The Etruscans in Southern Gaul during the Fifth Century B.C.E.: A Vessel of the 'Spurinas' Group Discovered at the Settlement of La Monédière in Bessan (Hérault, France)

Gailledrat, Eric; Belfiore, Valentina; Beylier, Alexandre; Curé, Anne-Marie
November 2016
Etruscan Studies;Nov2016, Vol. 19 Issue 2, p256
Academic Journal
The 2014 excavations carried out in 2014 at the protohistoric settlement of La Monédière, in Bessan (Hérault, France), confirmed the unique status of this site during the sixth to fifth centuries B. C. E. The site is located near the Greek colony of Agathé (Agde), at the interface between colonial and indigenous areas. Inside the limits of the site's habitation areas, excavations discovered a huge pit which has been interpreted as a bothros. Dated to the fifth century B. C. E., it was filled with material associated with banqueting. Among the numerous amphorae and vessels of the earliest phase (475-450 B.C.E), the discovery of an Etruscan black-glazed cup from the 'Spurinas' group is notable. This cup is characterized by the existence of a painted inscription 'APA' ('father'). It is the first attestation, within this class of ceramic, of this Etruscan appellative interpreted as a reference to a chtonic divinity. Moreover, excepted Lattara (Lattes), La Monédière is the only place outside Etruria where a ceramic from the 'Spurinas' group was found. The context of discovery is in itself very unique, and raises question about the implemented rituals, and the likely presence of Etruscan people among an indigenous or mixed community.


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