Bomarzo, known for the famous Parco dei Mostri (Park of Monsters) is now at the centre of another mystery: that of the Etruscan Pyramid or the Pyramid of Bomarzo. An object made from a single large-sized rock that has been excavated and transformed by man.
This area of Tuscia was formed by the last eruptions of the great volcanoes, such as Cimino, whose legacy has remained in the lakes and in the rocks of peperino and tuff. In this area, in the woods there are large rocks of peperino launched by the eruption of volcanoes. Some of these have been excavated and used as dwellings since the protohistoric period, and until recently, have been shelters of shepherds.
But one of these boulders has a different story still shrouded in mystery.
In the middle of the woods in the area “Tacchiolo” near Bomarzo, in 1991 a large boulder (about 8 x 16 meters) was discovered in the shape of a truncated pyramid which in some aspects recalls those of the Maya. The episode had passed quietly until in 2008, Salvatore Fosci cleaned it up and brought it into the spotlight to present it to everyone.
On the ridge of the boulder, 28 steps were cut leading to two intermediate altars and then to the main altar at the top of the pyramid. The structure is completed with other smaller steps. There are also a series of channels that were to be used for the collection of liquids poured during the sacrificial rites.
The Etruscan pyramid of Bomarzo is the largest rock altar in Europe, a huge tufa rock used as a place of worship for sure since the time of the Etruscans between the seventh and sixth centuries BC there is no certainty whether it is antecedent even to that time.
Because of this function, some call it ‘Sasso del Predicatore’ (rock of the preacher), but this name dates back to the period before its cleaning. When only a small part of the boulder was visible and its original form had not emerged.
According to several scholars it could be used with astronomical calendar, astro-archeology studies say that the Etruscan pyramid is linked to the stars Sirius and Antares. The peculiarity is to see the photos taken from above, where the pyramid looks like a face.
When Salvatore met this rock he must have felt like those explorers who discover temples and houses in the jungle. From his words emerges the story of an object hidden by large roots and vegetation that had to be removed with great care to permit the extraction of the rock, with much love and respect for the place.
The Tuscia and the Etruscans have a magical charm also fueled by the mystery that still surrounds this people and all those who today come close to their artifacts do so with great respect.
The place is now guarded by those who brought it to light and even cleaned up all the paths that reach it, Salvatore Fosci. And his assistants. It is possible to have news and be updated on other excavations in the surroundings that are bringing to light Etruscan tombs, cinerary urns, ancient tanneries and dovecoats by going on www.piramide-etrusca.it