Etruscan aristocrats


Modena is one of several towns in Emilia-Romagna that can boast an Etruscan origin. In fact, we know its ancient name of Mutnua thanks to an inscription found near Reggio Emilia. Actually, it wasn’t just Modena itself that was populated by the Etruscans, but much of its province as well. The Etruscans left ample evidence of their presence, especially between the 6th and 5th centuries B.C. The most important testimony of well-established Etruscan political and territorial control in the area is the necropolis of Galassina di Castelvetro (first half – late 5th century B.C.). Of particular note are two graves, one for a woman and the other for a man, both members of the aristocracy that ruled over this hilltop town, whose economy relied on agriculture and trade along the route that ran along the foothills between Reno and Enza. Their grave goods include many objects related to banquets, which were typical of burial sites for wealthy Etruscans: a rich array of bronzeware (situlas, buckets, colanders, ladles) related to the consumption of wine, instruments used during games, and several Greek-style potteries, including a krater depicting a kòmos, a joyous procession of drunken people engaged in revelry and licentious acts. There are also two bronze candelabra whose tips are decorated with statuettes in the round.
Eggshells on a plate are the remains of offers of food for the deceased.