Veio (or Veii, as was the Latin name) was an ancient Etruscan city, situated on a triangular plateau, near what is now the 55th zone of Rome, Isola Farnese.
Veio Archaeological Area Rome
History and description
The southern part of Veii used to be connected to the Acropolis of the Piazza d’Armi. Veio was also near two rivers, the Fosso della Mola and a tributary of the Tiber called the Cremera.
At the archeological area there are traces of hut settlements from the Bronze Age and also from the Villanova period (9th century BC). The settlement became quite powerful and controlled the lower course of the Tiber and exploited the salt beds on the right bank. Finds of Greek ceramics indicate that they also lived off trade.
During the 7th and the 6th century BC the settlement turned into a city and the huts became houses. Veio‘s proximity to Rome led to various clashes and in 396 BC the Roman general Furius Camillus conquered the city and annexed it to Rome. Veio later was abandoned until Julius Caesar created a new colony. Subsequently, after Augustus had turned it into a municipality it got abandoned again, until the hamlet of Isola Farnese was built in the Middle Ages.
There is a great number of burial grounds in the area and the oldest Etruscan tomb with wall-paintings, the Tomb of the Ducks (Tomba delle Anatre) from the early 7th century BC can be found there. Other important findings include the Campana Tomb with animal and plant drawings and horse-riders in the company of imaginary animals.
The Portonaccio shrine was dedicated tot he goddess Minerva. It is located outside the walls of Veio. It was originally thought to be dedicated to Apollo, since a terracotta statue depicting this God was found there. This famous statue can now be seen in the Museo Nazionale Etrusco di Villa Giulia. The shrine consists of a temple with a pool and a square. In the square was a platform with an altar in the middle. The temple had 3 chambers and was adorned with terracotta artefacts. The decorations are attributed to Vulca, who was also responsible for the Temple of Jupiter on the Capitoline hill in Rome itself.
A second important shrine in Veio is the Campetti shrine, dedicated to the underworld god Veii.
Ponte Sodo is a 70 meter long tunnel, which was dug in order to be able to check the flow of the Cremera in times of flood.