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Alexander Sveberg
Moving Between Worlds – A Triple Case Study of Funerary Material in Etruscan Volterra.

The basis of this project is to conduct a tripartite case study in the city of Volterra. Initial studies for the project were conducted during the summers of 2013 and 2014 in the Museo Guarnacci and the city archives of Volterra. The aim of these case studies is to analyze and discuss the assimilation, articulation and/or transformation of local funerary traditions and external stimuli within the confines of an emerging medium.

The case studies focus on three transitional periods: The late Villanovan period to the Orientalizing period, the Archaic period to the Classical period and the Classical period to the Hellenistic period. The object types highlighted in the case studies are the Orientalizing aryballoi, the archaic cinerary vases and the early Hellenistic cinerary urns. All of these studies will be combined with illustrations and aim to take archaeological context, museological context and interpretive contexts into consideration.

The reason for choosing these objects is because of their traditional relationship to prototype studies, something that will be discussed while analyzing their role within local funerary assemblages. The second aim is to describe and analyze the underlying assumptions that permute the interpretive history of the object types. The history of Etruscology is dominated by single object studies and typological approaches; theoretical assumptions tied to these methods still form the basis of many conclusions regarding the local narrative. With the mass of new data made available in recent decades these interpretive traditions need to be carefully reexamined.

The secondary aim is therefore to conduct provenance studies of the chosen materials and their contexts with the aim to better understand their interpretive history. The basis of this part of the study will be the museum catalogues from the 18th to 20th century as well as the receipts of earlier acquisitions that are available through the city and museum archives.

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