A Well at Caere: Wells, Cisterns, and Ritual Practices in Etruria and Latium
MetadataShow full item record
After the discovery of a series of vases at the bottom of a well system at Caere in an apparent ritual closing, this study sets out to determine whether or not this practice was widespread across Etruria and Latium, and what the practice could possibly mean. A catalogue of 80 wells were collected from archaeological reports and articles published over the past 100 years of wells and cisterns in Etruria and Latium; some very interesting similarities and differences can be noted between them and the Caere well system. It seems that the practice of ritual deposits in wells was indeed done across the two areas. There seems to be some uniformity of wells during the Roman Republican period: most are equipped with footrests, and there seems to be a deposit of vases in varying degrees of completeness at or near the bottom; also, certain types of materials seem to recur in each well like the presence of lead, knucklebones, and writing styli. It seems that the ritual deposits were in some cases used to close off a well or cistern as it is a conduit that exists between the living and the world below, and leaving it exposed could be dangerous to the living population.