The Monte Michele cinerary urn

Hello everybody,

The digital restoration work of the archaeological remains in the Monte Michele number 5 tomb in Veii included some other objects in addition to the wagon.

In the main chamber, standing on the load bed of the wagon, was the cinerary urn, which contained the cremated remains of a man. They were wrapped in a piece of cloth, following an anatomical order. Homer describes this ritual that was reserved for warriors.

The crushed remains of the urn as they are exhibit in the Villa Giulia Museum (photo: Villa Giulia Museum)

The crushed remains of the urn as they are exhibit in the Villa Giulia Museum (photo: Villa Giulia Museum)

When the roof of the tomb felt down on the objects, the cinerary urn was crushed. It was made in bronze, decorated with ornamental and figurative motifs, which included a Gorgo-Potnia (a Mistress of Animals with a Gorgon’s head) on one of the short sides. On the long sides, the decoration was similar to the one of the wagon coverings, while the edges of the roof were decorated with guilloches.

Fragment of the urn with the Gorgo-Potnia's head (photo: Villa Giulia Museum)

Fragment of the urn with the Gorgo-Potnia’s head (photo: Villa Giulia Museum)

Decoration of the side panels of the urn (drawing by M. Slaska)

Decoration of the side panels of the urn (drawing by M. Slaska)

The urn imitates the kind of house used at that moment by the Etruscans: it was almost 45 cm high and its base covered a surface of 30 cm by 68 cm. To restore its decoration, we created a depth map using the same procedure explained in previous posts, while the 3D reconstruction was made in Blender.

Depth map of the side panels of the urn

Depth map of the side panels of the urn

This is the final result!

3D reconstruction of the Monte Michele urn

3D reconstruction of the Monte Michele urn

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One thought on “The Monte Michele cinerary urn

  1. […] Amongst the objects that originally were placed on the wagon, there were a sceptre and a cinerary urn that was crushed.  To restore its decoration, we created a depth map, while the 3D reconstruction […]

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