Tomb of Payava, West Side

Tomb of Payava, West Side

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A chaitya, chaitya hall, chaitya-griha, (Sanskrit:Caitya Pāli: Cetiya) refers to a shrine, sanctuary, temple or prayer hall in Indian religions. [1] [2] The term is most common in Buddhism, where it refers to a space with a stupa and a rounded apse at the end opposite the entrance, and a high roof with a rounded profile. [3] Strictly speaking, the chaitya is the stupa itself, [4] and the Indian buildings are chaitya halls, but this distinction is often not observed. Outside India, the term is used by Buddhists for local styles of small stupa-like monuments in Nepal, Cambodia, Indonesia and elsewhere. In the historical texts of Jainism and Hinduism, including those relating to architecture, chaitya refers to a temple, sanctuary or any sacred monument. [5] [6] [7]

Most early examples of chaitya that survive are Indian rock-cut architecture. Scholars agree that the standard form follows a tradition of free-standing halls made of wood and other plant materials, none of which has survived. The curving ribbed ceilings imitate timber construction. In the earlier examples, timber was used decoratively, with wooden ribs added to stone roofs. At the Bhaja Caves and the "Great Chaitya" of the Karla Caves, the original timber ribs survive elsewhere marks on the ceiling show where they once were. Later, these ribs were rock-cut. Often, elements in wood, such as screens, porches, and balconies, were added to stone structures. The surviving examples are similar in their broad layout, though the design evolved over the centuries. [8]

The halls are high and long, but rather narrow. At the far end stands the stupa, which is the focus of devotion. Parikrama, the act of circumambulating or walking around the stupa, was an important ritual and devotional practice, and there is always clear space to allow this. The end of the hall is thus rounded, like the apse in Western architecture. [9] There are always columns along the side walls, going up to the start of the curved roof, and a passage behind the columns, creating aisles and a central nave, and allowing ritual circumambulation or pradakhshina, either immediately around the stupa, or around the passage behind the columns. On the outside, there is a porch, often very elaborately decorated, a relatively low entranceway, and above this often a gallery. The only natural light, apart from a little from the entrance way, comes from a large horseshoe-shaped window above the porch, echoing the curve of the roof inside. The overall effect is surprisingly similar to smaller Christian churches from the Early Medieval period, though early chaityas are many centuries earlier. [10]

Chaityas appear at the same sites like the vihara, a strongly contrasting type of building with a low-ceilinged rectangular central hall, with small cells opening, off it, often on all sides. These often have a shrine set back at the centre of the back wall, containing a stupa in early examples, or a Buddha statue later. The vihara was the key building in Buddhist monastic complexes, used to live, study and pray in. Typical large sites contain several viharas for every chaitya. [11]


"Caitya", from a root cita or ci meaning "heaped-up", is a Sanskrit term for a mound or pedestal or "funeral pile". [1] [12] It is a sacred construction of some sort, and has acquired different more specific meanings in different regions, including "caityavṛkṣa" for a sacred tree. [13]

According to K.L. Chanchreek, in early Jain literature, caitya mean ayatanas or temples where monks stayed. It also meant where the Jain idol was placed in a temple, but broadly it was a symbolism for any temple. [5] [14] In some texts, these are referred to as arhat-caitya or jina-caitya, meaning shrines for an Arhat or Jina. [15] Major ancient Jaina archaeological sites such as the Kankali Tila near Mathura show Caitya-tree, Caitya-stupa, Caitya arches with Mahendra-dvajas and meditating Tirthankaras. [14]

The word caitya appears in the Vedic literature of Hinduism. In early Buddhist and Hindu literature, a caitya is any 'piled up monument' or 'sacred tree' under which to meet or meditate. [16] [17] [7] Jan Gonda and other scholars state the meaning of caitya in Hindu texts varies with context and has the general meaning of any "holy place, place of worship", a "memorial", or as signifying any "sanctuary" for human beings, particularly in the Grhya sutras. [1] [16] [6] According to Robert E. Buswell and Donald S. Lopez, both professors of Buddhist Studies, the term caitya in Sanskrit connotes a "tumulus, sanctuary or shrine", both in Buddhist and non-Buddhist contexts. [2]

The "chaitya arch" as a decorative motif

The "chaitya arch", gavaksha (Sanscrit gavākṣa), or chandrashala around the large window above the entrance frequently appears repeated as a small motif in decoration, and evolved versions continue into Hindu and Jain decoration, long after actual chaitya halls had ceased to be built by Buddhists. In these cases it can become an elaborate frame, spreading rather wide, around a circular or semi-circular medallion, which may contain a sculpture of a figure or head. An earlier stage is shown here in the entrance to Cave 19 at the Ajanta Caves (c. 475–500), where four horizontal zones of the decoration use repeated "chaitya arch" motifs on an otherwise plain band (two on the projecting porch, and two above). There is a head inside each arch. [18]

Development of the chaitya

Early Chaitya halls are known from the 3rd century BCE. They generally followed an apsidal plan, and were either rock-cut or freestanding. [19]


Lycia is a mountainous region in south-west Anatolia (also known as Asia Minor, modern-day Turkey). The earliest references to Lycia can be traced through Hittite texts to sometime before 1200 BCE, where it is known as the Lukka Lands. The city is mentioned in both Hittite and Egyptian texts, where they the Lycians are associated with a group known as the Sea Peoples. Lycia is also recorded as having contact with both the Greek and Roman civilizations, granting the region a recorded inhabited lifespan of over 2,000 years.


Ancient monuments of rock-cut architecture are widespread in several regions of world. A small number of Neolithic tombs in Europe, such as the c.   3,000 B.C. Dwarfie Stane on the Orkney island of Hoy, were cut directly from the rock, rather than constructed from stone blocks.

Alteration of naturally formed caverns, although distinct from completely carved structures in the strict sense, date back to the neolithic period on several Mediterranean islands e.g. Malta (Hypogeum of Ħal-Saflieni), Sardinia (Anghelu Ruju, built between 3,000 and 1,500 BCE) and others.

During the Bronze age, Nubian ancestors of the Kingdom of Kush built speos between 3700 to 3250 BCE. This greatly influenced the architecture of the New kingdom. [5] Large-scale rock-cut structures were built in Ancient Egypt. Among these monuments was the Great Temple of Ramesses II, known as Abu Simbel, located along the Nile in Nubia, near the borders of Sudan about 300 kilometers from Aswan in Egypt. It dates from about the 19th Dynasty (ca. 1280   BCE), and consists of a monumentally scaled facade carved out of the cliff and a set of interior chambers that form its sanctuary. [6]

In the 8th century, the Phrygians started some of the earliest rock-cut monuments, such as the Midas monument (700 BCE), dedicated to the famous Phrygian king Midas. [7] [8]

In the 5th century BCE, the Lycians, who inhabited southern Anatolia (now Turkey) built hundreds of rock-cut tombs of a similar type, but smaller in scale. [9] Excellent examples are to be found near Dalyan, a town in Muğla Province, along the sheer cliffs that faces a river. Since these served as tombs rather than as religious sites, the interiors were usually small and unassuming. The ancient Etruscans of central Italy also left an important legacy of rock-cut architecture, mostly tombs, as those near the cities of Tarquinia and Vulci.

The creation of rock-cut tombs in ancient Israel began in the 8th-century BCE and continued through the Byzantine period. The Tomb of Absalom was constructed in the 1st century CE in the Kidron Valley of Jerusalem.

Lomas Rishi, one of the first rock-cut caves in India, 250 BCE.

Rock-cut architecture occupies a particularly important place in the history of Indian Architecture. The earliest instances of Indian rock-cut architecture, the Barabar caves, date from about the 3rd to the 2nd century BCE. They were built by the Buddhist monks and consisted mostly of multi-storey buildings carved into the mountain face to contain living and sleeping quarters, kitchens, and monastic spaces. [10] Some of these monastic caves had shrines in them to the Buddha, bodhisattvas and saints. [11] As time progressed, the interiors became more elaborate and systematized surfaces were often decorated with paintings, such as those at Ajanta. At the beginning of the 7th century Hindu rock-cut temples began to be constructed at Ellora. Unlike most previous examples of rock-cut architecture which consisted of a facade plus an interior, these temples were complete three-dimensional buildings created by carving away the hillside. They required several generations of planning and coordination to complete. Other major examples of rock-cut architecture in India are at Ajanta and Pataleshwar.

The Nabataeans in their city of Petra, now in Jordan, extended the Western Asian tradition, carving their temples and tombs into the yellowish-orange rock that defines the canyons and gullies of the region. These structures, dating from 1st century BCE to about 2nd century CE, are particularly important in the history of architecture given their experimental forms. [12] Here too, because the structures served as tombs, the interiors were rather perfunctory. In Petra one even finds a theater where the seats are cut out of the rock.

Mount Longmen as seen from Manshui Bridge to the southeast.

The technological skills associated with making these complex structures moved into China along the trade routes. The Longmen Grottoes, the Mogao Caves, and the Yungang Grottoes consist of hundreds of caves many with statues of Buddha in them. Most were built between 460� CE. There are extensive rock-cut buildings, including houses and churches in Cappadocia, Turkey. [13] They were built over a span of hundreds of years prior to the 5th century CE. Emphasis here was more on the interiors than the exteriors.

Ancient rock cut tombs, temples and monasteries often have been adorned with frescoes and reliefs. The high resistance of natural cliff, skilled use of plaster and constant microclimate often have helped to preserve this art in better condition than in conventional buildings. Such exceptional examples are the ancient and early medieval frescoes in such locations as Bamyan Caves in Afghanistan with the most ancient known oil paintings in the world from 8th century CE, Ajanta Caves in India with well preserved tempera paintings from 2nd century BCE, Christian frescoes on Churches of Göreme, Turkey and numerous other monuments in Asia, Europe and Africa.

A rock-cut temple in Cappadocia (9th century CE) One of the 13 rock-hewn churches at Lalibela, Ethiopia, entirely cut out of the rock surface (c. 1000 CE)

Xanthos excavations turned over to Turkish archaeologists

A Turkish archaeology team has taken over archaeology excavations in the ancient city of Xanthos due to the slow progress under the guidance of French teams. The ancient site has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1988.

Turkish archaeologists will now be responsible for a dig at the ancient city of Xanthos in the Mediterranean province of Antalya due to the slow pace of excavations under French teams that have been working at the site for 60 years.

Bordeaux University has passed on the archaeology excavations to a team under the guidance of Professor Burhan Varkıvanç, head of the Archaeology Department at Akdeniz University in Antalya.

Turkish scientists have already begun excavations at Xanthos, which had historical significance as the Lycian capital in the 2nd century BC. Akdeniz University’s 23-member team will conduct excavations at the site for two months, said Varkıvanç, adding that the untouched mosaics of the ancient city would be repaired and that the site would soon be cleared.

British archaeologists initiated the first excavations in the ancient city between 1838 and 1842. Many sculptures, reliefs and architectural pieces, such as the Monument of Harpy, the Tomb of Payava, and the Nereid Monument were loaded onto ships and taken to England.

The excavations in the republican period were conducted by the French universities of Paris and Sorbonne in 1950. After an interval, the excavations were resumed by a Bordeaux University team under Jacques de Caurtils’ direction in 1990.

Although the French carried out the excavations for 60 years, their alleged lack of progress caused reactions in Turkey. The Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry inquired about taking over the excavation last year, but the process was delayed following a request by the French Foreign Ministry.

Center of culture and commerce

Xanthos was the name of the Lycian civilization’s capital city and the river on which the city was situated. Throughout history, Xanthos was a valuable city for other civilizations to conquer as it was the Lycian center of culture and commerce the Persians, Macedonians, Greeks and Romans all invaded the city and occupied adjacent territory.

Today, the site of Xanthos overlooks the village of Kınık. Once over 500 meters long, the Roman Kemer Bridge crossed the upper reaches of the river near the present-day village of Kemer.

The site has been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1988, and a Roman theater and the findings on the west side of the theater still attract visitors. Only the duplication of a few of Xanthos’ monuments with hieroglyphics and other works of art can be seen in the region the original sculptures, monuments, works and other remnants are exhibited at the British Museum.

Xanthos was mentioned by numerous ancient Greek and Roman writers. Strabo notes Xanthos as the largest city in Lycia. Both Herodotus and Appian describe the conquest of the city by Harpagus on behalf of the Persian Empire, in approximately 540 BC.

According to Heredotus, the Persians met and defeated a small Lycian army in the flatlands to the north of Xanthos. After the encounter, the Lycians retreated into the city, which was besieged by Hapargus. The Lycians destroyed their own Xanthos acropolis, killed their wives, children, and slaves, and then proceeded on a suicidal attack against the superior Persian troops. Thus, the entire population of Xanthos perished, except for 80 families who were absent during the siege.

For more interesting topics related to archaeology , visit archaeology excavations .

Tomb of Payava, West Side - History

The sarcophagus of Ahiram was discovered by the French archaeologist Pierre Montet in 1923 in Jbeil, the historic Byblos. Its low relief carved panels make it "the major artistic document for the Early Iron Age" in Phoenicia. Associated items dating to the Late Bronze Age either support an early dating, in the 13th century BC or attest the reuse of an early shaft tomb in the 11th century BC.

There is a rough-hewn area above the epitaph, where it appears that some text has been erased. This has traditionally been interpreted as evidence of an earlier, shorter epitaph, which was replaced by the surviving text at a later date. More recently, however, a detailed analysis of the epitaph has suggested that the surviving text is the original inscription, but that the first part of the epitaph has been deleted. A summary of this analysis states: The most compelling arguments that suggest the removal of part of the same verse text we now have relate to the shape and character of the erasure itself. In effect, a fine sarcophagus, which was inscribed with a long and carefully executed text, is marred by a rough erasure. If the erasure was made before the new text was cut, why was more trouble not taken to smooth and prepare the stone? Moreover, why does our text start at a distance of a third of a line from the margin? It would have been easy for the mason to produce a better surface so that he could have started at the margin. The whole execution of the inscription itself is very fine and clearly not the work of an amateur. The overall impression is that no expense was spared in the layout of a large tomb and the manufacture of a magnificent sarcophagus for its first occupant.

His sarcophagus preserves his epitaph, written in Old Latin Saturnian meter:

Richard Vyse, who first visited Egypt in 1835, discovered on 28 July 1837 in the upper antechamber the remains of a wooden anthropoid coffin inscribed with Menkaure's name and containing human bones. This is now considered to be a substitute coffin from the Saite period. Radiocarbon dating on the bones determined them to be less than 2,000 years old, suggesting either an all-too-common bungled handling of remains from another site, or access to the pyramid during Roman times. Deeper into the pyramid, Vyse came upon a basalt sarcophagus, described as beautiful and rich in detail with a bold projecting cornice, which contained the bones of a young woman. Unfortunately, this sarcophagus now lies at the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea, having sunk on October 13, 1838, with the ship Beatrice, as she made her way between Malta and Cartagena, on the way to Great Britain. It was one of only a handful of Old Kingdom sarcophagi to survive into the modern period. The lid from the anthropoid coffin mentioned above was successfully transported to England and may be seen today at the British Museum.

The Hagia Triada sarcophagus is a stone sarcophagus elaborately painted in fresco one style of later Ancient Greek sarcophagus in painted pottery is seen in Klazomenian sarcophagi, produced around the Ionian Greek city of Klazomenai, where most examples were found, between 550 BC (Late Archaic) and 470 BC. They are made of coarse clay in shades of brown to pink. Added to the basin-like main sarcophagus is a broad, rectangular frame, often covered with a white slip and then painted. The huge Lycian Tomb of Payava, now in the British Museum, is a royal tomb monument of about 360 BC designed for an open-air placing, a grand example of a common Lycian style.

A sarcophagus (plural sarcophagi) is a box-like funeral receptacle for a corpse, most commonly carved in stone, and usually displayed above ground, though it may also be buried. The word "sarcophagus" comes from the Greek σάρξ sarx meaning "flesh", and φαγεῖν phagein meaning "to eat" hence sarcophagus means "flesh-eating", from the phrase lithos sarkophagos (λίθος σαρκοφάγος), "flesh-eating stone". The word also came to refer to a particular kind of limestone that was thought to rapidly facilitate the decomposition of the flesh of corpses contained within it due to the chemical properties of the limestone itself.

Sarcophagi were most often designed to remain above ground. In Ancient Egypt, a sarcophagus acted like an outer shell.

The sarcophagus measures 2.46 m in length, 1.55 m in width and 1.58 m in height, shaped like a timber-framed Chinese house or temple with a hip-and-gable roof, made of originally painted and gilded stone slabs, and is formed of a base, middle wall slabs and a top. It is densely decorated with bas-reliefs to convey blind architectural details and a complex figural programme. The four sides are carved with four-armed guardian deities, along with other Zoroastrian divinities and scenes of sacrifice, rising to heaven, banqueting, hunting and procession. Their subjects and style demonstrate features of the Western Regions (Central Asia). The French historian Étienne de la Vaissière argues that the iconography of these bas-reliefs representing a religious syncretism by blending Manichaean and Zoroastrian symbols in the funerary art. Despite the fact that the sarcophagus has adopted a unique style to create a miniature model of a traditional Chinese temple, the sinicisation of Wirkak's tomb is of the lowest degree among the other two Sogdian tombs: those of Tomb of Kang Ye and Tomb of An Jia.

The 'sarcophagus of Balbinus' has earned this Emperor a niche in the history of Roman Imperial art. Presumably while holding the title of Emperor, Balbinus had a marble sarcophagus made for himself and his wife (whose name is unknown). Discovered in fragments near the Via Appia and restored, this is the only example of a Roman Imperial sarcophagus of this type to have survived. On the lid are reclining figures of Balbinus and his wife, the figure of the Emperor also being a fine portrait of him. The sarcophagus is held in collection at the Museo di Pretastato (at the catacombs of Praetextatus) in the Park of the Caffarella near the Appian Way at Rome.

Among these finds was the lid of Pakal’s sarcophagus. In the image that covers it, Pakal lies on top of the “earth monster.” Below him are the open jaws of a jaguar, symbolizing Xibalba. Above him is the Celestial Bird, perched atop the Cosmic Tree (represented by a cross) which, in turn, holds a Serpent in its branches. Thus, in the image Pakal lies between two worlds: the heavens and the underworld. Also on the sarcophagus are Pakal’s ancestors, arraigned in a line going back six generations. Merle Greene Robertson is the only one to have ever photographed the sarcophagus lid. She was suspended from the ceiling in order to photograph it. Afterwards, the tomb was resealed and has not been reopened ever since.

In 1837, English army officer Richard William Howard Vyse, and engineer John Shae Perring began excavations within the pyramid of Menkaure. In the main burial chamber of the pyramid they found a large stone sarcophagus 8 ft long, 3 ft in width, and 2 ft in height, made of basalt. The sarcophagus was not inscribed with hieroglyphs although it was decorated in the style of palace facade. Adjacent to the burial chamber were found wooden fragments of a coffin bearing the name of Menkaure and a partial skeleton wrapped in a coarse cloth. The sarcophagus was removed from the pyramid and was sent by ship to the British Museum in London, but the merchant ship Beatrice carrying it was lost after leaving port at Malta on October 13, 1838. The other materials were sent by a separate ship, and the materials now reside at the museum, with the remains of the wooden coffin case on display.

In the early modern period, lack of space tended to make sarcophagi impractical in churches, but chest tombs or false sarcophagi, empty and usually bottomless cases placed over an underground burial, became popular in outside locations such as cemeteries and churchyards, especially in Britain in the 18th and 19th centuries, where memorials were mostly not highly decorated and the extra cost of a false sarcophagus over a headstone acted as an indication of social status.

The top of the sarcophagus cover was decorated with a female face, which sought to represent the natural color of the skin, topped with a blue headdress, decorated with yellow vulture wings and yellow and red ribbons. Shades of dark green, red and yellow stood out against a white background. At the breast height, there was the figure of the goddess Nut and a representation of a ram-headed bird with wings outstretched over the lid, symbolizing protection. The bird's claws and tail were flanked by two uraeus serpents, one with the crown of Upper Egypt and one with the crown of Lower Egypt The four Sons of Horus were represented in two pairs, one pair in front of each snake.On the right side were Imset with a human head and Hapy with a baboon's head, and on the left side Duamutef with a jackal's head and Qebehsenuf with a hawk's head. In the region of the legs were represented the amulets of the god Osiris, flanked by divinities. The two halves of the sarcophagus were separated by the sign Ankh, the symbol of life, which was repeated in two other ribbons. Finally, there was a representation of the singer's Ba - Ba was understood at the same time as a spiritual component of human beings, gods and animals, as a metaphysical principle related to the individuality of being and as a dynamic element that separates from the body after death, approaching, in this sense, the Western concept of soul.

At the back and outside of the sarcophagus was a representation of the great Djed pillar, a sign of stability associated with Osiris, the Egyptian god of the afterlife, who ruled the underworld and the dead. In different parts of the coffin, there were bands with hieroglyphic inscriptions, analyzed and studied by different Egyptologists, such as Kenneth Kitchen and Alberto Childe. Kitchen was the first to identify the mummy, deciphering two bands of distinct hieroglyphs that associated her name to her occupation. The first band bore the inscription "An offering that the king makes [to] Osiris, Chief of the West, great God, Lord of Abydos - made for [?] The Singer of the Shrine [of Ammon], Sha-Amun-en-su ". In the second line of hieroglyphs was read: "An offering that the king makes [to] Ptah-Sokar-Osiris, Lord of the [shrine] Shetayet - made for [?] The Singer of the Shrine of Ammon, Sha-Amun-en-su".

The Sha-Amun-en-su sarcophagus was composed of box and lid, both carved in polychrome stuccoed wood. It was 1,58 meters high and was made around 750 BC. Throughout its nearly three millennia of history, since it had been sealed with the mummified body of the singer and her votive amulets, the sarcophagus had never been opened. It was a highly representative example of Egyptian funerary art from the 8th and 9th centuries BC, characterized by the profusion of references to Heliopolitan theology.

Although in accounts of their joint reign Balbinus is emphasized as the civilian as against Pupienus the military man, on the side of the sarcophagus he is portrayed in full military dress.

The sarcophagus is made up of white marble, it assumes the appearance of a temple with the hip-and-gable roof. It is composed of three parts: the rectangular platform, walls in the middle section and the roof. The sarcophagus rested on a support platform, at each side of the platform there are two stone supports in the form of a lion's head. The entire sarcophagus stands in 2.17 metres in height.

In the cathedral's presbytery garden there is a granite sarcophagus which is thought to have received saint Samson's remains when he died in 565. This was placed in the garden by abbé Pierre Chevrier a curate at Dol between 1841 and 1866. The sarcophagus has lost its cover. Before removal to the presbytery, the sarcophagus was kept inside the cathedral. When the Normans invaded Brittany in 878 it was decided to move Samson's remains to a safer place but the sarcophagus had been too heavy to transport and was left in Dol. When the relics were returned to Dol they were never put back inside the sarcophagus but kept in another container.

Recently, the sarcophagus was the object of a detailed study and the author of this study dates sarcophagus between AD 180 and 190. Further evidence suggesting this to not be the sarcophagus of Caecilia Metella is at the time of Caecilia Metella's death, cremation was the typical burial custom and a funerary urn is expected rather than a sarcophagus. In addition, records from 1697 of the Farnese Collection state the sarcophagus was registered without a specified provenience indicating even at the time, historians were unsure of the relationship between the sarcophagus and the tomb.

Nearly 140 years after British archaeologist Alexander Rea unearthed a sarcophagus from the hillocks of Pallavaram in Tamil Nadu, an identical artifact dating back by more than 2,000 years has been discovered in the same locality.


Trojan War heroes and Lycian leaders Glaucus and Sarpedon are described in the Iliad as coming from the land of the Xanthos River. In the same text, Achilles' immortal, talking horse is named Xanthos. Xanthus is mentioned by numerous ancient Greek and Roman writers. Strabo notes Xanthos as the largest city in Lycia.

Under the Persian Empire Edit

Both Herodotus and Appian describe the conquest of the city by Harpagus on behalf of the Persian Empire, in approximately 540 BC. According to Herodotus, the Persians met and defeated a small Lycian army in the flatlands to the north of the city. After the encounter, the Lycians retreated into the city which was besieged by Harpagus. The Lycians destroyed their own Xanthian acropolis, killed their wives, children, and slaves, then proceeded on a suicidal attack against the superior Persian troops. Thus, the entire population of Xanthos perished but for 80 families who were absent during the fighting.

During the Persian occupation, a local leadership was installed at Xanthos, which by 520 BC was already minting its own coins. By 516 BC, Xanthos was included in the first nomos of Darius I in the tribute list.

Xanthos' fortunes were tied to Lycia's as Lycia changed sides during the Greco-Persian Wars. Archeological digs demonstrate that Xanthos was destroyed in approximately 475 BC-470 BC whether this was done by the Athenian Kimon or by the Persians is open to debate. As we have no reference to this destruction in either Persian or Greek sources, some scholars attribute the destruction to natural or accidental causes. Xanthos was rebuilt after the destruction and in the final decades of the 5th century BC, Xanthos conquered nearby Telmessos and incorporated it into Lycia.

The prosperity of Lycia during the Persian occupation is demonstrated by the extensive architectural achievements in Xanthos, particularly the many tombs, culminating in the Nereid Monument.

Conquest by Alexander the Great Edit

Reports on the city's surrender to Alexander the Great differ: Arrian reports a peaceful surrender, but Appian claims that the city was sacked. After Alexander's death, the city changed hands among his rival heirs Diodorus notes the capture of Xanthos by Ptolemy I Soter from Antigonos.

The "chaitya arch" as a decorative motif

The "chaitya arch", gavaksha (Sanscrit gavākṣa), or chandrashala around the large window above the entrance frequently appears repeated as a small motif in decoration, and evolved versions continue into Hindu and Jain decoration, long after actual chaitya halls had ceased to be built by Buddhists. In these cases it can become an elaborate frame, spreading rather wide, around a circular or semi-circular medallion, which may contain a sculpture of a figure or head. An earlier stage is shown here in the entrance to Cave 19 at the Ajanta Caves (c. 475�), where four horizontal zones of the decoration use repeated "chaitya arch" motifs on an otherwise plain band (two on the projecting porch, and two above). There is a head inside each arch. [18]

War on land and sea (394 BC) [ edit ]

Nemea [ edit ]

After a brief engagement between Thebes and Phocis, in which Thebes was victorious, the allies gathered a large army at Corinth. A sizable force was sent out from Sparta to challenge this force. The forces met at the dry bed of the Nemea River, in Corinthian territory, where the Spartans won a decisive victory. As often happened in hoplite battles, the right flank of each army was victorious, with the Spartans defeating the Athenians while the Thebans, Argives, and Corinthians defeated the various Peloponnesians opposite them the Spartans then attacked and killed a number of Argives, Corinthians, and Thebans as these troops returned from pursuing the defeated Peloponnesians. The coalition army lost 2,800 men, while the Spartans and their allies lost only 1,100. ⎢]

Cnidus [ edit ]

The next major action of the war took place at sea, where both the Persians and the Spartans had assembled large fleets during Agesilaus's campaign in Asia. By levying ships from the Aegean states under his control, Agesilaus had raised a force of 120 triremes, which he placed under the command of his brother-in-law Peisander, who had never held a command of this nature before. ⎤] The Persians, meanwhile, had already assembled a joint Phoenician, Cilician, and Cypriot fleet, under the joint command of Achaemenid satrap Pharnabazus II and the experienced Athenian admiral Conon who was in self-exile and in the service of the Achaemenids after his infamous defeat at the Battle of Aegospotami. The fleet had already seized Rhodes from Spartan control in 396 BC.

These two fleets met off the point of Cnidus in 394 BC. The Spartans fought determinedly, particularly in the vicinity of Peisander's ship, but were eventually overwhelmed large numbers of ships were sunk or captured, and the Spartan fleet was essentially wiped from the sea. Following this victory, Conon and Pharnabazus sailed along the coast of Ionia, expelling Spartan governors and garrisons from the cities, although they failed to reduce the Spartan bases at Abydos and Sestos under the command of Dercylidas. ⎥]

Coronea [ edit ]

By this time, Agesilaus's army, after brushing off attacks from the Thessalians during its march through that country, had arrived in Boeotia, where it was met by an army gathered from the various states of the anti-Spartan alliance. Agesilaus's force from Asia, composed largely of emancipated helots and mercenary veterans of the Ten Thousand, was augmented by half a Spartan regiment from Orchomenus, and another half a regiment that had been transported across the Gulf of Corinth. These armies met each other at Coronea, in Theban territory as at Nemea, both right wings were victorious, with the Thebans breaking through while the rest of the allies were defeated. Seeing that the rest of their force had been defeated, the Thebans formed up to break back through to their camp. Agesilaus met their force head on, and in the struggle that followed a number of Thebans were killed before the remainder were able to force their way through and rejoin their allies. ⎦] After this victory, Agesilaus sailed with his army across the Gulf of Corinth and returned to Sparta.

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1 A good bibliography is contained in Pryce's , F. N. Catalogue of Sculpture in the Department of Greek and Roman Antiquities of the British Museum , vol. i , part I ( 1928 )Google Scholar . To this may be added the early accounts given by Sir Charles Fellows in his Journal … in Asia Minor (1838–39), Account of Discoveries in Lycia (1840–41), Xanthian Marbles (1843), Lycia (1847), and Travels (1852) also the more recent references in Rodenwaldt , G. , Griechische Reliefs Lykien ( Sitzungsberichte der Berliner Akademie , 1933 )Google Scholar , and in Picard , C. , Manuel d'Archéologie Grecque ( 1939 )Google Scholar .

2 A similar view in regard to the Lycian pillar-tombs of the sixth century has recently been expressed by a Turkish archaeologist, Ekrem Akurgal, whose book Griech. Reliefs d. VI. Jhdts aus Lykien (1942) came into my hands while I was reading the proofs of this paper.

3 Here my thanks go to the Trustees of the British Museum for the extraordinary facilities which they gave me when photographing the reliefs, several years ago, when the present Director, Sir John Forsdyke, was Keeper of the Department of Greek and Roman Antiquities. To him I also wish to express my deep gratitude for the interest he has taken in this paper.

4 Fellows always speaks of ‘close by’ (Journal, I74) and ‘very near’ (Travels, 338), but he gives no accurate distance. Benndorf who has measured the distance, gives it in Reisen 1, 85 as ‘50 Schritte’.

5 T.A.M. i . 44 Google Scholar , 6, 21: ‘..… ἀνέθηκεν

6 Fellows calls it the burial-place of the kings and says, ‘And from finding the district to have been the burial place of the kings, it (sc. the Harpy Tomb) becomes the more interesting’ ( Travels , p. 340 )Google Scholar . Benndorf in his Reisen, vol. i, gives a view from the acropolis on plate 23 and describes this on p. 86 as follows: ‘Man erkennt hier in der linken unteren Ecke des Bildes die Harpagidenstele (i.e. Xanthian Stele) und übersieht rechts davon (i.e. to the south-west) die jetzt durch einige Saatfelder bezeichnete Agora, auf der sich einst das Sarpedoneion befand.’ For Kalinka, T.A.M., see infra, note 10.

7 The first map was made for Sir Charles Fellows by A. Hoskyn, Master of H.M.S. Beacon in 1840, and published in Spratt , , Travels ( 1847 ), vol. ii , plate 2Google Scholar . Benndorf , , Reisen , i , 85 Google Scholar , rightly describes it as ‘nur dürftige Orientierung.’ Another map was given by Fellows in Xanthian Marbles, plate 2, but this is, again according to Benndorf, ‘eine Skizze nach verfehlten Schätzungen, daher mit Recht nicht wiederholt in den Travels and Researches’ The map in our Fig. 1 is from Benndorf's article in Oe. Jh. 3 (1900), p. 100, fig. 23, and was made by E. Krickl (Hauptmann im Genieregiment) in 1892. For Benndorf's description see above note 6. As for the Harpy Tomb, the monument still stands at its place, only the marble slabs with the reliefs have been removed to England. The sarcophagus between Harpy Tomb and theatre is of much later date.

8 E. Kalinka, Tituli Asiæ Minoris (here generally quoted as T.A.M. ), vol. i ( 1901 )Google Scholar , dealing with the early inscriptions in Lycian, vol. ii (1920), only with the late Greek and Roman inscriptions. The map is in vol. ii, fasc. 1, p. 95. It is marked ‘Form a Xanthi urbis. E. Krickl anno 1892 adumbravit,’ thus admittedly a copy of the map published 20 years before by Benndorf in Oe. Jh., which is marked ‘Planskizze von Xanthus, aufgenommen von E. Krickl 1892.’ Though it is clearly the same map, yet it is less carefully drawn. While in Benndorf's article it is quite obviously made by an architect, with explanation of figures in block letters, the drawing on Kalinka's map is not as accurate, the explanation of figures is in handwriting, and some of the figures (like S1, S2, S3, S4 in Oe. Jh. corresponding to (S)1, (S)2, S3, S4 in T.A.M.) have a slightly different explanation, and are sometimes not indicated in the right spot on Kalinka's map. One is led to the conclusion that this second map is not altogether reliable.

9 The term ‘Agora’ does not occur on Benndorf's map. It is only to be found on Kalinka's map where it applies to the remains of a square building surrounded by a stoa on the east and south. After examining both maps closely (see note 8), this proves to be a ‘late interpolation,’ inspired by the wish to adjust this map to the inscriptions of the Roman period, and by the interpolator's idea of an agora as surrounded by a stoa on each side of a rectangle. Yet Kalinka's map is fairly well known and because it is in a book dealing with the most important inscriptions from Lycia, it is frequently quoted by scholars, while Benndorf's article is almost forgotten and its map hardly known.

10 He says so quite plainly in his commentary, and again refers to the older agora round the spot where the Xanthian Stele and the Harpy Tomb are standing: T.A.M. ii . 1, 96 Google Scholar ‘infra arcem ad meridiem situm est forum saxis stratum, ubi praeter cetera aedificia exstructae sunt duae illae columnae quarum una monumentum Harpyiarum nominatur, altera insignis est longitudine tituli Lycia lingua inscripti et epigrammate Graeco.’

11 Benndorf , , ‘ Zur Stele Xanthia ,’ in Oe. Jh. 1900 , iii ., 98 ff.Google Scholar König , F. W. , ‘Die Stele von Xanthos’, Klotho , 1936 Google Scholar Meriggi , P. , ‘Zur Xanthosstele,’ in Acta Jutlandica ( Aarskrift for Aarhus Universitet ) 1937 , ix . 504 ffGoogle Scholar .

12 This, in Lycia, usually marks the beginning of an inscription and shows the way it was set up. It always faces the direction from which worshippers or visitors are expected to come.

13 C.I.G. iii, 4269 b, commenting on the Xanthian Stele, says: ‘Praeterhanc stelam Xanthi in foro etiam Σαρπηδόνειον collocatum fuisse novimus ex Appiano bell. civ. iv. 78.’ But Kalinka in T.A.M. ii . 96 Google Scholar ‘Tota hac regione (sc. prope theatrum) multae parietinae inveniuntur, inter quas illud quoque Σαρπηδόνειον fuisse puto cuius Appianus b. civ. iv. 78 mentionem facit. Confer M. 313 sq. ubi Sarpedo Glaucum appellat:

An inscription ( T.A.M. ii . 265 Google Scholar ) has been found to the southeast of the theatre, erected by Aichmon after a victory, and its last line runs: Σαρπηδόνι καὶ Γλαύκωι ἥρωσι. As this inscription obviously presupposes a heroön of Sarpedon and Glaucus, the C.I.G. iii. 4269 b add. comments: ‘Titulus fortasse positus fuit in Sarpedonio.’ And Benndorf , ( Historische Inschrift vom Stadttore zu Xanthus, Festschrift für Otto Hirschfeld , 1903 , 29 )Google Scholar concludes: ‘Da s Sarpedoneion lag wahrscheinlich auf dem Hügel über dem Theater, innerhalb der Ringmauer.’ The Sarpedoneion was also mentioned in Aristot. , pepl. 53 Google Scholar Athen. i. 13 sq and Plin. , N.H. 13 , 88 Google Scholar .

14 For collected evidence and general literature on this subject see Oe. Jh. 1931 , xxvii . 82 ffGoogle Scholar .

15 Plut. , consol. ad Apoll. , 21 Google Scholar Val. Max., ii, 6, 13. Both writers state that, among the Lycians, the male members of a family in mourning had to wear women's clothes. As a reason they give the belief in Lycia that mourning was something unworthy of a man, and so he had to put on a woman's dress to make it less conspicuous. But this is clearly a belated and rationalistic attempt at an explanation of this ancient custom (cf. Hauser , in Philologus 54 (N.F.8) 389 ff.)Google Scholar . It is proved that, in earlier times, only the female members represented the family in Lycia. The tradition that men had to put on female garments on certain religious occasions where the family as a whole was involved is in itself only one of the many survivals of such ancient customs in Lycia.

Furthermore, the wearing of long dresses by priests and singers or musicians on religious occasions in early archaic Greece as well as in Minoan Crete points to an interesting parallel. And in Persia, Assyria, and Babylonia the king's attendants wore a similar dress for certain other reasons. It will be proved that, as far as the east side of the Harpy Tomb is concerned, the Persian tradition had some importance and coincided with Lycian customs.

16 For the Satrap sarcophagus: Mendel , , Cat. Mus. Ottom. i . 33 ffGoogle Scholar . (where Mendel has proved that all these attendants were male) for the Payava Tomb: Smith , B.M. Cat. ii . 47 Google Scholar , pl. 11 (the prince represented here is the satrap Autophradates, 375–362 B.C.) for the Nereid Monument: B.M.Cat. ii (fourth frieze), the prince seems to be a Persian satrap but cannot be identified) for the Heroön from Gyeulbashi: Benndorf's monograph (the scene has been thought to depict the Ilioupersis with Priam and Hecuba enthroned above the besieged city it is more probable, however, that it refers to some event in Lycian history or legend).

17 The conquest of Lycia by Harpagos, the general of Cyrus, is to be dated not later than 538 B.C. This campaign consisted mainly in the siege and capture of Xanthus, described in detail by Herodotus i. 176. This Harpagos was a Mede and ἀνὴρ οἰκήιος of Deiokes (Hdt. i. 108) and συγγενής of Astyages (Hdt. i. 109), thus of royal blood himself. As the ruler of Xanthus who erected the Xanthian Stele on the agora calls himself son of Harpagos ( T.A.M. i . 44 Google Scholar the stele dates from the beginning of the fourth century), it is very probable that members of the house of Harpagos were in some sort of command in Lycia ever since the conquest.

18 E. Herzfeld, Iran in the Ancient East, pl. 67a and b Pope , A. U. , Survey of Persian Art , iv , pl. 88Google Scholar Schmidt , E. , The Treasury of Persepolis ( Oriental Institute of Chicago Communications 21 ), 1939 , 21 ff.Google Scholar , figs. 14, 16. These are the most recent publications dealing with the subject.

19 It is to be noted that these two court officials take precedence over the carrier of the royal weapons and over the officers of the king's bodyguard. They are also the only persons to accompany the king on several other occasions (as shown on other reliefs from Persepolis, e.g. the portals). And every time the sole attribute of their office is a towel or napkin, neatly folded, or a fly-whisk, or a scent-bottle. And their attire is always the same. Neither of them can be the famous Hazarapatis, the Major-domo and Grand-Vizier of the empire, who was the commander of the king's bodyguard (Xenophon translates Hazarapatis by Chiliarch, in Cyrop. viii . 6 )Google Scholar . One of them may be the ‘Eye of the King’ who was still more prominent than the Hazarapatis, and to whom was entrusted the control of the empire ( Meyer , E. , Gesch. d. Alt. iii . 43 )Google Scholar . And it seems very likely, as Schmidt , E. F. has shown ( Treasury of Persepolis , 26 ff.)Google Scholar that the other was the ‘Cupbearer,’ who held the rank of a priest in Xerxes' times and was also responsible for the king's safety. The office of the Cupbearer was, at least in later Achaemenian times, just as that of the Hazarapatis himself, in the hands of eunuchs, as several literary sources indicate. And this information seems born out by the reliefs where the person is depicted without beard or moustache (which would be visible above the muffler). Cf. Marquart , J. , Untersuchungen zur Gesch. von Eran , i . 57 ff., 224 ff., ii, 158 ff.Google Scholar König , F. W. , Altpersische Adelsgeschlechter , in Wiener Zeitschr.f. d. Kunst des Morgenlandes , 1924 , xxxi , 289 ff.Google Scholar 1926, xxxiii, 23 ff., 37 ff. 1928, xxxv, 1ff. König , F. W. , Der falsche Bardija, in Klotho 4 , 1938 , passimGoogle Scholar Schmidt , E. F. , Treasury of Persepolis , 26 ffGoogle Scholar .

20 This court ceremonial was by no means a short-lived institution but a long established religious ritual, as is proved by an Assyrian fresco painting, almost identical in contents with the Persian reliefs (Fig. 6), Syria ix, pl. xxiii ff. Fragments of a similar painting from the palace of Niniveh are in the British Museum. For the king with two attendants accompanying him, many more examples of Assyrian art could be mentioned, chiefly reliefs, e.g. Assurbanipal's Hunt, the Banquet of Assurbanipal, Sanherib's Sacrifice (Meissner, Babylonien und Assyrien, figs. 46, 48, 117), etc. For the description of the Assyrian ceremonial in contemporary literature, see Peiser , F. E. , Studien zur oriental. Altertumskunde, in M.V.A.G. 1898 , 253 , 1. 16 ffGoogle Scholar . On the other hand, this same court ceremonial was continued by the Seleucids, after them by the Arsacids ( Philostrat. , , Vita Apollon. Tyan. i , 27 ffGoogle Scholar . describes such an audience at the Arsacid court in the first century A.D.), and after them by the Sasanids (Arabic and Byzantine writers give ample information about this cf. Nöldeke , , Tabari , 113, 221 Google Scholar ) and by the Khalifs all through the Middle Ages.

21 The date of the Treasury reliefs has recently been stated as between 490 and 486 B.C. ( Schmidt , E. F. , Treasury of Persepolis , 33 Google Scholar ), and the king and crown prince may be taken to represent Darius and Xerxes, as on the corresponding reliefs of the Tripylon. The Apadana was completed by Xerxes himself. But as for the Hundred-Column Hall, E. Herzfeld discovered in the south-west corner a stone slab stating in Babylonian that Artaxerxes I erected this structure on the foundations prepared by his father Xerxes ( Herzfeld , , Altpers. Inschr., in Arch. Mitt. Iran , 1 . Erganzungsband, 1938 , p. 45 Google Scholar ), and thus the date of these reliefs cannot be before 465 B.C. It was possibly somewhat later in the reign of Artaxerxes I.

22 It is very probable that the detailed account of Harpagos' campaign by Herodotus, and his stories about the miraculous preservation and the rise of Cyrus (in which Harpagos plays a predominant rôle) were partly derived from some member or members of the house of Harpagos, and later corrected by some Persian friend of Herodotus (Zopyros ?). This Harpagid family claimed descent from Deiokes the Mede (cf. note 18), and as they seem to have stood in close connexion with Lycia, Herodotus may well have come across them there. For this ‘Harpagid tradition’ in Herodotus, see Schubert , R. , Herodots Darstellung der Kyrossage , 1900 , 76 Google Scholar Justi , F. , Grundriss der iranischen Philologie , ii , 410 Google Scholar Prasek , J. V. in Klio , 1904 , iv , 199 ff.Google Scholar and How and Wells, Commentary on Herodotus, 1936, note to book i.

23 On the short side (north). Cf. Mendel , , Cat. Mus. Ottom. , i , 189 (Fig. to the left)Google Scholar Winter , , Sarkorphage von Sidon , 14 f.Google Scholar , pl. 7, 18. The sarcophagus dates from the end of the fourth century B.C. Yet it is hardly likely that it could have been made by an artist who actually saw the Persepolis reliefs. Persepolis was sacked and burnt down immediately after its capture by Alexander. It is agreed that the sarcophagus is of Attic workmanship, and the many allusions to the Persian court ceremonial and customs in Aeschylus' Persae (in language, expressions, ideas, and even in the metre of the dialogues) show that this ceremonial was quite well known in contemporary Athens. Otherwise, how could all these allusions have been understood by the listeners? Writers like Herodotus and Xenophon had also their share in making the people of Athens well acquainted with Persian customs and ritual. Surely the Greeks of the mainland, and even more so the Asiatic Greeks had not to rely on hearsay to describe or depict Eastern ceremonial in a work of art.

24 Babelon , , Traité , ii , 8 ff.Google Scholar Rev. Num. 1908 Six , , Num. Chron. 1898 , 199 ff.Google Scholar Hill, B.M. Cat. Coins, Lycia, pl. vi,ff., cf. also head from Ephesus, Pryce , , B.M. Cat. B 215 Google Scholar , Fig. 132.

25 This was a sacred law, and had been a rule in Persian art from its very beginning. Xenophon , , Cyrop. viii , 3, 14 Google Scholar even goes a little further: when describing the splendid procession of Cyrus, he states that the very tall charioteer of Cyrus was yet much smaller than Cyrus himself. Does this mean that the rule of emphasising the difference in size between the king, his immediate followers, and the othe people, was also applied to simple narratives in an oral tradition? I cannot help feeling that Xenophon was simply describing a picture or relief, though he does not say so this time. It is to be noted, however, that Xenophon usually does mention reliefs and pictures if he describes them, e.g. Cyrop. i , 2, 13 Google Scholar .

26 A small boy or girl bringing offerings to their dead parents was frequently depicted on Greek vases and reliefs. The best examples to be compared with this scene on the Harpy Tomb, are the well-known archaic Laconian reliefs (Ath. Mitt. iv, pl. 8, 1–2), where also the offerings are the same as on the Harpy Tomb.

27 Among the earlier tombstones with this group of man and dog, cf. the Anaxandros stele in Sophia (from Apollonia Jahrb. 1902, pl. 1), the Naples stele (Rayet 19 B.-B. 416 it can be traced back to Sardis), the Alxenor stele from Orchomenos (Naxian B.-B. 41), and the Agathocles stele ( Athens , , Nat. Mus. 724 )Google Scholar and Aegina stele ( A.D. i , 33 )Google Scholar . The tradition survives in the fourth century as shown on the Delphi stele (Bulle, pl. 265), the Thespiae stele in Athens (Collignon, Stat. funér, Fig. 68), and on the Ilissos stele (Conze ii, pl. 211). But vases prove that this was a favourite subject also in the sixth century, cf. the Timonidas pinax from Corinth, the amphora 2303 in Munich ( Richter , , JHS —VOL. LXII Google Scholar . Ancient Furniture, Fig. 163), and that it also spread to Italy (South Italian amphora in Rome, Vatican Collignon, Stat. funér., Fig. 67).

28 See the inscription on a late Lycian rock tomb from Bel near Sidyma ( T.A.M. ii , 1, 245 Google Scholar J.H.S. 1914 , xxxiv , 5 ffGoogle Scholar . n. 10):

29 All these minor details could not be dealt with in this paper. Also the question of dating the monument and of analysing its style must be left for a later occasion, The attempt at an interpretation of the other three sides of the Harpy Tomb was briefly outlined in a paper which I read to the Hellenic Society at Cambridge on May 4th, 1943. I trust I shall be forgiven for not compressing it into a few pages for the sake of immediate publication.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

New blog on excavations at Maya city of Ceibal (Seibal)

Takeshi Inomata and Diana Triadan have returned to the Maya city of Ceibal/Seibal, first excavated by Harvard in the 1960s. They are excavating right now, and they have an excellent blog at the New York Times in the series "Scientist at Work: Notes from the Field."

Start with their first entry, from Feb 17, 2011 from that site you can follow the subsequent posts. Or go to the general site, Scientists at Work, for the current post.

There are several posts now. This is an outstanding chronicle of an archaeology excavation check it out.

For more interesting topics related to archaeology , visit archaeology excavations .

What happened to the people of Calixtlahuaca after the Spanish conquest?

Most Aztec-period cities and towns continued on as Spanish-colonial cities after the Spanish conquest of 1521. From Mexico City to Cuernavaca to Xochimilco to Texcoco, and many others, these towns were settled by Spaniards (sometimes only a few, sometimes many).. Christian churches were built and the towns flourished in the Colonial economy and on into modern times, where they still exist today.

But not Calixtlahuaca. This Matlatzinca city went from a populated urban center and political capital to an abandoned ruin within a few decades after the Spanish conquest. The city of Toluca, on the other hand, was either nothing or a small village in pre-Spanish times -- no credible archaeological site has been found for pre-Spanish Tollocan. But by the mid-1500s Toluca had a large Franciscan church and convent, and the city went on to become capital of the state of Mexico, and the country's fourth major industrial center today.

We know that the occupation of at least some of the houses at Calixtlahuaca continued for a couple of decades after 1521, because we find ceramic figurines with Spaniards in Spanish dress and poses (see photo). These are in the final occupation layers of the site. But we don't think the occupation continued much beyond a few decades, because we did not find colonial middens with cow and horse bones, glazed ceramics, iron nails, etc. This lack of 16th century colonial debris is not a definitive indication of abandonment, however. In the Teotihuacan Valley, Tom Charlton reported years ago that rural Aztec villages continued functioning for up to a century after 1521 without obvious colonial material remains like these. But Calixtlahuaca was not a rural village - it was the most powerful capital between Tenochtitlan and the Tarascan Empire. So if it HAD continued to be occupied, we would expect to find things like: (1) a sixteenth century church (2) these kinds of Spanish colonial artifacts.

So, what happened? Most likely, the residents of the city were forcibly moved into Toluca. The Spanish authorities instituted a practiced called "congregación" in which they moved native peoples into towns and cities (the better to control them, to con vert them, and to tax them). Many of the congregaciones left evidence in Spanish official archives, but any documents describing a congregación to Toluca have unfortunately not survived (Jarquin 1994).

But the abandonment of Calixtlahuaca is likely, given that in 1561, the Spanish crown granted land to found the village of San Francisco Calixtlahuaca, which was the origin of the modern town of the same name. I looked at the official decree today in the Archivo General Agrario in Mexico City. The text is accompanied by a crude map, showing the lands granted to the new town. Not being a paleographer, I had trouble reading the sixteenth century handwriting. There is a brief description in a catalog of the archive, however (Olmedo 1998:84). If the residents of Calixtlahuaca had kept living at the site, or if they had moved down off the hill to the site of the historical town, one would not think that the crown would issue a decree founding the town.

This area was part of the "Marquesado del Valle" estate of the conqueror Hernando Cortés. Soon after 1521 he started raising cattle and pigs in the vicinity of Calixtlahuaca, and the new town in 1561 was probably populated by his employees or subjects.

The main church in San Francisco Calixtlahuaca today dates to the nineteenth century. But the small church at the cemetery, just outside of town, is much older. Perhaps this was the main church from the sixteenth century, or perhaps an older church was torn down to build the modern one. The cemetery church has a fascinating carved stone relief embedded in its wall. This drawing is by Hanns Prem from 1970 (see Prem 1980).. The relief shows the Christian date at top "1563 año", and the date for that year in the Aztec calendar at the bottom (6 Reed). We have no idea whether this relief is from the village or from another place entirely. It would be fascinating if 2years after the founding of the new colonial town, someone put up a carving in both the Spanish and Aztec calendars. By the 1700s, there were at least some Nahuatl speakers in San Francisco Calixtlahuaca, as evidenced by a will published by Caterina Pizzigoni (2007).

This model is still somewhat speculative. We would love to have more data on what happened to all those people in the early to mid sixteenth century. According to published catalog, the Archivo General Agrario supposedly has another map and document from San Francisco Calixtlahuaca, from 1575 (Esparza et al. 2000:160-161), but they could not find it at the archive today (even when I showed them the published catalog entry). Maybe we will find additional sixteenth century documentation. But for now, the outline sketched above makes sense out of both the archaeological and the historical data.

Two years ago, the newspaper Milenio published a nice article on Calixtlahuaca and our project. It was called "Calixtlahuaca: La nostalgia del poder," referring to the fact that the positions of Calixtlahuaca and Toluca were reversed during the colonial period. Before 1521, Calixtlahuaca was a big capital city and Tollocan (if it existed at all) was a small village. Today, Toluca is the state capital, and Calixtlahuaca just a village. But that village has some great ruins (our site!) and the big city has none.

For more interesting topics related to archaeology , visit archaeology excavations .

Watch the video: Photogrammetry: Tomb of Payava, 360 BC, Lycia (May 2022).