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Dick Osseman | all galleries >> Aizanoi > Aizanoi june 2008 2165.jpg
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Aizanoi june 2008 2165.jpg

Aizanoi june 2008 2165.jpg

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Typical for this area are gravestones in the form of door, symbolizing the entrance to the underworld. A lot of these are on display near the temple. Most of them are from the second century AD and on inscription mainly mention the deceased and the founders of the stone. Symbols indicate who was remembered: eagles, lions, bulls for men for instance.

On the picture: upper half of a man’s gravestone with a border decoration in Greek/Phrygian style.
Palmettes and geometric motifs (crosses and interlocking rectangular lines) appear on Phrygian rock monuments (6th century BC) too.

Wikipedia states about Aizanoi: “The city's large necropolis includes examples of door-shaped Phrygian tombstones”, although the expression ‘tombstones in late-Phrygian style’ would be more adequate since the inscriptions are not written in Phrygian script, but in Greek. Which places them in the Hellenistic period at the earliest, or (even more likely) in the Roman period.

Regarding Greek inscriptions during the Roman period in Anatolia:
When Rome conquered Asia Minor, the subcontinent was largely hellenised and Greek was the predominant language. Roman rule did not change this, and the numerous inscriptions in Greek, dating from the Roman period, confirm it. Some official inscriptions were written in Latin; private inscriptions in Latin are in minority.

Correspondent: J.M.Criel, Antwerpen.
Source: (amongst others) Wikipedia.

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