A visitor looking at the Tomb of Payava

Room 20

Greeks and Lycians
400–325 BC

Visiting the gallery

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Daily: 11.00–15.00
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Following the defeat of Athens and the collapse of its empire in 404 BC, a power struggle on both sides of the Aegean Sea followed.

On the Greek mainland the once independent city states fell under the rising power of Macedon. On the other side of the Aegean, Persia reasserted its imperial power over the East Greek cities.

Objects on display in Room 20 illustrate the rise in private luxury that accompanied political and social change in the fourth century BC. This includes gold jewellery, exquisite metalwork showing the influence of Persian art, and a focus on novel representation of the human body.

A tomb from Lycian Xanthos, south-west Turkey, dominates the centre of the gallery. The tomb was built in about 360 BC for Payava, the Persian-appointed governor of the city.


  • Some objects in this collection feature on the British Sign Language multimedia guide. This resource is temporarily unavailable.
  • Some objects in this collection feature on the audio description guide, available on Soundcloud.
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  • View sensory map.

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