4; the toes of the foot are just about visible in Fig. 4 and especially the drawing from rectified photos in Johnson 2010: 503, fig. In contrast to the other figures on the tomb façade, which appear to be finished with stylized incised details on their bodies, this figure has been carved only in silhouette, the background having been removed around its outline with a point chisel or a pick, but no internal detail added.
This was ultimately unsuccessful, the composition awkward and with a notable gap on the left – reasons which may have contributed to the abandonment of the project, the relief being left unfinished and the aberrant ‘guideline’ still remaining to this day.
Kalekapı and its reliefs The Kalekapı tomb is considered one of the earliest of several monumental rock cut tombs scattered through a long valley in Paphlagonia, overlooking the fertile land and settlements nearby. Often these tombs are isolated on particularly visible rocky outcrops or hills, rather than being located in larger rock cut tomb necropoleis, as they are in Caria and Lycia, for instance.
Kalekapı, located near the modern village of Donalar, is a good illustration of this, positioned high up in the cliff face of an outcrop overlooking the lush valley plain below (Figs. It is a particularly impressive example, with two chambers cut into the rock, fronted by a spacious porch with two thick, unfluted columns. View of the landscape below, from the Kalekapı Tomb.
Its façade is adorned with an array of reliefs cut into a rock-carved pediment and surrounding the porch below (Fig. Tombs such as this have been attributed to ‘chiefs’, who rose to power in the region in a later 5 century BC phenomenon possibly associated with economic and power restructuring in the Persian Empire, initiated either by locals themselves or the Persian administration. Figure 1. The most impressively monumental decorated tombs tend to share a basic iconographic repertoire.
Pediments often show images of a man battling a lion, usually and surely correctly interpreted as Herakles and the Nemean lion – a theme obviously meaningful for the ‘chiefs’ of this area. Alongside this seemingly ‘Greek’ theme, the tombs are lushly decorated with an abundance of creatures which are more common to the decorative art of the Achaemenid Empire.
The most clearly ‘Persian’-looking of them is the creature usually called the winged lion-griffin, which is essentially a feline figure with wings and what are obviously horns, elaborately curling up from the top of the head. Other animals include ordinary felines and bulls.
Figure 3: The low relief sculptures surrounding the porch of the Kalekapı Tomb. A Herakles and Nemean lion in the gable is eroded and difficult to see.
It was early on interpreted as a lion attacking another beast, as shown in the illustration in von Gall’s book on the tombs, but in fact what is shown is a human male in a lion skin (Herakles) stretching across the left half of the space to his lion foe on the right, his right leg shown straightened and fully extended, his foot dangling past the upper left corner of the colonnaded porch entrance (Fig. This illustration is intended to provide an impression of the assemblage of the reliefs on the tomb and should not be taken as an accurate recording. more recent and accurate drawings in Summerer and von Kienlin 2010: 199, fig. The left side reliefs of lion and unfinished relief (bull/unicorn) below.
This chapter is intended to be read alongside and to complement the collection of images and essays on the Art of Making in Antiquity website.
It results from conferences organised by the project in 20.
This essay concerns a curious feature in one of the numerous reliefs on the façade of the monumental rock cut Kalekapı Tomb at Donalar, in the Amnias Valley of Paphlagonia.