- The major eastern Etruscan city that formed the focal point of an Etruscan enclave penetrating into the Umbrian area. Evidence has been discovered recently for an early origin of the occupation of the settlement in the Late Bronze Age. The Palazzone cemetery has both Villanovan and late Archaic occupation. At this latter stage, there were also rich rural cemeteries in the territory of Perugia, particularly at Castel S. Mariano and S. Valentino di Marsciano. There is no evidence for a major Orientalizing presence. However, the importance of the area seems to have grown from the sixth century (necropolis of Sperandio). The Sperandio sarcophagus appears to show a triumphal return of a leader of an Etruscan descent group with booty from the boundaries of Etruscan territory, indicating the frontier nature of this settlement. By the fifth century, Perugia was a nucleated settlement of some importance. In the third century BC, the cemeteries suggest a major expansion of prosperity. The area has schematic figurine votive deposits characteristic of the rest of Umbria. The city was destroyed in 41 to 40 BC. It is well known for its three kilometers of walls and two substantial gates (Augusto and Marzia). The most famous tombs are that of the Volumni descent group (dating to the second century BC to first century AD), the Sperandio tomb, and the San Manno tomb (with a long inscription). A significant recent find is the tomb of the Cai Cutu descent group, with some 50 burials over the course of three centuries.See also DODECAPOLIS.
Historical Dictionary of the Etruscans. Simon K. F. Stoddart.