VA·4 Sesto Calende

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Classification: beaker

Material: pottery
Size: height 8.1 cm, max. diam. 9.9 cm
Condition: damaged, broken, repaired
Autopsy by: Corinna Salomon
Date of autopsy: Jan 26 2022

Archaeological culture: Golasecca II A
Date: early 6th c. BC
Date derived from: typology, archaeological context

Site: Sesto Calende (Varese, Lombardia, Italy)
Field name: Presualdo
Archaeological context: grave 12/1993–94
Coordinates (approx.): 45° 42' 51.75" N, 8° 39' 31.19" E
Find date: 1993–1994
Find circumstances: excavation
Finder: Soprintendenza Archeologica della Lombardia
Current location: Museo Civico Archeologico (Sesto Calende)
Inventory no.: St 120820


Alternative sigla: Morandi 2004: 78

Sources: Morandi 2004: 572–574 no. 78



Images in Binaghi & Rocca 1999: 443, fig. 4 (drawing), De Marinis 2009b: 424, fig. 11.2 (drawing) and 425, fig. 12 (photo = Maras 2014b: 105, fig. 4a).

Small beaker found in grave 12 of the 1993–1994 excavation in Via Sculati (see Presualdo and Binaghi & Rocca 1999). The grave, dated to Golasecca II A, consisted of a rectangular chamber formed of stones and contained a large urn with cover, two beakers (one inside the urn), fragments of further ceramic and bronze objects, a glass pearl, and a spindle whorl which indicates a female burial (details in De Marinis 2009b: 423–425). The beaker with inscription (detailed description in Binaghi & Rocca 1999: 441) was placed in the centre of the chamber. Dating from Binaghi & Rocca 1999: 439, who date the grave complex to the first half of the 6th c. BC, the globular beaker specifically to "una fase iniziale" of the 6th c.

Binaghi & Rocca 1999: 443 mention a cross-shaped mark on the foot of the beaker (thence also Morandi 2004: 573) and consider it a numeral '10'. Apart from the fact that crosses or asterisks are frequently found on the feet of ceramic vessels and unlikely to be writing (cf. MI·5), the cross is not found on this object, but on the second, very similar beaker from the same grave (drawing ibid. 441, fig. 3). Cf. VA·5 Golasecca and VA·32 Golasecca and the further objects mentioned there for similar vessels from the necropolis, as well as NO·1 Castelletto sopra Ticino.

The inventory number St 120818, which is often given in the literature, is incorrect.

Corinna Salomon


Binaghi & Rocca 1999 Maria Adelaide Binaghi, Giovanna Rocca, "Sesto Calende (VA), loc. Presualdo", Studi Etruschi 63 (1997 [1999]), 437–447.
De Marinis 2009b Raffaele C. de Marinis, "Presualdo, Rastrel Rosso e Brivio (Sesto Calende), tombe del Golasecca I e II", in: Raffaele C. de Marinis, Serena Massa, Maddalena Pizzo (eds), Alle origini di Varese e del suo territorio. Le collezioni del sistema archeologico provinciale [= Bibliotheca Archaeologica 44], Roma: L'Erma di Bretschneider 2009, 416–430.