Cerveteri's Etruscan city of dead set to wow visitors
|Previously closed Tomb of the Painted Lions to open to public [Credit: ANSA]|
Additionally, Banditaccia's long-neglected pedestrian paths have been cleaned up for the upcoming inauguration, including 'La Passeggiata di Lawrence', a pathway named after writer DH Lawrence whose book Etruscan Places inspired the site's rediscovery.
Both weather and grave robbers have repeatedly contributed to the site's degradation over the decades, which the Banditaccia project aims to rectify with the addition of 80 surveillance cameras and an evening illumination.
Over the next 18 months, the Banditaccia project also will add an interactive multi-media experience, new itineraries, and visitor facilities upgrades such as a restaurant and bathrooms.
|Etruscan site at Cerveteri [Credit: Mike Wilson]|
"Few people know this but this is the largest archaeological site in the world, even bigger than the Valley of the Kings in Egypt", Croci told ANSA, adding "today we have 65,000 annual visitors. "We want double that, and for the site to receive the recognition it deserves," he said.
The Etruscans lived mainly between the rivers Tiber and Arno in modern-day Umbria, Lazio and Tuscany, in the first millennium BC.
By the sixth century BC they had become the dominant force in central Italy, but repeated attacks from Gauls and Syracusans later forced them into an alliance with the embryonic Roman state, which gradually absorbed Etruscan civilization.
Most of what is known about the Etruscans derives from archaeology as the few accounts passed down by Roman historians tend to be hostile, portraying them as gluttonous and lecherous.
This problem is compounded by the fact that Etruscan cities were built almost entirely of wood and so vanished quickly, leaving little for archaeologists to investigate.
Author: Erica Firpo | Source: ANSA [June 05, 2014]