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Vetricella Week 6: The Egyptian Connection

The excavations at Vetricella (part of nEU-Med) are now in their sixth week. The site history is coming alive with each passing week. Complex stratigraphy is being disentangled by the patient team. Suffice it to say that the earliest Lombard phase is distinctive for its range of kitchen wares, whereas the later phases belonging to the central stone tower enclosed by (compass-defined) concentric ditches has distinctive later 9th to 10th century storage wares. The change in functional ceramics is really extraordinary. No less extraordinary is the growing (and unexpected) cemetery on the south side. Plenty of children as well as adults. But where is the church (or oratory)? Will we discover it close by as we open up an even larger area?

Yet another grave.

Of all the extraordinary discoveries, however, is……… a minuscule Egyptian scarab with hieroglyphs on its underside. From a 10th-century level, found by a student with eagle eyes (it is so much like a little pebble). Was it found in an Etruscan tomb nearby, transported to Tuscany by way of Greece? We can only speculate, it is so astonishing. This excavation never ceases to be surprising and promises to rewrite the history of early medieval Tuscany.

The Scarab

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