Saturday, 26 January 2013

Looting Villanovan Cemeteries

I have been re-reading Anna Maria Bietti Sestieri's The Iron Age Community of Osteria Dell'Osa: A Study of Socio-Political Development in Central Tyrrhenian Italy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1992). My interest was to get some additional information about the Villanovan bronze hut-urn in the Villa Giulia that was found in the Osteria cemetery at Vulci. Sestieri reminds us that the nature of the finds has prompted "clandestine digging and looting of graves" (p. 9).

The Osteria bronze hut-urn is also discussed in Francesco Buranelli's "The bronze hut urn in the Metropolitan Museum of Art", MMJ 21 (1986) 5-12 [MMA website]. Interestingly Buranelli points to a third example that surfaced in Palladion Antike Kunst in Basel with a significant Vulci association.

So what is the background to the Princeton bronze hut-urn? Where was it found? Who handled it? Who sold it?

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