconstruction of the elevation of the Grave Ildebranda, which in 1974 was subjected to some of the interventions of restoration. Most recently the tomb has been put into the museum, as an integral part of the archaeological park and subjected to new restoration and conservation interventions.

The The mermaid tomb (III-II b.C.), once known as "Tomb of the Fountain", is a tomb in newsstand entirely carved into the tufa, located on the inside of the necropolis of Sopraripa. The facade reproduces a false door, inside which there è sculpted the image of the deceased represented as simposiasta, Port is looked at the sides by two demons, Charun probably left and Vanth right. The name derives from the frieze in which you are not representing a siren, as commonly known, but the sea monster Scilla is caught in the act of sinking of a ship. Above the image of the deceased is legibly written "Vel Nulina", "son of Vel". A dromos particularly narrow leads to the burial chamber, which is offset with respect to the newsstand. The small size of the room suggest a burial for a single individual. The tomb was described for the first time by the English painter Samuel Aisnley which there was addressed from the premises that already knew the place. Recently the tomb, together with a wide area of the necropolis of Sopraripa, it was subjected to an extensive restoration, during which were discovered other archaic burials lying at a level just below that of Siren.

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