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Malignano Project

History Lapiana digDig at La Piana (1997)Malignano (Poggio Luco), 1964, directed by the late Prof. Kyle Phillips, then at the University of Michigan, later at Bryn Mawr College. The excavation of this Late Etruscan cemetery exposed one impressive chamber tomb and 18 smaller rock-cut tombs. All had been robbed in antiquity except for a few of the interior chambers, which yielded fragments of over 80 vessels and 52 coins. These coins indicate a period of use for the cemetery from the last quarter of the third century B.C. to the end of the second century B.C., a period of peace and development for the entire peninsula, between the expulsion of Hannibal from Italy and the first civil war between Marius and Sulla. This excavation led to Prof. Phillips’ historical reconstruction of the life of the Etruscan settlement served by these tombs.

Prof. Phillips returned to Malignano in 1965 to excavate the “Monumental Tomb.” Finds indicate that this tomb must have served a very well-to-do family, whose residence the team also sought without success during the season. The monumental tomb measures 17.5 m. in length and consists of a short entrance corridor leading into a large central hall with four connecting chambers. Black-glazed ware, worked bones, some large painted kraters, and fragments of decorated ivory were among the tomb furnishings. The material from Malignano is published in K.M. Phillips, Jr., “Relazione preliminare sugli scavi promossi dalla Etruscan Foundation di Detroit nella Provincia di Siena durante il 1964” Notizie degli Scavi di Antichità XIX (1965) 5-29; and by the same author, “Excavations in the Province of Siena, 1964,” American Journal of Archaeology LXIX (1965) 172-73.