The “Heroon” at Sagalassos (Turkey)

One of the monuments that dominate  the northwest corner of the Upper Agora at Sagalassos is a “Heroon.”


The Heroon (Funerary Monument) at the northwest corner of the Upper Agora at Sagalassos—Possibly honoring Alexander the Great
Click on Image to Enlarge

A “Heroon” is a Greek term that refers to a monument that was built in honor of a hero.  It is not known to whom this Heroon was dedicated, although a head found nearby looks suspiciously like that of Alexander the Great—but the excavators believe that the monument was built during the reign of the Roman Emperor Augustus (27 B.C.–A.D. 17).  According to a sign on the site “inside the monument stood a more than 3 m [10 ft.]  high marble statue, perhaps representing a youthful Alexander the Great who had conquered the city in 333 BC.”


View of the back and east sides of the Heroon
Note the Dancing Girls on the Frieze around its base
Click on Image to Enlarge

The Heroon consists of a square podium base, on top of which are three steps, then a frieze depicting 14 dancing girls—each holding the garment of their neighbor, and the Corinthian-like structure above it.

The Heroon is 46 ft. [14 m.] high.  The podium and steps were found in tact and this reconstruction (anastylosis) in the main uses only materials that were found nearby!  The the Late Roman Period the Heroon and the nearby Doric Temple were incorporated in the city wall.  The frieze of the 14 dancing girls is an exact copy (the originals are in the museum in Burdur).

Click Here to view a Heroon at Miletus.


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