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Document Details :
Title: An Early Etruscan Terracotta Workshop: The Seated and Standing Statue Acroteria from Poggio Civitate (Murlo)
Subtitle: A Review Article
Author(s): LULOF, Patricia S.
Volume: 70 Date: 1995
This article is mainly based on the definitive publication of the seated and standing statue acroteria from Poggio Civitate by Ingrid Edlund-Berry (1992). In the 1960s over 200 fragments were found of at least twenty terracotta statues at the site of Poggio Civitate (Murlo), south of Siena in Northern Etruria. They have been reconstructed as ridgepole acroteria depicting seated and standing male figures with large sombrero hats or helmets and smaller female figures. They were produced in the first quarter of the sixth century B.C. and once adorned the ridgepole of a building known as the ‘Meeting Hall’, a type of political sanctuary which probably served the leadership of the Etruscan cities of the Northern League.
The subject of monumental terracotta ridgepole statues deserves our special attention, since it is an important and rare category of architectural decoration, which, on the one hand, sheds light on the artistic and technical merit of early Etruscan workshops and, on the other hand, informs us about the origin and development of Etruscan architecture and terracotta decoration. The Murlo site is particularly significant because it plays a central role in the discussion on the origins and political organisations of the Etruscans.
Edlund’s study will be summarized and extensively reviewed. Furthermore, the results of the inquiry will be briefly discussed against the background of some tentative ideas on monumental terracotta statues in the Archaic period (650-480 B.C.).