The Etruscan Necropolis at Cerveteri covers an area of 400 hectares, only ten of which can be visited by the public. More than a thousand mound or tumulus tombs can be found in this area. These tomb date to a period ranging nearly 600 years, fro the 9th century BC to the late Etruscan period, the 3rd century BC. The oldest usually take the form of pit where the cremated remains were placed, but there were also inhumation burials here as seen by the "couches" found in the later tombs. The two types of tombs primarily seen at this site are the mound tombs, and "dice" tombs, which consist of square chambers in long rows along rows. The mounds are comprised of a tufa base capped by soil, usually with natural growth on top. The interior is typically carved from living rock, and is intended to emulate the houses of the living, replete with a corridor (dromos), a central hall and various rooms. As the Etruscan language is only partially understood, much knowledge of daily life comes from these tombs. The most recent date to the 3rd century BC, and are marked by external cippi stones. It is thought that cylindrical marking stones, some of them inscribed with family names, represent males and the small house figures represent women, but since numerous family members are found in the structures over many generations this conclusion is often disputed. Many of the finds are found in the National Etruscan Museum in Rome, the Vatican Museums and in other collections around the world.
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