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Bill Thayer

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p475 Sepulcretum

Article on pp475‑476 of

Samuel Ball Platner (as completed and revised by Thomas Ashby):
A Topographical Dictionary of Ancient Rome,
London: Oxford University Press, 1929.

Sepulcretum: the modern name given to the archaic necropolis found in April, 1902, near the temple of Antoninus and Faustina. It consisted of both cremation and inhumation graves (a considerable proportion of the latter those of children); and the pottery is very similar to that which is found in archaic cemeteries in the Alban hills.

MacIver comes to the conclusion (Villanovans and early Etruscans 73‑93) that all the cremation burials in the forum belong to a people of Villanovan stock, and in date range from the twelfth or eleventh to the ninth century B.C.; that the inhumation burials are to be divided from them racially, and not chronologically, assigning them to the Picenes, i.e. the descendants of the local neolithic inhabitants, and, while beginning at the same period, appear to run down late in the p476seventh century B.C., the last tomb being G in Boni's list, which contained an imported Greek lekythos with figures of running dogs. As to the Esquiline cemeteries, which range from the ninth to the sixth centuries B.C., and have yielded practically nothing but inhumation graves, he treats it as still an open question whether the population is to be identified as Picene or as Etruscan; while in regard to the Villanovans, he does not accept the theory of Pigorini, Colini and others, who hold the Villanovans to be direct descendants of the inhabitants of the 'terremare'; and prefers to derive both from the Central European and Danubian stocks as distinct and parallel nations. Von Duhn, on the other hand (Italische Gräberkunde 415 sqq.) regards the cremation tombs of the forum as a good deal earlier than the inhumation tombs, while later than and not contemporary with the earliest tombs of the Alban hills; and Hülsen (Mitt. 1905, 95‑115, HC 210‑217) dates them from the ninth or eighth to the sixth century B.C.

See NS 102, 96‑111; 1903, 123‑170, 375‑427; 1905, 145‑193; 1906, 5‑46, 253‑294; 1911, 157‑190; Atti 499‑514; Mitt. 1902, 92‑94; 1905, 95‑115; BC 1903, 33‑42; Mon. L. XV.273‑314; HC 210‑218. For other ancient cemeteries in Rome, cf. Mon. L. cit. passim; Modestov, Introduction à l'histoire romaine, Rome, 1907; MacIver, Von Duhn, opp. citt.

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Page updated: 27 Apr 02