Hypogeum Volumnius

Hypogeum Volumnius
Hypogeum Volumnius

The way in which a town cares for its deceased is one of the most common parameters to know that culture and its level of development; Since prehistory, man has felt the need to take care of his dead in one way or another and in this sense a large number of artistic manifestations dedicated to funerary themes have emerged. The work we are analyzing here is a hypogeum from the Etruscan era known as the Hypogeum of the Volumnios.

The hypogeum is a funerary complex made up of different chambers and galleries that served as burials and have been known since ancient times. In this particular case, we find a piece that is part of a larger necropolis, that of Palazzone located in Perugia and more specifically in the Italian town of Ponte San Giovani. This is not just any work, but we are talking about the most important Etruscan funerary complex of all those found to date, although it is true that its conservation has not always had the care it required.

Specifically, the necropolis dates from the late 6th or early 5th century B.C. and the Hypogeum of the Volumni from the 3rd century BC. although it was not occupied until I B.C. by a well-known patrician family of Rome, the Arunte Volumnius. It was in the first half of the 19th century when the archaeological remains of the necropolis were found during the construction of a motorway and a building was then built that was toserve as a museum and as a way to protect the graves.


Inside the necropolis we find some two hundred box-shaped tombs that are covered with a gabled roof and that according to experts must have belonged to the Hellenic period. Many of them are decorated with reliefs of fights and victorious warriors. The Volumnio hypogeum is excavated in the foot of the small mountain and to reach it we must go down a small staircase that goes into the mountain. It is divided into three different chambers flanked by four other smaller chambers. In this area the covering is gabled as in the small funerary urns at the entrance, however, it is made of stone and not wood as it wants to simulate. At the entrance to the hypogeum we see an effigy of Medusa guarding the mortal remains of the family.

The main chamber has been reserved for the most outstanding members of the and specifically we can find a total of seven tombs, among which the tomb of Arunte Volumnio stands out, the patriarch of the Volumnia family who has been represented on a triclinium above their relatives.

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