Alabaster cinerary urn

Period: Hellenistic

Date: 3rd century B.C.

Culture: Etruscan

Medium: Alabaster

Dimensions: H. with cover 33 1/2 in. (85.1 cm); H. without cover 17 1/4 in. (43.8 cm); length 25 in. (63.5 cm)

Classification: Stone Sculpture

Credit Line: Purchase, 1896

Accession Number: 96.9.225a, b


The most distinctive burial form developed by the Etruscans, and one that passed from them to the Greek and Roman world, was the convention of placing a reclining effigy of the deceased upon the lid of a sarcophagus or urn. On this typical example from Volterra, an ample Etruscan lady, holding her fan, reclines upon the lid. The front of the urn is decorated with a scene in high relief of Amazons fighting Greeks.