Etruscan Underground Pyramidal Structures Unearthed In Orvieto, Italy – Their Function Remains Unknown

A. Sutherland - AncientPages.com - A vast network of neolithic tunnels crisscrossing several European countries was built several millennia ago.

Etruscan Underground Pyramidal Structures Unearthed In Orvieto, Italy - Their Function Remains UnknownOrvieto's underground complex.

Orvieto's underground complex of 1,200 mysterious caves connected by a tunnel reveals surprising archaeological discoveries. Deep beneath the city of Orvieto, Italy, there are a series of underground structures connected by tunnels. According to sources, during the 6th- 4th centuries BC, the town of Orvieto was a culturally and economically developed Etruscan city.

"We are excavating a pyramidal hypogeum that was built by the Etruscans before the 5 century BC, archaeologists say.

A strange pyramidal structure - the function of which remains a mystery - was discovered beneath the historic medieval town of Orvieto, Italy by an international team of archaeologists led by Prof. David B. George of St. Anselm College and co-director Claudio Bizzarri of PAAO and colleagues.

Etruscan Underground Pyramidal Structures Unearthed In Orvieto, Italy - Their Function Remains Unknown

Excavations conducted at Coriglia near Castel Viscardo, a town located at the southwest edge of Umbria approximately eight miles northwest of Orvieto, southwestern Umbria, Italy, concentrate on a series of pyramidal hypogea beneath the city of Orvieto as well as a survey of Etruscan tombs in Castel Georgio.

This season marks the third year of diggings beneath Orvieto, an exploration of a series of Etruscan underground structures that are generally pyramidal in shape and are dated to before the 5th century BC.

Etruscan Underground Pyramidal Structures Unearthed In Orvieto, Italy - Their Function Remains Unknown

"As for the underground pyramidal structure (hypogeum), we discovered it three summers ago and still have no idea what it is. We do know what it is not.

It is not a quarry; its walls are too well dressed. It is not a well or cistern; its walls have no evidence of hydraulic treatments. Currently we are 15 meters down. Below a medieval floor we have a mix of material from the prehistoric to the 5th century BC.

Etruscan Underground Pyramidal Structures Unearthed In Orvieto, Italy - Their Function Remains Unknown

Of great significance is the number of Etruscan language inscriptions that we have recovered - over a hundred and fifty.

We are also finding an interesting array of architectural/decorative terra cotta…" reports Archaeological Institute of America.

Etruscan Underground Pyramidal Structures Unearthed In Orvieto, Italy - Their Function Remains Unknown

Extensive excavation works revealed sculptures, monumental structures, inscriptions, mosaics, coinage, ceramics, frescoes, and numerous other artifacts.

Researchers hope to solve the mystery of the strange pyramidal structure and other underground puzzling structures with the help of unearthed artifacts and analysis of the soil at the site.

The results could help to shed light on the life of the Etruscans, one of Europe's most mysterious ancient peoples, who are believed to have migrated from Lydia, in modern western Turkey, settling in northern and central Italy for nearly 3,000 years ago.

Another network of ancient secret tunnels was uncovered not long ago during excavations of the first capital of Bulgaria – Pliska, an ancient city ahead of its neighbors in plenty of ways. It had a functioning sewage system that was modeled on Roman sewers, and the heating systems throughout the entire city ensured that the people were kept safe and warm throughout the harsh winters. Massive fortress walls surrounded the city, both inner and outer, and at each corner, there was a cylindrical-shaped tower for lookouts and nightly watchmen.

What was the purpose of the Pliska's tunnels?

Written by A. Sutherland - AncientPages.com Senior Staff Writer