Archaic Attic Gravestones

Archaic Attic Gravestones

Archaic Attic Gravestones

Archaic Attic Gravestones

Excerpt

Archaic Attic gravestones, or grave stelai as we call them, have been discussed by many distinguished scholars (cf. p. 5, note 6); for they give to an archaeologist what he most desires-- beautiful specimens and complicated problems. His interest and imagination are stirred both by what has survived and can be enjoyed, and by what is missing and must be reconstructed. My reason for reverting to this subject is that in the last ten years much has happened in the field of archaic Greek art. New discoveries and intensive study have enabled us better to understand its development and chronology, and this new knowledge can now be applied to archaic Attic stelai. As a result their history and development can be traced more convincingly than before. Since the Metropolitan Museum possesses the finest series of these monuments outside of Athens, I shall use them as milestones on the path of our enquiry. That is, I propose to discuss in detail the monuments in New York, introducing those in other Museums by way of comparison and amplification. In this way we shall become acquainted with an important branch of archaic Greek art, enjoy the beauty of its products, and incidentally learn something of the adventurous side of archaeology in a Museum. The glamour of archaeology in the field is well understood. Excavations and the discov-

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