In September, archaeologists in Tuscany discovered a perfectly sealed tomb in the necropolis of Tarquinia in Tuscany.
2 of 9
The necropolis of Tarquinia, a UNESCO world heritage site, contains more than 6,000 graves cut into the rock, some up to 2,900 years old.
3 of 9
Inside were two platforms cut from the rock. On one, a skeleton lay holding a lance.
4 of 9
The other held the ashes of an individual that was mostly incinerated.
5 of 9
Box of jewelry
The grave contained a beautifully-preserved pyx, or an embossed bronze-plated box, as well as several pieces of jewelry.
6 of 9
The researchers also unearthed a flask, still hanging from a nail on the wall.
7 of 9
At first glance, the tomb seemed to hold the body of a warrior holding a lance and his wife, whose jewelry was included in the tomb. But a bone analysis revealed that the skeleton holding the lance was in fact a 35 to 40-year-old woman. The find shows the problem with interpreting grave sites based on the objects found inside them.
8 of 9
Excavating the site
Here, the archaeologists excavate the site.
9 of 9
Though Etruscan tombs are littered throughout the Tuscan countryside, it's rare to find one that hasn't been thoroughly looted, and even rarer to find a tomb housing the elites of society. As such, the new site provides unique insight into Etruscan culture.
More from LiveScience
Tia has interned at Science News, Wired.com, and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and has written for the Center for Investigative Reporting, Scientific American, and ScienceNow. She has a master's degree in bioengineering from the University of Washington and a graduate certificate in science writing from the University of California Santa Cruz. To find out what her latest project is, you can follow Tia on Google+.