• The National Archaeological Museum of Tarquinia

    The wonders of the Etruscans

The National Archaeological Museum of Tarquinia

This museum is housed in the splendour of palazzo Vitelleschi, which was built between 1436 and 1439 by Cardinal Giovanni Vitelleschi during the papacy of Eugene IV. The collection comprises material unearthed during excavation campaigns in the area of the ancient Etruscan city and its rich, extensive necropolises. These artefacts tell us about the lives of the Etruscans and about their conception of what happened to the deceased beyond the grave, as they believed in life after death. Of special note is a rich collection of Etruscan sarcophagi on the museum’s ground floor, together with the sector on the first floor devoted to its collections of Greek pottery, which includes several masterpieces, such as the kylix of Oltos, the vase of Charinos, the amphora of Phintias and the Berlin painter’s crater. The museum’s most priceless artefacts also include the celebrated highrelief of winged horses that used to adorn the pediment of the Altar of the Queen and has now become the symbol of the city of Tarquinia all over the world. There is also a room on the second floor that is quite unique in its field, dedicated to the illustrated tombs whose painted decorations were removed from their natural supports in the fifties of the last century for reasons of conservation.

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