Early Iron Age tombs at Crustumerium (Rome), ca. 850-725 BC


  • F. di Gennaro
  • B. Belelli Marchesini
  • A.J. Nijboer


Crustumerium was located about 14 km north of ancient Rome up the Tiber valley, at the boundary of the Latin territory with the lands of the Etruscans, Faliscans-Capenates and Sabines. From 850 BC to its incorporation into the Roman state around 500 BC, it grew into a considerable settlement extending over a tufa plateau of 60 hectares. Of the 400 tombs legally excavated at Crustumerium until 2013, only 23 can be assigned to the Iron Age settlement. In spite of their low number, the archaeological record is sufficient to allow a discussion of the distribution, the main architectural features, the funerary rituals and the grave goods of the earliest tombs. The features of the Early Iron Age tombs will be examined, including their apparent low number and the way they are distributed in relation to the subsequent topographical development of the cemeteries, and the evolution of rituals and funerary architecture during the subsequent Orientalizing period.