Etruscan tomb in Corsica may yield secrets on civilization’s decline.
Researchers have unearthed an Etruscan tomb containing a skeleton and dozens of artifacts in Corsica, a rare discovery that could shed new light on the wealthy civilization of northern Italy and its assimilation into the Roman Empire.
The archaeologists found the vault, chiseled into the rock and dating back to the fourth century B.C., within a large Roman necropolis containing thousands of tombs in Aleria, in the east of the French Mediterranean island.
The Etruscans originated in Tuscany during the Bronze Age in around 900 B.C. and left little written trace of their culture. Their decline was gradual and the last Etruscan cities were absorbed by Rome around 100 B.C.
The discovery, announced this week, could yield new details on the existence of a stable Etruscan population in Corsica and help archaeologists understand the slow demise of the Etruscan civilization.
“It’s the missing link which will allow us to piece together Etruscan funerary rites, but it also reinforces the hypothesis that before the Roman conquest (in -259 B.C), Aleria was a transit point in the Tyrrhenian Sea, blending Etruscan, Carthaginian and Phocaean interests”, head curator Franck Leandri said.