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3(43)/2015
doi:10.5277/arc150301

Rafał Czerner
The monumentality retrieved, in other words the anastylosis of the pillar funerary monuments of Marina El-Alamein

    The pillar tombs, dated back from 2nd century BC to 1st century, are the most characteristic monuments of the city from the Hellenistic Roman period excavated on the site of modern Marina El-Alamein in Egypt. Despite relatively small sizes, they achieved exceptionally strong expression thanks to the particular architectural concept. It is based on presentation of a complete architectural order in the form of a single pillar or column. Its analogues are rare. Forms of the tombs decoration are Hellenistic; they are of Alexandrian origin and should be associated to the initial period of the development of the ancient city. Their particular simplification and geometric stylization enhance the architectural expression. Among few discovered in the years 1987–1994 by the Polish Archaeological Mission of the University of Warsaw and unearthed as completely collapsed, five have been reconstructed by the anastylosis by successive Polish-Egyptian conservation missions. Thanks to their monumentality they are considered today to be the main monuments of the archaeological site. The article presents the history of the discovery of monuments, the idea of their architectural form, and attempts to find its origin. Questions of anastylosis of the monuments were discussed.

Key words: Egypt, Marina El-Alamein, Hellenistic architecture, pillar tombs, monumentality

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