Although by no means either a Greek or a Roman invention, not to be forgotten when writing of monumental structures is the continuing importance in Turkey of the great earth-covered tumulus. They are mentioned here not only because they set a standard for the conspicuous expenditure of time and labour upon the noble dead, and therefore provided a standard, but also because they provided something for the Greek and Romans to imitate, which they did with several varieties of earth-heaped and rock-cut structures.

If visitors are frequently asked to admire tombs, or indeed whole streets of the dead, then they can often miss tumuli - unless, that is, these are of modest size, stone-girt or rock-excavated, and congregated closely together (as at Cerveteri, in Etruria). That is, it is sometimes easy to miss tumuli in Turkey, precisely because they are so big. The visitor might accustom the eye gradually, starting with those the height of a three- or four-storey house, such as the mounds to be seen on either side of the main road near Sardis (especially to the west, around Urganli, and to the east, near Durasalli: plan in Hanfmann 1983, fig. 2). He might then visit the "Royal Cemetery" at Bin Tepe, about 11 kilometres north of Sardis. In spite of the name of "one thousand mounds", there are some one hundred tumuli here, Lydian not Greek, and perhaps 6th century BC or later. One of the largest, called the Tumulus of Alyattes, is 355 metres in diameter, more than one kilometre in circumference, and with a height of nearly 70 metres! It would probably be mistaken to believe that tumuli are "primitive", and later replaced by built structures; for Maltepe, one of the three large tumuli in the town of Bergama, which is about the height of a ten-storey building (SB7.5), may date to the 2nd or 3rd century AD.

Bibliographical Notes

Kurtz (1971) for Greek burial customs. Ferrari (1966) for trade in sarcophagi; Andreae (1983) for their re-use; Waelkens (1982) for a study of one popular sarcophagus production centre in Turkey, and Waelkens (1988) for workshop methods.

Borchardt (1975) for the necropolis at Myra. Borchardt (1976) for the heroon at Limyra. Hornblower (1982) for a biography of Mausolus; Robertson (1975, 447-63) for the Mausoleum and its sculptors. Onen (1984) for Lycian tombs. Roos in Akurgal (1978, 427-32) for the rock tombs of Caria.

Ovadiah in Akurgal (1978, 857-66) for synagogues in Asia Minor. Fede Berti on digging the Byzantine basilica in the agora at Iasos in Symposium 10.2 1988, 1-10. Verzone in Akurgal (1978, 1057-62) for the martyrium at Hierapolis. Swift (1951) and Grabar (1969) on the sources of Christian art (and architecture). Fox (1986) on relations between pagans and Christians.

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From here you may also go to The Preface, The Introduction, Archaeology in Turkey, Building for Splendour, Town Planning, Roads, Water Supply, Aqueducts, Harbours, The Architecture of Work & Leisure, Religion: Temples & Special Sanctuaries, Decline & Renewal, The Conclusion, The Bibliography, or The Table of Contents

Greek & Roman Cities of Western Turkey