Le Ville

The area of Le Ville today is a small conglomerate of houses, mainly farmhouses, situated on the ridge of low hills which flank the left side of the river Elsa. The part where the necropolis is situated is at the extreme south of the municipal land of Colle di Val D'Elsa, on the border with that of Casole D'Elsa.
The area was well-known until the XVIII century for the discoveries made by the Bargagli family, owners of the property, who put together the objects recovered from the necropolis with the rich collection of numerous relics, from the territory of Chiusi, at their other property at Sarteano. The archeological collection was then passed to the state in 1918 for its disposition by will, and became an integral part of the National Archeological Museum of Siena.
In 1976 the Tuscan Archeological Superintendency authorised the Archeological Group of Colle to clean some of the tombs in the necropolis.
In this case also, the tombs had been known of for a long time, and often repeatedly violated, but, in contrast to what had happened in the necropolis at Dometaia, the research enabled the recovery of numerous fragments, and the consequent reconstruction of a notable number of objects. Until now 10 tombs have been identified and cleaned, all of them buried because of the collapse of the roof and their structure seriously damaged by the friability of the soil.
The study of the tombs and of the recovered objects has allowed a more exact dating of the necropolis, the use of which began in the Archaic period, and continued until the Hellenistic period.
Today the necropolis is divided into two groups of tombs: Archaic and Classic Hellenistic, with only a few hundred metres distance between them.
In the first unit the most notable part is tomb number 1, for its characteristically irregular structure, and for its use of herring-bone design. The tombs in this group, notwithstanding the violation they have been submitted to, have produced objects of extreme interest: cinerary urns with their inscribed covers, small plaques made of bone pertaining to finely-worked caskets and some splendid gold earrings.
The Hellenistic group of tombs is characterised by the positioning of five minor underground tombs encircling a large tomb almost as a sign of respect and esteem for the family who owned it and bear witness to the important removal of the aristocracy to strategic points in the Volterra territory up to the Archaic period. It is a complex tomb with a central vestibule and five lateral chambers which are of larger dimensions than all the others discovered in Val D'Elsa, and which have enabled, through the restitution of innumerable fragments, the reconstruction of more than 400 objects which date from the V to the 1 century BC.
The rare and precious objects from this necropolis are exhibited on the second floor in room number 9 immediately in front of the stairs: The glass case contains the earrings "a bauletto", and the horsehair needle, a pair of exceptionally fine earrings in the form of leeches, and small plaques in bone with etched figures of imaginary animals pertaining to a casket with a reconstructed wooden base.
On the walls around these, there are five cinerary urns in soft limestone, two of which have inscribed covers and one which is constructed, unusually, with only three feet.
The other exhibits are in the two adjacent rooms, numbers 10 and 11. The large oval jar decorated with horizontal bands and a geometric motif, a small Attic cup and a fragmented amphora clearly repaired many times during that period, which emphasizes how precious the object was considered at the time, should not be missed.
The objects from the large tomb, number 2, are together in room number 13. These were in use from the V to the I century BC. Notwithstanding repeated violation, this rendered a certain quantity of fragments, the request for whose reconstruction came from the Archeological Group of Colle, required almost 10 years to complete.
Fragments of Attic red-figure kraters, painted drinking cups, and wine jars, a service made from silvered ceramic, a large
number of kelibae from Volterra, and a significant variety of pottery of various uses, mainly table-ware, are worth seeing.


Place:Second floor


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