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Seeing is Believing: Communal Religion at the Sanctuary of Poggio Colla
January 16, 2020
686 Park Avenue (on Park Avenue at 68th Street)
New York, NY 10021 United States
Sponsored by: Archaeological Institute of America
AIA Society: New York City
Lecturer: Gretchen E. Meyers
The Etruscan hilltop site of Poggio Colla, located in the Mugello Valley approximately 22 miles north east of Florence, provides unique evidence for a community within an important sanctuary setting. Excavation from 1995-2015 revealed this major sacred space in Northern Etruria with a sequence of monumental buildings stretching from the seventh to the second centuries B.C.E. A number of votive depositions indicate varied acts of religious devotion at the sanctuary throughout its history, including several dedications from women. The recent discovery of a stele dating to the sixth century B.C.E. inscribed multiple times with visible texts that have been interpreted as sacred in nature further confirms a long history of cult continuity at the site. Excavated evidence for habitation and a significant ceramic and roof tile production center on the hillside in a region known as the Podere Funghi serves as an example of such a satellite community.
This lecture examines the archaeological remains from Poggio Colla to reconstruct a community shaped by its geography, architecture or economic growth. In addition the different types of votive actions testify to a steady stream of diverse worshippers and suggest that Poggio Colla can be viewed as a community of individuals joined by common beliefs, as much as by its built structures.