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The article deals with a prestigious Hellenistic stone tomb discovered during 2015 excavations in Phanagoria. The structure belongs to a rare architectural type shaped as a stone box. Burial 240/2015 is quite monumental, but was made with the use of a construction concept typical for Phanagoria. Sparse fi nds and structural features allow us to date the tomb to the second half of the 2nd century BC. Perhaps, it was built of stone taken from earlier structures. The outstanding size of a burial chamber allowed placing two bodies at once. The tomb was robbed in ancient times, probably not long after it had been built. A decorative element made of carved bone and the large size suggest extraordinary splendor of the funeral ceremony and a very high social status of capital dwellers buried there. The height of inner space did not allow placing a high sarcophagus. The bone plate could be a part of funeral bed decorations. Demolished tomb ceiling suggests that robbers had to remove slabs, while taking the coffi n to the surface. Absence of human bones and grave goods shows that the robbers took the tomb contents even before complete decomposition of the body, probably together with the funeral bed and funerary equipment.


Northern Black Sea region, Asian Bosporus, Phanagoria, Hellenism, necropolis, stone tombs, funeral rite.

Alexey N. Voroshilov, Olga M. Voroshilova

Institute of Archaeology Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia

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