Listed 5 sub titles with search on: Archaeological sites
for destination: "ALIKARNASSOS
Archaeological sites (5)
Perseus Site Catalog
Periods: Archaic, Classical, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine
Type: Fortified city and port
Summary: Capital of the Carian king and satrap Mausolus.
In the 4th century B.C. Halikarnassos was a well fortified
large city arranged in ampitheater form around its natural harbor. The city was
laid out on a grid with major streets leading N from the harbor to the heights
of the acropolis. The harbor was enclosed by moles and a canal led to a second,
secret harbor which is believed to have been to the E of the main harbor. The
palace of Mausolus was located on the peninsula to the E of the harbor and the
Mausoleum was at the center of the city, N of the agora and the harbor. Additional
graves of the Hellenistic and Roman period are located within the city walls on
the S slope of the acropolis, beyond the theater.
According to tradition, Dorian colonists from Troezen settled
at Halikarnassos early in the Iron Age. They apparently occupied the territory
peacefully and intermarried with the local Carian population. Halikarnassos was
one of the three mainland cities of the Dorian Hexapolis. By the 5th century B.C.,
however, it had come under the cultural influence of Ionia to the N and no longer
belonged to the Dorian Hexapolis. The city was a composit of Carian and Ionian
elements and the earliest inscriptions from the city show no remaining traces
of a Dorian dialect. After the Persian conquest in the 6th century B.C., Halikarnassos
was ruled by a Carian dynasty centered at Mylasa. In 480 B.C. queen Artemisia
I, of Carian and Greek descent, personally led her forces on the side of the Persians
at the battle of Salamis and was one of Xerxes' most trusted advisors. Halikarnassos
became a member of the Delian League as a result of the Persian defeat. It again
came under Persian control after the King's Peace of 386 B.C. Mausolus became
satrap and king of Caria in 377 B.C. and was one of the most notable of the Carian
rulers. He moved the capital of Caria from Mylasa to Halikarnassos on the N shore
of the gulf of Kos, extended and strengthened the borders of Carian territory
and began a program to Hellenize his subjects. Halikarnassos itself was enclosed
by over 5 km of fortification walls and the population greatly enlarged by the
forced depopulation of other towns on the Myndos peninsula. The monumental building
program of Mausolus included a marble palace on the east side of the harbor and
the erection of his tomb in the center of the city. After the death of Mausolus
in 353 B.C., his wife-sister, Artemisia II, completed the tomb and defeated the
city of Rhodes. Halikarnassos was one of the few Anatolian cities to resist the
advance of Alexander the Great. In 334 B.C. Alexander sacked the city and appointed
Ada, an exiled member of the ruling Carian dynasty as the new queen. During the
Hellenistic period Caria was ruled in turn by the Ptolemies, the Seleucids, the
Macedonians, and the Rhodians. Under Roman rule the city was independent, but
not exceptionally prosperous. The city suffered under Verres in 80 B.C. and again
under Brutus and Cassius ca. 40 B.C. During the peace of the Roman Empire Halikarnassos
again prospered and it remained an important port into the medieval period. Halikarnassos
is most noted for the tomb of Mausolus The Mausoleum was enhanced by the leading
Greek sculptors of the century and was considered one of the seven wonders of
the ancient world. Halikarnassos was also the birthplace of Herodotus, the "father
of history" and the historian Dionysius.
The Mausoluem remained intact until the medieval period
when, perhaps following an earthquake, the stones of the structure were reused
in the construction of the castle of the Knights of St. John in the 15th century
A.D. The location of the tomb was rediscovered and investigated by Sir Charles
Newton in 1856. Modern excavations at the Mausoleum began in 1966 by a Danish
Donald R. Keller, ed.
This text is cited Oct 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains 26 image(s), bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.
Perseus Building Catalog
Summary: Monumental tomb structure with interior tomb chamber, tall
podium, peristyle, and pyramidal roof.
Date: ca. 355 B.C. - 340 B.C.
Period: Late Classical
The Maussolleion was rectangular in ground plan, and was designed to be situated
in a walled temenos enclosure entered through a propylon in the east wall. Recent
reconstructions of the tomb show a two- or three-stepped podium supporting a pteron
of nine by eleven columns. The roof of the Maussolleion consisted of a pyramid
of twenty-four steps, surmounted by a statue base supporting the crowning element
of quadriga and statuary. The building was decorated with much free-standing and
relief sculpture, carried out by Skopas, Bryaxis, Leochares and Timotheos, and
was known as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
The Maussolleion was the burial location of the Carian dynast Mausolus, who died
in 353/2 B.C. Literary sources attribute the construction of the tomb to Mausolus'
wife and sister Artemisia (Strabo 14.2.16; Pliny, NH 36.30). Since, however, Artemisia
ruled for only two years after Mausolus' death and was dead herself by 351/0 B.C.,
this does not allow enough time for such a monumental undertaking, and suggests
that the Maussolleion was begun during Mausolus' lifetime. The tomb also fits
comfortably into the city plan of Halikarnassos, which may have been reshaped
by Mausolus in the mid-fourth century B.C. The tomb was still incomplete when
Artemisia died, and it is unclear who was responsible for completing it, although
it is generally accepted that Mausolus' brother Idreus and Idreus' sister/wife
Ada may have continued work on the Maussolleion after Artemisia's death. Some
scholars believe that the Maussolleion, like the surrounding temenos wall and
its propylon, was never finished; others have suggested that Alexander the Great
contributed to the construction of the monument, although this seems unlikely
given the nature of the structure and Alexander's animosity towards the citizens
of Halikarnassos for their failure to support him. It is generally considered
that construction of the tomb came to a standstill in ca. 340 B.C. The Maussolleion
remained undamaged at least until the 12th c. A.D. By the early 15th c., however,
it had been substantially destroyed, perhaps by an earthquake, and the Knights
of St. John removed much of the building stones to construct the Castle of St.
Peter nearby. In the sixteenth century, a burial chamber was discovered by the
Knights as they sought additional building material. The site was excavated in
1857 by Charles Newton, who removed much of the sculpture to the British Museum.
Excavation resumed under Danish direction in 1966.
The sculptural display of the Maussolleion is restored as follows (in broad outline):
on the lower parapet or step of the podium stood life-size groups and single figures
representing fighting warriors on horseback and on foot; on the upper parapet
of the podium were represented hunting scenes and a sacrificial procession. Crowning
the podium was a marble relief frieze representing an Amazonomachy. In the intercolumniations
of the cella were free-standing sculptures; a relief depicting a Centauromachy
may have been placed at the top of the cella wall. Above the sima of the cella,
on the lowest step of the pyramidal roof, were lions in confronting rows. The
crowning element of the structure was a statue group consisting of a quadriga
containing colossal figures of either Mausolus (in the guise of Helios?) and Artemisia,
or representing ancestors of the dynast (for the interpretation, see Waywell 1978,
40-43). Architecturally, the Maussolleion displays affinities to Egyptian pyramids,
not only in the form of its roof with definite apex, but also in its monumental
scale; Egypt and Caria had long-standing connections. The tomb of the Persian
ruler Cyrus the Great, at Pasargadae, a rectangular gabled tomb on a tall stepped
substructure, is also cited as a possible influence on the Maussolleion. Close
to home, the Nereid Monument at Xanthos (Lycia) and the Heroon of Perikles at
Limyra (Lycia) may also have provided inspiration. The incorporation, however,
of elements commonly found in Greek temple architecture, for example the Ionic
pillars and relief friezes, suggests that the Greek sculptors and craftsmen who
worked on the Maussolleion were trained in the area of religious architecture,
and that precedents for such a monumental tomb structure were few.
Sarah Cormack, ed.
This text is cited Nov 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains 1 image(s), bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.
A splendid sepulchre at Halicarnassus, built in honour of King
Mausolus of Caria, who died B.C. 353, by his wife Artemisia, and reckoned by the
ancients one of the seven wonders of the world. It consisted of an oblong substructure
surrounded by thirty-six columns, with a circuit of 440 feet, crowned by a pyramid
diminishing by twenty-four steps to its summit, on which stood a marble quadriga,
the work of Pythis. The height of the whole building, gorgeous with the most varied
colours, was 140 feet. Satyrus and Pythius were the architects, and the sculptures
on the four sides were executed by Scopas, Bryaxis, Timotheus, and Leochares.
In the twelfth century after Christ the work was still in a good state of preservation;
in succeeding centuries it fell to pieces more and more, until the Knights of
St. John used it as a quarry from the time when they built their castle on the
site of the old Greek acropolis in 1402, down to the repair of their fortifications
in 1522, when they made lime of its marble sculptures. In 1845, a number of reliefs
were extracted from the walls of the castle and placed in the British Museum.
In 1857 the site was discovered by Newton, acting under a commission from the
English government, and the sculptures thus unearthed, including the statue of
Mausolus and important fragments of the marble quadriga, were removed to the British
The Romans gave the name of Mausoleum to all sepulchres which
approached that of Mausolus in size and grandeur of execution, as, for instance,
(1) that erected by Augustus for himself and his family, the magnificence of which
is attested by the still extant walls inclosing it, on the Via de' Pontefici in
Rome; and (2) the sepulchre of Hadrian, which is in part preserved in the Castle
of S. Angelo, a circular building of 220 feet in diameter and 72 feet high, resting
on a square base, the sides of which are almost 100 yards long. It was originally
covered with Parian marble, and profusely ornamented with colonnades and statues,
and probably had a pyramid on the top.
This text is from: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. Cited Oct 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks
- Perseus: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities (1898)