added by archaeologs [Roman Clusium]. Town in central Italy. Situated on a hill commanding the southern end of the Vai di Chiana, Clusium enjoyed in antiquity good agricultural fertility, deposits of iron and copper ore, natural hot springs, and a key position on trade routes. Settlement appears to be unbroken and successful from the first Villanovan dwellers onwards. Under Etruscan rule (6th-4th centuries bc), Clusium prospered as one of the great 12 cities of the confederation, and gained a reputation for bronze and stone craftsmanship. Numerous Etruscan tombs, mostly cut into the soft tufa rock and dating from the 7th to the 1st centuries bc, some richly decorated, some with rich contents of vases, sarcophagi, sculpture and cippi, bear eloquent witness to this wealth. In general, the great preponderance of material originating from tombs and cemeteries (both Villanovan and Etruscan) gives the evidence a funerary imbalance that needs cautious interpretation. There is the impression of a continuous Villanovan-Etruscan settlement that was slow to admit other influences. In particular, there is evidence for a marked persistence of the cremation rite, a continuity that produces a wide variety of cinerary urns, ‘canopic’ jars (with human representation), and the characteristic hollow seated figures (hollowed out from so-called pietrafetida limestone, to act as cinerary containers). By contrast, although contact with Rome came early, Roman* influence seems to exert very little effect.
The Macmillan dictionary of archaeology, Ruth D. Whitehouse, 1983