Medusa in the Hypogeum of the Volumnus family

The Hypogeum of the Volumnus family – an underground, Etruscan tomb in Ponte San Giovanni, a hamlet only five kilometers from Perugia – is dotted with various representations of Medusa, the terrible creature with the petrifying gaze that Perseus killed (keeping the head as a terrible weapon against his enemies).

The splendid hypogeum was discovered by chance in 1840, and probably dates back to the 3rd century BC. Medusa heads are featured everywhere: sculpted on the roofs of some of the ten separate rooms in it, and on many of the urns.

The mythological Gorgon with poisonous snakes instead of hair was a popular decorative element in Etruscan-Italic culture, as many metopes, pediments, roof antefixes, vases, shields, and armors can attest. The deadly monster obviously had a “homeopathic” reinterpretation, and became the icon of terror that could keep away terrible evils.

Luckily, it cannot keep us away from the beauty of the Hypogeum of the Volumnus family: where Medusa is only made of stone, and beauty is real.

Photos via:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/cabrer/14624400617

Perugia, Ipogeo dei Volumni, Ponte San Giovanni - Hypogeum of the Volumnus familyPerugia, Ipogeo dei Volumni, Ponte San Giovanni - Hypogeum of the Volumnus familyPerugia, Ipogeo dei Volumni, Ponte San Giovanni - Hypogeum of the Volumnus familyPerugia, Ipogeo dei Volumni, Ponte San Giovanni - Hypogeum of the Volumnus familyPerugia, Ipogeo dei Volumni, Ponte San Giovanni - Hypogeum of the Volumnus familyPerugia, Ipogeo dei Volumni, Ponte San Giovanni - Hypogeum of the Volumnus familyPerugia, Ipogeo dei Volumni, Ponte San Giovanni - Hypogeum of the Volumnus familyPerugia, Ipogeo dei Volumni, Ponte San Giovanni - Hypogeum of the Volumnus familyPerugia, Ipogeo dei Volumni, Ponte San Giovanni - Hypogeum of the Volumnus familyPerugia, Ipogeo dei Volumni, Ponte San Giovanni - Hypogeum of the Volumnus familyPerugia, Ipogeo dei Volumni, Ponte San Giovanni - Hypogeum of the Volumnus familyPerugia, Ipogeo dei Volumni, Ponte San Giovanni - Hypogeum of the Volumnus familyPerugia, Ipogeo dei Volumni, Ponte San Giovanni - Hypogeum of the Volumnus familyPerugia, Ipogeo dei Volumni, Ponte San Giovanni - Hypogeum of the Volumnus family

Medusa in the Hypogeum of the Volumnus family

Ponte San Giovanni (Pg)
Via Assisana
Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici dell'Umbria: +39 075 5759600
+39 075 5728651

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