By Karen K. Ho
Archaeologists recently discovered an Etruscan temple in the ancient city of Vulci in what is now Italy. Researchers estimated the temple was constructed in either 5th or 6th century BCE, and is roughly the same size as the nearby Tempio Grande, a building excavated in the 1950s.
“This duplication of monumental buildings in an Etruscan city is rare, and indicates an exceptional finding,” the University of Mainz archaeologist Paul P. Pasieka told the University of Freiburg‘s communications office.
Archaeologist Mariachiara Franceschini, of the University of Freiburg, co-led the research team with Pasieka that discovered the temple during work on the Vulci Cityscape project. In the pre-Roman period, Vulci was an important urban center and one of twelve cities of the Etruscan federation. The project began in 2020 and is focused on the city’s settlement and urban structures.
Last year, researchers uncovered the first sections of wall, made of a solid type of volcanic rock comprised of volcanic ash known as “tuff.” Prior to the discovery of the temple, information about the appearance and organization of Etruscan cities was limited.
“The intact strata of the temple are offering us insights into more than a thousand years of development of one of the most important Etruscan cities,” said Franceschini.
Scientists plan on studying the different uses and the architecture of the temple for further information about the religion of the Etruscans, the social structures in the ancient city of Vulci, and the lives of the city’s inhabitants.
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