Tarquinia, one of the richest Etruscan sites in the Lazio region of Italy, is home to dozens of tombs, but researchers were only recently given permission to excavate the "Queen's Tomb" in detail, ANSA reported.
Dating to the mid-seventh century B.C., the crypt is thought to have been a royal burial site although no remains have ever been found.
Researchers uncovering the crypt say they are finding images and decorations found in other contemporary cultures, suggesting the ancient city had much wider links with the outside world than previously thought.
Archaeologists believe the royal tomb was created by a team of foreign architects and craftsmen, strong evidence of a solid network of ties and trade with other civilizations, they said.
The necropolis of Tarquinia contains 6,000 graves cut into the rock but has won worldwide fame for its painted tombs.
Nearly 200 crypts at the site are decorated with frescos in the early Etruscan and Greek style.
Considered one of the most important galleries of ancient art, the Tarquinia necropolis has been on UNESCO's world heritage list since 2004.
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