François Tomb

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François Tomb
Ground plan of the François Tomb
François Tomb is located in Lazio
François Tomb
Shown within Lazio
Location Comune di Vulci, Italy
Region Province of Viterbo
Type tomb
Founded late fourth century BC
Periods Hellenistic
Cultures Etruscan
Site notes
Excavation dates 1857
Archaeologists Alessandro François and Adolphe Noël des Vergers
Condition ruined
Public access no
Fresco in the François Tomb.

Coordinates: 42°25′2.8″N 11°38′20.6″E / 42.417444°N 11.639056°E / 42.417444; 11.639056

The François Tomb is an important painted Etruscan tomb from the Ponte Rotto Necropolis in the Etruscan city of Vulci, in central Italy. It was discovered in 1857 by Alessandro François (it)[1] and Adolphe Noël des Vergers (fr). It dates to the last quarter of the fourth century BC. The tomb seems to belong to the Etruscan family of the Saties (or Seties) and one of its chief occupants is Vel Saties, who appears with his dwarf, Arnza.[2] Its painted frescoes are significant both iconographically and also in terms of their comments on Etruscan history and identity. Some pottery vessels from the tomb are now in the British Museum.[3]

Vel Saties, wearing the toga picta, and Arnza

The François Tomb also contains a fresco depicting Caelius Vibenna (whom the Romans believed the Caelian Hill was named after) and Mastarna (a legendary figure whom the Emperor Claudius identified with Servius Tullius).[4]

See also[edit]


  • Bloom, Marcia G. 1974. The François tomb at Vulci, an Etrusco-Hellenistic monument. Thesis/dissertation, University of Pennsylvania.
  • Holliday, Peter James. 1993. Narrative and event in ancient art. Cambridge University Press.