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A Question of Style: Re-interpreting a Group of Early Hellenistic Terracotta Urns from Etruscan Volterra
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0570-386X
2015 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The aim of this study is to re-interpret a small group of terracotta cinerary urns from Volterra. This group, which was produced during the course of the late 4th to late 3rd centuries BCE, has generally been neglected in the study of Volterran cinerary urns. This is primarily due to the fact that these urns have been viewed as ‘simple’, ‘neutral’ and as lacking narrative content. Furthermore, they have been described as a ‘failed experiment’. Based upon this, the thesis aims to prove that the terracotta group was created using contemporary stylistic and iconographical principles, meant to express the Etruscan ideology of death. To achieve this, the use of style in archaeology is first analyzed. Building upon this, the methodological issues relating to the form, style, technology and iconography of the terracotta group is then discussed. Following this discussion, a single urn is chosen as part of a case study. This urn is then compared to contemporary and non-contemporary material types, reaching the conclusion that it most likely depicts Vanth. Based upon this, the study proposes a new understanding of the terracotta group’s form, decoration and context-specific function.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 114 p.
Keyword [en]
Volterra, Vanth, Style, Iconography, Etruscan, Archaeology, Typology
National Category
Classical Archaeology and Ancient History
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-128947OAI: diva2:918123
Available from: 2016-10-17 Created: 2016-04-10 Last updated: 2016-10-17Bibliographically approved

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Svedberg, Alexander
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