Museo Civico Archeologico Verucchio

Verucchio, Emilia-Romagna, Italy
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Museo Civico Archeologico Verucchio - Cya On The Road

This museum tells the story of an important Villanovan/Etruscan village. During the first part of the Iron Age (ninth-seventh centuries BCE), it was at the centre of interregional trade across maritime and Appenine mountain routes, which fostered communication towards the Adriatic Sea and more distant northern areas, and in the other direction towards the Tirrenian side of the Italian peninsula and thus Etruria itself. In this respect, Verucchio was favoured by its position, perched atop a high rocky outcrop located only a few kilometers from the coast, alongside the valley of the Marecchia river. From this strategic site, the village readily controlled both the Adriatic outlet of this river, and the inland valley road that traversed a mountain pass, allowing travellers to cross the Appenine range and reach the Tiber river valley as well as the Tirrenian side of the peninsula.Among these various trading and transport activities, a leading role was played by a special, and highly precious substance: amber. A type of fossilized resin, amber was obtained from deposits located in northeastern Europe, between the Baltic and North Seas. During the early Iron Age, it was a much sought-after commodity across the entire Mediterranean, for its aura of mystery, for its curative properties, and for its being considered a suitable gift for people of high social standing.Since the late 1800s, archeological discoveries and excavations at Verucchio have recovered notable historical evidence of various kinds, primarily in four necropoli—the areas of burial—which were situated around, and slightly below the rocky outcrop, while at its summit the various village dwellings would have been located, unfortunately not yet well-known.At present, about 600 tombs have been brought to light. They were built in the form of pits or small wells, in essence, rectilinear or circular holes cut into the earth, their dimensions varying widely. They held the deceased individuals’ remains, and their richly splendid funerary goods.Opened to the public thirty yeas ago, the Museum of Verucchio today offers exhibits of a selection of these materials, with an itinerary that takes visitors along a timeline starting with the most ancient burials, and running through the princely interments of the late eighth to early seventh century BCE. From the most ancient phases (in The Room of the Ancestors), one proceeds to the objects dating from the late eighth to early seventh century BCE (in The Room of the Arms, The Room of the Mantle), to conclude with an in-depth look at particularly significant themes (Room of the Woman Weaver, Room of the Sacred Area, Room of the New Excavations), and with the presentation of several truly spectacular tombs, like the one on exhibit in the Room of Amber, and in the Room of the Throne. This last-named burial is a princely one from the end of the eighth century BCE, with an opulent trove of funerary items, and with a wooden throne completely decorated in intaglio work, with geometric motifs and figurative scenes of complex meaning, which have unquestionably made it the symbol of the museum, and of the entire archeological heritage of the Verucchio area.

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