Site of an Etruscan building complex near Siena, Italy. The single large building is on raised ground controlling the valley of the River Ombrone, to which it is connected by a tributary. It is usually considered to have been an aristocratic palace, but it may possibly have been a sanctuary. One of the most important sites in northern Etruria, it was excavated by a team from Bryn Mawr College, Pennsylvania.
Two main phases of construction can be discerned. The first dates from the early 7th century bc, and, while it has been only partially excavated, it appears to have provided the basic layout for the later phase. The second (c. 575 bc) clearly suggests an imposing structure, almost square in plan (see fig.). The foundations show 18 openings arranged around a courtyard, three sides of which had a portico supported by columns resting on stone bases. The fourth, west side had no inner portico, and it may have housed the shrine of an ancestor cult. The walls were of ...