Abstract: Monumental Tombs near Troy: Recent Discoveries


This lecture focuses on a series of monumental tombs near Troy discovered during the course of the last fifteen years. There are five tombs in all, dating from the late Archaic to the Early Hellenistic period, and most of them were set up by wealthy Anatolians who were associated with the Persian governor (or satrap) at the regional capital of Daskyleion. The tombs include a marble sarcophagus (ca. 500-490 B.C.) featuring the murder of Polyxena, daughter of Priam. This is the earliest stone sarcophagus with figural scenes ever to have been found in the eastern Mediterranean. Another sarcophagus within the same tomb contained the body of a child surrounded by gold jewellery and silver symposium implements. A new sarcophagus from the modern city of Çan (ca. 400-375 B.C.) contains a biographical narrative of the deceased, showing him victorious in a boar hunt and then spearing a fallen Greek foe in the eye. Nearly all of the original paint still survives intact. All of these are Graeco-Persian products, produced primarily by Greek artists employing Persian iconography.

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