Funerary stele from the island of Rheneia
This tombstone commemorates two men. One was Roman, but his name was engraved in Greek: Aulos Granios Antiokhos. The other was Ptolemaios, and came from one of the cities called Laodikeia. The temple-shaped tombstone depicts a strange composition. On the left, there is a merchant vessel with two soldiers. On the right, a youth sits on a rock, resting his head in his palm and gazing out towards the viewer in a gesture of mourning. The two images may relate to the fate of the same man. They immortalise a warrior whom we first see in a fight (perhaps with pirates?), then in death, grieving over his destiny.
Rheneia served as the cemetery for neighbouring Delos, which was a sacred island where burial was not permitted. In the Hellenistic period, it became an important commercial centre; the Granius family belonged among its wealthy merchants.
Marble analyses conducted by Danielle Decrouez (Geneva, Museum of Natural History) and Karl Ramseyer (University of Bern, Institute of Geological Sciences) have shown that the stele was made of Naxian, Rheneian or Delian marble. Click here for the detailed results.