The tomb in the beech forest
A door that opens into the green and leads everywhere and nowhere
What it is and where it is
As you descend from Cresta della Fornace, in the province of Perugia, you plunge into a shady beech forest. It is really nice to walk among these trees: the canopies protect from the sun, while the steps become light, supported by the soft ground of the underbrush. It is in this frame of mind that we come upon a small portion of fenced but accessible land. We are now at the foot of Mt. Tezio, and what opens up before our eyes has the unbelievable: a small corridor carved into the rock leads to a lintel equipped with a door that leads into a chamber dug into the ground.
Why it is special
This is an Etruscan tomb with an open-air dromos (the corridor dug out of the rocks) and the burial chamber, with a space dedicated to the deposition of the urn and grave goods. All closed by a door that arouses curiosity: the stone of which it is made is carefully polished on the outside, as is the lintel. It was made to be seen and to be opened. One of its sides, in fact, has wedges, actual hinges that allow its movement. If you find it half-open, it seems ready to swallow us up to take us from the world of light, to the world of dark secrets kept in the earth.
Not to be missed
Beechwood Tomb is undeniably fascinating, but it is not the only treasure in the surrounding area. Just follow the forest paths to get to the abandoned Villa del Faggeto, the Gualterotta Tower, or even the "Bisciaro" Castle, all abandoned buildings, irresistible singers of the past of these places that draw us to them like Sirens. Just like these mythological creatures, however, they hide a danger, so don't get too close, collapses, given their age, cannot be ruled out.
A bit of history
Thus lost in the beech forest, the tomb was discovered by chance between 1919 and 1920 by a woodsman working in the area. Analyzing its structures, especially the barrel vault of the chamber, dates it to the Hellenistic period, between the 3rd and 1st centuries BC.
A funerary urn was also found, which, although not particularly decorated, bears the name and patronage of the deceased: arnth cairnina. Interestingly, the Caina stream flows nearby. The similarity between the two names leads one to rule out that this is a coincidence. Instead, it is likely that the creek was named after the person buried nearby.
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