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.

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More information


L. Burn, The British Museum book of G-1, revised edition (London, The British Museum Press, 1999)


Length: 4.200 ft

Museum number

GR 1848.10-20.51 (Sculpture 872)


Excavated by Sir Charles Fellows


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