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Fig. 156. scientific community Ptolemy Ist

The Greek cemetery of Alexandria: an art gallery dedicated to cosmopolitan Hellenism As in the Graeco-Roman period, the Alexandrian elite tombs of the 19th and 20th centuries represent the best case study for the cultural identity of Alexandrians, who in this case intended to promote their Greek origin and identity, though an extensive use of Greco-Roman elements in modern funerary monuments. Greek Alexandrian elite tombs reflect an intensive Greekness, manifested in revivalist neo-classical forms, sometimes enriched with distinctive Alexandrian elements. The most monumental tomb of the Greek cemetery in Alexandria is in the form of a fragmentary freestanding colonnaded structure in Ionic order, representing the remnants of a ruined ancient monument, a temple or a stoa (Fig. 157). The family tomb of Rally (Fig. 158) has the form of a Roman sarcophagus with a lamp on top. In the four corners of the sarcophagus there are figures of four ladies with hippocampus bodies, referring both to architectural female figures such as Karyatides, and the Egyptian Nephys and Isis, protectors of the dead, who were often decorated the corners of Egyptian sarophagoi. The tombs of Salvagos (Fig. 159) and Sivitanidis Families (Fig. 160) recall the form of an Ionic Naiskos. The former has two ionic columns in antis, and a decorated tympanum with floral acroteria in the 3 corners. In case of the latter, the naiskos is adorned with two Ionic columns in the corners, while a distinctive Alexandrian element was added in the two side walls of the faรงade: the statues of two female figures in Tanagra style. The so-called Tanagra figurines are small colored terracotta statuettes, which are often found in Hellenistic Alexandrian tombs, depicting female aristocrats, a message that is also clearly indicated in Sivitanidis tomb.121


For Tanagra figurines in Hellenistic Alexandria, see Breccia, 1930.


Final study of CulMe-WeOnCT project