Archaic grave markers
Attic relief gravestones (stelai)
In Attica, around 580 BC, a series of tall gravestones begins, topped by the figure of a sphinx, on a simply decorated capital. After the mid-century the capital is elaborated as palmettes with spirals, but soon thereafter the stele type is simplified, with a palmette only. The type disppears in the early 5th cent. BC. Most figures are male and there is rough age differentiation by type: young as athlete, mature as warrior, old as man with dog. In the last phase the rectangular bases for the stelai may be decorated in relief on three sides.
Attic gravestone types