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Tomb I Cerberus

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Tomb I Cerberus
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Photo Comments

A picture of the three-headed dog that is on the right pillar as you enter the Sidonian Tomb.  Cerberus was the guardian of the entrance to the underworld.  Above it is a Greek inscription describing two lovers who are separated—probably one of them had died and was buried in the tomb.

This is a modern reconstruction of the original inscription and painting on fiberglass.  It was installed in the tomb around 1993 (see below for additional details).

In this tomb there are 41 burial chambers (loculi), many of which are visible on the right and left sides of the image.  Three steps lead up to the central burial chamber that is in the form of a Greek Temple and is flanked by two large amphorae.  On the sidewalls, note the painted band above the loculi on both walls.

Look carefully on the left and right walls and note the thick, painted, modern fiberglass panels that have been attached to the original 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.