Παρασκευή, 10 Αυγούστου 2012

Tomb of the Diver

















The Tomb of the Diver is an important archaeological monument, found by the Italian archaeologist Mario Napoli on 3 June 1968 during his excavation of a small necropolis about 1.5 km south of the Greek city of Paestum in Magna Graecia, now southern Italy. The tomb is now displayed in the museum at Paestum.
It is a grave made of five local limestone slabs forming the four lateral walls and the roof, the floor being excavated in the natural rock ground. The five slabs, accurately bonded with plaster, formed a chamber sized — roughly – 215 × 100 × 80 cm (7.1 × 3.3 × 2.6 ft). All five slabs forming the monument were painted on the interior sides using a true fresco technique. The paintings on the four walls depict a symposium scene, while the cover slab shows the famous scene that gives the tomb its name: a young man diving into a curling and waving stream of water. Two masters have been distinguished, the south wall being by a less impressive artist than the others.[1]
When the tomb was discovered, these surprising frescos revealed its importance as they appear to be the "only example of Greek painting with figured scenes dating from the Orientalizing, Archaic, or Classical periods to survive in its entirety. Among the thousands of Greek tombs known from this time (roughly 700–400 BC), this is the only one to have been decorated with frescoes of human subjects."[2]
In the interior of the tomb, only a few objects were found: near the corpse (widely supposed to be a young man, despite the heavily deteriorated state of the skeleton) were a turtle shell,[3] two arýballoi and an Attic lekythos. These must have been the deceased youth's oil flasks, the ones he used to oil himself for wrestling practice at the gymnasium, and his favorite drinking cup. This last object, in black-figure technique from about 480 BC, helped the discoverer and other scholars to date the tomb to about 470 BC.