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Etruscan acropolis 4.6 km N of Viterbo, destroyed ca. 500 B.C. and not rebuilt. It was the archaic predecessor of the Etrusco-Roman town of Ferentium (Ferento), which was built later ca. 1.6 km NE and flourished in the Augustan epoch and the early Empire. At the excavations on the acropolis (1000 x 600 m), relatively well-preserved remains of dwellings and monumental buildings have been unearthed. The walls of the houses were of various construction, built either entirely of tufa ashlars or of sun-dried mud bricks framed by wooden poles and beams in a half-timber construction on a footing of ashlar blocks or of hurdles of brushwood or reed (cannae) covered with clay and likewise with a stone footing. The house plans range from a building with a single room to two or three rooms in a row. The entrance was normally on the long side and the hearth placed either near the center of the room or set into the back wall. A more elaborate type has three rooms preceded by a narrow hall or porch. The coeval rock-cut chamber tombs display close analogies to all these house types, and it seems evident that Etruscans in their tomb architecture reproduced the houses of the living. The dwellings were very often embellished with architectural terracottas, acroteria, antepagmenta, painted roof tiles, antefixes, decorative elements previously considered to be only for temples. A complex of monumental buildings, within an area of ca. 25 by 40 m and comprising columned porticos, was probably the administrative, political, and possibly also the religious center of the city. A series of terracotta frieze-plaques found in this context are among the finest of their kind. The city plan was irregular, but the monumental center was of a regular, orthogonal plan—an early example of urban planning in Italy. The results and the observations at Acquarossa concerning both construction technique and domestic and public architecture are probably relevant not only for Etruscan but also for Roman architecture of the archaic period. The archaic houses excavated at the Forum Romanum were very fragmentary but seem to have been very similar to those found at Acquarossa with respect to construction technique, size, and plan.


C. E. Östenberg, “Technology and the Arts,” Tryckluft 3 (1968) 3ff; id., “Le terrecotte architettoniche etrusche di Acquarossa,” Colloqui del Sodalizio 2 (1968-70) 98ff; id., “Gli scavi dell'Istituto Svedese all'Acquarossa,” Tuscia Archeologica (1970) 4ff; S. Moscati, Italia Sconosciuta (1971) 143ff; P. Giannini, Ferento (1971); A. Andrén, “Osservazioni sulle terrecotte architettoniche etrusco-italiche,” Lectiones Boethianae I, Acta Instituti Romani Regni Sueciae, 4.31 (1972) 1ff; E. Wetter et al., Med kungen på Acquarossa (1972); F. Boitani et al., Le città etrusche (1973).


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