Classical Greek Grave Reliefs

The best known and thoroughly studied Greek grave monuments are the funerary reliefs of classical Attica. Roughly 2700 examples are known; the figured representations they carry are rather formulaic and aim to represent the role of the deceased as normative members of Athenian society rather than to portray specific traits of any individuals. A large—yet unpublished—study of non-Attic grave reliefs of the period from 500 to 300 BC has shown that such reliefs were not as common elsewhere in the Greek world as they were in Attica. This lecture will present examples from various regions in Greece, and will highlight the varying spatial arrangement of cemeteries and the different approaches to the display of graves. It will conclude that the various types of funerary reliefs and manner of burial mirror different societal forms in the various regions of Ancient Greece.