This capital and sphinx originally crowed the tall grave marker of a youth and a little girl, on view in this gallery. A plaster copy has been set on the monument itself.
The sphinx, a mythological creature with a human head and a lion's body, was known in various forms throughout the eastern Mediterranean region from the Bronze Age. The Greeks represented it with a winged female and often places its image on grave monuments as guardian of the dead. This sphinx, which retains abundant traces of red, black and blue pigments, was carved separately from the capital on which it stands. This capital is in form of two double volutes designed like a lyre.
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