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NORCHIA Italy.

A cliff tomb city in the territory of Tarquinii, at the confluence of three streams—Fosso di Pile, Acqualta, and Biedano—downstream ca. 16 km from Blera. The site of the city is a long, narrow plateau, surrounded by water except on the S where a deep fossa has been cut to separate the city from the rest of the high plain. There are no certain remains of ancient occupation.

One principal tomb field is on the N cliffs of the Acqualta; the other extends for a considerable distance along the E cliffs of Fosso di Pile, a zone called “la Stallonara,” directly opposite the town. This area is now being cleared and one can see, from the town site, a panorama of over 50 tombs, arranged in rows at two levels, the larger and more monumental tombs being above. Most are facade tombs with a false door and a dromos opening below; some are two-storied, as at Castel d'Asso; there are also two porch tombs of a type found only here. These are half-die tombs with an exterior stair on either side; the false door is protected by a deep roof which has carefully carved roof tiles and was originally supported by two pillars. Two very large tombs open on a portico once supported by six columns, a palatial variant of the two-story facade.

The most famous of Norchia's tombs, the two “Doric Tombs” of the Acqualta area, furnish our best illustrations of a Hellenistic Etruscan temple facade. The columns were apparently Doric; the entablature is a Hellenistic Doric with Ionic elements; the pediments are closed and filled with figures in high relief, but the angle mutules, ornamented with gorgoneia, are still present, a legacy from the old Etruscan open pediment.


BIBLIOGRAPHY

G. Dennis, Cities and Cemeteries of Etruria (3d ed., 1883) 193-205; G. Rosi, JRS 15 (1925) 1-59; 17 (1927) 59-96; Å. Åkerström, Studien über die etruskischen Gräber (1934) 92-94; A. Gargana, NSc (1936) 268-88.

E. RICHARDSON

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