Hut-shaped urn
Collections OnlineGregorian Etruscan MuseumRoom I

Hut-shaped urn

from Castel Gandolfo - Montecucco,
Tomb A
First half of the 9th cent. BC
blended ceramic
height cm 25.2; base cm 28.5 x 29
cat. 15395

The urn contained the remains of an adult. The hut-shaped cinerary urn is one of the most typical ossuaries of the first phases of the Iron Age of Etruria and Latium (9th-8th cent. BC), with isolated attestations in Sabina and in Campania. The particular shape of this cinerary urn, which represents the home of the deceased, has a precise symbolic meaning. It is also a fundamental model for knowing the domestic architecture of these ancient huts, which had an oval or rectangular shape, more rarely a circular one, with the entrance door on the short side. In the real constructions, the walls were made of branches covered with reeds, water-proofed by a layer of clay, and leaned against a series of wooden poles set in the ground. The roof, almost always with a double slope, was a wooden frame covered with straw and branches, with two symmetrical openings under the uppermost beam to let the smoke out and the air in.