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Tomb I Major Burial Chamber

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Tomb I Major Burial Chamber
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Photo Comments

 View looking east at the major burial chamber of the Tomb of Apollophanes at Marisa.  The lower part of the outer entrance is carved like a burial couch with two legs.  On the left wall, an incense burner rests on a three-legged table and above it is an eagle with its wings spread.  On the right another incense burner and eagle are visible.

Beyond that is the entrance to the burial chamber.  It is in the form of a Greek temple with doorposts, a lintel with triglyphs and metopes, an acanthus leaf in the gable, and acroteria.  On both sides, large amphoras with ribbons streaming out of them are painted.  Possibly Dionysus, the god of wine, is being honored.

Look carefully on the left — note the thick, painted, modern fiberglass panels that have been attached to the walls.  These were installed in 1993 and are clearly visible here.

This was the Tomb of Apollophanes who was the head of the Sidonian colony at Marisa for 33 years.  It was constructed in the late third century BC and was used by subsequent generations.  The name is known from one of the inscriptions found inside the tomb.  See below for the discovery of the tomb and its reconstruction in 1993.

Tombs I and II were discovered in 1902.  Local Muslims had looted the tombs defacing the human images that were painted on the walls of the tombs.   At that time hasty drawings of the tombs I and II were made and, under difficult conditions, black and white photographs were taken.  Scholars from the École Biblique in Jerusalem visited the caves and also made sketches along with watercolor paintings and they recorded the inscriptions.  These were published by the PEF in 1905.

New paintings, based upon the above materials, were made on fiberglass and installed in the tombs in 1993.