Funerary stele

Funerary stele
mid-sixth century b.C.
grey sandstone, height 138 cm, width 41,5 cm,
thickness 9 cm (at the top) and 19 cm (at the bottom)
inv. 54

In 1726 Filippo Buonarroti himself noted that this important Etruscan find, made in the vicinity of Fiesole, had been set in the wall of the courtyard of Casa Buonarroti by his “ancestors.” It remained there until 1882, when it was moved to the Museo Archeologico of Florence, returning only in 1965. Rectangular in shape, with a rounded top, the stele bears a representation of the deceased, a young warrior with long hair, standing up and armed with a spear and a small ax. His name is carved along the right-hand edge: Larth Ninie. The marks at the back of his neck are accidental and should not be interpreted as inscriptions. It is very likely the sepulchral monument of an aristocratic leader, represented with the symbols of his rank.
The monument appears to be based on mod- els of Syro-Phoenician and Anatolian origin, brought to Etruria by craftsmen from Ionia, in Asia Minor. Moreover, the style reveals Ionian influences, discernible in both the forms of the relief and in the rendering of certain details. The proposed dating is supported by the epigraphic characters of the inscription, typical of the northern Tyrrhenian region of Etruria in the years around 550 bC.



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