Abstract: Etruscan Votive Objects and their Archaeological Context: A Look at Ritual Practice


Votive objects, gifts to the gods, occur in great numbers and varieties in Etruscan sanctuaries. My research focuses on the most common type, the thousands of figurines made of humble clay and the role these may have played in the context of ritual.  This lecture emphasizes two Etruscan cities, Veii and Caere (Cerveteri), and looks at how votives particular to separate sanctuaries in the two cities compare and contrast in the nature of the offerings and rituals.  By identifying and classifying terracotta votive objects particular to a sanctuary, one can begin to isolate possible cultic activities associated with each site, and to understand from topographical evidence how the sites may have affected ritual. This talk derives from the speaker’s recent research in Italy.


Short bibliography and/or website on lecture topic (for lay reader):

N.T. de Grummond and E. Simon, Religion of the Etruscans (Austin 2006)

Jean-Rene Jannot, Religion in Ancient Etruria (Madison, WI 2005)

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