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Griechische Nekropolen

Heide Frielinghaus
Jutta Stroszeck Neue Forschungen und Funde
Panos Valavanis
(Hrsg.)

beiträge zur
5 archäolo gie griechenl ands
Griechische Nekropolen
Neue Forschungen und Funde
beiträge zur archäologie griechenlands 5

Herausgegeben von
Heide Frielinghaus und Jutta Stroszeck
Heide Frielinghaus – Jutta Stroszeck – Panos Valavanis (Hrsg.)

Griechische Nekropolen
Neue Forschungen und Funde

Bibliopolis / Möhnesee 2019
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Coverbild: Torso eines Makedonischen Kriegers aus Pydna


(Foto A. Athanassiadou / Ephorate of Antiquities of Pieria Archives)


inhaltsverzeichnis
vorwort ......................................................................... 9

ourania vizyinou
Attic Burial Types from the 11th to the 6th Century B. C. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

eirini m. dimitriadou
Burial Topography of Archaic Athens . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
Tafeln 1–2

vyron antoniadis
Excavating at Skyros and Purifying Delos: Athenian ›Archaeological‹
adventures and interpretations in the 5th century BC Aegean . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
Tafeln 3–8

maria chidiroglou
Ancient cemeteries in Euboea: old and new finds in their context . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65
Tafeln 9–14

nota kourou
The Classical cemetery of Xobourgo at Tenos
between tradition and modernity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89
Tafeln 15–22

elena korka – paraskevi evaggeloglou


A cemetery excavation unearths Tenea's past . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 101
Tafeln 23–25

stamatis fritzilas
Grabpithoi und Bestattungen in Südostarkadien (Peloponnes) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 115
Tafeln 26–31

anthi aggeli
Funerary Contexts from the Cemeteries of Ambracia
of the Archaic and Early Classical periods . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 129
Tafeln 32–40

nikolaos petrochilos
Mors delphica: local identities and funerary practices at Delphi . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 141
Tafeln 41–44

anastasios kakamanoudis
Aspects of Organisation of Macedonian Cemeteries:
from the Archaic to the Hellenistic Times .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 155
Tafeln 45–49

vivi saripanidi
Macedonian Necropoleis in the Archaic Period:
Shifting Practices and Emerging Identities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 175
Tafeln 50–52

eleni manakidou
Keramische Grabbeigaben in den archaischen Nekropolen Makedoniens.. . . . . . 197
Tafeln 53–57

barbara schmidt-dounas
Heroische Vergangenheit und makedonische Elite . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 213
Tafeln 58–59

matthaios bessios – athena athanassiadou


Discovering the Monument of Pydna: royal or royal hetairoi tombs? . . . . . . . . . . . 235
Tafeln 60–66

constantina kallintzi
Children's graves in the cemeteries of Abdera: Data and observations . . . . . . . . . . 245
Tafeln 67–71

anna alexandropoulou
Die Kindergräber in Phaleron (Attika) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 261
Tafeln 72–78

nikolas dimakis
Burial and Commemoration of Children in Hellenistic Greece . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 287
Tafeln 79–84


heide frielinghaus
Überlegungen zu Theater-Elementen in Gräbern
klassischer und frühhellenistischer Zeit .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 307

panos valavanis
Tombs in Hippodromes and Stadiums . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 323

jutta stroszeck
Unterweltsvorstellungen und die Fundorte von Fluchtafeln im Kerameikos . . . . 337
Tafeln 85–107

stavroula oikonomou
The Gold Lamellae and the Topography of a mystery Underworld . . . . . . . . . . . . . 377
Tafeln 108–110

adressen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 391

tafeln 1–110


vorwort
In Griechenland hat sich dank systematischer Ausgrabungen wie auch durch Zufallsfunde die
Zahl freigelegter Nekropolen(abschnitte) und Einzel-Gräber in den letzten Jahren deutlich
vermehrt. Gleichzeitig wurden – unter Berücksichtigung z. B. von Bestattungsformen, Ritu-
alen, Grabtypen, Grabkennzeichnung oder Beigaben-Sets – systematische Analysen größerer
Einheiten vorangetrieben. In diesem Zusammenhang wurden u. a. die Charakterisierung be-
stimmter (sozialer) Gruppen, die Definition und Verbreitung gesellschaftlicher Leitbilder
oder im Rahmen des Grabes zum Ausdruck kommende Unterwelts-Vorstellungen in den
Blick genommen. Dennoch ist unsere Kenntnis der griechischen Grabwelt noch immer sehr
fragmentarisch. So fehlen für viele Gebiete übergreifende, alle Informationen einbeziehende
Analysen entweder gänzlich oder zumindest für bestimmte Zeitabschnitte, auch steht ein de-
taillierter, diachron aufgeschlüsselter Vergleich zwischen verschiedenen griechischen Poleis
und Landschaften noch aus.
Erwachsen aus einem im November 2016 in Mainz veranstalteten Kolloquium, trägt der
hier vorgelegte Band zu zwei Bereichen der breit gefächerten Desiderata bei. Unter Berück-
sichtigung neuester Funde – die teils in eine weitreichendere Analyse einbezogen werden,
teils im Zentrum von weiterführenden Überlegungen stehen – werden zum einen einige grö-
ßere geographische Einheiten über einen gewissen Zeitraum hin betrachtet und zum anderen
Gräber in den Blick genommen, die sich mit bestimmten sozialen Gruppen verbinden lassen,
eine spezifische Ausstattung besitzen oder lokale Besonderheiten aufweisen.
Finanzielle Förderung wurde dem Kolloquium von Seiten der inneruniversitären For-
schungsförderung der Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz und des GRK 1876 ›Frühe
Konzepte von Mensch und Natur: Universalität, Spezifität und Tradierung‹ zuteil, wofür sich
die Herausgeber sehr zu Dank verpflichtet fühlen.
Zu danken ist zudem Marie-Christine Schimpf, die das Layout übernommen, und Lisa
Neuhalfen, die den Einband gestaltet hat. Ein besonderer Dank gilt zudem der Verlegerin
Marlene Herfort-Koch, die für eine schnelle Drucklegung gesorgt hat.

Mainz, Juni 2019 Heide Frielinghaus Jutta Stroszeck Panos Valavanis


129

funerary contexts from the cemeteries


of ambracia of the archaic and
early classical periods*
Ambracia, buried under the modern city of Arta in north-western Greece, was situated on the
north shore of the Ambracian Gulf1. The city was founded in the 7th century B. C. – traditio-
nally sometime between 650 and 625 B. C. – by Corinthian colonists led by Gorgos, the son of
the tyrant Cypselos2. In the position of Ambracia there existed a small Epirotan settlement of
the 9th century B. C. with houses of perishable materials and a distinctive handmade pottery.
The Corinthian interest in the area started much earlier, well into the 8th century B. C., as the
Corinthian pottery found in the excavations indicate, and it is believed that the Corinthians
established a small trading base at the same location, coexisting harmoniously with the na-
tives until the foundation of their colony3.
The Corinthian settlers founded the new city in a position with considerable strategic and
commercial advantages4. Built at the western foothills of the Peranthi hill, close to the banks
of the navigable Arachthos River, Ambracia stood on the sole access route between Southern
Greece and the hinterland of Epirus and must have played an important role, as the center of
the trade of the Corinthian products towards central Epirus5. Located in a rich fertile plain,
the city's immediate hinterland not only included extensive arable lands with an abundant
supply of water for irrigation, but there was also ample timber in the nearby forests for activi-
ties like ship-building. Ambracia had immediate access to the surrounding mountains and
the Ionion and Adriatic Sea via the Ambracian Gulf and it was this unique position which
ultimately contributed to the city's growth as an important political, economic and naval po-
wer in the wider region.
Protected by a strong fortification wall, the city was built following a strict geometric ur-
ban plan6. The administrative and political centre of Ambracia was situated in the north-
western sector of the city around the temple of Apollo, the city's patron god and protector,
whose cult was introduced from Corinth7. Two cemeteries extended beyond the walls along
the southwestern and eastern outskirts of the city (pl. 32). In the 8th and 7th century B. C. date
a few burials in pithoi, found at the northern part of the city, which was inhabited during the
Geometric and early Archaic period8. But from the 6th century B. C. and on the Ambracians

*  I would like to express my gratitude to Professor P. 4  Sakellariou 1997, 48–52. 98–100.


Valavanis for inviting me to participate in the conference 5  Will 1955, 532–538; Vokotopoulou 1975, 155–166;
and for meticulously reviewing my text. Kourou 1994, 30.
1  Generally for Ambracia, see Tzouvara-Souli 1992 with 6  Karatzeni 1986/1987, 9–28; Andreou 1993, 91–101.
bibliography and recently Fantasia 2017.
7  Tzouvara-Souli 2001, 233–236 with bibliography.
2  Strabo 7, 7, 6; Hammond 1967, 425–427.
8  Douzougli 1989, 257–259.
3  Vokotopoulou 1982, 78–86. 97.
130 aggeli

buried their dead outside the new city's walls, where the two cemeteries appeared as burial
sites some time after the foundation of the colony. In the following centuries the cemeteries
grew along basic roads, which led to the Ambracian Gulf and to the territories of the Acarnanes
and the Athamanes respectively and remained in use throughout the city's long history.
The west cemetery was the largest and best organized of the two, as it extended along an
impressive thoroughfare, starting from the south gate of the city wall and leading to the
Ambracian Gulf. The thoroughfare, which was 10–12 m wide and existed from the 6th century
B. C., took its final form in the 4th century B. C. It was paved with soil and gravel on its wes­
tern half and limestone slabs with an elevated sidewalk on its eastern side. It was bordered by
Π-shaped or rectangular burial enclosures, bearing façades of carved plinths9. The enclosures
encompassed many tombs at different levels. The arrangement of the graves inside the en­
closures was very dense and indicates intensive use of space from the Archaic up to the late
Hellenistic period. The most important burial monument of the Archaic period was a ceno-
taph-polyandrion which was erected on the east side of the road that crossed the cemetery, a
few metres away the south gate of the city wall10. It was a Π-shaped burial en-closure, which
bears a monumental inscription in the Archaic Corinthian alphabet. The inscription preser-
ves the greater part of an epigram, which recounts the destruction of the Ambracian army in
a military episode.
A road bordered by walls, not as monumental as the one mentioned above, also crossed
the east cemetery giving access to the burial area11. The arrangement of this cemetery in en-
closures was not as strict as in the west one and the graves were usually arranged in groups or
pairs.
Since the number of graves that have been excavated so far in both cemeteries is rather big
(over 600 burials), I will limit myself to the presentation of the funerary contexts of the most
recently excavated burials of the Archaic and early Classical periods, in the years after the
city's foundation as a Corinthian colony, when Ambracia built its identity as a new city-state.
One of the earliest burials so far excavated is the burial of an infant inside a column crater
at the west cemetery. The burial was found under a limestone slab, while three slabs of irregu-
lar shape placed vertically into the ground protected it from three sides. According to the
anthropological data, the skeleton in the crater belonged to a neonate, less than 40 weeks in
age. The crater is Corinthian, dating to the middle Corinthian period and is executed in a
clean, careful work, resembling that of the Detroit Painter, but not quite by his own hand12. It
bears decoration in two friezes on both sides. On the upper frieze of the one side there is a
swan with open wings between seated sickle-winged sphinxes, while on the lower frieze there
is a goat between confronting panthers (pl. 33, 1a). On the upper frieze of the other side there

9  Aggeli 2013, 179–188. 11  Aggeli 2018, 470.


10  Andreou 1986, 425–445; Andreou – Andreou 1988, 12  Cf. Amyx – Lawrence 1975, pl. 36 no. 187. On the
109–112; Matthaiou 1990/1991, 271–277; Bousquet 1992, Detroit painter see Benson 1969, 120 f., List D, and refe-
596–606. rences there cited; Amyx 1988, 196 f. with bibliography.
Funerary Contexts from the Cemeteries of Ambracia of the Archaic and Early Classical periods131

are padded dancers and on the lower frieze again a goat between panthers13 (pl. 33, 1b). Under
the handles there is a panther on the upper frieze, a goat and a bird with closed wings respec-
tively on the lower frieze. The rim is decorated with stepped zigzag and on the handle-plates
there are sickle-winged avian. The burial was richly furnished with grave goods, containing
more Corinthian pottery: a tripod pyxis with lid bearing figured decoration (a Siren with
raised wings on each foot) now almost completely faded14 (pl. 33, 2); a similar miniature tri-
pod pyxis (pl. 33, 3); a pyxis lid with a knob15; a miniature pyxis with horizontal handles bea-
ring linear decoration16; a Corinthian cotyle17 and a bottle with linear decoration18 (pl. 33, 4).
There was also a lydion of heavy grey fabric with two grooves on the shoulder and short foot
(pl. 33, 5) and five plastic vases, one in the shape of an ape (pl. 33, 6) and four alabastra ending
at a woman's head19 (pl. 33, 7). The women of the alabastra hold a bird with their right hand
and their hair is covered with a kalyptra ending on the shoulders20. The series of this kind of
alabastra is considered to have been manufactured in eastern workshops21.
To the second quarter of the 6th century B. C. are also dated two cist graves with sides built
up with small stones, which were found at the east cemetery22. They were richly furnished
with Corinthian pottery, since eighteen vases were found in one grave and ten vases in the
other (pl. 34, 1). The shapes include trefoil flat-bottomed oinochoai, pyxides, kotylai, kylikes
and lekanides decorated with animals, Sirens, griffins and linear motifs (pl. 34, 2–6). There
are no anthropological data recorded, but judging from the dimensions of the graves, they
belonged to adults.
The number of the burials increases at both cemeteries from the middle of the 6th century
B. C. and on. A poros sarcophagus covered with a limestone slab at the west cemetery con­
tained the burial of a probably male adult. The grave was furnished with two black-glazed
olpai (pl. 35, 1), a black-glazed skyphos of Corinthian type (pl. 35, 2), a lydion (pl. 35, 3) and
another unguent-pot with body and neck like a lydion but without a foot23 (pl. 35, 4). The
sarcophagus also contained three faience aryballoi with a relief reticulate pattern on the
body24 (pl. 35, 5). This simplified pattern of the faience aryballoi is dated to the third quarter
of the 6th century B. C. and is widely distributed throughout the Mediterranean25. The work-

13  For the padded dancers see Payne 1971, 118–124. 21  Since the alabastra were perfume pots, they would
14  For the shape see Blegen et al. 1964, 198 no. 194-3 have been imported from Eastern Greece for the perfume
pl. 88. that they contained and their value would depend on their
content, Despoini 2016, 322 f. (V. Misailidou-Despoti-
15  Blegen et al. 1964, 196 no. 188-6 pl. 29. dou).
16  Blegen et al. 1964, 205 no. 224-6 pl. 33. 22  Sarri 1992, 277 f.
17  Blegen et al. 1964, 189 no. 168-1 pl. 27 fig.11. 23  For the olpai, see Sparkes – Talcott 1970, 254 no. 263
18  For the shape see Blegen et al. 1964, 182 f. no. 157-h pl. 13; 254 no. 254 pl. 12; for the skyphos, see Sparkes –
pl. 23. Talcott 1970, 257 no. 309 pl. 14; for the lydion, see Sparkes
19  For the lydion see Knigge 1976, 84 pl. 18, 12. 13. – Talcott 1970, 317 no. 1163 pl. 39 but with a lower foot.

20  Ducat 1966, 73 pl. 11, 1. 24  Vokotopoulou et. al 1985, 108 no. 160 (M. Tiverios).
25  Webb 1978, 119; Lyons 1996, 51.
132 aggeli

shop responsible for their production is traditionally placed in the island of Rhodes, but Nau-
kratis is also a possibility26.
Four infants, a few months old, were buried inside pointed pithoi in an area about 35 m
southern of the burial in the Corinthian crater at the west cemetery. Two of the pithoi were
sealed with a limestone slab (pl. 36, 1), the third with a bigger and heavier stone, while the
fourth was only partially preserved, as it was disturbed by a pit grave dug above it in a later
period. Only three pithoi contained grave goods, namely one or two clay vases. In one case the
infant burial was furnished with a Corinthian tripod pyxis, with a lid decorated with a zone
of vertical lines between horizontal bands and an Attic black-bodied lekythos of the Little
Lion group with lotus buds on the shoulder27 (pl. 36, 2). A Corinthian black-glazed tripod
pyxis accompanied the infant of the second burial (pl. 36, 3), while the third was furnished
with a Corinthian cotyle28 (pl. 36, 4).
An exceptional piece of metalwork was revealed at the west cemetery: a bronze hydria
with its vertical handle in the shape of a standing kouros (pl. 37, 1). The eyes and nose of the
kouros are big; the cheeks are round and the lips are fleshy. On both sides of the head are
hanging two curls. His arms bent at the elbows are holding two snakes. His head is leaning
between two seated lions, while his feet rest between two rams, on top of an anthemion with
eleven pointed leaves29. On both sides of the horizontal handles of the vase there are anthemia
with seven pointed leaves30. The hydria is probably a work of a Corinthian or under the Co-
rinthian influence workshop and is dated to the second half of the 6th century B. C.31. It was
buried under two limestone slabs and contained the remnants of the cremation of an adult
person.
A cist grave roughly bordered by irregular limestone slabs was excavated at the east ce-
metery. It contained a few scattered bones, a black-glazed tripod pyxis and a fusiform ampho-
riskos made of glass32. At the same cemetery a burial in a cist grave, with sides built of small

26  For the trade of faience vases from Rhodes or Egypt 29  Similar (standing kouros with head between lions
in Northern Greece, see Despoini 2016, 24 f. (M. Tive- and feet between rams) is the handle of on oinochoe from
rios). 224 (V. Saripanidi). Sala Consilina in Lucania now in the Musée du Petis
27  For the shape of the pyxis, see the vase with figure Palais in Paris, Rolley 1967, 15 f. no. 144 pl. 48; Vokoto­
decoration Blegen et al. 1964, 212 no. 253-3 pl. 35. For the poulou 1975, 107–110 pl. 41a.
shape of the lekythos, see Haspels 1936, 98–100. 107–109. 30  The anthemia present characteristic similarities with
164; for similar examples, see Sparkes – Talcott 1970, 314 those on a bronze hydria from Trikala, also with the
no. 1115. 1116 pl. 38; Vokotopoulou 1986, 16 pl. 12c; handle in the form of a standing kouros, Verdelis
Misailidou-Despotidou 2012, 380 fig. 16. 1953/1954, 189–199.
28  The tripod pyxis is less slender than the pyxis with 31  For metal works attributed to the Corinthian work-
the linear decoration from the other pithos burial and shop, see Vokotopoulou 1975, 106–147.
should probably be dated to the third quarter of the 6th 32  For the shape of the pyxis, see the vase with figured
century B. C. Eleven burials in pithoi dated in the 6th cen- decoration Blegen et al. 1964, 212 no. 253-3 pl. 35; for the
tury B. C. were excavated at the west cemetery during the glass amphoriskos, see Kaltsas 1998, 71 nos. 1115. 1116
works for the construction of the drainage system of pl. 73 a-b with bibliography.
modern Arta, but no further information is reported,
Petropoulos 1987, 318.
Funerary Contexts from the Cemeteries of Ambracia of the Archaic and Early Classical periods133

stones and limestone slabs laid flat at the bottom, was furnished with a bronze mirror and
three oil-containers with the characteristic name lydion dated to the last quarter of the 6th
century B. C.33 The skeleton was preserved in a bad condition, but judging from the grave
goods, the deceased was probably a woman. At the same period are dated two burials inside a
poros sarcophagus at the west cemetery, one found in situ and another one disturbed under-
neath it. The grave contained an iron strigil, an Attic black-glazed skyphos of Corinthian
type, an Attic black-glazed kylix of Type C with concave lip and its locally made counterpart34.
At the turning of the 6th to the 5th century B. C. is dated a cist grave at the east cemetery,
made of limestone slabs, which formed the walls and the bottom of the grave. It contained an
inhumation furnished with black-glazed pottery: three Attic stemmed dishes (pl. 37, 2–4), a
small bowl with outturned rim (pl. 37, 5) and an unglazed one-handler with a black band at
the middle of the body and another one on the rim35 (pl. 37, 6).
Several graves dated to the two first decades of the 5th century B. C. were excavated at the
east cemetery. The deceased of a pit grave was accompanied by an Attic black-glazed stem-
med dish, a smaller, probably locally made black-glazed stemmed dish and a black-glazed
skyphos of the Attic type B36.
The inhumation in a poros sarcophagus with a limestone cover was furnished with four
Attic black-glazed stemmed dishes (pl. 38, 1–4) and an Attic black-figured lekythos by the
Haimon Group37 (pl. 38, 5). On the body of the lekythos is depicted a scene probably of the
everyday life: on the right a pair, a woman on the right and probably a man on the left are
seated confronted on difroi38. On the left there is a figure almost completely faded and in the
middle another seated figure facing to the pair on the right.
Another lekythos by the Haimon Group accompanied the deceased in a cist grave, who
was probably a woman, since parts of a bronze mirror were found in the grave. On the leky-
thos are depicted two female figures dancing in a vineyard39.

33  For the mirror, see Davidson 1952, 182 no. 1306 49,  7; for the local stemmed dish, see Sparkes – Talcott
pl. 181; for the lydia, see Sparkes – Talcott 1970, 317 no. 1970, 304 no. 969 pl. 35; Knigge 1976, 102 no. 53, 2 pl.
1162 pl. 39; Knigge 1976, 99 pl. 21, 5 no. 42, 8; Koenigs et 25, 4; for the skyphos, see Sparkes – Talcott 1970, 260 no.
al. 1980, 79 pl. 19, 3; CVA Mainz, Römisch – Germani- 361 pl. 17; Knigge 1976, 153 no. 295, 7 pl. 41, 3; Vokoto­
sches Zentralmuseum 1, no. 1 pl. 26. poulou 1986, 18 no. 210 pl. 14b.
34  For the skyphos, see Sparkes – Talcott 1970, 257 37  For the stemmed dishes, see Sparkes – Talcott 1970,
pl. 14 no. 310; for the kylikes, see Sparkes – Talcott 1970, 303 no. 960 pl. 35; 303 no. 958 pl. 35; Knigge 1976, 104
263 pl. 19 no. 403. For locally made kylikes of type C from no. 63, 2 pl. 49, 7; for the lekythos, cf. the figures in Has-
workshops in Northern Aegean, see Skarlatidou et al. pels 1936, pl. 41, 5.
2012, 464. 38  For the interpretation of similar scenes with male
35  For the stemmed dishes, see Sparkes – Talcott 1970, and female figures as scenes of the everyday life, see Voko-
303 no. 958 pl. 35; 304 no. 969 pl. 35; 305 no. 991 pl. 35; topoulou et. al 1985, 182 (M. Tiverios).
for the small bowl, see Knigge 1976, 182 no. E62, 1 39  For the identity of females dancing in a vineyard
pl. 92, 1; for the one-handler, see Sparkes – Talcott 1970, (nymphs or mere women dancing in a Dionysiac festival
288 no. 734 pl. 30; Knigge 1976, 111 no. 94, 2 pl. 52, 3. surrounded by the god's typical plant) see CVA Thebes
36  For the Attic stemmed dish, see Sparkes – Talcott (1), text to pl. 64 (V. Sabetai).
1970, 303 no. 906 pl. 35; Knigge 1976, 104 no. 63, 2 pl.
134 aggeli

A poros sarcophagus with a poros cover was put in a cist grave with sides built of small
stones and a second cover of limestone slabs. The burial was furnished with a Corinthian
skyphos (pl. 39, 1) and an Attic lekythos of the Cock Group40 (pl. 39, 2). On the shoulder of
the lekythos there is the typical for the Group cock framed by single ivy-leaves. On the body
there is a Dionysiac scene: seated Dionysos at the center is holding a horn and is framed by
two dancing Satyrs.
A cist grave carefully made of limestone slabs contained a poorly preserved inhumation
furnished with a black-glazed one-handler (pl. 39, 4) and an Attic black-figured lekythos of
the Class of Athens 58141 (pl. 39, 3). The lekythos bears a Dionysiac scene: at the center Dio-
nysos is lying on a couch, turns his head backwards to a dancing Satyr, while another Satyr is
dancing on the left.
To the late Archaic period is also dated a burial of a child, probably a girl judging from the
finds, in a cist grave at the west cemetery. The burial was furnished with three clay dolls with
movable limbs (pl. 40, 1), two bronze mirrors and a head oinochoe (pl. 40, 2). The latter has
the wheel-made mouth, neck and handle of an oinochoe attached to a moulded lower portion
in the form of a female head, which rests on a flat base42. She has her hair covered in a sakkos
and the protruding forehead hair is rendered with moulded curls in three rows. Her arched
eyebrows, contour of eyes and eye pupils are black and the lips are red. The grave also con­
tained silver jewelry: a bracelet ending to snake heads (pl. 40, 3) and two pins43.

Conclusions

Although the foundation of Ambracia is placed in the second half of the 7th century B. C., the
earliest burials so far excavated are dated only in the second quarter of the 6th century B. C.
Interestingly, it looks like both cemeteries, the east and the west one, are in use in this early
period. The differentiation seems to be that the early burials at the east cemetery belong to
adults, while those at the west cemetery are infant burials, if the small number of the graves
so far excavated is not misleading. From the middle of the 6th century B. C. and on adults
were buried at the west cemetery too. The commonest burial practice in the period under
consideration is the inhumation. The only case of cremation recorded was the burial in the

40  For the skyphos, see Blegen et al. 1964, 217 no. 264-2 Μουσείο Μαραθώνος, text to pl. 13, 1–3 (P. Valavanis)
pl. 37; for the shape of the lekythos, see CVA Thebes (1) with bibliography.
59, 4–6; 60, 1–3. On the Cock Group, see CVA Thebes (1), 42  CVA Thebes (1), pl. 71, 72; CVA Thessaloniki,
text to pl. 58, 4. 5 (V. Sabetai); CVA Μουσείο Μαραθώνος, Archaeological Museum, text to pl. 53 (K. Sismanidis)
text to pl. 10, 1. 2 (P. Valavanis) with bibliography. with bibliography.
41  For the one-handler, see Sparkes – Talcott 1970, 289 43  For the bracelet, see Vokotopoulou et. al 1985, 188 f.
no. 745 pl. 31; for the shape of the lekythos, see Knigge no. 310; 294 f. no. 487 (A. Despoini); for the pins, see
1976, 34 f. type III/1; on the Class of Athens 581, see CVA Vokotopoulou et. al 1985, 308 no. 515 (A. Despoini).
Thebes (1), text to pl. 64, 1–3 (V. Sabetai) and CVA
Funerary Contexts from the Cemeteries of Ambracia of the Archaic and Early Classical periods135

bronze hydria, maybe the burial of a prominent person, since he was the only one cremated
in this early period and buried in an expensive bronze container.
The types of graves vary. Infants, even the neonates, receive special care and are constantly
buried in a recipient, usually pointed pithoi. The choice of a closed vase as a funerary vessel
for neonates has been associated with the conception of the uterus as a protecting recipient44.
Therefore, as Jutta Stroszeck has pointed out, the choice of a container for the burial was con-
nected to a meaning, even if it was a commonly available shape, which in secondary use fi-
nally ended up as a child coffin45. In order to receive the burial, part of the belly of the pithos
was cut to create an opening, which was then closed with the fragments of the vase, or with
stones. The mouth of the pithos was blocked with a slab or a heavier stone. Inside the pithos
the head of the infant, at least in the cases where the skeleton is well preserved, is positioned
at the mouth of the vase and to the east, looking west. The grave gifts, one or two vases, were
put inside the pithos, next to the skeleton.
In one case, as we have seen, a newborn infant was buried in a more elaborate vase, a
Corinthian crater with painted decoration, and received special grave goods put around the
crater, including ritual vases. The crater was not just deposited in a pit dug in the ground, as
the pithoi in the other cases; the burial was carefully bordered with three limestone slabs. One
of them might have marked the grave and served as a sema, since it was significantly taller
than the others.
The earliest burials of adults were deposited in cist graves with sides built up with small
stones, while limestone slabs were used as a cover and other slabs were laid flat at the bottom
of the grave. From the middle of the 6th century B. C. and on more types of cist graves make
their appearance. The commonest type at the cemeteries of Ambracia in the centuries to fol-
low is a grave carefully made of four limestone slabs which formed its walls, mortised at the
corners by fitting the ends of the long slabs into groves in the faces of the end slabs. The grave
was covered by two or three thicker slabs, while in some cases another one was laid flat in the
bottom. In one of the cases under consideration the grave was roughly bordered by irregular
lime stones, while in another case the grave was a simple pit dug in the ground. Poros-stone
sarcophagi also occur and in one case the sarcophagus was put in a cist with stone-built sides.
The deceased person was buried in an extended position with the upper limbs parallel to the
body and the head at the east or south.
The custom of supplying the dead with suitable grave furniture was practiced in Ambracia
during the period under consideration as extensively as in other Greek cities. Clay vases far
outnumber other kinds of offerings. The number of the vases offered to each burial varies.
The earliest burials of the second quarter of the 6th century B. C., both the neonate in the
Corinthian crater at the west cemetery and the adults' burials in the two cist graves at the east
cemetery, were offered a considerable number of varied vases. At the second half of the 6th

44  Michalaki-Kollia 2010, 164. 45  Stroszeck 2012, 57.


136 aggeli

century B. C. the number was limited to one or two vases for the infants and to two up to five
vases for the adults.
The type of vase offered to almost all infants is the pyxis. An older child buried in a cist
grave of the late Archaic period received her toys (clay dolls), her silver jewelry and mirrors
and an oinochoe in the shape of a woman's head. The offerings to adults include feasting ac-
cessories, such as drinking cups and stemmed dishes, and unguent pots, aryballoi and lydia
for the earliest burials, lekythoi for the burials in the first decades of the 5th century B. C.,
which were probably used during the funeral ceremony and were then put into the grave.
The pottery offered to the earliest graves was imported from Corinth, but from the last
quarter of the 6th century B. C. the vases were imported from Attica or were locally made
imitating the Attic. During the second and third quarter of the 6th century B. C. exotic goods
from East Greece, like alabastra ending at women's heads, fayence aryballoi and lydia, pro-
bably imported for their content, found their way to Ambracia. Other kinds of offerings in-
clude bronze mirrors, an iron strigil and a glass amphoriskos.
The Ambracians erected grave stelai to mark the graves and preserve the memory of their
deceased in perpetuity46. The construction of the tombstones started around 500 B. C. and
continued until the 2nd century B. C. They were made from local limestone and were the
work of local artisans who, on many occasions, were exceptionally talented. The few grave
stelai dated to the late Archaic period, which were found in second use at the sides of later cist
graves, bear the incised name of the deceased in a vertical position.
Since the burial customs reflect the beliefs of a society, a comparison between the burial
customs in Ambracia and its metropolis Corinth would be interesting47. As it concerns the
organisation of the cemeteries, the graves at the east cemetery of Ambracia were organised in
groups, as at the north cemetery in Corinth. The organisation in Π-shaped or rectangular
enclosures, which was the norm at the west cemetery at least during the Classical and Helle-
nistic period, was not the custom in Corinth. Likewise, such a monument as the 6th century
B. C. Polyandrion was never found in Corinth. It is, however, a type of monument found in
other places in northwestern Greece from the 4th century B. C. and on48.
As it regards the treatment of the body, the only method of burial in Corinth during the
Archaic and Classical period, with exceedingly few exceptions, was the inhumation. Crema-
tion also appeared only once in Ambracia during the Archaic period, though it became quite
common from the middle of the 5th century B. C. and on. In Corinth the vast majority of the
graves were monolithic poros sarcophagi. Sarcophagi also appeared in Ambracia, but the
most common grave type was the cist grave with walls of limestone slabs or small stones.
How­ever, one should keep in mind that it was actually the same idea, to bury the body in a
box-like structure. Besides, the variation of the material is rather due to the availability of the

46  Katsadima 2003 with bibliography. 48  Andreou 1994, 77–98.


47  Blegen et al. 1964, 65–87.
Funerary Contexts from the Cemeteries of Ambracia of the Archaic and Early Classical periods137

soft, easily-cut local poros in Corinth, while in Ambracia the local rock is the hard white
limestone.
The children in Corinth were usually buried together in groups and this seems to be the
case with the four enchytrismoi in pithoi buried at a short distance from each other at the
west cemetery. The type of vase occurring regularly in child burials in both cities is the pyxis.
On the contrary, the globular trefoil oinochoe, which appears in just about half of that sixth
century adult's graves which contain ceramic offerings in Corinth, appears only in the two
earliest adult's graves at the east cemetery in Ambracia. The habit to mark the grave with a
stone stele bearing the name of the deceased begun in Ambracia in the late Archaic period
and became the norm in the Hellenistic period, but was never common in Corinth.
In conclusion, it seems that in the early years after the colony's foundation the inhabitants
of Ambracia continued the burial customs of the metropolis. Only a century and a half after
the city's foundation, in the first decades of the 5th century B. C., new customs, like the mar-
king of the grave, made their appearance. The Ambracians treated their dead, even the neo-
nates, with respect and offered them the appropriate grave goods. The items furnishing the
burials, such as pottery locally made or imported firstly from Corinth and later from Attica,
exotic goods from East Greece or the bronze hydria that was used as a funerary urn, testify to
the wealth of the city and correspond with the written sources, according to which Ambracia
was the most important economic, commercial and political center in the wider region.

Anthi Aggeli

Photo Credits

Pl. 32–40: Ephorate of Antiquities of Arta Archives.


138 bibliography

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tafel 32

1  Plan of Ambracia over the plan of modern Arta


tafel 33

1a 1b

2 3 4

5 6 7
1–7  Corinthian crater with infant enchytrismos and grave offerings
tafel 34

5 6

1–6  Cist grave and grave offerings from the east cemetery
tafel 35

1–5  Grave offerings from a sarcophagus


tafel 36

1 2

3 4
1–4  Infant enchytrismoi in pithoi
tafel 37

1  Bronze hydria used as a funerary urn

5 6
2–6  Grave offerings from a cist grave
tafel 38

1–5  Grave offerings from a sarcophagus 5


tafel 39

1. 2  Grave offerings from a sarcophagus

3 4
3. 4  Grave offerings from a cist grave
tafel 40

1 2

1–3  Grave offerings from a girl's burial

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