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Relief panel from the Harpy Tomb
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This panel is from a monument known as the Harpy Tomb after the female-headed birds carved at its corners. They are perhaps better identified as sirens, escorts to the dead. The small figures they carry may represent the souls of the dead.

The monument was found at Xanthos in modern Turkey, the principal city of ancient Lykia. It is a fine example of a common type of Lykian tomb: a square limestone box perched on a tall pillar, decorated with sculpted marble panels. The sides all have similar scenes of seated figures, perhaps either deities or deified ancestors, receiving gifts from standing figures.

Although the style of carving is undeniably Greek in inspiration, some peculiar characteristics suggest that the sculptor was not Greek. The proposed date of the monument shows that the Archaic style (c. 600-480 BC) lasted longer in Lykia than on the Greek mainland or east Greek sites.

Relief panel from the Harpy Tomb

From Xanthos, modern Günük, Turkey, c. 470-460 BC.
Ht (complete) 884 cm.

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