Keynote lecture – Alessandro Naso (Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche), “From East to West and Beyond”


Bilge Hürmüzlü and Mehmet Özhanlı (Süleyman Demirel University), “Guardian of tombs from Anatolia to Etruria, and a Pisidian sphinx”



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Bilge Hürmüzlü and Mehmet Özhanlı (Süleyman Demirel University), “Guardian of tombs from Anatolia to Etruria, and a Pisidian sphinx”

Abstract: The idea of the sphinx as a guardian of tombs was introduced to the Greek and western Mediterranean world as a result of the relationships established with the East in antiquity. Various examples of sphinxes as guardians of tombs, seen frequently in Ionian and Etruscan art, related with grave and burial culture, are also encountered in Anatolia during the long Persian control of the area and indicate they were influenced by the Lydian, Phrygian and Greek burial traditions. It is also generally accepted that Ionian artists started to become influential in Lydian art from the mid-sixth century BC, and some elements were transferred to funeral depictions. A sphinx figure on the grave stele of a tumulus in Pisidia around ancient Tymandos embodies these different stylistic and artistic components. The tumulus itself dates back to the reign of Persians and is of Lydian type. The sphinx on the door stele shows strong Ionian influence in style and iconography. In this paper, the figure of the sphinx as a tomb guardian ranging from Anatolia to Etruria will be investigated from intellectual and artistic perspectives.

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