Funeral kits reveal the future dreamed of by two children of 2,500 years ago – In addition to objects related to the world of children, such as small vases, baby bottles, terracotta statuettes, the grave goods of the tombs of two children dating back to the 4th century BC found in the Salerno area seem to project those two children, a boy and a girl, towards a life they did not have time to have.

What their future would have been is, today, possible to imagine thanks to the discovery of the two important funerary contexts, recently unearthed in Pontecagnano, in the western necropolis of the ancient city in the area of ​​via Raffaello Sanzio. The two rich kits are the novelty on display in Pontecagnano Archaeological Museum (Map) Etruscans of the Frontier, in a modern building that has been hosting since 2007, when it was inaugurated, the archaeological remains of thesettlement that developed from the ninth century BC right where the town stands on the outskirts of Salerno. An excavation that has returned almost ten thousand burials.

“For some years now, for the European Archeology Days we have been showing what we have recently discovered or finds that have never been exhibited”, the director of the museum site Luigina Tomay explains to the And this installation, he recalls “was possible thanks to the collaboration with the Superintendence of Archeology, Fine Arts and Landscape of Salerno, which coordinates the archaeological investigations in the city of Pontecagnano Faiano”.

Finds from the child’s burial

The children’s kits that can now be admired at the Map belonged to a boy of about three years of age and a girl a few years older.. And they have small toys, but above all objects typical of the graves of adults. In the child’s grave 9815, in addition to some statuettes and the game of astragali, ovine bones used as nuts, there is “a rich service of bronze tableware functional to the symposium, to the consumption of wine. small bronze belt worn, therefore referable to the warrior sphere. IS a strigil of bronze, an instrument used to wipe sweat after the gym, therefore an object that alludes to athletic practice “, says Tomay.” All this set of materials is typical of the male funerary costume of adults, therefore the sphere of war, of the symposium , the athletic ideal – he reiterates – this makes us understand that, precisely with the deposition of this kit, the relatives of the child who died prematurely wanted to underline the identity that he would have assumed once he arrived at the moment of transition from childhood to adulthood “.

Archeology funerary items for children pontecagnano museum

Finds from the girl’s burial

The girl’s tomb 9674, besides the terracotta female statuettes, mostly featured vases usually found in the burials of adult women. “There are a wedding swans, intended for the washing that the bride had on her wedding day or, for example, the vases that contained the jewels or all the makeup set“, lists the director of the museum.” A series of objects that allude to the destiny he would have had, that of matrona, owner of the house and above all mother “.


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