Colossal seated statue of a man from the Mausoleum at Halikarnassos

Greek, around 350 BC
Found in Bodrum, modern Turkey

Probably King Maussollos of Karia

This impressive statue was carved from one block of Pentelic marble. The remains of the original block is preserved from the left shoulder to the right shin of the statue. When found, the drapery was covered with a purple patina, which may have been the remnants of the original colour. Purple has long been associated with royalty, and this figure, the largest of the surviving human sculptures from the Mausoleum, may be Maussollos himself, enthroned and aristocratic.

The bones of animals were found buried in the substructure of the tomb chamber. These may be the remains of a ritual meal or of sacrificial offerings. It has been suggested that this statue was the focal point of a procession of worshippers bringing sacrificial offerings to the king. Fragments of colossal figures of rams and a bull survive, perhaps some of the victims offered in Maussollos' memory as part of his funerary rites or hero-cult. A ritual such as this would raise the king to the ranks of a semi-divine being. The representation of sacrifice would have been be one of the many features of the monument emphasising the non-Greek origin of the dynast.

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More information


G.B. Waywell, The free-standing sculptures o (London, 1978)


Height: 1.950 m

Museum number

GR 1857.12-20.235 (Sculpture 1047)


Excavated by Sir Charles Thomas Newton


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