The exterior appearance, the structure and the monuments of Etruscan Monterano are almost completely unknown due to the lack of systematic archaeological research, the perishability of the construction materials used and the superimposition of subsequent settlements in the same location. Etruscan building techniques have meant that remains of any entity have not survived over the course of the centuries, seeing as dwellings and temples were made using wood and clay, while stone was only used for the town walls, the doors and the tombs.
As things stand, therefore, the general appearance of the Etruscan city may only be surmised, based on our general knowledge of this civilisation. Their homes must have been low and very close together and rested directly on the rock or on rock foundations. The walls were made with uncooked bricks or out of structures made of wooden posts, bamboo and branches covered in layers of clay. The hearth was against one of the outer walls or in the middle of the room.
Immediately outside the residential area stood the vast necropolis, which is the most significant part of what remains of the Etruscan settlement. The earliest tombs are the ones closest to the village, while the ones of the middle period, which coincided with the period of maximum prosperity, are the ones furthest away.
On the Palombara plateau one can make out the remains of tombs from the second period which follow the track of an ancient Etruscan road and stretch as far as the Puzzo Tufo hamlet. The richest necropolis, however, is the one that extends onto the Bandita hill. The two most well known tombs, used for centuries as shelters by shepherds and farmers, have been given the names that popular tradition had assigned them: Bandita Cave and Tobacco Cave.