Tomb of the Anina Family: sarcophagi and back wall with garland friezes and genealogical inscriptions
3rd century BCE. Tarquinia, Tomb of the Anina Family

Tomb of the Anina Family: sarcophagi and back wall with garland friezes and genealogical inscriptions.

3rd century BCE.

Tarquinia, Tomb of the Anina Family.

Found in 1967.
The Tomb of the Anina Family lies in the center of the Fondo Scataglini, an abandoned quarry with 175 tombs hollowed out of the rock. Their inscriptions and paintings were recently published. The “square” in front of the main tomb and the “street” leading up to it had no sepulchral significance; they were features of the original quarry. The main tomb has been dated to somewhere between the close of the fourth century and the mid-third century. In any case, this spacious tomb with a three-tier continuous bench with both recessed and freestanding sarcophagi (in limestone, nenfro, and terracotta) and a flat ceiling was created by Larth Anina and used for at least three generations. We know this from the paintings and inscriptions executed on the walls and sarcophagi at different times and distinct from each other. According to one inscription, Larth Anina had six graves — probably sarcophagi — constructed for himself and his family. The paintings include a few small-figure images like demons and a procession with a magistrate on a biga between three lictors and a togatus, but mainly consist of botanical and ornamental decorations like vines, garlands with ribbons, rosettes, Doric and Ionian cymatia, dogtooth and crenellated friezes, and painted draperies. The white vine frieze on a red ground on one sarcophagus recalls Apulian Gnathia pottery. The entrance to the tomb is flanked by large-format demons identified by inscriptions as Charun and Vanth, ianitores with the typical attributes of a hammer and a torch, in an almost expressionist style in which the dark outlines are emphasized. These date from the tomb’s creation, and because the entrance was apparently widened at a later date they are not complete. The tomb contained a terracotta sarcophagus for a woman and five cippi with inscriptions and nine without, one of them in the form of a woman’s head. The gens Anina, which was not one of Tarquinia’s old, established noble families but rather among the homines novi — only one member of the third generation, by the name of Larth, held the office of zilath — is also known from inscriptions in the Tomb of the Shields and from tombs in Cerveteri, Vulci, Chiusi, and Perugia.
© 2006. Photo, text: Steingräber S. Abundance of Life. Etruscan Wall Painting. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, 2006. P. 256—257.
© 2006. Photo: Ministry of Culture, Department of Archaeology, Latium.
Keywords: αρχιτεκτονική architectura architecture architettura architektur ετρουρία ετρουσκική etruria etruscan etrusco etruskisch etruskische etruskischer etruskischen étrusque ζωγραφικήί pictura ars picturae painting pittura malerei peinture φρεσκογραφία τοιχογραφία νωπογραφία wall fresco frescos frescoes opera parietale murale opere parietali murali affresco affreschi freskomalerei frischmalerei wandmalerei fresko fresken fresque fresques pintura mural etrusca γλυπτική sculptura sculpture sculptural scultura skulptur κηδεία γλυπτική funeral funeraria begräbnisskulptur funéraire σαρκοφάγος σαρκοφάγους sarcophagus sarcophagi sarcofago sarcofagi sarkophag sarkophage sarcophage sarcophages garland garlands ghirlanda ghirlandi girlande guirlande serta γιρλάντα horse horses cavallo cavalli pferd pferde cheval chevaux equus equi ίππος άλογα reclining reclinabile reclinabili reclinata liegend inclinable ανακλινόμενα colored coloured painted coloration dipinta colorazione färben färbung farbige colorée χρωματιστό γλυπτό tarquinia tomb of the anina family tomba degli necropoli del fondo scataglini