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On the other hand, the Egyptian body, as well as the whole architectural environment, reflects the desire of the dead to follow the Egyptian funerary tradition. Similar portraits have been found in Kom el Shoqafa on top of sarcophagi, showing the adaptation of the Alexandrian elite society to the Roman trends, and more than this reflecting the adjacent of Alexandria and Egypt to the Roman Empire. Nevertheless, as the case of the Main Tomb indicates, Alexandrians did not neglect their own multicultural legacy as inherited from the period, unlike the western Roman provinces, which passed through an intensive process of Romanisation in all aspects of life.

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Figs 88 and 89. Kom el Shoqafa. The Male and female statues in the pronaos of the Main Tomb.

The inner burial chamber of the main tomb consists of three niches in cruciform arrangement, preserving similar decoration of Greek, Roman and Egyptian elements. In each niche, a typical Roman style sarcophagus is combined with Egyptian style reliefs on its back wall. Above the central sarcophagus, the common Egyptian theme of the funeral of Osiris is depicted (Fig. 90), while in each of the lateral niches, there is a scene of veneration for the Egyptian bull-form god Apis (Fig. 91). Finally, the chamber is guarded by two figures of the Egyptian god Anubis dressed as Roman legionaries (Fig. 92). Thus, the ancient Egyptian guard of necropoleis preserved his role and identity in Roman Alexandria, obtaining however the ‘dress code’ of his Roman counterparts, the legionaries.

Final study of CulMe-WeOnCT project  
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