Chersonesan Studies 1 presents the painted grave stelai of the Early Hellenistic necropolis of Chersonesos Taurike, a Greek city on the northern shore of the Black Sea. This unique collection of over one hundred objects is of major interest to students of ancient art and Greek culture. Their polychrome decoration has been extraordinarily well preserved, a rarity in the ancient world. They compose a remarkable, even unique, body of evidence of Greek funerary memorial sculpture: their shapes are gender-specific, their depicted objects are gender- and age-specific, and they can be ascribed to a handful of specific workshops. Their surprising uniformity requires an explanation, since comparable assemblages from other parts of the Greek world show substantial diversity in all these aspects.
This book provides the first complete catalog and description of the stelai, together with full-color illustrations of all the significant stelai and many details. Through his painstaking recovery and reassembling of fragments, as well as the use of advanced photographic techniques, Richard Posamentir has been able to add a whole new dimension to the study of these artifacts. The volume covers the history of the stelai, analysis of the workshops, and reconstruction of the necropolis that the stelai originally graced. A comparison chapter discusses how the stelai fit into the context of Greek funerary art and provides insights into the culture and society of a city on the Black Sea.
Richard Posamentir is a junior professor of Classical Archaeology at the University of Tuebingen, focusing on cultural contacts in antiquity. He has participated in archaeological projects in Italy, Greece, Turkey, and the Ukraine and carried out his own survey project in Anazarbos, Cilicia/Turkey.