History of the Byzantine empire, £8.99
Length: 4.200 ft
Excavated by Sir Charles Fellows
GR 1848.10-20.51 (Sculpture 872)
Room 17: Nereid Monument
Marble frieze slab from the Nereid Monument
Lykian, about 390-380 BC
From Xanthos, (modern Günük, south-western Turkey)
Relief showing warriors storming a city
The podium of the Nereid Monument enclosed the burial chamber. It was crowned with two carved friezes, one above the other. These show scenes of battle between warriors in Greek costume. The scenes perhaps represent exploits from the life of the ruler who was interred in the tomb, or mythical battle; it is possible that this confusion was intended.
This slab shows a scene from the siege of a city. Warriors scale a ladder set up against defensive walls. Beneath two squatting figures strain on ropes to prevent it from being hurled backwards by defenders, while their comrades, carrying large round shields, begin to ascend.
L. Burn, The British Museum book of G-1, revised edition (London, The British Museum Press, 1999)