The tomb, which can still be visited at Cerveteri, was discovered still intact in 1836 and constitutes one of the main sources of evidence of the orientalising period in Etruria. Its spaces are in part dug out of the tufa rock, and in part built using square blocks, which were also used to create a false ceiling. A huge mound of earth, with a diameter of 48 metres, was then used to cover the entire structure, giving it a monumental aspect also from the exterior. A corridor providing access (dromos), serving as an antechamber, leads to the lower chamber intended for the main burial; the two spaces were separated by a low wall that left a window open for ritual purposes. At both sides of the antechamber two symmetrical side cells open out, oval in shape and entirely dug into the tufa.
Two people were definitely buried in the tomb: a woman of regal stock, buried in the lower chamber with a rich personal collection of refined jewellery (pectoral, large fibula, bracelets, necklace), and vessels in silver and bronze, and a man, cremated and placed in the cell at the right.
The antechamber there is a bronze funerary bed (see also Bronze mourners), sumptuous furnishings for ritual use and which refer to the aristocratic practice of the banquet (lebes) and noble power. Here, as well as a series of shields positioned along the walls, there were also three carts, now visible following the 2013 restoration works: a chariot, a cart for seated passengers and one heavy cart used to transport the coffin. The tomb also holds precious vases (three pateræ and a “Phoenician-Cypriot” cup).
This, the most ancient tomb, was subsequently incorporated into a more imposing mound with a larger diameter, including another five tombs, which continued to be used for at least another two centuries, until the first half of the fifth century B.C., probably by the same noble family.
Room XVI contains the multimedia installation Etruscanning, with an interactive virtual reconstruction of the tomb.