Terni Area

Etruscan and Roman civilisations in Umbria


From the Prehistoric Age to the Umbrian, Etruscan and Roman civilisations


Dunarobba fossil forest Carsulae Terni

Dunarobba fossil forest
Avigliano Umbro
The peculiarity of these impressive archaeological finds is that the fossil trunks have kept their erect position and their woody structure. They date back to 3 million years ago and they reach 5 feet in diameter.

This area, which has been inhabited ever since the Prehistoric Age, was the cradle of extremely interesting civilisations, such as the Umbrians, the Etruscans and, later, the Romans. The Umbrian and the Etruscan civilisations used to inhabit, respectively, the left side and the right side of the Tevere river. The river served as the border between the two populations, which developed their own cultural identity, their customs and rites, as well as their own artistic production. Only later, these two civilisations were replaced by the Romans who invaded their territory

The Prehistoric Age

Traces of the Prehistoric Age were found in the “Tane del Diavolo” of Parrano, on Mount Peglia, inside Titignano caves and along the shore of Piediluco lake.

Archaeological routes of the Umbrians

Terni, Narni, Otricoli and Amelia used to be the most significant settlements of the Umbrian population. The major old Umbrian cities were characterised by cyclopean town walls composed of huge squared blocks held together without any grout. Amelia town walls are the most impressive example of this technique. Equally interesting are the walls that can be admired in Narni, in Cesi and on Mount Torre Maggiore, where two Italic temples are also visible. Not to be missed are San Pietro in Campo and the steel mill’s necropolises in Terni along with the remains of the Italic temples in Calvi.

Archaeological routes of the Etruscans

Orvieto, the ancient city of Velzna, was a major Etruscan city and also the place where the sanctuary of the Fanum Voltumnae League used to be. In the whole area of Orvieto are numerous traces of this old civilisation. Among the most important remains are the necropolises: Crocifisso del Tufo and Cannicella necropolises in Orvieto – the biggest ones of the whole area – Porano necropolis with its Golini and Hescanas tombs and Copio necropolis, between Baschi and Montecchio, where also some Italic tombs were found. Many other interesting finds are exhibited in the museums of Orvieto.

Archaeological routes of the Romans

In the 3rd century BC the Romans started to colonise this territory by conquering the consular roads (such as the Via Flaminia, the Via Amerina and the Via Cassia), as well as waterways like the Tevere river and the Nera river. From then on, many cities (Carsulae and Ocriculum among others) ports and aqueducts sprang up. Along the Tevere river, which was once navigable, several country-houses and farms – as well as a few ports - were built. Interesting remains (such as Pagliano port) were found at the confluence of the Tevere and Paglia rivers.

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