The tumulus tomb of Casaglia

 

In the garden of the Museum an Etruscan age tumulus tomb (a so-called tholos tomb) has been recently reconstructed; the tomb was discovered in 1932 in the small town of Casaglia (Montecatini Val di Cecina, PI), located on a hilltop overlooking the Cecina valley. According to a common use among late XIXth and early XXth century archaeologists, the tomb was later disassembled and rebuilt next to an administrative building of the Municipality of Cecina.

The tumulus tomb (tholos) of Casaglia (Montecatini Val di Cecina). (Late VIIth - early VIth cent. BC)

The tumulus tomb (tholos) of Casaglia (Montecatini Val di Cecina). (Late VIIth – early VIth cent. BC)

 

Once the latter was going to be sold the monument was moved for the second time and it was given a new and permanent place at the Museum of Cecina, where the bronze gravegoods found in the tomb are exposed.

The tumulus tomb (tholos) of Casaglia (Montecatini Val di Cecina). (Late VIIth - early VIth cent. BC)

The tumulus tomb (tholos) of Casaglia (Montecatini Val di Cecina). (Late VIIth – early VIth cent. BC)

 

A long corridor – the dromos – allowed access to a circular chamber, where the small stone urns containing the dead’s ashes and the gravegoods were deposited. The walls of the room, realized by means of stone slabs, in the highest part will shrink more and more up to form a false-dome; a square pillar, placed in the center of the room, gave stability to the building. A mound of soil covered then the entire structure, giving it the appearance of a small slope.

Plan of the tholos of Casaglia (Montecatini Val di Cecina). (Late VIIth - early VIth cent. BC)

Plan of the tholos of Casaglia (Montecatini Val di Cecina). (Late VIIth – early VIth cent. BC)

 

The tholos of Casaglia was the family tomb of a powerful clan that, between the end of the VIIth and the middle of the VIth cent. BC. controlled the passage of goods and people along the Cecina valley and the exploitation of the nearby rich copper mines of Montecatini Val di Cecina.

Grave goods from the tholos tomb of Casaglia (Montecatini Val di Cecina). Bronze objects and vessels. (Late VIIth - VI cent. BC)

Grave goods from the tholos tomb of Casaglia (Montecatini Val di Cecina). Bronze objects and vessels. (Late VIIth – VI cent. BC)