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Rigveda. Veii [modem Veio]. 16 km northwest of Rome, Veii was the most southerly of the principal cities of Etruria, and destroyed by its rival and near neighbour, Rome, in 396 BC. The ager veientanus (‘territory of Veii’) probably extended at one time westward to the seaboard, and northward to Lake Bracciano, but the Etruscan city itself seems to have been concentrated upon a ridge by the River Cremera (now Valchetta). After some intermittent Bronze Age occupation, settlement seems to be established by early Iron Age dwellers (Villanovan) possibly by the 9th century bc, with evidence for huts, and pit and trench burials. The 7th century bc saw early Etruscan chamber tombs, including some painted examples. The main Etruscan habitation area of the 6th and 5th centuries has still not been systematically excavated. What evidence there is suggests a predominantly irregular street-plan, with ample testimony from numerous cisterns and cuniculi for the Etruscan preoccupation with hydraulic engineering. The town is surrounded by a number of Villanovan and Etruscan cemeteries. The terracotta life-uze group of the ‘Apollo of Veii’ now to be seen in the Villa Giulia at Rome comes from a local sanctuary, and probably formed part of the roof decoration of an Etruscan temple.

The Macmillan dictionary of archaeology, Ruth D. Whitehouse, 1983Copied