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SARCOPHAGI PECULIAR TO TELMESSUS.
to have been built two thousand two hundred years ago, belongs to the class I have now described.
The second variety of soros is a tomb of great elegance and beauty of form, and seems to be peculiar to Asia Minor ; none of this kind having been as yet found in any other part of the world, except two or three in the valley of Waddy Mousa, in Arabia. It consists of a sarcophagus of one solid stone, raised upon a pedestal, and having a roof like that of a trunk-lid, ornamented with a ridge at top, and knobs jutting out on either side. The knobs, independent of their ornamental character, may have been used in raising these massive stones into their present position. There is also in these an upper chamber, serving the purpose of a cenotaph. Some of these monuments are entirely formed out of single blocks of stone, limestone bolders, which for ages occupied their present position, and which the Grecian artist took advantage of for hewing into tombs. These had their entrances at the end, the stone doors of which moved up and down in a groove carved within. When either the repository or the top was a separate piece, no such opening was required, as it was raised on the pedestals after the body was placed within. Some of these monolithic monuments are perched upon the rugged, unhewn rocks; others have their situation in corn-fields and enclosures, and form some of the most picturesque objects I have ever seen. There are inscriptions on several, but greatly defaced ; and others have groups of figures embossed upon the sides, representing death-scenes and groups of mourning friends at the last farewell. In several of these entablatures the principal figure is represented sitting, and with an outstretched hand seems to be in the act of admonishing the others, who stand in a row, with the right-hand holding a napkin or part of the drapery applied to the eyes. There is one of these tombs so very extraordinary that I cannot refrain from briefly describing it, as it is by far the most interesting of this kind, both from the beauty of its construction, and the position which it at present occupies.
This, which was, in all likelihood, the mausoleum of a warrior, has several boldly-designed and well-executed bas-reliefs upon its panelled sides, representing battles, horsemen, and chariots. It is not unlike the marble tomb at Xanthus, lately drawn by Mr. Fellowes, but it is in a state of much better preservation. The pedestal of this stood upon a square platform, but it now leans
very much to one side, having been shaken by an earthquake, which has shifted some of its parts out of their places. This monument, which was certainly erected on the shore, is now upwards of thirty yards from it, and the sea covers at least two feet of its base! Beside it, to the west, ran the ancient city-wall, part of which, of a quadrangular form, still exists.
There are two subjects connected with this monument that also claim our attention : the first is, the positive proof that it affords of land and water having changed their relative positions in this part of the Mediterranean ; but whether this change is caused by the rising and encroachment of the one, or the sinking of the other, is a question that will be considered when discussing that interesting topic in connection with the ruins of ancient Tyre. The second subject is, the possibility of having the monument removed to England. From its being composed of many pieces; and being placed within the reach of a boat, it could with great safety be carried out to one of our men-of-war that make a summer-cruise to these parts, and thus conveyed to England. This is well worthy the attention of those who have the power to do so; and so very little labour and expense would attend it, that I feel assured it could be placed within the walls of the British Museum for £20.*
The fourth and most magnificent form of tomb is that hollowed out in the face of the rocks that form the base of the mountain that completes the back-ground of this picture to the south-east. It is these which form such conspicuous objects on entering the harbour, owing to the lime-stone, in which they are hewn,
• Since my visit to Telmessus, the very elegant works of Mr. Fellowes upon Asia Minor have appeared, in which he has established the topography of some of the ancient cities in that country, and drawn with great truth and fidelity several tombs of the kind that I have described as existing in Lucia, at Xanthus, Antiphellus, and other places. It will also give much pleasure to all lovers of antiquities to learn, that, at the suggestion of the trustees of the British Museum, several of the beautiful marble tombs at Xanthus have been removed by the government to this country. It would be well if those employed upon that object, had also possessed themselves of the warrior's tomb at Macri, which is fully as beautiful as any of the Xanthian antiquities, and could have been removed without much trouble or expense.
333 being stained yellow by an ochery fluid which exudes out of the rocks above. Some of these tombs are carved with consummate art into the resemblance of the fronts of houses, having panelled doors, and bearing a striking similarity to those of Petra. They are found in groups or clusters, and were probably appropriated to particular families. Each has before it a square platform, approached by a flight of steps, and at the entrance to which originally stood a small gate. In some of those cut in the detached rocks upon the plain of the necropolis, there was an anteroom for the mourning visitors; and also in the top of the sepulchral chamber was an aperture through which to pour the libation. On the panels were inscriptions; and on one I found a tragic mask, probably indicating the occupation of the owner. Terraces led from one set of tombs to another.
Three of these mausolea so far exceed the rest in splendour, that I am led to believe they must have been thoke of the Telmessian kings; and for elaborate workmanship and beauty of effect, they are acknowledged by all who have seen them to be among the most extraordinary specimens of their kind. These are placed in the most inaccessible places on the face of the mountain, and are now entered with some difficulty. The fronti of each is a portico, consisting of two Ionic pillars and two pilasters twenty feet high, supporting a pediment. Behind this is carved a handsome door of the same height as the pillars, and composed of four panels, the stiles and cross-bars studded with large-headed bolts. The entrance was originally through the lower right-hand panel, which moved in a groove at the top and bottom; but the present entrance to most of these is by one of the other panels, which has been broken through long since. With such accuracy was this door fitted in, that you cannot distinguish in which compartment it was placed. The interior is a square apartment, with a raised bench running round three sides of it, measuring ten feet by eight in length, and six feet six in height, on which the bodies were placed. The fronts of these tombs were evidently made to resemble temples ; many of the simplest of the Grecian temples being fronted by similar porticoes, or what is termed in technical language “in antæ." These temple-faced tombs bear a close analogy to the Indian, the Persepolitan, and the Syrian ; while those without porticoes partake more of the Egyptian and the Edomite character, of which the
type is found in the cave of Machpelah, although some of the mausolea in Idumea are temple-faced, as mentioned by Job, who was probably a contemporary of Abraham. A first view of some of the façades is curious; the lower end of some of the pillars
have been broken off to supply a neighbouring lime-kiln, but the upper part, being an integral portion of the rock, hangs from the architrave like an enormous stalactite, as shown in the woodcut above.
The light gray lime-stone, out of which all these excavations are formed, is similar to that in the bay of Symi ; and some portions of it being hard and others soft, the atmosphere and sea-air have acted on the latter, and given the whole a rough, and, if I may be allowed the expression, a pock-marked appearance. It is this action that has caused the obliteration of many of the carvings, inscriptions, and embellishments, of the many hundred sepulchres in this vast city of the dead, whose streets and squares are only tombs. I could not discover a single sepulchre which had not been broken into and rifled.
Clarke has drawn attention to a singular ruin, presenting externally the form of a solid cube, and standing on a sloping bank near to the shore. This my friends and I examined with great care. In his (Clarke's) time, this quadrangular building, the stones of which are of immense size, was only entered by a narrow chasm produced by an earthquake. It has since, however, undergone considerable dilapidation, evidently from a similar cause, and now affords a better opportunity for examining its structure. From out to out, it is twenty-five feet four inches square ; the walls being four feet five inches in thickness. The stones of which it is composed are of great size, and bound together with cement. I state this, because Clarke supposes no such building material was used in its construction, and his mistake arose from the cement being washed out of the joinings ; but the increased dilapidation it has suffered since his day, has fully disclosed such to have been used. This fact should not, however, detract from the age of the building, as some of the oldest specimens of architecture in the world have mortar in their walls. On entering, we found circular arches occupying one half the thickness of the wall on three of the sides ; in the remaining side, which faces the mountains, the entrance is placed. This doorway extended to the roof, and its enormous lintel is still in situ. The roof of this building demands attention; it was formed of stone, and when standing, must have been a very splendid piece of architecture, being domed with vast stones put together so as to represent a piece of mail-work in the interior. It was thus constructed :-at each corner was placed a large slab that rested on the angle of the side walls, and projected inward, the inner edge being a segment of a circle, with the convexity toward the centre, and this edge was also grooved. Four similar stones placed over