Excavations at Poggio Civitate (Murlo) During the 2012--2013 Seasons: Domestic Architecture and Selected Finds From the Civitate A Property Zone

Anthony Tuck 1 , Kate Kreindler 2 ,  and Theresa Huntsman 3
  • 1 Department of Classics, University of Massachusetts Amherst
  • 2 Ph.D. candidate, Department of Classics, Stanford University
  • 3 Ph.D. candidate, Department of Art History and Archaeology, Washington University in St. Louis
Anthony Tuck, Kate Kreindler and Theresa Huntsman


Excavations over the course of the 2012 and 2013 seasons at Poggio Civitate (Murlo) have revealed the presence of domestic architecture in an area immediately to the southwest of the Piano del Tesoro plateau, the portion of Poggio Civitate that preserves evidence of monumental building from the Orientalizing and Archaic phases of the site’s occupation. At least two building phases have been discovered in the eastern extent of the hill’s Civitate A property zone and they reveal that a small rectilinear structure dating to the late seventh century BCE was superimposed on an earlier, curvilinear structure. These architectural discoveries indicate that the opulent Orientalizing structures on the Piano del Tesoro plateau were not only visible to people on nearby hilltops, but also to a community that stood to its immediate west. While additional excavation is needed to clarify a number of questions about Civitate A, it is striking that its inhabitants appear to have had access to at least a few items of notable quality and potential social value, many of which were also used by the social elite living on the plateau. In addition, the number of planed, cut and carved antler, horn and bone objects and fragments recovered within the interior area of Structure 1 raises the possibility that artisans employed in the service of Poggio Civitate’s ruling elite created similar artifacts for their own domestic arena. Future excavations both in Civitate A as well as on other hilltop settlements in the region of Murlo should provide even greater insight into these and many other questions concerning this remarkably well-preserved site and the activities of its ancient inhabitants.

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Etruscan Studies: Journal of the Etruscan Foundation is the leading scholarly publication on Etruscology and Italic Studies in the English language.The journal details activities in all areas of research and study related to the Etruscan and pre-Roman civilizations and publishes articles as well as reviews of meetings and publications of interest to the professional community.