- The Etruscan settlement of Velzna or Volsinii is placed on a well-defined 80- to 85-hectare volcanic outcrop. The earliest occupation probably dates to the Middle Bronze Age (in Cannicella and S. Andrea) and occupation appears to have been continuous through the Recent Bronze Age and Protovillanovan period (in Cannicella and S. Maria). There is considerable evidence of occupation from the Villanovan period (Palazzo del Popolo, S. Andrea, Crocifisso del Tufo, Cannicella). By this stage, the whole volcanic outcrop was probably occupied with at least three cemeteries outside the living area: Pozzo di San Patrizio, Crocifisso del Tufo, and (from the eighth century BC) Surripa. The evidence for the seventh century BC is more difficult to detect, but burial evidence is visible in Crocifisso del Tufo and Cannicella. A high level of prosperity was reached in the sixth and fifth centuries BC, when material culture produced in Orvieto was widely traded in the Po Valley and when the city can be considered urbanized in the formal layout of the city (drainage works and temples) and its cemeteries and in the development of satellite suburbs at Corno di Bardano and Mossa del Palio.The town is well known for its surviving evidence of temple architecture in at least eight distinct sacred areas (Sant’Andrea, Belvedere, Via S. Leonardo, Vigna Grande, Piazza del Popolo, Piazza S. Domenico, Piazza S. Giovanni, and Piazza del Duomo) in the city, of which only two have ever been properly investigated. The city is also well known for the regular plan of the sixth-century BC cemetery of Crocifisso del Tufo, which contains many accompanying inscriptions. The Cannicella cemetery, which originated in the seventh century BC, is, moreover, the location of an important sixthcentury BC sanctuary. Recent discoveries of a sanctuary at Campo della Fiera dating from the late Archaic into the Hellenistic period have been interpreted as belonging to the Fanum Voltumnae federal sanctuary. Other famous, largely fourth-century BC tombs (including painted examples at Settecamini) are located on the bluffs facing the city. The city was a well-known settlement that concentrated on production of bronze utensils for banquets and wine drinking. In the fourth century BC, the defenses of the city were strengthened against the Romans, but the city was destroyed in the third century BC (264 BC in historical tradition and a similar date by radiocarbon) and it did not take on an important role again until the sixth century AD.
Historical Dictionary of the Etruscans. Simon K. F. Stoddart.
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