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Funerary podia of Hippos of the Decapolis and the phenomenon in the Roman world

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 October 2021

Michael Eisenberg
Affiliation:
Zinman Institute of Archaeology, University of Haifa, Haifa
Arleta Kowalewska
Affiliation:
Zinman Institute of Archaeology, University of Haifa, Haifa

Abstract

In the Roman world a wide variety of funerary architecture was erected along the access roads of cities to catch the eye of passersby. In Hippos (Sussita in Aramaic) of the Decapolis, the most notable funerary structures stood along the city's main approach within the Saddle Necropolis. The most distinctive elements of the necropolis's architectural remains were a series of 13 large funerary podia – the focus of the 2020 excavations. The Hippos podia are unique in the Roman world, in their dating, their architecture, and their multiplicity. The architectural design of this series of structures may be the first evidence of necropolis planning and erection of funerary monuments by the polis itself within the Roman world. The article describes the freshly exposed Hippos podia, proposes reasoning for the choice of this particular type of construction, and analyzes similar funerary structures throughout the Roman world, with emphasis on the Roman East, where sarcophagi were widespread.

Type
Article
Copyright
Copyright © The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press

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