University. It is the first academic research institution exclusively dedicated to the Hellenistic period, offering MA and PhD degrees in various fields of Hellenistic Studies, such as Archaeology, History, Literature and Philosophy. It further organises scientific conferences and workshops on an annual basis, publishes scientific studies concerning the Hellenistic world and holds projects for digitisation of sites, archives and rare publications.
Fig. 70. Logo. ACHS
PORTRAYING THE DEAD IN GRECO-ROMAN ALEXANDRIA: FUNERARY PRACTICES, ACCULTURATION AND IDENTITY
There is no doubt that Alexandria is a cosmopolitan city of antiquity par-excellence. Since its foundation by Alexander the Great in 331 BC, Alexandria must have anticipated an influx of Greeks. However, it was only around 305/304 BC, when Alexandria became the capital of Ptolemaic Egypt, that many immigrants such as Greeks, Egyptians, Jews, and other Semitic people arrived in the city, due to the policies of Ptolemy I.
This different cultural traditions and people coexisted and
interacted with each other resulting in a unique multicultural assemblage. Several types of material evidence reflect this phenomenon, both in public and private spheres of life, including the arts, literary evidence and everyday life material. However, regarding issues of identity in Alexandrian society, funerary structures and related evidence seem to represent the most comprehensive case study. Alexandria is the first city where a ‘necropolis’ – a city of the dead- is mentioned. By this term Diodorus attempted to describe the unusual nature of Alexandrian cemeteries - which had no parallel in the world, for either size, monumentality or function – as a meeting point between the worlds of the living and the dead. Alexandrian tombs, known also as