The sandstone lion head found in a corner of the right cell of the southern tomb inside the burial mound of Montecalvario is a unique find. The position in which it was found probably was not its original collocation because the cell had been severely damaged prior to its discovery, and the stone walls removed to be used nearby as building material.
The cylindrical cavity on the upper face, with two holes in it, suggests that the head could have served as a base, maybe for a wooden column. The iconographical subject relates the Montecalvario lion to the sculpted animals used to protect princely tombs, particularly common in the area around Vulci. The feline head has no parallel in the Etruscan repertoire, but shares the same near-east inspiration of other Etruscan sculptures, such as those of Casale Marittimo, Vetulonia (Pietrera Mound ), Cerveteri (Tomb of the Statues ) and, beyond the Apennines, the Bolognese stelae.