Perugia is historically one of the great cities that were the Etruscan League: was that the Dodecapoli, the twelve main Etruscan cities who ruled a vast territory before the Romans. The important Etruscan presence in Perugia, however, remain today especially the great necropolis of the period, those dug in places Monteluce and Palazzone.
Just at the necropolis of Palazzone it was found that it can be considered the best example of Etruscan funerary art of Umbria and beyond: the Hypogeum Volumni.
This monument consists of a large burial noble located under the ground level (ie underground): dating from the second century BC, belonged, almost emerging from deciphering the inscriptions found, to an important aristocratic family, the Velimna (Volumni in Latin). The underground can be considered the equivalent of an Etruscan family funeral chapel of the Etruscan nobility.
The underground has its charm and its importance to the fact of playing, out underneath the soil, which is accessed via a staircase, the environment and the architecture of a typical Roman house. The ten areas important funerary monument house the urns family wonderfully decorated.
7 of the polls, many of them decorated with Gorgons (the recurring motif is the head of Medusa), the most striking is undoubtedly the one called “of Arunte”: it is an ark on which the breadwinner is Arunte Velimna Aules represented semi-lying; out underneath, it shows the door of Hades, flanked by two Lari (tutelary deities of the family).
The arrangement of the burials inside a large domus that faithfully reproduces the structural elements of the houses of the period is due probably to the faith of the Etruscans in the survival of the deceased in the afterlife, why they bother to insure their graves all the comforts of life on earth.
The necropolis of Palazzone, which houses the only tomb of the Volumni family, is located in Ponte San Giovanni, Perugia agro fraction less than five kilometers from the regional capital. The Etruscan settlement is reached from Perugia and take the State Road 75 to Foligno and then exit at the junction of Ponte San Giovanni.
The Hypogeum is immersed in the spectacular archaeological park enclosed in a wide bend of the river Tiber.