- The emporium/port/sanctuary, mentioned by classical authors, connected to Caere by a late seventh-century monumental road, that particularly flourished from the seventh to the fifth century BC. There also appears to have been earlier occupation in the Bronze Age and more continuous occupation from the eighth century BC. The sanctuary has a monumental northern nucleus where an ambitious architectural program was put in the place of an earlier temple toward 510 BC. This consisted of a Greek-style temple dedicated to Uni (temple B), an open-air area (C) perhaps dedicated to Tinia, and a probable residential area for the officiants of the cult. Area C was the findspot of the three famous “bilingual” (Etruscan and Phoenician) gold tablets that refer to Astarte/Uni and the ruler of Caere, Thefarie Velianus. A larger temple A was later built on a greater scale to the north. The fine terracottas illustrate, among other themes, the Theban Sagas. The less monumental southern nucleus of the sanctuary has produced many votive offerings from the fifth and fourth centuries BC. Although this area was less damaged by agricultural activities, the more fragile structures of shrines, altars, and offering pits/deposits have been more difficult to interpret. Considerable quantities of local and imported pottery, Greek coins (440 to 410 BC) that are perhaps from a treasury, jewels, and figurines have been found. The sanctuary has now been 75 percent excavated (9,000 cubic meters). An adjacent settlement and a cemetery are less well known. The sanctuary was sacked by Dionysius of Syracuse in 384 BC.
Historical Dictionary of the Etruscans. Simon K. F. Stoddart.