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The Payava Tomb

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Title (object)

    • The Payava Tomb
  • Description

    The Payava Tomb - limestone tomb with relief sculptures, Lycian inscriptions and a gabled roof. North side: a man placing a wreath on the head of a young athlete. West side: a seated Persian, apparently a satrap or governor, with attendant figures and an inscription which probably mentions the name of the satrap Autophradates. South side: two armed figures and an inscription which begins "Payava son of Ad..., secretary of A...rah, by race a Lycian..". East side: battle of cavalry and foot soldiers, and an inscription recording that the tomb was built by Payava.

    The heads and foreparts of lions project from the curved roof. The roof is decorated with a chariot. The gable ends are decorated with a seated Persian couple. In the pediments above these seated figures are pairs of sphinxes. On the uppermost level are two friezes showing on one side a wild animal hunt, including a bear raised up on its hind legs, and on the other a battle between cavalry and foot-soldiers.


  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • 375BC-362BC
  • Production place

  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 1.21 metres
    • Length: 3.04 metres
    • Width: 1.83 metres
  • Inscriptions

      • Inscription Type

  • Curator's comments

    A new fragment of the tomb has recently been identified at Xanthos, and has been published as:
    Francis Prost, Un Nouveau Fragment du Sarcophage de Payava, in: K. Konuk (ed.) Stephanèphoros. De l’économie antique à l’Asie Mineure. Homages a Raymond Descat (Bordeaux, 2012), 369-376.


  • Bibliography

    • Sculpture 950 bibliographic details
    • Allen 2005a p.96 (illustration detail, object wrongly cited as ANE) bibliographic details
  • Location

    On display: G20

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department

    Greek & Roman Antiquities

  • Registration number


  • Joined objects

COMPASS Title: The tomb of Payava, a Lykian aristocrat


COMPASS Title: The tomb of Payava, a Lykian aristocrat

Image description



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Object reference number: GAA6980

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