Tomb of Payava, East Side

Tomb of Payava, East Side


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The Tomb of the Lycian Ruler

The tomb was unearthed in 1838, during a period of amateur exploration fever, by British Sir Charles Fellows. In 1844, he took three parts of it to England. The lowest section stayed in Turkey and now it is corroded. Originally, Fellows, who had no idea what he had found, described the Tomb of Payava as a ''Gothic-formed Horse Tomb''. He didn't know that the rectangular barrel-vaulted stone ''chest'' was a sarcophagus made for an ancient ruler. Although the team who worked with him was unaware of the significance of the discovery, fortunately the artifact was considered important, probably due to the rich decoration of the tomb's walls.

The size of the sarcophagus is impressive. It is now about 3.5 m (11.5 ft) tall, but the original tomb reached higher than 7 meters (22.97 ft.). Millennia ago, the bodies were usually cremated or inhumated. In many cultures, including the Lycians, bodies weren't mummified like in Egypt. Therefore, the tombs of the rulers from Lycia don't provide us with human remains that could be analyzed by researchers in the laboratory.


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Alacahöyük, Sphinx Gate, Relief (copy)

Nero Antico Marble from Anatolia (Rome, Palatine)

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Julian Fellowes (who wrote Downton Abbey) as Rev Philip Hunt in the TV film, Lord Elgin and Some Stones of No Value

Elgin originally planned only to draw the marbles but managed, by bribery and threats, to persuade the Ottoman government in Athens to give him permission to remove the marbles to England and this was to cause much consternation. Lord Byron’s Childe Harold was to turn public opinion against Elgin and his insistence that the removal of the marbles was for preservation purposes – and we all know about the ‘Elgin Marbles’ debate so we won’t go there (in fact, the preferred name in some circles nowadays is the Athens’ marbles or the ‘Parthenon Marbles’ but Elgin didn’t restrict his ‘acquisitions’ just to the Parthenon – see one of the six the larger-than-life Caryatids from the Erechtheum on the Acropolis for example).

One of the Caryatids (‘Elgin Marbles’) at the British Museum (height: 2.3m, 7.5ft) – the other five are at the Acropolis Museum in Athens

Then to Greece and Mycenae (I’ve told you about Mycenae before, July blog, but click here for my co-authored book on the subject). In August 1801, Elgin sent Hunt, together with the topographical draughtsman, Giovanni Battista Lusieri, to investigate the Argolid of the Peloponnese of Greece and report back their findings. Hunt found the 1250 BC citadel of Mycenae and did contemplate the removal of the Lion Gate and wrote to Elgin on the 3rd September 1801:

“No description can convey an adequate idea of the massive stones which compose its [Mycenae’s] walls. The Ancient Greeks supposed them to have been the work of the Cyclops, as well as two colossal Lions in bas-relief over the Gate Way and which still remain in this original situation. The block on which they are sculptured is too gigantic, and too distance from the sea to give any hopes of being able to obtain so renowned a monument of the Fabulous ages.”

The Lion Gate – the height of the doorway opening from the floor to the bottom of the lintel is about 10 ft (2.95 m) and the lintel (Hunt’s ‘block’) is said to weigh some 20 tons – good luck with moving that lot!

The Lion Gate in the late 19th century

Hunt was responsible for the shipping of parts of the Athens’ marbles to England (some sank on the ship, Mentor, but were recovered three years later at much expense). So Elgin would have had the Lion Gate added to his collection and now perhaps it would be prominent in the British Museum if he had his way – had it not been for its sheer size, weight and distance from the sea. Doesn’t bear thinking about – today the entrance at the Mycenaean citadel would certainly not be the same without the lions, but that detail would not have bothered the likes of Elgin.

Elgin did remove some ‘bits’ from the ‘Treasury of Atreus’, a tholos tomb down the road from the Mycenaean citadel (see my ‘Tombs of Mycenae’ blog, July) but fragments of the tomb’s entrance columns reproduced in the British Museum were ‘acquired’ by Lord Sligo sometime shortly after 1810.

Entrance columns/pillars from the Tresaury of Atreus (British Museum)

Next week: Still travelling – Thomas Spratt RN and the ‘Fellows Marbles’ from Lycia (no, not just Elgin….)

Artemus Smith’s Notebooks

I continue my research of the notebooks of Dr Artemus Smith, archaeologist of great courage, determination and fiction. Here is another extract:

An acquaintance of mine, Jock McTaggarty, is a boxing promoter. I had sent him one of my students who was keen to take up the sport. McTaggarty telephoned me with some concern asking whether I was sure the lad was a genuine student. I enquired as to why he should ask such a question. He replied that the student had been for a medical and he, McTaggarty, had received the results and was obliged to relay them to the student. MacTaggarty then informed me that he had called the boy in and said to him:

“You realise you’ve got Sugar Diabetes.”

The boy replied, “Nice one. When do I fight him?”


: bears exceptional testimony to the Lycian civilization, both through the many inscriptions found at the two sites and through the remarkable funerary monuments preserved within the property. The longest and most important texts in the Lycian language were found in . The inscriptions, most of which were carved in rock or on huge monoliths, are considered exceptional evidence of this unique and long-forgotten Indo-European language. The rock art tombs, pillar tombs and pillar-mounted sarcophagi represent a novel type of funerary architecture. The rich series of Lycian tombs in Xanthos and Letoon enable us to fully understand the successive acculturation phenomena that took place in Lycia from the 6th century onwards.

The inscribed property includes all the necessary attributes, mainly original monuments and archaeological remains, which convey its Outstanding Universal Value. All components remain largely intact and are not affected by the negative effects of tourism or modern settlements.

Today, the only factor threatening the integrity of the property is the paved road that has crossed the antique city for many years. Within the framework of the revised Conservation Legislation put into force in 2004, the Regional Council for Conservation of Cultural Heritage decided to close this road in 2010. In addition, wire fence was used to surround the area. However, as these measures could not be implemented efficiently, further action is necessary to ensure that the integrity of the property is no longer impacted. These include the rerouting of the road according to suggestions made in the Conservation Plan.


Quartzite Head of the Egyptian Pharaoh Amenhotep III

This Quartzite head of Amenhotep III has been carved with expert care. The eyeballs noticeably angled back from the top to the bottom lid so that they appear to look down at the viewer.

The finishing polish was deliberately varied, from a glittering smoothness on the facial surfaces to less finish on the mouth and eyes, to quite rough surfaces on the brows.

Amenhotep is shown with youthful-looking cheeks, broad, long, and somewhat narrow eyes and the lower lip, which curves up to the open corners of the mouth to produce the effect of a slight smile.

Amenhotep III was the ninth Pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty, ruling Egypt from about 1386 to 1349 BC. His reign was a period of prosperity and artistic splendor when Egypt reached the peak of its creative and international power.

The Egyptian Sed Festival, which dates from the dawn of early Egyptian kings of the Old Kingdom, requires a king who has served 30 years of his reign, to perform a series of tests to prove his fitness for continuing as Pharaoh.

On completion, the king can serve three more years before holding another Sed Festival. When he died in the 38th or 39th year of his reign, his son initially ruled as Amenhotep IV, but then changed his royal name to Akhenaten.

Amenhotep III has the most surviving statues of any Egyptian pharaoh, with over 250 figures having been discovered and identified. Since these statues span his entire life, they provide a series of portraits covering the length of his reign.

Amenhotep III was buried in the Western Valley of the Kings. Sometime during the Third Intermediate Period, his mummy was moved from this tomb and was placed in a side-chamber of along with several other pharaohs. It lay in peace until discovered in 1898.

An examination of his mummy concluded that the Pharaoh was between 40 and 50 years old at death. Foreign leaders communicated their grief at the Pharaoh’s end, with sayings such as:

“When I heard that my brother had gone to his fate, on that day, I sat down and wept. On that day, I took no food, and I took no water.”

When Amenhotep III died, he left behind a country that was at the very height of its power and influence. Egypt was also firmly wedded to its traditional political and religious certainties under the Amun priesthood, which ultimately undermined his son, Successor, Akhenaten.


The tomb

Payava, who is named in the inscriptions, is only known from this tomb. The tomb is a particularly fine example [5] of a common Lycian style, carved from stone but accurately depicting a wooden structure. [6]

Three of the four tiers of the tomb are currently housed in the British Museum where they dominate the centre of room 20, the lowest tier was left in Turkey and is in a poor state. [7] Displayed with the tomb are other Greek and Lycian objects from 400 to 325 BC.

A rock-cut equivalent from Lycia.


Xanthos-Letoon

This site, which was the capital of Lycia, illustrates the blending of Lycian traditions and Hellenic influence, especially in its funerary art. The epigraphic inscriptions are crucial for our understanding of the history of the Lycian people and their Indo-European language.

Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

Xanthos-Letoon

Capitale de la Lycie, ce site illustre le mélange des traditions lyciennes et de l'influence hellénique, surtout par son art funéraire. Les inscriptions sur les monuments sont d'une grande importance pour la connaissance de l'histoire des Lyciens et de leur langue indo-européenne.

Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

كسانتوس – ليتاؤون

يجسد هذا الموقع الذي يقوم مقام عاصمة ليشي مزيجاً من التقاليد الليشية والتأثير اليوناني بفنّه الجنائزي على نحو خاص. وتتسم الكتابات المدوّنة على النصب بأهمية كبرى للتعرف الى تاريخ الليشيين ولغتهم الهند-أوروبية.

source: UNESCO/ERI
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

桑索斯和莱顿

source: UNESCO/ERI
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

Древний город Ксанф и храм Летоон

Этот город, который был столицей Ликии, иллюстрирует соединение ликийских традиций и эллинистических влияний, особенно в искусстве погребения. Надгробные надписи исключительно важны для понимания истории ликийцев и их индо-европейского языка.

source: UNESCO/ERI
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

Xanthos – Letoon

El sitio de Xanthos, capital de la antigua Licia, es representativo de la mezcla de la estética tradicional licia con la griega, sobre todo en el arte funerario. Las inscripciones de los monumentos son de importancia capital para conocer la historia de los licios y su lengua indoeuropea.

source: UNESCO/ERI
Description is available under license CC-BY-SA IGO 3.0

クサントス-レトーン
Xanthos-Letoon

Xanthos, de hoofdstad van het oude Lycië, en het aangrenzende gebied van Letoon vormen een beroemd archeologische complex. De stad toont de vermenging van Lycische tradities met Griekse invloeden, wat blijkt uit de vele epigrafische teksten die te vinden zijn op deze plek en uit de opmerkelijke grafmonumenten die hier bewaard zijn gebleven. In Xanthos en Letoon zijn de langste en belangrijkste teksten in de Lycische taal te vinden: de meeste van hen zijn uitgehouwen in de rotsen of op grote monolieten. Ze kunnen niet worden verplaatst en zijn de belangrijkste monumenten van een unieke Indo-Europese taal die lang geleden verdween.

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Outstanding Universal Value

Brief synthesis

Made up of two neighboring settlements located in the southwestern part of Anatolia, respectively within the boundaries of Antalya and Muğla Provinces, Xanthos-Letoon is a remarkable archaeological complex. It represents the most unique extant architectural example of the ancient Lycian Civilization, which was one of the most important cultures of the Iron Age in Anatolia. The two sites strikingly illustrate the continuity and unique combination of the Anatolian, Greek, Roman, and Byzantine civilizations. It is also in Xanthos-Letoon that the most important texts in Lycian language were found. The inscriptions engraved in rock or on huge stone pillars on the site are crucial for a better understanding of the history of the Lycian people and their Indo-European language.

Xanthos, which was the capital of ancient Lycia, illustrates the blending of Lycian traditions with the Hellenic influence, especially in its funerary art. The rock-cut tombs, pillar tombs and pillar-mounted sarcophagi in Xanthos are unique examples of ancient funerary architecture. Their value was already recognized in Antiquity and they influenced the art of neighboring provinces: the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus is for instance directly influenced by the Xanthos Nereid Monument. The fact that some architectural and sculptural pieces of the sites were taken to England in the 19th century, including the Monument of Harpy, the Tomb of Payava and the Nereid Monument, led to their word-wide recognition, and consequently the Xanthos marbles became an important part of the history of ancient art and architecture.

East of the Xanthos River (Eşen Çayı), the first monumental zone includes the old Lycian Acropolis, which was remodeled during the Hellenistic and Byzantine periods. At that time, a church was built at the northeast corner, while an advanced defensive structure fortified the western side of the citadel along the river. Directly north of the Acropolis stands a very beautiful theatre that dominates the Roman agora. This area also features great Lycian funerary monuments imitating woodwork, which are characteristic of the archaeological landscape of Xanthos and rise up spectacularly from the ruins. There is a second, more complex archaeological zone that extends between the Vespasian Arch to the south and the Hellenistic Acropolis to the north. The lower part of the town, which includes the Hellenistic Agora and Byzantine churches, was located in this part of the site.

Letoon, on the other hand, was the cult center of Xanthos, the ancient federal sanctuary of the Lycian province and Lycian League of Cities. As many inscriptions found at the site demonstrate, the federal sanctuary was the place where all religious and political decisions of the ruling powers were declared to the public. The famous trilingual inscription, dating back to 337 B.C., features a text inLycian and Greek as well as an Aramaic summary and was discovered near the temple of Apollo. In the sanctuary of Letoon, three temples are dedicated to Leto, Artemis and Apollo. In addition, the site includes the ruins of a nymphaeum dating back to Hadrian, built on a water source that was considered sacred.

Criterion (ii): Xanthos-Letoon directly influenced the architecture of the principal ancient cities of Lycia such as Patara, Pınara, and Myra, as well as the neighboring provinces. The Halicarnassus Mausoleum, which was ranked as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, is directly influenced by Xanthos’ Nereid Monument.

Criterion (iii): Xanthos-Letoon bears exceptional testimony to the Lycian civilization, both through the many inscriptions found at the two sites and through the remarkable funerary monuments preserved within the property. The longest and most important texts in the Lycian language were found in Xanthos-Letoon. The inscriptions, most of which were carved in rock or on huge monoliths, are considered exceptional evidence of this unique and long-forgotten Indo-European language. The rock art tombs, pillar tombs and pillar-mounted sarcophagi represent a novel type of funerary architecture. The rich series of Lycian tombs in Xanthos and Letoon enable us to fully understand the successive acculturation phenomena that took place in Lycia from the 6th century onwards.

The inscribed property includes all the necessary attributes, mainly original monuments and archaeological remains, which convey its Outstanding Universal Value. All components remain largely intact and are not affected by the negative effects of tourism or modern settlements.

Today, the only factor threatening the integrity of the property is the paved road that has crossed the antique city for many years. Within the framework of the revised Conservation Legislation put into force in 2004, the Regional Council for Conservation of Cultural Heritage decided to close this road in 2010. In addition, wire fence was used to surround the area. However, as these measures could not be implemented efficiently, further action is necessary to ensure that the integrity of the property is no longer impacted. These include the rerouting of the road according to suggestions made in the Conservation Plan.

Authenticity

Xanthos-Letoon has retained the authenticity of its features, largely due to the property’s distance from any modern settlement.

The monuments revealed during archaeological excavations have gone through important restoration and conservations works, which have not impacted their authenticity in terms of design and layout. The most important project was the reconstruction of the temple of Leto in its original setting between 2000 and 2007. The architectural pieces that belonged to the temple of Leto, which were found during excavations carried out since 1950s, enabled the successful completion of this project. Some important restoration, conservation and consolidation works were also carried out on the Early Christian Church and monumental nymphaeum.

Protection and management requirements

The Antique City of Xanthos and Letoon was registered as a 1st degree archaeological site and is subject to National Conservation Legislation. The inscribed property is also within the boundaries of “Environment Protection Zone”, under the responsibility of the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization. The Regional Conservation Council and Special Environmental Protection Agency approved the conservation plan for Xantos in 2001 and the related Regional Conservation Council approved the Conservation Plan for Letoon in 2006. Both planning tools have been implemented and require systematic monitoring and review to ensure their efficiency for the management of the property.

The monuments and archaeological remains within the sanctuary of Letoon are threatened by seasonal rising of the ground water table. Mitigation efforts were made in 2006 with the construction of water channels to lessen the level of water during excavation works. Another issue for Letoon is the visual pollution created by many greenhouses in the fertile alluvial lands of the site. As for Xanthos, the presence of the paved road cutting through the site requires additional measures to be fully addressed.

The Ministry of Culture and Tourism has started works for the preparation of a Landscaping Project for Xanthos and Letoon that will address the issues of the property, including environmental control and the preservation of the monuments. Within the framework of this project, the site of Letoon will be equipped with recreation and promenade areas. This project will also address questions of visitor management, develop awareness-raising policies, and aim to actively involve both the local communities and the visitors.


Portrait Bust of Homer

  • Title: Portrait Bust of Homer
  • Date: 2nd Century
  • Culture: Roman from Hellenistic original
  • Inscriptions: Greek letters carved on each side.
  • Findspot: Baiae, Baia, Campania, Italy in 1780
  • Materials: Marble
  • Acquisition: 1805
  • Dimensions: Height: 57.15 centimetres
  • Museum: The British Museum

Quotes by Homer

“Yet, taught by time, my heart has learned to glow for other’s good, and melt at other’s woe.”

“I detest that man who hides one thing in the depths of his heart and speaks for another.”

“Of all creatures that breathe and move upon the earth, nothing is bred that is weaker than man.”

“Words empty as the wind are best left unsaid.”

“A man who has been through bitter experiences and traveled far enjoys even his sufferings after a time.”

“Be still my heart thou hast known worse than this.”

“There is the heat of Love, the pulsing rush of Longing, the lover’s whisper, irresistible—magic to make the sanest man go mad.”

“Men grow tired of sleep, love, singing, and dancing sooner than of war.”

“There is a time for many words, and there is also a time for sleep.”

“A sympathetic friend can be quite as dear as a brother.”

“There is nothing more admirable than when two people who see eye to eye keep house as man and wife, confounding their enemies and delighting their friends.”

“Whoever obeys the gods, to him, they particularly listen.”

“The charity that is a trifle to us can be precious to others.”

“Without a sign, his sword, the brave man draws and asks no omen, but his country’s cause.”

“A guest never forgets the host who has treated him kindly.”

“Even where sleep is concerned, too much is a bad thing.”

Explore the Collections of the British Museum

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Comments:

  1. Faurn

    I apologize that I interfere, I too would like to express my opinion.



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