Outside the boundary of the ancient city, on the southeast side
of the town of Rhodes, stretch the ancient
cemeteries. One of the most important is the group of burial complexes at
Korakonero, dating to the late Hellenistic and Roman times. Over this period a great
variety can be seen in the funerary architecture. The tombs, which as a rule
are cut into the soft poros rock, are either cist graves or, in the case of
the more luxurious ones, consist of subterranean chambers with architectural
fronts (arched colonnades or columns supporting architraves with metopes and
triglyphs mimicking the temple facades). Within them the dead were placed in
cists cut into the walls of the chambers. It is not known whether these complexes
belonged to wealthy families or to religious groups. The area was originally
used for a quarry.
The grave complexes were discovered and restored by the Italian Archaeological
School before the end of the 2nd World War. The altars and stelai were found in
situ and erected by the Italians, probably correctly, on the bases on top of the
subterranean burial chambers.
The most important monuments on the site are:
- Tomb complex laid out around a peristyle court with colonnades.
- Relief depicting figures carved on the three sides of the vertically hewn rock, thought to be a funerary sanctuary.
- Burial complexes hewn into the vertical faces of the rocks along the ancient road connecting the city with countryside. On the vertical east side of the rock
rectangular tombs for interments alternate with small cists for cinerary vases and ossuaries, rectangular recesses for grave stelai and complete chambers containing
- Burial complexes laid out above-ground with bases and foundations for cylindrical funerary altars.
- Complexes of subterranean chambers
- Built tholos tombs