Terracotta seated figure


British Museum

British Museum

This is one of five seated figures found in the 'Tomb of the Five Chairs' discovered at Cerveteri in 1865. They were originally enthroned on five chairs cut from the rock, and they are thought to represent ancestors who were occasionally visited inside the tomb for the performance of some kind of rite. This is suggested by the fact that there was also an altar in the chamber and the figures' hands are outstretched as if to hold or accept offerings.The figures were not found in their entirety: both this one and its companion in The British Museum have been restored with female heads, but the bodies are probably those of men. The figure wears a chequered tunic and mantle fastened at the shoulder with clasp.The figures resemble north Syrian and other eastern prototypes, but the details of clothing and jewellery are distinctly Etruscan.

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  • Title: Terracotta seated figure
  • Date Created: -625/-600
  • Physical Dimensions: Height: 54.61cm
  • External Link: British Museum collection online
  • Registration number: 1873,0820.64
  • Production place: Made in Italy
  • Place: Excavated/Findspot Tomb of the Five Chairs
  • Period/culture: Etruscan
  • Material: terracotta
  • Copyright: Photo: © Trustees of the British Museum
  • Acquisition: Purchased from Castellani, Alessandro