Classical grave markers

Attic gravestones

The series recommences in about 430 BC, possibly stimulated by the presence in Athens of many masons who had been employed on the new public buildings such as the Parthenon, but also answering a new need for personal memorials. The grave reliefs are more often rectangular now, with a pedimental top, and in the 4th century the figures are carved often in very high relief, almost in the round, and the monument may be built with projecting wings which may themselves carry reliefs. In the later 4th century a decree by the governor of Athens, Demetrios of Phaleron, brought an end to the series of decorated reliefs.

Women dominate the scenes, in quiet domestic situations or bidding farewell, sometimes to a warrior husband. Often there is simply a scene of quiet contemplation, seldom of active mourning. A few commemorate death in battle, but Athens' war dead were buried separately with stelai which listed their names and had small reliefs of fighting on them. Family graves were marked out in the main Athens cemetery and may be embellished by other sculpture in the round, animals or mourners. The mourning siren begins to appear as a motif for funeral art.

Drawing reconstruction of graves
  • Reconstruction of a group of graves in the Athens cemetery, for a family of wealthy immigrants from the Black Sea
Gravestone of Ampharete
  • Gravestone of Ampharete in the Athens cemetery. About 410 BC.
Gravestone of Eupheros
  • Gravestone of Eupheros in the Athens cemetery. About 430 BC.
Part of gravestone of Sosinos
  • From Athens a gravestone of Sosinos, a copper smelter, with an ingot. About 400 BC.
Cast of gravestone of Dexileos
  • Cast of gravestone of Dexileos, who was killed at Corinth in 394/3 BC.
    Cast No.D 067
Cast of gravestone of Demetria & Pamphile
  • Cast of gravestone of Demetria and Pamphile. About 320 BC.
    Cast No. D077
Cast of gravestone from Ilissos
  • Cast of gravestone from near the Ilissos, Athens. About 330 BC.
    Cast No. D076
Statue of mourning slave
  • Figure of mourning slave from a grave monument near Athens (Menidi).
    4th century BC.

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