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Acquarossa

Acquarossa, a plateau 6 km. (3 ½ mi.) north of Viterbo, is the site of a small and anonymous Etruscan centre in the territory of Caere. Excavation (1966–78) of its component areas—including the monumental complex in zone F, variously defined as a ‘palace’, a ‘regia’, or a ‘sacred area’ (with a temple)—has combined with contemporary work at Poggio Civitate to focus attention on early Etruscan building techniques, domestic and public architecture, town planning, and non-funerary religious practice. Like Poggio Civitate, Acquarossa has yielded copious architectural terracottas. The most important category, previously unknown or unrecognized, is that of the orientalizing cut-out acroteria used on two-slope roofs between c.650/600 and c.575. They have no Greek models or counterparts, and clearly follow schemes derived from the strong indigenous tradition of exuberantly decorated roof-tops documented by the impasto hut-urns used as cinerary receptacles (but representing real huts) in Etruria and Latium between the 10th and 8th centuries.

Bibliography

S. Haynes, Etruscan Civilization: A Cultural History (2000) 138 ff. S. Stopponi (ed.), Case e palazzi d'Etruria, exhib. cat. (Siena, 1985).

Architettura etrusca nel Viterbese, exhib. cat. (Viterbo, 1986). The (incomplete) definitive report on the Acquarossa excavations by the Swedish Institute, Rome, appears in the fascicules of its Skrifter/Acta, 4th series (1981– ). The cut-out acroteria are treated by E. Rystedt, Acquarossa 4 (1983).

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